Team named to face the Tribesmen


After all the leaking that went on yesterday (which proved to be on the money), the first championship selection of the Holmes/Connelly era was finally announced officially a short while ago. Here’s the team that Noel and Pat have selected to face Galway in Sunday’s Connacht SFC semi-final at Pearse Stadium (throw-in 4pm):

Mayo (Connacht SFC semi-final v Galway, 14/6/2015): David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Chris Barrett (Belmullet), Kevin Keane (Westport), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis, captain); Lee Keegan (Westport), Tom Cunniffe (Castlebar Mitchels), Colm Boyle (Davitts); Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy), Tom Parsons (Charlestown Sarsfields); Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore); Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen), Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole).

So it’s a pretty experienced pick, with all fifteen named to start having all previously lined out for the county in the championship. That said, there are a number of significant switches compared to the last time we played in the championship, at the end of August last year.

Out from the team that started down in Limerick in the All-Ireland semi-final replay are Robbie Hennelly, Ger Cafferkey, Donal Vaughan, Barry Moran and Alan Dillon while in come David Clarke (a first championship start for him since the 2013 Connacht semi-final), Kevin Keane, Chris Barrett, Tom Parsons and Diarmuid O’Connor. Kevin, Chris and Tom all came on as subs that evening in the Gaelic Grounds so, despite the five changes made for Sunday, there’s still a fair bit of continuity between then and now.

Compared to our last competitive fixture, the League match against Donegal back in April, there are six changes. David Clarke, Tom Cunniffe, Chris Barrett, Tom Parsons, Cillian O’Connor and Andy Moran didn’t start in that game (and none of them featured off the bench either) while Kenneth O’Malley, Brendan Harrison, Donal Vaughan, Barry Moran, Mark Ronaldson and Danny Kirby did.

We haven’t named our subs for Sunday at this point in time.

80 thoughts on “Team named to face the Tribesmen

  1. Im happy eneough with that team, id personally have gone for hennelly but im not the one looking at them train. Hope cunniffe stays at cb, delighted to see aido in the forwards to start with im sure he’ll be roaming around everywhere! Very confident after seeing that team, andy brings great leadership qualities and can take his points. Hoping for another big game from Doc, he’s my dark horse for player of the year!!.

  2. I think Andy Moran and Cillian will be a good partnership upfront, im feeling more confidant than i was, team looks solid throughout.

  3. Happy with that, turbo a tighter defender than vaughan and Barrett stabilises the full back line, I just hope they are match fit!! Solid middle, and forwards that will score, some bench we will have too!!

  4. Not convinced really.

    Think Cuniffe needs a big game and have some worries over Barrett.
    Not convinced about Diarmaid but hopefully I will be proven wrong.
    Agree Donie can make impact from bench as can Barry.
    Have the defensive lapses under high ball been sorted.This is a problem for years and I cannot see how Keane at full back solves it.
    Hope these are just niggling nervous doubts.I do not believe Galway will trouble this team at all.Would worry more down the road.

  5. Very strong looking team and bench to match. Should be no problem. Does anyone know if it is all standing in the Terrace for Sunday and any chance of getting stand tickets at the Ground?

  6. Great looking team. Far better than the one we picked for our first round last year (if I remember correctly) where we should have got turned over

    To be honest I don’t even have one qualm with it myself, which is no craic really, need something to give out about!! 😀 😀

  7. All standing for sure ‘Just Outside Ballagh’ unlike Castlebar, I think stand sold out? Though open to correction on latter

  8. Bar Keane at full back it’s a solid team. Big call putting turbo at 6 but he’s played there before. Very happy with the keeper, midfield and forwards. There should be a strong bench too with Hennelly, Caff, Vaughan, Dillon, freeman and big Barry to come in.

  9. Will this be the team that actually lines out, we have some strong subs to come on if so. it has been the longest couple of weeks ever, have the car filled with petrol for the trip since Tuesday!! Roll on Sunday

  10. Bar Keane at full back who struggles for pace it’s a solid team. Big call putting turbo at 6 but he’s played there before. Very happy with the keeper, midfield and forwards. There should be a strong bench too with Hennelly, Caff, Vaughan, Dillon, freeman and big Barry to come in.

  11. I’m happy with the team, sorry for Vaughan who’s a great servant but so is Barrett who’s been unlucky with injury and deserves more chances. Very tight calls. After inconsistent league I think that’s quite a strong forward line listed. Andy must be flying again, has reputation of being a great trainer. My only worry is lack of footpassing playmaker but it’s a very strong team. I’m a great fan of Andy who was unmarkable in 2012. Always gives 100% and reckon we can get some more good football outta him. Good man to win inside ball. Tom Cunniffe has a great cut about him wherever he plays in backs. Nice to see Diarmaid OC get a chance, he has a lot of skills, hopefully we’ll get to see some of those at a high level. The smaller forwards might get a chance once fatigue kicks in. Looks like we play full court press not blanket with that team but we’re better at that anyway, just case of getting best 15 to do that and I think we have.

