Regarding the Rossies

Photo: RTÉ

This coming weekend sees the fifth round of games in this year’s National League, with our Division One Round 5 fixture a top-of-the-table encounter with neighbours Roscommon. We’re currently tied at the division’s summit on six League points but we head to Dr Hyde Park ahead of them in the table by virtue of our better points difference.

The match throws in at the Roscommon venue at 2.45pm on Sunday. It’s being shown live on TG4 and Brendan Cawley of Kildare is the ref.

We’ve a very good record against the Rossies in the National League. We’ve won twice as many times as we’ve lost to them in the competition (20 wins to 10 losses) and we haven’t lost to them at all in the League since 1988. That’s also the most recent time we lost in the spring competition to them at Sunday’s venue.

It’s a different matter, of course, in the Championship where their most recent win over us occurred as recently as 2019 when, for the third time since 1970, they showed scant regard for our status as recently-crowned National League winners by unceremoniously dumping us out of Connacht.

Even in the Championship, though, you have to go back as far as 2001 to find the most recent time they beat us at their place. This all means that, unlike our last two League games, we’re not going into this one aiming to end a long run without a win over the opposition. This time the shoe is on the other foot.

Roscommon’s excellent early form in this year’s Division One campaign means they’re coming into Sunday’s meeting with a fair bit of confidence about how they’ll do against us. But, of course, because we’re set to meet in the Connacht SFC quarter-final a mere five weeks after Sunday’s encounter, this one will take place very much in the shadow of the more important meeting facing us both in April.

Before taking a closer look at the Rossies’ League matches this year, let’s first wind the clock back to last year, the final one in which Anthony Cunningham managed them. After getting the better of Galway in the Division Two decider – on the same day Kerry pasted us in the Division One final – Roscommon beat Sligo to set up a rematch with the Tribesmen in the Connacht final.

They lost that Nestor Cup decider by three points. That wasn’t a shock but their subsequent 2-15 to 1-17 loss to Clare in Round 2 of the qualifiers, with the prize for the winners a place in the All-Ireland quarter-finals, sure was and it ended their 2022 inter-county year on a downbeat note.

Kildare’s Davy Burke took over as manager in the closed season and the Kildare man already has something tangible to show for his efforts. Under him, Roscommon – football’s perennial yo-yo team – had all but guaranteed top-tier survival after just three rounds of matches, at which point they were out in front in Division One.

They started off in fine fashion, beating Tyrone by 3-11 to 1-12 at Hyde Park, to provide early notice that this time around they had no intention of becoming prime candidates for the drop. They followed this up the weekend after by coming out on top by a single point in a low-scoring scrappy encounter with Galway at Pearse Stadium, a match they won by 0-9 to 0-8.

The winning run continued the weekend before last when, back at home, they beat Armagh – the Orchard County fresh from snatching a comeback draw against us – by three points, on a scoreline of 1-12 to 0-12.

Last weekend, however, gravity began to assert itself. Monaghan, already desperate for a result as, once again, they struggle to avoid relegation, had three points to spare over the visiting Rossies, winning at Clones by 0-14 to 0-11.

In the aftermath of Sunday’s defeat, Davy Burke, rather oddly, professed himself “glad” that their short winning run was over. I doubt he’ll be voicing the same sentiments, though, if we extend their losing run to two games the next day.

Which brings us neatly to our end-point here and the usual testing-of-the-waters exercise. So, how do you think Sunday will go for us?

How will we do against Roscommon?

  • Win (75%, 770 Votes)
  • Lose (14%, 145 Votes)
  • Draw (11%, 109 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,024

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66 thoughts on “Regarding the Rossies

  1. I’d expect to see four changes to the line up for this. Paddy and Cillian are likely to get a full game, DOC might well sit this one out and the two corner backs may not be risked as they went off against Tyrone. I’m sure Kevin McStay will want a win over his old team.

  2. The winning run i think Davy Burke was referring too stretch back to 2021 as they didn’t lose any league game in 2022. Not sure why you’d be glad it was ended though.

