Next year’s league fixtures + last night’s County Board meeting

This has already been posted (and discussed) in the comments before I’ve had the chance to mention it but just to confirm that the unofficial NFL fixture list for 2014 has been published. Full details of next year’s provisional Division One and Two fixtures are here.

The 2014 list sees us playing two away matches to start with (against Kildare on February 2nd and Tyrone on February 9th), then alternating home and away fixtures – home against Kerry, on March 2nd, away to Westmeath on March 9th, home against Cork on March 16th, away to Dublin on March 29th (which is, incidentally, our only Saturday night match of the campaign – the lights in MacHale Park aren’t going to get used at all next spring it seems) and finally at home against Derry on April 6th.

My understanding is that, as in previous years, this provisional list is one that has been circulated to counties for comment and is likely to be confirmed as is, with maybe one or two minor changes. We can, then, take it that this will be the league roster facing us in 2014.

That Mayo News report on last night’s “open and frank” meeting between County Board officers and James Horan has also been the subject of discussion here. I’m as wise as the rest of you in terms of what the current state of play is on this front but Mike Connolly’s statement in this piece would seem to indicate it’s a done deal that James will be staying on next year. Not just that but it also appears that full details of James’ new backroom team for 2014 are set to be finalised this day week. If this is indeed what’s happening, then it can only be very welcome news.

105 thoughts on “Next year’s league fixtures + last night’s County Board meeting

  1. To throw a cat among the pigeons: What about Liam MacHale as a coach / selector?
    I wouldn’t have dreamed of suggesting it a year ago knowing Mayo supporters love/hate opinions of his football but he now has an All Ireland club title to show his value. In the past it would have been enough to have Mayo Co Board officials rushing to his door.

  2. Great news on JH, Caff is definetly takin a year off, keegan expected to follow, i think thats two big blows for this team, caff without doubt the best full back in the country and Keegan in line for player of the year, my heart broke when i heard the news, trying to be positive about next season but its very very hard now. WJ, its not my intention to start rumours which i know falls under the house rules, but Ger leaving is a fact, and keegan also expected to take a year out. I think tbe good mayo people on here and of course yourself, deserve to know.

  3. I heard that about 2 weeks ago Juan and as you have correctly stated Caff is definitely taking at least one year out and there are strong indications more will follow.

  4. Caff seems certain to opt out for next year and there is word that Keegan won’t be about either but what do you mean by more will follow? More than that ?

  5. Thanks WJ for putting those up. In the diary for next year and it can’t come quickly enough, so we can leave this year behind and start afresh – as hard as it sounds now it’ll all be to play for again in a few months time. And if we can get some certainty on the backroom team we might all sleep a little easier for the winter.

    If Caff and Keegan are heading away, while it’s a double blow for us I only wish them the best – they’ve put in some hard graft over the last few years and have lives of their own to lead. They’re young and fit and will be back. Two big opportunities for other players to step up to the mark over the course of the league campaign.

  6. I think we are in trouble tom, not good to see the regulars leaving, fringe players would be understandable, but our all-star full back and wing back is too big of a blow for any team to handle, and as you say, maybe more to follow. Its very depressing.

  7. Have heard Caff and Keegan and two others, depending on how things pan out over the next couple of weeks. But for the moment its accurate to say Caff for sure and Keegan very likely.

    Hopefully they may change their plans but I wouldn’t bank on it.

  8. Yes, I agree. Personally I would like to have seen Lee Keegan used in possibly a half forward position before next years championship, maybe that has been experimented with already, I don’t know.

    But two huge losses if there isn’t a change of heart, that’s for sure.

  9. Tom61, Lee was in the half forward line during some of the league games this year, not an outstanding success, he has had a great season, hard to blame players if taking a break but hard to see at the same time!
    Btw, best of luck to Kiltane as they embark on Connacht glory, think that they have a good chance if they can get a good start on Sunday.

  10. Thanks, I see he played as a half forward in some FBD games as well, would have thought he ticked a lot of boxes.

  11. “Our job as a County Board executive is to make sure that we stay within the guidelines of the new charter that was passed by Central Council at Croke Park last Saturday, and also to make sure that we stay within our budget from an expenditure point of view.”

