We’ve just announced details of our first starting line-up in this year’s championship. Here’s the team we’ve named to face Sligo at MacHale Park on Sunday (throw-in 2pm):
Mayo (Connacht SFC quarter-final v Sligo, 21/5/2017): David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Chris Barrett (Belmullet), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Colm Boyle (Davitts), Lee Keegan (Westport), Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels); Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy), Tom Parsons (Charlestown Sarsfields); Fergal Boland (Aghamore), Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber), Conor O’Shea (Breaffy); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen).
It’s seven months and a bit since our last championship outing – the replayed All-Ireland final in early October last year – and the team we’ve named for Sunday Connacht opener shows five changes from then. In come David Clarke, Chris Barrett, Ger Cafferkey (huge welcome back to him), Fergal Boland and Conor O’Shea and out go injured All-Star Brendan Harrison, as well as ‘keeper Robbie Hennelly, Donal Vaughan, Aidan O’Shea and Jason Doherty.
Our last competitive outing was the League clash with Donegal back in early April. Eleven of the team who featured from the start that day also line out on Sunday. Those who started then but aren’t included in the first fifteen this time are Brendan Harrison, Danny Kirby, Shane Nally and David Drake.
Sunday’s team contains one championship debutant, Aghamore’s Fergal Boland. Good on you, Fergie – the very best of luck. Hon the parish and all that.
UPDATE: Sligo have now named their team for Sunday as well and it’s an unchanged one from the side that started against New York a few weeks back. This means that injury doubts Brendan Egan, Pat Hughes and Mark Breheny are all named to start on Sunday. Full details on the Sligo team here.
FURTHER UPDATE: With thanks to KL in the comments, Connacht GAA have published details (here) of both counties’ match-day panels for Sunday. This means our subs’ list for Sunday is as follows: Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy), Caolan Crowe (Garrymore), Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe), David Drake (Ballaghaderreen), Shane Nally (Garrymore), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole), Evan Regan (Ballina Stephenites), Danny Kirby (Castlebar Mitchells), Conor Loftus (Crossmolina). But, sure, we could have guessed that list anyway.
74 thoughts on “Team to face Sligo named”
Thats a fair selection but we’ll have a great subs bench too…
First with the news Willie Joe, or nearly. I don’t see it on the Mayogaa.com website yet.
Will that team start? Why Conor instead of Aidan, if we want personalise it? Would have thought Aido NEEDED the game. Feel Andy could have been rested for this one in favour of Loftus or Regan.
Interesting subs bench. All I name checked earlier in the week in terms of big strong runners on it. Maybe a tactic for the season. Two or three games to really know.
I’m afraid we’ll have to wait until Sunday to see what the team really is, and the same for Sligo as they have a habbit of naming dummy teams also.
Can’t wait for it to begin again!
Subs named on connaught gaa twitter
Mayo have a habit of naming dummy teams. I wouldn’t read too much into it although AOS on the bench will raise eyebrows.
I see Bernard Flynn has risen the Aidan O Se debate again, this time calling him out for signing autographs while the rest of the Mayo team form a huddle after a challenge game with Meath. Dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t.
I think Aidan O Se will be blamed for brexit next.
Interesting line up. Great to see Ger Cafferkey back. Lee at No 6 is something I alluded to last week but with Kevin Mc named at 15, I expect to see Kevin playing deep to allow both Lee and Paddy Durcan to attack at will.
For a long time I have been hoping to see Diarmuid O’Connor as a playmaking No 11 with Cillian in the inside line. It’s good to see Fergal Boland named too. I hope that is the team that starts.
I can see SR’s logic of having a strong bench and strengthening the team with every change coming into play here – it was a feature of the games we won in the league.
Let the fun commence!
The subs bench is as follows: 16. Rob Hennelly (Breaffy) 17. Caolan Crowe (Garrymore) 18. Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore) 19. Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe) 20. David Drake (Ballaghaderreen) 21. Shane Nally (Garrymore) 22. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy) 23. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole) 24. Evan Regan (Ballina Stephenites) 25. Danny Kirby (Castlebar Mitchells) 26. Conor Loftus (Crossmolina)
Strong 26. May be some changes to start. But can’t wait now. In that mode again. The sap is rising. Come on Mayo
Thanks, HSE – just added it as an addendum to the post as well.
