Ins and outs

The Mayo News has a report on what’s happening in relation to injuries within the squad ahead of the showdown with Galway on Sunday week.  Which do you want first – the good news or the bad news? Oh go on then, we’ve had such an amount of doom and gloom lately, let’s start with the positive stuff.

Ronan is back (that’s the good bit) but I’d say (here’s the not-so-good bit) there isn’t much chance that he’ll be ready to line out against Galway, given his obvious lack of match fitness.  I see that Sean Rice concurs on this point.  It’s good to have Ronan back, though, and he’ll be a good option to have on the bench.

Other good news concerns the return of Keith Higgins who, having recovered from the torn hamstring he pulled at the end of the league campaign, will almost certainly start the next day.  (The bad news is that he’ll surely do so at corner-back but let’s leave that one alone today).

Neil Douglas, Seamus O’Shea and Enda Varley all came through their respective club championship games in one piece and so it looks as if all of them will be available for selection for Sunday week.  I can’t see any of this trio making the first fifteen, though.

Also in the good news section is the report that long-term absentee Pat Harte (who has been out of action for ages with a cruciate injury) played – by all accounts with a heavily strapped-up knee – for Ballina last weekend. Pat hasn’t featured for the county since the start of the James Horan era but he may get a call-up to the squad for the McHale Park clash. Conor Mortimer must also be coming close enough to a return to full fitness but it’s likely to be next month before he’s back (by which time we could be anywhere, including sitting on the sidelines ’till the FBD comes round again).

Okay, that’s enough of the happy clappy good news – here’s the not-so-good stuff. Ger Cafferkey remains out with his hamstring problem and recent panel returnee Dermot Geraghty also has the same trouble (which the Mayo News describes as a ‘tweak’).  It’s not clear if he’ll be okay for Galway and Trevor Howley (knee ligament) is also in the doubtful camp, though I’d say his place on the team must already be under scrutiny given the less than successful tactic of using him as a sweeper in the London game.

Despite our mounting injuries in the backs, Cathal Hallinan has been released from the panel (wasn’t he just called up again ahead of the London game?). Cathal was in and out of the team during the league but he seems to have fallen down the pecking order since then so I guess it’s not a huge surprise that he’s been let go for now.

Other recent injury news concerns our opponents on Sunday week, with Sean Armstrong having yet again pulled his hamstring which means that he’s definitely out of contention for the game.  Michael Meehan won’t start either from what I’m hearing but he is back in training so, no more than Ronan, we could see the Caltra man on the pitch before the seventy miñutes are up.

In other news, there’s an interview with Andy Moran on Joe.ie where he talks about various things including players using Twitter, the match against Galway and the championship structure.  And that’s about it for now, I reckon.

3 thoughts on “Ins and outs

  1. WJ it seems we both have significant injury counts/players lacking match fitness. Armo is a big loss for us as his workrate over the last 2 years has improved immeasurably. Michael Meehan was always unlikely so there certainly will be one U21 forward starting. Mark Hehir is in pole position and his star rating is on the up. Midfield will be a massive test for us irrespective of who ye start with. Bergin and Hanley moulded well as the league wore on but this is championship heat. The upside to this is that we have an able deputy for Hanley at fullback in the form of Colin Forde. The big risk for us will be to start one of the u21 partnership (Flynn or O Curraoin 18 and 19 yrs old respectively) simply because they are very young. Mind you looking at Paddy McBrearty last Sunday for Donegal it was hard to believe he is only 17 yrs old.

  2. Thanks for that, KC. It looks like you guys will have to tip a few young lads into the fray but, to be honest, we’re not massively ahead of us in those positions. Alan Feeney (no youngster but only starting his second championship game) is likely to be at 3, God knows who we’ll put at 6 and we could (partly because of injury, partly form) see an entirely new midfield pairing from the London game. How many changes will there be to the Galway team from the one that lined out when we last met in the championship (i.e. the 2009 Connacht final)? From our end, I’d say we’ll have no more than five or six survivors (Keith Higgins, Andy Moran, Alan Dillon, Trevor Mortimer and Aidan O’Shea, maybe Trevor Howley as well) from our starting fifteen then. While this turnover is partly due to injuries, it’s still going to be a very different team for us on June 26th compared to the one that lined out in Salthill and I guess the same will be true of Galway. Which is another reason why it’s hard to know what way the match will go the next day.

  3. From the 2009 match and not knowing the exact team i would say we would have maybe 8 survivors (Adrian Faherty, Niall Coyne, Gary O’Donnell, Gareth Bradshaw, Finian Hanley, Joe Bergin, Padraic Joyce, Paul Conroy). As you rightly point out it is hard to know how the next day will go. While it is in both counties interest to be taking one game at a time there is a bigger picture here that the likes of Kerry and Cork in picticular have mastered. That is when to peak. Looking back over the stats Kerry and Cork seem to roll along until August and then kick into gear. Interestingly whoever tends to lose their almost annual provincial battle goes further in the race for Sam. I guess Mayo and Galway need to develop this habit of when to peak. It is something that is coming up locally in conversation recently but i guess this ‘habit’ takes time.

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