Rochy’s rallying call for Sunday

Mayo Football Podcast club members on Patreon will, no doubt, have already heard Mike Finnerty’s interview with Stephen Rochford after the county’s National League final win over Galway at Croke Park on Sunday.

As well as reflecting on the win, Mayo’s Assistant Manager looked ahead to next Sunday’s Connacht SFC quarter-final clash with Roscommon, a match that takes place back on home turf, at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park (throw-in 4pm). In doing so, Rochy issued a call to arms to the county’s supporters, asking for them to turn out in big numbers for our Championship opener.

Here’s what he had to say about this on the podcast:

The Mayo News reported today (paper and digital variants) that a crowd of around 20,000 is expected for Sunday’s match. It would be fitting for the newly-crowned National League champions to be welcomed back to MacHale Park that afternoon by a huge home crowd and it would be equally good to hear loud, sustained support for the team on the day as Kevin McStay’s charges aim to make a winning start to this year’s Championship.

Listen to the Final Whistle pod in full here.

Tickets for Sunday’s game have to be purchased in advance. They’re available from selected Centra and SuperValu outlets and are also available to purchase online here.

67 thoughts on “Rochy’s rallying call for Sunday

  1. The Rossies will be lying in the long grass alright. Would love to put manners on them big style on Sunday. A 20 point win or something like that. Up Mayo

  2. Fair play to Stephen for calling on Mayo supporters to turn out in numbers, but I think he’s banging on an open door. Considering the numbers that turned up last weekend in Croke Park, a stroll up the road to Castlebar is easy.

  3. I’d settle for a 1 point win . Just beat them !!
    Its a really really tough match for us Sunday.
    Think there will be great support from Mayo in McHale Park ,especially after winning the league last Sunday.
    Maybe the team needs us most when things are going badly or we are finding it tough …
    Very easy to get the Mayo Mayo chant going when we are winning near the end of a game .

  4. Well for me the way I’m reading that puts an end to any notion management are thinking about anything else other than route one . We need to do as he says now and outnumber the ros and bring colour and the noise , many times now we’ve been told by players and management it makes a difference. We should go to one end and completely take it over , I dunno but why not make the bacon factory end what the hill16 is to Dublin for example ?

  5. I was reading this in today’s Connacht Telegraph;

    “The winners of Mayo versus Roscommon could have to play a total of 10 games in a 16-week period if they are to be crowned All-Ireland champions.
    The losers of next Sunday’s game could win the Sam Maguire by playing just seven in that same 16-week period and win the All-Ireland”

    Some food for thought there. I always love beating the Rossies, especially at home, but things have changed and a loss wouldn’t be the worst thing ever, considering the above..

  6. How do people think management are going to use the weekends when we wouldn’t have games were we to lose this weekend? I’d say they’d be on the phone to other counties in a similar position arranging friendlies week in week out. There is nothing like games to sharpen the mind and body.

    We should aim to win this weekend, then a two week break, then aim to beat Galway; then another two week break and then win the Connacht final on 7th May. Then another two week break before the group stage kicks off. It’s not that arduous a fixture list when you write it down given the game against Monaghan was not overly exertive. There would essentially be 4 weeks between the Galway game and the group stages to do some heavy training as the Connacht final should be straightforward if we beat Galway.

  7. @RPP Murphy: For me, that stat shows how bananas the current system is. Why should teams be punished for winning their province? Surely it should be the other way round, if anything.

    The Aussies have a system where higher ranked teams either join the knockout phase at a later stage, or can suffer an extra loss without being knocked out. Maybe this wouldn’t sit well with the traditional GAA way of doing things, but it seems to me that the GAA calendar has been both shortened and has had extra games added in, producing a cramming effect.

    I don’t think shoehorning the entire championship between April and July will last, long-term. But maybe that’s another day’s discussion. Posters are right to suggest that it will eventually devalue the provincial championships.

    I would still hate to see us do anything than try to beat the Rossies, however. Old instincts die hard…

  8. @Our time has come …Good post … its not as daunting after reading your post .
    We have a competitive management and group of players. Can’t see anything but a full throttle and full strength team but there may be a 1 or 2 changes to the starting team .

  9. No better team than Roscommon to bring us back down to earth, they have done it many of times over the years after we won the league. They finished 3rd in the league and everyone seems to be writing them off. I see it as a 60/40 game in our favour but if we are even a little off the pace they could well punish us.

    Kevin and co seem to have identified this as a tough challenge by the way they were talking after the league final and i’m sure the players know how dangerous the game is.

