Some details on Dublin


Right, the countdown is on ahead of our NFL Division One Round 4 clash with Dublin at Croke Park this coming Saturday evening. This one throws in at HQ at 7pm that evening and the match will be preceded by the LGFA NFL Division One fixture between the same counties at 5pm.

The ref for the lads’ game is Barry Cassidy from Derry. This is the second time this year that we’ll have had the pleasure of his company – he also took charge of our Round 1 meeting with Roscommon last month.

We’ve had plenty of recent history against Dublin, from our perspective all of it, sadly, ultimately fruitless. These meetings have included a number of high-quality, toe-to-toe Championship clashes but last year, for the first time in a while, we only came up against them in the spring.

After that League meeting at MacHale Park in February of last year – which was also in Round 4 – Dublin went on to win the competition, for the fifth time in six years. They had, however, a teensy-weensy wobble on their way to the trophy.

There was no sign of that the night they comfortably glided past us in Castlebar, nor was there at Croke Park two weeks later when they handed out a 12-point drubbing to Kerry. But then they could only draw against Galway at Pearse Stadium and went on to lose to Monaghan at Croke Park in the final round.

That meant Galway topped the Division One table but Dublin, despite losing Niall Scully to a second yellow with twenty minutes left to play, beat the Tribesmen with a bit of ease in the Divisional decider.

There were no hiccups from the Dubs on their way to Sam either. Rarely in the modern era has a county sauntered through a Championship campaign without having a glove laid on them but that happened last summer in a Championship that was completely devoid of drama.

Our respective calamities meant that Dublin didn’t have to get past either ourselves or Kerry to win the four-in-a-row. Instead, it was Galway and Tyrone that Dublin faced at the business end, with the Tribesmen in the semi-final and then the Red Hands in the final swatted aside with contemptuous ease.

For a change, this year’s League campaign hasn’t started well for Dublin, though I doubt Jim Gavin will be losing any sleep over this unexpected turn of events.

Monaghan beat them by 2-13 to 1-13 in Clones in the opening round, they had a comfortable 1-15 to 0-7 win over Galway at Croke Park in Round 2 and then lost a testy encounter to Kerry in Tralee last time out, going down by the minimum margin on a scoreline of 1-18 to 2-14.

This early season dip in form combined with our positive start hands us a rare opportunity heading to Croke Park on Saturday. Nobody for one minute believes Dublin are in danger of relegation from the top tier but if we beat them the next night then it’ll also mean we’ll have ended any remaining hopes they might have of winning yet another League title this time round.

Lest we be getting ahead of ourselves, though, it’s worth recalling our recent League record against Dublin. I don’t need to tell you that it’s pretty poor.

We last beat them in the NFL back in 2012, when Pat Gilroy was their manager and when James Horan was getting into his stride for us first time round. Conor Mortimer broke Joe Corcoran’s long-standing record as the county’s all-time top scorer that memorable evening at MacHale Park where we won by twelve points. We went on to beat them, by three, in that year’s All-Ireland semi-final, a victory that remains our most recent success against them.

Since then – barring a few draws – it’s been defeats all the way for us. The total, across League and Championship, since the start of 2013 reads: P 13 W 0 D 3 L 10. The aggregate score from those thirteen games comes to 22-177 to 7-173. Note, in particular, the yawning disparity between the sides in terms of goals scored.

The bookies have, clearly, run the numbers ahead of setting their prices for this one. Dublin, as you’d expect, are red-hot favourites to win yet again: Paddy Power have them priced at 1/3, while a wild punt on us is available at 3/1.

Right, now that I’ve sobered you up a bit, what do you think yourself – will Saturday evening see more pain from our perspective or could this be the night when we finally get a long overdue win against them? Let’s end with a vote on that one.

How will we do against Dublin?

  • Lose (43%, 319 Votes)
  • Win (41%, 308 Votes)
  • Draw (16%, 121 Votes)

Total Voters: 748

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84 thoughts on “Some details on Dublin

  1. Hard to know. We’re well ahead of them in the amount of work done in training, but we haven’t had a test remotely comparable to their game in Tralee.

    I think Dublin will win a tight one. It would be great, though, to see Mayo have a real cut at them. Just to see what happens, like.

  2. Thanks Willie Joe, very sobering indeed. Its still quite difficult to tell where exactly we’re at, with our first proper test of the league coming up. I’m not sure we’ll have enough just yet to squeeze the win. Dublins previous 2 losses will have tempered them nicely for this game. It’ll be a close game hopefully.

  3. Would all supporters going to Croker note that Mayo Ladies are meeting the Dubs, two times all Ireland champions and league champions at 5 pm. They deserve our support.

  4. I think their result in Kerry will sharpen their focus coming in to this one. 2 weeks is a fair bit of time to get their house in order.
    Really, this one is a free hit for us. I would hope that Horan continues the strategy of selecting inexperienced but promising youngsters with some seasoned characters alongside them. It has worked up to now and if it is the correct thing to do in Omagh it surely is the correct thing to do in Croker.

