Player of the Year nominees

Mayo AISF replay

There’s more in the papers today about what happens to us from here – with this Irish Examiner piece stating that it could be a shootout between Kevin McStay and Pat Holmes for the manager’s job, the same article also containing the unwelcome (if not unexpected) news that coach Donie Buckley looks set to end his association with us and return to his native Kerry – and there’s also that emotionally-charged piece in the same paper by Kieran Shannon (which Anne-Marie has just provided the link to in the comments) about his time as part of James Horan’s backroom team. However, while the increasing focus is, as it needs to be, on the future I want to take a step back by giving a bit more thought to this year and the players who’ve given everything for the cause in 2014.

In doing so I want to look at nominees for an inaugural Mayo GAA Blog Player of the Year award. The Man of the Match polls have become an integral feature of the site this year and they’ve helped us, as supporters, to salute standout performances as and when they’ve occurred throughout the year. Now I want to widen this out, by recognising those players who have consistently excelled for us in 2014 and, from this cohort, to choose a Player of the Year. I had hoped that this would be a task for later on this month but, hey, shit happens and all that.

I think some measure of filtering is necessary here as I can’t simply put up a poll that features every single player who lined out for us over the course of 2014. So what I propose to do is name my nominees and seek feedback from your good selves on any other names you think are worthy of inclusion. I’ve got six on my list, who are as follows:

  • Keith Higgins
  • Colm Boyle
  • Lee Keegan
  • Seamus O’Shea
  • Aidan O’Shea
  • Cillian O’Connor

I think the list needs to be limited to around ten names and once it’s finalised (which I’ll do later on tonight) I’ll stick up a Player of the Year poll on the site, with the winner being chosen by popular vote. So if you want to propose that anyone else be added to the above list please make your case via the comments. Democracy can only prevail so far in this process, I’m afraid, so I’ll make the final choice on who gets on the list based on the feedback provided. Over to you.

83 thoughts on “Player of the Year nominees

  1. Have all winners of the Man of the Match polls have been included, WJ? That’s probably the fairest way. Personally, I would add both Andy Moran and Alan Dillon to that list, based not just on their performances against Roscommon, Cork and Kerry respectively where both made big impacts at various stages, but for the leadership they brought to the team when our backs were against the wall at different points in those games. They may not have had consistently excellent performances in any game, or over a stretch of games, but I’d argue that both made significant contributions and shouldn’t be overlooked.
    Then again, I’d also want to include Donie Vaughan on that list for sheer hard work and effort (as well as being an all-round class act), so where do you draw the line?

  2. Cunniffe. , the quite unoticed grafter who does the hard yards but never in the highlights. He did well in the Kerry games but has been consistent in the Mayo jersey always .

  3. Anne-Marie – no, they haven’t and names I haven’t included in the shortlist for POTY that got MOTM awards include Adam Gallagher, Jason Gibbons and Alan Freeman while Aidan O’Shea didn’t get a MOTM award but is included. My initial feeling was that the POTY nominee list should be drawn from the MOTM winners but on reflection I felt this wouldn’t work in practice as excellence in one match doesn’t necessarily mean consistent excellence across the year. Also because we played more league games than championship ones, there’d be a bias towards spring performances over summer.

  4. I think Andy Moran would be a worthy addition – he made a massive difference in the Roscommon match and was also on song against Kerry in both matches. His impact on the team even when he is not scoring or contributing actively to play is immense. He also has an enormous impact on the Mayo support, inspiring fans to shout a bit louder when they need to. A Mayo icon if there ever was one.

  5. Jason Doc maybe worthy of nomination at least.
    Big improvement in his all round game brought more consistency this year.
    Was instrumental against Cork in creating turnovers.
    Pitched in with points at vital times.
    Played well against Galway too

  6. I also agree with Andy Moran as a nominee but propose Jason Doherty as well.
    He was consistent throughout the whole campaign

  7. I agree with the Jason Doherty nomination. Easily his most consistent year in a Mayo jersey, added plenty of scores from half-forward, worked seriously hard in terms of winning ball throughout and for the overall improvement in his game he’s worth it.

    Dillon and Moran too despite limited game time they influenced big games and improved with pretty much every game they played.

  8. Is there anything we can offer the winner? E.g. I don’t know if it can be done on WordPress but maybe anyone who wants to vote should contribute a fiver or something. The reason is I really feel the winner should get something proper e.g. a piece of crystal or something decent to tell him what his efforts have meant to the Mayo fans this year.

  9. I’m afraid all that’s on offer is the glory, JPM. Something tangible would require some kind of presentation to the winner and I simply can’t commit to organising and arranging that.

  10. Yes, think Doc and Tom Cunniffe, for consistency, hard work, leadership (Cunniffe especially against Cork), vital scores (Doc).

  11. Tom cunnife should definitely be nominated, but after those seven I think any more names wud be only try to make a nice round number of 10. Like Andy Moran made a big contribution this year but don’t see how he could be voted over any of the other players nominated based on his performance alone

  12. Hope it doesn’t sound like we are going to get into naming every player that hasn’t been named already but “though the chair” would like to nominate Rob Hennelly.
    His kickout strategy was much on Saturday but maybe he was under orders, I dont know, but in most other games his kickouts were top notch and added a new dimension to his game. He made some great saves at times, not least of which the penalty against galway (if only he could have saved 1 more!) and while I’m not sure he would win a vote given the quality of some of the other candidates, I think his efforts deserve a nomination.

  13. Actually after reading over this again and contradicting myself i think Doherty and Vaughan should be added, both players play in our strongest lines, i think arguably on reflection they were second best in each line. Doherty scoring was immense, and Vaughan contribution from his runs through enemy territory cant be forgotten

  14. That’s a pity WJ.

    I was thinking of something along the lines of the winner being presented at their annual dinner dance or something. Just a short announcement and a presentation from someone (need not necessarily be yourself). E.g. one of the people on the site here from that same club and a picture for the local press.

    I understand where you are coming from personally in terms of logistics.

  15. I would be with others here who would like to see Jason Doherty on the shortlist. Kicked some vital scores and worked very hard throughout the season. I suppose he would be a front runner for most improved player this year, player of the year i’m not so sure. Worthy of a shortlisting none the less.

