One change for Tyrone game

We’ve named our team to play Tyrone on Sunday in Round 2 of this year’s NFL Division One. The game is set for Healy Park in Omagh with a 2pm throw-in and the starting fifteen we’ve named is as follows:

Mayo (NFL Division One, 9/2/2014): Robert Hennelly (Breaffy); Kevin Keane (Westport), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Colm Boyle (Davitts); Lee Keegan (Westport), Shane McHale (Knockmore), Brendan Harrison (Aghamore); Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber); Cathal Carolan (Crossmolina), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis), Adam Gallagher (Mayo Gaels); Kevin McLoughlin (Knkckmore), Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen), Darren Coen (Hollymount/Carramore).

So it’s just the one change from the side that lined out last Sunday, with Jason Gibbons coming in for the injured Tom Parsons, as he did shortly after throw-in last Sunday. Apart from that enforced switch – with the unfortunate Charlestown man ruled out of action for the next six weeks or so – it’s a case of as you are for Healy Park.

Compared to the fifteen who lined out at the start of last year’s All-Ireland semi-final against the same opposition, Sunday’s team has eight survivors – Robbie Hennelly, Ger Cafferkey, Colm Boyle, Lee Keegan, Aidan O’Shea, Keith Higgins, Kevin McLoughlin and Andy Moran.

46 thoughts on “One change for Tyrone game

  1. Very hard to understand Harrison being given the nod again. He was woefully out of his depth last Sunday.

  2. Jaysus i think cafferky should be at full back? Not overly concerned about Higgins or Boyle.They are mobile players and will adapt to their position.Its going to be tough hard slog.But i think we can come out on top with maybe 2 points to spare.

  3. Peter, I reckon that James Horan is giving him another chance to see how he will get on. He seemed to do the same thing last year in the league, giving a player at least two games to make an impression. Its probably the same with Keith Higgins and Colm Boyle, giving them another chance in their new positions, like he did with Lee Keegan at no. 12 and Aidan O’Shea at no. 11 last year, in some of the early season games. So it’ll be interesting to see how it goes…

  4. I think the starting 15 is fair enough. Gibbons certainly deserves the nod after putting in, possibly, his most influential performance for Mayo to date. Whether it was the very unexpected and early entrance to the game, or, whether he had the hump as a result of Parsons getting the starting spot to begin with, he was as good as I have seen him in a Green & Red geansai.
    McHale was very solid, completed all his passes and tapped over a point. OK, his man got through a bit of ball but he wasn’t critical in their performance. McHale deserves another run. You couldn’t drop Adam Gallagher after the last day and although Sunday will be an even tougher test for him, it will help him grow into the role. Coen didn’t offer a lot from general play but, he is a corner forward, he had 1 chance at goal and he buried it. If he does the same the next day we won’t be complaining.
    Harrison has, in my mind, great potential and Horan has had his eye on him for a while. Things didn’t go too well in Newbridge the last day but it was his league debut so I think we should cut him some slack. How he reacts to his debut and responds in Omagh this Sunday may tell us a lot about the lad. Horan knows that, in Drake and Boyle, he can switch things around if things go wayward. Horan is right to stick with him for another look.

  5. Hope Drake gets some game time,he was very impressive last Sunday but by sticking with the same 15 (except for Parsons) it gives all the new lads another chance to perform again against tough opposition.
    Experience is invaluable and now is the time to blood and build.
    MaighEo Abú

  6. I think Horan is right to stick with the experiment to be honest. One game isn’t enough to judge whether or not repositioning players is a success, not for either the player or manager. And I’m all for giving the likes of Harrison a second chance too – I thought he performed well during the FBD, and it’s only through starting games at this level that he’ll gain the experience needed to really challenge and add to the depth on the bench come championship time. Can’t argue with Gibbons getting the start either and I hope the day goes well for him.

  7. I think from here on in, we’ll have to trust that James is working to a plan, and to all of us on the outside that might not be too clear right now. He knows the more competition there is for places, the harder each member of the panel will have to work. Competition is the spice of life, or something like that……

  8. So it wasn’t a one-off experiment. The shape of the full-forward line will tell a lot. I thought McLoughlin was very poor at full-forward and only came to life when he went to midfield.

