Team to face Kerry named – Aidan’s in it but will he start?

We’ve named our team to play Kerry in Sunday’s league semi-final and here it is:

Mayo (NFL Division One semi-final v Kerry, 15/4/2012): David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Kevin Keane (Westport), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Lee Keegan (Westport), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe), Colm Boyle (Davitts); Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen), Alan Dillon (Ballintubber); Conor Mortimer (Parnells, Dublin), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole), Michael Conroy (Davitts). Subs: Robert Hennelly (Breaffy), Shane McHale (Knockmore), Richie Feeney (Castlebar Mitchels), Peadar Gardiner (Crossmolina), Danny Geraghty (Ballintubber), Barry Moran (Castlebar Mitchels), Pat Harte (Ballina Stephenites), Aidan Campbell (Swinford), Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Alan Freeman (Aghamore), Enda Varley (Garrymore).

So, it’s three changes from the side that started down in Tralee last Sunday – out go Eoghan Reilly, Danny Geraghty and Cillian O’Connor while in come Kevin Keane, Colm Boyle and Conor Mortimer. You’d be hard pressed to argue with any of those changes, to be honest, but I had expected Barry Moran to be recalled at 14 so that we could employ the same kind of offensive tactics that worked so well against the Dubs. I really like Jason Doherty but I don’t think he’s the man for 14 and in Bazza’s absence I’m not sure that front three will have enough heft to cause the kind of problems we need them to if we’re to have any chance of taking the Kerrymen.

Most attention, understandably, will be on Aidan O’Shea, who is named to start at midfield. Rumours about the big Breaffy man being diagnosed during the week with a problem that could rule him out for up to three months have been rife since last night and the Irish Examiner is reporting this morning (quoted in Friday’s GAA in the Papers on that not only will Aidan not play on Sunday, he “has been ruled out for six weeks with hamstring problems” and he’s “in a race to be fit for the Connacht Championship opener against London or Leitrim on June 24”.

This report was obviously filed last night before the team was named so it’s hard to know what the hell is going on. Needless to say, Aidan would be an enormous loss for Sunday – it’d be difficult to see us living with Kerry for seventy minutes in his absence – but having him fit in time for the championship is clearly of greater concern. Given that he’s now been named in the team I doubt we’ll be much the wiser about his availability or otherwise until after the warm-up on Sunday.

38 thoughts on “Team to face Kerry named – Aidan’s in it but will he start?

  1. I hope AOS is OK. He is a very important part of this team. However, it does highlights the need to get another really top class midfielder. Barry Moran, Danny Geraghty or Jason Gibbons really will have to step up to this challenge and maybe this is what will happen. Failing that we need to look to the likes of Ronan McGarrity or Tom Parsons. I’m not sure who else might be the kind of player to hold their own against the likes of Cork or Kerry. Maybe Donal Vaughan?
    We really do need to sort this out but apart from that the team seems to be coming together nicely and a good performance on Sunday is important to keep the momentum going and build confidence.
    Give it a lash lads!

  2. That’s not the first time I’ve heard mention of Donal Vaughan at midfield, diehard, and while it’s not ideal to start tinkering with the half-back line, switching Donie to midfield with Lee Keegan moving to 6 and Richie Feeney or Danny Geraghty coming in at 5 would definitely have some merit.

  3. Why am I getting the whiff of cordite about Sunday? I guess its because I see this as a seminal moment for our young team & its future development. It may be the league but any day you meet Kerry in Croke Park is a day when you get measured for your football suit.
    The opportunity of a lifetime only exists during the lifetime of the opportunity & a footballer gets only a limited number of these big opportunities. If they are not taken opportunity passes & we are all left waiting for another generation. This is what has been happening to us for decades. Our self belief has suffered. Belief determines your actions, your actions determine your results but first you have to believe. On Sunday then we turn to a new generation of Mayo footballers hoping that they will show the collective belief that Mayo will no longer genuflect to anyone in Croke Park & that while we respect Kerry & their wonderful tradition all we offer on this occasion is a blindfold & a final cigarette !
    In Croke Park on the big day there are a few fundamentals. You keep 15 players on the field & you need to score more goals than you concede & you reduce your own errors to a minimum and not give away cheap scores.
    And so the hour approaches. We know in advance that Kerry will try to smash our belief and try to bury us early but I believe we can weather the early storm & finally execute our own plan for Sunday. Go Mayo. Seize the day.

  4. well said joey,
    I can sense it already, kerry will try to absoluely gut us and show us that we are not at the races with them. Early goals from them and keep it going, maybe this sunday will see some of our fellas say “enough is enough” and lay into kerry like others have in the recent past. Whatever happens on sunday Mayo must keep going to the last whistle, dublin did last september when kerry expected them to roll over. its not really about winning a league semifinal, its more like saying that we finally are willing to fight.
    good luck on sunday.

  5. The Kerry lads are still sounding very confident about Sunday on their forum – so much so that they’ve now moved on to bemoaning the prospect of yet another meeting with Cork in the final. The discussion thread is here.

