Keane the main concern for Saturday

Kevin Keane

Photo: Irish Times

When he met the press last week, Stephen Rochford was happy to confirm that all of the squad – bar long-term absentees Ger Cafferkey and Jason Gibbons – are likely to be available for selection for Saturday’s Round 4B qualifier against Westmeath at Croke Park (throw-in 6pm). Video of some of Stephen’s discussion with the journos last week is here.

At the press briefing Stephen said that although Kevin Keane was able to train, he was being restricted to non-contact work. The Mayo News reports this morning (paper and digital formats) that Kevin’s involvement in training since then has also been on the same basis and that, as yet, no definitive decision has been made as to whether or not he’ll be okay to line out on Saturday. The paper says that if he isn’t then Donal Vaughan or Stephen Coen are the most likely replacements for the Westport man.

Aside from this significant doubt, it’s all good news with the squad. The hamstrung trio of Chris Barrett, Conor Loftus and Tom Parsons are – as Stephen Rochford confirmed last week – all available for selection for Saturday’s match. You’d have to think that all three will be drafted into the match-day 26 but I’d say Tom is the only one of them likely to be considered for a starting spot the next day.

There’s no confirmation as yet about when we’ll name our team for Saturday but some point on Friday evening seems to be our preferred time this year for doing so. I guess we can expect an announcement around then on this occasion too.

On match-day logistics, ticketing details for the game are here. Two extra train are also being laid on for Sunday – one from Westport and the other from Ballina – and further details on these are here.

86 thoughts on “Keane the main concern for Saturday

  1. if Keane isn’t risked Donie Vaughan would be a sensible choice. with caff gone too we need a back up for Keane and I think Donie is the best option all things considered

  2. That’s a real concern as Heslin will take some watching inside. Neither Coen or Vaughan are natural full-backs so we’re not replacing like with like.

  3. If Keane can’t play and, as sensibly suggested, is replaced by Donie, hopefully this is where the sweeper system could be an advantage. An isolated Donie vs Heaslin is rightfully a concern but with backup it’s less of a concern

  4. Play Vaughan in full back and keith Higgins playing sweaper allowing kevin mc to move back into wing forward position
    And reinstate tom parsons with Seamus o’se at midfield

  5. Cohen might be a better option. Quicker than donie maybe? Parsons into midfield. And give loftus a good half hour if he is fully fit. I think he could make an impact.

  6. Wj said last week we have plan for fb position do I’m trusting that if Keane don’t make it we will have decent deputy. Maybe he is togging out himself lol …

  7. In relation to logistics for the match its my understanding that the north and south quays are closed all day on Saturday so no cars, buses or taxis along the quays. This would have implications for people coming up to Hueston. Not sure about the Luas from Hueston.

    I think Coen should play full-back as he’d be quicker off his feet than Vaughan – Vaughan has been in the squad along time and has never – as far as I’m aware – spent much time at full-back. Obviously it would have been felt that its not his position so I don’t think we should be gambling with him there now.

  8. Vaughan started out his Mayo career in the fb line and was’nt bad. I”d have him there ahead of Coen as I feel Heslin would bully Coen around the place. Vaughan the man for this job. The Quays closed all weekend to facilitate the laying of the luas tracks.

  9. Something that we need to think about going into this weekend, without tempting fate or been disrespectful to Westmeath, is that we need to consider that IF we win this game, we are out again the following weekend. The last two years, you could probably say that the final nail in our coffin was that we ran out of steam and players, against both Kerry and Dublin. We seen the same with Ireland in the Euros against France. Ireland were out on our feet in that game in the second half which led to the concession of two quick goals. Something similar happened to us against Dublin in the replay last year.

    This is something for management to consider this weekend. For example would we start Barry Moran against Westmeath and bring on maybe Tom Parsons or Seamie after 40 to 50 minutes. Then keep Barry in reserve in our next match. Or would we maybe start Conor Loftus up front along with Cillian and Evan against Westmeath and keep Andy in reserve for the last 20 minutes and have him ready to start next weekend. It could be a risky game to play but something we need to consider.

