Minors no match for Galway

Photo: @MayoGAA

The county’s dismal championship record at underage in recent years continues unabated. In this afternoon’s Connacht MFC preliminary round tie at MacHale Park, Damien Gavin’s charges were no match at all for Galway. Trailing from within minutes of the throw-in, our lads ended up shipping a severe beating, losing in the end by 3-15 to 0-11.

The writing was on the wall early on in this one. We had wind advantage, playing into the bacon factory end, in the first half but the visitors took control right from the off, scoring 1-2 without reply in the opening ten minutes. Although we settled somewhat as the opening period went on, cutting the gap back to two points, two further goals for Galway effectively put the game to bed before the break.

The young Tribesmen added further to their tally with three quick points after the resumption, in the process snuffing out any hint of a recovery before it even had a chance to get going. They won at the finish by a margin of thirteen points.

So for the third year in a row we’ve suffered defeat to Galway in the Connacht minor championship. More alarmingly, for the second time in three years that defeat amounted to a hammering and, like 2014, our minor championship year this year – the final one where it’s played as an U18 competition – lasted just sixty minutes plus injury time.

Winners of the Tom Markham Cup as recently as 2013, our form since then at this level is hugely worrying. Coupled with a similar slump in recent years at the U21 grade (notwithstanding last year’s hugely uplifting Clarke Cup success), this latest defeat naturally increases the concern about how long we can remain in the position we’re in within the province – not to mention at national level – at senior level. In this latter regard, it shouldn’t be forgotten that, for the first time since 2009, Galway will be seeking to defend the Nestor Cup this summer.

All told, it’s not a happy situation facing us. As other have already said, this latest defeat should prompt a thorough review of what the hell is going on within the county at underage level and what needs to be done to put matters right.

And that’s only the start of it because it’s only when such a review is completed and a clear action plan agreed on that the hard work – implementing it on the ground – begins. Today’s disappointing minor defeat suggests strongly that this work can’t start soon enough.

203 thoughts on “Minors no match for Galway

  1. Maybe its time for us to put someone like James Horan in charge of our underage structures. If Jack O’Connor can become the Kerry Minor manager then why can’t we put James Horan in charge of our Minor teams for a few years.

  2. I said the very same thing at the match today HSE. It’s time for a structure and plan to be put in place and I think Horan would be best man for the job.
    We looked so poorly prepared today, couldn’t execute a simple handpass. Atrocious. And the thing is, Galway are no world beaters as I think we’ll see later in the summer

  3. Well Galway were unbeaten in the minor league and dished out a hammering today so I don’t think they’ll be stopped in Connacht anyway. After that who knows. I’d be surprised if they don’t end up in an All-Ireland semi-final at least. We have our own problems though.

  4. Nothing personal
    Against Damien Gavin I don’t even know the lad but from where I was sitting in the stands it was clear to me this minor team was poorly prepared and trained and looked a mile off the place. James Horan or someone with loads of inter county experience should be a pre requisite for bringing through the next generation. Anyway we should thank the minors for their efforts and wish them
    All the best for the leaving cert and future

  5. Yeah Tubberman, I think at the moment James Horan is involved with a Club Hurling team in Galway so someone from the County Board should really approach him to see if he would take on the role. The mad thing is that our senior team has never had more of a high profile, so there has never been as many kids following our team, we should have lots of players coming through. We have to harness this in the years ahead.

  6. If the alarm bells and claxons aren’t sounding behind the stand this evening something is seriously wrong. If we continue to appoint mangers on their value for money and ability to toe the party line then we will see this more often. James Horan was a glitch in the matrix, one that spent money, stood up to the county board and put victory over all else, it won’t happen again. A recent county minor manager told me that we are 4th in the province in underage spending. Let that sink in, 4th. We have played all in poker with the senior team over the last 5/6 years to the detriment of our underage structures. Coaches in positions because of time in service as opposed to competency, managers appointed with no management experience, the team played today like they only met up this morning and had never played together.
    The Kerry county chairman acknowledged a problem with the conveyer belt and took action. He appointed a panel of experts within the county and put the structures in place that they recommended and the result has been 3 All Irelands with 5 years of the panel meeting. Does anyone think that such leadership or foresight exists within our CB?
    Me neither….

  7. This is nothing new… im involved in underage in galway both schools n club
    My own lad goes to cul camp in mayo every summer and hos skills are way above the younh msyo kids
    Its the skills that are not being taught in mayo
    Galway will win an all ireland within the nxt 5 years and could dominarte like the dubs

    In school 1st year we won connaught c against mostly mayo teams we hammered every msyo team and i couldnt get over the lack of basic skills again

  8. When James Horan took over the senior role in 2010 he said he would make Mayo consistently competitive. He achieved this.

    It’s fair to say now that at underage (with the exception of the flash in the bunch) Mayo have been consistently uncompetitive and it’s getting worse. Today was a shambles. SHAMBLES. As was two years ago and our u21 performances since 2011 (again with the exception of 2016) has been pathetic. Harsh but true.

    If something serious isn’t done immediately then our annual autumnal visits to Croke park will be a thing of the past.

    It’s highly concerning and if YOU are involved with a Mayo club you need to do something about it, even if it’s just raising it within the club management level.

    What are the county board doing?

  9. Very worrying. Take away the 2013/2016 vintage and our record in underage in the last ten years or so is just not good enough. Galway and to a lesser extent Roscommon are doing the work that we are not. Sooner or later it will start to bear fruit for them at senior level. Indeed if Galway retain the Nestor cup this year they could well go on for a prolonged period of dominance in Connacht..

  10. Another bad trimming to Galway at this grade and the late goals conceded before half time a killer. Take away the U21 success of last year which was great it shouldn’t be forgotten Mayo didn’t even reach a Connacht U21 final in 2010,11,12,13,14 or 15 prior to that success so that lull period is more worrying than minor level the last 3 years.

    One bit of positive news is the U17 championship starts in May and Mayo should be good as they beat Galway in the Ted Webb cup final U16 level last year.

  11. Winning minor in 2013 and u21 last year just papered over the cracks .
    Getting James involved would be a big help but he needs full backing of the co board which I can’t see.
    The co board need to invest more money and get more ex player involved because this ship is sinking and has been for awhile.

  12. If serious alarm bells aren’t shrieking around the county after today’s result then they never will.

    Absolutely the 2013/16 bunch papered over the cracks.

    The buck stops with the county board. Time to get the finger out!!!!

  13. Something seriously wrong somewhere.Saint Colmans won Connacht A colleges this year.Ballintobe won All Ireland B.Belmullet won All Ireland D.you would think there should be the making of a decent minor team!

    Another problem is two players from North Mayo in the 24.North Mayo is a vast area bigger than some counties.

    It’s high time now for county board to take bull by the horns and appoint someone to oversee our underage system all the way up to under 20.this needs to include coaching and appointments of managers.

  14. The subs numbers didn’t correspond with the numbers on the programme why couldn’t we get that much right why bother buying a programme it was hardly for all the other news other than the two teams.

  15. Today was a shambles… steven joyce has galway so well drilled and prepared

    Msyo on line looked clueless but again mayo have no forwards

    Galway actually train forwards we do 20 minute kicking over the bar drills from left and right from under 10 upwards

    My young lad could not believe the poor drills that the mayo club were doing… laps and pushups

    There is going to be a very barren few years at senior

    You reap what you sow

  16. I heard Damien Gavin on the rsdio saying he attended club games. Was it Galway club games?

  17. Another major ptoblem is the anount of female teachers at secondary…

    In the 12 matchea my 1st years played n won this year i only saw one other guy… the teachers with them did no drills or tactics

    Galway are employing a lot of county footbsllers in galway srcondary schools

  18. I fully agree with HSE and others. Draft in james Horan immediately. Clueless performance not blaming the players

  19. The county board should bend over backwards to get Horan to oversee and head an underage development programme from 14 year olds + and actually manage the u17’s team from 2018. Then the 17 to 20 structure(crucial) needs to be tied in with this. One conveyor belt.

    We need someone who knows what they’re doing.

    It’s been well documented that Kerry appointed Jack O’Connor because they recognised that in order to cement continued success at senior level, a foundation of underage succees is required.

    Look at Dublin’s dominance at underage over the last decade.

    It is absolutely crucial now that Mayo get their act in order.

  20. Damian Gavin can only play the players available to him. Galway minors are now a consistently impressive team each year since 2013.
    Its only today we see the gulf between schools and this level.
    I would fully back that James Horan in the paid position which already exists is now necessary.
    We have this position responsible for the underage county coaching. It’s time for someone new.
    Honestly when I see Brian Cuthbert working with our u17s and no recent senior players or modern guys like James Horan one would despair.
    No modern senior player or coach is in any of the paid coaching structure.
    I flagged earlier in the week that we are dealing with half a deck as North and East have fallen so badlt.
    A centre of excellence will not solve this.

  21. Not sure appointing James will solve problem.We have been poor at Colleges level.When did a Mayo team last win Hogan cup.Theres a question for you all.
    Great to see success of Ballinrobe and we need more of that.We need to be competitive at All Ireland College level.
    Seems to me Galway must be optimistic going forward with football in city going well.
    Whatever about Seniors work needs to be done on the ground and appointment of a high profile manager is not the answer.
    On another note sad to see the death of Donal Shine a decent man.R.I.P.

  22. Ciaran Mc Donald is another man I wouldget involved. He was our las signature player, a man with flair a match winner. From my little experience of watching uner age trials, players are afraid to make mistakes and becomevery predictable. I like Boland a lot as a ayer of the future but the one thing I would like to see him do is ability to ake calculated risks. Imo its a weakness inheritated from over coaching. Thankfully we have plares like keegan and durcan who have a go

  23. @Huey. Horan is a lot more than a high profile name. When did a Galway or Roscommon team last win a Hogan Cup. The work done by clubs with underage players is way more significant than what happens in schools, but schools do ay a complimentary role.
    The problem of mayo teams not properly prepared has been with us for years. We need action

  24. That’s an unacceptable performance and management should pay the price. Many said they were not the best ofnthe applicants for the job and other agendas are at play.

    Another year wasted and only one team standing before May Day. Well that is some indictment of the way mayo football is run. James Horan saved the imcompetence of the county board being really highlighted and the fundraising a successful team allows stopped tbeir finanicial competence being exposed. Indebted for that barn and bog the players play on.

    Time for a major look at our standing because barren times lie ahead if we are not careful. Look at meath.

  25. @reekview. Another reflection of the apathy that exists. Minors are not young lads most of us know. Poor service to the 2000 supporters.

  26. Huey I think someone like Horan who is noted for his organisational skills would be ideal. Something is seriously amiss and whatever reasons/excuses the co board come up with the reality is that whatever has been going on for the past 6/7 years is no longer working and it’s getting worse. Had we lost narrowly today and two years ago in the same fixture then ok, it would be disappointing but not worrying. We were hammered, embarrassed and found out.

    A one-off trouncing can be put down to just a bad day at the office. Mayo’s underage office is derelict!

    I don’t believe we don’t have the natural talent in the county, we do. The problem is it isn’t being nurtered other than in sporadic bursts like fine job being done in Ballinrobe – but there no central co-ordinated plan. Certainly none that works.

  27. When you pay peanuts you get monkeys. That said this minor team were clueless today. Apart from our No 3 and No 11 we were a second rate team. When I looked at the management outfit, not one of them ever donned a Mayo gansi. Galway had the maestro in Stephen Joyce. I even seen today our full forward did not start and he was replaced by a club mate and this sub was then selected to take the frees, an lo and behold about 15 minutes from time on comes the No 14. What a joke. The only good thing about this team management, their services wont be required going forward. Listening to the County Board when this appointment was made they said this management ticked all the boxes. When I saw the name of a selector on todays match program I knew it was going to end in a drubbing as this is what happened.
    I would go as far as saying that no Mayo team will win a Connacht title this year.
    I hope I,m proved wrong. Its now time we got GOOD former players to teach our young players how to play at a level that is required to progress to being a winning team. What I saw today was players had not the basic skills .

