James breaks his silence

There’s been loads of media coverage today following this morning’s interview by Tommy Marren on Midwest Radio with James Horan. It’s the manager’s first public utterances since All-Ireland final day so it’s little wonder that what he had to say was widely reported in the media and also that the interview itself has been closely listened to by many.

Here’s some of the coverage that’s online about the interview: RTÉ, The 42, Irish Examiner, Irish Independent, Irish Mirror, Irish Sun, Balls.ie, Sports Joe, Connaught Telegraph.

Even if you haven’t listened to the interview itself – which is definitely worth your time – you’ll most likely have got the gist of it by now, with most of the main themes covered in those pieces linked above.

On the whole, I felt that it was a positive, upbeat interview. Most of the focus was on everything swirling round the All-Ireland loss rather than the details of the defeat itself, which wasn’t surprising as it wasn’t a sports interview.

In that respect, I think Tommy Marren did a good job. He set his stall out right at the start by outlining all the issues he wanted to cover and cover them he did.

James dealt well with the first no-nonsense question, about the supposed rift with Ciaran McDonald and James Burke, and while I felt the manager over-egged slightly his incredulity about some of the wild stuff being said – some of which was, let’s not forget, being said here on the blog too in strident terms by a few who haven’t been so vocal of late – he succeeded in tamping down decisively all the post-final chatter of an irreparable rift in the management team.

There was surprisingly little said about the end of season review. Tommy didn’t really probe this point at all, while James, quite reasonably, was able to say that it made sense for him to conduct the review before talking to the media. He could – and maybe should – have been pressed harder on this issue but it never happened.

He was, as you’d expect, strong in dealing with the social media issue – his well-prepped Churchill quote was deftly delivered and hit the mark nicely – but less sure when talking about player sponsorship deals and all that. He did, though, make the very valid point about all the work Aidan O’Shea does in the community, work that those all too willing to hurl brickbats at him would never acknowledge.

It was when the discussion skirted round the fringes of the match itself that I felt James came across less well. His bewilderment about the team not being capable of performing for seventy minutes this year was difficult to comprehend, his point about young players ‘tightening up’ on final day was wide of the mark and his now well-worn shtick about learning from the defeat grated more than a little bit.

The plan to hold a combine in mid-November – where, James said, the management team wanted to see the talent that’s out there and “get them in” – was, though, welcome news, as was his obvious enthusiasm to get back out on the training ground once again with the players.

Tommy made a late effort to toss a curve ball at him by asking James if next year is his final one in the hot seat but the manager saw that one coming a mile away and batted it away without any fuss.

I felt the interview drew a line decisively enough under everything that’s gone on this year, especially all the wild stuff since the final. That’s good and it’s well overdue because, as the saying goes, anger isn’t a policy. And, Lord knows, we’ve all encountered more than enough anger at this stage in the wake of this latest All-Ireland defeat.

In that regard, it’s good to start to put distance between us and the Tyrone defeat and to begin to look to next year. Today’s interview certainly helps in that transition.

If you haven’t listened to the interview yet, it’s available on SoundCloud – just hit the button on the player below.

133 thoughts on “James breaks his silence

  1. It felt like a box ticking exercise from Horan. There was little or nothing to take from it as a whole which would be seen as a win for him. Stumbled a bit on the O shea sponsorship deal and tried to turn it into an attack on Aido. No one was questioning Aidans character, just his judgement in the timing of the adds online. He didnt address that at all in my opinion. I am sure he was not over the moon to see it online on all ireland week.

  2. Nobody has any time for Aiden except Mayo people and now I am sad to say we are turning on him. Sure he had a bad year but people forget he is probably one of the best tacklers in the game.
    I don’t know his financial situation but if he does an ad in March and it is brought up again before the final it is not his fault
    People complaining that we had our press night a few days after the Semi are mad. I thought it was a master stroke
    Coen for captain, good head and great experience. No more Jameson for me tonight

  3. By singling out the younger players – saying they’re the ones tightening up – he’s in real danger of splitting the camp there. The older veterans who’ve had multiple calamitous All Ireland finals, far worse than the younger lads, might now be forgiven for saying/thinking: ‘buck up young fellas, you need to hold your nerve on the big day. You boys are letting the side down’. Perhaps it’s a troubling insight into James’s overall mindset and his loyalty to certain individuals.

  4. I think James framed that part about young players tightening up more towards looking to the future.
    Broken record of many posters, he has to have ear piece connection to the mgmt team first game next season. The absence of it will show review doesn’t extend beyond an already admitted issue hearing James Burke in the final and an already stated fact that selectors are not to be on the sideline.
    Simple thing, many would guffaw, no ear piece for the first game then any review of things to improve has no credibility.

  5. Why did James Horan not appear to be wired up to talk to McDonald in the stand if mcdonald was not allowed on the pitch ?
    Why did McDonald not just break the rules and stay on the pitch, pay whatever fines were issued like we did in 2020 when 3 members of back room team entered in back of a van?
    During semi final they were talking constantly and got the major decisions right.
    In the final when they were unable to talk the following happened: a corner back replaced by a forward when we had boyle and Harrison on the subs. No plan for mcshane and canavan when introduced given the damage they done when introduced in kerry game. A totally inexperienced player introduced when game was in melting pot. Forwards not performing but not replaced until injury time. Playing players in positions where they never play well and leaving them there.
    They are the decisions which in my opinion cost us the game. Would these calls have been made if James Horan and his selectors were talking on the day like they were against Dublin. Hard to believe they would. So if as horan said McDonald was not allowed on sideline during the semi how come they didn’t prepare for it and as a result cost us the game.

  6. The plan for McShane was Oisin. The problem with that is Oisin won’t be able to attack with full leap every ball. That ball got a bit behind his ground. You’d need to be a tall defender to have competed with McShane going backwards a bit. We didn’t have any tall defender only Brickendon and he’s inexperienced.

  7. If McShane got that ball into his chest he could have roasted a taller, less mobile defender. We knew from the Kerry match how good McShane’s movement can be with ball in hand. Looking at that goal in the final, I’m guessing Robbie must have called for it, ie he came off his line to attack the ball. This may have made Oisin hesitate. Either way, both of them messed up.

  8. Look what O’Hora did to Diskin two weeks ago. Look what Chris Barret did to Tommy Walsh in the ’19 league final. Men of smaller stature barely giving their opposing (much taller) man a ball. Granted, Oisin isn’t used to marking players like McShane, and certainly not from the FB line. The omens were there in the Christmas final last year against Con O’Callaghan. Perhaps O’Hora was the man for McShane. It’s easy in hindsight, I know.

  9. @Jrb, I think you will find in the Independent article today that Aiden’s photoshoot was done last July (the link is above) In fairness Tommy Marren did ask the question in that regard, can the management stop certain sponcerships, ‘Tricky’ was the answer, doubt Jim McGuiness would have found it too tricky to deal with it..@Galway Exile, at least the interview should have brought to an end to the idle speculation about what our management team would be for 2022 and that alone can only be a good thing, Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall for the ‘Review’ even though I don’t think we know who conducted the review or asked the questions, I can only imagine that James and Ciaran in the same room together would be on the same Hyme Sheet considering the fact that they are in contact 4 to 5 time’s a day… since the All Ireland final…At this point in time it doesn’t look like all the Mayo supporter’s are on the same Hyme Sheet at all… and if we are ever to hear Tuam’s finest the Sawdoctors belting out ‘The Green and Red of Mayo’ on All Ireland day, we will need more Choir practice, to be fully harmonious on the day if it ever comes. God knows we have aquatinted ourselves with so many Counties anthems by now on All Ireland days, was it the Sweet little Girl from Omagh’ last month?, Molly Malone time and time again, familiarity breeds contempt so they say, we were fed up with that one, Jimmy winning Matchs, The Rose of Tralee, again we were too familiar with that one as well more contempt, Beautiful Meath and The Banks of my own lovely Lee… The only Lee I want to hear being serenaded in song on All Ireland day is our own Lee Keegan, just after the Green and Red of Mayo’..Do you know when Garth Brooks fans finally get to Croke Park next year, it’s unlikely that they will get to hear as varied a collection of song’s as Mayo supporter’s have heard on All Ireland days.

