Team named for Sunday

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.

111 thoughts on “Team named for Sunday

  1. That’s a strong team , like the look of that back 6 it’ll be interesting to see how donnacha mchugh gets on aparently he’s flying in training, and aiden ormne deserves a run at 11 to see what he can do even though midfield is a bit tried and tested already but we’ll see ,it’s a pity not to see boland get a run he never got a good run of game to get bedding in properly and he definitely has the smarts and football in him to be there

  2. would i be right in saying James carr has started eight games in total and scored six goals and six points in total? ive ran through the archive quick so i could be wrong but if im right its a fair return for a player that isnt getting a right crack at it imho.

  3. Aidan o Shea on the bench and Conor with the number 8 on his back?
    I’m sorry but no matter how maligned Aido is by all and sundry, he’s light years ahead of his younger brother in pretty much every aspect of the game.
    That’s not meant to be a cheap shot at Conor. He’s just not anywhere near the level of Aidan, in terms of fielding, strength, ball winning, passing, tackling, composure etc etc.
    While the majority have consigned Aido to an impact sub role this year, it’s very hard to see us heading into a big championship game with Conor or Jordan Flynn starting and Aido on the bench.

  4. WJ, have you got the wrong club there for our No. 6?
    I’m glad to see Fionn McDonagh back in a starting 15 again, based on his potential from when he first came on to the team I think he has a lot to offer

  5. Larry duff. I have to totally agree with you on that. Neither are near aos. Interesting team. Like to see Harrison start to see where he is at. A lot of positional changes I’m sure

  6. Jesus, Thursday morning and the team named. And subs! What’s going on?

    Like the look of it. The midfield pairing may appear underwhelming, but Conor O’Shea is as honest as the day is long. Can score from long range too, if that hasn’t been outlawed by the management. Midfield can call on Fionn and Diarmuid, and perhaps Eoghan for help. Pearse Ruttledge in the subs is a wild card whom many didn’t name check in blog discussions, but he has an eye for goal. No Colm Moran mind you. Or Mark either.

  7. The back six looking strong. Would expect Mchugh to play in the fullback line. I would imagine that Coen will pick up Murphy and Swanny on Mcbrearty?
    Great to see Doherty back and Orme getting a chance at 11.
    Would be worried about forward depth on the bench and our power around the middle. Diarmuid/Fionn need to help out majorly.

    Mullin and Boland have knocks so presume that is why they are absent.
    Day 1/13 hopefully. Up Mayo!

  8. Looking forward so seeing what Aidan Orme can do. I think his pace sets him apart from other players like mcdonagh and Diarmuid who are a little one paced for my liking (though they do have other positive traits to bring to the team). Orme is closer to the Tommy Conroy level of explosiveness which can really come to the fore at county level.

  9. Interesting team surely nice mix of old and new.

    Haven’t seen much if young mchugh so looking forward to seeing him,stronger experienced backline otherwise

    Lots of speed and scores in attack, pleasantly surprised to see mcdonagh there. Didn’t realise he was in squad

    Midfield a huge worry but not much alternative options there
    Big year ahead for orme,let’s see him put up his hand and grab it

  10. Colm isn’t in the squad Catcol. Like Eoin O’Donoghue going travelling. Hard to blame them after the restrictions the last few years. Mark is coming back from a gilmores groin, hopefully we will see him in the league at some point.

  11. Diarmuid O’Connor needs to step up this year…much too quiet last year.

    Hopefully McDonagh will make an impact this year.

    I reckon AOS will start instead of COS

  12. Real shame about Colm Moran not being in the squad. Hopefully Mark can get over his injury issues, he was brilliant 16 months ago on debut.

  13. Mark was electric that day against Galway in the league. His diagonal passes into Aidan side were very effective.
    From a long winter of watching games back I have noticed that we appear to have abandoned our kick passing game that we appeared to have been added to our locker after the Covid 19 break.
    If people watch back the 2020 games against Roscommon, Tipp and Dublin we appeared to place a real emphasis on quality ball in to our ff line. Conor Loftus was particularly effective at it and Aidan was being used much more inside . I remember people saying it was the Ciaran Mc effect. Last year that aspect of our game seemed to be gone and we beat Galway and Dublin with our traditional running game (Horan ball).

