My comeback will be stronger than my setback


Two days on from the Galway game, it’s still difficult to think beyond the horrific injury suffered during the match by Tom Parsons. I think many of us – myself included – are concentrating less on the result of the game, and where it leaves us, and more on Tom and the long way back he faces from what happened to him on Sunday.

It’s been hugely uplifting to see all the good wishes that have been pouring in from all over the country and it’s a measure of the man and his popularity as a player that they’ve emanated from far and wide. I’m forever muttering about how coarse, ugly and hostile public discourse – even in the GAA world, between supporters of different counties – has become in the modern world. It’s nice, for once, to be taken aback by the level of positive sentiments being expressed online.

Tom himself is clearly feeling the love. His response this morning, via Twitter, said it all:

There’s a long, hard road ahead of Tom over the coming months but with that kind of resolve there has to be every hope he will be back, though only when he’s fully recovered and ready for the fray once again. That certainly won’t be this year but at least it sounds like Tom is determined to do what he can to be back at some future point, whenever that may be. As events since Sunday have shown, the good wishes of GAA people everywhere clearly go with him on that road to recovery.

The Mayo GAA Lotto is a practical way of showing your support for Tom and the rest of the team. You can play the Lotto here

153 thoughts on “My comeback will be stronger than my setback

  1. What a great and uplifting article .
    What a man Tom Parsons is ( in the best possible sense of manliness )
    This is exactly why I love this team.
    It’s impossible not to love them .

  2. Tom… I love you and your inspiration. You epitomise all that I love and respect in Mayo football. May your recovery be quick and I look forward to seeing you back stronger and even more determined… maybe even to defend our All-Ireland title in 2019. Time to focus on the positives and the brilliant panel we call our team. MAYO for the long road… always believe!

  3. I am so touched by Tom’s words this morning. The resolve and courage. We are right behind you on your road to recovery. What a person.

  4. Jesus Christ here we all are whinging and bitchin wondering if we can go on and you see that resolve and determination and we have the neck to question these guys ………
    C’mon Mayo.
    Where the green and red is flying we won’t be found wanting in good times or bad

  5. Brian Gallagher from Claremorris should now be called in to squad for a back up option in Midfield.He played the last 2 seasons with New York Senior team against Roscommon and Sligo and had a stint in the panel back in Horans tenure.

  6. Jim McGuinness has a great article in The Irish Times today, the following is an extract from the column.
    Keith early in the second half he makes a break out of defence and he is going direct. But who is with him? Nobody. He becomes an isolated runner. Because that strategy is not in place. Then he went again a few minutes later and he kicked a fine score – because he had no choice. I felt Paddy Durcan broke out well a few times also but he too became isolated. And I feel this is a consistent problem for Mayo.

    Lee Keegan breaks and he gets isolated but he sometimes has the capacity to use his speed and talent to kick a point on the run and it looks fine. But where is the support off the shoulder or ahead of the player on the ball? Imagine Kevin McLoughlin playing on the Dublin team. Think of him coming off those passes and working in that pod system with that engine, that decision making facility and his point-taking ability. The damage he would cause! Why does he go missing for periods for Mayo? Because the system is not relentless with Mayo. The dots are not fully joined up. It’s as if Mayo blindly trust they will find a way; get that score. And often, they do. Dublin, however, blindly trust nothing. Everything is rehearsed and deliberate. (With very good runners like Keith, Paddy, Lee, Donie and Kevin why do we not have support off the shoulder for the runners?)

  7. Gerard , I think it takes more fitness is all. I think we usually do that very well later in the season but this game came too soon for us. We are not at our peak peak fitness levels at this time of year.
    Galway , by contrast , reached peak or almost peak fitness in April for the league final .They achieved their goal of beating Mayo. I think they will be found out later on , possibly even in the Connacht Final ?
    But they will come down from this peak .
    Roscommon’s running game and classy forwards could catch them again. They will certainly stretch their much vaunted defense to breaking point.
    Our goal was to win that game but ne’er mind. We still have a bigger goal. Time is on our side right now.

  8. Best wishes to Tom Parsons for a speedy recovery. What an absolute gent. With an attitude like that its no wonder these guys keep coming back. He will be a huge loss to Mayo now but we must keep believing. If the truth be told my head is saying its the beginning of the end but my heart is saying otherwise. I hope my heart wins out.

  9. Best wishes to Tom P. I have no doubt like the Terminator, he will be back and driving Mayo forward to glory!

  10. @Gerard,
    I see where you are coming, I use a system here in Dublin with underage kids ( hope they don’t win the All Ireland this time, I have publicly started the ABD club ), its called a moving link, at all times there is a guy free in front and behind the player on the ball, NO SILLY crossfield passes only direct forward passes and little or no back passes, came up with this idea in bed 3 years ago to get the under 10 boys to get the ball past the halfway line, works a treat, pity I’,m not living / coaching the young Mayo fellas.
    Back to the real issue, I wish Tom a speed recovery, a graceful player in full flight this past few years

  11. Best wishes to Tom. He’s an inspirational fella, all the hard work and disappointment then this happens. He’s an example to everyone that no matter how bad the situation is that you just battle on and get through it.

  12. Watching the game back last night, well done also especially the Doctors, physiotherapist , medical staff in Castlebar and also here in Galway, i believe the initial damage/scare was very worrying at one point so much so he was transferred into Galway. Happily judging by his tweet this morning he is in a better place mentally. Best wishes Tom.

  13. Great attitude from Tom, inspirational.
    The McGuinness article is interesting.
    One play we dont seem to have is where a poweful runner runs into space and a handpassed ball is already ahead of him. It’s a pass into empty space over the defence that a runner coming at pace comes onto.
    Dublin use this a lot with Fenton n MDMA.
    We were better in our forward play last year once it hit late summer.
    I would suggest Hanley, J Durcan, Andy, Kevin Mc and Cillian would be quite a lot of pace and intelligence on the pitch. Three quick players and two of the most intelligent players in the game. Aidan, Lee and Vaughan then arriving as strike runners from deep.

  14. I am so glad to see Tom’s words today. I was worried about him and, like WJ said, it was in the front of our minds. We will be behind him in his road ahead and I really hope we will keep in contact in the coming weeks and months. These lads and Tom give so much. Thank you. Tom, I can’t wait to see you getting back stronger each day.
    As to us Mayo supporters, I hope our hearts start to feel a little bit lighter as I think we have everything to be hopeful for. What a privilege it is for us to think we have more days out to watch our great players in the next few weeks (all going well – says I with a smile!). That in itself is something very exciting to look forward to.

