Then there were two


Photo: Western People (David Farrell Photography)

The county club football championship moved another step closer to its conclusion yesterday and now there are just two contenders left in the race for the Moclair Cup. It was confirmed yesterday that the final will be held under the lights at MacHale Park this coming Saturday evening, where throw-in is set for 7.15pm.

I caught the closing stages of the Knockmore/Breaffy semi-final yesterday on Local Streaming. It was clear enough by then how that one was going to pan out, with Breaffy’s laboured attacks getting repeatedly smothered in and turned over by Knockmore’s hard-working defensive shield. At the other end, the North Mayo lads were able to keep the scoreboard moving just enough to keep their noses in front. So, for the first time since 2009, it was Knockmore’s day to celebrate clinching a place in the final as they ran out winners by 0-12 to 1-7.

By the sounds of it, Castlebar were never really in any danger of losing to Ballintubber. They got the game’s first five points and while Ballintubber cut that gap back to two with around ten minutes to go, Mitchels powered on from there to win by six, on a scoreline of 1-11 to 1-5.

Mayo GAA needs draws in matches right now like they need a proverbial hole in the head but there were two of them over the weekend. Shrule/Glencorrib pulled the fat from the fire on Saturday with a last-minute penalty to snatch a second bite of the cherry against Westport in the IFC semi-final. That rematch takes place at MacHale Park on Wednesday evening (throw-in 8pm), with the winners advancing to play Kiltimagh in the final, which is due to be played as the curtain-raiser to the senior final at MacHale Park on Saturday evening (throw-in 5pm). The East Mayo boys got the better of Burrishoole in the other IFC semi-final last Saturday.

Yesterday’s hurling decider – once more a Ballyhaunis/Tooreen showdown – also ended in stalemate. The Tyrell Cup rematch will take place next Sunday at Ballyhaunis, with a 1pm throw-in.

Back to the football, though, where Saturday evening’s final will be the first one between these two clubs since 1980 (Knockmore won that one). Mitchels are 1/4 with the bookies to secure back-to-back Moclair Cup victories and, if they do this, it’ll be their 30th county title success. Knockmore, meanwhile, are chasing their ninth county title, having last won out back in 1997.

So, who’ll it be on Saturday evening under the lights? Time to vote.

Who'll win the county final?

  • Castlebar Mitchels (73%, 286 Votes)
  • Knockmore (27%, 106 Votes)

Total Voters: 392

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142 thoughts on “Then there were two

  1. Neil Douglas has been one of Mayo football most consistent forwards and bar Cillian has been out scoring all other County forwards on a regular basis. Castlebars club run last year did prevent him from playing in the league but IMO he should have been part of the County panel last year. Brian Reape, an undoubted potential talent was part of the county panel but never came close to sitting on the bench on match day. Douglas would have been a far better option in the panel. Im sure Dougie will get an extended run in the panel next year and I can see him staking a claim for a starting position. If one of the leading forwards in the county cant get onto the county panel then something is wrong somewhere.

  2. Douglas is certainly staking his claim and has been consistently excellent – I do hope he gets a recall (I’d be amazed if he didn’t) and stakes that claim at county level.

    Yesterday was a poor day for football and I felt particularly cheated that I got myself stuck in the tea queue at the start of the game and missed what sounds like the best five minutes of the whole thing. To add insult to injury they’d run out of hot water 😉

    I thought Ballintubber would give Mitchels a game; perhaps its a testament to Mitchels’ defensive effort that they only – incredibly – managed a single point from play in a pretty dour game. And the goal at the end of course.

    Wasn’t overly surprised to see Knockmore take Breaffy; just annoyed with myself that I didn’t back them to do so at 7/2!I Kevin McLoughlin put in a great shift and got a screamer of a point in the first half. Kieran Langan showed very well at FF. I’d still fancy Mitchels for the final though I think..

  3. Nice photo of Douglas driving forward with aggression.
    When you think on it, if he continues this form he could be something like Andy Morans role this year. He can pass, he can score. He can kick with both feet.
    He’s strong enough and smart enough to win his own ball. He even works with Andy so I am sure he is learning plenty from him.

  4. Whilst not at the game yesterday (work commitments) I have seen Douglas on other occasions. Just because a guy is good at club level does not make him an automatic county player. It takes a different kind of player to make it at county level. He does deserve a chance again and I hope he proves me spectacularly wrong. Would love to go to Shrule GlenC vrs Westport on Wednesday night but will probably miss it. Conor and Trevor Mortimer back with the men from the south. Will they get a run out? Keegan playing at midfield and Kevin Keane fielding great balls at full back. Ann Marie buy a good flask and you will never need to miss the start of a game again. Shared a flask of soup with a Roscommon supporter at this years U21 Connacht Final. Sound fella who predicted the Ros collapse in the second half.

  5. Sinabhuil, no one can deny that Douglas has been one of the most consistent forwards at club level for the past 2 or 3 years now, he really has put alot of effort into his game and is aiming to break into the county panel, thats all he can do to force his way in. I thought he deserved a place last year, he got one challange game after the league which was a joke really. No one is going to know how good he can be at county level unless he is brought onto the panel full time, at this stage I dont think he can be ignored any longer.

    As I said earlier, Brian Reape was on the county panel, that will stand to him and he is a great prospect but did he deserve his place ahead of Douglas on merit, I dont think so. Douglas isnt the answer to Mayos problems in attack, one player isnt going to transform Mayos forward play but a combination of Douglas, Loftus, Irwin, Reape, Duffy will. The future is bright for Mayo, but only if the management has the nerve to bring these guys into the set up and I think Rochford has.

  6. The Castlebar/Ballintubber game was very poor and sort of encapsulated all that is wrong with modern day football e.g. Very defensive, lots of sideways hand passing,not enough kick passing and far too much silly indiscipline being tolerated by the officials. It was interesting to note that when both sides were attacking they often had just one player in the final third of the pitch.
    I would be concerned that Mitchels are not as good as last year…..but time will tell!

  7. Sinabhuil I do have the flask already but that tea in MacHale Park is just so damn good 😉

  8. If the refereeing was a bit tighter giving appropriate frees and yellows earlier, then whichever side was going over the line would suffer on the scoreboard. They would have to come out of their blanket shell. The free that is almost never given is the pulling and dragging inside off the ball. It’s only given if the pass is mid-air and headed in that direction towards that player. That particular foul is usually a kickable free closer to goals.
    There has been a lot of 9 -12 point type scorelines in the championship.

  9. Must say Irwin was poor yesterday, apart from frees he didn’t stand out as a player pushing for the county jersey.

  10. JP you are right. My own club suffered in this way with constant fouling of attackers at the first moment they threatened goals – many black cards should have been issued but were not. If the game is not tidied up we will have chaos. Umpires and linesmen are primarily to blame. What happens to big men on the GAA pitch is a disgrace. A foul is a foul even if the recipient is 6.6 and 15 or 16 stone.

  11. I really would be surprised if any of our 21’s managed to get into the starting team this year based on what I’ve seen in the club championship. Irwin has been poor the last few games, ruane is a great worker but is that what we really need? Duffy needs a bit of conditioning, havnt seen enough of reape.Conor loftus has the best chance, he’s the closest to the level required. Either way I don’t think we should be putting too much pressure on these lads at this stage. It was worrying to hear talk of parachuting a large number of these guys into the senior team after the u21 final, there’s a huge step up to senior but I’m sure Rochford knows this better then most. I’d much rather see a lot of game time next year for the likes of Douglas, regan, cos and co.

  12. Thei game has become nasty and I don’t like it. It’s past time linesmen were given the full power of referees. They could call the game back for off the ball stuff like pulling and dragging or attempting to intimidate an opponent and identify whoever started it. A yellow or red card for the culprit depending on how aggressive it was. I would also send all mentors outside the fence except for one medic so that the officials can do their job without being constantly harassed by mentors.
    What was going on with Aidan O Shea yesterday was a disgrace. I wouldn’t blame him for packing the game in altogether. It needs to be sorted out or the game will become unmanageable. It certainly couldnt be much fun to play for our top players.

  13. NiallMac, I would agree it will be tough for U21s to break into the starting 15, but they will never be good enough unless they are part of the panel, getting the same training, learning the same tactics, patterns of play as the established players. Loftus will be a starter next year, Reape will see alot of game time, he has been in the panel for a year and will be seeing alot of play, similar to Diarmuids path into the team really.

    Duffy, Irwin, Douglas need to be in the panel. You will never know how good they can be at senior county level unless they are full time in the panel. A token game or two in the fbd or league isnt good enough, they need to be there as full members of the panel.