  12. Slightly surprised to see Cunniffe moved out and Vaughan omitted. I also thought Barry Moran would start in the middle of the park. Had heard Diarmuid O’Connor is going well and am glad he’s getting another chance after limited opportunities following his debut last year. Hennelly a little unlucky in my opinion.

  13. Interesting selection. Of course it may change before Sunday at 4, that’s a given these days.

    Taken at face value, Ger Cafferkey, Barry Moran and Mark Ronaldson must be desperately disappointed.

    This is the wake-up call for Donal Vaughan. He needs to become a tighter defender if he wants to be part of the half-back line in this team. The door is far from closed for him given the indifferent form of Lee Keegan, but Mayo have options in defence and it looks like the new management are not afraid of making a big call.

    But as other posters have said – we’re not the ones watching these lads train. Please God the right calls have been made and, more importantly, the team are in the right mindset. No let-up and no mercy.

    This will be an uncomfortable afternoon but I back Mayo to come out the right side of it.

  14. Surprised people are concerned about Cunniffe at 6, I’ve always seen it as his best spot

    As for Keane he has earned his place. Cafferkey didn’t have one of his better years last year, while Keane has really come into his own this season. Def won’t write off Ger Caff and the competition will only do him good, but Keane is the man in charge now and it’s his spot to lose

    Bar that unfortunate goal in 2012 final I thought he’d a great year then and was very hard done by to have seen such limited game time since

  15. Barrett must be picked on form in training and challenges. Keane got his chance in league and grabbed with both hands so has to be given the chance. No doubt championship is different but saw no lapses from him in league. Won’t know for sure if these two are best call… Keane took no crap from Donaghy when he came on last year. Trust the management but time will tell.

  16. “Keane got his chance in league and grabbed with both hands so has to be given the chance.”

    This this this!

    I’d be surprised if this was even one of their tougher picks tbh

    It’s a bit of a no-win for managers at times, pick the already ‘established guy’ who maybe didn’t have his best year last year but is ‘established’, or pick the form player who ‘hasn’t proven it in Championship’? There’ll be critics whatever you do!

    People are constantly calling for new blood, “freshen things up”, If you always picked the ‘established’ guy you’d never change anyone at all!!

    Not to say Ger Caff isn’t a bloody good back up! But this is Keane’s chance, wish him very well

  17. I thought Vaughan was injured?

    Besides, CB is not new to Tom. He played there for years. Most of all under these two lads at U21 level

  18. Happy with the team. Would have been just as happy with Hennelly in goal. I would expect cunniffe will go back in the corner, and Barrett will go to the half back line. His best game in a Mayo shirt was the semi final in ’12 against the Dubs. I hope Doc comes out to the half forward line, with Aido going in Full forward. Not sure this will happen though as Doc did spend a lot of time in the Full forward line during the league. Doc is far more effective in the HF line, and Aido can play anywhere.

    Hoping Kevin Keane has a great game, deserves his chance after his league form. Will be keeping a close eye on Andy Moran. He didnt see much of the league, but he looked in great condition when he came on against Cork. Will be a great bonus if we could get him back to near his best.

    Mayo by four points.
    Mhaigheo Abu

  19. Just outside Ballagh,

    It’s first come first served as regards the stand on Sunday. Be there for the hurling [Mayo v Rosc playoff for a place in the Christy Ring at 1.45 pm] and you will have no problem.
    Regards the team I’m happy enough as only the management see the players in action at training. If the appetite is undiminished we should have no problem with oodles of skill and experience on the bench to cover any weaknesses. I just hope Aiden O’Shea has learned to give and go. He would be much more effective rather than trying to bulldoze his way through as he has often tried to do.

  20. First thoughts on the team are not positive – is this a fully fit match-winning two-man full forward line?

    At RFB, Chris Barrett must have come on a hell of a lot since the Dublin match, including recuperation from ankle surgery in the meantime.

    As others have said looks like a full court press and probable aim is to hit Galway early for goals. Galway will also be trying to do the same – get midfield ball and wallop it in towards Keane to test him.

  21. A bit surprised at some of the comments about Keane – he was the standout performer in a number of league encounters this year, he would have been first pick for me.

    I’m a bit on the fence about Diarmuid – he’s not stood out as much as I would have expected, would have perhaps expected to see either Ronaldson or Dillon instead, but I hope he proves me wrong. By the look of it it’s a team that has the use of substitutes well in mind. I’d expect to see Dillon on for Andy later in the game, particularly if things are tight.