  5. I see the voting for prediction into Saturdays game is neck and neck for a win or a defeat.
    I am going to go against my gut feeling and our meetings / results of the past 5 years and vote for a Mayo win, also on the leaderboard.
    I smell a bit of a Dublin regression, another defeat is sure to cause panic.
    Let’s face it, the Dubs didn’t have Mayo or Kerry to contend with in the semi finals of last year, this will change for 2019.

  6. Not a great time to get them. Another defeat would mark a mini-crisis for them so I honk they’ll be well primed for us. Gavin will also want to keep us down as Horan’s second coming gathers a little momentum.

  7. Going to be fun. Our chances are improved with no Cluxton (I’m assuming he’s not playing). I expect our youngsters to show well (esp Plunkett) and the outcome to be in doubt deep into the second half.

  8. My Team for Dublin
    1.Robbie Hennelly
    2.Brendan Harrison on Cormac Costello
    3.Lee Keegan on Paul Mannion
    4.Keith Higgins on Dean Rock
    5.Colm Boyle on Brian Howard
    6.Michael Plunkett on Con O’Callaghan
    7.Paddy Durcan on Niall Scully
    8.Diarmuid O’Connor on Brian Fenton
    9.Donal Vaughan on Michael Dara McCauley
    10.Fionn McDonagh
    11.Aidan O’Shea
    12.Jason Doherty
    13.Conor Diskin
    14.Brian Reape
    15.Andy Moran

  9. TH, I feel Higgins on Mannion and Keegan on Rock would make sense, Mannion prefers playing closer to Goal and Keith is the best man for that and I would love to see how Rock would handle some of the real ‘Leeroy’ attention.

  10. Ooohhh excited. Hope Mayo give it a real rattle. I see I evened it out with 122 votes each for a win and a loss. Hope I’m right ??

  11. Please God, there will be a new All Ireland winner this year, anybody other than the Dubs, Kerry or Tyrone.
    The bookies have alot of bets tied up for the Dubs to be champions in 2019 and would you believe they are favourites for 2020. Seems very unusual.
    Watched the highlights of the drawn 2016 final last nite, McCauley was given a yellow card for that clothes line tackle on the neck of Cillian O Connor, looked bad in slow motion.
    As the English soccer supporters would say, you got to hate the opposition in order to feel fully satisfied when you beat them.
    Even in my club the Dubs don’t like the out spoken Mayo supporter, the kids have suffered also, A, B and C grade.
    How I long for the day they are beaten, I will deafinitely celebrate, but I’m afraid that the Gaa would like to see the Dubs 5 in a row winners.

  12. Ah lads, give over about the Reservoir Dubs site and what they might be posting about us. Any Mayo supporter who frequents there looking for things to get offended about really needs to find a new pastime. And just to be clear, this isn’t the place for putting up go-between messages for people active on the Reservoir Dubs site either, as that will only generate problem comments that I’ll end up having to deal with.

    For that reason, Paddy in Dublin, I’ve deleted that comment of yours. Also, Mayo88, I’ve edited out the unnecessarily provocative bit at the start of yours.

  13. Don’t think we’ll get much change outta this game. Dubs will be in no mood for leaving 2 very important league points behind them. What will be interesting is whom from the group of newer players gets game time on Saturday evening – as this will quite likely give some insight into Horan’s intentions for his championship panel.

  14. Would have preferred to be playing Dubs when they hadn’t lost 2 from 3. Like them or loathe them they are a fantastic team who have pretty much swatted away all opposition with the exception of ourselves in the last 5 years. Real Dublin supporters, not those who populate the aforementioned septic tank dubs or reservoir dubs or whatever the name of the forum is know and appreciate that fact as is evidenced from talking to them at previous games. I don’t expect we will beat them but then I didn’t expect we would beat Tyrone either so I would be delighted to be wrong again. I hope JH keeps going in the same direction as up to now and that we have a real go at them. Maigh Eo abu

  15. We don’t need to win it first of all is good we have 3 from 3 over the moon with that so let’s go and do more of the same give the young kids on the block a go and go for it see how we do win or lose and if people can go early and get behind the girls I for one will be up mayo

  16. i would go with the following team








  17. Good luck on Saturday night folks, I’ll be heading to the boozer to watch this one as I don’t have Eir sports and home early as I’m off to Tuam the following day. Don’t know who horan has in mind for Mannion , Higgins has the experience and instinct but would the mileage come against him ? Brian O Beaglaoich got a roasting from him in Tralee but to be honest he is such a direct forward he’s hard to stop. He can shoot from distance and kill at close range, a dream to watch in the League and a nightmare in Championship, a class act full stop.

