Séamie O’Shea sails away

Photo: Sports Joe

There was more unsettling news for Mayo supporters this morning as, for the fourth day in a row, a significant player for the county over the last decade has called time on his inter-county career.

Today, it’s Seamus O’Shea who has announced that his time is up. Like the other lads who have done likewise this week, Séamie’s announcement isn’t a surprise but it will, for obvious reasons, sadden Mayo fans that another big performer for us is leaving the scene.

When you start to dig into the detail on playing time, though, it’s easy to see why Séamie – who, as one of the Dublin-based contingent, spent countless hours over several years traversing the country to get to training – would feel that now is the right time to go.

While he was part of the panel this year, Séamie didn’t feature on the match-day squad for any of our Championship games and he wasn’t on the field for any of our pre-Covid League games this year either. When he wasn’t included in the match-day 26 for the All-Ireland final – having been involved so hugely on previous final days – the writing was on the wall.

Séamie was, like so many of the team who soared so high over the last decade, part of the Class of 2006 who captured All-Ireland honours at U21 level that year. He was only a year out of Minor then, featuring as a sub in the Minor All-Ireland final loss to Down in 2005. He also made an appearance off the bench at Minor level in 2004.

Séamie continued to play Championship football at U21 in 2007 and 2008, ending up with three provincial medals at that level. It was in 2008 that he first saw Senior action, making his National League debut on a wet and windy night up in Celtic Park against Derry (that was the same game in which Tom Parsons was first blooded at Senior too).

It wasn’t, though, until 2010 that he made his Championship debut. That was largely due to a long-running injury, however, which kept him sidelined for almost all of 2009.

This meant that by the time Séamie made his first Championship appearance kid brother Aidan had got there ahead of him. The Breaffy brothers with the strong Kerry connections would go on to prove central to the Mayo story for much of the high-octane decade to come.

They were paired at in the centre of the field for much of the 2011 Championship campaign. Séamie saw less action in 2012, with Barry Moran and Jason Gibbons getting the nod more often at midfield, but his late introduction in that year’s semi-final against Dublin saw him shoot a settling score in a contest that seemed to be spinning away from us.

From then on he was, apart from when he was out through injury, an ever-present and an increasingly important figure for us in the middle third of the field. We were very strong in that sector all during those years and that’s due in no small part to the hard work and full-hearted effort Séamie put in every time he pulled on the jersey.

He avoided serious injury until the fateful summer of 2018. Already holed below the water-line by Tom Parsons’ dreadful knee injury, any hopes we might have had for progression once again to the latter end of that year’s Championship went by the board when Séamie was helped from the field at Semple Stadium with what turned out to be a dislocated shoulder.

As he continued his recovery early the following year and as James Horan, now back in charge, shuffled his options at midfield – with Séamie’s Breaffy clubmate Mattie Ruane emerging as a significant new midfield talent – he didn’t feature in the 2019 spring campaign which culminated in a League final win over Kerry.

True to form, though, he wasn’t yet finished and the tougher the challenges got in the summer of 2019, the more was seen of Séamie. Substitute appearances in the qualifier game against Galway and the Super 8 match against Kerry were followed by starting berths in the matches against Meath and Donegal. He also lined out in the All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin and that proved to be his final competitive appearance for the county.

In all, Séamie made 96 appearances at inter-county level, 51 of them in the Championship. He holds seven Connacht SFC medals, as well as All-Ireland and provincial honours at U21 level.

Photo: Irish Mirror (Donall Farmer/Inpho)

In making his retirement announcement today, Séamie said that he considered himself to be “incredibly fortunate to have played for Mayo alongside an extraordinary group of players.”

We were equally fortunate that you were there too, Séamie, and what you contributed to the cause over your 13 years as an inter-county player was pretty extraordinary too. Thanks for all that and best wishes to you and your family for the future.

121 thoughts on “Séamie O’Shea sails away

  1. I always liked to see Seamie playing. Did a lot of the unglamorous work around mid field that often went unnoticed – blocking, hitting, winning dirty ball etc
    I would like to have seen him on the bench for final this year and come on with 25 mins to go

  2. When all this Covid business is over and it’s safe to mix again we should have some sort of unofficial civic reception or big Hooley to show our appreciation to Seamus and all the lads that have retired

  3. I always felt the 2015 semi-final replay went away from us with the harsh black card given to seamie.seamie and tom were a great combination in midfield. best of luck to all the retirees but i think we are in a great position for 2021 with all the new gifted players coming onto the panel

  4. Spot on Southmayo Exile. He was, as you say, often unnoticed, but worked tirelessly and selflessly for the team.
    Jimbo, I was just in front of that black card incident. Seamie retaliated to a push in the back, foolishly but honestly, and the perpetrator was not punished. I still fume when I think of that . It was in full view of the umpire.

  5. Best wishes Seamie. Well done on a great Mayo innings.

    Andy Moran said yesterday on newstalk that the danger is we’ll go the same way as Cork in 2011 when they had a pile of retirements all at the same time and still haven’t really recovered from that. A young team needs some older lads to show them the way, to help the transition and to make it as seamless as possible.

    Andy also mentioned that he was screaming for Keith and Tom Parsons to be brought on in the second half in the final a few weeks ago. You and me both, Andy.

  6. Do you think youd see a dub get a bc for what Seamie did in ’15? This group are probably the finest generational collection of players since the 4 in a row Kerry team but time and time again they were shafted to a large degree by inept refereeing performances with major decisions regularlygoing against them in big games. I know I shouldn’t be raking over old coals but I am bitter and unapologetic about it. Thanks Seamie for everything-your place is secure in the annals of Mayo football.

  7. Best wishes Seamie. Fair play on a great career. That injury he got in Semple Stadium was such a setback to him. So much of the work he did went unnoticed. An unsung hero for sure. John Casey said the same also on radio – Tom and Keith were needed with 25 mins to go. So frustrating. Please no more retirements tomorrow.

  8. Yeah, his name is on the list of great Mayo players robbed of their legacy and robbed of their place in history by inept referees afraid to make big calls. The black card lunacy in 2015 is a prime example alright. Don’t even mention 2014 and Cormac Reilly. There is a very long list now of Mayo players who got shafted out of a Celtic cross and ended their careers with nothing to show for it. To Dublin Joe and Reilly and the rest of them can I just say well done and thanks for that.

  9. Another 2 to come this week maybe. I think this has been a planned exodus. Jump before your pushed.

  10. Tomorrow will be critical.
    Will Trump be impeached? Will there be another Mayo retirement? The world holds its breath.

    Best of luck for the future Seamie; you did your county proud.

  11. Thank you Seamus. A great fielder of a high ball and a powerful runner who could score and kick accurate passes to the forward line. He gave his all on the field, done a lot of dirty work and in my view never got the praise he fully deserved. I don’t think he ever played a bad game for Mayo.
    On another note, all these retirements are very draining for supporters, one a day, who’s next, I suppose we’ll find out at around midday today. I’m worried that there may be too many gone together, retirements are part and parcel of a footballers career and the life cycle of a team, however when you lose so much experience at the one time it’s not good. We don’t want to go down the road Cork went in 2012 when the bulk of their great team of 2007-2011 walked away. They have still not recovered almost a decade on.

  12. Another great gone but not forgotten. Thanks for everything Seamie, a great warrior every time he put on a Mayo jersey.

