Mayo Football Podcast episode: So where do we stand now?

Mayo’s win over Roscommon has moved them up the league table and eased any worries about a relegation battle. But where do things actually stand at this relatively early stage of the season?

Colm Keys and Billy Joe Padden join Rob to assess the lie of the land and try to figure out where Mayo sit in the grand scheme of things.

The lads also chat about some of the other contenders and shoot the breeze about a few current talking points.

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74 thoughts on “Mayo Football Podcast episode: So where do we stand now?

  1. Where we stand is top 8. Regardless I f upcoming games while Monaghan seem to have regressed, the and Ros are probably behind us. Galway maybe also due to their own injury list and losing Cooke as some as f those injuries look fairly bad.
    Derry have a marquee FF and 2 Marquee midfielders and some other very good players. Probably trained hard last week so I think they’re still top 3. Dublin now going well and probably 6 points up on every other Div 1 team which will narrow when students and teachers from other counties get more free time. Kerry are good with the Clifford’s but without a dominant midfield so beatable. Donegal and Armagh are at Div 1 level and going well, I’d say they’re as good as us but maybe not better.
    For us we need McBrien fit for the full championship and at least one more major threat in FF line other than ROD. The potential is there for us but it hasn’t materialised in the league. Lots of options in the middle 3rd especially half backs. Top 8 in a bunched field but possibly behind all 3 of f the AI favourites is my take. Kerry always have a chance with Clifford.

  2. Agreed shuffly deck.

    Based on what I have seen (with the health warning that it’s only league) out of the top teams it appears Dublin are the most improved this year, when you bear in mind they won an AI last year with Kilkenny, Con and Scully all having really poor years and all 3 playing like men possessed at the minute I really don’t see anyone beating them this year unfortunately.

    Then it’s kerry and derry.

    Then theres a gang of 5 that includes Mayo, Galway, Donegal, Armagh, Tyrone where any of those teams could beat the other on a given day. With a lucky draw any of the above could even find themselves in an AI final

    With Mayo my general sense is we tick a lot of boxes, our age profile and athleticism is good, strong running game with runners from deep,
    but ultimately its our lack of quality in attack that will have us falling short of the biggest prize. There is now far too much of a dependency on ROD to create his own scores and shoot the lights out.
    Twas always thus

  3. 1. Dublin
    2. Kerry
    3= Derry
    3= Mayo
    6. Galway
    7. Donegal
    8. Armagh

    Would be my predicted order.

  4. I wouldn’t see us much further on than last year to be honest. I am hoping we will be better at the back alright but if our backs keep going forward non stop we will be picked off or opened up in CP.
    I was hoping we’d have a new face come in and bang in a goal or two to give us hope and other teams something to think about but that hasn’t happened. Other teams are finding forwards or players in positions they are short in. Fergal has been great so that’s a positive.
    Realistically we are all thinking in terms of the group stages, provincials are nothing more than bragging rights for a few days really. Mid table in the league is about fair. Dublin, look good, kerry if the Clifford’s are let play are probably second, then after that a lot depends on injuries etc. 2 chances for somebody to stick their hand up in the FF line. Give Bob a go in there. He caught a lovely high ball for a score against Dublin… we know what the established lads can do so try a few things out..

  5. Id be a little more optimistic in the sense im not sure after Dublin the others are all that great , ok they have serious talent in some positions but for me kerry will struggle to dominate teams in the middle sector so theres always a sniff with them if a team took their chances . Ill wait and see how derry go , its hard to gauge how decent theyll be , a lot of eyes will be on them , they are the sexy side of 2024 . I fear if galway get their bucks back they wont be far away .

    If A few things went right for us we could be in the shake up but its hardly ever a team can max their lot and i think thats what we would have to do . Tommy conroy would have to start scoring for one , the way murtagh got in for them points last weekend scared me a little , looked like dejavu , ere we go again , way too open .

