Team for Sunday’s League opener named

We’ve just named our team to face Monaghan on Sunday at St Tiernach’s park in Clones (throw-in 2-m) in the opening round of this year’s League Division One campaign. Here it is:

Mayo: (NFL Division One v Monaghan, 28/1/2018). David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Brendan Harrison (Aghamore), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Eoin O’Donoghue (Belmullet); Colm Boyle (Davitts), Michael Hall (Breaffy), Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels); Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber), Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber); Jason Doherty (Burrishoole), Evan Regan (Ballina Stephenites), Conor Loftus (Crossmolina). 

Our last competitive match a bit over four months ago was, of course, the All-Ireland final and the team we’ve named for Sunday shows eight changes from the one that lined out at the start then. Out go Donal Vaughan, Keith Higgins, Lee Keegan, Chris Barrett, Seamus O’Shea, Tom Parsons, Cillian O’Connor and Andy Moran, while in come Ger Cafferkey, Eoin O’Donoghue, Michael Hall, Jason Gibbons, Stephen Coen, Diarmuid O’Connor, Evan Regan and Conor Loftus.

Best of luck to the lads selected to line out on Sunday. Once again we go again.

UPDATE: Monaghan have now named their 26-man match-day panel for the game, full details of which are here.

75 thoughts on “Team for Sunday’s League opener named

  1. Would have some reservations about that side – Caff at full back, Coen in midfield, Nally not starting…

    But I’ll wait until Sunday to see who actually lines out before getting too worked up 🙂

  2. One change from the Sligo game i think, Loftus for Andy Moran and seeing as Rochford named sides rarely starts as selected i presume a few changes will be made before throw in with maybe C O Connor to start.

  3. I’d be surprised if Cillian starts in fairness. An awful lot of people went down with that dose and it’s nasty. Could be a few more days yet for him.

    I like the side. 5 2016 u21s. Who says we have no talent coming through!?

  4. Thanks for that correction, sutfol, I’ve changed the post now to reflect it so it’s eight changes from the team that lined out in the All-Ireland final. How could I have forgotten Andy?!

  5. The one reservation I have is Michael Hall at centre back. To my mind he has neither the physique or iinclination for the position. The few times I’ve seen him there he seemed far too loose and left the centre open. He is more of a wing back in my opinion. I also hope to see Evan Regan take less time on the ball trying to beat his man. He tends to take three twists/turns minimum which only gives the defence that split second good defences need to close gaps. A bit like Conor Mortimer in my eyes. But hhe did look a lot stronger against Sligo thaan the last time I saw him.

  6. Disappointing not to see Shane Nally, Neil Douglas ,Brian Reape ,Ger McDonagh and Ciaran Treacy not get starts.Stephen Coen played sigerson for UCD midweek and should have been rested.
    Eamo Fitz giving youth there chance in the Kingdom with Clifford making his debut.Kerry mean business this year!!

  7. With all the changes in the Kerry team I’m amazed that Shane Enright is hanging in there. In my opinion he is the poorest Kerry corner back I can recall.

  8. Reckon … Nally may start on Sunday
    Looking at Monaghan .. Handle Darren Hughes and Mayo will be competitive.
    Fitness may be an issue in the last 20 however.

  9. No Conor McManus or Kieran Hughes Sunday a real big chance of picking up 2 points away from Home Sunday.what changes do u expect REDCOL?

  10. I just can’t see how we have moved on from last year. It was clearly established that Cafferkey at full back didn’t work so what in name of god do we start the league like that again. Nothing against Cafferkey great servant for us but please move on from what doesn’t work.

  11. Hard to get excited about that selection. Subs might be more interesting. Guess management see a win as the key objective on Sunday.

  12. I should really have given Eoin O’Donoghue a specific mention in the post. He did, as Done Deal says, play against Kerry in the League last year down in Tralee (and played well too) but he came on as a sub that night, albeit only after a few minutes. Sunday’s match will, as a result, be his full debut for us in the League so special good wishes to him for that.

  13. Ya I’m pleased with that selection. Although I feel our full forward line will lack pace. Regan won’t start on drew wiley so Doherty will be full forward. Doubt that will be starting lineup but I would be optimistic bout getting points. The team that scores the most will win. Simple as …

  14. Reckon caff is well worth his place at full back . Is there a better one available at the minute .Who’s to say he won’t get back to his best .All players need a chance to prove themselves not just the younger lads

  15. I’m pretty sure Michael Hall has started a few times for Mayo. Tyrone at home in 2016 I think.

  16. On something completely different. ..
    have a listen to Joe Brolly in a podcast on the independent.
    Really goes ton town on Aiden.what a bollix again.
    Reference the last 20 minutes of the game and AO’Shea & J McCarthy. …did joe not realise that they had changed markersince at that stage.

