McStay’s first thoughts as manager

The Irish Times were fast out of the blocks today when they were the first news outlet to secure an interview with newly appointed Mayo manager, Kevin McStay. Seán Moran, who joins us on the podcast for an episode that will be online for club members tomorrow and for everyone else the day after, secured this notable scoop and it’s available here.

As you’d expect, the new man has plenty of say about his hopes for what he wants to achieve in the post. He’s too canny a media performer, of course, to offer up any hostages to fortune but he still sets his stall out fairly clearly.

He starts by dodging the handy excuse that he might be taking over a team in transition, instead noting bluntly that “I don’t see any transition in Mayo” and “if there was a transition, it’s been pretty much done under James.” As a result, he says, “there’s no question of us not being relevant in 2023.”

In terms of the plan for next year, Kevin identifies the need to target firstly a Connacht title, arguing that “the provincial championship is the best base camp for Mayo going into the All-Ireland.” With the new Championship structure in place next year, he notes the importance of using success in Connacht to get a good seeding in the round-robin stage, which in turn could help ease the path to the knockout stages.

Key to this, with a glut of games in rapid succession, will be panel depth. The new man sees this as an immediate target to aim at, saying “We’ve work to do there. Our bench is not as strong as the other big contenders.”

In terms of the management team he’s assembled, McStay points to their collective experience as an obvious strength, a point echoed by County Board Chairman Seamus Tuohy following the appointment announcement. Kevin notes that “between the five of us we’ve coached or managed in all four provinces.”

Reflecting on finally landing the position he’s wanted to get for several years, he says simply that “it’s hugely exciting and a job I always felt I’d love to do.”

Now, at last, that wish has come true and Mayo supporters everywhere will, no doubt, be hoping fervently that he’s a success in the role.

194 thoughts on “McStay’s first thoughts as manager

  1. Jroc…tús maith.
    What’s that line again….what you think about, you bring about.
    Bring it on…. for me.

  2. The championship really starts at the 1/4 final stage next year. Anything before that is really meaningless I believe, so Mayo just need to start prepping for then. Kerry will win in Munster, Dublin will win in Leinster and probably Tyrone in Ulster. After those, there is a huge drop off in standard and nothing to trouble Mayo. 1/4 finals will probably be played in Croker, so we should make the semifinals at the very least and fingers crossed we will go the whole way.

  3. Kevin wasn’t my first choice but his interview in the Irish Times is encouraging and exciting. He could have made excuses in advance but chose to be positive and optimistic about the immediate future. Good luck to him and all of his ream. Can’t wait for 2023.

  4. @Jroc.

    They’ve won all Irelands as both players (Rochford and Mulligan) and Managers – coaches (Rochford, McStay and McHale).

    Unfortunately, for your high standards. Our Gaelic Games don’t go to a World finals, so I suppose we’ll have to make do with lads that have only managed to win All Irelands.

    You must have a fair pocket full of AI medals yourself with the way you’re talking.

  5. Revellino he was probably bit harsh in phrasing but I presume he means winning Sam Maguire with any of the 14 inter county teams they were involved with.

    West is best is right really, while more competition than the hurling realistically there’s only a handful of contenders so barring disaster altogether it’s QF time on that’s the business end.

  6. Aye Revellino.. We’re talking about all irelands here.. 14 intercounty teams between them and no Sam.. And I’m saying that because that’s what we’re judging on.. Mayo have been in 7 finals now in 10 yrs, and are expected to be there every year or thereabouts.. Forget your club medals etc, this is about Sam maguire and nothing else will satisfy the mayo public.. Pull your head in.

  7. @The West is Best, why should all the quarter finals be played in Croke Park?.. In my opinion it’s that encouraged mindset put ‘everything’ in the Carbon Neutral Sea Gull sanctuary, ie Croke Park, that had given Dublin an outrageous virtual home advantage for about 98% of their Championship match’s this century, and as Dublin are still an excellent team and one of our and other contenders, this disadvantages us… Kerry couldn’t even afford the Hotel prices at one stage this summer and chartered a flight to Dublin for their hurlers.. The time’s they are a changing, and it’s time for serious rethink for everyone..I know it wasn’t a quarter final double header a few months ago, but the people voted with their feet and stayed at home for Roscommon v Clare and Kildare v Mayo and there was almost more Sea Gulls Flying around Croke Park than their was Gaelic Football fans on that day!

  8. Not saying they should Leantimes. Just having a guess that they’ll play 2 double headers there over 1 weekend.

  9. @The West is Best,.. plenty would close down the rest of Ireland if they got half a chance…we now have a pristine playing surface in McHale Park, we have millions of euro debt, for upgrading the biggest and only All Seater GAA Stadium in Ireland, it would be good to use it more Personally I would like to see more high profile games played at home, or if not at home closer to home… I hope the message sunk home for the CCCC from a few games in the last few months, that the public cannot be taken for granted… Actually the day before the All Ireland final between Galway and Kerry, and again for the Semifinal Dublin v Kerry it was possible to buy a ticket online if you were quick on the draw

  10. Leantimes will ya go away with that sort of common sense thinking 🙂 ?
    I think west is best could be right, it would have been good PR to have stated with the change in format the quarters would be moved around the country and maybe even given home advantage to top ranked team as incentive (although may not be runner with some grounds).
    When no word on that sort of system at announcement I’d be surprised if happens now.

  11. I would like to wish the very best of luck to Kevin and his team over the next 4 years. I believe he was the best choice at this moment.
    I wonder what part of the coaching team will take over the Forwards training? Kevin was a fine Forward and its this department where we are most lacking. We are still relying too much on Our Half backs and Midfield for scores.
    I hope the new coaches will scour the County during the Championship and hopefully unearth some scoring forwards.
    Will Kevin adopt a different system to James and allow fast ball into our Forwards? Shooting skills, Free taking and all round Forward play has to be improved hugely. If Mayo had their scoring boots on v Kerry it could have turned out differently. This has got to be Priority. Get new scoring Forwards on the panel and build a positive coaching structures to take every possible scoring chance. By Coaching a positive attitude into our Forward lines we can sew the seeds of success and Finally bring Home Sam.

  12. @Jroc.

    What county has either, Liam McHale, Buckley or Mulligan ever managed.

    Answer. They haven’t managed any.

    What manager that ever managed would have won an all Ireland with that Roscommon team that Mcstay managed.

    Answer.

    No manager that has ever managed.

    In two of three years in charge, Stephen Rochfords Mayo were beaten twice by a point, once after a draw

    Against.

    The supposed greatest team that ever played.

    Who were playing at home.
    Who were financially doped by both the Gaa and the Government.
    And just in case. Refereed by very favourable refs.

  13. @Revellino

    The resson they haven’t managed teams is because they are simply not good enough.. Mchale was selector under Maughan back in 04..they got a record hiding off kerry. Just waffling around the club scene since.. If mcstay is a great manager, why did no other top county move for him? See these are the questions that need to be ask.. Rochford hardly set the world alight in donegal, and whether Dublin won by a point or by 20 it doesn’t matter.. The result is still the same.

  14. Jroc you obviously have very high standards when you say these lads have won damn all. Obviously club all Irelands are irrelevant as Rochford and McStay have won that. It really is a pity we didn’t get a combination of Mickey Harte, Jim Gavin and Jack o Connor applying for the job, with Jimmy McGuinness in an advisory role. Then we would have lads who won something. But I guess those guys didn’t make themselves available so we are stuck with McStay Rochford and co.

  15. To win just once, I agree he may be a bit harsh. But it’s the county board who put the intercounty experience down as been the key differential in selection.

  16. @Jroc.

    You ask why didn’t any other county move for Mcstay. Roscommon did. I’m sure that’s how he became the Rossie manager, and now Mayo have moved for him.

