Listen to Leeroy

Photo: Independent.ie (Sportsfile)

Lee Keegan is all over the media at the minute, arising from his involvement at Croke Park yesterday in the launch of the Kelloggs GAA Cúl Camps. The current Footballer of the Year features in pieces today in the Irish Examiner, Irish Independent, Irish News, Irish Mirror, The 42, GAA and he was also interviewed on NewsTalk’s Off The Ball show last night, which you can listen back to here.

Lee’s a refreshing voice to listen to at any time and it’s always worthwhile to hear his honest and open-minded opinions about the game. Topics that feature in the above pieces and in the Off The Ball interview include, of course, the county’s Sisyphean-like quest for All-Ireland honours, his controversial black card in last year’s final replay and the Dublin smear campaign waged in the lead-up to that game. He also talks about Westport’s All-Ireland winning run and much more besides.

Lee could, if he’d wanted to, have said more about that filthy, underhand, orchestrated drive last year to blacken his reputation. He could as well have laid the blame for the county’s failure to get over the line on factors outside the team’s control, as many of us on the sidelines (myself included) have done. It’s a measure of the man, though, that he avoided doing this and instead insisted that our inability to land Sam was down to us alone.

This quote, in particular, stopped me in my tracks:

If it was Maurice (Deegan) that called it, Maurice deemed it a correct decision and I can never argue against a referee.

People always reference Cormac Reilly in ’14. Did Cormac Reilly put the ball over the bar? We do. So Maurice Deegan didn’t stop us from winning an All-Ireland, we stopped ourselves. We had a chance to level the game in the last minute, and we didn’t take it unfortunately.

That’s the holy all of it, folks. I know we’ve more cause to rail against the unfairness of the world than many counties have but if that’s the opinion of the player whom most of us feel was grievously wronged last year then who are we to argue?

It’s easy to toss out all those old tropes – for some, examples of how we were done over stretch back across several decades – but, at the end of the day, this all amounts to an exercise in unhelpful self-pity, at times bordering on self-loathing. Stuff in the past clearly doesn’t bother Lee so it shouldn’t trouble those of us on the outside looking in either.

With another championship season now around the corner, it’s great to see that Lee’s belief remains unshaken. I love his Sergio Garcia metaphor and this quote about coming close but not close enough is a good one too:

People always say it’s a hard luck story, but it’s not really. If you are not there you are not going to win it.

That’s always been my viewpoint too. Having taken my seat in Croke Park on ten occasions (including the two replays) when Sam was up for grabs, I can honestly say I wouldn’t trade in one of them, despite the fact that we came away empty-handed every single time. Failure, ultimately, is not being able to compete at all at the highest level or being unable to come back after losing to try again.

Sitting in Croke Park last Sunday, the crowd dominated by all those listless and success-stuffed Dublin fans, I couldn’t help thinking back to the two totemic clashes last year when the raucous noise from our lot drowned the Dublin support out as our lads went toe-to-toe with them right to the bitter end. It’s memories like this – along with Lee’s upbeat words – that we need now, not thoughts about injustices and hard-luck stories, as we face into another summer campaign. This one may not provide us with our longed-for happy-ever-after ending either but one thing we’ve every right to be confident about is that the lads will once again give their all in the quest for ultimate glory.

103 thoughts on “Listen to Leeroy

  1. i had just listen to lee on the off the ball play back before you put it up here WJ,
    what a gentleman, he has some outlook,his attitude is very measured,and on reflection sure we all know he is right,
    no point blaming deegan or reilly or whoever,i too like you WJ loved his Sergio Gracia remark,
    got a little flutter in my belly at the mention of championship ,roll on 21st May!

  2. It’s amazing what has been happening at Westport in underage. I’m not sure I’v seen ever a club to be so strong from U12 to u21. Usually you would have at least one grade where there is a fall off.
    Then you look at Colm Moran, Paul Lambert, Oisin McLoughlin, Pat Lambert, Mark Moran. All quick, strong and skillful. They have an astro turf beside the main pitch so I’d say they do a lot of skills work in their in their winter. I know they have put a lot of thought into the progression of the players year on year.

  3. Lee is such a fantastic role model and ambassador for Mayo people everywhere.

    I agree with what he says about Deegan and Reilly.

    But going back to Anne Marie’s column in the Mayo News it is about time our management and County Board stood up for Mayo at the right time.

    Not only did the GAA rub our faces in it by sending Reilly to Castlebar, they sent Deegan too. The latter was a linesman in Limerick and has openly admitted to making a balls of the all Ireland replay last year. That was the time to set down a marker that we will not be taken for fools. But did anybody say anything? Not at all, because there are cosy jobs for the boys to protect going forward.

  4. Haven’t listened to Leroy yet, but agree:

    * We need to stop whinging – afterwards.

    * And we need to get in pre-emptive strikes beforehand – County Board and management please note.

    And you know, it hasn’t all been against us. Was looking back at the 2015 draw with Dublin recently. We only started to play in the last 20 minutes, Dublin got 2 blacks and a red, we got none. Dublin’s 2 midfielders were dismissed by the last quarter. Referee? Dublin Joe.

