Kevin Keane our MOTM from yesterday

Kevin Keane v Tyrone

Photo: MichaelMaye.com

Whatever about winning our opening match and then losing our second one, I don’t think too many of us would have predicted before the start of the League that the two standout performances by a Mayo player in first two rounds of this year’s spring campaign would come from Kevin Keane. Commanding and confident down in Killarney, Kevin’s strong showing at MacHale Park yesterday was even more obvious, on a day when so little went right for so many of the team.

Kevin cantered away with this week’s MOTM award, hoovering up 46% of the vote, with captain Keith Higgins (13%) finishing second and super-sub Cillian O’Connor third with 7% of the vote. Well done to all three of them.

56 thoughts on “Kevin Keane our MOTM from yesterday

  1. Absolutely delighted for Kevin . As I posted here before , I thought he was scapegoated for our loss to Donegal in 2012. Yes , he dropped an awkward ball, but it was , if I remember right his fifth championship match.I have great time for James Horan, but I noticed, after the Kerry game last week, where Kevin got MoM that James didn’t mention his name in either the W P or the Star. After four championship games and in an All Ireland final, you’re bound to be nervous

  2. He was unfairly scapegoated. Bar the unfortunate dropped ball Michael Murphy would have easily outfielded all our other defenders as well.

  3. Well done to Kevin Keane. Coming up against a team like Monaghan, we’ll need players like him, as it will be a tough, hard game. Keep up the good work!

  4. We were very poor on Sunday. As bad as I’ve seen us in a long time. I wouldn’t read too much into it though. We kicked some terrible wides, some due to Tyrone’s blanket defence and some due to pure poor play.

    O’Connor made an enormous impact when he came on. Another 15 mins from him and we may well have been able to take something from the game. It’s a real pity Regan is out for a few weeks as I would have liked to see both men on the inside line for a few games.

    As for the ref – a lot has been said on this and I do agree that we need to be careful not to be constantly moaning about the refereeing. But as WJ has repeatedly pointed out, he was abysmal for both teams. He made a bad game even worse. Simple decisions like players being bumped as they went down of the ball were constantly ignored. I don’t know how many scrambles on the ground played out without any effort to intervene. I watched the game with a South African and he reckoned we have no clue what the rules are. Hard to argue with.

  5. I watched kk and sean kavanagh go for a 50/50 ball on sunday from a stand still and kk was sharper, faster and stronger to the ball. Some simple tidy ups around the back line where he didn’t panic or get flustered and moved the ball out effectively and simply. He has the look of a man that has worked really hard and believes in his ability now and it’s great to see. Lets hope he has solved our full back question for us – and as someone posited earlier maybe put ger cafferkey out in front of him. Personally, I’m delighted for the man and after the donegal 2012 upset he stuck at it and improved – thats real character. Good man kk.

  6. Well done to Kevin Keane. It’s obvious that the middle of the FB line is his natural position. The only problem I see for him is if opposition target him with a nippy FF. He got a bad roasting in the League couple of years ago against Mannion from Dublin. But that’s fine. If the opposition decide that route then a different player should be in there e.g. Cafferkey who probably has a little more pace.

    Cafferkey should be tried at Centre half back. Coen is a fine player but really he’s one for the future. Tyrone the last day made a lot of progress coming through the middle. I know Coen was marking his own man but sometimes a centre half back has to forego this and mind the middle instead. It’s a pivotal spot on the team.

    As for forwards I think AOS best games last year came from centre half forward and that’s where he should be put. Give him the ability to drift out wide on our kickouts as an obvious go to option. Freeman maybe should move to the corner with Cillian to the other corner. As someone said it’s no harm to not play anyone in the middle against a blanket defense. Make the opposition full back think about the Full Backs role and force then to pull him out or else leave him on his own and out of the game.

    Also heard somewhere that Evan Regan’s injury is not as bad as first feared and he could be back for the Cork game. It would be great if this were true but I don’t know the accuracy of the claim. Anyone else heard anything?

  7. Keane won’t be as exposed on a nippy forward in the full back position. It’s different in the corner. He seems quicker than Ger Caff based on two games this year.
    Definitely uncertain about Ger Caff at centre back. I think he’ll simply be cover for Keane at full back. Caff was past rather easily by Mccurry in a one on one with Mccurry having played most the match and Caff fresh off the bench.