  28. We need to get Liam Horan to do a strategic review of Mayo Football at all levels and this time fully implement the recommendations no matter what the cost.
    We have some of the wealthiest people in the world from Mayo living abroad who would just love to help out.if Kerry and Roscommon and Donegal can go to New York to raise vast sums and we go with a biscuit tin!

    We also have some of the largest multinational companies operating in Mayo namely Shell Coke and Allergan.have they ever being approached for sponsorship?

    Are there people willing to act or is this going to be left up to the county board?

  29. Massive concerns for us at moment. While not wishing to criticise management about whom I know little, I really wish some big profile ex county players would get involved in taking charge of our under age teams. With the exception of 2013 and 2016 our under age performances have been brutal. Even when we were poor at senior level in the past we could always rely on our minors and u21 teams for a lift. There are only 5 teams in Connacht and without being disrespectful to Leitrim and Sligo we at under age level are barely in the top three. Thats deplorable for a football mad county like ours. When I hear people bitching about our senior team it makes me sick. They since 2011 have been brilliant and have given us a bit of pride and respect. When they go we wont have to whinge about spending our money following our county teams to Croker, There will be no super 8 for us unless we sort ourselves out. Meanwhile we will watch our neighbours playing a good brand of football as we look back with nostalgia on the 2011 2017 vintage and long for a return of the glory days. Worrying times indeed. A serious review of where football is going in our county is a necessity. Please someone in the Co Board put in process something immediately.

  30. Power doesn’t seem to suit guys from Mayo,everyone knows something is not right for quiet a while.
    The problem is people have no voice,certain clubs won’t rock the boat and most clubs have there yes men,if somebody thinks outside the box he’s shot down.
    Why would anyone bother,things have to go to pure shite before something is done.

  31. Our decent record from 04 to 2010 at both Minor and Under 21 level paved the way in providing players with the required skill set to be competitive in the last six years at Senior. My question is what did we stop doing in the meantime? Was the calibre of players just not there? Are we coaching properly? Did we become complacent?
    Granted we have had All Ireland success in 13 and 16, but the situation a decade ago was probably better in that we were getting one or two players each year, wheras only four or five of that minor/21 group will come through.
    I wasn’t at the game today but were there any players that could develop into good seniors?

    I think it is unfair to blame Damien Gavin. He tried his best and am sure he feels pretty low this evening.
    Is it fair to blame the county board?
    Should we be looking to the quality of coaching in clubs? From reading earlier posts it appears we are neglecting the basic skills. I think we need the best coaches at under 8 to under 14. Unfortunately I think there are too many who make it up as they go along at club level and judge the quality of the sessions by the amount of cones on view. I did coach at club level, still do at schools level. Was horrified what I saw under 8s doing in our club one day. Was more like athletics coaching. I am definitely not the best coach but county teams won’t have success unless clubs are serious about quality coaching at underage level.

  32. Mayos failings are well known at this stage, our inability to produce skillful, scoring forwards. IMO Mayo is a slave to the running game which does not promote top forward play (much like Tyrone to their defensive game). The running game is based on athletic hard running from deep. This can be seen by the number of attacking half backs we are producing. Most of the forward play consists of laying off to Keegan type players.

    The minor team of 2013 were an exceptional group of lads, very talented, but they were the exception to the general type of Underage team we produce. Sadly three of the most gifted forwards on that team are no longer with the Mayo set up for various reasons, Cian Hanley, Tommy Conroy & Darragh Doherty RIP.

    There is going to be a major change in football in the next few years, there is a move starting to a more expansive free scoring game, this can be seen in Dublin, Kerry and now Galway. Mayo are well behind still stuck in the running game which is now well behind the times. Rochford sees this and is attempting to introduce a more expansive kicking game but the players available to him are limited.

    Mayo require a Director of football responsible for youth development fron U12 up to U20, dealing mainly with the primotion of the skills of the game, kicking, passing, scoring, not running, running , running. Horan is not the man for this, he is all about organisation and S & C. K McD isnt suitable either, he hasnt shown any interest in coaching and works in the construction industry which doesnt lend itself to having time available to coach football. Whoever is considered would need to have a proven record in coaching and would have a background in promoting skillful kick passing football.

  33. @Aiden Why do we need Liam Horan to do a new review? His last one is still as relevant today as it was in 2010. We just need officials who will implement the recommendations. I’m a glass half full kind of person, but I don’t mind saying that I am seriously worried about our underage structures.

  34. Player for player I did not see a significant difference in physicality or footballing ability between both teams today. What I did see, however, was a massive gulf in astute tactics, and for that the manager has to take full responsibility. To think that you can put a team out nowadays playing traditional one on one football and expect to compete is the stuff of simpletons. Galway did what every team will try against Mayo sides and crowd the defense in anticipation of another crop of forwards with poor shooting ability and lump the ball in high to a big full forward to test our tradition of coping poorly with this tactic. If this guy Gavin had even a sniff of a modern day gameplan we surely would have made a game of it today. Agree with all the comments about the very serious position we find ourselves in at underage and the need for proper structures and a capable manager to be appointed immediately. Either way, three consecutive years of poor minor panels is going to see us experience a barren period at Senior level into early years of the next decade.

  35. A lot of points made are out of frustration and anger , a lot of it seems valid but what has the county board done different the last 6/7 years as regards underage that has led to the disamal record . what was different when we won 5/6 Connacht’s at under 21 in a 7/8 year period ?

    Maybe we just don’t have the talent at the moment , I don’t know , I’m only asking .

    Clubs and counties go through periods like everything else in life perhaps. I’m not saying there isnt room for improvement on different levels but sometimes its more black and white than it seems, simply not good enough.

    We have a problem in Mayo and all the praising of James horan (rightly so to an extent imo) he had no time for individualism as such , I believe that’s why Mort ended up on the scrap heap a biteen too early . we seem to not want or develop players with a bit of flair . Irwin ,I know nothing about any discipline issue , Conroy again I know he’s had personal problems , young fionan Duffy (why was he onlyna sub on 21 team), Carr etc but these players are the likes we need to get up to standard . Any defensive issues that were evident in today’s game are easy drilled to perfection for the step up . its the other end we need and we need a cultural change across the board to really concentrate on this area. Pace and forward skill is the way it is and thats the hammer you’ve to drive home. You’ll win fook all without it , the rest can be trained , sssshhh honestly any Aul athlete could be trained to be a solid defensive player in Gaelic football honestly. You only have to look at some of the dreamy defenders who can’t even manage to solo to chest at pace.

  36. @liam it’s 7 years since that last review.im sure a new review will throw up 80/90% of the 2010 review but the other 10/20% could throw up something new.

    I agree with you about coaching.we just not producing top quality forwards in Mayo.every young player should be able kick and hand pads of both feet and hands.every young child at every club when they start out should be given a size 4 O Neills.i know this costs money but needs to be done.

  37. Shortly before half time we were within two points of Galway but we gifted goals and went in at half time with a mountain to climb. As a former goalkeeper I’m loath to blame the custodian but the lack of understanding between him and our full back was central to our conceding two goals. The former rooted to his goal-line and the latter badly caught out by the long high ball ( something which has plagued Mayo teams at all grades during my 59 years on this planet). But, it truth, like our Under 21s last month in Tuam, , we were beaten all over the field.
    Overpowered by Galway at Minor and U 21 we now head to Salthill where their Seniors are waiting for us in the long grass. It gives me no pleasure to point out that what we witnesssed today in Castlebar is a glimpse into our future. At County Senior level our golden generation, for one reason or another, have not delivered and are now past their sell by date. Today and all it revealed to us is our future. Exciting new football players don’t fall from heaven like rain.

  38. Surely a resignation matter.

    Has anybody resigned yet?

    More importantly, has the fella or fellas who appointed the person who should resign in the first place, resigned themselves yet?

    Or will they all try and ride out the storm?

  39. You know what, giving each kid a size 4 at the age of 10/11 is not a bad idea. It would need a biggish sponsor. Kids these days don’t train enough at home or with their friends. For the most part they rely solely on club or school training.

    Another idea is a national school level incentive programme to be able to kick and fist pass as competently with left as with right and vice versa. Have some competition to promote this. Easily done.

  40. Primary kids, (the sporty ones) particularly 4-6th class, absolutely love competition. They love prizes and recognition of success. They thrive on it. Imagine a county wide programme to promote & develop left/right kicking (using distance and target methods of evaluation) and award success. While it would be individual rather than team based, kids could compete within their school and go on to represent their school in inter-school competitions. It would be really simple, basic etc, the kids would love it(I’m a primary teacher so I know what they go for) and at the end of the day we’d see our second level colleges getting kids with a much grester skill set off both left and right.

    Just a thought…!!!

  41. Kids could achieve different levels, like in swimming. At that age they really respond to targets.

  42. All a bit harsh here on Damian Gavin.
    The 201314 teams were a bit of an outlier. Not since 1999 had so many quality minors come through on two teams.
    The population under 18 has been dropping each year and we have some clubs that have lost their way really badly much worse than just reduced. I’m not sure our success was ever down to coaching. We were laden with tall, strong and fit farmers sons who went out the backdoor and practised.
    So at club and county level with little effort we could put out quality teams. Those days are absolutely over and are not coming back.
    Kerry suffered exactly this problem and they took corrective action.
    We will remain in the doldrums at underage until we start producing players again in East Mayo and North Mayo. Simple as that.
    Damian Gavin was a good footballer. Him and several others from Swinford were very badly overlooked for County underage.
    He is qualified in coaching to a high level and experienced. So we didn’t play big numbers back today. Don’t think it’s as big a factor as simply not producing enough quality players.

  43. Our Fullback was not the problem, it was our corner back, and a half back who were the cause of the goals. Jim Flag wants every body who appointed or involved in this minor set up to resign. Then he might let us know who his new appointees are so we may have our say. Maybe Jim Flag himself might take on the responsibilities. We all can be judges ( myself included) after the event. We have to go back to the drawing board and start all over again. At least we won minor and under 21 All Ireland with almost the same players. Some said we were lucky and we were, but nothing wrong with that. We now need to sit down and draw up a system involving all from national schools upwards. Our under 17’s are now being trained and coached and we will have to wait and see what they and their management will bring to the table?

  44. I wouldn’t be getting too carried away with today’s result lads.
    Generally Galway & Mayo underage teams have always been quite evenly matched and this is still the case most of the time.
    It just so happens that 2 out of 3 years ye have come out on the wrong end of fairly one sided games. I don’t think this is a general trend that will continue unfortunately from a Galway point of view.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if ye won the Connacht title at under 17 level this year.
    Mayo have more footballers than the rest of us in Connacht so ye are not going to consistently underperform. In Galway we tend to go through more sporadic bursts of success and then taper off for a while. Mayo are more consistent.
    This is down to sheer volume.
    Our two counties are similarly sized – the 2nd and 3rd biggest in the land – but in gaa terms Mayo have a huge advantage in that it is pretty much 100% Gaelic football.
    In Galway hurling is also very strong so our playing pool is diluted by 50%.
    So while ye might have the odd bad year ye will always bounce back with strong teams soon after.

  45. Imo the answer is Horan/mcDonald type of combination a bit like o neill/keane for Irish soccer team.
    We all long for the next mcdonald to tog out for mayo and who better than mcdonald himself to identify players with similar potential to himself.
    He is way too talented not to be used even if in an occasional but regular capacity.
    Anyway the messages here are all to do with change
    When the dust settles…….

  46. @Galwayman. But ye seem to be producing the three or four top quality minors each year.
    We seem lost altogether in producing midfielders. We just cannot seem to get a midfielder on the pitch.
    U17, I feel like that biker in that Clint Eastwood film looking to heaven pleading for a break.

