The Road to Croker IV – Mayo News football podcast 2020 E40

There are six days to go now until Mayo’s All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Tipperary and on ‘The Road to Croker’ series of the Mayo News football podcast the build-up to the big match on Sunday continues apace. 

In this podcast episode co-hosts Rob Murphy and I focus on Tipperary, both in terms of their recent League and Championship form and the kind of mindset they’re likely to take into Sunday’s game. Then we hear directly from two Tipp men whom Mike Finnerty caught up with at Croke Park over the weekend. RTE’s Damian Lawlor returns to the podcast to provide some background on the current Premier County team while hurling legend Nicky English chats about the importance of football within a county that’s far more renowned for its hurling prowess.      

This latest episode of the Mayo News football podcast is now online and is available to listen to on iTunes, Podomatic, SoundCloud and Spotify. You can also listen to it directly on the Mayo News website as well as here on the blog using the Podomatic player below or the one on the panel on the right.

The Mayo News football podcast has its own Twitter presence, @MayoPodcast, so if you’re a Twitter user you should follow us there to make sure you get the latest podcast-related updates, including new episodes. 

The Mayo News football podcast is proudly sponsored by GRG, Game Ready Gear – sportswear designed by players for players. Check out their website at

34 thoughts on “The Road to Croker IV – Mayo News football podcast 2020 E40

  1. If we win, we win. If we lose, its not the end of the world. Lets hope for a good honest game of football, with no serious injuries. And good luck to the winner.

  2. -Thanks for all of the podcasts…
    – This is the strangest build-up to an Ireland semi-final in what has been the strangest year. There is no hype, little expectation and more Xmas trees than flags up at this stage, the least we can do is fly the flag.
    – Horan will treat this same as if Kerry were the opponents, it will be a tough hard running game. Like others have said probably little if any change to the team that started against Galway, i would start Flynn or Carr in place of ROD. The concern since the football re-started is our lack of power and high catching in the mid-field diamond, time to fix it.
    – Mayo’s experience to tell which is why we need massive games from Aido, DOC, COC , Paddy and Lee.
    – Gough is the fairest ref around so that is good news.
    – Weather may have a big impact if the forecast is actually accurate.
    – +5 or thereabouts with no injuries will do nicely
    – Speaking of injuries best wishes to Joe Canning and Aaron Gullane who were both injured during the hurling semi yesterday, two class hurlers.

  3. Are we actually playing in an All Ireland semi final this weekend?! Totally agree Olive Kerrigan, you wouldn’t know it. The behind closed doors probably has a lot to do with it.

    Whether to play Ryan will be one of our main decisions. As per previous podcast, Fionn Mcdonagh should also be in the mix for a half forward spot. Watch this space……

  4. I actually think JR that Seamus O’Shea was very quiet for breaffy this year. Looked off the pace a bit. Doubt you will see him Sunday

  5. I think none of Mark Moran, Ryan OD or Bryan Walsh should start because although all show promise, we need to look at who would be needed vs Dublin should we win. I would also move Conor Loftus out of midfield for the same reason and let him compete for a half forward slot. Those decisions allow either James Carr or Darren Coen to start, whoever is performing the better in training. It means taking AOS out of FF line and I prefer that as no good having a wrecking ball inside if we can’t get enough ball into him. The best scenario for leaving AOS inside is if Diarmaid or Tom Parsons move to midfield and we don’t know Tom’s form.
    As for our opposition, they have 2 serious forwards and height so either starve them of ball or pick taller backs so Stephen Coen should be on one of them.

  6. Shuffly Deck, that’s precisely the kind of thinking that upended Kerry. They were playing Cork with a plan for Dublin!

    This is further confirmed by a hilarious interview in the Examiner yesterday with Darren O’Sullivan. Here’s what he said on this topic:

    Ex-attacker O’Sullivan said he was actually very confident of Kerry not just beating Cork but winning the All-Ireland this winter.

    “I actually thought, and it sounds stupid saying it now, but I thought, ‘They look more Championship ready than anyone I’d seen in the other League games’,” said the 2009 All-Ireland winning captain.

    “Genuinely I thought the players looked incredibly fit and strong, they looked tuned in. I was looking at the players individually and how they were linking up and I was there going, ‘Kerry are going to win this’. Genuinely I felt that way.

    “But you have an off day, it happens, and Kerry just had a really bad day at the office. They got caught and another year you probably would have been expecting them to go through the back door and to win the All-Ireland…”.

  7. Agree with Mayo 36, Seamus o shea way off the pace in any of the games ive seen him in in past year, similarly tom parsons doesnt seem to have gotten his pre-injury form back, would be amazed to see either on sunday. Higgins cameo vs galway was very poor, he was very lucky to get away with some blatant fouls that would have been costly

    Its clear from all the evidence of the past 6 or 7 games that Horan definitely going forward with the new look team, so anyone expecting to see the old guard (boyle/higgins/parsons/sos/vaughan/etc) parachuted in from nowhere will be disappointed i expect. They would surely have gotten minutes by now

  8. Good opportunity to start Jason Flynn. Rod more effective as impact sub imo.
    I see Tipp going long with their kickouts and winning a lot of possession in midfield. They also have a talented full forward line.
    As against Cork they will force Mayo into short kickouts. Gives them time to get 14 men behind ball and hold the Fort on the forty. This could force us into dreadful crossfield passing game going nowhere. We need a plan B.
    In our favour we have vast experience. Should be enough to see us through.

