Old and new faces in the frame for 2016

Mayo flag AIF 2013

The Mayo News reports today (paper and digital editions) that Stephen Rochford has issued invitations to a number of players to join what is described as “an extended county squad”.  Mike Finnerty reports in the piece that in total around a dozen players have received these invitations, as have every one of the 2015 championship panel.

Back into the fold as part of this process come Ballintubber’s Jason Gibbons, Knockmore’s Shane McHale and Cathal Carolan from Crossmolina, all of whom have had injury problems over the last 12-18 months. None of the three were in this year’s championship panel but all of them have plenty of experience under their belts and so it’s great to see they’ve got the call-up to return to the fray.

New names mentioned in the same piece who have also been invited into the squad include Castlebar Mitchels trio Donal Newcombe, Ger McDonagh and Eoghan O’Reilly (the latter having featured a good few times for us in the FBD in the past), as well as Shane Nally and Caolan Crowe of Garrymore, Padraig O’Hora of Ballina Stephenites and Aghamore’s dual player David Kenny.

Best of luck to all those who’ve got the call-up ahead of the new season.

47 thoughts on “Old and new faces in the frame for 2016

  1. Great to see the invites going out.. A return from injury and a second chance for some and a new start for others. If I recall correctly David Kenny got the man of the match award for his defensive role at corner back in the All Ireland minor final a few years back.. should b interesting to see how he along with others have progressed. The more competition for places and the larger the pool of players to choose from can only see us in good stead.

  2. So much for the ” solid fact” that Carolan was finished. Delighted to hear that he is back in the mix, the likes of him and regan will only strengthen the panel, gibbons is a big addition too if he can stick around un injured. It would take a very pessimistic mayo fan to say that this whole Mayo set up is not going to create havoc for nearly if not all teams in 2016 when they find their groove. I watched that league semi win over Kerry and seen conor mort doing the business, too bad that he is beyond it at this stage, like him or not he had scoring boots.

  3. I would have liked to see Darren Coen get a call up. He’s still young and he’s had a great year with hollymount. I thought it was harsh letting him go from the panel this year. Great to see Gibbons back. He was missed this year IMO and is a great option to have when he’s fully fit.

  4. Anybody know anything of Ballaghaderreen’s Seamus Cunniffe? I thought he looked like a great prospect in 2013.
    I notice that David Kenny is the only U21 player mentioned among the newcomers. I thought that Fionan Duffy of Crossmolina would also get a nod as he seemed to be scoring well last year but perhaps he is opting to leave most of the younger lads for the U21 campaign. This I would agree with.

  5. Great to see. Looking forward to 2016 now! The postman must have lost my invitation haha

  6. Agree with Andy D that it seems a deliberate ploy to leave any U-21 not established yet With the senior set up train with the U-21’s instead. At least there is a link there between the 2 set ups with the Solan brothers. Need big performances so from anyone aspiring to make the Senior set up when they kick off the championship in March. Probably as good as anyway of dong it. No pressure boys!

  7. Yes, interesting stuff, and interesting that U21s not included, bar Kenny. It shows how far they have to travel. Remember a few Tyrone all Ireland U21 winners struggled badly last year when thrown in at the deep end.

    Also, am I right in thinking that all the newbies are backs?

  8. Best of luck and best wishes to the players called into the extended Mayo panel. You’d love to see our panel utilised better next season. There was a stat mentioned recently that in the last few years Kevin McLoughlin played in pretty much every match in the League and the Championship. The Derry League match in Castlebar in 2013 was the only game he missed. He looked at times this year like a player that needed a bit of a rest.

    It would be great to see plenty of players get plenty of game time in the new year. We seen in the last 20 minutes of the replay against Dublin this year, that not having sufficient cover (especially for midfield positions), ultimately cost us the game when compared to Dublin’s strength in depth coming off the bench.

  9. Indeed there are few new applications for forward positions. Are they not in it or is management happy with present selection? Is there the feeling on board that reorganisation, new thinking and new tactics will be fruitful? There is no doubt but that there is much scope for such an attitude!
    In any case we don’t need too many…. 1 or 2 with reserves to come in at the right times!

