Kevin’s back

Photo: Mayo News

The Mayo News reports today (paper and digital versions) that Kevin Keane is back training with the senior squad ahead of the new season that’s now beginning to loom into view. The Westport defender tore his cruciate in the early stages of the Intermediate club All-Ireland final back in February and he’s been on the long and lonely rehab road ever since.

I remember him seeing him up in the stand at Pearse Stadium close to where we were sitting that day in June this year and you could see from his countenance then that he’d have given anything to be down on the pitch with the rest of the lads. But recovery from a cruciate tear takes the best part of a year and there was never any hope he’d be back sooner than this.

That report confirms Kevin is likely to feature at some stage in next month’s FBD League, which is great news both for the player himself – a man who has had precious little luck on the injury front during his inter-county career – and for supporters. Welcome back, big fella.

In other news, the GAA website has a feature piece (here) with Diarmuid O’Connor, who talks among other things about the upcoming Sigerson Cup campaign with DCU. You’ll be glad to know that Diarmuid confirms he’s had some time off to rest and recover after this year’s hectic inter-county season but you won’t be surprised either to learn that he’s once again chomping at the bit to get back into the fray.

52 thoughts on “Kevin’s back

  1. We didnt know just how vital Kevin was/is till he was gone. I’m always of the view Kevin is the only man to mark Kevin McManamon.
    Kevin Keane has that power that you either have or you don’t and we missed that trying to keep the doors shut in the final ten minutes of the All Ireland final when McManamon simply did his usual power on and do damage. But when he tries it with Kevin Keane he has the raw strength and bodyweight to hold him up.
    Good to hear Diarmuid is being rested. Dr. Niall Moyna is one of the smarter coaches on that front.

  2. Hopefully he goes to the “Andy Moran school of cruciate recovery” which can give you superhuman strength and stamina and turns you from a man who should be retired according to the pundits to player of the year

  3. Good man East Cork if he didn’t have Andy’s number you would be tempted to pass it on to him. Delighted to see him back again he will be a great addition

  4. With Harrison, Barrett, Higgins, cafferky, Keane as well as utility players like keegan and durcan and hopefully some younger lads coming through we have great options in the full back line.

  5. Venues for the FBD are apparently Galway and Leitrim MacHale Park, Roscommon Hyde park and Sligo to still TBC.

  6. Really looking forward to the FBD. There will be a bit of bite to it now that it’s all inter county. Looking forward too to seeing who will be lining out.

    Great news about Kevin. Looking forward to seeing him in the green and red again!

  7. Any word on the FBD panel yet? Is there many players been brought in. Hopefully Ger McDonagh, Neil Douglas, James Durcan, and Brian Treacy all get some game time. I heard Brian Gallagher from Claremorris is back from the states, he played 2 years with New York at midfield ,a team that nearly turned over the Rossies, he was involved with Mayo back in James Horans tenure, would be worth a look.

  8. I have been told that Rochford has set out programs for Padraig O’ Hora and Ciaran Treacey as well as for Clarkie , Caff and Evan Regan from the Stephenites.
    I am really looking to Danny Kirby, Stephen Coen , Connor Loftus, Shane Nally and Evan Regan to step it up this year as they definitely all have the talent to push for starting spots.
    Also I’m intrigued to see how Eoin O’Donoghue and Brian Reape might impact this season as they are two cracking talents!!
    Throw in Kevin Keane, Barry Moran, Douglas and Rory Byrne into the mix and we are looking strong all over!!

  9. Could I ask everyone to refrain from posting names of possible players called into the senior panel until such details are confirmed? Our opening FBD match is on 7th January – when this year’s senior squad will still be away – so, no doubt, there’ll be plenty of new names to discuss then.

  10. Crete Boom I hope Danny Kirby gets a chance in around full forward as he does not have the pace for midfield. He could be the an ideal target man if the right ball is played in to him, very skilful too for a tall man. I agree with you in that its a massive league campaign for those players you mentioned. But in fairness to Shane Nally ,Conor Loftus, Evan Regan and Caolan Crowe they have not seen enough required National league game time still think they can offer a lot if they get regular game time, Nally and Loftus are two of the best kickpassers in the County in my opinion, as for David Drake and Stephen Coen they have to step up to the plate this year.

  11. Great news, welcome back Kevin, any news of the Hanley’s return??I would like to see both of them on the panel! Hon Mayo,

  12. @TH
    Caolan Crowd was excellent in the quarter final against the Stephenites in the championship. I was lucky to watch a heap of club football this year and a couple of lads that caught my eye were Ryan O’Donoghue of Belmullet, James Stretton Claremorris, Gareth O’Donnell Charlestown, Jordan Flynn Crossmolina and Peter Naughton Knockmore. There is a serious standard of talent knocking around at the moment which makes our struggles at minor/U17 even more puzzling!!
    I am not claiming all of the above are county players for the next ten years but I wouldn’t be surprised if anyone of them made though!!