    Mayo have the defensive instincts to slow and frustrate the Dubs without doubt and the direst transition that troubled them in Tralee will not have gone unnoticed either. Mayos foundation over recent years has been their defense and Buckley’s influence is clearly still very evident. With some of these pacy new young forwards ye will give the dubs a thorough test. Having lost two out of three of his opening games I think Gavin will present with a very focused team and with the home advantage of Croker I feel they will have too much for ye.

    This is a real opportunity to expose the young and inexperienced players to high octane and fast paced game that has every ingredient of Championship without the abyss of exit. Conor O Shea if fit is the kind of player that could cause Fenton to lose focus on his game. Jack Barry is now repeatedly tasked with shadowing Fenton, he is impossible to compete with in the air and when he does (finally) land on the terraferma he takes off like highly strung gazell having just noticed a cheetah in the nearby long grass, and the herd follow him !!. He’s a play maker and a fine score getter, basically a nightmare and the only way to reduce his impact is to sarcrafice a fast tall player with the implicit instruction of break his balls at every turn. Aidan o Mahony didn’t really feature that significantly in the 2014 Final or at least that was the mindset of most who sat through that meeting of two styles but in fact he was like a terrier snapping at the hooves of a powerful stag. Murphy (obviously the stag) was totally distracted and his game and impact were reduces to a side show of “I’ll show him” O mahony knew what was necessary and Kerry won

  18. Apologies Willie Joe, No offence intended to anyone here but over the past few months I have carefully picked through some of the tripe put up by that ‘piece of …. ‘ about AOS and have to say am appalled by the lowlife ‘character assassination’ that is taking place on that blog.

    But everyone slips up and I have pieced together many of these comments by this tw.. and feel that I have eventually unmasked the ‘piece of …. ‘ behind the mask.

  19. We’ve no chance in this one, and frankly im not too bothered. The time for beating Dublin is between August and September, thats when it matters. No one really cares who wins the league, because its irrelevant, its just about staying up and hopefully finding players. I still think its a great competition and is far better entertainment that the out-dated championship format.

    Realistically, our first 3 games have been our easiest. Tyrone was a bonus for sure, but id say every one of us had chalked down home wins against Roscommon and Cavan when the fixtures came out. We’ll learn far more about ourselves Saturday night, which is why I hope James puts out as youthful a team as possible. Reape, McDonagh, Diskin, Plunkett, McCormack, Ruane, Treacy, should all be starting this one, lets lay the blocks for the 2020/2021 championship, lets blood these lads now and not waste a good opportunity as we appear to be safe in Div 1. Them lads will learn so much in a game in Croker, the Dubs are regressing, theirs no doubt about it, let them win the 5 in a row ta hell an be done with it, Gavin will go, Cluxton also maybe one or 2 other elder statesmen aswell. Lets have ourself primed for a serious tilt at sam in 2020 by blooding these young lads this weekend, and hopefully picking up a Connacht title this year!. Dubs by 7.

  20. I know I’ll get nailed here for going off track but did ye watch the Connacht v Cheetah’s rugby game on Saturday? Referee, Nigel Owens held conferences (nothing short of) in rival dressing rooms prior to k.o. Explaining the rules as he would interpret them to the packs for that particular day, if you don’t mind. I’ve played a good bit of GAA and soccer myself but I’d regard a referee coming into the dressing room (pre-throw-in or kick-off) a total distraction and a left field move. That’s ok for teachers at school concerts.

  21. Agree fully with MayoDunphy….this is an absolutely ideal opportunity to give the younger/New guys a taste for Croker against the dubs and even better that they need the points so Dublin will be taking this as seriously as they’ve taken any league game because degeat would put them in a spot of bother (i still think they could end up winning the league).

    We have to remember that all our new lads are in their 20’s. Its not like they are kids. I’d rest Andy and I wouldn’t start Lee, Diarmuid or McLoughlin. I’d also 100% want to see how Coen does in croker in the full back line.

    I’d start with O’Donoughue (If fit) and Coen in full back line.
    I’d have boyle plunkett and Durcan
    Ruane and Vaughan. Two fit athletic lads. Croke Park should suit both.
    Boland (we need to see how he’ll play there and it’s time for him to put in a big game against a top level team)…mcd at 12 instead of 10 and the grim reaper and disco up top…I’d also give Loftus a go.

    Bring on Diarmuid, Lee, mcloughlin etc 2md half.

    If Horan doesn’t try out a heap of the fringe players at the weekend it’ll be a missed opportunity.

  22. The only line id disagree with mayo dunphy on is that we do have a chance. I’d be sending out my younger/New players to win the game.

    As I’ve said previously, it should never be Ok to lose.

  23. MayoDunphy,
    Why don’t we send out our U20’s if we are really going to send out as young a team as possible v the Dubs? That is the logic of what you are saying.
    In my opinion sending out a team of several youngsters would be a major mistake, inviting a hiding which many of them might never get over. My thinking is that four newcomers would be enough and my four would be Plunkett, McDonagh, Diskin and Reape. I would not be overly anxious about winning but I would about getting a hiding with several newcomers on board. A manager would learn nothing in that situation. If things are going well into the second half the likes of McCormack and Tracy could be introduced but that would be my limit for Saturday.

