Paddy Durcan our MOTM from yesterday



The votes are in and counted in our final Man of the Match poll for 2016 and, by a wide margin, our top performer in yesterday’s pulsating All-Ireland final replay was, by popular acclaim, Paddy Durcan.

The dashing Castlebar Mitchels wing-back secured 41% of the vote for what was, by any measure, a cracking performance at Croke Park yesterday evening.  Combining tenacious defending and aggressive attacking, Paddy kept popping up in yesterday’s contest, capping his display with a monstrous second half point.

Others to feature strongly in this poll were Kevin McLoughlin on 13% and Seamus O’Shea on 11%. Robbie Hennelly featured too, also on 11%, but clearly there was a strong sympathy vote element there.

Well done to Paddy, who last night was named on the team of the year by The Sunday Game – in what was an all-Mayo half-back line – and who must now be in with a strong shout for an All-Star later this month. And well done too to all the other lads who gave absolutely everything in yesterday evening’s replay.

137 thoughts on “Paddy Durcan our MOTM from yesterday

  1. A very good display to Paddy. We have a very solid defensive unit and this year was our best at keeping opposing forwards at bay.

    Our attack unfortunately needs quite a bit of improvement. One or two personnel changes but also in terms of system/movement etc. A discussion for another time.

  2. Agree Mayonaze luckily we have plenty of potenial forwards from u21 ranks. Glaring weakness is the lack of left footers plenty of play down the right flank but we find it hard to get a shot in usually end up recycling

  3. Well done to Paddy. He played a blinder and has had a good season. We are blessed with our half backs.

    We badly need forwards though. Hopefully we can bring thought some youth next year.

  4. The younger forwards from the u21ranks really need to be pushing hard next season… If you aren’t on the team or close to it by the time you’re 21/22 then you probably aren’t going to be of the standard required to make a significant contribution in terms of winning an All Ireland. Take Cillian, he’s 24 now…Regan was on the same u21 team as him(one which lost to gslway that year), now Cillian is an exception as he won young player of the year twice running and I believe we must deploy him closer to the opposition goal next season but, Regan fell away easily this year mid-championship. He’s 25 next year. Next season is make or break for him. Sure, he’ll probably be on the panel for a few more years but if he is going to actually be a forward good enough to make it against the big teams at the business end of the championship then we need to see this in 2017. He clearly has some potential but needs to strengthen up…and become much more ruthless.

    Forwards like Irwin, Tommy Conroy, Plunkett, Boland, Reape, F Duffy…2017 is a very big year for them all.

    If you want an all Ireland winning team then it needs to be made up of lads who have made the breakthrough by the time they’re 22 (23 latest). If a player hasn’t made it by then, they’re unlikely to be the standard required to win an All Ireland. Late bloomers are rare exceptions in the modern game.

  5. Thought I’d let the dust settle a bit before posting. Firstly, I feel sorry for the good Mayo folk having to endure another heartbreaking final loss. Mayo displayed unbelievable heart, desire and bravery, and could have got over the line with a little bit of luck. On the changing of keeper, I feel such a drastic decision was unnecessary, and way too risky, given the scope for limited gain, versus the potential to unsettle the side. Having said that, I’m sure the management team thought issues through before doing so. Apart from that, Stephen and the boys had this team so well prepared and conditioned. The positives are: this is a young Mayo team, with more young talent to come in; this is the first year of Stephen’s project; Mayo have managed to make Dublin look ordinary at times, when more vaunted opposition managed to make them look invincible. Now is the time to support your wonderful players – they are a credit to your county. Must say, I really enjoyed this blog, so ’till the red rose blooms again….

  6. Very proud of the team, gave us a great year and huge performances in the 2 finals and Tyrone game. Like everyone else disappointed at the result but sport can be cruel.

    Paddy Durcan went from strength to strength and will be a star wing back going forward.

    I disagree on the midfield comments, a few years ago David Moran took things to a new level with combined ball winning and mobility and Fenton has followed on. However tactics keep evolving and mobility is winning out. Seamie had a top class game with some really good kick passing and huge work rate. We dispossessed MDMA a few times and he looked like a liability but had 3 great plays best of which was a cross field kick under severe pressure. He was player of the year in 2013. We have more midfield options in Coen, Diarmaid, COS and in another year or 2 Ruane and Barry Duffy but don’t forget MDMA came on as a sub. Big Barry may be a great option there next year also as the mark is coming in and we should have Gibbons back. Nally also plays there and Donie also improved into the position.
    Marquee forwards is more of an ask if we lose Dillon and/or Moran. The solution may be to convert a back (Keegan or Keith or Durcan) as Hall rumoured to be a serious talent who could push very hard for a place in defense. Conor Loftus could be a top player and Irwin is the best young free taker I’ve seen on the left foot and shows flair from play too. The question is can one or 2 emerge as a top forward in the league as Mannion did in 2013 and Costello this year.
    Dubs will improve with Costello getting more game time and a further recovered O’ Gara and Jack Mc back though modern game might make Rory O Carroll somewhat redundant. Kerry will improve too With Brendan O Sullivan and a few bolsters from their recent underage successes and Tyrone also show promise. I expect we also will improve. Hope Keith and Andy give it another year though Alan Dillon might be tempted to look over his shoulder at the emerging talent but ye never know.

    Also disgusted at the keyboard warriors who dis individual players and management. Most of them only arrived after the defeat and weren’t contributing to the blog in the lead up and the same thing last year. No player set out to give less than 100% and management showed themselves to be a top team. All are fallible.

  7. Hey folks,.. Our team gave it everything, everything in preparation, everything on the field. Mistakes were made and Mayo were made to pay in full measure for them,over 2 matchs Never seen so many grown men, women and children crying leaving Croke Park. Total devastion, But totally proud of the outstanding efforts of all those involved to get across that elusive line.. We are a resialiant bunch, if ever there was one…. Paddy Durcan beyond doubt Mayo MotM,for the All Ireland replay .. It’s been a tough year for us all,. Was there in McHale Park this evening, after the formalities, kicked the ball around with my niece’s and nephews, from 2 to 9 years old. They scored a few goals on their old uncle into the Bacon Factory end, my excuse, sure that’s the scoring goal. I reckon I’d do better if they were kicking into the Albany end. Look we love our football and our footballers in Mayo. Thanks to everyone involved who thrilled us so much this year. We are without any shadow of a doubt, by and large the best, and most resialiant fan’s in the World.. Thanks to all those Mayo fans who went to those Match’s, we know a bit or two about endurance. Thanks also to all the team who keep McHale Park, without doubt the best playing surface in Ireland. It’s been emotional. PS my Mayo Player of the Year, Brendan Harrison, been brilliant every match!

  8. Well done to Paddy Durcan, he put in a massive shift as did many of the younger lads which augers well for the future.

    I agree with you there Man of Aran, that starting Robbie was too big of a risk to take based on the rewards to be gained. If the management team were worried about winning kick-outs then you’d think that a better option would have been to try and use Aidan O’Shea a bit more and to tell him to lay the ball off to the runners then once he gained possession for any long kick-outs.

    If we were to take a calculated risk or to throw a curveball into the mix then maybe started Conor Loftus for Andy Moran might have been a better option. Andy would still give you a big lift when introduced and you’d have to say that the one thing we lacked up front was pace which Dublin had in abundance. We seen Conor intercept the Cork keepers kick-out for a vital goal in the U21 final and maybe he could have done the same to Cluxton. Conor can use both of his feet as well and would probably have been a player that Dublin might not have done a lot of homework on as well. He does seem to have an excellent temperament too.

    You’d have to say that nobody could be faulted for effort put in, both on the pitch, the sideline and in the stands or the terraces. One thing that you’d love to see some of the Mayo supporters stop doing though, before the big games is engaging in this daft big talking: This is our year, our name is on the cup, it’s written in the stars, nobody will stop us this year, we are going to do this, we are going to do that, we’ll die on the field rather than lose etc. etc. etc. I can never figure out the purpose of this. It just makes us look so stupid when we end up losing. I think I probably post this every year, the last few years, after we lose but everytime the following year the same comments are trotted out again and again. Is it just that some people cannot think of anything original to say or what. It seems that a lot of the time things that we say are based more on emotions rather than on logic. We will win the cup when we win the cup and not before then. So all talk about it being written in the stars etc. is futile.

