Oisín is staying!

Mayo GAA announced within the last hour that two-time Young Footballer of the Year Oisín Mullin has decided to stay in Ireland to concentrate on playing for Mayo and for his club Kilmaine. The statement from Mayo GAA confirming Oisín’s decision is here.

As he confirms in the statement, the opportunity to go to Australia to play Aussie Rules professionally with Geelong was something to which Oisín gave careful thought. It was an issue he obviously wrestled with in great detail and, having done so, has decided that his future lies here rather than on the other side of the world.

Saying what a big decision this was for him to make, Oisín goes on to say that “playing for Mayo with my friends is a huge honour and something I love doing”. His decision to stay in Ireland confirms the veracity of that statement.

James Horan is, quite obviously, delighted with the news, saying that:

I am delighted he will be part of the Mayo Senior Football panel this year. Oisín is a fantastic guy, a leader, and adds so much to the setup.

This is so obviously a hugely positive development for the county. Oisín is a generational talent, a player we couldn’t possibly replace. His loss would have been an enormous blow for us, his decision to stay is a massive positive for Mayo.

With the news coming just ahead of the start of the new inter-county season, this is a shot in the arm the county badly needed. Everyone’s been down in the dumps since September but it’s impossible not to look forward to the year ahead with renewed confidence arising from this very welcome news.

I hope that, for Oisín, the decision lifts a weight from his young shoulders. It was always going to be a difficult decision to make and now that he has we all have to hope that his dreams and ambitions – which all of us share – will be fulfilled playing for the Green and Red.

Mike, Rob and I had just finished recording a short welcome podcast a bit earlier on for our new – and rapidly expanding number of – club members over on Patreon when news of Oisín’s decision broke. So, of course, we recorded another episode on the spot, giving instant reaction to the news and that episode is now online and available to Patreon club members. The welcome episode – the Oisín-less one – will be online a bit later.

If you want to become a Patreon club member and get access to exclusive content like this you can do so here.

Right – Sunday night or not, I’m having a beer. Cheers, y’all.

165 thoughts on “Oisín is staying!

  1. Oisin confirms he’s staying.

    What a story to open the first official day of the patreon


    The lads have already dropped a podcast on the Oisin story discussing his decision already. Just listened to it.

    Great stuff.

    Great start to the new Podcast format.

    It’s going to be an exciting year.

    That’s for sure.

    Bang on.

    Thanks for for staying in the boat with us Oisin.

  2. Its been a long winter as a mayo gaa supporter and this is the best bit of news we could have hoped for starting a new season.

  3. The type of news to help us get over the disappointment of last year even further. Roll on 2022. Up Mayo

  4. Brilliant news for Mayo team and supporters.Such a dynamic footballer to have on our team for the year ahead.
    Roll on the league..

  5. Good luck to Oisin in all that he does.
    Now we await the return of five key players Cillian, JDoc, Aido, Leeroy and Enda Hession.
    How those five return and the role they are used in potentially adds the depth we need.

  6. Couldn’t be happier after reading the news. A huge boost for Mayo. This has improved my January no end. Onwards and upwards we go. Up Mayo

  7. Starting XV for Mayo


    Aido a good option off the bench.

    Up Mayo.

  8. Turning down a professional contract to try win an All Ireland with Mayo. Would bring a tear to your eye 🙂

  9. It sure would wide ball. A real green and red man. Fair play to him. Suddenly we feel positive again. Midfield please.

  10. Best wishes to Oisin with everything.
    Hope he’s put in the middle of the park now where he can use his talent. If we are ever to win anything our talented players have to be pushed up the pitch

  11. JP don’t forget Brendan Harrison from the list
    Hopefully he is over his injuries and can get some game time in the league. Has plenty of experience and can help us stiffen up the back line.

  12. @Mind the house, Yes if Brendan returned even 90% it adds to it. I like that line, “Teams win games, panels win championships”.

  13. My God. I am so happy for Oisín. Honestly, it was a blessing that he was able to take his time and weigh up everything. And I also believe that he is too young to be going over there. He has all the physical attributes needed to make it in Aussie Rules. But it is the other aspects that would have worried me. … bad injuries, loneliness etc
    Whatever about Mayo supporters, his parents must be delighted.
    Best of luck Oisín. I hope your decision brings the rewards it deserves. Dare I mention it. Well if we manage to bring Sam home during his career, it will just put the icing on the cake.

  14. Massive boost to the squad. What a lift this will give them, and the supporters. He’s a special player and we’re just blessed that he’s chosen to stay.

  15. Unreal news! Massive decision. Im thinking of Sean Cavanagh who made a similar decision back in the day. Best of luck with everything! You’ve made tens of thousands of mayo fans so happy in these though covid era times! Yes !!!!!!!

  16. Let’s not waste him.
    Coen has to go FB Oisin at 6.
    Don’t think MF is right for him.
    Hopefully he has great times with Mayo.
    It’s a good decision for him.
    Very happy for his parents not having to wave him goodbye.
    We have had too much of that in Mayo over the years

  17. I only managed today, to bring myself to finally sort through the photos and video from the final. What brilliant news tonight to start the next chapter of the Mayo Gaa journey!

  18. Wonderful news. Spring in our step now. Whatever position, his effectiveness must be maximised. This hasn’t happened to date.

  19. Last year we have oisin and Lee deep in defence. We still coped up two silly goals in the final. Lost all there attacking threat. Time to move on from that operation. It didn’t work. Anyone that doesn’t think oisin can play midfield should have a look at the 2020 final where he fields magnificently and gets up for scores to drag us right back into the game. Lee well there’s no explanation required. Number 5

  20. Great news about Oisin. I think his best position is Chb or midfield lets hope James Horan agrees. Its going to be a big year for Mayo with Oisin staying and Cillian and Doc on the way back

  21. I’ve been quite down since the All-Ireland defeat but this is a huge fillip!

    Now is the time to kick on though and to make sure that Oisín doesn’t end up like so many Mayo legends ending up sadly unadorned by a Celtic cross.

    I would also spare a thought for Geelong as they are quite like ourselves in some respects, a team that has suffered many heartbreaking final defeats before breaking a long drought. Hopefully that is a good portent for us.

  22. I’m not a Monday morning person but by god I feel a spring in the step this morning! To say I’m delighted is an understatement. I’m also delighted for Oisín’s family who must be over the moon to have him at home.
    This has to be a huge injection of hope and positivity for every member of the panel.

  23. Great news. So glad that he didn’t get hit with a load of negative stuff when he originally announced he was going. Massive boost for his club Kilmaine as well.

  24. It is, It Means Nothing to Me, a bit like a big Whatsapp group for match days where some of us from the podcast will be on the chat as well. By the looks of the very encouraging early sign-up numbers, it’s going to be a big chat group! We’ll be letting club members know over on Patreon about how to connect to Discord in good time ahead of the Donegal game.