  14. Thanks Clubman. Didn’t realise that Colm Moran was travelling. A loss obviously, even if it’s potential we are talking about. Agree with you about our ’20 approach. We can marry both. I though in second half v Galway in Croker we were irresistible; Galway really couldn’t live with us in that half.

    What BTW is Gilmore’s groin?

  15. Good to get teams plus subs. Hopefully that will continue. I would be concerned about midfield pairing. But otherwise team looks strong. Good luck to McHugh.

  16. I like the look of the forwards. Always rated McDonagh highly and Aiden Orme’s natural instinct is to play kick passes into the full forward line.

    Presume McHugh will go back to the corner and either Keegan or Coen will move out.

    Don’t have many other midfield options currently bar starting Aido, which I would do.

  17. Aido would start would start for me but not in midfield. He can’t play there anymore and would have pushed D’OC back to midfield and played Aido CF. Other than that the team looks solid but seeing Harrison not start does surprise me. Obviously giving Donnacha McHugh a start is great and Orme as well.

  18. I think that’s harsh on Conor O’Shea. Aidan may be a better midfielder but pace is everything these days and that’s something Conor has and Aidan doesn’t. Also, I’ve seen lots of Breaffy over recent years and Conor has been, by a distance, their best player. He deserves his chance with the county team. Whether he can cut it at midfield rather than inside forward is another question but he’s obviously doing the biz in training. I hope he starts.

    Delighted to see Coen at fullback because we have no one else better imo. Though I’m still sceptical as to whether he has the pace and the confidence to thrive there. 7 years around the Mayo panel and hasn’t nailed down a spot yet. No better test than against one of the greatest full forwards of all time.

  19. Strong side named

    I’d say we’re only 3-4 lads short of a championship starting team, and of those only Aidan is available.

    Looking forward to seeing Jason Doherty back.

    How Tommy Conroy and Fionn McDonagh link will be interesting. Potentially a very explosive combo but equally they could end up playing in each other’s space. Needs to be tried and worked on IMO

    Conor O’Shea is the big surprise really, I would’ve had Flynn ahead of him

    Ultimately, I expect us to have a right cut at the league. There is after all only three trophies handed out and if we are a top team, we should show it. it’s also easy to forget that despite our championship showing the last two years, a lot of our team are still quite inexperienced at Division 1 level. IMO this league is more about building up those experience levels, rather than finding 3-4 new starters

  20. Strong starting line up for a round 1 NFL game, only 3 likely championship starters missing in C O’Connor,Mullin and Ruane. K McLoughlin out also but i see him more of impact sub role this summer/April than a starter.

    Be interesting to see how strong of a team Declan Bonner goes with, they were poor for long stages of that McKenna cup final v Monaghan, they are still relying on Murphy.

  21. It is a strong enough team for the first round of the league. Of those missing, one would expect C O’Connor, M Ruane and O Mullin to be certain championship starters. Harrison, if he gets his best form back, Hession , Boland and McLoughlin shouldn’t be far off either. All in all, if we can avoid injuries, there should be a strong enough squad available this year.

  22. I would be inclined to give Jordan Flynn time on the bench/sideline until he deals with his discipline issues. His talent does not make up for that deficit and if Refs see him in that light all the time he will be a liability rather than an asset.
    I would not be surprised to see Aido being introduced to deal with Michael Murphy if he proves a problem as he did, in Castlebar I think it was, a few years ago. Aido solved the problem and, as I recall, Mayo won. [
    Just checked the Archive’, 2017 it was and Aido won the Blog MOM award for his trouble]
    Good luck to all, esp. Jason Doherty who, above all men in creation, deserves a good portion of good luck. Good to see Brendan Harrison on the bench too. It surely means that we will not have too long to wait to see him in action.

  23. Jesus that’s a long 30 months for Jason Doherty.We just can’t appreciate what it takes mentally to get back from that. These guys are unique individuals.

  24. A very good team and squad. Delighted to see Towey. He’d be my tip to progress this year. Perhaps not to break into the team, but to make the 26.

    Big game for the likes of Orme and Ruttledge. They certainly deserve their chance.

    Could be a few changes to starting 15.

  25. “Jordan Flynn should sit on the bench till he sorts his discipline”

    He sat on the bench for most of last year….

  26. 1989
    Correct if I’m wrong but was it not against Donegal that he had his first bad injury in castlebar..
    He was simply outstanding that day and a huge lost against Dublin in the semi final

  27. That’s correct, Raz, and it was a trailing leg from a Donegal player, which looked like it was left in deliberately, that caused him to fall awkwardly too.

