Looking ahead


Photo: jonizquierdo.com

I think it really is time to start moving on from Saturday’s events and this week’s issue of the Mayo News (out today, paper and digital format) helps that process considerably.

Daniel Carey has a piece on the front page of the sports section of the paper (here), which contains a very brief statement from County Board PRO Paul Cunnane. It’s worth quoting this statement in full, which reads as follows:

What happened in 2015 is not something we will be talking about. All we are concentrating on is 2017 and the new season which is just over three weeks away.

I have to admit that’s exactly what I’d expect the Board to be saying at this juncture. There’s nothing to be gained from adding fuel to what is, despite the Indo’s best efforts (with another piece today), now a dying fire.

Danny also reports in that piece that Stephen Rochford was contacted but had no comment to make and that Liam Horan, media co-ordinator for the senior team, confirmed there’d be no further comment from the players or management on the issue. No comment was forthcoming either from County Board Chairman Mike Connelly.

The same paper has a few good, even-handed pieces on the affair today by Billy Joe Padden, Edwin McGreal and Mike Finnerty. They’re all worth a read if the issue is still rocking around in your mind and they all, in their different ways, help the process of moving on and looking to the future.

With that in mind, I’m happy to let you know that, after a break of a few months, a new edition of the Mayo News football podcast will be hitting the airwaves a bit later on today. I’ll post separately on that once it’s ready to rock. Then tomorrow I’ve an update on what’s been happening with the results archive that I want to let you know about. The show goes on.

175 thoughts on “Looking ahead

  1. Very interested to see some new names being called the in the panel. A few of the U21s should be getting their shot now.

  2. Despite bests efforts Wj I expect this to keep rumbling on to disrupt us for a while, hope I’m wrong, nothing to be gained and I suspect more from H&C in the indo

  3. I think we will need to be realistic in terms of u21s making the step up. While there are some notable exceptions it really is a massive jump going from U21 to senior intercounty.

    A sustained period with the squad, some games in the FBD and the league will go a long way.

    I think Stephen Coen is going to be an important player for us this year. Diarmuid will hopefully be a little fresher in the latter part of the year considering he has no u21 commitments. Added to that, I expect to see Ger Caff back along with an excellent, now experienced Brendan Harrisson, Paddy Durcan with another year of intense senior football under his belt and hopefully someone like Evan Regan can add 15% to his contribution overall.

    Excited again!

  4. County Board statement good, Rochford confirmation better, as is Liam Horan’s vow of Omertà.

    Curious though that John Fogarty is emerging as a strong defender of the players with a really cutting piece on H&C today. Nothing wrong with that as a point of view and I could agree with a fair bit of it, but I just hope he isn’t setting himself up as a repository for ‘sources close to the team’, which he quoted yesterday, challenging some of the H&C claims. As I said on that, silence should mean silence. The team made their point in 2015, they won that one, they don’t need to respond, and they certainly, definitely, absolutely, do not need to leak comments, views, or rebuttals anonymously to another paper to prolong the guerrilla warfare further.

  5. “Danny also reports in that piece that Stephen Rochford was contacted but had no comment to make and that Liam Horan, media co-ordinator for the senior team, confirmed there’d be no further comment from the players or management on the issue. ”

    If i was a bookmaker I would be offering long odds on that commitment….

    …if the sentence finished in “for now” I’d be happy to believe it….but its only a question of WHEN and not IF players on either side of the argument will see is the opportune time for them to speak…a retireee, a dropped panelist, a bruised egoist….doesn’t matter…the matter isn’t over but will be quiet for the time being and that’s all probably fair enough and as you would expect. Looking forward to the season.

  6. Look ahead, I’m looking ahead and wondering how the crowd at the games will react.

    I’m wondering about worse case scenarios, I wonder if the players who were singled out will get booed by their own and how they will react and how this will impact on their preparation.

    Merits or not of the interview, the impact of it towards our preparations for the next season will weigh heavy.

    That interview was as much attacking as defending of their character.

    It annoys me that they said that they indicated this was for the betterment of the county’s football!

    I just hope that this has the impact of galvanising the team.

    @Cantini, I agreed with what you, I’m sure many many different quarters have been negatively moved by those interviews and are biting their lip trying not to engage for the betterment of the county. Not an easy thing.

  7. @bulltoe,

    If I’m ever at a game and any Mayo “supporter” within reach of me ever boo’s a player wearing the green and red, I’ll knock them out.

  8. At this time of year we should be thinking of new year resolutions, what we can achieve next year that we could not last year. I’m saddened by all of the articles that are in the public arena this past few days. Its all been said here already. There are no winners in this. There is soul searching to be done on all sides. We are a proud county who stick together. The team, players, management & selectors have a tough road ahead in 2017. Regardless of rumours, who is right or wrong is personal opinion, I don’t think we the supporters can falter now when we are needed most.

    Best wishes to you all for the Christmas season. This year WJ the stats could be higher on Xmas day than last year if this gains anymore momentum.

  9. Anybody here any interest in talking about football no? Bit sick of the politics.

    Got my season ticket last week and looking forward to going to games again in jan. Seems like an age ago that Castlebar lost to corofin. The general consensus has been that we need a few more scoring forwards and my hope we get to see plenty of Neil Douglas, Conor loftus, Evan regan and Brian reaped in the next few months. I really hope Douglas gets an extended run of games. He has the footballing ability but was too small until now. He has done a huge amount of strength and conditioning work in the last 18 months and I hope he gets his chance.

  10. @Liam, Beat some unconscious at a GAA Football match for booing, regardless of circumstance? Really?

    Perhaps you should consider supporting an English Soccer team (Millwall?), it may cater more aptly to this kind of sentiment.

    This is not a Mayo/Dublin/Connacht/Leinster/Somewhere in Donegal thing. This is a GAA thing. It will be a cold day in hell before I tacitly condone by silence someone who proudly espouses violence at a GAA match, as you have done.

    There is no place for this loutish behavior in attendance of our national sport. Given the caliber of your posting history, I would have thought such thuggish outbursts to be beneath you. Clearly, I am incorrect.

  11. Anyone got a bale of hay handy for that poor capall ard of Jaden’s? Or maybe to place in front of Liam in Castlebar of the 8th of Jan as a safety barrier!

  12. If a Mayo supporter stood up was boo ing a Mayo player I for one would not be standing too close to them. Mind you I will have to admitt I never saw anyone doing that at an inter county game and I am pretty sure it does not happen.

  13. Jaden, me thinks he does not literally mean he will knock them unconscious. Rather as a metaphor for expressing disapproval in no uncertain terms. Sometimes people can read things that have been written down in a literal way.

    Unless of course Liam actually intends on getting involved in punchups, which I would advise against!

  14. I’d agree with the others, Jaden, in that Liam was almost certainly speaking metaphorically. I know him personally and can assure you he’s not the violent type!

    Yew tree – that stuff about the players and McStay is just more yadda yadda. Nothing ever came out to confirm that claim but, of course, that doesn’t stop it being put about as Gospel now.

  15. And on a lighter note, what about Keith Duggan’s piece in the IT on Saturday (yes, there were other papers covering sport that day)?

    While speculating on McGregor’s possible appearance at the RTE Sports Awards he continued: “And if there is to be a prickly interview moment, then it must be – can only be – with Marty Morrissey, who beneath the easy-like-Sunday-morning manner can muster that ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST death-stare which sets all Clare men apart from the rest of us. Yes, even including the men’s former featherweight and current lightweight UFC world champion title holder”.

  16. I’m all for looking ahead, however I am mindful that there may be more twists and turns down the road. With that in mind can I plead to all, ex managers, ex players, current management and current players that if you feel you have to get something off your chest or shed that chip on your shoulder, please do so NOW TODAY.
    From January 1st I’d love to see a clear road ahead, no bumps, no dangerous bends, no diversions, just a clear straight run to claim what this county deserves. Route 66 (66 years since Sam) here we come. No more diversions please.

  17. I won’t be burying my head in the sand. I don’t see much change next year. Ego ain’t rife in dublin camp. If it was little successful would they be. So I won’t be spending money on mayo next year. Everything will be the same. My choice is to leave them to it. Some of the players are more interested in being gallery boys and not a celtic cross in sight. Thanks wj for the blog. I’m done following mayo football. An utter disgrace is all it is. To think of all the families that follow them far and wide and all it costs. Thus is all we get in return. The gallery boys don’t give a fuck about that as long as they are ambassadors for something. Over and out. I’m finished now.

  18. Toughnup – don’t walk away because of bad eggs.

    WJ – It was too widely reported on the particular McStay issue. Unless there a multiple liars out there. I was just trying to counter the claim players were not happy with how Connelly and Holmes were appointed when an alternative had been given and in any case it should not matter.

  19. Jeez. Steady toughnup.

    We march on. We close ranks and pull together. Destination is the steps of the Hogan.

    We wont be stopped by Martin Breheny, Ciaran Whelan, Maurice Deegan or any fucker that gets in our way.

    That cup will be paraded through the streets of Castlebar by proud Mayo men.

  20. Colm Parkinson on Sports Joe and (an admitedly OTT) John Fogarty of the Examiner are good today and I’d agree with 90pc of their criticism of Holmes and Connelly, but why are most people overlooking one of the core issues in this whole debacle. The players didn’t explain to Holmes and Connelly what their problem(s) was. Their letter to the county board doesn’t explain it, other that to say Holmes and Connelly didn’t meet their high standards. What’s the big secret? Does anybody really believe that Holmes and Connelly didn’t deserve an explanation? I’m not talking about making it public, I mean Holmes and Connelly are entitled to a private explanation.
    Also, could everybody stop banging on about Dillon and Andy. Alan said if it’s a direct choice between him and Andy, then he should be picked. Basic human nature. Why on earth would Andy have a problem with that.

  21. Yew tree – the insinuation may have been “widely reported” but I’ve yet to see any definitive confirmation that it has any basis in fact. Have you any proof on this or are you just repeating a claim that may not be true?

  22. I have no proof WJ. No smoke without fire and all that. This latest interview I believe has ripped the county in two which is a shame

  23. No proof is the nub of it. I doubt this issue has done anything like that kind of damage. As is the case every year, how things go for us out on the field will be what decides sentiment towards the team in 2017.

  24. Can’t really understand the logic in deciding to walk away from Mayo on the basis of a stitch up published by a declining rag. But if that’s the decision, maybe it should have been made long ago.

