Oisín’s injury concern is a huge worry

When the story began swirling yesterday morning that Oisín Mullin had picked up an injury – said to be quad-related – in training, it was easy to dismiss it as just yet another wild rumour. These kind of tales are common in the lead-up to big games so there was nothing new about this one.

A bit of digging, though, confirmed for me that there was some legs to the story, though the extent of the injury, as well as what exactly it was, remained unclear.

When comments started to be posted here last night, it was obvious what these related to and that was why I responded in the way I did. At that stage, though, it was still no more than some loudly beating jungle drums.

However, the piece that appeared online in the Connaught Telegraph last night (here) provides at least some degree of confirmation about the veracity of the story. There seems to be little doubt that Oisín has, at best, picked up some kind of knock, which places his full participation in Saturday’s semi-final in doubt.

The straws we can clutch to are that it’s only a minor problem, which it may well be. He might still line out, he could well be only impacted from it in a minor way.

It could, though, be far more serious than that. If it is, we’ll just have to soldier on – as we’ve done in the past, with the litany of injuries we’re suffered over the past decade – but we all know that, in that scenario, our hopes of winning the game will be greatly weakened.

Already, we’re facing into taking on the six-in-a-row champions without one of the players who won an All-Star for us last year. Now there are major worries over the fitness of the other one, a player who was our strongest performer in last December’s All-Ireland final.

Realistically, we won’t know what the story is on Oisín until the match gets going on Saturday. That’s the way it is in the information-free zone that surrounds all GAA county teams at the present time.

But, as the saying goes, nature abhors a vacuum. The absence of hard facts creates room for half-truths and wild stories but also for genuine concerns and worries. And there’s little doubt but that those worries have now increased sharply for us as the hours count down ahead of throw-in on Saturday evening.

100 thoughts on “Oisín’s injury concern is a huge worry

  1. Massive loss if he’s out. His pace around the middle third is badly needed is vital to us . You have to say that if he’s out that tips the scales in Dublin favour- that has to be said. Up to now I felt we had a fair chance…..and don’t forget we lost Durcan st HT in last years AI final.

    Very disappointing and I fear the worst to be honest.

  2. Hopefully it’s only a minor knock, he will be needed on Saturday. Would still play him even if he is 75% fit. Oisin is made if tough stuff, it’ll take a bad injury for him not to appear on Saturday. Fingers crossed he’s fit and that he lines out.

  3. At least team and management can plan, unlike Paddy’s on-field injury in last years final.

  4. I say it in hope really that it could just be a curve ball to get the Dubs guessing. All going well he’ll be named at 26 and then it’ll come out at 5.30pm that he’s to start. Worse case scenario Eoghan McLoughlin would take his place. He’s a class player and a great replacement.
    In fairness we are in pretty OK shape all things considered…we could be Tyrone who are very close to throwing in the towel I’d imagine at this stage.
    We are more than capable.
    Who knows what injuries or niggles the Dublin team may have?
    John Small will have nowhere to hide on Saturday and will have to sprint all out from the first whistle which will test him. The same for Murchan if he starts.
    I’m still cautiously optimistic about this game…..we have history of taking out all ireland champions many times at quarters and semi final stages and why not the same on Saturday. It could be a classic..one we’ll remember for years.
    How’s our P O’Hora doing?

  5. Sickened at the news of that injury and sickened for Oisin
    Himself. Hopefully the injury isn’t as bad as feared. How do news of these injuries leak out? We’re we not better keeping the news in-house rather than announcing it and giving Dublin time to plan for it because no doubt Oisin was someone they’d be targeting trying to stop. We must be the most unfortunate/unlucky team to ever Grace a football field

  6. That would be my big worry at this stage pullhard. If o hora and mullin aren’t fit, that’s 2 big holes to fill. I had resigned myself to o hora not being fit but it’s a real shame if mullin is out too.
    On a side note I see rain and lots of it forecast for Saturday. That generally makes things tighter, slows the play, causes handling errors and impacts score percentages. Can’t see anyone getting 20pts now as has been talked about.
    Might suit boyler to come in with mcloughlin.

