Full panel available for Limerick

Image: @MayoGAA

The week is flying by and, thanks to all this media slavering over the Dubs in recent days, there’s very little being said in the nationals about our forthcoming Round 4A qualifier against Cork on Saturday at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick (throw-in 5pm). There is one piece of note, however, in today’s papers that I’ll come back to presently.

I suppose I’m in no position to be saying nobody is interested in this game – sure am I not giving it a miss myself? For those of you who do plan to be there, though, you’ll be heartened to know that Stephen Rochford, speaking to Mike Finnerty in this week’s Mayo News, has reported a clean bill of health within the squad. I mean really clean, including as it does Barry Moran, Donie Newcombe and Conor O’Shea.

The only squad member ruled out right now is cruciate victim Kevin Keane, who, by the way, also features in the Mayo News this week – here. Given that the county has already played four championship matches this summer, coming through two hard qualifier matches in as many weeks, that’s very positive news.

Despite having a full panel to pick from, being in knockout territory means putting your strongest team on the field – either at the start of the game or nearer the finish – every single time. Cork are highly dangerous opponents for us, a fact referenced by Stephen Rochford in that piece with Mike Finnerty linked to above. The manager is right to warn that we’re likely to face a backlash from the Rebels when we meet at the Gaelic Grounds.

How we might go about winning this game is a topic dissected in this week’s Mayo News by Billy Joe Padden – here.  In his column, Billy Joe ponders on our slow starts against Derry and Clare and he reckons we need to “show progress” from our display in Cusack Park both to win the game and for the future of this team in the championship. He also has some interesting observations to make on Cillian’s freetaking and suggests what the Ballintubber man might do to improve an area that has shown up as a slight problem one this summer.

Ger Flanagan, also writing in this week’s Mayo News, has some practical advice to offer about travelling to, eating in and, perhaps, staying a night in Limerick. It’s a city Ger knows well from his student days and his fact file for Mayo fans on Limerick is here.

But back to that piece in the nationals, more precisely in the Irish Examiner this morning where Denis Hurley speaks with Cork captain Paul Kerrigan – it’s here.  What the Nemo Rangers man has to say pretty much confirms Stephen Rochford’s opinion of Cork as an extremely tricky proposition for us.

The Cork speedster reckons that the footballers rank third – after the hurlers and the shiny new Páirc Uí Chaoimh – in the minds of Cork GAA followers right now. He concedes that more Rebel supporters will be at the Leeside venue this weekend, for matches not involving the county, than will travel to Limerick to shout for the footballers.

Kerrigan isn’t fazed by this – after all, it’s not today nor yesterday that the Cork footballers have been short-changed by their supporters – and in that piece he lays out clearly why we should be very wary of the challenge they’ll pose for us on Saturday.

And we should. This is a far more difficult assignment for us than the Derry or Clare games. Indeed, as someone noted on here after it was confirmed we’d be playing Cork, this is by far the hardest qualifier match we’ve ever been involved in. It’s still, of course, a winnable one for us and we’re rightly favourites to advance, even if those 1/6 match odds are nuts.

We’ll only advance, however, if – as Billy Joe notes – there’s a step up in performance levels compared to what we saw at Cusack Park. It’s all-or-nothing for both teams on Saturday evening and the least we can expect is that Cork will give it everything, as we’ll need to too.

With a full deck to choose from, we’ll go into this tie with possibly the most experienced match-day panel we’ve ever deployed in a championship fixture. That should give us confidence of our ability to do the business in Limerick but a performance to match the occasion is a prerequisite for this to happen as well.

93 thoughts on “Full panel available for Limerick

  1. I thought the most interesting article regarding Mayo was K Shannon piece today. It touches on how best to use Andy Moran over a full game where he obviously does not have a full 75 minutes plaging time in him.
    It reduces our substitution optons by one, but looks a good strategy regardless.
    I would suggest mayo are better than most up to our full forward line, excluding how to handle a big full forward ala K Donaghy (for another day in suppose)….
    So getting the most from Cillian, Andy & Conor (our best full forward line) is worth considering in detail.

  2. Saturday looks to be a good day. Dry and hot. A championship sort of day so hopefully its one that will be looked upon fondly after with a big big mayo crowd. Going to have to head from Omagh on sat so a nice 4 hour journey to get riled up for the match. Excited now, mustn’t underestimate Cork. Really not a fan of their supporters but we shall outnumber them 10:1 so they’ll be well diluted. Up Mayo

  3. Who’s going to turn up on Saturday is the big question. We always like to think that ‘ there’s a big game left in this Mayo team’ especially when we’re playing the big guns, but we seem to readily dismiss the possibility of our opponents having ‘ one big game left in them’. Maybe Cork had an off day or maybe as I believe kerry were awesome in the munster final. 4 points in the first 4mins of the first half, Cork claw back into contention by ht. Kerry come out and repeat the dose, this time 4points in the first 3mins of the second half and Cork are beaten. Have they one big game in them? Who knows.
    What are we going to bring to the table? The Mayo of the Derry 65min, or the first half v Clare? Or as we all hope the Mayo of et v Derry and the second half v Clare.
    We dismiss Cork because of their 11 point beating but are quick to forget that the team that beat us was given a 9 point beating.
    I’m not making a case for Cork here, I just don’t know which Cork will turn up. They have far more potential to cause us problems than most teams.
    Unfortunately the same can be said of us. Which Mayo will turn up. But we all know potentially we can beat any team.
    So on Saturday two teams with poorish form, but bucket loads of potential lock horns. But who’s goes to turn up on the day is still the big question.

  4. I know this is totally off topic, but it is an amazing stat about Dublin from Sean Moran in the IT.

    “During the four All-Ireland winning campaigns this decade, Dublin have played 10 semi-finals and finals, including two replays, and in only two of those matches has the margin of victory been more than a score”

    So for all the eulogizing, they have only ever been a kick of the ball away from defeat.