  47. @Jp – it’s funny you should make that comment about midfielders because I remember having the exact same thoughts myself in relation to Galway underage teams.
    We went through a phase where we simply could not produce any decent midfielders whatsoever.
    We seem to have improved on that in recent years in fairness.
    Full back line is now our major issue.
    Though the full back on this team is highly promising.

  48. Why are people talking about u17 this summer? Isn’t it 2018 before this competition starts?

  49. We might still get away with it but we really need to start doing something very soon and as I said earlier, we probably never had as many youngsters following our team as at the moment. Before Kerry won their minor All-Ireland title in 2014, it was 1994 when they won their previous one. Cork along with Tipp have cleaned up at U21 level in Munster for a good few years recently ahead of Kerry but it has not translated into senior success for Cork. 2008 is the last time that Kerry have won an U21 All-Ireland title. In saying that, we do really need to make some changes though before its too late.

  50. I don’t understand this call for Ciaran Mac to get involved , he’s an awful quiet/private buck , I very much doubt he’d be suited or interested in such a role. Not to mention he works on pipelines mostly away from home .

  51. Club minor teams after playing one minor league game about 5 weeks ago now expected to play tomorrow, Friday, Monday and Friday again. This will presumably include lads who played today. So any teams who started back December or January only have one competitive minor game since start year till May first.

  52. My mistake – I see there is an u17 competition, in July. However u17s who were on this years minor panel are ineligible! Seems a bit stupid!

  53. 2 goals knocked stuffing out of our lads just before half time. Big players for Mayo with the exception of Nathan Moran didn’t perform for whatever reason. Handpassing looked sloppy.
    Team looked phased by the occasion, I think all their league games are played in club grounds in the county, might have been 1st time some of those young lads were on that pitch!
    Kickouts were major problem, don’t remember many short ones to settle ourselves. Galway are a good side, expect them to walk through Connacht and will beat Ulster runner up in 1/4.
    Commiserations to the players. Agree with the thinking of need for a major look at our coaching structures from national school up….need to pour resources into underage key more now than ever.

  54. While there definitely seems to be a problem with competitiveness at underage.. I would also call to question management today. Aside from a group that looked like they were not coached in what to do.. some of the selections were strange. I went to the game today in the hope that a lad from my own club selected to play at no.14 would have a good day out. He’s as good a player as we’ve produced in a forward position in many a long year. All the lad got was a 15 minute run out in the end and he did better in that time than what was on before him.. go figure. I’m a big fan of James Horam but I think these result run far deeper than his infuence will bring to bear.. a lot of time, resources, knowledge and money need to invested at all school age levels. The County Board could learn a thing or two from Westport by funding and driving similar programs across the county including scholarship’s.

  55. From 2002 to 2007 Galway in the main and Roscommon once dominated Connacht minor. Mayo didn’t win a single title. Funnily enough the corresponding years when those teams reached.U21 it was the Mayo lads who held the whip hand in Connacht winning titles in 2001/03/04/06/07/08. The trick now is not to lose the players with potential. By the way, from what I see we need to widen the pick in the county. Just because the road from Castlebar to Corrick is shite shouldn’t bar s good 18 year old. Mayo is a big county that extends beyond a 30 mile radius around Castlebar.

  56. How is an u18 in College to remain involved with his minor team if it is true that all remaining league games are scheduled for mid week evenings?
    Actually that made scouting of new bolter talent difficult with only one league game played.
    What a way to treat the minor age group. Yer basially shut out if at College.

  57. who is the wise man? the wise man himself or the man who appoints him?
    When Cody finally won an all ireland as a manager he was not just being modest when he noted the crucial role of the co chairman. A number of greats followed onto that kilkenny team to deliver what followed. A lot happened before Cody got his hands on them. Someone had a vision of how things should happen – Cody was just a part (significant) of that.
    Horan would be good to place around him the individuals to oversee the development required but who appoints him is crucial and therein lies the difficulty
    By the way I played with a team coached by one of the great forwards in the game who would say to the boys up front if they missed “why did you do that” – he genuinely hadn’t a clue why. Careful what you wish for.

  58. If Ciaran McDonald not interested or not available, then we need some other high calibre forwards coach. The fact that he is a quiet lad doesnt matter.. did we produce any exceptionally talented forwards since Ciaran?

  59. It’s true, a good former county forward doesn’t necessarily make a good coach. A lot of good talented forwards have the natural talent and practice, practice, practice. There’s no magic formula and as someone who has played club football in Galway since u12 I can assure you there’s nothing done that’s particualy special.

    Focus at the 9-12 year old level in national schools should be on accuracy, comfortable with both feet and as much ‘on the ball’ time as possible.

  60. Ciaran McD was class, no doubt. But he didn’t score that much…mostly cod he was played on the 40. I would have preferred him on the 14 where he could have done untold damage.

    Mort was an excellent point taking forward, but his biggest failing was his goal scoring wasn’t great and he often went for the point when a goal was on.

    I don’t like this talk that Mayo cannot produce forwards …keep saying it and our youngsters will believe it. We can produce the best. Positive mental attitude is a crucial factor.

  61. Maurice Sheridan is the only former recent Mayo forward that I can think of that’s involved in coaching, is it NUIG that he is involved with or Michael Moyles, did he get involved with Leitrim though along with John O’Mahony.

  62. There is an all Ireland under 17 competition this summer because this crop of players would miss out on minor next year due to that age change from u18 to u17

  63. Do any of ye think that the forward talent is actually even in the senior squad but our game plan in this era has seen lads sacrifice their more natural forward talent ,my case would be made for Jason docherty , if with galway would be scoring twice as much for example.?

  64. Maurice Sheridan a very good suggestion and has coaching qualifications. Worth checking out.
    Imo I think initatives will have to come from clubs rather than schools. Martin Carney, did he ever get involved in coaching…
    Youngsters will not be long about telling us we dont have a colm cooper or a murphy or connolly

  65. JDoc when he first appeared on the scene at senior was bagging goals for fun, albeit in the league…but his role changed to bring a breaking ball middle third workhorse, a job he had done very well and one he doesn’t get enough recognition for. He is certainly someone I’d like to see in a more advanced position because he’s strong, can win ball and finish.

    Shero was/is with NUIG sigerson team. He has done some coaching with Mayo, place kicking that is. He was an expert in free kick taking…another art that can be mastered by practice.

  66. Who is manager of Mayo U17s for 2017.

    Does current minor manager move down to U17 and U21 mgt move down to U17 and U20 next year.

    Are Tommy Markham and Clarke Cups moved to new grades or are they replaced.

  67. We have seen that the three teams that did win All-Ireland titles for us: Minor in 2013, U21 in 2016 and Westport in 2017, all had a touch of flair up front, so that’s something for us to think about.

  68. Compelled to contribute here for the first time after watching today’s game. As someone who has been involved in Mayo underage atrocities as a player (fairly recently may I add), I can honestly say I know how painful those last 20 mins feel.

    As someone who has also been involved in coaching at club level over the last 5 years (particularly with this crop of minors at U14 & U16 level), I have seen better players than some who played today not even in the match-day 24. Granted, I know everyone can have off-days but the majority of Mayo players had one today and that is not acceptable at inter-county level, which leads me to believe that there had to be better lads watching that game from the stands. I know for a fact that one player from my club was good enough to make that team and excelled at minor trails but for some reason, did not get a sniff in the setup and may I add; I am not one for favouring my own club players.

    One major point that is being missed in today’s underage game IMO is the quality vs quantity debate. Teams may be meeting 4/5 times a week but are they actually maximising the time they have together? I have to pick up on the various points being made about quality of club coaching. The majority of coaches I have met over my last 5 years of club coaching have appeared quite good & knowledgable and for one would be insulted if the stereotypical “poor club-coach” mentality was leveled at Mayo as I know many good coaches from all over the county.

    I have to take exception with the way the minor situation at club level has been handled in the county this year. One league game so far this year and now its a case of getting games played and looking good on paper. 4 games in the next 2 weeks in nothing short of disgraceful, particularly for the club player who make up 99% of all players. The senior inter-county mentality of changing everything to suit the county team is now starting to filter down to minor and U16 level and perhaps this is having the reverse of the desired effect and is actually hindering our progress?

    Until some things are changed at board and coaching level, we will continue to underachieve and in some cases embarrass ourselves. From someone who would like to think they have their finger on the pulse with regard to underage football in the county for the last number of years, I have to think that management need to be more adept at preparing teams technically and tactically to peak for these games. Once again, nothing will progress unless we make some changes at higher levels.

  69. What about John Maughan as our under age manager,? At least he was at the match, I think he might put some fire into the bellies, we definitely lacked that vital ingredient today. not sure some of the other names mentioned were there at all. Anyway it’s time to forget about minor U18 grade, it’s a shame such a poor performance in McHale Park, last time ever to host a Mayo minor team… Mayo’s entire resources, County board’s Financial and emotion of our fan’s will be invested in the Senior team now, one last spin of the roulette wheel? … Some very serious criticism of our recent minor team’s, apart from the All Ireland winning team, not entirely justified in my opinion.. Our 2012 vintage not at all bad,.had Paddy and James Durcan as notable players got to the All Ireland Semifinal, had to endure a dreadful penalty decision given against them. As for 2014,, likewise All Ireland semifinal, unlucky loosers to a fantastic Kerry team, Cian Hanley got injured, huge loss, without a doubt the best forward to have played in the grade for many years, Matthew Flanagan and Gary Walsh, strong midfield, big Tom Byrne Jnr got a great goal, but Kerry got the breaks that were going on the day… 2015,16 & 17, vintage forgettable. Best of luck to the Tribesmen and now, well drilled, tactical awareness on the sidelines with Stephen Joyce, I like the guy personally, but any time I see him smiling in McHale Park, I end up frowning. He reminds me of a time ‘Eurythmics’ song, ‘Thorne in my side’..I seriously hope he never gets the Galway senior job.

  70. We might have got away with two poor minor teams, but this one effectively swings it to a four year impact at best with the change in grade structure to U17 next year. Even if we were to unearth a talented group next year it would be 2025 before some would be able to make any kind of real impact at Senior level. What is there coming through in the 18/19/20 age bracket to bridge the gap until then?? Our ability to stay in Division 1 is going to be severely tested in the years to come and a slide down to Division 3 could be on the cards by the middle of the next decade if the rot at underage is not stopped immediately.

  71. @WideBall. That fixture setup for the club minor league has the potential to kill the quality and interest in the minor team in many clubs.
    The strength of our county minor team mainly depends on the strength of the clubs. In North and East Mayo all the main clubs would get hammered by the strength of minor teams from 1999 for example. Look at Ballina, Swinford, Knockmore and Moy Davitts. Their 1999 minor teams were all division one and were strong.
    We are developing talent blackholes where there are hardly any quality players.
    The massive overall alarm bell is the quality of underage club football in East Mayo in particular. If Aghamore had not been having success look at how poor it has been.
    A James Horan type of figure is surely needed to get the club scene supported and have influence on the club underage fixtures.
    If young lads are being treated like this in terms of fixtures I don’t blame in now dropping out.

  72. Other counties would go out of there way to get someone with James horans leadership.
    Even to get on board to select the best people around and put a system in place for the future.
    We seriously need to start teaching tactics and how to play against different game plans at an earlier age.skills can be practiced anywhere but we need to bring more understanding of the modern game or we will be left behind.
    The trick is to get the right balance of both.
    Just hope someone in the co board grows a pair fast because this is going on far to long.

  73. Westport as a club made this type of change at underage. Now maybe you could argue a little too far on the defensive and tactical.
    The Westport U17s do not make up much of the county panel yet they really demolished everyone and are as a team unbeaten.
    If you took the best five players outside of Westport and put them with Westport against the rest of Mayo Im not sure the rest of Mayo would be competitive.
    Just check their u16 scorelines from 2016.

