Capacity cut at Fitzgerald Stadium for Sunday

Photo: The 42 (Cathal Noonan/Inpho)

One of the reasons I’m really looking forward to Sunday is because it means getting to go to a match at Fitzgerald Stadium, something I’ve never managed to do up until now. I knocked Breffni Park – another fine GAA ground – off my to-visit list earlier in the summer and it’ll be great to do the same with the iconic Killarney venue this weekend.

It’s already beyond doubt that a huge Mayo crowd is planning on migrating south at the weekend for this one. With assorted Kerry legends taking to social media and the like to coax their own supporters to grace a home Championship game with their presence, it’s fair to assume that there’ll be a large Kerry following there too.

All of which makes this piece by Eoghan Cormican in today’s Irish Examiner rather relevant, as it confirms that the capacity at Fitzgerald Stadium has been cut by 6,000 for this game. A rather abstruse health and safety-related argument has been advanced for this decision, which appears to be based on the need to allow free movement of punters around the stadium on match day.

The root cause – which, to be fair, is understandable – is that, as is often the case where we’re involved, not all season ticket holders are capable of being accommodated in the 7,500 capacity stand. In light of this, it’s been decided – again, sensibly – to make all tickets general admission with those turning up early (on past evidence, that’s us lot) getting the stand tickets.

Once the stand is full, goes the reasoning, the turnstiles there will need to closed and that’s when all the milling around is likely to happen as punters who fail to get into the stand are redirected to the terrace entrances. The health and safety pointy-heads have, in their wisdom, decided that a 6,000 capacity cull is needed to ensure ease of movement while all this shoving and shunting to get in is going on.

The upshot of this decision is that the generous 38,000 capacity – which would be more than enough to cater for all-comers – has been cut to 31,900 for Sunday. In that piece above, Kerry County Board Chairman Tim Murphy rather breezily contends this should be okay. He says:

I think the capacity of 31,900 will be adequate. We are expecting a crowd of somewhere around 30,000.

The operative words there being “thinking”, “expecting”, “somewhere” and “around”. Let’s hope you’re right, Tim.

So – two things to bear in mind arising from the above. One, get your tickets sorted pronto for Sunday if you haven’t yet done so. Two, get to the ground as early as you can on the day. But, then, you knew all this already – didn’t you?

80 thoughts on “Capacity cut at Fitzgerald Stadium for Sunday

  1. Something tells me that if 32,000 turn up, the Kerry folk won’t be turning them away!
    This will have to be an early start … don’t forget about Adare!

  2. Remember last year in New bridge Side terraces were comfortable while behind one of the goals there were very few fans. Health and Safety take no risks nowadays. I remember being in Tuam in 1999 and I have never been in a place so jam packed. There literally was not room to move. Great atmosphere, Great match, Great result. Hoping for the same Sunday.

  3. Ah sure it’s really difficult to come up with a better place than MacHale Park Castlebar… 38K can all sit in comfort… admitted 28K of that number are in concrete seating!.. But it’s great to be able to sit, especially if there is a curtain raiser! and there is a walk way half way up, to allow for the people to walk in comfort…. But in General (Health and Safety,is gone mad)… I wonder what will the Capisity of Hyde Park for next Saturday for the Tyrone Match?…30K for Killarney would be a huge attendance, I can’t say that it won’t happen, but I will be very surprised if the attendance exceeds 25K… When you hear Ex Kerry Stars trying to get their own fan’s to attend, might just be an indication that the Kerry Crowd are not as interested as us!

  4. I do have to laugh a little when people say “Health and Safety is gone mad” when in reality the decisions made on safety grounds have probably prevented incidents in the past. A lot more children attend matches now (a large number worryingly left unattended during games) which has to be factored in too. Decision to reduce capacity is probably the correct one under the circumstances and a decision which will probably benefit Mayo with our season ticket numbers, usually in very early and our motivation to secure tickets early. This may not be as much of a home game as Kerry would like it to be.

  5. Well I dunno but I feel sorry for the youth who will never experience the atmosphere of a packed provincial ground , it will never be the same .

  6. The health and safety industry is a con….pencil pushers who haven’t a clue. It’s an o we regulated industry that needs to be reined in….anyway I’m sure a large Mayo support will be in Killarney this weekend.

    Kerry friend told me the publicans down there are delighted Mayo won.

  7. I’m hearing that the reasoning is that there is no curtain raiser on Sunday and a fear of everyone heading to the Park a little later than usual as many supporters tend to try to get in the minor game or at least the second half which helps the funneling of late attendees.

