It’s the Munster champions, the Leinster runners-up and Cork for us in the group stage

Photo: (Sam Barnes/Sportsfile)

The draw for the All-Ireland group stage was made a short while ago and we’ve been drawn in Group 1 alongside the Munster champions, the Leinster runners-up and Cork.

This means that our opening match will almost certainly be against Kerry in Killarney on the weekend of 20th/21st May. Our second match will be at home to the beaten Leinster finalists, most likely Louth, on the weekend of 3rd/4th June and our final group game will be against Cork at a neutral venue on the weekend of 17th/18th June.

Details of the full draw, for both Sam Maguire and Tailteann Cup groupings, are here.

Fixture details for all the group stage matches are set to be confirmed this Friday.

249 thoughts on “It’s the Munster champions, the Leinster runners-up and Cork for us in the group stage

  1. You’re quick off the mark Willie Joe. Tough draw but at this stage piss or get off the pot.
    Up Mayo

  2. I just knew it had a feeling we would get kerry was not shocked that we got them last year in the quarters wonder was this a fix haha! would not be surprised by the gaa at all !

    Anyway bring kerry on we are well able for them !

    Could play dublin to if they loose to louth !

  3. I hope we have everyone back and give Kerry a good rattle first up

  4. Agree with abo e comments may as go for it now nothing to loose if we cant beat the top teams we may as well go home sure!

    Bring them on be a cracker of a game haha

  5. A good draw for us provided Louth dont beat Dublin.

    If we have ambitions of winning Sam we shouldn’t be fearing a division 2 team in a preliminary quarter final.

  6. Tough draw. Kerry in Killarney and we’ll probably be facing an ultra defensive Louth in Castlebar for the second game.

    One benefit is that we’ll avoid Kerry in the quarters/semis assuming we get that far.

  7. How good or bad are Cork? Louth are not great but they will be hard to break down.

  8. Quite happy with that draw.
    Considering we lost in the Connaught QF, we can’t complain with that group. Galway (assuming they win on Sunday) face a tougher group than us. Just goes to show how little the provincial competition now means.

  9. Kerry game a free hit. If we cant beat Louth at home and Cork in a neutral venue, we’ve no business aiming for an All Ireland. Could have been far worse. Happy enough.

    Galway’s group looks tough. Seems they used up their luck in draws last year.

  10. louth will have to be the favorites on the basis of being the more recent sam maguire winners between the two teams.

    cork in recent years always raise their game against Mayo for some reason, shit the bed against lesser teams but get the chest out for Mayo, except for 2011 of course. Wont have a crowd following them be it home, away or neutral.

    Kerry are the greatest team the world has ever seen in any sport so may as well just give them a walkover in that match.

  11. Would have preferred the Dubs. Louth to be the fall guy so only need to beat them to go through.

  12. A handy enough draw for us all things considered.

    Whoever said the Dubs had things cushy. Beat Louth and they will have Sligo, Roscommon and Kildare to contend with.
    Galway will probably have the toughest assignment. Tyrone, Westmeath and the loser of Armagh v Derry.

  13. Knew we’d get Kerry. Not a bad draw, going to Killarney will be tough but we’re well able for them. (No offence to Clare, but I can’t see them beating Kerry in the Munster Final). Louth and Cork will both set up defensively, Kevin Walsh is involved with Cork this year so I’d expect the shawl to be implemented. Galway’s group looks interesting, possible the toughest group of the lot. Dublin’s group is not too hectic, they should be getting through that with a bit to spare.

  14. Nothing easy in any of the groups but would be confident that we should progress. Not sure alot would have liked us in their group.

  15. Can someone clarify is it the case that we can’t get Kerry in the semis now? Is that true?

  16. Somebody said win your provincial championship and all 3 of your group games – result = quarter finalists

    Lose 1st round of provincial championship, win 2 qualifier games, result = quarter finalists

    Play 6 games or 2 to get to the same place?

    Doesn’t seem to make alot of sense

  17. Those three teams will fancy a crack at Mayo and will feel they’re in with a chance.
    This is the nervy merry-go-round feeling again as we go to the serious end of things.
    Great to be back competing again.

  18. @ east Cork, yes but win all your games and it should mean an easier draw. In this case Galway have been unlucky. Dublin have been lucky. If you don’t top your group you will have a very tough quarter final. This is effectively what happened Mayo last year and we got hockeyed by Kerry in the quarters.

  19. Tough enough draw alright, if we do well in it then the road further on looks favorable. I suppose a good time to get Kerry and it will give us a good idea where we are at. Kerry in Killarney in championship is probably the toughest game of them all. It’ll be a test…

  20. Would take our group over Galways every day of the week.
    Tough start away in killarney but we should take the other 2 without much fuss.

    Galway will have to go through tyrone and a tasty rematch with armagh likely

    Ultimately the group stages could be playing silly buggers all over again, you probably only need to win 1 game to survive, and if you are out at that stage then it’s deserved

  21. See some guys on the kerry forum saying they will put mayo on our ass in killarney after beating us in castlebar and it might be as sweet a day as it was of 2019 haha sure let them be over confident as they always are it’s actually not a bad draw for us as others have said !

    Not sure where cork are at are are they any good?

    We should have hession an other guys back from injury to !

    Anyway we are well able to beat kerry n killarney wouldn’t it be great to beat them in killarney with pats Spillane I’m sure watching in the stands haha

  22. Not too bad really so happy enough. If we cant beat Louth or Cork then we are as well off out of the Championship. Great to have some games to look forward to.

  23. The group of death was always going to be the one with the ulster runner up

  24. @Margie

    Galway got Armagh from pot of Clare and Cork last year. That was after the hardest Connacht draw also? They haven’t been rewarded for winning provincials.

    I can’t imagine Kerry are too happy with seeing us either, for all that the game will be in Killarney. Dublin of course get seemingly the plum draw. Pot 4 looks like a low quality dogfight between familiar teams

  25. Some great games to look forward to though, assuming the provincial finals play out as we expect.

    Mayo travelling to Killarney

    Kerry travelling to Pairc ui Chaoimh

    Dublin travelling to Newbridge

    Galway having to face 2 out of the top 6 teams.

  26. I know our first game is away to Kerry or Clare ,.. but our second game, is that in McHale Park v which seed 2nd seed or Cork 4th seed?..or is it a neutral venue? Or is it fixed in stone what happens next?. If by chance, longshot an all as it is that Louth were to beat Dublin.. you can be pretty sure Dublin would be getting to play Mayo in Carbon Neutral Croke Park , I’d bet my bottom dollar!

  27. No offence swallow swoops but if we can’t dominate Cork and Louth, then we’ve no business dreaming of Sam. They’re good sides but we’re in a diffferent league (literally) – Let them all fancy a crack. We could win the group if we have a full squad and can bring our A game to Kerry. 2 weeks between each game to rest and recover is plenty.

  28. We have tended to struggle at times against lesser sides in back door games over the years, I think there’d be a few more nerves if this was just 2 qualifying, however the 3 teams going through makes it a virtual certainty we’ll be seeing knock-out football

    The great thing is the Kerry game is a bit of a free rattle – the flip side is its the toughest draw in football right now, and getting top seed (and straight through to quarters) is now a longer shot. Hard to see us beating them down there

    We’ll be either playing a Louth side fighting for their survival or riding off momentum in round 2, so I expect them to come to Castlebar absolutely gunning for us. Themselves and Cork first up is a very interesting match actually

    We should do enough against both D2 sides to get 2nd seeds though, and will then be coming into a home preliminary game on the back of 2 wins on the trot – most likely another D2 team will be the opponent. So quarters definitely looks like a realistic prospect

    Dublin should have a relative easy passage through their group, which its hard to know whether it will be a help or hindrance to them. Galway will be kept honest but I’d be surprised if they didn’t top the group. Hard to know where any real upsets will come from.. maybe Kildare to beat Roscommon? Although that would hardly be earth shattering. I expect Clare will beat Donegal too, but I won’t be the only one. A probable Armagh v Tyrone battle for 2nd could be the tie of the series

  29. @leantimes home to Louth or Dublin. Neutral v Cork. Get it right tactically and we should win our home game. neutral venue for Cork game, Limerick, Ennis or Salthill??

  30. Our time has come, I have a feeling in my bones about us being confident against good so-called weaker teams and getting to a place where we had to sweat it out uncomfortably.
    Like all of us, I want to win our games.
    However, Cork seem to be getting much better lately. They ran Dublin very close in the League in a brilliant game and I think they deserved to win it. They would too only for Jack McCaffrey coming on late in the game and making a decisive contribution. Their attitude was top class.
    Louth seem to be one of the most improved teams about. Full of confidence therefore. The main concern there is that they are masters of a counter-attacking game and we know that we struggle with that.
    I think there are chewy games to look forward to.

  31. Does anyone know if we finish 2nd / 3rd, what group we will face with the other 2nd / 3rd team?

  32. Ciaran – Fair Analysis on Mayo, we should beat both Cork and Louth provided we dont get a day like we had in the Roscommon game. If we avoid group 2 – 2nd / 3rd placed team in a preliminary quarter final we should hopefully progress.

    I don`t agree on Galway though they have a very tough passage to top the group, whoever loses Ulster will be gunning to beat them after last year(Armagh because of the manner of the 1/4 final loss and Derry because of the manner of the semi final loss).

