Team to face London named

Londain football

Photo: Irish Post

There I was expecting the team announcement to happen tonight but I just checked back on the site a few minutes ago – I don’t spend all day every day on it (though it does feel that way betimes) – and there it was. I guess it’s a bit like going onto the tube and thinking it’s like the buses over here in that you could be waiting half the day for one to show up but the train comes rattling into the station as you’re alighting from the escalator. Or something.

Anyway, here for the record is the line-up for Sunday. In a break with tradition we’ve named our full match-day 26, which reads as follows:

Mayo (Connacht SFC quarter-final v London, 29/5/2016): Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy); Brendan Harrison (Aghamore), Kevin Keane (Westport), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Lee Keegan (Westport), Colm Boyle (Davitts), Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels); Tom Parsons (Charlestown Sarsfields), Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole); Evan Regan (Ballina Stephenites), Cillian O’Connor (Balintubber, captain), Conor O’Shea (Breaffy). Subs: David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites), David Drake (Ballaghaderreen), Caolan Crowe (Garrymore), Shane Nally (Garrymore), Michael Hall (Breaffy), Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore), Cathal Carolan (Crossmolina), Conor Loftus (Crossmolina), Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen), Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy), Alan Dillon (Ballintubber).

So, then, those stories about the injuries in the squad were on the money, with Chris Barrett, Ger Cafferkey and Diarmuid O’Connor all missing from the 26 named, as is Alan Freeman. Still, Stephen Rochford’s first championship pick is a strong one, with plenty of experience in both the starting fifteen and on the bench.

Ten of the team named for Ruislip also featured in the All-Ireland semi-final replay against Dublin last year, with the injured Ger Cafferkey, Chris Barrett, Seamus O’Shea and Barry Moran as well as Donal Vaughan (is he injured as well or what?) the five starters from then not lining out on Sunday. The starting fifteen for Sunday features just one full championship debutant – corner-forward Evan Regan – but if I’m not mistaken it’s also a first championship start for both Brendan Harrison and Paddy Durcan.

Sunday’s team has just three survivors from the last time we played London over in Ruislip, back in 2011. Robbie Hennelly, Jason Gibbons and Jason Doherty all started that near-fateful match, while Aidan O’Shea, Kevin McLoughlin and Cillian O’Connor (in his first senior championship appearance from the county) also featured from the bench.

60 thoughts on “Team to face London named

  1. I wonder if Ruane, Flanagan, Barry, Vaughan and co who we think didn’t make the 26 are travelling to take part in the training camp and training matches?

  2. Happy with the team that was picked considering the injuries we have. However would have liked to have seen Loftus start in the corner, he’s a deadly finisher and coen start in midfield as he is in great form. I’m interested to see what dillon and andy moran have to offer after many great years of service

  3. Nice to see Paddy Durcan get in a starting line up, hope he can nail down a place. Will be interesting to see how Keane gets on after being out for so long.

  4. Have to say bewildering selection, unless we are far worse off injury wise than previously taught. No point in naming an injured player in the 26, he can’t play and taking the place of a man who can contribute ,. Why then name Seamus O Shea? Is he not injuried? Is there some unknown clause that at least 2 of the OShea brothers have to play and 3 on the 26?.. Are the likes of, B Moran, A Freeman, D Vaughan & G Caffery travelling and going to participate in training camp yonder?…. Or is it as I think it might be, a sort of dummy line up and dummy subs to boot?.. Maybe a bit of both. Strong team it sure is, but a bit like what you might expect for the first round of the league. I’m all in favour of the Mayo management doing things like that, keep the opposition guessing, our panel is big enough and good enough to indulge in a bit of musical chairs, as far as the official programme is concerned in any event… But isn’t it great, I’m getting annoyed because the team selected is nothing like the team I would select, even though I don’t believe for a minute that that’s the way it will be on the day. The craving for information is increasing, and can’t be satisfied until Sunday. I’m beginning to feel jealous of those travelling to Ruislip, even though I have no great affection for London… Good luck to both teams (both Mayo team’s) selected for Sunday and good luck to our many loyal fans travelling for the weekend. Hope the beer has improved since the last time I was there, that’s one thing I won’t exactly miss about the place, I’m hardly the better of it yet, just thinking about is giving me flashbacks!