  13. Crete Boom, while Mayo have some good individuals coming through i think you will find strength in depth of the panels and physical stakes Galway are stronger than Mayo at underage at moment and that will more than likely be the same scenario in 2018 as i would expect Galway to win another Connacht U17/minor title and probably U20 also.

  14. Great to see Kevin back in action from a dose of an injury. A cute enough fella with plenty of experience that’ll fit back into the panel no bother.

  15. Great news,delighted to hear Kevin is back after his injury,he will be a great boast to the panel ,
    Roll on 2018, i cant wait to get on the road again
    Happy Christmas to everyone of you .

  16. Mayomagic Galway stronger than Mayo in the physical stakes?? Not sure about that.
    I actually think Mayo have a serious Under 20 team next year with Barry Solan in charge.I would have them 2nd favourites to Kerry.There is some very good players that were playing Senior club football for there clubs this summer Conor Diskin ,Matthew Macken,Ryan O’Donoghue,Nathan Moran,Colm Moran, Paul Lambert ,John Maughan, Conor Stenson, Stephen O’Malley,John Gallagher.
    Its awful hard to judge what our under 17s are going to be like Mayomagic .no form to go on.They have a very good management team in place this year with Tomas Morley as manager and Mickey Conroy from Davitts as selector.Mayo schools football is actually really strong at the moment too with St Colmans College Claremorris winning the Connacht Senior A title this year and Ballinrobe winning the Connacht B and All Ireland B title.St Jarlaths of Tuam not the force they used to be, the main supplier of Galways top footballers.

  17. I believe we took a deliberate step back in terms of training load on our minor teams after the 2013/14 injuries. With this step we will get regularly beaten by Galway and Roscommon who have taken the opposite action. But honestly who cares about titles at u17.
    We are still picking the correct players with a long term view.
    Agree with TH I am really looking forward to next years u20s. If you look at the defence you have Johnny Maughan, Brian OMalley, Matthew Macken and Donovan Cosgrave. Serious size and power for u20 level. Midfield Jordan Flynn and Conor Diskin, a senior sized duo coming in around the 6’3″ or 6’4″ mark with natural power.
    Forwards then the Westport trio of Colm Moran, Paul Lambert and Oisin McLoughlin, Michael Keane Belmullet is very Cillian styled, Stephen OMalley Balintubber, Ryan ODonoghue, Evan Ronane, Kuba Callaghan Ballaghadereen, Ross Egan Aghamore, Stephen McGreal Claremorris, Tommy Conroy The Neale.
    There are surely three or four good forwards there.

  18. Saw a fascinating stat this morning. Paddy Durcan, who only joined the Mayo panel in 2015 has played more championship games for Mayo than Ciaran MacDonald did in his entire career. Still furious when I think of how John O’Mahoney threw MacDonald on the scrap heap in 2007 when he was only 31.

  19. Hillman, why mention the Hanleys? They are not available to Mayo, they are Aussie rules players. Plenty of players in Mayo to be speculating about. No need to bring up players the other side of the world who play a different sport.

  20. Great to see ANDY MORAN been nominated for sportsperson , as a Mayoman at heart i was delighted to see him among all those other great sportspeople and he came across brilliant in his interview last Saturday night.
    Well done Andy

  21. On a totally different topic, is anybody else still waiting for their Croke Park season ticket for 2018 to be delivered?

  22. Delighted to see Kevin back best wishes to him for the coming season. Larry Duff I totally agree with you it was hard watching Ciaran McDonald being jettisoned at 31 I saw him playing for Crossmolina when he was 38 or 39 and honest to God them he was a class act. Young Fella I got my season ticket last week but I was talking to a few lads today that are still waiting for theirs.

  23. Thank you, Young Fella, for reminding me to renew my season ticket. Had completely forgotten about it. Memory must be going in my old age.

  24. Larry Duff, that’s an amazing Stat, I remember Ciarán Mac playing and scoring a goal from a penalty in the 1997 All Ireland Final and definitely played for over a decade, reaching the All Ireland finals of 97,.04 & 06.

  25. Jesus Andy, I really hope you haven’t forgotten to renew your ticket, because if you have I’m afraid it’s gone. Nov 30 was cutoff

    My ticket arrived today young fella

  26. MayoMark, I’m glad to say that I have renewed successfully. Maybe because it’s club + ticket it got a longer time limit. Anyway all’s well that ends well. And thanks again, Young Fella.