    On a side issue, whoever becomes our next manager must have the correct people around him for their tenure. In the modern game it is crucial that these people have the expertise but also they must question and thrash out solutions. Secondly, while it would be sad to see Donie Buckley leave us after all his great work with the team, I am reminded of the most successful GAA county in the last 10/15 years, the Kilkenny hurlers. I once read a piece somewhere that no matter how successful the team was, Brian Coady insisted on changing the coach after every second year to keep things fresh. Much hard work and thought ahead for the powers that be in Mayo football.

  16. I would like to see Kevin McLoughlin added to the shortlist of nominees. I think his work rate has been tremendous throughout the year.

  17. Just read Shannons article. He references The House of Pain as if its a taboo, forgetting that he was witness to some of the biggest House Of Pain moments, Typical Mayo recovery from the operating table 2010, poor refereeing decisions in All Ireland Final 2012, League Final 2012, Semi final 2014.

    Adding to the House of Pain were a stubborn refusal over four years to blood young new players esecially at full back, flagged as early as 2011. COC carried the forward line in that era. Last years All ireland starting with four recovering injured forwards , the year before not getting anyone to track Lacey as he probed us for that first goal. The curious decision to bench Feeney.

    For sure Mayo had a white knuckle ride for 4 years and Shannon was inside the tent but telling us that Shane McHale left a trail of sweat on the ground in Claremorris angered me. I’d have preferred to see him leave that trail of sweat on the pitch where he was badly needed when fit. Our lack of game time to the next 15 caught us in Limerick. Simple really. Whilst Donegal brought in McNialis, O Connor , McHugh and two more, Kerry left four from 2011 we soldiered with the pretty same 15 from August 2011. That effing House of Pain.

    Also though I am no carrier for Liam McHale I dont like the remark of what the players excpect and a reference to that H.O.P. Alex Ferguson told Wayne Rooney to mind his business and concentrate on playing when Wayno suggested Ozil as a buy. Players play and managers manage. Hopefully the next mananger will retain the good things from this era, physical fitness, strenght andf conditioning. Hopefully he will jettison those who gave sterling service but wont be part of the ship about to sail. We need new blood fast.

    Posters wont like this but six decades living in that House of Pain allows me to say it. Simply I want Mayo to win Sam, then I would die happy. However we havent. When we measure externally as opposed to the shambles of Longford 2010 as a reference point, we might then see how far we travelled but how short we finally fell. Jim McGuinness started at the same juncture with worse. Gweedore men who couldnt be harnessed, inter club and county board rivelry. He has secured Sam in year two, and has a great chance of Sam 2 this year. Gavin broke up Gilroys team and won Sam in year one. Gilroy won it in year three. Bottom line when the pain, blood, gore and sick feeling of been ridden by officaldom subsides, Mayo have not cracked the nut. I do believe that a fully empowered McStay if given the ropes would. I have never said that about any previous Mayo capo.

  18. Jason Doherty would have to be on that list WJ. I actually think he performed better than Lee Keegan over the whole year. Very under-rated player.

  19. Oh man that article , its just , i dont know. The hurt will help sustain the determination.

    Poty for me would be Cillian.

    POTY outside of our own county, would have to go to that Kerry lad Cormac Reillly, he was the one who really ended our championship , i think it was his ability to protect his big ff that swung it.

  20. Why are we so nice as a football county. No nastiness of killer instinct whatsoever throughout the years,

    We didn’t lay a glove on Donaghy for the entire 100 minutes he played against us. What did the McMahons do a few tears ago against him. Watch what the McGees will do against him in 3 weeks time. He bullied us form start to finish. Horan and the players should not have allowed that happen. Why Horan not tell someone to rattle Dongahy. Same applies to Mauriec Fitz in ’97. Look what Micheal Murphy did to Connolly the last day. Pure filth but it took Connolly out of the game, Job done.

    Why did Hennelly not place the ball another 10 yards forward on the last free to win it. Look what Geaney did for one of the frees in extra time. Foul(joke free) in the corner but he was in front of the posts by the time he kicked the free. It would just never occurs to a mayo player to do that as it would be cheating.

    5 points up with 5 minutes to go in first game. Why did we not just 6 players around the small square and pull everyone into our own half. Foul the hell out of them then. Look what they did to us when they got their noses in front. But again that would never occur to us. We play the game fair right to the end and go man to man all over the pitch. Ridiculous.

    So many more examples of when we have been just too nice. How do we change the mindset to be more cynical like Donegal, Kerry or Dublin.
    Do the county board instruct every new manager that we have to win the AI in a fair way without resorting in any way to foul play or cheating.

    Is there any cure ?

  21. I think the point of using the same players all the time is overdone, John. As Terry Reilly pointed out in his piece in yesterday’s Examiner, there’s no great mystery to this – these were the lads who bought fully into James’ methods and once he’d settled on them, change (and there was change, both tactical and enforced) was always going to be a case of less rather than more. I’d agree in part that we could have used the players beyond the first fifteen more on a consistent basis but then again over this year’s championship alone (six games) we used a total of 28 players so there was a lot of switching and shifting going on. It’s simply not true at all to say that we’ve stuck with the same 15 from August 2011, as a quick look back through the various line-ups used in 2012, 2013 and 2014 proves. It’s also simply incorrect to say that Jim Gavin “broke up Gilroy’s team” in Dublin. Every single player in the team Dublin named to start against Meath in this year’s Leinster final was on the panel in Gilroy’s time. Sure, Gavin brought a few new faces in but he still kept faith with the vast bulk of those used by his predecessor.

  22. Id like to know where all these full back options are that havent been ‘blooded’ over the past four years J Cuffe? I cringed with everyone else everytime the ball was launched towards our fullback line but again whathave been the alternatives since 2010. Alan Feeney was tried and got a roasting off a big man in the Hyde, Caff then went on to win an All Star at FB. Keane was then also roasted under the high ball. The fact is these three lads are probably our three best options at full back along with McHale who was found not to have the pace in the league for it. All of this is just MY opinion of course! Horan did plenty wrong, did plenty I didnt agree with but there are feck all players in the county that havent had a run at some point over the period that could have been an improvement as far as what I have seen of club football in Mayo since 2010. Similar story in the forwards, look at club football in Mayo and show me who has been around that has been shooting the lights out apart from lads already on the panel? Kilcoyne was probably one of the real talents who couldve kicked the 2/3 points that couldve made a difference but unfortunately injury struck.
    As far as this thread goes its ok talking about nominations, and I would agree with J Cuffe Cuniffe should be on any list of candidates but surely Keith Higgins was our outstanding player, closely followed by Cillian who could well turn out to be our greatest ever.