  3. Of the team that started against Tyrone…. who will push into that starting 15 for championship and who will they replace.

  4. I’d like to see more of Towey.. especially if the day is dry.. I think a guy like that if he has a decent amount of football could make hay in the last 15 above in croker.. just with space and speed he be a surprise!
    Tommy needs more games big time.. his initial bursts looked good but his stamina needs work which is understandable considering his injury.. Jason doc caught me by surprise re his position the last day so would love to see him at 6 again just to see if he’s the real deal there as a ready replacement for Loftus if required.. that’s a very clever solution they have came up with for number 6 in fairness.. Jason doc very good, understated player I always felt. Finally, I think Mattie needs to start getting more 7/8 out of 10 on a consistent basic.. has the ability, however goes out of the game for long spells.. watching him run the last day he looks slightly uncomfortable in his running technique so perhaps he isn’t 100%.. we need him though as it frees up Jordan and o connor to push

  5. For much our footballing history we couldn’t win enough games.

    Any games sometimes.

    We tried and tried but just couldn’t win.

    Now we cannot stop winning and the quack department want us to lose.

    Yes. It’s time to lose our way to an AI title.

    What do you do when you have oodles of young talent that have learned how to win ? – according to the rocket surgeons, it’s high time these young players were taught how to lose.
    We wouldn’t want to teach them how to be successful now would we.

    What a vibe to circulate – a wish not to reach a National final.

    What notions we have of ourselves now.

    Too good for a measly League title.

    Great to see the old battle cry of ” we cannot “, still lives strong in many corners.

    Many the high jumper and pole Vaulter have skipped the lower heights only to fail at their entrance height and gone before they ever got going.

    Why shackle ourselves with the pettiness of a league competition when we are obnoxious enough to consider only the championship to be worthy of our full effort.

    Contrary to what people might think, anything other than a full on attempt at winning the league title will weaken our efforts in the championship.

    The rot would have started, and pulling on the reins in the league competition would be a poor precedence for the championship, and would almost certainly guarantee that this team could never in the future reach it’s 100% potential.

    I know some people disagree with that, but if you instruct people to be anything but their best, it is impossible to snap the fingers later on and expect them to be their best.

    Its okay if we were not capable of winning a league final, but it would be criminal to be able to win one and not win it.

  6. Just an observation-I see a lot of people referring to the fact that Jason Doc. came on(great to see him back) to replace Loftus at CH. Maybe I’m wrong, but this area and side of the pitch was right in front of me, and I am pretty sure that Coen moved in to CH and Jason to RHB. In a y case, I wouldn’t read too much into it anyway, as I would assume it was just a matter of getting him a few minutes, anywhere on the pitch.

  7. Agree there Revellino – we should be looking to win as many games as possible. Momentum is a hard thing to get going and once you’ve lost it, it’s very hard to get back. Deliberately slowing down and then expecting the team to be able to just turn it on again come summer isn’t realistic. Winning breeds confidence, especially in youngsters. Telling them to rein it in on purpose is a terrible message.

  8. While I think a win would be great against Roscommon, more interested in making sure of safety before last two games of league. Then squad rotation become more important, and getting much game time into guys coming back from injury, or ones that have not played a whole lot in 5 league games to date. This has to run in tandum with training load, to ensure we ready to go in April. If we end up in the league final by doing this, great. But would not like to play Kerry or Galway in league final. But that just me. See the Mayo minors last year, played galway early doors in group stages of connaugh championship, won well (14 points). Played them again in Connaught final, won well again (6 points). And played them in All-Ireland final, and they turned tables on us, figured us out, found our weakness.

