Back to black

Men in Black

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

It was announced by Mayo GAA on Twitter yesterday that the lads will be lining out in the black ‘n’ lime green alternative strip at MacHale Park on Saturday. It’ll be the second time in this year’s championship campaign that the team is set to be attired that way – the first was, of course, over in Ruislip – and a similar scoreline to the one racked up back in May against London wouldn’t be unwelcome.

Seeing as it’s now Thursday and the match throws in on Saturday afternoon I guess we should be expecting a team announcement before too long. The Mayo News reported the other day that it was expected we’d be naming our team “on either Thursday or Friday” but there’s been no official confirmation as yet about when we plan to do so. We’ll just have to wait and see on that one.  There’s no word either, by the way, on when Fermanagh are going to name their starting team for Castlebar.

Contrary to what I was saying yesterday, there’s a bit of coverage in today’s nationals about us. In the Irish Independent Martin Breheny has a piece with John O’Mahony about negotiating the backdoor route and how he thinks we’ll fare. After pointing to the likely obstacles facing us Johnno takes the optimistic tack saying that if we win on Saturday “the season will open up for them”. He adds that he expects us to do this.

Over in the Irish Examiner, meanwhile, there’s a very good piece by John Fogarty with former Mayo great Kenneth Mortimer (a man not given to saying all that much in public about the county team’s prospects so worthy of being listened to when he does). As he did on the field, Kenny spreads a sense of calm about the challenge facing us on Saturday, pooh-pawing all those “ridiculous” rumours and countering the argument that any direct line could be drawn between the events of last autumn and the tepid display against Galway last month.

Instead, the Shrule-Glencorrib man says candidly that “to a large degree it’s surprising a performance like that hasn’t happened sooner”. (In parenthesis I’d argue that it did – against Roscommon two years ago – the big difference being that on that occasion we got away with it). The main concern Kenny voices, which many of you on here have echoed, is that “not enough younger talent have been pushing for places”. He accepts that a few new faces have emerged but bemoans the fact that “there doesn’t seem to be more competition for some of the positions on the field”. Interesting piece – it’s here.

In the Irish Times, Second Captains GAA anchorman Ciaran Murphy has an entertaining piece (here) in which he looks ahead to the challenges facing both us and his native county this coming weekend. He reckons that, for both of us, the summer “was cleaved wide open in Castlebar” and that, as a result, different kinds of opportunities are there to be grasped by both ourselves and the Tribesmen. As he argues, it’s how we make the best of the respective roads we’re now on that counts from here.

Finally for now, some audio for you in the form of the Mayo News pre-match podcast. Rob and Mike are joined on this occasion by Seán Rice and Martin Carney to preview Saturday’s make-or-break qualifier clash.

88 thoughts on “Back to black

  1. You’re not. The white one from a few years back wasn’t much better but Elverys are making hay as is their aim. Don’t think it effects performance though ?

  2. To be honest, I like the away kit. I got sick of losing big matches in the red away kit! Kerry 2014 was the final straw!!
    Mortimer’s piece was good. In fairness, Willie Joe, you make a fair point both in the Mayo News audio piece and your piece above about Roscommon in 2014. They didn’t perform that day and got out of jail – they delivered then after that. We may all be singing a different tune come Saturday evening – I hope to Christ we are!
    On a sidenote, can’t seem to get tickets online. It’s a nuisance to be honest, both tickets.ie and gaa,ie don’t have them for sale. Just have to get them on the day – if there are any left!!

  3. Fair play to you, Willie Joe, for once again giving us a wonderful round-up of the media’s take on Saturday’s game. That’s a great service. I agree wholeheartedly with my old friend Sean Rice that the problem with Mayo against Galway was a mental one and that, apart from Colm Boyle, no leaders showed up on that day. That is why Stephen Rochford MUST give Andy Moran at least a final 30 minutes run at full forward. Five or ten minutes is not enough. Stephen Coen showed with the under-21s and in post-match comments that he is another Padraic Carney in the making. Perhaps this game is the one to show his mettle at a senior level. It’s also the time for Keith Higgins, Lee Keegan, Aidan O’Shea and Cilian O’Connor to show us once again what great footballers they are by leading the others through example – competing for every ball as if their very lives depended on it, and when they lose the ball following the player who robbed them with unbridled ferocity.
    Four teams, including Galway, have shown the All-Ireland can be won through the back-door. This year Mayo can be the fifth!

