Poll: who was our Player of the Year?

Okay, it’s a full week on now from our Championship exit and so it’s time to start thinking about our 2019 Player of the Year.

This award was first instituted here on the blog back in 2014, when Cillian O’Connor picked up the inaugural honour. Diarmuid O’Connor won it in 2015, Lee Keegan did so in 2016 and Andy Moran won it in 2017. What with our early Championship exit last summer I never got around to doing a poll for 2018.

But this year has been a long one and the efforts of the players, in particular those who have led the charge for us, deserve to be recognised. So the Player of the Year award is back for 2019 and here, in alphabetical order, is the shortlist: Colm Boyle, Darren Coen, Paddy Durcan, Fionn McDonagh and Aidan O’Shea.

As usual, this shortlist has been derived from all the votes cast in the various MOTM polls held here on the blog for games played this year. This encompasses eight National League matches and nine Championship ones. I tried to be all clever and attached weights to the raw data, seeking to reward performances in the really big games but, to be honest, the same quintet came out on top using both methods.

So there you have it – that’s the shortlist for this year’s Mayo GAA Blog Player of the Year for 2019. But who’ll scoop the award? Well, that’s up to you. The poll is now open.

Who was our 2019 Player of the Year?

  • Colm Boyle (39%, 1,035 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (30%, 783 Votes)
  • Paddy Durcan (26%, 688 Votes)
  • Fionn McDonagh (3%, 77 Votes)
  • Darren Coen (3%, 70 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,653

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99 thoughts on “Poll: who was our Player of the Year?

  1. .
    C Boyle was our best player in the championshp, P Durcan was fantastic in several games but I am going with AOS
    He was the only player who played every minute of every game league and championship[ except for a couple of minutes when he got two yellows] He was a targeted player every game, took tremendous abuse, never retaliated,
    played and tackled hard all the time, covered the entire length of the field and we were totally dependent on him in the middle of the field. Durable, tough, and an example to all of sportsmanship.

  2. Voted for AOS. Greatly appreciate the effort of B. Harrison. The year is over a lot earlier and isn’t as successful without him and C. Barrett logging massive minutes.

  3. Boyler amazing. But Aido for me. Every minute of every game..the pressure, non stop abuse, (remember m murphy taunting him after what should have been a straight card grrrrr). A role model for all. Grateful to be able to support these great men.

  4. WJ. Think that should be seven National league matches.

    I’ve gone against the grain a little and given my vote to Fionn McDonagh. In fairness could have gone for any of them but I gave it to Fionn because I thought he did extremely well for a newcomer. Worked his socks off and showed that he isn’t afraid of the rough and tumble. Scored a crucial goal for us against Armagh just after they had netted and kicked some brilliant points throughout the season. Couldn’t argue though with whoever tops the poll.

  5. Voted for P Durcan.

    He blotted out the opposition’s key men on several occasions and kicked points himself. Would be very surprised if he wasn’t our sole All Star this year.

    Aidan battled like a Trojan all year but he had a few poor games in mid championship, which is what swung my vote.

    Boyler had a fine championship for a man who the national media, in their wisdom, think is finished every season.

  6. While Boyler had nothing less than an inspired championship, I feel that Aidan has been consistent all year long. He gets my vote

  7. Durcan comfortably for me. In the 3 biggest games of the year, Donegal/Galway/Dublin he stood up tall.

    Darren coen was probably strongest contender up until july but faded

    Surprised to see AOS polling so high on this tbh. He had a good league but let’s be honest he was average in the champo. Anyway ill not start that again, the last time i suggested AOS was less than perfect i nearly got lynched in here

    On another topic anyone know best twitter account to follow to keep up with the club championship scores? Thanks

  8. Cut out that idiotic victimhood nonsense, Supermac – nobody nearly gets lynched here. Oh and by the way, Aidan was carrying an injury since at least the Armagh game, which might explain why, in your view, he was “average” this summer.

  9. i voted for aidan, id have problem voting for any of them on the list , thaught carr should be on it also.

  10. Aidan o shea what a performance from him in midfield i am a big fan of aidan o shea shares the same name as myself aidan white

  11. I voted for Aidan. He gives everything everytime he plays and has done for a long time now. Thank you AOS.

  12. All excellent this year for sheer hard work and effort.
    I’m going with Aiden too as I feel we would not have been in last 2 or 3 games without all his efforts. It included the whole year which includes all league games, and played a very big part in winning the league final.
    Thank you Aiden.

  13. Aidan o’shea for me a constant lion for mayo all year. Could pick up two five or six but in my opinion Aidan as being truly magnificent for mayo. the punishment the pain the blood and the tears they have all been in my eyes magnificent. Roll on 2020 they will be back on the horse and we will be cheering them all on.

