150 thoughts on “It’s Derry

  1. The exact draw I didn’t want. Potential banana skin, especially with our abysmal home record.

  2. Great draw
    Home against a team that require full focus
    Didn’t Galway beat them easily in the league ?
    If we can’t beat Derry at home then we are as well off out and giving the lads a good long break and focus on club

  3. happy enough with that , a win is a great platform for going further. A loss and we can “enjoy” our first summer off in a long time

  4. Km79, we’ve struggled to beat anyone at home of late, so I would be careful with this one.

  5. Derry at home if we are worried about that then you may forget about the season. Derry county football is a mess with all the focus there on club football. Tryone had them beat after 20 mins we should be doing the same. However we are Mayo and doing it the easy way is not for us is it??
    Best of luck lads and hopefully a restart of summer

  6. A tricky one for sure. We have to play them and beat them here if we want to progress, simples. I know our record at home isn’t too hot but I’d still prefer home advantage against them. Anyway, I’m sure the lads and management will focus on this one now and little else so the best of luck to them.

  7. And how many league matches, Mayo Mark? We struggled to beat anyone in McHale Park this year and last year. Fell over the line against Fermanagh too. I just think it’s one we should be careful about.

  8. Anything is good. …. long live the qualifiers. Bits and bobs all in the bag for a realignment and a further step forward in McHale Park.

  9. Revenge for 2007, one of the most depressing days I ever experienced as a Mayo fan

  10. It’s a decent draw. We are at home so it’s handy from an organisational point of view and we have more time for recovery etc. It’s an opportunity to get back on track and try to impose a game plan with 15 players.

  11. On a positive note, we could get Joe Brolly on the cheap for a supporters function, possibly in Breaffy???

  12. Best draw really, probably the strongest potential opponent of the 4 of them and at home so we can have no excuses. Away you can get all kinds of mad referring decisions and with the next round pretty much straight away if we win then we’ll gladly take the advantage of being able to do our recovery at home and not be getting on a bus for a 3 hour journey home.
    if for some reason we don’t win well we wont have to speculate about where we’re at anymore either 🙂

  13. dreamy we cannot be using the league as an indicator in my humble opinion. the lads can set their sights on one thing now and thats beating Derry , as good as we were on the road in the league I would like all home draws now in the qualifiers.

  14. Derry can score goals. Look at their league results. The scored quite a lot but st the other end coughed up a lot of points. They also had a notable win over Kildare (which shows they are not to be underestimated).

    Derry come into this with nothing to lose and everyone will be writing them off.

    Mayo look a bit stuttery and have shown an inability over the past 12 months of putting teams away when on top. Equally, Mayo have had periods in most games where they’ve allowed the opposition dominate at midfield and ratchet up a succession of scores.

    Mayo need to be mean defensively as a unit v Derry and show a real desire for breaks around the middle, especially early on. If we don’t it will allow Derry a foothold in the game and it could make for a very uncomfortable 70 mins.

    We didn’t impress all that much last year v Westmeath, ferm or Kildare…we just did enough and our league form at home is average at best.

    Derry could set up blanket like at the back. If they don’t, then our forwards should be able to open them up for goals. Now is the time for some Mayo forwards to show us they can put away a team and also for the team as a whole to reassert its dominance at MacHale Park. Enough of the half-arsed home form!

  15. Not a bad draw. Was dreading getting Sligo again or a Laois at home. We’re as well to play a decent team now and their the best of a bad bunch. Would personally have preferred to play them in Celtic park and see what Mayo really have left in them.
    Let’s not forget the league semi final a few years ago in Croker and 07. Derry football is not in a good place but they will still fancy their chances of an upset.

  16. Derry are a weak side lads – at home ye should have zero trouble winning this game.
    I was at the Galway Derry game in the league – on a day where we drifted in and out and only really played in fits and starts we cut their defence to ribbons several times.
    Defensively they are very very suspect.

  17. Good draw – it will be a tough game and need to be ready for it. It will prove to be a good test which is always useful and if we cannot win it then there was no point in going any further anyway and will need to revert to drawing board.

  18. I’d expect Derry to come out all guns blazing from the start to test Mayo’s mentality/confidence/appetite. There’s no point at all in them adopting a cautious start, so Mayo need to be prepared for this and either soak it up defensively OR by deciding to go hell for leather themselves from the outset. We saw the importance of a good start to either half and how effective it was for Galway in both halves. This sloppy mental approach cost us hugely in Salthill (particularly at the start of the 2nd half) and it’s something Mayo need to be conscious of.

  19. This is the best draw. If they can do it they will have overcome a stiff enough challenge. If not we can die at home in our own bed

  20. A game we should win against a squad that appears to be in a bit of a mess.

    But caution advised. Derry is a proud county with some very good footballers. If we are not at it – then we are in bother.

    Game at 7 in Castlebar. Live on Sky.

    There are no more second chances so our attitude will tell us everything about whether the players and management are up for another shot at the qualifiers.

  21. Evening throw in with the sun shining. Mighty stuff, can’t beat it. And a buzz around the town too

  22. Agree with you Diehard, this is a good draw from a management point of view. A trip to Celtic Park would take two days out of the schedule, so that’s a big plus. And, I keep saying this and thinking it a plus (is it?), but 3 weeks on from Salthill should leave us three weeks better, fitter, stronger.

    But, how will Derry view it? They’ll be delighted it’s not Donegal. They’ve had a successful trip to Waterford. Derry to Waterford for God’s sake, could even Apple Maps cope with that? They’ll think Mayo are beatable, and management will be drilling that into them from now until July 1st. There was a spell in the third quarter when they put Tyrone under real pressure, but fluffed easy chances and gave Tyrone back the advantage. They may have learned from that. And, they won’t forget beating us in the league semi final, deservedly, not that long ago.

    So, Mayo minds must be right.

  23. I’m glad it’s at home. All that travelling is not good for recovery especially with a potential game 7 days later. Derry havnt been great this year but there’s not doubt they will fully believe that they can beat Mayo. With slaughtneil making the all Ireland club final there must be come good footballers still in the county. I really hope that we have a full deck to chose from for the game.

  24. Derry is good for us it won’t be easy but if we had to play Tyrone or monaghan that would be hard for us get a win over derry and on to the next game believe have faith in this mayo team we could have beet Galway and if we did every one would be saying how good was mayo to beet Galway with 14 men we only lost by one point with 14 men if Andy was not taking off we would have got a draw any way up mayo

  25. I am guessing as this is probably the stand out fixture that Sky will show it?

    The mind frame must be right in qualifier games. AS we saw last year we could have lost to Fermanagh and even Westmeath in Croke Park. Every opposition must be treated with respect. Derry also have a hex over us in recent meetings…time to put that right.

  26. Did anyone catch the Ballintubber game to see Diarmuid being played at wing back. That was an interesting one. Cuts down the amount of backtracking mileage he would have to do. Probably his man is already back in defence as Aghamore like to play a heavy blanket. He would still get the off the shoulder running opportunities as he would at wing forward.

  27. Great to get the owl home draw. Saturday evening at 7pm i heard somewhere. The owl town should be buzzing. Hope there is a massive crowd in Mchale.

