No New York return for Keith

180407_keith-higginsThere’s the usual interesting mix of stories in the Mayo News this week but the one that’ll interest most people, I reckon, is the one about Keith Higgins not travelling to New York for our opening run-out in the championship on the 10th of May in order to play instead the day before for the hurlers against Kerry in the Christy Ring.  Fair enough, you may say, given that we have so many backs (especially half-backs) to choose from and, as he’s the star man for the hurlers, their need is probably greater than the footballers for the weekend in question.  Set against this, however, it needs to be recalled that these are the same hurling hoors from the Kingdom against whom Keith broke his arm in a Christy Ring tie back in June 2007.

That injury, of course, ended his football year as well as his hurling one and, in the process, meant that he was unable to line out for the footballers in either of our qualifier matches the following month.  While there’s little danger of the Kerrymen clocking Keith again on the 9th of May, it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that he could sustain another serious injury while playing hurling over the course of the summer. Admirable and all as his commitment to the hurlers is, as long as Keith is willing to put himself in harm’s way playing with the small ball, the risk that he won’t be available for the footballers when we really need him has to be all the greater.  Only Keith himself can say whether or not the risk is worth it but, for my money at least, I doubt that it is.

Elsewhere in the Mayo News, there’s an interesting feature on the ambitious McHale Park redevelopment, while Sean Rice goes through the options for our championship line-up, in the process taking a gratuitous swipe at calls for the return to the squad of what he terms as  “sunshine footballers”.  Care to name any names there, Sean?

13 thoughts on “No New York return for Keith

  1. The other thing about Keith not travelling is how will he get himself into the team?

    It will be harsh on anyone who has played throught the league campaign and then against New York (I know this shouldn’t be much more than a challenge game but it’s still championship) who then has to step aside for someone who we know is talented but hasn’t been fully involved all year and we don’t know if he’s up to championship level yet?

    Just a thought like.

  2. “the selectors ought to be able to resist the annual plaintiff cries at this time of year for the recall of sunshine footballers.”

    Plaintiff: “a person who brings an action in a court of law.”

    Plaintive: “expressive of suffering or woe.”

    Sunshine columnists, hah? Cheap shot I know but then – I didn’t fire the first round, did I?

  3. Glad you spotted Rices swipe. You could take out any 15 of that Mayo panel and replace them with their equal i.e Gill for Padden, Varley for Sweeney, Kilcullen for Seamus O Shea am etc and it would make no material difference. The only “Sunshine” player I can think Rice is reffering to is MCDonald. Good job that Dooher, Darragh, etc are not judged by the same criteria. Long ago I stopped taking council from the likes of Rice. In 2003 he opinioned that Kevin O Neill was too old for the Mayo team! Mayo newspapers are afraid to rock the boat…a small bit of criticism of managment is balanced with “and of course the manager can only blah blah”. When the sun shines I for one would give anything for the “Sunshine Kid” to be back, the others will melt in the heat when the pressure comes on. AAGHHH

  4. As long as we get a bit of sunshine this Summer and a good run in the championship, do we really care who provides the football?

  5. Sorry Willie Joe to piggy back on your site but I am after reading AnSpailpin’s piece on Mayo’s prospects. Excellent. I note his bit on O Rourke and am not surprised. O Rourke hates Mayo, always did, possibly because he is a Leitrim man. How he can put the Dubs in the top 4 is the sign of a bitter man but also cute, keep in with the big boys. The facts fly in the face of his assertion. Since 1996 Mayo played in 4 senior finals, Dublin 0. When Mayo actually got to play them in 2006 S/F, Mayo won. Throw in U21, Minor and club success and compare it with Dublins. There is no comparison. I never took O Rourke as impartial, a good footballer yes, however as a commentator on football he is flawed with perceptions…just like the rest of us. As Spailpin said…until we get away from the forelock tugging crap we will always come up short.

  6. he could jus as easily get injured playin football stupid to sat he shouldnt play hurlin in case he gets injured..

  7. Saw Spailpin’s piece, ontheroad – excellent and thoughtful analysis as always.

    I’m not sure I agree with you, Anonymous, on Keith. If he’s playing inter-county hurling and football (at times, he’s played a Christy Ring match a day before a championship football one), it’s got to increase the dangers of his getting injured. Of course he could get injured playing football too but if you double the amount of time he’s on the pitch playing championship, it’s sure to increase the risk of an injury. It happened in 2007, after all.

  8. Quote from the Western People 29 April 2009

    Crossmolina V’s Ballaghaderreen

    “McDonald was a central figure from first whistle to last and sprayed passes of all kinds around the pitch as the North-Mayo men came from way off the pace to catch and then pass the county champions.”

    “McDonald continually conjured up some game-changing passes.”

    “…but there was no way through the massed Crossmolina ranks and McDonald finished the day with another point to leave four between them.”

    He can star on a team that beat the county champions but he cannot make a Mayo senior team that are lacking in fire power.

    Anyone offer an explanation, because I am missing something here.

  9. ChangeManagement, we all know players who were finished at county level who added indian summers to their careers at club level. Now, while I’m not saying McD is not able for county level anymore, I think everyone is mythologising the man and forgetting that he too, was mortal in the final of 2006- and that his insistence that he play the game his way is in my opinion, damaging to the team in the long run.
    To misquote another blonde Mayo forward, Mayo ‘might win nothing without him but they will win nothing with him either…’ And I don’t say this to be stirring trouble here either.
    In any event I think this discussion is academic as Johnno is not a man to be swayed by other people’s opinions.

  10. I dont know why Johnno will not pick McD but I am willing to assume that the manager believes that the team performs better without him. I might pick him myself but I have not managed a team to two All Irelands, one U21 and Connacht wins with three different teams.

    BTW I believe that we are playing the Dubs in Portmarnock on Friday May 22nd.

  11. We are, indeed, SixPointsUp, I meant to mention it but you’ve beaten me to it. It’s an evening game out by the seaside. I was hoping to take the kids to it but it looks like I’ll be out of the country all that week so they’ll have to wait till June 20th!

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