  5. Leeroy is such a role model for young and old. Honest on and off the pitch!
    As someone that has also sat down in Croker for 10 AI final throw-ins I can only agree with you WJ, these are special days along with the great days Qualifying for them. Pls god we will get to an 11th!

  6. Thanks for that link Willie Joe. A wonderful interview. As others have said a terrific role model. So positive. No self pity just looking head to the next battle. Just the attitude that is needed to get us to the promised land.

  7. I have always said that All Irelands won is not a real measure of a footballer. Many have won three, for or maybe even more and are forgotten outside their own county. But players like Packy McGarty, Gerry O’Malley, Mickey Kerins, Iggy Jones, Jim McKeever and many, many more are not forgotten by the game’s followers around the county. Lee Keegan and several of this Mayo team are already in that category.
    Additionally no team in modern times has shown the courage and perseverance of Mayo in coming back year after year, now six in all, despite meeting disappointment every time. I have no doubt that they will be back again this year and please God it will be a lucky seventh attempt.

  8. I think that preemptive action by us will only go so far. The cold fact remains that until we win the thing we won’t ever be taken as seriously by the top brass as the Dubs or Kerry. I agree that, barring Limerick maybe, each of our major losses over the last 5 years were down to us falling short as a team. And even in Limerick we had chances to put Kerry away. Again, it was the inability to nail a vital goal at a crucial stage that was our biggest failing there. This failing keeps on repeating itself time and time again. I don’t know what it is. As I said before, it’s fruitless trying to look for the ‘marquee’ type forward.
    The goal Lee scored should be instructive regarding what suits Mayo (playing at our very best. Big ball winners (Aidan) laying a simple ball to marauding half-backs. This is us folks. I’ll take that any day of the week and if we still come up short so be it. Playing our natural game will stand to us most in the pressure cooker – in huge c’ship matches. We need to get our strong ball winners on the ball with support play from the likes of Keith, Lee, Paddy, Coen, even Harry bombing up, something we saw promising signs of this League campaign.
    For me, the thing that won the match for Kerry last Sunday was their hard running off the shoulder from deep. And you can fully expect to see a lot more of that come Summer. That is the game they will aim to play and perfect. They have the youth. They’ll be a beast for any team to take on this year. If we do get the chance to meet them later in the year will our lads still have the legs for them? For me that will be the big question. The same could be said for Galway who have a very young team.

  9. You have got to hand it to Lee,he has a great attitude to the game .He is not just teak tough but is a pure footballer,intelligent ,composure and alot of people dont realise,he’s quick.Personally I would play him centre back with a license to attack.For me he is too good a player not to have a central positon,you gotta get on the ball as much as possible.

  10. After watching Galway last Sunday liberal role I’m not convinced theyll manage our bucks at full pelt , a biteen weak at the back for sure. We will need to be rarin to go if we get to salthil though

  11. I haven’t listened to this yet but what a fantastic viewpoint from Lee. How lucky we are to have him in Mayo.
    Willie Joe you summarised the whole thing perfectly for me!

  12. Good man Leeroy. Just another stat from the league I picked up on a few weeks ago is that up to Dublin’s High scoring game with Roscommon and our game with Tyrone, only a point separated us in terms of total points scored in the NFL with the Dubs ahead by one. The margins are thin alright between the very best forwards we’ve seen in decades and ourselves!!!! Inches? More like millimetres.

  13. Lee is spot on…..refreshing to see the honesty and encouraging to see a senior player in our squad isn’t looking for any excuses!!

  14. Pity we can’t pin Lee’s quotes to the top of this blog , like some people can pin tweets on Twitter, its the first thing we see when we log on. A lot of the times its always someone else’s fault. Usually ref’s, sometimes county boards, the media, Jesus i have even seen the weather in 2013 blamed here ” the heat beat us in the 2013 final” Crikey lads, it must have been hotter for our lads than the Dubs. Leo Varadkar, had a quote around 2010 about the Irish way of thinking and if you look at it makes sense for Mayo GAA Football supporters to, he said ” prior to independence we blamed everything on the Brits, after that we blamed everything on partition and now we are blaming everything on Europe, maybe we need to look at ourselves once in a while”.
    Maybe, just maybe, its not always someone else’s fault.
    Just a thought

  15. Sean Burke – I fancy our lads to account for Galway IF we are going full tilt at 100%. If we aren’t then Galway will beat us no doubt.

  16. Found myself getting caught up in the whole Dublin Mayo nastiness that has become a prevalent theme in recent years.

    With Connolly being a club mate of mine, of course Keegan can be portrayed as the route of all evil sometimes in the capital.

    Have to say I had reservations about listening to his podcast as the bould Ger Gilroy never hides his dislike for Dublin.

    Leeroy I though came across fantastically well, the analogy drawn between Garcia & Mayo Gaa has been met with derision in some quarters. I thought it was a good comparsion to draw.

    Anyway the point of this guest post is I hope we (Dubs) and you lads keep competing at the business end each year, and seriously hope that both sides can lose some of nastiness an bile that is spat out online and in the stands.

