A week on

aif-2016-replay

A week on from the replay and it’s not getting any easier, is it? Chatting to Rob on the podcast back at the house later on last Saturday evening I said this one had the capacity to rankle and, seven days on, I believe this to be the case even more strongly.

It’s not as if this isn’t a familiar routine by now – it is, by God it sure is – or that I’m unaware there’s nothing that can be done about it. We lost, we live with it, we move on. We go again. I get all that – or at least, in time, I will – but the rawness from this one will take considerable time to subside.

We’ve all had our own ways of getting through the week. Mine has seen continued involvement here – look! I’ve added 2016 to the results archive, making it 114 years of action now preserved for posterity there – coupled with a more or less complete avoidance of anything that’s been written about us elsewhere.

Getting all those links to the match reports for the replay to put into the results archive nearly did for me. If I’d stopped to dip into the other stuff – the unwanted analysis about why we lost and the fawning, hagiographic slobbering over the Dubs – it would certainly have tipped me over the edge.

The other thing I’ve done since Saturday is that I’ve largely withdrawn from social media and, a week on, I doubt I’ll be returning anytime soon. By this I mean Twitter – Facebook I’ve long avoided like the plague, only using it to put links there to blog posts and steadfastly refusing to engage otherwise – which I decided not to go near after the game on Saturday evening and which I’ve only sparingly glanced at since.

It’s been an interesting exercise, not least given how it showed me just how addicted I’d become to my iPhone, constantly checking for updates, for a new hit. Breaking its grip was, in large part, like sundering an other old habit I once had and it was gratifying to see that, like giving up the fags all those years ago (29 next January, to be exact), after 48 hours I was pretty much over the worst.

A week on, I feel quite liberated and my phone doesn’t need quite as much charging as it used to. And I’ve a book half-read – it’s been a while since that happened as well. Plus, for the first time in over three weeks, I got out this morning for a decent spin on the bike. Bloody good it was too.

the-naul-looking-towards-meath

I’m not, in case you’re wondering, going to become some kind of latter day hermit from here on. I will, however, certainly for the next number of months, live my life more offline than online. I’d say my relationship with Twitter from here on in has been fundamentally altered and will be a good deal more fleeting than heretofore.

Being plugged in here on the site has been great, though, and I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who contributed to the various discussions here over the last week. It’s been shit for all of us – though far worse for the players: Lee’s message the other day all but cleaved my heart in two – but the mixture of regret and analysis and anger and sadness and looking back and looking forward and all the rest that so many have chipped in on has been uplifting and more than a little therapeutic.

It’s been a long year, in so many ways. We came into it straight from the maelstrom of all that happened this time last year, with the result that the last time there was a proper lull on the site was twelve months prior to that. Mayo GAA and all that happens around it is important for all of us, of course it is, but there are other things in life that are important too. We all deserve a break from it. I need a break from it.

Not a complete one but, for sure, I need to reclaim a good portion of my time for other things. The 2017 NFL doesn’t start for us until 4th February, almost four months hence, and while there’ll be plenty to talk about in the meantime – such as the club action, the U21 pre-season games, the FBD and all that – it’s my firm intention that I’ll be spending far less time on here over that period than I’ve been doing for virtually all of the last twelve months.

This place isn’t going to shut down for the off-season but it’s not going to be as active, certainly from my side of the house, for the next while. As the old cliché goes – and it’s true – time is a healer and we now need that passage of time to work its magic.  Once Monaghan roll into MacHale Park at the start of February next year I’m sure the rawness will have dulled and we’ll all be ready to contemplate another year’s action.

But not now, not yet.

Up Mayo.

171 thoughts on “A week on

  1. You re a credit to your race WJ! Well done you too and make sure you keep yourself in good fettle in the down season. Plenty of that bike and fresh air will have you in top gear for the new year!

    Maybe I missed it but can anyone suggest why the replay was set for the Sat at five? Seemed kinda peculiar at the time!

  2. A well deserved break WJ! we all need it . The players too and we will all be chomping at the bit come Spring . Will be tough on those playing big club game this weekend but also may help them .

  3. I find myself in Dublin this morning and it was with a heavy heart I drove past Quinn’s and Drumcondra station and has a quick glance over to the left and that great stadium Croke park. We have been especially blessed since 2011 I can almost find my way into the Cusack stand now with my eyes closed. Our day wlll come

  4. You absolutely deserve a break
    willie Joe. We are all feeling down I think we all need time out to recharge and refresh and do other things for a while. We will be rearing to go again after Christmas. In the meantime thanks a million Wille Joe I love this blog I’ve been black carded (quite rightly) once or twice and caught up in lots of debate but it’s all because we dream the same dream we want the same thing and I have enjoyed checking this blog a few times a day over the last while. Enjoy the break and thanks again.

  5. Croke Parke, has become as familiar as McHale Parke, for Mayo players and supporters,alike and this is very important, for once we make that first breakthrough, we will be where we belong, winning on a regular basis.
    Keep the faith, players and supporters alike, its coming , soon.
    Up Mayo

  6. Keith duggans article in the irish times has given me some closure. Curtains are down but my spirits are lifted

  7. Take a well earned break Wilie Joe You have certainly earned it Thanks for providing this wonderful outlet. Great work on the archives as well it is a priceless gem.

  8. Thank you WillieJoe for this great blog.
    It has kept me informed and entertained all this football season(the hubbie says more addicted).
    To all of you out there Paul O’Connell on late late last night said Mayo will do it.
    Let us all take comfort and with God’s help we will all be sitting in McHale Pk 4th Feb.
    We dont know each other but our hearts will begin and commence ‘WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER 2017. Thanks a mill and Slainte everyone.

  9. Apologies, all – it wasn’t my intention to put this one up till later on this evening as it still had a bit of tidying up to be done on it but I inadvisedly did a small bit of editing on it before heading out on the rothar this morning and, in the process, hit the publish button. There are some things you shouldn’t do when only half-awake! Think it’s sorted now.

  10. Thanks for your hard work in 2016 WJ. This blog is THE source of knowledge for Mayo fans.

    I travelled a bit around the county this week and it seems everyone is walking around with a cloud over them. You can feel the disappointment in the air….its as palpable as the excitement was the week before. As the leaves fall off the trees so too did our hopes but spring won’t be long coming around and the green ad red army will be on the road yet again. I make it 13 weeks to the FBD….roll on 2017.

  11. You deserve a good break Willie Joe.
    I’ll post player watches over the next few months. Whole host of games all over the country featuring fringe minor, U21, junior and Senior Mayo players. Schools to club to University. In that way anyone near a match can pop on to have a look. Schools matches are an interesting one sometimes. Middle of the week 12:30 usually.

  12. So grateful for this outlet this week. .Best form of therapy ever! Hope you have a great break Willie Joe..badly needed…hard to believe this time last year we were in the eye of the holmes connelly storm..so much has happened since…I’ve no doubt 2017 will be just as much of a roller coaster..Til then..

  13. Your feelings are widely shared Willie Joe. As a fellow exile in Dublin by God it hasn’t been easy. Most Dubs are decent but unfortunately some are poor winners.
    To preserve my own sanity and peace of mind I have unfollowed one or two loud mouths on twitter.
    We have so much to be proud of and nothing to be ashamed of. Our lads gave their all, even in adversity. Keith Duggan’s worth reading in today’s Irish Times.
    Roll on the spring! Maigh Eo Abú!

  14. Thank you, as ever, Willie Joe. You have provided much-needed food for a melancholy Mayo soul. We will be back, simple as that. Thanks again.

  15. Yes time to put in to bed and move on, big Barry and paddy durcan we’re giving advice to my sons u8 team this morning, taking time out their own day. That’s what my GAA is about and that why we love it. Our time will come. I will be getting to as many club games as I can over the next few weeks and will post updates if ppl want.

    Thanks for the great work willie joe. This site is a credit to you and all who contribute.

  16. Good man WJ and heartfelt thanks for all your effort for the season gone and all the others. We are indebted to you. The quality of the posts here and the moderation are key to it’s success. And the team too, of course.

  17. Forgetting about all the missed cards on both sides its important to remember that there was a criminal assault committed.

    If Brian Fenton has been headbutted before half time and needed 7 stitches do u think either of the Sunday Game programs would have discussed it ?

    Why no outcry from the sports journalists in the national media ? – Shame on them.

    Not good enough.

    Thanks again WJ, enjoy some time off.

  18. Sting sang about how lonely he was in the early 80s, likewise Horslips told us how loneliness was hard to take. It was all just good music at the time but it’s coming home to roost now. Sting, of course, will be 66 next year like ourselves. Your right Willie Joe this is a serious haymaker. This is our 10th time coming back from Mayo’s football graveyard. It’s harder still that there is no ‘wake’ no friends and neighbors around us to comfort us, no grieving process as such. This is why this site is a vital link for all of us to let off steam, pass the hash pipe around, whatever to ease the pain. Thanks again Willie Joe, your the silver lining in this dark bloody cloud that’s hanging over Mayo currently.