  15. Can anyone clarify the situation with rules on subs.
    My understanding is that Galway used an extra sub ie brought on a blood sin who stayed on and then brought on an additional sub.
    What is the sanction in the rules when this happens…..?

  16. No Pat you’re wrong. Cooke was a blood sub for Conroy ( very long blood sub) we made 6 changes, as did Mayo..

  17. The long road back, if we stay on the road?.. Is it any longer than last year, just cut out the replays.(isn’t there extra time, for most match’s now?) . Last year, Sligo, Galway, Derry, (Extra Time) Clare, Cork (Extra Time) Roscommon (Draw) Roscommon (Replay) Kerry (Draw) Kerry Replay.. To reach the decider versus Dublin!.. Has the mountain got any higher, or the climb any steeper?.. We nearly fell off the precipice a few times last year, before we cleared the dirty diesel… No game for a few weeks, that’s good… But then, if we can stay the course?.. The game’s come thick and fast, maybe we need a few guy’s to come back to the squad.. We still have plenty of injurys, as well as Tom out.. Keegan should still out, Harrison still out.. Barrett and Vaughan, very little football played.. Kieth very little football played, but plenty of Hurling… Didn’t do him any harm.. If we are to keep going, we might not be able to go to the same well, time after time in quick succession… Some names come to mind, Enda Varley is playing very well,.. Can Jason Gibbons do a Job? .. Can Kevin Keane do a job?.. And Ger McDonagh?.. Many posters have, named plenty of Club players who as of yet have never played senior football for Mayo… And with 3 weeks (I think)… The time to think about expanding the squad is NOW!

  18. Some man, such an inspirational and influential leader. Wishing you a speedy recovery Tom.

  19. Just a sideline question on the juniors. Cormac Doohan from Ballaghadereen was in great form for the Mayo juniors. Powerful and direct. I’v never come across him before. Any Ballaghs cast some light? A hard guy to stop, built much like Kevin McManamon.

  20. Gerard…thats exactly the point I made on here immediately after the game. We had guys break the gain line (for want of a better phrase) and have no one to give the ball too. No coordinated attacks. When a guy would get thru one line of Galway defence he needed another runner with him. That never occurred.

  21. Most of our line breakers were either out injured, half fit , gone off injured or sent off!!!!!!
    We don’t have enough natural scoring forwards but we haven’t for years
    Our game is designed around these lads.
    We were very badly depleted in that regard Sunday and yet only lost by a late goal after being a man down to the second best team in the country apparently………..

  22. Tom P epitomises the heart and mental resilience of these lads. Staggering at times to be honest and humbling.

    I’m more invested in them than I’ve ever been. Can now see no reason why we can’t lift ourselves over the next few weeks.

  23. Best wishes to Tom, heres hoping that he makes a full and speedy recovery. Tom didn’t start against Clare and Roscommon the first day last year and we did struggle in the middle of the field those days so it does show the major loss that he will be. The Hogan Stand have an article that Lee will be back for our first qualifier game so at least that is some good news for us anyway.

  24. Brilliant to see such a positive attitude from Tom Parsons in that tweet.
    Unfortunately, injuries are now part and parcel of the Gaa nowadays, and God knows , we’ve had our share of bad ones in Mayo this year…..Regan, Keegan, O’Connor and Parsons.

    Talking of injuries, it seems the Rossies are dropping like flies with injuries, with four players definitely out of the Leitrim game, and another four doubtful.

    Can’t see Galway being stopped in Connacht this year, which means they’re heading for Super 8 through the front door.

  25. Best wishes to Tom in his recovery.
    On a separate note can anyone tell me can we draw London away in the ist round of the qualifiers or do London have to travel to Ireland for these games.
    I would imagine from a logistical viewpoint London would have to travel.

  26. Once again it comes down to another very poor showing from our forwards. it seems like they lack the basic skills required to open up a defence. Do we have in our set up a forwards coach because, with any bit of skill which I’ve no doubt they have, a coach should be able to put a system in place to work the ball into the danger zone more often? Or is their confidence so low that stage fright takes over when a cool head is what’s needed?

    And to Tom can I wish you as speedy a recovery as that terrible injury will allow, by your words you’re an inspiration to us all.

  27. @justathought I know Ruislip was being done up for last years league so I think London got a home game in qualifier to make up for the revenue lost in having to play all there league games away.


  29. Fair play to you Tom and may you recover as quickly as possible Credit too especially to those from outside the county, players and supporters for their good wishes. Despite the rivalries no one likes to see such a decent man being stretchered off. Looked back at the game. For 7 years now we have been reliant on our defenders to punch holes in opposition defences. Last Sunday Keith did just that and Durcan tried hard to do so. Our other defenders didn’t manage it but in fairness they had enough on their plate defending. How we missed Keegan. But bear in mind that he has to return. Harrison, Barrett and Vaughan are returning from injury. Cillian our go to man is also returning. Mayo may not have played well on Sunday but there was absolutely nothing wrong with their effort and attitude and that’s great to see. We need a handy draw because we are always at our most vulnerable in the first round of the qualifiers. But get over that and we can build momentum, get fitter and have a right go By the way I also think Galway did not play well Sunday and they have a lot more in them but my God are they woeful to watch. I always admired the football style of our neighbours but it is puke football now. That’s not sour grapes just stating what other people have commented about of late. They have some tremendous footballers but are restricted by the straight jacket coaching. Maybe it will bring them the ultimate prize which we crave so much but I would always prefer our high risk gung ho attitude which we have displayed in recent years though not last Sunday. We played that way v Tyrone in 2016 and it worked but it did not work v Galway. Hopefully going forward we will revert to our running from deep style varied with good kick passing into our full forward line that we witnessed frequently last year. Malgh Eo Abu.

  30. An obvious point from McGuinnness and something that has been pointed out here before.

    When a Dublin player is surging forward he always seems to have an option to his left or right and sometimes both…too often our lads are breaking the lines and have no runners.

    What it results is a turnover or what you seen the last day, hitting that invisble glass wall on the 40 and the player in possession passing back or left and right around that D.