    Killarney is a wonderful town with a plethora of top class bars and restaurants and the stadium is only a short stroll up the road from the throbbing town Centre. From past experience I would recommend avoiding the town Centre from a parking perspective as with the masses filtering out of the external car parks the central traffic is just a standstill for an eternity.

    This is going to be a belter of a game so the traffic will be well worth the aggravation, especially for the winning supporters,,,, I’m not smiling here

  8. What difference does it make? The game won’t sell out and I might add, neither did Mayo v Galway in Castlebar last year. I was at plenty of heaving provincial grounds as a child back in the day and to be honest there was nothing amazing about it, barely being able to see the pitch, people on top of you everywhere you turned, give me breathing space and an excellent view any day. Taking risks with health and safety is all good and well until something goes wrong, proper order it’s been reduced – I mean it’s not exactly difficult to get tickets.

  9. @Joey. . The ‘Health and Safety’ Concerns resticted the Capisity of MacHale Park to 30K for the Galway Championship Clash last year…. just under 30K attended, which left several thousand Empty seats…. I’m all for Health and Safety but in my opinion it has gone mad…. In General for a big match a curtain raiser is great to get the crowd in earlier, especially a Mayo crowd… even if the game is not a game involving Mayo…. Just over 19K were in Limerick last Saturday, with room on the terracing, and some seat’s Empty for about 24K more,… I was at a Connacht Final in the Hyde where well over 25K people attended… That’s why I am interested in what the Capisity of Dr Hyde Park will be next Saturday?…

  10. Gamechanger can you tell me if it is all standing in Fitzgerald Stadium apart from the stand… need to know as Im gonna have small ones with me.

  11. Sure stadium capacity means nothing anymore.

    Sure when the lads with the long ladders and the pencils behind the ears come and say we have to reduce it by 6,100. Now there is a nice roundish figure. Maybe they should bring in another 3,000 stewards and cut the capacity by another 3,000. Wouldn’t that make things even safer.

    And why the buck are Dublin playing their neutral games in Croke Park ? With the drop off in Dublin support over the last couple of years there are other stadiums around the country that could accomodate their dwindeling support.

    Nice and safe inside the stadiums, and holy bedlam outside like happened in Limerick Saturday.

  12. @JG, all standing apart from the main stand, get in early if you want a seat, the seats in there are timber benches, not like the plastic seats in MacHale Park. There used to be concrete benches behind the west goal but these have been knocked over the past few weeks.

  13. @JG all standing apart from stand. Was concrete seats behind score board goals but they have been demolished last month.

  14. Do people think that we will have more in Killarney than in Limerick? Kerry want to make sure that they get the numbers out, but surely there is no chance that we will out number them.
    Was there once, think that majority is terraced but others can confirm.

  15. JG
    Yes it’s all standing outside of the stand which has a capacity of 7,000 I think, there was uncovered seating at the hospital end but this area is being renovated at the moment. I’d arrive early if I were you with little kids as this will attract big crowds and kids on the terrace may struggle to get a reasonable view depending on their age.

  16. Take no heed of the yerras. The home support won’t exceed 10000. If we have 15000 then there is no question of a full house. I was at a munster final there in the 70s and the attendance exceeded 50k. Of course I was young and hardy then but I do remember a lot of first aid activity. The yerras will do everything they can to dissuade us from attending. Don’t show the white feather. Up mayo

  17. Can anyone who is close to club football in Mayo advise if there are any emerging
    defenders on the horizon.

  18. Well folks,

    Don’t be like the Kerry hitch hiker who went hitching early to avoid the traffic.

  19. Re the suggestion that health and safety is an overdone con job, it wasn’t overdone in Coalisland [or was it Cookstown – I’m always getting those two towns mixed up] when three youngsters died in a crush while waiting for a disco to open. In some peoples eyes it will always be overdone if there is no life lost. I have seen occasions when it was a close run thing leaving the old Canal End in Croke Park after All Irelands.

  20. AndyD I can understand people getting peeeeed off with Health & Safety restrictions now and again but you are dead right re Croke Park Canal End in the old days. I was at a semifinal between Dublin and Kerry in the 70s where a major disaster was barely avoided such was the crush outside after the match! A small girl fell just in front of us on the way out and only the grace of God and the swinging elbows of my companion saved her from being trampled to death.
    There will be a huge crowd in Fitzgerald Stadium. This is not just an intriguing match it is historic. Every Kerry man woman and child who has even a remote interest in football will be there.
    We need to be there too!

