Some positive news on injuries

It sounds as if our injury crisis might be easing – the Mayo News (print and digital versions) has a bit of good news this morning on this issue. According to Mike Finnerty’s report in the paper, All-Star half-backs Lee Keegan and Colm Boyle are both expected to be fit to start on Sunday while Seamus O’Shea and Donal Vaughan – who have yet to feature at all this year – have returned to training and will also be available for selection. So too will Enda Varley who didn’t make the panel for the Tyrone game due to a knock.

It’s not all good news, though, as it seems that Ger Cafferkey might not be good to go for our first home league match this year. Ger has got hamstring trouble and it could well be that this game will come too soon for him.

I haven’t seen that Western People article that Digits mentioned where it’s being reported that Mikie Sweeney and Evan Regan are “odds-on” to join the senior panel in the coming weeks. With Kiltane’s adventures now well over, it’d make sense to get Mikie Sweeney back involved in the panel as soon as possible but the impending start of the U21 championship – where we’re down to face Roscommon in a tough preliminary round tie on 12th March – could well mean that Evan Regan continues to focus on that at least in the short-term.

By the way, the ref for Sunday will be Down’s Ciaran Branagan who is one of the newer officials on the roster. I’m 99.9% sure that he’s never reffed a senior match we’ve been involved in before now.

14 thoughts on “Some positive news on injuries

  1. Fair play WJ, as per usual your on the ball, when it comes to providing the latest news! It will be very interesting to see who will play full-back for Mayo against Kerry, if Ger does not make it. With James O’Donoghue, the Kerry full-forward, probably being their most important player at the moment, containing him will be one of Mayo’s biggest priorities on Sunday. If he can be kept quiet then that will be a big boost to Mayo’s chances.

  2. If Ger isn[t 100% fit I don’t think we should risk him. I would move Shane MacHale ( a brilliant man marker imho) back to let him follow O’Donohue and let Kevin Keane man the square. Lee could fill in a CHB with Brendan Harrison or Stephen Coen coming in at wing back. Hopefully Mikey Sweeney , Jason Doc and Freeman get a bit more game time and we can take just 50% of our goal chances. If we do the above I think we will shade it and head to Mullingar looking up the table. It will be nice to be able to bring Seami and Donie off the bench to inject some energy in the second half.

  3. Not sure on Kerry team but if Darren O’Sullivan is playing he will take minding. Someone of serious pace is needed for him. Only one I can think of is Lee Keegan. Is there any word on Chris Barrett ?

  4. Good news is always welcome from the point of view of guys coming back from injuries, glad to hear it I must say.
    I agree totally with some of the above comments about not risking Caff if he is not 100%, and I also agree that K keane maybe better suited in minding the small square rather than marshaling the corner. Some supporters are writing him off as the memory of the 2012 final is still very fresh in the minds, but I must say KK really redeemed himself and had a splendid game after what was a disappointing opening 15 minutes. Credit where credit is due as most players in his circumstances that day may have completely faded out or ultimately thrown in the proverbial towel.
    Regarding the experiment of C Boyle playing in the corner – If I were JH I would be knocking that one on the head. Boyle has been one of, if not the best wing back in the country for the past two years so just let him do his thing there. He was tried and tested before in the corner a few years back and that lead to nothing either. K Higgins, I believe does have something to offer up front but I’m not fully convinced yet, what I do think is that he will need a settled position for the summer and leave at that. He’s also one of, if not the best corner back in the country.
    Even Regan would be a huge addition to the panel, taking into account that he is very young he has a huge amount to offer. At this stage I wouldn’t necessarily say he is inexperienced as he’s floating around the Panel since JH took the reigns almost 4 years ago. I believe he’s playing some great football so far this year particularly with his college by notching up some high scores and taking a current All star to the cleaners. He offers what we seem to be lacking in terms of “natural forward” ability and he can take the pressure of CO’C by contributing with free’s in particular from the right-hand side.

  5. Good to hear that some of our walking injured are back in training, and that Evan Regan may be joining the panel.

    With TC, Feeney & Barry Moran are tied-up with Mitchels, and assuming Caff, Chris Barrett and Cillian are unavailable due to injured, here’s the team I’d like to see starting v Kerry on Sunday:

    Robbie Hennelly,
    Kevin Keane, Shane McHale, Colm Boyle,
    Lee Keegan, Keith Higgins, Cathal Carolan,
    Aidan O’Shea. Jason Gibbons
    Kevin McLoughlin Andy Moran, Adam Gallagher,
    Mikie Sweeney Alan Freeman. Jason Doherty.

    I reckon the 6, 7, 13 and 15 jerseys might stir some?

  6. I must say, WJ, on days like these when time is short it’s great to check in here and have all the news to hand. Haven’t had five minutes to pick up a paper this week so far so it’s even better to see positive news – so as always, thanks for the nicely distilled updates.

