Rochford’s reffing reference


The All-Ireland final media event for our camp took place last night and no doubt we’ll be hearing, in dribs and drabs between now and the 17th, about all that was said then.

One morsel that the nationals have, understandably, run with straight away was Stephen Rochford’s comments about the ref for the final. There’s coverage of this today in the Irish Independent and Irish Examiner.

In doing so, Stephen broke a year-long silence about Maurice Deegan’s inept handling of last year’s replay. He did so in forthright terms too:

Maurice Deegan came out afterwards to say that he missed the blatant hand trip with John Small, which had an effect on Dublin being able to still use a substitute when Cian O’Sullivan pulled his hamstring with six or seven minutes to go.

You’re expecting somebody who will be able to take control of a really big game, get the calls right, an experienced referee. But look, it’s something that’s outside our control so you don’t give it much attention.

While he was at it, Rochy also turned his fire on the Dublin dirty tricks department from twelve months ago, when he referenced the campaign targeting Lee Keegan:

In the days after the All-Ireland final replay last year I said I did feel that it was a concerted effort. It’s something that we have moved on from and we just look forward to getting on with it on the field.

We’re now a year on from all that, of course, and – as the manager himself was at pains to point out – what occurred in the past stays in the past. I do think he was fully justified, though, in raising these points.

On the reffing issue, it’s unquestionably the case that Maurice Deegan’s incompetence had a bearing on the outcome. Not a decisive impact, you could argue, but in a game eventually decided by just a single point there’s equally an argument to be made to the contrary.

It’s not a game we can re-run and Dublin, fair play to them, won last year’s All-Ireland. We look forward to taking them on in this year’s final with a competent official in charge.

On the black ops side, it was clear then and it’s still clear now that a nasty underhand campaign – which nobody will ever convince me wasn’t sanctioned at the highest levels in the opposition camp – was waged to blacken Lee’s reputation. Again, twelve months on, we have to wish that there’s no repeat of these antics from the other side of the fence.

As I mentioned the other day, the mood around last year’s final was at times dark and hostile. For sure this wasn’t helped by what was being said in public, in particular by that coterie of ex-Dublin players. There appears to be a genuine mood amongst fans of both counties for no repetition of this kind of mutual bad blood ahead of this year’s final. Let’s hope it stays that way.

Stephen also had a bit to say, by the way, about the player injury side of things last night. The Connaught Telegraph reports (here) that the manager confirmed the trio who came off with knocks last Saturday are all on the mend. Colm Boyle (achilles) and Donal Vaughan (hamstring) will return to training tonight while Diarmuid O’Connor (hamstring) will be back in training next week. All going well, all three should be battle-fit for the 17th.

95 thoughts on “Rochford’s reffing reference

  1. Rochford hits the right notes at the right time almost all the time. He’s a godsend for Mayo football (regardless of the outcome of the final ).
    These were two huge points that definitely needed airing and I for one am glad with the timing of them and that he has laid down a marker – in advance -that we will be less likely to take this garbage lying down anymore. You can totally see why the players now completely trust in management . Superb.

  2. I was shocked and DELIGHTED to see him do this. We are too nice. The Dubs have plenty of media clout it’s time we hit back !

  3. When our few pundits don’t have the balls to say a few home truths why not the Manager not refreshingly call a spade a spade.
    Jim Gavin can stay with smiling through harmless cliches while a who’s who of ex Dublin players chase interviews to tarnish Lee Keegan last year just ‘cos Lee keeps outscoring the “best player of his generation” who plays on “the best team of all time”

  4. Fair play to him for putting it out there. I do believe that the lads themselves won’t be too focused on who the ref is but as Stephen said it can make a difference in a game with very tight margins.

  5. Looking back at last year’s replay, Deegan got a fair bit wrong but I don’t feel as hard done by as some.

    John Small tripped Andy, & by the letter of the law is a black card. But common sense should prevail & a stern word from the ref should have sufficed.

    Jonny Cooper’s black card was a shocking decision. I even stood up shouting for the black card at the time, but when I thought about it, it was such a harsh decision. Again, a word from the ref to “cop on” would have sufficed.

    Lee’s black card was slighty harsh, but Deegan was always going to try & balance the books after the Cooper one.

    We got a few soft frees, as did Dublin perhaps. Penalty was harsh, but we only had ourselves to blame for giving it away.

    In summary, the black card rule is terrible & puts referees in a horrible position. It should be scrapped. Small & Connolly (for flashing the card at the ref) should also have gotten black. GAA is a physical game, we don’t want cynical play. But the above exaples are not that.

  6. It’s said now it’s over, unless any of it rears its ugly head again, our focus now is on the game to come, Maigheabu

  7. I think he was probably right to do it. I would have left it a bit closer to the game – will get lost in a lot more noise between now and then.

    I would anticipate that he will make something of the treatment Aidan O’Shea gets between now and the match. Dublin has successfully made him less effective than might otherwise be the case through questionable means the last number of times. Don’t be surprised if you see it coming next week or the week of. I think it would be justified too. And thats what Mayo’s ex-players should be focussing on in interviews.

    With respect to LK whether a campaign was sanctioned or not – it doesn’t take much for a campaign to take fire in social media either – it may or may not have had an impact on the day itself. When i saw it first i thought it was a black card so one can say he deserved it on one level – on another lots of players deserve black cards and don’t get them and so he was never going to get a pass in the same circumstances given all the talk there was about him in advance. LK probably didn’t do himself any favours for his very honest interview on the “black arts” after the previous years match. I admired the honesty, it was refreshing but usually players don’t make such admissions until they are promoting their biographies…otherwise you are drawing unncessary attention to yourself.

    Its very difficult for Gavin to have any gripe coming into this match – it has been so utterly easy for them to get this far there was never any controversy since the Connolly Carlow incident and no value in that being resurfaced by him wrt to RTE pundits etc. But will he come up with some gripe….given his form and his philosophy I think he probably will….but by good is he going to have think long and hard before he can come up with one that carries any weight….I can maybe think of one….but will hold my peace on that.

