Busy weekend on and off the field coming up

Photo: Joe.ie

We’re into November and, with it, all that cold and darkness. Championship action in high summer already feels like another country.

But although the inter-county season is well over at this stage, club action is still going strong. County honours have all been claimed by now and this weekend there are several provincial club championship matches down for decision.

Connacht GAA have a neat summary (here) of what’s on offer in that line within the province this weekend. Best of luck to all the Mayo clubs in action then, in particular Castlebar Mitchels, who play Leitrim champions Mohill in the opening round of the Connacht SFC on Saturday at MacHale Park (throw-in 2pm), Moy Davitts, who face Michael Glavey’s of Roscommon in the Connacht IFC semi-final on Sunday at MacHale Park (throw-in 2.30pm), Lahardane MacHales, who take on Galway’s St Gabriels in the Connacht JFC on Sunday at MacHale Park (throw-in 1pm) and Tooreen, who meet Galway’s Ballinderreen in the Connacht IHC final at Athleague (throw-in 2pm).

Off-field it’s a big weekend too, with the 2017 All-Stars award ceremony taking place on Friday night. We’ve several players in the running for honours on the night, with twelve players on the nomination list for All-Star awards and with Andy Moran and David Clarke on the shortlist for the prestigious Footballer of the Year award.

Friday’s bash at Dublin’s Convention Centre will have a strong focus on the action that took place in 2017 but already the GAA’s Master Fixtures plan for 2018 has been published. If you haven’t seen it yet it’s here.

So there’s plenty happening both on and off the field of play over the coming few days. Just to prove the point, I’m happy to announce that a new episode of the Mayo News football podcast will be online at some stage tomorrow so stay tuned for that as well.

44 thoughts on “Busy weekend on and off the field coming up

  1. Best of luck to all the lads nominated for awards. Fingers crossed for Andy POTY. Lahardane win on Sunday would be great too.

  2. Interesting picture above. Way to much unnecessary off the ball pulling and dragging in the game. Not to mention a shoulder into the back of an oppossing player (usually a sub who has just come on) when nowhere near the ball.

    Yellow card offence from now on. Did i hear somebody 2nd that?

    Good. Ratified.

    Next motion. If two Dublin players accidently run into each other 30 yards out from the Hill 16 goals in an All Ireland final, a free in to Dublin will be awarded. Oh hang on. That one was already passed it seems.

    Good. Ratified.

  3. The question of captaincy has reared its head numerous times on the blog and many seem to think Cillian should be relieved of it..Could be right decision I dont know..Aidan could be a great choice but God knows he gets enough abuse and is under enough pressure anyway ..Its one thing to captain a team in Australia for a couple of games ..The Mayo team is a different animal..

  4. Interesting stuff there Willie Joe and the photo is good!

    Met with a Cork friend recently. He has a range of diverse interests, politics, language, hurling of course, a true rebel, soccer, and Mayo footballers. He is lost in admiration for them, one of the bright spots about Ireland at the moment. Aidan O’Shea is a God…

  5. Always look forward to the all-stars even though this year (like a few of the most recent) it will be tinged with disappointment.

    Here are my predictions for awards:
    Chris Barret
    Colm Boyle
    Tom Parsons
    Aidan O’ Shea
    Andy Moran (& POTY)

  6. Best of luck to all Mayo players at all levels this weekend, in all stars and on the pitch.
    I think AOS is well fit to lead Mayo as Captain and Mr Keegan as Vice Captain. They both really do love the battle and are colossal players, but in fairness the likes of Higgins Barrett McLaughlin or a dozen others are capable too and prove it over and over.

    Houston Astros (baseball) won the title last night, a few new faces added to what they had already was enough to get them over the line. I couldn’t help thinking of Mayo as I watched them win, and how 1-2 new options off the bench at half time is all this team needs to win Sam.

  7. What I cannot understand why we didn’t get a free kick for the black card offence at the end of the final. That would have punished the delay tactic on the kick out and allow us to get possession and the play going.

    On the captain Lee Keegan do our talking on the pitch lead by example.

  8. Both Mayo and Dublin are guilty of shirt pulling and off the ball antics…some fans of both sides seem to totally ignore the opposition and only view their county through the shades of their own colors. This seems to be especially true on some Dublin fans forums. Glass houses springs to mind.

    I know if we won Sam I wouldn’t even think about or bother slagging/making fun of the dubs as I would be too busy celebrating. A section of Dublin fans on social media however seem to take more enjoyment in the constant jeering at all things Mayo rather than bask in their own glory…..