  25. Great boost for Mayo for 2022, having a marquee player albeit further back the field is a great boost to any team. We’ve had great teams and great players but not as many the pundits would call marquee as Dublin and Kerry.
    As for positioning, a return to form and continued fitness for Harrison would go a long way to freeing up Oisin to play further forward..We lack height in the backs as do most big teams and McShane shows there’s still a need for at least 1 or 2 big men at the back to counter the likes of him. Shane McHale will probably come in and prove a big addition but 1st season will always be a learning curve.
    I hope Hession is available for 2022 as he was last years bolter. If he had an operation, would expect a few key fitness months lost.

  26. Fitness will be key for alot of players this year . Coc.doc.harrison.hessian if he had op. I m not sure how Doherty will cop after being out so long and he’s not getting any younger. A squad player I presume. Big questions on how cillian will return also. League is now championship. If your not hitting it in the league you won’t make it in the condensed championship. Ridiculously condensed.

  27. At 32 this year, i’d doubt we’ll see Shane McHale back?

    He was in the panel alright around 2012/13 but don’t recall him making a championship appearance

  28. I just checked on that in the results archive – the search function really helps to jog the memory – and this confirms that Shane was on the panel between 2012 and 2016, though he was injured for some of this time. The championship appearances he made were in 2012 and 2013, all off the bench, the most notable being in the All-Ireland semi-final win over Dublin in 2012.

  29. Mayo lotto winner and we are all winners. Thank you Oisin and best wishes to our teams for the coming year. Exciting but pensive in my joy…let’s see what we can do this year. It all adds up to make the third week of January a rather special week. Long may it last. Maigheo go deo!!

  30. It does feel like we have all the pieces of the jigsaw this morning, if Cillian, JDoc & Harry are on the way back aswell. Now it’s just a matter of putting this jigsaw together…for once & for all.
    Easier said than done of course.

  31. This is great news and as others have pointed out its a nice shot in the arm after a despondent few months trying to make sense of September’s loss. Can definitely look ahead to 2022 with more positivity now

    An article appeared in the Examiner not long after the move was announced casting doubt on it and I get the sense this was far from a straightforward decision from the off. I’d probably give it a bash for a year myself if I was in his shoes at his age, but at the same time its a very big move to make on a personal level – so far away from the familiarity of home, the logistical difficulties of flying back on a whim if something crops up (this ain’t London or even Europe), missing out on family/friend’s special events/occasions, potential loneliness in an unfamiliar land, and of course feckin covid and all that has to offer. Not easy if you (God Forbid) found yourself in any sort of bother out there either and don’t have any family/friends close at hand. So there is so much to ponder when making such a huge life decision and that’s before you factor in the footballing side of things, how you will adapt to a new game and so on

    ANyhow all the best to him and lets hope its a very successful 2022 for him. And here’s hoping he gets played out the field on a permanent basis going forward!

  32. @culmore

    We just spent 4 months depressed from the all Ireland final result. This is the first bit of positive news since and it has given everyone the lift they need. I think it`s ok for people to be excited and enjoy the news without taking our eye of donegal in 2 weeks time.

  33. There will be a pep in everyone’s step I’d say. The timing couldn’t be any better either approaching the throw in to the league.

  34. There is a lot of pressure on his shoulders now
    but I think he can handle it .

    I would echo a lot of what was being said about his best position too.
    I’m hoping he will end up midfield but I don’t expect that to happen this year or even next .

  35. All …I should probably know this…but what is the story with attendance at league games?.Is there anything official on numbers ?

  36. 5K or half capacity at moment (whichever is lower) – the mood music all round from government is a lot more positive these past few days so I’d expect some lifting of restrictions announced next week

    Am guessing hospitality back to 11pm or so will first on their agenda, but the IRFU are likely to put a bit of pressure on with the 6 nations coming up and Ireland as the odd one out compared with our British neighbours as things stand with capped capacity, so I’d expect outdoor attendance caps will also be lifted early enough in the roadmap also

    Either way I personally think we’ll see full capacity for a significant part of the league

  37. The icing on the cake and the final piece of the jigsaw is that we have a captain with an extraordinary record in that role.

  38. I’ve said previously I don’t think midfield is Oisin’s best position long term. He’s only about 5’11” and Mattie needs a more physical partner IMO. Somewhere on the half back line is his best place. Maybe Eoghan McLaughlin only makes the bench this year?

    I also don’t think Stephen Coen can play full back every game. Maybe marking a big target man (Michael Murphy, Kieran Hughes, Cathal McShane etc) but any quick agile forward would be a disaster. I’d be hopeful Padraig O’Hora can nail down the number 3 jersey this year.

  39. Typical.. I was all doom and gloom a week ago saying
    I was going to give my head a rest from this place and in my absence we have Cillian back training, Paetreon been set up and best news of all Oisin staying. Absolutely fantastic, a great boost to us all. Maybe I should stay away more often 🙂

  40. facetheball – we need to have a proper natural corner back to mark the likes of McCurry. Someone like Chris Barrett or Harrison at their best.

  41. We have to get the best out of Oisin, and also Eoghan and Enda H. And maybe Sam Callinan and Ruairi Keane. Wonderful raw talent, but not realised by a long shot so far. When you think back, despite the growing criticism here of our running game, the backs of yesteryear, ran, and ran, but they also scored. And scored. Think Keith, Tom Cunniffe, Donie V, Boyler. The points they scored, and the goals. We’ve got to be able to replicate that. We have the raw material.

  42. I honestly believe it’s the best decision, and I’m not saying that selfishly. 21 is very young to leave family and friends and a familiar way of life. It’s not like he’s moving down the road or even across to Europe for a summer. It’s an up sticks move to the other side of the world to basically work a job. That’s a big commitment for a young lad. I didn’t live abroad until my late 20s and it was a huge adjustment and often very difficult even at that age. It doesn’t surprise me that he (and his family) might have been hesitant or got cold feet.

  43. Tickets will be impossible if restrictions are not lifted , youd imagine it will be season ticket holders only.

  44. That news about Óisín will bring a bright smile to every Mayo face and should be an absolutely huge morale booster for the team as well.
    With six women playing in Aussie land, the highest number for any county, we are doing enough for the Aussies.

  45. I sincerely hope Oisin has made this decision of his own volition without undue interest or pressure from other parties, and that he is comfortable with it. At the end of the day he has to live his life on his terms.

    As a supporter, I’m absolutely over the moon; one individual does not a successful team make, but I really believe he can play a major role for us with the abundance of talent he has and it really makes things look more positive heading into the start of the season.

    Now, to sort the full back line …

    It’s nice to see some joy on the blog, it’s been a long winter!

  46. I seem to have been successful in renewing my season ticket but was surprised to be told “no invoice yet”. Is that the experience of others renewing? With the new season now less than two weeks away I would have thought they would be taking money hand over fist.

  47. Couldn’t have put it better Anne-Marie. Fantastic news for the team and hopefully it’s a tough choice for Oisin that he’s now at peace with.

  48. From my own selfish point of view as a Mayo supporter, I am delighted that Oisin will be playing with Mayo in 2022, it is indeed great news.. No doubt about it, Oisin is without exception the most talented young player I have ever seen in the Green and Red of Mayo.. Oisin has all the all round talent, timing, athleticism to make it as a professional player in a number of different code’s .. What I hope from Mayo now, is a level of performance and professionalism from our County Board and Mayo team management worthy of player’s from the youngesters like Oisin and Ryan O Donoghue, to Veterans like Leroy and Kevin McLoughlin and all in-between, it’s not an easy task.. Up Mayo.

