In lieu of team news …

There we were today, licking our chomps in preparation at the announcement of Mayo’s match day 26 for Sunday. Would Paddy be back? Would Diarmuid be risked? And would Cillian feature on the bench?

While there’s still time tonight for the team sheet to be published, I somehow doubt we’re going to see it with such alacrity on this occasion. Indeed, I think there has to be a doubt as to whether we’ll release details of our full match day panel ahead of Sunday at all. After all, none of our opponents did this for any of the Division One games we played this year and more than one of them didn’t even bother to name a first fifteen in advance.

So, lookit, we could be back in the land of playing our cards close to our chest in that department, which is perfectly reasonable, even if it does leave Mike and Billy Joe without what’s become a regular topic on the ‘Here Comes the Weekend’ pod. Never mind, I gather Mike has not one but two Kerry legends lined up for this week’s show so the chat they’ll engender will definitely make up for the absence of any team news.

I was just looking back on past results this evening – I’ve a bit of time on my hands right now, the reason for which will become ever clearer over the coming days – and it just dawned on me that today is three years to the exact date since we beat Kerry in that memorable League final. So, in lieu of team news for Sunday, I thought that a trip down that particular memory lane might be in order.

My match report for the blog on that final is here.

Our specially extended League final podcast episode is here.

And here’s the full game to watch all over again. Enjoy!

71 thoughts on “In lieu of team news …

  1. Even if it is frustrating, not yet knowing the team selection for the League Final .It’s one less thing to talk about as regards Mayo matter’s. And it’s one less thing to give out about, if we were to disagree with the selection…But it’s perfectly within Management rights not to do so, hopefully to give us some advantage, or maybe levelling the playing field, if our opponents are equally resistant to name their team… This day last week we were discussing the merit’s of the selected 15 for the Kildare Match. In any event, that selection was well off the mark with 5 changes … Whoever knows, who’s fully fit and ready to go for Sunday, has a head start on the rest of us.

  2. While I was delighted to see the team and subs named on the Thursday before games. I’m happy this time to wait. Shows James isn’t showing his hand and is serious about going for the win.

  3. Perfectly understandable that the yeam is being kept under wraps on this occasion.This is a game that both teams will be going flat out to win.
    There is so much speculation about the make up of the 26 . A few more days wont make any difference.

  4. Hope JH names 15 players ( Not including Cillian) .. and really hope he starts or is on the subs … Just feel it would create an unnecessary media spotlight on him and Mayo ..

  5. Good on ya Willie Joe, a great way to start the preparations for Sunday. Best of luck to the entire team and hope our injured players are doing well. Maigh Eo Abú

  6. Damien Comer named to start for Galway this weekend.. Ah Refs speculation proved to be a mile off again.

  7. Would assume Mayo will be training tonight with the team named tomorrow.
    A lot of interesting decisions to be made.
    -Cillian obviously
    -Eoghan McLoughlin (Croke park player)
    – Mark Moran (dark horse for the 26)

    Very much can’t wait for this one. Hopefully we win midfield, press their kick out and get the goals to win it.

  8. WJ, I was looking back through some old posts myself today and I found one gem posted by you in the comments in relation to players tried up to May 21 by James Horan.

    I wonder how many are added in the year since?

    Its also noteworthy how many of the list below are now mainstays of not only the panel but also the team.

    List from last year:
    Brian Reape (NFL v Roscommon 2019)
    Conor Diskin (NFL v Roscommon 2019)
    Fionn McDonagh (NFL v Roscommon 2019, sub)
    James McCormack (NFL v Roscommon 2019)
    Michael Plunkett (NFL v Tyrone 2019, two sub appearances 2017)
    Ciaran Treacy (NFL v Tyrone 2019)
    Mattie Ruane (NFL v Tyrone 2019, sub)
    Colm Moran (NFL v Cavan 2019)
    Darren Coen (NFL v Galway 2019, recalled after five years)
    James Carr (NFL v Monaghan 2019, sub)
    Mikey Murray (Qualifiers v Down 2019, sub)
    Oisin Mullin (NFL v Donegal 2020)
    Padraig O’Hora (NFL v Donegal 2020, 1 sub appearance 2016)
    Jordan Flynn (NFL v Donegal 2020)
    Bryan Walsh (NFL v Donegal 2020)
    Ryan O’Donoghue (NFL v Donegal 2020)
    Tommy Conroy (NFL v Donegal 2020, sub)
    Eoghan McLaughlin (NFL v Meath 2020, sub)
    Paul Towey (NFL v Monaghan 2020, sub)
    David McBrien (NFL v Galway 2020)
    Mark Moran (NFL v Galway 2020)
    Rory Brickenden (Connacht SFC v Leitrim 2020, sub)
    Darren McHale (Connacht SFC v Leitrim 2020, sub)
    Enda Hession (NFL v Down 2021)
    Aidan Orme (NFL v Down 2021, sub)
    Ben Doyle (NFL v Westmeath 2021)
    Jack Carney (NFL v Westmeath, sub)

