Team named for Galway game

We’ve named our team to play Galway tomorrow evening in the opening round of this year’s National League Division One. Here’s the first selection of the Kevin McStay era:

Mayo (NFL Division One v Galway 28/1/2023): Colm Reape (Knockmore); Jack Coyne (Ballyhaunis), Rory Brickenden (Westport), Enda Hession (Garrymore); Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore, captain), Conor Loftus (Crossmolina Deel Rovers), Donnacha McHugh (Castlebar Mitchels); Matthew Ruane (Breaffy), Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber); Fionn McDonagh (Westport), Jack Carney (Kilmeena), Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers); Aiden Orme (Knockmore), James Carr (Ardagh), Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet).

Plenty of time has passed since our most recent competitive outing – a whole seven months – and, of course, we’ve had a change in management team too since that All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Kerry. Added to that we’ve seen the departure to Australia of Oisín Mullin and the retirement of Lee Keegan so it’s no surprise that the team named to face Galway tomorrow night at MacHale Park is a much-changed one from that which lined out at Croke Park late last June.

In all, tomorrow night’s team shows eight changes from the one that started against Kerry. In come League debutants Colm Reape in goal and Jack Coyne at corner-back, along with Rory Brickenden, Donnacha McHugh, Fionn McDonagh, Aiden Orme, James Carr and Ryan O’Donoghue while out go Robbie Hennelly, Lee Keegan, Oisín Mullin, Paddy Durcan, Eoghan McLaughlin, Aidan O’Shea, Kevin McLoughlin and Cillian O’Connor.

The very best of luck to Kevin and his team tomorrow night. Up Mayo.

74 thoughts on “Team named for Galway game

  1. Galway team looks stronger but we may have a better bench depending on who’s available.
    The reality of Lee and Oisin missing is there to be seen .
    New management. New player’s. Let’s do what we always do and get behind the lads .
    Great test for this bunch tomorrow evening

  2. Although Stephen Coen is captain for tomorrow evening’s game, Paddy Durcan has just been named as captain for this year. Stephen is one of two vice-captains, along with Tommy Conroy.

  3. That’s a weak looking team to me – hope there’s considerable strength on the bench.We need to lay down a marker against Galway from the word go.

    Anybody know what’s the story with Paddy Durcan ?

  4. Big height in the half forward line. This combined with the long kickouts of Reape lead me to think mcstay wants to go long!

  5. Clean slate for everyone. Hoping the forwards just take the shot on much more often and we get more scores from the half forward line. Up Mayo

  6. I would say cillian, aido , hopefully paul towey , eoghan mcgh are on the bench is paddy durcan injured where is Robbie hennelly still taking time off for honeymoon??

  7. Defo must be picking players on form, that’s a good thing. It’s up to the other players to get back. Need a big panel this year, this will give some new players that experience.

  8. Wow that’s a weak team compared to Galway’s! Hope it’s not a big loss on hole soil. Look at the list of players missing from the Kerry match last year, plus Tommy Conroy. That team got spanked by Kerry. Only Ryan is an improvement.

    Fingers crossed they beat expectations. Weather looks good.

  9. I predict Galway full forward line to make hay tomorrow nite with taht full back line , both Loftus and Coen cannot hold the centre either.

  10. It is so great to have a Mayo game to look forward to this weekend.
    It’s been a long time coming.

  11. I hope McStay is not following in Horans footsteps by naming one team and starting another, That is not our best foot forward by any means. Horan did a lot of messing about with players last year and it cost us in the end. Best if luck to them, still don:t understand why he dropped Boland, can’t see anything better in that line up.

  12. New Era good luck to new debutants in National League. Small Steps, PJ bringing nothing new to the table our young guys could surprise a lot of people. Paul Conroy and the likes of Comer are past their peek.

  13. Midfield diamond is strong. Brickenden on Comer, I’m not sure; as others have said, bench will be interesting. Here’s a stab: Byrne, Eoghan Mac, Callinan, Aido, Cillian, Towey, McBrien. Not sure after that.

