Positive injury news a welcome boost

Our mounting injury list of late – capped last week by the season-ending cruciate injury picked up by Tommy Conroy on Sigerson duty for NUIG – has been a growing concern for us in these early weeks of the new inter-county season. James Horan’s upbeat news on player availability ahead of the Dublin game comes, then, as a major relief.

The manager was speaking at a press event last night and Michael Gallagher has a report on what he had to say at it in the Mayo News – that’s here.

Word was going round since Sunday that, although he was stretchered from the field at St Tiernach’s Park, Eoghan McLaughlin’s injury didn’t appear to be as bad as was first feared. James confirmed this last night, saying that it “wasn’t as serious as it looked” and that the marauding wing-back was likely to be out for three to four weeks. That means he’s almost certain to miss the Dublin match but could be back for the Armagh one. We’ll take that.

It was when James got around to likely reinforcements for the Dublin match on Saturday week that the news turned really positive. All-Star midfielder Mattie Ruane – having served his über-draconian two-match suspension – is eligible for selection once again and it looks as if two-time Young Footballer of the Year Oisín Mullin will be available for Croke Park too.

The good news doesn’t stop there because Enda Hession – like Oisín, out so far this year with an unspecified injury – will also be available. So too will James Carr – who missed the opening two League rounds with a knock of some sorts – and Jack Carney, fresh from his MOTM performance at Croke Park with Kilmeena last Sunday.

James also – as he’d done after the Donegal game – name-checked defender David McBrien and attacker Mark Moran, both of whom, he said, were back training after long-term injuries. Somewhat intriguingly, the manager added in relation to this duo that “it’s very interesting to see the progress they’re making.”

It’s not, however, solely in relation to up and coming players that the news is upbeat. There are positive bulletins too about three players at the other end of the spectrum in terms of big-day experience.

Brendan Harrison’s return to the fray this year – looking bigger, fitter and more commanding – has been a real boost for us. It was a worry, then, to see him hobble off at Clones and the concern was that the Aghamore man had picked up an injury that could once again consign him to the sidelines.

Not so, said James, who classified the knock as just a “niggle” and said that Brendan is “moving well now.” Hopefully that means he’ll be okay for Croke Park: as Billy Joe pointed out in the post-game podcast at St Tiernach’s Park, Brendan needs a run of games now to get him back in the groove ahead of summer. All the more so if we’re looking to blood one of the younger lads – such as Rory Brickenden or Donnacha McHugh – in the full-back line alongside him and Padraig O’Hora.

The second experienced player mentioned by James was Kevin McLoughlin. There was some idle chatter in recent weeks when the Knockmore man didn’t rejoin the panel straight away this year as to whetherr or not he’d be back at all. The reason given last night – the need for a short break after fifteen straight years on the road – made perfect sense.

Kevin returned to training this week and James expects him to be ready for action fairly soon, noting the example of Lee Keegan who, despite only just being back a few weeks, put in a storming display for us the last day. As James observed, return-to-play timelines can be short nowadays so I think we can expect to see Kevin’s name on the match-day 26 soon enough.

Finally, on a night suffused with good news, came some positive words about Cillian O’Connor’s situation. The all-time top scorer in the Championship has been out since rupturing his Achilles tendon in our final League match in June last year but his return to the fray now appears to be drawing near.

While James, understandably, didn’t want to be definitive about when we might expect to see the Ballintubber man back on the field, he did confirm that next month’s match against Kerry was now the target. He cautioned, however, that this date could move and that it might be “a week before or a week or two after.” What seems certain, though, is that Cillian will be back in the saddle well ahead of the Galway game at the end of April, which is just the news supporters want to hear.

Overall, then, developments with player availability appear to be looking up. It would be great to have Tommy back as well – and it was tough to see that clip of him on crutches at NUIG’s Sigerson semi-final game last night – but, sadly, that ship has now sailed for this year. Last night’s update from James shows, though, that, despite the hammer-blow that Tommy’s loss represents, we’ve more than a few reasons to be cheerful this morning on the injury front. That certainly makes for a welcome change.

