Familiarity breeds contempt. Really? Does extensive knowledge of someone lead to a loss of respect for them? Not this weekend.There is huge respect between the four remaining counties in this year’s senior football championship. Surely, the days of riling up players on some superfluous tirade of nonsense to tap into some form of hatred are long behind us, at least at the senior inter-county level?We must remember that these players are far more in contact with each other than ever before. Between the colleges football they play through the Sigerson, the annual All-Star trips and the shared purpose that has developed since the Gaelic Players Association has been set up, it is a different sort of familiarity across the dressing rooms these days. Therefore, any attempt to reduce the game to petty score-settling will be lost on these players, especially when the modern-day footballer demands so much more from their coaches and management teams. First up on Saturday evening is the … [Read more...] about Mayo have the players, but have they got the gameplan?
Mayo clinic colds
I'm not sure if it was one of those blood-and-thunder Kilkenny-Tipperary epics, but the wealthy superstars of Carrington were suitably impressed, wincing at the raw physicality on show. When the clip was finished, Fergie just delivered a single sentence. "They are amateurs," he said, exiting the room without another word. Ferguson was well educated on the GAA from the time that Kevin Moran was briefly double-jobbing with United and the Dubs. He understood the uniqueness of what we have in this country and the extraordinary levels of preparation our amateur players put in. But the commitment Fergie was so impressed by a decade back has now gone to another level. Put it this way, the quick turnaround between games in the Super 8s demands an intensity from management and players that lends itself to the whole concept of professionalism in the GAA. It's a brilliant spectacle for supporters and media, but my God it's asking serious stuff of players. Too much maybe. These men are committing … [Read more...] about Tomás Ó Sé: ‘Jaded Mayo on their last legs’
Not so very long ago, Mayo footballers took to the stage like Beyoncé; all angel wings, backing singers and brass bands. A battered band of brothers that were the toast of the nation. They were representing. They were woke. Men who knew them drank deep and were silent. They were the honourable, the unsullied, the beatified.The beat poets of a sporting generation, fighting for breath in a pop culture atmosphere suddenly suffocated with the excesses of blanket defences, alleged financial inequality and ubiquitous endorsements. Dublin may have taken home the Grammys, but there seemed to be a million Kanyes grabbing the microphone saying it should have been Mayo. They were the people’s champion, the cause célèbre, the housewives’ favourite. For the best part of this decade, for the sporting public at large, Mayo were the Sunday in every championship week. These days, the westerners no longer resemble Beyoncé, but the beleaguered members of Spinal Tap, … [Read more...] about Mayo were back… until a very Mayo thing happened
Two-time All-Star Alan Dillon has called on Mayo’s big players to ‘step up and show leadership’ in next Saturday night’s All-Ireland SFC Qualifier against Down in Newry.The former Mayo captain has also warned the Westerners to be ready for ‘a hostile atmosphere’ at Páirc Esler, and believes that silencing the home crowd will be crucial.“Mayo will have to set the rules of engagement very early,” warned Dillon, who won eight Connacht championship medals and played in six All-Ireland senior finals during a career that spanned 15 seasons. “They’ll need to bring a good attitude with lots of energy and intensity, dominate the middle third from the start, and make sure the attack gets enough ball. After that, it’s about being clinical. When the chances present themselves, you have to take them.“Decision-making is going to be crucial. Making sure that the right players get on the ball in the right areas. When do you … [Read more...] about Alan Dillon warns Mayo need leaders for Newry ‘mission’
The 2016 Footballer of the Year and four-time All Star is a big golf fan and Tiger’s cold-blooded competitive instincts resonate with him. "In the final round of the Masters he knew he had the upper hand before he played. Some of the golfers playing that day are still fans of his and that worked for him because they don’t have the killer edge he has," says Keegan. "I like to learn off Tiger because he has a lot of traits that can be used in a team environment. Golf is a lonely game, but he is cold-blooded killer and that’s what I love about him. "I find it fascinating and I try to bring it into my own game. Maybe it doesn’t apply so much to actually playing GAA, but from a mentality point of view it is brilliant." Keegan finally won a national final with Mayo in last month’s league decider, though he is quick to point out that he also won an All-Ireland intermediate club championship medal with Westport in 2017. He is conscious, though, that not all … [Read more...] about ‘He is a cold-blooded killer’