    You must have meant the other three candidates when you said ” nobody had moved for them “.

    You say we got a record hiding off Kerry in 04. And somehow you think that would be McHale’s fault. McHale didn’t manage Mayo in 04 and has never managed Mayo.

    You are wrong again on that count.

    We got hammered in 06 by a bigger margin. Different management than 04.

    I’d say beaten by an even bigger margin in this year’s league final. Different management again.

    @Gizmo.

    If they put inter county experience down as the criteria, of the four candidates, Mcstay was the only one to have previously managed an Intercounty team. So that would add up, and then, what exactly was your point about Mcstay and lack of inter county experience.

    He’s the only one of the 4 candidates to have previously managed a Senior County team as far as I know.

  17. Revellino I didn’t say anything about McStays intercounty experience. My comment was in relation to to win just once response to Jrocs comment on how while they have intercounty experience it wasn’t successful experience in winning Sam Maguire.

  18. @ Gizmo.

    You said, and I quote.

    ” But it’s the county board who put the intercounty experience down as been the key differential in selection “.

    My point is, if that was their defining criteria, then their selection was correct seeing as Kevin Mcstay was the only one of the four candidates to have managed a County senior team.

  19. You copy and paste correctly. But left out the bit where I thought his comment was to harsh.
    What I thought he/she may have been trying to convey is that while experienced at intercounty level it wasn’t Sam Maguire winning experience.

    Which most managers will never have, such is the nature of the game, including some of the greatest ever.

  20. Ravellino you said Buckley never managed a county team. He did. Buckley began his career coaching over 30 years ago. He’s been all around the place, never spending more than a year or 2 anywhere else except I think 3 years in Limerick. There’s no way anyone can say Mcstay was a great success in Roscommon, he stepped down from managing Roscommon after 2 years because it wasn’t going well. He had been appointed for 3 years.

  21. So again my post was in no way intended a slight on anyone. Anyone who puts name in for these type of gigs where reality is you get more abuse than thanks deserves credit. I wouldn’t have the liathroidi for it.

  22. Hopefully McStay and co will deliver Sam. We have a chance. Their is no invincible team out there and we are well in the mix and have the talent to do it.

    The pack has come back which is key. Rub of the green on injury front next year and please God tone here be very different ?

  23. Jroc, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, as you – and we all – know.
    This is why we all wish Kevin to do well. I’m sure as a Mayo supporter you do too.
    I wish that fervently for his own sake as much as any other reason.
    A person may point to his lack of All-Ireland medals all they wish. He is the manager and what will speak loudest of all is progress with the team.
    Ditto for the others involved.
    Now we wait.
    Time will tell if Kevin’s lack of All-Ireland medals is an obstacle or not.

  24. Jroc Kevin McStay is hardly 24 hours in the job and I can see the honeymoon period is over for you at least. For crying out loud will you give the man a chance
    I am sure McStay his backroom team will do their level best for Mayo and thats all anyone can ask.

  25. Jazus criticising McStay before a ball has even been kicked is totally unfair! I just worry what it will be like when the IC season starts.
    It seems to me that there are people in this world whose favourite pastime is criticising and seeking out the negative in every situation- ‘negaholics’. Is it too much to ask that we give the man a chance and support him in his efforts? And if he messes up then fair enough air our criticisms at that point.

  26. All this talk of All Ireland winning managers is pie in the sky as no one with that particular qualification was nominated for the job , so Jroc and others just stirring it. Of more concern now is what happens when the training and the football begins again because the management is now in place, the work starts now to try and improve the squad, all the rest is waffle

  27. Wish McStay and his team all the best. It’s an exciting group and while I liked the freshness of the Dempsey ticket, I’ll be behind them 100%. Fair play to all the candidates for putting themselves forward. In a county like Mayo it means a lot of scrutiny and comment, far from all positive.

    Interesting stat in the Times today; since 1989, Mayo have been in 11 All-Ireland finals: Dublin have been in the same number and won 9.

  28. Wow……One day in the job and the negativity has exploded. I thought after the appointment we would all row in behind Kevin and his group and not be bitching because individual preferences did happen. After reading some of the posts on here I thought it sounded like a hogan stand reaction to a thread and looked in to HS and sure enough the anti-Mayo spite and dross was there to be seen.
    This blog in the main avoids that sort of stuff and usually debates in a level-headed way. Would be a shame if we descended to that level. Even if you don’t favour the new setup at least give them a bloody chance and don’t be throwing out nonsense to prove some sort of point to convince yourself. We have an exceptional looking management team in charge and we should all be excited for what the future holds.

  29. Unfortunately the reason all quarter finals are played in CP and most double headers is to give value to corporate and premium ticket holders. It’s a huge problem for the championship as it robs other grounds of revenue, the atmosphere would be far better and you’d get more supporters in other grounds.

    Remember this is how the ‘Newbridge or Nowhere’ issue came about.

    It’s ironic that the GAA follow such a corporate model at the expense of supporters and the other grounds…for such an amateur organisation,

    Mickey Harte, Joe Kernan, John O’Mahony etc. never won Sam prior to managing Tyrone, Armagh or Galway …hardly an exact science folks!

  30. How will the round-robin setup work? Will it be the one home, one away,one neutral format and how are seedings and draw configured?

  31. JROC
    Jack OConnor hadnt won an All Ireland …….until he did……..Neither had John O’Mahony, Sean Boylan and plenty others.
    I dont think your point stands up really

  32. JCroc,what all Ireland’s had Jim Mcguinness or Jim Gavin won when they became inter county managers?

  33. Can someone please explain to me why previous inter county senior management is so vital to getting a job. It’s the most niave way of putting things. Had Kevin and Co won a senior inter county championship then I wouldn’t have any complaints at all. But to suggest that Kevin deserved the job ahead of the other 3 because he and his team managed senior counties before is a joke if we are all being true to ourselves. If you were to look at things critically, the fact that all the people in Kevin’s team haven’t won an All Ireland is a big red flag. Considering the amount of chances they had (14). Did the CB ever think of asking that question?

  34. Let’s be totally honest about this.
    McStay, Rochford, Buckley. They are top drawer. We are exceptionally lucky that all three are happy to work together.
    Of any management team that has ever taken the reins in Mayo, this team has by far the greatest potential and aggregate credentials … ever. And that includes the second comings of Horan and O’Mahoney. Even though O’Mahoney had won All-Irelands in 2007, his focus was elsewhere. Horan was close. But overall, I believe his ticket lacked the overall experience and ability of this team.

    Mayo have not win an AI for 71 years. So there is no Mayoman with senior AI medals in his pocket available to manage us.

    We sometimes forget that IC management is a PART-TIME JOB. So we need a high quality, well balanced group, to manage and coach the team. And we need people who have time to devote to the job. We’ve got it. So, please, please, please quit the negativity and grumpiness. Let’s get back to the feelings of positivity that Mayo supporters are famous for.

    This is exciting. Roll on Croker next year.

  35. some hinting McStay was a failure at Ros and using that to criticise him. I think he did ok with ros, won promotion and a connacht title. Jim Gavin with a backroom team of McGuinness, Harte & O’Connor with Boylan on Nutrition, Michael O’Leary on Logistics and The Rock on S&C wouldnt have gotten Ros an All Ireland.

    You would have hoped everyone would get behind the management team and give them a chance to work with the team and actually play some games before criticising them. It will be a long winter on here I think with some people rehashing the same points again and again, it will make Hennelly v Clarke seem like good times. Looking forward to the club championships and talking about actual football.

  36. I’d agree wholeheartedly with those saying that the carping needs to end and that, as supporters, it’s time to get behind the new management team. It’s five months until next year’s National League gets underway and I’ve no interest in hosting a constant stream of moaning about the appointment all the way until then.