  9. @Mayoman in Meath Joyce said the injury was a strain and decided to rest him for a week. The rumours (that weren’t true) was it was a bad hamstring tear.

  10. Just saw the clip on Ryan O D supposed lack of scores from play by spillane et al. How are they paid to write and talk this kind of shite? Can’t believe some posters are falling for it too.
    A few points:
    – the style of play a team plays with has a massive influence. Horanball will always lend itself to more frees, guys running at opposition defences punching holes in them is an attritional game style resulting in more frees than an open long kicking gameplan. You can argue the merits of the best game plan to employ but that is an entirely different thing.
    – ROD is so much more than an ordinary forward who kicks scores and nothing else. His defensive pressure is light years ahead of the likes of Clifford. He creates turnover and panic when opposition have the ball. He’s a brilliant playmaker and can see passes and had creativeness in possession like an elite centre half forward.
    – he’s a street fighter type, to borrow an Eamon dunphy phrase. Reminds me of Wayne Rooney the way he plays actually. No respect for anyone or anything, a low centre of gravity and an absolute handful for defenders to mark.
    – he’s a brilliant primary ball winner for his size. Low ball, dirty ball, 50/50 ball – ROD will hunt and forage for it and more often than not win it. Tom o Sullivan got a solid roasting from him in Tralee and he knew it too. He’s on a par with Andy Moran to win ball and that is rare company in the modern game.
    – I think Rod is a very unique player actually. Offers something different to Mayo. Great record of standing up in big games too including all ireland finals (unlike most Mayo players sadly). He will never disappear on a big day and there’s a hell of a lot to be said for that.
    – his free taking is understatedly good too. Great temperament and to be honest, really no different to Cillian in the main from frees.

    Absolutely simplistically dumb bullshit from Spillane and his mates to just look at scores from play. Long past time to send him and a few more of these older pundits that haven’t played for 30 years plus out to grass.

  11. Ya, that is spot Larry. Ryan is the best player in Ireland. And by the end of the year it’ll be official. He has a serious shnout on him for ball and that is something I love to see. His attitude is fiercely competitive yet he plays the game very fairly.

  12. @larry duff
    Yeah the wayne Rooney comparison for ROD is a good one, creative wrecking ball type, small but very strong

  13. Just listening to Colm O’Rourke preview on radio with Des C. I think I heard him say the match should have been played in Killarney because Kerry supporters wouldn’t travel this time of year. If I heard that right, you really couldn’t make it up. Need that morning coffee!

  14. O’Rourke = dinosaur, put him out to grass in same paddock with Des and Spillane.

  15. Another cheap shot our way from Pat but I put it down to pre match nerves on his part. He will know Kerry are in for a battle.
    With regards to Ryan as Larry Duff pointed out he is more than a forward. A real leader for us and I think back to the moment against Dublin when he turned James McCarthy over which led to a score. Very few people pick James McCarthy’s pocket.
    Ryan has carried us through the league. Please God Cillian can get back to anywhere near his best. I would settle all day long for a front three of Cillian,Ryan and Jason Doc with James Carr off the bench and Tommy to come next year.

  16. That post from Larry Duff has prompted me to post on here for the first time since I started looking in 3 years ago. The best i’ve seen on here, no B.S just a great post. Sums up Ryan perfectly. Can’t wait for the game on Sunday, early flight into Dublin so the breakfast will be got early and a couple of pints before hand. We’re blessed to be from Mayo and follow this team no matter what happens this year or any year.

