Monday match reports

Match day squad v London

Photo: @MayoGAA

This time yesterday morning I was out barrelling along on the bike in the midst of what would prove to be a rather brisk 85 km spin in the verdant East Mayo countryside. Sadly it’s into the car with the bike shortly for the drive back to Dublin. Not before doing a quick ramble, however, through the match reports on yesterday’s Connacht championship opener against London over in Ruislip. Here goes.

Locals: Mayo News, Connaught Telegraph.

Nationals: Irish Times, Irish Independent, Irish Examiner, Herald, Times (paywall).

Others: GAA, RTÉ, Sky, Irish Post, The 42, Hogan Stand, Breaking News.

There’s not a whole pile, it must be said, to detain you for long in that lot. Lookit, sure it was only a preliminary round match which seemed to have more of an air of a social get-together for the Irish community in London than it did a full-on championship encounter. This would appear to be reflected in the fairly thin post-match coverage on the game, as well as the brief treatment it got on The Sunday Game last night.

Never mind – the Galway clash is coming rapidly down the tracks at us and I’d say there’ll be a good deal more to digest after that one. For now, the above meagre pickings will have to do.

Right, I’ve some driving to be doing. Don’t forget to cast your vote in the MOTM poll if you haven’t yet done so, back later on with the result of that one.

46 thoughts on “Monday match reports

  1. Well that’s it really.. the state of play is we comprehensivly beat a poor London outfit with a makey-uppy team on the day necessitated by injuries. From the poor coverage that was given to the game one of the things I did get a laugh out of.. was Ciaran Whelan’s response to Pat Spillane’s bewildering, you heard it here first fokes (even though he’s not the first media mastermind to be spinning this story), that Mayo are best placed to beat Dublin and as such are going to win Sam this year. He bases this deep understanding on the fact that not only have we now one marquee forward in Cillian but two with find of Regan, add this to the under 21 goal treat of Loftus alied to a highly rated management team. Whelan’s response was.. fair play to you Pat for coming up with that especially considering Mayo have only just beaten London in the Championship. We all hope Pat is right of course but I have never really placed a whole lot of stock in what he has said up to now and I don’t intend to start after last night’s showing. If anything Mayo are unproven this year more than any other year under the management of Horan and Connelly who have set the standard so high that the only way the quality of this team can really be tested is in an All-Ireland semi-final or final. We have a long road to travel before that happens with many’s a pit fall along the way.. the first of which is a trip to Galway. With a fully fit team we should have more than enough for Galway so for now I just plan to keep an ear out for the long term prognosis for these injuries.. with a bit of luck they all just needed a rest after all the hard training they have been doing lately.. at least that hopeful guess is a little more reasoned than Pateens at this early stage in the Season.

  2. There’s no point in showing our hand in Connaught. I believe if we get to a semi-final you will see the real “footprint” of McEntee and Rochford then. Without being disrespectful to our opponents Mayo circa 2012/13/14/15 is good enough to get that far and I think we all know that. From then on however, we need the management to mark their mark on the team, in terms of style, defensive structure and attacking options, to get us over the line.
    In fairness to Holmes and Connelly they nearly had us in the final, which I think we would have won handy, by pulling masterstrokes like Barry Moran as a sweeper, Drake off the bench and holding back our half back line.
    It’s the inches we need and I firmly believe we wil have them come September. Along with Sam. Mayo by four over Dublin in the final.

  3. Pebblesmeller, I would agree Mayo will not show their hand in Connacht. They are being primed to Peak later in the summer as shown by the relatively late training camp they are now on. They will ne sharper v Galway but it is in Croke Park where we will see this team at its best.

  4. As expected we had an easy win but will need to up things considerably for Galway and I am sure we will. The week in London will be very beneficial and a game plan for Galway can be formulated. The Yerras are hard at it talking up Mayo to distract from Kerry who always expect to win Sam regardless of their chances. It does bring a bit of levity to the Sunday Game!

