Three changes for Sunday

We’ve named our match day panel for Sunday’s NFL Division One Round 7 meeting with Kildare at Páirc Seán MacDiarmada, Carrick-on-Shannon (throw-in 1.45pm). Here’s the full list:

Mayo (NFL Division One v Kildare 27/3/2022): Rory Byrne (Castlebar Mitchels); Lee Keegan (Westport), David McBrien (Ballaghaderreen), Padraig O’Hora (Ballina Stephenites); Oisín Mullin (Kilmaine), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore, captain); Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers), Matthew Ruane (Breaffy); Conor Loftus (Crossmolina Deel Rovers), Jack Carney (Kilmeena), Fergal Boland (Aghamore); Aiden Orme (Knockmore), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole), Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet). Subs: Colm Reape (Knockmore), Brendan Harrison (Aghamore), Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels), Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber), Rory Brickenden (Westport), Enda Hession (Garrymore), Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Conor O’Shea (Breaffy), James Carr (Ardagh), Paul Towey (Charlestown Sarsfields), Darren Coen (Hollymount/Carramore).

So, it’s three changes – one enforced – from the team that started against Tyrone at Healy Park last Saturday evening. Into the starting fifteen come Padraig O’Hora, Conor Loftus and Jack Carney and they replace Donnacha McHugh, Fionn McDonagh (injured) and Paul Towey.

There are also two changes to the bench with fit-again Paddy Durcan back, while James Carr makes the match day panel for the first time in this year’s League campaign. No sign of Robbie, though, nor Diarmuid, nor, worryingly, Cillian neither.

The best of luck to the lads on Sunday.

105 thoughts on “Three changes for Sunday

  1. Good team and plenty of valuable minutes for fringe players who could be needed to start come championship if injury’s don`t clear up soon.

    I really hope Aidan at 6 is just shadow boxing because we have a wealth of half backs and its one position we do not need to be bringing a forward back to play in.

    Unless Cillian appears on the squad on Sunday i cant see him be involved against Galway.

  2. We’ve won our league match with the extra impetus the bench has given us. I would be concerned about our half forward line especially if Kildare have an attacking half back line like ourselves.
    Its a winning team tho. Another bit of experience for Byrne, hopefully Robbie back for championship. Good to see Carr and Towey on panel

  3. Good to see Carr back, if cillian is behind schedule then its imperative we resettle another scoring forward into the team to take the burden off ROD ahead of championship, with that in mind i would like to see one of James Carr or Darren Coen drafted in early on sunday, their instinct is to look for the posts. We need someone like that, another poacher, we have enough lads there to recycle possession and turn down shots

  4. Fully agree with you supermac – we have a huge problem finding the target at present and apart from ROD we’re gun-shy – both James Carr’s and Darren Coen’s first instinct indeed is to look for the posts, Conor Loftus likewise. So we must cut them some slack for an occasional long-range miss – games are not won by passing the ball laterally and backwards!

  5. As another poster said it’s about the strongest team and subs bar injuries we can put out , great to see carr back in contention he needs a good run out to fire up that confidence that he needs , the news on cillian is definitely more positive than people are thinking there’s a lot of the usual stories gathering legs that arnt true just a bit of patience needed, the half forward line is probably 2 of that 3 plus diarmaid so they need to go full hog to impress and Rory getting another outing is super for his confidence I think getting to the league final is well within the mindset and well within reach

  6. Both Diarmuid and Rob got hamstring injuries and no need to risk them here. No Cillian for the whole league campaign when Horan told the media he would play the last few games. Its clear he had a set back in his recovery and its fingers crossed that setback doesn’t rule him out of the Connacht championship

  7. James Carr is a massive player if we can get him right.Je is the closest thing to Tommy Conroy that we have…could be just as good if he is right.Also Darren Coen while he can be hit and miss he can get great scores and he never hesitates.Dissappointing with Cillian but we are doing OK and his absence has developed Ryan.When he is back it will be massive for us

  8. Delighted to see McBrien getting another run and if he marks Daniel Flynn then that will be a great test for him. Must be doing something right to keep Harrison out of the team.

    O’Hora coming in strengthens the Full-back line and Harrison is great cover to have for that line.

    Half-backline looks lopsided as surely Coen and AOS are playing for the one spot ? Mullin and Durkan will surely be the wing half-backs come championship. Good cover here with Hession and Durkan.

    Half-forward line looks stronger and better balanced than last week and interesting to see how Carney fares at CHF.

    Good to see Towey stay on the panel, think he can be an impact sub at corner forward. And great to see Carr emerge from injury and be back in contention again. If Diarmuid and Cillian can get back, forwards would suddenly look a whole lot stronger.

    Think he’s picked a strong team with good bench options so hopefully get the job done.