  9. Well deserved awards for Paddy D. He brings a great sense of urgency to his game and also is a great reader of what’s happening around him.
    Of course we need more up front but as someone posted, the movement department must show immense improvement no matter who is there! But It will indeed be some boost if we do add to the scoring personnel as has occurred in defence with PD and B H. It would mean more scoring potential and more focused defence duties for back players….a greater balance over all. Then their offensive surges would be additional rather than essential!
    HopeSprings…. that hyperbole is not meant to be taken seriously…!! It’s only a bit of gloss!
    Role on the new year.!

  10. Do we have anyone who can kick well with one foot Pat? I think you need to get them as they pop out of the cradle!

  11. On the goalkeeper debate. Cluxton was at fault for 2:02 against kerry in the semi. The dublin forwards won that game.
    Every team has setbacks. The reality is, our front 6 only kicked 3 points from play. You can’t expect to win an all Ireland with stats like that.

    I posted on here earlier in the year that I thought mayo would be much stronger in 2017 when Rochford had a year under his belt. Himself and mcentee are shrewd operators and will know exactly what to plan for next year. I just hope we have the forwards coming through.

  12. Shuffly Deck, I would agree with most of what your saying, we have plenty of options for midfield, with the mark coming in though I can see less game time for Barry and Gibbons. The game is played on percentages and possession is all important. No way are kickouts going down the middle risking a free kick and possession to the opposition, all kickouts will be short or out wide to mobile half forwards dropping back. in the GAAs attempt to satisfy the old traditionalists who want high fielding they have actually killed the art all together with the mark.

    Regarding the lack of forwards, we def need an injection of new blood, players who can score from play. Converting backs like Keegan and Higgins is not the answer. They are great players and will run at teams etc but we always had those players. We need the ones who recieve the ball on the run on the 45 and just slots it over, not running into contact, trying to work it into the goal. The only option as I see it is Irwin, Loftus, Reape need to be starting every game next year, not fbd and a few league games, every game. Other young players need to be seeing game time also. They will not be good enough sitting on the bench or attending endless training sessions, games is what theses guys need and it needs to be preserved with. It might take a while, even a season to find their feet but so be it, it will be for the good of mayo football in the long term.

  13. Agree with above. TWO points from play in an All Ireland final. Simply not good enough. A few bad wides and one dropped into the keepers hands in the second half. Those are the inches we all talk about. I also think we find it hard to break a team like Dublin down in the final third. We slow the game up, pass backward, across or solo on the spot. Dublin when they broke at pace found scores much easier than we did. We ha e plenty of grafters and hard workers…I do t doubt the commitment of any of our players. But facts are forwards are there to put the ball over the bar. We ha e failed up front time and time again. The issue needs to be addressed.

  14. Amid all the disappointment, regret, hurt and commiserations there are plenty of bright sparks for Mayo going forward. Paddy Durcan is one of them and thoroughly deserves his MOTM from the replay.

    If anyone thinks Mayo will not come again they are kidding themselves. We’ve always dusted ourselves down and got back on the horse. Most of our key players are relatively young (Aido, Cillian, Diarmuid, Lee, Donie – and I think it’s fair to add Harrison and Durcan to that list now). We have talent in abundance coming through from our winning U21 team, who we need to integrate into the panel over the league. Rochford will have a full winter to work with the players and considering we improved game-by-game this year through the Championship that could be a seriously good thing.

    We should remain one of the favourites for next year. We will have the belief from this year as we were good enough to win. We didn’t of course and that is down to ourselves – but thankfully things you can control yourselves are things you can improve on.

    Maigh Eo Abú.

    Mayo4Sam 2017

  15. Congrats Paddy Durcan. What a year he has had wearing both his club and county colours. Brilliant addition to the team since his introduction in the national league back in Feb 2015. Well done to Brendan Harrison too for really making the corner back position his own this year – has developed into a top class inter county defender in his 3 years with the squad.

  16. Just commenting now, I respectfully disagree with your assessment that this will be the hardest loss to take WJ, 2013 hurt me a lot more myself as did our semi loss to Kerry in 2014. We’re not as good a footballing side as this Dubs unit and thought they were deserving winners tbh

    In saying that the match was still there for the taking and like in 2013 we just did not have enough up front when needed. The Dubs’ bench was far more effective than our own, while the goalkeeping decision was one of the more bizarre we’ve seen. Quite disastrously, Hennelly played a large role in our two defeats this year sadly

    I’m actually very much looking forward to next year. This was, afterall, only our first year under a new management team. We have a host of under 21 winners to come in and stake a claim in the league and our age profile is still very favourable overall. Our three best footballers (in my view) are 26, 26 and 24.

    This Dublin team looks like a team going one way only and that’s down back into the pack again. They have a few of their higher profile lads the wrong side of 30 now and it won’t be long before another re-building phase.
    If we – as expected – reclaim our dominance in Connacht, we’re set up for a potential semi with Kerry, who at this moment in time, we’re better than. So, every chance we’ll be back here once again in a year

    Onwards and upwards

  17. Im already positive about next year. Rochford seems to have put a sound defensive system in place. Kevin Mc has got better with each game he’s played as sweeper, Caff to come back at fb and Harrison is here for the long haul. My only hope is that all players come back for more in January. I can’t wait for the provincial draw in a couple of weeks, I don’t think we’ll take Connacht (namely Galway) so lightly again. We slipped up once thats enough!. We won’t be caught again. The rossies will huff and puff about All Irelands in January after a couple of fbd wins, but all in all I think we should regain our Connacht crown next year and get back to the Quarters.

    Blooding young forwards in the league is a must, the stars of that u21 campaign will have almost a years worth of s&c which will help them immensely. Reape and Loftus are my tips to make a big impact if given the chance, give our established players a good long rest…like the way Kerry used to do. It will pay off come August/September. For what its worth I see us back in a semi v Kerry next August, providing their is no major exodus from the panel. we’re still a top team no matter what some pundits think.

  18. Yew_tree, agreed and I fully expect rochford to address the issue in the winter, I can see plenty of changes/new faces for next season. What I really dont want to see is young players given the fbd games and an early league game then not seen for the rest off the year eg keith rutledge and Andrew Farrell played fbd the not seen since, whats the point. Castlebar granted had club games but kirby and Douglas who I think have alot to offer only got a challange game to stake a claim which isnt good enough.
    The players need a sustained period in the squad to develop.

  19. First time commenting after the weekend.

    What can you say but got to feel for the lads, they are the best in the world, tried so hard and nearly yet again .
    Refereeing decisions, Hennellys error etc but utimately dublins squad was better with better options on bench.
    Thats by no means a criticism of ours, they have some pick and are one of the strongest squads in GAA History .
    We really put it up to them and but for a bit of fortune could, have would have should have won .

    Congrats to Paddy Durkan well deserved, brave energetic performance with masssive skills too a complete perofrmance.
    He and Harrision are shining lights and standard bearers for the upcoming U-21’s and squad players.

    It hard to take on us and too fresh but the emergence of these lads in addition to Conor O Shea, Conor Loftus, Evan Regan, Brian Reape, Michael Hall having had exposure to Intercounty senior football, will make us all the stronger .

    Then we have very exciting talent like Matthew Ruane , Matthew Flanagan and Liam Irwin who should also be part of the squad and if they have Harrison or Durkan like seasons then they will be great additions.

  20. Well said Juan and Mayomad, ye beat me to it but same thoughts.

    Ya I really belive Conor Loftus is the real deal, somwhat like Cillian but more pace .
    Reape is a fine player with simular traits to Freeman.
    Liam Irwin would be a great addition with his trusty left boot and free taking, physcial presence too but of them all I think Matthew Ruane can be our Fenton .
    He is a super athlete and can dominate the middle section as well as run with ball in hand .
    He will probably start out wingforward but in time he and Tom Parsons running from midfield will be a very mobile and strong pairing .

