Mayo Football Podcast episode: Thoughts now turn to Dublin

In the wake of Mayo’s win over Roscommon, the focus has shifted to a date with the All-Ireland champions. 

The venue has been decided, the tickets are on sale and the conversations about injuries, match-ups and the spread have already started. 

So John, Mike and Rob gathered for a chat about the mood on the ground, the likely talking points, and to tell non-members what they have been missing over on Patreon for €5 a month or just €1 a week with an annual subscription.

The lads also have two tickets for the game to give away, courtesy of EBS The Mortgage Masters. All you need to do to enter the draw is follow and like the podcast over on our Facebook page (here).

This free show is now available to listen to on all podcast platforms. It’s on Patreon for our club members and non-members can also access it on all podcast platforms, including iTunes, Spotify, Podomatic and SoundCloud. You can listen to it on SoundCloud using the player below.

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EBS are looking to hear from Mayo supporters who are living at home or abroad who might be looking for some mortgage advice.

They have an office in Castlebar where you can arrange an appointment to call in for a chat, or you can find them online by searching for ‘EBS Castlebar’ or by clicking here.

75 thoughts on “Mayo Football Podcast episode: Thoughts now turn to Dublin

  1. Interesting that the discussion was about what Stephen Rochford might come up with for this game.no mention of what the manager Kevin mcstay might come up with

  2. 1985

    I think it says it all really doesn’t it. When I think back to when McStay managed Brigits, it was more fluent football he played. Similar at times with Roscommon. Unfortunately I think there is a lot of backseat driving going on in the management. It’s a shame in a way considering how desperate McStay was to get it, especially as it was his second time going for the job.

  3. Going of topic a bit here.On the Cillian o Connor topic from earlier. It’s amazing how little credit he gets from mayo people. What he has achieved while still not finished is phenomenal. He’s the all time top scorer in the history of the championship over 100 pts now more than gooch scored with still i think 9 games less played than the gooch as of now and 20 games less when he broke the record yeah he took alot of frees but every county has freetakers, he holds the record for the highest scorer in a game breaking his own record also i think he is the highest average scorer in all ireland finals and all this after missing the most of 2 years through injury. If this was another sport in another country they’d have a statue made of him. I know there are times he doesn’t shoot the lights out and if there was a one off game tomorrow to win the all ireland and i could choose any corner forward in the country there would be a good few ahead of him but as i stated earlier what he has achieved in a county often riduculed about the lack of forwards is phenomenal. End of the rant.

  4. Also a reminder on cillians age , stephen cluxton is ten yrs older than cillian , when Andy won poty in 2017 he was two yrs older than cillian is now .So cillian was 22 yrs old when cluxton was his age now . Just a bit of perspective on age .

  5. Cillian is still able for inter-county, he just needs match fitness and confidence, both will be got from a run of games in the team and also not picking up any kind of injury which he has been and then not bale to get any consistency.
    I would start Cillian and O Shea, as I think both are clever footballers so suits first half of games where its tighter and harder to find space, plus as they are aging players its tougher coming into a game and getting the ‘second wind’.
    I would agree about Tommy Conroy needing to be out the field but also if he is in the half forward line he will be chasing back a lot, maybe more of a corner forward that drifts in and out from the full forward line, as he would also have a corner back on him then and they would be less reluctant to attack then a half back would be.
    I was also thinking, Murchan is one of the best man markers in the country, so if Mayo go with either Ryan or Tommy starting then Murchan will pick up which ever starts, so if both start then obviously Murchan can only mark one of them.
    I think both teams are stronger in forwards than in the defence. Ruane will have a good test in trying to keep tabs on Fenton.

  6. @NoDoubt.
    100%,it’s genuinely shocking how little credit Cillian gets from outside and inside the county.

    His whole career has be blighted by injury (he’s missed about a third of it) nevermind the times he played with injuries.

    Yet look at what he’s achieved, the greatest tally in the history of the game.
    He has another year or two after this left in him aswell.

    If we can pull off a result against Dublin you can be sure Cillian will be central to it.

  7. Willie Joe, How are things, Is it possible I can send you a private mesaage ?, and if OK, what’s the best way of doing it . Thank you.

