It’s the hope that gets you

I tried not to get excited but how could you not? Meeting up with John, Rob and Co. in Bowe’s on Fleet Street on Friday evening would make even the calmest of men giddy.

The Guinness was flowing as was the chats and while Tom McLoughlin gave a prediction of a Mayo win as we stood outside and recorded the last few chunks of the podcast, I still stuck with what my heart was telling me. 

You can try and fool your brain but eventually your brain and body will catch on to your tricks. 6:30am on Saturday morning, I’m awake.

I gave into temptation for a bit and fired on some Mayo GAA related songs from over the years as I closed my eyes and tried to convince myself that it was a normal day. 

And I kept that way of thinking up until about 4:50pm that day. That crowd, that atmosphere and that first half. 

Anyway, 5:40pm and it’s straight to the toilet for me but I’m going to have to try and stop going to the toilet at half-time of games.

Why? Because I am always stood next beside some person who gets my hopes up. The only exception to this was at the Meath game this year when I was stood beside some buck who was just as unsure as I was whether we could see The Royals out. 

But Saturday, as it has been in previous losing situations in Croker, was much the same. 

“I think we’re going to do it”. I told him I wouldn’t be happy until the final whistle went and we knew the outcome for sure but it was already too late then. 

Those words had poisoned my mind and while part of me was trying to keep the head clear, the other part was already booking the week of the All-Ireland off work. 

It’s the hope that kills you.

I was lucky. Talking to some people after the game, they went to the toilet just before throw-in for the second half thinking we had the beating of them and by the time they came back, the game was practically over. 

Then again, I got to witness it happening so maybe lucky isn’t the right word.

Twelve points in twelve minutes. My brain went the complete opposite way, I remembered how Dublin nearly clawed back a 10-point lead against us in 2012. Keegan’s goal went in, seven points down and straight away I thought of 2006.

I reverted back to my ways of thinking as a child where I would watch Mayo until the very end and be so optimistic as to think that even if we were six points down with a minute to go, we’d be able to summon two freak goals from somewhere. 

My modus operandi behind being a slight bit pessimistic at all times when it comes to Mayo is that, if the outcome is better than what you have focused on in your head, great stuff.

But if you believe there is no other possible alternative than a Mayo win, and then not only lose but lose in the fashion in which we did, it’s a very hard thing to comprehend. 

I didn’t even watch the other semi-final yesterday. I assumed Kerry would win but in my head do I think they’ll beat Dublin? No. 

They’ll run them close, they’ll get a goal and maybe even two at that but this Dublin team is just different class. 

As I said last week, Dublin fans I’ve talked to said that it was only right that they would meet Mayo and Kerry on their way to “that number”. 

They want to prove they are the Greatest of All Time by beating those who have nearly stopped them before and I firmly believe that if we couldn’t catch them, nobody can. 

I wouldn’t begrudge them of the feat either. I gave out to my housemate who was praising them on Saturday. What he was saying was right but it was just too soon to admit it. 

You really do have to just sit back and admire the way they play, the players they have, their manager and the way they can destroy teams with just a few passages of play. 


They’re more than a football team. They are a brand, a company, an organisation. At least, that’s the way they seem to be set up. 

Jim Gavin calls the Drive for Five “that number”. He won’t even say it. As far as he’s concerned, it’s another All-Ireland and if they do win it, the focus would probably be already on the following season. 

He said in the post-match interview that he doesn’t need to say much to the players, that they’re already motivated. But, what he does say, I’d say, is worth a million screams. 

Alex Ferguson famously gave a short speech to his players before they won the Champions League Final in 1999. He told them one thing:  That if they lost, they’d be able to look at the trophy at the end of the game, walk beside it and be within centimetres of it, but that they wouldn’t be able to touch it. 

I can imagine that Jim Gavin’s team talks are similar. 

Even Paul Mannion and Con O’Callaghan’s buzz-cut hairstyles make it seem like they’re part of an army, not an amateur football team.

Even just focusing on Con alone. Keegan stuck by his side for 40 minutes. He only had eyes for him – I don’t even think Leeroy knew where the ball was in the first half but he certainly knew where CO’C was. 

But when Con did spot a split-second lapse in concentration, he fired Keegan to the ground and hammered in the first goal. After that, the job was oxo for Dublin.

People give out about how the Dubs and Jim Gavin are bland after games. They don’t show excitement – nothing. Whether they’re playing Louth or Kerry, it’s the same spiel from Gavin about how they were a tough opposition and they can learn a lot from them. 

They do celebrate in fairness. A few of them were in Copper Face Jacks along with fans on Saturday night but you can be sure it was business as usual come Sunday. 

I’d say the celebrations are short and sweet. Would you rather celebrate one All-Ireland for months or celebrate 7, 8, 9 … 10 for a week and then focus on the following season. 

As the song goes, ‘There’ll be time enough for counting, when the dealing’s done’ and they would probably gladly sacrifice wild celebrations and showing emotion in front of media and fans alike so that when all is said and done, they can hang up the numerous Celtic crosses on their wall. 

As for our lads, you would have to wonder after the last day whether their search for the cross is finally over. I don’t mean because they’re not good enough. I mean because they’ve simply gave it their all. 

Moran and Higgins still had great seasons in the Green and Red while Boyler is almost certainly on his way for an All-Star but will they feel that there’s another season in them. And if so, is the goal still a Celtic cross?

You’d think that it would drive you daft to think like that. If that were the case, you’d be almost afraid to leave. ‘What if I go and they end up doing it next year?’ 

I admire their bouncebackability and the sheer determination to go back to the well every time. It makes me sad to think that they might go down as one of the best football players never to win an All-Ireland medal.  In fact, the next time some publication decides to put together ‘the best fifteen to never win it’, they may just fill it with Mayo names.


Being coined the second greatest team of the last twenty years is great. Sadly, though, nobody remembers the runners-up but us Mayo people will never forget the warriors who gave us so many joyous days out. 

This is not me writing an obituary for this team but rather just reflecting on the last seven years. 

Thank you to each and every Mayo player past and present for giving us the wonderful days out that they have since day dot. 

Sure, the hope kills you but without the hope, I honestly don’t know what my life would be like. What I’d daydream about when I’m on the train home, what I’d plan my summers around, what I’d dream about when I hear ‘The Green and Red of Mayo’.

I’ve mentioned it many times but my good friend Michael Gallagher once said that following Mayo is a journey. The end result is obvious – to reach the Promised Land – but after that, then what? 

We have always been so focused on the journey that it’s hard to know how we’d react if we did do it. 

Would you have rather if we’d won it in 2012 and had not been within an ass’s roar of it since or to have not changed anything at all? 

I honestly don’t know. It’s better to have known heartbreak than to have never experienced love at all, as they say.

One thing is for sure, the hope is going to kill us. 

195 thoughts on “It’s the hope that gets you

  1. Hope is everything. Without that we’re only fumbling about in the dark.

    I’ve often thought about the scenario you’ve raised – would it be worth making a pact with the universe to win just once more, and then disappear into obscurity?

    My answer to that is a resounding NO.

  2. Nice piece Darragh.

    The 2 things that make me saddest about the weekend are:
    – many/all of these great warriors will now retire without an all Ireland. So close on so many occasions but yet so far away
    – Dublin will dominate for the foreseeable future. It’s young lads that are driving that team forward now. The only team that will potentially beat them are Kerry once these minors come through. I fear our wait will go on a long time.

    But a quote that Willie Joe made on a podcast one day always comes to mind when I’m thinking these things. “would you have it any other way” he asked his son on the way home as they mourned another all Ireland final loss – the answer, of course, is no. I’m immensely proud of where I’m from and the joy I have got from following these warriors for the last 8 years is unbelievable.

  3. Speaking of hope and looking to next year, is this right Willie Joe?

    The Connacht champions and Ulster champions go into one group of super 8s with someone like Cork and Kildare (or a qualifier that beats them).

    Then Dublin and Kerry go into a group of death in the other half with the beaten Ulster finalists and beaten Connacht finalists (or a qualifier). Fucking hell.

    If this is the case, then we simply HAVE to win Connacht next year and certainly not lose the Connacht final. We could do with a handy draw for Connacht next year. If we reach the final it would be away to Galway or away to Ross too. Is the above all correct or a load of rocking horse shit?

  4. What is classified as a handy Connacht draw? If it means not having to play Galway or Roscommon then it’s unlikely to happen.

    Is the club championship starting this weekend?

  5. Carrot face (great name, by the way – I’ve been waiting for ages to congratulate you on it!) – you are gas!

    That’s the way to get over a defeat – get planning already for next year. I like your style. We’ll be focussing from a long way out and get everyone else on the hop!

    Mattie Ruane to link up with James Carr and do some scoring damage. Aido to drop one short and Diarmuid to do a Diarmuid special into the net. Jason to do damage from kickouts : )

  6. Con O’Callaghan 2017 and Con O’Callaghan 2019…….2 different bodies…..

    Must have taken Bernard Brogan’s advice and shopped in SuperValu

  7. A handy Connacht draw would mean being on the opposite side to Galway and Roscommon, i.e. we can’t meet either until the final. That hasn’t happened for us since 2012 which is crazy.

    Club championship is the weekend after next.

  8. You’re absolutely on the money there, Carrot face – I’ve been saying the same myself (since before Saturday too). It’s like the old days when Connacht and Ulster counties would be waiting for that one year in the three-year cycle when one of them was guaranteed to make the All-Ireland as the respective provincial champions would meet in the semi-final. The Connacht/Ulster Super 8 group is definitely the side to be in next year and so winning Connacht has to be the priority. Also correct on venues – if we meet either Galway or Roscommon in Connacht next year it’ll be away.

  9. Thank you for the post Daragh and I like the hope will kill us theme. Looking back and looking forward on the same post here, I feel injuries did for us this year and at crucial times like the Roscommon game, where we were missing Cillian, he’s worth a good few points in any game from frees and play as well. This loss put us on the qualifier safari scenic route around the country. In addition to Cillian and Seamus O’Shea we were also missing Tom Parsons from ’18 and while we prevailed in Newry, Castlebar and Limerick, by the time we fetched up in Killarney on a hot summers day, we were now without several other players, Cillian was back, our captain DoC, Rouane and Durcan were out, Aiden and Keegan were not fully match fit, they were visibly carrying injuries. Seamus O’Shea made an appearance off the bench. Next up was Donegal in Castlebar, a well timed two week rest and we on the wining side again. Along the way also we had lost Fionn McDonagh for a few matches. Jason Doherty went off on a stretcher in Castlebar and by the time we faced the Dubs, only one short week later we had all our injured back and they were either on the panal or in the team. Some of them were not fully match fit and yet we did more then hold our own for the first half.
    For next year I hope we stay injury free and it has to be an unlikely chance we could have the same bad luck run of injuries again. So with all our guys fit and an introduction of some new talent we should be in good shape to challenge in 2020, first for the Connaught title, this is a must win for us. Then we can kick on and go all out for the main prize. People have been talking on this blog of retirements, I think that is a bit premature. The best has yet to come. Yes there will be changes, but it will be subtle, evolution and not a cull or mass extinction as some are saying. The experience some of these guys have will be handed on in due course by full squad evolvement. All the panal young and old have much to contribute. Though it may kill me, I am full of hope for next year and beyond, I will go on believing and fighting!

  10. Would love to see if someone made a video of how close the dubs came to not been in contention for the 5 in a row. There were numerous times v mayo over the years they nearly didn’t make it. Think 2013 after mayo brilliant start we gave up soft scores. 2015 draw mayo 7 points down Dublin collapsed while mayo hit 1-4 without reply and John small tapped andys goal attempt onto the post to save them .2016 -two og and dubs only score 9pts and bastick pick up missed by ref after O’Connor equaliser.2017 late free off post and sending off all helped Dublin. Just goes to show how small margins are between becoming greatest ever or forgotten about. Thought I throw that out there.

  11. Same old story if it’s the same players next year..we were not good enough and it’s obvious after Saturday that the present panels chance is gone..the standard is Dublin and we need to move on or be forever stuck in limbo never learning from previous games and defeats…our older players were shown up in second half by the pace power and athleticism of Dublin..time to learn lessons and move on

  12. No doubt, good idea there. In Saturday’s game McCauley let fly with a swinging punch and no action was taken by the referee, this was right in front of me on the Hogan stand side in the first half when we had them on the ropes, also in that first half he elbowed McDonagh as he was been tackled down the right wing. Again the same outcome, no ref’s whistle. Dublin should have been down to 14 men for 3/4 of the match, what also surprised me, no one highlighted it on the Sunday game. Yes indeed, small margins do make a difference.

  13. Erris Head – why would McLoughlin not come back when he only turned 30 a couple of months ago? Compared to TP who is older and coming back from a very serious knee injury.

    Also, the U17s won’t be with the seniors for another few years. In the old system they would still be minor next year!

  14. @tomthumb your post doesn’t make any sort of sense. What does ‘time to learn lessons and move on’ actually mean? If anything.

  15. I think teams have now found a way to counter the influence of Lee by his marker simply going to full forward. Lee is no pushover there (no pun intended) but it’s pretty clear now it’s his least comfortable position. Of course it wont work for all opposition as not all Lee’s prey are going to be a threat in at FF and his ability will be easily enough to nullify them if they do move in there.
    Still, theres evidence now from both the donegal match and Saturday’s match that we need to plan for this and teams will try to exploit this.
    Perhaps he needs to adapt his game next year, develop more as a midfielder or half forward, albeit both have been tried with limited success, especially the HF experiment. But needs must, and we need to adapt, to counter perceived weaknesses identified by opposition.
    I think its cathartic to review the year like this and think about plans for next year.
    I believe if anyone can adapt it is Lee. In massive matches now he’s a consistent goalscorer so let’s try developing that even further. I truly feel he needs a new lease of life, has done for a few seasons now. It has gone a little stale for him, and totally understandable. He has had to firefight and be the gamechanger all at the same time for this team on many occasions and it cant last. We have other lads who can still man-mark, in the likes of Coen, Plunkett, O’donoghue, Michael hall, Harry, etc and free Lee up. Food for thought.

