Kevin McStay’s appointment, with Seán Moran of the Irish Times – Mayo Football Podcast 2022 E34

Eight weeks on from James Horan’s departure, Mayo have a new bainisteoir, with Kevin McStay appointed to the position earlier this week. The new manager brings with him a strong backroom team, comprising Stephen Rochford, Donie Buckley, Damien Mulligan and Liam McHale, who together will start with the simple aim of doing what it takes to get Mayo to the summit.    

In this episode of the Mayo Football Podcast, available to club members in specially extended format, Rob, Mike and I reflect on Kevin McStay’s appointment, chatting about how the process played out and what the appointment means for Mayo supporters.

We’re then joined by Seán Moran of the Irish Times, who had an exclusive interview with the new manager the day after he was handed the job, to consider Kevin McStay’s appointment in more depth. We chat about possible tweaks to Mayo’s playing style, where the county sits in the overall pecking order right now and what is a realistic aim for the new management team.

This episode of the Mayo Football Podcast is now online and is available to listen to on iTunes, SoundCloud, Podomatic and Spotify. You can also listen to it directly on the Mayo News website as well as on here the blog using the SoundCloud player below. 

The podcast is also available on Patreon, where club members get access to loads of exclusive content and more besides. In the clubhouse section at the end of this pod, we’ve additional bonus audio for our club members, in which Rob, Mike and I reflect further on the often febrile atmosphere surrounding the appointment process over the last number of weeks and we also cast a glance forward to the forthcoming club Championships.  

Sign up to become a podcast club member on Patreon here.  

The Mayo Football Podcast has its own Twitter presence, @MayoPodcast, so if you’re a Twitter user you should follow us there to make sure you get the latest podcast-related updates, including new episodes. podcast-related updates, including new episodes.  

The Mayo Football Podcast is proudly sponsored by the Oxford Arms in London’s Camden Town and is produced and edited by Ger Duffy Media. 

79 thoughts on “Kevin McStay’s appointment, with Seán Moran of the Irish Times – Mayo Football Podcast 2022 E34

  1. Anyone know if Mayogaatv are covering the club championships, Nothing on there Facebook page about it.

  2. Paddyjoejohntom. I saw on one of the threads on here that they will be doing so. Haven’t a clue which thread but it was on in reply to someone else asking your question.

  3. That’s my understanding too, Gizmobobs, but I do think that it’s time they began to advertise that fact as I’d imagine there will be strong interest once again in the service.

  4. Are standard Mayo season tickets no longer available? Is it just Cairde Mhaigheo really?
    Friend home from the UK and is wondering.

  5. What pleases me most about this appointment is the Rochford factor. In many ways, there’s nothing in this for him, i.e. Happy to come in as coach, a ‘second’ in essence. He could easily come in as the chief in my opinion given the way he got Mayo playing in ’16 and ’17.

    So it’s clear he has returned for one reason: the betterment of Mayo football. I love that. This is the attitude Mayo Gaa need. No egos, rather a true focus on how to work collectively to get us over the line. Fuck that craic of good Mayo men going to other county set-ups. I hate seeing that. Obviously there will be bumps in the road, but that’s to he expected.

    I think Kevin is the man to be able to get his four generals working in tandem, to get the optimum out of each of them. Obviously this will be a challenge, as there will be differences of opinions, styles etc. Mulligan, Rochford, Buckley and McHale are all excellent coaches in their own right. But… Mayo more than any other county need collective heads working together, a ‘committee’ of sorts. Hopefully McStay is the chief that can get the most out of this collective. I know for sure he’ll give absolutely everything himself. I really love the look of his team, so best wishes to their future endeavours together. This really is deserving of a shot.

  6. McStay and his team now become the ultimate gatekeepers of Mayo Gaa, not the County Board. Obviously they’ll need the CB on side, but McStay et al now hold the power. But it is a results driven enterprise so they must deliver.

  7. It’s all going to come down to what level Kerry reach over the next few years. I have a real feeling that we will have a few more open seasons. I think Dublin are fucked for the next couple of years, they are not bringing through the same quality, despite them being within an asses roar of beating Kerry this year. If that’s the case I think McStay has a great shout of getting this team over the line. Maybe not next year, but could see Mayo not being far away at all. There are a few more teams contending that I’d worry about, Tyrone will be a different animal again next year, Armagh are not far away and I do think Galway are heading in the right direction. McStay’s biggest issue is to get the best set of forwards starting, I’m not sure how he will do that. O’Shea at full forward has been tried and tested, but it still could be a secret weapon for certain games. McStay is a big fan of it, but there must be other options for Conroy and O’Donoghue to bounce off.