  6. predicted order, very hard with what seen this year, win a game, we brillant. Loss and worst in world. We beat Dublin, but overall I was disappointed with performance, and could have lost that game by 5 points. Lost to Kerry, but thought we gave them load of it, and you could debate a draw a fair result. Beat Galway, but in fairness Galway badly hampered with injurys. Beat Roscommon, but was generally happy with performace, very professional. Very worried about Tyrone match, highlighted our midfield problems, while I think we got good midfielders, we dont have the size of man to compete with Fentans, the Tyrone Midfields, think Derry have much better midfield.
    But trying to predicted were we stand, very difficult. for example making 8 changes vs Tyrone, very hard win that match. Playing Galway with all there injurys, very hard loss that match.
    We also have injuries, missing our Captain, huge loss, now missing Eoghan, a loss, James Carr, would be inside best 6 forwards, in county. So league football funny, teams late back training, players been nursed back form injury, older players getting less game time than championship. And teams not wanting to get to league final. Put that into mix, all impossible to predicted. Wont know how teams are going unitl round one of group stages, played. then easier job to predicted whos ahead of who

  7. @Daveslad: Nothing official out on it yet, Daveslad. You’d expect something relatively soon.

    Ulster about to kick off their 20s campaign at the weekend, Sligo already announced their panel (and a clever fundraising scheme similar to player sponsorships in the LOI in recent years – love to see that kind of thing) and historically (though a lot of changes this year on the dates/structure so that might go out the window) we’ve usually announced it ~1 week before the opening game so likely/hopefully within the next 7 days (given the opening game is a fortnight today).

    Can’t wait to see how the new management team get on with such an exciting crop of players. You’d expect a relatively young side (given so many of the current u19s were already playing 20s last year as u18s) so no huge expectations of winning it (always hope!) but with so much potential there it’s hard not to get excited just watching them play. Easily +9 or +10 among the group (vs the usual 4 or 5) you’d put your hat on playing senior in the (near) future.

  8. Mayo can challenge anyone if they throw the shackles off but this management are too cagey for my liking. Its like what we have we hold. And that’s what cost us the cork match. Instead of finishing the job we tryed to hold as we did so many times in 16 and 16 backdoor match s. That defensive clientel is not around now to play that’ way. A word on Dublin… Fenton kilkenny. Playing like they were 22. Our senior citizens are struggling a bit.

  9. It was obvious that McStay and company targeted the Roscommon game ,as already stated if he approached the Tyrone game with the same energy we’d surely have won ,where do we stand now ,? That’s a six marker,I think we have plenty of talent going forward and if he gets the mix right then I think we can compete with the best ,The championship is fast approaching so hopefully in the next few weeks the panel will be decided on ,and hope for the best,and go a few steps closer to compete in the Final,,Hon Mayo,

  10. At this stage and its early I think Dublin are well out in front with lads like McCaffrey and McCarthy to come back into the team.
    After that perennial favourites Kerry would be second but have question marks over their midfield and if you can limit Clifford or if he has a bad day they are not going to win it out.

    Derry are probably third but lets see where they are after a hard Ulster championship.

    As for the rest Tyrone, Mayo, Galway would appear most likely challengers with Donegal, Armagh and Roscommon after that in the pecking order. The rest are well off the pace. Its dependant on getting your best 15 on the pitch when it matters which is no easy task with injuries and the short season.

  11. That is strange I’ve just posted my post and now read what Keith Higgins said. Exactly the same pretty much. Genuinely never saw his article until just now.

  12. The mighty cork beat us last year. We were 6 points up going into last 10 minutes and lost by 3.
    We are no further on, in fact worse.
    There are about 8 teams that would likely beat us in a real championship game. We have NO class forwards. ROD is consistent with 4 to 6 points. And that’s it. I would bet we will not get a goal from play in the championship unless a fluke.
    I’m afraid it’s sideways and backwards for foreseeable future.

  13. Dublin definetly way ahead of the rest of us atm.

    Can Derry keep the pace up till summer? I don’t know but they did rest players v Dublin so maybe they can.. Will they name a strong team v us in castlebar? I’ve a feeling they will.

    We will make the quarters again this year I think.. But I’ve a feeling we will make a semi for the first time in nearly 3 years which would be a huge achievement for us mcstay is under a bit of pressure after flopping in championship last year.