  14. @GBXI they held kerry off for a good while and kerry didnt slaughter us either but we did have mullin& keagan then we did limp out though but thats in the past!

    Also Galway are only back training 3 weeks or so we definetly have the edge over them in terms of fitness for the minute.

    I hope its not a huge loss but we might surprise as we often do trying to be optomistic ha!

  15. With that very strong team named for this opening league game, Joyce has no intention of relinquishing the Galway strangle hold they now enjoy over Mayo.
    With that in mind a good performance is about as much as we can expect and hopefully some of the new players show what their made of.

  16. “the Galway strangle hold they now enjoy over Mayo”

    Mayo have won 4 of the last 5 competitive meetings vs Galway. Along with the last two at U20 level.

    We may not win tomorrow evening but some of the poor mouthing is a bit much TBH.

  17. An underwhelming-looking team on paper, especially upfront but hopefully they will have the last laugh.
    Good wishes to all concerned.

  18. See Padfy Durcan has been named capatain for the 2023 season was announced just now think hes a great choice!

  19. Massive Congrats to Paddy Durcan on getting the captaincy. No better man. The perfect choice.

  20. In terms of lads not in the starting 15 that would probably be championship starters for ye… are we probably looking at Hennelly, Durcan, Conroy, O Shea, O Connor?
    With the two McLoughlins and O Hora there or thereabouts?

  21. @clare, they won by 8 points pulling up. That’s with Keegan nullifying Paudie C and David C ‘only’ scoring the goal from play. The corner back scored 3 from play off Cillian. It was so comfortable for Kerry in the 2nd.

    Look, it could go two ways; maybe we’ll be surprised and Galway don’t play that well, while Mayo’s new-ish players (Rory B, Hession, Reape, Carney, McHugh, Coyne) hold their ground and experienced players (Loftus, Ruane, DOC, Ryan, Flynn, Carr) dominate. But logic would dictate Galway by more than a score. They are stronger in every line of the field, especially have a top class full forward line who could do serious damage if Mayo don’t go very defensive.

  22. Glad to see the management have gone for Orme / Carr in ff line. Brickenden And Comer one of the big match ups. We will know a lot more about Mayo after the game. Have the subs bench been named? I presume we have experience there.

  23. Huge test for the new lads, this Galway team will try to burn the young Mayo players early, so they need to tear into Galway from the throw in, hit hard & stay focused, Mayo to win by 1 or two points. Up Mayo.

  24. @galwayman, Hennelly, Durcan, Eoghan Mc, Cillian, and Tommy C would be guarantees to start if fit and knockout match was tomorrow. I think AOS would probably start too. O’Hora would be close too given lack of experience in defense. Kevin Mc definite sub this year.

  25. @GBXI I know I am trying to make myself feel better trying a bit of rverse sychology as they say haha yeah sure who knows but if we do loose its not the end pf the road 1st competitive match and loads of matches this year with the round robin and Tommy conroy coming back he is named as vice captain along with stephen coen so pleanty to be positive or try to be even if it doesnr go our way tommorow ha!

    Yes I do agree with you!

  26. @Galwayman they would definetly be starters if fit as someone said above Tommy conroy has been named as vice captain for the season and padraig is still injured may the best team win tommorow just hope mayo arent hammered ha!

  27. If Mayo play with 13/ 14 behind the ball and push up on our kickouts , their fitness and intensity will win them the game..
    However I expect Cian o Neill and PJ will have learnt lessons from the Dome and hopefully and a few different options, one I’d imagine is play direct into Damian Comer in at Full Forward.

  28. Good team al be it maby not as strong as the Galway first 15 but not far off , our bench should be a bit stronger then there’s , how far ahead in fitness we are is debatable so it’ll be tight tence and have the usual niggle , I’m a small bit concerned about the full back line connelly played puck against brickenden in the club final but with o hora , plunkett, durcan , Eoin mcgloghan, Harrison and hopefully mc brein will be pushing for places at the back and mcstay is trying to build a squad and playing players on form

  29. We will see a lot men behind the ball tomorrow night as it’s a fairly inexperienced back six and keeper. McStay will be counting on us having more work done and the extra fitness could be the difference in the end. I expect another barnstorming display from Jordan Flynn and O’Shea to be thrown in on the edge of the square for last 20 minutes. Mayo by 3 points. Game on.