    I always hope Mayo do well once Dublin aren’t involved, big football counties like ye deserve success and are crucial to the continuation of our great organization.

    Cheers

  17. And it’s a good thought Wayne Scales…. one to hold onto!
    Delighted to hear Tommy Conroy Kiltane is shaping up. Good luck to him.

  18. Lee did not absolve from blame Damien Dempsey’s stint providing the entertainment on AI day. I think Damien is still very much on the hook and can be used as an excuse.

    Remember an excuse can always be found.

  19. @InBetweener. Did Tommy Conroy do well in the match against Moy Davitts?
    Note there are two Tommy Conroys namechecked these days as there is also the current minor Tommy Conroy from The Neale/Ballinrobe CS.

  20. This attitude is the foundation on which keegan the footballer presents and makes him the footballer he is – an attitude which runs through the panel, one of the legacies of the Horan years. He is representative of a terrific group.

  21. Goodman Keegan-Dub Have to say i love the Mayo Dublin rivalry….My first time in Croker was 1985 when wecame back from 8 pts down to draw the semi final TJ Kilgallon kicked the equaliser….Ye gave Kevin Mcstay awful abuse from the hill of course we booed Barney Rock then again he did break John Finns jaw…..We hope to meet ye again this year we definetly owe ye one but this is the best Dublin team ever enjoy it while ye can…..

  22. Just to note that both U21 semi finals are streamed live on the TG4 youtube channel this weekend.
    Two very interesting matches.
    Donegal – Dublin. Donegal have the biggest running power and strength I think has ever been seen at this level. You have Dublin then who are very similar to the senior team. They even have a half forward name escapes me who has the exact same gait/build as Kevin McManamon, including the shuffly shoulder jog back after kicking a point. Con OCallaghan is worth watching then as well. Dublin to win this one with goals and halting the Donegal running game.
    Kerry – Galway then. I’v seen both teams. I still think this Kerry team is underpowered in defence outside of Brendan O’Beaglaich. I see Finnerty, Daly and Creedon on frees making hay. Galway to dominate the kickouts and sneak this one kicking their frees.

  23. Kerry will beat Galway with a few to spare….Killian Spillan will do damage….

  24. Anyone have info regarding Mayo’s pre season challenge games between now and the Sligo match.I see Donegal are on tour in America at the moment and played New York in a challenge last nite.

  25. Bearing in mind that Rosgommon only beat New York by 1 owl pint, its not guaranteed that Sligo will be playing Mayo. New York could well win that game and then what? Would they come to Mchale? Would they fulfill the fixture? There could well be fellas on the New York team who are “undocumented” or illegal and who cant leave the USA or they wont get back in. Only saying like.

    Mayo might get a walkover and our first game could be Galway in Pearse.

  26. Nice contribution Keegan_Dub. Like you, I’ve definitely found myself drawn into some of that nastiness over the past couple of years and I never feel any better for it; in fact the month running up to the final last year was vicious to a level I’ve never known before and it actually sucked the enjoyment out of it. I don’t want to find myself doing that this year.

    Admittedly it is hard at times to look past some of the advantages that Dublin enjoy; and to not feel a bit put out when it seems the entire national media is engaged in one long love-in with them. However the alternative way of looking at it is that a number of years back Dublin were presented with an opportunity, they grabbed it with both hands, they put in place professional structures that have literally been game-changers and they set themselves a target, which they have smashed. Credit must go to them. And most of all, they have a phenomenal bunch of footballers. Ultimately on match day, it’s 15 versus 15 and the 15 that score the most will win the game. And we cannot deny that we have had our opportunities.

    Decisions may rankle along the way (and they do) but I have never once heard any of our players apportion blame to anyone but themselves for not getting over the line. Not previous management (despite what is constantly implied even within this county), not supporters, not referees – no-one but themselves. I for one certainly hope that we’ll find ourselves competing again with Dublin at the business end – if we are going to win this thing, while I’d take any kind of a win, I’d love us to beat the team that is regarded at the best.

    Hope to see you contributing further to the blog over the course of the year. We might wear green and red tinted glasses, but we aren’t blind to the very welcome and insightful contributions made here by those who visit from opposing counties.

  27. Jim, I’m nearly sure I heard (or I might be raving…) but I think the rules were changed this/last year after Roscommons near miss in the Bronx. If New York won their match, they would not be required to travel to Ireland, I maybe wrong.

  28. Mayo.Mick.

    What would happen then? Would Mayo have to go over there? Or would Mayo be given a bye or would Sligo be re-instated to play us anyway even if they lost to New York?

    Its grand having New York included as long as they keep losing in the first round. They wouldn’t want to do anything stupid now like winning a few games or anything like that. The owl apple cart could get upset.

  29. Yep that’s the kinda attitude you’d expect from a top inter county player. It’s not always just ability that gets lads on a team it’s their mentality and intelligence. Heard an interview of Robbie Hennelly a year or 2 back and was impressed by his attitude and the level of maturity for such a young guy. Andy and Cillian in the media lots too and always come across well as does Aido.
    And we’ll need that kind of attitude cause coming close and not winning can be harder than not coming close at all like the weaker Counties. Our lads know they always have a great chance in the heat of championship. I’ve no doubt a lot of the players would have a similar mentality to Leroy.