  74. @jp this year’s knockmore minor team won under 17 A title last year, are division 1 and have been in division 1 finals from under 12 upwards winning 12 and 14 A titles and losing under 16 A final two years ago to Westport.
    Knockmore U16 Currently top division 1 and under 14 are also division 1, they also have a second U14 in lower division.
    Think 2 years back knockmore also won provincial B title.
    About 11 of their current senior panel are U21 also.
    Bellmullet also very strong at under age and play mostly division 1. Ballina largely play division 1 also.
    Aghamore have had good success but this year their minors are amalgamated with Ballyhaunis.

    But agree with you on fixture pile up, hard for lads train for months for their league to essentially be ran off in a fortnight.

  75. It never changes in Mayo , there are betters players sitting looking at that match banging their heads .The Mayo county board and its cronies never look at the whole of mayo underage clubs, only at a few clubs , also lads can mature something savage from 16-18 ,again they dont look at that they have there bias and thats that .The structure has to change and the ye men kicked out .

  76. @ wide ball, very interesting comments. What needs to be done in your opinion? You sound like someone with their finger on the pulse…I’m not living in the county so can you explain what kind of structure is currently in place to develop talent underage. Is there any ‘academy’ syste? AND In your opinion why were players who you feel should have been on the pitch yesterday, sitting in the stands?

  77. True Im being harsh on Knockmore who do operate at division one at most grades.
    They had a midfielder last year on their minirs looked and was built like Gerry Higgins former senior. Was suprised with such strength and decent footballer he was that he was not with the county minors.
    How big Jordan Flynn Crossmoliba was not played last year to at least put a few defenders on their arse is beyond me.

  78. Also @ wide ball. Why arent we producing ‘match winner’ forwards. Fergal Boland has the potential to be one but his performances are dulled by taking the safe option. Compare to Michael Daly, a year younger but has match winning capabilities.
    Also Conor O Shea was thought good enough by Horan to be a centre half forward a few years ago but Conor has averaged out over the last few years to being rather predictable and not bursting with confidence.
    We have so many potential players with flair. But what happens to these guys.
    I just wonder how a young ciaran mcdonald would slot into the whole scene? Would the current system make a great player out of him or simply round him off.
    I know in Westport its all about creating openings and having a go, not continuous recycling of the ball.

  79. Is part of it that the Galway blanket just swallows us up each year?
    Combined with a reduction in the talent base we get the last three years results.

  80. I have to reiterate jp in that Westport are very structured and coached to a very high level. And I’m only moving into u12’s as a parent on the sideline.
    What I see from under 6’s till now is that the u age club management have very little coaching skills . Former club players who’s sons and daughters are now at that age .
    This is fine but surely the county board should offer each club the opportunity to attend coaching classes for underage .
    At times we are dinasours in our approach.
    Every kid develops differently and challenging the kids that have speciall talents needs to be tackled otherwise we will have situations like yesterday.

  81. Stephen Joyce used to break Mayo hearts a bit in his day with goals at killer times of the match. Bit like Ros’s Tony McManus, neither big men but both could score very important goals. Galway got 3 goals yesterday to Mayo’s 0. Mort was one of our best point takers as was Mc but we haven’t bar 2013 been a goal scoring team in this era, certainly at the business end. It requires a few Kevin McMenamon style players with pace and power. Cillian, Andy and Kevin Mc have been our more noted goal scorers though J Doc started out as a specialist in that regard. Regan can score goals but doesn’t look like nailing down a place, Loftus also. Irwin has the best skill set of all for it but maybe hasn’t intercounty pace, time will tell.
    At minor level goals kill teams. Alan Mulholland’s minor team AI win was achieved by a corner forward absolutely going for it when game almost lost and his skills did the job. Our 2013 victory had some nice goals, one an absolute cracker I think it was Conroy.
    Soccer players are the best and the 2 O Connors have played a good bit of soccer which can be seen in their instinctive finishing. Andy a good finisher too but many of his go in by force of will.
    Coaching practice games should be divided into games where a goal=4 to foster goal scoring and where =2 for pointing.

  82. Tommy Conroy was as good a forward as was on the pitch yesterday but we starved him of any sort of possession he had the ability to beat his man but we didn’t feed him the first half was typical Mayo football plenty of possession but lacking confidence when we get near the posts even our freetaker when he got ball he was looking for a colleague Galway were much more comfortable in possession and got their scores a lot easier. You could see SJ influence in their forwards we need four forward coaches one for each divisional area to work with our clubs from u14 Maurice Sheridan John Casey Noel Durcan Kevin Filan just 4 names that have been there and done a lot in their time plenty more good ex players around.

  83. Galway and Roscommon are largely through their minor leagues or well advanced. Ours grinded to a halt near 5 weeks back.
    Maybe I’m wrong but by letting lads play with their clubs gives management opportunities to see maximum number of lads in action. Rather than overly structured training.
    Games are what lads like let them have them.
    Or instead of the way they structure trials currently run blitzes in machale Park for the teams. Minimum work, clubs look after their own teams and county management can see all in action.

  84. Agree that a series of games pre championship is necessary to really see all talent properly.
    My point on East Mayo was that Aghamore are the only underage team strong there.
    Charlestown are doing their best with a small pick.

  85. One interesting thing to find out would be what happens in other counties, especially in Dublin.

    WJ, you have mentioned on here as have others that their youngsters are doing well in underage football in Dublin. What happens there? Are there coaches coming into the schools teaching the skills of the game or is it the clubs that do most of the work?

    WJ, do you or others on here have nieces and nephews then in Mayo to compare and contrast what is been done in our county against what happens in Dublin? It would be an interesting study to carry out anyway.

    One thing that stood out for me in the U21 All-Ireland final was to note the players that were comfortable using both hands and feet. Con O’Callaghan and Colm Basquel stood out in this regard. Another thing that I noticed was the points that the Dublin forwards scored with the wind behind them. They just kicked straight through the ball and used the wind to great effect to pop over long range points. I remember at one stage watching a number of Mayo teams in actions, club and county teams on windy days. I just could not believe that our players couldn’t use the wind to kick points. I’d almost say that the last time I seen an exhibition of this kind of point scoring by a Mayo forward was James Horan kicking points against Meath in the 1996 All-Ireland finals. Not only that I remember him booming over points with the wind at his back but then kicking a low bullet type one into the wind in the replayed game. Simple when you see it done like that, using a bit of intelligence to judge the wind, but amazing that some of our players can’t do it now either for club or county. Again are they not been trained in these skills of the game.

  86. “Aghamore are the only strong underage team in east Mayo”

    Friken hell its a sad day for east mayo so. An agahamore buck told me at the last league game that they were along with someone else at minor level this year, so maybe that strength is coming to an end.

    They could also fookoff pouching players at underage level from kilmovee down the years . but I do understand the valid argument if Harrison for example had of stayed at the club he started with at u_12s , he would never of got a mayo jersey . sad fact.

  87. Sean…Which is why Mayo should copy what they do in Kerry…divisional football which enables the better players from junior clubs play at the top level without having to switch club allegiances. It’s a system which brings up the standard of the average player which in turn maximises talent. This is a key ingredient to Kerry’s success. Eg: Darran O’Sullivan, plays for a junior club and lifted Sam in 2009.

  88. Declan O’Sullivan is another example. Plays for a tiny club up in the mountains!

  89. I can’t understand how more people aren’t upset by yesterdays result. I think it’s clear from any of us who were at the game that it was as bad a performance by a Mayo team as many have witnessed. Players with hands on their hips, players with their arms folded, their body language was completely wrong. What should have been the highlight of their sporting lives, playing Galway in McHale Park and they looked like they were a million miles away. I’m not blaming the players, it’s us who should be ashamed for allowing a system to exist that sends them out for a game so badly prepared. A few questions that need answering.
    -Of the 4 candidates who applied for the minor managers position, why did the least qualified (on paper) get the role?
    -Are the coaching structures achieving their targets?
    -Have we the correct people in the coaching roles? (of the 8 coaches in East Mayo, 7 are in their late 50’s or older)
    -Are we investing enough money in our underage structures and if we are, are we getting value for money? (you would have to say no based on the last 6/7 years)
    Finally, what would Kerry do? It’s arrogance of the highest order to not look at the most successful county in the history of the game and not try and emulate them. Kerry identified a problem, sought a solution, implemented the findings and within 5 years have completely turned around their underage fortunes. This will be forgotten about in a week. Someone might raise the issue at the CB meeting but the other delegates will stare at their feet and sit on their hands. Maybe a sports journalist will do a small piece on it, more than likely not, as they fear losing their access to the senior set up if they rock the boat. My fear is that we’ll be back in this postion next year and the year after that if something isn’t done fast.

  90. Aghamore would not be in div 1 if they were fielding on their own. Their other underage teams are div 3 and 4. They are subject to the cyclical nature of talent like any other club.
    The big issue for Mayo is the talent spotting procedure, working out how to play the game and finally bringing these players through.
    I know of two club whose u14 manager told his players whoever wants to go to Dev squad trials can go. What Dev squad organiser left the opening for this to happen?
    I know of coaches with Dev squads who are not up to it – ranted at those present about those who did not turn up and then proceeded to do laps as punishment, on another occasion a coach kept shouting at a player to “straighten up” on his kick passing with the coaches frustration transferring onto the player (child).
    A director of football is required to oversee this with coaches with an existing proven track record (with their clubs and schools) appointed and not because the DoF knows them. If that includes ex county players who understand why they were good (and didn’t just rely on instinct) and can impart that to developing player then include them.
    Fr Maher knew exactly what he was doing in kilkenny way back in the day and why he was doing it. Ned Quinn knew exactly why he was appointing Cody and how they had to develop young players simultaneously. Harte knew exactly what he had to do in Tyrone (despite the intrusion of some).
    Does the county board have a vision? Can they identify the correct person to oversee it? Can they put the financial stuctures in place to pay for it?
    The failure of the Liam Horan plan and the reasons why, the biscuit tin fundraiser in NY, the planes trains and automobiles trip to london, the idea that the board cant afford a commercial manager (ever hear of commission based remuneration) and the constant battle J Horan endure would suggest no.
    Who cares enough to bring about change? Who has the weight to effect change? Who has the vision?

  91. Don’t forget Aghamore and Ballyhaunis are amalgated at minor this year too.

  92. James Horan would be a good first step. He’s a proven organiser. I would have utmost faith in his ability to get the structures right and to appoint key personnel. I’ve little or no faith in most of the co board as it stands but surely there must be some innovative and forward thinking individuals at the top end of club committees or even at board level who can bring about change.

    To be honest, we’ve been talking about this for years and f&@k all has changed.

  93. True Grit,

    as one of my favourite posters on here and you make more sense than a lot of them may i suggest the following.

    Option 1.

    When Rosgommon lose the Connacht Final this July and then get knocked out of the championship 6 days later by say Tipperary or Meath, it might finally dawn on Kevin Mcstay that he is wasting his time with them. A call should then be put through to him to come to Mayo underage management. Concentrate first on finding six 17 year olds who can score with both feet from a placed ball. The long term plan (a bit like O’Connor in Kerry) to coach them up through the grades for the next say six years and bring them through to the senior squad which he will take over management of in about 6 years time. It will herald a new golden era of Mayo sucess with a decade of dominance resulting in the first senior All Ireland landed for over 70 years. Its well known that when Mcstay cuts his finger he bleeds green and red blood, not blue and yella.

    Option 2.

    John Mawn.

    Option 3.

    Keep things as they are and accept that it is okay for Mayo to field an underage team with no game plan and who look like they never played together before.

    Okay. Kevin Mcstay it is then.

  94. Excellent post @corner back. Regarding your last 3 statements/questions, you do realise that there is someone currently sitting on the county executive who thought it a good idea to have Joe Brolly as the guest of honour at the function for Mayo supporters the night before last years All Ireland. That would be the equivilent of Liverpool FC having the editor of the Sun at their supporters night.