  21. Diehard. Nothing could compare to the day in tuam in the mid 60s when the gates had to be opened to let people in I was one of hundreds on the sideline The match was eventually abandoned, I think,because of a schmozzile on the pitch. We were losing at the time. ‘‘Twas exciting but very dangerous

  22. yew tree steady there now there’s reasons for these decisions ..logistics of getting season ticket holders into right areas and so on and to prevent fuckin panic if people will suddenly find themselves running to an area the laxidazy officials point them to….as another poster said earlier kids and small kids too….btw im a safety person! you do NOT want anyone squezzed against a barrier or fence…..least a loved one

  23. Safety should always come first.

    I do find it strange though that recent rennovations on many of the Countries Stadia would not have health and safety built in as part of the renovation requirements.

    Fitzgerald stadium for example was renovated in 2009. Stated capacity over 43,000. Where were health and safety 10 years ago when this work was done ?

    Mchale park spent 16 million. Work started I believe on that in 2008. Where were health and safety then when this work was been carried out ?

    Hyde Park was cut from 30,000 to 18,500 thousand after a national stadia review around 2011. They carried out remedial work after to bring the capacity back up to 25,000. Not sure of the reasoning for it not getting the mayo galway game which had an attendance of just under 20,000 ?

    Is it altogether patron safety that is the issue here ?

    Sure don’t you need several different certs now here in this country just to dig a grave.

    I know there were good examples given by the posters above on safety issues but to be honest legislation is one of the government’s and state bodies favourite toys.

    Sure the way things are going we’ll be losing the liscence’s in 2 or 3 years time if we get bagged after eating a slice of porter cake.

    Keep the attendance below a limit so that someone doesn’t accidently bump in to someone.

    Meanwhile back at the ranch those that do get in to the match can watch 3 opposing players flaking the shite out of Aidan o’shea for 75 minutes and not as much as a free. No health and safety needed there.

  24. For anyone travelling down on Sunday – there are 3 bottleneck towns to go through past Limerick – Adare, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale . This is before you get near Killarney where 80% of the match traffic will be going in the one road. Aim to be in Adare at 11 – 11.30 am at the latest. Forget about any sat nav telling you Killarney is 1.5 hours from Limerick. If ever there was a game to LEAVE EARLY to get there – this is it.

  25. What ever about health and safety gone mad, where’s the fellas selling the warm ice cream gone – ices, ices last of the ices….ha?
    Sure ya’d only the teeth licked clean after the Sunday dinner and up the road to Castlebar and a guaranteed warmish, half milky tub ‘a vanilla waiting’ for ya! Thanks Dad!

  26. @Andy D, The very sad event that took place in Tyrone has ZERO to do with the capisity of Sports Stadia…In fact it had ZERO to do with the capisity of the Venue in question …. It happened outside of the Venue where the Teenager’s lost their lives! …By all means we must continue to learn from any and every accident where ever it occurs…. But having 5 or 6 K Empty seats in MacHale Park, doesn’t make it any safer for the other 30+K …. The most serious issue at Big Match’s, is Alcohol and the consumption of too much of it…It is a minority who abuse it at Match’s, but I attended the 2013 All Ireland in Hill 16, and let me say while the vast majority of Fan’s, Dub’s and Ourselves in the Hill were OK… The behaviour of a small but not insignificant minority, would be in my opinion much more likely to cause an accident than too many people…At every Dublin Match too many people stay too long in the Pubs and then last minute come to the game.. this is a far bigger issue than the Capisity of Ground’s, especially All Seater’s like MacHale Park!

  27. For parking – there will be a field open with free parking 5 mins walk from the pitch. But it could be a bit slow afterwards if you want to get away fast after the game. If you want a quick exit you better to park out the road that leads into the town and walk a bit.

  28. I agree with Revelino health and safety should always come first I know it’s a pain and you’d wonder sometimes if it’s necessary but safety is paramount and at the end of the day it’s just a game and everyone needs to get home safe.

  29. Joet1480 haha those were the days , “Spoon is fifty p, ice cream is free “ And all the way home I couldn’t figure out why it was Galway 0-8 Mayo 0-7 , that’s not a Gaelic football score I thought , I was baffled

  30. Agree 100% H&S should come first but it’s way over regulated in this country…that’s a fact.

    Anyway time to get away from it, everyone will get in and hopefully Mayo can get a result.

  31. yew tree i work in a high risk sector where on average 12 to 16 die every year…it used to be worse….i know only too well though that people lose their shit when it comes to h & s and can often be used as an agenda for something else. However i think with events concerts etc they look at this with a bit of planning.. often old stadiums lost capacity as they were very packed in first place and were accidents waiting to happen… Sheffield and heisel examples and terraces generally lost sexiness hill 16 exception but massive escape routes out of it now and well marked….i KNOW the h & s seems mad sometimes but they have their reasons….anyway that aside there will be more mayo than kerry in Fitzgerald on sat that i know!