  10. A management team that performed admirably in all other games appeared very disfunctional when needed most in the final. McDonald in the stand and if body language is anything to go by, Horan and Bourke were certainly not singing of the same hymn sheet.
    Disappointing too that Horan hasnt nipped this in the bud by speaking up earlier….
    Thankfully we have some cracking club matches to look forward to and take the focus away from a very damaging year

  11. How many times have we given up the same type of goals in big games…brogan…Donaghy..Murphy and now mc shane….can we never be prepared for this…sad..at least Aiden nullified Donaghy…where is current management’s head at in these situations

  12. Liberal role in the tie

    O’Hora’s was caught for a few scores himself in the final and Diskin appears to have slipped back on his underage form. Compare him to ROD and Tommy Conroy. I was looking forward to seeing Diskin but he did not impress me . He has potential so hopefully he may yet develop

  13. There were mistakes made by Management and by the players against Tyrone. You can’t blame the Management for losing. The Players bar Lee Keegan, Steven Coen and Ryan Ó Donoghue were not good enough on the day. It’s player v player, You have to give everything out on that pitch. Sam just won’t fall into your lap. You have to want it and to go out and Win it. Tyrone wanted it more than Mayo and it showed. We have the players to win an All Ireland but they have to perform on the Day. I think beating Dublin left Us in place where we thought All we had to do was turn up at Croke Park on Final day and Tyrone would be beaten. It was complacency pure and simple. No Management Team can shake that out if a players Míndset.
    Lee Keegan for Captain next Year. He is a Leader and the Players will follow him. The flame still burns.

  14. The Ad Aido did has no relevance what so ever to the outcome of the final or Aidos performance (wasnt like he was filming the day before) people just using this as an excuse to have a go at him, both from outside and within the county. No one ever complained about Cillian being in the back of an Eir van for the guts of a year.
    Galway Exile, in no way did it seem like Horan was trying to turn it into an attack on Aido. It is a tricky situation, the players are amateur and are free to do what they like outside the panel, personally players should take everything they can make out of the game considering the amount of time and personal sacrifice they put in.

  15. JP from where I was sitting in the upper Hogan, McShane gave Oisin a quick Shove in the back as the ball was coming in. Robbie had to come out at that point as Oisin was never going to be able to turn and tackle. Had Robbie not come out, McShane would simply have caught the ball and buried it.
    It was a clever push by McShane.

  16. Had to pull an All nighter last night with circumstances. There’s some match videos of u16 matches in North Mayo on YouTube. One thing I noticed in the amalgamation clubs is that there’s some big athletic footballers with decent mobility and skill level.
    To my eye these are footballers that would be at so much a higher level across ages 17-20 being from a strong club.
    If the academy system works we should get players from Ardmoy McHale, Naomh Padraig, Error St. Pats. Furthermore, the best 15 players of all three amalgamations would be a strong A level county title challenging club. They are decent teams individually, but like any underage team heavily reliant on 5-6 key players.
    Crucially some of these key players are precisely the type of athletes we will need.
    But, where will they be at in development in 4 years time at u20?

  17. good stage managed interview by Horan, good to see that McDonald is staying on , pity he didnt take a few questions from listeners either live on air or sent in before programme was broadcast, like why was O Hora taken off when he was just coming into game like he did in semifinal, what role was Aiden O Shea supposed to play on the day and the elephant in the room what is his take on the on going goalkeeper problem going forward. That said Horan is still best man for the job and Aiden is still worth his place on the team.

  18. @cumore, Horan is answerable to the county board.
    The answer to all three of those questions is “The mgmt team examine every aspect of the game and substitutions and tactics are a part of that”
    To the last question his answer would be along the lines of there not being any goalkeeper issue.
    Anyways, overall point is he’s not to be answerable to individual or groups of supporters.

  19. The sponsorship question as James said is a tricky one. It’s only tricky now because of the level it’s gotten to or the level it’s been let to get to. The problem is that it creates inequality in the squad. Sponsorship is offered to the more confident and high profile players. Some players without the confidence or profile are offered nothing and probably seek nothing. All are giving their all but some are hopping into their bangers after training while others slip into their top of the range sponsored cars. I believe that you can’t have an honest, we’re all in together, vibe when such inequalities are present.
    This is not the reason we lost, it’s just a problem that has worsened over the years and is surely not a help at this stage. Trying to take sponsorship off players may indeed be tricky, like candy off a baby.
    My wife’s view for what’s its worth is their should be zero sponsorship. Let them win an all ireland she’s says and then I’ll buy 2 of whatever they’re selling.

  20. Good point ahnow about the high profile players getting the sweet deals. Holmes and Connelly tried to keep it in check but we’re giving the road for it

  21. @Ahnow, There’s no solution. Some panellists are broke students living with their parents and in shared college campus flats. Other panellists are wealthy through business or career.
    Yes, some panellists earn decent from sponsorship. I would question the forthrightedness from some interviews over the years that there’s panels that split this money. How would that even operate and how would that operate if one panellist got 50k for a long term advertising? As is seen there is a price that comes with doing these things. Debatable if worth it bar for good money.

  22. This difference in sponsorship is the same in every top county panel including Dublin footballers and Limerick hurlers. Of course sponsors are going to invest their money in the high profile player to maximize the return on their investment. If a player is offered a free car for a year from a garage – can the county board or county manager really stop it. Wouldn’t we all take a car for nothing for a year if we were offered it.

  23. The James interview was never going to go into many specifics nor should he.

    100% capacity announced today for outdoor sporting events. Effective from this Friday, I believe.

    It’s good timing for the gaa faithful being able to attend some or all of the quater-finals, as otherwise QFs would likely be limited (sold-out) to the participating club members only.

  24. Mayo 36 Holmes and Connelly were given the road for a whole host of reasons and certainly if all but 7 of the panel were voting for them to go, then it was right that they were given the road.
    The very least of the issues was their looking to stop players getting involved in other things. They’re gone from the Mayo setup as are others that were involved in their backroom team and may they stay forever gone. Those 2 and their extended back room and some of the partners of the extended back room team have done more damage to Mayo Football than most can imagine. That’s before we even get into the shambles that was their appointment and their utter incompetence as a management team in the first place.

