Chris looks back and ahead

Photo: Mayo Advertiser/Sportsfile

Chris Barrett has always been the kind of player who does his talking on the pitch. No more so than last year, when a succession of standout performances over the course of our long and winding road to September, topped by quite a sensational display in the All-Ireland final, propelled him to an All-Star award.

I doubt I was alone in being quite struck by the Belmullet man’s forthright and resolute speaking manner when he came up onto the podium at the Shelbourne Hotel to be interviewed by Mike Finnerty at the Mayo GAA lunch last December. Here, I reckoned, was one determined hombre, a footballer who clearly felt he had more business to do on the pitch in the year ahead.

Chris is back in the spotlight at the minute. He did some media work up here the other day and, arising from that, there are feature pieces with the All-Star defender in the Irish Independent, Irish Examiner, Irish Sun, Irish MirrorRTÉ and The 42.

Needless to say, these all cover much the same ground. Chris looks back, with no little amount of regret, on last year’s All-Ireland final but it’s equally clear that he’s got his mind fully focused now on the challenges up ahead, specifically the ones likely to be posed by Galway in a few weeks time.

A player who hasn’t exactly had a good time on the injury front down the years, Chris missed all of this year’s League campaign arising from an injury picked up on international duty Down Under last back-end. By the sounds of it, though, he’s fit and ready for action once again, just in time for the start of the serious stuff this year. It’ll be great to have this top-class performer back in our ranks then.

166 thoughts on “Chris looks back and ahead

  1. Great to have him back, what a player, and still wants to get more out of himself, even with all the injuries, so dedicated to the cause 2, was there ever be a bunch of warriors so driven, motivated and dedicated to achieve their goal, it’s astonishing, and please god they will be rewarded soon. looks like Comer in that photo above.

  2. I’ve always felt that Mayo teams are better when there’s a good Belmullet / Erris contingent . They bring a hardiness that is rare ( even in Mayo teams ) Gotta love Chris Barrett and Eoin O Donoghue who incidentally were back to back Mayo man of the match ( Chris in All Ireland final , and Eoin after first League game against Monaghan ) As you suggested , and like your namesake Willie Joe , these quiet men of Erris do their talking on the field .

  3. @Insideoftheright. I wouldn’t pay much heed to the result of challenge games. They are generally used to try out stuff from training in a game setting. The results are no more significant than those of A vs B games. The only thing newsworthy from them would be whether or not anyone coming back from injury played and how they performed.
    Reading WJ’s article above, I’m getting more bullish about May 13th by the day. Chris coming back is huge plus, but add in Zippy and Donie and the strength in depth gets very encouraging. Our issue in the losses against Galway in ’16 and ’17 was getting quick, good quality ball into the scoring forwards. Refining that is done in training and challenge games. Once we get that right, we will be in for a good Summer.

  4. Anybody know anything about the u17s, u20s or juniors. Junior manager only appointed last week 3 weeks before Connaught Final, pity it’s not taken seriously.

  5. A really impressive guy is Chris Barrett. Have only heard him speak a couple of times but he comes across so very well. The level of maturity and emotional intelligence of our players really stands out compared to the crass neanderthal grunting coming out of our cocky neighbours of late. Bring on May 13th.

  6. Really looking forward to this game, as a Galway supporter different feeling to going up in 2016, we have improved and that’s just a fact but Mayo are a class outfit and 2016 did them no harm. I don’t think it’s do or die as I expect both teams to be playing in August. After 30 years attending these I’m going to pick the best Mayo team I have seen playing Galway. Strange how some lads from both sides get up for this one.
    1. David Clarke
    2. Kenneth Mortimer
    3. Kevin Cahill
    4. Keith Highins
    5. Lee Keegan
    6. James Nallen
    7. Noel Connelly
    8. Liam McHale
    9. Aidan O’Shea
    10. Kevin McLoughlin
    11. Ciaran McDonald
    12. James Horan
    13. Conor Mortimer
    14. Andy Moran
    15. Cillian O’Connor

    Honorable mentions to Peter Burke, Peter Forde, Colm Boyle, Willie Joe, Peadar Gardiner, Trevor Mortimer and Alan Dillon

  7. Very funny 45, keep them coming, in stitches about the last bit of ur post, the more I think about what u said the funnier it gets.

  8. Not a bad team there Big Mike.

    Re Louis’s (or is it Louis’?) point on challenges, I don’t know. I’m always interested when 15 Mayo men take the field and if that challenge was within shouting distance of Dublin I would have travelled. Hell, I even enjoyed the FBD game against Leitrim!

  9. My Predicted match ups.In my opinion were still better on paper man for man.
    Would love to see Zippy at 7 could be a Gamechanger with all the cover in full back line now with Harrison, O’Donoghue, Crowe and Barrett think its time Higgins get his chance at Half BACK.
    I expect the only change for Galway from League final v Dublin, Ian Burke in for the injured Eamon Brannigan if not Sean Kelly, ammd maybe Bernard Power for Ruairi Lavelle.

    David Clarke v B.Power/R.Lavelle
    Brendan Harrison v Ian Burke
    Caolan Crowe/Chris Barrett v Damien Comer
    Eoin O’Donoghue v Barry McHugh
    Colm Boyle v Sean Kelly if Eamon Brannigan is out INJURED
    Paddy Durcan v Peter Cooke
    Keith Higgins/Donie Vaughan v Shane Walsh
    Seamie O’Shea v Ciaran Duggan
    Tom Parsons v Paul Conroy
    Kevin McLoughlin v Johnny Heaney
    Aidan O’Shea v Gareth Bradshaw
    Diarmuid O’Connor v Cathal Sweeney
    Jason Doherty v Eoghan Kerin
    Andy Moran v Sean Andy O Ceallaigh
    Cillian O’Connor/Conor Loftus v Declan Kyne

  10. Not a bad team Big Mike but Noel Connelly for Colm Boyle come on. Connelly wouldn’t lace Boylers boots. I would have Dillon ahead of Conor Mortimer too. When you talk about Mayos greatest players you have to include Kevin O’Neill but he was treated so badly by John Maughan in his prime could have been the missing ingredient as good as Maurice Sheridan from frees and a much better footballer than him from play.

  11. Will never forget the performance of Barrett in the final last year. He was sensational but what really struck me was it was a 70 min job. He never relented and at times bordered on heroic.

  12. Chris Kelly, against Galway im judging.
    Eamon Brannigan got 3 points from play on Colm Boyle in 2016. Noel Connelly marked the footballer of the year Michael Donnellan at that time on numerous occasions and came out 50/50 at worst. Terrific player

  13. Can still only see Vaughan as being a decent match-up for Comer. Probably the only one of our defenders outside Leeroy that has the physique and pace to handle him. I don’t think Higgins, Barrett or Boyler are big enough.

  14. There’s zero chance of Barrett being on Comer. Vaughan would probably be the best bet, as Rock says, but Crowe may well be given a chance

    I don’t see Harrison starting this game, and where is Coen in that team?