  23. Jason Doherty,Tom Cunniffe,Donie Vaughan . Doc got through a massive amount of work , can play anywhere in the front 6 and tackles like a demon and he can score, Andy always seemed to have faith in him putting it over, Cunniffe is so solid and a class footballer as is Vaughan. Andy Moran and Alan Dillion would make my list as well but limits apply.

  24. My POTY has to be Cillian, only surfaced after his rehab from surgery in Mullingar.

    Posting the below that I posted on the other thread;

    haven’t posted since Saturday night, my head is still swimming with the possibilities lost for another year.
    What this must not become is a possibility lost for 10 years or more. The players (and supporters) deserve incredible praise for their efforts so far but we need to get this thing finished.

    In some ways the juncture we are at reminds me of Tyrone 2003, great teams failing to get it done, new manager comes in and year 1 they are all ireland champions, recall too that they had their own all ireland heartbreak, 1995 Charlie redmond gets sent off (but doesn’t go off for 10 minutes) lose by a point but a good ‘point’ disallowed, 1996 they are ‘bullied’ by Meath (we know how that feels).

    The only thing that concerns me is the ‘funding’ position, we need to be doubling down here (rather than cutting back) whatever expertise and spend is required to put in place the systems/people/training/coaching/performance should be done. If every (earning) Mayo fan in the World gave €10 (specifically for this team) we would surely raise a million (the diaspora is enormous).

    Remember too that the ‘shop window’ team would drag everyone else with them (look at Club Tyrone).

    Anyway immensely proud of this Mayo team (and we all need to sure that their efforts have not been in vain)

  25. We have to move on but if its only for the sake of discussion, JH did basically stick with the same bucks, he didnt seem to think there was need to try different personnel , that was his method though, he obviously thought he had the bucks to do it and in his defense he came damn close.

    There are somethings ill never work out like the Adan Gallagher experiment , does mighty in two league games , never seen again , dropped in New York from match day panel. Then proceeds to start young Conor o Shea and o Conor v Roscommon . That had me baffled but im sure as todays article sort of indicates we dont have a notion what goes on behind the scenes so Horan must of had reasoning for this.

    The gavin Duffy thing?

  26. for me WJ Colm Boyle is the man, god i’ve feared for his safety many times during the league and championship, he puts his body in all the time, heart of a lion, just love his spirit, long may it continue.

    just getting that in, I know its not the question at hand

  27. Thats the thinking we need Cityest, fook cutting back , we need to invest and thats where we come in, anything like a video of the 4 in a row Mayo team under horan with all proceeds going to team development.

  28. I think Doc should at least get a nomination. He has certainly come on a long way this year. He put over some massive scores for us in last 3 games. He has also a fantastic tackler and has turned players around which has led to scores. But most of all he has started to show consistency. The fact that he is plays his club football with the same club i used to play is irrelevant 🙂

    But if i was picking a winner it would be Colm Boyle. Brave, leadership, tenacious ,Heroic That is Colm boyle.I actually think he would make a good future captain for Mayo.

  29. I think Donal Vaughan, his last minute points V Kerry and V Cork plus his alround ability , athletisism, versatility played midfield V Cork, should at least get him nominated. He was nominated 3 times for an All Star and unlucky not to have got one. Played Declan O’Sulivan out of it fairly and squarly in the 2011 semi final. And definatly was our best half back in the league ,this year overall, was up to speed from game 1.

  30. WJ can I respectfully submit that we become the instrument for change suggested above?
    This is such a great forum and all our ‘interests’ are aligned here despite the fact that we may all take a position on one player over another, one manager over another, our goal is still to see Mayo lifting Sam.

    Unfortunately in this modern world that requires hard cash. The County board are mired in debt and can only make so much available for teams.

    Somebody/another entity needs to be the vehicle that can raise that money, club51, MayoGAA blog i dont care as long as all the money goes to the goal of bringing Sam to Mayo, sign me up, I’m in and will contribute whatever is required for ‘membership’.


  31. I agree with posters talking about investment. Im also willing to invest and or to help in anyway to set up whatever it needs to get it something going.

  32. City west. Once we have raised that money who do we give it to.?

    I admire your passion but I think you should buy your chairde ticket, bring your family to matches, attend functions if the CB hold them and leave it at that. Handing over a load of cash to the CB is no guarantee of anything IMO… They are required to pay down their debt, and whatever about before James came on the scene I think they have backed james financially.

  33. Citywest – As Roger has pointed out, it’s not as simple as that where it comes to raising money for the team. It’s been clear policy for some time that the only fundraising vehicle of that kind endorsed by the County Board is Cairde Mhaigheo, which, in the few years it’s been in existence has raised substantial sums to boost the County Board’s revenues and support the teams. For my own part, I support the current way of doing things and wouldn’t see any role for the site in attempting to take on any fundraising activities (even if I had the time and wherewithal to do it, which I don’t). I’m always happy to highlight on the site official fundraising activities and I’d agree with Roger that these are what need to be supported by as many people as possible to keep the money rolling in.

    Could more be done in this respect? I’m sure it could (I saw a car on display in Tralee during Rose week and Kerry GAA people with clipboards out hustling the crowd looking for passers-by to part with their cash, I saw the same car and the same kind of hustlers on the Ennis Road outside the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday evening) but it needs to be done through official channels, which I’d agree though could be a bit more savvy in how they go about tapping into the goodwill that’s out there.

  34. Devastated that James Horan has gone and that he has not achieved the All Ireland glory we crave – I wanted us to win Sam Maguire under him personally because he was the single best thing that ever happened Mayo in my 30+ years following the county. Looking at the bigger picture for a moment, if we are truthful, Mayo were always seen as a soft touch, no underbelly, show offs when things are going well, etc. Basically we were seen as a bit of a joke county. In my mind, Horan has totally eradicated that, he gave us respect, he gave us real hope, he gave us a team who we were sure always to give it 100% without question. In my mind that is probably as big an achievement as winning the All Ireland – people tend to forget the misery it often was following the county team, and particularly the inconsistency. JH has certainly made Mayo consistently competitive.

    I would like to put it another way, JH took the BS out of mayo football. In my mind that is some achievement. Let’s be honest, and all due respect to them (everyone is entitled to their opinion), but there is a serious amount of talkers form the ranks of ex Mayo players and managers. Is it me or do we seem to have more in the media than anyone else? That’s what I really admired about JH, he never fell for this media talk, was a genius with the media, kept things in-house and more importantly it appears to me, had a serious bond with his squad. I was delighted when he took over because I knew he did not fall into the stereotype Mayo Manager, we had to get away from that. In fairness to the county board, they made the correct decision. One of his real legacy though is it he showed and demanded what is required from all associated with the county set-up what is required to live at the top in the modern game and more importantly got the response required.