    From reading that it sounds like more corners will be cut next year.

  12. Losing two top defenders is an almighty blow and could have knock on effect on the morale of the rest of the team. Perhaps by spring they will miss the whole scene and be ready to return. If not they owe nothing to us and I wish them luck and hope they enjoy themselves.
    I think next year is last chance saloon for this team and if we don’t make it serious rebuilding will be needed. The myth of curses and the legacy of 63 years will be all the heavier. I have just finished reading “The Road to 51” and it struck me that even those great teams of the 30’s and 48 – 51 found it so hard to win All Irelands. It is also remarkable that so many of the teams Mayo came up against in those years are even deeper in the wilderness than Mayo. Only Meath, Galway and Kerry have a better record since than Mayo. [Dublin rarely came up against Mayo in those years] And yet media pundits and other self appointed experts, most of whom have little to boast about themselves, can only see Mayo’s failure to reach the summit.

    Re Lee Keegan as a half forward, he was played there a few times in this years league and never looked comfortable there.

  13. Sorry to see any player leaving the panel at this stage particulary players of this caliber. Does anyone know what is the real reason why they are going, hopefully it is for a break which they richly deserve and I wish them well and thank them for their efforts in trying to get us to the promised land.Who ever replaces the out going selectors needs to assert themselves from the word go, and ensure that that they have a positive input into proceedings both on and off the pitch, this cannot be a one man show, we have to improve from last year.Regarding Lee Keegan as a half forward this was a non runner it did not work and was a waste of his talents.Liam McHale was already a selector with John Maughan and managed the Stephenites and was involved with Clare and the only sucess he had was with Brigids working with K McStay so I think they gelled very well, it may not work with James Horan
    Instead of converting more backs into forwards we should be giving the players we have on the panel more game time in the leagues.Carolan Doherty Coen the younger O Shea are all quality players who wont improve sitting on the bench.Most counties would gladly accept a player of Barry Morans undoubted talents and not just giving him a few minutes a game.He should be accomodated either at CF or CH forward with Aiden O Shea at CH back with D Vaughan replacing Lee Keegan on the wing and Shane McHale at full back, it is well worth a try provided they are given plenty of game time leading into the championship.

  14. Will be a huge blow to loose two outstanding players in their prime. I would be more worried about the signal it sends out…..I couldn’t imagine the likes of Marc O Se and Tom O Se walking away from the Kerry setup for a year when they were in their prime….

    Having said that I wish the lads all the best.

  15. Juan/all – the story about Ger possibly taking some time out is well substantiated it at this stage but from what I’m aware this isn’t the case where any other player(s) are concerned. So, before everyone runs away with themselves bemoaning about what great losses possible players might be, can anyone point to any tangible proof that this is happening? If you can, then please post it here but if not I’d appreciate if this debate is parked until such time as any such evidence is forthcoming. Aside from anything else, it’s unfair on the player in question to be discussing the impact of his departure when we don’t know for sure if he’s going or not. House rule 12 applies in case anyone is in any doubt on this.

  16. You hit the nail on the head there Steve as regards the O’Shea’s not walking out on Kerry, but see the success those guys had, when in their prime. Had Mayo won the A I all those guys would be enjoying hero status in the County, would probably be favourites for next year as well, and would want to stay around and be part of it.
    Loosing the final naturally brought a lot of soul searching and for those who can, a bit of travel can be a good thing. That said Mayo football with all it’s up’s and down’s will go on regardless……

  17. We have plenty of quality defenders who can step up and claim any of the positions going should a couple of our lads decide to give it a break e.g J. Burke, S.McHale, K.Keane etc who will no doubt seize any opportunity that comes their way during the league. The real problem is going to remain the forward positions where we have less of an abundance of players capable of winning their own individual battles come the white heat of championship, especially against the likes of Cork, Kerry, Dublin, Tyrone etc assuming we even get that far.

  18. This is what Lee Keegan said in the Sunday Times “I heard I was going to Australia,” says Keegan. “Unless someone’s buying me a ticket I’m not going.

