Just one change for Donegal game as Cillian returns

We named our team a bit earlier on tonight for Sunday’s league match with Donegal at McHale Park (throw-in 2.30pm). Details of the starting fifteen and subs for Sunday are as follows:

Mayo (NFL Division One v Donegal, 24/3/2013): David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Chris Barrett (Belmullet), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Lee Keegan (Westport), Tom Cunniffe (Castlebar Mitchels), Colm Boyle (Davitts); Barry Moran (Castlebar Mitchels), Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Cathal Carolan (Crossmolina); Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole), Michael Conroy (Davitts). Subs: Kenneth O’Malley (Ballinrobe), Kevin Keane (Westport) Michael Walsh (Ardnaree), Shane McHale (Knockmore), Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber), Alan Freeman (Aghamore), Cathal Freeman (Aghamore), Richie Feeney (Castlebar Mitchels), Enda Varley (Garrymore), Evan Regan (Ballina Stephenites), Alan Murphy (Ballinrobe).

The sole change, then, from last Saturday night sees the return to the starting fifteen for the first time this year of Cillian O’Connor, who replaces Evan Regan at top-of-the-right. Aside from that, it’s a case of as you are, both with respect to the team itself and the subs bench. Sunday’s side, by the way, contains eleven survivors from the team that started last September’s All-Ireland, with Kevin Keane, Donal Vaughan, Alan Dillon and Enda Varley all out for Sunday where they’ll be replaced by Chris Barrett, Tom Cunniffe, Seamus O’Shea and Cathal Carolan respectively.

While Cillian’s return to the fray is clearly to be welcomed, giving him his first senior start of the year less than twenty-four hours after he captains the U21s in their Connacht semi-final against Galway tomorrow afternoon is a bit strange. To be honest, it’s probably a reflection on just how crucial this league match is for us but, then again, if that’s the case you’d wonder why experiments that patently aren’t working – chief amongst them playing Aidan O’Shea at 11 – are being given another airing against the All-Ireland champions. I guess the head-scratching is set to continue until we actually start winning matches again.

Unfortunately, I’m once more going to be posted missing for this one. This was the one league match I was absolutely determined to get to this year (aside from the two on this side of the country that I’ve been to) but a combination of family commitments this Sunday – with a funeral now tossed into the mix as well – means that, in the absence of bi-location powers, I definitely won’t be there. TG4 are showing it live but I’m not even sure I’ll get to see it then though at least I’ll be able to record it for viewing later on if needs be.

36 thoughts on “Just one change for Donegal game as Cillian returns

  1. Why o Why is O’shea at 11 ? For fucks sake . Jesus May and Joseph im going to cry.
    Is this game being televised ?

  2. Don’t understand why O’Shea is at no. 11, unless it is just to get his best 15 out, no matter if he’s suitable for the position or not. It’s clear Aidan is not an intercounty centre forward, and is far more at home at midfield, so I presume it’s a case of having run out of options, with Dillon and Moran missing. I also fail to see why Barrett is being persisted with in the corner instead of Keane. Keane is a serious footballer – Barrett, while having his strengths, is too small for corner back and has proven before that he is not a natural one. Hopefully O’Connor will add something to the forwards, though I do agree that is looks like a panicky move playing him so quickly after the under 21s.

  3. AOS best midfielder in country why oh why playing CHF again. The man loves flying forward coming onto ball not having to win it then turn.

  4. Bit late in the day but I don’t know why he doesn’t try SOS at CHF. I remember him playing well there when JOM first bought him onto the senior panel.

    He would have a presence there and would mean AOS back in midfield.

    Keep the faith..

  5. I’m disappointed in that team as I thought that there would’ve been more Changes. Hopefully Cillian will be ok after the U21 game on saturday. I agree with the above posts re Barrett & Aidan o Shea. Seamus O Sheas inclusion puzzles me as well. I’d prefer Keegan at 6 and Cunniffe at 5.

    I had a feeling all week that we would beat Donegal but I’m not so sure now. High balls into our full back line will give us bother with Barrett there. Shane mchale would gave been my option. We will soon find out. It’s a must win to stay up.