    For Galway, I’d be amazed if Ian Burke started. Daly would probably come in for Brannigan

  15. Matches v Galway pre-2001 took on a completely different level of importance to now, in the back-door era

    In truth Connelly’s matches against Galway were knock-out bloodbaths, Boyle’s aren’t (that 2016 game was basically a bad training session)

  16. Anyone notice that during the commentary of the league final on RTÉ Radio 1, Brian Carthy kept referring to the huge crowd (pronounced HUUUUUGGGE) before it was announced that the attendance was 37 thousand and something.

    The question is where were the other 45 thousand. Considering the population of the 2 counties involved as well as Cavan and Ross, it was a fairly shite attendance really. A bit off topic I know but it had to be said.

  17. I would put DB midfield in place of Aidan OShea. Outstanding game against Galway in 01 league final

  18. Zero chance of Barrett on Comer yet they marked each other last year, I do feel it will be Crowe tho that will pick up Comer up due to his performance in Ballybofey against Paddy McBrearty where he kept him to only a point from play.Can’t see Coen make the team with Higgins, Barrett, and Vaughan all back and Harrison played against Donegal Tuesday night if hes fit enough I would expect Rochy to start him.

  19. Chris Barrett will not be playing in the full back line. His best position is at 6, last year’s final is proof of that. He needs to be on the half back line especially with Leeroy out. Chrissie will have Walsh in his pocket the entire game on the 13th.

  20. TH, Johnny Heaney played half forward for the entire league even though he wears 7. I’d have Durcan marking him as he’s crucial for Galway. Coen played every minute of the league so he’s fairly certain to start. I would also have Crowe marking Comer.

  21. I will never forget Chris’ performance in last years All Ireland. Was sitting near him in second half. He was just relentless. Never stopped. Missed him during the league. Please let him be injury free for summer.

  22. Off topic the county Juniors and Minors in championship action next Wednesday the 2nd of May. Juniors Mayo v Roscommon @ 6:30pm, Minors Mayo v Leitrim @ 8pm both games in MacHale Park.

  23. I have club + season ticket. Do I just wait for the county board/GAA to just post out my ticket or is there something else I need to do. I know the GAA have sent out an email but I cant find it.

  24. Hope Brian Reape and Ryan O’Donoghue is lining out for Mayo Juniors, a potential Connacht final awaits as the curtain raiser for the Mayo Galway senior game, no better place for Reape to prove a point to Rochy and the Mayo public.
    Wonder can James Carr play with Juniors with his involvement with Mayo Senior Panel.

    There should also be a good few from the 2016 All Under 21 team aswell
    Matty Flanagan Balla
    Barry Duffy Balla
    Val Roughneen Balla
    Conor Walsh Balla
    James Kelly Belmullet
    Scott Kilker Belmullet
    Jason Forkan Kiltimagh
    Eoghan Lavin Kiltimagh
    Gerry Canavan Mayo Gaels
    Kevin Lynch Mayo Gaels
    Morgan Lyons Ballyhaunis
    Eddie Doran Achill
    Padraig Prendergast Louisburgh
    Kevin Gibbons Louisburgh
    Adrian Leonard Lahardane
    Conor Horan Swinford

  25. Ryan O’Donoghue is with the U20’s so he won’t be playing junior. I would hope Reape plays with them alright.

  26. Big Mike . I too would have Boyle before Noel . And think Tom Parsons is a better midfielder than Aiden but maybe that’s for another day . Any of Dillon / Kevin O Neill before Conor Mort

  27. Not a chance you could leave the Mort out… Probably Mayo’s most consistent player in every match he played versus Galway… He absolutely tortured Galway, far more than Great Player’s like Michael Donnellon or Padraig Joyce ever tortured Mayo,!

  28. If this debate was Mayo outstanding performers in All Irelands we would need to look long and hard.
    My list would be like this,
    1989, willie Joe, the real man from Bellmullet.
    1996, two matches, Liam Mchalel both days and James Horan in replay.
    1997, very difficult, nearly all non performers but David Heaney was the only Mayo man to take the fight to Kerry.
    2004 and 2006, best forgotten.
    2012, Cillian O Connor.
    2013, Keith Higgins and Andy Moran
    2016, Drawn match C O Connor, replay Donal Vaughan.
    2017, Barrett, Andy Moran and Keegan almost a tie, Keegan for his super concentration in a man marking job, then gets a great goal and should have been awarded a penalty, but have to say Barrett’s performance was the best by a Mayo man in a final in my lifetime.
    Other great performance in finals that I attended.
    1, Maurice Fitz 1997.
    2, Padraic Joyce 2001.
    3, Gooch Cooper 2009.
    4, Graham Geraghty 1999.
    5, Michael Shields 2010.
    6, Michael Murphy 2012.
    7, Bernard Brogan 2013.
    8, The man known as the pony from Kerry in drawn final of 2000.

    But Padraic Joyce was best of all as he won the All Ireland for Galway in the 2nd half in 2001.

  29. Can’t disagree with that Leantines but as I said picked lads that did it vs Galway, Derek Savage for instance always seemed to play well vs Mayo on our side

  30. @CHRIS KELLY
    I would believe that a few of the stronger U20 players will be let play, potentially 3 games in 10 days
    QF May 2nd, semi’s on May 6th and Final the curtain raiser to the senior game on May 13th. Pity that this grade wasn’t looked after a bit better. last year the same they had one training session before their first game. No wonder that not all player will commit. A few players gone from last year like Micheal Forde. Brian Reape was released from the senior panel a couple of years back so he he could play. Not so sure Adam Gallagher would be.
    Still not a bad group to pick from
    Matthew Flanagan Balla
    Barry leonard Lahardane Padraig o Malley Louisburgh Eoghan McGrath Cill Chomain
    James Kelly Belmullet Conor Walsh Balla Barry Duffy Balla
    Padraig Prendergast Louisburgh Brian Gallagher Claremorris
    Ryan O donoghue Belmullet Eoghan Lavin Kiltimagh Gerry Canavan Mayo Gaels
    Kevin Gibbons Louisburgh Brain Reape Moy Davitts Adrain Leonard Lahardane

    Not sure if James Carr or Mark Ronaldson are fit,
    Moy Davitts Anthony Jordan Sean Kelly Brian Heneghan,
    Kiltimagh Sean Walsh Ronan Malee Forkans’s
    Ballyhaunis Morgan Lyons
    Cill Chomain Darragh Murphy Joe Mason
    The Neale Tommy Conroy
    Louisbugh Joe Dawson
    Swinford Liam Moran

  31. @Mayo88, Liam McHale was sent off in the 1996 replay in one of the most infamous sendings off of all time, how could any genuine Mayo supporter forget that. In 2016 Donal Vaughan went off injured in that replay after being taken out of it be James McCarthy, again most genuine Mayo supporters would remember that.

  32. The saloon doors exploded open as the poor unfortunate, back first, appeared to have been catapulted from inside. He landed first on the 2 wooden steps, his crumpled body coming to a rest on the dusty street.

    The doors continued to swing. In out, in out, for what seemed like an age.

    Some onlookers listened to the footsteps as they made their way to the Saloon door.

    The cowboy walked out on to the street. His face turned to look up the street and slowly turned to check the other way. He could see he would have no other challenger today.

    Judge Rochford watched from under his hat, on his perch outside the sherriffs office as Barrett unlooped the reigns from the pole and placed his left boot in the stirrup before swinging his body up, over and down on his horse.