  8. Impressive work by Rochford and no harm to get it out early. Nevertheless you will see the dubs media mob crank it up in the next 2 weeks. And they will have a common theme whatever that is.
    On another note the penalty given away last Sunday by Phillie McMahon was a long time coming. For too long he’s been jumping into players but because he has arms outstretched he thinks he can get away with it. He did it a few times in last year’s games to O’Shea, hopefully refs are getting wise to him.

  9. Mayo focus fair enough but what about the decision that cost us for real, basticks pick up , I dont believe we will ever get an all ireland winning decision like that tbh. We need to be in front going.into injury time

  10. If the final doesn’t go our way, I really hope Rochford stays on and keeps developing the team. He’s the best out there, and our kick passing is sublime to watch. The Horan era was magnificent, but was also very one dimensional. Theirs so much variety to our play now, its a joy to watch.

  11. Agreed Sean Burke about bastick but I think that was more the ref playing for a draw on behalf of the GAA. It cost us dearly and was a huge blemish on an otherwise fine game for conor lane no doubt.

    We have, as a group of supporters, no choice now but to look forward rather than back. It’s full steam ahead now to the 17th and the challenge which awaits.

    Get those precious tickets and whoever gets their hands on them be ready to roar and drown out the boys in blue and get the ref on our side.

  12. jesus if there is one thing that makes my blood boil is the cynics that say referees blow the whistle for a draw to fill the GAA coffers….I hit back at it hard any time I hear outsiders coming out with it i.e. non GAA people only too happy to slag off the GAA. I never thought I would see it on a GAA website! F**k sake do we not have enough knockers on the outside than supporting conspiracy theorists with this nonsense. Every other sport on the planet can have a replay but this is the only one where the first thing people say is “more money for the GAA”…..

    there are plenty of reasons why refs blow up and the game is tied or they don’t award that free many think is deserved – they may not have seen it like 20 other incidents in the game they didn’t see, or it may be given that the outcome is almost certainly going to give one side victory they want to be 100% sure the decision is right when 90% is generally good enough….there are lots of reasons human beings make such decisions….but I have never believed…EVER …it was so the GAA could get another pay day with a replay! Please!

  13. As things will get more serious in next two weeks, will continue with W J’s permission to Part Three of Managers’Tales.
    Dublin v Tyrone (before game): Dublin great but untested, led by brilliant manager, should play/should not play D C from start, all options open as best bench in sport. Tyrone led by wily old fox, masterminded victories over Dublin/Kerry in past,superb tactician, has built web/net/maze to ensnare and frustrate Dubs, backs/forwards play anywhere. Gaa need this clash of giants (After match) Dubs so brilliant defy analysis, manager best ever, privilege to see them , 1000 handpasses but so aesthetically pleasing purists charmed. Tyrone a disaster, tactically appalling, no Plan A/B/C, antiquated blanket so old-fashioned and last century, Thanks MH for everything but maybe better to stand aside.
    People probably getting tired of these tales so maybe should not proceed with Parts 4 and 5.
    Thanks W J for all your superb work here and thanks too to so many interesting contributors.

  14. Hard to know what the right media approach – do ya come out first and try and nip things in the bud or wait and see what approach the opposition take before countering. No matter what Rochford made points that needed airing and I was glad to see him be aware of what might happen in the next few weeks – hopefully they have a media plan if the dubs start to ramp up their media attack

  15. Mayodunphy,- This is no time for ‘get out clauses’ … Keep your eye’s on the prize – no one has been calling for a change in Management, even in the wobbly early days of this year’s championship… Complete focus, positively and conviction is what is needed right now, and up until the final whistle on the 17th, nothing less… Don’t let anyone, or any defeatist taught’s dilute the belief in this Mayo team, …. After so many All Ireland finals, we have to learn right mindset for victory… I believe our team and management knows it…. Do you remember Connor Louftus, great late late goal versus Derry…. Do you think if Connor, or any of the rest of the team that day, allowed self doubt to enter their heads, that he would have finished that opportunity with such complete conviction…. It never entered his head that he would miss… I’ve been listening to the Nae sayers all year…. One of better known Nae sayer, Banty, Séamus McEnaney is looking for the Donegal job…. Imagine the wheel will have turned full circle if Donegal are stupid enough to give him the job… It’s only a few years since one of the most positive Managers in the history of the GAA managed them, Jim McGuiness., what a change Banty would make, his opinions are wrong so often, that he’s rarely even right in hindsight! .. ‘I was listening to RTE Radio while at the Kerry match’s, according to Banty Mayo were about to be pushed of a cliff, and he had great sympathy for us!.. Well he can keep his sympathy for himself,.. He will probably be getting a letter, or phone call from the Donegal County Board, starting with the word’s ‘Regrettably Banty, your not up to the job, we in Donegal are trying to build belief in the football squad, not destroy it … Karl Lacey is not staying around in any event…!… The taughts of Banty joining them might just be the last straw!

  16. Leantimes, thats all well and good. Theirs nothing wrong with different mentalities in the build up to AI finals. I’ve learned through the years to not get carried way, as it only leads to a greater fall if things don’t pan out. Call it being cautious or whatever, but it still doesn’t stop me given 200% from the stand on the day. I fully beileve we are capable of beating Dublin, but I also feel we’re up against it…theirs nothing wrong with that. Im not a doomsayer, far from it, just being rational.

  17. mayodunphy,
    thats a good approach. Scream from the stands and back the team and management but also be aware of what you face with dublin. I think its going to be a very tight affair, and rochford was right to throw out the accusations against poor reffing costing Mayo dearly last year. Denis Bastick picked the rolling ball clearly offthe ground in front of the ref, it was a free in, all day long but the ref definitely played for the replay, its millions of euro in the bank for the gaa and to think otherwise is to be fooled.

