Provisional League fixtures for 2016 published

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The Irish Examiner has a notable scoop today in the form of the provisional list of all the fixtures in next year’s football and hurling Leagues. The full list is available in the paper itself but here’s the schedule facing us next spring:

  • January 31st: Cork v Mayo (2pm)
  • February 6th: Mayo v Dublin (7pm)
  • February 28th: Donegal v Mayo (2pm)
  • March 6th: Monaghan v Mayo (2pm)
  • March 13th: Mayo v Kerry (2pm)
  • March 27th: Roscommon v Mayo (3pm)
  • April 3rd: Mayo v Down (3pm)

So it’s four away and three home matches for us next year, which on the face of it is a tough proposition.  To be honest, though, our home record isn’t markedly better than how we’ve fared on the road in recent years. And, with the Rossies joining us in the top flight next year, one of those away trips is the very short one to Hyde Park.

For us Dublin-based supporters, next spring’s schedule is a fairly handy one. With motorway all the way, Cork is well within reach as a day-trip – even at the end of January – and the away trip to Monaghan is a doddle too. As ever, it’s the home matches that’ll involve the most amount of mileage from up here.

With only three matches at home, this cuts down the scope for Saturday nights under the lights at MacHale Park and next year (like this) there’ll only be one such fixture. Like this year, though, this fixture will be against Dublin so it should draw a big crowd to Castlebar. Let’s hope we put it up to them a bit better next February than we did in March this year.

A small health warning is necessary in relation to these fixtures, in particular for those of you already scrambling to book flights. This list is just a provisional one, which I think is now out with counties for comment and which will be finalised in the weeks ahead. I’m also not 100% sure that all those throw-in times are correct either (and this is just I’m not sure I’ve interpreted correctly what’s in the paper, rather than there being any issue with what they’ve printed).

So although we’re not yet a full week over our championship exit for this year, the road that lies ahead for us in 2016 is beginning to get mapped out.  Onwards we go. Up Mayo.

90 thoughts on “Provisional League fixtures for 2016 published

  1. Thanks WJ. Tough start. No easy games in division one. Won’t be long coming around either you know.

  2. Fuck me that is a hell of a tough start

    Cork away in match one, then the Dubs and then go up to Donegal. In saying that we should win one out of the two Ulster away matches and then I think we have every chance of winning the last 3.

    The positive is if we can sneak one win out of our first 2 (though I’m not confident) we are well on course to even topping the table

    No chance we’ll be relegated imo so I’m not worried about that. i just hope we qualify though, could do with as many CP games as we can get

  3. All the top teams will be looking at the Rossies and Down as their win games. They’ll put out strong squads with that in mind and hopefully give them a decent trimming. In saying that, I’ve no doubt our neighbours are already hard at training and will peak in February as per usual, so I’m happier we’ll have a few games under our belts by the time we meet them. There’ll be 15,000 in the Hyde for that game.

  4. I was thinking the same Ciaran. Then I looked at the positive side of it. We finish with two games that we should be winning. Roscommon away and Down at home is surely 4 points in the bag. I personally believe it is both of those sides who will go straight back down. So 6 points should be enough to stay up. We need one or two wins in our first four games.
    How to approach the league is the thing? What are the priorities. Four types of players I think should make up the teams.
    1. Established guys who are fresh and will benefit from solid selection. I’m thinking Kevin Keane, Barry Moran, Diarmuid OConnor, Patrick Durcan. The rest have far too many miles in the legs to be considered until end of the league and even then off the bench.
    2. Fringe mature guys who would improve with game time David Drake, Brendan Harrison, Michael Forde, Danny Kirby. Aidan Walsh. Andrew Farrell. I personally don’t think those lads got enough game time to bring them on.
    3. New U23s. Evan Regan, Adam Gallagher, Darragh Ruane.
    4. U21’s. TJ Byrne and Fionan Duffy. Duffy is the one I think people should keep a close eye on. He’s scoring heavy and he’s built like a tank. When has that ever been applicable to a Mayo forward? Crossmolina play Ballina tomorrow in Crossmolina at 1pm if want to see a few young players in action.
    I’d still hold off with the less physically developed U21’s. Great to have them around the panel learning. Appearances off the bench in the later games could be an idea.
    As for the FBD, it should be pretty much our U21 team with a handful of established and fringe players. Need to put up a decent showing finally at U21. They need games to establish some kind of rhythm of football. Will be able to assess better then which U21’s can be used in the league.