    For good or ill – and none of us can say which it is, though we’ll find out in time: that’s the way with sport – the decision has been made and that’s all there is to it. No doubt if things don’t work out those complaining loudly now will be first in the door with their “I told you so” lines. Sadly, that’s how sport tends to work too.

  37. PS Spare a thought for Monaghan, who, as is reported in the Irish News this morning, interviewed three candidates for manager last week and they’ve come up with nobody as a result of this.

  38. To be fair you have to say fairplay to the CB in getting the funding in place for this management team as well

  39. No need to be critizicing ole jroc folks, I really enjoy this blog.. Its giving me great comfort in a week where the wife left me due to my views on mayo football. She’ll come back please god.

  40. @Mayomad, that McStay managed Roscommon team was a very talented group, However I wouldn’t say that it would have been impossible for them to reach an All Ireland final. . I would say that they were reasonably well Managed in the whole by McStay and Co, but at the same time Antony Cunningham done equally as well with them… Even this year in the Connacht Final I would argue that if Roscommon tried a few long balls earlier in the game, they certainly had the ability to beat Galway in the Connacht Final, and Padraig Joyce has honestly spoken about his ambition for this Galway team to land Sam… That same “Ambition” to land Sam, in the next few years has to be a minimum for any Management or Team. While Kevin McStay has spoken about Mayo being ‘Relevant’ next year, and Padraig Joyce has spoken about Galway desire for Sam Maguire.. If Mayo fans were to be bullish and talk about Sam Maguire, have pictures with virtually every celebratory in the world with the usual ‘Mayo for Sam’ and on the whole too many of us all be it outstanding Mayo fan’s have maybe overdone it regards to public displays of our love for Mayo Football, I think it’s wise for Kevin McStay to use the word ‘Relevant’ taking the nature of Mayo supporter’s in account, .. Padraig Joyce is equally right to have spoken about Galway’s ambition to win Sam Maguire, just the different nature of Galway’s support!

  41. Well said Willie Joe. Upcoming county championship gives new management great scope to look for new blood, and forensically examine existing talent. It’s kinda strange in a way: we’ve new management in place, yet they’ve nothing to manage at the moment. The Mayo men’s senior football has not been there since 26th June, and won’t exist for almost seven months. Remarkable that you have a blog at all Willie Joe, with nothing happening most of the time!

  42. I believe Green&Red is asking the same question as Jroc wanted to ask. I only realised that afterwards.

    Green&Red, I find it useful to ask myself why you are putting forward your question.

    I presume you preferred another management ticket that didn’t seem to have the IC senior management experience, but you thought had other attributes like perceived freshness, a new start, an impressive back room team, that were crucial for you.

    Firstly McStay’s ticket also has freshness, a new start and an impressive backroom team. And then they also have a lot of experience at a high level.

    Why is the latter a plus?
    It is a plus but not essential as Horan has shown. But even Horan got blamed for not doing things right on the sideline when he started out. Inexperience?

    However, for a team of the expectation levels of Mayo and the calibre of players Mayo have, senior IC management experience is valuable. You are not starting from scratch in a lot of areas across the board.
    Senior IC football is different from club football at any level. Posters here can list how – training, logistics, planning, organisation, commitment, level of opposition, media, scrutiny, expectations and more.
    I think it’s a massive plus to have two previous county managers on the team – of Mayo and Roscommon.
    One – for example. Rochford knows what it is to plan for a team like Tyrone in 2016 and Kerry in 2017. That’s a lot of experience right there.
    Two – McStay knows what it is to deal with finances, and to motivate players that he might not have been sure would buy in to a Mayo man in Roscommon.
    Both know opposition teams very well (or they should). In addition, Rochford and Buckley have coached against Ulster opposition. If Mayo wants to win an AI soon, that appears to me to be valuable.

    Consider even the difference in managing a Division 4 team and a Division 1 team.
    I presume similar differences hold up between managing a successful club team and a county team.

    As I said, previous – and copious – IC experience is valuable, esp to a team like Mayo who are operating at a high level already. It is not essential but it cannot be discounted. As I said above also, it doesn’t mean McStay’s team were bad in other areas, either. Your question seems to imply this.

    Lastly, maybe the question is – what value does previous senior IC experience bring to a team?

    I am sorry Green&Red and Jroc but I cannot take your criticism that the McStay team has loads of IC experience but no Sam Maguire seriously. The comment about the ‘red flag’ doesn’t make sense to me, unfortunately, different things considered.

  43. Sorry for long answer folks. I’m happy to leave the debate there too.
    We will know enough in time.
    And let’s enjoy the ride.
    It’s really nice that we can.
    I’m happy for McStay – let’s hope he makes us all proud, including himself.

  44. New pod up on Patreon now, this is the weekly one that’ll be up on all other platforms tomorrow. Rob, Mike and me along with Seán Moran of the Irish Times discussing Kevin McStay’s appointment and looking ahead to what next year might hold for us.

  45. @Swallow Swoops – 100% agree.

    I can understand criticism of the team / manager after a poor season, but JROC and Green&Red are having a go at the new management before they even played their first game. If you read back through threads they have put out plenty of comments looking for negative engagement.

    Their agenda is clear it is to get a reaction from people on the blog with stupid comments and bring negativity around the appointment. These type of people are best ignored because getting a reaction from people online is the highlight of their day and usually their only hobbies.

  46. Ah Jkel88, my god.. A bit of light humour now and again is no harm.. We are just making a point or an opinion.. Just because you don’t agree with it. It’s not about negativity it’s realistic to question things.. I suggest maybe you don’t take things so serious, calling for us to be ignored is just childish on your part.. If you don’t like it don’t respond that’s all. If that doesn’t work well I don’t know, maybe head off for a walk, skim a few stones on a lake and have a think about things.

  47. Kevin and Co haven’t stood in the Mayo dressing room yet. Collectively or individually the new team have won more than, I would guess, 99% of us here.
    I can’t understand how the knives can be out before we even start.
    Are we not in this together?

  48. One essential point that cannot be overlooked is the quality of players available – I’m with Revellino and “to win just once” (irony appreciated!) on this one. I very much doubt that Jack O’Connor’s record as Kerry manager would be quite as stellar without the availability of superstars like Maurice Fitzgerald in the early 2000s and David Clifford just recently! Not sure we have any superstars just now but delighted to be proven wrong. Up Mayo!

  49. As a starter to strengthening our bench K.Mc needs to get rid of some of the benchwarmers that his predecessor was fond of having there for what it appeared to me was for the sake of it. I don’t need to name names as some of the benchwarmers are obvious, they’ve had enough chances (albeit with JH, in the last 5 mins of matches)

  50. @JROC – You are likely a grown man who spends his day trolling through internet forums looking for reactions from people. Think we all know who the childish one is.

  51. The classic tactic of the bully is alive and well on this blog, I see – post negative crap to goad people into a reaction, and then belittle them by telling them they’re too sensitive.

    It would be great to have an ‘ignore’ option to block these clowns WJ – but as you run this blog in your spare time, I assume that adding that option is not a realistic possibility?