  14. What a tribute to Fionn in his first year standing amongst such giants for player of year, I think his effect and inspiration on the young 21 year olds coming in behind him is massive. As to Boyler, the words leader warrior and motivator are three characteristics that fall upon very few intercounty lads of any jersey but he has all three in spades. Paddy is class and along with diarmuid is destined to captain us to great days ahead, although it might sound a stretch I think he could have lit up the game for us in Killarney to a different outcome. Probably the only individual regret of the Dublin game was not seeing Darren have a cut at the posts. He showed so often how valuable a precise sharpshooter is and did the business for us so often this year that he should go on and hit a great year next year. As to Aido what a player. In so many games and in so many venues this year i joined thousands coming away from the ground sharing the same view…we are so lucky to have him and hope he has a few more really big years in him. All players of the year

  15. Boyler for me. If Aido and Paddy hadn’t got injured it would be a toss-up between the three.
    Boyler definitely surprised us all with his rejuvenation and consistency. I hope he carries it forward to next year. He has the whole package and lifts the team and the crowd. Leads by example time and time again.

  16. Boyler… Sums up all the ya want in a leader..
    One of my favourite Mayo players of all time

  17. Aido for me. Put his body on the line so many times. A real leader. Paddy D a close 2nd.
    Incidentally our team of the year would include all the veterans so talk of their retirement are grossly exaggerated.

  18. Difficult choice AOS was inspirational throughout. Boyle’s rolled back the years, but I went for Paddy D. Did we miss him when he was injured?? Remember Killarney. And his performances v S Walsh, R McHugh and especially in first half v Dublin was sensational. What’s more he can get better and I expect him to be one of our main men in the coming years.

  19. I think Paddy Durcan really improved his kick passing this season. He was a bit one dimensional in previous years although still very good. He’s a real all rounder now.

    Hopefully other players have Paddy’s attitude and keep working on different aspects of the game to improve. Stephen Coen is another guy that has got better this year.

  20. Boyler was outstanding all year but any of those contenders would be well deserving. I just think that Colm Boyle was consistently good all season. He was also outstanding in the first half v Dublin. It was only when his energy levels dropped that Dublin got going at us in the 2nd half. Aido had a great season too and Paddy Durcan was just getting better as the year was going on.

  21. I gave it Darren Coen – the only inspirational foward Mayo have left. Took some fantastic scores in key games. Alot of people baffled why he didn’t start against Dublin instead of Diarmuid o Connor.

  22. Five great seasons in different ways from all on that worthy shortlist. You also could make cases for Chris Barrett, Jason Doherty, and Matthew Ruane (Player of the National League). I went for Mr Inspiration, Boyler – what a warrior!!

  23. Paddy Durcan for me,
    Hands down the standout player this year.
    His scores always seemed to come at the right time.
    His 3rd point against Donegal came at a critical time when Mayo were against the ropes.

  24. A O Shea or C Boyle for me. P Durcan was great but the number of times he was blocked down , shot wide or kicked the ball into keepers hands when he had a supporting runner.

  25. Paddy Durcan and Colm Boyle a mile ahead of the rest, I went for Paddy Durcan, look at the job he done on Shane Walsh, Ryan McHugh and remind me again who was the favorite to be Player of the Year before last Saturday? Oh yeah McCaffrey, it’s a no brainier really… and took over the Captaincy in the absence of the injured Diarmuid O Connor at time’s, and didn’t shink… something that has happened Unfortunately to a number of recent Mayo Captain’s… This is my opinion but I think that the top 3 were well ahead of the trailing bunch, Darren Coen getting Bronze my opinion!

  26. Mayo till I die, have a think about Diarmuids display in Newbridge before spouting about a lack of good performances!

  27. Aidan O’Shea for me.

    Was superb in the league and capped it off with a national title. Has been ever present and contributed at a consistently high level – even though he was clearly injured at times.

    He’s just the heart and soul of this team. First name on the teamsheet.

  28. @Mayo till i die,did you happen to see the league final?
    Not a bad auld performance from Diarmuid that day.

    Picking player of the season is like picking your favourite child!

    I went for Aido. Hes simply irreplaceable as was shown by him playing most of the championship injured.If hes even 80% fit he dominates and Mayo usually come out on top.Ive said it before he is the absolute heartbeat of the team.

  29. Mayo till I die..what about last year v Kildare?and more recently the second half of the league final????obviously have a blind spot…or an agenda…but I do think Darren Coen should have started v Dublin,starting 3 injured players was madness.

  30. Durkan, Boyler and Darren Coen for me were 3 key men this summer. Durkan surly an all star and Boyler is well just himself as usual, leaves everything on the field.

    I worried if Coen had an off day (like he did v Donegal) that Horan would drop him for the next game and so he did.