  9. Mcbrien looks like he might relish the challenge Flynn would bring .

    Did Flynn play for Kildare last week though ?

  10. David .McBrien is promising at full back. I suppose he’s around the 6’1″ mark and naturally is a big fella. We have not had a big defender in the full back line in a long time. I’ve always liked the idea of having at least one full backline player who has the height and weight to match up best to big full forwards. It’s not that they blot them out, but the physical gap is minimised.

  11. Yeah JP he’s a heavy boned lad too , behind the goal last week in omagh couldn’t help notice he has a commanding swagger of an old fashioned full back . I can see him become a regular starter .

  12. Missing from the 26

    McLaughlin
    O’Connor
    Walsh
    Mark Moran
    Callinan
    McHugh
    Irwin
    McDonagh

  13. Hopefully Robbie and diarmuid are just knocks that are been nursed with Galway in mind . I’d say Horan hopes this GPA boycott goes on all season long haha

  14. Players from 13 clubs in the starting line up. Clubs need to be developing stronger players with better conditioning essential at club level so that guys can be stuck straight in and not have to wait 2 years before being ready for county. To be fair the county board is trying its best but they are limited financially in what help they can give. A similar investment of the type Dublin did would result in a much better flow of players from the clubs.

  15. Would have taught that Eoghan McLaughlin, would easily be in our best 26 available.. Only 2020, Eoghan was one of the three nominated for Young Player of the year.

  16. Like other’s I’m happy to see McBrien get another run at fb, while we have lots of good individual defenders it would be good to have an ‘old school’ raw physical fullback for certain opposition (ie we can never handle Michael Murphy, mcbrien could be good fit for him). Hopefully Dan flynn is full forward for kildare, that will be a good test for him.

    Happy to see Jack carney in again too, think I read an article somewhere before (from eamon fitzmaurice perhaps?) where he suggested it’s always good to parachute in a guy who had a stellar all Ireland winning year at club because they are absolutely buzzing coming in, momentum and confidence is sky high etc

    Bench is looking stronger than recent weekends too so don’t think squad is too far away from championship strength

  17. What ever happens on Sunday I would like to see them just go for the scores. If they kick a 100 wides fair enough as long as they don’t start this 20 passes 14 yards from goal stuff. Also we need to be scoring goals it will be crucial if we have an ambition of winning an All Ireland. How many finals have WE lost to goals. So it’s imperative on Sunday to be more ruthless in front of goal.

  18. Agreed @kickhams man. Take the shots, but also copy the Dublin playbook-> recycle until the
    shooters get it. The last day, our shooters didn’t shoot when it was on… we have to have “some” runners as well to open teams up.. I like the team named in general, just not sure about the AOS CB experiment…

  19. @Leantimes

    Eoghan McLaughlin had an ankle injury against Monaghan and was rushed back for Sigerson. He then seemed to have re-aggravated it against Dublin. If he is fit he will 100% be within the Mayo 26 on match day.

  20. Looking forward to Sunday and am hoping fot a better performance that we saw last weekend. Anyone read the Western People this week? Anthony Hennigan spot on as usual. Any chance it could be put up here WJ?

  21. Goagain – if you have a link for it, then fire ahead. If it’s copying and pasting the whole piece, that’s not possible as that would be a breach of copyright.

  22. Hmmmm. Interesting.

    From that line up, I think it’s clear that Horan is prepared to place experimentation over a win. Maybe he values giving fringe players a run out and looking at players in different positions, more than going with his strongest team all out for the win. Maybe he’s looking at the bigger picture with the realization that league is league, but it’s no championship. Durcan and McLoughlin on the bench says alot. Maybe he’s holding his cards close to his chest, not wanting to show his hand to Joyce & Co before our up coming Connacht championship game.
    I’d have preferred to see Coen at 6 flanked by Keegan and Mullin, but maybe Horan wants Keegan inside near McBrien to help him out, along with O’Hora. Disappointed not to see Harrison getting a start but the fact that he’s continously in the match day squads must mean he’s fit, so maybe he’s just being edged out by others, and if that’s the case then that’s great competition.
    Not a fan at all of O’Shea at 6 and cannot see what he brings to that position. But, I’ve said enough about that already so I’m not going to poke the bear on that issue.
    Midfield looks settled and if it keps progressing as it has, it could be a very strong area for us in the Summer.
    The half forward line (undoubtedly the weakest line of our team in the last couple of seasons) looks to have a “kicking” element to it in that Boland and Loftus are very accurate foot passers. Hopefully, the aim is to get those two on the ball and their job will be to feed direct ball inside to a more deeper inside full forward line.
    Doherty at 14 will give us a focal point to our attack inside, something that was badly missing in Omagh. Having Orme and O’Donoghue stationed either side of him will bring energy, pace and scoring ability closer to goal. O’Donoghue was always too far from goal in Omagh because he kept having to come out the field looking for ball.