  32. Does Cillian need to score 4 or 5 points on Saturday to beat coopers record. It would appear some people are counting the free he scored in abandoned game against Dublin in castlebar while others are allowing it.

  33. Traffic will be chaotic on the way into Killarney from Farranfore on Sunday. All the traffic from Mayo will meet the traffic from Tralee and west Kerry there. There is normally fairly big tailbacks there on Munster final day. Not to mind both sets of supporter’s being on the same road for this match.

  34. Can’t make the trip myself but if I was I would be hitting the road really early. Head off between 7 and 8am…have breakfast along the way and make a day of it in Killarney.

  35. On a normal weekend day traffic can be at a standstill after Limerick, go early, Adare is so busy and slow going through, as are the next 2 towns, then good road to Killarney, if making a weekend out of it check out Killarneys beautiful spots, Torc Waterfall, Muckross House, Ross Castle, Ladies view. If stopping for takeaway food Superbites in Abbeyfeale is lovely, where your snackbox is coleslaw & stuffing included which is fab on chips! Even better add curry! This chipper is also in newcastlewest but you are not directly passing it. Leens hotel Abbeyfeale lovely too as is Scotts Hotel Killarney and nice at night they have live bands during summer, Killarney outlet shopping centre is about 10 mins walk from stadium, coffees and sandwich places there, Dont forget the suncream, always seem to get burnt in that stadium!

  36. I would agree with most of O’shea article, bar the ending. The bookies have Kerry as odds on favorites, not Mayo.

    A win in Killarney in the championship, against a Kerry Team that Must win, would have to go down as one of our best ever results.

    That’s the size of the task ahead of us.

  37. Yes I’d agree with you there tonyk.
    Hard to disagree with most of that article, but the narrative is starting to be pushed that we should be seen as favourites for this game, or at the very least it’s 50/50. Expect more of this to come in the run up to the game.
    The bookies have us at 2/1, so that tells you what they think.

    While I think we do have a good chance down there, it’s our toughest challenge since the 2017 All-Ireland final.
    Our players have never been found wanting when it’s been put up to them, so I’m expecting the same reaction from them on Sunday.

  38. Vinnie murphy thinks cillian is average on twitter.
    Think he is well above average.
    Has pulled us out of the fire plenty of times but is only remembered for his few miss’s.
    Whats ye re thoughts?

  39. The only problem Vinnie Murphy has with Cillian is that he is not playing for Dublin! Cillian is on the verge of historical achievement and we’ve got people trying to knock him. It’s quiet sicken really and shows true colour of those people!

    Cillian is a superstar, full stop!!!

  40. Cillian average. Ha ha to that. On the other hand I see nothing wrong with Darragh O Sé article. I think it all makes sense. Generally like his pieces.

  41. I really hope we treat this game like a knock out game. I think it’s a must win. Keep the upper hand going that we have had over them these past few years. However, we seem to really perform with our backs to the wall so I hope we don’t leave qualifying until donegal game.

  42. The capacities dictated by H and S are not solely based on the actual amount of room or the amount of fans that could fit in. A major consideration is entering and exiting, specifically how long it would take to evacuate the stadium

  43. Pay no heed to what Mr Murphy says, you can hear his dislike of Mayo come out through his voice every time he speaks, better to just ignore him and move on, life is too short. Hope Cillian smashes the record in Killarney on Sunday, keep in mind though that he’ll be closely watched and singled out for a bit of the famous Kerry hospitality, he needs to remain calm and focused on the job at hand.

    We need to be totally focused and clued in in terms of discipline on Sunday. Kerry will start this game at 100mph, they feel that they have to put a marker down. Remember, some in Kerry don’t rate or respect Mayo Football, some see us as an annoying summer insect that flies around and annoys you for the summer but ultimately delivers no sting (an All Ireland). Let’s show these lads that we are serious and that we will hurt them with a dangerous sting on Sunday.

    With regards to James Carr, what a beautiful goal, skill, pace, belief and determination all in one. A potential future great. We as supporters must be careful though, we can’t let the hype and Youtube views go to his head. I hope Horan and whoever is close ro him put an arm around him during the week and told him to keep the feet on the ground and work even harder. His talent is there for all to see, we need to give him space and time to flourish. The goal on Saturday can’t be his Padraig Brogan moment, (as in that’s all that most people remember Padraig Brogan for, 1985 V Dublin),give him space and time and I have no doubt that he’ll be a very valuable player in the years ahead for us. Up Mayo, we drive on.