    Stephen Coen too will have learned alot from his summers football and did so well when he came on last saturday .
    Diarmuid O Conor will also be all the better for a winters rest .

    Definite reasons to be positive, it was a David v Goliath task, but we gave it to them hard and plentiful and were every bit as good as them if not better .
    Let the lads go away now have few pints for themselves, refresh and come back to it next year, we have a very practical and innovative management team so with the addition of the very successful U21 players we will be even better next year .

  21. The bookies are making us second favourites in next year’s race for Sam at 7/2, with the Dubs favourites, of course, at 5/4. Kerry are 4/1 and Tyrone 7/1. So there’s your Top Four for the next season.

    Apart from that quartet are Donegal 22/1 and Cork 25/1, with Galway and Roscommon on offer at 33/1. Poor old Leitrim are the rank outsiders at 5,000 to one despite John O’Mahony’s involvement.

    How times have changed. The once mighty Meath men are 80/1 to win Sam. It shows how blessed we are to have the young talented squad we have with plenty more to come in the ways of thrills,spills and excitement. Roll on 2017!!! Mayo abu!!!

  22. Outside the boot, can an athlete like Akram be left off the panel next year? I dont think so. Likewise ODonaghue and Kelly will be pushing hard for a place. Stretton, Crowe, Tommy Conroy, Adam Gallagher, Darren Coen the potential is massive within the county. But its just that, potential. Someone needs to take the plunge and bring these guys in the the fold full time, not a token game of two, they will only develop into intercounty players by being in the intercounty set up. Dublin will improve again next year, Kerry will being on a raft of talent, Galway blew up this year but they have raw talent and will see improvement, ros will be ros flashes of brilliance with a big dose of overconfidence. Tyrone will improve, Donegal have a few very good players coming up so will be around again next year. Every team who has designs on sam will add to there team and improve, if Mayo walk into Croke Park with the same team then its only going to end one way.

    The cold hard fact is that this team for all their brilliance and heart have played three all ireland finals and lost, played two All ireland semi replays and lost. They all deserve an all ireland no doubt and have given us great days but sport is cruel and going again with the same team is just maddness at this stage.

  23. Well done Paddy. I was wondering about James and what he is up to. He has the cut of a fine footballer and I was very surprised he didn’t feature that much for the Mitchell’s in the AI final. For me Brendan made his mark in 2016. He gave a MOTM performance again the last day. When he closes in on the Dublin forward its “times up every time”. Aghamore have a few gems up their sleeve like him and there’s a bright future for that club if they stick together.

  24. John Mc Hale,it reminds me of keeping a few cattle in the one good field of grass thriving away to their hearts content while the other big bunch is scraping away for wisps in the paddock!

    BTW does anyone know if these young fellas get put into any individual programmes to get them tuned for what’s ahead? Some may have a tendency towards heaviness and some will need a bit more bulk! Can’t believe E Regan is over 13 st. either!

  25. Genuinely finding this one the toughest to take, being in work in Dublin not making it any easier. Anyone else feel feel Rock’s point from a free in 38th min was a bit dubious? I was right behind the goal in the Lower canal and felt at the time it had drifted wide, after watching the game again last night I’m still not convinced, Dublin fans around me didn’t exactly sound too confident about it either. thought Durkan and Harrison (has to get an All star) were brilliant. Really felt we needed to try something different last 10-15mins like introducing a Loftus/Regan. Too many times against Dublin we’ve tried the same tactic of lumping ball into AOS and it just hasn’t worked, still feel there’s a role for AOS to play for us but just maybe not in starting 15 as I feel he slows the play down too much at times when on the ball. When Barry Moran was introduced I expected balls to be lumped in on top of him, one ball came in and he won a free from it, very very frustrating as I feel the combination of humself and AOS could have caused havoc in there together. Feel awful for Hennelly, just wasn’t his day and no blame can be given to COC for free at the end. Overall, feel this team need a right break till end of Feb/March and few young lads need to be given a shot in the league. I’ve no doubt that we’ll be there/thereabouts come next September but it’s just bloody tough to take at the moment.

  26. Still can’t fathom the decision to drop Clarke.

    Thanks to players and management for the massive effort again.

    Agree with Maynaze here. We have to get forwards into the panel. We have to change our attitude to about this constant reference to hard working forwards great tacklers etc , yes you have to have that in the modern game it is a basic requirement but the other requirement is to be able to score

  27. The smallest player on the Dublin panel is 5″11 and the lightest is Johnny Cooper at 12st. And a hard 12stone he sure is.
    If we are to use this as some sort of a benchmark then all these u21 players being named have a serious amount of S&C to do to even to be considered. Maybe the corner forward can be a bit lighter but that’s about it. Serious pace is the other essential need. It’s no coincidence that the players with the pace, skill and the necessary build are the ones that can look after themselves and come through. We will be lucky to get 2 to 3 additions next year from the u21 team. Reape, Loftus, Ruane would appear to be the best placed ones who are in position to step up. I think it’s another 2 years at least before some of the others being mentioned are ready to be considered providing they continue to progress that is.

  28. I looked at the weather-beaten face of the old man as Colm Coyle’s kick from up near Parnell Square bounced, uncontested, about ten metres out and over our crossbar for a score as freakish as our management’s decision on Saturday last. And I wondered would my late father live to see the day. But, heck, born in 1920 he had seen the day. Three of them in fact. 36, 50 and 51. A more pertinent question as we made our way out of Croke Park that day was would I live to see the day. The old man attended every game while he was able to and enjoyed every outing but did not get to relive the extacy of seeing a red and green clad warrior ascend the steps on Jones’ Road.

    His son stood in roughly the same part of the stand as I cradled my two inconsolable
    daughters in my arms on Saturday evening last. Nearby a Mayo woman looked at us as she went to sip from a bottle of Ballygowan water. She pause and burst into tears. Her eyes met mine and, though no word was spoken, we communicated at a deep level.

    They say self pity is loathsome. Well. I feel sorry for my daughters, my county and myself. I feel sorry for our wonderful team. I feel really sorry for Keith, Alan and Andy. Especially Andy. No better ambassador for Mayo has set foot outside our county. It is a continuing source of amusement in this household that I love that man to bits.

    Regrettably, after all we have been through I now feel that I will not now live to see the day. But, come January, my daughters (one of whom will travel from Dublin for FBD games) and I will be back in McHale Park please God. Ever supporting and willing them on. And so the cycle goes on.

  29. Mayo played 9 Championship games this year…

    Their top 8 scorers from play were as follows

    1. Jason Doherty 3-5 (14pts)
    2. D O Connor 1-10 (13pts)
    3. A Moran 0-12
    4/5/6. Lee Keegan 1-6, COC 0-9, Evan Regan 1-6 (9pts each)
    7. A’OS 1-4 (7pts)
    8. P Durcan 0-5.

    It may be a crude approach but I think it does highlight a lack of firepower generally after 9 games. AOS and COC in particular will be particularly disappointed if they were told that would be their return over such a lenghty campaign where they were ever presents. DO Connor too when you take away his 1-5, mostly in 10 minute spell against Kildare will be disappointed notwithstanding his return to form in the replay..

    One thing that strikes me is that is surprising Reagan didn’t see more time in the latter stages of the championship. Agree he looked a bit green, particularly against Galway but he got a good blooding the league and did well in some of the early qualifiers…and crucially is a natural scoring forward….surely should have seen more time? As I say, its a crude a approach but winning all Ireland teams will usually have scoring forwards with far higher average returns than the list above highlights.

  30. One key point about the forward debate that illustrates the problem facing us; the only real addition since 2011 has been DOC. Other than that much the same personnel e.g. Dillon, Moran, COC, JD, KMcL, AOS. Worrying…

  31. I have it on rock solid authority that Tom Parsons was headbutted by a Dublin player on Saturday and left with 7 stitches in his eye.
    The linesman seen it said he would “sort it” and did nothing at all……

  32. ah Pat whats the point….I saw a Mayo player drive his fist into the guts of a Dublin forward down at the Davin Stand end and nothing happened…there is far more that players get away with than they are caught for in the game today.

    McMahon is a particularly nasty piece of work though and the suspension committee took the easy option after the Donaghy gouging incident last year – so he is being invited to continue with his standards.