  28. Delighted to see Jason Doherty back. Has been so unlucky with injuries the last couple of years.Great forward on his day with an immense work ethic.

  29. I thought our main issue in the final was Tyrone crowded the half back area and stopped us there. A player with speed that can break a tackle and score is needed there. Tommy C did it very well at times last year, and that’s where I would put him. However, our half forwards tend to get turned in to ball carriers and 3rd mid fielders. If we are to see something new this year, that line needs a shake up.

  30. One observation of mine. Nine starting players from West Mayo maybe it’s just that this is because of injuries to other players or eg, the Knock more players have not yet joined the panel.

  31. No new goalkeepers again.
    No new midfielders. Mullin needs to be put there if no one new coming in.

    only 4 players from non senior clubs in the 26.

    7 clubs making up 3/4 of the 26.

  32. As soon as Kilmeena’s All Ireland club campaign has finished up, would expect Jack Carney to be given some game time to see if he is a potential midfield option for the summer. A massive step up to senior intercounty level from junior club, but he did show some flashes of promise last year in the league. Hopefully we’ll see him get a chance at some stage as our midfield options look quite bare at this early stage in the season.

  33. I agree with the earlier post regarding towey. I think if he gets enough of a chance he will be fine

  34. @Centerfield

    Its the first game of the league, im sure james and the managment are trying out new keepers (reape and byrne) and midfielders in challenge games.

    Jack Carney is with his club the weekend and Oisin is carrying a knock, both will feature in the middle at some stage and both non senior clubs.

  35. Best of luck to all the team on Sunday, especially the new lads. Don’t know anything about the Mc Hugh lad , but hopefully it goes well.
    One thing that’s refreshing is naming the team and subs so early. Be confident, throw the cards on the table. I’ve a house of Kings, can you beat that.

  36. I’d prefer Conor OS in the middle than Flynn as he’s more mobile and will defend and track well. Both need work on game management at county level and not convinced Flynn should stay in the frame.
    Someone described McDonagh as one paced, well if he is then that one pace is fast, he side stepped many a defender in past games. I also think Aido is tailor made for midfield in winter league games where his strength is a huge asset. If either starter isn’t delivering don’t hang about getting Aido on the pitch.
    Apart from that, I think Orme will feature well. From the club games I’ve seen he’s big, strong and quite fast. Also a natural leftie and useful for the frees.
    Great to see Doc back. I know nothing about McHugh.

  37. Only 2 off the team that started in 2017 starts on Sunday that’s some transition in 5 years Keegan and Durcan

  38. Agreed Shuffly Deck on Jordan Flynn. He is doing awfully well to continually make match day panels. Very lacking in pace and as you diplomatically put it, game management.

    There’s a big clamour for Harrison but it’s a long time since his All Star form. Last game in Croker Paul Mannion ran absolute riot. Frank Irwin was stand out an underage. Would be my bet for future midfielder.

  39. I think comments on here about Jordan Flynn are very harsh, people are easy to forget he came on v Dublin and kicked a monster point to settle the ship.

    He also showed well when he came on v Galway in the connaught final and he was one of the better players in the FBD game this year.

    I know from talking to some work colleagues who are roscommon and galway fans they rate him highly and think he will have a big part to play for Mayo going forward yet hes not good enough to be in the mix for some of the “fans” on here.

    The lad is still only 23 and its obvious from some comments above no matter what he does some people will have an agenda against him.

  40. TommieK, I point out that Liam McHale was underrated in Mayo for a few seasons when he first came on the scene and fans didn’t think he had the required skill. So with any younger player it’s a good thing if I’m proven wrong as many fans were back then. Same thing Andy Moran, fans didn’t think he had enough skill early days.
    Flynn is big and strong and yes has had some good moments but so have many others like Fionn McDonagh, Fergal Boland, Mark Moran, Paul Towey and the list goes on. Several of these have featured more consistently in the games they’ve played. Paudie Clifford burst onto the scene for Kerry last year and we need players doing the same. Causing the opposition all sorts of trouble. We’ve had 3 in my opinion Oisin Mullen, Tommy Conroy and Ryan O Donohue. To really get a proper foot in the starting team, a new player needs to be featuring regularly in the MOM discussions. I think Adrian Orme is going to jump the queue if he gets a run of league games and that’s a good thing, new guys pushing the other fringe players to try even harder. I also think others around the panel a while like Fergal Boland have rarely let us down. If management decide to play Oisin Mullen in midfield then it’s hard to see many fringe midfielders get a look in with Mattie being big and mobile and a natural running game modern midfielder. Otherwise my preference is Diarmaid in midfield, which frees other mobile players to the half forwards. Jordan is similar in style to AOS, but he didn’t burst onto the scene in the same way Aido did. And nowadays fans are asking where best to play Aido. If it were a 50 50 I’d still pick Aido. And for a big man to get established in the team, I think he needs to be moving the scoreboard a fair bit to compensate for reduced mobility. Michael Murphy sets the standard in that regard, very accurate for a big man.

