The news is out

So much for the behind-closed-doors policy: after all the pre-match hush about last night’s challenge match against Kildare, which we now know was played in Longwood and featured three 25-minute playing periods, the media is now only swimming with match reports about it.  My thanks to the lads on here who broke the story first this morning, giving us this Kildare-oriented take on proceedings.  Then, later on, came this short report in the Mayo News and by early evening the Herald and Hogan Stand had joined in the fun.  At this rate, there’ll probably be a full colour two-page spread on it in tomorrow’s Irish Times.  I mean, it’s not as if there’s much rugby to talk about this weather or anything.

Given that it was only (yet another) challenge match, there’s little that can be read into the outcome.  The line-up is obviously the bit of most interest and this provides further proof that most of the key decisions have been made at this stage in relation to the backs, while the situation with regard to the forwards remains a bit more fluid.  That Mayo News report says that Aidan Kilcoyne (who is now definitely ruled out for the Sligo game) was joined on the sidelines last night by Trevor Howley and Barry Moran.  Trevor was taken off for Knockmore last weekend complaining about a tight hamstring but I don’t know what the story is with Barry.  He can’t be fucking injured again so soon after coming back, can he?  Sadly, I think we all know the answer to that.

On the plus side, both Donal Vaughan and Alan Dillon returned to the fray last night and both appear to be fit and raring to go.  It looks like it’s between Donie and Peadar Gardiner for the no.5 shirt and, if that’s the case, you’d have to think that the Ballinrobe man’s sparkling league form should be enough for him to be given the nod there.  Seniority is all good and well but this isn’t the Civil Service we’re talking about here and so it’s hard to see how, on recent form, Peadar could be preferred to Donie.

Alan is, of course, a certain starter in the forwards but it’s far too late in the evening to start any kind of guessing game about what six will start and in what position.  All I’ll say is that Alan definitely shouldn’t start at 11 – the league final showed yet again the futility of placing him there. Seamus O’Shea was back on the forty last night and with Tom Parsons continuing to get game time at midfield alongside Ronan, this could well be how that bit of the team will line out in Markievicz Park.

28 thoughts on “The news is out

  1. Roger just a thought. Ronaldson and Varley were flying when Dillon and Conor were away. Just like the return of the St Galls lads to Antrim the return of the latter seemed to spook Ronaldson and Varley. I suppose size comes into it…with Conor and Dillon not being giants it would be hard to accomodate Varley and Ronnie as well. On the other extreme , the great white hope of last year , Aiden O Shea seems to be playing as if he is carrying lead in his boots. Just a thought.

  2. AOS needs time…hes only 19( maybe 20 now??). it will all fall into place for him. As i keep saying he is NOT a full forward. I think hes just lost his confidence after all the bad games hes had in that position. Stick him in CF and we’ll see him flourish. He will add physicality around the middle of the field, is a good foot passer and can take a long range score.

  3. Looking at the team put out against Kildare would indicate that it was close to our starting 15 (injuries aside). They seem to have been at full strength too. Without having been there and bearing in mind it was only a challenge match, it is still a bit worrying to hear that they lorded it at midfield and that their forwards pulled our backline all over the place. Those match comments could have been written on the Monday after the league final.

  4. Ted how is aos not a full forward? He is far more of a ff than a cf.He hasn’t got the engine to play cf,its different at minor, he cant spot a pass 40 yards away.If he is not winning ball at ff he is not going to win it at cf, his brother has alot more of the attributed needed at 11.Aidans problem at the minute is he is not making decisions fast enough, when he sorts this out he is a threat to any full back, that goal vs monaghan is what aidan o shea is about, strong,good in the air,good finisher

  5. I think Seamus O’Shea should start at CF, we need a strong center to the team. Alan Dillon, should be at HF he is a great passer of the ball.

  6. I will stick my neck out and suggest thet the team below (if the injury situation stays the same) will be within 1 or 2 places of what you will see in the match programme V Sligo. What d’ye reckon?


