On we go, ever closer to the big day. And still it’s deathly quiet, an All-Ireland final build-up like no other we’ve been involved in. It’s midweek now and the nervousness is, for sure, starting to build but the lead-in to this final hasn’t seen either county lose the run of themselves. Neither of us will either ahead of Sunday.

But there is stuff on and material being written so let’s pass some time sifting through what’s in today’s catch.

First up, I’ve been asked by Mike Kelly to give a mention to the Up for the Match All-Ireland final special being hosted by CRC FM tomorrow night (Thursday). The event takes place at Hog’s Heaven in Castlebar, 9-11pm.

The event will be hosted by Mike Kelly and Jimmy Blake and special guests on the night will include Cora Staunton, John Maughan, Tervor Mortimer, Willie Joe Padden, John Melvin, Noel Byrne and Billy Fitzpatrick. There’ll also be live music, finger food and a raffle for spot prizes, including an All-Ireland final ticket.

Proceedings on the night – to which entry is free – will be broadcast live on CRC 102.9 FM. The live broadcast will also be accessible over the internet, using the TuneIn Radio app.

Talking of events, don’t forget that the Cairde Mhaigheo/Mayo Association Galway official Mayo GAA fundraiser Race Night is on tonight (Wednesday) in Ward’s Bar & Hotel, Salthill. Further details on that event are here.

And talking of tickets – as it’s the topic you can be sure everyone is talking about right now – remember that tonight the final Mayo GAA Lotto draw for tickets ahead of Sunday will be held. Ten tickets are included in tonight’s draw and you need to play before 10pm to be in with a chance to win. Play the Lotto here.

Right, onto the coverage that’s out there today.

Let’s start with RTÉ, which this morning carried audio on its 7.30 and 8.30 sports bulletins from the two managers. A piece on what both men had to say is here.

RTÉ also have a piece by Declan Whooley which examines how ourselves and Dublin deal with restarts.

The 42 have an interview feature with Stephen Rochford – here.

Onto the nationals where the coverage is starting to bulk out a bit.

In the Irish Examiner there’s a piece by John Fogarty with Stephen Rochford (here) and ones by Brendan O’Brien, in which he chats with former Dublin goalkeeper John O’Leary about the current incumbent Stephen Cluxton (here) and with Colm Cooper (here) who reckons Sunday is nicely set up for a Green and Red ambush. The same paper has Kieran Shannon’s column, which also in part relates to the Dublin ‘keeper, discussing as it does the characteristics that make a great captain.

In the Irish Independent there’s a piece with Stephen Rochford by Colm Keys (here) and one in which Alan Brogan says he wants to see a re-match of Lee Keegan on Diarmuid Connolly (here). I’d say there’s little or no chance of that happening this time round, to be honest.  Liam Kelly has a piece with the Gooch (here) which covers much the same ground as the one in the Examiner, while Donnchadh Boyle catches up with Ciaran Kilkenny (here).

Onto the Irish Times, where Darragh Ó Sé’s column – here – is the main attraction. Boiled down to its bare bones, he reckons that Dublin’s bench will give them the edge at the finish by three or four points. We shall see.

In the same paper, there’s also a feature with Stephen Rochford (here) while Seán Moran has a piece tracing Dublin’s evolution since 2009 (here).

That’s it for now as regards the written word but there’ll be a new episode of the Mayo News football podcast online later tonight so stay tuned for that.

51 thoughts on “Midweek

  1. Unfortunately I’ll be seeing Sting tomorrow night, so may have to wait for CRC to upload the podcast on that one.

    Seems like the pundits are divided on their predictions so far, with Jim, Darragh and Gooch all taking diverging views so far.

  2. What time is the craic starting in Wards at? I had a look at the poster but couldn’t see any times. As for the lack of media build up for this. Well sure isn’t it really a game of Dublin versus someone else (with it our turn to be that someone this time). Sure only for Donegal upsetting the apple cart wouldn’t this be the 5 in a row?

    Keep it coming I say. Under the radar and the odds getting longer. Perfect for the ambush

  3. John Fogarty in the Examiner has a bit “5 do’s and donts for Mayo pundits” ahead of the All Ireland final.
    It hits the nail right on the head regarding how quite our guys in the mediua are versus the Dublin guys for e.g..
    I don’t know why this was not commented on more and i don’t understand how we can’t have our guys point out the antics of Philly McMahon etc constantly fouling diving and sledging

  4. Strange comment WJ regarding Connolly and Keegan re-match. I think Connolly won’t be named but come Sunday will start. I’d be delighted if he didn’t but he’s too good to be left off. Then looking at the potential match ups Keegan is the most likely to mark him. So I do expect a re-match!
    Other match ups:
    Barrett on Mannion
    Vaughan on rock
    Harry on Andrews
    Boyle on O’callaghan
    Higgins on Kilkenny.
    Rochford is not going to make the same mistake again, putting Higgins man marking in the full back line, a complete myth that he’s a good man marker. Rock did a lot of damage on him last year. Put him on Kilkenny and get Kilkenny chasing him!

