Oisín Mullin our MOTM from yesterday’s game

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

It’s always with a degree of sheepishness that, on those occasions (which, thankfully, are infrequent enough) when we take a bit of a mauling, my attention turns to doing the post on our Man of the Match for the offending game.

But, as I usually tend to flag up front at such times, the purpose of this exercise is to salute Mayo players whose performance stands out in games. When this happens in times of adversity it’s arguably all the more worthy to acknowledge the fact.

The game’s overall Man of the Match was, of course, Monaghan’s Conor McCarthy. The livewire centre-forward bagged 1-3 from play and was a constant thorn in our side all afternoon, showing in the process that the Farneymen don’t always have to depend on Conor McManus for the bulk of their scores.

But back to us. This poll was a close one, with the top six vote-getters reasonably well bunched together. Newly-appointed captain for the year, Aidan O’Shea, held off Padraig O’Hora by just a single vote to snatch second spot in the poll but out front, as he frequently was at Clones yesterday when the ball was being pumped in towards McManus, was our stylish full-back Oisín Mullin.

The young Kilmaine man has slotted into the first fifteen with a degree of effortless that belies his tender years. Without doubt, he’s a huge talent in the making and, in difficult circumstances at St Tiernach’s Park yesterday, he provided further proof of this. With 19% of the vote, Oisín is a deserved winner of this week’s Man of the Match poll. Well done to him.

45 thoughts on “Oisín Mullin our MOTM from yesterday’s game

  1. Oisín has the potential to be our best ever full back. Very confident polished performance well deserving MoM.

  2. Oisín Is very level headed and mature…and an excellent baller. He will only improve.

    Delighted with that statement from Mayo GAA but I guess we are not allowed to talk about it here so that’s all I’m saying.

  3. It’s to protect everyone, myself included, that that topic has had to be deemed out of bounds here, Yew Tree. For what it’s worth, I too welcome the Mayo GAA statement tonight. It’s now time to put all that in the past and move on.

  4. If we want to fully buy in to a “consistently competitive” ethos, which really may be the enduring legacy of the modern senior team post 2010 regardless of how close we’ve come and whatever lies ahead in the championship, I really hope we learn something from our competitors in terms of limiting off field drama. Dublin’s management transition was done in more or less total silence pre-announcement, but in fairness things have been going very well for them. When things weren’t going well for Eamonn Fitz in Kerry there was a bit of noise, but absolutely nothing compared to what we hear about.

    I really hope it’s all football for the rest of the season.

  5. I think Oisin might be our youngest MOTM winner. Only other potential players being Paddy Durcan or Diarmuid in the past.
    Oisin is very good on 50:50 ball, with his pace and total bravery that’s more like a 60:40 ball in his favour.

  6. A great prospect. I think I’d post him at chb. He reads the game well. Tenacious. Gets forward very well too.

  7. For me, Mullin is a natural full back. His ability to win ball out in front added to his composure on the ball, means he is a key starting point for our counter attacks. By winning, and coming out with the ball driving up the field, he will force the full forward to track him, something that is not natural to most no.14’s. By Mullin playing out from the back we immediately create overlaps and 2-v-1’s in our favour. The most important thing we do now is hide his passport!

    As for O’Leary? I said at the time of the CB fiasco (and was taken to task on it) no matter how thin you slice it, there are two sides to everything!

    Kerry on Saturday night will be a test for our squad. We are expecting the new players in the squad to dig us out of a hole while they also, at the same time, are trying to adapt to senior inter-county football. Bear in mind some of these newer lads will be on heavy S&C programs to help add bulk and power to their frames and that type of training is not ideal for skills based football, e.g. sharp incisive play and clinical shooting. We are going to have to be patient and except the mistakes and poor decisions that these new lads will make, they have to be given the room to learn and develop. When developing new, younger players you always have to look at the bigger picture, down the line. In truth, it may take two to three years before a 20 year old is at the required physique to play senior inter-county football, regardless of the lads actual ability.

  8. He’s an excellent footballer but needs to be managed.

    I’d personally play him in the half back line along with Paddy D and Lee Keegan with Keegan at 6.

    Full back line of O Hora, Harrison (if fit) and AN Other there too.

    Midfield AOS and Ruane.

    Half forward line. DOC, ROD & Fionn Mc.

    Full of COC, D Corn and Carr / Higgins as roving around

    All was gloomy after Clones but it’s done so move on

  9. very excited about young Mullin, he is much further on in his development than i realised and can only improve.
    Sunday was a mighty test for him, 70 minutes on a top class operator like McManus is the best education you could get. He never hid though.

    He will likely be paired with David Clifford this saturday which will be another valuable learning experience.

    I too think he has the attributes to be a great center halfback but needs must and our fullback line needs him now more than halfback line where we have a wealth of options

    Surprised to see AOS feature so highly in motm poll again,he put in a shift but i thought young Kearns comfortably had the upper hand on him in midfield

  10. I’m not sure we have a “wealth” of options at hb line , with Boyle gone for the foreseeable , Vaughan not back yet and keegan imo not near his best in a while . Thought Cathal Horan might get a go . Actually think it’s a problem area tbh and the reason we are getting cut open down the middle so often of late . Our tackling is abysmal compared to what we have become used of these past few years also .