    Looking forward to my trip to Limerick. I even have a driver organized. 🙂

  5. TonyK, you could I’m sure put together a very similar stat for us over the past 5 years in that when we have lost out its either been a semi final or final and every time its been only by one score.
    We have only ever been a kick of the ball away from victory!

  6. Also in regards to games on Sun last ….even though Dubs and Tyrone were this that and the other there were just a few scores between the sides!

  7. East cork.

    That’s the point I’m making. Fine margins either way. Nobody is ever as good or ever as bad as media portrays them.

  8. We can only marvel at the achievements of this group over the last 6 years. 3 years ago we were told Mayo would not come back but we still are in the mix. Cork will be no push-over and we will need our best 15 on the field from the start. A good start is vital to undermine Cork’s confidence. Give them an inch and they will take a yard.

    When we see the way funding is handed out, it will be a miracle if counties like Mayo will be able to compete with Dublin in the future. Over the last 10 years we are one of the least funded counties from GAA HQ. Below is not a one year blip. The average over 10 years is actually worse.

    County Breakdown of Games Development Funding in 2016
    Dublin – €1.463,400
    Cork – €249,000
    Offaly – €220,669
    Derry – €210,800
    Kerry – €197,600
    Meath – €187,600
    Tipperary – €183,800
    Laois – €182,000
    Kildare – €179,800
    Carlow – €178,800
    Wicklow – €167,000
    Antrim – €164,400
    Westmeath – €160,601
    Limerick – €158,800
    Waterford – €158,800
    Wexford – €155,800
    Clare – €152,400
    Roscommon – €144,748
    Leitrim – €131,498
    Donegal – €130,200
    Galway – €130,204
    Mayo – €129,886
    Cavan – €129,000
    Sligo – €127,854
    Longford – €126,500
    Louth – €122,700
    Monaghan – €121,000
    Tyrone – €119,000
    Down – €112,600
    Armagh – €110,200
    Fermanagh – €109,000
    Kilkenny – €108,600

  9. It will be tight for 55 mins and then Mayo will pull away to win by 5 or 6 in the end. I don’t buy in to the narrative of “a big game in Cork, a back-lash is coming”. If that’s the case then they have been waiting 18 months to produce it. The final scoreline v Kerry did not reflect the Kerry domination that day and the Yerras were already, mentally, in the dressing room with 15 mins to go. As John Giles used to say “you can’t turn form on and off like a tap” and that is what Cork are going to have to achieve if they are to produce something that they have not produced for 18 months.

    I expect Mayo to be up another level, 10 to 15%, in comparison to the Clare game and, to be honest, I just cannot see Cork sticking with our pace and physicality over 70+ mins of championship football. It’s clear to see that Mayo are finding their “mojo” and the length of time they are dominant and in control of games is extending all the time. We are no where near where we were last September, but then again we don’t need to be. It’s still July! Close off the running lane down our middle (where Derry and Clare exposed us), get support in to our full forward line quicker and we will be grand. We have too many selection options in both the starting 15 and from the bench, and, we have too much experience for this Cork team.

  10. Something looks wrong with the above table …
    The County with the best development set up, underage structure gets a huge slice of the cake. Coupled with huge sponsorship and not forgetting bertties gift to Dublin gaa…..
    How will any county compete on a consistent basis with Dublin now and for the foreseeable future.
    The GAA has created a monster but can it reign it back in …

  11. Who on here is in the know as to how this thing, if it is as outlandish as it appears, can be allowed to continue in such a fine organisation? Do tell ….

  12. Bit off topic and I apologise but a workmate and myself were having a discussion of 90s football and then got onto the talk of galway lads from the islands who played for the county too. Has there been any mayo county players from any of the islands (excluding achill). Cheers guys.

  13. Pebblesmeller…. I’m afraid you ll have to take what is offered this weekend but no harm in drumming up the juices and dressings in advance. A peculiarity of Corks display was how good it was in spots and then how v poor on other occasions …. not altogether unlike ourselves. So I suppose we have to be thinking that if they cut down on their unforced errors a bit and balance things up, then it could all be an entirely different story….

  14. I dont believe it can RiseAgain, I think the genie is out of the bottle now and there is no way to get it back in.
    People reference Kilkenny in hurling, saying that other counties raised their game to compete with KIlkenny but its a poor analogy, Kilkenny is a small county compared to Dublin and with 10 years of hard work and good organisation and planning (easier said than done) any of the traditional hurling counties could compete with them. And did.
    The resource advantage in terms of finances, playing population, facilities etc that Dublin have is mind blowing. I think in a few years time we will find it remarkable that we ever went toe to toe with them at all.
    The only thing that will stop the Dublin monopoly of Leinster spreading to the All Ireland series is mis management and complacency. What I mean by that is if Dublin make a poor manager choice after Jim Gavin or their county board become complacent someone may catch them, but not otherwise.
    Yes we are as good as them at the moment, as are Kerry. I don’t know if we have the conveyor belt to stay competitive, Kerry will for a while based on their tradition and the recent fine crop of minors that they have had but 5 to 6 years time if things stay as they are the all Ireland series will be the similar to Crossmaglens dominance of the Armagh senior football championship for many years.
    I believe the super 8 series will only increase this dominance. Hope I am wrong but there you go.

  15. The main thing that will bring Dublin back into the pack a bit is the retirement of Steven Cluxton who can’t go on indefinitely. In all other positions they have lads coming through but there won’t be anyone to match their goalkeeper. The other thing is the moving on of Galvin, but as we see with Cody that’s not necessarily likely to happen any time soon. Pillar was a poor manager and his successor was good but a still busy successful business man. Galvin is very good indeed though all managers are fallible.

  16. The effect of this lop sided funding is only coming to fruition now so things can only get worse in the near future. Other counties can not hope to compete with this GIANT that Dublin is becoming. This funding is to provide coaching etc and we see how dominant Dublin has become in underage grades in recent years. I don’t have a problem with funding for disadvantaged areas/clubs but some of the big Du clubs have bigger budgets than many counties. Anyway, let us enjoy our time in the sun – it may not last.