82 thoughts on “Positive injury news a welcome boost

  1. Good news at last. Great to get these players back on the pitch again and also strengthen the bench.

  2. Brilliant, all massive additions to the panel . Please tell me you’ve got that the wrong way round and Armagh game is prior to kerry rather than before game otherwise I’ve messed up booking accommodation in kerry ?

  3. It’s not you that’s jumbled, Sean, and apologies if I gave you a touch of early morning heart failure. The Armagh game is after the Dublin one, then it’s Kerry. I’ve corrected the post now.

  4. Great news all round bar Tommy. Believe Paul Towey shone for UL last night in Sigerson. A note for the diary people. Next Wednesday at 19.30 Sigerson final nuig gaa v ul gaa and it’s live on TG4. A host of Mayo lads involved for both teams.

  5. Fionn macdonagh had a brilliant turnover on the kerry goalie, a good offload to his teammate also, to put nuig a safe 3 up.

  6. Did anyone watch the NUIG game ? i see Fionn McDonagh was named at full forward, did he actually play inside or was it just the number on his back and he was out playing his usual position.

    I recall posters a few weeks ago saying it is worrying the lack of mayo players in sigerson squads.

    I think we will have 12 players between panels that made the sigerson final which is a good return IMO.

    Eoghan McLaughlin
    Connell Dempsey
    Jack Coyne
    Paul Towey
    Conor Igoe
    Luke Tunney
    Jack Mahon


    Tommy Conroy
    Fionn McDonagh
    Gavin Durcan
    Ultan Reilly
    Aidan Cosgrove

    Im sure there is a few more who were unavailable due to injury / other commitments

    Oisin Mullin (NUIG)
    Mark Moran (NUIG)

  7. Lots of Mayo interest in the sigerson final next week, whichever team wins it will stand to the mayo lads on the panel to pick up a good national title at a high standard of football.

    All positive news on the injury front too, would expect hession/ruane/mullin all to come straight into the starting xv for Dublin, Carney hopefully making a cameo too

    I maintain Hession must start in half forward line where we are weak

  8. If it wasn’t for injuries to Tommy and Eoghan, there would be 7 Mayo lads starting in the Sigerson final next week.

    Connell Dempsey has been very good at midfield in the couple of UL games I saw. He’s only a 2nd year student too I believe. Paul Towey deserves a start or 2 in the corner before Cillian returns to see what he can do.

  9. Sam og

    Articles upto December 2021 regarding his switch to AFL were saying he was still a student in NUIG and his social media handle`s are still saying hes a student in NUIG.

  10. Paul Towey’s omission from the 26 last September was a head scratcher, given that he has a record of being able to score points from 30+ yards out. He apparently was also kicking the lights out for Mayo at U20 or U21 a few years ago. Hopefully James Horan can learn from mistakes, but ..

  11. I have seen most of ULs games and I’ve been seriously impressed with dempsey reckon he could be a bolter yet this year with mayo. In the games I’ve seen He’s been very mobile, good in the air, option for kickouts and kicks great scores from distance, more impressive runs great lines and rarely wastes a ball. Really think as hes a horan type of half forward and could see game time this year, as everyone says sigerson is a high standard only off intercounty..wasn’t hugely impressed with towey last even though I rate him got turned over too easily a few times even if he got 3 points. Again was hoping more of Jack coyne only started the last 2 games and hasn’t been marking the opposition main man such as finnerty last night

  12. Word I’m hearing is dubs will have a few back for next week . Could be a very different Dublin than we’ve witnessed the last two games. It was suggested Con o C was going to play hurling this year by some . I dont think that has any bit of truth to it . He played in a challange game before league started v the rossies and I think got some minor injury . Wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him togged next sat week .

    Match odds , Dublin 8/13 ,Mayo 15/8

  13. Dublin will see this as a way of kickstarting their season and if the dubs can get up for one game its playing Mayo on a Saturday night in croke park.

    A win for dublin will take some pressure off them as I’m sure they will feel they can get 4 points from monaghan, donegal, tyrone and kildare fixtures.

    Mayo will see it as a way to strike a wounded animal and pile more pressure on their biggest rivals.

    I cant wait for it!

  14. Any sign of Kieran King on the Mayo panel?
    Every man and his dog was tipping him before Christmas to play a big role in Horans plans in 2022

  15. @larryduff,king went off with a fairly serious looking injury for Knockmore in semi final.I wouldn’t think he’s in the frame at the moment.