  14. Would agree that A O Shea got dogs abuse yesterday, What can he do , if he retaliates he will get a red card,
    On Douglas he did get one game last year but then he picked up a injury, just unfortunate

    I dont know if he has the power required to beat the likes of the Dublin backs but we wont know the answer to that until he gets a chance

    On Irwin he was not great but then again the Breaffy Full Forward line were starved for ball. He was much better for the under 21’s

    Barry Moran seemed to a problem with Cillian O Connor

  15. Neil Douglas is well built. He’s not tall but he’s well put together. I’d be confident in his ability one on one at inter county level.

  16. Neil Douglas has been a great player for Mitchell’s a good few years now. The transformation to county seems to work differently for different players. Shooting the lights out in a county final or roasting a county player in the championship doesn’t always transfer to great summertime football. But Douglas to my mind has the football for sure. I don’t know the man at all but maybe it’s temperament or nature that needs the attention. Either way, we need to explore all avenues up front….it can’t always be the COC show!

  17. Mayomad, I agree they all mentioned should be in the panel. I just hope people are patient with them, Diarmuid o Connor is a freak, generally players don’t develop as early as that. I’d love to see a full forward line next year of regan, COC and another, maybe loftus or even Douglas. 3 scoring forwards.

  18. There is only one way to find out if these players are good enough and that is by giving them an extended run in the League Not just one or two FBD games either I think we have become a bit to obsessed with staying in Division 1 at the cost of not blooding enough new talent.

  19. We must stay in Division 1 . You are very unlikely to win Sam if playing Div 2 Teams. If we are trying new players then Div 1 is the place to see how good they are.

    If we are trying new players and this means we are relegated then they are not up to the mark as they should be trying even harder to prove themselves where many of the tried and tested may be taking the League matches a bit easier which could get us in danger of been relegated

    Can be difficult to get back to Div 1 if relegated

  20. Just spotted a list of counties and the coaching grants they received from 2007 to 2015..Mayo are 24th on the list with €326,677 and the Dubs top it with …wait for it.. €13,850,617..13 MILLION….Neil D is definitely worth giving alot of time in the league..He’s a really pacy forward but as mentioned it’s a big step from club to county..

  21. I don’t agree that we shouldn’t be adding u/21 to the panel and giving them proper game time, these fellows are playing tough senior football getting plenty of special attention and are well capable of handling themselves. If Loftus or Reape or Irwin were introduced for the last 15 mind instead of who came on Sam would now be residing in Mayo as they know where the net is.
    What age was Ciallian and Diarmuid when they were thrown in to the bear pit
    and look what they have contributed to Mayo football, not to name All star and young players of the year. Dublin throw a few young players for the last 15 mins
    and do the business. We don’t have to be loyal to players that have gone past it even if they have contributed to our past successes. Gavin does not have a problem with this and that is how you win All Ireland.

  22. J J Kelly, I would go past the league and bring the likes of Irwin, Douglas onto the panel with Loftus and Reape for the year, Championship included. The real championship training is done towards the end of the league into May and June this is the time these players need to be involved in, not a few games at the begining of the league then forgotten about as the established players filter back in.

    O Sullivan, I would put way more importance in developing emerging players than the league. Relegation would not be the end of the world, Mayo would bounce back the following year like Donegal and Tyrone have done. Its all about the championship and at this stage I believe developing the emerging talent is way more important that league status.

    Philor, I would agree with your post.

  23. I think we are doing well with additions to this squad, Harrison, Paddy Durcan and Diarmuid o connor are three serious additions in the last couple of years. Its not an easy team to break into. Loftus and regan would be next to step up if they keep on an upward curve into 2017. Fionan Duffy looks the part too and on him id like to pick up on those saying he needs to develop physically , maybe im wrong but i thought he looks very strong lad already.

  24. I also want to see Danny Kirby back in the panel – another serious talent that has not been nurtured properly. Missed out last spring due to Mitchels run in the Club AI. Lets hope Rochford makes the hard calls and gives these lads a fair crack at making an impact.

  25. It is as perennial as the grass. The question of the u21 player being ready for senior football. Only to find out to our astosnishment in the summer that they did not make an impact against their senior experienced counterpart. Getting on the senior Mayo team over the last few year has not been an as easy as some would have you believe. In spite of this we have had some success. Nally Regan Loftus and Coen look fairly good and there may be others in a couple of years. A versus B games in the height of summer is the testing ground.

  26. We complain when refs in inter county games dont give AOS fair play but yesterday he was pulled and dragged and suffered dogs abuse yet got no protection from a Mayo referee. Yesterdays games showed gaelic football at its worst. Its all so negative, mass defences and pulling and dragging. We used to have a reputation for good open football but now its stop the opposition at all costs. Its easy to be destructive and a spoiler. Some of our better county men were on stage but they simply couldnt break free of the stifling tactics. It must be nightmarish for the county players after a long hard season having to face up to average club players pulling and dragging them down to their own level. Douglas was ok but despite what some here say about our great U21s breaking through soon, I have my doubts. Lack of top class forwards has been hurting us for years. I dont see any radical changes up front next year, possibly Loftus and Regan strengthening up and getting a good run in the league but thats about it I fear.

  27. @45 How do you figure Danny Kirby has not been nurtured properly?? He has had the same opportunity as the likes of Paddy Durcan..

  28. I don’t know about the rest of ye but can’t wait for the fbd to start!!!
    Remember there was a time when 3 rounds of the national league used be played before Xmas!

  29. Ballintubber never got going it abd Castlebar for the first Time in living memory bossed the Tubber Physically.
    Mitchells won 80% of the broken ball around the middle of the pitch an area where Ballintubber had always won in previous battles, but the old tubber dogs who used to physically dominate that area are not there now.
    Douglas is a good Club footballer but not a county player and the Tubber defense were way too nice yesterday. if they took a bit of the Knockmore grit Douglas& mitchells would not have had as good a day.
    On the Aiden O Shea Saga i think people would have more time for him if he just turned round and planted some of these clowns. Its ok to play hard within the rules but 3 players lying on top of him during the match. where was the ref, linesmen and umpires.

  30. Regina, if these figures you say are true and I have no reason to disbelieve you. It just adds to the disgrace and unfairness of the administration of the GAA. Over 13,millions for Dublin???, and in excess of 300K for Mayo, mind boggling…. Now I know, Mayo and McHale Park got a helping hand from Croke Park a few years ago., That said, McHale Park is one of the best provincial GAA grounds in Ireland.. But it’s redevelopment certainly cost plenty, did it cost too much?. There certainly was waste, what a waste of time, money and the good will of the people of McHale Road, was the errection of the, Watch Tower, that had to be taken down on the McHale road side of the stadium…. However it still remains a fact that in this year’s Championship over 380K paid into see Mayo play, that’s allot of money into GAA coffers.. Dublin for the championship attracted, about 416,K, to their game’s, We played Dublin twice and shared Croke Park for a double header with Dublin, exclusive of Mayo and Dublin match’s only about 240K attended all the other 53,matches put together. That’s an average of about 4.5K, people for every other match,, Mayos average championship match was over 42K,and Dublins was in excess 59K,.. An exceptional year for both teams no doubt but it looks to me that Dublin and Mayo are bank rolling the GAA.. Bear in mind also that all bar the Mayo /London match which was in any event sold out were televised, giving even more revenue to the GAA.. The majority of the other 53,matchs were not televised, including the Connaught final replay which attracted LESS fan’s than the televised qualifiers between Mayo and Kildare the previous evening in Castlebar.. I was was recently talking to someone who attendes Mayo county board meeting. I was telling that Mayo should not accept what is given to them by Croke Park, I was talking in particular about the appointment of a Leinster referee for the All Ireland replay. He told me that the Mayo county board had to accept what ever was given to them since the bail out of debt on McHale Park by Croke Park.. If you examine the whole details of the big picture of the GAA, you would see that it’s to a huge extent it’s Mayo, Dublin and very few other that’s keeping the whole show on the road.. So I’m asking the Mayo county board to be worthy of the many and great supporters of this county, in the future.

  31. That’s a disgrace if Mayo are being told to toe the line or they won’t get help with paying off the debt on the bloody stand. God knows when we’ll get fair play.

  32. Regina I get your point on the coaching grant but Dublin have way more players so they get more money. It would be interesting to know if they get more money per player.
    Their real and undoubted advantage though is that they have more players in the county thus a massive talent pool…..

  33. We have some advantages too.
    1. Our obsession is bigger so our kids are exposed to this younger in terms of playing.
    2. More of our population can practice by just walking to a nearby field. Some players in Dublin are more bound to club training times.
    3. We appear to be bigger. Dont know if genetics. Look at the physicality of current panel n the young lads coming in. Much of this is natural size n strength. The gym refines it a great deal of course.

