Sligo preview – Mayo News football podcast 2021 E10

This weekend sees the start of the football and hurling Championships and on Saturday afternoon Mayo join the fray when they travel to Sligo to take on the Yeats County at Markievicz Park. In this episode of the Mayo News football podcast we preview Mayo’s Connacht Championship opener. 

This match preview show is hosted by Mayo News sports editor Mike Finnerty and he’s joined by two former Mayo greats, Martin Carney and Kevin McStay. To start the show we hear Martin and Kevin’s own personal memories of playing Championship football for Mayo and how very different things were for the county back in the Seventies and Eighties. They reflect on the sense of hopelessness that often surrounded the county team’s prospects back then and they discuss how their own experiences as players make them appreciate where Mayo now stand all these years later.

Turning to Saturday’s knockout clash with Sligo, Martin and Kevin discuss the impact of Cillian O’Connor’s injury on the player himself, before going on to consider the possible make-up of the team for Saturday. They also provide their views on Mayo’s prospects this summer. Rounding off this preview episode, Martin and Kevin outline what they are looking for and expecting from Mayo against Sligo, including from a defensive perspective given the big scores that the team have been leaking in recent matches.

This episode of the Mayo News football podcast is now online and is available to listen to on iTunes, SoundCloud, Podomatic and Spotify. You can also listen to it directly on the Mayo News website as well as here on the blog using the SoundCloud player below or the one on the panel on the right.

The Mayo News football podcast has its own Twitter presence, @MayoPodcast, so if you’re a Twitter user you should follow us there to make sure you get the latest podcast-related updates, including new episodes.    

The Mayo News football podcast is sponsored by Ceramic City and Swinford Motors, two fine Mayo businesses with whom we’re proud to be associated this year. 

46 thoughts on “Sligo preview – Mayo News football podcast 2021 E10

  1. One disappointment for me is the form of Fionn McDonagh this season- he doesn’t seem to have ‘pushed on’. Also, why has Eoin McLaughlin not nailed down a starting place- we need him in HB line based on last year’s performance. Not sure either that Eoin O’Donoghue has the physicality for the FB line and ultimately he too, hasn’t nailed down a starting spot.

    Not trying to be negative but the above would be my concerns regarding the players we’re hoping can make the breakthrough.

    Some of the other young players have of course done well.

  2. Spotlight – re Fionn, it was already pointed out recently that he’s back this year after a serious injury and has done well to come back at all. Give him time, he’ll be grand.

    Eoghan is also getting back up to speed following an injury and I think that the way he has been eased back in this year is the right way to go.

  3. Interview with James Horgan in today’s Irish Times confirming Cillian more than likely out for the season. Article notes Diarmuid should be fit for the weekend, not a direct quote though.

    Moving Aidan into a more defensive role in the middle third while playing at 11 increasingly looks the way to go, will miss Cillian harrying opponents playing the ball out from the back.

    Team for me:



    E McL


    Kevin Mc
    Loftus or Brian W


  4. Aiden O’Shea might be needed around the middle for this one if Diamuid hasn’t recovered in time. I don’t believe that either Loftus or Flynn offer enough and that’s based on what I have seen at club level, nevermind at county level. Would be great if Jason Doherty is back, but on the basis that he wont start, I would been inclined to go with Ruane and O’Shea in midfield. A really hard working half-forward line of McLoughlin, McHale and Walsh, then an inside line of, Conroy, O’Donoghue and either Towey or Orme. Possibly Orme, as he might be that bit physically stronger than Towey at present and both are excellent free takers.

  5. Ya know what strikes me about all the discussion about team selection. We have alot of options in all areas. Not something we always had

  6. Some good news from James Horan in his interview on RTÉ this morning:
    Cillian O’Connor looks to be out for the season.
    There’s better news elsewhere for Mayo, however, as O’Connor’s brother Diarmuid who also picked up an injury against Clare is close to a return and could feature against Sligo. “Diarmuid came off in the Clare game and is pushing well, he’s very close,” Horan explained.
    “Jason Doherty trained very well with us and Brendan Harrison is again pushing very hard with a couple of games under his belt with his club.
    “They’re some of the longer-term injuries that we had so we’ve a pretty good group to pick from.
    “Diarmuid was just at full tilt chasing a guy and tweaked his hamstring a little bit so nothing major. You expect some of those throughout the season when you have 30 or 35 guys involved and pushing hard

  7. Just read that interview now Inthecity. It’s still not clear if Cillian’s injury is a rupture. And, Diarmuid is well in the frame for the Sligo game!! So much for the wild rumours a couple of weeks ago.