  25. can people stop denting players names with their performances of late, nobody knows why a player has a dip in form or what goes on in their personal life behind the scenes, think before you speak

  26. When any player, but in particular one of your highest profile, and longest established player and team captain does a high profile photo shoot to promote a company and it is published in one of the highest circulation newspaper the Sunday after your team qualifies for an All Ireland final, with accompanying article, according to the Independent made last July. ..I suppose the question is does this risk damaging Mayo’s chance’s in an All Ireland final?..If it doesn’t, it’s debate over, nobody’s business but Aiden O’Shea and good luck to him. But if it does, ‘Risk’ damaging our chances in terms of it’s timing or it’s content, it’s our business, Mayo’s several thousands of loyal fans, our 50 GAA Club’s business, who have paid over serious money for this, it’s all part of this big project . .. For me it certainly Risks the cohesion of the group, If any one player can feel so confident in his selection for an All Ireland final to do a high profile publicity shoot in the final stages of the Championship, and your a player on the fringes of the starting 15 or the 26 match day squad, what is that telling you about the objectivity of team selection? ..If anyone goes to the trouble of reading the accompanying article, it certainly seems to assume that Kerry are already in the final, something that looked a distinct possibility a few days before it was published, because Tyrone appeared to have pulled out of the Championship, but Tyrone were still in the Championship as both Kerry and Mayo would find out to their cost, .. Are some player’s too big to drop, irreplaceable in the management eyes?. Aiden played very poorly v Dublin and was rightly withdrawn only it should have happened sooner in the match. .. Considering Aiden’s very poor form v Dublin, considering the ill timed photoshoot and again Aiden’s poor form v Tyrone, particularly in the second half, for me it’s a serious question for James Horan to answer, why did Aiden O Shea both start and finish that game?

  27. @Leantimes, I think our football culture is so heavily about being a starter and starting. We are not big on the idea of players impacting from the bench. We’re a bit unscientific on the whole thing. Here is some numbers to ponder.
    With a decent study using GPS it was found explosive very short effort did not decline significantly quarter on quarter. This is a jump for a ball or a 7 yard sprint to make a block.
    But, the key game tempo repeated sprint speed, this was already down several % by the second quarter, several more % in the post half time quarter and several more % in the fourth quarter.
    From memory it was 6%, 11%, 17% that was the decline Q2, Q3 and Q4.
    Now, with the way the modern game is that repeated sprint ability, that’s your game tempo, that’s your able to hack the pace or not. This is the reason Kevin McLoughlin won the game v Armagh. He didn’t start. Recall that he barely got his kick away.
    A player like Aidan coming on at the first water break means he experiences a slower tempo of game with less of a gap to his own running ability.

  28. In fairness Fdb we’ve won 2 national titles in how many years ?

    Pat Holmes was manager for one of those.

    I remember hurlers getting in trouble years ago for having Paddy Power printed on their hurls and Gerry Kieran rip. in trouble after a Dublin city marathon for advertising a shop on his top.

    I think if they can make a few Bob let them off with it. No problem.

  29. Ideologically, I’m not a fan of this individual sponsorship, I have to say.

    But, if we’re talking two sponsors on the jersey, three if you count O’Neills, if we’re talking Hastings McHale Park (and how about St. Canice’s Credit Union Nowlan Park?), and we don’t bat an eyelid, can we be so pure about individual players?

    Take Oisin Mullin. If sponsorship can keep him in Mayo, then bring it on.

    Great work there JP btw.

  30. It was a significant number of quality players, with the benefits of elite training, performing way below par on the big stage, that lost the All Ireland..
    Why are we so sore about this particular defeat. Were we beaten by an outstanding Tyrone team?
    And what impact has this defeat going forward? Will we be able to trust players to perform to the peak of their ability, when we next get to a final?
    Make no mistake its an uphill battle, more uphill than ever. We have given any opposition the encouragement to feel confident when they play Mayo in a final. Thats the hard reality of this years defeat

  31. @Leantimes, for a team like Mayo there’s no doubt that it has the potential to do damage.

    I mean put yourself in the boots of a lad marking AOS for a minute, it must be a sledger’s dream knowing every minute detail about his life, don’t tell me this might not have some impact, all these little details contribute in some way.

    I think any local garages who are giving “free” cars to players need to have a long look at themselves, if they want to help Mayo GAA by all means do so but giving cars to players isn’t the way to do it.

    And there is a connection between these so called “free” cars and the over use of social media, there’s nothing free so if the price is being paid on the pitch in any way then to hell with the “free” cars, one All-Ireland medal is worth more than any car.

  32. FDBinashui that’s a awful statement about 2 of the proudest men ever to wear a mayo jersey. And Connelly also a leader and captain. Them men hav green and red blood in there veins. And for the record I don’t know either personally!!

  33. @Viper, ..I don’t know about the sledging, and I’m not suggesting that Tyrone done any sledging. In fairness the game was played in a very sporting manner from my view of the game. But I think the photoshoot and accompanying article could have been used for movitition by the Tyrone team. It was out there for Tyrone to use as motivation if they choose to do so, ammunition we Mayo had given them free gratis, shouldn’t have given them an inch. No one quite like Tyrone to play and win the mind games!

  34. Leantimes – Horan has shown the last 2 years how nobody on the team is irreplaceable. Just look at how the likes of Parsons, Higgins, Boyle and many others were basically phased out of the team. O’Shea was subbed off against Dublin so why would Horan be uncomfortable doing it again?

    The reality is that Aidan played reasonably well in the first half vs Tyrone. He was heavily involved in most of our 8 points. Maybe he should have been subbed in the 2nd half but you don’t mention who should have came on? Let’s face it, none of our subs (bar Hession to a small extent) made any positive impact. So taking Aidan off wouldn’t have solved anything.

    We still come back to the main issue of too many players just not winning their personal match ups. With a couple of obvious exceptions of course. Don’t like singling out players but Paddy Durcan and Mattie Ruane epitomised our issues on the day. Before the final you could argue for them being the best in the country in their position. Yet both were nullified and beaten by their Tyrone marker(s). I don’t think management can legislate for things like that happening.

  35. I’d agree with FDBinashui. Whilst there are always two sides to every story and we’ve only ever heard one side, all events in that one season left a damaging effect on that team. Sponsorship deals were at the bottom of the list of problems between management and players.

  36. Mayo 36 the facts justify anything and everything I have to say about that particular episode of management. It’s history now and it should remain so, and hopefully Mayo GAA will have more sense than ever allowing a repeat of that debacle.

  37. @Wideball, in 2013, Alan Freeman was in excellent form, won Man of the Match in the All Ireland semifinal v a very stubborn Tyrone team, he didn’t do any photoshoots, started the 2013 All Ireland final very well and was withdrawn after about 20 minutes.. James Horan has indeed shown us, anyone even someone playing out of their skin, in very good recent form could be withdrawn. ..I wouldn’t be egging up Aiden’s performance in the first half too much v Tyrone, he did OK except for he also left a goal and a point behind him, gimme of chances, he had a involvement in 4 of our first half point’s, (I would suggest to you that Mathew Ruane and Paddy Durcan had a far greater involvement, and both Paddy Durcan and Mathew Ruane had particular attention from the Tyrone player’s, and stopping them was a huge part of their plans, Tyrone didn’t seem to be overly worried about Aiden O Shea ) Aiden also left gimme of chances behind him v Dublin as well. There was no recent evidence to suggest Aiden would do any better in the second half. How good would you need to be to replace Aiden O Shea, in the form he was displaying v Tyrone or Dublin?

  38. So who would you have played, or brought on, instead of Aidan? And realistically what difference would it have made to the end result of the game?

    Going back to Alan Freeman in 2013 is a bit much. I thought that substitution was premature btw because although Alan hadn’t scored, he had one a few frees and was causing trouble. Exactly like Aidan in the recent final you could say.

  39. @Wideball, if I was managing Mayo, I would have dropped Aiden O Shea, for the All Ireland final. Going on his very poor form v Dublin in the full forward line, the photoshoot would have rubber stamped that decision. I would have brought him on to mark McShane. For me while maybe not All Star material, Darren Coen offers more in the full forward line than Aiden O Shea, as a starter, and a fully fit James Carr is definitely All Star material..I would also suggest that either Fergal Boland or Fionn McDonagh, would be better options than others who started or finished the game.

