Six changes for Cork match

Mayo flag AIF 2013

The team to face Cork in Sunday’s NFL Division One clash at Pairc Ui Rinn on Sunday (throw-in 2pm) was named a short while ago tonight. Here it is:

Mayo (NFL Division One v Cork, 29/3/2015): David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Kevin Keane (Westport), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Lee Keegan (Westport), Colm Boyle (Davitts), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe); Barry Moran (Castlebar Mitchels), Tom Parsons (Charlestown); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole); Mark Ronaldson (Shrule/Glencorrib), Danny Kirby (Castlebar Mitchels), Alan Dillon (Ballintubber).

So it’s six switches from the side that started against Dublin two weekends ago. In come David Clarke (and I really hope that this marks the end of the ludicrous musical chairs exercise for the goalkeeper’s jersey that’s been going on since New Year), Ger Cafferkey, Barry Moran, Tom Parsons, Danny Kirby and Alan Dillon in place of Robbie Hennelly, Tom Cunniffe (injured), Patrick Durcan (suspended), Seamus O’Shea (injured), Diarmuid O’Connor and Alan Freeman.

Cork have also named their team (and subs) for Sunday, full details are here. The Rebels have made four changes and a number of positional switches from the side that started against Tyrone, as this piece on Red FM explains. Despite all this shuffling, the side they’ve named looks like a very strong one.

90 thoughts on “Six changes for Cork match

  1. I agree I hope that’s the end of shuffling of the goalkeepers that’s a strong side Mayo have named if they hit the ground running and go at it hammer and tongs we might get something out of the game. Looking forward to going to it

  2. Ronaldson again, too small not able to win ball [deleted].
    New midfield approach was needed but think ultimately AOS will end up playing there come big games.

  3. Glad to see the end of the Vaughan experiment at midfield as well as see Danny Kirby get his chance at 14. Big challenge (or opportunity!) on Sunday for the Moran and Parsons pairing in the middle. Best of luck lads

  4. Bob would have to disagree with you in relation to Ronaldson as would many others here Id say.
    Yes he is small but he has worked tirelessly throughout the league and has been able to win his own ball and showed great battling qualities, and can take a score.
    I was skeptical at him being tried out again due to his lack of height and such, but must give credit where credit is due, in the games Ive seen I think he has been one of our best performers.
    Great to see Moran and Parsons start, alot of supporters seem to be calling for AOS to go back to midfield or that he should be there come championship, gotta say I think this would be a step back for the team as in it would be great to see the likes of Parsons step up and make the position his own alongside SOS.
    We also have Gibbons to return and could make a claim for the spot.
    I just think sticking with AOS at Centre Forward where he played very well last year or at Full. He poses more problems for the opposition than if he were playing at midfield, and gives us some ballast up front.
    And if this were to stay as such it would be a good indicator of the depth that I do think is existent in the squad. i.e. not having to revert to putting AOS back into midfield as a result of other options not stepping up.

  5. Careful there, Bob – while it’s okay to express opinions about players, there are clear limits about how this needs to be done so I’ve deleted that bit of your comment that crossed the line. House rules 8 and 11 refer.

  6. I hadn’t seen anywhere that Diarmuid is injured, Allforsam – he lined out last Saturday for the U21s and it was a black card offence that ended his participation in that game.

  7. Hello, yes it is nice to see Parsons back and very interested to see how Kirby gets on against top class opposition. I am a little concerned with the sense that this is the end of Hennelly. Only today I watched the 2013 All Ireland on YouTube and noticed the great saves he made and his good kick outs despite the Brogan goal. He has played with all the backs selected and he must feel a little disappointed if he thinks this the end of the road. He saved Mayo when he got the call to come back against Roscommon with his free taking and catching a ball above the bar. What experience he has since can’t be thrown away. Hope to see him against Donegal. Apart from it is all very exciting with the prospect of seeing Gibbons and Andy Moran etc. Sure is exciting though.

  8. I like the idea of Danny Kirby at 14, with 2 small nippy corner forwards it could be well worth the effort, it’s different and when Cillian, Mickey C and Andy to come back in its definitely a good plan wether it’s an A or B plan! would definitely like to see our backs defending again, it’s been a while! While the result is Very important, I’d definitely like to see a performance, we haven’t had one this year so far where we come away thinking that things are working and the team is pulling together!

  9. Looks like a good enough team to me. One to seven is spot on and I dont think that part of the team is gonna change much between now and summer/autumn. Mid field and upfront maybe a bit more room for tweaking. It’s interesting too that last year and previous years we were far from perfect or safe in division one the last week in march and that certainly was reflected in some of the posts here. The two bosses, regardless of how they came to the position, deserve our support as do the players. It’s east to forget just how much these fellas put into the team and preparation for games. I was goin past vaughans shop here in castlebar the other day and there’s one of our half backs unloading stock off the back of a truck! I’m mindful too that as I sit here with my feet up tipping a screen the same fella and all his teammates are working their arses off in preparation for Sunday’s game. My wish for the team is a good solid, competitive performance on Sunday and even then if there’s a point or two in it what harm.

