We’ve just named our team to face Donegal on Saturday night. Here it is:
Mayo (NFL Division One v Donegal, 25/1/2020): David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Oisin Mullin (Kilmaine), Brendan Harrison (Aghamore), Colm Boyle (Davitts); Padraig O’Hora (Ballina Stephenites), Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore), Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels); Tom Parsons (Charlestown Sarsfields), Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers); Bryan Walsh (Ballintubber), Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber), Fergal Boland (Aghamore); Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet), Brian Reape (Bohola Moy Davitts), James Carr (Ardagh).
The team we’ve named – assuming they all line out on the night – is very much an experimental one. Four of the fifteen – Oisin Mullin, Jordan Flynn, Bryan Walsh and Ryan O’Donoghue – will be making their League debuts, while Padraig O’Hora will be making his first start in a League game, having previously made a substitute appearance.
There’s experience weaved in there too, with David Clarke, Brendan Harrison, Stephen Coen, Colm Boyle, Paddy Durcan, Tom Parsons – making his first competitive start since the summer of 2018 – and Diarmuid O’Connor all named to start. Of the team we’ve named, though, only those seven played any part in the 2017 All-Ireland final (and two of these came off the bench then) so that gives you an idea of how much experimentation we’re going with on Saturday night.
Our most recent competitive match was, of course, last year’s All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin. Six of Saturday night’s team – Brendan, Colm, Stephen, Paddy, Diarmuid and James – also lined out against the Dubs that day while another two, Tom and Fergal, came on as subs.
The last time we faced Donegal was that totemic Super 8s clash at MacHale Park last August, just a week before we played Dublin. Only five players from that game – Brendan, Colm, Stephen, Paddy and James – start on Saturday night, while Fergal also made an appearance from the bench then.
Best of luck to all the lads named to start for us on Saturday night. Up Mayo.