  9. As silly as this sounds I hope the game is close on Sunday.
    After showing great character in the draw against Galway and showing great football against Armagh only to draw, we’ve blown teams out since.
    I’d love to see how we’d look now with a few games under our belt in a tight game in a hostile atmosphere.
    For as good as the Carr / O’Se inside line has been, when it’s level with 10 mins to go in the Hyde will we keep at it?
    Obviously a good bench will help with that but I’d still like to see it.
    Would also like to see if Carney can build on the last day, and if Touhy can turn heads after two weeks off.
    Only thing better than Roscommon is beating Galway but I’ll take either. If we can do it while blooding new lads and taking new learnings brilliant, if we lose while still gaining experience who cares, league final doesn’t matter too much for us.

  10. A fairly sizeable rotation of players is likely v Roscommon. A draw is probably the best result if we are looking at keeping the upward curve continuing and also addressing the conundrum of first round championship. Why? – it leaves both teams on 7 points and I’d expect both will win one of their last two games moving to 9 each and thus meet each other in league final…..the teams of 4 points are unlikely to will all 3 remaining games.

  11. Just my two cents, but IMO we don’t need the prospect of possible injuries or suspensions arising from an NFL final just one week before we take on the Rossies in the Championship. We lost Jordan Flynn last year against Kerry for a couple months with a broken bone in his foot, if memory serves. He was a big loss against Galway in the championship a few weeks further on.

    That is, of course, assuming that we get there to begin with, given that there are three rounds of the league left to play.

    There is also the chance we could end up playing the Rossies in the league final a week before playing them in the championship, which I’m guessing the Rossies themselves wouldn’t even want. There was very little correlation anyway between the bloodless Division Two final between themselves and Galway last year and the championship result between the same two sides a few weeks later.

    Our championship form has also been very patchy in the years we have won the NFL.

  12. Yeah I’d be up for ringing the changes for this one. Need to test all our options

    Would bring in cillian, conroy (for a half anyway), callinan, tuohy, durcan and eoghan mc at a minimum.

    Would rest diarmuid, AOS, ryan, Loftus, hession and diarmuid

    Something like…



    Eoghan mcl



  13. Great win at the weekend, and to be honest I thought we would end up scrapping for survival on the last day, I was completely wrong. To Revellino and others. Loftus played very well, hope he keeps it going.

    I think this game should be viewed as a “free hit”, the result doesn’t put us up or down. As said above, it would be nice for the East Mayo fans to beat the neighbours, as a lot of their fanbase seem to utterley despise us, I think we live rebt free in sone of their heads. But the big game is April 7th, in my mind a provinical title still represents the best route to a Quarter final. I hope our sole focus now is that championship game with Roscommon.

    Having said that, I hope to see a good bit of rotation this weekend. No need for all of Mattie, Jordan, or Diarmuid to be starting. I’d love to see a back up midfield pairing starting this one, maybe Fionn and Carney? We need to build depth in that area. Eoghan McLaughlin starts all day long in my championship 15, so hope to see him get a bit of game time along with others.

  14. Think it would be terrible as others said to tell a team to slow down the pace. It builds their confidence espcially young ones . Sure kerry where blitzing teams in the league this time last year to and kept the pace till summer there is absolutly no reason at all why we can’t keep it up till summer to.

    People saying we are peaking to soon I don’t think so we just have our energy&momentum back after a dissapointing 2 years. With all the players coming back from injury its an exciting time for mayo to credit to mcstay &co obviously doing something right!

    Rossies will be a tough test at home & hurting after the loss to monaghan but still think mayo by 2 or 3 looking forward to it!

  15. @Clare: I would suggest that the situation is a little different with respect to Kerry, they have little to no opposition in Munster (all the other counties are mostly hurling, and Cork are at a low ebb) and are out in the championship a few weeks later than us, against Tipp or Waterford, I think. We have two other Division One sides in our province, both of whom we would realistically have to beat to win the Nestor Cup.

    They can absorb a few injuries and still win Munster handily, as they did against Limerick (a 23 point win) without David Clifford last season.

