The road to Croker V – Mayo News football podcast 2020 E41

As Mayo’s All-Ireland semi-final with Tipperary on Sunday draws ever nearer, the Mayo News football podcast is back with another episode in ‘The Road to Croker’ series.

In this episode we welcome back to the podcast former Mayo star and RTÉ pundit Kevin McStay. Host Rob Murphy catches up with Kevin to discuss Sunday’s semi-final in detail, focusing on why Tipperary represent such a serious threat for Mayo and the areas they’ll need to target if their hopes to reaching a first All-Ireland final in almost a century are to succeed. The discussion also covers the new-found potency in Mayo’s full-forward line, how James Horan’s team make use of possession in big games and the potential for impact from the Mayo bench. 

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

57 thoughts on “The road to Croker V – Mayo News football podcast 2020 E41

  1. Yet another fantastic interview with Kevin. The possession issue is huge with Mayo, both past and present, and I’m so glad he shone a light on this.

    We had bags of possession against Galway, but too often it broke down, some of the time in scoring positions, other times just outside comfortable range. This, by far, was the single biggest takeaway from that match.

    Maybe its just a Mayo thing, and maybe that’s why the running game suits us, ie breaking through the ‘D’ and (when it works) going for goals, circa 2013 as Kevin refers to. I think James is preparing this team for similar tactics but as of yet it hasn’t clicked. But it might, and I can see why he’s doing it. Its the way we play and it comes natural to us. Its damn exciting, but more importantly it has the potential to win games.

    For me, the biggest thing for us this weekend is for Aidan, Cillian and Tommy to stay in the forward line and not roam out. If one of them is to roam let it be young Conroy. He has the legs and can punch holes from the 40m line, and can kick a score from there. Hes also a great man to retain possession and link play. As Kevin says, we need these 3 bucks to ‘sync’ together, not ‘sink’!!

  2. Loving these podcasts.. they surely help shorten these long winter evenings and shorten the time to Sunday aswell. Can’t wait, so many unknowns, not least who”s going to play a part. Not sure that there is a need for Mayo to make a statement against Tipp. Semi”s are for winning and that’s it. We need to be fully focused on the game and give it our all. We do that and the result will look after itself. C’mon Mayo

  3. Another great podcast. I have great time for mcstay. It would be good to see him involved with some Mayo team, maybe it’ll happen in 2021?
    But I don’t think need to make a statement of intent for anyone, especially any potential opponent in a final if Mayo win the semi. Just do the job and avoid injuries and red cards. I’m not taking Tipp for granted, they have quality to them, just that you would hope Mayo could match that quality and perhaps have more experience on moving the ball faster and that type thing. All the way back to 2002, Mayo never drove Tipp into the ground, a few points was all the difference ever was and that would be great this time too.

  4. Stephen – could you be a bit more specific, as in what problems are you having with it? Also, you can alternatively listen to it on SoundCloud – the library of all episodes in in the podcast tab on the top right and they’re all there in SoundCloud format.

  5. Yeah a very good podcast.
    Like some others have said, I’m not sure about the statement of intent, but it would be good to see all that possession converted into more scores. If we could up our scoring rate, as McStay said, the Achilles heel of Mayo football for yonks, that would be a step in the right direction and get us over the line a bit easier.
    We will get enough possession but if we’re wasteful like Cork or fail to work our way around that Tipp blanket we could be in trouble. Cork had 40 + attacks against Tipp but they couldn’t turn them into scores. They played into Tipp’s hands with loads of lateral moves and slow build-up. So we need to move the ball quicker, play with a high tempo, get it into the scoring zone and then most critically of all, score.
    I’ve no doubt that 5 weeks on the trot, all games that we needed to win, affected our performance against Galway. We should be fresh and raring to go now and that can make the difference. Hon Mayo !!

  6. My favourite road to croker so far. I like the ‘statement of intent’. Wish the match was today after listening to that! I would be happy to just get over the line but I would love if we made a big statement and let whoever is in the final (!) know we are coming. Why not?!

  7. I agree sinead37 with that statement. Mcstay was spot on. For all the possession we gain we dont put enough of it on scoreboard but we are a work in progress once more so patience required too

  8. Great Podcast. McStay really is a great reader of the game. One of the few pundits who has managed at intercounty level too, so he knows what it’s all about, unlike many of the plebs who get airtime.
    For those that haven’t I can highly recommend McStay’s book Pressure game – it’s a great read.