  8. Question.. Would James Horan be the man to take over the under 20s if he would do it .

  9. Absolutely. O sullivan. A massive step up on what’s there at the moment. Liberal an honest question. Why do you think Rochford didn’t put his hat in the ring with his own backroom team

  10. The biggest issue I see with a late club championship kick off is injury recovery time.

    Any player that picks up any type of mid to long range injury (recovery wise) during the club championship, is surely goosed for the inter county season with the shortened gap between the club and inter county seasons.

  11. That is a very valid point Revellino and one I had not thought about. There are almost certain to be some injuries and in a county which suffered badly from them this year, the last thing we need is news of more. Also the closed season forCo players is going to be very short. I am sure management will want to bring in lads soon after their Co championship is over.

  12. I know what you’re saying Rivellino but there isn’t a way of insuring an injury free run I’m afraid. My concern would be more about the period as the New Year starts with the cold weather, poor surfaces and a glut of games. We’ll have the FBD along with colleges games and straight into the league. I do agree that we are giving ourselves less time between the club championship and return to county training. It remains to be seen whether that helps or hinders.

  13. Sorry to go off track here but I can’t find anywhere else with enough football knowledge to ask the question. At present there are 22 Irish lgfa players in Aussie football. Down, Dublin, Galway, Leitrim, Fermanagh, Cavan, and Clare have 1 each. Meath, Cork and Armagh have 2. There are 3 from Tipperary while Mayo have 6 playing over there. I’d like to think it’s because we are far stronger than the rest but that just isn’t true at present. Is it an economic issue? If that were so it wouldn’t be so blatantly skewed against us. Are we an easy touch or is there a strong Mayo connection in AFLW recruitment setup? I do like watching Mayolgfa club and Inter County games and feel Michael Moyles and his panel are hampered far more than our main competition re: the loss of our best players to Australia. Can anyone clear this up for me?

  14. @craggyboglands. I think Rochford answered that question a few years ago when he said he’d rather go in as a coach than a manager and concentrate more on the on field side of things.

  15. Great to get the club stuff back up and running next weekend. Like a lot more on here I’m desperate to get back to the football as opposed to listening to the manager merry go round which I have been critical of.

    Going to be a great club championship. I think we are going to learn so much this year about certain clubs. Are Ballintubber coming to the end? Can Westport break the glass ceiling at long last? They have been hyped up for awhile now. Can belmullet find another level or was last year a once off? And are castlebar the dark horses?

    Personally I think if Knockmore can do the 3 in a row, I’d put it down as the greatest achievement in Mayo club championship history. A team that have been ranked 6th favourites for the last 2 championships and 3rd favourites again this year. Don’t have the biggest of picks along with some injury challenges. As an Ardnaree man it’s tough for me to say that. But I think Ballina are the real challengers this year. That’s even harder for me to acknowledge.

  16. Liberal role I believe that you have got the nail on the head,it is a very strong team with people who have managed at the highest level,I believe that it says a lot that Donie Buckley and Stephen Rochford are prepared to work together again and Damien Mulligan has been a successful manager will insist on being heard ,with Kevin Mc Stay and Liam MacHale working together before,they know they will have to work as a team ,I think that Kevin will be able to keep them working together,he has shown that he is willing to work with other people by bringing Liam Horan on board as media chief even with his own experience of working with the media

  17. Students should not be playing until after the Sigerson
    They should not even train with the team ,perhaps attend team meetings.
    Sigerson training is as professional as any county training.
    Putting travel and study requirements on top of that is difficult
    If they are on scholarship their first alliegence is to their college, think of all the knowledge they will pick up on the strengths and weaknesses of other young county players
    Burn out is in our own hands.

  18. Really haven’t a clue Craggy.

    But if I was guessing I’d say two reasons: one, he might have felt the CB wouldn’t endorse him as manager for a second term so soon after 2018, ie they’d want fresh ideas. Secondly, by all accounts he loves the coaching aspect. And this way he won’t have to deal with all the media stuff and other various demands of being an intercounty manager. By the way, I think he’s well able for all that as he has proven, but maybe he just wants to focus on coaching.