  9. Supermac, i would agree with you there, Horan is building a new Mayo team and isnt going to be looking to the old guard for this game or indeed the final if we get here. I feel last year was the swan song for a lot of players, makes no sense looking to old players when building a new team, trust must to shown to the players that got this far. This year is year 1 of a 3 year cycle for a few team, this is proven by the amount of players drafted. Due to covid we are probably ahead of where Horan expected to be All-Ireland wise, this year is a building year and next year would be the push for Sam.

  10. I think that’s the reason Aidan has moved to FF and Keegan to corner back. Horan is looking ahead to 2021/22 and doesn’t feel they’ve the legs for the middle third any more.

  11. interesting one from James horan in the examiner today…

    basically saying how mayo players are benefitting from no crowds being there, the anxiety and tension mayo fans bring might have been draining on the players. I think this theory definitely chimes with our performances in mchale park in recent years, i remember the bad start v roscommon in championship last year and the feeling of anxiety in the stands surely seeped onto the pitch

  12. Yeah Supermac, interesting interview there all right.

    Still, we beat Donegal don’t forget in that vital super 8. Killarney should have played to our strengths in the first super 8, but we never turned up. And, don’t forget we got a trimming from Dublin last year at Croker and didn’t set the world on fire against Meath in that second super 8, again at Croker.

    So let’s not assume, once we hit Croker all deficiencies will be banished. Croker has a habit of finding your weak spots and magnifying them.

  13. @supermac, .. The decisions made on the sideline in 2013 All Ireland Final would have allot to do with the nervousness in the crowd, don’t buy that theory that a lack of enthusiasm by the Mayo fans had anything to do with that one point defeat myself..No crowd in Salthill, and Mayo were very nervous at the finish as well… But I’m sure James Horan has learned allot since then, I’m equally sure that Tipperary have also learned since their last defeat to Mayo in the championship…I watched live on TV the Tipperary/Limrick championship game, where Connor Sweeney equalized with a Maurice Fitzgerald/Ciaran Mc Donald like attempt from the sideline… Amazing score, but despite the brillance of that equalizer, Tipperary didn’t look anything like ending up being the 2020 Munster Champions..Tipperary improved significantly for the Cork Munster Final, showed great composure, dealt with the history of the occasion very well.. Bloody Sunday 100 years anniversary, the Grangemockler, white and green jersey and so on…I believe that Tipperary will produce very close to their optimum next Sunday… And I think that Mayo will need a big improvement from the Connacht Final to prevail… Great to lift the Nestor Cup as it was after a few years, and then due to the current conditions in the country leave it with the Connacht Council afterwards… But that or a similar performance won’t be good enough to beat Tipperary in my opinion…It was without doubt a dogfight versus Galway in Salthill, but a long way behind our league performance versus Galway in Tuam, Even the one point defeat versus Tyrone in Castlebar had plenty to commend it especially the second half performance, Leitrim in Carrick or Roscommon in the Hyde, since the resumption of games, our 5th game in consecutive Sundays might have something to do with that… Plenty of rest for the team in the meantime and Mayo should arrive at Croke Park a bit fresher than they were for the Connacht Final…Mayo to squeak through for me… Just wondering if any decision has been made on where the Cavan / Dublin fixture is taking place yet?

  14. A bit unrelated, but Gordon Kelly has retired from Clare. A brilliant footballer and hard as nails, very impressed with him below in Ennis in 2017. Type of player who would have slotted in well with us.

  15. I got an email from my cousins in New Jersey they want to know how can they get to watch the game on TV over there and what time is it on at . So if anyone knows please let me know .Thank you

  16. I think James Horan’s comments how the Mayo supporters may cause the team aniexty are interesting to say the least I know the Kerry supporters are the most demanding in the country and yet Kerry are the most successful team in the country. I actually don’t buy his comments and in my opinion it’s disrespectful to Mayo supporters. Most top sportsmen will tell you that they are so concentrated on the game that they don’t even hear the crowd when they cross the white line.

  17. Nothing really new in Examiner interview from JH Read a lot of that before in a previous interview. He did not critcise Mayo supporters just acknowledged that we all get a bit anxious when losing or in a tight game and that this may have an effect on the players That’s because we are all so desperate to get over the line and we feel the weight of all those final losses on our shoulders. The players are human too and I presume they feel that burden as well I heard the Waterford manager say something similar Like us they have not won AI for a long time and like us they have very passionate supporters. Even Limerick almost blew a 9 point lead in last few minutes of 2018 hurling final v Galway They too were desperate to end their famine. Such issues are not a big deal for counties who have fairly frequent success or who tend to have a good record in finals

  18. There was definitely an anxiety about Mayo in Horan’s first championship game against London in 2011. Have seen debate here before about whether the players feed off the crowd or the crowd feed off the players.

