Search Results for 'James Nallen'
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Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly had to make the first big decisions of their tenure as Mayo joint managers when culling the panel after a recent challenge game against Clare. The two biggest and most talked about casualties are Gavin Duffy and Enda Varley. Duffy’s inclusion in the panel last year certainly gave the county a lift with his professional athletic background and obvious experience of big match days. However as the year went on and there was no sight of him in a Mayo jersey his much anticipated return to a Mayo jersey became more of a fascination with “what was the point in having him in the panel”. I was at every Mayo match last year and on every occasion his whereabouts was discussed by media men and women from all over the country.
Galway and Connacht champions Corofin will take the M6 motorway on Saturday morning to Tullamore to take on the Leinster and All-Ireland champions St Vincent’s in the eagerly anticipated All-Ireland football semi-final in O’Connor Park (2pm).
What a performance by Castlebar Mitchels against Corofin. Hands up, I didn’t see that coming. I was very unsure about the quality of club football in the county but at least now I know we have one team capable of competing. Pundits and bookmakers didn’t give Castlebar a chance (4/1 in some places). Upon seeing Kieran Fitzgerald in the press box fully clothed before the game and hearing about a few other Corofin players being doubtful , I promptly got on the mobile and advised punters to get a piece of Castlebar to be ahead at half time and full time at 7/1. I have to admit it was very worrying when Corofin were leading by 1-03 to 0-1 after 12 minutes, Ian Burke was giving Tom Cuniffe the run around and Neil Douglas was losing crucial ball. Every single Castlebar player upped their performance inspired by Eoghan O’Reilly who set the tone with a big hit on a Corofin player. The Castlebar goals couldn’t have come at a better time, Richie Feeney’s palm into the net was a truly brilliant team goal and when Neil Lydon reacted faster to a rebound off the crossbar to net again for the Mitchels it was Corofin who were taking on water.
The Mayo county board confirmed on Wednesday evening that James Horan has pledged his future to the Mayo senior team for next season. The Ballintubber clubman held his second meeting with county board officials in eight days on Wednesday night. Speculation that there would be a shake-up in the management backroom team was confirmed with the news that James Nallen would not be part of the setup next year. The Crossmolina man had been part of Horan's management teams since he was appointed to the role in October 2010.
While Galway were incredibly poor last Sunday and some of their defensive errors could be made into a coaching video on "what not to do in possession", you really had to admire how Mayo went about their business.
I cannot recall being as happy for a young bunch of players as I was last Saturday afternoon in Breaffy. Castlebar Mitchels u15s beat their local football rivals, Breaffy, in a pulsating encounter and in dreadful weather conditions. Most of the lads from both teams are great friends as many of them attend either St Gerald’s or Davitt College and play school football together. Winning this particular title was huge as the bragging rights would be of enormous importance when they returned to school after their mid-term break. Breaffy have several classy players at this level, testament to their solid work over the last number of years developing their underage structure, and they gave their all over the 60 minutes. But it was the Mitchels who deservedly prevailed on this occasion. They led from gun to tape and doggedly held on to the end for a magnificent victory. While reluctant to highlight individual performances at this level, Mitchels’ team captain, Rhyne Collins, was a tower of strength at no 6 and his 80 metre run from deep in his own back line in the closing minutes to lay on a match winning goal was truly inspiring. It reminded me of a young James Nallen in his heyday. I am absolutely convinced that many on view last Saturday will don the Green and Red in the very near future.
The Mayo footballers will have received a huge boost from last Sunday’s narrow victory over Kerry in the National League semi-final.
The pre-match press night is a necessary evil for players and management alike, with an unrelenting hunger for information from within the camp from local and national media and the general public in the build-up to a big game. It has become a customary exercise in the lead-in to the important business on the field. Last week, national and local journalists descended on McHale Park to get their few words with some of the actors in the drama that will unfold on the lush green sward of Croke Park on Sunday. With the evening's events winding down, the Mayo Advertiser caught up with Ballinrobe’s Donal Vaughan on the concrete concourse outside the meeting room, where his team mates Alan Dillon and Keith Higgins were still being put through the ringer by my colleagues from other outlets.
Following a hectic weekend of football action last Saturday and Sunday, three of the county football quarter-finals are down for decision this Sunday. There is a double header in Pearse Stadium with Carraroe taking on Milltown at 3.45pm and Salthill/Knocknacarra facing Moycullen at 5.30pm. Claregalway, who saw off NUIG last weekend, take on championship favourites Corofin in Tuam at 5.30pm. The outstanding quarter-final between Tuam Stars and either Cortoon Shamrocks or Mountbellew/Moylough and Micheal Breathnachs could not be fixed due to the ongoing shenanigans with Mountbellew/Moylough’s appeal.
The morning after letting a game that was there for the winning slip against Kerry in McHale Park, it would be no player’s ideal way to spend an hour in the presence of journalists looking for answers to myriad questions on the state of play in Mayo football. But as is necessitated in the age of sponsorship and PR, Andy Moran took some time off work and brought himself to the border in Cong to promote Sunday’s Allianz League game against Galway in Tuam Stadium.