Six changes for Kerry game

We’ve named our team and subs for Saturday evening’s top of the table clash with Kerry in Tralee (throw-in 7.30pm). Here’s the match day panel we’ve announced for this game:

Mayo (NFL Division One v Kerry, 12/3/2022): Rob Hennelly (Breaffy); Padraig O’Hora (Ballina Stephenites), Lee Keegan (Westport), Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber); Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels), Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore, captain), Oisín Mullin (Kilmaine); Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers), Matthew Ruane (Breaffy); Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Jack Carney (Kilmeena); Fergal Boland (Aghamore), Aiden Orme (Knockmore), Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet). Subs: Rory Byrne (Castlebar Mitchels), Donnacha McHugh (Castlebar Mitchels), Brendan Harrison (Aghamore), Enda Hession (Garrymore), David McBrien (Ballaghaderreen), Conor O’Shea (Breaffy), Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Paul Towey (Charlestown Sarsfields), Fionn McDonagh (Westport), Conor Loftus (Crossmolina Deel Rovers), Frank Irwin (Ballina Stephenites).

So it’s six changes from the team that started against Armagh last time out. In come fit-again Rob Hennelly in goals, as well as Padraig O’Hora, Paddy Durcan, Aidan O’Shea, Jack Carney and Fergal Boland. Out go Rory Byrne, Rory Brickenden, Sam Callinan, Fionn McDonagh, Conor Loftus and Frank Irwin.

The best of luck to the lads on Saturday night.

65 thoughts on “Six changes for Kerry game

  1. That looks like a relatively strong team, a good mix of youth and experience for an NFL tie, with some seasoned warriors to be sprung from the bench. And Fergal Boland in for all those calling for him to get a run!

  2. That’s a decent side to start and sub bench looks strong also. Definitely cillian Jason and Eoghan would be great to have also. These 3 need to get games also but I suppose everyone can’t always be accomadated

  3. Interesting.
    O’Sheas first start and it will be interesting to see how we use him. Personnaly, I hope that Diarmuid O’Connor holds the 11 position as he has done so far in this league. His performances have been much better this year, and he is scoring again, when in that position. Can’t see Boland staying in the corner and I think we’ll see O’Shea go inside to the full forward line flanked by Orme and O’Donoghue with Boland coming out to wing forward and O’Connor moving into the centre. Boland would counter the hard running Kerry wing back by having the legs and the lungs to go with them, plus he is a nice foot passer.
    Another alternative would be for Flynn and O’Sheato switch positions through out the game.
    Harrison and Hession need minutes in their legs so I’d expect to see them feature also.

  4. I think you are right pebblesmeller in that I think weather dependent it will be AoS inside with boland drifting out to the 40 , if it’s a wet windy dog of an evening then I’d say aos will just park himself in midfield beside ruane and flynn

    Getting a little worried about the unexplained absence of Doherty I must say, if be was to be a viable option in the ff line for galway he really could have used a full league campaign under his belt. With conroy out and orme still fairly green there is a huge burden on ROD in there now

  5. Stronger team than I expected

    Boyler on off the ball this morning suggested aido might pick up their diarmuid O’Connor

    His other match ups were, Oisin on d Clifford, paddy on O’Shea and Lee on the other Clifford

  6. Strongest starting team Horan has named for this league campaign in what is the hardest game on paper however Mayo have a very good record in Kerry in league games.

    Would have expected Cillian to at least make the bench, perhaps he’ll be a late replacement?

  7. Boland has never let us down.

    You’d have to be worried about Doc and COC at this stage…remember Galway game is just over a month away.

  8. Looks like 1 to 9 is settling down but I would still prefer Harrison to Plunkett as a defender. Doc, orme and Ryan fairly secure so 3 places up for grabs. Come championship I would prefer to see Aido as impact sub, he won’t last a full game.
    Hopefully cillian and doc can be 2 more impact subs but scoring forwards will be our downfall as usual.