    I’m delighted the players and county board have decided to at least try to cauterise this festering wound. We’ve had enough of it at this stage.

  25. @ Toughnup, You know what, I almost think that’s what The Indo, Breheny, a lot of the Dubs, a lot of the media, etc. etc. etc. want us to do, GIVE UP! But we won’t GIVE UP. We’ll keep at it until we do it!

    It’s gas really, do they actually want us to GIVE UP like a lot of other teams have? How many of our players have headed to the states during the Summer? I don’t remember anyone leaving the panel and heading over there. They could make plenty of money for themselves and get a lot less hassle during the Summer. But no they stay and play for their County because they love their County.

    The Mayo players are actually trying to improve themselves and what are they getting at the moment, nothing but abuse. Look at the Leinster teams, do the Dubs want us to do the same thing as the other counties there, as Lee Keegan said, ‘Stand back and admire them?’. No we won’t do that. We won’t GIVE UP.

    I checked The Indo GAA website this morning and there is nothing but article after article up there criticising us, having a go at us, etc. etc. etc. You know what I say to them, FUCK OFF.

    WE WON’T GIVE UP! …..and you don’t either Toughnup….

  26. Ya colm parkinsons talks about players taking offence at pat and noel dictating to them yet what did the players do….dictate to county board to sack the managers. Irony, hypocrisy.

    The players have set a high bar for themselves with this “we have the highest personal and collective standards”. Its a lonely place up on that perch.

    Was it Ann Marie who spoke yesterday about the public/supporters having too high expectations of the players. Its ok Ann Marie, the players set their own standards and they are very very high.

  27. Just read the piece by Colm Parkinson An excellent article as I would expect from him I recommend it to all contributors on here.

    As for toughnup I agree with wholeheartedly with dreamysleepy.

  28. Only3times seriously would you ever give it a rest. Please don’t be that guy who’s keeps bringing up the same story over and over again.

  29. Sadly there are no winners in this unfortunate saga. An Spailpín was correct last year when he said that Civil wars are never won, just ended. This is a footballing civil war (if that makes sense) in Mayo. Nobody is completely blameless despite what side one is on.

    Those who have said ‘I’ve lost all respect for the twosome for speaking out’ – are ignoring that the management had every right to free speech. I’m sure they were hurting all year, afrerall they’re human, like the rest of us. This ‘speaking out’ does give credence to some of the rumours we heard throughout the summer.

    Yet, the players felt something was wrong last year, they too had every right to heave if that’s what they wanted. Afterall it’s them not us who put in the hard hours day and night to wear the green and red jersey.

    The way the two were appointed also meant they were dead men walking in everyone’s eyes from the word go – this implies the Co board were at fault from the word go too. Again no winners.

    The problem as I see it is that Pateen and Noel have had their spake and the other 2 parties didn’t. Yet we can’t be JUST ‘Je suis Charlie’ when it suits us. But as I said we’re all human, God forgive us.

    Here’s hoping Rochford can turn this horror show into a happy ending. Nollaig shona agus Maigh Eo abú.

  30. Something to look forward too. Somebody was asking about this before:

    U21 North West Cup Fixtures 2017

    Round 1 08/1/2017; Mayo v Derry, Venue TBC.
    Round 2 15/1/2017; Sligo v Mayo, Sligo GAA Centre of Excellence
    Round 3 22/1/2017; Mayo v Donegal, Venue TBC.

  31. Some people were asking about the pre-season U21 fixtures. They have been published on the Mayo GAA website, which I have reproduced below:

    All Ireland U21 champions Mayo begin their 2017 season on Saturday January 8th with a home game against Derry in the North West cup which is once again hosted by Sligo GAA. This will be followed by games on consecutive weekends against Sligo & Donegal. The competition will be ran on a league basis.

    North West Cup Fixtures 2017

    Round 1 08/1/2017; Mayo v Derry, Venue TBC.

    Round 2 15/1/2017; Sligo v Mayo, Sligo GAA Centre of Excellence

    Round 3 22/1/2017; Mayo v Donegal, Venue TBC.

    Cup Final 1st Placed Team V 2nd Placed Team

    Shield Final 3rd Placed Team V 4th Placed Team

  32. Hon HopeSpringsEternal! That’s the spirit. Rise to your name toughnup! You couldn’t really live without a Mayo gaa, could you?! Or this blog?!

  33. Toughnup. .easy to go cold turkey with Mayo when the Christmas tree is up..We are all fed up with the second winter of discontent ..but we have had some great great days in a Mayo jersey thanks to Keegan, Boyle and Co..and we are in too deep to throw in the towel now..

  34. Glad Holmes and Connolly did the interview. Shows the shambles that was the appointment process.
    Have no sympathy for H&C either, sometimes people don’t gel, it happens in all walks of life. U don’t take to the media with nonsense of he said this, and someone else said that. I would never consider them for a job full stop, never mind football.
    Their claims that this was in the interests of mayo football. Sure.
    If they wanted to do it in the interest of mayo football it should have been done in the mayo news where the editors wouldn’t allow personal attacks and they could clear their chests. Turning to a thrash Dublin rag of a paper and an arsehole like brehany shows what they r really about.
    I said at the time of their appointment that the co board needs a clear out and my stance on that hasn’t changed.
    It’s ironic that the H&C reign started with a cringe worthy interview and finished on the same note.

  35. Thanks for that Digit and HSE – I was wondering if that was a one-season wonder. This year’s North-West cup never got won, of course, as the final replay against Donegal wasn’t played. Interesting to see that Derry have replaced Fermanagh for the 2017 version. That should make it a tougher test.

  36. Jammercree I can go through Parkinsons article if you like.

    Majority of posters here agreed that the issues raised byPat and Noel raised in the article were tame. Parkinsons decides to go through them one by one giving his opinion which is biased given his history as an intercounty footballer who had runs in with management. Lets put that to one side

    He justifies the players gripe that pregame meal was 15 minutes late on the premise that each player likes their own routine and has their own individual needs. Logic from this would mean that there should be an individual meal time for each player specific to their needs. However parkinsons feels the management should have met with the players and made a collective agreement on what time the pregame meal should be at. So if we agree they all have their own needs then who gets their way at this meeting? All players are equal? Do the subs who wont be coming on until 50 minutes get their way and insist on delaying meal time by 50 minutes?

    Parkinson doesnt even think that maybe the players had agreed on mealtime.
    What about the role of the Dietitian? Should this not be her decision.
    He doesnt consider science –
    Pregame meals arent hugely important. Glycogen stores would have been built up over the preceeding few days. Pregame is light and a top up of carbs with fibre.
    The bigger issue is if a 15 minute delay causea such issue and the players cant adapt how will they cope with a 15 minute delay in the throw in for a match? Or say 30 mins if first game goes to extra time.
    If players feel a 15 minute in eating can impact their peformance then we will never win a match.
    How does these players cope in day to day life?

    Parkinson goes on….. i wont bore you

  37. I know this year we got to the final and in 2015 the semi final. Both seasons ended in replay defeats to Dublin. I’ve heard aloe about performances and improvement but did we really improve this year on last year? Performance wise I would say not. A fresh injection of blood is needed.

  38. Who the fuck is this Parkinson? Another jumped nobody who never won anything. When we have to read his version and agree with it, it makes me puke. Just because he said he thinks he marked Darren Fay out of it. He wouldn’t lace his boots. Darren Fay is the one of the best full backs of all time. This Parkinson is a bit like our players , enough said. We may have our failures and we know this, but this Asshole telling us all the things he has seen and done? At least Joe Brolly has a Celtic Cross and I don’t believe Parkinson has a Lenister medal.

  39. If confidential material is circulated to a meeting of a group,be it in business or sport,

    it is solely the responsibility of MANAGEMENT to ensure that such material is

    properly accounted for especially in such places as a dressing room where many

    people have access.

    Responsible managers always ensure that this is carried out.

  40. Hope, you’re absolutely correct there. From what I see, all Mayo players and management are really dedicated to the cause, and the elusive Celtic Cross is the Holy GraiI. I could not fathom the logic of several Galway players who chose to go to NY on j1s last summer, but thankfully most are on board for 2017. I feel the current situation in Mayo is borne out of: pride, frustration, love of the game, what ifs etc. etc. and it’s unfortunate the way it has manifested itself. Having said that, these are the qualities that sets the Gaa fraternity apart from all other sports. Without wanting to sound patronising, Mayo, while needing a moderate improvement in attack, also desperately need a break in luck. Again, without wanting to come across as arrogant, I feel it would be better, if supporters forgot about dodgy decisions, funding, game venues, biased journalists, or whatever, and concentrate on getting the required improvements. In Mayo, like Kerry most of the youth are involved in Gaa football which is a huge plus. Toughenup, I remember a Maths teacher, impatient at times had a motto – “If you throw enough mud at a wall some of it is bound to stick.” Now is not the time for quitting, or getting too caught up in silly blame games. The game is there to be enjoyed by players and supporters alike.

  41. The leaks to the Press are agenda driven and I feel are set to continue. You only have to look at all the new posters that have turned up to fuel the flames since the media pushed this. Who’s agenda and who is it aimed at. If I were SR I would be keeping my friends close and everyone else closer.

  42. Yew tree I agree I don’t think Mayo were better performance wise this year compared to 2015 and it’s highly debatable if Mayo were the 2nd best team this year either.

    Fresh blood is most certainly needed and remains to be seen if their is like for like replacements for the current 30 something starters that will leave a big gap to fill.

  43. If there are any players on the panel who are not good enough management will be in a position this year to remove them from the panel. It won’t matter who’s best friend they are or who they are related to, if management decide to release them players won’t be in a position to say much.
    When H&C were appointed it was said players didn’t want Mcstay and McHale. If this was not the case why didn’t our players speak up then. Most of them knew H&C from time with u 21s and from managing Castlebar.

  44. Looking Ahead WJ , I don’t envy you. Been on this blog since it started so I like to think I can scent a pattern. Don’t think we can look to far ahead yet, it’s the after shock time we are in now. Parkinson , a good player in his day, a little eccentric at times but a top class journalist and radio man has a well measured piece. He gets trashed for it. Why? Will John Fogarty get a whack now. As far as I know Parky won a Leinster but if we need a provincial medal to comment, then a lot of us will be fucjed, myself included.