  9. Spectre we also concede far too many goals which is a bigger and more fixable issue.

    dubs avg goal concession rate is 0.55 in 2010s AIL finals Mayos is 1.5.
    6 goals in 8 matches

  10. Moytura hurler; the semi finals are on sky sports in the uk. There must be contractual reasons why gaago aren’t showing them. I will use a day pass via now tv to watch

  11. Centrefield in last five games Clarke has 4 clean sheets. I agree with ya in the past we concede alot of goals usually from turnovers. When we attack the ball needs to go dead at other end. Preferably in net or over bar

  12. Hi, A Statement of Intent sounds to me like a legal clause.

    My understanding is the more practical approach of Next Ball is the Intent. It is doubtful that players going out with a Statement of Intent would be a match winner. This would only cause more of those nerves we have been hearing about. Then if a team conceded a goal or heaven forbid two???

    The Game will take its own course if everyball is seen as there to be won and if so used in the best way possible. Yes we should get the first three goals etc.

  13. Just got round to the podcast now. Surely McStay is brilliant. Sensible and sound. A Mayoman through and
    I love his turn of phrase when he is co-commenting , especially his “that was a handy one”. Priceless.
    I hope we hear a lot more of him in the national media.
    I am afraid we will never see him on a Mayo sideline again, but you never say never.!!
    Lord, spare him the health.
    And you too. I don’t know what we’d do without you.

  14. Thanks TKG, it just dawned on me that it must be sky showing it here, I will try that day pass with Now tv?
    Good luck to James and the lads?

  15. Is it Sunday yet…longest week ever!! I am constantly checking to see is the team named! Best wishes to Tim O’Leary & family for the excellent idea on tendering for the sponsorship for the back of the Mayo jersey in memory of his late Grandfather.

  16. Kevin as always knows the craic. Would enjoy having him involved in mayo football in some capacity, know that under previous county boards he got rejected for every job he tried to get. With the u20 job available, wouldn’t mind seeing him getting a chance at it, especially with no other clear cut alternatives (andy ? Kevin johnson?

  17. Tipp seem very confident in the media…to the point that almost gets you thinking they dont really rate Mayo. I know if was playing for Mayo on Sunday and I heard all coming from down south that I’d be well fired up.

  18. Kevin McStay talks a lot of sense. He referred to the league match in Tuam a few times as the standard we should get back to. I would be inclined to forget about that game altogether. I just wonder was that result a bit freakish in so far as we came with a lot of new lads that took Galway completely by surprise and they in turn were poor on the day. I would tend to look at ourselves over a number of games. We have shown flashes of brilliant football during those last few games but also some very ordinary stuff as well. We are a team in development and it takes time to gel and develop the kind of consistent performance that is needed to win on the big stage. Hopefully, Sunday will be a step in the right direction.
    I noticed he name checked Mullin, McLaughlin and Conroy a few times. He also talked about ‘making a statement’. I’m not sure we need to do anything other than win but I would like to see those three lads make a big statement and build their confidence.

  19. Excellent podcast well done Willie Joe and Rob and great contribution by Kevin Mc Stay. I’d settle for a one point win on Sunday and making our statement of intent in the final against most likely the “unbeatable” Dubs

  20. That’s it Dreamy… nothing wrong with confidence but some of the language just strikes me as them seeing Mayo as a bit of a soft touch…’a great opportunity’ to reach a final. Naturally its 70mins away for both teams but a great opportunity suggests to me that a team feel that their opponents arent the toughest they could face. I think if Tipp were playing Kerry, Donegal or Tyrone they’d be a bit more cautious in their approach.

    Maybe its cos we’ve not won anything in 69 years or cos we were relegated and are now a div2 team.

    We beat them in 16 which in many respects feels a lifetime ago as does that game in 18. But on both occasions both games were in the balance for long stretches so this I’m sure is fuelling tipperarys confidence. Very understandable. But I hope Mayo are gunning for this on Sunday.

    I’m sure Horan and the team do not want to lose back to back semi finals.

  21. I don’t know lads, I think we’ll win this one by a good bit(7 or 8 points). Would Galway or Rosscommon beat them?….I think they would. Cork were clueless the last day and Limerick came mighty close to knocking them out.

  22. I think we are in for a real battle on Sunday. We have not played any half decent team yet and our performances have been hit and miss at best. We were wide open when teams ran at us earlier in the year and nothing to suggest this problem has been resolved, especially as we will play without a sweeper. Could be a high scoring game and our forwards will need to be on song to out shoot Tipp! This is a new Mayo Team and anything more at this stage is a bonus.

  23. Kevin Walsh’s new book out in Amazon now – the invisible game- can’t wait to read all the nice things he will say about Mayo – his focus on the 79 minutes a player does not have the ball explains a lot!- he tipped Tipp for win on Sunday in a roundabout way on OTB yesterday. (I’m happy out with that!) TG the longest 3 weeks ever is coming to a close…

  24. Mighty podcast, this winter is flying .I would love to see Bolyer coming in at some stage…. I think mayo will be too strong for tipp. Don’t mean to be jumping the gun but from talking to dub fans all I ever hear is Mayo is the only team that has put it up to them, let’s get over Sunday and hopefully have another cut at them…

  25. I hope for our own sakes that Tipp do put it up to us on Sunday.

    One thing about Dublin if we do get to the final is they rarely make mistakes. I think that when the time comes that they are beaten in the championship, it will be by a team that can knock their forwards and midfield on their backsides. Clatter in to them so hard that they only have one eye on the ball coming to them and the other watching out for the next clatter they are about to get.