  5. Any word on u21 job yet? On a different note I see corofin reign as Galway Connacht and all Ireland champions could be coming to an end there 1-10 to 0-2 down at half time in Galway championship to moycullen

  6. Cork in the first game they will be in experimental mode under new management.
    2nd game the Dubs will likely have a 2nd string side out.
    3rd game Donegal away is tough but winnable
    4th game Monaghan at home are tough to beat
    5th game Kerry will likely have close to full strength team for this fixture
    6th and 7th games should be straight forward wins for established and experienced side like Mayo.

    I think Mayo will get 7 or 8 points and reach the semi finals.

  7. I’d still hold off with the less physically developed U21’s. Great to have them around the panel learning. Appearances off the bench in the later games could be an idea.
    As for the FBD, it should be pretty much our U21 team with a handful of established and fringe players. Need to put up a decent showing finally at U21. They need games to establish some kind of rhythm of football. Will be able to assess better then which U21’s can be used in the league.
    I think colleges have first pick on U-21s in the pre-season competitions

  8. Aidan, Corofin got out of jail versus Tuam yesterday fortnight ago

    Were dead and buried, but Tuam somehow blew it.

    Hard to look past Corofin for the title now

  9. The only thing I will say about those fixtures if they are accurate is that we should be concentrating on the last 2/3 games to see if we can maintain our divisional status. I’ll never forget Kerry going up to Tyrone this year in the last game of the League. Both teams needed a win to avoid the drop and in such circumstances you would bank on a home result.

    But Kerry had wisely rested all their big guns for the initial part of the League and introduced them slowly through Spring. In doing so they also blooded a load of younger guys and gave them a taste against top opposition.

    And when push came to shove they had what was needed to keep them where they wanted to be. And its another reason they have such a strong panel this year.Plus they kept the overall team fresh and relatively injury free.

    We should be mirroring something like this approach.

  10. Ya heard corofin were lucky alrite.the winners that game be playing mountbellew moylough who are an up and coming team in Galway.
    Can someone answer me a question I have seen a name mentioned in a few posts darragh Ruane can someone tells me who he plays for and in what be honest I have never heard of him.

  11. Darragh Ruane was U21 sub 2014 and 2015. Plays full back for Moy Davitts at intermediate and U21. Tough pacey kind of player who is a good man marker. Held Evan Regan scoreless from play in 2013 in U21 championship. Went length of the pitch this year against Ballina to score a goal in championship.

  12. If he that good should he not be starting for under 21s? This is a problem we have in mayo talking up players who haven’t done it as if there the next best thing and we all guilty of it.dont forget Evan regan hasn’t played senior championship for mayo yet! And talking up a guy that has held him scoreless isn’t right and is unfair on player himself as it can put to much pressure on a player! I hope this player makes it by the way!

  13. Forget I mentioned about Evan Regan then. Physically he has the right size and build.
    He might make it, he might not but if we are to think about new players who can come in then naming players who have been on county panels is fairly standard in posts.

  14. Look it if he good enough hopefully then he get a run in fbd to prove himself.
    I be very interested to see who what players could be brought into panel based on club performances but to be placing pressure on guys as next best thing is wrong.
    I hear people saying we need to get rid of 5 or 6 players but to get replacements of the same and better quality is the problem!
    I hope the management will have trials for players they think fit that could contribute and they should also look at junior clubs to no player should ever be overlooked because of the level there club plays at.

  15. Never claimed he was the next best thing. Named along with many other players as having some potential so they might be looked at.

  16. JP on the mark with Duffy saw him playing twice last year for Crossmolina minors and u21 they got well beaten on both occasions but he played very well in both games less than 24hrs apart he is an all action all out attacker he seems to be scoring well in the league for cross.Hope we get a good u21 management with no baggage or bias against any club unlike present minor management.

  17. tough games in rough and tough hardy weather. the first three are crackers. stay fit and well over the winter and spring will bring all the hopes and dreams back to life once again!

  18. On the 2015 minors I was filtered out of it on here that it was strange Claremorris didnt even have one sub on the panel. They are walking the minor A championship, winning games with big margins. That’s not possible without at least one player of county sub level quality.

  19. I like the below paragraphs, they were in The Irish Examiner today, written by Donal Og Cusack about the problems Galway faced in the second half against Kilkenny last week, it is something we have faced too in the biggest games and have never managed to overcome, how do we manage to overcome it and climb our Everest i.e. winning the All-Irealnd title. Below you could replace Galway with Mayo and Kilkenny with Kerry or Dublin in the last 15 minutes last week:

    (When you want to conquer Everest, the biggest challenge is the Death Zone. You get up above the 8,000-metre mark and there just isn’t enough oxygen for you to breathe. There is little more than 800 metres of climbing left to get you to that summit but all the things you were so good at down at sea level are much harder now. You will become weak and you will lose the ability to think straight. You suddenly struggle to make good decisions under stress. You become disoriented. You forget the plan. You can only survive for a certain amount of time using an oxygen bottle.