  16. What’s all this talk about retirements. Who do you want to see the back of? Clarke is still an excellent keeper. Barrett improved as the year progressed. Higgins is still an option in defence or attack. Boyle was probably our POTY. SOS made a great recovery from injury to contribute handsomely. Parsons proved what a fantastic man he is to defy logic and Andy was Andy, inspirational and effective. What’s the rush in getting rid of these great men. When better men are ready to come in and take their places I will be delighted but people have been going on with the same narrative since 2013 that X,Y and Z need to retire. JH introduced some new blood this year and I am sure he will introduce more in the coming seasons but without the old heads beside them, they will suffer. We don’t have a Clifford waiting in the wings but I am sure we have good young lads who could learn so much from being in the company of warriors who have served their county so brilliantly for the last 10 years or so. If you are good enough you are old enough may be the saying. These men have not been good enough to beat the greatest team ever but by God they were not far behind. If the next generation can contribute as much then we have a good future to look forward to.

  17. Well said “to win just once” the way some have been posting anyone would think their is a bunch of ready made championship hardened replacements for every position from goalkeeper, centre back, midfield & then just for decoration a few classy forwards in the mold of Con O’callaghan & David Clifford being held back waiting in the wings raring to be let loose like young bulls locked up for the winter (these ready made replacements must be hiding under rocks in North West Mayo or in a cave somewhere)
    The transition has already begun with besides those who started on Satuday, several other new players getting their first taste of championship football this year and I am sure that will continue next season accompanied by the likely retirement of a few which as Horan indicated will take its natural course. But hardened championship footballers like Barret, Boyle, Vaughan etc. aren’t born and delivered in one championship season and the hardest thing for Mayo will be to replace and replicate that steely commitment in a new crop. Just reading in the Irish Times the article linked by a previous poster on the commitment these players like Barrett/Parsons and others give in time and effort is huge and to be honest for counties like Mayo outside Dublin unless you are a student, a teacher or have a career, an employer and family that will make allowances and sacrifices to match the commitment you require to play county football you are pissing into the wind. I just don’t see how you can do it if you are a farmer, a plumber, an electrician or have young kids,. And lord forbid you ran a small business that employed a Mayo footballer, its just not feasible, I mean how long was Tom Parsons off work and how long on limited duties. Identifying guys with potential & talent is one thing but for them to have the drive and commitment to commit to a 5 to 10 year career without having excellent support structures in place is another especially when the only short term prize is ridicule in some sections of the press & media and the long term prize is chronic arthritis.
    Horan and the team will go again next year and just keep trying to do the right things to give yourself the best opportunity to put the team in a position to capatilise on a lapse in concentration and focus from Dublin because I am afraid that’s what it will take to beat them in the foreseeable future whether that be Kerry, Mayo or anybody else.

  18. I agree with you ‘ to win just once’ and I have to say to you ‘Erris Head’ that unless you have some information or indication from the players themselves, or it’s been published somewhere your really jumping the gun there.
    Name calling like that is very disrespectful to men who have given great service to Mayo including this year. Injuries were a significant part of our under performance this year and the week on week slog through qualifiers and then super 8’s with only a weeks turnover to a semi final facing a team who were fresh. The great men you dissed in your post bailed us out in games this year, for example Andy in Castlebar against Donegal clipped over two gems of points when the game was in the melting pot, he won that game for us….and you want him to go. Your plain wrong in your assumption and it’s not fitting for you to name check these great players on a public forum that’s a Mayo GAA Blog.

  19. @Liberal role in the tie, True for you, anywhere in the full back line is not the place for Lee Keegan in an ideal world, ..But I can’t be too harsh on James Horan, in putting him there in the first place, however with James Horan and a good plan B implementation before too much damage is done, when is Plan A is not working,, is something that I haven’t? yet seen. …. We were as strong as the weakest link in our chain, our weakest link certainly wasn’t Lee Keegan,… Probably the best player ever to play for Mayo but played out of position….then again where were the alternative’s , Eoin O’Donoghue or Kieth Higgins as individuals in a Man on Man situation or something of a collaborative effort by everyone, which in hindsight would be my preference, but hindsight is fantastic, we all wish our foresight was as good as our hindsight… The Manager who eventually leads a team to beat Jim Gavin Mightly Dub’s’ is going to have to be able to make decisions very quickly, listen to others and take an awful lot of information at the same time, as well as have an awesome team in the first place . It’s not impossible, Jim McGuiness broke the mold and took a Donegal Team from further behind than we are now to cross the threshold and land Sam. . That formula that Jim used back then is now redundant but if nobody does something different Dublin and a 10 in a row, and even more will be the outcome… But someone will, I think that James Horan is the best man to bring on new Young Player’s that we could possibly get, and that’s definitely something that we need, but James is going to need a wing man , with great in Game intelligence to make changes quickly…. It’s every other of the top Counties competing with Dublin problem as well.. Unfortunately it is already ordained by a monster that the rest of the ruling class GAA officials have created in Ireland that the Mightly Kingdom of Kerry, will be the next to learn this harshest of lessons, and I predict that it will be allot worse than a 10 Point’s defeat!

  20. Gotta pump that iron boys with lots of protein . That’s the only way we’ll get close to the dubs.

  21. As a dub I know all about the way mayo ran us close but this is sport I think in reality James horan is to blame he left ye at yer peak in 14 despite being the best man ever to manage mayo. It’s all facts with him no mileage talk no crying about refs or games played Hes smart . Ye will for certain rebuild but the worry is Kerry cork and if a atack minded man gets Tyrone. Less so meath and galway. Donegal simply wont have enough. So focus on the belief side of things . If ye lose older players it’s no problem nothing beats youth . We wont go on forever no one does . At the moment we are high on success smoke bombs and 12 ?in a row. Remember yer 5 in a row and then galway said hold on here enough this too will happen and wait and see the vultures devour us.its sport its life . As a meath man said lose and your an orphan . So start again at your beginnings and never breath a word about your loss . A fantastic team for ten years when j o mahony was in charge who’d have thought. Mayo 4sam keep it in your hearts it can happen .

  22. Naming players who people thing should retire is pointless and disrespectful in my opinion, I’m sure it may happen but that will run its course.
    Denis, I think a yellow for MDMA was suffice , as I said before there were a lot of niggles and scuffles but nothing warranted a red ( apart from Cillian) . If Kevin Mc Laughlin had stamped on Scullys chest in the first half he would have got a straight red, but I believe the ref actually maybe had some sympathy for him considering the game was done…

  23. Erris Head – I’ve only now seen that comment you posted late last night naming a number of players you’re assuming might retire beore next year. While undoubtedly some current players won’t feature next year – James Horan said as much in his post-match comments – it’s not for you or anyone else to speculate on who might not be coming back next year. These players are some of the finest men ever to wear the Mayo jersey and anyone replacing them will find very big boots to fill. Any player contemplating retirement should be allowed the time and space to do this without hurlers on the ditch name-checking them publicly. Do that again and you’ll face serious sanction here, as will anyone else who tries to do the same. For now, I’ve just deleted your comment in its entirety and would ask you to cop on for posting something like that.

  24. I don’t believe this Dublin team are invincible, reasons as follows.
    I pointed out to those around me as the two teams paraded around the pitch that there were 2 weak links on the Dublin, Michael Darragh and John Small, those guys really felt the pressure in the 1st half of the game, as did at least 2 or 3 Dublin forwards, McCauley is prone to do the crazy thing, got away with in before in All Ireland finals, Small is another loose cannon.
    Any of us that played club football in Dublin, know their way, if they get a run on you they will hammer you, they are confidence players, Dublin caught Mayo napping after the halftime break.
    When I look back at it, I am wondering how many short kickouts did Mayo take in the first 15 minutes of the 2nd half, very little, I ask myself, why keep kicking the ball out long if it just keeps coming back at you, Mayo did’nt or could’nt break Dublin’s momentum in this period, in the past many of Mayo’s kickouts were delivered to the corner backs, what was Horan’s plan, keep kicking it out as far away from the Mayo goal, this is fine if its working, I saw the same thing being done in March 2017 in U21 championship v Galway, the goalie made it easy for the 2 Galway midfielders, Cooke was one of them.
    Look at the Dublin player that caught alot of those early 2nd half kickouts, I think it was Fenton, we all know that one must keep the ball away from the oppositions greatest fielders as much as possible.
    On a positive note, the close tackling from Mayo in and around the square in the 1st half was the best I have ever seen in Croker.

  25. It was a very hard ask against Dublin with all our returning injuried players. One of our 2 goalies have to go. We have to develop a specialist full back-i think we should use AoS as holding CHB. CoC has lost his edge, lets hope it returns. A winter rest for some players ,gym time for others & a good scout around for new lads.A gig thank you to those that decide to retire or are just not picked.

  26. Ok for anybody that didn’t understand my previous it is in plain English…definition of insanity is repeating the same things over and over again and expecting different results…player transition needed ASAP..otherwise we will be left behind..and Nestor cups will be a dream..I’m going to ask a simple question how many of our starting 15/26make Dublin’s??they are what we should aim to be not begrudge

  27. Theres alot of guys writing off the older guys – I wouldnt agree that we need a big clear out

    After saturday, clarke has to be involved, his kick out is not his strong point , but he is the best keeper in Ireland for high balls and shot stopping, he can be used to bring along a new guy also

    Andy can still be used next year v certain teams and to bring on younger players

    SOS and higgins would still options in my opinion.

    we found Ruane, carr and mc donagh this year, if we could find a couple of more players we would be in good shape next year

    1. Hennelly/new goal keeper

    2.Barrett/Mullin. 3. Harrison. 4. ODonoghue

    5. Keegan. 6. Coen/Boyle. 7. Durcan

    8. Ruane. 9. Aido

    10. McDonagh. 11. Diarmuid. 12. Treacy/kmc

    13. Carr. 14. Coen. 15. Cillian

  28. Agree JR on what you say but we need 2 new goalies, one of our current will retire and the other just has to go. So fresh start next year. Hopefully Mullin, O’Donoghue, McCormack, Plunkett, Murray, Diskin, Reape, Ryan O’Donoghue, will push on to the next level. That will push out a few that have given their all to the cause but have to step aside.

  29. Honest question lads but how close were Mayo this year. I believe they were close in 12, extremely close in 13, 14,15,16 and 17 and not close in 18 and 19.
    Now when you look at 2013-2017, that is exceptional and paints the players in a great light as that’s 3 different management teams.

  30. @tomthumb, so can you list the lessons we need to learn so we can ‘move on’? I’m dying to know what they are.

  31. Niall Morgan got caught with his kickouts on Sunday kicking one short straight to an opposition player as far as I saw at the game. At least one point came directly from a mistake of his. I also think he made a risky run outfield.

    Maybe Mickey Harte should start looking for a replacement for him as he can’t be making those kinds of mistakes in an All-Ireland semi final.

    I’d say there are some young goalkeepers in Tyrone that would be good replacements.

    (Yes, I know sarcasm is the lowest form of wit – couldn’t resist).

  32. @Tomthumb. Player transition will happen when we unearth players to take over the mantle from some of our current players.
    Our current players have been some of the best players to ever play the game. Our current squad won the national league and reached the AI semi final (this year, yes 2019).

    Our more experienced players played a huge role in our success this year as did the new lads introduced this year.

    You say we were not at Dublins level. No team in the history of the game have ever been at Dublins level. Our lads were at Dublins level from 2012 to 2017 and for the 1st half of last Saturdays game. We were just unlucky not to have lifted Sam on a couple of occasions in the past 7 or 8 years.

    These players deserve total respect and more so as the end of their carears draw near. We won’t always have them but while we do have them we owe them total respect.

    Sadly at some point their playing days will end when they decide it should end or indeed if they stay on, when a better player comes along to take their place.

    The players are not things or numbers or cattle. They are some of the finest humans that ever represented a sporting team. We’re damn lucky to have had them and to still have them and I hope to see as many of them back again for 2020 as can commit.

  33. Brilliant side 12-15, great games played in 16&17 including both finals . We can talk till the cows come home about near misses, hard luck stories or we just weren’t good enough , I dont fully buy any of them lines . Any other top county would of won an all Ireland . I blame management if I’m honest , always making the wrong calls at vital stages . Would love to see mcguinness , Gavin someone like that manage Mayo. Our players are always on the same level as manager , desperate to win an all Ireland , I just happen to think someone coming in who has done it before would be more beneficial .

  34. Good man, Revellino. Absolutely correct, and heartfelt as always. We owe them more than vague, nebulous statements like ‘time for change’ time to move on” etc., which basically mean nothing.

  35. Big Mike, as BJP said this team peaked in 2017 and haven’t improved since. That’s why Horan needs to keep the re-building going. He made 4 players first choice that weren’t last year and needs a similar number next year. Transition has to be gradual in order to maintain competitiveness.

  36. WJ, thanks for providing this blog, it adds massively to the whole experience of following Mayo.

    This is probably the best Mayo team we’ve ever had and a big thanks to the players and management since 2011 for all the enjoyment they’ve given us. They have added a dimension to our identity which we can be proud of.

    The first half performance against Dublin was brilliant. I’m sure JH planned for the 3rd quarter onslaught but with 5/6 of our top players either carrying an injury or recently returned from injury, plus the 1 week turnaround, it was always going to be an impossible task.

    Some of our forwards are not performing at the standard required to win at the highest level and some tough decisions have to be made. Two pacy midfielders are also required so that needs to be looked at too.

    In 2011 James Horan dragged us from despair into the real world of top class Gaelic football, capable of competing with the big boys, which is what we always yearned for. I have no reason to doubt that we’ll be there or thereabouts over the next few years.

  37. For me its the hope that defines us at this stage. I often wonder what the feeling of approaching the championship having won the all ireland will be like. Will it diminish the nervous excitement that makes following this team an absolute pleasure. I hope we get to find out in the not too distant future, but even if the wait continues its all worth it The spring discussions on who may be breaking through. That anticipation going to Castlebar or Salthill or wherever in May to see where we are. The rollercoater ride through the summer. Glorious victories, and devastating defeats, no matter what, this team is worth following through thick and thin, management upheavals and the birth of new teams. Do I wish more than anything the 2012-17 had resulted in an ireland – more than you could believe, but would I sacrifice the experience of being an Mayo fan this decade for a single moment of glory – absolutely not.