    Tyrone at home is probably the hardest draw they could have got and i would expect Tyrone fancy their chances and all the pressure will be on Galway to preform in front of the home crowd. It will be the biggest game in front of fans and in pearse stadium under Joyce.

  33. Remember Kerry will not have wanted us either in their first group game.

  34. Not the worst draw in the world. All hinges on Killarney in 3 weeks time. Win that and the group is there for the taking against Louth (unless a major miracle in the Leinster final) and Cork. Louth at home we should be able to beat while giving lads a rest and Cork in neutral (my guess is Croke Park as double header with Dubs-Kildare but it should be Ennis for atmosphere).

    Even if we go down to Killarney and come out on the wrong side, but with some serious fight in us unlike 2019, then we have more than enough to reach the Prelim quarter final.

    As another posted said, it’s piss or get off the pot time now. There is no absolute stand out team this year. Galway being talked up but I would fancy our chances against them any day of the week and Dublin/Kerry are absolutely beatable.

    Three weeks to work hard on a gameplan to take down The Kingdom. It can absolutely be done!

  35. @swallow hoops agree with others if we can’t beat louth or Cork we have absolutely no business aiming to win an Ireland we are well out of cork & louths league different altogether. I disagree with that mcstay & co have their lessons learnt from the rossies game and they will go hard at each game and it won’t be uncomfortable at all for them.

    Louth are going to get beaten out the gate by us and kerry no disrespect they’ve come a long way but it’s just facts that they will.

  36. Are Tyrone that good though at present? They’ve lost 3 championship games in a row now I think it is. 2021 was obviously fantastic for them but that’s well in the rear view mirror now

    I’d be very surprised if Galway lost at home to them. Armagh (who look a level below Derry) could be a bit more dodgy for them as it turns out, but people tend to forget Galway had them beaten last year with relatively little fuss until a few minutes of madness at the end

    Still sticking to my prediction that Galway will beat everyone outside of Kerry and Dublin this year

  37. Swallow Swoops – obviously we should respect every team we play, but I’m not sure what evidence is there that Cork have been getting much better lately. They were just beaten by Clare in championship. Haven’t really threatened to get back to division 1 in recent years either.

    We don’t have a great home record recently in championship vs Galway or Roscommon, but home qualifier and super 8 games have went well for us.

  38. Clare, I like that attitude! Let’s hope we are in that form. We certainly can be.
    I guess I am remembering the qualifiers in 2017 where it was a pot luck type of feeling about our results. We are entertaining! And I’d always back us.

  39. I can’t see us beating kerry below. But, a bad beating aside, it’ll be good to get going. The big one for me is to win a game we are expected to win at home. That’s the big thing. Micky will be well set up for us…

    We don’t want to have to go to beat Cork on the road.

    It’s all a bit mad but at least we know now what lies ahead. Personally I think the provincial finals have really been belittled holding the draw today.

  40. @ciaran Galway are not that good they weren’t great against the rossies yes they won but they showed their flaws I don’t agree with that prediction at all that they will beat everyone outside of kerry& dublin sure they haven’t beaten us this year the 2 times theyve played us we are well able for Galway .

    I think they will be beaten by one of the ulster teams in their group they’ve a tough group they might even loose the group.

  41. Wide Ball, I take your point. At the same time, that Dublin game in the League was a reason for me to say they can play a very good game and have belief in themselves.
    I don’t think we are at that level but I don’t want us to get caught either.

  42. @swallow hopps thanks haha always like to try and be positive when it comes to mayo sure you never what they will do on the day !

    I think that we are going to give kerry a good old rattle and think we will just about edge out kerry .

    Maybe to optomistic but think we will do it ha!

    Yeah totally agree with you on that one …saw a head line during the league in an article that said the great entertainers are back as in mayo ha !

  43. We will find out soon where Tyrone are at but i wouldn’t be writing them off either they still have a squad full of all Ireland winners and some very exciting underage prospects coming through. Tyrone are at their best when they are underdogs and written off. No doubt they will be using the next 3 weeks to target the Galway game just as they did v Kerry in 2021 semi final.

  44. Interesting that the Bookies seem to also view Group 2 as the group of death. Before the draw the All Ireland winner odds had Tyrone at 16/1 and Galway at 11/2. Tyrone now 18/1 and Galway 13/2. This format can’t be good when it would serve Galway better to lose the Connacht Final and end up in a far easier group.

  45. Don’t think Kerry are any great shakes this year. Ok, hard to beat in Killarney but if we could get rid of our inferiority complex down there, we could put it up to them and rattle them. After beating them well in the League why should we automatically lose to them now. It’s all in the head.

  46. Dublin, Roscommon, Kildare would probably be a tougher group for Galway than Tyrone, Armagh and Westmeath

  47. I expect that Kevin McStay and Co will have a wee trek to The Gaelic Ground to check out Clare v Kerry in the Munster Final..Clare hurlers brought up a bit of a shock beating the All Ireland Champions last weekend, fingers crossed for them for a double,..a huge stretch of the imagination all right.. Hopefully McStay and all his wise men will find a nugget or two of helpful information.

  48. I take your point swallow swoops but I think that mindset is endemic in us all in Mayo and part of the reason we tend to play at the level of our opposition whether it’s Cork or Clare or Louth for example, we pay them too much respect. You wouldn’t see Kerry or Dublin doing that even though their boring post match interviews say otherwise. Look at our team on paper – we have far better players and panels than any of them. We love being the underdog and sticking it to the big guns but don’t handle the favourites tag well and never have. A bit more arrogance wouldn’t go astray in us all in my opinion and I include myself in that

  49. When would Mayo have played Louth last?, I can’t recall playing Louth even in the League and would our last Championship game have been in the All Ireland Final? ..I guess it’s too late for Joe Biden to be changing his mind, and going with his other ancestors side of the family in Louth, he really nailed his Mayo colour’s to the mast in Ballina a few weeks ago ..He might come back for the match , who knows?

  50. Wouldn’t it be great if Kerry and Louth win and we would have a proper group then. Don’t underestimate the wily Mickey Harte. Kildare parked the bus and Dublin struggled so no better man than Mickey to come up with some plan.

  51. You shouldn’t have to pose that question, Leantimes, the searchable results archive will provide the answer in a matter of seconds.

    I’ve spared you the trouble in that regard: the most recent time we played Louth in the National League was in 1998 (we won by 1-8 to 1-6) and the only time we ever played them in the Championship was the 1950 All-Ireland final, which we won by 2-5 to 1-6.

  52. Beat me to it Willie Joe was just about to post it. The archive is a treasure.

  53. Good questions, Achill – I think it is a long. long time ago.

    Mayo actually have a huge benefit in their prep time. I think Harte will be going all out to beat Dublin and win Leinster and imagine they did that! That would be their All Ireland. Even if Louth lose to Dublin, they have a massive game v Cork in Round 1 which means by the time they play Mayo (in Castlebar) they will be a mentally drained group, you’d have to think, never mind injuries.

  54. Need to top the group IMO so not great getting the All Ireland favourites away.

    Should finish at least 2nd but Cork Games,2nd v 3rd play off game and Quarter final is 3 games in 14 days and up against probably one of Derry,Dublin,Galway in the last 8 who will be rested which will be far from ideal.

    Would the group had been better had Mayo beaten Roscommon and lost to Galway. Dublin would be beatable in round 1 and more likely to top that group i’d reckon.

  55. I like that draw but cork don’t! As Fortheloveoayo says….if we can’t beat Cork and Louth….

  56. yew_tree says:
    May 2, 2023 at 2:09 pm
    Remember Kerry will not have wanted us either in their first group game.

    They had a poll recently ” If Kerry win Munster and get a third seed at home in the group phase, who would be your preferred opponent? Mayo topped it for some reason, Tyrone 2nd,Monaghan 3rd and Roscommon 4th.

  57. Agreed mayomagic, there is huge benefit to topping the group and avoiding a Galway, Derry, or Dublin in the quarter final. More likely to be playing a Roscommon, Tyrone, Armagh, or Monaghan and have an extra week’s rest. Mayo should be gunning to take down Kerry in the first round.

  58. So, how do we beat Kerry?
    What are our things we must do, what can we not do?
    Killarney is a big free scoring venue for them.

  59. I see Clare quoting a Kerry forum poster saying in effect, wait ’till we get ye in Killarney to avenge Castlebar. Interesting mindset. Mindset here is mostly how hard that draw is, and how we might pick up points from the other teams. What about all the beatings Kerry handed us, starting with last year’s QF? Could we not develop a chip on the shoulder mentality, and swear that we won’t leave Killarney until at least one of those defeats is avenged. The last Killarney championship defeat would be a good one to remember as well. As GBXI says, we should be gunning for them!