  5. Still reeling from the shock of seeing our full panel named. What is the world coming to?

    I’s say Rochie is going for as much physicality as possible against those London boyos. Remember their approach in 2012?

  6. Memories of 2011. Passenger in the car on a drive up to Dublin. I think Ireland were playing Scotland that night.

    Listening to the game on the radio, or else getting updates on Newstalk, not 100% sure. All I remember is the utter fear that was gripping my heart. Nothing worse when you don’t know what the hell is going on – w2hen we were 3 points down I nearly got sick in my hands, I thought we were done. For some reason I had it in my head too that if you lost to London there was no back door.

    Incredible to think it’s May 2016 and nobody has since beaten us in Connacht.

  7. Have to add, particular good wishes to our championship debutantes on Sunday, Evan Regan and as our starting line-up goes , Patrick Durcan, and Brendan Harrison, go out and play stormers!

  8. And here we go again. Hopefully not a repeat of 2012. Good luck to the lads on Sunday . Heavy policing expected in rislip ha ya Right.

  9. Flanagan and Ruane are not on the panel.

    Panels must be announced in full by Wednesday. This is the 26. There can be no additions.

    Worrying injuries just a few weeks out from a likely game vs Galway. Beware the Tribes.

  10. I think Mayo will win this game easily, and if our panel isnt deep enough and experienced enough now they never will.

    Good luck to all involved and safe travelling to the fans.

    Mayo 4 16
    london 1 08

  11. Ruane and Flanagan definitely aren’t on the panel. There are only 5 of the 21s in the 33. DOC, Coen, Loftus, Hall and Reape

  12. It’ll be interesting to see where Conor O’Shea will play. I thought in the games where he has played on the half-forward line, like against Cork, he has done much better compared to the games where he has played on the full-forward line, the Down game. Maybe himself and Aidan will swap giving us a full-forward line of Evan, Aido and Cillian. That would be a big ask for the London full-back line to contain those three.

    Congrats to Evan Regan on making his championship debut and best of luck to Brendan Harrison and Patrick Ducan as well as it their first full start. Another two players worth keeping an eye on will be Jason Gibbons and Kevin Keane, it’s a big chance for them two to make an impression.

  13. Strong team. No point planning for September if we can’t get past May. It’s also a fair team when you see what’s to still come back.
    On a related note, I think we’ve been sold a pup by the county board. We are being told all these years about how much it costs to run the senior team and how much debt we are in, yet here we are, a weekend in one of the worlds biggest cities with a massive diaspora of wealthy Mayomen and women and we’ve no official fundraiser. Obviously, fundraising is for the little counties like Kerry and Dublin, not a cash rich outfit like ourselves.
    I’ve no doubt we have another major fundraising initiative planned to boost the coffers, maybe a duck race from Blacksod to Clew Bay or a guess the weight of the heifer. Sure if all else fails, they’ll just come up with another levy of some sorts for the clubs to shoulder the costs.

  14. Liam,
    don’t forget the raffle.
    1st Prize: a side of ham.
    Second Prize: box of USA Biscuits- empty box to be returned to County board for future fund raising efforts.
    Third Prize: Free ticket for the next raffle.

  15. Lads, what about the load of sand that was given away as well by our County Board a couple of years ago in a club draw, now wasn’t that a great prize for one of our clubs to win, never mind the coaching of our players as long as there was a big lorry load of sand to be put to great use.

  16. @ HSE,
    You forgot to mention that the prize of the load of sand included delivery. It won’t be long till we have people going around McHale Park at half time with books of blue, pink and yellow tickets, 3 lines for €2 or 10 lines for €5.

  17. Team along expected lines given the current injury situation. The A v B game last Sunday was 13 a side affair with a number of players brought in to make up the 26.

    We are lucky that we are playing London because we have only 23 fully fit players.

    Hope Conor Loftus and Shane Nally get at least a half to stake a claim

  18. We badly need a business manager if its true that we are not fundraising in London in a proper manner, and we really need one if we havent approached allergan, hollister, baxter or shell for a bit of support. Think of the money those firms have and shell in particular could do with the goodwill factor, or maybe they are already shelling out someway or other?
    a load of sand! really?