  41. I happened to meet Jordan Flynn in my local Centra here in Dublin after the CF in Croker. Lovely lad.

  42. Well said TommieK. The lad had a rush of blood to the head in that U20 final a few years ago and some people just need to move on . That was some point he kicked against Dublin last year. No doubt we will see him in action throughout the league.

  43. I think there’s a good point here about the fringe players not grasping the opportunity properly and really making themselves undroppable for the championship the way Mullin, ROD and Conroy have.
    Take Fionn mcdonagh for example. It’s now 3 years exactly since he burst onto the scene with 1-3 against Tyrone aged 22 or 23. In his mid 20s now and I think it’s fair to say he hasn’t pushed on as we might have hoped.
    Conor o Shea, Flynn, Boland & a few others in a similar boat. Id even say that Diarmuid O’Connor is not the player I expected him to be at 27 years old, given how he played at 19 or 20. We need to see more from Diarmuid, like that newbridge 2018 performance. Can he get back near that level as that was seriously good?
    My tip in 2022 to become an established top 7 or 8 player would be Eoghan Maclaughlin.
    By the way any word on Kieran King and his injury? He was the real flavour of the month before Christmas there in terms of new players for Mayo.

  44. I stand to be corrected but did Jordan not get sent off in the 3 round robin club championship games last year. It’s club performance that’s supposed to get you onto a county panel and his club performance like many panelists was pretty poor last year. I agree he has potential but like so many others on the squad, it’s just potential at this stage.
    Agree with GBX1 conor was the stand out player for breaffy the last few years and deserves a chance on merit now. Seemed to have got more of a chance when he was there without doing a whole lot for his club.
    It’s an interesting team and hope that team starts, really looking forward to it.

  45. I’m with TommieK, I think people need to lay off Jordan. The point about discipline has been made and re-made repeatedly and there’s really no need to keep harping on about it.

  46. WJ. The u-20 thing is ancient history really and can be put down to many things, youth inexperience etc. However last years club championship is not ancient history so in my opinion it’s not something that needs to be harped on about but neither should it be swept under the carpet as if it never happened. You read ALL the comments here, I only read most of them, so I apologise if this topic has come up too much for everyones liking.
    As I stated I do believe Jordan has potential and really hope that he and many others reach their potential and help drive the team on to ultimate glory.

  47. @Larry Duff. I would not write off Fionn McDonagh by any means. Outstanding championship with westport including man of the match performance against Mitchels. Fionn is injury free, key player for NUIG and is a realistic midfield option for Mayo. in fact I can see him having 3rd midfielder option on Sunday. Conor Loftus will not win high ball and is brushed aside by players coming at him. The midfield performance is crucial imo on Sunday.

  48. New podcast episode just gone up on Patreon for club members (yes, another one!) in which Mike and Ed chat with ex-Donegal player Eamon McGee. There’s also some chat on it about our team selection for Sunday.

  49. I actually think it’s good debate, WJ – though I agree, the discipline argument is over done at this stage. The point that Larry makes above about players being around the match-day squad regularly but not actually grabbing their chance versus guys that are consistently doing it in club football, at high level and not getting the same opportunity, is very interesting. If I can give some examples, Conor O’Shea vs. Flynn, Boland vs. Walsh, Towey vs. Darren Coen/ James Durcan, Plunkett vs. Eoin O’D (admittedly, Plunkett nearly always stands out for Tubber but Eoin is a natural corner back and Plunkett is a natural half-back).

    On Diarmuid, I think it’s disappointing he hasn’t hit the heights we expected from when he was 22 – after that Kildare game in Castlebar I thought he would go on to be one of the Mayo greats, when’s the last time a Mayo half forward scored 1-5 from play off both feet? But I don’t think the guy’s place is in question. He is still better than any alternative and I just hope he finds that spark again. I would always play him closer to goal, he’s a natural finisher.