    I for one will miss him for all that he has done and achieved. I want it to be him to bring Sam to Mayo, but alas it was not to be.

    Unfortunately he had weaknesses and they have been well highlighted here, it’s just a pity that they could not be overcome during the 4 year term, be it by learnings or bringing in the right support to aid decision making. It was very well put in the Mail I think yesterday that maybe his biggest strengths were also his biggest weaknesses, loyalty. It’s been extremely frustrating, particularly when you support and admire this manager so much, just see blatant things in crucial matches at crucial stages just not being addressed for whatever reason. No point in going into specifics at this stage, what is done is done. Finally, I think its pretty clear now, that the failure to keep the squad refreshed has backfired. The world and his mother were saying all along, but particularly after a second AI defeat that the squad needed an injection of new / young talent. There seemed to be a real attempt to do this, but the ones who shone brightest seemed to get ignored. It was like’ I’m giving it one more year, I’m going to stick with what I know and not risk any newcomers’. I think it was a poor judgement – very frustrating now watching Donegal invigorate their team with fresh, eager youngsters who are actually turning out to be game-changers. Kerry and Dublin to a lesser degree. I will qualify all that by saying that if JH did not have the approach that he had with his players / squad, we may not have got the results that we have seen over the last 4 years. Will never know if a different approach to certain areas would have pushed us the final distance. I would be a firm believer that a manager makes decisions for a whole variety of reasone, ones that we cant see. We have to respect that.

    All in all though James has revolutionised Mayo football, and I for one will miss him.

    BUT, we must move on now. Yes the next appointment is critical. There needs to be a 360 degree approach to assessing the right person / team for the job. Ignore the personalities, sound-bites, etc. Put a proper spec together and respect everyone who applies for the job. BTW lots pf people ‘talk’ a good game – I do! But that would not necessarily make me a good manager. I think one thing JH achieved was a serious bond amongst his squad, all for one one for all kind of thing. Management is almost as important as tactical nous these days.

    Lastly, my POTY is Cillian O’Connor, becoming a serious player and leader. There are a lot very close behind him this year.

  35. Fair enough lads, and I know I am preaching to the converted here as we all support and play in the golf classics etc, but its to get that bit extra and to capture the Mayo people that we don’t know exist out there. (Donald Rumsfeld comes to mind.)

    Donegal for example had their 5 day training camp in Enfield again this year (no doubt they will be back again before the final).

    Anyway food for thought.


  36. Doc deserves a nomination. POTY for me is a tough one.. So many brave performers, most notably Boyler, AOS and Higgins.. but I cannot look past Cillian.. He terrorised Galway and Kerry from open play and was unflappable from placed balls.. particularly the penaltys.. A real leader up front

  37. Please add Doc to the list, very consistant player and much improved.

    I’m Glad Horan has gone as he had his time and did well. However a new voice is needed to push us on. There is no guarantee this will happen, however we can’t look back, the only way is up. For sure there are other players out there who can add to the team, it always the same with any team, a manager “invests” in players and they do likewise in him. Some players fell out of favour such as Freeman and Feeney, this is no secret and they were never the same after. Maybe a new man could reinvigorate these fringe players. I was interested to see a player like Ryan McHugh play so well for Donegal, I really don’t think he would get a second look in Mayo as he would be classified as two light. Its also interesting to see how two of the young players who made their way onto the squad this year are brothers of existing players. This might suggest a very narrow focus in the search for new talent.
    Anyway James Horan will go down as one of the best ever in Mayo. Good luck to him in the future. Lets hope the next guy is as good, or maybe slightly better.

  38. Ceideboy,I think Conor and Diarmuid were on the panel on their own merit-A little insulting to them ,saying that they were there because they had brothers in the squad.If JH had tunnel vision like that we’d have won feck all.

  39. Very interesting points and suggestions being made above re supporters contributing to the fundraising effort. (I am about to go on the mother of all rants here, so please bear with me, as it will be long, but I’ll try to make it constructive. And WJ, I am sorry in advance for going off-topic!)

    At the moment, as a Mayo supporter, who desperately wants the team to clear the final hurdle, I am sad to say that I have little interest in contributing financially to the effort. And why is that?

    It’s not in principle. Absolutely not. Let me tell you this, if the scene was right, I would happily set up a monthly standing order to contribute financially to the cause.

    But – and this is key – if you are going to set up a fundraising effort, then you need to build some kind of a donor relationship, and make the contributor feel like a part of the effort, rather than simply an untapped wallet. And to date, fundraising efforts by the Mayo administration are not really ticking that box. I don’t particularly want to hark back to New York, but I’m going to, anyway, to use it as an example of how things could be done differently. So let’s take what happened over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday night there.

    The advertised event with the players in Yonkers resulted in disappointed punters, due to a breakdown in communication between the management and county board. Not a great start. Attendees at the event in Connolly’s were then hit by an unannounced cover charge of $20 on the door. The fee was collected (in a bucket, or a shoebox, depending on what time you arrived at), and it wasn’t charged to everyone on the door. So straight away, you have disgruntled punters before a ball is even thrown in. The first we heard of the $50 cover charge for the post-match event on Sunday was in the match programme. Now I don’t give a fiddlers who was charging that $50, but Mayo GAA – fairly or unfairly – were the ones associated with it, and all three events combined ended up being the talk of the weekend over there when they should have been the last thing on everyone’s mind. The thing is, it wasn’t the money. $70 or €100 whatever isn’t a huge amount when you’ve made the trip to New York, and you certainly wouldn’t begrudge it to the team. You wouldn’t begrudge twice that! Instead, it was the sense of being taken for granted, shaken down, and more so, it was the absolute unprofessionalism of it – it looked and felt like a shambles. And they shot themselves in the foot – had they just been upfront about it, and advertised it well, supporters full of goodwill would undoubtedly have dug deep.

    Think about the damage the media coverage of the weekend did to the Mayo brand for months afterwards. Think of the damage to the goodwill of the Mayo support. It was, I think, a PR disaster. Instead of leaving New York with a warm, fuzzy feeling and any affection for Mayo GAA, many left the Big Apple thinking it would be a cold day in hell before they put their hands in their pockets for Mayo football again, apart from their expenses. And this is the hardest core of your Mayo support! Simply put, that is a disastrous outcome, and it’s a terrible shame. It doesn’t confidence in the fundraising administration. I know I certainly don’t want to feel like that about a cause I love – in fact, I would love to be contributing more. But aside from the pursuit of Sam, what on earth would reassure or entice any right-minded supporter to get behind the effort on a financial level? Very little, that’s what.