    In hurling, the Death Zone is where Galway lost last Sunday’s All-Ireland final. The Death Zone is the second half of any All-Ireland final against Kilkenny. As a species they have evolved in Kilkenny to the point where they can survive longer and operate better in the Death Zone than any group we have ever seen. They don’t just prepare to survive the Death Zone. They prepare to be part of it. They prepare to exploit it.

    Look at the mistakes Galway made in the second half. Simple basic errors. Disoriented. Stressed. Key men in their expedition went missing. The oxygen of time and space and confidence was taken away from them.)

  20. Why are we away to Cork and home to Dublin? The opposite should be the case next year. Only difference in fixtures should be Ros and Down.

  21. I saw Fionan Duffy playing for Crossmolina against Ballinrobe a couple of months ago and was very impressed. And let’s not forget Conor Loftus either.

    Blue in the face saying it but young talent needs to be nurtured and there needs to be continuity to get these guys through from underage – even schools – level to senior. Our minor and U21 performances this year where we were beat out the gate of MacHale Park on both occasions by Galway were really, really worrying.

  22. [Deleted]. Clearly we were not represented by the best minors in the county this year.If we continue to fail at minor and u-21 then we’re hardly going to succeed at senior.It’s time the county board took a long hard look at what’s going wrong at these grades and put the people in place to deal with it or what hope have we of success at senior

  23. it is very hard to have confidence in a management who start Vaughan 6 days after dislocating his shoulder and not fit to start. S O Shea gets a black card and they are aware that Parsons is playing with a broken finger but they take off Barry Moran, They keep the same plan which failed in the first game : long ball into A O Shea which did not work in the first game , They fail to go man to man for Dublin Kick Outs after gifting possition {Mayo had 52% in first half} to Dublin.long balls into AIDAN which he fails to collect or long balls into Cluxtons hands. Connelly and Holmes won a under 21 Final in 2006 but there was never a Under 21 team in Ireland who had so many players make the Senior Team at the level that this Mayo Team has reached and they were lucky enough to win , i have no confidence in them what so ever. We know how hard it is to win a Final but no team ever wins one unless the sideline team is up to the job Some teams do win Sam with maybe not the best 21 panel but with a shrew management.

  24. I have lost a bit of faith in the management too O’Sullivan but even if there was a vacancy who do we replace them with? Who is out there that’s available and would take the job? My own personal choice would be Jack O Connor but he detests Mayo football with a passion

  25. why don’t they just reverse the home/away from last year, with the 2 promoted teams taking the places of the 2 relegate?

  26. That’s v serious accusation concerning minor management. How true can this be? Surely there would be an uproar from some quarters if this were the case? To not have the best players representing the county is way out of order!

    As regards the Seniors I’m hoping that there will emerge over the coming months a more comprehensive,more effective,free scoring,less hit and miss,more cute,less dependent on one idea forward division! Otherwise it ll be down the Swanee again with all those hopes and expectations not to mention that gruelling preparation and commitment of the players.

  27. Jack o conner would only take charge of a team when he knows they have huge chance of winning so thats reason number one why theres no point thinking about him. He should not be in charge of kerry minors as Mickey Ned Sullivan had this team from u 14 and moulded them into special unit but then the bould jack staked his claim and co board shafted Mickey. O Conner was incredibly ungracious when Donegal beat kerry in 2012 QF telling Donegal team afterwards that he would be shot in kerry if he allowed them to play football the Donegal style. Obviously this didnt bother Fitzmaurice who out donegalled Donegal and got huge credit for it in Kerry. If you read O Conners autobiography you will see exactly what he thought of Mayo in his comments about build up to 2006 AIF. So no hope of Jack been our saviour. If I had a choice of an outside manager it would be Jim McGuinness by a mile, shrewd on the field and gracious in victory or defeat off it. Anyway no need to worry about outside managers as P and N will stay. In fairness they had a reasonable first year but with a lot of Mayo people now it seems to be Sam or theyre failures. That seems to suggest we have had 64 years of failure. Did we really.

  28. ‘the players that pulled on the green &red last week did what they could! Time to reflect now.’ Aidan O’Shea’s tweet about the season, seems to be criticising management.