    Interesting too that he name checked Jason when talking about frees.

  8. “Diarmuid is very close. Jason Doherty is pushing very hard, as well. Brendan Harrison, again pushing very hard, has a couple of games with his club under his belt.”

    James Horan, quoted in the Examiner this morning, at that Eirgrid launch that was carried in the Times.

  9. Great to hear the news on Jason and Brendan as well. Both are different profiles to others in contention for match day squads and add vital big game experience in Cillian’s absence. The more freetaking options the better in particular. While it’s hard to expect us to be in with a shout of celebrating at the back end of August there definitely seems to be enough in the squad to be there or thereabouts in Connaught and to be a challenge to a Dublin team undergoing their own mini-transition.

  10. Don’t take what is reported as meaning something other than what was said. Guys coming back from long term will need time and patience. Great to see them on the way back as they will be needed for Div 1, but hitting the ground running in the Championship? I expect to see one or 2 that we have not seen much of up to this point take the stage. Interesting how those that pick teams on the blog always start with the line out last time out list and make very unusual, controversial tweaks here and there.?

  11. Team named:







  12. I dont think we should be so quick to dismiss newcomers. Both Hession and Brickenden have been progressive in their performances. I see Horans point giving them game time. And definitely no point rushing players back from injury.

  13. The West is best. You won’t need Aiden in midfield for this one. You haven’t seen Sligo midfield – possibly the worst in the country. The Sligo under 20 midfield recently bullied them in a practise game. The Sligo team has been selected and if that team starts as selected i would be betting on the handicap. Several players way below inter-county standard starting and better players left on the sideline. Also seems to be a bias against the most dominant club in the county for the last 5 years.

  14. Ridiculous playing Mullin and Keegan in the FB line.

    would rather see something like:


    KMclaughlin (Sweeper)

    E Mclaughlin


    R Donoghue


    On another note where has Fionn Mcdonagh gone to
    getting very little game time

  15. Nothing wild about the rumour , cillian is out for the season . Very disappointed to not see James Carr start must be very frustrating for the lad , starts one game scores 2 goals and a point all from play and not even a run the next day out nor this time despite injury to cillian .

    Scoring forwards just dont seem to excite mayo football culture the same as it does in other counties , hell bent on work horses , all about opinions as they say but I’m adamant work horses are needed but guile and finesse win you games .

  16. Really is a changing of the guard. Mullen and Keegan will be needed in FBL against better teams
    Now is the time to bed them in.

  17. I agree Sean Burke re Carr.

    in general i think too many of the bigger young talents in the county are not involved or not central to the team for whatever reason
    Carr, Irwin, CHanley, Akram, McDonagh

  18. Centrefield – see my comment from last night re Fionn, who is back after a bad injury last year. That would explain the reduced game time for him so far this year.

  19. Thanks Willie Joe.Hopefully he gets back to his level of couple of years ago

  20. Ya JR playing a fella whos probably top 2-3 half backs of the last 30 years in corner back where he is average makes a lot of sense.

    If we’re to have any chance at the business end of things we need the strongest middle 8 possible on the pitch. Protect the goal with more bodies back there

  21. Centrefield, corner forwards don’t stay stuck to the corner. Backs have to be versatile. Keegan will give great confidence to the line

  22. Centrefield. Hanley and Akram are no longer involved with the county. Read somewhere that because of work they withdrew from the panel.

  23. Stephen Coen will surely start – our most consistent defender last year.
    Enda Hession physically very light for corner back at this level. Better teams will tell the player he is marking to stay close to goal one on one where we as usual will leave acres of space to be exploited.

  24. I agree with Sean Burke we seem to have an aversion to starting scoring forwards in Mayo it’s all well and good being a workhorse but it’s important not to look like a donkey in front of the posts. James Carr can score. The mind boggles

  25. Thanks Willie Joe.

    Just thought in the 12 years people in Mayo would know how to spell his name

  26. Backdoomsam, are Cillian, Tommy & Ryan not scoring forwards? they seem to start a lot and score a lot too.

  27. Patience. Its a strong starting lineout and remember impact subs often have a bigger role to play than starting 15.
    The day of rigid positions on the field is long gone. A full back is expected to be able to run into a space and take bis score.
    Defending is much more zonal with the exception maybe of a few match ups..
    Does Hession starting rule him out of u-20?.
    Player of the future no doubt but time on his side…

  28. I can’t remember the last time we had a sub that has made an impact. In fact our gameplan has fallen apart with substitutes during the current league and last years AI campaign.