  5. whatever about not showing there hand Mayo need to designate someone to play sweeper from now on (Aug is too late) and they need to be good in the air and mobile.

  6. Im sure there is a plan in place for a sweeper system if required. Alot of games it will not be needed and def wasnt needed yesterday. I would think Durcan would be dropping back to fill this role with DOC offering cover at fb.

  7. Higgins started as a sweeper for the 1st 15 min but even though London had most of the ball in that period it was in their own half it was only when we reverted to a man for man system that mayo took control, yes the sweeper will be used in the galway match and it looks as if Higgins will be playing that role.

  8. Diarmuid O’Connor named Under 21 player of the year, with Eoin O’Donoghue, Michael Hall, Matthew Ruane, Stephen Coen and Michael Plunkett all named in the Eirgrid “21 under 21” awards.
    Well done and well deserved.

  9. No way we were going to deploy anything like our operating formation/system yesterday. Simply no point in a game like that and makes far more sense to hold in reserve for 18 June.

    A lot of people writing Galway off which worry me. We have more than the beating of them if we have everyone fit but we have a couple of key performers that we need on the ball – Aido, COC, Keegan etc.

  10. A number of pots simmering at the moment. Kerry men taking a huge interest in us. Spillane, Tomas O Sè and a Sunday Times spread by Paul Gslvan. Why this interest in Mayo? The conspiracy theorist in me sees the Kerry Mafia using us as a smokescreen. Focus on us as Dublins main threat and keep the lime light of Kerry as they sneak into a semi.

    The second pit simmering for me and someone on the blog has already said it, what’s new about this Mayo MK3. Do we really believe that we are so far advanced that we have some master plan ready to unleash if we make it out of Connacht, a plan so secret that we won’t test it in championship battle until we hit the QFs? Amazing if we pull that one off.

    A good friend of mine was at the match. He knows his football. Summery? Poor keeping, no full back, mid average, no centre forward, no full forward. So either we are playing the cutest bluff ever or else performing like most Mayo teams over the years, squandering possession, racking up the wides and no coherent plan. I would love someone to tell me the precise difference between last seasons fare and thus seasons. Last season Dillon and Moran rarely featured. This season could see them as key. Maybe the good weather has my radar fucked but I’m puzzled by it all. Good to hear Brolly call out McGeeney and show him for what he is, a very poor manager. Seanie Johnstone liberated back in Cavan and Armagh playing with cement in their socks.

  11. You know its gas. You can usually set your clock by them. The usual negative auld shite. Normally you’d expect it when the team is down after a loss and they just want to stick the boot in but by jaysus this year they are starting early.

    So John your good friend who knows his football reckons no keeper, no fullback, average midfield, no centre forward or no full forward and he’s come with all this on a day they’ve won by 13 points and only conceded 9 points. Lets forgot for a moment the number 1 for most of these positions you mentioned weren’t even playing, something your good friend seem to have been oblivious too, here we are with a team who were a kick of a ball from beating Dublin in an all ireland semi last year. All I can say we must have serious corner backs, half backs, wing forwards and corner forwards to make up for the rest

  12. I was at the match and the only puzzle for me was Conor O Shea. He failed to win good ball sent in to him against a London Back Line . He was So. So. in the league but on yesterdays form I think his place is up for grabs for the Galway Game. To me he has the power but lacks the guile for the top tier of football. Keane was average at FB . Cafferty is still our best in this position,

  13. Hope Brian reape can follow Regan and loftus in showing well when given the opportunity when he returns from injury. I really rate this guy. Very suprised o’donoughe hasn’t been called up, great player. Also need cafferky back asap our best full back by a mile.

