Full deck for Sunday?

Cork may have already named their starting fifteen to play Dublin on Sunday but we’re likely to hold out a bit longer before doing so, with Friday night the most likely time for the announcement to be made. When we do so, there’s every hope that James will have a full deck to pick from when settling on his starting fifteen for the county’s third League semi-final appearance in three years.

The main concern is obviously Cillian O’Connor, who was forced off after less than ten minutes the last day, with what James Horan later described as no more than a “muscle spasm”. This week’s Mayo News (digital version) has a bit more detail on this, stating that the problem may have something to do with a recent hamstring injury. James is quoted in this piece where he says that the issue is “nothing too major” so hopefully the two-time Young Footballer of the Year will be fit and ready to face Derry’s A team on Sunday.

That same piece also states that Kevin McLoughlin didn’t play last Sunday due to a “leg muscle injury” but that he should definitely be okay for Croke Park and that Lee Keegan, Aidan O’Shea and Jason Gibbons will all be available for selection too.

There’s also some news on longer-term absentees Alan Dillon, Kenneth O’Malley and Chris Barrett. All three are reported to be making varying degrees of progress but none of them are likely to be sprung into action this coming weekend, though all three should be available for selection before the championship action starts in earnest.

37 thoughts on “Full deck for Sunday?

  1. Cork seem to have a few injuries but I still fancy them to turn Dublin over on Sunday.. however (no more than Mayo) they will have to tighten up at the back and stop Dublin scoring goals.. if they can do that, they have a few classy forwards who can hit long range scores.. Could it be a Mayo v Cork final?

  2. I have a feeling Cork will do the business on Sunday.I wont leave croker too early 🙂 Darren O Sullivan is reported as having a torn hamstring but id say he will be back for the next day out.

  3. I’d say for the moment we should concentrate fully on Derry. Since 1990 they have won 5 league titles while we have won just one. They are the type of team, that when they make it to this stage they generally make it count. Brian McIver won a league title with Donegal in 2007 and they beat us in the final that year. He also did the same thing that year too in terms of resting his players in their last league group game, so resting players worked for him that year. In saying that we really need to make our experience of playing in Croke Park count in this game. We have played there a lot more times compared to Derry in the last few years. Although their last visit there was a winning one, they beat Westmeath in last year’s Division 2 final. We’ll really need to be at our best to win this semi-final. This is a game to really try and make our pace, speed and mobility count. We should try to do to them, what Dublin did to our midfield in last year’s All-Ireland final, drag their players all around the big Croke Park pitch. Cork had a lot of success using this tactic in the first-half of their league game against them. Lee Keegan, Boyler, Keith Higgins, Jason Gibbons, Doc and Kevin McLoughlin will be our vital players to carry out this game plan. A repeat of our All-Ireland semi-final win over Tyrone last year would be great.

  4. Personally would like to see this team on Sun..

    Harrison Caff Cunniffe
    Boyle Vaughan Keegan
    Aidan O’Shea Gibbons
    Kev Mc Doherty Adam Gallagher
    Freeman Barry Moran O’Connor

    Sweeney probably deserves a start somewhere in the FF line but think if we want to press ahead with trying Moran at FF then we ought to do it now. Think Gallagher has been unfairly excluded over the last few games given his exceptional performances against Kildare and Tyrone

  5. I seem on today’s independent, Tipperary footballers, a really good team with forwards let an 8 point lead slip against Wicklow in injury time.
    3 goals in 2 minutes!!!
    Goals will finish our league chances this Sunday unless we are ready from the start. Keith Higgins into the backs and richie feeney in the hf line?
    And hopefully freezer gets the right ball to him as well, he caught some great stuff against Derry , judged the flight of the ball very well.

  6. I think Croker may actually play to our advantage as you said so fingers crossed we will make it out. We need ot make sure they know we are the boss !

  7. The quality of ball to Freezer is crucial and if like the Dublin game he isn’t winning ball change the plan after 20/25 minutes don’t spend the whole game pumping high ball in the he hasn’t a hope of winning it! Also I hope Andy Moran ups the gears he can’t keep slowing things down it’s giving the opposition lots of time to get men back!

  8. Have to agree with you about moran, i hate to say it, but i think he will never recover the pace he had before that dreadful injury, he’s entering his 30’s and seems to be heavier than he was in 11/12-granted he has bulked up, but maybe a little too much? I think his place is there for the taking. I cannot understand people calling to put higgins back in the corner, he is devastating in the forwards and will only get better.

    I wouldnt worry about us leaking goals at this time of year, jh an co have a couple of tricks up there sleeve with regarding tactics for the championship, for one, our forwards are not pressing up like last summer, that will change. Plus, our intensity levels are way below our championship levels, which will change come the rossie game. I think we’re well on course for a massive tilt at sam AGAIN this septemper. Keep the faith.

  9. Yeah you’d love to see us come out of the blocks with real pace and intensity to see how Derry would cope with that. Our game against Derry last Sunday was similar to the game against London last year, it was very hard to get into it. The game after that last year was the Donegal one so hopefully we’ll start like we did in that match against Derry at the week-end.

  10. Big time Juan this time last year we got our asses whipped in league semis didn’t stop us going within one point of the September holy grail!!