    Aidan O Se should have been told to go in and stay in on he edge of the square for a while and pump some ball in when it was clear we couldn’t get space or time to shoot further out.

    He looked a lost figure running around chasing shadows.

    A serious re jig in our forward play is needed. Repeating the same mistakes and not learning from them is madness. Getting to and loosing another all Ireland final is no good at this stage.

    Great statement from Parsons – fighting talk and nice to see.

  31. Wishing Tom P a full recovery. Don’t worry about football Tom, make sure you have a 100% recovery. The GAA will remember you for today and tomorrow but come next year they wont care. I am talking from this experience, but not as bad as I saw last Sunday. To Lean times, why should the lads you named come back and play for Rochford/Buckley after the way they were shafted. The old saying is ” be nice to players on your way up because you will meet them again on your way down.”
    I wont make any comment on match, just to say it was ” Shite Football”.
    Enough said.

  32. @Observer 2… The Roscommon situation as regard’s injuries is something that I don’t know too much about!.. As for it being inevitable that Galway will win Connacht??. Very questionable…. Sligo will be no push over…. My feeling is that, Galway despite being a young team, are not going to improve as much during the Summer as many expect… I also think that staying in Div 1..and 6 win’s and a draw getting to the League final was brilliant… Beating Mayo in the Championship, I think that’s what Galway were set up to do as their overwhelming priority… The Rossi have been very successful in winning Div 2,.. A much easier platform to achieve than Div 1..But my feeling is that the Rossi like last year have been very fortunate with the Championship draw.. Roscommon have Leitrim to beat, who managed a one point win in extra time versus New York.. Roscommon will have been planning for the Connacht Final versus Galway since the beginning of the year… It will be in the Hyde, with the best surface in Ireland… It’s a good wide pitch, it’s much difficult to implement the ‘Galway Shawl’ defence in the Hyde compared to Castlebar….Where will the ‘3 Billboards outside Roscommon’ be set up to remind the Rossi of their shortcomings?… Or will will these Galway supporters repeat the dose in Sligo… Very unlikely that Galway fan’s will put up poster’s in Sligo, very few would ever have ventured that far North, They might be singing about the ‘N17’ alright but sure none of them would have a clue as to where that road ends.. And when I think about it, The Mayo supporter’s gave generous and vocal support the Galway in their failed attempt to beat Kerry in the quater final last year… Far better support than the Galway team got from their own… I’m sure it’s only a minority, not too many Galway people even follow the Galway footballers in any event… But for the Galway people living around Breaffy and Manulla, It must be embarrassing for them to drive past these sign’s…. Don’t be too surprised if Sligo beat them either!

  33. Galway will win connacht at a canter. That Galway team will reach semis this year , minimum.

  34. Parsons injury is a disaster for the team as I can’t see a ready replacement. He deserved an All-Star last year!

    I would worry about SOS in midfield – he seems to have lost his edge.

    However there is another worrying element to last weekend….our hammering to the Rossies at u-17 level. We are falling like a stone at underage level. Rcommon have half our population yet we cannot seem to win a match at minor level anymore.

    What’s gone wrong?

  35. Just after watching the game back. Huge credit to Conor Lane for a) Being right beside the DOC challenge when it occurred and b) Stopping the play and calling the sideline for attention immediately when Parsons went down.

  36. Funny to see the anti Galway posts by one or two, tipping Sligo and Roscommon to beat us.. Ya i do think Sligo will give us a tough game which is what Galway need in the hope to get to the connacht Final and put it up to the number 1 team in the province..

  37. So as Supporters are we gonna follow Tim Parsons lead? Is OUR comeback (at our round 1 qualifer match) gonna be stronger than our setback??? Are we gonna ROAR these warriors back out onto the pitch and show them we havent given up on them? Lets pull together and move on with positivity. In my own case Im too thick and stubborn to do anything else. Im not giving up on my beloved Mayo. I hope Im not alone.

  38. Great stuff Sinead37. Since when do we roll over? NEVER (apologies Willie Joe for the Capitals I know its a pet hate of yours!)

  39. Yes, JG, I’m with you on this – “Lets pull together and move on with positivity”.

    The negativity – thankfully not shown by most posters on this blog this week – truly is sickening and it is not logical either. I wonder if there is some sort of enchanted lure attached to standing on top of a cliff and being tempted by the charms of the precipice below. I really wonder if there is some sort of seduction that several media commentators and some closer to home seem to feel about talking about our team being finished, about “terminal decline”, about the end of the greatest team since 1951 “clearly being shown” by our loss on Sunday. The latter especially is rubbish. How is it “clearly” shown?
    Yes, we were in a bit of disarray, but…
    We were rubbish during the League AND we got ourselves back up to good fitness for Sunday’s match.
    There were also coordinated moves during the game (not perfect by late summer standards, but there and still coordinated, nonetheless) – there wasn’t the haplessness of the League. That took work!
    Barrett, Higgins, Vaughan and Cillian were BACK (after those injuries that we waited so long to see over).
    Galway played – unabashedly – with an unpalatable brand of football for the full match. It’s a bit like a bulldozer approach – gets results – but can we berate ourselves when we couldn’t break them down fully at the start of the season with the setbacks we’ve had?
    I know we should be able to break down blankets and shawls and we almost did but there were some things stacked against us (getting up to form after League, the red card, Tom’s injury).
    Galway are operating at peak fitness and coordination on foot of their League campaign, the preparation for which probably started last summer post Kerry. I want to call a spade a spade here. We all know our journey for the last eight months and what we had to contend with. Plus Galway utilised the trusty blanket.
    Let’s give ourselves a break and a chance and see some of the positives.
    There is definitely stuff to work on but instead of doom and gloom words let’s all think the team will be doing that work. Actions and not gloomy words of odd seductive value. Again, I’m not saying posters here are like this, but I’ve seen negativity coming from some quarters that I’d have hoped would have a more trusting attitude.
    If times are tough, you get tough with them.
    Sorry for the long post.

  40. Me too JG I’ll be there for the qualifiers please God whether they’re in New York Gortahork or Glenamaddy

  41. This year in rounds 1 and 2 and 3 of the qualifiers if a division 1 team get a division 3 or 4 team, the division 3 and 4 team have automatic home advantage

  42. Yes Michael I had read that all right…. so this round 1 draw might bring us to a ground some of us have never been to before…. all the more reason to embrace it, enjoy it and get our mojo back……

  43. There’s a saying that goes.

    Heroes come and go but Legends are forever.