  14. John Cuffe is watching Mayo (with respect John) a lot longer than me and I suspect he knows what he’s talking about I think Mayo will do well this year but let’s park talk of beating Dublin in the final by 4 points we should aim to beat them by 10 at least

  15. Criostlinn. You’re great gas!!! 🙂
    I am probably even older than John Cuffe, being there when Mayo won Sam. I actually can relate to a lot of what he says now. This ” negative auld shite” you talk about is , often, to me, “positive ould shite”. I was talking ‘ negative’ stuff for two years about Mayo leaking goals, etc, etc and was ridiculed by “positive” people like you. Unfortunately, I was spot on. We lost everything through leaking goals, etc. etc. It’s the ” airy fairy, positive” brigade who have helped to ruin our chances, with one of the best Mayo teams I have seen.
    It is a known fact that it takes time and practice to develop a new system, so why would it be kept “under wraps” with the big ones on the horizon???? Tyrone haven’t kept their new system hidden away!!! I await your wondrous reply to an old man who knows nothing. 😉

  16. We go and do as much as we needed to in london, got the win and got out of the place, we even seem to have a bit more bite up front with loftus and regan seeming to have real potential, why cant we just be happy?
    Lets not worry about Kerry or dublin for now, its possible that neither of them will even make the semi or final with the way things go these days, we should just hope that we dont have cillian or other key men making errors like yesterdays and causing havoc with Plan A early in a big game.Keep the players fit and hope they learn how to respond to goading or sledging in the best way. by beating the opponent at every opportunity.

  17. Was at the game, Mayo had a good few wides in the 1st half, but once they got in front, they were never gonna lose it. Thought they took the foot of the gas in the second half and thats when london pegged on a few scores. I agree with o sullivan about conor, he needs to improve to hold down his place. Thought the pitch was rock hard and we were lucky to escape without some injuries. Roll on Galway, and still Diarmuid, Caff & Parsons to come back. I still believe Clarke commands his goal better and is better under the high ball than rob, but will see what rochie does.

  18. Joe Mc.
    I’ve seen plenty of your negative stuff on this site and I think it’s been going on more then 2 years. I’ve seen plenty of your break downs after a losses in a meaningless league games in March. I’ve sat beside plenty of Joe Mc’s over the years who proclaim to be supporters because they’ve been watching Mayo for years but all you can hear from them is pissing and moaning. You see the Joe Mc’s know it all. If a player makes a mistake the Joe Mc’s have been telling us for years that lad was useless. If that player is taken off he’s the best thing ever. There is nothing that will please the Joe Mc’s at these games and it seems they actually get satisfaction when Mayo are losing because that’s when Joe Mc is proving he was right
    But Joe Mc in fairness underneath all that negativity you know how to give a man a laugh. This must be one of the funniest comments I’ve read in a while
    “It’s the ” airy fairy, positive” brigade who have helped to ruin our chances, with one of the best Mayo teams I have seen”
    So if we don’t agree with you we are airy fairy and thus have cost Mayo the all ireland. Right so Ted. Ill leave you with that one
    And John reckons its because we have no full back, midfield, centre forward or full forward that’s costing us. Throw in all these goals were conceding. It’s a wonder we can beat London at all never mind compete with the best in the country.

    Already you can see them lining up. Waiting for the fall. And then the boot will be in and the Joe Mc’s will be in their element dragging us all back to when these upstarts had the check to make a move on the previous management

  19. I agree with criostlinn on this one. Its London and its MAY we won the game, end of, move on. No need for the “I told ya so brigade” yet. I sometimes wonder are some of the posters on here Mayo men/women at all? End of the day, Most of us are hiding behind fake names/partial names, so, could easily be neighnours stirring the pot!…this is the internet after all!

  20. With the greatest respect I’m amused when I read all the references to TACTICS in Sundays game. Attributing tactics (in order to confuse future opposition) as the reason Mayo beat London by a modest margin is gasl. We are asked to believe that the team management cajoled in a conspiracy to kick so many wides – after all, thats what Mayo teams do, they kick an inordinate % of wides, because they lack quality scoring forwards – end of. Despite that Mayo should take encouragement from the Connaught rugby team and get their heads right and bombard all opposition and maybe this time the % we score might just be enough.

