Mayo News football podcast – heroics, heartbreak and hope

A little bit later than first envisaged but the Mayo News football podcast All-Ireland final edition is a jam-packed episode capturing the noise and emotion of the day, along with post-match reaction and analysis.

As usual host Rob Murphy and I take you through the match itself and then we get stuck into some post-match therapy by way of more chat back at my gaff later on. In between, other voices featuring on the podcast include Billy Joe Padden, Mike Finnerty, Michael Foley, Paul Earley and Stephen Rochford, who spoke with Newstalk’s Oisin Langan after the game. Louis (aka The Brother) gets in on the act too and my young lad even makes a cameo appearance towards the end as well.

If you’re ready to sample more of a day of enormous highs and crashing lows for us, this All-Ireland final podcast is now available on SoundCloud and iTunes. You can also listen to it here on the site, either by clicking the player below or the one on the sidebar to the right.

By the way, stay tuned over the next while as we’ll be doing another podcast for the ladies All-Ireland final next Sunday and we’re also planning an end-of-season wrap-up episode before too long.

71 thoughts on “Mayo News football podcast – heroics, heartbreak and hope

  1. WJ, no more than the players you deserve a huge thanks for your efforts here on the blog. The patience, passion and effort to run a site like this I can only imagine – all that before you even have to start moderating comments! For people at home and for people like myself thousands of miles away it provides us with a great source for news, information and structured, reason debate!

    Thank you and I look forward to FBD IN 2018.

  2. Absolutely Melbre, how WJ managed to do a write up yesterday and a podcast with the mayo news lads I will never know. I did not want to see or speak to a soul yesterday.

  3. WJ you must be made of hard steel. I’ve gone into hermit mode…apart from the comfort blanket that is this blog. Did you ever think of hosting an open forum where all the many regulars (many by now) of this blog; all passionate and what I would describe as the hardcore supporters, could meet to air opinions/views…I dunno…just a thought. Who knows what could come from it…

  4. Reading an informative comment of JP on another thread would give one hope, this guy seems to know mayo club football inside out and says we have a nice crop coming through. I would of been so negative because of underage results last few years so its good to hear another angle and it a positive one.

    Our bench apart from loftus who should benefit from this year greatly are limited players , holding players not match winners,would really of liked to have seen more of Nally this year , I thought he had more to offer than drake and coen combined in terms of making a difference where it mattered.

  5. Mayonaze you are bang on with the implementation of basic skills at a young age. You can bet your bottom dollar it’s happening in Dublin and Kerry and we must do the Same in order to compete in the years ahead as kicking off both feet is becoming an essential skill at intercounty level.

    I also agree the county board need to invest in youth development.

    Would Pearce and Cian Hanley ever come home for a year? Pearce especially could be the difference – would he regret it in years ahead if he didn’t? He’s in serious physical shape. Cian Hanley would have also bulked up seriously with their S&C programmes. The county board should be trying their hardest to entice these fellas back – the time is now while the squad is close to it’s peak ability and only 1-2% away from the promised land.

  6. I agree with all of the comments above in that I don’t know how you could have sifted through the wreckage of Sunday so quickly. I’m still not able to re watch the bloody thing and was in my bed at 9:20 last night!!!
    The spirit may be broken at the minute but the long winter nights will allow for calm reflection and as the mornings brighten and the evenings lengthen our spirits will rise again. We’ve had a hell of a year and one we should be thankful for. It won’t always be this exciting.
    Thanks WJ for all your work and commitment to the blog. Whether you realise it or not, visiting here and reading like minded comments (even some not-so-like minded comments) does help sooth the battered soul and aid our recovery process.
    What we’ve witnessed might well be a once in a lifetime experience. Personally, I’ve loved the qualifier route over the last two years and all that it brought. A mate said to me yesterday at the homecoming that the games this year provided an opportunity for old friends to meet regularly and that too is good for the soul.
    As sure as night follows day the FBD will soon be upon us and all the maddness will begin again. For now, players and supporters alike, we all need to rest after the shift we put in this year.
    Hon Mayo.
    Mayo for Sam 2018? I wouldn’t bet against it!

  7. Super8 next season.

    Can anyone tell me how it works, im a tad confused as to what im hearing.

    Its two groups of four , three games each , a home, away and a neutral game. But this is where im confused. Ive been told the neutral venue will be croke park, Dublins home venue will also be croke park ,effectively two home games out of three for Dublin, surely ive been misinformed. It cant be put into a guideline in any competition where one team gets that kind of an advantage , how would it even be worded ?

  8. Sean: I’m afraid I can’t help you on the super 8’s.

    Our Time Has Come: (I posted this on the chris Barret motm thread but anyway….) While he was a tremendous loss, I’ve given up on P Hanley. I think we all should. He opted for Aussie rules over Mayo and that’s just that. We move on with who is available.

    It’s fundamental that Mayo look toward the future and it starts with kids in 3rd/4th class. That’s when their passion for the game is born. Theres absolutely no reason why Mayo cannot have the best underage structure in the country. For Gods sake haven’t we the most passionate and hardcore supporters in the land but apart from attendance at games it’s not being tapped into, exploited in the correct fashion OR channeled so as to give Mayo a real advantage.

    Mayo supporters groups are great fans but now need to do more and demand and support action at underage levels. But this should not be in any way a confrontational thing. The fanatical support Mayo has should be embraced by the county board. We are all on the same side. If we can only get something moving. I want Mayo to be the best. I’m not content with merely being competitive. If you strive for being number one, sure you’ll fail and have periods where you lag a bit (like the KK hurlers are showing signs of now) but ultimately you’ll win a lot more frequently.