  50. @ Sean Burke

    The line “His leaving of an old Breaffy WhatsApp group was considered a farewell” tells me its a false rumor and the fact the intro line is “Falsehoods about unrest in James Horan’s camp continue to spread on social media” also tells me its a false rumor.

  51. A very telling quote from that article:
    “The campaign to destroy O’Shea’s character has failed but expecting it to go away is as ambitious as believing those leading it will reveal their vested interests.”
    I do hope will Fogarty to one day write about what we all know about a certain Derry native and his vested interests in Mayo.

  52. Why oh why are we always in the headlines. Agreed @FDB – but I cant recall the County Board saying anything about the Derry fella over the years or a whisper out of them with the campaign against Lee (2016). A bit pointless of the County Secretary saying in October ‘will we ever cop on to ourselves in this county’.

  53. Hard to know what the point of that John Fogarty piece is. He attacks the nonsense stories while at the same time giving airtime to them, in the process feeding the malcontent minority (a few of whom are active on here) with the BS they appear to thrive on. All a bit odd with the football set to resume at the weekend.

  54. I’d like to think that fake WhatsApp message was fabricated by somebody in Galway or Roscommon but I think the unfortunate reality is it was made up by one of our own eejits.
    I don’t dont know if the above beng true or the eagerness of some to believe and pass on that nonsense is the more disappointing thing.

  55. Big fan of Jordan Flynn but he needs time and patience

    IIRC he was booked fairly early in the FBD but didnt get sent off

    I would love if we’re in a position later in year to spring him from the bench, I think he’s ideal to come in and shut down a middle third player for the last 20 mins. Someone like Fenton immediately springs to mind.

  56. What an utterly pointless article from John fogarty, Most of the myths he seems to be dispelling are ones he is bringing attention to himself, most of the hearsay rumors he suggests are ones I’ve been blissfully unaware of.
    He writes an awful lot about mayo and aos as he knows it gets clicks.

  57. Just generally I dont think the average fan appreciates how long it takes to make an intercounty player. We have seen some like Cillian and Oisin or David Clifford come in and just look right at home on day 1 but thats not the norm. If you read players biographies or just generally observe other counties it takes years to develop a player and often they struggle to nail a spot or position for 3 or 4 years. This was the case with Bernard Brogan in Dublin for example and Andy Moran didnt really set the world alight straight away. David Moran the same down in Kerry. It takes years and despite the fact that we really need them to come through we have to stay the course with Jordan and others. We seem to see guys for a couple of games…..get excited and then lose interest when we they struggle …….thats not how it works

  58. To be fair to Fogarty, Supermac, he’s usually writing in defense of Mayo. He has done so on a more than a few occasions, addressing the hatchet jobs done on Aido in particular by third rate pundit Bernard Flynn and others as well. He was one of the only writers to question the campaign against Lee Keegan and was also one of the only ones (if not the only one) to point out how Jim Gavin left the presentation of Lee’s POTY award to Dessie Farrell. There are numerous examples of where he’s written similarly about other events. He’s always been fairly consistent to point out how Mayo are portrayed and vilified, so I’d certainly be willing to give him a free pass if he’s calling out rumours as BS.

  59. Thats a little unfair FW. Supporters will always be curious about rumours , its not that you want them to be true if its a negative rumour , thats just horse manure . Example , you ask a few lads from down home , any truth in such a thing , “im not sure but this is goin around ” and they pass on the whatsapp message and to support my theory of certainly anyone i know anyway , none of them posted the whatsapp thingy on social media . shur if people wanted to let it run in a bad way , would it not be all over facebook , twitter etc . yeah Aido is targeted but not by Mayo gaa supporters in the main. The hateful campaign mostly comes from outside , its totally different to be of the opinion perhaps he should of been subbed in the final in the second half to outright nastieness towards him.

  60. Have just read Fogarty’s piece. Maybe I’m reacting to the negative vibes here, but I thought it was ok. He contextualises the WhatsApp non issue against a backdrop of infighting going on since September, and as Willie Joe says, that’s been all too evident here on the blog. Fogarty summarises well this negativity, but places it alongside what the county board and JH have been doing to counteract it.