  7. Please oh please let’s not go clutching at another fatalistic straw in the wind, the gods are against us as usual, type of narrative. We all know the characters, in towns and villages up and down the county, writing their own off at the first sight of this news. A hugely important player for sure, but if he’s out, he’s out, we move on and adjust accordingly. We owe it to all our lads to keep the faith, they’ve clearly worked their nuts off since last November, for another crack at the Dubs. Kerry and Dublin fans would still believe, no reason why we shouldn’t afford our lads the same confidence. Onward!

  8. Exiled, well said. As I’ve said myself it’s a shame yes but we we have a panel for a reason. There are lads to come in there, some with speed and some with experience. We won’t be starting with 14 players as some here seem to think.

  9. Well said Exiled in Dublin.
    It’s a huge blow if true but we have to march on regardless,the players will still believe and so should we.
    We all know the kind of supporter you’re talking about (some talking about not wanting a ticket now,they’re be plenty to take their place)

  10. Hopefully this story is just down to the usual exaggerated rumour mill that typically accompanies the Mayo senior football team.

    Because whatever chance we have without Cillian on Saturday, the gradient would get a lot steeper still if Oisín was also out injured.

    Boyler’s one of my favourite Mayo players ever but I think it would be asking a lot to step out in the white heat of the Dubs in Croker without having played much in the past two years.

    Is there any word on Brendan Harrison and Jason Doherty, lads? I’m out of the county a long time at this point and it seems that they have been out a long time (two years in Doc’s case). Is it likely that we’ll see them in the green and red again?

  11. I am starting to believe in … type narratives I find really amusing as it gives a great insight into the character who wrote it. But ” Exiled in Dublin ” had to spoil the entertainment. But this poster is bang on the money with his comments. Its could be a great opportunity for one of the 26 to stake a claim. Consider the many fine footballers who did not get a run against Galway, or who got short time near the end. There is no ,” I” in the word team.

  12. The tactics book is now on overdrive, K MC plays CB for Knockmore, could he do a job there on Saturday? May not have the strength for Kilkenny but has the legs.

    DOC to go to 6, he has the strength, stamina and capabilities to reduce Kilkenny. The play K MC at wing forward.

    I’ve already suggested Keegan @ 6 or Durcan or Coen.

    Loads of options, have to move on. We’ve still match winners all over the pitch.

  13. Hes our MVP at the minute. Massive loss. His performance against the Dubs in the final last year underlines that. And he has gained a lot of experience since then. Hopefully only a minor injury. Youd wonder how these leaks come out of the camp and other counties keep them under wraps.

  14. @DaveJohnston,good point and you would wonder indeed.Can you imagine the Kerryman for example printing a story about the fact that they can confirm there is a rumour and then no sources or anything to back it up? I can’t.

  15. Oh I hope Oisin injury isn’t too serious!!! We definitely need him back for Kerry 😛

  16. This rumour will have no impact on the players within the team bubble. They will know exactly what the story is and what plan B is if needed – and that’s all that matters. The talk over the next few days will only unsettle us supporters as we dont know the full story.

  17. I’m fairness, how could you stop this come coming out? I mean if he had to go get a scan there’s no private mayo gaa hospital he can go too, someone has to treat him? If he has any kind of visible strapping, he’s not hidden away in the corner of mchale park somewhere? It’s a small county population wise where everybody knows everybody.

    He’s a big loss, no doubt. As someone said yesterday, he has an X factor about him. He’s worth the entrance fee alone. Just thinking, if we had a full panel free from injuries we’d have group of 26 to pick from.

  18. If Oisin had a fair chance of lining out on Saturday then I would have thought the management would be well advised to come out and say that. It would be very unfair for a young lad like Oisin to have to carry the speculation of ” is he or isn’t he ” on his shoulders going in to this massive game.

    I’d point to Seamie on the podcast and while he had high praise for Oisin and his abilities, he also said, that no matter what player gets injured the rest of the panel don’t tend to dwell on such things. They simply get on with it.

    There’s no time for the pity us approach at this stage. The game throws in at 6 on Saturday, and no matter what 15 start, and what subs are used, you can be sure of one thing, they will do themselves and us the supporters proud.

