Mayo Football Podcast episode: FBD League learnings etc.

Photo: Mayo GAA

The GAA season came back with a bang last weekend so there’s plenty to talk about.

Mike and Rob chat about Mayo’s defeat to London and what talking points it threw up. We also hear from the two managers at the Dome, Kevin McStay and Michael Maher.

Plus, the two lads check in on the Sigerson Cup, Connacht Colleges season and the Mayo ladies.

This podcast 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.

147 thoughts on “Mayo Football Podcast episode: FBD League learnings etc.

  1. One more game in the Sigerson this evening with Mayo Interests as ATU Sligo take on what will likely be a very strong St. Marys University Belfast.
    From Mayo on the ATU Sligo Panel you have:
    Jack Ferguson, Swinford
    Dylan Thornton, Ballina (possibly injured)
    Darragh Syron, Crossmolina
    Jim Kelly, Knockmore
    and I think Evan Ivers, Bellmullet.
    Game in Belfast so will be tough ask for Sligo to win on road. Whichever side loses will face Ryan O’Donoghue and Tommy Conroy’s Galway.

  2. The whole season should be geared towards the trip to the hyde , which is 14 weeks time i make it , we need to know our number 6 , 8 & 9 well by then or we will be in trouble .

  3. Galway have just named their panel for tomorrow’s evenings game v Leitrim.
    Pj has really gone with a experimental panel..
    No players at all with any experience.
    Lots of intermediate and Junior players so maybe it shows that the management are more so using FBD has a way to look at players even more this year than others.. Not one player involved from last years main panel..

  4. Thanks Gizmobobs for that. Very tough league coming up for us. Opening games Galway(A), Dublin(H), Kerry (A). Survival in the division will be an achievement. I agree focus is on championship and sorting in particular a number 6 or leader of defence. We don’t have to re invent the wheel. An inspirational leader, good distributor, long and short, physically capable of holding up quick counter attacks, cute enough to make calculated bursts forward, and able to take a score from distance when the opportunity arrives.
    When we have that, I feel it will take the weight of midfielders, and they are freed to concentrate on their own role.
    McBrein is the only one that jumps to mind for me, with the right coaching. And that’s the other worry. We don’t have long to wait for some answers.

  5. Great podcast agree the London game doesn’t matter guess its just more pride and as they said and colm Boyle said it doesn’t look great for us ha

    I’ve no doubt at all that we will survive division 1.
    We are just as good if not better then most teams in division 1 Ok Dublin are a bit of ahead of us.

    I think it’ll be The rossies or monaghan to go down and that’s what the bookies say to.

    I think we will beat Galway ( after waiting in the long grass ha)

    Beat Dublin just for some revenge even if only in the league ha

    I think we will loose to kerry and Tyrone not that we aren’t good enough to beat them but because they are both away games and playing kerry and Tyrone away are tough.

    Get 6 points as fast as possible to stay safe and then the rest of the games results don’t matter much tbh

  6. Yes Sean. Its all about championship. Every time we win a national league.. we flop in the championship. I m not interested in fbd or the league. The league should be used to find out our best championship team. Positions efc. And try to stay in division one.

  7. Some thought McStay and his management was disrespectful to the FBD comp with the line out selected against London well Galway and Joyce has taken it to another level by selecting none of his first choice 26 apart from the goalkeeper. It’s a clear message from both that indoor matches aren’t for them as they prepare elsewhere for the NFL.

    It’s not so long ago over 7,000 was attending a Galway v Mayo FBD when the matches was played outdoors.

  8. Agree with JP…whole season should be geared to topping the group. Couldn’t give a hoot about the league aslong as we’re aiming to peak in a few months time. Winning Connacht would be great, but its not the be all and end all either, just ask Padtaic Joyce.

    Dublin looked heavy legged against Roscommon in the group, fast forward a few weeks and they were bouncing off the ground against us. The formula is there.

  9. The league matters in that by the end of it we need a team with a strong spine, playing to a robust pattern that players believe in. Not just a starting 15 but an impact bench to go with it. And if we haven’t got that, the latter stages of the championship will definitely not matter.

  10. The national league is now a competition for the also rans. The serious team s use it as a platform for championship. Hope we have learned from last year.

  11. Agree with you @ontheditch.

    The league does matter to stay safe in as it connects to Sam but in saying that I don’t wana be anywhere near a league final get the 6 points to stay safe and then wait in the long grass for the real to stuff to happen.

  12. Better chance of winning the group by winning the provincial title though surely ? New york game is a hinderance imo too .

  13. The league is a fantastic competition but winning it doesnt bring the prestige it should . Its certainly vital to preparation for championship . This format is only in its second year , id hazzard a guess its still a nighmare to time for peaking .

  14. I don’t think winning connacht matters as much as it used to if I’m honest bar for pride. Personally I’d rather top our group as that is really important.

    It was even on news last year that a lot of counties wanted rid of provincial championship.

    I mean did it really matter that the Rossies knocked us out of it last year? Bar our pride of course ha.

  15. Agree muckle.every game matters. Winning the provincial puts you in the driver’s seat for winning group. Plus it’s a psychological boost.
    Maybe it’s part of the reason that we don’t win out in the end is that supporters in particular can always find comfort in loosing. Survive in div 1 and have a settled team with strength up the middle going into the championship will be a major achievement.