  30. Interesting stat from Edwin McGreal.

    Diarmuid O’Connor is the oldest player on the named team and he just turned 28 a couple of weeks ago.

  31. @Our time has come.
    I thought the same when I saw the team. Height and physicality in the half forward line suggests we will be getting the ball forward quicker.
    I don’t think we will be seeing the back line bombing forward as much under the new regime. The running game will be used sparingly.
    Galway had plenty of joy running through the middle of us in the second half of the FBD game. That shouldnt have gone unnoticed and it is vital we plug those gaps.
    The bookies can’t split us. Both teams 11/10.
    I think we’ll nick it. Galway should be respected but not feared. Our bench could make the difference. Cillian,Towey,Eoghan Mc, Paddy, Kevin Mc, AOS, Plunkett. Tommy and O Hora when fit. There’s a depth to the panel alright.

    Mayo by 2. James Carr man of the match.

  32. Do we think the named teams will start? If they do I would be a bit worried about Brickenden on Comer especially if we allow him to be isolated in the way we did with O’Hora on Clifford in the league final. Unusually we don’t look to have much of an attacking threat from the half back line but maybe our whole game plan will be different so we just have to wait and see. We might well finish with a stronger team than the one that starts.

  33. Have to give the young guns a chance. Brickeden will be surrounded by better defenders then he was playing with Ballintubber
    Be patient, I was walking in the Slieve Bloom mountains in 2011 when mayo had to go to extra time,lucky to do so.When I got back to the car I had 5 missed calls fro my son,I knew it was bad news as he is a Meath man,got the extra time on the radio
    Horan could have been one of the shortest Mayo managers of all time.
    Patience, patience, patience.

  34. It’s a very important game for us to win ,it would give us great confidence going forward for all concerned the new management and the new players, by loosing we’d be on the back foot straight away, Hon Mayo

  35. That team makes for sobering enough reading . Really brings home how many serious top quality players are retired or near retirement

  36. Galway team looks way stronger. Let’s see what happens. As they said in my house growing up “I’d rather loose to England” mayo abu

  37. We could probably finish the game strong with our bench but be way too many points behind to catch up unless the game plan is successful. It looks to me like McStay is going to experiment plenty in the early games and edge closer to championship team as the league progresses. Not a bad ploy if it finds us some new bolters. The only way to get experience is through competitive games. We could take a few tankings here and there. I could see us 10 or 12 down after 40 of 45 minutes based on defense and new goalie picked and reeling it back to 8 or 9 based on those teams but if we’re ahead on training schedule, it might even it out somewhat. McStay could prove me wrong with a well executed defensive plan but other than that, on paper Galway are substantially stronger. Executing any plan relies on the ability of those carrying it out. I’d say about 2-18 to 1-13 in their favour but hope I’m wrong. Being January, scores mightn’t come as easily as my prediction although rainfall amounts have been low enough lately so pitch should be grand.

  38. The AI U21 2016 are the oldest guys on the starting team. We are witnessing a changing of the guard. It had to happen and we have to accept it. I think this match is a big chance for the next generation to step up. Up Mayo!

  39. On evidence so far, I’d be worried about Brickenden on Comer. Could be a tough night.

    Galway by 5.

  40. Looks a weak team on paper, compared to Galway and it will be interesting to see the subs so that we know the injury/availability situation. I assume that the management feel that this is the strongest team we can put out, as I can’t believe they would experiment at this early stage of the league, especially in a home game, as a few early losses can put you under terrible pressure. I suspect that there will be some of our stalwarts on the bench, who may not yet be up to full match fitness. A win would be great, but I would be reasonably happy with a good performance, but I am worried about our defence, especially the full-back line, up against what looks like a strong Galway full-forward line.