  6. I 4 one would agree wit Diehard that we need to look again at the midfield sector and try to unearth new talent.AOS is the best we have got at the moment but when he was missing our team was not a serious treat.WE head to Croke Park sunday wit JASON at midfield who has only about 7o minutes of league football under his belt.. Both teams on sunday are probably at there strongest barring a few players out throught injuries.We are all aware that this KERRY team is on a mission and make no mistake lads their goal this year is to do the double .League and Sam.And they do not see MAYO as a treat to their goal.

  7. Just heard it reported on RTE that Aiden is out for three months due to an injury to a bone at the base of the spine. Big loss for us…

  8. No worries Opt2missteek – the rumours were fairly flying round last night but I wanted to see some definite confirmation before letting them stand here. This one (unfortunately) turned out to be true …

  9. hope he will be back for the galway game i the summer mayo to beat kerry still have ? over mort starting

  10. Omens, Friday 13th and all of that but history is repeating here.

    The 1996 AI semi final v Kerry saw David Brady miss out with an injury. In stepped Pat Fallon and we did ok thank you!. Kerry would have had a huge focus on AOS for Sunday, this may force them to into complacency. Plus someone else has now the chance to prove why he is in the squad and should be on the team. He wont get a better chance.

    Its not all about the pretty birds texting you on the subs bench! Opportunity Knocks!

  11. I think Joeys contribution is one of the best I have read yet on this forum. Well said, now that the news regarding AOS is bad, we have got to redouble our efforts, our resolve and give whats in the tank for the collective cause. Its no time for excuses, sure Aiden is a huge loss, but its also a huge oppurtunity for his replacement. One man would never win it for us against Kerry in any case. Time to turn over a new page and every road ends somewhere. 70 minutes of passion, will to win, dicipline, if we want it enough we can outfight and outscore Kerry, by the the time the final whistle blows… lets go out and show the GAA world… And wishing Aiden a quick recoverey..

  12. Pity about Aido just as he was on the up, however we are not a one man team and its a chance for Geraghty, Hart or B Moran to step in and make a difference also a challenge to the team to show just how ballsy these guys are.
    This game will not be won at mid field no more than in goal of full forward it will be won in each and every battle all over the field.
    Regards the mort starting I think its the only option if he is to feature it has to be from the start for some reason he doesnt seem to do impact sub So go for it men prove that you have the balls and belief to derail the kerry wagon Maigheo abu

  13. I was getting the feeling that we were over depending on Aiden this season so far.What a great talent he is growing into but he is still only 21 a young man.Now he is injured and we`re all very upset is suppose with the prospect of his loss to the team.
    The same thing has happened to Michael Murphy in Donegal he`s also just 21 and was carrying the weight of expectation of his team on his shoulders.
    I`m sure Aiden is very disappointed to say the least about this injury but I hope he heeds the medical people if they tell him not to play next Sunday because he may risk furthur injury.
    Of course we need him but if he rests up now he will be ready for the All Ireland Quarter Finals next August when he will be really needed.
    As more than one has said here already there are enough lads on the panel that can step up now and play their heart out for Aiden and the team and not risk this man`s health in a game that in 6 months time there won`t be much talk about[unless that is we go out and beat Kerry on Sunday and this game is seen as the turning point for this team when they climb the steps of the Hogan stand in September…!]
    Get well soon Aiden you`re a Star!

  14. Would be worse if Aiden was ruled out for the year. He should be back for the Connacht final & that will be a major boost.

    I expected us to reach the semi final Kerry are beatable & we shouldn’t fear them. Roll on Sunday.

  15. Fair play to Joey and his Gettysburg Address. We can match Kerry with our top three inches. we can more than match their football. Wish Aidan well and hope that the lads left make it hard for him to get back in the team

  16. @ cc, why your questionmarks over Mort starting? Bar Donegal, where I’d say all the team can hold hands up and say they didn’t do themselves justice and perform well he hasn’t been too bad this year. In fact, I would be one of his strongest critics up until this season for his lack of workrate off the ball, but he’s done quite well this year.

  17. Pity OShea is out.We need some muscle at midfield.I think we have 8 changes from the team beaten by Kerry last year. I feel we have a better backline then last year—lets give it a lash.

  18. Get well soon Aiden, as regards mort, since returning from injury he does seem to be working a lot harder. Maybe his injury was hampering him for a while. Sunday is all about the performance. We have good players who can go toe to toe with any team. This game gives us the chance to express ourselves on a big stage, away from championship heat. Best of luck lads.

  19. Is AOS definitely out ? I heard about the groin injury on the radio this evening but I didn’t hear it confirmed that he would absolutely miss the match.