    I expect we will make hard work of it in true Mayo fashion. Plenty of diabolical wides into the bacon factory end and even more into the town end. However as we are a better side than them by about 11, we should win by about 1.

    Any chance of Conor Loftus etc or will we stick with our deadly accurate sharp shooters up front?

  28. Jack Reilly scored 1-3 against Westport at the weekend, averaging 7/8 points a game for Charlestown in the league. He’s joining Liam Irwin, Neill Douglas and Brian Reape across the pond tomorrow. It’s such a shame that they’re in a county with an abundance of forwards that they’ve to ply their trade in the states.
    If only there was something to keep them here, add a bit of strength and conditioning to them, smooth out the rough edges, something like a development academy to prepare them to step up to inter county.
    Redcol, where can I get tickets for this event in Claremorris? I presume it’s a supporters night organised by the CB. An evening with Joe Brolly, Bernard Flynn and Martin Breheny possibly???

  29. You would have to question any county players that did not play this weekend in the championship. If they are not fit now and too k no part in the league perhaps it is time to replace them.

  30. Jim Flag …time to leave the leaba…sunshine has scraped through the cumuli and all is good. If we could only get the players to hum from the sheets for a start we ll be able to add in a few words as we go along and there’s every chance that Loftus will appear….

  31. Happy with a home draw. We wont be looking past Derry who are coming off a win. They had a fairly wretched league campaign and looked weak against Tyrone. I felt that they never believed they could beat Tyrone. They will fancy a cut off us so this wont be easy. If our heads are right we should have enough for them. But remember last year v Fermanagh? We were still feeling the hangover from the Galway game and sleepwalked through the first half. We were lucky to get out of McHale with the win that day. We need to be right from the and put in a performance that will kickstart our summer.

  32. Derry are similar if not better than Fermanagh………and last year at home we needed a dodgy penalty with 5 minutes left to get past them. That should be a sufficient warning.

    In 2009 Kerry hammered Dublin, Meath and Cork (from the QFs onwards) to win the All-Ireland…….yet Sligo had a last minute penalty to beat them in the qualifiers in Kerry and they struggled also against Antrim.

    Qualifiers are a bit of a land mine. They don’t have the same glamour as the ‘front door’ games and that can affect teams’ performances. We should win this game……….but we are not certain of winning it (anymore than Fermanagh last year).

    How many people would have expected us to lose to Derry in the league semi 3 years ago?

    The big thing in our favour is home advantage with a bumper crowd.

  33. Good or bad draw, it is what it is, so now we must get on with it. My hope would be that following that below performance against Galway the lads will be itching to get back out on the pitch and show what they can do. Rochford too should have learned a bit more about his players and maybe tweak the system a bit in the hope of getting that bit extra from a forward line that doesn’t seem to ever function as a unit. Midfield would be another area of concern that will need some attention and of course filling the left back position. It should be another great day in MacHale park and if we’re going to do anything at all this year, then a home game against Derry is a good place to start….

  34. was at the ballina v crossmolina game Saturday evening, Ciaran Tracy got 1-6 from play.

    As anyone seen him play? Think he may be worth a look for Mayo

  35. Jesus, if we couldn’t beat any of the other seven teams in the draw easily we may as well forget it !
    On another issue, what is the definition of a legal shoulder ? – I thought that the two players had to be going in the same direction, shoulder on shoulder, no elbows and one foot on the ground ! This would mean left shoulder against right shoulder or right shoulder against left shoulder, are ye still with me ? So if that is the rule then Comer’s hit on D O’ Conner was illegal- it was left on left, both players could not have possibly going in the same direction. Can someone ( Willie Joe), anyone correct/ enlighten me please ? I simply just wat to know and understand the rules.

  36. Comers infamous shoulder was not into diarmuid o conors shoulder , it was into the back.

  37. 100% into his back. If Aido hit someone like that the flippin press wudda been all over him.

    Anyone..we move on.

    Hoping Diarmuid shows us what he’s made of over the coming months.

  38. Yeah, it was a horrible hit that he got lauded for. “Beast” is the word thrown around social media

  39. @RahoonSean
    The same direction rule only applies when both payers are chasing the ball, not when one player is in possession. Shoulder on shoulder, and one foot on the ground applies at all times.

    To quote in full:
    Provided he has at least one (Fair) foot on the ground, a player may make a shoulder-to-shoulder charge on an opponent (a) who is in possession of the ball, or (b) In Hurling – who is playing the ball; In Football – who is playing
    the ball other than when kicking it, or (c) both players are moving in the direction of the ball to play it.

  40. Just to answer Rahoon Sean’s question re the definition of the shoulder charge, here it is (Rule 1.7):

    Provided he has at least one foot on the ground, a player may make a shoulder to shoulder charge on an opponent:-
    (a) who is in possession of the ball, or
    (b) who is playing the ball other than when kicking it, or
    (c) when both players are moving in the direction of the ball to play it.

    Comer’s hit, though, as others have pointed out, wasn’t even shoulder to shoulder, as the footage of it (here) proves.

  41. @Outside of the boot & @morag
    Fionan Duffy as well as Loftus were largely anonymous. Duffy stuck a goal but the game was long over. Very disappointed in Loftus, didn’t demand the ball enough.
    Ballina look to be building, real purpose and intensity.

  42. Outside the Boot – Duffy got a goal……………… but besides that did nothing else, he’s not even close to senior inter county standard

  43. Whe I was looking at their last game against Tyrone and it was 25mins or so from the end, I was thinking this is a team in the up. Tyrone cut them out after that and a goal helped them. It will be a co test that is for sure. Mayo for the win

  44. A good friend of mine who played senior intercounty for years said to me once, and it’s really just common sense, that if I a forward player isn’t scoring consistently at club level then he simply won’t cut it at intercounty.

    Loftus and the like need to be impressing for their respective clubs. There’s been a lot of talk about some young players over the past few years, particularly those from the 2013 minor/2016 u21 but until they start doing it at club level then our view are merely speculation.

    There are of course, exceptions to the rule where you have situations like Neil Douglas who consistently scores for his club but for whatever reason hasn’t done it for the county. Tis a strange one!!

  45. I wouldn’t say that the shoulder to shoulder tackle ought to be abolished but it was a tackle for another game in another age. The game was slower then by far and the shoulder was suitable and could generally be executed with accuracy. With the pace of the game now being what it is most attempted shoulders are into the back or more dangerous still the front and usually the executor is the one who comes off best…. and that is wrong!
    IMO a steadying up and a concentration on an intense shadow tackle ought to be encouraged without the pulling and dragging that goes on at present. Pulling and dragging is a lazy way of trying to dispossess … no skill and does nothing to enhance the game. Indeed what is the rule governing the dispossessioning of a player?
    Haven’t seen C Treacy play but have been hearing about his progress. He’s 22 or thereabouts.

  46. And further on rules…what skill is there in the pickup? Does it not slow the game down and constantly lead to fouls whereas its abolition and introduction of the scoop up on the run …a skill…would have the very opposite effect. And this would not interfere with the chip up ….a skill….when such would be preferred!