  31. There are good reasons for each of the short-listed players to be picked as player of the year. Colm Boyle has been fantastic throughout the championship, and makes you wonder what was the idea of him being substituted in every game in 2017, as he lasted most games this year apart from last week when he seemed to pick up a knock in the first half.
    Paddy Durcan nullified two of the best players in the country over the past two games, scoring 5 points at the same time, and it could have been different if his shot off the cross bar last week hadn’t led to Dublin’s first goal. Must be in contention for an All Star.
    However, I voted for Aiden O’Shea, even though the All-Star midfielders will come from the final. I think that he carried us through the league, his partnership with Mattie Ruane was key to our success, letting Mattie do the hard running forward while he acted like an auxilliary centre back. He has become the best tackler in the game, the amount of turnovers he won for us this year was huge. The abuse he receives, with flip all protection from referees, and without retaliation, is remarkable. He was obviously carrying an injury in the later stages of the qualifiers and the early stages of the Super-8’s, and yet he played every game given our injury crisis at midfield.

    Those three players epitomise the whole squad, fair play to them, I wouldn’t trade them for anyone.

  32. A good example this morning of rumour mill. Independent on line and all over social media have reported that kilkenny have suffered a huge blow with Adrian Mullen set to miss the game through illness.

    Des Cahill meanwhile is on radio saying that this is false and that he will be playing.

    2 of what you would think, reputable sources, with completely different reports.

  33. Darren Coen for me. Kicked brilliant points this summer, an example to kids as his finishing showed great technique and skill. Keeping the scoring board ticking over is often an undervalued currency in these parts.
    Matthew Ruane also gets honourable mention, a great first year in midfield, quick, mobile, hardworking and some great finishing too. Looking forward to watching him in the years to come

  34. aidan o shea for me. heartbeat of mayo team and wont be truly missed until he in not there.

  35. I voted for durcan but no problem seeing Boyler leading it. How he has never been captain is a mystery

  36. Lads, just to cheer things up a bit, ye are all welcome to celebrate Galway’s AI minor hurling victory v Kilkenny today.
    Ok, I can accept it being a stretch, to find it within yourselves, to hopefully, celebrate a minor football victory v Cork in 2 weeks. TBH I have always felt the province of Connaught to be more of one gigantic County rather than 5 separate Counties.. but maybe that is a few shandies talking..

  37. Well done to Galway Minor hurlers, Man of Aran! It is good to see a Connacht team get a win at the business end of things. It does help lift the desolation a bit : ) That and the fact the clubs are back in action again. Hope you’re enjoying the celebration.

  38. In my opinion, I would take into account the quality of ones play in the position they play, Aidan was terrific for large periods but a lot of his play is breaking up play and hand passing, tackling, the link man. Where he fell down, was his fielding, scoring, and distribution from kick passing. Durcan was terrific, scoring massively, a tenacious marker, great engine up and down the field, Boyle the same, another absolute warrior, again, some great scores, and leaves every ounce on the field.
    I would shade it to Colm Boyle, probably because he was written off last year and has come back to possibly be in an All Star contention.

  39. @Man of Aran.. Best of luck to the Galway Minor Team V Cork on Sunday Week.. As for Connacht being one big County…In a way it once was, long before the Stranger came over here to teach us their way’s … The Counties were an invention of the English Invaders, the Province”s being in existence long long before… And of course there were five Province’s , the Gaelic word for Province being ‘Cúige’ meaning ‘one fifth’ … Meath being the Royal Province and Tara as the seat of the High King of Ireland…. It was always well known that Connacht was the best Province…..Now who wrote that Song ‘ I had four Green Fields’ Actually it was Five!

  40. Anyone at the Ted Webb games the weekend.heard some of the results briefly on the radio seemed Mayo teams did well.

  41. Great article PJ35, very clearly explained, and it highlights the advantages other teams have over qualifier teams, by giving several examples of how it’s all stacked in their favour, especially when, as in Mayo’s case they get six days, rest and recovery, before they meet possibly the best team ever to play the game. Totally unfair, and the guys that schedule these games, should be made read every word of that, most of them probably never played the game anyway, it’s called fair play, for a reason, so it should be implemented.

  42. I voted for Durcan as he was our best player and will be our sole all-star this year.
    Horan needs to re-assess where Aido fits into his team. Yes he’s a very important player but he has two flaws when compared to Dublin players – his pace and his kicking accuracy, he doesn’t score enough and can’t track the likes of Fenton or McCarthy. His major attribute is his tackling so maybe he’ll be deploying in a more defensive role, play two midfielders like Ruane and Diurmuid and allow the half backs to attack ala Horan’s first stint in charge.

  43. It was a hard decision to make but in the end I voted for Aidan he had a tremendous year and got us out of a few holes even though Boyler and Paddy Durcan were superb too and Darren Coen kept the scoreboard ticking over and indeed in my opinion Stephen Coen went about this work quietly and effectively in defence. I think if we have any bit of luck at all next year with injuries it will be an exciting year

  44. When you read the interviews with Liam Sheedy it’s obvious he felt under huge pressure coming back a second time. I understand where he is coming from, you have to better or in his case match what you achieved the first time. James Horan, John Maughan, Jack O’Connor, John O’Mahoney, Cyril Farrell, Babs Keating, Declan Bonner, Brian McEniff, Fergal O’Donnell. Very few have been able to pull it off. What it highlights is the task that Horan signed up for.

