Two changes in team named to face Kerry



Hot on the heels of Kerry’s announcement we’ve now named our starting fifteen for Sunday’s League Division One clash at MacHale Park (throw-in 2.30pm). Here it is:

Mayo (NFL Division One v Kerry, 13/3/2016): Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy); Brendan Harrison (Aghamore), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Chris Barrett (Belmullet); Lee Keegan (Westport), Colm Boyle (Davitts), Shane Nally (Garrymore); Tom Parsons (Charlestown Sarsfields), Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy); Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore); Evan Regan (Ballina Stephenites), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole), Conor O’Shea (Breaffy).

Once more we’ve opted not to release details of our subs list at this stage.

The team named shows two changes from the one that lined out in the win over Monaghan in Clones last Sunday. In come Chris Barrett and Jason Doherty in place of Michael Hall and Conor Loftus respectively. But will Michael Hall once again start having once more been omitted from the team named in advance?

Our team for Sunday is, like Kerry’s, a much-changed one from the side that lined out when the counties met in Killarney in February of last year. Of Sunday’s team only Robbie Hennelly, Lee Keegan, Chris Barrett, Seamus O’Shea, Kevin McLoughlin, Jason Doherty and Evan Regan lined out that day, although Diarmuid O’Connor, Aidan O’Shea and Colm Boyle did all feature from the bench.

Support the lads all the way: play the Mayo GAA Players Welfare Fund Lotto – here.

67 thoughts on “Two changes in team named to face Kerry

  1. Here we go, we have face them head on! No messing, tight marking, the support will massive, since I started supporting my county in the mid sixties
    I still get butterfly’s for games like this!
    I trust in the team, let’s go!
    Maigheo Abu!!

  2. I don’t agree with John Cuffe too often but he’s spot on with the state of underage in the county. Shocking, embarrassing result tonight. Absolutely no excuse for a trimming like that in the first outing of the year. Serious questions have to be asked and answered. Very worried about where we’re going at all levels of the game especially schools and underage.

  3. With Kerry missing their first choice midfielders, Moran and Maher, our first choice boys Parsons and Seamie should be well able to win enough possession. The key thing will be, can we turn that possession into scores on the board. If the big man for them moves into the full-forward line along with The Gooch and Darren O’Sullivan picking up the breaks, keeping them quiet will be very important. Roll on the game….

  4. Great challenge ahead ,,looking forward to it ,, let’s go in huge numbers and get behind our lads ,,it going to be tough

  5. I’m not surprised that Michael Hall or Conor Loftus aren’t named. The u21s need them in good shape for Saturday. The same with Diarmuid o Connor but obviously the senior management feel they need him to have a chance of beating Kerry.
    We have a strong team out – both teams need the points, the weather is promised good and they don’t much like each other – so I’m looking forward to a really tough competitive game……….and a mayo win!

  6. We interupt this broadcast to break the news that, this evening, Ros minors defeated Mayo minors on a scoreline of 2. 20 to 1. 02. in the Connacht Minor League. Relevant.

  7. Got those stats earlier robe man ,, shocking result ,, maybe post Morton on that might be left till after Sunday ,, no disrespect intended ,, roll on Sunday

  8. That’s an incredibly sobering scoreline from the minors..three scores all game??major post mortem there..

  9. The appointment of minor management this year was a great source of annoyance to me and that being said I’m not blaming management for this evenings flogging, but we have to take notice and get systems in place to safeguard our future. Looking forward to Sunday a good win would set the scene nicely for Mitchell’s on Thursday Maigheo Abu

  10. ros underage structure is unbelievable just coming from Dublin and went into see u21 game against Galway in kiltoom and missing so many players thru injury still were very good/Mcstay there was smiling then i heard about our minors and i think we really need to look we are heading down the line

  11. Lord almighty, that is a phenomenal trimming and unless our boys had their feet tied together it is the highroad for someone for this.How can a county like Mayo not be able to stop roscommon at minor level from doing this ?
    We had better enjoy this senior gang because if these type minors are our future God help us, we will be cheering for the hurlers.