  16. Sean burke says:
    January 11, 2024 at 5:03 pm
    Better chance of winning the group by winning the provincial title though surely ? New york game is a hinderance imo too .


    I believe so. Winning a provincial title means you won’t have Kerry,Dublin and the Ulster champion in your group. three of the provincial winners in 2023 topped their group and would have been four from four had Galway not slipped up against Armagh but weren’t helped with Sean Kelly,Comer and Walsh not fit.

  17. Pretty conclusive I’d say. Once the championship starts, keep on winning. Getting the balance between experimenting with players and defensive structures and surviving in div 1 will be difficult.

  18. Last year we struggled to breakdown the Louth blanket and fell over the line winning by a point. A week later Kerry beat the same Louth team by around 28 points. I wonder has McStay and his management team sat down and watched that Kerry performance to see what they did different to us to dismantle the blanket. Guaranteed when it comes to championship this year most teams we will be playing will do what Louth did last year and London did last Sunday and play a blanket.
    We will have to wait and see were the lessons learnt.

  19. I’d love to hear from all who say they don’t give a hoot about the league at the end of March if mayo were to lose the 7 games. Management would have to go I’m sure we’d hear. Of course we give a hoot about the league, we just don’t want them to win it out. We need to see a pattern of play, a bit of fight and something to look forward to come championship

  20. Dont think people would be happy losing all 7 games but would have no problem escaping relegation on the last day with 6 points 3 wins and 4 losses.Year doesnt kick off now till the last 16 group of 4 games in June
    We need to top that group to get the 2 weeks before quarter final.Forget National Leagues and Connacht Titles anymore.

  21. @No doubt agree.. I still think league is really important as I said especially since it’s linked to Sam now.

    Slipping into division dangerous Ok dubs were division 2 and won Sam but only the dubs out of division 2 woild have won Sam let’s be honest here.

    But as you say don’t want us anywhere near a final.

    If mayo slipped to division 2 there would be people going mad about it.

    But I can’t see that happening. It’ll be rossies or monaghan going down by a country mile.

  22. It depends on what you believe. Doesn’t it?

    If you believe Mayo can win an All Ireland in 2024 then feck the league.

    If you don’t believe Mayo can win an All Ireland in 2024, then go out and retain your league title because you’re only winning friends come championship.

  23. I agree Winning a Connacht title does give you a 1st seed advantage but I would nearly risk it and do the heavy blocks of training during May and early June leading into the last group games to hit peak fitness at late June/July period.Look at Kerry they looked really heavy legged against Mayo and Cork in last there 16 games obviously due to Heavy training load while they were like calves let out at Spring in the Tyrone game.Same with Dublin they were ticking over v Ross, Kildare and Sligo in last 16 games and then hit there peak against Mayo in the 2nd half without ever getting to that level against Monaghan or Kerry but doing always doing enough .Timing Peak is huge with the new format and its much harder win Sam especially for the Ulster champions.I doubt we will see an Ulster team win Sam in this new format .Maybe if the likes of Derry or Tyrone go out early in Ulster championship.Kerry and Dublin will always have best chance of winning in this format cause they are monsters in 2 very weak provinces.

  24. @No Doubt, just to clarify my previous comments on the league, I don’t give a hoot if we have a crap league, once we are at the business end of things come July. Like a semi final or final and don’t end up getting bet out the gate like this year, having peaked as a team in March or April!.

    However, if we crash and burn in the league AND championship (lose to Roscommon again, fail to make Quarters) then the season is a complete failure.

    if a poor league means new players are looked at, along with a plan to ensure players are not burnt out come championship, and we reach the last 4 then ill gladly take it…relegation or otherwise.

    I like to evaluate a season when I see where we finish in Championship. I’ve had argument after argument on here debating the status of the league. Each to their own, but to me its something thats good to stay up in (i hope we scrape 6 points) but not fatal either if we get relegated.

    I personally think people and media/pundits are so starved of Inter.County football come January, that they continually over emphasise the importance of the league because its all thats available. Yes the format is good and regular games help develop players and tactics and all that goes with it, but it is in essence a pre-season competition – it means diddly squat come championship. If it did, then why did the team ranked number 9 in the league last year win the All Ireland, hammering thr number 1 ranked team along the way?. Over rated.

  25. The team that won last year brought back players that won 6 in a row yes maybe only 3 or so but they brought back cluxton an absolute freak of a man ( I mean that as a complement to the guy)!

    Only that kind of team ranked 9 in the league would have won Sam and they brought back those guys when Dublin had already slipped to division 2.

    No other team from division 2 would have won Sam.

    League is important to stay up in division 1 I still remember when Dublin slipped to division 2 they all went absolutely mad.

    Yes may mean nothing come championship if you don’t perform then but you need to stay safe in division 1 at least for any chance at sam the next year end of the day.

  26. Dublin brought back cluxton mannion and jack Mccaffrey.only cluxton won 6 in row .Not really important but I have seen this posted quite a few times now

  27. @margie.i hear what you’re saying but it’s the loose talk like “dont give a hoot” and “nobody cares about the league” that pisses me off. If we go by your thinking of taking relegation if we reach the last 4 well that thinking will have to change the following year or we won’t reach the last 16 because we’ll probably be in the Tailteann cup from div .It’s hard to go to a league game not wanting to win but I get the 6pt safety talk.