    We need to lift the heads now, stick out the chests and remind Dublin on Saturday, that without doubt we have been their fiercest opponents across the past decade.

    If Oisin is to miss Saturday, wouldn’t it be some achievement to put it up to the Dubs with himself and Cillian looking on.

    We’ll still have a panel to be proud of and ready to go on Saturday. Massive performances required all over the pitch.

    Please deposit Doubts in skip outside Croke Park before entering on Saturday.

  19. Forgot to say a big thank to Upforthematch for trying to help me sort tickets yesterday.I don’t know him from Adam only he posts on here and very kindly got in contact with me re tickets yesterday.As it happens I had just got good news on that front 10 mins before he got onto me,his tickets have also been allocated to a good home now.A big thank you to Upforthematch and the positive power of the blog for that!

  20. For goodness sake,a quad injury will not stop him I would still expect to see him on the field even if he lost an arm or leg he is that tough,seriously he will be a massive loss but we have a panel for a reason hopefully we will come out the right side this time,congratulations to all who have got tickets safe travels to all ,I hope that it is a brilliant game with no injuries to either team and that Mayo win,thank you again Willie Joe for your great information,up Mayo

  21. Mayo missing cillian oisin Jason and Harry would be like the dubs missing Rock Fenton Howard and Fitzsimons. That would really bring them back to the pack

  22. I have one ticket to spare for upper davin. I had promised it to mayo88 but I think he got sorted yesterday. Mayo88 can you confirm so I can give it to someone else on the blog.

  23. Exiled in Dublin, that was a great comment and just what we needed to hear. I’m relieved to think we have a panel with the idea that there are others there who can be chosen from.
    In addition, I think managers are accustomed to the idea of planning and thinking through different eventualities so it won’t take them completely off guard that something could go wrong to unsettle their plans. There would need to be backup plans built into the overall worksheet (I would hope) so we shouldn’t overly fret (though It would be a loss).
    Moreover, and this is my main point, we need to stay in the game on Saturday evening (getting a point or two ahead would be perfect). What I mean by that is – we cannot predict how things could go during the match. If we go with our team of good men, even without Oisín, who knows what bit of luck could open up for us out of nowhere at a certain point, even late in a game, that we can capitalise on? We cannot know for sure.
    Sometimes being there and being in position is most of what you might need to do to win.
    This is just one possibility that we shouldn’t discount. I might not be phrasing it well but sometimes the unknown can hand you an opportunity (weather, black or other card…)
    I’m advocating for courage and showing up anyway.

  24. Its massive , no doubt about it , oisin Mullen became oisin after one season , it took players years to get that first name status . He was vital to this game . Perhaps I’m a weak minded supporter but this has just depressed the fuck out of me . Look we will most likely never know now but I felt we were building towards something very special .

    Dont think for one minute i still wont make use of my match ticket and support them like everyone else come sat but for now the mood is very downbeat .

  25. Speaking of Mullin, is it true he has a younger brother who is shaping up to be an equally prodigious talent?
    I suspect (only my own hunch) O’Hora will be fine for weekend, hes a hardy bugger and cant see a rib injury keeping him back,i expect both McLoughlins will start after impact the last day so might be looking at something like the following…Keegan looked to be back at his very best when he was out in halfback line v galway so would love to see him there but we are stacked in that line so needs must


    O’Hora (on con)

    Durcan (on kilkenny)
    s coen
    E McLoughlin




  26. Hopefully the reality is as good as it can be for him and O’Hora but we won’t know until throw-in. When you think about the depth of the squad one thing that blows you away is the level of dedication the guys fighting to make the match day panel must have. The likes of Conor O’Shea is a great example – so much effort for a few minutes to date but the good those guys will be doing for the team as a whole is still huge. If there is a Plan B needed I’m sure they’ll be well up for it. As supporters we’ve got a simple Plan A there’s no need to deviate from

  27. I m with Exiled in Dublin, Revillino and Swallow Swoops. I have no doubt the team will roll with these punches and take the fight to Dublin, because that is what they do. Notwithstanding, what losses these are at an individual level, and let’s face it there is no sugar coating that, there is more depth in the panel than previously. This team is the epitomy of resilience, so one thing we can be sure of whoever does take to the field will show up.