  24. I agree with Andy D there’s no point getting a hiding it would set the young lads back. In fact I hope we don’t make the league final I don’t really want to meet a semi resurgent Kerry or Dublin in a final this early in the year. The Dubs Won’t get their 5 in a row this year I expect Kerry to take them out either in a semi final or final

  25. I’ve said before a few weeks ago that winning is a habit. There is no benefit or logic to play a weakened team just so said players can just “experience” Croker. Rubbish.

    The point of every game is to perform, execute the game plan and to beat your opponent.

    In this game we are playing Dublin on their “home pitch” as WJ pointed out despite some great games between us we are 15 odd goals and a few points behind them. They have the total upperhand. It’s not time to extend that record.

    JH will choose a strong balanced team with a strong view on taking 2 more points. The pressure is on Dublin who need the result.

    Be aggressive and attack Dublin, what we do well. If you fawn over them or do a Galway (it’s a thing now) and sit back them will tear you up.

    Tight game I expect I think we’ll shade it.

    @WJ – when did we last win our opening 4 league games ?

  26. Quietly confident about this one, all the pressure is on them, lose and they’re in a relegation scrap for the first time in a long time, an alien experience for 95% of that Dublin Squad. I think Horan will select a strong team and the aim will be to push the Dubs to the limit, we may not win, but we won’t roll over like we have in the past 2/3 league encounters against them. Mayo by 2 in a tight, end to end game. I also think it won’t finish 15 V 15, could be a few scraps out there on Saturday night. Markers will be laid out for the summer ahead.

  27. It was in 2006, Mayo13BG – in fact we won our first five on the spin that year. Then Dublin put four goals past us at Parnell Park to halt that particular gallop.

  28. Its ridiculous to think Horan will play a young inexperienced side v Dublin. Getting a hammering does no one any good. Mayo need to be competitive on Saturday night. We need to come out of Dublin with confidence and showing further improvement especially going into the Galway game a week later (that’s a real must win). I often wonder when I hear people calling for a weakened/young team to be picked are they just looking for an excuse to explain a loss, “sure we were playing a young team, we weren’t expecting to win”. Winning breeds confidence, its the same in any sport. We are on a good run at present, we need to keep that going which means picking a strong team.

  29. Agree completely Mayomad. Play our strongest team available based on form this year. I think Plunkett, McDonagh and Reape will start but that will probably be it from the rookies.

  30. Does anyone think that andy, jason, kevin, diarmuid, lee, boyler, paddy, keith, aidan or harry will take one step back on saturday night? Throw in all others, new not so new and on way back from injuries and this should be a real game of football. We may/may not win but the real target should be to remind all and sundry that we are still a force to be reckoned with and are well capable of bringing new talent to the table – a 21 man team game with it decided in last 5/8 minutes will prove a major step in our progression this year whoever wins it.

  31. Mayo have met Dublin 13 times since Jim Gavin took over. And although there was only a kick of a ball between them in many of the encounters. Mayos record stands at 10 defeats, 3 draws. No victories. And now some commentators on here are suggesting forgetting about winning this one. Putting out a young team, give them experience and keep the long losing streak aginst Dublin going. We need to be going for this game 100% with our strongest team available. A win aginst our bogey team is the way to instill confidence in the younger member of the panel.

  32. Jesus Christ you’d swear I was asking to throw out an U16 team against them. These lads are in there 20’s some a them 23/24. Anyone with any clue knows we’re seriously lacking in midfield and lack real pace and competition in the forwards. We have to develop young players its simple as that. You cant be wrapping them in cotton wool in february, then expect them to turn it on in summer, if theirs injuries or suspensions, you need to build a squad!!…
    2. Drake
    3. Harrison
    5. Keegan
    6. Plunkett
    7. Durcan
    8. Diarmuid
    9. Ruane
    10. McDonagh
    11. Aido
    12. Tracey
    13. Doherty
    14. Reape
    15. Diskin.

  33. I have to say, I’m looking forward to this one. Mayo are 3/3, Dublin 1/3 thus far, albeit the Kerry game was tight, and worth it’s weight in gold in terms of blowing away the cobwebs.

    From a Dublin perspective, this year’s start to the league isn’t ideal, but we are a long, long way from panic stations just yet. Just remember the Cork game in 2014, Down by 8 at half time, winning by 7.

    Matchup’s will be interesting. I suspect Dublin will, rightly or wrongly target Caffs yard or two of lost pace. Yes, I know he was MOTM last time out, but that was against Cavan – next weekend will be a different story. Higgins covering the full back line, and Lee covering half back will make for interesting viewing. Higgins will take either Mannion or Costello, Lee may very well be put on Rock, as someone suggested. Can’t see it myself.

