Diarmuid O’Connor confirmed as captain

Photo: Irish Mirror (Inpho/Ryan Byrne)

It was announced just a short while ago this evening that Diarmuid O’Connor will captain the county team this year, with Paddy Durcan named as vice-captain.

Just as he did in following Cillian’s footsteps by winning the Young Footballer of the Year award two years running, now Diarmuid steps into the big brother’s shoes in the position of team captain, a position Cillian held for the previous three seasons.

Diarmuid made his senior debut for the county in the Connacht Championship preliminary round tie against New York at Gaelic Park in 2014. It’ll be back in the Big Apple this May that Diarmuid will now lead the team out for the first time in a Championship fixture.

The Ballintubber clubman always leads by example on the pitch, giving his all every time he lines out for the county. He’s been a leader ever since he broke into the senior team five years ago and he’s a great choice as captain for this year. Best of luck to him in the role, and to Paddy as well.

80 thoughts on “Diarmuid O’Connor confirmed as captain

  1. Well all we can say in this camp is that we’re delighted for DOC. His work rate, attitude & never give up attitude are only some of his characteristics that set him apart from other. Newbridge last year for example, truely immense. Hope he plays him in midfield or roaming wing forward, waste of talent leaving on the ’40’.
    Congrats DOC and indeed to Paddy ???

  2. Well all we can say in this camp is that we’re delighted for DOC. His work rate, attitude & never give up attitude are only some of his characteristics that set him apart from other. Newbridge last year for example, truely immense. Hope he plays him in midfield or roaming wing forward, waste of talent leaving on the ’40’.
    Congrats DOC and indeed to Paddy ???

  3. He always leaves everything on the field. Great choice in my opinion. Best of luck to Diarmuid, Paddy and Mayo.

  4. Well congrats Diarmuid (and Paddy). Will never forget that unreal display in the heat in Newbridge. Talk about leaving it all on the field. A great leader and footballer.

  5. Great choice and I’m sure all are in agreement with this selection.

    Have to say I thought Cillian was an excellent captain in an era of unprecedented big game victories in Croke Park. But did he ever win a trophy? Was he captain in 2015?

  6. The foundations on which a long lost son shall return home.

    He can draw experience from his older brother and has the talent and temperature to lead.

    P Durcan is ideal man to support DOC.

    Horan absolutely not afraid to call it.

  7. Great choice from Horan on so many levels, the honour of Captaining the team has merely been shifted and cillian will fight as hard if not harder to show support for his brother than he would for any other choice. Diarmuid showed what’s needed in battle in Newbridge last year and there will be no other player with a tangable gripe that would gain traction as they will instinctively know that a sword that that is driven into a family crest will either divide or conquer. Horan now has a new leader in the dressing room and a former yet no less respected leader with no option but to support him as to do otherwise would open the collective to the malignant notions of stratification.

    Checkmate, now drive on

  8. Did I do or say something wrong wille joe ?? If my comment offended I would appreciate a heads up as yo why !. Maybe it’s a glitch but I never failed to post a genuine opinion or was subject to any form of obturation in the past

  9. Delighted for Diarmaid and Paddy and wish them both and the Mayo Team the best of luck for 2019. Also want to say Well Done to Cillian who was an excellent captain who will continue to inspire

  10. Sorry WJ. I just saw my query show on the page ,,,, obviously my bad as I must have entered the wrong details with my personal details section for the comment, I got the “your comment is awaiting moderation” and I was taken aback.
    This is what I said, in honesty,,,

    Great choice from Horan on so many levels, the honour of Captaining the team has merely been shifted and cillian will fight as hard if not harder to show support for his brother than he would for any other choice. Diarmuid showed what’s needed in battle in Newbridge last year and there will be no other player with a tangable gripe that would gain traction as they will instinctively know that a sword that that is driven into a family crest will either divide or conquer. Horan now has a new leader in the dressing room and a former yet no less respected leader with no option but to support him as to do otherwise would open the collective to the malignant notions of stratification.

