Home comforts will be needed next spring

The provisional schedule for next spring’s National Football League has been published. Our list sees us play four matches at home and three away, in what will be our 21st consecutive season in the League’s top flight.

Here’s the 2019 NFL schedule from our perspective.

We start next year’s Division One campaign at home against newly-promoted Roscommon on Saturday 26th January, in what will be the first of five fixtures under the lights for us. The Rossies, like us, are without a manager right now, Kevin McStay having stepped down yesterday evening, making a few telling remarks in doing so about the amount of non-football work he’d had to do – including on the finance side of things – while in the role.

Eight days later, on Sunday 3rd February, we’re on the road. The destination is Healy Park in Omagh for the Round 2 meeting with beaten All-Ireland finalists Tyrone. The following Saturday, 9th February, it’s back again to MacHale Park to face the other Division One newbies, Cavan.

There’s a fortnight’s break then before Round 4 takes us to Croke Park to face Dublin, on Saturday 23rd February. That’ll be our first appearance at HQ – a venue we had for a while got used to considering a home from home for us – since the 2017 All-Ireland final.

Round 5 the following weekend sees us back in Castlebar where we take on Galway. That game, listed for 2nd March, is another Saturday evening one.

There’s a second weekend off after that and then we’re away to Kerry in Round 6. That game too is a Saturday one, on 16th March. The concluding round takes place the following weekend with all matches scheduled for the same 2pm throw-in time on the Sunday, 24th March. Our Round 7 fixture is at home against Monaghan.

Does anyone recall the significance of the League match we played against Donegal at MacHale Park at the start of April 2017? Well, you should because it was the most recent NFL fixture we won on home soil.

We played three League games at home last year and lost them all, our top tier status secured courtesy of wins on the road in Clones and Newbridge (!) and that frantic draw up in Ballybofey.

We’ve more fish to fry, of course, in the coming year – regardless of who ends up managing the team for 2019 – than preserving our long, proud record in Division One. I get that but, assuming we want to at least try to avoid the drop next spring, then it’s fairly obvious what we need to do.

Our Round 1 match against the Rossies is the ideal fixture for us to start the process of re-learning how to win a competitive tie at MacHale Park. All our home games – after the Rossies, we face Cavan, Galway and Monaghan in Castlebar – are ones in which we should realistically be targeting points. We’ll definitely need to get something from these games because getting anything tangible away to Tyrone, Dublin and Kerry will be far from easy.

As we know so well, of course, nothing comes easy to any team in Division One. But we can definitely make the road less hard on ourselves by re-discovering the delights of home comforts. And, you know, winning – like losing – becomes a habit.

77 thoughts on “Home comforts will be needed next spring

  1. Looking forward to the new season. Hoping to make all the home games and the Croke park fixture. Won’t make the Tyrone game and unlikely to make the Kerry fixture.

    We really need to start getting something from home advantage next year, particularly considering who we are up against at the away fixtures….

    Up Mayo.

  2. Looking forward to Jan 19 already. And it looks like we will have a new jersey to go along with a new manager.

  3. I always think back to that article with Donie Vaughan that was in the ST a couple of years ago.

    Basically he explained that because of the number of Mayo players in Dublin and the lack of collective training from Jan-March there is never really a chance that we are sufficiently prepared to win most of these games.He basically said we are overachieving by just staying in Div 1 given the lack of prep. I don’t see what will change this year. Potentially it could be worse depending on how late a new Manager comes in.

    The pattern in most years seems to be that we lose most of the early games and then improve sufficiently to win maybe 2 out of the last 3 to scrape survival. This seems to be the way for the last 10 years. I don think it will change this year when I expect we probably will need to win that last game to survive.

  4. Mike – the pattern should be different this year, because we will be able to start training in November. This year and last, the team were in foreign parts, practically until the eve of the first league game.

  5. You’re right Willie Joe, the journey isn’t the problem, I’ve other plans made for that weekend so although I like to think of myself as Godlike in many ways, I’ve not got the Omnipresence thing sorted yet so I’ll have to give that game a miss unless I manage to hone that particular talent between now and February.
    I’ll settle for being absent and taking a 3 point win for that game if anyone is offering.