    I turned to my mate at half time and we agreed, no matter what happened in the second half this team has done the county proud and they didn’t need to deliver anything else to be regarded as Mayo legends. We both knew deep down that what transpired in the second half was possible with this Dublin team, so we savored that glorious first half. It made that second half no less devastating but we have gone toe to toe with what is probably the greatest team of all time over the decade and come through the other side with pride intact as true Mayo legends. Yes there are flaws in our team, but they are our team The dream goes on and the pursuit continues….

  38. Sorry but the lesson we have to learn is…to beat Dublin our players have to match them for pace stamina physical strength…and it’s obvious we are not at that level…the power and mobility of top teams is awesome..of course we could pretend it didn’t happen and go again next year and expect different results…..

  39. Re the possible retirements, you don’t have to be a genius to suggest who will probably go, and who might go, but let’s not go assuming, they now beat themselves. Either way, any of them are fully entitled to hang up their boots at this stage, they have given their all and can hold their heads high.

  40. Am I detecting here a collective ‘get rid of a lot of them’, if not the lot of them, bandwagon?

    Surely it’s a case of picking the best squad for next year – league and championship and performances will determine the pecking order? People are talking of Cody and Gavin and their (supposed) ruthlessness. They could/can pick and choose with such a conveyor belt of talent. We don’t have that kind of conveyor belt.

    I do believe we have a lot of talent to come through, but it won’t come through next year and blow other teams away. Take Mattie Ruane and Seamie O’Shea for example. At the end of the league, I would have had Mattie as our no 1 midfielder and wondered if Seamie would make the 26 let alone start. Mattie got injured of course, but even in that Roscommon game, I felt he still had some learning to do – naturally. Whereas Seamie came in fresh to the Super 8s and kept improving. In fact as the season evolved, the oldies were the ones who were more durable. And remember James had said, where there was an ‘equal’ choice he would select newbies. We all thought Brian Reape and some of last year’s U20s would shoot the lights out this year. Didn’t quite work out like that.

    Evaluating the season though, we did well, considering injuries to vital players at vital times. We need things to go right for us next year on that front.

  41. The ever changing line up of Mayo players. This following list is that of players who were on the 2012 All Ireland team/panal on match day and who no longer play for Mayo, with the exception of Ger Cafferty who is, as far as I know stiil on the training panal, but has not featured in championship football this year, here they are;
    Kevin Keane, Barry Moran, Alan Dillon, Enda Varley, Mickey Conroy, Jason Gibbons, Richie Feeny and Alan Freeman. These guys left the Mayo set up for various reasons, the point I want to illustrate is that there is change happening all the time and though there is a core of players who have been in the set up all along, there is a very good reason for this. They are the one’s who perform and excel in games year in year out. Not in all games, but different ones at different times. Change is on going all the time!

  42. @Sean Burke where do Revellino and myself get the authority to ‘object’ to a retirement? I think if you look back all we’re saying is that, while there are a few good fresh lads coming through, we need to encourage some of the older players, who have a role to play as regards experience and limited playing time, not to retire a year too early and then regret it ever after. I agree that, in my estimation, a max. of 4 players will retire this year. I’m absolutely fine with that. The point is that if 8 or 9 were to go, which is what certain posters are advocating here, we could well end up in the doldrums indefinitely, a la Leeds United. A clear out is good for your attic and a new broom sweeps the floor better than the old one, but using those sort of analogies in something as multi-faceted and dynamic as inter-county football is Horseshit. By the way, I no longer think you’re a troll, I’d describe you more as a contrarian, which is grand if only you could lighten up and see the glass half full.

  43. Some very strange ways of thinking re retirements .

    Sure you have to make way for youth at some stage whether that youth is as good as you at the time has nowt to do with it , he will grow into a better player all going well hence why you have a period of transition/rebuilding . This era is over , surely you realise that now , in hindsight it ended in newbridge .

  44. I wouldn’t advocate a clear out in fact I think there is a good 35 minutes left in Andy Keith and Boyler at the highest level if used sparingly in the Summer months
    And they could help mentor some of the
    Younger lads who better to learn from? Just as an aside could there now be a case to be made for Lee Keegan to be tried in the half forwards now that he’s 30? He has a penchant for scoring goals and points especially in big matches and he can’t be expected to keep the oppositions best player in his pocket forever

  45. @Catcol, your not far off there. Some posters seem to think that there’s 26 Dublinesque players living between Shrule and Belmullett waiting for Horan to give them the nod. With the type of change being asked for by some posters, we’d be on a 1 way ticket to Div 4 and dropping well out of the top table along the way. Horan started rebuilding this year, and we still make last 4, a bit of perspective needed by alot on here.

  46. Taking stock of the season and looking at the bigger picture, a few observations:

    – Our indecision on the goalie has surely had an unsettling effect on the team in recent games. I for one would not even have been considering a change and I just think it had an unsettling effect and caused inconsistencies in strategy game to game. One is left feeling that both goalkeepers are left in no man’s land now at the end of the season and we may now have to start totally fresh in this position (despite no outstanding candidate coming through)
    – Winning your province is critical in the current championship set-up – that’s obvious. Can’t expect to be competing against Dublin at Semi / Final stage having played twice as many games as them
    – Despite the team being a very high-achieving group for the last 9 or so years, we are still relying on same 3-4 players to deliver for us when it really counts. We expect Keegan and in the last few years, Durcan to mark the opposition danger men and also deliver on the score-board, it’s just not sustainable. Also means others are just not performing at the same level when it really counts. You don’t seem to hear other counties obsessed with the match-ups before games as we are – is there a reason for this?
    – Hate to admit it as I always think the media over-egg it, but we continue to not produce forwards at the elite level, it’s just fact. Out of our 1-8 from play, 1-5 came from midfield or defensive players (I’m including Durcan). To win all Irelands you really do need 2-3 really top elite forwards – normally you can see these coming through a mile off at underage. Kerry, Dublin have more coming through as we speak at current underage, so do Galway. Most counties in the top 10 seem to produce at least one every generation. There has to be a reason that we don’t produce these players and we need to resolve it once and for all asap. I have keenly watched our underage teams over the last 10 years and we still are not producing – yes there are very good forwards with potential to play at the highest level, however nothing exceptional. In addition, our underage teams, while always gamely and up for it, continue to appear very naive and poorly coached on the basics at times.
    – We all like to look ahead to next year and I hate talking long-term, but relating to the point above, we really need to put a proper 10 year plan together that produces the players required to almost guarantee all Ireland success. There is really no other way, in my opionin, that we can really hope to achieve All Ireland success unless we do so. There has to be the will within Mayo to do this, it’s getting the collective will to set-up and implement such a plan that is the real challenge.
    – Finally, not meant to be a gripe (but it is); the unfair advantages that Dublin have over other teams (constant home advantage, all Dublin based, criminally unfair funding advantage, etc.) surely giver them at least 5% advantage. That means you have to be 6+% better than them to have a chance of beating them. People are talking about Con O’Callaghan change in physique – he doesn’t have to ask to leave work early, jump in a car at 4pm and drive for 3+ hours, train for two hours, drive back across the country and be in for work early to make up for leaving early the previous evening.

  47. More change in Mayo set up; the following is a list of players who featured on Saturday last and were not in the match day team/panal in 2012, Chris Barrett, Brendan Harrison, Stephen Coen, Paddy Durcan, Fionn McDonagh, Mathew Ruane, Diarmid O’Conner, James Carr, Eoin O’Donoghue, Tom Parsons and Fergal Boland. Between the two lists, one from my previous post, there has been huge change in the years 2012 to 2019, the era in focus is not one where players named on match day team/panel has stayed the same. Far from it, indeed change has been the hall mark of several management structures during this time. The suggestion that we need a new player for this or that position is treating intercounty GAA football as if it was cross channel soccer. It is a different situation altogether and one the requires a different approach. There are no buy ins coming for Mayo GAA senior team. Guys who make the panal/team are all well flagged and known to the management and the wider GAA community from way back to under age level on inter county teams. The only exception to this is someone like Fionn McDonagh who blossomed at club level, but didn’t feature much at under age.
    The Mayo GAA intercounty team/panel is evolving and there wiil be natural change next year and ongoing in the years after that. No player is going to lose their place until such time as someone out performs them in training. James Horan has gone on record last year saying that youth will get the benefit of the doubt. He kept his word, Mathew Rouane, Fionn McDonagh, James Carr and Darren Coen( not so young), all got plenty of championship starts, that was change in action. This year after Saturday, he said there would be changes to the panel, panel mind, not team. I take this to mean that competition will be ratcheted up a notch or two by the introduction of new talent into the training panal and the end result will be a stronger, fitter and a more deadly match day 26. I’m looking forward to Mayo 2020, FBD, National League and Championship. There are better days to come, the future is bright!

  48. Sean Burke Lee had a rough 2nd half by his high standards but name one defender in the country that would have done better or has done in the last 5 years? Keegan is the best Mayo footballer I have ever seen and I’m going to matches since 1984 and that sort of degrading language has no place on this blog

  49. If the era ended in Newbridge I am not sure what this year was about If it was the beginning of a new era then winning a league title getting to an AI Semi and putting it up to Dublin for 35 Minutes in our seventh match in eight weeks is some way to start a new era Tomthumb did it ever occur to you that Dublin are so good that it just may have been beyond our capabilities to defeat them So we will learn our lesson and get rid of a chunk of those guys who couldn’t beat Dublin and replace them with..:;-€@: With whom or what When there is a better corner back than Barrett bring him on When we find a better half back than Boyler bring him on When we find a more intelligent full forward than Andy bring him on When we can find a goalie who can kick better than Cluxton bring him on I’d be delighted to see all our new wonderful players who could put the dubs in their place Just can’t figure out what Horan was at this year keeping all those old lads on the team when we have such good lads coming through

  50. @denisnealis. Exactly, and I’m glad you got there before me because I was compiling the same list! Every team is in transition all the time. People are fixated about the age of 30 here, but we know that, with modern training and recovery techniques, top athletes can play well into their 30s. I’d cite Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Williams from tennis alone, but there are numerous examples in every sport these days. Most of the hardest-assed fighters in the UFC are 30-plus and I’m not going to argue with any of them. So we need to get away from this 30-plus shite as an indicator of when a player is finished. Look at Boyler this year – not even Sean Burke will deny that he had his best season in a Mayo jersey, maybe ever, and I see him mentioned here, very disrespectfully, as a man who might retire. I’m afraid we have a few armchair experts on here today who don’t know what the hell they’re on about. And yet again I have to revise my opinion of Sean Burke. He’s got to be a troll, because no proper Mayo supporter would denigrate LK in those sort of disgraceful terms.

  51. A lot of people do not seem to grasp the idea of player turn over, there seems to be a an either or mentality developing (similar to the never ending keeper debate). There won’t be whole sale changes for the sake of it next year, nor will it be the 3-4 retirements and let’s go again as sum suggests. As always the answer is somewhere in the middle. People need to stop focusing on the starting team and high profile players and think of the panel as a whole. Out of the panel of 32 (plus some development players) there will be a small number of retirements (I think everyone can accept that) however there will also be a number of fringe players losing out. If we want to see players like Akram, Hanely, Cunniffe, Reape, Diskin, R ODonaghue progress then some fringe players will be cut. Also there are the likes of Tommy Conroy, Shugnessy, (claremorris) Conor OShea (playing well with club and maybe still had something to offer), Horan (Kilmovee), Omalley (westport), Jordan(Crossmolina) is Gary Boylan going to give football a go next year, I think there is a high chance he will.
    It’s not just next year that James has to think about, the players have to be in place to progress over the next 2-3 years, that means being in the panel. Overall I can see a lot more than 3 or 4 changes in the panel for next year, it’s what has to happen for the team as a whole to evolve and progress.

  52. Tommy – Mullin is a half back only. I dont think he can play in the full back line.

  53. Sean Burke – I’ve warned you repeatedly in recent days where your intemperate contributions here were leading you and I’ve given you more than enough rope in this respect. I’ve just now deleted three comments you posted there in quick succession, where you trash-talk a player and refer to other contributors here in a derogatory manner. You clearly didn’t listen when I warned you where you were headed so listen to this – you’ve now talked yourself into moderation and there you’ll stay until I’m happy that you can be trusted to comment in a responsible, controlled manner.

  54. @Sean Burke, I give you that it was managnent fault to put Keegan in the full back line…As happened to the cost of a Penalty conceded the previous week V Donegal… But the other Individual’s who could possibly Mark Con O Callaghan were Kieth Higgins and Eoin O Donoghue, can’t possibly be confident that either would have done any better… But Keegan is still Definitely the best player ever to play for Mayo, and the class of the man to go up the field and score a brilliant Goal,.. We weren’t going to get everything right on the day, …On watching the game again, the biggest mistake was probably our choice of Goalkeeper, (If Clarke wasn’t injured). .. Robbie diced with death in the first half, twice running out the field 50 meters, once leading to a turnover that could easily have led to a goal, it certainly let to an attempt at a Goal, lucky just to concede a point, ..His next restart was straight to Paul Mannion not 20 meters out the field, without Dublin putting up a full court press, and could also have led to a goal, but Mannion opted for high over the bar, his first save was a very poor kick by O Callaghan and should have been easily held, the ball went loose and the Mayo defence came to his rescue with AOS tidying up…. Robbie did produce some very good restarts but a number of very poor one’s as well straight to unmarked Dublin player’s…In the first 12 minutes of the second half, he did go long with a very good tragectory to both AOS and SOS, our Midfield needed to do allot better than they were doing in winning primary possession during this period and at least make it a battle for possession… The criticism of David Clarke restarts is that they tend to hang Up in the Air, making it a 50/50 as for who win’s possession…50/50 was allot better than we were doing in the third quarter, and the same happened versus Donegal in the third quarter as well…A big part of our problem was the almost complete absence of high fielding by our Midfielder’s, a very similar problem for David Clarke as it was for Robbie Hennelly and that part of the problem definitely wasn’t of either Goalkeeper making…So at the end of our involvement in the Championship, David Clarke is still without question the best shot stopper and commanding in the Air in Ireland… It was a mistake to leave him on the bench, … I always feel the Great Save from your Goalkeeper lifts your team as much as an important Score itself, and the concession of a Goal hurt’s more than the 3 point’s on the scoreboard!