  10. Interesting selection. Glad to see Vaughan back in the HB line, think it suits his talents best. Midfield is the great conundrum. Barry Moran, despite little game time so far, looks like the best option we have for winning kickouts. Starting Parsons is a risk. Let’s see how his fitness is.

    Obviously it’s a great chance for Kirby to nail down a spot in the FF line…or is it? Maybe there’s a plan hatching around the positioning of him and AOS.

    If McLoughlin and Dillon can get on the ball and deliver those killer passes, we could be in business.

    But above all, we need to see a marked reaction to the last day. Time to stand up and fight.

  11. I’m not sure where you’re getting that sense about Robbie, Ciaran. My point is that at this stage of the year we simply cannot afford to keep up this policy of rotation between three keepers. The position is too important in the modern game and whoever is in goals has a crucial role to play in relation to restarts. If the goalie keeps changing from match to match, then it’s impossible to build up any understanding with the lads outfield about how we restart and in particular how best to vary our approach in this area. My opinion (and it’s only my opinion) is that the three lads are pretty much even in terms of shot-stopping and general goalkeeping awareness but I do think (again just my opinion) that Robbie is behind the other two on restarts. I’d still have David Clarke as no.1 (which is why I said what I did in the post) but my fear is that he’s only playing on Sunday because it’s his turn on what’s still an ongoing rotation policy.

  12. According to the Mayo GAA web site Kirby is a straight swap for D O’Connor,no word of injury.Good to see Kirby getting a chance at full forward.Midfield is going to be crucial for us.Hopefully we can win plenty of clean ball here and not this shit of punching it or slapping it down to the opposition.Two years ago down there it was a dog fight till the end and I don’t expect any different this time.Regarding Ronaldson,I have been at every game this year and from what I could see he has done very little wrong,he’s one of the few that has put in an honest 70 minutes every game he’s played,he may not be scoring an awful lot but he gets on a lot of ball and sets things up for others.

  13. I was impressed with Cork in the games shown. I didn’t see us beating them in this game, but the team chosen might well return with two points. It will not be achieved without a major battle. Hopefully, the game will be on TV somewhere.
    There is a backline that should put it up to the Cork forwards and so far those forwards have been very good. Fingers crossed, our forwards score enough.

  14. Completely agree with Ciaran on the keeper front – no offence WJ. Hennelly is the number one. As you say, not much between them on restarts, or on fetching high balls/command of square (though I think Hennelly is underrated in this facet of his game). But where Hennelly is well ahead of the other two it’s with the ball and his feet, or restarts as you say. To be honest, I think he has proved this beyond doubt over the last 2 seasons.

    Anyway, I like the look of that team. Dillon and Parsons are big additions and best of luck to Kirby on his 1st full start. It’s a big team we’ve named!

  15. As good a first 12 as we can probably put out. Difficulty I see is where our scores are gonna come from.

    Someone has to be putting their hand up and getting three or four scores from play or 1- 1 etc. And when the pressure comes on that player then because they are performing someone else will have to make use of more space or lesser attention.

    Difficult for new guys to do this so leadership will have to come from within the rest of the pack somewhere.

  16. hello,
    thanks for that Willie Joe. I assure you I am far from an expert on goalkeepers or any other position. I just like the lad. Hope ‘Clarksie’ has a great game. bye for now. c

  17. I think Clarke should be gk. Look at the amount if goals we have conceded with Hennelly. His kicjouts are poor and he makes mistakes ij the big games. They probably cost us a minor and semior Sll Ireland and an under 21 Connacht championship. Its hard to think of big mistakes by Clarke. He’s a safe pair of hands literally.

    Like our backs. Nobody though to kick the ball to Kirby so may be a waste. Also indicates our half backs won’t be attacking like his their strength

    Huge game for management to try to win back faith of players and support

  18. Spot on there Yew-Langer – couldn’t fault Ronaldson on his effort or performances this year so far. On of our best up front and one of our smarter performers. More of the same on Sunday I hope.

    Much happier with the shape of this team and a couple of surprises in there.

    Great to see Tom back and I really hope this time he gets a clear run without injury. Pairing him with Barry will be very interesting indeed and this is a big challenge for both of them – this game for me will be won at midfield. Wonder how Gibbons is getting on?

    We feel quite thin on the ground overall and Cunniffe in particular will be sorely missed, but it’s good to see Donie back in the half back line where he belongs. We seriously need to up our defensive game – for a team that is apparently recalibrating and working towards implementing a more defensive setup we made a fair hames of executing it two weeks ago. Massive improvement needed. Where is Neil Douglas at and are we ever going to see him in a Mayo jersey again? I certainly hope so.