  49. Some news coming out of Mayo this past few days,
    Winning the Lottery
    Oisin Mullin staying around.

    Hopefully he has made the best decision for himself.

  50. It’s a strong core of a team potentially. You’d think form allowing nine guaranteed starters outfield.
    Coen, OHora, Oisin, Paddy, Leeroy,
    Ryan, Cillian, Tommy.
    It’s 2017 potentially since we’d have had 9 outfield starters that strong. Potentially.
    This is all based on those players being near their typical form.

  51. Even the reek will get a nice showcase on the 2nd April.

    Now where’s my current copy of Old Moores almanac?

  52. On Shane mchale. If he hasn’t made it up to now. He’s hardly going to set the world alite at the age of 32. I’ve no doubt he is a fine strong club player but championship inter County requires pace. Maybe he is one that got away .but championship 2022 is a big ask

  53. @jp you’d have to find a place for Diarmuid as a starter aswell and Kevin Mac starts all day for me.
    Things are looking up, great bit of optimism around.

  54. @FW, You cannot start everyone, there are a few of the 2021 crop that just may not feature in the big games of 2022, forget this crack of saying certain guys “have to start”, have we learned nothing since the 2021 final or championship ?

  55. @Mayo 88,no you can start 15 players and in my opinion Kevin McLoughlin would be one of the first names on the teamsheet.Feel free to disagree with that,I suspect you might be in the minority.

  56. Last time round Craggy, Mc Hale was trying to dislodge the likes of Ger Caff,Vaughan, Seamie & Tom P…not easily done. I would say he would definitely do a job in the engine room for the upcoming league.
    Maybe not a starter in championship games when the sod dries out but still well capable of a bit part at least.
    He doesn’t waste much ball and he won’t be bullied…neither will some of the newer lads while he’s about. Remember D.B. when he was 33. Every team needs one.

  57. Request for information:
    Can anyone please tell me if Mayo v Donegal in Sligo will be have a public crowd, are tickets available.
    And is the game live on any TV channel to view.
    I know it’s on at 1.45 PM.
    Thanks in Advance, UP MAYO.

    Best of luck WillieJoe with the new podcast.

  58. FW why has diarmuid got to be a starter, he has to be doing a bit more than he has been doing for the last few seasons to be guaranteed a starting spot on the team.

  59. I see some people have managed to renew their season ticket. I got no email about it. I would appreciate a heads up on this one. Mine is a Cairde ticket.

  60. @Diehard,
    I’m a Chairde member too,we had to renew before the first week in Jan,cut off was either the 3rd or the 6th.
    It’s all run through ticketmaster now,go on here ( https://am.ticketmaster.com) “My Invoices”
    I hope you get sorted,just checked there,I received an email on Dec 1st advising me of this and cut off was 5th January.

  61. Wide Ball, Oisin i would say is one of the most physical players in the entire squad, so certainly not a worry in that regard for his positioning at midfield. For instance, in the final, the two standout physical players (strength combined with athleticism) were Oisin and Conor Meyler.

    Regarding height, is 5’11” really too small for midfield? I doubt it, especially with his fielding ability.

    With all that said, I still suspect James will play him the half back line this year.

  62. While i was really happy when i heard this news I have to say that i have never been so pessimistic going into a GAA season, i have never been so angry as i was walking out of last years final, nothing has been learned in the over 30 years of contesting all Ireland finals and i believe nothing will be learned from last year either, i believe so many mayo fans are deluding themselves and as for the former players that just keep talking nonsense in the media, give me strength, didn’t one of the tyrone lads come out after the game thanking their former players for the blinder they played in the lead up to the game, why are our lads still such amateurs at this, god knows they’ve had enough practice by now, why are so many of them on spouting absolute nonsense before games, nothing has changed and nothing will change, mayo will never win an all Ireland, it pains me to say it but our lads just don’t have what it takes unfortunately, (Leeroy is about the only one that really believes that he can win it, the rest are just hoping) we’ll probably have a heroic performance here or there but that will be it i’m afraid, i have been following mayo for over 40 years but it’s really really annoying seeing the same stuff being spouted year after year after year with the same result, it’s just baffling and no doubt the mayo for sam brigade will be out in force again, god give me strength please

  63. Kevin McLoughlin will be 34 this year and as good and all as he has been and there’s no doubt he still has something to offer, but one of the first names on the team sheet at this stage ? No, not a chance.

  64. A lot of Gaa newspaper articles hyping up Galway footballers, you swear they won a big championship game in Croker for the first time in 20 years ;D

  65. If Diarmuid can get back to his form in say league final in 2019 he will be a massive asset to us.If we can get players playing their best we have a real chance

  66. @ Viper.

    Kevin might still be as good as anyone to distribute the ball.

    Tom Brady is 44 and led Tampa Bay to an easy win over the Philadelphia Eagles in the playoffs last night.
    He has thrown for more yards this year than any other year in his 22 year career. Well over 5,000 yards.

    I know age can become a factor and the players desire to continue also matters but I’m sure Kevin Mc still could pull strings if he feels like goin again.

    Teddy Sheringham was as good approaching 40 as at any other stage in his career.

    Kevin will know better than anyone.

    Colm Boyle spent quite a while discussing this very subject on the podcasts. He was constantly assessing himself as to whether he still had the goods to keep motoring.

  67. @Revellino, Oh I understand but even the mighty Ciaran McDonald still has a bit of class and he was 47 last week.

    But seriously, as I said he still has something to offer, no doubting that at all but the legs can’t keep going and no matter who you are you will lose that few percent as you get older and not only that but you are depriving youth of their chance.

    Of course Kevin still has a role to play but that doesn’t mean he must start every game.

  68. I would agree on certain names and the team sheet. Kevin Mc has been left off in some games in certain seasons and made a big impact quite often when introduced. We really should be looking at the likes of Fergal Boland who has similar playmaking ability. CIllian could also be a better option at CHF If another tricky CF comes to the fore.
    Likewise Diarmaid in half forwards, may be a bit stale in that position; I would prefer him either in midfield or CHB (if Mullen pushed up). Hession if he can recover might be more useful as a half forward. Resembles Keith Higgins a lot both in playing style and how young he made the team. We could have developed Keith in other positions if we had enough corner backs. Was doing very well in half forwards in 2013 final until Cunniffe injury. So no reason Hession couldn’t be tried there also.
    There’s also a chance Oisin could be left in FB despite what many want as he has a very good all round game for that position and very few backs in the Country can handle the likes of Clifford or McManus. Needs must. I Hora very good v Dublin, good also v Galway and was perhaps getting into the game when subbed in AIF or maybe he was just emptying the tank knowing he was coming off. So as big hearted as O Hora is and has definitely improved, don’t know if he’ll get to the Barrett standard of a not very tall guy playing FB.
    As for the young guns mentioned from FBD, most will remain in development squad. Prefer Oisin in backs for 1 more season simply because we have less options there unless we can convert a forward.