  12. In his last 2 games in charge he has been beaten by 38 points. Beaten by Galway in last years championship 3-14 to 1-3 and now 2-20 to 1-2. In both games they fail to score in the second half. 3 of the starting backs played on last years team including John Maughans son. 5 Westport lads 3 each from kiltimagh and aughamore and 2 from castlebar are in a game day squad of 24 . Not a good spread of talent here. At least there is one from claremorris last year they won the minor a final and had nobody on the panel.

  13. Very worrying for underage, especially after AI win recently. Yes reappointment of manager was a suprise after last year and stories of alot of players from AI team having hip operations. Does make you worry for whatsgoing on at underage.

  14. Any teamsheet from the minor game. That for me is the bigger story of the weekend. I took a bit of flak for the suggestion last year that the Mayo minor team should mainly be upper table Division 1. Those who suggest otherwise should take a moment to consider the huge drop in standard from 1 to 2 and a chasm to 3.
    A few players from smaller clubs, but only a few. I really dont believe a Mayo minor team properly based around Division 1 footballers top four clubs can be anything other than competitive in Connaught.

  15. I posted this in another thread.

    “A serious team was in place to take over the minors this year. Marty McIntyre, Peadar Gardiner, Fergal Kelly, Alan Dillon. They were asked to form an alternative ticket to the incumbent management by a member of the executive, who then refused to allow an open vote at the CB meeting and ratified the current ticket. A lackey at the board meeting that night started shouting about the need for an urgent appointment as the minor club semi finals were upcoming. This is the same individual who proposed a motion at this years convention and then argued against it. We may have won a All Ireland in 2013 but the amount of players who were seriously injured that year is criminal, with many out for over a year with serious injuries. Why was there not one player from the County Minor A Champions last year on the county panel? For a county that does administrative cock ups better than anyone, this was a Shanghaing of epic proportions”.

    We continue to play “all in” poker, with everything being put into the senior team at the expense of the underage structures. We have won 2 games in U21 in the last 7 years. If a 21 point hammering in any game, at any level doesn’t set alarm bells ringing then it’s time to worry. I genuinely refuse to believe that such a gulf in individual players in the counties exist that can explain the last 2 results.

  16. HSE Kerry rely on the half forwards and the breaking ball around midfield a lot more when Moran is not playing. Something we have failed to handle in the past (Limerick). I don’t believe Kerry will start that team. While its a strong line up there will be some kept in reserve. Star will be at FF also. A tight game in prospect.

  17. Re minor result. It seems like it wasn’t a type error alright and that was the actual result.

    Okay. Has anybody resigned yet? Has the fellas that appointed the management team resigned yet? Or will they wait til Monday to clear out the owl desk?

    Do we know when the new man will be appointed? Maybe just a caretaker up to and including our game(s) in Connacht. Any names in the frame yet?

  18. The drop off from 2012/13/14 to these last two results is frightening. It definitely requires urgent action. That margin at home is unnacceptable as a setup.

  19. If we dont want our senior team to go back to the 70’s, the county board had better start appointing the right people over minor and U21 county teams.

    If fellas arent getting into the underage squads who should be there we will start losing some of them entirely from the game, they’ll stop playing seriously at 18/19.

    We have a whole bunch of lads that were U21 all ireland winning team that are going to be going over the hill in the next few years that will need replacing

    U21 Team in 2007
    MAYO: K O’Malley; T Howley, G Cafferkey, K Higgins (capt); C Barrett, T Cunniffe, C Boyle; S O’Shea, B Moran; A Campbell, J Dillon, A Kilcoyne; M Ronaldson, M Hannick, M Conroy.