  9. Agree completely Yew Tree on celebrating a win rather than jeering the losers or others.

    Remember Donaghy’s remark after the 2014 win: ‘what do you think of dat, Joe Brolly’? Horrible, utterly horrible.

  10. Mayo magic wheres Lee Keegan .do u not think he should get one? Took Ciaran Kilkenny to the cleaners and scored a goalin the final.Also the only man to stand up to Roscommon in the drawn game.is there a better half back in the game? I dont think so.

  11. Re: All Stars. … Mayomagic.
    I think K McLoughlin in a shoe in for an all star.
    Half fwd line will be KMCL, Aos & one other.
    I will be dismayed if C Kilkenny gets picked.
    Hopeless in both Nfl & All ireland finals.

  12. To me Keegan has to be the Captain, I know some of the others mentioned are worthy but when the chips are really down, he is the one player that always delivers on the biggest day, same cannot be said of the other I am afraid.

    2012 Final, he was excellent
    2013 Final, he was excellent, cleaned out Connolly, nominated for MOM
    2016 Finals, he cleaned out Connolly, scored an incredible goal.
    2017 Final, he cleaned Kilkenny, scored an incredible goal and had a ‘stonewall’penalty not given.
    This is the man for the job IMO

  13. I agree RiseAgain. It will be a borderline scandal if McLoughlin doesn’t finally get an all star. It is strange how Leeroy probably won’t get one despite being the best half back in the country!

    Hopefully a good weekend coming up for the Mayo clubs in Connacht action. On the football side, I’d say Moy Davitts have the toughest challenge with a short turnaround and a possible injury worry over Brian Reape.

  14. To be honest, Keegan never struck me as captain material. It’s not a criticism, but he seems to take a very laid back approach to the whole thing. If you watch the team huddles before the game when Cillian or Tony McEntee are speaking, Lee is often just looking around the stadium without a care in the world!

  15. Wide Ball, He does the talking on the pitch and in the big games he always delivers, some of the others go missing on occasions against Dublin in particular

  16. I see Martin Breheny has won an award at the Journalist of the Year bash: Sport Story of the Year.

    I’m scratching my head on that one. Wonder what it could be?

  17. No doubt about that Paddy. In fairness I don’t think the captaincy would be a burden on Lee and I don’t think he’d allow it affect his performances. That might be an issue for others.

  18. Paddy in dublin..Agree wholeheartedly that when the going gets tough Keegan is the one to get the team up and running..But the fact that he is one of the best players to ever wear a Mayo jersey and has cleaned out his Dublin opponent at every opportunity does not necessarily make him captain material…He is a leader on the pitch but not sure the role of captain would suit him.

  19. Let’s nail our colours to the mast then. I predict:

    Keeper.
    Cluxton (But wouldn’t be surprised if Clarke got it.)

    FB Line.
    Fitzsimons
    Higgins
    O’Sullivan
    (Cooper is a distinct possibility)

    HB Line.
    Barrett
    Boyle
    McCaffrey
    (I’m 99% sure of this line).

    Midfield.
    McCarthy
    Parsons
    (Either might be replaced by C Cavanagh).

    HF Line.
    Kilkenny
    O’Shea
    O’Callaghan
    (McLoughlin may undo Kilkenny, based on final performance alone).

    FF Line.
    Geaney
    Mannion
    Moran
    (Rock is in with a chance here).

    POTY – Andy Moran (they may give his All Star to Rock).
    YPOTY – Con O Callaghan (McLoughlin may get his all star).

  20. Geaney aside.. most all-stars should come from Mayo and Dublin with a 50/50 divide but that spread won’t sit well with the GAA higher powers as they will do there very best to give a greater share. Definitely agree that C Cavanagh will get the nod, maybe another from Kerry but don’t be surprised if they pull a wild one out of the hat from elsewhere. I see O’Callaghan getting moved out for the young player gong (happened to both of the O’Connors) but I can’t see Kilkenny getting picked on the basis of the Tyrone performance alone.. if that was the case then Lee Keegan should get there ahead of him on his final match day performance. Tough pick but they will probably make a dogs dinner of it. Bet you Mayo will only get 5, Dublin get 6, Kerry 2, Tyrone 1 and one wild card from Galway or Roscommon

  21. Dublin/Mayo won’t get less than 12 between them, and 13 is more likely.

    1 for Kerry, and 1 for everyone else. (And one for Roscommon as POTY – I’m sure they’ll try and claim it).