  60. Kerry 1-22 Mayo 0-15 Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney on July 14th 2019. Mayo going into game as National League Champion, beating Kerry in Final.
    Game in Killarney in 2019 over @ half time, think it was 0-15, to 0-06. Kick out totally malfunctioned that day, and Kerry lorded us in midfield. If we going to get a result in Kerry, we going to have to win midfield, and win it well. Were going to have to have more of the ball that them, as I see they have a more dangerous forward line. But if we do win, we be the team to beat, to win all-ireland. But win is the most difficult task, we could have been set.
    Jack Barry, Diarmuid O’Connor vs Mattie and our Diarmuid, that what I expect our midfield dance partners, the next day. David Moran was outstanding against us in 2019, caught everything, might have been his finist display in Kerry Colours.
    Kerry in 2019, were waiting for us, they played hungrier and more determined than us, so we need to be at pitch of game from off, or be in for a long day

  61. It’s only the mindset of a random supporter , ffs most of us are half mad and the other half fully mad . Kerry won’t give a flying fook who they have to play in Killarney they’d beat Brazil in soccer in Killarney. The most confident home venue team in Ireland when it comes to championship. That super 8 game in 19 was horrible , they killed us absolutely killed us .

  62. Is the preliminary 1/4 finals an open draw with 2nd placed teams in one pot and 3rd placed teams in another pot with the exception of provincial finalists playing each other again ?

  63. At least the weather was good that day Sean Burke – if anything too hot. Moran was unreal in midfield that day. We were also we were just after playing Galway which I think had an impact on us being flat. Hopefully we go in with a full deck.

  64. At least David Moran is retired now! Even in the QF last year he was a big reason for Kerry winning.

  65. @catcol haha sure we will wait and see what happens in killarney who knows what will. As above comment said sure there’s mad supporters in every county including our own!

    @mayotillidie don’t agree with that at all. Still sticking to my opinion that kerry are average bar the Clifford’s. Hard to beat them in their home ground but we are well able for them.

    People said the game against them last year in the quarters would be over by half time or even 15 min it def wasn’t and we put it up to them and they were surprised to and we were terrible last year …we just didn’t have the heart to kick on .

    I’m going with mayo to just about edge it we always pull a shocker every now & then !

  66. Good group for Mayo. Hope Kerry give us a good beating in first game, if we happened to beat Kerry or even loosebya point or two ,media would have Mayo winning Sam and we all know what happens when we are made favourites. Like the way Rochford did in the past just scrape through till final andthen go flat out. Beas result from group a good hiding from Kerry and beat Louth an dCork and peak for last few games. Just remember no team beats Kerry twice in the one year.

  67. @culmore I can’t understand why you would want kerry to give us a good beating bizzare statement.

    You should aim to win every game . Yes you’ll have the mayo for sam etc stuff coming out but sure every county goes dubs for sam Galway for sam so why can’t we ? High time we got over all the stuff people say that we get hyped up literally EVERY county does it!

  68. Good draw. Kerry will be a dog fight obviously l, but Cork and Louth very beatable.
    Moran’s loss for Kerry I feel is bigger than us losing Lee/Oisin.
    Where we were badly beaten in middle third before by them we should at least get parity, and given we have 2 or more midfielder types in our HF line, we should be winning this sector and reduce ball going inside.

  69. @Gizmobobs, while David Moran is a loss to Kerry and he always played very well v Mayo..His loss is by no means compatible to the loss of Mayo’s greatest ever player Lee Keegan and the young man with all the pace, athletic ability, and football instinct to be even better than Lee Keegan,. “Oisin Mullen “

  70. Tough draw for us but if we cant beat one of Tyrone, Armagh/Derry and Westmeath we have no business looking to win an All Ireland. It will be important to beat Tyrone who have it all to prove despite having some good players like Canavan and Armagh/Derry were well beaten last year but we let them back into the games so it will tell if lessons have been learned or not. As for Mayo I think its a tough game in Kerry but other 2 matches are seriously winnable.

  71. @chesneychet we are well able to beat kerry!

    If we don’t beat louth & cork we may as well pack up and go home as we won’t get far after that if we loose to those 2 teams .

    You’ve a really tough group I would nearly fear for you guys why are all the ulster teams in 1 group anyway fix much??

  72. At this stage, there are no standout teams this year so a tight win /defeat in game 1 does not rule any team in or out. However, a repeat of 2019 result would reflect that we are not competitive for top honours. Good draw and we will be well tested in all three games but would expect to qualify. We have to believe that we can win. Not sure I would like this game to be on a Saturday evening as late back but enough of these first world problems!

  73. Yes its tough group Clare but we will have a good chance of finishing in top 3 same as Mayo it would be disappointing if we dont progress.

  74. The availability, fitness and strength in depth of our squad is key from here on in. If well managed there has been plenty of time for players to get over injuries and get match fitness into their legs. But as they say past performance is an indicator of future behaviour.. and in Mayo we have a very bad history of players been injured. Will this change this time.. personally I don’t think so.. but then I recognise I am a bit pessimistic. So it’s better to get it from the horse mouth..its time for Kevin and Co to answer that ill fated question.. have we a fully fit squad Kevin? He has a few weeks left yet maybe to answer this but I’m sure there will be a media shindig before the round Robin and this will be foremost in everyone’s thoughts

  75. Because of the how poor Munster football has been since 2011,Kerry have only played really played 2 big games of significance in Fitzgerald stadium , Mayo in 2019 and Tyrone in 2012.It would be very hard to have that record if they were in the other 3 provinces.Its one of the main reasons why Kerry have the most All Irelands the easy pathway they have had since the Gaa was founded.Guaranteed a ticket to the All Ireland Semi Final every year unless Cork surprised them before the start of the qualifiers in 2001.Really think we have a great chance if our forwards perform and McBrien can do a job on the Cliff

  76. Going to be tough against Clare. Should have enough for louth and cork tho.

  77. I wonder how the Referees will be chosen for the games ?
    Dublin have avoided all the Northern teams.
    Mayo will be coming in cold to face Kerry as Kerry have the Munster final yet to play, also Louth have a game to come v Dublin.
    Kerry would want to be beaten in first game or is there a need for this considering 3 teams qualify from each group.
    Too many games altogether.
    Best to top the group.

  78. It is what it is and i would expect us to get through but you can see the narrative how it could go wrong. I expect us to loose to Kerry and anyway that is not the time we want to be beating them..its later in championship when they are complacent about us! Louth will be Roscommon all over again so defeat is not imponderable there. Cork . It all depends on whether they beat louth or not. If they loose to louth and they will be hammered by kerry. They will be demoralised by then and not up to it for us. But if they beat louth. Then they will be up for it against us and have a natural football ability so youd never know.
    Bring on first game..

  79. I am sure Mickey Harte will love reading some of the comments above. Who is to say we will not be playing Dublin. Let’s give teams the respect they deserve and wait until the provincials are over before deciding who we are playing.

  80. Bit simplistic to say the easy route is the reason Kerry have so many all Irelands.
    After all Connaught and Ulster football has been very very poor for years – so why didn’t we use this to our advantage.
    Over the history of the GAA – the munster counties outside of Kerry have won more all Irelands than all the Connaught teams put together and all the ulster teams have won only 3 more all Irelands than the Munster counties outside of Kerry.
    Tradition, coaching, centres of excellence, dedication, more coaching, no bullshit, etc are the reasons Kerry are miles ahead of the rest

  81. Somehow I don’t think Mickey Harte would be reading posts here!!
    I do believe there is a few shocks on the way; Louth to push Dublin? Or indeed Mayo ..
    There all tough groups but with three teams going through , one win will do…
    The guts of 24 games to eliminate 4 teams…
    Happy enough with Galways group ( provided we beat Sligo) .. its all about the big games from then on..

  82. @leantimes, not in long-term, but short-term and based on the key nature of his position I feel he is. Not that he’s a better footballer than Lee or Oisin. But he bullied us in past and gained possession for the star men like Clifford to do the damage.
    We have Enda and Sam to try fill the void left, Kerry do not seem to have men as good to fill Moran’s boots as well as these two help fill for Lee and Oisin.

  83. I was at the game in Killarney in 2019.
    Kerry were really up for it and felt they had a point to prove to the league champions who had bet them a few months earlier in Croker.It was a great atmosphere and a cracking day but I knew Mayo hadn’t a hope that day.We were destroyed with injuries and only had one recognised midfielder fit on the panel, that was Aido who definitely wasn’t suited to playing kerry on his own in the heat.A near retirement Donie Vaughan (who I don’t believe was fully fit) was thrown in beside him.
    Kerry targeted Clarkies kickout and pressed everything to get him to go long where they mopped up ball all day.
    Cillian also missed the only penalty I’ve ever seen him miss in his career in that game,not a good day.

  84. South Mayo exile
    How the hell is it simplistic?? They are in a province with 5 other hurling counties , Kerry are the only Munster county not in the Munster Hurling championship.Talk to any average Joe soap in Cork , Clare , Limerick , Tipp and Waterford and they couldnt give a shit about Gaelic football , Gaelic football is by a good distance the 4th sport in Cork , Limerick and Waterford. Even that misleading point you make is wrong ,Cork 7 Tipperary 4 Limerick 2 is 13 All Irelands,Galway 9 Mayo 3 and Ross 2 have 14 All Irelands, 4 of them were only won by Cork since 1946. Kerry have had a serious advantage of getting an easy route through to Semi Finals every year, which led them to been a traditional force like St Jarlaths in Connacht Colleges football in Connacht.Kerry have also lost more All Ireland finals and Semi finals than any other team in the country , Why do you think this is?

  85. 2019 was a special day and I’m not talking about the result.
    I travelled down from Dublin and it was standing room only leaving Heuston on the 8.30 train.