    Has anyone watched it back on tv , reason I ask is Jordon Flynn’s second yellow was extremely soft but I’m convinced he wasn’t getting booked till he started moaning at the ref , if you look at it , the ref awarded the free and he looked like he was just going to play on , then the ref turned back when Flynn started remonstrating and ran back to book him . I could very well of read it wrong but that’s what it looks like to me .

  11. Cudos to mayo co.board, good statement, clean break. That’s the way to do business. Real MAYO people don’t dump on their own.

  12. Spectre In fairness he was never asked by the media about Fionn McDonagh , Gary Boylan , Liam Irwin and Conor Diskin availability for this year.The media only asked about Cillian , Vaughan, Seamie , Chris Barrett, Colm Boyle and Matty Ruane and the Goalkeeper situation in recent weeks from what I heard.

  13. Th macdonagh featured very well last year and on that would be starter this year. He is a big loss as he is big lad and would bulk up our half forward line. He was as important last year as any player.

  14. Yeah, I thought Cathal Horan was our stand out performer in the u20 final two years ago. I’m pretty certain if he was with a senior club he would be featuring. Again…the old structural deficiency which prevents us from maximising our talent…

  15. It’s very easy blame the six backs for getting cut open but the runners from deep not getting picked up is killing us

  16. That’s a fair point mayo 36 but do you not think our intensity in the tackle has gone down a fair bit . Some will say it’s still early doors but if we can cast our mind back to a league game a couple of years ago in Roscommon when it was a must win game , our tackling was ferocious, we really stepped up . I just hope we can step up like that on sat night or else I believe we are in a bit of bother . Don’t want to be over negative either cause there are still great footballers playing for the county team , just seems a bit willy- nilly at times , a lack of focus and composure, no county footballer should drop a 21 free short especially when the game is at such a crucial stage , v Meath we had aido going out to take a sideline 35/40m out when it was blatantly obvious he was 100% more useful inside making himself available for the kick .

    To give Kerry a lash , we could do with cillian back obviously, ya could imagine him linking up well with ROD , Diarmuid and keegan will need big games too which they haven’t been to date . Ruane was brilliant last year v Kerry , I assume he’s still out ?

  17. What has happened to Akram? Is he injured or not available? He has really progressed this year so I am surprised that his name has not been mentioned lately.

  18. @mayonaze the old structural deficiency is a non argument now. Oisin Mullen kilmaine a junior club james Carr ardagh a junior club.
    Horan is giving players a fair chance.

  19. The most impressive new comers last year were Ruane, mcdonagh, Carr and Coen. Not having them for the most of the league campaign has been disastrous for us not only in the league but also in their own development. It’s clear as day we’re missing power in our team and they are all big lads. Hopefully we can get lads back for the last 3 vital games.

  20. James Horan indicated earlier that Fionn McDonagh would be included for the championship. However, common sense would say that now is the time to bring him in from the cold and start shaping a settled team for the championship. He needs the game time and the experience and to build understanding with the other forwards.
    BTW well done to the county board officials.

  21. I think the half back line can be sorted and would be more worried about full back line. Paddy consistently good. Keegan always improves as the year goes on and we know how good he is leaving 1 position. Mccormack or Plunkett may or may not be good enough, time will tell. Stephen Coen always does the simple things well and rarely makes mistakes. Maximises his potential I think. He may not cut teams open with skill but still gets free the odd time for a shot. I don’t think Donie’s in the frame any more certainly going by county semi final which is the last time I saw him.
    Keith Higgins probably won’t play corner back any more and is also a good option for CHB. O Hora may also be a wing option if others preferred further back but I expect we’ll need him in the corner.

  22. I’m just back in the door after completing a round-trip down to Castlebar and back where this evening Rob and I sat down with James Horan to record an in-depth interview for the podcast. This special bonus episode will be online tomorrow evening.

  23. Mayonaze, There are a number of reasons why young players like Cathal Horan do not come through to senior or who come through rather late. It is very difficult for a young player to combine study and playing senior county football for M ayo/ with the travel distances etc. involved. I do not know what Horan is doing now, working or studying, but often employers are not too willing to allow a young employee the time to train to county standard. Examples of Mayo players coming through as they approach mid twenties and probably with studying behind them in recent times: Matthew Ruane, James Carr, Fionn McDonagh, Oisin McLoughlin etc.