  18. No harm for Stephen to get his retaliation in first! All we ever want is fair reffing. If this game is as tight as last year it could come down to one free (or the lack of it) that could decide the game. I sometimes refer to Dublin’s ‘breakthrough year’ of 2011 when they won by a very questionable free in the last seconds against Kerry. Last year shortly after equalizing in the drawn game Cillian O’Connor was fouled but Conor Lane lost his nerve and gave us nothing. I often wonder how the likes of the Dubs often get these decisions but we don’t? Dublin would have lost little except another final on the way to eventual dominance over the subsequent years whereas to us it would have meant everything and put is all out of the one of the longest running miseries in sport. All I want is a fair referee but If we got one with a slight touch of human empathy in the event of such a moment happening again I would be stunned. Too much to expect for a Mayo man but not seemingly for a Dub?

  19. Deegan knew what he was doing, no doubt about it. Whether he felt no team deserved to lose, or wouldn’t give a free to us to win the game is the question?.

    Absolutely reffs have played for draws in the dying seconds, they no full well the implications of replays generating millions!.

  20. Ah Cantini, I wish I had your innocence re the GAA. If last year wasn’t enough evidence look at the 2013 all Ireland hurling final where cork were robbed. 1 point up after the 2 minutes injury time were played (without any stoppages), Clare equalise with 35 seconds additional time played. Why were those 35 seconds played? GAA caveat = injury time is AT LEAST x minutes. Plenty of wiggle room.

    Why has a buzzer never been introduced when it works perfectly well in ladies football? What legitimate reason could there possibly be? ask yourself that

  21. “Absolutely reffs have played for draws in the dying seconds, they no full well the implications of replays generating millions!.”

    Generates millions for who? The GAA. Who is the GAA? Me, you, grassroots or does a band of suits make off to Brazil with the windfall? Do the refs get a cut? If not is it the best interest of the organisation they have at heart when they think – if I blow here it will generate millions for funds into clubs and underage football? Love if you could expand on that.

  22. Don’t really get what point you’re trying to make there Cantini. The fact that you also think that thought process would enter a refs head says it all. They shouldn’t be even thinking about generating millions for grass roots GAA if the opportunity arises in a nip and tuck game.

    It should be about making the right calls from the 1st minute to the very last to ensure the correct and fairest result

  23. Cantini, maybe if your own County-Sligo, were denied a blatant free, to win Sam Maguire, in the dying seconds. you might then understand. As our time has come said, why have they never introduced a hooter and stop clock system?.

  24. Mayodunphy – I appreciate where you are coming from…. But , just take this year’s championship into account alone…. We were almost gone V Derry, 6 points down to Clare, Cork had a free to win it, 7 points down to Rosscomm, Kerry had a free to win it… But despite all the evidence that we were going to fall over the cliff, Mayo had the belief to keep going….. – I have always gone to all the match’s believing no matter what, (whether it was on occasion, manufacturing artificial belief or not) that we that we would win…(6 points down, 7points down, no matter what) If you cast your mind back to the last minutes of the Derry game, with time running out, there was palpable noise and plenty of belief coming from the Mayo crowd in McHale Park…. I have no doubt but that this conviction and belief emancipating from the stands is infectious and played no small part in getting Mayo to the final. …. I’m telling you the truth now,….. I have no need to manufacture any type of artificial belief in this team, this Team is the real deal and there is plenty of real belief in so many supporter’s,……. So much of what is said in the media is hot air, and not to be given a second taught….. Let them write Mayo off, the further they write them the better, how many of them said we had missed our chance for Replay with Kerry, plenty of them, and plenty of them well paid for their repeated and erroneous opinions!

  25. I give up. I pulled up a rugby head last week on this very subject i.e. Refs call draws to make money for GAA…I gave him an earful for his troubles …I never realised h head support from within

  26. Leantimes, Ah look I completely agree with ya, my most memorable moment at a Mayo game, was that loftus goal v Derry. The roof nearly came off the stand, I get goose bumps now even thinking of that roar.

    I do lap up all the negativity from the press, feels it drives them on. Especially after the Galway game, the more we’re written off the better….and same for the 17th. More criticism the better in my book. I live in Dublin, and at work I telk them we’ve no chance, and im just happy to be there etc. But deep down the day dreams (of us supporters invading the pitch, carrying each player on our shoulders off it), are rampant!! I fully beileve we can do it. But it still will take a herculean effort.

  27. Mayo Abu, Don’t be afraid of losing, I know all to well that the more I hope / wish for Mayo to win the All Ireland, the greater the upset is after the defeat, the older I get the worse it is, last year was terrible, 2013 was terrible, 2012 I expected Donegal to win ( wad 100 % when they beat Kerry in the quarters), 04 and 06 were a washout, 96 & 97 were terrible defeats. 1989 defeat wasn’t too bad, 1st final and very young.
    The supporters need to “support” during this final like never before. I will be doing my bit in the Nally close to the Dubs in the Hill, large flag, whistle, hooter and hopefully flares.
    As the man says “better to have loved and lost than never loved at all”.

  28. Let the Dublin heads swell and swell, this is the perfect setup as our lads are too experienced for it to impact their performance, quite the opposite it will drive them harder. Unfortunately cannot be at the game but I agree the support from the fans, cheering and flag waving can make a huge difference, especially if we’re trying to come from behind as we’ve done so many times. Let’s not stop supporting this great team until the final whistle win or lose.

  29. Good stuff from Rochford. At least he has learned but he should have stood up for Lee 12 months ago. Expect things to get dirty from Dublin ex players again once Hurling over!

