Who was our Player of the Year?

As the 2023 inter-county year recedes into the past, there are a few housekeeping jobs here on the blog that remain to be done. One of them is the purpose of this post, which is to open the poll on our Player of the Year for 2023.

It was, of course, a season of spring highs followed by bitter summer disappointment for us. A year that promised so much but which ended with our second successive hammering at the All-Ireland quarter-final stage, leaving us, once again, out of the real conversation where it came to the destination of the Sam Maguire.

Through those highs and lows, however, a number of players stood out for us in 2023. The Player of the Year shortlist set out below is derived, as it always is, from the Man of the Match poll data here on the blog, with the numbers used covering the eight National League matches we played and the six Championship ones.

Having run the numbers, the only decision I’m left to make is how many players to include in the shortlist. The omission of certain players always brings forth howls about such-and-such being worthy of a mention and so forth but that misses the point of the poll, which is to identify our best performer this year, not to provide a roll-call of everyone who did alright.

So, with that clear objective in mind, which of the four players listed below merits the accolade of our Player of the Year? The voting is now open on that very question.

Who was our Player of the Year for 2023?

  • Jordan Flynn (33%, 538 Votes)
  • Diarmuid O'Connor (25%, 403 Votes)
  • Aidan O'Shea (23%, 378 Votes)
  • Ryan O'Donoghue (19%, 303 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,622

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135 thoughts on “Who was our Player of the Year?

  1. Jordan flynn by a country mile for me….he continues to improve year on year and never hides

    1. Jordan Flynn
    2. David McBrien
    3. Diarmuid

  2. Mcbrien was best full back in Ireland this year and it wasn’t close.
    Had a stormer every game he played

  3. 1: Jordan flynn ( really stood up this year never gave up& stood his ground … )

    2: David mc brien ( great young talent )

    3: Ryan o d ( always a class act)

    4: colm reape . ( we’ve found a top class goalie don’t blame him for goals going in v dubs it’s a team effort and he made some amazing saves this year he will no doubt improve to still our number 1 goalie in my view )

  4. Jordan started very well and finished very well, but I think people are forgetting he was fairly quite in between. I’d give it to McBrien or Rod I think, more consistency throughout the year, and isn’t the lack of consistency what we’ve all been giving out about!

  5. @Clare, Reape had a great league but his kickouts come championship were very weak, he has a lot of improving to do in that department.

  6. For me it’s Diarmuid. For the way he always empties the tank. His versitility probably works against him a bit in that we haven’t utilised him to his maximum yet but he’s hugely important to us going forward imo.

  7. GBXI, I think the kicks themselves were less of a problem than the lack of strategy for them, lack of movement and the lack of fielder’s.
    It really looked like we had no plan. When we know aerially weak We didn’t load one side, we didn’t cluster and break, we didn’t just drive it as long as possible, we had multiple jumpers contesting same ball. It was very hard to watch.

    I thought ROD, McBrien and then our key man Diarmuid were main standouts this year, Reape as well had good first season, Jordan had some good games to.

  8. @2 hops what did Diarmuid score in the championship.
    Goes down cud dev sacks and drifts out of games
    A CHB possible

  9. @Jr.. Diarmuids biggest problem is his fielding. Looks terrible to have to replace a listed midfielder for the throw in’s

  10. 4 or 5 real candidates, but for me, for consistency throughout the season, never giving up, battling against the odds, leading by example and covering every bade of grass in every game, I am giving my vote to Diarmuid. There was a noticeable dip in our performance, in the games he missed.

  11. Aidan in the league was outstanding and deserves a mention. Colm Reape good too and excellent in the league final. Diarmuid hard working as ever but doesnt score. Mc Brien and Sam Callinan had a good year and will learn from mistakes. Player of the year for me is Jordan Flynn

  12. Cluxton is successful with kickouts because of who show for them , our midfield diamond is some what different so a bit unfair on Reape you will find when they show for it , and can actually field it or are mobile enough , only saying

  13. I thought Jordan Flynn stood up this year in one of our most difficult lines, half forwards. Could honestly makes cases for McBrien and Ryan as well but standing out in a middle eight that totally misfired sways me towards Jordan.
    On another note I see Claremorris minors had a big win against Mitchells last evening in the county final and looking at the teams set me thinking. Both sides were backboned by county players of this season and last. Claremorris in particular with the likes of the Hurleys and Gilmore of last years crop look so strong. So have we gone back to U18 for minor in county while inter-county is still U17 or are both to be U18 from now on?

  14. @2Hops I would go for McBrein.
    @JoeG Claremorris have produced great young players since the early seventies, however they don’t seem to develop.
    Last county final 1978 which they lost.
    Hope the develop this group and move forward at senior level.

  15. Another vote for Ryan from me. He very rarely has a bad game.

    Regarding McBrien. He proved to be every bit as good as Andy Moran and Colm Boyle said he would be as long he was free of injuries. The conundrum is where to play him.
    He is a great 3 no doubt and has played club football at 6. Brickenden I thought was improving every game until he was injured. Could we get him in at 3 with McBrien at 6? It could certainly be worth a go in the league.
    I would play Diarmuid at 11 and move Jordan back into midfield alongside Mattie. Jordan has been fine at half forward but we miss his physicality. Mattie has played his better football with Jordan alongside him. Diarmuid should always have been at 11 in my opinion.

    I would give Towey a good go in the league. They should give him a run of games as they did with James Carr. He might need a bit more on the S & C side but I saw him against Garrymore last September and he kicked over some outrageous scores from all angles and gave Hession a tough afternoon,

    Whatever happened to Michael Plunkett? Another one we could have done with this year.

  16. I don’t know the exact stats but Diarmuid doesn’t seem to be scoring as much anymore. Though he is of course still playing really well and is a key player. But would he be better at number 6? He reads the game like no other, has vision, can tackle and loves to get forward.