  28. @niallMc1983 if you have a spare ticket I’ll take it off your hands. Please ring me on 0834433657 if you still have it

  29. Oisín will start had a scan after the Quad inj, but is good to go probably ?and hope he last s full game but is definitely starting media like to make us think the worse,, Jason Doc had another inj set back and Brendan Harrison hasnt recovered properly so wont see them 2 till next year,, Mayo need not let in soft goals and be tight at the back, Cillian is a huge loss for us, Big game needed for 75 80 mins and hopefully other lads will stand up, people saying Dublin have gone back and are poor all year are adding fuel to the fire dubs unbeaten all year 2 games away from 7 in a row, dubs will allways have strong teams and be gunning big time for Mayo on Saturday for all the rubbish been in media saying they have gone backwards,,, someone has to beat them soon so why not Mayo hears hoping,, no belive all you read in the media,, Up Mayo

  30. Funny piece of logic in my head, we should hope for rain moreso than having absolutely all of our 15. Injuries happen, literally part of the game.
    Not stressing on it, more hoping for a good lash of rain to equalise things.

  31. Sean, I do know how you feel. Hopefully this will have changed a little by Saturday and we find the inclination to shout from the stands.

  32. One thing is for sure, as Seamie alluded to, none of the players in that squad are going to b dropping the heads or giving a single though to Mullin being injured, This is elite performance level, i can guarantee the players arent given it a single thought.

    The irish olympic boxing billy walsh used to talk about competitors only worrying about ‘controlling the controllables’. Thats what a squad is for, some other man has to put his hand up now

  33. If he’s out it is a colossal loss. That’s not being pessimistic or downbeat, it’s just a hard fact. He’s already a key player for the team and to be honest we need him across several lines. That’s why we moved him out the field, in order to give him more influence.

    I’m afraid I am a bit like you @Sean Burke in that this has really knocked me back. Don’t forget we’re also robbing from our bench to fill any gaps.

    We’ll have to deal with it but there’s no point trying to pretend it’s not a major setback.

  34. If Oisin’s out he’s a huge loss. Nailed on all star up to now. But if he’s not right, he’s not right. I have no time for people saying he can play through the injury, that’s amateur junior B football talk. He’s an elite sports person and playing him if not right could cause further injury and be detrimental to him making the final squad if we get there. And I don’t know about anyone else but I have no interest in making a final if we’re going to lose it and not having Oisin could be pivotal in a final

  35. Lads,
    Firstly, it’s the Connaught Telegraph. Secondly, it’s Aiden Henry. Enough said. As was said above, it’s pretty poor to send something like that to print without quoting solid and confirmed sources. At the end of the day, it’s called Clickbait, not journalism.

  36. Folks if anyone knows of any tickets going please please ring me on 0834433657. I’ve been all over looking for tickets got the mother father and aunts sorted but I just need one for myself now

  37. Midwest radio reporting the injury on their website now. They’re a reliable source. Doesn’t look good.

  38. JP, its yours so, I just want to check that Mayo88 got sorted first. Can you give me your number and I’ll give you a call later, if you don’t want to post it maybe Willie Joe can get it to me someway?

    Apologies to the rest, I just saw JP comment first.

  39. Dan Mayo thanks for that ‘insider’ knowledge and reassurance!
    JP – forecast is in you favour there. But I always think of Mayo as a sunshine team. I don’t think we have hit really bad weather since the start of our championship campaign last year (Leitrim in Carrick if I recall). OK some rain against Leitrim in Castlebar, but no wind.

    Just don’t like the idea of wet and windy. In other words, forgetting about the opposition, I think a repeat of the Galway conditions in July would help us maximise our performance.

  40. As the saying goes bad weather is a great leveller – if we’re to be down both Oisin & cillian we need to turn this into a dogfight

  41. That Midwest report is here: https://www.midwestradio.ie/index.php/sport/50132-setback-for-mayo-as-oisin-mullin-sustains-quad-injury.

    While I’m no fan of the Connaught Telegraph in light of what they’ve published in the past I don’t think they can be criticised for running with this story. There’s no clearly something to it and it’s also the case that no official confirmation will be forthcoming. County set-ups refusing to say anything isn’t unique to us – it’s pretty much universal at this stage – and, as I said in the piece, if there’s no official news then rumours are always going to fill the gap.