  9. You’ve got it spot-on there, Sean. Dublin’s existing advantage of playing all the time in Croke Park will be hardened still further under the Super Eights as they, and only they, will get to play two out of three games in Croke Park. To he who has more shall be given …

  10. Sean. Dublin have this advantage every year where from at least the Leinster semi-final on they play all their games at home. Imagine if all our games were in McHale park and all our players were working or going to college in Mayo. Dublin will have two out of three games in Croke Park when it come to super 8. This new system will suit the two strongest counties most – Kerry and Dublin. Kerry will have three games to get up to the pace after strolling through Munster. Dublin will get the chance to run their bench and give all players plenty of game time. More games means more injuries – we were very lucky this year – this will suit the counties with the big panels. With the super 8 – I think the front door route is looking more attractive now and winning Connaught should taken a bit more be serious next year.

  11. Thanks, Mayonaze. I think the pre-meets in Bowe’s are the nearest I’ve come to anything in that line but clearly what you have is a different animal altogether. I’m not sure that’d really be my thing, though the live event we did for the podcast over in London could provide a template and I’d definitely be up for doing more in that line.

  12. Im gobsmacked at that especially now with the new pairc ui chaoimh available. Baffles me how this shit is just let go by the other counties.

  13. I dont disagree with you south mayo exile although the Kerry advantage is debatable as I see that as just fair play in the grand scheme of things.

    My point is though how is it actually set out in a competitions rules for a team to have the home ground as the neutral venue. Its either one or the other ,they either play their home game in parnell park or if hq is deemed thier home ground then the neutral game cannot take place there for their neutral game otherwise the competition is nonsensical . It should be challenged imo

  14. Thanks WJ and Mayo News, something for journey home after work. Apalled by the one sided coverage fousing on GPS Gate after the match. What about the Dubs pulling everyone down as we tried to kick the ball out what about the ee gouging. Such one sided coverage even in defeat, they still kick us when we are down. We have to come back and finish the job in 2018. An amazing performance that deserved to win. Pure bad luck we did not finish the job, nothing more!

  15. Pebblesmeller..When you mention a once in a lifetime experience it really puts it into perspective. I do feel that many supporters think this team could on forever and alas not so.. So very important to appreciate theses experiences .. even Sunday.. So many counties would kill to get to Croke Pk..The two Hanley brothers came to mind on the long journey home on Sunday.. I wish the county board made it their business to get these boys back even for the short term.. On a different note the team were out and about in Castlebar last night mixing with locals and relaxing after all the drama .Makes you realise that life goes on for them and while it may be sickening for a time this too shall pass . Think it must be harder on supporters who are living away from Mayo in some ways as everyone here is in the same boat.. all experiencing the same disappointment..

  16. Regarding the Super 8, would it be true to say that 1 other team will also get 2 games in Croke Park. The team that are drawn to play their away game against Dublin, will also have their “neutral venue” game in Croker…Also, it’ll be quite possible to beat Dublin in the super 8s & then have to beat them again in the final!

  17. Mayonaze, I fully agree, Mayo should have the best underage structure and it would be full to capacity, look at the support, the kids are all engaged in Mayo GAA & this should be capitalised on.
    I think Pearce Hanley has publically stated that he doesn’t see a return to Mayo, he used to have it in the back of his mind but not anymore. Mind you we’ve all changed our minds on occasion. But I would agree I wouldn’t be putting to much energy into hoping on a return of those boys.
    Christ this is all so raw. Maybe it is harder living outside the County.

  18. Jaysus forget about Pearse Hanley. He’s made it clear he has no interest in coming back.

    Blood those from the U21 all Ireland team that are good enough.

    We’re just short a bit off the bench to get over the line. So lets spend the league blooding “the bench”. Who cares if we get relegated. Game time in tight division 1 games are invaluable to inexperienced players.

    Thanks WJ. All been said before. You’re dedication to the blog/podcasts is amazing.

    Time to detox from the craziness of following this incredible team. Back to the club championship. February wont be long rolling around. By then the appetite will be back for players and supporters as it always is ..

  19. Have’nt done my normal thing of buying the newspapers and reading the summaries of the final. I read only one article in Google news today by Jim McGuinness, I hate to admit it but he is correct with his analysis. For me this loss is different than 13 and 16, right on the final whistle I felt very proud of the guys after putting up such a massive fight, I didnt feel angry or down but more of a numb feeling, time normally goes very quick in championship matches, but last Sundays final was the quickest ever, the injury time only felt like a minute or two, the loss didnt sink in on Sunday evening either, but it became real yesterday and today, im now feeling the usual post All Ireland loss symptoms, very tired, unable to concentrate on my business, this has become routine now. I was on my feet from 9.30 – 10 pm on Sunday, started with the Sons Rugby training ( ran 3 k ) walked to Croker, walked around the pubs looking for an extra ticket for the Son, stood in the Nally and walked home afterwards, while also taking one or two pints on our feet outside Kennedys in Drumcondra. Dont really drink much when we loose.
    Here in Dublin, even some Dubs I know were hoping Mayo would win, some of them who were born in Dublin but have one Mayo parent were actually openly supporting Mayo, all the neutrals desperately wanted Mayo to win, even a few are afraid to face me thinking im still upset. For the first time ever I got a ticket from the club but a few Dubs didnt get one.
    It may be 2017 but there is one similarity over the years, Mayo cant close out the finish in a tight final, think of 1996, lost the big 6 point lead. Up til nearly the end of full time last Sunday I was sure Mayo had this one, in fairness the ref gave us a bit of time to make a draw out of it, the Dubs wasted alot of time in extra time.
    Its amazing the amount of stuff that supporters dont see while watching a match, they missed basic things such as a Dublin forward taking at least 8 steps before shooting for a score ( O Callaghans goal, a Mannion point in 2nd half ) the strike by Vaughan on Small, the so called tackling by Cluxton on Doherty, I was basically doing a commentary for those around me during the game.
    After last years final I did not expect to see Mayo back in 2017 and really believed this after the Galway match, this was a great achievement by all to take the Dubs to 1 point.
    But where to now, those guys have lost 4 finals, 3 to Dublin, will we see another brilliant bunch disappear with no medals ?, only to be remembered for their great battles with the Dubs. The Dublin supporters dont really celebrate All Ireland wins anymore, no great reaction when Sam was hoisted with alot of them having already left the ground.
    I ask myself this question, did Dublin win it or did Mayo hand it to them in the last few minutes ?, I believe this one was left behind.