    I can see Galway getting an early lead until we find a bit of rhythm, us reeling them in and building a lead to allow us to win by 4 points or more.

    Here’s hoping.

  22. Very happy with that team.
    Big strong and physical throughout. That’s exactly what’s needed for the first 20 minutes. Delighted for Parsons and brilliant to see Cillian back.
    Can’t wait hon Mayo

  23. Crucial that Tom Parsons has a good game. i always thought he had the potential to be something special. He now needs to grab this opportunity and prove himself once and for all. If so he could be the one that makes the difference.
    Hopefully Andy Moran has regained his old sparkle and can deliver big scores and that Cillians injury has fully cleared up. I am delighted to see Chris Barrett back in action. At his best he is a top class defender and has an edge to him that I like.
    The high ball into the square could still be a problem but I’m not sure how to solve that one without committing a fairly substantial covering defender to stay in around there and there’s a price to be paid elsewhere for that. I’m not sure that Galway will try out that tactic but it will certainly emerge as the year goes on if we are still in contention. It must be solved. It has unhinged us too many times for us to ignore it.

  24. Diehard

    The highball is a worry no doubt. I dont think there is anyone in the squad who can fix that problem for us, and no point bringing in someone purely for their height if they haven’t the other defensive\ball skills.

    I do think they have picked Clarke ahead of Hennelly , because he commands his area more. Both are quality keepers, but his presence may have just shaded it. As you said I dont expect galway to try this tactic, but if they need a goal to get back in the game, no doubt they will be kicking some high ball in

  25. Yes high ball plan needed for the year as even the best backs in the country (we’re up there in that dept) will get exposed against a top forward line. I think mopping up breaking high balls will be shared by midfielders and half forwards coming deep and Aido will play a Michael Murphy role, 3 positions FF, CHF and MF adapting as he sees the need.

    Some people have concerns that players coming back have injuries, I seriously doubt management would do that. Only Cillian would play if less than 100% because of frees. If he’s struggling its likely Freeman would come on.

  26. Really like the look of that team.
    Pretty much what I wanted to see. Only question mark is possibly over Diarmuid. Thought Doherty would get in half forward, with Ronaldson in the corner.

    Hope Diarmuid performs, it’d be great to see some of the younger lads stepping up.

    Vaughan will be a great sub to bring on, his sheer athleticism will trouble those tired Galway limbs.

    Mayo by 4

  27. Very happy with team, strong with loads of experience. Feel a bit sorry for Caff and Vaughan ( must have been very close calls ) but they’re great guys to have on the bench if needed. We seem to have good cover for every line from Goalkeeper all the way up and the team that finishes is every bit as important as the one that starts. It’s all about 20/21 players and how they’re deployed on the day.

    The only question to be answered is whether ( after 4 hard years on the road ) they still have the hunger to push forward. We won’t know until Sunday but if they have they will win by a few.

  28. i think galway will be happy with this team,
    no Vaughan pushing forward is big plus to Galway.
    He is a big player for mayo and would suit aganist Galway..
    parson is not strong enough in the middle and will get found out,

  29. Very disappointed with that team to be honest.

    I saw nothing from Clarke to justify him starting and dropping Hennelly, I think Hennelly is a much better all around keeper. Clarke’s kick outs are poor and he’s not the dynamic keeper Hennelly is. There are a lot of short memories around, Galway would have almost certainly beat us in our own back garden was it not for Hennelly saving a cracker of a pen by Walsh last year.

    I’m a big fan of Barrett and if he does line out at 2 then I’m happy with that.

    I do not think KK should start over Ger Caff. Caff is a class FB and has been a standout performer for Mayo for years, an All Star FB, and he deserves his place and is in flying form with club. I know he struggled against Donaghy in the two games but every FB in the country would have. KK did do well when he came on in Ennis but Donaghy was almost out of gas at that late stage with KK fresh. KK had a good league but this is championship here. It was a tight call but Caff for me for sure.

    I do not think Cunniffe did enough last year or in league to start ahead of Vaughan. He can be a bit headless and gives away too many turnovers from going into contact or poor kick passing. Vaughan gives more to the team in an all round sense. Also, I’m not sure Cunniffe will start at HB, I think that’s just because I don’t see him as own personally, maybe others do.

    We’re lacking size in middle third (bar the colossus AOS of course). Galway have big mobile MFs and our two lads aren’t awfully tall.

    I’m scratching my head at the forwards. Doherty in corner forward? Doherty is in my opinion a proper half forward, mobile, hard tackler, worker. He has been a big performer for us over last season or two. I think he’s wasted in the corner if he indeed does play there, who knows though.