  17. I’m a fan of the Mickey Harte substitution tactic with Andy but another approach is to use Alan Dillon. We saw that Alan Brogan still had something to give Dublin 2 years ago at 34. In Dillon we have a savvy player with scoring and passing ability who can probably still impact part of a game. Either or…. I think Dillon would be pissed off to see Andy used twice but it’s all down to form and if management decide to do it they make the call.

  18. Lads, last I checked it was Cork we’re facing at the weekend, not Dublin. Zone in on the Jacks when they come into view.

  19. Shuffle Deck …
    Management shouldn’t care if A Dillon would be passed off or not.
    Not their concern.
    There sole concerns is how best to get Mayo to win matches.

  20. It’s nice, every now and again, to find yourself in agreement with one of Dublin’s finest football ambassador’s. In an article in the ‘Irish Examiner’, it’s none other than Ciarán Kilkenny that I find myself agreeing with not once but twice. Ciarán laments the absence of TnaG’s ‘Seó Spóirt’. I fully concur with that sentiment, definitely the best GAA related sports programme for many years on Irish TV… Secondly he was critical of the playing surface of Croke Park for the recent Leinster Final.. U2 Playing in Croker next weekend will hardly improve the surface.. The last 3 GAA venue’s that I visited, Pearce Stadium, Salthill, McHale Park, Castlebar and Cusack Park, Ennis have all pristine playing surfaces… However the president of the GAA,. Aogán Farnell has only heard good things about the playing surface of HQ, in a ‘personal capacity’.. Whatever a’ personal capacity ‘ means when you are the President of the GAA means?.. But I cannot definitely say that the surface is in any way responsible for the’ ‘cruciate ligament injurys ‘ suffered by Andy Moran and Kevin Keane but I am 100 % certain that they happened in Croke Park.. Anyhow Aogán is in another article equally adamant that there will be no further debate about exclusive SKY live coverage of GAA games, despite many not being in total agreement, including objections from Clare and Dublin… Now I can only imagine how Aogán would react if he was robustly questioned, as to the fairness or otherwise of the funding of the various county’s in the GAA.. It seems to me that President Aogán Farrell doesn’t like to see anything questioned…. What if the general public were to come to the conclusion that everything in the GAA was not perfect after all?.. In my opinion the GAA is a marvellous organisation, made so by the many volunteers and participants throughout this country and indeed the world… But we need to be very careful as to the direction it is taking… Is it an huge organisation that is primarily interested in the ‘Few’ at expense of the many? … Fair Criticism and Debate should always be welcomed by those in charge.

  21. Just reading there that the Tyrone team say the rosary a couple of hours before each championship match so far this year.
    So where is the love thy neighbour that should accompany such things? It reinforces the thought that Mickey Hart is as twisted as the players that he has on his team

  22. This would be my starting team for Saturday V Cork

    D Clarke
    C Barrett;
    L Keegan
    C Boyle
    S O’Shea
    D O’Connor
    A O’Shea
    K McLoughlin
    C Loftus,
    C O’Connor
    A Moran / Doherty

  23. Would play higgins as a hb…
    Harrison, Caffrekey & Barrett are all better markers than higgins & Higgins offers a huge amount going forward. Also an option as a sweeper if opposing team plays with 5 forwards.

  24. If i remember rightly the last time we played them in the 2014 quarter final, a Cork player, possibly Fintan Goold got his old man out and urinated on the grass of Croke Park during the huddle before throw in. Clearly captured on video and is still available to view on youtube (i just checked, yes it was him).

    My point is, all that money granted to Dublin/Croke Park and they cant afford to put a loo in the dressing room area. I hope the Mayo players remember to have a good “drain off” before heading to Croker.

  25. I think we will win WJ to be honest. We should improve again from the last day. They have dangerous forwards but I think our experience will see us through. As for the bigger picture, can’t see past dublin. Unless Tyrone unsettle them in the semis to an extent that they drag the game down to their level. Only prob is Dubs have shown they can “mix it” anyway u want, to use an old phrase. Let’s see what happens.

  26. @ Jim Flag: Is it not more likely that the Cork player got caught short just before the throw-in? Can’t imagine that a state of the art stadium such as Croker would lack toilets for players.

  27. Interesting numbers on funding Micko. However Dublin have many more players to train develop etc so per head of population Mayo might even get more than Dublin. The big point is that they just do have more players ie 10//12 or 15 times more than us due to population this means they can continually bring on New talent because they have a pool we simply don’t and won’t have.
    Of all the “competitive counties” we have by far the smallest population so our achievements are remarkable

  28. The one thing that I would take from the Paul Kerrigan interview is that he said that Cork need to be more clinical and that they seen the chances that Derry-Clare created against us and that they aim to exploit that. So we need to be ready for that, especially early in the game.

    It’ll be interesting to see how Cork will set-up against us, they didn’t really play with a sweeper or any kind of a blanket defence in their games so far in the championship. Their marking was very slack at the back in their previous games. They’ll have to tighten up in that area to cause us serious problems.

    For us we need to take our chances and be ruthless if we build up a lead on them. Not let them get back into the game as they would be much more dangerous coming back into the game than Clare were for example. I remember in the league game against them in 2015, they scored a last minute goal to get the win when we were just 2 points ahead of them. So we don’t want to see them been within a score of us late in the game as they are the type of team who could give you a sucker punch. Best of luck to all involved with our team!

  29. I think most of the country bar the jacks are in agreement that the funding structure stinks to high heaven but this is a thread on cork so I’ll concentrate on that.

    Team for Sunday

    Barret caff Harry
    Keegan Boyle. durcan
    Seamie parsons
    Kev mc aido
    Loftus. Cillian Doherty

    Higgins to play sweeper but to attack will

  30. Pat
    Dublin have 39,000 odd registered players of all ages and grades. Mayo have 10,000 odd. Dublin got funded around 270 per player. Mayo got 22 per player. These are approximate figures but show the gap in funding, its beyond a joke and fair play to mayo and the likes for even being able to compete with Dublin.

