Quiet build-up to Galway clash continues

Galway Mayo big screen

Once upon a time, fadó fadó in Éireann, the West metaphorically used to shake in anticipation of a Connacht championship clash between ourselves and Galway. Just four days out from our 2016 meeting, however, it’s (apologies for continually again using this term but once more it’s the most appropriate one) all quiet on the western front.

I’ve just done a scan of today’s nationals and there’s not a proverbial sausage about Saturday evening’s game in any of them. I know, there’s loads of other stuff to fill the papers at the minute – not all of it, sadly, happy-go-lucky sporting news either – but it’s strange to be heading into a Mayo/Galway championship encounter with such little fanfare.

It’s like the radar machine has been switched off. Or that someone forgot to get petrol for the lawnmower and now there’s long grass everywhere – enough for both teams, their backroom staff and all of the expected attendance at MacHale Park the next evening to hide away in.

But, of course, it’s the local papers that have come to the rescue. The Western People hit the streets yesterday, followed by the Mayo News this morning and both papers have supplements on the big game.

I’ve leafed through both of them at this stage and there’s plenty to keep you occupied. There’s loads of back-in-the-day reminiscing but a full quota of up-to-the-minute match analysis too. Something for everyone in the audience, in other words.

Of the lot, the piece that caught my attention most was Jim Carney’s withering assessment of the Tribesmen in the Mayo News. Jim could, I accept, be trying to be clever in playing down his county’s chances but the frustration and sadness that comes through in what he has to say about where Galway stand now doesn’t strike me as dissimulation.

The Western went to print a bit too early for any hard news about Saturday but the Mayo News does have an update on the player injury situation. Chris Barrett is,we know, a definite non-starter and the paper reports (paper and digital versions) that both Barry Moran and Conor Loftus – neither of whom, it should be pointed out, would be guaranteed to start – are still touch-and-go. Everyone else – including Alan Freeman whose year so far has been badly marred by injury but when he’s played has looked fairly perky – appears to be okay.

That’s about it in terms of news. Just a small house-keeping point: I’m away on a short work trip tomorrow and the day after so I’ll be a bit more constrained than normal in terms of posting stuff till I get back on Thursday evening. By then we’ll be less than 48 hours away from throw-in and, quiet build-up or not, the jitters should be starting.

For us of a certain generation, who can recall several painful scutchings at the hands of the Tribesmen, there are always jitters in the lead-up to a championship clash against them. Despite the fact that we head into this one seeking to make it an unprecedented six championship wins on the trot over the neighbours, I don’t expect to feel any more relaxed than usual. That admission might not sound wholly rational, I know, but it’s true nonetheless. After all, and despite our recent dominance over them, it’s Mayo/Galway we’re talking about here.

97 thoughts on “Quiet build-up to Galway clash continues

  1. Absolutely agree one hundred per cent with you WJ. Much happier days ahead if we can leave them in our wake next weekend. I do not buy all the ” Galway are in a bad place right now stuff”. I expect fireworks on Saturday evening. A Galway team turning up just to make up the numbers in Castlebar. What planet I ask you. Who ever wins on Saturday will probably win Connaught with all due respect to a gallant Roscommon side.

  2. It’s eerily quiet alright, no buzz about this game whatsoever. Maybe we’ve all just reached saturation point and are losing interest in football 😉

  3. They quietly confident here in Galway … Seem to think Mayo have declined and are there for the taking My stomach full of butterflies / elephants but it always is when it comes to Mayo v Galway years of living right on the border years of heartache & slagging at the hands of Galway boys & girls and now living in Damien Comer country!! but in my heart of hearts know we will beat them and well I feel !! Maigheo Abu!

  4. Logic says Mayo because
    – Mayo are a more experienced, more physical and battle hardened Div 1 team
    – Will bring a well-practiced professional and focussed approach to the game
    – Better panel so that non-performers can subbed and quickly
    – SR and his new team to bring a more organised defence and faster forward play although we have really yet to see anything of note

    Concerns
    – Could be a very fiery match with the possibility of key players from each side getting sent off on red or black. Keep the focus Boyler, Leroy and AOS.
    – Galway can score goals with Comer, Cummins and Conroy the main threats
    – Galway have had strong second half displays in some of their league games
    – Will the long road this Mayo team have been on suddenly start to look too long and the ghosts of last Autumn’s heave come home to roost ?
    – SR is a novice at inter-county level, can he make the calls needed ?

    6 point win if we hit TOP form, anything less and this could be very tight.

  5. Defensively if we can shut down Shane Walsh and Damien Comer we will win. Looking forward to see what Rochford will try tactically

  6. It’s fairly obvious why things are so quiet, everyone knows that we will win this game and possibly quite easily. This is why the media are not bothering to cover it. Reminiscing of past clashes is really all the media can talk about as their is nothing really to discuss about this game.

  7. I expect a Mayo win if we play to anywhere near where we are capable of. Home game, new astute management, a few new quality players putting pressure on the 15 on the pitch and the big thing for me is the physique and experience of really hard fought games in the last few years. You just cannot buy that experience and Galway have not been in a position to get it.

    My prediction is

    Mayo 3 -14
    Galway 1 -12

    i am looking forward to see Leroy marking comer, no prisoners taken by the bold Leroy

  8. Davitt51, I would have to agree. It would benifit Mayo more if Galway were strong and really put it up to us but I really cant see it. They have a couple of good forwards and they will come out all guns blazing in the first 15 to 20 mins. But for me they simply are not at the same standard as this Mayo team, thats not being arrogant, just realistic. History has no bearing on the outcome, Mayo teams of the past may have been wary of Galway but this current team know they have nothing to fear. I expect Mayo to approach the game in a professional manner, put what they were working on in training into action on the field and run out comfortable winners.