  28. @1985 I’m saying only the dubs would have won out of division 2 fair you’ve seen it posted it quite few times right then strange. Just pointing out the facts it’s a forum after all.

    Name any other team from division 2 that would have Sam other then the dubs then??

  29. I dont agree with giving frindge players games in the league just to see how they play. McStay and his team has seem them now for over a year play with their Clubs and also train and play A V B games, which should be as intensive as League games. After all the training and in house games Management should know if players are good enough to play for County. Also experments should take place in these in house games,if a player is not good enough to play say CHB in one of these games then he is just not good enough full stop. Time to stop the messing about and play every game to win, if we win all our games we win Sam.

  30. And by the way at 1985 the dubs were in a bad place before they were brought back in only 3 guys from the 6 in a row team you may not think it’s important to mention but it was important enough for the dubs to bring those guys back in.

    You see it with kerry David Clifford has brought that kerry team where they are today kerry didn’t win last year Clifford wasn’t on top form he’s only one man.

    Keagan left us and oisin mullin our defence has been terrible since.

    Yes it makes a team to win all Irelands bit to say bringing back 3 stars to a team isn’t important each to their own…

  31. I did read your post 1985. Maybe only cluxton won 6 in a row but the other guys they brought back in were just as important to them obvs I read your post.

    Obvs the others didn’t win 6 in a row like cluxton but they still won all Irelands jeez.

  32. Well Claire you obviously didn’t read my post .I made no reference to a second division team winning the all Ireland.I simply pointed out that jack Mccaffrey and Paul mannion did not win 6 all Irelands in a row

  33. And of course mayo were in division 2 when we reached the all Ireland final in 2021and Derry weren’t a million miles away last year either

  34. @1985 when did I say you said a division 2 won an all Ireland?

    Did you read my post? I said no other team them that kind of dubs team without the likes of cluxton and that would have won Sam.

    I mately pointed out to you which other team in division 2 would have won Sam?

    No need to sound condescending. I literally just asked you what team you would think would have a chance at winning Sam other then the dubs. When I say I read your post I obvs did.

  35. Don’t think can call it a fact that only Dublin could win out of division two, it’s a hypothesis.
    Derry there last year could easily have done similar, albeit I think they may do better this year.
    Glen Wattys success may hamper them however, Glass will have no rest at all, increasing likelihood of injury.

  36. @1985 and how did 21 turn our for us??

    Btw in 21 the new format that linked thw league to Sam wasn’t in place as far as I know so not as important.

  37. Derry couldn’t close out to kerry in the end so obvs they couldn’t have done the same as the dubs this year..

    I think derry made a bad move bringing in harte as manager but guess we shall see.

  38. Well as far I know we lost but we made the final from division 2 and were favourites to win it .anyway no need to get into a frenzy .as I said it wasn’t really important but I was just pointing out that mannion and Mccaffrey didn’t win 6 all Irelands in a row .it wasn’t the same Dublin team started the 6 in row run to the team that completed it .it evolved a lot

  39. I’m not in a frenzy at all. But I did read your posts obvs you might not have read mine.

    Obvs it wasn’t the same 6 in a row team this year I never once said that.

    I said the 3 guys they brought back in made a huge difference cluxton for starters.

    Anyway we can agree to disagree with this (without going into a frenzy as you say)

  40. Last season we went all out in the league and this was understandable, with a new management team ficused on bedding in a new team and system and wanting to hit the ground running. This year, the focus should be completely on the Championship and league used to sort out our problem positions, CHB, MF and HF and set up a proper defensive structure that makes us difficult to score against-no easy scores should be the mantra. Obviously I would prefer to see us survive in Division 1,but I won’t lose any sleep if we don’t. There is a significant chance that we could be relegated and it wouldn’t take a big stretch of the imagination to see us losing our first 3 games, which would put us under a lot of pressure. I feel we need to win at least one of those and our best chance could be if Dublin bring a weakened team, as they often do in the early stages. Counties that have fairly settled teams, Dublin, Kerry, Derry and, probably Galway may not field their strongest teams, which would increase our chances of survival. Regardless, we need to arrive at the beginning of the Championship in the best possible shape physically, mentally, structurally and with a settled team. While winning the Connacht Title Is’nt the be all and end all, it would confidence and momentum.

  41. @1985 and @Tubberman marely pointing out an opinion it’s a forum after all anyway each to their own.

  42. Clare,

    While this is a Mayo forum which i greatly enjoy reading as it’s a football mad county I have to challenge you on Kerry are a 1 man team.

    It’s just utterly ridiculous to suggest that because I’ve not seen any 1 man team win an all ireland.

    Clifford is the games most high profile player but if you are telling me that the following players wouldn’t walk onto 99% of county teams then you plainly wrong.
    Shane Ryan
    Tom Sullivan
    Jason Foley
    Gavin White
    Paidi Clifford
    Seanie Shea

    Kerrys main issue last year was coming off 3 hard years and our bench was weak.

    This year keep an eye out for,
    Cillian Burke – Kerry ynder 20 captain
    Dylan Geaney – Sigerson winning captain and top player for Dingle
    Joe O Connor – Returning from ACL in midfield.