    Contrast this to JPM’s piece here recently on branding, and how Kerry apparently fared from their NY fundraising effort. We need to raise the bar here.

    What is also needed before any country fundraising effort takes off is transparency and accountability. Take the charity sector, for example. Every charity has been affected by recent scandals, and as a result, every charity worth their salt has been bending over backwards to demonstrate how their charitable income is being spent. So these days, if I contribute to a cause, I want to be kept in the picture. I want to know what team is in charge of the money, and I want be reassured that they know how to manage my contributions in the most clever, prudent way possible. I want to see some sort of fundraising plan and target. And I want to be kept in the picture. That’s not unreasonable – it’s just the environment within which we’re all operating at the minute.

    This isn’t an attack on Mayo GAA operations and I don’t mean to be too critical – far from it. Just trying to suggest that this could be done, if it’s executed properly. We have a common desire to make this work – the posts above suggest that, and ultimately we all want the same thing here! And let’s face it, it’s a huge ask, for a voluntary operation to build up a positive brand image and implement a fundraising strategy. It’s essentially a full-time job. Make no mistake about it, the guys behind the scenes in Mayo GAA there work damn hard, and they do a lot of great work, too – we don’t see half of it, and it’s a thankless task. In particularly, they have worked hard to build up the brand in recent years and I think they are on the right track without a doubt, and I’m sure it’s frustrating when things like New York happen, because they do undermine that effort. And you can only learn by trial and error, so I hope there were lessons learned from the experience. It’s not easy to keep everyone happy, no matter what you do – we can all be experts hurling from the ditch – but maybe opening the floor a little bit more to the supporters, helping them to feel like part of the effort and eradicating the “them and us” element from the relationship, might pay dividends?

    There’s a fine line too, between being true to your roots, and becoming corporate, and I’m not sure if any of us want to go down the Dublin route of corporatism. (Or do we ..?). So it’s a big challenge. But it’s not impossible either, and it appears that there is no shortage of will to make it happen.

  40. Valid points by Ann-Marie. If funding is to be cut it will effect the senior team and will that will manifest itself on the field. Sad but true in an amateur game.

    I would have no problem giving money directly to the cause if the money was spent ont he team, on equipment, coaching etc but as others have pointed out, it does not work that way.

    I am going to play the Euromillions this Friday and promise if I win it, the county board debt will be wiped. I know a few top heads in the County Board and they do work hard and are not in it for themselves. There are always a few exceptions but by in large they are there for the good of Mayo GAA.

  41. opt2misteek says: I never said they were on the panel because they had brothers on the squad. They are ofcourse there on merit. Please don’t be accusing me in the wrong. What I said was
    “Its also interesting to see how two of the young players who made their way onto the squad this year are brothers of existing players. This might suggest a very narrow focus in the search for new talent”
    I was suggesting that JH may have had a very narrow focus in his search for talent. thats all.

  42. Re fundraising by supporters.

    Anne marie of course as per makes 100% valid points and has a first hand account of the ny debacle,

    It can be done though , Mayo supporters are unique im biased opinion, we are genuinely passionate and there is a massive base worldwide who care too.

    I’d suggest a pools type thing , they used to do it in soccer clubs in the UK , you can act as an agent every month selling your tickets to fellow supporters then sending on the monies and tickets to the cb, this could be done worldwide. Places like London, Dublin, Manchester, Boston etc could all be tapped into, its just a matter of getting the right people involved and its a direct route to the Mayo GAA teams. No political association, no snobbery etc etc like some of them association type circles ,just the ordinary supporter contributing to the betterment of the teams.

  43. Would like to see Kevin Mcloughlin added to the list of nominees – consistent throughout both league and championship – had very few poor days in the green and red jersey this year.

    My POTY is Colm Boyle

  44. For me player of the year is a straight shoot-out between Colm Boyle and Cillian O’Connor.

    If pushed I would go for Cillian. He’s simply been our most consistent player for three years now. I’m convinced if he was fully fit in the final last year we may well have made the final push.

  45. I’d plump for Cunnife and Doherty to be added to the list.
    My pick overall would be Colm Boyle. Outstanding all year, and places his head and every part of his body where very few others would. Superb. There are a number to chose from though, but he is definitely the player who has amazed me in some way in every single game this year. You can’t help but smile when watching the guy play. He was also the driving force behind many of our comebacks and stood up at key times when it was badly needed.
    A very close second would be Cillian. Next years captain surely.

  46. I really think that JH is being treated as if he is some sort of God.He isnt nor does he claim to be.He did great work for Mayo but he was mindblowingly inept this year and particularly on Saturday.He left Caff on Donehy for practically the whole of the game.He didnt change kick out strategy and the selections especially in terms of subs were bizarre.Despite that the team still nearly won such is their quality.
    Perhaps a little more credit for the players and an honest appraisal of JH.He did his bit and brought a great deal to Mayo but he was not the finished article.
    I think he will be back in the future but he has alot to give and a lot to learn.