  95. Was in Supermac’s in Ballindine on Sunday and met a lot of happy Galway supporters on their way home from the minor massacre. As a Mayo exiled in Galway and judging by the mood in the county they feel it’s their time to take over the mantle from Mayo as the kings of Connacht. The concensus is that Mayo are past their sell by date and only heading in one direction – down. I think there could be one last sting in the dying wasp!

  96. John Casey definitely worth approaching as part of an underage think tank. We are all singing from more or less the same hymn sheet here. The need for structural change at management level ie director of coaching etc
    Re think of coaching objectives that coaching enhances a players abilty to play as part of team execute tactics. This is balanced with the player being allowed to express his natural talents…the flair idea that we seem to have lost
    @HSE I dont think we can rely on schools to do the donkey work. They will fulfill fixtures but the otherwise they are teaching physical education. Teachers(male population twindling in national and secondary) should be ideal material for coaching at club level tho not sure did tj gilgallon and martin carney for example get involved in coaching

  97. @OnTheDitch, yeah it is hard alright to expect the schools to have much of an impact but it would be interesting to find out if the schools in Dublin do much with the kids in terms of developing their skills and to find out what the clubs do in their training drills with the youngsters.

  98. Yes I agree learn from those who are doing something right and Dublin are producing very expressive footballers. Its a blending or balancing of tactical and yet playing with flair as you say.
    Maybe its time for wj and any other supporters organisation to collectively bring concerns to attention of county board and get them to outline to the best supporters in the country the changes they are going to implement. With the change in age limits now is the time but we must be instruments of change rather than whingy ranters. Any ideas on how we can bring about change

  99. @WJ, maybe you could get a thread going of people’s experiences of what they perceive schools and clubs are doing well in other counties, especially in Dublin? It might get a bit of a debate going anyway.

  100. @Jim Flag – McStay lives in Roscommon town so it’s not feasible for him to travel over for underage coaching. I’d be optimistic that in 3 or 4 years, the likes of Andy Moran, Alan Dillon and Keith Higgins will be good coaching options. Until then it would be great to get James Horan involved in some way. I doubt he sees himself coaching hurling for the rest of his life.

  101. Jim flag, it’s unlikely that kevin mcstay would consider coaching any Mayo team or kids after he was shafted by the county board. That’s not a lie, unless Liam Mchale went on national radio telling tales. And being a top class operator like Macdonald was with a ball doesn’t mean you have the time or inclination of showing kids how to strike a ball or make that bit of space near goal for a shot.
    My thoughts, the simple way of doing this skills improvement is have 2 reliable volunteers from each school or club or both brought to a central position and shown the drills and methods of what should be shown to these youngsters, that stops any ill conceived ideas of what training should entail. Everyone should be following a predetermined path on this at kids levels. I watched volunteers training a crowd of 8-10 year olds in north mayo a while back, they were doing more harm than good to the kids football skills, roaring like lunatics and no organisation, if my child was in there with them I would have taken him away from it completely. Compare that to the local rugby club, night and day difference in approach to training. It’s a simple thing, learn to pass or solo with either foot and also to shoot from distance with both feet. The likes of Macdonald could show the trainers his techniques and let them relay it on a wider level, then see how it progresses. Let Keegan or boyler show their techniques to those trainers, let them relay that to the kids as well. And so on.
    kerry and Dublin are doing the same, every year they seem to bring lads in that look like they have been playing forever at county level. Otherwise we become Meath or cork.

  102. In the last 2/3 years the colleges within the county have enjoyed a lot of success. That would indicate to me that a lot of the schools have gotten their coaching right. Most of the schools coaches are young lads still playing ball that the students can look up to, relate to and emulate. Contrast that with the coaches within the county set up, mostly men in their 50’s and 60’s. It’s not a question of these men not being passionate or about them knowing about football, it’s simply down to the fact that the young lads cannot relate to them. The vast majority of coaches in Dublin are Sports Science graduates, brimming with enthusiasm and new ideas as well as being up to date with the latest advances in training science.

  103. @Liam, good points made there. I remember reading an interview with Damien Egan the manager of Ballinrobe CBS before their All-Ireland final win and he came across very well. When you think of it, between Claremorris, Ballinrobe, Westport and Belmullet, surely to God there was the makings of a good Minor team. There must be something very wrong at county level alright.

  104. You cant teach a young fella to kick a ball like CMcD. You cant teach a young fella to play like Leeroy. Talent cant be taught you either have it or not. What Mayo Co Co need to do is put in place the structures to nurture young players talent. At present I believe we are toobogged down with tactics, drills, and trying to manufacture players to fit into a running based game, this does not promote the skills of the game.

    Its not rocket science, young players should be playing games, always with a ball in hand, encouraged to try the outragous and to have fun. Encourage young fellas to develop their own style of playing the game.

    As the Gooch said, the only instruction he was given was to “jeep doing what your doing” Create an environment where young players can express themselves and develop their own natural talent and the future players will come.

  105. @mayomad my worry is we are knocking the creativity out of our young players. C McD had incredible ball control and used it to great effect with his incisive passing. It makes a lot of sense too to have recent players involved in the coaching side.
    Good suggestion to wj from HSE. Well worth debating.

  106. @mayonaze currently there are 4 development squads (one in each region) at U14 level, which then reduces to 2 at U15 & U16 level. The problem as I see it is not enough is done with these players in a technical or tactical sense when they meet at divisional level. This is also extremely frustrating as it takes away time I can spend with these players focusing on such skills at club level. We often find ourselves left with 1 or 2 evenings a week that players can actually train as academy squad trainings are on different nights (coaching shortfall maybe?). As someone who has been through the academy approach as a player in recent years, I have felt there is a lack of fluidity in some coaching methods, with many sessions with the younger squads (U14 in particular) often just a one hour match with very little gains made IMO.

    Personally, I think we need to get more younger coaches involved who have the energy, drive and desire to improve the young footballers coming into these squads. I don’t doubt that good work has been done in the past but we must get with the times and adjust accordingly to the game of football today. I feel a number of coaches currently in position may be using coaching methods that are dated and do not work in today’s game.

    I won’t mention specific names but there was a player from Mayo Gaels who tormented our back line on both occasions our U16 team played them last year who also did quite well for St. Colman’s College in their Senior run this year. Westport have dominated at U16 and minor level over the last number of years and there were very few players from the club on the programme yesterday.

    @ontheditch re the question on the match winning forwards, if I had that answer I would have fancied myself on the sideline yesterday! Both corner forwards that started yesterday, I rate highly and I think it was more so our inability to get ball inside to them and the lack of ideas of how to break down Galway’s drifting defence that cost us. Perhaps a number of good kick passers around the middle third could have allowed us to put in good, fast ball inside to beat the retreating blanket. On that point, these lads have to be taught and coached how to do this rather than just rampaging through a series of cone related drills. Tommy Conroy showed his class with a few lovely scores when he got the ball in dangerous positions.

    One thing I would like to pick up on which I have noticed at underage club level in recent years is that the skill of handling must be addressed. Yesterday, I counted at least three occasions in the first half when Mayo got inside the Galway D and looked like they could fashion a goal chance, only for the ball to break down each time due to either a poor hand pass or poor handling from the receiver. Knit picking perhaps but if we take even one of those three chances, the margin would have been reduced greatly at half time.

    As I said that’s only as I see it, others feel free to share opinion or disagree.

  107. @cornerback hit the nail on the head also with their comments. Underage club football works in cycles where you may get 2/3 good teams and be quite successful followed by years of very average teams. In my own club at the minute, we had quite a strong U16 team whereas our minors and U14s would be relatively weak.

    That is just life but I don’t see an excuse for a poor intercounty team at underage level as there are always strong teams throughout the county, even if those clubs may vary from year to year.

  108. Ontheditch, I would agree that creativity is not promoted and Mayo football is too caught up in running football and tactics. U12 and U14 should not be running around cones, worried about tactics. They should be encouraged to be adventurous playing football, it should be fun, they should have a ball in their hands all the time when on the training field, win or lose they should be allowed to express themselves on the field. Thats how the next generation of KMcDs will emerge. A call for KMcD or someone similar to be called upon is not the answer, a 10yr old would have limited knowledge of KMcD and prob would never have seen him play, they would more relate to someone like AOS. This culture of football must be fostered and breed within the clubs, they are the ones who have access to the future talent coming through.

  109. Great insight their WideBall.
    The big thing now in coaching in all sports is game based scenarios. For specific skills then high repetition.
    Just to note that I’m alarmed about East Mayo as the underage scene is not explainable with a cyclical dip.
    It is the type of young and modern coach like Damien Egan replicated in other schools that would help massively.
    Then modern coaches and inspiring recent ex-players with our development squads. But if the U14 squads are a hindrance to club access to players I’m not sure that is great.
    Does it veer all that far from a strong club scene being the main thing that gives you strong players?
    Just a note on a mixup. Im pretty certain John Gallagher u17 Mayo Gaels wore 23 yesterday and started. There was a mixup in subs jersey numbers.
    To be positive I think there are a lot of ambitious young coaches doing great work in a lot of clubs. It seems clear however we need a new figure to head this all up and provide support. We work off the development pathway document from Croke park. I doubt Dublin or Kerry or Galway do.

  110. @JP I do take your point about East Mayo being in decline as I am a coach of one of those clubs. Although we are reasonably strong at U16, we are struggling very much so below that with the main issue being numbers as many teams now have less than 15 players. I believe this is an issue in many clubs? U14 not so much but U15 (once a week) and U16 (twice) would meet 3 times a week meaning that there is little time available to clubs when you take into consideration school football and other sports. I think that more emphasis should be given to club football as a way of assessing how good underage players are and this was not helped with the poor layout of minor club fixtures so far this year.

    John Gallagher came on at start of second half but there was a mix up with subs numbers which led to a confused crowd as changes were made in the second half! Really amateur stuff to cap off a forgettable day.

  111. Out of interest from your own experience Wide Ball what benefits as a player did you get from being in the development squads?
    Was there anything then hindered you as a player?

  112. @JP @Wideball
    Yes it was John Gallagher who came on at start of the second half, probably the only bright aspect of the day seeing him return to action following missing St. Colmans season with a knee injury.
    Having digested yesterday a little more in my head I’ve come to a few thoughts….
    1) Defensively and tactically we lost our discipline at key moments, Galway movement seemed to leave our lads bamboozled.
    2) Skills were poor, handpasses not finding their man and some poor kick passing to our inside line. If Tommy Conroy had those passes which Evan Murphy could flight, it would have looked much healthier for Mayo.
    3) When the heat came on, our lads didn’t seem to be able to reset and go for the next play. Every pass/ play was trying to make up for the previous mistake. We as a county don’t seem to have a definite style of play in any grade, contrast yesterday being 9 points down at half time vs Dublin losing by 10 at half time vs Meath 2 weeks ago. Dublin have a process drilled into them, they came back to draw the game and win in extra time…allowing Meath 1 point in the 2nd half.

  113. @ mayomad its not all about whether they would remember Ciaran McDonald or not though it would help. Its about the skills Ciaran could pass on to them. Way in excess of anything AOS has to offer. Even if his commitment was limited his sense of flair and excitement should not be allwowed to die. Do you think Colm Cooper will have some role in the future development of football in kerry. You can bet your last cent he will – in developing like minded youngster to himself.
    But the argument is back to coaching that encourages creativity and I take your point if the coaches are younger and known to the kids all the better

  114. Results tonight in minor league threw up one interesting result.
    Westport 3-19 Claremorris 15. Now Claremorris are a solid team and well prepared at underage.
    Surely there was more than one minor sub on that Westport team?
    They beat Parke 2-15 to 1-9 in their first game.
    It looks like Louisburgh and Westport are the two strongest minor teams.