  13. Will miss Seamus. Honest, hard working and underrated. Underrated because he did his job quietly, efficiently and effectively. No bullshit type of player, he just got on with it.
    Thanks Seamus.

  14. Another great servant gone and will be missed. A colossus on the field but wasn’t into the razz matazz. A more humble lad off the field you wouldn’t meet. In fact on the morning of the minor connaught final v Galway some years ago Seamus did the reading at the morning mass on his way to play.The local priest (a Galwayman) mentioned this to the congregation ,took one look up at the size of Seamus and said (God help the Galway ladeens). He was right to be worried.

  15. Thanks for all the great days to Seamie, Tom, Donal and David. It will be a long long time before their contributions are forgotten. Also well done WJ, its at times like these that we have such a valued medium driven by yourself to facilitate us and you in particular to pen such a fine and fitting thank you to these lads. Not too many other counties are so lucky despite similar service being provided all over the country by dedicated players for love of the game, so well well done WJ.
    We still have some really valuable and vocal senior lads in the ranks with Aido, Cillian, Lee, Boyler, Keith, Chris, Jason, Rob and B Harrison. I don’t expect any further resignations from that group. Its a relatively short year ahead and whilst these lads owe us nothing more, there is still massive ability in all of that group and most especially they have top quality specialist skills in their specialist positions and their contribution and educating of a younger crew is pure gold and so hopefully they will be keep tight in the senior camp for this year and hopefully next too.

  16. Man for man, pound for pound, despite the logistical challenges, despite the long journeys for training, despite so many challenges, faced by every other county ( bar one) this group of men is head and shoulders above any team in Ireland. Nothing but pride for Seamie and his comrades. We know what you have given and sacrificed and achieved and I’m so glad I lived to see you guys playing for Mayo. I feel utter pride as hope for the future.
    PS… delighted to not see another name on the sports news today…
    Thank you Seamie and all for your dedication to our passion. Maigheo mo chroí.

  17. Sad to see Seamus depart. First time I saw him was in Kiltoom. He went over there one evening to give the Rossies a lesson in high fielding. Strong and powerful with a great kick pass. And like his 2 brothers honest to the core. Thanks for those memorable days on the road Seamus.

  18. Well done to Seamus on a great and lengthy career with Mayo. He gave a huge contribution to the cause along with the other lads. I think one or 2 might follow yet, Keith who only featured briefly this year and maybe Boyler, although he might recover form with more months before games resume. Jason is a fair bit younger and will hopefully return and hopefully Harrison will make a return too, probably well shy of retirement age.

  19. 1:30 and no announcements. This sounds good.

    While the retirees have been lauded (Willie Joe, your career bios of each and every one have been superb), and rightly so, I feel remaining oldies such as Keith, Boyler, Chrissie, still have much to contribute. Chris had a stellar season, Keith was wobbly against Galway, but remember his sallies still took him the length of the field and he was in the shooting area also.

    The remaining guys (hope they do remain), need to be used and be seen to make an impact. Even if not doing it in training, we know what they can do and they should be allowed some slack; impact at the ultimate stages is critical. These players have been in 5 All Ireland finals. You can’t buy that.

  20. Unfortunately Catcol James obviously doesn’t share the same opinion about experience, so he left Higgins and Parsons on the bench and brought on inexperienced players who faded as soon as introduced. Anthony Hennigan had a good piece in the western about how we seem to make the same mistakes over and over again in finals. Our use of the bench up to and including finals is one of the major problems. This year I thought the plan would be to have the bench loaded with experience and have the likes of Higgins, Seamie, Tom for the last 20 min but the final was a flop in terms of all the subs introduced.

  21. Puck out
    Have to agree with you on all counts. You would have to ask the question of why Higgins and co were left sitting on the bench of at home with all their big games experience and the fact that they were still well able for a half hour of high tempo and aggressive attacking football. Dublin are Dublin, they are not at all like Liverpool or Barcelona standard athletes and we showed that in the first half, but we weakened our team as the subs were introduced. Dublin meanwhile brought on lads that knew the openings would appear for the shot if they stayed within range of Clark’s goal, meanwhile aos and Cillian were in our own fullback line defending. We have to be much smarter or this will continue to be the way.
    Aos has to play ff and not leave that area or else take him off. Cillian too.

  22. If Parsons and Higgins were close to their best, I’m sure they’d have been brought on in the final. Neither of them did particularly well in their appearances against Galway and Tipp.

  23. Wideball – if making the 26 was so competitive, as JH claimed all year it was, then they had to be doing something right. Keith as I say did look wobbly in the Connaught final, but it was his first game of the season, and they can only make an impact if they get some game time.

    I noted James, Cillian and others talk about how competitive training and making the 26 was, so only the best survived from game to game. But that leaves you very threadbare when it comes to making an impact, if you are inexperienced. And, even those who did, say Brian Walsh in Salthill, didn’t make the bench for the final, losing out to James Durcan who hadn’t really made an impact since January. Walsh had a knuckle injury for the Tipp match, but it had cleared up for the final.

  24. Hope the rest of the panel stay on and pass on their experience to the new lads. The goalie situation will be interesting but I think Hennelly had a lot more good games then bad for Mayo. Hope he stays

  25. Jr, I totally agree on all of what you said. If Keith, in particular, could decide and agree to stay, I think he would bring so much to this developing panel of players. I’m thinking especially in the A v B games. It’s a big ask for him given the effort and commitment needed but he has already shown his toughness, expertise, skill and competitiveness over a long time. He’s up to this, I believe, in other words. But the choice is his.
    I’m saying all this because I believe he, in particular, has so much to offer the new lads. He was there in ‘06 in the semi-final against Dublin made the run, provided the pass to Kevin O’Neill who then offloaded to Ciaran Mac, who got that winning score. He has been a tigerish tenacious defender for most of the last decade, as well as a ball carrier and a player who attacks with intent. Cillian O’Connor recently spoke of the stern test it is to this day being marked by Zippy. How could we let that go? (I am biased because he’s one of my favourite players, in a team of greats).
    Btw, Colm might be offended by this speculation on retirement. Should he wish, there’s lots of go go go to Boyler yet.

  26. Have to agree 100 percent with catcol. I’ve no doubt Horan changed the mentality and never say die attitude in the mayo camp and was and am delighted he’s manager but I expected to see the experience lads coming on for the last 15 minutes or so if the game was still in the balance. It wasn’t a time for youth when the game was there to be won. You’d expect they had enough for 20 minutes and their experience may have pushed them over the line or at least closer. We would have finished with a team as strong as we started.

  27. I’m a big fan of the two brothers and admire them greatly as do I have great respect for the entire Mayo set up.

    However, the comments from ‘onemoretime’ is crazy in my view.

    You refer to ref decisions going against Mayo in ‘big games’. If your referring to recent all Ireland Finals, I think your wide of the mark. Mayo had several chances to beat Dublin but in fairness didn’t do it, granted, games were close with only a kick of a ball in it, but Mayo came up just short.

    To suggest these lads are the finest generation since the old Kerry team is also questionable, would you not consider the current Dublin squad somewhere in there.

  28. What a warrior, competitor, hard working midfielder Séamus O Shea had been for Mayo, gave absolutely everything for the Mayo cause! ..Enjoy your well earned retirement Séamus!

  29. Higgens and Boyle must remain. They have loads to offer. But only if they are used.. No use on the line. And they are no fools.

