Stephenites prevail in stifling decider

Ballina Stephenites are, at last, back as county champions. They’ve more county titles than anyone else but before today their most recent Moclair Cup win was back in 2007. Having lost last year’s final to first-time winners Westport they went one better under the lights at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park today, edging out Breaffy in an extremely low-scoring decider that ended 0-6 to 0-4.

The paucity of scores was partly due to how both teams set up but also to some fairly wayward shooting. A Breaffy supporter I was chatting to just now said his team had shot thirteen wides and, in a match of such tight margins, such profligacy in front of the posts was always going to prove fatal. So it proved.

Breaffy got the game’s opening score, from a free, but that was their only point of the first half. Ballina managed four points before the break, with only Conor McStay’s point the only one from play, as Evan Regan converted two frees and Luke Feeney got the other from a mark.

Breaffy got off to a positive start after the break. Conor O’Shea, as he’d done in the first half, opened the second half scoring with a free and then James Minogue fisted over to cut the gap to one. That proved to be their only score from play in this county final.

But Conor O’Shea then missed a fairly straightforward free from a central position and further misses followed too, with Ballina extending their lead when Frank Irwin drove over a ’45. That one was cancelled out by an Aidan O’Shea free at the other end.

That score came in the 43rd minute but, incredibly, it was deep into injury time when the next, and final, score of the game arrived. That one was scored by Ballina’s Luke Feeney and the huge roar from the Stephenites’ supporters that greeted it showed they knew their team had done it.

Before then, Breaffy had huffed and puffed but missed several chances to at least draw level. By now, Aidan O’Shea had been pulled back out to midfield and, as was noted on our preview podcast, that sight was surely one to gladden the hearts of the Stephenites. Without Aidan inside, Breaffy had very little scoring threat up front.

While Breaffy were labouring badly in their efforts to overhaul their opponents, Ballina’s attacking efforts fared no better. I’m not sure what their wide count was but it must have been close to double figures too.

In the final analysis, though, Ballina did enough to win what was the lowest scoring Senior county final since the one they beat Castlebar Mitchels in, by the same score, way back in 1935. (Thanks to Wikipedia for that eye-opening stat.)

So the Moclair Cup is, for the first time in sixteen years, heading back to the banks of the Moy. Ballina are worthy winners of the Senior football Championship but today isn’t the first day in this campaign when the quality of football on show has been poor.

The winners won’t be caring about quality tonight, though – they came with one aim in mind, which was to end their long wait for a county title. That wait is now over.

For Breaffy, however, the wait goes on. You’d need a heart of stone not to feel for them tonight, as the realisation sinks in that they’ve let slip another opportunity to win the Moclair Cup for the first time and that they must instead contemplate the stark fact that they’ve lost their fifth Senior county final since 2013. It’s a tough station for them, for sure.

Congrats to Ballina on their title win and commiserations, once again, to Breaffy.

Our Final Whistle pod from MacHale Park on the Senior final features post-match reaction from the winners’ camp from Niall Heffernan, Dylan Thornton, Ciaran Treacy and David Clarke. There’s also match analysis from former Knockmore manager Eamonn Clarke and from John Maughan. This pod is now up on Patreon.

419 thoughts on “Stephenites prevail in stifling decider

  1. Any point in watching this one back, lads and ladies? I couldn’t see the game live due to a family commitment and judging by the score line, it doesn’t seem to be worth the tenner that is required to watch the full game back.

    Congrats to Stephenites and hard luck to Breaffy, some things just aren’t meant to be.

  2. Congrats to ballina

    One of the worst games of football I ever witnessed. Diabolical stuff. A perfect game to sum up the mayo sfc this year though with zero attacking quality or creativity on show. What was it, 3 scores from play the whole game?

    Callinan motm for me, a serious operator. Irwin got through a power of work too

  3. Having taken care of Westport and Castlebar I expected a bit more from Breaffey but as Knockmore found out Ballina are a tough and dogget team who don’t give up scores easily and have a few nice forwards to do the business at the other end…

  4. Ballina the better team overall especially in first half. I thought Cafferkey, O’Hora and Callinan all impressed for Ballina. I don’t think it’s recency bias but this was possibly one of the worst games of football I ever had the misfortune to attend. The game was spoiled by defensive formations coupled with terrible shooting. The physicality and athleticism of these players has to be admired but the game is now filled with conservatism and a fear of failure. Stephenites won’t care tonight nor should they but serious reform is needed.

  5. Mayo club football was spoilt with the quality of teams from around 2012 up to 2019 with Castlebar and Ballintubber but now there is is no team close to that level. I’m not sure it matters much for the county team but from an entertainment perspective it so bad. Ballina are champions and deservedly so, but in my opinion any of the final 8 teams plus Ballagh could have kept Ballina to two points, that’s how poor the Mayo championship is. Really competitive but really poor.

    I thought Callinan carried well but he has lots of improving from a football perspective to be a top county player. Ruane was awful poor again. There’s very few good ball playing footballer in Mayo now. Oisin was a massive loss in that respective. I don’t think any of the Ballina midfield will add anything to the county panel. Maybe in 3 or 4 years Luke Feeney might.

    By the way, Clarkie’s save from Neary in the second half was crucial. A goal there and Breaffy win.

  6. The quality of club championship games is more to do with tactics employed by teams than the talent of players. Coaches have to take responsibility imo. The trouble is we will knock the imagination out of promising young lads. God Bless Sam Callinan

  7. @ontheditch, I agree that players are scared to express themselves and coaches take blame in that. But the Corofin team of the last decade (the best one under Rochford in my opinion) weren’t afraid to express themselves and played beautiful football. So coaches can create teams that express themselves but I think it isn’t happening in Mayo because no team has enough of the required players. Castlebar are probably the closest to having the players but they are still way too short in the forwards.

  8. Calinan is still very young but he is a future star for mayo.

    Wasn’t a great game at all but in previous games ballina did play with more open game play and had high scores from the other was just about making sure to get the job done .

    Congrats to ballina after the dissapointing loss last year !

  9. – Ballina deserved it and congrats to them.
    – Some of the balloon kicks and wides were unforgiveable on a calm evening with a light drizzle.
    – Name the counties that had classic football club finals this year?. It is not going to happen without rule changes, this is the spineless, backwards football rubbish that is being played throughout Ireland really from U 20’s up and it will infect the younger age groups if left unchecked.
    – There is hope though first Larry Mc Carty will be gone next April and more importantly there are new rules being trialled in the Higher Education Leagues at the moment with analysis to be completed in December prior to a vote in January. Could these possibly be introduced for the League. ?
    – The rules being trialled are simple, kick outs have to go past the 45 metre line and frees, marks and sideline kicks all.have to go forward.
    – We live in hope…

  10. “ The rules being trialled are simple, kick outs have to go past the 45 metre line and frees, marks and sideline kicks all.have to go forward.
    – We live in hope…”

    Well hopefully that’s a success and implemented across the.board eventually .

  11. My goodness. What a shocking county final.
    How on earth has the standard of club football fallen so much in Mayo. And the brutal tactics of passing the ball laterally when a county title is there to be won.

  12. It means nothing to me.
    Keep your tenner in your pocket. If there was an option I’d be looking for my money back. Junior final miles ahead in entertainment.

  13. You can thank mcguinness& harte for bringing in that awful shocking puke football style and with mcguinnes back in donegal and harte in Derry be some boring ass game between donegal & Derry haha

    See brolly coming out with the tweets already about the final I hate agreeing with him but do on this occocasion ….

    I still think Ballina fully deserved their win they have been the best team throughout the competition!

  14. If that’s what is considered worthy of a county final, Mayo football is in a bad place. It wasn’t just the turgid, low intensity nature of it, but the lack of vision, creativity and even basic skills on display was shocking.

  15. I agree with GBXI . I attended a good few of the Mayo Senior Champions games this year. I think attacking players are being berated by coaches about defensive duties, instead of letting them attack. A good example of this was in he semi final between Castlebar and Breaffy , Castlebar were 5 or 6 behind at one stage. They then started to throw caution to the wind and play attacking
    football and drew level. Then they reverted to the defensive football again and Breaffy won he match . You have to score to win a match, and not hoping that if we hold the other team to 4 points we might score 5.
    This sort of defensive football is not good for Mayo senior teams going forward. I honestly wouldn’t like to be Kevin McStay trying to pick new faces from this years
    Mayo Club championships. In fact today I was struggling to pick my man off the match. A lot of very good young
    Mayo footballers are been held back by this defensive stuff. Is it down to fear of loosing or what.

  16. If Mayo want to win anything , very few from them two teams will be on the County panel. Worse than PUKE football.

  17. Maybe now with a county title secured, Ballina will get back to expressing themselves more in the Connaught club championship and we might get a truer reflection of where Mayo club football is really at. Let’s hope our representatives can secure a Connaught title or 2 and maybe even more.

  18. Well if there is one thing I have learned from today, Mayo supporters better be ready to wait a lot longer for an All Ireland. Yes there are negative tactics being employed by coaches in the county but the sheer lack of quality from players today was terrible.

    The loudest cheer today was when AOS sold a dummy in the last few minutes of the first half before bombing a ball up in the air, which I can only assume was a shot. Looked more like something in the rugby last night. The lack of overall skill is deeply worrying.

    None the less Ballina are the victors and deserved it on the day. Hard to know will Kevin McStay be a happy or sad man tonight. Worst county final I have ever seen.

  19. Btw I hate the narrative that we have to blame McGuinness and Hearte for defensive football. It wasn’t Donegals defence that won them an AI against Mayo in 2012, rather the sheer quality of their inside forward line. That Tyrone team that won 3 All Irelands in the under Mickey had Canavan, Mulligan and O’Neill playing excellent attacking football.

    Don’t blame managers for building strong defences, rather question managers for not being able to break them down. We saw Galvin and Gilroy do it with Dublin.

  20. Harte, McGuiness and co. played within the rules. Admittedly clinically where the end and not the means was all that mattered. We can only hope rule changes will be applied to league or you will see attendances dropping dramatically.

  21. Congratulations to Ballina on being county champions. But there are no words to describe the quality of the game. It was an embarrassment to Mayo football. Wè are in crisis which is currently disguised by the success of the county team for the last decade and the expectation that the county success will continue….it wont.!
    But this is not just a Mayo problem its blighting football everywhere. Radical rule change required….

  22. Have to agree Green & Red – we can talk about defensive systems all day, but ultimately there is a very concerning lack of skill and true quality in the players being produced in the clubs.

  23. Well said Green and Red, the sheer ignorance of people blaming McGuinness for poor quality and highly conservative (I’m looking at you Clare!) is crazy. McGuinness Donegal between 2012 and 2014 played absolutely fabulous, counter attacking football highly talented players. Look at their performance v Dublin in 2014. McGuinness was a visionary. Football has evolved since then. Rules can change but so can coaches. The game is in need for some new visionary coaches encouraging more expressive play.

    Having said that two of the best games I’ve seen are in the past two years. Kerry v Galway final 2022 and Kerry v Derry semi final 2023. Crazy high quality. There is hope.

  24. @Lahanaman I totally agree with you it’s not just mayo now that does it its every county nearly …I always said it would be sad day in mayo if we saw defensive style of play being brought into any mayo team we have always been an open style of play team..

    And been known as the great entertainers ..

    But I still have the faith ..on the county panel we have some exciting young fresh players who do play an open game and we saw that during the league and against kerry in killarney and also v galaway I’ve not lost the hope I think Ballina were fearing they would loose q years in a row so opted for for defensive style to be safe but they werevthe better team over all..

    I thought calinan came across a bit nervous what is it with mayo teams and finals ?? It’s our voodoo we have to shake off but I’ve no doubt we will bounce back next year it’s not all doom & gloom and brolly can do one with his comments even they are true he’s never had a good word to say about mayo football.. I for one am still pretty optimistic for next year … 🙂

  25. I have said it a number of times on here but football is dead. Young fellas couldn’t be bothered playing it anymore as they claim there is no skill to it and I can’t disagree. Anyone can hand pass a ball over and back all day long. The problem lies with all the delegates going to Congress and doing nothing about it. Croke Park also giving up the best months of the year to other sports is a disaster. Its not just the Mayo final that was awful. I watched a number of matches and turned most of them off after 10 minutes. I also turned off the All Ireland at half time between the so called aristocrats.
    The only County Final that I watched all through including extra time was the Meath Final between Summerhill and Rathoath.

  26. CLARE How anyone can blame mcguiness or harte , both born winners for this afternoons tripe , is beyond me

  27. @cluiche how you can’t blame them is beyond me ?? Born winners yes but at what cost??

    Boring ass games and that was shown during this years league & championship it’s ruined the game and I do blame mcguinness & harte 100% for bringing puke football style of play into the game how anyone couldn’t blame them I don’t know .

    You saw it in louth they had the same defensive style of play as donegal did with mcguinnes so yes for sure you can blame the pair of them and I’m not the only one who agrees with that ……

  28. @Clare – I do admire your optimism but come on. Initially McGuinness was defensive but from 2012 onwards Donegal were excellent. Harte developed some of the greatest forwards the country has ever seen.

    His idea to go defensive against mayo is logical not negative. A div 2 team against div 1 league champions. And for as weak a county Louth are Mayo only bet them by a single point.

    Mayo have 2 very big problems that need solving, a defensive shape and highly skilled forwards. Both of which McGuinness and Harte had.

    The reason why everyone jumps on them two men is the propaganda that comes out of Kerry, because Kerry hadn’t the balls to beat those Tyrone teams. And only bet Donegal in 2014 because of a goalkeeping error. 2 years previous McGuinness outsmarted Kerry to knock them out of the championship and bring an end to some Kerry lads careers. Kerry are as cute as them come when it gets to shifting blame onto others for their failures.

  29. @Green& red I know mayo have problems they need to resolve for sure I’m not delusional like .

    It’s not propaganda at all..its facts mcguinnes & harte are the ones that introduced the defensive style of play no question about it donegal knocked kerry out by using their defensive style of play sure where have donegal been since they have opted for more open game plan ?? No wonder they are bringing mcguiness back in desperate times up there

    I’m not under any illusion that mayo have problems we need to fix no doubt we do have but I have faith in the actual county panel that we will bounce back like I had faith that we would beat kerry in killarney if anyone can bounce back it’s mayo and I’ve no doubt we will.

  30. Sure why don’t we go the whole hog and blame the person who invented the round thing that we now call a football.
    Think one thing everyone can agree on is that we should all be very thankful that it didn’t end in a draw.

  31. @Green & Red, exactly!

    If Mayo had McGuinness we’d have won a number of All Irelands and he’d be a flippin saint! His team in 2012 were masterful. Brilliant and defending and lethal in attack. Their fans loved it and the buzz around them that year was phenomenal.

    Harte overstayed in Tyrone but his teams in the noughties were class. Again, if they had green n red jerseys we’d be lauding them as heroes.

    Both those teams had buckets of skill, endeavour, aggression and confidence, managed by two brilliant managers. Neither played the boring lateral recycle shite that we see today.

  32. Just wondering how the pitch held up after all the matches and the constant rain over the past few weeks. In was obvious after last years final that the pitch was in trouble especially around the goal areas…hope things are a bit better this time!

  33. @Clare – the rubbish that people witnessed today was not a style of play McGuinness or Harte invented. Breffey had 13 wides. What defensive system did ballina have? Ballina kicked 9 wides (if you count dropped balls into keepers hands) in the first half alone. A serious lack of clinical forwards was on display today.

    And btw Jim McGuinnes is the only manager who ever outsmarted Jim Gavin, who completely abolished his all out attacking football with Dublin after 2014. Cian Osullivan became the greatest sweeper the game ever saw from 2015 onwards but no one ever says Dublin were defensive.

    People just like to make up narratives and blame others when they can’t solve problems themselves. McGuinness and Harte will go down as excellent managers and the only ones that will bitch about them are the ones that couldn’t beat them.

  34. Looking from mayo gaa tv the pitch looked really good compared to this time last year, both goal areas looked perfect with no sand.

  35. Poor stuff overall on display of in the senior final, but to be fair to both teams the workrate (unproductive 90 % of it ) could not be faulted. Defences were brilliant for both teams… Ballina by far the best team in the first half,.. Breaffy by far the best in the second half..AOS was by far Breaffy most influential and best player overall but what is he continually doing taking frees in the middle of the field, this has being going on for well over a decade….the man can’t and hasn’t ever being a quality kicker of the ball but has the best hand’s the game probably has ever seen. Congratulations to Ballina, Breaffy were worse than ye

  36. I did’nt get to see the final today, and from the score and all reports, that was a huge blessing in disguise. Such low scoring is a sad reflection on the present state of the game and I noticed that there was a lot of similar low scoring finals around the country. We can blame McGuinness and his like all we like, but the problem is mainly with the rules and their interpretation and implementation-these provide the framework which allow these ultra defensive systems to thrive. The game is dying a slow death and drastic and immediate action is needed. We need GAA people with bravery and vision, who are in positions of influence, to stand up and be counted.(not sure that many members of county boards and Congress have these qualities). A long term vision is needed for the game and big changes need to be made to improve the game, both for players and as a spectacle-tweaks and tinkering around the edges are no use-it’s far too late for that. The rules, interpretation and implementation are heavily weighted in favour of defensive, possession based, low risk football and it is as boring as hell. The balance is all wrong and the scales need to be tilted in favour of a more open attacking game. Teams must be rewarded for adopting a more open adventurous attacking style. We all want football to be more enjoyable both to play and to watch and whatever rule changes etc. that are needed to bring to bring this about must be introduced, as quickly as possible. The authorities have been extremely negligent so far and must now show the vision and courage needed.

  37. Absolutely diabolical football. If the weather was crap you could nearly forgive it but you won’t get a better day for late October. Neither team wanted to play football. Just squeak out a narrow win somehow.

  38. I really hope we dont see Breaffy in a final again for a long time today after that shite today bringing young kids to watch it.Better off watching Connacht Rugby or Liverpool than the horseshite today.Ballina going nowhere either with there football.Moycullen or Corofin winning Connacht again, Mayo football in a very bad place.The Ballina 1998 team that were honoured at half time today would beat the present day Ballina team comfortably in my opinion.Please bring back Inter County football to the third Sunday in September than the crap we had to suffer today!!

  39. Ultimately it comes down to managers that are prepared to go against the present day norm and show a bit of endeavour. Whenever you get two closely matched teams you’re always likely to get the sort of arm wrestling crap we saw yesterday. The problem for managers is the negativity if they try something different and it goes pear-shaped and while it’s close they’ll sit on their hands. A lot of drivel on here about lack of skill blah, blah, blah but umpteen players on show this weekend have produced brilliant skillful performances many times. The trouble is that unless we see a manager/coach with the balls to encourage players to hone and display their skills rather than just become strong runners we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes again and again.

  40. @Green and red your entitled to your opinion but facts are facts mcguinnes & harte have brought in puke football style of defensive play and I wouldn’t regard them as top class managers unless they win games by playing actual open games and actual proper football..I bet ya Derry who have been playing exciting open football will go to blanket defence next year with harte 100%.

    Yes was not great from ballina or beaffy 9th sides missed wides but in wet conditions to but it seemed like they didn’t want to play football and I think nerves had a part to play. As I said in previous games ballina had high scores and have been the best team in mayo so far and they well deserved their win so congrats to them. What other county final had a Hugh score ??

  41. Easily worst county final I have seen in over 50 years , enough said but Ballina won’t care , good luck to them . I have watched the first 2 rounds of the Freshers league , rules changes of ball going forward from restarts takes most of the negative backward and lateral play out of game and kicks outs over the 45m line change the whole dynamic of the game for the better…I hope they continue to trial new rules into the all Ireland U20 championship ….many of the freshers will be playing county football into 2024….we have to try and be brave and innovate ….the current game is dying

  42. Clare

    Glen scored 1-13 to win the Derry county final
    Crokes scored 1-14 to win the Dublin championship
    Trillick scored 1-13 to win in Tyrone
    St Brigids scored 0-12 in Roscommon.
    Kilcoo scored 2-12 in Down
    Crossmaglenn 2-16 in Armagh
    Clonmel scored 6-7 in Tipp
    Dingle 1-9 in Kerry.

    Every single one of those winning teams would have bet the combined score of yesterdays game, yet you’re trying to blame McGuinness and Harte for what happened yesterday.

    I’m surprised you classed Derry as playing excellent football considering Rory Gallagher was their manager for the last 2 years, ironically Jim’s right hand man in Donegal. Interesting view.

    Also even more strange that Jack O’Connor would bring someone like Paddy Tally to Kerry, Mickey Hartes right hand man in Tyrone. Yet Kerry were never branded defensive over the last 2 years.

  43. Congratulations to Ballina,sorry for Breaffy,whilst it would not compare to the wonderful free flowing football produced by the Steven Rochford coached Corafin ,but we have been crying out for a defensive approach,well we seem to have that in place at club level,it will pay off for Mayo

  44. @Green& red I am not blaming mcguinness & harte for what happened yesterday I am saying that they did introduce a puke defensive style of play that’s been creeping into the game over the last year and that was clear to see I don’t know how anyone cant see that .. I don’t blame them for happened yesterday sure they weren’t playing were they !

    Whats wrong with staying that Derry were playing excellent football the last year ? It’s only true and facts and so what if Rory gallagher was Jims right hand man ha gallagher didn’t introduce a defensive puke style of football to Derry like mcguinness did for Donegal and even if gallagher was mcguiness right hand man he was not the one who was calling all the shots in donegal that was mcguiness.. gallagher brought open exciting game play to Derry and that’s just a fact …

    Anyway last I am commenting on that matter !!

    Congrats on ballina on the win proud of the guys yes wasn’t pretty but they won’t care and i hope they go far they have been the best team in mayo so far this year and fully deserve it!

  45. Clare,
    Ylu just said Mcguinness introduced puke football that has been creeping into the game the last year. He hasn’t managed a GAA team since 2014.

    Just for reference his puke Donegal team won an All Ireland in 2012 by scoring

    2-18 in an Ulster final
    1-12 in AI QF
    0-16 in AI SF
    2-11 in AI final.

    And in 2014 scored 3-14 against Dublin. I’ve yet to see an all out attack mayo team score 3 goals against Dublin.

    But if people want to go with a narrative that McGuinness and Harte are responsible for the flaws in Gaelic football that’s fine by me. It’s just not something I agree with.

    I’m not one for critiquing men who know how to manage teams to win All Irelands.

  46. @Green&red my god i said it was from his style of play where this defensive puke style of football has come from in the first place…yeah I do know how long mcguiness hasn’t bed a coach for…

    Thats fine as I said your totally entitled to your opinion but i am not the only one who agrees that mcguinnes& harte have brought defensive style of play to the game & blanket defences just look at louth ..and I guarantee you will just see Donegal & Derry holding onto the ball as much as possible next year.

  47. Evan Regan… should he be playing for Mayo in 2024?

    A lad talked up by many over the years but a lad who never really nailed down a place due to an inability to hit top form with any consistency at county level. When he did start to show form he got badly injured (in a league game down in Kerry if memory serves me correctly?) which was bad luck.

    Would it be fair to say that his game and level of performances appear to have matured. Does he appear to be a better player now than he was 5 years ago? Sometimes players who consistently do well at senior club level, for whatever reason, struggle to bring that form to intercounty level and never really ‘make it’, but on the assumption that Evan is now better than he was and physically and mentally stronger too, he probably needs to be looked at for Mayo again, assuming he wants to.

  48. Dublin scored 5-21 against Louth last year in the championship
    Kerry scored 5-24.
    Louth play defensive football I hear. Maybe those two scorelines sum up how far mayo are away.
    We couldn’t breakdown a team that conceded 10 goals in 2 games against the AI finalist’s because we have a management team that didn’t bother to develop an attacking or defensive style of play. But yet let’s critique managers that do. Fine by me.

  49. @Green&red I’m not commenting again on this matter everyone’s entitled to an opinion.

    I think nerves played a part yesterday a ballina probably probably afraid to loose 2 years in a row they have been the best team so far in mayo and i for one am not gonna down play their win they fully deserved it.

  50. There’s a balance to be achieved and Mayo over the last couple of seasons have not found it , we are neither tight enough at the back nor lethal enough in attack , our middle eight has also been weakened since we’ve dropped off .

    People looking back at Donegal 2012 critising them on tactics are wrong to do so but so are those wrong imo to criticise Mayo 2012 – 2017 , we were an absolutely brilliant side , one of the best and ahead of Donegal and Kerry in that period overall but unfortunately they both got a Sam and we didn’t . We got very little wrong in all them seasons both James Horan and Rochford were within a whisker of greatness , greater than mcguinness . I don’t need to remind anyone on here on how close we were , 13,14,15,16 &17 . Such fine margins , look at 16 , two own goals albeit not calamity ones as in at least one of them Dublin scored it in the way I look at it . Cillian swings that one over to draw level and bastick could have been pulled for a pick up in the next move which would have won us the all Ireland with a simple tap over . Whether it was an actual pick up is up for debate but like I’ve said when chatted before on this , they’re the luck decisions , get one that’s crucial that might not even be one by right and you take it .

  51. Someone is going to have to clean up all this ”puke” that’s flying around this morning ?

  52. Pity Mayo county team don’t take a leaf out of club final teams and tighten up their cabbage strainer defence which has cost them several All-Ireland titles
    Kerry in the late 70s and early 80s introduced piling players being the ball which was great to watch till other teams copied them
    Offaly in 82 didn’t make their 81 mistake but held back their defenders and picked up clearance after clearance leading to the infamous Darby goal at the end
    Mayo are the best and most attractive team to watch but nice teams don’t win unfortunately
    Can’t expect to win All-Irelands today playing like the 50-51 team
    Mayo with all the underage talent aren’t producing good midfielders anymore for a County who down the years had some of the greatest I’ve ever seen

  53. That’s Aidan O Sheas 5th county final loss. Orginally i had sympathy for him and all the silverware that has alluded him but after last night I now understand why.
    With 5 mins left, and the game 0-5 to 0-4, Aidan O’Shea decided that he’d take a free kick from 50+ metres out. This is a player who has only recently began to take frees – ones no more than 30 metres out. But despite his incredible inexperience he took on the shot and it went wide – to absolutely no surprise.
    This is a shot that Cillian O Connor, the greatest free kick taker of all time, would go short on.
    Why he did think he could take the shot?
    Why did the other senior breaffy players not take the ball off him and play it short?
    Unfortunately, it is decision making like that that is why breaffy have lost again… could you imagine a player under Jim Gavin even thinking of such an ego driven pot shot?
    No – and that’s one of the many reason why Jim Gavin has 5 all ireland medals in his pocket.
    The old adage once again runs true
    “There is no i in team”

  54. @Green&Red very good and valid points made with facts to back them up.

    The worry when looking at it through Mayo tinted glasses is where can we improve personnel wise on last year? There are slots to fill with retiree’s Kevin/Jason and lads opting out Ethan/Aidan.
    So at a minimum 4 squad places up for grabs, and if you look at yesterdays game alone there are some in the panel this year who are likely under serious pressure based on performances to stay in it.
    There are a lot of lads put on programmes already this wimter with a view to this. In reality the bulk will not go further, and some will be brought in for further development and use as training aids to the main team.
    There could be a few bolters to the panel, but S&C takes a few years to bridge the gap so their time at business end will be minimal if any.

  55. And heard some people saying the ref didn’t give aido an yesterday sure the ref was fair abd jus exsuces ballina were the better team.

  56. Alot of talk about McGuinness and Harte, Gavin brought defensive play to a new level with the Dubs, this has been apparent since Donegal beat them in 2014, the Dubs were and are an absolutely defensive team that can score on counter attacks and with handy frees.

    Maybe what unfolded yesterday is that Mayo teams are beginning to master defensive play hence the very low scoring.

    It really doesn’t matter how a win is achieved all you need is one point more than the opposition.

  57. I forgot to mention, Gavin brought defensive play, lateral play, backwards play, the basketball style to a completely new level and in doing so learnt how to beat other defensive teams.

  58. S & C is important to a team but not essential. How many players on the field yesterday were at the peak of S & C having been on Mayo panel for years, how did they play, did their S & C show. No they did not stand out over the other players. Natural ability and let express it is far more important for players. The final score tells us the real truth, that was not Gaelic Football played in that game yesterday.

  59. Gaelic football as a spectacle matters. These new rules can’t come quickly enough imo.
    Defensive football is within the rules of the game, that’s the problem. The idea of hitting a long 50 50 ball doesn’t exist any more. Keeping possession is all that matters. The game of football has a problem.

  60. They should Catcol, they have good draw in that they have couple weeks off after the win and then only have the London champions at home. So plenty time party and get back into gear.

  61. If the game yesterday went to extra time I have feeling a good portion of the crowd would have left and not waited for extra time.

  62. Never been more embarrassed to be a Mayo man than the absolute tripe we showed the country yesterday.
    What happened yesterday was worse than the 2021 Tyrone final in my opinion.
    I have never seen a more disgraceful showcase of football in my life.
    Huge pick, no hurling to compete with, no major rural emigration. Lads we have everything a county needs to be perennial contenders.
    To top it off we have a generation now inspired by our heroes of the last decade in which at least a few hundred young girls and boys are in love with the game because of the heroics of our 2012-2020 team.
    And that is what we produce on our biggest day of the year.
    Shameful, embarrassing, pathetic. Worst county champions ever.
    Furthermore, I don’t even know how defensive the game was necessarily. Scarily, I think it was more just the quality of player on display was scandalously poor.
    We are doomed.

  63. I’m as biased as they come and even I wouldn’t back 7/1 for Connacht never mind 7/2. Have to go through Brigids who’ll be favorites for that game and then probably the Galway winner. Moycullen absolutely demolished Westport last year so I wouldn’t fancy playing them one bit. Yesterdays haul will do for now

  64. @Green&Red
    “because we have a management team that didn’t bother to develop an attacking or defensive style of play.”

    – this is patently untrue. We have spent the last 6 debating a “Conor Loftus Experiment”. Does that not at least constitute making an effort?

  65. Foidín, in terms of O’Shea and that shot at the end, he’s losing no matter what way you look at it. If he didn’t go for it, people would call him a coward and didn’t want to take responsibility. I felt it was well within his range for distance he just pushed it a small bit. Breaffy scored two points from play all day and Ballina had 15 behind the ball at that stage, they had no hope of working a score short. Livingstone and Conor O’Shea missed two bad ones too so there was no one else to take it.
    Think Coghill will wake up this morning and regret taking off Davitt Neary. Was very lively anytime the ball came near him and Breaffy had no other threats up front.
    Neary had forced Clarke into a good save only minutes before getting subbed off.

  66. @FrostTHammer

    If you want to say that was a a defensive system then fine. I just haven’t seen any county take a player that has predominantly played their entire career as a forward, ask them to play at no.6 but actually play everywhere other than 6.

    When I saw Cork run straight through the middle of our defence time after time, Galway in both league final and championship knockout match and then Dublin in Croke Park, I didn’t think we had much time of a defensive system.

    If they had any conviction in a system then why abondon it when you get to Croke Park.

    I haven’t a clue what to call the Conor Loftus experiment but it definitely wasn’t a defensive system.

    I see the point you are trying to make but a blind man could see that idea wouldn’t work in the modern game. Does anyone still know what it was set out to achieve? Because it didn’t make us any better in attack.

  67. It’s a bit unfair to blame players for what we are witnessing on the field. They are coached to prioritise possession. And their performance is adjudicated on passes completed. Even in top level rugby players take a calculated risk at times by kicking away possession. It’s the game that has the problem, not players …

  68. The Connacht hurling quarter final Tooreen v Four Roads is being streamed live on Connacht Gaa live stream

  69. We can moan away about the County final but until Mayo get a meaner defence we are going nowhere.

  70. @Green&Red

    My point was simply what you said, that management couldn’t be bothered to make an effort, is both completely untrue and unfair.

    What the outcome of managements efforts was is open to debate, but the claim that they couldn’t be bothered to make an effort does not stand up to any sort of scrutiny.

  71. @Retrocut bit harsh to be saying ballina are the worst county champions yes was awful football yesterday no doubt about it but they have been the best club in mayo this year by a long shot .. I think nerves came into play to.

    @ontheditch totally agree with you of course management were bothered to make an effort .

    I don’t think it’s all doom&gloom for mayo though . Half the guys playing yesterday are not on the county panel. We still have one of the strongest county panels in the country and the county guys who played for their club have stood a mile out ..I’m still optimistic we will bounce back next year .

    Kilmeana are one exciting club delighted they won was such an entertaining game to !

    Well done again ballina and enjoy the well deserved win .

  72. @Clare, they were deserving winners but would say best club in county by a long shot is quite a stretch. Sure they had two big wins in group stage over two of the weakest senior teams. All the other games were tight bar Bellmullet, who have about half the team that reached the final two years ago.
    There is 4 or clubs that are of similar level currently, Ballina, Westport, Knockmore and Castlebar.

    I thought we could have been contenders last year like yourself, with the players we have at our disposal, and the general standard across country not being it’s strongest. But less optimistic for next year as have not seen any bolters coming in to strengthen squad. Even looking at county squad members yesterday, what % of them really stuck out or grabbed game by neck out of:
    McStay, O’Shea, Ruane, Murray, Callinan, Irwin, O’Hora?

  73. @Gizmobobs then which other club do you think should have won the county title certainly not breeffy??

    In fairness to callinan he is pretty young still and has lots to learn but he’s still a star in the making.

    Conor mcstay barely started any game for mayo this year I don’t think mcstay is county panel material in my view he has improvements to do I think. Good player but not quite there yet . O’shea I love o’shea like we all do he’s been a great servant but on big days like finals I think he looses his nerve in a way its like the voodoo of finals in his mind. Ruanne has been on/ off form since 21 sadly ..

    There is still hope we have lots of great younger players the likes of David mcbrien , Bob touhy, colm reape( yes needs to work on kick outs but made some magic saves in his first year ) tommy conroy should be back near his best after the awful year he had was never going to be great this year . Cillian o Connor was so unlucky this year with injuries he had and Ryan O D a class act as always he stood a mile out for bellmulet .

    But I still have faith we will dust ourselves down and bounce back next year like we always do…

  74. O my Lord I should not do this i.e., comment on yesterday’s County Final. But it is a Bank Holiday Monday afternoon, the cat is purring around my leg in front of the fire and I just can’t resist putting my spoke in!
    In the build up to the game Pebblesmeller told us “The longer Breaffy are in this game then the surer they will be that they can take Ballina down.” Clair chipped in with…”Ballina just have guys who can score all over the pitch…Ballina by 5 or 6” (Claire you are surely a super optimist…Ha…Ha)
    Well neither scenario took place on the afternoon and that to one with no skin in the game that is a genuine regret! Now I’m not picking on Pebblesmeller or Claire as I have been known to be wrong myself in the past at least1% of the time!
    On what was a pretty calm ideal October evening what disappointed me so much was not the standard of defending (a tight defence is always admirable though perhaps purists were bored to death!) but the total lack of intelligent attacking play from both sides and also the astonishing level of wides 13 – Breaffy – 9 – Ballina Approx.) in a game that ended 0 – 6 to 0 -4 is what irritates as a neutral.
    Woeful misses from scorable frees, horrid inaccurate kick passes forward easily won by the opposing defenders and “Garryowen’s” up in the air that that little Springbok “De Clerk” would be proud of and no midfielder on view capable of winning clean primary possession in the air!
    I saw Kevin McStay down from me and I could help but wonder if he was speculating in his mind at halftime “would that the Ballina Team of 25 years ago that was being honoured, still beat the pick of the two sides we were watching”!
    Now that is harsh, hurtful and bordering on cynical but it’s not meant to be. That was a highly talented Stephenites team of 25 years ago who won a Connacht Club title and were just pipped by a point by Crossmaglen in the All Ireland Final.
    Were any of those two teams yesterday anywhere near that standard? I think not. Ballina have a wonderful heritage and a record number of Moclair Cups to their credit. Congrats to them on their win (they won’t care how it was achieved) and best wishes in the upcoming Connacht Club Championship.
    I have many good friends Breaffy Club supporters and I really feel awfully sorry for them falling at the final hurdle on so many occasions. They don’t need my sympathy but it must border on despair. How joyful they would be today if they had won yesterday by 6pts to 4! The apprenticeship can be long but hopefully their day will soon come and wipe out the dark and dismal memories of all five defeats in the past decade.
    Finally I will however speculate that I don’t know what final concoction or witches brew the God’s of football conspired to serve up in the Mayo Senior Club Championship Final in 2023?
    Were destructive Halloween ghosts, goblins and gremlins about in earlier rounds of this year’s Mayo Senior Club Championship? Methinks they were! Perhaps it was the curds (as in the boiled beastings I was raised on!) and not the cream that came to the top in 2023!

  75. @sean hallinan good post haha sure I’d rather be optimistic then all doom & gloom tbh haha! Well ballina won so i wasn’t wrong on that one …

    I feel sorry for Aido but at the end of the day ballina are derseving champions .

    Terrible game though and I felt sorry for the little kids there to watch what must have been awful dull & boring for them from all the build up prior to the game .

  76. Tooreen 2-23, Four Roads 2-14. Such a pleasure to watch this match where the players were interested in scoring and not in passing the sliotar sideways to someone else. Seán Regan, Tooreen, won a county football medal playing with Ballina yesterday and has already won a county hurling medal with Tooreen. So he has two county medals playing with two different clubs. Is this some kind of record?

  77. FrostTHammer

    Maybe my wording was a bit on the rough side, I apologise if it was.

    But can we definitely say that Loftus at 6 was a defensive system? Because if it was, I’d like to see what problem it was trying to solve. You could nearly argue it was more an offensive system, playing a forward at CB. Most defensive systems have sweepers of which we didn’t have at all last year. Moving one player around the field doesn’t constitute system change.

    I suppose I just get a little frustrated when some people (not you) criticise other successful managers and styles of play that have won AIs.

  78. Jr our club scene going defensive is actually bad for our intercounty hopes to produce man marking defenders. Donegal couldn’t find a corner back worth anything for the last few years after a decade of 15 men behind the ball, every defender getting sweeper help, no actual defending.
    One of the main reasons we produced so many Higgins, boyler, Keegan, Barrett, Harrison etc is because they were left with no help in open free flowing club games to learn their trade.
    15 men behind the ball like yesterday gives defenders all the help in the world and they won’t develop.

  79. @Green and red everyone is entitled to have a view on certain managers tactics and style of play even I the have won all orelands !!

    and I guess that was aimed at me that remark ha
    Anyways I’m not commenting on the matter again clearly your not going to agree with everything you see on a blog either! ..

  80. @Clare I think you misread previous post….

    Great going by Tooreen, possibly a record as not really legal. He will likely have to revert back to Ballina next season as they have senior team with St Ciarans.

  81. @gizmobobs apologies still recovering from the bank holiday weekend haha I do agree though that there s not much in between the top 4 teams in mayo like. I prob was jumping ahead saying ballina are miles ahead haha.

    Well done to toreen they are some club maybe we are starting to learn hurling in mayo..!

  82. @Clare

    I actually didn’t mean it to be directed at you, more so in general. We had a healthy debate, I’m not trying to be rude. Most likely just wondering how Mayo improve next year and can’t see any hope of optimism after yesterday’s senior final.

  83. @Gren& red ah totally fair enough you didn’t come across across Ryde Rude at all..sure i didn’t mean to come across rude either !

    Ah I get you I’m just thinking to myself that our current panel when they are playing as a team and not separate in their clubs are still really good panel it’s clear to see how different club championship is to county when you could pick out the guys who played County from a mile out maybe not in yesterday’s game but in general the county guys have stood a mile out..

  84. I seeing a few comments about how the county team need to be meaner in defence like the teams yesterday. This codswallop is what has us where we are. A functioning attacking game is what was needed. With the exception of the Dublin game we conceded a low enough score to put a team with a half functioning forward line in a position to win. And even in the Dublin game we had enough first half possession to be up by 6 points at half time. The game yesterday and club championship in general has been an advertisement for prioritising defence structure over attack.

  85. For those of ye lamenting the passing of traditional football, I randomly came across the 1988 All-Ireland semi-final against Meath on YouTube, quite honestly it’s like watching a different sport. High ball lobbed into the full forward line at every opportunity, a chronic lack of handpassing and no quarter given or asked.

  86. Tyrone beat Kerry with what Pat Spillane christened puke football, 14 men behind the ball when out of possession. The main plus for Tyrone was they had some outstanding forwards. Mulligan’s movement once Tyrone won the ball back was phenomenal. Add to that Stephen O ‘Neill , Canavan and the work put in by Dooher and the rest meant they were hard to stop. Even then it was hard enough to watch. Donegal had Murphy, Mc Brearty and McFadden. Unfortunately when you bring a blanket defence into the club game it often turns into drudgery because the quality is not there especially in the forwards. This is why I really think we need the rule changes and hopefully they will work.

  87. Agreed with ‘Green & red’.
    It’s too lazy and making excuses to put the blame for yesterday’s abomination at Harte and McGuinness door, ultimately those tyrone and donegal teams won all Ireland’s because they had stellar marquee forwards (murphy / mcfadden/ mcbrearty/o neill/canavan/mulligan).

    The focus on mayo football from u12 upwards is producing a bottomless pit of halfbacks and workhouses.
    No focus on creativity, guile or skill. Athletes before footballers every time

    Skills pay the balls, from very

  88. @che if you are using pat spillane for your points of reference then that shows how far of the mark you are.

    The ‘puke football’ tag was pure bitterness from a kerryman disgusted that tyrone would hunt and tackle in packs, the tyrone side 03-08 is one of the best footballing sides I ever seen.

    Again, I don’t know how some are putting yesterday’s county final horror show on tyrone and not looking closer to home

  89. @Green&Red
    I’d agree with rough.
    Let’s get back to the debate and not be falling out over a few misplaced words.

  90. @Bate the Blanket

    I agree with you. Jim Gavin was one who masterminded keep ball and he was lauded for it. The process they called it. Keep the ball until you got into a suitable scoring position. Nothing in the rules to say you cant do it but the problem we now have is everyone has tried to copy it and it is a very difficult watch indeed unless you are winning then it becomes more tolerable.
    I don’t know what the answer is. The first murmurs calling for change ironically came after the Dubs got the runaround in their own back yard for 6 minutes by Roscommon.
    Something has to give.

  91. Do you know the last time I seen such bad score taking by any senior club team, it was by another team that were on the pitch yesterday at halftime in McHale Park the Ballina team that got to the All Ireland Club Final in St Patricks day 1999 (the 1998 Moclair Cup winning team) v Crossmaglen Rangers in the final . How Ballina did’nt win that All Ireland final I’ll never know. Wide after wide, Crossmaglen did’nt even get into the Ballina half in the first 20 minutes but they must have converted 90% of their scoring chances on the day. Id say , Ballina missed 70% of their chances that day , in terms of possession and territory Ballina must have had 70% of both. Seeing as the it was Halloween the Ghosts that haunted Ballina in the 1999 All Ireland Club final , must still have some power and escaped from the 98 Moclair winning team and this time haunted both teams ability to take their chances only this time haunted both teams. I was shouting for Breaffy (and also shouting at Breaffy) yesterday hoping they would finally win their first Moclair Cup . But now congratulate Ballina , hopefully they will now go on to bigger and better things . I remember reading a headline about the Ballina Stephenites 2005 All Ireland Club victory, it had something about them being ‘Ghostbusters’ having banished the Ghost that haunted them in the 99 final. Who ya gonna Call?

  92. County Final in 1935 ended 6-4. Mayo won their first All Ireland the following year.

  93. I see some people taking some solace from the fact that both finalists implemented good defensive systems and hoping that Mayo do the same. Unfortunately 4 or 6 points won’t win many inter county games, never mind Sam. It is clearly obvious that Mayo need to improve hugely defensively and implement a proper system and we have been far to easy to score against. At the moment it is about getting the balance right between attack and defence and making the best out of the present rules, as that’s all we can do. I’d love some manager to be brave a d adopt a more adventurous playing style and really go for it and take risks and wouldn’t it be great if it was successful. I the meantime, as an eternal optimist, I hope and pray that the GAA will show vision, at long last, and make the necessary rule changes to improve the game for the players and as a spectacle. I will watch the Freshers experiment with great interest.

  94. People need to stop with the mcguinness talk, donegal played ultra defensive football but counter attacked really well but teams where so naive and carried ball into it and got turned over consistently then when dublin got caught in 2014 they decided let’s not kick or take it into the defensive Webb let’s just move it side to side and keep hold of possession and wait for the opportunity to open now every single team plays the exact same way, numbers behind the ball when out of possession and keep it when in possession, if u watch back a donegal game in 2012 teams played into there hands by just taking the ball into there defensive setup now teams just move it side to side and don’t risk losing it and been counter attacked.

  95. Some great club games on TG 4 tonight.
    Thank god they only showed a minute or 2 of our game.
    Fulham Gaels next up for Ballina, they were beaten a number of years ago in the junior championship by Killala in Charlestown.
    They take their football seriously but Ballina should be too good for them.

  96. @45…you’re joking right, about Carney? Did you watch the Intermediate final? He hardly touched the ball in the first half and when he did he generally went sideways or gave backwards kicks (definitely twice). He came into the game in the last 10 mins, got a point and then another (which was a goal attempt saved that he should have buried). He didn’t play particularly well and certainly didn’t stand out as an intercounty player.

    I like Carney. I certainly want him to do well but he has a fair bit to go yet to be a top level senior county player. I’ve never seen him dominate a game for Mayo. Flynn stepped up in the past year. Ruane has shown over the years just how influential he can be too (which is why his form over the past year is so frustrating). Midfield is an area of the pitch I’m worried about for Mayo.

  97. I don’t know weather carney would be a good fit for number 6 good player but young still not quite at his full potential …

    For me I’d go with diarmuid o Connor or paddy durcan I was thinking calinan before for 6 but after yesterday calinan is really young and does still need to learn alot and get experience he’s a star in the making though ..

  98. @ Just a Thought, not sure but traditionally these games at senior level are played in county grounds.

  99. Football is fucked.. The game is ruined for the purist unless rule changes are implemented and fast.. Surely the powers that be and burns will see that.. For fuck sake they’ll have 10 people going to matches if things don’t change. Spillane was right, recycle possession.. Lateral, backwards.. How in the fuck is a full forward like meant to get good quality ball kicked in. Shambles and it has been let go to this by the greedy fucks.

  100. All this shite talk of paddy at 6, diarmuid at 6.. You could put our lord and saviour at 6 and won’t make a bit of difference.. The game is ruined… Afraid to take chances, handpassing to death, no skill, vision high fielding.. 14 defending the D.. It’s shameful. It’s meant to be entertaining ffs. The minute a full forward line was defending in their own half was the time to call it off.. It’s a disgrace our national game is in rag order. Fuck the lot of them

  101. It makes me furious when I grew up watching open football, great passers like Trevor Giles, our own Ciaran mc, the one and only Maurice Fitzgerald.. The meath teams who were hard but had great ballers.. The great Galway team of 98 to 01.. Imagine these teams trying to play today.. Trying to get thru 14 behind the ball.. It’s finished until rile changes are made.. The county final Sunday was by all accounts the worst yet..shame on both teams and management playing like that..enough said.. Sorry for giving out and language Willie joe.. But again, fuck the lot of them.

  102. @Great ball 100% agree with you .. mayo have always been playing an open game what we saw yesterday was not a true reflection I hope on the county team ..

    I always said it would be sad daywhen a mayo team goes defensive ..yes both sides got a lot of wides but no doubt about it that was possession football ballina had 14 behind the line .. and I’m happy ballina won but was a sad display .

    And I am still optimistic for next year I don’t think the county panel will be as defensive in the league & championship ..we never have been we’ve always been entertaining & open team ..

  103. Why is the talk of paddy or diarmuid going in at 6 ridiculous talk ?? Who exactly other then those two do you see as going in as replacements??

  104. Hope you feel better Great Ball getting all that off your chest.Have a feeling though Stephenites will come good and surprise us. I’d rather forget about Sunday’s game words can’t describe how bad it was.

  105. Great balls sentiments might seem ott but there is a lot of that type of feeling out there , supporters are frustrated and annoyed . The GAA as an organisation treats supporters with disdain cause they have always felt we will always show up anyway but I’m not sure this time , I expect to see attendances drop .

  106. Well with J.Maginnis back in senior management,and if he’s the genius that many believe he is, maybe he will come up with a new philosophy on how the game should be played….new ways to leave the blanket in tatters. We live in hope.

  107. @Bate the blanket the guys who play county were the best even though they weren’t at their 100% best but its quite hard to pick any stand out player from the game as it was so bad

  108. On the positive side TG4 did not show the final live on Sunday because it was an embarrassment. I have been defending Mayo’s style of play for years, about it being open and exciting and even critics of Mayo don’t disagree with that. By all means be able to defend (we are not great at that in county team) but go for it when possible. Unfortunately club coaches now seem obsessed with possession football, 14 behind the ball, lateral passing etc. Jim McGuiness knew how to set up. Fantastic counterattacking, some excellent inside forwards and a defined system of play. Top manger as was Micky Harte whose Tyrone team had the temerity to be too good for Kerry hence Pateens puke football comment. I am afraid we are well off the pace at the moment. Aido (remember some were calling for his retirement) was the best club player this year. Did any new guy emerge from club championship Don’t really think so. We have some decent younger players but our golden generation is well and truly gone. Looks like mediocrity going forward with the odd big win to give us hope. Depressing as the weather.

  109. I honestly don’t think it’s all doom & gloom I think ballina will surprise and still go far in connaught.

    For sure it was terrible on Sunday but we aren’t that far off club scene is totally different to when you put all the guys who play for county together . The county guys can only do so much for their clubs..

    But when the county team play together we are one of the best in the country. .sure did we not beat kerry in killarney beat top teams like Tyrone Galway etc yes bad championship exit lots to improve on but I’ve no doubt we will bounce back …

    I wouldn’t dash our hopes for next year over Sunday at all .. we will still be at the business end of the championship next year either way for sure .

  110. The final was an embarrassment as you rightly said @to win just once, and thank God that embarrassment wasn’t screened live around the country.

    I think both McGuinness and Harte are geting far too much blame for other counties being afraid to look for their own innovation and style of play. The whole “blanket defense” and “puke football” narrative about Ulster teams is totally inaccurate.
    McGuinness knew that counter attacking football was really difficult to defend against. Because at that time forwards never tracked their markers back the field, and, they hadn’t the stamina leveles to do it anyway. Therefore, McGuinness knew when Lacey et al broke from their own 45 and carried the ball forward to the opposing 45 that they could do so relatively unhindered. Then they had McFadden and Murphy inside who were lethal when in tandem. A kicked diagonal ball inside to Murphy with McFadden coming around on the loop was the ploy, and it won them an All Ireland. It wasn’t just 14 behind the ball and crowding out space, it was far more nuanced than that, with disciplined players willing to sacrifice their own game (that’s why Cassidy was dropped from the panel) and do whatever it took to reach the aerobic levels they did so they could play that game.
    Mickey Harte was actually one of the most innvative coaches of the 00’s and the tactics he employed has since since the wing forwards and wing backs being, essentially the same players. What he identified was a huge opportunity to get on the attack from kick outs while also leaving your defense protected. That resulted in players like Dooher being so instrumental in everything they did and while he had 5 on his back he was nearly always involved in chance creations. Basically what Harte did was switch his half back line with his half forward line once they challenged for kick outs. Back then all kick outs went long out the field, so on the Tyrone kick out he had his half forward line run back towards and through the Tyrone midfield while challenging for the ball. At the same time his half back line took the gamble that they would win possession and they broke forward on the attack. So when Tyrone won their own KO they already had their half back line breaking forward, unmarked, on the attack. If they didn’t win the KO they had their half forward line back goalside of the ball in position to defend.

    Two tactical innovations that have had far reaching implications for the game and for the physical conditioning of players, e.g.
    1. If a back breaks up the field unmarked by his forward then his team have an attacking overload and therefore a big advantage. For a modern day example, look at how important Sean Kelly is for Galway. He has 3 on his back but is involved in 6 or 7 of Galways biggest attacks per game.
    2. If a wingforward cannot operate almost as a midfielder then you will be beaten on the KOs and therefore under pressure all game.
    3. Turnovers inside your opponents 45 lead to twice as many scores as developing from your defense so now your full forward line must nearly be your best tacklers.

    Harte and McGuinness changed the game and how it is tought about and coached. Any rule changes will always be countered by managers and coaches and whether that is positively or negatively then that is down to the individual philosophies of the managers themselves.

  111. TG4 were meant to show the Mayo County Final live but the Mayo County Board decided showing it on Mayo GAA TV was a better option. What a stroke!…….of luck.

  112. Bate the blanket, 5 be hard picked, but I’d go:
    Aidan O’Shea
    Thornton before he went off.

  113. Would people say the championship showed us:
    A) more players who have forced way into panel
    B) more players who may have played themselves out of panel

  114. The hope with Jack Carney would be that he develops similarly to how Jordan Flynn has been.

    I think Jack improved this year. He was more consistent, and I thought he was hugely influential in the first half in Killarney.

    Jack has a lot of good attributes for the 6 position, but for me it’s still a little early in his Mayo career to be asking so much of him. Let’s be honest about it, he’s going to make mistakes in an unfamiliar role for at least a year if not two.

    Is 6 for Mayo the most pressurised position in Gaelic football? Hard to think of one that gets more scrutiny.

    The more we talk about it, the more I’m starting to think just take the all the sting out of it and just give Stephen Coen the 6 jersey. It got us to two all Ireland finals.

  115. I seen a young Mayo forward excel in soccer and I thought to meself, “We need to offer that player a joyful game”
    Young lads won’t stick with a sport full of tackling drills and coming home black and blue from training.
    That was one thing used get me with all those small box tackling drills, you’d be absolutely welted with bruises. It makes you think “Where is the enjoyment part?”
    Outside managers then love a blanket defense. So then the club player it’s even worse, they know the person putting them through those drills is getting several hundred euro per week.
    Not sustainable.

  116. @JP: Spot on: no one dreams of playing in a football match which only sees three scores from play in 60+ minutes.

  117. You could have a fleet of Corduff’s buses at no.6 but it would make no difference because down the other end our half forwards cant score and we dont supply good ball to AOS

  118. Certainly a major issue Glory days 🙂
    3 points from play and how many players featured were in county panel this year as forwards?
    Aidan O’Shea
    Conor McStay
    Mickey Murray
    Frank Irwin

    Then you’d past panelists Evan Regan and Ciaran Tracey.

    The defensive system last year was abysmal. Hopefully next season this will be rectified. But we will also need to see a more structured approach in the forwards.

  119. I read harte and Mcguinness books.. Jack o Connors too. Now here is the point I think, yes harte especially had a great team from 03 to 08..that full forward line were told to track back as far as the 45 so that’s acceptable.. They also had Brian mcguigan at 11 who cud ping in lovely ball to canavan o Neill and mulligan… What a full f line by the way.. They harrased and tackled in packs.. Tomás o se said it was fair and the intensity was nothing like they ever saw.. But first and foremost they played great football. So Mcguinness as pebblesmeller said adopted a new his team as fit as possible and counter attacked at speed esp after the semi final of 2011…

    Now if Jack o Connor had deployed tactics like that.. As he said he’d get bata Agus bothair.. It wouldn’t be accepted in kerry. But now 10 yrs later it’s gone to complete new levels of defensive horseshit.. As I said if u see 14 behind the ball there’s something seriously wrong.. I think it was clare who said Rory Gallagher played good open football with Derry.. Haha, it was atrocious football.. A record amount of handpassing in one the games involving derry last year. Anyway the point is harte and Mcguinness saw and studied a different way to win.. But now, it’s just unreal to watch.. It’s horrific unless rules are changed.. Beating the same drum I know but there’s no other answer.

  120. Also, the skill level shown by the players in this year’s club championship was truly awful.. Missing the sticks from 20 and 30 yards.. Packed defense etc as always made eyesores. The passing and vision were awful esp from County players.. Once again AOS shat the togs on the big stage along with his clubmates in a final that should be erased from the gaa memory.

  121. @Great ball I did say that and that’s just my opinion your entitled to yours and I am entitled to mine no need to laugh at an opinion ha .

    I thought Derry did play exciting football in the championship sure they nearly beat kerry did they not in the semis ? If you don’t like Derry style of play fair enough they may have had some handpassing back & fourth but they at least we’re an open game play against kerry and they made an effort to go for goal and score points against kerry!!

    Well we shall see how donegal do with mcguinnes in charge next year I can’t see them being magic overnight with him in charge they have been poor since Michael Murphy left .

  122. One thing I find very interesting reading the comments about the defensive systems is that I don’t think there was much defending going on at all in that final.

    Breffey had 13 wides. Ballina dropped 6 balls into the keepers hands in the first half along with another 6 wides. What I witnessed on Sunday was one of the worst forward displays in living memory. 3 scores from open play. Evidence of which was the last kick of the game, the Breffey sideline cut that didn’t even stay behind the big net at the back of the goal. There was no physical pressure on the kicker. Breffey had 2 great goal chances, Clarke made a good save from one and the other ran across the face of goal.

    The best 2 defensive teams I’ve seen in the last 5/6 years were Johnson’s Ballintubber and Dempsey’s Knockmore. Played sweepers who knew what they were at, had defenders marking from the front and goal side and conceded next to no goals. Whilst still playing attractive football. Not the sub par stuff we saw throughout this year’s championship.

  123. @Mayonaze yes I was at the game….were you ?

    I stand by my statement. His handling and distribution was top class in my opinion. Such an intelligent player and used the ball well every time he was on it…..and if it weren’t for his two points at the end Kilmeena would not be celebrating this week.

  124. New pod up on all platforms, in which we review extracts from our Final Whistle shows recorded at the county finals at MacHale Park over the weekend.

  125. Despite the appaling standard of football on Sunday, I’d now give Ballina a right good shout at the All Ireland. Personally speaking, I was happy to see Ballina securing the Moclair, though like us all I felt sorry for Aido. Very tough now, the losses ever mounting.

    The Mayo club, for whatever reason, was poor this year. Poor shooting is raising it’s old predictable head, ie Mitchell’s in the semi and both teams on Sunday. But as we’ve often seen in Mayo before, this can suddenly change. But the lack of consistency is concerning of course.

  126. 45, perhaps you’re a Kilmeena supporter but all I’ll say is you and I will just have to agree to differ on this one. Imo he was pretty anonymous in the first period, improved 2nd half but nothing more than a 5/10 performance and as a neutral I was watching him and other Mayo players (in both finals) particularly closely; hoping to see standout performances. The quality in the intermediate match was not good. Littered with handling mistakes and unforced errors. It’s kinda, in a way, been given a hall pass due to the shambles that was the senior final.

    @Pebbles, brilliant post. You nailed it regarding both McGuinness and Harte. Two brilliant, innovative managers with the medals to prove it. Yes, they had talented squads, especially Tyrone but they maximised their resources. McGuinness in particular, looked at the players at his disposal and concocted a plan to win an All Ireland. Phase one was get the team incredibly hard to score against (2011). Phase two was lightening transition into attack (2012). Everyone knew their job. They were the fittest, best drilled and mentally confident team that year. A masterclass in how to win an All Ireland with little or no underage success in the preceding decade. After 2014 the dubs became more defensive and this then kick started others to adopt a more defensive system. The problem is most started doing the same but without any real attacking plan. It’s led to the recycle shite we see now, the fear to take any risk, and this comes from management. Not helped with every players touch of a ball being recorded on computers and stats being discussed post match. Lads with forty 5-yard successful hand passes look great on a stats sheet versus the player who kicked 3 long balls, two were lost but one lead to a goal. Ah, the game has gone to muck. It’s boring. At county level the only matches I watch now are Mayo. 10/15 years ago I watched as much intercounty championship as I could. It was exciting. Now it’s a total snorefest.

  127. That win we had in Killarney was a complete and utter outlier. I said it here immediately after. While it was a lovely game to watch, it was literally like playing a different sport and of little relevance to what subsequent championship encounters would be like. Both teams that day in Killarney were ridiculously open at the back. Kerry just more so than us. If we are to win an All Ireland in the next few years it’s not going to be done playing like the way we dud in Killarney. That game was like something from 10 years ago. We need to learn how to be able to rack up th 5-21’s etc versus the Louths of this world when they park the bus. That’s a sign of a top team in the current game.

  128. Disagree mayonaze.. We don’t want to see packed defences, we want rule changes so we don’t see teams parking the bus.. What use is racking up 5-20 v a packed louth defence.. And scoring 10 or 11 points then V a dub or kerry. That County final cud be the wake up call if pricks like joe brolly keep on about it.. It’s the only thing he’s said of any use ever

  129. @Gizmobobs yes conor mcstay , Mickey Murray may have been in the panel as forwards but I rarely saw them start in a game for mayo ..

    Conor mcstay isn’t ready in my view for inter County good player but lots to learn I think.

    In fairness to Frank irwin hes still very young and lots to learn is well .

    We shouldn’t be so down over the county final yes was bad but as I said half the guys on the team don’t play for county . I still think ballina will surprise ye and go far in connaught .

    We still have lots to improve on for sure but we arent that far off when you loom at our actual county team. I would just laugh at what brolly has to say now he’s just trying to stay relevant .

  130. @Mayonaze, I agree 100%.
    I left Killarney that day and was talking to some old timer Kerry supporters on the way out. They were all blowing smoke up our arse and saying this is our year! I laughed and turned to one of them and said I’d bet a weeks wage with him if either of us saw Kerry that poor, that far off the pace and that open again. I also told him that if we were a serious outfit that day, instead of scoring 1-19 we would have hit them for another 3-5 on the scoreboard because we butchered loads of scoring opportunities that day. Seanie O’Shea had a belly on him and was blowing smoke after 20mins and their central defensive channel was wide open all game, not only was there no sweeper there, there wasn’t even a defensive 6 in the channel. A decent club team would have cut Kerry open that day.

  131. I really enjoyed reading the comments last few weeks. Jim mac and mike harte lambasted for creating a system to get the best out of his troops. They have the medals to prove they got it right. Evolution. Pebbles put that to bed. Very good comment. 1 problem we have at intercounty level is some kind of strange loyalty to guys who are past it or guys who simply aint good enough. They remain in the panel and are shoehorned into positions they know nothing about. We try to convert a forward into a midfielder. Next thing we know he is converted to a back. None of these experiments were fruitful. Baffling still is the fact we are never short of either backs or midfielders. This kind of nonsense has to stop. The panel must be ran like a business. Proper stocktaking. At this point i feel certain players need to go.

  132. @Pebblesmeller sure kerry weren’t that bad or that off the pace they hardly wanted to loose their home record that day they had their best players out on the pitch everyone was expecting us to get hammered that day including everyone in kerry .

    yes we for sure missed good goal scoring opportunities and were open at the back we need to fix our defence ASAP.

    But we lost the confidence after the cork game that just deflated us I think we are very young team so I am still pretty optimistic for next year .

  133. @Spectre, going from defense to attack and visa versa is not new
    Mick oDwyer played corner back and corner forward.
    Martin O’Connell started at full forward and Brendan Reilly and Colm Coyle played both as forwards and backs.

  134. @spectre if holding onto the ball for 20 minutes is evolution then that’s great for the game isn’t it exciting stuff yeah right ha

    anyway each to their own and we shall see how donegal & Derry go next year !

  135. Clare, Ballina doing well in Connacht would not surprise many, if anyone. They are large town team with good players, most with county experience and lots of resources.
    They are only 9/2 to win Connacht (same odds as Corofin), for these reasons.

  136. Clare, you are the epitome of optimism, I admire it, I understand you wanting to be positive about mayo and football in general. Unfortunately it’s probably at its worst now entertainment wise. I think it was ex fermanagh forward who was saying you can take an average club player, get him as fit and strong as possible and he’ll do a job at County as long as he does what he’s told.. Mostly handpassing and blocking defence.. And this is from a fella who’s played the last 10 or 15 yrs. So isn’t that a sad indictment of where the game is at… No need for skillful players anymore. I was thinking, thank god David Clifford is an unreal footballer as is Shane Walsh and a still quality conor mcmanus.. Jesus apart from that who can ya watch really. Sad but true. You know I hear people say, ah that’s the way the game is gone.. 14 behind the ball.. Hold possession etc.. Well the game should not have been allowed go that way… Now the rule makers in croke park are getting it.. Every national newspaper pointing at mayo Co final this week… Shame on them, no wonder rugby and soccer more appealing to youngsters

  137. Remember a few yrs ago.. A pic of mchale park for a mayo v donegal league game.. One half of the field had no players in it.. Imagine. Jesus, Mary and Joseph and the wee donkey.

  138. Ballina doing well in connacht… Sure who cares..barely remember who won the club all Ireland last year the football is so bad. Forget it

  139. @Great ha sure everyone is always going on here you should care about your club etc . And ha thanks rather try be optimistic then doom & gloom won’t get ya anywhere !

    David Clifford is a top class footballer no doubt it and kerry wouldn’t be where they are today without him .
    I don’t think I’d put shane walsh in the same bracket as David Clifford tbh.

    @Gizmobobs I’m saying that ballina will surprise ye as a good good on here said ballina are the worst team to win the county final etc..

  140. It’s not entirely fair to say that the game in Killarney was an outlier. Games against the same opposition and Tyrone in league were very similar, and I’d be inclined to say that these were the games where our opponents weren’t fully prepared for us. WTS there wasn’t imo much of difference between our game in Killarney and Kerry’s semi with Derry, other than the end result.

    So in that sense the league final and game in Salthill are probably better indicators of where we’re at.

    We needed that break between the group and quarters. Clare mentioned confidence, but the lads had at that point been on the go for 7 months almost continuously, and experiencing a new format, so fatigue was almost certainly a factor. In particular in jerseys 1-4 where we had lads in their rookie seasons.

    Could management have done better in managing the group and keeping lads fresh? Yes, but last year was really a journey into the unknown, and we weren’t the only ones to take the approach we did, Galway and Roscommon took similar approaches, and got in fairness pretty similar results.

    Consider the example of a specific player here. Sam Callinan in his debut season made a very costly mistake in the quarter final against Dublin. That mistake in itself means very little, what was important was Sam’s reaction, he picked himself, dusted himself off and got straight back to it. In doing so he showed that he was ready for that level. Yes he made a mistake but in his recovery he showed he wasn’t out of his depth.

    And this is where management are ATM. They’ve made mistakes. They will be amongst the first to admit that, but it’s how they react and learn from that experience that is most important.

  141. Good analysis @ Great ball.

    I think people here and in general have been paying too much attention to the paid Gaa pundits and the media, blaming Mickey Harte for all that is currently bad in football, Spillane was first to state this and I remember clearly listening to the RTE Commentator during the defensive Dubs v Donegal semi final game, it finished 8 points to 6, I actually can recall the very words of the Co Commentator saying “Donegal have come and parked the bus”, this person obviously didn’t like defensive football, it was the current Mayo manager.

    Mickey Harte never had all the players behind the ball, but it was a clever strategy where 4 or 5 players would surround a player and take the ball away from him or wait until a midfielder caught a high ball and then 3 players were there to meet him on the ground and strip the ball away from him.

    McGuinness did invent the all out men behind the ball tactic but in 2012 and 2014 they put up high enough scores in championship games.

    Not a word of complaint against the Dubs, they brought all the tactics together, nearly all players defending at times, employed full Basketball hand passing, reduced the kick out to a short pass to a player standing on the edge of the square or then 21 yard line, lateral and backward play, the Gaa pundits and national media seem to stay so quiet when this unfolded over 7 years.

  142. Basically, the Gaa have nearly made football Professional in Dublin, thanks to all the Funding at different levels within the County.

    The Gaa obviously needed more games to collect more money, hence this is why we have soo many games, the ridiculous League finals, the Provincial leagues, and all the additional games in the championship, back door, quarter finals, playoff to get into the quarter finals etc.

  143. @Bate the blanket mickey harte never had 14 behimd the ball?? where louth not all back in their half most of the time against us when mayo started going forward?

    @Frostthehamker yeah totally true good points the guys looked dead flat off their feet conme dublin even v galway week before they looked tired out . Shouldn’t have gone 100 miles an hour through the league you keep that for championship where it matters !

  144. “Professional” is one way of looking at it, but in reality it’s actually about rewarding hard work.

    The current game rewards hard work and dedication, and that is what increasingly what more and more young lads want.

    We’re losing lads because they are not prepared to put the effort in, but we are increasingly keeping the lads who previously packed it in because they worked their asses off and sat on bench every weekend so the talented lad who still hasn’t made it home after the night before, doesn’t have to pay for his drinks for the rest of evening.

    The GAA and the clubs need to find ways to cater for both. In both men’s and women’s football. And yes, that probably does mean a “two speed” club championship.

  145. Agree batetheblanket, the Gaa have always been a fantastically greedy organisation.. These bluffers up and down the country then who think they are “coaches” makes me laugh.. We all know the tactics they employ but are lauded as some sort of defensive genius.. It’s comical.. And Spillane was right, this is a guy whether you like him or not, has played football in 3 generations at senior level.. Won and lifted sam at 19, 9 all stars which is a record and 8 all Irelands.. He was a brilliant player too.. So he’s watched enough football over the years to realise what is entertaining. I’d rather listen to his opinion then these bluffers infiltrating the game and destroying it with sweepers and blankets and the extra one… Fuck off and get back to proper one v one contests and kicking the ball.. Spoofers

  146. I totally disagree with you frostt hammer.. Talented lads are being overlooked because they are not robots and machines who work hard and handpass…i know plenty talented skillful players, especially forwards who were overlooked because they didn’t “work hard enough and go back to their half back line and just block it up”.

  147. Did you see the point I made about what the ex fermanagh forward said? I think he’s in a better position abs understanding of what’s going on. The talented players have no interest now because of the tactics employed.. Imagine being a corner forward now, waste of time.. Alan brogan and Gooch said they wouldn’t make it nowadays cos of the packed defences.

  148. @Great Ball

    “You are not working hard enough” should be a valid reason to demote someone. Or at least in a system that rewards it.

    What was the manager supposed to say to the lad who took that guys place, “you have worked your ass off, done everything I’ve asked of you but you’re on bench because he’s just born with it”.

    Are you serious? Mayo football died with Longford in 2010 then I take it

  149. There are some current mayo players I won’t name who work hard but are nowhere near good enough footballers so just because they work hard doesn’t Mean they should be playing

  150. I saw some hard workers and great athletes for mayo in the last 12 yrs, yet they couldn’t kick the ball over the bar from 20 or 30yrds.. For fuck sake.. That’s my point tho.. Coach these fellas to work hard and recycle possession, forget about the actual skills.

  151. What was negative about what I said if you don’t mind? I think 95% of people who watch football would agree that the game is in serious dire straits

  152. @Clare

    Everything good in the world starts from a place of optimism and consideration.

  153. Anyone asking did C McDonald work hard enough,just does not know him, he was always a top,too trainer,as well as doing a very physical job,you don’t achieve his level without being a top trainer,as J Nicholas said the harder he trained,the luckier he got

  154. @Frosthehammer very true and I always say whats the point of being all doom and gloom haha we arent in as bad a place as some people think at all sure loads thought we wouldn’t even be competitive at all this year .

    I think we peaked way to soon for sure but mcstay & co will realise that hopefully for next year keep the best play till championship!!

    He prob thought if he didn’t didn’t results straight away he would be crucified online & in the media .

    We’ve plenty of young talents coming up and Tommy conroy I’ve a feeling he will be back at his best with a bang next year to his best . We are one of the few counties who can compete at the top and we even made to quarters this year and last year even tho we didn’t play to our full potential at all a lot of other counties would only dream of getting to a quarters once in a lifetime..

    I haven’t lost the faith just yet haha !

  155. @Clare, when Micky Harte won the three All Irelands with Tyrone, it wasn’t all 14 or 15 players behind the ball, go and watch the All Ireland and semi finals of those years, it was simply put the opposition player under pressure when he has the ball in any position on the pitch, then the great scoring Tyrone forwards did the rest.

    Louth, in fairness it is what it is as they say.

  156. You can talk about defensive systems all day but teams with the best forwards will generally win the all Ireland anyway so defensive systems will only get you so far. Dublin, Kerry win the vast majority of All Irelands. Tyrone in their hay day had fantastic forwards. Donegal in 2012.

    In Mayo we have a serious issue with producing top quality forwards in that we don’t. While athleticism, power and pace is now the no1 requirement, lads who can kick under pressure over the bar from a variety of angles will win all Irelands and why we aren’t producing these players needs to be addressed.

    While the county final was p1ss poor I think everyone needs to calm down. The Mayo club senior championship as a whole was very negative and poor this year. If it continues next year and the years after I think a panic button could then be hit.

    Ballina have better forwards than Breaffy and just about deserved a dour game. However I wouldn’t write Ballina off either going forward.

    You have to hand it to Kilmeena. It’s some story. Close to being relegated to junior b a few years ago and are now senior with a junior all Ireland thrown in for good measure.

  157. Personally I think we are well served with defenders and enough pure scoring forwards. Our big deficit right now is in jerseys 8,9 and 12.
    The problem there is in 2023 we were way off the level needed.
    We can simplify further.
    If you’re below the standard needed for both midfielders you will struggle big time.
    Some mixture of Ryan O’Donoghue, Jordan Flynn, Tommy Conroy and maybe Brian Reape is not bad in terms of scoring.
    If you solve the midfield issue you immediately make no. 6 look better.
    Now, thing is.
    I think we could be till 2025 before we have a strong enough midfield.
    My main thought is to put David McBrien into midfield as a power runner.
    Then you’re looking for one player to cover the fielding. Perhaps Bob Tuohy with his 6’5″ and 5kg more on his frame.

  158. @JP

    A fair analysis I think.

    To add, James Carr has shown well the last two years and I think he’s been delivering more consistently with every passing season. If we can keep James fit, and get him into the kind of peak physical condition that allows him to play with a real arrogance, he’d be massive for us.

  159. That senior final was probably the worst game of football I’ve ever seen. I said it all season the standard of senior club football in the county has been absolutely dire and is a source of great worry.

    Alot of commentary around AOS losing his 5th final. Well when you see this today and other articles you really have to wonder:

    Did you see Lee Keegan giving interviews like that last county final? Many great players have donned the green and red but I don’t recall any loving the limelight and milking it like AOS so it’s not rocket science why the lad gets high criticism. He seems to have a cult following who can’t see beyond this and get offended when hes criticised. There is no denying his talent but he should have been giving a long stern chat a long time ago. I saw another article about staying on with mayo as long as he is wanted…well he seems to be making a living out of it so wouldn’t you do the same.

    Would you see this happen in Kerry Dublin or even in Tyrone or Meath or Armagh when they were winning all Irelands. Its not just our football but the “celebrity culture” that needs changing. Do the talking when the medals are won

  160. That’s unfair commentary on Aidan. Often those rsvp articles are nothing like an interview at all. They know the person concerned will not lodge any legal objection to the words ‘in an interview’.
    BTW, yes, Dublin and Kerry players do plenty of media and other gigs on the back of their profile.

  161. Any list of players McStay and Rochford have called in? Will there be trials? Hope to see Reape and Regan get a chance , feel they have matured and brought there game on to when they finished with Mayo last and McStays style is more suited to them than Horanball was.

  162. That was uncalled for Spectre, about a player who has given 15 years of service at Senior inter-county level and who deserves more respect. I’ve deleted that comment you made.

    PK – I’ve edited out the worst of your one and would make the same point about the same player.

    I’d also remind everyone that cheap cuts at named players isn’t acceptable here, however much it might be in Musk’s social media sewer.

  163. Maumtrasna view… Mmm, I think that Shannon guy and all that stuff is just gobbledegook.. I remember during mickey morans time there was alot of spoofing going on about players kicking balls into a bin to get rid of negative I mean are these guys serious.. You can’t make it up. Teaching these fellas how and when to pass and score would be more beneficial, never mind all that nonsense.

  164. can someone tell me how was the underage grade set up this year in Mayo. Was minor U17 or U18. Did they have both grades? Connacht minor championship is U17 that Castlebar and the Neale have reached the Div 1 and 2 final in now.

  165. Take kerry for example.. They had arguably the best natural forward we’ve saw in Maurice Fitzgerald teaching or coaching maybe the best player we’ll see in Clifford on kicking… Doesn’t that make sense now instead of half the dung mayo go on with.

  166. I remember reading a piece in mickey hartes book about a guy who was soloing the ball too high and losing it on a particular side.. That was identified and he played a pivotal part after.. I mean that’s proper coaching.. I unfortunately can’t see previous mayo managers or the current team identifying details like that

  167. Sam og about 25 players on development program it seems. Reality is most will not be seen come business end of season.
    I’d guess the panel will be the nearly same as last year with 4 or 5 new faces on periphery of panel and match day squads to replace retirees and the lads who have opted out.
    Regan if he was willing to commit would have done so last year you’d imagine. May fear losing out on the money as may not be able to play and be nutritionist gig. Also given his age and past experience is he really likely to help get us over the line?

    JP appears to be correct on Aido. That RSVP piece seems to to a fluff piece used as click bait and filler. Referencing old material as opposed to anything he has said or done recently.

  168. I find it laughable some wanting ‘Rule Changes’ because of the atrocious standard of score taking both from play and frees last Sunday. If you can’t kick the ball over the bar from the edge of the D with a free kick don’t go blaming the rules. There are so many rules in Gaelic football anyway and we need Ref’s to be able to Ref it as well at all ages and levels of the game. They brought in the advanced mark, to I imagine reward fielding skill, very often it rewards a very low level of skill ie catching the ball sometimes into your chest without the need to even jump for the ball at times. Of course you still have to be able to kick the ball over the bar, unaccosted by any defender and sadly the evidence is some can’t even do that.

  169. @PK that was a bit harsh that article is click bait I always see loads of articles about other players from other counties announcing engagements etc poor old aido gets a fair amount of abuse from outside the county and from within .

    Some of the comments on here lately since the county final have been a bit OTT think some people need to calm down ha its not all doom & gloom ! Keep the faith as they say haha !

  170. We are a very difficult group of fans to keep happy,we demand to know how training is going how fitness is going ,then a complete puff piece is the fault that we have not won Sam since 1951,one management team would not consult with each other during matchs,this management team delegate too much,Mayo don’t defend enough,now the club’s defend too much,perhaps it is time to take a chill pill and decide to enjoy the sport as it is,not as you would like it to be,I firmly believe that we are as good a team as any,if was to make changes to the rules I would reduce the number to thirteen a side,it would allow lighter players to have more space,anyway enjoy the break ,because we will soon be back on the road

  171. PK,does Lee Keegan have twin brother,because over the last few years I have seen him on TV quite a lot and it didn’t stop him being a class footballer

  172. Agree with Gizmobobs Evan Regan is not the answer and he isnt going to start in a full forward line ahead of any of the current forwards.

    Evan Regan, Neil Douglas and Jason Gibbons are arguably 3 of the best club players in Mayo over the past 10 years but never transition into inter county players.

  173. I agree also with gizmobobs evan reagan would have committed already last year to inter County if he was going to he’s not the answer .

    I think the key for us is to have a fully fit Tommy conroy , Ryan o D and cillian o Connor in full forward James Carr is good but he’s so hit & miss sometimes in games …

    So those 3 are the key for us we were unlucky this year as we barely got a chance to play the 3 together like even in the cork game Ryan o d set up that goal for Tommy conroy the 3 of those together with cillian o Connor he’s a guaranteed scorer nearly every game and he was awful unlucky with injuriesthis year if we had those 3 f
    Fully fit with game time we would be flying …

  174. @JKEL88

    I don’t feel like we are getting as much value from guys like Evan Regan, Neil Douglas and Jason Gibbons.

    Intercounty football is incredibly intense and requires massive commitment but there is a whole pile of guys who for one reason or another, work, age, fitness etc, who can’t make that commitment.

    And I think there’s scope there to create a second environment that mirrors the senior team but is much less intensive.

    The idea would be that should there be an injury crisis or similar, these lads could come in and be able to perform.

    Similarly for lads who want to take a year out to focus on something else, they can stay involved on a lighter level.

    And for lads with persistent injuries that mean they can’t train intensely enough consistently enough to break into the panel, can build away on the side, show what they are capable of, and if they can get some fitness together, not be starting from scratch.

    It’ll cost money but could potentially get a lot out of it

  175. Leantimes, the rules should have changed long before now, when your bringing your own full forward like back to protect the D it’s not football.. Yes I agree if you can’t put the ball over the bar from a scoring position something is very wrong skill wise.. They should spend more time on this and other skills instead of this defensive horseshit and systems. You need a bit of space unless you’re like Clifford who can get a shot off so quick with 2 around him.. The systems have and are pushing the skillful player away from the game. Mayo have had though, over the years some awful kickers of the ball.. We know who they are and were..look only as recent as the 2021 final in the first 15 mins.. Truly atrocious stuff from 20 or 30 yrds out.. You’d wonder what they do be at in training.. I’ve a fair idea.

  176. @Leantimes

    People seem to think that whatever comes out of their mouth must automatically reflect their values, thoughts and reflections..

    But this is completely bull, and if you don’t take the time to actually consider the words you are using and the meaning behind them, then you are not going to represent yourself in the way you hope.

    The is a big difference between telling it like it is, and saying the first thing that comes into your head.

    And I really don’t think the older generations appreciate how disillusioned younger people are with the kind of Roy Keane esque mouthing and attitude that doesn’t help anyone whatsoever

  177. Well tom thumb, smarter people than me will need to make those rules, but I’ll go with spillanes thoughts for now.. Makes sense to me

    1. All kickouts go beyond 45..this is being trialled.
    2. No handpassing pack to goalie at all.
    3. A max of 3 handpasses then u have to kick.
    4. Must keep a minimum of 4 players in opposition half.

  178. It would be a start for now, could tinker with it, esp blanket defence and refeering it, could need help from 2nd ref, linesman etc.. But something has to change wouldn’t you agree

  179. Agree with keeping certain number on opponents half.
    The kickout rule trial will be interesting see how goes.
    Danger it will just become an AFL style scrum which would just create another shitshow spectacle.

  180. The problem with the kick out rule is that it favours teams with the “better” midfield, will likely allow them to dominate games even more than they already, leading to an increase in one sided games.

    It ends with communities around the country being entirely defined by how many 6′ 3″ + young men they produce each generation.

    More short sighted BS as usual.

  181. Another one I saw on the kickouts is not allowing anyone only the 4 midfielders to compete between the 2 45’s…i agree with you gizmos as if a ball is won, 4 or 5 players cud immediately surround the midfielder so it’ll be interesting to see

  182. Frost t the size is not the issue, as most inter County midfielders are between 6″3 and 6″5 anyway.. It’s creating more high fielding contests, a skill which is sadly gone by the wayside with all these short kickouts.

  183. And if your better than your opponent well so be it.. That has always been the way, but at least make it entertainment and is there a better sight than a great catch in midfield

  184. There has to be hope, a 17 year old forward won man of the match for Ballina in the Senior final.

  185. @Great ball, why try catch the high ball n the air if it is easier to break it down to a teammate?

  186. Short kickouts are method for a group to overcome physical disadvantage through hard work.

    Up you what message you want the game to send, and what values it represents.

    I believe that it should be a meritocracy and I believe my views represent that.

    Hard work should overcome natural talent. That’s the world I want to live, and that is what imo a community based organisation should strive towards.

  187. Because bate the blanket, we’ve saw plenty of breaking the ball down and very little fielding, breaking the ball in all well and good at certain times, ie a full forward knocking it down ie donaghy etc, but if that continues at midfield you’ll just have 6 players competing for it making it an eyesore

  188. Frost t, it’s the short kickouts that is leading to this awful handpassing defence based football… Sure anyone can pass 5 yrds and block a defence and you call it hard work… Come on, I mean what sort of game you want to see… Its absolutely fear based possession, coached by bluffers who are destroying the game.

  189. A bluffer being someone who parrots the words of others without ever stopping to actually consider the meaning of words, or the intention behind them?

  190. Simply removing the goalkeeper being a passing option will help quite a bit. It makes it much easier to win the ball back.

  191. @Frost T Hammer, Great Ball..The point I am making is that its the rules fault as they currently are that was the reason for incompetent attempted kicking of scores in the senior final. On several occasions with both teams easy opportunities both placed and from play were unbelievable. For late October, reasonable day for football, no wind, pitch was in great shape, . What possible rules would ye like to see to make the several opportunities missed more easily scored?. Rule changes in themselves attempt (like the advanced mark) brought in for the right reasons but in practice, making it so much easier to score, in my opinion taking the skill out of the game. One rule in place with mens football that I think adds nothing is the foul for touching the ball on the ground, in my opinion it adds nothing, womens football they can touch it on the ground or chip it up so as not to break your run. Better for the game. Someone suggested ‘no more than 4 hand passes’ all for it but in practice for refs, counting steps and counting hand passes, is it possible? And it would have to be the same for all grades.

  192. Well from what I’ve saw in your comments, bluffer could well be assigned to you too frost t

  193. @leantimes

    I don’t believe that changing rules with the regularly we are now is at all helpful.

    How exactly coaches are supposed to be positive and progressive, when they can’t be sure that the rules will be the same in 6 months is beyond me.

    Streamline and tighten up what there. Remove rules that aren’t working and are next to impossible to enforce.

    As an example from the above,
    A max of 3 handpasses then u have to kick
    Referees are struggling to count steps. How is giving them something else to count at the same time helpful?

    For me, tidy up the rules and reform competition structures, should be the priority right now. When that’s complete, then look at rule changes.

  194. There is two linesmen aswell who can see the amount of pssses, the ref is mic’d up so it wouldn’t be difficult

  195. I think we all could do with a bit of light humoured poetry from Revellino, I haven’t seen that name here in a good while.

    The truth is, the highest scoring team wins, there can be no rule change will ever alter this.

  196. Ah Willie joe, i do apologise.. Not meant to get annoyed with other posters here.. More so frustrated with the current state of football.

  197. I’m a purist along with more here and I just think it’s sad to see football go the way it has, but anyway I will refrain from the petty stuff

  198. Well done on the blog, some great work I must say.. Frost t, nothing but love.. It’s all good

  199. Are ye looking for new Rule changes to make the game better or an advantage to Mayo in the hope of winning an All Ireland.

    It has always been down to the players in a squad and trying to make them better.

    If a ball is kicked long from a kickout then players in the middle need to catch it or break it down to a teammate.

    If the goalie takes a 15 yard pass / kickout to an unmarked player than usually the ball is handpassed for long periods, all the way up to the opposition 45 metre line, a team doing this must be very fit and powerful otherwise they will lose the ball in a hard tackle, if a team cannot get to the opposition scoring area then they are goosed.

  200. Right so my comment said would you see Lee Keegan doing it the week of a County final like last year? He didn’t do it in his playing career and now does media work when he has retired from County football.

    I used to Connacht telegraph/RSVP piece as an example. There are countless other examples of AOS in the media during the county season like the ad in the red shorts, the Portwest ad and other interviews that I’ve seen pre County final last week. You would not see it in All Ireland winning counties until after the final or season and maybe this culture we have of creating celebrities out of certain players needs to change.

    The lad would get less criticism if he stayed out of the limelight. The fact is he keeps himself in the limelight so gets more criticism…so if he or fans can’t understand that I despair. A blind man would see it.

  201. Will be interesting to see how Ballina do in Club Championship, interesting and worrying for me is the few County Panel members that made the Club teams of the week and team of Championship and even in Senior final with all the County men on show a minor got man of the match, Are the right players on County Panel, used to be said in Mayo in the past it was harder to got off Mayo team then on it, is this still TRUE.

  202. @Pk, I recall going to an All Ireland final and on a huge poster was Bernard Brogan with his tanned bricklayer arms. So leave it out, lots of players do media gigs year round.

  203. RE rule changes, the problem with any proposals is that they have to be workable and enforceable right across all levels of the game, e.g. from the All Ireland final all the way down to a U13 division 4 game in the arsehole of nowhere, where teams have to play maybe 11 aside due to small numbers and the ref has no help, no flags and possible no pitch markings either. So, in forming these rules we have to have a clear idea of what it is we are trying to achieve, e.g. more goals? more scores? more attacking play? Well there is a contrary argument to all of those in that defending, tackling, blocking, shielding etc are all skills of the game too, so, should they be any less valued?
    The recent county final had 17 wides and probaby another 5 or 6 shots dropping short so that’s approx. 23 shots unscored. The problem there seems to be inaccuracy and not a lack of attacking play.
    In my opinion there are a couple of simple, easily reffed rules that could be trialled and assessed.
    1. All frees, line balls and 45s have to go forward. The only exception is if you are inside the opponents 20m line. This would prevent the ball going backwards and then going through 2 or 3 mins of endless handpassing etc and time wasting.
    2. A basketball style “shot clock” where you have to get your shot off inside an a set time otherwise you lose possession. American football went through a period where games were too long, too defensive and too low scoring. Restrictions on time between plays sped the game up and made it more enjoyable to watch.
    3. For the final 10 mins of a game all intentional fouling by forwards/midfielders in their opponents half of the field will result in the ball being brought back up to the other end of the field for a 20m tap over free. This would stop the pulling/dragging by forwards/midfielders when they are trying to close out the final mins of a match.
    4. Play will not be stopped for injuries unless clear and obvious head injuries. Physios can run on and treat the injured player but the clock will not be stopped. This would stop the “Galway” tactic of everyone suddenly looking for contact lenses or holding the ankle and going down , while trying to waste time.

    However, in every rule change a coach/manager somewhere will find a way around it and use it to their advantage.

  204. @Pebblesmeller, some very good ideas there. Just on the fouls, free being brought forward to the 20 meter line , but in my opinion do it from start to finish. Good defending like Ger Cafferkey or Brendan Harrison at their peak for Mayo should be rewarded, and fouling should be punished. Problem with the 10 minute before the end of the game is that, in a intercounty game 35 minutes a half, there could have been a hold up for 5 minutes, a foul happens on 26 minutes played but there is at least 14 minutes to go, it could lead to controversy.

  205. PK, my point on click bait articles like the aforementioned is Aido did not have to take part or say anything to anyone for weeks or months for that to be generated. He may have seen it for first time while scrolling on phone like yourself or myself.
    Media outlets use fact personalities are in media currently for other news items like Aido was for Football final to rehash other nothing stories to drive clicks to increase their add revenue.
    If you read the article do you see any quote from Aido, Or just a reference to old posts?

  206. Pk,,Lee .Keegan has been a very good person on TV as a critic on football,don’t try an blame AOS for some one who wants a headline he has been an outstanding player for Mayo

  207. PK,Lee Keegan has worked with RTE without a problem,so unless you are having a go with a player,which I sincerely hope that you are not,just stop stop and think

  208. The county final has certainly provoked a lively debate on here about the current state of football, with plenty of diverse opinions. We are all loyal supporters of Mayo and our clubs and want them to be successful and that is the main reason why we follow them and not to be entertained, which is just as well, altho’ I would very much like to be entertained as well. I am a lifelong frustrated and disappointed Mayo fan, waiting, hoping and praying for the Holy Grail, Sam-to quote the Sawdoctors “To win just once, that would be enough”. So I follow every Mayo game, to see how we are progressing, to keep an eye on our promising young talent etc. I also watch other games out of interest and curiosity and to size up potential rivals, but rarely expecting to be entertained, as a neutral. Some games I skip altogether and some I abandon, especially if there is a more attractive sporting alternative available. Football in it’s present guise is not very enjoyable to watch and, I’d imagine, to play and, if something is not done, more and more people will become disillusioned and turned off and our younger generation will find more appealing and enjoyable hobbies to pursue. Whatever our differing opinions, I’m sure most of us want to see a game that is more enjoyable to watch and to play. To that end changes need to be made urgently. An extensive panel should be set up, made up of the best minds in the game, players, ex players, coaches, referees, etc. They should be charged with coming up with recommendations designed to improve the game. Their remit should include addressing the present imbalance which favours suffocating defensive systems and rebalancing to reward a more open adventurous sryle of play, risk taking etc and recommending changes to encourage the traditional skills of high fielding and a more kicking based game-after all, it is called Football. Unnecessary and ineffective rules need to be ditched-the first few to go should be the advance mark(daft) and the pick-up off the ground should be allowed(rarely done properly and leads to more schemozzles). Many good suggestions floating around, some of which are being trial led. I strongly support the kick-outs having to go past the 45-hopefully it will bring back our glorious high-fielding. And I agree with the Mark in this instance, so as to give an advantage to the fielder and not to the reception committee waiting for him to return to earth. Of course defenders must be allowed to do their job, which is also an art and an essential part of our game. However I feel that the tackle must be more clearly defined, as I must admit that I hav’nt got a bull’s clue what is a legitimate tackle-I think it is very leniently referred and many tackles seem to me to be border line fouls, at best. And somehow, somebody come up with how to get rid of 3/4 players surrounding and smothering the man in possession-could there be a case for allowing only 2 players at a time to tackle, say between both 20 Metre lines? Any rules, existing and new, must benefit the game and must be easily understood by the players and easily implemented by the officials, who have a difficult job. Some of the suggestions would seem to fall down here, such as the need to keep 4 players in the opposition half and limit the hand pass to 3 at a time(sometimes in my wildest dreams, I wonder what football would be like if the hand pass was banned altogether). The final recommendations the need to be strongly promoted along with the expected benefit in order to get the support of the general GAA public and this might to get them past the dinosaurs at county board level and Congress. ???.

  209. A Gaelic football game with no handpass would be a very interesting trial. I actually think it would be a back and forth more random game.
    It would put the emphasis on accurate kickpassers. You’d have to implement the steps rule in order that players don’t try to escape to freespace for their kick by barging with the ball.
    Of course all the modem managers would be out bemoaning it, and there’d be constant referencing to Corofin’s handpassing goal move in a club final.

  210. Handpassing by itself it’s not a scourge on the game.

    Bad handpassing is the issue.

    Look at Roscommon last year. I distinctly remember watching the game in Castlebar, they were handpassing around in their own half, and I remember thinking this is great, they can’t keep this up, one of these passes is going to go above a lads head or down at his laces, and when it does we have them.

    Look that video of their game against Dublin again. Look at where the handpasses are going. Into the chest nearly every time. We couldn’t do that.

    Roscommon put a huge amount of work last year into perfecting a basic skill of the game. They were rewarded for this with results, a good league, a championship win in Castlebar and a draw against the dubs in Croker, and yet they were slated by the football public.

    We talk about encouraging and rewarding, but then when teams put in the work and effort to improve themselves, we tell them that they are ruining the game.

    Roscommon deserve praise for what they did, and the other 31 counties should be told to look at them as an example.

    Instead we criticise those who made an effort, and in doing so, give everyone who didn’t a free pass.

  211. @JP

    The above was more in general than addressed to your specific comment.

    I’d agree a kickpassing only version would be interesting to trial.

    I wouldn’t see as a way to address the problems at the top level of the game, but I think it’s the type of thing we should be looking at for creating a more enjoyable game for the average player.

    I don’t really think that a “one game for all” approach is what’s best for anyone any more

  212. I’m aware of the skill involved in an accurate handpass, but it’s still not as skillful as kicking nor as enjoyable to watch.
    Like, in snooker, there is outrageous skill in safety play, but the rules are setup to limit it to some degree. So you can’t play a snooker behind the same ball twice in a row.

  213. Frost T, as far as I remember in the Dublin/ Roscommon game, when the Rossies held the ball for nearly 6 minutes, the Dublin team all stayed in their own half just looking at them. If that continued, they could have held the ball for 26 minutes. I don’t see much skill in that.

  214. @Nephin

    We should be criticising Dublin for that and not Roscommon.

    Roscommon were progressive and ambitious in their thinking, which we should reward.

    Dublin choose to engage that in a negative manner, sitting there looking at the Rossies as you described. That’s what should be criticized.

    I mean handpassing is a skill of the game.
    Standing around looking at the opposition is not.
    Which should we reward?

  215. @Nephin, pity Roscommon did no hold the ball for 26 minutes and pip them by a point. Would serve Dublin right, as it is now we have not heard of any new retirements from Dublin, I just have this feeling that the lure of 10 All Ireland medals for 3 players might be too much for Dublin to resist and to give it another almighty go. They will start the Championship favorites regardless.

  216. Let’s face it, the current football style is “hold onto possession as much as possible”.
    It’s actually clever when you think of it, one cannot score against you if they don’t have the ball, the really good teams are the exception to the rule, can get between those handball passes, remember the Dublin goal v Kerry in the final where a Kerry player, last man back, was dispossessed and Paddy Small got a goal or when a Goalie is out under pressure to deliver a short kickout and gives the ball to the opposition player, remember Ciaran Donaghys goal v Donegal in the 2014 final.

    The Dubs can switch it on if and when they need to, they like to give the opposition a false since of security, they sit back a bit in the first halves, let the opposition pass the life out of the ball and strip the ball when it gets to there 45 metre line, then pull away in 2nd half.

  217. I know people here may or may not like this, but Mayo management need to bring in new guys, so what if they are not fully ready, if they are good enough they will improve over 2 years, this will mean removing a few guys also.

    Ye probably should not be looking at the Mayo championship only as a gauge to a future County player.

  218. Big news coming out of Aghamore..
    Fergal Boland has been recalled to the Mayo senior panel and will no longer be emigrating to Australia.
    – retrocut sources

  219. Thanks Retrocut. So the only player management dropped has been recalled after having a quieter club season than he had the year he was dropped? Interesting…

    Delighted for Fergal though. A good honest player.

    Do you know if he added to panel or one of the 25 or so on development program?

  220. Mayo2023 the minor championship in Mayo this year was at u18 level and Claremorris won it out beating Mitchels in the final last August in McHale Park. However as the other counties played minor at u17 level there was no Connacht club championship competition for Claremorris to progress to as Mayo county minor champions. The county U17 grading league then commenced in September and Mitchels won the div 1 grading league and were then entered as Mayo representatives in the Connacht u17 (or what the other counties call minor) championship, the final of which they play in this evening in Bekan. Good luck to them and to the Neale in the B Final as Mayo representatives.

  221. I don’t know I just know he was called into the panel, along with the other new call ups like Murphy from Ballinrobe and Conor Hunt from his own club. Not an inspiring crop of new players to be called up.
    Mayo for Sam, I’m sure Mitchels will waltz the final, but it’s hard not to feel sorry for Claremorris over the age difference farce. Those young lads are arguably the best minor team in the country at u18, and won’t finish end up with a Connacht medal.

  222. @Retrocut thanks for the info ! Delighted for Ferghal boland I felt awful sorry for him when he was dropped and I really hope mcstay gives him game time…he deserves his chance and now he’s been given another one I’m sure he’ll give it his all ! Always thought he was a decent player ..

  223. Boland back on panel is good news he is better than a lot of the present forwards, he can score a few points. Is there a new panel announced and if so who is on it.

  224. Boland not opting to emigrate for Australia for a place in the mayo Jersey says it all ..big call from him!

    I think he will play a big part for us next year if mcstay gives him game time hopefully mcstay does!!

  225. What has Mayo management got against Aughamre,the way Freeman and Boland were treated.
    Big commitment from Boland, hoe they give him a fair crack of the whip this time, unlikely as he can score as a half forward

  226. @JR totally agree with you….was absolutely disgraceful the way they were treated .. even across social media everyone was like what has mayo management against boland ?? A man who can score … and everyone said it was mayo politics coming into play tbh I hate to but come on fergal boland will prove the critics wrong next year ….enough with mayo politics pick the best that’s available to us end of!

  227. Aughamore always produced a few good players going back to the days of Tin Snee and Pat Glavey , Dan and Sean O Grady and Jimmy Burke , now who remembers them guys

  228. Even my good dublin mates who are dub mac gaa mad said there’s a bit of mayo politics going on who can deny that? They said we would have won sam but for iffy management previous years and bad moves etc …
    Tbh fergal boland is an exciting player and I couldn’t believe when he was dropped..delighted for him !

  229. @Mayo for Sam thanks for that

    The Neal and Castlebar won those Connacht titles tonight. With a stocked U20 management in place they’ll have strong panels to choose from in the next few years.

  230. Good chat on the last word with matt cooper this eve,, ray silke was on the gaa segment.. He believes the game is in crisis mode.. Also they dished out some interesting sears on the mayo Clun champo since a few yrs back..lack of scores in finals etc. Playing risk averse defensive football is actually helping teams win, as awful hard to kick a ball into space with 14 defending the D, so attack minded teams have to recycle, looks to punch holes etc.. Not easy resulting in people turning away from the gaa over the last few yrs.. There’s supposed to be a panel of experts, ex players and officials looking at rules and changes so we’ll see.

  231. @Great ball it is a crisis but it has been coming on for years.
    Mayo masked the problem in a few great championship runs.
    Mind you changing the championship dates hasn’t helped.
    Counties still start championship at the end of August.
    You couldn’t make this up.
    Other sports will take over

  232. I know Jr.. It’s all about winning at whatever cost.. The easiest way to win is take no risks. I think the way someone put it was.. The science is replacing the philosophy of football. Oh I agree, the rugby world cup had a hell of a lot more interest for young people than watching the full forward line in a gaa game as a half back line. I think there is a 6 to 1 ratio of handpasses to kicking in an average inter County game now and it’s called football. Its been coming for yrs you’re right.. Well it’s fucked now I’m afraid.

  233. I’m not worried about other sports. Soccer will always be in the running for people’s favorite sport in Ireland, and we just have to deal with that. As deplorable as that final was, and how bad some gaelic football matches are, it is still the best sport in the world. There’s a reason we give out so much about it. Primary school children love soccer but football will always be number one.
    Rugby has a flash in the pan because of a 6 month long tournament with 50 teams in it for some reason when there’s only 4 worth talking about, as a man who did the same when I was a young lad, don’t worry, those kids will go to a few training sessions, and say jeez I would much rather play football than waste my time at this no skill game, not a sport.

  234. “Rugby has a flash in the pan because of a 6 month long tournament with 50 teams in it for some reason when there’s only 4 worth talking about”

    @Retrocut – That is the most stereotypical, lazy and nonsensical comment people throw out about rugby.

    Do you genuinely believe that there is more than 4 teams worth talking about or who have a chance of winning Sam Maguire or Liam McCarthy in 2024 ? or there is more than 4 teams capable of winning the premiership or la liga in any given year ?

    It`s embarrassing when GAA fans go after other sports, its very important kids develop their skillsets by playing different sports and are not pigeonholed into one only. How many of the current top players in the country have excelled at other sports during their youth and helped them develop into top inter county players? Clifford (Soccer), Fenton and O`Shea (Basketball), McLaughiin (Cycling), Keegan and Callinan (Rugby).

  235. I agree with you @Jkel88, very important kids get to play other Sports as it helps so much with coordination, attitude, discipline etc

  236. Rugby does not impact on Gaelic greatly, despite the World cup. While I really enjoyed some of the WC games, rugby in reality is in a worse state than ourselves. Even top tier teams are dropping back. Look at how many teams have folded on England, and the state of the game on Wales and Australia.
    The way rugby evolves with the growing concussion crisis and increasing lawsuits coming their way will likely have a huge impact on how the game evolves in coming decade. When you hear former Irish internationals saying they would lot let their kids play for safety reasons in modern era. You know it’s in a bad place.

  237. Talking about gaa though now at the moment gizmo, no one can say that it’s an enjoyable game to watch, like was there 2 really good games in the whole championship this year? You see how games fall into a pattern after the throw in.. I was at the louth game in castlebar this year.. There was a good few mayo fans who left because the game was all played in one half… Louth any time there was a turn-over would work it slowly to half back then wait because there was no forwards up.. Now I personally don’t want to watch that shite. So average teams will always have a chance v the bigger teams because of the way they set up… It should not be allowed happen.. Too late though.

  238. Back in 2011 was the time to take action.. That dun v donegal game should have stirred the powers that be into action.. I remember how the donegal forwards would sprint back as soon as throw in.. Now that was Mcguinness trying to play a different way and he evolved a bit more to beat mayo in point is a whole forward division should no way be allowed end up defending the D.. Mcguinness, and fair play saw a different way.. But it shouldn’t have been allowed to go to the level it’s at now.. That system has been copied and Dublin perfected it in the 6 in a row.. There was times both teams tried to play attacking football such as mayo v dub in some semi finals and finals.. But those games are few and far between. Cagey and defensive.. The only way we see a bit of off the cuff stuff or skill is Clifford or Walsh or Fenton etc doing something. Look at the rossies set up v mayo too this Yr.

  239. @Great ball, Donegal beat Mayo in 2012 simply because,
    They had better forward finishers than Mayo in Murphy, McFadden and McBrearty, throw in Toye off the bench also, Donegal had good powerful midfielders, and also had a gem of a playmaker at nr 6.
    Mayo fullback line are cut to shreds in the game, no protection to the fullback for the 2 early goals.

  240. @Gizmo, the Rugby World Cup was enjoyable but it is tainted in the way France were really shafted v South Africa, the Referee was a disgrace in that game, and look at the final, in my opinion The All Blacks were shafted also.

    Ye can give out about the state of football as much as you want but the better scoring team wins, I attended the All Ireland this year, an absolute borefest, 1st half was chronic, the Dublin forwards were just better than Kerrys, the Kerry v Derry semi was poor two, even the Derry goal keeper was out in his midfield at times with ALL Kerry player inside their own 45 metre line.

  241. This mat ruffle a few feathers but there other Sports too, it’s shouldn’t be just Gaelic football.

    The best Sport I saw this year was the Munster Hurling championship, absolutely belters of games, the skills levels are massive.
    I certainly would have loved to play Hurling as a youngster growing up in Mayo and am at a disadvantage as it it difficult to try and coach to kids that play the game.

    I think Sports like basketball is brilliant for Gaa players, quick soft hands in tight spaces etc, I wonder did Jayo have this influence with the Dubs when he was in the management team as he was a brilliant basketball player also in Dublin.

    My solution to the blanket defence is very simple, it is very long distance shooting that needs to be drilled into players from u12 upwards, why try and shoot from the D if you can shoot from the 45 metre line or beyond.

    I would encourage all Gaa Coaches to really drive home the two feet in all clubs and at Schools level, I know for a fact it can be done, if an adult can pick it up then a child will pick it up much easier.

  242. Your solution is good and well but managers or coaches don’t encourage long range shooting.. I agree donegal had btr forwards in 2012..murphy should have always been kept at 14. Lacey was outstanding at 6..unfortunately mayo never had players of that quality.. If you take 2 long range shots from 45 yrds or beyond and miss, you’ll be taken off.. Simple as that. They coach caution and recycling until you virtually can’t miss.

  243. I was at a few Club games and no word of a lie managers were shouting “don’t shoot from there”.. This was around 45 50 yrds out.. So while they are being coached this, it’s very hard to do much about it

  244. I agree 100% on drilling two footed players and long range, but they are doing the opposite. Who on the mayo team is able or who do u see kicking points from 45rds? Look at the forwards.. O shea cant score, diarmuid didn’t score in the championship.. Only rod and Tommy c are prob most natural scorers and seldom they score from outside the 45

  245. The only forward we had who was accurate from that range was ciaran Mcdonald.. He had a massive boot on him aswell as accurate.. He was the finest exponent of the outside of the boot kick, along with Maurice Fitz of course.

  246. Bate the blanket, GAA referees get far to much abuse. But is there any sport where the referee can influence the result as much as in rugby?

  247. I am watching England v Tonga in Rugby ? League looks like a better game than Rugby union- no line outs or scrums!

    I thought the Rugby World Cup was boring especially the semi finals and indeed the final! Too many countries in the tournament but have history of playing rugby eg., Portugal ??
    It must have been disappointing for World Rugby that USA and Canada were not there!

    In fairness our team did well and were u lucky to met the All Blacks! There was a lot of hype re the Irish team but that’s not unusual !

    Great to hear Fergie Boland is back. I hope he gets more playing time-a nice player. Met him a few times seems like a lovely gentleman!
    Mhuigeo Abù

  248. Long range shooting should be no. 1 in Mayo, leave O Shea and O Donaghue or someone else inside the opposition 21 line, the long ball has three chances, a point, wide or caught by O Shea who lays it on to whoever is inside with him and takes score. even if ball drops to keeper or fullback they can be tackled by O Shea like he did against Donegal ( but was never allowed to do it again ) last year and still advantage to Mayo.

  249. The difference is playing a team like dub or kerry, you will get some space and usually the btr forwards will take the chances.. But against all the rest they set up so you have no space to kick inside.. So I understand the obvious tactic is to kick from range.. We don’t have players to do that

  250. Look at our middle eight V dub this year and tell me who can score from 45 yrds apart from paddy and ocassionaly Flynn

    O shea
    No sir, not too many of them is the reality

  251. Carr very inconsistent.. Cillian, our best kicker is more suited to inside and maybe off the bench.. So that leaves Tommy c and rod as really our only 2 top class forwards.. And saying that we need to see if conroy can hit top gear again after injury.

  252. @Great Ball, James Carr is the first name I would pick for any six of the potential forwards for a Championship match. However for the type of stuff Mayo played versus Louth its almost a waste of time picking talented ball players like Tommy Conroy, Ryan O’Donaghue or James Carr..even if Mayo had the considerable talents of a Shane Walsh, Enda Smith or even the great David Clifford whats the point of playing exceptional footballers to play low risk lateral hand passing hoping the opposition switch off. Hopefully we will see Tommy Conroy, James Carr and Ryan O’Donaghue starting Championship matches for Mayo. Saturday Sport on RTE Radio One had Ref David Gough on this afternoon, very interesting the challenges facing Gaelic Football Refs today . Im sure any of ye can catch up on David’s musings on the RTE player.

  253. By my reckoning we have five midfield pairing options:

    Ruane/O’Connor – 2023 model – ranged from brilliant to mediocre
    O’Shea/O’Shea – Conor O’Shea has to be reconsidered following the county championship
    Murray/Irwin – County champions pairing or near it. Murray’s fitness an issue
    McBrien/Tuohy – JP’s suggestion and it’s a good one IMO
    Carney/Flynn – These two have been moonlighting in this position on and off

    All of these can be interchanged needless to say.

  254. Catcol, our problem is none of those pairings would stake touch fear in the heart of the enemy.
    Tuohy possibly in year or two, club championship showed he has some development to work on, but huge potential.
    McBrien I would love see at 6 or 9 as well, but we be like the Dutch boy with finger on the dyke, could be robbing Peter to pay Paul at fullback.

  255. That’s my point exactly leantimes.. No point in having these exceptional players if they are reduced to that by the opposition.

  256. @leantimes I wouldn’t put Shane walsh in the same bracket of talent as David Clifford myself .. where was Shane walsh this year? Way off the pace no where near the talented Clifford in my view ..

    I still think cillian o Connor should start every game sure he’s still young and we missed him ALOT during championship I’d have him start on my team anyday him Ryan o d and Tommy c as I said James Carr can produce magic moments but he’s so hit & miss sometimes i would have him on the bench…

  257. They have to play that way sometimes because of the way teams set up.. If you asked any top forward I’m sure they’d like to scrap the blanket, don’t you leantimes? Why do you think Gooch and Alan brogan has said they wouldnt last or enjoy playing football nowadays

  258. Clare, shane Walsh is an outstanding footballer.. Ok he might have a few quiet days too.. Did you see him in last year’s all Ireland final? Some of the scores he kicked were outrageous on the biggest day of all… He has pace power, two excellent feet.. Prob more of a player you’d let roam, whereas Clifford btr close to goal..both the top forwards by a mile in the country when they are on song.

  259. @great ball I never said he wasn’t a good player ? I just said he’s not in the same bracket as David Clifford…. Of course I saw him in the final I still stand by my opinion.

    Wouldn’t count walsh as one of top forwards yes has bad days but he’s just not in the same bracket as Clifford.

  260. So he’s just below the best player who’s ever played arguably? Would you say apart from Clifford there’s a better forward than him on his day?

  261. @Great ball I said walah is a good player but he’s just not the same standard as Clifford and I think he’s overated others said the same about him to. I think there are better forwards the walsh from dublin who would be just below Clifford wouldn’t class wqlsh as 2nd best forward .

  262. No prob clare, that’s sound.. You’re entitled to your opinion. I suppose for me it’s the natural all round ability. The best forward to me is still Maurice Fitzgerald. I love to watch Clifford and time will tell if he’s the greatest.

  263. @Clare, ..even tough he did not hit the same heights with Galway as in 2022, Shane Walsh was without Kilmacud Crokes best player and won an All Ireland Senior Club Medal not too shabby. Its allot to ask for a stellar Club Championship year and a stellar inter county season in the same year.

  264. I would have Matt Connor ahead of David Clifford as the GOAT .I never remember Matt Connor Kicking as bad as wides as Clifford kicked against Dublin in this years final in his biggest games for Offaly.His performance against the best Kerry team ever in the 1980 semi final has to go down as the best performance from a Gaelic footballer ever scoring 2-9.

  265. @Sam Og the greatest single performance ever seen Matt Connor by a mile, 1980 All Ireland semifinal 2.08 by Matt out of a total of 4.10 by Offaly v Kerry 4.15 (the greatest that had ever played Gaelic Football at the time, and still end up on the losing side) my teenage years I remember it like it was yesterday, not long after we got a colour TV, many other great performances as well. In the time of mostly hand passed goals Matt’s brace were kicked both bullets , and things of beauty. Sadly a car crash that cut Matts football career short and confined him to a wheelchair. Regardless no amount of time could dim how bright that light shone, I dont know if he was the actual greatest or not, but no one has touched the heights Matt reached in that game in 1980 yet.

  266. Back to possible rule changes for a minute. I threw out a comment, half in jest, a while back, wondering what it would be like if the handpass was banned completely. I think it was JP who said that he would love to see it trialled and, the more I think about it, so would I. I would love to see it introduced, on an experimental, maybe in some underage and college competitions, just to see how it would pan out. You know it could solve an awful lot of the games problems that we have been highlighting.

  267. @Leantimes I just dont think walsh is an elite forward just yet no doubt he’s a great player but what I meant is he’s not top yet I think Lee keagan wrote an article as well saying the same just not in the same bracket as Clifford though in saying that walsh would make any team .. yeah hard to perform at the top for both club & county but if your elite forward you perform at the best in both club& county .

    Yeah and kilmacud won the all Ireland questionably ….. as far as I remember but that’s another story haha

  268. If Clifford is that so great, why didn’t he lead Kerry to victory v the Dubs?, in my view his brother was much better in that game, great players can handle pressure, I was at the final in Croker.

    If any of ye got to see the Kilmacud v Eire Og game yesterday, you will note that defensive football is a waste of time, as Eire Og sat back in defence the Kilmacud half backs were able to pick off many scores, also note Paul Mannion at full back position on a few occasions in the game.

    I say if a team is not very good in a defensive setup then just don’t set up that way, this is what happened to Eire Og yesterday. If Eire Og set up in a more orthodox manner they would have made a better game of it.

    My two favourite forwards currently are Paul Mannion and Shane Walsh, there are top class.

  269. My solution on a way to eradicate the constant hand passing,reluctance to shoot for scores etc.would be to bring back the days when you’re uncle and a few of his loud neighbours would be standing on the sideline in Ballindine or at the saucer and if you dilly-dallied for more than a half second on the ball the roar would come in from the line ”kick the scuttering thing over the bar”. Since you’re uncle’s glór carried for over 3 parishes,you tried to comply out of embarrassment,so did your teammates.
    That phrase should be introduced into every coaches manual….imo.

  270. @GlasagusDearg, that probably could never happen, it’s too big of a change for the Gaa bosses that do not want to be seen to copy the Soccer and Rugby change, I think it would improve most of the problems in the game, it would also speed up the game as a player in possession would be afraid to get surrounded by a few players and could not be able to get the pass away resulting in a free kick to the opposition team.

    Imagine a new FOOTBALL game with
    No hand passing ( maybe only the goalie should be allowed hand pass )
    No backward passes
    No forwards allowed past the halfway line
    No Butcher looking Umpires in their white coats ( I cannot believe we still see this).
    2 points awarded for a long range point.
    VAR checks.
    There would certainly be high scores.

    You would need at least 2 Referees as per Aussie Rules.

    In my lifetime the game has changed very little.
    In the old days, 1970s you could score a goal from a hand pass, free kicks and line balls had to be taken from the ground, the kickout was taken from the small square, other than that there is little else.

    My Grandchildren may see those types of Revolutionary changes in the game.

  271. @Bate the blanket it takes a team effort to win the all Ireland Clifford can only do so much and there was a lot of pressure on him this year to perform he took kerry where they are today anyone can see he is a top class forward .

    Anyway ..I don’t think the gaa could bring in a rule to make the game less defensive it would be very hard to bring in such a rule . Let’s just hope next year’s season is better then this year’s one..

  272. Shane Walsh is class, the way he can go at speed off both feet is joy to watch.
    If Mayo could buy him for a year like Kilmacud we’d be laughing. We sadly don’t have anyone with same ability level as him.

  273. @Gizmobobs cillian o Connor/tommy conroy are of the same class as walsh if nit higher then him when fully fit as is Ryan o D walsh is a good player never said he wasn’t but I just don’t see him as a top one .

  274. Clare what has Tommy done so far that puts him in league of Shane Walsh?
    Cillian is up there without doubt. Tommy has the potential in time, but his finishing ability is not at Shane’s level, for now anyway. I know he was badly injured but he’s back a good while now and didn’t exactly set the championship alight.
    Shane’s goal last night with the header in full flight to maximise speed and distance he could pull away from defenders was lovely to watch.

  275. @Clare, I have heard that narrative before, team game etc, but here are a list of the games I attended in Croker where one player won the game for their County

    1995 semi final, Tyrone v Galway, Peter Canavan won this game on his own.

    2001, All Ireland final, Galway v Meath, Pádraig Joyce won the All Ireland for Galway in what because known as the Pádraig Joyce show.

    1997, final Maurice Fitzgerald beat Mayo practically on his own.

    2009 All Ireland final, Kerry v Cork, the Gooch Engineered the frees and scored them to win it for Kerry.

    2014, Lee Keegan v Roscommon in Quarter final, he carried the fight on his own in the drawn game.

    2022 Dublin club final, Shane Walsh beat Na Fianna on his own.

    2023, final, you could say Paul Mannion won it for the Dubs.

  276. Sam Og, Galway GAA streaming it. €15, same provider as Mayo GAA so stream quality should be good.

  277. @Gizmobobs before Tommy’s awful injury he was a top class player for his club / county and college don’t know how anyone could say otherwise about him?!

    Tommy conroy is back a bit now but he got one of the worst injuries you can get in gaa? For him to come back as soon as he did after shows his determination and resilience we badly missed tommy c when he was out injured he was never going to be anywhere near his best the first year after that awful injury he’ll be back near his 100% best next year ..

    Well we shall see how Shane walsh & Galway do next year won’t we …

    @bate the blanket yeah fair points .but at the end of the day it is a team sport .

  278. How could I forget, one could say that Michael Fitzsimmons won the All Ireland for Dublin in 2023, by keeping the great Clifford to very little scores.
    He probably was the man of that match.

  279. @Clare he has great potential. Needs to play heads up more and improve finishing which can be a bit erratic. He is a very good player. With a high ceiling he can yet achieve.
    In his 32 appearance for Mayo he has averaged 1.8pts a game, his best performance was probably the 1-3 he bagged v Tyrone in 2020 league or the 0-3 in all Ireland semifinal.
    What has he do for NUIG? He was unlucky when got injured early so not sure how can say he was too class for them.
    This is not to run down Tommy, who I think is a very, very good player who will go on to achieve so much more in the game. But a counter argument to your statement that Tommy is already of same class or higher than Shane Walsh. Who practically single handedly won AIF for Kilmacud, and gave one of the greatest individual performances in Croke Park to nearly singlehandedly drag Galway over the line.
    The facts as they stand now, do not add up.

  280. Tommy C will come good. It took Andy a full season to feel his way back after his cruciate op. Tommy will need to add a few more strings to his bow,but he has great natural pace,so that’s a great starting point…the rest can be coached.

  281. I’m of the view Mick Fitzsimmons was minded and prepared for the knockout stages That meant explosive work for speed and lots of recovery. We’d have togged him in January because we’re bullheaded that everyone must be at the pitch of it and working hard early.
    I don’t see how a 34 year old can be that lean and explosive without mainly focusing on speed, power and getting the recovery he needs from that strength work.
    We’ve brought Fergal Boland back supposedly.
    He’ll only make an impact if the plan set out for him is based on him coming on and being much more explosive. It can be improved, but I’m unfortunately not seeing it with Mayo.
    Everyone appears to be on a program that assumes they need to be able to start and feature in the league starting.
    The players who lack strength and size should be on programs targetted to being heavier, stronger and more explosive.
    If that means they can only play x amount of minutes starting or as a sub then so be it.

  282. Cillian O’Connor has achieved more in the game than Shane Walsh, has the medals and the records to show it.

    We all believe David Clifford will be the Greatest, but to do that it’s not Shane Walsh’s name he’s chasing it’s Cillian O’Connor.

    I wouldn’t take a 31 year old Shane Walsh for Mayo over Ryan O’Donoghue or Tommy Conroy. If it was just a straight question of full forward ness, I would take him over Aidan. I’d definitely take him over James Carr. I might take him over Cillian, but that’s completely due to Cillians recent injury record, otherwise it’s Cillian for me.

    If you were offering me a Galway forward it’d probably be Tierney at the moment

  283. If was for a long time trade deal based on present standings and ability then given Walsh age it would be Tierney for me as well now.

  284. @gizmobobs

    It’s also where we’re most obviously light.
    I happily take any of their half forward line.

    Walsh or Comer, I’d probably take Comer if it’s not a fitness decision.

    Kelly and Daly, would be my first two picks from Galway. Similarly to above, I’d happily take any one of their half back line, but wouldn’t be hot on the rest of their full back lines.

    Goalies are no brainer. Reape and Hennelly are better than what they have.

    Midfield, I’d prefer our options tbh

  285. Watching the galway county final and the standard of football is on a different scale to the mayo final, some of the scores have been unreal, Peter Cooke is a class act.

  286. Anything to be said for bringing the Railway Cup back? Feels like there’s a gap between now and January. Give them a three round group stage, with some very flexible sub rules, to find their feet, semi finals, a final and wooden spoon game.

    And play it in the Dome. In terms of entertainment, playing it inside really has been the most consistent solution, and having a similar facility in each province shouldn’t be too far away. It’s not a solution thats practical everywhere but we should be finding ways to use it more we can.

  287. This Galway final is a completely different sport to the tripe we witnessed last Sunday.

    Both teams going into defensive setups without the ball but both teams looking for the kick pass inside constantly and comfortably taking on slots from distance

  288. Ontheroad, when he puts the foot down he is hard stopped.
    James McLoughlin the 20 year old lad I think it is, is some unit as well.
    Very enjoyable so far, pity the pitch has no bounce at all at all. Caused a few handling errors. The joys of winter football.

  289. @ontheroad13 it can’t be that far ahead of mayo football they still lost twice to us this year … yes mayo final was awful but sure time to move on ha..

    @Gizmombobs I get your points for sure but I’d still take Tommy conroy over walsh anyday and the all Ireland that cookes won last year should have been re played but sure ha ..

    @frostthehammer totally agree with you!

  290. FrostTHammer, there is talk of that with view to its final being the warm up game ahead of all Ireland football final.
    When inter-county players voted to scrap the FBD etc. hard to see an appetite for it IMO.

    The sigerson should be built up a bit more maybe. They usually atrocious conditions, but when weather permits the can be good games to watch, with HEA streaming a lot of games.

  291. @Gizmobobs

    If I knew that it wasn’t going to be spoiled by the weather, and I was guaranteed a good quality viewing experience, good camera angles etc I would 100% vote with my wallet and pay to watch it.

    Well if the men won’t do it, dare I say that the women might. In terms of the infrastructure around it, it would be most efficient if the management group not simply being used for just a few weeks of the year. So it’d be best if they were doing this probably 3 or 4 times a season with different groups, be those separated by gender age or other.

    After writing all that and reading it back, I can how this scenario could be expected to lead to an increase in professionalism in the game, and I’m not really sure how I feel about that tbh

  292. @FrostTHammer, Tierney is decent but he’s not on the same planet ability wise as Walsh.

    Imagine how we could’ve used a player like Walsh who can kick frees equally as well off both feet over the years, rather than watching KMC or Aido struggling from the right side.

    Not sure how Cillian can prove he’s better medals wise also, to my knowledge Walsh has two All Ireland medals to Cillians zero. On scoring records yes Cillian definitely ahead.

    He’d be comfortably our best forward let’s be realistic. But ROD and Tommy have the talent to hopefully get to that level in future

  293. Just a thought on what we should expect from next season.

    There’s been a ridiculous drop in managerial turnover between this year and last. In division 1 I reckon that there will be only one new management team, versus four last year, and similar numbers in the other divisions.

    We should expect to see real evidence this year of where coaching can bring the game.

    In fairness to the new structure, it didn’t really reward negative football this year. Mickey Hartes approach garnered no points. The two teams who put a lot of effort into their systems, Galway and Roscommon, didn’t even reach the quarters. Derry, who were probably a bit more positive in their approach than Galway, and a bit further along than Roscommon, earned themselves a semi final. Monaghan were rewarded for their honest and thoughtful approach.

  294. @Stephenite

    One of Shane Walsh’s all Ireland’s is from moving clubs.

    The other was an U21 title in 2013, a year in which Cillian O’Connor was bringing his team to a senior final. There’s only a year between them, so at the same age 2012, Cillian was bringing his team to a senior All Ireland final.

    Shane Walsh has fulfilled his senior inter county potential in one season at the age of 29. Cillian O’Connor has been doing it consistently since the age of 20.

  295. @FrostTHammer

    You can swing those stats whichever way you want. You can also say that Walsh kicked more from play in one All Ireland final than Cillian has managed in 6.

    Walsh has been brilliant since about 2018 he’s just been on crap teams. He was running amok against us in both the covid years yet his team gets beat and out he goes after 1 game despite playing brilliantly.

    I’m not even saying he’s better than Cillian, Cillians definitely had a better career overall. Doesn’t stop Walsh being better for most of the later years. You’ve others saying a youngster like Conroy has done more which is ridiculous. The one eyed nature of this place would make your mind boggles sometimes

  296. BTW an u21 All Ireland and a club all Ireland are the second and third biggest prized in the GAA. They’re hardly things to be scoffed at

    Very few people outside of Dublin and Kerry get to win anything greater

  297. @stephenite no one said Tommy conroy has done more then walshe what I meant was I think he’s just as good a player as walshe .

    Tommy c could hardly have achieved as much as walshe as he’s much younger then walshe obviously….there’s no one eyed nature around here either just differnt opinions…

  298. @Stephenite

    It’s not at all a black and white argument.

    I would like to make sure what Cillian has accomplished for both himself and us isn’t forgotten.

    Walsh is 30 and Cillian 31, Andy Moran had barely gotten going at that age. There is no real reason to believe that these guys most defining moments are not still ahead of them.

  299. @Clare I think what people are trying to say is Walsh has done it on bog stage already. Tommy could do it, but hasn’t yet.
    Cillians record you are correct speaks for itself.

  300. @Gizmobobs yeah fair enough i never said that conroy has achieved more then walshe of course he hasn’t achieved more then walsh that’s impossible as he’s younger etc walshe is good and would make any team but I just hold David Clifford in a higher bracket .

    What I was trying to say is that I think Tommy conroy will become a much better player then what walshe is today with time and I still think Tommy c is one of the best and has a lot of promise in him. Cillian o Connor has done a lot for us and i hope he is around in the green& red for good few more years!

  301. Comparisons between players is pointless..
    Walsh still has so much too offer for Galway, carrying a bit of timber but I’m sure Cian O Neill and Co will work that off him.. I was extremely disappointed with him last year but hopefully 2024 he will be back to his best..
    One thing I feel about Cillian is he will be 32 come championship but I think his injuries and miles on the clock are beginning to show , who knows maybe he’ll have a great 24 as well.
    Galway final was a great game today, absolutely pains me to see Corofin winning, but from a Galway point of view Liam Silke back after missing all last year is a massive boost.
    He was unreal today!

  302. @Tuamstar cilian o Connor would still make any team his injuries and age are not beginning to show ( they did this year and he was awful unlucky with injuries ) …. he’s still a guaranteed scorer and cute in hebknows how to get them to .

    He’s still young sure !! He had a really unlucky season with injuries this year but hes a top class forward and will still continue to shine for mayo next year yes this year was not his year but when he’s on top form you can’t stop him … he will bounce back next year for sure

    I’d have him on my team anyday sure walsh is getting on to then you cod say… if you say cillian o Connor age and injuries catching up hell show you next season he’s not dobe yet by a long shot .

  303. @Tuamstar as walsh is only a year younger then cillian o Connor so to say age is catching up with cillian is silly I’m my view he had awful luck with injuries this year he was by far the best player for his club this county season !

  304. @clare you said o Connors age and injuries are not showing.. Then you said they did this year… Hahaha.. Awful raving.

  305. I love your positive attitude but saying conroy is a btr footballer than Walsh is just laughable

  306. @great ball there’s no need for that kind of attitude if you don’t like someone’s opinion fair enough but no need to laugh at someone’s comment either ..

    I said in general cillian o Connor age & injuries are not showing but this year they did as hes been unlucky with injuries this year but hes been in flying form since coming back for his club this year…

    You talk about awful raving ?? Your comments have been nothing but raving since coming on here this is play by the ball rule blog..

  307. Clare did Cillian not miss some championship games this year after getting a few red cards?

  308. @Great ball funny your talking about raving from some of of comments you’ve posted recently.

  309. Stephen O’Malley 15pts, Ciaran Gavin 12pts were Ballintubbers go to men up front. Cillian had 6pts and Diarmuid 5pts.
    Cillian played quite well when on pitch I’m fairness to him.

  310. @Gizmobobs yes he did get sent off for but red twice but 2nd time the guy cillian striked had literally 2 minutes previous had struck cillians ankle which could have really injured cillian..

    Not saying cillian was right to strike back bit you have to stand your ground to .

  311. @Great ball you accused me of raving when I was just giving an honest opinion if you don’t like my opinions fair enough but you’ve been raving to since county final is what I meant regards your comments anyway let’s just leave it at that .

  312. Great bit of raving going on here this evening but cillian o Connor has had alot of injuries since dislocating his shoulder back in 2013 and the culmination of them will eventually catch up on you but I don’t think he ever got the national credit he deserved.In my opinion Shane Walsh is an extraordinary talent but can be inconsistent as can happen with players of that type.certainly his striking of the ball of both feet would be quite a bit ahead of Tommy conroy at the minute

  313. Clare, don’t take offence, but I really struggle to keep up with all your posts ( a lot of which are contradictory) .
    Cillian started 1 out of 8 national league games last year, his whole season was hit by injury..
    If you think these injuries don’t catch up with players eventually then fair enough..

  314. On their day, Shane Walsh is the best score taking forward in Connacht. Mayo’s is probably James Carr. The key words here being ‘on their day’.

    Cillian is a very different type of player. Excellent, no doubt but he benefited from being part of a great team most of his adult career whereas Walsh didn’t have that so much with Galway, up until 2 years ago.

  315. Willie Joe
    The blog is turning into a farce with these comments above comparing players and a certain poster sending 50 comments a day.

  316. Point taken, Deelrover84, but it is the closed season from an inter-county point of view so the debate does tend to wander around the place at this time of year, which is understandable.

  317. @Tuamstar I do take offence at that !

    @willie joe apologies if I offended anyone certainly was not my intention I’ll cool it on the commenting for a while.

  318. Shane Walsh is a very gifted footballer and had one outstanding season in 2022 when Galway reached the all Ireland final , had a couple of good seasons and been pretty much unnoticeable the rest of his career to date ,whether you think that’s because he was playing on an average Galway team in those seasons or he was taken to the cleaners by exceptionally strong athletic defenders like those playing for Mayo at the time is pending the narrative you want to put on it .

    Cillian o Connor was a vital cog in an incredible Mayo team , a team Galway don’t even compare to imo . Cillian would not have the same quick silky skills as Walsh , Cillian far tougher cookie though and has definitely done more on the national stage than the one all Ireland final Shane Walsh has .

  319. Looking at the scores in matches around the Country this weekend it is fair to say that Mayo teams cannot score against packed defences.

  320. We should not be surprised that Fergal Boland is being looked at again.

    I doubt Fergal being dropped from the panel was as acrimonious as people make out. He has almost certainly remained on a S&C program, and was almost certainly told he’d be looked at again in the future.

    Last year the decision was almost certainly to take a look at a less experienced player instead of Fergal, but this year with Kevin and Jason retired, the situation has changed.

    While management will have a far better idea of where Fergal is at than I do, it would still seem strange to me that they are prepared to simply give him a squad place for the season ahead at this early stage.

    IMO it’d make more sense if Fergal has postponed going to Australia “for this year”, as in until 2024, pending a decision from management which you would expect they’ll be making in late December/early January

  321. @SeanBurke

    That’s more of the same now though. Its completely disingenuous to say he was taken to the cleaners by Mayo defenders, regularly as you imply. Paddy Durcan roasted him in 2019 down in Limerick, that was one of the best wing backs seasons we’ve seen, actually doesn’t get the credit it deserves at all, as good as any of Lees when you consider who paddy had to mark that year

    But outside of that Walsh was near motm off Durcan in 2018, he destroyed Lee in 2020. It seemed like nobody was marking him in 2021 because he was sprinting off everywhere setting up goals before he got injured, that was an insane performance. He was crap last year alright but more because he kept shooting wides than any tight marking

  322. I see Pat Spillane is giving out about football again, he is obviously still sick after the Dubs beating Kerry in AIF.
    I would agree with Mickey Harte when he stated that the only reason Spillane gives out about football is when Kerry are not winning.

    Back to the Mayo setup.
    Please management get rid of at least 10 players from 2023 panel and please add 10 more players.

    That final free kick Breaffy took in the club final just summed it up for me.

  323. That County Final was the worst game I have ever been at (and that’s saying something!).

    @WJ – is there a limit on the number of posts a contributor can make on the Blog? I seem to be reading a lot of same stuff day in/day out.

    Lets see what the county management come up with for the 2024, but am not hopeful.

  324. Honestly can’t recall him roasting Leroy in 2020 , we won that game anyway . They beat us in 16 & 17 and I can’t remember coming away thinking Shane Walsh beat us think he got a point in each of them . Did he even play in 15 salthill ? I know Cillian got 0-9 on the scoreboard that day .

    Look we shall agree to disagree but imho Cillians worth is more when you factor in the big games semi , quarters etc . I haven’t the time but I like to see what walsh has scored against Mayo v what Cillian has scored v Galway .

  325. The u21 club championship is a good opportunity for our u20 and senior mgmt to track underage talent. Good to see it being brought back. Castlebar appear to be the strongest team in it.

  326. Watching u21 games at the weekend would give you some hope with regard the state of football. Not overly defensive and more free flowing than most club games.
    On another point, was at the two u 17 games in Bekan on Friday night and have to say the condition of the pitches up there are superb. As good as any pitch in the country at this time of year.

  327. Very good suggestion coming from Kerry selector Quirke about how to save Gaelic football, That 4 players have to be in opposition half of field at all times. Has merit, could do away with 15 behind the ball and would encourage a kicking game. What ye think.

  328. That four player suggestion is clunky and not workable at all levels. Loads of clubs will soon struggle for numbers. Move to 13 a side, simplest.

  329. JP 13 a side would be a bit better alright and give smaller teams a chance to survive longer.
    But can result in 13 behind the ball which is not that much less crowded unfortunately.
    The set number of players inside a half would only really work where you have linesmen all the time, so county and club championships really. League games even for first divisions in club may not even have them.
    Few ways of doing it. None of which would be easy, does it have to be same players left inside? If yes they could have an alternate jersey to rest of team so more visual. This one could wash with top brass as would increase jersey sales 🙂 would also be easier for referee on his lonesome to spot.

  330. 2 Referees would be the answer Gizmobobs, one in each half of the pitch, have 2 Umpires instead of 4 also,

  331. Yes that would make sense alright Batetheblanket. I was trying see how could work it for both club and county simultaneously.
    That wouldn’t be possible at club with lack of referees already an issue there, but be good start at intercounty level.

  332. It would be impossible to monitor the four players rule. For example if there a number of players around the halfway line – as there will be – and some of these players are crossing back and over across the halfway line – how can a ref or someone monitoring this be sure there are 4 players on the right side of the line at all times. The only way it could work as someone suggested is these players have some identification on there jersey/head to indicate they are one of the four and these four players cannot cross the halfway line at any stage. The four players marking them would also need to be restricted from passing the halfway line – or else you could have four defenders attacking and there four forwards only able to follow them to the halfway line. Something needs to be tried.

  333. 4 linesmen with extra job of policing the 8 players from moving out of their restricted zones when play is in the other half, a bit like the offside rule in soccer if you come out of this zone then it’s a 45 metre free against your team.

  334. If you’re having to explain how rules would work in detail then they’re already not workable.
    1. 13 a side
    2. No pass to the goalkeeper ever
    3. Refs are instructed to stop giving players extra steps in the tackle and call it for travelling /barging
    I think the combination of the above three would make a really nice entertaining game.

  335. What about replacing steps with a timer?
    You’d have so many seconds on the ball once under control to pass, hop or solo.

  336. @Frostgamner, That would be a good way to ref it. Think it is already in place? You’re not allowed just stand static with the ball.
    The Eoin Murchain goal was outrageous to be let go in that final. This business of sizing sizing sizing up I shoot. Twas like three solos from midfield or something mad low.

  337. I looked at that goal tonight, Murchan didn’t bounce the ball or take a solo from the edge of the Arc until he shot at goal on the 14 yard line, I make that about12 or 14 metres, and at 5 feet 6 or 7 that must be 18 steps.

  338. That 4 players have to be in the opposition half, at all times seems like a good suggestion, in theory, but I am not sure that it is workable. It certainly could’nt have to be the same 4 players, as that would be impossible to keep track of, so it would have to be any 4 players. I could see a lot of problems with it-if one is chasing a defender coming out, does he stop when he hits the halfway line?, one competing for the ball near halfway and steps slightly over it. And the players would have to constantly check to see how many of them were in the other half. Personally I think it has too many complications.

  339. @GlasagusDearg, all these proposals actually means that the game will have to go back to the old days when we played it in Mayo, where the backs and forwards stayed in their positions and only he midfielders were running in the middle of the pitch.
    If a corner forward didn’t stay close to the sideline he was fucked out of it by the full forward for crowding his space, the same full forward was about 2 stone overweight and couldn’t run.
    This was the game that we grew up with, catch and kick.

  340. Any rule changes must be easy to ref.
    Start by totally getting rid of the square ball and the rul that you can’t touch the goalie in his own box.
    Get rid of the forward mark, tidy up the black cards, use foam for free kicks,we copied everything else from rugby.
    Don’t allow any pass to the goalkeeper and adopt the timeclock for sin bin and time keeping in general.
    Apply the steps and time on ball rules strictly

  341. I’m happy to see fergal boland back as he isn’t afraid to shoot from distance, I would have had him in squad last year too but let’s not get daft lionising him as a ‘panacea’ to all out attacking ills.

    He is a decent squad player, who tends to perform better off the bench then when starting. He’s in danger of becoming the next Richie feeney with mayo fans in improving every time he doesn’t play.

    Would be hoping to see a few more bolters in the squad this year. Any word of anyone else being drafted in or are we going with same squad again more or less?

  342. Supermac, there are about 25 newbies on development program. Reality will likely be very few bolters with just the two retirees and two lads who opted out being replaced.

  343. Are any of following Evan Regan, Stephen O’Malley, Brian Reape, Cian McHale, Jack Fallon ,Darren Quinn or Oisin McLaughlin on that 25?

  344. I’m very torn on the Eoin Murchan goal.

    I mean the ref is playing advantage, you can see he has his arm up in the replay from behind the goal, and I’m not sure that he overcarries after the contact with Moran.

    It feels wrong, but at the end of the day it’s more goals that we want to see. A, shall we say, generous interpretation of the advantage rule would at least appear to lead to a faster and more entertaining game

  345. If the ref has his hand up playing advantage – it doesn’t mean the player in possession can break the rules during the advantage.
    Similarly when a player in possession of the ball is been fouled- it doesn’t mean they can take more than the permitted number of steps and get away with it.
    Mabye if the rules were changed that for the five second advantage the player in possession can take 10 steps before playing the ball? It might speed up the game and discourage some of the lazy fouling.

  346. @FrostT, you should try and slow down the replay of Murchan goal, I was at that final and did not notice it in real time.
    Murchan was 4 or 5 yards outside the 65 metre line, and from here to the 13 metre line there were 3 plays of the ball, unless he was floating on air I do not know he could have covered over 50 metres in 3 plays of the ball.

    The referee stood in midfield for all of this move, ya it was the Ref that lives in Dublin that Officiated in that final, Goff.

    I know it’s history but Dublin Joe also shaftMayo out of 2 penalties in 2017, O Gara eye gouging, all Dublin forwards fouling their markers in final few minutes.

    The Gaa has been on the side of the Dubs since 2011, a bit like the LUCK Sth Africa got in the Rugby ? World Cup.

  347. @Bate the Blanket

    I think you have your games mixed-up. It was Conor Lane. David Gough reffed the first game. And Dublin Joe is Joe McQuillan afaik

  348. @Bate the blanket. The Gaa has been on the side of Dublin (Croke Park officials, officiating, official Ireland and RTE) since long before point win 1995, All Ireland final v Tyrone, Charlie Redmond on the field after being sent off? .The official arbitrator of all that is right and holy in Ireland, and renowned music critic , currently the highest paid ‘Talent’ in RTE Joe Duffy his radio show went into meltdown the time that Mayo beat Dublin in 2006.

  349. Joe Duffy.. Haha, what an insufferable tool he is.. Rte are the pits really..what they’ve got away with..remember Mr rte gay byrne retired from late late, he was never off the fuckin TV after.. They never replace these guys, Duffy, byrne Kenny… Joke it is.. I know it’s not related to gaa but sure.. What about.

  350. Sorry FrostT, I am sure of the distance Murchan travelled with 3 plays of the ball over 50 metres, he must have been foating on air.

  351. Hearing Kevin Quinn from Ballinrobe called into McStays provisional training panel.One of the best goal scorers in the Mayo Club scene.Great to see him get his chance and good to see Ballinrobe have a player in the Mayo panel again.Hope we see alot of new forwards in Mayos FBD games.No point in playing established players in these matches.

  352. That’s great to hear Sam og. I was just saying a while ago how strange that Ballinrobe didn’t have a player on the panel. Will watch his progress with interest. Not a Ballinrobe native btw. Achill is another area that doesn’t seem to have had a senior panelist in an age.

  353. He is incredibly quick in fairness Bate the Blanket. And his running technique is really good as well.

    Counting the steps is incredibly difficult, so I counted his time between his actions and I had them on a count of 2. Is that an easier thing for a referee to manage than steps?

    It’d remove a lot of the scrums around the ball as well. It’ll reduce contact, but doesn’t necessarily punish intelligent contact. I’ll retract my earlier “ball under control” to first contact, as that really punishes poor hand pass possession. Pulling the ball up from your laces would really eat into your time

  354. James Carr and Donnacha McHugh are the only two from the Dublin game I’d hope to see play FBD. McHugh is young. Carr would have played Junior club so might benefit from it.

    Maybe one or two others who may be returning from injury. McBrien for example.

    Between lads who were on the panel without really making an impact last year, guys who showed well in club championship, promising youngsters, guys returning from injury, and a sprinkle of lads who weren’t on the panel but weren’t too far away, we should be able to manage a 15

  355. If I am correct there are many clubs that have had no Mayo players for years,
    Ballinrobe, Fergal Costello in mid to late 1990s, Peter Ford in late 1980s, Jimmy McHaugh in early 1980s.

    Claremorris, no regular Mayo Senior team player since the Maher’s, late 1980s.

    Balla, Maurice Sheridan and Pat Fallon in 1990s.

    Swinford, David Heaney, early 2000s.

    Charlestown, John Casey, 1990s

    Garrymore, very few regular Mayo players since early 1980s.

    Davitts, only 3 players since late 1980s, Roche, Boyle and Conroy.

    It used to be dominated by the guys from North Mayo this past 12 years it’s West Mayo

  356. @ bate the blanket

    Enda Hession Garrymore – Shane Nally and Caolan Crowe also involved for a few years in not to distance past
    Paul Towey Charlestown

  357. @Bate the Blanket, Claremorris are the great enigma, fabulous young lads since the seventies, and haven’t been in a county final since 1978

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