  41. If a well executed defensive plan is to happen i can imagine that will be the work of Donie Buckley and Stephen Rochford. Already seen glimpses of it with numbers back in both FBD games. McStay’s forte would be forward/attacking play. Which includes putting a forward in defence.

  42. As with most early league games, this has a mix between experienced and new players. It will be really interesting to see who steps up to the plate. While always great to win, finding players who gain confidence to play at this level is the most important. I would really hope to see players like Hession, McDonagh, Carney and Carr step up and show drive, leadership and confidence as we know they have the skillset. This comes with time and this season will see if they are ready.

    As others have pointed out the new FB line will face a significant challenge, defensively we are likely to play like we did versus the Rossies with Diarmuid dropping back and the half forward line working hard to gain enough possession to supply the inside line. Galway likely to win if high scoring but too many ifs and buts to have any real confidence in making a prediction. Either way, glad to have the games back and hope to enjoy the journey through the season.

  43. Well written piece Mikey echoes my sentiments. I think we will play a very defensive game, keep the scoring low and fitness to sneak a win towards the end. Mightn’t be pretty but who cares we need early points on the board.Should be a huge crowd and great atmosphere and a win would be fantastic.

  44. Brickenden will have the effects of the stag party well worked out of his system at this stage…he will be fine on Comer. No need to fear names on a team sheet. Once we go out with the right attitude and play at a high tempo our younger legs and superior fitness will bring us through at the end with help off the bench.
    Mayo to sneak it by 2.

  45. Off we go again.

    It’s just great to be pointing the car west this morning to be home with plenty of time for the match. It’s been to long and life doesn’t stop.

    I don’t see anything wrong with the team selection. Big men, in height and physicality from 5 to 12. An inside FF line that can score from open plan and FF line that is young but athletic.

    I’m not going into the game thinking we will lose by 3 or 5 or whatever, the players also are 100% not thinking this way. What sort of a mentality is that to think we will lose?

    As a poster said, long kick outs with plenty of big targets. Push up on Galway and defend with 12. It doesn’t have to be aesthetically pretty.

    Either way, all abroad.

  46. Eehhh, worried about this one .
    That lineup hasn’t inspired me, would have hoped for the 2 Mcloughlins in defence or least one of them and paddy Durkan, just without them feels lighter on battle hardened experience to match Galway .

    Forwards are a little too experimental for my personal opinion .
    Would have loved to see Mcstay at 13 and allow him to drop deeper to link play as he can.
    With Flynn dropping in to crowd midfield the likes of mcstay be an ideal candidate to link play and spread passes and dictate play in the role of a Ciaran Kilkenny.
    I worry in giving that role to ROD we take out our most accurate of the inside 3 .
    Orme needs a big game, Carr I belive will hit form this year but Kelly is a real good ground player so hopefully he will be dominant in the air .

    Tough assignment and not starting the year in a negative fashion but hopefully lads are ready for it

    Sorry but this is least confident I have been probably since the day we got a last minute equaliser to stay up in Ballybofey .

  47. Hopefully Brickenden has a good day on Comer, worst case he will gain some valuable experience at this level
    Now is the time to put the future in
    Not may, June when they are being used as a last resort
    Survival is important but it’s not as important as championship

  48. This is a depressing place at the minute ha I would imagine that paddy durkan isnt n fit enough yet and this is our strongest team we could field atm as others have said .

    I would also think that the bench is strong and is looking to use impact subs and that they are going for a more defensive game as someone else said. Our fitness will definetly be above Galways. Its good mcstay is choosing players on form and choosing regulars for the sake of it thats what needs to be done.

    Good luck to the young ones was always was going to be changed at some stage they do have pace energy& confidence we might surprise heres to a good game either way!

  49. We can try to pack the defense all we want but we are not playing ourselves tonight. Thats a quality Galway 8-15 who will relish those shots from distance in the calm conditions. The league is an opportunity to develop our younger players by providing them with the experience of competing against the best teams in the country. Experience the gap to the elite level and comprehend how much individual work it will take to close that gap in the years ahead. A solid performance tonight would be a good outcome irrespective of the final score.