    Keegan won’t – Until the GPS thing, he was odds on, but the GAA won’t want to be seen to reward such a rush of blood to the head. That, and he’ll be the victim of quotas – there are easily 5 HBs that had better years than any midfielder I can think of.

    CoC, despite breaking scoring records, won’t either. The misses in the final would be enough to tip things against him. That’s life.

    As regards Kilkenny, the more I think about it, the more I tend to agree that McLoughlin might get there first. That makes Dublin 7, Mayo 6, 2 others.

  22. TTH Ican see Mayo get at least 6 and Cavanagh I feel is most unlikely. K McL I believe will be successful and Roscommon will get one. Kerry are in with a chance of getting 2 or 3 I see you include Galway so just to remind you the hurling all stars have already been announced today

  23. att toe to hand. A galway footballer cannot get an all-star because they have no nominated player. michael daly is nominated for young player of the year. i think mayo to get 6 awards . higgins, barrett, boyle , mcloughlin, o shea and moran.I think james mccarthy will edge andy for player of the year.

  24. Hope the lads have a good night in Dublin. Will be watching of course. Thanks for the huge effort and work ye put in. So proud of this bunch. Hope Andy gets Player of the Year. He so deserves it. I was so giddy with excitement last year when Lee won. we are living in a golden time. Please let 2018 be when we win SAM. we will be there in the terraces and stands to roar ye on!

  25. Regina, I know what you are saying but dont forget this is a player that Joe Brolly rates as being probably Mayo’s best ever player and there is a body of opinion around, even in Dublin might I add that would place him as being one of the best , if not the best half back to have played the game and we are having doubts about him leading the side as captain. I dont get this atall, this man should be the Captain..

  26. Looking forward to diub reaction when Andy wins POTY. Remember their whining when Keegan got it last year. All Stars not as fair as POTY as they are picked by journalists so it will be a case of lions selected by donkeys. Actually think Mayo should win more than dublin but that wont happen. Geaney a deserved shoe in. I am not fond of Tyrone and they were brutal v dubs but surely their form prior to that has to count for something when they hammered all before them. Think Clarke had better year than Cluxton and was better than last year when he won one and should not be judged on last minute kick out, but media are obsessed with the enigma that is Cluxton and they surely wont turn their backs on him two years in a row. From our defence, Higgins, Keegan, Boyle and Barrett all have very strong claims. Possibly 3 from that. Tom P has a chance at MF. Forwards Andy and AOS must surely be certs. K McLoughlin was fantastic, but the journos may be blind to that. Jason Doc had stormer of a year and Cillian cant be too far off. So I expect Higgins, Boyle, Keegan AOS and Andy. We may get 6 if so it might be K Mc. Still think Clarke was best goalie in country Some in media circles questioning Leeroy but he was fantastic v Ros. was adequate v Kerry and kept the previous peerless Kilkenny to a few touches in the final while hitting the net himself. And he showed a bit of initiative with the GPS but of course the do gooders wont appreciate that

  27. Not the most appropriate place for it but guessing everyone will be on this topic at the moment (Andy for the win!) – in case there’s anyone in the UK/further afield who hasn’t seen the Mayo/Galway championship kick off is set for 13 May at McHale park. Sharing in case it’s relevant for booking flights etc.

  28. looking forward to tonight’s viewings on the tele, david clarke was by far the superior goal keeper in 2017,lets hope he gets the nod tonight,barrett,boyle definities in my book,awful if kevin mcloughlin doesn’t get recognition/award,he had a fantastic year, aiden o shea for certain sure must get an award,he was heroic throughout 2017,
    then on to andy,what can one say that hasn’t been said,he is a legend, my money is on him for poty,he is unreal.
    so proud of our lads,i would see an argument for jason and lee to get an award too,but somehow i can’t see it.
    on reflection it has to be said that we are the luckiest fans ,them lads are all heroes
    so proud of each and every one of them,
    roll on january ,cant wait to get motoring again.
    cmon mayo

  29. Hope Andy gets Poty.

    Don’t see how Dublin might end up with more All Stars than Mayo.
    Dublin rely to a large extent on their substitutions. That indicates (as in the All Ireland final), that their core 15 starters are no better than Mayo. In fact, we would be champions if it was a 15 man game without subs.