  52. JKell88,
    100% agree with you.
    This week has been a good week for Mayo GAA and that’s not in question.The CB who I’m usually critical of did a great job too.Even if some people would have wanted Dempsey most I talked to say they’re happy with McStays team too.
    You would have to question the intentions
    of somebody trying to put a negative spin on this week as McStay starts off on his journey with Mayo.Are they real Mayo “supporters”? Time will tell how McStays team does but hes already making all the right noises and it was great to read that interview.If you can’t get behind him now and the team then what are you at? Why bother following the team at all?
    Jroc has an awful whiff of the Viper about him,best not to engage.That level of negativity (and let’s be honest here) nonsense is an awful way to be generally in life

  53. Jkel88, from what I’ve saw you spend a fair bit of time on here yourself.. You are probably one of those people who push opinions that don’t agree with yours on people.. I actually have good clubmates from yrs ago who agree with mcstay as the manager now, and they don’t mind having a debate.. When I was a young jroc I used to cycle around with simcock, kellzer and pdog, we used to go to gaa matches all over mayo.. And many a time we’d get a hiding for stealing an odd football along the way.. Usually simcock took the digs for us as he was a little “slow”.. Innocent times.. My point is I’ve been around in the good and bad times and I think I’ve earned the right to comment if I see a few things need questioning. We can’t all agree on everything jkel88. Up mayo

  54. Unfortunately Jroc I don’t think you have earned that right. It’s crystal clear that opinion and debate aren’t supported by some on this blog (Not WJ who is fair in all this). Follow one view or else you hate mayo. And for the record I thought it was a 2 horse race and didn’t care who got it between the 2 horses. But that doesn’t mean we can’t be critical. If Dempsey, Solan or Shaw got it I guarantee you 100% there would be plenty giving out saying they didn’t have experience. So I think it’s well within your right to question the experience of the man who got the job. Unfortunately your getting a lot of backlash from it.

  55. Jroc – you’re only a recent arrival here and you’re already proving an annoyance to others. You’ll need to tone it down a bit if you want to remain active here, it’s not a place where winding up others for the fun of it is welcome.

  56. I’m sorry Willie Joe, I just love mayo gaa so much that I want only the best to give us a chance.. I sometimes let my frustration get the better of me.. Its not to criticise managers or their record etc.. I just spent half an hour on the phone last night to a man who lives in Abu Dhabi, a great mayo man.. He was in tears at mcstays appointment, couldn’t believe Dempsey didn’t get the job.. We just love mayo and we’d talk for hours about it.. I do apologise if I went a bit too negative.

  57. I was delighted to hear Kevin say how important he felt winning Connacht was as a first step to going anywhere.

    To come out and say it, no hidden pretences, and I felt like he was firing a shot across the Galway bow.

    It’s going to be very exciting times I feel in Mayo football.

  58. I am happy enough. The main core of the new management have had a wonderful experience of Mayo football and will move heaven and earth to get the best from the players, in part self based but from a great desire to fulfill a dream from an early age.

    McStay, Rochford, McHale, grew up to hope for a Mayo All Ireland and Buckley must be an adopted native with experience at this stage. No one doubts the sincerity of the others. They will have long talks into the night. Ciaran 2.

  59. The general point is that all managers have to play the hand they’re dealt – I believe Jack O’C was a selector under Paidi in 2001 when Maurice Fitz won his last All-Ireland. An additional plea to at least allow a honeymoon period to the new team. This obsession with Sam is our downfall – just take the games as they come. Maigh Eo Abú!

  60. J Croc I asked you a simple question,how many all Ireland’s had Jim McCarthy Guinness or Jim Gavin won when they became inter county managers

  61. John Martin, I agree with you –
    “ An additional plea to at least allow a honeymoon period to the new team. This obsession with Sam is our downfall – just take the games as they come. Maigh Eo Abú!”

    Well said : )

  62. Corick Bridge – No intercounty experience either. Yet that held back the other 3 candidates who had done great work in Mayo.

  63. Corick Bridge – there’s no point pursuing that line of questioning. JCroc has given his views – which I’ve no problem with – but it’s the resultant over-and-back point-scoring that’s causing problems. I think the best thing to conclude is that different people have very different views on the outcome of the appointment process – which is their right – but the process is done now and we need to move on.

    Two Yellows – same point to you about repeatedly pursuing this same point, which I think I’ve given plenty of latitude to but which is now starting to grate. I’d appreciate if you’d leave it there.

  64. Thanks Swallow Swoops – this MFS mantra is counter-productive and just piles additional pressure on everyone.

    Could I suggest a new mantra from no less than Samuel Beckett?

    “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better” – (from his 1983 story “Worstward Ho”).

    The sentiment seems to resonate naturally with the mentality demanded by the world of new managers, where early outings often end in failure, but failure which may well contain the seeds of future success.
    Btw I had a brief word with the great man, Sam, back in 1985 in Paris.

  65. Probably the most ridiculous appointment in Mayo GAA history for a number of reasons
    1 The appointment process…dragged out and like a talent competition
    2 The make up of the management team has two individuals from two clubs beside each other in North Mayo…I’m sure there are better men in clubs in South East and West Mayo whose clubs have won alot more in the last ten years
    3 If the man wasn’t good enough for the job a few years ago who is he good enough now and IF his selector was a problem then how is he not now?
    4 If the man chosen over him wasn’t good enough and failed why bring him in with your team now
    5 Two out of the four have been there before and failed with one being under a number of mayo set ups and failed and those 2 gentlemen were involved with two teams last year who had horrendous seasons

    Only in Mayo would such an appointment be made and the back room team raise more questions then they should. It’s the same thing over again with appointments

  66. Have any other season ticket holders just got an email saying that a limited number of tickets for the Garth Brooks’ concert in Croke Park on 10th September are available? Imagine – once upon a time we used to have hurling and football All-Irelands in September …

  67. I would agree with the thinking that this management appointment will not bring sufficient new ideas to make a big difference but they are appointed now and deserve everyone to row in 100% behind them.
    One of the first jobs needed is to talk to senior team members and see if they have another season or 2 in them. Thats mainly Leeroy and AOS, both i would expect to commit again. Kevin Mc loughlin is one who may call it a day. And if he does he deserves a rousing send off as he was a great player for Mayo since 2011 if very under rated.
    Finding fullbacks is another key task. In that regard trying to bring EOD back might be part of the solution.
    A lot to do so let them get on with it…

  68. Hi Willie Joe ,

    I got the same email from season tickets . From a club point of view the split season is odd but players are getting used to it . Having time in summer for players to take holidays and live a life is a big plus .
    the destruction of the club league is a negative . but I think the club championship will be a cracker once it starts .

  69. @Willie Joe.. Imagine a time not that long ago, when Garth Brooks wouldn’t do the stadium gig for anything less than 5 days..It’s not that long ago when people would have sold their Granny’s to secure a single ticket for the same never to material gigs or you might have gotten a ticket if you had friends in high places. And now you can get one with the Mayo season ticket..Ah the time’s they are a changing alright!

  70. People are talking about the McStay ticket and inter county experience as if it’s the only reason they got the job ..

    James Horan who was inexperienced got the job over Tommy Lyons who was experienced. The difference was Tommy Lyons was not rated highly at that stage. The McStay ticket has high level inter county experience and are very highly rated in coaching terms.

    McStay won a Connacht title against the head with Roscommon. Cunningham did so after but he was building on a platform created by McStay. Rochford brought Mayo really close. The Mayo players rated Buckley very highly and they know far more than us. Mulligan and McHale are very well rated at club level in recent years and McHale has loads of experience too.

    Trying to make that collective experience a weakness and infer someone with no inter county experience is in a better position is a peculiar argument to make.

    Their inter county experience is one of many considerable strings to their bow. It was clearly a key one for the CB but hardly a solitary factor.

    There are no perfect tickets but the question marks over the McStay one are far less than any of the others in my view. That’s how they ended up with it.

  71. PK, for God’s sake give it a rest. Did you not read WJs take on all the negativity? I doubt that it was only meant for those that had already been at it but for those that might be looking to start as well. As many have said give K.Mc. and his team a bloody chance.