  17. Ya its true with all them underage titles no Paddy Molclair in Claremorris since 1971 and no Division 1 League title since 1975 at least.They have had very few players represent Mayo at Senior level too for a town of there size.

  18. Diarmuid is now playing a midfield role which Tom Parsons, Seamie and Aido did in their heyday. It was a big ask of him but we had no-one else for the role.With the dip in Mattie Ruane’s form this year, Diarmuid was our go-to workhorse in midfield and his loss from the forwards was immense. He gets my number 1.

  19. Difficult decision as no player consistently very good but some positive contributions by those named above plus one or two others. My vote goes to Ryan.

  20. Reape was excellent in his first season. Spectacular saves and superb kickouts (he can’t shoulder the blame for nobody running for him and a lack of tactics as mentioned) in the Dublin game,he did put a few over the sideline though.

    Jordan really stepped up if a little inconsistent.

    McBrien was excellent when not injured.

    Aido was very good and a leader as always aswell as adding the frees.Still improving even towards the end of his career.

    Diarmuid is probably our most important player.People going on about his drop in scoring really don’t understand the role he was playing this year.Id have him at either 6 or 11 next year.

    ROD is just pure class,he will be Mayos main forward for the foreseeable.

    Have to mention Jack Coyne and Sam Callinan too who are raw but had very solid first years in the red and green.

    Hard to pick a POTY from the list above but I think Diarmuid.

  21. Agree FW. Play Diarmuid at 6 or 11 and leave him there.

    Claremorris is the headscratcher club of Mayo football. Ridiculous underachievement at adult level. I’m sure it’s something they must a bit embarrassed about. Surely it’s teed up for an ambitious coach to sort that out? There’s a long list of good candidates for the u20 position. If I were a decision maker in Claremorris I’d be approaching whoever doesn’t land the Mayo job. They have the talent and numbers. For the sake of Claremorris they need to sort that mess out but it would also be a boost to Mayo too. It comes from players too though. They need to take responsibility for it.

  22. Not meaning to be disrespectful to whoever is currently in charge of the club. I’ve no idea who that is or their record to date.

  23. Fw, what do mean Aido was very good and a leader as always? He was non existent in the championship when it mattered, a leader is Brian Fenton, David Clifford, James Mccarthy.. O shea not nearly close to that category

  24. Jordan is my Player of the Year.

    He is reliable, robust, is a leader, shows character, has been growing each year and I feel he will continue to do so. He is a scorer. He also shows restraint but is willing to get stuck in.
    My favourite of those characteristics is that he is reliable and that he has character. Long may he thrive.

    I also note Aidan’s contribution this year. it really was a big deal for me. He has transformed his game and made things work for himself as a full forward line player. His taking of left-footed frees shows skill, gumption and character, all things we want to see in our players. Well done, Aidan. Here’s hoping for a virtuoso year for you next year where you cut loose.

  25. Aidan o Shea wasn’t non existent in the championship.he had an excellent game in Killarney and was playing well in first half against Dublin before being inexplicably whipped off allowing the dubs to jeer him to their heart’s content while the rte cameras decide to stick him up on the big screen in croker allowing the hill to have another laugh at him .without Aidan o Shea we wouldn’t have reached most of the all Ireland finals in the last decade and he was the best chance of us winning possession around the middle in that disastrous period after half time and how in gods name was the midfielder left on that is totally incapable of winning anything in the air

  26. @Mayonaze
    Claremorris are an eternal mystery to me too. They have big population and going back decades have always created strong successful underage teams and yet they have made minimal impact at SFC level and produced very few county seniors. They seem like a club just begging for a talented outside manager to come and just pull the whole thing together

    @swallow swoops
    You have to be on the wind up with that Aido eulogy, once again he had minimal impact when the serious stuff started in knockout championship and don’t get me started on him as a freetaker, that appears to be a ploy to get him on the scoreboard and give him a confidence boost, which we found out to our cost in injury time against Cork

  27. Aiden O Shea was best player over season, he got man of match and player of week a few times, bigest mistake of year was taking him off against Dublin, he got every ball sent in to him at start of game and then no more ball into him and then took him off, Management have a lot to answer for, no wonder McHale left them and McDonald sidelined last year , two men who know their football but are were not listened too.

  28. Ah here Culmore, it amazes me how easily pleased we are when it comes to some of our players.He laid off 2 good balls in the first half but this is elite level stuff and it’s not unreasonable to expect a lot more impact from one of your supposed talisman.

    I have no problem with management taking him off in that game, you know he isn’t going to kick a score against a team like Dublin and if you bring him out to midfield mccarthy and Fenton will run him ragged as they have done so often in the past.

    Whether those cretins in the hill cheered it or not is irrelevant. It’s not a popularity contest.

    Mind you Ruane was very lucky not to avoid the curly finger sooner that day, his form now is a huge worry as we go into the winter, confidence seems to have deserted him completely

  29. Supermac, Aidan didn’t have big impact in the later games. That doesn’t take away from his personal achievement this year as I mentioned above (adapting well to a new role and, yes, scoring frees).
    When there is a blanket Aidan doesn’t seem to have a chance to win ball. That’s down to management to coach and prepare better.
    Aidan’s role needs to evolve further next year – it can’t be toothless and one-dimensional.
    The one BIG problem I have with Aidan’s current role is that he doesn’t seem to be encouraged or coached to score from play. This must change. He could be a weapon, if he was threatening goals or points.
    How can you possibly scoff at Aidan’s confident left-footed scoring when we need reliability and when we need scores wherever we can get them? We have been very low scoring all year.