  10. Donie in there from the start. A hardier client for Heslin and Co. than Coen. All the permutations points to us having a good pool of players to choose from…..a good place to be for any squad and maybe the difference between us and about thirty other counties. Hon Mayo.

  11. Regardless of who is fit, available etc, the team announced on Friday will prob be the same as Kildare game with changes made if required just before throw in. I would expect Keane to play with Parsons on the bench to come on early in second half.

  12. Toughnup;?? What do you mean staying in Division 1 was priority? Mayo have been an established Division 1 team since 1998, I believe. If that was the priority at the start of this year, then what was the players revolt all about???
    What are the changes in personnel since last year? Of the ones you mention, Clarke was first choice last year until injury. Higgins and McLoughlin were both playing last year. Keane in for Caff, nothing new there. Diarmuid was nurtured into his present role last year. Regan, Coen and Durkin were all brought in last year. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there doesn’t appear to be one change in personnel from last year.??
    And what changes have taken place for the better since last year? None that I can see.
    ??Let’s not kid ourselves here. It’s the All-Ireland or bust for the team this year. No point in trying to change our objectives in hindsight.

  13. Nephinbeg Rochford said it himself that division 1 status was priority. Established as we are look at all injuries we had early on. I mean how many changes do u want to see? U see things differently to me and that’s ok my friend

  14. Nephinbeg are u saying the emergence of Harrison Regan durkin are not significant

  15. Toughnup, Rochford did say div 1 status was a priority back in January which was true. This was secured and im sure priorities moved to retaining Connacht and challenging for All Ireland. Connacht was a failure but that doesnt mean a tilt at an AI is not on. Big improvements are needed but this is probably the last chance for this current panel. New year there will be changes to the side where Rochford really develops the team in the direction he wants to go.

  16. What does All Ireland or bust mean exactly?? Are they going to turn to stone at midnight on Sept 18th if they’re not AI champions?. Seiriously, of all the annoying GAA sayings these days, that one takes the biscuit entirely.

  17. If Keane isnt fit to start or indeed play, I would prefer start Barry put Donie at FB and introduce Parsons later in the game

  18. Relax yàll. Lets get Saturday ,please God out of the way first. Then I promise I Will

    hold the jackets for ye.

  19. Mayo mad yes priority 1 was divisional status. In the post that nephinbeg is referring to I never said that that was only priority. I of course would give right arm for sam as u would. I also posted that we will fear no team. That backdoor could favour us greatly instead of easy route to qf like usual years. Nothing constant only change. Dip in form can happen. No one knows how far we can go this year and that’s ok wit me. Steady progress will do.

  20. Correct Mayomad. ?And the heave against the management last year was predicated on the players’ assertion that they would be able to land the big prize with new management. ??There has been no change in personnel from last year. So, this is the defining period for this current panel. They have failed the first test by not retaining Connacht. Hopefully, they can back up their demands from last year and finally deliver before this team is broken up.

  21. I’ve been hearing every year since 2012 that this is the last chance for this panel(admittedly mostly Galway and Roscommon men). What aload of Rubbish. The whole team isn’t going to turn around and quit if we don’t win the all Ireland this year! Andy and Alan might retire after this year no matter what happens but I wouldn’t expect anymore. Sorry to disappoint ye lads but this team isn’t going anywhere.

  22. Niallmc, win or loose the AI this year, there will be changes to the team and panel, no one is going to quit but thats just the progression of sport. Next year you will have players like Lofus, O’Donaghue, Reape, Irwin, Ruane, D Coen, A Gallagher, Flanagan all pushing for inclusion in starting positions or at least on the panel. They have to be brought through for the overall good of the Mayo team. Thats nothing against who us there as they are great players but a few of the present squad will loose out. It happened to Conroy and Sweeney this year and will happen to others next year. Cant keep going back with the same players each and every year and expect different results.