    Tom Parsons is both, a hero in the pitch and his attitude and reaction to his injury makes him a Legend in my book.

    A role model for every man woman and child.

  44. I’m with you too JG. We’ll get to see more parts of the country too. How could we not support when you read that inspirational message from Tom . Just pure class. Friday will be another sad day for the team with saying goodbye to David in Breaffy. Our tghts and prayers with family and friends at this awful time but home where he belongs. rip David.

  45. @Backdoor Sam.. Even if it’s ‘Midnight in Marakeis’… Where’s’ Glenamady?..

  46. I expect Harrison will be 100% available to start and Donie too for the next game. Wouldn’t be surprised if Leroy ready too as he’s back in full contact training. I don’t buy into springing lads into the panel. A few lads outside the 26 have a case, Nally, COS and Boland. To bring them back who do we drop?… J Durcan, Hanley, Drake, Caff, Coen, Evan. I would be very reluctant to drop Evan as a left footed free taker unless Nally is noted in that role.

  47. For midfield, I prefer to use AIDO and either Donie, Leroy or Higgins as the backup midfield runner. That way Seamie can be subbed if his performance dips (some saying we need to keep Seamie on the field but game played at such a high tempo nowadays we need multiple options). Aido wasn’t the usual free winning machine last day as played deeper but give him the #1 midfield role and it could make a big difference. He had some big turnovers and generally scared Galway lads off running into his zone. With those defenders back who could we put in Diarmaid’s available space, IMO one of Keegan, Vaughan and Higgins. The player in the role can be sweeper.

  48. Swalli swoops, fantastic post! Summed up alot of my thoughts since Sunday. Lets get behind the lads and show them we beileve. One handy enough draw is all it will take, and im telling ye we’ll be flying again. A trip to Tullamore or Louth would be just fine to start off. For the people who say the lads wont have the mental strength for the qualifiers, think about this:
    Higgins have barely kicked a ball all year, they’ll be raring to go. By the way some people go on, you’d swear we’ve played the same 15 from FBD right through to the Galway game. The only player who’s looking tired in my eyes is Boyle, whether its a fitness issue or a mental one, he certaintly is playing nowhere near his levels last August/September.

  49. If we are playing division 3/4 opposition in the first or second round of the qualifiers then we need to rest some of our more experienced players and look to the panel given that we could end up playing 8 games in 10 weeks.

  50. JP I was impressed with Dooher and Walsh from Kiltimagh in the Junior games and they are 2 players I did not see very much before this competition. Walsh is a great fielder of the ball.

  51. Thank you MayoDunphy and may I say Just a Thought I completely agree with you on using the full extent of our panel in the qualifiers and easing the load on some of the more seasoned warriors in certain games. That makes complete sense and I hope it’ll bring on those boys. It’ll be the game of round 4 of the qualifiers and games 1 & 2 of the Super 8s that will test our stamina (in terms of where the succession of games may start to squeeze) so we need to be smart in how we use or conserve our energies. Fingers crossed we get there! Here’s hoping! Maigh Eo abu! (I also think it’d be prudent to plan for how to nullify those blankets we might meet up the line somewhere but that might be a bit of a while yet, please God).

  52. That thing that can’t be broken.

    Those babbled brains who think they know
    Their horse shit on their horse shit show
    Predict our doom and then they glow
    But little do these Weasels know

    They swing their hammers, the hammers miss
    They’ll swing again, we’re sure of this
    Consign us to that great abyss
    We’ll answer them with folded fists

    They don’t understand so they can’t explain
    That rolling monster, the Mayo train
    When they think the monsters down and slain
    The fightback starts and blows their brain

    We get knocked down but never out
    They can sing and dance and shout and spout
    But we start to sprout when the sun comes out
    We’ll be back to knock the others out

    When Tom went down our hearts all bled
    With sorrow, pity and with dread
    And even from his hospital bed
    He lifted all of Mayo above his head

    So the experts with their Weasel token
    Their bullshit endings, we haven’t spoken
    We’ll show them when our team gets smokin
    That thing we have that can’t be broken.

  53. He was clearly not fully fit Sean !
    If he started and didn’t perform , missed a few frees and we lost by a point or 2 then Rochford would be questioned for starting him !!!!!
    Worse still if he started and got injuried again

  54. Good man Revellino. U would lift the spirits of a man on death row.Great start to the day.

  55. Our biggest issue now is finding adequate replacement for Tom. He is irreplaceable but we need to try to limit the effect his loss will have on the team overall. People have mentioned nally, but he’s too slow, gibbons, is he at the required standard or maybe moving lee or Diarmuid in there. I don’t know what the answer is and I cannot see a ready made solution. I think what will happen is Coen will be put in there.

  56. This is Matthews Ruanes second year on the development panel, maybe he is option for midfield.

  57. Would Kirby be an option at midfield?. Not sure he has the same level of mobility, which was certainly one of Tom’s many strengths.
    I’ve not seen enough of Matthew Ruane since 2016 to be able to gauge whether he’s got it for senior level. He certainly stood out at under 21, but Senior inter county is a different kettle of fish altogether.

  58. All the best to Tom on his recovery.

    The more I think of it this year has been an embarrassment. For those of you with your head in the sand and not worried I don’t think we won one game in Machale park this year…we couldn’t even beat leitrim in fbd. Rochford buckley and co seem to have no game plan and when we saw some glimpse of open football we scored. Look at andys points doc point etc.

    Let’s cut out this running like headless chicken shit and try get some scorers in. 12 points is a pathetic return. My preferred team for neXT round with Tom out and doc suspended
    B Moran
    Kevin mc
    Conor loftus

    Subs to use
    James durcan
    Eoin O Donoghue

    Now that’s a top class team. Drake just isn’t getting scores when he comes in. Time to play football. It’s not a run were entering!

  59. Sure we have gone years without a left footed free taker. If Cillian was fully fit and starting it wouldn’t have been an issue the last day. He will be fine for our next outing and shouldn’t be an issue.

    And, I think it goes without saying, if Cillian is fully fit, he starts.

  60. I’ll word it different then , I don’t think we should line out without a left footed free taker . It’s time for change slightly, we need to start scoring and creating goals . Galway full back line on yellows and we didn’t go at them. They would of been shy in 50/50 balls into aidan on the square.