  69. The gaps I see are:
    – we miss one physical 6’1″+ defender. You have to have one genuine throw you out a pub door player.
    – The partner for Matthew Ruane. In my view the last 25 mins it’s Aidan OShea. But the first 50 mins I’m not sure. Still think it’s got to be someone with physical size and an engine.
    – The half forward line. I could see a tactic of finishing with Kevin Mc, Diarmuid and JDoc but starting with Boland Orme Walsh. So you go with three pacey mobile players who don’t get turned over. We’ve started or brought on there too many out of form players, older players, get turned over players. Start with speed, finish with brains and power. Of what we have Fergal Boland and Bryan Walsh are our most suitable wing forwards to start. Aidan Orme is a player with pace and passing. That line I think would better serve Ryan Cillian and Tommy inside. Could surely chip in with 4-5 pts across the full game.

  70. @Viper.
    I think Kevin just played a full campaign for Knockmore who did end up as County Champions.

    Ciaran did play on for his club long after playing for the county, and I actually remember him scoring eleven points for Crossmolina when he would have been in his 40’s.

    Both scenarios above might point that Kevin might play on if that is his desire.

  71. @Fw thanks for that bit of info. I am with Cairde since the start. I got no email about renewal! I went into the account and it said I had no invoices to pay! Where to from here? I’d hate to be left out in the cold.

  72. If we’re going to still have Doherty, Aido, McLoughlin again for this year we have learned nothing from the past 2 Years. And I would include Hennelly as well. I don’t mind this year if we can get a few players that will be a future . I would not be too optimistic this year. You look at Dublin a lot of their elder players have called it a day. Now they owe nothing to Dublin. We keep holding on to Golden Oldies who have served their time and as long as we keep this going the less likely we have of winning Sam.

  73. Great news about Oisin. Super player and I am delighted he is staying. It gives us a slightly better chance. Dont know where he will end up playing. Because we have been stuck for a full back for a while he ended up there for spells last year and was exposed in the AIF. Ironically missed the Dublin game due to injury. A fantastic player no doubt but for me the return of Cillian is equally important. I am convinced he would have been the difference v Tyrone. Some achievement to get to final minus himself and Oisin.. Some great management decisions that day v Dublin when all and sundry were hailing a masterclass from JH. Yet 4 weeks later he became a poor manager as Tyrone were too clever for us on a day where only about 4 of our players delivered. A very difficult task this year with a strong Ulster contingent, a rejuvenated kerry under Jack, a smarting dublin looking to get back, not to mention our nearest and dearest neighbours in the west.

  74. Great to see the mood lifted after oisins decision.
    Just a couple of points
    – for me, Shane machale is not the answer at midfield. Watched him in the flesh a couple of times in 2021 club championship and whilst he is very effective, he just doesn’t have the pace for intercounty top sides. He’s 32 now and his best days are behind him. If you were looking for a experienced midfielder with athleticism to plug a gap alongside matty for a year or two, I’d probably have Jason Gibbons ahead of Shane actually. Neither is a long term solution though obviously.
    Would be very hopeful of Bob Tuohy breaking though at midfield in the next year or two.
    – Cillian and Tommy are certainties in the FF line in my view. I actually think Ryan could be very effective at 11, though he does need to just improve slightly on his hand passing and the odd kick pass, which if anyone has noticed, is not quite at the top level despite his otherwise all round brilliance. Not a criticism of ROD but I think there’s actually more in him if he can eliminate some cheap turnovers at times.
    I would try plunkett in the half forward line in 2022. Diarmuid is also a potential option at midfield beside matty.

  75. Very early in year to be talking about “certainties”. You’d have got some odds in January 2017 that Diarmuid O’Connor wouldn’t start the All Ireland final that year

    A few months is a very long time in sport

  76. God help me,the oisin news and cillians comeback have got me all excited again. Its as if the shambolic performance v tyrone never happened.

    I think we will cruise through connaught, galway have some lovely forwards but as far as I can see they still haven’t unearthed one grizzly tough defender,the best defender they have in mulkerrin broke his leg last week.

    So where are we then? Probably where we have been for past number of years ie one of 5 teams who can win it. Those 5 teams all have flaws…

    Kerry – huge huge pressure on them to get over the line this year or they will get a reputation as bottlers, no obvious successor to David moran

    Dublin – undoubtedly back in the pack now, the fact mannion and mccaffrey have walked really doesn’t look good for Farrell. Nothing on the bench

    Mayo – stronger squad for 2022, half forward line and midfield in need of surgery and goalkeeper still suspect, should have lots of firepower though

    Donegal – shit or get off the pot for bonner. I look at that squad and I see every box ticked,size,scoring power, speed, quality and yet bonner hasn’t made a dent in croker yet. The ability is therr but it seems they may not have the grit for it

    Tyrone – heavy lies the crown, they seem to have been celebrating very hard throughout the winter going by the pasting cavan gave them last week. I suspect motivation will be big problem for them and its very likely they dont even get through the bearpit that is the ulster championship

    It’s all to play for,let the games begin

  77. I agree with a lot of the observations from GlasagusDhearg and True Grit above. What transpired last September was a shambles from start to finish, on and off the pitch. Oisín’s decision to stay is clearly a massive shot in the arm for all of us supporters, but that alone won’t get us over the line (brilliant as he is, he’s already lost two finals).

    What are the lessons to be learned from our most recent final defeat? IMO:

    1. Don’t play players who aren’t fully fit.

    2. We are predictable in how we play. Tyrone saw how we were approaching our championship games and exploited the space behind our half back line with quick accurate ball into their full-forwards. They took us for several points in the first half through this and we seemed paralysed on the sideline.

    3. Too many of our players failed to perform on the day, whether through nerves, being stale after the four week layoff from the Dublin match, or whatever. Only Lee and Stephen Coen played to a level that they would be happy with IMO.

    4. We got murdered on breaking ball around the centre, particularly in the first half.

    5. We will not win an All-Ireland with a goalkeeper who reliably concedes one preventable goal per final appearance. Our full-back line also lacks a tight man-marker since Chris Barrett retired.

    6. Nor will we win one if we spaff several goal chances (four by my reckoning). Even playing badly we could have forced a replay or even what would have been a fairly outrageous narrow win.

    7. Nor will we win one selecting a full-forward who has scored nothing in seven final appearances. Aido has been a great servant to the county but he is not a natural 14 and no longer has the legs for midfield. He can still be of service but probably as an impact sub.

    8. The scene on the sideline was very bad and was probably unprecedented in All-Ireland finals, at least any that I have bore witness to. If JH doesn’t want to take the input of his backroom team, one wonders what the point is of having them there.

    All in all, I would say that we are still in transition and were fortunate to get to a final. Yes, the Dublin victory was great and it was wonderful to get that monkey off our backs, but they were there for the taking all year and clearly not all was right in their camp.

    Looking back at the whole season, we conceded far too many goals (to be expected to an extent, given the massive losses of Clarke and Barrett) and this has to be something that the coaching team will be aiming to address this year.