    On the cork game, I’d like to see loftus start and do what he can do, score goals. Mayo will definitely need goals to beat cork and any of the others remaining should they win on Saturday, Andy Moran to come in if needed and finish the game out at full tilt.
    I would also love to see Jason doc hitting the net too, he’s another buck with the goal thing in him and a goal in this game could cause a streak to start in him.

  31. Strange comment there on about Micky Harte Tyrone and the rosary You do what you can to win Don’t like Tyrone but they have 3 more AI s than we have in last 15 years so on maybe it’s time to say a few prayers

  32. As I said previously, premature All-Star conjecture is utterly pointless right now. An appropriate companion piece for the Top 12 ranking nonsense The Sunday Game did the other night.

  33. Most of you on this sight see Mayo as a top four team and very few could argue with that. It’s with this in mind that I’m a bit surprised at the amount of caution there seems to be about our ability to beat Cork. Take the other three teams, Dublin, Kerry, Tyrone, I very much doubt if anyone of them would be too concerned about playing Cork right now, so why should we. Of course, we should respect them and no doubt there will be some scary moments but I think Pebblesmeller called it right, that our superior fitness and physicality will tell in the end. One word of caution though, we’ll need our 15 players on the pitch for the 70 minutes, so no silly off the ball stuff, please.

  34. I think that the above comment by PJ is out of order in calling Mickey Harte and his team “twisted”.
    Surely it falls under Rule#8 WJ?

    8.Comments should not be of a kind that contain generalised trash-talking, whether about other commenters in general, specific players, management, County Board officials or other handy targets.

  35. If we play against cork like we did against Clare in first half they will score goals, but I think we will win

  36. Aughagower John, I started writing a reply to you, and then changed my mind, seeing as I mentioned the Mayo County board yesterday in a post, then I realised it wasn’t me that you were referring to at all (at least I hope so, because I was very specific in the question’s I asked).. But as for Mickey Harte and the Tyrone team, I met Mickey Harte and most of the Tyrone team last time they were All Ireland champions… I definitely wouldn’t
    say anything negative about them, but from my experience, let me tell you that the Tyrone team, Mickey Harte and it’s ethos (if ever a team had an ethos, it’s Tyrone).. I would say that they make an interesting and compelling story, far more so than is ever reported in mainstream media in my opinion!… I hope they retain the affection they had for Mayo and it’s people., that they held back then .. But I fear, we might need to say our prayer’s if we were to meet them in the championship this year, you can be sure, they will have their own prayer’s already said!

  37. I’d say most if the Tyrone players tolerate Harte’s religious stuff because he’s successful, see it as an eccentricity but don’t rock.the boat. Not taking pop at Religion but it’s a bit parental to be saying rosary with grown men many of whom are unlikely to be religious and what if one is different religion will they do.

  38. Morag’s team a bit closer Niall1983 would ye drop Diarmaid.. hasn’t happened yet. One of.ye picks Caff the other doesn’t. I think Caff is our best hope should we meet Kerry down the line apart from converting SOS for a one off game and management need some planning ahead regarding team structure.

  39. The middle eight I think is where we have our best depth and quality.
    Leeroy Coen Durcan
    SOS Parsons
    Kevin Mc AOS Diarmuid
    If you have 6 of those 8 really on form with Aidan one of the six thats about as good a middle eight is around.
    No weaknesses on average across the eight.

  40. We should remember that in the last 2 years we have struggled to finish off the following teams: Fermanagh, Westmeath, Tipp, Sligo and Derry. The two games we were comfortable in, going into the final quarter, were against Kildare and Clare. So if we get on top of Cork, we really need to make it count and not be left hanging on, coming near the end of the game, as we were in a number of games in the last two years. Another purple patch like we put in against Clare and Kildare would be great to see (when we bagged two goals in quick succession and a number of points). Take our chances and we should be fine.

  41. two more sleeps- cant wait to get on the road again,
    really looking forward to this match,hope we bring our A game, i don’t mind what 15 start, as long as we make an impression,a good one at that, there definitely is comfort knowing we have a strong bench,
    ,we need to be taking this game by the scruff of the neck ,a nice goal or two early on ,and put the ball over the fecking bar,
    no sloppy passes,and heedless fouling,as someone said previously we need to finish with 15 men on the field,
    can we get off to a good start???, these 18-22 mins before we settle will be the straw that breaks the camels back, cork are to be fully respected from the get go


  42. When assessing this game, people mention Mayo being top 4 and a Division 1 team and that we shouldn’t be overly concerned about Cork.
    Mayo in late August early September are a top 4 team. Its clear based on our performances that either physically or mentally we don’t become that top 4 team until that time of the championship. That’s a logical enough approach from the team I suppose. However it means that for a lot of the rest of the games in this years and last years championship we have not been at “top 4” performance levels, probably more top 8 to 10. This then means we come back towards the pack and could, and indeed in the Derry game probably should, have been beaten.
    We’re not playing like a top 4 team at the minute and that’s why we should be, and are, wary of Cork. Lose and we don’t get the opportunity to become that top 4 team later in the championship.

    Incidentally Cork U-16 footballers and playing Mayo U-16 footballers and both teams will be at the game afterwards so there will be some Cork supporters there outside of grannys and girlfriends. The rest of Cork alas seems to be heading to watch Clare and Tipp. Bizarre.

  43. How are the Holidays going Willie Joe ? Are you getting much of a tan ? 🙂

  44. Was it not from a north Mayo village that the saying came from a family that prays together stays together.
    If it unites them fare play has nothing to do with anybody else. same as a minute silence before game’s its all about respect,but when the whistle blows from start to finish show no mercy.
    There’s far to much said now a days outside the games themselves that’s one thing I like about our group heads down and work hard if they lose they make no excuses they just look for the extra percent next year.
    On the cork game its hard to see us beaten.had doubts before Derry,non against Clare and non the next day.
    Hope bench get a good run again.
    Things are starting to come together at the right time,get to croke park and I wouldn’t like to be the team facing us.