  30. In the previous post about Marquee forwards I was thinking yeah did Conroy from Kiltane not show that kind of ability as a minor and lo and behold he gets a positive mention on this post. However if he’s missed the County winter S&C would be dubious about bringing a newcomer in this close to championship. Adam Gallagher and Varley are worth a look though I would think Evan Regan is a more natural goal scorer. I am a believer that if we don’t have marquee forwards elevate a marquee back. Three in the frame, Keith, Leroy and P Durcan. Keith would be my pick thus allowing the other 2 to maraude and he would funnel back as cover. Indeed I would have Keith as sweeper because Kevin Mc has shown by stats there to be one of our scoring forwards when used as a forward. He can even play corner forward and usually too fast for corner backs so the ball sticks when sent in near him. Keith moves the ball faster than any other player be it by running, kicking or hand passing.
    Kirby could get a run FF if Aido used in midfield which could well happen until we know SOS is championship fit.

  31. TH says:
    April 14, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    Anyone have info regarding Mayo’s pre season challenge games between now and the Sligo match.I see Donegal are on tour in America at the moment and played New York in a challenge last nite

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Tom Cunniffe started for New York in that challenge. Donegal won by seven points but were far from full strength.

  32. About New York and the possibility of winning a championship game….. We’ll, having experienced the undocumented immigrants phenomenon personally nearly two decades ago in New York I’d say it’d be nigh on impossible to bring those fellas to a game here and expect them all to return. The question “purpose of your visit” would be a difficult one to answer for a lot of those fellas if they were trying to get back in. Besides, my guess is that, post 9/11, the undocumented that travelled through airports to gain entry initially are flagged on the system very easily. In short, it’s a huge risk for these lads, not all of them of course.
    How would the GAA handle this eventuality? My guess would be to punish New York for winning a game, throwing the whole thing up in a hape and probably give their next opponents a by (not sure how to spell that one) I hope I’m wrong. If ya win ya win, simple as…….

  33. They are not undocumented though, illegal is what they call ever other nationality so why are we special? I know plenty of Irish who would love to work in the USA legally but can’t because so many overstay and become illegal. The US is virtually a closed shop unless you know someone.

  34. Following TH’s question: Are any challenge games in the pipeline?

    Think we need some and the following players need to see action against another county jersey:

    Aido,
    Caff,
    Dillo,
    Seamie,
    Barry,
    Drake,
    Loftus,
    Reape,
    Gallagher
    Crowe,
    O’Donoghue

    And maybe a couple more – Hennelly.

  35. Galway look like they’ve beaten Kerry…they are making this much vaunted Kerry side look quite average…Galway are now on the cusp of 3 all Ireland u21 titles in a 6 years. We’d be getting incredibly excited if it was us.

    It’s concerning.

  36. I wouldn’t be losing sleep just yet. Kerry were 7/1 to beat galway on the back of a couple of minor wins. Rediculous, I’ve been stating on this blog for a while now that 21 to senior is miles apart, Moreso then minor to 21 but it’s still a step up.

  37. Our senior team’s success 2011 to present was backboned by the strong 21 teams we had…we were robbed in Breffni Park in 04, won in 06 and won several Connacht 21 titles toward the end of the last decade. Since then it’s been horrendous. So while no sleep will be lost, it is nevertheless a worry for he future. Thank God for our flash on the pan team of last year but I’m hoping we see some good teams or some standout players (particular a few forwards) at minor/u17 over the coming years which could add too the lads who’ll come thru to senior from last years 21’s.

    Success breeds success.

  38. My point is it doesn’t always translate into senior success. Cork have been in 4 u21 finals since 07 winning twice and have totally fallen away in the last couple
    Of years. I’d prefer to see one or two player making a breakthrough every year to keep things progressing and fresh rather then hoping for a great team to arrive all at once.

  39. That’s true too. Pearse Hanley was minor in 06 and we had a very average team that year. So, star players can emerge despite not winning at underage, but still….it’s not good to keep getting battered year in, year out at u21 level… Again, with the exception of last season.

    It’s not hard to make examples of counties who’ve won at underage and failed to impact at senior…the stats however would certainly favour senior success if underage teams are winning at u21.

  40. Well done to Galway. I tipped them to win. I watched the Kerry Cork game and thought bar OBeaglaoich and OFlaherty they weren’t exactly powerful. Then their football was very systematic. I just thought the power of Galway was far in excess of what they faced so far and the script for that type of football they play would be torn up.
    With our minors and U21s as I’v said before we have a midfield weakness. Since Aidan OShea how many good in kickouts minor or u21 midfielders have there been?
    Colm Murphy had the bedt midfield performances but then he got injured.
    If you don’t have a strong midfield it is much harder for your forwards. Last years U21s needed a lot of turnover ball won back by Stephen Coen and Diarmuid OConnor.
    I think U20 will suit us better than U21. We haven’t been picking for power (good in the long run maybe) and hence we usually are beaten early in the chamionship.
    Looking at schools and club football we can tog what is in my view a strong U20 team next year.
    There are a few lads have improved significantly from being 2016 U18/U17s.