  19. I don’t see how you can interpret that from the piece, Puckout – where does it say in it that James is threatening to walk unless he gets what he wants? What’s clear, though, from that Examiner report is that the County board lads aren’t all singing from the same hymn sheet, with Mike Connolly quoted in the Mayo News yesterday saying that James is staying on and that the details will be all be sorted next week while Paddy Mc is saying that nothing is sorted and that they don’t know what James is going to do about next year. They can’t both be correct.

  20. Very dissapointing to hear of potential departures, It is an unbelievable committment to play intercounty football. To anybody who has given their all for the last three years, thank you.
    It should also be considered a privilage to play for your county, and while I do understand the desire to travel, there is many a former footballer in his early to mid 30’s that really wishes he could still do it physically. The career of an intercounty footballer is for the most part done when they reach 30, due to marraige, kids, additional work responsibilities. I hope the players in question understand the gratitude and respect that almost all Mayo fans have for them, and that somehow they may be back come May or June.

    Finally, As I have said previously, these footballers deserve a break, they should not be asked to play until March or April, Let the panel members and any potential panel additions have their shot and play in FBD league and early league rounds. I am sure James Horan could not give a shit about the leagues other than staying in division 1 and unearthing a few additional players.

  21. So if someone buys him a ticket he will go, playing for Mayo must be worth more than a plane ticket, surely! 🙂

  22. I think people are getting a bit carried away about potential departures overseas for next season. Firstly Lee Keegan stated clearly in a Sunday times interview last weekend that rumours of him going to Australia were part of the rumours and nonsense swirling around the county since the AI final. It seems that some people love to jump on a bit of bad news and exaggerate it.

    Secondly inter county players taking time off to go travelling is nothing new. Conor Mortimer and Alan Dillon took a few months out to travel a few years back and so did Keith Higgins. All 3 were firmly back in position by the time championship swung around. There’s a difference between going travelling and emigrating. There is no way 2 potential double all stars will be playing club football with a Mickey Mouse team in Australia next summer.

    The status enjoyed by the mayo players ensures they should have little trouble securing a job in Ireland, that’s the way it works. They will likely be goven every incentive to come home for the championship. They have 7 or 8 months to travel and enjoy a well deserved break if they need it, and actually may return next summer refreshed and ready for the serious stuff again.

  23. Wow everyone has the doom and gloom
    Story nothing confirmed about players departing speculation is all I guarantee you all when horan sits down with his panel he looking for 100 percent commitment as with county board nothing confirmed yet hold on to your pants don’t run with the tabloids

  24. I think joe mamas said it all very well

    These players need a break, even a few months away from it might recharge the batteries.

  25. A few months off might sound well and good but it’s fifteen weeks Sunday till the league opener.

    NEW SALES 4th November 2013.

  27. Tomorrow’s Irish Times here’s why Adain O Shea has to say. Meanwhile Mayo centrefielder and Ireland panellist Aidan O’Shea has expressed optimism that county manager James Horan will stay on for a fourth year.
    “It is important that James stays involved because he has brought us on a huge amount. The backroom team he has put together is top class so obviously it would be a big blow if James leaves but all the soundings are good.
    “He has got a young family and he will take time out. We have no major panic; we have a good bit of time now before the league starts. We won’t be doing the slog that some of the rest of the counties will have to do before the start of the league.”

  28. those lads ,will be tired both mentally and physcially,they deserve a break ,.hopefully they will be back in the red and green for the championship.,

  29. Understandably, there is still alot of wailing and gnashing of teeth. The keening cries, while plantiff and sincere can become tiresome after a time. Personally I never gave two highland fucks about “What a man might or might not do” I react to facts and what is real. Wasting good time on conjecture and “should have could have” is of no interest to me.

    Great to see the league fixtures posted, thank you WJ. Something real to look forward too.
    Mayo have rolled that boulder up to the top of the mountain let’s hope we have the strenght to push the fucker over to the other side.

    “All together now!

    Heave! Heave! Heave!

    “Come On Mayo!!!”