  23. To those saying this is last chance saloon and all that you have to bear in mind that right now the standard of football overall is at a pretty low ebb. Even the Ulster final, traditionally a huge fixture on the calendar, was a mediocre slugfest a week and a bit ago. We’re in the age of half-arsed blanket defences, over complicated systems and over-training for a high proportion of teams

    Leaving out Mayo here as I really don’t know where we’re truly at but if you take out Dublin and perhaps Kerry (who even if they are a shadow of the 00s side are still the “best of the rest” and very consistent) you’re left with teams who are either coming to the end of a cycle, are rebuilding or else just plain average. And that’s only the top 8/10!!! Not to even mention the standard below that

    If Mayo can maintain any sort of form and hunger over the next few years they’ll be always there or thereabouts. The “All Ireland or bust” cliche was surely hung out to dry for once and for all after bouncing back from 2013 and 14.

    Not sure about this “aging team” stuff either I hear a lot about. Key players like AOS, COC, DOC, and Keegan are all 26 or below. The likes of Freeman, Gibbons, Doherty, McLoughlin, Keane and Hennelly aswell are only 26/27. Durcan, Conor O’Shea, Harrison, and Regan are around 23 and that’s before you even get to the under 21s from this year.

    In fact of the current general starting team and first few subs I can only really see Higgins, Vaughan, SOS declining or retiring in the next 3 years. The likes of A.Moran and Dillon are on the decline already lets be honest and are only really squad players of recent. “Older” players (use the term very loosely for some of these) like Parsons, Boyle, Barrett, Cafferkey and Barry Moran still have plenty to give imo. Given their playing style I could see them all playing well into their 30s at the top level. This is of course not accounting for injuries

    People get so used to the same personnel that they automatically seem to want change. In the 2019 Championship I could see us lining out with a very similar team to the moment to be honest.

  24. Picked up my tickets to day off a Donegal season holder as he can not make it got the Cusack stand lower 305 back to mayo I would be on the same line as outside of if Keane is not fit or going to play I would start Barry and put donie at fb

  25. Ciaran, I would agree with you regarding the age profile but there will be something seriously wrong with the youth system if we line out with a similar side in 2019.

    I agree that there hasnt been an outstanding team yet but thats usually the same every year, it really doesnt start going until the quater final stages. Mayo have it in them to go far this year (hopefully all the way) and on their day with everyting going right they are a match for anyone. But the days of things going right are getting lesser. IMO this team peaked v Donegal in 2013. Picking the same team year after year wont get us back to that standard, all the while teams like Dublin will be steadily introducing new blood, maintaining if not slightly improving their standards.

    Within the next two seasons I would expect Irwin, Loftus, Reape, O’Donaghue, McHale to have nailed down starting positions with Ruane, Gallagher, D Coen, Flanagan, S cunniffe, T Conroy to be in the panel pushing hard for starting positions. Thats not even mentioning Kirby , Douglas who really should get an extended run in the league next year to see what they have.

    Mayo are a top side and capable of beating anyone but to keep the standard high there has to be introduction of new blood, ideas, enthusiasm on a steady basis. Standing still is the same as going backwards in sport.

  26. If Keane not fit to play and Parsons fit, this is the team I would pick. Clarke, Harrison, Coen, Higgins, Keegan, Boyle, Durkin, S O Shea, Parsons, McLoughlin, A O Shea, D O Connor, Regan, A Moran C O Connor. An alternative would be to put Aidan O Shea back there and start Doherty. Neither desirable, but with two natural full backs out something has to give. We should have enough but I expect they will test us and ask serious questions of us.

  27. We have alot of injuries FB is a big loss in any team. I think there could be a shock on Saturday. Its poised that way. In 2004 everyone was expecting a Tyrone Armagh final. By 5.45 that evening the world was upside down. I really hope i am wrong. No matter what this team will continue. Wherever the red and green flag flys the people will be there to support it!.

  28. Can remember watching Fermanagh beat Armagh that day and thinking there’s no way there’ll be two shocks in the day.

  29. If Kevin Keane is still doing non contact work in training it would be madness to risk him v Westmeath. With all due respect to Westmeath and John Heslin if Mayo cannot win without Keane we have no business thinking we can go further.