    The amount of Mayo fans around the town and the colour and atmosphere around the town was electric.

    That particular year Mayo beat us in Tralee and in the league final and Kerry were really fired up for that game.

    The trip upto castlebar in Feb was humbling and that should add extra incentive for us.

    I don’t anticipate a result like 2019 but we are proud of our record in Killarney and won’t let it go easily.

    For those that may strugle to find accommodation in Killarney at short notice then I’d recommend looking at Tralee as their is a very good train service which runs upto 10.20pm.

    Ofcourse we have to beat Clare first.

  86. Thanks Willie Joe..1998 I couldn’t remember ever playing Louth to be honest. Searchable archives great facility!

  87. I was there in Killarney and yes Kerry were up for it and we were limping along with injuries etc. I knew we had no hope that day but wouldnt write us off this year if we can get back to full strenght……..speaking of that where are we at with Brickenden, Hession and McBrien………..I dont think no news is good news…………
    By the way FW Cillian went very close to missing a penalty v Meath the next week so it could have been a trend……

  88. Playing Kerry in Killarney is an extremely difficult game for us .a bad defeat would have a serious knock on effect.this notion that Kerry are an average team without the Clifford’s is very strange.first of all they won’t be without the Clifford’s and secondly they have numerous players who walk onto any county team including Killian Spillane who often doesn’t even start alot of games for we perform in this game will tell us alot about where we are .the Roscommon defeat posed alot of questions about some key positions

  89. – Group is fine, we might have a few scares but should qualify.
    – Who benefits from this new structure as it is not obvious to me.
    – Players,: No as they have to play more high intensity games in shorter time span to win Sam
    – Management: No as way more games to prep and plan for
    – County Board,: No as huge increase in traveling and accomodation costs
    – Club: No as higher risk of key players getting injured or burnt out.
    – Supporters: No similar to county board with extra traveling and accomodation costs.
    The only group that benefits from this new structure is GAA HQ and their bank balance.

    Looking forward to Killarney but would prefer Ennis .!

  90. Don’t know why people are saying its a mad motion that i think kerry are an average team without the Clifford’s haha it’s just my opinion and each to their own sure ha

    Tyrone came and knocked them out of the all Ireland in 21 when Clifford was not 100% and I think he was actually taken off due to injury to . They then fell apart and everyone in kerry was shocked as they were sure they were going to win the all Ireland that year!

    However I am not saying it’ll be easy down in kerry ( no disrespect to clare ) in their home ground but we are well capable of winning this the break will have done us good and players back from injury . Instead of fearing kerry we should be giving our guys more credit we are still one of the best teams in the country and I don’t think any county would have liked to see our name crop up in their group!

    I am going with mayo on this to just about edge it.

  91. I think the new structure will mostly benefit Dublin and Kerry who largely go unchallenged in their provinces they will have a good workout or two before the quarter finals. Ok Kildare gave Dublin a game but I wouldnt read too much into it. I just hope the GAA have the decency to put the Kerry V Mayo game on at 2pm so people from Erris and Achill can get home at a decent hour.

  92. Clare I’m am assuming you are the same person that used to post on the Kerry forum ?

    To say Kerry are average without the Clifford’s is utterly ridiculous and absolute nonsense.

    No team wins every competition they entered last year conceding 1 goal in championship and all this based on only 2 players.

    Seanie Shea Average ?
    Gavin White Average ?
    Tom Sullivan Average ?
    Jason Foley Average ?

    Those boys would walk onto any county team.

    Everyone has the county biases but that should cloud reality either.

  93. @west kerry I meant no dis respect just stating an opinion this is a mayo gaa blog so hardly going to be saying kerry are great even if they are just stating an opinion and I am entitled to do it.

    Ive never once posted on a kerry gaa forum either? Yes had a browse but never posted ? Sure your posting here and having a look it’s a public forum and your welcome to but I’ve never posted on the kerry forum there are quite a few people called clare you know.

  94. I must be mistaken,
    A poster called Clare posted on the Kerry forum with very similar sentiments.

    You are completely entitled to your views amd i respect this forum as a Mayo forun which is very well run and enjoyable but average teams don’t win All Irelands.

  95. @west kerry well that certainly wasn’t me I don’t need to waste my time posting on other counties forums bad mouthing them.

    I respect others from different counties posting here that makes it interesting .

    Well each to your own last year was a funny year dubs off pace we were off pace I don’t think kerry will win it this year its really wide open so who knows then again I don’t think we will either but we still have a good chance of beating you in killarney .

    And also by the way there’s quite a few people who have the same opinion as mine so not hard to believe that someone else was posting on the kerry forum with similar views but that certainly was not me pretty childish behaviour to go onto another forum and do that !

    Should be a cracker of a game anyway .

  96. It doesn’t really matter if we win the group as we should make the top 3 and maybe the extra game will do us good.
    West Kerry ye are favourites imo but I certainly think Kerry would come back to the chasing pack without David Clifford. He is pure class. I would love to see Jack McCaffrey going man for man with him assuming McCaffrey is back to his best.

  97. Is it just me or has the quality of analysis/discussion on the blog gone down in quality of late?.

  98. Sticks for the Reek,

    Jack McCaffery was never a tight man marker and is more suited going up thd field.

    If I was to pick someone to mark him it would be Christy McKeague from Derry.

    Regarding favourites I really genuinely think this will be a close cagey game.

    Mayo will want to make up for the Rossies defeat and Kerry will want to maintain our home record.

    There won’t be more than a few score in it.

    I could end up with egg on my face tempting fate as Clare have huge incentive now.

  99. @Opt2misteek Hell yes, some painful repetitive nonsense being posted the last few weeks from couple posters in particular

  100. New pod is up on Patreon – Rob is joined on it by Billy Joe Padden and Mick Foley of the Sunday Times to discuss the group stage draw.

  101. Will now be shouting for Dubs in Leinster final. While we should emerge from the group, once again a number of us are treating the opposition with disrespect. Just as we did to Tyrone before the 2021 All Ireland. Yes we won the league, but we all know league is not championship. I was in Killarney for Super 8 game in 2019 and they gave us a good hiding. I was in Croker for game against an allegedly poor Cork team in 2014. We just about overcame them. I was in Limerick for an allegedly even poorer Cork team in 2017. They took us to extra time. No doubt Louth have improved under Micky and while we should be able to beat them we do struggle with defensive teams. We were not impressive v Ross this year. We all hope that the break may rejuvenate the team and our injuries will miraculously all clear up. Hopefully right on both counts. I can’t see us topping the group but at least if we come second we have a home preliminary quarter final. Nothing can be taken for granted. Plenty of shocks in Gaa championship already with more to come no doubt. Give all opposition the respect they deserve. Maigh Eo Abu

  102. If David McBrien is fit he will be tasked with marking David Clifford.
    That would be a really interesting match up.
    You have to big enough for Clifford is the starting point. McBrien is one of the quicker big defenders around and he’s good in the air.

  103. Tricky group and tough opening game. Some suggesting Clare and Louth win their provincial finals, but nobody suggesting a Sligo win. Shocks sometimes happen, but I think Kerry, Dublin and Galway will win comfortably, with perhaps Sligo coming closest. I hope to see us put in a good performance against Kerry to set us up for the remaining games, but it is difficult to see us winning down there and, on the evidence this year so far, if we don’t seriously tighten up our defence, we could get tanked. Moran is a loss for Kerry in midfield, but we hav’nt been setting the world on fire in that area recently. People saying that Kerry are an average team without the Clifford’s-I don’t agree with this at all and while undoubtedly David would be a huge loss, Kerry would still be one of the big favourites for the title, even without him and the problem is, they probably won’t be without him. We need a good performance in Killarney and get ourselves up for the remaining group games and, with all due respects to Louth and Cork, if we can’t beat them, we have no business going any further this year.

  104. Guys, I would ask that we show proper respect for all our opponents. Writing rubbish like “ if we don’t beat the likes of Cork”.. blah blah. Cork are a fine team as are Clare and Louth.If other teams are looking for more incentives to beat us then they don’t have far to look. Let’s not give them fodder and in the process make it harder for our own guys to win.Our team is relatively young and you know what ? Anything can happen with a young team. Let’s focus on ourselves and be cute and respectful to other counties.

  105. @Eyesontheball not quite sure who your referring to there and @op2misteek but its a public forum and people are entitled to post what they like within reason and also sticking to willie Joe’s rules about the blog.

    Your not going to like everything you see on a blog as its a blog just the way it goes if you liked everything you saw it wouldn’t be a good blog .

    Oh and also this painful repetitive stuff ‘you see ‘ sure there’s not been much people can talk about since mayo have been on a break . Maybe respect everyone who contributes to this blog as they make it what it is a long with willie Joe’s great articles of course!

  106. @willie joe why am I on moderation? For an expressing an honest opinion on kerry? Bit over the top to do that.

  107. Not sure there’s much disrespect in the phrasing ‘the likes of’. A phrase simply indicating a grouping of what the poster considers weaker teams compared to division one teams. The posts would be pretty dull if everything was GAA manager or player interview speak.
    If we want to be advancing in the championship we need to be taking care of business against the likes of Louth and Cork. I think that logic is a commonly accepted viewpoint on here.