    Up front obviously Cillian is a huge loss, but it’s up to the other lads to step up now and I hope Sunday is the day Kirby does so – I’ve long been an advocate of having him in the county panel so I hope he shows what he can do. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Alan Dillon drop back into the HF line.

    Clarkie is the man for me, I’m afraid – I’m a big fan of Rob but if I had to pin my colours to the mast they’d be North Mayo colours.

    Diarmuid has been carrying an injury WJ, since before the Derry game – happy to see him sitting this one out, we will need him later on.

    All that remains is for us to get down there and get behind them – if ever a team needed a boost it’s on Sunday.

  19. Strong a team as is available and with Cadogan out for Cork (who has been very impressive) we should up to it after the wounding from the Dubs at McHP.
    Glad that Kirby starts also Parsons and BM.
    Agree with others regarding Ronaldson, forget the mans height, it’s ability that counts and we have the height in others to win it and deliver it to him …….quickly………
    Expect Doc and Dillon to make a big show aswell.
    Donie back in HB line another plus……. Caff ,KK and Zippy good enough to hold Hurley and co.
    MaighEo Abu

  20. That particular team is not far from the best we can put out at this stage, injuries considered.

    I’d swap Donie (who presents as a formidably athletic bulwark to our central defence area) with Colm O’B who instills fear as a marauding attacking wing back.

    I’m glad to see Ger Cafferky being given an opportunity at corner back where he may prosper.

    I’ve always believed that Tom Parsons is a player who is on the cusp of something great. He has so much to offer. I hope this is his year.

    Finally, 2015 is a year when the people who follow our team will once again, and not for the first time, rejoice in the fact that Andy Mórán is one of our own.

  21. I, m not sure if the rotation of goal keepers is just down to whos turn is it next but it certainly feels like it. We have currently and potentially some of the best players in the Country playing through the spine of this team (admittedly midfield is weak at the mo when Aidan is not there but I believe Tom P or Gibbons injury free can fill this gap) but personally I believe at goal keeper we don’t have it. We have three equally very very good keepers but we don’t have one exceptional, I’ll win you an All Ireland and nothing is getting past this mot*%r fu*&#r type who can step above crowd and prove I am the best, no questions asked. The rotation I feel is out of desperation in the hope that something will happen that divides the three which unfortunately are all too similar. Even looking at the post here opinion is divided. It would be an interesting poll to see which goal keeper people believe should hold down a more permanent role at the end of the league. Still debating whether I will make the trip, long journey, weather looks to be shite.. but wouldn’t b great to b there and get a win.. Cmon Mayo

  22. We are in Groundhog Day. That’s the team that played Donegal in the 2012 AIF with Ronaldson, Parsons and Danny K the only changes. Severe lack of challengers to press the lifers. Clarke and KOM the better keepers. Hennelly has cost us very dearly on the big days.

  23. It’s good to see that the poll for our visit to Cork, is a reflection of the tough challenge that lies ahead. On current form, and that’s all anyone can go on, it’s hard to see anything other than a cork victory. Anything other than a win for the home side, would on paper anyway, be a major upset. But then matches are not played on paper, and it’s not beyond the bounds of possibility that our lads could suddenly find a bit of form, find the back of the net a few times, and take home the two points.

    I’m going against my better judgement here, but this League has already had a few surprizes, and we can expect a few more before it’s finished. And wouldn’t it be nice if we were to grab the headlines on Sunday evening, like the Dubs did two Sundays ago.

  24. That’s an interesting team, partly dictated I suspect by injuries. I’m glad to see Donie V back in defence and Kirby at full forward. Parsons and Barry deserve their chance at midfield Great also to see Alan Dillon back in action. The one area I have doubts about is Aiden at centre forward. While he brings power to the forwards I have always thought him too slow to bring other forwards into the game, Referees to not seem to give him the frees he earns. Probably the ref thinking is the old saying “you can’t bring the ball home with you”. Centre forward has been a problem position for us for several years now. I would like to see Ronaldson tried there. I think he has the nippiness and ability to collect broken ball and to deliver it to other forwards which is a key skill for the position nowadays. I wasn’t impressed with bringing him back into the panel at the start but I accept that he has now earned his position. Regards the goalkeepers I hope all three are kept in the finalised panel as I believe you now need three to cover for injury possibilities. All are very good shot stoppers but I think Clarke and O’Malley have the edge on Hennelly under a high ball, esp. if there is a forward in the vicinity. With the modern square ball rule this is a bigger factor than a few years ago. It’s a long haul on Sunday but hopefully I will be able to make it. Killarney, Derry and Cork make a nice trinity.

  25. John Cuffe,
    On the basis that you seem unhappy with the team selection, how would you set it up/who else would you play on Sunday?