    Kildare are a big powerful team with some very knacky forwards. I’d worry that from a defensive point of view we could be vulnerable at 10 and 12 as neither Loftus or Boland are big men and we could be in bother there. If I was the Kildare keeper I would be targetting those two lads on my kickouts. On the plus side both Loftus and Boland will score if in the right position, and both will move the ball through the foot, so the lads inside should get better service than we offered up last weekend.

    It’s a win for Kildare for me. For two reasons, 1) they have to win to secure division 1 status, and we’re safe regardless. 2) our middle third (ie half back, midfield and half forward lines) aren’t as strong and settled as they need to be to come away from home v a big powerful team that has to win.

    For me, I’d take a defeat along as it came with a solid performance, some signs of progression from the fringe players, some positive sign as regards our style of play (ie not slowly handpassing the ball up the field to then hit a wall 50m out, and then start going lateral before getting turned over!) and no injuries.

  23. I don’t get the thinking that we’d be better off away from a League Final. It’s an extra game and a run out in Croke Park which is much more useful than a training weekend.

    We are long enough around the block now having to be “lying in the long grass” for Galway. Galway know what we are about and we know them…and in fairness they are flying it and looking at their what their fans are dying they are very confident of beating us on the 24th. Bring it on.

  24. I’m with ya yew tree ,I find it all a bit bizarre this blasé attitude to a chance to win a national league title and see how we go against Kerry in croker too . One of the finest days I can recall as supporter winning the league in 2019 . Plus the fact it’s another game , I’m completely in the dark about cillian as I don’t know who to believe but let’s just say he was able to tog for a league final or Robbie , diarmuid etc surely to fook another game is what we want . How can you say out of one side of your mouth such a one needs to be togged this weekend or forget Galway but not want another game to extend that timeframe to those nursing knocks ?

  25. Maybe Mayo management should impose this rule for Sunday.
    No back passing in the opposition half of the pitch, forward passing only, any player that breaks this rule twice to be substituted.
    Forwards to shoot with their left foot if a score is on.

  26. Look we have to go to win otherwise it’s 3 defeats in a row. We have experimented MORE, and tried out MORE players than any other team. April and Galway will come around regardless.

  27. I have a feeling that Mayo would not prefer to play Kerry in the League final but wait for a clash in the championship when the team and panel is stronger with the injured players recovered.

  28. I would have been a David Clark fan but the way Rob has changed his game and his lockouts have been amazing, we need him back come championship.
    Hopefully Cillian make an appearance, but we can survive without him

  29. Mayo88…….I think you’re 100% correct there and given that we’re safe in Div 1, management are using this final game to give even more valuable competitive time to one of our ‘strange’ selections………No point in meeting Kerry again until we’re able to fire on all cylinders…….

  30. Experimentation and “blooding new players” has to slow at some stage and you get to more settled team.By now we should know what we have and they need to play a few games together to be right for Galway.For that reason it’s good to get to a league final and win it.It did Dublin no harm over the years .It strikes me that we fool ourselves saying it doesn’t matter in case we lose.2019 in Croke Park was special.When Treacy nailed that goal it was some feeling.
    Where is Ciaran Treacy by the way??

  31. I expect kildare to have a right cut at us, in particular their half back line going forward. There are questions to be answered about defensive capabilities of our half forward line.
    On the positive side, it will be a more open game than v Tyrone.
    Posters talk of getting the ball to our specialist shooters. Surely its reasonable to expect any player given the ball in prime position can take a score. Just look at the scores returns from Dublin, fair enough a few sharpshooters but everyone stands up to be counted.
    Create more goal chances? Yes definitely room for improvement.
    In the absence of Hennelly and DOC im just wondering should we be starting Towey?
    Mayo to bounce back for me. Fair bit of pressure in this game, lets see who thrives under pressure.

  32. Whatever about planning for the Galway game, Mayo management must now work on a strategy to beat a heavy defensive team, ie, Tyrone and Kerry are now likewise.
    Mayo did beat the blanket defensive of Tyrone in 2016 in Croker.

    Next year the Gas should change the system for the league, 3 points for a win as per the Premiership.

  33. @Mayo88 & @MartyK, so what you’re both saying essentially is that Mayo will meet Kerry in an All-Ireland final with all guns blazing and end the famine, that’s confidence for you, because if that doesn’t happen then where is the logic in both of your arguments ?

    Even if Mayo were to lose a league final to Kerry, it’s still far more beneficial than failing to beat Kildare.

    We will have to wait and see if the team plays as selected but if AOS is at 6 again then it would indicate that JH was satisfied with that experiment and if so then he will continue to play him there because if he doesn’t then it renders the experiment pointless to begin with.