  40. The thing is though, the very fact that JH is having to address the AOS photoshoot stuff is a distraction in itself. Could you imagine this kind of stuff even having to be discussed if Coen/Durcan/Kev/Keegan etc were captain, not a chance.
    I must confess i winced a bit at the timing of the ad campaign, 2 weeks out from an all ireland final i couldnt believe what i was seeing. Talk about making a rod for your own back, you can be damn sure rony mcnamee was giving AOS his thoughts on it every few minutes of the game too. It just seems so needless.

    In general, i am all for players making a few quid out of sponsorships etc when the opportunity arises, more power to them i say, make hay while the sun shines but its the timing of it that makes it an issue for me.

    Anyways, the brass tacks of it is how he performs on the field that matters and he hasnt been doing the business there against the top teams for a while now so a bench role seems the best bet for him next year and could indeed be the making of him, look at the impact McShane had in that role.

    As JP says above i do wonder if we are too obsessed with starting teams in Mayo, you only have to look in here and other forums in the week of a match to see the hysteria over starting team named. I find myself wondering if tables were turned and we had tyrones squad how we would have dealt with it, the clamour to start canavan and mcshane would have been absolutely deafening

  41. It’s all a matter of opinions Leantimes, but IMO Darren Coen got plenty of time in the final to make an impact and didn’t do it. James Carr replaced Aidan in the semi final I’m sure you’ll remember but added very little. Saying he’s All Star material is way over the top. Boland or McDonagh weren’t going to turn the game in our favour either.

    So we come back to the reality that several of our best players seriously underperformed. You can write it off by saying they got special attention from Tyrone but that’s a cop out.

    A lot of people seem to want a scapegoat, but you can’t just boil the defeat down to Horan or Aidan O’Shea.

  42. When ya listen to the interview and then have a think about what he says about only putting in 35min performances as far back as the clare game,(league) surely after let’s say the Galway game then you have it worked out why that was happening . It’s one thing to critisise horans game management but youd have to think that throughout that time span from clare match to the all Ireland final it could of been solved? Or perhaps its too late to rectify such a standout problem once the season starts , is there a problem with the 80 training sessions, doing too much pre season , I dunno but im very curious as matter of interest .

    Re james carr debate above , he deserved way more time this year , it’s truly shocking people cant see his potential.

  43. I was at a club game last weekend here where I am living now. I was talking to a person who was at the all Ireland final- he has no connection with Mayo or Tyrone. First question he asked me – what have Mayo supporters got against Aidan O Shea. He went on to say the abuse being shouted out at Aidan during the game by Mayo supporters close to where he was sitting was “absolutely disgusting”. He said he never heard such abuse before by supporters on one of their own players. Imagine if Aidans family are sitting close to these supporters and have to listen to this. As I am not living in the county – maybe someone living within the county can explain this dislike for Aidan. Aidan is not – or never was – a Michael Murphy or a Brian Fenton. However, in my opinion because of his size he has worked exceptionally hard over the years to keep himself in shape to play football at the top level.

  44. I completely agree that endorsements and being a ‘high profile’ player etc can distract from performance. Whereas a player like Cathal McShane comes in, has one thing on his mind, namely ‘score a goal for Tyrone’, and bang, in it goes. Same for Michael Murphy in ’12 with his opening goal. 100% concentration, ie What do I need to do to win the All Ireland for my team.

  45. Of all the days a player plays, it’s on All Ireland final day where he’ll ultimately be exposed and found out.

  46. The image on the touchline of McDonald busting a gut pleading with Horan in the final and Horan just staring ahead as if he had forgot to switch his hearing aid on speaks far more than Horan’s words

  47. That’s all fine Liberal but u have to get to the final first. Many county’s that maybe should have..didn’t. Who do we want to manage jh s team. Because he has created this team just like he did before. Be careful what ye wish for. Remember Longford 2010

  48. James Carr has been less prolific in junior club football the last few seasons. So, that would be a factor in people not viewing him as being currently at a high level. My own view is he hasn’t shown the consistency needed. It’s fine to say needing game time, but there’s a certain amount of grabbing your opportunities required too.

  49. @Willie Joe, Apologies yes I definitely did go on too much today about one particular aspect of the debate!

  50. Yes jp I agree. Lethargic at times and definitely didn’t cover himself in glory against Dublin. I would let him loose for the national league for full games and see how he goes along with other hopefuls. Like boland. J Durcan. C o shea.flynn.eoin McLaughlin. Mcdonagh etc

  51. That’s my point though, Craggy boglands. We’ve always had unbelievable talent and still do, but some players have never fully achieved their potential, and there is massive collective pressure on Mayo which I greatly empathise with, and this may be impacting some more than others. There are probably a variety of factors why we continue to fail, factors that have been well thrashed out at this stage.

    Personally I’d keep James Horan on, as he has excellent managerial attributes, and I can’t identify anyone better. However, logic would say if he doesn’t deliver Sam next year that will probably be his chance gone, ie, 8 years with no Sam. No pressure.

  52. I’d say fair play to James Horan for doing his interview. He didn’t have to, but I’m glad he did it.

    There are two ways of looking at the way the year panned out.

    After Cillians injury, Connacht was going to be a struggle.

    After Oisins injury Dublin was a game we weren’t going to win.

    Up to that point everyone was happy.

    The year shouldn’t be judged wholly on what happened in the final. At the start of the year we would have bitten anybody’s hand off if we were told we could get that far.

    There were an awful lot of positives despite the final disappointment and it would be a shame if the whole year was consigned to the bin based on the final.

  53. If option 2 is passed it will be difficult to experiment
    All results will be vital
    Management generally knows best. However we need a full back and a brawler at midfield. A Paul Galvin or Shéamus Kenny type in the half forward line would be a bonus

  54. Some debatable opinions being aired here.
    The talk of restricting sponsorship is laughable. You’d swear Mayo were the only side with sponsored players.
    Pretty much every top side has multiple players driving around in sponsored cars. You think Conor McKenna is not getting loads of different income from sponsors?
    Bernard brogan was apparently taking in six figures in sponsorship per annum every year and his face was on every billboard going.
    The fact is it didn’t affect any of those guys on the park when they played. For gods sake – there would be several players from mid ranking counties driving around in sponsored cars.
    The phone thing with Aido was poorly timed and maybe in future a rule could be introduced placing a moratorium on such adverts in the lead up to any all Ireland semis and finals? Thats about all that could be done.

    Holmes and Connelly were NOT removed because they tried to stop the players getting sponsored. Having spoken first hand to a couple of guys in the panel at that time, there was plenty of very valid reasons why they were moved on. Without breaking any of WJs rules, it was clear to me that the right decision was made when the players came together to remove that particular management setup. The overwhelming majority of players voting should be evidence enough of that even if you didn’t speak to anyone involved besides. That’s not taking away from the excellent service that both guys gave as Mayo players and management for many years but their methods weren’t working with that squad in 2015.

  55. It’s a bit of a stretch to suggest James Carr is a hidden all star. He’s 24 or 25 now and is really a fringe player for Mayo, with potential to become a more established player if he can avoid the injuries that have plagued him.
    I’m also unconvinced that Fionn Mcdonagh is the answer at midfield, or indeed anywhere on the team to be honest.
    I’d say Jason Gibbons at 34 is a much more effective player, and is clearly not considered to be at the level.
    Boland – yeah I felt he deserved a spot in the 26 but is hardly a proven difference maker either at the elite level. On any given day there isn’t much between Brian Walsh and Boland really.