  30. Pat bar Keane, Cafferkey and Gibbons there are no injuries…if we lose to Westmeath it will be quite an embarrassment

  31. Joe true but these are big injuries for us to sustain. Both our best options at FB and Gibbons weakens us in MF in light of Toms Parsons absence. Hopefully he is fully fit and not carrying anything. Also has COC fully recovered? Probably not but can still get there of course. Lets hope i am wrong and we get another game to build momentum

  32. Lads this is the same Westmeath team that Dublin hammered out the gate in the second half by 15 points if we can’t win this by 5 with or without Kevin Keane we are as well to throw our hat at it we really are abs that’s not cockiness we are supposedly a top four side well if we are now is the time to show it and treat Westmeath with respect but not with fear

  33. Parsons should be back for Saturday. Full back is a problem we can overcome. Put Vaughan back there with McLoughlin told to sit back a lot in this game. Keith and DOC need to be an option for McLoughlin to pass it to out of defence every time so he doesn’t have to burst forward every time to cleans up. Id be happy if we did the damage in the first half like against Kildare which allowed to rest lads ok the second. The 6 day turnaround will be fatal if Saturday turns into a battle wether it will Tyrone or Dublin we play. Would barret be an option at full back if he was fit?

  34. I would like to see Seamus o Shea back there,not playing himself at midfield,could be good for him
    As for the structure of the championship,it has to change,it’s not fair on a lot of teams and needs to be changed
    Kerry’s route to a semi final is beating Clare,tipp and Clare again,somethings wrong somewhere

  35. If Heslin ain’t getting possession u could see him drift out field to get on the ball. If we get on top in midfield prevent the supply to their forwards that’s the answer in every game. Having Higgins out the field means his tackling quality comes into turn overs. If we are going well I would get Boyler off in case of booking or black card. We should comment on what we would like to see on sat and never mind sam or bust. 1 game at a time

  36. The whole game now is about systems and tactics. Training, fitness, weight and diet. It’s costing a fortune and I think some players feel it can replace that extra sacrifice they need to make during the 70+ minutes during a game.

    Mayo are well trained, maybe a little behind where they should be, but still one of the best trained teams in the country come late August and September.

    Looking at the games all this year, they appear to have lost that “full trottle” game that was Mayo, except for Boyle and D O’ Connor. Think Higgins, Harrison, Keegan have improved and getting back to their game sharpness in the last couple of games.
    But looking from Midfield – very poor and they appear to have lost the hunger to challange for the ball and win the breaking ball.
    From midfield up, they are slow latargic and far too pedestrian for championship football. Andy was the only forward to play with speed and conviction the last day. It seemed to rub off on a couple of more of the player including Regan.

    I just think we can not get the most out of C’OC if he is covering Kevin Mac’s man. Aido needs to look up and stop slowing down play by over carrying the ball in to dead ends.
    Rochford now needs to understand by committing too many players to defending duties can sometimes invite teams on to us as we don’t have enough attacking threat. Galway beat us by slowing down the transition from defence to attack – and midfield had a large roll to play in this. Once we passed the ball at pace and with more distance we took them apart.

    For the rest of the championship –
    If they play with urgency, heart, directness and more conviction we should have nothing to fear. We can only beat ourselves by inviting teams on to us.

    I think it’s time for the whole team to buy in to the tactics and give it their all. If they play as individuals it will be over in the next week or two. If they play like a team, covering for each other, running for each other, winning dirty ball and making that extra yard – that’s the difference between getting over the line.

    The physical pain of pushing yourself over the line is temporary, but the physiological pain of failure /regret is permanent.

  37. I am a bit undecided between Coen and Vaughan back there and really and truly only management will know who should get the nod on this one. I’d say they are been well tested these days having to mark our own forwards.. can ya imagen trying to fend Aido off from getting the ball and then spend a while chasing around after Regan.. twud be good prep for any game. Personally I think Rochy will go for more mobility with Coen and as our defence is now based more on the collective, with sweepers and double marking and the like, we should have cover. I’m reassured, based on previous games, that if it’s not working Stephen will make changes immediately.. no hanging about.. take him off. My team for Saturday therefore will be as follows…