  16. Great news on the injury front. It really does make the panel look stronger. We really need a couple of lads around the middle judging by the Monaghan game. We got well beaten at times by Hughes/Kearns.

    @blondie11 are you saying that Jack Coyne played well for UL? I missed the semi final but was very surprised when Coyne was let go from the panel. Was excellent for Ballyhaunis last year and the county final changed when he went off injured.

    Great to see Mcbrien and Moran back in contention. Moran has that bit of creativity and something different to what we have already in a unsettled half forward line. Mcbrien then is a big man with great hands and the athleticism you need at inter county level. Could be a man to make a bid impact this year.

  17. This game is well poised for Dublin. At home low expectations etc etc.They are still a top side.McCarthy, Fenton, OCallaghan, Rock havd not gone away.I expect them to do us by 5 or 6 points.Despite our good start we could easily have been done by 6 or 7 points in both those games. Were nothing to write home about Dublin won’t leave us in it like the last 2.
    Can’t see us winning this one

  18. Actually another Mayo lad involved in Sigerson Final.Parke Keelogues Crimlin Ronan Reilly is with UL.Great to see so many involved

  19. Sigerson final is not good news for Mayo. Injury risks multiplying, and in addition, what will any of those lads have left in the tank?

  20. In spite of their travails, Dublin still have a more potent forward line than either Donegal or Monaghan, both of whom we struggled with at times. I would also select their midfield over ours. I would agree with 1989 that playing at home, needing the points and wanting revenge over Mayo will probably see them prevail by a few points in NFL round 3 (though I think we might overcome them later in the year).

  21. We’ll also be stronger next week with Óisín, Enda Hession and Mattie back. They’re three massive players for us. And we’ll have able replacements given the experience other lads have gotten from our two latest matches. I’d partner Mattie with Jordan Flynn. Two players who should complement each other. Two players who may just develop an effective partnership.

    Mightn’t happen this way but we should be aiming to ram a stake through Dublin’s heart. But like many, I’m also expecting a big kick from Dublin for obvious reasons. And they actually weren’t that bad against Kerry. Tralee last week reminded me of Killarney in 2019 when we played them. Everything on both days fell for Kerry. Playing in Kerry is always incredibly hostile, more than any other county grounds you could go to.

  22. Nothing to get excited about yet. Three points on the board could very easy be Nil. Luck with free against Donegal , on another day that might not go over, lucky in last minute goal mouth scramble against Monaghan, most days we let them in. So while there is 3 points on the board it could be very easily a big 0. Dublin will go all out from throw in and if we have a slow start like last two games, if may well be all over by half time, a wounded Dublin is a dangerous animal.

  23. Agreed Liberal Role in the Tie, there was a definite edge to their squad and fans that day. Though we were definitely overpowered that day, I always thought that the margin of victory was a bit flattering to them, and had Cillian stuck the penalty and we converted one of several goal chances we created, it would have been much more interesting.

    Their issue has been conceding soft goals in recent years, something that Jack O’Connor has been working on by the looks of things (hence some cynical fouling when the Dubs looked to have overlaps in the second half).

  24. Looking forward to a big game today in Tuam.
    Colmans v Jarlath’s, throw back to the 1970’s for me.
    Some good players from claremorris Davitts, mayo Gaels, hollymount and Garrymore in the colmans squad

  25. A lot of negative posts regarding the last couple of games. Maybe we had the bit of luck we’ve been looking for on our side. Give them credit and let us look forward to the next game and let management work on the performance side of things. Credit to Robbie for scoring the free against Donegal. I’ve yet to hear a dub saying “if cluxton missed the free in 2011 final we wouldn’t have won the all ireland”

  26. I was in SJC in 1977 when Colmans beat us in a Connacht Final…….They went on to win the All Ireland Title, Hogan Cup that same year. Their first time winning either and they did the double in the same year. Jarlaths still the holders of most All Ireland senior titles (12) but closure of boarding some years back impacted massively…….Last title (correct me if I’m wrong) around 2004, captained by Mike Meehan who would go on to be a Galway star….. I recall Mayo’s Padraig Brogan in SJC being untouchable in colleges football…..