  61. Pk,

    Good post. The running game will get you so far – you will be able to live with the best teams for up to 70 mins. But if you look back at the Mayo’s near misses in A.I. championship, the physical toll on their key players kicks in, in added time, and the opposition invariably pick them off.

    I don’t know if Rochford has sounded out Enda Varley, but I think he should. Adam Gallagher had a great Sigerson campaign – surely another option. What about Alan Freeman – still not too late….?

    The one thing this team is crying out for is an infudion of fresh blood – I think SR should go for it now..

  62. I really don’t think we need a left footed free taker. Look at rugby, the kicker whither he’s left or right footed takes the kicks, from either sides.
    Why not the same in Gaelic?

  63. While I don’t agree that we should have put AOS up top (because I believe it has been tried, tested and ultimately failed), I agree 100% that we didn’t test their full back line. We should have ran hard at them and even tried to manufacture a few frees within the 45. Maybe it genuinely is a case that we are not capable of running at teams this early in the year though.

  64. Ideally we would have a left footed free taker, however that player also needs to contribute in open play and put the work required in, the days of carrying a player because he can kick a free are gone. currently the only real option for a left sided kicker is Regan but he is far from being regarded an automatic starter.

    Cillian if fit will take the frees in 4 weeks time. Instead of taking on a 50/50 kick why not just retain possession, work a better angle and take the score, this could be worked on in training. No law says you have to take a shot.

  65. How about something like this, with the focus on pace and mobility and couple experienced heads to bring on the last 15-20mins or so. Think COC might benefit from a spell at CHF as he did for large parts of 2013, has some ping of a ball and two quick long rang kick passes from him broke down the Galway defence the last day. I’d move McLoughlin back to wing back as he’s played there before, not a whole pile of difference between wing forward and wing back these days anyways and it would free up another forward position where Loftus could slot in and play direct ball into the full forward line similarly to COC. Would give James Durcan a couple of games in the other wing forward position as he has the pace to cause any team problems and is a direct runner, himself and Loftus could provide great off the shoulder options for full forward line.



    Keegan (free role, but mainly based between midfield to provide mobility and extra cover to half back line)

    Nally (Kick a long range score of two and well able to win a kick out)

    J Durcan


    Subs: SOS/Boyle/Vaughan/DOC (when back from suspension) all to come in round 55min mark to provide experience and mobility in Vaughans/DOC’s cases, Crowe as back up for full back line, and one of Boland/Hanley/Doherty/Douglas in addition to DOC as a scoring threat

  66. dont think bary moran would be mobile enough to start midfield , it would have to be keegan in my opinion

  67. Cillian didn’t start because he wasn’t championship fit yet. He will be in a month. Likewise late starters Seamie, Harry, Barrett and Vaughan will all improve. 12 points is a poor return but playing a blanket defense on one of the Country’s tighter pitches it’s not that bad and 14 men meant scoring didn’t come too easy with wind assistance. Boyle wasn’t flying in Galway game last year either but he’s a great player. I have faith in him. Can’t say he did a whole lot wrong. Neither Walsh nor Comer wreaked havoc so our backs did well overall.
    Keith looks brilliant as a sweeper and if lads can get their team play flowing around him then we can do a lot more damage. Would prefer to work on forward play for 1st round if we get an easy draw. Our defensive options will be too good for all bar Monaghan / Tyrone who we hope to avoid. Though we’re better than Monaghan they’re in the same ball park. Tyrone ahead of us for now so prefer if they win Ulster.

  68. While it would be great to have a left footed free taker, the only proven one we have is Regan. Whose he’s going to come in for? Are ppl seriously advocating dropping Andy, Loftus or cillian for him? Sooner or later the conversation comes back to sticking aido in full forward and lumping balls into him. If we had two aido’s I’d agree but we seriously miss him when he’s not out around the middle. Last years league showed that when he was not available. Especially now with Tom out there’s zero chance of him going up top.

  69. My club had a good summary on FB of the possible road ahead. When is the draw, anyone know?


    Mayo will now have to play 4 games to reach the Super 8s (5 in total). That’s 2 more than if they had gone through the front door. It’s just 1 more than Donegal would have to play going the direct route. Next game June 9.

    *** REMINDER to all members of motion passed at club AGM 2017: ONLY MEMBERS PAID-UP BY MAY 31 CAN REQUEST TICKETS FOR MAYO GAMES ***

    Here is the road to redemption …

    Mayo v (Tyrone/Monaghan or Donegal/Derry or Cavan or Fermanagh/Armagh or Down/Antrim or Wexford or Louth or Offaly or Laois/Westmeath or Carlow/Kildare or Wicklow/Dublin or Longford/Meath)

    QUALIFIERS ROUND 2: June 23 (against defeated provincial semi-finalists):
    Mayo v most likely opponents (Clare or Tipp or Cork or Sligo or Leitrim or Down or Armagh or Meath or Westmeath or Laois)

    Winners of Qualifiers Round 2 play each other

    QUALIFIERS ROUND 4: July 7/8
    Winners of Round 3 v Provincial Final losers

    SUPER 8s: July 14/15 (Croke Park), July 21/22, and July 28/29
    Group 1 = Leinster champs, Ulster champs + 2 qualifiers
    Group 2 = Connacht champs, Munster champs + 2 qualifiers

    SEMI-FINALS: August 11/12
    Winners Group 1 v Runners-up Group 2
    Winners Group 2 v Runners-up Group 1

    ALL-IRELAND FINAL: September 2

  70. Mayomark – we broke through plenty of times and by the 20th minute or so, Galway’s full back line were all booked.

    Kevin Mac missed one easy free and didn’t even take the second.

    Plus, we had a succession of wides: Paddy Durcan, Boyler, Aido, Diarmuid, Conor.

    And that’s only the first half I’m talking about.

  71. If ever there was a case of putting Aidan at ff it was the second half on Sunday. He would have attracted two defenders and even if he never touched the ball he would have neutralised their extra man. Even when they attacked they would have had to keep at least one man back to cover him and he would have to have been one hell of a defender to go one on one with Aidan on a long ball out of defence. It would have been down to the rest of the lads to go and win the game then. And fire in the odd high one just to keep the two yellow card defenders honest. With the wind it was a no brainier in my opinion but then again what do I know!