    Someone will have to have a word with Ringer, we can’t have one man on the homeless list for the best part of a decade and does anyone seriously believe he’ll finally settle at no. 6, I think not.

    I say grasp every opportunity to win a final in Croke Park and never mind counting chickens, Mayo supporters could all be sitting in the house and nowhere near Croke Park on All-Ireland final day.

    There’s nothing guaranteed in sport and Dublin could yet send Kerry packing this year.

  34. Just on the, it didn’t do Dublin any harm winning the league. Leinster was effectively a bye so Dublin needed the league for competitive games.

    Connacht is a crucible, second to Ulster, so a league final isn’t that important.

    Anyways the last two times we won a league we didt get out of Connacht. I’d settle for Connacht at the expense of a league final.

  35. This league final isn’t important crack drives me crazy. Incase no one noticed we didn’t take the league seriously on many occasions and guess what we still didn’t win Sam. Also all this talk about meeting kerry later in the championship reminds me of the bright sparks last season looking forward to a Dublin v kerry final. As someone posted earlier don’t be counting chickens so go out and beat kildare and see how a final goes. At this stage every national title should be respected and aimed for.

  36. Just a comment on AO’S position, because we never talk about it!! Even when he wears 8/9/11, he spends most of his time in the defensive midfield positions, often floating back into 6 and making himself an option for mid range kickouts. Or receiving the ball from the corner back.

    I’d prefer if he could be an impact sub, which he is great at but interested to see if he can nail down a position at 6. He could be flanked by Paddy and Oisin, with Eoghan Mc, Plunkett, and Coen coming off the bench.

  37. A league final may be our only appearance in Croke park lads. There is no guarantee we will be there later in the summer. Just because we lost in Connacht the last time we won the league does not mean it would happen again.

    I’m a big believer in momentum and a habit of winning. Driven players don’t go out to lose games. Utter nonsense.

  38. Just in reference to GBXI and Aido’s possible new role, would he eventually make a number 3? I don’t think he has the pace for the modern #6, but i do think ,when he is fresh, that he is one of the best tacklers in the country. He did play #3 on Donaghey and did a fine job on him… just looking for perspective on this…?

  39. We might have been beaten the last couple of matches but things would have looked much worse had it not been for Ryan.

    What worries me the most is the type of some of the passes that are launched in towards Ryan.
    Some of them are not even 50/50 balls.
    Ryan has almost done summersaults winning ball that he almost had no right to win.
    If some of the quality of ball that is been sent towards Ryan doesn’t improve, then it is only a matter of time Im afraid before he gets injured in his efforts to win these balls.
    That’s when we’ll be rightly screwed.

  40. Eoghan McLaughlin is missing a while now? Is it out for the foreseeable? Brilliant honest player.

  41. Someone might correct me if I am wrong but was O Shea playing as defensive midfielder/ extra defender in last years Connaught final when he got turned and lead to a Galway goal ? My memory is brutal but I just have a recollection of a Galway lad getting away from him and Aido caught for pace .That would be my concern when he plays around here against some of the better teams .

  42. AOS would be a disaster in most games at no 3, a full back has to be lightning over 20 meters. The obsession over him beats the hell out of me, he is a good man to have in the panel, sometimes at mid-field, some occasions as a sub, a good man to break the line, limited as a scorer, has plusses and minuses. Robbie, Lee, Paddy, Doc, Oisin, ROD, Mattie, COC far more pivotal. Ant rational man can see that AOS has different strengths and weaknesses and it’s up to management to utilize them on a game-by-game basis. We have used Lee at corner, full, wing and centre back in the league and also at times as the extra defender, he hasn’t put a foot or ball astray in all of that and maybe we should be discussing where to get the most out of him or indeed Paddy? Ditto Diarmuid with the consensus of CHF, but midfield, wing or indeed full forward as options? I think Horan believes this team can get to the league final and then give it a good shot, no doubt we can win that and go on to the Galway match. Personally, I lwys see Mayo-Galway matches as a one-off, stand-alone affair.

  43. Mayomaningalway, whatever about giving a goal away that day, when he was positioned in front of the Galway goal at the start of the second half with a man running off his shoulder, this led to a goal and was the start of our comeback that day.

    He can still inflict damage if he is used correctly, up front with a player or two close by to lay the ball off to.

  44. Willie Joe, that team is well capable of a comfortable win on Sunday. Loftus and Boland are both fine footballers who can and should shoot for scores from 30 to 40 metres out . Please stop this type of play where we work our way up to the corner flag and then back pass to our own half. Why we don’t leave one of our guys on the edge of the square permanently is a mystery to me .Kerry are no great shakes and we should relish the chance to take them on again in a league final. This talk of not wanting to be in a league final is utter nonsense .