    I wouldn’t say to anyone to slow down the pace, necessarily, more to give a few run outs to some of the recently-recovered lads or fellas who haven’t seen much game time. It would be great to see Tommy Conroy in particular get a few full games under his belt, and I’m guessing McStay might also want to get Robbie Hennelly back up to speed following his injury. Would personally also like to see the likes of Paul Towey get a run.

    This is all post-Roscommon, of course, we should always be aiming to beat them, whether it’s an FBD, League or Championship game.

  16. @revelino.a bit less talking down to posters who may have a different opinion than you. It might sound ok in your head but doesn’t look very clever in print.i think all on here are entitled to an opinion even if it differs from yours. Nobody really wants mayo to lose games it’s more in criticising the way the fixtures come so close in different competitions that the problem arises and they’re are genuine concerns about one team having an advantage over the other in preparing for championship. Fair enough if there was no league final then same for everyone just go for it and try top the league.

  17. I completely agree with Revellino’s sentiments above

    One slight difference being I think most of what he said should wait until after the game on Sunday.

    I wouldn’t entirely agree that a change in approach to focus on a league title is right either. I think keeping the same approach and message to the players that has served us so well so far is fine.

    Let’s be honest, anything less than 2 wins in our final three games, against three teams that were favourites for relegation would be disappointing at this point.

    Management are closest to the team. They’re guys seeing the players and they’ll know if lads are getting a bit giddy and losing focus. Kevin has imo been on point with his tone and messages to supporters to date. Based on that I’d trust he’s doing the same with the players

  18. @GlasagusDearg: Doc was definitely filling in the 6 role. The new Mayo 6 role mind, sweeping back into the full back line or deeper and reading the potential danger areas, not that filling the 6 position outside the D.

    He did great too (other than the one free on the edge of the small square he turned over straight to a pressing Tyrone forward). Fielded a great dangerous ball, winning a free for a high tackle in the process, in injury time shortly after he had fisted a nice point with a great burst through the middle.

    He’d have been sitting around the 5 spot a few times I remember as part of our attacking shape. That was mostly filling the space after Stephen had made attacking pushes forward and would have been around the 10 or 13 position himself.

    So hard to keep track of notional positions these days mind. The movement and rotation when we attack can be mesmerising. That combined with the pace how it’s able to create so much space at times and allowing us the opportunity to breakdown set defences more successfully than we’ve managed in previous years. A lot of focus on our kicking game specifically but the movement and running to create the space that’s managing to push our kicking, handpassing and running to the heights it’s hitting. Well worth watching back a game and just keeping an eye on the movement of any individual player attacking (10 to 15 especially but right the way back to 2 they’re all playing a part). Incredibly hard work but comes with some significant rewards if the opposition can’t or won’t match the work rate and pace.

    You could see there was a big focus on seeing out the last spell without conceding a goal this time too. Noticeable it was mentioned by Diarmuid in his interview right after the game and visible with us often using both Doc and David McBrien as sweepers in that closing spell to neutralise as much risk as possible.

    Wouldn’t shock me at all if that’s where we continue to see Doc used in the sweeper role more in the coming year. He has great work rate, high concentration, great reading of the game, enough speed/strength/fielding to fill that role and the vision/distribution to be a threat in the other direction (very similar style to Conor). So far we’ve seen Loftus, Doc and DO’C spending time there. KMcL another who’d tick most of the boxes the management seem to have for the role so wouldn’t be shocked to see him rotating in from time to time in the future.

  19. Imo, I think McStay shouldn’t tinker too much with this winning team next Sunday v the Rossies, until maybe when the result is looking good for us, and it’s safe then to bring on one or two who need real game time. I feel we are dissing Ros a little bit..they are joint top of div 1 on merit, are at home and will be smarting from last wkends reversal v Monaghan. I’m confident we can win on Sun, but the neighbors are dangerous enough at the min, and will be motivated enough when facing the green and red.
    I’m expecting us to win by 2 or 3.
    Thanks WJ, up Mayo!