  55. Yeah Norris JH should have gone in Centre back himself in the second half against that mediocre Dublin forwards No doubt the players deserve all the credit for the first half tactics and Horan all the blame for what happened in the second half

  56. Norris – that’s just out and out trash-talking. If you’re going to criticise someone you’ll have to do a whole load better and in a more measured fashion than you’ve done there. Something to mull over while you’re kicking your heels in moderation.

    All – there’s loads of room in moderation and more will be heading there by the looks of it. I’d appeal to everyone to ensure that whatever they have to say is couched in fair and reasonable terms. Sadly, more and more are popping up thinking it’s okay to have a cut. It’s not and I’ll deal with all those who think it is.

  57. Retirements? For me it’s not about getting rid of lads or forcing retirements. A ‘clearing the decks’ attitude is totally inappropriate. And it’s not about whether we have better replacements or not. It’s about how many of our heroes will have the appetite for another year of hard training, punishing schedules, sacrifices of social and family life not to mention work commitments. Being an inter-county player at the highest level is very demanding and a lot of our lads are getting to a stage in life where work, family and other priorities begin to emerge in a big way. It’s just the way life is. Someone pointed out that our team were actually younger than the Dubs on Saturday. I was surprised by that to be honest. But when you think about it it’s a bit easier to keep going as a Dublin player when you don’t have to spend all day and night travelling to training and when you have the oxygen of great success to fuel you along not to mention valuable sponsorship and endorsement deals.
    As someone suggested, in an earlier post, conversations about 2020 might have already taken place with James Horan as early as last winter and if not then that will happen when the lads have had time to lick the wounds. And have no doubt about it there were serious wounds inflicted during that second half on Saturday.
    They say that it’s the hope that kills us but it’s the lack of hope that buries us. When these lads look in the mirror can they any longer see themselves as All Ireland winners? Perhaps not.

  58. any lads who retires will go with our thanks ringing in his ears
    any lad who stays will fight for his place on the team like all the others ,
    whats the problem ? clear out me hole 🙂

  59. The bashing of Lee Keegan here by one poster is way OTT in my opinion. He didn’t have a great game on Saturday, being taken for two goals by Con O’Callaghan, who can do that to any team in either gaelic code if he fancies it. But Keegan is a warrior and showed his courage by barrelling through the Dubs’ defence and lofting the ball over Cluxton. He doesn’t give up and neither does anyone else on the Mayo side.

    As others have said, winning Connacht is a priority next term. There is no way that we should be facing into a fifth season without Nestor given the players we still have in our ranks. Forget Sam, we’re a million miles off the Dubs (as is everyone else) at the mo.

    On the goalie, we saw on Saturday that the common notion that Hennelly’s kickouts are better is a myth. If he returns next season, put the greatest ever Mayo keeper back in nets and keep him there.

    Finally, I think we have to review what is happening at underage level in the county. It was great to finally win a Connacht title at minor level this year, but our record against the neighbours has been very poor over the past decade or so (a couple of All-Ireland wins excepted) and even more worryingly, we haven’t been producing many players for the senior side. The Dubs don’t give a fig about the results in the underage grades if they are producing the likes of O’Callaghan, Scully, Archer etc. and there’s some merit in that.

    Finally, while its easy to be very despondent following last Saturday’s reversal, we should recognize that we are in transition now and winning an NFL and getting through the qualifiers/Super 8s isn’t a bad season, given the huge amount of injuries and fixture congestion we suffered. Let’s dial down the “Mayo for Sam” craziness and acknowledge where we are at present.

  60. Some notes on my last two posts. First; to acknowledge the lists of players came from the archive on the blog here, a big thank you to Willie Joe for all the time and effort he must have put in to compile such a comprehensive record of Mayo football right back to the start of intercounty games all those years ago. Simply wonderful.
    Also, in the second list I left out Andy Moran ( I know, unforgivable), in my defence, there has been so much movement of players over the years, coming and going, it’s hard to keep up. Andy was of course injured in 2012, he got the dreaded cruciate course in the qtr final that year against Down. That day he scored a point and pop passed to Jason Doherty to put him in on goal, that score sent us on our merry way that day. Andy was back in action in 2013, his comeback off the bench was in Pearse Stadium in the Championship against a Galway team we pulverized, he announced himself by scoring a goal when he swivelled round and blasted to the net. It was a great feeling for me, a Mayo man living in Galway!
    While I was in the archive’s I looked at a few FBD and National League team sheets from those years ’12 through to ’19, what I came away with was the massive number of players who were given a run out and tryed in those early months of the year, at a conservative estimate of say 30 per year that amounts to 240 over the whole period. This is staggering and when you consider all the guys that get called up to the early training sessions who never get an outing, then the numbers are simply enormous. The net is surely thrown very wide and this is a healthy practice, which leaves Horan & Co in an ideal position to pick the best possible selection of players to represent the county at senior level.

  61. To answer the question in the post, I would have preferred to have won in 2012 and then disappeared. But it’s one of those “better to have loved and lost…” imponderables.

  62. It seems to me that there are two types of Mayo supporter emerging: there’s the type, many of whom were on here since Saturday, who see winning Sam as the only game in town, and who react accordingly when we fall short, looking for wholesale changes to the team and Christ knows what else. I’d describe that as the NFL approach. Winning the Super Bowl is the raison d’etre for all 32 teams in that championship, and it has given rise to all these gung-ho characters like Belichick and Carroll who would throw their granny in the fire if it meant a win in the playoffs. I believe that supporting Mayo means far more than just winning the Big One. So I’d place myself in the 2nd category of supporter – those of us who consider it to be a privilege to follow and support this team. I think they played 18 matches this season. I was at 14 of them and I watched 12 victories. Now that’s a pretty good return in any language. 12 real feel-good days to enjoy and savour. I believe that that’s the essence of supporting this team – enjoy the journey, celebrate the wins, and when the Big One comes, go mad for a few weeks but be back at the first FBD game the following January. A lot of the posters I’ve seen here of late don’t seem to get that concept.

  63. Just looking at GAAGO team of the week
    2 Mayo men, Chris Barrett and Colm Boyle
    get on deservedly. How Paddy Durcan did
    not get on is beyond me, we’re the watching
    a different game??

  64. A great article by Edwin McGreal in today’s Mayo News about the crap that was written on Sunday Independent. I’m sick to the teeth of ones here calling for retirements…for the love of God the match was only 3 days ago.

  65. Sinabhuil, Mullin is a corner back as far as I know, was deployed there for the u20’s (I think Tommy copied that team from a post i put up yesterday)… He’s a damn good player, real confident on the ball when breaking out from defence. Big future ahead of him.

  66. Fearbolg you’re spot on. So many good days this year not least league final v Kerry and the Galway and Donegal games in the championship. And countless days through the last few years from Machale Park to Croke Park. A catalogue of fantastic days where the Green and Red made us proud. And yes last Saturday also. And we will go again. As for the feeble attempts here recently to undermine this support, I think your remarks in July were pretty close to the mark in relation to that poster at least.

  67. @Mayodunphy Oisin Mullen is a top class footballer who can play in just about any position on the field. I have watched him at club underage, where he played out around the middle of the field, and he stood out as a player with exceptional ability. But again,as we all know, it takes a while to make a battle-hardened senior player who can contribute significantly in big games.

  68. Was not trying to put Mullen down. He is a class footballer with an excellent attitude. He was alright as a full back in the Connacht final but he really shone when he was moved to half back. He prefers half back. I also watched him at underage club level and he was very dominant but I still think half back is where he should be considered for.

  69. I remember a few years back a full back playing for Mayo minors, Donovan Cosgrove from Kiltimagh.He looked a natural full back. Where is he now? Is he with any Mayo team and if playing club how good is he?

  70. Thank u Willie Joe for keeping this blog free of the awful language you see on other blogs…..I’m disappointed at some of the posts on here. I have followed my beloved team right through championship and qualifiers and ending up in Croker on Sath eve……thank you to our Team on a great first half ……7 matches in 8 weeks too much gota win Connaught nx year….I will be back to support the boys in Green n Red again nx year……

  71. I hear ya @Bohola. What amazes me is the propensity some people have to create a narrative that supports whatever doctrine they’ve decided to believe in and not let anythng as insignificant as facts get in the way. This time last year we were told that the game was up, there’d be mass retirements, the rebuilding process would take 3 – 5 years, and we might as well suck it up. In the intervening year we won the League, got to a semi against all the odds, found some fine new players who slotted in straight away, and I declare to God we still have men on here today saying it all ended in Newbridge. Now if someone can show me the logic in a remark like that I sure would appreciate it.

  72. Best 3 performing Mayo Under 20 and 21 Forwards in the last 5 years

    2019 Under 20s
    Tommy Conroy The Neale
    Paul Towey Charlestown
    Aidan Orme Knockmore

    2018 Under 20s
    Conor Diskin Claremorris
    Ryan O’Donoghue Belmullet
    Colm Moran Westport

    2017 Under 21s
    Brian Reape Moy Davitts
    James Carr Ardagh
    Jack Reilly Charlestown

    2016 Under 21s
    Liam Irwin Breaffy
    Conor Loftus Crossmolina
    Fergal Boland Aghamore

    2015 Under 21s
    Adam Gallagher Mayo Gaels
    Darren McHale Knockmore
    James Durcan Castlebar

  73. May I just commend Billy Joe Padden’s piece this week in the Mayo News.
    In my view, this his is top quality journalism or commentary – showing emotional as well as football intelligence- there’s a kindness in it, and also fairness and balance, something that is in very short supply in the GAA journalism I’ve read this year and last year (with honourable exceptions). I’ve read Billy Joe’s football pieces with interest these last few years but on the podcast this year and In that article above he has added something else – urging us to enjoy the journey.
    Coming from a man who has had a footballing life himself, I’ve really appreciated that – we fans are new in some way in this odyssey, not knowing how to handle the twists and turns. Billy Joe, having been a player who has seen an arc before, maybe has helped us. At least this is my tuppence ha’penny worth. Thank you Billy Joe for your article.

  74. [Deleted].

    Overall I think Mayo had a good season, but at the end of the day our credentials as an All Ireland contender is based on our performances against the other contenders and in that area we are well behind having been beaten badly by Kerry and Dublin. You believe the present panel of players are capable of doing better next year, that’s your opinion and if that comes to pass then I’d be delighted. In my opinion 8 don’t see how the same panel can now go on and beat the current Dublin and Kerry teams (who will improve next season). I’m not calling for whole sale changes but there needs to be changes in the panel as a whole to build a team capable of competing and this won’t happen next year, it’s a 2 or even 3 year project. But hey, that’s just my opinion

  75. @Dennis Nealis. After the Donegal game in Castlebar I took a look back at the panel of 26 for the 2012 AI final. I was curious to see who was still there and who was gone.. As you mentioned above I noted the number of players no longer involved. It is obvious we are evolving all the time but hey no isn’t it much easier to trot out the line that it is the same team since 2011. I do realise there is a core group of very good players there and we are going to lose some seriously good footballers over the next year or two but it is not like we are going to need a new starting fifteen overnight!!

  76. Mayomad..How you’re reading that from Fearbolg’s comments I’ll never know..I’ll let him clear it up himself..

  77. Mayomad – I’ve deleted that idiotic rhetorical question at the start of your comment. You’re commenting here long enough to know what the story is here about expressing opinions.

  78. @Mayomad, it’s not for me to say who’s entitled to an opinion on here. You’ve just posted and won’t be moderated I’m sure, so presumably you’re entitled to say whatever is on your mind, however aggressively. I notice within 6 lines you were talking about our potential as AI contenders, which would apparently put you in the cohort of supporters who believe Sam is of the utmost importance, which I fully respect, but my God, will you read what I’ve been saying all day, I have no problem with changes to personnel or approach as long as we don’t drop away in terms of competitiveness. There are any amount of Sleeping Giants in leagues all over the world who were expected to revive but didn’t. We mustn’t fall off the pace, thus my advocacy of a blend of youth and experience, not a cull. As regards the doom that was predicted after Newbridge, it hasn’t come to pass, doesn’t look as if it will, and if I’m not entitled to highlight the fallacy of those predictions of just over a year ago then there’s something far wrong. As regards focussing on Sam, which would appear to be the thrust of your post, I too want to see him coming West and I suspect I might have less time than you to do so, but I really think we should make time to smell the roses in the FBD and league, because football is like Ife, the journey is more important than the destination.

  79. Mayomad. I totally agree with you. We need an injection of new blood. We need to be ruthless, against Kerry and Dublin we were showing signs that time has caught up with some players and its all not age. We can spend all the time we like talking about past games and IF we did this or that, or why JH didn’t feature Darren Coen/Kevin McLaughlin its now history. What bugs me is nearly all our injuries this year was on the training pitch. If it was that physical we didn’t see much of that in games. We need to have a long hard look at players who are not 100% fit to play, but are put on team. I wont go into anymore details. I hope who ever comes into the panel will be respected and treated as a human being. ” Give respect, Get respect”

  80. I would say we were in transition after Horan left long before Kildare
    Despite the big performance in AIF we were never competitive under SR
    JH will try to build a team around youth and I believe he is still the man to do it after how he build this team, signs are he is on his way to doing it again and I think we will see benefits next year
    Still think he needs to bring someone in that can improve our defense, I think it’s an area we have been exposed this year even by lesser teams such as Rosscomon

  81. Two fantastic contributions Fearbolg, thank you, you articulated so well my view also.

  82. The problem with the Roscommon game was we had no sweeper or any real defensive plan. Cox had an ocean of space to run into and got out infront of Harry every time. The wet conditions ment harry was twisted inside out and Cox had almost no pressure on his shots. It won the game for them (along with Cillians absence).

    I really think James took Roscommon for granted, and was trying to keep an ace up his sleeve for Galway. It back fired badly, but I feel he won’t get caught out against them again.