  19. WJ you had Rotten robbery in Ruislip as your after match heading 5 years ago. I reckon a real rout in Ruislip is a real possibility for a heading this Sunday evening.

    I confidently predict Mayo to win by 15+ points this weekend.

  20. Club Rossie have over 50 companies signed up to club rossie business. €1000 per company per year. In return companies get some advertising on club rossie website etc.

    Then they have club rossie junior, €60 per child which gets the child a cheap jersey and chance to win a training session for their school or chance to be a mascot for a day.

    When they had their annual draw it was held in a hotel and everyone was invited, a good social occasion for fans and no doubt an opportunity for more fundraising. Mayo County Board wont even tell us when our first draw is.

    Its money for jam.

  21. When I look at the 26 and injured there really are only seven/eight players sure of starting.
    That really is a first. A lot of guys out and I still think this is a good 15/26.
    Im interested in terms of adding to our team in a stepup to championship level by Harrison, Durcan and Conor OShea. If those three can go well it should be a lift compared to 2015.

  22. I hope that injuries will not be our downfall this year. It’s been very bitty since January between injuries, Castlebar lads involved with the club championship and the great U21 campaign. Stephen Rochford could do with a fully fit panel sooner rather than later in order to really build a system of play that is well understood and practiced.

  23. doherty gets picked because he is a good player, good enough to be picked by james horan and now stephen rochford.

  24. Centerfield, I would think Jason Doherty gets picked as he is a very good football player with great experience and will be an important player for us throughout the summer.

  25. Hi Centrefield,

    It seems he is very good at ‘Turnovers’ and tracking back. He does kick some nice points but he is a bit goal shy these days. Not flashy but could recover his goal scoring touch. He has bulked up a lot, i think, and has to be watched. Who would you play? He only came on as sub the day Aido was blackcarded.
    I would imagine he is being watched closely. James Horan thinks highly of him and he may come back into form. It is all part of the intrigue just who should start. I have a liking for Andy Moran and Alan Dillon and hope they get some game time as well as Loftus. The other possibilities seem to be injured. No need for panic yet. Best wishes, C. 2.

    P. S. This Match is only a work out?

  26. Centrefield – I don’t know on what basis you made that remark. If you want to post comments on here about specific players you’re going to have to expend a bit more effort in substantiating what you’re saying because making a bald statement like that about an individual player isn’t on. I’ve deleted the reference to the player in question from your comment.

  27. Four and a half scoring forwards + nice little bunch of champ starters = good for stage we re at.
    A team with notions does need that few extra to bring on who can make a difference at stages….not to come on just to replace someone to keep it at fifteen. We re hoping that this kind of resource is emerging and I think it might be. It will help greatly if the injuries are kept to a minimum.

  28. Good team considering all the injuries we have.Is Keith Higgins going to be left at corner back for the year do you think?
    Keith is a lovely player with loads of pace but i can guarantee you if he is left in the corner for the season he will be cleaned again by quality players later in the season as has happened in numerous big games in the past.
    He made Paddy Andrews look like a super star last year.He was also at fault for Mc Menamons goal.He’s simply not a tight enough marker for a corner back.
    He will get away with standing off his man when the opposition is poor.
    Somebody said that, in that Dublin game that he was watching to many angles to be blamed for those scores.
    Well why isn’t he playing as a sweeper then so, and leave someone else in at corner back who will mark their man only and not be running up the field.
    Like i said Keith is a good player who has been a great servent to Mayo but imo he should not be left in at corner back.

  29. Jesus pj ,,, bit harsh there ,, ya had to pick out one of the few poor games ,, think Keith has loads to offer not only this year but another 2/3 if he stays injury free ,,, ya must have been some corner back yourself !