  30. It’s unreal when all the big missed calls are recounted. Everyone saying how did the ref miss that ?
    What makes it alot worse is that there are 7 sets of eyes watching the play. 4 umpires, 2 linesmen and a ref. There are eyes watching from the middle and from all sides. No excuses for any antics not been spotted.
    Talking about hard luck calls, was it poor old louth that were goin for that leisnter title some years back when the meath player, he seemed to dive/scramble over the goal line with the ball), beside a ref and 2 linesman. A free out all day and all night long. But no, the man in black awarded the goal and Louth were done out of the Leinster title. I couldn’t believe it. I actually thought at the time that after all their years trying to win a Leinster title and to be robbed by such an unbelievable decision that Louth might not have been arsed putting a team in the competition the following year.

  31. Off the Ball did fantastic preview show last night for the hurling – obviously not as good as the Mayo News pod – but it was good all the same.

    The piece with Daithi Regan was really interesting. He was very honest in relation to his own struggle in terms of dealing with the pressure of an All-Ireland final. He was pretty funny in the telling of the story, but it was pretty clear that it was a very difficult period for him.

    Now he’s fortunate that he’s able to bowl-end the story by stating they won and he has his medal but it was a great indication of the pressure these lads have to deal with.

  32. Willie Joe, two things spring to mind concerning Mayo’s bid to win the All Ireland. Firstly, it’s fifteen against fifteen on the field of play,Dublin are fast, very fit & Have good skills, and have good subs to bring on at any time to keep the game played at their tempo, very fast, good quick passes ending with good scores? but that’s all very well if a Team sits back & invites them on, they will destroy them, like what they did to Tyrone?
    Secondly, tactics wise if Mayo goes man on man with very tight marking where possible & really put their backs under pressure, could in my opinion set up a great chance for victory. Stephen Rochford & Co. To select the Team accordingly, so that’s just my humble opinion, this Mayo Team can produce an almighty effort because they will have to, for to win the Sam Maguire cup & Win it they Will.

  33. I’m delighted with Rochfords references and especially the timing of them. Why? Without any shadow of a doubt Dublin would be ready to hit the airwaves at the first given opportunity after the hurling.. and my best guess is that their target would have been Cillian (they may still go for him but it’s not so easy now). Cillian got a galway man and a Kerry sent off on black cards by running into them.. sure he’s an awful toe-rag altogether etc., and the referee can’t be falling for stuff like that and it’s Cillian that should get the black card.. and sure poor little Con O’Callaghan is only gone 16 years of age and can’t be expected to survive against devious trickery like that. OK, I jest but this limits their opportunity to target our team and referee as everyone will be saying.. ahh here we go Dublin are at it again sure didn’t Stephen Rochford say this is what happened last year. One up for us

  34. Mayoabu – you were at the same ould shite before the Kerry game. Either start posting sensible comments or go find somewhere else to post that nonsense.

  35. Correct me if I am in error here.
    2011 Uncle Joe Dublin AI,
    2012 Deegan Donegal AI,
    2013 Uncle Joe Dublin AI,
    2014 Eddie Kinsella Kerry AI,
    2015 Coldrick Dublin AI
    2016 Deegan Dublin AI.
    2017 Uncle Joe

    I believe Uncle Joe is worth 6 points to the opposition and therefore is a front runner. He cost us big time in Salthill earlier this year. Maurice is worth a few points to the opposition but perhaps less reliable.and almost cost us in our game with Derry. Remember the AI of 2015 and the abuse that Donaghy got when he came on. I attend a lot of football games and in general I would say I am happy with the standards. I was happy with the standard of refereeing that Mr Lane brought to the first AI game last year. I was happy with the standard by the Roscommon referee in the League final. I like to see the referee show and demonstrate that he knows all the rules and has the courage of his convictions to apply the rules regardless of the consequences. David Gough done exactly this last Saturday afternoon, fair play to him. I am unhappy with the standard of refereeing in the last 8 finals. It is bewildering sometimes to try and make sense of what is happening. The unfairness and inconsistency with the way the rules in big games are implemented. It is nothing short of disgraceful. I believe that the few referees picked for big games are not the best referees. I do not regard any of the ref’s I listed above to be any good based on what I have seen over the last 8 years.

  36. What all supporters should call for now is a Referee who has the courage of his convictions , a sound knowledge of the rules of the game and the desire to give each side a fair hearing. That excludes all on that list IMO. All Mayo supporters should be calling for a ref who is capable of giving each side a fair chance. My man would be David Gough or Neilan from Roscommon.

  37. Great post PJ.. agree 100%. I often wonder who selects the referee and grounds for selection. Im sick to death of hearing a good ref is one who let’s the game flow. If a team sets out to be cynical is b damned what do u do.. you do what your supposed to do for every game.. implement the frikin rules and don’t give a fiddlers what the game looks like or what the purist of the game say.

  38. I absolutely concur with you pjmcmanus on virtually all those points. David Gough was very good the last day but sadly he’s a paid up member of a Dublin club (St. Peregrines) so can’t ref the final. Joe McQ has been very poor – you only have to look at his performance between Down and Armagh earlier in the championship not to mention games involving us. What’s particularly vexing is that any kind of media comment from ex-players should have any influence on a ref in a game at all. But it is obvious for quite a while that it does. As for the black card – it was introduced to stop cynical fouling but all it has done is encourage cynical refereeing and cynical comment from those hell bent on swaying a ref in a certain way. I just hope we are not undone again by this.

  39. If a ref takes charge of a semi final is he automatically excluded from the final? If its the case it would exclude Deegan, Gough and Coldrick.

  40. I have checked each section in the rule book and I cannot find this rule that required the ref to let the game flow. Can anyone out there help. First of all a definition of what is meant by ” let the game flow”. Secondly which rules, sections covers this?

  41. Letting the game flow is not in any rule book. It seems that playing advantage has been shelved this year!

  42. Well there you have it again as it’s the inconsistency of applying the rules. Com Boyle has got the benefit of the advantage rule a few times this year so far so it clearly is still in there…but what are the odds of AOS getting the benefit of it in the final.. not good I would say.