    A good outcome this season will be retaining Nestor and staying in Division One, IMO.

  78. Two positions I think we need cover in are Corner Back and Midfield. I think Hennelly will be in goal regardless, Jennings is a class act from the few games I’ve seen him play but he needs to bulk up for a year or two or else he’ll be targeted under the high ball, kick outs, shot stopping and distribution are top class besides, not afraid to bring the ball out the field either. Not convinced on Reape from what I’ve seen.

    Like every other poster, I’m scratching my head as to what Eoin O’Donoughue needs to do to get a sustained run in the team, consistently plays well for club and county when given the chance and would be perfect solution to CHB or corner back, sounds like he is not available this season, if he was, I’d put him CHB and move Coen to Full back as Eoin is a great kickpasser and think Coen would provide a more physical presence at FB. Was very impressed with Jack Coyne in club championship this year, I think he’ll get a few runs in the league so hoping he stands out.

    Was hoping Orme would push on this year but can’t say I was overly impressed with him in club championship, do think he deserves a run of games to prove himself. Justin Healy’s movement is top notch, think he’ll be a real option in corner forward once games open up a bit. If Boland doesn’t get a starting spot this year at wing forward then I give up, constantly been best wing forward in Mayo for quite a while now. I highly rate Mark Moran too but he needs an injury free run and some good form for Westport in the league before he’s considered again, if we could get him firing on all cylinders then he’d be one hell of an option for CHF. Frank Irwin is my wildcard on the team, think the talent is there and we need to persist with him for the league anyways, can provide a serious kickout option too. Don’t see the hype re Connell Dempsey yet but hope he proves me wrong.

    We’re in a pretty good place overall, some competition in the squad overall. Would go with something like this:


    Plenty of legs off the bench then:
    Jennings, E McLaughlin, K Mcl, Aido, Hession, Healy, Callinan, King, Diarmuid O’Connor, Orme, Coyne/O’Hora

  79. There is one thing that stood with me as i walked back to my car depressed after last years all Ireland defeat. There was a mayo mother and her 2 young kids (6 -10 years old) walking in the same direction and it was clear that she was upset from the result that just happened, the result didn’t bother the kids as much as all they talked about was Tommy and Oisin and how they played,.

    I think us retaining Oisin is a bigger deal than we think and the message he has sent out to the younger people of Mayo who one day dream of being in his shoes is one we will always be grateful for.

  80. Nice post, JKEL88.
    Interesting comments also, Supermac. Following on from your points, Donegal for me are the ones to watch this year. How could they not – looking across at Tyrone who swooped and got the job done while they couldn’t move these last few years?
    Looking from the outside Mayo are interesting ones to watch too, how we respond.

  81. True grit & it means nothing to me:
    You both have made comments along the lines of “we’ll not win anything with Hennelly in goals, need a new keeper,” etc etc

    Where’s this other keeper you are talking about? Have you watched any club games this year? Would love to hear who it is?
    Reape, Byrne, etc – these guys are not the answer.
    In my opinion they would be monstered by the top sides in a high pressure game in Croke park, particularly when a full court press comes on from the likes of Dublin and all the momentum is going against us.
    My guess is that the same posters criticising Hennelly would be the first to put the boot into Horan for putting another inferior goalie out there like a lamb to the slaughter.

    There is no other keeper that is a realistic option in 2022 for Mayo. End of story.
    Maybe this Jennings lad will make it in future but he’s still really a kid.
    When you think of it, a goalkeeper in intercounty gaa is quite unique at the top level compare to other sports around the world. You can’t go sign one from elsewhere. You can’t move other talent around the field to fill a gap like you can with any other position. As a manager you really are in a straightjacket.
    There’s no Rory Beggan or Niall Morgan in Mayo sitting waiting patiently for an opportunity on the bench.
    We have seen counties like Galway and even Kerry struggle big time to find a goalkeeper of sufficient quality in recent years. In Mayo we were lucky with Hennelly and Clarke. Either would have played every single championship game for Galway or Kerry in the last 15 years if they’d been from one of those two counties.
    Now that Cluxton is gone, Morgan and Beggan are clearly out on their own as the best 2 keepers in Gaelic football. Hennelly isn’t at that level, but is still very serviceable and we don’t have any other choice anyway.

  82. Larry Duff, you mention Beggan and Morgan as being out on their own now as the best goalkeepers in the country.
    They certainly are brilliant.
    I’m just wondering how much we have seen of either of them over prolonged periods in high pressure games these last few years. Have they proved their mettle over a long run at the highest level? I’m not sure they’re flawless.
    Morgan had a nightmare of a game in the AI semi final. I think the long kickout strategy was preagreed that day though. He conceded 5 goals against Kerry in last year’s League.
    Beggan has nerves of steel, I’ll grant. However, coming out the field could lead to an error along the line.
    Hennelly got us into a position to win the AI semi final against Dublin (not just with his final clenching kick but with his two previous free kicks too).
    In the round, I think Hennelly is a good keeper. I’d always be a fan of improvement, honing your game, and for me it’s without doubt something Rob can do. If Andy Moran could hone his game over several stages of a career, why could Rob not?

  83. @Larry Duff, I think you would agree that the weakest part of Hennelly’s game is not his shot stopping or his distribution but it is his tendency to be caught out of position, but the question must be asked what is going on in the coaching set up when this is not being addressed adequately.

    I do not believe that better coaching and a strong voice in front of Rob cannot vastly improve his game which will be a huge boost to his confidence and result in less totally avoidable goals being conceded.

    Any keeper in a “Horanball” side is always going to come under pressure because of the set up so tweaks to the system will also help Rob, too often our full back line is left exposed when our midfield should be tracking back to offer protection.

    No team who leave the door wide open will ever win an All-Ireland so it’s up to management to get the balance right, that’s why they are there at the end of the day, to manage.

  84. Eyesontheball, I will be so disappointed if Fergal Boland doesn’t get a good run this year; for me he rarely puts a foot wrong, he can score from distance and has bulked up from a few years back where he was constantly accused of being too light (I didn’t agree at the time). Especially if he forgoes the hurling season and doesn’t get played. Similarly I can’t understand why EOD isn’t in the panel at this point – surely there is enough water under the bridge to make a fresh start especially when we are so desperately short of options in the full back line. I’d also like to see Colm Moran in there, I was really surprised that he didn’t feature in the FBD. And Fionn McDonagh is another good option, I think.

    Larry Duff, you’re absolutely correct re: Hennelly. He is the best we have at this point – whether we like it or not.

    Re the Donegal game, I can’t say how we will perform on the day (expectations are low, frankly) but I’d be surprised to see Donegal doing too much this year; they have consistently been one of the more overrated teams in the country since they beat us in 2012. An All-Ireland win does more than just scratch an itch for the winning county’s supporters, it (understandably) also tends to buys you quite a lot of favour and respect for years afterwards.

    It’d be nice, wouldn’t it?

    I’d be curious to know if any season tickets went on general release. Quite a few people I know (including myself) didn’t renew this year (a decision I sincerely hope I regret in a few months time!)