    In any event, it doesn’t matter a jot. We can count ourselves damn lucky to have him!

  19. With the new format next year and the games coming thick and fast panel depth will be more important than any year previously, not just for Mayo but for all counties.
    How much depth do the likes of Galway,Derry,Armagh,Monaghan,Tyrone (after all their retirements,lads leaving ) have? These are all top 10 teams and expect to be in the mix next year.

    I think we have an advantage here as a lot of our squad players got a lot of game time this year due to injuries (and Horan giving them time as I think he knew squad depth was something we needed to work on.
    We are in a very,very good place going into 2023 (injuries depending) I’d also be confident of a few more coming into the squad.
    I haven’t felt this good about Mayo football in a long time.

  20. Corick – Well said about Liam Horan. We all knew the make up of most of McStay’s team, but it was an added bonus to then see Horan’s name mentioned along with it afterwards.
    Communication is something that has definitely been lacking in recent times and having that type of communications/media savvy on board can only be a good thing.

  21. Having Liam Horan involved in media is smart by Kevin, as Kevin will try to limit his own media exposure.. as he tries to distance himself from his former pundit role..

  22. It still would have been preferential to have gotten goalkeeping, S&C, Nutritionist and psychologist in place before sorting a PR man 🙂

  23. Why goalkeeping Gizmo, what do you mean? I think Robbie was doing fine pre injury this year?

    Christ, if Intercounty players don’t know what nutrition to eat nowadays they might as well pack it in.

    Regarding the psychologist, maybe you’ve a point there, but choices are limited as the good ones are taken.

    Give the set-up some time. New additions can still come in.

  24. Liberal. I get what you’re saying.. his coaching in donegal didn’t bear much fruit. Had he not a better record being a manager. I’ll give him one thing. O shea on donaghy. Any how it’s onwards and upwards now. We have what I believe the best team in charge so I’m happy enough. We are not far away and definitely not gone away.

  25. I’d be interested in our setup being very much anti Sigerson next year.
    It’s played in terrible weather, puts a load on the players and is 14 behind the ball win 11-9 horrible stuff.
    It has ruined the freshness of our young players. Schedule training at the same day and have our players stretching and working towards what Mayo want to achieve.
    Why should we care about universities trying to buy Sigersons?

  26. JP, the players will decide if they play Sigerson or not. Trying to prevent them from doing so would not end well.

  27. JP – you dont have to look outside the county to see young players been coached to play 14 players behind the ball, horrible football – did you see the way our u20 players have been coached to play the last 2 years.
    BTW – is there an u20 manager in place for next year??
    Would like to see lads like Zippy and the Boyler involved.

  28. Jaysus Gizmobobs I think you’ll need a PR man or woman before the season starts at all…
    Some of these positions may already be filled but their conditions of employment need to ironed out before they can be made public.
    All will be revealed in due course..

  29. Raz a goalkeeping coach was been looked for the Monday of the announcement.
    JP Sigerson has to be the priority for any scholarship students. There is enough men in the county besides the few on scholarships.

  30. So all candidates had to nominate their goalkeeping coach in the interview process
    Wasn’t aware of that ..

  31. Out of interest does anyone know what a ‘communications person’ in a management team actually does? I highly doubt he will be doing interviews on behalf of Kevin after games? On the flip side I would think that if it’s to do with communication between the county team and clubs, the clubs will want to hear directly from the manager. Interested to see how it develops

  32. Apologies Raz, no they didn’t have to. The applications detailing proposed team members were gone in to board well before day successful candidate announced.
    I was in reference to liberal role in tie. On day announcement made Goalkeeper role at least was still been looked for.
    Which I found surprising given goalie is such a key position now with more influence and involvement on play than any other. And while I agree with liberal that Robbie has done well, it doesn’t mean a coach isn’t needed for such a specialist position, especially one so key.

  33. I really think the CB took the right decision – promise versus reasonable proven ability in McStay’s team.

    With all due respect, choosing anything else would have been a gamble. And why gamble?.. McStay’s team has quality and no little passion. As Kevin has said Mayo are a “taxi-ride” away from A.I. They have every chance of winning 2023 championship.