  41. Galway seem to have better forward options than Mayo with regard to scoring presently. We have lots of work horses as usual but Andy seem to be the only regular scorer from play that we have.
    Why do we not produce natural scoring forwards ???
    It’s pretty much always been the same.

  42. Fair play to Galway did not expect that result ….Thats a lot of talent Galway have coming through the only thing is they have a lot of distractions be it Connaught rugby Galway hurlers and Galway utd thats before you take the races and arts in the City ….Can they bring this talent through to the senior team is another matter…..There is not thw same interest in gaelic
    Football like we do in Mayo….I was in Galway today and called into some of the bars only 1 of them was showing the match it was all soccer and rugby on the TVs yet they will all be showing the rugby this evening….

  43. We go overboard. Mayo player can’t fart but we smother them. Galway/Kerry/Dubs etc, they like the medal on the table before elevation to sainthood.

  44. Wouldnt be too many saints in Ireland so. Our minors and U21s have in fairness medals in their back pockets. Our seniors unfortunately dont, but I dont think anyone could begrudge Boyler, Andy, Leeroy, Keith etc etc a bit of praise. Resilience is a fantastic quality and people from the west should admire that trait. I would give anything to see us win an AI but even if we dont, it wont in any way lessen my admiration for a large number of our players. By the way well done to the neighbours. They were bloody impressive. Donegal were very disappointing. I had heard great things about them. And poor Jack O Connor what can I say

  45. Freespoone and J Cuffe… you both put it where it is…..in the very right place! What’s happening in Galway is duplicated in Mayo as far as I can see except they can afford it more than us! However. well done the maroons.
    Also congrats to Donegal and Dublin for coming up with such good stuff this evening. I’m coming from far flung Erris
    where the state of affairs is as clear as the virgin air coming in off the wild Atlantic and again the question is put …..what is a tackle?? FFS …. how deep can you bury your head in the sand?
    Is the colour blue sometimes green or orange. pink or what? Ordinary fringe people are asking these questions . Are there any answers?

  46. Great win for Galway today and hearty congrats to them as it was well deserved victory. Jack o Connor has a reputation for having his homework done and today is the perfect snapshot of don’t count your chickens,,, Kerry players clearly enjoyed too many hours on the couch reading about the difficulties they might have in the final.

    Obviously not litterly as I’m only drawing parallels to many past situations where the perceived favourites would prevail. Kerry were out played and out classed in that first half by a hungry underdog team. When they got the smelling salts at the break they woke up a little but they were in in an impossible chase at that stage.

    It’s the old sporting managerial conundrum, get the run right, against Cork in home ground Kerry were chomping at the bit and we tore them limb from limb, tonight it was the complete opposite. Galway were the underdog and they bit and bit hard, Kerry were wagging the tail and expecting the script to go in accordance to perceived plan, regardless of respect for the opposition the mind must be meticulously prepared for battle, with youth the sideline has to dot the t’s.

    Last Sunday Kerry caught a very expectant Dublin team with that old but unbeatable ingredient of youth without expectation. If you are told you can’t, well in a sporting envoitnment you probably wil. The dubs will pick themselves up and will draw on last Sunday’s defeat to drive themselves on for the Championship, Kerry will comfort themselves in the knowledge that we were right.. they weren’t better than us, Are they better than us ?? Yes they are but Kerry won’t countenance that consideration as we have the arrogance to believe that. I think Dublin are the best current team but can they be overturned ?? As Obama said yes we can, sport is the ultimate slot machine, it’s 2017 so let’s give it a spin,,

  47. Very impressive win by Galway. They have a serious amount of young talent coming through. Saw their minors a few weeks ago and they look like they have another very good side at that level again this year. Bit early for a lot of these young players but from a Mayo perspective it will be difficult to hold them off over the next few years as a few of our older heads depart the scene.

    Felt a little for Donegal. Looked awfully sluggish today after a 5 day break and Gallagher playing many of them in the league. Looked stuck to the ground against the Dubs.

  48. 1 Connaught U21 title in 8 years is simply not good enough. When the arse falls out of our present team we’re gonna be left with many barren years of watching Galway seniors representing the best of Connaught. We need to start seeing some success at underage very quickly and bring through some real talent if we want to avoid that dreaded prolonged drought.

  49. Great post GAMECHANGER and a very honest assessment of the previous 7 days. Well done to Galway this evening also. Fahy is not that popular in Galway circles, but expect them to be falling over each other now that the final beckons. I think Leeroy is some role model but not the only one on this great team of ours. As penned earlier by Corner Back. That was a great comment about Leeroy and his teammates. You show some insight with that remark and I agree fully with those words. This attitude defines this team, just ask Tyrone or Donegal lads about it.

  50. Good, indeed great win by Galway – loved that look on Jack O’Connor’s face.

    However, Galway have got to a final. Mayo won the damn thing last year. Seem to recall they beat some pretty decent teams in the process.