    _______________Clarke_____________
    _______Harrison _____Coen________
    ____________McLoughlin___________
    Keegan_______Boyle_______Durcan
    ________SOS________Parsons______
    Higgins_______AOS_________D O’C
    ______________C O’C_______________
    _____Regan___________A Moran____

  38. Surely, Donal Vaughan, would be ideal for full back and actually strengthen our full back line.
    He has played, there before.
    Coen is a good player, but may not be robust enough, this year.
    Hopefully, Tom Parson’s, is back to full fitness @ can hold mid field, with Seamus O Shea.
    When Cillien, returns to top form, we should be firing on all cylinders, now that Diarmud @ Regan are doing very well, as is Andy.
    We are no longer a two forward team.
    Just keep winning, @ see what happens.

  39. Hope we’ll get the result,sat.despite the injuries,we have enough strength in depth to the job,i expect a good team effort and nothing to be taken for granted. I will leave it to Rockford and co to pick the team, keep her lit lads!

  40. The reality is a big improvement is needed if Mayo are to be serious contenders thus year. It’s very hard to see where it’s going to come from given the consistent poor form since January. The reason for poor form is not fully clear or something to speculate on here at this time but psychologically there had to be a dip from the traumas of do many near misses That saying not beating westmeath would be a big shock. The result between Donegal and Cork may have a big bearing on how far we go this year as much as anything else. Tyrone Galway/tipp route to final compared to Dublin then Kerry…need I say more. On current evidence can anyone see us going out and beating Dublin in 10 days time with a game in between?

  41. Ed…………….Donie very strong and could possibly do FB, but the big question is would he stay in his position ?………My image of Donie is the many foraging runs he does from HB line to FF and the occasional score he produces…………..Could there be risk of an unmarked Westmeath FF at times in this critical knockout game ?

  42. Lahan Man…………..Your points well made, but remember, we are Mayo……..Our teams can either stun us with brilliance or the opposite !…………..Remember the absolute hammering we gave to Donegal a couple of years back in Croker, and the near-perfect free-flowing Mayo running game that was, with everyone showing up and dying for the cause ?……………..That’s the Mayo pinnacle performance I recall in recent years – So to answer your question, yes, of course we can beat the Dubs, and Kerry…………….if all were to click again, as we did with Donegal, we could produce a winning performance. Of course it’s possible…….but absolute commitment, leadership on the field, fully focused individual and team performance would be needed. That said, anything is possible…….we are Mayo

  43. Fair response marty but I don’t think that 213 performance against Donegal was put of context of season that year. Roscommon and Galway had been blitzed as well. We did have a drop off in semi final that year v Tyrone but still came through. So its hard to see any sign that the team is capable of those 213 performances this year but that said perhaps we peaked to soon in the past and we might be saving ourselves but ill take convincing on that one…

  44. Ha Ha Lahan Man………….My glasses are a bit ‘rose-tinted’ alright when it comes to the nostalgic Mayo reflections, but the point I was making was that even a mediocre, below-par season for Mayo could turn in a single game, and I believe that that’s still possible for us this year. On that day, in 2013, against the men from ‘The Hills, we surprised ourselves with the sheer command we had of the game, the magic and fluidity of the team performance and the quality of possession, passing and running that was on display. Aside from the Rossies and the Tribesmen, the fact that Donegal had triumphed solidly the year before meant that not many of us were confident of the win going into that game. As a Mayo follower all my life, it appears to me that when it clicks for us, it sure clicks……..eternal optomist – you have to be !.

  45. Really agree that the luck of the draw is critical if we get past westmeath on Saturday. There’s simply no way this side is capable of beating Dublin, Kerry and Tyrone consecutively to win sam. We could beat dublin and get caught on the hop by kerry then. On the other hand – Tyrone are nowhere near as good as Dublin and can be beaten in a Q final. You could see us make a final that way by scraping by, then turning in one big performance in the final wouldnt be out of the question. Producing three of them in a row though, sadly is. Even at our peak we couldn’t do it in 2012-2014. Hopefully Donegal will beat cork if we win on sat, thus putting us against Tyrone. Getting to the final by the easiest route possible is always best. Just ask kerry!