  27. @catcol: Jarlath’s are not the force they were, not having won a Hogan Cup since 2003 (coincidentally or not around the time they stopped taking boarders). Think 2012 was the last Connacht “A” Championship they won, although that could change today. Let’s hope it doesn’t!

  28. Tubberman
    Correct of course regarding our last game in August against Dublin.
    Look we have the 3 points and we earned them.
    Maybe next week will be a win……if its not though its not the end of the world either

  29. Disagree with a lot of the earlier posts here.

    I think all the pressure is on the dubs here. They’ll understand that this is not the ramshackle patched together mayo they’re used to seeing in the league. They’ll know the fairly unique mental and physical challenge mayo pose and I doubt they’ll be looking forward to it.

    If you’re dean rock right now, are you thinking about that horrible pass from O’Dell and wondering if he’s really the kind of player you want beside you coming up against Mayo.

    Dublin are in a position right now that they really haven’t been in before. When you’re winning week after week, it’s fairly easy to just concentrate on the next game but when you are struggling you don’t have that luxury and you probably should start to target individual games. Dublin have Kildare the weekend after. That’s looking like a must win, and with all the will in the world, I think it’ll be hard for them not to have one eye on that game

    From the Mayo perspective, we’re motoring well. Yes, we could easily have lost both games so far but it’s really been our character and refusal to get beat that has got us through.

    On top of that, imo this is actually as close to a home game as we’ll have in this league. We’re well used to Croker and I think the opportunity to basically say “this is our house now” is pretty good motivation.

    On selection, I don’t expect many changes. Mattie will come in for Eoghan, with coen moving to six. I think plunkett will keep his place. He was given a job last year of covering and preventing goal chances and I’d give him that job again, at least for the first half.

    A decision needs to be made if Conor O’Shea is the right man for Fenton. Restricting Fenton will go a long way towards getting a result, so I don’t feel it’s a day for looking to future here. Loftus has done this job reasonably well in the past, so I would probably give him that job again for 40/50 minutes, and then spring Flynn on Fenton. See how Fenton likes Flynn’s intensity when he’s tiring, the games in the melting pot and he’s trying to lead his team.

    Maybe bring Boland in for Walsh. I’d start McDonagh, mainly because I don’t think, given he’s still really working his way back, we can be sure we’ll get much from him coming off the bench.

    I’d leave hession, aido, Mullin, Flynn and Kevin mcloughlin on the bench. Finish the game with serious power and pace, which I fancy might just give us the win

  30. Jarlath’s have 12 Hogan cups but have never won one without boarders, St Colman’s were the the first day school in the country to win a Hogan cup in 1977. Some achievement.

  31. I dont see mayo winning this either. Dublin will look at mayo s scoring threats and think. Tie up o Donohoe. Job done. Nothing from half forward line normally so I think we can get well beaten. They will have us at midfield. Matty s first game back. Tall order. Thinking of last years semi… Tommy was the man that caused them havoc. Breaking the line at pace and finishing with superb accuracy. I just have not seen the man yet that can step into his shoes. Orme is not physical enough and lacking in accuracy. .obviously I hope I’m totally wrong

  32. Brilliant news on the injury front, James talked about 10 players, two thirds of a team and all positive.

    Mclaughlin and Harrison updates particularly welcome as these two will be in the back six come championship. If McBrien or Brickenden or Mc Hugh can break into the full backline then Keegan and Mullin can play further forward.

    Think people are being overly pessimistic about Dublin match. Think it’s a great chance for Mayo. There will be serious competition for places on the panel and a great chance for lads to put their hand up against the Dubs. All the pressure is on Dublin and if we can start well and be there or thereabouts at halftime, no reason we can’t prevail.

  33. Jarlath’s deserved to win, colmans conceded 2 soft goals but that’s life.

    I’d a be one for taking Galway matches out of Pearse stadium but facilities are very poor in Tuam stadium, at least get the pitch done right.

  34. Great day for Jarlaths, some atmosphere there; hard luck to Colmans. Jarlaths are backbone mainly by Corofin and Tuam Stars , 22 on the panel.
    In my days we contested All irelands every few years but as stated above the last ten years have been tough but Jarlaths were always competing strongly in those years.
    On a side Tuam Stadium received another 300k in funding yesterday so I believe the new stand will start this year..

