The only surprise, I guess, in tonight’s team announcement for Sunday’s NFL Division 1 final against Cork at Croke Park is that the team has been named at all. But it has and it’ll come as no surprise to anyone to learn that the same fifteen that started the last day against the Langers down in Páirc Uí Chaoimh will also take the field for us in our NFL decider against the same opponents at Croke Park on Sunday.
The team which will be bidding to win the county’s twelfth NFL title on Sunday is as follows:
Mayo (NFL Division 1 Final v Cork): David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Chris Barrett (Belmullet), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Liam O’Malley (Burrishoole); Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe), Trevor Howley (Knockmore), Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore); Tom Parsons (Charlestown Sarsfields), Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy); Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen), Alan Dillon (Ballintubber), Trevor Mortimer (Shrule–Glencorrib); Conor Mortimer (Shrule–Glencorrib), Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Mark Ronaldson (Shrule–Glencorrib).
Johnno has, right through the NFL campaign, made minimal changes to the starting line-up and generally has only altered the team where he’s been forced to by injuries or suspensions. As a result, we’ve only used 25 players to date in this year’s league and eight of Sunday’s starting team – David Clarke, Donal Vaughan, Trevor Howley, Kevin McLoughlin, Tom Parsons, Seamus O’Shea, Andy Moran and Aidan O’Shea – have been ever-present throughout the campaign.
The team we’ve named for Sunday is, I reckon, a reasonably well balanced one and it’ll also be augmented by a strong enough bench, though the subs aren’t due to be named until the day itself. You’d have to conclude, then, that we’re heading into this decider in good fettle from a personnel point of view and, when you look at the number of injuries Cork are having to cope with, we’ve definitely got the edge on them in this respect. We’ll find out soon enough if this translates to superiority on the pitch at Croke Park.