  26. Big upsets in March usually have a hollow ring in July. Am I the only one happy to see the goalie get changed around at the start of the season. I believe it should continue for the league at least. This is a chance to test 3 fine keepers against top teams. This is the gather more data phase. No…. I hope BM has a big game, he can be a weak link sometimes when the going gets tough. I am not a Ronaldson fan. but. I have been at all games and he has been working his socks off. He will be on for the summer whether Bob likes him or not.

  27. I would like to see this team tried out.

    Kenneth O Malley; Ger Cafferkey, Kevin Keane, Keith Higgins; Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Donal Vaughan; Aiden O Shea, Tom Parsons; Kevin McLoughlin, Alan Dillon, Jason Doherty; Mikey Sweeney, Danny Kirby, Alan Freeman

    A ball winner to give the ball to our two best goal scorers would provide real threat in attack. Dillon and Ronaldson in the corners won’t bother the Cork goal to much.

    Also think that AOS should be in his best position and banned from running with the ball, his foot passing is very good but he never uses it. Let Parsons do the running and AOS the fielding and kicking.

  28. That’s a fair point John Cuffe. The real challenger should have been on display at U21 v Galway last week and Roscommon last year. I didn’t see them. I hope that Micheal Forde gets a run in this dont care game.

  29. Whatever about the blanket defence i hope to see our defenders sticking to the job of DEFENDING as their number one job.
    I have been of the opinion for a while now that with these blanket defences that scoring forewards have even less room to take a score when our defence are also attacking.
    Plus you often then see a back taking a shot from a bad angle that doesn’t make the target in these situations.
    A corner back shouldn’t pass the 45 metre line.He’s a corner back because he can’t shoot .Where is his man (who can shoot) while he’s awol from his post?

  30. This forward line is interesting as it contains a nice mix of brains, tacklers and brawn.
    Dillon and Ronaldson are the brains being accurate passers. I’v been impressed with Ronaldsons ability to gather and pass instantly. That really speeds up play.
    AOS and Kirby provide genuine target man brawn.
    Kevin Mc and Jason Doherty will be expected to work hard on breaks and tackling.
    Kevin Mc needs to soon start improving his accuracy. He has given up a lot of soft wides while in space in good positions.
    I don’t expect our forwards to hold positions, they’ll likely rove around with the target men staying left and right. Dillon and Ronaldson moving around in between.
    Clarke has potentially four options for his kickout.

  31. Jeez I can’t recall a more one-sided poll on this for us to lose in years!

    And in saying that- on a neutral medium, so to speak, I’d imagine there’d be a lot more than 60-odd per cent predicting Cork to win lets be honest!

    Very worried about this, Cork are flying and we’ve been very poor. I just cannot give us a hope in this sadly, but it’d be great if we saw a huge improvement in the performance and we are left in a good position heading into the Donegal one, which is a much more realistic target I reckon

    I’m usually one of the more optimistic fans too, but I haven’t been as pessimistic going into a game since 2010 I’d say and that’s no exaggeration.

  32. Jaysus I see there’s another Ciaran on the blog now who has posted above re Hennelly!

    I’ll have to come up with a more imaginative name I think, the upper case ‘C’ at the start is my only means to differentiate!!

  33. Ciaran, There is plenty of room for both of you. I voted for a loose here. Not that I want to see this team getting beat but Cork need the points and are going well while we are in a different place at present. I believe the Cork hurlers have uped the ante on the footballers. While we see them as fine players they are regarded as second class citizens down by the banks and will not want to show the white feather to any hurling fans who sneak in early for the hurling game.

  34. And of course was slagging about changing my name, we’ll all cope 😀 😉

    Welcome to my namesake btw!

  35. I predict a forward play lesson for us on Sunday from Cork (no I’m not negative or anti Mayo or reactionary since Dublin defeat) I just feel a lack of freshness from Mayo this year, the team look spent. I have argued why cannot we adapt a No 1 & 2 for every position instead of this ‘fit him in somewhere..he cannot be dropped’ lark. It works in rubgy. People will argue that in GAA you now have to be so versatile that you should be able to play any position. IMO that rubbish and it’s what’s ruining the game. Take for eg. Cillian should have a guy directly pushing for his gersey and if Cillian is injured this guy comes in AND takes the frees. These two players should be pushing each other all year. However instead we have every Joe taking the frees when Cillian gets injured. Mayo have a situation where they are happy to accept a place kicker who’s return is at about 70%. This is not good enough at the top level. When are we going to do something about it. Any free taker playing for his County should have a minimum of 90% return. We don’t expect enough from our players. …its all about standards!