  20. JP,

    I have to disagree with your suggestion that the bulk of our county minor team should come from top Div 1 clubs. I have in the past criticised both Ballina and Castebar for the paucity of their contribution at underage level given their populations. I have long argued that they should be domination our underage competitions and nobody has, to date, disagreed with this suggestion. Look at the 2015 underage A finals: U21, Aghamore & Moy Davitts?; Minor, Claremorris & Ballina, U16 Westport & Belmullet, U14 Castlebar & Ballaghaderreen. One appearance each by Ballina/Castlebar. Of the 16 minor finals played since 2000 they have won for each, two each went to Breaffy & Knockmore while Belmullet, Ballintubber, Moy Davitts & Claremorris won the others. I don’t think that either of those first three were even in Senior football when they won their minor titles.
    I also said, having been at the minor final last year, that I did not see any player who would, in my opinion, have made a difference to the result v Galway last year. Some probably did deserve to be on the panel if their form in June matched their form in October. But who knows whether it did or whether they were available at all in early summer.
    On the issue of the spate of injuries suffered by the 2013 minor team I do not think that all the blame can be laid at the door of the management. After all we are supposed to have a top notch medical/physio set up in place – or is this confined to the Senior team only? If we have any sort of medical/physio set up for the minors they have to take equal responsibility with the manager/trainer.

  21. That nine of that 2007 U21 15 are still involved is remarkable. And it would have probably been more but for injuries and if Ken O’Malley had not been so foolishly dropped by Holmes/Connolly last year. Credit to them.

  22. Andy I think however we are in agreement since my definition of which clubs should form the bulk of Minor panels matches yours.
    My definition is based on upper Division one at minor level. There are divisional games at minor. Claremorris, Moy Davitts and Ballaghadereen were duking it out since U14.
    I take your point that there were no season changers with Claremorris but that Gill lad was surely at least a panellist. We are just looking to stem the tide of complete non-competitiveness.
    The true measure and preparation for county minor players is divisional and championship club games. The upper half of division one every single year should dominate the starting key positions. Certainly division one overall.
    With a few stars from lower division. But there is a pretty poor track record from lower division minors. Conor Moran, Conor Mortimer, Keith Higgins.
    Division one by comparison the names are in abundance over the last twenty years. The 99 minors would have beaten Down if the panel had more of a Division one focus for example. Bar Conor Moran and Meenaghan there were too many lower division defenders on the panel.

  23. WJ I don’t know if your anti-virus software for this site has stopped working or something but all of a sudden the negative vibes on this site are going through the roof, lol…!!!

    I woke up this morning and there was no snow, sleet, wind, rain or frost to be seen, the sun was even shining, for that I was very grateful….

    There will be a massive crowd in Castlebar tomorrow to see two top four teams battle it out. This should be a great game! Next Thursday Castlebar Mitchels go into battle for Mayo in an All-Ireland final in Coke Park, our third club team this year to do that. I am really looking forward to that game as well. Next Saturday our promising U21 team starts what we hope will be a successful campaign. By any stretch of the imagination our glass is half-full at the moment…..

    Best of luck to all involved with these teams. They are all doing us very proud.
    Roll on the games!

  24. Hope Springs Eternal…have you been following or going to under age games involvingMayo over the past 5/6 years? It’s very worrying, particularly at u21 where we’ve been dismal. That’s the reality. Apart from our flash in the pan 2013 minors who’ve provided some players to break into the senior team, there’s been nothing else. Our minors and u21s were embarrassingly poor last year and that recent minor league result is jaw droppingly shocking!

    We know our senior team are v good bit in 2/3 years time quite a few will be gone(all of the u21 ’06 team) … We need talent coming through… With the exception of 2013 we are trailing far far behind gal and ros at u18 and u21 over the past 6 years.

  25. Just to note I am pretty certain this is the biggest Mayo county level defeat since Cork 1993. That is 23 years and it happened against our neighbours with only 35% of our pick.
    I dont recall any other 20+ point defeat at minor, U21 or senior. Last year we were well beaten in Connaught and Galway as I recall were well handled by Kerry. So just how far off the pace have we fallen at minor.
    Mayo is a county that anoints minors and if you dont get county minor on your CV you may as well pack in notions of U21 football.
    So lads do tend to drift badly if they feel they got shafted for county minor selection.
    As another small example six foot and competitive is actually common in Mayo minor club football. We still seem to have this thing particularly from lower division clubs of the small skillful minor. Conor Mortimer excepted this usually ends badly when that minor has to compete with less time on the ball and bigger more physical defenders. Point being we should always be able to tog a competitive and physical team. Yet in many years simply being outdone in size has been our undoing.
    I will be very surprised if on that scoreline Roscommon were not taller and stronger all over the pitch. Yet common observation of any team photo in the Western shows many six foot plus players.