    I actually feel we are going much better then we were last year not blitzing every team out of the water in March is a good thing yet we are still 3rd and most likely safe in division 1.

    Mcstay will have learnt a lot from last year.

    Be very interesting to see how we go about the Derry game..!

  14. I would have Galway ahead of Mayo.
    Have unearthed some good talent in the league.
    Without injuries they will be a force to reckon with.
    They were forced to try new lads.

  15. @JR Galway ahead of mayo hmm.. I just don’t see that they haven’t been great during the league even with some of their guys back I can’t see them going further then us and are maybe even in a relegation battle at the end of league but who knows but I wouldnt rate them higher then us.

  16. Don’t think Carr is top 6 in the country, ROD maybe. Good company there with David Clifford, Con OC, O Neill from
    Armagh and McGuigan. An argument for Paudie Clifford too. Maybe a 100% fit and confident Carr has something of an x Factor but we haven’t seen that often.
    I think Dublin are a bit overrated by some here. Yes they’re six points better than everyone now but they don’t travel to train and come summer all other teams have students and teachers in their panels with a lot more free time for travel to training etc. Kilkenny didn’t do much damage vs us the other week and is only coming good. A man marker like Paddy in the past who charges forward when on the front foot would make a difference there. Scully is a worker but doesn’t kill teams with scoring whereas P Clifford in comparison has both attributes.
    Boland has made a difference for us this year and is chipping in with nice scores.

  17. We’re exactly where I wanted to be. I don’t like losing any game, and that includes Derry and Monaghan.

    I just wonder if some managers are taking it as seriously as others. Some of the results are bizarre. Monaghan could take four points over the last two games; Galway and Ros, potentially none. In that scenario Kerry would be heading to Croker, and more likely Dublin, if they are interested

  18. Joyce and this Galway team had their chance in ‘22, they failed. Aside from Kelly and McDaid their go to men are all over 30 and seiriously injury prone. Conroy must be 35 at this stage and Croker has shown him up last few years. The law of averages says they are due to beat us soon, and that will probably be CF in Salthill if we get there. In terms of winning Sam, they are about where we are. Possibly ranked 4th or 5th on both our day.

    No one outside of top 3 is winning it this year. A semi final is a must for this management team. The constant metaphors and “learnings” will only last so long for McStay. Pressure is rightly on him. Last year was a complete meltdown from the 60th minute of the Cork game on. Slowest back on the squad left marking 1 on 1 against the Dubs…Chronic stuff. Threw Aidan under the bus imo last year aswell. Hauling him off very early infront of an elated Hill 16. Aidan wasn’t the problem, the problem was a naieve and nearly non existent defensive plan.

  19. We are safe in the league which wasn’t a priority for me but beating Roscommon was a must win .
    I do think he will make lots of changes V Derry and not chance any lads with niggles and give fringe players another look .
    @Margie , I agree totally we are not in the top 3 teams . It’s pretty obvious by most of your comments that you are not a fan of K Mcstay which is grand but I think they did learn from last year .
    Most obvious thing is league was Not a priority.
    He is trying to strengthen the panel.
    Unfortunately, as the club championship showed , there wasn’t many new players who looked county standard. Fergal the only big addition to the panel .
    Think we need to be realistic in the squad we have therefore realistic in what management can do and where we are in the pecking order at the moment.
    I’d have us no5

  20. Some nice posts here.
    Here’s my viewpoints.
    1. I’m quite confident we’ve improved since last year in that I think the current team and firm would not suffer those poor performances against Louth and Cork. Just think our defence and overall performance stays strongly top 8.
    2. Think the length and competitiveness of our championship run will come down to the strength of the provide and protect from the likes of Diarmuid, Jack Carney, Jordan Flynn and Stephen Coen. I’m not saying for winning Sam, but those big lads around the middle being on form is how we’d win a winnable quarter final.

  21. On new players, The ‘new improved’ Fergal Boland is the obvious one; Diarmuid Duffy has got a lot of game time in games where management were going with established players; and what about Conor Reid? He was very impressive against Galway, and then got injured. He seemed exactly the type of player we were looking for: big, strong, able to win and hold ball. Anyone got an update on his situation?