  30. I’m just now getting my words together to say thank you to Séamie O’Shea. He was so much a part of the team I came to know and love over the last ten years. He was integral to it – dependable, strong, tenacious and reliable in that midfield position. Looking back, I can say I felt pride at our midfield of Séamie and Tom each time I looked at that pairing on the pitch. We were blessed in that area.
    One of the previous contributors pointed out that in recent years (2017, in particular) Séamie gave performances where he ‘emptied the tank’ – gave everything – at midfield, and I think that poignant image speaks volumes about the man’s commitment, strength, character and team ethic. Thank you so much Séamie. It was a pleasure to watch you play for Mayo,

  31. If we find 4 players who truly fill the boots of the 4 just departed, then we will be lucky.Men of the size, mobility and downright doggedness of Donie, Seamie and Tom in the middle third are generational. David was the best goalie in Ireland for many years.
    Oisín Mullins, if he stays, and Matthew Ruane, if he continues to improve, are the only ones I can see right now with the mobility and size. Perhaps Fionn McDonagh also. Hopefully all three kick on. Also Diarmuid.
    Still think we have lost a huge amount of physicality and sheer size around the middle third. This was a huge part of what made Mayo tick.
    The upsides are that we have more pace and shooting accuracy than before.
    In agreement with others who posted here, we have been robbed by refs in the last 7 or 8 years. No point in disagreeing. The evidence is there. I always reckoned that we had to be three points better than Dublin or Kerry in order to beat them.
    Just go through 2013, 14, 15, 16 and 17. If anyone wants, I can go through it chapter and verse.

  32. Shay
    As I said in the post I am totally unapologetic for writing that and will sit down with yo anytime you want to discuss it. The O Shea bc is one incident that had slipped my mind but I wont disagree with you when you say we had plenty chances to win any of those big games because you are right on that one.
    I think you miss my point completely on the generational thing so let me define it for you.
    Kerry won 7 out of 9 AIs backboned by more or less the same group of players similar to Mayo being backboned for the last decade by more or less the same players. You could more or less name 15/16 players in any matchday squad. I’m not saying Dublin arent a great team because there is no denying that they are but look at how their team/squad has changed over the last 10 years.

  33. Correct one more time on all points.

    Of course we have to doff our caps to this great Dublin team.
    If they win this year’s all Ireland they will have tied the record of the great Lance Armstrong who achieved 7 tour de Frances in a row from 1999 to 2005 inclusive.

    Yes. Lance Armstrong. Lance with the big Asterix after his name for all these title wins.

    So good luck to Dublin as they hunt down Lance’s record. Lance with the Asterix after his name.

  34. Where I think we have missed some track record analysis.
    Some players never achieve better than a decent performance but never dip below okay.
    Some players have the odd brilliant game and then can dip down to non-performance.
    Dublin in a final will almost guarantee it’s the latter.
    There is no place in a team that has ambitions of beating Dublin for players that mix the brilliant with the bad in terms of overall impact.
    You’re better off with a guaranteed 6/7 out of 10 who won’t ever deliver 9/10.

  35. Revellino
    That’s taking it to another dimension altogether and I just didnt have the energy to take it there but yes, I totally agree with you on that.
    I read a stat somewhere and I am open to correction on this but between ’47 – ’95 the Dubs won 8 AIs and between ’11 – ’20 they have won….wait for it….8 AIs*.

  36. Thankfully no word of Kevin McLoughlin in the rumour mill on retirements, i had worried given he is a new father he may be considering it, he is still a key player so he would be very hard replaced.

    Vaughan, Parson, SOS unlikely to get any minutes at this stage so id say that made up their minds. Probably no harm to have our hand forced on the goalkeeping issue either, im glad clarke went out with a good performance in the final but its long past time we started looking at new goalie options.

    RE Boyler & Higgins…
    Without seeing how they are moving in training its hard to see what JH might have planned for them, higgins is one of my favourite players of all time but any time i have seen him in defence in last 3 or 4 years he has got badly roasted so you would think if he has any role to play it would be in the forward line. With boyler it is only as recent as 2019 where he was a whisker away from an allstar year, if he is at that level again then absolutely a role for him but we dont know how he is after a bad injury

  37. …agree with Shay, the whinging about refs on every single page is extremely tiresome at this stage.

    Theres no refereeing conspiracy against us lads, we are in danger of sounding like those conspiracy spouting trump supporters who stormed the capitol if we are going to put every all ireland defeat at the door of the ref. If its always ‘someone elses fault’ we will never get over the line.
    This victim complex really grates

  38. Judging by the sigerson panels posted by AH REF there is plenty of Mayo involvement this year, hopefully some get game time in this competition can only help in their development and see how they stack up against their piers from other counties.

    Five Mayo panel members and two former mayo underage players
    Jack Coyne
    Eoghan McLaughlin
    David McBrien
    Ryan o Donoghue
    Paul Towey
    Brian O Malley
    Joe Dawson

    3 Mayo panel members and 4 former mayo underage players
    Oisin Mullin
    Mark Moran
    Tommy Conroy
    Donovan Cosgrove
    Evan o Brien
    Cillian Golding
    Gavin Durcan

    Few interesting names here, Former panelist hopefully they can come back into the fold
    Cian Hanley
    Shairoze Akram
    Oisin McLaughlin

    Paddy Goldrick, U20 player this year

    IT Sligo
    Paddy o Malley Westport, might transfer back from Roscommon
    Fintan McManamon Burrishoole
    Cillian Upton Bonniconlan

    keelan McDonnell Ballintubber

  39. 1942 – 2011 Dublin win 8 AllIrelands.
    2011 -2020 Dublin win 8 Allirelands.
    It’s an incredible turnaround in fortunes and it’s only getting started, unfortunately for the GAA it will only lead to massive change. Dublin will be split eventually or something along the lines of 8 -10 semipro teams will be formed nationally to form a competitive sport. And it’s all the work of Bertie ahern and the top dogs in croke park, 1 All Ireland every decade wasn’t enough for them. Now they can’t stop winning and every other county is getting tired of even bothering. The real sport will be in watching how the GAA and Dublin try to convince everyone else how this is fair and normal. We will be subjected to Super 12s or Super Duper 10s or some other nonsense until the penny drops with more and more fans and they just stay at home and tune in on radio or tv. By 2030 it will be a semipro game with 8-12 teams nationally and no county names involved. There’s no other way around it, dublin won’t be split and barring an odd shock every 5 years it will be Dublin all the way. The fans will stay away and the gaa will give free tickets to schools to try and fill Croker in a few more years but the damage has already been done. Intercounty football is dead.
    Maybe that was the plan all along?

  40. Totally agree supermac. The amount of whingeing about refs that goes on here is unbelievable. I actually find it embarrassing.
    Every defeat is put down by many to be because of the referee. As if we are always on the wrong end of bad calls. It’s absolute nonsense. When we lose can we not just move on and congratulate the winners without being sore losers.

  41. Dave
    I dont know if your comments are meant to be funny but I do think you are probably right. People are entitled (I think) to air any opinion they want within reason if I am not mistaken and I am certainly not apologising to anyone for that as much as it might grate. I certainly dont take the woe is me attitude to anything in life but I’m not ignoring facts and that’s the end of that from me.
    The best of luck to our brilliant retiring players-we couldn’t have asked for any more from them.