  10. Great blog Willie Joe, avid reader. For the record books, James Carr needs to be credited with a point in the match day report. Also, it is my understanding that if we lose to Roscommon, we will be third seeds. If we beat the rossies but lose to Galway we will still be first seeds (cos of having bet Galway in league final).

  11. Further @Our time has come post

    The first group game will likely be the only one against D1 opposition. If there’s a third D1 team in a group it’ll be one of the relegated teams.

    It’s not possible for any province to have two of next year’s D1 teams make their provincial final.

    Excepting some very odd results, the second and third group games will be on paper the easiest games we have all year

  12. “They have done it to us many times over the years “.

    That’s a myth , since 1986 I think they’ve beaten us three times in championship, 1991 , 2001 & 2019 . Maybe I’m forgetting one , haven’t time to look it up in the archive but I’m near positive I wouldn’t forget . 91 was a reply after Derek Duggans equalising point in castlebar in the first game , 2001 enough said about that day and then that more recent day in the pissin rain in 2019 .

  13. Stephen is right, we need everyone who is able to go at MacHale on Sunday. A one point win would do just fine. Roscommon are going to sit everyone back early and force us to shoot from the 40. This is where they hope we miss and the crowd starts to groan, leading to tension growing slowly and that transfers to the players. A good start by us is vital, we really need to get ahead early amd control the game like last week.

    The Rossies utterly despise us and will see this as an All Ireland for them. If we’re anyway complacent here we’ll be left on our backsides. 2019 and 2001 spring to mind. I even read an interview with their manager, who threw a suttle dig at our fitness level for this time of year, while also trying to cover himself if they get bet, he constantly plays the poor mouth trying to be a “cute hoor”.

    Blocking the middle channel is key for us. As I said, Roscommon will sit back hoping to catch us on the break, they have the players in Enda Smith, Cian McKeon, Stack and others to hurt us if running down the middle. If we give up the same goal chances as last Sunday, Roscommon will nab at least 2 of them. Im very nervous for this one, a wet day will only suit them more…just like 2019.

  14. Sean Burke – you left out the last bit of my sentence where i said “after we won the league”. I suggest you read peoples full post before fact checking and making it sound like something different was said.

  15. Roscommon have beaten us once in my lifetime at home in the championship. Yes they can be dangerous on their day but I don’t buy that their forwards are better than ours (reading comments from Roscommon) Assuming we are not complacent I don’t see us losing this game.

  16. I’m with @ Our time has come on this one. It’s interesting that Rochy has made an issue of a big crowd turning out on Sunday. I think he knows from experience that coming back down from a big game like last Sunday can result in a team being a small bit flat the next day out. So having a large partisan raucous crowd on Sunday to lift the team especially when things might not be going to plan will be very important. Its Roscommon, I certainly won’t be holding back.

  17. I seem to remember from 2019 that we dominated the centre field, but we were done down by a combination of us shooting a rake of wides, a shanked kickout leading to a Roscommon goal and an inspired performance from Conor Cox.

    If we are focused and reasonably accurate in front of goal then we should win, if not then it’s in the lap of the gods.

  18. Thanks for pointing that out re James Carr, Boleyboy62, I’ve added his score to the report now.

    That’s not correct re the seeding by the way – the provincial finalists are first and second seeds respectively so if we either lose to the Rossies or beat them and lose to Galway we’ll be third seeds. The GAA have today published an explainer on all this, which is here:

  19. @It means nothing to me. I think I also remember at the death in 2019 (At least I think this was the 2019 game), we were awarded a very kickable free to tie up the game.

    Conor Loftus was lining up the free to take. Diarmuid took the ball off Conor and handed it to K Mcgloughlin and unfortunately K MC kicked it wide. Game over.

  20. Looking at the master fixture list above really brings home the lunacy of Sligo leitrim making the Connacht final while one of Mayo and Roscommon will be out at the quarter final stage .
    At both the prelim and quarter finals stage repeat pairings of provincial finals are to be avoided
    So one of Galway Roscommon or mayo will not be able to draw sligo or leitrim but a team from another province can and basically have a bye (with all due respect to sligo and leitrim they are div 4 teams ). They could however draw each other
    With the change in the AI structure and the importance of seedlings etc the Connacht championship will have to be seeded from next year on surely ?
    It’s current set up is hampering the chances of any Connacht team winning the AI

  21. @Boleyboy62..,If that’s the case, and it’s the way I read it as well. Then it’s not possible for Galway to be a No1 seed, even if they win Connacht, because Mayo have to be seeded higher, but it is possible for Roscommon to be a No1 seed if they win Connacht.. because Roscommon didn’t make the League Final So in effect Galway are punished for getting to the League Final (which should be a plus) and before a ball is kicked next Sunday . It would be the same Mayo couldn’t possibly be a No1 seed if Galway had beaten us, and Roscommon could by winning Connacht. In fairness Roscommon in their double digits win over Donegal done their best to get to the League Final. It’s definitely a flaw in the system that the League runner’s up are effectively punished for making the Final.. But for Mayo it’s very good news and makes last Sunday victory more significant.

