It’s a 7pm throw-in at Longford

The details of the first round qualifier ties have now been announced (full details are here) and our match with Longford at Pearse Park is set for 7pm on Saturday week.  That throw-in time won’t be to everyone’s liking – I’m not exactly an enthusiastic fan of evening starts for championship matches and I suspect I wouldn’t be alone in this respect – but this is par for the course with the qualifiers so, I guess, we’d better just get on with it.

22 thoughts on “It’s a 7pm throw-in at Longford

  1. Just off topic, but I see A O’Shea fired over a 55 yard free to give Breaffy a win over the weekend.
    Why then is he never given the responsibility for long range frees for Mayo, or at least 45’s?
    We have no other player apart from Killer who seems capable of striking 45’s, it probably costs us a couple of points a game.
    Just a thought. I’m obviously bored.

  2. It’s a good point Dan. I’ve been saying it for 2 years now that we need an off the ground free taker who can also kick 45s with some reasonable degree of reliability.

    A reliable free taker should also be taking the ones from 20 & 30 yards out as well to build up his confidence.

    On AOS if he has the ability it’s strange that he’s not tried this in any game up to now.

  3. In response to JPM from the thread Quick death or glorious recovery?

    JPM, you asked me to clarify a recent comment where I finished up by saying “Come on Lads, give us something to be prove of”. You wanted to know which “lads” I was referring to as you felt that asking this of the players was unfair.

    I have reread your comment several times JPM and I agree that no player goes onto the pitch with the intention of playing a poor game, and yes there is a line of responsibility through the management on to the county board. And while I would have thought it was fairly obvious what I meant, given the way we all felt traipsing out of Markievicz Park on Saturday week last, I’ll clarify anyway.

    The frustration that we as Mayo followers face now is that we have players that individually are talented. On any particular day most of them can step up to the mark and give a good account of themselves. But as a team, they fail to function. Something is missing. You say that anyone, including me could have a go at playing for the county and you are correct. So if there are better players in the county, then the onus is on them to step forward and claim a spot in the panel. And until that happens, we have the lads that are there. In my case however, the tide has long gone out to my usefulness to the cause on the field. But the point, from where I see it, is not about going out yet again to look for more new players. The odds are that we have MOST of the best players in the county already in the panel. But they are playing as individuals, not as a team. And if you doubt that they are individually talented, then ask yourself how many of the Sligo lads do you think will get All Stars this year? And on a good year, how many of the Mayo lads would be in the running? We certainly would expect more. And we believe that, because they are technically better as individuals. But as a team, Sligo beat us fair and square.

    So what is needed is team building. And I don’t mean the airy fairy stuff from the psychology fraternity, I mean the basic stuff. A team needs an aim.

    Let’s start with a straightforward one – to win the next game. OK?

    Now what do we have to do collectively to achieve that? Simple, we need to score more than Longford!

    Next, how do we do that? We make sure that we control the ball. That involves 2 things.
    1. We never give the ball away and
    2. We work out how we turn it over when we don’t have it

    Now working this out in training with a few basic drills shouldn’t cause too much stress, should it? OK so far? This gets rid of the long high balls to small men, the hospital passes, the kickouts that go over the line, etc.

    And the final piece of the jigsaw is putting the ball between the posts. I don’t care who does it, I don’t care how he does it, I don’t care how many times an individual does it. As long as the team as a unit does it, that’s enough.

    And if we get that right and get 15 lads to concentrate on just that, we will beat Longford.

    And if we do, we can start to work out an aim for the second round!

    Keep the Faith!

  4. V clear setting out of what Mayo need to do Fourgoal, good points all and well made. But- as devils advocate, what happens when you’ve already done the above and it doesn’t seem to be working and you can’t figure out why? Johnno is a vastly more experienced football man than most of us (leaving it open there in case you are actually Eugene McGee) so most of the above will be apparent to him. My own suggestion is this: Johnno needs to win hearts and minds and get maybe 3 or 4 more lads to commit themselves mentally AND physically to him and what he is trying to do. And that is not easy. That said, a gimme against Lford is a good place to start.

  5. Well Fourgoal.

    I kinda understand where you’re coming from but I still disagree on several crucial points.

    Q: Have we have the best players on the team?
    A: No one knows as there are hundreds of lads with opinions out there on who should/should not make the team in specific positions. In the end this descision is always made by management & to a certain extent the county board.