  42. In the final this year 5 different Mayo players dropped 5 balls short into Cluxtons hand. All 5 kicks were within 30 meters of the posts and all very scorable. I cant remember Dublin dropping any ball short into Clarkes hands.
    It’s the small things that we can control ourselves that makes the difference.

  43. I see the Dublin based media are stirring the shite again, Irish Indo online, isn’t it enough that they won the All Ireland again only to rub salt into the wounds, they obviously have nothing else to write about.

  44. mayomessi – I would say it’s a long time since so many mayo players were involved in Sigerson football. It’s unlikely the competition will go ahead however since only elite teams can play under level 5 restrictions.

    The UL team looks class with the mayo players, Sean Powter and David Clifford.

  45. Mayo88 – if you are referring to the issue about the three backroom team from Mayo getting into the all – Ireland. Don’t blame Dublin media for this. This was the headline in the front page of our own Connacht telegraph a week ago. No better county to kick ourselves when we are down.
    It’s as bad as midwest radio giving Joe Brolly 15-20 minutes on their all-Ireland previews show. Of all the pundits from all the counties they could have picked!!

  46. That Irish Indo piece by Colm Keys is here. It’s very fair and entirely factual, there’s no stirring involved at all. There seems to be a clear case to answer so it’ll be interesting to see how Mayo GAA respond on it.

  47. I stopped buying newspapers many years ago, Google news is the way to go.
    I only wish all media would write and highlight the following.

    1, Dublin funding from Central Council.
    2, Local referees appointed for the All Ireland final when the Dubs are involved.
    3, The Dubs continually getting home advantage in the championship.
    4, The All Ireland semi and final being held in Croker in an empty Stadium.
    5, The Dubs tackling seems to be on the border of a free constantly, but they managed to get away with this over the years by appointing a referee in their A v B games, they knew what they would get away with in finals.
    6, The heavy weights at the top of the GAA, all locals.
    7, Seem to get away with big decisions on final day.
    8, Anything else others think off.

    I suppose many County Boards have to play along with the system or else their funding may be in jeopardy from Croker.

    Is there any point in running a championship in 2021, final to be in July I hear, I say no point all unless the current farce is altered, by change of venues for games, referees etc.

  48. When Mayo are answering to Croke park about the 3 non accredited members in attendance I hope they enquire as to how the investigation is going as to what started the rumpus in the tunnel at half time.

  49. @Revellino well said, dont forget the alleged booing of the Dublin backroom team or subs.
    I am now just looking at things and we are all going to be talking about the same Dublin advantages when they win the very early forthcoming final in July 2021.
    Will the new President bring change ?
    I know what I would do if in that position,
    Is there a need for Counties particularly in Leinster to keep doing the same thing with the same outcome ? Its time for them to take a break for a year or two.

  50. @wide ball.
    That’s an unreal UL team alright, big mayo contingent too. They would beat a few County teams.
    As it is, I very much doubt sigerson or fitzgibbon will be played

  51. I see Western People and Irish Independent both on about the trio getting into Croke Park. Why did that have to happen? Embarrassing. Can we not have a day without being in the headlines. More headaches for Liam Moffat. Starting 2021 – that debt on mchale park is such a burden. With London match looking to be off according to John Prenty, the proposed fundraiser wont be happening. Any update on the Laochra Maigh Eo wall? Any word on how much was raised in December for the training fund? That’s a great post Mayo88!

  52. Dont know why people are giving out about Colm Keys article and trying to suggest there is so sort of motive behind it or trying to draw connections with Dublin GAA etc etc, all that has nothing to do with it, can people actually read the article in full, it’s well written and factual, no bias whatsoever in it. There is evidence of Mayo breaking Covid regulations and therefore Mayo GAA have to clarify who these three people were and why they were there. This is a mess entirely of our own making, no point trying to deflect it

  53. Well said WJ and last two posters, there is a case to be answered and they should be named. Lets hear a response from official Mayo GAA. No one to blame only themselves for the bad publicity. (They might also finally denounce that buck’s unfounded insults on our players – what’s the delay??)

  54. I see Bradshaw from Galway announcing retirement…….He was a tough opponent whenever we met the tribesmen I recall, regularly at midfield I think. Came on as a sub in our 2020 Championship clash…….Wishing him the best for the future……

  55. Looking forward to seeing towey this year… I’d say before the 1st lockdown he was very close to the 1st 15.had a great display with the u20s in connaught final and a nice point against kerry in the league. Hopefully we’ll get a couple more to step up like Eoin ó Donoghue who i always liked.

  56. Speaking of CCTV. Any word on the fracas in the tunnel at half time in the final.

    That entire area would almost certainly be covered by cameras. Come on, let’s see the video footage. Let’s see who started it and explain to us why he is still walking the streets a free man.

  57. I know Colm Keyes and he is a gentleman and very fair reporter. I saw him play full forward for Simonstown in a county semi final in Meath in I think 1997.t
    THE ff for Navan o mahoneys was Joe Sheridan father Damian formerly of Cavan. They were the 2 biggest full forwards I ever saw on a field. O mahoneys won useless info I know

  58. I would say that if the three lads broke the rules on attendance, well they shouldn’t have. If they broke that attendance rule then they broke the rule.

    I would wonder though just how newsworthy it all is. What were the major dangers of them attending besides breaking that attendance numbers rule.

    3 extra heads in the wide open expanse of Croke Park. A place that can hold in the region of 83,000.

    On roughly the same night give or take a day or two I watched a clip on the six one news of shoppers in Grafton Street. I cringed at the amount of people that were shown out shopping. It was chock a block. I felt watching it ” God help us in the New Year ” with case rates.

    It’s strange how the Mayo incident can garner such attention. The big spotlight and big stick for Mayo Gaa.

    Where is the big stick for those that allowed 10’s of thousands of people to pass within a hens kick of each other up and down the busy streets of Dublin over the Christmas period.

    3 amateurs not causing heat nor harm to man or beast in the vast empty confines of Croke Park. Let’s pull them lads in for questioning.

    Let’s answer to Croke Park, who are probably as we speak, moulding new rules for Dublin Gaa as to where they might play next year and how much funding they will receive and how best to try and hide it and who they will choose to referee this year’s final.

    It’s wonderful to be pulled in front of Croke Park to explain a rules violation by an organisation who have no rules when it comes to the boys in blue.

  59. I heard one of the off the ball lads commenting this evening and wondering, with Dublin having all the keys to Croke Park and the run of the whole place, he was reckoning there were probably quite a few extra from the Dublin contingent, watching from those little hospitality areas, high up in the stands, hidden well away from the cameras.

    I cannot say if he would be right or wrong on this, but I would be amazed if there weren’t people watching from up there.

    Jose mourinho while serving a ban one time was secretly sneaked in to the dressing rooms in a laundry container for a European cup semi final.

  60. @ Onemoretime
    No, my comment wasn’t meant to be funny. Can you explain to me how this issue of one team being jacked up with millions of euro and all their games played at home is going to get fixed? I cannot see how it will ever be fixed , but I am starting to think that it was never meant to be fixed. There was only one team that could be jacked up with advantages like all the games at home and millions of euro pumped in, dublin based referees for their games and rte hosting extremely poor debates about funding where the opposition to Dublin funding don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.
    It just doesn’t add up, it can’t be just about Dublin needing to win everything. Could it be that someone had the idea of killing 2 birds with 1 stone.? Dublin get to win a bag of AllIrelands and when that has run its course we will switch to semipro teams in the name of fairness.

