Keith back in two weeks

keith-higginsKeith Higgins will be back in the country inside two weeks, according to this report in today’s Indo.  That’s pretty good timing, as the boarding passes for the trip to New York should be coming out of the printer any time now.  With the three amigos having also rejoined the panel in recent weeks, Johnno’s problem now is going to be who to cut from the squad that’s been in place for the league.  All should be revealed shortly enough on that score as I assume we’ll get notice of the championship squad before the lads jet off to New York in a month’s time.

The Indo also says that (a) we played Offaly in a challenge game, in which the three elder statesmen were apparently given a run-out and (b) that Johnno says he’s unsure if he’s going to field any of the U21s against Tyrone.  As regards the former, the Mayo News should, I suppose, have some details later on.  Apropos the latter: well, of course he’s unsure – isn’t it only Tuesday, for God’s sake?  Hopefully, he’ll have decided for sure before Sunday that this is one game the U21 lads should sit out.

12 thoughts on “Keith back in two weeks

  1. i presume the 3 prodigal sons have been guaranteed a championship spot so. There will be fierce competition at the back i would imagine and that can only be a good thing i guess. It will be interesting to see who looses out

  2. I don’t think I can ever remember us having so much choice at the back, but as you say Ted, that can only be a good thing.
    I hope JOM isn’t ultra conservative here, and just jettison all the old guard straight back into the first 15. The lads who performed so well at the back during the league surely deserve another crack at it.
    Keith Higgins is the one exception to that, he has to be a shoe-in. I wouldn’t mind seeing him actually play in his best position of wing-back this year as well.

    If only we had these selection problems with the forwards…

  3. There is no need for a formal announcement of a championship panel. Last year it caused enough trouble – keep it open, have 32/33 players involved and add and subtract as required. Its not the bloody World Cup.

  4. Ted, I dont think for a second that the 3 prodigal sons are guaranteed anything. How would you feel, busting your ass training for your county all year, often at multiple grades, only to be thrown aside while these guys walk into the team? I cant see that happen.
    Also Dan, its strange that we have so much choice at the back now, certainly in recent years, that is where we had all the problems. But a lot of whats there at the moment need to be tested properly in full flight. We have a young team that has a lot to learn. You need to loose before you can win. Armagh were getting to Semis and loosing for a while before they finally got over the line. Its experience that gets you there in the end.
    And I Keith Higgins being a shoe in is a bit large. Yes he is a fine player but to expect him to reach Inter County standards of fitness after missing a whole pre-season endurance, let alone strength and conditioning training is wishful thinking. It takes a while to get used to the ball again too. However he may make an appearance later in the year.

  5. Not so sure about keeping it open ended….wouldn’t grants then become an issue, if still applicable after todays budget of course???

  6. Abbergael, apart from Armagh winning one turgid final, Mayo have a better record than them. In the same period you mention Mayo played in four finals as opposed to Armaghs two. I dont buy into the theory that you gotta lose before you win at this level. Down19 ’60’61’68.’91 and’94 Galway 1998 and Tyrone 2003 ,Donegal1992,derry1993 give short shrift to that theory.On that basis Mayo will win the next four finals they play in. I hope the returning trio who have savage milage +Keith Higgins dont confuse O Mahoneys mind as to who should line out at the back. Would hate to see some of the younger guys pushed back. Still have nightmares at the ease both Nallen and heaney wilted in the 2004/06 finals. I know they werent entirely to blame and they were/are great servants but the future belongs to the boys who have won 5 Connacht U21 titles in six years.

  7. It’s fine saying that the new lads haven’t been tested fully yet, but they only way they’ll get the experience is by playing. I feel we let a big chance slip over the past 2 years, we should of blooded more of the 2006 U21 winning team. Instead JOM seemed to take the easier option and went with what he knew, the old trusted players.
    Well we need to trust these young lads, the lads that have experience of winning titles at provincial and national level. That winning mentality is vital. Whenever I see our U21’s or the minors from last year, they look unbeatable. They have this air about them, they believe they can beat any team put in front of them.
    I’m not always convinced a lot of our seniors of the past few years have that belief.

    I’m not suggesting we just get rid of players like Nallen, Heaney etc. because I think their experience within the squad could be very important throughout the year. But they should know that they will have to play out of their skins to dislodge any of the younger lads, who will be busting a gut to stay in the starting 15.

  8. surely ger c,tom c,peader g,david h,donal v, andy m, keith h have to be there before jimmy nallen,a man who owes mayo nothing,1 of the greats,but its time to move on???

  9. Whilst admitting that Jimmy Nallen might have big milage I’d still have him in any day ahead of Andy Moran anyday. We have a good pick at half back from Gardiner, Cunniffe,Howley,Mclaughlin,Heaney,Nallen+ Keith Higgins with his genuine speed. For the life of me I have never seen Moran play a significant game and he’s hanging around the panel since 2004. He’s not good enough to nail a spot in an iffy forward line and hes definate not good enough in the basics as a defender.

  10. Of all the backs Morans position is prob the one thats up for grabs although i cant remember him getting a roasting yet? O Malley on current form deserves a slot but history has shown that he can have the odd horror show. The good thing about having all the defenders is that we dont have to bring trevor back. Anyway for what its worth here is my preferred championship back line: CLarke, Omalley(on current form), Cafferky, McGlaughlin, Heaney, Cunniffe, Higgins.

  11. I’d be very surprised to see A Moran play in the half back line come championship time, we have much better options. My only fear is that we will see him return to the half forward line, as our options there are not so great.

    Ted, I’d agree with most of your selections there. The only possible change would be moving McLaughlin to the half back line. If Howley is fit after his time away, we could do with finding a spot for him as well. We’re definitely overloaded with half backs, so much so that JOM is having to move them into the full-back line.
    Maybe we should play with 12 backs and hope to scrape 0-1-0-0 wins for the year?!

  12. Howley is prob a surprise omission but i based my selection on current availability. My only fear for mcglaughlin would be his size, or lack of. Anyway there are lots of options open to mahony….now he just needs to sort the forwards out but not sure if he will have the same desireable selection headaches here unfortunately. I would stick O SHea in Center forward and Barry Moran at full…I know O Shea is very young and all that but i cant see another center forward jumping out at me and it is a key position. O Shea is a very good distributor of the ball and a great man to make himself avail through the middle…its a no brainer really

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