    I know they are a tough bunch but in my opinion any team that only half contest with Dublin have no business playing them.

    On this coming Sunday we need to be ruthless in the backs and midfield and leave the fancy footwork to our forwards to a) win the game and b) toughening the team up for a proper go at what will most certainly be Dublin in the final.

    We do need to play with intent. That we intend to reach the All Ireland final and also the intent that we are not going to that final to make a dancing partner for Dublin who surely believe they are now strolling to their six in a row.

    We can have a huge say in this year’s championship. I know we have a slew of younger players but it might be time to take the baby lotion from them and give them the same instructions Dublin get. Do whatever it takes to win.

    I firmly believe that whoever beats Dublin is the team that makes life miserable for their forwards.

  26. One school of thought is to “make a statement’ on sunday and steamroll Tipp. On the presumption that will give greater confidence when we meet Dublin – and iin addition curb the confidence of Dublin. The other angle is to fall over the line on Sunday, bag the win and, at the same time, give dublin an ever greater sense of security the title is theirs and there is no way they can be beaten by Mayo.

    So what should iit be? Maybe we should have a vote? One thing i do know is that we have been waiting a long time for Dublin to show over confidence. But it has never happened. How bad do we have to play that they get distracted?

  27. TheLondonEye
    its plan B for me but win by 4pts …be 4pts up and keep it that way for last 10mins as the nerves would be shot otherwise ..2pts up and a late goal I couldn’t live with …

  28. Agree with your prediction there pullhard. Cork were shocking the last day, let tipp Coast into a 4 point lead without leaving a hand on them. They had one eye on the semi final after beating Kerry. As WJ pointed out in a previous article, Tipps results were very poor previous to the Cork game and you don’t become a great team overnight. I can see us taking it to them from the start and winning with a bit to spare.

  29. Agree Pullhard

    In truth tipp are a division 3 team who – bar beating a woeful cork on the day this year – have done very little since their run 4 years ago. They have some quality players and will have their moments but I can’t really see the outcome ever being in doubt

    As for them not rating mayo – well I suspect we’re quite a way off our highs from 2013-17 and they’ll definitely smell a bit of blood here. But I doubt they’re good enough to fully match us over 70 minutes tbh

    As for Saturday, I fully expect Dublin to cover the 14 point spread and yes I expect them to win the all Ireland pulling up. 1/5 outright odds before a semi is even played – certainly don’t see that too often in sport!

  30. Eamon Donoghue had an interesting article in the Irish Times today. He went through our 3 championship games so far and the turnovers we won. Cillian is top with 9 turnovers won, Keegan has 7, Aidan, Mullin and Barrett have 6. Almost 50% of turnovers were won by forwards which is very impressive and we get a lot of scores from them.

  31. that was a good article alright Wide ball,
    Its unreal the amount of scores we get from that hard pressing and tackling in particular.
    Cillian o’connor in particular has a savage workrate, 9 attacking turnovers is serious going, he is a lot more than a finisher which is why managers love him

  32. Haha I see Alan Brogan in the indo today has gone for Tipp to win too. I’m so confident we will hammer them

  33. First 15 minutes will be important. If we give Tipp a 4 point lead like we did to Leitrim – they will sniff blood and make it very hard for us. It will also allow them sit back a bit and block up our runners.
    We need to hit ground running and bring high intensity to game from start.
    I hope we put some pressure on their full back line by kicking in some long ball on top of Aidan and Cillian. I sure last thing Tip full back line want to see is Aidan and Cillian close to goal and fast ball coming in on top of them

  34. Brogan and co are hoping Tipp win, that means they won’t have to be thinking about Mayo and can focus on being great and having a new team to destroy in the final. How wonderful. Hopefully Cavan bring a few spare balls with them and an extra goalkeeper , just to keep it kicked out to them champions.

  35. I’m a bit worried about this one.

    Tipp are a very decent team who always put it up to us and have very decent fielders around the middle and forwards. That article in the Irish Times today also alluded to our troubles at midfield and that opponents are targeting us with long ball direct from their kickouts.

    I’d give the nod to us hesistantly, but wouldn’t be surprised if we make very hard work of it, as usual.