  35. Massive Congratulations to Kilcoo and Mickey Moran.. it’s a second All Ireland title, ex Mayo manager Mickey Moran was involved with, having been a coach of the 1993 victorious Derry team.. the God’s of God’s of Good Luck were smiling on Kilcoo no doubt, but the celebration will be as good as Kilmeena,.. a very good week for the Black and White in Club football!

  36. Agreed Leantimes, delighted for Mickey Moran. Punters at Croke Park sure got value for money today, last-gasp winning goals by both underdogs!

  37. Tuamstar, that’s great to hear about funding.
    Best of luck in the All Ireland series

  38. Didn’t see the 2 club finals but can’t wait to see the playbacks. Sounds like the perfect ending to both competitions.

  39. Name checking players above McDonagh should be rested, he’s been playing all the way to both Sigerson and Fitzgibbon finals. Would be some achievement if he wins both. I saw a lot of the Sigerson and NUIG did their best to lose it with momentum completely changing 3 or 4 times. McDonagh was definitely not in FF line from most of what I saw. It was a great steal and chip up on the turn at the end by McDonagh that sealed it. Not as prominent as Galway’s big guns but understandable given how many games he’s playing in heavy conditions.
    The statement on Orme’s physicality is simply wrong, he’s a big strong lad and his decision making is very good, I expect to see more of him. He’s accurate too so I expect him to start adding scores soon.
    Very encouraging to hear so many players coming back and in. I’d really like to see McBrien. And would be great if Hession is already match fit. Mixed views on Dublin, picking the strongest midfield we have is important to give us a good platform. Dubs may respond well from poor start be we may improve too with all the extra options coming back in so we could well win despite the negativity of some here. Very simplistic view that stopping Ryan will stop us. DOC has a goal per game since return and Boland, Towey or Carr could add something although Towey will be in final on Wednesday so impact sub is his best opportunity so maybe Mark Moran could be sprung. Alternatively play Aido FF and give dubs something to worry about. Davy Byrne wouldn’t fill me with confidence if I were a Dubs fan and Comerford is a good goalie but not as safe under the high ball as Cluxton.

  40. Shuffle deck. That’s a bit of a contradiction on orme. He s accurate so I expect him to start scoring soon.?. As regards aos ar full forward. 7 blanks suggest s not in croke Park. Aos at midfield yes.

  41. 1989…….
    No Padraig Brogan didn’t win a Hogan Cup with Jarlaths but was a serious force in Colleges senior football…….He was on the Jarlaths team around 1984 I think…….

  42. Shuffle deck – I think that’s a different Fionn McDonagh for Nuig hurlers

    I don’t know for definite but the internet suggests he’s from Moycullen and lines out with their junior footballers

    My own opinion is aido should start from the bench all league, he looked jaded last year and could do with some sort of rest.

    The evidence so far though suggests he has to start come championship, it’s too easy to press our kick outs otherwise, as we lack height out the pitch. That might not as devastating in the big spaces of croker though. I guess we’ll find out next week

    Don’t think we should rule out playing him a full forward either. As Malachy clerkin said: you need to ask the question of the opposition

  43. Think its a different Fionn McDonagh alright. Good lot of Mayo lads playing Sigerson final alright but the only two definite starters for Mayo would have been Tommy and Eoghan. Unfortunately both of those are injured and will miss Sigerson final. Positive news on the injury front other than that. 3 points is a good return from two league games so far despite some posters saying we were lucky in both games. Most teams who win games need a bit of luck and we have not been blessed with it in the past. Kilcoo and Ballygunner were lucky yesterday but they shared plenty misfortune in previous years. Yesterdays wins were years in the making just like our eventual success will be. In the short term the game v Dublin is an interesting test. Dublin will see the game v Mayo as a chance to get their season up and running. Despite their two defeats they were not all that bad except for a poor 20 minutes v Kerry. We were dogged if unspectacular in our games. I’d say our lack of scoring potential is our biggest negative . Half forward line is not raising enough flags.