  22. @Willie Joe: Thanks for sharing that. Hadn’t spotted it.

    Again, they’ve been very poor with the information they’ve put out on the structure for the new championship. That most recent one (and the updated wiki page seems to have ditched the previous information that had been circulated ( of prior Provincial Pairings being used for seedings (e.g. Seed 1 in Connacht in the same group as Seed 2 from Munster).

    Anyone familiar with it enough to know if that was a mistake in the most recent release (and the provinces are paired in groups), a mistake from John Fogarty, a slip by HQ in the information they gave John Fogarty previously or a newer change in what they weren’t planning to do earlier in the year?

    None of the four scenarios there are a good look (even the one where potentially the journalist is mistaken suggests their information has been incredibly poor to allow that to happen) in a year when HQ have dropped the ball so frequently. Hopefully next year with Ja can be a big step forward.

  23. @Boleyboy and @Leantimes – Whoever wins Connaught final is first seed, whether that’s Mayo, Galway, Roscommon or anyone else. Whoever loses Connaught final will be a 2nd seed. The league has no relevance whatsoever on the 1st & 2nd seedings for the groups.

    It’s only relevant for the 3rd and 4th seeds

  24. I don’t think that means we’re a higher seed in every instance but instead that if the winner/loser of a league final (presumably not Division One but I’d agree this isn’t clear) sit on the cut-off point between seedings then the winner gets the higher seeding. At least that’s what I think it means!

  25. “It must be noted that the League Final winner (Mayo in this case) will be considered a higher seed than the team they defeated in the final (Galway in this case)” . This is the exact wording of the rules deciding the seedings as regards how it effects both Galway and Mayo. So from my reading of the words, it is impossible for Galway to be seeded higher than Mayo, .. even if Roscommon beat Mayo by 20 points on Sunday, and even Galway beat Roscommon by another 20 points and indeed should Galway win the Connacht Final afterwards. ..It dosent sound right to me, but those are the exact words, and I presume those were the exact words before the League began last January. I know that in the “Newbridge or Nowhere” controversy. Cian O Neill and the Kildare county board stuck to the precise wording of the rules as written down. And even despite a communication director of the GAA talking nonsense about the possibility of “Blood in the streets of Newbridge” ..the exact wording won out in the end of the day! So for me regardless of anything else is now impossible for Galway to be seeded higher than Mayo..

  26. @Leantimes: Not sure I’d consider that the wording of rules. It’s little more than a press release.

    Real rules would need to include stuff like the specifics of “subject to avoiding of repeat provincial final pairings and where possible repeat pairings from Round One” (we’d imagine it’d be done in the same manner it is for other draws with it being impossible to avoid a repeat pairing if it’s the final draw and otherwise the team gets moved down a slot and another drawn).

    I wouldn’t completely doubt if it’s the most official wording they’ve as yet created (hopefully I’m wrong and others might have updated rules to cover this)…. but certainly not what you’d consider something you could hang your hat on or take action on. The use of ‘seeding’ in that case is ambiguous and I’d suggest incorrect. They should have used an alternative working like ‘ranking’ (or more accurately ‘league ranking’) to illustrate & differentiate it’s a subset of the system in how Seed 3 and Seed 4 teams are selected and not muddy the waters as it has done.

    Really poorly written release. It’s a mess.

  27. If my understanding of what the words mean is correct?. . This was a possible seneario.. Almost actually happened, in the last minute of the Galway/Kerry match, Connor Gleeson make a very good save to deny Galway a goal..Had Kerry actually scored the goal,. Roscommon would have qualified for the League Final, because of a better scoring difference to Galway, Tyrone and Kerry, all on 8 points, and had that happened, Kerry scoring the Goal, it would then possible for Galway to have a No1 seeding.. Of course he had to save the goal for Galway to qualify for the League Final and give them the chance of winning a final in Croke Park.

  28. @TsuDhoNim.. but this communication was released post Mayo winning the League,.. because Mayo are already ranked as No1,.. Galway No 2 and Roscommon No3 ..the League relative ranking of both Galway and Mayo could only be known after last Sunday . Maybe the communication director of the GAA can clarify things.

  29. It’s a typo and should read “rank” instead of “seed”. You can see it applied on their ranking list where Dublin are ranked 7 and Derry 8

  30. @Leantimes: No.