    Dublins strength is in a 21 man player panel (for the match), whereas Mayo’s ability to live with them is mainly based on their starting 15. This would indicate that comparing starting line ups Mayo are stronger than Dublin.

    Based on the above if anything Mayo should end up with more All stars than Dublin if anything.

  30. Interested to read catcol. I too am a Cork person and my admiration for the Mayo team keeps growing every year. What resilience, determination, staying power and sheer guts. I am in awe and have shed more than a few tears especially this year; what a shame. Just hope I live to see them lift Sam, just once! Roll on 2018 and some more heart stopping moments. Red x Green forever.

  31. 2010 is the only year I can think of where the All Ireland Winners were not outright All Star winners (Both Cork and Down got 4 each that year). It follows a fairly consistent pattern (rightly or wrongly) – you win Sam, you get the most All-Stars.

    The “what-if’s” of a game of only 15 is idle speculation, but interesting nevertheless. 15 V 15 over the course of 70-80 minutes, I would expect Dublin to prevail. They can field a strong team that can last the 70 (Brogan being the only player who wouldn’t last), and we have options to replace him from the off – whereas Mayo’s starting 15 would have 3 or 4 players who mightn’t have the ability to perform fully for the entire game. A squad without Andy, Boyler, and Seanie or Aido is a considerably weaker proposition, although you might argue that Aidan is a 70 minute man these days, but the other three are not, at least not in a highest tempo game.

    It boils down to the question of, could Mayo pick 15 players able to last a full game, that would beat the Dublin selection picked to do the same? I think the squad differential still comes into play in this scenario.

    Mind you, drop the game length back to Club duration, and it becomes alot less clear. Something to speculate on during the off winter months. Those last 10 minutes are the killer.

  32. Jaden – the All Stars are given out on the championships performances as a whole…no? I remember in 04/06 where Mayo absolutely crashed and burned in the final resulting in very few All Stars. While final performance has to be taken into account, some consideration has to be given to the year as a whole.

    I honestly think Dublin hammering everyone in Leinster and up to the final this year makes the public and fellow players forget about the great Dublin performances.

  33. Really feel the change in kick out rule ie to pass 20 metre line will help Andy and Cillian who can drop to 25 mtrs from goal. Pushing up on Cluxton kick outs was very effective in first half but couldn’t maintain it in second half. Cluxtons options are reduced

  34. I thought some dubs looked jaded through the second half and cannot agree that they can all last 70 minutes at full throttle. They were chasing shadows with Keegan flying through them for the goal but they’ll be well rested with no trip to Australia.

  35. @Dave – I don’t disagree, they did look like they’d been through the wars – it was a high tempo game. There were no fresh-as-a-daisy legs on the pitch come full time, on either side. My point is that if the constraints of the game were to change (no subs allowed), then Dublin’s depth of panel still allows them to pick a team to best Mayo’s offering.

    Lee exemplifies the issue with panel depth. He ROASTED Kilkenny in the final – completely nullified his impact, and really upset the Dublin playmaking mechanism. Rochford got this call 100% right – a great move on his behalf. The problem is that Connolly came on, and just stepped into this playmaker role instead. Dublin had two playmakers, Mayo didn’t have two man markers of Keegan’s caliber to nullify them.

    I don’t get why Lee isn’t heading to Oz, he’s made for that game. Mind you, on a personal note, I think the series is a crock of shyte.

  36. Jaden brings up a good point regarding man markers. We don’t seem to respond to Dublin springing Connolly and McManamon with fresh man markers. Keith Higgins picked up Connolly briefly at the beginning and he’s far too small for him. We still haven’t got to grips with Dean Rock, foyr points from play. Think it was Higgins on him, again physically a bad match up.

  37. True. We don’t have another Keegan. Too bad. In 2018 we either clone Keegan or else see who’s best able to deputise for him. Connolly and co won’t last forever, they have so much won already that uts even harder for them to keep pushing, Mayo have won nothing so they are the ones with the ambition at this stage. That counts for a lot and in 2018 maybe a young lad in a Mayo jersey will stand up and do what Keegan has been doing. I agree , this Aussie thing is a dose of muck and in a way I think Jim was right by not sending any dubs out there . A broken leg or worse could easily take a county star out for a year, not good but that’s what it risks.

  38. Did anyone else think that Aidan looked like he could chew iron on the stage during his interview??!Delighted for all Mayo lads getting recognition particularly Chris Barrett getting his first award..

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