  26. Mayonaze, we have won five of the last 8 minor Connacht titles (2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014). Last year was a disaster alright. The U21 grade has been a write-off alright since 2009, especially seeing as we have a good record at minor level, which has not translated into U21 success. We really need to improve at this grade in the coming season.

  27. Has anyone managed to source a teamsheet for that minor game? Are we poor or are we selecting poorly. I would hope there are some players can come back in and they were missing many championship starters.

  28. Heads should roll if we fail miserably at minor and U-21 level again this year. Does anybody have any idea what if any underage development squads are in place? Are the correct players being scouted and being brought through and nurtured?

  29. Word on here was that the Academy was not operating. I know some young county players got cooking lessons (fair enough it’s valuable even as a lifeskill). But in terms of session meetups nothing has been happening with the Academy. Every club is represented on here and yet when has anyone posted about a session having taken place?
    Extend Michael Solan down to minor. He will bring his Brothers influence with him.
    As for scouting we still do the antiquated East West North South games to my knowledge.
    Really dont believe there are player profiles collected which is frankly awful seeing as we have paid full time officers working close to the scene. A lot of guess work on players.
    Scouting is where we could make the cheapest and quickest improvement.
    Then of the players who come to the fore that way see who can match up to the fitness. If not fit enough does their skill make up for that in games, not training.

  30. How come this conversation has drifted into the minor result and not the immediate Kerry game in hand.
    The doom.merchants have taken over again.

  31. A record defeat at minor to Roscommon is more important than a 50:50 league game at the weekend thats why.
    The Mayo team is pretty much as expected, a strong Kerry team is named. Whats to discuss?
    Donaghy in square done to death.
    Our year so far done to death.
    Other players coming back done to death.
    By comparison this is the first time we potentially find ourselves completely cut adrift in Connaught at minor level. Whilst these are not even title favorite teams (Roscommon/Galway).
    So it is far from doom merchantism and it warrants discussion.
    I cant really think of many interesting talking points for the weekend. Its a 50:50 game given the strong side they have named.
    Ger Cafferkey playing well again will be big stuff in terms of season ahead.
    Im much more alarmed at this minor situation. Where do we end up if Leitrim beat us next weekend? How to get competitive before championship?

  32. I was tslking to two men today who were at that minor game yesterday evening. Believe it or not, they said the final scoreline actually flattered Mayo!!.

    The Mayo goalie saved a penalty and Ros missed two other clearcut goal chances with the ball narrowly clearing the crossbsr on both occasions.
    They said that Mayo were completely outclassed all over the field and that there are some stars of the future in the Roscommon team.

  33. JP, minor team courtesy of @jbrennan713 (I hope I’ve them spelt correctly, taken from photo of programme at match).

    1 Adam Byrne (Kiltimagh)
    2 John Cunnane (Ballyhaunis)
    3 Donovon Cosgrove (Kiltimagh)
    4 Brian Keane (Belmullett)
    5 Joe Mason (Cill Chomain)
    6 Mathew Macken (Claremorris)
    7 John Maughan (Castlebar)
    8 Colm Murphy *(Balla)
    9 Evan ) Brian (Ballinrobe)
    10 Paul Lambert (Westport)
    11 Ross Egan (Aghamore)
    12 Oisin Mac Loughlan (Westport)
    13 Colm Moran (Westport)
    14 Ethan Gibbons (Castlebar Mitchels)
    15 Tommy Conroy (The Neale)

    16 Patrick O Malley (Westport)
    17 Dylan Pinder (Louisburg)
    18 Conor Hunt (Aughamore)
    19 Sean O Tighe (Aghamore)
    20 Luke Doherty (Ballina Stepnenites)
    21 Stephen O Malley (Westport)
    22 Nathan Mc Ghee (Shrule/Glencorrib)
    23 John Timlin (Ardnaree)
    24 Liam Kelly (Kiltimagh)

  34. Thanks Mick. I will hold off on further comment till check a bit more into the teams/players. Ross Egan is a fine player I know that, surprised he would not be closer to goals in the corner.