    Has Horan abandoned Andy Moran as a full-forward or will we see him linking play from the forty with Gallagher and co. breaking into the space vacated around the square? Think that was the idea the last day.

    Higgins was good at 11 for the early part of the first-half when Mayo were dominant but like most of our ball-winners, faded as the game wore on. We can put that down to match fitness. Colm Boyle plays very much like Keith breaking from defense at pace so another game there is no harm. I reckon it’s all very experimental but it will be interesting to see how a championship team comes out of this.

  9. Tom parsons showed slight tearing damage on both lungs after he fell heavily, what kind of an injury is that? Sounds serious, did anyone hear of this injury before.

  10. Great to see Gobbons start. Hopefully he will perform again and cement his place in the team. He’s the only athletic, pacey & mobile midfielder we have. I’m worried about our full back line. The young Tyrone lads are lightening fast. Keane as good a footballer he is won’t be suited marking someone with pace. Caff struggled against brophy in the Kildare game and Boyle is a no 7, end of. I’d have liked to have seen Brian Gallagher start instead of carolan too…. We have a good record against Tyrone so hopefully a win is on the cards.

  11. Yes , blood on the mouth but the injury was somewhere else downstream. Anyway, I hope the guy is better soon and able to show his stuff.

  12. Looking at Tyrone team fancy us to win by two, was impressed with the lads fitness last week compared with Ballinlough two weeks earlier. Would like to see David Drake starting impressed me anytime I have seen him play. CHF has to be Andy, can take long range points and is our best playmaker ,

  13. Jimmy Kerrigan was one of the games finest half backs way back in the 1980s. Cork then decided he would be an excellent half forward. they shoved him up, someone else came in at half back and when Cork hit the mother lode in 1989 Jimmy was hanging in around the last subs spot. Now he was a top wing back, not making up the numbers but they messed with the mojo and jimmy lost out.

    Likewise with Martin O Connell of Meath. Someone saw him as the answer to the half forward problem. Martin tried out, saw it didn’t suit him and left the panel. When sense prevailed he came back. He was a wing back and then a top corner back, three All Irelands and a place on the GAA team of the Millennium.

    Mayos problems are clear to the outsider like myself. Leave your best players in their best positions ie Higgins at 4 and Boyle at 7. Try McHale at 3, find a tough 6, try Cafferky there again. Get mobility into midfield, runners and distributors like MDM or Cavanagh. Find an 11 and a 14. Work on frees for the pressure days not just the dog days. And dont cut off the countys nose, bring back Regan and give him the league to bed in. I want the best playing for Mayo and am not interested in watching good talent slip through fingers.

    Already we have thrown out hostages to fortune. No need to declare that the league was a priority, we assume it is just like it should have been last year. No need to point out the black card and a fear of tackling. tackle and let the ref decide, don’t do their work, others wont. In 1981 Mayo worked themselves into a lather over the handpass that resembled a basketball move. Kerry and Dublin had it to a fine art. Bearing that in mind Mayo left out their best passer Jimmy Maughan. Kerry simply threw the ball around willy nilly, Mayo obeyed the rules. When Maughan was finally sent on and as common sense slowly dropped in, Kerry were out of sight. Dont worry about the rules, stretch the damn things, every body else will.

  14. By the way, Tyrtone by plus three. Then we have a real pressure one as Kerry come to town looking for points. Interesting days ahead.

  15. I was impressed by mayo fitness last Sunday, I think they’ll give Tyrone a good run and can win this game.
    Mayo by a few points.

  16. Mayo to win john cuffe. Horan is right to try things now. God knows we need something different come summer so lets find out.