    Finally, hope I’m wrong here but why are we risking starting COC, how could he be fit to start after playing a handful of minutes in the last few months?? Give another lad a chance, it might give a variety that we’re lacking. I just think this puts us on the back foot and searching for a plan B instead of letting him rest and recover fully. There are no medals handed out in June (well there probably are, just not Senior Intercounty medals).

    I’m worried lads, not going to lie.

  30. Strong experienced team. Vaughen injured from what I heard so I don’t know if it’s case he has been dropped. It will be a tough close game. Keane has his chance now and Sice will be a handful. AOS will no doubt have a freestyle roll but hopefully he does not start going too deep as he tends to tire himself out, he is however looking fitter than ever this year.

    Unsure about Doherty in the corner too but I am sure they have been trying thing out in training and challenge games. It is almost the same team that has come up short the past 4 years so lets see…..bench is strong enough in my opinion too. Cillian must be fully for or he would not be started.

  31. I agree Catcol, not much pace in there. If I was picking the team I’d have Hennelly in goal, Vaughan centre back, AOS switching intermittently with Parsons (which may indeed happen), Doherty half forward, Mickey Sweeney in corner forward, with Diarmuid O’Connor in other corner, or Ronaldson. I’d only play COC if he was 100%, even then I’d prob just give him last 20 mins. Not worth the risk

  32. I expect Boyle will be keen to remind Comer of their last encounter fairly early on. While I doubt we’ll hand out another 17 point humiliation I think Mayo at -5 is the bet of the weekend.

  33. I don’t think you’re correct, PJB Mayo, about last year’s Connacht final and that penalty save. That incident happened with ten minutes to go at a stage where we were nine points up. Even if Walsh had scored it, I very much doubt if Galway would have come close to catching us. I agree, though, that it was a super save by Robbie.

  34. Team looks good. Provided they are still hungry we should be comfortable by 6+ points.

  35. “There are a lot of short memories around, Galway would have almost certainly beat us in our own back garden was it not for Hennelly saving a cracker of a pen by Walsh last year.”


    Was this the same match that was in Castlebar last July?

  36. One would assume the team is picked on form, but in one sense team selection is secondary. What will be really important on Sunday is how management deal with the tactics Galway throw at them and how quickly they’re able to change tactics and personnel. That was probably Horan’s biggest weakness.

  37. I am very surprised with Hennelly loosing out, Made one mistake against Dublin in the Final but made several super saves, Needed for the long range free kicks . COC can struggle on the Long ones. Speaking of Hennelly and Cafferky Brolly did not do them any favors last year . He had not as much to say about the Magees when Donaghy cleaned them. Also Cafferky was badly treated by the Ref in his battle with Donaghy

  38. While I believe we should win I don’t think it is beyond the realms of possibility that Galway can beat us. They have a good team who have steadily improved since the drubbing that last time in Pearse stadium. Also last year if they had taken some of the simple scores that Kerry offered them in Croke Park it could (and should) have been an awful lot closer. A year is a long time in GAA and these guys so have another years’ experience under their belts. OK Shane Walsh will be a big loss but I would expect that the other fellas will be keen to take up the slack.
    Looking at ourselves well the only form we can rely on was the last competitive match. And to be honest we were putrid against Donegal. Brutal chances missed that even a 10 year old should kick over. But that was mirrored over the entire League. To my mind we beat very little and it was only failings in other side’s abilities that saved us from relegation in the end.
    So the big Q. is if the League performances is any indicator of where the team are at or were they actually bothered with it at all? From reading here and elsewhere well no one can say for definite either way.
    Also it’s interesting that people commenting on here are 50/50 with the team named. I’m the same way. Yes Kevin Keane should start but is he good enough for FB? I don’t know and he certainly was not tested in this year’s League as he never came up against Murphy, O’Gara or Donaghy who are the yardsticks at this level.
    Also Chris Barrett is back. Best of luck to him. It’s another big call as the last time he played at CB to my mind he got roasted by Cork in Croker. Also Tom Cunniffe at CHB is a big call. Ok you have a serious stopper but Tom to my memory is not exactly renowned for pushing fast ball forward via quick foot passing skills. Maybe there will be obvious switches?
    Lastly Colm Boyle (and everyone on here) must forget about that hit last year on Comer. Last year is gone and never coming back. Forget about it. Colm hopefully will be looking to be as tough as nails as usual but will not be looking for that one ‘cool’ hit.
    This is the Mayo team we are talking about. These guy does not need to enhance their current reputations. If some do well there is something wrong and the required composure and confidence is lacking in that player. We shall see.