  29. Nice to look at the national league fixtures looking forward to next year though data o se seem to forget is that in 2013 Kerry where beaten by the dubs was six or seven points yet his having a go at Mayo Kerry had new management same Mayobut Mayo have to learn to push on.i up for Dublin though

  30. ^^^ That was a Kerry team with lads on their last legs and who looked a spent force all Summer in fairness and were a kick of the ball from probably winning that match

    The 7 point win was the most flattering in the history of GAA

  31. I’m always loathe to call time on management especially after first year but I would have to be critical of both Dublin games especially the replay.
    I think they made some good calls with retaining Buckley and not dropping any big names and S&C was at top level again with Barry Solan. However managing tactics in big games is an art. The 2 best are McGuinness, Fitzmaurice with a few Northern managers well up there too.
    I’m torn between calling for their heads and not breaking what’s close to working. The only outsider I’d consider is McGuinness and internally McStay and Pat Fallon or James Horan if he was inclined for 2nd coming. I think Connelly may have the smarts, not sure about Holmes based on AI club final not having Turbo mark Connolly and previous stint with Mayo. No doubt he loves Mayo football but jury is out. I would prefer to see Connelly with Fallon if available as assistant and Holmes could still be part of the setup.

  32. Pacar – I’ve had to delete that first bit of your comment as I can’t see how you can back up an accusation phrased in the way that you have. Maybe you could have another think about how you might frame the point better, in a way that isn’t as accusatory. Also Adam Gallagher wasn’t minor in 2013 so whatever the position is with him isn’t relevant to the point you’re trying to make.

  33. A week after the game and the whole thing has settled. what management even thinks of starting donie vaughan with a busted shoulder? What message does it send to the subs that should have replaced him? Hes still better than you even with his damaged shoulder, thats the message. I think aos says a lot in that tweet, he knows, as do his colleagues that they have a management that have no idea what they are doing. Be sure of one thing, Mayo, even with the team bus drivers uncle in charge of them will be in next years semi final and likely win it because the players know enough at this stage of what’s needed to get past the other 29 counties of Ireland, and be even surer of this,they will lose the final because our management aren’t up to the job against the big 2. My money’s ondublin next week and Kerry next year. We will finish mid table in the league and walk Connaught because there’s no competition in the province if Cillian o Connor and like minded players decide that they want to play for Mayo next year. After that, it Croke park and the usual trip to semi or final and gallant loss, and so on so forth until a tactician becomes involved with Mayo.

  34. I’m also reluctant to criticise management, especially seen as we were in a position to win both matches. I’d agree that starting Donie was a big mistake given the obvious injury. Also, I thought he didn’t look sharp in the Donegal match – fumbling a couple of balls and slightly mistiming a pass or two. In light of these two factors, it must indeed have sent out a very bad message to the subs. It robbed us of one more pair of fresh legs that we desperately needed in the last quarter of the drawn game. These are the small margins.

  35. Very thin line between success and failure. If we didn’t Fuck up with a five point lead last year Fitz would be still looking for his first Sam as Kerry manager and huge pressure would be on him this year.

  36. Is this the tweet that everyone is referring to?

    “We are a resilient bunch of people and the players that pulled on the green &red last week did what they could! Time to reflect now”

  37. jpm, id say aos sees the bigger picture and knows that he may be wasting his time, im sure there are one or 2 other big names in the squad that see whats going on too and might ask themselves if they want to waste their time with it. The way dublin put the boot down and overtook Mayo made us look like complete novices, this after 5 hard years of hard knocks, we have not learned and even allowing for dublins professional set up they were using the same players that flattened cork in the league final in april, it wasnt like a new fresh squad took over after that league final, its the same dublin players. And yet we were flatfooted for those last 15 minutes. Time to reflect, indeed.

  38. I dunno is that a fair assessment Dave. For long periods of the game I thought we controlled it reasonably well and Dublin were actually getting more and more frustrated. True they upped the pace after we got the goal but that was to be expected.

    Unfortunately we conceded a lucky goal (although you can argue Brogan took it well) and then the second one was poor defending by FB line, goalie and sweeper. That was the real killer I think.

    But prior to those we had been right in it with Patrick Durcan’s score showing the ability of the team when they decided to play with pace and composure and make Dublin chase shadows.

    I do question how Dublin manage to sustain their fitness for such a long period of time. I think a lot helps with having such a good bench, playing at home so much and probably the money and resources available to them. I don’t know how much it costs to run this Dublin team but it would be interesting to find out.