  9. Cillian’s absence is a big problem. He was playing the football of his life and he was in great shape physically. Hopefully, he sees game time before the championship. We have a great squad with depth and add Eoghan Mc, DOC, and Cillian to that your options get stronger trick is getting everyone fit. Boland deserves his start very composed on the ball and rarely gives a bad foot pass and can take a score from the 45. It will be interesting to see if he can grab this opportunity.

  10. Just two changes from the 26. Sam Callinan and Rory Brickenden step out. Enda Hession and David Mc Brien come in. The squad is getting a more settled look now but I suspect that the competition in training for the 1st 26 places is white hot.

  11. Don’t think Aidan O’Shea will play inside at all. That hasn’t been the case in any of the games so far. I’d say he’ll play as a deep midfielder giving Ruane license to drive forward.

    Boland to play as a wing forward and Diarmuid into 11 I would think.

  12. actually having looked at it again thats a very strong team named on paper, 1-9 is arguably the same 1-9 that will be starting there in championship, still some question marks in hf and ff lines but there is surely places there up for grabs if guys out their hands up

    Bit worried COC and Doherty arent togging, really need to be seeing them in Omagh at least

  13. I’d say Horan and the medical team are taking a long term view with Cillian O’Connor. If it means he misses the league and only gets 25 mins v Galway then so be it. It’s an All Ireland semi final they should be targetting to have O’Connor fully fit and sharp for.
    As for Doherty, he was out for so long after so many career ending injuries it was amazing that he was able to come back in to start and finish two consecutive games. There was bound to be a lull in his recovery at some point. Again, if it was me, I’d be taking a chance that we can progress without him, and aim to have him right for a semi or quarter final.

  14. Good post again pebblesmeller. I was going to agree with the posters about being disappointed with cillian and jason still out but we have to look on the long term view. Getting them on the pitch in croke park is the only objective. Those guys don’t need to be proving it to anyone on a wet and cold night in Tralee. Yes they will need match practice and sharpness but I’ve no doubt these 2 lads will have both if they’re in a position to play in a couple of months. That’s provided neither have had any setbacks which we’ve no reason to think they’ve had.

  15. Delighted to see Jack Carney getting another run same for Boland and hoping to see David McBrien get a run.

  16. Folks, I have 2 spare tickets for the game on Saturday eve if anyone is looking!

  17. Hi All

    I can’t make the game due to family obligations so whoever still needs a ticket can email me at and I can send it on to them, unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a full tank of diesel/petrol for the round trip!

    First in gets the shout – and they better shout loud on Saturday night!!

  18. Tickets back online on ticketmaster for the kerry match if anyone wants to get a ticket

  19. Don’t post too often but read the comments avidly. Wonderful service provided by Willie Joe and long may it continue. Looking forward to Tralee on Saturday night and as a season ticket holder I am ok for a ticket but if anyone has one spare I will gladly take it.

  20. It isn’t really a matter of whether Cillian needs to prove anything. It’s about match sharpness and fitness. Nothing replaces game time and with the shorter season, Cillian needs to be getting game time now if he’s going to have any impact on championship, that’s just the way it is.

  21. dreamysleepynightysnoozysnooze, time in regards to that yet. if Cillian features against Tyrone,Kildare he should be ready for the Galway game.

  22. Massive chance for Fergal Boland Saturday night, happy for him as he deserves it, but he has to deliver to get in Championship 15.

  23. Strong looking team. I think it’s clever of James to start Aido. I think Kerry might have been planning for him coming off the bench and looking to counter that. If the two teams meet again in summer that’s what I think will happen and David Moran will be immediately introduced after Aido comes in. It would make sense from a Kerry perspective as Moran is well fit to match up to him. But that’s looking too far ahead.

    I’m not having a go here, but Mayo need to make the best use of Aido on Saturday, and not allow him to slow the ball down. This is crucial. We’re developing a nice expansive style of play and it will be interesting to see how Aidan fits into this. He’s a clever enough player to work effectively in the new system, but obviously they all need to be singing from the same hymn sheet. Will he go into FF after the way last year panned out? It’s possible for Saturday, but unlikely for the rest of the year I feel.