  43. Leantimes
    I agree totally with the gist of what you are saying. In 81 i saw mchale park full v galway when nally gave an exhibion in fielding. Great atmosphere also v clare in league semi in the early 90’s as i mentioned earlier in the year. But these memorable days were topped by a seismic shift in attitude of supporters in mchale park v Derry. The supporters that evening were unreal in the way they got behind the team when they were going through a difficult period. Slowly the team and fans have grown together in belief in each other. Belief is the one thing that this team may have lacked but i think that has changed.
    A kerry couple sat in front of me during semi final and after 5 mins he turned and told me if he knew he’d be sitting beside someone like me that he’d hav brought ear plugs. I took this as a compliment and it got quite tense for a while. I decided to make my peace with him at halftime as i realised my vocal support of my county was antagonising him and we had good oul banter in fairness for the remainder of the game and also shook hands at the end. The point is that if the fans believe then the players will respond. I was not surprised at our 5 point win as i firmly believed we were a better team, as we were in 2014.
    We are living in a golden age for Mayo football and this is a wonderful team. This fine Dublin team is a different proposition to kerry but this final is not beyond us-BELIEVE.

  44. Nicely put words there by Rochford. About time too.

    Not a hope of that referee from Roscommon getting the final. Lucky Jim wouldn’t tolerate that. What? A Connacht referee? Ya, right.

    Fair play Mayo88. Going to be doing your bit in “the Nally next to the Hill with large flag, whistle, hooter and hopefully flares”. We need more supporters like that.

    We will need people who can roar. I mean a proper roar that can be heard 3 miles away.

  45. This will be the first senior final for Mayo since 1989 that I won’t be attending. Beyond disgusted with myself but Sin E. at this stage I would gladly listen to it on a radio in Outer Mongolia as long as they get the win and finally lay this thing to rest.

  46. Pjmcmanus, I couldn’t agree more with your estimation of referees. Gough is the man. As someone said to me last weekend, “He wasn’t afraid of Kerry”. The Darren O’Sullivan black card aside, he got most else spot on.

    Willie Joe, I simply love your last rebuke there….. “you were at the same old shite before the Kerry game”…..Coming generally from the same neck of the woods as yours truly we speak the same language. Long may you reign as governor of this turf. Go méadaí thú.

  47. Yes rochford was right to speak up,Gavin got his speak in earlier on after the league final about nealon.
    Was also glad to see rochford draw the attention of the sideline going’s on of hasset to the officials against kerry.
    Supporters this year have made a difference in a lot of games this year. The Derry game was a special experience,the cork game pure Mayo style all stood together.
    But for me was the noise when Sheehan tried to steal a few yards not once but three time’s, that’s when the 16th man really stood up,it was curtains if he got away with it.
    We have had a lot of heart stopping moment’s this year but it has to be the best year ever following this heroic team.
    More of the same needed the 17th.

  48. Rock – great show alright on off the ball. Even though when Mayo was mentioned the Galway locals did not give the best of reactions…..that said I hope Galway do the business on Sunday

  49. I don’t want to sound downbeat but I see our U-16 gems were beat again. Underage is now a serious issue in Mayo GAA that is not going away.

    A quote from Alan Brogan recently:

    “The population was always bigger. The work was done at underage. The likes of Whelo took development squad four or five years ago. Coman Goggins was involved in development squads, Paddy Christie also.”

    For all the advantages Dublin have one can not deny they have put serious effort into underage development.

    How many ex Mayo greats are involved in our structures? Our showing at minor and u-21 (despite all ire win) are worrying.

    Now I know undenrage success does
    Not guarantee senior but Mayo always had great underage teams out the past 5/6 years are Barron and last years u-21 and the 2013 win are masking this.

  50. Thought Gough was the first ref I have seen in a long time being unfraid to make the big calls against teams like Kerry or Dublin who have often got more than the benefit of the doubt in the past. For the most part he appeared to be onto Kerry and their tactics. Wouldn’t worry too much about Darren getting the line either. That was a small break to get in the greater scheme of things and we were well due it for the wrongs of the past. Not naive enough to think we’re saints either but we don’t get away with it like Kerry and Dublin.
    You’d be forgiven for thinking Gough might have got a phone call from O’Reilly before the match to saying “Listen David, make sure Mayo get fair play today after the hames I made of things in Limerick”

  51. Agree with yew-tree. Our underage is in crisis and has been for the last good few years. Remember this current senior team is backboned by a team that won an allireland u21 in 2006. We need proper development squads with proper coaches FAST. Proper development squads and proper coaches is not about money – it’s about organisation. For a big footballing county our performances at underage are a disgrace. Unfortunately we will pay the price for this at senior level.

  52. My hero, smirking Jim

    I love this time of the year.
    I cannot open a newspaper without seeing my old hero, the smirking Jim Gavin. Sometimes smirking Jim is photographed alone. I suppose he’s asked to smirk for the camera. Sometimes he’s photographed with his “we’ll buy the Sam Maguire at any cost AIG robots”.

    Smirking Jim has smirked his way to many Leinster and all ireland titles. He is noted as a manager of untold ability. No matter how the match is going, whether his “we’ll buy the Sam Maguire at any cost AIG robots” are winning the easy way or the hard way, you’ll always find my hero sitting on the bench with a big smirk on his face.

    At this time of year, smirking Jim trains his “we’ll buy the Sam Maguire at any cost AIG robots” very hard. 4 nights a week he plugs a big industrial size cable in to their asses for 2 hours until they are fully charged.

    It’s not widely known, but before smirking Jim became a football manager, he was a noted recording artist. He will always be remembered for his classic hit

    “smirk, and the whole world smirks with you”

    By the way, good luck to Stephen Rochford who is embarking on his own musical journey in the coming weeks with the release of his first record.