  47. Please note post below is not suggesting below be done on Mayo GAA blog or have anything to do with Mayo GAA blog/Club 51, it’s a general idea about Crowd funding improvements in Mayo GAA.
    Interesting points were raised by Anne Marie regarding the funding that occurred in New York. I thought that there is one area Mayo could operate stronger than many other counties. Crowd funding online with specific and measureable purposes is a popular method of funding enterprises or charities.
    A crowd funding body be established called something catchy and linked to Mayo. It works with Chairde Mhaigh Eo and the Mayo management team to launch specific and measureable funding drives. The purposes of the crowd funding is to fund specific initiatives which would measurable improve the Mayo Senior Football team (too wide a focus to expand to other underage teams).
    1. Chairde Mhaigh Eo receives all raised funds.
    2. The fund raising drives are for very specific purposes. Example of a fund raising drive below to improve pre-match/training 90 minute routine:
    What is our achievable target?- Improve majorly the pre-game routine in the dressing room in the 90 minutes before all matches/training. The Mayo backroom team have outlined the improvements that could be made.
    How much it will cost? 35,000 euro in total [costings listed here [costs90min.xls].
    We are aiming to raise 30,000 euro towards improving pre-match routine and injury prevention equipment/physios available to the team.
    1. One extra physio year round [Personnel]
    2. Foam rollers and player specific kit to individual players (full panel) [Equipment]
    3. Enhanced nutrition supplies and nutrition equipment [Nutrition/Equipment]
    What will be the impact of this?:
    The Mayo backroom team have researched in detail as part of their 3 year plan the major positive benefits of this:
    1. The extra physio will help in reducing probability of injury over the three year cycle
    Also this physio is to be charged with educating in detail young players new to the panel as to weekly habits. It is crucial young players are prioritised to quickly develop the good habits of the more senior squad members.
    2. The improved equipment provided to each player will be available to them as part of their training and match day kit and also used on their own time. Currently we don’t have enough of this equipment and it is stored onsite at McHale park or accessed on match day. This will improve the situation especially for players working away from home and for new squad members.
    3. The backroom team has identified some improvements in terms of nutrirtion products available and the accessibility in the dressing room pre-training, pre-match and crucially at half time in games. Making the nutrition routine simpler and more effective will allow management to dedicate more time to getting statistical information to the players on the half just played and tactical changes for the second half.
    At training sessions it will make the education exercise easier for new squad members. Mayos dietician has simpler control for training/matches as to available products and monitoring players products intake/hydration loss.

    Anne Marie mentioned that people don’t want to feel shook down for money really I think people what to feel like the money makes a difference.
    You hold an open night on the night where the equipment has been purchased or whatever the funding drive was funding has been done.
    The Mayo Management team are present with some players. So in the above example it would be a really interesting night where those who contributed could attend and the backroom staff/players could outline the benefits. For your next funding drive you would have much more interest due to the media exposure.
    A lot of counties are taking the tactic of closing shop to media, fans and closing the gates on training. I think a radical step Mayo could take is in using their diaspora and self funding all the possible improvements we could make to win Sam Maguire.
    We know that the one thing other county boards might struggle to match us in is in the size of our diaspora and the good will towards the county.

    So then imagine after the impact and success of the first funding drive.

    Then the next funding drive.
    Drive 2: Mayo to setup a performance improvement research unit.
    What is it’s purpose? A unit of the backroom team solely dedicated to analyzing and communicating performance improvements that can be crowd funded within the next three years.
    What will it cost? 10,000 [costs.xls]
    What will it involve? It is a new backroom staff member from the process improvement area of industry. They are responsible for researching with all Mayo backroom staff members performance improvements that can be made in each area under the control of the Mayo management team.
    At the opening night for that the person would outline the plan of ideas for crowd funded improvement drives. Of course sensibly they would have sought ideas from the already up and running crowd funding community.
    e.g. Somebody suggests adopting something from some other sport like checking how to reduce sickness. Cost 1000 euro training exercise. [British Cycling did that]
    e.g. Somebody suggests a new statistics software and the management team see it like what they see and decide to invest. Cost 5,000 euro.

    At that point you have a powerful concept. An online community submitting specific ideas for improvements via online template for consistency of improvement description/benefit description. A management team working hand in hand with the online crowd funding community. The necessary funds coming from the diaspora.

    There are ideas out there in the online Mayo community that would increase our chances of winning Sam Maguire.

  48. I can’t, off the top of my head, think of any reason that crowdfunding wouldn’t be a potentially viable option, JP. It’s becoming more and more popular, both within the corporate and not-for profit worlds, works on a very simple premise and crucially, the investor receives some sort of reward.

    In commercial ventures, that’s usually an annual return (and incidentally, the ability to invest in startups is so simple and accessible that I predict it will go stratospheric within the next 18 months) and in other spheres, it can be more experiential stuff like the open nights that you suggested above. Even things like the Cairde Maigh Eo jacket, for example, already reward supporters. Why not channel things like that, along with the prestige of knowing you have played a part in helping to build the infrastructure?

    I think it’s an excellent idea – would be interested to read what others think.

  49. I think that Kevin McLoughlin and Jason Doherty should both be on the list. McLoughlin was put in some super performances during the year from the very first league match against Kildare. Doc has scored some great points especially against Kerry in Croke Park. Personally, I think it’s between Keith Higgins and Colm Boyle. Higgins rarely has a bad game in the green and red, and put in two solid performances marking James O’Donoghue. Boyle always gives his very best every time he lines out for Mayo and when he came off against Kerry on Saturday, he could hardly walk. He would make a great captain when Moran hangs up his boots

  50. First post on this excellent website! I know most people have moved on but How did the County Board allow Cormac Reilly ref the Limerick match when James Horan was so critical of Reilly’s performance in the Mayo versus Dublin Drawn League game?
    Surely the powers that be in the County Board should have used their influene to get a proper ref for the game or is this too much to expect!

  51. I havent read all the comments yet, but for me…there are reall two players that epitomize the Mayo spirit, style, skill and determination. Both are feared, yet respected outside of our county.
    Aidan O’Shea and Cillian O’Connor.
    Both lads have shown the way and will in my mind be cataysts for our drive to glory.
    Both led and will continue to lead by example; others will follow, if they are good enough.

  52. It would be interesting to get John Cuffe’s take on the funding…I think he headed the financial review for the last strategic review of the county’s football setup? I read a little of that review, and from what I read and understood, there wasnt much transparency from the county board on the finances.

    There are ppl in Mayo, and around the country willing to dig deep. Harness that and combine with the deep pockets of some successful mayo men overseas in the UK, Australia and USA, and Mayo need not worry about funding the drive to the championship every year.
    But without knowing much, or full transparency, I’d be reluctant to contribute substantially to any fund.

  53. I agree with fund raising but for me as I am of the diaspora there would have to be a facility to donate online ie. paypal or the like. Obviously proper accountability records would be a must.

  54. Never a fan of these individual awards. look at the joke that the all stars are. So I cant vote on this one WJ.
    Too many of the boys gave their all. How could you pick Boyler over Higgins? How could you pick Higgins over Boyler? Andy – what a leader, Dillon – greatest Mayo player over last 10 years, the O’Sheas, Keeegan, Doherty, McLoughlan, Barry, Cunniffe, Caff, Vaughan, Varley, Freeman, Sweeney, Keane, Conroy, Parsons back and better than ever. Gibbons, Barrett – animal work from these lads to get from injury. Look at our 3 outstanding goalkeepers. O’Connor – our main problem this year was no “marquee forward” our problem turned into “only one marquee forward”.
    James Horan – what a legend. Let no one ever question Mayo’s bottle again or ability to perform in Croke Park. Remember they had to take Mayo out of Croke Park and provide an incompetent ref to remove them from the championship this year.
    We werent beaten in Croker this year boys – remember that.
    In a balls of a county called Meath tonite a number of incompetent gobshites have gathered round and are sending a letter to Croke Park to defend their incompetent representative in the semi final. In a great county called Mayo we are proud as fuck of the sportsmen and people with great character that we produce. None of this team ever shyed from the hits or the battle and with the age profile of these lads they will be around for a while and bring the next 10 or 12 players on.