  42. Lets stop panicking and hope O’Hora and Oisin will both be fine for Saturday.I fell we need to be 3 to 4 points a head coming into the 3dr quarter. Make Dublin push on to us turn them over and use our speed to counter attack. i believe mayo will win this game by 3 to 4 points and i also believe Oisin and O’Hora will play if selected.

  43. Just looking in hope for 1 ticket folks, anywhere in the ground, I’ll keep my fingers crossed
    Can drop a text to 0877916479 if there’s a spare anywhere!

  44. Whilst there is no way to know if this is for sure – if it is then you would have to wonder about how the news gets out indeed. Though there may be no mayo gaa hospital you would hope that the same level of privacy and confidentiality for a person would apply whether you are going for a scan or an endoscopy. But again, small county and small country where people recognise players etc. Onwards on upwards, great panel to choose from with great athleticism!

  45. Oisin will be a huge loss if he’s out. its an uphill battle to beat the Dubs without him we know that he took the game to Dublin in the first half of last years All Ireland final. i fully expect Mayo to put up a good fight but any repeat of the first half performance against Galway and it will be over by half time with or without Oisin and thats not being negative or being a fair weather fan thats being realistic.

  46. This could mean both McLoughlins in from the start. Perhaps Coen to full back.kevin McLaughlin to CHB. We are some outfit if can overcome those problems

  47. Amazing how Dublin never seem to lose any major players days before a big championship clash against us. Has Fenton ever missed a second of a championship match against us?
    Our injury problems have been consistent for years now, no sign of it letting up.

  48. Quad injury is a nuisance now.
    A muscle strain like that can’t really be rushed.
    If it was a dodgy ankle or shoulder you could tape it up and have an injection to ease the pain but that’s not an option with a quad strain.
    Unfortunately time is all there is to heal it properly

  49. If he’s injured he’s unfit to play. He will be a huge loss but that’s what panels are for. Does anyone remember when a not 100% Dermot Flannagan was started a number of years ago and had to go off after about 10 minutes, it caused massive upset to the formation of the team with so many positional switches to accommodate his replacement. I can’t remember exactly when or what match it was (semi or final) but it sure fu**ed up our chances. Perhaps some of you more seasoned followers can recall what I’m talking about.

  50. If Oisín is out then that is a huge setback for several reasons. Firstly, he’s a great player and a big threat to any opposition even Dublin. Secondly, he is capable of taking on Fenton in the middle of the field and causing him real headaches (which he hasn’t really had to cope with so far). Thirdly, it upsets the balance of the team.
    I understand what people are saying about the panel and others stepping and the need to stay positive and so on but I have to admit I felt sickened when I heard it on Midwest.

  51. It’s bloody hard to take another knock…we seem to get more than our share of them. But it’s great to see and read the positivity and enthusiasm here on the blog. I’m always a glass half full man and I’m really looking forward to having Oisín in full flight for the final, V Kerry.
    Every man on the panel is simply chomping at the bit to get out and play. Let’s see how it goes. A little bit of uncertainty for the Dubs to plan for. Let’s do a Mayo on them and rattle every bit of Croke Park. We’re well up for this. Maigheo abú…go deo!!

  52. Rumours yesterday proved true , rumour today is he will start but you dont know if he will last ten mins . I’m totally ignorant to how the various injuries work , severity ,timeframes, seriousness etc but that’s what I’m told about this quad strain , is that true ? That you start and see how it feels ???

  53. Best case soft tissue strain takes 2 weeks to fully recover – if he over exerts it now it could make it worse and delay it’s healing. If he plays, I expect him not to kick off the affected side making him more markable. It may also affect him in full sprint mode but he may get away with that if it’s only mild

  54. Tony McEntee fairly stood up for mayo in that examiner podcast. Brilliant to listen to. Very detailed and accurate in explaining his points and doesn’t just add to the usual lazy narrative like most of the gaa commentators out there.