  5. Mannion is too quick for Barrett. .. Harry will take Mannion. Barrett will take Rock.

    Keegan will follow kilkenny up and down Croke park & for good measure kick a few scores and hold kilkenny scoreless.

    Boyle will take O’Callaghan & Keith will take the other half forward.

    That leaves Durkan/Vaughan/Coen to take Andrews. I reckon it will be Durkan with Vaughan asked to mark McCauly when introduced.

  6. Andy Moran is having a great year but obviously 75 mins is asking to much at the pace of a all Ireland final….Would management ever consider taking him off for 20 mins and putting him back on for finish like Peter Canavan ….You could give Loftus or Kirby the 20mins after half time then re introduce Andy for the grandstand finnish….

  7. Over the hump of the week and ticket sorted!!! Eerily quiet regarding the buildup. No bad thing I guess.
    Checked the weather for sunday should be dry. Little or no banter from the Dubs on social media. Usually they are spouting some sort of muck at us.

    Quote for the day: “If at first you dont succeed, you are running about average” M.H. Alderson

  8. Is the big Mayo flag still banned from Crow Park on health and safety grounds?
    You know, incase it murders somebody or something.

    Would have been a great sight to see at around 3.25 pm Sunday on the hill.

    Also are all flags with any kind of stick/pole not going to be allowed taken in? Remember there was a lot of them not let in last year if i’m not mistaken.

    Hard for us to bring the colour with that sort of crack. Does anybody here know for sure what is and what isn’t going to be allowed in?

    Willie Joe, any idea sir?

  9. It would be crazy putting keegan on connolly. …
    He has not kicked a ball all summer.
    Put Keegan on kilkenny. End of.

  10. Would you get the flag past the stewards now at the gate? Probably not these days. The whole thing is a farce. I see loads of European soccer (renowned for hardcore fans who need to be segregated mostly). But they can carry all sorts of flags of all sizes (poles and all) with them. And they can drink alcohol away while watching the match live.

    Paddy in a GAA match can’t be trusted though.

  11. I think Andy will last the full game its boyler I’m worried about with mcmenamon and ogara ready to be sprung at our defence in the last 15 minutes. Perhaps boyle could be taken off at half time and reintroduced when mcmenamon or ogara are brought on. I also think Barry moran could be a trump cArd in the last 30 minutes

  12. I would be surprised and delighted to see Connolly start. I just don’t think he is match sharp.. at least he didn’t appear to be against Tyrone anyway for all 30 seconds he was on. Keegan will be on Kilkenny and Vaughan or Coen will look after Connolly when he comes on in the second half. That’s my guesstimation anyway

  13. Let the juice loose.

    Let keegan off the leash and give him a free attacking role any time he wants to attack.

    I think he would do much more damage to Dublin than any of their players would do to us assuming he is fully fit.

    I see alot picked higgins to start in the full back line. I wouldnt start him any further back than the half back line and ready to cut loose. Gavin will be smiling if he sees higgins in the full back line effectively taking him out of the game. I wouldn’t waste any of our attacking defenders marking Dublins key men. Let our lads do their thing.

    All the mayo backs are great players in their own right and well capable of whatever job they are given.

    Attack attack attack

    Let the juice loose.

  14. Gavins key strategy is win the game is with the bench. He’s done it for the past number of years and this year and will be planning to do it Sunday.

    Go at them from the start. Rattle them. Force Gavin in to making early substitutions and there is his master plan up in smoke.

    Let’s show dublin sunday who the best team in the country really are.

    I believe we are a better team than dublin and I hope mayo are sent out on sunday to play football and I mean to play real attacking football and not some strategy of following dublin players around the pitch. Let them follow us around the pitch. I do believe we are that good.

  15. Lads I need some clarification of the rule book but I thought the only way you can sub someone off and bring them back on again was if it was a temporary blood sub or if the game went to extra-time. If either Andy or Boyler were to be brought back on would be if they had cuts (not an ideal scenario!). Could someone enlighten me on this.

  16. a couple of the dublin forward subs mentioned should be gladly welcomed by Mayo on to the pitch. I wont name names but they are as not anywhere near the quality of bernard brogan or his brother.

  17. @Jim Flag. Yes, the big Mayo flag is banned from Croke Park on H&S grounds. They got word through from the head health and safety man at Croke Park that the flag would not be allowed in for the first Kerry game and all subsequent games. They’re going to use the big flag for home league and championship games as well as some away games. It’s a pity, it would have looked the part but those are the times we live in unfortunately. With regards to smaller flags, you’ll be fine bringing them into the stand. There were loads last year in all of the stands, especially the Cusack. I think the issue with the flag sticks mainly occured around Hill 16. For some reason the stewards are stricter there than in other parts of the ground. A few got through, but a lot of sticks were confiscated.