  45. PJ so now new posters are here to fuel the flames? Maybe the new posters have their own opinion which we are entitled too. Do you really want the blog to turn into a crowd of yes men?

    Observer – not everything is the responsibility of the manager. Its pretty clear from the article that the managers delegates responsibility for keeping the notes safe and secure to the players and were rightly not happy when they were left behind by a player. If we cannot delegate responsibility for minding a piece of paper to a player then we are in trouble.

    Dreamy I disagree – Parkinsons piece is poor. Another example, he justifies that midfielders get to question management on their choice of goalkeeper as they may have preference on a keepers kickout. That means that player questions the role of 3 goalkeepers in the squad. If we take it a step forward and believe that its ok for a midfielder to question the goalkeeper then its OK for the full forward to question the midfielders and half fowards who will be delivering the ball to him. He has a preference for balls kicked by players a, b and c but dislikes balls kicked by d, e and f. So now you have a player questioning and wanting input into the role of 6 players in the squad.

    Ye can disagree. Its just my opinion with no agenda.

  46. You could be right, John – as far as I can recall in the almost ten years of the blog’s existence, never before have so many new contributors (the majority coming with one clear view) appeared all of a shot. And in the depths of December too. There’s nothing wrong with newbies, even if it does mean work for me, given that many don’t understand that comment moderation applies and that this isn’t like Facebook where anyone can post any old shite they feel like. So far, there’s no real cause for concern on that score.

    I too liked the Colm Parkinson piece and I’d encourage anyone who’s interested to read it themselves (it’s here) and not have your mind make up by others bellowing in your ear about it. Wooly doesn’t have a Leinster medal from what I can see but he did win an All-Ireland minor medal back in 1996. I didn’t have that much time for him when he first came on the media scene but I’ve grown to like him. He knows his stuff and is in no way afraid to put his point across.

    On the story itself, I still think it’ll fade away over Christmas, though the Indo are furiously doing all that they can to fan the flames, day after day. In that regard, the football can’t start again soon enough because once it does, the focus will be squarely back on what’s happening on the field.

  47. Parkinsons article is decent, but I think no more than that. No journalist who requires the future air time of players will come down too hard on the players.
    The managers not getting an explanation for their removal is not defendable. Yer it doesn’t merit a sufficiently weighty mention in any of todays articles.
    Flip the switch on that one.
    “You’re off the panel”
    Why am I off the panel?
    “I’m not in a position to tell you that”
    How could anyone not even mumble out a basic hint like “just not up to standard”
    But nothing is not defendable.
    Glad the North West cup is coming soon.
    @toughnup, toughen up. They want you to give up.

  48. I would highly recommend, in light of the revelations (or conformations) coming from Saturday’s interview, that the county board/ management put an agreement or code of practice in place that all players sign. I think if we are to ‘move on’ successfully we need to learn from our mistakes. The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Let’s take the bull by the horns or in this case, the herd of bulls.

    I know I’ll get shot down for this, but I do not want to see another Mayo footballer on television doing anything in the name of football, but playing football. If our main sponsor use the boys for promotion that is one thing, but there are certain players exploiting their positions ( or some might see it, allowing themselves to be exploited in the form of cheap television) for personal gain.
    Ok our players are in a unique position, they have been involved in high profile matches for many years now, but unlike their opponents in these games i.e. Kerry/Dublin our boys have won nothing. Can we ask them to focus all there attention on changing this?And when they bring home Sam let them revel in the glory and all the media attention then, and only then. As I see it, the cart has been before the horse for too long.

    Also if a player has issue with any aspect of the set up, they should be clear on proper procedure, and act on issues as they arise.

    I for one, would look forward with fresh optimism if such an agreement was implemented.

  49. Only3times – I’m going to have to request, again, that you back down from aggressively taking on other contributors when you post. You’re only on here a couple of days and you probably haven’t had time to read the house rules (which are here) given the furious rate at which you’re posting comments. You could do a lot worse than have a careful read of the rules and bear them in mind before you comment again.

  50. WJ – how me where I was agressive and I will happily apologise and retract. Show me my error – i learn that way

  51. Following the Mayo team gives us all a sense of belonging; it is a link to the county and to the pride of being from Mayo. When we see a red or green flag, a jersey, no matter where we are we think of home and our childhood memories, being with our families, communities, of going to matches. We think of the past days. When the Mayo team win we feel proud and we walk tall. We can talk it up at work, out at night, eagerly search the Internet or check out newspapers for words of praise and gushing compliments. As fans we feel recognised and admired, we are all in this together, we are all one team. When Mayo loose or are in the public domain for all the wrong reasons it has the opposite effect, like what we are all feeling now, full of negativity and recrimination. Loss of control begins to set in. Not only is the dream as far away now as it ever was, we are exposed. Our little secrets are out. But like everything in life, when we feel we are loosing control we learn how to cope.

    We will do this by emphasizing our loyalty and commitment to the county and to the Mayo team. Call it what you like, blind devotion, burying your head in the sand whatever. Wear your jersey with pride, talk positively and enthusiastically. NEVER talk your county or your team down; you are bringing yourself down too. Think about the future and think about our uniqueness as a group of people.

    No, we have not won the major title, and we wont win prizes for having the most loyal fan base. What we do have is our bond, our shared experiences and our connection to Mayo. Think of the emotions you felt at all those games this year and beyond, they are unique. NOONE in the country has experienced this. Think of the personalities on the team, they are all special and should be respected. You walk in their shoes and then you can talk. The enigma of Mayo will continue, whether we win or not. We LOVE it. This quest and the experiences that we will share now and in the future will only bond us tighter together.

  52. Mo2016, Mayo were markedly better in the defense aspect of their game in 2016 compared to 2015,, in the later games especially and against Dublin in the league. Where they seem to be falling down is the forwards, not nearly enough from them from open play. What would I give to see someone like Coen freeing the likes of Keegan to go to the half forward line? A lot. Keegan is a scoring player, and he has the physical power to overcome most defenders in Dublin or Kerry or donegal and the likes, he would be the ideal candidate in that line ahead of what’s already there. If hes snuffing diarmuid connolly out of the game then he can be even more of a force when he himself knows all the defenders tricks and can turn them to suit himself as a half forward Anyway, I’d rest a lot of the first 15/20 for the entire league and let those new faces prove their worth, the u21 fellas especially.
    Surely some of them will develop into potent scoring forwards, and despite the losing of another final in the past few months, if they can bury the last few days of uproar, then theres no reason Mayo will not be at the top in late 2017 and competing for Sam.

  53. Oh for God’s sake, Only3times, go back and read what you wrote again. I’m not going to spoon-feed you on following the rules but one thing I’ll guarantee you is that if you want to keep contributing here follow them you will. Now stop wasting my time.

  54. Yew tree I totally disagree with you I believe our performances were very good this year especially in the business end of season .we have sorted our defensive problems and only for conceeding two flukes of own goals we kept most teams at bay from scoring goals which was our Achilles heal the last few years in big games .

    We have introduced a sweeper system which has being successful.
    I do agree that we do need some fresh blood and we need to implement a style up front .we were caught out this year in final by not taking enough chances when they presented themselves.

    Negative press of last few weeks does no one any good serves no purpose.we have a great bunch of young players coming up we have a group of players that are only coming into there prime and we have a great management team and as a whole we have a group that are so committed to that green and red jersey that it’s such a delight to go and watch those guys play whether it be in an fbd league game a national league or championship.

    Let no mayo supporter question this group.there is no guarantees in sport it can be cruel at the best of times as we know but this group of players will not give up trying.
    Get behind this team and don’t be listening to rag papers and journalists that just need stories to fill pages.

  55. Anyone listen to the Second Captains analysis of this? I thought it was quite a balanced debate with Ciaran Murphy (a Galwayman!) siding with the players, and Eoin McDevitt challenging him.

    Murphy likened the relationship between players and management to that of a romantic relationship not working out over time, in that might not have been one or two major, make-or-break incidents or disagreements, but rather series of smaller irritants and fillings-out that eventually make you realise the relationship is going nowhere.

    I thought it was an interesting analogy and I also think he’s probably right. It might go some of the way towards explaining why no one reason for the vote was given to the management, though I would agree with JP above that an explanation should have been given.

    There is a pattern emerging here on the blog over the past few days; we saw the same in the last two winters of discontent. It’s understandable that Noel and Pat would have people who want to defend them. At the end of the day, though I don’t know either personally, I imagine they are good people with family and friends who are still upset about the situation.

    Saipan how are ya. Off to lock myself in a room for the Christmas to write my award-winning musical, “I, Aido”. Appearing at a community centre near you before we win Sam …

  56. Frommy standpoint, I love following Mayo. If they win an AI in my lifetime it will be a bonus. But for someone who lives outside the county since my early teens Mayo football gives me my ‘fix’ and I am a proud Mayo man win or lose.

    This whole thing is a disgrace from H&C and the following issues are relevant:

    1. In their defence H&C were good servants of Mayo. (But H in 97 did not have good day. But then again he was not the only one.)

    But to dress this whole thing up as being for the ‘ good of mayo football’ is preposterous and an insult to our intelligence. Revenge. Plain and simple.

    2. Sports management is known for P45s. Goes with the territory. A cruel way of life. Yes and it is liable to damage reputations in a second. H&C can have no complaints there. The manner of their appointment meant they were even moreso in the firing line. If they did not realise this, it beggars belief. They were stupid to believe otherwise. Or did their ‘EGOS’ get in the way of their judgement when accepting the job in such bizarre circumstances?

    3. The targeting of Alan Dillon was reprehensible. If he had the ball in his hands instead of Mickey Sweeney in the last minute of the drawn semifinal of 2015, Mayo would have actually won. Alan may be getting on… but give him that shot …. 99 out of a 100 guaranteed. Lo and behold H&C would have won the AI. Kind of a bizarre thought but horribly true. But these are the margins of sport management. So probably they should have listed to Alan. Then trying to drive a wedge between Dillon and Moran was a real cheap shot!

    4. The sneaky reference to SOS asking for Hennelly to be put on in 2015 is stupidly supposed to infer that he influenced the decision to drop Clarke in 2016. It is so transparent. It is an insult to our intelligence.