  85. Colm Reape has had two good seasons with Knockmore. But it seems to get dismissed somehow because it’s only club level.
    But, it’s senior club level and they advanced as far as the Connaught final.
    Then on the eye test on his general play, he simply seems to be a good goalkeeper worth a try.

  86. @Viper.. it’s hard to disagree with what you are saying as regards Robbie Hennelly.. Currently he is Mayo’s best option for the No1 Jersey, and 2021 was by far his best year, despite some questionable positioning during the year… Does Robbie ever get the credit he deserves for some of the excellent saves he makes?, It’s hard to get that credit when you are replacing the best shot stopper Gaelic Football has ever seen in David Clarke.. But regardless Mayo as well as, needing proper full backs in our full back line, coaching re positioning for Robbie, we also need to develop a second County standard goalkeeper, David Clarke had retired for over a year now and it’s something we need to be doing.

  87. UL vs Letterkenny IT being streamed now. Eoghan McLaughlin and Connell Dempsey starting for UL

  88. Robbie has been tested at the ultimate level. He did really well on a number of Tyrone moves. Not all his fault on the goals. Against Dublin? My MOTM frankly. Beggan hasn’t been tested at this level. We can all agree that the final is a further step up from all other games. We were lucky really with Clarkey and himself. OK 2016 was a disaster, but generally we all might have trouble recalling, on a specific day, which of them was between the sticks.

    That said, having a reliable deputy who could be interchangeable is a must – we don’t know when where of how Robbie could be injured. What we want to get to is that sense of interchangeability, seamlessness, that provides assurance for those in front. I don’t think, at the moment, Rory Byrne does that.

  89. I agree with Viper on Hennelley.He gets caught out of position but if he had a commanding fullback in there he wouldn’t have to commit…..likes of Francie Bellew etc.
    He is the best in Mayo by some distance

  90. Very entertaining sigerson game there. Connell Dempsey scored 3 points and was good throughout. Eoghan McLaughlin was outstanding. Scored 2 points and the keeper saved to deny him a goal. Set up umpteen scores with his driving runs forward. Also seems to have improved his general ball skills. Played a few nice kick passes into the forwards and was flicking the ball up into his hands constantly.

    Paul Towey, jack Coyne and Conor Igoe came off the bench for UL too.

  91. Great to hear @wideball re Eoghan
    He’s a superb talent and just needs to polish off the rough edges a bit before he’s absolute top tier.

  92. Great Oisìn is staying with Mayo. A super interview with Boyler, a shame he wasn’t brought on in the final – that surely would have lifted the team/crowd. Its sad to see another warrior from that era step away without winning an All Ireland. We will miss him. Other news today –
    County Chairman plans for a Centre of Excellence on the two adjoining pitches of McHale Park. Projected cost – one million plus. More fundraising on the way for the hardpressed Mayo supporters!!

  93. As someone who emigrated to the USA in my mid- twenties I can speak with experience about how hard it was. Missing family, friends, simple rituals. When I was in America, I was always pining for home. I endured the months between summer and Christmas just to get back home. Things are slightly better now but this weeks news about Oisin made me celebrate his decision. Leaving football aside for a minute, as a young man he is better off at home with his friends, in college and close to his parents.
    I would like to wish him well

  94. Team for Donegal
    1.Colm Reape/ Luke Jennings
    2.Padraig O’Hora
    3.Stephen Coen
    4.B Harrison/E O’Donoghue
    5.Paddy Durcan
    6.Lee Keegan
    7.Eoin McLauglin
    9.Oisin Mullin
    10.Fergal Boland/Fionn McDonagh
    11.Enda Hession
    12.Connell Dempsey
    13.Aidan Orme
    14.Ryan O’Donoghue
    15.Tommy Conroy

  95. NUIG beat Queens University 3-10 to 2-7. Tommy Conroy and Fionn McDonagh started and both scored 1-1. The Queens Twitter account seemed impressed with Tommy’s performance.

  96. Wide Ball, exciting to hear Connell Dempsey had a good game (I don’t know him so well) and I’m really excited to hear that Eoghan McLaughlin sent some good foot passes into the forwards as well as making good runs. Lovely to know he can do this too : )

  97. So Dempsey is a shoo-in for Donegal game? Has done well for UL. Fair play. But not great for Knockmore in last game. Meanwhile Robbie is not up to it. Will be replaced by ……The only other keeper as good as Robbie in our county is Clarke and unfortunately he has packed it in .Maybe JH might try Oisin at No 1.

  98. Dempsey would usually mix between midfield and a wing forward position can play both, he’s a big lad and also very good a kicking a couple of scores a game, will definitely get some game time and probably a few starts in the league.

  99. The Ul Sigerson game is on YouTube. Yes, Connell Dempsey played well. He has a very good left handed handpass, just picked up on it as a few in a row of his passes were left handed.
    Put it like this, Ul gave Stefan Okunbar a run, but he was not the contribution that Connell Dempsey was.
    Obviously a few months more gym and fitness work will help him. Probably a few kg under where he’d need to be to be competing with the upper half of Division one teams.
    He’s good in the air, judges the ball well, has a bit o hang time as they say in basketball.

  100. @Larry Duff: Amazing how you lasered in on one line of a lengthy post of mine.

    To be honest, I don’t think we’ll win one anyway in the next few seasons, so where is the harm in experimenting a bit with the goalie’s position in the FBD and NFL? I personally don’t mind taking a bit of short term pain if it leads to a better place further down the road.

    You say that he is the best (I don’t think he is) but that’s your opinion and you can have it. What I do know is that Rob will turn 32 in March and could well retire in the next few seasons. Yet he played almost every game of the NFL and championship last term (with the exception of the Leitrim game, but exceptional circumstances were at hand for that one).

    So I would like to see a bit more of the other keepers on the panel, particularly Byrne, with a view to the future, especially in some of the early season games.

  101. Agree @It means… it is imperative that we have at least one more keeper ready and raring to go. For me it would be Reape, with young Jennings as understudy,but he needs to be left with u-20s for this year. I’ve never seen young Livingston play but maybe he too is one for the future.

  102. Well we did experiment in the FBD. Rory Byrne played in that game and was underwhelming to be honest. In the first half he turned over a number of kick outs that resulted in Galway scores. While Rob has some issues under the high ball, he’s outstanding on the kick outs and is light years ahead of any other other options in Mayo at this point in terms of his ability off kick outs, which has become the most important aspect of a goalkeeper in the modern game. I’m sure Rory Byrne is a decent fella and all but there’s a reason he didn’t get a sniff the last few years, especially when Clarke and Hennelly were both on the scene. I think Reape is marginally ahead of Byrne – he seems ok but doesn’t have any standout traits either.
    Im tellin ya it’s very very hard to get a top level keeper in GAA.
    Kerry don’t have one.
    Galway don’t have one.
    I’d even argue the jury is out on Evan Comerford in Dublin.
    Patton from Donegal is another decent goalie actually.
    There very few around to be honest – I’d have Rib Hennelly comfortably in the top 10 goalkeepers in Gaelic football right now.

