Teams named for Sunday

Photo: GAA

I’m playing a bit of catch-up here, I know, something I’m likely to be doing repeatedly concerning Mayo GAA news from here on but, for the record, it’s worth noting that the first Mayo selection of 2020 was named earlier on today.

As this is a pre-season fixture Sunday’s FBD semi-final meeting with Galway is not, as such, a competitive game but there’s every chance it’ll feel like one. A huge crowd could well flock to MacHale Park for the 2pm throw-in on Sunday and, with Padraig Joyce taking the reins on the line for the Tribesmen for the first time, a large sprinkling of support should be there to cheer on Galway.

We’ve picked a mixture of youth and experience for Sunday’s game. Here’s the team we’ve named:

Mayo (FBD Connacht League semi-final v Galway, 12/1/2020): Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy); James Stretton (Claremorris), James McCormack (Claremorris), Brendan Harrison (Aghamore); Padraig O’Hora (Ballina Stephenites), Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber), Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels); Tom Parsons (Charlestown Sarsfields), Mikey Murray (Ballina Stephenites); Brian Walsh (Ballintubber), Conor Loftus (Crossmolina Deel Rovers), Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Brian Reape (Bohola Moy Davitts), Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber).

By my reckoning, the only player from the fifteen named never to have played at senior level for the county before is Brian Walsh. James Stretton and Jordan Flynn saw a bit of FBD action in 2018, while Padraig O’Hora cut a rather impressive dash in the 2016 FBD matches.

Neither Brian Walsh nor Jordan Flynn have yet played for us in the National League. Neither has Mikey Murray but the Ballina man has Championship experience from last summer. James McCormack featured off the bench for us a few times in the League last year, while Padraig O’Hora did so in 2016 and James Stretton did in 2018.

Aside from the new faces, the most noteworthy name on the teamsheet for Sunday is, of course, Tom Parsons. The last time the Charlestown man started a game for us was against the same opposition at the same venue in the Connacht Championship back in May 2018, on the day he suffered that shattering knee injury. It’s truly uplifting to see Tom named in the starting fifteen for the county once more.

Several of our big guns don’t feature in the team we’ve named, which is no surprise seeing as it’s just a pre-season fixture. Galway, by comparison, have selected a stronger, more experienced outfit for Padraig Joyce’s first game in charge for them – details here.

In anticipation of large turnouts at both FBD semi-finals on Sunday, Connacht GAA have issued ticket information – details here. Tickets cost €10 for adults, €5 for students and OAPs while it’s free entry for juveniles. Connacht GAA are recommending that tickets be bought in advance, from either Centra or SuperValu. Note that your shiny new 2020 season ticket won’t gain you entry to either FBD semi-final on Sunday.

With the FBD starting, can the National League be far behind? Clearly not, as the media event launching the 2020 competition was held today. We’re the defending League champions so it was only right and proper that Diarmuid O’Connor was front and centre for this. Pieces on what Diarmuid had to say at today’s launch are here – GAA, RTÉ, Sky, Balls.ie, Pundit Arena.

26 thoughts on “Teams named for Sunday

  1. WJ – both Padraig O’Hora and James Stretton did come in off the bench for us in National League previously. Padraig got some minutes against Cork in 2016 and likewise for James in 2018 against Galway.

  2. Decent team for the FBD league. Considering there are a lot of players on Sigerson duty, understandable that so much experienced players are lining out. Obviously Galway are in the same boat. Although Donegal seem to be suffering most and may not be able to field a team for their McKenna cup game.

  3. And so we begin again, another Mayo journey into the unknown.

    Either way it’s going to be good.

    New faces on the pitch and in the background.

    Plenty of counties out there on the rise and all would only be delighted to beat Mayo along the way but hopefully James has learned a few new tricks from 2019 and with C Mc insitu I’m looking forward to seeing it all develop.

  4. Two pretty strong lineups, should be a good game, let’s hope the refs get to grips with the new rules from the off.

  5. Have a hunch we’ll get well beaten as Galway have put out a team with far more experienced players albeit forward minded players with pace slotted into defense. Some of those may tank as defenders. Also our rookie 2/3 full back line against Conroy with the advanced mark could be interesting. Conor Loftus and Reape should be OK for this level. More worried about rookie backs although same applies somewhat to Galway. Not sure about Murray based on 1 game only last summer but at least he’s athletic. Worth giving a shot. I have heard Jack Reilly mentioned many times on here although have never seen him for club & he’s never featured for County seniors. A free scoring midfielder.. Could be other positions in half backs or half forwards for someone like that.
    I’d be most interested in Jordan Flynn who’s very new.

  6. Big year for Reape and Loftus – time now for them to become men on the team and no newbies. Both have bags of potential but have not done nearly enough to nail down a regular starting slot despite the odd cameo.