    4. AOS is one of the best footballers in the country. He made Cillian’s equalising point in the semifinal. He made Leroy’s goal in the replay. He had more touches than most players.in both matches. The snide innuendos regarding Aidan were again transparent. Great match against Fermanagh also … in case we forget. He was tripped AND pushed for the penalty.

    5. To say that H&C did not know what the players’ grievances were is an implicit illustration of their lack of man management. Plain and simple the most important facet of football management.

    6. The mass.thing was bizarre. I am a mass goer. But if it was dragging on and meant my prematch meal was going to be late …. i would leave after communion! Simple problem Simple solution. It sounded so stupid. I might be a bit OCD on such things, but really …. 15 minutes delay in the meals is nothing and certainly was not the reason they were got rid of.

    Muigheo Abú

  57. @GCass The most accurate players of all time such as Maurice Fitzgerald or Matt Connor would not make that shot 99/100.
    Placing Guaranteed at the end of a sentence surely requires some decent checking of the accuracy of your own statements.

  58. I heard it alright, Anne-Marie. The death-by-a-thousand-cuts theory is certainly the most plausible.
    I’ve been thinking about the squad after James Horan walked. Didn’t he always say he enabled his players to take control, empowered them to problem-solve themselves in-game and encouraged them to debate the play at half-time, enabling them to do so. With the key being that his authority wasn’t being challenged because he was the one who was enabling them to do so. Like in the 2012 and 2013 finals, rather than pull Keane or Caff over goals conceded or being rattled, his attitude was always to trust players to work situations out for themselves – and that to withdraw them or make drastic changes would send the wrong message to the rest of the team. Trust one another no matter what. We’ll get there. That was the mantra. I wonder was this sort of hyper-democracy and freedom of thought within a team structure that H&C inherited something that they simply couldn’t get their heads around, that the idea of constant feedback from the players was something they didn’t want. They were more conventional bosses. Play according to our tactics and don’t mind the feedback, lads. And that over time there was just no middle ground that could be found. The managers thought the players were finally falling into line but the players were actually seething that they weren’t as empowered as they once had been, and that this just festered and festered.

  59. I’ll tell you exactly what Alan would have done. He would have dummied the shot…. and stuck it over the bar with yer man on the ground lookin at it sailing over the posts …(imo). The defender had totally over committed. Alan is an exquisite shot taker … especially from that position ..always. Refer to the drawn match this year.. . I used the word ‘guaranteed’ with a modicum of poetic licence. If it was misinterpreted, I apologise. The fact is Alan Dillon was under utilised in 2015…( in my opinion). That’s all

  60. I’m coming around to thinking that it’s along the lines of what you mention Hego. With a bit of a clash of generations.
    Then maybe a controlling environment.
    A pre-match meal being eaten 15 mins late is actually annoying if as is usually the case in a hotel the food is ready and waiting, but you’re for protocol reasons waiting on a few players to return from mass.
    Then if you’re listening to that we got bullied in Limerick. I mean Vaughan put a guy out over the hoardings. So their messages may have lacked any substance or detail.

  61. Great match against Fermanagh also … in case we forget. He was tripped AND pushed for the penalty.. in case we forget. He was tripped AND pushed for the penalty.
    @GCass He had a ok game it was Kevin McLoughlin,Diarmuid O Connor,that had great games v Fermanagh.

    lets be honest AOS took a dive the ref bought it, the the rub of the green you get sometimes and it came at a time when Fermanagh were still leading so arguably a turning point.

  62. Brehenys article today is of a style that this whole episode now becomes a footnote and not centre stage news.
    It’s a kind of over to Rochford and 2017 article.

  63. True Grit says:

    December 20, 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Who the fuck is this Parkinson?
    In Fairness True Grit, id take a lot what he says as been fairly balanced. He has won Leinster with Laois, has an All Ireland Minor medal and represented Ireland in the compromise rules. What a poster said above is spot on what Parkinson said. If the players were kicked off the panel by Holmes and Noel and no reason at all given how would that go down? People have to see both sides off the story and not take the players side!!

  64. Time for Mayo footballers and all concerned to stop wallowing in self pity and shit or get off the pot. There is a sense of entitlement and bitterness that has grown folliwing continued failure to reach the summit. Only Mayo football can change that. The attitude is all wrong. In life ultimately we have to own our success and failure though we dont control all factors involved. That is life. Need to drop the vuctimhood. There are people sleeping on cardboard boxes…let’s get a vit of perspectice. And as far as sacrifice for the jersey goes…I remember John Ford tellibg me once he was
    finishing a wall above in Swinford two days before the final in 1950, got a lift to Croker on the Saturday and was as fresh as a daisy on
    the day..it was an honour and a privilege for him to play
    for Mayo….

  65. GCass…I disagree with you. AOS is certainly nit one if the best footballers in the country. For all his ‘touches’ he has failed to deliver the kind of performances that win All irelands…some terrible wises in the final. He was and will never be the class of Sean Cavanaugh…Bernard Brogan…MD Macauley…Declan O’Sullivan…because all these men delivered when silverware was up fir grabs. He is a very good player but his shooting and lack of explosive power for a big fellow always suggests to me he hasnt put in the little bit extra.

  66. Breheny’s article this morning is a really irritating, inaccurate attempt to justify the destructive exposè on Saturday. Want an idiot.
    He says:
    1. Reaction was largely supportive of H&C!!! ….Wrong.
    2. It will be for the good of Mayo football …how does that idiot think he can prophesy that? Again imo … Wrong.

  67. @Conchubhair. Let’s just agree to disagree on this.imo he is better than each of those mentioned.
    …..and you know what. We would have won Sam if he and COC had not got injured in Limerick in 2014.

  68. A lot of us on here are speculating and guessing-which is part of the fun of it, but incredibly frustrating. Mayo football, the trials and tribulations, form a massive part of all of our lives I think its fair to say, but we do need to get behind the team going into the new season. When the players are next back on a field together in Jan for the first time, I think its fair to say that individually each and every one of them will be busting a gut to get their hands on a jersey for a league start, in turn a championship start, and onward from there. I dont think what happened in 2015 will be in their mind. Supporters need to do the same. People sympathetic to Noel and Pat have heard their side, people in support of the players have somewhat heard their side. There is no reason I can see why it should affect the players for 2017 once they are back in the thick of it. As for the notion of people booing some of the players involved-thats just nonsense. People will grumble about Aiden and others (I have done plenty of times myself) but there is no getting away from the fact that whatever about emails/ texts/ tweets and the rights or wrongs these guys have devoted a huge amount to play for the county. They obviously wouldn’t be doing it if they didn’t love it and enjoy all that comes with it, but leaving Croker after the replay I dont think I was ever more disappointed but I dont think I was ever prouder of a Mayo team. I wouldnt swap them for any team in the country whether we get over the line or not. That will not change for me personally and I hope people on this site and those that turn up in Jan feel similarly. Thanks WJ for a great years coverage, a first class job. I dont know how you have the patience at times but its a credit to you. Have a great Christmas-we can all look forward to another exciting 2017. Im sure Stephen and the players are chomping at the bit to get back at it-there will be no shortage of motivation

  69. References to reputations in tatters, great offense given or whatever all over an interview given by two people about their time in charge of football does seem rather over the top. Maybe it is time to hit the perpective reset button.

    Incidentally comparing John Forde with his two AI medals and indeed a fair few Connaught medals to a team that have won nothing nationally, not even under the seemingly great James Horan is hardly comparing like with like in my view.

    Winners are winners across any era.

  70. Aidan – we will have to agree to disagree. Defence did improve il give you that but we did loose our Connacht crown and stumbled through the qualifiers. Maybe management will evolve and work on our forwards next. That’s what I’m looking for.

    I don’t think too many of ye should get hung up on journalists and what they say. This whole scandal is very much self inflicted. I think at this stage both sides should say nothing.

    I’ll also criticise players if it’s warranted. I care too much about Mayo and nobody is above the jersey. Just because some people here might be perceived as pro connelly/Holmes does not mean there are against the team. I can see rights and wrongs on both sides. I’ll also be out at the first FBD game shouting the team on.

  71. Look in 2015 we lost to Dublin by 14 points in the league and 7 points in the championship. Is this not a sign of dropping standards under Noel and Pat? In 2016 we lost to Dublin by 2 points in the league and 1 point in the championship. Is this not a sign of improving standards under Stephen? Roll on 2017!

  72. @ Hego.
    Looking at your piece about James Horan and letting players sort things out, and not taking them off etc. Why did he take off Alan Freeman in AI final? I did not see why, maybe you can tell me. And why did he not take AOS off against Dublin when he was roasted. We may well have won an AI if he left Freeman on, and took AOS off. James made cock ups too.

  73. I don’t think Hego was comparing one managers achievements against anothers, he was comparing the management style’s in an attempt to explain why the heave may have happened.

  74. Is anyone else getting sick of this nonsense about this Dublin team being one of the best teams to ever play the game. I think people have completely lost the plot.

    They are a very good team with a very good record but they hyperbole around their worth compared to their peers is somewhat galling.

    The last decade has seen a new level of professionalism in the GAA that has been translated it ultra-fit, super conditioned athletes. That this Dublin team isbetter than anyone in having achieved these heights is beyond question. But we are comparing this era of ultra-professionalism with teams from eras where strength and conditioning was not o a par.

    The history of this Dublin team is summed up in 3 all Irelands – they just got over the line after 140mins + against Mayo by 1pt last year. They beat a very poor Kerry team the previous year by just 3 points despite owning the ball – and they were a slip in the penalty area by Kerry corner back (name escapes me) of being undone in that. Their 2011 victory was really a mugging – they were outplayed for over 60 minutes and terrible error of judgment by Kerry let them in. 3 AIs in 5 years is a wonderful achievement but not one of them were swashbuckling victories where they wiped the floor with the opposition. In fact they never came within an asses roar of such a feat. Compare that to the great Kerry teams – absolutely destroying the 2nd best teams in the land by double digit scores, or coming back from 9 points down midway through second half v Tyrone in 86….or even compare it to the Dublin team of the 70s also annihilating the opposition. I don’t rate this Dublin team as better than the 3 time winners Tyrone in ’03, ’05, ’08 – Canavan, Cavanagh, Mugsy, O’Neill….Dean Rock would not lace any of those players boots in my book.