  6. Good point Catcol – I really hope that is the case – would be great to use Nov/Dec to really integrate some of the new panel members, allow for some work to start on new tactics or playing patterns in the FBD and really be prepared for those games in late Jan and Feb.

    Assume that some of the new guys we expect to come in for 2019 may be tied up with Sigerson duty but we may start to see them in March games.

  7. Home improvements are a must in 2019. A long overdue victory against Galway would be sweet under the lights. I was in Elverys in Castlebar yesterday. New Mayo jersey will be out well before Christmas. The current one still there at full price. They must have plenty stock to shift after a rare quiet summer.

  8. Can’t say I’m looking forward to the league. Yeah we may be able to start training earlier but we’re still not going to have everyone at training until well into the new year. Suppose it’s a chance to get s&c done early. It’s hard to be positive about the inter county game at the moment. That is unless your colours are blue.

  9. With the Kerry game on St. Pats weekend, would anyone know if it is more likely to be held in Killarney or Tralee?

  10. While collective training is an issue in winter months for most counties outside Dublin, we should not be found wanting in fitness levels again maybe bar Dublin.
    I expect mayo to be competitive in all matches and players are not using league matches to up their fitness levels.
    What is worrying is that we are entering a vital stage in club championship without a county manager and that due ‘process’ in appointing a new management team takes time. In the interim I hope someone is player spotting.
    I expect a lively discussion from posters from Monday when we can cross compare notes

  11. The Kerry game is fixed for Sat evenig 16th March. Tralee pitch has floodlights. No lights in Killarney. Game will b in Tralee

  12. That schedule looks ideal for Mayo and a new management regime, doesn’t it?
    If the new manager wants to impose a new approach and establish a change of identity then two good short term targets would be to:
    1) break the recent record of losing games at home – win the first 3 home games and start building a winning mentality especially among the newer & younger players that (presumably) will be involved
    2) break the routine of maintaining Div 1 survival at the very last minute – winning the first 3 home games should sort this

    The away games still give good opportunity for testing new personnel against strong teams without developing any excess baggage from a loss. I doubt Mayo will be expected to win any of them.

    Of course, the older & experienced Mayo players don’t need to start develop a winning mentality but if the overall objective here is to strip down & rebuild then building a league record of 3 or 4 homes wins would be a great starting platform for a new regime.

    Incidentally, that’s why I wonder a bit about the excitement around James Horan – would that appointment just bring more of the same? Or is JH 2019 a significantly evolved version to bring something innovative and fresh?
    Anyway, I’ve no idea, but the league fixtures seem to be favourable.

  13. you’re not wrong there on any of that Loreto Road. I think the expectation if JH is to return that his experience in Hurling management, a brief return to Club management and a few years punditry will have improved things.
    Certainly Horan got us close to the holy grail, arguably Rochford got us closer, so will be interesting to see how many calls for his resignation there will be if we don’t see some immediate success from whomever is appointed as manager.
    Who’d do it when those are the stakes?.

  14. MacHale Park needs to become a fortress again, it has become far to easy to win there in recent years, and we’ve even taken a few shellackings in the NFL.

  15. Home victories are a minimum target….Beat Galway,…. I personally wouldn’t mind if we didn’t play FBD , don’t think we got anything out of that competition for years….We have an older than average panel… Less is more for some of our Veterans nowadays,… Younger player’s coming in are almost certainly playing Sigerson….. January football played in atrocious weather , like I remember Galway and Leitrim in the FBD last January in Castlebar…. It done serious damage to the pitch.. And it would give you Phenomeua… Hopefully Mayo Clubs will be involved in the latter stages of the Club Competition’s, ,reducing further our potential player’s from availability for? Mayo… . So for me, Forget the FBD!

  16. I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss participation in the FBD League Leantimes– as I understand it the revenue from that goes towards the players injury fund at provincial level, plus it’s a good chance to try out new players. Lets not forget one of the rather vocal criticisms that didn’t always stand up to scrutiny was how Rochford didn’t try out enough of the younger players, the FBD is the ideal platform for that.
    That said – would be no harm to move a game or 2 out of McHale – Ballina or Crossmolina would be nice venues. Better again, if we really want to rattle the opposition make them do the journey to Belmullet, show them the state of what passes for roads between Castlebar and Erris.