  47. Knockmore had easy enough win over Garrymore, despite arguably missing starting 2 midfielder, Clarke and Shane MacHale.
    McLoughlin was untouchable at times. Young Naughton when settled in showed some real class. Despite going 5 or 6 points up early was disappointed in Garrymore, Nally so-so and Crowe did not set world alight

  48. Guys, thanks for clearing up my question re shoulder tackle ( Willie Joe,in particular). Now, what about the first push in the back on a Mayo midfielder at the throw in, even before the first ball was touched ? Some refereeing decisions or lack of them really can affect the outcome of a match ! No sour grapes, my Galway mates down the pub keep telling me to ” take ye’r baten” and get on with it, and that is exactly what we must do. Onwards and upwards, I have converted most of my bets into double or quits that we will be in the Championship longer than them, foolish,I don’t think so……COME ON MAYO !!!!!!!!

  49. Western People reporting that Caff picked up a knock? Anyone able to tell us how bad? Alf Stewart or anyone?

  50. well Ash , caff went off at ht , not sure how serious it is

    Ballina will be hard beaten

  51. Does anyone know where the Connacht Final is to be played, Salthill or the Hyde??…… I would say that Colm Boyle, is practically sure to start the next day, the big question is who’s to drop to the bench??…….. My guess is that Rochford will want to take the lessons from Salthill and finish with Andy and Mcloughin. In the case of Mcloughin he should be able to start, and finish the game, all going well. But can Andy start and hope to start and hope to finish??,… Around this time last year, Andy came on as sub versus Kildare and made a number of very un,Andy like poor decisions. But Rochford chose to start him for all the remaining match’s,. That tuned out an inspired decision, even if seemed counter intuitive after the Kildare game. He even finished most of these match’s,including the drawn All Ireland final. I would say that Andy was consistently Mayo’s best forward in the 2016 championship, so that’s an intriguing puzzle for the management to find the best possible solution for!..
    …. Like the new government cabinet, there are sure to be some disappointments, but who’s in and who’s out?? ….. Can it possibly be that Mayo will play a match in July and that AOS will not have started a game of any description for Mayo in the calendar year??. , it will be 10th serious competitive match of the year . Will Kirby get the nod to start??… In my opinion he should…. Recently on this blog there were several poster’s critical of Stephen Rochford for not giving more of our younger players a chance, but in view of how Donegal youth policy seemed to back fire badly yesterday, are these poster’s of the same opinion??… Or are Tyrone that good??.. Séan Cavanagh looked reborn, I think Séan is close to being the most capped player in the Championship in the history of the GAA (Mark O Sé, I think still is slightly ahead of Séan)… What an athletic and superb performance from the veteran?.. All very interesting stuff, but I think the hard questions for the Mayo management is who do they drop??… Looking forward to seeing Derry in McHale Park, don’t think that Refs would be as inclined to give some crazy decisions against Mayo there, it was a great atmosphere for the match V Fermanagh last, Let’s make it even better next time!

  52. With respect mayonaze, Loftus has been doing it at Crossmolina for nearly 4 years now. which is why people who comment here understand that he is a talent. he was completely bottled up against Ballina over the weekend, as was duffy, we are not blessed the way we used to be in Crossmolina with talent and young footballers, which its why Ballina beat us so well, They Themselves only have 15 with nothing on the bench, and were vastly improved from last year but in reality miles off the pace. Bar Clarke and Caff, there was nothing for Rochie to see at that game. Ballina knew they only had 2 Cross forwards to worry about and crowded them out of the game. Cest la vie!

    On another point, it struck me looking at the Cork v Waterford, age is irrelevant in hurling. Cork had 3/4 19 year olds and 2/3 20 year olds starting, Waterford Had plenty u20 too, why is it in football we cant blood our young lads seamless like they do in Hurling? I cant for the life of me understand it, I think if we are not carefull, Gaelic football will be worse that soccer!!

  53. Fear an chomartais, the simple answer to that is hurling is a more skillfull game. Skill first, physicality second. The scales between the two are more finely balanced in football. Even the gooch cooper said if he was starting out today he probably wouldn’t make it as an intercounty footballer.

  54. Think the Gooch is under selling himself here, he could play in any era.

  55. Tyrone had a lot of young players and it did their chances no harm.
    Some of Donegals older players had quiet games also.

  56. There is an old saying – if you are good enough you are old enough ( or young enough ) and it still applies.
    One thing that has changed is the gulf in standard between the average county team and the average club team. Some lads can really impress with their club but the step up to county is quite different today

    Re qualifiers there is no such thing as an “easy” game. When Galway won the all ireland in ’01 they lost the provincial semi final to roscommon. Apart from that game their hardest game was the first round qualifier in Aughrim v Wick low. Derry are a good qualifier team and will need a good Mayo mindset to ger the required performance.

  57. Clarke






    All out running from now until we’re knocked out

  58. Financially does anybody know what impact does home game mean….Id say you would be looking at 15k at Mchale for Derry game does gate receipts go to Connaght council or Croke Park or better still Mayo Gaa….It would make up a bit of the shortfall from not having Connaght final in Mchale park with Rosscomon if we had a run of home games…..We have to frehen up personel wise for hopefully a run of games I think i would give Evan Regan the start against Derry and Leave Andy to come on later he needs more than the 10 mins he got against Galway also Shane Nally needs to get sime game time these lads will be busting a gut to impress.

  59. I like that team centrerfield. Many will argue we shouldn’t try and convert backs to forwards, but the game has changed in modern times. Wing forwards are basically extra wing backs now, & who better than the likes of Durcan/Higgins/Keegan to fill those roles. Playing them there would still mean that Keegan and Durcan can still attack from deep, but have less responsibility on the defensive end. Paddy Durcan absolutely ran riot against Knockmore in the county final last year, it was the finest display I saw all year. He more or less played wing forward on the night, and he managed to pretty much mark Kevin McLoughlin out of the game too. My memory is foggy, but I think he may have kicked about 1-5 from play, and he was involved in a lot more. We need to play to our strengths & I can’t see any better way to achieve this. The number on your back doesn’t mean much in today’s game.

  60. It used to be that counties got the gate in home games in the national league and 10% of the gate in home championship games with the gate going to the provincial council – but that could be different now. I expect croke Park get the gate from games there.

  61. 1) I don’t buy into home venue being a problem. That’s purely superstitious and I have no time for it.
    2) I believe we will be better in qualifier this year win or lose, last year was Rochford’s first year and we were working out a sweeper strategy. Our performances weren’t great bar Kildare result but I saw good signs in the Galway game.

    My only criticism I have from Salthill is lack of killer punch when we got late opportunities and a bit of S & C stamina with some players looking tired early enough in 2nd half albeit with 14 v 15 but most got a 2nd wind & we were on top at the end despite some seriously dodgy ref decisions in that period.

  62. Read John Cuffes article in Western People today a very well written piece and afraid I agree with majority of what he says except maybe about a new manager( will leave that to review at end of season not now)
    its a huge shame to see brian reape heading stateside this summer he was the one guy that I thought would have definitely added something this year especially since he was in panel last year and playing great stuff for moy davitts by all accounts.
    I know people do be on about Douglas and Irwin a lot but to me it’s a case of very good club players that are shy of what is required at county level.now on the flip side there are a few guys in the panel that I would question them being there .
    I haven’t seen jack Reilly play so can’t really comment apart from fact he getting great reviews each week.