  22. @My Ball, im absolutely not a fan of him as a manager. But I do completely agree with you that he has learned from last years league. I’ve complemented him plenty of times this league in that we are not as fit as last year and there is more emphasis on blooding young players. It’s been a better league campaign than last year imo.

    But it really all boils down to championship for me. Hand on heart I think Galway will win Connacht, but for us it is vital to beat Roscommon and go in as at least 2nd seeds to the groups. Only time will tell if he has learned from the Cork and Dublin meltdowns.

  23. One major problem for Galway is that it’s rare a team breaks back into form after an early season full of injuries. That team issue tends to consume the form of the championship also.
    Would ye bring in more u20 bolters after the u20 championship as an investment in next year?

  24. Margie – there’s no value in being 2nd seeds for the groups. You could end up with Dublin/Kerry and a very strong 3rd seed then.

    Beating Roscommon will be nice for local bragging rights but as last year proved, it means nothing really. The long break benefited us last year and then we caught Kerry.

  25. How long is a piece of string and all those cliches etc etc. Nobody knows where anyone is at in my mind. Good smattering of shadow boxing and psychology thrown into the mix too. Including McStay, several managers are plotting their respective provincial campaigns, and not much to be gleaned from what we’ve seen thus far, except, perhaps, that McStay now knows premature rushes of blood to the head chasing league titles are fatal. Farrell has stated he’s throwing out the young guns to try their luck in next two games so the Dubs probably don’t see league glory as a priority. Harte might chase the league title but I’m not sure he’s fussed either and Jack O’Connor probably will go for it in an attempt to appease the baying Kerry fans. There’s plenty of time to rip up the script for McStay so no need for over analysis.

  26. Barring any major shocks (like New York making a Connacht Final) the seedings look a little more predictable this year than last in terms of who should make the group stages. Lots of room for teams to bounce between 1st and 3rd seeds (in Ulster & Connacht especially) but the actual 14 shouldn’t have too many shocks.

    1st seeds likely Kerry, Derry, Dublin and 1 of Mayo/Roscommon/Galway.

    2nd seeds will likely be Armagh (or Down/Antrim/Fermanagh), Louth (or Kildare/Westmeath/Kildare/Wicklow/Carlow/Wexford), Clare (or Tipp/Waterford) and 1 of Mayo/Roscommon/Galway.

    Leaving 3rd seeds likely as Tyrone, Monaghan, Donegal and then the remaining 1 from Mayo/Roscommon/Galway.

    With 4th seeds as Meath (Tailteann) and 3 from Cavan, Westmeath, Cork, Fermanagh and Down. (for a fuller breakdown of who’s pushing for spots and the likelyhood of them potentially getting one)

    Interesting to see we’re basically already at 11/14 of the Sam participants known (11.5 really as you’d be shocked if Clare don’t make it past Tipp & Waterford too) with 2 rounds to go. It’s going to be a ferocious fight between Cavan, Cork, Louth, Westmeath, Down, Fermanagh (and Kildare?) for those last few spots.

  27. If kerry and dublin win all there championship games along the way, is it pre determined that they will meet in the final or could they face each other in a semi final ? Asking for a friend

  28. @Paddyjoejohntom: Yeah, they could meet in a semi-final alright.

    No predetermined pairings like we used to have in the past, so all open draw stuff (with different rules on the avoidance of repeat group/provincial pairings at various stages that might make specific pairings more/less likely depending on who else is getting through each round).

    They could easily meet in a final, a semi-final (either of these possible with them both winning every Championship game up until that point), in a QF if one slips from topping their group or even in a pQF if both failed to top their groups and finished in 2nd/3rd places.

  29. MrTed – seedings don’t matter. There’s a draw between the 4 QF winners, but repeat matches are avoided where possible.

  30. @MrTed: At that point the most likely (assuming we’ve also topped our Group Stage) would be an equal chance between the other 3 Provincial Champions.

    Each 1st Seed/Provincial Winner are kept away from each other in the group stage, each Group Stage 1st placed team kept away from each other in the QFs (and avoiding the pQFs entirely) so you’d be backing the Provincial Champions on all getting to a Semi Final. In theory.