  9. The Euro’s are the elephant in the room as regards little GAA coverage in today’s nationals.
    I except Galway to give it a right go and we will be in serious trouble if we don’t bring our A game…if we do then we will win.
    I think this Mayo team deserves our confidence after the past 5 years. They won’t underestimate Galway….respect Galway yes of course. Fear them….never. And they probably think the same of us….the way it should be.

  10. Good stuff there Willie Joe. Got the Western myself – JH quite analytical on both teams but dismissing Galway’s chances.

    Piece I really enjoyed was about Jimmy Duggan and the fascinating story behind his declaration for Galway in ’65 after he couldn’t make the panel as a Mayo minor. Ironic then that Mayo won the minor All Ireland in ’66, but Jimmy won the big one with Galway!

    Yes, I know that younger posters will be impatient as they cast their eyes to our AIF date with Dublin, but as an oldie I enjoy this kind of stuff.

    And the match? I think we are under pressure, though this can also be a positive:

    * Rochie is a rookie, and the guys won’t be forgetting, or be allowed forget the H&C heave
    * Our style is in transition – always a dangerous situation, because we haven’t really refined it yet
    * Our defending has improved, but are we at the Donegal/Dublin level of finesse?
    * Consequently our attack has been blunted somewhat. Conor Loftus is a mouth-watering prospect, but he is still not battle hardened. Nor is Regan for that matter.
    * Yes the panel is stronger, and that’s a plus, though I think our midfield (panel) is depleted somewhat, unless Coen can really step up. I would like to see Cathal Carolan get more game time

    All in all, despite Jim Carney’s dismissal, or indeed because of it, why wouldn’t Galway people think they have a real chance? If they look through the league videos they’ll see nothing to worry them, whereas that wouldn’t have been the case last year; we showed plenty in the league.

  11. Was looking forward to the hurling on saturday evening too but Mayo Galway Match is now preceded by Leo Kenny Cup Semi Final (Quarter Finals taking place tonight so semi finalists now yet known)

  12. Catcol, you remember last years league very differently to me. I remember us being very poor in the league, started well enough in Kilarney (but I think its a rule by now that Kerry loose the first one), were very average after that, shipping a heavy defeat v Dublin and needing a draw to survive. all in all I found it a poor league campaign, much the same as this years.

  13. There are only so many sports pages in the nationals & Euro 2016 will eat up the bulk of it, so coverage this week will be limited even more so if Ireland get a good result on Saturday. But anyway things will be back to normal once the Connaught final comes around

  14. Living in Galway I have never seen them so despondent as they are now. If its an act to lure Mayo in they have spread the word very well because everybody is singing off the same hymn sheet. I expect Mayo to win. SR will know all these Galway players inside out after years with Corofin.

  15. Conor Loftus injured again? He is in hard luck with injuries but would rather not risk him for this game as he will be needed later. The type of player that doesn’t lack confidence on the big stage.

  16. Its interesting to note that in the build-up to this game, the views go from one extreme to the other. On the one hand the view is that Galway should be taken very lightly and are hardly even worthy to be on the same field as the green and red machine. Then the other extreme is that Galway are Galway and no matter what state they are in and no matter what state we are in, they can beat us. I actually like the views of Billy Joe in The Mayo News, in relation to the game:

    So from Mayo’s point of view, much of their preparation has to be about the mental mindset. If they have the right game-plan and they approach the game in the right way, I’ve no doubt that they’ll be too good for Galway. But that means the mental preparation has to be spot-on.

    That analysis sounds good to me, roll on the game!

  17. Question is what will Galway’s tactics be? They pretty well know the general make up of the Mayo team so how do they prevent another defeat? Surely Walsh will try something different or will the definition of insanity ensue. Will be an interesting evening!

  18. Mayo have not played good football since part of the Dublin games last year. That is a bit worrying. Our big guns need to step it up and anything other than getting to an All ireland Final will mean their stance against Holmes and Connelly was misguided and that the problem lay with them all along. Big pressure. This one is going to be close. See you in Salthill on Saturday week where we will sneak it.

  19. Mayomad disagree slightly with you here on last year’s league:

    A win against Kerry is good, even if they put out a minor team, but in addition we were very impressive against Monaghan and hammered them (we should have done the same this year in Clones, but didn’t). Also, we went to Celtic Park and won, no easy thing. I didn’t see that match, but I did see the draw with Donegal which was a cracker where we demonstrated we could play defensively, and were unlucky to be pipped for a semi final spot. Our real bummer of course was against Dublin.

    My point here is not to nit pick; I feel we just haven’t put any kind of sustained performance together this year, (Ger Bohan is also making that argument). There are good reasons why, injuries, late start, new management and so on, but an opponent might fancy their chances on the basis of where we are now or where they think we may be. I hope these are two very different things.

  20. I think the scoring could be Mayo 2 15 Galway 2 15 I think it be close match. And replay in salt hill I could be totally wrong.

  21. The big challenge for Stephen Rochford and his management team is to get the best out of our top players, particularly Aidan O Shea. He needs a role that suits his talents and creates problems for the opposition that they can’t deal with.
    We should see on Saturday what way SR. wants Mayo to play for the rest of the year. That will be interesting. Can’t wait.

  22. Cait, it doesn’t get closer than that, and I think you will be proven wrong, mayo by a few scores.

  23. My take on the game last year was that Galway set out to put down a marker early doors and compete physically with Mayo.