  45. Flying home this evening with the family for a hastily arranged break. Notionally to see the clan but in reality it’s all about Limerick.

    We’re playing a big side that are down on their confidence. They’re looking for a grain of light and that’s exactly what we can’t allow.

    There’s no other breed of an Irishman better equipped to let a streak of cockiness coarse through them. Our aim is to stamp that out as early as possible. That’s where we start and finish.

    I’ve been listening to Rochford’s comments this week and I think that’s the message he’ll be hammering home this week. If we let Cork pile down the middle they have the forwards to put down a score.

    No more slow starts, move with authority from the start and set down a marker. I don’t think we’ll have the luxury of waiting for the quarters to roll out close to our A game this year.

  46. If winning big lugs takes getting in a Voodoo priest to sacrifice a few chickens in the dressing room then I’m all for it.

  47. Missing Higgins for a game one of our best, did it impact the scoreboard, probably, missing Durcan our next game, probably also impacted scoreboard as he often kicks a point or two. Next day we have a full pick. Only 2 or 3 tricky choices…. 1) Whether to start Loftus or not, 2) what 55 mins does Andy get.. the Canavan tactic? 3) Play Caff or not, will probably need him should we progress as far as Kerry but if any team plays no orthodox FF do we swap in a fast CB instead, plan for season (structure) or game at a time. 4) Does Diarmaid start, can only start 15 and either Doherty or Loftus could take his jersey especially if Higgins given a forward jersey to sweep. 5) Higgins or McLoughlin as sweeper or Boyler sweeping FB line and one of the other 2 sweep mostly from HB line up. 6) Whether to give Alan Dillon and Barry Moran game time. In a tight finish would it be wiser to introduce Dillon than Boland.
    I would suggest Coen/Donie as utility subs from midfield back wherever the need arises.

  48. Also agree with posters on slow starts. Would like to see swagger vs Cork like Kerry would. Respect them but believe we’ll win from the off is what I’d like to see. If we win and happen to draw Rossies, same attitude again. Only against a top 4 should we drop swagger. Cork very poor for 35 vs Tipp. Took 36 year old veteran forward to get them kick started in their games. Kerrigan dangerous and Lee has done that job very well in previous QF meeting. Walsh good midfielder but old. Their backs wouldn’t frighten to many forward lines but then again neither would Galway’s.

  49. Key to getting that swagger is picking best team and right subs. Donie and Coen probably shouldn’t be put in forwards even though they contribute there… we have lads who always play forwards for their club on the bench. Same with Drake who should come in if a defender gets cramp or empties the tank e.g. Boyler but he would be third sub in backs after Coen and Donie (2nd if either of those 2 subbed into midfield).

  50. We’ve started agonisingly slow in a few games enough to make it a well noted feature of the team.It hasn’t been explained why this happens but may have to do with an uncertainty in the ranks…..a lack of confidence in the inherent ability and proven strengths that lie dormant within the group. There is that kind of horse who will topple all before him until he gets up a bit of a gander and then will glide like a Pegasus. But also likewise and like the other top teams, after getting a few scores ahead they are in the habit of easing off and falling back into troubled waters again. I suppose you’ll have that but let’s hope we deal with it well and come out the other end with enough scores to the good for so far yet …. well, we haven’t been as prolific as we would hope to be before the end of our campaign!
    Ar Aghaidh Aris Muigheo….

  51. I see that Eoin Liston, the former Kerry player, is trying to rally the Cork troops today in The Indo. Basically he is saying that they should come out all guns blazing against us, a rebels’ last stand, kind of thing. You couldn’t be up to the Kerry pundits. Before the Kerry and Cork game, they were all singing from the same hymn sheet about how dangerous Cork were and that Kerry needed to be very wary of them. Then before the Mayo and Clare game I seen a few of them penning articles trying to give as much encouragement as possible to the Clare boys, saying they were an example to all weaker counties and were really on the up. Now they are trying to get the Cork boys to put in a big performance to get us out of the picture. So again we need to be ready from the rebels’ last stand, if it turns into that type of a game.

  52. Re Liston, paper never refused ink. Would hope Cork bring their A game anyway. It’s the championship ffs. And would want Mayo’s A game too. Had enough time now to find our A game and any tinkering with the team. Rabbits out of hats may be needed at some stage should we keep progressing but for the most part hoping team settled. Mayo A game vs Cork’s should see Mayo win and if not good luck to them. Have huge panel now with COS and Barry Moran back. So long as we don’t hand them a lead our panel is very strong. Vs Galway we only had a bad 5 mins start, next 20 was reasonably goid, were slowly turning the screw until sending off.

  53. If Tyrone meet the Dubs surely it would have to be the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary they choose to say before taking to the field?
    I think there’s a lot of daft hype about Tyrone (no more than Kildare). Who was it beat them in the league on their home turf? Mayo? Nobody is talking about us which is just great. Just what we need. Now scrape past Cork on Saturday evening and I’ll be delighted. And if, in order to get our lads up for a battle, Rochford has to quote passages from the Koran, sacrifice a chicken or stick pins in an effigy of Flynn, Brolly or Spillane I don’t mind.
    Can’t wait for Saturday evening!

  54. Diehard don’t agree with scrape past Cork. If both teams bring A game and we barely scrape a hard fought victory playing and scoring well I will be happy. Otherwise I would hope we can bring our A game regardless of which one Cork brings and beat them by 4 or 5 or more. I would also like to see Mayo score goals at least one in 1st half. A big performance would be good for confidence.

  55. Wonder did the Rossies sacrifice a sheep in Salthill before the Connacht final. You can be sure they didn’t break with tradition and whipped it from a Galway field.