  45. Do we have any official update on DOC? I don’t miss horan’s bland interviews but would like to know status of key players like doc, Robbie and COC.

  46. I think the Aidan O’Shea experiment is all to do with Galway. He spent a lot of his time in the first half last year in the six position last year, and Galway dragged him all over the place. Might not have 6 on his back come championship but a bit of time there now might make a difference come Galway.

  47. I don’t agree that Aido would be lost at full back. He would struggle for pace but he’s such a big man that you can’t run past him easily, and with his reach you could see him getting in a lot of blocks and could even get a sneaky hand in on one of those hand passed across the small rectangle goals we cough up

  48. Two new podcast episodes have just gone up on Patreon for club members, the first of which is our Here Comes the Weekend show with Mike, Billy Joe and special guest Kildare-based Conor Mortimer while the second is a bonus one with Mike and Billy Joe taking a look at the team selection for Sunday.

  49. @Yew Plains Drifter, he could do a job at 3 for sure.. Especially when there’s a big 14 in there – not too many of those these days though. He’d also be a big help for Robbie on the high balls. However, as long as he doesn’t get isolated against a speedster like Shane Walsh or Sean Kelly then he’ll be fine. If it’s a choice between AO’S and Coen at 6, I’m for AO’S all day!

  50. Horan will probably say he’s experimenting out of a necessity, to find his team for championship. I mean it’s not that surprising he’s trying Carney and Boland again at HF. It’s sensible and logical he’s sticking with Mattie and Jordan in the middle to allow them to continue to gel.

    Similarly with Jason D and Orme. I’m guessing he feels they’re our best options come championship so he’s giving them ample match-time. It’s risky I feel in Jason’s case because I think he looked well off the pace last week, but I can also see why James would want to back him and get him minutes. A fit Jason Doc would be gold come summer.

  51. Would agree with Yew Tree, I don’t get the perspective some posters have on avoiding a league final, especially given that Galway will also be in one that weekend. You want to test yourself against the best, and at the moment, that’s Kerry. The NFL final will also be three weeks out from the championship opener against Galway, which is the perfect timing in terms of optimising our physical conditioning (felt that the month long gap between the Dublin and Tyrone games last year contributed to us falling flat again on All-Ireland final day).

    For confidence reasons, it’s probably not the best thing to be heading into a major championship battle having suffered three consecutive defeats. One more game wouldn’t be a bad thing either in giving a few possibles one last chance to force their way into the XV for Galway, given how much chopping and changing has been going on (forced?) during the league.

  52. Wouldn’t you think that playing full tilt in a highly competitive, elite league match would provide as much if not more physical conditioning than on the training pitch. I don’t get the whole sports science sometimes.

    Good article featuring Lee in todays Indo. Strongest side we’ve ever had right now, he says.

  53. I’m puzzled.

    Our midfield was non-existent for the first two games, yet we used AOS (successfully), as impact sub. From Dublin on, we have established a competent pairing in Jordan, and Mattie. In the last two games we are playing AOS full time, when there is less need. Now posters are suggesting AOS at 3, just when we may have found what we’re looking for in McBrien.

  54. More quotes from Lee on the RTE website. Two big takeaways:

    -yes, Mayo do want to win the League

    -Lee has no intention of retirement anytime soon

  55. The management and players have only one goal on Sunday. Winning. Talk of anything less is nonense. Posters willing to make an excuse for us before a ball is kicked and there will be more of the same before the final.
    Jason Doherty needs to get back to the form he was in earlier in league and i expect he will. Orme is a good player and I hope there is a balanced distribution of attacks up his wing. Horan has options on the bench to give extra impetus in second half.
    Bolster ourselves for a cracker but Mayo to come out on top..

  56. this endless obsession on here with where to shoehorn in AOS is mad, talking about dismantling the best halfback line in ireland to fit him in? lads talking about putting him in at no 3? Ah here.

    He would be absolutely destroyed at fullback by most curretn full forwards, Dan Flynn would absolute annihilate him for goodness sake. Its no harm giving him a tryout at 6 for one or 2 games like horan has done but he hasnt done enough to earn a start spot and undoubtedly an impact sub role is best use of him for galway

    Whats the word on eoghan mclaughlin lads, seems to be having a stop start league campaign? did he aggravate that sigerson injury again? Was hoping to have seen a lot more of him and hession by now

  57. I dont know about experimentation, people seem to forget its not like normal years. We do not have 2 months between the end of the league and the championship. Logic would seem to dictate we should have been experimenting early on and fielded our champo team the last 2 games.
    Hopefully we can put Galway on their arses, it doesn’t take fecken long for them to get fair cocky

    I still think back to my cousin after we hammered the shite out of them in the championship (theres been a few times over the past 10 years so I cant narrow it down) saying to me “We’ll still win the all ireland again at some stage before ye”

  58. Time frame difference is in 2019 we had 8 weeks to prepare for ros game after league final (leaving aside new york}

    in that same year there was a 24 week window from league final to all Ireland final.

    this year there will be 3 weeks between league final and championship game V Galway.