  115. Louisburgh lost under 17 final to knockmore by 8 points last year. Westport, Bellmullet, Parke knockmore and Balla being strongest teams this age group.
    Parke Beat Annagh Rovers in Aghamore tonight also

  116. Claremorris also usually division 1 and strong in it with the above teams and Louisburgh. Think leagues and championships at with this group players been between knockmore under 12, 14, 17 and westport under 16 and 15 possibly.

  117. Bellmullet also beat Balla in Balla, Castlebar beat Charlestown/kilmovee, louisburgh beat Ballina. Knockmore v Breaffy other division 1 game being played tomorrow.
    Next round minor league then Friday, Monday and Friday again.

  118. @OnTheDitch, I know in Kerry Jack O’Connor brought Declan O’Sullivan into the Minor set-up to work with their young forwards, once O’Sullivan had retired from inter-county football (both would be from the same club). Again that shows joined up thinking down there.

  119. I believe there are better players at minor level in the county. That is not to criticise anybody involved in the development squads. Fourteen to eighteen years of age is a difficult space and we have all been there. Too much emphasis on winning is being applied here at this and the lower grades. We are discussing young lads chasing a ball around the fields. I believe U20 should be our focus. Minor is light years from senior div 1 football and we should now acknowledge that fact. As for poor coaching standards in Mayo well that is a given. But what about the 15 taking to the field the last day. They did not perform or did they show any will to win. Minors are master’s at letting themselves down are those that support them. Chalk it down to experience and take what ever lessons there are to be learned from it. Saw this team play in Tuam last month and I concluded they have a lots to learn so I was not expecting much last weekend. Best of luck to Galway for the rest of the season. They are not as good as we made them look.As for SJ they were badly exposed last year in what was a poor AI for them.

  120. I afree PJ that the focus is U20. Im not even bothered by being beaten as its developing the players that is the focus. But we would expect to be competitive.
    The players mainly need to be from stronger clubs. I’v said this before but there are hardly any match ready players below division two.
    Its unfortunate but its reality that a player who has played all their club career in div 3 or 4 is very unlikely to cut it in the white heat of minor championship.
    Check the archives on the blog. Find me minors who were scoring from below div 3 or div 4.
    James Carr developed at u19 and struggled at minor.

  121. @JP unfortunately I was thinking about your question last night and I could not find many benefits of the academy style approach we have in the county at present. The main perk as I see it is it keeps you in the minds of management come minor level. We are not developing any fluidity within the system IMO. For example, there is no continuity in terms of game play or coaching throughout the squads which leads to a lack of coherency as we move up the grades. I think we should have a certain style we want to play that should be coached and implemented at the more serious grades (U16/U17).

    Have to agree with the comments about Westport. Surely they should have had more players featuring at the weekend. They have got their ducks in a row as they are dominating at every underage grade currently. The likes of Belmullet are also coming strong and I was surprised not to see one or two more of their minors represented.

  122. Integrating players coming from a structured setup like Westport to virtually all the other unstructured clubs would be a difficult ask. We need to copy the successful teams and focus on proper skills training at club level first. Catching and kicking in a timely manner. Learning how to use space aka Dublin and Kerry.

  123. Was there not an east Mayo divisional side a few years back and correct me if I’m wrong but I’ve heard there was very little appetite for it.

  124. Galways third goal. A player ran towards the ball out on the wing and the Galway player not believing his luck jogged into the space in front of goal.A simple handpass then with a defender back with the goalie on the line??
    There were plenty defenders out covering the ball out on the wing.
    So thats just basic matchplay to not abandon the centre space.

  125. This was the saddest performance from any Mayo team for quite some time. They seemed to lack organisation, direction and motivation.
    Some players were left on too long even though they were out of their depth from the start and some of the substitutions showed that they should have been there from the start.
    Mixing up the numbers on players’ jerseys just showed a total lack of organisation.

  126. @WideBall. So it sounds pretty underwhelming the development squads.
    It should be inspiring and learning. I know the fitness stuff is now better and we see a reduction in overuse injuries.
    But it looks like we are selecting purely out of the development squads and got overly fixated on the Colmans and Ballinbrobe schools success.
    The players that are consistent leaders for their clubs are the players I would only select from.
    In general most players schools are not organised so its nigh on impossible to make any judgements.
    There should be more midfielders from the clubs also. All very useful in positions other than midfield.

  127. Should we be looking to get someone from Westport involved in our underage structures, seen as they did produce All-Ireland winners this year.

  128. A full time director of football would be indentifing not just talent on the field but also on the sideline. If you look at any successful clubs you can usually identify one individual who was the catalyst for that success, these are the people that we need in the underage set up. Coaches should be appointed on a 3 year contract with a requirement for a 3rd level qualification in a sports science related field. Can you imagine the enthusiasm and energy a young, freshly qualified coach would bring to the underage system. Look at Cathal Cregg in Bekan as an example. After 3 years these coaches would want to move on anyway to continue their professional development, so you bring in new blood, with new ideas. The current system is based on patronage, by and large appointing coaches as a reward for loyalty and service.

  129. Westport are togging two teams at minor, the only club doing so. Eight years ago they didn’t have 15 for a minor match and had to concede.
    Its an amazing development story.

  130. Can anyone tell me when does the under 17 championship start and who is over this team?

  131. @Aidan, it seems to be running alongside the senior championship, i.e. Mayo play Sligo on May 21st in Castlebar with the winner playing Galway in Salthill on June 11th. I don’t know who the management is though.

  132. @JP very underwhelming indeed. I know a number of coaches who I have met on the club scene over the last number of years who I would rate highly but have never been approached to get involved at any capacity at divisonal or county level. I feel that excellent coaching can bridge most ability gaps (we shouldn’t have a problem with ability in Mayo!). If we are not getting the best people involved with these lads then we are not going to reap the benefits of our young players full potential.

  133. We have some good u20s this year despite recent results.
    U20 that I’m keenly awaiting senior championship to see how they are going.
    Knockmore – Peter Naughton. Getting bigger and stronger. Has good hands and is tall. Scoring well in the league.
    Ballintubber – Stephen OMalley. Close to nailing down a place and scoring well.
    Westport – Brian OMalley and Colm Moran.
    Brian OMalley is now covering full back.
    Colm Moran if you hit him he just bounces off you and keeps going.
    Ballaghadereen – Shairoze Akram. Having a great year.
    Crossmolina – Jordan Flynn. He’s raw but he doesnt need to be polished with his strength. Has the makings of a good full forward.
    The club u21 championship should be brilliant this year. Several clubs will hopefully be togging competitive teams in A and B.
    The round robin and then knockout works well. Gives lads a few games.

  134. @HSE we are crying out for director of underage with resbonsibility among other things to oversee and direct coaching.james Horan stands head and shoulders over anyone else imo
    Andy Moran would be a good man under Horans wing. He is bringing Akram along nicely athis own club withoutkno king the flair out of him
    Though Westport have no big names oncoaching staff just good coaches with good overall philosophy. Charlie Lambert excellent overseer of all that happens and much can be attributed to him re the growth of footbL in westport.
    Dublin are churning out footballers conveyor belt style and kerry are hot on the trail. Where are we?

  135. I think jp has nailed a few good ones. Brian O Malley def a player of the future. Very fit very determined and great football brain. Capable of running agame from midfield.

  136. @Aidan – I understand Martin McIntyre (on physio team with seniors) is managing the U17’s this year, however U17’s next year (the re-adjusted ‘minors’) will be managed by the current management team.
    As far as I’m aware, any U17’s involved in minors / Saturdays game are eligible to represent Mayo at U17 this year also.
    The subs numbers the last day was very annoying / frustrating and jusy helped to cap a bad day. Enough said on the match above. Think the calls for KMcD etc are silly. I’m loath to say this, as he is one of my heros when he was on fire, but sure half the games I used to attend back in the day you didnt know whether he would be there or not! Thats fact! Mayomad – not sure you can coach players to be a Lee Keegan, you either have that or you dont as well.

  137. On a brighter note i heard that Mayo beat Meath very well last week in a challenge. 4 periods of 20 minutes were played. I have no idea of teams or scorers

  138. Finding space inside your opponents 45 is a skill in itself that is lacking from senior down in Mayo. How often we see our teams hit that glass wall and look to go back or forward. A player with his head up when in possession is rare.

    Good players always seem to have time on the ball….why is that? They are good readers of the game and know where to be. That aspect of can be coached if the right person is coaching it.

  139. You obviously have your finger on the pulse JR. Behind closed doors no doubt.

  140. Does anybody know who is the mayo u 17 manager. Galway have a former inter county footballer managing them everything seems to be going galways way at the moment but the eleventh of june is coming fast. btw what will happen if new york beat sligo on sunday.will new york come to castlebar?

  141. I DESPAIR when i see posters asking for ciaran mcdonald to coach the minors.he is far too busy laying pipes for water and sewerage schemes.I THINK peter ford would be a good choice for the u 17.he has the time as he is a teacher,he has vast experience of management, he is a former minor and senior county captain. he won an all-ireland u 21 medal in 1983,he was a teak tough defender who never played a bad game.

  142. Jimbo, I would say the current minor manager will be next years U17 manager. New York will not be coming to Castlebar if they beat Sligo as alot of their players are Illegal immigrants, most likely Mayo get a bye through to Galway. Which shows how pointless having New York in the championship is. This is one fixture which really should be discontinued.

  143. Jumbo – people calling for Ciaran are deluded.

    Mayomad – I thought the same but apparently all NY players are legit this year so IF they pull of a shock, NY will be coming to Castlebar.

  144. I see Aiden o shea gave Rté sport an interview recently , its on the Rté news app today, WJ can you upload it ? I’ve tried and failed , he is quoted as saying mayo are confindent heading into the championship, had hoped these bloody interviews with the media had been a thing of the past ??

  145. Huey 2016……….That Colleges Connacht Final in 1977…….I was there…….Colemans beat my team St Jarlaths Tuam and went on to win the AIF and Hogan Cup…….If memory serves me right that was tneir first Connacht title and they went all the way in the same year.

  146. Sligo getting their excuses in early for getting bet in New York on Sunday night. I see that New York have one of our own in their back line. It could well be New York we face in the next round. I can remember them coming to Mchale Park back in about 1999 or 2000. So they do travel sometimes.

  147. I see from the fixtures that our Junior team is meant to be playing a Connacht semi-final tomorrow. Is that game going ahead, I haven’t heard anything about it or the squad that we have available for it. Anyone know anything about it?

    Connacht JFC Championship
    SEMI-FINALS: Fixed for Wednesday 3rd May (fixtures, venues and dates TBC)

    FINAL: Fixed for Wednesday 17th May

  148. Jennifer K – I would be if the opinion we hear certain Mayo players in the media too much but In fairness I don’t think AOS said anything that makes headlines. He was there at the Championship launch with other players who were also interviewed.

  149. Having been a long term reader I feel compelled to post for the first time after reading all the above comments regarding coaching of underage teams. My own experience is I was heavily involved in coaching underage teams in my own club and coaching in general was something I have a huge interest in and passion for. Because I was this I was always keen to learn and become more knowledgeable and better as a coach and so read up on any related material both online, coaching manuals etc and watched any training dvds with drills including some very good ones on the ulster gaa site.
    Anyway I also attended any available training run by the county board. The courses were the foundation youth first and then the award 1 which was the most comprehensive course you could take at the time. Now the award 1 really opened my eyes to the way things are ran here in mayo and needless to say put me off having any involvement in the future.
    Firstly the course was poorly organised, ran by coaches who were mainly getting on in years and very little new innovations or thinking. But that was not the main problem in order to finish the course we were supposed to become involved with the training of the divisional u 16 teams but this never happened and from talking to other attendees they were not involved either. However the best of the lot was there had been one man on the course who to say the least had been very argumentative with the trainer’s and didn’t want to take on board what they were trying to put across as regards training youths and keeping them interested etc. Now this same man was from a high profile club and from a prominent gaa family. Therefore I got a major shock a couple of weeks later when I seen a picture in the western of a mayo u16 team that had been sent to London to play while the mayo seniors were playing and who had been sent on junket with them…. you guessed it the very man. And we wonder why there is a problem with our underage coaching structures

  150. Valid point yew tree, I agree his comments were ok i
    just chringe at the thought of entertaining the media in any shape or form – but that’s just my opinion

  151. Ya would not rule out another game that goes down to the wire over in NY. They came within a whisker last year and will have gained a huge amount of self belief from that game. Sligo will travel with a greater humility and show of respect for New York than those cocky Rossies did last summer and that may just be what earns them the victory. But it could be a very tight game…

  152. @blondie11 that doesn’t surprise me one bit.if the people that are giving the coaching courses aren’t up to scratch then how are the club coaches be expected to.