  30. Interesting pieces from Billy Joe Padden and James Horan in the lest thread on trips to London. I was astonished at Mayo’s route to London in 2011 – Galway to Waterford to somewhere out side London two hours from their hotel. Wonder why they didn’t include a trip to Scotland somewhere along the way But after all they only had six or seven months or so to plan the trip. Anybody else from Mayo ever go to London via Waterford?
    On the issue of fundraising it is astonishing that there is no effort to have a fund raising event in London in conjunction with the weeks events. But I would be totally against the idea of involving the team in any way, whether promising their attendance at an event or otherwise. I recall Castlebar some thirty or some years ago advertising a “victory dance” in the Sportlann on the Sunday evening of a Connacht Club Championship match. I do know it was well advertised in the opposition dressingroom. The result did not go Castlebar’s way. I do not know how the dance went.

  31. pj, 3 all stars proves he is a very good corner back. As for not being a tight marker, have a look back at the two Kerry games in 2014 and see how a corner back can get tight on one of the top corner forwards in the business.

    Personally, our full back line would look alot weaker without Higgins in it.

  32. Calling Keith Higgins a good player is like saying bruce springsteen is a fair man to hold a tune..

  33. Sorry lads. Keith was totally to blame for O’Donoghue’s goal. He should have been goal side and not watching Donaghy. He does standoff people.. He is still a great player!!

  34. Apologies WJ

    I just dont know on what performances this player keeps getting picked in the first 15 and he is also getting picked out of position as I simply dont think he has the engine to play there.

    He made no impact against the Dubs last year.

    Last game he played well against a top team was against Kerry in Limerick, which is a lot different to playing Dubs in Croke park which you would imagine we would be trying to build towards.

  35. Bar 2013 at half forward Higgins has played his entire career at left corner back. Its therefore fair to assume that is in fact his position. You would struggle to think of a better left back playing today that is better than Zippy.

  36. That’s okay, Centrefield – you’ve now given some justification for your original comment (which I don’t agree with, by the way, as I think the player in question does plenty of unflashy work every time he lines out for us). As I’ve repeatedly said, I don’t mind aspects of players’ performances being questioned but specifics are needed to back this up. As you can see with the separate debate going on here about Keith, if someone posits an opinion with specifics then others are in a position to test and, if they want, counter this.

  37. All – just a quick reminder about what’s acceptable and what’s not when critiquing individual players. It’s okay to name a player and critique them if you can support this by providing examples from specific games, which others can then take issue with if they want. So, for example, you could say that X isn’t suited to Y position because when playing against Z, examples A, B and C happened. It’s not on the other hand okay to say things like I don’t know why X gets picked, or that Y isn’t county standard and other generalised stuff like that. The broad point is that critiquing players is fine but if you don’t back your point up with supporting examples then it isn’t and your comment will be dealt with accordingly. Thanks.

  38. I had to laugh at a certain writer this week in one of the locals pitching this game as a “walk in the park”. You’d wonder what his agenda was, if you didn’t know already.

    I’m not expecting a grade A appearance by any means this weekend – I do think we’ll do enough to competently get the job done with a small bit to spare, but wouldn’t be surprised if the match day machine was a small bit rusty. Bear in mind it’s only in the last two weeks the panel got together in its entirety for the first time. I expect plenty of grumbling after the game.

    And I won’t give a monkeys cos the sun will (I hope) be shining and the craic will be good and it’ll be a great long weekend. Glory days

  39. Yeah Anne-Marie, I think that I was reading somewhere that the 6th of May was the first training session that all of the panel were available for, so that’s where we are at the moment. Best of luck to all involved in the game.

  40. Personally speaking what you said centre field is somewhat true and I do wonder about the position of that player in the starting 15. I have no doubt of his ability or what he has done previous but personally wouldn’t consider him a starter.
    For that reason I would have thought Carolan or Loftus would have gotten a run out. They may well do by time game throws in.

    I do think Loftus might be kept under wraps for a while. But that said I don’t know how 100% match fit Cillian is. It’s high unlikely he will finish the game anyhow so we will need Loftus of Andy on for the frees in Cillian absence.
    We should win and no harm in saying that and hopefully it will serve as a confidence booster for the new guys and as a run out for Cillian Higgins and co who are returning from injury
    But make no mistake about it the Galway game is only around the corner and that match will be played at some pace so we need to blow off the cobwebs now.