    Lundy got involved in an arm wrestle with Keegan. Foolish as there was only going to be one winner there. Comer had Cunniffe under real pressure for 15 mins but then got distracted with the macho bullshit and played his way out of the game.

    We were able to rotate Aido in and out as required and that curtailed the influence of Conroy also. Parsons and Seamie are a big influence for us around the middle. Seamie may carry too much on occasion but he’s a consistent workhorse for us and never gives ground too easily.

    Walsh was a big miss for them last year but I’d expect Keegan to take the reins there. Caff has been going well and I’d be hopeful he can curtail Comer.

    If we’re intent on setting down a marker and bring a decent level of performance we’ll win this game. We have too many guys that are seasoned performers, but importantly are still at the right age to push on further. Importantly, we’ve also added some genuine depth and competition with younger lads like Diarmuid O’Connor, Loftus and Regan coming through strong.

    I’m confident and hopeful of the first real taste of the Rochford era on Sarurday evening.

  24. I wonder will k Walsh have a plan for d o Connor all the attention would be on him.

  25. I’d say d o Connor will be definitely one that Walsh will try and plan for, but how? He would run the legs off most players and still come back for more so Walsh will have to have his best athlete in him and hope for the best.
    Rather him than me to be marking diarmuid o Connor when he’s in form.

  26. One important aspect of the match is the gameplan both managers use. Stephen Rochford is new to the job and has not had enough time to get Mayo fully playing the style of football he prefers. In a tight game that could lead to uncertainty and poor decision making.

    Kevin Walsh has been manager of Galway a bit longer and has more time to get them playing the way he wants. I know it’s a few years ago, but I was really impressed the way he set up Sligo against Mayo in the Connacht final in 2012. Every time Mayo attacked they had 13 players defending and our forwards were forced to kick under pressure resulting in some very bad wides. We were losing practically all the way through until Aidan O’Shea came on in the second half, things slowly turned our way and we scraped home by 2 points

    Kevin Walsh has much better players to choose from now than he did in 2012 and if he gets Galway to put in as committed a performance as those Sligo lads, then Mayo will have to be at their very best to pull through.

  27. its fast approaching saturday and im looking forward to it. I expect a challenge from galway as any derby game. But they simply wont be strong enough for mayo. I do hope that galway go for it and give us a test. Will be interesting to see how we are defencively and where our attacking play is at. Plans need to be implemented early on if we are to have a good run in the championship. If there is to be a bigger challenge in connaught this year then that is far better than breezing through. Bigger the challenge the better. then we will know where we are at.

    Bit of a new look mayo this year. Emerging players in both defence and attack have everyone fighting for a jersey which i feel is key. We simply need a stronger panel and we look to have that this year. Saturday will indicate where we are at right now and gradual improvement will suffice. Take every game as it comes. A fully fit Cillian is top class asset. The Mayo news today had good article on how much he means to us. He is worth 9 to 10 points to us not to mention assists so it speaks for itself. Regan must also shoulder responsibilty and he is progressing nicely.

    Mayo to win, Galway to lose,

  28. Lads, we will win this game end of!!
    Galway haven’t been a threat to anyone in Connacht bar Leitrim since 2008. We can talk about “long grass, they’re very quiet, Galway never fear Mayo” blah, blah, blah till the cows come home but the result isn’t going to change. And again no matter what tactics we/they use WE WILL STILL WIN.
    Unfortunately games Galway over the last few years are becoming like Kerry playing Waterford or Dublin playing Wicklow.
    Wish we could fast forward to August ?

  29. Unlike times past it is now Mayo with a settled team putting in regular top class performances while Galway are searching for a team. Reverse of the late 50’s/60’s and to a lesser extent the 70’s and 80’s. While it is possible that we could see a reverse of 1967 in Salthill I do not think so. Mayo haven’t been on a jaunt to the States and football preparation has become much more professional reducing the likelihood of big upsets – Cork – Tipp notwithstanding. Difference is that Cork are in Galway mode at the moment not Mayo mode.
    When did we last see a major upset in championship football? In addition there is probably no intercounty manager who knows more about Galway football today than Rochford. And neither is there a team with more to prove about themselves than Mayo.
    In conclusion I think a Galway win would be the biggest upset in Mayo football since Roscommon upset us in 1952. I don’t see it happening.

  30. Davitt51, I honestly think ur a wolf in red&green clothing. A Rossie or Galway man perhaps?? I don’t want to seem to be attacking you personally or anything, but have seen quite a few wind up merchants on here over the years and your ticking all the box’es!!… “Wish we could fast forward to August” a statement like that has me convinced ur a WUM, if your not, you’ve some confidence, alot more than most of us!!.

  31. If Mayo have to be at their very best to beat Galway , a team who have been in Division 2 for years,then how do posters think we are going to beat Division 1 teams we may come across?My own feeling is that Galway will keep up in the 1st half but we should be able to put at least 5 extra scores up by the end of the game…

  32. Im with Davit51 and AndyD on this. Top 2 or 3 team with some of the best footballers in the country v a county that cant get out of Div 2 and after a weeks training camp in preparation.

  33. Juan, Irishtown born and bred, I’ve had to live in shadow of our southern neighbours for long enough and really enjoying our dominance over them right now. Can’t understand why people are questioning this teams ability, realistically do you actually think we are going to lose next Saturday?
    Granted the Rossies maybe a little tougher but last Sunday didn’t exactly fill me with fear.
    That’s why I want to get to August so we can get tested against the top teams

  34. Davitt51, fair enough, im from near the border aswell and had to endure the taunts in ’98 ’01 so nothing pleases me more than beating them…(only kerry and dublin would top it).