  44. Can we stop talking about Aidan as a full forward, the evidence proves that he is not suited to this position, Centre forward is the only position for him swapping in and out of midfield. Rochford knew this as he played him there all 3 seasons, bar the Kerry semi final in 2017.but in Croke Park come championship he will have to be used as an impact sub

  45. MartyK,

    Just checked there re padraig brogan, he was listed on the jarlaths panel that won the hogan cup in 1982 v skiberrern 1-8 to 0-7. He was not on the 1984 team.
    But the shams in tuam and the college trainers would rate him as probably the best colleges player of his time. An absolute giant of a player .

  46. Surely Fionn Mcd is a guaranteed starter for NUIG too? And I thought Mark Moran was part of their panel no?
    For Limerick, Dempsey and Coyne have played every game so far I think?

  47. The Dubs are under pressure, no doubt about it, especially Farrell. There are definite questions around his management of this transition period and whether he really has the buy-in of the more experienced players.

    That said, I think they will see this game as a matter of pride and an opportunity to quell the chatter around them for a little while anyway. The older players definitely view Mayo as an old enemy that they will want to put back in their box, and the younger players will want to prove that they have what it takes to compete against the biggest rivals. They won’t go down without a fight.

    However, this is also an opportunity for us to stick the knife in further and we should take it with both hands. Maybe we were lucky in our first two matches, but we didn’t lose them and that’s all that matters. Dublin under Jim Gavin wouldn’t have lost against Armagh in Croke Park and I don’t believe they would have lost that match down in Kerry either, but here we are.

    I think it will be a great game, there’ll probably be some bite to it. I’m looking forward to it.

  48. I think the cult of Jim Gavin is greatly operated.It seems to be forgotten that they had already won the All Ireland when he took over probably the most gifted panel ever assembled with massive financial and raw material resources in terms of the playing population in Dublin.
    Would he have won an All Ireland with Cavan in those years….not a chance.He was a good manager but there is an asterix beside all those wins IMO

  49. That was a great day of sport yesterday and I am delighted for Mickey Moran. Such excitement in both games with last minute goals. I see the Dubs havent forgotten the ridiculous comments by the county secretary (in Charlie Redmond’s) piece today. ‘I can assure all down in Mayo that the comments were certainly noticed and raised a few eyebrows in Dublin GAA circles. And I suspect that a few of the Dublin players might use the comments to stoke the fires in the pre-match dressing room”. As if the mayo players havent enough to deal with. In Mr. Butler’s own words ‘do we ever learn”

  50. 1989, if anything Jim Gavin has been underrated by people who think their success was purely down to financial doping and population. Yes, he had a great squad, but it takes a great manager to properly harness that and the team certainly isn’t and wasn’t a self-driving car. They had already won an All-Ireland when he took over, but they were still very flakey and there were a few absolutely huge egos in that dressing room when he took over and throughout his tenure, despite how the likes of RTE tried to spin it. He managed them properly in order to get them functioning as a team rather than individuals and to get the very best out of them year after year. The players bought into him massively, some of them saw him as a father figure. It’s not easy to do back to back All-Irelands (as Tyrone are going to find out this year), it’s not easy to keep the standards at the level required to bring consistent success and Gavin did it five times in a row. Never been done before and won’t be done again for a long time. Yes, they had money and resources, but personnel matters. Leadership matters. Many of that great squad walked after Gavin left, including players who still had plenty to offer at county level and were in the prime of their careers. That tells you something.

    And for all the talk of their huge population pool and the conveyor belt of talent, the players Farrell has coming through aren’t the same standard and I think he’s struggling to get buy-in from the more experienced players. It’s a bit of an Alex Ferguson situation for Farrell I’m afraid.

    None of that is to say that the money etc never mattered – it did and it does and where you’re going to see that coming into play more in the coming years is in their hurling team (loads of kids in Dublin are picking up hurling now). But I think people try to understate the job Jim Gavin did with the footballers. I think his legacy will only grow with the years as people realise there is more to winning All-Irelands than having money and resources – you need to have the right people who actually have a bit of vision and know how to work with challenging personalities.

    I remember bumping into him once and got chatting about football. I jokingly asked him what he would do if he was managing Mayo and he said he’d take the same approach as when he took over Dublin. I wouldn’t say no to that.