  33. For what its worth from a Galwayman it shouldn’t be all doom n gloom.
    There are some serious young footballers chomping at the bit to get a chance. Let them loose in the league and there may be 2/3 who can add some scores from play when needed later in the year in 2017. On Saturday, you needed a few things, more of a contribution from play from the starting forwards which you didn’t get, and composure/faith in the “process” on the line. I still cant figure out the change but it let down the players no doubt. The sloppy little jersey pulls after the hard work was done killed ye as well and the tackle in general has been off for some reason this year. Finally and I prob say this every year, I fully expect Mayo to win Connacht in 2017, that’s back to HQ in August, and prob a AI semi(great to be able to have a squad of that quality).

  34. Lads, I really hope you are right that from that list of potential forwards we will finds 1 or 2 that could win an AIF for us. I am not so sure though, while they have different attributes and all should be given a chance I dont know if any one of those could be an All-Star in the next 3 years – which is prob what we need to make a difference. We just don’t seem to have fast, skillful CF type coming through

    Loftus – Definite potential but not the fastest or most nimble. Although looked good at U21 wont get that space / time at champ level. Needs to be a starter in League to give him a chance though
    Irwin – Physically strong, strikes ball well but slow – Would not like to see the outcome vs McMahon and
    Co for example.
    Reape – Possibly. I have not sen him enough to comment.
    REgan – Maybe the best natural forward of that list but is turned over very easily in possession at the top level. S&C work needed but would definitely give him a chance of making it.
    Conor O’Se – definite future starter but does not have the fast feet needed for CF

    Would we consider Paddy Durkin for the HF line? – he has all the skills. We have plenty of cover at HB anyway. For the league something I would try a forward line like.

    Durkin, Co’S, DO’C
    Regan, Co’C, Loftus

  35. Really hope to see PD get a few games early on next year at centre back as I think he’s Mayo’s long term option there. Also, I think the likes of Seamus Cuniffe would be a great addition to the panel next year and hopefully gets some game time. Mayo need options at fullback and he has both minor and u21 medals playing there.

    On a side note, are many of the A.I winning u21 panel still u21 next year? I think that the likes of DOC will be unstoppable next year now that he can focus on just one county panel.

  36. Jaysus Cantini, for a Sligo man you spend some amount of time analysing the Mayo senior football team.

    Personally I think not enough credit is given to the Dublin defence, they were excellent at crowding our boys out and forcing us back. For me the problem is our transition from defence to attack, i feel we carry the ball that extra few meters, which allowed the dub backs to organise and cut us out. Tom P is a hero in my eyes, but I feel he carries the ball that little bit too far and does’nt release in time. Quicker ball is needed to the forwards, like we did against Tipp and Tyrone when we played in spurts.

    9 months to perfect our attacking system and we could be AI champions by this time next year.

  37. I am confident about 2017 as I believe we finally can build a team on a solid foundation of a water tight defence. In the 2012-2015 years we put up big scores but I always felt the door was open at the back. One other consequence of a solid defence is the resulting turnovers and lack of mistakes drive up slightly your posession. We should be competitive at midfield.
    But here are a few innovative things I think we will have to look at.
    1. It’s commonly accepted that midfield is the engine room of any team. Dublin snook one on us by having Mccauley come in for the final 20 minutes and driving hard at us. SOS and Parsons are big men, we can’t expect them to be bouncing off the grass with pace in the final 20 minutes.
    Conclusion – We need to have for sure one but possibly two (to steal a march on others) midfielders ready to come in for the final 20 minutes. A lift in pace that the opposition may struggle to match.
    2. The defensive system had leaking holes at times. Start of the game Dean Rocks handpassed score was ball watching. Cormac Costelloes first two points he is unmarked. We may need to look at younger defenders who will play to the system and not off of instinct. Your positioning in relation to the other defenders and the forward assigned or forward you have switched in-play to is crucial. Just a point that the younger defenders are blank slates in terms of inter county football.
    3. The average pace of our attacking inside forwards is not high enough. The four were Cillian, Andy, JDOc and AOS. Mick Fitzimmons (a flyer) won a few scrambling balls starting out a little behind. We needed at least two players in there of the four who have that extra yard of pace. This is more of a 2017/18 story really. The reality is the young players with pace are not ready yet.
    1,2 and 3 are all things I think Rochford will be planning to implement next year and I think it is obvious he has some players to develop into those roles in 2017/18.
    I think next year Aidan might be looked at to come on to mimic exactly what Mccauley does for Dublin. We are wasting Aidan early in the game when everyone is fresh. When the game is there to be grabbed he has been covering kilometres and harassed and walloped for 55 minutes and his legs are gone. Not his fault. He’s too big and powerful a player to be a greyhound for 75-80 minutes.

  38. The Star newspaper in its rating of the players only awarded one score of 9 and that was to Diarmuid O’Connor. Its comment said: “Absolutely heroic and a clear man of the match. Looked out on his feet at times with the ground he covered but got up and went at it again, even after appearing to be injured. Kicked a crucial point and cut out ball after ball to kill and Dublin waves of attack”. It gave a score of 8 to Patrick Durcan, Brendan Harrison and Seamus O’Shea

  39. Since 1951.
    Cavan; Kerry(21); Meath(6); Galway(6); Louth; Down(5); Offaly(3); Cork(4); Donegal(2);Derry; Tyrone(3); Dublin(10);
    ThIs is the sobering list of All Ireland Winners, since we’ve had our hands on the cup, according to Wikipedia. Incidentally they have Maurice Deegan down as the winner in 2016. Check it out.

  40. Sorry Cantini I think there is a point. I don’t swallow the whole just get on with it line here at all. That’s simply assault. It’s a major advantage for Dublin if they can get away with this type of thing with impunity . Why did the official do nothing in this instance. I think because he is intimidated by the Dublin machine. There is a clear history with the individual involved as well. Then it’s all explained away by the AIG funded PR machine. Sorry I can’t see one of our fellas take that utter shit and stay silent. Willie Joe I hope you are OK on my stance on this one.

  41. @ Juan

    Sadly, my need for analysing the sligo team generally ends in July or early August (if things have gone well)…its when that happens i saunter over to this site. I’ll be gone by the end of the week. Its no harm to get views from outside sometimes…

  42. I wonder what players from our U21 team last year will not be U21 again next year as these are the players that would be the best to try and get into the senior panel, i.e. players who would not have to play U21 games next year as some of these games can clash with the league games. We know of course that Diarmuid, Stephen Coen and Conor Loftus are three of these players anyway. Whats the story with Tommy Conroy, is he back playing after his injury woes I wonder.

    It would be great to see our U21 team doing well again next year too. Kerry won the minor All-Ireland title in 2014 beating us at the All-Ireland semi-final stage so they will be the team to beat next year at the U21 grade.

  43. No that’s fine, Pat. I didn’t see the incident myself on the day but I did see the TV pictures afterwards of Tom coming off with blood coming out of a cut to his face so something obviously happened. It would have been on Coldrick’s side so no surprises that he did nothing. It’s not one for right now – there’s no point to be seen bleating about stuff like this following a defeat – but the issue of six of the eight officials (ref, linesmen and four umpires) being from Leinster really has to be questioned. Flip the issue round and ask yourself: would Dublin, playing an All-Ireland final in MacHale Park, like to be left to the tender mercies of a ref and umpires from Galway and one of the linesmen (you’re on, Cantini) from Sligo? I think we all know the answer to that yet it passes for business as usual in the GAA.

  44. @Cantini, oh absolutely, I meant my comment as a compliment, fair play to ya for putting up the forwards scoring stats, that takes a bit of effort in digging them out…keep up the good posts!!.
    I kinda thought J Doc was the leading scorer from play, think he has silenced alot of doubters with his displays this year.

  45. 21 year olds are:
    David Kenny
    Michael Hall
    Stephen Coen
    Diarmuid OConnor
    Padraig Prendergast (I think)
    Conor Loftus
    Liam Irwin
    Tommy Conroy
    20 year olds are:
    Seamus Cunniffe
    Eoin ODonoghue
    Barry Duffy (I think)
    Mathew Ruane
    Brian Reape
    Fionan Duffy.
    Tom Byrne
    19 year olds are:
    Shairoze Akram
    James Carr
    That was all from memory you’d have to compare the three minor teams.