  34. If AOS cannot play his game against the ‘clowns’ as they have been described earlier or competent clubs players in my view winning the game for their club then that is his weakness. The ‘clowns’ stepped up and he did not.

    The good/ great deal with the attention and prosper.

    Maybe teams should refrain from marking AOS.

  35. I would not be so harsh on the county players at this time of year and after what happened us in the final(s). The lads must be mentally and physically drained.

    While I will support whoever comes out of Mayo from a selfish point of view it would be no bad thing if Castlebar/Knockmore did not go far in the club championship.

  36. Garycool, how exactly is Douglas not a county player? No one knows how good he can be until he gets a fair crack at it in the county set up. From what I can see he has consistantly out scored the majority of county forwards for the past few years. He is undoubtedly the most in form forward playing in Mayo. He needs to be given a full season in the Mayo setup and only afterwards can the manager judge if he is county standard.

  37. Mayomad. Yeah, would agree with that about Douglas. Throw him in there and Loftus, and Irwin and 1 or 2 more. All FBD games and all 7 league games. Even if it does not go well i think we can finish above Cavan and Roscommon in the league and stay in division 1.

    We have Kerry away second game which is a good time to play them too. We can collect enough pints to stay up and do a bit of experimenting up front at the same time.

  38. It is a total disgrace the way Aidan O Shea is being treated by so called footballers with no protection from the officials in County and Club games. He is one our best players and it is totally wrong that our own officials don’t have the balls to deal with these hatchet men.
    It is no credit to any club if they win County titles in this manner and what example are they giving to the younger members of their club.
    There have been occasions in the past where clubs won County title in this manner where players received broken jaws and other broken bones and in certain cases ending in court.
    Is this the way we want to see our games portrayed giving that we are seen as a County that are credited with playing stylish football , officials do your job you will see the overall benefit of it.

  39. I’d agree with that Yew Tree. I’ve seen a few Dublin SFC games since the final and the county team players I’ve seen in action (and not all of them have played either) haven’t exactly been firing on all cylinders for their clubs.

  40. I would like to see Douglas get a run just to see if he is up to it. I would not go on what we saw the last day. I think James Durkan is looking good too. ND played on the 2010 u21 team in the connacht championship. The FF line was AOS Freeman and Douglas. The HF line was something like KMc L Carolan and DOC. Ros beat them on St Patrick’s Day before loosing to Dublin.

  41. I remember taking a trip down from Dublin that day, PJ, to see that one. We lost 2-9 to 1-11. This was the team:

    Robert Hennelly; Pat Mulchrone, Shane McHale, Kevin Keane; Lee Keegan, Eoghan Reilly, Sean Prendergast; Ger McDonagh, Shane Nally (0-1); Cathal Carolan, Kevin McLoughlin (0-1), Jason Doherty (0-1); Neill Douglas (0-7, three frees), Aidan O’Shea, Alan Freeman (1-1). Subs: Keith Rogers for Prendergast, Raymond Geraghty for Carolan, James Cafferty for Rogers.

  42. What should Knockmore have done? Allowed AOS have the freedom of the park and waltz through? Just wondering like. As Berry said, if he wasn’t able to deal with the Knockmore ‘clowns’ who I thought did pretty well then it reflects as bad on him as the ‘clowns’ in question.

  43. Who the hell do them o sheas think they are. The lost the battle the last day. Simple as that. Then seamus and Aiden would not shake hands with the Knockmore lads at the finish. I saw it all with my very own eyes. Aiden ain’t cute enough for rough tactics. It’s time he got down off his high horse and stop being a gallery man

  44. I was a neutral at the match and I thought that the treatment Aidan O Shea got was wrong. His marker was lucky to stay on the field as long as he did. In fact very shortly after getting his first yellow he could have got another if the linesman was doing his job.
    I wouldn’t be a great fan of Aidan either but I can well understand why he wouldn’t be inclined to shake hands with his marker after the game.

  45. Couple of things –
    as regards the Dublin Funding issue where they seem to have received 13.8 Million versus our 300 Odd thousand, I’ve only seen a photo on facebook of that list and not the article from which it was taken, or even details of what paper this was from. I would be interested in seeing this just to ensure it is reputable.
    As regards number of players Dublin have versus, according to some excellent Analysis done by a chap called Shane Mangan (you can find it on Twitter) the number of registered players in Mayo in 2015 was 10,635. The number of registered players in Dublin was 39,197.

    As regards the “bail out” that Mayo received to help out with McHale park redevelopment costs, this was actually a Loan from the GAA at more preferential rates than Mayo GAA could secure themselves. It still has to be paid back.Meanwhile all counties pay towards Croke Park, but only one gets to call it a home ground….

    Final point regarding County players, they’re bound to be knackered at this stage of the year. Barring the weekend between the Drawn All Ireland and the replay, they’ll have played every weekend now for 5 or 6 weekends.

  46. Regards the funding, while it looks very unbalanced towards Dublin, they do have more clubs and alot more players and a hell of a lot more underage players in development camps. I wouldnt necessarily blame population, Dublin have always had that advantage and were poor for a long long period before 2011. Dublin to their credit are very professional and have their house in order, they put their proposals together and apply for the funding. Are other county boards including Mayo putting the effort in to put proposals together and apply for the funding available, I highly doubt it. Is the funding recieved used in the most effective manner like Dublin, I doubt it.

    Regarding the OSheas, at this stage they know they are in for rough treatment like any top player, its time they become a bit more clever on the ball, they attract so many markers that surely there is space elsewhere. If they ever learn to pass, lay off the ball etc they will be really effective. Running into wall after wall of defenders is a little old at this stage.

  47. The majority of the county players are fucked at this stage and need a break. The fact is that they are being out performed by players who can’t get onto the county panel and this is no accident. They need a break.

    @pat Dublin got 300 euro per registered player last year, Mayo got around 20 euro per registered player. Whatever way you look at it, it’s undeniably unfair.

    @45 Danny Kirby doesn’t start for Castlebar so how can you call for him to be in the Mayo panel!

  48. I think we can relate to this:

    The Chicago Cubs play their first game in the World Series tomorrow night. Their last win was in 1908. They lost 8 since all be it their last loosing series was in 1945. The loveable losers as they are known in America….I hope they smash their opposition and win the bloody thing.

  49. How sad to see Mayo people running down the players that give their time and effort in the hope of glory. Don’t be surprised if Aiden o Shea steps away from it all.

  50. Id agree that county players have been on the road a long time this year but doesn’t it put into perspective what trojans the likes of Paddy Durcan, Kevin Mc and keith Higgans are.
    For me Paddy Durcan is some man, he has made and kept his position on a county team that has so many great half backs, played Croke Park 6 times this year in highly competetive games (club champ. an exception) against some of the best forwards in the country and is still playing for club and it’s nearly november. Lets not forget his meteoric rise in such short time when we are sometimes focused on DOC ( fantastic player) as the enigma.
    Durcans appearances in CP must be some sort of record especially when considered alongside his performances there and the calibre of the opposition, he above most all players in the country ( except Dubs) must feel CP a home ground as much as McHale Park.
    Keith Higgans equals Durcans apperances at CP but he has been there many times before.
    I agree that Neil Douglas can’t be ignored any longer by the county simply because ‘he knows where the posts are and can get the ball over them’, from left and right………………what a replacement to nurture if Cillian or Evan Regan are out, we so desperately need a right wing kicker.
    Add to that the fact that he can win and hold ball and is an excellent footpasser, height should not come into it as he’s very strong with a low cog and good balance, he simply has to be given the chance no matter how far CBar go at club.
    Im glad to see a lot of posters are disgruntled with our treatment by the GAA and the apparent ineptness of our CB to get that addressed.
    We are in the best possible position for decades to have some influence on the GAA and it will not last forever.
    I too have been counting and checking the contribution made by Mayo Gaa followers over the last 2 years and we are only behind Dublin in numbers and euros put into the CP coffers.
    Yet we are treated with contempt by the powers that be and are expected to put up with bias and incompetant officials, assault on the field of play and a media who laughs at us………………..let’s give them some headlines that might make their ears prick up………………How? ………it may sound drastic but remember the word Boycott was given to the english language by the people of Mayo and it got results ever since……………………….wonder would it get the headlines of the media and the heads of the GAA thinking ????
    Go for the league this year and tell them to stuff their championship unless Congress levels the playing field……….they have a few months to get their house in order, our players are only amatures (be it playing at a professional level) the GAA get paid by us and are therefore a professional body……….if you pay someone and they dont perform you stop their money, let us make our money talk.

