One change for Sunday

We named our team a bit earlier on (and I could point a few fingers at those who detained me at the bar this evening, which delayed me from posting this, but I won’t – that’s one for another day, following the conclusion of this League campaign). Here it is:

Mayo (NFL Division One v Donegal, 2/4/2017): David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Brendan Harrison (Aghamore), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis), Chris Barrett (Belmullet); Colm Boyle (Davitts), Lee Keegan (Westport), Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels); Tom Parsons (Charlestown Sarsfields), Danny Kirby (Castlebar Mitchels); Shane Nally (Garrymore), Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Fergal Boland (Aghamore); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen), Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber).

I’d love to stay and regale you with insightful stats and all that but, you know, drink and stuff. Go talk about the team – tomorrow is another day.

46 thoughts on “One change for Sunday

  1. Heard today that Donegal team heading on team holiday to New York in preparation for Ulster next weekend , hard to believe.. doubt Donegal will give us an inch but we’re well up for this, bring on Sunday

  2. Any news on the Donegal team? Hope they go down the route of the Kildare footballers and Waterford hurlers, both of whom have weakened teams out this weekend.

  3. This is backs to the wall stuff on Sunday and will tell us a lot about where we’re going as a team in 2017. Unlike the Cavan game or indeed Galway in last years Championship, where one could point to overconfidence, Sunday will be different. There’s now no wriggle room left, depending on other results to save us is not an option, so there can be no more excuses.

    A lot too will depend on the attitude of the Donegal team, have they already seen enough of the League for this year, or would they like another crack at the Dubs? Time will tell of course, but my guess would be, that a mauling from a fast improving Dublin would be the last thing Management would want before facing into another Ulster Championship, with that in mind I’ll go with a Mayo win by 3 or 4 points.

  4. Mayo1951,

    According to the Donegal website they are playing NY in two games, 13th & 15th April in Gaelic Park so they would not be departing next week but rather after the NFL final, 9th April.
    I thought that Croke Park had banned all trips abroad in the weeks after the NFL to give club games a chance. But then Croke Park are apt to make “rules” and then forget them after a little while.
    They do not seem to have named a team yet. It will be interesting to see if they give some fringe players a run out.

  5. That’s getting close to our strongest team with the exception of the O Sheas and Caff. Although Kirby offers more in footballing terms SOS has high workrate and physicality which has helped us in big games. Maybe he’ll get some minutes. Good to see Barrett start as he needs game time from, be great to have him at full tilt come summer. Boland back to needing to prove himself against blanket defenses after a good year so far and could even see Doherty named. Wing forward will be contested by a huge number of players.

  6. Donegal’s U21s have their Ulster semi final next Wednesday so they may be given a break from senior duty this weekend. Donegal have stronger forwards than tyrone. They also have a reliable free taker off left and right. Murphy is well able to slot over the long range ones too.

    Looking at our side above, I think 1-8 will be the same come championship. Forwards are a little more unclear as it’s hard to know will Boland and Nally hold on to their jerseys.

  7. Donegal not going to mayo to give us two points mayo are a lot better then donegal people talking as if donegal are miles better then us or dublin with out murphy donegal are nothing because plan a murphy plan b murphy

  8. I’ve no doubt that Donegal would relish another crack at the Dubs as they will feel they should have beaten them at home in ballybofey. So I fully expect them to turn up tomorrow. There will be some added pressure our lads in front of our home crowd where we have struggled to put good performances together. Still better to have this crucial game at home and not in ballybofey. Best of luck to our lads tomorrow.

  9. I heard some crazy stat that the Donegal u21’s have played 8 games in the last 4 weeks. That’s a fairly packed schedule with another game next Wednesday.

    I’d like to see us start to be pro active rather then reactive with our subs now that we’re getting back to our full panel. If you take the team named at face value that gives us a bench with the osheas, Doherty, regan, Coen, Vaughan etc, lads who can have a real impact. There’s no reason why the team we end the game with can’t be as strong as the team we start the game with.

  10. Team coming close to championship XV. One would be foolish to think Donegal are coming to make up the numbers. As 45 said, they more than likely would love another crack at Dublin.

  11. I don’t think Boland will start he struggled against the blanket last weekend he prefers more time and room on the ball horses for courses the Doc relishes the heated battles throw him in at the start .Its getting harder every week to get on the match day panel with the injuries clearing up Adam Gallagher should be due a run at this stage. We owe Donegal a hard battle after last year’s league match in Ballybofey we need the same intensity as last week to keep the momentum going and show the pundits we haven’t gone away or we’re not turning soft.

  12. I know Boland has gone off the boil a little and he lacks the physicality to really trouble Donegal defence, but i think its too soon for Jason Doherty to start a full game. Boland doesnt have a full game in him so if Jason is available on the bench, he’s a good replacement for him.
    To be fair to Boland, he was integral in the passage of play that lead to the goal against Tyrone, and he is an excellent passer of the ball in general.
    I wouldn’t rule him out entirely from starting.