    100% agree too that Ger shouldn’t be risked – even if it cost us points on Sunday (which I don’t think will happen, incidentally). No harm in the slightest to try someone else out in the square. I remain a bit skeptical about Keane given his performance in Omagh, but I don’t see any reason not to try him out there for a portion of the game at least. I’d love to see Barrett back in the fold too – I thought he put in a couple of sterling performances last year, and was one of the better performers in the last two games in particular, plus he has the ability to move quickly into an attacking position as we saw to such good effect against Tyrone.

    Great news re Mikie Sweeney and Evan Regan. The former I think will be a geat addition to the bench (and potentially a starter?) and Regan, if he gets a chance to prove himself has the potential to be the missing link – if the hype is to be believed. I can’t credibly comment as I haven’t seen him play myself in quite a while, and I’m always wary of over-hyping anyone until I’ve see the evidence myself 😉 Senior is a different ball game to U21 too, so I’m reserving judgement, but there’s no denying the signs are good.

    Frankly, we can’t have enough of options from 10-15 as far as I’m concerned and all going well I’d like to see Tom King getting a run out post-Paddy’s day too. And Richie absolutely has to play a role then too – and I sincerely hope that whatever shitehawking was (runoured to be) going on behind closed doors is well and truly put to bed by May so we are heading for NYC with a sense of unity in the camp. And if we are to seriously challenge this year I think we need to have these players on board from May – especially Regan.

    Looking forward to Sunday – the rugby didn’t quite cut it for me this weekend past so the withdrawals are kicking in a bit! Hope to see a few of you in An Sportlann before the game.

  7. Anne-Marie, “shitehawking”. That was a favourite word of mine. I haven’t heard it or used it for years. Ah, the good old days!!! 😉

  8. If Caff is out I’d start Shane Mc Hale at 3 and Kevin Keane at 6. Michael Moyles played him there for Sligo IT, he reads the game well and is a good foot passer

  9. That’s a tasty selection on paper there Cloud. With reagrds to 6,7 ,13 and 15 ,while it wouldn’t be my personal choice I am pretty sure Sweeney, Jason Doc, Carolan and Keith play most of their club football those positions so it wouldn’t be a huge jump to have them there!

    How about this for a team fo Sunday v Kerry ,

    MacHale , Keane , Boyle
    Coen , Keegan , Drake
    O’ Shea , Gibbons
    Kevin Mac , Higgins , Adam Gallagher,
    A, Moran
    Mikey Sweeney , Jason Doc

    I would like us to drop Andy into a free role a bit deeper as an outlet to get the ball moving and to make space for a two man full forward line. With our support running from deep I think we could get a few goals early doors.

  10. I just don’t see Keith as a forward. I think he has the potential to be as good a No.6 as has a fully fit Lacey done for Donegal. When TC and CB are back available, I think the corners will be in good hands, which will afford the opportunity to have Keith flanked by Lee and Colm to complete the line.

    Then I think Caff is as good a full back as there is but needs to show a hard side – be more physical, have the FF looking over their shoulder and feeling the tougher contact. If the opposition try to pull him out of his natural zone like Kildare did, JH should should cover it with an on-field switch.

    The big difference this year is that we have potentially much better cover in McHale, Drake, Coen, joining Vaughan, Keane and Carolan, we have real options.

    And it’s similar at midfield where Jason has become a real challenger to the O’Shea Bros and Barry Moran is also a contender.

    Up front, where our problems were last year and much longer if we admit the truth, and it is where we must show great improvement, if we are to bring Sam back to Mayo in September.

    First, as I see it, JH must has put Andy on the spot with the retention of the captaincy. Now if Andy doesn’t regain his full pace over the first ten yards, the positions and role that he can play is limited. One possible role is in the 11 shirt. Picking up a lot of those midfield breaking balls we lies out on, providing continuity between the breaking backs and feeding the forwards with fast go-forward ball. And he will get in to scoring positions too. He needs to be tried there. If it doesn’t work and Alan D doesn’t get back 100 per cent, I’d be leaning towards more of a power game with one of our midfielders at 11.

    Assuming Cillian is back in May or so, shoulder healthy and fit, he’s a certainty, but there so much uncertainty with every other position. I’d like to see Jason Doherty given time in the forwards in the meantime.

    For me, Alan Freeman has to be given time at 14, I’d give Adam Gallagher every chance at 12, but I fancy him at 15. If Richie Feeney’s groin injury fully clears up, I play him at 12.

    Kevin Mac is getting in to some of his 2012 form, but needs to improve his efficiency with the final pass or shot – we owe him more time at 10 to see if he regains his best form.

    Sure Mikie Sweeney, Evan Regan should be looked at too, as real scoring options, and the only other forwards I see realistically on the horizon at this stage are Cathal Carolan and Barry Moran.

    Oh and between the sticks, I’m happy enough with Robbie Hennelly but he needs to work long and hard on varying his kick-outs. Cluxton has set the target he has to aim at.

    Mayo players should look on possession of the ball as sacred and their target should be the only time you give it away is for a kick out after they score.

    Enough, sorry for venting my thoughts in such a long-winded manner.

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