Sligo might get what they’re hoping for, Tipper – I’d say there’s every chance (indeed I reckon it’s a very strong likelihood) that Aidan won’t start on Sunday and it’s nothing to do with any injury either. He is, though, likely to come on at some stage …
Agreed, Young Fella,.. Huge surprise to me to see AOS. not making the starting 15…Don’t nessarly disagree with the selection either, but it will surely have Sligo scratching their collective head’s. After Sligo conceded 3.04 gainst them by AOS last time they met in the championship, they surely had their home work done as to how to curtail him, now he’s not starting (or is he?).. If he isn’t starting?. It surely suggests that Stephen Rochford and Co have full control over the Mayo panel, and that they pick the team on current merit .. As they see fit.. In either case we seem to be becoming less predictable. Best of luck to Mayo on Sunday, particularly Fergal Boland on his championship debut, and a big welcome back to Ger Cafferkey, also a big welcome back to Chris Barrett, it’s been a while since he made the starting line-up for a championship match. Somehow me thinks their will be one or two changes, come 2pm on Sunday!
where did you get the subs bench from HSE?
The Sligo lineup is just to fill the centre page on the programme as i believe he Mayo line out is. McDonnell will definately start. There are fitness concerns over Hughes and Egan with and Murphy will start if fit.
Bernard Flynn, who I very rarely agree with, was correct to mention it. There was plenty of time for selfies and autographs when the work on the pitch was done. To be honest, if I was a player in the huddle and saw that shite going on I wouldn’t be too impressed and I’d certainly be asking questions behind closed doors.
No real complaints about the line-up, if indeed it is that which starts. Of the back 7 listed, 5 started v Sligo in the 2015 Connacht Final, Barrett and Durcan came on for Boyle and Keegan during the match. We started with the same two in midfield, and of the front 6 listed, 4 started in 2015.
Before anyone gets too cocky remember that Sligo scored 2-11 that day and had 8 wides. 2-11 will win a lot of games this Summer. Plus they lost Cian Breheny at midfield to a black card and he was having a fine game that day. They also left McDonnell completely isolated at full back marking Aidan O’Shea. That was very unfair on him as he was a young lad making a start to his senior intercounty career and being asked to hold O’Shea by himself was way too big an ask. This was O’Sheas peak season as a footballer after having a very good 2014 so it was negligent by the Sligo sideline not to have covering help in there with him.
So while we are rightly installed as red-hot favorites we must do the basics well and be prepared to work at least as hard as Sligo. Only then will our superior fitness and ball players be able to make an impact.
Mayo by 7 to 9 points in the end.
I’m trying to think who has dropped off the 26 since the Donegal match – can’t find the damn programme.
Eoin O’Donoghue for one, but there must be another as Seamie and Caff were not there that day.
Aidan should have body checked those children instead, that would have made a statement for Bernard Flynn and his buddies about his mindset this year….what a load of nonsense from Flynn. As I’ve said previously, doubt Aidan has the engine fully up to speed as of yet due to his long lay off throughout the league.
Delighted to see Ger Caff back.
The start of championship is finally here,interesting team selection,could see some changes before throw in,
Aido was some impact in our league matches against tyrone and donegal, is this the best way to utilise him ?
hard to see him not picked to start in my opinion,
any idea who has the whistle for sunday ?
5 Players not to make match day panel
Brendan Harrison, Donie Newcombe, Eoin O’Donoghue, Barry Moran and Alan Dillon.
I note the absence of Barry Moran and Alan Dillon from the 26..following the political developments of yesterday, has the changing of the old Gaurd come into vogue in Mayo football as well?.. RTE are running a story about Aiden OShea.. Bernard Flynn was very critical of AOS after a recent challenge match between Mayo and Meath, where Aiden according to the report posed for selfies while the rest of the team were doing their warm down.
Do those sticking the knife into AOS have the best interests of Mayo football at heart?? An ex Meath player and a Galway hack who is THE worst GAA journalist around?? Probably not!
Jennifer K, Sean Hurson from Tyrone is the whistler for Sunday.
