Who was our Player of the League?

I know, I know – this year’s National League campaign is already old hat for us as all our focus has turned towards our Connacht Championship opener against Roscommon next Sunday. Before forgetting all about the eight League games we’ve played and the national title we’ve just won, however, there’s one final bit of League business to get through.

For the last few years, we’ve conducted a Player of the League poll here on the blog, which, with a longish gap between League and Championship, was an exercise that could be done in an unhurried way. This year, however, with the League’s finish unceremoniously rear-ending the start of the Championship, this bit of business has to be undertaken with a tad more alacrity this year.

So, let’s cut to the chase: I’ve run the numbers in the usual way from all the MOTM polls in this year’s League and, from this, emerges a three-player shortlist. All three of them played prominent parts on the march to our League title win but which of the three of them do you think merits the title of our Player of the League for 2023? Here’s your chance to vote on that question.

Who was our Player of the League?

  • Aidan O'Shea (56%, 1,102 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (27%, 529 Votes)
  • Jordan Flynn (16%, 321 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,952

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112 thoughts on “Who was our Player of the League?

  1. Of the 3 Player’s nominated I would have to say Aiden O Shea .. but I might very likely vote for Diarmuid O Connor if he were nominated..James Carr and Connor Louftus and of course Colm Reape all had very good league’s!

  2. Special mention for David McBrien. He was excellent in every game bar the 20 minutes McManus was on him against Monaghan.
    He lead our press excellently against Galway too. A blow when he went off.

    Diarmuid also very good in this years league

  3. A little off topic, but the whinging coming out of our beaten brethern next door is at another level!.

  4. Agreed KM7, an unsung hero.

    @Opt2misteek firstly kudos on the clever username. It’s been poor from Galway supporters but what are Mayo supporters doing getting into arguments online with them. We won so absolutely no need.

  5. I was thinking Coen too! He’s played every minute of the league and he hasn’t been mentioned good, bad or indifferently.

    It would indicate a man doing his job simple as. I think he should be moved to centre back with Loftus dropping out for Hession. Probably won’t happen but its just an idea. But 6 is still a problem as seen from yesterday’s 5 goal chances.

    Any way cos I couldn’t vote for Coen I gave it to AOS without doubt one of his best seasons for Mayo since he started out in 2009.

  6. Just to be clear, this is a poll which has a simple aim – to identify our Player of the Year. It’s not set up to give a wide range of players “a mention” or anything like that. The shortlist derives directly from the MOTM polls and the three players shortlisted polled best over the 8 MOTM votes so that’s why they’re on the shortlist and others aren’t.

  7. Interesting that the shortlist consists of 3 forwards; yesterdays heroes were all backs.

  8. Aidan O’Shea in my opinion. He has had a terrific league. Seems to have gotten a spark back.

  9. Sorry off subject
    This may seem like a silly question. I’m a season ticket holder I have got my ticket in stand, can I use it in the terrace cause I have my son with me and want to sit with him. Thanks in advance.

  10. Well I couldn’t give two hoots about whinging from Galway – I just allow myself an internal chuckle of delight inside and move on with my day :-). Maigheo go Deo.

  11. It’s diarmuid O’connor.

    He is the weather vane of this team, if he plays well mayo play we’ll, if he doesn’t they lose

    I didn’t think Aido was up to much on Sunday, won a few soft frees out the field and that’s about it.

    Voted Flynn

  12. Sam Callinan for me, some intense shift on Sunday. minutes on the ball and tackling, should have been on the list

  13. It was such a team effort its slllmost disingenuous to pick one player out .Mayo were team of the league ,without a doubt and got their just rewards …