  35. Good man JP. you are talking complete common sense, which, at times here, is most refreshing.. There are so many on here who regard any kind of constructive criticism as “negative”.. etc, etc, etc.. I was “preaching a lone furrow” about leaking goals and not correcting mistakes for a couple of years and was called “negative, boring, tedious, dull, etc, etc. Now, some people have come to realise that i was right and those mistakes cost us dearly, fact!!!
    What you are saying JP is actually real “positive” thinking if some have the where with all to see that!!! We need you here!! 😉

  36. It’s a bad result surely and I was told mayo had a good minor team too something is not adding up mayo should not be geting beat ing s like that from Roscommon

  37. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, THERE IS NO ACADEMY. I was also talking to someone at last nights game and he said the same thing, the score flattered us. He said we looked like an U14 team. If the claxons aren’t ringing off the walls in headquarters then I truly am worried. As long as we continue to appoint people to positions based on political and financial reasons as opposed to what’s best for the county, then we are going to be in serious trouble. I am a glass half full person by nature, but I share JP’s foreboding on this subject. If we aren’t willing to invest in and put our best people at underage, then the future is indeed bleak.
    I’m not sure if anyone posted about this already, but Colm Keys had an article in the Indo giving a county by county break down on spending. Given that we played up until a All Ireland semi final replay and Roscommon didn’t make it past the qualifiers, how come they spent €130k more than us on their team?

  38. Looking forward to tomorrow. Always relish the challenge Kerry bring. Mayo by 2 points 🙂

  39. Liam, it might have something to do with the fact we only had 3 u21 and minor championship games in total! And they may have had a slightly more costly hurling season as well. All adds up!

  40. Was in Kiltoom to see our under 21s play Galway so didn’t make it to the minor game due to it not possible to go to both due to Prentys scheduling but I would be very surprised if Ros are as good as that result or Mayo are as bad as that result, let’s see what happens in summer if both teams meet again, if it’s a similar result then ye should start panicking, minor league can be very deceiving though and throws up funny results.

  41. Don’t often if ever agree with Senan Connell but his statement tonight is so true.
    “Dublin are not at this level by mistake. They have winners join the team each year because they are winning each year under age. This is planned and not left to chance”. I paraphrased but that was the general gist.
    The continued success at senior needs fresh confident additions year on year.
    Seriously think it will be a draw tomorrow but I hope I’m wrong.

  42. st pats oldie

    Success breeds success, That is the gist of it. Winning mentality. What astonished me was the amount of long term injury that has been sustained by our all ireland winning team of 2013. Why are we training players to the death? Why are guys who done this still in management at that level? Success at management level is also important through the ranks and im not sure gilvary will realise much more success

  43. Toughnup I’m not sure it all rests at Endas door. Injuries are a serious concern no doubt but a manger cannot be held solely responsible for that.
    Endas brought us success, has anyone asked the question what has stopped him from bringing more? Don’t be too quick to remove a man who has brought the holy frail to under age football. Question first the support he is receiving or the lack there of.

  44. I’m not one for doing panic but I agree with JP – this is more important to discuss than tomorrow’s match which has been talked to death and will take its own course anyway. A beating like this following a thrashing against Galway last year is a very worrying pattern that’s beginning to emerge. If we don’t address this apparent collapse we may be looking at the prospects of Mayo in division 3 (or God bless the mark Division 4) in a few years time when our current crop of great senior players begin to retire!!!
    Urgent and decisive action is needed and no question about it. Either these are our best minor players or else there is a major dysfunction in our selection processes. If these lads are actually the best around (and I suspect they might well be) then there is a very serious decline at club underage level. I don’t know enough about who’s who at minor level in each club but those who do (the club managers at this level) need to be brought together to thrash out the situation.