    16 weeks from league final to all Ireland final.

    Its quite a significant difference and id suggest it could be a fair challenge for management teams to get timing right this year.

  59. Youve had 7 competitive league games to get your house in order for championship. Its a question of keeping the momentum going and shaking off any injuries. There will be breaks between rounds of the championship.
    The scenario next year will be totally different when after the provincial championships you will have 16 teams going into league format at the end of which you will still have 8 teams going forward. Overkill and greed. Counties with big panel of players at advantage

  60. Look`s like lots of people are putting the cart before the Horse. Let`s save any criticism of Management until we see how the Galway game plays out rather than making assumptions.

    James and co know whats best for the team and have secured division 1 status after 4 Games this season. He has brought the team to at least an all Ireland semi final in every year in charge, yet people are questioning his approach and management of the workload in March.

    Nobody else has a clue what`s going on in the background, what players are moving well in training, what players status of injury’s is or what the managements plans are. People need to relax and just sit back and enjoy the football stop getting stressed out about team selection.

  61. some lovely footage of the ‘hurling for hope’ charity drive up on social media, what a fantastic event, well done to all.
    Good to see keith higgins leadership qualities are as strong off field as on

  62. @supermac, no one suggested putting Aiden at 3, I just answered a question as to how he would get on there. Regarding him earning a starting spot, given he started every game for Mayo last year and so far in this league has been excellent coming off the bench, I’d say he has done more than any other bench player to warrant a starting spot. Though my preference would be if he could come off the bench.

    Our halfback options are strong but Mullin has done nothing of note since the 2020 final and Coen wouldn’t started for Dublin, Kerry, or Tyrone. That leaves Durcan (who is the best in the country imo) and Eoghan Mc who I have a lot of time for but has been injured a lot (ankle at the moment and was hoping to be fit for the Kildare game so I expect will make a league final). Nothing wrong with trying Aidan at 6 and there’s every chance he does well there.

  63. I have an unfortunate feeling that we may have seen the last of Cillian on the playing fields. Achilles injuries often mean that a player never gets his pace/normal running stride back And this may be Cillian’s problem. I hope it’s not but he is out for a worrying long time now.

  64. GBXI – how can you say Mullin has done nothing of note since 2020? He was excellent against Dublin and Armagh a few weeks ago. Also drove us on in a big way in the connacht final last year. Obviously played well in the division 2 games and vs Sligo/Leitrim too.

    Agree with your comment on Aidan however. When the likes of Jack Carney does well off the bench, everyone wants him to start. Aidan needs to start a few league games as well.

  65. we seem to spend hours focusing on what we don’t have and who isn’t fit and how unfortunate we are. Reallllllly!
    We have a fantastic team, panel and management. Leee thinks it’s the best depth we have had in his time and that says enough for me.
    Time to enjoy. If any of the long term injuries make it back, we will welcome them with open arms. And if not, let’s stop moaning and start supporting.
    Thank you.
    Come on Mayo…best foot forward and may the best team win…as always!
    Maigheo go deo!!

  66. The negativity on this blog sometimes is mind-boggling.

    So far this week i have read the following;

    Management dont know what their at
    We will be beaten out the gate by Galway.
    Oisin Mullin has done nothing since 2020
    Cillian`s Career is Finished

    Lee Keegan 2022 – “I don’t stress about a lot of stuff. I think sport is for enjoying. We get uptight about a lot of stuff in life but sport is the one thing we should enjoy as best we can and I do anyway personally.”

    We should all take a leaf out of lee`s book.

    https://www.the42.ie/lee-keegan-interview-2-5719997-Mar2022/

  67. I was ignoring the Sligo and Leitrim games, Wide Ball. In fairness, I only saw highlights of the Armagh game so I’ll take your word for that but I just don’t think he has been close to what you’d expect compared to 2020 Mullin, and is zero threat to the score board. No doubt he will come good though. Just hope it’s soon!

    That’s exactly my point about bench players! I hope Towey gets lots of time on Sunday. He has a bit of magic about him and it was a bit harsh to whip him off at half time last week.

  68. @JKEL88, maybe we need a few more men to move from Ulster to Mayo. I often wondered if Lee’s general outlook and unfazed steely mentality has something to do with his Ulster DNA.

    He would have been a star whether he stayed in Cavan or moved to Mayo, no doubt about that.