  17. Whatever about a new manager I can confirm there’s a new Mayo jersey coming October 5th it’s retro style which probably means it has a collar (hopefully has) that’s the Christmas presents sorted lads and lassies

  18. FBDinashui,… Maybe your correct in what you say as regards the provincial injury fund… from what I seen last January in Castlebar, there wasn’t any Galway or Leitrim fan’s to contribute to the provincial injury fund… And I wouldn’t blame them for not turning up… And a great chance of injury to a player due to the horrendous weather.. The weather was so bad, that the white lines were washed away after about 20 minutes into the first FBD match, on a January Wednesday, the Referee didn’t know where the 20 meter line was so as he could ensure that the kickouts went past it….A repeat of the same dose the following Friday versus Galway…The pitch had not fully recovered in time for the Galway Match in May….. The question has to be asked , was the State of the pitch not likely to lead to injury during the spring… I think it was for the Tyrone Game , that there was more Sand to be seen rather than Grass…. And of course I forgot to bring my Bucket and Spade!

  19. Very helpful piece in the Indo/Hearld this evening by Alan Brogan in which he dismisses the notion that finances have anything to do with their recent success. Alan says the secret to their success is down to this revolutionary idea called practice. He explains that Stephen Cluxton goes out onto a pitch, no game on now, and practices kicking with a bag of balls. Can you imagine that, it’s so simple when you think of it. It’s no wonder they’re beating before and behind them with outside the box thinking like that. If only David Clarke had thought of that all these years instead of drinking tea and eating biscuits at training, but sure we’re thick culchies, what would we know.
    Now Alan does say that they do get a few extra bob funding and that they probably have a slight commercial advantage being in the capital, but he dismisses that they get dinners delivered to their door (they collect them at training) and actually points out that they get less mileage than their bumpkin counterparts (because they don’t have to drive more than 10kms to training).
    So there you have it folks, the next time you meet Tom Parson or Seamus O’Shea in a petrol station in Longford at 12:30am on a Tuesday night stretching their legs on the way back to Dublin after driving down for training, you remind them of what Alan said and that Dean Rock isn’t getting as much mileage (even in his sponsored Subaru).

  20. Potential Mayo selection for the Start of League
    1.Robbie Hennelly
    2.Brendan Harrison
    3.Seamus Cuniffe/Caolan Crowe
    4.Eoin O’Donoghue/ James Stretton
    5.Lee Keegan
    6.Paddy Durcan
    7.Sharoize Akram/ Michael Plunkett
    8.Diarmuid O’Connor
    9.Shane Nally /Matthew Ruane
    10.Jack Reilly/Fergal Boland/Conor Diskin
    11.Kevin McLoughlin/James Durcan
    12.Jason Doherty/Oisin McLaughlin/CianHanley
    13.Brian Reape/Ryan O’Donoghue/Ciaran Treacy
    14.Aidan O’Shea/
    15.Cillian O’Connor

    Colm Boyle
    Andy Moran
    Keith Higgins
    Chris Barrett
    Seamus O’Shea
    David Clarke

    Some Real pace in this Mayo team which has to be the Main thing if we are to compete and beat Dublin after watching Sundays game again v Tyrone,that and having a really strong Bench ,
    I would also like to see Mayo go back to the option of trying Aido at full forward in the League, or at least the option of him switching in and out to Midfield like Michael Murphy.
    Look back to 2015 and see how effective he was there ,he got really bad ball put into him in the 2 Dublin games but if u had Shane Nally or Cillian out the field hitting him with accurate long diagonal balls the type Sean O’Sullivan for Kerry used to kick into Donaghy in the naughties ,
    he could cause havoc in around the square.
    Think maybe a more Mobile midfield would be more suited to Brian Fenton and James McCarthy to, so trying out Diarmuid, Nally and Matt Ruane here I think would be better, but hopefully Tom Parsons makes speedy progress with his injury to be back for Championship 2019.

