Three changes for Kerry match

The starting team for Sunday has just been announced and without further ado here it is:

Mayo (NFL Division One v Kerry, 2/3/2014): Robert Hennelly (Breaffy); Brendan Harrison (Aghamore), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Kevin Keane (Westport); Lee Keegan (Westport), Shane McHale (Knockmore), Colm Boyle (Davitts); Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Adam Gallagher (Mayo Gaels), Alan Freeman (Aghamore), Michael Conroy (Davitts).

So it’s three changes in personnel from Omagh, with Brendan Harrison, Alan Freeman (first competitive start for him since the All-Ireland final) and Mickey Conroy (first since last year’s league semi-final) coming in while David Drake, Cathal Carolan and Diarmuid O’Connor drop out. Also it’s good to see that all three players who picked up knocks against Tyrone – Ger Cafferkey, Lee Keegan and Colm Boyle – are all named to start.

Along with the three changes in the starting line-up, there’s a raft of positional switches for Sunday. Kevin Keane switches over from 2 to 4, Brendan Harrison drops back to 2, thus freeing up Boyler to resume his natural position as the best no.7 this side of Pluto. There’s plenty of rejigging in the forwards too, with Kevin McLoughlin moving out to his more natural no.10 slot, Andy shifting out from 14 to 11 (which, in truth, was where he spent most of the time in Omagh), Keith moving across to 12 (which makes sense – Keith is far better on the wing than in the middle) and Adam Gallagher pushed up to 13 (also a sensible move given his eye for the posts, though I’d say he might operate from deeper, leaving the two lads inside).

Overall, I have to say that I like the look of that line-up. Kinda sad now that I won’t be in Castlebar myself on Sunday but at least I’ll get to see the match on the box.

No word as yet, by the way, on the Kerry team but I guess we might hear word on that at some point during the day.

40 thoughts on “Three changes for Kerry match

  1. Looking forward to the game Sunday,hopefully Alan Freeman will get a decent crack at it and we pick up two points before we head to Mullingar

  2. Can see a few changes straight away to be honest. Can’t see how Caff will be fit enough considering there has been concerns over his fitness for the rest of the league campaign. Higgins could drop back to corner back (where he belongs) with Keane going full back and maybe Carolan coming into the starting side.

    Overall a pretty good team considering the injuries and unavailability of some players. I assume the likes of Seamie, Vaughan and Sweeney will make the subs.

    Looking forward to Sunday and getting county football back on the agenda!

  3. I don’t think he’d name Caff if there was a doubt about him? Also there is plenty of options at corner back especially when Cunniffe and Barrett return so keeping Higgins in the forwards is a good move.
    It will be interesting to see how the spine of the team gets on, especially 6, 9, 11 & 14. Keep positions and each will want to lay down a serious marker against Kerry…

  4. Interesting team by Horan. I like the look of Harrison and I think he will do well in the corner.We have picked a powerful half back line and midfield so I would say we could dominate Kerry around the middle. By the looks of the forwards we will likely play a two man fullforward line of Freeman and Conroy with Gallagher helping out in the middle. Hopefully with Kevin Mac and Andy back in the middle third we will have a better day on the breaking ball as well.

  5. As ever, I believe it will be the performance of our half forward line that will determine the outcome and we have 3 very different types in the half forward line.
    McLoughlin will scrap for ball and come out with it but, he needs to move it on much quicker than he has been of late, as he is getting caught up and outnumbered by defenders. Moran will win ball too and he has demonstrated, on a number of occasions this year, his ability to foot pass accurately over 30 to 35 yards. If he plays quick accurate ball in to the full forward line it will leave our forwards with more time & space to take their chances. This will lead to us taking shots from much better scorable positions. Higgins will carry the ball forward at speed and create overlaps and possibly 2-on-1’s. If Gallagher peels off the full forward line and roams between the full forward line and half forward line he and Higgins could create 1-2’s on cross-over runs to put the Kerry defense under real pressure.
    Our midfield and half back line looks like a strong platform to provide our forwards with enough ball to do damage.

  6. I have to say that looks like a pretty strong team. Great to see Freeman back at FF. I hope he has a solid performance and finally nails down that position.

  7. Looks a very good team agree coilltemach hope freeman runs amok and that mikey combines well with the other forwards if he gets a run out. excited to see Micky C back as well. would love to see kev Mc show the form of 2012 rather than last years form as well.