  18. Does anyone think ger caff could be an option for Sunday. Just with the strength of subs especially in the forwards the dubs will introduce I think the key to winning the game for us is reacting to these subs immediately by bringing on fresh defenders to match them. While I think ger could do a better job starting on the likes of rock than coming on and by starting him we could hold someone like barrett in reserve who although has been outstanding would be a great man to come on and match up to a flynn or Kevin mcmenimin. I know it probably won’t happen but if caff was going well in training I’m sure rochie would consider it.

  19. @Kieran,
    Ger Caff starting would be a mistake. He is way off the pace this year, and has been roasted in several games. It’s a huge injury he’s coming back from, and he’s not there yet. I suspect we won’t see him until the league in the spring.

    @Liamontherun – I’ve always wondered if the blood sub reversal would ever be exploited. Some guy goes off with a cut, and is subbed, only for the reversal to occur with 10 minutes to go. Easy enough to nick someone getting treatment, and make it a blood sub, you get a free reversal thrown in, if my understanding of the rules is correct.

    I’d imagine the officials are well clued into this though. Still, it’s an angle.

  20. I think all the talk of who a Mayo defender marks which Dublin attacket is not the way Rochford is looking at. It is the Dublin Attackers who have to mark our defenders and keep them back. Throw a curve ball Friday night with AOS wearing nr3, Paddy Nr4 ( played a lot of league in the corner ) and Keith nr 11. Let the postitions sort themselves out @15:31 Sunday

  21. This is how Mayo should approach the game

    We should play Barry Moran, Aidan O shea and Andy Moran in the full forward line

    Withdraw wing forwards of Kevin Mcloughlin and Diarmuid O ‘Connor and leave Cillian O Connor as playmaker on the 40, this allows us to break up the Dublin attacks and counter attack at pace, this will also allow Keegan, Boyle, to also break forward and attack along with Diarmuid and Kevin. We will have cover to vary our attacks (similar to the way Dublin defeated Kerry in 2011)

    Cian O Sullivan has lost pace for and I believe if we run at him we can get alot of dividends from it

    Jonny Cooper and O Sullivan tend to give away alot of frees and running at this defense will allow us to get some scores from this also

    UP MAIGH EO and I can wait for Sam to Cross the Shannon to join its cousin Liam where it belongs in the Whest!

  22. I believe Sheamus & Tom have vital roles to play next Sunday, they will I’m sure be powered UP big time, they will have to work really hard winning ball, quick accurate passes, blocking opponents around middle third & be ready for Cluxton’s kick outs, they will have to leave everything on the Pitch & I’m sure they will.

  23. Small bit worried that the support may be a bit flat on Sunday. Are we taking on a lot of the characteristics of Kerry supporters. Maybe getting a bit used to the trip to the big smoke. The players will do their own thing anyway but we do have a job to do when we get to the stadium on Sunday – assuming we get tickets. I would definitely say that we have helped the team a little this year especially the Derry game and the Cork game. I include myself in this quite approach. Wake up we are in the All Ireland Final. How many times as young lads and girls have we looked at the telly in Septemebr and think ‘wouldn’t be lovely to be there’. We are!

  24. Agree Sinabhuil, we need a lot more colour. Only colours up around the place are from Dubs so far. Lets cover the bridges from Kilcock to Lucan with flags. Also think we have to roar our disapproval when nasty stuff starts from McMahon and Cooper. We need to let the ref know. No head butting Mayo players and we just accept it. This painting of Mayo as the dirty team is ridiculous. The thuggery has all come from one team and a couple of players over past number of years. We have to stand up and be heard if there is more of this on Sunday.

  25. Minor club championships semi finals on Friday night – take mind off seniors for a night. Any thoughts on how they might go?

  26. Sinabhuil don’t worry, there’s no point in players or fans wasting unnecessary energy prior to Sunday, come 3 o’clock those who are lucky enough to be there will be ready to go fuckin mental in pursuit of victory (players and fans)

  27. Liam,
    I’m sure you can sub someone off and back on as you please, but it counts as two subs, so reducing your sub bench.
    I might be the answer to getting the big flag in . I’m a very skinny hoor, so they could wrap the flag around me several times and cover me up with a donkey jacket. Let me know on Friday, so I don’t eat on Saturday.

  28. Sinabhuil..of any year I think Mayo fans have bern fantastic this year..Think we will be psychotic on Sunday..(in a positive way of course!!)