  83. Fearbolg – would you care to reassess that claim you’ve made about Mayomad’s commenting entitlements in light of my response to what was posted?

    All this petty bitching and back-biting is really starting to get on my wick at this stage, I have to confess.

  84. Was Keegean not very isolated as well, there is always a risk of slipping but you have to use the sweeper right, I know its not that simple when you are covering so much ground and I guess we were tiered after first half performance but I think it an area we could learn to be better. Kickouts is also an area of are game that will have to be looked at as well but we are still a top four team. I believe if we had played Tyrone we be in an all Ireland now but to be beaten in another Final would have been a disaster for a team and Manager that’s building

  85. True Grit I presume you were at the Donegal game Look at the stats. . The level of physicality and intensity was phenomenal. Come to think of it we were no shrinking violets v Dublin in the first half as evidenced from the amazing amount of Turn overs and tackles. Playing 7 games in 8 weeks most certainly took its toll as regards second half(not using it as excuse) but for someone to question our physicality and intensity well I am gobsmacked.

  86. Going back to the match and especially the first half, I still cant believe we didnt fire at least one or two balls in to the square in top of Cooper and Cillian. I didn’t watch the match back and never will but I clearly recall Cillian one-on-one with cooper, isolated. I’d more than fancy Cillian to have at least a 50-50 chance of winning that ball, and if he does its 80:20 goal. Now, a couple of things might be at play. Either the players out field simply hadn’t the vision to spot him, or they were given a directive not to punt balls in without some type of planned move or obvious opening, or, worst of all, the outfield players didnt trust him to win it in there.

    I suspect our history against Dublin played a part here, especially Aido not getting any return from FF. However, O’Sullivan wasn’t on the pitch then, neither was O’Carroll, or Philly and Cooper was returning from injury. Those players, combined, circa 2015, 16, 17 were absolute pigs to play against and contest ball against. The way we were playing Saturday it was ideal to launch ball in, especially in the absence of that defence unit. Instead, we were ponderous and short of movement up front, with Carr and the half forwards living off scraps. Aido could even have went in for 10mins, although granted he was a key cog in our dominance outfield so this may or may not have worked. Diarmuid could also have been an option. Also, by putting ball in the square Dublin would be thinking twice about their high press.
    Just because it didn’t work in the past against Dublin didn’t mean it wouldn’t work now and I’m convinced we missed a trick. Kerry will cop this and mark my words they’ll make hay. They mightnt win but they’ll cause mayhem and stay right in that final till the end. They’ll scare Dublin. Cue Tommy Walsh. Hes looking a bit slow but showed glimpses the last day that the footballing brain is still there and for sure he’ll be a threat.
    Remember, Geaney ain’t too shabby in the square either and I think Clifford has been known to catch a ball or two also.

    I dont want to sound like I’m giving out but it frustrates me that we didn’t try to exploit this in Dublin, but I fully accept hindsight is easy. If a forward, any forward worth his salt at intercounty level, is one-on-one isolated with a full back, ball should be going in, at least a few times. Isolated is the key word. Its different if the backs have the area crowded out.

  87. I thought Fitzmaurice advice for JH about if he had a plan hold it to second half as that’s when they bury you after half time talk, he was spot on and we had no plan
    It would have been nice if we could have fustrated them for a bit longer to see if they would crack
    O think Kerry will take great heart from are first half display and hopefully can spring a surprise
    Drive for five not done yet

  88. Lee Keegan is not a full back or corner back what part of that do people not understand.

    Colm Boyle is one of the best half back of the last 10 years but do people remember how poor he was in cornerback on PJ in 08. Because CB is not a cornerback or full back.

    Half back line and full back line are completely different roles and skill set.

    For me Keegan and Durcan should be named as half forwards going forward helping out the defence when we’re defending and attacking when we have the ball.

    I think Horan needs to bring in a defensive coach preferably someone who’s played in the full back line whether it’s someone inside or outside the county also need to put some serious effort into the goalkeeping coaching and look at what potential players could play in goal possibly even outfield free takers within the county. Some savage effort needs to be brought into goalkeeper and FB line side of things. we need to become really hard to break down at the back that would give us the foundation to challenge in a serious way

  89. Mayomaningalway – what a stupid, offensive comment that was. Who refs the All-Ireland final is not our issue but if you want to raise it here then please engage your brain first and make some effort to discuss it in an intelligent manner. You’ll be doing that, I’m afraid, from moderation.

    All – the ongoing downward direction in the quality and tone of comments, in particular from those commenting here for years, is now becoming a matter of increasing concern for me. It seems there’s a widespread belief now that people can abuse the comment facility here at will. Moderation corner is filling up …

  90. Willie Joe I’d draw the line at calling it bitching, at least from where I’m sitting. I played with a straight bat all day and had to negotiate some fairly heavy duty comments, which I accept you moderated immediatey, but I actually thought I was being a model of patience and forbearance. Disappointed that it gets filed under Bitching and Back-biting.

  91. Look at it from my perspective, Fearbolg – I only have to turn my head and I have to deal with another out of line comment (and have just done so again with someone else). In your case, you hit back – with a sly dig at how this place is moderated, making a back-handed allegation against me that the other contributor was somehow immune from the rules – before taking the time to look at how I’d dealt with the offending comment. So, yes, bitching and back-biting is where it gets filed, along with plenty more of the same that I’m finding myself having to deal with on pretty much a constant basis right now.

  92. Up for the match
    it’s an interesting point. Maybe you say at half time we’re going to park the bus for 15 minutes maybe play 2 up front and kick long.
    then go at them again for the last 20. you probably do need to do something unorthodox to disrupt them if you get in ahead at HT

  93. Yea centrefeild, that what I was thinking, if we just totally frustrated them by parking the bus and maybe got a few turn overs and a couple of points we might have made life hard and they wouldn’t have expected it, but they may have just picked us off from further out, but the condition were difficult for long range kicking. A sudden change of tatics always takes a while to adjust and they seem to do all there’s at half time

  94. It’s understandable that we are a bit down after Mayo’s loss to the Dubs on Saturday evening, but let’s face it, try and compare both teams paths to the semi final, the Dubs demolished every team they played, had a 32 point win v Louth, 16, 17, 18 points to spare over Meath, Kildare, Ros and Cork. Mayo were beaten by Ros, well beaten by Kerry, hung on despite good games v Galway and Donegal, Donegal had 6 bad wides late on in McHale Park and had very close victories over Down and Armagh.
    Kerry well have learned alot from the way the Dubs set up against Mayo in both the first and second halves.
    I will watch the second half again, just for one purpose, to see did Mayo vary their kickouts or were they all long, did the same thing not happen down in Killarney v Kerry, the Dubs obviously spotted this as Mayo’s weakness.
    One other noticeable thing from that second half, the Dubs attacked more on the left side facing into the Davin end, they did the same in the 2017 final, they obviously looked at this as the weaker side in the Mayo defence.
    To beat the Dubs one needs to be thinking of all situations.
    I would love to know what happens at halftime in those big games ( what drills are done).
    Gaa looking for 90 euros for stand tickets for the Hurling final, totally milking the supporters, amit is an amateur game, isn’t it?.
    If we supporters didn’t go to the games maybe things may change.
    As we hibernate into the long Winter, the league will start in 2020, new guys will get games, rebuilding must begin, we must be patient the / keep the faith.
    2019 should be seen as a success, in a better place than this time last year, but we need a fresh approach going into next year and maybe can seriously challenge in 2021.

  95. No WJ, you’re completely wrong on this one, I’d posted the comment before you acted. You really need to check this out. There was absolutely no attempt on my part to in any way try to undermine or criticise the way you do your job, and to portray it as a ‘sly dig’ is completely out of order. I genuinely didn’t think the first 3 lines of his post we’re bad enough to merit a reaction from you and when I posted I assumed the comment would remain intact. I’m appalled that you’ve interpreted it in this way, because it’s not what was intended and I would urge you to check the timing on this if possible because this charge you’ve made against me is totally out of order.

  96. Rob was told to go long in the first half after a couple of doddgy ones, I saw the runner coming to him, he didn’t go short much if at all in the second half, he nervous and I cant blame him.
    Did you see the final kick out from the Kerry keeper, 3 points up, id ive gone long but he had the confidance or stupidity , not sure which to go short to the oncoming runner, the Kerry keeper has decent kickouts

  97. We must analysis this game to death, we did alot right in the 1st half. We should have been more up at half time with that wind. We must also learn the game management the dubs had, when they went ahead, they held onto the ball for a period hand passing laterally across the pitch and behind, and strangled our momentum. I wonder will the county board take action against croke park for playing entrance music for only the dubs to ryle up the dubs supporters? I know people will say this is petty to mention this, but its these little inches that make up the yards, Croke Park is meant to be neutral, and if it isn’t then this should be brought up. Roll on next year. Maigh Eo Abu.

  98. Fearbolg – I am not. I posted my response to Mayomad at 7.19 and yours came at 7.26 so you hadn’t posted it before I’d acted on it. Furthermore, here’s exactly what you said in your response: “You’ve just posted and won’t be moderated I’m sure, so presumably you’re entitled to say whatever is on your mind, however aggressively.” That, in my book, IS a sly dig at how this place is moderated and no amount of protesting on your part will persuade me otherwise.

  99. Feck me lads I’d say WJ was hoping to wind things down a bit following our exit. The need for instant fault lines and solutions is beyond ridiculous.

    Can we not just park our musings for a while and let things settle a bit?

  100. WJ, I always enjoy this blog, but it seems the most active posters on this site lose the run of themselves after we lose and the truth is whether it was fatigue or tactics once again we just weren’t good enough. You must have the patients of a saint, I think id just wind it up for a while after we lose as it just always seems to get out of hand.

  101. @mayomad until we beat Donegal, they were been touted as an AI contender.

    You mention kerry beat us badly but we did beat them twice this year, and don’t tell me they were not trying to win a national league final.

    We were without several key players for the Killarney game, we did lose by 10 but we rattled the crossbar and only got a point from a penalty so while we did get well bet it wasn’t as bad as the 10 point difference on the scoreboard. I think mattie and Diarmuid and Paddy were missing that day and Aidan was carrying an injury as well. With all fit it would have been a different outcome.

    I wouldn’t be naming any individual for our Roscommon loss which someone did in their post. We kicked 17 wides I think that day so name checking a defender and saying it was their fault is a bit unfair. We could and should have won that game by 5 or 6 points at least.

    I think we will improve again for the coming year and we have a great chance of winning Connacht and avoiding the qualifiers even with the final as an away game. All in all I think we had a great year especially given the high profile injuries we suffered.

    I wonder if Dublin suffered injuries to the likes of Fenton Mcarthy and o’callaghan and have a few more playing half injured, how nailed on would they be to lift Sam ?

  102. WJ, OK, they say in the BBC costume dramas, ‘this is insupportable’. If there’s one thing I think I’ve shown in my time on this blog it’s that I’m articulate enough and have enough vocabulary not to need to resort to laying a ‘sly dig’ on anybody. I really think you’ve maligned me here in a major way, because, genuinely, as I said above, taking a cut at you was the last thing on my mind when I posted that comment. In fact I wasn’t even thinking about you because I didn’t think it was anywhere near the moderation threshold. I also contest the timeframe you’ve laid out, because I know for a fact that my comment appeared before you partially moderated his, to the extent that I was annoyed because my reply would make less sense. But I’ve got my standards, same as you. I’m not a man for taking the ball and going home, but that’s what I’m doing this time. Your interpretation of this from start to finish is incorrect and for that reason I’m taking my leave. Beir bua, Maigh Eo Abu.

  103. I agree, we should have one the Rosscommon game and we ill improve, ive said this before but this was a good year with real progress and considering the injuries and game time. I believe from a team building purpose it is better to lose the semi to the best team in the country that to lose another final in JH first year back
    Roll on next year

  104. – Here here Rock, well said. Wj has the patience of a saint. I am sure he is sometimes tempted to shut this whole place down.
    – Very interesting that RTE are reporting to night what has been an open secret that Jack O Connor has been nominated for the Kildare job. – He has two sons playing club in Kildare which may explain the reason he is putting his name forward
    – Or is he seeing a chance of winning Leinster in the next two years….????
    – This and other outside changes like who manages Galway next year will have a big say in our progress. Pull together instead of tearing virtual strips of each other

  105. I think that might be for the best, Fearbolg because you now appear to be calling me a liar into the bargain. I simply quoted the timelines exactly as they appear here in front of me but they obviously don’t fit into your narrative. I can also read English too and I know what I read when you referenced how this place is moderated. If you’re as articulate as you claim to be then you’ll have known – or bloody well should have known – exactly the import of what you were saying. So, yes, maybe it is as well to take your ball and leave. I’ve enough troublesome contributors to watch as it is.

  106. Surprised by all the Mayo supporters that travelled to Dublin last Saturday and didn’t bother going in to support our minors or didn’t go in until the second half.

  107. @Revellino, Dublin rarely run into traffic and even less into heavy hits… They dish out a few but only when they deem it absolutely nessary.. I (IMAGINE) in training, that it’s a mirror of what they want to happen on the field of play… Mayo aren’t nearly as efficient, 4 particular game’s in this year’s Championship were really physically tough, Roscommon, Armagh, Galway and Donegal….On Dublin’s enivatable Drive for Five, just the game’s V Mayo were that physical, not last Saturday but, 2017, 16, draw and replay, semifinal 15 draw and replay.. Ulster is very physically tough, but team’s playing Mayo very often bring ‘Timber’ with them, because they believe that they need, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and sometimes it gets the other team close. Another reason it happens is that our disipline has let us down in some of these physical battle’s, and other counties have sought to prosper from a lack of Self Disipline…In the game of the year, Donegal V Kerry, it was tough, fast, skillful, exciting, high scoring but it wasn’t nearly as hard as over half the Match’s Mayo played…We certainly have something to learn from the way Dublin approach the game, and it’s little wonder that they suffer far less from Injurys than us!

  108. “Liberal role in the tie says:
    August 13, 2019 at 8:13 pm”

    Above comment captures 100% my 1 and only disappointment with our approach last Sat. And it’s not in hindsight – myself and few others around me (Davin upper) were shouting for this throughout 1st half.