  55. Well recovered in time for the AI. LK to take Costello, POH to take O’Callaghan, SC to take Rock, PD to take KiIkenny, EMc to take Small on a tour of Croker, and Boyler to put in a 40 minutes for the ages

  56. When are the teams due to be announced ? I know teams announced mean little these days with all the changes on match day but it would be interesting to see them all the same.

  57. Given that its on Saturday I’d expect the team to be announced sometime today. Usually when game is on Sunday they announce Friday. I would expect Oisin be named in the starting 15 but as you said, it doesnt mean much naming a team two days before it is actually played.

  58. Good news, I have tickets for the game thanks to Exiledinkildare and Willie joe.

    Plenty of options to choose from re players etc.

  59. I only spotted your comment now, thanks NiallMc1983 for thinking of me and holding the ticket.
    I have a few together now and sorted.

  60. @rahoonsean .it was the final v kerry in 1997 . dermot flannagan wanted to be in the team photo before the game to provide the link with the 1951 winning team when his father was captain .He put his hand up after about 5 minutes of the game to be taken off. by co -incidence his replacement was none other than JAMES HORAN. If mayo are to win on saturday they must put the pressure on evan comerford kick-outs and really go for it.i think mayo can still win it.

  61. Good to see some bullishness and positivity in the comments today, Mullin is undoubtedly a blow but no point getting hysterical over it, save the excuses for after the game not get them in before, some people were already lining up conor lane as the pre-emptive excuse before the Mullin news leaked 😉

    This dublin team is just waiting to be put out of their misery and Mayo are the team to do it.
    Havent beaten them in league of champo since 2012, law of averages suggests we have to do it sometime , what better time than now.

    Theres a game there for the winning and we still have the personnel to do it, go out there and grab it by the balls, excuses can wait til after

  62. Desperate for a ticket and still no joy unfortunately, can be contacted on 0833070435 if anyone has a spare ticket going

  63. @jimbo & Rahoon Sean. 1997, All Ireland final, I remember that well.. took allot of changes all over the place when James Horan a forward came on for a defender Demot Flanagan early on in the game.. A joke going around in the following days ‘What would John Maughan do if he got a punture? ‘ answer, He would change all 4 Tyres.. As for Saturday, Mayo still have every chance, V Dublin dreadful disappointed that Oisean Mullen is injured and unavailable, but the mindset of the Mayo team will be the same.. Really, when you drill down into it , no way in the world should any player be picking up injuries a few days before an All Ireland semifinal, let alone the best and most talented young player in the country.. You can hardly imagine that his place in the starting team was in question. And it’s not a one off, the amount of injuries particularly in training that Mayo players are picking up and have been is shocking…. It’s a very hard balance to get right, between competition for places with our extended playing panel and keeping injuries to a minimum, but other and more successful teams than ourselves seems to do it!

  64. That was a brilliant podcast with Seamie. Brilliant.

    Ah Ref’s podcast with Meath coach Colm Nally was interesting also. Nally was struck by the size/depth of our panel, when Meath came to Castlebar recently. Hopefully, the upside of a panel of 40 is that fellas can slot in seamlessly. I’d say James is picking his top 20 and pencilling them in accordingly. In other words it’s not a case of missing out, but X or Y pencilled in for such and such an eventuality.

  65. Well said Supermac!!
    My initial dissapointment after hearing the news really took the wind out my sails but as any right Mayo supporter would do, I have reconvinced myself we can do it on Saturday somehow.

    Enda Hession’s pace will surely suit Croke Park. The possibilty of Michael Plunkett starting at 12 and sweeping back could also happen, its not something Horan has done in the past but it may be neccessary with the injuries we have picked up. It would even up the odds as Dublin always employ at least one sweeper – usually Johnny Cooper. My last point would be that Mayo could do a lot worse than have Eoin O’Donoghue on the bench. Has never let Mayo down and would be an able man physically to mark Paddy Small.

    My team for Saturday:
    2. Keegan
    3. Swanny
    4. Hession
    5. Durcan
    6. Coen
    7. Mcloughlin

    9. Ruane

    10. Mcloughlin
    11. Loftus
    12. Plunkett (sweeper)
    13. T Goals II
    14. Aido
    15. ROD

  66. Clubman, you need to pick your top 20 and then players can slot in accordingly, even up to throw in.

  67. Massive blow to our chances, we really are cursed with injuries. Our two All Star’s from last year now injured for this game!!!…….if Horan pulls this one off, he deserves a statue and his name on the stand in MaHale!!!!!