    No one has a god given right to win any game so it’s about whoever takes the positive action imo. Players can lift a crowd and a crowd can lift the players.

    I actually thought the Dublin “National” media questioning Mayo about this aspect of Covid-friendly Championship was with an anxiety that Mayo might do something good this time.

  19. Backdoorsam..For one thing I really dont believe James Horam would ever disrespect the fans intentionally…As supporters we are undoubtedly the most passionate in the country but with that passion comes pressure..The desire for Mayo to win an All Ireland weighs heavily on all players regardless of the notion that they dont hear the crowd ..The history of Kerry and Mayo football could not be more different as is the mindset of both sets of supporters..Impossible to compare them..

  20. I listened to the full interview on mid west. In fairness, Horan was asked directly if no fans was a benefit and he tentatively agreed. I don’t think it has made a difference either way. It certainly didn’t help us in the last 5 minutes of the Connacht final.

  21. To be fair, James Horan’s main point was that the absence of supporters enabled the players to hear each other and to hear instructions from the side-line.

  22. @ Leantimes.

    After weighing up the options the Gaa have decided to hold the Cavan / Dublin match in Croke Park.

    In a statement that only I got to see, John Horan explained that it would be unfair to have the match anywhere else due to the following.

    1) No Dublin player has ever travelled more than 4 miles and any other venue might cause travel lag.

    2) The Dublin players have to warm up at the hill end. They have never warmed up anywhere else and to ask them to do so is a form of ignorance, suggested by peasents who don’t really understand the game.

    3) The Dublin dressing rooms are in Croke Park.

    4) Crowd capacity.

    5) Croke Park is a Covid testing site. Luckily the Dublin players all got tested early however, any Cavan substitute will need to be tested and wait 3 days for the results before taking the pitch.

    He also noted that Jim Gavin never had to drag his team out of Croke park so why should Dessie Farrell.

    I hope that makes it a bit clearer to anyone having trouble grasping why this match has to be in Croke park.

  23. I can only imagine, but being able to hear what’s being said from the sideline and by your teammates should be a help to a player on the pitch. no? James Horan was right though, the fans did disappear when we should have been roaring them on in the 2013 final. That was very evident but we have learned since then that its never over with them, and you roar them on even when its not looking good these days.
    Is it crazy to consider playing eoghan mclaughlin in midfield? just the way he gets around, is midfield not the place for him?

  24. what team will Horan come up with for Sunday, I would expect one or two changes , with I think O Hora coming in to mark Quinlivan or Sweeney , he quietened a few big fellows during club championship including AO Shea , most of the defenders don’t have the height or aggression to mark either Tipp forward O Donaghue also a very good defender who seems to have gone down the list, also cant understand why James Carr is not getting game time.

  25. Dave – no it’s not crazy suggesting playing Eoghan McLoughlin at midfield at all. He is exactly the kind of player that is needed at midfield in the modern game. My preference would be Oisín Mullen along with Mattie Ruane.

  26. Right then, my predicted team (not the team i would pick), predicted score and even predicted motm for the hell of it…

    Predicted score: Mayo 1-17 Tipperary 0-14

    Mayo starting team:

    s Coen
    E McLoughlin
    Jordan Flynn
    Kev McLoughlin
    Diarmuid o connor

    Motm: Tommy conroy (can see him tearing it up this week)

  27. Dublin destroy lesser teams because they are so free-scoring. This same is generally true of Kerry, this season’s aberration aside (come to think of it, I can hardly think of the last time they were upset by a much weaker county in football, maybe Clare in 1992?).

    This has never been Mayo’s strong point and we have a tendency to play up or down to the level of the teams we are playing, which I think explains why other sides are not as intimidated when they play us as against the Dubs or the Kingdom.

  28. @Revillino, Does GAA President John Horan commitment to absolutely fair play know no bounds?.Must be with Christmas Season coming soon that promped such an outpouring of generosity and fair play .He or one his subordinate administrators have be an absolute cert for the “GAA Fair Play awards” if they ever bring about such a thing, Concievably if it gets any fairer, Dublin will be playing in Croke Park alone, and.. for ever more! …A the famous song goes, “In Dublin’s FAIR City,… for John Horan it’s just a pity, …that people might think, …in fairness they stink…A nod is as good as a wink… and no level to which they won’t sink…Cuílche lie down,… we’ll treat you like a Clown,… we’ll do everything it takes …just to keep Dublin’s Crown ” ..” … I’m just a little surprised that the GAA President didn’t use his very able and very well paid, Director of Communication Alan Milton didn’t do the Press release, after all he done a great job with ‘Newbridge or Nowhere’ when he suggested what danger might happen if Mayo and Kildare fans got to meet in the streets of Newbridge.

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