  39. At any time in intercounty football the best you can hope for is to have the backing of half your county behind you. This is the prevalent thinking in counties like Dublin and Kerry where Sam is no stranger. Move over to Mayo in football and Galway in hurling and it is easy to see we can expect much less than 50 percent backing. In my opinion to give up or to talk of giving up is the actions of a looser. There are no looses in the current squad and management team. My apologies if I just bust your bubble.

  40. Great to look forward to the start of a new football season thanks again WJ. The last game in the league is at the start of April and our Championship starts in Ruislip on the 5th of June. Management done really well here last year by getting the points early on in the league and then trying out new players. Two of these new players have done really well in the competition that WJ is currently running here at the moment. Any team that plays Championship in Croker in late August or Sept needs a period of rest and preparation. April to June is as good a period as any I believe. Nice to see the Rossies in the first division, not sure if they are good enough. Its a bit early to write them off yet. Glad to be going to the Hyde at the end of March

  41. Just in case it slipped the attention of all the ditch dwelling tactical geniuses who have all the answers to our woes, there is currently a vacancy for the U21 manager going. All you have to do is ask your club (if your a member) to put your name forward. Surely if it’s as easy as some of you say it is, your bound to succeed.

  42. The thing is if you look back over the last number of years, at the end of the day it was the mental fragilities of some of our players at vital times that cost us the biggest games. This is not meant as a criticism but at the end of the day we don’t have the Kilkenny or Kerry winning mentality. Yes over these years our management teams have not got all of their tactics right but it was basic errors by players at vital times that prevented us from winning the big games. We could have won all of the big games. In the 2012 final the first goal was sickening but it was the second goal that really killed us when a defender let the ball slip through his hands. In the 2013 final it was a mess-up between our keeper and full-back that allowed Dublin back into the game. In 2014 even after Kerry scored their late goal in the drawn game we had a chance to score again but lacked the composure to do it. When we got level with the Dubs in the drawn game again we lacked the composure to get the winner. In the replay we had Dublin on the ropes but we missed chances to finish off the game and then to compound this we messed up our kick-outs. We missed a lot of great chances in all of these games as well and conceded too many sloppy goals. Yes our management teams didn’t get everything right but at the end of the day all of these games were still winnable. So when we are bringing new players into the team should we be looking for players who are really mentally tough. Is that what we are really missing. Maybe in the up coming club games we should be looking at the players who score last minute points when under great pressure or defenders who make last ditch blocks to prevent goals. We need players who have the right mentality and will do the right things at the right time. Our management team needs to be the same as well and dare I say it us supporters need to have the right mentality also.

  43. A fair point HSE but I believe we are inching ever closer and the trick is to continue to add to our existing arsenal

  44. Yes PJ there was a good article in the Sunday Indo today talking about Galway in hurling and us in football and it mentions about how hard it is to break the losing sequence and on the other hand for Kerry and Kilkenny they have the knowledge of winning stored up so at the end of the day winning the big games becomes easier for them. They probably expect to win while we hope to win. For us Stephen Coen who was captain of the 2013 winning minor team should be a good addition next year as he has the right mentality.

  45. Hi All,
    Apologies for posting in such a painful time but I really feel that I need to post this……..I see all of you hoping for the All-Ireland and as I said you are very close to it with such a class team in my opinion but I could not believe that I read Mayo last won the League in 1970? If this is true and don’t forget League form means so much more now in terms of the Championship well then that’s where Mayo should be aiming for initially. I know some people say its only the League but I can tell you all that when we won our first one for some time 3 years ago it was magic. There is never a bad time to walk up the steps of Croker to collect a Trophy….just my opinion but I think this is Mayo’s starting point……take care cheers

    Kind Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  46. Dave. I agree with you 100%. What we don’t have in Mayo is a tactician. Both C&H are not or nowhere near being astute to bring us over the line. Having said that some of our players are also not able to have the killer blow. We are supposed to have the best trainer in the country, but that didn’t show in Croker the last day. Players make mistakes, but it appears some of ours keep making the same mistake time and time again, I won’t name players, but management cannot keep giving a blind eye. We again in 2016 will end up worse than 2015. It’s now time to make a cull and stop this mentality that hopefully no one retires. We played 11 games in both NFL and AI series and we won 7.
    Anyways best of luck in 2016.