  11. Good points Wensam suun. Some players take too much out of the ball too far from the danger area while players inside are making useful runs invain. Compared to this time last year Mayo look a lot stronger. The kicking game improved last Sunday IMO, and here’s looking forward to it improving again on Sunday

  12. Shane r, u have named a 14 man team there! Presume the missing player is Higgins? Yes good team but i would replace Gallagher with Sweeney

  13. Absolutely agreed, but as always respect but no fear.. this looks to be a big Derry team and I expect Brian McIver to have his match-ups thought out well before hand.. As you’ve said, experience and the open expanses of Croke Park should stand to us.. It just all depends on how hungry our guys are to win this league and by all accounts from what we have seen so far (leaving out last weekends game) the hunger is there.. Derry have had good starts to most of their league games so far and have managed to stay ahead.. We need to turn the tables on them and get a good start, hold on to that lead and then close out the game.. not by keep ball but playing for 70 mins… C’mon mayo

  14. Oh yes sorry, can’t add up, had Kevin Mc Doherty as one player! 🙂 yes surprising omission if no Higgins . Havnt heard he injured, hope not!! He is simmering away nicely and will devastate opposition when he comes to the boil!!

  15. I would like to see Adam Gallagher get a run to see if he can perform in Croker on a big day against an edgy team like Derry. After the two opening games of the league I had him pencilled in as a definite starter because he showed he can battle his way and kick scores. I don’t get it!

  16. Yes Juan, has anyone considered , that maybe this year in the league, James decided to concentrate on scoring goals and will worry about the backs later. It’s a bit easier to sort than the forwards and he knows from before what he has there. I know we all have to scratch our heads at times , but we must trust in him to have a plan. What he tried last year just fell short, so he must try something different and no doubt, after this competition is over , he will think long and hard about his next move.
    There could well be two statues of Horan giants in Mayo yet.

  17. Still recovering from his hamstring injury. As far as I know he will be considered for selection once he proves his fitness and is in the same position as Alan Dillion is at the moment although he will take a little longer to be 100%. He hasn’t as far as I know left the panel but I will check again soon.I do know he wasn’t expected to be able to train with the panel till the middle of May at the earliest. He did have a very bad hamstring tear ( torn off the bone!!!) on his kicking leg that will take a lot of rehab to recover from fully.

  18. That’s a pity WJ….
    Speaking of the NYC match, I read that while the ST will be honored for entry, it won’t count toward attendance…how is that fair to folks who make the trip? Shakin’ me head.

  19. I think it means the game isn’t put on the system, so it won’t affect peoples attendance record.

  20. Think Sunday will give us real test of where we are at. Love the idea of trying Gibbons at CHF. Think we need to get key positions sorted CHB, Midfield, CHF. Looks like we have the players in the panel this year if we can make best use of that on the pitch. Roll on Sunday.

  21. Have to say, I’m really looking forward to this one. I felt completely cheated by last Sunday’s game so looking forward to seeing the real thing on Sunday. And as Trevor said elsewhere I hope we beat them out the door for the lack of respect they showed last Sunday! Will be sticking around for Dublin v Cork too – it has the makings of another cracker.

    I’m inclined to agree with the posters above who suggest that James has been concentrating on scoring goals this time out, and not on defending. If that is the case, I have no complaints – we spent all of last season wailing about having no forwards, and if the league has shown us anything, it’s shown us that while we might not have a “marquee forward (god, how I hate that phrase) we now have plenty of firepower up front. Our defenders haven’t just forgotten how to defend and now that Tom Cunniffe is back on board we are looking far more solid at the back. James now needs to work with Donie on a plan that gives him (and us) a better return on his runs from the back, without leaving us exposed and I believe once we nail that, it will be very hard to stop us this year.

    Yes, there have been mistakes aplenty in the league campaign so far, but I think we have gained far more from it, and I feel far more encouraged by our progress than I did this time 12 months ago. I think we’re in a pretty good place from which to launch this year’s campaign.

  22. It’s not true to say “we need him back ASAP” – it’s very debatable that he would even start if he was fit. Hennelly has been very good in goals for Mayo since his comeback last year.

  23. Last Sunday, V Derry, was shadow boxing , compared to what is to be expected in Croke Park.with both teams at full strength.
    One thing I notices , last Sunday, in the second half, Derry, moved their no 8,Emmett McGuckin in to FF, and he was very effective in winning the high ball and burrowing his way through our defence.
    We parted like the red sea, after the first tackle, standing off, giving him room to take his shot.
    Maybe the fear of a black card is to blame, but it needs to be sorted.
    After last Sunday, James Horan, should have seen enough of certain players to realise they are not up to it, tried and tested and go with new younger ones.
    We have an abundance of mid fielder’s, surely one of them would do a good job at center forward, Tom Parsons, is very mobile, can win his own ball and going forward is very good.It would be a shame not to play our best 15.
    With Jason Gibbons and Alan Freeman hitting form, and Cillien back, we are stronger, now than we were last year.
    Lets hope we stay injury free.

  24. IMO, we need him back. ASAP. He was the first choice keeper up til his injury, thats not to say Hennelly hasnt been steller. get over it for heavens sake!

  25. Sorry folks obviously meant to put Keith Higgins in my team. I’d have him in ahead of Harrisson. Although he is starting to look more assured in half forward line. Decision making improving and tendency to carry the ball into a tackle starting to go away. Didn’t hand pass away any silly balls against Dublin either. Really though the experiment of him being transformed into a forward took place at the wrong time, FBD league and all league games last year should have been when to try it not in the heat of Championship. Bringing him back with 20 minutes to go is a strange one, so hard to adjust to a completely different type of game.

    Any idea what time the team will be named at tonight?

    Looking forward to seeing Cork on Sunday. They have me worried tho

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