  45. Liam Irwin very impressive for Breaffy the weekend scoring 1-5 against Westport marking Kevin Keane.Scoring from very tight angles and distance held up the ball well when under pressure from defenders and sprayed sum
    lovely passes too Only thing he needs to do is work hard on his Conditioning and get his fitness levels up to play for Mayo Seniors.Would love to see him get a chance from JH.

  46. They were all superb. However, I feel that AOS is one of the most critically scrutinised players in the game, perhaps the most. It has become a bit like it was for Liam McHale in his time: any performance that is not perfect is met with negative comment from far and, sadly, near. I feel that he is as strong mentally as he is physically and he plays with a style and panache that is wonderful to watch. He has been wonderful all year. He gets my vote. Up Mayo.

  47. I think Horan should make it his business over the winter to get liam irwin to commit and thern put him on a training regime. Give the lad a clean slate because i really do think he has the ability to be a star and we need him

  48. I went for Boyle. An absolute inspiration and a warrior
    McDonagh had a great year, Didn’t agree listening to the gaa hour podcast on Thursday last week when Parkinson argued that players like McDonagh and Carr hadn’t improved Mayo. Of course they’ve improved the team as a whole. We went out to Kildare in the early qualifiers last year and this year we won the league and reached the All Ireland Semis. How is that not an improvement?
    If we add two or three more again next year, that will be great. Remember the young lads like McDonagh, Carr and Ruane are battle hardened going into next year. Other lads like McCormack, Plunkett and Diskin have had good exposure as well.

  49. Fully agree Erris.
    It was a weak point Wooly made re the two lads. Especially considering it was their first year and given the injuries to the overall team and how this can affect structure etc, and the long run of matches without a break, without the headspace needed to recharge. Fingers crossed they’ll storm into next season. We’ve every reason to believe they will, and hopefully a few more newbies along with them. Plenty positives this year, albeit we’re all naturally feeling the low from the semi.

  50. I really enjoy the GAA hour podcast but I thought Wooly was harsh on Carr, Ruane and Fionn.
    Ruane is a huge addition, serious pace and a great attacking threat from midfield which we haven’t had for a long time.
    Fionn has great pace and dynamism and very good on the attack too. Once he fills out and adds a bit more finesse in the tackle he looks a great prospect.
    Carr is a great ball winner and has two good feet. He’s pacey and direct. He’s a little raw but his movement will only improve from looking at Andy and the likes.

  51. mayofocus i fully agree and i felt conor heneghan didnt defend them enough , the sky is the limit for these lads ,

  52. Totally agree, the new guys brought in this year can be top class. We need a few more next year.
    On another note Kevin Mcstay’s column today is top notch, brutally honest and open about himself and what it means not to win a Celtic cross while also calling out the silly yerra tactics over the final referee – he’s becoming a top pundit, and is making Brolly, Spillane and O’Rourke looking more second rate all the time.

  53. as long as he stays off the sunday game he’ll be good , soon as he goes back he’ll toe the party line again

  54. Media do spout a lot of rubbish, McDonagh and Carr did brilliantly for us this year but only people within the county appreciate this. I reckon it’s a copy and paste exercise regarding mayo football and the media, over the hill, retirements, no young talent. Those two lads will be huge players for us in the future. Would agree regarding Liam Irwin. Huge potential and conor diskin. These lads Should be given the same spuds that con ó Callaghan is eating over the winter.

  55. Excellent article by Kevin Mc Stay in fairness. The loss of all ireland finals haunts us all. Interesting point he makes that in Kilkenny if you lose an all ireland final you won’t have to ask who’ll be retiring off the team you’ll be told. We are no nearer to landing Sam than anytime since 1951 but I Back Horan to get it right and build a fine team that can give us renewed hope

  56. The question is – are Irwin and Diskin prepared to put in the time and effort Con o Callaghan is putting in to get into the shape he is in. Only they can answer that. Let’s hope they will.
    Irwin has the forwards instinct that you can’t coach into a player. Also a reliable left footed free taker.

  57. Are we the second best team in the country? The injuries, the schedules of games and the one week prep for Dublin in my mind dint allow us to get a right cut at Dublin and it makes it difficult to know where we are at. We will have a better idea when we see how Kerry get on! My biggest concern is not the appetite of Fionn, Car, Diskin etc., they will be chompin at the bit to go again next year but its the appetite of players like Aidan, Leeroy, McLoughlin.. the go to guys when the chips are down.. the leaders of the team. Can they keep giving? I hope so because if all our stars were to align next year and we got just a little bit of luck for a change we are not as far off as people might think.