  13. I agree with you there FBDinashui. That intensity of tackling against a mean defence by one of the contending teams would have been new tertiority to Fergal. He was easily caught in possession a couple of times but he will know that in a match like that ball must be released, and released fast, and positively he is equipped to give the pin point pass thats needed under pressure. He just needs the experience in that environment.
    And unfortunately we still dont have many lads who can do that with any real consistent accuracy. In fact McLoughlin, Kirby and Cillian are the only ones that spring to mind. I would start Boland against Donegal for that reason.

  14. Boland has been coming across as a nice little player in the Mayo mould of former times.The McHugh pair above are of a different culture entirely…wiry tough and snappy like the father or like those little hairy yappy terriers that frighten ya. Our fella will need a lot of strengthening up if he’s to really make a niche for himself with time.

  15. Lets be honest does anyone really believe this will be the starting team tomorrow. I have no problem if it is and would love to be proved wrong but experience tells me different.

  16. Hope there is a massive crowd there tomorrow. Absolutely huge. Packing all 4 sides of the ground and a defeaning “Mayo Mayo” roar.

    What Tomas O’ Se says on a radio programme is of no importance and should be ignored. Coming from a county with 37 All Irelands (many won in his life time) he knows nothing about Mayo or our hunger.

  17. Just been confirmed on Midwest That Cormac Oreilly has been withdrawn to referee tomorrows game citing ill health……aparently he is shiting bricks….happy April 1st everybody….

  18. Who cares what the yarra yarra said.

    Re: Boland, strength and conditioning is quite straight forward to fix as long as the lads attitude is right. Natural ability can’t be taught tho. Think he’s a big future ahead of him but maybe not this year.

  19. not sure how this one will turn out. But my own view on Donegal is that they have a lot of new young lads introduced who are doing well so far (especially in Ballybofey). Ideally for them these guys would get more and more Croke Park experience and from that viewpoint I think they will be out to win this one.

    Our guys need to perform tomorrow or else last Sundays result is meaningless. Could add up to a good game and if played in the right frame could be a real indicator to championship potential for both teams.

  20. Have heard a few people in general during the week commending Waterford for essentially throwing the league in favour of giving it a right lash for Championship. Yet year in year out we hear armchair supporters criticising Mayo management for not giving the league their all. Personally, I’ve never given much of a toss about the league, I see it as a means of blooding in some new players and trying new systems. The Championship is so spread out and so far away these days (which of course needs to be re-structured) that what happens now has little to no bearing on 4/5 months away

    Anyhow, it’ll be interesting to see who really lines out tomorrow. I’m surprised to see Boland getting so much game time as it’s difficult barring injuries to see him play any significant role in the Summer. Nally however is an interesting option at 10, well able to kick a score and a good strong athlete. Lest we forget he’s one of our best underage footballers of the last decade so there’s plenty of pedigree. I’m sure Aidan will play a significant role too. Great to have him back

    What is the deal with the Tomas O’Se never-ending criticism on this blog by the way? I think he’s a great pundit.

  21. Nothing wrong with Tomas OS, generally a fair pundit. Some Mayo supporters are like English soccer supporters, up and down like yoyos. Getting caught up in pundits and referees. The old breed on pundits Colm O Rourke, Spillane and Brolly are chosen more for their tendency to say controversial things whereas the newer breed are more on the ball though occasionally a bit too nice like Dessie Dolan because they know a lot of the players from compromise rules and the like. Prefer the new breed cause they talk more truth than hyperbole. The less knowledgeable may prefer the controversial lads but most GAA supporters know their game.

  22. Congrats to Ballinrobe on winning an All-Ireland title in Croke Park. Well done to all involved!

  23. I was driving the car at the time and listened to the Tomas o Se interview.There was
    nothing derogatory in it,he gave an honest assessment of what he thinks.After all he has five All Ireland medals in his arse pocket,how many have his critics?Btw his record of predicting games in his column is good.Mayo are 1-2 favs for Sunday and I am sure Tomas would give his critics that price all day,every week of the year..

    I am with other posters on this ,getting hung up on pundits and referees is nonsense.

  24. The ironic thing is Tomas O’Se was one of the only ones who actually stood by Mayo as genuine All Ireland contenders straight after the Galway loss, in complete contrast to many of his extreme Mayo-supporting critics who completely jumped the gun with knee-jerk woe is us reactions

    Anyhow, it’s off-topic! Lets do the business tomorrow and bring on all the Championship predictions by pundits aplenty!!!

  25. Well done to Ballinrobe CS. Great game. That’s All Ireland number 2 to Mayo so far this year.

  26. Congrats to all involved with Ballinrobe Community School. This game ebbed and flowed, anything was possible and during the final quarter of normal time one could see a pattern emerge, a pattern with which we Mayos are so familiar. Us in the role of heroic losers. But no. These lads had other loftier ideas. Fair play to them. Fortune favours the brave. These lads were great value for their win. Indeed, but for a few costly errors, they would and should have won in normal time. The team includes a lot of very talented players. That’s a given. But, as a former player, trainer and now administrator I was very, very impressed by the the manner in which these lads must have been trained, coached and prepared. Congrats again Ballinrobe.
    My pseudonym shouldn’t suggest I am biased in my admiration of this wonderful win. I live far from Ballinrobe.