  30. 100% agree Supermac. The only stat you need to know is AOS has not scored in 7 finals.. Imagine that was Clifford, Mcmanus or Murphy or Gooch before them.. They wouldn’t be let back into the county.. That’s the difference.

  31. @kickitin, that’s what you call misinformation. In none of those finals did AOS start at full forward. All those players you mentioned are inside forwards and should be compared with Cillian O’Connor. I’ll remind you Aidan has an All Star at full forward and had scored crucial goals and points for Mayo in big games in Croke Park. Also, he was superb for Mayo at midfield in the 2017 final, dominating Cluxton’s kick outs. He’s one of Mayo’s greatest players and better than the vast majority of inter county players at 8, 11, or 14.

  32. Absolute horseshit GBXI… He was in and out from centre forward to full forward and midfield and couldn’t put one ball over the fuckin bar.. If he was midfield or centre forward he still should be clipping in with a score in one of those finals… End of story

  33. Now if you think he’s one of mayos greatest, fair enough, but in my book, greatness is doing it on the big day, when it’s there in the melting pot ready to be won.. The big players do it.. The Trevor Giles and Tommy dowds of 96, maurice Fitz of 97.. The kerry boys, Tyrone boys..etc, do u understand what I’m trying to say to you?

  34. Well done .run down and belittle one of our greatest players ever.yea it’s clearly Aidan o sheas fault we lost the last 6 all Ireland finals.how is this nonsense allowed to be posted.on here..The man is a midfielder who has been asked to play every position from full back to full forward over the last 14 years.people need to look elsewhere for the obvious problems we have

  35. I didn’t say it was his fault or belittling him 1985..i simply said he has not scored in 7 finals

  36. Fair enough but winning possession was his main strength.I doubt Aidan o Shea claimed to be the greatest point scorer ever and that particular stat can be misleading.Not in anyway sure about this but how many points did jack o sheas varying midfield partners score in all the all Ireland finals they played in

  37. They scored more than AOS anyway 1985.. Seanie Walsh clipped a few in his day bfore going to full back

  38. I believe that Tommy Dowd had bad days for Meath,in fact I remember him being dropped in the early nineties

  39. Haha, good Corick.. Do you remember him scoring 1-3 or so v mayo in the 96 final?

  40. Ok did they what did they score .over the the course of roughly the same amount of games Aidan o Shea scored 11 goals for mayo while the great Michael Murphy scored 4 goals .over the coarse of all our finals Aidan o Shea spent very little time at full forward

  41. The great Michael Murphy got 1-4 or 5 in the final v mayo in 2012 at what..21 yrs of age maybe.. Did it when it mattered.. Tommy dowd got motm v mayo too in 96..why hasn’t aidan got any score at all 1985, it’s not like he didn’t have the chances.. I’ve saw them all.. 2 or 3 times over.

  42. Yea I saw them all too .can you point out many blatant misses by o Shea in those 6 finals.maybe there was but I can’t readily remember them

  43. I think many here like myself have become very knowledgeable as regards football over the years, we seem to look at football in a different way now that a few years ago.

    Some of ye are asking questions re certain players performances in All Ireland finals that Mayo played in.

    We looked back at many games since Mayo were knocked out in the Quarter finals this year.
    We can pinpoint why certain games were lost as follows.

    In 1996 Mayo have 3 forwards not scoring or scoring very little from play, the full forward wad probably a wing forward or a half back.
    In the replay our corner forward missed very storable frees in the last 10 minutes, one of the Mayo midfielders didn’t feature in the replay.

    1997 final, management probably got the team wrong, 6′ 5 ” midfielder played at full forward and was moved to midfield for the Second half, did well be faded in last 10 minutes, a mistake not to have started Horan, he came on in 2nd half and got 2 of his trademark points.

    Laide destroyed his direct opponent, Mortimer was the best defender and was tigerish, the best man to mark Fitzgerald.
    Two of the forwards have poor games, one that played in 1996 also, could not win a ball and when he did he was clattered by the Kerry defenders.
    I forgot alot about this game and was refreshing to watch it last week, McDonald got a great goal from a penalty on about 48 minutes, Horan then got 2 good points, but Mayo’s last score came in 52nd minute, there was 1 point in it for a good few minutes, the game was played at a fast pace with ball given away easily, Burke made 2 great saves in 2nd half. Unlike nowadays, 2nd half extra time was 1 minute.
    2016 Replay was brilliant from the Mayo team.

    2017 final was the best I have seen, Parsons, A and S O Shea dominated midfield, Fenton was anonymous.
    One corner forward just didn’t get going in the game.
    Unfortunately Keegan was tied up on man marking duty, this I believe was incorrect, I would never have my most creative and attack minded player as a man marker, yet he scored a brilliant goal, and didn’t get a deserved penalty.
    A Mayo defender had his eyes Gouged by a Dublin player, All Dublin forwards should have gotten black cards for pulling down Mayo players in the last few minutes.

    But with teams level in final 2 minutes, Mayo got a free from a difficult angle and missed, then the Dubs get a very soft free from a handy position to win.

  44. Ara of course, took some daft kicks.. 2021 v tyrone should have got a goal but got blocked down with keeper to beat.. Wasnt cute enough to sell a dummy or that.. He’s not the only one, but he was supposed to be our main man for yrs, that’s what I’m saying.. If he has a forwards jersey on he should be able to score.

  45. Ok the kick blocked down in 2021 wasn’t good from a forward play point of view but can you think of many more examples.Liam McHale was moved around constantly between midfield centre forward and full forward and he played in 3 all Ireland finals.I remember him scoring a point against cork in 89 final but don’t think he scored in the other 2 finals

  46. Ah Jesus 1985, the man hasn’t scored in any final.. Isnt that enough to say. Goodnight and God bless you

  47. Well If Aidan was the biggest problem we had in all the finals we lost then god bless all of us

  48. In the 20 senior all Ireland semi finals and finals Aidan has played in he has kicked a total of 2 points and punched 2 points

  49. I’m sure Conor will be happy to get a breather as Aidan is this weeks culprit, so wondering who is in line for next week’s accolade, please just support a great squad of players for the future.