  46. Good man JP, thanks for putting up that info. You’d reckon those 21 year olds are the ones so to be taking a serious look at in the new year.

  47. Firstly, each and every player and management deserve huge credit for bouncing back after the Galway loss and giving us everything they have in an effort to win Sam. However, as we know, we have come up short.

    Feel very sorry for Rob Hennelly and Cillian, nobody goes out to miss a free or make mistakes and i’m sure they’l have sleepless nights. It’s not a nice position to be in.

    It goes without saying that the tactical switch with Hennelly and Clarke back fired somewhat. Rochford had a plan to hit kickouts a greater distance and so went with Robbie, it obviously didn’t go to plan. This was based on analysis from the drawn game where Dublin had pushed very high on Clarke’s kickouts in the last 10-15 minutes of the game forcing a mis-kick to Connelly which resulted in a point and a bad kick to Higgins which resulted in a sideline. There was a fear that Dublin would try this from the get go on day 2 and reap the rewards so the decision was made to try and hit a higher percentage of longer kickouts over the pressing forwards. Yes, this did not go to plan. I didn’t agree with the switch when I first heard it, I still don’t, thought the risk far outweighed the potential reward, but i see the rationale. What disappointed me was the fact that Robbie wasn’t withdrawn earlier. I thought it was very obvious after 10 mins that he wasn’t comfortable and that the kick out strategy wasn’t necessarily working. Bold move by Rochford to start him, I think he should have been equally as bold and replaced him in the first half.

    I thought our defence work was excellent, from Harrison all the way up to Cillian and Andy. The guys hassled and harried as much as they possible could. I was very apprehensive about the zonal and man-marking mix early in the season but I thought we executed it exceptionally well against the dubs on both days, bar a few slip ups.

    In attack, we do depend heavily on our backs coming forward and creating overlaps our kicking scores. In fact that is where most of our pace in attack comes from, our half backs and Higgins going forward.

    I think it was generally agreed that we needed big performances from Aidan and Cillian on Saturday. Cillian did fine but not as good as we’d like and unfortunately for Aidan he had yet another average to poor game against the Dubs.

    Next Year

    Maybe Cillian’s form has dipped this last year or two, i remember it being said that he wasn’t playing great from play last year. If this is the case, we have to consider the possibility that Cillian’s dip in form has coincided with Aidan being played in a more advanced position. This isn’t Aidan’s fault nor anybody’s fault. Maybe they are too similar in that neither have burning pace.

    In terms of Aidan, I’m not sure where he should be played. Defensively its becoming very clear that guys are told to run at/around him and beat him for pace. Offensively, I don’t think his movement of the ball is good enough, i don’t think he drifts in behind enough and also I don’t think the high ball in is accurate enough. We saw how little we played ball in to Barry M when he was in there. Yes it can’t all be route one kick it in high but I think we should know when to and when not to. We only seem to do it when things have gone static. Even Aidan’s great goal last year against Donegal with the ball delivered by Seamus, the move has begun to go lateral wen we kicked it.

    In any event, if he’s to remain in the forwards there is plenty to work on. However, I think we may have to deploy him deeper, around the middle. I don’t think him and Cillian compliment eachother sufficiently. Although both great footballers. (People might say why am I picking 2 of our best forwards rather than others. I’m picking them because I believe their who we can get the most out of. We may have other guys who play poor but are nevertheless at or close to their max. Whereas I think Aidan and Cillian’s potential know no bounds. And to be clear I don’t question either for effort. Two more honest working guys you couldn’t ask for)

    Lastly, our under 21s. I agree with most posters, we need to bring in another 3/4 of those guys. By my count we have Diarmuid, Stephen Coen, Hall, Loftus and Reape. I won’t name any players but I think there are several of our current substitutes who may lose out next year but you can’t make an omlette without breaking eggs.

    Looking forward to the FBD!

  48. I don’t want the old sour grapes accusation either WJ but it’s very unjust. It’s not part of the game but it’s being allowed to happen then brushed over. Tom was assaulted on Saturday. No one who takes the field should have to deal with that.

  49. @Juan

    No worries. I’m retired about 12 years ago at this stage and I appreciate the game has changed massively even in that period but having played my entire career in the forwards I never felt I had done my job if i wasn’t scoring from play no matter what i did from general play – it just niggled the hell out of me not to score regardless of the result. My old man bet (not literally!) into me from underage….”a forwards job is to score”.

    Call me old fashioned but i refuse to believe the game has changed that much that it does not remain a forwards primary purpose. With possible exception of KMc who didn’t really play in the forwards all year, the rest need to be doing better. Average 2 from play should be any forwards target. The likes of O Connor and O Shea should be aiming for 3. Sometimes that means taking on the responsibility even when its not obvious it is on….points like the one COC got to draw the first match…nothing on, point need…I need to do something different, create the space, back myself…better than passing the book.

  50. Careful now Pat, they’re looking at libel laws over on Resevoir Dubs over what you said, despite the fact that half their chat is taken up similar stuff about Mayo players.

  51. Thanks for that JP. Going through that list there is a solid bunch of strong athletic footballers that are well able to make a huge impact next year.

    I’ve already mentioned in my previous post who’s I’d like to see coming into defense, to add to that I think Coen and Ruane if brought in correctly could be two key men for Mayo in midfield for years to come.

    In the forwards, I think Loftus will be a great shout for us next year, whether as a starter or an impact player is yet to be seen.
    I also think Liam Irwin if he gets the right coaching can be a star for Mayo: strong as a bull, a good left foot (something Mayo forwards desperately need) and he knows where the posts are. His fisted goal against Cork in the final really showed his awareness and eye for goal, something we unfortunately haven’t had a huge amount of lately.

  52. Agreed JP. No way AOS can play they way he been asked to for 80 minutes.
    He really should be played between centre and full forward for the entire game.
    Asking him to do more than that is counter productive because of his size.
    He legs were gone with 20 minutes to go. This is when we needed him most but
    he had nothing left in the tank.

  53. Thanks Joe for the heads up!. Biggest problem is I can’t get a lawyer cause they all work for AIG….

  54. I agree with alot you said there Cantini, but rightly or wrongly the modern game is based on posession, and the use of posession at that. Its all about the percentages. James Horan used to talk about getting the “shooters” in place to take the high percentage shots and the need to avoid taking low percentage ones. I feel we did’nt get ourselves into enough positions to take “high percentage” shots the last day. So, imo I think its our forward play in general that needs work, as opposed to getting more accurate players. Are we making the right runs? Are we creating space for our shooters?, my answer to that is no. We need to develop a solid attacking plan over the winter, and I think we have the right man in charge to implement same.

  55. Thanks for the list JP. You have a good few right there. I liked Plunket and Boland on the U21. Plunket could be U21 next year and I don’t know about Boland but they looked special. However you can never tell what you are going to get from underage. Personally I would like to see one or two make the grade next year if they are good enough on the training ground. That is the place to be tested. Nobody ever made the team from the pages of the blog. If your favourite star did not appear on the field last Saturday evening chances are strong that they did not push hard enough in training Long May that regime continue to serve us well.

  56. @Juan

    The answer I think lies somewhere in between. I felt in the second half Mayo forwards didn’t take enough responsibility in taking on backs or backing themselves from some what you would call lower percentage chances. The chance of scoring from no shot at all is 0%. A wide is in fact better than being dispossessed around 30 or 40 yards from goal and that happened time and again. O’Shea kicked a bad wide near the end but his decision to shot was absolutely the right one, they were as good a chances as they were going to get. I felt they had maybe 5 or 6 similar opportunities in the second half and could have landed 2 or 3 of them even playing the percentage game. Kevin McMennamin is a player that does what I am talking about in terms of trying to create a chance for himself if there is nothing on. I didn’t feel anyone was doing that for Mayo save for maybe Kevin McLoughlin who probably lacks the physical strength to break tackles like McMennamin –

    as an aside McLoughlin in fact is every bit as good as the much lauded O Sullivan in the sweeper role at this stage – in fact I think he is better because he breaks up the field faster.