  51. @dreamysleepynightysnoozysnooze

    I’d agree with almost everything you said but this “Many of that great squad walked after Gavin left, including players who still had plenty to offer at county level and were in the prime of their careers.”

    Ireland, and the world as a whole, have been through a few quite difficult years with covid. I think when you’ve 5 or 6 all Ireland’s in your back pocket, it’s a lot easier to decide you don’t want the stress and focus on your personal, family and career lives.

    So I don’t think this is quite as black and white as Gavin good, Farrell bad but as I said, I’d agree with you on the rest.

  52. FrostTHammer – that may be true of some of the older players who walked away, but McCaffrey and Mannion had plenty more to give and I think would have had Gavin stayed to manage the transition. I know Willie Joe’s rules here, so I’ll leave it at that.

  53. Mayo GAA put up some pictures of the senior panel training in Swinford yesterday. Oisín Mullin, Enda Hession, Kevin McLoughlin, Jack Carney and Mark Moran all involved.

  54. Larry Duff I meant definite starters on Mayo championship team .Coyne, Dempsey and Towey started fo UL and McDonagh started for NUIG. Would not be positive that any of those lads wil definitely start in championship for Mayo.

  55. Conall Dempsey has to be brought in after his displays in club and Sigerson in my opinion. I’m really looking forward to seeing a Dempsey/Ruane midfield partnership. Apart from inexperience at senior intercounty level, is there any reason why he would fail to make the cut?

  56. I’m not 100% sold on Dempsey or Carney. While Carney was MOTM (and brilliant win for Kilmeena), I note that he had a lot of wides. Similarly Dempsey, I felt that he didn’t quite deliver in the U20 final against the Rossies last year. Probably unfair, would love to be proved wrong, and they are ball winners which we are lacking. On the other hand, going back to those U20 matches last year, I really liked the cut of Ruairí Keane.

  57. Fair point, but Dempsey looks to be in great form at the moment and he can kick points as well as being a ball winner. That monster point he got in Sigerson after receiving a pass from Clifford really stood out for me, it showed how confident he is while mixing it up with the best in the business and that was when the game was in the melting pot. I don’t expect him to play against Dublin but *if* we’ve secured our place in Division 1 with a few games games to go I think he deserves a game or two.

  58. We are in a good place and have plenty of options now hopefully we can see more of the following lads over the next few weeks;

    Full Back Line;

    David McBrien
    Donnacha McHugh
    Sam Callinan

    Half Back Line
    Ruairi Keane
    Enda Hession

    Jack Carney
    Connell Dempsey
    Oisin Mullin (start a game with mattie)
    Jordan Flynn (start a game with mattie)

    Half Forward Line
    Fergal Boland
    Mark Moran
    Conor McStay (injured at present but James Horan name-checked him a few weeks ago)

    Full Forward Line
    Paul Towey
    Aidan Orme
    James Carr (get a run of games under him)

  59. BTW – lots more photos on the Mayo GAA Facebook page, and within that, lots lots more on the Swinford Amenity Park page.

  60. David Gough – brilliant.
    This is shaping up to be a potentially flavoursome game.
    I am licking my lips already (though I know Dublin will go all out for the win or the draw here).
    I feel we are on an equal footing with them at the very least and have a good shot at it.

  61. Agree with you catcol, thought Ruari Keane was the pick of the u20s last year with Carney next.
    Not sure if Dempsey has the pace for an intercounty midfielder, thought one of the Murrays skinned him for a point late on in the Connacht club final but maybe one swallow doesn’t make a summer.
    Jury still out on both Dempsey and Carney in my book but both are well worth a look at.

  62. When I see Conal Dempsey play he reminds me of Fionn Mcdonagh.
    James Horans prototype kind of player actually since he took over as Mayo manager and not at all surprised to see him involved. Whether he’s good enough is another story.
    I thought Ethan Henry of Mayo Gaels showed a lot of promise last year I wonder if he’s in the development panel?

  63. A lad with a subs number called Gavin Durcan from Mayo playing midfield started for NUIG and did very well , catching clean ball and distributing well and wasn’t subbed. Could be a player people missed.
    People getting carried away with Carney, the pace of inter county is serious so I would expect it to take a year if he has the athletic ability to match his football ability.

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