  17. John, How does one find out what a player’s best position is? Sometimes it may be obvious that a player is likely to be very good in a position but is it his best? Some players are very versatile and can be deployed in a number of positions depending on needs. But that can only be determined by experimenting. Incidentally Jimmy Kerrigan was on the Cork team which beat Mayo in 1989 [at left corner back] and was a sub in 1990. He had been playing for Cork since 1978 so was probably coming to the end of his career anyway. Kerry, in particular, never hesitate about witching players to fill gaps in their team. Donaghy from centre field to full forward, Brian Sheehan from corner forward to midfield, Colm Cooper from corner forward to centre forward, Tommy Griffin from midfield to full back, Eoin Brosna from centre forward to centre back etc. Go back through the decades and you will find the same pattern.
    If I have a doubt about the current [or 2013] Mayo defence it is their aerial ability.
    It was a problem in 2012 and may be again. It was our main weakness in 2004 & 2006. Johnny Crowley in 2004 & Donaghy in 2006 were our nemeses. We had settled on David Heaney as a full back in those years although he was, IMO, too much of a pure footballer to be a good full back. Why was David Brady, a much more abrasive player, never tried there? When he came on late in the ’06 final he gave Donaghy a much more competitive time. With our current line up [2013 ] we need Cafferty, as the best player under the high ball, on the square at all times. Would Tomás O’Connor have goaled last Sunday had Cafferkey been marking him? There is little point saying we need this or that if we do not have it. It would be lovely to have a dream player for every position, We do not have that, neither does any other county so management is largely about fitting slightly square pegs into slightly square holes. [Most managers are faced with fitting slightly square pegs into more or less round holes. We are not in that position Thank God.]

  18. Tyrone by 2 pts.
    I am not being negative or pessimistic but I think we approach this game in much the same light as the Kildare game. Playing away from home against an in form side, that is scoring for fun and that are probably 3 to 4 weeks ahead of us in physical preparation. Our aim has to be, as it was last Sunday and it seems to be again with the side that Horan has picked, the integration of a few new faces in Adam Gallagher, Drake and Harrison, and, offering the chance to Gibbons, Keane, McHale, Carolan and Coen to repeat their performances from last week. They must prove that they can perform consistently at this level more so than having a blinder one week and a stinker the next.
    I think this will be a tougher game for us and even though we have a fairly good record against Tyrone I think we will be just pipped in the end. I still think we will be fine regarding our division 1 status because our fitness will improve with matches and with our home games to come and an away game in Mullingar I think there are enough points to for us to avoid the drop.
    What’s parking like around Healy Park?

  19. doesnt take much working out trevor ,,we will strugglein the leauge and at best a semifinalplace in the championship

  20. @ Pebblesmeller Parking can be tricky enough, particularly as the Tyrone fans like to get in very early (like over an hour) and take up all the good spots.

  21. Right John. I am all in favour of Higgins at 4 again. As I already said he is and has been one of the best attacking corner backs in the Country so why change him and hope he plays well in the forwards. Why not try Gibbons at CHF.

  22. I predict a win for Mayo on Sunday. Despite the facts that we had new players, players out of position and were up against a team that were weeks ahead of us fitness wise we still lost by a single point and could easily have drawn or won the game. Hopefully the experience from last week will have lifted the young guns and now they’ll have a better idea of what is expected from them at this level. A performance on the same level as last week should be enough to beat Tyrone but I expect us to do better this time around.

    Mayo by 3.

  23. Some very good points there John, yeah playing the best players or the in form players in their best positions is the key really. It hasn’t really worked for us in the past, playing defenders or midfielders up front. We need to be playing out and out forwards in the team, if they exist in our county! We really need to try and get a settled team in place too before the big games in the championship. In fairness, this has been very hard to do the last few years, due to injuries etc. In saying that with the black card now a big part of the game, we need to have ready made replacements for each position too. So now is the time for some experimentation as well. Hopefully everything will fall into place for us this year….

  24. Keith Higgins is an excellent corner back and when he is playing there, we have a strong line.A good corner back covers for the full back and makes him more secure, we need this on our full back line.
    Colm Boyle is a natural half back, not a corner back.
    When Aiden O Shea, in possession attacked, the Kildare defence could not handle him.
    He is excellent for burrowing through the middle of any defence but he wants to let the ball go to men inside, when things open up.
    The last day , he did all the hard work, opening up the Kildare defence, went for his own score, getting a nice point, while if he laid the ball off, a goal was on.
    There’s great potential in this way, for a couple of goals, in every game, especially now, with defenders afraid to pull down, because of the black card.
    Good Luck to Kiltaine Sunday, it would be nice to start 2014, with an All Ireland Title coming to Mayo.
    It would give a lift to the Mitchells, to do the same.