  50. I hope Fionn McDonagh comes good tonight. He’s undoubtedly a really good player, but he hasn’t been right for the past few years. Marred with injury possibly? I haven’t a clue, but he has struggled to regain any of that excellent form he had when he first broke into the Mayo squad.

  51. Don’t no why all the doom n gloom, Galway have a decent forwards, but their bench is fairly poor,Cooke will start fir mcdaid,Jack Glen is injured..mayo bench is what think will win it fir us.mayo by to have a pint with Enoch Burke to cheer myself up.

  52. Can’t make a judgement on this game, simply because I don’t know the subs list. How come, once again Galway can name theirs and so can Roscommon. Will make my judgement when I see the subs.

  53. @Daveslad You don’t need to meet him for a pint. Say his name 3 times and his dad will drop him off at your place 🙂

    Back to more important matters. A really good display will nullify the result for me as much as I hate losing to Galway. I’ve a feeling McStay will forsake the league results as the new boys need game time, and I’d tend to agree with that logic. The flip side is a bunch of new lads losing games when you’d prefer them to get that winning mentality.

    Tonight I would worry about Brickenden on Comer though. There’s only one winner in that battle but I’d love if I was wrong!

  54. Galway stronger on paper, but that’s also the majority of our championship team it seems.
    Cillian, Tommy, Paddy, be starters if fit. Maybe Robbie, Eoghan and Darren.
    Bigger pitch and superior fitness as Galway not long back should see Mayo over line.

  55. IMO the Dome is a tight pitch, and McHale Pk should suit us – suit us better in any case. FBD matches looked very congested and I felt we weren’t able to express ourselves at times,

  56. Will Brickenden actually mark Comer? I’d expect Comer to drop into the half forward line quite a bit, and would prefer if Brickenden didn’t follow him around.

    Brickenden on Finnerty maybe, as he’s the most likely to stay forward imo and Hession on Comer, bit of a size mismatch but also a bit of pace one too

  57. McDonagh needs a good game imo, I’d have Brian Walsh ahead of him on merit. Fionn has looked a bit at sea defensively

    I wouldn’t feel that Orme needs a massive game. He’s a lad that needs games IMO, solid performance, something that keeps building on what he did last year, will be fine.

    I’m optimistic that the feel good mood around the camp will pull us through. This Galway might’ve made an all Ireland final last year but only beat one division 1 team over 70 minutes, two if we count the Rossies. Ours was the same in championship, assuming we count Kildare.

    Not convinced about Galway at all. They never imo looked like winning that final, whereas I thought we had Kerry rattled at times, but failed to take our chances

  58. Ah will you stop we left the Mayo match before the end with ye bet out the gate by Kerry. Ye kicked wide after wide with Moran dragging Kerry back into it and then they took over. The final was winnable but Kerry way too experiened while poor decision making cost us dear. Galway tonight I dont know but we will win Connaught. Silke and Molloy a problem though but lads need to step up. Galway forwards could run riot on the Mayo defence but more likely a low scoring game.

  59. @Chesneychet, you are correct the final was winnable but too many of Galway players had nightmares on the pitch, just did not get going, here is the list, Comer, Conroy, Finnerty, Daly.
    Yet a few players were outstanding, of course Shane Walsh, McDaid and the wing backs.
    McDaid and Walsh carried the team.

  60. @cgesneychet no need to bring up that kerry game we all remember it quite well!! We were missing loads of players and way off form last year may the best team win tonight and no injuries.

  61. I’m afraid with that defence we are not winning this one. Very weak half back line and full back line.

  62. Heading out the door in a minute. If traffic allows I’ll get a nice pint with friends in the clubhouse pre throw in. Seems like an age since one of these nights. We can talk about line-ups and benches all we like but in truth any gamee can take on a life of its own. Win, lose or draw tonight we need to see green shoots for the future and no more bloody injuries. Up Mayo ??

  63. Not a bad display by mayo so far James carr goal really good love seeing Lee keagan on this happy he got it great commentator!

    Be interesting 2nd half our defence is a bit of an issue I wont be worrying if we loose this one just a solid perfermance from mayo would be great .

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