    Just think we were so programmed/focussed on nullifying Dublin and retaining possession that there was reluctance or direction not to play the longer ball in to the 1-1 inside forward.

    And particularly given that Cillian and Diarmuid are so good in the air/challenging in front of goal and Carr was winning everything we hit into him (although always running towards the corner).

    When you’re playing well against a really strong team you unfortunately have to try and capitalize on opportunities whenever they present themselves, that can’t be left for later in the game.

  109. Good point Leantimes. Most of the Dub games are non contact affairs. Most of ours we have to battle through them.

    I cannot see how kerry have any chance of putting it up to Dublin physically. I’m imagining Moran getting man handled around the middle of the pitch by Mcauley and Mcarthy.

  110. Moran looked brilliant for Kerry on Sunday, Revellino (in my humble opinion). He was big, fast, strong and deceptively mobile, covering lots of ground and no one laid a finger on him (maybe Tyrone too busy going into defensive positions in first half)

    With Tommy Walsh he opened up space up front in the second half that allowed the ball to then be slipped to shooters like Geaney or Clifford. I see your point – maybe he’ll get bottled up but he’s a definite strength for Kerry.

    I worry about incisions or onslaughts the Dubs will make on the Kerry defence. I’ve been thinking that we might do well to hold off on judgements about Mayo’s performance or result as that may take a different hue after the next game.

  111. Talk about getting to Dublin or Kerry’s level is a bit futile when even a Connacht title is beginning to look beyond us over the next 2-3 years…..this will especially be the case if we end up losing a handful of senior players for next season. Yes we will likely see a further infusion of new talent next year and that is to be welcomed, but it will also come with a level of inexperience and conditioning that will likely see us struggle to get back to winning Connacht championships over the next couple of years at the very least as Galway & Roscommon’s overall age profile hits optimum.

  112. Agree with Revellino, can’t compare being beaten in a super 8 game by Kerry, and the semi final with Dub.
    After the all ireland final we will remain as the only team to be competitive with the dubs.
    Would be good idea for everyone to rest up with the team now, and continue on the journey in Jan 2020 with good health.
    It’s the way with sport.
    I for one hope and pray our experienced players remain, and guide the younger ones to next level.
    To read Billie Joe Padden in Mayo news, I agree we must enjoy this journey ‘together’.
    Take care all. Tks for everything WJ in 2019 to date. It’s been a joy even with all the ups and downs. I’ll treasure Gaelic Park, Limerick, forever!!!! Best day ever after National league final day.
    Those days are the days to carry us forward and to remember with honour for 2019.

  113. So we beat Galway this year…granted we lose to Roscommon be in a game we should have won…but a connacht title is beyond us for 2 to 3 years…I highly fucking doubt it. And to be perfectly honest as far as that goes there is fuck all between ourselves and Kerry either. I wouldn’t be judging it solelyon the game in Killarney.

  114. best fans in Ireland
    As a Dub can i say you should be proud of yourselves the ovation you gave your team at half time staying to end of the match,traveling the length of the country from killarney to Derry the warm welcome to us Dubs in Castlebar
    as regards the team of great players like moran,keegan etc the main factor is that never able to get 6 reliable forwards to get to the promised land The likes of Boyle Keegan Durcan as attacking backs have rescued the team on so many occasions
    You have introduced some new forwards like mc donagh ,loftus carr etc but none have reached the levels of howard scully o callaghan for the dubs and only Moran Doherthy and the O Connors have delivered on the big day and the goal keeping saga has never been resolved . the Dublin era will end soon but Horan has a hard job to match Kerry emerging Cork and Donegal Talent i am sure people will object to my opinion but just giving an outside view but keep the faith and listen to the Kerry fans whinging about tickets but never follow their team like your wonderful band of brothers

  115. Olive. I believe Kevin Walsh is staying on, he wont walk and has a year left on his “agreement”
    That I believe is a bonus for Mayo and Roscommon..

  116. Willie Joe any chance you could organise an Interview on the Podcast with Mike Connelly the Mayo County Board Chairman to fill in Mayo supporters at home and abroad about the County Boards future plans ,Firstly will they modernise the McHale Park playing surface and dimensions which has had a major effect on our Home League and Connacht Championship games and Secondly, the proposed Mayo Gaa Training centre at Lough Lannagh , when will construction start??

  117. in my first comment since sat. evening i just want to thank our team for another great year . all the injuries cost us in the end. with a few more new players added to the panel 2020 could be exciting, great to see T.P and diarmuid back , also good luck toJASON and a speedy recovery. all needed back.

  118. There are no such plans, TH. We’ll have a season review episode of the podcast and a few episodes on the club scene, hopefully one or two specials as well before year-end. Aside from that, though, we’ll be taking a much-needed break, as it’s been pretty much all go – as it has here – since the start of the year.

  119. I agree with Mairead a wind down and a break To concentrate on club games until January 5th is a good idea. Best to consign 2019 to the past take from it some great memories like winning the league, beating Galway that special athmopshere In Castlebar before the Donegal game and then beating them. There are loads of positives to take from 2019 and Lots to look forward to in 2020 please God we’ll all have the health to go again and enjoy it.

  120. Gerry Ryan.
    Fairly spot on there I’d say. Good luck in the final.
    Not going to comment any more about anything as it seems a lot of posters are going through the anger phase. Will wait for the acceptance stage where we all try and put this behind us and look forward.

  121. Great piece of writing. Really enjoyed it and loving the positive comments. However in the cold light of day (and its taken me a few days) I cant believe I ever thought realistically ot was possible. We had lost 2 championship games this year already. I love the confidence of our fans but sometimes it can lead to cockiness. Our discipline has been poor the last few years. If you arr going to get sent off have it be for denying a goal/score – not lashing out in frustration. Our own lee keegan has wound up plenty n while i admire him for it I also admire his opponent for not lashing out. Even talk of colm boyle “nailed on” for an all star? Come on! He had a great game against the Dubs but three times in that game after making some super turnovers I saw him roaring into the Dub player on the ground rather than turn n tear up the field to support hid team mate. Paddy Durcan, Keegan, AOS and Ruane can hold their heads up and to a lesser extent COC. Again its not easy to say but we have to look at the defeat and season without emotion.
    Tacrically we were poor in the second half. Its simply not fair to put it on Andy to lift a whole team – yes it gets the crowd on their feet for a few mins. But currently he is our best inside forward. Couldve made hay in the first half instead of sitting on the bench and stretched the lead to 5 or 6. While i loved seeing TP come on its just another emotional substitute to try and lift the crowd. He was never going to have a meaningful impact on the game. Theres no tactics in that. No plan to counteract the Dublin dominance in midfield. I feel like we missed mc entee coming on and giving instruction (the way sherlock did last time cluxton had a meltdown). But overall it annoyance at myself for bloody getting my hopes up!!! Thanks for the memories, chats, road trips and excitement. It may seem like a rant but its coming from a good place…and it truly was heartwarming to see Tom take to the field again.

  122. Watched the first half back and first 15 of second half. Heroic stuff in first half but we had to work so hard for our scores. Carr won pretty much every ball that went into him, but he rarely had support when he collected the ball. Probably due to the effort we had to put in around the middle of the field. But Carr looks a real prospect and we should be looking to build around him. Cillian did so much work out the field but we needed him inside.

    I would echo what others have said. Full back line and half back line are two completely different positions and Lee was always going to struggle if Con got the right ball. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    All in all, has to be looked on as a positive year. After 2018, if you had told me we would win the league and get to a semi and lose to this phenomenal Dublin team I would have taken it.

  123. So i watched the game back last night because im a bit of a masochist.

    Watching the now infamous 12 minute blitz after half time its galling how collectively naive we were in that period in terms of ‘on-pitch game management’ and inaction on the sideline.
    All the experience we had on that pitch and no attempt made to disrupt their momentum, somebody should have went down with injury after Callaghans first goal, the old contact lense trick, some off the ball shenanigans maybe.
    Horan could have fired on Andy earlier in this period too to break up momentum and give dublin something to think about. Every dublin score followed immediately by rushed kickouts straight back to opposition seconds later as Fenton destroyed our midfield

    Now it likely wouldn’t have made a pile of difference to the outcome but the lack of game management intelligence and ruthlessness from such an experienced team and management is almost unforgiveable at this stage

  124. …also if its true that Kevin Walsh is galway manager for another year thats great news for us
    I honestly believe he is holding them back, with the talent they have they should be AI contenders at this stage but i get the feeling those players arent keen on his approach/selection/tactics

    I think we can all agree winning connacht next year is an absolute must so that news is good

  125. Willie Joe, just want to apologise for breaking the house rules. Should have had another think about my comment before posting. The intent was definitely not to suggest the mentioned players ‘should’ retire. I, like most other fans would prefer to see them stay on. Not only for their quality but for the experience and influence they have over the newer members of the squad.
    The topic of the story by Darragh was hope and that is was the topic I wanted to expand upon by listing out players who would be members of the squad over the next year and beyond. I could have listed out that list of players but me being pedantic had to clarify the statement about those I omitted. Again, no malice intended.

    Never wanted to make your life harder by having to moderate that comment but again, hold my hand up that it broke a house rule.

    Absolutely agree that these are some of the best players ever to wear the green and red and as I have said many times are warriors. Despite what those who want to stick the boot in while we are down. The great thing about us Mayo folk is we stick together and just keep on coming back. Now more than ever the fans need the players and vice versa. Have no doubt everybody committed to the squad will give 100% from the get go as soon as winter training starts.

    Keep up the good work with the blog and podcasts. A huge thanks again for providing this excellent service for us all to share out thoughts. For people like me thousands of miles from home, it is one of the only things left to keep me connected to home. Míle buíochas. Maigh Éo go deo.

  126. Someone posted further up the page that some tickets for the Hurling Final are €90.

    This practice of sheer Gaa greed, will continue, while supporters are prepared to continue to shell out such exhorbitant amounts for tickets.
    I know that supporters don’t want to miss out on their team’s big day, but the only way to get the message to the Gaa, is to hit them where it hurts… their pockets !!!!
    Nothing would drive this message home better, than the sight of 5-10,000 empty seats on All Ireland Final Day, because supporters had decided to stay at home and watch on TV.

    Until that happens, nothing will change, and the tickets that are €90 this year, will soon be €100.

  127. Thought it was a given that Walsh would be gone after Galway exited the championship.Apparently he has full backing of the county board..
    WJ Thanks so much for this outlet..It may not have felt like it yesterday but it’s so appreciated and enjoyed by so many..

  128. It’s been a great year. National league champions and semi final appearance. First year horan back has seen great additions to the squad. So for me I think we should look forward and not back. So if that’s horans first year rebuilding then we should be looking forward to the years ahead. I do believe that certain players have given all they can and marvellous servants they have been. An integration of experience and youth in coming years will bring success.

    I believe we need to work harder on the mental side of the game. Individually the players need to be switched on at all times. Better cooperation between players to keep defensive shape. I also think James carr will make a great full forward. Big strong intelligent and 2 great feet. Looking forward to next year. A team like this would look good .
    Stephen coen
    Eoin o donoghue
    Aiden o shea
    Ryan o donoghue
    Ciaran Tracy
    Darren coen.

    Aiden as deep lying centre back sweeper. Shield for full back. My defence coordinator. Stephen coen as new full back. He can handle big guys. Good at sticking to his job. Ryan would have been In panel only for injury. Serious prospect.

    Of course the aforementioned is my opinions. We all have them.

  129. I just wanted to make the point that pundits from other county’s will raise issues like a referee living and working in Dublin possibly getting the job on a big day and I think it’s a fair point to make .I also think that pundits from our own county are often quiet on these things .

  130. The debate on Keegan FB to me is a non debate. I wouldn’t have him against a 6’3″ Full Forward but any other style of player yes. Again COC he kept him quiet for 35 nullifying his one run at goal. For 1st goal COC pulled him down illegally which can happen, very few spotted it and the 2nd was sheer brilliance by COC, I’ll give him that one. Keith got done similarly by Costello in the league. Boyler by COC 2 years ago. A top forward willing to really have a cut is a dangerous animal.

  131. Aidan o Rourkes analysis on RTE GAA website is a very interesting read as always(even if he did not mention us a few weeks ago) His analysis has been pretty good all summer. He is able to look at things fairly and without emotion. So while Paddy got praised for his wonderful first half he did highlight that 1 3 of Dublin scores resulted from Paddy. Likewise he heaps praise on Leeroy but acknowledges that he found it difficult in the FB line. That 9 Dublin scores came from dispossessing Mayo etc. He is full of praise for Mayo efforts and tactics and refers to the unbelievable job they did on Dublin’s top players in opening half.

  132. As a Munster man I feel that Galway should not appoint Kevin Walsh as manager going forward. If the appointment is confirmed he will have to change the way Galway set up, his defenders are so accustomed to defending within the blanket that their defensive skills and ability to defend one on one has suffered greatly. A defensive coach should be his first thought and after that he needs to start playing attacking football. Galway have some beautifully skilled players on all lines of the field but they won’t progress in 2020 if Walsh brings the same script to the table again.

    David Gough has been awarded the final, surprise surprise but I just have to wish him well and hope he does the best possible job on the day, like all refs he will get a few calls wrong.

  133. @Shuffly Deck. The tv cameras didnt get a great view at all of the start of the move for COC’s 1st goal. All u see is LK on the floor & COC sprinting away from him. Overall, 1st half: u couldnt have asked for more in all honesty. 2nd half: a blue tsunami, nuff said. As for retirements, maybe 1 or 2. I feel JH wants transition, not an upheaval. Club championships are back the weekend of 24/25 August. A chance for people to continue to see in action these people that give so much.

  134. @shuffly deck you are totally wrong on the 1st callaghan goal. There was no foul there, i was right behind it

  135. I can’t wait for the club championships to start up again it will be good going to matches and indentify possible addition to the panel. The ladies semi final is on that weekend as well so might take a trip to Croke Park the ladies have a good chance of making the final but a tough assignment awaits them there if they get through

  136. I was away on hols. so firstly, the first half Mayo defended brilliantly, but they needed to, and should have had, 7 points more on the score board.

