Richie in at centre-forward in team named for Sunday

We’ve just named our team to face Roscommon in the Connacht semi-final at McHale Park on Sunday (throw-in 4pm) and, as expected, there’s only one change from the side that started against Galway last month with Richie Feeney lining out at centre-forward in place of the injured Cillian O’Connor. While Richie has appeared at some stage in almost every championship match we’ve played under James Horan, this is his first championship start since the 2011 All-Ireland semi-final against Kerry. Here’s the starting fifteen in full:

Mayo (Connacht SFC v Roscommon, 16/6/2013): David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Tom Cunniffe (Castlebar Mitchels), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Lee Keegan (Westport), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe), Colm Boyle (Davitts); Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Richie Feeney (Castlebar Mitchels), Cathal Carolan (Crossmolina); Enda Varley (Garrymore), Alan Freeman (Aghamore), Alan Dillon (Ballintubber).

Like the Rossies, we’ve opted not to name our list of subs at this stage.

54 thoughts on “Richie in at centre-forward in team named for Sunday

  1. JH is rightly taking nothing for granted and has named his strongest 15. Not surprised that Richie got the nod as he is a brave, determined and yet composed player who will relish the physical battle, that Roscommon will no doubt try to turn it into, without losing the head.
    There was part of me that was hoping for one of the fringe players that were reported to be going well in training to get a start, e.g. Burke, Coen or Walsh, but management are taking no chances. This is the wise course of action to take. If we get over this, which I believe we will by 5 to 7 points, we may then see some experimentation with the team for the Final by giving some experience and game time to those fringe players. I think it will be important if we are to be involved in the quarters/semi-finals of the championship that we have 20 to 22 players who we can call upon. Now, more than ever, football is a squad game and we need all our lads to be in a position where they can all comfortably come in when needed and do whatever is asked of them.
    Looking forward to Sunday as I think that Roscommon will offer much more of a physical resistance than that presented by Galway and they will present a different challenge. One area that will be targeted by Roscommon, and it was the only area of joy for Galway in the first 20 mins in Salthill, is our full back line and its perceived difficulties under the high long ball. We must show a marked improvement in how we deal with that threat. If we do, and we match their doggedness, physicality and determination, I believe that our movement, speed, fitness and skill will win out in the end.

  2. I hope the Mayo team and management handle the favourites tag better than some of our contributers. I remember 2 years ago going to the Hyde with about 2K others from Mayo not expecting much except a Roscommon 2 in a row. We had a lot of luck that day. Mayo have made a lot of progress in the last year while Rossies dropped the ball last season. Ros will relish then, meeting clowns that believe they only have to turn up on Sunday to win. If we cannot hit the ground running on Sunday, this could get very interesting

  3. Delighted for Richie, totally deservers his shot as a starter in an important championship match for Mayo, wish him all the best on the day. Team more or less as I expected, taught Barry might get the nod ahead of Seamus O’Shea in midfield but its very hard to drop Seamus after a very fine display against Galway. Still I’m not completly certain that thats the way the team will line out against Roscommon. We have heard very little from the Roscommon camp this last few weeks, and James Horan may well have a surprise in store for them in the way his team lines up. Previous to the Galway game Mayo lined out as selected most of the time (the exception being last Augusts match v Dublin when injurys prior to the throw in, made change inevitable.) I’m glad Andy Moran is not starting, Much too important a player to be risked, I believe Horan will have patience in how he uses one of Mayo’s most prized assets. Hope to see him at some stage during the match, to continue his progress. At full tilt Andy is one of the best forwards in the country, but we Mayo fans may have to wait a little longer to see him make the starting 15. The Rossies will I believe bring a big phyical challenge to Mayo in the first 20 minutes, we will have to hold tight in this period and not give anything away too soft. Their could be a few yellows in this time, we will need our dicipline, conceded too many yellows in the first half v Galway, I think its Mayo’s game to lose and I cant just see that hapining, so fairly confident. looking forward to Sunday and a Mayo victory!

  4. Clowns pj…….a little strong methinks.I dont think this unit will take their eye off the ball

  5. we have beaten the best team in conaught and are playing argubly one of the worst teams in Ireland this Sunday. I am very sorry for pooor coc the poor lad Feeney will do the job well all he has to do is not get send off and we will be alright. We will have the game over at half time liike 2009. Mayo are favourites and will won comfortably.