  8. Cillian is and always has been a class act of a footballer. While I always want to see the best players play against us for love of the sport, I had a lot of heart stopping moments when he played against us. One of the modern greats.

  9. Shane Walsh aged 31 , 7 championship goals scored . forward …job description …score

    Cillian O Connor aged 32, 32 championship goals scored .forward …job description …score

    Whilst Shane walsh is an exceptionally talented footballer and had an amazing 22 final performance . but ill argue Cillians career has been better to date . And he has been a vital cog to the Mayo team on a way more consistent basis than shane walsh has to Galway . Cillian is one of the most football intelligent players i have ever seen play the game.

  10. On another note, Mr McStay looks very healthy and well in the picture. Some don’t think he’s the real gaffer but I think he is. Behind the scenes Rochford might do his fair share of schooling, but McStay’s the boss alright.

  11. Mark ,you are correct,of course Kevin is the manager,with able assistance from his back room team,Stephen Rochford is a very clever coach who always said that he preferred coaching,I believe that the same people who were complaining that James Horan never listened to his back room team are the people now complaining that Kevin listens too much,you just can’t please some people

  12. Corrick, that’s true for sure but as the Tipp hurling man, Babs Keating said: managers know a pat on the back is only 6 inches away from a kick up the arse… hope I’m right about Tipp (long time ago).

  13. I would love to hear Colm Boyles opinion on the difference between James Horan and Stephen Rochford as managers and their specific strenghts and weaknesses. I dont think I ever heard that question asked from anyone in his generation. The other question I would love to asked from Colm is why AOS can never be supplied with proper long / high ball to his advantage. I have heard Colm say he thinks it should be tried but in his time playing for Mayo it rarely seemed to done either. There must be a reason for this but I would love to get Colm opinions on these questions.

  14. We all know Kevin mcstay is the mayo senior manager and Stephen rochfords title is the mayo assistant manager as Kevin himself stated.It’s strange why people feel the need to constantly clarify this

  15. Unfortunately for Cillian he probably won’t get the credit he deserves unless/until he bags himself a Celtic Cross. That’s the only currency that counts,sadly.
    But he potentially has 3 good years left in him to climb them steps….I believe he will.

  16. I hope your right 2 hops. Aside from Cillians game play intelligence, for me, what sets him apart from everyone else is his nerves of steel. Nothing ever seems to phase him

  17. Yes it’s hard to understand why Cillian doesn’t get the recognition he deserves. Maybe it is as 2 hops says the fact that he never dragged us over the line to win AL. He missed l verybate frees in 16& 17 in that regard. But I often wonder in 2020 when he should have got player of the year if the forward mark was not in place would he have turned on those two occasions he took his mark points and crested a goal chance that might have turned that final.
    Also in 2021 final if he wasn’t injured woukd he have scored the penalty and changed final quarter of that game. Foolish thoughts to be ruminating over probably…

  18. Apologies for typo in middle of that post but hopefully people can still understand it…

  19. @toe to hand. Agree on the nerves of steel and one game that stands out for me is the 2015 drawn game v dublin tho he didn’t score from play he finished with 1-9… 10 shots at the post and 10 scores between frees a 45 and a penalty under severe pressure where mayo hit 1-4 without reply and the post denied them another goal during the comeback.

  20. So this is it, we will find out where we are at against the Dubs, we got venue of our choice so no excuses.
    I feel we have more to offer than what we’ve seen so far, got glimpse of it against Rosscommon, feel we can win this one, not sure after that.

  21. Cillians 6.2 points average per game says it all, really. He has been consistently scoring in Championship for more than ten years at this stage. Nobody comes close in my humble opinion. One of the all time greats.

  22. Yes No doubt, when you compare that level of clinical finishing to the earlier years of 1989 and the games against meath, we missed some awful easy critical scores back then which can be debilitating to a team. Cillian can miss them too of course but when he starts finding the target and backs himself there’s rarely anyone better to take a score. Hopefully we see some of that old form against Dublin. It would be a nice tonic to lift the doom and gloom that has been in the air since the Tyrone final

  23. Cillian is a class act. Another amazing servant for Mayo is Aido, he has carried us across the line I’m so many games and is unmarkeable at his best. Still doing it, bounced off 4 Roscommon players last time to set up a wonderful score. They are worth the entry fee to see 2 legends on Mayo football still delivering every game.