    Barrett Cafferky Higgins

    Vaughan Cunniffe McLoughlin

    McGarrity SOShea

    Trev Dillon Moran

    Morteen AOShea Varley

  7. I rarely agree with anybody here, at this stage it has to be me.I cannot see why trevor mortimer should be getting a look in! when will we ever learn our lessons,same with andy, league/friendlies andy will produce.Then any meaningful game and he dissapears.We have proven talent in this county why is it we always waste it by giving(sorry wj) mediocre players chance after chance. Pat harte for example,best player probably in 06′ moved completly out of position since.
    One man getting a raw deal is peader, he is at his peek, for me a certain starter, i know he had an injury but thats just tough look , but its looks like he is going to lose his place. Why does trevor howley deserve a spot,it is not his reading of the game or his presence thats going to help the full back line,is it? Nobody I suppose has the answer only johnno but he has had since last august when we were really going places,what the hell has he being doing since.We don’t have one settle line throughout the team.

  8. JJ from the highlights of games that i have seen and from the league final i dont believe trevor deserves his place either

  9. Well JJ just to prove its your day, I believe Trevor peaked back in 2004 and has struggled for one reason or another since. Why O Mahony made a stick for his own back by making him captain amazed me. You have got Andy Moran spot on. I figured that about him years ago. Will Johnno drop them, will he play Harte in his correct position? No. We make a habit of making it hard for ourselves, we wasted the best years of Brogan, O Neill, Staunton, Butler, Billy Fitz. We never got the best out of Austin. We are Mayo…for better or worse.

  10. C’mere Ontheroad – do ya think T. Howley should get a place on that team after his League performance ??

    Fo me my team would start without Trevor M and with A Moran at CHF. I see Andy as a converted 1/2 back (but on Who can score) and I think you need some defensive minded players in the 1/2 fw line now becasue of all the attacking 1/2 backs in modern game.
    That’s also specifically why I wouldn’t bring AOS into that position as I don’t think he will be able to get up and down the pitch as much as required at this level.

    Other than that I would also bring Parsons into the 1/2 fw line to beef it up alongide Dillon on other wing.

    FF line is as Ted has it (although if A Kilcoyne were fit I would play him first.)

  11. The team I think will start assuming Howley is injured and we don’t get any more injuries is:
    O’Malley Cafferky Higgins

    Vaughan Cunniffe McLoughlin

    McGarrity Parsons

    A Moran S O’Shea T Mortimer (I’d start Harte)

    C Mortimer B Moran A O’Shea

  12. I’d agree with the majority of that team GBXII. But no Dillon?? I’d probably stick S O’Shea in centre-field and drop Parsons to the bench, making room for Dillon.
    There is definite potential in Tom, but he is one of the most frustating players I’ve ever seen.
    2 years ago I thought I was witnessing the birth of a future Mayo great. Now I don’t know if he’ll ever become the player I thought he could be.

    As for B Moran, whenever I see a possible Mayo line-up, I always feel his name should be followed by a question mark, or maybe just written in italics or something. His limbs must be made of plasticine

  13. Oh Sh1t!!Can’t believe I forgot Dillon, quite embarassing!!Yeah he will definitely start and maybe they will do what you said and drop Parsons and start O’Shea mid-field as well.

    Personally, I’d perfer if Trevor was dropped and came on from the bench at some stage instead (could happen yet) and Parsons and Dillon could then both start. Parsons can be frustrating all right but I think he’ll learn and didn’t have as bad a league as people were saying.

    We would have some decent options on the bench then like Gardiner, Harte, T Mortimer, Varley, Ronaldson and Barrett.

  14. You see the problem we have. Myself included, are for this fella and that fella. A strong settled team like 1996 would pick itself. That shows how far we are off it. Andy Moran at half forward, Andy Moran at half back. Sorry , he’s not just good enough for either. We have too many of the same nice and neat lads. Varley or Ronaldson. Conor and Dillon. Big Barry or Aiden O S. Seamus O S/McGarrity/Parsons/Harte for mid? No single sure fire leaders. Gardiner or Vaughan etc…it goes on and on. It shouldnt, the team should be settled by now. Its not and thats our weakness.