  14. Aiden O Shea for me. Good in most matches and crucial on Sunday. Think there are a lot of positives in the structure we use defensively. It requires huge concentration as opposition hold the ball for so long seeking the openings. Lots of times on Sunday you also saw members of our FF line back near their own goals. The big danger for us is if we are turned over or lose the ball in transition which allows for a quick counter attack. The fact that we conceded a fair few goal chances is a concern but this is a work in progress. You can’t expect a system to be perfected in a short time and remember we have lots of inexperienced young lads at the back learning their trade having lost two top class defenders in winter. How much will the likes of Sam Callinan have learned from a stint of marking Shane Walsh, while the likes of Comer and Finnerty etc are real handfuls. Our method of play requires individual sacrifice for the good of the team and while we praise some players and criticise others we don’t always see the selfless runs, the tracking back, the off the ball efforts. It really is a whole team effort. One of the many things Joyce said after the match that surprised me was that they knew we would be reliant on frees to score. Therefore it’s a wonder he didn’t advise his team not to foul so much. On the bigger scheme of things I think Kerry, Dublin and Galway are ahead of us in race for Sam. That is based on the players they have, rather than league form. Kerry and Dublin don’t even have to stretch themselves to win province and therefore be top seeds in the round robin so they can peak around June when needed. Galway enter the equation in less than three weeks having a fortnight longer than us to get sorted. We have been going near full tilt since league started and have another tough encounter on Sunday against a Roscommon team who are no mugs. Up north it is hard to call. I think Tyrone are the pick of the bunch. Derry didn’t look too clever on Sunday and their small panel will be stretched by league campaign and competitive province. Armagh despite relegation have lots of good players if they are allowed to play. Overall an open championship and lots to look forward to.

  15. Willie Joe/ bloggers

    Just a quick question, is the seating for the stand on Sunday a first come first serve or is it pre-ordered seating?? Looking at the ticketmaster website it seems to be selling seat numbers for the stand. Cheers

  16. @Moyside, you have to sit in the seat number that is printed on your ticket if you have a ticket for the main covered stand. If you have a sideline ticket, you can sit where you like.

  17. Ye . I believe it’s seat numbers and not first come first serve. I notice all the tickets on Ticket master are at each
    End of the stand. Section 101 and 109.

  18. I voted for Jordan but you could make a case for any of the three of them.

    I heard the Galway lads landed in Portugal but Joyce said the landing was a bit bumpy and one of the hostesses wasn’t very nice to them.

    He went on to say that their plane was landed with the help of, not an air traffic controller but by an umpire from Ballina, and they ended up on the wrong runway.

    One of their suitcases was found to be open and Joyce wants Reape arrested and questioned over the open suitcase.

    He went on to say that the Galway attempts on goal would undoubtedly have ended up in the back of the mayo net if it wasn’t for the affects of global warming, which he explained changed the trajectory of the ball.

    If it wasn’t for bad luck and decisions going against them, Galway would now be chasing their four in a row he yelped, and who would disagree with this magnanimous man.

  19. Though I voted for Aido I feel Diarmuid O Connor was the most influential player, also McBrien and Coen.

  20. Yes Chick 79 the idea of that is to fill up the stand evenly. The better seats will come on sale later but it’s a gamble waiting as they will be snapped up rapidly.Not sure if SuperValu or Centra are selling tickets that could be a better option if they are.

  21. Noting the format of the votes, this is all an aside but…went Aido for impact of new role and consistency of performance. Flynn had a mini dip (but could have been targeted by other side). DoC is a very good shout for consistency and overall impact.

  22. I voted Ryan but can’t argue with any of the 3. I see the independent picked the team of the league and 12 players from the west make the cut with 6 mayo men. Good for the west. On a separate note didn’t the gaa really devalue the league by having it so close to championship.i know we’ve gone over this before but really for the next couple of weeks it should be all about celebrating winning the league and raising it’s profile instead of seeming like we didn’t win anything.

  23. Personally I voted for ROD, who I thought was the most consistent over the course of the league, even if in the final his scoring/marking exploits were mixed in with a few silly turnovers.

    Aido has also been magnificent, whether in at full forward or further back the field. I would like to see him stay round the square a bit more (perhaps his role on Sunday was a specific assignment).

    Jordan Flynn has also been very good, although I thought he started explosively and tailed off a bit. Did nab one particularly lovely score on Sunday.

    Would agree with others that the likes of DOC, Callinan, Coyne, Reape etc. have had great league campaigns.

  24. A O’Shea for consistency – ball handling, distribution, marks, free getting, scores, some lovely kick passing and totally unselfish play. He is now an average of 14/1 (in from 50/1) for player of the year. Sceptics may laugh but you never know your luck in a big town.

  25. Funny Aido turning provider for Ryan yesterday with those kicks in for marks but Ryan is absolutely brilliant at catching them. For a shorter player his ability to win ball is phenomenal. They are becoming a great combination. Credit to Aido for those kick passes, he’s been doing that in plenty of games as well as causing trouble for defenders.
    Also regarding Diarmaid, Galway’s goal chances nearly all had pressure on them from Mayo players but Comer was forced near side by Diarmaid tracking back from a long way out when Paddy was turned a bit too easily. Along with those point saving blocks so he’s massively important for us.
    Of the 3 it’s a toss up between Aido and Ryan (Ryan I think as scorer in chief) as they were good pretty much every game they played but Jordan set the pace in the early games and featured well at the end too.

  26. Shuffly deck you’re dead right on RoD. Ironically one of the best catches I’ve ever seen from him was in the Belmullet v Breaffy semi final, think he followed it up with a screamer of a goal.

  27. Did anyone see the comment on Hogan stand from a Galway fan said about the off ball post saying that they did an off the ball podcast on how awful mayo fans were on Sunday and ar
    Are labelled the most annoying fans now? Never saw anything about haha ..

    Anyway I went for Ryan o D we would have been lost sometimes without him class act all the time.

  28. Six players from Mayo made Indos team of league.from Div 1.
    Reape, Carney, Aidan, Ryan , Diarmuid and cant for life of me remember the 6th!!
    We’re five days out from Rossies.Time to put Galway in rear view mirror..

  29. Great to see the appreciation for Diarmuid. Never gives less than a 7/10 performance and regularly hits the higher notes. He is crucial to the game plan this year. Allows Mattie and Flynn the freedom to attack while still instigating many of our attacks. He should never be played in a non-central role again.

  30. Ryan O’Donoghue has been way way off his best recently. He’s been coughing up possession a lot and gave away the ball in midfield at a CRUCIAL moment near the very end of Sunday’s game, he also missed an easy free in the first half. He needs to get a few more points from play as well. I’m sure he’s aware of this and I’m confident that he’ll improve come championship.

  31. Bit disapointed with Aiden tracking back last day, was this in game plan or was he doing it himself. Far better to leave him around the square for full game , fresh and fit to receive a long kick pass from our defenders breaking forward and play a quick pass to Conroy or whoever, this aslo keep at least two players back to watch him., which is two less attacking us.

    Leave The Bear around The Square.

  32. Completely agree with you 45Mayo, Ryan is well off his best form and I am worried about his lack of contribution from play – hopefully that changes on Sunday – but his miss into the Hill 16 end after cutting inside was awful by his standards.

    I agree with other posters that Fionn’s position is up for grabs. You don’t hold down a forward role in one of the top teams by working hard and tracking back well – that’s the minimum. Definitely lacking in possession of the ball. Outside of Jordan, the half forward line is our weakest in my opinion. Carney is not yet a consistent performer and neither is Fionn. Might not matter against the Rossies but it will on the biggest days.

  33. @to win just once – Joyce’s comments re frees didn’t surprise me as it seems this is a tactic of Galway I.e concede storable frees to negate goal chances

  34. How people complain about Ryan beggars belief, very brave and roasted the corner back with some majestic marks
    Also some body has to do the dirty work Fionn does.
    As regards Carney ,he was marked by Daly,a class act who had no influence for a change on the game.

  35. Just an observation, Jr, not a complaint. Ryan has scored very few points from play in recent games and Mayo need him flying, but yes he is one of the best out there at winning and scoring a mark.

    And yes, Fionn works hard but so do every one of the players – look at the work Diarmuid and Flynn and Carney and Ruane and Paddy do. Fionn’s impact with the ball though is minimal.

  36. @JR – He has scored 2-6 from play in the league and missed most the roscommon and monaghan game.

  37. Ryan also help set hessions goal is well earlier in the league I agree with JR he might not have gotten many points from play so far but someone has to do the man marking as JR said someone has to the dirty work .

  38. Sorry meant to response to GBXI and not JR.

    I would have no worries about what Ryan is contributing from play at the moment.

  39. I hope there is no booing of Roscommon free takes next Sunday. There was some of it at the Galway game in Castlebar earlier this year and its absolutely disgusting. It was there at times last few years as well. Outside of Dublin very few counties have a problem with it. Can give all supporters in the county a bad name. Please respect the opposition players. They are all amateurs.

  40. At the game the last day, one item I noticed was we didn’t quite have the pace of old when we broke with the ball. This was especially noticeable when Durcan went in on Comer.

    I know Galway’s bread and butter is filtering back and trying to stop teams in transition but I just felt the loss of the Mullin and Keegan’s pace was noticeable at times.

    Not sure if anyone else saw this but said I’d share the observation. Hopefully we can get Hession back soon to help address this.

  41. Diarmuid is one of those players that you notice most when he is not playing..Fair play to Paddy filling in at no3 for the second half.With Oisin gone and Harrison,Brickenden,O hora and McBrien injured we did very well to have anyone to fill in.No team could lose that many full backs at the one time.

  42. @ South Mayo Exile
    Excellent point, it has crept into the game but the I think the booing comes from unsupervised enthusiastic kids !!

  43. @JKELL 2-6 from 6 games is not that good by Ryan’s standards – yes, it’s improved by his marks which in my book are like a half point from play – but the Donegal game was like an easy training match. He assisted very well in the earlier games too but now the opposition are getting better and he just looks a little off his best to me. The missed free, the missed point from play, the turnovers but let’s see – hopefully he runs riot on Sunday.

  44. @GBXI – Ryan would be just outside the top 10 scorers in Division 1 with his 2-6 from play alone. Sean O`Shea is in 10th position with 1-12.

    Ryan is the 2023 top scorer in division 1 with 2-31 and James Carr is joint 7th with 3-7.

  45. Leaving Aido inside is a good tactic surely but when we were flat and not scoring in 2nd half on Sunday and not for the first time this league,it was Aiden who came out the field and send those beauties in to Ryan to mark and get the scoreboard ticking again,
    So maybe coming deeper at times to take possession will be part of the plan.

  46. Well said South Mayo exile..booing is not nice whether amateur or professional , I noticed a fair bit of it from Hill 16 anytime Derry had a free last Sunday.. just over 45K at last Sunday double header on an absolute perfect warm Spring day.. And that’s with Dublin playing..I think it was over 55K for the 2019 league final… Waterford and Limerick in the Hurling, but Mayo had well over 50% of the entire crowd on that day.

  47. Re Aido think a big part will be tactical flexibility – if teams set up to close off opportunity to get ball into him, and he drifts out to make impactful supply to others that’s fine with me.

  48. @Culmore

    It was I’d imagine deliberate, and I suspect that the idea was to pull Kelly out of the fullback position and create one on ones for Ryan and James Carr inside.

    Given how the game went, I think we would have struggled to properly support Aidan if he’d stayed inside.

    I do think that we can implement a better plan for Aidan against Galway specifically but I’m not entirely sure that it could have been implemented in a week.

  49. @Clare: I didn’t see the post on Hogan Stand (a noxious discussion forum altogether, particularly a few Galway fans on there) but I did see the piece on Off The Ball. Towards the end of it, the instigator, Shane Hannon, admits that he’s half Galwegian, so I’d take it with a slight pinch of salt. That said, I would like to see the booing of wides/frees from some elements of our support coming to an end.

    I must admit enjoying the bleating out of the neighbours since Sunday though. If it’s not our fans being uncouth, it’s fouls and cards not being given, or us getting too many frees, or the balls being pumped up too much or their boots not being tied. Music to my ears.

  50. @JKELL, again that proves my point. Not inside the top 10 in D1 with a centre forward in 10th place. We are not reliant on any one player this year but it worries me for the big games as to whether we have the class to score enough from play.

  51. I think we need to look at starting cillian and Ryan with aido when fit. Cillian is too intelligent to leave on the bench IMO. Maybe start James carr too in full forward with Ryan in half forward line at the expense of fionn McDonagh. Tommy coming off the bench early second half where his pace can cause bother

  52. Agree on the booing. Anyone at it ain’t a true GAA Gael and deserves a smack.

  53. Agreed, our time, Ryan at 11 is the answer for me. At least for some of the games. Great to have Cillian to come off the bench in some games also.

  54. The one that shocked me, with regards the booing on frees, was the evening throw ins in Tralee. Was very noticeable

  55. Unstoppable – I’m not following your point regarding pace. Surely our FB line Coyne, McBrien, and Callinan is one of the speediest in the business. And we have as you say Hession to come in. Coen is not speedy of course, but his positional sense in recent games has been first class, as has his distribution.

    With Eoin Mac we get turbo pace, but he is still rusty – some of his passes were off, well off, but then it was his first game in ages.

  56. Ryan o donoghue is a great footballer, one of our best assets at the moment but he really needs to polish up on the reckless hand pass from time to time . That one towards the dying minutes last Sunday around the middle could have ended in disaster

  57. I remember E McLaughlins radar for the handpass been off a couple of times near the end of the game. A bit of composure was needed. This will be all looked at. We won move on.

  58. Agree with the booing awful behaviour and puts a bad name on a county heard it at the Dublin/Derry match to and its not what the GAA is about at all!

  59. Don’t worry about Ryan o donoghue, he will get back to full form, it’s time enough, a lot of football played for club and county.

  60. When we needed a match winner, it was Aiden who stood up. He managed his new role very well throughout the league.

  61. Compare Eoghan MacLaughlin’s execution of the basics to Jack Carney’s. Massive difference

    Eoghan suits a James Horan high octane approach. Way too soon to make proclamations like he won’t work in a McStay team but he was imo 100% not suited to the approach we took last Sunday. That said the alternative we had on the bench, Padraig O’Hora, isn’t any better suited to it. WTS we will not take such a conservative approach very often imo

  62. For those saying we should lose to the Rossies and take the break to rest up ahead of the All Ireland series.

    Imo that decision needed to made in January and training tailored to match. I don’t think there’s a huge benefit to choosing that route so late in the day. What rest we’d gain would be countered by the loss in confidence imo

    It’d also be nice to start building up a bit of an aura. Right now you could argue we scrapped past Galway, but beat the Rossies on Sunday, particularly if use a different approach, and suddenly people would be talking about us as a team to be feared.

  63. These are strange times for the scheduling and validity of the various Gaelic football competitions. Take Mayo’s situation as an example. They just completed a league, that was described by many as a competition no one wanted to win. In Mayo’s case, the popular opinion was that while they needed to survive in division one, they didn’t want to get to the final because of the championship starting the following Sunday. Low and behold, they go and win it. Now, just five days out from the start of the Connacht championship, there is a train of thought, gathering momentum as time goes on, that maybe it would better if they didn’t win on Sunday. This would mean six weeks preparation for the round robin series. The same arguments are also being made about counties in the Ulster championship. Strange times indeed, and you would have to think there will be a change in the structure and timing of the various football competitions sooner rather than later.

  64. Our Mayo/Roscommon rivalry pod, recorded last Friday night at Solan’s in Ballaghaderreen, is now online for club members on Patreon.

  65. I voted for Ryan.
    He’s quite simply our most important player.
    He’s so good we kind of take him for granted now.His off the ball runs remind me very much of Andy in the 2nd half of his career,another similarity is any ball that goes in high or low sticks.
    He always has the head up and is looking to engineer a goal effort either for himself or someone else if its on.
    Himself and Aido had some great link up play the last day.

  66. Would agree with the sentiments expressed about Eoghan McLoughlin’s distribution at times, which can negate his better qualities. Granted, he hasn’t played as much this season, but it’s been a recurring pattern throughout his Mayo career, which is probably four years in at this point. If he wants to nail down a place in the starting fifteen long term, he needs to improve this area of his game. We can’t afford four or five unforced turnovers in tight matches down the line, especially against opponents who are only waiting to hit us with fast ball.

  67. On the issue of the game on Sunday, if management were to decide on making a few changes as they did for the Monaghan game, I don’t think it would cause much surprise.
    It is widely conceded that teams in Connacht and Ulster are at a disadvantage with the scheduling.
    Kerry and Galway are gone to the sun and Dublin can chill out and train hard now until the groups.
    Meanwhile we have a battle on Sunday with the Rossies who might sense we are tired and will go flat out early I sense. If we do get through that, this is the big point for me, we will then face Galway who will be out for revenge. I can imagine a very hostile evening ahead… And for what? Risks of injury, cards etc… But for what benefit because we will end up in a group anyway, so if its just for one up on the neighbours, well, we already have that….

    It’s something like 17 games from start of league to AI Final… Winning league, connacht and AI would be some effort.
    Compared to last year we are in a great place with injuries…. 2 flat out games might change all that.

    I totally get why people want to keep winning but I’m in the ‘it all starts in the groups’ camp.

    Make a few changes, give it a go… If we lose, so be it but then we have a break…. Can recharge and go flat out then…

    That’s my 2 cents on it….

  68. Very difficult to get your head around playing a championship match on Sunday only a few days after winning the league so it must be extremely difficult for the players to refocus.the two potential battles against Roscommon and Galway could take a serious toll but don’t know what the alternative is really.the championship structure needs further tweaking as there seems to be very little thought given to player welfare

  69. Well the team certainly won’t have swelled heads when they run out on to the pitch on Sunday.

    Has anyone ever seen such underwhelming reaction to the winning of a national title? Even James Horan would have preferred to be in ‘Roscommon’s shoes’ (Examiner podcast). Then there’s the negativity stemming from the Sunday Game ‘analysis’ of the Heaney incident (non-incident); not to mention the reams of print on Mayo’s defensive shortcomings (Galway 0-11); and of course our forwards’ limitations (5 wides). Throw in ‘should they have won it’, and ‘do they really need to win on Sunday’ into the mix, and Kevin, Rochy & co. should probably step aside and let Niamh Fitzpatrick take the team for the rest of the week, because if they’re listening to any or all of the above, their collective heads will be melting.

  70. I am aligned Moose79, the real competition happens from the round Robin. Yes, there is an advantage in being a first seed but is it really that important. Ultimately it could be a case of whether you meet a provincial champion in the QFs or SFs. We have a strong squad and we know that teams will not want us in their group so not too bothered about Connacht.

  71. I’m with a lot of other posters here in relation to Connacht.As much as it’s bet into our DNA to want to win the provincial we have to understand that the rules have changed,the penny still hasn’t dropped with a lot of people.
    Being top seed in a group is a slight advantage.With the draw Mayo have got this year and after playing the week before is it an advantage worth playing really tough brusing games like Roscommon then Galway then another match with the potential for injuries?
    Would it be the worst thing in the world to go out of Connacht early then have 6 weeks to get everyone fit,pick from a full deck and have a right cut at winning Sam?
    We need to be smart and play the long game.The provincial (for a top div 1 league team in Connacht or Ulster anyway) are now more of a hassle than something to be coveted.
    It’s takes time for this realisation to sink it but it’s hard to argue against it.

  72. Winning is a good habit to cultivate, the team should go out to win all the games they’re involved in, I don’t understand why anyone would think losing to Roscommon next Sunday would be good for the morale of the players.

  73. Losing on Sunday cannot be an option which either management, players or we as supporters can seriously be contemplating. We got bet last year by Galway in Castlebar and had a 6 week break to our next game in the qualifiers. From what I remember there was a new injury every week during this period after another hammer and tongs A versus B game. Our defensive set up needs a lot more work along with our new kicking game. This can only be improved by playing high intensity championship football against good quality Division 1 opposition, not in a meaningless challenge match against a Clare or Fermanagh. Losing on Sunday would just be a disaster, full stop.

  74. The league was the time to ease up if they were going to do it. From now on i think they have to go for it. Beat roscommon and Galway and maybe a not so stressful connaught final. Players can get injured just as easily in training or non competitive games as was the case with cillian v fermanagh recently. It all really highlights that the fixture makers need to get their head out of their … and sort out this mess and make sure every game is meaningful in the future.

  75. I would drop Loftus for Hession, but it wont happen.The centre was wide open at times on the Galway counter attacks Sunday.McStay should be ringing the arse of Leeroys phone these days,still plenty of time to get him match fit for the Round robin when the real stuff starts.

  76. The reality is that the round robin is new this year so difficult to say that a defeat to the Rossies would be a disaster? It all depends on the performance in these games.

    Agree that there is still alot of learning required but I think that we will learn most from the Rossies game as we can expect that the Galway game is very likely going to be another tight & niggly affair. There will be nothing to be gained from a connacht final as it is very unlikely to be that competitive.

    The team will have played 9 games in 11 weeks which is pretty aggressive. It may not be the worst of things to get 5 – 6 weeks to fine tune tactics on the training field and prepare for another run of busy games in the round robin series. 3rd seeds would start away against the first seeds, then home against second seeds and then play 4th seeds at a neutral venue, plenty game time to develop experience before entering the knock out stages.

    It will only be the end of year to see how important the provincial championship is in terms of preparing teams in their quest for Sam, and in particular for those in Connacht & Ulster.

  77. catcol – that examiner podcast was a depressing listen! The host said he’d be very worried for Mayo defensively. One of the others said Galway showed the template for beating Mayo.

  78. @FW totally agree with you about Ryan O D he was our top scorer in the league to ok he didn’t get many from play as normal but give the guy a break.

    As you said he is always looking to set up goal chances and also did for Tommy conroy but Tommy c missed in league but he will get better also with more game time !

    Imagine a fully fit Tommy c cillian and Ryan O D on top form no team would fancy taking us on not being biased either..

    Ryan O D he does the heavy man marking and set ups that some may take for granted . Whatever anyone says weather he is in form or not we would be lost without him!

    And on another note I do think we should go all our for the Rossies on Sunday at home to but as others have said is it the worst if we did loose connaught with the way this set up for Sam goes? ..

  79. Really enjoyed the podcast. Christy Mc Cann is a breath of fresh air. Imagine having a few pints with him. Some stories and I’m sure he’d finish them and name people involved.

  80. The team and Management will be totally focussed on winning on Sunday. Of that we can be sure.
    And we are unbelievably sensitive about criticism. Who created the more goal chances on Sunday?
    Final passes were fractionally off for us. But credit Galway defence too.

  81. I agree with earlier comments that ROD should move to half forward line. His play making skills would benefit us more there and set up scores for FF line of o’shea Cillian and Conroy with carr coming in as a scoring sub. Flynn and Carney also in HF line. . ROD is a play maker like Alan Dillon and Ciaran McDonald neither were know for or expected to shoot the lights out…

  82. In ROD’s case team play is a big factor, the kick pass for Jordan’s point is just one example, regular punch passes into the danger zone, when it wasn’t on the last day he recycled very intelligently apart from that 1 late pass.

    Regarding the 6 position, Heaney chance was a killer ball from Daly and Loftus was there pressuring him coming from behind, Cooke was a snap shot because he had to (being 3 down) albeit we got caught out by the quick free, Comers had nothing to do with CHB. One of the other 2 Galway chances was a half chance and Maher out muscled our backs a few times for his point and goal chance. It’s not all on the no. 6, it’s a team thing. The flip side is Diarmaid and Mattie put in a big shift and Diarmaid in particular blocked the channels. Teams are improving in bypassing difficult defensive systems. Our team was communicating very strongly early on especially herding Galway players and passing on responsibilities but even with that they created chances.
    On Eoghan Mc, I think Hession if fit and O Hora get in ahead of him. Someone said O Hora is similar but how often have we seen mistakes while on the ball from O Hora, very seldom I would say and he often wins frees. In a game of fine margins, I expect management will be ruthless. There’s a reason Coen gets picked despite some objections here, he’s very consistent in doing the right thing on the pitch. My only gripe with Loftus is he started out as a forward and maybe not hitting hard tackles (does he need to risk conceding frees) but I cannot lay blame directly at him for many goal chances in the league, it’s more a team concentration for 70 mins thing. Also observed Loftus the last day one of the chief organisers on the pitch telling others where the best pass is on.

  83. So hard to call.

    Our experienced players have led by example.

    Our inexperienced players look like experienced players.

    We have a fantastic panel of players and – under this coaching panel – we look like we are going to continue to get better and better.

    Diarmuid is our engine, but I think Aido is playing out of his skin (with more to come).

  84. I wouldn’t think there are too many managers, who in their first stint in charge of a county, have won the National League before ever having managed a championship game with that County.

    There aren’t many pieces of gold out there to be won so Sundays win was a mighty capture.

  85. @Shuffl deck. Very good analysis there. In particular DOC s contribution. The much tighter pitch in McHale should make it more difficult to open us up the middle. mc Laughlin needs game time. May very well be an impact sub for season. Lightning pace is his big forte, but inexperience shows in terms of giving away frees

  86. @Revellino: Depends on whether you’re counting underage county games here, but Mickey Harte might be another one, won the NFL with Tyrone in 2002, his first season.

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