    The reality is teams like Mayo/Galway/Roscommon (whichever 2 end up 2nd and 3rd seeds), Tyrone, Donegal, Armagh, Monaghan or Cavan will throw some serious curveballs and mix things up from the expected for at least 1 or 2 favourites of the favourites… but for now it’s hard to look beyond the 4 Provincial Winners making the Semi-Finals on paper at least and an equal chance of any of those playing each other and they’d have avoided each other up until that point in time.

  31. Thanks. The top 4 teams (which Mayo are in); motivated and with the right management should reach a semi final, assuming no major curve ball.

  32. Some good info there TsuDhoTim,
    Yeah in terms of AI series the optimum route really is to top your group, Derry/Kerry/Armagh eased into semis last year after a valuable weeks rest and Armagh should have done so also if they hadn’t shit the bed.

    Weirdly due to the ridiculous provincial structures where you had sligo as 2nd seed last year and likely Clare/Louth as 2nd seeds this year, there doesn’t seem to be any appreciable difference between being seeded 2nd or 3rd.

    No point in trying to be cute or play silly beggars, the safest and most direct route is to win connacht and top your group

  33. 1-3 Seeds all have their pros and cons.

    1 Seed;
    Pro – avoid Dublin Kerry and Ulster Champs
    Con – starts with a home game against the toughest opposition who has had at more rest.

    2 Seed;
    Pro – first game is home against a D2 team.
    Con – rest of the games. Away to 3 Seed and neutral with provincial winner

    3 Seed;
    Pro – avoid the other Seed 3s. Start with a rest.
    Con – 1st seed away

    Last year’s groups were interesting.
    • All four of the 3 seeds finished 3rd in their groups. And all bar one of them went on to the quarter final.
    • Only one of the Provincial Champions won their opening game, Galway, and they ended up as the only Provincial winners to not top the group.
    • The bottom team in each group was either a third or fourth Seed but what mattered was their league ranking and in three of the groups it was the worst ranked team who was knocked. The exception being our group where Cork and Louth were separated by a single place.

    1st seed is preferable but I don’t believe by as much as last year suggests.
    2nd is dodgy mainly because you can’t draw any of the other twos.
    3rd Seed the rest period is a massive advantage. I expect 3rd to perform better than they did last year. Three of the four cocked up their final games last year.

  34. Blond64 – the straightest road is probably losing to New York.

    It’s such a stupid format. The worst scenario for us IMO is beat New York and Roscommon, then lose the Connacht final.

  35. Hard to see anyone stop the Dubs.. Mayo are behind kerry, Derry possibly Donegal and maybe Galway or Tyrone.. 2 or 3 more yrs will develop the younger lads until they are contenders again.. But a quarter final is probably a realistic target for this year. If Rod has an off day Mayo are finished as regards scores.. Himself and Boland are our 2 best forwards by far.. Boland is making the management team look awful silly after dropping him last year.

  36. @Great ball mayo behind donegal we are def not behind donegal . Tyrone? Tyrone are a rebuilding side we only lost to them by 4 points and that was with 8 changes including a goalie we would have beaten them if we named the side v rossies.

    I do agree with you regards boland he’s really proven himself in nearly every game so far he’s definetly stood up.

    I don’t think we will win Sam this year but we are def in a much better place then last year and I think we may just get further then quarter finals a semi final has to be the goal for mcstay & Co tbh and if he did get to a semi would take pressure off him I feel if we don’t get to at least a semi the pressure will be massive on him.

    Good to have the break this weekend the guys need it and will be well up for derry weather or not we name an strong team or a weaker one is the thing..

  37. Clare, Tyrone destroyed us for 15 mins after half time when they brought intensity to their play.. Lucky to only lose by 4 in the end..rebuilding or not they would beat us in the championship I’d imagine.. Donegal will be very hard beat under Jim.. He’ll have a plan for sure. So in my opinion we are behind those teams. We have absolutely no killer forwards like a Canavan or a Con not to mention Clifford. So we are well off Clare. If we face a big team it’s over. Midfield a huge problem too.