    At the break, I felt that Dublin would have felt lucky to be just 2 points in arrears, and knew they still had a lot left to offer.

    The bottom line is the better team won – no arguments.

    The advice I would give to players is, if they feel they can still contribute, and they have the time/resources and still enjoy the game then carry on.. Of course new players will have to be blooded, and who better to help in this regard that the veterans.

    As regards Dublin – what a team. I just love watching their movement, game management, and execution of skills.

    Paul Mannion must now be a shoe in for player of year – his shooting from range like an exocet missile – finding its target. Fenton caught some massive ball in second half when most needed.

    I really hope they now go on and win the 5 in a row.. Mayo can stand proud, knowing they always put it up to them, fighting with all their might.

  137. @Gamechanger 10.. Agree with you as regards Kevin Walsh, especially with the best Club Team in Ireland and the attractive attacking style of football that Corafin employ, and nothing similar happening with the County Team….. I think that Galway will continue with Kevin Walsh tough, and the clamour will increase to tempt Stephen Rochford nearer home… Now a question for you Gamechanger 10, how are Kerry going to halt the drive for five?… I don’t think that Gough as Ref will be a factor, he’s certainly proactive and brings a proactive Team of Linesmen and Umpire’s with him…If it were Mayo in the All Ireland Final, we would be very worried and with good reason about the possibility of either Maurice Deegan or Dublin Joe McQuillian being appionted… And like yerselves our worries would fall on deaf ears, but at least Kerry made their disapproval known… David Moran needs to have one of those days, like he had V Mayo in Killarney… I’m very worried about the Kerry defence, individually I rate the Mayo back six superior to Kerry’s but I don’t know if the Kerry people agree with me…. But Kerry have the service’s of Donie Buckley and any learnings that he brought from the Mayo Camp as to how to restrict the Dublin attack.. The Kerry inside forward’s are absolutely Top Class and have the ability to hurt the Dublin, … Anyhow good luck in the All Ireland Final, ye will definitely have to drive to the Neutral Venue…. You have to admire the Dub’s’ not alone are they the Blue’st Team ever to play the Game, they are also the ‘Greenest’ definitely ‘Greener’ than either Kerry or Mayo and we both have a fair bit of ‘Green’..Hey they are even ‘ Greener’ than Limerick, because they almost never have to ‘DRIVE” not even for Five, and they are very much in keeping with Government policy as laid out by the Minister for Sport, TranSPORT and peace in North Korea’ Lord Shane Ross…. And that’s reason enough to shout for Kerry, who really wants to see Jim Gavin, Stephen Cluxton, and Brian Fenton being upstaged by Lord Shane Ross posing for more press pictures as if he actually done something!

  138. I think Gough is a good reff in fairness, but this crap has to stop. He lives and works in Dublin. Should be an Ulster or Connacht reff…(outside of Dublin Joe).

  139. WJ, I’m glad in a way that this brilliant blog is winding down for the moment as some of the contributers on here are just too argumentative and precious about their posts. We are all hurting but just think how the players and management are feeling this week. Seems that these posters demanding clean outs and mass retirements are completely out of touch with what the sacrafices our wonderful players have had to make over the last decade and in some cases 15 years of service to the county. I hope that JH treads carefully with the changes he will inevitably make. Anyway let’s look forward to the wild and windy FBD in Jan 2020.

  140. Thanks, Dooniver swifts – it needs to wind down for now, for all manner of reasons, including those you’ve mentioned. Yesterday was typical of days I really hate on the blog but, thankfully, today’s been much better in that regard so hopefully the mood is starting to settle a bit. From my perspective, it kinda needs to.

  141. On a slightly different topic I wonder will the Co Board express concern at what I can only call the fixture chaos this year. Mayo were negatively impacted by it this year but it could happen to any county. We lost to Roscommon (our own fault) at the end of May, then we got a 4 week break. Then when we got up and running we played Down, Armagh and Galway on consecutive Saturday evenings. Wins in those games took us into the so called Super 8s but no time for celebration yet. We then played Kerry away and Meath in Croker, so its now 5 games on consecutive weekends. Then a rest at last, 13 days to prepare for Donegal. It was time well spent as we produced our best performance to make it to the AI Semi final. But alas no break for us as the following week we had to head to neutral Croke Park to face the mighty Dubs. So that’s 7 games in 8 weeks. That is absolutely no way to treat amateur players who are expected to work, rest, recover and train in between games. This is not sour grapes because it happened to Mayo. It is just plain wrong. Last year the hurlers complained about having to play 3 or 4 on the spin. They were listened to and this year they all got a break during the competition. I know people will say If we beat Ross we would not have brought this on ourselves but as I stated earlier that is not the point. Its not just about Mayo. Its about player welfare. I just can’t see the logic of throwing in more games via the Super 8s and then condensing the calendar. The hurling will be over this week, the football at the beginning of September. We were told that this was all done for the benefit of the clubs, but I can’t see much benefit. Most counties, even those who got knocked out early have played very little club championship so far so with the exception of the extra games which were designed to bring in extra money but haven’t, I can see little positive and plenty negatives in the new system.

  142. Ref from a neutral province & from a county not bordering a participating is just common sense. The ref in 96 was working with the Meath corner back & indeed was his boss.

  143. @jr, I may add, that same ref in 1996 played his golf in meath.
    Does Cormac Murphy and Deegan also live in Dublin or just outside the County border?
    Mayo Board and other County boards should come together and go against the unfair decisions of the Gaa.
    What would happen if supporters stopped attending games?
    Should Kerry put a very firm foot down and refuse to agree to Gough as the ref, I think so.
    Mayo Board are probably afraid of the Gaa Central Council, ie afraid that funding may be cut.
    The Mayo supporters filled the Gaa coffers since 2012, but they seemed very quiet over this Summer, do they object to anything of just go along with everything.

  144. Leantmes,
    First thing will be say a few decades of the rosary I’d say.
    To be honest it’s a massive challenge facing us, I was looking at the first half on Saturday and I was thinking if ye can hold onto their shirttails until snout 55 mins that this game could go anyway. But after half time they squeezed the live out of robbies short or medium hick out options. He simply had to go long and having so many Mayo players set up for the short option there was little hope of ye picking up the breads outside and so commenced the souname.

    As you stated your backs are considerably hardened compared to ours but our forwards are considerably more creative than yours. That said there is no way that we will keep them to six points in the first half like ye did but I would expect us to score more than eight points thus we may be in an equally favorable position as Mayo were at the short whistle. If we are I think that the Kerry management will have a strategy to ensure that Kerry will be ready for or have a plan in place to frustrate them after the restart.

    The dubs will get plenty from Kerry, our team will attack with fast footpassing and our forwards will run in all directions to disorganize and unsettle their back line. Mayo carried the ball into their defense and were very careful not to kick away silly possession and it did frustrate them but I think they were very comfortable defending against ye. The dubs are a team that rely on organization and whilst they are encouraged to use all their flair and swagger they are a team that are most comfortable when they are dictating the pace. Kerry are young and they will go out and hit them with every thing they have and the dubs will definitely give away more fouls against us than against ye as we will attempt to put them on the back foot with quick ball. If we can stay in touch til we jump the last fence we might just catch them on the run home.

    Were in it so we have a chance, they will be under a little pressure being the drive for ….. etc so if they are ever going to be a little vulnerable it will be on the first. Saying all that we will need at least 12-13 of our players to play out of their skin and a little luck to go our way to get over the line in this one.

    I’d say Gavin will be happy that it’s us instead of Tyrone as he will have little trouble in getting their heads in the right place when they have Kerry in the final as they would hate for us to stop them.

    Anyway back to the rosary !

  145. @Gamechanger.

    What is the feeling in your neck of the woods of kerrys chances in the final ?

    My own feeling is that the kerry team might not be physical enough for Dublin.

    The kerry positives are,
    No qualifier route.
    Very good forwards.
    Might have gained confidence from league win.
    Sure to be on an upward curve following the very good comeback against Tyrone.


    While your forwards are top notch I think they might be a bit light / young.
    I think if Moran is impacting the game Dublin will try to rough him up.
    Gavin will probably use the league loss as an incentive for revenge.

    I would be interested to hear what the feeling is in kerry and if there is some confidence that yea have the team to defeat Dublin in the final ?

  146. Jaysus gamechanger your ahead of your time. You had that fairly well covered before I even posted my questions.

    Your a soothsayer.

  147. All Ireland semi-finals have been played in ‘neutral’ Croke Park for as long as I can remember

  148. 2019 inter county football is not over yet, I’m going up to Dublin on the 25th to see Mayo ladies in action against Galway, tickets are E20/18, great value and hopefully they get a result, Up Mayo!

  149. Revellino
    In truth the general consensus is that we will give them a right go but that our team is a little inexperienced, particularly in the defense considering the challenge facing them. To rattle the dubs we must prevent goals or at least respond with one or two ourselves. If stay in touch and bury a goal that gives us the lead in the last ten minutes the pressure might get to them.

    As you can see my Santa list is both long and demanding and I want a surprise too.
    Smiley face emoji (don’t know how to do them on this blog)

  150. Yes Walterwhite 2-3 years. We haven’t been able to win Connacht for the past 4 years with a full strength team of seasoned all-stars so what makes you think we can now leap ahead of Galway & Roscommon to Connacht titles in the near future if we lose 5-6 irreplaceable leaders and gamechangers from our panel next year? There are some good young players who will come in next year but are unlikely to make any significant impact at the level we will need to be to be consistently competitive with the top div 1 teams in the country.

  151. Dublin were amazing and simply were the better team. However, i must say I not one bit disappointed with the lads. Yet again they defied the doubters and gave us fans another exciting season. Take into consideration this was a good bounce back from last years blimp. Thank you to all the mayo team for another year of exciting football and 2020 here we come

  152. @Gamchanger 10,. One thing for sure is that while it won’t win the Match for ye… Kerry fan’s need to travel in Number’s and take all the Hill Ticket’s that ye can lay yer hands on…. And go a bit bezirk cheering everything that moves in Green and Gold like the Mayo fan’s would or the ‘Wexicans’ would, It’s definitely worth a a point or two, and don’t let ‘Come on you Boy’s in Blue’ be heard ‘at all,at all’ as Tómas O Sé might say… I know both of us (Mayo and Wexford) are out in the Semifinals, but I heard a comment from some Wexford fan being interviewed by Marty, before the All Ireland Semifinal V Tipperary that they don’t want to go over the Top like Mayo fan’s, and what do the Wexicans do in the Semifinal, but the most Mayo thing possible and turn up in their thousands with as much noise and colour as Mayo ever did…(I wonder would it be a 1798 thing?)….Fair Play to you Gamechanger, at least you have taught about it, and the Rosary isn’t a bad idea ‘at all at all’ but a word of caution, We Mayo taught about it first, and we done it in style..A style that I don’t think even the Mighty Kingdom of Kerry will be able to Match. .Ye see, we went to the very Top, this time last year, We had none other than His Holiness Pope Francis, recite the Rosary ‘in Latin’, ,no less in Knock, and sign a Mayo’ Jersey and that didn’t even work…His Holiness reciting the Rosary was important for Mayo, because the last time we won Sam Maguire, even the Mass was in Latin, in a time when everyone went to Mass and no one even back then spoke Latin… I remember from Christmas Movies when I was a child, the Musical ‘Oliver’ and the character ‘Fagan’ come’s to the conclusion ‘I think, I better think it out again’.. but don’t worry anyhow, We have two and half weeks to come up with something!

  153. @TH
    …thats actually a great suggestion re podcast with county board chairman. WJ…in due course??

  154. The analysis provided by Billie Joe Padden in the Mayo News was a good read, I found the article by Edwin McGreal to be an even more to the fact piece in relation to the present and continuing dominance of the Dubs. As Edwin points out Mayo are a top 4 team but the gap between Mayo and Dublin is widening, that’s the reality whether people like it or not. For the future development of the game at County level the current dominance of the Dubs is parasitic on the game itself and in some way has to be managed and constrained.
    The hierarchy in the GAA are conflicted as the primary aim of the accountants, business development managers and marketer’s running the show is to “maximise commercial opportunities” and to curtail the Dublin machine and their multinational corporate sponsorship would be counterproductive to their own interests and Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.
    However pressure must be brought to bear on the GAA hierarchy to make changes to the ludicrous scheduling of the Super 8’s, change the 7 day turnaround between semi and final and to reverse the disproportionate central funding provided by the GAA to Dublin over the last decade, these are small changes but are good places to start. (Dublin will still have the advantage of population and geography)
    Mayo have a whole crop of new players to enthuse and motivate and as illustrated in the Irish Times interview with Chris Barret the effort and commitment required is huge, if the Holy Grail of a Celtic Cross is no longer a realistic dream as a motivating factor then what will drive them on?
    I really hope that the Dubs beat Kerry by double digits in the final, though the likelihood is they will HAMMER them by a few points as is their way. This hope is not because of a desire for the Dubs to complete the “Droive for 5” or an innate dislike for Kerry (when it comes to Dublin & Kerry I am equally prejudiced) but simply because I feel another final with such a gap in scores may force and promote a serious debate around the future of the football championship.
    Our President John Horan is like a climate change denier, he flatly refuses to accept the data and evidence as presented but prefers to believe his own data provided by his selected bean counters all supping from the same through – that Dublin’s success is down to their “volunteers” and that these things go in cycles (he should be President of The Flat Earth Society) He needs to be shocked out of his comfort zone.
    We have just about reached tipping point, the 2 Degrees rise in temperature is fast approaching, unless the men in power make changes rapidly we are all ….. DOOMED !!

  155. @MayoDunphy little was learnt from leaving Harrison one on one with Conor Cox in May as history repeated itself on Saturday night with Paul Mannion left one on one with Harrison and Mannion scored 0-5 from play as his ease and with each score it gave the dubs more and more energy.

    I said when James Horan was reappointed that year one would be one last try at trying to win Sam and he would stick with as many of his tried and trusted players for as long as possible. The reality is reaching the last 4 was no real surprise as this group of players gave their all to the cause but Mayo 2019 aren’t at the level they were 2012-2017 and year 2 under Horan will have a bigger focus on rebuilding while some of the older players retire and others pushed down to sub roles more often. i think going through that rebuilding process it’s probably for the best to not have the expectations of another AI semi final.