    Im just not as confident as other years, I do think we will beat them, just not by the margin lots are predicting. Think it will be alot closer than we think…tho hopefully we trounce them. I fear Galway alot more than the Rossies funnily enough. I haven’t the faith in some of the u21’s YET that alot of others do, think they need another year at least of s+c before they really make an impact. Im hoping to see a clinical performance with an obvious denfensive plan in place, then maybe my confidence levels will rise again.

  35. Mayo v Galway . Take nothing for granted.Neither team impressed in the league. We need to dominate the middle third as galway have a number of good forwards. Last year was hard fought and we were pushed all the way helped by an og and a powerful performanve from AOS. Are we any better this year. Nothing I saw in the league suugests we are. Galway had a poor league campaign as well. Predicting an easy win is based on our dominance of the last 5 years but that dominance wont last forever and these Mayo players have put up huge mileage and will be caught sooner or later by some young hungry team. Hopefully that wont be on Saturday or July 10 but all sport goes in cycles and we have been at the top for a long time. I feel we need to do it this year because this great team of ours cannot and will not go on forever.

  36. Mayos v Maroons

    Donnellans Bosco and Dunne,
    Played much just for fun
    In the maroon with the odd coller up
    Seamas Leyden on the wing
    Oft made the game sing
    As they fiddled and faddled to win the big cup.

    And we were there too,often not far away
    Tryin best to keep up with the flow,
    But the skill it was short
    Very prone to abort
    And anyways,it was all a bit slow.

    We had the good looks, wavy hairs and white gloves
    With many fine forwards of height,
    But between me and you,
    Don’t say it out loud,
    But the football we played was right shite.

    But then came the year
    Was it 67 or 69
    When over in Pearse the tide it did turn,
    Liam Sammon had his chance but he shat in his pance,
    As the goal he was given, he did spurn.

    And up went the roar,we’ll be sure back for sure,
    The flavours of life were so sweet,
    But just like a bloom,it soon finds a tomb
    And we slid right back down with a bleat.

    The years they sped by,that now seem like days
    When,many battles were fought with most lost,
    Then, little did we know,from those times there might flow,
    Consequences,that did bear us much cost.

    But how great is the Lord,as he prayed high above
    He thought where we were,was not good,
    Willie Joe did he send
    P Brogan and all
    For to get our great team on the mend .

    And did we enjoy,the great times we had then?
    Almost there many times we contrived,
    But t’wasnt to be,
    For Jimmy Browne you or me
    The plans were not good that we tried.

    So now here we are under a brand new regime
    All thanks to one big gentle James
    A giant among swirts
    Who instilled in the team
    A mentality and verve for big games.

    And Rochford and co are now up for the show,
    The first to make stage at McHale
    The outcome will be,as those who know say we’ll see,
    A performance to cherish not fail.

  37. Regina A fair point, but here’s the thing. Mayo are looking to peak in August, Galway will peak next weekend. That just might level the playing field somewhat. We are trying to win the AI. they are trying to win the Nestor cup in early July. Should our focus be any different, no I do not believe it should, but at this early time in the season nothing can be taken for granted.

  38. A bit apprehensive myself about this weekend. 5 years of History says this is an easy win for Mayo. A 100 years of history says it’s too close to call! To reassure myself I think what would be the outcome if Dublin were to play Galway this weekend? Answer 100% Dublin win. Mayo can and will show their class on Saturday ?

  39. I would not write off a Galway team, but they need much to go in their favour if they are to win. Two years ago they tore us apart in the first ten minutes of the second half. Having said that, if we for once cut out the wides then Mayo will win.

  40. Have to totally agree with Davitt51 here on this one. Not even remotely concerned , not in the slightest . More chance of my car crashing on the way to the match than Galway causing an upset. We had an average to poor league but so what , loads of injuries and played better towards the end when players came fit again. Younger players who now have a bit of confidence . I’d guess Mayo by at least 8 if not 10/11/12. Galway are nobody anymore I’m sorry but they’re just not the force of the late 90’s and early 00’s.They are a very average team.We are top 3 , we probably should have bet Dublin last year and the only team to draw with them. Do you think Galway could draw with Dublin? No they could not , not a chance . This one will be a walk over.

  41. Juan,

    If you lack confidence in the Mayo U21 players conditioning what, if anything, inspires you with confidence in Galway’s players conditioning? Galway have as many young and inexperienced players as Mayo. Without the confidence one or two All Ireland titles brings. Some Galway players have all Ireland U21 titles too, but with a few years of senior failure riding piggyback. You are like too many Mayo supporters, hugging past insecurities like old friends.

  42. Definitely some overconfidence on here. Mayo had late start to league and talk of peaking in August makes me nervous. Ye don’t see Dublin playing poorly in June.
    Galway have lost a few to emigration this year but Walsh surely has had a long time to plan this game. We wiped them out in midfield last year and I expect that point won’t be lost on Walsh so they could come up with some spoiling tactics there. At 50 50 possession we’d need to improve our shooting from the league. They have only 2 star forwards though Sice also seems to perform well for his county.
    Improved free taking with our top 2 free takers should improve confidence from play too.

  43. AndyD,

    I have no idea what condition all Galway players are in, but by the looks of Walsh and Comer their not doing too bad. I feel against the bigger teams with the likes off Mcgees/McMahons/O’Mahony’s our younger bucks (Diarmuid and Coen aside) might struggle with the sheer strength and power of the tackles. Its a world of difference going from your own age group to up against seasoned aggressive campaigners like the men above. For this year, A role of the bench may be a better option than a starting berth imo.