  27. Lads Tomás O Se was actually quite complimentary of us in today’s Indo. He suggested the league isn’t what we’re going for, and correct to do that. He merely says that Dublin are well ahead of the pack, and nothing shown in the league so far would worry them.

    He even says he fears that we would defeat Kerry were the draw to pan out as it would if we both get to All Ireland Semi as provincial winners. I think he’s being over optimistic on our part, but I’d be happy with that.

  28. Personally I think the league has become a brilliant competition. So much at stake for all but one team tomorrow and they can influence the fortunes of others.
    Not giving a toss about the league is imo a cop out. When youtalk of blooding new players, they need to be broken in to the cut and thrust of div one football.
    As one of the ten thousand or so mayo supporters attending league matches i expect our county to be competitive in every game they play.
    How hard is it to win Sam coming from a spring campaign in div 2?. Not to mention the drop off in attendance. Loss of income loss of resources, thats the knock on

  29. Why do people think Tomas O’She is going around with 5 All Ireland medal’s in his Arse pocket?. Gold is currently $1240.00 an once. ! It would be incredibly foolish thing to carry around so much gold. It’s a well known fact that Kerry men don’t have pocket’s at all, and it’s just as well known that Kerry men are far from foolish. I haven’t seen a Kerry man put his hands in his pocket for decades. Anyway Tomas would not like people going around feeling him up, just to get their hands on his medals. So, I have it on very good authority, that no Kerry man brings his medals around with him in his Arse pocket… It used to happen up until the 70s, and 80s, when Mick O’Dwyre’s incredibly successful team took off in a big way. Large crowds of Dublin fans other wise know as Jackeen’s made the trip down south year after year, always feeling a few Arse’s when in the Kingdom just on the lookout for a bit of Gold. We in Mayo wouldn’t know anything about that, we never have our Arse’s felt, the cupboard is bare! So there you go, you learn something new every day you live. A bit like the Open University, this Mayo Gaa blog!

  30. Donegal weren’t far off winning Sam in 2014, while Tyrone won their first Ulster title for a long time last year. Both played division 2 those seasons.

    It’s a bit flawed comparing winning league and championship now as Dublin pretty much win everything anyway. But in 2014 Kerry just survived relegation while we’ve flirted with it ourselves the last few years and been very close come Championship. Donegal were nowhere really in 2012 in league. Cork in 2010 etc.

    The hurling is very interesting though, with league and champ panning out extremely differently the last few seasons

    People can care all they want about the league, it won’t change my mind though. At the end of the day it only matters how the team themselves approach it, and it’s been a token effort – lets be honest – the past few seasons. I don’t think it’s played any sort of role in losing in August/September though. Probably benefited them tbh in getting that far consistently by easing up in a sense until July/August…

    We don’t have the depth to go gung-ho in it.

    It’s fine for a bit of column inches now but I’d imagine zero of us will have much care/recollection as to the finer details of what happened in the league come August/Sept.

  31. It is much easier to asses new players ability when pitted against top teams in the league. For example we can now say Boland is a decent talent wheter its this year or not. It will be much more difficult to asses true ability from performances against second div teams.
    Im not saying we have to go all out to win the league but its important spade work for the championship.
    Also as confidence booster, if for example we face up to tyrone in championship, we should believe in a close encounter we are capable of shading it….

  32. Keeping the faith! This looks to be an awesome game! Thanks for all the great commentary, learned my much about GAA history here! All the best to the team and management and safe travels to everyone tomorrow!!! Somebody please give at least one big cheer for me from Florida please! I believe we will see our championship team tomorrow! Maigh Eo Abú!!

  33. Well ?I tell you Leantimes,a Kerry man who is a work colleague of mine often jokes when he is buying a round that he has to be careful not to give the bar man an All Ireland medal out of his change.What can I do?I can only smile.

  34. Mayoforsam, you are indeed blessed with good luck, to find such a Kerry man, ,buying drink like that for you! But it possible to be lucky, sure as I posted on the night of Cavan’s victory over Mayo two weeks ago, wasn’t I and several more besides, locked into a particular public house in Castlebar, and almost force, drank (don’t quite know if ‘force, drank’ is a word in the Oxford English dictionary or not, a bit like ‘force fed’ full of the finest ‘French Champagne’ until the wee hours, all paid for by the finest of Breffine’s Lad’s and Lassie’s.. It’s a strange world alright, don’t be tempted to tell anyone else that you found a ‘Kerry man’ to buy his round’s.. I’d say you would get a far more drink for an All Ireland medal in Mayo, than you would in Kerry!

  35. Thomas oshea ist afraid to critic his own county Kerry.n alot them boys he.played with…
    Leave it out bout pundits n refs
    Let’s get on with it…it’s in our own hands n putting the ball between the posts is be all…if we cannot beat dunnys at home in must win game for div 1 football nx season…summer coud be short

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