  29. As regards not selecting forwards that can score—we have racked up some very high scores in the league this year We also have backs that can score freely as well As for not conceding scores – well that’s a different story entirely

  30. Mayomad . Excellent footballers all three , your reply is kinda not true though. ROD scored a total of two points in last years championship from five starts . He started six out of the seven league games from last year and scored a total of five points . James carr scored 1.3 from three league starts last year . I dont believe he started any championship last year.

    This year in the league ROD started all four games and scored 1.1 from play , james carr started one league game and scored a total of 2.1 from play .

    I’m not arguing who is the better player , my point is james carr has a serious scoring threat when he starts .

  31. Agree with Dooniver above – our subs coming on are making no impact in games and weaken the team considerably. Is there enough been done with these lads before games and warm ups etc to get them up to the pitch of the game. By the end of the games – the subs make up one third of the team and when they are not contributing we run into trouble.

  32. Mayomad Cillian is unavailable Tommy is hit and miss he didn’t trouble the scoreboard in his last championship game but he’s young and will improve Ryan O D is a scoring forward in fairness

  33. The last time I remember a sub making a big impact for Mayo was 1981 against Galway when Willie Joe Padden replaced the excellent but tiring Willie Nally

  34. Bryan Walsh came off the bench in the connacht final last year and scored 2 points. We only won by 1 in the end. I remember Andy Moran playing well on several occasions too off the bench so it’s not correct to say our subs never make a difference.

  35. Impact subs are winning all irelands for Dublin. We shouldnt necessary be starting with our 15 ‘best’. Final quarter games are won and lost.
    How many times do we see our lead whittled away in that vital quarter

  36. James Durcan (1-3) in Round 1 against Donegal and Kevin McLoughlin (1-2) v Meath in Round 3 were two examples of players coming off the bench with impact in last year’s League. As already mentioned, Bryan Walsh (0-2) in last year’s Connacht final against Galway is another important example from last year. Bryan Walsh and Kevin McLoughlin got a point each as subs against Westmeath this year on a day when every point was needed. Paul Towey scored three points off the bench against both Meath and Clare this year.

  37. Our most costly experience with substitutions was not having Fallon named as a sub in 1996

  38. Point well made WJ. I was hoping Brickenden would start and McLaughlin off the bench.
    Lets hope we have plenty of fire power in subs bench for sat

    The Fallon case? Another example of shooting ourselves in the foot. But we habe to live in the present

  39. Sean Burke, I didnt mention James Carr in my post, for what it’s worth I’d play James and when it comes time for throw on Saturday I wouldn’t be surprised if he started. If not we will definitely see him at some stage. I dont fully agree with you regarding Ryan, last year he played on the half forward line more as a playmaker, this year after moving inside he has scored more heavily. Dont think you can disregard points scored from frees/Mark they still have to be put over the bar, would you disregard all the frees Cillian has scored.

    Backdoorsam, I was referring to your comment “we seem to have an aversion to starting scoring forwards in Mayo it’s all well and good being a workhorse but it’s important not to look like a donkey in front of the posts”, therefore it’s fair to say Cillian, a scoring forward has been selected up to now. I’d disagree with you on Tommy, cant say he’s hit and miss. Yes the AI final passed him by but hes been very consistent since then and scoring regularly.

  40. The issue as I see it with our bench (for this weekend at least) is that injuries are going to weaken not only the starting team, but our options to change it up later in the game.

    With both O’Connors missing we’re naturally going to have to immediately delve into the first cadre of reserves. And the knock on effect is of course that we need to delve ever deeper into the squad to populate the 26. Now this presents opportunities for young players or guys on the fringe. It also exposes how deep we can go within the squad without a serious impact on how we’re trying to play.

  41. FYI,
    I took out a new offer on NOW – 2 month ‘upfront pass’ to Sky Sports for €30.

    May be only on for a short time, so if anyone is interested…

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