    Don’t get me wrong I have massive respect for Dublin – they deserve their All Irelands because i think that is a black and white issue – you win it…you deserve it. What they do not deserve in my book is this “one of the greatest teams ever nonsense”. Personally I’d put them on a par with the Down ’91 and ’94 team or the Galway ’98, ’01 teams (who again put in far more impressive AI final showings) – Fallon, Joyce, Donellan, Meehan, De Paor….you telling me these guys wouldn’t walk on to that Dublin team!

    anyway rant over

  75. Still angry with H&C and the way they turned on their own in the manner they did. They have set in motion an attempt to undermine the best footballing team of our time. A cowardly attempt to account for their failings and incompetence. No juveniles in Mayo will ever look to them as role models ever again. This is damaging stuff make no mistake. After one of the best years following the Mayo teams this is total despair. H&C no longer represent me.

  76. Never met H&C, but would hardly describe them as cowardly. Have no idea who the juveniles of Mayo will look to for roles models, but I am sure they could do worse in life.

  77. GCass: We lost in 2014.All that matters. AOS…I will go so far as say his best days are behind him. He will struggle with fitness henceforth. They are all ahead of him in the big game delivery when it matters department. Mayo do not need quarter final or semi-final men. They need last ten minutes of the AIF men. O’ Shea is not one of them. Cillian O’Connor is and can be.

  78. @Conchubhair….couldn’t agree with you less. AOS may not deliver Mayo to the promised land but they definitely won’t get there without him.

    Far to much focus on his terrible wide near end of drawn game – people seem to use it as a moment that defines him as a player. By comparison there seems to be universal forgiveness for COC free missed at the end of the replay. Again its not something that should define him one way or the other but I find it amusing how the two things are treated in very different ways by many GAA fans and Mayo supporters in particular.

  79. I like to give the Dubs the respect that deserve. Four AI’s out of 6. Four league titles in a row. They beat what was before them. Do not try to diminish their opponents in a vain attempt to back up a poor argument. A 30 game unbeaten run stands on its own merits. We are further away today from beating them than we have ever been.

  80. @Cantini.
    I’m not sure I’d agree that Dublin are one of the best teams ever. Mainly because it’s a pointless, subjective statement.

    Saying that Dublin are one of the most successful teams ever with 4 AIs in 6 years, is a much more objective and provable statement.

    Football of yesteryear was an inconsistent mess. Look at 1977 – “The Greatest game ever played”. Dublin and Kerry went toe to toe in a tough contest. The following year in 1978, Kerry hammered Dublin by an eye-watering 17 points.

    Do we really think that Kerry got that much better, and Dublin that much worse in the space of a season? That’s just the way it was back then. It doesn’t really happen any more in the modern game, mainly due to most counties improving Conditioning, Tactical awareness and general setup beyond recognition to what it was.

    Because of this, meaningfully comparing different sides across different eras is in the main, impossible. You drop any of the top 5 teams in Ireland right now into an early 70’s championship, and they’d run riot. Likewise, 70’s Kerry wouldn’t get out of the current Ulster championship.

    The Mayo Team of 50/51 Vs the current team? Total non contest.

    Comparisons between eras hold no real weight, a team can only be objectively judged by how they fared against the teams they played. On this point, the current Dublin panels status as one of the most successful teams ever is uncontestable.

    The rest is whatiffery and conjecture, best discussed over tea or pints.

  81. When the bone is chewed to the core and the dogs tails stop wagging and the present class returns to its field of dreams,then will the waters calm inevitably.
    And indeed, what would we do without an odd vacuum for all shit to expunge and leave the air crisp and sweet?
    This is Mayo after all, good and bad,it’s the way it is and it moves on to forage in its own unique and teasing style.
    All will mend a bit as the new campaign gets under way and our old and new emerging stars will light up the heavens and cast a flicker on the mists below!
    WJ and all, if there was an All Ireland for a blogging site there would certainly be one out and out winner!! Congrats,well done to all and Seasons Greetings everyone! May all our wise men and women flourish in this coming year and may any blessings bestowed be welcomed with appreciation and joy!!

  82. The whole Seamus O’Shea picked the keeper debate is really getting to me. He simply said that he prefers the kick outs of one of the keepers. This is a perfectly natural thing for someone to say in a team environment. And anybody who thinks that players should just do what they are told by a manager is completely deluded it doesn’t happen, it never has players will always have opinions. I didn’t read one thing in H&C’s article that hasn’t happened in a club dressing room I have been in (well apart from a person requesting time off to go on a tv show, we were never that famous/popular)

    Parkinson is right and he is a much better analyst than the dinosaurs on the Sunday Game panel whether he has a Celtic cross or not.

  83. I watched the Dubs of the 70 and they had great characters. O’Toole was my favourite. They captured the imagination of the masses and turned the Dubs into our version of a glamour team of the times. They were not a patch on the present team to be honest. That’s not trying to dimish their efforts more of an unfair comparison.

  84. Berry I have the height of respect for your comments and the input you have here. A role model should come with honour. Confidential stuff required to be treated with the honour entrusted in the confident. Getting angry by the hour I know and all that, but call out he without honour always.

  85. Impossible to compare teams over the ages. Stop the clock in September 1951 and more than likely Mayo could have been the greatest team ever, 2 All Irls, 3 finals in 4 years, 1 national league. Stop it in 1966 and Galway could claim the crown, 3 in a row, 4 successive finals. However I do recall Dublin and Kerry 1974-1986 and they drove the game into the new age. Kerry in that era were magic, Dubs on occasions. Tyrone and Armagh were not great teams, they upped the physicality , pushed the envelope in regards what was permissible in the tackle. They more than anyone forced Dublin to reshape the modern game. Kerry are hanging in, Donegal won their All Ireland, we are “consistently competitive”, the last last 5 All Irenad winners had to beat us at the ultimate or penultimate stage. I do take my hat of to Dublin though. They get it, they know what buttons to press and in Connolly up front, Cooper at the back, an active mobile midfield , they teem with leaders. They are a great team, 4 National Leagues ( in a very competitive league) and 4 AIs in 5 years . They , across the ages , compare with the very best. That we inhabit that sphere should be a joy. That we find a way to fuck up on a regular basis is the real “curse”.

  86. This Mayo journey is like that Old Man River song – “we keep on rolling, just keep on rolling along”. What’s written or said about us right now won’t matter much when the football season starts, it’ll be all about what happens on the pitch. Results will be foremost in supporters minds, with an eye also on any new talent that might have been unearthed, or if any new tactics are being introduced by Management etc etc.

    Mayo football is so much in the news right now we might as well go along with it. There is no doubt it still has a bit more mileage left in it and it will be interesting to see if some of the players can resist having a swipe at Pat and Noel over the Christmas.

    Regardless of what’s written or said we must bear in mind the huge sacrifice those players have made over the years and regardless of who’s to blame, if any, for not winning Sam, I have the height of respect for all these people who give so much of their time and effort for the love of the Green and Red.

    Happy Christmas to all.

  87. The natural talent/quality of the Kerry,Dublin players/teams of the 70s,80 was second to none IMO imagine how much better they would have been if they were exposed to the level of training and S&C of today.

  88. The consensus seems to be that the Breheny article has damaged Mayo football except for Breheny himself who believes it will do nothing but help us!
    How might it harm us?
    Firstly, it has the potential to demotivated the players. They might begin to ask themselves if it is really worth it all. They are amateurs and have already given an awful lot. It wouldn’t take much to deflate their tyres and reduce the performance of the engine.
    It makes it awkward for Rochford. Any selection decisions he takes will be scrutinised in the light of the H&C article. There’s a bit of ‘damned if he does – damned if he doesn’t ‘ when it comes to selecting the 2017 panel and team. He needs to be strong and brave.
    The relationship between the county board and particularly Mike Connelly and the team has to be awkward to say the least. Not a great recipe for success.
    It has damaged us the supporters. Many of us are disappointed and disheartened.
    Hopefully 2017 will be better.

  89. There is no doubt about an agenda at this stage. I don’t know Mike Connolly but that relationship is no longer in a good place. Rochford’s is in an impossible corner not entirely of his own making. The relationships have been changed and damaged. Hope I am wrong of course.

  90. Very interesting point there from Cantini – COC missing very scorable free at the end of the drawn game and AOS missing his very scorable opportunity in the second half of the drawn game. AOS ridiculed from all sides about lack of composure and not performing in yet another final. Not true in my opinion. I felt he performed slightly above average but below his capability. Same can definitely be said for COC. I would rather these players are playing for us in ’17 than against us. The level of personal abuse from journalists and so called supporters against AOS is very disappointing and as another poster stated earlier, if he decided enough is enough after this latest tirade you couldn’t blame him. Hopefully this will only galvanise his determination to be an even better player next year and prove all his doubters wrong.

  91. There has been an agenda against the O’Shea’s and Aiden in particular for the last 14 months. It has been drip fed and is now being force fed to the supporters. It’s been insidious and persistant with the clear goal of getting him to walk away from the team. The mere mention of a connection to the O’Shea name is enough to see you ruled out and blacklisted from McHale park, as a recent candidate for the Minor managers job found out. He has been made the focal point of the heave as it’s easier to spin the narritive that it was one or two bully boys in the camp who caused the unrest as opposed to 80% of the panel thinking your not up to the job. This policy exists within the county board as can been seen by their constant references to “outsider influences”. Let’s remember Mike Connolly was the players liason who failed to see any unrest within the camp.
    Like has happened with previous players within the county, if you show any deviation from the norm, different coloured boots, tattoos or a “fancy” haircut, your immediatley a target. Get roasted alive in an All Ireland final with 9 points scored on you and admiringly pat your marker on the back, no problem. Wear white boots though and your finished.
    If you don’t think there is an agenda and double standards being applied, then ask yourself this question, what would have happened if a video of Aiden O’Shea had appeared online of him pretending to have sex with a dog and smoking a fag?

  92. My first and last post on the PatNoel interview, I read the article and actually didnt see a whole lot to worry about. They made a couple of insinuations about some players but nothing that we havent heard before from multiple sports teams. At first I thought it would die a death as there wasnt anything particularly new in it. However whats given this story legs is hundreds of clicks and hundreds of posts daily on blogs, social media and news outlets(especially the indo) mainly by Mayo people. Its the Mayo football supporters who are keeping this story alive. As long as people are clicking and posting about it more articles will be printed. So heres a novel idea, just stop reacting to it.