  36. I think that our backs are much too slow to send Quality ball into our full foward line, Whoever plays at full forward needs early quick ball delivered just in front but so far we seldom see this happen.Our backs insist time after time on a few solos and a hop then a sideway pass to another player who then take a solo and a hop and them pass the ball backwards . The team tends to delay delivery to the full foward line, Fowards need low diagonal ball delivered early . Its too late when the backs carry the ball up trhe field and the oppisition fowards tracking them leading to a congested area and no room, We have been told for years that we don’t have the quality forwards needed to win a Final but some of the problem is the slow delivery . Also we are sapping the energy out of ourselves running with the ball in hand when we should mix it more

  37. I was thinking that wasn’t your style, Ciaran-with-a-capital-C 😉
    Hear you on the pessimism though – it’s hard to take a walloping like we did two weeks ago and stay positive, but Sunday could see them surprise us again. Cork have been flying though and An Spailpin makes a very good point above about the double-header.

    We’ll see!

  38. Hopefully Anne-Marie, would be super if they did surprise is and you’d never know! In fairness I’m not sure we could have picked a better team given what’s available. Great to see Tom P back in my view, thought he was super v Kerry in August!

    Am heading up to the semis, please God Mayo are there, I think we’ll be alright though, I can see us beating Donegal in Castlebar anyhow!

    But that’s for another day 😉

  39. Where as I understand the overall jist of we haven’t enough change in the team since 12/13 but we should also do well to remember that they’re not a bad bunch either , that half back line when they’re all firing on all four cylinders are as good as you’ll ever see and it’s not worked holding them back too much either, limit it yes but let’s not get blinded because to me there is no better sight than seeing Kerrigan/Boyle/Vaughan bombing forward to score a crucial point/goal to lift the spirit.

  40. Well sure he didn’t score as much as a point against us in league or championship game last year, so let him bomb forward all he likes.

  41. ^^^ He’s a handful Sean in fairness, great engine on him

    Assume they’ll isolate O’Neill and Hurley inside, really wish we had TC available. Unfortunately I can see both causing quite a bit of damage

    Is Ian Maguire injured? Assume so, he looks a great prospect in the middle for them

  42. Yes I understand but my silly response was more in the context of let’s not be making stars out of everyone bar our own. I had the same fears as everyone else about the game after the dublin no show from our bucks but we have to move on to the next game now and believe again . Hon Mayo

  43. ******TRAFFIC UPDATE******

    There is roadworks in buttevant close to mallow. On Friday evening there was 2 mile tail going into the town. It will be mental on Sunday as a lot of cork traffic will be taking this road to the match aswell. Maybe not as bad heading to the match but coming home will be a nightmare.

  44. ******TRAFFIC UPDATE******

    There is roadworks in buttevant close to mallow. On Friday evening there was 2 mile tail going into the town. It will be mental on Sunday as a lot of cork traffic will be taking this road to the match aswell. Maybe not as bad heading to the match but coming home will be a nightmare.

  45. Eoghan ogara is a massive loss for Dublin hes out for a year with a cruciate injury, this is the guy who changed the 2013 final when he came on, his direct running caused Tom Cunnife to pull his hamstring before halftime and then we had to pull Keith Higging back
    from half forward line who was causing Dublin lots of problems himself after that our half forwards were non existent.
    I hope we can put on a good performance on Sunday I expect we will, I do think we should swap Vaughan & boyle as Donie is stronger down the middle,hope Kirby has
    a good game as we need new blood getting game time.

    up Mayo

  46. Almost two weeks on and I still have no idea why the dubs annihilated a good Mayo squad in our own back yard. As ye are all well aware this Mayo team reached two of the last three AIF and should have reached three in a row only to see our chance blown away by a some of the poorest referring descisions in the history of the GAA.

    We do need to start getting some traction this year and Cork is a good enough place to start. One of my biggest concerns this year is the lack of intensity with the tackle. Horan’s constant roars of “Pressure! Pressure! Pressure! from the sideline is missing both on a off the pitch.

  47. I agree, that Donal Vaughan has a physical presence in at 6, Colm Boyle is a very good half back, but he is not big enough for centre back. I recall , V, Derry, in Croke Parke last year, in the league, a big burley centre forward was just too strong for him.
    In my opinion, David Clarke,is our no 1 goalie, with Kenneth o Malley no 2, and Robert Hennelly at no 3. James Horan , had them rated this way and only when Clarke and O Malley , got injured, did Hennelly, get his chance. I have seen nothing , to date, to change my opinion.
    It would be great if Kirby plays well at 14, he won’t be pushed around and is a big target man.
    It is a game that we need to play well in, and a win would, build confidence again.

  48. Aos is 11 good call he can play his running game which he is good I was very critcal of him butt 11 best position for him.

  49. I hope Kirby has a good game at 14.My concern for him or any target man is that non of the guys out field have the foot passing skills to hit him. Hope Barry can find him. I hate it when a player 80 yards from goal takes a hop and solo before looking up. Very prevalent with the U21 team last weekend. it looks a poor tactic and ensures we do not get the forwards on the ball in good positions. Half backs who go bombing up the field on a solo run merely push the opposing defense in front of them and leave their full backs exposed to a quick counter attack.