    With all his years, a nervous shiver darted up the Judges spine as Barrett rode slowly by. This hombre looked mean, angry. Rochford could make out the ridged hardened features under the 3 day old stubble on the cowboys face.

    A gob of tobacco confirmed to Rochford that it was Barrett alright. The judge knew he was goin to need him soon. He knew that some poor yellow Coyote yelpin son of a bitch was goin to have to face this man mountain soon and look him in the eye. He was just happy it wasn’t himself that had to do it.

    He watched as Barrett heeled his horse into a gallop and disappeared out of town.

  33. Mayo 88…If this was a debate about outstanding performers in All Ireland finals.. Paddy Durcan in both draw and replay 2016 would be well up there… He won player of the month for September 2016, & totally dominated the man who was the bookies favourite to win PotY, Kevin McMananon and even scored some fabulous points both day’s!…. But I do agree that it’s very difficult to think of a better performance than Padraig Joyce versus Meath in 2001., All the more impressive concidering he against the finest full back of modern times, Darren Fay on the day!

  34. Revellino, ur imagination and sense of humour is top drawer, hope there’s plenty more to come, while we bide our time for the real shootout.

  35. What I found interesting about that team Big Mike put up earlier, is that 7 (could arguably be more) of the 15 are still playing with us now.
    Just goes to show the incredibly high level this current bunch have been operating at for the past 6 or 7 years.

  36. @Davy J

    He really tortured us Galway supporters who also happen to be spelling Nazis with that infamous t-shirt.

  37. @Davy J: Mini Mort played very well against Galway in McHale Park back in 2004, got eight points (admittedly five of those were frees).

  38. Playing well and ‘torturing’ are hardly the same thing.

    Conor was usually good for around two points from play against Galway. I don’t ever remember him getting a goal against them, and I don’t ever remember him playing that brilliantly against them either.

    I never minded the hair myself. He got a lot of stick for it but it wasn’t any worse than Owen Mulligan’s, for example.

    The T-shirt was rough though. I could understand fans from all counties being traumatised about that ;o)

  39. He did get a goal.. thats when he got the brain fart to show us the t shirt…. i think yew tree that was a free in the corner alright but honestly he never tortured us , he wasnt prolific from play , i always thought Trevor was a better all rounder . I remember Ja Fallon torturing Kenneth Mortmier in Tuam in 95..

  40. Ah, you’re right Tuamstar – he palmed it into the net in 2009 in Salthill. I can’t seem to find it online but I think Trevor did most of the donkey work for that one. You’re right though, he was never a major threat to Galway in general.

  41. Steven Rochford.

    A football genius
    An intelligent man.
    A man who knows how and when to prepare teams for big games.
    A blessing to mayo football.
    A man with the courage to make massive calls and live with the outcome.

    Kevin Walshe

    A tall man.

  42. I suppose the main thing Conor Mortimer has over alot of Galway footballers in his playing career is that he won championship games in Croke Park numerous times in comparison to Michael Meehan ,Sean Armstrong and Paul Conroy who never did .Sure I forgot Galway havn’t won a championship game in Croker in 17 years and someone reminded me lately that even the great Ja Fallon ,Michael Donnellan and Padraig Joyce never bet a Kerry team in there prime.We all dream of finals with Kildare but they don’t happen often.

  43. Ah Chris God love ya.. Every lad you mentioned there has an All Ireland medal, Meehan has three!! Kildare yes.. it was no dream, it was a memorable day, We were only having a chat in general but i/ we may have hit a nerve with you.. Apologies..

  44. Mayo had an easier final in 97 against Kerry than Galway had in 98 against Kildare and we know what happened there. Claiming to be second best or talk of winning games in CP is neither here nor there, it is the silverware that matters.I respect any team that wins an AI or indeed a National League. Nearly men or also rans are just that.

  45. Yes Berry. We enjoyed the silverware we picked up in Croke Park when we bet Galway in the 2001 National League Final.

  46. @Berry: I don’t wish to get into the p***ing contest above, but Kildare didn’t have anyone like Maurice Fitzgerald playing for them then or since.

    Nonetheless, that Galway side went to territory that we didn’t and that has to be respected.

    Looking forward to 13th May already, the Wesht seems to be simmering with tension of this thread is anything to go by!

  47. Although that stat of not winning in Croker since 01 stands as it is, it is just a stat, most teams go through phases of not winning etc. Truth is Galway have probably only played a handful of games in those years and in the last few games there we have lost to Kerry on three occasions , Cork and after that i cant even think of anyone else we played there. Last year people used our Hurlers as an example of a team losing All Irelands but that excuse is well and trully gone now thanks to that great day last September. The football Croker will go as well soon, maybe this year maybe not but it will soon. So i laugh when i see it as i wouldnt change 98 00 and 01 for anything..

  48. I couldn’t care less if they won every All ireland possible excluding Sam but to not win one senior championship game in Croker for a big football county like Galway do u not think thats bad.Don’t get me wrong about Michael Meehan a fabulous footballer and gentleman could watch him play all day in his prime, the other two have never done it on the big stage for Galway in Croker.

  49. Chris. Paul Conroy captained Galway to an All Ireland in Croker, Sean Armstrong won an All Ireland in Croker, not senior granted but i tell you winning an All Ireland at any level is a monumental moment in any sporting persons life. Come on , read my above post , How many games have we played there in the last 10 years? And against who? You are saying it like we have been loosing games there every year since 01. Have you not realised Galway have been at a very low ebb in the last 10 + years.

  50. Galway Croke Park Record
    2017 quarter final Kerry 1-18 Galway 0-13
    2016 quarter final Tipp 3-13 Galway 1-10
    2015 round 4a Donegal 3-12 Galway 0-11
    2014 quarter Kerry 1-20 Galway 2-10
    2013 round 4 Cork 1-17 Galway 1-16
    2012 No game in Croke lost ANTRIM in Qualifier

    Only a handful of games Tuamstar ye played there the last 5 years before ye lost to Antrim in 2012.

  51. @Davy J,.. Willie Joe has an excellent archive… You can check it out for yourself .. But.as regards the Mort the Connacht Finals of 04,..06..09 comes to mind… Of course the Mort tortured Galway from frees as well as play… He won most of those free’s himself as well. How do you think that the Mort, has become such a genuine legend of the game..Author and Footballer… With the highest ever tally in terms of scores in over a century of Mayo gaelic-football, with less game’s than the previous holder of the illustrious title..the late and great Jinking Joe Corcoran,… And by the way, he done this incredible feat without by and large of playing much with the luxury of playing on the present greatest Mayo team of this decade, which includes the man who will no doubt replace the great Mort himself, Cillian O Connor as leading scorer, no alone of Mayo, but in the history of the Championship since the foundation of the GAA …. You can have your opinions but you can’t change the facts!

