Team talk and travel

This report by Mike Finnerty in the Mayo News states that there could be a few surprises in the team to face Ruislip in the first round of the Connacht championship this coming Sunday (throw-in 3 pm).  In the same report, it’s also stated that the starting fifteen will be named after training later on tonight.

I’m away from base once again and, depending on what’s going on with the ash clouds, I should be back home tomorrow evening.  If the team is named tonight (i.e. at some point before midnight), I should be able to post details here straight away but if it appears in the early hours of the morning (which has happened before) it’ll be tomorrow night before I’ll be in a position to do so as I’ve a rather early departure from here in the morning.

Anyway, back to the team for Sunday, where Mike in that report mentioned above reckons that the likes of Donal Vaughan, Trevor Howley, Trevor Mortimer and Dermot Geraghty could all be pushing for a starting place.  Ronan McGarrity, Keith Higgins and Seamus O’Shea are all definitely out with Enda Varley and Ger Cafferkey both doubtful.  Hogan Stand is now, I see, saying that Ger is a definite non-starter but they also reckon that Enda will be good to go.

Back to the Mayo News where Sean Rice sets down some thoughts about how we might line out on Sunday, Mike Finnerty chews the fat with Aidan O’Shea and Daniel Carey provides what is in effect a nice riposte to my own piece the other day in the form of an interview with John Prenty about the value of including London (and New York) in the championship.

One thing I didn’t mention in that piece was the pain in the hole that can arise from playing matches overseas when that bloody volcano in Iceland boils over: whatever about my own chances of making it back home on schedule tomorrow evening, I have visions of the lads having to take the boat to get to London in time for throw-in.  Maybe they should take a leaf out of Barcelona’s book and get over there pronto.

21 thoughts on “Team talk and travel

  1. That ash cloud sure is a pain in the hole wj, flights and hotel booked since before christmass, then the bloody volcano blows up. Hopefully we get out from knock as scheduled on friday.

  2. It is, to be sure – I’m flying home via Heathrow tomorrow and I’m hoping that the ash won’t have got that far south by then. My flight into Heathrow is due to leave as normal in the morning and the connection to Dublin tomorrow evening looks okay too but I guess I won’t know for sure if this flight is still on until I reach Heathrow. Oh well, I might just have to stick around for the game in Ruislip on Sunday after all!

  3. I must say I have not been so downbeat about Mayo in such a long time. We just dont have the quality. We could easily win Connacht, anything better than that would be a complete shock to me given the players at our disposal.

  4. Team now up:

    R Hennelly; T Cunniffe, A Feeney, G Cafferkey; R Feeney, D Vaughan, C Barrett; J Kilcullen, J Gibbons; A Campbell, A Moran, A Dillon (captain); T Howley, A Freeman, J Doherty.
    Subs: D Clarke, D Geraghty, P Gardiner, A O’Shea, E O’Reilly, L Keegan, T Mortimer, K McLoughlin, C O’Connor, J Burke, E Varley.

  5. Just got this team there from a buddy.
    1: Hennelly
    2: Cunniffe
    3: A. Feeney
    4: Cafferky
    5: R. Feeney
    6: D Vaughan
    7: C Barrett
    8: Kilcullen
    9: Gibbons
    10: Campbell
    11: A. Moran
    12 Dilllon
    12: Howley
    14: Freeman
    15: Doherty

    as he said himslef it has some peculiar calls (if they line u[ as planned anyways) for instance Ger Cafferky in CB ?????
    also I presume Trevor Howley is going to be deployed as some sort of seventh defender. But surely we don’t need this against London ? Again I can only presume its the game plan for the season we’re looking at here.

  6. Why not have O’Shea as a third midfielder rather than this roving defender business? Howleys distribution is at best woeful, so I cant see how he will fill this role longterm. Dont get me wrong he has other attributes but for my tuppence he’s not for that role. It will be interesting to see how they line out at the back, but it should be a stroll on Sunday regardless. Extra man in defence in a game like this could well see the game bottled up around the middle and play into Londons hands somewhat but this London team is weaker than it has been for a few years despite increased emmigration.

  7. Lads, personally I wouldn’t get into too much analysis on this team or the London game in general. We should win whether by 15 or by 2 or 3 points it’s not really going to matter, the important stuff begins after this game.
    For what it’s worth, I think Horan is right to play this game the way he intends to play for the rest of the summer, if the game plan is to use Howley or Mcloughlin or someone else as an extra midfielder/defender then we should start exactly that way and bed it in as a system.