  46. A Westmeath paper is sharing an article in its print and online articles about a Connacht Telegraph piece…very disrespectful headline but when you see who wrote it it should come as no surprise. Gutter journalism. Will be pinned to the Westmeath locker room for sure.

  47. For all you non season ticket holders and not to temp fate here but it’s best to be prepared….IF we beat Westmeath we are on a double header bill for Croke Park the following Sat with the Dubs involved so it could turn out to be:

    Tyrone v Mayo 4pm
    Dublin v Donegal 6pm

    Now before someone jumps down my throat and say’s we have to beat Westmeath first, I am aware but just to be aware tickets for that 1/4 double header go on sale IMMEDIATELY after our game this weekend. So IF we win get online because with the Dub’s involved the demand could be similar to an All Ireland final.

  48. TOM CRIBBEN – Quoted in Hogan Stand today:

    “Our lads are really up for it. Mayo are not playing at their best and the manager probably doesn’t yet know his best team,” said Cribbin.

    “They don’t have the pace all over the pitch that Dublin have. Jim Gavin can even bring on natural quality forwards like Paddy Andrews and Paul Mannion. But I still don’t think that Dublin were 15 points better than us.”

    He added: “This is a great chance at the right time of the year to see where we are against a top team. There isn’t the same aura about Mayo that there is about Dublin. This will really let us know where we are at”.

    Disrespectful, or what?

  49. Again not jumping the gun, but if we do beat westmeath, would we be playing the following Saturday or Sunday???
    Or does that depend on who we play???

  50. Tonyk, we’d definitely be playing on the Saturday no matter what.
    The All Ireland hurling semi is on the Sunday.
    And tickets will be scarce if we do win, so work fast on Saturday evening!

  51. Catcal, I wouldnt necessarily think that is disrespectful, he is saying what he has to say to instil confidence in his team after another hammering form Dubs and to be honest he is probably right in what he says.

    Tonyk, if that is how the draw pans out then people better get the phones out at thefull time whistle. Remember last year when the tickets went on sale for replay when people still in their cars after the drawn game. Shill I have a feeling Cork are going to cause a bit of an upset. They are all over the place but with the likes of O’Neill, Kerrigan, Kellagher, Walsh, Cadogans you can never write them off and can put in a performance on the day

  52. Thankfully I have my season ticket. Still always end up looking for tickets for others.

  53. There won’t be any tickets on sale until the draw has been which isn’t until Monday I don’t think??

  54. This 70min game all teams are talking about doesn’t add up to me.
    Back in 2013 AI we came out blazing but didn’t put enough scores on the board 1 up at half time,then in 2 and half we looked very tired near the end after Andy’s goal we didn’t have the legs or experience sub’s to push on (we struggled)
    Last Years replay we went hell for leather in the first half in front going in,came out played full tilt 10 to 15 mins,seamies black card first sign of fatigue lees drop shot second,Dublin empty there bench we hadn’t any sub’s primed for this,not sub’s fault got very little to no game time all year.
    This year we had the chance to use sub’s and players in different roles not a bad thing.
    If we can get the right balance on the big days can’t see us beaten.70 mins full on doesn’t make sense 25 to 30 full on get a head catch the breath defend enough to stay on top till 55 to 60 min bring on the reinforcements full throttle till the end.balance between attacking and defending think that’s what management are trying to instill,if they get it right we’ll be hard to beat interesting times ahead.

  55. Mayomad I think you could be right about Cork. You can never tell which Cork team is going to turn up in Croke Park and these guys have a massive point to prove.

    But if not, the powers-that-be surely wouldn’t hold a double-header that might compromise the 20,000 Dublin sunshine supporters’ chance of getting tickets? 😉

  56. That’s not true, TurnipHead (wish I’d though of that name first – love it!) – the plan is for tickets for the quarter-finals to go on sale on Saturday evening, regardless of how the 4B qualifiers go. I’ll explain all in a post a bit later on.

  57. Ann-Marie, im sure Croke Park will go above and beyond to ensure the “loyal Dublin Supporter” is catered for ( like they do with every county 😉 ). Afterall its prob the last game they can get them in before the premiership kicks off.