    I think we may have missed a huge opportunity this year by not bringing in 2/3 more younger lads into 26.

    I agree with John cuffe that the well has run dry unfortunately for some of our lads but all is not lost yet.

    Watching Cork hurlers yesterday shows what can be done with limited underage success.its only a few years ago Donal Og was on Sunday game lamenting the cork county board and there set up of lack of facilities for training etc.
    I know they now have put some very good underage structures in place at present but the vast majority of that team would not have won a Munster minor or under 21 medal.

    Any ways we are where we are we just have to get behind the team again and hopefully lessons of the Galway defeat have being learned.if they have maybe we will have a long summer.

  63. Still think that if we want it badly enough no reason we cant keep going a little while longer.
    I have seen nothing of young lads that would replace existing lads and thats the way it is.I do think we need no more ‘tactical’ decisions from Rochford.
    Time to stop scoring own goals literally and metaphorically.

  64. It is a shame to see the likes of Brian Reape heading to the states. Himself and a few other promising forwards, including young Treacy from Ballina, should be drafted into the squad immediately and developed instead of holding places for players who have yet to throw on the jersey for their club. That’s just not right.
    I saw Treacy play one match and he looked every inch a county player. He was far better that day than Evan Regan. He has speed, skill and intelligence as well as scoring heavily.

  65. @diehard if you were watching Treacy v Cross I would take that performance with a pinch of salt.Cross are in rapid decline and will struggle to stay Senior .unfortunately the good times for cross are over and nothing coming up to replace old greats!

  66. If we could for once get our forwards moving as a unit, then we could beat any team. A forward running at pace and taking on his marker is almost a no- no with Mayo, do we not have the players for this type of thing or are told to always lay it off for fear of losing position?

  67. John any chance your piece could be posted here? You have been quiet post Galway and always like your views.

    Beat Derry and I would worry for is in the next round

  68. I’m guilty of it myself but I don’t think we should be writing the obituary till we are out when ya think about it , what can be gained from supporters being negative. This group have been brilliant and let’s not let them down now when they need us the most . let’s make a drive to get 20k to McHale park for Derry game.

  69. I don’t think people are writing an obituary yet for this team but certain things need changing e.g andy needs to be coming on with 20/25 min to go obvious for all to see.
    If we can get to Croke park then we have a good of chance as anybody but can we though this time?
    I believe we can .take the galway game we did a lot right the ist half was spot on but in 2nd half dismal no shape to forwards.
    We have to sort out our full forward line and maybe a few qualifiers can help.also would like to see mcloughlin revert back to a sweeper worked well last year!
    And substitutions have to be got spot on bringing on a defender for a forward when a point down makes no sense in any mans language.

  70. On the flipside of that Sean, the need to transition to younger players looks overwhelming.
    We cannot win Sam with this team. We possibly can in 2018/19 if we trust in new younger forwards.

  71. At long last a review of underage structures and coaching in the county will be done by Liam Horan and Martin Carney.itvshoyld have being done years ago but at least it going to be done now and hopefully there recommendations will be implemented this time!

  72. Rte have the qualifier at 5 on the 1st of July and sky have the 7pm one. Depends on which of them get it what time we’ll be playing Derry.

  73. Can anyone else tell us more about this Treacy lad from Ballina. Cant remember him making an impression for the county at underage. What age is he. What type of forward – big strong or has he real pace. What we are badly lacking at present is forwards with real pace.

  74. Review of underage structures and coaching certInly is good news. Imo too much emphasis on aying safe and keeping possesion at all costs producing players who are afraid to try anything creative.
    Glad we drew Derry. They are decent opposition. Would agree with Aidan above, mcloughlin as sweeper and some bit of shape to our full forward line

  75. We have 3 or more big forwards, AOS, Kirby and Irwin if he makes it next year. COS too. For balance we need pace merchants. Our best hopes are Loftus and Regan. Not sure if either are lightening but Regan is definitely pacey. He could take a leaf out of Andy’s book about securing and more so protection possession.
    People calling for Kevin Mc as sweeper but if he’s scoring heavily and was good (top scorer from play) in Salthill despite suspected missed training then it’s better to use someone else. Keith in that role if we beat Derry. Also Kevin Mc is our breaking ball expert in the middle 3rd (Jason is our next best) so I think he’s wasted as sweeper. Diarmaid who has a huge engine could be better despite lack of defending experience.

  76. I went to see 3 club championship matches this weekend. Holly/Carramore V Breaffy. Ballintubber V Aughamore. Castlebar V Ballinrobe. I was looking at our County players and it was pathetic. Aiden o Shea was brutal and Seamus was not much better. Stephen Coen was fair, nothing to write home about. Holly/ Carramore beat themselves. Sloppy play. Ballintubber V Aughamore was the best of the 3.
    Ballintubber had good players in Diarmuid O Connor at No 7. Alan Dillon was a thorn in Aughamore,s defence, Cillian o Connor was brilliant at full forward, but to me Jason Gibbons stole the show. That guy has some engine. He directed the game from midfield. He hit Harrison a shoulder and he drove him back about 10 feet and he had to get assistance to get up. To be fair I was very disappointed with Aughamore. They have a few players who have won 3 Under 21 county titles and apart from Freeman who only scored from frees both Harrison, Boland were not able to deal with Ballintubber. In Ballinrobe on Sunday to see this match and again it was over at half time. Barry Moran didn’t feature in the game. Vaughan didn’t know where he was playing. Like a schoolboy here there and nowhere.
    Ballinrobe were like a team that had just met for the 1st time. Not a plan in place.
    Castlebar were playing in 3rd gear. No new player from any club to make Senior County team. Looking at Seamus O Shea and Jason Gibbons you would wonder what else Gibbons has to prove to make the panel. I wonder was Rochford at this game, or the other 2 games. If he was he has some headache going forward with the County Players I saw over the weekend. I also would not write of Derry the next day. We should get through by a few points, provided Management don’t make a fuckup like they did in Salthill. Those players were refusing to play under Holmes/Connolly, its about time they fucking played under some one. Their bluff was called this year and last year in Connacht. Its about time they shit or get off the pot. This is the last chance saloon, and the bullshit with management and certain players has to come to an end.

  77. I happy enough that it is at home.I THINK THAT IF PLAYERS ARE INJURED AND NOT PLAYING for their clubs they are no good to the county team .GET in players who are fit .THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.when they are fit to play for the club,look at them then and if they are playing well enough bring them back to the county panel.WE NEED A BIG CROWD at the derry game.HOPEFULLY THE BIG FLAG will be out that evening. it could make all the difference.

  78. It sure will be an interesting team thats named by management. Any idea when its likely to be announced?

  79. True Grit, that is a very worrying picture you paint, though it seems pretty honest. I agree that Gibbons was a huge asset to Mayo, cannot understand why he was let go. I would have said a while ago that Management know best because they are nearer the situation but the more I analyse what went on in Salthill, the less convinced I am about their competence. Rochford inherited an established team. His job was to improve it but as Sean Burke said a few days ago he is changing things that don’t need changing (our half back line), and then not making changes when needed. How Colm Boyle and Brendan Harrison could be left on the bench with Keith Higgins gone is baffling. I know changes are sometimes pre planned and sometimes are as a result of how hard you have worked, but I think reacting to the situation that is unfolding must over ride stats and science.
    We should beat Derry, but if most of our county players are struggling two weeks before the game it doesn’t bode well.