  30. Does anyone have a copy of the lee keegan interview they could post here? Delighted to hear he is staying in Ireland.

  31. Best of luck to the lads in Cavan this weekend. No matter what people think about the game itself, great personal honour to represent your country at any level in sport.
    The 1000 euro per game is handy too I’d say. Well deserved for the effort they have put in for the last couple of years.

  32. Type in Sunday times lee keegan into google and it will come up. It’s restricted viewing without paying but the first few paragraphs are free and will tell you all you need to know

  33. Ger had informed James that he intended to leave for a year a good bit in advance of the final. With reagrds to a job Ger is a engineer by trade and despite what people think about Mayo lads getting jobs off the boys he has struggled to find any permanent work to the point where he returned and did a Masters in college for the previous two years. He is highly qualified but there is no work for him in Ireland for the foreseeable future so he has decided to leave. He is not heading off to go drinking for a few months and while he intends to initially to go for a year there is the chance he would stay if he secured a good permanent position abroad. He is young and wants to go out and earn a living and while he loves (and lives for playing) for Mayo he can’t be asked to put his career on hold for the next 5 or 6 years which is the unfortunate harsh reality that many young Mayo stars over the next decade will have to face.
    Remember Trevor Mortimer just went to do some charity work in Africa and ended up getting a Job and has yet to return to Ireland (I think he is in South America now!) , Trevor Howley(I know he was on the fringes of the squad) is another example who supposedly went for a years break and is now settled in Perth with his girlfriend again with the comfort of a good permanent position that he couldn’t find Ireland. Conor Mort was in college and Dillion was just finished his H-dip (I think) so using an example of them going travelling for a few months break is not the same situation Ger Caff is in at all really.
    Anyone who saw the picture Willie Joe posted of Ger standing in the rain fundraising for Ballina James Stephens hurling club during our run to the All Ireland final last year will know that any supposed status a Mayo player has in the county is of little meaning to him when it comes to making decisions in his life so we can’t expect this to sway his decision on when to return.

    P.S. I really hope I am wrong Mac’s Left Boot and you are right about him returning by the way!!!

  34. on the same note Alf Stewart i want to wish the Australian team the best of luck , these lads are an indigenous australian team who lobbied hard to represent Australia in these games,a huge Cead Mile Failte to them and as long as they dont injure any Mayomen then i for one wont be too sad if they win the series.

  35. Very well said Crete Boom. With those qualifications, I cetrtainly understand his wanting to go and see what happens. The job situation has brought difficult choices for many, including meself.

  36. Fair enough Crete boom obviously Ger has decided to give it a go and best of luck to him, I hope that its just temporary. As an immigrant myself currently living in Australia I’m well aware of the difficulties of earning a living in Ireland, hopefully things will improve sufficiently over the next year or two so that our brightest and best young people can find employment in Ireland. What I can tell you though from firsthand experience, is that come summertime back in Ireland, when mayo are going well, the weather is nice back home, and the GAA season is in full swing, that the yearning for home becomes much more powerful than in the winter months. I feel it and I’m just a supporter! So I can imagine its even greater for an intercounty player, especially someone of Ger’s status within the game.
    That’s reason for hope anyway!

  37. Well said Crete Boom, and the very best of luck to Ger. As a supporter I’m quietly relieved to hear that Lee is sticking around, but if every single one of those lads decided in the morning to pack their bags and head away, they’d be within their rights to do so – they don’t owe anyone an excuse or an explanation. Nor do they have any obligation to put Mayo football before their own plans, no matter how much of a privilege it may be to play for your county.

    It’s our own choice to be supporters, attend matches, invest our time, our money and our dreams in Mayo football (though many would argue that there’s little choice in the matter :)) Players invest in different ways, and with over three year’s hard training on the trot combined with two disappointing all-Ireland defeats, I don’t think anyone in all fairness can question the commitment of this panel. What right do we have to speculate about what any of them should or should not be doing with their personal lives, or judge them for making what they deem to be the best decisions for them?

    Is it January yet ..? It’ll be a long winter here in the blue side of the country.