    Checkmate, now drive on

  11. Two great choices but… what does this mean for A O’Shea? At 29 his chances of being captain are diminishing. Being captain means you’re a natural leader and also an automatic choice to be selected. Which category did Horan feel Aidan didn’t match up to?

  12. Great choice of captain and vice captain and a clear tip of the hat towards youth.
    This is now to help drive on our 19-23 year olds over the next two years.

  13. @Puckout…. The same could be said about so many more, David Clarke, Colm Boyle, Jason Doc, Kevin McLoughlin, Donal Vaughan, Séamus O Shea, Chris Barrett, ECT…. and who’s to say that one of the above named won’t be our Captain for 2020…In addition to our New Captain and Vice Captain, we will need leader’s all over the field…. however I don’t know the thinking of James Horan but maybe going for Two of our younger leader’s, it’s? probably encouraging for the those young players trying to make the Mayo Team, .We need both our veterans and some new blood if we are to ever achieve our ambitions!..It is a great honor to be Captain or Vice Captain of your County.. So congratulations to both and I will join the other poster’s in wishing them and the team the lead the very best of luck!

  14. Good choice, and not entirely surprising in view of Ballintubber’s success. The responsibility of captaincy invariably brings to the fore the strongest leadership characteristics of the player. I’m thinking here of David Burke – Galway hurler, without whom we wouldn’t have won 2017 AI. This was an inspired choice by Micheal Donoghue. And equally, Joe Canning’s performances improved without the responsibility. What I can’t understand is Micheal’s great faith in Donaghey – the mind boggles.. Good luck to Diarmuid and Paddy..

  15. Man of Aran – I like many Mayo people would always shout for the Galway hurlers…however with that Kerry lad on board We May have to change tact for this year 😉

  16. The likes of Aidan, Cillian and Lee have carried the light for long enough – and they continue to do so. I think the choice of Diarmuid and Paddy as signifies that the new brigade of leaders are coming through and it’s a fantastic vote of confidence in them.

    Diarmuid was magnificent under difficult circumstances in Newbridge last year, but Paddy’s performance that evening is often overlooked. He kicked four points from play from wingback and was simply sensational at times. Two fabulous players who will be central to what we achieve in the years to come.

  17. Just to add to that rock, both were equally outstanding that day, doc running himself into the ground and paddy keeping us in the game. I was behind the town goal and in the last quarter when it looked like we were in serious bother it was paddy alone who was trying to rally the players around him. The leaders all over the field that some people talk about here were nowhere to be seen. That was the type of day where leaders show their worth, paddy is that leader. I’m delighted for them both and I’m sure whatever happens results wise this year that these two men will not be found wanting.

  18. Well done to DOC, and also Paddy of course. A definite sign that Horan is looking to the future, that this is a new beginning.
    DOC is an inspiration on the field, really leads by example.

    Hopefully now we will see a rejuvenated Cillian, no longer shouldering the extra burden of the captaincy.
    I always felt Cillian looked to be carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders over the past few years (which led to some off the ball signs of frustration), between being our go to guy up front, free taking and also the captaincy. Hopefully he can now relax a bit more and concentrate solely on his football.

  19. Hearty congratulations to Diarmuid and Paddy – brilliant choices as captain and vice-captain.

    I would like to add that Aidan O’Shea was immense in Newbridge right until the end of the match. I was there and could see the continuous and unrelenting effort he put in, despite the heat. Paddy, Eoin O’Donoghue and Kevin McLoughlin also stood up that day, as far as I remember.

    A real issue for us that day was that Kildare shut down our two main forwards – Cillian and Andy – and we struggled to make inroads partly for this reason.

  20. Nice for him to get the big role.

    Great player with the never die attitude.

    But let’s be real here. AOS is the real captain. And I don’t mean that to lower the status of DOC but seriously. When we play Dublin or Galway or who ever in the championship this year… who will they be more concerned about ?