    And by the way chief, im not holding onto any past insecurities, I just haven’t seen a full 70 min performance this year, Even in the Roscommonon and Down games we went to sleep almost costing us the match. Our wides were horrendous against London, they have to improve…their not insecurities, their the cold hard facts.

  44. Diarmuid was fine last year against the Dubs, and he’s a year older, with a year’s extra S&C work, so I wouldn’t worry about him.
    And if you’ve seen Stephen Coen up close, I wouldn’t worry about him either!

  45. As we come closer to the event as usual the focus becomes more keen. The issues that matter most become more isolated and demanding of comment and this time around nothing has changed.

    We don’t have a tried and tested product going into this game and many sharp comments here are quick with a reminder.
    Forever and always the big favourites have to carry and justify the tag.It is a pressure in itself which history will show can be a noose around the neck as players struggle to shake off any psychological inhibitions.The Rossies were caught in this mesh last week as they looked like a v poor club junior team in the first half.But a team in that position learns to deal with this as it goes along,Ros will and we have and I can’t see it holding us back on Saturday .
    However there are a few more tangible elements that are identified as essential to our onward progress.
    We have our hopes but also our fears and they won’t be sorted by anyone but the players selected to carry out the defence of their present position.
    1….will the discovery of one new forward be noticeable on the score board?Will there be something new up front?…. composure, patience,confidence…. a visible pattern?
    2….. will our midfield strategy contribute effectively to our performance ?
    3…..will our full back line handle its affaires with authority ?
    4…..will we witness that general understanding and mature cohesion from front to back that is the hallmark of a team with serious intentions?
    It would be unrealistic to expect an A grade in all of these areas given the little time the boys have had under the new director. But there is no doubt that all of these areas will be closely monitored by all on Saturday evening.
    It promises to be a very special, unmissable and mouth watering event indeed with loads to reveal and hopefully, here I go, it will lay to rest many of those awful fears we have!

  46. Juan, there is no point these U21 being on the bench if they are not ready for playing, the manager needs to call on each player sitting on the bench and have the confidence he can contribute to the team, if not then why are they there and seasoned players dropped from the team.

    I would like to see Loftus start on Saturday in a ff line with Evan and Cillian. He has real potential but very rough at the moment. A run of games in Connacht would help him enormously before the big days in Croke Park. (Mayo will be in Croke Park, win or loose Connacht, win most likely though)

  47. We didn’t beat Galway out the gate last year – I think we won by 4 points with Galway gifting us a goal and Shane Walsh not playing for them. Not exactly a handy win so I don’t know where all this dismissive talk is coming out of.

    We coughed up 4 goal chances to the Maroons last year and they took two of them, a cracker from Sice and a woeful defensive cock up for their second one. Cough up another 4 this year and we could be on the bus to the qualifiers.

    More than anything else on Sunday, I would love to see a really solid defensive display from Mayo with a clean sheet thrown in or at worst the concession of one major. Our defence has cost us bigtime over the past 5 seasons and that is the area that we need to fix first.

    I think we will win on Saturday but I expect it to be close and hard fought. This is Galway’s all-ireland and I expect them to throw everything they have at us.

  48. Try too many young guns and we increase the risk of heading out the back door. Another strategy is try to build unsurmountable lead and then give them game time. It’s a balancing act. Freeman is also a player who could do with game time.

  49. I would see us lining up like this
    ____________GK (could be either of them)
    Harrision____Keane___Caff
    _________Boyle
    Keegan___McLoughlin__Durkan
    ____________SOS
    _________AOS____Parsons

    Diarmid_________________Higgins
    _________Regan__Cillian

    – I think he will start Keane for his strength v Comer
    – Boyle or Kevin Mc to go sweeping, with the other playing at 6
    – Seamie holding midfield and AOS and Parsons given licence to roam
    – Diarmid and Higgins as on the shoulder support and direct running players
    – Regan and Cillian staying close to goal.

    I think we will mimic Dublins running and overlapping game with direct running power, if there is one way to expose Ros and Galways defenses its to run straight at them .
    Regan and Cillian will tag on the scores and I think if we run direct and hard, we will get scoring opportunities or be fouled and give boys scoreable frees .

    Diarmuid and Higgins would be unstoppable going forward and also great breaking ball winners . It should also be a good tactic to get AOS and or Tom P free in the middle runing on late to o handpass and with their power running it would be wave after wave of attacking power, it would break any defence down .

    I think this is the way alot of team are playing like Dublin and Donegal, ok Donegals attack and pace is alot more blunt than that of Dublin but they do attack in rugby style on the shoulder supporting waves.

    I would prefer to see Clarke start too but thats just a personal thing I am happy with Hennelly but more confidence in Clarke.

    Keane deserves his start and lets try a full back line thats tall and comfortable under the high ball not necessarily just for this game but in Conroy, Comer, Flynn, Sice they have tall men who will be stationed at Fullforward at various stages of the match but also bearing in mind the like of Kilbride, Cregg and Shine will want high ball as will McBreaty ,Murphy and co .

    Conor Loftus, I would use from the bench, have every faith in him being top class but lets not let the cat fully out of the bag on Loftus.
    Andy should also add an impact from bench.

    All in all, however we line up,v things are looking good and I do believe Rochie has a plan aided by McEntee who will have them focused and sharp, I think we will win but it will be a very fast paced sharp game .

