That was the the year that was for the U21s

The final whistle sounded a few minutes ago at Tuam Stadium and as it did so it brought the curtain down on another very short and very unsuccessful year for the county’s U21s. We were beaten 0-9 to 0-7 today by Galway in a match where we never led and, by the sounds of the commentary on Midwest, never looked like winning. We hit something like fifteen wides over the course of the hour but more disappointingly our forward line failed to score a single point from play during the entire game. From what I can see, only midfielder Danny Kirby – playing in his third and final campaign at the level – managed to get any return from open play for us today.

So, that’s it for another year for the U21s as this long period of underachievement at this level continues for a fourth straight year. Who would have thought, back in 2009 when we’d just completed a four-in-a-row of Connacht titles, that we’d fail to make, never mind win, an U21 provincial final inside the following four years? That’s the sad reality, however, and combined with our ongoing slump at senior level (which may or may not end tomorrow), it all makes for a rather depressing start to the year for #mayogaa.

27 thoughts on “That was the the year that was for the U21s

  1. We held trials in middle of January to put a panel together to compete within 6 weeks! No other successful county would do that.

    There was alarm when Tony Duffy was appointed. The bells are still ringing

  2. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber) will hardly be fit to play again tomorrow . Today was his first start in months. can see varley or feeney starting

  3. Worst run since 1986 when ironically we came of the back of a four in a row, starting with the 1983 All Irl win.

    We then went seven years in the wilderness before Martin Carney sorted us in 1994. Seems as if our under age system is getting blocked and we are looking at how Roscommon and Galway have gone ahead of us. Radical surgery needed but scar tissue might prevent the patient getting the correct treatment

  4. 7 points and 12 wides tells a story of woe from a forward line that looked good on paper but woeful on them field. Some of these guys have ambitions tom play senior!!! God help us if we ever have tom depend ln them to win a senior cham pionship match.
    We were only a point down at half time after playing against a strong breeze and should have pushed on. But them galway backs beat us up a stick!
    No good into blaming duffy or anyone else this was down to poor play mostly by our forwards. Backs and midfield did ok except for one stupid tackle that earned a sending off.
    Very disappointing result!!!!

  5. Again today 2 different free takers and 1 point from play with a foward line of oconnor , regan , oshea, coen an gallagher, dissapointing to say the least with 14 wides thrown in. have to say i was dissapointed duffy got the job in the first place as he did,t cover himself in glory when he had the minors, espec. las year against meath……its spreading thru the teams now, no goals , plenty of wides and cant put a 14 or 21 yarder free over the bar….depressing to say the least.

  6. Yet another underage disappointment forwards not good enough to score from play or score goals the end result will nearly always end in defeat. In fairness this Galway side could go on to win the All Ireland and Connacht has become very difficult to win.

  7. Just back from Tuam. Disappointing result alright. A game we maybe could have won had one or two things gone our way but being honest Galway looked the better side just about and in Shane Walsh they had the outstanding player on the field. While our forwards struggled to score from play he kicked some fantastic points at the other end. The ref and the strong wind made it a very scrappy game and you knew early on that it was going to be a low-scoring affair. In general both sets of backs were on top but Mayo had nobody to hold Walsh.

  8. It seems in this county that if you were a good minor you will automatically make the u-21 grade. This was proven today when the lads on mid west pointed out that 12 of the Mayo team that started the minor final in 2010 started today as opposed to 4 from Galway. It appears to be a closed shop in this county from u-16 to u-21 with the same players getting the call. That’s where the real problem lies with equally as good players been constantly overlooked.

  9. We called it on this forum months back. Duffy was an Absolutely astonishing appointment after ray Dempsey ran us into the ground for the last 3 years.showed absolutely nothing whatsoever as minor manager and after today’s abject performance the frustrations have been compounded. Today was as bad as the Duffy lead minor team that saw no forward score in last years minor Connacht final.

    But what would we expect from the people who appointed him (the same crew that saddled us with incredible debt for a stand that’s too big, never close to full, has blue seats and best of all, in this day and age, has 8 steel poles incase anyone would actually like to see a game unobstructed).

  10. What ‘good players’ have you in mind chisel.I can guarantee that if we had only 3 or 4 from the minor ranks of 2010 togged today,then people would whinge about the fact that there was no continuity-damned if you,damned if you dont

  11. Have to agree with everything Peter has said, shocking performance, I think players at this level have been talked up too much ( a recurrent problem through the years) mayo had the lions share of the possession but no guile whatsoever, can’t believe that the two best players were taken off while ‘big name ‘ players who were totally off the pace were left on..
    the thing is management in Mayo at all levels can’t seem to see that basics such as converting frees, composure at crucial times in matches etc is what wins games in the end..

  12. Can’t blame Ray Dempsey for this one – or indeed the current manager either. We had enough possession to comfortably win this one, but like the seniors last week, seem to know nothing about composure. You can’t coach that – you either have it or you don’t…….

  13. Come pletely agree mayo mchale. Neither can you coach guile and will to win. And indeed the ‘the big name’ players who you would expect to deliver were beaten by more tenacious opponents……..who might not have been as talented but were certainly hungrier. I agree we are inclined to talk up some of our players and make small gods out of average enough mortals.
    I do not know duffy enough tom comment inteligently on him but surely when you get twice as many wides as points then its down to skill and general ability or lack of it!!!