  51. I forgot to mention Brendan Harrison in my post, I did mean to.The guy should get an all star as he’s definitely the best RB in the country by a mile, made some of the best players in the game look ordinary as time after time he robbed them blind.So much of what he does goes unoticed We’re very lucky to have him

  52. On Danny Kirby – did he not get a run out in the league the year before last, and had little effect?.
    I certainly recall seeing him get a run out, but not doing enough to displace any of the regulars.

  53. Niall..that’s pretty much spot on re funding..saw that a couple of weeks ago..think it was €274 per Dublin player and €24 per Mayo player. .sounds bonkers when you read the figures but it would explain the 13 million quickly enough..

  54. How do we know some of these club players can commit to the intercounty seen,I think most lads have got a run out on a few occasions. Kirby got a chance a few years back but couldn’t commit to it and went traveling.but I do think they should give Douglas full run of games in the league.all depends how far they get at club level.very disappointing to see a Mayo player getting a smack in the mouth after the game even if he didn’t shake hands.

  55. Sad to see a few cheap shots against Aidan O’Shea

    If we can find two forwards who can bring to the attack what Harrison and Durcan brought to the defence this year we can go all the way

    By the way while the Cubs are trying to bridge a 108 year gap to their last World Series their opponents the Indians are looking to win their first since 1948 Either way one team will be celebrating the end of a long wait for glory Next year we will be celebrating the end of our 66 wait

  56. O Shea was correct not to shake hands. Keane made a sprint from the bench to O Shea and the offer of the handshake was really to rub O Shea’s nose in it. When O Shea rightly in my view ignored him he then started to push O Shea into the chest. This handshake was from a player who should have been shown the line in the first half. I was a neutral at the match and was up for the underdog to win – Knockmore. If I was from Knockmore I would have no problem with Keane but there is a dark side to Knockmore. Maybe that is a little of what Mayo need . In an ideal world there should be no need for the black arts but most fans ignore the dark side when it is their own team dishing it out but are quick to cry when they are on the receiving end. O Shea was in a no win situation as he just because he is Refs seem to expect him to take the punishment and if he retaliates he going to be the one red carded. Big men stand out in a brawl, Remember Liam McHale against Meath in the 1996 Final .

    Don’t know about many of the players been talked up as having to be brought onto the panel next year. ( A bit like Richie Feeney – the longer he hadn’t played the better he got. ) I would hope we get two or three and if did it would be great but having attended most club championship matches since the final replay I have not seen too many who are stepping up to the mark. It is up to them to show that the deserve a crack. The Mayo team players have nothing to prove and will not be at their best again until the last few league games, Many of them have injuries to heal and need a rest.

  57. An awful pity Andrew Keane hadn’t been played at chb for Mayo, then teams might not have ran through us for goals as easily. A really honest hard working club player. Those who say Knockmore have a dark side to them must be well over 40 years old. Not much of a dark side to, McLoughlin, the Rutledge’s, McHales, Peter Naughton, Colm Reape etc etc etc. ….. the poor Castlebar contingent on here are taking a leaf out of the Dublin media book by trying to sway the ref before a ball is even thrown in……..

  58. If we are looking at the overall picture in club football in Mayo we have to ask the following questions:

    A. Would Knockmore use those tactics in an All-Ireland club final against a Dublin club team?
    B. How would the Dublin club react and would they allow Knockmore to get away with those tactics?

    I remember being at the All-Ireland club semi-final in 1997 when Knockmore put in a brilliant performance but then when they played in the final in Croke Park, they really under-performed. An perfect example of this was early in the game when their keeper fell back into his own goal when trying to catch a high ball played into their goalmouth. It was like a goal you would see conceded in an U-10s game.

    The last few years Castlebar have put in some super performances but have then under-performed in the finals on St. Patrick’s day. They beat Corofin twice in the last three years, yet Corofin have All-Ireland medals in their back pockets. Same with St Brigids, they managed to win a club final recently but a Mayo club has not managed to do that since Ballina did it in 2005.

    Again the point I am trying to make is why can players almost die on the field in one game to win a match, remember the Castlebar players lying on the ball in the latter stages of their semi-final win to prevent Crossmaglen taking a line-ball, then they pretty much rolled over in the final against Ballyboden St Endas. A team the Tipperary champions brought to extra-time in their semi-final game. We really do have to look at the mentality of our players in finals before we examine any other elements. We do know that our U21 and minor players have shown the right mentally to win All-Ireland titles this year and in 2013, therefore I’d have more faith in those players having an impact in the years to come.

    This weekend if Neil Douglas is marked very tightly by the Knockmore defence, we will see how he performs under that attention. I would actually be keeping an eye on young Durcan, James, Paddy’s brother and the other lad I would be looking out for is Cian Costello. These lads have pace which is something that Kirby and Douglas lack. That’s probably the main reason these two lads have not made it. Douglas was in the squad all of last year but he didn’t even make the subs list for any of the big games. In fairness to him, he probably does deserve another chance, i.e. some game time. I remember reading an interview with him and he was saying that he joined the squad firstly at the same time as Jason Doc, so you would have to say that Jason was given plenty of chances over the years compared to Douglas.

    You’d like to see some of the forwards on show next Saturday in the county final produce a bit of flair and get some scores from play, as that’s what forwards are meant to do. Kevin Mc is one player that does have a bit of pace and skill, and again that is probably one of the main reasons why he has being a success with Mayo in the last few years. In general the Mayo forward division has lacked pace, especially our full-forward line. Look at the pace of Cormac Costello when he came on for Dublin in the replay and at the end of the day that was probably the main reason why Dublin were crowned All-Ireland champions this year after two titanic battles.

  59. What ‘tactics’. Keane got under O’Shea s skin, should he have stood off him and watch in awe of him. Whoever said Knockmore have a ‘dark streak’ really? Apart from Keane could you give me any other players with dark streaks? There’s a few hypocritical people here, saying that Mayo should do anything to win, yet when O’Shea is rattled, Knockmore have a ‘dark streak’. Gimme a break.

  60. I agree with a lot of that HSE. I like the cut of James Durkan looks like he is made of the right stuff. I was surprised he did not nail down a starting place last year on the Castlebar team. When introduced as a sub in the AI he was not afraid to have a go unlike his much vaunted comrades

  61. I haven’t commented in a while, but I feel compelled. I am a Knockmore man, and a Mayo man, although marooned up here in Louth has meant I haven’t been involved with my home club for years. I wasn’t at the match and was watching on the live stream so I can’t comment on off the ball incidents. I never advocate thuggery, and I want nothing more than some competent referees. But I think all the talk of off-the-ball and referees and everything else is all just a smokescreen.

    The facts of the matter, admittedly in my view, are thus:

    – Knockmore were by far the better team on the day.

    – Knockmore kicked the ball into the forward line many times. Breaffy did not. Last time I checked, people wanted players to kick the ball forward to their own team.

    – Knockmore showed how to use a target man on the inside line, in the shape of a former underage colleague in Ciaran Langan.

    – Knockmore brought far greater hunger, intensity and will to win than Breaffy. If it’s one thing Knockmore always show, it’s that you never lie down. If you want the inches, you have to play tough, hard, and on the line, or over it if you need to and you can get away with it. It’s called reading the referee. Mayo could do with learning that one.

    – While also being error-strewn at times, Knockmore did far more things right and followed a cohesive gameplan. Breaffy did not.

    – Knockmore showed more composure under pressure on the ball. Breaffy dwelt on the ball for far too long, were going up blind alleys, and had no discernable plan for either getting the ball into the scoring zone, or coping with Knockmore’s running game or Langan, Naughton or Ruttledge, who were well on top up front.

    – Knockmore hammered the hammer, to use Kerry speak. Breaffy had 5 county players on show, and a couple of others who’d be knocking around the edges. None of them had any influence on the game, or scored from play. Knockmore had one county player, who constantly linked the play through hand and foot, and scored as many points from play as the entire Breaffy team.

    – Therefore, Knockmore showed that you can play it tight in defence, tackle intensely, read the referee, break at speed through the hands, or kick to the inside line and get up and support.

    If Mayo could do that, we’d be All Ireland Champions. For this to get lost in talk of handshakes and off-the-ball shenanigans is no use to anyone, and to tarnish a club and a group of players who were able to put in a performance like that as dark, hatchet men and so-called footballers is not just insulting and sour grapes, but also blind to the necessities of victory.