  50. There is still a shadow hanging over our defence right enough All The Way but if we were to have a major surge forward I’d opt anytime for this to happen up front.Too many of our scores have been coming from shear hard graft….fine on the score board but not good enough for the general throughout the field health of the team.
    Sometimes I feel the forwards inadequacies are accepted more readily than those of the defence.
    What’s the psy like out the field when so much hard won possession is squandered inside and visa versa?

  51. The Galway team for Saturday:

    Galway (SFC v Mayo): Bernard Power; Eoghan Kerin, Declan Kyne, David Wynne; Liam Silke, Gary O Donnell, Gareth Bradshaw; Paul Conroy, Thomas Flynn; Gary Sice, Shane Walsh, Johnny Heaney; Eamonn Brannigan, Damien Comer, Danny Cummins

  52. Shuffly, normally I would opt for freeman at ff as I have great time for him as I think he has a lot to offer. Loftus just doesnt have the game time with the seniors having missed the league while with the U21s. I think it would be wise to give him game time in Connacht in McHale Park before heading to Croke Park.

    Outside of boot, interesting selection but for me way to many positional changes throughout the field for it the work with fluidity. These guys have been playing incertain positions for a long time, some struggle when asked to operate in a new one ie Keegan in the league when asked to play corner back. Cant see Rochford being that radical in his selection in his first season.

    Inbetweener, regarding the defence, there was definite signs of improvement at times in the league and I would expect a big improvement come championship. A few small tweaks can make huge differences, I would expect the fb line to play a little deeper, this move alone would close the space between the back lines where we have been vulnerable to diagonal balls into runners running into space in the past.

  53. A host of new players can work in two ways….they are overcome with the occasion and playing against a more experienced seasoned, hardened team or they rise to the challenge and makes names for themselves…heads in our camp need to be right for this.

  54. Looks like it will be a dry evening for the owl game Saturday.

    Hope there will be a massive crowd there to roar Mayo on.

    Hope we can keep the owl wides total well down in single figures and we can put up a good score especially in the 2nd half playing into the bacon factory end (the scoring end) as we pull away from them on the owl scoreboard.

    That is the owl plan anyway but plans can go out the owl winda very quickly if one or two things go wrong. Like 82, 83, 84 and 87 against the same owl opposition when we left 3 Connacht titles after us and didn’t even turn up for another one. However i expect us to turn up on Saturday and put in a performance. That should suffice.

  55. Still a shadow hovers, Mayo mad! The league is quite a different world to the disarming nature of the championship….only saying that a few summer outings against formidable opposition will put the mind to rest.
    Jim Flag, that’s going to be a very overworked owl owl!! Lovely tone to the piece! Concur entirely!

  56. Never heard of a lot of these guys named for Galway, could it be a dummy team very early in the week to be named.
    If this is their team Mayo by 10 or whatever margin we want

  57. Could be a dummy but remember game is Saturday….so not very early. I can’t remember the last time we named a team early…much be pre Horan era.

  58. Outside of the Boot. Nice team tactics and I agree about Keane. Galway will be as defensive as they can. Can see them playing a couple up front and everyone back.

  59. If Declan Kyne starts as fb for Galway, then we have to plant Aido on him every 10mins or so, he’ll destroy him if theirs half decent high ball in.

    I like the look of your team outside of the boot, id be a big fan of playing Higgins in the forwards…need more pace up there.

  60. I see that the Mayo v Rosc Connacht Intermediate Hurling final, which I thought was to be the curtain raiser for Saturday night, is now postponed with a Leo Kenny Cup semifinal on instead. As usual with the Connacht Council website I cannot find out who might be playing in that.

  61. Galway FB is new to the championship, but got league time over the last 2 season’s. Possible double sweeper setup there. I am expecting something radical from them around the midfield. We will have the beating of the PC, TF pairing I think.

  62. It’s amazing to think that even though we have dominated Connacht for the past 5 years, in that time Galway have still won more national titles than us, 3 (2 U21 and 1 club All-Ireland). We have won 2 (Minor and U21 All-Ireland) and Roscommon 1 (1 club All-Ireland). That pretty much mirrors what has happened down through the years in Connacht, Galway win more All-Ireland titles from less chances. We win a few, here and there and Roscommon pick up the odd one as well. That is where we are at.

  63. Without a doubt there is over confidence we will win this match at a canter ..
    We probably will win but it would hardly be the shock of the century if mayo lost
    Tipp cork last week shows what can happen ..
    If all this Galway are an irrelevant annoyance for Mayo that is being thrown around
    the place in the media, the sunday game and amoung the press, the players being
    human might go in 5% off. A couple of first half goals for Galway and Mayo could
    find themselves the battle of their lives. The Sunday Game in peticular was comical in
    its disrespect towards Galway last Sunday. Ros v Mayo should be a good final etc ..
    Galway are a 4/1 shot in the bookies not 50/1

    Looking at Galways results in NFL2
    Laois 1-10 Galway 3-12
    Derry 2-12 Galway 1-18
    Galway 1-9 Tyrone 1-11
    Galway 0-15 Fermanagh 0-15
    Armagh 1-15 Galway 1-15
    Galway 0-15 Meath 1-12
    Cavan 1-16 Galway 1-12

    They are all decent results. This team are not a joke. They really should be afforded
    a little more respect .. Mayo to win but it could be

  64. @AndyD
    It’s supposed to be Charlestown vs Mountbellew/Moylough but CB won’t call off league games. Ridiculous that club players not allowed enjoy a Connacht semi final in Castlebar because they’ve a full round of Junior/Intermediate and Senior games fixed for the weekend.

  65. Alan T with respect the results are not too hot. Two wins out of 7, and 5 games without a win. Lucky to get draws against Armagh and Meath, unlucky to get a draw with Fermanagh, and failing in the critical game with Cavan.