    Q: Is onus is on (alleged) better players who may or may not be on panel to come fw?
    A: Only way they can come fw and play is if they are selected by management. Management/County Board decide this and not any individual players ability/claim. My example is Ciaran Macdonald last year.

    Q. How many of the Sligo team will/should get All Stars ?
    A. Certainly more than the Mayo team they comprehensivly beat.

    Q: Whay cannot the team play as a team ?
    A: They can. (As demonstrated by the glorious point in second half).
    But the way teams play depends on the style decided by management. Look at soccer team under Trappotoni, rugby team under Kidney.
    It’s the same in all sports.
    More to the point it’s the correct way to have it as there can be only 1 boss….the manager… and he/she decides style his/her particular team should play.

    Overall we should beat Longford rather easily but having said that so what if we do ?? What does it prove anyways ? Nothing as far as i’m concerned.
    Lastly Was it you said in your post you had fellas from Div3 and Div4 coming up offering condilences ? Sure why shouldn’t they.

    They know there’s a lot wrong with this Mayo team and results in the big games have just emphasised this over and over.
    You’re judged mostly on your last performance. In our case we been consistent about this, in Croke Park (for years), and in the Connacht championship since this regime took over.

  6. Innocentbystander, Fourgoal is a McGee all right but not the Eugene fella. I would hazard a guess that our man knows where the back of the net is and what constitutes a good team. The other point I want to make is this and it refers to long range frees. A former Mayo footballer of high repute told me recently that Mayo have scored only 0-4 from 50s or 45s in the last ten years! That is damning. Fitzmaurice and Sheridan along with Joe Corcoran before them were ace marksmen. Presently I would not back a Mayo man to point a 21 yard free. Possibly Freeman might be the exception.

  7. Hi Ontheroad,

    Are you serious?? 4 in the last 10 years? I think I’m going to trawl through WJ’s archive for this one.
    But the damning thing is, I wouldn’t be at all surprised. I remember Killer getting one against Roscommon last year. So, 3 to go….
    How sad an indictment is it that I’m trying to remember these. But as you said, it’s not just 45’s and longer. Unless the free is close in, I’m not overly confident. Conor M and Dillon are reliable enough with close range frees, but any kind of distance out and I tend to be looking to the heavens for intervention.

    A Cian Ward or Bryan Sheehan could score 4 in one game, never mind 4 in 10 years

  8. In response to innocentbystander, I think that the strategy I suggested would get a result against Longford, but it wouldn’t be enough against the bigger teams. You are right, we have to be able to react to tactical switches. I would go one further, I would change tack as soon as you get a few scores with one strategy, so that when the opposition change comes, it is too late, the game has moved on.

    Good man JPM. I could imagine having a great debate with you on these points over a few pints!

    The key to the whole thing is the sense of the TEAM. You mention it in one of your points. We did indeed get one lovely point as a result of teamwork. But we should be doing that as a bread and butter operation against teams like Sligo and because it is not second nature it didn’t happen again. This needs to be done over and over again on the training ground.

    I take your point about the supposedly better players, but if they were so obvious around the county there would be much more of a clamour to get them involved. And look at the way the county players play for their clubs. Again and again we hear that they stand out at that level. I don’t have an answer for how to find the other players, but I would love to see red hot competition for places on the panel. Just look at the crowd of young lads that Germany sent to the World Cup. Their manager dropped five or six of those who played in the qualifiers on the basis that the younger players were better. That took balls. But they really do look like a team that could cause serious damage.

    And by the way, I owe you an apology. I set out in my last post to answer your question as to who were the “lads”. I meant all of the lads – the team, the panel in general, the management and the county board. But I would go one further now. Could they all get together and do something to be proud of themselves as well? Go out and give a team performance where everyone plays a part and everyone does his bit to the highest level they can achieve. And if it’s not good enough, then you can at least say that it was the best you had and if someone wants to do better, then come forward and do it!

    Keep the Faith!

  9. Hello Dan, yes I am serious, it was something I never thought about until I was informed about it. Then I found it hard to recall anyone booting a long range one over. The problem for us is this; teams dont mind fouling us 30 yards plus out, we have a woeful return rate. In last years minor final we missed a 14 yarder, problem being we also missed one the year before in the final as well v Tyrone. Other teams grow when that happens.

  10. With regards to 45’s – I recall Ciaran McDonald nailing one against the Dubs in 2006.

    And I think there was another ’45 scored against the Dubs in the league game in Parnell Park earlier that year – where we got our holes well and truly tanned that night.