  8. Hopefully Andy and Freeman play well in the two pivotal forward positions, nail them down and we can begin to work the other forwards in around them. Delighted to see Mcloughlin restored to his best position and with Boyler at half back the defence looks better balanced.too.

    Best team we have filelded so far this year and we can win this one by 3+

  9. One of the mornings i woke up this week i realised that i was still pissed off with last years final and i know there is no point wasting time stuck in the past but compared to the year previously i put it behind me nearly straight away.I guess what im saying is i haven’t made peace with it so i wouldn’t want to feel the way the lads do about it but hopefully they can use it to their advantage.On the match itself im looking forward to freeman and Conroy playing.If we can get good fast ball up to them those lads will do fucking damage mark my words lads.

  10. Kerry have names their team. Plenty of experience. Will be an interesting battle between Aidan O’Mahony and Andy. O’Mahoney not quickest and is a physical guy. Cute though. Crokes guys are on the bench along with Darren O’Sullivan.

    1.Brendan Kealy (Kilcummin)
    2.Paul Murphy (Rathmore)
    3.Mark Griffin (St Michaels/Foilmore)
    4.Shane Enright (Tarbert)
    5.Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers)
    6.Aidan O’Mahony (Rathmore)
    7.Marc Sé (An Ghaeltacht)
    8.Anthony Maher (Duagh)
    9.David Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys)
    10.Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare)
    11.Daithí Casey (Dr Crokes)(Capt)
    12.Donnchadh Walsh (Cromane)
    13.Barry John Keane (Kerins O’Rahillys)
    14.Paul Geaney (Dingle)
    15.James O’Donoghue (Killarney Legion)

  11. Boyle not at corner back, Thank God. Looking forward to seeing him dominate at 7.

    Nice looking team and mighty to see Freeman back

  12. O’Mahony is so far past it now it’s unreal. Andy should be well able clean him out.

    Should be able beat that team no bother. Serious question marks over defence and Donoghue is the only forward I’d really fear, although Walsh will no doubt win plenty of possession

    Don’t mean to sound overconfident but I can see us winning this handy, at home, to kickstart our league

  13. Played well for Connacht I’m led to believe

    Think he deserves another go myself- remember he was super v Tyrone when he came on in semi and was brilliant in 2012

    I do see where you’re coming from and a few more sub-par showings and he could well be on his last legs

  14. Johnny Buckley,Conor Cox,Darran O’Sullivan not starting only on the bench which is surprising and Kieran O’Leary,Bryan Sheehan,Kieran Donaghy,Killian Young
    Declan O’Sullivan all injured and of course Colm Cooper gone for the year not to mention the great players the retired last summer.

    Great chance for Mayo to pick up their first two points and looking at the above team, the lads are more than capable.

  15. You may not mean to sound cocky Ciaran, but you’re making a dam fine job of trying 🙂 – that said I think you’re calling it about right, should be an easy win alright !!

  16. I’d say you can bet your house on these guys being introduced though in second half. It’s a great bench to have. It’s important for our guys so to start well and take right decisions and early chances. Not the way we did against Tyrone where all those goal opportunities were missed. Freeman alone is worth the price of the admission. After all the talk etc from last year this is his first game back. He surely has something to prove.

  17. James Horan has really gone for experience anyway, with 12 of the 15 players having been involved in either the 2012 or the 2013 All-Ireland finals. It just shows how important a game it is. Only Brendan Harrison, Shane McHale and Adam Gallagher didn’t play any part in either of those games. It’ll be interesting to see if Ger Cafferkey starts. I note that Kevin Keane is named at no. 4 so you’d think that Keith Higgins will be moved back there, if either or both players are struggling in their named positions or also if Ger is not playing. One interesting thing to note about the Kerry team is, Marc Sé been named no. 7. He would normally be in the full-back line for Kerry. With Thomas Sé having retired he will add some experience to that line of the defence. He actually plays CHF for his club. You’d wonder is he named in that position to follow Kevin McLoughlin as well, who usually plays a roving role for Mayo. It will be an interesting match-up to watch, if they do end up in direct opposition.

  18. He must have played well in the final of the interpros, as his performance in the interpros semi wasn’t exactly polished.

  19. It’s get off the pot time now. It’s a case of if Mayo want to win or need to win. I’m confused myself about that one. One thing I’m not confused about is that this present Mayo squad will be a major force to be reckoned with when the championship starts. If we’re playing at under the radar stuff, well then we are making na damn good fist of that tactic. Time will tell, it always does.