  72. If we get through the qualifiers could we still end up in Connacht/Munster Group (even though we’ve played Galway)?

  73. Pretty sure he missed two , one off the post both were from 21 yard area or thereabouts . I haven’t watched it on tv yet but I’m near certain it was two he missed in first half and another in second . Open to correction as I often don’t see it properly till I watch it on the box after .

  74. Yes Sean Burke – I pointed out the misses in my last post. Have watched first half back last night.

    To reiterate on the discipline issue, Diarmuid’s elbow was really really stupid (wrong as well of course), because it was Galway who were stretched at that stage – 3 full back line bookings.

  75. Diehard – I did think that shoving Aido in at FF and dropping high balls in might have been an answer, but to be honest Aido seemed to be the only one bringing ball from the rear into the forward line. Per the most recent Dontfoul analysis, Aido gave 5 assists, 2 more than anyone else on either team.
    While our transition of out defense was laboured, Aido was central to getting the ball forward, if you were to take that out of the equation then you might have Aido up front and no ball going into him at all.
    When paying Peter it’s worth checking how much you have to rob from Paul.

  76. Catcol. While I accept we did break the line on occasion, it wasn’t our normal hard running game. It appeared to me as if we were playing a very lateral game in the first half, which was fine by me as we kept the game tight against a strong breeze.

    In the second half I felt that we didn’t test them nearly enough by running at them hard, albeit a man down. The answer has never been a big man up top for us. We played Andy up top on his own for most of the half. I think we should have thrown caution to the wind. But, maybe as I said, our hard running game may not be possible at this time of year. And I accept that too.

    I’m excited again about the qualifiers. A relatively manageable draw in round 1 and we are away on our toes.

  77. Diarmuids was a red all day , I’ve no problem with that but it’s the assumption that he meant to connect the way he did . I’m convinced it was meant as an elbow to the chest in a ” fuck off out of my way ” type movement. He was devastated too over it .

  78. Whether he meant it or not is neither here nor there, Sean. That’s a short distance away from the “he’s not that type of player” excuse you often hear trotted out. Fact is he lashed out with his elbow and split open Conroy’s cheek in the process. It was a really dangerous and stupid thing to do and it was a red card all day long.

  79. In positives discipline will now be the biggest squad training item.
    The other thing is the raw pace of Cian Hanley and James Durcan. I knew James Durcan was quick but Cian showed serious pace the brief time he was on.
    Vaughan, Harrison, Lee and Cillian.
    The addition of those four as starters more than makes up for the loss of Tom.
    We will also have three fitter subs on the bench.

  80. Diarmuid’s actions were indeed reckless, dangerous and stupid. Deserved red card and suspension too.

    I think the qualification that they were instinctive and therefore not intentional is also valid. Colm O’Rourke made a career out of getting his elbow up and out in front the moment he got the ball. Diarmuid sensed a big hit and sought to protect himself and the ball. He got the positioning and timing all wrong.

  81. Doesnt matter if instinctive, he followed through to some degree and it’s not like an open palm hand off. Poor instincts to have. Discipline is now the squads main issue. Three big games prove it.

  82. In some ways, I wouldn’t half mind us meeting Tyrone in qualifiers. With Sean Cavanaghs obvious dislike of us there would be no shortage of motivation. How wonderful it would be to turn them over given what he has been saying.

    The more I think about it the less negative I generally feel about it. I mean, given our yearly training graph we were never going to be flying this time of year. So like another poster said, the loss shouldn’t be a great shock to the group and they should have planned for this.

    Like last year, there is now an opportunity (depending of who we draw in early rounds) to blood newer players and try and develop a coherent strategy to bring into super 8s if we get there.

    The loss of Tom is immeasurable but we have a physical squad and who knows, a player might just grasp the opportunity to nail down a spot in the centre. I’m thinking Donie, Nally, Crowe (yes, Crowe! ….doesn’t he play outfield for club), Diarmuid, Conor O’Shea. Lee is a very real prospect to come in here too, and what an exciting prospect he would be there. Aido may also come to the centre with one of Cillian or Hanley going to 11.

    So, don’t be thinking we don’t have cover because in fact we do. It’s not going to be Tom but we need to get on with it and stop lamenting and giving up.
    I think the loss of Tom and the manner of the loss will actually drive them on. Add to that the complete lack of goodwill anywhere for them (which I’m delighted about, by the way), and we can well and truly start circling those wagons.

    Bring on the qualifiers and sunny day trips following a super team. They may bow out early and with a whimper, and so what if they do, we’ll get on with it, but I’ll only believe it when I finally see it.

  83. @Revellino… Brilliant… @Sean Burke.. I was near the Diarmuid, Paul Conroy Red Card incident… I think it was instinctive more than deliberate… But it’s a Red Card…Very dangerous play, a one match ban is a very lenient… Both O Connor’s live to close to the edge,!. You get a reputation, from Referee’s and Opponents… Cillian and Diarmuid both got Reds in Salthill in February.. Cillian particularly stupid on the Sideline…. Two minutes into injury time last Sunday, Cillian legally disposed a Galway player after a short kickout to the stand side.. (I think it’s the same Galway player that Cillian gets sent off in Salthill).. Conor Lane gives a free out and on this occasion an unjustified yellow card to Cillian…. My point is that you cannot afford to get a bad reputation… Another example is that.. Andy lays his hands on Referee, Maurice Deggan.. Andy has a deserved reputation as a sporting player.. Andy gets a black card alright, but does not get a 12 week ban… Contrast that with Diarmuid Connolly, who while Connolly is often magnificent, he has a bit of a reputation… 12 week’s suspension for Connolly…. No matter how good you are, there are lines that shouldn’t be crossed… I still am of the opinion that that Diarmuid action was more instinctive than malicious… We certainly have enough enemies out there in Media land, who will keep any failing of any Mayo player fresh in the memory of any referee… Both O’Connor’s are fantastic player’s but they gotta learn from their own mistakes!

  84. Leantimes – nail on the head there. If you have a reputation for getting up early, you can stay in bed all day.
    The “he’s not that type of player” thing is trotted out and lets face it we’ve seen incidences of Media influence several times for our own players now that we should know better than to give the ref a decision to make.