  39. Given that the personnel are the same as the leaked team, I have a suspicion that positional layout may be different tho that named and was just a tactic to save face.
    I’m happy with the team and the options, if people are firing on most cylinders.
    Too much tension for me for June

  40. JPM, there’s no doubt Galway can beat us. This will be a very tough assignment for Mayo, especially as it’s the first game out of the blocks. There’s a live possibility that we may have to hang on for a while until the maroon storm passes before we can get a foothold in the game. With that in mind, an experienced line-up makes sense.

    In fairness re. the Donegal match, Mayo were by miles the better team but couldn’t score. But some Sunday we’ll have our best forward – and most reliable free-taker – back in harness. Yes, he won’t be at full match-sharpness, but he will take serious watching, and he’ll still be good for the frees.

  41. While there may be little in the way of a new look to this selection, there is a clear strategy at play here, and that is to have as many heavy hitters on the field as possible and ensure it’s ourselves and not Galway that win the first half. Galway will be looking to get their runners going early and get themselves into a leading position on the scoreboard and then try to shut up shop in a similar fashion to what Tyrone did to us back in Feb. Cillian may have only 50mins in him so best to have him there to keep the scoreboard ticking over from the beginning rather than him coming on towards the end of a game with opposition having a possible strangle hold. If we can manage this early on then we can impose our game on them and have players in reserve like Ronaldson, Kirby, Loftus to come on and stretch them even further.

  42. PJB, we have 2 fast forwards, Kevin McLoughlin and Diarmaid OC. Most of them are not slow either but maybe not as pacey as some of the other top 8 teams. Tyrone have a few small fast guys as do Down and Cork are pacey with Kerrigan. Dublin have Brogan and McMenamon, others are all very good players but not necessarily lightening. They are boosted by a few marauding backs like Jack McCaffrey and mobile strong midfield.
    I love seeing forwards running at pace but I think a fast moving team is even better to watch. Lundy could cause us trouble but it’s not the team with fastest individual players who wins (eg. Meath) but the fastest moving team of 15. Donegal’s goal against us in last game led by Mcglynn was a demonstration of fast team play done to perfection. All teams should look at that goal.

  43. “I have a suspicion that positional layout may be different tho that named and was just a tactic to save face.”

    TooHollow I think we should give the lads a bit more credit than that! I’d hope they’re not put out by ‘leaked teams’ and what people are saying online to that extent!

    We might see a few lads switching to and fro in the forwards throughout the game but that was always going to happen

  44. “PJB, we have 2 fast forwards, Kevin McLoughlin and Diarmaid OC. Most of them are not slow either but maybe not as pacey as some of the other top 8 teams.”

    Well said.

    The ‘pace’ argument is a strange one for me I must say, I mean Cillian mightn’t do a 100m in sub 10 seconds or anything but he’s damn effective over a few yards and that’s all he needs once he gets quality ball. It’s about intelligent movement for me and how they apply themselves, than lads who can run x amount over a straight line. That said Doherty and McLoughlin are hardly “slow” and Diarmuid O’Connor is pretty athletic. Aidan’s game is clearly based on power and explosiveness than being able to run faster than another guy

    It almost looks like criticising selection for the sake of it which I hope isn’t the case

  45. “I am very surprised with Hennelly loosing out, Made one mistake against Dublin in the Final but made several super saves, Needed for the long range free kicks . COC can struggle on the Long ones. ”

    To be fair I’d imagine it was a tough call for management. That match is 2 years back now in fairness and is pretty irrelevant in 2015. It probably just came down to who has been playing better in 2015. None of us have seen training and very few friendly matches. there can’t be much between them at all

    Spare a thought for Kenneth O’Malley who would start or at least be sub keeper for any other team in the country

    Not overly convinced on Hennelly at the long range ones myself. Slots a few beauties, no doubt, but so does Cillian from distance. I’d be picking my goalkeeper though based on exactly that- goalkeeping.

  46. I thought both teams had to name their teams by thursday evening? Is this not the case?

  47. ^^^ Indeed, and something about having to name 26 and you were fined if someone not named in the 26 played?

    When is that being brought in actually? Mustn’t be this year..

  48. Really like the look of that team. A couple of surprises for me – including Andy starting – but they’re not of the bad variety. I can’t understand some of the negativity to be honest – teams are not picked based on last year’s championship performances or even this year’s league performances. I have no doubt that the starting 15 are the ones who have challenged for places over the past 10 weeks, away from all of our lines of vision. and rightly so.

    Couple of points – Vaughan was a doubt with a calf injury – I would imagine this is part of the reason he hasn’t made the starting cut.