  103. Colm Reape did not impressed me in the last few televised Knockmore games. His kicking put Knockmore under pressure.

  104. Consider that Colm Reapes security under high ball and ball playing from the back may counterweight any deficit in kickout accuracy.

  105. Echoing the points I made a few posts back, but agree with you mostly Larry Duff. Comerford was the reason Dublin lost really – our high press crucified him in the closing stages. I would argue that Morgan is suspect, but we didn’t exploit his weaknesses sufficiently. Once he’s under real pressure he could do anything. Hennelly’s kicking is excellent. He doesn’t do too much roving, which I think can be counter productive, but his moves to the right half back space for Dublin kick outs spooked them as the game went on.

  106. Great news on Oisín. Good luck to the lad, it was a huge decision and we all are greatful that he is sticking with the cause. I would love to see the following spine in the 2022 team:
    3. Pádraig O’Hora
    6. Stephen Coen
    8. Oisín Mullin
    9. Matthew Ruane
    11. Lee Keegan
    14. Cillian O’Connor

    The Lee suggestion is a bit of a hopeful one, but I would love to see Lee marauding from behind centrefield, spraying balls in on top of Ryan, Cillian and Tommy, running hard at the opposition half back line, breaking through for goal chances, and generally taking the game by the scruff of the neck like only he can do

  107. 1. Rob Hennely
    2. Brendan Harrison
    3. Stephen Coen
    4. Padraig O`Hora
    5. Lee Keegan
    6. Oisin Mullin
    7. Paddy Durcan
    8. Matthew Ruane
    9. Diarmuid O`Connor
    10. Enda hession
    11. Conor Loftus
    12. Fionn McDonagh
    13. Ryan O`Doanghue
    14. Cillian O`Connor
    15. Tommy Conroy

    If all of the above can be injury free and find form of what we know they can that would be my starting team

  108. JKEL88 – Mattie won’t start on Sunday week. Half forward line looks iffy. We really have to get solidity, reliability, and scoring in this sector.

  109. @catcol

    That is my team if everyone fit and available.

    We will still need players in our half forward line who can track half backs against the better teams, fionn and conor loftus can score long range and hession has the engine to tag any half back in the country and keep them on the back foot and score himself.

  110. Correct, Catcol. Neither Mattie or Cillian will start in the first couple of league games (or more in Cillian’s case).
    I was suggesting that spine for the championship. We really need to start having a half forward line that frightens the living daylights out of top teams. In recent years, we have had really good half forwards, but they never played as a unit. As a result, it was always difficult to predict who would wear the 10, 11 and 12 jerseys. The last time we had a purposful plan for that line, Jason Doc and Kevin Mc provided the cut and thrust needed to keep the ball in the opposition half while feeding quality ball into the FF line, in particular to Andy on the crown of the D. As a result, Andy won player of the year and we came within a whisper of the holy grail. The full forward line now has 3 class players that can play as a unit. We need a similar unit in the half forward line.

  111. I would have RO’D at no.11. A hard tackler, a good distributor, and a shimmy to get him around any no..6

  112. JKEL88 – do you think we’d run the risk of a quick FF line making hay out of that FB line? Hession did look great in the club matches further up the pitch, but having him in FB with his pace might be worth the compromise? If Jason could return to anything like his form to provide a solid presence in the HF line I’d be tempted to give Fergal Boland / Bryan Walsh a run out – Conor Loftus definitely putting his hand up there too though.

  113. @exile

    As stated above if they can get back to the level we know they are at id have confidence in that full back line. Positions are irrelevant and id be confident POH and BH get the better of most players in the country when on form. Coen will be utilized to match up against a certain type player. Id have him track murphy for the donegal game and see how he gets on.

    Until someone else puts their hand up at intercounty level its hard not to go with the tried and tested. Id love to see a Jack Coyne / Donnacha McHugh push for a starting place this year but they are both still unproven at intercouny level and still learning their trade.

  114. Larry Duff
    Rob is just in the top 10 in Ireland ? That means he’s a Division 2 Goalie at best.The reason people want another Goalie starting for the Donegal game and the rest of the League is because we have no recognised replacement keeper. What happens if Robbie gets injured or decides to retire in the next 2 years he’s 32 this year ?? There’s no back up. James Horan played Robbie in an All Ireland Semi Final v Kerry when he was 21 in 2011 when we had 2 of the best keepers in the country in David Clarke and Kenneth O’Malley so why not give someone else a shot.On the Ah Ref podcast this week it was mentioned that Luke Jennings from Ballinrobe is potentially the best Goalkeeper in the County. I would like to see him and Reape get a chance.

  115. Your quiet right sam og. It’s well beyond time we looked at other options for a keeper. So matty is out of the donegal game… I presume we have options in the squad for midfield otherwise what’s the point of having a squad. Those men I presume are in the shape of Loftus. Flynn and conor o shea. Big question is can any of those 3 mentioned come in to midfield and do a job now when we need them?

  116. @craggy boglands, The three players you mentioned have enough minutes over the last two seasons against the top teams to show they are not the answer. Alternatives needed.

  117. @Craggy Boglands and @JP

    We have won back to back Connacht titles and got to back to back all Ireland finals with Conor Loftus in midfield and Jordan Flynn coming of the bench, i think both are more than capable of doing a job for the team especially in the league and in provincial stage of the championship.

    The big question is can we unearth anyone else in midfield to take us to the next level and get us over the final hurdle at the Business end of the championship.

  118. When needed most v Tyrone we struggled big time at midfield with way below par performance. Thats the harsh reality that needs to be addressed. I agree with posters above. Fionn McDonagh a midfield option. Great to see himself and Conroy put in match winning performances in last nights Siggerson match. Last years all ireland defeat hurting for both of them so good to see them coming back stronger.

  119. Not forgetting Jack Carney will probably be coming back into the reckoning, once he gets the job finished with Kilmeena.

  120. @Larry Duff.. I would rate Robbie Hennelly as a Top 5 goalkeeper easily.. I certainly would struggle to name 5 intercounty Goalkeepers as better than Robbie,.. Now in 2022 with both David Clark and Stephen Cluxton retired Robbie has to have moved up 2 places in the available pecking order.. Really only Rory Began and Niall Morgan ahead of Robbie to my way of thinking.. But Mayo definitely does need to develop a second intercounty standard Goalkeeper.. A young Goalkeeper to keep an eye out for is Dublin’s Evan Comerford, 2021 his first year he got a chance, and I believe, with whatever they do in Dublin as regards Goalkeepers, they have produced 3 of the very best since the 1960s.. It’s hard to believe it, but Dublin have really only had 3 Intercounty Goalkeeper since the 1960s, probably the majority of people reading this weren’t even born when Paddy Cullen took over as the Dublin netminders, Davy Byrne excluded where he was No1 choice for a very short period of time.. It’s hard to believe it, but Dublin really have had only Paddy Cullen, John O Leary and Stephen Cluxton, for well over 95% of their game’s League or Championship since then.. I remember, I think the Connacht Championship of only 2014 where Mayo had 3 different first choice, and all excellent Goalkeepers, in David Clark, Kenneth O’Malley and Robbie Hennelly, but now we are down to just one top class Goalkeeper.. I wonder is there anything that we can learn from Dublin, to make our Goalkeepers last for almost ever?