    “I’m goin to wipe that smirk right off your face”

  53. Revellino – I’m not what the point of that comment is, still less why you’ve felt compelled to post it twice. The only way we’ll wipe that grin off Jim Gavin’s face is by beating his team. I think it would be better concentrating on the merits of our side rather than dissing Dublin’s manager, a man who is well on his way to becoming one of the most successful Gaelic football managers of all time. And, by the way, his team are far from a bunch of robots either.

  54. Your right WJ. Better to stop mickeying around and get back to the serious business.

    This weekend I’ll be shouting for Galway and hope they can bridge the long gap and hopefully set the tone in connacht for 2 weeks time. Then it’s about trying to bridge our own gap. We’re better this year by a fair distance I feel and I have a very positive feeling about the 17th. I’m not fully sure yet of how much Dublin have improved. Hard to judge on their games to date. The 17th will reveal all but feel good about our chances.

  55. Perception is amazing. We tend not to like referees who had the whistle when we got beaten eg McQuillan, Deegan etc and have some tolerance for the man in the middle when we dont lose eg Lane, Gough etc.{ By the way I wont even mention Cormac Reilly}. I have been talking to lots of Kerry fellas since the replay and they thought Gough was atrocious. When I replied that I thought he was good I was asked would I think the same if Andy got a black card for what Sullivan did or how would I feel if Aido got a second yellow for what Crowley got sent off for. In truth it was a fair point as I would be very annoyed. The truth is that its all about perception and partisanship. We have lost some very tight battles and all referee calls are magnified after a game like that. All we want is fair play but if a ref makes an incorrect decision that leads to us beating Dublin I would take it all day.

  56. Cillian got sent off on a black (probably a correct call for a pull down) and Durcan for double yellow (harsh in my view) but aside from O’Sullivan the calls made were fair and on balance. Remember Cillian had the ball and layed off a pass to Duran I think who was flying down the wing been chased by O’Sullivan who let’s face it couldn’t catch him. Now the clash between Cillian and O’Sullivan was a bit of theatrics from both players and here is the most important thing.. the call was made by the linesman who was 5 feet away and not Gough. I can imagen the linesman was getting it in the keck from the very partisan crowd so we can blame the 16th man for influencing his decision. Gough’s is right to trust his officials calls.. that’s what they are there for. The Donaghy call was as clear as day even if Aidan did stand on his big toe.. we’ve learnt that stuff the hard way as it goes on all the time… but these guys are around long enough to know you can’t react like that. We won the game because we were the better team… we just happen to have a fair, knowledgeable and balanced ref on the day. It’s great to see others complaining for a change as that usually comes with loosing but we are winners.. Bring on the Dubs

  57. It’s amazing that when the crisis that is our underage structures comes up everyone seems to find something else to talk about. Coaching positions are jobs for life given as a form of patronage with no performance related criteria what so ever. There are people jumping up and down within the county trying to draw attention to this issue but most people remain fixed on the senior team. Mike Connelly has asked Liam Horan and Martin Carney to do a review of the underage, time will tell if anything happens as the last time Mr Horan did a review we know how that ended. 100 minutes of football against Kerry resulted in a single point from the U16’s. They ended up with a draw against Leitrim after surrendering a 12 point lead and they got beaten out the gate by Galway. Couple that with the U17’s, minors and U21’s getting lacerated the last few years and I hope people are starting to get the picture. Are the young lads in Galway, Kerry or Dublin that different to our or is it the coaching? I think we all know the answer.

  58. I have to agree fully with you to win just once. It’s bloodboiling when the calls go against us but if we get and odd call no problems with that.

    It would have been very annoying if Aiden got a second yellow. I felt Donaghy tricked the ref in to giving him the 1st yellow.

    Like yourself, I feel that Gough had a good game. Pretty quick with the cards mind you, but would have to say he got nearly all his calls correct. I would have liked him reffing the final. Going on recent duels with Dublin these recent games would have turned out much differently if they were marshalled like the Mayo kerry game was handled.

    My only wish for the 17th as regards a referee is that whoever refs it is fair to both teams.

  59. Sorry Liam don’t really know to much about the underage coaching. Did have a couple of minor managers recently who seemed to do a decent job. Enda gillivary I think was one and Ray dempsey had done well as far as I remember.

    It is always.good though to see the young lads flourishing. Hopefully this coming year we’ll have good underage teams again.

  60. No question that ref’s are always more under the spotlight in tight games. Supporters can feel aggrieved about one small decision, as it may well have additional consequences that lead to a team losing a game by a point.
    I well remember the names of the ref’s in our All-Ireland finals from 2012 onwards, as all the games were close, and I had issues with some decisions in all of them. That’s the biased life of a supporter.
    But ask me who the ref was in either 2004 or 2006 and I couldn’t tell you. We were so well beaten that I couldn’t even be arsed thinking about the ref’s decisions. And I’m still to re-watch either final as well…

    Kerry’s complaints are a bit petty though. They were by far and away second best on the day, the 5 point winning margin actually flattered them.

  61. To win just once I have to disagree strongly with that. Gough applied the rules without fear or favor. You did not cover this. Any time can you say the referee showed his knowledge of the rules and he had his team man up to do like wise is a good referee irrespective of results. Did this happen in the 2015 AI when Donaghy was introduced. The fouling by some Dublin players was disgraceful. It lead to an unfair result irrespective of who was supporting who. The purpose of the ref is to implement the rules, show some integrity to both teams. Integrity that is sadly lacking in the list of Referees the GAA have used in the last 8 years.

  62. Dan, I can tell you it was that *$#@* from Monaghan who refereed ’04 final, and he was just as biased as in ’96. Your right it made no difference to the result but doesn’t detract from the fact.
    For me the recent finals the refs were just not up to the required standard, no bias really, just incompatance. Last year you knew the media attention prior to the replay would get to him once he was announced, and it did. Same in ’12 and the idiot in the ’14 replay is not even worth mentioning.