  27. Did Ciaran Mc play many league campaigns for Mayo? Did he do a spell in The US?

    Rochford ed on Newstalk this evening and of course a degoritary tweet was read out from a Roscommon fan…I would have snapped back “it could be worse..we could be from Roscommon”

  28. Miss MayoMick on here and twitter and boards. Great man for the ST lowdown.

    Hope all is ok and that he is just recharging thr batteries for 2018

  29. Larry Duff . where did you see that stat . it’s not that I don’t believe ya but will need it when I tell the father in law . Big Mc D fan

  30. Your right yew_tree. I know C Mc played in the 94 campaign not sure about 95 and he played again in 97. He had a spell playing in Chicago around 96.

    Good luck to kevin. Hope he.makes it back on to the big stage again. The lent is nearly over for the football fans and it’s nearly time to find out if the jerseys fit.

    At the start of last year the know it alls, the wise old owls were explaining to us that we were outside the top 4 teams in the country.
    1 of our great scribe followers recently rated us 3rd in the country just below the team we beat convincingly in the recent all irelaid semi final. He must have been holding his calculator upside down.

    We’ll have to be cuter this year. If the rubbish is written in the Monday Indo at least the bins get picked up on Tuesdays.

  31. It’s wonderful news! ‘Kevin Keane’ is back for Mayo… We certainly missed him in 2017, most especially versus Galway and Damien Comer.. That’s a clash to whet the appetite of any GAA fan and the Westport man has came out on top in the past…. I spoke to Kevin coming out of McHale Park after one of our lack lustre league defeats last Spring and commeriaseted with him on his misfortune with his injury, but at least I had the pleasure of congratulating him on Westport All Ireland intermediate club victory…as well… Yes hopefully Kevin will go from strength to strength, I suppose Andy Moran is the poster guy nowadays in the GAA circles as to just how much can be achieved after serious injury.. I’m glad that the. ‘Best gaelic-football player of 2017 is one of our own…. Sometimes players don’t quite recover from bad injuries as well as others, and that certainly is true of Galway’s Michael Meehan, who has tweeted his retirement from the intecounty game … At his best, Michael was definitely one of the best forwards ever to play the game… He won the All Ireland U21 title with Galway in 2005, himself and Séan Armstrong went on a two men demolition mission on that particular day and in what must be close to a record, with his band of Meehan brothers won an All Ireland Club medal.with his club Caltra… I wish Michael a Happy Retirement, he certainly was one of the best…

  32. Not sure if Buckley & McEntee staying for 3 years was confirmed and discussed before now – if it was I didn’t see it – great news

  33. By my reckoning Paddy Durcan has made about 22 senior championship appearances for us. Seems a crime that Mac didn’t play more than that.

  34. That’s correct, Wide Ball, re Paddy Durcan’s championship appearances but the claim made (I’m not sure by whom) that he has more than Ciaran Mac is fake news. I’ve just crunched on both him and Mac and here’s what I got. Mac: 33 appearances, 26 starts and 7 as sub. Paddy: 22 appearances, 15 starts, 7 sub.

    Incidentally, most of Mac’s appearance came in just three years between 2004 and 2006, when he started in 17 championship games. Prior to 2001, of course, there were fewer championship games played every year so players from that era would always have played less. Still, up to 2004 Mac hardly played at all (aside from ’97). Here are the numbers for each year: 1997 (5 inc 1 as sub), 1998 (1), 1999 (2, inc 1 as sub), 2000 (1), 2001 (3, inc 1 as sub), 2002 (2, both as sub), 2003 (0), 2004 (6), 2005 (4), 2006 (7), 2007 (2, both as sub).

    As others have said, it’s a crying shame that O’Mahony didn’t keep him on board for a few years longer. What a waste of a truly unique talent.

  35. Willie Joe,.. Re Ciarán Mac… Wikipedia are saying 39 appearances, by which I assume that means championship appearances… But I done a little further checking myself and found out that a certain K McDonald played and indeed scored a point in two championship matches for Mayo, as far back as 1994..vesus Sligo and in the Connacht Final versus Leitrim… I know Wikipedia are not fool proof. But maybe 39 is the correct figure… An more amazing Stat is that Andy Moran is the most capped outfield player currently still playing football… Indeed our Andy, who is the Mayo, record holder, has the 10th most championship appearances of all time… Dublin’s Stephen Cluxton has the most championship appearances to his name, and is still playing with Séan Cavanagh second in the role of honour, but Séan has recently retired and won’t be adding to the total!

