We’ve just named our starting fifteen and subs for Sunday. Here it is:
Mayo (NFL Division One v Donegal, 30/1/2022): Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy); Lee Keegan (Westport), Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore, captain), Padraig O’Hora (Ballina Stephenites); Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels), Donnacha McHugh (Castlebar Mitchels), Eoghan McLaughlin (Westport); Conor O’Shea (Breaffy), Conor Loftus (Crossmolina Deel Rovers); Fionn McDonagh (Westport), Aiden Orme (Knockmore), Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber); Tommy Conroy (The Neale), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole), Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet). Substitutes: Rory Byrne (Castlebar Mitchels), Sam Callinan (Ballina Stephenites), Brendan Harrison (Aghmaore), Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber), Ruairí Keane (Mayo Gaels), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Jordan Flynn (Crossmlina Deel Rovers), Pearse Ruttledge (Knockmore), Bryan Walsh (Ballintubber), Paul Towey (Charlestown Sarsfields), Frank Irwin (Ballina Stephenites).
So, the team chosen to face Donegal is one that shows a number of changes – both tactical and enforced – from the last side we put out in a competitive fixture, which was, of course, last September’s All-Ireland decider. Sunday’s team has, to be precise, six changes from then.
Into the team for Markievicz Park come debutant Donnacha McHugh, Eoghan McLaughlin (injured then), Conor O’Shea (his first start in a competitive match since 2017), Fionn McDonagh, full debutant Aiden Orme and Jason Doherty (at last back after his long and courageous battle back from long-term injury). They replace Michael Plunkett (listed in the subs for Sunday), Oisín Mullin (reported to have picked up a knock in a recent challenge match), Mattie Ruane (suspended), Aidan O’Shea and Bryan Walsh (both on the bench for Sunday) and Kevin McLoughlin (not with the panel right now).
The team is a nice mix of new and experienced. At the latter end of the spectrum, Lee Keegan will be making his 130th competitive appearance for the county, while it’s debut day for Donnacha McHugh and for Aiden Orme, though the latter has already seen Senior action off the bench and was a second half sub in last year’s All-Ireland final. There are newbies on the bench too, with Sam Callinan, Ruairí Keane, Pearse Ruttledge and Frank Irwin all listed there.
Stephen Coen captains the side, lining out at full-back.
Best of luck to James, Stephen and all the team and subs on Sunday. Special good luck to all the new lads.
We’ll have a bonus podcast episode (yes, another one!) for our Patreon club members tomorrow morning, in which there’ll be plenty of chat on this team selection. If you’re not yet a member and would like to hear this and other great bonus content and other features, join the club here.