  21. Agree with you about the conditions and the state of the pitch in January Leantimes, it can be a swing and a roundabout. I was in Kiltoom in January 2017 on what was a lovely day for Football, particularly as we stole the match from the Rossies with Andy Moran doing the damage to them. A thoroughly enjoyable result, bettered only by the thrashing we gave them in Croke Park on the following August Bank Holiday.
    From the bits I could see of the FBD games in Castlebar this year however I would agree it may have been better not playing those at all.
    There’s one thing you’re guaranteed every day is weather, you can’t however guarantee it will be any good.

  22. Just read that piece Liam.

    Good to know their secret sauce has nothing to do with the many Millions they’ve received, and that it hasn’t upset them too much by having to venture outside of the M50 any more than 4 times in the past 10 years.

    How he was allowed to release such privileged information without prior clearance we’ll never know, but sure the cat is out of the bag now and all anyone has to do is practice practice practice and you’ll never have to play an away game or change in a different dressing room ever again. That and the revelation of the ex-players and people volunteering. Mad stuff altogether. How did no one else try this in all the years?.

  23. You know what TH for all the predictions of doom and gloom in Mayo future the team you outlined there is looking pretty good.

  24. I don’t know why people are talking about the lenght of time it will take to appoint a new manager considering how the last two appointments were made. Stephen Rochford was an automatic appointment once he agreed to take the job and before him Holmes/Connelly were automatic once the Chairman decided to ask them. If you have any doubts about that ask Kevin McStay. The EU auditors are not looking over our shoulders to ensure we follow rigid procurement rules. But then, I suppose, the Chairman and his cohorts may not have any idea of what to do.

  25. Firstly I would like to thank Willie Joe for allowing me back on the airwaves. I have been looking at the blog this past few weeks.

    Early this year, mainly during the league this is a list of some of the comments I read on this blog.

    Its only the league, Mayo are all focused on 13 th May v Galway.
    A guy needs to be over 6 feet to play inter county.
    A young guy needs 3 / 4 years of strength and conditioning to play for Mayo in the championship.

    The above items are a myth. A guy only needs self confidence and good direction from their manager. I brought two kids into Smithfield for Dublins home coming on Monday last, I had’nt the stomach to do this after our three defeats of 13, 16 and 17.
    I was in shock looking at Marty Morrissey talking to Eoin Murchan, the guy is tiny, about 5 feet 5 inches, looks about 16, Marty even asked him what age he was, Howard is only 20 years old.
    I listened to Jim Gavin speaking, I must admit he is very likeable and has this upbeat persona, I actually felt lifted after listening to him, ( I think I know more about football than most ).

    I predicted that McStay would get the boot from Roscommon a day after they were beaten by Donegal.
    At first I was disappointed that Rochford was gone but now am beginning to change my mind. Rockford inherited everything when he took up his post, players and a good backroom team, he didnt really add new players. He tried his best to win with the seasoned guys and almost did.It was always going to end bad as not enough new players were added to the team yearly.
    I hope the new management team looks to the young guys, these will be the future.
    Some of the current squad must be axed, this is never nice but needs to happen.
    Player power must end in Mayo, the new manager will need to be ruthless.

    On a slightly more positive note, I am convinced Philly McMahon and Kevin McMenamin are on the way down quickly. McMenamin’s legs are beginning to buckle, the running power is’nt there anymore.

    Good luck to the new set up, but I am praying that it wont be McStay & McHale.

  26. Good team there TH. But, are you forgetting Conor Loftus? I would also include as panelists: Paul Lambert, Jordan Flynn, Paddy O’Malley’ Stepen Coen, donie V, and what about that other U20 guy who was injured and missed semi and final.

  27. Murchan is an interesting case. Clearly he was added to mark small, agile forwards. He picked up Ryan McHugh in the Super 8’s. He had Ian Burke in the semi final and he had Niall Sludden in the final.
    If we want to trouble Dublin we have to lift our average pace, size and strength.

  28. Mayo88 – I agree and I am a strong believer in mind over matter. First you need to believe in yourself…physical strength or age or s and c is all good but not the B all.

    Also the media, everyone saying Dublin are unstoppable…keep saying it and say it long enough and the mind believes it.

    Someday though some team will take them out. No team is unbeatable forever.

    Our younger players need to be given a chance this spring but they need to grasp it and believe in themselves.