  24. I’ve been thinking about why the GAA decided to hold this game in Roscommon. Very unlike them to do us any favours. Could it be that they are trying to get the Mayo cash cow supporters back on board. They have to be missing the huge amount of money generated Mayo over the last decade.

  25. @Nephun that is actually a really good pint I was quite surprised the gaa did this.. But it’s such a bonus to us we obviously don’t fear Croker but dubs are to comfortable in Croker tbh!

    As I said earlier seriously believe this will be the shock of the season where we beat the dubs by a pint or 2 probably get laughed at but don’t care honestly Durcan will be saying to the guys so I’m going to shout as loud as I can and in the Hyde to hope we bring as much noise colour and the green and red as much as possible..

    My Dublin mates are driving me nuts over it atm but all banter most true Dublin gaa fans really respect mayo to be fair!

  26. Is there any chance that Carr would be on the subs for the Dublin match? He had an ankle injury but how long was that meant to keep him out?

  27. @plunkett ankle surgery is a min 2 months I had it before. But thought was his knee?

    Sadly though don’t think carr will play a massive role this year and he’s a hell of a player can be magic when you least expect it.

  28. @plunkett apolagise thought you said surgery there!

    Not sure how long that would be would be a big boost to have him on bench.

    Sorry for double post.

  29. Yeah, it was the knee (meniscal injury – so basically the shock absorber in the knee).

    https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/gaa/arid-41390497.html

    Surgery a month ago (7th May) and was mentioned at the time ‘out for a couple of weeks’ so you’d hope he might appear anytime in the coming couple of weeks, depending on how the rehab is going.

    Fingers crossed for him. Causes some real headaches for defences with his pace, power, directness, shooting off both feet and ability to fight for it in the air.

  30. Totally agree with all the praise for Cillian-a great servant of Mayo football and deserves all the credit he gets. He is intelligent, calm and clever, but I would to add one other attribute that often gets overlooked-he is physically very strong, which enables him to hold off challenges, retain possession etc. I would dearly love to see himself and Aido get Celtic Crosses to round off their football careers. They owe us nothing.

  31. Carr had surgery to repair damaged knee cartliage. It didn’t sound serious based on the official line from Mayo GAA on 8th May which was:

    ‘He will commence rehab shortly and we look forward to his return in the coming weeks.’

    The manager has said this week there will be no regular injury updates on players. In all fairness we probably don’t want others knowing our business at this stage. The rumour mill is often rife but not always right.

    I don’t know where Carr is at but he would be a welcome addition. Here’s hoping.

  32. Knee alright plunkett, possibly opposite one to before. Lad has no luck.

    Think The Hyde selection was a practical one, as opposed to financial one. it had been mooted from earlier in year that Croke Park would not be used for the neutral round games. So had be somewhere and why not county of man who involved in the CCC, who have just refurbished there stadium and pitch to a high standard. And has good connections for train etc.

  33. Of course you’re right Gizmo. But the decisions by CP don’t always make sense. First time in while I’m happy to see a Rossie win.

  34. Dublin is doing good this year but mayo is the fan favourite the fans are saying that I’m happy for mayo and Kevin mcstay they should be on top of the group leaderboard in group 2 cause mayo beat roscommon and cavan. Mayo might do this this year fingers crossed

  35. New blood is what kept Dubs challenging and dominating in the quest for Sam. This is really the first year in more than a decade they’ve relied heavily on old ( in gaa terms) footballers.
    As so many Dubs have said to me over the years, we know it’s going to end with a right beating soon…. this could be the year.

  36. A poster mentioned Cillian’s nerves of steel and a post a few days ago asked for players to show their character.
    I agree that Cillian has nerves of steel. It strikes me that Chris Barrett, Lee Keegan, Keith Higgins and Colm Boyle had that steely mental disposition too (and others on that team).
    Maybe this is the game where our lads will step up, will come into their own, will announce themselves for who they are, will show their individual characters. I believe those fellas are there. Let’s see them.

  37. Dublin will have a fear of Mayo Full forward line, and will need to keep an extra player or two back to deal with that threat so they wont have as many players running up the field. Mayo must keep a presence around the Dublin square at all times. A game that can be won with right team selection and right decisions on line during game.