    There is also the Gavin on the pitch, as well as the one on the sideline to contend with. I predict he will have a big impact on the game, but again, it’s only really educated guessing.

    There won’t be a Cluxton, McMahon or a Kilkenny. That’s a serious part of the backbone right there. Paddy Small is out injured, and I’m not sure John will be fit to play either.

    Will both teams try to capitalize more on the offensive mark? How will kickouts go? Who will start or finish in midfield? All good questions, and I don’t have the answers, guess we’ll have to wait and see.

  34. Re :cairhe members.
    Is there a scan card systrm in Croker for this game.
    I applied on line for match cairge ticket with option of bringing 2 friends.
    Charged €30, but got only 2 tickets printout.

  35. Ed, I’m Croke Park season ticket but the protocol for us is that our tickets will be ready to be printed on Thursday. Season ticket card won’t work
    I assume Chairde will be the same. I hope that helps

  36. James Horan will select the players who are producing in training, regardless of whether they are newbies or oldies
    You must remember that a lot of those players have no fear of Croke Park having already played there under age.
    I would see this as a great chance to beat the Dubs, and would much prefer playing in Croker than McHale Park, as the experience will stand to the new lads
    There is a lot of talk about marking Mannion, I would suggest that the players should view the Leinster club final video and see how Mullinalaghta dealt with him and a few more Dub stars like Cian O Sullivan Michael Darragh McCawley etc.
    Put in high balls to the Dubs defence and place a few big men in there.
    Putsh up on their kick outs, and make it hard for their new goalie,man on man and do a Lee Keegan on all of them, don’t give an inch

  37. Ed, I also opted for Bring A Friend + 1. This put up my Cairde ticket and the guest at €15. Two tickets €15 charged. Two tickets printed.
    The Thursday ticket is for people who are not opting to bring a friend and these will be automatically generated with no choice of seat location.

  38. As a Dub supporter, viewing from a distance, the first few months of JH Mayo Mark II presents a picture that looks both encouraging and discouraging from a Mayo support point of view (I guess).

    On one hand, it looks like a future-facing undertaking, with the introduction of some new and young names and an apparent drive towards winning whatever is in front of you to be won. These are both elements I would have felt are necessary for Mayo to progress to the next level and eventually get ahead of the pack and claim that elusive All Ireland.

    However, there are lingering doubts too – the choice of some of the personnel still being deployed in key positions seems to suggest either a lack of imagination or a reality that there aren’t enough alternatives. It would be worrying if the overall balance of Mayo 2019 is set by the form (good or bad) of the aging personnel of the past rather than a step-up of youth/energy/freshness to build upwards on the platform the team of the last few years established.
    Also, I think Mayo have played the three weakest teams in the league so far and whilst you can’t argue with maximum points from three games, there are sterner tests to come. Its difficult to see a compelling argument for Mayo still being in the shake-up come league-final time.

    That said, Sunday’s game should be a useful benchmark. I don’t agree it should be seen as a free hit. Winning in Croker should be seen as an important target. Dublin aren’t fully out of hibernation yet. There are weaknesses to be exploited e.g. full back line (e.g. high ball), a goalkeeper who isn’t at Cluxton’s level of inhuman perfection, a little bit of predictability when going forward. So there is an opportunity to make a statement that informs the Mayo team agenda for the rest of the year. Kerry will have taken a lot (probably too much) from the Tralee win. Mayo should aim for the same. But it won’t happen without a serious, serious intent to WIN THIS GAME.

  39. Jaden – Kilkenny played first round of club league last Sunday, so he will most likely play a part on Saturday night

  40. Loreto. Good analysis. Mayo supporters are getting ahead of themselves. It is only February with 3 of the weaker teams bet. I have said it before.

  41. If some of those Dublin guys are still out, I think Mayo have every right to be confident of the win.
    I heard the same excuses on this blog this time last year during our very slow start to the league,
    “sure it’s only February “,
    “They are concentrating on the championship “.
    The Dubs have had 3 games to burn off any winter excess, sure didn’t they beat Galway easily in the 2nd league game.
    If James Horan is going for the win, as I am fairly sure he will be, then we need the key men in amongst the few newish guys, ie, I am interested to see where Aidan O Shea lines out.

    I have a good memory, do ye not remember the fuckin Dublin antics in the latter stages of the 2017 final, persistent fouling, unpunished by the referee.
    For good measure, a few scores may also be settled, as the great Paudi O Shea did say, ” send the fuckers back on their arses “.

  42. Some folks in here getting their excuses in early. We should be absolutely gunning for this one not least for the following:

    Guaranteed safety in Division 1 and the opportunity to really experiment in the closing stages
    Strong position to make a league final and get our hands on badly-needed silverware
    Not playing the Dubs in said final
    Finally start to reverse the most one-sided ‘rivalry’ in modern-day football. Two times we’ve ever beaten them in championship. Two!
    Lay down an effin marker in the league for a change. We lost every game we played against big teams last year and where did it get us. None of this ‘no point showing your hand in February’ nonsense

    The Dubs will most likely be missing John Small, Cian O’Sullivan and Cluxton. Diskin, McDonagh and Reape have done enough so far to start and the stage is set for them to step up. Aside from those however we will need plenty of experience on the pitch if we are to get a result. But some of the more senior players have been showing great form so far this year so I will be arriving in Croker on Saturday not in hope but in expectation!