  8. Good man JPM, your mate has the mojo. As usual in Mayo we are aping a concept that everybody else does, most badly, the seventh defender. Why not an extra forward? We tried the seventh man back v the Dubs and it was catastrophic, we leaked goals through out the league and we blissfully sail into championship football by being predictable.
    Any chance that we might throw caution to the wind, give it a lash and actually enjoy a season for a change. We all know that this team has as much chance of winning an All-Ireland as Sligo has.

  9. Jaysus I’m not sure what to make of that ontheroad. The days of give it a lash are long gone, Gaelic Football has moved on. If that’s what you want then fair enough you’re entitled to your opinion. As for playing an extra forward I’d say you’re messing but I don’t know.
    I think there’s no point worrying about what happened in the league as Horan was experimenting throughout, I’ll be judging his first season when we get eliminated from the championship, whenever that maybe!

  10. There’s no reason why we cannot play extra defenders just as well as any other team. Playing Gardiner at 15 and Barrett at 3 was the problem against Dublin, not the system we played.

    We’ve shot ourselves in the foot the last few years by picking backs who keep bombing forward and cannot defend, Gardiner, Andy Moran etc. Its lunacy. Some want James Burke on the team this year, same story with him. Why do some of our supporters never learn? We’re far better than just giving it ‘a lash’ – that’s the kind of bull that has served us badly down the years – that attitude from our fans disgusts me, it really does. We’re not Kerry, and even they don’t play that way anymore anyway. We have to be smarter than that.

    We’ve now got a few forwards who can actually do some damage, so lets not crowd them out and block up every available space in the opposition half by picling crap forwards who cannot shoot and leaving ourselves open to repetitive counter attacks like we always do. Lets play it smart for a change, assist our weak defenders by keeping extra men back there and let the two boys up top do what they do best, kick the scores.

    Only by playing the game with a bit of intelligence and nous will we ever have a chance of challenging for the top. If you think we’re only as likely to ever achieve anything as Sligo, then why bother? Go support Tyrone or Man United instead.

  11. Thanks all who put up team news for Sunday’s game earlier on. I’m now back in the jurisdiction and will post something on it, for the record like, a bit later on.

  12. a few lads in for their first championship start, a few new faces on the bench, best of luck to them all. the game should do them good. Vaughan must have been going well to make the team being that he isnt long back in action..
    hope the oul ash cloud doesnt put a halt to our gallop now!

  13. If we are going down a 7th defender then the man for the job is definitely Kevin McLaughlin.

  14. At first glance, it looks like a bizarre selection, but when looked at a bit more closely, the ‘strange-looking’ selections make some sense. Caff in the corner jumps out as being a mite odd, but when you see Vaughan at CHB, there is a very simple switch that can be made if the need arises (Higgins is not available, otherwise he’d be there). It is an opportunity though to measure Donal in that pivotal position. The Feeneys and Tom C are good solid lads and are well deserving of their starting places, but, of the back 6, C Barrett will have to fight off stiff competition with all the options we have again at wing back.

    Definitely not the c’ship midfield pairing, but the best that can be done with injuries to McGarrity and O’Sheas. The HF line is quite strong but Campbell will need to move up a gear to nail his place down. Howley will be sweeping as 7th defender, (I’d prefer McLaughlin in that role) and if you’re going to have a 2 man FF line, who better that the men in form, Freeman and Doherty.

    After the initial shock, I can see that it’s a sensible enough selection, given the cards that Horan has to play with, but hopefully if we make some progress into the summer there will be at least 5-6 personnel and positional switches. What I hope to see is structure and a pattern of play that will remain consistent regardless of who is playing where!!

    Championship 2011 is about to start for Mayo, let’s get behind the lads again and don’t be afraid to dream!!!!

  15. Barney, Hi. I was never more serious. Do you recall the days of the third man midfielder? The number 13 was pulled out to there. Dublin and Kerry were great at that. We all copied but nobody broke the mould.

    We now ape what works for Kerry, Tyrone, Cork and the Dubs (conceding 3 goals plus a horrendous miss v Mayo shows they haven’t quite mastered it yet).