  29. We’re too quick to judge is IMO, if Conor loftus gets beat to a ball or jostled out of the way a couple of times .It’s all panic stations , he’s too light, he doesn’t have the required strength etc etc , we seem to focus on the negative not his wonder goal v Derry or his ciaran Mac esque pass vKerry for a goal. Something very wrong there . Make room for conor loftus on the mayo team and build on his strengths , he really is a skilful footballer.

  30. Couldn’t have asked for a better fixture list for the league, four very winnable home matches.
    I see the excuses have started already, guys in Dublin etc etc. The group in Dublin need to be training in Dublin during the week with collective training at the weekend. It’s mostly fitness training at that time of year anyway. This we can’t be competitive in the league crap has to stop. It’s just the wrong attitude. A losing attitude.
    A lot of comments re money, biscuit tin, County board also the last few weeks not to mention jp Mc manus buying AI for limerick. More crap excuses. Cb has a lot to learn granted around a number of issues. However they have raised and spent a huge amount of money to help this team get over the line, millions in fact. How much is enough to spend on one team, 1 million, 2 million, 3 million? Here in Mayo we seem to be so so jealous of Dublin and all their money when in fact there are 30 other counties who spend far less than us regardless of how far they get in the championship. Are they jealous of us. Who cares.
    My point being that we look for injustice at every turn, reasons why we didn’t win, reasons why we can’t compete in the league months before it starts. This is a losers attitude. When are we ever going to start taking bout actually trying to win the league. Ive only seen us win one in my lifetime, I wouldn’t mind seeing another.

  31. Ah now, because no manager has ever really given a fuck about the league, and rightly so. League has and always will be about survival. If you can find new players all the better, Roscommon went gung ho for the league in 2016, ended up dumped by a div 3 team. Kerry won it in ‘17, whipped by us in a semi final, Galway were so pumped for the league, they played better in the final than an actual AI semi final! How should that ever be the case?. Theirs no losing mentality with regards the league, its prioritising. Save your best football for summer end of. Dublin can win leagues easily due to the sheer amount of talent they have! Their resting players big time till the end of the league, its just talent of their fringe players accumulate enough wins to get them in the top 2.

  32. I see Paddy Power have Michael Solan at 12/1 to land the Roscommon job. Not a hope he’d take that imo.
    Tony Mc Entee is 14/1…..Even Andy Moran makes an appearance at around 60/1.
    They have Shane Curran at 13/8 favourite.

    Was talking to a Roscommon man last night with strong Gaa connections, who told me what he has heard about what will happen with the Mayo job. If true, I think the majority of Mayo supporters would be happy.
    However, as his account is unsubstantiated, and out of respect for Willie Joe’s house rules re rumours etc, I can’t repeat here what he said.

  33. Very informative there observer2. I think i heard the same story from a third cousin once removed of an ex work colleague who has a friend whose very well informed in gaa circles.

  34. Yeah, observer2 go on over to gaaboard and tell all. They’ll allow ya say anything you want over there.

  35. I’m keeping quiet about what I was told, out of respect for the man that runs this blog.
    Anyway, what I was told could be completely inaccurate, and as of now, is nothing more than hearsay.

  36. I think there’s s lot of us Mayo heads in the same boat, 1 tainted league trophy in 2001. The semi finalists that year were Mayo, Galway, Sligo and Roscommon if I’m not mistake.
    We now have the time and rest taken to be very fresh going into the league, maybe win some type of trophy for once might be an idea. If the right man is in charge theres no reason to not go for it, leave the excuses to the others.

  37. Prefer the Nestor cup tbh , getting sick of Galway beating us when ya know they’re not as good.

  38. Would Mayo fans genuinely be happy if at the end of 2019 we had the league title but nothing else because we went gung-ho for the league like Galway this year? I know I wouldn’t be – it’s all about the championship and being at our best for that using the league to survive but experiment, blood new players and get players championship ready

  39. The league is a sorta big deal when its going on, and the mejia would be righting all sorts if we won it. But once the first ball of championship is thrown in its irrelevant

  40. Our league record kind of reflects our championship. 21 years at the top table without ever winning anything (2001 aside but let’s face it the foot and mouth kind of de values that win)