  17. Rise again I think we should look forward not back. That game is done and if brolly wants to fire shite at aiden let him. Spillane goes on about Clarke kicking ball over side line towards the end. Let them say what they like. We must let the football do the talking. Monaghan on Sunday is first port of call

  18. Team grand apart from would like to see Nally for Coen. Nally a very good footballer and Coen a leader at U21 but hasn’t excelled yet as a senior. Did fine in several games but has not starred. Nally looks to have some x factor especially long range shooting but also passing.

  19. Boltonexile, For many years, I lived in different countries and still supported Mayo, in the day’s when a phone call from the brother would inform me of the Mayo line up for the upcoming Match on the Sunday…. Between my brother winding me up with his own version bogey teams announced, and his knowing who I definitely didn’t want to play, and who I did.. And the possibility of the team announced only being partially correct, It was very frustrating, more frustrating than the announcement when I live in Mayo, as I now do…. Stephen Rochford has been known to make a few changes to the announced team..Take the named with a ‘pinch of salt’.. It could be right, and it could be wrong, the player you most disagree with playing, might be the best for Mayo on the day, and on the other hand, might not be playing at all.. Who ever plays for Mayo on a given day.. One thing stays the same in my mind, I always wish them the best,.. Not like my opinion yesterday, when I ‘Definitely’ wasn’t going to Clones… I’m not so sure now? ,.. And judging by the few stalwart Mayo fans, I met in the Pub, .. They will be going as well.. Prior to that, I was offered several ‘season tickets’ to use, even though the people who offered them, knowing full well that I have my own!… Ce la Vie!

  20. RiseAgain, Brolly is like a broken record when it comes to all things Mayo. I personally wouldn’t give him nor his podcasts the time of day. He has one motivation in his mind, and it is the feathering of his own bed. The sooner that the decent GAA loving people of this world see him for the one-dimensional, self- serving and egotistical little man that he is, the better

  21. Catcol’s right – Michael Hall’s senior debut was back in 2015. He lined out in one League game that year, the one against Tyrone. He also started the following year in the League matches against Dublin and Monaghan.

    Young Fella’s right too. Why anyone would give any credence to what Brolly has to say about us is beyond me. Don’t read what he has to say, don’t listen to him and don’t let his cretinous thoughts waste space in your mind. The guy’s a self-serving buffoon.

  22. According to Brolly all AOS was doing was “winning the ball” and giving it off…….yeah if he could only get that outa his game he would be grand!!!
    Brolly is just pandering to Dublin support base cause thats where the money is.
    New season same old shit

  23. The same Brolly that said Cork would wipe the floor with Mayo a few years ago ! The same brolly that said donegal were a “ superbug” of football and nigh on unstoppable before Mayo beat them by 22 points? Let him keep talking.
    Let him talk about the state of Leinster and how it’s finished as a provincial championship and then I’ll listen.

  24. Brolly’s exact quote: “While Aidan O’Shea is in that Mayo team they’re not going to win an All-Ireland because I do not think you can afford passengers.”

    Yes I know, I often said it myself, it’s only one man’s opinion and I could never see the point in people getting so wound up by utterances of a wind-up merchant, but I was listening to that podcast on the drive home last Thursday and I nearly had to pull over because I was laughing so much. How that man’s views get so much prominence can only be explained by the amount of easy column inches he generates for newspapers, because that stuff would be out of place even at the bar counter. Not least the fact that for a ‘League Preview’ podcast, hardly a word said about the league.

  25. Is Shane Nally becoming the new Richie Feeney? Surely in the absence of long-range scorers he should have made an impact by now. Given the amount of injuries we have, the league is going to be a massive opportunity for him and a few others to put the hand up.

  26. Missing players or not Monaghan will have been targeting this game from the get go as two essential points on the road to survival. There will no easy games to win in the league as usual and you could find yourself very competitive but the wrong side of a few result and in relegation bother before you have had time to tighten your boot laces. I’m happy enough with the team named but I do expect changes. If any player is not performing then Rochford needs to ring the changes asap. This for me this is a must win game. I love going to Clones, the locals are mighty craic and the field is in a real amphitheatre type setting which creates a great atmosphere. Sadly I can’t go this year I’m been dragged elsewhere, literally. Oh well, I’ll be there in spirit.

  27. I too would like to see Shane Nally and Brian Reape start among others but after last years all ireland final display I have complete trust and confidence in Rochford he knows what he’s doing. 2 points tomorrow would be a great start

  28. We’ve far from the only county in that regard, Visitor. Neither Roscommon nor Galway named their bench in their Team announcements last night and Dublin never list subs in advance either.