  68. I see former Dublin footballers up to their usual pre match shite as on the Irish Independent online, talking up certain players in the hope they will put in a big show next Saturday.
    The main focus was a “great shoulder” delivered by James McCarthy in 2017, that’s 4 years ago now.
    There may be a message here in that they are looking for the referee to “let the game flow”, whatever type of challenge are dished out by the Dubs.
    We gave seen this type of media shite many times now.

  69. Good point, Catcol. Any thoughts on the twenty, Clubman or others?

    Colm Boyle could play a role late on, I feel sure – could replace a tiring player on a forward, or enable a players to swop around. I also think Conor O’Shea’s height could give something to us at midfield v Fenton late on if one of our midfielders or half forwards tires. I also think Conor and Mattie are clubmates, and so is Robbie. This could be valuable for kickouts at some stage.

    I’d have loved to have Eoghan McLaughlin coming in off the bench to open up the Dub’s middle and defence in the second half. I felt that would have been a game changer. But I don’t think we can spare him now.

    Is there anyone else on the bench who we can bring on with serious running power and pace to trouble a Dublin team in the final quarter or so? Fergal Boland? Any of the other young lads?

    The runners going forward in numbers was a great feature of our play this year and one I felt would trouble the champs. I felt we were going forward in coordinated greater numbers this year.

    Remember it is a plus to have Paddy Durcan back this game. He got an injury in the opening minutes of the final last year and played on nearly half time.

  70. Deep breath. Nobody does the rumour mill like us. The first local media outlet to post this story has history putting out false stories. Every other media course does not list the Mullin injury as fact or confirmed. Was Aidan o Se not meant to be gone for the year only a few weeks ago?

  71. Thanks Swallow.

    Key question is who replaces Oisín if he’s out? On the panel of 20 that is. My guess would be James McCormack. Strong and reliable. Adding to Clubman’s list, which is a good starting point I would add Boyler, McHale, Darren, James Carr.
    Of course circumstances will throw up changes but this would be my pick.

  72. In the 97 final Dermot Flanagan was gone before the parade even finished. You could see he was in trouble from where I was sat.

  73. Some valid points there Swallow swoops. Judging by James Horans patterns and players he has picked so far we will see the likes of Rory Brickedon, Jordan Flynn,Darren Mchale and James Carr at some stage on Saturday. I would personally love to see Eoin O’Donoghue, Darren Coen and Fergal Boland.
    We need to score a minimum of two and probably three goals to win, James Carr scores goals so its likely he will be thrown in at some point.
    We need to win the MF battle and press like hell on Comerford’s kickouts. Regardless of Comerford’s talent he has not been tested yet in the white heat of championship. Kildare gave up the kickouts against him the last day which was criminal.
    Fitzsimons is coming on 33 and Davey Byrne conceded a lot off Daniel Flynn 2 weeks ago. Johnny Cooper is not the player he was at all and the referees are copping on to his persistent fouling. That has to be hope for us, we need to score goals to win this. There are chinks in their armour.

  74. Team for 1st 25 min.

    5 deep lying defenders primary job to protect the goal.
    Everyone else license to attack. Long and direct into Carr and AOS and go for goals.
    Conroy and EMcl impact off bench and switch of game plan.



    Deep lying Sweepers:





  75. I agree with your points on paper Centerfield but James has been historically reluctant to play one sweeper never mind two.
    I have no doubt we will go toe to toe with them in a shootout. Who will score the goals to win the game is where it could be won.

  76. Spot on Carrot Face.
    My young lad was about 14 in 97 and himself and another young lad were brought into Maynooth college by the lady doing the breakfast for the Mayo team. When he got home he told me that Dermot wouldn’t be playing as he was limping around the table. He should never have started that game.

  77. James McCarthy would make the Olympics if he stuck with athletics was in that article!! Jack Mccaffrey over 400m maybe with a full lifetime dedication.
    Mccarthy did athletics as I know he didn’t win anything and it was cross country anyways. There’s levels. You find out pretty early how insanely high even national senior top 8 is.