  20. It’s like this. We have to make ourselves safe in division one so we probably need to win on Sunday to be sure. Forget about donegal and monaghan for now. Going back to my previous question re the championship 15. I think the team against Tyrone is practically it. Durcan will probably edge out mchugh. Henelly I really Don’t know if he will edge out reape. Will mcgloughlin edge put coen… I’m not so sure defensively. It doesn’t look like cillian or Tommy will make a starting 15 but obviously great options

  21. @It means nothing to me yes fair point connaught is a much tougher province to come out of then munster

  22. @No Doubt. Aren’t we all on the same side after the same outcome with different ideas on how to get to the same place.

    @Margie. Sure we all get things wrong. I would have had doubts about some of his performances over the years. I’ve been wrong about plenty of players and I’ll be wrong about them again I’m sure. I’ve had questions about players in my head and why are they starting, only for them to put in a Stormer and the same with players I was bigging up, only for them to sometimes under perform.
    The only one thing that doesn’t change is that regardless who is picked to start I’m always willing them on to have a great game. That will never change.

  23. Survive in division 1 and you are guaranteed to play in the All Ireland series. How strong your province no longer makes a bit of difference

    The toughest province for a team to come out of now is Leinster, simply because unless Dublin win Division 2, none of their other teams will be guaranteed an all Ireland place.

    The new system puts a lot of pressure on the division 2 teams, and for the likes of Meath, Kildare and Louth their province is their best route to the all Ireland group stage.

    For the teams safe in division 1, their province is now almost meaningless. A safe D1 team against a D3/4 in a provincial semi final is nearly better off losing as it would remove a presumably stronger D2 team from the competition

  24. Of the Div 2 teams I’d expect Derry,Dublin,Cork,Meath to reach the provincial final making them first seed if they win it and 2nd seed if a losing finalists. Loser of the Mayo v Roscommon match will be a 3rd seed and have to wait 6 weeks for their first All Ireland group stage game. That highlights Connacht championship is starting too soon with such a gap.

    Whoever finishes bottom in div 1 will be 4th seed along with Westmeath (Tailteann cup winners) and two other Div 2 teams.

    All of the means is the bottom two in Div 2 and top two in Div 3 will go into the Tailteann which will likely include Cavan,Kildare and Down.

  25. Four goals scored with no goals conceded and 12 different scorers.
    These are the kind of stats that will have us knocking on heavens door.
    The poor defending for the Kerry goal (Durcan) and for the disallowed Tyrone goal (Ruane)
    are the kind of stats that will have us tearing our hair out.
    Time to focus on the big ticket items !
    Delighted to see the new management team finally get their chance
    when they could so easily have thrown in the towel due to earlier disappointments.
    A lot of credit is due to these guys for coming back for more.
    In respect to the debate on the league versus championship I suspect
    that most people now understand that the season is condensed and
    that there is now a deep linkage between the League & Championship.
    Everyone understands this except it appears the Connacht Council.
    To come up with a Connacht Championship PRELIMINARY ROUND involving two
    Division One teams a week after the league final is crazy stuff.
    Division 1 & Division 2 teams should be given a bye to their respective Provincial
    Semi-Finals from now on & stop this nonsense.
    Life has moved on. Time to again concentrate on the big ticket items.
    Mayo are going to play in one of the rounds of 4 regardless of the Connacht Championship.
    If we need to rest our team & build for the real championship perhaps withdrawing from
    the Connacht Championship is the best way to achieve this !
    If we get to a League Final, we play in it, and we play in it to win !

  26. @TsuDhoNim

    I believe that it was also Jason who got the first block down in the goal mouth scramble that started with us playing a free kick from the end line, across our own goal to a Tyrone forward and ended with a Burns point

  27. McStay & co are doing a fantastic job and I was delighted when they were chosen to manage the team. However I’d a few of the younger players in the panel are getting frustrated not getting game time. The likes of Paul Towey only who is a crafty footballer and good scorer should get longer tha 5 mins. But I suppose there is big competition in the panel.

  28. I’m so confused now about the championship format with all the different viewpoints on the value of a Connacht championship.