  50. I have been (like others) calling for a long time for Parsons. I think he can transform Mayo. Now is his chance and I hope he proves me right. And, please give him a real chance this time.

  51. Am amazed at some of the criticism of Hennelly. Has been fantastic for us since he returnred to the panel when Clarke and O Malley were injured. I accept he was at fault for Brogans goal but he made 3 fantastic saves in the game. G Bohan also accuses him of costing minor final as well. I presume he was in Longford for AI Minor Final replay when he made an exceptional save v Tyrone. I also think Clarke is brilliant and has rarely let us down. Which has the better kick out, I couldn’t say but if your outfield players don’t make themselves available then theres little the goalie can do. Even Cluxton, the best goalie I have ever seen was helpless in Castlebar in league 2012 when Mayo prevented his short kick outs. O Malley I haven’t seen too much of but like Kirby, Regan etc seems to get better with every match he doesn’t play. This is not a criticism of those players by the way whom I presume are great players and I certainly wish them well and hope they have great years and contribute hugely this season. But as J Cuffe says our team now is similar to the one which played Donegal in 2012. Why. Because better players have not come along to replace the established stars.. Last year some were writing the epitaphs of Andy, Dillon etc but nobody better came along. I for one will be delighted if Regan Kirby and O Malley make themselves un droppable but until that happens we should value those players who have served us so well.

  52. Interesting looking team .Glad Done back in defense. I hope to see some movement and support play. The ball is not going up quick enough and when it is we take too much out of it.So very frustration .I’d love if we played more kick passing and less out of the hands.I was talking to one of the Meath footballers during week and he said one thing that really hit home.He said teams don’t fear Mayo anymore and that is the place Horan had us. Hopefully in time we can get back to that place again.

  53. The most beatable team of the last few years lining out against Cork on Sunday.Weak up the middle most especially at 11 and 14 has killed us in the two All Irelands.I see no improvent in the forward line,no target man,very lightweight and no physicality.Holmes and Connelly are the in the job several months and not one new forward found.
    It will be interesting to see the players response to their woeful display against the Dubs.

  54. I remember Colm O’Rourke writing over twenty years ago about how any corner forward hates to see an outfield player delaying his delivery of the ball inside. O’Rourke made the point that when a corner/full forward sees an outfield player get possession his instinct is to make a run immediately. If the delivery is constantly delayed he does not know what to do or when to move and the delay favours the corner back who will usually get the ball and, as O’Rourke put it, his man as well if he is any good. In my book nobody is better qualified to speak about corner/full forward play.For this reason I do not like to see Aiden O’Shea at centre forward. He never moves the ball inside quickly and his soloing allows defences those vital seconds to get organised. Name me an effective 40 yards man of the past 30 years who had an O’Shea style of play, please. If O’Shea released the ball quickly and came powering through to take a return pass he would be a real danger to opposing defences. As it is he is a hindrance to an attack when posted on the “40”.

  55. Mayomaningalway,

    It’s fine for a Meathman to be criticising Mayo as not being feared anymore. It distracts him from thinking about his own team, which to a Meathman, probably does not bear thinking about. What I cannot understand is why a Mayoman would bother listening to him.
    I do not believe any Div 1 team fears any other. They would not be in Div 1 if fear of another was a dominating emotion.

  56. Team Sheet made a salient point. There is a lack of real competition in the squad. Horan didn’t venture beyond a core 15 and maybe Feeney until he fell out of favour. Varley and Doc in, Freeman and Conroy out kinda thing, that’s not competition , that’s uncertainty.

    Parsons was at his peak back in 2008, the team won 5 Connacht titles with little or no input from him. I hope he is a success but our problems are from 10 onwards. Lungi Says, asks me how I would line or set up the team. And by the way I’m not “unhappy” with the lineup, I’m actually in a worse place. It’s called “acceptance” a malady that doesn’t see much light.

    This squad is programmed to play one way only and that’s flat out high tempo with the wing backs as pivots. You cannot “line” out a new system for them. Cian O Neill professionalised them. Buckley brought in a high intense tackling game v Galway and Donegal 2013 but it was ebbing by that years semi final and gone v Dublin in the final.

    I believe we lack competition within the squad. I believe a duo managerial system is a disaster , if it worked how come no one else at this level does it. I believe we are operating like a club outfit with strong personalities within the squad (not on pitch though) perhaps over estimating their status.

    An opportunity to revamp the squad was lost when the managers retained it in full from Horan. Varley has become the new Fergal Kelly , the sole candidate dropped from the regulars. The team needed shaking, the team needed challenges, the team needed new style, the team needed new energy. Bringing back a man last in his pomp in 2008, bringing in a man discarded by Horan from the off and bringing in a man who should have been always in the squad is shifting deck chairs blah blah blah.

    That said I’m a sucker, I hope we beat Cork, they don’t rate us, I have the same antipathy towards them, they live in the forest owned by Kerry . I hope we beat Donegal too. But with this outfit , I see an incoming ship not one going to make new discoveries. Sorry.