  51. Eamon Sweeneys article is nonsense. Lee agreed very lightly with the possibility of it being an influenced call. But the proper context of Lee’s answer is basically the ref has a hard job he made the call now Stephen Coen just had to do his best.

  52. What absolute thrash. Ignored 99.9% of what Keegan said to back up his own idiotic opinion. Probably got a few likes though which seems to be what modern day journalism is about

  53. The independent must be a horrible place to work. How else to explain how its writers all seem to turn into depressive people moaning about the ills of the world. Editorial rules seem to be
    1. Set an agenda.
    2. Be negative about it.
    3. Throw in something else so you can pretend your article has balance.
    5. Dont worry if the facts do not agree, twist them or ignore them.
    So Sweeney decjdes to have a pop at the double standards and willfull ignoring of the facts surrounding Connollys disciplinary record. Agenda set. For `balance` he decides to have a pop at Keegan as well. Hes doing interviews as part of the cul camp promo, so is sure to say something that’ll add a few timely quoues to the article. Unfortunately Lee doesnt play ball. Lee refuses to blame anyone for the defeat or the black card, defends referees, and generally plays a blinder with the media, despite being repeatedly questioned about all the controversy. Never mind, HE NEVER SAID HE WAS RIGHT TO HAVE BEEN SENT OFF!!! That’ll do…

  54. Disappointing article by Sweeney.

    Media becoming very boring .

    Look we are on our own on this journey , we have to deal with that . Nobody wants us to do it from outside and fook it thats the way it should be. Let’s stop caring.

  55. Brown stuff by sweeney! It’s high time some of the indo journalists target Philly McMahon for his antics! Oh hold on McMahon is a Dub that won’t happen!

  56. The only way to respond is for the team to do their talking on the pitch.
    There’s no other helpful reply at this stage and there never will be until we win.

  57. By writing about it,is he not putting a spotlight on the whole scene that he’s “getting tired of”?.Utter dung!!

  58. Sweeneys article not fair or balanced.There was orchestrated campaign and it worked.Not only that but despite all our bad decisions and mistakes we ran Dublin to a point and not for first time.
    Trying to defend some of the things that have gone on is trying to defend the indefensible.How quickly we forget Mayo were made play in Limerick under a shocking ref to facilitate a non Irish event.To complain about that is to whinge?
    Of course Mayo Co.Board could have done more in my view but time to move on now.
    Sweeney should try to be fair and true balance would be to look at what made Lee footballer of the year and look at his comments which were the opposite to how they were portrayed in that article.

  59. Was Leeroy as Player of the Year not the choice oof his fellow players via the GPA? It was not Connolly, McMahon or any other of the journalist’s pets. That says it all as far as I am concerned. By the way, I gave up reading the Sunday Indo about three years ago because of the standard of journalism / editorship generally, not just confined to sports.

  60. What a load of rubbish for a national daily newspaper to print. It’s so tongue in cheek that it is actually amusing. Mayo supporters have moved on. Lee Keegan has moved on. Championship 2017 is about to start. The only purpose that I can see in printing such guff has to be an attempt at a wind up. This is trolling worthy of some backward social media site. And to the poster above who recommended this article and suggested that Mayo fans ” need to take a long hard look at ourselves”. . . as a famous tennis player once said in Wimbledon: “You can’t be serious”

  61. Poor Robbie hennelly been slated by the independent again , sweeney this year , brolly last year .. not on

  62. I suppose we must take into account that it’s a break at the moment and they are regurgitating stuff from the past and trying to make it important enough to sell papers. Any word on challenge matches for Mayo?

  63. Do you think Lee Keegan give a toss about Sweeney’s article or to those Mayo supporters venting their anger at Sweeney on a internet forum?

    Lee has a more pragmatic and progressive attitude.Different gravy!

  64. We seen at the weekend a highly rated Kerry team fail to emulate the achievement of our U21 team last year, i.e. back-up a Minor All-Ireland title win by winning an U21 title three years later. It just shows that it is not an easy thing to do. In fact the last team to do it before us (Minor champions in 2013 and U21 champions three years later in 216) was Tyrone. They accomplished that feat in 1998 and 2001. A number of members of those teams then went on to win Senior All-Ireland titles in 2003, 2005 and 2008. So lets see where our young lads end up. For us too it could be actually argued that we were missing our best two out and out forwards from the 2013 team, Tommy Conroy and Darragh Doherty RIP.

    We seen Donegal use a lot of young lads in the League but they ended up winning neither a League title or an U21 title. We seen Kerry use some of their young lads and win a League title but miss out on an U21 All-Ireland win. We’ll see how things will pan out for us at the end of the year.

    In relation to the Lee Keegan saga, again the League final showed why the Dubs were so protective of Connolly for most of last year. With Bernard Brogan and Paul Flynn not performing to their best, along with Paddy Andrews, Paul Mannion and Eoghan O’Gara having injury problems or only coming back into the team, for Dublin to be winning games they really needed Connolly to be performing at the top of his game. Kevin McManamon was starting games also so they didn’t have his impact off the bench either. It was Connolly who got some crucial late scores against Kerry in the semi-final.