  6. Opt2 anybody that saw Jason last Saturday night will tell you we are not hiding a gem

  7. Willie Joe

    Here we go again..you say 2.00 Sunday..the GAA page says 2.30 ???????
    I’m always there in time anyhow at least we will not have to endure the lighting debacle of last Saturday night; a disgrace. The poor hurlers had to play their final ten minutes in semi darkness and the first half of the football was played at about 60% with the tops for the night attaing a good 70% at best. The scoreboards are at it again; any night I go down there’s always something amiss; the last night the timing clock had gone on vacation.

    Sorry for the bitching (I have deliberatley omitted the football for my anger management)

    Let’s go for a double……,,,,WIN of course

  8. Apologies, Citog, my mistake – throw-in is 2.30pm not 2. I’ll correct the post now.

    Steve – you’re going have to elaborate a bit more on your justification for that rather lazy swipe you’ve just taken at Jason Gibbons. Correct me if I’m wrong but wasn’t he only brought on with ten minutes or so to go against Kildare?

  9. The buff, don’t go near that one. Do you remember his horror show against Sligo a couple of years ago?

  10. Yeah, Aidoxi at 11 is a bit odd, I could understand it if it was clear one of the midfielders was going to move somewhere else and he slot back but I cant see any obvious place for B Moran besides 14, and what then do you do with J Doherty?
    Unless hes planning on playing 3 at midfield but usually when you do that theres a clear “floor cleaner” mopping up the breaks, those 3 (SOS, AOS and B Moran) are out and out air men trying to win kick outs so thats a bit puzzling. Unless Cillian isnt actually going to start and B Moran will head for 14, anyway wont be long now before we know all. Christ we better win.

    Heard a rumour, and sure isnt that what sites like this are all about, rumours, coz God knows none of us knows feck all about it 🙂 that Donie and James are in a bit of conflict about differing styles of play. Donie wanting to go for the more traditional foot pass, set up 1 V 1s versus the more modern style of possession football, handpassing and running onto the ball – going back to go forward. Could be a load of shite of course but if it is the case you’d think that would all have been worked out, as much as possible, before he was asked to join up.

  11. Just a note to let everybody know that your season tickets will not allow free entry to the u21 game on Sat. I for one am a little disappointed. I’m not sure if I’d be bothered signing up again next year. I’ve had lots of little problems such as not being able to get seats together with kids in Croker, having to wait much longer than people paying cash at McHale Pk, having to go to McHale Pk to collect tickets for match in croke park.

  12. Its going to be a big test and this weather could suit Sos as id imagine the game will be at a slower pace and will give him the chance the chance to win ‘Dirty’ ball. But if mayo players decide to take the ball into the tackle we will turnover a lot of ball.

    I know this is a gaa page bit I saw on the mayo advertiser site that regina sweeney was assaulted for the third time. Gaa fans would know her husband declan from knockmore and mayo gaa circles. Its an absolute disgrace and I think that us in gaa in mayo

  13. ….can do something to help them. I hope the scum thay did this for a third time are brought to justice

  14. Citog, amazing the lights issue was not even raised in the match reports of the hurling and football games. With a diesel generator it takes 45 mins to reach full power. Turning them on at 6.40pm for a 7pm throw in is bad maths and an embarrassment to all mayo people. its like the Celtic Tiger times , building a big mansion and then not being able to heat it. And its not the first time it happened.

  15. Best of luck lads hope mayo win hope the snow won’t put the Donegal crowd off coming down anyone know is it snowing up there hope there is big crowd

  16. Unfortunately I can see where citog is coming from . A high ball came to Jason, unmarked, dropped it and took two more attempts to pick it off the ground. I know he can’t murdered for that but it showed poor ball handling skills

  17. WJ – Jason just isn’t up to the quality needed in my view. He us cumbersome. In the 10 minutes last week he turned ball over 3 or 4 times. Lacked balance and ball handling skills. Thats how I feel about him any time I see him. I’m sure he’s a grand lad but we’re about trying to win football matches. And thats the bottom line cis Stone Cold says so

  18. I think james Horan deserves credit for trying Aiden O Shea at centre Forward, if he gets used to the position and dominates the area, like he can , the benefits , come championship will be enormous. We are strong at Mid field with our options there,and when Andy Moran returns to Full Forward, we will have a balanced team, with each line strong.
    I would like to see McHale getting a run, again, in the full back line, he is a tight marker, dependable,hard to get around and strong.
    Lets hope we take our frees this time, and win.