  56. Whatever about sacrificing sheep chickens or vestal virgins If such types exist these days what with Tinder and the like we should maybe think about sacrificing a forward and putting Keith in as a sweeper he can take a score too so that might be an option. Don’t mind the bomber Cork will be fired up but so will we. Bring it on I say

  57. Nice one baconfactoryend! Whatever about killing an auld Galway sheep in the dressing room before the match I reckon they murdered a few pints of the black stuff afterwards.

  58. Baconfactoryend…While we are on the subject of slaughter.. Very near the Bacon Factory End, there was up until recently a public house called inappropriately ‘Hogs Haven’ (it has since changed it’s name)… For the decades before it became a public house, it was far from a Haven, as it is possible to get for Hog’s.. Chilling taught especially for a pig…… Anyhow I hope ‘Willie Joe is enjoying his holiday, and by the time he comes back , this’ Mayo GAA Blog ‘ is still a GAA blog, and hasn’t morphed into some’ Cult with a serious blood lust!

  59. I have to say I don’t agree with the take away a forward and put X defender in to play in the HF line or as a sweeper. On the evidence of Derry and Clare we need to play a three man FF line. Cillian drops deep anyway and we need the scores.
    Again on the evidence of Derry and Clare Aido needs to be left alone – he’s in the perfect position, which involves dropping into midfield quite a bit. Kev Mc should play as he did against Clare in the 2nd half – around HF, winning dirt ball and breaking forward.

    Now that leaves DOC to be dropped. If we do that our FF line will be too isolated, with the majority off our runners coming from MF back.

    Personally I’d favour playing the team that started the 2nd half against Clare. Coen instead of TP at midfield, for some drive and energy around the middle. TP to replace Seamie on 55 mins. Durcan and Donie on the bench, as tough as call that is.

    Bench would be awesome though Hennelly, Donie, Durcan, Drake, TP, Boland, Dillon, Regan, Doherty, Kirby, COS

  60. We need all supporters that can to travel to limerick on Saturday to support the team. the traffic was very bad the last day between corofin and clarinbridge.Some drivers might like the option to take the tuam to athenry road and then onto craughwell and join the main road at ardrahan.this is an option to avoid the tailbacks.this is a very dodgy game,CORK are being written off,but CORK being CORK mayo must bring their A game .They need to start playing from the first minute and not the twenty-first minute as was in ennis.I think we will win the game

  61. Whatever about the Rosary, some of the Tyrone lads might need to brush up on the Act of Contrition.

  62. I read Eoin Liston and today and said to myself someone on this site would be saying he is riling up the rebels to take care of Mayo for them. : ) Sure enough!

    With the greatest of respect Kerry don’t fear Mayo. The O Se brothers and Liston and co. aren’t sitting around figuring out what articles they can right to give Cork a boost in order that Mayo are not a problem. How many times have Mayo beaten Kerry in championship in last 20 years compared to Cork? The truth is Kerry don’t fear anyone and while the Dubs have had their number in recent years they still don’t fear them – they would nearly prefer Dublin beat what opposition stand in their way of them meeting up. The players welcome it and their fans even more so. So if you’re reading the Liston article as a neutral (and probably even the majority of non-neutrals) there is nothing unreasonable in what he says. Cork should be a lot better for the players they produce especially at underage. It will be an ask for them to beat Mayo ….but no one will be more than a little surprised if they do But whoever wins you can be sure Kerry won’t be too worried one way or the other – call it belief, arrogance, winning mentality…whatever…its just a fact.

  63. We have only 2 forwards good enough in the sweeper role Kevin Mc and Cillian, in both cases it’s robbing Peter to pay Paul. Mc is needed to mop half forwards and midfield as otherwise the Dublins and Kerry’s will kill ye without such a role.
    Keith will struggle to get a full back line slot unless Caff (orthodox FB) is dropped but Keith tops the charts in speed of movement, running with ball one twos, long kicks in and very long fisted passes. He can kick points as we saw vs Donegal a few years back and against Clare though not as prolific as Diarmaid, COS or Doherty it doesn’t matter as his role would primarily be about mopping and moving the ball at pace. That likely means Diarmaid dropped as Kevin Mc, Cillian, AOS always start and Andy needed for 55. With many calling for Loftus to start and Keith as sweeper that’s 6, Diarmaid to lose out for starting place. To get in he needs to keep Loftus off starting 15.
    There is absolutely no way I would drop Durcan as he’s too fast.. can wreck the guts of other teams chasing him and speed makes him hard to beat as a defender. He’s able for the likes of Ciaran Kilkenny.

  64. Shuffle Deck ….
    The choice is between Durkan & Higgins.

    Mayo need a hf line of diarmuid & kmc either side of AoS. Makes no sense to break up Mayos strongest line. Name me a better hf line in another team.

    Most teams drop one fwd back to play sweeper, so mayo do nother need to drop a fwd back as sweeper to play 5 on 7.

    So again it’s a straight choice between Higgins & Durkan. I believe Higgins is a better choice. Higgins has the huge advantage that he would be a better choice to be the spare defender.
    Give him game time in this role & I believe he will grow into it very quickly.

  65. I’m sorry Cantini but that line about “Kerry not fearing the Dubs” is rubbish. Now I believe you in that they don’t fear Mayo. However, Kerry bottled a 6 point lead last year in the semis against Dublin, didn’t even show up in the 2015 all-Ireland final and got thought a lesson in how to play open expansive football in 2013. Kerry would love to see Tyrone beat the dubs and pick up another all-Ireland by avoiding them…….like 2014!!

  66. “Kerry don’t fear Dublin” ….
    A plethora of kerry pundits have lined up to coronate Dublin over their championship meetings over the last number of year’s before each game.

  67. Cantini

    All the same, you have to admit kerry would be a lot happier to have Mayo out of the equation as neither cork nor anyone else will physically match them from this side of the draw. Liston and co are for sure trying to stir the cork boys into action, remember, Mayo beaten by a single score last autumn against the ” greatest team ever”, that has got to have some bit of weight behind it.
    My opinion is that cork will attack hard from the start as our bucks have been slow to start and cork will look to build a big lead as early as possible and then defend it for as long as possible. An 8 point lead at half time would be enough to win if the pull everyone back for the second half, and keep Mayo away from the goal.