  20. First (long) post from a long time Kerry viewer.
    as with everyone outside of Dublin i was gutted for Mayo. Mayo certainly had the better shape and intensity; were remarkably better conditioned and stronger; were very well coached with better tackling and tactics prior to the sending off. ( I think Vaughan was awfully unlucky to be sent off. he had no intention of raising his arm on John Small until his own player on the ground caused him to stumble. Obviously he shouldn’t have rushed in, but he wasn’t to know Small was on a yellow in the moment). It may not have been the turning point anyway. I thought Aidan O’Se shouldn’t have taken the speculative shot after the goal.
    I’m surprised that Mayo fans haven’t been more critical of the referee. I fully accept the ref tried to be fair but there is a level of Dublin pre conditioning and myth building that has created a perception that their players aren’t cynical, don’t foul off the ball and are only interested in playing ball. this leads to the classic “handy free” that relieves pressure or changes momentum or as in a number of Dublin games gives them a shot at winning. would Kerry/ Mayo / Tyrone have got the free which Dublin got in 2011 and 2017 to win the game? Also when each Mayo player was rugby tackled for the final kick out clearly a free kick should have been granted for any one of the incidents. Mayo should have had a penalty for Doherty and one for Keegan. All marginal calls but invariably they fall the way of Dublin. Dublin are superb winners and will likely win another couple of All Irelands but the myth which is consciously promoted at all times by the Jim Gavin that Dublin are working the process,always trying to play good football, never in a panic needs to be challenged. Its aping the All Blacks in Rugby and one can see how in World cups they get the benefit of refereeing decisions as well. Again to be fair to the ref I believe this is happening at an unconscious level and it is endemic across the panel of referees… Well done to Mayo btw…I’ll return to lurking…

  21. How will the super 8 seeding work? I assume the 4 prov winners make up the top 4 seeds, so two in each group. If that’s the case winning connacht is a huge must as we could have a group with dublin kerry and a dodgy ulster away game, hypothetically

  22. I dont think we handed it to them really although the last free was entirely avoidable

    Dublin just kick their scores better and find them easier to create. It’s always a mammoth task to put them away

    Frankly though we missed three gimmes in the first half when we were on top while dublin had only one silly wide in the second half (more a rash attempt by connolly than a bad miss) when they got their foothold. Probably not much simpler than that to be honest

  23. – It’s easy to say “we will be back” but absolutely no good getting back to Semis/Finals unless we also “improve” in 2018.
    – In order to improve we in my humble opinion need 7 – 9 new players on the extended panel
    – It is now up to every player in Mayo that wants to play Senior Inter-county to make their case in the upcoming Club games. They need to know that if they show promise that they will get their chance.
    – You can coach S&C and skills but you cannot coach attitude, height or pace. We are lacking pace in mid-field diamond and on the bench.
    – 6 foot tall pacey footballers with right attitude needed now, stake your claim lads.
    – No sentiment in sport, time to move on

  24. You could also have a scenario were you lose to dublin first up and they then decide to rest players in their last match in the group. Meaning winning the last two games mightnt even be enough

  25. Ok, wasn’t quiet believing some of the posts about Dublin playing two games of the super 8 at Croke Park so had to check it out to be sure. Seriously how is that possible and why isn’t anyone saying anything about it. (are they going to play their “home game” in Parnell Park or in a field at spawell where they wanted to develop a ground). For the competition to have any integrity Dublin must play their Neutral game in an actual Neutral Ground. How are the various county boards not up in arms against it, even DublinGAA must be embarrassed by it.

    I’m actually all for the super 8 format as I believe it is a stepping stone to a much fairer competition. Should the super 8 be successful then it will be extended to a 4 group super 16 with most likely a secondary competition for the other teams. however if it is going to be skewed in favour of one team before it even commences then the GAA can stick it up their ………..

  26. Fuck the super 8s….end of the GAA as we know – u can mark me words on that. Will contribute to ever widening gap between haves and have nots. I know that a lot of mayo people will be under the impression they will always be in the super 8s given what they have done this last 7 or 8 years….but they won’t and if they went 2 or 3 years out of it they will fall back in the posse too. We should all be concerned about this.

  27. Just so say a big thank you to you WJ, and other contributors that make this blog so good. This is the only place I’ve managed to stomach the last 48hrs. As others said, I don’t know how ya got back on the horse so soon. I’m still not in a correct state of mind to watch the match or the SG. I really find great solace in the blog, away from all the waffle in the media and various other podcasts. Personally I hate hearing people say we left it behind us etc. I think we played out of our skins and that we are expected to do so on an unlevel playing field. Starting 15 v starting 15, we were superior, but we do not have the ex footballers of the year to bring on to bolster our forward line. I think it is such a massive achievement to do what this team are doing against all the odds, and it is unfortunate we are peaking in the same era as the “greatest team ever”……….but on the other hand the positives are that this is and will continue to have the knock on effect of improving Mayo football dramatically. I think we will have many days out in Croke Park yet, I really hope there is more work and investment put in at grassroots level. Onwards and Upwards. Thanks WJ.