  72. Dont get his comments re The Connacht championship – it is actually pretty pointless next year given the new format, it has never had less relevance in terms of launching an all ireland push

    Once we start motoring by the round robin stages, that’s all we need

  73. I want to wish Kevin and his crew good luck for his management term, also the three unsuccessful applicants hope the get a chance in the future.
    In our in house poll I voted for Kevin, ray’s crew were good but with the high profile kilgallon has after Munich he may be head hunted by athletic bodies. Mcconville it’s a long journey from crossmaglen to castlebar I wouldn’t like that return drive of a winter’s evening.
    When Joe kiernan was manager of Galway I think the travel to Galway was a problem ,he may at times flown from Dublin to Galway that’s why I think the guys Kevin picked will the there for his management term.
    Yes I understand he will not be welcomed by everyone he should be able to accept that.
    Is my memory correct when I say in 1983 he made his debut in Connacht final against Galway and he was greeted to senior football not by a hand shake but a closed fist from no 6 Tierney welcome to the seniors he should be ready for any hits going forward.

  74. Just to be clear, I’ve no issue with anyone expressing their views on the appointment, as so many have already done over the last 48 hours and others are welcome to do if they want. My issue is with the concerted negativity being expressed by backers of one particular candidate, which is definitely starting to grate at this stage and doesn’t reflect well on those involved.

  75. Ciaran, provincial winners will be seeded in the championship group stages as previous posters pointed out, so yes there is an advantage to winning connacht and avoiding Kerry/Dublin until later in the competition. This is what Kevin was referring to.

  76. @Ciaran – I think it is more about the seeding. Ideally you want to avoid a group with Dublin or Kerry in it who are likely to win Leinster and Munster, they will be top seed of their group. There is probably no avoiding a strong ulster team.

    Lose your provincial final and you could end in a group with Kerry, Tyrone and Armagh as an example. Win your province you are likley to avoid at least one of the big hitters unless there is an upset.

  77. This is a bit random, but we really need a good fb and ff. Just watched Cathal mcshane’s goal against us last year, just came from a high long ball. Simple stuff. We always concede rather than score those goals. Wishing mcstay and team all the best..

  78. Uncle Sam,I was there and he certainly got a very powerful welcome to championship football,but my memory is that he stood up for himself

  79. Best to the management,
    I can not see why we can’t reach the top in 23
    We had a team this year that needed a rest ,
    But for injuries mayo wud have taken kerry ,
    Were as good and if not better than any,
    Thats why Buckley and Rochford are back they know we have what it takes,
    That management will push the footballers to the top for sure

  80. Utmost respect for all candidates who put them forward for a job under such close scrutiny..
    Easiest thing in the world for Mc Stay, Rochford , Buckley and Mc Hale to let sleeping dogs lie but they clearly feel that they have more to give.Best of luck to them.
    Met Rochford in Mick Byrnes in 2017 the night of the homecoming and in midst of huge disappointment he was an absolute gent…

  81. @corick..mcguinness and gavin won all irelands as players I think, probably gave them an insight into what it takes.. I know its mcstays first go here in mayo so we’ll see as previous posts say.. I do agree however with kp saying if he wasn’t good enough 5 yrs ago, why now? It’s a fairly good point.. Not negative, just a question

  82. All the best to Kevin and his team.

    Just a thought on MacHale Park. I see PUC will be hosting Munster v South Africa in a sell out tie in November. Could MacHale Park entice Connacht to play a similar game or even host a concert or two next year?

    They really need to start thinking outside the box to pay off this crippling debt.

  83. Yeah WJ , got that Email too. Very thoughtful, but can stick their tickets as far as I’m concerned.

  84. That would be a great idea Yew Tree but unfortunately i cant see the powers that be in Connacht Rugby allowing a competitive game outside of the sportsground in the forseeable, they will have their own stadium debt with the redevelopment.

    Pearse Stadium held the black eyes peas this summer, not sure why McHale park is left sitting idle when GAA isnt on, it has so much potential.

  85. Not sure i’d agree McStay won a Connacht title against the head with Roscommon. He took over a rossie outfit that had won a few Connacht U21 titles and Mayo included shipped some defeats to those U21 teams. John Evans left their seniors in Div 1 building the platform for McStay and Cunningham to win two Connacht titles in 3 years (2017,2019)

    McStay i might add is currently managing Roscommon Gaels minors and will stay in the role until the autumn. He led them to a county title last year and are expected to retain that title again this year so he’s kept himself busy before taking on the pressure game that is the Mayo senior management role

  86. Seanie CH/ yew tree it unlikely they that bad they’d overlook these type of ventures, likely license or insurance related.

  87. A great story, a friend of mine was in a bar in malibu in LA and he was wearing a mayo Jersey.. He met the actor Cuba gooding Jr, they got talking and my pal was asked about the Jersey and history etc.. How mayo fans are waiting eagerly for the final victory.. Cuba decked him after 10 mins… Heard enough. I think it was the curse that annoyed him. Imagine that.. No arrests were made though.. But always a mayo man in trouble somewhere.

  88. I think my friend probably had one or two too many.. Anyway.. I’m gone off topic.. I think we need a diff option at 6 and 11 this year..no creativity at 11 which is vital

  89. Well said Diehard and WJ. We don’t need negativity now.
    I’ve been supporting Mayo since the 1940’s and have little tolerance for some of what has been going on here.
    Grow up some of you and give up the carping criticism. Support your team and management.

  90. The negativity is unbelievable. Judging a management team on what they didnt acchieve 5 years ago. Ive heard it all. Its a fresh start and about acchieving from this day forward. A clean sheet for players too. The upcoming championship is their opportunity to put their hands up. Are there a lot of posters into the `winding up’ game?

  91. 100+ comments to read through again today. Thought the back and over sniping and negativity (from some) would be over or at least eased off at this stage.
    Alas I was mistaken. Seeing as the new management team hasn’t overseen a game or even a training session, it’s embarrassing.

  92. Is everyone meant to agree on everything here? Like I get some negativity is uncalled for, but if we all say nothing and agree on everything, where is there room for debate? In a civilised way of course.

  93. Yes @WJ,I got the email aswell re Garth Brooks.
    I won’t be taking them up on their generous offer

    I always wondered about the Garth Brookes hype,I mean how many die hard GB fans are there,I always felt it was over played.Throw into the mix that Dublins Hotel situation can’t cope and the fact that he’s shite,it doesn’t make much sense to me.

    I don’t know one person going.

  94. John Martin, that was something iconic – to meet Samuel Beckett in Paris in 1985. Bravo!
    Yes, let us try again!!

  95. Of course people commenting here aren’t meant to agree on everything, Jroc, and the healthy debate that happens here pretty much all the time bears that out. As long as people are fair and reasonable in what they say, then they’re free to voice whatever opinions they want.

    My Ball – I’ve deleted that comment as it was clearly aimed at the person, not the topic. There’s no need for that.

  96. My Ball, I’ve been at more mayo games than you’ve had hot dinners.. I am not a rossie or a dub.. Born on the west coast of this wonderful county.. Not far from Louisburgh.. I live up the country now but still go to every mayo game.. Its just I’ve saw my fair share of disappointment and I’ve learned to question things. I like to add a little humour to some posts as I’ve heard some great stories. I think we need little humour amongst the seriousness.. But fair play wj, keeps it real on this blog.. Really enjoy it. Myself and simcock often walked to matches in our youth, poor simcock used to wear a Jersey and just wellingtons with no trousers..no money in those days for fancy jeans, but we managed. Innocent but great days.

  97. McStay has the job now, time to start talking about where he will get a fullback and a few scoring forwards. Some of the panel members have been there for years and have got plenty of chances and never performed when needed, so who will he get to replace them , he has all the Club Championship games to look over players and see whoes there. Maybe some of present panel might play better under a different system of play,, hope he lets players express themselves and not all this back passing and messing about.

  98. Who are the players we will be looking at to make an impression in the club championship – I would think players like O’Brien and Kuba Callaghan from Ballagh, Paul Towey, Sam Callinan, Irwin, McStay, Mark Moran, Bob Tuohy etc
    Any more natural full back line players who might come through??