    My point is this. What works for some teams does not necessarily work for others. We play a certain style. Lets stick to that, make it better. Whether its Gardiner, Howley or McLoughlin as the 7th son its irrelevant. None of them are physically built for the job and Mayo don’t defend well.

    Why not then try a new template and surprise the opposition. Had we crowded the Dublin corner and wing backs for the re starts in the league would we have done any worse against them?

  16. PS. I rate Vaughan but to suggest that he swaps to 4 or 2 during the game is madness. Anybody could see the lads discomfort in the corner v Sligo last year. Leave him in the half back line, no more square pegs in round holes.

  17. Jeez I am sleepy this morning. I missed Declans comment. He advises me to go follow Tyrone or Manchester United ! Nice Declan. Well I won’t son. I am a Mayo man and am entitled to my opinion however naive it may seem to you.
    However if thats the level of debate Willy Joes excellent site is turning into then I might as well thumb through Hoganstand and leave the airways clear for Declan.

  18. Ontheroad, I’m not sure Horan is trying to ape Kerry, Cork or Tyrone. Each of them really has their own gameplan and style, I wouldn’t say they all play an extra defender/midfielder, they work with what they have. Cork have a massive side with fantastic physical attributes. They actual play more or less a classic Gaelic Football 6-2-6 formation but the physical gifts of players like Pearce O’Neill, Paddy Kelly, Canty et al means that positions can be rotated at will.

    Tyrone would have a much more fluid style of plan in that positions bar a couple of players mean nothing, they defend and attack as a team. It’s a gameplan built on pressure and turnovers with quick progression from defence to attack with all players near the ball supporting the runners.

    Kerry are Kerry and the key to their team at the moment really is Galvin, but he doesn’t play as an extra defender he’s allowed to influence the game however he can, winning breaks, helping out at the back, creating scores or taking scores.

    I think we have to let Horan develop his style and let’s see if it works.

    Oh and I still think you’re idea of an extra forward is well out there but I’d say it would have been fun to watch :-)). I think you need to leave the Dublin game in the league out of any analysis on Mayo for this year, it was a very experimental line up and I liked anspailpin’s take on it. You should read his article on it unfortunately I don’t have a link.

    And finally, I agree with you on Vaughan, he’s a half back full stop (midfielder for his club!!)

  19. OTR, I’m not personally attacking you, but if our team makes you so miserable that you cannot show some optimism even at the start of a championship season before a ball has been kicked by a new team with a new manager and fresh ideas…what is the point…when will you ever have some hope or take some enjoyment from following the team?

    I’ve no doubt that everyone involved will be doing their best to succeed, and if we don’t kick the door down this year we’ll come back next year, and the year after, and the year after that until we finally achieve our goals. Writing us off before we start helps nobody.

  20. I agree Declan.O.T.R I know your heart is in the right place but I’d hate to think you’d get a hernia this early in the season!we’d miss your interesting posts if you had to take time off!!!P.S with regard to our forwards I think “less is more” I.E Doc & Freeman as a 2 man ff line

  21. Boys I took the hump, but at the age I am, that type of thing happens. I assume you are much younger than I. Therefore you see things differently. I too was like that once.

    Nothing would mean more to me than see us play to our potential. But. I am around too long, codded too often, bought worthless shares and walked the route of pain too often not to call it as I see it.

    Sorry its in the negative. Sorry that I offend my own. Sorry that we persevere with the tried and trusted instead of breaking with the past and trying something new.

    Seven free takers last Sunday v London. A forward back as an extra defender. his man kicked two points. Jesus lads this is what drives me mad. I am no prophet but it was obvious that type of thing would happen.

    Maybe we will go out and beat Galway, maybe we wont. Maybe we will meet Down, Meath, Longford, Kildare, or some other outfit in the back door but for me there are too many “maybe’s” and “ifs” about us.

    I see that Laois swear by their new fitness coach in todays Indo. Solan is his name, he was ours last year. Now that tells me more about Mayo and what it tells me frightens me. Until we get players of the calibre of the 1996-1999 era then we will have too many posers and spoofers out on the pitch. We deserve better and blind unconditional support is for lemmings only. Sometimes its lonley to be onthroad but we wont fall out. As Johnny Cash said to Bob Dylan “you see it your way Bob and I see it mine” to which Dylan replied “You got it John” and laughed. I know, makes no sense… but it does to me.

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