  41. I’d disagree a bit that Dublin win leagues easily due to the amount of talent available. Yes, Dublin have talent (and yes, Dublin has all the money, all the population, all the home advantages etc etc – all that good stuff).
    But this Dublin team isn’t just a team of hugely talented players (whether or not you believe their standards were bought) … and its not just a panel or a group … its a system, its a machine, its a culture, its a philosophy, its a phonomenon … its something I don’t have the word for.
    But a really key part of whatever it is, is the deeply embedded winning mentality.
    And that mentality isn’t just about winning matches – its deeply embedded in everything they do, and it seems to be built from the bottom up. It applies in every tackle, every shot, every pass, every move.
    And that mentality says that its not ok to lose a league game in February.
    Just as its not ok to be second to the breaking ball in the last minute of an All Ireland final when you’re already 6 points up.
    Its the same mentatality.
    And it doesn’t get switched on in summer time. Dublin might throttle the effort and fine-tune towards September but the mentality is ALWAYS ON.
    As a formerly long suffering Dub (ok, ok … “suffering” is a relative term in these waters!) that is the characterisation that makes this team most different to Dublin teams from the past.
    And that’s what is needed to win All Irelands these days.
    I wouldn’t recommend an approach that says FBD league is or isn’t important. Or the national league is or isn’t important.
    The Mayo team that wins the AI will be the team that wants … really wants … to win everything.

  42. Fair point Loreto road, and a winning culture is certainly important. But an extended Dublin panel with the likes of cormac Costello and many more on the bench ensure the depth is there for yee through the winter months. Look at young Mchugh for Dublin – a great player in the league but come championship he’s no where near the starting team while some of the older legs have been rested through the league and are back to claim their place come championship. That matters. Mayo don’t have such depth but we still need to give some of the older legs a rest so that they are ready come championship. We also need to blood young lads in the league so our panel is ready for championship, that can affect results negatively. What matters to us is that we are ready for the championship to win and tear strips off anybody standing in our way (including Dublin)

  43. I like that last post of yours, Loreto Road. Do you have any ties to County Mayo? Or just like to come in with an opinion?

  44. Everyone wants Mayo to be competitive in every game they play and to go out and win every competition however that isn’t possible. Dublin can as they have the player base to rotate and still be favourites to win. Their main advantage especially during the winter months is location, all their players are within 30mins of training, they have far greater recovery time which allows them more scope to prepare for matches. Other teams like Mayo have to prioritise which means plan for championship.
    Going all out to win the league can be very costly in the long run especially if you don’t win the final. Mayo 2010 went to bits after losing final. Derry, Galway, Roscommon (semi final hammering) all hugely effected by going hard during the league. I’d like Mayo to target certain games to make survival assured instead of the final day escape, other than that it should be used as preparation for championship. I really don’t care if we ever win it.

  45. Loreto Road, that “really wants” argument is about as relevant as “the team with the most hunger will win”
    Get half the Dublin squad to live in mayo for the duration of the national league and see if that has any impact on their ability in every tackle, every shot, every pass, every move. See if they’d maintain a winning mentality through Swinford, Charlestown, and every other town on the bus up and down the road to Dublin. What Dublin have done is remarkable, but I think what Mayo have done given the natural geographical and financial handicaps faced is even more remarkable. It hasn’t gotten us the ultimate prize yet but no-one for a second can say that Mayo dont have the same attitude to this as Dublin.
    Money isn’t the only reason that Dublin are winning, but it certainly helps when Jim Gavin doesn’t have to waste one second of his time worrying about it, and can devote his entire attention to the team

  46. Dublin weren’t world beaters last week and their bench didn’t set the world on fire, McMenamon lost ball, Costello caused 1 point and though he ran at Tyrone didn’t end up doing much damage. No O Gara, Brogan, Flynn so fair to say these lads on way out. The Basquel bros didn’t get a look in.
    As for starters, Philly no longer raiding effectively, Con O Callaghan not as good as 2017 but that could change next year. Fenton still improving, Mccarthy excellent, Jack Mc is a menace, and Ciaran Kilkenny is director of so much for them. Also what happens when Cluxton retires? Overall Dublin 2017 v 18 about the same, just more professional and more hardened to winning. A better team would have exposed Murchin more in physical stakes, play him high not low.