    If Kerry win Munster and Dublin win Leinster , do the winners of Connacht avoid the two strongest teams in the country re betting odds in the group stages , a yes or no will suffice .

  29. It’s not possible for us to know how people are going in training but I’m sure anyone who is shooting the lights out will get their chance .
    But like you say competition is fierce at the moment.

  30. Provincial winners are placed one in each group, provincial runner ups are placed one in each group.

  31. Jack Orian – I think it’s worth noting that 5 of the starters from Saturday evening were under 20 in 2020, as was Paul Towey.
    Jack Coyne, David McBrien, Enda Hession, Jack Carney, Donnacha McHugh as were Sam Callinan, Bob Touhy, and Rory Brickenden.
    I think McStay has done very well knitting the youngsters into the team when you consider 4 of our starting back 6 were in that age bracket.

  32. The question though is do either Kerry or Dublin have any real incentive to even make their provincial finals?

    If the first and second seed pairings are predetermined, then Kerry at least have the carrot of the Connacht losers but losing their Munster semi would mean an extra D4 in the groups.

    Dublin on the other hand, have zero incentive, it’d actually benefit them, and tbh everyone else, not to make a Leinster final, since Leinster and Ulster are paired. It would ensure a non division 1 team in each group, Leinster winners and runner up, Munster runners up and Connacht runner up would all be in separate groups, assuming no other upsets.

    If Dublin win Leinster, they’d have a group with the Ulster finalists, and that does on paper at least look most like a potential group of death

  33. Who are Mayo’s biggest threats this year on the evidence so far?? Probably Derry in my view. And their template is to retain pretty much the same 15 for the past couple of months, find a settled team. Just something to consider. That may change of course, ie other teams will get stronger.

    Its also learning from Kerry last year. Keep winning is what I’d say. Pulling back and losing is a fool’s errand. A damn fool.

  34. Are we going to Roscommon to cheer the team on to win the match or do we want to lose the match. I think we should keep playing the way we are and beat them by as much as we can. This is the way to go and go out to win every match we play. Playing the match to lose it is pure NONSENSE.

  35. Connacht really is ludicrous, as posters are pointing out. If Galway were to be relegated and then beaten by either Mayo or ROS, am I right in thinking they would be out?

  36. @catcol

    Not out, dependent on results elsewhere.

    Would be very unlikely that they wouldn’t make it, would require none of the other surviving division 1 or the D2 promoted teams, and Westmeath, not to make provincial finals. 1 of those if they finished bottom. Unless the other relegated team reaches a final, which would again mean none

    Not impossible but pretty unlikely.

  37. The 8 provincial finalists and Westmeath will play in the all series. Plus the seven highest ranked teams in the league.

    6 surviving D1 teams and the D2 champions are guaranteed

    Anything less than D2 survival won’t be enough to qualify based on league position.

    Normally D3 winners would have a chance but not with this year’s Connacht draw

  38. Guys and girls,
    It is 1st March, great progress since the new management have taken charge.
    Ye need to keep a lid on things, remember 2001, Mayo beat Galway in Croker in a very good league final but look what happened in the championship, beaten by Roscommon and Galway went on to win the All Ireland.

  39. 2001,.. When we lost the Connacht final to Roscommon in the Hyde, via a last minute goal wasn’t it nice that we had won the league already? At least we had that good day out in the Sun. When we lost to Kildare in Newbridge we hadn’t winning the league to blame for it, because we didn’t win the league that year..nor the 2020 Christmas All Ireland final, nor the Sept 2021 All Ireland final, nor 2010 qualifer to Longford…If any of the want to cast yer minds back to some abject losing performance’s in League Finals eg 2010 with John O Mahoney Mayo v Cork in 2010 or last Spring v Kerry… What were Mayo like in the championship afterwards? ..Equally abject I would say, .. The best way to prepare for Championship performance is League Performance and especially now with the Championship following on immediately after the League.