  21. Yesterday we were without Ger Caff,Chris Barrett ,Donie Vaughan, Seamie O Shea, Barry Moran, Alan Freeman and D O Connor. That’s 7 big names for us.So I would not be too concerned about what system or if it worked well.Galway will give us a better idea of where we are at and hopefully most our lads will be back.On the other hand we have to show that we have learnt from past mistakes like the high ball in, not bringing balls into tackles when in opposition half and learning to close out games when we get on top.

  22. Criostlinn – I have to pull you up, I’m afraid, on the ‘play the ball, not the person’ rule. Others are entitled to their opinions and if you don’t agree with them it’s best to focus your attention on the points you don’t agree with rather than on the person making those points.

  23. It’s all very tense hear this evening. What will it be like when we get down to the business end of the season! Mayo won by 13 points yesterday what more could they do. It’s not quite like playing another Division 4 team when you go away to London. There is an extra bit of emotion around the game there is the travel, it’s London biggest game of year it’s Mayo’s least! London have a few Mayo lads playing for them there more fired up….I think I’ve painted the picture. So I think we did very well yesterday in a no win situation
    Looking forward to the rest of season what can we say. We haven’t seen anything in terms of a game plan that one could say yes it could be different this year and plenty of the old frailty was evident in the league. But we have to be patient Pat Lam took 3 years with connaught so we will just have to wait and give management a chance .
    One thing that is different this year is we have new players that excite a bit more…..DOC Loftus Harrison Regan etc etc. So maybe it could be different. So why don’t we enjoy the journey one game at a time…..

  24. Mayomaningalway, you could add in Cillian as well. He was there for only 6 minutes. Add in Tom Parsons a definite starter of his recent form, that’s 9 potential players. A fit Tom Parsons, Diarmod and Cillian would walk onto any team in the country. The others could possibly be better than those that started yesterday. I think Rochford and Co were right not to risk a any player with even a slight injury yesterday. We’ll know more after the Galway match, I know as much today as Saturday, wasn’t at the match, Midwest commentary was as much about the occasion, social and sporting as about what was happening on the field. Requests from people from Abu, Dhabi to Toronto, the different coloured football boots of Stephen Drake all had to be described, but I found it frustrating. Look it has its place, there’s more than me to be pleased and I’m sure it was great for many to be called out. The ‘Sunday Game’ was equally frustrating, it showed Cillian getting the black card, but not the foul that led to it. Normally I’m at the Mayo games, and then get to see the ‘Sunday Game’ or TnaG4 coverage, usually recorded. This last few years we have have been very well served by the TV coverage, Can’t wait for Galway, ‘nothing beats being there’ that’s the catch phrase for the match league,, but it applies even more so for the match championship. I know that the day but does any of ye know throw in time, will the lights need to be turned on?

  25. People ask what’s different this year? Well I think we have better players, I believe the young players that have be added to the panel are better then what’s left it and that’s no disrespect to anyone who served us in the green and red jersey. I do think it will take time for rochford to really put his stamp on his team and it could be more then a year but it’s certainly a very exciting time to be a Mayo supporter. People should try to take more joy out of it, many counties out there would kill to be in our position.

  26. Just to help steer the debate into somewhat calmer waters, I think it’s worth mentioning here House Rule 15, which reads:

    Keep in mind that this is a site for Mayo supporters so comments need to be of the supportive variety. If you’re going to be critical, that’s okay but make sure your criticisms are fair and don’t, for example, post comments wailing about lost finals, supposed inherent shortcomings in the Mayo psyche or other kinds of empty waffle.

    As I’ve repeatedly said, I’ve no problem with people voicing criticisms here but what’s said needs to be constructive. As NiallMc1983 has just pointed out, many counties would kill to be in our position and it might be no harm to remember this. It’s one hell of a ride we’ve been on with this team since 2011 and there’s no guarantee it’s a ride that’ll continue indefinitely so it’s worth enjoying it while it’s still going on. Sure, point out areas where things could be improved but negativity for the sake of it is all a bit pointless. Life really is too short for that.