  14. I agree 100% with Pater’s earlier comments. All we have to do is look at the transformation in under-age football in Roscommon and contrast with Mayo – please invite Holmes and Connolly to save us all from further embarrassment.
    The vertical obstructions in McHale Park is reminiscent of of its predecessor – unbelievable and unacceptable to me and obviously to Peter – how about the rest of you out there?

  15. Our underage seem to have gone backwards what is been done or not been done is a disgrace ,for a county like mayo and its size there should be plenty of good footballers and coaching in place to improve them . The last few years our underage is behind both galway and the ross who ever is in charged is runing it in to the ground it wont be next year or 2 but few years down the road we will be in big trouble time something needs to be done now ,, disappointing today ..

  16. Bring back Peter Forde,Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly right now to work on Minors and under 21’s……………It’s never to earle to prepare for success……

  17. Galway had the advantage of a game already but the conditions were a big leveller too. A lot of young men that are being touted as ready to make the step up failed to put their hands up today and from listening to MWR, it seemed that Fergal Durcan who got on the team as an afterthought was our man of the match. I remember him from minor days putting in similar energetic performances.

    While I was critical of the appointment of Duffy, the format and draw was to our disadvantage this year. That is the end of our run of great minor talent since 2008 and anyone who remembers the whipping we got from the Rossies in 2011 at that grade won’t have great hopes for next years bunch of U21s.

  18. Diehard you are completely wrong, ofcourse you can coach composure and guile. Jim McGuinness took a team that couldnt win a game in Ulster to win a all-ireland by implementing a game plan and composure. Peter, i couldnt agree more with you, I think WJ was the first to see this coming, I remember your doubts at his appointment. Regards the seniors, we are in complete experimental mode as is Horans way which I have no problem with. Mayo fans werent happy when we were in league finals. It’s better to find your strenghtd in weaknesses is March or would it be better to find them out in the last fifteen minutes of a Connacht semi final?

  19. Jht…..you are entitled to disagree but there are certainly innate qualities that players must have that were sadly missing today that no coach can inculcate.
    I am no defender of the present regime at u21 but nobody can blame managers or coaches for most of what I saw today. Galway were simply better at doing the basics on a cold windy day.
    Yes the league is where you should sort out the issues but what if your biggest shortcomings come home to roost in the first 10 mins of an all ireland? The point I am making is that generally most games develop into their own unique way and players must have the capacity to play what is in front of them. And that was absent today and indeed last sept also.

  20. To me it seems nonsensical to start developing an U21 team in Mid January for a crucial championship game in late March. I know that there is an official Croke Park start date for U21 training [Jan Ist?] but my idea would be to run an U21 tournament between the four Districts in Nov/early Dec and pick a panel from that which could have done some individual fitness work before the official start. I am sure many players would have been involved in colleges football over the same months but there were probably several who were not and could not have been up to speed by yesterday.

  21. Jht your totally right composure and guile is what a good coach is supposed to ingrained into the minds and bodies of these young players ,it hasn’t been happening in underage football in mayo for a long time and I believe if the senior team had more composure they might be all ireland champions now.mayo football has a lot of work ahead and the only place to do it is on the field ,instead of running for 2 hours a night ,last time I checked scores wins games ,put the ball on the ground for a free kick ,spend the time practicing taking scores and forget the phycological bull ,it’s an easy game

  22. Well said peter, i dont know how they go about picking managers for the underage teams and its obvios the best in the county is not being sought, e.g. this years minors management team , were did they come out of and wat was their credentials for being picked and prob. moving up in 2 years time to take charge of the 21,s, something smells to me… were is the john maughans, pat holmes, wj padden,liam mchales, david bradys, connelly,kearney,kilgallon ect ect, these are ex county men our young players woud look up to and their storys and heartacke alone woud motivate our young players, i am not a big fan off horans, he dosent come across as a great communicator,to me anyways be it on the sideline, giving interviews and even meet,n him on the street , but as him being senor manager he shoud have be involved with 21,s, there,s quiet afew with the seniors…..as for mchale park , very badly thought out, did any ye notice now they hav to leave a row seats emty in a few areas of the stand to let people walk thru, it diff. sections, for all the money that it cost , its looks to me it was pinching a penny here an there, its a disgrace our county colours are not in the seating area inthe stand, like all other county,s but then again wat woud you expect from a bunch of planks in the county board tha have got rid of our green above the red hoop jersey,s.Is it anywonder we have no luck………Anyways here,s hoping to a big performance today and we surely owe the dunnys 1 and if they the players cant motivate themselfs for that, then god help us…….C,mon muigh eo.

  23. Today is a must win game for both teams in castlebar. Last sept some people believed that we could have beaten Donegal if certain things did not go against. Some including myself questioned the way J Horan set up his team and allow them to set the pace in the game. Now today is our team chance to put it up to Donegal and show the supports that the team can put their season back on track. I am not a J Horan fan but while he is at the helm I will support the team. But with the style of play we have adopted under him I am afraid that this game will also pass us by as well.
    Some of the stuff that happened in the u21 yerterday was a mirros image of the mistakes that has festered in mayo football over the last few months… we seem to be be in a bad place at the moment and that is right across all grades..

  24. It’s hard to believe that it is 1985 since we won a minor all Ireland. There in is the crux. we are way off the pace. For a county like mayo that is not a famine its an absolute disaster.

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