  40. I was actually thinking the same @45.
    Of course if we win at the Hyde on Sunday, and win without incurring injuries, I’d be very happy, an we could then experiment a little for the last two games. I believe winning the league should remain the objective, and as some have said, success breeds success etc etc
    However if we drew without revealing our hand too much, nobody looses bragging rights, and we would all save face.
    Also, both sides maintain div 1 status and everyone’s a winner really.
    I don’t believe it will end level though, as I think we have more quality and depth, and we will prevail with a few to spare.

    This is the team I’d like to see out on Sun:



    E McLoughlin




    I’m predicting Mayo 2.12, Ros 0.14.

    I know I know, I was much more conservative earlier but now I feel we could give a few others on the panel a half an hour of football or more. (maybe the vino is talking!)
    Anyways, roll on Sunday..
    Up Mayo!

  41. I stumbled upon the Mayo teamsheet earlier that started the Sligo game on 2nd January.
    12 of the starting 15 that day started against Tyrone on Saturday night.
    Callinan,Touhy and Conor Mcstay were replaced by Hession,Carney and AOS.
    Of course there were injuries and unavailability but it seems to me that Kevin Mcstay had a reasonable idea very early on as to how he wanted the team to look.

  42. @Mind the House: The flip side of that is they’re doing a solid job of using the deeper panel we do have available so far too.

    33 players saw minutes in the FBD and to date we’ve seen 29 in the NFL (with 15 different scorers).

    This doesn’t include some fairly well known faces like O’Hora, Kev McLoughlin, Plunkett or Hennelly either so pretty promising numbers.

  43. Leantimes. I remember 2001 very well. Mayo had the game won. Nestor was up along the sideline, lost the ball. They should have ran the clock.
    Ball sent into Gerry Lohan of Roscommon who scored an opportunist goal. Game over

  44. Ya would hardly reach 18k for a championship game near mind an aul league game . Does the Hyde even hold 18k? Anyway I’d estimate 12,789 for Sunday .

  45. Looking forward to this one

    Wouldn’t be surprised to see the same 15 again. I wonder if we’ll do the usual Bob Touhy Jack Carney switcheroo

    I wouldn’t be doing any experimentation yet. I have 11 of last weekend’s starters as either new to the team, learning a new position at this level or in the kind of form where just don’t drop them. Aidan O’Shea and Stephen Coen are kind of in-between, with Mattie Ruane and Ryan O’Donoghue the final two. Mattie is imo better off playing and trying to find top form, and Ryan is Ryan.

    With all that said, I wouldn’t be against trying out a tactical change, rather than a personnel one. Just something to keep opponents guessing, a la Dillon against Tyrone. I’d lean towards an attacking experiment over a defensive one, as it keeps us on the front foot.

  46. This new format sounds like a dogs dinner before it even starts, your going to have an awful lot of one sided games in teh group stages and your guarnteed to get at least one team in the knock out stages who is only there because a) they were in a soft group and wouldnt have gotten through otherwise, or b) they had some soft teams in their group and got out of it because of scoring difference.

    Alas I think the provincial championships will have to go OR play them as seperate competitions with no bearing on the championship

  47. The no. 1 seeds in all 4 groups will be strong. The amazing thing is that 3 of the 4 teams in each group will still be in the competition after the group stages.
    Dr Hyde park dimensions 145m by 90m matches Croke Park and 8m wider than McHale (137×82..2022 figures). Capacity is 18000 and excellent playing surface.
    Good to get an outing on a full size pitch. I think it will suit Mayos style of play and superior levels of fitness. Building a lead and managing that lead are still important issues for Mayo. Getting the best out of AOS because he has so much to offer is still unresolved imo. Doherty likely to get a run.

  48. Instead of stressing ourselves about consequences of winning the league or not and permutations of new championship format I hope Mc Stay & co.set the team the goal of going the season unbeaten….and see where that takes us. No reason it can’t be done with a deep squad managed properly and a bit of luck re injuries. Did Kerry or Dublin do this in their pomp,not sure, but if we aim high there’s no reason we can’t achieve….ok, we’re allowed 1 more draw.