  99. Any news on Brendan Harrisons injury it would be nice to see him back on the Mayo team,we need him and I hope Kevin McStay doesn’t forget him and include him on the team because we need his experience

  100. Southmayo Exile – i think Ethan Henry, Jack Fallon, Dylan Pendergast, Anthony O’Boyle, Conor Diskin, Joe Tuohy, Nathan Moran are a few more.

  101. Fair enough WJ . Apologies..
    Just got frustrated with the negativity and nonsense talk … I’ll take a breather from posting for a while .

  102. No worries, My Ball, no need for any self-enforced break. We’ll have plenty of football to chat about soon once the club action gets going.

  103. I expect there will be a few dark horses in this years championship, players who will thrive on ‘fresh start’ opportunity. And can some players make the jump from fringe to established. Westport will be reliant on mcdonagh and the morans to make that jump. King, Orme and several Knockmore players should be chasing a place on new mayo panel

  104. @Ontheditch.
    I was just about to write about Kieran King. Looks to have all the attributes to me and kept Ryan O D relatively quiet in the 2021 Mayo SFC final. Ryan was flying at the time. King played at 6 that day with David McHale behind him at 3.
    For me the critical positions will be 3,6 and 11.
    Without any hesitation I would play Oisin at 6 and Diarmuid at 11. Both are wasted in their current positions in my opinion.
    Hopefully we can get Ryan,Cillian and Tommy firing at the same time.

  105. I’d expect Kevin mcstay to meet with James horan at some stage quite soon if he hasn’t already.

  106. The decision to appoint Kevin has been made. It is time to get behind the team and management. Any negative comments on the appointment is detrimental and pointless. The due diligence has been done and the process is very transparent. Let’s talk football and leave the politics.

  107. Mark Cunningham Castlebar is one to watch. Looks a creative number 11. Scored a goal in the div 1 league semi final and final over the last 2 weeks. Still u20 next year I think so probably a more medium term prospect.

  108. I agree Wide Ball he has been very good but probably another 2-3 years before he is physically ready to make the step up.

    Sean Morahan i would expect to be involved in the next few years, he is still only 17 and had a fine game against Knockmore, he also started 11 for the mayo u20s this year.

    Would there be anything to be said for playing Diarmuid in the number 6 jersey next year for a few games ? If darren mchale can stay injury free he could be a great option at 11.

  109. Swallow and John Martin, as we are name checking, I too ‘met’ Beckett in Paris. We were walking in the Luxembourg Gardens, going in opposite directions as it happens. No words were spoken – we wanted to respect each others privacy!

  110. How anyone especially the county board could give Rochford a second chance after his decision to drop David Clarke for Rob Hennelly on the morning of the 2016 final replay beggars belief , he handed Dublin a huge advantage that day which Hennelly only added to when conceding the penalty after a crazy pass by O’Shea with basically handed then the cup

  111. Yew tree
    Excellent thinking on use of McHale park in August and September.
    Surely it could host concerts or an annual music festival perhaps on August bank holiday.It would drive business in the town and make that “insurmountable” debt very easy to talk to after a few years.
    Those are the kind of ideas that we need to consider.

  112. Mick11 – I can’t imagine how you might think that an abusive comment like that would be deemed acceptable here, the cowardly nature of it made even worse by the fact that you posted it at two in the morning. That’s you done commenting here.

    John – I’ll leave that comment of yours up but I’d just note that it’s an overly harsh take on the events of 2016, which there’s no need to go into again, as that debate has been done to death on the blog at this stage. Suffice to say, that issue is a far more nuanced one than the one-eyed way you’ve portrayed it, for a whole list of reasons, and it could be argued that there were a whole load of reasons why we lost that replay (by a single point). And that’s before you even start to consider how we did under the same manager in 2017 …

  113. Just listened to the Patreon podcast with my breakfast coffee and a great listen as usual. Meant to comment yesterday actually on that first Kevin McStay interview. He replied to the idea of Mayo being in transition by saying “no we’re not, the transition has already been done by James Horan”. Very magnanimous of him and brave by not going down the standard route of claiming we need to rebuild or we’re starting from a low base etc. He maintains we will be competitive in 2023 and you have to give full marks for honesty and openness. It may rub some fans up the wrong way by saying it but fair play to Seamus Tuohy for his interview after the meeting and explaining their stand point. After 11months of negativity I’ve found this week to be much more uplifting and with the club championship upcoming and on the pitch football to take centre stage again I’m pretty happy.

  114. Good to hear that, Joe G. This episode, minus the bonus clubhouse chat at the end, is now up on all other platforms as well. Great chat on it with Seán Moran of the Irish Times about Kevin McStay’s appointment.

  115. Yes Swallow Swoops – it was like an out of body experience on the day of an Ireland France rugby game – he was a big sports fan and had represented Ireland in cricket. Very very shortsighted – he was reading l’Equipe – this iconic photo was taken the same day, same place I believe! We didn’t get around to Mayo GAA – we were in a very bad phase back then!

  116. Great and all as I’m sure the man was I’d prefer to meet Sam Maguire on bóthar Mhic Éil some time in July/Aug.2023..

  117. Catcol – LOL (still laughing at your post!)

    John Martin – I love your story and the little detail about l’Équipe. So pleased you got to have that experience. It might have felt ‘out of body’ in the same way as standing tall in the evening mist hearing ‘The Green and Red of Mayo’ in Croke Park after the SF last year or watching wide-eyed as it unfolded on TV.
    1985 – Mayo were only getting going that year (with P Brogan’s goal). I know it’s crazy but I kind of see our rebirth as a team tracing back to that year with lots of jitters along the way.
    Don’t get me going on Paris! I’d start talking and wouldn’t stop. Will relish reading the article you linked to that shows Beckett’s photo.
    P.S. There have been some brilliant posts here since yesterday.

  118. @John.. Stephen Rochford took a risk, ..I believe had that decision gone well, which it could easily have gone well, to give Mayo those vital few inches to get over the line… Even as that decision backfired, Mayo almost got over the line, and despite mistakes on the sideline and on the pitch, overall Mayo played one of their finest game’s of all time. .In my opinion the greatest 5 Championship match’s Mayo ever played, they played them under Stephen Rochford as manager.. Robbie Hennelly as a goalkeeper seems to have recovered very well ( after having suffered some terrible abuse) ..Now I think in the last two years, that Robbie Hennelly has been the Mayo No1 , Robbie has shown that he is well up there with the best GAA Goalkeepers in Ireland, one of Mayo’s best player’s, and Mayos best long range free taker.. Of course the man Robbie has replaced, David Clarke was Mayo’s greatest ever Goalkeeper, and in my opinion David was there as one of the greatest GAA Goalkeepers of All Time, and probably the greatest shot stopper of All Time. Of all the people who were named as possible New Mayo Manager’s, Stephen Rochford, or Eamon Fitzmaurice would probably have been my No1 choice, … Now Stephen Rochford, will be a coach under Kevin McStay, I wish all involved the best of luck!

  119. Thx Catcol – any idea what that year was? The poor man died died December 22, 1989, Paris.
    Swallow Swoops – yes that’s a poetic description of the occasion – he was sitting opposite me and quite talkative to the staff so I gave him a “petit bonjour”! Allez Mayo!

  120. Loving all these Beckett references. We need to get Joyce in on the act too – I know we’ve had plenty of mention of Padraic the last while but it’s James we need to field for this dicsussion.