  156. Mayonaze
    Ya it would be great to hear an Interview from our County Board Chairman Mike Connelly, Maybe towards the end of Club championship and a few weeks after the All Ireland is over with, when everything has settled down again.Theres a few issues Mayo supporters would like to hear about from Mike Connelly.
    1.The Mayo Gaa Training centre at Lough Lannagh in Castlebar, when will construction start?
    2.The McHale Park surface issue ,will we be getting a new sod on it like Roscommon have done in the Hyde and Cavan have done in Breffni
    Its not exceptable for our players to be playing Home games on a poor surface like itagainst Division 1 opposition in the League especially.

    3.Where does the Debt on McHale Park stand now?
    4. What is been done in Mayo Underage coaching to produce top class footballers to keep competing with Dublin and Kerry.

  157. Hard luck to Mayo minors v Cork. Mayo have some promising talent there for sure.

    Galway also qualified for final. I’ll be realistic and acknowledge it’s Cork’s to lose. They have a beautiful blend of skillful players, athleticism and make scoring look easy.

    Overall, Cork’s application to Gaelic football this summer has been remarkable, and most welcome.

    For me, the minor/u-20 championships have been wonderful competitions this year.

    Best and worst memory for me this year is James Carr’s goal in Limerick – what a cracker..

    Anyway, anon – there are still AI’s to be won..

  158. @TH, The surface of MacHale Park Pitch is pristine all this year…it still is… Some people who should know better, and were talking about resurfacing it at enormous cost just last Spring, and at a Multitude of what it should cost, should actually Walk the Pitch… There isn’t a better surface in Ireland this year, there is as good but definitely not better… Last Year the surface was very poor , but good Spring weather, a reasonable Summer for Pitch’s and some TLC.. I think that they are now redoing the surface of the New Páirc Uí Cáoimh in Cork for a third time at enormous cost, and enormous benefit to someone as well. This could conceivably go on for ever in Cork , while no one is held accountable for the work that was done in the first place, Anyone can walk onto the Pitch, in Mchale Park any day of the upcoming Club Match’s and take a first hand look at it…Or at least take a look at it on YouTube footage, several Inter County Match’s were played there in 2019.. Hyde Park had to have serious work carried out because it was actually flooding. ..

  159. TH can you not ask your local club delegate to attend the county board AGM and put these questions to Mike Connelly? In fairness he seems an affable man I’m sure he’d answer questions like that

  160. @45. Why do you think we are automatically going to lose 5 to 6 players? Why do I think we are capable ?because we are still better than them. Do you honestly think having watched this year’s championship Roscommon or Galway are better teams? If that were the case why didn’t they make the semis? Look at the panel in 2012 and the panel the last day against the dubs…there are a lot of new players. Of course it is far easier for the media to spew out the same old shite about it being the same team…no new players coming through etc.

    In 2 of the last 4 years in Connacht our training was not at the same level as Galway and Roscommon…their seasons aim was to win a connacht title ours weren’t. This year we beat Galway, we lose to Roscommon by a point in a game we should have won…yet we haven’t a hope of winning Connacht for 2 to 3 years..of course we can. It isn’t in the Leinster championship we are…

  161. TH/Mayonaze – just to repeat, the podcast is winding down for the year now, 38 episodes on from when we began right at the start of January. We’ll do a season wrap, a few episodes on the club championships and one or two others before we close the book on 2019 but our work on the podcast for the year – and it has been a huge amount of work – is now largely done. In any event, I’m not sure the questions you want answers to would readily be got in a podcast format and I think the suggestion of seeking answers instead through your club delegate is a good one. Coaching and development was already covered at length in a special podcast episode this year. That was E19 “Future Plans”:

  162. In fairness WJ, you guys have put massive time into the podcasts. Fair play.

    Some of us unfortunately don’t have a club in Mayo so no delegate..

    I’m pretty sure I listened to that podcast. Was it the one with Liam and Austin over in New York? It was interesting alright but didn’t really get into any details at all on the underage system/plan structures etc if memory serves me correct. The conversation was more about the theory behind the Mayo Way and producing well rounded individuals. Maybe I’m wrong and need to listen again.

  163. Speaking of club delegates if you are talking to your club delegate ask them why they went against the donegal motion at congress to have Dublins neutral game taken out of croker.

    The mind boggles at why that was voted down by so many other counties, its a no-brainer.

    I tackled our own club delegate about this and he couldnt give me a coherent answer on it.
    Mind you, he is one of those delegates who loves hobnobbing at functions in croke park and on final days and is barely seen at a club league game
    (Think im on safe ground here as ive never revealed my club)

  164. That was the one, Mayonaze. To be honest, I don’t think you could expect more detail than what was in that episode. Why would those involved want to go public on structures and systems? There’s a huge amount of work being done in Dublin, for example, to keep the conveyor belt moving but I doubt you’d ever get anyone in front of a microphone to reveal any those details to the wider world.

  165. Thought Mayo fans would recognise cute Kerry propaganda . U have suffered from it in the past !
    They have no interest in Gough being removed as the referee. They just putting pressure on him to err in their favour in any 50/50 calls.
    Kerry are well capable of beating Dublin , but their media boys will be full of the yerra we are only a young team , still learning , too soon for them etc etc
    Hopefully a good game and best team wins .
    On Mayo retirements , everybody quotes the saying about young players that if they are good enough they are old enough . Well this should apply to older players as well , in that if they are good enough they are young enough. Personally if I was a Mayo fan watching the last few minutes of a final there is no better player than Andy Moran to be on the ball !
    Thanks for allowing me comment on ur page . Probably the best fan page of all the counties.

  166. Why isnt the issue of Dublins Home League Venue been raised at Congress, Since Dublins move to Croker there graph has dramatically improved, they know it inside out.Dean Rock has a huge advantage in that he gets to play 80% of games on the same surface all year any wonder he doesnt miss up there.13 thousand attended the Dublin v Galway in Croke Park last February. They should be put back into Parnell park asap.John Horan and John Costello the Dublin football chairman make it up as they go along to suit Dublin.Inter County football is a bore at the moment and if Mayo were not around the last decade, it would be on its knees.

  167. Maybe wishful thinking but I would love to see 2 points awarded for points scored from play. I would like to see it introduced within mayo to coax players to shoot from open play. We could use the shooting practise and it might just do the trick. Alot of players spend more time trying to draw a foul and a free kick opportunity than thinking positively about having a go at the posts.

  168. Kerry have a chance. The pundits pointed the unexploited space down the wings in the 1st half Mayo were largely ignoring and Horan screaming the players to use it. Also Dublin FB line were no great shakes, Tommy Walsh might cause them some problems too. Kerry need to change their defensive plan which was a bit clueless last weekend and thankfully Dublin don’t have a McShane although COC and Rock not half bad in the air and Mannion is strong too.
    I’d be worried about the individual players in Kerry FB line so the system is important. Also Dublin unlikely to Blitz 2-6 in 2 games running.

  169. Dublin V Kerry is a whole new Ball Game….3 Week’s Preparation for both teams… Unquestionably the two best team’s in the Championship..The imponderables, Dublin will be prepared for Tommy Walsh at Full Forward, might take some heat away from David Clifford and Paul Geaney, but I think that Dublin if they can’t deny Walsh the Ball, won’t be too worried about Tommy Walsh, he’s not nearly, nowadays in the Class of Geaney or Clifford, in my opinion… Good early kicked Ball to Geaney or Clifford and I don’t believe that either can be defended against within the rules of Gaelic football.In recent years, Kerry have tended to start their victorious All Ireland Final’s in a whirlwind, so I predict that Dublin will start very steady…. Dublin will try and keep the Kerry Support quite,. And that’s up to the Kerry Support to be as loud and vocal as possible, however I can only see one winner in terms of Support given to the team’s…Mayo Supporter’s are very emotionally invested in the team, and abused for their loyalty and expenditure by the CCCC sending us many miles further, and at ridiculous throw in time’s to support our team, but the real reason is to fill the GAA coffers, money which is disproportionally used to benefit Dublin, …. Dublin are undoubtedly a fantastic Team, and managed suberbly by Jim Gavin, they always give full praise and respect for whatever opposition Team they play, in their Neutral/Home Venue, where as some other poster on this Blog noted that they don’t even have to pay for the cutting of the grass… It’s hard to shout for a team that has already won the All Ireland titles on 37 occasions, but I will… Very unusual to cast Kerry as David in this David V Goliath upcoming Drama… Com’On David!

  170. I can confirm the Mayo Way initiative is actively happening. Things are more organised than in the past. They are working well with an active club underage games program, players must wear their club gear (it’s a rule), modern mix of training and sometimes games. It’s a wide net as well. Not just pick the best 30 u14s and develop only those.

  171. @Leantimes you are giving far too much praise to the MacHale Park surface. I walked on it after each game this year. A bumpy uneven surface, one look at the field markings can see that even without walking onto it.

    Going to cost plenty of money for a new surface but it will be money well spent.

  172. @mayomagic totally agree with you about the pitch.very evident if viewing close down 4/5 rows from front how uneven and pitch markings make this very noticeable!
    If they were to go at that job maybe somehow make the pitch bigger to that might need a row or two from behind the goal to be taken out!
    Ballina did a fine job on there pitch surface a few years back as did Roscommon last year

  173. It’s only after hearing Tony mcentee talk about McHale park that I actually realised how bad it is. He rightly said it has “overlapping 65’s”, in other words no 65s, or i guess they’d be at the half way line, especially if the minimum length of a Gaelic pitch is 130m (if I’m not mistaken?).

    It seems very strange. I’d agree with him in that it therefore should NOT be a county ground.
    I seriously think theres merit in hacking away at a few rows either end to make the necessary space. Those terrace rows aren’t really used anyway.

  174. Tony McEntee is mistaken the 65’s lines are not over lapping…138 Meter’s long is MacHale Park, and that’s a provable fact… Maybe Tony McEntee has never seen a 65 taken in a Hurling Match in Castlebar?… The 65’s are rarely lined out like they should be… but both are the right side of the halfway line, and 8 Meter’s in-between…of course that doesn’t mean that it isn’t one of the smaller County Grounds pitch size… But Tony McEntee statement about the 65’s over lapping which I did hear him say myself is outlandish and false,..

  175. I’ve checked out the exact deminsions of MacHale Park.. would you be surprised to find out that it has the EXACT same deminsions as the Venue for this year’s Munster Hurling Final, the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick…137× 82 Meter’s… Of course the LIT Gaelic Grounds often double as our Neutral Ground, I always knew that the CCCC were very kind to Mayo sending them so often to a ground with the exact deminsions as our own… Mind you the CCCC deem Croke Park as a Neutral and Home Venue for the Dub’s’, which is actually only 3•4 KM from their Real Home Venue, Parnell Park.. But our Home Venue MacHale Park is over 174KM to our Neutral Venue, the LIT Gaelic Grounds… One thing is for sure, if the LIT Gaelic Grounds could hold the Munster Hurling Final this year between Tipperary and Limerick,as it did… I wouldn’t be too worried about the deminsions of MacHale Park!

  176. Let be honest number of club ground in Mayo has better playing surfaces than MacHale Park. Players have to 2nd think about bouncing the ball on that surface because the ball could go anywhere and when it rains the surface become even more troublesome. The county players be it U17s,U20 right through to senior deserve a better playing surface and even Sligo sorted theirs out recently.

  177. Fair enough Leantimes I’ll take your word on that! Thanks for clarification.
    Re surface, having walked it I’d agree with others who noticed that it seems to be in great shape this year but clearly the rain is a factor this summer. Hopefully it is getting the TLC also.

  178. Lads, the Gaelic Grounds dimensions on Wikipedia are incorrect. If you measure it using Google maps it’s wider and longer than MacHale park. Google maps makes it about 144 meters Long by 84 wide.
    Those dimensions are not precise but I’d be willing to be an amount equivalent to my remaining mortgage that it’s Longer than MacHale.
    For what it’s worth I would agree that some work may be needed on the pitch and changing the length would do no harm but the cost would not be inconsiderable and the clubs in Mayo are already saddled with a levy for the stand and redevelopment so I can’t imagine there is appetite for spending that kind of money.

  179. I always love these post season Mayo gaa postmortems.
    Lads hoping that some young lad who kicked a few points in a minor match one time will turn into the gooch or Bernard brogan or the like.

    As Mick o Dwyer said the other day, football hasn’t changed, get them fit first and then start the football.

    Mayos current game plan (and the plan since 2011) has been to get fit and run the ball from defense, creating overlaps and having the half back line kick 1-6 or so.
    This game plan failed the last day and has failed every other time we have come up against Dublin, simply because they are fit enough to handle it.

    The harsh reality is we have had the same failings in every game we have lost since 2012, and no manger has fixed it.

    1. Full back line dodgy under a high ball (exception is when Clarke and Cafferky were playing together)
    2. Ball not delivered early enough into full forward line (exception was 2017 semis and final)
    3. Kick out strategy is nowhere near the competition (we have swapped the same two goalies to no avail)
    4. Substitutions are never made early enough (exception being 2012 semi over Dublin through injuries)
    5. No left footed free taker
    6. No reliable long ranger free taker

    Every time we meet Dublin the 4 points above always let us down. Same thing happened the last day also.

    What will make things different

    1. New keeper and full time county board paid for kicking coach across the county
    2. Pace and height in the full forward line. If Carr is the man then so be it but he has to stay at FF
    3. A diagonal kicking game needs to be added – The O Shea’s, Keegan, Boyle, Durkin, Mcloughlin et al all love to go on a solo run (invented in Mayo and looks great), but they need to give the ball early and often. They normally wait until the solo run is not on, which works against everyone except Dublin.
    4. We will always have the players to compete but Our game plan is not where it needs to be

  180. Tirawleybaron (aka John) – by my count, this comment marks the fourth handle you’ve used here, which is way too many and too confusing. As a result, I’ve changed your handle for this comment back to the one you’ve posted under most often. It would be helpful – and less confusing – if you stick to this one.

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