  15. Yeah, arguably Mayos biggest problem is their lack of leaders. Could do with about 5 David Bradys at the moment! Then again we should still get past Sligo with what we have and Galway/Dublin have a similar problem too in fairness.

  16. Come on now lads, in the league, 4 away and 2 home wins, 1 home loss and 1 away loss, trev the captain – ye would all have taken that gladly in January. Lets be realistic, is there really a chance of our captain being dropped, would it really be fair? We seem to be dumping on 1 player a bit too much here. I see that some of you who want trev out want Harte or Parsons in. Well if we are to be consistent in our analysis, how in the hell could we suggest that Parsons should start ahead of trevor, he simply does not deliver on his undoubted talent, he seems to be switched off and lacking determination 70-80% of the time – it’s an attitude and workrate issue. Now, in trevor’s case, it is more likely to be over enthusiasm and eagerness that causes him to have poor execution of passes or scores (at times!). I know who I would prefer to have in the trenches with me, it would be the gutsy grafter, not the ‘when it suits me fancy dan’. Also, I have lost count of the amount of very ordinary games Harte has had in the past, he can disappear for 30-40 minutes in a game – or could get sent off or booked for something stupid. Trevor will always be visible, and while a lot of it is not easy on the eye, his workrate and motivation always seems to keep him at the heart of the action.

    If trev does have a poor game (I don’t expect him to), we have plenty of guys on the bench to replace him, same applies to every other position, and I bet ya, Trev himself would be the first to acknowledge if he was playing badly.

    It is simply unthinkable that Trev will be dropped just ahead of the c’ship opener, as ye say there aren’t too many leaders out there chomping at the bit trying to knock trev off his pedestal at the minute. So instead of calling for his head, get behind him and the rest of the team and get to Sligo in good time tomorrow week!!

  17. Trevor is nowhere near a pedstal unfortunately. I just think he had two good games for Mayo against Fermanagh in 2004. That’s it.
    Our “leader” was truly awful in the league final and against Meath last year.
    Sorry, I will say it again. Way of the pace against quality opposition (i.e. teams outside connaught). He ain’t going to get any better at this stage of his career.

  18. See he major problem with that top D rite is , like 04 and 06 when the game is over at half time. Trevor is a passenger, there is no place in a county team for a guy who cannot kick a ball 20 yards, shows no intelligence, poor leadership, personally i would take a fancy dan as you put it that maybe be arrogant but is worth 3-6 points. Actually watch trevor the fact that everybody nowdays that play intercounty are in the gym regularly and it seems trevors strength is no longer an asset, he brings little or nothing to the team only a b.s. interview afterwards in my opinion and if you watched him closely i get the feeling you might feel the same, funny thing was i used to rate him too.
    Ontheroad I feel a bond here.I have to agree with you!

  19. Agree with the 2 previous comments. It might seem harsh but I think it’s an honest and accurate statement when we say that Trevor should not start or be captain. He may well start against Sligo and even play well but he will be found out against better opposition. You can teach a talented lad to work hard (if you’re a good enough coach) but I don’t think you teach a grafter like Trevor to become talented.

  20. Being the captain of your county senior team, whatever county it is, puts a player on a pedestal. The main point I’m trying to make is that he is captain, ergo he will start! Yes he was crap in the league final, but he was in good company that day, only McLoughlin emerged with reputation enhanced that day. I’m not from anyway near Shrule, and would not be trev’s biggest fan, but I think it is not right to lambaste our captain in the run in to our opening match and that is why I’m defending him. Hold ye’re powder dry lads, give him a chance, try not to undermine the whole set-up on the basis one bad team performance this year. JJ, are you suggesting that Parsons or Harte would be worth 3-6 points each if they were on, they would have to do something they havn’t done before. GBXII, one could equally make the argument that it can be easier to build skills through drills and practice than it is to change attitudes and personalities. I have coached loads of talented players whose attitude would have left a lot to be desired, and it is extremely difficult to change someone else’s personality or outlook. Skills development and teamwork can be much easier to achieve, the best players put in the hard yards, give the hits and take them, play past the pain barrier, put team interests ahead of ego, and never say die no matter what the detracters say.