    Sorry for the Kerry centric post but I felt a parochial need to respond to Clare.

  43. @west kerry I’m not replying to you on this I’ve been pretty clear on my view on kerry from the start. If you don’t like it fair enough.

  44. And BTW I never said kerry were a 1 man team I said David Clifford makes them what they are today and there’s no doubt about it he had a huge help in getting kerry to Sam in 22 I’m not the only one who says it either.

  45. I think that mayo had the right approach last year with targeting the league and we should do it again this year. By focusing on the league we are guaranteeing a place in the all Ireland groups. Now granted we will have a provincial champions in that group, however by fielding a weaker team in connacht, mcstay can target that game against the provincial champion. I think the approach didn’t work because we were complacent against cork. If we had won that game against cork we could’ve gone much further with the two week rest, which i believe was our biggest issue, tiredness against the dubs. I don’t believe the dubs outplayed us, we let in sloppy goals and our heads dropped. We were very competitive up until the goals were conceded. I think by establishing our best team in the league and letting the fringe players play in connacht could strengthen our squad.

  46. @west Kerry

    I know it’s early days but what’s the mood like down in the Kingdom this year. I thought last year ye looked a bit tired coming off the back of winning the all Ireland? Probably lost a bit of bite too? I agree with you Kerry are far from a one man team but it’s Ye’er style of play that I find to be the biggest difference between Mayo and Kerry these days. Quick movement of the ball with the foot seems to be the best formula these days to beat the blanket. Not the rugby style handpassing game across the field that we go on with.

  47. Morning Green & Red,

    I agree completely with your view on Kerry particularly on 2023.

    We never got going in 2023, We had lads on the go for a while without adequate breaks, The Clifford’s played non stop from 2022 through too Nov of last year.

    It’s was obviously a very difficult year for the two lads on a personal level aswell.

    I’ve watched both our games so far and granted Tipp and Limerick were very poor nonetheless Kerry look shape and fit.

    Particularly Sean OShea who is very lean looking which I think will bench him and he’s playing at 14 which also suits him more.

    The big change for Kerry is the strength in depth from last year.

    I count 5 potential new players that will impact Kerry
    Joe OConnor midfield
    Cillian Burke Half Forward
    Stefan Okunbor Half Back
    Dylan Geaney Centre Forward
    Sean O Brien Half Back

    Would expect 3 of the above to play a big role for us.

    We certainly are kicking the ball a lot more under Jack and to me that will always be the best approach in any game.

    Feeling very optimistic but that’s the great thing about the start of a new year !

  48. That’s the thing with Kerry David Cliff will come and go and Kerry will continue to produce good players and win all Irelands.on a different note what a farce the Jim mcguinness suspension was .extraordinarily poor system

  49. 1985,

    I agree completely the GAA have a ridiculous disciplinary process.

    Does anyone ever serve a suspension.

    Just an outside observation on Mayo,

    I believed you were favourites to win the all ireland last year after what I saw in Castlebar but in particular in Killarney.

    Mayo kicked the ball wat more in Killarney, They moved the ball really fast and their shooting was top class.

    Only for Shane Ryan and David Clifford it would have been a hiding.

    If I was McStay and Co I’d be watching that game in Killarney again and using that as a template for 2024.

  50. Small habit, but if you intend to kick the ball you will carry it at the settle up moments in space further out from your body with your head up.
    From there if you need more time or an evasion you can use a bounce solo to create another opportunity or time to kickpass.
    This is a habit several Kerry players have on the attacking side. Paul Flynn had it with Dublin.
    If you’re always carrying the ball safe in your settle up moments safe and close in the bread basket you’re a longer adjustment away from kickpassing it.
    Usage of that evasive bounce solo or using the bounce solo to settle up before shooting is a real Kerry habit. Passed on by observance I would say. Really suprised more coaches haven’t cottoned on to coaching that side of things.
    In my view skills and attack coaching in Gaelic football is poor. Much weaker than for the defensive side of the game.

  51. Anyone who thinks we were favourites to win all Ireland after the game in kerry are delusional we were far from favourites.

  52. From our own team Ryan and Cillian are players who have the ball carried out with intent and use the bounce solo. You’ll often see Ryan adjust into new space and standing up the defender flat footed using this, Cillian also.
    Somehow you’re just less telegraphed as to your next move.

  53. @Claire, we were one of the favourites after that game. Even now after the abysmal championship run we went on after that Kerry game last year we one the 4/5 favourites to win this year.

  54. @Gizmobobs I heard nothing from kerry at the time saying we were favourites though more that they just played really badly and that they were the ones who made us look good didn’t hear one from kerry at the time saying we were favourites more so saying we would flop when it matters.

  55. Clare,

    What does it matter what you heard from Kerry ?

    Yes Kerry played poorly but Mayo played exceptionally well the best I’ve seen in a while.

    It’s not much of a leap to say the league champions who beat the the defending champions in Killarney a place we don’t lose in very often could win the All Ireland.

    I can tell you that was the talk in the bars after the game from fellas who have watched a lot of all ireland winners.

  56. Just a question Claire did you think mayo had a chance of winning the all Ireland after we beat Kerry in Killarney

  57. Of course if Mayo were capable of replicating the kind of football we played against Kerry that day we would gave been hard to stop. But most of us are around long enough to know that our inability to constantly play well enough has been our downfall.
    I think West Kerry that game v Mayo was the wake up call Kerry needed last year – and it was nearly the springboard to another all Ireland for Kerry.