    On the teams themselves looking at the twitter layout we look strong at 1/2 fw line. The guys here will need to win a lot of breaking ball. I’m guessing as well that Kerry have deliberately named Darren O’Sullivan at 11 with the intent to run the legs off Donal V. the idea being that it will nullify his own counter attacking style.
    At midfield Athony Maher is very underrated. The guy is 6’5″ or so which is a good bit over what we have there. In last year’s semi Kerry were very smart in midfield. They isolated both our guys by positioning one on each side of the pitch making it harder for our guys to track over and back. Maher is not mobile but Sheehan is and he is a good playmaker. It will be interesting to see what lessons we have learned here from last year.

    Finally on Bryan Sheehan I read a comment from him in this week’s Western People. He said that Kerry in his opinion stood off Mayo too much last Sunday and this was something they would be looking to rectify.
    Reading between the lines it came cross that Kerry are going to man up to us big time and see what we’re like when the pressure is applied physically back against us.
    As long as our lads know this and are not afraid to man back up against them. That’s what I want … but… discipline will be crucial. Kerry will provoke us as much as possible.

    So be cute boys, don’t be shoved around, and hit them with everything you’ve got !!

  20. I don’t think it’s a complete certainty that he won’t line out. The story about the groin problem was doing the rounds well before the team was named so unless it’s some kind of ruse by JH (which it could be I suppose) then there’s every chance he may start. The issue then, though, is how long he lasts and whether or not he exacerbates the problem by trying to play despite the problem.

  21. J.H.said he,d play his strongest team n crokepark, i dnt think tha,s his strongest team n i dnt. think he knows wat it is either. AOS.massive loss n i,m afraid very afraid. Good luck lads.

  22. Jaysus, johno. It must be harder to write that way than it is to do it properly.
    It’s awful hard to read when you have a few pints on board.

    Keep the Faith!

  23. Keep the faith. Get well Aiden. Give it all ye have lads and above all lets look forward to the summer. Once again a huge THANK YOU Wj for the Stirling work on the site. Keeps the games alive for many far away Mayo supporters. Maigheo Abhu.

  24. The official Mayo GAA twitter says:

    “This has not been confirmed and at this stage is speculation”

  25. Yes we can beat Kerry with the team selected, Aidan is a loss, but the rest of the team will have to step up to the mark, and there is no reason why they cannot, they have the football ability, even if its man to man by Kerry, our lads appear to be stronger than last year, good work being done in Training and by the back up personnel.
    We need to beat Kerry and I am sure this team know that is the goal for this game.

  26. Just a thought:

    Mayo are one of only four counties that can now win the double. Don’t look for headlines in the Independent from Mssrs Keys. Brehany et al wondering about the demise of leinster football.

    Much ink was wasted by those men on the fact that if Mayo were relegated Connacht would have nobody in Division One. Missed was the fact that had Galway not succumbed to a last minute score Leinster would have had only the Dubs up and Connacht two up.

    Offaly, Kildare, Wexford, Longford, Carlow, meath, Louth, Westmeath all oscillate between division 2,3 and 4 . It took McGeeney 4 years to drag Kildare up.

    So don’t expect headlines like “What is wrong with Leinster football” next Monday. No team in league semi final. Instead one way or another to read lots about mayo. But don’t look at the mote in your own eye better drool about Connacht and its alleged problems.

  27. At the risk of infringing Willie Joe’s rules, I have to take issue with the shite just spouted by Tony Davis on RTE Radio’s Saturday Sports show. After dismissing Down and Mayo out of hand and pointing out that Cork and Kerry supporters won’t bother to show up tomorrow (as the result is presumed certain), he proceeded to start objecting to forcing Cork and Kerry to play the final in Croke Park. It should, he said, be played in Killarney, as Cork and Kerry have a long standing agreement that each county is at home every second game.
    I would strongly advise both Mayo and Down managements to download the podcast and stuff in down Kerry and Cork throats respectively tomorrow.

  28. That infringes no rules at all, Luigi. It’s obviously up to ourselves and Down to render Tony Davis’s ‘analysis’ meaningless.

  29. Yes Luigi that is widely discussed on the Kerry GAA sites for the last few days.
    Poor buggers – having to face the prospect of not only playing Cork AGAIN but the pain of HAVING TO comE to Croker to do it.
    Its time to put them out of their misery!!!

  30. Any word is AOShea in or out,papers say out but heard nothing on midwest or rte teletex.

  31. I think at this stage we can assume that these pundits are lazy and arrogant. Most of them anyway, they seem to assume that mayo are not up to much. Ask yourself this, how would tyrone,Dublin,cork or Kildare feel about meeting Mayo in a semi or final this summer?
    Kerry would love it but only because we allow them to love it and dominate us into our shell on the field. Tommorow is a good day to start letting Kerry know that Mayo are not hiding away anymore, that we are actually looking forward to meeting them.

  32. Unfortunately I suspect Tony davis will be proven correct.Mayo could get a right good thrashing tomorrow, god, I hope I’m wrong but I fear the kingdom will have way too much fur us and add in the loss of aos, crikey, this might be a right doin.

    Best of luck to mayo, we will be in shouting them on regardless.

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