  121. Carney is another with “match winner” potential. Hunger for winning has to be one of the driving forces which propels players to perform to the peak of their abilities when most needed. Carney is doing this for Kilmeena

  122. Robbie is without doubt the best we have.Hes really worked in his kickouts and distribution the last few years.
    However we need to develop a back up.Rory Bryne whilst a fine club player is not the answer,he’s a few levels below Robbie and only a year or two younger.
    I think Luke Jennings fits the profile,he could be developed, the problem is how do we do that when the league is so important these days and runs straight into championship?

  123. @Ontheditch, the best time to address that issue was in real time, it’s called game management and if we don’t improve in that department, then it doesn’t really matter who we pick.

    When James hooked Aidan against Dublin, he was lauded by some as some sort of genius when in reality it was a logical thing to do, so we need to be a bit more mature in the way things are looked at.

    There were fires let burn in the final and no one called the fire brigade, bit late arriving now.

    If a player is not performing or a system is not working out on any given day then you must be able to rectify it quickly because the game is gone in a blink of an eye, you are correct regarding midfield on the day but do you really think it was unfixable in real time ?

    What else does a manager do on the day, that’s how he earns his crust, by fixing things when they are going wrong and the coaches have a hugely important role in game management.

    Maybe everyone is focusing too much on individual players and picking what looks a fantastic team on paper but I think it’s more important to look at how improvements can be made in the whole tactical approach and improving the the whole game management side of things and to improve how Mayo prepare for the opposition in big games generally so that if the team reaches a final again a tried and tested system is in place so that we can walk away and say we were just beaten by better opposition if that is the case.

    What is killing Mayo supporters is not that we haven’t won per se, it’s that we have lost finals by shooting ourselves in the foot and that’s the root cause of the anger.

    But our shooting ourselves started the minute we beat Dublin.

  124. Potential new players we could try in midfield in the league;

    Jack Carney
    Connell Dempsey
    Fionn McDonagh
    Oisin Mullin
    Eoghan McLaughlin (plays there for westport)
    Frank Irwin
    Sam Callinan (plays there at current age grade)
    Ethan Henry (not sure if in squad)
    Bob Tuohy (not sure if in squad was at trials but still very young)

  125. It would be nice to know who is currently on the extended Mayo GAA senior panel. Surely this is not too much to ask the management team/Co Board?
    Mile buiochas

  126. I agree Viper.The minutes after the win against Dublin were badly handled, the OHora and Keegan interviews should have been much more low key….”nothing won yet”.”Poor first half performance”….”won’t be good enough the next day”…..words “only one plan” should never have been uttered…..Horan should have been on that….Dial it down straight away and down the tunnel.
    That would have lowered the tempeture and got the focus right

  127. Agree that Flynn and Conor O S have had plenty chances and are not the answer at midfield. Flynn is a liability with his discipline issues – 3 red cards in 4 championship games for Crossmolina this year? Would much rather see us rolling the dice with the likes of Carney here for a game or two in the league than trying these guys again.
    Hopefully Luke Jennings gets into the squad in 2022 but it’s likely all league games will be important and we need to stay in div 1 so opportunities for Goalkeeper experimentation will be limited.
    I wonder will Callinan get game time in the league?

  128. The goalkeeping mess is our own mess. No experimentation last year leaves us way behind with in that department. And goalkeepers play vital roles nowadays
    @viper. The problem with Mayo goes beyond fixing in real time. We persevere with players who are not capable mentally or otherwise digging us out of a hole when the going tough.
    A disjoint management team didnt help our prospects of fixing in real time in the final

  129. No doubt we have to look at keeper options. Henelly had a good year surely but made crucial errors once again on the biggest day. When you leave your line for a ball you have to make it. . On the midfield debacle.. if the men in the squad all year can’t come in and do a job…whats the point in them being there. Search for new men

  130. @Ontheditch, I don’t think we can say that they can’t dig themselves out of a hole, they’ve done just that on numerous occasions and if coming back against Dublin isn’t a perfect example of that, then I don’t know what is.

    Our problem isn’t digging ourselves out of holes, it’s digging the holes for ourselves to begin with, which is something that starts well before the final, every Tom, Dick and Harry adding a little pressure on the players before a ball is thrown in at all, too many people with too much to say and many of the same people will be the first to throw the players under the bus when things go wrong.

    I can’t agree that a situation can’t be improved in real time, otherwise we don’t need a manager at all, just let the players figure it all out without a leader.

    I don’t think Luke Jennings is anywhere near developed enough yet and it would be total madness to throw him into the lions den. He has “potential” though, but that’s all at the moment.

    It’s important Mayo start well in the league in order to be able to give lads a run out once safety is secured so experimenting at the start of the league wouldn’t be wise.

  131. @Viper, do you really know what the actual problems are particularly in a final.
    I believe there is an over emphasis on trying to control the opposition but not enough of see what we can do.
    The All Ireland finals of 2013, 2020 are a good example, Mayo had good attacking 1st halves but became to defensive in the 2nd half.
    The finals of 2016 and 2017 were completely defensive and Mayo relied on inside forwards that had no blinding pace.

    The final of 2021 was plan less, but two handy goal opportunities were missed in the 1st half.
    Mayo needed to score a goal from that penalty in order to bring their game to life, but it wasn’t to be.

  132. @Mayo88, it’s all down to poor decision making at the end of the day and a failure to learn from previous experiences, how best to prepare and how to manage the game in real time.

    Proper preparation covers so many eventualities that very very little that happens during the game has not been covered in the prep, down to what the plan is for any one of 1 to 15 being sent off or injured during the game, that’s even before you discuss making positional or personnel changes to put out the fires that may occur during the game, not to mention your tactical plan(s) for the game itself, right down to analysis of the opposition keeper in the event you are awarded a penalty. I’m only touching the tip of the iceberg in relation to preparation.

    Some people may consider that all nonsense of course and they are perfectly entitled to do that but of course they must have a very good counter argument.

    It is not a guarantee that you will win the game of course because individuals can still have off days and sometimes the opposition is just that bit better, but generally well prepared teams perform better.

    I have my doubts if Mayo go to the level of preparation I’m talking about, but if we want to have any chance of winning, we must start to prepare properly.

    If we want to win an All-Ireland then we must get more serious about it, cut out the nonsense and blurting stuff out to the media, surely we owe the players that much.

  133. Goals are the thing. In All-Ireland finals we seldom score more than one and often concede more than one. That situation instantly leaves one with a mountain to climb.

    The problem probably lies with coaching within the county rather than confidence as such, given the generational tendencies in this direction.

  134. Ruane missing first 2 league games may be a blessing in disguise as we will have to try a new combination. How did the CB not appeal to get a reduction to 2

  135. Agree Jrb…if I were Ruane I’d be expecting they might at least have had my back. More often than not a reduction of games missed comes from an appeal. In a league when every point will be hard secured we could rue that decision.

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