  28. Thanks W J for everything. We were all somewhat shocked at the brutal suddeness of the ending so it took some time to realise we had lost. Have we ever played better in a final?
    Things we don’t know: If Cillin’s free had gone over off the upright, if Donie had not been sent off would we have won? All we can say is that we would have had a better chance of winning.
    Remember: After 2014 we thought David Moran was going to dominate for years ,then Brian Fenton, and now it is
    James Mc Carthy and our boys ,Tom Parsons and the O’Sheas, who are kings of midfield. Next year ? What do we know?
    Before Sunday Ciaran Kilkenny was Toscanini, now Lee Keegan has added him to his list.
    Stephen Rochford was so distraught that it was clear everything had been invested in this year. I hope he stays.
    When the players have been consoled and comforted by their loved ones I hope they can go again.
    What we can say is that our boys ,our golden boys, were brilliant.

  29. Yew Plains Drifter, could not agree more. It was an absolutely outstanding display. We should have won, were desperately unlucky and total waffle being talked about as to why we did not win. Of course you cannot do everything right, but we were excellent and hard to believe we did not win. What a team of heroes and no doubt they will be back for more!

  30. Great Podcast WJ

    It was funny listen to your brother, sounds just like yourself and then your son comes on, a chip of the old block, my wife calls it “Mayo Youth”, and the indoctrination starts early. Great stuff altogether.
    Some very interesting points in the podcast that puzzle me.
    Do the Mayo senior team have a properly lit allweather pitch for training on?
    Is it full size?
    What’s the strength and conditioning gym like? Roomy with lots of equipment or too small for a big group training together?
    There are, I believe, 4 full time game development officers in Mayo, is this correct?
    Does Mayo have a business manager? Someone not afraid to ask those multi billion dollar corporations with Mayo bases for money, and I don’t mean a few coppers thrown into a biscuit tin. AIG have assets of over 500 billion dollars so dublin are well taken care of.
    Mayo are an incredible team to even compete with dublin, to continue competing and knock them down will require some serious planning and money in the coming years. And this current panel have 2 years left in them, Andy included if he’s spared.

  31. Can we fast forward to next year? When you see comments about the super 8 and next year you realise how Football bonkers Mayo is. That is a good thing. We have just experienced the most devestating loss (in my view) of any final that went before but already attention turns to the future.

    The legacy which was mentioned in the podcast of this team (while not writing them off yet…far from it) is hugely important and must be harnessed max.

    However it’s the driven culture within the Mayo setup since 2011 which is the turning point. We have seen that a slip in standards or professionalism will not be tolerated.

    It is of course much easier for us fans to look on the bright side this early….the players will need more time and space. I have no doubt most of them will be chomping at the bit for 2018.

    This summer was the most enjoyable I have experienced as a Mayo fan. That connection between team and fans has never been so strong.

    We are so close to stepping outside from the house of pain. In 2018 it’s time to burn the house down.

  32. Totally agree mayomad, everyone should be up in arms about this. It is completely farcical and would not happen in any other sport.

  33. Cantini, agree fully with your view on super 8’s. It’s a half arsed attempt by the GAA. You see the problem is that there are far too many old fogies and conservative minded people making the decisions who don’t want to lose the provincial championships because it eats away at their power.

    Anyone with a brain knows that the best way forward for everyone, county players, club players, sponsors/corporate and supporters is to have 4 groups of 8. Each group would be made up of two teams from tier 1, tier 2, tier 3 and tier 4. Tiers based on most recent NFL standings. Each county team is guaranteed 7 championship matches (3 at home/4 away thereby increasing revenue for local stadiums and good for local businesses). Games played from end March to end June with defined two weekend breaks for club championships. Groups complete by end June approx. Top 4 from each group qualify for last 16 knock out. Pairings based on where team finished in group; ie winners play a team who came 4th from another group etc. Then open draw from last 8 to semi’s. Importantly, where a team finishes in their group determines which tier they’ll be ranked in for following season(meaning teams who after 5 games and cannot mathematically qualify from their group still have something to play for) with open draw made in Oct/Nov live on TV for following years championship.

    This system will generate huge money. Increase interest in the game. Increase the amount of ‘meaningful’ games county players get to play in. Allow all county grounds to develop. Increase novelty pairings. Allow ‘weaker’ counties have a shot against better teams and thereby improve (teams will never improve by only playing over weaker sides) and allow the best teams to win the All Ireland. It will also create a clearly defined championship which will enable county boards to schedule club games months in advance rather than the current bullshit system of ‘well we have to wait and see if Sligo beat Leitrim and then after the draw is made 2 weeks later we might know when we’re playing next’ – a complete farce of a system which is ruining the enjoyment for club players. This new system will also see half of the counties eliminated by July and 8 others by the end of July and co boards will have the rest of the summer to play their club championships.

    Scrap the NFL. Scrap the provincial championships and have provincial round robin leagues in Feb/March to allow blooding of players/warm ups etc. Like the fbd.

  34. Of we want to talk about fine margins I think going forward we need to get better at closing out games and we need to strengthen our bench .Lads coming on who you can be guarnteed will cause trouble for opposition and lads who are are good for a score or two.The long Winter nights are coming but January is around the corner.

  35. Just saw a piece on about two young Westport buckos who, being ticketless, got into Croke Park mocked up
    as stewards. Fair play to them but it’s a pity they did not keep the idea under their hat. Now that Croke Park will have wind of it there’s no chance something similar will work again. Make sure ye have tickets next year lads. Hav’nt the computer skills to put up a link to the peice, i’m afraid.