  10. Best of luck the the guys that are coming into the 2016 panel. I am delighted for Gibbons McHale, and Carolan. I thought Crowe looked good last year in the games he got. Great to see Nally being tried out also. There was a David Kenny playing midfield for Mayo hurlers in Salthill last summer. I suspect this is the same player. One of the better defenders on that minor team.

  11. Interesting alright that he is prioritising lads in their mid-twenties for the most part. All big physical footballers. Have to say I couldn’t argue with the names being added. Best of luck to them all. Jaysus that’s going to be some squad !!! 😀

  12. Our most promising forwards are either tied up in club action for the next few weeks or still at U21 level. Rochford asked for patience, remember? 🙂

  13. Patience for sure Anne-Marie but also a slight lowering of expectations might not go astray, in the short term anyway.

  14. Can’t argue with you there Mayo McHale. I know we’d all love it, but we can’t see this is a “Sam or bust” year – this could all take a bit more time.

    Indeed the next generations could well be sitting here in 65 years’ time typing the same thing. Although I assume typing will be a thing of the past by then …

  15. lookin forward to fbd and new players getting a shot. watched garrymore this year and figured nally to be good prospect. crowe is good footballer. delighted to see gibbo carolan and machale back. all rocked by injury in recent years now back to strenghten the squad. gibbons is big strong and agile, and good footballer to boot. badly missed last year i felt. i read james horans piece in the star today about alan brogans retirement. it took him 10years on the dublin panel to win first all ireland medal. i feel this panel plus positive additions can get us there. we have fine footballers in the mid 20s and great experience in higgins andy moran and few more. WE WILL GET THERE.

  16. Looking forward to it all now. Hope everything is done to maximise our chance of getting back to croker next year . Six in a row would be a massive achievement but it’s a realistic goal.

  17. Personally I hate this Sam or Bust nonsense. We would really want to box a bit cleverer on that front. Other counties are only too happy for us to set ourselves up for that fall and we are walking straight into it. Look at the Dubs and how they all adopted Jim Gavin’s mindnumbing-rhetoric approach to speaking about their football. We are a little naïve on that front and far too honest for our own good I think. We need to stop revelling in this ‘everyones second team’ thing. All other counties are baying for us to fail this year so they can get stuck into our players. If we expect the players to learn from past mistakes, then we need to expect the same from ourselves.

  18. Agree maestro, Horgan spoke about it and Rochfords too. It’s about maintaining consistency and performing at high level. As already stated it took the dubs 10 yrs to get to that level. Cups will come in due course.
    And yes, complete bullsh#t this thing about 31 counties wanting us to win Sam.

  19. I dunno about the other counties not wanting Mayo to win, I’ve met plenty of people from Waterford to donegal and Dublin to Clare that would really love to see Mayo win for a lot of reasons and they were not saying that just for my sake. Can you honestly imagine the scenes in Croke Park if Mayo were to win? or the scenes in the towns and villages in Mayo ? It would be a meltdown. That can only happen if we are tactically set up to win and the players dont take the bait from thedubs and co on the big days in croker. Plus the addition of Carolan and co to the mix will only strengthen what’s already a very strong team and if the old reliables were allowed to have a break since that Dublin semi loss there is no reason in the world that the players can not expect to be in the running with Kerry, Dublin and damn all else for Sam in 2016. Even allowing for Rochford to bed in they will be strong in 2016, from the start. Look at how they fared last year.
    If it was my team I would aim for the league title for starters and nail that on the door of the dressing room on the first day of training in January.

  20. Great to see Shane nally get a call up to the squad. He was a very good minor. Surprised he was not called up sooner. Could be a great addition to the squad.

  21. Dave We might all be grateful you did not get a chance to put your name forward. SR being sensible here. As Maestro said earlier the Mayo footballer supporters need to learn from past mistakes. Patience is the key, think 3 year project with 2016 being year one and let’s see where that takes us.

  22. The thing about the league is, you never have it as a priority at the beginning of the year to win it. The main priorities in relation to the league are as follows: survival, experimentation, trying out new players, trying out new set-ups, giving new players some game time, etc.