That would be the same Sean Hurson that completely bottled it in Croke Park for our AI Final v Dublin when he refused to call John Smalls ankle tap on Andy Moran the black card that it was!. This despite being 8 feet away from it and despite Deegan asking for confirmation of a black card. (that was Deegans initial impression but he was seeking confirmation from Hurson as he was closer to the incident). Small went on to have an outstanding game!!
Please tell me no one believes either of these teams are the starting teams!
Ok if AOS was taking selfies and signing autographs for kids during the warmdown then it was after the game. He should be complimented on the way he gives time to the young people, it was a challange game for feck sake. If it was during the warmup of a championship game then its an issue. As it stands its a non story end of. Ex dubs and media do enjoy commenting on Aido but some Mayo supporters are very quick to run with it and blow it out of all proportion.
Regarding the team selection, looks good and should be more than enough to beat Sligo. Delighted to see Boland, he offers something different that Mayo have been lacking for a long time, the ability to hit quick accurate passes to inside forwards. Would have liked to have seen kirby at ff but that may happen as a sub. Also great to see Caff back, he really needed to start this one to progress for the summer.
What were people expecting him to do? Tell the kids to f-off? People would be complaining if he didn’t take the time to take photos and sign autographs for the kids. It’s a great thing that our players make time for the kids who love the game and take a lot of joy from meeting their favourite players. Bernard Flynn should be slated for trying to sully this gesture and turn it into a “Mayo will never win an all Ireland” moment.
Using AOS for the last 30/25 minutes might well be the way to go.
He just does not seem to have the fitness levels (especially in Croker) to last the 80 minutes which games now last.
He was spent in last year’s final replay with 15/20 minutes to go and did not contribute anything and the same
as happened in big games in Croker that we have lost.
If Barrett and ger caff return to their best it gives Mayo a great boost, and with Harry they will have 3 man markers, allowing Higgins further up the field. One of Mayo’s downfalls have been the strength of the bench, you need to have pace coming off the bench so if Mayo have the likes of Vaughan, Doherty, Coen, maybe even Higgins to come into the middle 3rd during big matches it would really bring Mayo to a different level. I think that’s the one major change Rochford will be hoping to make – more impact off the bench.
Bernard Flynn who proudly boasted about being late for training with the Meath Footballs. Different rules of course when you are trying to eke out a journalistic crust and you lack any semblance of writing talent and posess a voice like a priests confessional tone restricting your tv earning potential.
Ironically someone once complained to me that Michael Murphy ran to a warm down rather than signed autographs for kids.
Nonsense in either case the whole thing.
Its championship time and the rent-a-gobs are out to run down the mayo players , great stuff , if we run into meath this year lets pump them.
Lads ye would be doing well to ignore, avoid and switch off all national media until the all Ireland final, and only then, and even then its questionable, turn it back on only if we are in the final.
You’ll get nothing from nonsense out of them, themes on Mayo using the words “bottle”, “chokers”, “Croke park problem”, “big day problems” (all of which are nonsense, we probably have the best W-L records of all teams in Croke Park bar Dublin over the past 5 years; are All Ireland quarter finals and semis not big days?), “Lack of marquee forward”, “lack of hunger” (one of the more ridiculous ones that), “prima donnas”, and from the guys who haven’t really been at a game since the early 2000s, “fancy dans, white boots, bleached hair”.
They’ll throw 1500 words at it, use of those themes and regurgitate the same tired shite as last year. It’ll be from the assorted hacks who report on football who if they had talent for any sort of decent career would be out doing it, instead of robbing a living as they do.
Spare yourselves lads, don’t bother. It wont change until we win it so don’t be annoying yourselves with it.
Did you ever hear the story of the American tourist and the fisherman?
Tourist is watching a boat unloading crabs in a dock on the Mayo coast. He notices one of the crabs trying to climb out of the pot and make a break for it. He walks over to fisherman and says, “hey mister, one of your crabs is trying to escape”
The fisherman doesn’t even look up at him but replies, “don’t worry, he’s going no where, those are Mayo crabs, the others will pull the bastard back down with them”.