    Also, fairly sure Andy Moran has put over a few, definitly last years league campaign.

  11. See what I mean, we gotta think hard as to when we might have scored a 45. Realistically we should be kicking them over in every match, whether we scored four or whatever is not the real point, its the lack of a dead eyed free taker thats now exposed. MCDonald was good but could fire a fair few misses as well, remember the 14 yard v Kerry in the 1997 final. In the interests of fairness I recall a 60 yarder v Kerry in 2004 as well.

  12. Lads we have just lost to sligo, that team that play in black and white and have a centre forward that would not make mayos junior team! I think the problems are slightly deeper than 45’s or ciaran mc donald or johnno winning over a few players(a new but good one).

  13. In response to AoS kicking long range points. He kicked the 2 of them off his hands, with a strong wind behind him and while they were good points, he was very poor in open play. You would not pick him out as a county player. SoS not alot better in the match against westport.

  14. At the risk of getting shot down – McDonald put over a ’45 against Laois in the drawn game that year, not against the dubs (he has a ’45) that went narrowly wide.

    The other ’45 I was thinking of was by Alan Durcan agaisnt the Dubs that year in the league but that doesnt seem to be in WJ’s match reports.

  15. JJ you are of course correct. But seeing as the team are , well, not firing properly, we are entitled to a bit of diversion. I do think that our inability to nail long range frees or even be sure of every short range one has cost us dearly.

  16. I agree with JJ – there is nothing wrong with a bit of “diversion”, especially when the reality seems to be that we could have another disappointing year ahead of us.

    I don’t really see the point in getting too worried about the state of things, at least in the short term, as at this stage only very fine adjustments can/will be made. The team and management know what lies ahead of them and they will either sink or swim. If they do sink (measured by not making the quarter finals and being competitive) we can expect changes at the top. If and when we reach this stage we can start to worry and agonise over the deeper probelms of Mayo football.

  17. ontheroad i hear what your saying, but if you look at the depts we are currently at.Just from looking around the forums i see longford fans are not only thinking about beating us,they are expecting to.A team who was it louth knocked out.Ofcourse a long range free taker would help but i think it would be fair to say mayo gaa is in crisis.

    theprizelamb who do we replace johnno with? he was our main man and he has achieved nothing, we are worse than when he came.Can you remember the last time mayo played with a game plan?

  18. Is Mayo’s game plan not to lump it into the big men and try pick up the breaks? Not a sophisticated game plan but a game plan none the less.

    With regards to a change in management, I haven’t a clue really. A lot of people say Holmes and Connelly are next in line?

    If I could ask for peoples general opinion: Is it becoming clear that Inter-county managers need to be constantly working and coaching with top level teams, and that a few years out of work can leave any managers methods dated by the time he takes up the reigns again no matter how good he was in his day? It might be a simplistic generalisation, but JoM was out a few years between Galway and Mayo – and then, his last few years with Galway were not the happiest. Another example might be Ger Loughnane who wasn’t able to have the same effect with Galway.

    Anyway – I am starting to contradict my original point, which was we are we are at the moment, we might as well look forward to the game against Longford and see how far we go with what we have. The conversation about new managers, players and tactics will be more appropriate when our year is over.

  19. JJ – I dont really know how to take your tone, but if watching mayo over the last two years is not clear that has been Mayo’s default tactic? Barry Moran, Aidan O’Shea last year, Parsons against Meath in place of Moran, and Freeman against Sligo.

    I didnt say it was a tactic I particularly like but it has been Mayo’s approach.

  20. Well JJ if JOM hasn’t a gameplan or one that doesn’t work then I suggest that he won’t be hard replaced.

  21. theprizelamb…
    Tom parsons was moved from full forward after 15 minutes vs meath(not that he was doing anything) and the ball never really went in and when it did it wasn’t high apart from the goal .There was no high ball tactic vs sligo what johnno seemed to tell them was to play diagonal ball.Which it seemed as something johnno had thought of on the way to sligo because they had no idea how to play it.With trevor mortimer,seams o shea and andy moran in your half forward line what braniac thinks to play a long foot passing game, or maybe the lads were trying to hit darragh maloney. John o mahoneys game plan….come on, billy joe a man that played no league to change the game at center forward.Richard how could a manager who only won one connacht title in three years without the amount of success at underage, one connacht final appearance, no wins in croker.

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