    That’s the reason Mayo will need to set the tone early and keep it close or lead at half time, this isn’t Clare or Sligo, this is cork with real ability if the humor takes them on the day.

  68. It’s hard to call what the right starting 15 should be but if you take it that there are a number of definite starters, then filling in the gaps becomes an interesting exercise. So on the basis that they always started when fit/available, the following will start on Saturday:
    Aidan O’Shea
    Cillian O’Connor
    A Moran

    If everyone on that list starts, Caff, Barrett, Boyle and Coen would vie for the two remaining defensive places. Sheamie O’Shea and Vaughan would also seem to be front runners for the No 9 shirt with Sheamie in pole position. It gets interesting in the forwards with two of Boland, Diarmaid O’Connor, Loftus and Doherty likely to fill the last two spots. The placing of Higgins, last time out adds more uncertainty in who will start as he played in an advanced role against Clare.

    I think that talking about dropping a man back to play sweeper is now a non-issue. We don’t do that anymore and neither do Dublin or Kerry. If there is a sweeper now, it is a spare back whose own man has gone back to defend. The reason for this development is the greater use of the 34-40 metre footpass that can nullify a specialist sweeper. It is one of the major changes in the game this year and the pundits are not picking it up. A consequence is that the games this year are generally more high-scoring.

    The names above is a total of 20 players and it doesn’t even mention Hennelly, Regan, Nally, Crowe, Drake, Kirby, Conor O’Shea, B.Moran, Newcombe or Dillon.

    What it shows is that naming the 15 is now getting very difficult. Even settling on the match day 26 is getting to be a debate. We clearly have several options for a best 15 and have a very strong bench.
    I expect that we will be too strong for Cork but that they will be like a dying wasp – dangerous!

    Keep the Faith!

  69. Found this on a Cork page:

    “The Cork footballers have detached themselves from the local media this Week, they are preparing behind the scenes and not conducting any interviews.”

    Can’t confirm if 100% true but Cork footballers will have a point to prove and that makes them dangerous opposition. Mayo need to start fast and keep the foot down.

  70. Higgins is too good a footballer to leave out of the team but Paddy Durcan will start, of that I’m very confident, he’s a speedster. Regarding sweeper or not, in last year’s drawn AI Mayo played 13 in the backs at times in first half and it worked reasonably well primarily because Andy won some very dirty ball when kicked up.
    If Higgins has a defender’s jersey it will likely be Barrett who has done nothing wrong who gives way. If Leroy is deployed to man mark Kerrigan it gives scope for roaming defenders elsewhere but I have been saying all year if Mayo aren’t unearthing enough forwards then convert a back. For 2017 Higgins is that player because of the speed of his link play and his defending is a small bit looser.
    Now our forwards have been improving but if we have surplus talent in one sector and a bit below what is needed in another (one of whom can really speed up the attack) why not use him. Diarmaid still isn’t playing at the level of 2015 and I wouldn’t for example see him on any pundits mind for all star later in the year. If I was asked who would be more likely to make the forward line tick, Keith or Diarmaid I would chose Keith. Don’t get me wrong Diarmaid is still doing a big work load but again not at 2015 August level. I just see Higgins navigating the midfield traffic faster than any other player. Simple example Doherty’s goal vs Tipp last year set up by a Keith 1-2 at pace with AOS changed that game.

  71. This is as difficult a game as Mayo might have had to face. Any complacency of any description and we are gone. We have to go for it right from the start. No waiting to see how it is going and we can devise a plan. We are the better team. Show it from the word go not when we are six or seven down. Up Mayo.m

  72. Re. the Kieran Shannon piece. Somebody up the way posted that they couldn’t access it. Somebody else may have put you in the right direction ( I don’t know as I’ve quickly scrolled down to help out),

    Click on the link given. You must register as a user with an email address and a password and you’re in. And it’s free.

  73. It’s highly likely that Cork will bring only a handful of supporters to Limerick on Saturday to shout for their footballers, which is poor form. Mind you, I can’t remember the last time our own hurlers had more than a handful cheering them on in a big game, either ….

  74. This Cork team is hurting. All the talk in Cork is about hurling and the new Pairc Ui Chaoimh. There will be 10,000 Cork people in Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Sat with no Cork team playing and maybe 500 in Limerick supporting the footballers. Make no mistake – Cork are going to come out all guns blazing and tear into Mayo. They have no fear of Mayo. Don’t know why we were so poor against Derry and Clare in first halves – but if we are not ready from the start the next and Cork can sniff the chance of a win – they will be very hard to beat. A good start will be vital on Saturday.

  75. Cork are dangerous because they have a point to prove…that must make us the most dangerous team in the history of sport.

  76. Some great insight there Fourgoal McGee and Shuffly Deck! Nice selection problem to have with such a strong bench and let’s hope it all remains that way with no injuries or cards.

  77. Cork are a very average side whose confidence is at an All Time Low. Anyone who ovserved their form over last 3 games would know this.
    The worst team to come out of the county in many a decade. Mayo will win this one pulling up. Talk of using 2 subs for 1 player is nonsense. Andy Moran should be brought on with 25 to go as we need him finishing the game. Durcan, Coen and Seamus should all start. Maigh So Abu

  78. Why should Coen start, the maths don’t work, Seamie and Tom P are our first choice midfielders and we have 3 settled half backs and 4 vying for full back line. The only case there is once again drop Boyler. The only other case is full back if Caff dropped which I don’t think will happen, it’s a specialist position and Caff knows it best. Not starting Coen no 12 again I hope. So no I don’t expect him in the starting 15.

  79. Coen starting is based on his known form back around half back which is usually good. There’s no major gap to any other player bar Lee Keegan and he has a very good engine.