We might actually start that team for once. Only change I can foresee is AOS in midfield for SOS who was out even longer. Conor OS will hardly be named and not started again even though we almost always name bogus team. Boland will definitely start meaning Higgins will definitely be in defense. Sweeper may be Diarmaid.
I hear Flynn is a double agent turned by the dubs into a provocateur with instructions to rile mayo . If you like publicity it’s gonna bite you in the arse sometimes. I m sure O Shea has heard worse.
The named team is pretty formidable, i say start it as named and let’s see them fight to retain the starting jersey. There’s some serious talent and muscle on the bench, so there’ll be no passengers on the pitch for Mayo.
I hope this team starts. It would great as other posters have said if we could hold Aidan in reserve until the last 30 mins when teams are beginning to tire, we may or may not have that luxury but it’s worth a try. I think If ok when we get over Sligo the Galway game will tell us a lot about ourselves but for now Sligo deserve respect. I have to say I admire the Sligo supporters I was down in marchieciz park (call the spelling police) in 2010 when Sligo beat us and I was expecting their fans to be gloating and delighted etc I have to say they were pure sound to them it seemed to be a win against just another team no bad blood or anything
As a Sligo man i find it hilarious how much stick AOS gets…if there was one player out of the entire Mayo squad I would hope does not feature on Sunday it is AOS. I would think our chances would increase 20-30%.
I think Dave you will get a rude awakening if you think that will be the scoreline on Sunday – 2015 CF was one of those freakish games by any standards so I wouldn’t be holding my breath on a result like you have predicted. we might not win but I can’t see it being 14 pt beating..
Great to see that 95% of the comments on RTE’s article are supportive of Aidan’s actions (and most from people who are neither fans of Mayo or Aidan). Bernard Flynn has let himself down here.
An amateur player signing autographs for kids from a rival county and criticized by the national broadcaster. a new low.
Cantini, please don’t be insulted by my score prediction, it’s not meant to be a put down on your Sligo team, I know they train just as hard and put massive effort in just like our own fellas.I might get a rude awakening but I doubt it, aos will be seeing a good spell of game time on Sunday ( unless he’s injured) and that may be the time when your crowd least want to see him, second half, after chasing the likes of boland and diarmiad o Connor around the place and thinking they done well to hold those lads physically.
And, No, I’m not being cocky or arrogant towards Sligo, just calling it as I see it, this Mayo were beaten by 1 point after a replay last autumn, and there’s a reason for that and that reason has gotten even stronger over the last few months.
Is your guy, pat Hughes playing on Sunday and if not is his replacement up to the same standard?
Aido to come on to replace Boland after 45 or 50 minutes I’d say.
He’s not started a game this year and hasn’t played more than an hour of inter county in the league either, so its no surprise he’s not starting this one either.
Does anone think Donnie at 6 and leeroy at 10 would be worth a look this year. .can score and what attacking half back would like to see him trotting over … just a thought
People please please please don’t click on it these gutter articles. Success to the so called journo’s is how many hits they get and not the standard of the piece. Unfortunately the national broadcaster has been on this road a while. It’s a strong team named. I think barret and caff back to full fitness is a massive boost. As someone else said it will free up Higgins and donie Vaughan who had had to fill the gap at 3 in the past. I believe this the strongest panel we’ve had in many a year.
Your welcome WJ.
@Morag Bellingham, both panels for Sunday were up on the Connacht Council GAA website.
Best of luck to all involved with our team on Sunday. A special mention for Fergal Boland. At the start of last year he wasn’t even in the Mayo U21 squad. Michael Solan, the U21 manager, asked the players was there any players not in the squad who they thought should be. A lot of them mentioned Fergal. At the end of the year he had an All-Ireland medal in his back pocket and is named to start against Sligo on Sunday. Best wishes to him.
I like the look of that team. AOS’s omission is certainly a talking point (the Indo have already penned a piece on it, surprise surprise – even using the words “sensationally left out”, Christ spare us…), but I’m sure Stephen knows what he’s doing.
Maybe he hasn’t been sharp in training, is carrying a slight knock or maybe the plan is to see how he can impact a game from the bench. I’m a huge Aidan fan, but it’ll be interesting to see how this works.