  36. Im generally as negative and nervous as anyone on here but i am very confident of a comprehensive mayo win, 6 or 7 points. We have been operating at completely different levels for years now, big ask for tipp to suddenly hit the level of a seasoned outfit like mayo, i think thye will put up a score as they have quality forwards, also think we will be doing well to break even in midfield,

    Ultimately though i cant see them living with us for 2 reasons, they havent met anything like our high pressing game in years, cork let them walk out of defence, we wont do that.
    I dont think have anyone to cope with our powerful runners from deep, so Durcan (our best player imo), E McLoughlin, Mullen etc can cause serious damage running from deep

    Does anyone know if sky are showing the game, im pretty much done with rte these days and their hopeless caveman analysis, always prefer bbc or sky if its an option, get some proper analysis from canavan, mcconville etc

  37. Excellent podcast. Knowledgeable and just enough criticism without going over the top. Talked to a Rossie last night who reckoned that McStay was wronged big time in his days in the Roscommon job. Surprisingly he was a very reasonable Rossie fan until I mentioned my admiration of David Drake. Soon he was fuming. Thank god he had a mask on! They just do not get over the Ballaghderreen thing

  38. I see alot of concern about sundays game here today. Who have tipp beaten ? If they had a first division scalp already then yes perhaps I would be bit concerned but they don’t. Intensity. Power and pace. They wont live with that for 70 to 80 mins.

  39. I’ve good news for you so, Supermac – the match is also being broadcast live on Sky Sports Mix where Mike Finnerty is the commentator.

    Thanks for the heads-up on the Examiner podcast, Ciaran 2. I haven’t got to that one yet myself but Rochy is always worth a listen. For anyone who’s interested, the link to it is here.

  40. 6 pts plus win for Mayo. I just think Cork were very poor the last day.
    Mayo won’t play sideways

  41. Good podcast In examiner too hosted by Paul Rouse, with Rochy, McConville, and Ciarán Sheehan.

    BTW, Rakestreet, that’s exactly what Kevin Walsh said before the Galway match

  42. Good news on sky wj,will defo be watching on there, canavan, mcguinness and co giving actual analysis and not telling us whether they enjoyed the match or not. Could give or take donaghy tbh

    RTE are in urgent need of a reboot, marty morrissey yapping on about someones aunt watching in chicago or colm o’rourke trotting out the same analysis on mayo for 25 years now (“very good team but kick too many wides”). Change the record.

  43. A good few have identified midfield as a potential weakness for us. I think JH will go with Ruane and Loftus at least on paper. I also think he will give them a chance to prove themselves on Sunday which they might very well do. But he will certainly have plan B in case things don’t go well for us. What that plan might be is hard to be sure about. The most obvious option is to move Aidan out there and that would probably work. But I would prefer to see him remain near the goals and let him settle properly into that role. The next most obvious thing would be to move Diarmuid to MF and that might be ok as well. My preference is to move Oisin Mullen or indeed Eoghan McLaughlin out there with Diarmuid as Centre Half Forward.

  44. That’s a very good podcast on the Examiner, hadn’t listened to it before.
    Rochford sounded much more relaxed and up for a bit of craic that I’d heard him before. I think the Mayo manager’s job might have weighed on him a fair bit – only natural I suppose.

  45. The Examiner podcast was excellent. I can take or leave McConville (seen enough of his antics on the sideline to be fairly able to marry the manager with the pundit) but Rochford is always well worth a listen. He is a fantastic tactician and a great thinker of the game. Brave in selection and tactics and his reading of opponents and their strengths is always interesting to hear. An outside of the box thinker on the game and fearless in his convictions. Hugely underrated when we had him and poorly treated by the county board at the end. And as for the many so-called Mayo supporters that abused him? Shameful.

    Thought McStay was overly negative towards Mayo but he is always measured and calm in his opinions.

  46. I like McConville Pebbles. Rochford really good, great to hear his thoughts on matchups, high presses and so on. Even he couldn’t see Conor Loftus at midfield coming. Good on Donegal too – you can lose form in 8 days!

    On McStay, I thought he went from, its a 50/50 game that Tipp are primed for to admitting deep down he thinks its Mayo, statement of intent and so on. If you are talking about a statement of intent, that falling into the Donegal and Kerry trap. A win, any win, will be fine with me.

    Also the new team, team in transition. Enda Mac has done a nice analysis on Twitter showing the number of championship matches for each of the 15. Not as new as we think. Still if you look at the first 20 then the picture changes, with the likes of Flynn, Brickenden, Walsh, Moran; even Towey got game time against Leitrim. And, Jack Coyne was on the bench but not used for a number of games.

  47. Ah lads please keep that Mayo faith n belief. You will beat Tipp by more than 8 points. Very impressed with Mayo this year and Tipp did well but against a very poor Cork team on the day.
    Dublin to beat Cavan and let the final be a great game .
    Sneaky feeling this could be Mayo’s year . You are the one team us Dubs rate and usually only a kick of a ball between us.

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