  52. Good man Revellino I forgot about that 2001 National League final,we have a better Croke Park head to head record against them. wudn’t it be great if we could meet up later on in the year again, but thats provided Galway can win a game up in Croker 😉

  53. For a man that never bothered ye bar his hairstyle ye did some amount of pulling & dragging out of him and not to mention the jeers that Galway supporters greeted him with , loud ones in 09 he soon silenced . The free in mchale park was superb taking into consideration the pressure, donnellan couldn’t manage it the other end ( if that was visa versa , imagine the “mort hadn’t the bottle but our boy donnellan did” narrative that would of followed )

  54. Twas 2 weeks to the big one
    And all through the house
    Not a creature was stirring
    Not even a mouse.

  55. I do have to admit that the Galway football team have improved quite steadily over recent years and if it wasn’t for the drubben the rossies handed them last year and the almighty walloping handed out to them by the Tipperary hurlers they could be up there with the greatest teams of all time.

  56. ???sure Shane Walsh and Damo Comer are way better footballers than Aido and Cillian too they would have u believe!! A good league campaign with a blanket defence won’t change my mind on Galway ,I already had my bet lodged in Paddy Power on the way down from Ballybofey.

  57. Sorry Chris just back , i see you have been awful busy good man.. yes but why didnt you do all Galways games since 01. Revellino we gave ye the league in 01 we were happy to take the big prize a few months later. I told you already sure we have been in a terrible place in the last ten years I’m not disputing that. Thanks for your work in digging up all our results i had forgot about the Donegal game and of course everyone in Galway has airbrushed the other one out !! Hope you got good odds on Mayo . Best of luck

  58. We need to be looking at our own records, even though we have won more Connacht titles than Galway they still have 9 All-Ireland titles to our 3 titles, which is a very poor record for us. If you look at the other lists of the rolls of honours in terms of U-21, Minor and League titles, we hold our own, its winning senior titles that lets us down and no matter what we say we can’t get away from that.

    All-Ireland & League Titles

    Senior titles – 3 (11th on the roll of honour list)
    U-21 titles – 5 (3rd)
    Minor titles – 7 (5th)
    Leagues titles – 11 (3rd)

    For example in that period from 1996 to 2001, we beat Galway more times than they beat us but they ended up with 2 All-Ireland titles. Its like in the last few years Castlebar and Corofin have being very closely matched in Connacht but Corofin won two All-Ireland titles to none for Castlebar. Corofin were full of confidence on All-Ireland final day but Castlebar played with very little confidence. So we all have to look in the mirror as Mayo people and wonder why our confidence and self-belief levels in general are not what they should be on All-Ireland or other big final days outside of Connacht.

    In saying that, in the last two years we are at the stage where we are getting pretty much 95% of things right, the only problem is that we have met one of the greatest GAA teams of all time. Lets hope that this year we finally discover those final few percent to get us over the line. We are getting closer and producing close to our best on the biggest day but we are still not quite there yet.

  59. Look its only banter at the end of the day Tuamstar, but I just don’t see why Galway people constantly sneer and make fun at the fact of us losing narrowly in All Ireland finals to a team which is supposed to be the most talented and most well resourced team in the history of the GAA.Like the Galway footballers homepage reaction on facebook after recent All Irelands has been way over the top and then you have the constant smart alleck comments all over the internet from Galway and Dublin fans in particular on any article that involves Mayo.

  60. mayomessi – Brian Gallagher played for New York in the championship last year so I don’t think he’ll be eligible for the juniors. I don’t see the point in flogging someone like Ryan O’Donoghue with the juniors as well as U20. He has already played Sigerson and club football this year. Plenty of over 20’s around the county that deserve a shot.

    If Cian Hanley isn’t going to be involved against Galway, it would be good to get him some game time.

  61. Oh I’m enjoying the auld digs and cuts here…it just goes to show there’s going to be an edge to this game on 13th… I can’t wait. I see huge improvement in Galway and don’t buy the old narrative about them not winning in CP…they are improving and Mayo will have to treat this game with some fire to silence the beat of Galway drums…but I expect we will see a sharp determined Mayo and take no hostages. Time to unleash the wild horses Revelino…

  62. @Tuamstar….Don’t bother indulging, he’s actually embarrassing his such a bad WUM.

    I don’t think there’s a genuine Galway supporter anywhere that wouldn’t admit that we have been been muck from ’05 onwards. It happens. Imo we hung on to the All Ireland winning lads for too long. Interestingly though, four club all Irelands did come to Galway in that period, with three different clubs winning it.

    Before my time Mayo went through a similar fallow period from the late 60’s to the breakthrough Connacht win in ’81. It happens to every county at some stage. Also interestingly, my Mayo father would often tell me that Galway’s biggest opposition en route to the 3 in a row in the mid 60’s would always be Mayo.

    Sadly that very good Mayo team never pushed on after finally beating Galway in ’67.

  63. Chris, the best advice i could give is stay well clear of them pages, the Galway one is an embarrassment and its well documented the admin there is an idiot, i dont bother with them and as for the Dublin one why go near it? It serves zero purpose. Look i have a massive respect for Mayo GAA why else would i be a regular contributer here. Im really looking forward to Sunday 2 weeks . Whoever wins i do believe both of us will have good seasons, and maybe we might even win one game in Dublin ?

  64. @WIDEBALL
    I thought the rule was that if you didnt play club senior championship the year before you could play with the Juniors. I remember Darran Coen togging out with them a couple of years ago when Hollymount played intermediate. I believe he was part of the senior panel the year before. I know some counties the rules are different, lietrim last year played a B Team anyone not in the senior panel could play. In the future I think all counties should adopt this system as there is alot footballers excluded after U20 Level. Wouldnt the development panel players be better suited to get a few games under there belts. I agree with you on young Hanley the more games he gets the better, i would let him play for the juniors, he could get 2 games in before the 13th.

  65. Thats fair enough Tuamstar its all just banter above have to say whatever it was today maybe the Summer air or an article I read on Cillians championship scoring record in where more over the top comments where made about him I can’ take my mind of May 13th.Oh I don’t go near that page any more.Boils my blood.

  66. Fact is a mayoman (sadly) just can’t win an argument with a galwayman cause they just bring up 98 and 2001 and our continuing failure.

    A friend of mine watched the final last year in a galway pub and the vast majority were shouting for Dublin. Ive no problem with that as I felt sick after 1998 especially when you have Galway relatives that are well able to rub it in every time you meet.

  67. @yew_tree, you were asking about the U20s team, I seen in an article recently that James Horan was saying that 9 of his Westport players were involved with the county U20s panel, so that’s good to hear that they are involved.

  68. Thats probably true yew tree but trust me they don’t shout for Cork down in Tralee or for The Dubs in Navan, Galway border Tipp also and they will NEVER get support from Galway people. On a lighter note does anyone remember the 10 or so Shrule lads that came into Headford in 01 wearing the Meath jerseys, all a good bit of craic to be fair.

  69. Could well be Mayo’s year, sure isn’t the Pope coming to Knock in August to posthumously absolve the boys that passed the funeral, and lift the curse. Lol

  70. Hope the Pope brings his boots…we could do with another bit of south American flair to add to the Brazilians of Irish football!!

  71. Nine players from any one club seems a bit excesslve,that would represent between a quarter to a third of the panel.

  72. Yeah Jay, I was actually thinking that alright after I put up my post. It does sound like a lot alright, we’ll see how it goes anyway. Maybe someone else might have some more info. It was in The Irish Times that I seen that article.