    Now this leads me to how will Kevin be honoured if they win 2023. Well, I think Mayo could name the railway line between Claremorris and Ballina – “The Kevin Way”. And should the ticket prove unsuccessful, then sure, name the Tuam/Claremorris railway line “The Kevin Way..

  34. Charlie would it have been a gamble though if for example CB went for Dempsey’s ticket?
    – Dempsey won 2 X county titles in row with un-vaunted team (Akin to Horan). Got to 2 X all Ireland minor finals and a replay.
    – Gilavarry won all Ireland minor title
    – O’Keeffe and Oisin multiple AI wins county & club
    – James Bourke a favourite coach of the current squad
    – Evan further stability on nutrition side.
    – Kilgallon internationally recognised athletics coach on high after the euro championships with multiple national records. Would have been excellent on rehab injury prevention.
    – Kennedy all Ireland winning basketball coach and has had great success with Knockmore in the GAA.

    Selection was certainly the safest bet for the CB so if fall short again they can come clean out of it as can refer back to the experience of successful candidates team and safe hands they brought back in.

    I think the people who wanted something different instead of more the same, with repeat coaches and trainers coming back again (regardless of how good they are in fairness to them) just wanted to try something different as the same has got us brilliantly close but just came up short. As the saying goes, nearly never bulled a cow 🙂

    I do think the management team selected could do the job. The reality is regardless of who selection was we should be regular semifinalists/finalists with way the system is with round robins etc. With the team we have in place, the talent coming through and the drop off in standard from the top 4 or 5 teams in the country we will always be there or there about.

  35. So onwards and upwards to the club championship. Likely the televised games will be the two reigning senior and intermediate champions matches, Kilmeena Saturday and Knockmore Sunday.

  36. I wonder which player will be the first to retire before the “new squad” is announced , any thoughts !

  37. @John- not sure what you thinking will happen with that “new squad” comment but id expect 1-2 older lads to retire and Majority of last years squad to be involved next year with some new faces also added. Some fringe squad players might not be retained.

  38. I’d be with Seanie, doubt be much changed with squad at all.
    It’s idol speculation obviously but you’d imagine Kevin Mc would have to give it serious consideration given twins only few months old and another small kid.
    If he were to call it a day after a stellar career would Lee K, despite his his exceptional year once again be thinking similar given how close the two them are.
    Older fringe players who saw little or no grass last year or so would have to wonder is the effort worth it?

    It’s such a commitment now.

  39. Just a question.
    Is it now a good time for the new management to take any prospective panel members for a training session say once a week, basically to get them ready for 2023.
    I Know the club championship is about to start, but if it were me I would want to be working with my squad right now.
    There is no closed season for the County players, is there ?

  40. Mayo88, I wouldn’t agree with that. It’s club time now. They don’t need distraction from that now. Year is long enough. Realistically they don’t need be ready to quarter final stages so loads time after club championship.

    Mayo Manager has some men who would have knowledge of senior club within county, but he himself would have minimal knowledge of the club game and player personnel having not managed within the county and living outside it.
    He needs time to get to the different games across the three competitions.

  41. John, there’s enough shitetalk out there without adding speculative bullshit to the mix.

  42. @Gizmobobs One thing Mayo don’t lack is athleticism, so, I don’t see the need for a sprinter coach. Nutrition wise, they’re also well up to the mark..

    I do see the need for creative interplay coaching; defence/offence on the same page; intelligent angled runs and; not predictable stuff. And most importantly good finishers.

    Tbh, Kevin understands what’s required… He will also make unbiased, qualified judgements, on who has the required vision/skills.. He will also be a good judge of players who, perhaps, compensate for lack of finesse with downright honesty of effort and, leadership. It’s all about getting the balance right. There is nobody better equipped to get all those moving parts together on the playing field.. And of course, he has a sound and knowledgable backroom team to help him in areas where he may have weaknesses. But, nobody is perfect..

  43. I’d have to agree that the squad for 2023 wont vary much from this year. Obviously lads like Brendan Harrison (if he wants to go again) and Tommy Conroy will both come back in. Maybe the odd one like Eoin O’Donoghue who ticks many boxes will be more fancied by KMc than JH. As usual one or two younger lads will put their hands up for selection but I believe there is no chance of wholesale changes. Kevin McLoughlin may call it a day but Ireckon Keegan will continue.