  57. My main point being; Your either a full forward or your not. …if you cannot catch a high ball, take a score, hold your marker off then you’ve no business been a full forward. We have midfielders/full forwards that can’t catch a ball. Forwards that cant score defenders that score more than defend. Freetakers with poor returns. And we expect to deliver the ultimate prize! I don’t for the life of me understand how fans rate a defender who might have a good scoring return but this direct opposite also has a high return. A defenders MAIN purpose is to defend.
    I fear we have a panel of ‘Jack of all trades but masters of none’

  58. I have never seen this forum so negative about a Mayo team and management. hitting the road to Cork in an hour. Can’t wait. Up Mayo!!!!

  59. Ya Steve and some of those negative people would be first in the past to say the hype got to the team. If hype can get to a team then negativity must be able to get to them too.

  60. It’s neither hype or negativity. …its reality. I’m an avid fan and will continue to support and have always but it’s time to act to sort out the basics. There’s no point turning a blind eye to thten he obvious. The lads to work on are unfortunately the under 14s.

  61. @ Andy D. I take your point. I was just trying to make the point the Horan had us in such a high place where respect must be given. Share the Meath lad thought he was going to get credit off me for Meath beaten Roscommon recently.:)

  62. Dublin remember got a fair bit criticism before màyo game guess what happened maybe it’s the tonic màyo need I saying prayers for a win.

  63. How is a team on 6 points with two games to go, a (joint) managerial disaster? Disaster?

    * How does road testing four of 2013 minors (Hall, Coen, Durcan, O’Connor) in major league games contribute to lack of competition?

    * Why is the reassessment of Parsons and Ronaldson seen as a negative?

    * Why has the rehabilitation of Kevin Keane (successful so far), and the repositioning of Aiden O’Shea (successful so far), not been given credit.

    * Why has no allowance been made for the string of injuries that have depleted the squad during the league campaign?: Moran, Dillon, O’Connor, Cunniffe, Barrett, Gibbons, Conroy and Regan.

    * Why has management’s other approach of strengthening the defence (successful up to the Dublin game). by curbing the runs of the wing backs not been acknowledged?

    * Even the 3 keepers? Both Clarke and O’Malley are just back after long injury lay off and deserve consideration.

    In short, why is there such a death-wish stalking this site – at the end of March?

  64. For me Cork haven’t picked their strongest starting 15, but they have 4 potentially super subs to come on in the forwards so our plan should be to build a lead. Happy with our team except Dillon means we’re down one (maybe 2 as Ronaldson will roam too) in FF line, he’ll be out field on the ball which means we’ll need runners from HF. Cork have a very good FF line so contrary to some opinions midfield very important. That said we’ve experience in our FB line. Kerrigan has great pace and reason we kept home quiet in Qf last year was Keegan man marked him pure and simple, everywhere yer man went he was there. He’s the best man to do this, and if heavy winter training has him a bit below his best rotate the markers. If Parsons, Barry and Kirby have good games I see us winning, 2 out of 3 would be more 50 50. AOS will be influential regardless so Kevin Mc and Doherty should be encouraged to bomb in going for goals when we’re on the run to hit the gap left by Dillon and Ronaldson or else play one of them in FF line. Re goalkeeper, Clarke best stopper, most experienced and will take all around him in the air, Hennelly has longest kick but not finding men at range.. Cluxton has set the standard and don’t know which of our 3 can come closest to his kickout standard. Agree with rotation to see who can deliver most consistent quality ball or maybe Cluxton is an anomaly we shouldn’t try to attain to.

  65. Phew ! Thanks Catcol. just sat down to get a feel for the match preview and boy did i get a feel for it.
    The level of catastrophic thinking these days re where team Mayo are headed is hard to fathom…well maybe not. Could be explained by our much maligned psyche ” expect the worst “, ” get the disappointment in first” etc.. Looking at the number of comments for instance after the Tyrone reversal versus the hard fought Derry match is informative regarding our negative polarity.
    All in all its depressing, so thanks Catcol for the bit of a reality.

  66. Very much doubt if any Meath footballer was ever scared of Mayo. Totally agree re scoring defenders. I always check what was scored from play by the man he was marking before I check what he has scored.

  67. As a matter of interest who are Ye looking to replace? Age is not against most of our panel , as catcool has pointed out they have given a good run to those worth a look at and we were very unlucky the way it worked out with Regan gettin injured in kerry game. Hopefully he will feature again and we have the four mentioned by cat to add to the panel at least , maybe even the teamsheet with one or two of the four . I’m usually the first in to slate management and they have not impressed me in the two games we lost and the manner of the defeat to the dubs was worrying to say the least but I will give them credit where it’s due and that is the way they have tried out all they can players wise. You can’t fookin invent them ffs.