  44. Cillian doesn’t give a fiddlers about what woo ate all the pies Murphy thinks of him!

    O’Shea’s article is good, don’t think hes trying to talk us up, its a fact we’ve bullied them the last few times we played them. Only part wheres hes incorrect is making Mayo favorites, beating Kerry in a championship game is Killarney is not easily done, especially considering they have a full deck to pick from. I have to say the vast majority of Kerry people I talk to have great respect for Mayo. Of course there is the underlying arrogance there but when you come from a county that has won 37 all Irelands I think thats inevitable.

  45. Despite the bookies I see as 50 50 game, if we hit the ground running we will be hard to stop, what concerns me if we don’t maintain it for 70 we will let them back in and the could turn us over.
    I think this is must win for both of us, if we lose Sunday I think we will struggle to make semi, but I can live with that, this has been a good year and I think there is more to come

  46. Yera sure your a great man with the pen Darragh O S, you nearly better than than John B Keane, That was a great story you put up on the Times. I’d nearly fell for it all but you started talking about k Donaghey , i’m afraid that put horseshite back up on your writings, looking forward to a good game & let the best team win.

  47. I have two concerns ahead of Sunday… first up is the weather… We are promised a hot day and this will have a draining effect on our guys who are out for the 4th time in as many weeks. It will be easier on the fresh players.

    Secondly, is James Horan’s comments after the league win… these will be undoubtedly used as ammunition against us… In hindsight, a more modest interview may have been wiser…

    Apart from this, I think we are well capable of sneaking a win, but a draw would be better than nothing!

  48. Ah gee Andy D the Canal End was great. No need to be looking for tickets – just turn up on the day at the turnstile – there would be fellas sitting up on back the wall – I could never figure out how they never keeled over backwards

  49. To be clear, this message is not meant to be a negative piece in any shape or form. I just wanted to play devil’s advocate for a moment and look at the weaknesses in our team from the oppositions point of view. Ignoring all our strengths (of which we have many) and look at our main weaknesses and where opposition teams would look to exploit:

    Goalkeeper
    – The best shot stopper and one on one keeper I have ever seen and I’ve been watching football for almost 35 years.
    – There is a but though – his kickouts. Unless he gets them quickly away they are a problem for us and there’s no point in saying otherwise. James Horan is no fool and it’s the reason he went with Hennelly at the start of the campaign. Our tactic against Galway was our full back line to bunch togerther in the middle of the D and then spread out where Clarke chips the ball out to the wing. We did the same against Kerry in the replay in 2017. How Galway allowed this to happen all game is absolutely beyond me – Galway full forward line just bunched in together with our full back line – crazy stuff. Kerry and Donie Buckley and Donegal and Stephen Rochford will be all over this. If you’re the opposition you have to force Clarke long with his hanging looping kick and the only obvious target at present is AOS. Armagh went to town on us when they imposed this tactic on us in the last 15 mins in Castlebar. Horan will need a plan B cause the tactic from Galway will not work on Sun imho.
    – Hammer the hammer as a cute Kerryman once said.

    Full Back Line
    – Abundance of experience. Have played every minute of every game in the last 3 weeks however and Barrett & Keith are approaching their mid 30s. Can be got it if you can create one on ones. In fairness any full back line will struggle on one on ones but at this stage of the competition the damage can be catastrophic with the quality of forwards on show.
    – Colm Boyle has been a de facto sweeper since Armagh and it worked a treat against Galway. However Galway’s attack was completely dysfunctional. Mayo and Horan have a stick or twist conundrum with Boyler. Kerry can be exposed if you run at them from deep but you need bodies up the pitch to exploit. So does JH release Boyler to fully exploit the Kerry weakness with the danger that there’ll be one on ones left in our FB line ala Armagh and Roscommon games? Or does he leave him at home to mind the house?