  47. @Shuffly Deck, .. Dublin don’t need to worry about Cluxton retiring…Got a first class replacement in Evan Commerford… Another super Young Goalkeeper, Maybe they need worry about Commerford getting itchy feet waiting for Cluxton to hang Up his boot’s , which I can’t see happening while Dublin are. looking for immortality and 5 in a row…Long time ago..Eoin *The Bomber” Liston wrote a poem… it’s was’ one of the shortest poems ever written..……………………………….”Five in a Row,,, Five in a Row………….Christ, We were close to Five in a Row”!,…….In 1984.. after beating Dublin in the final that September…He wrote an event shorter poem….”That” wrote Liston,” Was, One in a Row”!

  48. Yer givin me hope there shufflydeck!!! good man thats what i need to get to January.
    Can’t we Cluxton retiring though.
    I guess our fellas aren’t getting any younger either.
    Still nothing for it but to go at it

  49. Have to agree with Loreto Road. The focus of our players must be to do our best to win every game we play with whatever team we field. A lack of intense focus may contribute to the fact we scrape home by a point or worst still lose against way inferior opposition.
    Of course we will be experimenting with new players in FBD and League, but it surely doesn’t mean our focus will be on anything less than winning.
    I think Eoin O Donnaghue became a way better player after Dublin match in league and that’s the value of breaking in new players in league matches. They clearly set out the standard that must be attained.

  50. As for FBD, I fail to see why Kevin Mc needs to start most of these year in year out when he’s a nailed on championship starter come summer. Likewise Andy Moran has nothing to prove. Also fail to see how light or zippy lads can show their attributes like Boland or James Durcan in FBD. They will look relatively much better on harder sod. Shane Nally always looks good in FBD/league yet management afraid to start him in summer perhaps because championship pace is quite different. The league is a better gauge for analysing players & as others have said it clashes with Sigerson. Kerry lost their new star Clifford for a while in spring to a hamstring and their summer would have looked a whole lot worse if he was ruled out this championship. The balance of too many games vs just right is fine for young players regarding injury.

  51. 100% onboard with Loreto Rd & Ontheditch. I was trying to put the finger on why I have been unhappy/critical with Mayo over the last 2 years…the feeling of going to League games and even Champiosnship games and feeling shortchanged by performances and/or poor management has been mindnumbing. Too many times have people have said ‘sure its only the FBD..sure its only the League…sure its only Galway…the real game is in Sept!’ We as a team and as supporters have perhaps become too blase about our success and our potential. I’m not saying we have to win every game, but we certainly have to try and win every game!

    A team cannot just turn on/off targetting specific wins…winning is a habit..If our team isnt really going to try to win FBD/League/non-knockout Championship games sure why not let us know,…County Board could maybe pay half the entry or our petrol money, or maybe we could just shtay at home!

    Loreto put his finger on it…winning the 50-50 ball has to be important in every game at every time of the season..and that has to be instilled in every player …

  52. Shuffly I know it’s like, totes uncool to have this opinion, but having seen Nally in Omagh in 2017 and in Clones this year, he doesn’t have pace. He really doesn’t. He was knackered after 40 minutes in Omagh. In Clones I didn’t really see enough from him to have either Seamie or Tom getting worried about their place on the team. He does certainly know how to score from distance but pace and fitness are 2 things I noted he didn’t have in either of those 2 fixtures.
    To give context they are the only 2 games I’ve been at where he’s had any reasonable sort of game time, so I’m only able to judge on what I have seen.
    He certainly knows how to kick a point and I’d love to see him get more game time but only if he’s going to improve the overall package.

  53. It will be interesting to have 3 Connaught teams in the league this year as for the FBD whats really the point of it should it realistically not be abolished. Galway proved they can match it with the Div1 teams last year so I would expect less “gung ho” as said above in 2019 as the main focus will be to retain Connaught and try to improve on our performances in the Super8 and have another crack at the Empire . I expect us to win Connaught in 2019 and we appear to have McDaid and Silke back to add to the panel. If we fail to win it then entry to the Super8 becomes a lotto of who you avoid or draw in the qualifiers.
    I can see us improving again from 2018 and we need to as the ending was bitterly disappointing. Kevin Walsh knows this will be the defining season for his managerial career and with Tally now gone perhaps we will show some attacking flair and get rid of the overly defensive tactics. I will be interested to see who Mayo produce as next manager I personally think going back for a previous manager is a mistake in any county as their tactics are going to be outdated as Ger Loughnanne recently admitted to when he took over Galway his tactics were too old. Roll on 2019 at least it will be exciting with the 5 in a row on the table I wonder will there be another Seamus Darby there to spoil the party Andy Moran or Damien Comer with a late goal to break the Dubs hearts would be some headline. See ye all in 2019.