    What is impressive is that there is a regular 15/16 points put on the board. With the failings of our backs who are vulnerable to go missing at the most crucial of times this could be the problem. If our first choice full back isn’t playing I would worry that we do not have an option that has proven themselves at championship level.

  66. With respect Alan T, winning 2 games in division 2 is hardly inspirational. Given those same fixtures, I’d be disappointed if Mayo didn’t win at least 6 game in Division 2.

  67. Alan t, thank you. This may not be as easy as some expect even with Galway losing players.
    Some are optimistic, that’s good, it’s arrogance that annoys an opponent into raising the game higher and we need to be careful or end up losing this game.

  68. Yeah lads but my point is Galway are being totally dismissed which i find baffling

    The came 3rd in division 2. Cavan and Tyrone were without doubt the best 2 teams but then Galway were next best.

    Mayo had a very mixed league. Survived on points difference in the end. At no point during the league games did i think yeah this mayo team is really taking shape. Ross match was a wash out. scrapped past monaghan and did just about enough against a demoralised down team. Granted we were missing a lot of players early in the league but so were most teams.

    The addition of Regan and Harrison and big positivies. Only time will tell if they can deliver on the big day.

    U21 is a great lift

    I think we will win but its annoying when lads are banging on about Dublin and AIF when there is a very credible challenge right in front of us.

    Rochford is a rookie at this level and I take the challenge of Galway seriously ..

  69. for a Mayo Supporters! site, there isnt a whole lot of supporting going on, there is alot of pessimism and pointing out how Mayo can loose. If Galway people were reading this they would be thinking jaysus these boys are worried, we have a real shot here. Not a whole lot of people highlighting the strengths of this Mayo Panel and where we are obviously stronger than Galway. Our midfield is far superior and we have one of the best half back lines in the country. Add to that COC who is one of the top forwards and statistically the best free taker in the country. I dont have to mention DOC, 20/1 to be player of the year! Easy money.

    Maybe people should look more at the positives this team offers and not dwell on negitives and what ifs. Being critical is fine but a bit of positivity is a good thing too.

  70. Mayo got 6 points in Div 1, Galway got 7 in Div 2. The gulf between the divisions is quite significant. In one swoop, Alan, you are putting a negative twist on our campaign and a positive one on Galway’s. That doesn’t make sense in my view. Galway should have got themselves out of Division 2 for once and for all. They failed to do that. I’m confident that we will beat them on Saturday. That is not arrogance. It is a conclusion drawn based on the evidence of the last 4/5 years, including this year.

  71. Well said AlanT ,, thin line between confidence and a bit of arrogance ,,, this team is experienced and will be only focused on galway ,, roll on saturday !

  72. I was at that Galway-Tyrone game in the league. Losing by 2 points at home flattered Galway, Tyrone were running away with it and totally took their foot off the gas. Galway well able to kick some nice scores but wiped out at midfield and defence very porous. Struggle with the intensity and physicality of the Tyrone side. But Shane Walsh is a top notch footballer and with Comer, Sice and Conroy also well capable of causing bother, this is not one to be taken lightly. Have yet to see Galway put together a decent defensive game though, so let’s hope they haven’t managed it come Saturday!

  73. That IS a strange looking Galway team.

    I expect our following to outnumber Galway’s significantly, and these numbers could unnerve young Galway guys. We can and should make a lot of noise, and while not aping the soccer approach, a ‘This is Anfield’ type of statement could be worth a few points.

  74. Alan T, I suppose what the Galway results show is a level of consistency that was not there in the last few years. In previous years, they would have one big win then a big loss the next day out so from that perspective, they have improved.

    We seen Fermanagh give a good account of themselves against Donegal in the first half of their Ulster championship game and if they had scored the penalty, they might have done better. Galway would probably be a better team than Fermanagh and we would hope to be a better team than Donegal later in the year. So that match, a mid-table Division 2 team against a top-half Division 1 team is similar to our game.

    We just don’t want to see anything silly happening to us, like what happened to Neil McGee. He will now miss Donegal’s next two games after his sending off. We don’t want to pick up any needless black cards either, like what happened to Cillian against London.

    P.S. I remember when we were playing Derry in a league semi-final in 2014, somebody on here made a comment about how much money people should put on Mayo to beat them, that there was easy money to be made. Well it was easy money to make, for Paddy Power that is and not the punter, as we all remember the result of that game. I thought that was a arrogant statement to make then and when I see it made again now, I still think the same way, it is a arrogant statement to make, taking about easy money to be made.

  75. Alan T – agreed the dismissal of Galway is perhaps overdone at this point. That being the case, I don’t believe there is anything inherently wrong in Mayo fans holding an expectation of victory for this game.

    The League was the league and while we did just about enough, you could have had a starting 15 from those that were injured on some days. Bear in mind the injury/unavailable list vs Galway is the shortest it’s been so far this year.

    If the Galway team that’s been named is the one that does line out, i would expect Mayo people to be quite happy with the result come Saturday night.

  76. I think we’ll win too MayoMark but i just found it ridiculous that 3 separate pundits on the Sunday Game referred to the Mayo v Roscommon Connaught Final last week ..

    Bizarre to completely dismiss the challenge of Galway who could on a given day beat
    Mayo if Mayo’s heads were not right and were already thinking towards a connaught final ..

    Its not london mayo are playing on Saturday ..