    Aidan o Shea in perfect form scares every defence in the country. Not to say DOC can’t do a good job but AOS in full form draws fouls and panic like no other.

    Who will the fans of kerry , Galway , Dub be worried about on the other team having a good game?

    Who is always the talk of the team. The media.

    He’s a big man. With pressure always. He’s a natural leader and unlike Keegan it’s very rare you’ll see him red carded or do anything stupid.

    AOS for me regardless of all is our captain. Not on paper but we all know who we look to most when our shots are down.Who hasn’t thought the following when near collapse ..”throw aido into the forwards” … “give to the big man” etc.

    There’s a certain roar of excitement everyone in mayo gets when he runs at a defence.

    I’m not putting down the skills of Any of the others and certainly not DOC but I still always think when aidan plays well it often has a huge knock on effect to other players. Even when he’s not he is still barging and get dragged by 4 or 5 players at once without acting out. Com Boyle is another and Higgins .. often moran too. And I get that horan is looking to the youth and it’s good for all but until AOS starts to become a beech warmer he is captain in my eyes. Much like how Roy Keane didn’t getting the captain role straight off back to Ireland… Or David Brady long back.. but everyone knows who they are worried about most when these men come on the pitch

  21. Tickets for Tralee seem to be sold out.
    I am looking for one, travelling down with Cairge ticket bringing a passenger.
    I checked twice last week in supervalue for tickets and told they were not up but to day they are not on sale, appear to be sold out.

  22. I am delighted for Diarmuid but I think it’s a bit soon for him to be captain I think Aidan O Shea or Lee Keegan deserve to be captain ahead of him Diatmuid is young enough And his day would come but best of luck to him he’s a good guy and a class footballer

  23. Are to tickets sold out or are they not on sale yet? Like Ed I’m a cairde member but bringing down a passenger so looking for 1 ticket.

  24. great choice in captain by James Horan, obviously looking towards the future. I honestly thought Cillian would resume the captains duties once he returned so I am a bit surprised at the announcement. I don’t know why AOS is being brought into the conversation as it has nothing to do with him deserving the role. deserving doesn’t mean being the right choice. Horan has picked a number of captains throughout the league and has being observing how players reacted to the role and how they carried it on and off the field, he made his choice based on what he seen and his choice is a good one.

  25. Tickets online for Tralee are gone but I’m not sure about Centra and SuperValu. That’s certainly worth asking about but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re sold out there too. I think Tralee only holds a bit over 10,000 (Gamechanger – can you confirm a more exact number?) so it’ll definitely be a sell-out.

  26. No tickets for Cairde Mayo or Cairde Kerry. Do they just estimate how many Cairde people will turn up and then issue the remaining number of tickets for general sale?

  27. Maybe they operate on the basis that all season tickets will be used (most people get somebody to use them) and let the remainder out for general sale.

  28. Captains on every line now:
    FB Line: Higgins
    HB Line: Boyler & Leroy
    Midfield: DO’C
    HF Line Aiden
    FF Line Andy

  29. Willie joe,
    The current capacity under health and safety is 12,000 and the stadium will be further updated on the Horans end by way of concrete terracing in the coming year and this will increase the stadium to 15,000 capacity.

    There are no tickets available in Kerry for this game, problem is with the large amount of season tickets holders in Mayo and with the Kerry season ticket holders along with other schemes that open sale was very limited.

    My son told me that there were plenty of people that got into the KY v Dub game at the start of the game as in when the Dublin season ticket holders hadn’t arrived they could then permit entry in the assumption that they weren’t going to attend. For those traveling without a ticket this situation may be repeated but with the numbers of supporters from mayo it less likely as the season tickets will probably in the hands of friends if they can’t get to the game.

    If ye haven’t arranged accommodation I would be inclined to make a shape as Killarney will be bursting through capacity with the weekend that’s in it. Is someone is struggling to find somewhere I could make local enquirers if required.
    I will put up a few numbers of B&Bs in the Tralee vicinity if it would be of benefit.

  30. That’s great, Gamechanger, fair play to you. Any info on B&Bs etc would, I’m sure, be appreciated by all those going. I’m missing out on this one myself. Very sporting of Kerry, by the way, to name the terracing in Austin Stack Park after our man!

  31. Congratulations to Diarmuid and Paddy. A great honour to be sure and a great vote for the youth! Aidan O’Shea the only other man I might consider for the captain’s role but James H. knows best.
    Onwards and upwards!

  32. Ha ha Willie joe, We think of everything, after all there is nothing like picking a mans pocket while you complement the distinguished features of his wife,,,

  33. I was in Supervalu Tralee on the 25th February and a huge queue for tickets, I enquired what tickets were being sold and was told that they were for the Mayo game. Another Kerry stroke methinks

  34. I have a spare ticket and can help out if anyone needs one. Congratulations to Diarmuid and Paddy. I am sure they will do an excellent job. Both men who lead by example.

  35. DOC certainly seems like a really good choice if you want a “lead by example” character.
    But what does the role of captain mean these days from a playing point of view? Is there really much of an in-game role anymore?
    I’m not sure it matters that much. Vocal players will still be vocal players. Lead-by-example players will still be lead-by-example players.
    Would it matter if there was no captain named at all?
    Wouldn’t it be enough to just need to nominate someone to do the coin toss and someone to make a speech if ye’re lucky enough to win something. Then nobody has to wear the added pressure of being THE CAPTAIN.

  36. Congratulations to DOC. In some Counties the team that won the County Championship if they had a player on County team he was made captain.
    Looking at Puckout, Natural Leader, Rock Says, DoItAll Again to them AOS is their man. People were on this blog comparing AOS to Michael Murphy in Donegal.
    What was the last game that AOS scored a point from play don’t mind the goal?
    Actions speak louder than words. Best of luck to SOS and all those lads carrying injuries. I wish them a speedy recovery.

  37. Replying to Jp :if kerry are so good under 20 why did they fail against kildare last year and we had the better team? Not arguing just debating

  38. Yes NiallMc1983 ticket is still available, maybe Willie Joe might help to put us in contact with each other.

  39. Can do, Longtimeontherun – I’ll put you in contact with each other via email tomorrow (in bed already so it’ll have to wait till then).

  40. Congrats to Diarmuid and Paddy. Both give it their all. Not sure what is sought in captaincy nowadays, but, even though, i really admire Diarmuid and his savage work ethic, the red mist does tend to descend from time to time. He is no good to be anyone on the side line. But James has seen the qualities he needs and im happy enough with that, you wont get a harder worker on the pitch. Fair play to Gamechanger, nice gesture. Looking forward to the Kerry game.

  41. David Clifford and Sean o Shea were both u20 last year but couldn’t play because of the new rules. If these two lads were playing Kerry would have won the u20 all Ireland with ease last year.

  42. @Mayoforsam2k19 Kerry were missing the two best players at u20 David Clifford and Sean O’Shea. With both of those onboard they would have walked the U20.

  43. Agree that captain could be one of many and the role not always so relevant apart from the honour of captaining your county.
    However I’m glad he’s freshened it up. IMO Cillian almost tries too hard tackling anything that moves and coming back deep leaving Andy isolated. That said, in the bizarre 2017 draw our 1st half covering back stopped Dublin almost (freak goals aside) completely for 30 mins. I never saw forwards cover so deep as that 1st half and Dubs were struggling.
    But most days out a few target forwards are a must and Cillian has the class to hurt teams. One of the best backs in Ireland Marc O Shea found Cillian too hot to handle in both games in 2014 and would like to see that kind of form again. Were it not for unlucky shoulder injury in 2013 we might have taken Dubs that year as he played final (justifiably) mainly for his high percentage frees accuracy but without AI level match fitness which could have given Dubs one thing too many to cope with.

  44. Were Clifford and O’Shea not on the Kerry u21s beaten by Galway in ’17.

    BTW Kildare were a very good team last year.

  45. No, Clifford was minor (U18) in 2017 and not allowed play U21.
    Sean O’Shea was U19 playing on that U21 team. He’s about 10kg heavier now.

  46. I’ve always felt the Galway hurlIng team really represents all Connaught counties – and it’s great that Mayo/Ros etc. support them. As regards game v Kerry, I’m giving Mayo an excellent chance of winning this one. Mayo still have a huge physical edge to their game – and I feel Kerry will struggle to match it.

  47. Would like to see more of this physical edge Man of Aran. It hasn’t been evident in recent games.

    Mayo are in with a chance if they feel they really have to win, but Galway/Ros result could have a big bearing on this mindset. On the other hand Kerry may be in relaxed mood, and Buckley’s magic is still only starting (which in itself is a scary thought).

  48. 2 players wouldnt just walk a full championship full of quality I don’t think @Jp

  49. Good man diarmuid.
    Question has anybody the 1997 club allireland recorded.
    Would be nice to see that game.

  50. The Kerry 2018 u20s + Clifford + Sean O’Shea, sorry this is not debatable. They were beaten by just 1pt without those lads. Clifford + Sean O’Shea are worth at least +6pts last year.

  51. Would not dispute that jp.another game to scrap.improvement is what we need
    we need to get jordan fylnn in this group.
    Midfield is a problem.

  52. @Shuffly Deck.
    I don’t know. I think there is something uplifting when it’s the captain that scores the inspirational point or makes the lung bursting run. Think a captain leads by example. If he’s doing it, then it puts it up to the rest of the team to lift their game.
    I get what your saying, but in an ideal world maybe when things are not working out on the pitch you need somone to light the fire. Now I know that can be any player on the pitch can step up but I think it makes a statement when the captain man’s up and delivers the goods.

  53. @All41, from what I seen last year Jordan Flynn was the most senior ready looking of our U20s.

  54. Have to agree with JP on this, in the minor semi final and final in 2017 Clifford scored 1-10 against Cavan and destroy Derry with 4-4. He was a man amongst boys. Kildare where also without Jack Robinson who went to America last summer as well.
    This years Kerry U20 will be without him and probably their own Diarmuid o Connor, midfielder in 2017 who is playing RHF for their senior team at present. Very young half forward line o Connor U 20 and o Shea and Moynihan both U21. Derry will be without Calum Brown with went to Aussie Rules.

  55. Jp I agree.and we need him.
    Midfield is a problem diarmuid is a mighty go er but not a midfielder in my opinon.
    Mulicar and a fielder would be my preference.
    K mac and the 2 docs for breaking ball.

  56. Have to agreed with JP, Clifford scored in the all Ireland semi final and final 1-10 against Cavan and 4-4 against Derry. He was a man against boys. They Kerry U20s will be without him and and their own Diarmuid o Connor who played midfield in 2019. Kerry seniors have a very young half forward line O Connor U20 o Shea and Moynihan both U21.
    Brilliant choice for captain and vice captain true leaders of the next generation and who the younger players can relate too.

  57. Sorry that should have read Kerry’s Diarmuid o Connor player midfield in kerrys 2017 minor team

  58. Fair enough Jp just think we have as good under 20 teams as them maybe without the lads they have brought up

  59. Paddy and Diarmaid are both top class players. Horan is right to give it to them so that there’s a bit less focus on Moran/AOS/Keegan/COC who are higher profile and have enough pressure on them already.

    on another note i was listening to an interesting podcast where they were identifying that a number of teams are figuring who Keegan is marking then try to pull him into the FF line to take him out as an attacking threat.

    I really think that Mayo need to pick 6 backs plus Keegan and Durcan letting these 2 attack when we have the ball and defend when we don’t. Mayo need these 2 running from deep creating overlaps

  60. Willie Joe, can you send on Longtimeontheruns email address regarding the ticket for the Kerry match?

  61. I can’t go to Tralee, anyone that’s stuck for a ticket and wants to use my season ticket, give me a ring/text on 086 3009950

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