  80. Despite the dissension to the view above I still don’t agree that Kerry “fear” Dublin. The fact that Dublin have simply been better than them, and everyone else is another matter, but I don’t for second believe Kerry teams has any pyschological issue with Dublin. When Kerry won the league final against the Dubs this year there was barely a hand raised in celebration after the game – it really struck a chord with me because it was the end of a titantic match won by a point and they simply turned to the Dublin players and shook hands because in Kerry’s mind it didn’t count for much.
    anyone that thinks James O Donoghue or Paul Geaney – too cocky as bejaysus young lads – don’t actually look down their noses at the Dubs (even if unjustified) fail to understand a lot of the Kerry pysche….least we forget Kerry’s all ireland famine extends only back to 2014. YOu can say they won it not having to play the Dubs – but that opportunity was there for everyone on the other side of the draw too, including Mayo.

  81. The point I was making in relation to the Eoin Liston article was that again it shows that in general the Kerry ex-players, ex-managers and current pundits etc. will stick to the script, i.e. do whatever is best in the interests of Kerry GAA. Dublin have now copped on to this as well in the last couple of years. We do not do this. For example when we were drawn against Westmeath last year, one of our local papers ran with a story about Westmeath been easy pickings for us. This aricle was then re-printed in a local Westmeath paper, which made us look very over confident going into that game.

    So again my main point is that in Kerry and Dublin, everyone from the county board, to players, ex-players, ex-managers, the local media are all pulling in the one direction. Unfortunately this does not happen in our county.

    Yes at the end of the day, what happens on the field should not be affected by what’s said in the media etc. but we have seen how serial winners like Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho, Warren Gatland and Jim McGuinness etc. use gamesmanship, mind games etc. to gain any little advantage that they can. So it is something that we should be more aware of when Kerry, Dublin or our own pundits are writing articles etc. in the media in the build-up to games.

  82. @HSE
    I think there is an element of confirmation bias in peoples analysis of this. I recall Tomas O Se on the Sunday Game and in articles deriding the state of Cork football earlier this year. Remember his tirade about them after the Waterford game on the SG? TOS knew Cork would likely be playing Kerry a few weeks – he still didn’t hold back – “confused sheep” he called them. People will choose to ignore this incident and then say “did you see liston trying give Cork a jee up during the week. If you have a view that there is ex player conspiracy to start with you ignore the first development and focus on the second.

    This week Alan Brogan wrote an honest piece giving stick to the Tyrone keeper saying he will never a stephen cluxton if he doesn’t change his attitude. Most people regard Tyrone as Dublin’s biggest threat this year….was Brogan doing any good for his brothers cause in that assessment. Jim Gavin wouldn’t thank him for it….but next time Brogan writes something than can be construed in the opposite direction…what will the focus be on?

    I’m not saying some of what you say doesn’t go on some of the time – I’m merely saying there isn’t a grand plan or conspiracy that is as obvious as some people tend to make out.

  83. Ah I know what you mean too Cantini, I do remember though Tomas O’Se saying that he got fierce stick in his own county for not sticking to the script at times, especially in 2015 when he had been giving out mad about Cork and then they went on to draw with Kerry in Killarney in the Munster final and should have beaten them.

    Darragh O’Se predicted that Cork would beat Kerry by 3 points before this year’s Munster final and he even said himself in his article, that it would be seen as peak yerra. Compare this to John Maughan saying in an article in The Irish Times this morning that Mayo would prefer to be playing Roscommon in the quarter-final compared to Kerry. A daft thing to say, I would think, seen as we are not even in the last 8 yet.

  84. In fairness I think John Maughan’s suggestion that Mayo would prefer to meet Roscommon instead of Kerry is not that controversial. To say anything to the contrary would in fact be seen as taking the mick.
    IN fact you could construe Maughans statement to be playing the poor mouth vis-a-vis kerry…”we don’t fancy meeting kerry etc..” building them up. I find it unbelievable that players would read anything into this nonsense.

  85. I suppose what I meant was, we shouldn’t even be talking about Kerry or Roscommon yet, as we still have Cork to play. A Kerry or Dublin pundit wouldn’t fall into that trap, talking about the next match, i.e. you don’t want Cork to be thinking, hey them boys are thinking about the next match already, well we’ll show them that Cork mean business.

    I remember before the 2013 All-Ireland final against Dublin, Liam McHale and a few others were saying in the media that people in Mayo were hoping that Ger Brennan would play as he was a slow player and Alan Dillon could match up with him. Brennan played well in that final and Dillon didn’t. I remember Brennan say in an interview after the game, that he did his talking on the field, so was that a reference to pre-match comments, who knows but why make those kinds of comments in the first place, that could back-fire on you.

    As I said its all of these little things added up that we are falling down on when it comes to matching Dublin or Kerry. In fairness to John Maughan he was saying that we need to be wary of Cork and that they are a dangerous team to be playing. Maybe it is all nonsense but it seems sometimes the Mayo pundits just can’t help themselves when it comes to saying silly things in the media.

  86. I am sorry but anyone who thinks Mayo have only to turn up must have been too long ‘down south.’ Mayo have been taught lessons by Cork in the championship in the past and are still capable of doing the unexpected especially if anyone thinks this is going to be easy. Mayo have not beaten anyone to date of any note and still struggled for long periods. They must do a Dublin. Go for it from the start and play like the team we know they are capable of being. Don’t wait to see what the other team are doing and then try to recover. Nearly paid the price against a very mediocre Derry. Cork may have been mediocre so far but are capable of much better. Loftus has to be on the team as he has class and can spot the opening in a flash and equally importantly deliver the killing pass. Up MAYO

  87. Yes, taught lessons in the past but you can’t step in the same river twice and things have changed for both teams from last year and since Cork last taught Mayo a lesson. Mayo continue to maintain consistency, not something achieved by sports people who disrespect opponents and fail to prepare accordingly. Cork are all over the place and can only win if Mayo are off focus from the game plan, which would be a major surprise.

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