    When McCauley came on for Dublin he drove at the Mayo defence and seemed to frighten the life out of them. He drew two or three players to him each time and passed off the brogan and Costello to return 3 points. Self belief and making it happen.

    Anyway after all that – what I’m saying is I don’t disagree with the percentages theory but it must be rationalised by ensuring you have a minimum number of attempts too. If the 70% chances are not presenting themselves and 7 or 8 minutes has passed you are better taking 3 40% attempts in that period than no attempt at all.

  57. Everyone goes out to do their very best and they are to be applauded for it, not sure I could make the sacrifices even if I had the talent.

    Think Rochford has something alright and could be the man to provide us with something special to get us over the line. Nothing personal here to anyone of course, purely in football terms, But his decision to drop Clarke was horrendous, no two ways about it. I still can’t get my head around it. Why oh why? I am firmly of the belief that the main reason we were in the final was because of Clarke. A massive gamble, but for what? That Hennelly could get a few more yards out of a 50/50 boom out the middle? Clarke brings so much more, and to be honest he has given the full back line that little bit more confidence to defend off the front foot, which was a major thing. Oh he and we will have to live with it. Think SR was a bit rattled by it himself – thought his use of the bench was his poorest yet. We are talking about natural forwards, but of our natural forwards on the batch, Loftus, Regan, Freeman and Dillon, only Dillon was used.

    One thing worth noting and I’m not sure anyone else has, but I’m convinced our defence improvement has been greatly helped by the fact that we did not use conventional full back – we have struggled massively in that position for donkeys years.

    Finally re the forwards – worth noting that whoever the personnel, we also need to get the balance right as its too heavily weighted towards defence at the minute – we effectively operate without conventional corner forwards, so there is no point having a Regan, Reape or whoever in there if we don’t bring them into the game. Also agree that we need to seriously give potentials some proper and meaningful game time, its crazy the lack of game time given to our prospects over the years, its very easy for some of these guys to go off the boil given that it is an amateur sport. Also we have over emphasis on whatever our most recent underage success had been for players, need to broaden the net and don’t be afraid to look beyond the senior clubs. Paddy Durcan for example was a year older than the Minor and U21 winning lads – don’t make him any less a good player. I would be concerned that has he not got the Mitchells as a shop window would he have ever got an opportunity? To think DOC is the only forward to break through since 2011 is very concerning

  58. Looking at the entire season I have a question to the blog. How many of the classic corner forward scores did we get? Either a nice simple layoff or break down to a man waiting or a pop pass to a forward coming across on the loop into a central position.
    I recall Andy versus Tyrone. Aidan breaks it down to Andy in a good position pops it over.
    I don’t recall a single other forward coming around on the loop score. Costelloe got two of them from the three the last day. It’s a bread and butter score and hard to defend. It has never seemed to be in our arsenal. We are always having to force the opportunity.

  59. As Everyone knows Clarke gave away the ball at the crucial stage of the drawn game which resulted in two Dublin points. He also played a hospital pass at the very end of the Tyrone game which almost ended up as an equaliser so as far as I’m concerned he is not the man for the job and neither is Hennelly. We need a new goalkeeper.

  60. JP. Because our corner forwards were not there. They were defending. We seemed to play with just 3 forwards AOS, COC and Andy. One of them at 11 and two inside. Simple as that.


  61. Surprised Stephen decides to speak about Keegan now.Maybe it would have had more effect last week.
    Stephen is a fine manager but his comments now I feel are too late.
    He is of course absolutely correct and I accept he may have had his reasons.He deserves great praise for his efforts but maybe more impact would have been made last week.
    Before anyone says I am too critical I think this team and management owe us nothing and realise they are hurtingmore than anyone.we should all be proud of them but I feel someone from management should have spoken up

  62. @Maigh Eo Go Deo, what games were you watching what about the super saves, saving a point and in relation to the Dublin points, this was as a result of no out field options i.e. B. Moran not moved to MF. If Clarke had started he would be a definite All Star and we would be AI winners. What are you expecting if not the best keeper in the land???? Clarke should still be selected as an All Star!!

  63. Lot of good points in all these posts, Yew Tree in particular.

    We need pace up front; I noted a lot of spilled ball in the first half and the Dublin backs were first to it every time. Regan and Loftus need more game time, and you know maybe Mickey C should be coaxed out of retirement; his pace is great and his accuracy was good at the highest level.

    Think the management team will be better next year – and they WERE good this year. Hope McEntee and Donie stay on board, though it will be a tough commitment.

    On goalkeeping, think we need to bring Mattie Flanagan onto the panel quickly.

  64. Logic – I’m not getting into a war of words with anyone. I’m just giving my opinion. All stars mean absolutely sweet f*ck all. He messed up when the game was in the melting pot. He is not the man for the job.

  65. @Maigh Eo Go Deo; ‘All Star award’ means you are the best in the Country for that particular position. That what it means!! What more can be expected, do you know of a keeper who is the best in the country who has not played for MAYO yet???

  66. Not making any comment on Clarke in the following…he may well win an all star…he may well deserve

    however, all stars do not mean you are the best in your position. All stars are awarded on a combination of performance, exposure of number of minutes on live tv, and the ultimate succeess of your team. you could absolute the best in terms of the first criteria but if your not scoring well on the other two you have no chance of an all star. The fact that Peter Harte was left off team of the year by 8 clowns from RTE tells you something in this regard. He is one of the best, if not the best players in the country and can’t even get his place on a team of the year….laughable.

  67. Logic – I have given my opinion and I’m not going to change my mind. Clarke panics at crucial moments. I can’t ever see Hennelly performing well in a big game again either.

  68. These are the fixtures for next year’s league campaign. No time yet for any of these fixtures.

    Round 1

    Saturday 4 February

    Division 1: Mayo v Monaghan.

    Round 2

    Saturday 11 February

    Division 1: Kerry v Mayo.

    Round 3

    Saturday 25 February

    Division 1: Mayo v Roscommon

    Round 4

    Saturday 4 March

    Division 1: Dublin v Mayo

    Round 5

    Sunday 19 March

    Division 1: Mayo v Cavan

    Round 6

    Sunday 26 March

    Division 1: Tyrone v Mayo.

    Round 7

    Sunday 2 April

    Division 1: Mayo v Donegal

  69. Nice to get but all stars are only tokens really. Like Keegan is out and out player of the year with everything considered, but he hasn’t a snowballs of getting it

  70. Thanks to the lads for absolutely giving it their all on Saturday. The effort they put in on both days was immense and that’s not lost on supporters.
    It’s another hard one to take but as sure as night follows day we’ll be back up there.

  71. The All-Stars, while I’m sure it’s a great night out, are a load of nonsense really, to be quite honest. They’re little more than a popularity contest.

  72. If memory serves me right it was Aiden O’Shea who gave the hospital pass back to Clarke in the Tyrone match and luckily for us Clarke was awake

  73. Can you sign up for a cairde Maigh Eo ticket yet? Want to sign up asap. If anyone can post a link to do so, It’d be great, as I cant find it.

  74. Those league fixtures do look nice and favourable to be fair. The first 3 are extremely winnable and that should have us on course for the semis and survival sewn up nice and early. Cavan and Donegal at home will be both very manageable too, if we start off disastrously again

    I would expect a much better showing next year, with the manager already in place and surely much more preparation put in.

    Agree with those above re All Stars, no time for them really. It’s all complete recency effect anyway

  75. It’s actually interesting to note that we got to a lot of finals this year and it was Dublin and Kerry teams that prevented us from getting glory. Dublin teams beat us in the senior All-Ireland final and in the club final. Kerry teams beat us in two club finals and in the junior All-Ireland final. Even the ladies were beaten by the Dubs.

    The one final we did win was the U21 final, where we beat Cork. We did beat Dublin in the semi-final of that grade. That’s the question for us to answer, can we stay ahead of the pack and close the gap on Kerry and Dublin. It will be hard going as Dublin has the resources while Kerry have the tradition so we’ll see how it goes.