  58. @1985 I always think we have a chance at winning it.

    My point I’m making is we were not favourites for the all Ireland by media or the bookies doesn’t matter if I think or any of us think we have a chance at the all Ireland doesn’t make us favourites with media / public and that’s what I’m saying. And we def were not favourites last year. As much as I thought we had a good chance after the kerry game.

  59. @1985 if you don’t like my posts or don’t agree fair enough but don’t reply with saying I need to work on my spelling or accuse me of getting into a frenzy etc or try and catch me out on something that you just don’t agree on. Just scroll down and ignore a comment that you don’t agree with simple as then you might not ‘have to go down and lie down for a few hours’.

  60. WJ, could there be a block/mute button, or a poster limited to certain amount of posts per day feature installed by any chance? One poster in particular seems to have an opinion on absolutely everything posted here and it’s ruining all meaningful discussion on the blog with their nonsense. I would suspect that due to this, other posters are refraining from commenting on the blog.

  61. You’ve commented 25 times on this thread Clare (1/3 of all comments), it would take a lot of scrolling to ignore!

  62. I am a long time poster on the blog and have lived/read/contributed to every high and low in connection with our fortunes on and off the field. Howver these last few months a certain poster seems to dominate all the threads and its very off putting. Most of us here want to hear lots of opinions from inside and outside the county and not the constant arguing/sniping at other posters.

  63. @Goagain I never go out to argue or snipe at others I’m certainly not like that and I like hearing others opinions to if not agreeing with a poster on a blog is arguing well I don’t know what to say.

    I think it’s a great blog but I’m done commenting as I’m sure by lots of the comments above you’ll be glad to know.

  64. I would ask you Willie Joe (before 2024 season starts) could a limit be made on the amount of times a poster can contribute to threads here. Thanks.

  65. What selection do we think will be playing tomorrow? I Imagine it will be close to the league Rd1 team.

  66. @Clare,you have announced you’re not commenting again on the blog many times before,you’ve had more retirements than McGregor at this stage.Just excerise a bit of cop on and don’t post 30 times out of a total of 80 comments.

    On a side note,
    I’m a Chairde Maigheo season tickets holder,I have two,they’re a complete rip off now at €250.Heres a list of all the things theyve taken away from it over the past 3 years.

    The first game paid for
    The seating groups
    The branded jackets/gillets/bags/umbrellas
    The option to buy final ticket without having to buy all championship tickets
    The €5 discount on championship tickets.

    With all this they also decided to raise the price from €150 to €250 over that time aswell.
    No way that makes sense to anybody and I couldn’t justify renewing under those circumstances.

    As a long shot I contacted the season ticket office to see could I transfer to a standard Croke Park season ticket.I know people who tried to do this before and were flat out told no.
    They replied within 30 mins saying they would do this straight away,which they did, I’ve now renewed both tickets.i thought this may be helpful to know for others.

  67. Gizmo who are they playing tomorrow, is it an official challenge match as in people can attend ?

  68. Hard to know Gozmobobs. You’d like to think every one will get a “quarter”, i think theirs a few panel slots still up for the starting team might not make much odds I think?

    I think Hennelly has a real chance of usurping Reape for championship. I do think Reape is a better outfield/sweeper, but to me he completely wilted when the Dublin wave came at us last year. He just seemed panicked with every kickout and shot out over the side line. I know their is mitigating factors in that we were dominated by Fenton and co. But Robbie has been through all that and is far more experienced. With a lack of leaders in defence, id be starting Hennelly if he remains for and sharp.

  69. Armagh I think I heard.

    I would stick with Reape at this stage, see your point alright Margie, but the kickout strategy seemed non existent last year, and we don’t have the fielders now we had few years back, not sure Hennelly would have made a difference. If we rebuilding as well stick with newer blood, although i think we will revert to close to the same panel as last few years when push comes to shove, bar a few to make up for leavers and retirees.

    Aidan O’Shea and Fergal Boland just home from Holidays so imagine they wont feature. Ryan & Tommy will have the NUIG game next week so should not be playing either so at least the FF line will be fairly fresh faced.

  70. Colmans 0-13
    Geralds 2-10

    That makes it 3 Mayo teams in Connacht Colleges A semi Finals, Mayo underage football going well, hopefully one of the 3 teams pushes on now and wins Connacht and challenges for a Hogan Cup.

    Summerhill v St Colmans
    St Geralds V Rice College

  71. Hopefully Connacht Council put these Semi Finals on a Saturday or Sunday, as there will be big public interest. Crazy having championship games at midday during the week.

  72. I would think it’s fairly close between Robbie and Reape now aswell for the GK jersey.

    However Robbie collapsed under a Dublin press in 2019 and Reaper did similar in 2023,they both have experience of it now.

    As much as I’m a huge Hennelly fan I think we need to stick with Reape with Robbie at num 2.

  73. I think I made a mistake there with Group Table, Colmans are out ,Claregalway are through and topped the group with Geralds overtaking Claremorris by a point today.Open to correction.

    Summerhill v Geralds
    Claregalway v Rice College

    The poor teachers with all there annual leave.