    I’m intrigued to see how Carney and Boland do on the wings. Massive opportunity for them both as 10 and 12 are 100% up for grabs and it wouldn’t surprise me if this duo stake their claim. We’ll know a lot more at 9pm on Saturday evening. Isn’t it grand to have a match like this to look forward to.

  24. I think we might have to temper our expectations of Cillian and Jason for the league at least. The type of injuries they have suffered are very hard to come back from and can rob a player of their pace so i definitely wouldnt expect to see Cillian during the league. Better to get him right than to rush him but unfortunately i cannot see him returning as the player he was. We have to be realistic.

  25. where are players like James Carr, Mark Moran, Enda Hessin, Eoghan McLaughlin, Jason Doc, etc , we know Cillian got a serious injury but there is no evidence that these players have serious injuries. Funny how a player can appear on Mayo team and star in a game and disappear as quickly.

  26. hi Willie Joe, I think that’s a solid team selection and I hope it’s the starting 15.Important question…. where are people going in Tralee to watch that other game that starts at 4.45???

  27. The pods keep coming for club members – our Here Comes the Weekend episode is online now, with Mike, Billy Joe and Marc Ó Sé. Plenty of chat about the game on it and discussion on the Mayo team selection for Saturday.

  28. Should be able to put it up to Kerry with that team, home game or not. I’d like to see Hession, McBrien and Harrison… maybe they’ll get a run. I’d drop Plunkett, O ‘ Hora and Coen as all have enough game time but guessing James will stick with those named. Coen has been below his usual standard albeit against some top players but should be made complete for his place captain or not.
    Aido presents options and good to try some out. I don’t expect he’ll stay in the 1 position for the whole game. We need a strong bench options and Aido might be 1. Kevin Mc may be our impact sub this time or Fionn McD. Only 1 left footer starting in forwards.

  29. @Culmore,
    Weren’t you the same lad that was calling for Michael plunkett to be taken off against Dublin to be replaced by O Hora?
    Plunkett went on to score two crucial points and finished 3rd in the motm poll……O Hora wouldn’t have been a great swap anyway seeing as he wasn’t in the squad.

    Lads shooting their mouths off when they haven’t a notion is a bugbear of mine.

  30. Would say that is the strongest team we have put out in the league so far so will be interesting to see where we are at in Tralee against Kerry. Sub bench on other hand is probably weakest we have had in the league so far so again will be interesting to see how we fare with a stronger starting team as opposed to having a really strong bench in games to date. Not sure if sure if starting Aido is the right approach as he has been very effective off the bench but again, we will know a lot more after this game and hopefully we be a step closer towards our starting 15 for the championship. A good performance with a clear game plan, starting with a tight defence would be satisfactory and of course no injuries. A win would be a bonus but does not matter that much given that we are safe,

  31. @ Long Time on the run ….. I can give you a ticket. If WJ can organise email contact in the background? Thanks!

  32. Agree with justoutsideballagh, this is a statement of intent from JH, he is targeting the win with that selection. We will need to be competitive or else calls into question our championship credentials.
    Regarding Cillian and Jason, listening to OTB podcast, James O’Donoghue thinks that players coming back from serious injury need 4 to 5 games to gain match sharpness, this may depend on the players but if this were true, then Cillian in particular would need to be back for Tyrone if he were to be up to speed for potential championship quarter final.

  33. Well said FW,I believe that we will have a handy enough win by five or six points,we should respect all opposition teams but not fear them we are in a good place at the moment with the return of Cillian and Jason will be very strong,all the best to the Kerry supporters who post on here hopefully it will be a great game with no injuries to either team,safe travel to everyone

  34. Looks like we are going there for the win given the strength of the starting team. Defence and midfield look very settled and front 6 is still a work in progress. The big question mark is over Cillian and his availability. Doc to a lesser extent
    Would like to see Cillian get some game time in the last two games and hopefully we can get to a semi final also as nothing bettr than playing matches to bring players on.

