No reinforcements due back for this weekend

Okay, time to turn the focus away from the introspection and onto this coming weekend’s Round 5 League meeting with Cavan. I’ll do a proper piece, time permitting, on this one tomorrow but the local papers have some info on personnel availability which is worth sharing now.

Both the Western People yesterday (paper and digital variants) and today’s Mayo News (here) confirm that injured quartet Aidan and Seamus O’Shea, Ger Cafferkey and more recently casualty Jason Doherty will play no part in this weekend’s match. On the plus side, none of the players who were involved in Croke Park have picked up any injuries so all of the match-day 26 from then, as well as a number of others, will be available for selection for the weekend.

The local papers have some conflicting news, by the way, on when we can expect to see the long-term absentees back in action. In yesterday’s Western it was reported that neither the two O’Sheas nor Ger Cafferkey have as yet returned to full training. Stephen Rochford is, however, quoted in the Mayo News saying, in relation to Aidan and Seamie, that “they should be ready for the Tyrone match on Sunday week”. Stephen was, though, understandably less forthcoming about when Ger might be back, saying “when it’s right, it’s right is the way we’re looking at it”.

The upcoming Connacht U21 semi-final against Galway, which is fixed for Saturday week, shouldn’t, by the way, impact on player availability this weekend. It definitely will, though, for the Tyrone match the Sunday after.

Eoin O’Donoghue, who featured prominently for us in the match against Kerry in Tralee, is still eligible for the U21s so almost certainly won’t be available for senior duty in Healy Park. Moreover, if Mike Solan’s lads surmount that difficult opening hurdle in Tuam Eoin will most likely then be ruled out of the Donegal match as well, given that the Connacht U21 final is down for decision the day before we’re due to play that Round 7 League game.

27 thoughts on “No reinforcements due back for this weekend

  1. Remarkable season so far for young Boland. Doesn’t look one bit out of place in senior intercounty football.

    Here’s hoping himself and Eoin miss the next few senior games! They’ve got a title to defend!

  2. Is Fergal U21 still? that’s amazing. Looking forward to seeing Even Regan play over the next 2 games. Not there yet but maybe not too far away.

  3. A bit of malaise has set in I think after the nite at. Croker so we need to lift it again, one game at a time and getting the points on Sunday would give a great life maigheoabu

  4. Thanks for that correction, Glasshalfful – I don’t know why I thought that. Just checked that guest piece that Adrian Hession did around Christmas and this confirms that Fergal turned 21 last November so he isn’t eligible for U21 this year. I’ll correct the post now.

  5. For Cavan I’d prefer to see either Irwin or Kirby in for Regan and Loftus in for Andy.
    Of all the fringe players I suspect Loftus is the best talent and we’ll hopefully see that come summer though Boland has done very well so far too. Loftus not long back so we can expect more improvement.

  6. Agree Shuffly Deck. I would like to see all three of Loftus, Irwin and Kirby start. My own personal view is that Regan is not at the required standard as he lacks the physicality and guile for the level that Mayo are trying to get to. I’ve held this opinion for a number of years now based on Club, U21 and recent Senior performances. Its time to give these other lads a fair run and see how they develop at this level.

  7. Yes I think Regan has been improving and getting more physical but what we’re looking for is the type of finisher Conor Mortimer was and I don’t think he’ll quite reach that level. Close but Mort was bit pacier and better able to make space for himself to shoot. Irwin and Kirby are probably not as pacey as Evan but very big lads and perhaps that advantage may prove more useful to Mayo. Loftus is pacey and maybe has more skill than all of them so would really like to see him get decent game time.

  8. Regan is 23. Lot of people thing Loftus is pacy….I don’t see that at all, think he is quite mono paced, but I do think he has got the skills and will ultimately be a centre half forward is my guess. Think Regan is by far the paciest of all the hopefuls, but is struggling to make it really count unfortunately

  9. Another thing on Regan that is seldom mentioned….in some of the few games he has played, he has taken some (some maybe unlawful) hits….dont know is it his low centre of gravity or what, but think doing his shoulder v Kerry, the hit on Bastic in the replay and the challenge from Fitsimons last day. Unfortunate that way

  10. Im not sure about Regan, his has pace and trickery but his scoring return isnt good enough. In saying that I dont think its totally his fault either. Players like Evan thrive on quick early ball to get him in one on one situations, thats where he can do damage. Slow ball into the forwards allows opposition players to filter back and crowd out players like Evan. Within the right attacking setup Evan can be a very useful player.

  11. Yes, it is a feature of Evans spell so far. You have to defend yourself going into contacts and maybe he doesn’t do that. In Kerry for first injury he was pushing it a bit with his acrobatic approach in the air. In CP last yr he dashed fairly blindly into the Dub and I’ve seen him do a few other uncute tackles besides. Note, that Dub didn’t get injured. The clip he got the last day was a smart one by Fitzsimmons and deserved a free but there u are!
    Still, like many here I’m wishing the best for Evan Regan and am looking to the day when he ll skin his marker!