  68. John Cuffe writing the harsh truth as usual. This has been our problem for years, I.e not having enough good players pushing for positions.

  69. oh man I can’t deal with the negativity sometimes lol , im away to book the coach for the morning . Up Mayo .

  70. On a side note, does anyone know if the Corofin boys are back for Galway yet? Trying to submit my predictions for the mini league but cant find the Galway line up anywhere.

    I think we will win tommorow, i see Dillon playing a quarter back role and bombing “good” ball into kirby and Aos, with goals as a result. Barry Moran is the weak link for me if cork go for short quick kick outs, which wont suit his excellent high fielding. All in all i think Mayo are going to surprise alot of people and win by 2-4 points. Keep the faith!!!!.

  71. What we have seen so far in this league is, in general the team that has turned up with the right attitude has won. Like Dublin two weeks ago and Cork against Kerry the weekend before. When Dublin hit form and your having an off day, they are very hard to stop. That is the key thing for us tomorrow, being tuned in from the start. If we get stuck in early on, then we should be well able to compete for the two points.

  72. Just areives in the city, as previously mentioned in the comments there is roadworks coming into Buttevant which will slow the Moyo contingent down on the way in! Hoping for a performance tomorrow! Safe travelling to all 🙂

  73. Sorry to interrupt the negativity fest, but Mayo minors are hammering Galway in the minor league by 17 points. We also won the minor all-Ireland 2 years ago and got to semi last year.
    That’s on top of our current senior players who have won 4 connacht titles in a row, reaching 2 finals and 2 semi finals.
    Could it be we’re not entirely without all hope for the future?

  74. Well said tubberman, it’s only when you think about it for a while and realise what we’ve got , it’s far from perfect and there are things that need addressing like our bad form at 21 grade the last few years but we are not in a bad place like some are suggesting as if we haven’t a hope of competing this year or for the foreseeable future.

  75. John Cuffe. Who exactly are all these players that should be currently playing for mayo and are not . Could you name even one for me? You might let noel and pat know as well. I’m sure James Horan would be interested as well.

    Great criticism of the current crop from a lot of people but very little alternatives being mentioned by them

  76. Haven’t seen much from Hope Springs Eternal but that philosophy suits me. The die is cast re management and panel, at least in the short run, so hopefully we can hit the ground running and perform to our capabilities. By 3:30 pm to-morrow, I believe that we’ll have our spirits revived.

  77. Blue wave has hit a few rocks. Derry lead by 3 points to 2 points at half time. Yes it is really that bad… Dub crowd booing Derry tactics. Watching it on Setanta and commentators are even bored. I expect to be watching a proper football match in Cork tomorrow … Cork will play football and we will have to if we want to beat them.

  78. Think I’m going to give the blog a break for a while. It’s descended into a misery fest which would make a Buddhist monk contemplate heading into a dark room with a revolver and a bottle of Powers.

  79. Fair play to you Tubberman. I was beginning to think I was from a county bereft of footballers and bereft of hope but you told a few truths.

  80. Cork is hopping…plenty of green and red faithful around town. You can’t beat it…we are Mayo!!!!!!!!! Few Cork people think we are mental…best fans in the country!

  81. Teamsheet you write a lot of common sense. We are simply not producing the forwards to the standard required for this level. It is not that players do not have the capability it is simply about effective coaching, internal competition and good old fashioned practice. Reading about Henry Shefflin this week and the level of intensity and competiveness that he brought to his game both inside and outside the training sessions was unbelievable. Now I am not suggesting that our own crop of players are not putting in the commitment however our performances over the years are telling the true picture time and time again. Mayo are so desperate to win the Sam Maguire that they feel that the mere fact that they have been competing at this level so consistently ‘sure it’s only a matter of time’ before it happens. Well you know what it does not work like that. Unless we start developing the under age levels with the necessary basic skills than I do not believe that we will see any silverware anytime soon. And that is not negative thinking its reality.

  82. Teamsheet is not making sense, the paraphrasing of some points into salient points is. The idea that backs are backs and forwards are forwards is wrong, we’ve had 4 corner backs get scores in recent years and Barrett’s were game changers. Tomas O Shea, Jack McCaffrey etc. in other Counties, Keegan for us. Monaghan even change full backs into full forwards, Donie apparently did very well at FF for his club in some games last year. The comment that we have midfielders who can’t catch the ball is just ridiculous. Marauding backs is actually one way to beat the blanket if the lads running out fill the gap… and we have some forwards who are good defenders, the O Connors, Andy, Dillon and the O Sheas are good at turnovers too. Martin Carney one of our best ever forwards ended up as a very effective corner back. These are 30 guys with the best sporting skill in the county so the idea that they can’t adapt to being moved is wrong, and lots of them would play a different position for their club. I agree with underage coaching comments especially those about the tiny number getting coached in big towns compared to rural villages. I also think we should be planning a lot of effort into U21 success, it’s a great bridge to senior.

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