  61. Evan Reaney & William McHale also on Sligo IT Panel. The County Board have dealt quickly and decisively with the other matter handing down suspensions.

  62. I see the conspiracy theories are still in full flight from the usual few. We were beaten fair and square in the final, no complains. Time to move on.

  63. I see that mayo county board has acted swiftly and suspended the three unauthorized people who attended the all-ireland final without permission.this was a terrible decision by those three rascals when everyone is trying to limit their movement and trying to stop the virus spreading out of control i am terribly annoyed by the actions of those three people and they should be also fined and the fines given to the front line services.

  64. I agree with alot you write Revellino.
    I was one of those shoppers in Dublin on the run up to xmas, you are right the streets were very busy and coffee shops were fairly thronged, many people touching items of clothing and perfume with no hand sanitation.
    But I wore a mask in the shops and on the street.

    Here is a list of items that very little or nothing was ever written about by Dublin based meda this includes Keyes.

    1, Croker hosting the huge Legal team in order for Connolly to get cleared to play in an All Ireland final a few years ago, on the Friday prior to the final, I know one of the Barristers that were involved.
    This makes a mockery of a so called Amateur organisation, something like you would see in America, big Lawsuit, sure Dublin Gaa are well able to afford it.
    On the other hand plenty of Dublin based media allowed former Dublin players to write about and slate Lee Keegan making him a target for the Gaa appointed Referee in the final.
    2, Dublin appointed stewards in Croker for finals, some kicking footballs onto the pitch when opposition goalie taking the kickouts.
    3, Dublin appointed Stewards in Croker at semi and finals not allowing opposition fans into the Nally area bordering Hill 16, I am experienced this personally. Do ye not remember that giant Mayo flag at the back wall of the Nally behind the goalposts in 2016.
    4, The alleged threats from Croker when Mayo Gaa kicked up a fuss in the 2014 replay v Kerry taking place in Limerick, the referee was Cormac Murphy whose wife is a Kerry woman.
    5, Dublin getting most of the games played at home in Leinster championship and league games also, we need to hear more about this.
    6, Local Referees appointed for All Ireland finals involving the Dubs and an All Ireland Referee that worked for the Dubs in A v B games. How many of those so called Laois and Meath Gaa Referrees actually work or live in Dublin?,
    7, Sam Maguire in the home of the Gaa President in the days leading up to the 2020 final, what was this about ??

    Could anybody clear this for me, what is the normal term of the Gaa Presidency the current guy must be insitu 4 years now.

    I am based in Dublin as some other posters here

  65. Thanks AN Other for the Link above. Yes, it is very refreshing. I think Tom Parsons and Donal Vaughan were the two fittest on the Mayo team at one stage.

    Tom seems to have benefitted from his ups and downs in life. I would be the same on a good day but then the nightmare of failure would return. He was obviously shocked to be dropped at 23. I thought he had an injury. He seems to be a really nice guy.

    I sure wish him well as well as well as David Clarke, Seamus O’Shea and Donie . Such a pleasure to nearly feel that I knew them all.

    May the Wind catch their Sail……


  66. Yew tree
    Conspiracy theory?? it’s an insult but that’s your choice, heres the question, can you name the county who will be able to actually beat Dublin in the coming years? I don’t mean running them close for 50 minutes and losing by a few points like Mayo and Kerry do, I mean beat them.

  67. Sure we are well used to a kick in the hole, give us another kick in the hole that what’s been happening to Mayo teams since the Dubs have been put into a superior position by the Gaa, the irony of it all it was ratified by Gaa Presidents in the 2000’s from the South of the Country.

    I wrote here a few months ago as to the Dubs advantages, I’m delighted to see a former Westmeath getting it out into the public domain recently.

    Seriously guys, is there any point in running a championship in 2021.

  68. There was not that much between Mayo and Dublin in the final, two refs decisions could/should have been two frees in and points and should have been two cards ,maybe one black, an early goal that should never happen in senior football, five balls dropped in to Cluxtons from close range, a local Ref from next County, REf should at least be from a province not in final, that should be a motion from Mayo at next Congress. Subs did not work for Mayo ,best team should be on field for last 15 minutes, , Dublin would still probably have one , but not that much in it, Tyrone/Kerry/Donegal/Mayo will beat Dublin very soon

  69. Dave I do believe Dublin will be beaten in the coming years and it may come sooner than you think. As for who can beat them…? Well the county that does the least complaining and scapegoating and gets down to work.

    In fairness I’ve never seen this Mayo team or management complain about Dublin’s “advantages”

    Kerry, Tyrone, Donegal, Mayo, Galway and Cork if they get their act together can all beat Dublin going forward.

    Can you honestly say the gap between Dublin and is is more than us and Sligo or Leitrim?? Fact is sport ain’t equal and never has.

    I do believe central funding needs to be reformed and Dublin should play more games outside of Croker but after that talk about splitting them is stupid and wrong. They have exceptional players and team but it won’t last forever.

  70. This year will be a big year for some lads who have been on the panel for a few years without holding down regular starting places. Lads like James Durcan, Eoin o Donoghue, Fergal Boland and Michsel Plunkett should be given plenty of league games and decide then – yes they are good enough to play championship football or sorry lads we don’t think you are going to make it and release them back to their clubs.
    I would like to see these lads do what Stephen Coen and Conor Loftus did this year and up their intensity and lay down a marker to say I want to be on this Mayo team.
    Like a lot of people here I was always impressed by Eoin o Donoghue any time he played. I hope he gets a good run in the league this year.

  71. Yew tree
    Sligo has approximately 50% the population of Mayo , Mayo has 10% the population of Dublin. Chalk and cheese comparison. Sport was never equal , that’s true, but if it took a county 70 years to win 8 titles and then they are given millions of euro and out of nowhere they win 8 in 10 years surely the sport has been made even less equal ?
    It sounds to me like you are just ignoring the facts here. Calling me a conspiracy theorist because I point out that fact is not a nice thing but whatever. The referee for the Mayo v dublin final a few weeks ago lives in Dublin, another final we played against Dublin a few years ago had another referee that also lives in Dublin and reffed the Dublin A v B training games and that’s supposed to be ok? In fact he was a linesman in the recent final.
    Do you consider me pointing out those few facts as whinging and not getting on with it?

  72. Great post by Mayo88. Well said. Too many advantages for Dublin.

    We have a solution.

    Time to build a new national stadium, bang in the middle of the Country (in the interest of fairness). Somewhere like the outskirts of Athlone. It is to be a 90,000 all seater stadium. Funding for it can be sourced by redirecting that ridiculous amount of money getting pumped into Dublin.

    The new stadium will host All Ireland Finals and semi finals.

    It will not have one end of the stadium where one team in particular has the divine right to warm up in front of. It will be a level playing field.

    Stewarts who work there on big match days will be drawn from counties nationwide.

    Referees who officiate there on big match days will be from a “neutral” province.

    The building of this stadium will not be politicised in any way. There will be no looking backwards. It will only be built with a “can do” attitude.

    Mayo people objecting to this or saying it’s a bad idea should prepare for more shafting as they continue happily to play with an uneven deck of cards.

  73. Building a 90k capacity stadium in Athlone is madness. How would transport and traffic work?
    Croke Park is the historic GAA HQ and should remain so.