    Middle of the park
    – AOS was not firing on all cylinders against Galway nor was he against Armagh. If Kerry crack our kick out and Clarkey is lobbing ones out to the middle of the park it’s going to be huge physical ask on AOS and A another to get their hands on primary ball. Kerry will no doubt follow the Armagh template and get as many bodies as possible around AOS to mop up breaking ball.
    – In typical mayo fashion in the big games against the big oppositions we typically need 55% + possession to beat the better quality teams.
    – Is SOS ready for a game of this magnitude fitness wise? Will we see Keegan out on the pitch for a full 70 mins.
    – The middle 8 and breaking ball on Sunday will go a long way to deciding this contest

    Forward Line
    – COC back is huge, that was evident against Galway. The rest of the forwards are all benefiting from it.
    – Can Darren Coen keep his hot streak going? This may be a controversial point to make but it seems to me that whilst most of Darrens points are top notch scores – he hasn’t been under much pressure wghen kicking them. He always seems to be unmarked when he gets on the ball. I think a lot to do with block screens being put up with Darren coming on the wrap round. I would wonder how he would react if he’s marked ala Lee Keegan style –an essential in your face marking style where the man is not even bothered where the ball is. He may well come through that test with flying colours too.
    – Who wins the battle of the young lads – Kerry’s youngsters or McDonagh and Carr for us?

    These are the areas I feel an opposition team would target this Mayo side. Not meant to be an inflammatory piece just a cold analysis of some of the weaknesses in our great team.

  50. Great points Turnip head.
    On Clarkie’s lockouts I noticed an intermediate kickout to the wing which he hit 5 times in the Down match and at least twice in the Galway match to a half forward which could help if the short option is not there and Aidan is surrounded in midfield.
    I think having Doinie and Kevin Mac in the middle 8 gives us much more muscle on the breaking ball also.
    The point you bring up about Darren Coen us something I have wondered myself also but the thing that amazes me about him is he always gets open to receive the ball and never stops moving!! Plus Jerry don’t really have an in your face type market with Crowley being injured and detailing somebody specifically to Coen leaves more room for Gillian and James Carr!!
    All in all if we are at the pitch of the game I think we can counter act what Kerry will throw at us and cause them quite a few other problems they will have to counter act themselves!!

  51. @Turnip Head, ….Very good piece of Analysis, very concidered and very fair… It’s something to concentrate the mind’s of whatever, 26 are named for the Match day Panel, and indeed James Horan and his Managnent Team. I think that you can add in, just like the good boy or girl writing to Santa Claus, something of ‘A Surprise’ from Kerry is also sure to grab our attention shortly after 4PM next Sunday in Killarney… How will we deal with this!… The balance has to be struck between, nullifing the opposition and inflicting your own Game on them.. The Best way is to inflict as much of your own natural Game on the Opposition as possible, easier said than done… But the amount of forwards James Horan has at his disposal, playing well at the moment, will ?leave Kerry guessing to a certain extent as well… I think that in view of this Kerry will target our midfield, especially as AOS was not at his best versus Galway (He didn’t leave MacHale Park the previous week, wearing a moonboot for no reason) .. However the performance of Stephen Coen was very solid and very welcome for Mayo versus Galway…. And who knows maybe SOS might be able to contribute to our Midfield efforts, After his welcome few minutes on the Pitch in Limerick…. For me, Midfield is Key, the team that comes out on Top in the primary possession Stakes’ is more than half way to a Victory!

  52. Nothing wrong with any of what you’ve said Turnip Head.
    Kerry will probably plan to put Moran on AOS and I have a feeling Moran might make hay, he’s taller and is a better fielder and while all the talk was about Donaghy in Limerick in 2014 it was Moran that killed us that day. Plus Aido has been a bit off the last couple of games, so I’d actually use AOS as a Decoy and have Kevin, and Jason along with Donie or Stephen Coen as targets for Clarkes kickouts. Have Aido go to the far wing for the kickout, Moran should follow him and if he doesn’t, Aido is the target. If Moran does follow him, the others are the target. They will push up on our kickouts for a while and if they do, that will drain them but we do need to be able to plan for that. Boyler sweeping like he did the last day will help there provided our backs are on their game.
    Match ups will be key – it will be interesting to see who Paddy picks up.

    Being honest – I’d change little or nothing from the last day in terms of the starting team, as long as all are fit to start. The substitutions would be the only areas where I’d have any sort of adjustment, some of that would be in game, and other ways on

  53. Alan Dillon call’s out fitzmaurice
    Meanwhile, two-time All-Star Dillon didn’t take kindly to charges of gamesmanship being levelled at his former team-mates by ex-Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice.

    “I hear comments this week from Eamonn Fitzmaurice about cynical exploitation of head injuries.

    “I think its no coincidence it’s happening this week.

    “(There is) a lot of talk in the media around influencing referees and it’s very disappointing to hear that.”