  80. Agree with Sean B above. No need for the defeatist attitude that’s creeping in during the day and since semi in salthill. Let’s keep our heads up and as long as these guys keep going with heart and intent on winning then we must keep going with heart and belief in them and with them. I do think they rely on us as extras on the team more than we realize. Hope there’s a massive support in McHale Pk.
    What about the big flag?

  81. Read John cuffes article in the western too. With respect, I Disagree with most of it. Yes the jury is still out on this management setup. But talk of throwing established forwards on the scrapheap to being in a pile of u21s is nonsense. You need men not boys to win championships, a core of players aged 23-32. This is the age profile of most successful teams in Gaelic football. Stop comparing with hurling. Totally different sport, more based on skill and speed. We saw Donegals young lads yesterday – willowy little bucks playing in key positions like midfield aged 19 and 20. The much hyped Ciaran Thompson was in the dugout by the 45 minute after getting a sobering lesson by the hugely underrated and powerful Colm Cavanagh. Tiernan mccann was marking a lad and just brushed him aside time and again like taking candy from a baby. You can get away with an odd young lad in the corners or the wings. But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water – in the heat of championship battle you need experienced leaders, not kids. Anyone who’s played football at a reasonable level knows this.

  82. @mac That same Tyrone team had players aged 19-22 negating your point. The 19 year old was at wing forward.
    Several of our forward panellists don’t have nor will ever have decent size/strength.
    Lets not kid outselves that we have twelve decathletes holding down those forward spots.

  83. I can’t, Mayoman – the Western don’t make their content available online, except via a digital edition that you pay for, so there’s no way to link to it. I don’t allow copying and pasting of copyrighted material either but if John wants to make it available himself he’s welcome to do so.

    I’m with Mac’s Left Boot, by the way, on the piece itself – John’s proposal to drop most of the current panel (which he’s been advocating for three or four years at this stage) makes no sense. As Mac has already said, Donegal’s (enforced) youth policy was savagely exposed yesterday. Without doubt, some of our lads are nearing the end of the road but hoofing out the bulk of them in one fell swoop – and management as well – would be utter lunacy.

  84. @macs left boot don’t forget Donegal had no choice but to play young lads due to about 7/8 retirements of ist team players!
    Tyrone also had young players!
    If you look at our match day 26 for final last year freeman and Dillon were not there for Galway yet we only had 2 actual forwards regan and Loftus on bench.i would call Kirby more a midfielder than a forward even though he plays both.
    I just thought this year we had to try something new and different inside and the chance is there yet!

  85. Wow!….96 comments and counting on a first round qualifier draw. Impressive.

    Watched the Galway game and there has to be a genuine concern over our forwards. All Galway scored in the last 30 minutes of the game was two close-in frees and yet an experienced side like us failed to have the composure or ingenuity to grab an equaliser…..dissapointing. That despite the fact that they were out on their feet even though they had the extra man.

  86. True Grit, I compliment you on going to 3 club championship matches. I was hoping that Freeman would have a stormer, but then again playing against Ballintubber for a forward ain’t exactly easy! Yes I too was surprised to see that Jason Gibbons was dropped from the panel, but my instint tells me that his poor performance versus Dublin in the league, on a day when most of the Mayo team were very poor might very well have done for him… In truth I did not expect anything too much from any Mayo player that played against Galway on Sunday last, that’s not saying your wrong in any way, True Grit, far from it, but it’s almost always the case, County star’s are outshone by potential County player’s..the following week after a victory or defeat in a big inter county Championship match!…..But you have to ask the question if you are not good enough, or fit enough to be playing for your club, is it fair to be taking up a place on the county panel?….. Personally I’m convinced that Stephen Rochford and Co are taking the long view,.. The present Mayo might well not be representing our best possible 15 just at this particular moment in time ,or indeed our best possible, 26,or 32.right now, but later on their are bigger fish to fry… That’s my hope in any case!.. And it looks like all our eggs are in that basket!

  87. That’s still nine players, JP. He basically said time was up for the 2006 contingent so that’s Chris Barrett, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins, Colm Boyle, Seamus O’Shea and Barry Moran. Add in the three that are older than that cohort – David Clarke, Alan Dillon and Andy Moran – and it’s nine in total. I’m not denying that for all of them the end is coming but the “radical changes” proposed are, to my mind, a sure fire way of ending our time as a serious force in the game.

    John also alleges that we haven’t blooded new players over the last few years but this is patently untrue. Brendan Harrison, Paddy Durcan, Conor O’Shea, Stephen Coen, Diarmuid O’Connor, Fergal Boland, Danny Kirby, Conor Loftus, Evan Regan and a few more have all seen some championship action in the past two years. It’s still early days to be bringing in last year’s U21 winners but already three of them are in the first fifteen.

    Where I do agree, at least in part, with his argument is in relation to our style of play which remains a bit of a puzzle and which definitely isn’t getting the maximum out of the players we’ve got. These next few games (assuming our run stretches that far) are set to be defining ones for this management team and the direction they’re trying to take the team in.

  88. @fear an chomartais
    There is football in Jordan Flynn for sure. Thought the movement of young Tracey was excellent, I’m sure Rochford would have noticed that.

  89. Caff knock didn’t look serious, walked off at half time and was walking up and down sideline during 2nd half.

  90. look willie Joe , John cuffe is v negative at the best of times, both in his posts here and in that article in the western

    agree with your post above willie Joe – we make radical changes and we can forget about time as a force in the game

    can posters answer this for me …. who in Mayo is better than Seamie o Shea, Clarke and Boyler ?? nobody, that’s two all stars from last year we are saying are finished ……. Only in Mayo

    I cannot understand if im honest how Alan Dillion is kept in the panel,is it a token gesture…. ?? why not give youth a go, I was so impressed with Ciaran Tracey from Ballina, his movement is excellent

    caff’s best days are behind him as was plain to be seen in Salthill

  91. In relation to style of play, Derry will no doubt do their homework on us and are well capable of frustrating us by packing their defence.
    We are definitely going to have to bring something new to the table tactically whatever about personnel wise.
    Tyrone mixed things well on sunday regardless of opposition. At times we had long kick out quick movement and score from the forty..

  92. I agree with Willie Joe on this one.our style of play is baffling. Personally I would bring in one or two new forwards against Derry but there’s no point in making wholesale changes in the championship unless we are sure that the guys we are bringing in are better than the guys that already there. God be with the days under James Horan when we were a high intensity tackling team that seems to have gone by the wayside.