  38. Dublin only beat Louth by 4 points in Croke Park and 65 minutes played in Croker it was 0-17 to 0-13 against the rossies who missed a mark and 45 in a minute before Dublin got their first goal of the game to end that contest.

    It’s a Dublin defence without D Byrne, L Gannon and J McCarthy. With the match in the familiar surroundings of the Hyde this is a real live chance for Mayo to win and top the group and lets not forget have already beaten Dublin once already this year.

  39. Hyde Park is the ideal venue from a logistical perspective. Next door to Mayo and a decent rail and road trip from Dublin. While it may be an advantage that Mayo play there relatively frequently that will not bother the Dubs in the least. While they don’t play outside of Croke Park too often they still have an amazing record on the road in championship. When you remove the venue from the chat and delve into the teams, that’s when things get a bit worrying. We can console ourselves by saying look what Roscommon and Louth did to them, Lost by a combined 17 or 18 points actually. But weren’t Roscommon in the game for 60 minutes. They were but games last about 75 plus minutes now and it’s the last 15 minutes that games will be won and lost. There are rumours about certain Dub injuries but I would argue that our loss of Paddy is a bigger blow to us than any individual player would be to Dublin. If we were to be missing DOC and McBrien through injury and Fergal through suspension then it would simply be a colossal loss of some of our better players. We don’t have anything like the panel the dubs have. Even when we were at our peak we couldn’t get over the line because their panel depth was always superior to ours. While it is a lovely fixture for us it is not a free shot. It is most likely going to be the first of 3 consecutive weekends for us. Get. bad beating and morale and momentum in trouble. Burst our arses and run them to a few points and exhaustion kicks in. Beat them and have a 2 week break would be the best and most unlikely option. In truth Dublin, like Kerry haven’t had to exert themselves yet. I expect they will get a bit more of a test from us but I would still suggest that they are likely to cover the minus 5 handicap. Times have changed since we could put it up to them in finals and semi finals. The fact that this is neither might be slightly to our advantage.

  40. @To win just once sorry have to dis agree.

    I seriously think Dublin are not like the 6 in a row team before and are definetly not unbeatable.

    Louth lost to them by 4 points in Croker rossies held them for nearly 60 minutes.

    Dubs are definetly well ahead of kerry and ourselves.

    But we have a great chance and I fully believe that we will come out on top over them next weekend if a narrow win I’d take a point win over them any day we did beat them in the league maybe luckily but still did it.

    Also we still have most of the team that knocked them out in 21 bar keagan, mullin and durcan obviously.

    Some may say I might be living in dream world but I just have this feeling we will pull off one of our shocks of the year next week.. Keep the faith!

  41. It’s mad to think that a Mayo/Dublin championship match will be played in a ground 1/4 the size of Croker and it’s nowhere near sold out after tickets have been on sale for days. Turns out the dubs aren’t so fond of travel after all though they’ve spent years telling us how much they love it. I’ve even heard some complaining (without even a hint of irony) that this is ‘practically a home game for Mayo’. I suppose when you’ve spent years being pandered to and handed everything on a plate the slightest bit of fairness would feel a bit like oppression.
    Saw a few comments on Cillian and Aidan including one that said that there’s ‘no substitute for youth’. I’d argue that there is something better than youth and that’s experience and the sort of cuteness that only comes with age both of which the two boys have in spades. It’s just a matter of finding the right balance of youth and cop on. Hopefully we’ll get another year or two out of Aidan and a few more out of Cillian. With the sort of strength and conditioning and the way intercounty players look after themselves now people clamouring to retire a lad the minute he hits 30 (or sometimes even younger) is nonsensical. There’ll definitely be a few tears shed in my house when those two call it a day so hopefully it’s a long way off yet.
    @pebblesmeller your post about our feelings towards the rossies was spot on. As a fellow east Mayo native, it really resonated with me and you hit the nail on the head. They seem to think about us morning, noon and night but, with the exception of us poor unfortunates near the border, no-one in Mayo gives them a second thought. I headed up to Dublin on Sunday for the Nicky Rackard final (the less said about that the better) and stopped in Caseys in Roscommon for supplies. While I was sitting in my car waiting on my travelling companions and minding my own business, I heard a man saying to the wife ‘is that a Mayo Jersey in that car?’ before loudly shouting over at me ‘you know the match was yesterday?’ They really think we obsess over them the way they obsess over us and that we’d be sad enough to go prancing around in a jersey as that’s what they’d be doing if the shoe was on the other foot. The poor creatures must have spent a fortune on Dublin stuff after all our losses to them, not to mention all the time and effort they put in to making the signs they left on the n5 to welcome us home. Anyway, it’ll be another long winter for them after they failed to win the big ‘beating Mayo cup’ after two attempts. Oh well.

  42. When they were building Knock airport, a friend said to me. I’d prefer if Fr Horan built a bridge over Roscommon . He said it wasn’t right that any Mayo person should have to drive through it.

  43. I think it more unbelievable that Mayo supporters are sitting it out , i find it all very disappointing tbh and no amount of rallying call will shift a large cohort of mayo support who have thrown in the towel , spineless supporters imo , not really bothered if that is deemed offensive either , its intentional .

  44. @sean Burke agreed.

    Bandwagon support. Guarantee if we do beat dubs they will be back maybe they will still turn up in the Hyde but I’m surprised it’s not a sell out. Agree there’s so many matches but this game would be massive if we win as I said we are capable of a big win.

    I get supporters are dissapointed the way we’ve been playing but it’s time to get behind the guys now no one thought we would beat kerry last year and I don’t care what people say doesn’t matter if kerry weren’t their best kerry had been saying all week they were going to hammer us.

    We are at our most dangerous when total underdogs cannot wait for this game.

  45. Clare as a matter of interest how many games have you been at this year.The support we had from 2011 on was phenomenal and alot of non football followers stated going to games as the path invariably led to croker semi finals and finals most years.most of those have now dropped off and other factors including cost ,way too many meaningless games and the extremely boring direction the game has now taken.How many mayo supporters were in croker in 2011 against cork when we were given no chance.I remember you could hear the players talking on the field

  46. @1985 I’ve been to quite a few why how many have you been to?.

    I do live and work in Dublin so it can be hard to get to games.

    As I said I know our style of play isnt great at the moment and I get why some of the support has dropped.

    But as Sean Burke said its pretty dissapointing that a large cohort have thrown in the towel.

  47. I wish that posters would not try and shame people who can’t for some reason attend every single game,I am certain that Clare attends as many games as she can,just enjoy the entertainment

  48. Clare I have been going to mayo games since 1979 and for many years didn’t miss a league, championship or challenge game .my point is alot people have other things that interest them or just don’t find the game entertaining any more and my first post was actually about this very idea of trying to shame people into going to games .If anyone wants to go to a game then go that’s everyone’s individual choice .

  49. @1985 fair enough pretty hard for me to be going since 1979 wasn’t even born ha.

    Yeah of course it’s everyone’s choice to go to go to games never said other wise.

    I wasn’t shaming anyone into going into games either I literally just said its dissapointing the level of support that’s dropped others have said it to and no one can deny that we’ve had a lot of bandwagon support and so have the other big counties you can include the dubs in that to they would say it to.

    Thanks @corick bridge

    Anyway time to leave it there but we a want the same thing end of the day and just hope people show up in the Hyde.

  50. Thats grand and im not on about anyone on the blog as i dont really know many on the blog Irl . But why cant supporters be critisised , why is it so precious . Sure cant people just say how it is , some mayo supporters are not bothering cause they simply are choosing not to , not because of cost of living , its just our chances arent deemed as good as circa 2012 -2021 so the bandwagon has fallen off a cliff . I want them back , there is no “ive been to more game than you ” shit here , idc , i want our support back and roaring the bucks on . The fear of things going tits up has got a hold of some , hopefully we can put in a good shift sunday week and some might get the urge again .

  51. I think covid has played a part in hitting the crowd numbers that used to go to games. The habit of attending matches was stopped for a couple of years and some haven’t returned.

  52. Seán, I think there is every chance the management and lads will really go for it next Sunday against the Dubs. By that I mean they’ll go all out to win. I feel, as Clare said a day or two ago, we owe them after last year, how they massacred us in the Quarter Final. The Mayo teams I know won’t live with that. I ALSO feel we’ll want to right our own wrongs of last year’s Championship, which McStay and all didn’t want to happen, and which were our own doing. We wanted to really prove ourselves and have a full-bellied run in the Championship but we messed up (Louth and Cork games) after going all out in the League. Do we not want to reset and aim to leave our mark on the Championship this year? We want to do what we set out to do last year but flopped at (life pulled us up).
    There’s a small chance McStay, Rochford and all will play it cagey, exercising control on the game and keeping it slow, as they might want us to conserve energy if they think we’ll be out in a pQF and a QF in the two week’s after.
    But I don’t think that’ll be the thinking.
    Therefore, the fans would do well to come out for a great game in the Hyde. There is curiosity at play here. What Mayo will turn up? And there is a genuine prize on offer, whose value we know after last year – 2 weeks’ rest and straight pass through to the QF. It’d be a gamechanger if we could secure it.
    It’ll be one of the most interesting games of the season, is on our doorstep, and I think it’s reasonably priced at 25 euro for adults.
    I hope we have David McBrien back.
    If that is the case, we’ll have David McBrien wanting to prove himself after Mayo v Dublin last year, Mattie wanting to prove himself in general, Aido, I hope in top form and, if on song, can do serious damage against the Dubs at full forward and shouldn’t be lacking motivation, Tommy C wanting to prove what he can do, and we know Cillian is accurate and can be lethal. We have at least two speedsters, who people can lay off to – Eoghan McLaughlin and Sam Callinan (though I’d love to see Sam shoot for a point or a goal). Tommy C is a speedster too.

  53. At the end of the day people go to games to be entertained and as mentioned on the last podcast by Mille finnerty and Willie joe those long bouts of holding possession does nothing to get people excited.yes people will say it’s about winning but I have never heard anyone say they were to going to a game to sit in a silent stand being bored completely out of minds and as with all sports if a team starts playing well and winning supporters will start returning.There is or was a large element of mayo support who know very little about the game or couldn’t tell the difference between a corner back and a wing forward

  54. I genuinely hope you’re right Claire and I really mean that. I have gone to Mayo matches for 50 years and condition myself to deal with the result. Nothing I have seen of late suggests we will beat Dublin. I am a big fan of McStay but feel he got the job almost ten years too late. He should have got it when James retired in 2014. Alas our CO Board thought otherwise at the time. I admire the present Mayo team but they’re miles off the team a decade ago. They can produce the odd outstanding result as v Kerry last year and hopefully Dublin on Sunday but let’s be honest here we do not have the calibre of players who performed so outstandingly from 2011- 2017

  55. @To win just once I totally get that sure you must have seen a lot more heart break with mayo then me I was only born in the late 80s!

    Yeah agree with you there I feel mcstay should have got the job in in 2014 also..

    I know one thing if we do beat the dubs the sky is the limit for this team going forward..

  56. Dont think aidan has ever scored against dublin in cship. It would be a major psychological boost if he does on Sunday

  57. I really miss joe brolly insulting and abusing our lads the poor lads time is taken up with his own county and giving shit to mickey Harte he even contacted p Joyce to apologise for the stamp on comer on behalf of the Derry people. They say what goes around……

  58. @Towinjustonce Mayo are indeed not the team they were, but Dublin and Kerry are not as good as they were either.
    We could have surprise winners especially if Kerry, Dublin meet on the way to the final.

  59. I remain firmly of the belief that that Dublin full back line is going to be taking to the cleaners some day soon. Now whether it’s Mayo that does it remains to be seen but they are absolutely there to be got at once theres a supply of ball.

    I watched the dublin game’s against cavan/louth/roscommon.
    Roscommon caused them all sorts of issues with all 3 of their inside forwards putting up a decent score.
    The cavan game was a turkeyshoot but having watched it cavan had heaps of chances if they had any half competent finisher there, cavan were getting a lot of joy with the direct ball in but couldn’t finish their dinner. They really should have been 5 or 6 points up after half hour. Murchan got a roasting off oisin brady and had to be whipped. It will probably be a 37 year old mick Fitz and an average squad player in Sean mcmahon making up the fb line then.