  108. @willie joe apologies if I stirred up things was not my intention at all just expressing an honest an opinion .

  109. No need to apologise, Clare. One comment went into moderation at some point overnight (I’m just seeing it now) but I’ve sorted it now. I don’t know why this happened (maybe the use more than once of @, sometimes it can be sensitive that way) but it’s up now.

  110. @willie joe Ok thanks for letting me know! and glad I didn’t offend anyone on the blog !

    Kerry will be a tough task was not saying otherwise just that we are well capable of beating them is all.

    @west kerry didn’t mean for any offence just an honest opinion . Don’t know who was on your forum but that definetly was not me we all have bad supporters from our counties and that one your talking about was not representing mayo well !

  111. I think Kerry are a top side players mentioned are exceptional and Clifford is a freak of nature like i never seen and reality is Kerry wont be without him in all likleyhood for the next 12 or 13 years…… that takes us to All Oreland series 2036!!!!!
    Must say I think the Kerry fans are sound too… humble as it possible to be with 38 All Irelands and very well informed…..but they see us as a County that doesnt deliver on the day
    If we can get everyone fit though we could surprise……but it would be a surprise…..

  112. @1989 he def is a freak of nature ha kind of like how con collagen is for the Dubs!

  113. Con Collagen, your auto correct pinged in there Clare 🙂 He’s all natural Con O’Callaghan 🙂
    David Clifford is too class so it’s more about what can possibly David McBrien limit him to and can we win the battle out around the middle eught.
    But you can do that for 70 minutes and he will pop up 1-2 in the final 6 minutes and send you packing.

  114. @JP that auto correct on my phone drives me absolutely mad ha! David Clifford is better then con I think to but con is as near enough to David as any player in the country I I Atm haha

  115. Intriguing set of games ahead..Who knows what kind of Mayo animal will emerge after the six week break..MH will have Louth( if we get them) fairly pumped up..Take nothing for granted.

  116. With this new structure this could be very similar to the last time we went to Killarney for the championship. I think it’s probably important not to show our hand too much, we will have too much for Louth and we should be beating Cork in Ennis or Pearse. It’s important just to get back to Croker where we play our best football , wide open spaces and be cute about things. If that means a preliminary first so be it, but we need to be careful not to show our hand too early.

  117. @1989
    If Cillian “goes very close” to missing every penalty he takes for the rest of his Mayo career I’d be delighted!

  118. This new format is going to really test people’s fanaticism and finances. As someone who likes to attend every Mayo game possible, trips to Killarney presumably Limerick, God knows where if we have an eliminator and then Croker if we survive to quarters all in 5 weeks ffs. That is a serious commitment!

  119. Clare please do not apologise to me,

    Firstly I’m a guest here and secondly football is all about opinions.

    Far more serious things to be getting offended over!

  120. @west kerry very true far more things to get offended by your welcome to post here it’s always good to see outsiders opinions to !

    I do nearly feel bad for clare though if they have ever needed any motivation to put it up to you guys at the weekend they certainly will be getting fired up now with everyone everywhere talking about a mayo/kerry match and completely writing clare off including myself though to be fair !

  121. Kerry are far from average team without the Cliffords. Kerry’s biggest danger to winning Sam is their mindset, I just feel theirs a little degree of hunger missing in them this year…which is understandable. I genuinely can’t see how we’d beat them in Killarney, especially coming in cold. I think if we’re realistic, its the Louth and Cork games we need to be at full pitch. So if we can blow put the dirty diesel in Killarney, avoid injury and stay within a few points of them, ill be happy.

  122. @margie I wouldn’t write mayo off like that but sure your entitled to your opinion of course!

    Mayo will be wanting to make up for the rossies game we need to be at full pitch against kerry and I think we will give them a good scare and a rattle.

    If we can’t give them a good game we may as well pack up and go home we are well capable of beating them on our day we can beat any side when at full 100% . We shall see what happens it could be clare we are playing though you never know haha !

  123. A major thing with Kerry is that they got a bad run of injuries post All Ireland.
    – Gavin White. Top 4 most effective players
    – Stephen O’Brien. A very consistent half forward
    – Sean O’Shea. Top 4 most effective players.
    – Diarmuid O’Connor. Their best fielding midfielder after David Moran retired.
    – Brian O’Beaglaoich. A very consistent wing back and really good at taking the ball out from defence.
    – Paul Geaney. Experienced corner forward.
    Five of those players are typically around their middle eight.
    Whilst those players are back, it is not easy to return at the same levels.

  124. Anyone saying Kerry are an average team without the Cliffords are deluded

  125. Really , didn’t think it would be near that with them blasted ott safety regs .

  126. Kerry are a serious team . They have to be favourites for the All Ireland. Quality panel of players to choose from .its by no means just the Clifford’s we need to worry about!!
    I’ve no doubt Mayo will give them a serious test in Kerry but I’d be surprised if we beat them but hopeful.

  127. I think your right Sean,

    I think they have to reduce sme capacity for safety reasons..

    I’d imagine we’ll have 32 to 35k at it..

    IF we get there

  128. Teams and players cannot “get up” for big games every week. Look at Waterford for example – put everything into beating Limerick hurlers the first day and 7 days later they were mentally and physically exhausted and couldn’t lift there game at all for the Cork game.
    Similarly we wouldn’t want to invest everything into the Kerry game- try to win of course but look at the bigger picture

  129. Is the 3rd game in croker or just a suitable neutral venue ?

    Also Willie Joe you gave an update a couple of weeks back on what was out their on the 8 or so injuries – is there any updates that you are aware of in the public domain ?

  130. I think with clever use of the squad from week to week you stand a chance of keeping things reasonably fresh and new lads in bringing a new impetus. That only works if lads are chomping at the bit to come in and prove themselves,of course. The deeper squads will fare better.

  131. @Clare I didnt mean to offend you and wasnt saying your deluded or anything like that my comment wasnt aimed at anyone in particular I just think Kerry are a very dangerous beast without or without the Cliffords i still have nightmares of the All Ireland finals they hammered us in and That game in the gaelic grounds so I would always take Kerry very very seriously

  132. With 3 from 4 it would be more interesting picking who’s not going to go through. My money would be on Louth, Westmeath, Roscommon, Donegal.

  133. @Glorydays you didn’t offend me at all!

    Ah yeah get what you are saying I remember those games to sadly enough wish I could just blank them from my memory haha!

  134. @Big Mike, I agree with them predictions except Roscommon. They are lucky to have Sligo in that group and playing them at home. That win will be enough to see them through in 3rd spot. Having watched Kildare last Sunday they will beat Roscommon in a neutral venue.

  135. I think not going through :
    Donegal as I think Clare are in better form and their match is in Ennis.
    Westmeath as they are not playing well enough to compete with the other three teams Derry, Tyrone and Galway.
    Sligo as it is too big a jump too soon for them.
    Cork as Louth have been in better form. The Louth – Cork game is in Louth which is a big factor here.

  136. Tricky enough group for us, in my opinion. We won’t beat Kerry, and Louth and Cork are portential banana skins if we’re not careful. Cork are capable of a lot more than they’re offering and can often pull out a big performance when not expected, and Louth are well organised and defensive, which we always struggle against.

  137. Thanks Willie Joe…

    Back on the group phase I find it difficult to figure out best approach. Is it better for a team just to target one game win it and plan for a pre-qtr thereafter or go gung ho to top the group and save one game. There are pro’s and cons to each stratedgy but does the latter actually seem better in a strange way, not fully showing your hand using your wider squad in the untargeted games giving them valuable experience and keeping everyone fresh, reducing injury risk etc. I just have the feeling that some managers in some counties will do this (waiting in the long grass type approach).

  138. JP I doubt any game will be in Louth, no suitable pitch, Navan I would imagine.

  139. What happens to Clifford if he gets hit in a fair and heavy collision early on ?
    Some here seem to be very low on Confidence as to the Mayo upcoming games.
    Didn’t many of ye say the 6 weeks break was badly needed, I agree with this also.
    Some are forgetting that there 4 Provincial finals yet to be played, injuries can be picked up etc.

    I personally believe this current system is absolutely bonkers, where a team doesn’t know whether they should go all out in every game or not. It’s basically another League ( sure Mayo won the League in April).
    This rubbish of not showing ones hand doesn’t work anymore, managers know their opposition well by now.

    I mentioned this a few months back, the Referees will have a big say in things in the knockout games.

  140. Whatever about kerrys position without Clifford i think any of the top 6 would win or at least be favourite for the all ireland if David Clifford was with them. I know, i know if.

  141. No doubt : that is best way to contextualise his greatness . If we had David Clifford in our ranks our all Ireland chances would go from 30% to 70 % imho.

  142. Hello! Willie Joe and all Mayo folk.

    We’ll be sick of eachother again!!?? by season’s end. I’m completely against this new format, it’s a joke, from start of tge championship to the finish, you can lose 3 games and still win the All-Ireland, now! any wonder the standard will slip, any wonder players will get more injured, matches week in and week out, every second week up to the final, any wonder attendances may suffer, because fans will not have money in their pockets due to the condensed season, cost of living crisis. I am completely against the Split Season, mark my words, within 5 years time, they persist with this, there’ll be irreparable consequences.
    But you see the suits up in Croke Park want their August off you see. In the old format of straight knock out, it was all or nothing, you are definitely going to end up with dead rubber games. This is a ponzy scheme / a money scam for the GAA, they are flogging a horse into the ground here.