  153. I cannot understand why some people are tipping NY to beat Sligo. Sligo have been one of the most successful Connacht counties after Mayo in recent years up to last year that is.. I am delighted we are meeting them in McHale Park as I would dread that trip to Sligo if it were an away fixture in mid May. I feel most Connacht counties would feel the same. The trip to Salthill will not be as daunting I trust. NY are not a county team anymore than London and victories over county teams are as rare as the Blue Moon. The level of understanding of some posters of these issues on this site sometimes leaves me bewildered. Time now to give the Sligo lads a break and show some respect. We will do well to get passed them in McHale Park in a couple of weeks.

  154. Jimbo,.. Please don’t dispare! , if some poster’s call for C, McDonald to manage the minors, the minors are out of it for this year,. I can assure you that the vast majority of poster’s, just like myself have no input or impact on what happens……….it doesn’t matter what we call for.. . If you know anyone on the County Board, they are the men with all the answers, They have immense knowledge all the potential canadites, and they will get ‘one’ of them for us, and no matter who they get? (someone else is going to know someone else, much better qualified.) They know how to raise the money for the nessarly expenditure for under age teams, and they have a ‘five point plan’. They are going to make Mayo the best little county in the world to be playing gaelic-football in. Oh sorry that’s someone else I was thinking of!……Jennifer K,.. AOS has not committed any crime, in giving an interview,. ..Much worse would be the case if the guy was asked questions by RTE and couldn’t answer them. . If you are against Aiden giving interview on one hand and on the other hand , you want Willie Joe to make his interview assessable to all the reader’s of the Mayo Gaa blog at the same time…And besides we need something or someone to be talking about,.. Aiden certainly fits the bill, sure you could hardly not notice the guy, he’s just so big.. Now, not putting Aiden into the same category of sporting heroes as Muhammad Ali, (he has a small bit to go yet) ‘The Greatest’ as he was known ,a self christened title (I know that word ‘Christened’ “is not quite correct for someone called ‘Mohammad, but ye know what I mean, that would be a good question at a quiz.) Anyways, when I was a child, most of the adults were always giving out about Ali talking too much, and mostly they wanted him to lose, because he talked too much, and what annoyed them even more, he said that he was a ‘Pretty Fighter’. Not a thing a man used to do, way back in the 1970s… I’ll tell you now, there were some grown men, swearing at the Telly, and if what they said to Ali, who was safely in the Television was to be believed, Ali would not be a ‘Pretty Fighter’ any more.. Of course Ali never came out of the Telly to fight theese men,.. And then eventually there came a time, and Ali was not boxing any more, then the very same adults, said that the heavy weight boxing was no good any more , not like when Ali was in his heyday..and he was very intelligent and had the gift of the gab, and even stranger, the then ‘middle aged’ women of the day said that they all liked him and that he was very good looking. .But they never said that when their husband was listening or the Parish Priest Be careful what you wish for Jennifer K… It will be a long few weeks until the 21st of May, when we all have something tangible to talk about again. Will it be in McHale Park, or in New York?.. Which won that big heavy weight fight on Saturday,,? Who was even fighting?. Way back in the days of ‘Muhammad Ali’ everyone would know!

  155. In relation to coaching we should look outside the box a bit and see what other sports are doing.
    About 5/6 years ago the FAI appointed a Dutch guy Rudy Dockter as performance director which oversees player development and emerging talent programmes.now the fai has national leagues at u15 17 and 19 levels with top class coaches.

    I wouldn’t be as familiar with rugby but all the provinces have top class academy systems in place for player development.

  156. New York I think have more things in their favour to win this than Sligo.
    Missing a few players Sligo become a division 4 outfit. New York in New York can beat division 4 teams. The challenge matches against Donegal will have New York tuned up and they have added players.

  157. From a Sligo perspective, seeing what happened to Roscommon last year should mean that there is no hint of complacency in their ranks this year. We should also remember though that Mayo beat Sligo by 25 points in the 2015 Connacht final and Roscommon beat Sligo well in last year’s Connacht semi-final after an early scare. Sligo are a tough team to beat in their own patch in the championship but they are a little bit brittle away from home. They lost to London in 2013 so why wouldn’t New York feel that they are in with a chance in this game. I’m sure New York felt like they left that game behind them last year against Roscommon.

  158. leantimes
    i just said i seen he did an interview, why not ask Willie joe to put it up here??????,like you said we need something to talk about for the next 18 days,
    this opinion of mine was well supported here by plenty of others throughout our bid for glory not only last year ,but for a very long time,agreed Aiden is a fine specimen of a man- i wasn’t disputing that in any shape of form,
    the only wish i have lean times,is i’m sure the same as yours ,to have a long summer following our lads around the country,and to get over that bloody line come september!!

  159. I see that the Mayo squad for the championship has been released anyway:

    The Mayo squad is as follows: David Clarke, Rob Hennelly; Chris Barrett, Colm Boyle, Ger Cafferkey, Stephen Coen, Caolan Crowe, David Drake, Patrick Durcan, Brendan Harrison, Keith Higgins, Lee Keegan, Shane Nally, Donal Newcombe, Eoin O’Donoghue, Donal Vaughan; Danny Kirby, Barry Moran, Seamus O’Shea, Tom Parsons; Fergal Boland, Alan Dillon, Jason Doherty, Conor Loftus, Kevin McLoughlin, Andy Moran, Diarmuid O’Connor, Cillian O’Connor, Aidan O’Shea, Conor O’Shea, Evan Regan.

  160. What do we need to get us over the line with the deck we have , what has to improve from last year .

    Aos and cillian need settled roles, we need them two to have their best year to date , they are in their prime , there is no reason bar injury why they shouldn’t deliver .

    Improvement from Stephen coen and just a match fit diarmuid for the latter stages if we get there. Vital.

    A fit ger caff back to his best would be a massive boost for the fb line especially with no kevin Keane .

    Evan Regan, now here is a player who needs to deliver this year. Ideally he gets the full game against Sligo, gets a right few scores and his confidence is up for the big clash with the fancy Dan’s.

    I’m not sure Boland will be ready yet for intensity of senior championship but if he is all the better again.

    Seamie had no league action as far as I can remember ,hope to see him from the get go to fine tune the body .

    What improvents do ye think will be neccasary to grab back the Nestor cup and set us up for a lash at the quarters ?

  161. 1. More assists and scores from midfield.
    2. Sharper competituon for jerseys.
    3. One more bolter forward from the development squad. Whats there wont get the job done in my view.

  162. I’d be happier if we had another option in Midfield. I don’t think Kirby is really best placed there, though with the mark featuring more he may become more important. He’s also more than capable of getting the odd point, he certainly knows where the posts are in Mchale park.
    I can see him being more of a utility player, switching between midfield and forwards, with perhaps Vaughan developing a greater midfield role.
    I wonder will any of the 6 development players (Ruane, Reape, Gallagher, Cunniffe, Carr and the other one who I don’t know if he’s been named yet?) see game time this Championship?.
    If we are cruising against some team this year it may be no harm, but we didn’t do much cruising last year against any teams bar maybe London, and I don’t expect we’ll be doing much of it again this year either. No Harm, as long as we’re winning games.

    As for NY vs Sligo – Sligo are rightly favourites but seems their odds have lengthened somewhat – gone from 1/6 to 4/11, with New York shortening to 11/4 from 5/1. Obviously the bookies are moving as the money goes so there are a few having a punt on NY to do the business. To be fair – NY have been improving, nearly scalped the Rossies last year and have had 2 games against Donegal to prepare – that’s as good a preparation as any team could ask for given Donegal’s league form this year. The locals will be a lot more used to the heat and have no jet lag to contend with either, so have a lot of things going in their favour. It’s a bit of a stretch for them given the nature of their team and lack of competitive games, but then they’ve been threatening to shock someone and London themselves got to a Connacht Final a few years ago.

    I wonder will the local streaming lads be doing anything this year, or if there will be a periscope version like there was last year?. I have an interest in watching, as whoever wins we’ll be watching again on the 21st in Castlebar.

  163. Where did you get that list from, HSE? I haven’t seen it anywhere yet. From what I gather, though, I think that is the correct squad alright.

  164. Pretty sure the Connacht telegraph reported on that as the official panel last week.

  165. I believe the defense will be very tough this year if there is no injuries, C Barrett will probably make I also S Coen,so if Ger Caff is back it will be interesting, midfield should be OK perhaps Keith in half towards,I feel they will go for a more physical inside line perhaps K Mc ,and Jason which will make it easier for quick ball in and it will stick,so competition will come from Donie,C Boyle, COS,F Boland,A Dillon, AMoran,E,Regan,D Kirby,SNally,amongst others,that seems quite a strong bench,hopefully someone else will put their hand up but I feel we will be stronger than last year

  166. @Blondie11 it would seem that we have very similar experiences of coaching!!

  167. I think the Hogan Stand gives some direct quotes which to be fair give a clearer picture than the Indo does (or ever would, to be fair, given their previous direction of theme).


    specifically how the players were not given the right of reply at the time, and how he wasn’t going to get into it now, getting a measured and appropriate pop at the lack of ethics of our good friend Mr Brehany:

    “It’s old news. It’s factually incorrect and that’s unfortunately the way the paper wanted to write it.

    “That’s their prerogative. It’s not something I dwell on – I’ve completely moved on myself personally and the group have completely moved forward.
    “We’re trying to win an All-Ireland for lots of reasons but that’s (getting back at Holmes and Connelly) not one of them.
    “I’m not going to get into it, to be honest with ya. It’s not the time or place but some day in the future I’m sure I’ll go back over it, yeah.
    “I didn’t get the right to respond at the time and as a duty as a journalist they didn’t give me the right at the time and I’m not going to do it now, six months later. It’s a lack of respect. Please.”

  168. If a player is used in the championship from the delevopment squad a player has to be omitted from the main squad. .

  169. probably no harm in having a few around to cover injuries so – think back to Gibbons shoulder injury against Galway last year.

  170. So it is, Nephin, thanks. I’ve a sub on the go to the digital version of the Western but this latest Bank Holiday coming so soon after Easter has me thrown – I never bothered to check it till you mentioned it now. That’s a lovely two-page spread they have on the panel in this week’s edition.

  171. Yes WJ thinking the same myself. Nice to have a look at in August, when we have forgotten exactly who’s on it.

  172. Am inclined to agree that a new midfield discovery would be good. Still, all these players (below) are capable/have operated in the midfield area:

    O’Shea, A.
    O’Shea, S.
    O’Shea, C. (at a pinch)
    Parsons, T
    Moran, B.
    Kirby, D.
    Coen, S.
    O’Connor, D.
    Vaughan, D.

  173. Back to minor talk. Watched a very competitive Balla v Belmullet minor game on Monday. Two evenly matched sides Balla 5 up with 8 mins to go but couldn’t close it out late pen gave Belmullet the win. Felt the ref gave yellow cards when black was warranted. Hard to believe that only 1 player from these 2 teams on County squad. I assume 2 from each group will go into semi Westport and Louisburgh in 1a and Knockmore and 1 of Belmullet/ Balla/ Breaffy/Castlebar in 2b. Should be great semis and final. Embarrassing display from Mayo minors on Sunday but there is still plenty of talent at that age group who didn’t get a Mayo Jersey.