  45. Regarding the minor situation.As Kerry are in town maybe we should think about taking a leaf out of their bbook. Kerry appointed Jack O’Connor and ended up with two AI and a host of players ready to step up to the next level. I wouldnt bet against him picking up the U21 this year.

    When the minor managers role comes up again in the future, the Mayo board should think on James Horan taking the post. You know he would sort out whats going on there and they would be extremely competitive.

  46. Kerry are really the only county who can consistently win All Ireland’s without having won much in the preceding years at underage. Most counties have to have success at minor or 21 in order to be all Ireland contenders at senior. Tyrone are a prime example, the dubs now are reaping the rewards of intensive underage development; the rossies are too to a lesser extent but they’ve set a clear plan and are on route to the top table(whether they win anything other than a few provincial titles is another thing).

    Our relative senior success in recent years was built upon very strong u21 teams in 04 and 06 and the minors of 09. The u21 teams had the added advantage of being brought in at senior level when we already had a very good senior team.

    Our current team are now seeing some of the minors of ’13 being introduced but apart from DOC it’s too early to tell if any will make significant impact. After this…we don’t really have a dominant underage team coming through.

    Mayo need to be winning far more underage titles. If we don’t, then winning the big one ain’t gonna happen unless our current team with the intro of the ’13 minors and possibly one or two from the ’14 minors(reape being one that comes to mind).

    The old conveyor belt is in need of a serious service.

  47. Thinking back on the minor result it occurs to me that Mayo and Galway use the minor league to try out players from an extended panel whereas the other Connacht counties tend to have decided on their best team by the time the league starts. I recall Leitrim beating Mayo in minor league [and winning the league in the process] but Mayo going on to win the championship [2014 I think]. So without knowing more about the team and the management tactic I would not panic. Granted it would appear that either Mayo were very weak or Roscommon were very strong on the night or possibly both. If what we are hearing about the academy or lack thereof is true the management have a huge job to sort out their best team for June. If the academy were operating as it should most of that sorting would be already done – we would know who our best players are. This academy issue is something which the local media should be clarifying but like the media generally [in politics and general affairs] they seem to prefer to avoid hard questions, probably for fear of being excluded from the inner circle.

  48. Galway hammered Leitrim last night in the minor league scoring 1-20. All Mayo have to do to reach the Connacht final and All Ireland quarter finals is beat Leitrim. Luck of the draw as they say.

  49. I did some brief research into U16A 2014 last night. There are no 2016 minor games to go off of as of yet.
    Last years minor results does not translate well to U16 2014 which seems to be a more accurate reflectuon. However in the two years since it would not suprise me if Aghamore and Claremorris have stolen a march on other clubs. A few points of overall trends and current year trends.
    1. The Big picture issue is the collapse in standard in that huge area that had clubs with big picks and hence big physical footballers.
    It goes:
    Ballaghadereen to Swinford to Charlestown to Moy Davitts to Knockmore to Ballina to Crossmolina.
    I believe these are canaries in the mine showing our big pick clubs cannot rely on the old ways where simple Gaelic Football obsession at youth level brought through players. The smaller clubs who have to fight harder like Aghamore, Breaffy and Balla are doing a far superior job in utilizing all available players.
    Claremorris seem to have upped their game of big pick clubs and also Castlebar.
    The big physical minors we need we will miss loads of them if our big pick clubs fall off like they have.
    Now I do believe there are initiatives to ramp things back up in Knockmore, Moy Davitts, Ballina and Swinford. I dont know enough on Ballaghadereen and I think Charlestown may not have sufficient pick anymore with population and that may explain their dropoff.
    One trend for this year is I would have thought Balla and Castlebar woukd have been the major clubs and not Westport and Kiltimagh.
    Balla and Castlebar have 3 players in total and topped U16 league. Kiltimagh and Westport have 8 players and were beaten by Balla and Castlebar. However a lot can happen in two years.
    I cant find any Divisional groupings for minor this year however I would expect some changes like Claremorris replacing Swinford who should never have been placed out of their depth in Division one two years ago at U16.
    An Academy and linkages to the schools would help. We as far as I know have full time paid development officers.
    Get them into the schools and get proper school tournaments going with local rivalries. Example are Swinford even togging anymore in Schools football? I rarely see them listed in match listings. What harm a rivalry with St. Josephs.
    What harm a good rivalry St Tiernans and Muredachs. Similar St. Gerards and St. Colemans. Let all the saints battle it out after coaching from first year up with inter county lads and development officers.
    If we have strong schools we will have strong clubs. If we have strong clubs we will have a strong minor team. Roscommon are beating us in the schools if we want to know how they have moved ahead. Then they have likes of Strokestown and St. Brigids and Clann na Gael putting forward conveyor belts of tough county ready minors. Strokestown have moved up something unreal and may well get back to their glory days at Senior.
    It could well be that the solution to current problems is two or three years down the road and U14 and U16 standard is high?
    Ted Webb results I suppose will flag that positive or negative.