  38. Will Aidan O’Shea ever stop yapping to the media? Yet another interview in today’s Irish Daily Star about what Mayo will and wont do and how sweet it will be when the lads win Sam. More ammo for the sniggering brigade who might wonder where he was during the All-Ireland final.

    I wouldn’t like to see Aidan turning into another spice boy.

  39. Indeed Mayonaze….””I’ve had a good run with Tyrone and I’ve never regretted it.”

    See…a few All Ireland medals solves everyting 😉

  40. Havent read the piece Tom, but its a free country, the lad is young and very engaged in social media, as are a lot of ppl. Plus, he’s an immene talent, therefore the media will always seek his opinion. I woulnt be too bothered about it.

  41. Obviously its not a free country Mister Mayor. Its a sad day when we are not entitled to honest opinion or report what is being said in the media.

    Lets all just be yes men from now on.

  42. Tom61 – okay, time for a fair warning. If you start spouting this ‘free country’ shite again you’ll find out quickly enough where you stand here.

  43. Saying Aidan O’Shea lacks pace and is not very mobile isn’t a “cut” WJ, it’s fact, I notice you didn’t quote my “he has many fine attributes” post.

  44. Rule 8 is the problem, Tom61, or, more to the point, your failure to stay on the right side of it. What you’re up to is trash-talking, first about Aidan, then that “free county”, “yes men” nonsense.

  45. On a slightly different note : what new players would folk like to see being given a few trials during the FBD and National Leagues?

  46. That’s perfectly fair WJ but I hadn’t broken any rules in my initial post, that’s why I’m very curious as to why you accused me of having a cut at him.

    I think he is a player that needs protection from the media because I know how they work especially the real trash talking tabloids.

    They made a story of his fringe ffs! Haven’t we had enough of sniggering over the years about our barbie dolls and so on from the media.

    Just don’t want him ending up like that.

  47. Tom61 – I’ll be the judge of who is and who isn’t breaking the rules and in my view your original comment about Aidan, which was clearly derogatory and cutting in tone, was in breach of the house rules, which is why I pulled you up on it. I’m not getting into a debate about what you may or may not have said about him in previous comments but I would add that your constant contesting of every single point is more than a bit wearisome at this stage.

  48. 45,

    Danny Kirby would be my no 1. I was also impressed by Alan Durcan and Liam Irwin of Breaffy in the semi finals. Shane Nally of Garrymore is a player who I always thought could make it and was involved briefly a few years ago and would be worth another shot if interested. Adam Gallagher is another promising young player and Ryan Quirke was a very promising minor a few years ago – would still be U21, I think. There are probably others, I don’t get to see much club football in Mayo. Biggest issue is firstly how interested are they and second have they the time to give. Being at college other than in Dublin/Galway/Sligo is a serious handicap to intercounty football in terms of being able to get to training.

  49. We need to freshen up the panel at this stage after James’ ultimately unsuccessful assault on Sam. Three years have passed with very little panel or team change.
    We need 6/8 new players to freshen things up.
    This however means asking 6/8 players of the aging/under performing variety to make way & this is where we’re going to run in to difficulty.

  50. Difficulty is the people who matter apparently don’t want to accept evidence that is pretty apparent to the rest of us.
    They seem to believe that change/evolution is in some way a reflection on their own previous work & would prefer to keep trying to prove that they were right all along with the same inevitable results in the end.

  51. Best of luck to AOS, keegan, Boyle and Kevin mac tonight, despite the criticism of this series I’m looking forward to watching the game tonight, have added interest as I’m pretty familiar with the Aussie players having watched a good bit of AFL last few years, they have picked a decent squad, the aboriginal players tend to be very athletic, flair players who are lighting fast, capable of outrageous pieces of skill at times. Unlike previous years Ireland should have a physical edge. Lance Franklin is probably the biggest sports star in Australia at the moment, would love to see him going toe to toe with big Aidan tonight should be a good battle. It’s a great honour for the mayo lads to play for Ireland and I hope they play well and do us proud.

  52. Sorry to see all the rumours on this site.

    I do not think this is a good development. Spreading rumours has nothing to do with free speech.

    The other extreme is as bad. Refusing to see anything other than James’s saintliness is valueless.