    Hence the campaign in a nutshell to look after poor old Diarmuid, Dublin really needed him to be firing on all cylinders as a lot of their other lads weren’t. So the Dubs did their best to try and have a situation where they didn’t even want to have a hair on his head touched during games. This is something that we really need to look out for this year. Eamonn Fitzmaurice nipped it in the bud in the build-up to the League final so we’ll need to do something similar if it happens again to us.

  65. Mayo are 5/1 for Sam, thats ok, but Meath are 14/1 for leinster. I am not sure why but I have this feeling about Meath in Leinster this summer, heard a few things about them and might stick a tenner on them. Carlow and Wicklow are both 1000/1 for leinster, I mean, how bad and hopeless can you possibly be for odds like that?
    How would it work if dublin were down to 14 men from the 15 minute onwards and Meath had lots of running in them? Mayo and Kerry can not be the only ones that recognise there are certain dublins players that have short tempers and will lash out if provoked.

  66. Hold up a second. “Dublin down to 14 men from 15 minute onwards”.

    What? In Croke Park? Against Meath. Are you expecting a proper referee or something?

    You got 2 hopes. Bob Hope and no hope. Be aware that “the deck is uneven right from the start and all of the players are playing their part”.

  67. I’d keep my money in my pocket, Dave, if I were you. Meath have given up – Dublin’s third team would beat them in Leinster. Carlow and Wicklow are priced fairly at 1000/1 for Leinster because they are that bad and hopeless.

  68. Jim flag obviously does nt watch Leinster football . In last years semi v Dublin a Meath player kicked Connolly while Connolly was lying on the ground. He received a yellow card. But hey he as a dirty dub scumbag is nt he so let’s not worry about facts or truth.

  69. At this stage I think all Mayo should boycott the Indo like Merseyside have with the Sun.between Martin Breheny the smart alleck from Galway, Eugene McGee, O’Rourke ,Brolly and now Sweeney.In fairness Colm Keys is a good and fair Journalist and Tomas O’Se only that he can’t help himself by bringing Kerry into every article.Best paper I find for Gaelic football coverage is Irish Examiner by far.

  70. just to go against the grain I’m putting a tenner on Meath at 14/1 for Leinster. Surely there has to be some ounce of pride in the county jersey and someday somewhere a referee will call it as it is and not be worried about his “superiors” in Croke Park.

  71. Well It’s good you have a sense of perspective TH the sun being boycotted due to its appalling accusations about the hillsborough disaster. Mayo s protestations about the indo s coverage of its gaa heroes is a valid comparison for sure.

  72. It’s like sarcasm central tonight! Ger71 – that’s two catty swipes you’ve taken at others in a short space of time. I know it’s a quiet time at the minute and the debate on here kinda reflects this but people are entitled to express their opinions and the rule here, in responding to what others say, is play the ball, not the man/woman. This isn’t a place either for smart-arse put-downs, unlike many other corners of the online world where that kind of ‘debate’ thrives. Please bear this in mind if commenting again.

  73. @Dave. I agree with you from the point of view that Meath are improving rapidly. They beat Galway and were competitive in a strong division two.
    They have a good 2012 minor crop maturing.
    They have a world class physical trainer in John Coghlan. A very good manager in Andy McEntee.
    But I think their aim is always going to be on the qualifiers.

  74. Sarcasm is the only reasonable response to a man suggesting a boycott and comparing it to the awful tragedy of hillsborough . I mean come on. I think Connolly gets a terrible time and I hear stories about him from people who couldn’t tell you what colour the Dublin jersey is. As you are a fellow clubman of his I thought you would understand. Anyhow you run a lively blog and if I make any more contributions I ll cut back on the sarcasm.

  75. I generally like Eamon Sweeney’s work but that article is shit and completely misinterprets/misrepresents and overreacts to Leeroy’s comments during the week. Poor stuff.

    For the record, this story was an offlead on the Sindo’s back page and therefore it gets thrown up onto the Independent.ie website, i.e it’s not an Indo story. On that note, TH, to draw parallels between the Indo’s coverage of Mayo GAA and The Sun’s coverage of Liverpool FC and the city itself is nothing short of warped.

    Something people are missing: Eamon Fitz, didn’t suggest there was a Dublin conspiracy, he flat-out said there was one.

  76. Fair point, Ger71, the comparison couldn’t be viewed as valid no matter how you look at it. I’d actually forgotten that incident from the Meath game last year and I wouldn’t say I’m alone there – Leinster is utterly forgettable from start to finish nowadays. I’m not sure Connolly gets too bad a time – for every story dissing him there’s one praising his special talents to high heaven. Lee’s got a far worse time, by comparison, even though he’s the one with four All-Stars and the FOTY award.

  77. Meath @ 14/1 to win Leinster! They not even the 2nd best team in it.there behind Kildare and both are way of the Dubs!

    Was looking at some of the betting there Monaghan at 9/2 good odds for Ulster and Galway 11/2 to win all Ireland hurling and closer to home ballintubber 11/4 to win county!