  63. Feck sake can we stop moaning about the ref already? We don’t even know the ref yet and the game is yet to be bloody played. We are known as moaners around the country and I beginning to see why. Decisions go for and against you…granted we have had bad luck and decisions go against us in many finals but we also need to look in the mirror in games we could and should have won due to our own failings.

  64. Yew Tree You are the first person to moan about a ref that has not been appointed yet so I hope you are using that mirror. By post was about how the last referee done the job by applying the rules without fear or favor. This is not the way that AI’s have been handled over the last 8 years. I am not moaning about how our AI’s have been adjudicated but rather its about how they should be adjudicated going forward. In fact I have never posted anything on here complaining about the ref after the fact not even Mr Reilly. I see this as a huge problem but it is not just a Mayo issue. This is an issue for the GAA and the 32 counties.

  65. pjmcmanus – My post was not aimed at you. Secondly I am moaning about the moaning so maybe that makes me a moaner. All I am saying is once WJ puts up the post with the announced referee we will have multiple posts complaining about the referee. It becomes tiresome. Mayo can only control how we play.

  66. The ref will 100% be McQuillan, the president of the GAA is a Cavan man, anc i think he’s steppind down soon. So, it was only ever going to be one man in charge of the final this year…..none other than another “Chavan man”. Dublin Joe’s chance to be part of the epic 3 in a row….

  67. jim gavin does not like it when pat spillane tells the truth about the Connolly affair, but its totally acceptable for Whelan , paul curran and a few more dubs to slate keegan.

  68. We seen Kerry’s Éamonn Fitzmaurice win the battle off the field in the build-up to the league final against Dublin, then his team won the battle on the field against them in that league final. Let’s hope that it will be the same result for Stephen Rochford and his team in the All-Ireland final, winning the battle on and off the field of play.

  69. Theres no point commenting on the ref until Monday when the decision is made.

    Also dont see why so many people are criticizing Gavin, his record shows he is one of the best managers around and will prob go down as one of the best ever. I have no issue what so ever with what he says in the media, he is doing what evet it takes to get an advantage for his team, what every good manager does. The manager of the countries dominant team always gets more airtime in the media, Jack OConnor held sway when he was winning, Mickey Harte the same. Mayo wins in two weeks time and Rochford will get more media attention.

  70. I don’t think we’re at a crisis point with underage yet. The measurement is u21s I suppose, not minor titles. The 2016 minors were comfortably beaten by Galway and Kildare. But I actually think them and the best of the 2017 minors will make a decent u20 team next year.
    Senior is always built on the back of solid u21 and now u20 teams.
    This years u21s were badly hit by injury.
    Seamus Cunniffe was out – full back
    Jack Reilly was out – wing forward/midfield
    Matthew Ruane was just back from injury.
    Those three lads were core players.
    Tyrone do mighty at minor and they have the best centre of excellence. Our young players are far superior in my view, Patrick Durcan, Stephen Coen, Diarmuid OConnor.
    There are talented young players coming through.
    U16s are likely been beaten by over coached systematic type teams. Very effective against young naive teams.

  71. Jim McGuinness is miles ahead of Jim Gavin, look at the players and resources available to him. Steve Staunton would win at least 2 AI’s with that team. Just because someone is successful doesn’t mean we have to like him. His whole demeanour irks me, aswell as his constant patronising comments. Lost all respect for him after 2013 final, with his comments about how unfair the reff was to his team… won Jim! End of story.

  72. Agree jp, u17and younger is about skills development, not titles. Too much emphasis on winning (fitness and power rather than skills) can be detrimental later on. That is not to say that under age coaching shoukd not be improved though….

  73. @Cosa bana. Injury free, enjoying your football, developing physical movement and able to play multiple positions.
    I know that stamina work with young athletes is detrimental to explosive power as an adult. There’s a lot of research on that where fast twitch fibre development can be improved or hindered when working with young athletes.
    Players being mentally fresh at 21/22 is a massive thing. I’v no heed on minor titles.
    I’d trade away the 2013 title to get rid of the incredible volume of injuries that have stalled several players careers.
    Young players injury free and enjoying their football is the thing at this age.

  74. For those with an interest in underage football, the result of the Ted Webb Cup u-16 semi Final in Bekan today was…Roscommon 2-9, Mayo NE 1-3.
    The Mayo team failed to score in the second half.

    Why do some people on here insist on moaning about everything?
    Firstly, it was about Aslan and Imelda May and the half time entertainment in Croke Park…
    Now its the All Ireland Final referee, even though we still don`t know who it is.
    Jim Gavin is the latest in the firing line because he has the nerve to “smirk “…

    If I had the honour of being manager of a team who are going for three in a row, not to mention multiple league titles, I too would have a smirk on my face.

  75. Observer 2

    I would hope if you were manager of an all ireland winning team, that you would compliment your opponents on their brilliant performance rather than to come out and say that your own team hadn’t performed. Not very gracious.

    Jim.Gavin said on the sunday game that he hadn’t really seen Mayo play sInce march. We were not on his radar. Do you actually believe that. I’m not a football manager but I’ve seen all the countries top teams play several times over the summer. A nice cheap shot at mayo from Jim.

    A fair portion of your comment is spent giving out about people who give out.

    Welcome to the club.

  76. There is a cyclical issue with East at U16 this year. East has a better standard at u14.
    East is only ever as good as Moy Davitts, Charlestown, Kiltimagh, Ballaghadereen and Aghamore.
    Only Ballaghadereen were strong this year at u16.
    North will improve shortly with Ballina and Crossmolina.

  77. He said the same after the quarters that he hadn’t seen Tyrone since their league clash so I wouldn’t be getting too caught up about it Revellino. Whether he has or hasn’t genuinely seen us is not our concern, it’s what our lads are preparing to bring to the final is all that matters.