  73. It may well be true.Not a lot of talent at u20 level given how poor the minors have been in recent years.

  74. Forward options for Under 20s this year is unreal, they could go very close, I would make them 2nd favourites to Kerry never see so much good forwards in one Mayo age group.Galway game will be massive tho in that they bet this age group at Minor in 2016.

    Ryan O’Donoghue Belmullet
    Conor Diskin Claremorris
    David Stenson Castlebar Mitchels
    Colm Moran Westport
    Ross Egan Aughamore
    Oisin McLaughlin Westport
    Paul Lambert Westport
    Pat Lambert Westport
    Stephen O’Malley Ballintubber
    Nathan Moran Hollymount
    Tommy Conroy The Neale
    Nathan McGee Shrule
    John Gallagher Mayo Gaels
    Cathal Slattery Garrymore
    Kuba Callaghan Ballaghadareen
    James Jennings Mayo Gaels

  75. The much celebrated Galway manager decided to instill belief in his Galway team. He had decided the best way to do this was through a video presentation.

    He pressed the play button and the Galway players stared up at the screen. 15 geese waddled across the screen.

    “Okay lads, notice how the geese stick together”. “When the opposition have the ball I want yea to stick together just like them geese”. “In fact from now on, I want yea to feel it, I want yea to think of yourselves as geese”.

    “Notice how occasionally one of the geese breaks away from the main group”.
    “That’s you Comer”.
    “What are yea Comer ?”
    “I’m a goose kevin”
    “That’s correct Comer, your a goose”
    “What are yea all ?”
    “We’re geese kevin, we’re geese”

    Walshe was delighted. His lads were getting the right idea.

    The great manager continued with the presentation. He would now test the teams intelligence.

    The 2nd clip showed geese in flight.

    “You’ll all notice the geese flying in the V formation”. “The strongest goose goes to the front of the V”. “That’s you Comer”. “It’s all to do with aerodynamics lads”. “The strongest goose cuts through the air”. “Now lads, the 2 lines forming the V, one of them is almost always longer than the other”.

    “The question is, why is that line longer ?”

    Walshe looked down at all the blank faces

    “Anybody ?”

    More blank faces and shoulder shrugs

    “It’s because there are more geese in that line you fuc#en amadans ” Walshe bellowed.

    The great manager pondered on how his presentation had gone. Not only had he convinced his team they were geese, he had also convinced them they weren’t very smart geese either. Another fine evenings work by the great man.

  76. Axel M.. The Pope is actually from Argentina, if it’s Brazilian flair you are looking for, look no further than Manulla FC, the stronghold of Association Football in Central Mayo.. The Current Pope actually came to Ireland to learn English, apparently with as much or little success as many of us had in learning Gaeilge, beaten by sticks by those who presumed to call themselves teachers, in this noble land of Saints and Scholars. If it’s an association with Argentina you look for.. Look no further than, Foxford.. Who knows?… After Admiral William Brown..
    Maybe Pope Francis might be our most favorite South America Person?….
    .

  77. Seeing that about 9 players from westport trying out but I cant see that many making it even though the younger 4 are good players in their own right the five senior team starters will definitely make it. Also there is quiet abit of competition from all over the county for foward positions. Belmullet had a few stand out in their U21 Club run, A few young men fro South Mayo will also have a say. Both Balla and Parke are beginning to stand out at underage, So I Had abit of time to put down potential divisional U20 Sides and I have to say that in West and South Mayo it was pretty tough to say the least, for the West you could pick a 2nd team based on Westport production line.

    West
    Padraig o Malley Westport
    Matt Dervan Breaffy / Tom Reynolds Balla
    John Maughan Castlebar / Basil Macleod Louisburgh
    Ger Holian Balla / Culan Higgins Balla
    Conor Beirne Breaffy / Aaron Mchale Parke
    Joe Dawson Louisburgh / Rory Brickenden Westport
    Gavin Durcan Castebar / Eoghan McLaughlin Westport
    Brain o Malley Westport / Darragh McGovern Ballintubber
    Cillian Golding Balla / John Joyce Achill
    Paul Lambert Westport / Dylan Pinder Louisburgh
    Colm Murphy Balla / Pat Lambert Westport
    Oisin McLaughlin Westport/ Mark Moran Westport
    Colm Moran Westport / Keith Joyce Kilmeena
    Stephen o Malley Ballintubber/ Fintan McManamon Burrishoole
    Pat Harte Balla / Mark Cusack Parke

    Thats 3 sets of brother from Westport Morans, Lamberts and the McLaughlin, Padraig and Brain O Malley and Rory Brickenden.

    South Mayo just as Strong especially the forwards mostly all playing senior football, in the club championship a couple of weeks back Evan o Brien and John Gallagher put up scores of 1-8 each for their clubs Tommy Conroy not far behind with 1-6, John Joyce from Achill put up 0-8 last week.

    Brain McGuinness Claremorris
    David Gannon Claremorris
    Oran O Malley Ballinrobe
    Oisin Mullins Kilmaine
    Paddy Barry Claremorris
    Matthew Macken Clarmorris
    Aaron McDonnell Ballinrobe formerly Ballintubber
    Nathan Moran Hollymount
    Colin Diskin Claremorris
    Stephen McGreal Claremorris/Nathan McGhee Shrule
    John Gallagher Mayo Gaels / Jack Ronyane Davitts
    Cathal Slattery Garrymore / James Jenning Mayo Gaels
    Tommy Conroy The Neale
    Evan O Brien Ballinrober
    Evan Ronane Daviits / Mickey Higgins Clarmorris

    East Mayo
    Adam Byrne Aghamore
    Sean Kenny Aghamore
    Donovan Cosgrove Kiltimagh
    John Cunnane Ballyhaunis
    Conor Hunt Aghamore
    Cathal Horan Kilmovee
    Liam Kelly Kiltimagh
    Dean Darcy Ballaghaderreen
    Sean Og Tighe Aghamore
    Paul Towey Charlestown
    Paddy McGoldrick Charlestown
    Ross Egan Aghamore
    Kuba Callaghan Ballaghaderren
    Kane Phillips Ballaghaderreen
    Michael McGarry Eastern Gaels

    North Mayo probably the weakest on paper but still have good players from Belmullet, Knockmore to call apoint
    Like Cosgrove Knockmore
    Keiran King Knockmore
    Joe Mason Cill Chomain,
    Stephen Jackson Ardnaree
    Adam Carabine Kiltane
    Brian Keane Belmullet
    Ryan Casey Knockmore, starting on their senior team
    David Naylor Ardnaree
    Jordan Flynn Crossmolina
    Aidan Orme Knockmore starting on their senior team
    Ryan O Donoghue Belmullet
    Mickie Conroy Kiltane younger brother of Tommy, also plays halfback
    Justin Healey Cill Chomain
    Michael Keane Belmullet
    John Timlin Ardnaree

  78. Mayo mess I…I would not be optimistic for the u20s. A lot of those lads played for minor teams heavily beaten by Galway in recent years. Mike solan will have to preform miracles to close the gap with counties like Galway and especially Kerry.

  79. Absolutely agree Jay they all look fine on paper and I have every faith in Mike but he might need a mobile number for Merlin just in case. We are starting from such a low baseline and other counties have stolen a march on us.

  80. I know your Kevin Walsh references are in jest Revelino and I’m no big fan of Kevin Walsh but,
    -He managed Sligo to championship victories over Galway and Mayo
    -He managed Sligo to consecutive promotions from div 4 and div 3
    -He managed Galway to consecutive league finals in div 1 and div 2 getting them back to div 1 for the first time in 7 years
    -He managed Galway to championship victories over Mayo and Roscommon
    -He has managed Galway to back to back championship victories over Mayo 3 years after a record breaking defeat at home.
    -He won 2 senior All Ireland’s, 5 senior Connacht’s and 3 all stars as a player.
    -He played senior football for his club for almost 30 years.

    He’s not far off greatness!!!!!!

  81. Top man Revellino, I can see the feathers flying on the 13th, getting goose bumps already.

  82. Tickets not selling as fast as expected , still available online and I’m guessing with my queue number at number 43 at 2:30 the day they opened and that now standing at number 4450 if you purchase now , that’s all that’s sold. Season tickets are 5k ish ? That’s say 10k plus what do clubs get ? Still nowhere near a full house yet .

  83. Fair play mayomessi, that’s some knowledge of players you have! There are some good players in the county but whether we’ve a good enough team is unclear. Kerry may not be that strong at u20 level this year. Clifford and OShea are with the seniors and they didn’t win the u17 grade last year.

    It seems crazy that there are no Ballina players in your north mayo team above, though I don’t doubt your research.

  84. If the u20 players have not improved considerably from the minor teams of last few years – then they will be going nowhere fast. Some very poor minor performances over last few years. Hopefully the different management team will bring an improvement. Based on minor teams – we are third best in Connaught at best.

  85. It would be interesting to see how many minors from that era make the cut at U20. It may well be that others at the lower age groups that were overlooked for minor are brought in at U20. Some of the Mayo minor teams we have been watching of late had very little football and only Merlin will fix that. Saying they were 3rd in Connacht is very partisan.

  86. Sean Burke. No way will this quarter final be a sell out. About 25K tops with all the stand seats taken early. Remember over 20k there for the game with Dubs in the League a few weeks ago. A much more exciting game and a great atmosphere. This quarter final is all hype and little substance.

  87. @wideball, Ballina have been pretty poor at minor the last few years.Just have to look at the fading force of St Muredachs. Not sure if its down to Rugby as an influent as their underage teams are doing well. Belmullet and Knockmore are the teams consistently producing Minor A calibre teams. Belmullet school teams are also doing well.Last years North Mayo final was between knockmore and Ardnaree.
    I wouldnt go throwing the U20 Team under the bus yet, their is quiet a few players that didnt play minor, couple of members of last years U21 Group for instance. Jordan Flynn Crossmolina, Sean og Tighe Aghamore, Ger Holian Balla, I remember Colin Diskin was injured for nearly all also of his minor year, may have made the bench for the last game against Kildare. Evan o Brien, also was injured during his minor year, is now back and scoring on all cylinders. These are all strong down the middle type players that can make a different. Dont want to go pointing fingers but there was something seriously wrong with the Mayo Minor setup the last couple of years.

  88. Good news for the Mayo U20s is they only have to beat leitrim to reach the Connacht final and Leitrim are the weakest of all 5 team. Galway are expected to reach the final and win Connacht but they won’t get anything easy v Sligo or Roscommon in the semi final.

  89. Does anyone know is it a Starred round of Mayo Senior League games tonight with it been 2 weeks to the Big one v Galway it be hard seeing County players togging tonite!
    Not sure will I go to Mitchels v Tubber or Breaffy v Garrymore both on at 7.
    Its a pity they can’t split Division 1 and 2 games between Friday eve, Sat eve and Sunday morning would make it better for supporters to see different games.They use to split them one time!!

  90. anyone watching Hanley in club games, is he in contention for a place on panel/team this year

  91. Culmore
    Not from what I heard,in fairness the lad is only just back from Aus it will take a good year till he finds his form, he is eligable for the Mayo Juniors next Wednesday nite, be interesting to see does Rochy let him play.

  92. Would not be to hopeful for the minors(u17)this year.If I’m not mistaking the Tedd Webb teams were very poor last year.

  93. @Mayomessi, that’s the most impressive knowledge of players I’v ever read on here. I knew the majority of your posting but there were several I’d never heard of.
    In my view we will have a strong team.

  94. If Mike Solan can achieve success with the current u20s it will put him in the picture for the senior job when it becomes available.

  95. Jay – mike Solans u21s didn’t look to impressive last year against Galway. Very poor and flat performance.

  96. Enda Varley scored 1-8 (2 frees) for St Vincent’s in the Dublin championship tonight. Looks like we missed a trick not calling him up this year.

  97. Don’t know Jay was at the game and don’t think they had that many injuries? Cunniffe and Duffy who both won All Ireland u21 the previous year were both fit to play but were named as subs.

  98. Rochy should pick up the phone to call Enda Varley tonite, a different man since he joined Vincents.U can’t ignore form like that.
    It was that fool Holmes who dropped him in 2015 and sold this great team out to Martin Breheny.

  99. Not standing up for Holmes Chris but Varley was very hit and miss for Mayo for example I him in big games hit some spectacular scores for Mayo and then with the next ball hit a spectacular wide. You never knew where the ball was going to go when he got it I used to hate to see him come on as a sub. Though in fairness to him if he’s playing well for Vincent’s then why not bring him in and give him another chance he may well have worked on his game.

  100. Didn’t see Vincents game , was at a different match . What was the full back line for na fianna? That’s serious scoring by varley, goal was supposed to be a bullet of a shot too. Can the Garrymore man be ignored or is it just a case of sure mossey quinn does it every game and the Dubs don’t go looking for him to be called up?

  101. Backdoorsam could you please name all these left footed scoring corner forwards that we have better than him, there is no forward showing that kind of form at club level in Mayo including county forwards in my opinion.He is playing with the best club team in Ireland and in the most competitive County championship scoring 1-8 .I think he has lost some of his bad habits of shooting on sight from way out and going to ground far too easy.

  102. Mitchels and Breaffy both drew, Claremorris, Knockmore,Aghamore won, all results on Official Mayo gaa

  103. There is a report and a few minutes of highlights of the game (St Vincent’s v Na Fianna) up on the 42.ie if anyone wants to check it out for themselves. It was a great finish for his goal and he popped over some lovely points too. It finished 2-17 to 2-15 for St Vincent’s, so it was an attacking game it seemed with no blanket defences in evidence. St Vincent’s were playing a two man full-forward line of Enda Varley and Mossy Quinn, who scored 1-4. WJ might have being at it so he might have some more info on the game.

  104. Chris I’m just saying he got his chance in the Horan era and he couldn’t make the team most days and I said earlier he came on as a sub and was very erratic he could score a beauty or put it spectacularly wide. Ok he’s notching up big scores for Vincent’s as I said he might be worth looking at your right we don’t have any forwards putting up big scores for either club or county. Incidentally I was sitting beside Enda’s father and his sister at the New York game in NY four years ago and two nicer people you wouldn’t meet I’d be only too delighted if he came back in to the panel and started notching up scores for us

  105. Time to look forward and not look back. Loftus, Gallagher, Hanley, Boland, Durcan our future – let’s get these lads into the cauldron of Championship football as soon as possible. Varley had his time with the Mayo panel – old news.

  106. I couldn’t get to it, HopeSpringsEternal, between a match at 3.30 involving one of my kids, whose team I’m involved with, and collecting another one from training at 6. I’ve seen the clips of some of the scores, though, and Enda’s contribution was impressive. The shot for the goal was a rocket and he got some nice points, off both feet as well. 1-8 is an impressive score in a Dublin SFC match.

  107. Agree 45 . There is a big difference between good club players and good Senior county player’s even if the play in Dublin .Move on .

  108. I would think enda deserves another shot in the squad based on form. He’s obviously improved a lot since moving to Vincent’s. I think he’s a teacher too?? So logistically not impossible to join the squad for the season at least..

  109. I’m delighted for Enda Varley and to see him going well. He got plenty of stick for kicking wides some years back. I hadn’t a big problem with him putting them wide. I remember too well periods of Mayo football where we had players who were afraid to take a shot on. Scoring is a confidence exercise and it looks like Enda is playing with plenty of confidence these days. Rochford would have to consider if Enda’s style of play fitted in to the Mayo system.

    I’m always pleasently surprised to see some of the posts on here. The amount of knowledge some of yea have about both club and underage is unreal and a great way for the likes of myself to catch up with what’s going on and who to look out for in the future.

    To the Galway crew. Hope your taking all the banter in the way it’s meant. It’s not meant to hurt or insult. It might sometimes heat up a little, but it is a fierce rivalry. We will always back our own county to the hilt. I live in Galway myself and have plenty of Galway friends. We have plenty of jabs at each other over football and would you believe it, coming up to Mayo V Galway matches a few of us put our friendship aside until the football business is taken care of. A week or 2 after the match we start to thaw out. That won’t change this year.

    I suppose there aren’t too many things stronger than the love for your home county.

    Hon Mayo.

  110. @WJ, yeah its very hard to be everywhere alright!

    In relation to Enda Varley, his confidence did take a dip in his latter days in a Mayo shirt, he probably lacked that extra yard of pace to be a really top forward. It was mentioned on here before too that maybe our management/county board might not want players who play club football in Dublin being called into the squad as that might encourage other players to join Dublin clubs. Its like the Simon Zebo situation in Rugby. We’ll see how it goes but we aren’t exactly blessed with left footed free taking corner forwards.

  111. “It is great relief and a lot of sadness that David Gavin’s remains have been recovered from Kinbasket Lake. Water levels had reduced greatly in recent weeks to allow a search to be resumed.

  112. I remember reading a few years ago that James Horan said Enda Varley was the hardest working member on the team in training, he’d be the last to leave etc … I’d love for him to get another shot …. Andy impressed in his club games a few years ago and made Stephen take notice the rest is history ….

  113. I remember seeing Enda playing in the AI replay 2012. I always admired his skilful play – in particular the way he held up the ball/play. However, I was amazed to see his almost passive approach – at one stage when the game was in the melting pot, having a chat/smile with his opponent. Don’t get me wrong, as I said, a fabulous talent, and the kind I believe would be of huge benefit to Mayo at the moment. If playing championship football with Vincents has hardened him mentally – then by all means, go get the dynamo!

  114. I see in Kerry the intermediate and junior club finals are been played next Sunday. Having these competitions finished by end of April is hardly good for the development of football in intermediate and junior teams. Some people say we should have a similar club structure to Kerry. I don’t think so.

  115. Mayomessi almost to some degree raises an interesting point. If you could imagine there being divisional competitions all the way up to u23 between East West North and South.
    Put the coaching and players in each division in competition with each other. Give extra resources when a division needs a boost.
    East Mayo could do with a boost for example. East rarely wins titles anymore at club level.
    Having in effect four competitive divisions probably guarantees you strong underage players just by the weight of numbers. Hopefully The Mayo Way proposals will be heavily divisional focussed with club and schools also.

  116. Mayo 88, Slightly disagree with you on some of the performances in finals. 2012 & 2013 finals, LK was easily our best player in both finals, even got nominated for MOM in 2013 final, he really went to town on Connolly in that one.
    Sean Cavanagh , even though I dont like him gave a monumental performance for Tyrone v Kerry in 2008 final, literally beat them on his own in last 15 minutes.

  117. @South Mayo Exile:
    People say we should mirror Kerry and have the same structure as kerry and of course they are wrong. But its makes complete sense to take the best part of whats working in Kerry (or other counties similar to ourselves where Gaelic is the primary sport) and use it to our advantage.

  118. It’s very sad for that young mans family, sincere condolences to them.
    On a less serious note, maybe Varley should get a call to join up, a fella could come back in and be ready to prove a point.

  119. To all who knew and loved David Gavin, Girlfriend, Family,.Club members, neighbours from Breaffy and Castlebar, sincere condolences… I hope this weekends discovery brings some comfort…

  120. RIP poor David Gavin. Bittersweet day for everyone involved.
    Interesting reading the thoughts on calling up Enda Varley. The theory that only Mayo based club players can play for the county is nonsense to be honest. The Zebo comparison above is a particular red herring – this isn’t professional sport and there will be no exodus of players to Dublin if one or two from there were called up from Dublin clubs. There is no big financial incentives involved here unlike Zebo and I’m not sure it’s even a policy to only pick Mayo based players anyway??
    We have a long history of selecting players playing club football from outside the county.
    I remember Micheal Gardiner playing in 96 for a Dublin club ( Ballyboden??) Gordon Morley played championship in 99 for Mayo from Salthill, we had Pat Holmes with Cavan gaels at one point I’m sure, Kevin O’Neill was with Na Fianna in 06, Conor mort played with Parnells more recently.
    I’m sure there’s plenty of other examples I’ve forgotten??
    Whether Enda gets a call up or not is up to Rochford, but it certainly shouldn’t be because he’s playing club football outside of Mayo.

  121. @Larry Duff, after Colm Parkinson transferred to Parnells, a total of four more Laois players followed to Parnells giving a total of five Laois senior panellists. Then also Brendan Quigley went to Fingallians.
    – It was an exodus
    – Given paying jobs some of them like Colm Begley, Colm Begley a top player of course and not some jersey 34 player offered a job
    – Laois club football became totally uncompetiive
    – You could argue Laois club football being uncompetitive has made the senior county side uncompetitive.
    What you have said would not happen already happened with Laois.
    Dublin clubs some of them have the ability to offer jobs.

  122. Why not ask Varley back for a look? We are struggling with left footers big time. If the rumour is true he could be a good option of the bench. 1-8 in a Dublin club championship match simply cannot be ignored.

  123. Martin Ashford and CrossFlan – can you both please cop yourselves on? This place isn’t a repository for unsubstantiated rumours. I mean, how many times do I have to repeat this same message? Some genius posting something on a message board somewhere else doesn’t make a rumour a fact and it’s only facts I want discussed here, otherwise the place will descend into bullshit central in no time. I’m not saying what you’re claiming isn’t true, by the way, just that it hasn’t been verified by a reputable media source.

  124. Revellino, just read your post and it gave me a laugh. Hopefully Galway will be on a wild goose chase on the 13th! As I live and work in Galway a win for Mayo would make life a bit easier but I will be wearing my Mayo shirt a few times over the next two weeks as whatever happens I am a proud Mayoman. Nobody has mentioned the Ed Sheeran factor in this clash as he is playing in Pearse Stadium on the 12th and 13th of May. This will keep some of the younger supporters from going to the game so may prevent the chance of a full house.

  125. Don’t agree on this one JP. We have had plenty of good players based in Dublin clubs or elsewhere in the past and no mass exodus has happened. Even as far back as 1989 we had dermot Flanagan playing club football with the Defence Forces (that was in the program on all Ireland day). Why didn’t a mass exodus happen at any stage in the last 30 years of this kinda thing and what’s suddenly different now?
    Enda gave many years of service to his club Garrymore and once he reached 30 I guess other aspects of life dictated a move to a Dublin club made sense. The Laois example you gave – 2 of the 3 guys you mentioned were/are absolute idiots who wasted their considerable talents through off field boloxing around, and most likely had a negative effect on team morale. Woolly was a bit part player in the most successful Laois teams and openly admits he wasted his talent – even O’Dwyer got fed up of him in the end.
    In terms of character, they are polar opposite to Enda varley who worked very hard to maximise his talent and improve.

  126. Just read in the Western that only 4 players of the 19 involved in last years Junior Connaught Final are still involved. James Kelly Shane Nallen Belmullet, Matthew Flanagan Balla and Eoghan McGrath Cill Chomain. Alot of new faces them with a reported 50 players tried out. It also has the names of the U17 panelists no clubs .

  127. Leantimes, I’m not disputing the facts. What I’m disputing is your attempt to try and make those facts look more impressive than they are.

    You mentioned WJ’s archive. So below is the detail of Conor’s scores FROM PLAY against Galway in championship.

    (Frankly, frees are just a free-taker doing his job. If you’re going to start crowing about frees, you may as well make Cillian O’Connor the man-of-the-match in the 2013 final for his 0-8. Did you see all the posts on here about Cillian ‘torturing’ Dublin in that final? No? Neither did I. That’s because he didn’t score from play.)

    2002 0-2
    2003 0-2
    2004 0-3
    2005 0-2
    2006 0-2
    2007 Didn’t score
    2008 0-2
    2009 1-1

    So Conor averaged barely above two points from play against Galway in championship.

    That’s useful. That’s consistent. That’s decent.

    But it’s not ‘torture’, or anything like it.

    ‘Torture’ is what Gooch did to us in the 2004 final (1-4 from play). Torture is Graham Geraghty against Tyrone in 1996 (1-4 from play). Torture is what Frank McGuigan did to Armagh in the 1984 Ulster final – 0-11 from play, five off the left, five off the right, one fisted over.

    THAT’s torture.

  128. Think that’s unfair to just be as black and white about his contribution v Galway. He played better v Galway than any other team if my memory serves me right. The mort will never get the credit he deserves from some .

  129. mayomessi it is hard to blame players for not getting involved with the Juniors. The manager of the team was only appointed last week, just 2 weeks before first round. It does not appear like our county board are taking it seriously. Kevin Mcstay is in charge of the Roscommon Juniors and has players like ultan harney, cathal cregg, peter domican and the daly brothers available to him.

  130. @Davy J.. Thank’s for going to the trouble to check out the stats, on Willie Joe’s excellent archive service as regard’s Mort and Galway… I’m sure plenty of the Galway players and fans felt ‘tortured’, especially the times Mayo only won by a single point..EG 2006 & 2009.. Of course you are referring to the scores from play by Connor, he also scored regularly and was realibile from placed ball’s, many of which he won himself … That’s the difference between agony and extacy… I suppose we are taking about the meaning of a word ‘Tortured’…. The ‘United Nations’ will hardly bother with charging Shrule’s own Imp in a Box ‘Super Mort’ with crimes against humanity because of the ‘Torture’ he inflicted on his near neighbours, the people of Galway… Bad enough for them that he scored at all, but running around the back of the goals, with bleached hair and a cheeky grin, twirling your finger in the air after a routine score had to complete. ‘Torture’ for Galwegians.. Something akin to ‘Joe Brolly’ blowing kisses to the opposition fan’s… On Sunday week, Mayo will have a far better team than Connor Mortimer ever played on , we will miss the bleached hair, the twirling finger in the air, the miss spelt tributes to dead pop star’s… But hopefully we won’t miss the scores, and don’t care who or how many of our Mayo football star’s ‘Torture’ the Galwegians, they have it coming..

  131. @Just a thought,
    was actually thinking the opposite, may be down to a changing of the guard. New management team and new direction. Players like Barry Leonard, Robert Holian and Peter Collins have been representing this team for years. It seems that they got a good response with 50 players looked at and 80% under 25. I think it is the way forward to look at younger players against what seems stiff competition with McStay involving National league players fo Roscommon. What we know for sure from the 4 players mentioned is that James Carr is still unavailable, Ryan o Donoghue wont be involved and Brian Reape may still play as he wasn’t involved last year. Barry Duffy Balla didnt play for Balla lately so he may be injured and Micheal Forde has gone to Australia.

  132. Mayomessi management only there 2 weeks though so can’t have much work done. Roscommon also play players from senior clubs Mayo don’t.

  133. Rock20 – can you tell me if those panel details are public at this stage? If so, that’s fine but, if not, I don’t want unconfirmed details posted here. Thanks.

  134. @just a thought,
    agree with you on the timing, the same happened last year when the team had one practice before the Sligo game. Would it have been a better idea to have the senior management team take over this team as well as Roscommon has done with McStay.

  135. James Carr must have a pretty serious injury, he’s been missing for along time. Anybody know what it is ?..

  136. It’s only a matter of time before Enda is asked back into the IC squad, at least for training. Madness not to. There’s highlights of the Vinnies vs NaFianna game on youtube for those curious to see his current form.

  137. People need to forget about Enda Varley, two weeks out from a championship game, no one is going to be added to the panel at this stage. If Rochford was interested in him then he would have been involved long before now. Enda will be 32 next year, it’s young players we need to be looking at, not lads in their thirties. Enda won’t play for Mayo again. Plenty young players in Mayo scoring well for their clubs, the future is with them.

  138. Being realistic there is little chance of Varley being parachuted into the panel 2 weeks before the first round of the championship..Time to focus on players there presently..

  139. Mayomad please don’t be assuming thats the end of Enda Varley or any potential footballer who is showing form.Rochy will make up his own mind.Plenty of players have been brought back through the years in a number of Big football counties Ciaran McDonald,Kevin O’Neill ,Ja Fallon, Stephen O’Neill and Graham Geraghty to name a few

  140. This year, moreso than any other, owing to the Super8s, will show the need for a squad rather than a team. Dismissing options available to you would be madness. If you parachute in a guy coming back from Oz, who hasn’t kicked a round ball in anger in years, then you can find room at the inn for a guy with IC senior experience, who is cutting loose in (one of the most, if not the most) competitive county championships there is.

    I’m not for one second saying that Enda is playing on May 13th, (in fact, I’d be shocked if he did). BUT, I’ll freely admit I have no understanding of how IC football works if he’s not at least training with the squad in the coming weeks.

    Time will tell, I guess.

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