    1st seeds are the four teams that win the 4 provincial finals. Nothing about the league matters. New York if they win the Connact Championship are 1st seeds. League only decides 3rd and 4th seed teams.

    The Mayo being a higher ‘seed’ than Galway is an ambiguous and poor use of the word. They messed up. They also choose a poor example in Galway/Mayo (both would be 3rd seeds along with Roscommon from league positions regardless of how the league final went) and should have gone with Derry/Dublin where it actually might have made a difference.

    Derry finished first in D2 and would have been ranked 7th in the league standings for the year at that point (higher than Armagh and Donegal). Because Dublin beat them in the final the league rankings update to Dublin in 7th spot and Derry in 8th. This is the ‘higher seeding’ they mention, poorly.

    With the Tailteann Cup winners qualifying it’s theoretically possible for only 7 teams to qualify based on league positions. As the draw panned out that wasn’t the case this year…. so all of this is relatively moot. Mayo/Roscommon/Galway as all 3rd seeds and guaranteed one of them bumping to 1st or 2nd seeds meant that both Dublin and Derry were guaranteed spots as 4th seeds at worst (with potential to bump to any of 3rd, 2nd or 1st depending on their own and others performances in the Provincials).

    The ‘rule’ as mentioned of the league final winner being a higher ‘seeding’ (should have been league ranking) is to cover that scenario where Dublin leapfroged Derry to the 7th rank team in the league in choosing who gets 3rd/4th seed spots. It has nothing to do with any of Galway/Mayo/Roscommon and/or Provincial qualification spots.

    As mentioned… they made a mess of it.

  31. I think you’ve got it there, FrosTHammer. No way could we be a higher seed than Galway if we lose to them in a possible Connacht semi-final given how the seedings are determined but I’d agree that the GAA aren’t exactly helping to bring clarity to the situation.

  32. Do I take it from the latest press release that Connacht and Munster are not paired for the pool stages?

  33. @catcol: That part is super unclear. Though I notice whoever updates the wiki seems to have removed it on the back of this release.

    I put up a tweet to hopefully get John Fogarty digging into it fully given it makes his last piece look inaccurate. Not sure I trust HQ to release fully accurate information on their own they’ve been so poor on it so far.

  34. Reading the “communication” from the GAA again..One statement is (or certainly can be) in complete contradiction of another statement. And it was released after the outcome of the League Final was known, and the particular one-sided draw in Connacht was known, ie the No1,No 2 and No3 teams as ranked by their league positions was known.. The League Final to me means the League Div One final..The League Champions are Mayo!

  35. What would be very interesting would be Cian O Neill take on the “rules” as written, should Galway win the Connacht Final. If Mayo were seeded higher than Galway!..Cian now part of Galway’s back room team was very adamant (and rightly so) about the exact wording regarding home advantage in the Newbridge or Nowhere..A leopard can’t change his spot’s or could he?

  36. One of the biggest positives from the game against Galway is the fact that we won a game which was played in a very controlled manner against one of the top teams in the country. Our preferred or default style of play is an all-action, attacking game going toe to toe with the opposition, kick passes into our forwards, etc., but when faced with a team like Galway who like to play defensively and whose main aim is to stifle us then we’re capable of winning that way as well.

  37. @Revellino: Yeah, McLoughlin’s miss was in 2019. First time the Roscommunists beat us since Gerry Lohan’s goal in the Hyde, 2001.

  38. Well this entire system has needlessly been made very complicated and totally uneven in its in gods name would a team that wins their provential title be expected to play more games than those that go in semi finals.everyone appears to have a different interpretation of how it actually works .i wonder is there any chance that the powers that be might be able to provide some clarity before the all Ireland final weekend

  39. I think ? if the Provincial system is to continue, at a minimum we have to have seeded draws based on League rankings for to reach the Provincial Final Connacht we No,1, 2 & 3 on one side of the draw and No23,. 29 & 32 on the other side, as well as presumably New York if they were ranked might be No33. Absolutely makes no sense whatsoever and it advantages teams in the other 3 province’s, who will find themselves playing at least one team, with a ranking of No23, 29, 32 or 33.

  40. The only thing that the structure says to me is.
    Cha Ching. €€€€. Some amount.of games.
    I take it, it won’t be 30 quid into one game and 20 into another.
    On a serious note, some competitions are come to come under pressure here, I can’t see the FBD and even league finals lasting too many more years.