  58. South Mayo exile ,Conor Diskin doesn’t need much more size really, hes a big strong unit already with plenty of pace, I think he needs to work more on getting his name on the scoreboard, and not to drop as deep when playing in the forwards, probably needs to be a alot more greedier when in possession and take more shots at goal.Been played out of position with Claremorris at the moment, can do more damage at full forward in the same role Damien Comer plays for Ga?way been a target man and running at defenders as he has serious pace,like he showed against Westport and Castlebar last year in the championship.He gave Ger McDonagh a torrid time of it when he ran at him.

  59. Ewan McKenna, of Pundit Arena, Colin McKenna of the Leitrim Observer, and Manus Boyle,of the Donegal Democrat, have all published excellent recent articles, subsequent to our defeat to Dublin in the All Ireland Semifinal, very much on the same hymesheet as regards to advantages conferred on Dublin in a supposedly Amateur Gaelic Football Competition! Some would have you believe that it’s a level playing field or at least designed to be as level as humanly possible..Colm ‘Wolly’ Parkinson’s on Sport’s Joe has been repeating it for years now…Ewan McKenna brought us the image of a Mayo Supporter bringing a ‘Child of Prague’ to a Match in Croke Park hoping and praying for the best, in Contrast to the AIG sponcered Professional Rugby Champions, The All Black’s sending Dublin a Video message of Good Luck…. From my observation AIG are backing equality according to the TV adds I see recently, but surely equality come’s in all shapes and sizes but equality of AIG sponcership of Dublin is Surely missing out on the vast majority of Gaelic football and hurling team’s around Ireland…. That’s the Corporate Way, Dublin are becoming more and more a Corporate Franshise every Day…. but conferred with unfair advantages by those elected Delagetes of the Gaelic Athletic Association, and even subsidized by especially hard pressed Mayo Supporter’s, concidering the thousands who regularly and loyally attend every Match, but also others, including the over 82K who attended the All Ireland Hurling Final, at €90 a pop…Kevin McStay also recently in the Irish Times was more than somewhat skeptical wheather either the Galway or Mayo County Board voted with Donegal in their efforts to bring Dublin out of Croke Park for their so called Neutral Match .. I think that it’s a fair question and that the Gaels of Galway and Mayo are entitled to know the truth on this matter..If the Super Eight’s are to be a feature of next year, I hope their not, Galway,Mayo and Roscommon would fancy their Chances of being there, In Ulster, Donegal, Tyrone, Monaghan, Armagh, Cavan and Down are in with a good Chance, but in the wasteland of competitive Gaelic football that Munster and Leinster have become both Kerry and Dublin are virtually ?garunteed the same advantage in the Super Eight’s as they were this year… The People who brought us the Super Eight’s are not interested in a level playing field, but like AIG they certainly are interested telling us about equality, they are also interested the extra money the Super Eight’s bring in, money that is used disproportionally further assist Dublin….At least now, some GAA writer’s around the country are beginning to ask the hard questions.

  60. PS, Colm’Wolly’ Parkinson’s on Sport’s Joe has many times articulated the unfairness of the current situation…re advantage’s for Dublin!

  61. Leantimes, you can’t put the smoke back in the bottle. Funding to dublin won’t be reduced, if anything as participation rates increase so will funding. Talk to any club men in the capital and they will tell you what’s going on with regards underage development and there’s plenty of mayo men involved with Dublin clubs too. Dublin GAA as an organization is professional, lots of full time staff and an systematic approach to underage development that’s applied to every club in the county. In mayo we are totally reliant on individual clubs with good people to produce players. There’s no over arching plan. And remember Dublin have been doing this for 15 years. This is why Dublin is so far ahead and it’s further compounded by all the rest of the advantages. I think its inevitable that Dublin will be split but we’ll probably see 10 all Ireland’s in a row and collapsed crowd numbers first.

  62. NiallMc1993, The rest of the country GAA patrons hurling and Gaelic football, are disproportionally paying money to Dublin…Numbers may be higher particapiting in the Capital, but allot of that money is coming out of other counties where it could and would be better spent where it originated..It should never have happened in the first place, of course it’s much more than a GAA problem, it’s a Government but (all recent Government’s)socioeconomic and a huge one… mirrored sadly by policies implemented?by the ‘Elected’ Top Brass of the GAA…. I am beginning to see some push back at the powers in the GAA that be, from many complaining about the price of All Ireland Semifinal and Final Ticket’s, to the paltry attendance at some Dublin Championship Match’s and the other Semifinal, less than 34K … I remember the build up to the Millimium, some Pubs and Clubs could not change enough expecting unparalleled demand…it turned out to be a damp squid where most people stayed at home….. Those in charge of the Association Today are more than capable of Killing the Golden Goose, and don’t like it when anyone asks them a question, unless it’s Marty Morressy!