    The problem with Tom Parsons is not been that he hasn’t played well enough to prove himself, rather that he hasn’t been able to get a sustained run due to injury after injury. I sincerely hope that this is the start of a clear run for him – he is an excellent fielder and footpasser on his day and has the potential to be a game-changer for us. His performance against Cork in the league was as good as any I’ve seen this year. If it doesn’t work out, we are not exactly short of midfield options.

    Big day for Diarmaid O’Connor too – hopefully it’s a good one. Will be watching with interest. I am a big fan and would love to see him step up on a big day.

    No fears re Cunniffe at 6 – as Mayo Mark said he is well used to playing there. Chris Barrett has a great opportunity to demonstrate that he is back on form – a la Tyrone in 2013 hopefully.

    Disappointed for Robbie and Ger – two of our greatest servants – but I would sooner have that level of competition within the panel than not. I doubt it was an easy decision to drop either but I’m satisfied at this point that the management know more about current form than we do. Kevin Keane showed very well during the league and if he has kept that form up, he has more than earned his place. And not that long ago it was looking not unlikely that David Clarke had played his last game in a Mayo shirt – on a personal level I am delighted for him after all the hard work he has put in.

    Galway were never in danger of beating us last summer, nor the summer before if I recall correctly!

    Puckout, you are spot on re reaction times from the line – nothing I saw in the league filled me with confidence on that front (the Tyrone game springs to mind as an obvious example) but the real test will be in Championship.

    Thanks be to god it’s nearly Sunday. It has felt more like 10 months than 10 weeks!

  49. I can’t see us rolling out a simple positional game.
    A two man ff with doc and the O’Sheas all pulling back by one position and then running forward when chances come.
    Vaughan would be a big help to this strategy and will come into it at some stage if he is fit.
    Moran will pull back due to his footpassing / play making ability when doc or AOS are up front.

    I will have another theory in a few minutes of course.

    Most of all, I want to shout COME ON MAYO TO FUCK, but I’m in an airport surrounded by Spanish people.

  50. Vaughan is very attacking at centre back whree cunniffe isn’t, that’s why I wud leave cunniffe in the corner replacing barrett where he hasn’t played a lot of footbwll in recent weeks and then move Higgins up to half forward line bring some pace. Doherty is a very hard worker and very doggid they will miss his turnovers and him collecting breaking ball around midfield. They shud bewt Galway but row moonin willl b difficult

  51. I’d have to say that I am happy with that team. Off the top of my head there is no player that I can think of, that I’d be saying, why is so and so not starting. It was probably a toss up between Tom Parsons and Barry Moran, its nice to see Tom get a chance. Again it was probably a close call between Andy and Alan Dillon, maybe Andy is really showing well in training so thats why they are going with him. If Vaughan is not fully fit then it would have been a big ask bringing Coen or Durkan into the team so Barrett you’d have to think is the next best option. Clarke over Hennelly was probably the hardest call to make, Clarke is meant to have been in good form for his club lately so its no harm to give him a chance. Early in Doc’s career he used to score goals for fun so it would be great to see him trouble the scoreboard a bit more. If Diarmuid has the same mentality as his brother then we should have no fears for him. Kevin Keane deserves his chance to nail down the no. 3 shirt. Yes there are some doubts about match fitness etc. of some players but lets see how it goes. Our bench should be very strong. If you look at some of the other teams playing this week-end, we have been pretty lucky injuries wise. Kerry only have 7 of their team that started the All-Ireland final starting this week-end. Cork have four or five players out. Clare are without 6 players. Bar Evan Regan we are pretty much at full strength. Roll on the big game!

  52. I could see that forward line rotating all over the field.
    Happy with all positions and even happy if some players switch, move back or move forward. Great to see Tom Parsons starting. Huge for us if he has a big game.

  53. I understand Vaughan is carrying a knock so he may be doubtful for the bench on Sunday. I doubt he was dropped to be honest so if he was fit enough I think he would start.

    There’s little doubt that Doherty will move out. We’ve scored goals for fun recently against Galway so they’ll look to crowd us out for as long as possible. We’ve picked a big, physical and experienced team to manage the early barrage that’s coming from a side who have to be sick of the sight of us.

  54. “Doherty is a very hard worker and very doggid they will miss his turnovers and him collecting breaking ball around midfield.”

    Doherty is playing tho!

    I’d eat my hat if he played the full game pushed into the corner

  55. Isn’t it gas that there’s no word yet on the Galway team, with no apparent clamour for its announcement and no leaking of it in the Tuam Herald? They’re a laid-back bunch, that Galway crowd!

  56. Vaughan has to be injured. I recall him playing even FBD matches this year, he has been ever present in the team since the beginning of the Horan era.