  36. Lads it was me who made the McDonald claim as as Willie joe said, it was in error. I got it off the excellent Rob Carroll’s gaa stats twitter page. I mistakenly didn’t notice the period he covered though. He’s compiled every single championship intercounty appearance from 2001-2017. As stated above, paddy Durcan played 22 times for us, McDonald played 19 times between 2001 and 2017. For me the general point still stands though, McDonald’s unbelievable talents were under-utilised and that’s a crying shame.
    Also a good point Willie joe about McDonald’s sporadic involvement in the 90s, he missed the agonising 96 campaign due to the summer working in America as I understand! How useful would he have been off the bench against Meath that year?! Also, Willie Joe, didn’t he play championship against Leitrim in 1994 as a 19 year old?? Could have sworn I remember him playing back then!
    Check out the Rob Carroll database though, interesting reading and you can filter by county too. Andy moran and Dillon out in front for Mayo championship appearances since 2001 unsurprisingly.

  37. Leantimes – you’re right re 1994, I forgot to check that far back. That adds two more championship appearances to Mac’s total, so that makes 35 in all. I’m not sure on what that Wikipedia total of 39 is based. All the appearances are, of course, set out in the results archive here on the site if anyone wants to double-check them.

    To win just once – fair points re Donie. Just a correction about last year’s final replay, it was James McCarthy who took him out in that one, not John Small (who, of course, should have got a black for the trip on Andy and, failing that, a red for his attempted strike on Cillian when he had him pinned on the ground but sin sceil eile). That McCarthy hit still causes my blood to boil – it was a straight red offence, no attempt made to play the ball, a late cynical, filthy hit designed to cause damage, which it did. Not only did it rob us of Donie, it also meant we had to use a sub earlier than planned. This in turn meant that Boyler was left on later than we’d have liked, enabling Costello to do the damage with those late points …

  38. Wille Joe.. I done some further checking half expecting to find some championship appearances by Ciarán Mac in 95 & 96, to give the figure of, 39..But I couldn’t find anything in both of these years.. So that would make it, 35…appearances… I’m open to correction… I’m pretty sure that the K McDonald’ I found representing Mayo twice is none other than Ciarán .

  39. Thanks for that, Larry. It wasn’t really fake news so apologies for that unintended jibe! You’re right re 1994, by the way – see my other comment just now. Correct too re that Rob Carroll database, an incredibly powerful analytical tool.

  40. We’ve too much time on our hands, Leantimes! Actually, not true in my case – I have a bit of work to sort then I need to head for town to do some shopping. Arrgghh!

  41. No bother WJ. Winters a great time for this kind of talk about player appearances etc! Just thinking back to 96, when you consider that Ciarán McDonald and Kevin ONeill were not in that squad, two classy forwards in their early 20s that I’m certain would have tilted the balance in our favour that year, given how close we were against Meath without them. ONeill was also a superbly composed forward and his career was littered with maybes and might-have-beens too unfortunately!
    Looking back to 2000 as well – a year to forget, we were knocked out by Sligo in May and the year was over! That was the last time the Old straight knockout was in operation. Unthinkable nowadays for Mayo fans in particular given we seem to play 6 or 7 championship games a year on average recently

  42. Great Kevin is back. Listening to Stephen R interview..11 of 21 players that played in Final based in Dublin. Very tough on them players with all that travelling involved. Am really thrilled and relieved that Donie Buckley and Tony McEntee are staying on. You could hear Stephen’s relief too. Those players so deserve their team holiday after tough year and so many league games ahead and Galway so early in mid May. Anyways what can we as Fans do only support them on the field. (Feeling nostalgic reading here re Ciaran MacD…ahh the memories)

  43. Re: Ciaran McDonald comments
    I actually think McDonald made his first appearance for Mayo as a sub in the National League campaign in October 1993 against Derry as an 18 year old the same calendar year he would have played Mayo minor, he was born in January 1975. That makes him the youngest player I ever remember playing Senior for Mayo, but I could be wrong on that.He was involved in all that 93/94 league campaign and made his Championship debut in a Connacht semi final against Sligo at right corner forward scoring a point,he came on as a sub in the Connacht final to Leitrim scoring a point a game Mayo lost.He was only listed as a substitute in the 1995 Connacht final against Galway in Tuam.
    I think from what I remember of the time that he spent the Summer of 1996 in Chicago and missed out on the All Ireland final that year returning to the panel for 1997 season losing the final to Kerry.

  44. Kevin is back Kevin is back 🙂 the dancing lady emoji slots in here 🙂 as well as the strong arm ! He’s the only one that can put manners on Mr Comer and wow was he missed in salthill ! please God all will go well for him !

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