    Dublin should be made upgrade Parnell park or build a new ~20k stadium. They should only play in Croke Park for the Leinster final and all Ireland semi-finals and finals. With no crowds this year, no reason Dublin can’t use Parnell park for all their league games and actually play a few away game in Leinster.

  74. A toss for dressing rooms, equal ammounts of the cheaper hill tickets, neutral province officials, Croker only for finals and semifinal. It is not rocket science. It is all about money. We are no different in Mayo
    . When Mitchell’s owned mchale pk a lot of league games went to other pitches. Not any more as C B want the revenue
    Also Mitchell’s could not train on their own pitch

  75. A neighbour of mine here in Galway who has been watching hurling for many decades said something to me that I had been thinking myself for the past few years. He said that the game of hurling has in many ways been ruined.

    Hurling players especially from the top teams, once they get a yard of space they shoot for a point. Due to I think, sheer athleticism, this now is often happening from 90 yards out from the opponent’s goal.

    These long pot competitions now bypass the beautiful art of working the sloithar up the field. You just work to get that 1 meter of space 90 yards out and bang.

    I’m of the same mind, that it’s this insane drive to push athleticism to insane levels that is ruining football.

    Amateurism isn’t a throw away description. Amateurism surely should mean that the guy who is maybe carrying an extra 5lbs, if he has the skill, still has a part to play on the pitch.

    It’s crazy to feel that the ordinary 9 to 5 working men have to reach extraordinary levels of fitness just to keep up with the levels that the likes of Dublin have now reached.

    This is where I think, funding is ruining our games.

    Millions of euros of funding have now pushed Dublin to a level of athletic ability that other Counties just cannot reach.

    Not only on the competitive level has the football championship been ruined, but the pressures on all other counties to generate every spare penny and more to inject in to the pursuit of Dublin’s fitness regime means that County finances around the country are in dire straits.

    A competition which has become a poor spectacle with 31 counties knocking on the poor house door.

    Even wealthy professional sports have awoken to the dangers of the money rot some years ago.

    Wealthy soccer teams face bans for breaking spending caps.

    Imagine, professional sports have addressed wealth imbalances and yet here we are playing our National pastime, amateur in name, with no such checks and balances in place.

    In fact, what we have is the exact opposite. Injecting money in to the a team that already has everything. It’s utter lunacy and is surely the death knell to inter county football.

    Every county should have the same amount of financing full stop, regardless of population. This bullshit of Dublin needing more money to address and help football in certain areas of the county is utter cod’s wollop.

    Kids need boots togs and a jersey to play football. Full stop.

    Bring football back to its amateur ethos. Get rid of the insane training and strength and conditioning.

    Let Joey who is 5lbs overweight back on to the team. Take away this crazy tackling and these kenyan levels of endurance.

    Let skill win games again.

    Endurance and abnormal levels of fitness should never be the deciding factor in a competition involving so called amateur teams.

  76. Mayo88 you are correct to point out all the subtle/’not so subtle’ tip of the ice items that Dublin have in their arsenal. Other examples are the fact that the music act at half time is always Aslan, Imelda May or some other synonymous dublin oriented act. I remember a few years ago before a final or semi, this dublin woman promoting 20/20 and shouting out “up the dubs” before and after the interview. ….small things to add Mayo88, but it makes my teeth gnaw as the home advantage is permeated in so many tiny subliminal ways also. My missus even noticed the fawning over dublin by ger canning in the final (especially fenton). She thought the commentary was one sided adding that Canning made reference every time to the dublin players club whilst never doing so for the mayo players, to be followed by words such as majesty and mastery etc etc ….. I nearly threw up the dinner I hadnt yet atein.

  77. I would like to hear the view of Mayo based people involved in clubs here in Dublin.

    Fact, for the 2019 semi final v the Dubs I was stopped from entering the Nally stand where it bordered Hill 16, the two young Dubs Stewards knew better as it nearly turned into a fist fight, not a hope I wasn’t getting into my allocated ticket position.

    This years final is past but for me watching the game there was one turning point, I believe Mayo management knew they were not going to be allowed to win the final.
    Take a close look at that outrageous challenge on Lee Keegan, the TV camera was very good here,
    The look on the Referees face was one of dismissal even stress as he knew Fitzsimmons couldn’t be sent off.
    The look on Fitzsimmons face to his Captain Cluxton, this told 1000 words.
    And lastly the distain on Ciaran McDonalds face when the Referee just let the game play on.
    At this point I knew our game was up.

  78. Dave – Sure Half of Sligo’s population have no interest in playing GAA…big soccer town. If we are going to divide Dublin then what about Cork (more clubs than every other county). I would imagine the majority of true gaels would be against the changing of county boundaries.

    As for refs…you have a point but be careful what you wish for. Would a Galway or Roscommon ref do us “a favor” ? Maybe he would.

    I just see stuff from some posters here like “I knew we weren’t going to be allowed win”!!! “Allowed” and things like dressing rooms and music selection at half time and I cringe.

  79. 2 candidates nominated for u20 manager, Tom Morley and Maurice Sheridan. 2 good candidates. Sheridan has great experience with Nuig and Salthill. However with no preseason competition and straight knockout I think Morley would be best option as he knows the players very well at this stage.

  80. Hoping Maurice Sheridan gets the U20 job.

    Especially thinking back to comments made by Cillian O’Connor about the influence some advice from Sheridan had on him, in his early days with the seniors.

    On the Dublin issue. It was refreshing that the funding debate came up after every Dublin game this year, and wasn’t explained away as a Mayo, sore loser thing, as it normally is.

    I actually think the biggest issue is the fact they’ve tried so hard to win kids over from other sports in Dublin, while rural Ireland starves. Doesn’t seem right for a charitable organisation, but they have to keep the big kids entertained I suppose!

    The ultimate insult for them is probably how they feel they are not getting enough recognition. I thought the Kerry teams that beat us in the 2000s were much more authentic Champions and acknowledged how good a team they were. That’s the hallmark of a real Champion imo, having the respect of your competitors.

  81. @mayo88. Really is time now to stop obsessing about the refs decisions that went against us and Fitzsimmons hit on Keegan. Was it a red card? It would be a harsh one I think. It was a yellow or black probably. But to say it would have changed the outcome of the game is far fetched. We had a man extra for the first ten minutes of the second half and made little use of the advantage. We were beaten by a better team who saw out the game as they always do in a professional manner and could have done more damage on the scoreboard if they wished. I just think that always complaining about the refs decisions doesn’t look good for us as supporters. The ref didn’t make us concede a goal after 15 secs or another soft one when we were 2 points up. And its been the same in a lot of finals. Sometimes you have to make your own luck.

  82. On the funding thing: while it was discussed consistently, the first attempt at a formal conversation about it on the Sunday game via Gilroy and McEntee was simply shambolic. For such huge issue it deserved far more than silly soundbites and ill-informed discussion. I think the entire nation held their heads in their hands. It also would make you question how serious its being taken. It truly seems clear to me that nobody has the guts to take on the Dubs in any meaningful way. This farce is going to be allowed continue.

  83. I don’t see anything wrong with rating a referee’s performance.

    Watch match of the day. Every night in fact every match they dissect the referees performance and they call out the good calls and the bad calls.

    Soccer managers constantly call out referees that go against them. Some managers bemoan that they are always on the wrong end of refereeing decisions from certain referees. Why shouldn’t they if that is their opinion. A referee is supposed to be impartial.