    I’d be surprised if they just dropped him and put in Barrett who has been injured for a while instead, unless he was playing very poorly in which case the decision would naturally be justified

    To be fair to the lads they could pick 15 prime Ciaran McDonalds and there’d always be qualms over one or two calls. On the balance of things this looks the best team available, with DOC and Andy possibly the two ‘arguable’ calls

    Whatever you think about the team it’s good enough to beat Galway, end of story. And if that- as expected- happens, then every decision is justified. One game at a time. Now hurry up Sunday ffs :p

  57. Are Galway waiting on O’Curraoin or something?

    Hang on, this sounds very familiar, wasn’t there huge doubts about him last year or 2 years ago aswell?

    A bit mad they haven’t selected yet.

    Give feckin AN other a start if you can’t make up your mind

  58. The team looks good enough. A few new faces in always good and makes a little hunger in the team in all the right positions. The panel and the starting 15 are strong and similar to the last few years.
    All that we need is the side to have identified the few things that need improving…… re-establish the hunger and move the ball forward with pace…. enough to frighten most teams with the skill this team have.
    This game is no longer a starting 15 game, it’s about 18-20 players each match

  59. I would be worried there is no great pace in full forward line and as good as an inside duo of cillian and Andy is there isn’t no pace
    Obvious doc will go out the field.

    Delighted see cunniffe at 6.
    Fair play and best luck to Clarke keane and Barrett. If they not tried now no point looking at them in September.

    Would be worried about Sheamie and parsons they too similar. Thought Barry get a game but great to have options.
    Really looking forward to game and think we will take them would would have preferred more pace and tricky in the forwards.

  60. A few things!

    Firstly, anyone who thinks teams line out in positions as shown on a program (3,3,2,3,3) anymore needs to watch a lot more modern football!

    Tom C will switch with Barrett, and Barrett with Boyle. Jason D will move out to wing forward, most likely in place of DO’C and DO’C will act as a link player between attack and defense around the midfield. And Galway will pack their defense if they’ve any sense. Andy and Cillian will be up front on their own with Aidan and others floating in and out.

    For me, Vaughan has to be injured/unfit because he’s a nailed on starter when fit – superb at breaking lines and creating chances. Also, I’d have Hennelly in goal all day over Clarke but Clarke is unlikely to let the side down. We really are blessed with keepers and midfielders, to the extent that I don’t think any of Galway’s keepers or midfielders would make Mayo’s squad.

    On the game, Mayo are way better on paper (without having seen Galway’s team!) and I think for Galway to win they’ll have to pack the defense big time and really take their chances when they come. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Galway team set up defensively and from what I hear it’s gonna be a dry day, so it’s a massive test for Kevin Walsh. Hopefully this Mayo team have as much luck as the one managed by C&H back in 2006 and they go all the way.

  61. The Galway team has been named:

    1. Manus Breathnach

    2. Johnny Duane 3. Finian Hanley 4. Cathal Sweeney

    5. Liam Silke 6. Gary O’Donnell 7. Sean Denvir

    8. Fiontán Ó Curraoin 9. Paul Conroy (Captain)

    10. Gary Sice 11. Patrick Sweeney 12. Tomas Flynn

    13. Danny Cummins 14. Damien Comer 15. Michael Lundy

  62. I’m happy enough with this selection although surprised that Keane is FB. I think he’s excellent and likely will do a fine job there for this match and maybe the next too. But as we progress in the C’ship, as we surely will, the field will narrow and the FF ‘s wil get bigger. Not sure Keano will be the right man then and that’s no time to be then truing new players. I’d have put the Coen lad there and let him grow into it..with Cunniffe in front of him for experience,…would work well i think…anyway.
    Surprised too at Diarmuid O’Connor selection but he must be going well. Anyway, best of luck to the lads…looking forward to bat’n Galway and moving on.

  63. Even without Shane Walsh, that Galway forward line is more than decent. It will be interesting to see how defensively we set up, but, if it’s anything like as loose as in the league matches, then Galway can get 2-3 goals and that could make it much closer than most people think. Mayo deserve to be favorites but I’ll be very happy with a 1-2 point win.

    The other big question for me is – who actually plays FF for us. It feels like we have not had a settled FF since…since… Tom Langan 🙂

  64. So far this season any worthwhile matches have been played in Ulster, with the usual pulling, dragging and sledging one associates with Northern teams, all in evidence again. Packed defences appear to be the order of the day, and it would appear this style of play is not going to change anytime soon. With this in mind, it will be interesting to see what approach Mayo and Galway will adopt on Sunday.

    Where as we all like to see an open game of football from time to time, I would be hoping that Noel and Pat would bring a little more balance between all out attack and minding the house. This was our Achilles heel under James, and for Mayo to challenge this year, we will surely need to adapt a more defensive setup from the off.