  4. Think we need Andy from the start. Think he deserves to start given club form, contribution against London and latter part of league. Hadn’t adequate time v Galway and we saw two years ago v Roscommon that he was tbe biggest factor in us getting a narrow win. Maybe he could be used like Mickey Hearte used Peter Canavan back in the day…..start him, take him off if necessary, and put him on if game in melting pot. Think Rochford made a lot if mistakes the last day but perhaps that will stand to him. More experienced players needed to show leadership the last day and bar Boyle it didn’t happen.

  5. Interesting quote from Andy Murray about the fans on Centre Court and his preparation about playing Tsonga yesterday

    http://www.bbc.com/sport/tennis/36729462

    It’s not just the fans, players get nervous watching matches in the locker room, too, because you can see the atmosphere and feel the tension of the big points, so sometimes you have to settle yourself down a bit.

    I was aware heading out that Centre Court wasn’t going to be full after such a long match but the crowd filled up fairly quickly, and it’s kind of your job to bring the energy.

  6. There is a nervousness about this game that I haven’t seen before and these persistent rumours of unrest is just adding to it. Team selection is very much secondary on Saturday. We’ll know after 5 or 10 min where this Mayo team stand and if these rumours are nonsense. It will either a repeat of the Galway match with bad body language and bad attitude or a grit the teeth, bodies on the line, take no sh#t attitude. Mayo need to send out a statement of intent to the AI contenders that they still mean business! Can’t wait to see what happens!

  7. I hope that Stephen and his selectors are awake on the sideline on Saturday, tactical changes and substitutions made in time to change things as needed. They also were poor against Galway.

  8. My firm belief is that going through the back door is no bad thing. Ok it means games come thick and fast but if we make it to a quarter final it means that for the first time in years we will arrive at Qtr Final stage fully road tested and battle hardened and ready for the stiff challenge that awaits. Might be better than strolling through Connaught having it all our own way. We’ll know how we stand Saturday evening but I still think we are in a good place

  9. I’d be neutralish enough about jerseys. The present set are good even though the lime bit with the black is a required taste!
    That whitish thing of some years ago was very ill advised at the time and if I recall right it coincided with very little success!
    Balanced combinations of the green and red I’m sure will suit everyone with an interest in Mayo football. Green and red combinations always stand out too where ever you come across them…Portugal fans last night! And in Portugal last year I came on a cow painted green and red for some reason…she was a dum dum btw standing in a street. The buoys on the way into Port of Liverpool have our colours as well!
    But I think there was something very special to see Mayo players in the past all in white….was it for the Province? J Corcoran, J Morley , maybe J Carey?T’was mostly Galway players at that time of course.
    If I was to have an input into colour combinations I be looking at an inclusion of some navy in some manner. Very fringe matters these but worth a comment I think.
    Probably more pertinent an issue, as someone referred to recently is the business or lack of,that surrounds the staging of gaa matches.Reminds me of what one lady said to another recently ….a bit of lipstick would give a great lift to yer face. The lady was v pleased indeed.
    However there’s so much could be done in the line of a bit of razzmatazz surrounding games which imp wouldn’t go amiss. Last comment…recall the wonderful halftime performance/pageant provided by Macnas of Galway in Tuam? ….for the centenary!!! Brilliant!!

  10. After the throw in on Saturday, it won’t take too long to stop taking notice of the colour of the teams jerseys. I’m so used to seeing Mayo by now, I can tell the different player’s by their running styles. Beards or lack of beards, shaved heads, bleached hair(that seems to be out of fashion now) dosent matter , it becomes instinctive, so I’ve no doubt we won’t get confused,.. We know our team and player’s… . I imagine Fermanagh will wear a few white strip… I remember two years ago,. Castlebar and Ballintubber came out in McHale Park for a championship semifinal both wearing Red. Now that was confusion, don’t think it made too much difference to the players of both sides as they know each other so well, but for the public and the poor Ref, couldn’t be easy. The Mitchles changed to the predominantly White Strip for the second half..and that was much better.. . Don’t think the Black and Lime strip looks great on TV but when your at a match, it sort of grows on you. Didn’t do our minors any harm in Carrick on Shannon last week.