  93. True Grit can generally be trusted to be negative on here. An not quite sure why the Western are giving John Cuffe air time..as he’s been on the negative side if the spectrum consistently too. Do we want to win the AI or not because being negative is a sure fire way of reducing that chance. When our team lifts we lift but should we not be lifting them any chance we get and be the 16th player. This has helped many an Irish Soccer team over the last few decades. It helps to be written off or underdogs cause then a siege mentality can find an extra few percent. This team has never given up in a big game and has plenty of leaders. We have 1 or 2 more summers for some of them and at present an unproductive conveyor so let’s do everything in our power as fans to help our team win. We have the most obsessed fans In Ireland but not sure we are the best.

  94. A stopped clock tells the right time twice a day.

    Agree with you there fully Shuffly deck. We are certainly obsessed but you certainly don’t hear us as much as we should be heard from the stands .

  95. In fairness John Cuffe had high praise for Boyler and David Clarke in the article. It depends on how the phrase “time has moved on” for the 2005/2006 U21s is taken. I actually agree with the overall sentiment that indeed time has moved on. You always like that we base it on performances when we name players Willie Joe. I will use the big games meaning Div 1 or Div 2 opposition 2013 to present.
    I believe only Chris Barrett and Colm Boyle are now consistently performing from those U21s.
    Seamus OShea – major issues with consistency
    Keith Higgins – Consistently beaten by his assigned forward in the big games
    Ger Cafferkey – Consistently beaten by his assigned forward in the big games
    Barry Moran – It’s a long time since he had a full performance in a big game. His most effective role was as a sweeper versus Donegal. Very left field but an effective decision to play him there.
    Older players.
    Andy Moran – Subtracting the Kerry game this year he is honestly having a very quiet year.
    Alan Dillon – Only really back playing now with Ballintubber
    Is it all that revolutionay or damaging for four or five of those players to move on and be replaced with players from U23’s and below?
    You move on four, you bring in eight and the best four remain. It is hard to judge it right as to who the new players would be. Hence it makes sense to bring in much more than is needed and see who gets to grip in the FBD and League with the new higher level.

  96. You will always have those on the negative and positive extreme. It is about finding the middle more balanced ground. I would challenge someone to look at our starting 15 against Donegal in 2012 compared to today to see the difference.

    You can not make whole sale changes without blowing up your championship. It is about introducing 2/3 new players a year to the panel and hopefully keeping them if they impress.

    The fact we are not bringing through good forwards is of concern but at last this grass root review is taking place and let’s all pray it is a quality plan that is implemented.

  97. JP what did John Cuffe say about Clarke and boyler?

    @Shuffly Deck , agree with you re John Cuffe , whats his claim to fame to be writing such negative articles ?

  98. 2012 is five seasons ago. When you include our current bench and the bench in 2012 not all that much has changed. In terms of players who are being selected and are performing I would only say Brendan Harrison (sub in 2012 but outer fringe at the time) and Patrick Durcan are new and performing players.
    Fergal Boland is there and he is doing okay as a linkman. That’s not a lot of new and performing changes.

  99. ‘the most physical Mayo player in Boyle on the bench’ – referencing the Galway game.
    Then simply questioning the decision of David Clarke being dropped for the final in 2016.
    Praise a bit strong on my behalf, but clearly John holds both players in high regard as it stands and does not want to see them move on just yet.

  100. On the Jason Gibbons debate he was unlucky last year with injury but was very ineffective within a very Mayo poor performance last spring but being in the engine room he had more scope to influence than others. However one poor performance is not a true reflection of a player. If Barry needs to be dropped soon because of injury then surely a fit Gibbons is preferable. I think he would struggle to get game time having made very few championship appearances for Mayo. Safer to bring on lads familiar with the white heat of championship. Has he the potential to be as good as a Paul Conroy, yes probably but that player has been inconsistent in the past for them and is only starting to look consistently good now.

  101. I disagree with much of John Cuffe.s article in the Western People. However I do think a few of the younger lads have more to offer than Barry Moran or Alan Dillon who have played little or no football this year as far as I know. They have been great players for Mayo in the past but we need to be looking at the present and to the future.
    I hate criticising fellas who give so much time and energy to the cause but I am half inclined to agree with John about Stephen Rochford and his management team. I don’t know how they operate in training etc – they may be brilliant for all I know. But I’m not entirely convinced by some of their decision making, even as recently as the Galway match. Leaving Colm Boyle off was a big mistake in my opinion. Put your All Star warrior on the field and see how he gets on and THEN if he is struggling replace him. I think a few of the Galway forwards were absolutely delighted not to see him on the field and when Higgins went we were deprived of two of the top defenders in the game. And then replacing Andy Moran just after him scoring a cracker of a point and McLoughlin (who can run for ever) when we needed a couple of scores to win the game. And this is no criticism of Evan Regan or Danny Kirby.
    That said I am still convinced that the old guard have one last big push in them albeit time and tide are against them.But Stephen & co need to start showing a bit more.

  102. Where Jason struggles is in being reactive around the middle. He’s a bit slow off the mark. So you don’t tend to see him react and win a ball or react and get a tackle in. This leaves him vunerable to the likes of MDMA who can change direction quickly.
    Idle speculation but I have high hopes for Padraig Prendergast. For a guy 6’5″ it is unusual how he can sprint off the mark to close guys down or win a ball. At minor I thought he was so so, then he had an injury but he really seems physically transformed. He looks the better of the young bigger midfielders. The weight is all down in his legs making him suprisingly balanced for a tall guy.
    Possibly with the 2016 U21s he wasn’t long enough back from injury and in fairness Stephen Coen and Matthew Ruane was a good combination. No shame in not displacing one of those.

  103. Still on Gibbons… Tom Parsons didn’t set the world on fire during his initial spell with Mayo, from his return in 2014 he looks a much better player. Jason is probably as mobile as Tom but wouldn’t have the same engine going by the 14 or so Km Tom covered in drawn 2015 semi. And we have AOS, Donie and Coen as midfield options too although aerially Gibbons better than 2 of those.
    SOS a bit inconsistent, good v Sligo and faded v Galway, very bad 5 min spell v Dublin in 2016 draw before being subbed, very good in replay. Looks in great shape, but in the past despite great physicality and work rate he has slowed Mayo down by running too much with the ball. Seems to have curbed that tendency and his kick passing seems much better this year. We don’t know if his quiet 2nd period in Salthill was from the big hit, from losing some training days after Sligo game or just from that tendency to be a bit inconsistent. The hits are harder in midfield and even when dishing them out you can hurt yourself and midfield has historically been a position when players can be quiet for a period and then burst to life. A stat of 62% Mayo possession showed up on screen late in 1st half in Salthill so midfield must have played a fair part in that.

  104. John Cuffe’s constant negativity is boring quite honestly. If he had his way, we might as well just throw in the towel. Talking about dropping senior members of the squad in favour of young players who are either not good enough or not ready. Total madness. Being brutally honest, we’ve been lucky with what we’ve gotten from the U21s so far and I doubt we’ll get many more from them. People don’t seem to realise how steep the step up is and the level of commitment involved. Many simply aren’t capable or aren’t interested in the sacrifices. If we get one or two more from that group, we’ll have done more than well.