  27. I have always stated that I would love to be proved wrong. I took no pleasure whatsoever in “criticising” Mayo but someone had to say it and I did, and would again. For anyone to think that commenting on the obvious mistakes that Mayo were making, mistakes which cost them the All Irelands, shouldn’t be aired, Wow!!!

  28. You know what was great to see in the London game, between them, Regan, Loftus, Coen, Andy Moran and Dillon, scored 1-13 of our 2-16, 1-8 from play. So you have the three newest and the two oldest players showing plenty of appetite for the battle. That also puts it up to the players who didn’t play to win back their positions. With all the talk of counties with players not making themselves available to play, we are in a very privileged position that we have all of these players making themselves available and putting in such a big effort.

    Maybe again this year we might not be good enough and maybe at the end of the day, we are just not good enough but these players keep trying and go out to do their very best. There are some counties out there who have pretty much given up but thankfully we are not one of those counties.

    Our U21 team showed that they might not have had all of the best players in the country but they were the players with the biggest hearts and that’s what got them over the line. They had plenty of self-belief, quality and that little extra bit of flair as well.

    Again as we seen with Connacht in the Rugby, hard work, allied to discipline, playing 100% as a team and having a bit of flair thrown in brings a team a long way. Best of luck to all involved with Mayo this year and roll on the next game!

  29. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the accumulated loses we have suffered over the years have left some supporters with the intimacy and abandonment phobias of a Calcutta street urchin. The default setting is to expect a loss and steel yourself for the inevitable, that way when it comes you can say “I told you so”.
    It is so bad with some people that they are unable to enjoy what is undoubtably the counties greatest period of success since the early fifties. I’ve put a link up to a questionnaire that some of you should fill out, who knows, maybe a support group could take hold.

  30. I’m surprised at the negativity. Are there improvements to be made? Of course. There’s always room for improvement. I’d be shocked and, frankly, a bit uneasy if things were totally perfect already at this time of the year. It was the first championship match of the season for Mayo against London, and they won comprehensively, pulling up, and without many key players. I’m not sure what more people want or are expecting for this time of the year.

    There is still work to be done and it sounds like the appetite is there amongst both management and players to get that work done. But things aren’t going to happen with a click of the fingers.

    As for what has changed, it seems like we have more options up front this year than we’ve had in quite a while. We have proven winners from the U21s coming into the team. We have arguably the best young footballer in the country on our side. We have a close-knit group who seem more united and hungry for success than they’ve ever been. We have a management team that sound highly motivated and seem to really believe in this group.

    We have plenty to be positive about. As Niall said, there are plenty of counties who would love to be on the journey Mayo are on, to be spoken of as All Ireland contenders.

  31. John surely your friend knows that our first choice full back was injured, as was our first and second choice midfield and our full forward got sent off after 5 minutes. I also think most teams would be happy to have Aos at 11.

  32. The tone of some of the commentary here is a small bit daft in fairness, given that really, there is no way on earth anyone could draw any logical, sensible conclusions from a game like this. London were brutal (sorry, but they were), and we were pretty damn brutal ourselves, yet the result was never in doubt. Job done, move on.

    Every Mayo supporter sees the game differently as is their prerogative. And – unbelievably – how we see it from our armchairs or the stands makes not one whit of difference to what happens out there on the pitch. So I for one will continue to regard this season with optimism (and dare I say it, “airy-fairy positivity”) and whoever wants to approach it in the opposite way is equally entitled to do so (though I prefer to avoid misery where possible myself.) But lads, really, taking swipes at each other like this over a Mickey Mouse game in London? Steady the boat and save the heated exchanges for when the heat is really on.