  44. The big question is , what will McStay do with A O Shea, dont think he has a full game in him at midfield any more, will he play him at full forward,which would require a big change in the system of play from Horans era. Best games last year were when he came on as a sub, but due to the many injuries Horan had to start hime in all games later in season,. He did not play bad this year but for me best use of him in the coming year is as an impact sub early in second half around centre half forward. A lot depend on the injury list next year, hopefully new trainers/coaches will reduce the injury list.

  45. Charlie. I’ve absolutely no idea what Kevin and his team talked about in the lead up to their appointment, but I’m sure of one thing. Anywhere a group of Mayo football people gather, Aidan is discussed. It’s not going to be the Friday night before a big game, when they decide to talk about it.

  46. Charlie – I’m not going to allow you to diss a Mayo player who’s been a great servant of the county for the last 13 years, nor am I going to let you cast unfair aspersions on a manager less than a week in post. Keep up nonsense comments like that and it’ll you who’ll be getting the bye-bye treatment.

  47. WJ, in fairness it’s your blog, you call the shots.

    I have the greatest of respect for Kevin – he, having been an excellent player for Jarlaths and his father, as I understand, being from Tuam.. a deep thinker on the game. And I did say that no one is perfect.. but Mayo have got an excellent manager. As regards Aido, all I’m saying is, it’s management’s prerogative what role best suits the collective.

  48. Hating this Split season crap every Sunday feels a bore now, can we not just go back to the old format.feels like ages since the Kerry game.No big Gaa games to go to to keep children and teenagers interested in Gaelic ,just boring Man Utd ,Liverpool and Match of the Day.Only 4 teams were ever involved from the August Bank holiday on anyways so why not switch it back and tge let the Gaa make sure the other 28 Counties start there championship 2 weeks after the August Bank holiday.Only 2 Counties would have to rush there championship after the 3rd Sunday in September and who really cares if your if the County gets to an All Ireland anyway the buzz it gives to everyone no one cares about a delayed Club season.

  49. Sam Og some valid points, however going back to old format would mean that the club player has no definite dates for championship, which is one huge issue they are trying to fix with the split season. It ain’t perfect by any means, but at least they have some clarity on club championship fixtures

  50. That’s fine, Charlie, I only wish you’d stated those points that way at the first time of asking.

    Also, what’s the story with the different handles you’re posting under? You used one for the first few comments you posted back in 2015, then switched to another which you kept using until this summer, when you shifted to a new one and then quickly moved to your current one. Four different handles is a bit OTT so you need to settle on one and stick with it.

  51. When K.Mc gets a bit of time with Aido he’ll soon have him ” kicking gorgeous points with the citóg” as he’d say himself. No worries there.

  52. 2 hops, don’t know if you’re having a joke or in earnest, but that’d be a delight. I’d be doing little hop, skips and jumps if that happened. I’m being serious.
    We’ll see how things unfold.

  53. Very good podcast, but did I hear Sean Moran correctly, saying that Mayo only came close in ’16 and ’17, of the 11 AIFs we have lost since ’89. Hello. 1996, draw and replay? Even 1997 too.

  54. Mayo focus
    certainity of fixtures for club players need only change for the 4 Semi Finalist counties that are involved in August and September not the other 28 counties.far too much whinging from modern club players ,Some of our Inter County players only have seem to have interest in playing the 3 Championship group games in this county and whatever knockout games after that.
    Back In 1998 Padraic Joyce played every National League and Championship game for Galway and every Club Division 1 League and Championship game for Killererin.I can remember James Nallen and Ciaran Mac playing every game possible for Crossmolinabwind rain or snow and winning every trophy possible the Divison 1 Senior League ,The old Super League, Moclair cup,Connacht Club title ,All Ireland Club Title and the Kilmacud 7s All Ireland.Never heard any whinging from them and still had Successful Inter County careers aswell.

  55. 2 Games next weekend, jesus there really killing themselves with work this year on Mayo Gaa tv.

  56. Watched the Kerry q-f back there again. It’s sickening looking back how close we were for so much of the game. Huge effort from the lads undone by poor shooting, not for the first time.

    Interesting also listening to McStay on commentary given subsequent developments. It seemed clear he will favour a more direct style of play and more focus on scorers rather than runners in the forwards.