  29. Yes, keep the energy for 3.30 on Sunday. It has been a long couple of weeks and it’s understandable that people are quieter than they were after the Kerry match. In fact the day after we beat Kerry the reality of what was on the horizon became very clear, and we risk heartbreak by trying again for glory. That’s probably what’s reducing the fever in Mayo and it might be no bloody harm.

    Also, when you see what happened to the family in the car accident in Claremorris this week I think it puts our football worries in perspective.

  30. Answer – unless it was knocked during the week it should be still standing.

    Sorry about that RahoonSean. I’ll go to the back of the class immediately.

  31. Does anyone have a spare ticket i’m desperate i’m living in Dublin and they are not letting any tickets go to country folk this year. last year I got 2 no problem. Im in a bad way

  32. Weird that the Dubs are allowed to bring smoke bombs into the Hill but our big flag is purportedly a health and safety hazard!

  33. It Means Nothing to Me

    It’s weird too that the Dubs can almost decapitate a mayo player and no foul, but a flag, well a flag is much too dangerous.

  34. Mayo have played nine games on the trot, ye have had to reach deep within yourselves when ye didn’t hit the tempo to get over the line, ye won playing badly and like a lucky soldier with several minor flesh wounds ye got to back to your bullet scarred base alive and strong.

    Dublin have whitened their teeth and polished their boots for the photos and sauntered back through the cheering crowds (I say that with no disrespect, I’m referring to their trot to the trench). Mayo are as battle hardened as I have ever seen them and ye have the very best chance of beating Dublin and winning the final that I have ever witnessed. The ball handling that Mayo displayed in the drawn game against Kerry was unbelievable, it was like ye had a dry ball while ours was looked to be dipped in olive oil.

    That’s match practice and it simply can’t be replicated on the training field, it’s match practice at the critical edge of championship and Dublin like Kerry simply don’t have it, for me ye will win this game as ye for the first time have all the necessary edges of critical balance as a result of the ridiculous campaign ye have been through. I’m not saying the Dubs will turn over as they wont, we all know how good they are but on the balance of things they are due a little pinch of misfortune be it on players having an off day or the pressure on the three in a row becoming a distraction. One would never know but uncle joe might have a bout on conscience,,

  35. @El Tod. I think Balla will beat Parke. Balla have three good results recently and the game is in Balla.
    I think Westport will beat Claremorris comfortably. Westport have won most of their league and chamionship games comfortably and the game is in Westport.
    I believe Westport will win the entire thing out at close to a record margin or a record margin.

  36. I won a flag from Mayo Independent Supporters Club a few days before drawn Mayo Kerry match. Five mins after I collected it, it was pulled apart by a Stewart before I entered the ticket stiles. She gave me no choice. Just ripped the flag off the pole and pole fired into the bin. My father stole it out again while we were arguing with her and got it in. She was northern – prob Tyrone!! It was quite a big flag but I met plenty others in there with equally big that had no prob. You can still wave them about without pole. Smaller ones with no big cane sticks will get in easily. Wear green and/red too. Roar your heads off please.

  37. Good man Gamechanger, always contribute well to this blog. Must say the Kerry folk were very gracious in defeat the last day, wished luck and quietly stepped out the stadium, no sour grapes at all. Fair play to them. Hope the Dubs will be as gracious in defeat (or victory) next Sunday. Still have bad memories of rats from the flats giving it large after the replay, no need for it in this sport, we suffer enough from within.

  38. Have those injuries to D Vaughan, DOC an LK’s foot cleared up. It seems to have been avoided, mention of those ailments.
    Is there any chance them boy’s are not fit to start or have those injuries lingered for d last three weeks, im just wondering.

  39. I genuinely dont think Connolly will start on Sunday, he genuinely seems to be out of favour at the moment.
    Kilkenny is the man that makes Dublin tick these days, everything goes through him which is why Keegan should be tasked with a marking job on him.

    i actually dont think there will be any major curveballs in personnel from either management teams on this occasion, i have a feeling Paul Flynn will start for dublin ahead of scully, and Durcan must be seriously close to a start for mayo though they might want to hold one of their top players back on the bench. No point tinkering for the sake of it.

    Looking at some of the matchups i think Harrison and Boyle will have Mannion and Con for breakfast respectively

    Would be amazed if the 2 teams dont start as follows

    Harrison Vaughn Higgins
    Boyle Barrett Keegan
    Parsons SOS
    McLoughlin AOS DoC
    Doherty CoC Moran
    Fitzsimons Cooper McMahon
    Small CoS McCaffrey
    Fenton McCarthy
    Flynn Con Kilkenny
    Mannion Andrews Rock

  40. ….Also, i wouldnt be shocked to see Keegan starting at midfield again, With McCarthy Dublin have a serious mobile midfield. Keegan would keep with him better than SOS

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