Unchanged team named to face Cork

The team to play Cork in Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC quarter-final at Croke Park (throw-in 4pm) has been named and it’s unchanged from the side that started against Galway in the Connacht final. Here’s the team for Sunday:

Mayo (All-Ireland SFC quarter-final v Cork, 3/8/2014): Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy); Chris Barrett (Belmullet), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Lee Keegan (Westport), Colm Boyle (Davitts), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe); Barry Moran (Castlebar Mitchels), Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Jason Doherty (Burrishoole); Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen), Alan Dillon (Ballintubber).

The above selection contains ten of the team who started against Cork in the League match. The five missing from then are Brendan Harrison, Shane McHale, Jason Gibbons, Mikie Sweeney and Alan Freeman and they’re replaced by Chris Barrett, Barry Moran, Seamus O’Shea, Andy Moran and Alan Dillon. Sunday’s team also contains ten survivors from our 2011 championship win over Cork, with Robbie Hennelly, Ger Cafferkey, Keith Higgins, Donal Vaughan, Aidan and Seamus O’Shea, Kevin McLoughlin, Alan Dillon, Cillian O’Connor and Andy Moran having all lined out from the start that day.



81 thoughts on “Unchanged team named to face Cork

  1. As I expected then. Fair play to the lads for being able to hold on to their places. Some good subs on the bench and I’d say a fair bit of competition to making the match day squad Best of luck to them all.

  2. Well, certainly our captain can count himself very fortunate to be starting on Sunday. Major improvement needed from him. Major improvement needed from Alan Dillon beside him. Considering how ordinary both those players were in the Connacht final I could understand if Alan Freeman and Mikie Sweeney were feeling more than a bit miffed at the moment.

  3. No subs named, Tom22, and I don’t expect we’ll see any details on the bench until the day itself, which would be normal practice with the team for now.

  4. Interesting. James seems to be opting for the experience of Moran and Dillion to deal with what we can assume will be a blanket defence from Cork? Seems reasonable.

    I Would hope that Sweeney and Freeman be brought on early in the second half though. Cork defenders would be tiring at that time I’d say and those lads should be chomping to get on and make their mark!

  5. WJ
    I love this site, but by saying im dissapointed by the selection i fail to see how that is ‘disgraceful comment’ or breaking any house rules, otherwise i can only say i am happy with it, which i am not and i know many people personally are not. Of course its your right to remove comments if you want, but i think it makes the entire point of discussion here pointless if only people happy with the team named can comment,

  6. @Tom

    Nonsense. Anybody can be disappointed. But what you did was speculated that James picked his team based on loyalty and not on training performances. That is something you have absolutely zero knowledge of whatsoever. And that is a disgraceful comment.

  7. WE’RE BACK for when it really matters !!!!!!!!!!!

    Golly, and what special times it’s for us Mayo supporters. It’s amazing the progression we’ve shown since last we met Cork and we’re going into this as rightly favorites. I remember four years back a Cork supporter (acting arrogant .. can I say that here?) shouting out to Kerrigan when there was a little bit of pushing and shoving from him ‘leave it Kerrigan .. save it for Kerry’. Got to say, it hit a raw nerve with me. Well there was no Kerry for them that year and there will be no Kerry this year or Galway for that matter. Only the very best of Cork will put them in with any chance with our lads. What a massive statement given the talent and potential of the likes ‘Aiden Walsh, Hurley, Goulding .. and many many more Cork men!!!!

    That got me thinking … imagine if Horan was managing them? It’s easy to take for granted what he has achieve with this team.

    One last thought, well its really a rally call from me. We all know that our guys will line up and will give it there all. They’re massively talented and hard working (IMO Best Mayo team ever, and best team in Ireland). Some things will work and other things won’t. I would like to see a easing off cristising Horan during the game. It brings a negative vibe and something else for the lads on the pitch to battle through. We all have a well worn path to Croker and a path we love taking and never tire from. We’re great supporters and lets all of us on the sideline do our bit, bring that excitement and good nature humor with us. Lets be the loudest when the chips are down, lets really get behind and cheer on who ever is under the most pressure. Lets bring the positive type of energy that only Mayo supporters have. We’re not arrogant, or entitled .. we love our football and love this team MAYOOO MAYOOO …

  8. There’s plenty of latitude for discussion here and for opposing viewpoints to be put out there but it has to happen within the rules that are clearly laid down and which most people abide by most of the time. If you’d just said you were disappointed or unhappy with the selection that would have been okay (providing you were able to explain why) but you made a very specific allegation about the selection, one that you cannot possibly substantiate. As such what you said strayed into trash-talking and so contravenes rules 8 and 15.

  9. Not a real surprise!
    Think James has looked at the squad and felt they have one last chance – hence Moran, Dillon all being played, hence Conroy coming in the last day.
    The young talent coming through will come through eventually but they need a couple of years to be transitioned in and James obviously feels the older guard deserves one last crack – which they do.
    Be interesting to see of Gavin Duffy makes the bench. I would expect Freeman to be first sub in and I think he’s possibly the only one to feel hard done by. Gibbons picked a bad time to get injured and it’s hard to drop any of the other midfielders at this stage. Hopefully he’ll get a chance to prove his worth at some stage.
    Roll on Sunday and all that it brings.

  10. I expected a change or two I have to say. Then again this might not be the team that actually starts.

  11. Yes disappointed with selection but James is de boss and I don’t see anyone walking away. Really hope that subs are brought on earlier

  12. Same problem, Tom, same outcome I’m afraid. You’ve repeated exactly the same allegation about the basis for selecting the team and that’s not one I’m going to allow you to air here.

  13. I think team is fair.As I said before what is important is there is a plan B whoever starts.I hope changes not left too late to allow Cork build momentum.
    Freeman Feeney Sweeney Gibbons great to have options.It is not a 15 man game.It could be last chance saloon for a few though.
    Tom…Yes Horan has been loyal but nothing wrong in loyalty so long as changes made if required.Could be those you think are there on loyalty could be the ones to shine on Sunday.
    Big match for everyone really…time for us to pull together and respect each others opinions.

  14. The only slight surprise for me is that there is no place for Cunniffe. Think he is a very underrated player who would be useful on the team, but on the other hand what a fantastic position to have a sub of that quality on the bench for our defence.
    Anyone who thought Dillon and Moran would both be dropped obviously don’t know much about Horan or his management style. He sticks with experience in these type of games and I think both men won’t let him down on Sunday. Freeman is a fans favourite, but was poor against Roscommon and like cunniffe adds to the strength on our bench. He will definitely play on Sunday at some stage and hopefully will fight his way back into the starting line up.

  15. Against Roscommon the experience of Moran and Dillon made a massive impact when introduced in the second half. The Roscommon defence were more or less shagged by then and the cool heads of those two lads made all the difference. I was kinda hoping this same plan of action might be the better option for this match too, but there you are, I guess James knows best. Anyway this is one match I’m confident we should win with a bit to spare and will give us the confidence to drive on to greater things !!!

  16. Well Mac’s Left Boot,
    Actually I think Freeman did fine against Roscommon considering service he got. I also think he is a class forward but I too would bring him in off the bench. He started AI last year but would have been more effective off the bench.
    Barrett wont let us down and Cuniffe is great sub to have.
    I think the lads deserve chance to prove what they can do fully fit as Horan’s Brigade rightly points out. Looking for heroes on Sunday-

  17. Well so much for my feeling of a surprise call with the starting 15. Horan is certainly backing Dillion and Moran to the hilt, maybe to the point of blind loyalty?? Time will tell. For me, another substandard performance from either and it becomes very difficult to justify their selection. Certainly when Horan himself claims there is such competition for places.
    balancedview, I can’t see how Freeman would have been more effective coming off the bench last September. He had 2 Dubs marking him, won the first good ball that went in to him and, in one move, was free in front of goal but never received the ball. All in 27 mins??? We were not quick enough to realize that if there was 2 on him well then we had to have a free player elsewhere.
    We’ll have to trust management on this selection and wait and see.
    Mayo by 5 points after a close 50 mins.
    Hon Mayo.

  18. Dont understand the tactic of playing both Dillon and Moran from the start but like a lot have already pointed out , Horan is the man in charge and knows best.

    The pace and intensity that Cork will probably bring to the game alone will make it very difficult for Dillon to have any impact.

    The subs list will be very interesting.

  19. Don’t agree with starting Dillon and Moran. Freeman should be starting and Sweeney should be coming off the bench. If he plays Conroy ahead of them again, I think it would strongly indicate that Horan values loyalty over talent and ability. Adam Gallagher is another man who should get a run and I think Gibbons has also earned his spot ahead of Barry Moran but hey this is just my opinion. Maybe Horan has some master plan behind it all-just think we have some serious talent and raw energy sitting idle on the bench-what a waste. This a fantastic Mayo team and I strongly believe we haven’t seen a fraction of what these boys are capable of this year! Dillon and Moran have been heroes for Mayo football but the reality is they are now impact subs bringing vast experience which would give a great boost for ten or twenty minutes. Like McFadden for Donegal they have passed their prime nut when they were in it they were savage. I really hope Horan proves me wrong and in fact knows best, it’s not fun feeling this cynical…

  20. “Well, certainly our captain can count himself very fortunate to be starting on Sunday. Major improvement needed from him.”

    We would be on the back door circuit only for Andy.

  21. It’s a strong team and considering people are only arguing over whether a couple of All-Stars start or not we know where we are in terms of strength!

    Yes there is a big case to not start one of Dillon/Moran but which one and who starts ahead of them? It’s a big call and personally there is a balanced look to that FF line, if they play to their potential. It also gives the option of letting Moran drift out and become more of a playmaker towards CF. Neither Moran or Dillon played to the limit of their ability against Galway but they did save our asses against Ros. So it’s a toss up.

    Given the service they have given to Mayo football – and the amount of times they’ve been written off before – they deserve another shot. On the proviso that if they aren’t at the races they get subbed and if they don’t perform they can lose their spots. Personally I don’t think Horan is over loyal to big names – Mort was left out, McGarrity also, Moran and Dillon for the Ros game, players moved to new positions to try to get the best team formations (Higgins, Doc, Kev Mc, AOS, Dillon).

  22. Highorlow – just edited your comment to take out the insult at another commenter contained therein. No need for that kind of stuff.

  23. In my opinion the team picked is not our best, I dont know whats going on in training or A V’s B matches but I havent missed a match in years now, on the evidence of my own eyes its hard to justify the inclusion of Alan Dillon and possibly Andy Moran. I have great time for both of them and I hope and sincerly believe they are cabable of picking up Celtic Crosses this year, but in the starting 15, not so sure! After losing the last 7 senior finals we played in, 5 of these finals were winnable and evidently loseable, The sideline has serious questions to answer most notably and most recently last September, I was in the Hill I seen the board go up early for a change, I taught great not like 20-12 when it was too late when Feeny was brought on. The Dubs moaned but their sorrow quiclly turned to joy when it was Freeman (who had started well and was man of the match v Tyrone) to be hauled ashore and not Dillon. Im not sure iwheather or not Freeman would not have been taken off Vs Tyrone, only COC had to go off injured.Hindsight is 20/20 but surley that stupid decision cost the final.take into account that COC played heavly strapped and injured, he could easily have had to leave the field which would leave M\ayo without a freetaker Leavin Aiden O Shea on and thakin off Seamus wasent too bright also. To be fair to Andy Moran he had a good All Ireland after a poor Semi and he could be the man to unlock a Cork blanket defence lets hope so. Mayo will have to do better. If Mayo are to be ultimate winners and make no mistake this panel is good enough, selections have to be got right. Mayo are not Dublin who have about 40 players all good enough so Jim Gavin almost cant get it wrong, James Horan can get it wrong and has in the past.in my opinion! I would have Mayos top 20 players any day before Dublins top 20, barring injurys. The best of luck to all involverd in the Green and Red on Sunday, I hope I’m made eat my words, especially Alan Dillon , Andy Moran and of course I hope James Horan will be lauded as a tatical genious. I f Mayo win I’ll be happy, its only my opinion!

  24. “Highorlow – just edited your comment to take out the insult at another commenter contained therein. No need for that kind of stuff.”


    Davyj like some others here just seem to have short memories.

  25. Pebblesmeller,
    You nearly make the point for me. I do not think he should have been taken off but I would have preferred him there at the end anyway. I think he could have done a job for us coming on in the second half.
    Do I detect a change in your emphasis ‘blind loyalty’ etc.? Thought you were out and out James disciple!
    Just wondering.

  26. highorlow, how would you rate Andy Moran’s performance against Galway? How would you rate his performances in 2014, come to think of it?

    His two points against Roscommon were indeed crucial in the comeback that day. And guess what? He delivered them after coming off the bench.

    Then he started against Galway. And played so poorly he was taken off. But yet we shouldn’t question his selection despite the fact that he played poorly in the Connacht final?

    You might want to check your own memory before firing out insults here. Sentimental selections do not win All-Irelands.

  27. Can’t wait for Sunday, going to be a long day but hopefully a worthwhile one for both of our teams.Would like to have seen both Andy and Alan kept for the last 20 but as James said in an interview the other day there are plenty lads that didn’t make the 26 the last day that could see plenty game time Sunday.In another interview Barry Moran was asked who was the most talented player in the squad or something to that affect, his reply was he couldn’t pick one player as Darren Coen and cillian were on a par,if this is the case I’d like to see Coen getting a chance to show it

  28. Best of luck to the lads on Sunday in both age brackets. Should be a good day out and I think Mayo will have plenty of support. Was in Mchale park for tickets today and there’s 30,000 sold and they expect to have 40,000 or so at the game. Not many Kerry or cork fans and who knows what Galway will bring with them so that’s a bonus for the team already.
    On team selection, I trust jh and co know better than anyone what 15 to start and what subs to use so I have no comment other than it would be nice to see Gavin Duffy in the subs and getting a run at some stage, his muscle may be handy at some stage if we progress.
    I watched the 2011 game again, we won but it really was fractions that made the difference, let’s hope we get those same fractions again this Sunday.
    My prediction is

    Mayo 2 14
    Cork. 2 12

  29. Davyj, he is our main distributor in the inside line and a leader on the field and good for at least 3 to 4 points.

    I don’t disagree in one sense that he is not a 70min man anymore. I’ve never got into rating our players good, bad or indifferent as I know they all give it 100% for the jersey.

    I think it is better that we have an experienced team to start these games from now on, particularly when we are faced with a more defensive opposition.

    Remember some of these players (both teams) would know each other inside out from underage and particularly from Sigerson cup days back in 2004 and 2005. That kind of experience in a team is vital.

  30. I’d agree on the experience angle highorlow – but not on the 3 to 4 points angle. Andy’s scoring has been noticeably down in 2014 and to be honest that’s the main thing that worries me about picking him from the start.

    No man tries harder for Mayo, but the scores have dried up, and though his distribution remains excellent, he’s still hanging on to the ball that split-second too long. Against the defensive opposition that’s coming, he’s got to give it first-time or the moves will break down.

    If we could get the same reaction out of him that we did against Ros, then I couldn’t think of a better man to have as an impact sub.

    All that said, I’ll be very happy to hold my hands up if he turns it on with a big 70 minutes this Sunday.

    Maigh Eo abú.

  31. Think lads are migrating from Hogan stand a bit today! I’m happy enough with the selection, those who know Horan by now know he’s not gonna make big changes, not his style! I got the impression at the Galway game the Dillon and Moran were being held back, if you look at their contribution against the yellow bellies it was all action because we were in the trenches, Andy didn’t hesitate and kicked 2 long range points, Dillon was getting stuck in, against Galway they were idle, nearly disinterested. Every bucko knows that cillian is a top class forward and would always continue after shoulder surgery, while every one else also know that Andy and Dillon had very serious injuries and haven’t shot the lights out since. Hopefully I’m right but for everyone that’s cribbin and bemoaning, can ye just leave the negative mindset at the main gate in croker on Sunday and just back the boys!!!!

  32. For what’s it worth I believe more is to come from Dillion & Moran, & this is why they’re starting. I also believe, we can revert to plan A if this plan B is not paning out.

    @fear an chomórtais ‘but for everyone that’s cribbin and bemoaning, can ye just leave the negative mindset at the main gate in croker on Sunday and just back the boys!!!!’

    I’m whole heartitly with you on that. What ever the team or the performance, they will be getting full support from me.

  33. 30K sold in Mayo, i dont believe that for one second. Be very lucky to get 15k Mayo at the game the weekend unfortunately. Youd sell 150k tickets though come september if we got there and these are 150k of the most loyal kind who have not missed a game since the early 80s .

  34. I think its a massive risk by JH to start the two experienced men, i mean if it all goes wrong and the two boys are dazed by the pace , Horan risks his reputation here imo.

    I’m not as confident as i was .

  35. I was at the Cork Sligo game & Cork finished with a far stronger team then they started with. I would not be surprised if there are changes tomo. Likewise with Mayo–time for your opposition to know your team at the throw-in.

  36. Holy crap…lots of folks pissed with this selection it seems. I’m not thrilled with it meself but again, i think Horan is gambling a little here, while he still can, by building the fitness and match sharpness of both Dillon and Moran. He obviously see’s both men as crucial to us winning the AI. I would have started Freezer at full and Andy in the corner, but hey, I don’t know the form, nor pick the team and maybe it wont be “this” selection that starts.

    Lots of ppl here have mentioned that cork might deploy a blanket defense…if they do, I’m not sure how we can counteract that with this selection. I can just see it now…Andy, with the ball on the 45, stationary hops, solos, turns, hops, solos…waiting for an open man…meanwhile Cork have dropped 14 men behind…we’ve all seen it recently.

    Anyway, I wish the lads and Horan the best of luck. He’s gambling a little here, but I think he thinks he can, and will just about get over the line…a one point win would be grand, for us to move on.

  37. Hi All,

    Very interesting to hear all opinions on the team selection.
    I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least one (maybe two) changes before the throw-in.
    It’s a squad game these days and I think we have actually a much improved bench this year.
    Just look at some of the guys who were not named on the starting fifteen:
    Freeman, Sweeney, Coen, Feeney, Gallagher, O’Conner, Gibbons, Cunnife, Keane, Drake etc etc and who knows what Duffy can do.
    All of these guys could slot in if called upon and had good league/championship performances this year, Duffy the exception.
    I can see JH making full use of the subs for this one as he did when they met in the league !

    Let’s stay positive.

  38. I’d have liked to see Coen started given the soundings about his form in recent weeks in training. Another x factor would be good… ahead of the experienced lads and Freeman & Sweeney. Clare did it in last year’s hurling final to great effect & Kilkenny the year before & Coen has played championship before. Also was hoping Gibbons got a run but Moran did well (one mistake aside) against an up & coming Galway midfield factoring in that most of our kickouts were not aimed at him. As one of the Country’s best high fielders he could do well against a Cork midfield which has gotten some criticism. No doubting Aidan Walsh’s ability but their 2nd options onwards do not compare with Mayo’s. Can see the logic in starting our experienced lads with Cork subs more experienced that their starters. Try to build up a lead & play clever. Hope it works. Pundits saying A Moran always trains well, A Dillon has missed a good bit of time the last 2 seasons but can guessing these 2 are also doing the biz in training. Also hoping Barrett who was a bit lucky with Cummins shooting the other week continues on to his 2013 form or even 90% of that would be great. I’m sure he form is on an upwards curve with accumulated training. Must be in better shape than Cunniffe too as don’t think the gaffer would too many risks in picking the backs.
    Really looking forward to this one.

  39. You may have a difficult 48 hrs trying to police the site wj,we all need to breath easy and put our trust in the monsinor,all his August bank holiday games have been big victorys.cork,down and Donegal.keep the faith maigheo Abu

  40. Amen Eddie
    If James is starting two all stars on the ff line that’s his choice . Lucky we have them . Lucky too that James kept faith with other players for the Connacht final . Our top 3 players in final were supposed to have had a poor day in the Hyde .

  41. As I haven’t seen any training session or in house match since Conn final I am not in a position to judge who should or should not start so I think I will trust the man who guided us to 4 in a row and who took us to the last 2 AIFs. Maybe that’s blind loyalty something Horan himself has been accused of. All I know is that playing the 2 young lads in the Hyde did not work and Andy and to a lesser extent Dillon rescued us. In the final neither were brilliant but were not as bad as some people have suggested. While I am a bit surprised at the team selection and reckon some of the more experienced subs such as Freeman Gibbons Feeney etc may feel unfortunate there was no way the manager would put untried players in, in a AIQF . He went for a very experienced line up at start v Galway and he probably reckons its the way to go v Cork also.

  42. Feel strongly this 15 will not line out.

    Quarter finals seem to be the occasion to spring a couple of guys not listed and I feel this will continue. Cork may well do the same. Managers feel they can probably get away with this up to the semi stage, but after that the media or officialdom? will come after them.

  43. To be sure inexperience in HFL nearly cost us against Ros. COS showing some lovely skills with 2 footed soloing & some basketball style tackles, definitely one for the future. But Andy showed his no. 1 attribute coming on which is focus on winning the game, directness & sense of urgency when going is tough. Unmarkable 2 years ago & I’m a fan. Still very good at winning hard ball & some great vision passes in the league but obviously his overall form makes him more a borderline pick these days. He has heart & leadership & tends to up his game the bigger the occassion. If Coen has the x factor right now I’d prefer him to A Dillon. JH & co may be pragmatic in getting Alan as much game time as possible thinking ahead to maybe needing his experience in SF &/or final. My logic though is looking for the most exciting game possible against Cork and not worrying too much about an AIF. Live in the here and now. No doubting Dillon’s vision and changing the direction of play & Cork backs mightn’t be able to mark him too tightly without the sweepers bunching in. If we get lots of possession, we could expect him to play well. He was class in 1st half against Donegal last year. Acknowledge too that JH and selectors have the inside track & a big picture. It’s just when ye hear of a jump in a newish player’s potential be nice to see them hopefully get to do it on the pitch & perform too. Team speculation being part of the excitement for us hurlers on the ditch. Coen could also play in HFL but that would mean dropping J Doherty who had his best championship game to date against Galway. Becoming very hard time to be a Mayo selector, our best panel ever. Wouldn’t rule out a curve ball at throw in. Anyway here’s hoping they all do well & the subs too.

  44. I agree catcol…..but if all 15 start then some lads will need to deliver in a very big way to support James faith in them. I am intrigued as to who the 26 will be.

  45. I cant understand negative comments about Andy Moran and Alan Dillon, starting on Sunday. People have short memories and are short on loyalty, to two of our most dependable players.
    As recently as against Roscommon, they came off the bench, getting us over the line.
    Watching the game , in the first half, the Roscommon defence, were vunerable ( even with their blanket defence), and our young half forward line were not experienced enough to take advantage of it, but when, Andy and Alan, came in, they settled the team, and won the game for us.
    James Horan, has brought us on some journey,4 in a row in Connacht, 2 All Final appearances, with a bit of luck, we now could be going for 3 in a row All Irelands.
    We are no longer , bullied in Croke Park, and how many players from the other teams left, would get on our team.
    We play football, and try to win with football, and I believe we are the envy( in footballing terms) of many other Counties.
    Lets keep it going as long as we can,and see where it brings us.
    Up Mayo

  46. Fans are fully entitled to offer comments on A Dillon and A Morans selection as they/we base opinion on previous matches .They /we are not at the training sessions.
    I believe J Horan should select the team that is capable of beating Dublin in the final—
    as ,make no mistake ,Dublin will be there.
    Does it make much if we are beaten in a match before the final if we fail the ultimate test.
    Finally we must be good if we can afford to have A freeman on the bench.Finally and finally
    I hope we excel and surprise everybody

  47. Well the last time we were this confident of a win going to Croke Park was before our League semi-final this year against Derry and we all know what happened in that game, so we should be confident of getting a win but not be over confident. We are still playing against a team that topped Division 1 this year and if they put in a performance like they did in the first-half of their League semi-final against Dublin, it should make for a very interesting game. Brian Hurley, Colm O’Neil and Paul Kerrigan are top forwards on their day but they can blow hot or cold. If they are hot on Sunday then we will need to be at our best to beat them. This is probably the first time in a really long time that we are firm favourites in a big game in Croke Park against one of the big Division 1 teams. Are we ready to take that step to becoming comfortable among the elite teams, both us as supporters and the players themselves? Can we produce our best football when its really expected of us? This could be a defining game for Mayo football.

  48. Ed

    O Neill Hurley and Kerrigan would get on team but dont think too many backs or midfiels would.
    Would be great if a new Mayo star was born on Sunday but team we have is as good as we have .Team includes serious subs .Better to finish a game winning……

  49. I find it very strange that so many are outraged at the selection of Andy Moran and Alan Dillon. We’re in an All Ireland quarter final. Against Cork. Tried and trusted required with plenty in reserve if required.

    Andy actually had a decent game in the final last year. He’s rarely let us down and we forget many of the squad look to him for leadership when it’s really needed. As for Alan Dillon – I’d rate him one of the best ever to wear the jersey. Last two years have taken their toll in terms of injuries but still more than capable.

    A case can be made for Freeman, Sweeeney, Feeney etc. but we have to remember it really is no longer a 15 man game. They’ll get their chance on Sunday…….

  50. Why or why is Sweeney not on starting he is a very good forward would have them instead of Dillon anyday. Hopefully mayo will win

  51. Looks like Sunday could be very wet. In racing terms that might ease Mayo somewhat in the betting. If Aiden O’Shea is to be believed, the Hyde was a terrible place in early June – when there was a monsoon 30 minutes before throw in.

    Might suit Cork’s big guys.

  52. No reason to change a winning team that in truth had the Connacht final won in the first half. Cork are a better side than Galway however their management and Munster final defeat has them in the wrong frame of mind for this quarter final.

    Mayo by 4 or 5 points i reckon.

  53. A wise man said that we need our best team on for the last 15 mins of the game. There’s no guarantee that this 15 will start either there may be a rabbit or two to be pulled from the hat before the game.
    I watched both the Donegal and the Tyrone games from last year during the week. We couldn’t go wrong against Donegal, Dillons first point from the left was inspired stuff.
    Three weeks later we couldn’t buy a score from play in the first 25 mins until Barrett split the posts followed by Keegan and Barrett again just before half time.
    So I wouldnt panic too much about sellection at this stage.
    On another note its good to see the 50 somethings on here I myself will be 56 in a weeks time too. We could soon start an “am’nt I a great fella for my age club” here.
    Mind you I could be accused of having a touch of early onset of grumpy old man syndrome last week when I had a go at a lad on here ,when I woke up with a bad tooth and took exception to predictions of winning margins being given (I dont have much time for that type of speculation). Anyway apologies to Mayobornandbred and WJ for that outburst. It doesn’t get any easier as the years go by waiting for match day.
    For what its worth I think we’ll win on Sunday but there could be squeaky bum moments during the game.
    Also sorry to see young Connor Byrne loosing his form and not starting for the minors. He got one of the best points I’ve ever seen scored by a Mayo player in the final last year, towards the end of the game when Tyrone were coming back into the game. Keep the chin up son the form will come back.
    Come on Mayo!

  54. 4am cannot come quick enough (never thought I’d say that) to catch the train and boat. Last week I read articles by JH from last year or two and he and his team are gearing this team for the long haul. They are showing Cork respect with this team. There is a focus on nothing but winning. Safe journey to all making their way to the game.

  55. I had a feeling you’d be busy today WJ and the trend might continue for the next few days re the comments! It’s very interesting to read through all the different views though.

    I for one am going to firmly roll with it and am happy out doing so. Funnily enough, I’m not feeling the need to fret too much about team selection this time around. True, there may be a couple of changes made before 4pm on Sunday – and we all could name 2 or 3 suggestions that could realistically be put forward.
    I can understand some of the the frustrations and eyebrow raising – and some of it seems to be borne out of the fallout from decisions made in last years final. For sure, lessons can be learned from that (and I think they have), but this is a different year, and I just feel that we have to place trust in the plan and the process being followed for 2014.
    James’ faith in the old guard is of course noteworthy and I wasn’t expecting it, however, I’m looking forward to seeing how the boys will do all the same. I certainly don’t believe in sentimentality in football, but looking at it positively, it’s terrific to be able to have Andy and Alan’s experience at this stage in the competition, and after all, it is Croke Park, so a different set of rules apply.
    As a quick aside, I really am a fan of Andy, and small things are noticeable about his leadership qualities (might not always be obvious), i.e. in the Semi last year v Tyrone, when he ensured that no Tyrone lad would dare go near Freezer when preparing for the penalty. They are the small things that stick out for me when watching a game of football, and a team can never have enough of that.
    Horan is a smart chap and he’ll have a logical rationale for what he’s doing. We’ll be sound!! I really can’t wait for the throw-in…
    Come on Mayo is right!!

  56. hey lads and lassies…James Horan is a KIWI…from a winning mentality and we are going to win…no matter what team he puts out. I expect Mayo to be brave and determined and to come through no matter what Cork throws at them (us)…and I really believe that our team is super.

    Am so proud of all they have achieved and the dedication the whole squad has shown for many years…they are amazing and deserve our full throttled support on Sunday and always. I’ll be there with my daughter and brother and his 4 lads…and we will be hoarse returning to Carlow….and proud of our men…minors and seniors. Maigheo go deo agus aris…

  57. Won’t get into team selection as after reading all comments and will just have to have faith in James and his team ,MY point is that I hope ALL MAYO SUPPORTERS will make the effort to get up early and cheer on our minor team . Best of luck to both teams , this is truly exciting times for mayo football and we should all enjoy it while we have it . Safe journey and enjoy ,,,,!

  58. Surprised at some of criticism of team selection, especially full forward line and think its a little disrespectful towards two of our players who have represented their county brilliantly. Not sure about everyone else but I saw no major improvement in our forwards in Conn final when Dillon and Moran were called ashore. Look at the scoring rate , 10 scores in 1st half 7 in second half. Look at the video, Andy involved in a good few scores in first half and Galway full back, Hanley very quiet. Dillon scored a point and should have had two others. Last year in AIF Andy was the one forward who showed leadership throughout scoring 1 2 in the process. Im a big fan of Freeman and I like the little bit I have seen of Sweeney but Horan has gone for experience and men who he trusts and if that’s blind loyalty so be it. Anyway its all about the panel, the collective unit. If we play to our potential we will win and this is the only game that matters at the moment. Forget Kerry (or Galway) and Dublin til Monday.

  59. As PJ said above, finishing the last 15 mins with the best team is what’s needed (Gavins’ Dubs normally have a stronger faster team in the second half and that’s the half where they seem to do most damage).
    JH is going with tried and trusted to start and veterans of Croke Park. Both Dillon and Moran are still quality footballers and back from injury they may have lost a yard but they do have good footballing brains and give leadership when necessary.
    Timely changes to be made if and when needed.
    We need to focus on the 26 and use the most suited horses for the courses ahead.
    We are indeed blessed this year with the squad we have,the lack of injuries, the choice of talent we can call on and a reigning Minor AI champions side.

  60. I’m not keen on starting Andy or Alan. I’d prefer to see one or two from Sweeney, Coen, Freeman, Gibbons in from the start, let them sink or swim in the cauldron that is Croke Park. Keep Andy as an impact sub. Based on what I’ve seen in matches, especially the crunch matches, I would not put Alan on at all. However, I’m not seeing him in the training sessions… No personal offence to the man.

    I do think it’s up to Sweeney, Coen, Freeman, Gibbons to push Alan out – they need to fight to earn the start. They need to make it impossible for James to omit them. As I said, I don’t see the training sessions… And maybe there will yet be changes before 4pm Sunday.

    Regarding Freeman, I’m undecided about him. He needs to be a lot rougher, a lot “thicker” in my opinion, to hold an inter county FF position. Typical FF will run into the square, before or after the ball, who cares, let the ref make the decision… He will kick, punch, throw the ball into the net, throw the goalie into the net too, who cares? Let the ref make the decision! We’ve all seen it from Dublin, Meath, etc…
    Another concern about Alan Freeman – he seems to be unwilling to use the left foot when under pressure? If so, this is a near-fatal flaw in an inter county FF – especially one who seems to lack a bit of thickness.

    Anyways, good luck to the lot, minors and seniors and mentors. I know they are all bursting a gut in training and living a disciplined regime; hopefully they are loving the lifestyle. Early train from Limerick for me, a big fry in the big smoke, and into the Cauldron for high noon I hope.

    come on Mayooooooo!

  61. Love this site WJ. It’s my go to place for getting connected to the excitement of our team taking the park in croker again ! As a few lads and lassies have said these are brilliant times for Mayo football .. I’m old enough to remember the days in the 70s and 80s when my father brought me to games .. And he was one of the tormented souls who was there in 51 and thought it would go on for ever ! He’s gone 5 years now and is missing this era. Of course we all want the prize .. But Christ lets enjoy the journey too !
    Horan isn’t perfect but on the Andy and Alan selection .. What have we to lose ? They can be replaced if not playing well and it’s not like the gap to those on the bench is so huge ! I think AOS might be the game changer this year .. Have a feeling that his position might just be the key to adding that x-factor up front .. Difference from last year is a fully fit Cillian and AOS getting more game time upfront rather than a last ditch desperate measure .. Also, as he said recently the team are training to peak starting on Sunday . I’m expecting Mayo to lay down a marker that gives us all confidence that we will be right there in the final stages .. The real march on Sam starts now

  62. The reason andy and Alan are playing from the start is their understanding of the gameplan and the confidence that the other players and management have in their proven ability and experience to deliver the gameplan on the big stage.no doubt when mayo establish a platform freezer and Conroy /Sweeney will get a run when the 2 boys will obviously tire.

    So I wouldn’t get too exercised about the situation .mayo are not exactly endowed with a glut of great substitute forwards but in Moran and Dillon they have proven forwards who know what is required to win the big games.

    I have no doubt that they will show this again on Sunday.

  63. You know what they say about doin the same thing over and over. And expecting different results!!

  64. Tomorrow, for the first time in years, I’ll be missing a championship game with Mayo involved. I’ll be on a plane winging it’s way back from Malaysia when the fun starts in Croke Park and won’t know the result until 5.50am on Monday, when I reach Heathrow. Despite that however, I haven’t missed the build up, between this blog and everything else that is now available to everyone all over the world. It’s a big change from when I was in London in 1986 and all I could get of the Mayo Galway game was the final score in one of the tabloids the following day.
    I’m not surprised at the team selection. The only talking points were going to be nos 14 and 15 but then Andy has always been effective in Croke Park. I’m the last few years, I’ve been of the view that Dillon should be closer to goal as he really knows where the posts are and could do serious damage in the corner. In addition, it’s now a 21 man game and we now have a very strong bench to work from.
    Looking at Cork, they took John Evans’ Roscommon template when playing Sligo in preparation for meeting us. That’s a logical thing to do, as the Rossies did trouble us. However there are parts of the Rossie plan that they can’t control – such as the length of the grass and the weather. I expect that Cork will keep it tight as long as possible, but I don’t think that Cork suddenly trying to copy Roscommon in July or August is a step forward for a Div 1 county with such a talented squad of individuals. And that’s their problem really, Cuthbert and his predecessor have not been able to get them to play as a team. I don’t expect that to change tomorrow either.
    And as for bleating about fouling earlier in the week! Quite frankly, I’d say that genuine Cork fans would have found that nonsense embarrassing. The Cork management should realise that any problems they have start much closer to home.
    So the best of luck to all Mayo people tomorrow, starting with the mighty minors at midday. I’ll get that result between flights and I hope to have two teams to cheer on in the semis on August 24th.

    Keep the Faith!

  65. The reason the 2 lads are probarly playing is when JH looks at them in training they are still the most effective guys he has, i hope they can bring that to croker on Sunday. COC is are best forward at the momment, and freeman is a nice sub to have. We should have enough for Cork the next game im not so sure if its Kerry.

  66. Some of Ye geniuses should know that Dillon pulled his hamstring on the Friday night before the Galway match and still played well against them. He wasn’t at full tilt but will be against cork.

    I know a lot of the posters here are away from mayo and are basically clueless about club football in the county. If you watch andy Moran, Dillon, o Connor etc they are the best forwards on show and are miles ahead of the rest. Loyalty doesn’t come into selection with Horan. Players are picked on form and ability. If someone wasn’t up to scratch or playing bad they would be in the dugout. Support the team and quit yer nonsense. There is no basis for most of it.

  67. Excuse me there is basis in my argument ill put forward for not starting Dillon. He is no spring chicken at 31, he has been injured a lot the last 2/3 years, his performances when starting ie vGalway have been well below average imo. He doesnt have the pace to run into open space when Cillian collects and burst the net , which should of been done 3/4 times in first half v Galway.

    If Dillon proves me so wrong that i embarrassed to post here Monday morning i will be delighted . He has brought us some joy over the years that will always be appreciated , he had been a fantastic servant to Mayo football, i just believe his time has come to settle for an impact role.

  68. I think James mindset re the cork game is to get a good start and not let cork get into the game , hence starting Andy and Alan (seasoned pros) So that Cork players who might not be happy with the latest Cuthbert plan gets discouraged early and cork heads might drop . I hope Freezer is raring to go and when he gets his chance to come on he tear into the Cork full back line (time for mister nice guy to go and see a much more aggressive Frezzer . I think the likes of sweeney and coen will be better on coming on when most of the hard hits has settled down and the space begins to open up for us .

  69. Scoring from long range and out wide is the key to beating the blanket defence. Perhaps Andy Moran will be important as facing a packed defence, he is one of our most consistent point takers from long range. Perhaps the same could be said of Alan Dillon, who is one of our best scorers from out wide. Playing Freeman inside with 4 defenders around him isn’t going to get the best out of him. Mikey Sweeney too operates at his best close to goal. Perhaps this is not the day for trying to play the ball into around the house, but pick them off from afar.

    I would imagine our game will be based all around their 45 – track their runners, stop them coming out, win breaking ball around the middle, taking your points from 30 metres, break through at pace through the hands for goal opportunities – our speciality.

    One word of caution though – a lot of people seem to be assuming that Colm Boyle will be marking Paul Kerrigan. We need to have him going backwards as much as possible, and also need to make sure that we have an extra defender to sweep back into the full back line in the event of the long ball. If their two wing forwards do stay back, then we should alternate Keegan, Vaughan and Boyle on Kerrigan – make him track our runs rather than isolate him on our centre back holding the fort and who has to sweep back.

  70. I agree with (and I have posted my reasons and clear logic) Sean Burke, mayofan and many others on the selection, preferring to have Andy in particular, and Alan too held for impact in the last 20 minutes as opposition markers tire, but I’m not going to repeat it all here.
    However, I’ve no time for insulting comments from anyone else aimed at those that disagree with the team selection (and explain their opinions) being called ‘clueless’ or that comments are ‘disgraceful’ (except when WJ is adjudicating on rule breeches) when they do not share your opinion.
    And I don’t believe it could possibly be true that Alan Dillon pulled a hamstring the Friday night before the Galway game, what physio or manager would even let him tog? Come on…..
    We all have our own views and most of us back it up with explanations, but come 12 noon on Sunday, we will all be united behind Mayo’s minors, seniors and both managements. It’s important to think of that when we disagree with any post – United we stand!
    Thanks again to WJ for providing a outlet for so many serious Mayo fans worldwide to vent their pro and con opinions on all aspects of Mayo football in particular.
    Finally, I do hope we will see our best 15 Mayo senior players in their best positions at some stage over the 72-75 minutes, albeit not likely all at once!
    Hon Mayo!!

  71. Have to imagine TC will be back for semi (which I’m 99.9%) sure we’ll be involved in. If we’re winning well I wonder will we see any experimentation (ie moving Vaughan or Barrett up front). Think KH is too good at corner back to move up again

  72. Dont understand all the whinging about the 15 starters (well, the two all-stars in particular). I suppose the enjoyment is in the speculation and the banter before and after games but some of the commentary about team selection is pie in the sky. JH Buckley, Prender etc are the boys watching these guys 5 days + a week and if they come to the conclusion that Alan D and Andy are fit and in form to make the fifteen thats fair enough for me. The managements record says they are right far more often than not. It leaves us with a good bench, the names most mentioned here are usually Feeney Freeman Sweeney & Gibbons when guys and gals are saying he should be starting or whatever. Out of those I would say Gibbons is probably the most unfortunate but as is the case for most sports teams injury can oftentimes lead to a man losing his jersey and its up to the individual to win it back which I hope Gibbons can. Some of the other lads have had varying amounts of minutes throughout the league and championship but if they were setting the training sessions on fire im sure theyd get the call. Its not like Horan and co havent been willing to take a chance in when a lad is in form eg Carolan last year. Personally I often disagree with some of James selections and swtches and I would like Coen to have been higher up the pecking order at this stage but in a competitive squad it is difficult. Margins are fine and im sure if a call is close, at the quarter final stage experience probably gets the nod over youth. Getting back to Dillon & Moran, if after all these years they are still holding two of the six starting forward jerseys it says as much about their enduring quality and commitment as it does about the lack of top class alternatives (COC aside) that have come through the ranks in the past three to four years. Hopefully if Gallagher Diaruid OC and some of the other promising guys coming through fulfill their potential then we have viable alternatives in the future but at the minute the managements view appears to be that the 24-30 yr old forawrds currently in our squad arent at Dillon and Morans level even with all these miles and injuries on the clock. Good luck to all on Sunday!

  73. The question we have to ask is have these players the capacity to become better players. Take Moran and Dillion – in my expert opinion No. So therefore we have learned nothing from the last two years and therefore have no chance of winning the All-Ireland. We have no pace in our full forward line. Hoping I am proven wrong.

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