    I really believe we need new blood with James in management and new blood on the field. Talking about Liam Irwin and other minors is not real in the meantime.

  53. Fair play to the Mayo lads tonight in the IRS on super performance. On the other hand it’s a load of shite absolutely no sense or meaning to it and if I happened to be from Cork I’d be rightly disgusted to have Aidan Walsh stretchered off in a game that meant jack shit!!!

  54. Most interesting thing about IRS, game one, was the diva Paul Galvin. On top of being gaylics answer to Andy Warholl / Norman Bates / Noman Bates’ mother, he can also speaketh the fluent irish.

  55. I’d go along with the names you mentioned there AndyD although I haven’t seen Quirke or Nally myself in action in recent times but if they’re still playing good football they should be given a trial. I also wonder about Brian Gallagher who seemed to slip away quietly after 20mins of league action last March?

  56. WJ,
    I recommend that everyone should read Eamonn Sweeney’s ‘Hold The Back Page’ column in the Sunday Indo. this morning about the Castlehaven & Passage road to winning the Cork Football Final last Sunday against all the odds.

    It’s brilliant and it’s what it’s all about!

  57. People wondering who should be brought into the Mayo squad for next season, some good options being suggested. Haven’t seen any club football this year but been following it closely since the AI final, and from what I can gather, Mikie Sweeney of Kiltane appears to be the one player really putting his hand up for a recall to the county squad, according to Mayo GAA twitter he’s put in another classy performance in the Connaught club intermediate championship today. Surely he’s done enough for an invite into the squad come January??

    Brian Gallagher was injured for a chunk of the season, would like to see him given a run though highly rated by Horan anyway.

  58. Sweeney was on Mayo U-21 in 2009 making him around 24 now another on that team was Neil Douglas and both have been overlooked thus far i think its time to give both a try.

  59. Mikie Sweeney stood out today, no doubt. In fairness, Kiltane were dominant throughout the game, with a strong half back line and mf, providing plenty ammunition to the forwards.

    We definitely need to try players in the league next year, priority is to try different combinations, and see if players can step up to the mark. Roll on next year….

  60. Exactly, we have to try things out, let’s just hope management want to through away the conservatism and add a bit of adventure to the ideology of the present set up.It is really needed if we are going to progress, it’s not mass change either , just a couple of forwards in and a couple out.

    In saying that though , I couldn’t help notice in the mid west radio reports from the league games this afternoon, nearly all the standout players were county men that were mentioned, Varley, Doc, feeney, Freeman etc.

  61. We had enough good players to win the last two All Ireland’s. A combination of sloppiness and absence of a tactician on the sideline cost us both finals.

    Finding the Messi of Gaelic football in Mayo would guarantee you nothing, absolutely zilch.

    If players feel they are over the hill or can offer no more then why not just put your hand up and say so, but no, they will wait until the bitter end.

  62. 2001: A. Keane, K. Fitzgerald, G. Fahey, R. Fahey, D. Meehan, T. Mannion, S. de Paor, K. Walsh, M. Donnellan, P. Clancy, J. Fallon, J. Bergin, D. Savage, P. Joyce, T. Joyce. Subs: A. Kerins, K. Comer

    2004 – D Murphy; T O’Sullivan, M McCarthy, A O’Mahony; M O Se, T O Se, E Fitzmaurice; E Brosnan, W Kirby; L Hassett, D O’Sullivan, P Galvin; C Cooper, D O Cinneide, J Crowley. Sub – S Moynihan, MF Russell, R O’Connor, P Kelly, B Guiney.

    2006 – D Murphy; M O Se, M McCarthy, T O’Sullivan; T O Se, S Moynihan, A O’Mahony; D O Se, T Griffin; S O Sullivan, Declan O’Sullivan, P Galvin; C Cooper, K Donaghy, MF Russell. Subs: E Brosnan, Darren O’Sullivan, B Sheehan, E Fitzmaurice, B Guiney

    2009: D Murphy, M Ó Sé, T Griffin, T O’Sullivan, T Ó Sé, M McCarthy, K Young, D Ó Sé, S Scanlon, P Galvin, Declan O’Sullivan, T Kennelly, C Cooper, T Walsh, Darran O’Sullivan. Subs: D Walsh, M Quirke, K Donaghy, D Moran, A O’Mahony.