    Really hope to see Eoghan Mc and Paddy get some minutes against Kerry. Eoghan is a starter in my opinion or at worst the first sub in at HT or 40minutes, his speed will always cause damage. Paddy needs to be fit for Galway or its lights out. Hope James Carr gets minutes also, along with Cillian.

    Finally this blog is a God send to exiles like myself, only wish i’d heard about it pre 2019. My full compliments to willie joe.

  17. @Ciaran. We’re very sensitive to criticism in Mayo.
    Some late fitness calls possibly holding up team selection
    I dont see it as an advantage to either team to make announcement first as you dont have to play as selected anyway.
    The matchups will be fascinating and we wont know them until the throw in

  18. Y, Ciaran. I had that coffee and spied the date on the calendar. He got me …. doh!!!

  19. My stab at a team .
    Rory B
    O Hora
    S Coen
    Paddy D
    Kevin Mc

  20. @ontheditch I wouldn’t say we are very sensitive to criticism.. I think we are more pissed off with lazy criticism. Pat brought out his stats and how they can be viewed anyway but then goes and picks out two games where we scored very little from play but didnt mention the other games or Kildare where 2-18 out of the 2-20 was from play. He also banged on about that how some counties rely on one player to get teams scores, Rock, Ryan, Mcbrearty all get around 31/32% scores for their counties. Failed to mention Clifford has 29% of Kerrys scores this year.

  21. You won’t be far wrong with that team My Ball
    Maybe not Plunkett in half forward line though
    He may well start but prob corner back
    O Shea May start centre forward . Sadly that sector is an area we are lacking in now

  22. @Larry Duff, I think it has been well acknowledged at this stage that ROD is a fantastic player, I’ve said myself on many occasions that he’s Mayo’s most important player right now.

    I wrote yesterday that “Ryan is our free taker, a fantastic player, a work horse and a good assister” and that “Ryan contributes so much in so many other ways”, we all know what Ryan contributes.

    But the fact that nobody is denying or contradicting that turns the whole thing into a straw man argument.

    People only hear and see what they want and leave out positives to bolster their arguments.

    Nobody on the podcast in question said that ROD wasn’t a fantastic player, in fact that was acknowledged but conveniently left out.

    You started your post by saying “supposed lack of scores from play”, there’s nothing “supposed” about it.

    There is a clear distinction between being “the best forward in the country” and being “the best player in the country” and clearly the latter is a higher compliment but that seems to be lost on quite a few.

    But on your first point regarding “Horanball” and the creation of more frees, there is absolutely no evidence of this and even if it were true it is not being reflected on the scoreboard, otherwise we would be off the charts. So I would refute that and suggest strongly that it is our bigger spread of scorers that is compensating for our low return from play from our forward unit rather than the creation and scoring of frees.

    The rest is widely known.

    But I think some people are over sensitive as to what pundits say regardless of whether it’s true or not and they can make it personal, if it’s not Spillane, it’s Brolly or O’Rourke or Gooch or McGuinness etc and even Peter Canavan has been mentioned.

    In my opinion when it becomes personal it’s immature and when folk are too sensitive there are plenty who will play on that.

  23. Fair point KM 79 re team selection.
    Expect min 5 subs to be used by JH …
    Bench is key come championship.
    I live in the Midlands and the Rossies I work with are very confident of beating Galway. Nothing new there !! Will be a very interesting game too.

  24. @ Viper.

    Ryan is a forward.
    I would have him on my team ahead of any other player on the country.

    It’s true he does not have the silver plattered service that the likes of Clifford has. Of course that’s because Ryan has to play with a whole new cast of forwards every week. He has been the one constant in the Mayo forwards for the entire league.

    Many of the frees that he converts he earns himself.

    While teams that play Kerry are busy watching Geaney, Paudie Clifford, Sean O’Shea, Brosnan, Moynihan, Splianne etc Clifford finds himself with a fair amount of open country.

    Ryan O’Donoghue is a marked man every minute of every match. Teams double team him and treble team him.

    While O’Donoghue is plastering the school wall, Clifford is over playing on the swings.

  25. @Ravellino just to be clear every teams best defender isn’t man marking Clifford and primarily trying to stop him or do teams only put their marquee defender on ROD??