  47. Hi Martin,
    Our last League was in 2001 under Pat Holmes as manager. Pat won the league but nothing else as manager, which sort of proves my point…..
    League doesn’t really matter so long as you stay in div.1.
    Though you’ll be glad to hear that fixture list would push me into the Dublin camp for the AIF – always best to get the all Ireland champs when they are cold near the start of the league:)

  48. Martin don’t ever apologise for posting here. Your comments are welcome. We won the league in 2001 ironically under Pat Holmes beating Galway. Galway win Sam later in the year and we got knocked out by Westmeath. One national title since 1970 is pretty terrible reading.
    We are the longest serving county in Division 1 and have lostsnu league semi and finals in recent years. Loosing as much as winning is indeed a habit.

    Best of luck to Dublin v Kerry. We can have no complaints ye were the better team both days this year.

    P.S From what I heard Friday trouble is indeed coming and most will hear it this week. I won’t say but I suspect some may know what I am talking about.

  49. Who know’s where this whole shit storm will be in a couple months time.. I do know it didn’t do Cork Hurling any good when the players decided to take on the County board and management team at the time, there were mass resignations and it put Cork hurling back a couple of years.. so be careful for what you wish for. To my mind when AOS said what he said it should be taken as face value.. ie., we the players gave our all on the day and we did our best and u know sorry we didn’t win it. That all he needs to say and that’s all it needs to mean. It’s up to pat and noel to say, when the time is right, why they think we didn’t win it.. is it because they got the tactics wrong, is it because we didn’t have enough midfield cover, etc, etc., u know the rest. They might say fuck it u know we got one or two things wrong but we are really close and we can do this, but we need another year and buy in from everyone involved including u the supporters. In my honest opinion I believe that Pat and Noel and the County board got a lot more right than wrong this year (I was originally of the McStay camp) and we should give them one more chance. A lot of you will disagree, that’s fine, that’s what debate is for.. but I would much prefer looking for one or two forwards in the national league to bring us to the promised land than looking for half a team whilst trying to fight for survival in div 1. Let’s not over react, let’s see if the Dubs do beat kerry and then let pat and noel say there piece

  50. Not being smart or disrespectful in any way, if any of ye were playing Dublin in the All Ireland Final next Sunday which forwards would ye start if ye had all the current available Mayo and Kerry forward unit to chose from. I would like to see the starting six, I think Mayo would struggle to have anyone start outside of Aidan and Cillian and there are very many who would only have them on the subs bench.

    Mayo have everything but ye lack the man for the job so to speak. I mean Kerry can call on different players to carry out a particular roll with varying strategies in mind to disrupt the backlines they are facing. I think ye need to identify young players and start moulding their talent for a particular position like O Dwyer used to do.

    Mayo are a fantastic team but they do need more to get over the line and I think two managers will never get hem there. A strong leader with ruthlesness coupled with the experience to know he has to listen to good advice. It is heartbreaking to see some of those warriors walking off the field without a Celtic Cross in their pockets, they are good enough to have them,,

  51. After spending some time basting I have finally come to realise that Mayo will never win an All Ireand unless we develope a real cynical and ruthless streak.

    Take for example Seamus O Shea’s black card. Why did Sheamus have to leave at a crucial point in the match? Answer. Dublin were ruthless and cynical and Seamus paid the ultimate price for his natural and understandable reaction to Cooper’s blindsided assault. The week before Cooper made a good attempt to end Diarmud’s football career and being unsucessful was rewarded the following week by getting SOS sent to the sideline.

    The only way Mayo will win the big one is to train to be victim when you are the culprit.

    Mayo are a seriously team and deserve to get their rewards for all the hard work but they will keep on fucking knocking on heavens door unlees we play outside the rules with the same level of cynicism and ruthlessness that Kerry and Dublin have and Tyrone possessed in their frustrating demolition of Kerry in 2005.

    The in between years when The Yerras took us to school. They didn’t do same to Tyrone. Why?

  52. I’d put the same question back to you gamechanger.. if ye had the current mayo and Kerry defensive unit available for selection, how many Kerry defenders do you think would start.. it also would be very interesting to see that starting six. This is where I see this Kerry team being undone.. Dublin will bypass kerrys midfield and run at their defense.. especially if kerry push up on the kick outs.. I suspect Moran in midfield will not be mobile enough and will be ran ragged..

    but I could be wrong altogether and that man for the job yer on about could do just the trick and win the game singly handle himself.. shur we will just have to wait and see I guess

  53. Others have replied Martin so I don’t need to add that our last League title was in 2001. Would you believe it, I came across an old copy of the Western People in the house today from the week after we won it that year, with a photo of Noel Connelly on the front page of the sports section with the cup. I always think that League win was recent enough but seeing that old paper today made me realise it was a while ago so, having lost a fair few NFL finals since, it might be time alright to try to add another one to the list. Best of luck in the final, by the way, I hope you got sorted with a ticket for it. I too would like to see Dublin do it but I’m afraid I’m leaning towards Kerry at this stage.