  54. Very God points there TurnipHead. I usually have a very simple ( some would say simplistic) way of looking at it. The Kerry forwards are very good and with a decent supply of ball could do real damage. So the trick is to cut down the supply by dominating the middle third. Easier said than done. But you put your best, most hard-working players here from the start and replace them as they get tired.
    The other strategy is for our backs to attack at every opportunity. The reason for this is that the Kerry forwards might be brilliant attacking footballers but how good are they at defending? My argument is to take them out of their comfort zone and get them playing a game they mightn’t like. Again easier said than done but we have players like Cillian, McLoughlin and Doherty who can defend as well as any back in the country and are well capable of covering back for the likes of Higgins, Durcan, Keegan, Boyle, Barret or Harrison if they choose to attack. This is how Dublin coped with the Gooch a few years ago and made a top class player look completely inept when he was forced into the role of defender.
    Simple or simplistic – I don’t know!

  55. Oh and another thing! This is a massive step up for Peter Keane as manager. He was an outstanding manager at underage but managing seniors is a very different matter. Advantage Mayo!

  56. You’re not wrong there Die hard. I noticed Brendan Harrison spending a lot of time in Galway’s half of the field for the first half the last day, dragging his marker with him.
    I can see a bit more of that happening the next day.

  57. About the Eamonn Fitzmaurice comments he made them last week before Mayo played Galway. And he even said on the podcast he’s do the same himself in charge of Kerry. People get too hung up on whats written and said in the media. Eamonn Fitz is a writer for a newspaper now and his job is to help the Examiner sell their papers.

    The same nonsense with Darragh (even though his article was OK this week) Normally iut follows the line of some story from the old days, a story about drink and then a prediction.

    The only pundits i have any time for are Tomas O’Se, Peter Canavan, James Horan when he was on Sky. Padraic Joyce used be good on the radio with RTE but not sure if he does it anymore. Most of the rest are a load of waffle. If we think refs are influenced by whats written about them there are big problems in the game.

    A ref has a split second to make his call. And if a fella goes out on the field with pre conceived notions of what a team is going to do and how hes going to penalise them then he shouldn’t be there in the first place. Brian White from Wexford was the best ref I have seen.

    I think these pundits influence have been over stated. From all counties. Kerry have more pundits at the moment as they have the glut of players form the 00’s. THe next batch will be ex dubs from the teens.

    Anyway regardless of pundits most of the analysis is pretty dire. If you compare whats churned out in relation to GAA and rugby the rugby has a way better analysis. Sorry if I sidetracked the discussion.

  58. I just red o se,s article and didn’t read any comments after but on at least 2 occasions he described the mayo defenders as bully’s
    The yerras are in full flight. It breaks my heart that I ca t be there on Sunday but we need to win this game and put these (god forgive me) fuckers back in their box
    There the most synical team out there. FACT

  59. I would definitely have to take issue with this current Kerry ream being labeled the most cynical team. Maybe in the 00’s and in 14. Not this current bunch. Thats one of the concerns down here. The aren’t cute enough. Dublin are the most cynical team. Followed by Tyrone and yourselves. I don’t get why people see cynicism as a bad thing. If you are getting away with it why not push the rules.

    In rugby teams play the ref as much as the opposition. The only way to stop the cynical stuff is proper sanctions. Say what you like and I know you will argue but, Cillian O’Connor gets in defenders faces, mouths at them, a bit of argey bargey. He is getting it back. I wouldn’t expect him to take it lying down as the ref will not do anything to protect him.

    The same way Donnachdha Walsh was always at the tactical fouling. Same way he highlighted the ‘kick’ from Keegan in 14. You do whatever it takes. Fellas and counties put too much into it now and the only reward is winning. You mean to tell me that if Harrison took a dive on Sunday to get Clifford the line you would be too put out?

    PS when is the Mayo team for what its worth being named?

  60. Folks for those driving down to Kerry the first obstacle ye will encounter on our side is the traffic hourglass of Adare. After ye come off the limerick bypass which is motorway at the Tralee exit it brings ye onto a dual carriage/ motorway for a few miles which then reduces to a wide twoway highway, It’s about a mile long and this then further reduces into an old style west of Ireland road for a few hundred meters. You will see the old wall that surrounds adare Manor Golf Club ahead and you will come to the a small roundabout.

    Turn left at this roundabout and drive for 2 miles maybe a little longer, ye will pass the “Fitzgeralds Woodlands House Hotel” on your right a few hundred meters up that road, continue as I said for about 2 ish miles and ye will see a sign for a right turn as ye enter or negotiate a tightish right hand bend. Take this right turn which leads you onto a backroad (there is a sign for the Tatch Bar ) and follow your nose until you come to a T-junction which is about 2 miles away (on bad road with about 3 tight bends. At this junction turn right and follow the road which merges with the Adare Tralee road on the southwestern side of Adare and turn left for Tralee. This will avoid the bottleneck of Adare and save you 30-40 minutes.