    People outside the county probably see us as a suitable case for treatment. A very wise woman I know, not Mayo, said to me recently: “what will you all do if ye win the damn thing? Ye’ll have nothing to talk about”. She’s surrounded by Mayo supporters in her house, a few of them her Dublin sons.

  61. Oh @fdb I know that fogarty is generally one of the most pro mayo hacks in the national papers but most of his articles seems to be about mayo which is strange for a corkman. Presumably because mayo and aos drive clicks

    The article above has no merit, giving oxygen to nonsensical WhatsApp hearsay that shud never be acknowledged in print. You may as well prints the musings of Jimmy sloyan at closing time. Clickbait

    I for one would like to see a lot less mayo column inches in the national papers

  62. We can give out about Bernard Flynn but he was one of the best corner forwards of our time. If Meath played more ball into his corner instead of O’Rourke meath would have won more all Ireland. He was taken off the Sunday game for calling games as he saw them.

  63. I’m not so sure about that Sean, there are plenty of our own supporters who have it in for Aidan, as I can attest to, having seen the comments posted on here and having seen plenty more I’ve had to consign to the bin because of what was said in them.

  64. A good player does not a good pundit make. He was probably taken off the Sunday game for being a waste of taxpayers money. I never understood the merit in having him on, always felt he was a poor enough commentator, but RTE seemed to run with a fair few for a while, the likes of Tom Tommy Tom Tom Carr and Flynn were awful to listen to. They probably had to up their game when Sky came along and gave them some competition.

  65. Flying through the new podcasts! No beating about the bush from Eamon McGee – lots of straight talking!!!

  66. Not much interest in the examiner story, for me pure speculation.
    More interested in the fringe placer debate particularly Flynn. Two brothers in Ballina were telling me he was an exceptional talent as a youngster. Not bothered much about discipline which I think is past tense but as I see it the modern game thrives on pace as I said earlier fringe players need at least a few considerations for our MOM. Boland and McDonagh I think have featured in the MOM frame before I’d say, whereas Flynn hasn’t. . Kevin Mc for example came on the scene as a half back for Mayo and straight away caught attention. We need more of that. Can’t keep hyping some players when we have 20 or 30 who might get in ahead. The other thing which makes players stand out is game intelligence and I think Boland and Orme have it and should be high in management’s rankings.Doing the right thing 90% of the time is a very good attribute. Conor Loftus has improved that also in last 2 seasons but still wouldn’t regard him as a nailed on starter. I think COS has been mentioned by plenty here as a big performer on club scene for a few years and deserves more of a chance.
    While I don’t think players should be undermined at a young age I think it’s ok to point to the standard of consistency they need to reach.

  67. Speaking of doing the right thing, 2 of our most impressive athletes Eoghan Mc and Mattie Ruane still run down cul de sacs they can’t escape. Their impact is more positive than negative but they need to cut it out. You rarely see Durcan or Keegan getting caught in a similar position and they attack plenty. Diarmaid OC is rarely robbed nor are Cillian or Oisin once they secure possession. All guys who are on the front foot plenty. Admittedly good solo runners need take risks but they also need to learn from past experience.

  68. Great observation Shuffly Deck. And this is probably one of the main reasons Diarmuid is still in favour, which is understandable. Retention of possession is everything in the modern game and it’s certainly something Eoghan and Mattie need to work on.

  69. I think the biggest problem for us as supporters regarding fringe players is that we only see glimpses of them in action at county level. They do well and they’re the answer to all our problems, they perform poorly and should be dropped immediately for so and so who is reportedly (anecdotally) going well in training.
    However the mystery for me and many others is when some of these players have performed really well, they suddenly disappear off the scene. Boland, Carr, mcdonagh, crowe, Moran, eoin o donohue and more that I’m sure others will add.
    This is what makes the fringe player debate so animated, we’ve seen the performances with our own eyes. Admittedly we don’t see one minute on the training ground.

  70. Big chance for Orme, Mc Donagh and Conor O’Shea to make a statement, grab a Jersey and hang on to it. After last year’s final display there’s plenty of opportunity in midfield and the half-forward line. Orme has time on his side but he can step up now and make a real impact. The other two need to grab it now.

    Huge admiration for Jason and what he’s gone through to get back. A great addition if he can get back to his best.