  20. Yeah.. delighted with that selection and it would be great if all lined out as chosen.. feel much better about our chances now and hopefully Freeman will get good quality early ball.. looking forward to Sunday

  21. When does under 21 match with ros start. Is there many under 21 on the senior squad lookin forward to Kerry match on sun. Am sure Kerry are favourites for Sunday.

  22. Just watching Seo Spoirt on TG4 and every one of the panel said that Keith Higgins should be in the backs as he is one of the best attacking defenders in the Country; that he is all over the place in the forwards. I would completely concur with those opinions!!!
    It also showed Cafferky being pushed over like a rag doll by a Kildare forward and they remarked how good Tyrone are now at creating space and Mayo didn’t close the space down. All very relevant comments.

  23. Look at the semi and final again, not that great at all.
    Needs to sharpen up a lot or it’ll be bench for him.

  24. I’ve a few issues with the team picked to start on Sunday. We have 10 or 11 places fairly sorted. We are messing too much with the corner backs but remember TC will be available in 3 weeks and CB hopefully soon too? And robbing The backs of Keith is so wrong, I can believe they’re continuing with the failed experiment.

    Robert Hennelly YES

    Brendan Harrison ? – He played at 5 for all FBD games and 7 v Kildare, then dropped.
    It’s a bit of a gamble but it will be interesting.

    Ger Cafferkey YES – but needs to start dominating his space and hitting harder

    Kevin Keane. NO – could be badly exposed by O’Donoghue but I sincerely hope not.
    I’m not one of those that hold the AIF errors two years ago against Kevin, but I don’t agree with JH that he is a great play anywhere utility back. He’s a 2, that needs more focus!
    What’s the current status on Chris Barrett?

    Lee Keegan YES
    Shane McHale YES – Possibly his biggest test !
    Colm Boyle. YES
    Aidan O’Shea YES
    Jason Gibbons. YES

    Kevin McLoughlin YES – back in good form but hope he’s working on the final pass/shot.

    Andy Moran YES – Needs to be tried here for the next 2/3 games

    Keith Higgins NO – Keith will never be a good forward – he hates it. He’s a great back that loves coming forward. Valuable opportunities to check him out at 6 have been wasted!

    Adam Gallagher YES – but was making the 12 jersey his own

    Alan Freeman YES – About Time, leave him there!

    Michael Conroy NO. – But I really hope he proves me wrong.

    We need to win this one and it will be interesting what role our subs play on Sunday.
    The season only really begins now – I can’t wait !

  25. Strong midfield and half back line for Kerry. Would like to see Higgins back in our full back line as we have been conceding a hell of a lot of scores. Should be good game and its definitely one we need to win. Expect us to shade it,

  26. Have we all forgotten about the sweeper crack that was such a big thing a couple of years ago. With this black card thing and not being able to get stuck in, and all our half foreword line having been backs for some part of their careers, we should have no trouble employing a sweeper in front of our full back to help out as many people have pointed out in the past our main problem has been our full back line conceding too many goals.

  27. Yea Mayomaningalway, thats exactly how i feel, a malaise has set in since last sept,hard to shake it off this time, and in truth almost to a man / woman the expectation for this year is not great. but have to up my game if i expect the lads to do the same, but sweet lord, why why why…….still looking forward to sunday and the best of luck to the lads, as always we’ll be there, maigheo abú

  28. Pj – I am black and blue preaching some kind of a sweeper system but to deaf ears.

  29. sarah, I was confident last year (for the first time in years) but I am afraid It will have to be really proven this year as all the old doubts are back!

  30. Didn’t know where was best place to put this lads

    Am hugely impressed with Cork tonight. They have the talent- if Cuthbert can instill some belief and get the right men on the field they’ll be a force this year

    It’s relevant to look at them closely as if we make a semi they’ll be who we’re facing IMO

  31. I don’t think it’s that relevant if they do or not though

    I fully thought they’d struggle through this year, given their amount of departures and the fact a new manager was brought in (talking to Cork people he wasn’t the most popular choice originally either)

    So far they’re unbeaten until tonight and are playing some enthralling football at HQ v the champions.

    Even if they lose (and even if they don’t make league semis or whatever) they’re laying great football and seem to have found plenty of new talent

    I thought a final place wouldn’t be too hard get this year but Cork do look a different team, even this early with a fresh approach.

    In other news- Galway are taking a hiding v the very mediocre Laois. Not having a dig (live in Galway myself and do like seeing them do well), but people thought we had problems?

  32. Ciaran, agree. This is a new Cork; the new contenders for Sam. A fantastic game!!!

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