  12. But I forgot to include my after thought….and it’s always nagging me! Whoever is to come on, I only hope they know the fellas they’re playing with. For a bunch who’ve been together for so long and fair dues to them, I’m often amazed at how estranged they are from each other at times. Better awareness of what’s going on around them on the pitch would do this team a power of good!

  13. With the increase in good foot passing and the improvement evident this season so far I believe and hope that Evan , Andy will be well placed to capitalise on direct early ball, at least that would be my wish.

  14. I was thinking Fergal couldn’t be still u21! But someone said he was on here before, and with this post, I thought I must be wrong!

    Anyways, we need him for the next few weeks anyways so no harm =)

  15. Regan gets boxed too , I can’t figure out why he’s singled out by opposition but he is, galway defender last year gave him an awful few skelps for example.

  16. I too am hoping to see Irwin, Kirby and Loftus get a start on Sunday and Adam Galllagher, if he is to have a longterm future, get some game time too . Longterm [i.e. this Sept] I see Andy Moran having a vital role but as a replacement player. Regan, I’m not sure, but I’m beginning to lose a little faith although I have to say I was always a bit sceptical.

  17. I would love to see Irwin Kirby etc. But my fear is that until we develop an attacking system, they will get lost. Watching the movement of the dubs on and off the ball last week was (if not, should have been) a lesson for our management team.
    Here’s hoping there’s a plan.

  18. Pace is King in modern game, it can offset somewhat by excellent first touch, good balance, composure, particularly when shooting, comfortable and accurate use both hands and feet. Coaching in my view in this regard lags behind Dublin , Kerry, Tyrone in particular, probably Donegal and Galway also.. Until dramatic improvements in these areas Mayo will regretfully come up short.. In many respects we punch above our weight and inept coaching has let them down..

  19. The one thing forwards need is space.. and the more the better. So how do you create inside space against a team like Cavan. Well.. one team playing in Croake Parke this weekend.. Slughtneil.. and more specifically Chrissy McKaigue of Slaughtneil could have the answer to that. You kick the ball over the bar from almost the half way line, aussie rule style or from the outside of the boot. I’ve noticed Cillian starting to take pot shots like these and if he can keep his score averages high in this area it can be demoralising for a defensive team. I would like to see Diarmuid take on more as well.. spread the attack.. stretch the blanket and make them come out to put in the tackles. If the defender commits himself to make the block.. sell the dummy, create the overlap and run at the heart of the defense. Vary the play.. we have the skill set!

  20. Tommie for inept coaching Mayo have done really well in getting to multiple finals across all grades over the past 25 years. The only gripe I have is we don’t produce forwards who can kick with both feet and find space.

    Cavan I am hearing are up for this game and fancy their chances. MacHale Park is far from a fortress in recent years so I think we really need to bring our A game to beat Cavan. Underestimate any team in this division and you are beat.

  21. I have watched back the first 20 minutes of the Dublin game and I feel much more positive. (I was very downbeat at the game). In that period, I think we had more shots than the Dubs, and were probably unlucky to be behind (Kevin Mc had a great goal chance, and Cillian had a more difficult chance that went abegging too). We made a few bad decisions in the attacking third, we butchered a few great opportunities. Now to watch the rest and perhaps I’ll be back in the rut I was in!

  22. Mayo Focus …. I wouldn’t advise having another look at that second half unless you’re into masochism.
    In reference to Mayos lack of winning forward lines I don’t like saying it but it seems to me that in all ages that I’m aware of, starting with the end of the fifties things have always been so.In that time we’ve had our many stars but it always seemed that we looked to the individual to do the business rather than developing forward units working together adequately.In all teams our backs were always more than good enough but when the ball was despatched forward, mostly you could be sitting back down in your seat again….nothing happening…ball cleared yet again! Year after year that’s what I’ve seen. The League Final v Down 1970 I like to think was different somehow, regardless of what happened in the first round of the c’ship ’71. Sitting in the Hogan stand that day I rem distinctly us agreeing that the Mayo forwards switched positions constantly and had a great Down team in sixes and sevens. Des Griffith,Tom Fitzgerald, Willie Mc Gee, Joe Corcoran and the bull- like JJCribbin with J Gibbons at 11. What a mix they made that day. I can’t account for the following yr or all those of that decade or the next or the next but the feeling had always been there…too much reliance on a J Corcoran, a Joe McGrath,J Burke,K Mc Stay, M Carney, P Brogan,WJ Padden, R Dempsey,C Mc Donald…Mortimer..C OConnor Andy Moran….and not enough ‘combination play’ as it used to be called! And it did exist and in the hands of the successful teams through those yrs. Ref.. Galway of sixties Dubs and Kerry great teams….Tyrone Donegal and Dubs again.
    Maybe it’s just too much to be asking or maybe it’s not possible given the difficulties of getting players together often enough. I just don’t know but I live in hope!!

  23. I agree with that Inbetweener. We have always produced great individual forwards but never a great forward unit. As a result if those one or two that we rely on don’t click then we are in trouble. Why that is I don’t know.

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