    On a seperate but related matter – I support Aidan O’Shea. I would never criticise him unfairly like others might. He has put in some of the most magnificent performances I have ever seen on a football pitch. He can be a match winner, but has significant flaws in his game in relation to kicking and decision making. All of Mayo needs to ask the question, that if he has 2, or 3, or in one case 6 players hanging out of him, why does he have the ball? There should be other players free, if the team is supporting properly. His kicking has never been up to the level it needs to be, and he is unlikely to outrun 1, never mind 2 or more players. You can use physicality in a one-on-one contest. Any more and you are pushing your luck. If he gains the ball going away from goal, he shouldn’t turn around – he should hand it off to an onrushing player. If he gains the ball going towards goal, no harm in using his physicality to take one defender out of the game before passing it off. In short, he needs to pass more, bulldoze less, and get his kicking up to scratch. Then we will have a great player on our hands. A match winner on any day. Not just some days.

  62. AOS name just keeps cropping up on this and other posts…Breaffy were not good enough and that’s why they lost. Gaelic football at club and county level is a TEAM GAME. If there were 3 or 4 men around him why didn’t breaffy bring the other lads into play or move the ball quicker after sucking players in. I also think county players for most clubs get similar treatment. It’s how you react etc or your tactics that matter. Do people think ciaran Mcdonald didn’t get it? Ciaran knew how to handle unwanted attention.
    If you look at the other 3 teams you would have noticed the county players and Knockmore and castlebar played as a team! As mentioned i think the local media talk breaffy up too much I really do

  63. Aiden has no positionel sense. Not patient enough and not cute enough. He is neither hay nor straw

  64. First time for me to log a thumbs up for a blog on here, but that was in my opinion a great piece by Digits.

    Sport like life is neither always fair or easy. You have to be an adult and deal with it, not whinge or sulk.

    Big bad Knockmore were not nice to Aiden – how could they?

  65. AOS To be fair his game has come a long way in the last few years. He has given us some great days out in the Green and Red. He made a great goal chance for Keegan while the Dubs were setting up an ambush for him. I do not blame any of the OSheas for Breaffy defeat. Thuth is it was coming.Point taken Digits he still a few more bridges to cross.

  66. Toughnup…. a smasher that ‘hay nor straw’!!! That description is more apt than it appears. It certainly bemuggles one to witness Aidan’s
    continuing dilemma of not getting even near his obvious potential. Is he solely to blame or must his colleagues and the team’s general organisation share in some of this blame? I think Digits gives us an excellent incite into
    where the problem arises and it’s most pertinent for its pinpointing of what I have always felt to be a not entirely integrated team ethos.
    On occasions we have approached what is required in terms of support,off the ball running and timely passing but this one absolutely essential and in truth perplexing element remains our great lack and inhibition as a team.
    We have so much that is top of the class,but perhaps if we had less of what we have and a bit more of what we haven’t we would be a more formidable side!

  67. In fairness to Aidan playing with Mayo there are a lack of players who can make good passes over distance.
    We have only Kevin McGloughlin behind the ball who can kickpass it over distance with consistent accuracy. Donal Vaughan is good over midrange.
    The pass that needs to be used nowadays is the pass favoured by Dublin. Kicking through the ball to minimize hang time and get it to the target quickly. You don’t see Dublin kicking high hanging passes that often.

  68. I see the county board have said that we cannot afford a commercial director, that we cannot afford the €50k salary. So we cannot afford to spend €50k for a return of €500k. Jesus christ almighty, is there a hidden camera show being filmed in McHale park?

  69. FJSC.

    The referee in the Breaffy/Knockmore game on Sunday, in my opinion, had a poor game and made some baffling decisions. On one occasion he moved a 45 forward and on another did the same with a line ball i think. Can anyone confirm if this is correct practice as I always thought that you could not do this.

  70. Interesting post there HSE (as usual!).

    Glad to see you (and PJ McManus) mention James Durcan. I’ve been harping on about him in posts for a while. I first noticed him in the semi against Crokes in Portlaoise. He ran them ragged when he came on and his pace was electrifying. He’s caught the eye since then, but i’ve alway felt he wasn’t utilised properly. Rochy and co have to be able to do something with that raw talent even if it doesn’t always shine out in club matches.

    Cian Costello impresses also, but I feel he is too small for county battles.

  71. People should not forget that Lee keegan was our player of the year this year and no one could disagree. He was hardly a gentleman when marking some of countries top forwards and we all agreed what a collosus he was. Aiden receives same treatment so it’s up to him to deal with it. A big strong guy like him should be able to handle himself. He tries to play like a gentleman and that won’t work. He needs to toughnup.

  72. Jp are you upto your old tricks again? Who is Kevin McGloughlin? Do you mean Kevin Mc Loughlin?

  73. I think it’s wrong to tie in criticisms of Aidan O’Shea’s treatment on Sunday and the result.

    The simple fact is the best team won. Knockmore were hungrier, moved the ball quicker and controlled the game from pillar to post. They should have won by more, actually, were it not for a couple of bad misses in the second half. They are a formidable championship side. Breaffy were on many people’s shortlists because of their talent – seven players either on the Mayo senior or U21 teams, and the fact they’ve been in two of the last three county finals. But they sometimes struggle when its put up to them in the physical stakes.

    The issue around Aidan O’Shea’s duel with Andrew Keane is a separate matter. It’s hard to be too critical of Keane. He did what he was let away with. He plays with a real edge. Something maybe we lack at inter county level – he’s not inter county standard in my opinion, but that’s beside the point. But he was let do what he did. Pull and drag Aidan O’Shea all day long. The linesman and referee did sweet FA about it. Then we wonder why our great game is starting to suffer and why we were treated to two low scoring games on Sunday.

    This is not about Andrew Keane’s marking of Aidan O’Shea being the difference between winning and losing – Knockmore were too good in too many positions for even an Herculean display from O’Shea to tip the balance, or, if it did, it would have been undeservedly so.
    This is about opposition players being able to do pretty much what they want to a county player to keep him out of the game. I’d love Andrew Keane to be in my team but from a wider point of view, you’d love to see officials referee the games properly. Keane dragged O’Shea to the ground midway through the first half. Both were booked. I’m not sure what O’Shea did for that yellow card. Literally seconds later Keane again dragged him to the ground. No free, no card. It went on and on, both off the ball and on.

    O’Shea has come in for some amount of timber in the county since the All-Ireland. Some of it warranted but a lot of it snide, personal and vindictive. Some of the rumors being spread about him all summer long have been nothing short of scurrilous. We’ve all heard them and far too many people have willingly believed them.

    We’re a great county when we’re winning but we’re something else entirely when we’re losing. Ask Liam McHale and Ciarán McDonald about it. They long suffered the wrath of Mayo ‘fans’. O’Shea is the latest example.

    If I was him, I’d go traveling for a year. How could all he puts up with be worth it?

  74. Mayoman, I watched the game, and it’s the same treatment he has been getting all year. I hope Rochie has a plan on how to let Aidan play or else look at how Aidan can push his weight against his opponents for next season.

  75. AOS is a very important player for Mayo and rightly so but too much goes through him which is why opposing teams are prepared to double even triple team him, they know the ball usually goes through him in the half forwards. Mayo need a lot more varied approch when attacking, this will create that much needed space around the 45. Also for me Aidan isnt a forward, he is playing out of position which adds to the problem. a move back to midfield, even defensive midfield would offer him more room and would make it more difficult for the opposition to set up defensively against him.

    In a point Liam made, a commerical director is badly needed and a half decent one would pay for himself easily. IMO the salary isnt the issue. A good commerical director would expect full control over how he does his job and would need full disclosure on deals already in place and how Mayo gaa generate and spend money. Does anyone think the county board is that flexible to given him or her that responsibility and power, I seriously doubt it somehow.

  76. I sincerely hope Rochie plays to his widely heralded potential as well as that of the players in this very important year that will soon be dawning.

  77. Good point on AOS and his place in team Mayomad. Indeed we shouldn’t be hung on Aidan so much at all but rather on what the others are up to!
    And on the Q of whether the CB would have the flexibility/imagination to employ a director it’s doubtful but it ought not be ruled out as being within their compass. However, where would you get a ” good ” director for that money?

  78. Inbetweener, you are right, a good commercial director would require at least 50 percent more than the figure quoted. But it would be money very well spent. A strategic approach to fund raising is required and a qualified person to run it. It makes since (time to retire the USA biscuit tin). off the field football should be treated as a business. Ex footballers, volunteers, club officials should have no say on how to generate capital. That needs to be left to qualified business people. The football people need to be on the training field promoting the game.

  79. Mayo GAA should have an annual fundraiser in the USA EVERY year and not just dust down the biscuit tin every 4/5 years for the junket to the Bronx.

    A commercial director will bring in more funds then his/her salary so the excuse that Mr. Lambe gave portrays a lack of vision and boldness. I have no doubt most in the County Board are there for the good and love of Mayo GAA but you need people involved with experience and know how.