  63. Totally agree with you leantimes. Can’t see it changing though. John Horan won’t even accept that the funding has anything to do with Dublin’s success. He just comes out with this cyclical rubbish. I’ve asked the question before how much of the money I pay for my season ticket goes to mayo GAA and I couldn’t get an answer. My guess is F all and this would def make me consider renewing.

  64. NiallMc. I don’t believe Dublin will ever get split up and I don’t believe it should either. It’s not really the answer to this problem. Dublin participating as a single county is not the root cause of current issues either.

    There is something fundamentally wrong with the organisation when a man with any counties interests are at heart, never mind the already strongest county. I don’t personally know John Horan, but he seems to be all hands on deck as far as stengthining the Dublin stranglehold on the championship. The people that put him in this position do not have the games best interests in mind.

    Even the insanely wealthy soccer clubs across Europe have made an attempt to curb spending because of the imbalance caused by some clubs having endless riches.

    Joe in Leitrim should have the same amount of money invested in developing his skills as does Jack in Dublin.

    No team should have unlimited funding and a cap should be introduced, and every player in the country should have equal funding.

    Where are all the millions of the finals gate receipts been spent ?

    Where is all the money from the Sky sell off been spent ?

    There may be answers but the Gaa don’t seem to have any answers as regards funding questions or breakdown of funding.

    “Out of order” seems to be a fairly common reply to any county that asks for legitimate answers as regards funding.

    Why are counties not pulling together to insist that Dublin play a fair share of their games outside of Croke Park.

    How deep has the rot gone ?

  65. That’s for sure revillino about con ó Callaghan. He likes his Sam spudz without the mayo

  66. I can see what Parkinson means in relation to Mcdonagh Carr and DC. Each showed flashes of excellence, Coen mostly as he was our MOTM v Roscommon and Armagh. Problem for him was that when he was off he was really off. When he was on song he was excellent. Coen just needs to work on speed. That’s his major flaw and unless he can be coached to improve this as well as getting into better shape (which he seemed to be doing as the summer developed) then he will struggle against a pacy defender.

    McD had a very good league but for me I think his form was only OK during championship. One moment he showed top ability, the next he was kicking it wide unmarked from 30 yards. I’d reckon he kicked more wides than scores in the championship. Fionn needs to work on his finishing but can be reasonably happy with his 1st proper season for Mayo. He has a very good attitude and isn’t afraid to get stuck into battle.

    Carr showed superb natural scoring ability. In the league final, in Limerick and for a brief spell v the dubs. He just needs to to do it on a far more consistent basis. More games and staying injury free are key for him in 2020.

    But again I can understand Parkinson’s point. He’s assessing Mayo at a high level. Would any of those 3 players be in the Dublin panel? Or even the Kerry team? Maybe but it’s no certainty.

    Look back at the man of the match polls on here since the Ros game. I think im right in saying that Fionn was in the top 5 once so according to us, the Mayo supporters, he didn’t come close to being man of the match in any championhip game this summer so he was never going to be in with a sniff of player of the year. Whereas Coen was twice and yet he’s secured less votes for POTY.

  67. Micheal Donahue gone as Galway Manager.
    He will be a big loss, and fair play he has done very well in his time in charge.

  68. Think you have made very good points there Mayonaze. I think all 3 had good seasons overall and we need to realise it was their first season(other than Coen) so they are in the learning stage. McDonagh did some good things in league before injury set back and I was really impressed with his work rate in championship especially v Donegal.. He does kick a fair share of easy wides and sometimes carries the ball into the tackle and gets turned over. He struggled v Dubs but overall I think he made a positive contribution and should learn hugely as a result of this year. Darren Corn was excellent in the early part of championship kicking points the likes of which we haven’t seen since JH in 96/97. However he tailed off in the last games, struggling v Meath, Donegal and not getting a run v Dublin. Was this a dip in form or was it that he found it hard to deal with the greater intensity. Regardless of this he too had a good season and can improve next year. Carr I felt did some great things when given the opportunity. He was really impressive for a while v Kerry in league final, had an outstanding first half v Galway and showed flashes of brilliance v Donegal and Dublin. He seems capable of winning his own ball and looks superb as he cuts in from the wing and takes on his man. For him consistency is the key. Doing it every day and for longer periods each game. This time last year we may not have expected these three lads or indeed Ruane to have made such positive contributions but they along with a number of other younger lads came in and did well. Credit JH for that. And according to our manager he intends to blood more new lads in the near future. That’s very positive. The thing is can these new lads reach the levels of self discipline, application commitment and ability shown by the older guys in the last 9 years. If they can that would be brilliant because they will have to be damn good to replace the likes of Boyler, Higgins, Moran, Doherty,etc,etc,etc. Warriors and legends all.