  24. @ Aidan, no I very much disagree. The lack of divisional teams is absolutely relevant and os in my opinion a major flaw in the Mayo GAA structure. Yes, Carr and Mullen are in and that’s to be welcomed but they’ve come in to the senior set up immediately off the back of coming off county underage teams. What about lads who are 22/23 who are out of underage 2+ seasons and whose only exposure is junior level football unless they are playing Sigerson. They are at a distinct disadvantage. Take O’Hora. If he was with Kilmovee, Balla or Louisburgh, as examples, there’s little chance he would be playing for Mayo now. He just wouldn’t have had the exposure nor the calibre of football to adequately improve and assess his ability etc. I’m certain Mayo are missing out on real talent, have done for years and will continue to do so until the structure is changed. It was tried some time ago but only half-arsed. We simply aren’t maximising our playing pool and potential. Easy to fix. How many Mayo senior players have come from junior clubs over the past 25-30 years? Very very few. Compare that to Kerry…where multiple All Ireland winning captains during this period have come from very small junior clubs.

  25. For a good few years now smaller clubs players are being looked at for our minors and u20s. If you are a future potential fringe sub, you’re not going to be missed at 17/18/19. You’ll be standing out. If you are not standing out at 17/18/19 It’s extremely rare you’d leap beyond u18/17/21/20 level to senior division one inter county at age 22/23. By stand out I mean show enough in the underage system and underage club and schools to make 17/18/20/21 teams.

  26. JP yes I take your point but there are obvious advantages by reverting to divisional teams for snr championship.

    Just reading BJP in Mayo News and I fully agree that Stevie Coen needs to be further back. He is like a fish out of water when in the opposition half but has heaps of potential and ability as an all out defender. Sole role being to stop opposition attacks. He should never be lining out at 8 or 9.

  27. Agree that Stephen Coen would be better served being in defence only. He’s not a midfielder.
    Hard to follow the matchups but was he assigned to Conor Mccarthy after a while? Stephen is not quick enough to mark small agile players.

  28. Yes he was after half time JP. When the changes were announced before throw in and Flynn went midfield I presumed Stephen Coen would be put marking Kieran Hughes with Keegan going to the half back line. Think that would have served us much better.

  29. ” Mayonaze – agree 100% – we are consigning at least 40% of players post underage to the senior scrap-heap in my opinion by not having divisional teams. Every player should have an opportunity to play senior club football – you will only progress to the standard you are playing at. Just because you are born in Castlebar doesn’t mean you have any greater ability than say if you were born in Bangor Erris, however the system as it stands discriminates somewhat by place of birth. You had players like Holmes, Maughan, Finnerty in the past transferring to senior clubs – and they were players that were in the county set-up by virtue of coming through underage. Someone like Darren Coen, in my opinion, has come back on the radar by virtue of Hollymount relative success in recent years and getting to senior. If they hadn’t, I’m not sure he would be there today. Its a no-brainer to me anyway

  30. …main point, if you are out of underage and with a non-senior club and therefore not really in the county shop-window, you are more likely to loose conditioning, fitness and general drive to reach that higher standard (and other things in life can take more priority_ – its an amateur sport after all

  31. Ideally, with fit players, I would like to see Mattie and Diarmuid as our starting midfielders. Both have shown that they are more than able to put in top performances in the middle.

    This has to be the starting point, and build around them for 2020.

  32. I have a view that Diarmuid is our best 6. He’s played very well there for Ballintubber in I think the 2018 season. I believe teams need a physically imposing centre back, but also a confident quarter back type in that role.
    Obviously his tackling discipline would need to improve which has been an issue this year.
    A half backline of Leeroy Diarmuid Paddy would be one of our best lines on the pitch. Thats a line that could really be a foundation of the team if sitting behind what is surely our best midfield of Aidan and Matthew Ruane.

  33. Thinking ahead to championship, Galway will have Damian Comer and Shane Walsh at various times running at our centre back. Diarmuid is the only player in the squad with the size and speed to compete as best possible. Think on the other defenders and with the height of respect they are either too slow or too small for such a physical challenge.

  34. Good to see management bringing in a few of this year’s u-20 crop onto to the match day squad last Sunday. Last year’s u-20’s although well beaten by Galway in Tuam had I would have thought had 3 stand out players on the day . Evan O’Brien,Gavin Durkan & of course Oisin. Hopefully the other two lads are still on the radar.

  35. Mayonaze,
    If you are to introduce amalgamated teams into the County senior championship when do you play the Intermediate and Junior Championships? Kerry have a tradition in this area, Mayo don’t. I think trying to introduce a new way of doing things will take a hell of a lot of mind changing. As I understand it Kerry play their Inter/Junior championships in the new “club month” of April. That leaves the bulk of Inter/Junior club players with no meaningful football for summer and autumn. Will they stay with their clubs in that situation? If they do not what is the future for their clubs?
    Overall I reckon that keeping those promising young players attached to the senior squad as a development panel would be a better option than trying to overhaul our championship structure.

  36. Kerry play their junior and intermediate championship over 5 straight weeks starting 1st week in April. Final May bank holiday weekend. Most teams are out of championship by mid-April with only league to play for rest of year. Most of their amalgamated teams have only one or two collective trainings before start of senior championship. Amalgamated teams only take it serious if they think they might win it out – example South Kerry and East kerry.
    Kerry’s dominance of minor championship has nothing to do with amalgamated senior teams. The key is proper coaching at club and county level plus plenty of players in development squads.

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