    As for our group, I think our record in Killarney will be under the most serious threat ever this time, from Mayo. I’ve been following football for many years, I’ll have to pull rank with the Mayo poster called In Rod We Trust, he states we have it too easy, yet we’ve won the most and lost the most All-Ireland’s, I think he answered that question for himself there, nothing to do with easy access, passage, we’ve still beaten the best over the decades from the other provinces. I’ll take issue with him over Cork, a county I know extremely well, Gaelic Football is not the 4th sport there at all, hurling is top, followed by soccer, then football, then rugby. In fact during Cork’s reign in the early 1990’s Gaeilic Football was actually the number 1, ahead of hurling from 1990 – 1993 circa. I know this as fact. This is not the case now, but West Cork, which is defacto Independent Cork, football is number 1, always was, always will be.

    The Clifford’s are not playing well this year, sadly because of family / personal – sickness reasons, most people do not know this, so the boy’s heads are not great presently.

    We have not replaced Moran in midfield at all, and we will not in a few weeks. This Kerry team are very good, but not great, we had a marvellous season last year, but the 6 in a row Dublin team were legendary, you win back to back, you are an excellent team, this Kerry team will not win back to back, so we’re just a very good team, like a school report you see, they are the differences between multiple, back to back and one off winners.

    Should be a great game in Killarney, if the sun is shining, the most picturesque intercounty venue in the country, no doubt.

    Best of luck! to Mayo and safe travels down to all of the great Mayo folk. I work up here in Mayo by the way and go home to Kerry every weekend for the last 20 years, so I know what I’m talking about.


  143. Micko, have to agree with you on the split season. It isn’t going to last, in my opinion. There’ll be a major injury to a couple of major players or fans will stop attending as much or both and that’ll be curtains for the format.

  144. @micko.Enjoyed that post a great read and imo a lot of sense except you may be forgetting about a certain clare game. If ye win munster good luck to kerry and as I posted previously about another game the best i can say for the mayo v kerry match is hope ye come 2nd.

  145. Micko , I think a lot more people know about the Clifford’s personal issues, but out of respect for the two boys, nobody is going to mention it. Best of luck to both of them.

  146. Micko,

    The Clifford’s personal lives are private and as Nephin has said they are known but out of respect not discussed on public forums.

  147. Gizmo, I would also presume that they won’t have the neck to put out the begging bowl again, following the wall tile fiasco. Someone’s head should roll after another major cockup , but I doubt it.

  148. Just to echo what others have already said, I think the current situation with the Cliffords is fairly well known but this isn’t the place to be discussing it.

  149. The resurfacing of McHale park looks like another mess.
    Surely the contractors who were employed and paid to do the work originally should be held accountable.
    I presume the contract specified the work had to be completed to the required standard. It obviously hasn’t been finished to the required standard – why should Mayo gaa pay for these deficiencies

  150. Kerry are a fantastic Team with or without the Clifford’s. They have serious players all over the pitch. True David Mórán is a loss to their Midfield but it’s not serious. Mayo have to win the Midfield battle against Kerry. I think we need to put Mattie along with Jordan and move Diarmuid to Centre Back. I would swap Conor Loftus to Jordan’s wing forward Role. We must win the Midfield to have any chance. Diarmuid will win breaking ball and can bomb forward or kick pass to our Forward line. Instead of talking about other Teams we should come up with new ideas of beating the Kingdom with the players available. We beat them in Castlebar…..Why can’t we beat them again?? Louth and Cork are making progress as well, I would not be writing them off, they have to be beaten but Mayo are in a different place. Kerry do not take the League seriously and are a different animal in the Championship. Their attitude and that of their Supporters is to win, win, win. They have this mind set drilled into them from early age, it’s almost like they expect Sam in Kerry every year! They have this exceptional mentality that acts like a shield against other Teams . If only Mayo could bottle that Kerry Mentality we would be winning Sam every year. Mayo must learn to Win, Win , Win. We have won the League now let’s go and win Sam.

  151. @The Heather is Rising

    I was thinking the same the other day. Mattie and Jordan in midfield with at Diarmuid at 6 and Paddy and Eoghan Mc completing the half back line.
    Another conundrum is how do we fit Aido,James Carr, Cillian,Tommy and Ryan into 3 places. Would we dare leave any of them out in a crunch match. Could Ryan play at centre forward with Tommy at wing forward or have I lost the head totally? Tommy caused Galway problems from wide areas when he came on.
    I have said many times I could never work out why Diarmuid was played at wing forward. I would have always played him at 11 but he would make a fantastic number 6.

  152. Reape
    Eoghan Mc
    Jack Carney
    Tommy Conroy
    James Carr

    Plenty of legs and know how. Good luck to anyone who beats that team.

  153. Tommy conroy caused Galway problems because they were behind and had players pushed up the field leaving space for conroy to exploit .Roscommon were ahead and kept everyone behind the ball leaving no space to run into.I haven’t seen either Flynn or ruane winning much clean ball in the air and Roscommon exploited this area.I would think jack carney is our most natural fielder of the ball

  154. If you swap Jack Carney and Matthew Ruane I think Jack Carney will compete in the air better with opposition midfielders. Mattie would be pared up against a 5’10” – 6′ wing back, so he might get a few kickouts from there.
    I would have Jordan Flynn as the other midfielder and would also (and posted here over the past few years) move Diarmuid to centre back.
    Is there value in moving Cillian to 11? Does he have the pace to play in the inside line?
    If Aidan is at 14 don’t the other two inside line players need to be pacey and able to track back?
    I’d be using Tommy as a bench impact.

  155. Naturally enough there’s lots of talk about the midfield setup and switching players around to make it work. I agree that maybe Jack Carney is a possible solution as it’s his preferred position and I’d also be interested in the fitness and form of Mikey Murray because a fit and firing Murray would be a huge asset.

  156. Just thinking wouldn’t that be a scary headline for this thread in the late 90s. Maybe Kerry, Meath and Cork. How times have changed for some.

  157. @1985, Jack Carney is the most natural fielder of that group but they all lack a little bit of height. The best fielder on the Mayo panel is Bob Touhy and he has the extra height to really win aerial ball. Anyway, Mind the House, I would absolutely love to see that team take to the field. Whatever about tactics, that is Mayo’s 15 best footballers and athletes on the field at one time.

  158. Good team mind the house, I would possibly go with Darren McHale to start ahead of Aidan as he could rotate inside or outside, as well as drop back defensively if needed, which Ryan and Tommy in particular may not be as comfortable with.
    Leaves Aidan as an impact sub off the bench

  159. Talk of Kerry being average without the Cliffords is nonsense, some top players have been listed above … but even with their best players the pitch Mayo still have a great chance. Firstly we’ll be raring to go, motivation shouldn’t be a problem, secondly the gap ensures a maximum panel injury wise in total contrast to 2019 when we knew it was a long shot, picking the team will be a nightmare especially the backs and FF line. Only Paddy D is sure of his place in the backs so if someone isn’t going well or picks up a yellow we have options.I would err on the side of Diarmaid at CHB with Jordan or Jack coming back and Connor competing for CHF but it’s marginal. Diarmaid seems to pop up in big moments with blocks and last ditch tackle situations but he’s doing that anyway from midfield. Relatively speaking Kerry’s weakest lines are midfield and GK and although both often have a good day they’re not consistently as good as other top 6 teams. We could well win but if we do the margin should be tight. David Clifford normally tips the balance for them but if we can keep him to 4 or less from play we have a great chance. Subs wise the Spillanes are great options for Kerry and will need watching perhaps with a fresh sub.

  160. No guarantee Kerry will hit the heights of last summer , more than likely they will but it’s no shoe in either .

  161. Kerry will be delighted to get a tough test like Mayo to let them know exactly where they are at. McStay and co will be traveling to Killarney with one ambition, to win. We are coming in fresh and injury free.
    Strengthen up our CHB position is vital. We need leadership, Kerry get it from Clifford and O Shea, maybe Hession Carney Flynn Conroy will stand up for us.
    One things for sure, we will be a handful for Kerry

  162. Point taken Willie Joe and West Kerry on the Clifford brother’s, it was only a small contextualised segment of a rather long statement I made, I know there’s a time and place, it’s still important to reference that rationale into why I think we may struggle this year, if anything it is paying ultimate homage to the two boys, because make no mistake about this, without the two boys, we wouod have not won any All-Ireland last year, absolutely, they are key to our success. Seanie O’ Shea needs to rediscover the form of last year too, could be a case of Second Year Syndrome.
    We have huge problems still with goalkeeping, making stupid mistakes with our lightweight, small goalkeepers, Mayo may target this if they put Aidan O’ Sé in around the parallelogram. He had a marvellous league. We haven’t had a top goalkeeper since O’ Keeffe from Rathmore back in circa the year 2000!!
    Ryan O’ Donoghue, a player I love, probably has the best feet turning tricks in the country with his boxing background, he is sure to erupt with class yet, after an indifferent league by his own standards.
    I’d be calling the game in Fitzgerald Stadium 55 / 45 in our favour, that close.
    Mayo are the most passionate and well travelled GAA supporters in the country. Should be a great contest hopefully.