  93. Having a fag while working out with Rex. Now I am really interested. Enough about the football. Is there a link?

  94. Couldnt we just of ignored it all. When you hear neutrals up in arms about mayo supporters whining on and on , never really gave it much thought till all this. But yeah ! They have a valid point.

  95. mayomad, It’s the infantile, emotional, Parish Pump ravings about words on a page, from a lot of Mayo supporters. If we could keep to common sense and mature comments it would be great!! (thanks be to Heaven there are those who do use logic and maturity.) May their numbers increase and soon.

  96. @Berry 9.13 am….this is a bit late, hadn’t a chance earlier but regarding John Forde’s attitude in 1951…he was a stalwart over thise years from the late 1940s but he said no man had a right to a place on a county team, he was representing not only the supporters but all those who were competing for the honour. Amateur sport is about honour and pride of place. The reward is the privelege of representing the county. Panels need to be fluid.

  97. Berry, if you google ‘One Man and His Dog’ that should get you sorted and as a bonus, there might be a few sheep thrown in as well 🙂

  98. Had a look into Sports JOE.ie, and I see Parkinson still ranting on about players.
    He stated how Tipperary captain Brendan Maher went on The Toughest Trade and went on to win A I. At least Brendan stood out as a great player and that’s the difference between him and A O S in finals. H&C may not be the greatest of managers but each of them has a County senior medal, something the Breaffy bunch don’t have,and they are 6 or 7 of them on Mayo panel. If half a clubs senior team are on County panel and they cannot win a county title, somebody is fooling somebody. Its time for Mayo manager and selectors to cop on. When Crossmoliona, Ballina, Knockmore, and now Castlebar were Connacht Club Champions they didn’t have that many on County senior panel. How is it everything in Mayo GAA at present times are all about O,Sheas, Hennelly. Give us a break.

  99. I kind of agree with Parkinson’s point. Going on a show like that is a case of ‘you talked the talk, you had better walk the walk. Moreover, O’Shea was short in the athletic stakes when up against college age youngsters, trying to make the cut, not professional athletes..knocks the theory of professional ultra athlete levels of fitness in GAA. O Shea is a big lad but he lacks the power to break away from markers. I am critical of him because he is on the record stating he felt it was his destiny to lead Mayo to the holy grail. I think he needs to look introspectively at what he wants for a legacy.

  100. Liam, Would you reread your own post’s before posting them, as far as I can remember, and I have read most of the posts written, you might be the first person to mention ‘Sex’ totally out of context, you mentioned ‘treats of violence) ‘.previously. There may be some with an unreasonable agenda against Aiden by some.. BUT , could YOU not be now accused of an agenda against ‘Irelands best Gaelic-football player’ as voted by his peers.? . My take on Aiden is, this, if he is not cutting the mustard at senior level for Mayo in the forthcoming Alliance League, then he MUST be withdrawn, and maybe not selected, until he is good enough, and if he doesn’t cut the mustard pick someone else. The very same goes for every other player on the Mayo Team, Panel (That’s the only way to select the best Mayo team, on form and on form only, forget about twitter followers, a load of Bollix) . This DID NOT happen at all in 2016, nor in the league of 2015, It dosent covers the different management in the different year’s, in glory. The ‘genie’ is now completely out of the bottle, and not going back in, If certain named players, and there is more than Aiden, (Dillon, Hennelly, SOS,) . i Now I for one, don’t think that Aiden was worth his place, or remotely close to deserving a place on the Mayo team during the entirety of the league in the year just gone by. (in my opinion).. Now I’m not picking on Aiden, the same holds true for every player on the Mayo panel, (make no mistake, with Mayo being All Ireland U 21,champions, this had to happen) If there is a problem with certain sets of players or certain other individuals who may be there long enough to be part of a cabal we need to find out more about it during the forthcoming league. It needs sorting out, during the Spring, let’s know just how loyal to the greater Mayo cause, the players we have are before the championship starts ,. Including how they feel about being dropped, and their buddies not being picked. If Rochford & his management team are in any way seen to be less than utterly ruthless and objective with player’s who seem to be in a position to influence events. It just won’t wash. If Stephen Rochford dosent feel he’s up to the job of being, ruthless and objective in the immediate future, he too should go now,. BUT somehow I have believe in Rochford tough and his management team,, I feel confident that actions will be taken. n and I think he had no choice but to be prepared to act, if action is deemed necessary for the good of Mayo football. Potential County Players have and by and large opted to leave Ievery other Countyl all over Ireland.(can we in Mayo not expect our youngest and brightest not to do the same thing, if they don’t see a level playing field, giving them at least a fighting chnce of the Mayo senior squad ahead of them?) This has to be the case, and seen as the case, if we are to keep our youngest and best players here. The same might be the case for playes currently on the verge of the Mayo team, can we expect they too will hang around. Just for the A versus B. games, and all to sasitisfy a few who must be pondered to. Perception becomes reality at some stage, All are young men, with, girlfriends, family etc, people who are concerned about them, The commitment required to play for a top team like Mayo is incredible, if there is the perception out there that other are getting picked ahead of them, not nessarly on merit before them, it won’t last much longer. Mayo will go nowhere now if this continues… Now to make matters worse, I would be pretty sure that the ‘Independent’ has more to come out, so brace yourselves! A very happy Christmas to you all, even if you disagree with me.

  101. Lads and lassies , please lets not lose the run of ourselves . We all want the same thing , we all are Mayo GAA fanatics through and through . Don’t let this divide us in the stands , don’t be as foolish as to slate AOS . If we go into league and championship campaign in 17 as supporters and start muttering discontent when Aido drops a ball or misdirects a pass , we have failed as supporters and mr fancy dan breheny will be smiling from ear to ear.

    Nope, if i had my way we would as a collective respond in the polar opposite and raise the fookin roof off salthill next june , hammer Galway and mr breheny wouldnt be as chirpy in his column on the monday morning.

  102. I see from the Indo online David Clarke has committed for 2017, which is a relief.
    Breheny has achieved what he set out if the traffic on this site is anything to go by. No sure what H and C were seeking to do. Let s give them the benefit of the doubt, that they needed to vent their hurt, which I have no doubt is genuine. However, Loosing your temper feels like pissing in your pants, it is a nice warm feeling initially, but then you are wet, cold and smell. Generally it is not a smart thing to do.
    There is an opportunity in every crisis, and it is Rockford s now to stamp his authority. If some people are getting too big for their boots, he is now in a very strong position, let him not waste it.

  103. Probably double standards alright Liam but one is a four time all star and player of the year, while others seem to disappear on the big days!!

  104. That’s a great line about wetting the pants We have all been there. The place to break into the team is in summer in the A v B game. Ask Paddy, Diarmuid, or Brendan. Not wishful thinking bloggers on social media that would have some of the finest footballers we ever had replaced with a successful underage player. That bar is a high one and we have the people in place who can decide for themself.

  105. Just to echo Sean and Burke and a few others, the last thing we need heading into 2017 is a sense of division, one that sees certain players targeted by our own. I’m a great believer in sayings and cliches, highlighting as they do obvious but important truths. United We Stand, Divided We Fall seems to fit the bill for the choice facing us heading into the New Year.

  106. I was hoping for a positive fallout from ‘the interveiw’ was that the odds of Mayo to win sam might go out to 5/1 for my Christmas bet.

    But no bookies are seeing this as lessening of the counties chances. 4/1 it is.

    All Ireland Victory 17

    McLoughlin and Vaughan are going to be my sneaky all-star bets.

  107. I can be accused of many things, but having an agenda against a player, any player is not one of them, but I think you knew that Leantimes and your just twisting my argument. I’m 100% behind the players, all players, it’s the double standards and bullying that I’ve a problem with. If Aiden O’Shea dropped a ball into the keepers hands to put us 5 points clear and into a final he’d be roasted “hop it ref!”. If AOS missed a free in the last minute to level the game, he’d be roasted. I am not arguing that he hasn’t had poor games and does not always perform on the big day, but show me a Mayo player who hasn’t and especially in finals.
    I abhor bullying of any level and to see the way a few players are being scapegoated for not just the defeats in the last 5 years, but if your to believe Vincent Hogan, all defeats since 1989, then you can see why people would get animated. The real thing responsible over the last 27 years is the structures behind the stand in McHale Park and my fear is that we’ll lose players, managers and supporters but retain the one thing thats the problem.
    – In Saipan the FAI were ultimatley responsible for the debacle but Ireland lost Keane, McCarthy shortly after and our chances in the World Cup, but the front of the plane merchants remained.
    – The IABA caused the shambles with the High Performance Unit. Billy Walsh departed to the U.S.A., a raft of boxers turned pro and we had a disastorous Olympics, but the people responsible are still in position.

    Do people see a pattern emerging here? The structures within Mayo GAA are the one constant over the last 25 years. Let’s not forget we have a CB who only a few weeks ago said we don’t need a Commercial Director. I’ll say that again, the Mayo CB said they do not need a person to bring in additional revenue. So when they come looking to your clubs for between €4k-€7.5k in levies next month, you can ask them what they need they money for? When they ask for €2k per club next year for extra tickets should we be lucky enough to get to another All Ireland, make sure to ask why they need it seeing how flush they are.
    Seeing people get apocalyptic with rage because a lad had the temerity to not accept sitting on the bench while tolerating what goes on in McHale Park day in day out is beyond my comprehension.

  108. Superb post Liam.

    There are issues that I’m sure Stephen Rochford has, and is dealing with in whatever way he sees fit. Every team has them.

    However this whole Noel and Pat issue was created by the county board.

    Interested to note Sean Rice’s comments on their silence in support of the team over the past year. I think many would like them to fail, and the chairman has a conflict of interests as the player liaison officer when they were in charge and his own direct relationship to one of the lads.

  109. Sorry im not having that ” this whole noel and pat issue was created by cb”

    : cb were bang on the money to tell mcstay get lost with his big dollar demands. Yes the whole episode was ridiculous and cb didnt cover themselves in glory with the process .

    Them two bucks were appointed and didnt live up to expectations. Players made their feelings known. Boys stood down , rochford took over and we had another decent year. Two boys then go to a galway tit and make a few snide made up or exaggerated lines to make a few headlines. Where on earth is the cb at fault here exactly? What was the alternative for cb to drag their heels and see if players would strike .