  105. I’d be firmly in the glass half full camp but surely everyone knows time waits for no man and that certain players are nearing the end of their inter county careers, it’s hardly heresy to say that. However, as WJ has pointed out, John Cuffe and a few others have been saying this since 2012 and now patting themselves on the back as if to say “I was right all along”. We’ve posters on here berating those of us who choose to take the journey for what it is and enjoy the ride, while another poster went to three championship games at the weekend and clearly didn’t enjoy one of them.
    Surely it’s no huge surprise to most people with a passing knowledge of the game that the county lads weren’t going to feature hugely in the weekends action. Their heads aren’t back in the clubs yet, they’re still thinking of inter county action. As I mentioned here last week, it will be the good club players who’d feature in the reports.
    On the subject of reports, while its very welcome to have Liam Horan doing this badly needed review of the underage and coaching structures, his previous analysis made for uncomfortable reading for certain parties and ended up being shelved. Lets hope there is the leadership and courage within McHale park to make the tough calls and implement this reports recommendations.

  106. 14km while taking/giving hits over 75 mins is very impressive by Tom Parsons for a big guy not built for distance running.

  107. Not being able to get my hands on the Western over here, I didn’t read John’s article. But to be fair, I can easily imagine the sentiment.
    Much as I can clearly see John’s passion for Mayo football (and Mayo/Erris in general), this is the same drum that’s being banged for years, particularly after we’ve suffered a defeat.
    Both of us have been on this blog pretty much since the beginning, so the pattern of negativity is a long standing one. Fair enough, we’re all entitled to our opinion. But there were calls for a cull of the panel as far back as the last decade. The defeats of 2004 and 2006 clearly cut deep. But since then we’ve been a kick of the ball away from winning the All-Ireland with a lot of those older guard players to the fore.

    I’m all for bringing in some new young players, which we have done. But you can’t just drop 8 or 9 in one go, it’s madness. A lot of these players are obviously running out of time from a footballing perspective and I’m sure we’ll see at least a couple go this year. We are gradually bringing through some new faces, so I don’t think we need to press the panic button just yet.

  108. Ah I think John Cuffe would need to cop on and have more respect for our players. Does he even go to the games?

    To follow John on twitter there is a trend of disrespect and negative comments towards all forms of establishment. I enjoy his thoughts on here but some of the crudeness there is uncalled for.

  109. All – please keep the comments about John’s Western article on the points he made in the article and not on him personally. He’s entitled – as everyone else is – to hold the views he does and he shouldn’t be criticised for saying what he thinks.

  110. Sorry but it’s a bit ironic for people to question John Cuffe going to games based on an article they haven’t themselves read. So if you haven’t read the article you can’t really espouse much of a view point on it. He doesn’t go into numbers.
    It isn’t all one way traffic in the article either. There are sections of praise but an article with the sentiment that we need to bring in fresh blood and stop with the crazy tactical calls is hardly going to be gushing in praise.

  111. @JP, nearly sure it was 15kms and 18kms for Parsons and Diarmuid respectively in that game.

  112. One thing I’ll add though, is regarding reservations with the management team. Last year was their first, so you could give them the benefit of the doubt. But some of their calls this year (league and championship) have been questionable at best.
    The jury is certainly out, but the time to evaluate properly is when this summer comes to an end for us.

  113. Diehard, I’d guess the GPS and heart monitor was suggesting to take both Andy and Kevin off in Salthill. Andy is able to eek out more in the high altitude zone than most but why not take him off on 48-50 with an eye to bringing him back on on 63 or 64. Kevin would no doubt have lost training days from the rib injury and wouldn’t expect to see him not finish a game when fully fit. The sub decision on Andy had already been made and it was probably the right call even though Andy made it harder by scoring a very good point seconds beforehand.
    Anyone giving out about Harrison we just don’t know how well back he was from injury and he also had a broken nose presumably from a knock in training.
    As for Boyler I can see the logic in playing Coen with his height and at what point do we blood players who have others here have been asking to give a chance. Dublin gave Davy Byrne chances v us last year which could be said to be not their better choice available. Fitzsimmons was good in replay and Lowdnes looked good in league. They have dropped back Costello who won the replay and they have dropped 3 POTY at various stages though one is a veteran. Managers are fallible. The only manager who has made brilliant moves consistently is Cody and that’s playing with a very big deck. With a smaller one now Kilkenny are back in the pack. Who would be a manager?
    I’m happy with management, see progress and expecting good performances in any back door games we play until should we reach it QF which would need to be managed very well like last year which also included a bit of luck and some serious doggedness and cuteness.

  114. JP- my point wasn’t about the article, it’s about the ongoing narrative that I’ve been hearing every single year we fail to win Sam or suffer a defeat

  115. I wasn’t specifically referencing to you Dan moreso the questioning of John attending matches which wasn’t you.
    Your post above is fair in that you admit you haven’t read the article and your viewpoint is not overboard.
    Yes you mention numbers, but only in the general sense am I commenting that we don’t know what numbers John believes should be moved on.

  116. Look Willie Joe, if anyone else put up comments or displayed such negativity towards the team they would be blocked on here

    I follow John cuffe on twitter and all I see is negativity.

    Can I ask again, what’s his claim to fame to be passing such judgement on these players?
    How can we write these guys off after one loss

  117. The decision of who gets dropped and when this era comes to an end will be made for us should we get beaten early on in the qualifiers. I’ve mentioned it here before and I’ll say it again because I don’t think people realise how precarious our financial situation is. We need to be playing football in August for more reasons than one. Running a top tier team is astronomically expensive and it’s a symbiotic relationship,
    Success = Money
    Money = Success

  118. Morag – that’s not true and you know it. I’ve no problem with people voicing all kinds of opinions (as long as they’re voiced in reasonable terms) and if you think negative comments are being blocked on this site then you clearly haven’t been reading all of the comments posted here.

    If you follow John on Twitter then that’s your own look-out. If you’re tired of seeing negativity there then you know what to do. He blocked me on Twitter for some unexplained reason, not that this bothers me as I’m largely done with Twitter myself and only use it now to post links to posts from here.

    On your final point, no you can’t ask again! John’s entitled to his opinion and you can argue away all day long about where he’s wrong (and, personally, I think he’s wrong more than he’s right in that piece) but not about him personally. The Western are happy to print his views and that’s their decision. A good one, you’d have to admit, given the publicity the piece has generated – I’d say all the talk here has bumped up this week’s sales a bit!

  119. that’s what the western are trying to do exactly Willie Joe,

    they used to have guys that know the game writing – James Horan, Liam Mc Hale….

    now they have this guy that I don’t know ever played the game writing negativity – Garbage in my opinion

    The western is way behind the Mayo news – better coverage, analysis , columnists – Sean Rice , Billie Joe and the podcast which I know you contribute too

  120. Hello. Block me on twitter if I offend. Don’t get your knickers in a twist. I attended my first Mayo game in 1963. I love my county. I am a realist. I went through all the phases, total love, doubt, belief, next year, you lose one to win one etc. I’m 64 now, I don’t believe in Santa, politicians, corrupt police, dodgy businessmen. It’s called free speech. Block if offended. If another county got ten opportunities to win Sam in 28 years and failed each time, a certain weariness steps in. Time alters us all. I admire youth, it’s positivity it’s belief. Age tends to unwrap it. By the way, ones man negativity, and I also would defend Mayo to the hilt, is another mans reality. We are stale, we are tired, we need new ideas and no, we won’t win Sam this year. Btw Twitter offended. Look for block and use it.