  6. You’ve got to expect at this stage that JH & Co are much more professional in their approach than anyone with views on here. Mayo won’t take anything for granted on Sunday.

    On a different note I see Brollix is at it again, singing his own praises on being a pundit, over on HS. If Mayo need any additional motivation this year his comments on the build up to last year’s AI should do the trick..

    Extract from HS: The Derry All-Ireland winner revealed that he is no stranger to hate mail.

    “Last year I received one from Mayo finishing with the immortal line, ‘It is just a pity that before the ceasefire, you were not put against a wall and shot’.

    “If he had included his address I would have replied, ‘If the firing squad are to hit the target, make sure none of them are from Mayo’.”

  7. Just a gentle reminder to all to tone down the language being used and keep the debate at an intelligent level. Calling players “clowns” and describing Sunday’s opposition as “arguably one of the worst teams in Ireland” adds nothing to the debate and will only serve to inflame others.

  8. Well said Willie Joe. Intelligent opinions and well formed arguments are one thing, but cheap insults and disrespectful comments are another.
    Some people have very short memories and it is not all that long that Mayo were the laughing stock of the country and considered by almost everyone as “push-overs”, never mind pushing buses around car parks. In case some contributors do not know, it is 62 years since we won the All Ireland so we are the last ones to be cocky, arrogant and disrespectful to our opponents. To think some on here were accusing Donegal supporters of being over-confident and arrogant, well at least they have something to brag about.
    Let’s win Sam first before we get to uppity.

  9. Rumour has it up to three changes will be made to that 15 named and these rumours are coming from the same sources that said Tom Cunniffe,Alan Dillion would start the last day.

  10. If they show the same attitude on sunday again they will be to strong for Roscommon.A good start would help, good call with Feeney I think he will do well

  11. Sorry WJ, I stand corrected. A slip of a typo. Not meaning any harm. Keep up the good work

  12. personally i am disappointed that richie has been selected for the centre half forward role, i have seen him play at RHF a few times and its a completely different gig.
    but in J-HO we trust and i hope my fears are unfounded.

  13. Pebblesmaller – I was just thinking the exact same thing. Only a couple of weeks ago we had loads of posters on here complaining about Donegal fans being arrogant and cocky; well they are the All Ireland champions. We have won nothing yet but reading the majority of posts on this forum since the Galway match “the game will be over by half time”, “we will win easily”, “Mayo by 14”, etc.

    We might well win the game easily, or we might scrape a 1 point win, either way I don’t care. A win is all that matters. If I was a Roscommon player reading this blog I think I would break through concrete walls to get at the Mayo team on Sunday.

    As for the team selection, great to see Ritchie back in the starting 15, he is an experienced player especially in the Connaught championship, who will help negate the loss of COC. I guess Varley will take the frees suiting a left footer, and Dillon/Kevin Mac the rightfooters? Clarke from 45’s?

  14. Aussie Exile Kevin Mcloughlin is left footed.
    I sincerely hope there is changes made before hand, not taking roscomon for granted but the only long term benefit of playing weaker opposition is the chance to try new players, in this case i think regan oshea or ceon sud definetly start. not wanting to dis any particular players but at least one if not two of the named full forwards is not up to standard.
    Also food for thought 13 of Mayos starting team against Cork in 2011 played against galway a few weeks ago, and the two that didnt have left the panel so how many new players have we really discovered?

  15. Delighted for Richie to get the start and here’s hoping Varley and Freeman keep the upward curve in terms of form cause we know all too much how injury can strike so we need lads stepping in and putting down a marker. I think the Rossies will keep it much tighter at the back than Galway and they could very easily hold us to 12 or 13 scores so it’s vital we keep our goal scoring touch going because without Cillian our free
    taking range will be shortened quite a bit.

    Ger Caff will need a little bit of protection in front under the high ball cause I am sure Mannion and Cregg will test out our fullback line with a few big ones into Kilbride. Also we need to cut out the aimless balls hoofed forward into the corner as I can’t see the Ros back 6 handed the ball back to us as easily as Galway did the last day! If we cut out the silly mistakes in posseion and pressure high up the park I can see us winning by about 3 or 4 points and I think a score of around 1-12 or 2-10 should see us over the line. I am expecting a simliar type game to the league match against Donegal i.e bigh hits , manic intensity and probably not alot of attractive football.