    Why is there any issue calling a refereeing performance as you see it ? There is absolutely nothing wrong with it.

    There definitely is something wrong with getting screwed by refereeing decisions, keeping the mouth shut and waiting like a good boy for the next time you get screwed.

    Call it as you see it. No problem if there are people on here who are happy with how our games over the years have been reffed. I’m not one of them. We have been screwed royally by biased refereeing in my opinion, and it’s strange that there is more whinging that goes on here about people giving their opinions on referees than there is actual whinging about referees.

    How is it alright to debate how good or poor a player has played but somehow it is a mortal sin to do the same about a referee who has more influence on a game than any player.

    Yew tree. Dublin went in to ultra mode, whinging about Lee Keegan in the media before one of our all Ireland’s. Weeks whinging about him. And guess what ? It worked for them.

    Half the problem is, and the reason the football championship and the lopsidedness and inequalities that exist is because people have not fought all the crap that goes on.

    Keeping your mouth shut and dancing to the Croke Park tune should ensure that the current shit show will continue unabated.

    I will continue to assess what I see with my own two eyes, but hey, if there are people out there that think all is well and fair in toy town and that we get a fair crack of the whip, hold up your other arse cheek because there are most probably alot more ass whippings on their way.

  84. Well said Revellino, you said it like I see it too!!.
    I think it’s time to call for VAR in our games too.
    Too many ‘severe’ incidents against us for some reason that could have meant the difference of winning. It has to add in a negative way to the mental focus of players, not to mention the physical pain involved which destroys the momentum of the game too.
    It should always be a fair and just referee with video analysis now with the physicality of modern day Gaelic games.

  85. Who is the next best young keeper in Mayo? A top Inter County keeper needs to be found if we are to compete with Dublin in the next few years.
    Just some of the names that come to mind.Also is Conor O’Malley from Westport still playing with Peterborough United?

    Colm Reape Knockmore
    Matthew Flanagan Balla
    Rory Byrne Castlebar Mitchels
    Scott Kilker Belmullet
    Patrick O’Malley Westport
    Brian McGuinness Claremorris
    Jamie McNicholas Kiltimagh
    Luke Jennings Ballinrobe

  86. Jennings looks to have the most potential out of those but he’s still 18 so best to leave him with the U20s for now.

  87. @Maread. Yes VAR or some version of it could right alot of wrongs. The TV cameras are already rolling, so a quick look at a replay on the sideline couldn’t do any harm.

    We aren’t the only county to have suffered. I think of poor Louth in the 2010 Leinster final against Meath. They hadn’t won Leinster since 1957 and were 2 up when Meath were allowed a crazy goal which for some reason was allowed stand.

    The following year I thought Kerry were very hard done by in the 2011 final against Dublin. Well ahead near the finish, but I felt that day that Dublin were awarded some dubious decisions right at the end that allowed them overturn I think it was a 4 point deficit in the final few minutes.

    I don’t have any problem getting a good old fashioned beating (not that I enjoy it), and I would always say let the best team on the day win but with the rules properly enforced and applied consistently.

    2004 and 2006 were demoralising although we were bet out the gate.

    I even thought in 2012 we were second best to Donegal. Our own fault with alot of poor shooting. I did have one referee gripe that day. Early in the first half a young Cillian O’Connor had the ball within 20 yards of the Donegal goal. It was going to be a definite score. He was however umercifully turned upside down by a Donegal back. It had to be at minimum a free and would have been a sure score. The whistle wasn’t blown, Donegal went straight up the pitch and rattled the Mayo net. A 4 point turn around in what ended up been a 4 point win for Donegal.

    I cannot say if we might have won that day but that 1 decision did have a huge bearing on the game.

    Normally in sports steps are actually taken to help competitors of a weaker level. American drafts in their big sports allow the bottom teams the 1st round picks and so on up the line allowing them to strengthen and become more competitive. It’s a great system but of course not for here as your not talking about home based players in those sports.

    Any decent horse is handicapped with extra weight in the horse racing to try and level the field. I believe Arkle was so good they had to bring in a new weighting system at the time and he had to run against other horses carrying up to 2 and 1/2 stone more weight than some of them. He was still able to beat them.

    People often comment, especially, as we see some of our players retire, ” isn’t it a shame they didn’t win at least one “.

    It’s a shame alright. It’s a shame on how many times in recent years we have ended up on the wrong side of referees decisions. That’s the only shame.

    My hall of shame would include the 2 Dubs colliding before half time when we were well in control and they were awarded a simple free in to get them a point closer to us.

    The Mayo players had to have walked to the dressing rooms that day demoralised believing that no matter what they did or how they played they were not going to be allowed win.

    What didn’t the ref see that day ? What did he miss ? 2 blue jersies collide and it’s a free in to Dublin.

  88. Sound Revellino. Some refs decisions do come against us like they do against every team. But after each defeat on this forum. The story is always the same….so proud of the lads, if only the refs decisions didn’t go against us. And yes they have a factor in games. Taking a stroll back down memory lane. 1996, 6 points up with 10 mins to go and let’s be honest, we bottled it. 96 replay, Mchale gets sent off, bad refs decision, huge factor in the game and probably the losing of the game. One bit that stands out is in the dying seconds of the game, Mayo win the ball back, John Casey is 20 yards out with space, doesn’t take the shot and hand passes to a man with 3 Meath dedenders around him. Could have taken it to another replay. 2004 and 2006, beaten off the field. 2012. Left Keane man on man in an ariel battle with Michael Murphy, not a lot learned from the Heaney/Donaghy debacle from years earlier. 2013. In the dying minutes Higgins is left marking a man who can’t walk 2 yards. 2014 semi final against Kerry, we have Kerry beaten up a stick, 5 point up, Kerry go for the hail Mary and bring on a blast from the past to lump a few high balls into. Our full back is on the ground with cramp begging to come off but Horan sticks to his guns and low and behold it backfires and its Brought to a draw. In the replay, we get rode by the ref, disgraceful, but still get a 50 yard free to win the game in the dying seconds, it’s kicked short. 2017, 25 mins to go, Dublin about to be reduced to 14, a maverick decides to take matters into his own hands and levels the playing field. We get given a free in in the last minute, hits the post. Dublin get a free and Rock nails it. Of course the refs decisions are important and we do get on the receiving end of bad calls many times. But bad management and bad play have cost us just as many all irelands as referring decisions have and always complaining about the ref after games just comes across as being bad losers.

  89. Dave. I agree with alot of what you have said there but not everything.

    Firstly. Nobody blames the referee for all our losses. Roscommon bet us fair and square a couple of years ago. Galway have too fairly recently. Even a couple of Dublin’s wins over us were legitimate wins ( if you ignore their obvious advantages).

    The list of calls though that refs have made in big matches between ourselves and Dublin in recent times that have screwed Dublin or been to Mayo’s advantage I would say is a very short list. In fact it’s hard to think of any call, but there may be one or two.

    On the other hand the amount of calls against us, it’s a long long list and some of these calls have been game changers.

    Teams and management are allowed to make mistakes.

    Personally. I believe It shouldn’t matter if Mayo kicked 30 wides in a game. If the opposition come out on top due to wrong refereeing decisions and I mean blatantly wrong decisions, (not refereeing mistakes), then it is these decisions that have swung the game.

    Nobody minds too much about losing fair and square, of course disappointed but been penalised repeatedly for less than what the opposition get away with never sits well with me.