  80. The question is not can we afford a commercial director, but how much longer can we afford NOT to have a commercial director. I agree with Mayomad, the whole cannot afford one is a smoke screen for not wanting to let an outside person access to the books. It was the same when they asked Liam Horan to do the strategic review and then refused him access to the financial records.
    The pressure is on now so watch another fluff piece shortly by a sympathetic journalist in the local press about the big fundraising ideas they’ve planned for 2017. It’ll be all lies and bullshit of course, much like the fluff piece last year about the academy when they were questioned on it.

    Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

  81. That’s great sense altogether Yewtree and Mayomad and I always have a great laugh at that biscuit tin image. But surely it would be a glorious addition to the Gaa Heritage displays at Headquarters and wherever they exist!
    The Director idea is a no brainer without a doubt in the world but I shiver at the dead reception it would receive on proposal. However that’s no reason for to become depressed about it. Has the idea been contemplated even?
    I see numerous no brainers around the co in non football contexts but so they remain,with the kind of dull minds that are in place which have the authority to activate them! Processes drag on and on without decisions getting made. There’s this problem and that problem and “sure lookit, aren’t we alright”

  82. There should be a lot more branded Mayo stuff buyable from Elverys. Especially kids things like Schoolbags and blankets etc. How many newborn Mayo heritage babies would have a Mayo baby blanket bought for them?
    An awful lot of this stuff is bought and sent out abroad as a nice touch or is orderable online like the small Baby jerseys.
    Mayo farmers wellingtons. Matching up nicely with your Mayo body warmer when you bring your fleshy bullocks to Balla mart.

  83. Another one was the idea of the option for Commercial businesses outlined in Strategic review to pay a yearly fee to be branded ‘Friends of Mayo GAA’ (Can’t recall the term).
    In other words you would gain from it in terms of people favouring your business when stopping for petrol etc.

  84. Agree Inbetweener the “sure aren’t we going alright” line has where we are. Change is not easy, all the more reason to push for it.

  85. The most depressing aspect of all this is that we could have been ahead of the pack in this regard. The “Horan Plan” outlined all these measures in 2011 and specifically a commercial director, we could have had this in place 5 years ago. Dublin implemented the “Blue Wave” strategic plan around the same time and they’ve 4 All Irelands in 6 years. Donegal appointed a Commercial Director this year, Kerry have one, Roscommon have their fundraising running brilliantly and yet we persist with a part time treasurer running a multi million euro operation.
    I have spoken to numerous successful business people from Mayo, living locally and abroad, who are absolutely staunch supporters and who have told me they have never even been approached about supporting the county and who would be more than willing to help out.
    This is not just a county issue either, if we fundraised properly then we wouldn’t have to burden the clubs with crippling levy’s. Why would you need to do anymore than flog a few calenders when you can hit your senior clubs for €7500 each.

  86. Year long proclamations of admiration and support for members of the Mayo senior football team were exposed as hypocrisy in Castlebar on Sunday last. I attended both semi-finals and will not attend the final. The level of naked aggression and violence particularly against some county players was disgusting and would not be attempted or tolerated in any other code – all egged on from so many of the baying mob in the stand. It reminded me of similar attention meted out to Ciaran McDonald and David Brady and others in another era.
    What passed for sport and comradeship last Sunday is a blight upon all of us who have put up with such a culture for too long – no more GAA for me after over half a century of acquiescence. Thanks Willie Joe but I’m sick of it all. Slan

  87. Both last two posts have me feeling not so good….incredible stuff both! I’m going for fresh air!

  88. Baffling how the County Board keeping pulling against progression.

    The treasurer was talking about cowboy fundraisers in the Mayo news. We see statements from the board on this too. Who are these people? I havent seen or heard of anybody else fundraising. Why not name them or report them to the guards?

    Or are they just a smokescreen to distract from the unwillingness to actually be progressive. After all it was the Board that have put us in debt

  89. @mayo exile are you a breaffy or ballintubber man…you should still attend the final. Games are more enjoyable as a neutral

  90. Mayo has been in the top 3 teams in Ireland in the last 5 years, we have sold out our allocation of season tickets and get more at club games then many teams get at county games. We have all Ireland winners at minor and u21 level and are inches away at senior level. The county is obsessed with GAA, it’s a constant topic of conversation, we have exiles paying thousands to get back for semis and finals. Its the best of times for Mayo GAA, never an easier time to implement a proper strategic plan to keep Mayo at the top for years to come………but alas no, our county board say there’s no money to hire a commercial manager which would bring 10 times his/hers salary. I even see Niall Mcgarry from is willing to pay some of the salary.

    I don’t have much time for county board, never did. Wether they have the good of Mayo GAA at heart or not(and I would question that) they are clearly not qualified for the position they are in. They at least need to accept that they do not have the necessary attributes to run the commercial side of the organisation. I wonder what happened when the blue wave was thought up in the capital, did they worry about scraping together the penneys buy a few extra balls? The 13 million they have got since would say no. The 200k we have got in comparison says it all. I worry that until we get Colm Boyle and lee Keegan into the boardroom we’re going to stay in division 4 in terms of organisation!

  91. Thanks Catcol!

    Yeah as you and PJ have said, James Durcan looks like an exciting prospect. He is a game lad like his brother Paddy. It’ll be interesting to see how he and the other Castlebar forwards will get on against Knockmore, who have the meanest defence in the county. I wouldn’t know that much about the Knockmore forwards, so it’ll be great to see how they perform in the county final as well.

  92. So just to not be all doom n gloom.
    We have:
    1. The best medical team
    2. Top level fitness team
    3. Probably the best setup with training n post match meals for minor, U21 and Senior. Treenlaur catering with Sean Julian is not replicated in other counties. He’s linked with the nutrition team, most other counties dine in hotels.
    4. We have Andys top spec gym in Castlebar where some of fitness work is done.
    The combination of 1-3 had to have county board involvement.
    When you stack up 1-4 its fairly decent.
    The one major weakness I see is the travel for the Dublin based players.
    Something radical like flying them back to Dublin at 8am? Give them a full nights sleep in Mayo.

  93. JP, you are correct about the setup and services available to the players. But it all has to be paid for at the end of the day, add to that the cost of travel, insurance etc. When Horan left a number of physios and backroom staff were let go in an attempt to bring the cost of the senior team down. Will this mappen again down the line? What is in place now is excellent but is it sustainable? The 300,000 or so recieved in funding would be a drop in the ocean compared to what it costs to run a top level sporting organisation.

    Instead of trying to keeping whats there, the board should be looking for ways to improve it, to expand and cater for larger amounts of players. Its all money, thats where the strategic plan and commercial managers come in

  94. If we did manage to get more funding the money should be going to things like flooding our clubs and schools with footballs.
    Most club players at underage do not own an ONeills. The cost is prohibitive. Not helped by Elverys often not having them in stock, more usually they have the inter ball.

  95. If the CB could fundraise effectively then they wouldn’t need to be levying clubs to the hilt. Clubs in turn could spend more money on facilities, gear and coaching. It’s a trickle down effect and not all about the county teams.

  96. Westport bet shrule by 3 tonight despite the reemergence of the mort! Who got a nice point. In truth Westport should have won by a lot more after kicking a lot of wides and missing some goal chances. Saying that their kick passing was excellent getting a lot of scores from long balls into the ff line. When they did run the ball they were direct, running at the goal and not down blind alleys. Lee keegan was the man with fionn mcdonagh and james Walshe having good games also.

  97. We got less than 200,000 of a grant for MacHale Park while Cork got 20,000,000 for pairc ui chaoimh. Croke park said they did not receive application even though county board said they sent it. If we had received this grant we would not be paying back 30000 per month. This is the reason we are so in debt. We missed out and we just have to get on with it now.
    It would be good to see a young person with a footballing and marketing background like Aidan Kilcoyne given this role.