  43. As regards Ciaran Kilkenny – Mayo is a big step up from playing Lucan. He may feature, but I can’t see him getting a full game. I would think it’s slightly doubtful he’ll even start. Be nice to see him back in Blue, Fenton isn’t a bad playmaker, but this is Kilkenny’s role.

  44. Again, I’m completely with Mayo Dunphy on this. What i do have a problem with is the assumption that playing the new guys etc automatically means we will lose – what kind of mindset is that, for God’s sake!? The majority of you against the idea of playing these guys seems to be based upon them getting ‘a hammering’. That in itself shows a complete lack of confidence in them. These lads have to start somewhere and wrapping them in cotton wool and hoping they’ll add to the heat of action in the summer without really getting ‘proper competitive experience’.

    I would hope that a starting 15 with O’Donoughue, Coen, Plunkett, Ruane, McDonagh, Reape, Boland and Diskin (that leaves 7 “experienced players” should be able to stand up to any team in the country. If they cant then, well, we aren’t going anywhere. Saturday is an ideal opportunity to accurately gauge where they are at while. For cyring out loud, 6 of these guys won an All Ireland u21 THREE years ago. You’d swear we were talking about a bunch of lads just out of minor.

    The attitude in Mayo should be – play these guys and go to win the game. Not play these younger lads and hope they dont get hammered. That’s a loser mentality. They have proven to be winners at u18 and u21. Time to be playing these and to be frank, it should have been done this time last year. Galway won sam in 1998 with a third of the team u-22!

    If worst comes and they ship a heavy defeat, you learn from it. If you really think that some lads would ‘never recover’ as someone suggested – then I’d rather find out now.

    Eg: look at Clare in 1993 – they lost the Munster final by 18 points! Two years later they lifted the Liam McCarthy.

  45. *I meant ‘we aren’t going anywhere’ in that Mayo needs a stronger squad to win an All Ireland. We dont need all these guys to step up to the plate in 2019 but Saturday would be an excellent test and if Horan wants to know where they are at, without fear of relegation (hopefully) then Saturday is a free shot.

    Anyway the overall point is these guys aren’t too young. Yes, they might not have as much experience as they should have a guy of 23/24 should have far more game time under his belt.

  46. “without fear of relegation (hopefully)”

    Ah c’mon.

    Mayo are at the top of the League table after three rounds, and people are openly saying that they hope they can avoid relegation? I think you need to wean yerself off the Yerra a little, it’s gone too far. A little positivity is in order, even if the weather is Shyte.

    The more I think about it, the more I reckon we might be in for a bit of a cracker on Saturday Night. Kick of a ball margins I reckon, although which way, I can’t be certain.

  47. Whether or not we beat the three weakest teams in the league, it’s an improvement.

    The last time we played Cavan we lost.

    The last time we played Tyrone we got a trimming.

    It’s an improvement. Which is welcome. And it was done with a lot of newbies showing what they can do. We have every reason to be positive.

  48. I think Mayo will be going out to win. Having been involved with teams I don’t ever remember us saying…ah sure we will play at 80% today or a good performance will do and screw da reault….

    Fact is we have not been good enough to beat Dublin and it’s time we started turning the screw the other way as the longer a loosing streak goes on, the harder it is to break it.

  49. Jaden, you misinterpreted my post. It’s a positive one – I’m the one saying put trust in the newer players and go out with the attitude of winning not on a damage limitation exercise. There’s nothing yerra about it at all. If it was a ‘yerra approach’ I’d be saying sure lets show and see if we can keep the ball kickout to the dubs…5 in row, blad de blah..
    I’m saying the complete opposite. Send out the inexperienced guys and send them out to win. The problem quite a few other Mayo supporters see with this is that it’s too risky!

    (hopefully) is there because mathematically we aren’t safe BUT because we have 6 pts, it allows Horan a superb opportunity at a shot to nothing. He can afford to take a risk.

  50. Jaden in fairness mayo can never win…get excited and we are told to shut up and stop getting carried away…play the poor mouth and we are yerras…

  51. Some of the posts here make me sick,totally negative and making excuses before a ball is kicked.
    I sincerely hope that the new players don’t read this stuff, as it doesn’t show a lot of confidence in these young men.
    So far all of those tried have brought something new to the table some more than others. If they are showing better in training than the established players put them in.
    We are safe enough in the league and our attitude should be to go and win the f….g thing and give those lads some valuable experience in Croker.

