Mayo Football Podcast episode: chatting with Liam McHale

There was quite a bit of surprise when news broke last July that Liam McHale had left the Mayo management set-up.

There was just as much surprise when he was appointed as Mayo ladies manager less than four months later.

Mike travelled to Aghamore earlier this week to meet Liam ahead of the start of the Ladies National League next Sunday against Meath in Ballina.

They chatted about his departure from Kevin McStay’s management team, why he wanted to manage the Mayo ladies, his football philosophy, his management team and what the chances are of both Mayo senior teams winning an All-Ireland in 2024.

Mike also talked to Mayo ladies stars Sinéad Cafferky and Sinéad Walsh about their hopes for the season ahead.

This new podcast episode is now online and is available to our club members on Patreon – it’s HERE. To get access to this pod and to all our other great content for as little as €1 per week, join the club HERE.

35 thoughts on “Mayo Football Podcast episode: chatting with Liam McHale

  1. After listening to this, I’m wondering was everyone out of step bar Liam. It seems his philosophy was , go forward football, which most of us here agree with. I really hope I’m wrong or we’re in for another depressing year of, pass it anywhere but forward. The stuff that’s being played now, I wouldn’t pay in to see if the team wasn’t wearing Green and Red.

  2. I couldn’t agree more. Nephin. We all know the mastermind to that rubbish. Never win an all Ireland playing like that

  3. I suppose we will have to wait for the Galway game to see if we continue with that painfully slow build up and endless handpassing across the the pitch .it is still extremely strange how McHale and mcstay suddenly discovered that they didn’t have the philosophy on how they saw football being played after all their years together

  4. This could be a tough year ahead for Mayo seniors … regardless of style of play , going on last year our panel of players just didn’t have the quality of the likes of Dublin, Kerry or Derry.
    Kills me to say it but Galway and Roscommon seem to have more quality forwards coming through than we do at club and county .
    I’ll Always back Mayo but we need to be realistic and not be talking about All Irelands this year .
    I hope Mayo
    use the league to blood new players

  5. Will be interesting to see My Ball, my guess is not to many newbies will get 4 or 5 games to see their worth. Based on London, Offally and Armagh games and the return of 4 older heads in Hennelly, O’Donoghue, Boland and Regan the panel when gets to business end will have familiar feel.

    The media day today in MacHale park could offer some further insight into things, but it wont be until around round 4 or 5 of league we will start see final make up of panel.

    First couple rounds could get likes of Quinn game time if Tommy and Ryan still in Sigerson action.

  6. After the league last year Mayo changed their style of play big time. Why I dont know. Saw them play Donegal in Ballybofey and played great attacking football moving the ball forward at all times with little or no back or sideway passing. Then in Championship games except maybe Kerry game started the keep ball and just passing it back and over, no wonder McHale left as would anyone who played Gaelic Football, why oh why did they change. anyone know.

  7. Culmore, i think this was largely down to opposition changing their tact and forcing our hand, with us unable to come up with a plan to counteract it, this was particularly prevalent v Roscommon, Cork and Louth.
    Other teams did not seem have focus on the league we did, or the early season prep work done to match, as they got up to speed on their training blocks they tightened their defences and put their championship tactics in place e.g. blanket Defence, double sweepers etc.
    Our game with Kerry best example of this possibly, we had acres of space, man to man and even more Mayo men v Kerry men when on counter attack. Compare that to how Kerry set up in latter rounds of championship and was chalk and cheese.

  8. If we can’t win Sam then why are we even playing championship?

    Like experiment in the league is fine, but there needs to be a plan for championship.

  9. We can win Sam this year, but it’s a probability of 1 in 20 might be around right. or 1 in 25.
    Now, those probabilities happen. If you think more pessimistic, 1 in 27, that probability happens.
    Whilst we won’t have any major change in personnel, I had a check on our squad ages and we should be slightly better than last year balancing those who are on the decline versus those who are improving.
    Then, just the simple improvement in confidence and decision making for younger players having an extra season complete.
    Probably the only let’s say elite thing we could bring versus the other teams is in filling the team with tall players. In a Moneyball logic kind of way I do think we van improve our fielding, but it would need us to really fill out the team with plenty 6’1″+.
    There’s a certain strength and quality in having a lot of height in each line.