  58. I have heard that if it’s Mayo v Tyrone and Donegal v Dublin that our game will be played on the Sunday at 2 before Waterford v Kilkenny.

    If Cork beat Donegal there will be a double header in Croke Park and the Junior Final will be played at 12. There is a minor semi-final on the Sunday so the Junior Final will go ahead on the Saturday afternoon in Ennis otherwise.

  59. That Westmeath Examiner article is hilarious, for two reasons. One is that Aidan Henry’s opinion is being put forward as something to be taken seriously and the other is that the Westmeath Examiner and the Connaught Telegraph are owned by the same organisation.

  60. The gaa have said that if its Mayo V Tyrone and Dublin v Donegal in QFs then the tickets will go on sale at full time after our match next Saturday.If Cork win there will be a draw on RTE1 at 9.30pm and tickets will go on sale after that.

  61. Ger,
    Would love if we were put on a double header with the Hurling. Top class hurling viewed from the stand at Croaker is a fantastic experience. From memory I think we had double headers with Hurling three times in the noughties and they were all great games to watch. (though the last one was pretty painful as it followed our defeat to Meath if I recall correctly)

  62. Liam I read what the GAA said. I just have it from a very good source. Time will tell. You will see from my past record on these things I’m fairly spot on.

  63. @catcol,

    From our point of view, I much prefer to hear comments like that coming from an opposition manager than for example what we heard from Kevin Walsh before the Galway game. What Tom Cribben said keeps everyone on their toes, while what Kevin Walsh said about so many players turning down the offer to play for Galway etc., kinda lulls a team into a false sense of security. I seem to recall the Sligo manager, Niall Carew making similar comments to Tom Cribben’s comments before last year’s Connacht final and we all know how that finished up. So I’d be happy enough to hear the Westmeath manager talking like that rather than playing the poor mouth. He is probably trying to rally his troops as well and I suppose that article by Aidan Henry in the Connacht Telegraph will help his cause in that regard and will do us no favours at all.

  64. In the past few days I’ve been thinking about the possible draws and how we can navigate them most successfully. The brother put forward this synopsis. We need to get a team in the final that doesn’t have an Indian sign over us and there are only two of those, Kerry historically and Dublin recently. IF we continue to progress on the B side of the draw it is near certain we will end up playing Dublin or Kerry in the final.
    However, if we were to get Dublin in the quarters I would give us a 50/50 chance. Dublin would NOT want to play us in a quarter final, coming in untested against the team that has troubled them most in the last 4 years. IF we overcame Dublin then we play a probable Kerry in semi final, a stage where, 2014 not withstanding, we have a decent record. Plus we would have the momentum and confidence of having beaten Dublin, they would have beaten Clare/Tipp and Clare up to that point.
    You then arrive into a final, having beaten Dublin and Kerry and play either a Galway team we have zero fear of or most likely Tyrone, a team we have had a hex over for the last twenty years in the championship.
    There are a lot of IF’s in that post but I really think that while the B side may offer a longer summer, the A side would offer the better chance of attaining the thing we all want the most. I’m an optimist by nature, but if we progressed to the final and faced Dublin we would not beat them. They have built up such a head of steam with support, the media and every conceivable advantage that they really are a juggernaut by then.

  65. Not to rain on your parade, Liam, but us getting to the final beating both Dublin and Kerry could leave Galway (were they to get over Tyrone, a big ask but not as big as us beating Dublin and Kerry) in a position like all their Christmases had come together. Just like ’98 and ’01, their opponent in the decider would have done all the heavy lifting for them ahead of the final …

  66. Interesting article from Darragh Ó’Sé in todays times:
    http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/gaelic-games/darragh-%C3%B3-s%C3%A9-injury-time-an-x-factor-that-could-decide-sam-s-destination-1.2735323?utm_source=lunchtime_digest&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=news_digest

    Highlights the need to be able to finish with a strong, fit team, given the additional times being added on.
    Worth noting the teams we have finished with the last 2 games have been quite strong. No harm to make a habit of that as we come up against stronger opposition than we’ve experienced so far.