  54. Hi Willie Joe,
    Thanks a mill for your response….no ticket in my hand yet but please God I will be okay, cheers. It will be very hard to beat Kerry like it was very hard to beat Mayo but you never know. Its gas I have played out the game in my head every night since we were lucky enough to beat Mayo……we are all passionate about this great sport that we love. It can break our hearts and make us feel 10 feet tall, anyway thanks again Willie Joe I appreciate all the kind comments from the sound Mayo people and I will leave you with this, UP THE DUBS!!!!

    Kind Regards,
    Martin the Dub

  55. I think Dublin will win it and Kerry have to keep an eye on James McCarthy cause he has some pace. Dubs by six are players unhappy with the new management I have to ask

  56. Toe to hand
    My starting six forwards would be Walsh, toss up between O Shea and Buckley, and Stephen o Brien. ff line Gooch, Donaghy and o Donoghue.subs in no particular order BJK, COC, Paul Geaney, Darren o Sullivan D O Connor, T Walsh and Andy.
    Mid field Moran and Maher, subs S O Shea and Parsons
    Back line
    Higgins, Murphy, and Enright subs o Mahony, Cafferky, M O Shea
    HB line Keegan Boyle and Lyne/Crowley subs K young, P crowleyC Barrett

  57. Fair enough idiotic only to some one who does not know!! The proof for us all was there on the day! Anyway I best becareful a black and a yellow is not good for a contributor!!!!

  58. It’s probably just as well that all this is stuff of fiction.. because me and you gamechanger would have rose tinted glasses in our selection. What would definately define my selection is the way Kerry plan to set up.. which I believe will be ultra defensive. The team that Dublin struggled most against in recent times was Donegal so why not replicate it again.. kerry are well capable of this as they showed against Donegal last year. I do not expect Donaghy will play to start and if he does come on it will be for a victory lap or yee are in big trouble. The type of players that will be playing would be ferocious tacklers/turnovers, ball carriers and long distance runners.. someone has to keep up with Diarmuid Connelly for 75 minutes after all.. okay here goes.. its only a bit of fun after all..

    ………………..C O’Connor…………O Donoghue………
    …………D O’Connor………Moran………Maher……

  59. That team would lose badly trust me, Kerry will push up and put serious pressure on them from the get go. Kerry setup against donegal like that because they don’t play like Mayo or Dublin simple as. Kerry play to their strengths and they an go toe to toe with any team that plays football. They will cover back when under pressure but they will have faith in the attacking u it from 8 to 15. Donaghy may not start if its a wet day but if its dry get ready for some blue pigeon feathers in that Dublin backline. Regardless it won’t be like last years final as Kerry only play that system to defeat it, Sunday will be a fast attacking game and be ready for a little surprise or two if I know EF. Win or lose this will be worthy of the occasion and the fact that its an All Ireland Final wont be lost on all involved, fasten your seatbelt?

  60. liam, if i was on the fence before the replay I am definitely not on it anymore. Mayo need proper tactical help, an expert to help them analyse where it goes wrong because in the last 30 years at senior championship level we have lost 16 semi finals and finals combined . Something very wrong with that picture,dublin, derry, donegal x 2, down, armagh, tyrone x 3, meath x 2, cork and kerry in the lean years have been all able to step up and land Sam while we blow chance after chance in those 30 years. I had my Mayo tinted glasses on for years, but this latest defeat has smashed them glasses, just go back and look at all the league finals, league semifinals, ditto championship at senior, the look at minor losses, club losses and tot them up. I dont know of any group of fans in any sport that gets exposed to so many losses at different levels, its astounding. And yet a lot consider us a football superpower,with our 1 senior league final to show in 45 years, against galway in 2001 when the semi finalists were sligo, roscommon, galway and ourselves, I may be corrected on that but I think thats right. Surely theres someone out there really keen to come in and give a few pointers to noel and pat if they ask?

  61. i think we are so, so, close. We have the players with all the skill’s, until we get to taking our scores and making room to take them, simple as that. This has been our failing down the years.I am sure stats will show this to be the case.
    How do we address this.
    We need a specialised forwards coach and we need to adjust our underage coaching,
    focusing on forward play , simply practising over and over, kicking scores , so much that it comes second nature to the players.
    It is not rocket science.How did Kieran McDonald become a great kicker of the ball, I would say, by practice, above and beyond, what he was coached.
    Watching Dublin and Kerry, they score at will ,are comfortable on the ball, not rushing their shots.This is down , simply to coaching ( Practice, Practice and more Practise).