  54. 2 more losses to Galway teams tonight in the Ted Webb. When is this going to stop? Losing to Galway teams at all grades. Very very worrying

  55. to your question, Dave, no, I don’t really have Mayo ties. Just a few Mayo friends from various corners and the obligatory few childhood holidays (with that special mix of some scorching beach days in Achill and maybe quite a few more semi-miserable days waiting for the rain to blow over in Belmullet). But I love the game and I’m especially fascinated by the Mayo GAA saga and the richness of the journey over the years (difficult as it is for ye) and this forum is one of the few places where you can read some articulate and considered opinions and also learn a bit about what might differentiate a team and a bunch of passionate supporters that have come so close but fallen short so many times from other counties who have managed to cross the AI line over the years. I hope that doesn’t seem patronising and I wouldn’t be at all offended or surprised if someone says “f*ck off with your fascination and take your outsider, Dublin-money-backed opinions with you”!

  56. Very astute observer loreto road and now that we have francis’s blessing our turn will come…just waiting for a Messiah to manage us now and we’ll be back at the top table hungrier than ever…..

  57. The ‘Los Angeles Time’s’ ran a story about Mayo Gaelic Football, and did an interview with the’Flying Doctor Padraig Carney’s himself’ …If anyone interested Google ,Los Angeles Time’s’, Mayo Gaelic Football’. Ye will be able to read the article for yerselves!

  58. Ah fu ck it…just watching John kiely the limerick manager on the late late…just listening to him with tears in my eyes…I just really want to see mayo win an all ireland…at nearly 40 years of age I’ve been at everyone of the final losses…IT Will happen.

  59. The main difference tonight wasn’t the the skill or quality of the the Galway and Mayo teams ,it was strength and power. The Galway teams looked like they had done a lot of Strength and conditioning.While Mayo looked very light and not much signs that they had done any Gym work. Lost count how many times Mayo players lost 50/50 balls and coffee up ball in the tackle.Seious works need to be done in S and C for next years Minor panel.
    Mayo actually played some very good football at times and scored really good points so these are the positives!!

  60. Well S&C can be organised in the years 19 to 23 and any lad committed can get himself operating at a high level! Good natural footballing skills are much harder to improve after 15 so I am not worried if S&C is the main difference at Tedd Webb!!
    I watched the England u20’s hammer Ireland in a world cup final where while Ireland were more skillful England pulverised Ireland with a power game!! One year later the Ireland senior team hammer England in Twickenham to win a grand slam with James Ryan, Andrew Porter and Jacob Stockdale starring for Ireland and none of those England u20 players even in the England senior squad!!

  61. Just on the great Padraic Carney, his son Brian is still I believe the all time leading wide receiver for the UCLA Bruins in college football and starred for the Bruins when they beat Michigan in the 1983 Rose Bowl (the Superbowl of college football). He was an All-American in his 3 years playing for UCLa and played one year I pro before investing pursing a legal career!! It really is in the blood when it comes to sport and the Carney’s!! What could have been if we had a midfield of Willie Joe and Brian Carney in the 80’s!!

  62. @Lorete Road, in fairness I agree with alot of your description re the Dubs.
    There is a mighty system in place, this was clearly evident at their home coming on Monday last, the overall Supremo, Jim Gavin should get most of the credit, he has set the bar very high.
    I know that some of the Dublin guys were well tanked when on stage in Smithfield, but their confidence was sky high.
    I am told that Gavin is not one to roar at his players but operates a more gentle easy going attitude at half time dressing room talks.
    Most young fellas are much more confident that we were when in our early twenties, I see this in my own Nephews that were raised in Mayo. We need to work with the youth, the older guys have been beaten too often in finals, this surely has taken too much of a toll.

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