  69. Fair analysis there Mayonaze I think
    All 3 of those lads have definite potential but obvious enough weaknesses as well.
    Coen – natural forward but struggled at top level. Lacks pace but defintely worth his place in our panel at least.
    Carr – Raw but huge potential. Has pysical presence and pace. Needs 1to1 coaching from someone like Andy
    McDonagh – Good panel player, fantastic engine, needs a bit of S&C work. Not a natural finisher – could just as easily play in HB line as HF line IMO

    Bottom line – to your question on would any make Dublin or even Kerry 26? – Dont think so, Coen at his best would possibly but I can’t think of who Dublin / Kerry would drop to make way for them,

  70. Carr and Coen are as good as Adrian Spillane and the Dublin subs didn’t always set the world on fire this year so comparisons with other panels would be reasonably favourable. Sean OS a great free taker but hasn’t consistently performed from play. No doubt he’s talented.
    Fionn actually does look a very much natural scorer and unafraid to take a shot and we’ll see that again early next year. It’s just as with any young player he snatches a bit when it gets to the high level with less time to think. His direct marker for Dublin was very beatable and with hindsight we should maybe have started Kevin Mc vs the Dubs.. has huge credit in the bank & before this year it would be completely unthinkable not to start him in every important game. If his form has dipped slightly in training fair enough but I doubt it has. In any case we have now 2 options for RHF.
    Matthew Ruane could be a huge addition to Mayo and going forward I don’t see Diarmaid as a definite starter as Matthew can also play in half forwards.
    I also think we’ll see an improved Cillian next year if he can keep those injuries behind him. Was curtailed a bit this year by late reintroduction. Perhaps it’s worth bringing Cillian out next year for distribution and more space and pushing Diarmaid in as he has a knack of scoring goals and can outrun defenders to the ball more easily and offers a high fielder option up there. Irwin is a serious talent but worried if he has the pace at top level. Darren Coen and Danny Kirby have similar talent. Maybe Diskin can make a statement and grab a jersey, not sure if Reape can. Maybe some 2018 U20s can jump the queue. Akram also dropped out but the lad has serious pace. Maybe he’s still too raw. James Durkan also has bundles of pace and came back in late this year so maybe he’ll be the one to grab a jersey. Good at beating his man out to the ball. If he could get more free scoring that would seriously boost his chances.

  71. As for the backs, need to get plenty of game time into Mccormack, Plunkett and EOD in the league. I was never convinced by Stephen Coen until the Dublin game when he seemed to have no problem operating at the top level and added point taking to his game so fair play to the lad for proving several of us wrong. He’s definitely been a slow burner but worth persisting with.

  72. Takes a while to really establish oneself at top level S Coen has been around a while This was his best year Similar patience is required for all the younger lads. Give them time and space to develop Don’t be over critical based on one or two bad games

  73. We do need a full back capable of dealing with big men like a Tommy Walsh, Comer or McShane. Harry did ok this year without really dominating but a some of those FFs are a real handful. We need a guy who’s both big and very mobile. There will always be a few of those old style FFs around. Very few counties have the ideal prototype full back. There’s been no Kevin Cahill, Darren Fay or Cormac McAnalen (who was a converted midfielder) types around for decades. Galway’s Sean Andy looked the best prospect but overdid the gym last year and lost some mobility.

  74. I think the club championship, both senior and intermediate this season will be a great opportunity for lads to prove themselves worth of a shot at the county panel. You look at the two u20 players who were brought into the panel toward the end of of the championship, both from non-senior clubs, Kilmaine and The Neale – so it proves that if you are showing well Horan will give you a chance.

    I think for the u21 All Irl team of 2016, that 2020 is last chance saloon to have a crack at becoming a Mayo senior. I’m particularly surprised by the lack of defenders who have come through. Cunniffe hasnt and doesnt look like he will? Akram has been on the fringes but in his defence, trying to break onto arguably the strongest half back line in the country is difficult!! He also was under 21 in 2017. Ironically, most of the 2016 team that have made inroads onto the senior side were under 21 the following season…EOD, Ruane and Stevie Coen was only a few weeks overage for u21 in 2017. Liam Irwin has always had the natural talent. I don’t know the guy, but if he really gives things a proper go, he could make it through. He has attributes and instinct that very few players possess. Can score frees off the ground…and think of his goals v Ros in 2013 and v Cork in 2016. Unique scores. Conditioning for him is the big thing and like Darren Coen, pace. If you dont have the requisite speed in the modern game then you will struggle.

    Speed alone isn’t enough though. James Durcan is a speedster, for me, hasnt ever shown the football required at senior county level. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong although I don’t envisage him getting too many chances unless he has a belter of a club championship. Before anyone jumps in, he was definitely going for a point in Thurles!!

    Brian Reape – had a very good spring until Croke Park in the league and it all seemed to fall apart so quickly. I dont know what happened but I would imagine he is worth another look and you would assume the lad wants to succeed?