    ROD has a good sprinkling of it as well.

    Only a theory before anyone gets too excited.

  69. What was Mullin doing in 2020 that was so much better than now? Don’t think he’ll ever be kicking points like Keegan or Paddy Durcan, that was never his game. His main qualities are winning 50:50 balls in defense with his strength/pace and transitioning to attack at speed.

  70. A league final Sunday with Galway Roscommon Kerry and Mayo on show would be brilliant in every way. Hope we can make up the fourth spot.
    For our amateur game It seems on the one hand overkill but the psychological margin between winners at the very top level is probably something we have never fully grasped. One has only to look to Limerick and the same gain it provided in getting an exceptional bunch across the line in 2018. Our approach to tapping into those small margins seems very confused at best. And as crazy as it might seem, when a team has such an iconic player as AOS, the same psychological margin can be turned against us when the opposition and their support base get the better of him. The negative impact on team and supporters can be draining. However the opposite when it happens is so positive for us. The big man has been that positive inspiration in the past so so often. Time to use him properly now. I think of the last 15 mins against Dublin in the league on Robbie’s second kickout after AOS came on as sub. So Dublin goalie stands out on same side of pitch as AOS in order to overcrowd that side and make Robbie put it down the other side. But he still put it out to AOS who knew he had to field it and he did so majestically. After that catch game over, opposition team and support drained away. That is the positive psychological margins our management need to tune into and introduce players at right time to get maximum effect.

  71. He was setting up scoring chances Wide Ball. Also, with that pace he should be a scoring threat, like Eoghan Mc is when he plays (and Mullin has more natural football skills than Eoghan). Anyway, my point is he has been particularly quiet this year so far.

    I don’t think the blog is negative JKELL88. I think Mayo are in as good or better a place than anyone bar Kerry. I just think last week’s performance was dire and we really struggle against defensive teams.

  72. I see now it’s oisins turn for criticism after Loftus and O’Shea. The way things are going I’ll soon get a mention and I never played County

  73. Oisin is not playing to his potential lately . What’s wrong with telling the truth ?

  74. Saying he’s not playing to his potential recently is fine. He was poor enough vs Tyrone (along with 7 or 8 others) and Clifford got the better of him the week before.

    Saying he’s done nothing since 2020 is just nonsense.

  75. @sean Burke we are a sensitive bunch on here it seems, anything other than gushing praise for every single player will get you rounded on. We love a pedestal

    Oisin is a brilliant player obviously but I would agree with you that he has been performing well below his capability since the AI final, I don’t think there is anything controversial in saying that
    Saying that, I’d have no worries about him going into the galway game

  76. RE Oisin Mullin? Form is temporary, Class is permanent.
    His ceiling is so high that his “ordinary” performances are still way higher than most others ceilings.

    As for No doubts performances, I just don’t see the point of having him in the squad at all. Surely it’s past time he was cut?

  77. It’s a funny old site here.
    Before the League started we read here that it was most important for Mayo to secure Division 1 status.
    This has been achieved, so much that a possible league final could be the outcome.
    But some are still looking to find problems with team selection, guys used guys not used etc.
    It’s seems that everyone is surprised that Mayo has done so well in this league.
    I for one am thinking of how this Mayo team can adapt to various styles of opposition teams, particularly well drilled defensive teams such as Tyrone and Kerry.

    Can Mayo score enough in the championship to beat Tyrone or Kerry, taking one step at a time, I suppose we cannot look to much beyond the Kildare game.

    It is great that Management have so many players at their disposal to blood in this league.

  78. I’m absolutely certain that Oisin Mullen is a fantastic player.. but not in the full back line, Half back line, midfield possibly CHF.

  79. It`s also crazy to say Oisin hasn’t played well since 2020 and then he goes on to win young footballer of the year in 2021 and gets offered a contract to play in the AFL on the back of it.

  80. A Dub rang me after our league game with them some weeks ago, specifically to tell me how good he thought Oisin Mullin had played in that particular match. He said he was a savage young player and had stood out in that game to his eyes anyway.

  81. No doubt – never having played county might have you down with many as being the ideal candidate for selection, displacing some establised player in the process.
    If your surname is Aboutit then I’m certain I’ve heard you mentioned as being the best back/half back/midfielder/half forward/full forward or Goalkeeper in the county and wondering why Horan hasn’t picked you yet.

  82. Yep Oisin showed glimpses of brilliance v dubs a few weeks ago . He’s a freak of an athlete and I am certainly not saying anything like he’s not brilliant and an amazing prospect all I personally was saying he has not been as big an influence in the league overall as I expect him to be .

  83. I heard a kilkenny hurlers on the radio this week talking about teams who may not want to play in a league final, he thought that it reflected an inferiority complex.