  98. It almost goes without saying that an organisation requiring to raise millions annually would require a Commercial Manager, as variously suggested. and the case stated by the former treasurer for not having same ( would cost 50 k ) is laughable. More like senior officials of the Board want at all costs, to retain absolute control of the finances, and the attendant perks. Clearly any Commercial Manager would be engaged on a commission basis, on a trial period, with targets to achieve,and with no question of anything like 50 k being handed over unless multiplies of this was raised.
    The challenge of meeting the debt level on Mc Hale Park and the ongoing rising cost of the day to day running of the activities of the Board requires a more professional and sustainable approach to fundraising than has existed up to now. and in particular the recent fleecing of the clubs for 2500 euro for AL/ irl tickets being a disgraceful example of robbing the goose that lays the golden egg

  99. Outside the pale,I have worked with many commercial managers throughout the years and had dealings with them through various companies and that type of professional would not work under the terms you have suggested. Its a full time salaried job, a salary alot higher than 50k for a good one at that with bonus payments for results. As the old saying goes, you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

  100. Mayomad I Dont wish to dispute your assertions regarding the working conditions of commercial managers, however the bottom line in any business is that any individual involved in sales / commercial promotion would only be retained on the basis of returning significantly more income than he / she is costing.
    Clearly ” Mayo Football ” as a brand has a unique selling potential as distinct from “various companies” you refer to, and therefore would likely command very favourable terms from interested personnel. The main point being that any such arrangement would be at least self financing, and potentially financially lucrative for the Board, and consequently for the person involved, on a commission basis and under no circumstances should such an arrangement if properly set up incur a cost / loss of anything like 50 k as suggested

  101. Mayo exile, I’m with you on the point you raised… It’s often been the case, n (almost certainly a useless player or explayer/or useless in terms what advice they could give to improve a player) they will find some excuse for what could be termed common assault if it happened in main Street Castlebar, they find something that makes it excusable in their own minds. If a player is assaulted, their assaulted, simple as that! No ifs buts or maybes. , Now it might be hard to tell the difference between assault and self defense during a match!.. But when the final whistle is blown, that’s a different story. Whether a player shakes hands with you or not, does not entitle anyone to assault anyone else,.. I’m not going to mention any names but I seen a certain player offer his hand in congratulations to his direct opponent, a few years ago in a Mayo senior county final, only to be assaulted by the very player that had abused him all match. A club player in Mayo has already been sentenced to time in jail, for the effects of assault on a gaelic-football pitch.. Not something I want to see repeated, neither the injury to the player assaulted or a jail sentence to a player who no doubt did not mean to do any harm.. But that’s the way the world is going,. Better if football is strictly football .. The game is tough enough within the rules..! If you want to hit someone legally, join a boxing club,or mixed martial arts, but be aware they will hit you back!

  102. Just to add to the debate about county players featuring in club games, I was at the Vincents/Ballymun Dublin SFC semi-final last night, where five of Dublin’s starting fifteen lined out, four of them playing for Ballymun. Vinnies won by a point (0-12 to 0-11) in a match that never really caught fire at all. Of the county players on show, Diarmuid Connolly was the most prominent, kicking four superb points from play, three in the second half. He was the main difference between the two sides. Dean Rock was good from frees and got one from play as well but was never really to the fore, James McCarthy raised a few gallops but did little besides, John Small kept Connolly quiet for part of the game but could do nothing when he cut loose. Philly McMahon was a total lamb and had no impact on the game whatsoever.

  103. Outside the Pale, im not trying to argue or anything, especially about something that is highly unlikely to happen. As I see it the person you are describing is a sales rep, working on commission, selling the Mayo brand. A commercial director is a different role, a full time role with responsibility for fund raising, selling advertising, securing sponsorship, overseeing expenditure etc. The guys you would want carrying out that role are more than likely in work and would require a salary, above 50k. I dont know anyone who would do that job, dealing with a county board all day on commission, I would be shocked if the person carrying out that job in Dublin is working on a commission basis. A commercial director is badly needed, lets not go for the cheapest option, lets get the best person possible for the job and pay the going rate for that person.

  104. An excellent piece there on fundraising and the potential of Mayo GAA as a brand.

    A full scope for this commercial director role should be drawn up ASAP and a terms of reference for Official Mayo Gaa fundraising. we need some club officials now to put a motion forward to the next convention , 5 days left to get it in , who will do it ? and who will second it ? perhaps some of the officers named in Daniels piece in the Mayo News ?

    Time to get this moving , the debt could be smashed and the teams given all the support they need.

  105. WJ, thanks for that info about the Vincents/Ballymun Dublin SFC semi-final last night. It really does show what a good job Lee Keegan has done the last few years in keeping Diarmuid Connolly quiet. It’ll be interesting to see this weekend in our own Mayo county final, will any of the forwards on show step up to the plate and knock over a few big points from play when the game is in the melting pot, as Connolly did last night for Vincents.

    WJ, I was following that game online last night on twitter etc. and there seemed to be plenty of black, yellow and red cards handed out. So it seems that in the internal Dublin Club championship games, players do not seem to get away with as much as they do on the intercounty scene. Would that be a fair assessment to make? Do the refs clamp down a lot more in these type of games than we have seen in the intercounty games involving some of the same Dublin players?

  106. It does, for sure as regards Lee, HSE, and Stephen Coen as well in the replay. Small stuck close to him last night but Connolly still roasted him and all of his four points were top quality, long-range efforts. The game itself was dull enough and never really developed into a full-throated championship clash. The ref was fairly card-happy and Ballymun lost Jason Whelan to two yellows (the second for a bad clothes-line on Connolly, which was borderline red) before half-time. Par for the course with GAA reffing, Ballymun got most of the 50:50 decisions after that. Poor old Mossy Quinn – one of the cleanest players around – got the line too for two yellows late on, the second involving pure play-acting from the Ballymun player to get him send off. For sure, reffing of club games (and inter-county league and early rounds of championship games) is way stricter than the later stages of the championship. If Small had done last night 1/10th of what he got up to in the All-Ireland replay, he’d have walked for sure. Mind you, Connolly’s jersey got ripped last night and I don’t think that resulted in a card!

  107. Yeah WJ, I was reading that alright that Mossy Quinn was very unlucky to get sent-off. I think he got two yellows within the space of a minute or something like that. Yes Lee’s pace is what really sets him apart as he is one of the few defenders that can stay close to Connolly, as you said Stephen Coen did well too in the replay, he is a very intelligent player as well so that really stands to him.

    As they say consistency is all we are looking for but it rarely seems to happen in the GAA! Yes Small was a very lucky lad alright that he got away with what he did in the replay.

    It’ll be interesting to see how the Castlebar and Knockmore game will go anyway this weekend. It should be a good one.

  108. I don’t think we would have to pay the going rate for a Commercial Director for the following reasons.
    1. The job would be popular. The first step in reducing the salary expectations of the eventual candidate.
    2. A reasonable assumption is that there would be at least three to four good candidates.
    3. There is a prestige for your career of having been in this position.
    4. Any Commercial Manager would know that there is a high probability of boosting Mayo GAA’s revenue and hence boosting your career profile
    “I boosted Mayo GAA revenue by 18% in my first year and thereafter at 14% per year” that kind of line stands out on a CV.
    5. In the Mayo global community there would be people willing to move back to Ireland to take up the role.

  109. A commercial director would be a great ideal. Ok paying 50k your not going to get someone with years of experience but it’s still a good salary for someone in their twenties that’s fresh and have new ideas and can attract investment into Mayo football. I know loads of people who would be willing to contribute. I think it’s about time we were thinking about seriously investing in our youth and academy if we do this it wlll pay divedends we might then be able to match Dublin and Kerry on a regular basis. I wish the county board would have a bit more vision and see the goodwill that’s out there to make it happen

  110. Thinking back to former times there was always an amount of fairly hefty play and not a little verbal abuse practiced by county teams and club teams alike.It wasn’t the preserve of club players trying to prove their manhood at the expense of county players either. County colleagues were and are capable of reaching further below the belt than ought to be tolerated by a “system” that is not fit for purpose. It’s all so deeply imbedded in the game at club and county level that you could feel proud of it if it weren’t so puerile and misguided! It’s part of the culture of the game….on the pitch, sideline and in the stands! And like the Gaa…is it part of what we are?
    There’s nothing for it but an enormous and prob impossible root and branch scutching at club level together with a couple of rule changes! But then again maybe this is the way things must be! I look out from where I am now and I see blooms of strong mist sweeping across those fields that have been retiring so elegantly into the winter! It’s the way things are!

  111. JP once you go down that kind of a skimping route you’ll end up comprimising , this is nto a jobs for the boys task,

    we need a seasoned pro in here to capitalise on the brand.

    mayomad has it dead right peanut wages will attract primate candidates.

    lets do this thing right , for once!

  112. @Roger Milla
    You have to be realistic. If the county board are reluctant about a 50k salary, explain how we can somehow realize a situation where they would pay the likely 80k plus for such a person? Nially McGarry is willing to put up 10k apparently. Could even have fundraising for a further 10k. That’s 20k straight off the bat. Seeing as the role doesn’t exist at the moment the thing to get done is actually make the role exist with someone suitably qualified. As it is specific to Mayo GAA you would be surprised at how successful a pitch to get a good candidate at 50k would be. If you had an ex-player living in Dublin on 70k maybe they would like to move home to this role at 50k. We have a few ex-players in Dublin highly qualified in finance.