  71. I said this last year and I’ll say it again. The longer Galway football holds out hope that Comer will bring them on to the next level the better it is for Mayo.
    What has he done in the last 5 years bar getting injured ?
    When he does play he is completely one dimensional and more often than not he don’t even fit. But they keep waiting and hoping .
    All the while he gets older and the game moves on more and more
    I hope he is brought back into the fold and they continue to turn to him when the chips are down against us

  72. Agree Shuffly Deck we need intelligent players and the little bit of Orme I’ve seen with underage and Knockmore leaves me to believe he could be an important addition. I have major concerns however about how Management and particularly Horan utilizes players. Having read an article during week he laughs off viable questions of wasting Mullins best talents by playing him in the full back line saying numbers on jerseys mean nothing in modern game. Sorry but numbers mean everything!…Mullins has zero attributes as a No3. He oozes athletic ability. As shown in last year’s final for McShanes goal his natural instinct is forward and he was caught in no man’s land. Horan has continually tried to modify players ie Mullin/O’Shea/Keegan to name but a few. iMO he over complicates the game. During his tenure we have never played a proper No3, No14, No11….vital positions. For eg iwant my No 3 to defend defend defend and defend more(can catch ball and trow a few digs….McGee Donegal a perfect eg….an out and out full back). This crazy line of all players need to be able to do all types of play is just ludicrous. It allows for excuses like ‘sure he’s not really a full back’, ‘he doesn’t like playing No14. A case of jack of some (not even all!) and master of none…..also no real accountability.

  73. Teamsheet so Mullin (or Mullins as you know him )has “zero attributes as a no.3″…no wonder Horan would crack up laughing if these are the sort of comments he’s hearing. Not his most effective position, but zero attributes, wow.
    And who would you have at no. 3,11,& 14 during this period ,who would have performed better?

  74. Looking forward to seeing our team back in action and seeing what some of the newer faces to the panel can add. A career defining few months ahead for Horan. A lot of questions have been asked of supporters in the wake of last September’s final. From a supporters view point – is he going to appear to change his own mindset and look to build a more inclusive environment where his management team’s input is heard and acted upon? Will he get out of the way to allow his management team develop multiple game plans or will he stubbornly stick to the one? It takes a lot of courage to shift the paradigm, but it may be his only avenue if he is truly intent on achieving his own goal of joining the esteemed list of All Ireland winning managers.

  75. 2 hops. Oisin is a forward playing player that’s to see in black and white. His natural instinct is to go forward. What I’m saying is Horan and mgt are taking away his best attributes by playing him at 3. The best No3s over time are big physical and usually not pacy. They know their limitations. IMO Mullin should have no limitations. Certain positions are specialist positions. Mullin is a rare natural talent I don’t want to see curtailed by management persistence in work over skill.

  76. I don’t know how anyone could think Oisin Mulliin should still be playing in the full back line and coming out with nonsense that Horan was talking last week that numbers don’t matter any more in the modern game. It’s upsetting to see him wasted back there

  77. Any chance donegal might release their team sometime before throw in or does the new team announcement rule only apply to mayo

    I can’t make any kind of prediction until I see what type of outfit donegal put out. They were very poor against monaghan in mckenna Cup final in the bits I seen, absolutely stacked with talent and size but huge question marks about their brittleness and grit

  78. I’d have to agree re Mullin & this is just my opinion. His potential as a half back or a midfielder is frightening. He could be Keeganesque, shut down his man and score heavily.

    In full back line, yes absolutely he can do a job but I think he’s wasted back there. I think you’re always better with a dog or 2 back there who just love defending.

    There may be days where his skillset may be required to mark an opposition attacker, and there will be times when his man may try and bring him into full back line to curb his attacking.

    But for me it’s simple.. we have a special player. Let’s play him where he can influence the game the most

  79. This is my first comment since that faithful day against tyrone. Still not over it however Its great to see Jason back but such a shame that those two serious injuries took the prime years of his career away, just like Tom. Both were hitting their absolute peak before their injuries. Hopefully he plays well. Cillian will probably be back end of Feb/early march. One silver lining for cillian is that he was never the quickest and relied more on his brain so that injury should not take too much away from him. Hopefully we try Mullen in Centre mid during the league. Has the athleticism and engine to get up and down the field. I am not expecting a win tomorrow as Donegal will be much further ahead in fitness and match sharpness. They have had more games and tougher games. Hoping Orme does well tomorrow but he is still raw. And what a performance again from kilmeena. making the Junior Championship look like boys against men.