  50. JP, another possible factor could be the decline of cumann na mbunscol ( the organisation that organises primary school competitions) In Mayo we were very strong at this level for many years and every school, big and small was producing plenty of good footballers. Most of our current crop of intercounty players came through this system from when they were 8-9 years old. It was run by a very dedicated bunch of teachers most of whom were former footballers themselves and were steeped in the GAA.
    The clubs generally left it to the schools and simply harvested the good players to make up the the U10 and u12 teams and built on what was already a very solid foundation. Most of this generation of teachers have now retired and with them has gone the passion for football in many primary schools and indeed the coaching skills. The GAA has tried to fill this gap with visiting coaches to schools but it hasn’t properly replaced what was there. Many clubs haven’t adjusted fully to this new situation. I don’t know what the solution is but it definitely has shifted to the clubs and this means high quality coaching three or four times a week – not one hour on a Saturday morning. Big challenge for us all!

  51. We could of course steal a march on everyone and simply through free or subsidized get ONeills footballs in more and more hands outside of scheduled training. Then the high potential players at U14 get given a bag of footballs to practice shooting.
    Get target walls built then and shooting zones to increase the kicks per hour. Left foot and right foot on the smaller size four to make accuracy more difficult and alleviate joint stresses from that volume of kicking.
    BTW you can know it after a shooting session in wet weather with a size five. Tough after about thirty or forty kicks. That would be great feeding into the Academy Specialist passing and shooting zones at East North South West pitches two of them. Woukd take investment but would suprise how cheap could be done.

  52. JP, You mention giving out O’Neill’s footballs. The St Brigid’s club in Roscommon presents every child in the area with a football on their 6’th birthday. That’s the type of forward planning going on there.

  53. Is it a selection problem or is the talent not there at the minute. A case pinpoint one can also look at our secondary schools results to see what talent there is out there. St Geralds won the Connacht schools in 13/14 with players drawn drom Castlebar, Breaffy, Ballintubber amongst others and they when on to a successful minor teams in those years.

    This year there was 7 teams in the Connacht A Category. 3 were from Mayo St Geralds plus St Muredachs (Ballina, Ardnaree, Crossmolina Knockmore etc) St Colman’s (Claremorris, Davits, Garrymore, Mayo Gaels, Hollymount etc). St Jarlaths Galway and Roscommon CS. Lastly two teams from Sligo St Attractas tubercurry and Summerhill both of these teams topped the league and subsequently went thru to the semi final.

    St Colmans beat Roscommon CS in the Preliminary round 2-5 to 0-8 and in an evenly matched QF beat St Geralds 2-14 to 3-10. St Muredachs beat St Jarlaths 3-15 to 1-7.

    Both Sligo teams came out on top in the semi finals Murdachs losing 1-5 to 5-8 to Summerhill and St Colmans 0-10 to 2-14 to St Attractas. Summer hill won the final 1-17 to 1-9. So losing at these results our top Mayo teams seemed to be evenly matched against each other but were outclassed by the Sligo teams.