  163. Do we know we are injury free .I haven’t heard any updates about any long term absentees

  164. Good man Micko, it’s been a long time since I’ve heard that word “ parallelogram “. Probably Micheal o Hehir was last to use it.

  165. True and also a little false JR ,Kerry are the standard setters and probably always will be cause of their rich honours list but of course they can be beaten even by little aul Mayo the odd time , 2017 sf , 2019 league final and a few league games to boot in the last decade .

  166. @JR mayo will also try and do whatever it takes to win they are beatable tough test for mayo but I have faith we can just about edge it .

  167. We should not forget about clare though haha I feel bad now talking about how they are already beaten ! Sorry for double post !

  168. Kerry have a respect for Mayo in recent years arising out of some defeats to Mayo.
    They will have come through a weak Munster championship and will have to raise their game.
    Both Kerry and Mayo know it’s a clash for the likely no 1 spot in their division.
    Mayo, having had a break, are likely to arrive in Killarney with all guns blazing.
    The pitch itself is similar to McHale, no great width and unlikely to suit two skilful sets of forwards who operate best when they can find space. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander in this case.
    Great game in prospect as it’s not life or death either for both teams.
    I expect Mayo to go full throttle and provided they come to grips with defending at the pivotal CHB position and let midfielders get on with the business of making probing runs forward without being unduly stressed to cover up defensively, then we can ruffle feathers in Killarney.

  169. Remember the 2014 All Ireland, they would have been as well to put a saddle on Murphy
    Also at the end they kicked the ball off the tee to slow things down

  170. I notice no mention of Bob Tuohy In discussions on midfield and fielding in particular. He hasn’t put a foot wrong, and is a guy who can catch a few balls. He will have a big part to play in the group stages, either starting or off the bench.

  171. Two big questions for me:

    Where does Aidan O’Shea play?

    Given Kerry’s struggles in midfield he could really boss that area.

    Who will be in defensive?

    Match ups would hopefully look something like

    McBrien – David Clifford
    Hession – Paudie Clifford
    Durcan – Seanie O’Shea
    Coyne – corner forward

    That leaves 2 places which for the league were Coen and Loftus, but it will be interesting to how management decide to approach it. I’d select Coen, but I’m a bit worried about Stephen O’Brien so I’d probably play Eoghan MacLaughlin over Loftus.

    I’m fascinated to see what we go with

  172. Since Dublin can have their neutral ground as Croke Park, are Monaghan allowed use Clones?

  173. The more I think about it I actually think clare are going to come firing at kerry this weekend they could actually win and shock everyone they are not a bad side I still think kerry will win but I won’t be surprised if clare pull off a shocker ..

    I can just imagine clare players looking at all the comments ,media & social media just talking about a mayo &kerry game in 2 weeks or so and be like ah here writing us off altogether..

    If I were a clare player that’s what I’d be thinking anyway ha!

    Say clare will come with a bounce but still think kerry to win.

  174. I just think Clare haven’t had a strong enough year to date. Fell over Cork and Limerick who are both a long way off Kerry.

  175. @JP very very true kerry are in a different league then clare of course but there’s always a few shocks a long the way to sam maguire …and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was this weekend with everyone talking about a mayo & kerry match before we definetly know ha!

    Though I myself have said its probably going to be kerry.. but I can just imagine clare players looking at all the comments and that about mayo& kerry match ha!

  176. I think bob tuohy has been mentioned as a midfield option but he is very young and would probably need to bulk up a bit to compete in the air with the likes of Brian Fenton,Paul conroy.Brian Kennedy and con kilpatrick .Clare getting close to Kerry is extremely unlikely as jack o Connor has been around the block several times and must be delighted how people are not rating them as contenders this year

  177. Gizmobobs. I presume he’s in the panel because he could be an asset. He’s probably payed as much as Brendan Harrison and both are still with the group because management think they have something to offer.

  178. Agree re Tuohy. A player of the future, no doubt but has some heavy lifting to do before he has the physicality required for midfield.

  179. @ontheditch trust me Jack O’Connor and Kerry have zero respect for Mayo and fully expect to beat us every single time.

  180. Kerry In Killarney on Saturday evening the 20th. Not going to miss this one for love nor money. After the huge disappointment of losing to the Rossies, this is the one game and venue I was hoping we would draw. In my opinion this will be the game we temper our expectations for the remainder of the season. Only a win puts us back in the picture. That is the bar we have to set for ourselves. Crossing our fingers and toes and hoping for a soft draw into the quarter finals if we lose is not going to cut it. Beating the best in their back yard has to be our goal, only then, can we call ourselves realistic contenders.

  181. You’d need to be fairly naive to not be aware of how Jack O Conor sees Mayo but in his defence how Kerry people judge county pedigree is by all Irelands and we haven’t won it in over 70 years now so that’s what it is . I’m not too fond of them tbh but you’d have to admire their ruthless sly arrogance cause they can back it up . But they’d never fool me , they are ruthless , nowt nice nor charismatic about their Gaelic football personality unless you’re naive and fall for the bullshit

  182. @Glorydays agree with you was at the quarter final last year the amount of disrespect from kerry supporters to us was unreal now I know every county has bad supporters including our own but we actually had to move seats over abuse from some kerry supporters behind us this and the pouring rain and our performance was depressing ha!

    They fully do expect us to beat us every time as pat Spillane says mayo haven’t a snowballs chance of ever winning an all Ireland thought he retired always see him crop up with saying something stupid as per usual ha!

  183. But that’s the point Claire , it’s not stupid cause we haven’t won the all Ireland since nineteen fifty friggin one , be stupid to say we will win the all Ireland in fairness .

  184. @sean Burke yes I know we haven’t won the all Ireland since 1951 think we all know that by this stage as we are constantly reminded to!!

    I said pats Spillane is stupid to come out with statements like that and has always been harsh on mayo …
    I don’t think we will cross the line this year but it’s certainly not stupid to say we will win the all Ireland as we will one day least we are always at the business end of the championship nearly every year even last year we got to the quarters and we were terrible last year!

    Look at all the counties who would love to even make a quarter final !

    So no its not stupid to say that we will win an all Ireland one day!

  185. Don’t know if it lifts or dampens the mood here but it looks like the most inform mayo player at the moment is in Australia. By all accounts oisin is in great form and on the senior reserves well ahead of expectation. Regarding the kerry game if they meet, o Connor won’t lose any sleep either way as he knows it’s knockout football that counts later in the year and we’re still in the tail end of mickey mouse stuff for a while yet.

  186. Oh sorry realised you meant oisin half asleep here ha! Sure he was always bound for Australia.

  187. Bit surprised with the Galway and Kerry teams. Both will win pulling up, surely with a convoluted few weeks ahead they could have both afforded to rotate things a bit. For all the criticism he’s getting, Dessie might be winning the early season battle of the big guns in terms of squad management

  188. Clare i totally agree with you . Kerry has to beat Clare yet and no game is a gimmie .Kerry will be under pressure from now on and if they beat Clare they will be under more scrutiny from their own supporters and we should have no fear of playing them in Killarney . Come on Mayo ye can do it

  189. @James Patrick Fleming exactly your totally right !

    I am glad kerry are favourites for playing us in 2 weeks that’s if they beat clare haha

    We have nothing to loose and all the pressure will be on kerry if they play us and I fully believe that we can beat them even in killarney we play best when people think we won’t show up ! Haha

    Also heard the mayo guys are bouncing to get back in 2 weeks and everyone is back in top form after the disappointment to the rossies not quite sure on injuries but they are feeling good after the break!

  190. @No doubt – He was withdrawn from the senior reserves due to injury.

    @Ciaran- That Galway team look very strong 1-15 and could possibly have the best starting team in the championship, i would still have my doubt`s about their squad depth though looking at who they have in reserve this weekend. Obviously it is not worry for them until the later round of the championship but in similar circumstances to last year`s all Ireland final is there anyone on the bench this weekend outside of Rob Finnertey you would be confident of making an impact on a game ?

    The Kerry team and squad to me still look`s the strongest on paper with the likes of Ó Beaglaoich, Killian and Adrian Spillane, Stephen O’Brien and Paul Murphy available off the bench.

  191. I think some are not looking at the bigger picture here and focusing too much on kerry in Killarney.
    We’ll give them a good rattle I hope but we don’t want to end up like Roscommon, naively targeting and pumping everything into a game that isn’t that important.
    No point in beating kerry down there and then losing the all ireland final to them a couple of months later.The two of course are not mutually exclusive but that for me would be a very Mayo thing to happen.
    What we need is to be in the QF or preliminary QF and win ever game from there.
    I hope and believe McStay is smart about this.

  192. No Doubt is Oisin not injured? He was a great talent for sure, and a loss. But no point thinking of what might be if he had stayed, Worth remembering what a half injured Clifford managed to do off him as well, Oisin was still learning his trade. we have to work with the lads who are committed to the team and wish Oisin well, I am sure he will be a success in Oz as he is a great young lad and athlete.

  193. Reape
    Sam C
    Jack Carney
    Jordan flynn
    Tommy .
    Another alternative team and don’t believe it will start but just looking at options
    Might be bit harsh on Carr and Mattie but serious subs to come on .
    All depends on how they are going in training and of course injuries/ fitness .
    Not sure how it would work with both Cillian and Aiden starting…
    Would kerry try and expose them breaking forward..
    Anyway just a thought on my tea break !!

