Unchanged team for Sunday’s showdown

Team huddle Pairc Ui ChaoimhThe only surprise, I guess, in tonight’s team announcement for Sunday’s NFL Division 1 final against Cork at Croke Park is that the team has been named at all. But it has and it’ll come as no surprise to anyone to learn that the same fifteen that started the last day against the Langers down in Páirc Uí Chaoimh will also take the field for us in our NFL decider against the same opponents at Croke Park on Sunday.

The team which will be bidding to win the county’s twelfth NFL title on Sunday is as follows:

Mayo (NFL Division 1 Final v Cork): David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Chris Barrett (Belmullet), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Liam O’Malley (Burrishoole); Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe), Trevor Howley (Knockmore), Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore); Tom Parsons (Charlestown Sarsfields), Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy); Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen), Alan Dillon (Ballintubber), Trevor Mortimer (ShruleGlencorrib); Conor Mortimer (ShruleGlencorrib), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Mark Ronaldson (ShruleGlencorrib).

Johnno has, right through the NFL campaign, made minimal changes to the starting line-up and generally has only altered the team where he’s been forced to by injuries or suspensions. As a result, we’ve only used 25 players to date in this year’s league and eight of Sunday’s starting team – David Clarke, Donal Vaughan, Trevor Howley, Kevin McLoughlin, Tom Parsons, Seamus O’Shea, Andy Moran and Aidan O’Shea – have been ever-present throughout the campaign.

The team we’ve named for Sunday is, I reckon, a reasonably well balanced one and it’ll also be augmented by a strong enough bench, though the subs aren’t due to be named until the day itself. You’d have to conclude, then, that we’re heading into this decider in good fettle from a personnel point of view and, when you look at the number of injuries Cork are having to cope with, we’ve definitely got the edge on them in this respect. We’ll find out soon enough if this translates to superiority on the pitch at Croke Park.

20 thoughts on “Unchanged team for Sunday’s showdown

  1. Mmmmm. Pity Keith isnt fit. I would worry about Kerrigan. If he is in the mood there is no-one to stop him.
    Only thing is Cork conceed a lot,so if we can score a good bit I think that might be good enough on the day.. Mayo abu!

  2. Not a bad team in fairness. As you mentioned we’ll have plenty of options on the bench to come on and make an impact. Hopefully we have enough to win on the day

  3. As expected.I do not think enda varley will start come championship, he has shown good form so far but he lacks presence, same as ronny i suppose but i feel ronny is that bit more clinical.What are the views on Andy Moran? after such a bright start to the league he is starting to fade and somehow i get the feeling that its the same old andy,hopefully he proves me wrong on sunday though.Neither team at full strength but it swould be still great to beat them..

  4. Defensivly we will have all hands on pumps. Size matters against a side like Cork but since its a final and a one off then its up to fellas to become heroes for 70 mins. Andy Moran never did it for me either at U21 or senior. Six years at senior level now and I still would not call him a leader. Still the man that matters rates him and lets hope it happens for us all.

  5. Totally agree ontheroad, defense is an area for concern but let’s hope the lads step up. Both Liam and Chris have far tougher assignments this time out!!

    I’d have to disagree about Andy though. I think he’s been our most consistent player in the league campaign and was I would say our best player in the championship last year, playing out of position in the half back line. For me he’s been noticeably more vocal this year in the league and is looking to take on some leadership for the team. I remember him being critical of himself last year after the meath game where we noticeably lacked leaders and he felt he should have been one.

    I’m quite optimistic about the game on Sunday, if we don’t make any defensive howlers and concede goals I think we’ll do it.

  6. I’d be of the same opinion as yourself Barney – both in relation to the backs and about Andy. Chris and Liam have played themselves into the team and they deserve their place in the starting fifteen on Sunday but we’ll need big performances from both of them if we’re to do it the next day. I’d be a bit concerned about Trevor Howley, after what I saw down in Pairc Ui Chaoimh, but Trevor never gives less than 100% and if we need more height in that area, we have, I suppose, the option of bringing in Kieran Conroy.

    I’d classify Andy as one of the real leaders in the team and he’s definitely been one of our best performers right through the league. I also remember being a bit taken aback at that challenge game in Portmarnock last May (challenge games are usually the only ones where you can hear the players saying anything on the field) and he was barking orders all round him all evening so I’d say he’s not lacking where it comes to on-field presence either.

    I don’t agree with you, jj, re Enda Varley. I’d love to see him in our championship starting fifteen as I really feel he gives us something extra in the forwards. He can win that kind of high ball we still persist in pumping into the FF line (we were still at this down in Cork, with much of the high ball being aimed at Mort) and he knows where the posts are too. It depends, I suppose, whether or not we’re going with a two-man FF line (if we are, AOS and the Mort seem to have developed a nice understanding and opposing FB lines don’t seem to be comfortable with them) but I think Enda has a very strong shout for a place there as well.

  7. A lot of championship positions will come down to how lads play on Sunday. Havnt met anyone going up to the game yet other than myself. Hope there’s good support on the day!

  8. Andy Moran tends to be a regular whipping boy with some (along with McGarrity).
    I was never convinced with him as a forward myself, but that was probably just based on his poor scoring rate.
    After watching him closley though, you can see all the ‘dirty’ work he gets through and the chances he creates for others. He’s also a good man to have around for a goal chance.
    I’d have him in our starting 15 every time.