  121. Couldn’t admit to being an expert on Joyce (the bould James as opposed to Padraic), WJ.
    But inviting in James Joyce would mean we’d have to think of gnarly, earthy, ordinary and extraordinary characters, rooted in local place or local undertaking. We’d have to make up a story (no trouble there – we have one already).
    It could be a few vignettes, like Dubliners.
    Or an epic, like Ulysses. I wonder where the different ‘episodes’ of the story (Ulysses) would be. Who would be the Leopold Bloom character? Maybe Saint Patrick could be. Or he could he one of the wild characters (full compliment intended). James Horan would have to feature prominently (and his cap). Some of our favourite referees would have to put in appearances too. Other carpy-type individuals could put in an appearance (maybe having a breakfast of pigs trotters and something else like L Bloom did). We can think of one or two of these larger than life persons.
    I had better stop there : )
    We have had the few episodes of the Odyssey already. We’re probably headed on another!

  122. I wouldn’t be over literary myself but correct me if I’m wrong did Beckett not spend ages and ages and ages waiting for a buck called Godot…I wonder did he ever arrive. Hopefully he did,and hopefully our elusive lad will arrive shortly too.

  123. Ah, 2 Hops! You’re right.
    We’re in the trap ourselves here of waiting and waiting (hopefully not falling too deeply in and not letting life pass us by in the process).
    Maybe we can overcome the discomfort by living the adventure fully and also learn to know that life will unfold by itself while we can get on with other things.

  124. “Waiting for a buck called Godot indeed -we’re waiting for Sam. And yes 2 hops – I too would have Sam M over Sam B at this stage! Up Mayo!

  125. Whatever about Beckett Yeats Joyce or Brian Friel not even Willie Sheakspeare himself could write a play that would equal the excitement and drama of the last 10+ years one wonders what light in yonder window break in the McStay era

  126. If ever there was an apt literary quote for Mayo it’s surely…”I can’t go on. I’ll go on” Waiting for Godot

  127. Joyce describes one of the characters in Ulysses as ‘full of wind and piss like a tan yard cat’. I think there are still a few of them still around.

  128. @Joet 1480, I think Willie Joe ( our blog host ) may have a book in the making BUT the final Chapter remains to be wrote so it can be finalised in full, this will better anything that all those writers could create.

  129. Yes Joet and even agricultural bucks like myself will be able to read and understand it.

  130. There aren’t many Mayo references in Ulysses, Inishturk apart, but of course the GAA is present! In the Cyclops episode the ultra-nationalistic Citizen is based on Michael Cusack. The citizen is credited as the ‘man that made the Gaelic sports revival’. One if his drinking companions is John Wyse Nolan, who is based on John Wyse Power, who was, like Cusack, a Co-founder of the GAA, being one of the seven present at Hayes’s Hotel in 1884. Wyse Power was joint Secretary with Cusack, and was one of those who was instrumental in Cusack’s sacking. Cusack also made an appearance in Stephen Hero, the earlier version of A Portrait of the Artist.

  131. @Catcol.. Very interesting stuff you write, I must confess that I tried to read Joyce’s Ulysses when I was a teenager but the first few pages bored me endless, as for Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot’ I wasted an hour once watching the play on TV and was equally bored… maybe if I had been enlightened as who the character’s actually were based upon it might have made a difference!

  132. What I like about Kevin is… He’s not going down the transition road. James has already done an admirable job of that. He is more or less saying we are ready to go which I believe we definitely are injury free . Hopefully he will look at Diskin. Mcormac and a few others as posted above. Another midfielder and the front line. .

  133. I wrote my undergrad thesis on Beckett many years ago!

    The basic gist of it was premised on the hypothesis that Beckett’s focus on the futility of the human condition wasn’t fatalistic or depressing. Instead, I argued that he simply embraced the harsh reality of our existence, and encouraged us to get on with it.

    I think this is the mantra that Mayo people have lived by for centuries!

  134. When you think about the last 12 months we lost to AI finalists Galway by a point in Connacht, had the measure of the Dubs in the 2021 AI semi final and also the 2022 league. We lost to Kerry in the league by a point and were a point down to them in the AI quarter final with 20 minutes to go having missed a whole host of chances and with a load of injuries and 2 of our best forwards missing in Ryan and Tommy. The Tyrone final I have conveniently forgotten.
    It doesn’t feel like we need major surgery to be competitive. If we can get any sort of luck with injuries I expect us to be knocking on the door again.
    I would love us to find a permanent number 3. A grizzly dog type that has been in a few scrapes, is missing a few teeth and snarls at you when you walk past. Mind the House at all costs.
    I would play Diarmuid at 11. He produced some great stuff early on in the league last year and I was baffled when we moved him back out to the wing. Play Oisin at 6 and we have strong spine to the team.
    I don’t expect to see as much of the running game next season. It has to be a factor in the amount of injuries we have picked up in recent years. The running game shouldn’t be binned totally just used more sparingly with more kick passing which we are well capable of.

  135. I had a brilliant English teacher from Cong who slowly introduced me to Ulysses when I was in my early teens. It was pretty impenetrable stuff so the hook he found for me was a reference to the namesake of my grandfather, Tom Rochford.

    In his opus Joyce based Rochford on a real man who was involved in the attempt to rescue a sanitation worker overcome by sewer gas. He was one of twelve men that went down in the attempt, two of whom died. His eyes were severely injured by the gas.

    The story was radically altered in Ulysses, and he was presented as an inventor. In the section on Wandering Rocks the characters discuss the effort to pull the man out of the manhole and they concluded that Rochford was a hero.

    Was good enough for me at the time to keep going.

  136. Fascinating stuff, Rock. Love that story about the man called Tom Rochford. I hadn’t heard it before. The colour of all of it.
    Catcol – that’s so interesting about the GAA connections in Ulysses.
    Again more colour and more detail of the time that becomes larger than life in his work.
    I haven’t read Ulysses but ye are tempting me to dip my toe into it.
    On the other hand, Godot is something we can all easily read. But we might need some strength to deal with the waiting part of it : )
    Arrah, we’ll go on!
    Maybe another adventure awaits.

  137. I thought ” Godot ” was a code word for ” long fast ball in to the forwards “, because we were definitely waiting for that.

  138. Using McHale Park as a concert venue would be a great way of creating much needed funding to off its debt. Other GAA venues do it so why can’t we. Only problem is I can hear the objections from McHale road already, remember the problems with the commentary box.

  139. @Mayojoe..I think you will find that the residents of McHale Road had a very strong case as regards the “Original” Media Tower, which dominated the Skyline and resembled one of those one time RUC Watchtower’s in Crossmaglen…The original Media Tower had to be taken down and reconstructed as it currently stands and with the cost of legal fees for, the whole debacle, the bad PR ECT… A whole lot of more wasted money, the County Board could do with today…I agree with you that a concert or two in the fantastic but expensive facility the current McHale Park is would be a great idea.. A great idea for Castlebar, a great idea for Mayo GAA,..it could also be a great idea for the residents of McHale Road, who despite the upset caused by the Original Media Tower fiasco, by my reckoning would be overwhelming in favor of anything good for Mayo GAA, provided it was handled correctly!

  140. Revellino – I think you’ve cracked – ” Godot ” is defnitely a code word for ” long fast ball in to the forwards “ – a good laugh is good for immune system – Up the Green & Red!

  141. Never thought this would come up on the blog but I was fortunate enough to tour Asia in 2006 (to mark Becketts 100th birthday) with a performance of Waiting For Godot,I played the character Lucky.We played Korea,Singapore and China

    I’d never read or seen the play before the audition, I hadnt a clue about it even though we were on stage at some points 8 times a week,honestly I thought it was a pile of nonsense.
    I think I appreciate the play a bit more now and the experience was once in a lifetime stuff.
    Again,not a story I ever thought would come up on here!