  26. @Revellino, we can’t talk or write ourselves into winning an All-Ireland, there are no medals handed out for hard work and bravery unfortunately and while the game has changed a lot the fundamentals remain the same.

    You outscore the opposition, you win.

    Simple really.

    We aren’t the only team who are awarded frees you know and I think there’s a bit more to us than depending on a referees whistle to swing a game. A lot more.

  27. O’Donoghue is some asset to us

    But the best footballer in the country? Ahead of Clifford? This is getting into bizarre territory altogether now

  28. I see now there’s talk of Galway Mayo been played in Killarney!! What’s going on here lads?
    I thought Mc Hale Park was good to go…

  29. Best of luck to Mayo in the big match on Sunday to all travelling to Crocker.I have my ticket got and I hope my team the Rossies will put the record of Roscommon not winning a match in Crocker since the all Ireland semi final against Armagh in August 1980 behind us . I know ye mayos have an awful pricdictment who to shout for in the first match with the neighbours Galway playing . I know for one thing I will pull on any Rossies that shout for Kerry but I know your going to get a few teabags from around Cloonfad and ballaghaderren but they are not the genuine fan,and I ask the Mayo fans to think of that look how well the Hope for hurling got on last week only a bit of fun

  30. Our friend COVID will play a big part in team selections for both Mayo and Kerry. Sorry, in the teams that take the field at 4pm on Sunday.

  31. @Ballinlough Lad

    You beat Cavan in the 2018, Down 2015, both D2 finals, Cavan again in 2014 D3 final, and I’m not going to look further back than that.
    All these games were at Croker

    Normally I’d shout for the rossies but I’m going to the game with a Galway man, so polite applause will have to do

  32. Why so Catcol. Pure daft anyway this covid malarkey at this stage , next week you won’t have to isolate at all by the sounds of it , sure it’s here to stay , just deal with it , sin e .

  33. That may be so Sean Burke, but if players have symptoms they may be unable to train/play, and if they have to test, and test positive, that’s it. Remember Dublin last year?

  34. I don’t believe anything I hear anymore about mayo gaa , I’ll believe covid has hit as much I believe cillian will be out for the year as per last weeks rumour . Perhaps I’m getting cranky in my old age but you would just get sick to the teeth with the fake rumours . Perhaps it’s true but like I said I’ll believe it when I see it Sunday .

  35. ROD’s overall contribution much higher than Clifford’s at the moment.
    Sets the tone for the whole team in regards work rate, etc.
    Brilliant team player. Clifford is not that.

  36. Tuamstar- you correct. Mayo v Galway will be confirmed for Killarney in next few days. Starting time Sunday 24th April at 4 pm. Live on Sky sports. Crazy decision. People wont be happy.

  37. Did any of ye watch the Sigerson Cup final, Clifford hardly won a ball and got no score from play, if he was that good surely he would have been the best player on the pitch ?

  38. I feel that Ryan has to work so hard because he isn’t getting the same back up from others that Clifford can depend on. He is an absolute rare find and what he lacks in ability he makes up for in fighting spirit. My thinking is that we in Mayo are 75% there but we still have lots of problems – definately we are not at a 2017 power level or a cohesive team playing as one unit with a commanding shape. I do worry about how we miss so many goal scoring opportunities. Lets hope sunday is a good game and hopefully we don’t lose any other player to injury.

  39. Ballinlough Lad, I don’t know who I want to win between ye and Galway. As Gary Neville once put it, its like having to choose between two lads to nick your wife lol. From our point of view its probably better for us that Galway win as the media will hype them up even more, but I wouldn’t begrudge Roscommon the win either! Enjoy your day out and best of luck.

  40. @Sean Burke. Appreciate your point . I had 2 u14s would had covid and were negative so could play . Both had mild symptoms. Both were taken off I’m 20mins .. no energy so it does take its toll on the body for some people.
    Really looking forward to see the 26 !!

  41. Hobsons choice, We want a national title but will have one eye on the 24th, its too close to risk anyone with even a slight niggle. Kerry will be looking to put down a marker as they arguably wont have a decent match again until the Qtrs in Croker. imagine the Yarraghs losing 2 in a row

  42. Fair plays lads for delivering Dara O’Cinneide, definitely one of the best Gaa Analysts, its a real pity he never got presenter of The Sunday game.