  36. Can’t bring myself to listen to the podcast yet or buy the Mayo News or the Western. We need to strengthen our bench over the FBD and the League I trust Stephen and the Management team to do this. Someone asked do Mayo County Board have a business manager I know the guy that owns (his name escapes me) very generously offered to contribute to his wages so hopefully the county board will get one in place soon. We are a county that’s mad into football if we keep instilling this into our kids and nieces and nephews and work from the ground up and get the underage structures right then surely sucsess will follow

  37. Mayonaze, I kind of both agree and disagree with your post. Yes the Super 8 is far from perfect and your structure is a fairer version. However I see the super 8 as a stepping stone to a much fairer structure down the line. A total revamp of the structure was never going to happen due mainly to the old fogies you refer to, it simply wouldn’t get the votes.

    the two most important motions passed in the last congress were the super 8, a group stage in the championship. The second important motion was the reduction of votes required to pass a motion, this makes it easier to pass motions on the structure of the championship in the future. The super 8 will be successful and thus will be expanded to 16 teams (4 groups of 4) or even 4 groups of 8 as you suggest. The super 8 isn’t the final solution but rather the first step on the road to a fair championship. That is of course if they don’t balls it up by giving one team the unfair advantage of playing two home games instead of one, oh wait…… feck it anyway!

  38. Well said Andanotherthing .

    I do think there was systematic bias ( unintentional or not ) by the referee . Willie Joe it’s not often I disagree with you but I disagree with your assessment of his performance.

    There was some attempt to acknowledge his own bias during the game and ” partially ” correct for this bias , for example in giving extra time at the end , and letting Aido go just after the start of the second half without a black card .

    Ditto Andy’s point when Cooper was floored by us . Should not have been allowed. Keegan deserves something for his desperate infraction though not sure anyone saw it in real time . Appalling antics from someone I absolutely love.

    But that pales beside the litany of things which are even more obvious on second viewing that he allowed in Dublin’s favor.

    To wit

    O Gara’s point came straight from picking or trying to pick the ball off the ground .

    Mannion too ,right in front of the ref picked the ball off the ground with no free given.

    The dumb free just before half time after two Dublin players collide ?

    There was not one but two penalties we should have had . I mean you could argue Lee ‘s but it was 80:20 a penalty . More 80 than twenty if you know what I mean .

    The Jason Doherty fouling by Cluxton et al , was 100 % a penalty all day long . I mean there is no other possible interpretation of it .

    The O Gara eye gouge I saw it in real time so I can only imagine the linesman saw it too ! Someone definitely saw it . For sure. This is not the first time in ALL IRELAND FINALS that a Dublin player has gouged someone’s eyes . I mean WTF ???? This is an indictable offense .

    As alluded to by Andanotherthing the ending was another farce where we got to play the fools . Again ! Reminiscent of Limerick 2014. And there we are throwing a GPS in desperation . FFS !!!

    The ref should have given a free out to us after Rocks free ( which I thought was very dubious -particularly after a game where things were “allowed to flow ” ) and given Dublin more black cards.

    Joe Mc wanted more than anything to be kingmaker for Dublin by granting the decisive free.

    That this collective Dublin obstruction of our players is one of the last things that is allowed to happen on the field when these Mighty men of Mayo have given their all speaks volumes about McQuillan, volumes about the GAA and volumes about our own reluctance to speak up against injustice .

    Where is the f n outrage ?

    This was absolutely unforgivable in the context of the situation we were dealing with at that moment and that he allowed it and worse that WE allowed it by not highlighting it in an ostentatious way is unforgivable .

    We need to do much better standing up for ourselves and protesting like other teams do . And we need to change refereeing forever in the GAA . This single ref stuff for big games is no longer acceptable.

    This was blatant , organized and rampant cheating by Dublin at the end and believe you me there is nothing Athletic , sporting or manly about it .

    Game management my arse ! This was blatant cheating witnessed by millions but accepted in a docile manner and barely spoken about !

    There are different ways to fight and be courageous and we too ( like our players ) need to stand up and point this stuff out. Loudly. So they’ll call me whiner ?? They’ll call me that anyway and it’s also irrelevant. It definitely won’t stop me.

    Of course we have only ourselves to blame . We knew , WE KNEW , that if it was a tight game that the decisions would not go for us . We should have been out of sight by the 60 th minute.

    But I can’t fault these unbelievable players . They know themselves all too well where they fell short of their own goals . I love them all because of who they are and what they represent . They have unified a county and bestowed honor on all of us .

    We are Mayo . We are fierce and we are proud and nothing will ever change that .

    We go again .This time better , stronger , even more ferocious and even more composed.

    Most importantly I ask every man woman and child in Mayo to stand up and speak up against cheating in sport by ourselves , the GAA , or anyone else.

    Without this fundamental idea of absolute fairness in sport and beyond being our bedrock we will all become AIG people .

    You know , the type of person who in their sense of arrogance and entitlement ( a so called “winning mentality” in corporate speak or in ” Gavinwaffle” ( copyright WJ ) ) take down the world economy single handedly like AIG actually did in 2007 and leave millions of people in dire straits .

    That is where the road of the coward leads . That is what thousands of self deceiving cowards bestowed on millions of innocent people.

    This is why Mayo football is so important . We should eschew these dark arts tactics that we don’t even believe in and that only distract our mind space .

    We are good people and we can win this thing by focusing on fixing what ails the team . Do it clean . Do it right and do it with absolute and unbridled joy.

    If we focus on the joy then I believe , for this team , everything else will take care of itself . Lighten up , have fun , be honest about shortcomings mental or other and work through them by practicing relentlessly . You’re all too human FFS ! We don’t expect perfection .

    Forget the fucking GPS , practice shooting under pressure relentlessly , stop dropping balls short , keep improving on how to take goals , learn how to put over the first two points flawlessly ,practice composure at the start of games and the end of games . Learn how to properly stand up for yourself with the ref .

    Obviously playing loads of games is good for this team but we have to take the 1700 hundred little things and we have to imagine them all day long , practice them all day long and literally “become them ” because therein and only therein are you going to crack this code .

    I believe deeply in this manager and this team and I only want the best for them and the people of Mayo.

    Let’s go Mayo !