    With players like Hession, McLaughlin, Carney and Flynn coming on over the last 18 months, I think we might finally have a squad of at least 25 players who can all contribute. I believe we wouldn’t be too far away with a genuine full back (McBrien?), another midfield option and a role held open for at least one scoring half forward (Darren McHale or Mark Moran?). Robbie, Lee, Aidan and Cillian are our only regulars over 30 and there’s a good mix of ages.

    Looking forward to the club championship now. Being overseas I might have liked at one more game on Mayo Gaa TV each weekend but it’ll give us something to talk about anyway!

  57. Looking back at the quarter final we probably just didn’t have enough games under this squad’s belt playing a mix of kicking and running the ball.
    That kicking game takes a season to bed in.
    We were a bit off in ball winning. Hopefully all that can be better next year.

  58. After James horan bringing us to two all Ireland finals in transition…. what is reasonable to expect in the coming year with the new management team. Injury free hopefully

  59. Craggy boglands – interesting question.

    If you look at every Mayo managerial appointment going back to John Maughan in 1995, they’ve nearly all brought us to an All Ireland final. The exceptions are Pat Holmes (poor championship record but won an NFL), John O’Mahony and Holmes/Connelly in 2015 (still a decent year – beat by Dublin in a semi final replay).

    So I think reaching an AI final or semi final and only being knocked out by the eventual AI winners is about par for Mayo at this stage. Anything less has to be considered a poor year.

    History shows that year 1 is probably the best time for a new management to win the All Ireland so that has to be the aim.

  60. Agree wide ball. Especially being in division 1 with new structure.
    Barring complete meltdown you’re pretty much start in quarter finals if I’m reading it right.

  61. A lot of talk naturally about how Aido is to be utilised and going by Kevin McStay’s stance on the subject for the last few years it could lead to a seismic podcast in the future. Kevin continually pushed for AOS at full forward and if this happens and Billy Joe is on the following podcast there could be skin and hair flying. I don’t think it will happen however as it has been tried in the past and was mostly a failure. Maybe McStay feels he could have a different approach to previous attempts at it and let’s be honest Aido does have a lot of the tools needed for the job. I remember back in the early 90s we tried the same with McHale at ff but that didn’t work either and with Liam now one of his coaches there may be some kick back from within. I really do believe there is a role for O’Shea and over the years he has received a ridiculous amount of negative comments from both in the county and outside. He is one of the main reasons why Mayo have been at the top table so often over for more than a decade. Perhaps it’s his size or his big personality that so many feel gives them the right to abuse him on their keyboards but I wonder if he would get as much positive responses if he was part of an All Ireland Ireland winning team. Hope we get the chance to find out.

  62. To be specific, Kevin always said “it’s full forward or nowhere” for Aidan. I don’t think he was necessarily saying he’d make a top full forward, just that it’s the only position he’d play him if he was picked. Maybe I read that wrong, but that was my interpretation. He did speak highly of him as a footballer though.

    Aidan has more miles on the clock now too so it’s not a discussion anymore with him at his peak. And he has struggled hugely at FF over the recent years, unlike circa 2015 where he said several very good matches there and looked dangerous.

  63. I think Kevins argument has been that we never really went all in on Aidan at full forward and built a system to play to his strengths.

    2021 is a great example of this. We moved Aidan to FF when Cillian got injured and consistently left him far too isolated up front on his own.

    The emergence of Flynn and Carney around the middle has changed the dynamic here quite a bit. Even as recently as this year’s league we were vulnerable around the middle without Aidan’s aerial ability.

    Ultimately, Aidan himself will have a big say on where he plays. If Kevin can convince him that he can contribute most at FF then great but there also needs to be a focus on the players around him helping him out.

    TBH I think what this team needs most right now is a settled line up, and I think setting out our stall early and saying for example to Aidan you’re my full forward or oisin you’re my full back or 6, is no harm. Take a leaf out of Jack O’Connor’s book and approach the league with our best team.

    Wrt success. I think JH set the bar by resigning after a QF defeat. Semi final is the expectation, anything short of that needs to be questioned.

  64. Forget the notion of playing AOS at Full Forward. Jack Carney has emerged as a possible high fielding FF, playing Aiden there could hamper the progress of young players… Hopefully our injury woes of the last few years will be behind us and if so , and if that were the case, look at the various options we could have for our Full Forward line, Tommy Conroy, Cillian O Connor, Ryan O Donohue, Jack Carney, Darren Coen, and James Carr..that’s 6 different player’s who can actually score from play. I think AOS has a role to play for Mayo but not with the number 14 on his back….It should be a higher number in my opinion!