    In other news, the game might have been a bit of a damp squib but that was one hell of a weekend. The craic was off the scale. Mighty day and night. Wouldn’t want to be doing it every weekend though 😉

  33. I have to say the amount of negativity thats been posted since the match is ridiculous, you would think we lost the game. We beat a very poor London team without getting out of first gear. Job done and move on.

    Pat Spillane was absolutely right, we have added a couple of forwards and if we put the right defensive system in place then we are serious contenders. Why cant people except that, but I guess there will be a section of the “support” who will never be pleased, you get it on websites and you get it in the stands, constant giving out and negativity. I wonder if it happens in other counties as im begining to think its a Mayo think at this stage.

    We are so lucky to have such a talented and dedicated team to follow. The past 5years have been a joy to watch these guys play. Its not going to last forever so I for one am going down that airy fairy route, be positiv, win or loose, stay till the end and enjoy going to watch these guys play.

  34. Liam.howled with laughter at that calcutta comment!! Priceless..And badly needed..As I expected this was always going to be a pain in the backside of a game..From the sounds of things we haven’t learned a whole lot about where the team is..But we were never going to considering the opposition..The Galway game is more likely to , hopefully, see a more clear game plan. .

  35. Jeez…
    Tough crowd tonight.

    My take:
    We didn’t beat the spread, big deal. We went to London, started with a team that didn’t have 4 nailed on starters (Seamie, Diarmuid, Parsons, Caff) and several others who could certainly be arguing for a starting spot ahead of those that did start (Barry, Vaughan, Barrett) not available either.
    Gibbons is a decent player and Coen is an outstanding player for his age. but to be fair putting both in the middle to start was the weakest midfield we’ve had to start in a very long time. That’s not meant to be disrespectful to them, but rather shows the quality we are used to having at our disposal in the middle of the park.
    Cillian gone after 6 minutes, in case anyone has been living on Mars for a while, he’s our Captain, top scorer for a number of years running and a man who was actually odds on with Paddy Power to bag an anytime goal yesterday – that one busted a few coupons I’d imagine.

    So yeah, to coin a phrase, if you’re looking to beat the spread playing a team like London, I wouldn’t be starting from here, or certainly not where we found ourselves after 7 minutes.

    Also I’d recommend reading Billy Joe Padden’s article on the London fixture in the Mayo News – it’s a pain in the arse for the players from start to finish.

    A few of the younger lads or fringe players (Carolan) got valuable game time, Loftus gave a very good account of himself, bagging 1:2 from play on his Championship Debut, and overall the team got 18 scores from a total of 33 attempts if you add the wides – yeah, the wides. I’ll get to that.

    Seemingly no injuries (not sure about the Hennelly situation mind).

    First game of the season, beat the others by 13 points, a week long training session planned which can only help bond the group further and work on things that need working on (shot selection). If you can have 15 wides in a game and still win by 13 points, then really, its not all that bad. I’d rather have the 15 wides in London and figure out what I need to work on rather than have 15 wides in McHale park and wonder who we’ll be playing in the qualifiers.

    Job done. Galway next.

  36. None of our full back line or keeper (if Clarke is not picked) are strong in the air. So bottom line they need help back there and whoever is designated to sweep needs time to play back there to get his positioning right etc. To expect someone to take up this role in August under severe pressure against a top class team is simply idiotic. The structure has to be put in place now.

    I actually think this is a role that Jason Gibbons should be tried in, he might have the right blend of size and mobility for it

  37. By the sounds of things centrefield you sr convinced Clarke should be in goal ?

    Who would you play as sweeper ?

  38. I would say there is a plan in place for a sweeper system, Nally played that role throughout the league and was really getting the hang of it particularly in the Dub game. You really cant use a sweeper against a team like London simply beacuse they dont have enough possession and little attacking threat, it just ends up being a man out of position and hardly seen for the game.

    Galways strong area is in there forwards where they have decent players like Shane Walsh who can cause real damage. I would therefore see a sweeper deployed for some periods of that game.