  77. Ah Catcol, forget Anfield, just pretend we’re in the Hyde! If you’re into that sort of thing, home venue, just like the Wind or big support never won a match. In the past most notably 2011 v Cork the then All Ireland champions, in the quarter finals Mayo had very little support. They surprised everybody including me by deservedly winning the match. Buts that’s the thing they deserved to win because they were the better team. Support can be a double edged sword, Up to this present decade, huge expectation, huge home support and Hill 16 often seemed to be a burden to the Dubs. The Dubs improved immeasurable, home venue, home support is an advantage to Dublin or is it? , certainly against Mayo, Donegal, Tyrone or Kerry ,don’t think any of these terms were overawed, maybe their inspired, but that’s because their very good teams,. The better team usually wins the notable exception being, Louth V Meath in 2010,& Kerry V Mayo in Limerick in 2014. We just have to hope to be better than Galway. I will say this someday we will be beaten in Connaught and we will be hot favorites. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen on Saturday evening. Personally I love big crowd’s at football matches, Let’s hope for a big crowd, both Galway and Mayo supporter’s, plenty of noise and colour, and may the best team win. .

  78. My money is on Mayo to win this game, but I wouldn’t ever bet my life on it. Galway for all their faults are training very hard and are in division 2, Tipperary (division3) with a dose of players gone from last years panel were able to overcome a cork (division1 in 2016) team that reeled in a 9 point lead with minutes to play on Sunday last, tipp were able to hold on and score the games last 2 scores, proving that it’s all on the day.
    We can be confident in our ability but also be cautious in what Galway can offer on the day

  79. I read earlier on the Connacht GAA website that Tom Parsons is the vice captain this year?

  80. To be honest lads it will be a straight forward Mayo win where the contest will be won long before the final whistle If Galway take to the field Saturday night with that inexperienced full back line.

  81. Can i just point something out to everyone on here. There is not 1 person here who knows whether Mayo will win or not!!!! Not ONE !!!! Everyone is just SURMISING. Everyone is entitled to surmise whether they think Mayo will win or whether Mayo will lose. No one opinion is superior to the other. They are all the same and one is as valid as the other; all fucking speculation!!!
    I am so sick of reading arguments about sheer possibilities and nobody, but nobody, without exception, knows, for certain who will win… Could it be possible to talk football only. Certainty will only arise when the final whistle blows. Then everyone will agree!! Peace be to you all.. 😉

  82. You too Joe. Peace man.
    5 newcomers will be in against a vastly experienced and physically tough Mayo team, it’s all pointing to a Mayo win regardless of what’s said on any forum. I would love to see Carolan and a few others come into the game as subs and give Rochford something to think about, nightmares in fact, on who to play since the options are so strong. It would be a first in my opinion and very welcome.

  83. Joe mc that’s all speculation it is true but going on data and analysis of the past ,that is all we have to judge anything in life.. You might die whilst writing on this forum but its not expected based on past results nor is mayo losing to galway. Bookies have mayo at 2/9 for a reason
    They aren’t there to lose money.

    Anyone that is saying galway have a decent chance of winning they don’t realistically, they are 4/1 ,they may have had an ok league but its division 2..and its only the league , they also have players abroad

    Mayo’s injuries say a lot for their league performances and everyone tries out new players that do or dont work out ,rarely do league pwrformaces correlate with championship form(bar maybe Dublin) . Going on stats not gut instinct Galway have not won this game in years, they have not won Connaught in years . They have five new debue players named to start (even if two are dummy its still a high risk)Mayo have almost the same team as last year more or less with two decent new forwards who are growing in confidence .

    Yes ,nobody knows who will win but based on the evidence we have in front of us Mayo should win this one comfortably.

  84. Despite the fearmongering on here Mayo will win on Saturday, and then the fearmongering can start for the Connacht final and when Mayo win that the fearmongering can start for the next round and so on and so forth.

  85. ‘re Cafferty , had heard the same this evening and had hoped it was’nt true, but the source said he will be out for a few months.Could do without this and he was having a great season ,thankfully we have good lads available to fit in on our full back line.

  86. GJC………Your short piece above is spot on – Caution…….Wides need to be seriously curtailed and then we’ve a great chance of a strong win. Although Mayo born and bred, I’m an SJC Tuam man (1974-79) and have a great respect for Galway. But I believe we will win on Saturday. The gradual build-up (fairly non-event league while new players were blooded) was perfect, and I think Mayo will be very competitive once again in the Championship. Exciting prospects of Evan Reagan et al becoming very efficient forwards, and giving us a much stronger attacking-6 than we’ve had in recent years. I think Rochford knows his stuff, is passionate about the Green n Red, and will provide great leadership for us this year.

  87. I was nervous of the overconfidence and jumping ahead of ourselves shown by many here but have to say that if Galway field that team it sounds reckless. Maybe they’re trying to dupe Mayo into playing rookies or maybe Galway picking a defensive unit or maybe they’re forced into it. Hanley is their best chance of stopping Aido, no other Galway defender can 1-1. Unless they have been perfecting a defensive system with these rookie players Mayo will eat them.
    But the overconfidence is some fans. My guess is the management and players will be taking the opposition very seriously.
    Keane will get his chance in Connaught if Caff injured and hopefully grab with both hands. I’m a fan of Higgins in forwards but if Barrett out maybe better to play in his normal position. FB line thin on options with probably Hall as first sub there.

  88. Kerry are probably one county that have a right to be boa adult and arrogant but play down their chances….cute Kerry man if you like. Some of our lads in the media and supporters could take a leaf out. Anyway I do except us to win but I think Galway could throw everything at us and be competitive. Very familiar feeling in the build up to us against Cork in 2011…hope we do t fall into the same trap.
    I see the stand is sold out….excepting a crowd of over 20,000.

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