    Then if you find yourself in a semi-final, at that stage, yes go all out to win the competition. By the semi-final stage you should be closer to a settled team with the championship around the corner and there should be more players available for selection.

    With the league you just never know, a couple of years ago we made the semi-finals on six points, we got seven points last year but didn’t make the last four. In Division 1 next year, four teams, us, Cork, Down and Roscommon have new management teams in place, a lot of teams will be in experimentation mode, so it will be wide open in terms of making the semis.

    Stephen Rochford’s philosophy of being ultra-competitive in every game sounds good to me. We’ll see where that takes us in 2016. Roll on the FBD league games!

  23. tonyk,
    Haven’t received ours yet either and renewed as soon as was possible. As an earlier poster said patience is key.
    He who stands and waits also gets served.

  24. Being consistently competitive was the goal James Horan set for the team when he took over late in 2010. They have achieved that to the extent that they are probably the most consistently competitive team in recent years.
    So having achieved that it is perhaps time too look beyond that goalpost. The team, are I believe looking past that goalpost themselves – or they would not be sticking around as one united group. There is no reason not to – unless Stephen Rochford comes to the conclusion that the All Ireland is beyond this team in which case the baby has, unfortunately, to go with the bathwater. I cannot see this being the case in 2016.
    So there is no need for false modesty – “ah shur, we’ll give it a go again”. No need to be boastful but no harm to admit “that’s the ambition” while recognising that there is many a slip between cup and lip.

  25. pj, i think you are wrong. the team as it stands is more than capable if the management tweak it a touch and make the right tactical switches on game day. forget about a three year plan, will keith higgins and keegan or the other key fellas be around in 3 years? If this Mayo team and panel were wexford or meath I think you could be right,with the 3 year idea, but they are not, they have been consistently blowing good teams away when it mattered and losing close finals and semis. I will go out on a limb here, and say that MAYO will win both league and championship in 2016. If that happens PJ, will you buy me a pint that weekend in september? or is that pushing my luck?

  26. Andy D, I’ll go along with that, I think you’ve got it about right with that post. The players know how good they are, the new Manager knows and for sure the supporters know. Yes, for sure there’s no guarantees in sport, none-the-less, when the trophies are shared out in 2016, Mayo can expect to be there or there about. A bit of luck and a fair wind could make all the difference, Mayo sure deserve a bit of both.

  27. Of course everyone would love to see us win the League and the Championship in 2016. The point that James Horan and Stephen Rochford have being trying to make is that the key word is patience.

    Every year we have people saying the same things: This is our year, our name is on the cup, we’ll win the league, we’ll win the championship, we’ll even win the champions league, lol, we’ll dominate for years if we win one. Every single year, the same comments.

    What is the purpose of these comments? Does it just come down to the fact that the person that said these comments, can then say, if we do win the big prizes, hey i predicted that we’d win all before us! That is selfish behavior on behalf of the supporter. The unselfish thing to do is support the team 100% and give them space, why put more pressure on their shoulders.

    We WILL win the League WHEN we win the League.
    We WILL win the Championship WHEN we win the Championship.

    If that is next year then great, we have as good a chance as any team and a better chance than most of winning major titles! Roll on the FBD League games, one game at a time….

  28. With respect to other posters, it is Sam or bust.

    That’s the reality; other counties will be going for us no matter whether our attitude is cocky, wary, or driven, and why wouldn’t they? It’s Sam or bust for two main reasons: players and management.

    The players have made a big statement during the autumn, in case anyone has forgotten. That statement comes with a lot of knock-on pressure, mostly self-induced. If you have put your neck on the line to get rid of managers that took you to within a whiff of the final, it’s Sam or bust. If Andy and Dillo are committing for another year at 33 or 34, they are not on a three year programme. That’s not to mention Seamie, Barry, Keith, Caff, Mickey C, Boyler and co who are all hitting 30. The Dublin-based brigade are not clocking up the miles at this stage to see how it goes.