  39. Reading through the comments I just see opinions, some I agree with some I do not. To label any ‘negative’ or ‘positive’ is beyond my understanding.

    It was a nothing game and I fail to see what the fuss is about.

    As for the link to the questionnaire and the suggestion of help from a support group – a whole lot of class there.

  40. Like most seasons, we’ll know where we stand when we face down Galway. I think you’ll begin to see the fuller vision for Mayo in Castlebar on 18 June.

    There is very little that can be read into a non-event in Ruislip. Mayo are now strong enough to keep a team like London at arms length without extending themselves.

    Three weeks intense preparation will most likely deliver a much different tempo and intensity. The introduction of the likes of Seamie, Parsons, the O’Connors, Caff & Co will add serious impetus too. I expect a different animal entirely.

    An earlier poster mentioned the use of Dillon and Moran last season. Both made an impact when introduced in London and I’m keen to see how they’re used this year. Injuries have hampered both for a while now but if they can get fit they’d be a huge resource in the last twenty minutes. Andy played a key role in a number of games last year, particularly the Dubs.

    I understand Dillon was never really fit and that was a loss – for example I would suggest he was the man we needed on the ball having got level with Dublin and turned over the next kick-out.

  41. Rock, Dillon was also the man that should have been brought on in the replay when 4pts up. He would have gotten on the ball, played smart passes, drawn plenty of frees and steered us home. When fit he is still our one of our best ball players.

  42. mayomad, Pat Spillane is right to a degree in that he is saying what is fairly obvious to everyone at this point about the improvements that are there and should develop there this year. However, all of our expectations and hopes are based entirely on a fully fit team.. we are not like Dublin.. we cannot replace exceptional tallent at ease if a player decides to leave a squad or gets injured, or gets black carded/sent off. We have to have everyone at the Peak of their powers if we are to do this. When last have we had a full team to pick from. SOS sent off, Vaughan injured, Andy injured, Keegan sent off, Cillian & AOS clash heads, etc., The game is won and lost by inches and perception of the team is such a fickle thing. Three games into the league we were finished, washed up, no country for old men category… and yet now one game into the Championship after beating a worse than average London team we are best placed in the Country to beat Dublin. A lot of posters above talking about how we manage our expectations.. there’s nothing wrong with our expectations.. why because we know this team better than anyone. If for instance Tom P and SOS are not available for us against galway then that might alter our expectation. The problem is not us.. its the expectation of the rest of the country who along with Spillane and Brollies havn’t a clue and skip along to the same tune. Don’t get me wrong I do believe we have what it takes to go all the way this year but I need to see a lot more. There’s no negativity there.. we just need to keep our powder dry for now.

  43. Ya Nally is definitely an option for the sweeper role but I think a mixture of Coen and or Boyler sweeping gives great mobility and “stand up/choke tackle” which delays the opposition attacks .
    both lads distribution is very good as are their handling skills.

    I just tip Coen ahead of Nally as a sweeper in that I think Coen covers more ground faster and with wide spaces of Croker it might be the small margins .

    Anyways a summer to really look forward to .

  44. Toe to hand, I see what your saying . At the end of the day the management will have to plan ahead with the prospect of having a fully fit team and ensure adequate replacements for each position are in place which for the majority they are.

    Dublin are raging hot favorites and righty so. Mayo are imo the nearest rivals. Could/should have taken them last year and improvements have been made to the squad whereas Dublin are the same panel less the player of the year and their regular fb. also we are the nearest rivals simply beacuse who else is there, Kerry are well over the hill and carrying way too many old men, Tyrone will be dangerous but maybe lack the power in the middle third that we possess. I dont see why we cant be positive and believe that yes we are in with a good shout this year.

  45. Don’t believe that having Nally or any other player at sweeper is the way to go against Galway . Man to man we should have enough all around the park to match them and should things go poorly for us we will have a good bench to choose from.

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