  39. Excellent post Mayonaze.

    GAA grapple with why the gap is opening – Div 2/3 and 4 teams play seven prep games for championship against teams their own level and they go out the first day against a div 1 team and are shell shocked – how the feck would they be any other way if its the only time they see them….they are then asked to take that learning forward to the next year…not going to happen. Your proposal is precisely what should happen…but it never will. As I said you will be perfectly happy with the big days super 8s gives now but if you miss out a couple of years – and that day could well be on the horizon when this current crop hang up the boots – you will see it is a competition that seeks to kill the beauty of the championship in favour of a semi-pro competition for TV only.

  40. I have posted a few times on this site about how great this team and its suppporters are. I support Dublin and always will. However that does not mean I can’t see how unlucky Mayo were on Sunday.
    The pundits will try to be controversial and some are deliberately provocative .However we should all look at what happened when the final whistle went . Foes shook hands and swapped jerseys.Dublin players laughed away the gps story . True warriors with mutual respect .
    Both sets of fans are lucky to have such great teams to follow . See u next year in the final .

  41. Do you lose or do you learn?

    Conor Counihan and Liam Sheedy (two guys with a track record of heart-breaking defeats and ultimate victories) mull over Sunday’s game and what it means or can mean:

  42. We need to build upon what we’ve got to remain in contention in the coming years, that’s the big picture. Let’s not let all the hard work of players and management go to waste. I believe Rochford is the right man to lead this team for the next few year. Tactically I think management did most things right, cannot speak about the subs used. Have seen many improvements in the areas of pressing up on kickouts, kick passing, midfield, defending, tackling etc. We need continuity of personnel to build on this.

    As regards the game, overall played really well and had the match of Dublin. Should have been and needed to be up by more at half time given that we were in command but for me the missed chances in the second half was what left the door open for Dublin and just like they were lucky last year that their attacks led to own goals they were lucky again with these missed opportunities. Jason would have scored on that chance 9 out of 10 times, same with Cillian with the free kick off the post and Donnie’s red card. That’s 5 easy points missed plus a one man advantage. Enough said.

  43. I think after the dust settles in a few weeks Rochy shud take sum time to reflect on the upcoming season 2018, scan sum of our top young players in the upcoming senior and inter championships.Maybe say to the 30+ lads to take sum time off go travelling if ye want we wont need u for the FBD and early NFL games and see ye back after St Patricks day.Missing league football didnt effect Seamie Aido and Chris Barrett.Our main problem the last day was tiredness in the 2nd half after our big 1st half and we hadnt the bench good enough to replace tired players.We need to get more of these younger players games in the league.Shane Nally ,Caolan Crowe , Evan Regan ,Conor Loftus,Brian Reape ,Adam Gallagher ,Eoin O’Donoghue, Seamus Cunniffe , Ryan O’Donoghue, Liam Irwin , Michael Plunkett,James Carr, James Stretton Matthew Ruane , Michael Hall ,Danny Kirby and find out whose gud enough for the bench come summertime and who are the players to lead Mayo in the next 5 years. Richie Byrne and Matthew Flanagan brought into fight it out for David Clarkes future replacement.

  44. Swahili you have said things there that make me, a man of 56years who never was much good at football…you make me shudder with excitement and determination. I totally agree. AIG is king…see how cynical the rugby greats are with their logo emblazoned on their jersey. Of course they are brilliant but also cynical. I have great respect for the Dublin team and what they have achieved. But I would rather see teams with the fun and passion like our heroes. I pray that young men women and children all over Ireland will swallow this Mayo bug. My little niece in Galway was getting great praise for her talent in the local club. She promptly stopped playing cause she wants to play for Mayo…no one else. My daughter has been shown a few posts cause her heart, like mine is inconsolable. But she read a few last night and said to me ‘Christ I hope we don’t have to wait till we are playing before we win’. I wouldn’t normally hear her swear but by God she meant it. She’s 12 and born in Dublin. Always a Mayo girl and absolute pride in that. That’s the passion we want. I see it in the women this year. I’ll be rooting for you this coming Sunday and I expect you too to emulate the passion and pride of the men. I believe in you. Go out and enjoy winning. Score for fun and when you miss shoot again and again. We are a super race… I love Mayo and with all my heart I believe in us. Let’s believe in ourselves. Maigheo go deo. WJ…thank you and to every poster here I salute you. Your heart feels my pride. I’m blessed to call myself a Mayo man. Never give up.

  45. 48 hours after the main event ….. emotions remain raw – and it’s very hard to focus against a background of overwhelming disappointment.

    Nonetheless, I extend my sincere gratitude and thanks to our special team (Management & Players) for a truly fantastic season ………. and a year that so nearly delivered the outcome desired by so many.

    I especially hope that SR and his Management team remain intact for 2018.
    All the players should now take a well-deserved rest and then come back refreshed and determined to finish off the job at the next time of asking.

    It was encouraging also to see the vast numbers turn up in McHale Park yesterday evening to welcome the Boys back. I’m sure the Boys appreciated the reception they received.

    Right now it’s seems hard to pick up the pieces – but we must – we can’t let the dream go for these players …. no matter how times we are required to pick ourselves up. The dream remains and like SR said its achievement is merely postponed.

  46. First time commenting on the blog. Just as a matter of interest read in an article this week that Cillian teaches in Drimnagh Castle Primary School in Dublin I thought he taught junior infants in Cloghar ns in Mayo. If anyone knows the truth pleas reply. PS I’m from the Kingdom and was chearing for yee in the final ?????? Hard Luck twas a great game.