  78. Actually I stand corrected sure Westmeath have to be 2nd best team in leinster at the minute they have being in the last two Leinster finals!

  79. Good Lord help us. Between Brolly and his shit talk about Gooch and now Sweeney’s skither about Leemuid the two boys are well met and seem to be getting more creative by the day. Infact, their respective papers should have a creative writing section separate from the sports section. Maybe someone who would know as much about football today as these two apes could submit a piece. Maybe Kevin Myers or Twink or Mystic fuckin Meg could do a piece on the massive contribution Joe Brolly made to the game as a player and his spectacular achievements with his county and club.
    The shafoid these fellas are let publish is the reason I use this site almost exclusively for all good analysis of players performance, team selection and everything in between. There are people contributing here whose knowledge and feel for the game as well as their prose far, far exceeds anything available in print.

  80. The tin foil hat brigade are getting louder in here. I think some are loosing their minds. Time to refocus.

  81. It really looks like our clubs with large picks are really getting their houses in order at senior and underage level.
    1. Castlebar, 10 years ago coming out of a dip where they weren’t challenging for titles and had mixed fortunes at underage. Now the county senior favorites, their B team are doing well in 1C and they are competitive in Division one in all grades of football at underage.
    2. Breaffy, have evolved to being a larger pick club compared to ten years ago. Top club at senior and underage coming through.
    3. Westport, now senior and look competitive. Good underage coming through and a strong school.
    4. Claremorris, senior and look competitive. Good underage coming through and a strong school.
    5. Knockmore, a decent pick when you go Bridge in Foxford, to near Ballina, to Crossmolina. Off to a good start in senior and look strong at underage.
    The one mystery in terms of not following through on available pick are Ballina.
    When you look back to the 2003 county final to see David Brady, Ronan McGarrity, Liam McHale, Pat Harte, Eanna Casey (sub!!!), Patrick Gazza McHale (sub!!), Stephen Hughes, Enda Devenney injured, James Devenney, Brian Ruane, Martin Wynne, Shane Sweeney.
    Whatever about Schools of excellence etc. we really can’t afford for Ballina not to be competitive for the senior title. There are 10,000 people in Ballina!! Mayo football needs Ballina producing more than just Evan Regan at senior level. The last Ballina county senior footballer before Evan Regan is I think all the way back to Pat Harte??
    Surely the county board should be getting involved and helping out in someway?
    It saddens me to see Swinford struggling in Division 1C as well. Yes all clubs have their issues in cycles of getting 15-20 strong footballers who can compete but this is going on about ten years now and the county board should not be comfortable with a pick like Swinfords not being competitive at almost every grade. Bear in mind that is a pick of five national schools.
    This is a falloff from pushing the great Crossmolina senior team close in championship back in the early 2000’s.

  82. Noted I forgot to mention Ger Cafferykey from Ballina. But still Evan Regan and Ger Cafferkey is a tiny return from a town of 10,000 people since 2010. That’s seven years of senior football.

  83. David Clarke is there from the times when Ballina were doing very well at underage and senior. Two players in recent years is a very low return.

  84. Peaks and low’s….Ballina will come back but it is up to those within the GAA club there to but the structures in place….maybe they already have? Also aren’t there two clubs in Ballina? Ardnaree taking up the north side of the river?
    I don’t think you will ever have all clubs in Mayo doing well at the same time, that is not the way it work’s.

  85. Eanna Casey was involved in some good development plan but it hasn’t paid off yet. Depends on the follow through on such plans.
    I think we are in a good place with the clubs.
    One time junior was fairly poor throughout.
    Intermediate was a bit better than junior. Then you had a brilliant senior championship.
    It looks to be returning to a tight senior grade whilst at the same time plenty of Intermediate and junior clubs are doing a good job with the players available.
    Aghamore and Westport have almost created a totally new talent pool. Amazing work going on in those two clubs.

  86. Anyone know who the ex Crossmolina player , added to Mayo backroom team is. Mayo news tweeted this earlier. Hope it’s Mc D.

  87. Joe Keane is the new man in the coaching team from crossmolina he has been involved with the u21 for the last 2 years and has managed the cross senior team he was a forward on the successful cross team of the nineties

  88. You would imagine Joe Keane will be tasked with transitioning young players into the panel.
    He was a very intelligent forward in his day and very fit right into his late 30’s.

  89. I asked this before (don’t recall any response!): does any one know of any plans for challenges over the next few weeks?

    I think they would be very useful this year. A lot of our guys need some game time: Aido, Caff, Barry, Alan D, Brian Reape, Adam Gallagher, Conor Loftus. Robbie as well, and Seamie. That’s a lot and they need to see the colour of another county’s jersey.

  90. I see a report of the Breaffy v Claremorris game the weekend.James Shaughnessy scored 10 points for Claremorris.He scored a good bit for IT Sligo in January against Mayo too, surely he deserves a chance from Rochford after the way our forwards preformed during the league.

  91. James Shaughnessy played well in their game versus Aghamore as well. You wouldn’t like marking him coming in off the bench. Fairly lively, built low and strong. A decent backup on frees as well.

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