  29. I trust Rochford also but think Nally is one guy who could feature more. David Brady spoke about him last summer in the National media around time of Kerry replay. I think half back might be a bit wasted on him chasing nippy half forwards and midfield or half forward is where he could do a job.
    I also think if he doesn’t play then perhaps AOS should move out to midfield where he can win dirty ball against a Monaghan minus one Hughes bro. McManus loss is bigger for Monaghan but Jack McCarron was very good in league last year.

  30. The solution to Joe Brolly getting on your nerves is very simple – don’t buy any papers he writes for. When he is on the radio – change the channel. When he is on tv – go out and make a cup of tea. I tried it a few years ago and can guarantee you it works!!. The same with Pat Spillane. There are 7 league games so I am sure plenty of new players will get chances over the 7 games. Wouldn’t look into team selection for first game too much.

  31. On Brolly’s comment … Yep, I listened to it last night and was not one bit surprise about what he said because Brolly is a very astute pundit in that he will spit out headline catching soundbites for maximum publicity. Brolly in the 1st instance is completely focused on promoting Brolly and will upset and say whatever he likes to achieve that end. Clearly it has worked with his provoking comments on Aidan … it has git him headline placement just before the start of the league (calculated move) and we’ve mentioned him quite a few times on this blog over the past 24 hours. My advice to everyone is to completely ignore Brolly and we all know that Aidan and his Mayo teammates will play their hearts out for the County in ’18 like they have done for many years .. that’s all anyone can do.

    On Team selection .. He was fairly restricted because of injuries/sickness and put out what is probably his strongest 15 for a win on the road but it would have been nice to see a few more young guns … especially Treacy.

  32. Lads have Sigerson, lads have injuries/illness, have nothing to prove, are on a total fitness only regime etc.
    All these things factor into team selection.
    Agree though that Shane Nally is surely going to get more game time this year. Is in our top 10 behind the ball? Yes I would say surely at least gets in at 10th place.

  33. Best luck tomorrow. Mayo abu. 2 points would be a great start. (why ..oh why..did i open Brollys comments on Aiden … jez drop Aiden is his answer. I bloody hate Brolly…a bully)

  34. Brolly is a hemorrhoid on the arsehole of humanity, to worry about him is to demean yourself. I think the CB have him lined up for a supporters function this year in the Citywest again.

  35. As Willie joe and others said, let’s move on to talk about the game or the weather 😉

    Anyone know if the match is at risk due to weather? Is clones pitch well drained?

  36. In the Monaghan game last year we were a point down with an extra man but we could not manufacture an equaliser even though we had a few good chances. Then Monaghan came down the field and Conor McManus scored a wonder point to give them a win by two points. So this year you’d like to see us improve in that area of our game, being able to get the scores when we really need them. Its things like that we need to improve on to make progress this year.

  37. You have a great way with the words leantimes. I often have a big smile on the face when reading your posts fair play to yea.

    An area I’d like to.see us improving on this year is game managment. On a few occasions last year we seemed to have games well won and at the end of the game it seemed like we were hanging on. I know the best way to do it is keep racking up the scores. Sometimes we became very naieve in our play with poor decisions and crossfield silly passes and the like. If we cannot or haven’t learned how to keep safe possession then we should keep pressing forward for scores. Easier said than done I suppose.

  38. Ultair, I tend to agree, theres a bit of Feeney Syndrome developing regarding Shane Nally. Id like to see him get a game myself simply beacuse he is capable of kicking long range pts (Kirby likewise). However this will be his 3rd year in the panel, management knows far more than us and see him everyday at training, he is obviously either not fitting into the system or is behind the alternatives in training, up to now anyway. This year could be his breakout year.

  39. One Man, will be happy with all the publicity he’s getting here today…(concidering all publicity is good publicity).. I met him once in 2004, in the Premier Section of Croke Park the day we beat Tyrone.. The match was going out live on RTE and we could hear the views of Pat Spillane, and Tonto, I mean , Joe.. (what’s his name again, something to do with the Rain, I think, now I have it, Umbrella Man, is it?).. Anyway I said to Umbrella Man, what have you to say about Mayo now, Joe?… (before the match, Mayo hadn’t a prayer, according to the Umbrella)… Mr Umbrella said, ‘that’s what you have to do,’ Boost up Tyrone and then their vulnerable and hence Mayo won the match’… or word’s to that effect… , Mr Umbrella was on our side all the time, Apparently ???… And ye all taught me that politicians were disingenuous?? … It’s a cash earning game to many in sports punditry nowadays,.. If you were to take them serious,??? But don’t take them serious ….. It’s been a dreadful month January weather wise here in Mayo,… With many people down with the Flu, and considering the ‘Cold, the incessant Rain, the Wind howling outside, it’s hardly any wonder,.. But Spring is on the way, hopefully the weather will get better, and we can throw the Heavy Coats,,the Rain Gear and most important the’ ‘Brolly ‘s of this world to one side and forget about them! …. It’s Sunshine that we need!… But it’s always handy to have a’ Wolly Cap’ nearby,.. ‘Wolly’ is one of the better pundits!