    2012: P Durcan; P McGrath, N McGee, F McGlynn; E McGee, K Lacey, A Thompson; N Gallagher, R Kavanagh; M McHugh, L McLoone, R Bradley; P McBrearty, M Murphy, C McFadden. Subs: D Walsh, M McElhinney, C Toye, D Molloy.

    2011: S Cluxton; M Fitzsimons, R O’Carroll, C O’Sullivan; J McCarthy, G Brennan, K Nolan; MD Macauley, D Bastick; P Flynn, B Cahill, B Cullen; A Brogan, D Connolly, B Brogan. Subs: P McMahon, K McMenamin, E O’Gara, E Fennell.

    Look I could keep copy and pasting these all Ireland winning teams all night but my point is obvious, you don’t win all Ireland’s without at least a couple of class forwards and at least one who can take it by the scruff by displaying his natural ability to score on the biggest occasion of them all.

    Hopefully someday Mayo people will realise what everyone keeps saying and stfu with the excuses.

  63. That’s a fair enough opinion, but if you follow that logic to it’s conclusion then no underdog would ever win a game.

    If we agree that Dublin have much better forwards than us, then why did we only lose by a point, that to me disproves the argument to a degree.

    Of course it improves your chances greatly if you have the type of players you mention, but its surprising what a team playing a pressing game can achieve, had we done that, and made a few tweaks I believe we were well capable of winning on the day.

    Its wasn’t a forward who was Dublin’s key man.

  64. You seem to contradict yourself Tom. Last week you said the forwards we had Weren’t good enough and you favoured a return for Conor Mortimer to add something new to our forward line, then people are suggesting new players and your saying “finding the Messi of Gaelic football guarantees you nothing”.

    Surely you would agree that giving some of the lads mentioned above a few games in FBD and league would be a positive development for us? We can’t dwell on the Dublin game for ever, at some stage we have to look forward, while making sure the lessons learned from our defeat to Dublin are taken on board.

    Also I strongly disagree that players who are “past it” or “have nothing more to offer” should put their hands up and drop off the panel voluntarily. That’s just ridiculous. You wouldn’t see a kerryman or a Dub withdrawing from a squad because he thought he wasn’t good enough. Every player at that level believes he can make it and is worth his place, no matter how poorly he is playing or how bad his form is. That’s what elite sportspeople go, they all have massive belief in their own ability, otherwise they wouldn’t be anywhere near the squad in the first place. Also we need more competition for places and fellas pushing each other on, Not dropping voluntarily off the panel if they have a bad game or two. It’s up to the management and nobody else to inform a guy if they feel he is not good enough or his time is up.

  65. Everybody is talking, and nobody is getting it!! Unless we solve it, we will still be waiting another 60 years. Now, what can that be? A clue, it is intrinsic in all sport.

  66. Your view is different than mine, as you think it is ridiculous that players who are past it or who have nothing more to offer should remain on the panel until they are pushed, while at the same time saying that we need new players.

    You also say “You wouldn’t see a kerryman or a Dub withdrawing from a squad because he thought he wasn’t good enough”

    I could have sworn Tomas O’Se was a Kerry man. Players hang up their boots all the time for many different reasons. I see absolutely no connection between “elite sports people” and the point you are making.

    In professional team sports if a player is not good enough he is shown the door, there is no comfort zone like in our amateur game.

    We have the bones of a very good team, a team that should have won two All Ireland’s already but left them behind them, especially the latest one, not bad for a team with “no forwards”.

    People need to understand that it is possible to win by using a bit of smarts as well, its not all about the forwards but as I said in my previous post of course it improves a teams chances.

  67. It is just opinions and let’s be honest there is none of us here experts, some believe the present squad can still get us over the line, others ( like me) believe we need a couple of additions and a couple to go home. I firmly believe JH is one of the former and I do hope he proves my ilk wrong though.