  65. It’s a very experienced Mayo team which should win on Sunday if the hunger and desire is there and if the tatical approach is right. Is it a team that has got that missing ingredient of the last few years to finally bring home Sam…..? Is there an injection of new talent that can excite? Maybe Dirmuid O C cud provide thst. Can the Management provide the inspired leadership to get this bunch of fantastic men to finally capture the ultimate prize…? A lot will be revealed on Sunday. I await with a little more anxiety than expectation……

  66. Happy enough with that selection. In a lot of games I seen us play in we looks very volatile right down the middle. Instead of standing and facing the in coming players down we were running backwards allowing the opposition into the danger zone. I think Noel and Pat have spotted this and believe Cunniffe will stand his ground. Just hope he comes back into form. Hoping for big game from our midfield and from AOS and Doc.AOS will drop back as extra midfielder .I’d love to see fast direct ball into our forwards. Enough said. Roll on Sunday.

  67. Delighted to see our Club man Tom Parsons making the team. He will serve Charlestown and Mayo well.
    My problem is with the full forward line, my choice would be:
    Cillian O,Connor,Danny Kirby and Mickey Sweeney.
    Jason is a half forward.
    Best of luck to Mayo anyway.
    Cathal Henry.

  68. Cathal the attack n Parsons will move around. Parsons I could see sometimes being used as a runner coming on the burst. Like his points versus Cork in the league.

  69. Great looking team. I’ve been spouting on here for 2 years that Cuniffe is our best centre back as all others are too loose positionally. He will lock down that area and force attacks wide, where you want them. Keane is rightly at full back as his form dictates that. Clarke is the better all round keeper and Barrett, when fit, is a defo starter for me.
    Mayo by 4.
    Hon Mayo.

  70. A lot of the former Galway Greats are quoted in the papers,all of them give Galway little hope of winning tomorrow (they are not ready yet to challenge Mayo). I sincerely hope that the Mayo players and management do not fall for this propaganda. Kevin McStay tips Mayo saying that Galway failed to get out of Division Two of the League. Galway played most of the League minus the four Corofin players and Thomas Flynn he forgot to mention that crucial fact. John Casey stated that Mayo will win comfortably ( he said the same last year prior to the Roscommon game in the Hyde).Ger Loughnane believed that if a team are fired up before they leave the dressing room they are most likely to make the right decisions on the field. Mayo will need leaders on the field tomorrow if they are to win.I hope this is not a repeat of 1998.

  71. The days of a team being fired up being of benefit are gone. Fitness, tactics and ability. Seen someone pull out of a 50:50 in the league (young new player) but in the main players go hard for every ball. Interesting to count the number of blocks per game championship versus league. Blocks are about the bravest thing you can do in a game. Probably in general more blocks in championship per game.

  72. “A lot of the former Galway Greats are quoted in the papers,all of them give Galway little hope of winning tomorrow (they are not ready yet to challenge Mayo). I sincerely hope that the Mayo players and management do not fall for this propaganda”

    Propaganda? They’re giving their opinion though! I’ve talked to sh1tloads throughout the week about this game and I could count on one hand the amount that even give Galway a chance. The vast majority expect Mayo by between 3 and 7. Mayo are clear favourites with the bookies

    If they predicted a Galway win they’d be accused of delusion. It’s a lose-lose situation for these former players unfort!

    It was the same with Tomas O’Se last year he got pillared here and on twitter etc for actually suggesting Mayo would beat Kerry. He was an inept referee away from being correct!

  73. Would people agree this is overall one of our most mobile, tall n strong middle eights. When you average across all eight players.

  74. Vaughan is deffo carrying knock ! I think the way the game has gone your 5 subs are as important as the starting ,,,, I expect all to be used ,, getting nervous now. 1 more sleep ,,,

  75. Interested to see today how we plan our substitutions. We’ve probably never had the panel strength to have anything other than subbing players not performing.
    Ideally we should be getting players in from 45 mins onwards to keep a high tempo. Not all managers do it, but at least one to two lads in the middle eight should be under instruction to empty the tank after half time. If you know you only have 10 minutes in second half can do 10 full on sprints rather than conserving energy on the assumption might have 25 – 28 more minutes to play. This is very important in the middle eight where the team with the best mobility has an advantage in terms of closing down space, breaking quickly, winning breaking ball. Turning 1 v 1 tackles into 2 v 1 tackles favouring defence etc.
    One thing I see underrated in terms of defence is the ability of players to get to where they need to be to help out another player or get the proper pressure on a shot. It’s not all about direct turnovers. Sometimes great defending can just be sprinting down a guy so that he has to rush his pass and the turnover happens further on down the pitch.

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