  174. What about Belmullet and Balla I think Knockmore can feel aggrieved.
    Knockmore 3-11 Breaffy 2-7.
    Knockmore 12 Belmullet 6.
    It appears Knockmore are the strongest team in division 1B.
    I don’t know what happens after the final league game in 1A and 1B.
    Damian Gavin gave a short interview to the Mayo News. With the full 15 n subs they only had three full weeks. Something I’m sure they’ll address for next year.

  175. Have to agree with the comments above. How so few players from the stronger clubs at minor club level were not on the panel is a bit baffling. The league structure in division 1 is that the top 2 teams in 1a and 1b will go into a semi-final with the top team in each group having home advantage. Should be a few interesting games. How the powers that be think it is okay to run 4 rounds of the league off over 12 days is beyond me. Gone beyond a joke at this stage with club players at underage level now suffering as a result of the “county team is everything” mentality. Perhaps if club games had been played over the last 2 months, management could have been able to see players in competitive action and then pick the best squad for the Galway game.

  176. The schools games seem to have taken precedence in selection. The schools also likely resulted in the lack of club action and the lack of collective training for the county setup. There was the comment from Damian Gavin that the provincial schools successes indicate that some of these are “clearly very good players”. Only at Schools A level can that kind of judgement be made with a higher degree of certainty. Schools A is still well below County minor at the level Mayo are expected to compete at.
    Looking at the past twenty years, county minor level talent are almost always consistent leaders for their clubs and usually the top 16 clubs with an odd exception thrown in. It’s even more precisely usually the top six teams have provided the core performers who gave us our traditional strong minor team.

  177. JP – Why should Knockmore feel aggrieved??
    They have won both games easy and I predicted they will qualify with 1 other team from 1b. I would expect them to beat Balla tmoro but it will be close. I think yourself, meself and Wideball wud agree that more emphasis should have been placed on looking at lads playing minor for clubs in the league instead of obsessing on schools football where lads overage for minor mit be the best players eg Conor Diskin etc for Claremorris. Ballinrobe did well but it was a B competition. Not sure Ballinrobe would beat St. Colmans, Rice College or Gerald’s who all played in A championship’. After all they only beat Athenry in extra time in the Connacht final and Athenry way off pace for A. The biggest indictment of the selection process is the lack of Westport players in the squad. None in the initial 40 selected yet they look very strong at minor, albeit it that their best players are U17.

  178. My point was Knockmore would likely have more than one panellist with what seems to be a good team.
    It will be interesting to see how 1a, 1b and the semis play out. I can’t see anyone stopping Westport.

  179. Westport, Knockmore, Belmullet and Balla should have had higher representation. As somebody said earlier lads that are leaders for those clubs could do a job in another position for their county. Mayo senior team has lads that play midfield for their clubs eg K Mc L, LK, DV,BH etc but play different role for county. Was this explored. I predict u17 will restore some pride for us. What happens if Martin Mc Intyre wins u17 competition,? – Does Damian Gavin still take u,17s in 2018?

  180. Will be interesting to see how U17s get on. I see they have drafted in minor players from this year that are eligible. Should have a very decent as both teams, particularly South/West were strong at Ted Webb level last year. I know we can’t take that for a given but its a good indicator.

  181. I seen Ted Webb South/West last year. If they can add a few more players from North and East it could be a decent side. I thought Basil McLeod, Oisin Mullin and John Gallagher gave a strong core of 3, 6 and 9.
    Team listed here:
    Jason Corrigan (Louisburgh),
    Dimitri Trench (Davitts), Basil McLeod (Louisburgh), Jordan Flanagan (Davitts),
    Tommy Reynolds (Balla), Oisin Mullin (Carras, 0-1), Aaron McDonnell (Ballintubber, 0-1),
    John Gallagher (Mayo Gaels, 0-4, 3f), Cillian Golden (Balla),
    Dylan Prendergast (Louisburgh, 2-2), James Jennings (Mayo Gaels, 0-1), Pat Lambert (Westport),
    Mark Moran (Westport), Cian Naughton (Davitts), Emmett Rowley (Westport).
    Subs used: Ciaran Gallagher (Balintubber) for Rowley, Dave Groden (Westport) for Moran, Rory Brickenden (Westport) for Naughton, Peter Carthy (Westport) for McDonnell.

  182. @ Gareth and @ Blondie11 – that’s concerning isn’t it – so many involved at underage coaching seem to be highly disillusioned with the county coaching structures. There are too many dinosaurs involved with their own agendas. The entire structure needs an overhaul. Until this happens we will continue to lapse.

    Mayo have won one minor All Ireland in 31 years. Pretty damning statistic.

  183. @mayonaze I would have to concur. We should be doing far better at inter-county underage level when you consider the senior success that we have had, constantly competing in AI SF and finals, particularly in recent years. The players are there……

  184. One area that could improve is scouting out there talking with the club coaches.
    I had an u21 team once.
    One of the players was drafted in to the minors. I would not have given my approval if asked. He was decent but no more than that.
    Another player was a sub half back at u21. I would have recommended corner back if asked as I knew he hadn’t the engine for the middle third. The club coaches know their players best and are often forced by circumstance to play players out of ideal position.

  185. Balla had a good win over Kmockmore. The Balla underage scene turnaround continues. Balla were solidly a barely togging team for years. It’s great to see them put a few solid minor teams together every year since 2013 I think.
    Division 1B is really competitive.
    Division 1A looks like it will be Westport and Louisburgh from there.
    It’s great to see both divisions having a lot of close games.
    In division 3 there are some results should be alarm bells for the county board to offer immediate support. Decent pick clubs should not be hammered in Division 3 of the minor league. Especially when you have four divisions higher, making it really division 5.

  186. Current Balla team (1999) have been decent for a few years. Won u16 b championship and West Mayo two years ago (beat Louisburgh and We stport). Last year was a good but unlucky one for Balla minors. A lot of current minors played but were well beaten in A league final to a very good Westport team, lost summer league final to Ballina in Mc Hale Park ( changed to 13 a side at throw in as Ballina didnt have enough players!!) Balla 5 pts ahead with 10 mins left but lost it and in Championship took part in a double header semi in Mc Hale Park. In an eventful game against Charlestown/Kilmovee (SarsfieldShamrocks) Balla had a midfielder sent off after 5 mins ( harsh decision – high tackle on much smaller opponent in torrential rain) but with 14 men rallied and competitive game ended in a draw. Must have taken a lot out of legs as didn’t perform in replay in Bekan. Re county cup (trials) – Balla were switched from West to South this year. 8 Balla lads on South squad this year. In County Cup final 2 Balla midfielders left on bench while South midfield were destroyed (2 tired Colman’s lads who played in Conn A final – should have been subbed * both fine players). Only 2 subs used in what was supposed to be trials. Balla ended up with only 1 player on County panel. Balla lads played out of position by South Mgt who would not know lads like West Mgt did. No opportunity to show themselves in league. Last nights win over Knockmore showed what some of those Balla lads are capable of in white heat of battle. Their captain Podge is the best half back in the county but played in full back line in county trials. He plays with Balla seniors and well fit for it. Unbelievable leadership, unstoppable when he runs at you, great goal from own half again last nit. Absolute joke he was not playing for his county. Some big lads who are good kick passers also. After last nits games semis will be Div1a Westport and Louisburgh Div1 b Knockmore and 1 from Belmullet/ Balla/ Breaffy/Castlebar ( as I predicted JP)

  187. Great local insight El Tod.
    Was that Colm Murphy was sent off. How is he going these days? I was impressed with him last year.
    What have been the changes resulting in this turnaround? Ignoring cyclical effects. There must be several things gojng on as Balla have a medium sized pick but are performing way beyond that.
    Similar Mayo Gaels.

  188. No Shay Benson. Colm going well for Balla seniors playing as FF expect to see him with Mayo u20 next year. Clinical goal getter and reliable free taker. Current Balla team badly need a free taker like Colm wud have won easy if they had (held Knockmore to 2 pts second half). Shay Benson points some great 45s but rarely takes frees. Tried 5 different lads from frees. Area for improvement! Balla (1999) have been competitive at that age for years back to Balla NS. Lot of lads played soccer with Manulla (some still do) at a high level and that has helped their fitness and kicking skills. Coach knows the lads since they were 5/6, big into fitness and knows how to manage different characters. 5/6 quality players also helps even the weakest starting player can be decent. Tommy Reynolds missing last nit his return will be a boost

  189. Some clubs are doing some really innovative things.
    Aghamore put on indoor activities in the winter.
    Mayo Gaels built their own gym but it’s a really functional gym filled with climbing ropes and an indoor mini astro.
    Westport have the scholarship for players, an astro and the kids train indoors in winter.
    Ardnaree have a coaching officer linking in with the schools.
    Louisburgh have an astro turf pitch.
    On balance I think our overall club scene underage to senior has the potential to be even stronger.
    The likes of Aghamore, Mayo Gaels, Louisburgh and Balla being highly competitive and producing players can only help produce more quality Mayo seniors.
    Hopefully some more clubs can learn.

  190. Two of knockmores minors came on when senior team was well down today (10 points or so). One played 50 mins about the other near 20. Both in defence, and contributed greatly to swinging senior championship game around.

  191. Charlestown reilly at 10 very good first half but kept quite quiet in second. Justin rice was excellent for Knockmore at 5, casey the minor was very solid given circumstances and Peter Naughton in corner for Knockmore very stylish and well able kick scores.

  192. Thanks Gizmo.
    Yes Peter Naughton has that ability to make even a simple solo look classy.
    Great to hear of Jack Reilly going well. When he will be a full mid 20’s I think he can go up another level.

  193. Some contributors feel asking minor lads to play 4 games in 12 days is too much. I would have a bigger problem with asking lads who played for their county on Sunday to play the following night for their club in the league. Only Breaffy and Knockmore had the copto put their game on the Tues thereby giving the lads a bit of recovery time. Could the powers that be not have put all the minor fixtures on Tues.

  194. El Tod, May have conflicted with other age groups and lack of refs. Think board asked clubs who didn’t have county players starting to acoomodate those that did, left it to clubs to decide.
    Knockmore agreed to Breaffy request, Breaffy had 2 starting Mayo defenders I think. Knockmore had no county starters. Didn’t stop knockmore going 3 goals and point up after about 3 minutes.
    Westport and Knockmore look like topping both division 1 group’s with Louisburgh and possibly Bellmullet second.
    Don’t think Westport, Bellmullet or Knockmore had any starters for Mayo.

  195. Div 1 b has been competitive Sarsfield Shamrocks poor Castlebar average but 4 good teams with close games. Balla lost to Belmullet by 2 pts with 5 pt lead with 8 mins to go. Competitive game to the end (and then ! )Balla had 0.7 to 0.2 ht lead to Breaffy but played defensively and conceded 2 second half goals. Balla better team but Breaffy hung in and won by 1 pt. Balla beat Knockmore. Re Mayo Balla had 1 starter who played next day. Winner of Breaffy v Belmullet will join Westport, Louisburgh and Knockmore n semis.

  196. Div 1 b has been competitive Sarsfield Shamrocks poor Castlebar average but 4 good teams with close games. Balla lost to Belmullet by 2 pts with 5 pt lead with 8 mins to go. Competitive game to the end (and then ! )Balla had 0.7 to 0.2 ht lead to Breaffy but played defensively and conceded 2 second half goals. Balla better team but Breaffy hung in and won by 1 pt. Balla beat Knockmore. Re Mayo Balla had 1 starter who played next day. Winner of Breaffy v Belmullet will join Westport, Louisburgh and Knockmore n semis.

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