    The main lesson to be learned for supporters and players especially at this stage is the realisation that it’s all about the final, it doesn’t matter a fook how you get there or what you do beforehand , it’s your performance on all Ireland final day that matters (ie Bernard Brogan) , Mayo are completely in the category now, we cannot hide from that nowadays no matter how we try to compliment them for getting there , if we don’t win it, it’s a failure. There will be enormous pressure on them in 14, unless of course Horan stepped down,,then a new man would take a bit of that pressure off the players, with words like , rebuilding, first year, etc been thrown about.

  68. We gifted Brogan two goals, both scored with his hands, not a foot in sight, so that to me is our sloppiness rather than Brogan’s greatness.

    Yes we need a few additions an injection of youth and vision in the forward line but until something drastically changes in Mayo’s big day physiological weakness, no new additions will help us win an All-Ireland.

    You wont get many days playing a Dublin team at 60% and down to 13 fit men.

  69. Tom, ” Mayo’s big day physiological weakness,” see my post farther up. Much the same hymn sheet.

  70. Hypnosis could be the answer, I’m actually serious, just in case some pc Garda starts writing me a ticket.

  71. “You wont get many days playing a Dublin team at 60% and down to 13 fit men.”

    And Tom you asked above why did Dublin only win by one point?

    In fairness some of the goals Mayo scored v Galway,Donegal were far softer than Brogans in the AI and TBH once Dublin leveled game early in the 2nd half they never looked like losing that final.

  72. I won’t and don’t advocate a continuing search for better players, backs as well as forwards. To those who crave the silver bullet forward – we had one in 04 and 06 – Mac. Galway hurlers have one – Canning. What happens? Backs learn to deal with them and when they fail to score or win games the psychological damage is enormous.

    I steeled myself and have watched the recording of AIF – first half! One thing is blindingly obvious: the back line were the leaky sieve here. By my reckoning Dublin scored one substantive/creative point in that half – O’Gara’s fisted point. The rest including the goal arose from unforced errors on Mayo’s part.

  73. Take a look. There a good few elephants in the room now. The room is fucking bunged with elephants. 89, 96, 97, 04, 06, 12, and the number 13 Elephant. That’s an awful lot of elephants for the one room to hold.

    We don’t need any more. The mindset of the players and the supporters needs to change.

    Foregeabout the 1 to 5 buzzshit spiel, the only one that really counts is the 6th one. We can’t seem to get a right hold of that one cos the fucking elephants keep getting in the way.

    Mayo need to face these elepahant lads down. These lads are real. Despite any of the claptrap that the past is not the future and the future is where change can only exist etc to infiniti and then some.. The Elephants are real and lumber around at their own discretion inside every players, selectors, managers, and supporters head space.

    This is what I think should happen to erradicate the elephant infestation.

    When the panel has been selected on the the first night of training all the elephants need to be purpose built into a room. 89 first and then the rest. Shaped and shuttered in the African elephant form and filled with mass concrete. The room needs to have a long hallway with a door leading to the outside, where 7 empty skips sit. Jackhammers, sledgehammers and pickaxes should be provided for the 2014 panel along with the appropriate safety gear.

    The only way to disposal is for the panel to smash these fake elephants into fucking smithereeens and dispose of there parts into the empty skips. Fiil the skips to the brim and then move forwards.

    We finally have the team of the future, they just need the time to taste a new air. Where all of us really really believe to our fucking cores that we have the real stuff inside, when it really counts.

    This comment is not intended to disparage those who have tried so hard before. Your prime is temporary Leave nothing behind. This debris needs to be acknowledeged and cleared right to its very rind.

  74. Ahh now hang on , you don’t think you should search the county for better players? That is just simply ridiculous .

  75. “This is what I think should happen to eradicate the elephant infestation.”

    A phrase I don’t think I ever anticipated seeing in mayogaa blog. Hats off (again) Joe Ruane!

    And mayomagic, spot on – there’s a gruesome irony in the fact that every big match day we’re treated to a the sight of the giant inflated Elverys elephant on the terrace, given that the place itself is the biggest white elephant in the province ….

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