I’m not sure we can say it’s because he didn’t see much league action, surely Seamus shouldn’t be named to start in that case. He didn’t see any action at all.
Again, maybe this won’t even be the team to start.
Delighted to see Fergal start, hoping he can lay down a strong claim for a starting place. Best of luck to him.
Also great to see Barrett and Cafferkey back. I was worried they might not be up to the pace of things after the lay-off’s. Hopefully they see a return to their previous form. With Harry to come back, we have great options for the back line.
Great reading comments on this site from true football fans. As a dub supporter I will say ignore Bernard Flynn.
AOS is a legend n would walk onto any county team .
Hope to meet u guys in the final , if we get there.
Well we have got a taste of what we can expect from RTE this summer. Absolute disgrace To attack someone for going over to a group of youngsters to sign autographs and take a few selfies really scrapes the barrel Meeting one of their heroes is something those lads won’t forget for a while. Maybe because it was not one of the Meath lads that they were chasing annoyed Flynn. Best to just boycott RTE. If you have to watch a match on that station just tune in for the throw in and turn the volume down.
As for the team that has been announced it is good to see the subs announced at he same time for a change but I will be very surprised if we start as selected. Either way we should be to good for Sligo but I am expecting a competitive game which will be far more beneficial than an easy win like the 2015 Connacht Final
Agree with cantini 2015 was pretty much the aidan o’shea show and a freak game really. no hope we’ll win this by north of 10 imo
I just hope for no repeat of 2012 when we were a better side than now. That was a real heart in mouth slugfest
I really hope this team starts. That’s a strong bench also. 20 panadol delivered to Stephen’s home earlier this week to help treat his selection headache !! ? Roll on Sunday !
Not that I needed reminding but Flynn-Gate doesn’t surprise me in the least. He’s a mouthpiece hoping to get a bitta profile or whatever he needs. Kids up in Meath asking AOS for autographs and selfies? Well, we all know why that is.
Anyway, heres to a long summer and wonderful autumn made all the sweeter and enjoyable by not having to engage with national media in any shape or form (maybe the telly if I can’t get a ticket!!) safe in the knowledge that the Mayogaablog and its contributors will tell me everything I need to know and more! Ahhhhhhh ?.
Ridiculous and all as the Flynn comments are Rochford must secretly be delighted. AOS will be absolutely dying to get on the pitch and prove a point. Hope he does and stays on the pitch for a selfie with every kid in the stadium afterwards.
Flynn is a gobshite ,slating an intercounty footballer for giving the players of tomorrow some time.if we were to come up against Meath later this year , hope we give them a hammering .
I am a big fan of AOS and have no doubt he will feature strongly in the fortunes of Mayo in the championship season ahead. But no one player wins a match and SR undoubtedly has his reasons to select the team and bench as he has. Big call but is his job.
Thing is we still have 15 top class players named to start and I’m sure raring to go. I am just a big fan of Clarke and Keith and Leroy and Boyler and Paddy and Cillian and Andy and all of the rest. Any of our players on the pitch or on the bench can put in an individual all-star performance in a match. What we desire and hope for is all of the them to put on an all-star performance on the same day and we can wipe anyone.And I mean anyone.
On Sunday McHale Park will be in technicolor of green and red not in black & white !
…. and can we stop paying attention to some of the so called pundits – sure they are paid for soundbites and making a headline. Although I think many of them just say things that is more in the line of waffle than well thought out – only highlights their lack of ability for constructive analysis.
We’re worse to be listening to them or getting in a flap on what is no more than rubbish talk to fill time or fill an article.
Behind enemy lines, he does anyway! I’ve seen it so any times over the years at county and club games AOS and all the others hanging back to pose with kids for photos. I think it was Jason Gibbons in McHale park once with twin babies, one in each arm, man and dad either side and the sweat pumpin outta him still. Anyway, Up Mayo.
Of the 30 man squad , who did not make the bench ?
The season to have a go at the OShea’s has arrived on our doorstep. Shame on you all. If you had to stick your real name and address down beside your comments most of you would not have the balls to stick your head above the parapets.
Good to see management were brave enough to name team and subs.
Might be good to give boland his first taste of championship football though I am not convinced this is his year. I would like to have seen seamus o sea a centre half back. Hope conor and put in a big performance and it makes a lot of sense to keep aidan wrapped up for later.