    Yeah yeah all very good but think about it , the vast majority of supporters would of been up in arms if the shit hit the fan like that. A year wasted when time is not on our side . As it was rochford didnt have ideal prep time at all Disappointed in myself for still chatting about this.

    Merry xmas .

  110. I’d agree with Liam, Aidan O’Shea would be destroyed if he was in that video that Keegan was. What on earth has that got to do with how many All Stars he has compared to Keegan True Grit? Such nonsense.

    AOS has not been brilliant in the All Ireland Finals but the way some go on, you’d swear he lost the games on his own and every other Mayo player excelled. He was middling in this year’s finals – not awful, not brilliant. Consider the attention he receives, usually being double marked, sometimes triple teamed. No other Mayo player receives such attention. He is capable of being better, no doubt but to suggest he should not be in the team is absurd. I’d say Jim Gavin and Eamon Fitzmaurice would be delighted to see him on the bench, it would reduce the need for a sweeper and allow them a much greater attacking platform.
    Some people are just blind with rage when it comes to AOS and need to stand back and examine it rationally.
    For what it’s worth, I think as a defensive midfielder is his best position. His scoring returns this year prove he’s not a natural scoring forward.

  111. Yes Mayo Man people are not blind with rage with AOS. His EGO is that it makes him a fellow everyone takes the piss out of. You wont see DOC strutting at every chance he can get. AOS is a big lad now and its time for him to grow up. I wish him the very best of luck in 2017. This lad is not a mean or dirty player but for F…k sake let him stop being the butt of every thing bad about Mayo football. Let 2017 be a year that everyone takes responsibility for their failures. If each person on Mayo panel including management was man enough to own up to their own shortcomings then we would not have had this Fiasco we are reading about now.

  112. Probably been mentioned beforehand but the Co Board’s chairman is Noel’s brother. Will the Connelly family be divided this Christmas?
    It did seem strange at the time to have a brother of an unwanted management team as head of Mayo GAA.
    Did Noel go to Mike and say that himself and Pat were doing the interview? If so, what does that say?

  113. @MayoMan:

    “I’d say Jim Gavin and Eamon Fitzmaurice would be delighted to see him on the bench, it would reduce the need for a sweeper and allow them a much greater attacking platform.”

    Not sure about that.

    Kerry have Donaghy, who fills that role already, I’m not sure they need a second big fielder.

    I can’t see whereabouts within the Dublin setup he would fit. Then again, I don’t think anyone is sure of where he fits within the Mayo setup. He’s kinda like when you’re doing a jigsaw, and you keep picking up this interesting looking piece, but you’ve no idea where it goes. Sherlock Holmes would refer to this as a “three pipe problem”.

  114. Jaden,
    i believe Mayoman is referred to Gavin and Fitzmaurice as opposition managers would love to see him on the Mayo bench rather than whether Aidan fitst into their team.

    His point is valid and well made.

  115. Several good posts here and much of how I feel has already been dealt with in depth.

    For what it’s worth – here’s my tuppenceworth:

    This interview has proven without a shadow of a doubt that the players were correct in getting rid of the 2 boys. For all their shite talk about players taking no responsibility for their previous failings there’s a distinct lack of admission of failings by Pat and Noel themselves in their management. e.g.
    – sole tactic being lumping high ball into Aido, and continuing with this in a replay when it was proven not to work the first day.
    – playing an injured Donie Vaughan in the replay, and waiting until his man had scored 3 points off him before pulling him ashore when it was clear for all to see he was being roasted.
    – not adding Dillon to the Fray in the drawn game when he was precisely the type of player that we needed on at that time. No disrespect to Sweeney but if Dillon had the opportunity that Mikey had, I just think Dillon would have had the better experience to avoid the block by McCaffrey.
    – Having only 3 true midfield players available all season (Tom, Seamie and Barry) and starting all 3 for the replay. Surely Jason Gibbons could have been on the panel, or at least another capable midfielder on the match day 26 if you’re going to go the all eggs in one basket route?.
    – Tom Parsons played most of 2015 with a broken thumb it has since transpired. For what it’s worth if Tom Parsons had 2 broken legs I’d probably still have him on the panel but it just highlights how there should have been more cover in that position. And no, Freeman is not a midfielder.
    – Not demanding the county board make available funds to aid appropriate recovery after the drawn game – the Dubs were in Oxygen tents the Monday morning after the drawn game. Where was the ruthless streak from that management team in dealing with the county board then, demanding what was needed to give the players the best chance of recovery?. Absent there it seems. Must have been the players fault. “Sorry Bro, no cash for you on that. See if you can Pin it on one of the lads on the pitch if it doesn’t work out though”.
    – there is absolutely no way this interview was done in the best interest of Mayo Football. How they can even countenance this just shows how poor their judgement is. One can only assume given their targeting of certain players in the interview that their man management is equally as poor.

    On none of the above points do either Noel or Pat accept any responsibility or acceptance that they as management could have done better – and they bloody well should have. They are in absolutely no position to be pointing fingers at the failings of players unless they themselves take responsibility for their clear inability to manage at intercounty level.

    And yes, they were great servants to Mayo football but like many that have come and gone since then, neither have a Celtic cross between them. Hardly qualifies them as experts on how it should be done.

  116. @ F’deelin.
    Mike and Noel I’m sure will have a good Christmas, and I wish them that.
    In relation to your query, answer “Am I my brother’s keeper”. Is everything you say or do, is OK’d by your brother, sister,etc. Or maybe you are a cuckoo. No offence. Maybe if you contact either Mike or Noel, or better still Brehony or Parkinson, I,m sure they will enlighten you.

  117. Very good post FDB, but that is in relation to 2015. We again arrived at the same place in 2016, and we had everyone fit and if all those things that were wrong in 2015 and we put all this Oxagen tents etc,etc, in place. We still failed. We had the same players and new management and we still lost. So I don’t think all our problems were down to H&C.
    Will the players say they will go on strike in 2017, because Dublin had new ways to recover after drawn game. No they can’t strike this year because they now know that they have to shit or get off the pot. They say lightining doesn’t strike twice in the same place, well it did with Mayo Team. We could say the same about JH in 2014 against Kerry. But we had the ref to cover our failings that day. Happy 2016.

  118. True Grit the point about the Oxygen tents is one in a list of many where Pat and Noel failed to discharge their responsibilities as managers. And that was 2015 and that was when they were managers, and that is the period over which anything of what they have said can be taken in any way. What happened in 2016 is irrelevant to Pat and Noel, They could only have been involved in the same manner as you and I are, and that would be from the stands as a supporter.

    Did the Mayo team get access to Oxygen tents this year between the drawn final and the replay?. Given there was a 2 week gap that lessened the need so I’m not sure either team did make use.

    There is no question that there are other problems outside of Noel and Pat but it’s their attitude of suggesting the players have taken no blame when they take no responsibility themselves is what I take umbrage with.
    In fact not accepting blame is the opposite of what any of the players have said in the media by the way either about any games by the way. Seamie took full responsibility for one of the goals in the Drawn game this year in a post match interview, immediately after the game. In other interviews down through the years I’ve heard Keegan saying that they did not take their chances and Barry Moran the same.

    I am positive there are issues and niggles within the camp, as I am positive there are similar niggles, personality clashes and disagreements in every County Panel in the country. It’s abundantly clear that Pat and Noel were out of their depth in terms of their ability to mange that aspect, and seemingly many other aspects of Intercounty management.

    Anyway – onwards to 2017 and better things to come.

  119. So after the usual barrage of rumours David Clarke is staying on as I expected. Delighted to see Rory Byrne in the squad also. 2nd best keeper in Mayo behind Clarke

  120. Good post FDB. BTW NiallMc what is the source of the Rory Bryne addition – apart from David Clarke’s comment? Has an updated squad been published (without my knowledge!).

  121. Rory Byrne gave an interview at the club all stars event a couple of weeks back and said he was brought into the squad.

  122. Delighted for Rory because he is a close second to Clarke and has developed into a fine, fine goalkeeper. I hope he can stake his claim and get in the squad come championship.

  123. Great posts there Liam and FDBinashui!

    One of the most ironic things is that Noel and Pat claimed that some of the players weren’t serious enough about their football yet when the players were giving out about their pre-match meal not taking place at the correct time, Noel and Pat thought that they were out of order. I’d call the players wanting to have your pre-match at a certain time been ultra-professional in relation to their football.

    At the end of the day our 7 point defeat in 2015 was our worst championship defeat since James Horan’s first year in charge in 2011.

    Someone was giving out about Breaffy, well they had three players who were very important in this year’s U21 team: Michael Hall, Matthew Ruane and Liam Irwin. So they must be doing something right there in underage football.

    It was announced this evening that Roscommon’s Senan Kilbride is retiring at 31. None of our players are giving up like that. Yet our players are abused for staying on and still wanting to make the first 15. I remember Paidi O’Se saying in an interview that he didn’t speak to Mick O’Dwyer for years because he wouldn’t pick Paidi in the Kerry team in his latter playing days.

    Roll on 2017.

  124. The OSheas and Breaffy are getting very bad press but they did not start the heave—take a closer look at the most senior players. I understand that a lot of the interview could not be published .

  125. If Byrne gets the no1 jersey. Will the breaffy mafia be then replaced by Castlebar mafia? Tell ya something with all these creole s about Mayo , the opposition will fear our ruthless streak for sure.

  126. WJ, I was just listening to that Podcast there now and the names that Mike Finnerty mentioned were as follows:

    Michael Plunkett
    Liam Irwin
    Shairoze Akram
    Fergal Boland

    He said that these U21 boys were called in for testing a few weeks ago along with the current seniors.

    P.S. I just seen a picture there now that Mayo GAA tweeted of the Mayo GAA lads visiting Mayo University Hospital yesterday. David Clarke and Conor O’Shea were standing beside each other in the picture so the mood in camp mustn’t be too bad!

  127. So to date the list of additions looks to include Byrne, Newcombe, Douglas, Irwin, Plunkett, Akram, Boland – no passengers there that’s for sure. Roll on the FBD !!

  128. HopeSpringsEternal In all fairness its much easier to stay on when you have a chance of winning Sam. The Kilbride lad played ~ BTW his father was a fine footballer for Mayo) played over ten years with Roscommon without winning much at county level.

  129. Mayomagic, that’s exactly the point that I am making, the Mayo lads are not retiring or heading to the states because they still see a bright future for Mayo GAA compared to other counties where players are walking away, for whatever reason.