  80. Dublin v Armagh… Dublin have their work cut out at half time if they want to get any apple’s from this Orchard…. Classic line from, Eamonn Fitz on co,commentary.. just after the first Armagh goal.. “The game is after exploding into life in the last 5 minutes, normally we’d be stuck inside in a Water break”

  81. Armagh are showing what happens when the ball is kicked in quickly to the forwards who know where the posts are. A joy to watch in that 1st half

  82. Mayo management could learn something from Armagh, quick ball movement with crisp foot passing.

  83. Dublin will never allow Fergal Kelly to ref another of their games . He was having none of their usual tricks. Fair play to him

  84. I guess wel see how Dublin are really fixed in the next few weeks. If they continue to be this flat (which is a continuation of last year) Even their Leinster title could be in jeopardy

    It’s likely they just met a very hungry team though who have to peak right from the off to have any hope of survival. I’d say Armagh would have beaten most teams today in fairness

  85. Armagh played well to be fair, they have Tyrone and Monaghan next, Dubs go to Kerry and then we go to Croker. Important that we win tomorrow.

  86. Make no mistake about it dublin are very much back in the pack now,carrying several mediocre players on that team, their negative possession style of play already looks outdated and none of their newbies have shown anything under farrell

    Ulster on the rise again, 5 or 6 very strong teams in ulster now

  87. Kerry will more than likely beat Dublin next week leaving them on 0 points when we meet them. It’d be lovely to leave them in relegation bother after that. Beat Donegal first anyway, one step at a time…

  88. Horan needs to remember his original core principle.
    That is to take the BS out of Mayo football

  89. Armagh could become a better team, with the use of fouling around the middle when they are trying to win back the ball.
    Seriously how many Mayo wins can we expect, Kildare ( they have a very strong management team in place ), Donegal or Galway ?

  90. Galway down in division 2 mayo88

    League can be funny we could go out and beat Kerry one week then lose to kildare another

    Tomorrow is massive though, lose it and definitely in bother already

  91. @Mayo88

    Cavan a division 4 team beat the all ireland champions this year. Pre season games are irrelevant.

    Best of luck to Galway in division 2 but they are not on Mayo’s radar until Mayo have secured division 1 football for 2023.

    Hopefully we can hit the ground running tomorrow, a win in the first game would take off some pressure.

  92. Armagh are now the 2nd best team in Ulster I would say, ahead of Monaghan and Donegal . They always did well anytime they came out of Ulster and hit Croker in the past, good Armagh teams always had a bit of cockiness and arrogance about them and always have a habit of producing star forwards like Stevie McDonnell, Oisin McConville, Ronan Clarke, Diarmuid Marsden, Jamie Clarke, and now Rian O’Neill and Rory Grugan. They will hard bet in the Carrick in a few weeks time and a team I think we would struggle with them in Croke Park come championship.

  93. It’s a fierce competitive province for sure and you could put Derry in the mix too sam og, Tyrone , Donegal, Armagh , Derry and Monaghan that’s five teams who are all capable of beating each other .

    You can feel an air of excitement about the season ahead already . Great to be up early on a sunday morning again heading west for a game. Didnt sell as many tickets as they expected apparently.

    80% of those looking for all Ireland final tickets last year are flat out with their clubs today, washing jerseys and cutting grass from belmullet to balinrobe ,its a busy day for the clubs .

  94. Armagh should have ran us in 2019 and they now look an even better all round side since then. That said we were bailing water a bit that season with so many injuries

    Tyrone’s win has surely lit a huge fire under so many teams. I’m sticking by my assertion that we could very well see a “surprise” finalist this year meeting Kerry – a 2010 or 2018 like season. Don’t see why it couldn’t be Armagh if they continue their trajectory. If Dublin truly are back in the pack (which I’m inclined to think they probably are – although lest we forget an awful Dublin were still a retaken 45 from a final in 2021) then it’s never been as open really

  95. There has been a few posts above about our full back position and lack of suitable player for years to take up the mantle.
    From watching Rian O’Neill last night, all teams will need a decent full back to keep him quiet. I was at the match so maybe don’t seem some of the stuff as you would see on TV. But seemed like a masterful performance. Pity we don’t have a player like that. I actually felt a little sorry for Davy Byrne. Must be horrible feeling getting such a mauling. Dublin didn’t really help their own cause – left Byrne isolated with O’Neill on several occasions.

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