  49. The “Official” and apparently accepted Capacity of Dr Hyde Park, similar to the case of McHale Park is somewhat less than the “Real and Safe” Capacity of both venue’s… Castlebar is definitely bigger and better than when it hosted over 36K for the 2006 Connacht Final and even then could easily have held another thousand.. Currently we are “Told” I think about 25K is the Capacity, …I remember the “Sold Out” fixture v Donegal 25K in the Super Eights, maybe the organizers and health and safety people had foreseen the Covid Pandemic because of the two meter spacing between people in the terrace’s, could and should have held 10 to 12K more fan’s….If McHale Park had been filled to the same density as Fitzgerald Stadium had been a few weeks beforehand for the Kerry/Mayo fixture we would have had probably 37/38K at the match. Similarity I would also suggest that the real and safe Capacity for Dr Hyde Park is well in excess of the currently 18K ,..I would say about 25K would be more like it!

  50. The management and players totally focused on winning every game they play. Its only occasional posters that think it would be better for us not to win the league.
    Rossies looked average against Monaghan. What will a loss have done to their confidence or self belief? That said, like Mayo, they are under pressure to get a result. And its a home game. They’ll be up for beating Mayo, thats for sure…

  51. Some ex players say this year’s league is one no one wants to win. That said I don’t think any Div team will hold back from winning once they get on the field. IMO sometimes there are mad results because teams are training for championship but teams getting a tanking for that reason still actually try to win. Players are too competitive to do otherwise.
    So for Ros game I’d say we’ll go out to win regardless of how many changes are made. With luck ourselves and Ros both make the league final and it cancels out.

  52. Ontheditch, I thought the Rossies were awful against Monaghan and based on Mayo’s recent form, Mayo should win with a few points to spare. Mayo have a way more impactful bench too no matter what team is picked to start.

  53. Currently allowed capacity in Dr Hyde park is 18,890. It will be 25k once the work is done on it. On Sunday I’d reckon 11k to 13k will be the expected crowd.

  54. I’d imagine it will be same team as last week but then one or two changes made before throw in.

    Mayo by 6.

  55. Will be interesting to see the starting team .
    While Rossies were beaten last week, I wouldn’t be to cocky …
    They seem to have found a good mid field paring and can play very ( nearly northern) defensively at time . They have good scoring forwards and options from the bench …
    A real good test for our panel on Sunday

  56. I hope we rest a rake of players on Sunday – Flynn, AOS, Hession, Ruane, O’Donoghue, Carr, McBrien, D O’Connor need to be used sparingly in the league from here on in, just give them 20-25 minutes here and there. Their replacements are more than capable of filling their boots and grinding out results in the remaining games. Players such as Durcan, Cillian, Conroy, O’Hora, Towey, Plunkett, Doherty, Orme (he hasn’t been performing but I’d encourage him to kick everything in the hope he gets that radar recalibrated, he has potential) need game time.

  57. Gizmobobs – I’d be amazed if Coyne is named on the team. Looked a fairly clear hamstring injury he picked up. That won’t have healed in a week.

    Though I suppose he can still be named and then dropped before throw in!

  58. When you at the list from @45Mayo, it shows AvB games must be very spicy! My personal opinion is that we should go flat out this weekend, lay down the marker for championship, and then use the Monaghan and Donegal games to rotate more.. with them back up players, we should still have enough for both Monaghan and Donegal. Overall, I think as a top team for many years now, we shouldn’t be wary of winning everything! When Dublin were at their peak, that was the expectation set! So why not us!

  59. @GAA obsessed – Yeah our squad depth is pretty impressive, I just hope the new players and the ones who’ve been there for a few years and are now performing well for the first time consistently carry that momentum on into the championship. If they can do it against Galway, Kerry, Dublin, etc. in championship matches then we have a lot to be optimistic about for the foreseeable.

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