    Fair play to Tom Parsons. A fit and in form Tom coupled with Ruane would make a dynamic midfield due and free up AOS who I feel isnt mobile enough now for that position against fast teams in Croke Park. Slightly different in provincial grounds.

    The time for the 2013 minors/2016 21’s is now here. 2020 is their year to become leaders: EOD, PLunkett, Coen, Ruane, Diarmuid, Loftus, Reape, Boland, Carr and Irwin. They are not kids anymore.

  7. Agree Mayonaze, time for these guys to step up and take leadership roles.
    Also amazed no new goalie given a chance. Looks like Ground hog day again with Hennelly and Clarke. Don’t know can I face another year of this debate!

  8. Two strong well blended teams, so we will have a meaningful game. Tom Parsons good leader and distributer of the ball, he will get the others involved. As indeed will Kevin McLoughlin.
    I’m sure we have a decent line up of subs too. We will all be a bit wiser after the game.

  9. Can’t make this game. Will have to rely in midwest, but if anyone wants to facebook live or periscope this that would be mighty!.
    I like the mix of the young and experienced. I am particularly interested in how Jordan Flynn does – I think that lad is going to become a very important player for us in the future. I’d love to see Irwin make a case for a regular place too – according to the Mayo News he’s looking fitter than ever which will no doubt help his case.
    I also agree that Reape and Loftus need to stake their claims now or risk falling by the wayside.

  10. Puck out, it hasn’t helped that shlingerman and paddy O’Malley have stepped away. Realistically it looks like Rory Byrne and maybe Mattie Flanagan are the only other keepers that may get a look in.

    Agree that it’s time for the 2016 U21’s to step up this year. There are jerseys there up for grabs.

  11. IF we get the 40-50 mm of rain that is forecast between now and Sunday – is there a possibility the game will be moved out of McHale park.
    Was there a lot of damage done to the pitch one January when there was a game played in very poor conditions and it took the pitch a long time to recover from it.

  12. Agree with the view that our season has a big dependency on that 2016 u21s and how they now step up to be the leaders of the team. I believe they can.
    I would also say sensible usage of older players from the bench to eke out good seasons from older players.

  13. McCormack at FB is an interesting selection – That FB line will get a real test in this game.
    O’Hora and Plunkett both seemed to be highly rated by Horan. O’Hora was good in the Underdogs game.
    Forward line – obvioulsy missing a lot of Sigerson players so, no Conroy, Towey, Boylan, Carr, O’Donaghue eyc
    Flynn – Athletic, strong and a ball winner not a natural scorer from what I have seen though
    Reape and Loftus – both have had lot of chances at this stage: Hope one of them can ‘light it up’ on Sun

  14. Best of luck to all the Mayo lads at senior and u20 this weekend. Some serious rain forecast and actually lashing here innBallina now. No danger of the kangaroos dying from the heat around here!
    That rain may affect Sunday’s game, I’d say it may be moved.
    Btw, Dave’s lad is no relation.

  15. Can’t see us winning this if Galway play strong named team. A good performance and see couple new faces will do me.Win would be a bonus. Also good luck to kilmaine in the junior sf. Red and green weekend .

  16. Good to see a few new faces in the team as you would expect for what is essentially a warm up game for the league ahead. Still, a home win over Galway would do no harm at all especially given the strength of their line-up.

    For me, it’s time for a few of the “older young lads” if you like, to step up this year. It can take a couple of years to fully get up to speed with the pace and strength of senior inter-county football and I would think 2020 will be a big year for the likes of Reape, Plunkett, Loftus and even Darren Coen with hopefully a winter of training behind him. This time of year is for Horan seeing what he has at his disposal and giving lads experience while remaining competitive. The jigsaw will soon slot into place as the year develops and it is up to every player to either keep the jersey on their back or put serious pressure on the man in possession of it. Competition for places is what it’s all about!

    As a Mayo man in Dublin, I won’t make it down this weekend but will listen in and have set aside the seven weekends for travelling to the league games. Best of luck to all the Mayo lads on the day in what sounds like difficult conditions. It’s great to have the season back up and running. Hopefully a season which features football in August awaits!

  17. I think Galway will win tomorrow. There need is greater with new manager etc. We are traditionally slow starters anyway. Looking at league fixtures the way they are coming I think we may be looking for something in our last 2 games to stay up. League probably notva priority anyway.
    Thought players added to squad were interesting. Physicality the name of the game. Boylan is a player I think can break through in forwards.

  18. Cannot understand why Byrne does not start. We know what Robbie has and he hardly needs the FBD experience at this stage of his career.

  19. For those of us over the waves, presumably this match will not be televised but will be covered by Mid West Radio?

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