  121. Mikey Sweeney another that has been tried Willie Joe. Which brings me to a problem with management and it’s the full forward line that is the key area..

    Letting guys go is one thing (Douglas, Varley, Freezer, Mickey C, Sweeney etc,), if the guys you bring in are better. And one way of finding out if they are better is to give them game time. This has not been done, so the situation remains that reasonable players have been discarded (damn good players actually), and no one better has been found.

  122. The focus of recent posts is all about what players should or should not be on the panel.
    We have a bunch of decent quality players. But at this stage its as much about how we play. Imo we have become very predictable in our style and it will play into Derry hands. So what changes should we make to our style of play. We have plenty of tactical experts contributing to this blog. But recent posts are in relation to individual players.

  123. @ontheditch i can see why people are on about individual players because we have a major problem in the inside full forward line! We have had this problem last year and we haven’t tried anything new inside.
    It is so frustrating to watch the likes of andy Moran coming off with twenty minutes to go(after he gives it everything) when I feel and the majority of supporters feel that he should be on the pitch and the end of games when a game is opened up and his running and leadership would cause all sort of problems for opposition!
    I for one would have expected something new to be tried this year in full forward line but nothing.the one guy that I thought deserved a chance is off to America for the summer.
    All not lost yet if we learn from our mistakes v Galway and incorporate that with what we did well v Galway.
    Players need to be playing in proper positions.ivwould like to see a revert back to the sweeper and our substitutions need to be spot on none of this bringing on a defender for a forward!
    There was a few league games this year we named 2 defenders in our forward line namely drake and nally.its a negative approach.
    If we go with the exact same as last year it will not work.if we learn we can have a long summer.

  124. @OnTheDitch. I think it is that a talent deficit is leading to a predictable style of play.
    Let me explain what I mean.
    We all know that tactics, plays and strategy are the biggest thing that has happened to Gaelic football in terms of how you get games won. But even with all of that. Still there is a need for a player who can take on his man, or go to shoot left and dummy solo back onto the right, or run right at the centre back and stand him up with a look one way and a bounce solo the other way.
    Now all of what I mentioned there is exemplified by the young minor David Clifford. Relatively few years of top level coaching, but bursting with talent.
    In what game has one of our forwards recently burst past a set defender, or sold a defender one way and bounced back onto the right or as I stated coming through at pace look him left and go right. That is honestly not all that coachable. A heavy amount of that is through sheer creativity and talent.
    Cillian can do these kind of things. Andy now and then but his lack of pace hurts him.
    They may seem like things and little skills we can manage without, but even Tyrone had Mark Bradley selling guys dummies left right and centre.
    I won’t get into what young players we have that can do some of these creative skills, but I’m just making the overall point that without those little elements of suprise, teams and defenders can predict what we do when in posession.
    Cillians equalizing point in the 2016 drawn game is an example of what is unlikely coachable, you develop that with innate talent and creativity. Not his shot, the way he sets up a yard of space to take that shot.

  125. Will the game be LIVE on TV?
    I read John Cuffe article and I did not think it was too negative. I agree with Willie Joe that the management team have brought on some new players. I would like to see Loftus and Regan starting.
    Lets get behind the team agus bfeidir go mbead Sam ag teacht i mbliana go Co Mhuigheo le cunadh De!

  126. @ I agree with you re full forward line, particularly if we are trying to introduce a foot passing element where imo we need a ff target line at times at least making runs for the likes of Boland
    And again the point re Andy Moran. When the pressure is on in last quarter, thats when experienced cool heads kick in.
    Mc loughlin our best sweeper but he should be taken from our half forward line

  127. @jp yes I would not argue with you on that one and Tyrone were magnificant in the way they varied their play, the element of surprise coupled with ability to pick off long range points.
    Is it talent defeceit or coaching out that element of flair. From the few academy sessions I have attended,u16, I felt players were afraid to do anything exciting or creative, afraid to risk giving away possesion…
    But Aidan and Jp what you say is true, maybe depressingly true.
    I will post a further follow up question for ye and anyone else who wishes to explore our style of play in the latest blog

  128. I agree we don’t have the kind inside forwards who can completely burn for pace but Regan is pretty quick and has a good side step, Loftus could be useful too. Regan got a fair few chances but has yet to destroy anyone. Several lads contrary to comments have been given a chance and haven’t set the world alight, Douglas has been unlucky but he could still get in next year.
    Since the Horan era we had Varley, Conroy, Cillian, Andy, Sweeney, Ronaldson, Regan, Loftus, Freeman, AOS, cos, Kevin Mc, Kirby, Douglas, Doherty, Barry, Dillon etc. All good players but only the lads with the jerseys regularly have done enough to keep the jersey. Some have looked good in league but championship is a different kettle of fish. Kevin Mc was inside for some of Galway game and v Dublin in 2015 and is one of the few around who is both hard to mark and hard to disposses and a good shooter but he has given more to Mayo in other positions.
    In half forwards Carolan and Gallagher have been a bit unlucky with injury but Gallagher in particular has time on his side. We also found Diarmaid, P Durcan, Boland, Nally and COS probably has something to give too.
    There is a problem in the modern game with half forwards having to track very deep and inside men not having enough support. Our management working on a kick passing game which seemed to work well enough v Galway though we’ll meet better defenses than them in back door.
    On top of all that teams seldom play 3 inside. In our case K Mc, Doherty or Alan Dillon come out a lot to help. AOS also does more damage coming out to half forward. In drawn final last year we had both wing forwards playing in the backs for most of the 1st half leaving it very hard for Andy and even Cillian was playing deep that half.

  129. John, you might as well stop going to matches then, given your attitude.

  130. @dreamysleepynightysnoozysnooze, – agree John may as well stop going to matches GIVEN HIS NEGATIVITY , they loose one game with a lot of guys injured and we are finished

    I don’t know if its reality – you seem to forget we had 4 All stars last year , young player of the year, player of the year and we the “greatest team of All time to one point after 2 hours of football

    ok we don’t have this ” Marquee forward but we need to pay to our strengths” be it our running game or whatever

  131. All – right, I’ve given you all fair warning. Any further comments of a personal nature aimed at poor old John C and those making them will face sanction. Ball, not man. Okay?

  132. Morag Bellingham, right on that’s the reality, nine months ago one could argue we were the best team in the country and it definitely wasn’t luck that got us there!! I don’t think things have changed much, we have a GREAT team and look forward to being in the championship until the end again this year.

  133. I think the theory still stands that there is no middle ground with many Mayo fans…it’s either elation or disaster. I’m guilty of it myself.

  134. John cuffe talking absolute negative rubbish.I am always of the view you select the best 30 footballers in the county no matter what there age 18 to 35, and your best 15 for match day, wasn’t it Padraic Joyce late in his career who said find me 6 better forwards in Galway and I will gladly retire. if John managed to read the Mayo news this week he would see that Andy Moran and Alan Dillion the two oldest in the Mayo panel had stand out performances the weekend.

  135. I think people need to realise that these guys are amateurs and blogs like this should avoid excess criticism of players who do their best for their County,its wrong..

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