  10. Agree with posters above . Simply put we never got a replacement for Tom Parsons .
    Push up on Mayos kickouts and make the keeper go Long .

  11. FrostTHammer – If managements solution to winning Sam is bringing back in 3 fringe players who are in their late 20s and early 30s and struggled to make championship match day panels over their career to date, we can write off 2024 as a year we will win sam.

    It’s not to say any of them wont have a positive impact of improve or depth, we need to be produce some new players who are breaking into the starting team and offer something different or results will just be the same as 2022 and 2023 when we meet a top 4 team.

  12. Yes, we never replaced those top fielders. It’s why perhaps we should put no one under six foot in the middle eight and 3-4 more tall players in the remaining six jerseys. Replace the elite fielding of two players with an improved average across the team.

  13. My Ball – Disagree on that point. Matthew Ruane and Jordan Flynn are two fine replacements for tom parsons. Ruane just needs to rediscover his 2020 / 2021 form.

  14. Matt ruane is not a ballwinner.his strength is going forward.Tom parsons from a young age was always a specialist high fielder

  15. It’s not Parsons at midfield that we haven’t replaced imo – it’s Aidan at 11.

    Aidan is our elite fielder and we’re vulnerable when he’s not around the middle.

    The lesson I took from last year is – if you want to compete you need experience in key positions.

    So Robbie Hennelly in goals and Stephen Coen at 6 makes us competitive, and when we fill out the rest of the positions, we have a 15 that is more than capable of winning the big ones.

    8-1 with the bookies lads.
    25-1 is Donegal and Armagh – last year’s relegated teams.

    And Gizmo is spot on wrt other teams tactics – teams trying to win Sam know that they need to do more than simply flood their defence to win games.

  16. Mayo have players that on there day are good at high fielding, J Flynn, J Carney, D O Connor, A O Shea, M Ruane and maybe Tuohy, we don’t have the threat of a short kick out really anymore, Keegan was very important for this, there isn’t many in the back line that you would trust now to take it short under pressure and be able to get the ball out.

    Something that annoyed me with the slow build up and lateral passing, was when they are attacking down either wing, they would work inside the 45 still out to the side and one of them would work a few yards of space for a shot but not take it on, whether its no confidence in scoring or told not to shoot, its very poor, Dublin and Kerry do be scoring from similar positions. It doesnt have to be about breaking down a blanket defence, Mayo players seem to think they have to get to the edge of the D and shoot from there.

  17. In pure probability we are not as likely as those odds to win Sam, nor that much more likely than Armagh. We’re slightly better than Armagh

  18. I think it’s terrible to put Aidan O’Shea to midfield for the two throw in’s and demean the selected midfielder!!

  19. Armagh haven’t won a provincial title in 15 years – which coincidentally is same length of time since Galway beat us a game for an actual trophy.

    We’re averaging a national final every single year since 2018 – how these other teams are ahead or even close to us is a complete mystery to me.

  20. All that matters is the more recent formline and squad. Last year we drew with Armagh.
    The recent form of both teams is that we are at best, for sure at best slightly better than Armagh. As we go back through our major meeting before that, we fell over them in Championship in McHale Park.

  21. If you don’t have specialist fielders playing around the middle it’s important that we at least compete for and try to break as much of the aerial stuff as possible and win more than you’re share of the breaking ball,so half backs and half forwards need to be sharp on this a la Boyler and Kevin Mc in their day.
    Imo with a bit more big game experience the likes of Jack C and Bob will compete with anyone in this skill.