    In the B Category From 11 teams competing we had 4 teams. St Nathys Ballaghaderreen, Ballinrobe CS, St Louis Kiltimagh and Rice College Westport.

    Rice College and St Louis (drawing players from Kiltimagh, Bohola Moy Davitts, Swinford, Kilmovee, Aughamore etc) topped the league and went into the semi finals

    St Louis lost theirs to Holy Rosary College Mountbellew 0-7 to 1-8 and Rice College beat Presentation Headword Galway 3-9 to 0-4 but lost the final to Holy Rosary narrowly 1-5 to 0-7. Holy Rosary had also beaten Ballinrobe 4-12 to o-4 in the QF. Ballinrobe had beaten St Nathys 4-14 to 4-8 in the First Round.
    Looking at these result the Rice and St Louis more than held their own, when one looks at why there is no players from Ballaghaderreen one has to look at St Nathys performance.

    In Category C from 16 teams we had St Josephs Foxford (Moy Davits Knockmore) , Balla CS, Our Ladys Bellmullet and Ballyaunis CS (Ballyhaunis Aughamore)

    Ballyhaunis beat Foxford in Round One 3-8 to 1-4 and Colaiste Einde in the QF 4-16 to 3-4. Bellmullet beat Balla in the QF 3-17 to 2-6. Both lost narrowly in the semi finals to Galway opposition. Ballyhaunis 1-6 to 2-5 to Athenry and Belmullet 3-11 to 5-7 to Collaiste Iognaid Galway. Attorney winning the final 2-12 to 1-5.

    So overall only one of our eleven top schools made it to a Connacht schools final. Galway and Sligo schools dominating.

    It is hard to say what the clubs the best players come from as each school draws from a multitude of clubs. Take Bohola Moy Davits, Bohola players go to Kiltimagh or Swinford, Shraheen players go to Balla, Straide to Castlebar and then Foxford say put.

    The best teams from U16 A level were Balla, Castlebar, Aughamore Westport and Belmullet. Castlebar won the league playoff and Aughamore won the championship. kiltimagh had 3 wins out of 9 games and were beaten by all 5 of these clubs by an average of 28 points and still ends up with 3 players but they always do.

    Westport ands Aughamore are 2 teams on the rise, Westport will have the best U16 Team in the County this year as well. At U14 level there A team won out and there B team won Div 4.

    Looking again at the minor squad there is some U17 Players there like Evan o Brien, Brian Keane and I believe Lambert is still U17. I was expecting more players from Castlebar and Conor Diskin from Claremorris to be involved.

  54. Appreciate the time and effort in that analysis Messi.
    Would you agree points to a fall off in that Ballaghadereen to Swinford to Foxford to Ballina to Crossmolina swipe of clubs.
    There have been years those clubs alone could provide a county standard minor team. Now we see one representative from Ballina on the bench. Its alarming as it is a decent chunk of the available pick.

  55. I would agree with that but it happens that some clubs have lean years, This year look like some of the major clubs are taking a hit. I would put knockmore on that list too. There was at least 2 Knockmore lads every year in the not to distance past but nothing to take about lately. When is the last time nobody from Ballintubber or Breaffy made the panel, these weren’t division one teams at U16 level. Thats at least 6 top level senior clubs when adding Ballaghaderreen, Crossmolina and Ballina and its Balla, Westport and Belmullet who are in the top 5 minor clubs in the County, no disrespect but they wouldn’t be everyone choice in previous years. Lets hope they pull it around maybe some of these clubs have bad teams but have one great individual that hasn’t been seen yet. Cant get to many beating like that and expect to to pick these kids up again.

  56. Yes I had Knockmore in my original list cant get in a straight line from Foxford to Ballina without going through Knockmore.
    Charlestown never provided too many.
    But those other clubs used to be conveyor belts of talent. Kind of tall and hardy as well used to be the case. Swinford used to have big physical underage teams.

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