    To be fair to JH, this is not something that I would associate with him, I think that he probably would take a league final. I do like that he is giving players a chance, he has a good understanding as to what is required to consistently perform on the inter County stage.

    If we had more with Lee’s attitude, we would have brought home the Holy grail sooner, a real leader.

  84. No big mystery why Oisin played well against the Dubs and why he was a revelation in the 2020 All-Ireland final against the same opposition. He’s a Croke Park player, a bit like a thoroughbred who always comes up the hill at Cheltenham, he thrives on the space where he can use his athleticism to its maximum effect. He’ll explode this year yet, just give him time!

    One of the great things about Horan as a manager is how he’s turned us into a Croke Park team. We just have to get there, another thing Horan’s been very good at, and we’re a match for any team !

  85. I see the GPA are extending out their media boycott.

    I would have thought now is the time to strike. Refusing to play the league finals would be a good time to do so, would really make their point but wouldn’t be as disruptive as doing it during championship

  86. Sean Burke I agree. Don’t think you said anything wrong. If Oisin had hit the potential we know he has, we could have a very special player

  87. Murphy’s Loyalty.

    And yet.
    If some legend might announce their retirement tonight.
    His last game to be tomorrow.
    They’d sell three hundred thousand tickets.
    To see him one last time.

    And Yes.
    Murphy.
    Murphy would want the center line.
    Yes.
    Murphy.

    But when Legend started in recent times.
    That’s when Murphy whined.

    Oh.
    Nothing was too good for Murphy.

    The only ball he ever kicked was in his mind.
    The Walter Mitty kind.

    In fairness.
    He knew himself to be a dacent man.

    He closed the bar gate shut the day he spread the slurry.
    The way the neighbours couldn’t smell it.

    If they kept their noses out of Murphy’s business they’d be fine.

    He asked.

    ” Can you take at the a look at the car for me ” ?
    ” I have the NCT on Tuesday “.

    ” Leave it there ”
    ” You can collect it in the morning “.

    ” In the morning “.

    ” Are yea fucking joking ” ?
    ” They serviced Lewis Hamiltons in 9 seconds “.

    He drove the 5 miles home in 11 seconds
    Past a field of slurry that didn’t smell
    to rustle up a ticket for a Legends Swan song.

    A legend he might have dropped himself some time ago had he been boss.

    Regardless.

    He wasn’t going to miss this final show.

  88. Could we try conor o shea at full forward. It might give us something different other than passing around the fringes and going back more time s than directly in

  89. Lee on OTB today candidly said he’d like to see more of Aido at 6. Now for yee, how do yee like them apples.

  90. If people think jh is experimenting too much in my opinion jack o connor is at the other extreme in kerry, he seems determined to flog David clifford, playing him in every game, mcgrath Cup games and dead rubber league games. It’s seems like madness to me they aren’t wrapping him in cotton wool

  91. Maybe AOS might be a goalie option if robbie remains injured. Look at Ethan Rafferty for armagh, an outfield player coming up the pitch to contest opposition kickouts and carrying thr ball out of defence. Why couldnt aido do that? It is very similar to his current role. He’d know all the kickout strategies having worked so closely with clubmate robbie over the years and he has a decent boot off the ground. He’d add huge presence to our full backline as well, fielding any ball around the square. Put mullin centre back and lee keegan to midfield. Think itd be interesting to see.

  92. Yeah aido in goals for sure but the one thing we should try though so we have covered every angle covered is give James Horan himself a few mins in the hf line , save Ciaran Mc for the league final .

  93. Think it’s hilarious reading some negative comments ré Oisin. All the way is closest to reality but slightly out in his comparison. Oisin is like a thoroughbred but a Royal Ascot or Epsom thoroughbred who gets better in the Flat Season with the Sun on his back. Class Act

  94. Yeah there’s also been some serious lambasting of Oisin in here but the comments must be hid cause I can’t see them .

    What is it with some of you , do ye think James Horan is reading your comments and you get a gold star if you toe the line .

  95. No idea why the GAA have put all the league games on tomorrow at the same time. Don’t talk about what they have done to Division 4 teams. Really doesn’t bode well for Tailteann cup when they can’t even sort out final round of games for the League when there is so much riding on nearly every game. Only one game on TV tomorrow and of course its Dublin again. I went through all the rounds of the league and came up with this:
    Allianz Football League Division 1 games on RTE and TG4:
    Kerry – 4 games on TV
    Mayo – 3 games on TV
    Armagh – 1 game on TV – One game on TG4 App
    Kildare – 2 games on TV
    Donegal – 4 games on TV
    Tyrone – 3 games on TV
    Dublin – 7 games on TV
    Monaghan – 3 games on TV

    if the GAA wanted to promote the game, they should really have a game from each division on TV every weekend.

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