    Yes. We have played All Irelands that we never deserved to win. No doubt. We have also played All Irelands that we did deserve to win but through no fault of our own we didn’t.

    My point is. If the refereeing was fair and punishment handed out per the rule book we would have had our hands on Sam in the past 10 years.

  90. Just to add Dave. That Roscommon game I referred to I think we kicked 15 or 16 wides that day. We missed an easy free at the death to tie it up. I would have absolutely no complaints about that result. The referee didn’t influence the game one way or the other in my opinion that day. We had the winning of the game but we didn’t execute. It was a loss on our own merits.

    Nobody gripes about losing in a fair manner but let it be fair.

  91. Only 2 of our forwards scored from play in the final. JH brought on 5 subs making their debuts in an AI final. Most of them only having made cameo appearances up to that point leaving 3 experienced warriors sitting on the bench. That more than ref decisions, and yes some went against us, cost us the game.

  92. We’ve only ever had one game-changing performer in a final: Lee Keegan. And he did it on a couple of occasions, 2016+’17. On both occasions he was spurned by referees. Black-carded wrongly in 2016 after scoring a wonder goal. In 2017, he goaled again in the second half at the most important time, then soon after should have been awarded a penalty (to the unanimous agreement of the commentators) which surely would have sealed victory. To win, you simply need to get those calls.

  93. Would you travel to croke park from now on for anything other than a final? Would you travel to newry or Killarney or other exotic destination for super 8 games?
    Would a lad or lass in the USA or England or wherever take a flight home for a final vs Dublin?

  94. Dave

    Didnt mean to come across as being against what you said in earlier post-I was actually agreeing with your point on branded teams replacing county teams.
    I agree with everything you have posted. No complaints when it’s fair and square.

  95. AN Other
    Conor O’Malley is out of soccer and back in Ireland as of last year ……he did at one stage say that he was interested in Mayo I think so I guess he would be worth a call in terms of the goalkeeping spot.

  96. @dave johnston ,revellino.whatever about bad refs decisions i feel 2012 was a vital year .our full-forward line of enda varley,a 20 year old cillian and mickey conroy contributed the sum total of 1 point from in the final .that game was crying out for ‘ our conor’ but he had had a wobbly moment in july and had walked off the pitch.Andy was injured that year.ithink if we had conor in 2012 and 2013 we would have won both finals.

  97. Agreed with everything Dave Johnson says re the constant whinging about refs and blaming everyone else…

    Talk of Mayo not being ‘allowed’ to win by some dark forces is embarrassing talk, the kind of conspiracy nonsense that those lunatic trump supporters that marched on the capitol might believe in. Its tiresome nonsense.

    An awful lot of the damage done is all those finals has been self inflicted.
    I sincerely hope (and believe) that none of the players or management share in that self-pity and blamelessness, otherwise we will never get across the line

  98. Brilliant stuff Revellino. Yeah, that one in 2017. Two Dubs collide into each other and once they are patched up they get a free in. Just before half time too.

    Keegan has some record in finals. He has got shafted by card decisions many times. Obviously he was seen (rightly) as the danger man and had to get “special” treatment to nullify his influence.

    Heaven forbid that the sheer class of the man be allowed to push us over the winning line in a final.

  99. Amazing the amount of people who accuse others of wallowing in self pity. As far as I’m aware this is a discussion forum and I thought all opinions were welcome but obviously not by all. Nobody is forced to read anything they dont like but some seem to enjoy letting it irritate them-im sure theres a name for that?
    I have never once heard a player complain to their eternal credit and why would they? Feck me I made one simple reflective comment about an incident with Seamie in ’15 that I had forgotten about and a few have hopped onto their high horses making stupid comparisons-I wont be going there. If bad decisions upset me so much as some people think, then I would stay at home and turn off the telly. All those games have been within our grasp so that’s on our step.
    For anyone who doesnt think ref decisions, whether through ineptitude or error or any other reason dont influence games should think again.
    Best of luck again to all our retiring players.

  100. I know getting over the Covid and getting all vaccinated is the main goal for the time being and rightly so.

    It might be a tough year for a team in transition though. It could be very tough to asses new talent this year or near impossible depending on when or even if a club championship takes place.

    If a club championship does go ahead and certain restrictions remain in place might it rule out the management from getting to these games to have a look at lads in action ?

    I’m sure it’ll be the same for all Counties but I felt we did a great job this past year in uncovering some very promising future stars. We might be a bit hog tied by the virus this year in rebuilding the team.

  101. The very fact that the club championship is not taking place till after inter County means there’s no shop window for anyone outside of the squad to showcase their talent anyway so hopefully some of the fringe players will grab any opportunity offered. I reckon this spring is really important for players like Carr,Towey. and both O”Donoghues,if they could get a run of games.

  102. I have a plan, this might even by implemented by the Gaa.
    No championship to take place in 2021, time to be spent on rebuilding.
    The more Counties that would adopt this strategy the better, take a year or two out.
    The Dubs wont get the 7 in a row.

    I’m serious about this.

  103. If Conor O’Malley is free get him in along with last year’s Under 20 keeper Jamie McNicholas and Colm Reape from Knockmore, try the 3 of them out in the League, and give Hennelly a rest till championship.

  104. What about Matthew Flanagan, Balla – great kick out – good shot stopper – composed and confident ………

  105. I might throw in this, surely for the sake of the game Nationwide is it not of interest to the Gaa to see as many Counties as possible win the All Ireland.
    When are the Gaa going to bend the rules in favour of Counties v the Dubs in a final ?

    Can you tell me Willie Joe, how long as the sitting Gaa President been in this position, did he get an extra year ( 2020 ) due to the Covid19 crisis??

    Do we all need to see the Dubs get 9 in a row ?
    I fear for the game Nationally.

  106. Other players worth a look for 2021 League campaign
    Cian Hanley Ballaghadareen
    Sharoize Akram Ballaghadareen
    Peter Naughton Knockmore
    Aidan Orme Knockmore
    Kieran King Knockmore
    Conor O’Shea Breaffy
    Conor Diskin Claremorris
    Cathal Horan Kilmovee
    Enda Hession Garrymore
    Jack Carney Kilmeena
    Barry Duffy Balla
    Frank Irwin Ballina
    Colm Moran Westport

  107. This is just my opinion, I admire the optimism of many here looking to get new players implemented immediately, but this will only help in the league and Connacht championship, wont change the eventual winners of 7 in a row.
    With the power of Google I see the Gaa President was Leinster Gaa Chairman for many years, 2011 onwards, anybody see a pattern here?

    Not in all cases but Counties that had wins in the Football and Hurling All Irelands had the President also.

  108. Mayo88

    Today, Paddy power has Dublin at
    5-1 for 10 in a row.
    Mayo Tyrone and Donegal are 12-1 to win 1 in a row this July.
    Paddy power has zero emotions or hopes, it’s cold business and they rarely lose.

  109. Mayo Forever agree Matthew Flanagan is worth looking at. He has won All Irelands at minor and u21. Balla are now a senior team.

  110. Mayo88 – John Horan’s term finishes this year. Congress is usually round Easter but I don’t know what the story is with the timing of it this year.

  111. I agree with Supermac and others, referees make mistakes, is not a conspiracy though, We had a president of GAA, plus Taoseach and a President in the Aras and did not win. Maybe as a team, we just need to be a little bit better.

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