    In fairness to Senan Kilbride he has had a lot of injuries the last while and is a talented footballer too.

  130. Ad infinitum the Independent continues like a broken sewage pipe today. “Players should apologise” they say. An ex player throws in a few marbles adding to that call.

    What’s needed now is the whole story told. How they were appointed , how McStay was shafted, how the board operated, who thought it a good idea for a chairman to be the teams liason man. Let’s root out the whole story not selected grabs.

    By the way, there probably is no one “Big Issue” to those two being jilted, ever fall out of love folks? You wake up one morning and the mojo is gone, the thrill is gone and it’s no ones fault. You move on. Holmes and Connolly are going on like a jilted boy friend. Imagine asking your ex to explain publicly why she no longer wanted you..,could be very embarrassing. Maybe she didn’t like the way I farted or picked my nose.

    The sooner the FBD starts and Mayo knock the stuffing out of one of those colleges, the better. It’s getting creepy now.

  131. Creepy is the word, John. I can’t ever recall a national paper flogging a single-county GAA issue day after day after day in the way they have. Even the way they headline today’s pathetic offering (“Mayo players should apologise to former managers – MacHale”) you can see how it’s designed to draw you in as you immediately assume (as I did) which MacHale they’re referring to. But, of course, it’s not him at all.

    I wouldn’t agree with you, though, about the whole story on Pat and Noel’s appointment needing to come out. What purpose would that serve only to keep the bloody Mayo circus in the national limelight even longer? We know the appointment was a monumental screw-up and all that came out at the time demonstrated that. At a remove of two years what more is there to learn about it?

    Agree wholeheartedly, though, that the return of the football – even if it’s only the FBD to start with – can’t come soon enough at this stage.

  132. “only3times” was clearly a troll and glad to see he has either given up or been banned.

    Anyway, the whole thing is a sorry mess and we’d all be better off ignoring it. These things do happen in other counties but unfortunately we seem to have a lot of gang in our ex playing ranks who like the glare of the media and will never refuse a call from a journalist.

    How having said that, they did fuck all when they might have been some use when RTE was doing a hatchet job on us between the first final and second, but I wouldn’t expect anything else from some of them sleveens who prefer to whisper out the side of their mouths instead of standing up for their county.

  133. Todays article in the Indo I stopped reading due to boredom. You know when you read an article and you have the next sentence/run of words in your head already as it’s just so predictable.This should be the end of it. Maybe they have a boredom graph which shows all users who open an article and leave it before enough time to finish reading the article.

  134. Lads, it’s simple.
    Don’t buy that paper (it’s junk anyway) and don’t click on their articles.
    if you starve them of the ad revenue from the clicks and their daily papers are getting returned to them unsold from the newsagents, they have to seek their revenue elsewhere.
    Don’t give it the oxygen of publicity, it doesn’t deserve it anyway.

    Maybe Brehany can get an explosive tell all interview with Mickey Whelan or something like that.

  135. One would hope we have the decision makers at the top table to not to screw up again as badly as that of the appointments of H&C. I say that in jest by the way. Wishful thinking at best. We are successful in spite of them and not because of them. Always one little step away from the mediocrity that aspire to.

  136. Just caught a headline from our own david brady. I cant even bear to read it about player divide it says.

    Crikey what is wrong with us . Thing is i dont believe any Mayo gaa person wants us to fail surely ? We are so close to being the best team in Ireland . You just have to hope the panel and management keep focused . Reflecting on things that matter like where it went wrong v Galway , unlike some i think it better we win connacht next year. Planning, prep ,timetable way more balanced all geared towards a showdown with munster champions for semi.

  137. Think the Indo is running out of steam on this. Latest ‘call’ for apology is likely to bother absolutely nobody.

    Agree totally that we don’t need or want the ‘whole’ story coming out, but because you screw up the appointment doesn’t mean that disaster follows. The FAI screwed up the appointment process that led to Jack Charlton, and that didn’t turn out too badly. And big outfits can get the process and the man badly wrong – Moyes at United after Fergie, springs to mind.

  138. Thanks all posters who listed the newbies. Interesting names there for sure. Boland and Akram a bit on the small side, but hugely talented, and I think Boland’s hurling skills will help. Always feel positive about players who excel in another code (if you’ll forgive the GAA speak of yesteryear).

  139. And while I’m at it! The Indo (don’t all rush at once to knife me, form an orderly queue there) has an interesting interview with Mickey Harte, most of which is devoted to commenting on Mayo. Here’s the part about us:

    But he pointed to the example of Mayo as a team to take inspiration from. Their hunger to get back and battle every year is a credit to them, says Harte.
    “It’s great to be part of an All-Ireland final even if you don’t win it. People are talking about how many Mayo have missed and lost and all the rest of it, but how many counties have never experienced that opportunity?

    “All those ones they lost, they had to be in the final so there’s a lot of people in Mayo who have an experience of an All-Ireland. There’s a huge amount of people who have played football who have never had a taste of that day.

    “Mayo already had three All-Irelands tucked away before we got our first! I remember looking back and you’d have recognised that Mayo were All-Ireland champions on a couple of occasions before Tyrone were able to reach that height. I think Mayo can take great heart from the fact that they’re coming back time after time, that they have quality players, they have good underage success.

    “It’s going to happen some day for them. The players, whatever day it’s going to happen, they’ll hope that they’re the ones that are on the field. I think it’s a question of when rather than if it will happen.”

  140. Lads and lassies, I said it last week, the campaign for the 3 in a row has started already. Expect to see an awful lot more shite aimed in our direction in the coming months.

    By the way, did any of ye see those photos of our hero’s in green and red bringing presents to all the sick kids in hospital the other day? Now if they had blue jerseys on them…

  141. Yeah, Mayo.Mick saw them on the Mayo GAA social media accounts. While the Dublin players helping out at Capuchin House (I think) made the back page of the Indo.

    Alongside an article by Colm O’Rourke telling Aidan O’Shea that he needs to concentrate on his football.

    You actually could not make this shit up.

  142. Fook them honestly not a lot we can do only dream of how sweet it would be to win it next year. They only way we can counter all this is try and ignore it as difficult as that is. Crikey if we have a bad league campaign and get relegated there will be some amount of shite written. Our only light is that our players are bright clued in experienced inter county fotballers, id guess they are havin a right aul giggle at it all. Anyone at the u 21 games this year would of noticed of tight of a group they are, i dont believe for one second them bucks are divided in any way at all.

    Hup the Mayo Mafia.

  143. In case you’re wondering, Only3times, I’m not going to allow those posts from you (all three of them – you just don’t seem to get the point about less being more) on the site. What I will say is that if you post in line with the house rules, stop being overly argumentative and stop acting like you own the joint then there’ll be no problem. Contrary to what you claim, new contributors appear here all the time, adding their own valuable insights to the debate, but from experience (and I have been running this place close on ten years at this stage) the ones who have problems tend to be those who unload a whole pile of indignation on arrival and then pick fights with everyone in sight, myself included. Remind you of anyone?

  144. Seeing as you have control you could put them into 1 post and it would still be shorter than a lot of posts on here.
    I wasnt picking a fight with you or anyone. I gave my opinion and supported it with examples. I made a point. Didnt make any post personal to anyone apart from saying their name. Didnt threaten anyone.
    I accept that there was too many posts in quick sucession but isnt that the nature of a hotly contested discussion. If i was to comment again i leave out directing any comment at anyone. Then noone can choose to take offence or allege that i was aggressive.

    Its ironic that you seem to be above reproach. As ann marie pointed out to me that even to question you was bare faced cheek on my part. But you support the players against the apparent authoriatarian/dictator approach of noel and pat.
    I can only go on what i have felt here this week and you appear to be trying to rein me in while letting others go.

    You are the ref and il accept your decision. I dont expect you to change or even reflect on my posts which is your right.

    Maighe eo abu.
    Happy christmas and a happy new year

  145. That’s fine, only3times, I’m glad you at least accept that you initially posted too many times in quick succession. I can assure you that you are a statistical outlier in that respect – no-one else has come remotely close to that kind of record.

    As I said, if you’re prepared to play by the rules then that’s fine with me. Same goes with everyone else – all I can do is enforce the rules as fairly as I can. As you can imagine, keeping tabs on a debate generating literally hundreds of comments on Christmas week wasn’t easy but I guess it’s a rod I’ve made for my own back.

    I don’t, incidentally, claim to be above reproach and I’ve frequently down the years – often, I accept, with good reason – been pulled up on issues. I have my own opinions on issues and I don’t accept I’ve come down too heavily on one side on this one. I’ve said there was right and wrong on both sides but I haven’t hidden my view about where I think the balance lies on this one. Like a lot of people, I suspect, I’d far prefer if the debate on here kept its focus on what happens on the field rather than what happens off it but, as this story shows, this isn’t always possible.

  146. I really wish players, management, ex players would take a vow of silence when it comes to Mayo bashing media outlets like RTÉ, independent etc. Fact is Mayo are box office. Don’t give them interviews, comment etc. Let them stick to their sycophantic articles on the dubs. If two of the top 4 teams in the country were not speaking to the national broadcaster it really would show how rotten the coverage is.

  147. This has been a a very polarised debate. I know Children (children always come first at Christmas), Women and Men, committed committed Mayo supporters, who hold opposite views on the subject of the Indo scoop on Mayo football… It was the great French philosopher ‘Volitere’ who said that when an argument continues there is wrong on both side’s.. But in this case, there are three sides, and wrong on all three sides (The Mayo county board) (Some of the players on the Mayo panel of 2015) & (Pat and Noel).. In the case of Pat and Noel, they may have been like King Lear in that ‘they were more sinned against, than sinning’ But also maybe they should have learned another Shakespeare quote ‘Descretion is the better part of Valour’… But my quote of 2016 is’ float like a butterfly, sting like a Lee ‘.

  148. Amen to that Willy Joe, you’re a very patient man and you shouldn’t let him back till it’s at least Only4times.

    Like Mayomad above I have refrained from getting involved as I believe fanning the flames or giving this topic oxygen is not in the best interests of the Mayo team.

    John Cuffe’s falling out of love is a good analogy as I think they just couldn’t get on and it’s pointless trying to get to the bottom of something like that.

    Let sleeping dogs lie and I sincerely hope the players and Rochford keep their gobs firmly shut.

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