  19. That’s okay, Steve – though you will know I’m not a fan of “isn’t up to the quality” types of statements being made here about individual players. Also, as Advanti has already pointed out, Jason isn’t going to get a chance to show what he can do if he’s on the bench all time. After a brief spell in the starting fifteen towards the end of the league campaign last year (when he did okay), he’s been a sub ever since. I can’t imagine being tossed into a more difficult situation than with ten minutes to go in an All-Ireland final but he was one of the lads who took the fight to Donegal in those last minutes, scoring a screamer of a point in the process. That would suggest he has something to offer.

    The problem I have is how James appears, once again, to be loading up his bench with players he either has no intention of using (such as Michael Walsh, Shane McHale and Alan Murphy) and those that he doesn’t fully believe in (such as Kevin Keane, Alan Freeman, Richie Feeney and Jason). I’m not sure that’s the best way to assemble a strong bench and it’s not exactly fair on the players in question either.

  20. Have to agree with ed re AO’S. I still think his best position is MF but he has the potential to cause havoc at 11, especially in terms of getting goals again. Hopefully the 2 lads at MF will give us a nice platform.

    Mayo to get 2 goals and win tomorrow 😉

  21. Ah seanod87 when has Aido shown that he can get goals-I’m trying to think if he ever scored one.(mind you,he’s not alone)

  22. I see the main gaa heads at congress have decided to change Gaelic football as we know it with this black card rule. This could work to mayos advantage as I still believe its in our nature to play football as opposed to all this pulling and dragging. Heaven knows what brolly is going to talk about next year when cynical Mayo will be no more!!

  23. @opt2misteek He’s scored his fair share from FF. My personal favourite being in 2010 league v Tyrone when he skinned All Star Conor Gormley for pace and slotted into the corner. Could be wrong but his only champ goal came against Meath in Croker in his 1st year at senior. The boy knows where the net is.

  24. Edit: just looking at WJ’s archives there. AO’S scored those goals in 2009. He scored 3 goals in 4 Championship games in his 1st year. Also, looking thru the archive, he has scored goals regularly from FF in league and champ.

  25. Maybe Horan is selecting AOS @ no.11 to prevent Karl Lacey from having the freedom of the pitch as he did in Croke Park. He may also slot AOS into midfield and detail Seamus to follow Lacey?
    Not just because we need the win but I really hope we get this one because I do not believe that Donegal are all that they are made out to be, either this year or last year, and that McGuinness didn’t reinvent the game as is currently being hearalded.
    Come on lads, we know there is a big performance in ye, now is the time.
    Hope we fill the Park and roar our lads on.

  26. No sign yet of the Donegal team for tomorrow being named but Karl Lacey definitely won’t be playing as he’s only just back in training after being out for months with a hip injury.

  27. Dissapointed to see AOS again at CF and it beggars belief to be start,n c oconnor after not alone the long lay off but also after play,n for 21,s today..It may only be the league but tomorrow will tell us alot about this team against the all ireland champions and whether they have balls or not…………

  28. Dont think the lineout will be as named, anyway heres to an early goal and a win Maigh Eo Abu

  29. anybody know if A moran back for galway game,i think that A oshea B Moran as good as any midfield in the country ,wish he would leave them there,why not try S oShea at cf as has been said already,why keep changing midfield with championship almost starting

  30. Does anyone have an update on andy morans fitness?? I remember hearing months back that he was aiming to return before end of league, that will hardly happen now? Likewise Alan Dillon, when does he return? Dublin did us a favour last night hopefully cork can do the same today we have to win too obviously

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