  19. Willie Joe your some man for one man.
    Would love to meet up with ya sometime your an absolute credit to this county.
    Yes we let this one slip but I know in my heart of hearts it’s just a round the corner for us.
    We all need to pull together come next year north and south Mayo.
    Now I’m a north Mayo man and one thing I have to say is we as clubs in north Mayo have to stop this constant whinging and blaming others
    We are way behind in coaching, tactics and our youth are just going for other sports.
    South Mayo and all credit to them have put in the hard yards and its up to us to catch up.under age is not all about winning its getting a team to use there skills and play as a team.
    Its getting very frustrating we need to stick together and step up to the plate.thanks again Willie Joe always had a gra for aughamore watching the great Jimmy Bourke.

  20. I didn’t take it too hard as the team have given us great days to remember. No doubt the players themselves are very disappointed but for me it’s sport, ups and downs but doesn’t compare to a 2nd natural disaster in Haiti within a few years.
    Only 1 team in 32 can win each year and our lads are within 1point of possibly the greatest team there has been when you think of how the game has evolved. The lads can be proud of themselves and each has contributed throughout the year from retaining div 1 status to the 2 epic finals.
    Where we are at is probably a reflection over the 2 games, about 1 point behind Dublin at the end of the season far ahead of where it seemed we might be. Little consolation when a close game was there to be won. Just inches away though our opponents will add inches next year so can we. New players blooded in big games. Next year in FBD and league we probably need to find more forwards than backs, the opposite of last year. It would be great if one emerged as a star. The 3 most likely look like the 2 Connor”s and Evan who have been already getting valuable experience. To those who advocate wholesale changes in the forwards as always it’s usually a 2 year project apart from the odd exception like Diarmaid and even he was deemed a failure initially after his championship debut a few years back. One of the U21s could be a bolter and 2 would be great but there might not be any so those 3 lads already on the fringe may be a big part of the jigsaw. Kerry I don’t think gave Brendan O Sullivan any summer game time even though he is widely spoken about as a big talent. Lads who look good in the league often don’t get big games as it becomes obvious in A vs B that the experienced lads are still better. Also I think we could really do with Andy Moran staying on for another year as he’s such a good inside ball winner and scorer too. If he goes Aido and or Cillian will really need to step up in the same department. Cillian was returning from an operation and I think can improve from play, is still very young and the solution for Aido may be to focus on making him an impossible to mark FF. Enhance his main attribute which is power. I’m guessing a lot of the fitness programmes these days are customised. Hope the backroom team stays too.

  21. Great effort by you Willie Joe with the blog and podcasts. More of an interested reader than a contributor but this site is part and parcel of match week life for me. Take a break. As you said, even a week on it is still raw but Feb. 4th will roll around and we will return with renewed hope.

  22. Anyone in Mayo this weekend is spoiled for choice for club championship action. Get out and support if you can. The lads playing will all appreciate it, but none more than our intercounty warriors.
    The healing process begins.

  23. I’ve taken time to calm down, rest and analyse. Watched the game for the first time in detail last night and during a long run this morning I figure;

    1. Diarmuid at 11 – apart from Andy only real intelligent forward. Almost 95% of what he gets involved in results in a positive outcome. We are using him as a worker…We can use Doherty/Carolan instead. Look at his goal opportunism with U21s. He has good handling and can hold up a ball. Also Cillian close to goal would benefit. As it stands Cillian is been used to play the ball in. Also quick ball into Loftus/Andy would improve return.

    2. Aidan at 6. Defenders have mastered how to tackle him. He does not win frees and not a scorer. What he is good at his possession and carrying.

    3. Keith is a liability in corner. Look at opposition scoring stats against him – his career history overlooks a lot of poor performances defensively. We need to move him more forward. Caffs return should cover No 4.

    4. Use a squad system – player rotation. Dublin use to great effect. Players slot in easily. A 34 man team really with guys just playing at different intervals.

  24. Brilliantly written WJ. You speak for all of us really. That ache just won’t diminish yet. Still haven’t gotten round to watching the whole match and definitely haven’t watched Apple Pie and the bullshxters on the Saturday game(might delete that one). We have to keep on keeping on and its a privilege to follow the ‘geansai’. As Kipling sort of said ” If we can meet Triumph with Disaster and treat those two impostors just the same” we’ll enjoy the twists and turns of the seasons to come. Kipling also said “And lose, and start again at your beginnings”. Or as Beckett said “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” We will recover and so will this fine team. Lets hope the Mid West radio reporter does as well after his ordeal.

  25. May I add my thanks to all the other posters and say what a wonderful service, Willie Joe, you’re giving us. This is top of my list to read when I wake upeach morning

    Great to hear Barry Moran and Paddy Durcan were out this morning giving advice to Castlebar’s under-8s. What a credit they are to the game! Paddy in the running for an all-star and after the disappointment of last Saturday and Big Barry who keeps on keeping on despite the frustration of not starting in the final.

    I had alluded to Bernard Brogan talking of several former Dubs coaching under-age players. Coulkd we hear moire of this good news about how current or former Mayo players are doing likewise! We need the good news to keep rolling in.

  26. Shufflydeck, Aiden can train at fullforward all he likes,he will be battered and bruised and get not protection from the referees who are weak as water, deegan being the best recent example.

    If Mayo are to win they will need to become dirtbags like the yokes they play in late summer these past years. Hit hard, hit often and make sure that it hurts. If Mayo need a roll model, look no further than lee keegan or Colman Boyle, they both possess the attributes of winners. Aos is better put at centre half back and left there. He’s not a scoring forward, and never will be apart from an odd goal. There’s u 21 lads ready and able to be the final pieces of our puzzle, bring them in for all league games and let them show it. I think we will see a few of our current forwards being dropped to being just panel members since they just don’t produce enough for various reasons, let them look at how keegan got into position to beat cluxton and three Corinthians to score his goal, why can he do that while marking Connolly and our forwards can’t? I fully expect Rochford to do major surgery on our actual game playing forward division, others may be kept but won’t see much action if these u21 lads are any good at all.
    It’s been 3 weeks of hell for me, Mayo football and deaths have taken a toll, I think I’ll join Willie Joe and whoever else and take a break till 2017

  27. Agree with Diarmuid at 11. Even if Diarmuid is our best Worker/tracker its an absolute waste when another player can do 90% of that.
    Diarmuid has all the physical and foitballing attributes to be a very good 11.
    Dont agree with Aidan at 6. He also gets pinged a lot for frees n yellows.
    The defence is fine possibly just a new tight no. 4 needed.

  28. A week on and like an addict in cold turkey . Sobriety is a great thing . The mind is clear and next year our focus can narrow down on the few fragilities we have .

    Rochfords second term will define this team .

  29. I dunno WJ. I left this one behind the minute I left Croke Park last week.
    Time to move on. Sure we should dissect the tape, frame by frame, not to bitch and moan, but to learn from it. We did so much right and only a a few things wrong and it brought us within a kicking a ball of winning.
    Time to move on, learn and come back bigger, better with weapons in our arsenal for next year. Our only goal next season should be to win the AI. How we get there doesn’t matter!
    I have never been as bullish on our chances for next year as now what with the depth of young talent we have coming through, and many of those are real winners!

  30. Dave…movement of Keegan was decisive and OShea did right thing in that instant ……the kick was perfect.If he hadnt the foresight it would not have happened. And the Dub backs were caught unfocused and spread. In this case the key was all to do with timing. The importance of timing is more obvious and highlighted in the tighter rugby game.
    TMO in Connaught match last night showed how effective it can be to clean up shit. I can’t see any reason why it is not used in the gaa. It would absolutely create an arena in which individual and team talents would be allowed to blossom . Neither the gaa or the rugby boys are angels …both would look to get away with murder but as it is such is more likely to happen on the garlic pitch than the rugby at the moment!

    John Mc Hale I’ve found out since this morn that in the early seventies 71/2 Jimmy Laffey was asked about that curse. P Carmey too refers to it in “Mayo God help us’ . P said he was aware of there being a funeral going on but nothing else occurred . My source informed me btw that it was a tinkers funeral…of no sig except to fill out the pic. Now P Carney is talking in modern times and so that doesn’t say anything about when it first emerged. However since my informant asked the question after 69 and before 72 it must be that the curse had its origin pos in the sixties….maybe in response to Mayos lack of success in that decade. Paddy Premdergast had said that they thought they had finally burst the bubble with 50/51 and would go on to be regular winners. The golden yrs had finally returned after the great barren gap of 36 to 49!!! So I’d imagine the populace was already in a great state of frustration as the sixties came in and this was intensified by Galways dominance 64/66.
    More research required!

  31. Thank you to WJ and everyone on this blog. To be honest last Saturday and weekend felt like the worst loss so far for me but having here to pop into(reside in!) has helped me immensely. I feel it’s moved me on a few steps in my grief. Was angry a few days ago. But yesterday my Meathman butcher said we are choke artists and that we should have won drawn match and replay. He said he has no respect for us now and is sick of us and will never root for us again. I wasn’t even annoyed at him. Just told him I saw things differently in a very tight game and try being actually from Mayo. He reckoned we fell across the line in every match and only tough game we had was against Tyrone. I managed to get in that Mayo supporters have had a great 6 years and at least get to follow their team to the end and that this season was particularly enjoyable with so many outings. Didn’t say I didn’t enjoy period between the drawn match and replay. I didn’t feel he had a right to be so angry at us. He is only from Meath! Anyway the point is I wasn’t too bothered by what he said. I didn’t want to kill him or change butcher!!! I’d bet my life on it he will be behind us again next year like he has been the last few because let’s face it Meath are going nowhere. Rather be choker follower me anyday with real hope than invisible Meath. Think I might be nearing acceptance soon. Was in denial a few days ago. Still can’t believe it’s all over though. Might suffer a relapse.

  32. Willie Joe, thank you for your generosity in managing and maintaining this blog. You may wonder why I have a keen interest in the fortunes of football in the county. Well, the answer is simple, both my parents hailed from Mayo. After the match last Sat. I texted my uncle in Westport to see how he took it. He was understandably gutted, but he mentioned that the last time Mayo won in ’51 he and my late father visited a neighbours house to listen to Micheal O’Hehir’s wireless broadcast. So, one way or another I guess we are all caught up in this ongoing epic. Best of luck, Willie Joe, deliverance day is very close I feel.

  33. Sinead37…your treatment of your Meath butcher is as follows:
    Ask him why was there a funny taste off the chops you got the last day… were they ram chops by any chance?…..funny kind of a taint!

    Tell him that steak was awful tough you got last week ….are you sure it was sirloin?

    Tell him there was a lot of fat in the roast and tell him the rashers had a white scum coming out of them when you fried them!

    Tell him your husband said the sausages were gone off.

    Tell him that Lidls have great steak and
    Alde has even better……and it’s so cheap, tell him!

    And tell him that whoever was scraping the meat off those spareribs you got had a very sharp knife and sure knew what he was doing!
    Don’t hoist it all on him now at the one time but spread it out strategic like over time and above all …….enjoy yourself!

  34. Willie Joe, you appear to be still down after the loss, I am not myself for the past week and have been following this blog for some time now. Our day will surely come, I have been going to Croker since 1988, saw others win the All Ireland but not my own County, there are always rumours doing the rounds when we loose a final. Time to move on now and lets hope that a few new players will make the breakthrough next year as happened this year.

  35. Thanks for all your efforts this year, Willie Joe. The blog has been a fantastic outlet for interacting with like-minded supporters and some great guest articles too. I can’t say that the recent defeat doesn’t still hurt, but I am still quite hopeful for next year. Maigh Eo abú.

  36. Thank you WJ for season upon season of debate and a site for us Mayo people. Yes, Keith Duggan nails it once more. He’s the only writer whom I say of, I wish I had written that. Down in Blacksod looking at Sliabh Mòr and that grey ocean. We rest up and gather our energy to go again in ’17. Maigheo Abù

  37. Mitchels through on top with an easy win over Ballina. 3 behind at the break, Ballina playing well, no P Durcan or Big Bird for Mitchels. Dougie kicked around 10 points, 4 of them with his left foot, 6 with his right. Could have been give or take a point.

    He has to, HAS to get a better crack at the whip, because frankly, he is better than a handful of players in the last 5 years who have gotten a number of chances.

    Anyways, good win for the champs. Well on track. Games coming thick and fast now

  38. Come on folks Jesus if I read anymore depression I will head for St Mary’s…..
    We ARE really close!!.
    This was Rochford first year we are U21 champs. We have a pattern of play that is sound. Bear in mind the goals we conceded against Dublin as well as Penalty were freakish. We can get a couple of forwards and if the lads get a good run on the injury side with Ger back in 2017 we will be in with a huge chance. The darkest moment is before the dawn.
    We are teak tough. We never give up. That culture is cemented in team and management

  39. Agreed, MayoMark. Sharpest player on the pitch by a mile today and some of his scores were from tough angles.

    Thank you WJ for all your work this year on the blog and also your contributions on the podcasts. Hope you continue with those next year.

  40. Thanks W.J.the feeling is quite mutual I have been down over games before,but this has been far the worst,forgive me if I sound selfish but I can’t help feeling I may never see that great day,on a more positive note I would like to take this opportunity to thank this great team for all the enjoyment since 2010? Absolutely great ambassadors for their County and supporters.I appeal to all the squad to stick together and complete the task,ye are too good and too near to give up now “don’t show the white feather where ever you go”, proud harted men from the County Mayo”talk soon.

  41. Was a long tough week. Work kept me busy but I spent a lot of today looking back thinking of what might have been. Really proud of all of them and a privilege to follow them but by God does one go through extremes with this team. Finally WJ thanks for this great site. For Mayo people living outside of the county it is extra special. Didn’t read one report on match but tuned in here every day. Didn’t always agree with each contributor but all opinions were expressed from the heart and all here wants whats best for our county. Like always we Mayo people will get over this and like the team we follow we will have to show our resilience and come back stronger than ever. Maigh Eo Abu

  42. WJ thanks for everything throughout the year with your insights, updates and analysis which started many a debate and argument here. The blog is infectious and like following Mayo is like a drug. You deserve your break. Now that the dust is settling on the year I would like to apologise to you for our tête-à-tête following the Tyrone game and I wish it hadn’t happened. I’m not going to criticise any individuals as it is now time for reflection to see where we can make up gap which is small. I cannot help but think of Meath in the mid80’s and 90’s who eventually came to terms with the dublin drubbings and propaganda machine and what it made them-no one liked them but they didn’t care and I think that’s where we need to go. My admiration for what they did is growing. I love mayo as like everyone else on here and would not swop the memories I have since Joe McGraths 2-5 in 78, willie nally’s fielding v Galway in 81, Lyndsey’s goal v Down in86-the like of which I’ll never see again and for which I’m eternally grateful to my older brother for bringing me to in Castlebar, I could go on to the present day.

  43. That was an impressive showing by Neil Douglas then by all accounts. Was he taking the frees I assume?

  44. Liam Irwin scored 7 points in breaffys win today. He certainly doesn’t lack confidence!

    Agree with some posters here that a major step in improving our attack next year is playing more of a ball player at 11. The main candidates being Diarmuid or Kevin Mc.

  45. Impressive by Liam Irwin, how many from play anyone know?
    Kevin Mc is tailor made for the sweeper role.
    We can build our defence and the starting point of some of our attacks around him next year.
    Duffy, Irwin, Loftus and Reape will surely produce one starter and one sub.
    Interesting to check what those four score this weekend. Crossmolina scored heavy but I didn’t see the breakdown. Usually Duffy and Loftus split the scoring between them.

  46. Thank you Willie Joe,enjoy your break,I was very down after Kerry in Limerick,but not this year I think if we hold on to our management team,we will have a couple new players,so very hopeful for next year,hope the team gets a lot of down time over the winter

  47. WJ, thanks for everything. You more than deserve a break, so take a half day on Monday, but don’t make a habit of it. Last Saturday’s loss doesn’t hurt to the same degree as others. Up in the Davin it seemed Dublin had a number of chances that they failed to convert. Thanks to the enormous sign I couldn’t see the far end and only appreciated our chances far later. Four home games in the league to set the pieces for next season. ’17 is looking good, very good.

  48. Thank you WJ for a great blog and a great forum for us Mayo folk and a few great guests too. Congratulations to the Big Dog too always right well done young man.
    Feeling the pain this week like we all know too well but as the week goes on you get a bit more perspective. Whatever we feel as supporters must pale compared to the players feelings this week. Yet I know they will saddle up again for next year as they do and always do.
    Living in Donegal I can’t help thinking that maybe Rochford in year two will move us forward from sorting out defence as he has done to wide aclaim. Year two bring a more attacking flair and complete the Picture. That’s just what Jimmy did with Donegal and it’s past time for our time to come Maigheo Abu

  49. Thank you Willie Joe. My more than once daily checks will also need to reduce. I went off social media for lent this year and it was one of the best things I ever did.

    Looking forward to the club action getting us through the next couple of weeks.

  50. Just a Ps to my last post for all of you on here Roll on to 2017
    Invictus by W E Henley

    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds and shall find me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate,
    I am the captain of my soul.

  51. V nice stuff Cloudnine ….what is that?

    It’s amusing how the new shoots Irwin and Douglas are already making a stir! Anything on Kirby and O Hora anyone?

  52. I’ve always liked Castlebar. Plenty of people on here have mentioned Douglas and Kirby on regular occasions. Have they not been tested numerous times over the past few years at county level? You’d have imagined if they were good enough they’d have featured by now? Kirby isn’t a big scorer…we have enough work horse half forwards. Can Douglas produce the goods against top intercounty defences?? How old is he now??

    The manner in which Castlebar collapsed in the club final v ballyboden was both depressing and alarming. Their forwards in particular absolutely flopped. I don’t think this did Kirby or Douglas’ reputations much good and it certainly didn’t benefit their claim for a senior intercounty jersey.

    I don’t like being harsh, but we must be. Mayo need lads who can do it on the big stage. If either of these fellas go on and make an impact for Mayo then I’ll be absolutely delighted, but I’m not convinced it’ll happen if it hasnt already. Like I’ve said loads of times, if a fella hasn’t broken onto and claimed a starting slot on a senior county team by the time he is 22/23, then he probably won’t be of the standard required to make a significant contribution to a team competing for an All Ireland. I’m not saying it doesn’t and can’t happen but the stats are against it happening.

  53. Look at our players on our current team, the starting team and regular subs.. Almost all made significant impact by the age of 23.

    Of course the door should always remain open for late bloomers or fellas on a serious vein of form but the game at county level is borderline professional now…the day of this happening is almost gone.

  54. Mayonaze – I think it’s amazing that we judge Douglas on his performance in one game on the big stage and weigh it up against players who have never played there in the first place. Douglas played two games in 2015 for Mayo – in the FBD v NUIG at MacHale Park. Scored 4 from play and set up 1-1, the goal coming from an outstanding pass. Then he came on for 45 seconds v Donegal in the league and was played out of position.

    At the same time, other players were given numerous chances in league and championship, players who I believe aren’t as good as Douglas.

    We are always going on about needing forwards. Well there is one who consistently puts the ball over the bar and in the net, in big club matches. He needs to get a consistent chance in my view.

  55. So near and so far. 3 gift wrapped goals, ridiculous refereeing decisions and come up only one point short. Yes, it’s a hard one to take. But take it on the chin we will, lick our wounds and bide our time. Absurd that the countrys best player Lee Keegan should have to watch most of the All Ireland Final from the stand. Never a black card. The quicker its gotten rid of the better. TMO for big matches or Sin Bin is a must – if the powers that be are brave enough to copy something from another sport to make ours better!. Players gave absolutely everything but can the same be said of the Mayo support?. Sure, we have some amazing supporters that follow the team through thick and thin the length and breadth of the country and more than did their bit in Croke Park. But, as I looked around me in the Hogan Stand both days I saw “supporters” who I know full well never go to any club games or any other Mayo games except for the final and just sit there timidly watching proceedings waiting for something to happen with genuine supporters sitting at home. Dunno what the answer is but it makes my blood boil that. Hats off to Sinead37 in particular for trying to get the Mayo support on their feet and shout on our heroes on the field. It worked to a certain degree but I think we can be so much better. Its not in our DNA to stand up and shout so its something that we (the supporters) are going to have to practise and get used to so that we are better prepared when we get to Croke Park next time. There is me looking forward already. Maybe starting in McHale Park at FBD and league games, how about getting a chant whatever it may be (something that rolls off the tongue easily) played over the loudspeakers that would spark the crowd to join in and get used to the idea and at the same time make McHale Park fortress Mayo and then take it forward to Croke Park on big match days. Pre season training for supporters you might say.Might be worth a try. I know its too late for this year but we will have other big days soon. I think supporters want to roar and shout but dont know how to in unison as we have never done it apart from Mayo Mayo. We are the proudest now lets be the loudest supporters in the land. You have to say COYBIB is impressive at full throttle. Don’t underestimate the boost it gives the players on the field to hear your own supporters roaring you on especially when matches are won or lost in fractions and inches. Our players have raised the bar – supporters can do likewise. We may be down but we are not out. NO SURRENDER. GREEN AND RED FOREVER.

  56. WJ,

    Thanks a million for this blog throughout the year. Whether you agreed or disagreed with the content at times at least it made us think & discuss what we thought was right or wrong with OUR team. And what a team. I have travelled to games involving my beloved county since the 60’s(remember ’67 but i know I was there before that,Thanks Dad). I have seen good teams,bad teams along with legends in my eyes( John Morley & Kieran Mac are my 2 heroes).
    Having said all the above I have to say I have never seen a finer bunch of young men than those that represent us now. I was lucky enough to be in City West last week & I watched those lads pose for photos, chat to people & generally do what had to be done on the night. Personally I know how I was feeling, so how they managed to do what they did with a smile was beyond me.
    Folks, never ever take these guys for granted.I know we’re pissed upon from on high in the GAA hierarchy but there’s only one answer for them. Keep coming back for more. i will never stop believing( & by Christ either will my 2 lads.They’re obsessed).

    Roll on 2017. Maigheo Abu.

  57. Thanks WJ again for maintaining the Blog. It has helped immencely and has been a big part in the recovery process. Well done to all the players who lined out for their clubs this weekend. Some scoring done by Andy, Conor Loftus and Liam Irwin. Good also to see Jason Gibbons back. Keep it going lads.

  58. WJ, thank you so much for all the work you’ve put in this year. Enjoy the break! See you in 2017. Up Mayo

  59. Incredible work Willie Joe, all this year and for many years now , much appreciated by all those like me addicted to all things Mayo!. Wonder how many millions have viewed, read and posted on this site since its inception? We will have brighter days!!!

  60. Thank you for your words, we all feel the same way. My heart goes out to the players!!!!! Lee’s message was hard to read, know he is hurting, they all are hurting, but I hope they know we stand behind them all! Up Mayo and Mayo 4 Sam 2017!!! We will all be there February 4th as it begins again. God bless the 2016 Mayo team, thank you for pouring out your hearts for us, we are there with you and remain with you!!!!

  61. Thanks WJ for all that means so much to Mayo followers everywhere. Enjoy your time off and may our day come soon.
    Maigh Eo Abu

  62. Willie Joe,

    Thanks for everything this year. It has been a long journey since a cold and bright Sunday in MacHale Park against NUIG on 3rd January last. I think we all need a few months of a break to get our minds back in order again, Lord knows how the players and management have dealt with the last week.

    But I’m sure that we will go again, The Green & Red forever.

  63. Thanks WJ for your massive contribution to Mayo. Like the heroic efforts of our players on the field you too have contributed hugely to the push for success and putting us at or near the top of the pile. When we do win an all ireland (which I believe we will) you too can rightly claim a share in the glory.

  64. Your grieving / healing process sounds a lot like my own WJ. In a weird sense working and living in Dublin helps, removed from it somewhat as celebrations very low key here. Don’t know if you find that as well? Was also out on the rothar for a few hours yesterday morning, needed the company though, far too much time to think! Still haven’t brought myself to watch the game over again, girlfriend is threatening to delete it from the UPC box to be safe. First time poster but long time reader, keep up the great work.

  65. Great Article, personally I don’t think we could risk Hennelly in another final. Hopefully David Clarke will stay on. We need to look at Flanagan, OMalley or Byrne early next year as a number 2 keeper.

  66. Finding it hard to watch the match back. If Mayo want motivation then take a leaf out of tipp s win in 2010 when the where beat in 09. By Kilkenny

  67. Well done WJ on the impact this blog is having on Mayo GAA supporters all over the world, it’s a real credit to you.

    Fair play to Sinead and Trevor for doing what you did this year also.

    For you WJ, one of the stand out articles you did this year was when you were on holidays and you penned the article about postponing the club games. That really showed your dedication to the cause.

    At the end of the day, this year, we seen goalkeeping errors play a large part in our U21s winning an All-Ireland title and our senior team missing out on winning an All-Ireland title. That’s sport. Roll on 2017 and enjoy the break WJ.

  68. Flanagan is a good shot stopper yes. His kickouts we won’t really know till he players a few senior games.
    Donal Vaughan yes is a big fan of ‘Bounce’ the book and you can tell. Probably has improved the most of any player. Any GAA coach should have to read that book. It would destroy that awful culture we have in GAA of some formerly useless player who played junior in the 70’s taking one look at a yound lad and declaring him ‘useless’. An awful lot of club GAA coaches still believe in born talent. They don’t actually coach skills. “Let the ball in to f*ck” is not coaching.

  69. Hi Mark…I wouldn’t judge anyone on one game but the manner of the flop on March 17th was definitely concerning.

    I know fellas who’d have scored frequently in the Galway club championship over the years but just didn’t make it at county level. It doesn’t always seem to add, but..

    You know a hell of a lot more about the castlebar players than me…maybe Douglas deserves another shot but from a neutral/objective perspective one would imagine if he was going to make it, wouldn’t he would have done so by now? Particularly at a time when we haven’t an abundance of natural finishers.

  70. …And we’ve had 3 different senior management teams over the past 4 years, none of whom have selected him. Are they all wrong.

    I understand what you mean that other fringe players have been more game time than Douglas over the course of fbd, league and even championship and in this sense maybe he hasn’t had a fair crack at the whip.

    In many ways it might be more difficult now with some younger forwards making the breakthrough. Younger forwards who have delivered underage all Ireland’s.

  71. AWCOMONREF,
    I’m all on for trying some chant in the league. 3 weeks in lead up to drawn match was not enough time to get something going. Also people were sick of me posting on fb and I don’t blame them. I’ve only since got up and going on twitter and snapchat. Could have pestered a few more hundred!! I just about heard it in croke park in small pockets of the crowd but did not help that Dublin came out of the tunnel at the same time as us which drowned out all Mayo noise. In hindsight that chant was maybe not fast enough to get up and going quickly against the COYBIB – maybe it would have been if everyone knew it and got going together but hard to know now. I was surrounded by too many dubs and neutrals to have any help. Suitable for start of match when players come out to show appreciation and suitable if we had lifted Sam. I was so determined at the time. Hard to believe it was me. Anyway I’ll miss the craic here but look forward to renewed hope in only 4 months time.

  72. Mayonaze Tommy Conroy is just back from injury he had a bad hip injury he was due to play for Kiltane This weekend not sure if he did or how it went didn’t make the game. Would love to see Tommy doing well he’s a good lad he’s had a tough time in more ways than one.

  73. Flanagan is a fantastic keeper but he plays full forward for balla which isn’t going to help his development. I’ll probably get ate allowed for this but I don’t think dougie will ever get a fair shot at the Mayo team because of his size. There’s currently very few lads less then 6ft on the the current squad.

  74. NiallMc – Cluxton plays outfield for his club and it does not seem to effect him. Hearing reports from the junior final today he seems like a good freetaker as well. He needs to be brought in as no 2 to Clarke next year.

  75. Anyone at the Crossmolina game yesterday to report on it?
    I watched the stream of the Aghamore – Ballintubber game.
    Aghamore handpassed often backwards and didnt have players who could consistently break through the Ballintubber defence.
    After David Kenny was sent off on two yellows their challenge weakened.
    Diarmuid togged at corner forward and played in an advanced role. He took his goal well and was a danger throughout.
    Cillian played deeper and was more of a playmaker.
    Michael Plunkett was at half back in a water carrying role really. Hard to pick out much from him in the crowded defences.
    Ross Egan Aghamore came on and got a nice point.
    James Lyons Aghamore was suffocated up front, not much he could do.
    Darren Duffy showed a few nice moments but maybe should have been more central and drive at Ballintubber with his power
    Fergal Boland Aghamore had a fine game getting on a lot of ball.

  76. Douglas has had a few chances. But if i am remembering correctly he has been unfortunate with injury just as he is about to get a consistent run.

    Not convinced by Flanagan, Reminds me of Curran (Roscommons retired keeper)

  77. Willie Joe, thanks for the blog this year and the last number of years. A break would be good for all of us at this stage, I feel.
    We can come back fresher in the New Year just like the team and management!
    I haven’t had the stomach to watch the match back yet but no doubt will do so in the next few days. Like everyone else I’m sure I will be demented somewhat by the what ifs, etc..
    The one thing that sticks in my mind though is the Parsons incident.
    Has anyone access to video or photographic evidence of this? It should be circulated on social media if it hasn’t been done so already. Whatever about all the other unsavoury incidents that occurred at the match surely a headbutt is more than a step too far? As supporters we should be writing to the County Board to insist our players are better protected from this form of thuggery. The perceived lack of balance in the lead up to and during the game (whether by referees and their officials or the media) needs to be addressed by us as Mayo supporters, if we feel it’s justified, or are we just going to vent or frustration online?

  78. Johnny Cullotty dropped a clanger and a soft goal to Down in 1960. A friend from Annascaul said he was pelted with rotten spuds and cows cleanings as he stepped off the train in Killarney. I agree wholly with Brolly regarding Robert Hennelly. We’ll win nothing without developing a ruthless streak….

  79. How do you transport to a train station and throw cow cleanings? The amount of effort and planning would need a logical mind. A logical mind doesn’t think “Im going to go down to the potato field and find a few spare pohrins I missed in the picking. Then I’ll go down to the hedge where I shkyed that herefords cleanings, I’ll bag that up with some straw. Then I’ll head into the train station and take the grape and fire the cow cleanings at Culloty and the rotten pohrins. N thats the last ball he’ll be dropping”

  80. JP your post is the funniest thing I’ve read since I don’t know when. Absolutely laugh out loud stuff. Thanks it was badly needed!!

  81. Just imagine the furore if Brian Fenton had left the pitch with a gash that required 7 stitches..But he didn’t. .One of ours and apart from this blog it has gone unnoticed ..He who shouts loudest it seems..

  82. Feel exactly the same about the match, feels like such a chance lost and so many ‘if onlys’ . Still haven’t been able to bring myself to watch it back..not sure I ever will. Roll on 2017…The quest continues.

    Thanks Willie Joe for a brilliant blog. Your work is much appreciated by all. Here’s to us all being on here in twelve months time discussing if it’s time to ease off the celebrating!!

  83. JP…if it can be imagined…it can be done! I have no idea where they stored cows cleanings in Killarney…or rotten spuds for that matter…I imagine he was pulling the piss…the point I took from his anecdote was that they are still galled about it in the Kingdom over 50 years later even though they have doubled their collection.since then!

  84. Agreed Conchubair, and that is the most depressing thing about this years loss. Clarke getting injured gifted Robbie the keepers position last year for the Dublin matches. As Darragh Ó Sé pointed out in his excellent article at the time, this cost Mayo the replayed game in a matter of a few madness filled minutes by Robbie.

    To then make the ‘mistake’ of putting Robbie in again this year, over the hereto best keeper in the land – Clarke, is just not plausible. Talk of stats is nonsense in this regard, and a complete red herring. What it means is that the new Manager completely ignored the evidence of the collapses of Robbie in previous big matches, or else he was manipulated by others into putting Robbie in instead of Clarke.

    I prefer to believe he was manipulated, and therefore it is a lesson he can learn from for the future. Because if he wasn’t, then he isn’t fit to be our senior manager, simple as that. He needs to stamp his authority on this group, and fast!

  85. The same Darragh O Se said this week, it was a tactical gamble that didn’t pay off. This wasn’t a cloak and dagger situation Mike, they made a call and it didn’t work. It was a management decision…futhermore I find it hilarious that people believe this ‘peer pressure’ theory to change keeper, surely if they were all so desperate for a change to happen they would’ve forced it much earlier in the championship!

  86. There’s nothing tactical about putting in a liability in place of arguably the best keeper in country this year. If it was, then they are not fit to manage, simple as that.
    Every pundit and knowledgeable person expressed their astonishment as soon as they heard the change that was made.

    And yes, they wanted to win the All Ireland with all their pals, and why not? But Rochford should have resisted the pressure.

  87. Crikey its getting annoying listening to people go on and on about a rumor or imo pure lies about the breaffy mafia having a monopoly on Mayo senior team selection. Who makes this shit up.

    Rochford is our manager, he had the final say on selection . He made a mistake imo , he didnt do it to lessen the teams chances purposely though. All the discussion has been done on this , mcgreal of the Mayo news done a good piece on it and put it to bed for me.

    We need to move on now, learn our lessons and stick together. To hell with what kerry did 50 yrs ago, sure theyre a shower of effin animals (paudi said so) , we’re mayo and we’re in this together our Andy said so.

    20k in mchale park for league opener next feb and that will send the message to all the fookers who are in fear of us still. Up Mayo.

  88. They dropped Robbie because of his poor kick-outs against Galway which cost us six in a row and them reinstate him because of his kick-outs – where is the logic in that. Methinks that the rumours about a clique of players managing Mayo are not just rumours – either that or SR has a lot of explaining to do!

  89. Whatever about Rochford being ” manipulated” I think mcentee certainly isn’t involved with Mayo for the fun or the love of giving up his spare time, I really think they looked at stats and went with it, for all that went wrong for Robbie and the ref riding them, it’s incredible that they were so competitive up till the end.
    Roll on the league and the chance for some new fresh blooded forwards to make an impact and get a jersey for summer.

  90. Mick, i agree it was a mistake by sr but why persist with the rumor mill of the clique of players stuff.

    Sure why would this alleged clique of dropped in the first place , they could of just said parsons called for the ball out the line v Galway and robbie delivered only for tom to move at the wrong moment, i mean the case was made in here im sure if the clique existed they would of came up with a similar argument with more added like , stick with him , cant dent his confidence by dropping him etc etc. Very easy to do if there was a clique of playrs over running management but there isnt , its just bs.

  91. Brollix let it slip. Hes having a go at Robbie because of his involvement with GPA Brollix believes real gaels should have nothing to do with this dastardly organization. Brollix has a go at our lads calling some celebrity losers Amazing that coming from the prize celebrity asshole. O by the way Cairde Maigh Eo have you that imbecile lined up for next years gig. We really do make idiots of ourselves pandering to that has been celebrity idiot

  92. to win just once: Be that as it may, you have to agree with what he wrote. I don’t know the keeper, he is Robert Hennelly to me. The fellow who has made All Ireland title ambition crippling mistakes from 2008 up. I am sure he is a decent young man but I have to ask..is the rest of the keeper talent in Mayo so abysmal that he keeps getting chances year in year out? That is disrespectful to young players all around the County. It would make them
    apathethic if a player like that gets chance after chance. Its nonsense. Why did he feel a need to post his twitter open letter. The game was done. Playing in a Mayo shirt is an honour. He has to take his opportunities. He didn’t. Fair enough. It’s ok. It is just a game. But do your talking on the pitch. If not, who’s the next young turk who can seize the day? Simple as that. Otherwise talk of cliques takes hold….

  93. Oh my, it seems we’re a sorry lot. Some can’t bring themselves to look at the game again, others still blaming the ref, some feeling sorry for themselves, some blaming the breaffy boys, more blaming Hennelly, it. Seems we’re a soap opera for the national media.

    We need to collectively grow a pair and stop this whining, whinging, looking for sympathy.
    I encourage all who haven’t already, just look at the match again. Sure the result won’t change but we did a hell of a lot right and despite the woeful decision to change Clarke and the double blunder by Hennelly, we were still within a kick of a ball of winning the AI. Having said that, some players need to look at themselves and ask, can I give more? and improve MY effectiveness, would it have made a difference? Absolutely, they’re a few and they know who they are.

    Sure we didn’t win, but feeling sorry for our bad luck and looking for sympathy won’t make us champions. We’re not that far away and the rochford plan will likely involve some big changes in midfield and attack next year. I for one am looking forward to it and see us in a really good position and right back in Croke Park next September where by then, we will have what it takes to win.

  94. Seamus Thornton – I’m just going by memory here after watching the game the other day, but you can see the McMahon/Parsons incident just after CO’C is taken out by John Small. Watch the top right corner of the screen and when the scuffle breaks out between some other Mayo and Dublin players you’ll see Parsons running down towards the scuffle, McMahon is a few yards behind Parsons and Parsons starts running towards where the scuffle is going on, then McMahon runs after Parsons, catches him by the jersey, the two of them begin grappling and if you look closely you’ll see the clash of heads. McMahon definitely instigated that incident and should have been punished. The linesman saw the whole incident too, he was only about 15 yards from the whole thing and he’s running onto the pitch as McMahon is attacking Parsons.

  95. Mister Mayor…Nobody is moaning, whinging, blaming. I am talking about things that can be controlled by Mayo team/ mgt/ infrastructure. We were closer in 1996 when all is said and done. Don’t think that other teams won’t come back stronger….Kerry, Tyrone, Galway….Mayo made mistakes and had obvious weaknesses. Managers can change players/ tactics. Players can identify and work on weaknesses. Stating that Hennelly isn’t good enough is based on the evidence. Growing a pair as you say would entail dropping him and finding the alternatives
    with a view to progressing. ‘Have what it takes to win?’ What does that even mean? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Hennelly has had too many chances. SR needs to learn from that harsh lesson or it will happen again.

  96. Great to see the proxy war between Castlebar/Breaffy and Ballina is alive and well. I think the decision was a mistake, but anyone who agrees with that cancerous Derry bastard deserves a plague on their village.

  97. @Conchubhair I agree with you. I believe there will be big changes. Back line is more or less settled, now to midfield and half forwards…. and no sacred cows.

  98. Liam…sure isn’t there already a curse on the county?. Better a village plague than a county cursed! I couldn’t give a rats arse about parochial rivalries. A mistake is a once off. A habit is multiple occurences. SR has to wade out of the parichial shit and make the hard calls.

  99. Mike McGlynn is right no reasonable manager would have started Hennelly time to stand up and manage from management otherwise we are fucked. Maigheo abu

  100. Okay, I’ve just seen the comments about cliques influencing team selection and all that. I’m not going to delete them because they’re common currency at this stage – I’ve even had people up here asking me about it – but neither am I willing to let this line of debate continue. In other words, the usual rules on unsubstantiated rumours apply.

  101. Not been posting for a few days but I see WJ takes a well deserved break and it didnt take long for the trolls to come out spreading shite rumours about cliques, pressure on manager etc etc etc, what a load of shite, your doing mayo football no favours spreading that rubbish. Also the game is over, get over it and move on for feck sake. The manager made a call re Hennelly and it didnt work, thats sport. Manager gave his reasons behind the switch and it should be left at that. He doesnt need to explain himself to anyone. Hennelly fecked up, he knows that more than anyone. No reason to vilify a young man playing an ameteur sport throughout the county. Leave the lad along and let him get on with life.

    If the messages that I have seen posted in the last day or so is an indication of whats to come until next season starts then I will be taking me leave of this place as life is too short to spend reading that kind of rubbbish.

  102. I see we don’t have the option to buy additional season tickets this year. Renewal only!!

    Obviously, despite some of the comments over the last few days, there are still a cohort of mayo people willing to stick by their team and management.

    I am proud to be part this particular cohort.

  103. To win just once, I think your post is spot on for me.
    I myself would be very happy to see this team of lads not bother with interviews with anyone from the national broadcaster next year or anyone connected to ‘Brollix’ :-). I hope after each game they just hit down that tunnel as their captain has done and only when they’ve really got what they want stay out on the field and absorb & enjoy it all.
    Brollys column this week and the one of the final is in my opinion akin to schoolyard bulling – he’s wording is all choosen to make a mockery of & demean his chosen target – he picked out Robs twitter handle & pointed to it as a source of fun. He is also filling his twitter timeline with talk of ‘rumps’ (?) & ‘there is a problem with some of the group’ – so we don’t even need people from Mayo to be spreading these rumours someone in the national media will do it for us. Anyway I will be unfollowing and I don’t buy said paper anyway. The fact that the Mayo board got him a jersey and invited him to that event just makes me cringe and curl up into a ball – I really really hope that never happens again.
    As for Philly McMahon – he is a dirty filthy player & managed to go under radar this year due to others in spotlight – if I ever had to watch my son at his antics on the field I would also cringe, in fact I couldn’t even watch.
    You’re right WJ, time to take a break frm social media & step back from the lot for a while.

  104. MaigheoGalinGaillimh, agree, however I believe the whole jersey thing stems from a sick girl from Mayo challanging Brolly to wear it if Mayo wins so will give him a pass on that one, not on anything else.

  105. I believe SR and his selectors made a bad mistake by replacing Clarke but I believe it was just that ….a mistake. It does however bring their credibility into question somewhat. I hope the players still have faith in them. That’s the important thing.

  106. Can people not let it go? Rochford made a decision after careful consideration with his management team and after analyzing all available statistical data. He more than likely was considering it for a number of weeks but was still sticking with Clarke. I have it on very good authority that Hennelly was in consideration for a recall long before the replay! Rochford made a decision. That is what management is all about, a manager lives and dies by his decisions. It didn’t work. He publicly explained his reasons for the decision and publicly admitted it didn’t work. What more do people want?
    Looking back now, Horan lost us the 2013 final, hands down, by a number of poor decisions made on the day. Also, in the 2014 he refused to go all defensive and see out the game when we were 5 up with minutes to go. He left his full back line exposed to the aerial threat of Donaghy and the rest is history. However, Horan seems to have escaped relatively unharmed from the level of criticism that Rochford is currently subjected to.
    We love a bitching session in Mayo, that’s for sure. If anyone thinks that Rochford, and maybe even more particularly McEntee, would be influenced by the so-called “Breaffy mafia” or any other external vested interest, then they know nothing about the 2 men in question. I think a man like McEntee, that trained under the watchful eye of the hovering RUC helicopters for years, couldn’t give two shites what anyone outside the group thinks. Rightly so.
    As for Brolly? He confuses me. A number of months ago he was complaining about the levels of commitment that players currently give in their attempts to be successful. He ranted that they live like hermits, don’t go for pints (like his Derry team did!), train too many times a week (his Derry team trained twice a week) etc etc etc. Now he criticizes and mocks our players for losing and NOT having the attitude needed to win! Brolly would want to make his mind up which side of the fence he is sitting on. Funny thing is, he wasn’t THAT influential to Derrys AI success. He rode on the shoulders of real men like Enda Gormley, Henry and Seamus Downey, Anthony Tohill and Kieran McKeever. He didn’t even feature in the top 5 scorers for Derry that year!

  107. Yes Mayomad, it’s very annoying as I do would also admire his work on organ donation. I just can’t stand the individualisation and mocking nature of those articles and also his tweets.
    Best not full myself with negative energy over him, not worth it. The feelings he rises up in me make me think what those lads he targets must fell.
    Have a good week all.

  108. Pebblesmeller, I’m totally over the goalie decision (& in past few days the loss of the AIF), I’ve seen it in the same light since day one, it was a decision made by management, just not a good one that didn’t work out.

  109. Didn’t expect to be reading about cows cleanings on here but that was the funniest post i’ve seen in this place.

    Still cant let go of the Parsons incident. The coward that assaulted him is walking around with another medal in his pocket. Eight match officials and 40 television cameras all missed it?. Not a fucking word said about it. A complete fucking thug and he got away with it. Video footage of this thug committing this crime should be circulated to all and sundry. Some camera somewhere must have captured it.

    Dont konw why Parsons didn’t make more of it and stay laying flat out for a few minutes on the grass. Giving time for the incident to be replayed on the big screen for Maurice Deegan to view. We need to wise up. Next time (and there will be a next time) that one of our players is assaulted by a cowardly thug, we need to ensure that the cowardly thug gets the line.

    Poor Tom Parsons name is now added to the John Finn 1985 club.

  110. Does anyone have any more info from the weekends club games?
    It would be a refreshing change of topic if anyone had anything from any games other than Aghamore – Ballintubber from Senior or Intermediate. A lot of fringe players were playing, in particular young forwards, how did they get on scoring from play?

  111. It is very obvious that some people are using Rochfords decision regarding the goalies to launch a proxy attack on certain players because of the players coup last year, its over, time to move on.
    The county A minor final was played yesterday and won by Castlebar against an amalgamation of Charlestown and Kilmovee. The standout player on the field, apart from the Mitchels keeper, was a young lad from Kilmovee, a Junior club. He was a minor on this years county team and is a genuine prospect for the county in the future. The sad reality however is that it is very likely to be his last final in McHale Park due to the club set up in this county. He will drop off the radar due to lack of exposure of playing senior football. This is not criticism of any club, it is just the reality that without some form of divisional amalgamations that would allow the best junior and intermediate club players the chance to improve and develop by playing senior football, then we will continue as a county to lose great players. Just because something was tried in the past and didn’t work out as planned doesn’t mean it can’t be looked at again. Are we that arrogant that we can ignore a system that seems to have worked in the most successful county in the Ireland?

  112. @EastMayo Joe
    I was at U16b final two years ago and a strongly built Kilmovee player was their best player. I assume it’s the same lad. Looked in appearance something like a young Frank McGlynn if you were to place him.

  113. You have to have sympathy for Rochford, he never expected or experienced the level of scrutiny that the Mayo job entails. If it had been a Dublin Kerry final it would have all been forgotten about by now. But with the media obsession with Mayo’s tendency to self-implode so spectacularly on the biggest day we are likely to raking over the coals of this one for months to come. Sorry for you WJ no summer hols yet.

  114. If anyone doubts the unity in our squad then maybe they should read the comments below of Ballina man Evan Regan, club-mate of David Clarke:

    Evan Regan has no doubt that Mayo team-mate Rob Hennelly will bounce back from his All-Ireland final blunder and return to the county panel better than ever in 2017. Hennelly suffered a nightmare moment when a routine catch was spilled leading to a Dublin penalty, converted by Diarmuid Connolly, and resulting in his subsequent black card. But Mayo forward Regan is confident that Hennelly will continue with Stephen Rochford’s squad next year and seek redemption.

    “Obviously Rob had a tough day but I think it’s very unfair that a lot of the blame is being put onto him. We had a lot of time as a team after that incident to rectify it. There were mistakes made all over the field. It’s just not fair to put the focus on one man,” said Regan. “And I know he’ll be the first man on the pitch at training every night. That’s a fact, he’ll be there so he’ll bounce back and he’ll have the support of the whole team and county so I’m not too worried about him.”

    As a free-taker himself, Regan (22) has great sympathy for Cillian O’Connor after his late miss cost Mayo a shot at extra-time but he still considers him “the best free-taker in the country”. Mayo’s chance to finally end their 65-year Sam Maguire famine was badly scuppered by Lee Keegan’s black-card dismissal on the stroke of half-time but despite its detractors, Regan sees the benefits if implemented consistently across the board by referees and believes a video referee and more consultation with umpires would improve the situation. “When it’s done properly I think it is effective. As a forward, it stops the back pulling and dragging out of you as much, I think clarity is the big thing that needs to be sorted out. Different referees have different interpretations of it and seem to implement it differently,” he said “It’s very difficult for the referees as well, they don’t really have much help and it’s split-second decisions whether it’s a black, yellow or red. Maybe something like video could be useful and use of the umpires as well could be a lot better at times.”

  115. That’s him JP, Cathal Horan is his name. It’s an awful shame that there is no mechanism that would allow players like him the opportunity to further their development by playing at the highest level possible while still remaining with their home club be they junior or intermediate.

  116. Well I suppose playing with Sarsfields is of benefit to him? Charlestown haven’t being going well at underage. Kilmovee would traditionally be division 3 underage or B standard. In this way he to got play at A championship level and test himself against Division one teams.
    If we was on the minor panel I am sure he will be an option in two years for U21.
    Senior level I assume he is already togging with Kilmovee? Again probably the right level for now rather than going in against strongly conditioned seniors.
    He was quite comfortable on the ball so as he naturally develops I expect to see that lad again.

  117. I read earlier in the year that Michael Solan is looking after the Senior Development Academy this year. Does anybody know what players are involved in this at the moment.

  118. Good article and it points to a truly great team – Mayo! They don’t deal in excuses however justifiable. Keegan epitimozies this attitude.
    That said, I think the incident that caused Tom Parsons head injury needs to be thrashed out. If he was head butted then that needs to be brought into the public domain and the culprit named, shamed and BANNED.

  119. East Mayo Joe
    I saw this lad play years ago and I thought at the time he had something special. He needs to be involved and I’m sure the development squads have him in their sights.

  120. I’ll take your word for it Joe. I haven’t seen him since he was 16 about the size of a strong minor at the time. I take it he has developed much bigger since. That will stand him in good stead for claiming an U21 spot in the next few years as it’s a big step up in physicality from minor.

  121. Could posters name six pacey forwards from whom a couple might emerge over the course of the next year?

    Regan and Loftus are there and we have to give them time to mature over the league and championship. But who else?

    Some possibilities and I’ll bow to others’ superior knowledge of the scene:

    Reape – not sure of his pace

    Tommy Conroy: ditto

    James Durcan: blistering pace from what I’ve seen but why no place with Mitchels?

    Mickey C: maybe those injuries will clear up

  122. I think that we have to move on now . Nothing said here or anywhere else will change the past. I am sure the players and management will learn from the past. The old saying comes to mind. ” The person who never made a mistake never made anything”

    Hopefully we will unearth some new talent who have the commitment required at this level. It may be a good idea for many of the bloggers on this site to start attending club games in Mayo. They will see different players performing and their attendance will boast the game at ground level. What better way to pass a couple of hours, Much better that watching the telly. Then they will be able to give an informed opinion of different players. There is the odd person on this site talking about different players making the County Panel and these same players are out with long term injuries or have lost form. GET OUT AND GO A MATCH AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN . If your own club is not playing then go and see some other game

  123. I wouldn’t put pace as the only criteria you are looking for, need ample pace in between the ears…..wouldn’t like to have used pace as the only Criteria for COC and Andy….our quickest thinking forwards by a mile!

  124. Reape is quick in the way that Aidan Kilcoyne was quick.
    Might not think it but Irwin and Duffy are quick over ten yards which is a gift to have. Once you’re out in front you’ve won the footrace.
    The main thing is to have evasive speed using your brain like Kevin Mc.

  125. The 2013 final was not lost by the sideline far from it, dublin scored 1 point in 23 minutes in the first half , they were gifted a goal by you know who. How many points did mayo not score in this period. they were gifted another point after half time, dublin were faster and better then, than they are now ,the same result in 2016 as in 2013 with a different system the first game they should have won easily but for blunders x2. the defence in the last game for the final 10 minutes was in tatters ,nobody shadowed mcmen– replacement when he came on , cosgrove played in gilroys team some years back. so much for all the analysing , donaghy did not score the goal in 2014 ,the man that was shadowing donoghue ,went bird watching ,it happened against Tyrone he wasnt as tall as donaghy ,nobody mentioned a plan for this .dont forget Pearse park in 2010 .the manager looking at his watch. o dear me is it that time already.

  126. heartache, those blunders were not blunders, they happened in milliseconds and were not avoidable by the 2 unlucky lads to get the last touch on them. we lost the replay by dint of bad reffing and a goalie that was put under crazy pressure by management. the ball that robbie dropped would normally be caught blindfolded, it was shear lack of match practice at the high level that caused the problem.

  127. Thanks Maigheo go Deo for pointing out when that headbutting incident occurred during the game.
    Will have to watch it now I guess ?
    In all seriousness we should all be writing to the County Board demanding they make a formal complaint to HQ. It will only happen again and again otherwise.

  128. If the incident in question was the one @39 minutes, calling it a headbutt is a leap to say the least. The main camera picks it up, but even in HD it’s hard to make out what happened. Most of the attention was directed at the melee happening 20 meters away.

    A linesman was jogging towards Philly and Tom at the time, he was looking right at it. It’s a stretch to believe that he saw something and brushed it under the carpet.

  129. Jaden.

    So maybe Toms eye/brow/forehead started to bleed by itself and required 7 stitches. Just like John Finns jaw snapped of its own accord in 1985. There is more than a fair share of filth, thuggery and cowardice in that team i regret to inform you. I believe what i see with my eyes. Not what mumbling Des etc would like you to believe. Your 2 in a row is tarnished forever.

    Seamus Thornton. Well said. Spot on.

  130. @Jim the Flag what exactly did you see? Nobody seems to have seen anything only u!! To be honest don’t think Dublin give a dam if anyone in Mayo think there All Ireland is tarnished. # time to move on.

  131. Jaden did you not hear??It was actually Lee Keegan that caused that gash..from the sideline..#thingsleedid

  132. Not every injury on a pitch is the result of a premeditated assault. From what I can see, there is a clash of heads, but other than that, there is little can be said definitively.

    Either Tom was headbutted deliberately in plain view of the linesman, who choose for some reason to ignore this, or two guys tussling hit heads.

    Applying Occam’s Razor, the latter is more likely. Maybe you see it differently.

  133. I personally dont think there was a headbutt. Otherwise there is no way Parsons just walks off without losing his cool with the ref. The seam on a glove can cut you open. Tom s taller than Mcmahon, can clash handy enough in a manner where contact occurs and would hit Tom around there.

  134. It wasn’t exactly an accidental clash. McMahon ran after Parsons. He hardly ran after him for a chat.

  135. East mayo Joe has touched on a crucial point there. Senior club setup is deeply flawed in Mayo. We have to look at bringing back divisional sides, except this time make it junior and intermediate players. Last time it was tried it (early 2000s) was just junior players only. they all generally got hammered in the senior championship. Its simply impossible to play for mayo if you are from a junior club. The step up in speed, conditioning, ability is just too big. Thats 25 odd clubs immediately out of commission when selecting players for the county senior team.
    The next Ciaran MacDonald could easily be born in a small junior club. Would our system capture and develop him into a county senior? I highly doubt it.

    There is a more sinister side to this issue too. I personally know of two high profile, exceptional young players from junior clubs (current & recent underage stars with mayo) who have come under sustained pressure in the last couple of years to move to their neighbouring established senior rival clubs, in order to enhance their inter county career prospects. This is an absolute disgrace, and it goes against the whole ethos of the GAA. One life, one club?? my f**king arse it is.

    We are all here passionately discussing potential new talent for next year. The same old clubs are being looked at, as if theres magically a colm cooper we somehow missed hiding in plain sight for Breaffy, or Balintubber or Castlebar, or Ballina. Of course their isn’t.

    Any player at these clubs good enough to play for mayo is already well and truly on the panel, or was extensively tried out. The odd exception might be a young u21 like Liam Irwin who appears to be developing rapidly.

    We need to do some innovative thinking to broaden our talent base in this county. Kerry do this brilliantly. Unfortunately i don’t expect this to change in Mayo as their is little appetite among the top clubs for divisional sides to play senior championship football in the county.
    Rant over!

  136. Mac’s Left Boot… This is a serious issue and something that needs t be looked at again by the county board. I was Kerry about 7 years ag for a summer and did some training with a local junior club( where Declan o Sullivan was from), I didn’t really grasp the structure in Kerry until then… I left thinking no wonder they win so much. In short they are tapping into a much wider pool of players…

    Kerry don’t have better star players than Mayo. They don’t naturally produce better footballers. That’s a myth. But the average footballer in Kerry better and he is playing at a higher level than his counterpart in Mayo. The structure of Kerry football facilitates the production of more players capable of playing at senior intercounty level. That’s core to their success.

    I’ve brought this up before. Until it’s resolved we are not operating as efficiently. We don’t utilise our resources as well as Kerry. They may have the odd lull but they consistently produce team after team…

  137. Not sure it was a head butt but we gave as good as we got on that day and the first day. I’m no fan of Philly mc Mahon but I’m sure the dubs are not fans of some of our lads. Let them enjoy their win and let’s regroup to go again next year cause I believe we are very close.

    The dubs won fair and square and good luck to jaden, Martin the dub and other contributors. Enjoy the victory.

    We’ll be back next year to hopefully take Sam off them. Maigh eo abu

  138. How would I rate the year overall?
    Facts:
    – No silverware for the first time in 6 years.
    – Very poor league campaign.
    – Beaten at home in Connacht championship by an average Galway Team.
    – Huffed and puffed through the easiest route we will ever get to an All Ireland Final (Got a little help along the way too!).
    – Baulked at the chance to take Dublin down the first day, when the elements helped tilt the odds in our fsvour, and the black card favoured us.
    – A one point loss in the replay flattered us, as Dublin were really in control towards the end.

    We can complain about the referee all we want, but the biggest damage was self inflicted.

    This was the poorest Dublin team we have seen in the past 5 years, and yet we still didn’t take advantage.

    Overall, I rate this year as poor from a footballing and management perspective, and a backward step. Another glorious failure in the final cannot gloss over the fact that it was a poor season overall.

  139. I disagree DB9.
    We won the u21 championship.
    We established our best defence in this run.
    It is still a high quality Dublin team and we got closer than last year.
    It was not an easy run to the final. Tyrone are a good side.
    Looking into 2017 we can have a lot of optimism.

  140. @Heartache, “so much for all the analysing , donaghy did not score the goal in 2014”. No one said he did. It was the aerial threat he posed that caused the panic in the Mayo defence. Another player, or two, back there would have helped.

    @Jaden, “A linesman was jogging towards Philly and Tom at the time, he was looking right at it. It’s a stretch to believe that he saw something and brushed it under the carpet” Why is that such a stretch to believe when Hurson, the linesman on the Hogan stand side in first half, did exactly that with the Small incident!

  141. Ridiculous comment on Dublin’s two in a row being tarnished. A resounding well done to them from this Mayo person.

  142. Who caused the aerial threat v Tyrone, who caused the aerial threat v dublin
    the same result against Dublin ,2013 -2016 ,Dublin were better in 2013 than they are now that is fact, and is in their scoring in 2016 ,nobodys legs last forever, this is also fact .The Mayo defence was a shambles in the last 15 minutes this is also fact, The dublin defence was on top in this period resulting in Mayo not scoring ,i had a bet with a guy re the sweeper kmc that Mayo would never win a final with him at the back, i won the bet ,but i should not have won it , re the drawn game ,Then roll on to the second game i was correct i am sorry to say, The management lost this game in two ways .1 the goalie, they could have corrected this mistake somewhat by eyeballing the Dublin subs. 2 brogan came on around 47 min ,the sub at 55 min by Mayo was a disaster ,a fast defender should have come on at 57min to shadow kev mcm replacement he was the only threat ,brogans legs are gone , why bastick in the drawn game ,it is complete bullshit about the Dublin bench ,there are only 2 from the dub under 21 .imo who will make it, alan brogan came off the bench in last years final and scored a point against a aging Kerry side, Gavin put his eggs in one basket and started kevmc and Andrews ,had the Mayo management done their homwork we think not, it is very annoying to someone who is having a big bet.. Friday around 1.0clock the team was announced with clarke in goal, by friday night it was around the world and further afield that there was a change , one has to ask is this defence stragety working .it could work, but you need fast man to man markers, are they in the county . The mayo no14 was playing full back at one stage not bad for s 33 year old

  143. Can someone explain what they do differently in Kerry regards club set up?

    A number of the u21 winning side were from junior clubs, id hate to think they’ll be lost to the intercounty team due to this.

  144. Niall, in short Kerry have their senior clubs…however players from lower level clubs form regional teams eg: South Kerry, Mid Kerry etc. So, ‘South Kerry’ is made up of the best junior (and intermediate I think) players…allowing them to play at a higher level…so, the average footballer in Kerry is playing at a higher level. It’s simple whereas in Mayo if you’re a very good player playing with a junior club then you’re never exposed to senior football unless your club gets promoted twice.

  145. DB9 You are a barrel of optimism. If our year was such a failure I shudder to think how Cork Derry Ros etc etc must feel about their years work

  146. On the Tom Parsons cut, from what I see in the clip McMahon impedes Tom and a grapple ensues, the movement of head actually comes from Tom towards McMahon not the other way round. Maybe let that one lie else Tom could be the one sanctioned.

  147. DB9 is right though about our defence falling apart in final 10 mins. Dublin had loads of oppprtunities to score but didn’t.

    Apart from that it’s s very negative and glass half empty opinion. Not balanced at all.

  148. Hi WJ,

    It started with Ciaran McDonald, continued with Keith Higgins and Cillian O Connor and was cemented with this blog: a deep affinity and admiration for all things Mayo. Thanks for the time you put into gathering information and relaying your thoughts in an articulate and perspicacious way and encouraging others to do the same.

    I do feel silence will be golden for the achievement of the silver and agree with the poster who questioned the openness and availability of players post the drawn game.

    I am from Galway and can recognise in others from the west my own traits of affability and lack of guile but feel this can be manipulated in our golden age of communication. Still, keep the belief. Your footballers are fantastic.

  149. @ Niall, you asked a question about what they do differently in Kerry in relation to their county championship.

    This weekend is a good example of what happens in Kerry. The county final is between Dr. Crokes (a Club team) and Kenmare District (a Divisional team). The Kenmare District divisional team is made up of four club teams (Kenmare, Templenoe, Tuosist and Kilgarvan). These are either junior or intermediate club teams. This weekend Kenmare and Templenoe play together in the county final under the Kenmare District banner but next weekend they play against each other in the Kerry county intermediate final.

    The purpose of this is to give the better players from weaker/smaller clubs an opportunity to play at a higher standard of football, i.e. senior football. There is an article in The Indo today by Colm Keys in relation to the Kerry county final this Sunday explaining this.

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