Strong subsbench lots of options
Lads. What a Meath man named Bernard has to say is of no importance. He would be better off not saying anything in the first place because it would be wrong anyway.
Not convinced SOS will start because of how long he was out or perhaps it’s with a view to having him ready for game 2. Coen and Donie must be in with a shout for midfield and also AOS was out for a shorter spell than his brother.
As regards Keegan at 10, no because we need a sweeper and we need a playmaker and having a good sweeper means Leroy can continue to bomb forward.
There are 2 players with the full skill set McLoughlin and Higgins, one did well last year but we lose his top ability to mop midfield ball by having him sweeper, the other hasn’t been consistently a success in half forwards but IMO is the best option for the no. 10 sweeper role being the best long passer and fastest mover of the ball by any means possible. A few more may have it we’ll see, Diarmaid may be the chosen one this year. Until Harry comes back chances are Higgins will play corner back. Some say he’s still our best left corner back which is possibly true. Needs must with shortage of proven FB line players but I would really prefer him in sweeper role. Boland deserves a chance but regardless of performance expect him dropped for game 2.
Regardless of performance expect him dropped!! Jese give the lad a chance. If he plays well every chance he keeps his spot for the next game.
Would like to see Stephen coen put on Stephen coen for that bit of extra confusion.
Will possibly have to beat 5 division 1 teams out of 6 to get where we want this year,a hard year ahead so he needs to use as much of the panel as possible.
That’ll cause plenty of confusion alright 14allnall41!
Dave I see no evidence to.date that we are better than we were last autumn. How so?
I’d like to see AOS lead the lads out on Sunday, storm onto the pitch and sit down for the team photo…on his own.
Let Bernie swallow that. The clown.
Shuffly Deck, Mayo wont play with a sweeper this year, it takes too much away from our attacking options to have a forward sitting in defence. We didnt use a sweeper in the league even v Dublin. Also with Keegan moving into number 6 indicates Rochford is going for the OSullivan type of Centre back, not a sweeper.
Regarding Boland, he played every league game and is named to start for the championship, id say he is very central to Rochfords plans going forward and a good game on saturday will further cement his place. He is a real talent and players who play well should keep their place.
I’m not the slightest bit insulted Dave. You are entitled to your view and one of us will be right.
I don’t know about Mayo but I will be astounded if Sligo starts with this team as named. Pat Hughes has been struggling with fitness and only played 25mins in NY. I also can’t see them leaving 2 or 3 of the lads off that had to stay back for exams from NY – likes of Kevin McDonnell played every round of the league. Also if Niall Murphy is fit it would get on most teams in teh country and I reckon he is recovered from his hamstring at this stage. Would be surprised if 3 or 4 changes not made to Sligo team – also think Aidan O’Shea will miracolously be starting for Mayo. No disrespect to boland but there is no way a right thinking manager can leave AOS on the bench and put a young lad like that in from teh start…unless of course he is very confident anyway…which may of course be the case
Does anyone guess what our game plan or system is this summer? We played with a sweeper and went defensive last year but this year in the league it was more of the cuff stuff.
My hope is they have been working on a new plan. I just feel our players have to work so hard to get scores. Billy Joe made some interesting points on Newstalk as regards the lack of a defined game plan.
In stark contrast to his fellow journalists here is a refreshingly interesting article that touches on the questions many of us have facing into another Mayo championship adventure , http://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/gaelic-football/colm-keys-can-mayos-longserving-core-of-heavy-lifters-put-the-shoulder-to-the-wheel-again-35732033.html?
He also mentions Pearse Hanley in the piece who is turning into a sensational AFL player and unlike more celebrated exports is the only GAA import I can think of that plays in the forwards for his club. While like everyone else I always think Christ if only he was at home, he is a joy to watch in full flow and fair play to him!!!
Brilliant analysis on Bernard Flynn by JP…..”trying to eke out a journalistic crust and you lack any semblance of writing talent and posess a voice like a priests confessional tone restricting your tv earning potential.”