  194. I’d agree that Kerry bench looks strong and Killian Spillane in particular impresses me. O Brien often starts but yes they have tricky options at HF. I don’t think Adrian would necessarily boss our midfield or other top teams coming on albeit he did well in AI final . And Paul Murphy was the no 1 player in Ireland circa 2014 but has somehow fallen back to subs, perhaps injuries slowed him down a bit as he’s not big but Gavin White is now their no 1 threat coming up from the backs with his pace, Murphy experienced but doesn’t always give them an injection off the bench. Cillian OC looks much sharper for us now than last year so I doubt their corner backs would get away with raiding forward as much in 2023 against us. As for our 5 FF options into 3 I’d play Ryan, Cillian and Tommy. Aido had a great league but could compete for midfield, CHF and FF. The one thing Aido does provide alright is balance at 13 as we have no natural lefties .. Fionn, Bob T and Kevin Mc all play further out the field and Aido is a handful drawing defenders to the left of their goal. Maybe just gets in ahead of James Carr who is a great goal scorer but less consistent tagging on points than other FF line options. That said Aido needs a high assist rate to keep James off. Only 2 of Cillian, ROD and Tommy gets in. I think Cillian ahead of Tommy because he’s ruthlessly efficient, ROD has to play because he’s like a young Cillian in terms of scores and leadership. He’s the only one nailed on. Kerry might swap their FB and CB if Aido at 13. On thing’s for sure we’re in a way better place injury wise this year.

  195. Galway team looks strong but what is Joyce at with his goalkeepers? It doesn’t look as if he knows his preferred middle 8. Could take a game or two for him to find it.

    Odds are he’ll get these two things wrong over the course of the group stage. Get both wrong on the same day and you’d imagine the likes of a Tyrone could beat them.

    Outside of the Kerry forwards, that doesn’t look like a particularly strong side to me. There’s three lads in their middle 8 that I don’t think will really play there. Morley, O’Shea and Paudie Clifford. So it’s really a middle 5 plus support players, and they’d hope O’Shea and Paudie will drag opposition players out of that area to even it up.

    Were the two sides playing each other this weekend I’d plump for Galway but obviously I doubt that either side would line up that way were they actually facing off

  196. Very strong team Jkel88 but it seems a bit unnecessary to be at full strength in this game.

    They could have potentially 7 more matches to play if they are going to win an All Ireland – all in a relatively short timeframe. Surely Sean Kelly, Matthew Tierney and John Daly at the very least could get a game off at this stage

    I’d be disappointed if McStay didn’t try a thing or two if Mayo were in this position. We have traditionally rotated well in these Connacht turkey shoot games over the years to be fair

  197. @Ciaran – Fair point, if anything even minor were to happen to Kelly or Daly it might rule them out for a good chunk of the round robin series and they are probably two players Joyce could do without losing.

  198. FW, if we are serious contenders, why wouldn’t we/couldn’t we win every game? We did that in the league, and the scheduling of the first championship game was unfairly set for the following week.

    We will have had a good break to recuperate and reset. If we maintain our form, we shouldn’t fear any team in any game.

  199. Still don’t think they’ve tried anyone else at 3 or 6 in competitive games this year (10 games deep) which seems absolutely baffling

    I’m surprised neither Spillane has fully broken through to the Kerry team at this stage, its a long time since Killian’s excellent impact off the bench in the 2019 final.

  200. @catcol totally agree with you!

    @FW we have to try and aim to win every game we play if we are serious contenders as Catcol has pointed out we did in the league and also kerry went out to win every game last year and that’s the way to do it no we should hold back for game we think we are going to loose what’s the point in that!!

    And we are capable of beating any team when we are playing our best !

  201. @Catcol
    We didn’t win every game in the league. We won the most important games and then won the competition overall…….you see where I’m going with this?

    As you like to point out everybody has their own opinions.

    I believe we are serious contenders,this year is wide open but there is no road map on how to win this format.Supporters and players getting sucked in to a non knockout game is naive,have a look at our dear neighbours in Roscommon.They had their all ireland in Castlebar, I don’t want us to have ours in Killarney.

    Id rather beat them in Croke Park in the final,it’s unlikely to beat kerry twice or three times if you include the league in a season.Without consulting the archives I’d wager its never happened.
    I think McStay is smart and will play the long game,having said that I wouldn’t be surprised if we win in Killarney.

  202. If we lose to kerry in our first game we are looking at the possibility of playing 3 high intensity championship games over 3 successive weekends culminating in a quarter final against a Dublin, Galway or Derry. How in the name of God is losing to Kerry not going to harm or hamper our progress in the championship? I too, hope Kevin is smart enough to work out the best way forward.

  203. @The Maroon Rover

    It’s a blow but not a knockout blow.

    And I’d rather be doing it with our squad rather than anyone else’s tbh

    Defeat would imo be a bigger blow to Kerry

  204. Agree Catcol, I still maintain we ‘sacrificed’ the Kerry game in 2019 to a degree, the Donegal one was always going to be pivotal and we ‘picked our battle’ so to speak. There has to be a degree of careful planning from all teams in the next week

    We’ve been given a bit of respite with the group, 2nd place (top 2 is more or less a certainty) should give us a pretty decent preliminary game at home, and then its a quarter avoiding Kerry. I don’t think topping our group is that huge a carrot. I wouldn’t be surprised if 2 of the semi finalists came through the preliminaries. This was what happened when the back door was brought in in 2001

    I just can’t see any way Mayo will beat Kerry twice in the next few weeks, and if we are to win the All Ireland we surely will meet them in the knockouts. I sure as sh1t know which game I’d prefer to win

  205. FW – we were in the league final when we played Monaghan – that game was a dead rubber for us, and we played (near enough) our second team. Perhaps McStay (though I doubt it) will target games in the group stages, but his mantra in the league was, we want to win every game.

    Incidentally, correct me if I’m wrong, but if we win our games, win *every* game from now on, we’ll play every fortnight, which is nicely paced. If we finish second, our pre-quarter final game will be the week after round three of the group stage, and the QF will be the week after that. In other words, finish second or third and you play three games on the trot to get to the semi final. That would mean Cork (definitely), Monaghan, Tyrone maybe, and Dublin or Galway in three consecutive weeks.

  206. I do not think we will beat Kerry in killarney and it wont concern me to much if we dont..the real competition begins in QF’s like every year!
    However I think the result of Cork v Louth is significant for us. A cork win would be best because although louth in McHale park will be uncomfortable at times we will win to put them out if they loose to Cork. Then result against cirk will not be so important for us. But if louth win against Cork then the Cork game is potentially a lot more difficult for us…

  207. I agree with many posters that the next 3 games are to be managed in a big way, this should be achieved by using as many players that are available.
    Is there any real point in putting everything into the Kerry/ Clare game with still 2 games to be played afterwards and 3 out of 4 teams go through to the next phase. The one advantage is that group winners get a free pass to the Quarter finals ( I think this is correct).
    Is it better that Kerry / Clare do not top the group and have to play another game to get into the quarter finals ?
    We are presuming that Kerry will be Clare in any case.

  208. My last contribution to this debate. We have a relatively young inexperienced team especially at the back. This is not the battle hardened unit we had back in the 2017 era who could turn up at quarter stage and blow teams away. This team needs to build confidence and momentum by winning big championship games. While losing to Kerry is not technically a knockout blow, I can’t see how we can readjust both mentally and physically and turn up at the quarter final against a top team, fresh and fully loaded.

  209. You are very pessimistic Maroon River we have experience now in thhe back line ,they have no fear of any forward line . They have confidence and more potential to perform on any day, anywhere.

  210. At a minimum we need to be coming second in this group, topping the group increases the likelihood of getting into the semi finals so this is important. Qualifying second increases the likelihood of getting to a Quarter final. Coming third just prolongs inevitable defeat

  211. Far from pessimistic James. For the record, I am confident we will top the group and make a semi final. I just wouldn’t be as relaxed and confident as some supporters, who think managing the group phase by holding something in reserve for the quarter finals is a viable way for this team to achieve its goal.

  212. Winning is a habit, you can’t turn on and off form.
    Go to win every gam necessary, we managed it in the league.

  213. Need to be topping the group IMO, a two week break and let your QF opponent battle it out in the play off game 6/7 days beforehand. The AI winner and finalist is highly likely to be a group winner i’d expect also.

  214. We’ll be going out to win the Kerry game , there will be no holding back. It’s not in any team’s nature to hold back. It also ensures likely easier QF if we win the group.

  215. It was my understanding there were to be fixture announcements with dates and times at some point yesterday the 5th of May ?

  216. There was supposed to be, Sean, and there was one but it only confirmed the Tailteann Cup fixtures. We’re none the wiser yet about our games.

  217. Ahh sound . Hate to use the too easy to use negative narrative about the GAA but they really do lack in skills like coordination of a competition .It’s not that complicated , 16 teams for cryin out loud .

  218. How can the match be fixed until Mayo know who they are playing against. It will probably be Kerry but it is better to wait until the Munster final has been played. I thought the fixtures were to be finalised on the 08/05 2023 when all the teams were known.

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