    I have noticed a lot of new posters popping up out of the woodwork lately on this site and the one thing they all have in common is they spout arrogant predictions regarding a Mayo winning margin followed by cheap digs at Roscommon or vice versa. I would have a strong suspicion that the majority of these are from one man, a Keyboard warrior from Rosscommon who has form for having multiple accounts over on Gaa Board ( anyone who posts there will know who I mean). I was on stolensheep .com and I noticed this individual had copied over the comments from these mystery new posters on here and put them up in the Mayo v Roscommon thread to illustrate how arrogant we are so I wouldn’t be too worried about the mood of the real (and not cyber space ficticious) Mayo fans regarding this game.

  16. Jeez as If to illustrate my last point from above just look at the post in reponse to Aussie exile above my first post. While he/she has toned down the language the content is still the same mantra. God I hope that person enojoys this in some strange way!!!!!!!!

  17. I cannot see where the 3 changes would be though it would be nice to see Murphy, Burke or the likes getting time and doing the business. One of them may switch on and be the missing ingredient given the chance.
    Good luck to them all on Sunday.
    If they produce their best they will not be beaten.

  18. Agree Crete, fairly obvious that it’s not a Mayoman spouting that drivel. To go to that trouble setting up bogus accounts is fairly pathetic.

  19. Well Alf unfortunately it’s is one of the downsides to internet forums and people having too much time on their hands. Very hard to moderate as well as ther are a multitude of IP address generator patches available on the net as well as email addres trojans patches so if someone wants to have his fun he gnerally does. At least after the game on Sunday win lose or draw we can get back to normal!!

    Anyway enough of the cyber talk and back to the match. I am really looking forward to Sunday as I have great memories of the titanic batlles with Ross in the late 80’s thourgh to the mid 90’s. I think Jimmy Burke’s goal in extra time which went in off his posterior after he had a fresh air shot with the boot, then polaxing himself against the foot of the post , all in one sequence of events , is one of my all time favourite Mayo memories! Not forgetting the great Willie Joe himself soaring through the air and the equally brilliant Tony McManus terrorising the Mayo backs, as I as a young lad was crushed up aginst the chicken wire that they used to have in the Hyde to keep the natives off the pitch!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. @ Crete Boom

    In fairness we have a few bad egg ourselves. Take 51longago on hoganstand the guy hates Roscommon and gives the decent fans a bad name. He recently signed up to GAAboard (under a different name) and i sure he’s posting on here as well.

    As for the team named well we won’t know for sure until throw in but i have a feeling Andy is ready to go.

  21. As a Mayoman living and working in Roscommon,and having trained some and come up against many of the ROscommon team allow me to give this insight for Sunday.
    Roscommon will present a sterner challenge than Galway.Their backs are better with the Daly brothers in particular fine footballers.Niall is tight and Conor likes to wander up the field and he knows how to score.Finneran is high fielding but fades in and out but in my view they have decent forwards in Smith,Cregg, and Kilbride.
    The worst kept secret in Ros is that Donie Shine will start but Darragh Donnelly definitely out. If they get enough frees they could hurt Mayo.
    Now I do not see them winning but as for the worst team in Ireland ….well I would not justify that with a comment.
    Their weaknesses are at midfield and I think Niall Carty is vulnerable but I am not sure we have the right combination just yet. I think Conroy is a bigger loss than people admit too and I am not sure about the fitness of Dillon. THere is another potential injury difficulty as well but since there hasnt been much in the Public domain I wont go into it knowing the rules of the blog.
    I think Sunday will provide valuable info for us all.

  22. Very good insights there Mayoforeverandaday. If Mayo have to really work hard and Roscommon put it up to them it can only be of benefit to the team. The Galway match wasn’t much use. Keeping the fingers and toes crossed.

  23. Crete Boom
    Im sorry to disappoint you but im a mayo man, and maybe you can point out were i was being arrogant
    ps weaker opposition is a reference to a playing a division 3 when your division 1

  24. Okay, it’s now apparent that this match has brought a number of ‘characters’ out of the woodwork who aren’t, shall we say, house trained where it comes to posting comments here. John, Mayoalltheway and Bring Back Mac – the house rules for what’s acceptable and what isn’t are here, please read them and abide by them when posting future comments. On a more general note, can everyone please refrain from making personal comments at or about others? There’s more than enough to be talking about by focusing on the match on Sunday!