  50. 2 funny stories from the Meath v Dublin saga in 1991
    Mick Lyons made a late tackle on a Dublin player and the ref said he was late, Mick said I got there as soon as I could!!!
    A Dublin player was paid out on the ground and the ref asked Harnan what happened, he replied that the Dublin player fainted!!
    Ref replied ” the next guy that faints, you are on the line”
    Source a Meath player on the team, that is very modest
    Imagine the same ref for 4 games.
    By the way he agrees that the ref in 96 should not have got the final as he worked with Marc O’Reilly

  51. Kick it in – from my point of view, it is lazy criticism of Aidan O’Shea to say he has not scored in any All-Ireland final.
    We established above that his role was not to get scores. You know this.
    In the full forward line, however, I believe he needs to be threatening from play. This is to scare the living daylights out of opposition defences and really occupy two defenders.
    You take AOS for granted over the years – without Aidan, who gives the assist to the great attacking half back Lee Keegan to score a goal in the AIF in 2016? Who else is doing that? You don’t forget our predicament in that game, I’m sure.
    Without AOS, who stops Donaghy in the AISF replay in 2017? There are fine margins there. We might never be talking about the AI game for the ages between Mayo and Dublin in 2017 if he hadn’t matched Donaghy in the air.
    Did Aidan play a role in equalising the first AISF against Dublin in 2015? I think he did with quick hands as the ball came to Andy.
    In all those years, Cillian and Andy were our go-to scorers with *running* backs coming up to score also. Aidan is not a running back.

  52. Last thing – I wonder if Diarmuid is suffering from the same type of problem as Aidan had over the years, that is, being asked to do too many things and sacrificing his own glory for the team. I know DOC, like Aidan, can score. In DOC’s case we’re not seeing it as he is not being left high up the field to concentrate on scoring. It’s infuriating, especially as we need people who can score from play. And he can, if given the chance.

  53. Good man Kick it in. Some very astute comments there. Comparing Aido to Murphy, Gooch , Clifford etc is very clever on your part. By the way McManus never played in AI Final. It’s like comparing Ryan o D or Tommy C etc to Cluxton. Totally different positions. Interestingly you also suggest the great players who have done it in finals, but according to you no Mayo player mentioned so obviously haven’t done it in a final. Must have missed Keegan plus others who performed outstandingly in finals. Maybe you only name winners ( other than McManus) So you have to be a winner to be a great player on AI final day. Don’t know why you’re commenting about Mayo so as we have not won since 1951. Perphaps you simply don’t like O Shea. Should have gone to the Hill a few weeks ago so to express your derision along side all those knowledgeable ladies and gentlemen who populate that area when he was removed by McStay. And of course Mayo played wonderfully that day when he was taken off ,,,

  54. @kikitin, I don’t think anyone understands what your saying! Some vague, out of context rant about a scoring stat, to make a general comment on a players career? I dunno. Anyway, AOS is well able to score. As I said he has an All Star at 14. He has scored plenty in big matches. It’s a quirk of a stat that he hasn’t scored in a final. But it’s largely irrelevant. Richie Feeney has scored in a final, does that make him a great inter county player?

  55. It doesn’t matter who can or cannot score, the reality is that Mayo do not convert a high enough percentage of their chances in All Ireland finals, this being the reason we just cannot win.

  56. A great oul debate in fairness. But u gotta ask urself how was aiden coached as a young fella growing up and playing underage. He was told get ball and blaze ur way all the way through. Due to his size it probably worked most of the time. But when u get to senior that race is ran. Its not his fault. I have seen it too many times. Coaching is absolutely key at underage. Honing the skills. Bringing other guys into the game and so on. He is not a natural forward and will never be. A great servant no doubt. Without him we would be lost on many a day. Had he been properly coached at underage sam might well have visited the county

  57. Kick IT In

    Do you remember Michael Murphy having a stinker in the Ulster Championship two or three years ago where he ended up with a Red Card. You dont like Aidan . Simple as . You are selective in your memories bit like Joe Brollly when it comes to Aidan

  58. @Batetheblanket yeah that and not leaking in stupid goals saw it happen nearly every final .

    Poor aido gets a fair amount of abuse from within and outside the county .

  59. Kick it in,I remember Tommy been dropped in the early nineties,was it AOS who was marking him in ninety six?

  60. A O Shea’s journey with Mayo has been varied in different roles.
    If I remember correctly he first played for Mayo in 2008 or 2009, a young full forward. I don’t know where he played all the way up through the underage ranks in Breaffy but I guess it was probably at midfield.
    He is a natural midfielder in my opinion, not a stationary full forward.

    Many here have been looking for a Centre half back this year, McBrien is my choice but A O Shea could also do a job there.

  61. Batetheblanket thats where aiden should have been. Defending the d. Thats his best position. Good tackler. Ball winnner and distributor. Height also. Instead of him goin here and there and end up no where. For me tommy conroy is our full forward. Fast of the mark. Natural scorer.

  62. Aiden at 6 would very much depend on who is at 11 on a given day. The speed merchant who has a swivel and leaves Aiden flailing around the 45 wouldn’t be a good match up. Aiden ain’t getting back in time. He would have been ideal in that role against the likes of Cork this year when it was a bigger unit coming through. Aiden would stand those sort up alright.
    For me it’s inside we should be using him. He could be as effective as Donaghy used to be there. Difference was Donaghy got decent ball played in and brought others into play.
    We haven’t that side of things worked out yet.

  63. I have to say something here on behalf of AOS. For me he has been at least in our top 3 over the last decade. We would not have got to half the finals without him including 2017 remember him cleaning Donaghy what other player could have covered all those positions over the past 10 -15 years. We should also look at the performance of refs in particular against Dublin as he was routinely fouled in those years. I should point out as well despite all the provocation over the years he never got sent off and has played almost every minute in league and championship throughout his career.

  64. The obvious management mistake for years with Aidan is starting him in Croke Park. We’ve not been brave enough to do something like bringing Aidan on at midfield on 25 mins.
    He plays 10 mins and gets the full half time break. This would immediately get rid of the small % gap Aidan has in midfield mobility.
    You could go the angle of bringing Aidan on in the second half, but, we probably need him earlier with the 25th min tactic.
    So whilst Aidan got whatever % slower every year with age, injuries and mileage and the game got whatever % quicker we kept on rocking up to Croke Park as happy naive Mayo lads persisting with starting Aidan and then being suprised when he fades badly in games.

  65. GBXI, It’s not vague at all.. Its very clear, you mentioned he got an all star at 14…brilliant, but he still hasn’t grabbed an all ireland final by the scruff and ever scored.. Whether I like him or not is irrelevant, he was touted as our main man for yrs and we should be expecting more. He has roamed between 14, 11 and 8 for most those all irelands and simply can’t find a score.. Good man Corick.. Tommy was dropped in the nineties… Haha, what a useless fuckin piece of information.. He won an all ireland v mayo and got motm in the final. Anyway I’m sure some people, no matter what certain players do or don’t do can see no wrong and will have their favourites.. Its all opinions.

  66. Kick it in, you persist with your line of scoring in All-Ireland finals as the measure of a player. If anything, his role was to bring other players in to score, or otherwise to shut out danger.
    Posters are simply defending him.
    JP, I know you’ve made that point before here. It actually looks convincing for a big game with Aidan in it.

  67. I’m not swallow, just a glaring statistic isn’t it. His role is to bring other players into it… Would you say like Donaghy used to do? He’s a free taker now too don’t forget

  68. So by your reckoning, as long as he shuts out danger and lays the ball off, it’s alrightif he doesn’t need to score, even when the chance is there… Like the two awful misses v cork this Yr?

  69. Look at kerry in the final, when Clifford had an off day with the boot, no one bar paudie stepped up with a few scores, the half forward line or midfield didn’t… On the other side, Fenton, small, mannion, basquel and rock all closed it out. My point is if you’re a forward you need to be contributing on the scoreboard… Simple as that

  70. Kick it in, I *totally agree* that I want to see Aidan threatening and scoring from play in the full forward line. He’s there now and I BELIEVE he will only a fully serious weapon when he’s using his full football powers to bury home chances there and create chances there. As a poster said above we know he can score there (2013 year). Management need to instruct him accordingly, say we want you to score yourself above all. He has been playing as directed by them (has been for the entire last decade) and that’s not route one.
    It’s not scary enough for the opposition if he is just assisting other players NOW that he is situated in THAT LINE.
    I just couldn’t agree with the statement used to criticise him as a player that he hasn’t scored in an All-Ireland final. There are lots of management-related reasons for that. He has tremendous value as a player.
    In brief, this is a management thing for me. Release Aidan. Let him score!
    I must say I love that he is taking left footed frees but that must not be his only scoring role. 1. It’s useful. 2. We need scores. 3. A confident AOS is a great benefit. You can build further when a player is confident.
    Maybe I’m living in cloud cuckoo land (I do a good bit LOL) but I hope it is possible that AOS can be a route one scorer.

  71. But Swallow Swoops Aidan didn’t have much assists in this year Championship.0 against Roscommon except he did put pressure on player to get a 45 which we scored. Against Kerry, and Louth 0 assists. 1 time against Cork pass to Ryan and Ryan fouled and scored. Against Galway he had 2 passes for scores. 1 was sideways pass to McLoughlin when he should have put over bar himself. Against Dublin he had 3 assists. I hadn’t realized how much Ryan was involved in the play before our scoring and Aidan wasn’t, except the Dublin match Aidan is very involved in the first 25 minutes.

  72. Lucero, I appreciate your breakdown there, genuinely. My head is a bit mithered after the season. There seemed to have been so many games (League and Championship) that came so closely together. And there were twists and turns over the Jan to July period. I find it hard to look back with clarity and pinpoint actions and styles of play. That’s crazy because I seemed more clear about Aidan’s role at the start of the season (i.e. in the League).
    3 things:
    – It seemed to me early on – in the League – that Aidan’s strength at full forward was to win the ball at chest level out on front or to the side. The pass had to be good.
    THEN “stuff” could happen. That could be to pass to someone else, or turn and score.
    (Or win a free as the ball came in and he was fouled).
    I’m not sure what happened later in the season.
    – There were a good few games with blankets this year, as far as I remember. They tended to hamper Aidan doing anything.
    – The Kerry game – how did Aidan act, behave, play during this game? I watched it on GAAGo but don’t remember. I FEEL this would be an interesting game to rewatch for Aidan’s contribution or role because it was front foot, open football. He should have been able to express himself freely in that game.

  73. Lucero, that’s also fascinating about how involved Aidan was for the first 25 minutes against Dublin. It’d be amazing to look back at that and see what he did and why he was so effective.
    I didn’t see his performance in detail as I was up the other side of the field behind the goal. I haven’t had the stomach to rewatch the game. I might now rewatch the first half.

  74. Yes he played well against Kerry and lots have him as Man of the Match and he was voted man of the match against Louth here. Lot of our forward play is bad in Championship and it’s not just Aidan.

  75. Lucero, I think I remember Aidan celebrating wildly when we were awarded a 45 during the Roscommon championship game. It was really noticeable to me at the time. The game seemed to have been a pressure game from Roscommon. And secondly, I wondered what management and player thinking was to draw that sort of a reaction for winning a scoring chance (i.e. a 45, that Reape could come up and score).
    Roscommon seemed to be starving us of chances to score.

  76. Cormac Costello is regarded as a top class forward and after beating mayo with 3pts as sub in the 16 final he never scored in a final again until 1pt this year v kerry and scoring is his main job on the field.

  77. Kick it in – you’ll need to moderate your tone a bit on this issue. Others have, rightly, put some context on what roles Aidan was asked to play in All-Ireland finals for us but if all you’ve got in response is abuse then please take it elsewhere. If you want to debate the point in an intelligent way that’s another matter but that comment I’ve deleted serves no purpose in that regard.

  78. Thats fair enough Willie Joe, my intention is not to abuse at all.. Nothing personal against any of the players, they sacrifice a lot. I was just hoping some are able to put the ball over the bar from 30 or 40 yrds in big games….or under. As I said before alot of my frustration is the way the game has gone, stats driven, recycling possession, afraid to make a mistake blanket defence. I am a 100% purist and I believe football should be an open fast game, not a handpassing over and back job.. But as mcguinness prob wud say there’s more than one way to skin a cat… I just hate what football has become.

  79. It is completely useless information telling us who got a couple of points in a match twenty seven years ago,completely different game now,we have to move with the times

  80. If get a defensive system in place next season we should be right up there again.
    This year was probably a bigger opportunity missed than next could be, but the pack of contenders is very small so with a bit of organisation and systems in place every chance.

  81. It is enough to have other counties criticise Aiden with out our own starting.
    He is one of the best tacklers in the game and takes dogs abuse on the pitch
    Plays wherever he is asked to.
    We will really miss him when he retires.

  82. Thought provoker. Do people think something we have struggled with in the big games is having that physical dominance around the middle third in the final 15 mins of these finals?
    I think it’s because we’ve just not had the depth to maintain.
    It always feels like we look beaten with fifteen to go. The one exception being 2017, but even then I thought we looked beaten down the homestretch factoring how long injury time is.
    It’s only big physical players and a depth of them that can solve it.

  83. That’s true JP, although if mayo had someone of the calibre of Jack mccaffrey to come on in last fifteen it would make a huge difference.. He punched a lot of holes against a tiring kerry defence and set up a point for paddy small with a lovely left footed dinker across in front of him. His starting acceleration is unreal.. Not the biggest but hard track.

  84. I would give the nod to Jordan, he got a fair scoring return overall and against the Dubs he should have had 1-1. I would like to leave him in the half forward line, but I think we need his physicality in midfield. Interesting hearing the couple of interviews from Kevin and Stephen over the past few weeks. Seems pretty obvious they will stick with their plans of a plus one centre back. Conor Loftus was first choice, but I think he will be battling it out for starting place with Michael Plunkett next year, that is if Plunkett returns fully fit. I’m really looking forward to watching Bob Tuohy over the club championship, I have great hopes for him in the long run with Mayo.

  85. I have no idea what triggered all this criticism and abuse of Aidan, but most of it is completely unjustified. He ha been a loyal servant of Mayo football at senior level going on 15 years, has never shirked his responsibility and given his all every time in a Mayo jersey. His main fault, if that’s the right word, is his versatility, as he has been asked to cover so many different positions and maybe sometimes he takes too much on himself, in the Mayo cause. It’s bad enough that he takes so much abuse from ignoramuses outside the county like Brolly and Flynn and I admire him for the long commitment to the Mayo jersey despite the abuse from inside the county-lesser men would have packed it in long ago. He has been a regular scapegoat for our failures. His contribution will be only fully appreciated when he hangs up his boots and he will be sorely missed. He has been a regular under every Mayo manager-that should tell the armchair and bar stool managers something.

  86. New pod up now on Patreon – Mike chatting with Jack Coyne, Rob chatting with Billy Joe Padden about how county panellists are likely to approach the club Championships and the profile of players Kevin McStay may be interested in for 2024.

  87. I may have been the first person here with the idea of bringing Lee Keegan back next year, after seeing Mannion and Cluxton up close in Croker during the final I’m convinced Keegan should make a return.
    This guy could do a job in the forwards it doesn’t have to be in defence, something new.

  88. @Batetheblanket of course we would all love keegan to return but there’s no chance of that . Keegan announced his retirement due to having a young family and doesn’t want to rely on family members coming back or missing memories .

    Mannion& cluxton actually didn’t announce their retirements as far as I know they just said they were stepping away for a bit .

    And regards aido he doesn’t deserve the amount of abuse he gets we wouldn’t have been half as competitive as we have been without him the last few years be a sad day when he retires bad enough loads outside our own county abuse him but people within the county don’t have to follow ..!

    If we get our defence structure set up and fixed we will be right back up there next year sure look at this year we had a terrible championship bar the kerry game and still made the quarter finals loads of counties could only even dream of getting to a quarter finals .

    Jordan flynn for me is still the player of the year we need more types of layers like Jordan flynn / Ryan o D who refuse to be bullied around the pitch and stand their ground and never give up .

  89. @BateTheBlanket, players make their own mind up as regards being available to play for Mayo or any other County or Team, or Not. I don’t believe any of us have the power to compel Lee Keegan back to the fold, and I just can’t see ‘Conscription’ working as regards playing for Mayo. The commitment required to play for Mayo is so much greater than that required to play for Dublin (and even so several of the Dublin team took sabbatical’s as they seen fit) The Dubs will be in their own nice cozy beds for virtually all their Championship games played in Cozy Carbon Neutral Croke Park, changing in their own Cozy Carbon Neutral changing rooms, allowed out on the grass first (the powers that be don’t want a repeat them naughty Mayo player’s warming up at the Hill 16 end as they did in 2006, ) . . Playing for Mayo is a different kettle of fish, The Harlem Globe Trotters despite their name would’nt tour as much as Mayo do for the Championship. Whatever about Bateing the Blanket, you wont Bate the suits in Croke Park for levelling the playing field for all. If the suits in Croke Park were in charge of the Olympic Games they would give Usain Bolt a 50 meter lead before the start of the 100 meter final…provided Usain Bolt was from Dublin.

  90. Nice one Leantimes and so correct as regards the Dubs.
    I blame my adopted county Meath who gave Dublin home advantage as far back as the eighties, but in a big way in 91.
    I sense a growing swell of discontent about Dublin’s use of Crocker.
    Glen Ryan was spot on but his timing was way off.

  91. @leantimes also agree with you good post about the Dubs. Living up in Dublin I am seeing a lot of more dubs wearing their dublin jerseys out & about lately ha Atm then before sure why wouldn’t they haha but a constant reminder of our poor season : ( ha we will bounce back next year for sure!

    @JR your right about croker they get a total advantage with croker they shouldn’t be allowed do their training & home games in croker they should do this in parnell Park! And my dub mates get really irritated when I say this to them cause they know deep down it is a huge advantage for them …

  92. Kick it in – is your claim to be a “100% purist” intended as some sort of defence for the fact that you obviously have a personal dislike of Aidan O’Shea? Or is it unrelated football virtue signaling of some kind?

    Posters have pointed out many examples of O’Shea’s contribution to Mayo in big matches over the years but you seem unable, or unwilling, to give credit where it’s due. Take a look at the passage of play that resulted in Cillian’s equaliser at the end of the 2016 drawn final. Then ask yourself honestly whether you are criticising Aidan O’Shea because of what is wrong with him or are you doing it for some other reason?

  93. P… Take a look at the 7 finals aido has played in, and tell me why he didn’t grab the game and just win it.. Again it’s nothing personal.. Ya I’m a 100% purist.

  94. We expect our big players to do things on the big day, like Murphy did for donegal in 2012…surely without sounding like a broken record, you understand don’t you.

  95. P, slipping a few passes here and there is grand and laying off a ball, but come on.. Don’t you expect more from your main player? I think it’s reasonable to expect more

  96. @kick it in its a team effort so it wasn’t just up to aido to just go grav the game …

    I feel bad for aido he’s been played in sooo many different positions anyone would be like ah here what’s being asked of me… yet this year mcstay said he’s full forward or nothing and by God how good was he in league yes poor in championship…

    But in all honesty can ye say any mayo player was at the top of their game in championship after going 100 miles an hour in league and peaking to soon? Highly doubt it…

    Also aido does so much off the ball wins most throw ins he’s involved in to .

    People say Ryan o d hasn’t been his top self this year bit he does loads off the ball stuff to like setting that goal up for tmy c in the awful cork game..

    Give aido a break.

  97. Jesus Clare, he does so much off the ball like win throw ins.. Well if that’s what we’re judging on, good morning America. It’s nothing against him… OK let me put it this way.. Kieran Donaghy played full forward and midfield.. He must have scored 4 goals at crucial stages in finals… He’s pluck the ball from the sky and bang.. Or lay it off.. Now my question is Aido is just as big and if not stronger, why could he not do that in any final… Had plenty opportunities… Can you answer that fair question?

  98. @kick it in I didn’t say he just wins throw ins did I
    .. how many other players couldnt do it in a final ??

    Us loosing finals is not down to poor aido.

    It’s down to the mayo mentality and our history and never ending saga of not being able to land sam .

    It’s a team effort if goals go in you don’t just blame the goalie do you ? I def wouldng anyway so if aido doesn’t perform I don’t put all the blame on him.

    Like v dubs in quarters I thought it was injust that aido was taken off by management.

    I’ll ask you this though why your abuse towards him ?

    Do you not think all the different positions he’s had to play over the years ( given to him by management) had a part to play in his inconsistent performances?

    Do you know how much commitment it takes for intercounty ? Aido has been a great servant .

    I’m surprised he still goes out and puts on his Jersey he must know the amount of abuse he gets it must just be the love&pride for mayo &gaa like we all have why he does go and puts that Jersey on every year give him break.

  99. I only asked you a simple question, it’s not abusing anyone. You went into a big long spiel about commitment.. I’m not questioning that, I understand the effort put in… Not the point, aido isn’t the only one, plenty have not performed.. But he’s one of mayos best over a decade right?

  100. @kick it in I went into a big long ‘spiel’ as you call it as I’m sick of the abuse aido gets its not right if you ask me.

    I just don’t get your constant rants towards aido.

    He’s one of oyr important players for sure but that doesn’t mean he has to score every game like people say diarmuid didn’t score this season much but would you seriously cut diarmuod one of our most important players for not scoring?

    Sure if it’s not aido getting abuse it’s cillian I guess until we land sam this is going to happen…but sure I wonder how a lot giving out about the players etc would fo if they actually tried playing for mayo.

  101. I am the admin on a few different groups and I would not be allowing this to go on continuing to annoy people until a post has eventually to be deleted because everyone is tired is tired listening to it

  102. It doesn’t matter what you’d allow or not… Few sensitive people on here.. Wj runs a good blog, but it’s best for me to go as I upset too many of ye.

    May God bless and keep you always, may your wishes all come true, may you always do for others, and let others do for you. May you build a ladder up to the sky and count on every rung, and may you stay forever young.

  103. I think @kick it in, maybe you should do as we done over the past few weeks, watch all finals Mayo played in since and including 1996, if you have a good knowledge of football you should be able to decide how each final was lost.

    A few guys let Mayo down or just didn’t perform to their abilities in each of the finals and v the Dubs throw in some crazy Refereeing decisions.

  104. Aidan o Shea played at midfield in the 2012 and 2013 finals spending a few minutes at full forward towards the end of those games.he also spent of his time around midfield in the 2016 and 2017 finals.At any point that he went to full forward he was pulled and dragged constantly which was generally totally ignored by Dublin joe and jolly deegan .in the 2015 semi final Aidan catches a high ball in and turns and is hung out of by two Dublin players before he gets the shot off firing over a brilliant point from the left wing but Dublin joe extraordinarily totally ignores the blatant fouling and does him for over carrying.Aidan o sheas contribution to mayo football is immense and there almost certainly would not have been any final reached in those years without his presence.kerry put a saddle on Michael Murphy in the 2014 final and he didn’t get a kick .unfortunately this sort of blatant on field abuse of Aidan o Shea over the years has largely been ignored by incompetent referees.How the man has never reacted to it absolutely amazes me

  105. I’ve kept out of this spat regarding Aidan because holding an open court for all to see about an amateur player who gives his all for the cause doesn’t sit easy with me. Personally I have the utmost respect for the man who has probably suffered more on the pitch regarding unfair treatment whilst receiving the least protection as can be witnessed if you look back at pretty much every big game Mayo played in Croke Park.
    It’s OK to have whatever opinion you like about Aidan’s performances but since he broke through to the senior team every single Mayo manager has picked him. So maybe his detractors should be targeting James Horan, Connelly/Holmes, Rochford and McStay who all seem to think they know better than a few of our hurlers-on-the-ditch.

  106. @ Kick it in. No need to leave the blog at all and all opinions are welcomed. I don’t think you have upset people and probably more annoyed with your over the top selective criticism of Aido-you are like a dog with a bone and you have harped on about one aspect of his game(lack of scores), which you well know is not his forte and that is not what he is there for, whilst ignoring his overall contribution over nearly 15 years. Who should have played instead of him all those years, if you do not rate him. PS. You redeemed yourself in my eyes by quoting my all time music hero and my favourite song from extensive catalogue.

  107. Is it just me that thinks it is insane that the club championship has not started yet?
    Here in Meath round 2 is on this weekend.
    County boards never fail to astonish me,
    Summer hill juniors play in Navan @ 11 and their seniors play in Navan @4!!!!

  108. Just on club championship, this weekend nothing on in the county..could CCC consider junior/ intermediate one weekend, senior club, the following weekend, and then less congestion of fixtures etc..just a thought. Next weekend is mad for club championship..a lot of people would like to go to as many games as possible, especially with the season pass..

  109. I think next year we have the potential to have our best u20 team we’ve since 2018.
    There’s just simply good depth when you combine the best of the u20s and u19s. Crucially there are forwards with pace who can score.
    Also it will be the first year after the u19 development panel.

  110. Possibly JP, but the way last few minor teams went down in end I’m not sure I’d expect an all Ireland from them.
    I’d love to know number of players who go through development panels from U16 to U19, often looks like same lads in the panel all the time, maybe they the best lads but with way lads develop physically differently at those ages you’d expect different names to be involved more often.
    Geographical spread of players in panels can IMO tend lean towards where management from also.

  111. Agreed jr it is apparently because they thought Mayo would get to the All Ireland final. It’s crazy, all of the split season advocates seem to be defending it however. I think the real reason, which no one is admitting to, is they want to wait until later in august or September when the good players that have gone to America for the summer are back.
    Whether lads that are on J1 holidays for the summer should be holding the entire club championship up is very questionable.

  112. Could have started a week or two early but you can’t change it just because Mayo went out. Club players had holidays etc planned months ago once they knew the start date for championship.

    I hope we get big crowds at the club championship games this year. I know a sizeable number of “die hard” Mayo fans who can’t find the gates to their local club. Without the clubs there is no Mayo county team.

    Also will the county finals be in MacHale Park this year? Reports a few weeks ago indicated no due to the state of the pitch but the minor finals took place there a few days ago.

  113. I see the Mayo under 16 teams had good wins today. Plenty of good footballers coming though it appears.

  114. Management have big calls to make its not for us to say who should start at fullforward or midfield but it’s honesty we looking for from.those we trust in charge

  115. Yew tree, I would say finals will be there, sure last week they were playing minor A – Z finals in it so surely no reason not to if they can take them games.

    TommyJoe, plenty of stuff up on U14-U16 teams, pictures players names etc. on Mayo pages, Some the teams in the shield sections etc. Think Down have a couple tweets up, but if look at other counties social media pages not sure you will see any mention of these sort of things.
    I would not be in favour of posting images of these development players, let them play and get on with things like do in other counties it’s not fair on them.

  116. Also best of luck to Jason Doherty on his retirement.
    Amazing to have come back from his injuries.
    A great servant. Best of luck in future.

  117. Sad to see Jason Doherty has announced his retirement . Been a great servant and very unlucky with injuries

  118. Jason Doherty was a true star for Mayo. There are plenty of Mayo backs with multiple all-stars that should be very grateful for the input of both Jason and Kevin Mc when it came to them picking up awards. He started his career as a brilliant goal scorer, why he wasn’t used in this regard throught out his Mayo playing career is unforgivable. Mayo always struggle for goals, so when we got a natural goal scorer, we converted him into a hard working half-forward. Sickening really.

  119. @The West I best totally agree with you there .

    Wish Jason all the best and thanks for the commitment he gave to mayo

  120. The very best of health and happiness to Jason in his retirement, a true gentleman to have a chat with, a great servant to Mayo football.

  121. This is the saf the time of year as always retirements. Hope aido gives it another year he had it in him. . Nit sure with Kevin mc but hope Kevin gives another year to…

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