  8. Genuine fans didn’t blame him for the loss in 2012 but some others did… delighted Kevin is gettin his chance and taking it too… The lad is as strong as an Ox and can also play a bit… great ball out of defence in 2nd half with outside of boot… His confidence must be sky high at minute which is great for Mayo… himself or Caff in Cship team ??? Close call

  9. Well done Kevin.

    I couldn’t make this one but i think after the result it’s obvious what we need to do.

    It’s time for us all to panic – immediately!!

  10. Caff and Keane have a right battle on their hands for the full-back position which is great to see. Keane would be my preferred option based in his superior distribution (he is one of the best foot-passers on the panel). No offence JPM but you are mistaken if you think Caff is strong against smaller nippier full forwards or that he would be a fit at number 6. He got roasted by Danny Cummins in the CF last summer only for Cummins to forget where the goalposts were! In the next match against Cork, Brian Hurley (a serious talent) ran riot on Caff.

    As for a centre back, Caff doesn’t have the pace or distribution for the position. But that’s fine because he’s a very decent full back.

  11. Well done to Kevin Keane. Another serious performance. However I’m surprised at how quickly people are willing to write off Caff. The lad is a former All Star and he hasnt lost that quality over night. He is questionable under the high ball but is a great reader of the game. Maybe I was mixing him up with someone else last Sunday but when he laid off a ball and ran forward looking for a pass back he seriously out stripped the Tyrone man and showed a real turn of pace.
    I think he is a great option at No6. He can marshall the line and would command the respect from Boyle and Keegan. He could mind the house while the two boys bombed forward.
    A back 6 comprised of the following would be a strong line out
    Cunniffe Keane Barrett
    Boyle Caff Keegan
    I’d leave Vaughan in Midfied with Seamie and line Aidan out as CHF. I’d play Kevin Mc there along with Keith Higgins. With those three you have a great fielder and ball carrier in Aidan. A great man to win a scrappy ball in Kevin and some serious pace and accurate foot passing in Keith.
    FF line would consist of Freeman Moran and Cillian. Big physical man in the middle that will keep the CB busy and Freeman I think will benefit more coming in from the wing.
    Anyway rant over and congrats again to Kevin. Richly deserved.

  12. Sorry lads, but Ger Cafferkey is an All Star fullback. He had a bad year last year, but was carrying an injury. Both on form I’d still have cafferkey ahead of keane most of the time, simply because he is a better defender. Keane is a god option when there is a requirement to shall we say play the man as well as the ball, i.e donaghy and geaney, but cafferkey is faster, is a better reader of the game and has done well on some of the best forwards out there. Writing him off is way over the top. Are we going to make him the scapegoat like we did with keane? It looks that way.

    Personally, I think keane could do well at 6. Let him sit there and hold the position, and maybe cut out some of these counters we keep getting hit with. He has the distribution to hurt opponents from there also. There is a lot of praise going coen’s way, but to me, he is just more of the same, i.e. an half back who wants to go up the pitch. We need balance more than another attacking half-back.

  13. GBX1 is correct, Keane is a very good passer. As he gets more games under his belt he’s likely to increase the distance and frequency of his passes. That would be himself and Higgins who can pass long and accurate.
    I’v been thinking about Keith Higgins whether he should be out at centre back or at corner back. At corner back against a blanket defence you’d nearly have more freedom to be passing long into big forwards. Centre back is going to be scrapping for alot of breaking ball and trying to break up hard running counter attacks. If you win the turnover around midfield alot of the opposition will drop back and a simple handpass can open up the pitch for an onrushing Higgins. Even is he is covered Higgins is brilliant at stepping around any cover.
    Similar on kickouts Higgins should be free and can kick midrange to the wings even from full back line.
    If you look at last years final Donegal gassed themselves a bit with alot of hard running from their own full backline to their own 45. The handpass statistic at half time was something heavily in Donegals favour. Having players who can kick accurate and long in defence saves alot of energy.

  14. TheMaestro people are not writing off Cafferkey. They’re simply expressing a preference for Keane. Being the clear Mayo man of the match for two games in a row at full back marking both Geaney and Cavanagh is pretty impressive is it not?
    All Stars are not really proof of anything. Personally I thought McGee was the best full back in 2012 looking at his command of the square and the lack of goals conceded.
    Whether Keane of Cafferkey are faster/better readers of the game, Keane has two top drawer performances under his belt. Hard to ignore that.