  62. I watched the game yesterday, thats the fastest time i was able to watch a Mayo defeat after the event.It must be getting easier to get over it as we clock them up!
    We lost the first half in the full back line.Barrett is the only one who was up to the job.Higgins got roasted by Andrews for his first two points.As far as i could see Cafferkey picked him up them and he could do no better.
    I’ll be nice and say that Keith Higgins is way too good a footballer to be in the full back line.
    Have we got two men in the county who can stick within one yard of their man for an entire game and forget about playing football?
    Could any of the present team who has done all the s&c for the last few years be left in the square with a sign on him saying ‘ though shalt not pass’ and maybe put one of those fences around the square that you use for keeping in dogs ,that if he strays out he would get a shock!
    You don’t need good footballers to be good defenders .I’m blue in the face trying to get this point across!
    I think I’ll have to lie down after that…*

  63. On reflection the squad was down to the bare bones for the replay. We had Conroy gone, Regan gone, Cunniffe gone, Vaughan gone.

    Someone else said that maybe that’s why Vaughan was started – because if he came on as a sub and then had to be re-subbed again it would have been very severe. Although I thought he was clearly unable for Kilkenny in the first half.

    That only left a lot of new guys to the panel come in for the subs for the defence. E.g. Coen, Durcan, Drake which would have been a gamble.

    Maybe Keith should have been moved as sweeper and Harrisson or Keane brought in to try and mark someone in the Dub FF line. Again that would have been a gamble considering the quality they have.

    All relative now although it goes to show that if a guy is not 100% then he probably shouldn’t start. Maybe we have to gamble more with new guys and a squad to try and get us over the line.

  64. I heard Jack O’Connor doing an interview a few months ago about Kerry’s current minor team. He was saying that this year’s forwards were not as good as the forwards in last year’s team so he asked Declan O’Sullivan to attend a few training sessions to work with their forwards. So it just shows that a combination of little things like this can make all the difference. I’m sure it must have been a big boost to these players to work with one of the best forwards of the last 20 years. All that knowledge is built up over time. I remember watching a documentary about Paudie O Shea a few months ago and Jack O’Connor was a selector under him for a no. of years. Then it was Jack O’Connor who brought Eamonn Fitzmaurice into the Kerry set-up in 2009 to do video analysis for him. Again as they say its all of the little things. Compare this to Noel and Pat coming straight into our set-up this year.

  65. Honestly cant understand why Jack O’Connor keeps coming up in. Stick with our own, whoever it will be, it will be a Mayoman that takes us over the line. Please end the fawning over everything Kerry, its pathetic

  66. @ KL, the point I was making was that you had a successful manager who was managing a team that had deficiencies in one area, up front, so he brought someone into his set-up who he thought would add value to his young players minds. Thats what I was talking about. We have seen that we have deficiencies up front, at the back and in terms of closing out games. We should not be afraid to bring someone into our set-up who could work on our deficiencies. My comment had nothing to do with Jack O’Connor becoming manager of Mayo. I’d actually like to see someone like Stephen Rochford be involved in Mayo football in some way as his teams play football in the right way and his attention to detail is second to none.

  67. HSE, was just glancing throughout posts and seen O’Connors name (again) and flipped!! I’m still sore! We need to get our kids in front of the posts and practice, practice and get comfortable putting the ball over the bar, every one of them, whatever position, size, sped, age or creed. We are creating fantastic athletes, but not enough footballers. You can run forrest run all day, but winning is all about putting the ball over the bar at the end of the day and we have never been comfortable doing that when the heat is on. And stop playing out best forwards in midfield just because they are the best players on the team, lets make a concerted effort to develop ‘real’ forwards. Off the top of my head, Diarmuid O’Connor, TJ Byrne, Adam Gallagher, Aidan Walsh all played midfield underage and god knows how many more for their clubs – these are the guys that we expect to step up to be top senior forwards, yet we are really developing them as utility players. Its obvious that through the years our forwards are not comfortable taking or engineering a score when the heat is on. A converted back, Andy Moran, to me almost shows others with basic guile and smart forward play when he enters the fray over the last few seasons

  68. I believe that by a careful reading of the different reports in the papers by correspondents
    who are experienced you would have to conclude that the management was not on
    the ball.
    It would be helpful if the management explained the reason why :
    we didn’t push up on Cluxtons kick outs
    A OShea was not supported
    D Vaughan was on the team and
    we finished without a midfielder

    Maybe it is too much to ask although it would clear the air

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