  38. We would have beaten them too in 2021 but? Ifs buts and maybes don’t win All Irelands

  39. You don’t think we will win Sam this year!? I love your optimism Clare, but Mayo won’t win Sam for a very long time from the evidence there

  40. We are still In a transition/rebuilding phase, after the loss of so many stalwarts in recent years. We have a lot of young/youngish players who are still developing and will improve year on year and hopefully we will get significant and vital additions, especially in our weaker areas, from our underage teams, over the next few years. We are lacking in a top drawer marquee high scoring full forward and physical ball winners at midfield and, if we can find these, we can compete at the very top again. I don’t see us as realistic contenders this year. A semi-final would represent progress and to be really competitive in that, a real bonus.

  41. It doesn’t go matter what seed we are, we always find a way to my make it difficult for ourselves.
    Very tempting to take a tactical loss in the first round particularly in the Ulster championship.

  42. U20 championship opener Roscommon v Mayo confirmed for Wednesday March 20th in Hyde Park with a 5:30pm throw in.

  43. Just listened to Michael Moyles on the podcast. Disgraceful that the Mayo ladies were treated like this in Cork last weekend. Even more delighted now that we beat them. Next time we meet them in a home game we should arrange it for Shrule and move it Blacksod at the last minute. How are we supposed to encourage our young girls to play for the county if they’re not shown some respect.

  44. Dublin are certainly the top team at present.

    Kerry & Derry are in that group chasing them, but a good bit off I’d say. Would like to see Derry with a full team against the Dubs to see how they would fare.

    I would feel there is then a gap to the next group of teams & ourselves, Galway & the likes of Tyrone, Armagh & possibly Donegal are in that group. We could maybe shock a Kerry or a Derry in a once off game, but not the Dubs the way they are trending.

    An All Ireland semi should be the target. Anything else is a bonus imo

  45. Do ye think Dublin would stroll to an AI semi if they couldn’t play in Croke Park until then? Not sour grapes or having a cut, just wondering…
    It must be the only sport in the world this happens in.
    Look at how they played against kerry the last day. They just love Cp. If they had to travel north, south or west for a Qtr final every Yr….I wonder…

  46. Euro’s in the summer Germany will have home advantage all the way.

    Scottish Cup, the second oldest soccer tournament in the world, has it’s semi finals and finals at Hampden Park, home venue of Queens Park.

    So no Gaelic Football is far from the only sport where this happens.

  47. Frost T – the Euros will not be in Germany every time they are held. Germany have the advantage this time, France could have it the next time. Dublin by contrast have the advantage every year. With the crowds that attend all Ireland quarter finals – there is no reason these games cannot be held in good provincial venues. For example a Kerry v Donegal or Galway v Donegal quarterfinal in McHale Park.

  48. Jesus what a silly comparison .Queen’s Park in the Scottish cup which isn’t the main Scottish competition and germany in the euros where every host nation has home advantage.There is no comparison to Dublins huge advantage

  49. There is a good reason though and that is so teams can plan ahead in advance.

    Do you guys not remember all the crap from last year wrt organising the Neutral group games?

    When other counties can provide the same level of facilities as Dublin and Croke Park then we’ll talk.

    But how exactly you guys intend to organise neutral quarter final venues around the country less than a week after the participants are decided is beyond.

    And if we look at other sports that is the one that is GAA only. No other sport in the world excepts a winning team to show up 6 days later at a venue that hasn’t been determined yet.

  50. Long before there were qualifiers or the current system Dublin have had that advantage.They even identify as atha cloath for alphabetical reasons to ensure they have the same dressing room for every game .logistics are not the reason for their huge advantage.Unfortunately Donegals wording of a motion a few years ago wasn’t thought out properly in their attempt to stop them using croker as a home and neutral venue .if the current Liverpool team played every game at anfield then they would almost certainly win the league

  51. Also to point out that the semi final in 2014 was at 6 days notice switched to the Gaelic grounds in limerick of which the management had no knowledge of any such arrangement being in place

  52. Moose79 says:
    March 8, 2024 at 11:05 am
    Do ye think Dublin would stroll to an AI semi if they couldn’t play in Croke Park until then?