  85. Good stuff there Leantimes.

    That red is sickening in two ways:

    First is the way it let Galway’s growing indiscipline off the hook. With 15 disciplined men on board for the second half, there’s no way one of that Galway full back line wouldn’t have picked up a second yellow.

    Secondly, it shows the players don’t seem to learn from the past: Salthill in February, AIF in September, Salthill in ’17. Discipline is absolutely critical.

  86. I agree WJ. Maybe I’m going a bit far but I’d be inclined to leave DO’C on the sideline for a while til he cops himself on a bit.

  87. Shuffy duck, just a point. Boyle only got a couple of minutes last year. I remember being angry that he wasn’t starting.
    As for red, it looked deliberate to me after watching it several times simply because of the leaning stretching to connect aspect to it. Didn’t realise how bad it was at the game. If it had been done to one of our own this site would have crashed with condemning comments. It’s done but lessons do need to be learned. 2 reds this year v galway for Diarmuid, one for Cillian v galway to go with getting sent off in county semi and final. As pointed out above they are now both on referees radar which begs the question should they be dropped for a while. A sending off in the qualifiers could be disaster.
    Leantimes, great and valid points made by you re Andy moran incident and comparisons.
    Speedy recovery to Tom, you will be sorely missed.

  88. Tom Parsons has been such a key player for Mayo in the last few years it has made me reminisce of what he been part of ….

    In the aftermath of the infamous loss to Kerry in the Gaelic Grounds end of Aug 2014 the Mayo players (most of the current bunch) took a bold & brave stance against management. By doing so they knew they would be under scrutiny from then on to justify the move. And boy have they been under scrutiny. No other team (and I include this great Dublin team in that) has attracted as much comment, headlines and printed words. They have been lauded and written of in equal measure – sometimes in the same week, probably sometimes in the same article. Players have been subject to severe ridicule and high praise. Management has been accused of being absolutely clueless and producing brilliant masterstrokes. So many extremes.
    No matter what fault you can find the one thing this bunch can’t be accused of is not giving it their all – and then some. Never a dull moment when Mayo are playing and it’s not just Mayo fans saying that. They added badly needed spice to the football championships for 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and now again in 2018. Even our worst knockers would have to admit the GAA would be much poorer fare without us.
    The player showdown in September 2014 was a milestone. the players had confidence then and they have honoured it. They have brought levels of support the envy of other counties. They have worked their asses off and earned the support and loyalty. I won’t even name the hero players there are so many but Tom Parsons was certainly one.
    Nothing has changed this year. We lost to Galway last Sunday in Castlebar by 1-12 to 0-12. In 2016 we lost to Galway in Castlebar in 2016 by 1-12 to 0-12. That loss didn’t phase the players in 2016 so why should it now? ‘Terminal decline’ me arse ! Doubt any player is losing sleep over such cheap shot analysis.

    Tom Parsons, like all the rest, has shown commitment and dedication above and beyond. What can we say. Do it for Tom can be a new motivation if any is needed. Hope the recovery goes well Tom and look forward to having you back for more chapters.

  89. Heimat, management heave did not take place in the aftermath of the game in limerick in 2014. It happened a year later in the autumn off 2015

  90. Mayo U20s are down to play Leitrim on 9th June same date as round 1 qualifier.

  91. “My comback will be stronger than my setback”. What an inspirational statement to make , in light of his serious injury he incurred on Sunday. Tom has given hope to the many of us who face adversity in our lives, how a problem should be faced. He is a credit to his family, to Mayo, and the G.A.A. We Mayo fans here in Florida, wish him a speedy recovery. We are all praying for you Tom.

  92. Thanks for all the compliments folks. Write away Swallow Swoops.

    Some great posts today. Keep them coming.

    Off to Dublin tonight and Croke Park tomorrow for the stones. A combined age of 294 between the 4 of them. Must be a record for the highest average age for someone playing in Croker.

  93. i would go with the following team the next day








    I think we have to go an all out running game.

    ODonoghue, Vaughan, Doherty, BMoran good subs to come in

    We should roll the dice with Hanley
    he looks to have real acceleration and is powerfully built.

  94. Revellino,
    I don’t know you can manage to write poetry so early in the morning, your brain must be working while you are asleep.
    Apart from all the wonderful / great upbeat comments leading from Tom’s setback, my head tells me that we are pissing against the wind, looking for anything that may lift us for this Summer, any slight excuse to be upbeat, sure Lee will be back, sure Cillian was injured, sure a few weeks more work will leave us in a great spot.
    All this won’t change the fact that very easy frees on the right side close to goal are missed, they were missed by about 3 different players in some of the league games, we though that this couldn’t happen in the championship but it has surfaced again, no way can any All Ireland be won with this type of shortcomings.
    I say this again, the management maybe putting too much effort in trying to contain the opposition with no real conviction in putting the opposition away, ie, take the game to them, play on our terms.

  95. Can anyone enlighten me if Mayo loses their first qualifier game, are they out of this years All Ireland?

  96. Yes James. One chance saloon now.

    Mayo are 10/11 to reach the super 8 and if you’re feeling confident enough 2/1 to reach semis . 12/1 to win it outright if you’re super confident/daft. Lol

  97. I was asked this question today didn’t believe it until I checked the archive.

    Who was the Mayo player who was a togged substitute in last years All Ireland Final, who didn’t play a second of competitive football in 2017?

  98. Always thought Mathew Ruane had a great chance of playing for the senior team … anyone know what the story is with him?

  99. Rob Hennelly played fbd last year. Dillon came on as a sub in a few games. Don’t think Barry Moran played at all

  100. Hi Annmarie were you at the game last Sunday do you think Galway will go any further ?

  101. Yes James to both ! So will Mayo 🙂 … I honestly can’t remember Alan playing atall last year but remember thinking we could do with him during 2nd half of AI ….

  102. Alan came on in Limerick against Cork. Remember he kicked a free across the field that was intercepted at a crucial stage of the game

  103. Mayo were 13/1 to win the all Ireland after the loss to Galway last year so the bookies think we’re in better shape this year!

  104. As for Enda Varley we’ve given plenty others second chances – sometimes it’s worked, other times it hasn’t; I can’t believe I’m actually typing this but I nearly wouldn’t see the harm in trying it. But the league was the time to get him back in.