  47. I would sacrifice the league this year entirely. i don’t care if we go down TBH

    7-8 of last years U21 should play every match from FBD right through the league in the hope that 2-3 come through for the championship make one last savage push with this squad. Hope we get an easier half of draw in connacht so we can aim to peak late

  48. Willie Joe
    Firstly congrats on another fantastic milestone, your blog is a go to for a flavor of Mayo GAA, thanks for that!!
    Secondly what a priveged county we are to have a football team that are consistently millimeters off a team lauded as the best ever!!!
    The efforts and desire and eventual pain was etched all over their faces
    ….and Stephen Rochford well his record speaks for itself.. Well done and thanks for the all the great days out…
    We will go again!!!

  49. Mary O`Connell, I thought Cillian teaches in St Patricks Boys school in Castlebar, but obviously I must be wrong.

    How sure are we that Donie Buckley, for instance, will stay as part of the management team ?
    I think he lives in Clare, and has put in a good shift in Mayo since Horan`s days

  50. Cillian was subbing in both Mayo schools last year..He was in Drimnagh last week ..I see Rochford taking til October to decide about 3rd year of his contract..Today has been a pretty bad day all around..

  51. Thanks for that link Centrefield….I remember when Cian done the injury and was left on the field for probably to long….I see now they are also fearing Jack Mccaffrey has a bad knee injury too and he did play on for a couple of mins too…
    For selfish reasons i would love to see Cian Hanley back here as he is still young and would make a great addition after training full time in Aus ….It must have been very tough on the 2 lads losing their younger brother and being so far away fron home.
    David Clifford is another good player that could be lost to Aussie rules that would be a big loss to Kerry….Thats another advantage Dublin have where their players can earn as much from sposorship and endorsements than going to Aussie rules….

  52. It’s possible to stay up in the league and still blood young lads. Avoiding stupid defeats to the likes of Cavan and Monaghan next year will be important. You can be sure Galway and Kildare will be flying next February as usual, so we’ll need to dig out a couple of big performances to stay in div 1. Couldn’t give a monkeys bollox about winning an utterly meaningless league title. Established players should be rested of course till April.
    The Cian Hanley link is interesting. I’m pretty familiar with how AFL lists work, and he has to get in the Brisbane senior list first to even have a chance of a long term career over there. It seems to me he’s still some way off that stage. Assuming he gets the extension on the rookie list, he will have another year to make the breakthrough. I think he may be in college over there also, it seems he won’t be back next season in any case. AFL clubs are ruthless businesses who will cut and change players without sentiment, but they obviously like him if they want to keep him. Id say forget about Pearce, maybe when his AFL career is over in 3 or 4 years he’d come back but it would be hard then I’d imagine.

  53. I agree 100% with Swahili’s comments on the referee. The great majority of the marginal calls went their way and when the time came Joe delivered for Dublin with a soft free to win it, just like he did in 2011 v Kerry. In a game where all kinds of abrasive defensive contact had been allowed to “go” the idea that the rule book came back into punishing and stringent application in the 73rd minute to give Dublin the game winning free is a jokeshop.

    The docile Mayo reaction this issue is equally hard to understand. Are we labouring under the illusion that being courteous to GAA officialdom is beneficial to our cause? That idea has been disproven for quite a while now. After the 2013 final Gavin took a major swipe at the same referee having won the game! It didn’t seem to do him much harm at 5 o’clock on Sunday. The same manager went to war on behalf of Diarmuid Connolly of all people at the start of the summer. His reward is that the Sunday game panel were too terrified to call Eoghan O’Gara out for his attack on Colm Boyle in the first half.

    I understand fully why Stephen Rochford didn’t want to go down the road of blaming the ref after the match and of course there are other things that might have resulted in a different outcome on the field, but there is absolutely nothing to be gained from giving Joe McQuillan a free ride on this one.

  54. The new motorway from Tuam to Ennis will hopefully sway Buckley to stay another year. Hour and a half will take him to castlebar when that opens next week.
    I agree with Swahili also. I thought we were rode by mcquillan. None of the marginal calls went in our favour. Ive always hated talking about refs and have argued repeatedly in the past with Willie Joe that he sometimes complains too much about refs, particularly deegan. I thought Joe was much worse than any deegan performance on Sunday. I have bad memories of 09 in Meath when this clown screwed us that day also. I hope to god we don’t see him again in croker.

  55. Just heard.. On Today Fm… That Stephen Rochford would take the month of October, to decide his future as to whether to continue with the Mayo Manager’s job, citing family commitments and recently changing jobs as important considerations…. I wish Stephen well no matter what he decides… But personally I think that he has done a fabulous job, nce he came in… Under his guidance Mayo reached the All Ireland finals of 2016 & 2017.. Both years the team was capable of winning in what were game’s of the slimmest margins… Maybe not the news us Mayo fans wanted to hear right now…. But Stephen is entitled to make his own mind up as regard’s to his future…. I can only wish him the best!

  56. Great podcast Just what we needed to hear to start the recovery process and look forward to the future.

  57. Whether we were good enough or not re subs is not the point.The ref has one job…to be fair.Unlike you WJ I do not think he was fair.He knew it too which is why he played for a draw after Rocks free.Swahili has outlined his failings but the carry on of Dublin after the free should have given us a free and been brought forward.
    Hard to live with the platitudes of the G.A.A and Dublin.
    If they , the GAA, were fair we would not have been in Limerick in 2014.
    We are treated badly by them and I do not know how these refs sleep.

  58. Fantastic centrepiece picture of the Mayo AI Finalists 2017 in the Connaught Telegraph. Note that David Clarke does not appear in it. Curious, was he late out on to the pitch?