  56. I’m just going to enjoy the games next year and have no expectations let James and Co see out the final year of his second term and hopefully the county board will have the decency and guts to give Kevin McStay an interview and hopefully Appoint him as manager when a vacancy arises. My money is on Kerry for Sam next year they will collide with Dublin next year in the semi. Cian O Neill might finally add something to Galway and see them win Connacht next year

  57. 2019 carr got a start against Galway 2 goals motm, started against kerry did poorly ( like most of the team ), didnt start next game ,started v donegal 0-2 , v dubs 0 -1 .

    2020 … did he start any championship game ?

    2021 again I dont think he started any championship, he did start one league game v Meath( 2-1 )

    (Too lazy to look up archive so I could be a little off. But not a lot , point still stands )

    I dont get this plenty of opportunity. If ya ever want a definition of mayo football culture ,guys talking about bringing in Gibbons whilst telling me james Carr won’t amount to more than fringe .

  58. Glory days, you really think Kevin mcstay would ever apply for a Mayo job again, after the way they treated him a few years ago, seriously?

  59. Not good enough at both ends of the pitch it boils down to that for the last 15 years.
    can’t stop goals and can’t score goals.
    They are 2 core problems that need to be looked at in Mayo Gaa at senior and also at grassroots.
    Probably won’t happen though as we never learn from our mistakes

  60. Listened to the JH interview. Thought it was fine. What did some people expect him to say. The fact is that a huge amount of Mayo people were really angry when we lost to Tyrone. There was this mistaken belief that because it was only Tyrone in the final we were sure to win. How naive was that. We were fooled by a good 25 minutes against a Dublin team in decline. People who almost wet themselves in gushing praise of team and management v Dublin now went hunting for scapegoats after we lost to Tyrone. First port of call was the management of course. We heard stories of a dreadful falling out, no communication on the sideline etc.etc It suited the narrative for some people so they willingly bought into that. Next in line for attack was someone who has given a great decade to the county big Aido. In fairness this has not been one of his better years but suddenly the excuse for his sub par performance in the final was the dreaded photo shoot (done in July) And then of course the Co Board and the ticket fiasco. For me the biggest surprise on the day was the incredible amount of Mayo kids at the game. Anyway James interview was never going to pacify the scapegoat hunters. For what it’s worth I think this Mayo team is not on a par with some of the teams of a few years ago. We lost some great players to retirement and a really great player to injury. We did not play particularly well in any game this year but thanks to our determination skill and attitude we made the final. Unfortunately very few of our players with the exception of about 4 performed well on the day and we lost to a good but not great Tyrone team. Lost as we have been doing for 70 years .. But it’s not all doom and gloom. This management have unearthed some fine young players who will be a year older and wiser. They must be allowed to breathe, to express themselves and not be subject to personal criticism when they make errors or fall short in performance. Consistency takes time. We have waited 70 years so what’s one or two more. Maigh Eo Abu.

  61. I thought that Horan did a very good interview and hopefully has put to bed all the various conspiracy theories concerning manager, coaching staff etc.-unfortunately social media lends itself to the spread of such theories. I am on a few other sports discussion groups involving different sports and regularly after defeats, bad performances etc all kinds of nonsense gets brought up, based on the flimsiest of looks, gestures etc and most of it is exactly that, nonsense. Sponsorship,ads etc. involving individual players has nothing to do with their performances in games and even less to do with with reasons for defeat, and, as for providing Tyrone with motivation, they don’t need additional motivation in an All-Ireland Final. And probably all of the top counties in football and hurling have individual sponsorship and it did’nt stop many of them winning the championship. While it was disappointing that we lost to Tyrone and missed a good opportunity, too many of our players did not turn up on the day. In reality, we overachiever this year, especially without Cillian(I think we would have won, if we had him) and with other injuries, Eoghan and even Oisin, who probably was not 100%. We are still short in a few areas, a strong physical proper defensive full-back, a tall physical high fielder at midfield and, especially two or more dangerous forwards-we have too few and, as a result, are too easily contained-in many games, as in the final, we only had two scoring forwards, from play. Hopefully we can address and improve these areas for next year.

  62. ”GreenandRed”, ”to win just once” ” Larry Duff” would be in agreement with your comments.

    Sean Burke, I agree that Carr may make it as a Top Forward but he has been unfortunate with injuries over the last two years and even in the lead up to the final this year had another problem which left in hospital for a few days .
    Playing Junior Football at Club may be a hinderance to his development but Andy Moran only really developed when he was 26 or 27 years.

  63. Well that’s Horan and his management confirmed for 2022 and rumours hearsay put to bed.

    In his first term with the Mayo seniors he did 4 years (2011 to 2014) next year will be his 4th year in his 2nd term so I suppose that’s one of reasons why Tommy Marren asked if it’s final year?

  64. Stephen Crowley I hear you and I take your point and I know the county board treated Kevin McStay disgracefully but he is a proud Mayo man and I think he desperately wants to manage his county. He’d be as good as what’s out there if and when a vacancy arises

  65. Yeah injuries have been a concern , time will tell I suppose . If proposal B gets through hopefully he will get a few starts and prove me correct . Tbh I held the same line of thought on evan Regan, so i have form for holding out hope for “fringe players” to become stars i suppose .

    Its perhaps an outdated school of thought I have, I just dont believe it helps you win all Irelands to be without those type of forwards who are just made that way ,head down straight for goal , no awkward clumsy soloing , smooth tap of the toe into the chest , speedy and score with finesse . Gawd when I see some bucks soloing now I cringe and think lucky for you Gaelic football is more based on s&c than actual football skills . I’d say that’s why a lot of underage games are a joy to watch in general , crikey some of the players on ros teams this year were just such natural football talent ,Offaly were magnificent , you could watch that stuff all day long .

  66. Glad to see there are 2 sensible people posting comments that I fully agree with, they are, to win just once and GreenandRed,the true’st and most genuine articles since All Ireland. We will be back.

  67. Yep seen it earlier, dont know how I feel about it . He was killing us in the first half in fairness . We had no answer till he got injured . Savage footballer I’ll admit that much .

  68. Very one-sided take on the incident, though – Walsh instigated it but by that account it was little more than an unprovoked assault. Still, it’s nearly November so I guess it’s time for the Lovely Galway Forwards chatter to start cranking up again!

  69. Outstanding footballer, with the ability to be up there with the best in Ireland, still not convinced we’ve seen him truly fulfill his potential on a consistent basis which is very frustrating for Galway supporters

    The O’Neill appointment is a big statement by them, I’d say Tyrone’s All Ireland win has given them a big shot in the arm. Galway would have been rated at a similar enough level to them earlier in the year, in fact they annihilated them in the league 2020

    Interestingly Ian Burke is now back in the Corofin squad, i wonder will he commit to intercounty for the 2022 season

  70. We cant be crying about small challenge and brush off O Hora’s taking out of Walsh. Fact is we have a few rogues in our team and we need them. Actually the small hit was accidental. Some fans see things through tinted glasses

  71. We’ve been nice guys long enough,I’m delighted to have a bit of steel and playing on the edge in our team,you have to have it.
    Also while I think Walsh is a lovely footballer he might think twice about starting something (which he did) with O Hora again as he knows O Hora will finish it.

  72. I agree Willie Joe its a very one sided article. We were attacking, Walsh tried to stop his run. As they say if you play with fire you will get burnt. Walsh would have been better off letting sleeping dogs lie. If he was so badly injured he shouldn’t have played the second half.