  113. Just to add I do believe that an ex-player highly qualified is a better candidate than a non-player highly qualified seeing as most of the revenue source will be from the Mayo GAA Community. It just makes the opening of doors easier and also makes things like fundraising launches easier if it is a known name who is involved.
    It would also ease any tensions that the county board might have with a non-player.

  114. Agree Roger – while it would be easy to get some youngster in who would be full of enthusiasm it’s experience that gets you across the line in something like this in knowing which opportunities to pursue and which are going to be a waste of your time.
    Being honest – make this an up to 100K salary job and you’ll soon get the interest of some of the best in the business.
    If we are talking about targets you need to make it jucier for the guy to get more in.
    Something like a Basic Salary of 60K
    Minimum target of additional source funding of 300K in year 1. You have to give the person a chance to bed in, but you can show them the door if they don’t meet the 300K hurdle.
    However the sweetener is that you offer a bonus payment of the likes 5% of any additional funding over the 300K, and 10% of anything over 750K.

    So if the new chap gets the magical 500K that we believe is possible, they get a salary of 60K + Bonus of 10K. If they get a million in additional, they get
    60K Salary + bonus of 22.5K for the portion up to 750K and an additional bonus of 25K for the additional 250K in funding to make up the million.
    Total paid – 107.5K
    Expenses – say 50K at a stretch

    Advantages – unlimited upside for both parties, you get in additional funding you would not have otherwise had, and the likelihood is that a good chunk of this can be annualised revenues, so you have that money coming in each year.

    After that it becomes a job of managing those existing revenues with adjusted targets for new revenues.

    50K is probably add a fair chunk for expenses but no one is going to hit those targets sitting by the Bacon Factory end all day, but you are more than likely going to end up with more money than you started unless your dealing with a complete pleb – and thats the job of the county board to employ the right person in the first place.

    Mind you if the county board have already got it in their head that this is not a runner then they are unlikely to be swayed by logic at any juncture in the future.

  115. The fact that we are discussing it is a good thing. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE can see we need a commercial director. I don’t buy the cannot afford line being spouted either. JP Lambe said they looked at the €50k and couldn’t afford it, did he think that you pay a commercial director like a hitman with a suitcase full of cash up front? Who in the name of christ cannot afford to appoint a person who not only can pay for themselves but bring in 5-10-15 times their own salary. Just think about that.
    Who said it has to be €50k salary anyway?. The vast majority of these positions involve a salary, expenses and bonus scheme, were the more you bring in the higher your bonus. Talk of €70k & €80k salarys are ludicrous. A commercial director might earn that with bonuses, but no one would expect that as a base salary.
    The other issue that is just as important as the creation of the position itself is that the CB supports and properly funds the person. The role will involve a lot of travel (mainly mending fences broken by successive CB’s over the years) and it’s no good having the person begging for air fares and having to justify every kilometre they travel.
    I would agree that a former player would have an advantage in getting doors opened and calls answered, however it’s vitally important that they are capable of dealing with people once they get in the door.

  116. Its a wet day there will soon be heavy ground,not good for the hamstrings the old thighs cannot take anymore, in the drawn game a dublin sub og came on dont know the exact time,shadowed by a player who was injured for a long period of time, result could not turn fast enough a tug of the jersey a free and a point for Rock. this is the only sure free just lately .a push in the back used to be another sure thing, i think this one has gone out the window .this player came on @71 minutes in the replay, advice dont have players @29-30 with hamstrings in the panel ,young fast pacey backs required, only one mistake by the goalkeeper in the drawn game , the ball kicked out to the left in the direction of the only dublin player who could score from long range resulting in a point for dublin, this fellow saves his legs and makes the ball do the work . In the replay before the mistake by the goalie dublin had the ball in a scoring position for a long period maybe thirty seconds or so and could not score ,i thought we have them this time , Ratings for the backs over 2 games from 20ptS -Clarke 1.5 games approx 15. Hennelly 0.5 games approx 3 .Harrison 18 .Vaughan 1.5 games 15. Higgins 11 Keegan 1.5 games ( ) Durcan 18 Midfield SOS 18 Parsons 15. No ratings for forwards, question why did galvin not use ogara in the replay ,the answer is above. is it that time already

  117. @ Liam
    I think we’re thinking along the same lines.
    Certainly a former player would make it easier to open doors alright. We should be expanding the horizons a bit at the same time – the existing Mayo Fanbase would be the lower hanging fruit but these are people who are already the main source of funds.
    Need to look outside of that area too.
    I have heard that Jim McGuinness used to approach business folk in Donegal to pay for stuff – in many cases the county board didn’t have to open their wallet at all as payment for the the likes of Carton House for the week was taken care of by the benefactors Jim had tapped up.
    its the likes of that sort of thinking that made the difference for Donegal. There’s nothing wrong with stealing ideas as long as they are the right ones.

  118. Heartache – I’ve deleted that comment. Surely you can make the point you want to get across without making veering into abusive and belittling territory?

    All – the above relates to the debate on the County Board and the Commercial Director role and all that. I’m happy that the debate is going okay but I’ve had to excise a few nasty bits from some comments. It should be possible to debate this issue thoroughly and properly without anyone getting personal in what they have to say about it.

  119. Soon as you can Inbetweener. No time like the present.
    Cheque will be in the post once you’ve lodged your first half million to my own account.

  120. Lovely talk lads but you any of you think we will actually hire a commercial director???

  121. I think there is some momentum gathering on the issue. The next cb meeting key if it gets more positive or less positive. The clubs are close to striking on all o the fleecing with fees etc.

  122. Great idea about new direction. County board needs to get out of the darkness and into the light. We’re a top team now but I feel to stay there and get success we need this new direction

  123. Niall, you are right, the position needs to be created and filled but does anyone really think board officials will hand over that power or let someone have full access to accounts which would be required. Will they hire someone who will be earning more than them, more than the county chairman or treasurer. It will never happen, if its raised at a meeting it will be either out of order or “put under consideration”. More radical restructuring of County Set up would be required before these proactive appointments are make. The aul biscuit tin will get a few more outings in NYC before all that happens.

  124. There may be an opportunity for regular mayo fans to have some influence on this issue fairly soon. I think enough people are starting to realise that the CB will not willingly embrace change and that pressure will have to be brought to bear.

  125. Is this a piss take???

    Niall McGarry ?@MrNiallMcGarry 25m25 minutes ago Galway, Ireland

    Niall McGarry Retweeted Niall McGarry

    Happy to say that I’d a good chat with @MayoGAA today, offer will been accepted, a new job will be created & money will be raised for Mayo!

  126. Hope not. Someone like Willie Ruane, CEO of Connacht Rugby would be the ideal man for the job.

  127. I saw that. Looks promising but like everything, the devil will be in the detail. I would hope the Mr McGarry would insist on a competent individual for his €10k. Smells like a panic move on behalf of CB. Hope it’s not like the government appointing a judge for an enquiry to get the “fuckers” off their backs.

  128. Great news that the position is being created, and very generous of Niall, who in my experience is a good egg, but let this be very clear. If it’s not done right, it will do far more damage than not doing it at all.

    That means that from the outset a new level of professionalism is needed. The job spec needs to be clear, the candidate must have direct fundraising management experience (fundraising is not merely a sales job), the outlook needs to be long-term (not temporary) and the role needs strong operational support from the existing organisation to help implement new initiatives.

    Devising and rolling out a fundraising strategy is not as simple as picking up the phone to NYC or Boston and asking potential donors to send over a cheque. It involves fundamental, long-term change to the structure and running of an operation. Change for the better, obviously, but change nonetheless.

    I wish Mayo GAA the very best with this initiative and I hope sincerely that they grasp this opportunity with both hands and aim high. Do it right, or don’t do it at all.

  129. I fear that this is a panicked and rushed move to stem the growing discord within the county that has steadily grown since last weeks CB meeting. The reporting in the papers allowed the public at large within Mayo to see the narrow minded and short sighted views held by many at the top table. I honestly wish I could share some peoples enthusiasm about last nights news, however I do not believe that the current CB grasps what this role entails and the potential it has. They will rush through a interview process, appoint a glugger and then turn around and say “look, we have a commercial director”.
    The more I think about this, the more I think it will do more harm than good. The only thing worse than having no commercial director, is having an unqualified, under resourced and unsupported commercial director.

  130. Great news, hopefully they will have a proper job brief for him, where experience is a pre-requisite, and allow him to get in contact with various clubs for fundraisers around the globe. America is a perfect example, Kerry can haul massive funds from 1 dinner dance, Im sure we have many expats willing to contribute to the cause.

  131. I don’t want to insult anyone,but just think of someone like WJ, or TJ ,or J O M,or J M,or D B fund raising,I am sure they would raise a lot of money,none of them might be available but there is loads of people out there to make a success of this

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