  43. Catcol, are you just speculating about covid or do you know some of the players have it?

  44. Thanks WJ for link to that league final. It really was one of mayo’s greatest days in croke park. Played superbly all the game. Experience mixed with youth and took the majority of scoring chances when they were available. Defensively so strong and bodies on the line when it mattered. And most importantly they got the luck when needed. Hopefully we will see all of the above again on Sunday. I would recommend all on this blog to watch this before Sunday instead of reading any trash in the national papers.

  45. @catcol

    Is it by any chance the Mayo Twitter guy who has covid?

    Not a peep out of him all day and only yesterday it felt like he was trolling me with TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT for under age hurlers

  46. I think catcol is stoking the rumour mill here, with a baseless comment.

  47. @sam og

    Dara used to have his own show on TG4. I’d assume he took that instead of the Sunday game or a sky gig

  48. That pod Sam Og mentions is the Here Comes the Weekend show with Mike and Billy Joe, joined this week by Kerry greats Dara Ó Cinnéide and Marc Ó Sé. It’s up on Patreon now.

  49. Thatteam – my comment is not baseless. I’m stoking no rumour mill.

    I am saying that COVID is rampant throughout the country, which everybody knows or should know. In those circumstances GAA players are as likely to have it as the rest of the population. If they are testing, then that will come out in the wash, and if they test positive they can’t play. This applies to all teams.

  50. That programme was Seo Spoirt it previewed a wide variety of sports for the weekend, it was cut by TG4 a few years ago. Many people thought he would have been the perfect replacement to Michael Lyster. Since Lyster left Gaa coverage on RTE is at an all time low, no magazine show anymore where we used to have Breaking Ball, and back in the 90s big Gaa games were previewed well on Sports Stadium ona Saturday afternoon like Football focus in England.Darragh Maloney does alot of games now and I doubt he’s even from a Gaa background. Its a Rugby and Soccer station anymore.Them 2 games have there own programmes Against the Head and Soccer Republic. The sooner more games rights go to Virgin, TG4, BBC NI and Sky Sports the better for the Gaa, but there is always the potential for the Gaa to have there own channel ito the future.

  51. Ah sweet divine.. I can’t believe I fell for that..
    Then again with the GAA nothing would surprise me.
    Look at the Ed Sheeran nonsense in Cork….

  52. Sports Stadium .Ah now Sam Og now you are bring back the memories . Those long afternoons lounging on the sofa praying for the horse racing to finish so I could watch the 5 Nations .
    Those were the days 🙂

  53. Well for any neutral watching the game, Galway/Ross game the news that Shane Walsh is not named (unless mind games) is very disappointing,.. even a better to watch player than the Boy Wonder..

  54. Truly shocking news on death of 21 year old Sligo player Reg Og Murphy, anyone that seen him in action over the years at underage level or recently for DCU in the Sigerson will know how talented he was. Condolences to his family and friends and all at Sligo gaa.

  55. Desperately sad news coming out of sligo GAA.
    Red og Murphy looked a generational talent in the sigerson, that’s a savage loss to sligo gaels.

    Awful stuff

  56. Condolences to the family if Red Og Murphy and his friends in Curry GAA club.By all accounts he was a true gentleman and role model dor all

  57. I believe Kerry wants to win the league final because its the only tough physical game they’ll have until the All Ireland quarter final! They will go all out to win.
    Mayo will play to their strengths, & that depends on what team that is actually picked on the day, I believe Mayo will have a very strong team come Sunday.

  58. Good podcast on Patreon earlier with Marc O’Se, Dara O’Cinneide and Billy Joe.

    I mistakenly said recently that Billy Joe (after the Tralee match) thought Oisin Mullin should mark D. Clifford in future matches. Billy Joe is sticking with Swannie as our best defender to take on that task. Interesting… usually Billy Joe is spot on tactically I find.

  59. Bookies are never far out and the cynic in me believes they source team sheets same time as hq . Going by their markets , no paddy nor diarmuid and Carr starts , jack carney also starts , they have Robbie down too going by motm markets . Of course I could be way off this stab in the dark suspicion of bookmaker power .

  60. Two bookies have it different , so there goes my whacky theory as pp have paddy durcan in their motm markets . Time for the cot I think , team announcement suspense will go on for another day .

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