    The main man in all those games was Brian Fenton, he truly is a colossus and seems to be playing his best football.

    We have never managed to lay a glove on Fenton in recent years so we really need to hammer the hammer there, for the life of me I can’t see who we give that assignment to though, diarmuid would probably have been your best bet

  60. Supermac: That’s the real question. So many potential options but not screaming out as the obvious or right one.

    Jack Carney has done a good job on him a couple of times in the league in recent years, keeping him quiet by any standards and exceptionally quiet by his own incredible standards. Wouldn’t be shocked to see us lean that way again.

    Certainly a case for putting Donnacha McHugh on it. Still young, wouldn’t have met a challenge quite like Fenton before but has the discipline, athleticism and game IQ to potentially do a serious job there. A lot might depend on how they’re feeling on some of the other match-ups and if they need McHugh a little deeper (wouldn’t be shocked to see McHugh on Con and McBrien sweeping… though McBrien on Con with Sam sweeping or multiple other alternatives all viable options there too so hard to guess). Would probably be my own pick for the challenge.

    An outside shot of any from McBrien, McLaughlin, Flynn, Coen or DO’C being given the task, but I’d be a little surprised with any of those personally. Whoever is given the task it needs to be a real team effort when it comes to stopping the likes of Fenton, Con, Kilkenny, Mannion, Costello, Basquel, Small, Bugler or the rest. 1v1 they all offer a bit too much threat to be safe without others in and around to help limit options, fill the spaces & shut the doors.

    They’ve been relatively poor against Cavan, Roscommon & Louth (a quick look at expected scores in any of those games shows them potentially giving away as much as they got) but you’d expect a very different animal when they meet our lads. The intensity sure to be cranked up a few levels & only increasing nationally from here on out.

  61. I know it different teams, but looking at ladies, against Dublin, was for all intensive purposes women vs girls. If the Mayo not tuned in to what coming down line, we could have a similar suitation next weekend. Looking at hurling Limerick 6 in row in Munster, Kilkennny 5 in a row. These teams not coming back into pack, going further away. And that my fear for this game, are Dublin getting better, and are we standing steady or going backwards. Hope my fears not going to come thru.

  62. @mayotillidie: They’re favourites to win it this year and they’ll be very competitive for the next three or four years. You’d have some serious questions looking forward after that.

    Cluxton – 42
    Fitzsimons – 36
    McCarthy – 34
    Mannion, Fenton, (J) Small – 31
    Kilkenny, Scully, Byrne – 30

    Con (28), Murchan (27), Bugler (26), Howard (26), Gannon (24) & McGarry (24) have plenty of great years ahead of them but losing folks like Cluxton, Fitz and McCarthy would be a big impact for any side. On & off the field, they carry & drive standards and lift the surrounding lads. Take a few % off Fenton, Mannion & Kilkenny as age takes a little out of the tank and I can’t see them managing to replace like with like to maintain the current levels (I’m not sure if we’ve ever seen the likes of Fenton or Cluxton before so that’s not a slight on the underage talent coming through).

    Could be wrong. They could unearth some exceptional Con/Kilkenny like talents that aren’t quite shining as bright as the lads did at underage… but there’s been nothing to suggest it so far. Despite all the population/funding/locational advantages Dublin have I’d be more looking at the level of consistency Derry, Tyrone & Galway (to a lesser extent Kerry – but some outstanding individuals to make up for slightly less rounded squads) are managing to hit at underage.

  63. a must for Sunday is put a man on Fenton and Con who stick to them like glue and never be more than 12 inches away from them, they can forget about their own game as regards playing football, just mark their man out of the game. If them two are reduced to passengers then a win is on the cards.

  64. For my sins I rewarched the 1st half of last year’s quarter final. Dublin were sloppy in beginning, but we played very well up to about 30 mins. It all started to unravel when Jordan Flynn’s goal was disallowed. That would have put us 4 up, but Dublin came straight down the field to score. We handed them another score on a platter after that & inexplicably went into half time a point behind! Eoghan McLaughlin was excellent in the 1st half too & I hadn’t realised this on 1st viewing.

    Giving him a little bit of hope for Sunday anyways!

  65. Wj – just to say thanks for the free pod. It was excellent!! Keep up the good work!!

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