  40. Folks two years ago we ate in a restaurant that was just up the road from a big GAA house in the centre of Castlebar. For the life of me I can’t remember the name of the place bur someone on here recommended it to me,( we had to go upstairs to dine ).Does anyone have a suggestion as we would like to book it for the 3rd.
    Thanks

  41. The big thing about Nally from what i can see is he lacks pace.
    I feel this is probably a deal breaker out around the middle in the modern game.
    Ok from the bench but not from the start.
    Maybe hes quicker than he looks ?

  42. Yes a bit strange Higgins playing for hurlers considering Rochford stated Higgins was resting for a while

  43. Could have been Mulroys (Seasons) too Gamechanger. That and Cox’s mentioned above are the only ones I can think of with upstairs seating.

  44. I usually just wing it with the parking, but would I be right saying that Clones would be small enough of a town that I’d be within walking distance wherever I parked in town?

  45. Had gaa twitter feed in my siights recently. Now its the turn of radio commentries, local & national. Please up your game & tell us whats actually going on & where. Desist using nosense terms such as ‘far side of the field’ You are there in order that listeners can ‘see’ the actual play – not just the bits you choose to tell us. The GAA field positions give a grid which facilitates such accurate relaying of play. For heavens sake disagree on occasions with comments of assistant & vice versa. Tell it as it unfolds not the edited version – do that & then u may carry on with all the side shows. Good luck to all on microphone duty.

  46. Gamechanger..Bar one is a good option too but the 2 mentioned already are the only ones with upstairs dining..Mayomark..Yes its small enough that pretty much most places are within walking distance of the pitch.

  47. Liam and Mayo Mark thank you both for thr assistance, it’s Mulroys alright. Good hunting on Sunday and safe journey to all. GC10

  48. Seen that Keith Higgins I’d due to line out with the hurlers at 2 pm in Ballina; was is he playing with them and not the footballers ?

    Has he just committed to the hurlers ?

  49. Good luck to Mayo tomorrow,I am very happy with management so trust their team we will be up there in September

  50. I have been hesitant to criticize management, due to the time and effort they put in and they are obviously clued into panel and possible additions/changes
    However, but I fail to see what Coen adds to team, he tries hard, but has no pace and does not score.

  51. Keith’s been given “an extended break” according to this week’s Mayo News. If he decides to use this time to ease himself back in with a bit of hurling, good luck to him.

  52. Making it to September is a super achievement and should never be taken for granted but winning in September is what we all want to see now. Improving on the little things that are holding us back will be key to this.

  53. @gamechanger
    It was either coxes or mulroys (seasons at the time) as they are both upstairs dining.ASsuming your last trip was two years ago you’ll be happy to know a good few eateries and a couple of new pubs have opened up in that time. Lots to do in Castlebar!

  54. Winning tomorrow would be a great start to the league. However, in the longer term, it is more important that the new lads step up and show that they are up to playing at this level. I believe Conor Loftus is good enough to make a serious contribution but he needs to do this consistently throughout the league. I had great hopes for Evan Regan but I feel his club mate Ciaran Tracey is perhaps a better option. Brian Reape was deadly at minor and u21 and showed he had the ability to beat his marker and score goals. I would like to see him get a run with the regular forwards to see what he can do. I don’t know the story on young Butler?
    Stephen Coen is more of a half back than a midfielder in my opinion. Tomorrow I would be more inclined to play him there and put Diarmuid O Connor into midfield.
    I can see why Stephen Rochford might want to give Ger Caff another chance at full back but I’m not 100% convinced that either himself or Kevin Keane can improve on what we put out last year. And that is no disrespect to either player, simply that our starting 6 defenders were probably as good as you can get right now. What we need in defence is top class cover for injuries, cards etc.
    Jason Gibbons seems very determined to claim a jersey and I hope he can. We need a bit more cover around the middle – it’s an area that demands a lot of fitness and stamina for 75+mins of championship football.
    Win lose or draw tomorrow another season begins where we are serious contenders yet again. Great times!

  55. If macmanus and Darren Hughes are out they are big loss to the farney. But they have other quality guys who can find there range as well. I can see them also parking bus tomorrow so that’s the challenge that awaits. Bernard brogan displayed nice forward play tonight. Tapping the ball to the on running player that led to 2 goals. Little things make massive difference

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