  74. Here’s my ‘third’ team. Some of these will walk straight in, but I’m using this as ‘players who weren’t on the panel last year (to the best of my knowledge). It discards some (not all) of the FBD team

    Hennelly – may well me the no 1 keeper
    Boland – seems to be ok
    McDonnell – as for Boland
    Fenton Kelly
    Conor Hunt – I liked the look of him
    Dawson – called up acc to Ryan O’D
    Mikey Murray – doesn’t seem to be fully fit but knocking on the door
    Tom O’Flaherty – called up
    Fergal Boland – called up
    Garry Quinn – called up
    Darragh Reilly – made some impact last week
    Kuba Callaghan – not sure about his status, but can score
    Kevin Quinn – called up

    Overall this lot will add to the competitive mix over the next few weeks and someone is going to get squeezed.

  75. Catcol, Dylan Thornton i thought would get a look, similar to Mickie Murray though seems to suffer with injuries. Did not feature for ATU Sligo last night, if he had of they may very well have won as midfield was an area they struggled in v St. Marys and only lost by a late point. Hit Crossbar and butt of post as well!

  76. @Gizmobobs

    With any player in their first year in the senior squad, the correct strategy for management is to identify their strengths – the reasons that they were selected in the first place – and focus the first year around. Yes, players will need to at some point iron out their flaws, but – and it doesn’t really matter what level it’s at – until you can consistently use your strengths to influence matches, you are not going to make it at that level.

    Colm Reape’s biggest strength is the speed of his restarts – but if we look at the things you are talking about could be described as preparing the drop zone, they’re tactics to use when your kickouts are slow. So to me they’re not Year 1 on the to do list.

    And if we take it that was what management did, then it would look to have been one of the biggest success stories of 2023.

    We got through almost an entire league campaign before we found out he could make a save. 95% of the time last season Colm was able to make the game about his biggest strength.

    Colm seriously out performed expectations last year. With any new player making their debut, you are really just horsing them in there until it gets too much for them. We saw last weekend how that point can come really quickly – within the first/second game for players. Colm pretty much got up until Cork – which is an absolutely insane number. 13 games in your first intercounty year, including a league final and a trip to Killarney, before the pressure gets too much is absolutely insane – speaks well of Colm, the management team, Knockmore etc

    You don’t fluke success like that, that success is the result of years and years of accumulated good work, and a current environment built to succeed at the highest level – this top dog level stuff, and there’s a really good case to made for Reape being the most successful rookie across the country last season.

  77. Yes Gizmo, I had Dylan Thornton in mind, but felt injuries are a problem at the moment; still McStay will be alert on this I’m sure.

  78. WJ. Long time contributor here from across the border. I haven’t been on here in a while but usually enjoy the comments and the content. Mostly fair and well informed. It seems to have become a bit farcical in the comments section at times though more recently just reading about the odd topic. Have you any view on it or tidying it up. No offence meant.

  79. I’ll hopefully save WJ a post this:

    And I’d like to remind people that the Mayo GAA Blog Comments section is in it’s 16th year and quite outdated at this stage. In comparison to more modern platforms it is incredibly frustrating to use, and that spills out into people’s comments a lot more often than you think.

  80. Sam og says:
    January 12, 2024 at 2:01 pm
    Colmans 0-13
    Geralds 2-10

    That makes it 3 Mayo teams in Connacht Colleges A semi Finals, Mayo underage football going well, hopefully one of the 3 teams pushes on now and wins Connacht and challenges for a Hogan Cup.

    Summerhill v St Colmans
    St Geralds V Rice College


    St Colmans are out. Claregalway v Rice College and Summerhill v St Geralds is the semi finals.

  81. @catcol

    It’s almost as what if team for Saturday against the Rossies.

    I’ve Kelly and Brickenden on Sigerson, so throw in Eoin O’Donoghue and Eoghan MacLaughlin in defence. McHugh and Flynn at midfield, and a Cillian or Tommy in the forwards to round it out.

    Kuba Callaghan looks in physical nick, and might be a bench option in the league. I might look to give him time in the outdoor challenges and spring him here with 15-20mins left. He didn’t look comfortable in a kind of left half forward role against London, and really should have exploited it better if he’s going to make it, but I’d like to see him in the fullforward line before making a decision.

    I’d maybe be thinking something similar with lads like Reid and Fahey.

    I’d keep Hennelly, although I’d like to remind everyone that Reape is alive and well, I’d rather not be chopping and changing goalies on an inexperienced team.

  82. Mayomagic did you ever make a mistake.I said that in the post after but you didnt quote that.

  83. I’d think I’d actually just make Robbie my number one now, because I think it might be better for Colm to be focused on claiming the jersey, and not be focused solely on making sure he doesn’t have an experience like last year – and to that end he needs gametime and I’d promise him four games up to and including New York (maybe 5 were we to make a league final.), Dublin, Tyrone, Monaghan and New York.

    He needs game time though, and it’s only a matter of time before he has another wobble, but until we see how he responds we can’t really be fully convinced.

    Robbie has cost us on big occasions in the past, but he has learned from those experiences, and his wobbles aren’t costing us as dearly on the scoreboard. He’s can still have one and they can cost us tight games, but they’re nails in our coffin and he’s no longer digging our grave.