  52. @Mayonaze, I see where you are coming from, but you cannot countenance the vague mathematical chance of relegation whilst topping the league. It has to be solely focused on going forward. I would think that anything less than a league final appearance should be the aim. Talk of just surviving (or not even surviving) should not even be entertained.

    About letting young blood out, with no inhibitions as to results – you are 100% right.

    @Yew_tree, you ain’t wrong. But it only matters if you care more what other think, than what you think yourself.

  53. Looking forward to this Sat night.. Hard to see past the Dubs but I’m sure Mayo will go for it.
    What odds on Diarmuid Connolly coming back in ?

  54. There are two interviews knocking about since the Cavan match, one with Keith Higgins and one with Aidan O’Shea and both clearly say they are going for the 2 points against Dublin.

  55. Was the AOS one not on the podcast? Higgins one was in some newspaper. But very clear on what they are aiming for against Dublin.

  56. In fairness, what ever team is named I would hope the least they do is make an attempt to win the game!

  57. send out the players that are showing in training no matter what age they are young or old and make full use of panel during game and not putting on subs in last few minutes or even in extra time. In my opinion a young player is someone under 20 and Mayo don’t have too many of them on the panel and even a player under 20 if good enough should be played

  58. I wouldn’t expect any player interviewed before a game to say we are going out to lose a game. Of course Mayo are going to Croke Park to win the game. Whether they are good enough is another story.

  59. I’m looking forward to this one. I think the Mayo players are in form and rested. They want to be back playing competitive football and I’d be surprised if they weren’t dying to get a crack at a team we’ve had great battles with in recent years. It’s a long time to be waiting to be back in the fray since July of last year. I take it as a positive that we have experience in our ranks going into this game.
    (P.S. Loreto Road, are Dublin not also relying on a set number of key players who may also be considered as aging?)

  60. Predictions and hypotheses on this thread bring to mind this recently coined phenomen we are constantly coming across, in so called enlightened opinion, “Mayo will have targeted the Cavan game for two points….”,
    “The Rossies would have targeted this as a two point opportunity…” etc. etc.
    Obviously there are people who earn a living as sports journalists ( as opposed to sports journalists!) who are of the view that there are managers who rule out the possibility/option/ appropriateness of winning some games while selecting others as games that can/will/ should be won.
    Any manager or management system who doesn’t “target” every game, from inhouse AvB to AIFs, as a game that should be won should be dispense with forthwith.

  61. Win lose or draw a marker needs to be put down on a few Dublin players. I’m sick of rocks arrogance… the way he deliberately runs into Mayo players after pointing a free…..usually Higgins. If he does it on Saturday Keegan should be sent in to feel his collar. It’s past time he was shown that this will not be tolerated

    Fenton needs to feel someone’s breath on his neck and be followed everywhere he goes

    Mannion could do with a few close encounters and let’s see what he is like then

    Up and at them lads !!

  62. Paddy in Dublin – I made it very clear the other day that it’s not permissible to use this site as a go-between place to post indirect messages to people posting elsewhere, regardless of what they’re posting or how insulting you might think this is. Not only have you ignored this direction you’ve also gone and posted what can only be regarded as threatening messages, which is a really dumb thing to do. I’ve deleted them all and you’re on moderation watch now as well.

  63. Match ups will be interesting on Saturday. Higgins for me is not tight enough for Mannion. I’d be inclined to put Harrison on him if he’s playing. I’d play Keith around half back line on Scully….don’t think Scully will like the thought of running back after Keith!! Eoin o Donoghue if he starts is well able for Rock or Costello.

  64. What about Drake on Rock? Agree that I’d like to see Harrison on Mannion.

  65. @TuamStar, Zero chance of seeing DC back this weekend. My honest opinion is he will never wear a Dubs Jersey again. It hurts me to even think that.

    That said, he kicked 4 points with Vinnies last weekend, 3 in the first half with his left, which were by all accounts a thing to behold.

  66. As a Mayo exile, I have followed the progress (or lack of) of Mayo football for many years and I am very thankful to Willie Joe for this blog with all the included information. Those who comment, also often provide useful information and their input can be quite informative and entertaining but it amazes me that many people seem to think that THEY are in a better position than James Horan to pick the team or to select the proper strategy to confront any particular opposition. He is the manager, that’s what he is there for and only he has ALL the inside information needed to make those decisions. Having said all that, all the best to everyone from Nowra, Australia.

  67. There’s no way that Connolly is not going to be part of the five-in-a-row quest.

    They can keep it quiet all they want but this would be the All-Ireland win that puts Dublin into the history books with an unprecedented achievement. Nothing can be left to chance. In that scenario, if you have a player as good as Connolly to call on, of course you use him. Imagine the flak Jim Gavin would take if the Dubs were caught in a tight final (a la Kerry ’82) with Diarmuid looking down from the stand.

  68. Dublin managed to land Sam last year with no DC, no reason to think the same is not possible this year. Jim Gavin has shown time and time again that no-one is above the squad, or is un-droppable.