  22. I am very confident that we will be very competitive,our management team had a few weeks last year to get to know the players,and to get a game plan in place,this year they ample time to get a plan in place,Mayo for Sam

  23. I think we have well exhausted fact they had more than a few weeks with players last year Corick, even playing intercounty games in December. Other inexperienced management teams have had greater success in getting plans in place in their first year and getting over line to win Sam.

    Fingers crossed the league will show new plans and strategies are being tried at least, the FBD game showed more of the same old as last year, but only a glorified friendly so we can hold judgement on what this year will bring for now. They even have brought back in more players from Horans squads to bolster things to fill experience void left by departees.

  24. If management are reading these posts (and why wouldn’t they?), they’ll be delighted. Expectations are on the floor – even for Connaught!

    Mayo4Sam chants, posters, tweets, likely (thankfully), to be almost invisible.

    Experience however tells me that a win in Salthill (I’m quite confident) will see the blog revert to its default ‘Yes We Can’ mode.

  25. My ball. I disagree. We do have the same players that reached the 2021 decider. Less keegan. Mullin didn’t even play when we beat Dublin in the semi and bear them well in the end. Its time men stopped making excuses for management. Let’s see will they go direct this year . Last years style was puke. I’m not holding my breath

  26. Its one of the hardest things to gauge in GAA to know where Mayo arè at for the year ahead this time of year . Look down through the years , after the 13 final we were supposed to be finished , no way a team could come back after teo all ireland defeats , 2016 after the galway defeat , the general concensus was Mayo were done , a spent force , tired and broken .

    Look if we maxed out to full potential , players out of form all hit form etc , we all know fine well it would be no shock horror to see our lads go very far in the championship if that happened . If you want to be positive you can look to the kerry game and going to Galways backyard and knocking them on their hole again , the other side of the coin is negative , the louth game , the cork game was attrocious and an absolute disaster as regards the whole of last season , we were also very poor v ros .

    Players we need to up their game are mattie ruane , goalkeeper whoever gets the 1 jersey, we need diarmuid to have a brilliant year , jordan flynn needs to keep the trajectory hes on , even though hes made wing forward his own , should he be tried in the middle . Tommy is massive , he has the class and skill set potential to be one of the best forwards in the land but he has to kick on and get consistent levels back . James carr needs to stop splutterin hot and cold .

    As a team we also need to change it up every so often , a bit more risk and adventure will stand to us as we have the players to capitalise with a little less conservative instructions from the line (a bit like Liam Mchale was saying )

  27. Bonus pod just gone up on Patreon, in which Mike chats with Kevin McStay at today’s media event. Spoiler alert: Kevin confirms that Evan Regan has NOT been recalled to the panel. Remind me again: from where did this story originate?

  28. Mcstay is a great talker but this year the time for talking is over. .. He appears to have backed his second in command over mchale. I await with serious interest to see how this develops.

  29. Unreal…. Western People possibly best regional paper for sports news now, Mayo news great content also obviously but the website has gotten polluted with adds and clickbait articles 🙁

  30. I agree on the Mayo News, the new website is a step back from the old one.

    It’s really hard to see the stories now – on the old one they were there easy to see right in front of you. I used to check in just to see if there was anything new.

    Now I only use it if I have a link straight to the article.

  31. It was the Connacht Telegraph that published the Evan Regan story – I noted at the time that it wasn’t mentioned who the author was.

    Were none of their journalists willing to associate their name with piece?
    Or could it possibly have been written by an AI?

  32. Can’t watch this game any more. Whatever else, don’t lose. Pattern: Solo up the field until you meet an opponent…turn and hand-pass to a player in a worse position. Corner forwards come buzzing out to run round in circles…hand-passing like men possessed. Whatever else, don’t consider going for a score. Mayo football used to be exciting and full of flare. Pity.

  33. On reflection I find it funny at times in mayo. Under Horan we had chaos football, very little shape but a hard attacking running game. It was entertaining but also frustrating when you see how good teams stopped us. Now we have done a complete 180 and don’t try to progress the ball forward at any speed whatsoever. Can we please find a happy medium. Mind you I’d rather watch Horanball every day of the week over McRochball.

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