Ywe Tree, with people like Rochford and McEntee on the line you can be damned sure that there is a plan. However, I would bet my house that you can be damned sure you will not see that plan on Sunday 🙂
Mayo has never been stronger than they are now and never in a better place to walk up the steps of Croke Park and relish in the success that has been no more than the fragments that fell of the great O’Sé’s half grain rice on their latest assault for Sam.
After seven years of beautiful and tantalising football, the like not seen in many’s the living soul’s memory from the Green over the Red there was further progression. With last year’s one-point loss, after extra time, and a replay Mayo has once again progressed on paper. Never evar have they been so close, they had Dublin beat on the field, Mayo on top… against the Dubs..Progress!
We were the better team. We have never been closer than winning the ultimate, the team has got better.
With that though, I would have to seriously question just what is a recent focus on Aiden O’Shea, a man who when faced with criticism with regard to his fitness went and played semi-pro Basketball, how about that for listening to the critics. He blew Donegal away in the last league game. The pundits are writing off Mayo… no two pundits are.
The first, A loyal Kerry man who is looking at the potential Connacht v Munster Semi and is transforming his game day Jabs into stabs from his Pen. No doubt the good Thómas will get even more frustrated with Aiden O’Shea ( or O’Sé as the man himself called him when Kerry was out of the running) should both teams seasons go as planned. The other was Bernard Flynn……….
What makes me think Mayo are in a brilliant place to add the missing piece to one of the best footballing journeys in GAA history, since 2011 being either finalists or Semi Finalists and only ever loseing to the eventual winner.
First off there is the calabre, the team is brinnimg with talent and experience, I heard talk of lack of new blood and I thought 14 of the most experienced men in the Game around this new under 21 all Ireland winning new blood, a more positive spin would be to say we have a massive set up and the only player who made that grade starred in an U21 championship winning campaign.
Players are back and back to form! Caff is back, Diarmuid O’Connor ended the season with a foot issue, before he picked up that injury he starred. Vaughan is back, yes Vaughan has got back to the heights of his peak before his own injury inhibited him and he had to go off. Same with Barrett, the Rock…. another who will be enjoying his second seacon back form injury.
I had to laugh when I read Thómas O’Sé’s piece when he riped into Aiden O’Shea, he spoke about short comings in county teams the lenght and breath of the country, not a word about Kerry, they must be perfect…. How no journalist in main stream media has pulled him on that one I don’t know. When Kerry went into the final league game their was a possibility of relegation, it’s all forgotten after a league win against the Dubs, nothing won in the leagues. Let nobody be thinking kerry are imortal.
Mayo has beaten every Ulster team when it mattered over that last four years, thank you.
We are lucky to have our manager he is a wise and knowledgeable football Manager who is tactically sound and not afraid to think outside the box, the outfoxed both Micky Heart and Jim Gavin that is what would have been said only for those rare two own goals or a never seen preformance from the usually good Hennelly.
Once more it was rare, rare phenomenoms that resulted in us not bringing hope the cream last October, I myself have taken great comfort in that, I hope the players do too. Mayo don’t seem dwell to long on defeat last time they did that Galway showed them it could be far far worse.
Mayo For the Ultimate 17 MO ULT
Mighty stuff Bulltoe, and it only twenty five to six in the evening. While I agree with a lot of what you said Im not entirely convinced that they are stronger than they have ever been. Time will tell.
Cute Boom indeed Colm Keys is a fine journalist and a fine fellow
I believe we have every chance to win this Sam Maguire once and for all. This time last year I said that we have at least 4 of the best footballers in the Country in AOS, CO’C, KH and LK with Lee being easily the best footballer in the Country. I think that Paddy Durcan is going to blossom this year and Diarmuid will come back to himself. Also Any Moran will be on top of his game.
Mayo for Sam with the 2 main men being LK and AO’S
Best wishes to this great team and management on Sunday. Also best wishes to the underage contingent. I am expecting a much closer game than most of you this weekend. Sligo are a decent side with a couple of good forwards. I am not surprised to see Fergal Boland selected at number 10, he has earned that start and was one of our more standout performers in Div 1 league games. Young lads need the run in the Championship, as Paddy Diarmuid COS , Conor Stephen Shane Evan and Brendan have got in the past couple of years.