    If DC comes back into the fold it will be because both that we wants to, and his playing standard merits it. Even for someone of Diarmuid’s undoubted ability, a Jersey is earned, not granted by default. The competition for places in the Dublin panel is fierce, and no more so than in the front 6.

    Frankly, after the media circus, and most notably Pat S’s bible thumping rant, I wouldn’t blame DC in the slightest for never coming back. He owes no-one anything, and his medal haul is among the most impressive in the modern game.

    Jim would cop just a much flak for playing DC if he was sent off costing us a game, than he would for not starting him. Then again, a manager who has delivered five all Irelands gets cut a little slack cut every once in a while.

  69. I hear you Jaden – but all the same, the five-in-a-row is something special. The (previous) ‘greatest team of all time’ couldn’t do it, and neither could Kilkenny hurlers in 2010. Even to a customer as cool as Jim – a bizarrely under-rated manager – that quest will bring its own psychological pressure.

    There’s also the distinct possibility that, unlike 2018, the Dubs will have to deal with a revitalised Kerry, and hopefully a revitalised Mayo, in this year’s QF/knockout stages. Galway, too, can hardly be any worse than they were in last year’s semi, especially with the Corofin contingent back in the tent.

    With all that in mind, I find it hard to believe that there wouldn’t be a place for DC in that front six, even though they delivered Sam in 2018. But for Dublin, 2019 is the biggest Sam of them all.

  70. @Jaden, a fairly reliable source tells me that Connolly is getting one on one training with Bryan Cullen at the moment. Unfortunately from a Mayo perspective He will be back..

  71. @MayoDunphy, I don’t think we can consider your sources too exclusive, seeing as this tidbit was plastered all over the newspapers for the last two weeks, including the Indo… 🙂

    I’d be happy to be wrong, but my understanding is that right now, it ain’t happening.

  72. For what its worth, I think there is a reasonable chance DC will appear for the Dubs this year. But it won’t be 5-in-a-row related. It will be because he wants to compete for a place, as Jaden alludes. I think the Dublin attack is a little blunter this year and a DC playing to previous form would be an obvious addition. On the other hand, the Dublin attack isn’t about six forwards, its a system that incorporates 15 positions and there is a little less room for the flair player than there used to be so his place is not 100% guaranteed assuming he does want to play.

    Interesting comment there DavyJ about 2019 being the biggest Sam of them all for Dublin … oddly enough I don’t really feel that way:
    2015 was big, especially doing away with Kerry in the final
    2016 was HUGE – retaining Sam for the first time in 40 odd years.
    2017 was HUGE, making the three-in-row cemented this group as a special team in the history books no matter what happened after.
    2018 was quite huge but not HUGE huge …
    2019 would be a massive achievement but I can’t help thinking it will be treated by the history books as evidence of Dubln’s perceived unfair advantages at least as much as evidence of this team being the greatest of all time.

    And don’t read this as me saying that winning AIs is getting boring by the way – it definitely is NOT. And I will always want Dublin to win every year, including 2019 but I just have mixed feelings about the particular value of this one vs some in the recent past. I would get shot for saying this in other places 🙂

    PS @Swallow Swoops: re aging players, yes, Dublin have a few but I see a number of key differences compared to the Mayo situation:
    – those Dublin players have already proven their AI winning worth – repeatedly
    – Gavin has demonstrated willingness to introduce replacements when aging form dips – none of the over 30s (bar one) are guaranteed a start anymore – Flynn, McCauley, O’Gara, Brogan – even Cian O’Sullivan. Not sure if Cooper is 30 this year, he might be the other exception.
    – Cluxton is a freak 🙂
    My point isn’t just about age though, its about old reliables that have given great service but haven’t quite reached the pinnacle and are less likely (in my opinion) to do so now than they were 2-3 years ago.

  73. @Jaden, surprised a Dub like yourself doesnt know its true…or have ya caught a bit a the yerraitis you were lecturing us about ;).

  74. I am absolutely buzzing for this game lads and I have to agree with Philor and other posters on here, whats with all the negativity? We have 6 points in the bag, all the pressure is on Dublin if they want to maintain interest in the league and we finally appear to have some genuine options coming through, who will be chomping at the bit for a cut off the greatest team of a generation, and possibly ever. Whats not to like? This is all gravy as far as I’m concerned and I cant wait to see how the game plan is shaping up in the wide open spaces of Croker against the game’s standard bearers. I feel so positive and completely unburdened by fear or trepidation heading into this one, and I expect James will be sending the team out in the same frame of mind. I’m not going to call the result, I just know we’ll have positives to take out of it regardless. ‘Hon Mayo!

  75. Rory o Carroll will apparently be back for the championship for Dublin. Would strengthen them hugely in a potential weak area for the dubs.

  76. Jasus Lads, where are you getting your news from – Rory isn’t even back playing with his club. Given why he left Dublin GAA, I would think the odds of a return are slim to nil.

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