Second student examination for Mayo coming up

GAA: FBD League

Mayo will head to the home of Ballina Stephenites on Sunday for their second round clash in the FBD League, looking to pick up their first win of the competition after going down to the students from NUIG last Sunday in MacHale Park, next up for Stephen Rochford's men is a meeting with another third level institution this time IT Sligo are the opposition.

Last weekend saw a new look Mayo side take to the field with the vast majority of last years senior panel on a team holiday in South Africa and Rochford was happy with what he got from the players, who mostly were getting their first shot in a green and red jersey at senior level.

"I though the crowd really warmed to the guys. We had 11 guys making their first competitive start for Mayo today and all our substitutes were in that bracket too. In many ways, bar the victory we couldn't have asked for anything more."

Mayo went down to NUIG in a high scoring encounter by two points, and with the side only coming together for the first time late last week, he was keen to praise the effort they put in. "We expected to get a good honest shift in and that's what we got from these lads, they only came together last Thursday night and I thought they were a credit to themselves, their clubs, and Mayo," he added. "They put in a right good shift and we had an opportunity at the tail end of the game to it and that was after playing the final 20 minutes a man down. I have to say I'm going away from this game highly satisfied with the way things are and I couldn't have asked for a lot more."

As for the guys who got their chance last weekend and whether he saw anything that would have him thinking of having them around on a permanent basis, he said: "I wouldn't say that we learned an awful lot, or anything new per se, because it's January 8. There will be bigger tests, but a couple of the guys did themselves no harm in being afforded another opportunity and that was really my only ask of the lads going out there. 

With the team arriving back late this week from their holiday, there is a very good chance a number of players who got game time last weekend will be part of this weekend's match day panel against IT Sligo. He did reveal that Ger Cafferkey is still a bit away from coming back into action as is Brendan Harrision as both get over injuries, while Lee Keegan and Kevin Keane will be tied up with Westport until they are finished in the All Ireland club intermediate championship.


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