  61. Thanks Gamechanger for the tip on road trip .You hardly have any inside scoop on how the Kerry lads are going on training? Joke 🙂
    I’m nervous about this one .But if we can dominate around the middle third and stop good ball going into Kerry forwards we might just get out with a 1 point win .I fear that we will get cut open at back and not recover .Best of luck to ye Gamechanger and may the best team win .

  62. Mayomaningalway,
    Spot on there, whoever shovels enough coal in the engine room will probably get over the line, as an observation I thought that against recent opposition our outfield players were guilty of over elaboration when quick delivery was the right play. In cork we had many opportunities spurned as a result of players so intent on holding possession they neglected to look up and punt a ball to Clifford and his sidekicks who were calling for quick ball. On Sunday he could catch fire and really hurt ye as he has all the necessaries to cause consternation in the Mayo back line, I don’t know where I should go, the engine room with a shovel or the Church to join hands.

  63. @gamechanger great posts this is what its all about! good luck to you on sunday and hope you enjoy the battle!

  64. Kerry are extremely physical and cynical. As are all the top teams out there. Mayo for some reason are being highlighted for this. Maybe because historically they were “the nice guys” or the “soft eejits” that everyone wanted to meet.
    I hope the mayo lads have been well rested this week because the last 15 minutes of the game will be the winning or losing of it for both teams. We need to be fit and alert. Sloppy defensive mistakes would cost us the game…..lets leave those to the kerry lads!

  65. Don’t know why people are getting so upset regarding fitzmurice article on Mayo being cynical. Okay he shouldn’t have just singled out Mayo but I really couldn’t argue with the content. Mayo are just as cynical as any other side, we have a number of players (not going to name them) who are as adept at the dark arts as any player around. I’m not saying it in a bad way, it’s what has to be done to win, it’s not a new thing either, it’s being going on since some lads in Thurles decided to have a football competition. Give refs some credit, they watch videos, they know what to watch for and probably don’t take kindly to someone telling them what to do. If some people still think Mayo are always the victims of cynical play then they need to pay closer attention at matches

  66. @Mayomad.

    So why didn’t Fitzmaurice just write the article about cynical fouling within Kerry football ?

    He’s played for them long enough and managed them. Shouldn’t he be far more familiar with the shit they go on with than calling to our door.

    Make no mistake about it, his article was all about undermining us.

    Mind you we should be well used to these attacks by now. Volumes written by ex Dubs in the past blowing up minor Mayo infractions and themselves having introduced MMA and hand to hand combat in to the game years ago.

  67. Ah lads – we have to be used to this by now. To be fair to Fitzmaurice, he rowed back a bit on the examiner’s podcast this week and admitted that kerry were no angels themselves and that the same sort of stuff was done by them when he managed them. He said that was what how the game is played and he would make no apology for it.
    ignore it. I wouldn’t be wasting energy getting consumed by that carry on. Unfortunately we are no blessed with pundits ourselves. I cringe when Brady is mentioned, I think he plays on the “stage Irish” sort of nonsense and it does us no favours.
    Billy Joe and Kevin McStay are the men that need to make the comments there, with Kevin in particular being the one to have some credibility given he’s actually managed at both Club and Intercounty level. That’s not to take away from Billy Joe either, I think his analysis of games is quite incisive.

  68. I tend to agree with you Revellino that it’s not equitable to just single Mayo out alone and in the grander scheme of things thank God our lads don’t let themselves down on the field – I’m proud of that.

    Our team have had to adapt due to different types of behaviour they themselves have met since 2011 and that could have cost them games.

    A poster mentioned it previously but I seem to remember in the League last year 2018, Galway, a young Kerry team (yes them!) and Tyrone all went out to play Mayo in an out and out aggressive and physical way. It was very obvious to see. Some of our players were injured in the ensuing play.

    I think it’s strange now to hear all the talk of Kerry being bullied in light of that. Mayo have more strength work done perhaps. I suppose you could say in s similar line that we bullied Roscommon in the replay in 2017. And we better watch out because with their strength and fitness, Donegal might bully all of us (we’ll see – sorry Donegal!)

    But I think a big thing that rankles with Kerry is that Aidan was a big physical presence hard to overcome in midfield in the two games this year. And Leeroy stuck to Sean O’Shea. That didn’t go down very well. But we’ll see how the game as a whole plays out on Sun. There are many sides to it.

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