    Anyway, whether we agree or not, what Mayo needs now is SUPPORT, not knockers, and I expect that those of you who are so exercised in relation to Trev will be in Sligo shouting the team on with equal gusto!!

  21. Not at all top d rite,just saying that pat would win or catch that amount of ball or aidan kilcoyne would score is not the league final that got Trevor,he has been poor for the last 4-5 years, what exactly is ‘good in the trenches’ he doesn’t win loose ball,lay off the ball when things get dirty, look he does more for Mayo than I do so I dont want to knock him anymore but he is not good enough for a team with aspirations

  22. Hopefully Barry Moran will play next Sat. Also i think AOS will come good—leave him at full forward.
    i am probably in a minority but i would lik to see Harte on the team for his physical presense. We need a Galvin type scavanger in the half forwards–any ideas–maby a back.MEATH USE kenny to good effect in this role.
    I t is a big ask for Cunniffe to come in at CHB but he is the best we have.
    Our full back line will be the same as the u21 line that won the all ireland.
    Lets get behind the team—I am confident we will win.
    The performance against Cork could be a blessing.

  23. lads this the same problem we’ve had for the last 3 years, any fan of any county team who is in with a chance of a decent long summer should be able to sit down with a pen and paper and in 2 minutes lash out numbers 1,3,6,8,9,11 and 14. We cant and thats why unfortunatley we wont be winning Sam this year. We’ll still support the team and get some enjoyment out of it (hopefully), but until we have a strong settled spine we’re wasting our time and being totally delusional. Dara O’Cinneide said it yesterday in big blue font in the Examiner “Mayo’s trouble is always going to be the pathological optimism of fans”.
    And hes right, anyone who sat through that league final, and then thinks because we won a few challenges that its all coming right is a pathological optimist. I mean dont get me wrong, its a testemant to ourselves and of course the players that we could dust ourselves off from 04 and 06 not to mention last year V meath which for me was even more disapointing, and come back the next year for another crack. But we really need to call a spade a spade, its nothing magical, we dont appear to have the players to win sam at the moment. Having said that, perhaps another manager coming in might be able to pull something from some of them that we havent seen yet – but ultimatley until we have a settled spine we’re not going anywhere major. Connacht is possible, not that I’d say no but feck it theres only one thing that matters anymore, and we all know what that is.

  24. H’mm. Well if Mayo don’t perform this year heads will be called for – pretty sure of that.

    Pathological Optimists – perhaps a good description of the Mayo fan. But at the same time it’s a lot better than being a pessimist !!

    And at same time it’s this optimisim that keeps bringing us pitchers back to the well so often. Someone, someday is going to the formula right and we’ll enjoy the drink we deserve.

  25. Another championship under jom and with the exception of a few places all others are up for grabs surely at this stage we should have at least 12 places nailled down.ony advantage sligo will be no wiser than the rest of us, we should be good enough to get past them though but I agree there are players there that will be found out later and unfortunately one is our captain, but who should be captain I dont see a leader on team to shake the team up if things are not going well and that is a serious worry. All the same we have to back jom and his decisions and support the team

  26. To be critical of Trevor, i can understand.Andy moran on the other hand, i can’t understand that, it actually has me baffled and i feel that this will be his finest year to date. I don’t want to be argumentative as i have only posted here once before but i read one post above which described A. Moran as never have preformed in championship to date, we would not of won in Carrick on Shannon in 06 without Moran and who was it that said to Mickey Moran on the line against the Dubs ” let me on, i’ll score a goal”? They are just two games that spring to mind where he was a vital part of us winning, Ross last year he was ace also, don’t think i can remember a game i have come away from blaming Andy Moran for our defeat. I have predicted him to be man of the match Saturday.

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