  78. I like your points Catcol, Clubman and Centrefield.
    Catcol, I hadn’t thought of James McCormack as a possible replacement for Oisín – I don’t know him well but I have faith in the lads chosen to be on the panel. They’re there for what James sees in them (and I imagine speed is one of those things, for example).

    Clubman, I liked your mention of Eoin O’Donohue, Fergal Boland and James Carr to add to James’s usual subs. I, as well as others I am sure, rate Eoin O’D as a solid, talented defender and I would have confidence in him. The other two lads have shown at different times that they can produce performances.
    I also like your observations on testing Dublin’s defence.
    On goals, we know Lee Keegan, Mattie, Conor Loftus, Diarmuid, Kevin McLoughlin, Darren McHale, AOS, Tommy Conroy, Ryan O’D, James Carr and Colm Boyle can score goals. I particularly like that Kevin Mc can do this.
    We know Oisín can too (but maybe not relevant in this game).
    I think Eoghan McLaughlin can too – he had a fine strike of the ball on goal versus Galway (v good save by the keeper).

  79. Dublin are not going well lads but have many medals in the bank to convince that they can find an extra gear if Mayo are able to ask them the questions on Saturday. It will only be at 55\60 minutes on Saturday if Mayo are well in it that we will know the answer. I have my doubts about Dublins form and think Mayo need to smother the Dubs for first 15 minutes, prevent Con getting a goal and keep them unsettled. Im giving Mayo a decent chance based on Dublins prior 2021 form. Best of luck to ye.

  80. It is not so much a question of will Oisín be fit to play but will he be fit to be at his best. Last year Paddy Durcan was able to start but not finish – and that cost us big time.
    We seem to be particularly unfortunate with injuries – and to key players as well. To be at the loss of both Cillian and Oisín – has any other finalist as unfortunate? To lose one would be unfortunate – to lose two All Stars is potentially crippling. Then does anybody know what the story is with Padraig O’Hora? He seems to fallen out of view altogether.
    Thinking back to 1997 and Kevin Cahill’s injury. He would , I believe, have been able to shadow Maurice Fitz regardless of where he went. And then we lost Maurice Sheridan – and frees he would have put over with his eyes closed.

  81. Masterstroke from Horan. All the talk from the Dublin media saying how they are finished. BS. Hes had enough of the mind games and let the Oisin story brew. Up Mayo!!!

  82. @supermac.you asked about oisins younger brother. Yes he has and he was on trial with the minor team but didn’t make the cut. No doubt he has potential and time will tell if he fullfills it or not.

  83. Interesting points there Chesneychet. Good to get cool objectivity from Galway. Probably a sore point to ask how you rated Galway. Pundits tore into them, but Personally, I thought that was a good Galway team. In other words Mayo have beaten quality en route to the semi final.

  84. @Peter Neary, theirs no mind games in this one. Mullin will not be playing 110%. In the extremely unlikely event that we win, he won’t be playing in a final either. I feel for the lad himself to be honest, very tough on him.

  85. HI lads
    this is a soft question , but when would Cillian be back fit to play club football ,

    an Achilles tare normally takes 8 to 10 weeks to recover , cillian is just comming up on this time frame .

  86. mayo-lad – I think the recovery from an Achilles injury is a lot longer than that. He was on crutches at the Galway game, can’t see him being available for any football at club or county this year, realistically.

  87. Too bad Cillian can’t play tomorrow but r the rest of you fellas watching the same game I be watching in California with a bunch of other guys and most of the heads say ” o donoghue who plays instead of o connor is a hell of a explosive tough as nails player and against the dubs he will shine ..the both are great players but I have no worry about our lads tomorrow and for mullen he will be there ready to kick ass and take names “if he were locked up or something like that then it would be worry some but a qud injury ain’t squat …

  88. Yeah Mayo-lad you’re way off with your healing times there I’m afraid. I don’t expect to have cillian back until the latter stages of next year’s league. Don’t think you can rule Oisin out of the final if we make it mayodunphy – 2-3 weeks will see most strains right

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