    The main reason why Dublin strolled that match was because it was Mayo’s 3rd match in consecutive weekends and Dublin was rested. Lesson learnt, best to top your group if the plans are to reach All Ireland semi final.

  53. @Southmayo Exile: “there is no reason these games cannot be held in good provincial venues”.

    There’s one fairly significant one that has to be considered. €€€€€.

    Croker generate a large amount of their income from sponsors, advertisers, VIP Boxes, Premium Seats & Season Tickets rather than just individual tickets for individual games. Throw in the additional revenue off the back of those like meals/drinks/souvenirs/gear stores (they’re doing a stronger job than ever, whether you consider that a positive or a negative thing, upselling each level to higher tier/more expensive offers in the last 2 or 3 years). Remove a number of league games or especially QFs from the current offerings and there would be a (potentially significant) drop in total GAA earnings, not nearly compensated for in the ticket sales at alternative venues around the country (even when attended by comparable crowds).

    I’m not suggesting it’s right, in a perfect world money shouldn’t be the deciding factor in stuff like this and sharing revenue with alternative venues has all sorts of positives for those grounds/counties, but being pragmatic and realistic we all know it is the major factor & will continue to be a major consideration going forward. I wouldn’t expect to see any changes there in the near or distant future.

    (I personally love the speed of games in Croker, especially from a selfish POV for ourselves. It’s not the biggest pitch in the country, both Hyde Park or Pearse Stadium are wider and larger overall playing surface, but it plays so much faster it ends up a far more exhausting challenge. Why teams so often get opened up there where they wouldn’t as badly elsewhere.)

  54. Cormac Reilly an absolute gent craggy. Wont have him called a joke by the likes of you

  55. Let’s forget about league finals, and not risk any more injuries before championship, we’ll do well to have all three of Paddy, Diarmuid, and Eoghan back for championship, if todays Mayo News article is to be believed. Let’s ring the changes for Derry next week.

  56. I thought this was meant to be a down weekend! I step away from the blog for a few minutes and a veritable cat fight ensues.

    Great Ball/Craggy Boglands – cop yourselves on, the pair of you. You’ve both embarrassed yourselves enough with those juvenile insults you’ve hurled at each other, which I’ve deleted. Leave it be now, if you want to continue contributing here.

  57. Apologies WJ. Was trying to stick up for the refs a bit.. It’s a tough gig at the best of times.. Apologies to Craggy for having a go too.

  58. Cormac Reilly may be a gent, I haven’t a clue, never met the man.
    But his reffing display in Limerick was nothing short of scandalous and I won’t have the likes of you try to whitewash that @Great Ball ?

  59. No worries, Great Ball, apology accepted.

    I think we can all safely leave Cormac Reilly and his reffing in 2014 in the past at this stage!

  60. Yes. I have to agree , with the performance of Cormac Reilly that day. It still haunts me to this day. FrostTHammer, Parnell Park is Dublins home ground. People are thinking that Coke Park is owned by Dublin and not the GAA, they are playing in it that often. Even playing all their league games there now. It is time now that the GAA copped themselves on and stop bringing teams long journeys particularly on Saturday evenings to play the Dubs. The GAA seem to fully determined on getting as much revenue collected as they can , rather than focusing on the games. Also the other provincial venues should be used for the Quarter Finals. Give some of the Provincial towns a chance to profit by the crowds.
    In most of these towns you won’t have over official
    Clampers getting easy targets , to up their revenue collection.

  61. Not sure if we are still supposed to be discussing this subject but that day in limerick we got into conversation with a former Tipperary all star who was astonished at Reilly’s performance and pointed out alot of things that we hadn’t even noticed including restarting the game after a foul with a hand pass

  62. If your not sure 1985 just look at previous posts… That convo is finished.. For jaysus sake

  63. Mayoforever- I am wondering that too.usually club championship draw would be around the end of February.teams don’t even know who there playing first game in league!

  64. Great ball it was mentioned in the post just previous to mine and I didn’t get into an argument about it .anyway we will leave it there

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