  25. David O Gara is one to look out for, lovely footballer. Smith will break Mayo hearts at some stage. Our defence is a serious point of concern, Collins and Niall Daly are fine footballers, we will miss Kilbride, Domican and Ward. Midfield is very dodgy, Finneran lacks physical presence, Higgins does not, but seems afraid to use it. I think Donie Shine will play a fair part of the game. Heard from a Mayo buck that one of your prised half backs is out.

  26. I have to say I’m not 100% convinced on that half forward line. Obviously Kevin Mc is quality but he will be roaming around the field all day. I’d like to see Dillon come out towards the 40 to help the others. Really hope Freeman has another good game, he is one Mayo player who I believe has yet to fully deliver on his potential.

    As long as we go in with the right attitude we will win this game. We can’t expect the breaks to fall as handy again as they did in salthill and we need to be prepared to dig in like we did against Sligo last year. Having said that I’m confident that the lads will take up from where they left off against Galway and put in the performance and particularly the workrate needed to get the win.

  27. Too many people getting carried away, dont know were they affected by the heat last week or not, but imagine the laugh Brolly, and Pat Spilane wil have at our expence should we fall flat on our faces. A 1 point win would do me fine, its a learning curve and we got some way to go yet. So I’ll make the trip to Castlebar in good form to shout on the lads in Green and Red. PS does anyone know if our minors are playing or not?a

  28. Let’s not forget that the last time we played Roscommon (FBD League back in January) we struggled against them big time. They are a dogged team that will not go down without one hell of a fight. Looking forward to a tough, competitive and exciting encounter on Sunday.

  29. Erris it’s Mayo v ros in intermediate hurling before hand! P.s. I’m one of your own any clues as to who ya are.

  30. Hello, Not great at reading weather maps but it looks like a dry day in Mayo next Sunday, with little wind but cloudy and 15%.

    After reading an Article by Donie Shine on the Roscommon game of 2011, I dont fancy another wet, windy day. He sees the Mayo team as largely the same but better conditioned than then, when they could have won.

    It is all getting more exciting for me, as the Rossies are well prepared and will give it everything. Still it would be nice if Mayo were to go for it from the start. Shine says if they are there after 40mins they have a good chance? I hope Mayo are easing up by then.

  31. Roscommon to come out pumped up to the last,

    First ten mins are fiercely contested but Mayo edge ahead.

    Roscommon start to become frustrated , Mayo add in a goal .

    Ross down to 14 men, 34 mun on the clock.

    Ross get run over in every department, steamrolled by the two o Ses in the middle.

    Mayo start playing exhibition football in the second half and it turns into a rout.

    Ross lose all discipline and end the game with a team of apostles.

  32. “PS does anyone know if our minors are playing or not?”

    Minors play Leitrim the following weekend in McHale park. Would be on this weekend only for the leaving cert.

  33. The FBD game in Ballyhaunis means nothing in relation to Sundays game. Fitness levels, determination, desire etc. were all probably 50% to 60% lower than there are presently. The referee was piss poor towards Mayo and our efforts, if you can call them that, that day were comical. That game will mean nothing.

  34. So true Pebblesmeller, the FBD is only to get counties back to playing again after Christmas when the fitness levels are dire. When Donegal can discount the League where does that leave the FBD?

  35. Wouldn’t take much out FBD games remember Mayo weren’t long back from Miami and lost to Leitrim before that game. That said, ten that started that FBD game will start on Sunday.

  36. It sure seems a lot of folks are uptight, nervous and anxious about this match on Sunday. IMO, we supporters and players, should be nervous, after all this isn’t any Ould match, it’s a championship match! Championship matches are to be taken seriously regardless of he oppositions recent form, and/or results.
    There is no doubt JH will have this Mayo team well prepared mentally and physically and while they may read the forums and papers, and look at the odds, they will not take this match lightly. Its a chance for any number of players to impress the manager and earn the start for the next match, instead of warming the bench. If we are to be honest and again, no disrespect to the Rossies, we should win this match comfortably, not by a point or two, but by 7 to 10 or more. I suspect JH will have them primed and he will expect no slacking, no cruising.
    The time has come for this team to make another statement of intent and they do that not by scraping by a “dogged” Div 3 team. They do it by demonstrating their ability to step it up a few notches and comprehensively beat a weaker opponent, for thats what Rosscommon are at this point in time, a Div 3 team.
    A few weeks ago, Kerry were struggling to survive in the leage and the GAA community at large had them written off as All Ireland contenders this year( they were “rebuilding” or so we understood). Kerry being Kerry, go on to survive in Div 1 and subsequently hammer the weaker opposition in Munster.
    Folks, in doing so, they are sending a clear message to all who stand in their way. For us, the rebuilding is over, now it’s time to send the message back to Kerry, Dublin, Cork and Donegal that we are a tough, hard nosed team who will steam-roll weaker opposition, so you better watch out. JH will challenge this bunch of players to send that message because this matters more than ppl think!