  15. Caff is a class act no doubt, he was left exposed at times last year what with the corner backs playing out the field.

    Two great options alright and there is room for both of them in the team at no.3 and no.6.

    I would prefer to keep Higgins in defence.
    We need some stability there.
    Hopefully Cunniffe will have an injury free year once he returns as he is one of the very best corner backs in the game .

    He would also make a top Centre Half Back but I prefer him in the corner. Pat Holmes does like to play him at 6 though so watch this space .

    We have options in defence with Harrisson, Stephen Duffy, Michael Hall and Barrett all speedy, tenacious, strong corner backs .

    Then half Backs like Drake, Coen and Barrett could mean one of our defenders move up the field .
    Whilst many don’t agree I still think Keegan is worth a go in centrefield .
    Keegan has what many of our current midfielders don’t have and that is the skill to kick accurately whilst on the run .

    I dont think AOS should be a starter at midfield.
    I think he should be played either at Centre half forward or Full Forward like Ger Brady from Ballina used to be.
    Ger Brady literally brought alot of his rugby schooling into his gaa game.
    Ger could be passive in the game but when a chance came about he would burst through like a shot .
    Other times he was conserving his energy and moving the ball quickly whilst he picked the time to go for brog and utilize his pace and power.
    AOS currently is trying to use his pace and power for 70 mins running into every which tackle he can and all h is doing is killing himself out and slowing down our game.

    Whilst we all know he is a big strong boy, can’t he be coached how to utilize that power at the best times and not kill himself out?
    I am not having a go at him but think the management should see this and make changes to suit .

  16. I definitely wasn’t writing off Caff and that’s easy to see from my comment. He is a good reader of the game but he certainly isn’t a number six. He is quick enough when he gets going but not when he has the ball, which he rarely has at 3 but he’d have lots of at 6. Distribution, particularly with the foot, and ability to score are not of the required standard for me.

    Our number 6 hasn’t been nailed down but Boyle won an All Star playing there last year so he’s the main contender. Cunniffe (if he has committed to the panel this year) would be my second choice, and then Vaughan.

    On a separate note, it would seem that we have a lack of quality corner forwards coming through when you see Ronaldson and Conroy starting early on in the league (I’m aware that they’ve both had 2 solid outings) but neither are young and we know what you get with both. It makes Regan’s injury absence the most disappointing aspect of the season so far for me, as he is the one natural talent we have coming through at corner forward.

  17. Agreed JP, that as strange as it sounds Higgins could actually get greater opportunity to roam froward from cornerback rather than half backline.

    Frank McGlynn being the type of player who rightly pointed out as being the player who gets more freedom from cornerback.

    Our Half Backline is the envy of the country and was a key in our success for the past few years so I expect teams to stand off them and then look to smoather them once they hit the opposite 45, just like Tyrone did.
    This will then mean we loose the ball in possesion or we kick it in a 50-50 ball to our forward line or means we slow the attack down and go lateral .

  18. Agreed GB as regards the corner forwards.
    Over the last few years barring Cillian, the main youths who have caught the eye are Regan,Sweeney, Kirby, Irwin, Tommy Conroy and Darragh Doherty .

    Regan is unlucky with the injury, Sweeney is with the panel so should be getting his chance, Irwin hasn’t done it for Breaffy just yet, Conroy has had other pressing issues and Doherty is this year in Division 1 so we will see what he is made off .

    Conor Loftus was the man of the Match in the All Ireland Minor final but is moreso a half forward I think so we should look to the option we currently have and to me, you place your most accurate and strong in the full forward line . Cillian – AOS -Doherty is that for me .

  19. It is impressive, but it also has to be put into context. Game 1, great performance, but against a Kerry team who were well below their mark and the first game in the league. Game 2, with all the men tyrone had behind the ball, he wasn’t marking Cavanagh alone. Plus cafferkey got slated for the goal against Kerry, may I ask where keane was for the goal for tyrone? He holds his position and he can force harte to tap it over, you don’t go to the man when you are outnumbered.

    I know that is a tad harsh on him, but that is the treatment cafferkey is getting – mainly because the result hurt more, but that shouldn’t come into it. Im just trying to keep things in context. Best of luck to him on his performances, but getting carried away could cost us also.

    Maybe we get too far ahead of ourselves in Mayo. We have played 2 games and we are talking about the team for championship. We shouldn’t be thinking past our next game.

  20. Keane was great no doubt. Caff deserves more respect too than just to be written off like that. We were years without a decent full back until he arrived the scene. An all star too !! As for choosing between them I think it should be horses for courses. It’s the other end of the field that worries me most. WJ will prob have another stat to throw at me to counter me but freezers failure to nail down the ff position really frustrates me. I have no agenda here btw. I just think the ability is there but he’s not going out and showing it enough. We desperately need a ff to replace Andy and so far this season it looks like freeman is just holding fort until Andy returns. He has a huge chance and I hope he starts the next couple of games and stars !!!

  21. I share that frustration ted – mind you I’d say Alan himself does too. In fairness there was very little supply of any quality getting into him on Sunday.

  22. Its great to see keane playin well. He has a more cutting dimension to him than caff. Hope he keeps it up. We need some players in the inside line to help cillian. IMO [names deleted] are not county players.

  23. The same Conroy who scored four points against Kerry not ten days ago Clonee Man? Now that he has mastered the art of staying upright I actually think he has performed better in his last 5-6 games than he ever has for Mayo and I think there is more to come.

    I’d be fairly indignant on Caff’s behalf too reading some of the commentary above. Happy to see Kevin stepping up in such style, but Ger has served his county very well down the years.

    Out of interest, I’ve just read back on the comments here from our league games this time last year about Kevin Keane’s prowess as a full back, and they are less than complimentary to say the least. One in particular from the Kildare game stands out:
    “Manager left Kevin Keane in the full back role right through the game when the world knows he can’t play there.”

    How quickly the tide turns eh?

  24. Well done Kevin Keane on another good one. Ger Caff is a class full back and has my utmost respect. I voted this time for KH. He defended single handed at times around the square facing a big green field bereft of any other Mayo jerseys. It is not good enough at this level for so many defenders to abandon their primary role and positions. I understand Keith is good, but will we be always picking on the errors of our full back line while everyone else on the team is free to wander in search of the easy ball.

  25. Yes, I agree with all the comments on Kevin Keane, now we must solve the
    Centre-half -back, Centre -half -forward and Full forward positions.

    Roll on Monaghan.

    Cathal Henry.

  26. We seem to have personalised this vote into those for such a player or those against such a guy. For what it’s worth Kane is a great player maligned in 2012 because guys up the field didn’t track the Donegal supplier Lacey. Incidentally a year later Paul Flynn wasn’t tracked when he put in a ball that most U16s would be expected to deal with.

    Time is moving for this team. From the 2004 AIF we have Dillon, Andy Moran and Conroy plus Clarke a sub. That’s slmost 11 seasons ago. Add on Higgins and Barry Moran from the 2006 campaign along with a group that have between 4 and 7 Connacht medals. So we are not dealing with greenhorns here. Guys have experienced between 2 and 4 senior AIF defeats.

    That’s an issue that needs addressing. How long can certain guys go to the well, how long can they perform at the very top level and who is institutionally damaged from final day defeat.

    It’s not a case of adding Joe Bloggs to Jimmy Bloggs based on last years or the year before that’s form. In 1996 we were maybe two three players short of what constituted a great team. We got them for 97 with Burke, McDonald, Heaney and possibly Costelloe. However injury and loss of form robbed us of Brady, Cahill, O Neill, Horan, Flanagan and Sheridan.

    Trying to squeeze the last dregs from this 30 man squad won’t work. Judicious pruning was needed but I don’t see it happening. The old stalwarts are returning and sadly they weren’t good enough in the final analysis. The managers said bringing up the physical size of the team was a stated goal. So far that’s not happened.

    Bold moves have to be taken, nothing remains the same but we are willing this squad when it’s apparent it needs radical surgery. The duo have to decide to go for broke or stick with what’s already known.

  27. It’s a good point John Cuffe and its stark when you look at the tenure of some of our old reliables. I’m glad Andy is still in there but feel he will be on the fringes this year.

    The thing is, you can’t say they haven’t trawled the county looking for those missing pieces and new faces either. We have our best in there – there were approx 50 players in the panel up til the start of the league, and there are still probably 35+ in there. I’d definitely like to see some of the less familiar faces more frequently – the Gallaghers, the Dougies, the Durcans, the but I can’t imagine it’s conservatism or loyalty that’s keeping them out of the starting 15 either – a new management team should not have any sense of obligation or indeed fear (certainly not at this point anyway).

    We are so close but still I can’t help wondering if we’re just missing that touch of brilliance that’s needed to tip the scales on our favour. By God I hope I’m wrong but for now we are powerless to do anything but watch until we get a proper feel for how Noel and Pat operate. It’s the street smarts we need more than anything and the ability to read a game quickly from the sideline and intervene quickly when we run into bother. That’s why Sunday was worrying, not because of the result.

    But I’m parking that concern until the Monaghan game. I’d be shocked if we didn’t go out all guns blazing against them.

  28. People are very quick to write off players great to see Keane doing good.i read an article last year from one of o sheas from kerry not sure was it Tomas or Marc where he was saying he’s ist championship game he was roasted as a corner back and got whipped off pretty quick.he went on and won a few all Ireland’s and all stars after that! I also remember colm boyle in hes championship debut as a corner back had a terrible game taken off.wasnt on panel for few years and Horan brought him back in on he’s club form with davitts.what a player boyle is now.point I’m making it can take time for a player to develop there full potential and a small bit of patience and encouragement can be shown by both management and supporters alike

  29. When better players come along it may be ok to allow some of the elder statesmen to leave but I cant say I have seen much evidence of this happening yet Early Last year it was suggested by many that Andy and Alan D were past it and their time was up. Guess what happened. They came on to rescue us v Ros , did the same in 2nd half of draw v Kerry and Andy was a major thorn v Kerry in replay. I would love to see great new players emerging and replacing the older lads but it is not happening. That’s why ALan is still there since 2004 and Andy since 2006.( No doubt it will be pointed out that they didn’t deliver in finals) So I hope Evan Regan and D O Connor and some of the great minors of 2 years ago make it at senior level and contribute as much to the county as the older lads have done. But we must be patient with them and not write them off after one or two poor games. It is very difficult to make the step up to senior,especially as a forward. Cillian is one of the few in Mayo who did it without many problems. So I would keep Andy and Alan on the panel , not push them too hard in the league but have them ready and available for the big battles in the summer.

  30. We still have to believe and have faith that our players are as good as any players out there. Keith Higgins, Cillian O’Connor, Colm Boyle, Lee Keegan and Aidan O’Shea would get a place in any team in the country. Seamus O’Shea, Chris Barrett, Kevin McLoughlin, Jason Doherty, Tom Cunniffe, Kevin Keane, Ger Cafferkey and Donal Vaughan are top players. We have three very good goalkeepers. Alan Freeman, Barry Moran, Michael Conroy, Jason Gibbons, Richie Feeney, Darren Coen and Mickey Sweeney are very talented lads who we need to get the best from. Andy Moran and Alan Dillon have stayed on for one reason, to win ultimate honours. Their experience is vital to us. Evan Regan, Adam Gallagher, Stephen Coen, Diarmuid O’Connor, Patrick Duran and Michael Hall have all got game time and look very promising. Then there are others like Neil Douglas, Danny Kirby, Enda Varley and Brian Gallagher who all have something to offer as well. Surely the raw materials are there, only time will tell if these lads can bring us to the promised land! Roll on the next game.

  31. agree To Win Just Once,

    Need to encourage young lads…remember they are also trying to break into a team that have been in the top 4 in the country the last few years, no mean feat.
    Even a great talent like Cillian struggled for the first year or so from play, it was his free taking that kept him on the first team really for a good while. But given the necessary game time, he has become one of the top forwards from play in the country, showing consistent improvement, that’s what the young pretenders need, just they might not be afforded the same game time and will have to probably prove themselves with shorter pitch time

  32. Anne-Marie, I don’t think one person wrote Caff off. I pointed out that he wouldn’t be a suitable number six, while saying that it’s great to have himself and Keane battling for the number 3 jersey.

    On the Freeman comments – many have said that he’s not doing it at FF. I have huge sympathy for Freeman because the supply of ball he gets is so poor. Mayo are a running team and when you’re at FF you’re rarely involved in the moves. When Freeman does get the ball he has shown on many occasions that he is one of our best finishers. He’s also got a great temperament. He’s needs to be fed more long balls and have Cillian and whoever else is in there feed of him.

  33. Freeman needs to be taking ball on the run off someone like Aidan OShea.
    Alternatively receiving high ball one on one in the corner (might still be space even with blanket). But high ball to the square for himself the fullback, the goalie and the sweeper is not going to work. It’s totally unfair to expect him to claim such ball.

  34. I have the same concerns of John Cuffe. How often can our top players keep performing and do we stick or twist with the make up of the team. It looks like we’re sticking. And if the hunger is there we may get over the line. I’d love to see the management try out players in different positions more. But maybe more patience is required by all.

  35. Well in fairness GBXI, he isn’t being given much credit by people either. There been little positives given as regards his ability to come back this year. Like keane was spoken of last year, he seems to be yesterday’s man. He hasn’t even reached him prime yet.

    What is really going on is people are taking out the hurt they felt on him. He is the scape-goat. We go on like people owe us something – like ger cafferkey owes us an all Ireland final appearance. I hate being associated with this nonsense. The mayo fans can be the worlds worst sometimes.

  36. I totally agree that Mayo fans, and Gaelic football fans in general can be the worst sometimes, as if the players owe supporters anything.

    However, there hasn’t been a huge amount of credit given to Caff here by others and myself because last year, which in terms of form is infinitely more significant than 2012, Caff, at best, under-performed. As such, people are delighted to see two strong performances from Keane early in the current season, on top of what most see as solid outing against Donaghy in extra time in Limerick. Doesn’t mean he’ll be the man come the main gig in summer but it’s very encouraging.

    In my opinion, Keane’s form could give Caff a kick up the arse and then we’re left with very good options at full-back. Win-win.

  37. TheMaestro you seem to be trying to invent some miscarriage of justice about Ger Cafferkey.
    – Plenty people have credited his ability to come back
    – No one is talking/writing about Ger Caff owing Mayo an All Ireland (I wouldn’t class someone who would as any kind of GAA supporter)
    – People were not writing off Keane
    Genuine Mayo supporters are not the worst in the world. Several thousand of them travelled all the way to Killarney. You’re tarring genuine supporters there with the yahoos who sit on barstools and blather on about the club minor manager dropping them off the team in 1987.
    There was almost a 10,000 gate at the Mayo – Tyrone game, that’s unreal numbers in the middle of February for a league game.

  38. I have what some posters might deem a stupid question.

    Is there any reason why Keane and Cafferkey couldn’t play in the same full-back line, with whichever one is most suitable to mark the opposition full-forward given the no. 3 jersey, and the other playing in the corner?

    Seems to me that they are both solid defenders, but that Keane is more suitable for marking the Donaghy/Michael Murphy type of animal, whereas Caff is the man to tame the more skilful forwards like Brogan or Colm O’Neill?

  39. DavyJ – there’s no reason that they both couldn’t really play in the FB line other than experience. Championship is what we’re talking about and with all due respect to Keane it’s premature yet to suggest he has what it takes to mark a quality FF the likes of Donaghy, Murphy or O’Gara come the Summer time. If he goes on to dominate from the middle of the square for the remainder of the League then perhaps but that remains to be seen.

    As for Cafferkey at corner back – well it’s my opinion he possibly could do it although I think a really pacy corner fw could expose him. But then again a really pacy corner fw could expose anyone if the space is always there.

    Long term the solution is for management to come up with a team (probably 9 or so including subs) of dependent backs who can play a reliable defensive system….Together.

    The days of individual man marking are gone I think and it’s down anymore now to a more defensive coaching system that’s employed by all the top counties.

  40. I think Caff and Keane are both quality defenders but there’s not a defender in the country who could have operated properly with the exposure we were subjected to last year, when opposition steamrolled through our half back line time and again……………………..a good defence has to work from centerfield back to goalie.
    One thing that does worry me is that KK had to come out the field much too far at times on Sunday last……………probably frustration at the lack of urgency shown by others……….. but I don’t think I ever remember Ger K going beyond midfield, always conscious of his house-minding job.
    We are very lucky to have both and as pointed out above, why not accomodate each of them.
    Everything seemed to be off against Tyrone, our handling,passing, positioning and of course our shot selection ……………..this does happen the best of teams and can be infectious throughout the side…….but if it happens twice in a row then we have problems…………..I don’t think that will happen though…………Patrick Durcan ,for me is the best of the new-comers, Regan also, I hope he has a speedy recovery, we need those lads……………I agree AoS should be in the HF line and would like to see Kirby given a run aswell.

    Maigh Eo Abu

  41. Sorry, but they absolutely were writing keane off, and Anne-Marie even quoted a comment from this very blog doing just that.
    Also, if people are crediting a possible comeback, then I ask you, where are they? The only ones that I have seen doing it are the likes of myself, Anne-Marie and one or two more. Can you indicate where people have stated that once cafferkey gets back fully fit and up to speed that he will be a real option at fb too? All I see is people trying to stick him in at no.6 or in the corner.

    Our judgements of players are far too results-based. Rory O’Carroll got 2 absolute roastings in 2013, one against meath and again against Kerry – worse than anything cafferkey got. But they won the games so it is all forgotten about. The reality is every fullback will come up against a type of player that they will struggle with, it is just the nature of the position. expecting someone to beat everyone all the time is simply unfair and out of touch with the game.

  42. Agreed Maestro. We went from having one of the best full backs to pull on the green and red to “desperately needing to find a full back” in the space of a couple of months!

  43. One of the big strengths we had over the last few years was a high level of intensity throughout the field that made us very difficult to play against. It was energy – sapping stuff. I think our success this year will depend on whether we can attain those high levels again. It might be a problem given that we have been on the road for a while now and some fellas might be getting a bit jaded. Hopefully not. It is probably a bigger issue than whether Caff or Keane play at full back.

  44. It is with amusement I am reading the argument about K.K V GER for the F.Back position and if Kevin is the best of the two for that position that a place must be made for Ger.That is pure rubbish ,what about the player that is holding down his position like Keith Higgins Tom Cunniffe or Chris Barrett or indeed any of the back ?This no way to select a team.Who ever is selected for the position the loser warms the bench and should be ready to come on when required. About the forwards and particularly the full f. line we have too many small players there , you saw the way Ronaldsson and Mikey Sweeney were f…..d out of the way the last day this is only the League when championship comes around all opposition will be fitter and stronger. We need a big F.F. with Cillian and Freeman playing off him, to me Barry Moran would fit the bill.McLaughlin is not a C.Forward this is Aiden O Shea’s spot.Barry ha d some great games at F.F. for Castlebar last year.
    So my team for the next game would be as follows. Clarke Barret Keane Higgins Keegan Boyle Durcan. S O Shea Vaughan K.McLaughlin Aidan Doherty Cilliain Moran Conroy

  45. keane is in full back with 2 motm gongs , and its up to caff to step up in training . philipa would you play keane at 3 and caff at 4 , i bet you would.

  46. Philip

    Barrett is out for a while I believe. Ankle surgery. I agree about Barry at ff, a spot where we need 2 things to happen,
    1 is Barry to stay near the damn square and 2 is, his half forward, midfield teammates have to kick the ball high towards him. What’s so magical or difficult about playing a high ball to a big guy near the square? Nothing, it killed our dreams plenty of times when it was done to us and we still don’t seem to take it on board. Last Sunday was a poor effort but the one bright spot was that a high ball in lead to the goal for cillian. If we meet a packed defense like that again we should have both aos and Barry right on the edge of the square and keep feeding it in, since we can’t score from outside a packed defense and can’t walk the ball through it, we have to go over it to the danger area. For an open game of ball the smaller guys like ronaldson and Sweeney are well able but last Sunday told Tyrone and co how to stop us and it also told us how to beat them
    Let gibbons, SOS, Vaughan, parsons, Duffy and even maybe Keegan take care of midfield and aos and bm play near the goal. Freeman is a tasty player but I’m sorry to say he’s a gentleman, whereas aos and bm are more aggressive and that’s what’s needed in the scoring area.

  47. keane looks powerful this season, two motm awards in his back pocket.He seems determined to nip the oppositions gold diggers in the bud. It would be great to see both working in tandem, i used to think ger was married to the number 3 shirt but he is as wily as a fox and would fit in anywhere, lets hope he enhances his reputation this season and gives the fans something to shout about.

  48. Yeah Barrett is meant to be out for about six weeks, thats a pity as he has been very unlucky the last couple of years with injuries. He had his operation last week-end. I wonder will the U-21 lads Gallagher, Coen, Hall, Durkan and Diarmuid O’Connor be considered for the game against Monaghan with the Connacht U-21 Championship starting up soon.

  49. nothing like a bit of competition for places , for a dangerous ff like “star” you would nearly need both men to mark him, and that is an option N and P should consider. starting to thaw out after sunday last , the lads havent peaked too early which is good.

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