    Unfortunately can’t make it to Tralee as family occasion on same day. That means I have a ticket available for a dedicated supporter if Willie Joe can sort emails etc.

  35. Something tells me that there is more to the cillian story than meets the eye. .. I fail to see him in championship 22. Obviously I hope I’m wrong. Jh said the kerry game or before… the 24th of April is looming and he won’t be playing that day.. the way it looks. That’s the big date. The league is not so important from here on in. Its all about the championship.

  36. Craggy, I think that kind of logic is mad.Cillian will be back when he’s ready-injuries are not an exact science.I’d sooner not see him at all,than coming back when he’s not fit.

  37. Reading the preview for the next round of National League matches on RTE website, that James McMahon really losing the run of himself

  38. Safe travels lads particularly in the bad weather,

    Looks like Seanie is out so I think that tilts it in Mayos favour.

  39. Thank you Trevor and Willie Joe for helping me out with ticket. Safe travelling to all.

  40. A boost to Mayos changes of keeping the good away record in Kerry going with the news that Sean O’Shea not part of the Kerry panel this weekend.

  41. Pity.. I would have liked to see Sean O’shea playing.. to see who would have picked him up and see how they would have got on

  42. I was just wondering the same, Catcol. I see Kerry will be back in their Munster blue (we beat them playing in a similar strip in Tralee in 2019) so I suppose it’ll be our 2020 away strip though I haven’t seen confirmation of this anywhere.

  43. Interesting to hear Billy Joe on the pod thinking Swannie will pick up Clifford, them matching up pace wise, with Swannie having the strength and tackling ability to get a hand in and thwart the Kerry man’s trickery. And Plunkett for Paidie Clifford, so he can follow him outfield, an area where the Ballintubber man is equally at home.

    Boyler thinks Óisín will pick up Clifford. I think I’d prefer Swannie on him.

  44. Opt timistic. Did I for once say that cillian should return injured. Please don’t try and twist my post. Nobody wants to rush back an injured player. I actually see Tommy as a much bigger loss.

  45. Jason Doc has a hamstring twinge, there’s no point risking him until he’s ok
    We all know his worth. I’ve no idea about Cillian’s fitness but I would put money on one or the other being full forward against Galway

  46. Safe travelling down folks. Mind those roads in bad weather. I’m teaching up in Mayo 19 years. I go down home to Kerry every weekend and holiday time.
    I would tip it in your favour, to win, wet poor conditions will suit the more physically stronger Mayo.
    It’ll be close, there will not be much in it. May be a shadow boxing exercise too for a potential league final.
    You beat us twice in the space of 3 weeks back in 2019, in the league.

    Take it easy lads and mind yourselves. Very welcome to Kerry, whoever is travelling.

  47. Craggy, not trying to twist your post at all-apologies if you thought that.Its just that you enter the realms of speculation when you suggest that there’s more at play than the original injury.I prefer to leave it to the experts.Enjoy the match,and bring the rain gear!.

  48. Cillian’s injury if I’m correct is the achilles tendon. I’m not a medic but my understanding is that this is one of the very hardest injuries to recover from. That tells us all we need to know. We need to be prepared for the possibility that he won’t return to the same player he was. I’m sure Cillian himself and the medical team are doing everything humanly possible to get him back to his best. We need to be patient and temper our expectations.

  49. I’m not going along with that pessimistic tone , I expect cillian to be back leading the line very soon . #historystopscorer

  50. Yip, same as that, Cillian will be back soon enough this year. He’s still young, and part of the set up, he just needs more time.
    Liberal role in the tie, there are different degrees of injury with the achilles, ranging from mild inflammation to complete rupture. I’ve been there.
    My guess is Cillians injury is of the least serious type, its def not of the ruptured variety which can be career ending.
    They (the medics) are just managing it carefully, not bringing him back until 100% sure. With the Achilles, without proper rehab, a new injury can be a major setback.

  51. No problem optimisteek. We all want to see the great man back when he is ready. Hopefully a big statement tonight

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