  11. On the black strip, I’m all for it. Being colour blind, I often find it difficult in separating opposition Jerseys. Believe it or not, even in McHale park v Galway, I had fuzzy moments (I clearly wasn’t the only one).

    Now, my affliction is not of the Ebola type (extremely rare), so I would assume a handful of our players are also blessed with wonky eyes.

    My point is, with all the craziness during a championship game, it is VERY easy for a colour-blind player to misplace a kick or pass.

    I’m ever so nervous about Saturday, as I don’t know what to expect, and what heightens this nervous tension further is the fact that this is a make or break moment fro this team. Fermanagh are experts at the back door, they do it every year and will have been planning for it, since the turn of this year (as winning ulster was never going to happen).
    Mayo need to be at their most efficient & determined. If they are, I would be hopeful for the rest of the summer, if not, it will be a well deserved break for the lads.

  12. Could we not borrow from soccer (now that the ban is gone!) and have home teams tog out in their traditional kit and the visiting team wearing their away kit? Nothing stirs my blood like the green and red which, as we all know, was inspired by the rebel song ‘The Green above the Red”. Of course when we won our last All-Ireland, against Meath in 1951, Mayo wore the white Connaught jersey so as to avoid a clash with the Meath colours.

    Leantimes, regarding Castlebar Mitchels’ white strip: When Castlebar won the West Mayo junior championship (Cusack Cup) for the first time they wore all white colours. That was back in the late 1950s. I should remember the exact date because I was on that team (along with the bould Sean Rice) but not offhand …it was a long time ago!

  13. OSULLIVAN. I agree with you there. I was shocked at how poor management were the last day. So slow to make changes, persisting with tactics that weren’t working and putting on subs so late in the game.

    Havent seen a 50 min never mind a 70 min performance from Mayo so far this year. Hopefully Saturday will be the first of many.

  14. John McHale, That day in the late 1950s was one of the few match’s that I wasn’t at. For the very good reason, I wasn’t born. Whatever about not being born, I hope I’m alive when Mayo actually with the Sam! Should be for Saturday in any case!

  15. I am coloured blind as well. Did not realise Galway had actually won the game in Castlebar until someone told me on the way out.
    I was shocked.

  16. facetheball

    I don’t think it actually happened.

    robinbanks

    There’s only so much the sideline can do when the majority of the players on the pitch, think all they need to do is turn-up. Which they didn’t do of course.

  17. Leantimes, I believe that game was the last 8 v Garrymore 🙂 It was a nightmare watching that first half!

    John McHale, Mayo didn’t wear a Connacht jersey in 1951. It was white alright but it was very much a Mayo jersey, with the then Mayo crest in green and red on it! They wore green and red socks that day too.

    I’d love to see that template as our way kit being honest. Essentially our GK kit at the moment!

    I’m in a pedantic mood today 🙂

  18. You’re quite right Mayo Mark. , it was Mitchles V Garrymore I the quarters. On mature reflection, that’s a great phrase!

  19. The strip won’t make a bit of difference. I like it I have to say. It’s die dog now or ate hatchet. Come on Mayo

  20. WJ I know your not a great fan of rumours but I was talking to a lad very close to the camp and apparently their not going to wear a jersey at all. Bare chested and get stuck into the Fermanagh lads.

  21. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this site never fails to educate you in all things Mayo. Enjoyed reading up today on the origins of our colours and the Green over Red symbology.

  22. Like it Clonee Man. Maybe a little bit of green and red face paint to replicate the Maori!

  23. I came on a radio interview yesterday in which a guy was talking about the prep he and his team were going through for a game coming up.I hadnt got his name but judging by the complexity of what type of stuff they were going through I presumed this must be rugby. But the voice was not a rugby voice.
    Didn’t it turn out that he was one of the Waterford hurlers. Funny thing was he was talking about off the ball running,angles ,hitting short/long,thinking team all the time, helping out, supporting, persisting,
    assessing etc etc sounded better than I’m saying.
    Can I take it that this kinda thing goes on in our football sessions?Does anyone know what exactly goes on?

  24. Btw…if they wore no Jersey at all t’would cut out some of the pullin and dragging and they de all have the same tan.

  25. Inbetweener, I think the hurler you’re thinking of is Austen Gleeson. A terrific young hurler.

  26. Inbetweener, it was Austin Gleeson that was on Newstalk yesterday evening. I special talent who will light up the Munster final.

    I would be fairly certainthe footballers go through the same type of drills in training that Austin was talking about. Putting it all into practice on the pitch when it matters is the difficult part.

  27. Sorry about that, Mayomark. I meant to say Mayo wore the Connacht colours – not the Connacht jersey.. Of course, they could not wear another team’s jersey.

    Just a footnote to the All-Ireland final of 1951: Three members of the Mayo squad did not receive their medals until 2006…55 years later…after initially being denied them. They were: Willie Casey, Paddy Jordan and Dr Mick Loftus, later to become President of the GAA.

  28. My team v Fermanagh

    Clarke
    Harrison
    Keane
    Higgins
    Keegan
    Boyle
    Durcan
    SOS
    Coen
    McLoughlin
    AOS
    Doherty
    Regan
    Cillian
    Andy

  29. And still no news of a team selection. Looking increasingly like I’ll have to pick it myself.

  30. Agree with that Trevor but Diarmuid O’C has to start though. Probably in place of Doherty

  31. @Trevor.
    I like your pick ofCoen and Seamí in midfield. I think he would give us great legs in there. I would have Diarmuid in the half forward line if he is fit though.

  32. I was under impression he not back yet. My mistake. Diarmuid always a cert in my book. Prob would have to leave Andy out sadly!

  33. I’m thinking Vaughan could be worth a start on Saturday. I don’t know him personally but he seems very dedicated . He’s been a very good servant to mayo football and has a great engine. I’ll never forget him coming through like a train v Kerry in Limerick 13 to snatch us a draw. He fell out of selection with the team pretty rapid.any thoughts as to why? Where put him? Half back line instead of durkan or even midfield.

  34. The Mayo GAA twitter account has tweeted that it will be tomorrow evening when the team will be announced.

  35. I hate to b so negative but we are a spent force this year. The intensity is just not there this year for some reason and we just don’t have a clue how to counteract the blanket defence, every way but towards the goal. In my opinion if aido is to be in full forward he needs a Barry moran beside him with the likes of Evan regan playing off them. As a wealthy farmer friend of mine from aghamore told me the other day u just cannot make a silk Purse out of a sows ear. Fermanagh to hammer the hammer on Saturday. Fermanagh 1-13 MAYO 14 points.

  36. Vaughan is a strange one. Phenomenal athlete and a great engine but he lacks a football brain. Skills are below standard and constantly loses concentration as a defender. Also not strong enough in the air for midfield. However, he could be an excellent impact sub as he has a knack of finding space unmarked and makes decent runs in support of attacks.

  37. I think wer alrite for this one, will take a while to break through the nordie wall, but we’ll get there by 5 or 6 points in the end.

  38. Naming a team so late which seems to be Mayo policy for a while now smells of desperation or fear…name your team and don’t be fearing what the opposition come up with. and name the dam subs too.

  39. If Fermanagh are wearing white, why wouldn’t Mayo wear green-and-red anyway? I could understand Mayo switching because Fermanagh wear green, but black – as far as I know now, I’m no expert – doesn’t present that much of a contrast to green if you’re colour blind.

    I’d be with @MayoMark in favouring predominately white as the change colour, as that way it’s most unlike the regular jersey. That’s why there are two jerseys, isn’t it? In cases of colour clashes? It doesn’t make sense to have a change jersey that people find difficult to distinguish from the regular one.

  40. This is the team I think will be picked.. l’m not sure if it’s my first preference but he will try Higgins in the forwards again

    Hennelly
    Harrison Keane Keegan
    McLoughlin Boyle Durcan
    SOS Coen
    Higgins AOS DOC
    Regan Cillian Andy/Freeman

  41. I like the black and lime jersey, and I find it a welcome change from all that came before.. Mayo have had some good days out while wearing it, and I believe that it is a favorite with this group of players

  42. Hello, it may be the late naming of team is because of surprise or two? Saves us all improving on it for now.
    Now i am really expecting an emphatic victory. Fermanagh seem to be familiar with Breaffy Hotel. Mayo also played a Challenge in Enniskillen when under JH. They must know each other fairly well.
    It is exciting. Nearly there.

  43. To to Hand, your team is confusing me. We have the best half back in Ireland (Keegan) and you want to play him at Corner Back…No

  44. This Green above the Red thing has me puzzled. I assume the green stands for Ireland and the Red for the invader, so why in the name of eff do we bother with Red then?

  45. Toe to hand, whatever about Higgins starting in hf again, its mental if he plays Keegan at left corner back. He played there once in the league and got roasted. Its a toss up between Leeroy and James McCarthy as the top half back in the country. Keegan would be better suited to the half forwards than Higgins but really he has got to start in the same position he has always played.

  46. Listen, Keegan is the only player in Ireland that can mark and outplay Diarmuid Connolly, who is supposedly the best footballer/half forward in the Country. In addition he marked Shane Walsh out of game in last match. If we are putting him at corner back we are mad..

  47. A fat lad wearing one of those jerseys ran towards me jogging on the way to work this morning.

    My instinct was to slow down, I thought he was a fat guard checking for speeding

    There is some merit in that kit I say.

  48. Hope John Durcan (aka st. Patrick) will be at this game. Met him the last match and he is a bit shook.

    He had a great banner going when KMc was at his prime “let’s make the ponytail a fairytale” .

    Both Mayo legends. That’s why I love us!

  49. Who would be the best players on the Fermanagh team Quigley, Corrigan, McCluskey? All forwards.. Keane should be able to handle Quigley but I’m concerned about his pace and Fermanagh have not only just nippy forwards but stong runners who forage way out the field for the ball . Keane needs to stay near the goal and not be drawn to far out.. he’s on hiding to nothing if he gets turned and so needs to interchange with Keegan.. intelligent cover play.. with a combination of strength speed and carrying of the ball deep out of defence. Hit them where they are strongest. Plus if we push up on their kick outs and they manage to get past our midfield we will be very reliant on our full backs for covering ground.

  50. Kevin Keane is not slow, he is certainly quicker than Quigley. He’s not quick either.
    The Keane pace thing is trotted out a lot, there isn’t any alternative in the county that is quicker with experience. It’s not an issue, he’s quick enough to play the position and has a pretty good record across all his games. Keane seems to be the slowest Mayo player to build up a reputation of consistency with fans.
    Where is this game where Keane hasnt performed in 2014 onwards?
    Another thing underated, I actually think he’s got a good kick pass on him. Has a long and accurate left boot.

  51. John Cuffe: While we wait for the white smoke on the team announcement, I have been wondering once more about the expression ‘The Green above the Red’ I’ve come across an article in the Irish Times of May 16, 2000 which which seems to shed some light: “One of the most celebrated clubs of all in Mayo in the early days of the GAA was Tower Hill which had for its motto “The Green above the Red” In the 1880s, Dick Walsh, the county secretary, summoned a meeting in Castlebar to decide on county colours. After a long debate, one delegate stood up and announced “Well that’s settled, the Mayo colours are red and green.” Dick Walsh rejoined: “Not so. The Mayo colours are green above the red. God forbid that Mayo should ever have red above green.”
    Thanks to Highorlow for giving us Spalpin Fanach’s dissertation on why nationalists in Mayo never wanted the red above the green: “Colonel Maurice Blake of Towerhill in South Mayo was patron of his local football team, Carnacon. When Carnacon played Belcarra in 1887, Col Blake saw the chance to make a political point. Blake was a Catholic, and Belcarra were sponsored by a local Protestant, Unionist, family, the Brownes. In light of this, Col Blake insisted that Carnacon line out in strips that featured Green above Red, in reference to Dr Croke’s fear, expressed in his famous letter to Michael Cusack, that if the Irish did not stand up to express their nationality, we might all just as well “clap hands for joy at the sight of the Union Jack, and place ‘England’s bloody red’ exultantly above the green.”

  52. All-Ireland SFC Qualifiers Round 1B
    At Innovate Wexford Park
    Fermanagh 0-19
    Wexford 1-11
    Fermanagh – C Snow; M Jones, C Cullen, M O’Brien; D McCusker, J McMahon, A Breen (0-2); E Donnelly (0-2), R O’Callaghan; B Mulrone (0-1), R Jones, P McCusker; R Corrigan (0-1), S Quigley (0-4), T Corrigan (0-9). Subs: C McManus for M Jones, C Flaherty for R O’Callaghan (BC), J Duffy for P McCusker, D Kelly for D McCusker.

    Ulster SFC quarter-final
    At Ballybofey
    Donegal 2-12
    Fermanagh 0-11
    Fermanagh – C Snow; M Jones, C Cullen, M O’Brien; D McCusker, J McMahon, B Mulrone (0-1); E Donnelly (0-1), A Breen; P McCusker, R Jones (0-1), R O’Callaghan; R Corrigan, S Quigley (0-1), T Corrigan (0-7). Subs: D Kelly for C Cullen (BC), N Cassidy for R Corrigan, R Lyons for A Breen, C Jones for J McMahon, D Teague for P McCusker, C Flaherty for M O’Brien.
    Referee – M Deegan.

    Equation is simple. Shut down Corrigan and we’ll win this. He also scored 1-38 in the league and beat Laois on his own with a haul of 1-11. It would be extremely naive to say not to worry about them, worry about ourselves type attitude. Rochford will have this sussed (hopefully). Who picks up Corrigan though? Higgins? I don’t have much faith in Keane to be honest. He has his pluses but hope he can prove me wrong.

  53. Would be worried about Keane also . Concedes too many soft Frees for one thing in the Dangerous Zone. We are going to miss Cafferty if we get a long run.

  54. Black and lime strip is more like training gear than an official strip I don’t or will never like it. Why isn’t the red jersey wore anymore?

  55. We are not going to miss Cafferkey, simple as that. There has been very little between either.
    There are pluses Keane has over Cafferkey.
    1. He’s much superior in the air.
    2. He’s squater built and stronger
    3. He’s more aggressive/intimidating
    4. He’s got a better kickpass
    5. He can escape out of contact better
    If you look at no.’s 1. and 3. those are inherant attributes a fullback should have.
    You hear ‘ah but Cafferkey for pacey forwards’.
    Seriously, as if Cafferkey was some agile Keegan/Higgins type.

  56. Btw I think Cafferkey has some advantages but there really isnt this gap between them that people worry about.

  57. JP, we good go to town on a few of things you’ve mentioned that Keane has over Cafferkey.
    Cafferkey doesn’t have the pace of Keegan or Higgins has but he has is positional sense and knows how to get to the ball before his man and less likely to give away a free. Not to mention not being as susceptible to the red mist. Fágfaidh muid ansin é a mhic.

  58. I agree on those plus points of Cafferkey. Not sure if so clearcut on frees. But overall, on the balance of both there is no worry on either.

  59. The biggest worry or fear is what happens if Kevin Keane gets injured or black carded early in the game. Who do we move to full-back then.

  60. I meant to add to my earlier piece on the Green Above the Red: Thus the original Mayo football jersey was green with a red band. An old GAA man once said to me it he reckoned it was symbolic of the colours of the fuschia that start bloomig each year in Mayo at the start of the championship campaign.

  61. John, if that’s the story with the Green and Red jerseys then the black jerseys for Saturday must be symbolic of the mood in the county at the moment! Hopefully that black cloud will be lifted by Saturday evening!

  62. Erris Head, Corrigan is a decent player however the vast majority of his scores come from frees. Being disciplined and not giving away soft frees inside our 45 will seriously limit the scoring potential of Fermanagh.

  63. Could well be the latter John. Nicer to be rosiemantic any day above the political. Some belief in Limerick that their green, with white cuffs and collars symbolises the mass of hawthorn that blooms across the county early on.
    It’s very strange to listen to discussions about salthill match on Sun. And it’s very interesting to note the little amount of comment there’s been here on this site concerning the big event.
    It seemed four yrs ago that G would be next up in Connaught…maybe their time has come ! I would think that will be so …..for Sunday at least!
    Meanwhile I’m thinking our present circumstances can install some good stuff in our legs,arms,hearts and minds for our onward progression.

  64. Ah, I’d love to wear a rainbow every day,
    And tell the world that everything’s OK,
    But I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
    ‘Till things are brighter, I’m the Man In Black.

    Johnny Cash , now there’s a man who could have written the definitive song about Mayo football.

  65. JP Cafferkey is a great man to spoil possession from defenders.What I mean is he reads it well and gets the hand in for dirty ball to spoil it.He certainly is a loss and was playing great stuff in the league.I agree he’s not the best in the air but in fairness it’s not as if we have given him great protection over the years ie Kieran Donaghy.Kevin Keane didn’t cover himself in glory against one Michael Murphy in the air either but in fairness has been solid since.

  66. I assume there is ET in any of the Football Qualifiers this weekend? A draw and reply would hold the whole thing up.

  67. Yeah Bestsince51, it would be interesting to see what would happen alright. As long as its not Lee Keegan that gets moved back there anyway, as happened in the Galway game, that was a bit of a disaster to do that.

  68. Correct yewtree. Hope it won’t be the case and we’ll blow them away in normal time.

  69. Don’t see why Keegan isn’t an option as emergency full back. Strong and sticky, only attribute he’s short of is height if FF is 6-3 or more. We have loads of attacking wing backs. Moving Keegan in was no disaster, the Galway game as a whole was a poor performance. The other options are SOS, Coen, Donie who started his career as either corner back or full back for Mayo, Harrison and McHale.

  70. I have never seen Keegan play full back in league or championship for club or county.. I am not a fan of playing him in the fb line at all as his attributes going forward are sorely missed

  71. The whole FB line has its problems, always was and will be.Its no secret that the effectiveness of the line can be greatly enhanced by outfield performances. If the incoming threats are stymied back out the field, everyone doing the team thing not just their own thing then the pressure on our FBs will be less.Thats v much the new game and was the old game too to a fair extent.

  72. If Connacht final is a draw would reply be in MacHale Park? With Hyde out of action Roscommon would have to pick a home venue and Sligo is not big enough to host a Connacht final. Either way I am sure the Connact council are hoping for one.

  73. Shuffly Deck, when I used the word disaster about the moving of Lee Keegan to full-back what I meant was that when your chasing a game as we were against Galway, its the other way that you should be moving attack minded players not backwards. You always see that in any sport, when your behind, its extra players that you want to see going up the field rather than back towards your own goal. For example when Wales were two down to Portugal in the Euros, they threw one of their defenders up front to add an extra man. Lee often gives us leadership going forward like Colm Boyle so you’d prefer to see him looking to set-up a score for us rather than chasing after a full-forward in the last few minutes of a game. You’d prefer to see a more out and out defender in our full-back line.

    There is often an argument made for Keith Higgins or Lee Keegan to be used in the half-forward line but I always think that you should start your players in their best positions, like Keith at corner-back but then with 10 or 15 minutes to go, when your chasing a game, that’s the time to unleash them boys a bit more if needed.

    It’s amazing too in the county that we are so short of full-backs. I think over the years in the FBD league etc. we have seen Vaughan, Boyle and Lee tried at various times in the full-back line positions but none of them has thrived there. Eoin O’Donoghue who played on this year’s U21 team looks like a real prospect for the future anyway at corner-back, he seems like a player who loves the art of defending, like the Italian defenders.

  74. Murphy would have beaten 99% of defenders nationally to that ball in 2012.
    What about all the good to Motm performances Keane has had since? I think he managed 2 MOTM performances in league 2014 and got a minor injury which put him back or was simply dropped.
    One of our few defenders with a 50 yard boot. Recall a great point versus Derry from him playing it long.

  75. Agreed, JP. Keane has had the 2012 final unfairly held against him, when in reality nobody would have beaten Michael Murphy that day. I’m willing to get behind him at fb. He was about one of the only Mayo players to show up against Galway.

  76. Yes, that’s definitely true. Michael Murphy would beat almost any defender in 2012 when marked one on one. In fact early in the second half of that match Murphy rose higher than the combination of, Keane, Cafferkey & Clarke in goal to fist a bullet narrowly over for a point. Almost a goal! The thing that damaged Keane’s reputation was the second goal conceded when the ball slipped from his hands and fell to McFadden, Clarke should have done better in goal as well. Allot of water under the bridge since then and Keane and Clarke have both played many good games for Mayo since. Both are very fine players, As I write the team is not picked but I fully expect Keane to start. I think he’s an ideal foil to mark Corrigan. Will it be Hennelly or Clarke?. It’s the close one, I expect Hennelly will get the nod, whoever gets selected for tomorrow we have to get the behind them. Peter McGrath is a Willey old Fox, and he will be well aware of various rumours enimating from the Mayo camp since our unexpected defeat to Galway. We have a chance at redemption, so come on Stephen Rochford put out a unified Mayo team playing for each other. Let’s all get behind Mayo tomorrow!

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