  55. For online crowd funding you would make it similar to payment method and interaction with Simple n one click credit card payment.
    Invitation to your event or whatever you receive for your donation comes to you in email. As it would be specific and measurable funding drives the finances are smaller and easier to quantify. I would donate 100 euro for a drive. If all I got for that was a day watching Mayo train personally I’d love that as I’m really into the coaching n training side.

  56. JP
    Anything that would help our county lift Sam would be enough for me as I wouldn’t be in a position to be able to attend sessions or the like.
    Transparency regarding raised funds would have to be a given.
    At the moment it galls me that as I can’t attend matches on a regular basis and therefore pay Gaago,Premier sports and pay per view on sky, that only part of that money goes towards the gaa and that then is split with only very small,if any funds seeping down to benefit our county.
    Someone above referred to a dvd of the last 4 years…….could we not have an online archive where we could pay to view Mayo matches of the past.
    Whatever the method I would be willing to pay monthly to a fund, say min. £10 or something. I know it only equates to £120 a year but it would make me feel better knowing that it was going directly to help Mayo in their quest.
    MaoghEo Abu

  57. For me the short list is fine.. the one abiding memory I will take from this years championship is the pairing off between Higgins and O’Donohue in Limerick.. it was just simply pure class. It so rare nowadays with double marking and all sorts to see two players at the top of their game going hell for leather to out do each other.. and when the day is finished and each player has given as much as they have got they shake hands with mutual respect. I have no doubt that Higgins will get an All Star and for me he is my player of the year nominee.. Legend

  58. @JP That is some serious work you put in there. The county board need to appoint a full time financial officer, someone with the energy and vision needed to tap into the huge Mayo diaspora. People are aware that running a top 4 team costs a lot of money but they want to know specifically where there money is going. I also agree with some of the other members here with regards the underage teams, monies raised must be go towards all teams, if Kerry are getting D Buckley in for their U21’s then the stakes are being really raised. If we neglect the underage setup then our journey for the promised land may become much much longer.

  59. That’s an excellent idea, JP, and I see no reason why it couldn’t work in practice. It would have to be operated as part of Cairde Mhaigheo (again, there’s no reason why this couldn’t be done) but it would require a champion within the County Board with the drive and imagination to make it happen.

  60. Mayoforsamthehardway – JH was “mindblowingly inept this year” – really? I’m okay with people expressing measured criticism but that’s just a stupid comment. A mindblowingly inept one, in fact.

  61. Very interesting to read that people are willing to contribute financially, but are hesitant to do so because of a lack of transparency. Three or four of us so far, and you can bet your life there are hundreds more out there.

    I hope there are county board representatives checking in here, because really lads, right now you’re sitting on a goldmine – you’re just missing the miners.

  62. Excellent piece Anne Marie Well done to you. I am of a similar mind with you on this. I am very slow to support a effort that has all the makings of a shakedown. I loose faith quickly in the efforts that are badly organised. Everything should be above board and transparent.

  63. Thats your opinion Willie Joe.Look at facts

    1.Played 2 players in first round then did not use them again
    2.Allowed Cafferkey to remain on Donehy for whole match.The neccessity to have a plan for Donehy was highlighted by practically every journalist prior to game.
    3.Failure to give Richie Feeney any gametime and then expecting him to be up to speed in Semi final
    4.Started Barry Moran who was clearly unfit and untried
    5.Did not have kickout strategy correct ..something you alluded to yourself in audio report.
    6.Bringing on Enda Varley and then not using him again
    7.Failure to take an injured player off though he was clearly injured in drawn game.

    You ask we give opinions .These are mine and I repeat I admire and respect James for all He has done but his decisions this year were poor.You do not agree…thats your right as I thought it was mine to be honest.

  64. @Liam I had the main post written in as quick as I could type it. Read up alot over the years on process improvement and sports science.
    I’d be willing to setup and help operate an online crowd funding side with funds going straight to Chairde Mhaigh Eo. The online community can direct their communication n funding through that medium to Chairde Mhaigh Eo.
    Having the dinner there was thinking why not be ambitious enough to have the funding diaspora spread to as many countries as possible. Like online web cam night telethon type thing. Its once a year and the main funding drive. Mayo night in as many cities across the globe all in parallel. Each venue/city gets its moment on the Web link. Mid West Radio on a smaller scale had this in Mayo with Mayos biggest pub quiz across many towns live. So you could have the bizarre moment of some Mayo fan on the webcam from Antarctic (who knows plan it for night that Mayo flag would be there with a fan). Theme could be raising the Green n Red flag in every major city in the globe. Online can see an updating map of the world and funds update from each city in live updating total funding. That would work and that would raise phenomenal money with sufficient Green n Red champions in each city. In major venues players n ex players could help draw in crowds. It could be built up to in our media for one year before and it would kick a gigantic chunk out of the McHale park debt I would say. But not sure would use all for that. Not sure I’ll have a better idea than that. I’m convinced Mayo people can make that happen.

  65. I would have two addition, nothing new to what has already been discussed,

    Andy Moran – real leadership and great ability to hold the ball,
    Jason Doherty – thrived this year, hard worker and regular scorer,

    Will be difficult to pick a winner, the reality is that different skills and attitudes are required in a team sport, and getting that combination right can be the key in success. Just love boyler’s attitude, Higgins skill, Keegan’s drive, on and on it goes, will need to think about this but all contributed significantly to the years efforts.

  66. Honesty is fine but your original comment gave no justification for what you were saying. I’d agree with some of those things on your list, but not all of them. The point I was making though was a wider one, which is that now that his tenure is over the only relevant thing to consider is his record over the four years. All the inspired things he did, all the wrong things he did are all subsumed into this and it’s his record that his successor will be looking to exceed.

  67. Jesus folks, if anyone from the county board is reading these posts and isn’t making contact with the likes of JP then ye need your heads examined. Ideas like above being offered along with the offer of setting them up are fantastic. Surely someone here has the ear of someone in McHale Park.