  25. Hopefully we can stop them scoring goals, this is a bigger problem than the perception of needing forwards

  26. We are definetly up against it going up to Tyrone on Sunday weather prediction wet & windy home advantage is massive in these league games nobody wants to lose in front of their home fans and Tyrone will be out for revenge for their semi final loss, however i would again look for performance build up the fitness gradually and find a couple of forwards that can take points from distance not hail Mary shots like you see too often from
    Varley & Conroy Horan is right to experiment & to create more competition for places we have been to 2 all Ireland finals we need to freshen things up without changing to much as we dont need too.There is a break after Tyrone game untill March 2nd which will mean there will be even more players available and then we will have Mitchells players coming back which will give us a massive squad and its then that i would expect us to be winning games and looking to peak for August onwards as i would be more worried if we were hamering teams now and in danger of burn out.

  27. Agree with that Man in Kerry. People don’t seem to realize that the more scores we give away, the more our forwards need to score. Still no comments on cover at the back, i.e. a sweeper system!!!

  28. I agree patriot, great deal of the attention is focused on our forwards, yet our backs concede goals at critical moments in games. Our FB line is not as good as it could be, and they will have to improve, make timely adjustments otherwise we’ll have a short season.
    Btw, I love Carolans work ethic and effort, but he’s a forward and I’d like to see him step up,on the scoring rate.

  29. Yes, I agree, Andy should be nailed to that position. Orchestrate the forward play from there, he can do it.

  30. Andy, I really for the most part agree with your positions, but to say caff is the best player under a high ball, is IMO going too far. Move him further out if we must, but under a high dropping ball, no way.
    Put gibbons in there now, has presence, height, great hands, can fetch and run too. My theory is that come summer, midfield will be sorted with either the osheas and or Barry there. So why waste time and valuable games prepping gibbons for that role when it’s sorted? Put him behind ger, and lets see what happens. And before we say put him in CHF or FF, those roles will be Andy and Freezer.
    We only have another 2 matches to really experiment, so I’m all ears as to why not.

  31. Good point Mister Mayor. I feel Caff is very dodgy under a high ball. Never thought of Gibbons for full back. Would be well worth a try. The problem is would James feel the same? I hope Freeman will get game time. This is the second match he is only a sub. He needs a few full games.

  32. I do not think that Gibbons has the abrasiveness needed for the full back role, much like David Heaney in the 00’s. Also I think that Andy Moran is more likely to be corner forward on summer with Freeman and O;Connor completing the line. In that case Gibbons seems a likely centre half forward. OK, maybe Evan Regan, Darren Coen or somebody else may come into the picture to change that but there is nobody there yet to beat that full forward line.

  33. AndyD your definition of management is as good as ever I heard and absolutely spot on. To support your contention about adapting what you have to what you need take the example of john o keefe and Seamus Moynihan being placed at full back from midfield.

  34. Some very interesting points there AndyD and diehard, Kerry seem to have had the most success in this regard, playing different players in a number of different positions depending on the needs of the team in a particular game. The great Kerry team of the late 70s and early 80s was also a prime example of this. Ger Power played in defence and attack, Paidi O’Shea played in defence and mid-field, Sean Walsh played in mid-field and in attack. You’d wonder do Kerry have the type of players that can adapt to new positions due to having superior skills and know how. Mayo tried Liam McHale at full-forward, Kenneth Mortimer at CHF, David Heaney at FB, TJ Kilgallon at CHB and WJ Padden at CHF, all players playing out of their natural positions, who didn’t really adapt that well. Maybe Mayo didn’t have the breed of players that can adapt to new positions in the past, maybe the future will be different. Time will tell…

  35. I am sure Sean Walsh also played full back. Joe Cassells played all over the place for Meath. Did Colm Colye not play in the forwards and backs? The winning point in 96 was scored by a corner back playing at corner forward. Sean Boylan always believed in having his best footballers on the pitch.

    Johnny Culloty won All Irelands playing in goal and at corner forward for Kerry.

  36. Yeah Berry, Mickey Harte has done the same thing in the past too, playing players in different positions, so it just shows that the successful managers have managed to make it work. There could be a lesson there for Mayo as well….

  37. Surely he deserves another chance as unfair to cast him aside based on one game. After all he was on panel in the latter stages of last years championship. Tough test for him and other young lads in Omagh. If they come out of there in credit on sunday it will reflect well on their character.

  38. John i agree with you regarding the back line, but regarding 11 and 14, what are your thoughts on who should be there come c’ship? do you see andy and freezer in those positions?

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