    The management too are under pressure, if of a different kind. Donie Buckley, after all he has given, has not come back on board for a 3 year programme. Rochy of course has to be flexible and adaptive, but the hard, very hard facts of the matter are that the 2016 team will be pretty similar to the 2015 one. This represents an extraordinary level of commitment as we all know, but it means the manager cannot really wipe the slate clean at this stage and start afresh. He must go full tilt and hope that out of all the experimentation in the FBD and league, that he can find one or two diamonds. That will be a major achievement; if some other one or two can be MOTM against Dublin or a semi-final opponent, then promise will have been achieved, and risk rewarded.

    So, a good performance in the Connaught final against Roscommon say, or a few points defeat in a quarter just won’t cut the mustard. Onwards and upwards!

  29. There’s a bit of truth in both posts above imo. Catcool is saying its a last hurrah for a good bulk of this team and the reality is that’s the truth . The vast majority of pundits would be of the opinion the boat has well and truly sailed for this team , I don’t think that’s completely right either.But Let’s be pessimistic for the sake of it and say next year is a flop and we lose the players cat cool has mentioned through retirement , it will be another sad chapter in Mayo GAA history but I can’t see why we would not be able to build a team again around the mid 20s lads with experience along with the few minors from 13 some of whom have already shown they are going to be right good footballers .

  30. Why not be optimistic. We have some of
    the best footballers in the country. Only a kick of a ball off winning in the last few years. Dublin will drop off this years level by a few percent – very doubtful they will defend the title. Kerry look very threadbare with several players past their best. Returning players plus one or two new faces, inteligent sideline and its all to play for.

  31. Any luck with your season tickets tonyk? Mine still have not arrived, even though the postie came and went this morning. Must be stuck to the bottom of the postbag…..

  32. A bit of cockiness can go along way. Ask Conor McGregor. A man who was signing on the dole three years ago and now is champion of the world. I’m “one of those” who believes that Mayo are more than capable of winning the AIF next year and go on to dominate for years to come. Whether they achieve there realistic potential will come down to mental strenght and smart and quick decision making from the line, when the iron is smelting in a late September fire.

  33. That’s the spirit Joe .

    Only problem we have is there seems to always be one team that little bit better than us and I don’t see the dubs backing off in the slightest in their quest for back to back ,,if anything I’d hazard a guess they will be driven like never before to cement their place as a great team .

    Ultimately we can talk all the fancy talk we want but we need to unearth a couple of special players , Regan and Douglas to set the summer alight next year scoring for fun would be the type of miracle we’d probably need to take Sam Maguire off the dubs

  34. Dave I would love to buy that pint if you are correct. It would be a optimistic and forward looking pint also. What surprises me is that so many see SR.come in and hit the ground running. Perhaps you know the man better than I do perhaps it is a bit of wishful thinking. I feel he needs time to bed in with a new team and a new system that indicate to everyone we are going places. The team that starts 2016 will not be the same as the one that ends in 2018. Change is always present and we hope the changes over the next 3 years will be for the best. Nobody can dictate who will drop out or emerge but some of the guys you expect to be gone at the end of 2016 I feel have a few more years left yet. Do write the story until they are finished.

  35. Well I suppose Sean will just give it a lash and hope for the best. Those Dubs operate on a different level and will no doubt bring an even greater hunger and intensity to next years proceedings. Mayo will play ther part as “The valiant Losers” who simply were just not good enough. That’s probably the best case scenario. The players and management will determine the future and that’s a good thing. The players drew a line, lets see where we go. One thing is for certain the dubs won’t get it as handy in Castlebar next year.

  36. Rochford managed Corofin for the last time yesterday claiming the div one Galway title for a 2nd year in a row.

  37. A very interesting article here about Alan Brogan by Vincent Hogan in the Indo:

    (He wore a red vest for luck without ever identifying its provenance or owner. Just picked it up at home one day in 2002 and never really put it down again. Quite why Alan Brogan chose to stick with it, even he cannot answer. In his first nine seasons as a Dublin senior footballer, their summer ended with defeat to the eventual All-Ireland champions seven times. The other two? To the runners-up.)

    The rest as they say is history. There is hope yet for some of the Mayo footballers!


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