  37. I see that Hyde Park has finally and not before time, lost the right to host Connacht finals. Does this mean we are now looking at a McHale Park Connacht Final this year (regardless of who wins on Sunday).

    Looking longer term, does this mean that most Connacht Finals be played in Castlebar from now on – Pearse Stadium is a long way south to be classed as a suitable venue for any Connacht Finals not involving Galway?

  38. Rightly so fbd means sfa but the point I make is that if Donal smith was flying back then he’ll be hard stopped on Sunday,

  39. The position on Connacht Finals has not changed from last year – if Leitrim or Sligo are in it, and I expect London ,it must be played at a neutral venue.

    So I guess if Roscommon win on Sunday the final will be in Castlebar.

    If Mayo win the final will be in Galway.

  40. On form alone Mayo should win this match on Sunday, that’s why we’re such hot favourites and coupled with it being a home match as well, it’s hard to see any other result. The only question for me and it appears to most on this page is the margin of victory. That’s why we could find ourselves in a no win situation, win going away and people will say, ah sure the opposition were no good anyway, scrape over the line and we’ll be written off as no hoper’s for the Championship. Of course winning regardless of how we achieve it is a must, after that all we can hope for is a good team performance – let’s hope we get both……

  41. Wensam Suun, you could be right. One thing is for sure we will know alot more at 5:30 on Sunday.
    The thing for me is that we see an improvement in each outing the lads get. JH has constantly preached that their aim is to improve on each game and if that is good enough to get through then so be it. For me, I want to see an improvement in our full back line. When they are faced with a high direct ball we look a little uncomfortable at times and Galway had some joy from that tactic in Salthill albeit they did get not alot of scores from it. Caff eventually got to grips with it after about 20 mins but by that time he was on a yellow card. Against Dublin in Croke Park in the league game Brogan had our full back line bet up a stick and although he was exceptional that evening, he was still out in front winning every ball and turning our lads very easily. I know we are not going to meet a player of Brogans ability on Sunday but it is still a slight concern. I suppose when you include and consider our start to last years All Ireland Final it could be seen that there may be something in our defensive set-up that might need a little tweak.
    I am not getting at Caff either, by the way, but it is more to do with our general set-up. Depending on the quality of opposition we can set up, as we generally do, with a man to man match up and by putting more pressure out the field on the delivery of the ball in we can help the full back line. But maybe there are times when we play the Kerrys/Dublins/Donegals that we need a little extra defensive cover by keeping a man back defending between the lines. Maybe someone positioned behind the centre half but infront of the full back that can scoop up any breaking ball from the contested high balls and also reduce the space available to the opposition forwards. I know that this would leave us light in another area of the field, but against the top sides where you are not going to register big scores you need to keep your opponents scoreboard quite and keep yourself in the game. As I said above, we are not going to meet a forward of that quality on Sunday but it might be worth looking at for, hopefully, later in the year.
    H’on Mayo

  42. Again Pebblesmeller, well said. I have been preaching about a sweeper for ages and got no reaction. A lot of Mayo’s leaked goals would or could have been avoided. Donegal have a permanent one and look at them.

  43. Cynical Cynthina says:
    June 14, 2013 at 9:56 am

    The position on Connacht Finals has not changed from last year – if Leitrim or Sligo are in it, and I expect London ,it must be played at a neutral venue.

    So I guess if Roscommon win on Sunday the final will be in Castlebar.

    If Mayo win the final will be in Galway.


    That’s correct.

    Mayo v Leitrim/London will be played in Salthill now was going to Hyde park as it would have been their choice.

    If Ros shock the GAA world and win the Ros v London/Leitrim final will be played in Castlebar.

  44. mayo are goin to be in physical battle sunday and roscommon will not fold that easy but even with injuries we should have enough to get bye and hopefully we can find out more about ourselves glad to see feeney starting deserves his chance maigheo a bu

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