  67. The team I would pick for Saturday if Keane is injured.

    Clarke
    Harrison
    Coen
    Higgins
    Keegan
    Boyle
    Durkin
    S O Shea
    Parsons
    McLoughlin
    A O Shea
    D O Connor
    Regan
    A Moran
    C O Connor

    Agree with you Willie joe – Turnip Head – What a name 🙂

  68. How bout this for a team.

    Clarke
    harry
    aid
    Higgins
    Keegan
    Nally
    Durcan
    Barry
    Tom
    Kmac
    Coc
    Doc
    Regan
    Andy
    Doherty

    Rest Boyler. Any one like my team

  69. AOS would get roasted at FB by a speedy forward. Imagine James O’Donoghue isolated inside on AOS. He is not a full back option and does not having the required tracking or tackling skills. Ok maybe to combat the big man with 5 mins to go but that is about it.

  70. It’s a team for Saturday. Aiden does great work foraging round midfield. Wins many turnovers. With sweeper there he would be very commanding presence. Just a thought. Keep ye guessing lol

  71. Any suggestions on a team you’d like to see finish a game?? General consensus now is that this is the team that has most bearing on results.

  72. HSE – my ‘disrespectful’ tag was slightly tongue in cheek.

    Cribben is largely right. He probably feels we are there for the taking, and having gone through the wringer with the Dubs, he reckons that Mayo aren’t in that class. They’ll have learned a bit from the Dubs, and they can move the ball at pace from defence out – an area where we’re vulnerable.

    The crack about the manager not knowing his best team is also on the money, but one gets the feeling that if Mayo keep winning, and that’s all we have to do, Rochy will have a road-tested plan and personnel, which will have evolved the hard way.

  73. If Stephen Coen plays full back i think hes the new David Heaney of this Mayo team. If he reaches his standard id say Mayo people would be more than happy. Seamus Cunniffe has to be called up next year because good full backs are as scarce as hens teeth in every county, so with Caff, Keane and young Cunniffe we might be sorted for a few years.

  74. Quote Davy Fitz about the Galway Hurlers: “ How can you be a gutless team, a bad team, if you go to two All-Ireland finals and win a Leinster title? They had plenty of motivation to play well and they did’……..

    People are very quick to make rash and unqualified judgments on teams. History can only be wrote on this Mayo team after this Mayo team. These are the best set of Players we have seen in many of our life times wearing the green and red.

    Let us believe as you know what they are a brilliant bloody team who have been training all year for a August/ September peak, We have a lot of very god team players coming back into the team and a lot of excellent ones there all ready.

    I said before the Galway game put your bets on after, I hope ye ygot yere 12/1 odds 😉

    Hon Mayo
    Mayo Abu

  75. Juan, why are you criticising people who say “AI or bust”? Mayo have lost more finals than other teams have had hot dinners. Theyy can’t keep losing them. Law of averages suggests they should win one final anyway. When is that going to be….?

  76. Mary, why do Galway people love to get stuck into Mayo people about our finals record? Martin Breheny in the Indo never seems to miss an opportunity in pointing this out. Yet Galway have the same problem with their Hurlers and you could actually make the argument that Galway actually do have the Hurlers to win one, based on the no. of Club All-Ireland titles and underage titles that they have won. We have had a lot of very good players but have probably been missing one or two X-factor type players. If Mayo had Michael Murphy in the 2012 final and Donegal didn’t we’d probably have won that game, likewise in 2013 with Bernard Brogan. Why do you think Galway can’t win the senior Hurling All-Ireland title as they seem to have the players to do it?

  77. I think Galway should be looking at their own number of finals lost before throwing stones from within their glass house…

  78. You forget how arrogant the old herron chokers get after a few wins. Would love to get a right good cut at them some stage later in the year.

  79. Marybeau, I don’t think you interpreted my post correctly. Im criticising the expression “AI or bust” for this team, as in, what does the “bust” mean? Are they all going to give up playing football or what? The only two who might retire this year are Andy and Alan. Its a phrase constantly being thrown at this team ever since Rochford took over. I never mentioned anything about our finals record, so dont know what your going on about there.

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