    There were some talented footballers in the u20 squad last year. The captain, O’Donoghue as well as Cathal Horan. Lads at this stage need absolute commitment to make the breakthrough. Players like Harry and Paddy Durcan, neither on successful underage teams should be an inspiration to all those coming through.

    I would hope Horan is going around to all these guys mentioned; speaking with them and basically laying out the path but making it very clear that if they don’t take the chance, it may pass. You have to make serious sacrifices now to play for Mayo. if you aren’t prepared for that, then forget about it.

  75. Interesting article from Darragh’s O’Shea in Irish Times today, basically he is setting an expectation that Kerry young players need to step up and win, no excuses for their youth, or them being in bonus territory.
    This is how a winner thinks, may not mean that Kerry will win but sets the expectations, and drives a culture.
    This is what we should expect from whatever new players join the panel

  76. Player of the year without any doubt AIDAN O SHEA
    Had a fantastic year , took oceans of abuse, no retaliation
    Played all 16/17 games and consistency is what players should be
    selected on, not good performances in a few games. “Consistent”

  77. I see where the kerry clubs are adding a tenner to the price of the all Ireland stand tickets. So 100 euros now for the stand for the all Ireland kerry club tickets.
    The extra 10 is discretionary though.

    The exta money is going towards funding for their players holiday.

  78. fully agree william i voted for Aidan but democracy won and boyler was exceptional as well all year

  79. I dunno. Aidan has had better years, in my opinion.

    Consistent means maintaining the same level over a sequence of games. You can be consistently excellent or consistently average. I definitely don’t think Aidan was consistent. Yes he was consistently there and credit to him for that but his strong league showing (particularly toward the latter stages of the league) and performance v ros took a dip up in Newry and we lost the midfield battle against Armagh. I thought Aidan was hot and cold over mid summer but had a very good game v Donegal. A 7 out of 10 year if I was marking him whereas Colm Boyle was an 8 or arguably a 9.

    Don’t pick me up wriong now. Aidan is a major player for Mayo. I do think as the years progress his role will be one less centerfield orientated and more defensive (because he is a super tackler) OR up front in a target man role. I’d prefer the latter as we have far greater defensive options.

    Aidan at 14, in my opinion, has never properly been tested. I believe he would, if given a ‘consistent’ sequence of games over a league, become an excellent and unique option for Mayo in the full forward line. Importantly, in order for that to work it requires outfield players becoming familiar with it. This is why the exercise of throwing him up to the edge of the square in championship games has rarely worked. It needs to be practised. If it worked and I think it could, it would prove to be a major asset for us and cause havoc in the heart of the opposition defence.

  80. The Kerry-Gough thing just keeps on rolling with O’Mahony back in the paper justifying, clarifying etc his initial comments. Its fascinating to see the way Kerry are keeping this to the forefront of the media for the past two weeks and no doubt it will continue into next. No harm though, the Dubs are well able to scheme with the best of them, most notably the campaign against Lee a couple of years back. The pressure is all on them for this one though, that’s for sure. I think it will finally catch up with them. Next week will hugely exciting for both counties.

  81. Excellent interview with Chris B. What commitment the guys commuting down from Dublin have. Talk about exhausting and they are doing this for years – league games, last few summers of qualifiers, all the training. Not getting back to Dublin til 1am and up for work following morning. Fantastic guys.

  82. Some commitment been given from the lads working up in Dublin, Chris, Seamie O’Shea, Tom Parsons ,Jason Doc, Cillian and probably a good few more studying too can’t be easy.As Chris says maybe the County Board should be more progressive in encouraging more of our best younger players between 17 and 23 to study in NUI Galway, University of Limerick ,GMIT and Sligo IT and to take up Graduate jobs in Galway ,Limerick or Sligo.Maybe give scholarships to our best Minors and Under 21 players if they take up a CAO offer to colleges in the West.
    Galway footballers seem to keep alot more of their players within the County for example the NUIG Sigerson team this year was made up of nearly all Galway footballers and only 1 Mayo player on it the nearest 3rd level university to us.Alot more Mayo players could be working and studying in Galway city than there is.I appreciate there are some courses that cannot be studied in Galway and they might have to attend Dublin and industries like Construction or Engineering, Dublin has much better opportunities.

  83. Having grown up most my life in Galway, most Galway people want to stay in Galway for college. It’s nothing to do with Galway gaa enticiment/encouragement whereas the draw to Dublin is greater for Mayo students.

    That being said, there defo needs to be some system to try to keep our players in the West for uni and while on graduate jobs etc

  84. TH, I thought chris’s Best year in a mayo jersey was when he was stationed at center back. He reads the game so well. I guess that’s the problem with being so stacked in the half back line and light in the full back line. I suspect we’ll see Chris around next year which is good.

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