  68. Totally agree WJ that his record is a good even great one and I had many great days following him.He took us from a bad place and in ways transformed us.John Maughan did the same in 96 and there are similarities.Both got screwed by referee and both were tactically …shall we say wanting…after .
    I dont know why that happened wasnt lack of commitment just perhaps they ran out of steam.Both may have cost us an All Ireland though one in 97 and this year…when actually we had the players to do it.
    It sounds harsh and its pointless now anyway.I take your point and your loyalty to James is admirable.I make the point that if the new man can take what james brought and add tactical nous to it we can have great hope for the future.
    Finally we are all hurting this week so maybe raking over the coals was always going to be sensitive.
    Keep up the good fair work you do WJ.

  69. I missed one crucial point in mentioning an updating map of the world it turns Green n Red with flags at as many cities n points as possible. After you submit your location it is searchable for your little flag. But free form thinking as I type, the more you raise the bigger your flag. N the venue with biggest flag get something pretty major but everyone gets their little flag on that globe. Ideally GPS if had donation from mobile is techically possible.
    Another point is that it can be known before hand how many venues n individual champions there will be. If one Mayo person is in the Antarctic they have a donation target based on minimum contribution from all for the night payable by credit card n with it thought through how to collect cash donations n have them turned quickly into online payment. Now each venue also has a target. If the funding drive is to raise 250,000 then actually it’s only 10 euro from 25,000.
    You could have five prioritised cities (Dublin/Galway)(New York/Boston)(Castlebar/Ballina). Actually you can pair off neighbouring towns n clubs. So Knockmore vs Moy Davitrs n Swinford vs Charlestown. The winning town with biggest flag gets something major. Uber exciting would be to have that tension filled moment where your waiting to see can New York beat Boston n can see the flag growing and the money growing too.
    Further more to celebrate our global reach as many friendly games organised as well between the same towns/cities if that was a runner. Winning the game boosts your flag by x amount of points. So you still have a chance. Give clubs/towns many avenues to raise money. Like the old Telethon but with online instant collection of cash from cards n I guess submission of cash amount ftom club over phone “we have 14, 000 in cash here in Boston and 8, 000 from online”.
    That young guy down in the Antarctic would of course support his club. But on the other hand why not match him off against someone in Arctic circle. If champions are registered even a single person is a venue. Pairing each gaa club or town/city against another town means that it will be possible to smash targeted funding per venue. Also calls can go out to find a champion for a venues in weird n wonderful places and as it is online you could have your online venue set as outer Mongolia by simply selecting a location from simple dropdown or clickable map. That sets you against nearest single person venue. With a bit of tweaking format n plenty activity on facebook before it starts would have a visible globe absolutely dotted with venues. Every venue records their photo or video of their little event. A clickable updateable world map is not that hard to setup. You would have a massive volume of participation and even single individuals smashing the target of ten euro per person. Some of the major cities could have really big events New York/Dublin/Sydney. Cash donations likely you’ve got to just phone those in on the night.

  70. JP genius idea but….

    Personally I would like to see such funds raised going to charity.
    I say this as someone who loves Mayo GAA but there are more important things in life though we might not always think so.

    Jerry Jones the billionaire owner of the Cowboys said recently to ESPN that they would not believe the cheque he would write to win another Super Bowl. No amount could guarantee us an all Ireland. He should write a cheque to help those in need in Texas. Good knows there are plenty of them. Sadly he is no philanthropist.

    Sorry for the negativity but that’s my own opinion.

  71. @Roger Milla. I had the same thoughts today on two fronts. Charity more deserving? Also danger of becoming the All crushing Mayo machine? I dunno that point n maybe straying into beyond the beyonds in professional setup are points to consider deeply before setting out on that. Personally I believe crowd sourced ideas and funding would move us to being a 25 strong panel with the best mgmt setup n equipment. But do we actually want that?

  72. They’re not mutually exclusive, lads … 🙂

    Point being, that it’s always a choice where you want to put your money. If you want to put it towards Mayo GAA, fine. If you would prefer to donate your money to charity, fine.

    You can do either – or both – as an individual or as a collective, but it seems there is plenty of desire to contribute to the football effort here.

  73. If the money was well spent JP I wouldn’t have a massive objection. As I said your idea was genius , I would hate to see funds from such an amazing fund raiser flittered as has been done before by more than one sports body….

  74. If 250,000 was collected and goes straight to McHale park debt.
    I don’t know if that helps a great deal.

    What could certainly help a great deal and it doesn’t really involve money would be crowd sourced ideas.

    I have one I’v been designing as a process involving better:
    1. Scouting for players eligible for Mayo
    2. Monitoring of players who have been flagged with potential
    3. Standardising for voluntary scouts (online community who attend games) some simple statistics per player.

    How the system would operate?
    1. Player profiles are created and likely kept confidential to scouting community and county board. Not really fair on amateur club players to be putting their profiles out in the media (my current opinion).
    A player profile contains typical data on a player Name, age, height, weight, physical characteristics e.g. Elite Pace, Powerful Build, Position plays, Club, University, Secondary School.
    2. A review of the players performance for a particular game can be attached to the players profile.
    The review contains posessions, kickouts, turnovers, balls lost, scores, blocks, assists.
    Every review has a simple online template with the same statistics.
    It includes a note on the player they were marking or being marked by, so if you were marked by Keith Higgins and played well that is pretty impressive if you are just out of minor grade.
    3. An instinctive player rating can be attached for those who had little time for capturing statistics. They can write in a short rating notes beside it.

    Why would this be useful?
    Everyone is asking right now “Who are the alternatives for full back?”
    There is ten different opinions on who are candidates.
    Well what is the best alternative is some ex-minor who got injured and is working his way back into form with a junior club. If he was only a sub on the Mayo minor team, injury kept him out for one year and now he’s a little bit unfit.
    If his profile showed:
    Height: 6’4″
    Weight: 15 stone
    Pace: Good
    On that profile we see 3 good game reviews one of the games marking Aidan OShea in a University game. Currently everyone in Mayo would be “Who is he?” especially if he plays with a small junior club.
    Mayo backroom team might take an interest in him and think “What will this player be like after six months of intense training?”
    You would bring to light players who don’t even know their own potential.
    Mayo backroom staff can so a simple database search of all players over six foot two with pace rated Okay and above.
    It would be excellent for keeping a tab on players who are close to a break through.

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