  105. Well Said Annmarie to be honest i think Sligo could beat Galway ,who would you like to see starting the next day for Mayo

  106. ‘He’s not that type of player’. He certainly is not that kind of player (Diarmuid.) We are great at saying discipline is essential and it is but who knows What’s being said to upset our best players. In the heat of the moment things can happen and it was not intentional to strike his face. I for one feel sorry for doubt a learning curve for him.
    What did the Kerry player get for an intentional strike on Evan reagan and broke his jaw.

  107. Mairead, if something is being said to you then give some verbals back. You don’t do what Diarmuid did.

    I don’t think Diarmuid meant to smash Conroy in the face, (why would he want to get sent off?) but it was still reckless and dangerous in the extreme.

  108. James if we get a division 3 or 4 team on 9th June we need to use as many of our fringe players as possible and rest our older players. If we get over round 1 we play a beaten semi finalist, plenty of div 3 and 4 teams there too.

  109. Sean the winners of round 1 play a beaten semi finalist. The winners of round 2 play each other in round 3. The 4 winners play the beaten Provenial finalists in round 4. In the super 8s the 2 provential champions play each other in round one and the 2 qualifiers play each other in round 1.

  110. Mairéad there is no excuse for what Diarmaid did and knowing Paul Conroy very well I can assure you nothing would be said to Diarmaid in terms of verbals. (I cant say the same for other Galway players).If the shoe was on the other foot (ie Diarmaid got smashed just like Evan in the league) we’d be raging! I am a proud Mayo follower living in Galway and I can tell you it was embarrassing discussing the match with Galway colleagues the next day after that foul. The lad needs to curb his frustration and channel all his energy on bringing his ‘A’ game and feed his winning desire that way. Retribution should only come on the scoreboard.

  111. I think unfortunately there will always be incidents leading to cards in games. A manager can preach discipline from dawn till dusk, it might cut back on incidents but it will never fully stamp it out.
    I think Diarmuid will be feeling very low having himself sent off and there was no way he intended to do the damage he did but he did swing the elbow at a dangerous height.
    Donal Vaughan reacted without thinking in the all ireland. If he hadn’t and Mayo had gone on to lose anyway, people would be giving out like hell wondering why none of the Mayo players had not gone in to stick up for the team mate.
    I’ve often wished that Aido would give someone a haymaker when he is been pulled dragged and punched all over the pitch and no free. I admire him for keeping the cool, but I’ve often felt that if he stretched someone in a league game he’d get his ban but might not have to put up with half the abuse he gets in future.

  112. How do they determine venue for qualifiers . Is it first out of the hat has home venue , obviously this doesn’t work if ya have two bowls so is it home advantage to anyone in particular or two draws for rounds 2&4 one for who you get and one for venue?

  113. I have to say I’m not Enda Varley’s biggest fan but in fairness to him he’s not afraid to have a go and have a shot at the posts sometimes they go spectacularly wide and other times they go over but after Sunday anyone who isn’t afraid to shoot on sights deserves another chance but no point bringing him back if he’ll only get on in the 68th minute

  114. This is the team I would like to start in next round especially if we meet a div 3 or 4 team, Clarke harrison Barrett o donoghue durcan higgins boyle ‘s o shea keegan, mc loughlin c o Connor j durcan regan a o shea Loftus. Subs coen vaughan crowe nally Hanley boland moran doherty

  115. If we draw a division 3 or 4 team, we will automatically be away. Apart from that, I assume it’s first team out gets home advantage?

  116. What a classy statement from Tom Parsons. Best of luck in your recovery Tom and hope to see you soon on the field again. Tom seems to also have lifted the mood on here which is no mean feat. I’m sure it will have a similar effect with his team mates.
    So it’s back to merry go round again and another chance for this great team to learn and grow from week to week and see where it takes us.
    What about a start with Offaly and a summer stroll through Leinster just like the Dubs . A great way to wind up fresh for the qualifiers who knows.
    More likely buckle up for a bumpy ride it’s the way we know.
    Hon Mayo

  117. So if we did manage a round one victory . It would be sligo, Leitrim, cork, Clare, Armagh, down , Laois and Meath ( just who id fancy to lose their semis) . A trip to Navan be some craic.

  118. What loss Tom is in so many ways.
    End of days is only a game of ball and the man is in a bad state so wish him all the best.

    I think the team needs refreshing need be more dynamic around midfield and better ball carrying around half forwards

    Harrison Barrett o Donoughue
    Boyle coen durkan
    Lee——-Kevin Mc —Higgins
    ————-Andy Cillian

    Probably diarmuid be our for while so Vaughan in for him.

  119. Would love a trip to Navan alright! It’s open draw for first round. We can actually get Galway in the second round if they lose. But not in the 3rd or 4th. Mad some of these rules!

  120. Great stuff there from Revellino and Swallow Swoops and I fully agree with it. Let Tom Parsons be our inspiration for 2018. Let go from here to inspire all around us. Lets do this for Tom.

  121. A trip to and win in Navan would be fun alright.

    On our discipline issue…loosing the cool and getting sent off is a theme lately and not a welcome one. Diarmuid was sent of in the league against Galway and goes and does it again…Cillian also walks a tight line. This is costing us big time in major games and must be cut out.

  122. Tom, Ur an inspiration to us all. And a mighty fine footballer and person, may ur recovery and comeback go smoothly, it takes a special person, to think about the fans, and all the other concerned people, to allay their fears and concerns regarding ur health, when ur in agony, and feeling awful. Ur one hell of a guy for sure,

  123. Toms injury is probably the worst seen on telly since beano mcdonalds leg break
    His atitude towards recovery is unbelievable but not surprising on what this bunch have put themselves threw year after year.
    People keep saying they owe us nothing, but surely they owe it to themselves and tom to finally finish this journey with success.
    We are still in it to finally win it.

  124. While I didn’t see it, it is reported that Tom Parsons, while being stretchered off, raised a clenched fist. In 1950, a few minutes into the All Ireland final, Billy Kenny of Mayo suffered a compound fracture of his leg. As he was being stretchered off he raised himself from the stretcher and raised a clenched fist. We all know how that match ended! This incident is included in a wonderful article by Seán Rice on the Mayo News website under the title “Memories of the road to 1951”.

  125. ‘What about a start with Offaly and a summer stroll through Leinster just like the Dubs . A great way to wind up fresh for the qualifiers who knows.’
    Cloudnine, I love it! Just what the doctor ordered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *