Talking football with Tommy Rooney – Mayo News Football Podcast 2022 E20

With the draw for the football qualifiers fast approaching, Mike and Rob are joined in this episode of the Mayo News Football Podcast by Tommy Rooney of Off The Ball and host of The Football Pod. The lads talk all things football from Championship structures to Mayo’s place in the minds of pundits and supporters as another summer campaign gathers steam. Tommy tells us why the Mayo story continues to capture the imagination of GAA fans and yet frustrates them in equal measure.    

Mike and Rob then turn their thoughts towards the Mayo hurlers and we hear from Keith Higgins ahead of Saturday’s Christy Ring Cup final. There’s also audio from Mayo U17 manager Seán Deane after his charges beat Galway last Friday evening to qualify for the Connacht final. In addition, the lads discuss what’s next for the Mayo ladies, following their defeat to Galway in last Sunday’s Connacht LGFA SFC decider.

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

The podcast is also on Patreon, where club members enjoy exclusive access to bonus episodes and more besides. The Patreon variant of this episode is an extended one in which Mike and Rob chat about the Mayo hurlers getting the green light to return to MacHale Park and the U17s’ Connacht Championship game against Galway on Friday evening.

Sign up to become a podcast club member on Patreon here.  

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

The Mayo News Football Podcast is proudly sponsored by the Oxford Arms, a really lovely pub in London’s Camden Town, and the podcast is produced and edited by Ger Duffy Media.

66 thoughts on “Talking football with Tommy Rooney – Mayo News Football Podcast 2022 E20

  1. The structure badly needs changing..we need more championship games. We’ve played one game and are not out again for 6 weeks..and if we lose that we’re not out again for 7 months…in the league.

    Look at the profile currently for the Munster Hurling Chsmpionship. RTÉ are showing two games simultaneously on RTÉ 1 and 2 this Sunday. It’s getting great coverage.

    The 2 Connacht semi- finals weren’t even on TV.

    Look how quiet the blog is currently…little to talk about….unlike Munster hurling folk!

  2. The Munster hurling championship format is great as a spectacle, and it solves the problem of smaller counties not getting enough top-level games. The only issue might be that clubs might object to shoehorning an additional 2-4 county fixtures into the calendar.

  3. Stop the lights another long term injury for Mayo. I won’t mention his name Willie Joe but wish him all the best in his recovery.

  4. Aww .. Noooo … @ Travelling Wilbury..I am nearly afraid to look. It is just never ending with all these injuries.

  5. Thanks, Travelling Wilbury. Nothing’s confirmed as yet and most likely won’t be either but I’m hearing that the reports are accurate and that it’s season ending. Hard to know what to say at this stage …

  6. The GAA have made a major mistake with this early championship start. They are fighting for media exposure and coverage going up against the Premier League, Champions league and club Rugby…

    The media is squarely focused on the soccer right now. The GAA have two football games this weekend that hardly would get you excited.

    A 6 week break in a condensed championship is madness while clubs are denied players.

    Then you have confusion over draws, when they are etc…

    I’m finding it hard to get any enthusiasm for this years championship.

  7. Agreed, Yew Tree. Losing the months of August and September is a disaster from a promotional point of view, and now there’s a race to cram in as many games as possible into three months. Games which definitely would have been on TV in recent years have been shelved because there are so many games on a given weekend now.

  8. Ah stop, not another injury. I don’t know what to say at this stage. All the best to the player involved.

    That is Conroy, Harrison and this player with season ending injuries and a huge amount of other players with fairly long term injuries (Flynn, Hennelly, Durcan, Diarmuid, Oisín, Callanan). Maybe the last 2 seasons are taking their toll on us but it’s beyond a joke at this stage.

  9. Desperate news of a season ending injury. That has knocked the enthusiasm for Monday’s draw out of me. Very tough on the player.

  10. It’s not, Oilean acla, it’s in addition to Ryan, about whom, incidentally, there are also doubts for Round 1, as I gather that particular story also has some substance.

  11. Apologies, Paddy Ban, I can’t let that comment of yours go up – discussion about that particular ‘source’ is off-limits here, for reasons I’ve previously articulated.

  12. Tough on the lad and he was having a good season wish him all the best ,it’s hard not to be a bit dejected with all these injury’s but we just have to battle on the injury list is long so a fairly handy draw is needed to get us going again playing meath and beating them would be a nice tonic

  13. You all seem to know who it is so why not tell those of us who are not on twitter

  14. Can’t understand why ye can’t name the player. It’s not as if it won’t be obvious in the the near future. All this secrecy around who’s fit and who’s not is baffling. We really don’t help ourselves when it comes to news out of the mayo camp. I wouldn’t mind but it’s never good news.

  15. Thats a great podcast. Thanks gents. I enjoyed listening to it here in Canada.
    Rooneys remark about Mayo’s consistency and ability to keep producing top players year after year stuck with me. Its true the likes of Corks, Meath, Derry, Down once were competitive and have fallen away. So we’re lucky in the regard.
    Its the not the Destination, It’s the journey.

  16. The reason, Joe, is because it’s been long-standing policy here that the comments section isn’t a place for posting unconfirmed stories. If you want to find out who it is, then no more than five minutes of searching on the internet will get you the answer there.

    While I wouldn’t normally encourage it, I don’t mind people posting comments to say there are reports in circulation about an unnamed player getting injured (which seems to be almost a weekly event at this stage), as, if nothing else, it highlights the bunker mentality within management about player information this year. We’re in the midst of a major, ongoing injury crisis – worse than 2018 by the looks of it and getting worse all the time – and it doesn’t help if we’re all operating in an information-free zone on that front.

  17. Vacuum of info is ridiculous. Leads to rumours & speculation. Why not just come out and confirm these injuries.

  18. Why ridiculous @Mayo Focus? Outside of our drive to follow Mayo, these players are amateur human beings with lives outside of football too.. the lad has broken his leg after bursting his bollocks all year. Think of the heartbreak that is for somebody.. Also the professional elements of it he has to deal with.. He should be given a bit of privacy to deal with it too, not be inundated with people bothering him and being talked about on forums such as these to satisfy people gossiping ..

    I don’t think there is any need for Mayo GAA to be tweeting every time a player is injured. No other county does it.. Why would you give other teams a full update on your squad and eliminate that element of surprise? We were giving out in the Holmes/Connelly era when information was flowing out of the camp too..

  19. @goinwellintrain: Does it not then stand to reason that a brief statement from the management team would allow said player to draw a line under the thing and get on with their rehab in peace, instead of being bothered by people asking him (in a well-intentioned manner, mostly)?

    I don’t think anyone expects open training sessions or a detailed breakdown of tactics etc., but there seems to be very little advantage in keeping schtum on everything, as the current setup is doing, especially when in the case of Brendan Harrison, his club eventually came out and confirmed what everyone was thinking anyway.

    There’s a sensible middle ground between having all sorts of rumours fly out of the camp and adopting an omertá attitude.

  20. @goinwellintrain I referred to the vacuum of information. That is what I find ridiculous. And I do agree with you that injuries like this are heartbreaking. But maybe this player would rather it was confirmed, besides having to deal with people hounding them to see if it is “true”. Either way, they are dealing with gossip. If it was me, I would rather it was confirmed & not have to deal with that nonsense.

    Again no need for MayoGAA to be tweeting every time a player is injured. I just meant that I would think it best that an official update every now and again would suffice. I’m fairly sure other teams know our squad list anyways, & I’m sure we know others. So other teams knowing our squad list won’t make a blind bit of difference in my view.

  21. “No other county does it”.

    Sure they do.

    Kerry have been incredibly open and providing information at every step on their injuries this year. Jack O’Conner has given multiple interviews on injuries ranging from when they had huge numbers out to most of the lads being back in contention, details on them being released to play club games to up their match fitness, and updating on the ones still at risk.

    I can say with confidence Mike Breen is out long term, Dan O’Donoghue is still a bit away so very unlikely to feature in the Munster final in little over a week and Stefan Okunbor tweaked a leg injury in the warm up against Cork so unlikely to make next weeks game panel but isn’t too bad. The likes of David Moran, Paul Murphy, Gavin White and Sean O’Shea are all back fully fit and a few of those mentioned lacking match time recently playing a bit of club to get back to pace. You could give a well informed breakdown of their injury list for every game in the league this year.

    That’s quite a difference to me not having the first idea where Robbie Hennelly, Paddy Durcan, Oisín Mullin, David McBrien, Michael Plunkett, Jordan Flynn, Ryan O’Donoghue or James Carr are in terms of fitness or injury. The little information I do have is unsubstantiated rumours from Twitter or 4 pints deep chat from sources who’ve proven unreliable in the past. When lads who were touch and go to make the Galway game are now touch and go to make the qualifier game there’s something worrying with either the quality of information or with the quality of care being provided which isn’t a great look in either case.

    All sorts of pros and cons about being open with injury information and if the setup choose not to provide it that’s absolutely their choice. It’s a poorer choice where you lose the ability for context and framing the conversation so others will fill the gaps with speculation, rumours and lies to push agendas but it’s a choice none the less. Saying “No other county does it” is factually incorrect though. Some do a great job on it and some do a dreadful job, it’s very much a spectrum.

  22. Can anyone give me an update on what the Galway and Roscommon injury situations are 8 days before the final.
    I might have missed it – but I didn’t see any update.

  23. Roscommon from Cunningham in the Roscommon Herald – “Speaking at this evening’s Roscommon GAA press event in Athlone IT, Cunningham reported a clean bill of health and added that Richard Hughes, one of the Rossies’ star performers during the league, had returned to training having missed the league final against Galway and the Connacht semi-final against Sligo.”

    Galway in the Examiner (not directly attributed but likely from selector John Concannon given the other comments) – “The Tribesmen have been boosted with no new injury concerns ahead of the repeat of the National Football League Division 2 final, as they look for their first provincial crown since 2018 on Sunday week.”

  24. I feel there is a bit of a separation between the 16th man and the team on the field developing.Maybe I am wrong.
    It just feels like a slight “mind your own business/ kjow your place” approach from team management and a bit of an indifference developing on the terraces.
    People might be starting to fall out of love with this project?…..

  25. @1989

    Project ???

    A project strikes me as something that might have some level of organisation about it.

    The longer this season goes on the further this tube seems to be floating out to sea.

    We don’t know where we are.

    How would we.

    I hope I am completely wrong and that everything is going well behind closed doors

  26. I did a bit of googling now but failed to find any info about a recent injury to a squad member.
    I’ve used google a lot, and AltaVista before that, so in my opinion it’s not easy to find it (unless somebody tells you the name of the Twitter handle or gives some similar clue or hint.)
    I’m not on twitter, not planning to be either.

    Anyways, I’m off to do a bit of work after my lunch, I’m in no hurry to hear bad news. I might check back in a day or 2.

  27. Nothing on Twitter! I feel so sorry for this player and wish him a speedy recovery. We can support injuries by doing the MayoGAA weekly lotto to ensure our players get the best medical treatment. Bigi linn! MHUIGEO ABU!

  28. It means nothing to me/Mayo Focus: There’s an argument to be made when a serious injury occurs, they could put it out there in a statement.. But issuing a statement every time a player is injured or weekly updates is a kin to putting your cards on the table in a poker game..

    TsuDhoNim Those quotes you mentioned are from pre-match press events. We get an update before the game the same as every other county and they are usually asked afterwards too. But no other county is tweeting Seanie Shea tweaked an ankle in training tonight, out for one to two weeks, my statement is factually correct.
    Galway are actually a great example. In the lead up to the game against them in the championship, no comment had been made on fitness outside official channels, a rumour had been circulating whether Comer had done his hamstring on Tuesday night in training. They neither confirmed nor denied, as their press event had already taken place, and left uncertainty right up until throw in.. Galway with or without Comer are two different game plans completely.

    If ROD or Oisin are playing, a person would be extremely naive to think that teams don’t make specific plans for them, and don’t gameplan over and over to take eliminate their influence. That level of preparation goes in at club level, nevermind county! Top level GAA is a game of huge preparation and tiny 1 and 2% margins. That uncertainty in preparation could just be the 1% that gets you over the line… If the camp thought there was any advantage to releasing injury news, they would 100 percent do it..

    The injuries and quality of care is another conversation completely. There are almost definitely questions to be asked there. We are by far the most injured county panel in the country, and always seem to be missing a few key players. There would be merit in a review of why this is happening and the injury types, mostly soft tissue and ligaments.. You get all our team fit, or even in the 90% range for the year, I’m not sure anyone could get near them..

  29. goinwellintrain – every county is coy with injury updates. Jack O’Connor gave an update before the Cork game saying everyone was training well and no new injuries. Then come the match Dara Moynihan was missing from the panel with an injury. There were all sorts of rumours about Con O’Callaghan doing the rounds earlier this year. People didn’t know if he was injured or off with the hurlers. You didn’t see Dublin rush out to clarify anything.

  30. There is any amount of information and points of contact when there is a fund raising drive on. No problem there getting information.

    Sure you can nearly have whoever you want on speed dial if you have a few Bob to throw in the right direction.

    As regards keeping the cards close to the chest.

    When you have only one way to play, sure it doesn’t matter what team knows who you have available. You’re already guaranteed what train tracks we will be approaching on.

    There is no guess work involved for any team that’s drawn to play against us. The opposition know exactly what’s coming.

    No team have to change their style of play when they draw us either, because they know we won’t be adapting in order to improve our chances of beating them.

  31. @goinwellintrain, Ah look I spoke to several people involved with their counties already today and they all know about the latest injury.

    You say on one hand that “these players are amateur human beings” but on the other you have no issue with Mayo GAA withholding widely known information about a significant season ending injury and in some way justify not releasing this information as it would be akin to showing your hand in a poker game.

    FFS our players deserve a bit more respect than to be compared to a card in a poker game.

    It’s bordering on sick that people cannot wish that player well.

    And how you can say that people will be “bothering him” is mad, people want to wish him well, that’s not “bothering” someone and on top of that you reckon people would be only “gossiping”, you do know that it’s when something isn’t confirmed that is the cause of gossip.

    Now the only real reason people should not be able to wish this player well is if the truth is actually not true or that the news of this injury will not reach the public domain and not waiting for some “daddy” in Mayo GAA to confirm it, people I wouldn’t trust to give me their right names.

    I’ll be personally wishing the player well and not waiting for some “Daddy” to tell me what I can or can’t do, I just look down and laugh at people like that and shove them out of my way because they’re nothing but a hindrance to progress.

  32. Very bad news circulating that 3 players out for season. Hope it’s not true but that’s what I am hearing.

  33. Really , three new injuries as in not known to us .?I’ve heard Ryan o d has some kind of groin injury but it doesn’t sound like season ending injury . The other reported player by CT that was new to the list was James Carr , CT didn’t say much but the tone didn’t seem to suggest it would be season ending either .

  34. Groin injuries normally aren’t too bad. You can usually manage them by sitting out some training sessions and still play games. Not like hamstring or quad injuries where you can end up tearing them twice as bad by going back too soon.

  35. Do we need details on every last tweak or strain? No. Do we need James Horan personally running to the media the second it looks like someone has a serious injury? Also no. But if a serious, season ending injury has occurred, I don’t see the issue with just saying so once the people involved are in possession of the full facts around the injury.

    The secrecy is so tiresome and I genuinely don’t know who it’s for.

  36. We are aware there are 2 players out for the season so I presume the other one is probably one of the guys that was on the injured list and won’t have recovered in time.

  37. Interesting results in the U17 Championship this evening. Big news is that Sligo’s progress continues, they beat Roscommon at Dr Hyde Park by 1-16 to 0-15 to qualify for the semi-final. Leitrim beat Galway by 3-8 to 0-12 in the other game but Galway get the other semi-final spot so you’d have to wonder if they put out a strong team this evening, knowing they were already through. Semi-final on next Friday, Connacht final the week after.

  38. The reality is that at this stage of such a condensed season any muscle injury could be “season ending”. There are only 9 weeks left !

  39. Yeah. Quite a few changes to the Galway team we faced, something like 4 starters that night didn’t even make the bench including the usual key man Eanna Monaghan, so hard to read too much into it. That said I’m sure they’d have been hoping to put the Mayo result behind them with a win and certainly be smarting from giving away that many goals to Leitrim.

    Have to think Sligo will be keen to have another crack at them in the semi. They were unfortunate to hit a flying Galway side in their first game after a bye the first week. Two early Galway goals in the first half, both with a touch of good fortune about them for Galway, skewed the first meeting a lot. With a few more games behind them now imagine Sligo will go into that one with plenty of confidence. Ross was massive for them at the back and in Walsh, Flynn, Niland and Rooney they’ve a few very talented lads to cause anyone trouble.

    Imagine Galway will go in favourites for that one, but wouldn’t be shocked if it was a tight one and swinging either way.

  40. If only the mgt team were as good at setting up a defensive system that doesn’t leak a couple of goals every big match as they are at keeping squad info out of the public domain.

  41. @Lucero 7 changes to their Galway starting 15 by my count. Apparently a few lads are dual players and playing tomorrow in the Celtic challenge. The other rested for the semi final

    I’d expect Sligo v Galway to be closer than the group game but for Galway to prevail. Connacht final now moved to Bank holiday Monday evening and a final that Mayo should win.

  42. I have a few queries,
    Are the full management team still in place ?
    Is the injury crisis really that bad ?, is it being used to deflect from some other issues ?
    Will the injury crisis be used as an excuse if Mayo lose in next round ?

    I’m asking questions because all has gone so quite, I certainly would never use Twitter, Facebook to get info.

  43. Mayomagic – 2 days before the start of the leaving and junior cert exams. Ideal timing for any players sitting exams or for their siblings or friends who would like to attend.

  44. For my own interest I would like to know who is and who is not injured but that doesn’t mean I have a divine right to know. There are all sorts of reasons for keeping information within the camp Some is personal some team reasons. We as supporters do not have to know who pulled up in training who limped off who was the best trainer etc.We support our county as best we can. We loved to hear that we were the best supporters in the country when our team was going well . But a few bumps in the road of late has shown a different side to some supporters We are who we are and where we are from. I’d hate to think we’d be like our neighbors to our south who only follow their county when the going is good. Our last 3 big games AI Final v Tyrone League Final v Kerry and match v Galway last month have brought disappointing results So do we turn our back on the team, blame all and sundry for our losses or continue to support our county. I remember the Connacht Final v Ross in 2011. Hardly 5000 Mayo fans. Within a couple of years you could hardly get a ticket for the AI finals.

  45. To win just once,

    Well said,these lads are busting their bollocks all year round and put so much of their lives on hold to represent the county.Everyone involved is doing their best.
    There’s a serious sense of entitlement amongst a certain cohort of Mayo ” supporters”.
    The set up is not above criticism but if ye wanted regular updates on inuries etc you’re simply not going to get it.If you can’t deal with that fact then maybe start following some other team or sport rather than having meltdowns online .

  46. Dermot Butler told us a few weeks ago they are our million dollar team. I think if we knew at this stage who was on the panel it would be something. Anyways lets see what the draw brings in the morning and what game plan is in place for the first game.

  47. I see that now in Connaught Telegraph re Michael Plunkett. All these injuries are desperate. Is anyone going to ask what is going on? Awful for the player, the team and Ballintubber. It is a long road to recovery from a leg break.

  48. In addiiton to Plunkett the CT has listed a good few injuries. I think they have covered all the injury rumours I have heard over the last week. They say ROD is facing uphill battle to be fit for qualifiers and concerns for Rob, Oisin, Jordan and James Carr

  49. so much depends on the draw tomorrow tbh , if we get a middlin easy draw on paper at least , we could be ok . So long as we have a full deck apart from the known season enders ,Tommy is gone we know that much , plunkett now seems as official as we can hope for finds himself in the same category as Tommy . Best of luck in recovery Michael plunkett .

    Im not believing the doom & gloom rumour mill on some of the others . Best case scenario we navigate our way through two handy draws ands have them all back for qf for another handy one v Donegal , then another easy semi final v Galway , setting up a final v the winners of kerry v Dublin . Thats what seaneens crystal ball look like this afternoon .

  50. I was OK with the idea of drawing Tyrone or one of the stronger teams but the way its shaping up now we need a bit of luck with the draw tomorrow.

  51. It feels as if Mayo have opted out / resigned from the championship such is the quietness in the air, even the blog has a really dead feel to it.

  52. At least we have Top gun to look forward to next weekend.
    Google news tells me Michael Plunkett may be out through injury for the first qualifier game.

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