  142. Revellino and Jack Martin, ye are geniuses! That’s it!
    Waiting for “Godot” (aka “Long Fast Ball into the Forwards”)
    Hopefully we’ll be able to do a skip and a dance and won’t be waiting for that much longer. Jaypers!
    FW, that’s incredible!
    “A pile of nonsense” – maybe that’s what waiting feels like sometimes..

  143. @FW if you ever get the chance to play that part again you should go off script, stand up and belt out ‘ Godot, Godot…where the f*CK is Godot’…to the tune of “Alice’ ,as in ‘ Living next-door to’…

    That might wake the audience from their slumber.

  144. I’ve often heard of the AD, ” Anno Domini ” and BC ” before Christ “.

    In Blog terms we are in the BS ” Before Sam ” phase.
    and then, when you win Sam you might have the

    AS ” After Sam ” phase.

    Hopefully we can get to AS ASAP so that we don’t have to keep listening to BS comments after we have lifted SAM.

  145. Galway Superstar, Shane Walsh, has completed his transfer to Dublin Club, Kilmacud Crokes..It’s certainly a huge loss to his home Club Kilkerrin-Clonberne, Galway and Connacht Football. It’s something that he is perfectly entitled to do… But having watched Shane Walsh play several times, he beyond doubt a player who’s style of play, pace, energy, two footness, and accurately would certainly entice youngster’s to the game, and bring many neutrals to both club and county game’s. I wish him well, but I hope that our Mayo Stars find life good enough in Mayo to keep them at home…In our case it’s not so much Dublin that’s the lure but OZ, in both women’s and men’s senior football!

  146. Could never stand Joyce or beckett and their convoluted dung..I think Diarmuid at midfield be useful, use the big engine and clip a point or 2, been used wrong as in tracking back way too much last couple years from wing forward.. He drifts out of games too much.. Also need mattie ruane to stop the soloing as soon as he gets the ball and look up, kick the bloody ball inside more often.. Finding another couple scoring forwards will be tricky though….1 to 9 be OK.. Half forward line a big problem… Just my opinion however.

  147. @2 hops

    Haha! Thats a good one,if I ever get the chance again.. .
    Sometimes I used to mess around with the lads and we’d have bets on what I could sneak into the stream of consciousness monologue, it was never the same two nights in a row.I won a bet one of the nights by meowing like a cat for a few seconds.Director took it more seriously and wasn’t impressed with our messing.

  148. What’s the story on David McBrien?
    He’s been talked about a lot as a full back but seems to be forever injured. Will he be in action in the club championship over the next few weeks.
    John McMonagle is very promising as a specialist fill back from this years minor team but realistically it is probably 2025 or 2026 before the lads from that team are ready to make an impact on the Mayo senior side.

  149. I read somewhere that McMonagle wasn’t even first choice fullback before another lad got injured. Can’t remember his name, from Ballina I think. Whoever he is, he must be very good, because I thought McMonagle was excellent.

  150. That’s what happens when we’re ‘waiting”@Anne Marie’…. even for a club championship to start.

  151. That’s correct, Nephin. I can’t recall the name of the other player but it’s definitely true. What a replacement he was too – he sure was excellent.

  152. As the song goes ” ain’t no stopping us now, we’re on the move”.. Come on mayo, 2023 is our year, jroc beav kellzer simcock and ramonski will be in the hogan stand when we collect sammy nxt year.. The fuckin ejits

  153. A tonic surely Anne Marie! Beckett and Joyce be Jazes! If we ever win all I can contribute by way of literary comment is ‘Yes!’

  154. Apologies for the lingo used in previous post, gas characters my pals.. Using ejits in an affectionate way of course.

  155. Willie Joe I didn’t think you were allowed to name players and say my opinion there not good enough without giving an example of why. It’s very harsh to be saying that about an under 21 player that played as well as he did this year

  156. Very excited about this new chapter in mayo football… As you know wj, it’ll be one hell of a spin with plenty ups and downs.. Opinions and the like a plenty

  157. What comment are you referring to, Lucero? I can’t find one in that vein but I have been up and down the country over the last 24 hours so I’ve been offline a bit. You can mail me directly on this if you’d prefer to do it that way.

  158. Jroc – no you can’t and the reason is that it’s the laziest of lazy critiques. If you want to criticise named players, the rule is you take issue with specific incidents in matches but simply tossing out a brain fart claiming that a player, who has trained so hard and has been picked to play for the county, “isn’t good enough”, that kind of line isn’t, well, good enough.

    That still leaves loads of latitude for expressing opinions but you’ll need to engage your brain to do this.

    I really couldn’t care less if your gears are being ground and you can take that Judge Judy reference and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.

  159. Jroc – I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt but it’s clear you’re not willing to play ball at all. I think you may need to find somewhere else to display your talents.

  160. @WJ,

    This isn’t a criticism but more of an observation.
    You are way too lenient and entertaining to obvious gobshites on the blog.
    I really do admire the spirit and fairness behind this but in modern online situations I feel its overly sound and probably more of a strain than you need to be putting on yourself.
    Eejits with agendas or moreso eejits that can’t understand or engage under your own house rules should be feiced out of here (I say this as someone who has overstepped the mark a few times) pretty quickly.
    It’s unacceptable that you should be dealing with this after midnight (or indeed anytime)any day of the week.
    It might go against your nature but if you could be a bit more ruthless I think it would be beneficial to yourself and the blog in general.

  161. Ps,just to add,
    In Jrocs defense he struck me more as a bit of a mentalist rather than the more toxic twitter elements that have been on the blog the last 12 months or so.I found some of his posts a bit entertaining if a little nonsensical .

  162. Mayo football has benefitted in recent years from a selection of good managers and here we go again . We have evidence that K Mc is a decent honourable guy with a good managerial pedigree , however what we can’t predict is whether his reign will be fruitful or otherwise. What we can predict based on considerable evidence is that many of the players who lined out in recent yrs must display considerable individual responsibility when they cross the white line . Repeated errors of similar nature will continue to undermine the confidence in the camp. OK we all make mistakes but we must never accept the easier option. That’s individual responsibility. Of course I find it difficult to print such a comment and I would kiss these players boots , but if its not good enough it must be called out . What I’m endeavouring to promote is fact based discussion on what we see in front of us rather than The Manager is this or that… he or she cannot play on the day. I believe in 50 .. 51 the player collective was the driving force.

  163. I would advise against any attempt to mentor WJ on how to moderate this forum. He’s at it long enough and it’s a difficult task at the best of times – akin to herding butterflies.

    It’s the off season so it seems lots of people have decided to occupy themselves taking cheap shots in an effort to get some attention. It’s bloody tiresome and puerile shite most of the time, but it’s often bloody offensive too.

    This is a great resource so let’s not ruin for ourselves. If you can’t hold it together on your keyboard and show a bit of cop on, then please move on.

  164. Thanks, Rock – I meant to reply to FW’s comment yesterday but it slipped my mind.

    If that’s the comment you’re referring to, I didn’t take it as an attempt at mentoring and, FW, I get where you’re coming from. My policy on the comments has always been to promote a fair and open debate and, by and large, this works. There are times – and the appointment process was one of those – where this can break down, in the face of concerted efforts by some to hijack the discussion and aggressively pursue a particular agenda. Thankfully, that particular tempest appears to have passed now.

    Maybe it is a failing but I tend to give new contributors the benefit of the doubt. Most of the time this works out but the odd time – and there’s been a few of these lately too – it doesn’t and things can then get messy enough. But the alternative, of being over-restrictive, would, I fear, chill the debate too much. There needs to be space for a healthy discussion and a range of views – often opposing each other – and it’s always my aim to ensure such space exists.

    I’d be the first to admit that I get calls wrong, all the time, but the generally healthy tenor of debate on the blog shows that, maybe, I get the odd call right too. Mind you, it’d be easier all round if we had some football to discuss, as it’s so often in the off-season that things tend to go awry in the comments.

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