  78. well done to rochford for speaking up at the right time kerry did same thing before league final .I would prefer none of this business and hope thats the end of politics of the pitch .It is the Mayo lads we be calling smirky by end of campaign. Thanks for the site here willie joe .

  79. Gavin is probably correct in saying HE hasn’t seen Mayo recently.

    But, he has an army of helpers who have, and who, no doubt, have a medical update on every Mayo player, probably with professional medics offering an opinion on Lee or Aiden. Fitzmaurice remarked recently on the detailed check out they were doing on Clare some time ago!

  80. To come back on a topic. Rather than an underage crisis what the league and championship club minor results show is that we have a very serious issue in selecting the minor team. This came up at a county board meeting.
    The Schools B success and clubs at B level and lower league successes don’t anwhere near equate to simply being a competitive Division one club or an A standard club.
    When it was raised at county board level that no North Mayo player was on the minor team it was stated no North team had reached any final. But Knockmore especially and Belmullet are two teams who remain competitive with Westport. Westport for instance would demolish Ballinrobe CS school, it is that stark a gap in standard.
    If Westport were to play the teams in Division 3 possibly you might see scorelines of 15-23 to 1 pt even 0 pt. It is that big a gap from Divison one to divison 3. Yet at that, there were more players from divison 3 (2b official title of that divison) selected than from the four strongest clubs Westport, Knockmore, Balla and Belmullet. In fact those four clubs only had one U17 starter from Balla. How there could not be a single final year U18 is simply unfathomable.

  81. I am aware of that Douglas. Really I should included Swinford as they are a sleeping giant and the work going in at underage can hopefully turn them around. They were the strongest underage club in East Mayo in the 90’s. They have the largest pick once you factor the hinterlands.
    Ballyhaunis don’t have a large hinterland.

  82. Interesting debate here lads on underage. I’d have some concerns going forward I have to say. The biggest issue is the urbanisation of Irish society. Fewer and fewer kids are growing up in the traditional heartlands of Mayo gaa. Instead castlebar and Westport are on the way to becoming super clubs. Ten years ago the national school in Bangor erris had over 100 kids, I believe there’s only 40 left now. If you drive from cill chomain to Ballina, you pass by the clubs of Ballycastle, lacken, Kilfian and killala, over 30 miles of driving before you reach Ballina. One club at underage (Naomh Padraig) currently represents those 4 clubs I just mentioned. I’m not even sure if Teams like Ardmoy are even fielding sides at underage? Historically we have harvested few players from towns – gaa was always a country sport and many of the main players in the town clubs came from the rural hinterlands. Talk of cycles is nonsense – north Mayo is an economic wasteland and sadly there are few industries there to keep young families around and living in these areas. It’s not just a north Mayo problem. I believe that clubs like balintubber and aughamore, former underage powerhouses are also struggling to get anywhere near the same numbers at underage level as even a decade ago?
    Do we need another club in castlebar or Westport to develop the game more in these large population centres? Killarney has 4 clubs and Tralee has 5. Interested to get people’s opinions?

  83. Westport are currently togging two teams up to and including minor.
    Knockmore and Belmullet are stronger than ever in North Mayo overall.
    Castlebar and Westport are going well.
    Ballina are strong at u14. Claremorris are consistently good now.
    Balla and Louisburgh have turned things around. Mayo Gaels going better than ever.
    I think overall things are in a pretty healthy state with underage.
    On the contrary I think one time we were held back with having weak large towns and are set for a large player pool in a few years.

  84. Larry,

    It’s very sad to see the young men gone out of those areas, a walk down the street in Ballina can be very sobering, lots of old timers like me but a severe lack of young lads or 20 somethings. The pubs are frequented by very few 20-30 year old men, it’s a disaster for the country that they have to leave the country entirely or else move to Dublin and take the lifeblood with them. Mayo actually lost population in the last census, no wonder, everything is jammed into Dublin and the rest withers on the vine, well nearly, Galway and limerick I suppose have a bit going on, but the rest is dublin.
    This all points to the Miracle that Mayos senior team can even compete with Dublin today. Just before the famine, Mayo had a population of 388,000 and some say that it was likely even a lot more than that, today its hovering around 130,000, we are a shadow of what we should be. Ballina should be 80,000, castlebar and Westport too and the likes of swinsford and belmullet should be like Ballina in size today or even bigger.
    I’ve heard that Co Mayo has about 4.5 million globally that can look at Mayo as their land of ancestry. It’s amazing but totally believable. I was in a school year of 130 boys in the late 80s in Ballina, 90% of which are living in Dublin or abroad. That was 1 single year, in 1 single school, so 4.5 million descendants is not beyond belief.
    A bit away from football but it’s a very interesting thing to ponder when you want to talk about Naomi padraig and the lack of numbers.

  85. JP – it’s hard to know if these teams are stronger than ever. Has the overall standard gotten relatively weaker? In any given pool of teams some one will has to be the best. I dont see the depth of young players that was in the county ten or 15 years ago. There’s no arguing that fact. Aughamore used to show up with u14 -and u16 squads of 40 odd players, and b teams at all levels, now they have to amalgamate with Ballyhaunis?
    Dave – it’s heartbreaking to see the decline of north Mayo. The national schools are reducing in numbers at alarming rates. I don’t think people realise in other parts of the county how bad it is. Within 15 years I think we will be doing well to have 2 adult teams in Erris. That’s not an exaggeration based on schoolkid numbers in the region. Moygownagh and Lacken supplied 4 players to the starting 15 Mayo senior team in the 1989 all Ireland final. It’s quite incredible to think of that stat but sadly those 2 clubs are probably the weakest 2 teams in Mayo right now.

  86. I seen Kilmeena beat Castlebar U13 in Div 1 yesterday. Thats an incredible achievement to have a Div 1 team in Kilmeena.

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