  41. Mayo will win this comfortably enough. In these types of games the win is all that really matters and move on to bigger days.

    The biggest plus would be to come away without picking up anymore injuries. I can see Mayo aiming to power past London early on thus enabling SR to take off COC and AOS and any other player carrying a knock.

  42. Good luck to the team and all who travel, I am not going because I consider both NY and London being in the Connacht Championship as a bit of a joke. Exhibition games definitely but now way should they be part of the Connacht Championship.

    If Mayo are serious then the London team should be blown out of the water, we should be winning by a minimum of 12 points no excuses. A player performing well against London means nothing, we need our players to perform against the big teams on the big day.

    The real start of the championship for me is the Galway game and despite the self pity muttering coming from that quarter I expect Galway will be treating this as their All Ireland as they would love to send Mayo through the back door.

    Enjoy the match and safe traveling.

  43. Olive i normally think you are a great contributor but i think this game will be a good test whatever about NY standard the London lads are no mugs and have done themselves as proud as any other county in Connacht besides ourselves over the last few year.

    I’ll take any old win , we got out of dodge the last time and went on to have a good championship , if we hockey them then its a bonus, its championship football, a win is a win,

    folks there was a galway- luton flight that stopped in waterford , I took it a few times , the landing in waterford was hairy a few times! i presume that was the one that Mayo got that time , surprise suprise that the county board wouldnt spring for one of the many knock – london options!

  44. I see Donegal has decided to appoint a commercial and marketing manager. Good to see we’re still staunching it out with the old school biscuit tin.

  45. Keith is a excellent corner back who has on occasion has allowed the more dangerous corner forwards sneak a little bit too much space and we have paid the price. This only happens when he marking the very best in country .That is why they are the very best in their positions and one lapse in concentration and you will be put to the swoard. If Keith has a fault he has on rare occasions lost his man

  46. Every player makes mistakes, no one goes a game without making a mistake. Most go unpunished, some get punished badly. Its the nature of sport. Taking individual incidents in isolation a case can be made against any player. I think the majority would agree that every player selected is there on merit.

  47. I’m not the man for that job Anne-Marie, you need a dedicated, enthusiastic young professional with a proven track record in marketing and finance, I sadly only have one of those qualities. My biggest fear at the moment is that they will hurriedly appoint someone in a half arsed fashion in order “to keep the f#%kers off our backs for a while”. They will set unrealistic targets, fail to properly resource him or her and then blame them when they haven’t raised 3 million in their first year.
    However, if the proper person was appointed, based on a competitive, independently ran interview process, was properly resourced and set achievable targets, then we could be onto a winner. I wouldn’t envy the candidate in fairness, as you’d need the diplomatic skills of George Mitchell to mend the meriad of fences that successive county boards have damaged.

  48. Liam the Strategic Review of Mayo (binned) in 2010/11 laid out a role for those very posts. The Blue Wave ( Dublin) went and did it in 2011. We went to NY and took home less than my girls U14 Feile team

  49. Doesn’t Aidan Kiloyne does a similar role for Ryanair. If he s good enough for Michael o Leary he must be half decent.

  50. The below was in The Mayo News on Thursday:

    Mayo manager Stephen Rochford revealed his 26-man panel for the game shortly after midday today (Thursday) with Ger Cafferkey (groin), Chris Barrett (hamstring), Donal Vaughan (hamstring), Diarmuid O’Connor (hamstring) and Barry Moran (Achilles) all forced to sit the game out due to injuries. Alan Freeman is also out of Sunday’s game after damaging ankle ligaments last week, while Brian Reape (hamstring) was also unavailable for selection. However, despite injury concerns over Tom Parsons, Andy Moran, Alan Dillon and Seamus O’Shea earlier in the week, all four players came through training in Athlone last night (Wednesday).

  51. Thanks WJ & HSE – that’s a significant casualty list. While it provides an opportunity for some of the less established players to stake a claim for future match days’ team sheets, its far form the ideal preparation for the Galway game with so many players likely to sit out the training camp next week.

  52. The seemingly endless list of injuries since the beginning of the year is a little bit concerning, honestly.

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