Mayo: John O'Keeffe's player-by-player guide
1. ROBERT HENNELLY Club: Breaffy Age: 23 Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 14st He’s justified his late call-up with steady displays, although he is playing behind an outstanding defence. He’s dealt with anything asked of him and has been impressively accurate from kick-outs. There’s a re-assuring confidence about his play.
2. TOM CUNNIFFE Club: Castlebar Mitchels Age: 26 Height: 6’ Weight: 13st 7lbs A capable and tight marker, he has pace and a no-frills game. His ferocious commitment was evident in the legitimate shoulder charge on Peter Harte in the semi-final. Slots in really well to a formidable defensive unit.
3. GER CAFFERKEY Club: Swinford Age: 26 Height: 6’ Weight: 13st 5lbs Occupation: Engineer Has had an outstanding year even if the smaller, quicker Conor McAliskey briefly troubled him in the semi-final. The battle with Bernard Brogan is likely to be a key match-up although Brogan is improved on last year when Cafferkey did well.
4. CHRIS BARRETT Club: Belmullet Age: 26 Height: 5’ 8" Weight: 13st A typical corner back in the fluid modern game. Confident on the ball and happy to back himself for those vital points against Tyrone. His development into a first-choice player has allowed Keith Higgins play up front.
5. LEE KEEGAN Club: Westport Age: 23 Height: 5’ 9” Weight: 13st Occupation: Student Athletic with pace, he’s another defender happy to get forward and capable of taking scores. Whether he picks up Flynn or Connolly, we’ll be seeing a lot more of him in a defensive role but he has the ability to mark.
6. DONAL VAUGHAN Club: Ballinrobe Age: 24 Height: 6’ Weight: 14st 5lbs Occupation: Self-employed Has been prominent attacking with devastating impact but he will be needed to hold down a more defensive role. His attacking runs can look reckless but the O’Sheas cover him well and will need to. Must be careful about conceding frees.
7. COLM BOYLE Club: Davitts Age: 27 Height: 5’ 9” Weight: 12st 8lbs Occupation: Garda Inspirational player, who makes tireless support runs, which he combines with good tackling technique. Dynamic as a counter attacker and able to beat tackles and set up play. Very good bursting onto breaking ball. Having a great year.
8. AIDAN O'SHEA Club: Breaffy Age: 23 Height: 6’ 4” Weight: 15st 7lbs Occupation: Student DIT Had everyone raving about him after the Donegal match but regressed a bit against Tyrone. Mayo will need a player of his class inspiring the team with performance and work rate. Devastating in the tackle and capable of big display.
9. SEAMUS O'SHEA Club: Breaffy Age: 26 Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 14st 13lbs Has a very good understanding with his brother and puts in a heap of unselfish work. Did a fine job on Seán Cavanagh and will probably be asked to do the same on Macauley - one of Mayo’s most significant tasks.
10. KEVIN McLAUGHIN Club: Knockmore Age: 24 Height: 5’ 11” Weight: 12st 13lbs Occupation: Student Great energy and work rate. Athleticism will be needed if on McCaffrey but he’s a vital cog in the team machinery with ability to set up play for the inside forwards. Temporary absence last year helped Dublin back into the game.
11. KEITH HIGGINS Club: Ballyhaunis Age: 28 Height: 5’ 10” Weight: 12st Occupation: Bank official Releasing him from corner back was a master-stroke by Horan. He’s so versatile and has blinding pace. Able to sweep up at the back and break forward at speed. Uses ball well, getting off passes to the scoring forwards.
12. ALAN DILLON Club: Ballintubber Age: 28 Height: 5’ 10” Weight: 12st 2lbs Occupation: Allergan employee Will be the most driven player after his disastrous start to last year’s final, allowing Karl Lacey set up the early goal. He’s been a great servant to Mayo over the years and has the experience for a big, redemptive performance.
13. CILLIAN O'CONNOR Club: Ballintubber Age: 21 Height: 6’ Weight: 13st 8lbs Occupation: Student Every team needs a clinical finisher but how fit will his shoulder prove? He’s the one they’ll want on the end of every move. His composure on frees is also hugely important, as he proved against Dublin last year.
14. ALAN FREEMAN Club: Aghamore Age: 24. Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 12st 8lbs Occupation: Teacher Finally nailed down a place this year, bringing ball winning and added strength to what had been the weakest line. Stepped up to frees the last day after O’Connor’s departure and hit penalty - and unluckily disallowed goal - well. Confidence high.
15. ANDY MORAN Club: Ballaghaderreen Age: 29 Height: 5’ 10” Weight: 13st 5lbs Hasn’t recovered form fully yet after long lay-off, as it’s obvious his pace and ability to turn aren’t what they were. But he’s a leader and gives everything even if his own game isn’t where he’d like it.
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