  41. Any thoughts on who will play full back in the event that mcbrien isn’t available and with brickenden out .o hora doesn’t look up to speed yet and I would imagine the Rossies will try enda smith at full forward at some stage

  42. What we do know is that two of Mayo/Galway/Roscommon will make up 2 of the 4 available 3rd seed spots. This makes it important for teams ranked 6th or lower in league form to make their provincial final to avoid being 4th seeds

  43. @Our Time Will Come

    2 from Tyrone, Monaghan and Derry will be the other third seeds, unless Kerry or Dublin fail to make their provincial finals.

    They’re all on same side of Ulster, so only one of them can make a final.

  44. Thanks for clarifying FrostThammer

    So we are looking at a situation where all the 3rd seeds are basically better than all the second seeds!!! (unless Armagh come through the other side and even then it’s debatable)

  45. Just to clarify I meant Armagh come through the other side of ulster and lose the final

  46. Hello All,

    Big News,

    26 man match panel to be released on Friday afternoons.


  47. So possibly, Sligo could be seeded higher than a Tyrone if they reach the Connacht final and Tyrone fail to reach the Ulster final


    say Roscommon were to beat us at the weekend and if Limerick were to reach the Munster final or Longford the Leinster final then those teams would be seeded higher than ourselves.

    Surely if League placings are used to determine the ” other ” teams that get to the groups of four, then the fairest way is to use the League placings to determine the seedings and not who ends up in Provincial finals.

  48. Ciaran +2
    That is great news . It was joke waiting until match day to see who was on the bench.

  49. Teams and subs can still br changed on match day so we still never know for sure until shortly before throw in . Never bother me too much..
    While we would love to know our 26 , so would opposition .
    I would expect same mayo team will be named that started on Sunday but I think there may be 1 or 2 changes

  50. Ticketmaster very frustrating. Tickets on edge of stand only up to tonight. Now starting to sell next section towards centre.

  51. Momentum will be a huge thing in this years championship with games coming so fast. Beaten provincial finalists nearly always lost next day out in the qualifier system. So that is something to watch. If you loose your first group game teans might struggle to pick it up again next day out.
    The Connacht semifinal will be a huge momentum builder and i would be making Galway at home favourites regardless of Sunday’s outcome…

  52. @Revellino I think its the GAAs way of pandering to the provincial councils who just won’t give up the ghost. Aside from Connaught & Ulster, the provincial system is dead but they just won’t give in.

    I think this is the GAAs long play strategy to slowly phase it out.

  53. Agree with Revellino. League placings is the fairest and easiest understood. But of course that would be too easy and straightforward for our geniuses in the Gaa. They have to make a mess of it with a bit of this and a bit of the other. And as for that shower of ….. in ticketmaster. Selling rubbish tickets all week and today much better ones. Same story last week.

  54. I think you’re maybe getting caught up too much in the numbers. Second seeds aren’t really higher than third in any way. They might have been better off giving them letters instead.

    I think Croke park have made the format changes they can. There’s some scheduling issues to iron but aside from that, I’d imagine that this will be our All Ireland format for the next decade. The pressure though will begin to come on the provincial councils to change their structures and that’s the next step for me

  55. Nephin, was it the counties that went against the league style format at Congress resulting in this format?

    I can’t remember exactly but I think original proposal by HQ was different.

  56. @ Gizmobobs. It ultimately was a cohort of counties (including Mayo & Galway) that voted against the proposal B at gaa Congress in October 2021. While the proposal was far from perfect it basically meant moving the league to the summer and determining the quarter finalists from league positions. The proposal received 50% support from delegates but 60% was required for it to pass. It was at annual congress in February 22 that the current format (green proposal) was passed by a whopping 94.7% of delegates.

  57. Thanks Maroon rover, I knew it was something daft like that.

    You would imagine We’ll eventually get to the league/champions league style format, with provincial championships replacing the FBD league as per season competition.

  58. @RP McMurphy

    The stat about 10 games v 7 is true but misleading from the newspaper.

    There is a like for like two game difference: the provincial semi and final.

    And not making the provincial final would make it significantly more likely to have to play the extra game after the group (as we’d then be in a group with a provincial winner)

  59. Does anyone know why Rochford is being referred to as “assistant manager”? I thought he was a selector.

  60. Mark H – that’s what Rochy’s title has been styled as from when Kevin McStay’s appointment was confirmed. He is, of course, also a selector.

  61. @Primed & @TsuDhoNim, thanks for clearing things up, and Willie Joe too, thanks as always.
    Looking forward to Sunday now, and to see what team lines out. That will tell us a lot.
    After a tight cagey 1st half on Sunday, I believe our lads will pull away with 3/4 pts to spare.
    Have a great weekend everyone..up Mayo!

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