  76. @niallmc1983, Iv never had one, just trying to sign up for the first time. Is that even possible at the mo?. Cant find where to sign up!

  77. I’ve never had the season ticket either – any type. Is the cairde one the best or is the Croke park one the way to go?

  78. There’s hardly a gap between us and Kerry at the minute though. I’m confident we have a slightly better team than them or at the very worst equal. They were a Cluxton meltdown away from being well behind at HT in the semi and were barely holding a candle to Dublin until that point.

    Any Dublin fan I talked to said we rattled them much more than Kerry did and I’d agree.

    Dublin are clearly the best side in Ireland, but three of their best players from the 2011 and 2013 wins now look spent forces (though McAuley was immense from the bench Saturday in fairness, but he’s very hit and miss these days)

    Aside from Flynn, Brogan and MDMA, even Diarmuid Connolly is way more inconsistent now, and younger guys like Small, Mannion, KK, Fenton and Costello now have multiple medals- can they really be as hungry again next year?

    Everything is all sunshine for them at the minute but when Saturday fades into the distance and 2017 begins to loom, I feel a lot of question marks will start to form. Who joins Fenton in midfield? Who do they go with at full back? Do Flynn and Brogan become relegated to bit part players on a full time basis? They ground out the AI this year but a lot of their flare and high octane performances were MIA this summer. I could see them being caught by the Ulster Champs in a semi next year.

    Remember they were playing for history so to speak in the last two matches, and to cement their place amongst the real great teams. Can we really say they turned up to their max and left everything out on the pitch to ensure the 2 in a row became reality? I’m not so sure if I’m honest. There was a lot of nerves and lethargy on show over the two games

  79. Joet, 1480, ,depends on whether you have the Mayo coat or not,? (and want one) whether you go to club match’s or not? Would you go to over 60%of matchs for the Croke park season ticket to qualify for an All Ireland final ticket, I the corner in my case? I have the Croke Park version, but because I go to many club game’s I reckon Cairde would be better for me . I also think on average they got better tickets.

  80. Bear in mind though, McCaffrey will be back next year and I think Dublin looked less dynamic without his pace this year. He’ll bring a lot back to the table, though he’ll probably have to work to win his place back. I thought Dublin’s full-back line was solid enough this year despite all the talk about them being unable to cope without O’Carroll. I really did think O’Carroll would be a big loss, bigger than McCaffrey, but I think McCaffrey’s absence has actually been more noticeable. Fenton is the midfielder to beat. Do we have anyone to match him?

    We’re still missing that all-important explosive natural forward, to be quite honest. We have produced some brilliant defenders and we probably have the best half-back line in the country over the last number of years, but we desperately need a Paul Geaney or a Conor McManus. We worked on our defensive structure this year to great ends, but we now really need an attacking plan and, more importantly, a forward or two who isn’t afraid to take a shot on. We worked ourselves into decent positions in the replay, but there seemed to be a real hesitancy about actually pulling the trigger. A natural forward would go a long way to solving that problem.

  81. Home sweet home. .Check out other forums to get your answer to that..I’m not spreading any rumours here..Does anyone know when match programmes are printed??Clarkes name is on the replay so am curious to know when he was informed he was going to be dropped..I know the game is over and it won’t change the result but it will change my view of backroom if what I’m hearing is true. .

  82. The overall picture at the end of the football season is as follows:

    Dublin won 2 All-Ireland titles (I Senior and 1 Club)
    Kerry won 4 All-Ireland titles (1 Minor, 1 Junior and 2 Club)
    Mayo won 1 All-Ireland title (1 U21)

    We also had 5 runner-up spots (Senior, Junior and 3 Club)
    Cork had 1 runner-up spot (U21)
    Galway had 1 runner-up spot (Minor)

  83. @joet, I dont know about the croke park ticket. The cairde ticket is 200 and gets you all the league games and 1st round of the championship and also some Mayo gear, usually 3 items of decent stuff. You are charged for tickets after the first round, if you’ve attended 60% of the Games you’re entitled to buy an all Ireland ticket if Mayo get there. It also gets you to all the Mayo club games. Good value if you go to lots of games. In my experience the seats you get in croker are excellent, I was on the halfway line in the lower cusack for the final.

  84. Great performance from Patrick his point in 2nd half was an absolute monster he is one for the future. Very deserved man of the match. Hope we can bring on some more of the young lads next year.

  85. We might have a better team than Kerry. That does not necessarily mean that we could beat them.

  86. Diarmuid Connolly used to be a player I did admire but I believe Lee Keegan has finally put this myth to bed that Connolly is this ‘super duper’ player. He is not in Keegan’s league and I believe his days at the top are numbered. He has resigned himself to waving an imaginary ticket at the ref to get Keegan the black card, how pathetic….

    Great display by Paddy Durcan.

  87. Watching the Sunday game, I thought the YES or NO survey conducted by presenter Des Cahill ,via the 8 man panel, as to whether or not Mayo would win an All Ireland in the future to be completely insensitive, in the immediate aftermath of a gut wrenching one point defeat.
    Equally the negative response of seven of the panel including “our own” Martin Carney was in my view equally inappropriate, at that most sensitive time, especially for our devastated players. The only bit of positivity came from our most recently converted jersey carrying supporter “Brolly” Any thoughts on this ?

  88. Mayo gave away so many easy frees in first half. Completely lost our way after the goal. McMahon should have gone for head butt off the ball in Parsons. Putting on Hennelly was a mistake but not taking him off at half was very poor management

  89. Regina people who is in ballina steven nights know all i was told he got a call friday night a lot of people not happy not saying any thing dont want to start any thing i home he dos not walk away

  90. I’m hearing all sorts of rumours too but I’m ignoring them and staying positive I still believe the future is very bright for this team. Have renewed my season ticket today and going to go to a few club games at the weekend. It’s only soul destroying look forward and let’s face it the best is yet to come we can’t keep losing all Ireland’s we have won an U21 and a minor this decade in the last 3 years so it shouldn’t be all doom and gloom even tho we are all bitterly disapointed. Better to light a candle than curse the dark. Hon Mayo by God we will rise again

  91. Listening to Martin Carney describe James McCarthy going in on Vaughan with his hip is making me sick. And what the hell was were Deegan and Coldrick at ? Coldrick was less than 10 yards away and Deegan about 20 and looking straight at it.

  92. Next year bastick, brogan, cluxton, Connolly, Daly, Flynn, McCauley, McMahon, mcmanaman and o gara will be in their 30’s as opposed to Dillon, Barrett, Boyle, Clarke, Higgins and Moran for us. Now really is the time to bring on some of the younger lads. Our age profile is good and with a good mix of youth and experience we can be very competitive. Stephen cluxton will be 35 next year and in my opinion he’s dublins most important player.

  93. Sourceof the robe…Thanks for that..heard the same..thought it must be wrong….I’m full of admiration for all those looking forward ..speaking of rising again..

  94. Just watched match again. Seamie O Shea was immense. His 2nd half was unreal. Cluxton save on Dillons point and kickouts were also turning point. We had a number of easy chances in 2nd half and just did nit take them. We never looked out of it even though it did not feel that way at game. Dublin emptied their bench to get fresh legs on. We should have done the same. We left this one behind us again!

  95. Just when Lee got the goal Johnny Cooper went down , does anyone know why? , he stayed down for 4 mins approx , I read that as he was trying to slow down the game as the momentum was with Mayo after the goal , anyone any thoughts on that or am I reading too much into it .

  96. Leave the rumour mill at home there was enough of that crap earlier in year.
    Everyone is hurting it was a tough day at the office!
    No player or manager goes out to play bad or make a bad decision!
    No player/manager needs to get abuse only support!
    As Andy said before we’re Mayo and we in this together!
    Bring on the Fbd and the league and we get back on the bandwagon!