    The interview with Howley this week was quite revealing about Moran. He says how enthusiastic he is and how vocal he is in the dressing room. These are signs of a leader for me.
    We were missing those qualities last year against Meath alright, let’s hope our players (especially the more experienced ones) have learnt from that.

  9. Do you all think that the team announced will be the team which takes to the field on Sunday? Remember Johnno is of Cork stock himself and can be as cute as them. I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Keith Higgins playing (or is that wishful thinking?)

  10. Woulnt be the first time Mayo changed a league final team on the day. Remeber Tom Nallen came in for Aiden Higgins in 2001. Fair points about Andy Moran but barking orders and shouting can disguise a lot on the pitch. He was at the same racket in the 2004 U21 final but it was Michael Conroy that did the donkey work. My last memory of Andy was watching a domestique from Meath called Queeney grabbing a Mayo kick out that was aimed at Andy and lamping it back over our crossbar to finally kill us. Sorry about that but Andy has a bit to do before I buy into his leadership attributes.

  11. God, sorry about the spelling…its s**t. Typical me, in a hurry to shoot and forget the basics.

  12. Have to say I’d be a fan of Andy Moran. He might be mouthy but I’d get the impression he brings a positive vibe to things. I think both sides will be well up for this game Sunday. Cork need silverwear as do we! To think we are going into a league final and championship with such a strong bench will stand to us. I don’t think there’s one player on the starting 15 that can’t be replaced.

  13. Wj he was pretty average coming near the end i.e. the dublin game.It is very easy to shout give orders,encourage.I think under no circumstances should liam o malley be consider in the starting 15 come championship , but liam is also a good talker, but who isn’t? Where was the leadership against dublin.Andy is no spring chicken!

    re enda varley, i agree he had a good league but it was not spectacular. I seen him do some good things but I also see him do some awful things.I seen a great performance against a dreadful galway, I seen a poor performance vs dublin. Also his lack of strength is a problem, he gets knocked of the ball so easy. Anyway we will see, I hope your right wj.
    For me standout player of the league has to be seamus o shea, every game he was counted,he’s a huge addition.
    biggest let down. trevor mortimer by a country mile, i do not want to be slating anybody and especially some one as commited as trevor,but he has been truely awful.

  14. Think we may have to agree to disagree on Andy and Enda, jj, though I see where you’re coming from. Agree wholeheartedly re Seamus O’Shea – he’s been superb in every game I’ve seen him play this year. Donal Vaughan has also been a real revelation, in particular since moving to wing-back. Bit harsh on Trevor M, I think – I know he has his limitations and should, perhaps, be struggling for his place but I don’t think he’s been that bad.

  15. JJs off on his Liam O’Malley horse again!!! Your awful harsh against lads that have had a great league campaign. Varley was a standout forward in my eyes.

  16. North Mayo
    I know you have a soft spot for him but he is really bad.. average forwards have destroyed liamy in championship football.I cant watch players like nicky joyce and cormac bane destroy him much more.One block does not make a great league campaign, a monaghan pal of mine told me before the game that there was trouble in the camp that tommy freeman was not dropped as he was in awful form and had declared a lack of desire to play at the moment. Daniel Goulding, were cork to get dominance round the middle WILL destroy liam o malley, hes f*ck*d up so many times eventually lessons have to be learnt. Facts are facts and if you watched liam in salthill last year, i dont know how you can have any arguements.
    On Enda-yes he is a good footballer, but i am not sure if he is good enough, skill is not a problem its the rest of his game that concerns me i.e strength,pace,presence, in my opinion killer, aidan aqnd conor would be a full forward line that have everything. Only my opinion though.

  17. Sunday is a great test, Cork may not be full strength but they are physical and this is where we have struggled in recent years.
    I think that we have a good chance, I like Varley’s attitude, may not be very physical but wins more than he should, Conor seems to be playing more as team player, and we have players to bring in if things start to go astray, SOS presence has been badly needed, I think Parsons has serious talent and seems to have been well managed in the league.
    Sunday will tell a tale re leaders, actions speak louder than words, this is a game that can be won, here’s hoping.
    Interested also to see how Sligo do, Antrim are no pushovers, they will be a significant test in June irrespective as to how the weekend results pan out.

  18. There will be big competition for the half forward line when everybody is fit. Dillon is a cert to take the right half slot, SOS in the middle (providing tom and ronan take 8 and 9 slots) I personally would go with andy for the other wing with trev pressing him for the slot.
    That must have been some shoulder andy hit canty with (out for 2+ weeks). He dose a lot of foraging and his kick passing is very good.
    He is also our 45 meter man. I think trevor is a fantastic player with huge hart and we are lucky to have 2 such players for one position.
    Hard decisions/choices for JOM all over the pitch.
    I have every confidence in our men winning this one. COME ON MAYO!

  19. What about pat harte?I thinks hes probably the best mid fielder we have, surely he has to start ahead of andy moran?

  20. Had he not been absent for most of the league he would be giving parsons a run for his money,
    and may well do later this year.
    Pity we cant convert him into a center half or full back. Always liked Pat as a player, noticed him first in the Balina club AI final and could not figure why he wasn’t on the mayo panel.

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