  65. I always thought with Aidan at full forward we just didn’t have enough of the component parts nailed down. It mainly should have been a playbook play for a simple mark or a handpass layoff from Aidan to a scorer or Aidan coming on the burst facing their goal within 30 yards of goal running a hard straight line onto a well timed handpass.
    Too often it ended up as Aidan devoured in the crowd, or the ball a poor one or him getting ball going away from goal.

  66. Up to now Aido could not play effectively for Mayo at ff, Kieran Donaghy in his prime would have struggled to play ff for Mayo. Since 2010 Mayo did not play a kicking game at all, it was a waste of time trying a big ff because they never got the service. When a 50/50 ball was eventually lobbed in there was zero support because that ball was about half an hour too late and every other player was either marked or out of position.
    If Mayo do go down yhe Road of playing a target man ff, then it’s a complete shift from the running game, that has to be the primary attacking plan so Ryan, Tommy and supporting hfs know where to be. Imo you cant have the running game and long kicking game because they are completely different systems involving different positioning.
    Aido or Carney could work at ff, but only if we really commit to it, not half hearted long balls when everything else breaks down.

  67. It’s an isolated play, but Ryan’s pass to him last year in Croker was literally sublime but Aidan really didn’t have that natural forward’s skill or instinct to take advantage of it, by either a lay-off or hit the net himself. He won it well and had plenty space but fluffed it. Or, if he was a quick natural forward he’d have had space. He’s also not as agile as once was.

    I think we need to forget about it as a tactic. Unless to put him in there with 20/25mins to go when teams are stretched and the pitch opens up. Otherwise it just seems like our style of play is being dictated by one player. All the evidence suggests it doesn’t work, especially in the biggest matches. How many more times do people want to see it attempted?
    And where in Mayo are these wonderful kickpassers to put the ball in? Billy Joe lays this out very well in a pod a couple months ago.

    One chink of light is Boyler’s recent comments about how under Rochy we moved the ball with the foot far more. So hopefully practice will make perfect.

    Even still, I don’t see Aidan as the ideal target man, but who knows, McStay and Rochford et al may get the required tune out of him. You just never know.

  68. @Mayomad..I believe we did play the long ball game at time’s mixed with the running game.. especially under Holmes and Connelly in 15, and we had some success with it, I recall a wonderful goal scored by AOS just before halftime in the quarter final v Donegal…. and even more successfully in the Stephen Rochford era, with Andy and Cillian the primary beneficiary…Andy even won Player of the Year in 2017, primarily because of a variety of kicked passes into the full forward line,.. mixed with the running game, but crucially not totally dependent on it!..I think any team needs a variety of attacking methods, just to keep the opposition guessing if nothing else!

  69. Great points Leantimes, especially re Andy POTY. That’s certainly a collector’s item in terms of forwards in Mayo. And crucially it was under Rochy.

  70. Does it need to be such a wonderful kick? Is that just easy talk that gets trotted out?
    Also what is with this constant diagonal ball talk? Look at Graham OSullivans pass to Clifford, that was not an eye of the needle diagonal ball slicer n whatever yer having yourself.
    He simply walloped it straight down the middle, bit o skill that he didn’t lob it he kicked through it. But that’s not some difficult pass at this level.
    You don’t have to hit the full forward, they’ll cover 15 yards left and 15 yards right and 15 yards in front with the ball in flight. This idea that you have to land it on a pool table of grass. Think more like half a tennis court. How is that a difficult pass if you have a real ball winner good in the air inside?
    Probably Aidan would have to be from the bench to be mobile and have some defenders on yellows n ticks. So he’s not facing the strength of the starting defence. It would need proper coaching.

  71. Leantimes.. I’m with you on this one. A variety of the running game and long ball. Aos is fantastic in the league and connaught championship but as posted above Ryan s ball into the chest against Tyrone.. outcome zero. How many times can one go to the well. Do we have to find a place for aos. There’s nobody bigger than mayo football. A panel player I think at his age.

  72. A lot of my football pals here in Navan always complain about AoS.
    I asked them to name a single present Meath
    player that was better then him and I got no reply.
    I would prefer to have him playing with us in some capacity then against us.

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