  97. Maigheo go Deo………Was it not Clarke who saved our bacon in timing his run to perfection to intercept that dodgy cross-field back pass AOS made in the closing stages of the Tyrone game ??……Without that very focused interception, we mightn’t have made it to the Semi, never mind the AIF

  98. Do people expect David Clarke to be back next year? Looking very hard. He must be wondering what can he do. On verge of all star and then dropped. As Bernard Flynn said it like Rory MC ilroy being dropped from ryder cup team

  99. It seems everyone agrees that dropping Clarke was a mistake, but I really hope he hasn’t made a massive decision about staying or leaving while emotions are still running very high. Obviously everyone is disappointed, but it would probably be wise to take a step back, let the dust settle and see how things are when feelings aren’t so raw.

  100. As sure as sunrise, Mayo will be back. All of us hurt right now but this too will pass. Mayo will never give up . We will not go gently into the still night. Mayo are so close. Dublin are a brilliant team because I know only a brilliant team could have stayed with Mayo. Our understandable fault after the years is our understandable doubt in our own abilities. Sometimes we overthink when all the thinking is finished. Mayo will learn more from this defeat than from any other gone before. Mayo are not the 96 team anymore. We have evolved and are still evolving. I have not read an aftermathic word.

    I was in Paris this weekend for my 25th wedding anniversary, a trip planned to the bone by my wife who for the first time in our 28 year relationship donned the Mayo colours and watched the match with me in Paris. She knows through the years what Mayo means to me and when I cried at the finish she held me. I had a ticket for the match and she would have let me go without recrimination. That’s part of the deal. But at the finish she knew for sure what it really means. Her comment struck because of it’s sincerety, “Mayo are a brilliant team, this is just the beginning ,I feel a little of what you feel, rather than simply just feeling for you. Mayo are a credit and I am a proud Mayo man. “Mayo are a serious team!”

  101. Deirdre Dee, Cooper shipped a heavy belt from Jason Doherty just after the goal. I wasn’t sure what had happened whilst at the game, but I watched it back Saturday night when I got home

  102. Outside the Pale…………….I saw that Yes/No poll too and thought the actual question and timing was despicable……An assembled circle of ‘experts’ lapping it up including that drole bollox O’Rourke, and as you say ‘or own’ Carney. Let’s get one thing straight – Mayo have had a fine campaign in 2016, and this team were a whisker away from the big prize on Saturday……….We were up to win it, not make up the numbers, we were in serious competitive form against the Dubs, and also, Tyrone before that. Yet the inference from Cahill was ‘same ole…same ole’ poor Mayo….the oul shit that he is…..and the panel, bar Brolly, ran with it. Fuck the lot of them….We’re not that far away (……… will certainly see it Sourceoftherobe !!) and when we do lift Sam…….soon……..we’ll answer that question !

  103. I think that If you can’t come to terms with all of the stupid bloomers made by bosses, refs and other officials you get stuck in a rut. It’s a cruel world a lot of the time and the best thing to do is go for a walk, a cycle or talk to some nice people and don’t watch too much RTE or Gaa blogs. Mix it up in other words!!

  104. I have a cairde ticket and it is great value. you get to sit beside a knowledgeable football fan at the AI final, priceless. Spend 4 hours sitting beside a person with their head in a magazine watching your team going down. Its enough to drive you to drink. I go to a good many club games so this card makes sense to me. You get the best seats at the big games and that is important to some. You do not need a quota of games to attend like the croke park ticket. living in Mayo and following the Mayo team I think it is great value.

  105. Cooper went down because Doherty ran into him, he was lucky to get away with it.

    Clarke is still favourite to get the all star.

  106. DD

    Was right behind goal. That is absolutely what cooper did. There is no question it was planned t slow game down in case Mayo continued momentum. He got up gingerly to his feet and 15 seconds later he is rampaging half the length of the field. In fact I am convinced the ref knew he was faking it and was only too delighted to hit him with the black card when opportunity presented itself within 30 seconds.

  107. Martyk I did not see the program you were watching. I gave up on that shower a long time ago when Mayo were at nothing on the football front. Their job is to entertain and they are very poor at it in my opinion. So I made the call and now it does not bother me anymore. I used to watch the TV3 and they were much better at it. I liked Matt Cooper and Brady and they were entertaining and knowledgeable. I get by fine my making up my own mind about what I am watching.

  108. Mayo focus thanks for clearing that up .
    But still think was there any real need for Cooper to stay down for that length of time , he definitely did it to take the momentum out of the goal for Mayo , I guess that’s what clever teams do .

    Catini – yes glad he got the black card so , as Mayo would have probably tagged on a point or two straight after the goal .

    Also watched the Sunday game and yes I thought it was very insensitive to ask that question ” will Mayo win Sam anytime soon” also I didn’t agree with Jim mcg on sky , when he said he felt this team missed and opportunity and in sport they don’t come often , this Mayo team keep coming back and will do in 2017 , sure look the same pundits expected Dublin to win well a d that didn’t happen at the end of the day there was very little between them and definitely beatable .
    Anyway onwards and upwards

  109. Forgot to mention , Tyrone are the masters of it that is faking injury to take the momentum out of the opposition and Dublin doing it now .

  110. I’m afraid cantini you must have been at a different match, Doherty clearly struck Cooper and was lucky not to get red.

  111. Think mickey harte was dead right and would no harm for our boys to do the same next year.

  112. @pjmcmanus
    Completely agree. Pundits are there to entertain and provoke a reaction, it’s what keeps them employed. Stopped watching The Sunday Game after constant insults from the panelists over the years. Also stopped buying The Sunday Independence some time ago. I go to enough matches and have regular discussions with other supporters to keep me well informed.

  113. Ha ha pjmcmanus………thanks for that support !………….that panel moment on Sat just feckin pissed me off. Call me a romantic sporting sentimentalist, but I don’t get the craic when a sports programme presenter, in the immediate aftermath of another great AIF battle, tries to humiliate a team that has been chasing another All-Ireland senior football title for the past 65 years, who just contested their 10th All-Ireland final game (incl the replays) in 27 years (beat that…..anyone), who are guaranteed to lift the spirits and keep coming back time after time for another shot at it, who have been seriously competitive and putting it up this year to ‘the best team of all time’ with only a 1 point loss after 152 minutes of footbal……who have the best supporters in ireland………and he tries to make a joke of it ????………..

  114. I suppose we all have mixed emotions at this stage:
    – a sadness almost bordering on bereavement,
    – anger and annoyance that one stupid selection decision could have cost us dearly
    – sympathy for the players
    – frustration at having tried so hard so often and yet not It wasn’t enough
    – worry that this might be the end of a great journey
    – pride in our heroes
    – hope that maybe 2017 will be the year.
    What a mix!
    I feel particularly sorry for David Clarke and for Robert Hennelly both of whom were put in an awful position. It is most unfortunate that a management team that seemed to get so much right got this one so spectacularly wrong. It’s impact on the two players could be serious. It could also undermine the confidence the other players have in the management and indeed it could undermine their own confidence in making big calls in the future. We have admired them for making big calls but big calls often mean big risks as well. It comes with the territory. I’m sure Stephen and his management team feel sick at this stage. They probably need to quickly start to repair any potential damage by admitting it was a poor decision and a mistake to put the two lads in the position they found themselves in.
    Leadership needed now!

  115. Think Clarke is great goalie and dropping him was an error. But he wouldnt have got all star. Cluxton is the best goalie by a mile He was brilliant in both matches. Had a bad 10 mins v Kerry but otherwise absolutely outstanding.

  116. JP
    Well whether Doherty hit him or not he was certainly not hurt…when the ball was kicked out he was like a gazelle. If u are down injured for 2 or 3 mins u don’t suddenly burst into life like that…I don’t believe deegan thought he was injured either.

  117. Cantini think it was someone else not me Re Cooper injury.
    But actually he got hurt in how he fell. I initially though just play acting. But On replay he gets all tangled when falling and doesn’t cushion his fall properly. Ends up hitting his head.

  118. Not doing interviews with rte.had a very heated argue meant about ciaran Whelan on the hill and found myself defending David Brady of all people.I was told Whelan has the medals shows how well informed some of these dubs are.Whelan has zero AI medals Brady has one they where looking at me like I just came out of the house with the 40 windows

  119. I no longer watch RTE GAA coverage and whats more I sent them a letter explaining why I was renewing my Sky Sports subscription. I would encourage others to do the same.

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