    Robbie would have been worth 12 points to us last year against Dublin. It’s not just the kickouts it’s little things his experience catches. For example you would expect Robbie might have noticed how “off it” Padraig O’Hora was on the day, and brought it to managements attention quicker, and all that stuff stacks up on the day.

    It’s harsh on Reape because he had an incredibly impressive 2023, but it’s a brutal game as Kevin said. But sometimes there is logic behind the brutality.

  84. @Clare. I hope you still read the blog. Please come back. You are a wonderful MAYO supporter and I love reading your opinions as I do all the bloggers. I say the more bloggers the better.

  85. Seems like I’m firmly in the minority on wanting Reape to remain in goals.

    I thought he had a fine rookie year last season, excellent on restarts and ball carrying and as we seen in league final shot stopping is good too.
    Yes he had a meltdown against dubs in the 2nd half but hennelly has had many if those in his time.

    Great to have him there as an option but imo its a backwards step if we just hand him the no 1 jersey. In mayo there is a tendency for people to grow in stature and become lionised when they are away.

  86. @FrostTHammer there is an awful lot of presumptions in that post where you are bigging up hennelly over reape.

    You are presuming Reapes focus will be on his bed 2nd half against dublin and you think the remedy for this is to drop him?

    Then you claim hennelly would have been worth 12 points against dublin, where did you pluck this number from and whats the basis for it.

    Also the notion that hennelly as goalie would have made the call to management that o’hora was getting destroyed when the whole stadium could see it is fanciful nonsense.

    I enjoy your posts on here but respectfully that entire post is nonsensical

  87. Supermac – I like reape and would have no issue with him being our number 1 but he had a poor end to the season last year.

    It’s probably not entirely down to him though outright kickout strategy and midfield was non existent at that stage of the season.

  88. @Supermac

    I think it would be a good idea to ensure that his quarter final performance is not first and foremost on his mind, and I think that giving him a more immediate priority to focus on is a good way of doing that. It doesn’t have to be my way but I do think that it’s a good approach.

    I admittedly pulled the 12 point number out of my arse, and I still haven’t even checked what the scoreline was exactly, but I didn’t really want it to be the focus, and was just aiming for a high number. I’d love to have the time and energy to research everything in detail, but I don’t.

    And the third point was more to illustrate the possible things a more experienced player might be expected to pick up over an inexperienced one. The Padraig O’Hora example just seemed like the easiest one to use.

    I’d hope I was fair to both players. Have put the thought into I have over the day, I kind of feel Reape was probably our Player of the Year last year. Only the top players in the game come in and make the kind of first year impact he did.
    Cork game was four games away from the end last year, and there’s a really reasonable argument to say that you just need to rest Colm for 4 games, and not overthink it.

  89. @ Superman – thank you for the kind words, and thank you for questioning me when you believe I’m not reaching the standards you expect.

  90. Club Rossie announced today that in the past decade they have raised over 4 million.euro. Two ‘win a house’ draws in Dublin and London. They are now concentrating on the Centre of Excellence. .Super achievements from our neighbours.

  91. Jasus lads. The month of January is a depressing enough month, but this thread isn’t helping much either.

  92. I’d leave Reape at it, he’s the bonus of having nearly single handedly winning us an all Ireland title, albeit a league one with all his saves in the final.
    The more I think.of the London game the more I think we getting close to major rebuild mode (even if we still a top 5 team). Probably overly negative this early in the year 😀
    But the style of play being so reminiscent of last year’s a worry.
    Roll on few rounds of the league and hopefully will see changes in systems to bring back a bit of positivity, even if results don’t go out way once positive changes made I’d be happy enough.

  93. I have to agree with Clare in some respects, if D Clifford doesn’t get a large score, ie 7 or 8 points than Kerry are in trouble, I was at the All Ireland final and saw it for myself last year.

    Season hasn’t started yet, but the upcoming League is going to be competitive as it is every year, nearly impossible to try out too many young players at once, maybe a few games could be targeted with this in mind.

  94. @Gizmo

    “But the style of play being so reminiscent of last year’s a worry.”

    – it should not be worrying though. Management only had a few weeks to work with a lot of those and got them to execute a game plan to a reasonably good standard. Management even threw in a curveball and named Kuba at full back, and it really phase anyone.

    A couple of weeks work and you can prepare lads to that standard is a testament to management. Very few Mayo teams have been able to put in the run of form we did last year, and our best performance of the year was the one with the longest run in. We lost only a single game last year with longer than a week’s run in. That’s down from 3 in 2022. Go one better this year and we’d be unlikely to miss out on Sam.

  95. Would it not be true that all counties that win all Irelands have a stand out forward who accounts for the majority of the scores.Maurice Fitzgerald in 1997 .Peter canavan for Tyrone.Bernard brogan for Dublin and without Paul mannions five points in last year’s final then Dublin would have been in my opinion last year’s final was decided by a dreadful mistake by gavin white when Kerry were in control

  96. Few great knowledgeable posters here on the blog , don’t always agree with them but fully respect their opinion. Blog had changed slightly in the last year or so .
    Would be great to keep the healthy debate going but remember we all want Mayo to do as well as possible but we need to be realistic as well.