  59. Huey 2017…. I eventually got round to watching the match again on the Telly.. Definitely Joe McQuillian bottled the penalty decision on Lee Keegan…. But he also bottled the penalty decision on Jason Doherty, after Clluxton saved Jason first shot,.. Jason is hand tripped by Clluxton, (Black Card and Penalty)… At the same time Philly Mcmahon has a foot block (penalty and yellow card)… Two Dublin players collide and Dublin are awarded a free… That’s clearly visible on the Television footage… From my own perspective on the 21 yard line, Davin end Lower Cusack…. Mayo forwards were constantly being pulled back off the ball… Mayo only got one free from this,.. This was the umpires job to inform the Ref… The umpires were worse than useless at both goals, twice going for halkeye for very simple decisions…. Unfortunately I think the had no choice but to red card Donie for his reckless challenge.. Another thing that needs adressing,…. There has been a lot of talk on social media. about Lee Keegan throwing a GPS at the ball for Dean Rock last minute free, after reviewing this 5 times on RTE footage of the alleged incident, there is absolutely no evidence to suggest this happened… It wouldn’t be the first time that a concerted campaign was launched to vilify Lee Keegan,.. This free was taken reasonably close to where I was sitting, I did not notice anything… But this free kick had every TV camera in the stadium trained on it for this pivotal moment of the match…. There is nothing to see!

  60. That’s a truly brilliant podcast, and I agree JJ, it has definitely kickstarted the recovery. Rob’s enthusiasm is infectious and so genuine and every speaker was soothing in their own way. We go on.

  61. Totally with Swahili, P, Huey 2017 and Leantimes. And why do we keep accepting this level of refereeing? Dublin are let do what they want. I think the result should be void and replay the match or relinquish Sam to the honest team. It’s like doping – it’s cheating. Technically the match was fixed in a way. Ref/GAA HQ and Dublin conspiring together whether they realise it or not!!!
    I wish I had the brains and know how to tackle this refereeing shit we put up with.
    Another reason (besides everyone hating Dublin and giving their tickets to us) we outnumbered Dublin in croke park, is many dubs are so bored and accustomed to winning, they didn’t even try to get tickets. Many dubs told my other half in his office that they didn’t bother this year. Next year it should be a fix to help Mayo win. Would do way more for the good of the GAA.
    I’m not drinking or on drugs. Just gone extra nuts after this 9th AI defeat.

  62. Dave,
    Thanks for your comment on the podcast. Just a few things in answer to your questions:
    1. As far as I am aware the Mayo County Board does not own a floodlit all-weather pitch. What it has at its disposal is not clear, although I would think that there are a few such facilities that they can use – one being the Connacht GAA centre between Knock and Ballyhaunis. However that one is for all of Connacht. Developing such a facility will cost a fair packet but when you look at other counties, you can see that they are doing it. In Dublin, even though there are several such facilities used by Dublin, they are going to develop a Dublin GAA Centre of Excellence at the old Spawell complex in south Dublin. At present, the Mayo GAA team trains most of the time in MacHale Park but that can get a bit soft at times so its use would be a bit restricted – particularly in the Spring. The issue of the size of the pitch is one I raised in the podcast. In the excitement of having a microphone stuck in front of my gob, I got the figures wrong. MacHale Park measures 137m x 82m. Croke park is 145m x 88m. It’s not as significant a difference as I had thought but it’s still 1500m2. Over 70 mins, that can be significant.
    2. With Barry Solan in charge of S&C, I would expect that the facilities for this would be right on the money. However, the issue of having everything in the same place when MacHale park is unplayable must cause problems.
    3.In relation to Games Development, the biggest problem around this is the fact that Dublin has a Games Promotion Officer for almost every club. In 2015, the comparative figures were Dublin 39, Mayo 2 (see Games Development Annual Report for 2015 – the latest one available at (see pages 53 and 54). The role they carry out do is shown on I have no idea how these comparative figures stack up in 2017, but if anything, the advantage given to Dublin seems to be increasing each year.
    4. There have been calls to get a Business manager / Commercial manager employed by the County Board and I have heard that work is being done on this but I have no idea of the stage that it has reached.

    I suspect that, once we have done with the disappointment of the result in the final, the debate will begin on what we can do to address the fine margins we need to work on. The first thing to do is to recognise that we are never going to compensate for the geographical or population factors that give advantage to Dublin. The next thing is to get the problems out on the table and to contribute to how they might be solved.

    As the bould WJ said last week, we are no longer spectators, we are participants!

  63. Sinead..I think we’re all extra nuts after this year..Not alot can be done re referees or surely we would have done it by now..What I dont understand is how the same heads get the Croke pk games every year..I can name very few apart from Mc Quillan,Deegan,Gough ,Brannigan and Nolan..Saw a list recently with about 20 names on it..Where are these other 15??

  64. Willie Joe – hope you don’t mind my re-posting of this again but now in a different thread so that the message does not get lost – have had a bit of interest already, but the more the merrier:
    And Louis Gunnigan, I’m looking at you….
    Folks – I’ve setup an email address to try to gather together a group of folks to see about getting people who are interested together and see what, if anything, we can do. Everyone is busy, this isn’t a recruitment for full time roles.
    If you can send an email to:

    with the following details:
    Name, phone number for now, any twitter handles etc and where you live (County or City would be fine, don’t need your Eircode or the likes)

    I’m busy myself so don’t be expecting instantaneous responses please!.

  65. Louis, you’re well informed and I agree fully with the sentiment that we are participants and not merely spectators. One edge which Mayo has over most counties is the massive groundswell of support that currently exist not only within the county but globally. This surely can be tapped into form a financial perspective and I would be hugely confident that if a Business or Commercial Manager was appointed that Mayo people around the world would contribute handsomely toward a clearly defined and transparent development project.

    I would urge you to look at the post FDBinashui posted on the ’48 hours on’ thread where he gives an email address for those interested in bringing things forward.

    It’s time for Mayo supporters to step out of the comfort zone and get involved in a proactive, positive and dynamic fashion.

  66. Thanks Louis
    I wont bore you all with my thoughts, but I hope they at least have a commercial person in place.

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