    One thing which was never mention was M.Farragher three incidents. Farragher hadn’t played in any league or championship during the year prior to this game. He comes on doesn’t touch the ball once. Nails O’Hora in a late tackle, which he got a yellow for, then he give O’hora a sly box in the ribs for which O’Hora had to go off injured. Then he nails T.Conroy another late tackle after he took a shot. That accident he got his second yellow and marched. The question is was he brought on to cause a bit of damage when it was clear the game was out of reach and their turkey was cooked?

    We didn’t complain though and we won’t start complaining now three months later…

  73. Would fully agree with those 2 comments @to win just once and @greenandred. Basically put all my thoughts into words! 🙂

  74. Driveitlongandhard…you just did complain!!
    In fairness if O Hora assaulted someone like that in the street he would be locked up..
    Anyways its just another article for the scribblers..
    Personally we are in a mess up here. The O Neill appointment is what I believe a desicion joyce had to make. He is under extreme pressure from players and supporters and having his best friends on the sideline for the last 2 years has been an unmitigated disaster. A box ticking excercise to appoint O Neill. We had one retirement last week and I’d say more drop outs on route.

  75. Also on the same incident,it was very clear from the 2nd half that Walsh was in severe distress (as it turns out broken bones and ligament damage according to the article) On the day I could clearly see this from the stand but watching the game back it was blindingly obvious.I thought it was a shocking decision from Joyce to leave him on,not only from the point of view that he couldn’t move and therefore do anything in the game but also as a safety issue.It highlighted to me the inexperience of Joyce at this level,he panicked.
    Another example was bringing a clearly unfit Comer on in early in the 2nd half of the Covid Connaught final against us.Comer was gassed by the time he ran into position,this in a game we won by a point.Im delighted PJ is staying on with Galway.
    People should be careful what they wish for as regards who our manager is and what level we operate at.Theres not much between Mayo and the likes of Galway,Donegal and these sort of teams but we operate at a level above them most of the time.

  76. If 5 selectors came up with that staring 15 after the Dublin win, then there is little hope of curbing JH’s known failing of rigidity. It would take a panel that would put us in a position where it would be harder to lose than win for us to win the championship and I feel that this is what is in people’s heads – that if all the missing and injured guys are back in full strength we are unstoppable. However, even our first-choice players for key positions have shortcomings that were not covered or managed this time, and they will be found out again. We all knew what Horan was like and that is what played out again. As I have said, its a cultural problem within Mayo GAA that is there since before the All Ireland winners who had to take matters into their own hands to succeed.

  77. Honestly I’d take James Horan tomorrow morning..
    Joyce has failed miserably. Bringing back Sice in 20 and Farragher last year were terrible choices and didn’t go down well. Agree with above , Walsh was in severe trouble after the assault and it was mind boggling to leave him in there..

  78. Does anyone remember remember, or care to remember, that O’Hora had to go off in that game? Cracked or broken ribs seemed to be the issue. Wonder how he got them?

    What’s clear here though (despite Tuam Stars’ shrewd and fair comments as always) is that Galway are hurting. They will be plannin’ and plottin’ on what and whom to do when next we meet. Our players and management need to anticipate and think about this, and not be shocked or surprised at Galway’s physicality when the ball is thrown in, or before it. We do seem to have a problem anticipating a backlash from teams we’ve hockeyed. Tyrone could come into this category too; they looked for sure at previous big-match Croker defeats to us and what they could learn (sorry what ‘learnings’ they could take, to use managerial speak) from them. And learn they did.

  79. Rapparee – why don’t you tell us the players who should have started the final (taking into account injuries), since you think Horan made such a mess of it?

    I don’t honestly see anyone that could have made the difference in what was a comprehensive defeat in the end. We simply needed a better return from the players on the starting team.

  80. I’m still not letting 1925 go, CityWest, one we were robbed of by the neighbours in the committee room. So chalk that total down as a baker’s dozen!

  81. This “We’ll be back” stuff is absolutely cringeworthy and the peddlers of this don’t seem to realize how damaging this soft attitude is to the team, it’s far more damaging than the warranted criticism.

    I think some people don’t realize that constructive criticism is actually very helpful, there seems to be a bit of a guilt complex going on.

    It’s time everyone copped on a bit now including the cohort of supporters who think they are being helpful by mollycoddling the county board, management and players. All of these people are just custodians of the Mayo jersey, nothing more or nothing less.

    I have never seen any fair minded person criticize anyone for doing their best but the truth is too many of our custodians did not do their best and had they then we would have won the game.

    But putting out this notion now that Tyrone are some kind of world beaters is the sort of nonsense that angers supporters who know a thing or two about football and saying that we didn’t perform all season as if it’s acceptable is beyond belief, when the real question is why is the manager unable to get a full tune out of these fellas.

    Has he lost his mojo or is it that he is unable to fit all the pieces together, too much chopping and changing ?

    The truth is that the majority of Mayo players simply underperformed and were not sufficiently prepared and as James Horan admitted he himself has learnings to take, the problem is nothing has been learned on how to win the only game that matters.

    By all means call out people who dish out personal insults but if we are heading down this road of calling out people who carry out critical analysis then the people doing the calling out are really only trolling.

    Everyone agrees we did not turn up, so the focus should always be on why we didn’t turn up and forget about this “we’ll be back” nonsense. We were there and made a hames of it when we had a golden opportunity so that needs to be thoroughly investigated otherwise we’ll keep making a hames of it and some of us have had enough of our jersey being trampled on.

    It’s steel we want, not cotton wool and soft chat.

  82. Kieran Shannon in the Examiner a very good read today. As he says if you ask an engineer to do a job you wouldn’t insult him by asking him to explain himself. We may well have the best interests of the entire team at heart but we are not privy to the inner workings of the set up (nor should we be). James and his team answer to the Mayo board not us.

    I for one remember well the huge pessimism when Cillian was injured with few disagreeing with the view that it would be a great season to win Connacht. We did and made it to the final. We lost a game we could / should have won but in my view the entire team including selectors and managers are doing a lot more right than wrong.

  83. @Louisburgh exile, I think you would have a few questions for the engineer if the structure failed and he’d be expected to answer them.

    It’s actually the County Board who gave the go ahead for a raft of questions from clubs.

  84. @Viper. You would be right if the structure failed. Judged from the perspective of when Cillian was injured the in my opinion structure did not fail.

    The article is worth a read as it sets out something similar that happened in Limerick.

  85. All this engineer analogy malarkey makes me laugh ,irl I’m on a site which should of finished for me 18 months ago nearly but engineer mistakes have kept me on this particular project. It started off in 2019 , 150 apts , nine blocks , poured the whole slab and forgot to leave a rebate out for building the brick . A calamity of mistakes since by men who are qualified but lack real site experience imo . Point is this engineer analogy is useless , they are not beyond making mistakes .

  86. Sean – I think the point is you don’t let members of the public send questions into the engineer on what’s going wrong with the job. He/she will be answerable to the developer or whoever hired them. James Horan is answerable to the Mayo executive, not every tom dick and harry in the county.

  87. That’s the first time I’ve been able to sit through, either reading or listening, to anything related to the Mayo GAA since the final. And this is my first time posting anything too. I’ve gone from irrepressible optimist to stoic pessimist and I fear I may struggle to re-attain my former state.

    I’ve been here before, albeit in another sport. I used to follow the Irish soccer team, home and away. I turned my back on them many years ago when Glenn Whelan, from the centre circle against a 10 man Armenia at home when we were 1 nil up, ignored every outfield player around him, to pass the ball straight back to Shay Given. That was it, I’d had enough, and I walked out before halftime. I’ve not been back since. I made the decision that I had better things to do with my time and I have to say, its not a decision I’ve ever regretted. I like the Irish football team and I want them to do well, but my emotional investment is long since gone, never to return – a mere memory of me, as a younger man with few responsibilities.

    Now I don’t think my emotional investment in Mayo will ever dissipate. Its been a blessing and a curse and a joy and a penance since I was 8 years old. I can’t just say “no matter” and walk away, never to return, it runs far deeper than that. However, by the same token, there’s been a strong sense of a final straw since losing to Tyrone, in the matter that we did, that I’m finding hard to reconcile with. And therein lies an answer perhaps – maybe we all need to be a little more measured and a little less obsessed and a little more realistic in how we eulogise, crticise, hypothesise and ruminate on the goings on in Mayo football.

    Finally, one thing that really struck me about All Ireland Final day – after the game, in the streets and pubs around Croker, you’d have been hard pressed to tell who the winners were. The Tyrone fans weren’t marching down the road in unison singing “we are the champions”. They were patiently queuing to get into pubs, making their way to their cars, no doubt content and jubilant, but not emphatically so. The thought struck me at the time “Jesus, the Mayo fans were more jubilant on the way in before the match, than the Tyrone fans after it”. Maybe there’s a lesson in that for all of us. If we can collectively draw breadth and avoid losing the run of ourselves, it can only be a good thing heading into 2022.

  88. Malone S, Solan B, Collins K. The Running Performance Profile of Elite Gaelic Football Match-Play. J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Jan;31(1):30-36. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001477. PMID: 27191694.
    Above is the 2017 study on a large dataset of inter county players and matches.
    I had my figures wrong.
    If one takes high speed running as above 17kmhr, typical what we call 3/4 pace used to get around the field this reduces as follows compared to Q1.
    Q2 -8.8%
    Q3 – 15.9%
    Q4 – 19.8%
    Makes clear in my head that any player with a mobility endurance issue or limited top pace is so much more effective from the bench. They get a half time after only one quarter.
    Bear in mind that top speed does not reduce.
    But the general cover the ground 3/4 pace is down almost 20% in the final quarter versus the first.
    You could also look at how much of a weapon this makes a pacey player in the final quarter.

  89. @Louisburgh exile, the structure most definitely failed in the All-Ireland final, there’s zero doubt about that.

    You do acknowledge that “We lost a game we could / should have won”.

    But you can’t blame Joe Public when it’s the County Board themselves who are the ones who gave the go ahead for questions to be submitted from the clubs.

    I think you will agree that this was totally amateurish of the County Board and not long after we had the absolute fiasco regarding Kilmovee so it beggars the question as to whether the County Board are actually qualified to carry out a review to begin with.

    How can someone who is not an “engineer” be expected to carry out an investigation into another engineers work if he’s not qualified to do so.

    Anyways, that’s why I keep preaching that every minute detail needs to be planned from day one (including the possibility of injuries), it’s very easy to carry out a review afterwards and find what failed if that’s the case.

    I mean there is only one question that needs to be asked and it’s a fair one; why has the team not been able to put in 70 mins + performances in the last three games ?

    I think if that question is answered with honesty it will cut out a lot of the speculation and put an end to it. We all know they didn’t play well (bar a few), what people want to know is why, so they can see it’s being tackled.

    I would love to have heard James address this a little yesterday without going into too much detail.

  90. @Wideball, ..James Horan is answerable to the executive and not every Tom, Dick or Harry, in the executive we must trust apparently. We don’t even know, who asked the question, what the questions were, never mind the answers to the questions! I think a review was a good idea, but from my point of view the idea of a review lost allot of it’s potentcy after our chairman, a guy who I believe was an improvement to our County Board, announced that he would step down very shortly. Now who is the Mayo Executive answerable to?.. Does anyone remember to about this time two years ago and what was happening with our executive and our County Board, before Liam Moffat was elected as Chairman of the Board?

  91. @Viper. I agree with your question “why has the team not been able to put in 70 mins + performances in the last three games”. I also agree that the CB approach of asking the clubs to submit questions was not sensible (if you read the Examiner article it is suggesting the same thing).
    What we know is that the question has been asked (James suggested they have been discussing it for some time) but not what answers they have come up with. In my view the answers are not something hat should be publicly shared as it would just give our “competitor” an advantage

  92. Proposal B gathering momentum I see president is backing it along with Director general .

    Marren of sligo spoke about it also ” Speaking to promote the Win a House in Sligo draw, organised by his club Curry and Roscommon’s Shannon Gaels, ex-captain Marren predicted many players will withdraw from panels if the status quo remains.”

    Perhaps they should listen to the players . Mayo look likely not to support either proposal but shur our buckeeens didnt back donegal in their motion to take the neutral game for Dublin out of croke park either , they do love a neutral venue in a a home venue our buckeeens.

  93. That prediction by Marren would be wide of the mark as regardless of the format there is a big desire to play football now with all the waiting around with covid (just look at numbers making themselves available for club football) . Plenty of players opt for the summer away overseas and with the championship now over for loads of teams in the first week of June it gives county players the opportunity to commit and spend the summer away.

  94. Why the hell is he doing an interview on local radio, that’s as much a bad idea as the questions from the county board. Most of the answers he gave seemed fabricated. He never addressed the point of a senior player who didn’t perform in a semi final or a final doing a promo gig before the final properly, that’s the managers job to police that similar to all other counties. He also speaks to all 5 selectors and 1 five times a day but doesn’t feel the need to wire them all up during a game.

    Shane Walsh interview, one word, cringe. And to think someone decided it was a good idea to make him captain.

    On the structures thing, the top counties won’t vote for B, they are obsessed with their senior inter county teams and how far they progress each year.
    The provincial councils won’t want it but believe me the profile of most inter county teams has never been lower.

    Club members(like me) are entitled to ask questions, like I have of the county delegate going to provincial/central council.

    -Why have only 2 All Ireland Football titles come west of the Shannon in 50 years and what’s being done about it.
    -Why are 18 year olds now playing rugby and soccer and is the move to u17/20 under review.
    -Why are county managements allow ruin the club game and the scheduling of games(worse in a dual county)
    -Why are rural clubs dissapearing before our eyes and what’s being done about it.
    -What are Galway and Mayo doing to help the game in the other counties in Connacht.
    -What are Galway doing to develop hurling in the other counties in Connacht.
    -Why is there no continuity or joined up thinking from underage development through to senior panels.
    -How come Leitrim and Sligo are the only counties in Connacht with proper centres of excellence
    -What’s being done about the legacy debt in Mayo and Galway GAA
    -What is the policy on commercial endorsements for members of county panels.

  95. Great Article by Kieran Shannon. It would do no harm if some of the contributors to this blog were to read it especially in relation to the 20 questions in Limerick and think of some of their contributions re their Anti Horan agenda repeating the same points day after day. Never knew we had so many top class managers available in the County. I hope some of them put their name forward and see how they get on. We have not been too successful at Under 17 or Under 20 of late .

  96. I’m not sure the article has anything to do with supporters discussing their teams latest failure and why that might of been .

  97. I wonder just how much Kieran Shannon of the Examiner has examined the modus operandi of the Mayo Executive for the past number of years?..In the radio and TV ads of yesteryear ‘In Cork the Cork Examiner is the one they call the paper’ So went the lilting jingle of the ad. Well in Cork at the last GAA convention, despite the Mayo club’s decision that Mayo go to the Cork Convention and back the Donegal motion, Mayo failed to show up, ..A less than lilting and willingly forgotten reality by some in the Mayo Executive, could go ‘In Cork, Mayo was the only County who failed to show up’.. Maybe someone else working for the one they call the paper’could re-examine the Mayo Executive!

  98. The blog is getting hard to enjoy.
    Obviously we’re not going to agree on everything and that’s the way it always was.However a couple of posters ( never seen or heard on the blog before the last game or two of this year’s championship ) have popped up repeatedly making the same negative points in lengthy sermons.It really takes away from healthy debate as if you challenge or refute the points they’ll respond with the same post again and again and again.I see there’s a new podcast up so I’ll look forward to that but will give the comments a miss,I’m not keen to hear the same prerehearsed posts shoehorned into any story about Mayo.

  99. Chesneychet – not for the first time, that’s just a trolling comment from you, one at odds with the facts about the incident in question.

  100. That Walsh article is quite unbelievable.
    Could you imagine De Paor, Walsh, ODonnhail, Joyce etc getting thrown on the ground when they played. Not likely.
    Just a big soft center in that current Galway team

  101. That Shane Walsh piece is the only thing remotely related to Mayo GAA that has made me laugh since 11th September. Mayo being consistently competitive makes the summers relatively enjoyable, but by god, the winters are consistently miserable and septic. And it’s not because we are losing All-Irelands.

    In all the fall-out after the game, and the discussions about Horan and about Moffatt stepping down, not one person has mentioned the other elephant in the room. I certainly won’t mention it either. But what has gone on behind the scenes in Mayo of late has led to a point where it has bled most of the good out of it all.

    Exiled in Dublin, your post hit hard.

    Grateful for the distraction of the club championships, but even that feels a bit sour now given the events of the week gone by.

  102. I haven’t posted anything since the final but kept checking in on blog every now and again and didn’t see any post to entice me to post until @FW.agree totally it’s getting harder to read and actually a bit toxic and depressing. Willie Joe I don’t know how you keep going. I think it’s time to move on and I’m sure nobody will be forced to go to or watch the games next year. Give the players and management a break and all try pull together. I was as depressed as anyone about the final but it’s gone and never coming back

  103. @Anne Marie, not sure what things you’re talking about that have gone on behind the scenes in Mayo, but anyone who’s attended clubs matches over the past few weeks will have heard all sorts of mad stories/rumours, and not the ones about the resignations. It’s hard to know what to believe right now.

  104. Very good post Exiled in Dublin, but and here’s the but, unlike Tyrone we Mayo supporters have not witnessed one single Senior win in many of our lifetimes. This is the sad part.
    I have now come to finally realise that I probably will not ever see the win and I actually do believe in this curse.

  105. @Centerfield, It’s not that long ago we had a few of our fellas dragged to the ground like rags dolls in an All-Ireland final and clearly we have no shortage of top class whingers either who have all the problems but absolutely zero solutions to anything.

    @Louisburgh exile, yes I read Kieran Shannon’s article, highlights how important it is to have the right people on the County Board, unfortunately the right people are usually too busy sorting real life problems out and working for a living and it’s highly likely Liam Moffat wants to focus on his own work and good luck to him.

    I’m glad to see he touched on my Director suggestion as well.

    It’s funny how attitudes change in even a decade, back in 2010 the then Mayo county secretary Sean Feeney gave the players an absolute rollicking and had no issue with describing games which were lost as being a “disaster” or “game that was there for the taking” or saying “too many players failed to perform” or that the Mayo team had no spine.

    Back in 2009 he also said “The team lacked leadership and strength in key areas and until this is addressed we will not be serious contenders for Sam Maguire,” and described the loss to Meath in that year as a “total collapse” and had no issue in saying the collapse was “inexcusable”.

    He also had no issue in letting the manager and backroom know “they had a lot of work to do”.

    The man who issued those words over ten years is now the Mayo GAA president, maybe he proved that sometimes criticism helps in the long run a a good wakening up is no harm.

    But it just goes to show you how soft minded many have become in such a short space of time, anyone who would use language like that now would nearly be described as an antichrist by the same County Board yet it’s own president used those words himself just over a decade ago when referring to players, team, management and performances.

    I think the man called it how he saw it, you could do that in the “good old days of 2009” and go on to become president.

  106. Alright back to the club championship. My predications for the weekend:

    Ballina to win
    Knockmore to win
    Bellmullet to win
    Garrymore to win

    Aghamore to win
    Davitts to win

    Parke to win
    Mayo Gaels to win
    Louisburgh to win
    Crossmolina v Kilmaine draw

    Ballinrobe to win
    Ardnaree to win

    Kilmeena to win
    Islandeady to win

    Junior B
    Kilmovee to win
    Ballycroy to win
    Eastern gaels to win by the skin of their teeth

    Anyone disagree?

  107. Onr of the mord interesting remarks by Horan pertained to the availability of a pitch in the 3 week run up to last year’s all ireland. I couldn’t believe the team had to travel to limerick for training in prep for a final because the county board made the decision to resow the pitch. And am I right in saying mchale park was unavailable again this year before the all ireland? I dont think any other county would allow players drive over 2 hrs to another county to train in the lead up to an AI final? I know it cannot be determined to be associated with the loss last year but it certainly cannot have helped.

  108. Driveitlong, I havnt seen Ballina this year, but would be surprised if they beat Westport. Westport moving very well. If Ballina were to win, it would put them as favourites to win it out in my book.

  109. My attempt at the weekend games

    Westport, Ballintubber, Garrymore and Breaffy to win.
    Davitts & Aghamore to win

    PKC, Mayo Gaels, Louisburgh & Crossmolina to win
    Ardnaree & Ballinrobe to secure Intermediate for next year

    Kilmeena & Islandeady to progress to semi finals

  110. Thats a very fair point Stephan Cowley nearly 2/3rd of that Westport team have been involved with Mayo over the years. Correct me if Im wrong, but have the following been involved with the county team at some stage:

    Lee Keegan
    Rory Brickenden
    Eoghan McLoughlin
    Fionn McDonagh
    Mark Moran
    Kevin Keane
    Colm Moran (was a panelist when we won the league in 2019 I think)
    Ben Doyle (Started corner back v Westmeath in the league)
    Paul Lambert – Not sure if he was ever involved with the senior team, but did play underage for mayo

    That is 9 player! Surely to god with a team like that they should be steam rolling the championship year in year out! The great Corofin team were lucky to have one or two player playing for a mediocre Galway team.

    If these lads are worth their salt they want to start showing it with county titles, the club is rolling in cash which is also a benefit…

  111. @Driveitlong&hard


    Senior: Westport, Knockmore, Garrymore & Breaffy

    Intermediate: PKC, Mayo Gaels, Louisburgh & Kilmaine

    Junior: Kilmeena & Islandeady…..

  112. Well it was about unfairness, unfairness in my opinion dished out re fixtures to Kilmovee, a club in County Mayo that Mayo County Board and CCC should have been playing in a neutral venue as was first the original plan, and a Club who helps to pay the outrageous burden of debt on Mchale Park,.. It was about how the Mayo County Board weren’t in any way proactive in fighting against the obsiously unfair advantages conferred on Dublin by on high, re the home, away or neutral status of Croke Park in Stark contrast to the treatment of Kilmovee.. Now I agree it was rambling and but I tried to bring a bit of humor to it, to lighten the mood, seeming as there has been so much bad humor as late re GAA matters in Mayo.. It’s only my opinion, and I understand fully not everyone else’s cup of tea!

  113. Kilmovee have been treated shamefully and I cannot understand why.
    Con Moynihan was supposedly in pole position to replace Liam Moffatt was Mayo chairman.
    He threw it all away on the back of giving Achill an unwarranted home advantage for a junior championship game they were always going to win regardless where it is played.
    What a rock to choose to perish on.
    Unbelievable really.

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