  97. Not working out for Andy Moran as a manager. Yes getting tune out of Leitrim is difficult but when you are losing to New York and 3rd string Galway it’s a clear struggle for him with a team that gained promotion to Div 3 before he arrived.

  98. I was offline for most of the day so only catching up with comments now. Just want to address points made about contributors dominating the discussion and the functionality of the comments section.

    The more voices that are heard, the healthier the debate is on the blog. The more particular contributors post comments at every turn, drowning out others in the process, then the more proper discussion is undermined. It’s up to everyone to ensure that they contribute to the discussion in a way that fosters good debate and so it’s good to know when to refrain from posting a comment, in particular if your voice is being heard more than others.

    There’s no mute/ignore button and I don’t like banning particular contributors, except in cases where their behaviour clearly merits it, so it’s up to everyone posting comments to moderate themselves. By and large this works okay but I’d agree that things haven’t been good on that front in recent months. I’m hopeful that the return of the football will help to get things back onto a more even keel.

    I’ve no plans at the minute to do anything on the functionality of the blog’s comments section. The main change coming down the tracks in that department will be the further integration of the blog and the podcast but any changes impacting the comments will be well flagged in advance.

  99. FrostThammer what I mean by that was more about management rather than the players, the players only had 4 or so weeks together as a group.
    But if the slow build up and lateral hand passing is the plan being coached to them, the same one that crucified us last year that’s the worry for me.

    Would not agree on Kuba being named at fullback as been a curve all for anyone. If Tommy was fit to play he likely would not play anyways with Sigerson on, Kuba was never going to play fullback and players would know that in advance.

  100. Was in the Dome this evening. Was a really enjoyable game, some terrific scoring. I actually thought Leitrim played exceptionally well and definitely deserved a draw. From a Galway point of view it was interesting to see the development side, managed by Donal o Flaherty and numerous others. Pj took a back seat for most until he started running the bench in the second half.
    Majority of those Galway lads will never get league or championship time so it was great for them to get to wear the county Jersey.
    One or two stand out performances but in reality the Galway squad were at home prepping for a challenge v Meath tomorrow.

  101. The knockout Sigerson game next week between NUIG and ATU Sligo could feature 5 or 6 Mayo lads:
    Conor Dunleavy Balla/NUIG
    Ryan Donoghue Bellmullet/NUIG
    Tommy Conroy the Neale/NUIG
    Jim Kelly Knockmore/ATU
    Darragh Syron Crossmolina/Sligo
    Jack Ferguson Swinford/Sligo
    Evan Iver’s Bellmullet/Sligo
    Dylan Thornton Ballina/Sligo
    Maybe others I can’t find link to panels to hand.

    Only Dunleavy, O’Donoghue, Kelly and Syron started the first round games I think. But hopefully more could feature next week. Game will be in Sligo for those in need of a fix next week.

    will be played in Sligo

  102. Mayo v Armagh challenge tomorrow I hear, Armagh have named just 22 players for their McKenna cup semi final the rest of the 40 plus man panel will play the challenge.

  103. Good points FrosT – I probably was thinking subconsciously of Roscommon!

    One other point, I don’t think the Dome suits our style of play. Didn’t think so last year either; fitness took us through.

  104. St colmans very unlucky missing 3 of there best players enda jennings vice captain, dara hurley mayo u20 and rio mortimer mayo minor captain, they proved very costly, colmans would of fancied a connacht title too.

  105. @Ontheroad13: Yeah.

    Don’t know Enda as well as the others but Dara and Rio would be making (and starring for) pretty much any school team in the country. Huge losses there. Have to imagine a lot of teams will be very relieved to see that Colemans team out. When Beirne/Hurley/Hurley click they’re a crazy handful for any side to manage.

  106. Yeah good display by Colmans considering the absentees. Do we know was this due to injury or other reasons?

  107. Looking at the margin of Sumerhills win over Ballinrobe – I presume they are favourites for Connaught title.
    Great work going on there in Sligo at underage by the looks of things.

  108. They’d make a big difference for Colman’s but not sure it would be enough to overturn Summerhill or Claregalway who appear to be getting very consistent at this A grade.

  109. @gizmo

    I assume it’s Armagh then.
    Would be surprised if Clare were happy to travel that far at this time of year.

  110. @Gizmobobs. That challenge game probably more informative than FBD in terms of likely starters for league match v Galway. Very interesting to see who that inspirational leader of our defence will be, Assuming we abandon last year’s daftness.
    Any feedback and opinions on game would be appreciated

  111. Colmans extremely unlucky with injuries. As with last year. No Niall Hurley last year in a game they lost in extra time and missing vice captain Enda Jennings, Rio and Dara Hurley in basically a quarter final is just cruel. In the end of their cycle it feels harsh on Niall Hurley for him to end his school days without a Connacht medal. One of the all time Colmans greats.
    Summerhill will fancy two in a row, Claregalway are strong also.

  112. Sean Burke due to loss to London looks like was a proverbial game of two halves/ game within a game to give lads time as no second game in FBD. Mayo won by 3 or 4 I think.

  113. Thanks gizmo .

    I see the Dubs destroyed wexford with a third string , 5-17 they put past them . Rossies leading against london .

  114. When Mayo make a 1st England journey across the Irish sea since 2016 to play London in the 1st round of 2026 Connacht football championship Covid-19 should be fully over.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *