Following Mayo's footballers

A few thoughts on next year’s provincial draw

2017-draw

Photo: RTE.ie

I was out last night and so was spared RTÉ’s coverage of the 2017 provincial championship draws. Sounds like I didn’t miss much.

The first thing to say about the draws – after making the annual observation that they’re on indecently early (though I do understand it’s because of scheduling and all that) – is that it’s good to have something in the future to focus on. Our latest near-miss with Sam gives us a fresh scab to be picking at but now that we can start to think in some kind of tangible way about next summer’s action, the need to look back in despair at how this one got away from us is lessened. Well, a bit anyway.

The draw itself is okay from our perspective. As Connacht draws go, it’s on the tougher side of things, though still a campaign that your average Ulster county would happily accept in a heartbeat. Leaving aside Sligo for the minute, it’s a draw that in all likelihood means we’ll have to make it past both Galway and Roscommon to get our paws back on the Nestor Cup. That’s always a path that’s a bit trickier than outside observers might credit.

For proof of this you only have to go back a few months. After beating London, we had Galway in the semi to take care of before an expected showdown with Division One rivals Roscommon. We all recall well how that one turned out for us.

Next year, we’re faced with the same kind of Connacht campaign, only Galway are now the reigning Connacht champions and this time we have to go to Salthill. Once again the Rossies have the handy side of the draw and it’d be a major upset – notwithstanding the Sheepstealers’ proclivity for turning the easiest task in the championship into hard work – if they don’t make the final.

This year we came into the provincial campaign in a lackadaisical mindset and paid for this by getting shunted off into the qualifiers. The way things turned out, this did us no harm at all – those two qualifier games in MacHale Park were two of my favourite Mayo GAA days of the year – but it’s not a road we’d want to be taking every year all the same.

This year we played a total of nine championship games. Ignoring the possibility of replays, a front door campaign all the way to September next year would involve just six outings. Much and all as we enjoy seeing the lads in action regularly over the summer, it’s obvious that the scenic route isn’t the optimum one to be aiming for.

Winning back the Connacht title next year won’t be a gimme for us but we’ll head into 2017 as deserved favourites to do so. Last night’s draw confirms that we’ll need to be better prepped for Connacht than we were this year but the lame way we lost to Galway last June should give us every incentive to do ourselves justice within the province next year.

Assuming we do this, winning back the Nestor Cup should also mean that we hit Croke Park in August in the right mindset for the major battles that’ll then be facing us. For now, though, those possible tests lie once again in the far distance and it’s the local stuff we’ll need to concentrate on first once a new year of football gets underway for us. First on the list for us, then, is Sligo so let’s see how that one goes and take it from there.

Comments

  1. Agree WJ One game at a time. I like the idea of heading out in early June when most other teams have started or about embark on the new season. Sligo cannot be taken for granted. They have a lot of young players coming through a senior level. A home game is a wonderful way to start the championship.

  2. It seems there was a lot of shite spoken last night during the draw, but the winning entry for me has to be Jonny Cooper.

    Something along the lines of “Carlow/Wexford will be a tough challenge for Dublin in the quarter final”

    My God, yeah i can see Carlow turning up at Croke Park in June and turning on the style with winning football as they traditionally have done for decades. Dublin will really struggle to get over the line in that one.

    Why cant Cooper say what he really thought. Like “how high up does the electronic score board go in Croke Park because we expect to post a massive scoreline against such poor opposition”.

    I cant see the point in having fella’s commenting about the draw if all they are going to say is complete shite from the Jim Gavin school of motoring.

    90 minutes to draw a few balls out of a few pots. Well done RTE.

  3. mayo husband says:

    Jim the Flag you did you listen to what Copper said in the rest of the interview?? He actually defended Mayo from what Brolly was saying. Tom Parsons was also talking up Sligo as if they were Kerry!! They all do it. I think we gotta move on from the Dublin bashing #borning.

  4. It would be nice to go into the championship as league champions. Even allowing for experimentation especially in the forwards this is something Mayo should be capable of, they need to win something.
    Managed to watch 1st half of replay tonight for 1st time, Jesus weep, that scab won’t heal for a long while ………

  5. What happens in League and Connacht is an almost an irrevelevant result of us doing the right thing.
    – Blooding fancied newbies
    – Resting those who need it
    – Getting in line for physical and mental peak for the year peak
    Let us accept the focus

  6. Puckout, I dont think we will be aiming to win the league but it would be damn nice to win something. We should have depth at that stage even allowing for the resting given to the core group to compete well in division 1. I think the defense will be very solid and if Gibbons and some of those u21 lads are back and ready then maybe we have a shot at the league but it won’t be by dint of our best 15 on the field in march or April. Mayo winning the league in 2017 may be down to the likes of Reape,Loftus and co drilling goals on wet pitches. I’d take any medal at this stage and truly believe that the best is yet to come for this group of players, they are too good not to win Sam. And they will be stronger in 2017, I bet any money on that.

  7. Some day sooner or later New York is going to upset somebody’s apple cart. It may well be next year and may well result in Mayo getting abye into the semi final as it’s almost certain that NY won’t be able to assemble a team to travel due to visa issues etc. Indeed it is not impossible to imagine both NY and London winning their first round fixtures.
    I would always prefer to see us going the short route to Croke Park as the qualifiers can be a minefield. If we are going into Connacht half cooked we are very vulnerable if we come up against one of the stronger Ulster teams, or indeed the new Tipp/Clare outfits who will be at near peak fitness in mid summer.

  8. Leantimes says:

    AndyD,. someday what you say will come true! But I’d expect NY to be able to have a team to complete in Connacht, with enough American passports, green cards, whatever it takes. But you never know, Donald Trump might build another wall, and the Mexicans will hardly pay for all the walls he wants to build!

  9. to win just once says:

    Johnny Cooper at least showed respect both to Carlow Wexford and more importantly to Mayo and our forwards. That derry imbecile shows no respect for anyone. Just listen to that windbag of contradictions. Mayo players have too much clout yet within minutes he tells us that a load of derry players walked out of Co panel because they have no say and are being dictated to by their manager. Now RTE have their fair share of poor gaelic football pundits but incredibly they wheeled out jokin joe, the worst of them all. All that was missing was Tommie carr drawing out the teams.

  10. Joe Brolly is a parody at this stage. Much of what he says is true, intelligent and on the money but like the class brat, he acts the Gobshite at times. That’s Joe, take him or leave him.

    Funnily enough for a county who seemingly equates every word he says as heresy and a fatwah put on him, I’m surprised at the amount of gigs Mayo people put in Joe’s way, the amount of selfies and photos and invites he gets to Mayo associated events.

    Brolly actually is a Good Samaritan. he gave away a kidney. Everything else pales into insignificance after that. I once bought into the faux outrage. Writing to Ryan Nugent or Ryal Nugent asking what fees both O Rourke and Brolly received. Ryal replied politely telling me to basically fuck off. I did. I no longer buy an RTÉ licence.

    Don’t allow the media to twist you. Ignore it, don’t pay for it or treat it as guys no different than yourself who are lucky to get paid what we do for free.

  11. Maigh Eo Go Deo says:

    All this bitching about Brolly is pathetic. Why do people get so worked up about anything he or any other pundit or journalist says.

  12. Mayo husband.

    Tom Parsons talking up Sligo. In our last 2 meetings with them they beat us in 2010 and we just scraped by them by 2 pints in 2012 i believe. He knows. He was there.

    Cooper or Copper talking up Carlow and Wexford. I am not even going to check Carlows record v Dublin but i’d say its a while since Carlow gave Dublin a “tough challenge.”

    Not Dublin bashing. Just stating the facts and pointing out shite talk when it surfaces.

    You will recognise Dublin bashing when you see it. That will be accompanied by facts too. By the way did they ask Parsons how he got that eye injury?

  13. WJ, just see now that my last post was deleted. Re-read my original comment again, and I understand where you are coming from.

    I was trying to make the point that, from my own experience anyway, there is a vast majority of supporters who would be really inclined to agree with the points raised by Anthony Hennegan in his article in the WP.

    Yet, in the Mayo News, and some other publications, the reports on the match, and opinion pieces, are exactly in the vein that Hennegan is talking about. It’s time to stop blaming everyone and everything else and look at the real issues. Until we do do so, we are destined to keep repeating the same old mistakes again and again.

    Can we have some constructive criticism and comments instead of the usual replies of – ‘move on’, ‘we’re the second best team in the land’, ‘next year will be our year’, ‘stop being so negative’, ‘we didn’t have enough luck’, ‘the referee robbed us’ etc.

  14. Mayo husband says:

    Ah come on Jim the Flag Sligo are you serious!! How much did Roscommon beat them last year by and what division in the national league are they playing in?? The point I was trying to make it that all players talk up the opposition. Correct me if I am wrong but Dublin scrapped by Wexford in 2011 before they went on to win the All Ireland. We all know that both teams will win handy but it is called respect for you opposition. What else was copper going to say. Not sure why you are bringing Tom’s eye injury into a conversation about the championship draw. For what it is worth, I agree like a few posters on this site no real hard evidence what occurred wither way.

  15. Thanks, Nephinbeg – that’s a far better way of making the point.

  16. Why are people so hung up on Brolly? Just forget about him. Personally I find “Tom” Carr the most infuriating of co-commentators/analysts, closely followed by skys Paul Earley, his underlying hatred for Mayo is getting more obvious by the match. He said “it was’nt a black card” when small hand tripped Andy, always always always sides against our lads and you can feel the blood dripping from his tongue when he has no choice but to pay us a compliment. His brother was a Gent but he’s a bollox.

    Agree with Mayo husband, Parsons and Cooper are right to show respect. Everyone does it in all sports, its just the way it is. Whats Cooper ment to say?…” Um yeah, sure we’ll hammer the shite outta Carlow, most important thing is to not get injured. Hopefully it wont rain too heavy so my fake tan does’nt run down my legs, but sure lookit, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it”…..imagine the uproar then!.

  17. HopeSpringsEternal says:

    @ Jim Flag, the last time we played Sligo we beat them by 25 points. Surely you remember it, it was our fifth Connacht title in a row. Aidan O’Shea scored all of those goals. Tom Parsons had a great game that day too. It was played in Hyde Park in Roscommon. The Taoiseach arrived in a helicopter and was dropped in the middle of the pitch (just joking) and finally you were wearing your Red and Green jumper (again just joking, borrowed from Fr. Ted). With supporters like you, who needs trolls!

    Dublin were the best team in Ireland in 2016. Our objective should be to be the best team in Ireland in 2017. Best of luck to all involved with Mayo GAA in the months and year ahead.

  18. If my memory not gone I think we beat Sligo by 20 so points

  19. I think Mayo people talk too much and don’t listen remember that saying if a fella gets a slap its because he was talkin and not listening. The moral of the story Mayo fans need to cool it go to games enjoy go home go to next enjoy it. We are over passionate lets b the silent wind behind the Mayo team. We don’t deserve to win Sam because we play n xxx amount of finals we deserve it because we are good enough to win it.this is an exceptional team think of all the good days we have had since we lost to Longford that summer. All great memories I will forget the bad days but I will always remember the good days.

  20. Juan, you are the first person to state what I have been thinking for some time – that Paul Earley cannot stand Mayo. I am surprised at this but can only come to that conclusion after his utterances, some of which made no sense. The hand-trip on Andy Moran was “technically a black card but it would have been a harsh call”. He then said that, after the drawn game, the referee would give no black cards this time unless it was absolutely clear-cut. Yea, well tell that to Lee Keegan.

  21. Juan and Finbar, totally agree with you both regarding Paul Earley, he’s a way bigger critic of Mayo than even Brolly ( Brolly seems to be challenging us to bring out the best in us) but with Early you sense he’s hoping we lose any games he commentates on………..I foolishly believed that commentators should be impartial.
    To add insult to injury Midwest Radio always gives him airtime aswell after matches, when the guy should be ignored because of his bias.
    Incidently I believe his late brother Dermot (a gent indeed) was born in Castlebar……..John Cuffe will of course know more about this than me I’d say.
    MaighEo Abú 2017

  22. corick bridge says:

    Look,no pundit will either win or lose us an all Ireland,all we can do is find the inches needed,a couple fowards would be nice,as for us criticising our team,I have done it,and heard some great players called out,S O Dowd,A Egan,J P Keane, even W J used to get the sharp end,I believe they all tried their best,that is not to say we should give them a free pass,but we should always realise how much effort they put in all year,it is better to look forward to next year and win that little cup

  23. Finbar/JJ, Personally im not bothered when some failed Rossie footballer such as Earley, does’nt like us. But its infuriating the way he tries to convince viewers that we are always at fault. The clown said that Vaughan started on Connolly in the lead up to their yellow card, when the replay clip clearly showed Connolly hauling down Vaughan off the ball!!!! The man is unbeileveable.

  24. JJ,
    You are correct, Dermot was indeed born in Castlebar. In Byrne’s pub, I believe. His father, a Lahardane man , later moved to Roscommon as a teacher. I think Dermot was about ten years old at the time.He coached my son on a couple of occasions in the late 90’s , when part of the Kildare minor panel. Indeed a true gent and didn’t forget his roots.
    I only met Paul once , enroute to C P and he was able to name relatives still in the area.

  25. I look forward to the league more than championship as championship only starts in August for real. I have said it here before that I didn’t enjoy any Mayo game during the summer.

    The journey which has always been fun has lost its appeal. I just want us to win the All Ireland and for it to be all over. Am I alone in my view ?

  26. Sean Burke says:

    I love it yew tree but i agree its getting less enjoyable , the tension following Mayo since limerick imo has been unbearable at times. Maybe we should all take a deep breath for the 17 season and just relax and enjoy it . We should all buy inflatable bannans and just be off the wall at games.

  27. Inbetweener says:

    The late minutes of Connaught v TOULOUSE tonight should be compulsory viewing for any team of any sort with winning out in mind! And while they’re at it they can be taking notes on ball handling and movement off the ball. What a game, what a ref and what a joyous occasion for all!!!!

  28. NiallMc1983 says:

    I was at the breaffy crossmolina game today. Thought crossmolina had the better forward line with loftus being the best on show as a playmaker at no.11. Definitely won his battle with Michael hall. I was disappointed with breaffys attack, don’t think Ruane scored and went off with what looked like a serious injury, Irwin scored a few but didn’t do much from play, Conor O’Shea ran around like a race horse but didn’t pose a threat. The difference really was Aiden O’Shea who dominated at midfield, was close until cross had a player sent off with 2 mins to go. After that breaffy pulled away.

  29. NiallMc1983 says:

    Fionan Duffy had a solid game also.

  30. Irwin may have been quiete from play but the freeze scored was phenomenal. Right side of field near sideline and hit it with the left, as good a free as you’ll see anywhere in any sport.
    Louise henehgan posted it on twitter.

  31. The Breaffy subs who came on did more than the starters to win it out.
    Loftus and Duffy had to live on scraps. If they were playing for Breaffy I’d say they’d have been running riot.

  32. It was actually a very good performance from Cross.missing a few key players and not much expected but the game was in the melting pot with 5 min to go.
    Conor Loftus had excellent game he has all round ability speed strength and can score.
    Breaffy even though they won the performance was poor and not a performance that would come near winning a county championship but when you have guys like hennelly and Irwin that can hit frees its a big bonus.

    Matt Ruane was stretchered off at end of match and would be a huge loss going forward for them.

    Didn’t wait for 2nd game anyone any reports on that?

  33. liberal role in the tie says:

    I thought Peadar Gardiner was class today from start to finish. Rolled back the years. Did the simple things well and ran all day making supporting runs and was always an option for a pass. Showed up a lot of younger lads on both sides! Was hoping Cross would win for his sake. Hope he continues next season. Nice to see a legend like that still doing it.
    Loftus is an impressive player. Brilliant pass in first half that could have led to a goal. And he scored a beauty in the second half. Good things to come from him for sure.
    In the other match, Aughamore hit a lot of poor wides in second half when it was there to be won. It was a poor match.

  34. Backdoor Sam says:

    Your not alone Yew Tree I feel the exact same at Mayo games especially big championship games I’m a nervous wreck kicking every ball with them looking for the next pass I’m even going to lots of club games now trying to scout new players. Would be great to win one maybe we could relax and enjoy games then. But it has been a privelege to follow and support this Mayo team they have given us great days out

  35. Knockmore got some nice direct scores at times using footpasses and their defence was a bit more physical. I think it was the difference between the teams. Knockmore have a useful half forward line.

  36. Conor loftus was outstanding today. id like to see duffy looked at in fbd too, he’s a great ball winner. Loftus already looking like a potential championship starter in 2017. The cross keeper was outstanding.

    Conor o’shea disappointed me overall, not for the first time of recent- he kicks an odd good score, gets on ball yet never seems to advance anywhere decent with it. However I thought aidan was a colossus. It makes me long for him at midfield for mayo again!

    Carolan did his chances no harm either.

    Switched off second game at ht for the rugby, as it was a woefully mediocre half of football. Far from a rugby fan either!

  37. The tactics dictated much of what was on offer in that game. SOS was brilliant throughout. I liked the cut of Robbie Fadden when he was introduced. Very hard to make a prediction about Duffy or Loftus on that game. They certainly did not do it for me.

  38. SOS wasn’t playing.
    Did you not take note that Loftus and Duffy were operating on less posession and posession that had a lot more Breaffy bodies back. They had no powerful ball winners in the middle third to help open up space quicker/better.
    Loftus for one of his scores soloed up the sideline outside his man, then cut inside the next defender and scored from 40 yards. It was a brilliant score.

  39. O SULLIVAN says:

    Yew Tree i agree with you . Once i enjoyed every win but now i am looking to see improvement with the aim of winning the Final. Not really enjoying the wins along the . i think that winning Connaught is very important in that we avoid all them back door games and the injuries that could come with them but i would not get much enjoyment from another Connaught Final Cup which when i think about it is a pity. Was at both games yesterday and I agree with most of what has been said here, I thought COS had a good game , worked hard and covered a lot of ground, a big improvement from when i saw him in last years club championship. I was dissapointed with Irwin, he did scome one exceptional free from the sideline on the right hand side but he also 3 or 4 easier ones . I still think he may have something to offer as he has a forwards brain.Hennelly kicked two long range frees from the left. Loftus and Duffy did ok. Loftus needs a birt more conditioning . Harrison has really come on physically . Kilcoyne quiet good on his kick outs

  40. I thought COS was poor in posession. He has only one instinct now which is to continue running with ball he wins towards his own goal. Then circle around and handpass it off. He doesn’t even look to see if anything on like a pass inside or if he has an opening to advance. He has an issue with his kicking technique. Specifically he is catching the ball high up with his boot and hence all these 35 yard shots he drops short nowhere even near the crossbar. He has had the exact same shot drop short a few times all season.
    Aidan Kilcoynes kickouts were very good. Very true straight flight on them n the ball drops very catchable for the receiver. He was good on short ones also.

  41. Yew tree I agree. I dont think I have enjoyed a championship game since Limerick. Pure agony. An English lady that works with me questions my sanity. Why do I put myself through it? Was watching match of the day last night and thought there are loads of teams that this happens to. But there aren’t. No team I knows gets to so many finals and then don’t cross the line. Saying that I cant wait for the league fixtures, times and dates to come out so that I can plan my away trips. Also when is FBD fixtures out? Still insane.

  42. Was at games, yesterday, I thought, Duffy,was good winning his own ball,( he is a strong lad), and good with frees.
    Conor Loftus, stylish player, good vision, he gave a cross field pass, to put team,mate in on goal, that would remind you,of his club mate, Kieran McDonald.
    I agree, with,comment, that, Conor o Shea, gets on ball, but,doesn’t, seem to be going anywhere, just across the pitch,@ giving a short pop pass.
    For a big strong lad, he should be more direct, @ he can clip over a point, which he should do more often.
    Crossmolina, put it up to Breaffy, but were overpowered, in the last few minutes.
    Two good teams.

  43. If you could have put a big strong 6 and 9 in the Crossmolina team it would have lifted them a lot. Crossmolina were the better footballers skillset but were at a big disadvantage physically on kickouts and 50:50 ball. I can’t recall them winning any long kickouts.

  44. Thanks posters for those club tie updates.

    Going back to the draw, I have to day RTE did a very good job. 90 minutes is a long time but they structured it well. They went straight to the draw for each province, then the players and some journos – Colm Keys as always effective (my God the man looks huge) – and then the panel. Lots of clichés of course (or, ‘I suppose’ to use the current GAA player speak, along with ‘look’), but some good insights too, especially from Tom Parsons and Henry Shefflin.

    And you have to jizz the thing up a bit. If it was left to the blazers, the whole country would have been asleep in 30 seconds.

    Looking forward to baiting my Sligo friend, who’ll be full of it on what Sligo will do to Mayo, with the line, ‘I expect Mayo will have to travel to the Big Apple for the QF; it’ll be very expensive for the County Board; and maybe ye’ll be better off, ye won’t want to be hit again with 6:25’.

  45. NiallMc1983 says:

    JP I totally agree, I thought cross had the more skilful footballers. Conor loftus and Duffy are both in need of conditioning, loftus needs more strength and Duffy needs to lean down. He went out of the game in the second half because of fitness.

    At one stage Conor O’Shea got the ball in the Conor and sprinted full pelt backwards towards his own goal until he got to the halfway line. If he had gone towards the goals he had 2 men to beat for a goal chance. He is a very good ball carrier though and would expect him to improve.

  46. to win just once says:

    Agree with some posters re supporting Mayo. I feel like a player at times unable to enjoy the actual game but getting a great buzz after when we win. I am so desperate to see us win AI that the game itself is almost endured rather than enjoyed. Having said that, there is nowhere else I d rather be and this team has given us incredible days out. Theres more to it than just the game itself. Theres the anticipation, the talking about it beforehand, , the meeting up with family and friends on matchday, the absolute agony or ecstasy afterwards. Come to think about it, it defines my summer and my year. Some have advised me take a step back but I wouldnt swop it for anything. At yesterdays games. AOS very good, COS has potential but needs lots of advice, Loftus has potential but needs strength and conditioning before he will make it at top level. Anyway its not always too easy to judge Co players in club game.

  47. Paddy in Dublin says:

    I am sick and tired of the media building up Dublin and their players into some sort of ‘superhuman’ species which is nonsense. The last night Joe Brolly was going on about Johnny Cooper sipping water while the rest of the guys were munching an occasional biscuit, so what , its October and these guys have to live an ordinary life.

    What I am trying to say here is that I attend most major Club Championship and lots of league matches in Dublin and sometimes you do see these Dublin players in a different light when they play for their respective clubs.

    Stephen Cluxton- excellent goalie but mostly plays out field for his Club but always shows committment.

    Johnny Cooper-Bang average club player and never really features much for Na Fianna-never stands out.

    Philly McMahon-Solid for Ballymun who are a very good club team but would never be a game changer for them.

    Davy Byrne-Plays for Olafs, D3 team, does not stand out.

    Mick Fitsimons-Bang average club player who can sometime struggle in Club matches, plays for Cuala.

    James McCarthy-again like Philly, plays for Ballymun, but in my opinion never plays as well for Ballymun as he should.

    Cian O’Sullivan-Great athlete but in my opinion, can be very average with club, Kilmacud, not a game changer atall.

    John Small-Good club player with Ballymun, his heart appears in it as his father is their Chairman. Again the Ballymun players are generally committed to the club.

    Brian Fenton-Plays with Raheny and always looks good I have to say, he appears committed.

    Michael Darragh McAuley-Up and down , when he is switched on is very good but can be absolutely awful at times. He played well all last year but other times he can be a liability for them.

    Denis Bastick- Bang average Club player.

    Paul Flynn-Does not play a lot for Fingallions who are D3 but when he does he makes a big difference-think he is on the wane though.

    Diarmuid Connolly-Absolutely excellent most of the time for Vincents, basically unmarkable in Dublin Club football, none of the other Dublin backs can handle him. Always delivers for his club.

    Ciaran Kilkenny-Works hard for Castleknock, but I never seen him blow the lights out like Connolly, can be marked in Club matches.

    Dean Rock-Plays with Ballymun, always kicks his frees but can be kept quite in many matches, does not seem to be as committed to club as some of his Ballymun teammates.

    Kevin McMeniman -Always works hard for Judes, does not always deliver, can be very wasteful at times.

    Bernard Brogan-Used to be very good for his club, Plunketts but can be blotted out of club matches quite easily nor, definately on the wane.

    Eoghan O’Gara-Can be average in Club matches, very wasteful.

    Cormac Costello-Has been playing quite poorly for his club in recent times and can be kept quite.

    Point I am making is that some of these guys are not all they are made out to be and can be blown up into something they are not. I feel that they are on the wane and the guys that will be replacing the likes of Cluxton, Flynn, Brogan and Michael Darragh are not great.

  48. Paddy

    Why are you wasting your time with a post like that? Do you really care what a half baked ” journalist” thinks about dublin? You shouldn’t, Joe Brolly has proven numerous times to be a fake with no idea about the actual game. One of the o se’s was on the paper this week pretending that dublins millions and population and home stadium advantage don’t count, this guy has 5 allirelands and should know better than to try and kid anyone. The populations in Meath and Kildare are dwarfed by dublin and have thrown the towel in, explain how that can be fixed mr o se please. Paddy, We have to worry about getting our fellas lined up to take Sam home next year at dublins expense please God. Let dublin enjoy their winter and water.

  49. NiallMc1983 says:

    went to Castlebar ballaghadreen today, Castlebar won 3-13 to 1-13 and were well worth the score line. Was a very entertaining game with some great long range scores which nullified the sweepers both teams were playing. Neil Douglas was very good, his movement off the ball is excellent and he never stopped running. Scored some nice frees but missed a few too. Clan Costello and paddy durcan had excellent games too. Andy Moran tried hard but looked tired. Barry regan was fantastic from frees. Akram has a very good first half, he is going to be a serious asset for Mayo and out of all the 21’s on show today and yday looked the best. Danny Kirby came on after 55 mins but didn’t do much. Castlebar kicked a few wides but no1 was afraid to take a shot on, not this endless recycling that we see a lot these days.

  50. NiallMc1983 says:

    Some scoring from ballintubber today, 4-4 from Cillian O’Connor despite
    being taken off after 40 mins

  51. The winner will come from the Mitchels v Tubber semi. Unless Breaffy can motivate the O’Sheas et al on the day…

  52. Inbetweener says:

    Condolences to the family of Anthony Foley and all the rugby fraternity on their tragic loss. Again we re reminded of the fragility of life!

  53. How can the motivation of the OShea brothers be in question by anyone posing to be a Mayo supporter? For me there was 2 outstanding performers over the weekend in Andy and Aidan. We are so lucky here in Mayo to have guys like these playing county football. I should mention Cillian but I will leave that one until next weekend. Of the younger players on view I would be happy with COS, Kenny, Akram, Plunkett, and Fadden for starters.

  54. Backdoor Sam says:

    Anyone know is Adam Gallagher back playing football? Was very impressed with him in the league a few years ago I know he was injured but he seemed to have dropped off the radar

  55. Yes Gallagher is playing ball again after injury, apparantly motoring well. Club with Mayo Gaels and for NUIG – played for NUIG v Mayo in first FBD game this year

  56. Backdoor Sam says:

    Thanks KL hopefully he will get another run in the FBD and the League

  57. NiallMc1983 says:

    Won his first senior title with Mayo gaels recently winning div 1c.

  58. James Fleming says:

    Can anyone tell me why doesnt the team who ends up as runners up in The All Ireland Finals does not receive medals like they do in The FA Cup Final?

  59. Erris Head says:

    Haven’t posted or been on here much since the final. Just coming round to myself again.
    The appetite next year will be more fierce than ever before. I watched it in Australia and couldn’t make it home because I was home in the Summer and made it to the Tyrone quarter final. It’s nearly as bad not being home for the final as it is losing the bloody thing! Never again. I’ve told herself that if we make it again to the final, I’ll be on a plane home for the third week in September!

    It’s probably been done to death already but the statistic of the amount of time of us being behind in an All Ireland Final compared to being in the lead must ring alarm bells. I’d bet it’s somewhere around a 95% \ 5% split.
    It always seemed like we were happy to be drawing level in both games against Dublin. Don’t know what the hell it is but must be something mentally about it with the players. Should really have kicked on after Keegan’s goal. A point or two at after that would have really put it up to Dublin and they would have been reeling. Instead, we got sucked into some dirty stuff with them and we lost concentration.

    Looking forward to the league already. Must start looking at what tv packages (league and Championship) are available to the diaspora for next year. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get one tailored to your county, i.e. only sign up for games your county are involved in. It’s pricey getting the whole gaago season package.

    Would it be a good idea Willie Joe to post up all the available options we can chip in and donate to the county team? I know there’s the lotto but what else can we get involved in. Might be an idea to collate it centrally for easy reference. Completely understand though if you have more on your plate after a very busy year of keeping us updated. A huge thanks again for this blog. It does pass the time in the build up to big games. I’d be in a serious state without it!

  60. James
    I think for safety sake the gaa don’t give runner up medals to Mayo, id say Mayo would throw them medals into the crowd as soon as they received them.

  61. Baconfactoryend says:

    Second is nowhere

  62. James Fleming says:

    It’s only fair that the runners-up receive medals.

  63. facetheball says:

    I see Pearce Hanley has moved from the 18th ranked team to the 15th ranked team in Australia.
    I don’t suppose himself and his brother would like to move back to the 2nd ranked team in Ireland.

  64. JP … My reference to COS of course should be AOS. The little fellow inside my phone who thinks he knows best put COS in place of AOS, so he get all the blame for that one. Would’nt surprise if the folks in Mountjoy Square put him up to it either.

  65. Erris Head Some good points there. Being away during the summer months is not easy and is an experience many posters here have had in the past. GAA Go and Sky will cost a packet and will not fully solve the problem. The GAA have let our supporters down at home and abroad on this one big time. Too quick to grab the easy buck when strategic thinking was called for, if you ask me.
    The truth is we chased both games this year and we just could not get in to a dominant position. They got rough with us after the goal as any experienced team would in the knowledge that we were always going to be the ones penalised for any retaliation. (We learned that lesson in 2015) We have seen this with Kilkenny several times. To win we have to be much better and we were not. Going forward the next Mayo team has to be prepared blow the opposition away and not just kick the door in.
    Mayo County Board have failed to fully tap into the potential for fund raising from our supporters overseas. While things have improved over the last few years we are still not where we should be in my opinion.

  66. Leantimes says:

    PJ McManus, The Mayo county boards concern is mainly keeping themselves in the comfortable positions their in already.,or maybe moving on to the Connacht set up. No danger of them banging the table demanding fair play for Mayo. Never mind their lack of competence at fund raising especially if you compare them to the Kerry set up. Any sabre rattling might damage their chances of progress along the lines, it wouldn’t go down well in Croke Park.. Where everything has to be pretended to be above board, but in actual fact, the dice is loaded, in favour of some, namely Dublin, whether that being Dublin only playing ONE competitive match in 10.years outside of Croke Park. or choosing a Leinster Referee for the All Ireland replay, Can you imagine the outrage of Dublin and the national outcry by the media if Marty Duffy had been picked to ref that Match.. Martin Carney is equally adept at not seeing the evidence of his own eye’s if that evidence is less than complimentary to Dublin, he won’t rattle anyone’s in RTE cage, and keep his so called expert status, no doubt well paid. It’s hardly any surprise that Ciaran Whelan can display such bias when, our so called own, turn a blind eye to so much!

  67. Olive Kerrigan says:

    Quote from RTE with regards to my complaint lodged after drawn game. In a nutshell there is no onus on RTE to be fair, they can be as biased as they wish.

    “Please be advised that the BAI code on objectivity and impartiality in news and current affairs does not apply to discussion on sports programmes, particularly when focused on the field of play. “

  68. James Fleming says:

    does anyone think of my idea of having medals for the runners up in All Ireland Finals is fair ?
    I think it should happen
    Lets be having your say on this matter

  69. Leantimes. Well said. The dice is loaded and the deck is uneven right from the start.

    Oliver Kerrigan. Incredible stuff there from RTE. It explains a lot. What a load of shite.

  70. That’s interesting Olive.
    The thing that gets up my nose is the professional sledging that some of the pundits go on with, where they use paid privileged positions to abuse amateurs who have no recourse to respond. And then they further lay in to those players who try to communicate with the supporters through Twitter.
    Sledging on the field is a black card offence, but if there are insulting, abusive, sledging remarks from a pundit, our national broadcaster hides behind broadcasting authority codes. It is grossly unfair but they clearly can’t see that they have any responsibility for this disgraceful behaviour by their paid employees.

  71. The dice is loaded surely. A few years ago Tipp had the AI won but for a peno that was doubtful at best. The call deflated the better team at that moment in time. If the shoe was on the other foot would they have got that type of call in the dying minutes. You get what you vote for folks.
    I love the idea that there are a lot of unhappy RTE viewers about. They are an under performing company for many years in my opinion,and should be see and treated as such. As for the Mayo team the motto should be blow the opposition apart attitude, and take no prisoners along the way. We got a glimpse of this attitude in Ennis in May be that at underage level.

  72. Backdoor Sam says:

    As Abba once said the winner takes it all. Runner up medals are as useful as wipers on a Honda 50

  73. toohollow says:

    I love the “no excuse zones” developed at and around Connacht Rugby and Dundalk Town FC.

  74. Lads why do ye care what RTE say, and of course they should be biased, christ if they had a ‘one hand but on the other hand’ approach to analysis we’d be bored senseless. You want respect, you go and win an All Ireland, literally that’s all there is to it.

  75. Joe Spot on.
    Mayo will only get the credit they deserve when they finally land the San Maguire.
    All Joe Brolly is doing – he’s trying to enrage the team & supporters into getting over the line & win the bloody thing.
    Mayo are so close.
    They need to get a couple of new guys up front who can take a defender head on go past him & stick it over the bar from 40 yards.
    Pop 3 or 4 like that over the bar in a tight might & you will pull through.

  76. Dont see a great deal between runners up medals and losers medals and would soon be regarded as one and the same by the runners up.

  77. Runners up medals….christ give me a break will ya.
    I think we need to stop making excuses at this stage. We can’t control the ref or opposition. We can control our own game. There is enough within our control to win any game and we must look back and see why we didn’t because must was our own downfall.
    People talk about the two OG’s – yes bad luck but Dublin were making those chances…we didn’t. I think of Parsons first shot seconds into the replay….kicked wide. I remember thinking to myself at that moment, “I hope this does not set the tone”

    Loom to where we can improve. Who cares what the rest of the country think?
    We are a joke to them until we win an All Ireland and that is the harsh reality.

    I think of Leinster Rugby before they won a European Cup…the fancy dans, no bottle etc was thrown their way…sound familiar…?

    I don’t see any reason why we can not win Sam next year IF we find a little bit more up front and cur down on our own mistakes.

  78. Being watching our games back since 2011 and what stood out the most was a player who gets very little credit but has being the heart and soul of this team the last few years.he’s is the most intelligent player in the gaa in my opinion,has stood up time and time again for us.saved us in London goal against cork 2011.outstanding against dublin2012.kicked to 2 great points against Donegal when down 2.01 to 00.00 in allireland.rochford and mcentee seeing this in him and that’s why they trusted him with the sweeper roll this year,very intelligent player who I never seen any player get a right good shoulder at.now my thinking is maybe he could be used more up the field.and maybe management could try Stevie coen as sweeper another player who has serious talent and intelligence. I’d also love to see aos played as no6 rotating with donie at 11 and move Keegan to mid field with parsons where Keegan would do serious damage. But for me Kevin mclouglin is our unsung hero does anybodyelse agree.

  79. I think Kevin McGloughlin is at this stage rated very well by most people. As in if you were forced to pick most effective five players, most people would have Kevin McGloughlin in that list.
    I think he is more suited to sweeper than playing him directly up front. This year he is on the ball a lot more and is still contributing to attack. He is making good decisions defensively and is counter attacking really well.
    The sweeper role is one that a player should improve at with experience so I think he should be retained there in order that in 2017 we have that almost guaranteed to be at a very high level. Tactically it is an advantage on most teams to have a really high calibre player there.
    Stephen Coen while a fine player doesn’t have Kevin McGloughlins evasiveness.
    You are right, I have never seen Kevin McGloughlin caught with a shoulder. He has quick feet like a boxer, he’s up light on his toes and little adjustments before the attempted tackle/shoulder mean you can’t get a clean hit on him.
    He also has the ability to be quick on the ball whilst keeping his head up scanning the field ahead. The majority of players can’t do this.

  80. Just think he could do the role we are asking of diarmuid which would free up diarmuid closer to goal.McLaughlin has some engine and has played most games since his arrival to inter county league and championship.plus we need players that can kick with there left up front which cost us against Dublin.

  81. McGloughlin is smaller than Diarmuid so you would lose Diarmuids ability to pressure guys with the running power of Mccauley, John Small, Sean Cavanagh, Mark Griffin etc.
    When McGloughlin is back at sweeper he will more usually have to tackle guys who are Brogan/Andrews type size and have probably had to jink their way around a defender.
    Further up the pitch where there is more space the middle third guys are bigger straight line runners and have a head of steam built up with the extra space.
    Agree though on the point of relieveing Diarmuid from this hard working tracking back role. I think we should try and free him up to be closer to goal and working off of Cillian. They would have that back garden understanding of each others movement.

  82. mayomaindublin says:

    14allnall41 and JP, at least call Kevin by his real name, it’s McLoughlin, no other way to spell it.

  83. @ mayomani dublin, please don’t move to America if name spelling upsets you. I’m Dave, recently ordered coffee in Starbucks, Rajiv was called out when it was ready was written on the cup, I was the only customer in the place.
    I think Kevin is a really good fella to have for long kickpasses if he was in the hf line, that’s something we could do with if we are going to be using loftus and the likes that are moving at speed near a goal
    Otherwise it’s handpassing our way into the goal which gives defenses time to react. While I am on about handpasses, stradbally the Laois club got a late goal to beat portlaoise at the weekend and it was really shameful, handpass after handpass! Terrible to watch, I think we need to limit it to 2 handpasses and then kick it or else it’s like basketball on a field.

  84. I am a great fan of K McL for many years, and he is a fine gentleman as well. I love the role he has played with the Knockmore team over the years. The Knockmore lads always speak very highly of him. They could be in a tight corner this week if that Breaffy team decide to play the long ball. Breaffy will not scare too many teams with a short passing running game, but with their physicality they could be dangerous if the ball is moved longer and faster. Against Tubber last year they moved the ball quickly and SOS and AOS interchanged between midfield and attack. They caused confusion in the Tubber defence.

  85. Inbetweener says:

    Kevin McLoughlin has always been the most aware player on that team.Hes an absolute delight to watch and for so long…with his electric pace and timing of runs forward. Unsung is a great understatement .He always knows where he is and who is where but unfortunately too often,who,has not always been too sure where he himself is or ought to be! Back to the same ould failing….movement! But no doubt we’ ll be making massive improvements in this and other aspects come the new growth of 2017!

  86. Leantimes says:

    TooHollow, Joe,& Biscan. Mayo, clearly just like every other team in the country are entitled to sporting justice!. No team including Dublin are entitled to preference. I and other’s on this Blog have pointed out serious injustice perpetrated against Mayo, be that in Reffing, be that in where the matches take place or otherwise… Now you can colour that like looking for excuses, I don’t believe I or other’s are doing that at all.. You might think that you get what you deserve and that we Didn’t deserve to beat Dublin, and that’s why Dublin have Sam.. But from the evidence of your own eye’s, is that really true? . Well for me plainly it’s Not true. I was at the match, and have seen the recording of it 3or4 times by now. The match was not reffed fairly, not remotely. Most of the big calls were all given against Mayo. At the end of the first half, the Ref and his officials took about 3 minutes discussing something, What? 2 yellow card’s were issued, there should and it was in ‘Plain sight of the linesman’ , have issued a Straight Red to James McCarty for a deliberately injuring Donal Vaughan, who was our best player in the draw match and a his withdrawal huge loss to Mayo. We, Mayo made our own mistakes , 2.own goals the first day, and our Selection of Hennelly to replace Clarke cost us, and got ‘Deservedly’ we got punished and only drew the first match, no doubt overall, apart from the 2 own goals, in general play we were much the better team. But you get punished for mistakes and that’s only right. Actually Connor Lane done a very good job of reffing the match. But the replay was a different matter entirely!…. As early as the 4th minute Deggan completely ignored a Black Card pull down by Small on Andy when through on goal. How did Deggan manage to ignore all the fouling done by Small, there were about 3 occasions when he should have got the line.. Keegans offence is NOT a. Black Card, simple as that. In the second half of the Replay the reffing was completely different to the first half. There were 2 or 3, blatend Black Card offences against Dublin and 1 against Mayo. Now even in Maurice Deggan’s (subjective) opinion, surly that’s wrong, rules have to be applied equally in both halves… 3 Minutes into the second half of the match, A. free is brought in for Dublin, Dean Rock kicks the free, for me it’s wide, Anyone can look it again who has the match recorded, Surly Maurice Deggan has a duty of fair play to have it checked out on Hawk, eye. The very same happened in 2013,with a Bernard Brogan dubious shot given as a point.. Later in the match as obvious a’ Push in the Back ‘of Kevin Mcloughin from a very scorable position is ignored, Dublin score on the counter, that’s a 2 point, turnover. I ask those who have a different opinion to mine, this question. Now I know Mayo got one or two, decisions at most. Them being, Jason Doherty is very lucky not to be carded for shouldering Johnny Cooper into the back of the net, following Lee Keegan brilliant goal, and Barry Moran gets a soft free late on. I have a question for those of who disagree with my observations of the match. The question is. How many points the better team than Dublin should Mayo have to be in order to be ‘Deserved All Ireland Champions?. My answer is that we should only need to be better by 1″point.. Any other conclusion in totally nonsense.. How many points were Mayo better than Kerry in Limerick, I’d say we were 8,surely Cormac Reilly was worth 8″points to Kerry.. Or more.. It has to be a level playing field, and seen as such. Anyone pointing out the truth is not nessarly looking for excuses!

  87. @leantimes

    I agree about the mcl push and there were two other fouls that I think were blatant, an scores for dub came off them. On watching game back I thought that shot was wide also and was suprised no hawkeye was called.

    Doherty should have been yellow for late tackle, nothing more. The umpires bottled that.

  88. HopeSpringsEternal says:

    I read an interesting comment by the infamous Philly McMahon last week. He was talking about the past year and he said one thing that surprised him was that no team threw anything different at Dublin this year. They didn’t encounter anything that surprised them. The last time a team did that to them was Donegal in 2014. We pretty much threw the kitchen sink at them but it wasn’t enough in the end. Again this year much of our attacking play consisted of long balls played into players who were isolated a lot of the time.

    Remember in 2013 in the All-Ireland hurling final replay, Davy Fitzgerald threw an 18 year old, Shane O’Donnell in at the deep end. He started the replay and scored a hat-trick. Clare ended up as All-Ireland champions.

    Should we have thrown Conor Loftus in at the deep end in the replay against Dublin and kept Andy Moran in reserve. Maybe we should have moved Keith Higgins forward in the last 10 minutes when we badly lacked pace up front. Just try something different. Putting two big men up front was the extent of our attacking strategy in the closing stages of the match. You’d wonder what that something different will be for us next year in the big games.

  89. Conor Loftus might be quicker than Andy but its only next Spring he will be catching up strength and bulkwise. Dublin would have just cleaned out our young lads with an assignment like Mcmahon.
    Next year will be a different story when they’re all stronger and bigger.

  90. HopeSpringsEternal says:

    I know that S&C is very important nowadays but if you looked at Cormac Costello, he actually nearly looked like a young fella that could have been just out of minor football! As they say variety is the spice of life and a bit of flair goes a long way. In any sport you always need that bit of flair to get you over the line. That’s probably something that we lacked this year. We had plenty of hard workers but we just lacked that touch of finesse at crucial times when we needed it.

  91. I never felt we looked good for goals all year.
    When you looked at our u21s they’d hunt forward in bunches with everyone thinking only of a goal.
    At senior I can’t think outside of Keegans goal when a player received the ball running into space going at goal.
    Regan created a few.
    Couple of penalties.
    Diarmuid had a miracle goal.
    It’s something needs a lot of work for next year.

  92. JDocs goal v Tipp was an aggressive hunt for a goal. That was another. Higgins set it up.

  93. HopeSpringsEternal says:

    Yeah that’s what I really loved about our U21 team this year. For example they missed a lot of chances in the first half of the final against Cork but then they scored a great goal just before half-time. Diarmuid got it. 9 out of 10 teams would have been happy to have got back level going in at the break but teams like Kilkenny or Dublin know that’s the time to turn the screw. Our U21 team did that. Liam Irwin kicked a great 45 and then he scored the second goal straight away after that. That was the hallmark of a great team with huge self-belief as they didn’t let the missed chances earlier bother them. That’s what you want to see in a team.

  94. Thanks HSE – interesting comment from Philly, echoing Jim McGuinness’s point after the drawn match. We did blunt their forward play though, and I don’t think they expected that; unfortunately, our own forward line was blunted in the process. For that of course the Dublin backs must take a lot of credit.

    Loftus’s game time up to the final was not enough. He really need some game time in the Tipp match Costello has a bit of mileage in the Dubs jersey and I certainly didn’t blink in astonishment or anything like it when I saw him coming on.

  95. I’m sitting here reading over posts from throughout the summer and the ones here today and the last week or so. For me the dust has settled now after the defeat. The defeat and that cellular sense of unfairness and injustice about MDMAs tackle on COC and the list of onther infringements has shrank back to a manageable level again. And I’m glad. One thing for me that I keep remembering is what SR said last January. Something about retaining League1 being a minimum target for the year and he asked us to be patient to the process of transformation. Well things worked out good all things considered. Ya sure big mistakes were made on the pitch, on the sideline, by players, refs everyone but on balance we’re in a good place. Fuck it. Roll on 2017.

  96. HopeSpringsEternal says:

    Yeah catcol it would have been nice to see Loftus, Regan etc. get some more game time in the lead up to the final. In fairness to our management team as well, their hands were tied to a large degree in the final, in that 3 of our changes were forced changes. Lee, Donnie and Robbie all had to be replaced so that was limiting our changes big time. If we could have just got it to extra-time then we would have been able to make a few more changes. That’s the way it goes I suppose. We’ll never know how it would have gone.

  97. Leantimes at 6.29pm.

    Yeah. I’d agree with all of that. Well said. I think we have to be 7 pints better than Dublin for us to win by 1.

    Rocks free after 38 minutes was well wide. Simple as that and we lost the game by 1. That is the losing of the game right there.

    The tone was set after 5 minutes. No black card issued after Andy Moran caught by the heals and stopped in his tracks. We were condemned men already.

    Not a word said about it. The whole thing is a fucking disgrace. I would prepare yourselves for more of the same next year.

    I mean are any of ye expecting a level playing field in say a 2017 final v Dublin, after whats allowed to have gone on before?

  98. Dublin are good but the media have them up to be greatest but I don’t buy into the hype about them

  99. Dublin are an excellent team and we are right on the verge of stepping up to that consistently excellent level. But we won’t step into that level without the changes we need that are well flagged.
    – Pace/Youth
    – Higher accuracy shooters
    – Defence being unbreakable for the full game
    – A lift in our footballing ability in midfield
    – No one either starter/sub being sure of a jersey

  100. True that jp, and we also need the referee to be fair and even. A push in the back is a free.

  101. At the time that Rock took that free I saw sitting in the Cusack Stand 306. I had a good look at the flight of the ball and at the time I remember thinking he has missed it. I was waiting for hawk eye but it never came. A very disgruntled Meath supporter pointed out to me later that the ball went wide. He was standing in the Nally Stand and I checked the video. It was still looking wide, but the umpire had taken up a good position behind the goal and it is clear to see he was in position.This more than anything else might suggest a 50 50 call. Without hawk eye which should have been used, you have to go with the umpire no matter how much the injustice.

  102. Moreso, a push in the back at the wrong time is a black card. Several of them were missed. In fact, there is a long list of incidents on the replay that you could question. It begs the question of what the GAA will do, given that games are under such scrutiny these days, that not having video technology available to the officials is putting them at a huge disadvantage.

    @JP, I think Mayo are alot closer to the finished product than you suggest. You basically say that Defence, Midfield, Forwards and the bench need improvement.

    What’s needed mightn’t be as much as that.

    I agree 100% that at least 2 out and out scoring forwards are needed. Lord knows they don’t grow on trees, but it seems that the talent is there at club level. A couple of these, (dual footed preferably), would have Mayo in a much better place.

    I think it’s not so much what Mayo need, and more what they need to leave behind that matters. But that’s a discussion for a different day.

  103. My understanding of Hawk-Eye is that if a ball goes wide (and a point was awarded by the ref/umpires) the ref is notified via his earpiece.
    He then stops the play and asks for Hawk-Eye to be used. This will then show the ball as being wide and he will reverse his decision if a point was awarded.

    So unless there was a Hawk-Eye failure, I can’t see how Rock’s point was actually wide.

  104. @Jaden, I think we are actually in agreement.
    Maybe to add more clarity to what I posted.
    ‘Consistently excellent level’ – I would class this as stepping up to where Dublin have been. Only top four teams performing at their best can even make it a game. When we would face a team a little bit off our level it would be simple, we would win 95% of the time. That is consistently excellent. No struggles at times with the likes of Fermanagh or Tipperary.
    – Pace/Youth – I foresee no issue here for 2017, but it wasn’t in place for 2016. The guys are ready and improving (Durcan/Harrison/Coen) or ready to come in from the U21’s and U24’s.
    – Higher accuracy shooters – This is likely to be the toughest one. We would be breaking a historical trend with this Mayo team when it comes to big crunch games. I think it is do-able based on the increasing form line of the U21’s.
    – Defence being unbreakable for the full game. – This is almost in place. Just needs tweaking. Two games against Dublin it was almost there but still some poor spells in both games coughed up some easy scores. I expect this to be in place next year, again, just tweaks, no major changes and the players just being more used to the system.
    – A lift in our footballing ability in midfield – Not quite there in 2016. I expect it to be better in 2017. How many times did our midfield open up the opposition defence. Best performance of the year was SOS in the replay with his good kickpasses into the forwards. Parsons had a few moments when he came on in the Tyrone game. Getting close, just need a bit more from midfield in terms of attack on a consistent basis.
    – No one either starter/sub being sure of a jersey. – Again this will just be a natural follow on from their being more competition for jerseys in 2017.

  105. FDBinashui says:

    Agree we are nearly there JP – we should bear in mind we were missing both Gibbons and Cafferkey from the panel this year due to injury. To be fair we did adequately without them however it would have been nice to have both as options to draw from.

  106. Leantimes says:

    Dan, your quite wrong in your understanding about Hawk_eye. Point’s have been awarded via Hawk_eye, and potential points of also disallowed via Hawk_eye.. The umpires may have taken up a good position, but unless for the camera is lying, the ball is CLEARLY wide. Even if it’s a close run thing, the umpires and ref SHOULD go to Hawk_eye for verification…….. On another matter, the crowd’s attending this year’s football championship matches, and despite an extra 82,000+,for the All Ireland replay the overall attendance is down by over 100,000……A total of 788,746 people and the attendance…an average of 13,143 per match. But it’s quite something of note, Matchs involving Mayo, we saw 3 sold out fixtures, All Ireland, All Ireland replay, and the double header involving Mayo /Tyrone and Donegal /Dublin, these 3 matchs alone amount to over 246,.000….take into account .over 56,000 semi V Tipperary,. Over 20,000 last 12,fixture V, Westmeath (why were we brought to Croke Park for that fixture?) over 13,000 for Fermanaghs, and over 15,000 for Kildare. Add in over 25,000 for our defeat to Galway and I don’t know how many attended the London fixture, but WITHOUT LONDON , that’s in excess of 375,000.people paid in to watch Mayo play those 8 fixtures, that’s an average of, OVER,46,875.amazing stats there…. The rest of the Championship exclusive of Mayo (including the 2 double headers,Cork/Donegal,Westmeath/Mayo, last 12)involvfixtures brought 413,000+,paying fan’s. …Dublins assisted dominance in Leinster, coupled with, poor game’s, in too many cases badly Reffed,, has contributed to the fall of attendance. it’s time for the GAA to take look at itself in the mirror… It’s time also for the Mayo county board to take a look at enormous popularity of Mayo, those attendance figures, Time for them to grow a pair and DEMAND, justice for Mayo in all matters, whether that be, 1,How and Who, reffs big match’s,, 2. ,Where match’s are played and 3,Fair play for Mayo season ticket holders, too many continuly put into the corners of Croke Park for All Ireland finals… The GAA badly need Mayo, school kids play at half time in Croke Park, show respect /give respect is the slogan.. Time for them to show some of that respect to Mayo… I wouldn’t be holding your breath for our current county board to make any noise tough. We’d be better off with ‘Trappist Monks’ representing us!

  107. Sean Burke says:

    Does Enda Varley play with vincents this year? Thinking of going over to parnell park tonight , it would give me extra encouragement .

  108. Seamus Thornton says:

    Leantimes, interesting stats there but they are probably skewed a bit by Dublin’s involvement the day of our quarter final which meant a full house. What would Dublin’s figures look like overall? Probably not too much more than our own to be fair.
    On your overall point about the CB being a bit more vocal when it comes to arguing our cause you are bang on the money.
    What will we need to do to make things more balanced next year? I mean we because I don’t think it’s something we can leave to the CB or others to do at this stage.
    We’ll have no excuses next year if we get to the final and we are outflanked again by the Dublin machine.
    Food for thought in the coming months!
    On the Rock point at 38 minutes I played it again and again and I’m not convinced it was wide. Watch where the ball was kicked from and then where it landed. Unless it had an almighty curve on it I can’t see how it could have been a wide as it passed the line of the posts.
    As for Parsons’ blood injury I have still to see any evidence proving it was a headbutt that caused it. And here I am with a draft of my indignant letter ready to go to the County Board!!!
    Finally, some of you have mentioned the poor response you received from the Sunday Game to your concerns on Ciaran Whelan’s unbalanced views about our Lee after the drawn game. Well I didn’t receive a response of any kind let alone a bad one. Poor would be putting it mildly.
    Well, I got a lot off my chest there, didn’t I? Onwards and upwards…Maigheo Abu!

  109. He is, Sean – he got four points for them on his championship debut against Na Fianna in the last round. I’m heading that direction myself shortly.

  110. Sinabhuil says:

    Sat beside him at the final replay. Lovely fella. He kicked every ball in his head. He said he was more nervous than if he was playing. Also sat nearby was Peter Forde and many other ex Mayo players as well as a very famous Mayo senator!

  111. On my way meself – I’ll see ya there WJ, – Up the ‘Mun!

  112. Leantimes says:

    Seamus Thornton, I’ve watched it one more time, I and I’m still convinced it’s wide.To my eyes, nowhere on it’s trajectory is it ever on target.. But in any event, Surly Hawk_eye had to be used to verify the inconclusive point on the 38th minute,”?? And why wasn’t it?? As far as umpires go, Some of the time, I’d have to along with what ex Rossies Goalkeeper in his book ‘Cake’ says about them. Did any of ye see, the CERTAIN point, waved wide, against Dublin in the All Ireland ladies football final,. It was only about 2 feet over the bar, and 2 inside the post, right beside the very umpire that waved it wide. . Some of these umpires, don’t see what’s right in front of their eyes!

  113. Leantimes says:

    Seamus Thornton, I haven’t said anything about Tom Parsons, eye injury. I did in an earlier post, talk about Donal Vaughan being injured by James McCarty, just before half time!

  114. Seamus Thornton says:

    Leantimes,
    The first half of the post was a general response to your earlier one. The rest was my own thoughts on some of the topics brought up by various groups of people over the last few weeks. Not necessarily related to anything you have said.
    Like I said just getting a few things off my chest!

  115. Paddy in Dublin says:

    Maurice Deegan needs a ‘very warm welcome’ next time he comes down to Mayo…Trick or Treat Maurice….

  116. No bother, Seamus. I must a look and see if I can see what happened to Tom Parsons. But there was so much going on in the game, impossible to see everything , very like the drawn match in 2015,..on several occasions that match as well, Dublin got off very lightly.

  117. Leantimes. Very well said again. That “pint” was wide.

    Oh and remember “Ciaran Whelan is always fair and balanced”.

    I dont think we will see Maurice Deegan in Mayo anytime soon. By now he has probably watched back a video of the final and has probably admitted to himself in private that he made a “cows cleaning” of it, and it would be best for everybody if he steered clear of Mayo.

  118. @leantimes
    The issue is not whether we were screwed or not.
    The task is how do we win our All Irelands
    Concentrating on the task will also the issue

  119. Toohollow in tight games, everything deserves to be scrutinised. The Mayo players were fucked about, illegally a lot of the time may I add and Sweet damn all done about it from the man in the ‘middle’.

  120. toohollow says:

    F’deelin. In pro boxing there is an adage that the contender has to win by a knockout, not only does he have to beat the opponent but also the system. Till we win we also have to do that.
    We outside the tent are only – wasting our time – developing excuses – and seen as whingers while we shout “that’s not fair”.
    Those inside the tent may effect change in the system but not very quickly and most probably quietly.
    We can beat the others and the system. the team (on and off pitch) are good enough, hardworking enough, dedicated enough, honest enough and brave enough to take the step, they don’t need anybody making excises for them.

  121. @toohollow
    “We can beat the others and the system”. Unfortunately we also seem to have the capacity to beat ourselves on the big day. This year it was a selection mistake.

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