Kevin McStay’s player-by-player guide to the Mayo team

All-Ireland 2020 football final preview: Will this Mayo side be the one to beat the Dubs?

 

1. David Clarke

Club: Ballina Stephenites
Age: 37
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 14st
Occupation: Garda

The best shot-stopper in the country but, with the pass back outlawed, kick-outs will be under savage pressure – and scrutiny. Can get anxious if forced to carry around the goal.

2. Chris Barrett

Club: Clontarf
Age: 33
Height: 5’ 10”
Weight: 13st
Occupation: Civil engineer

Searching for best form but a proven All-Ireland final performer. Man-marking duties likely. One of Mayo’s best tacklers, which is saying something. Needs to summon one of the great days.

3. Oisín Mullin

Club: Kilmaine
Age: 20
Height: 5’ 10”
Weight: 11st 11lbs
Occupation: Student

YPOTY candidate. Reminds me of a young Kenneth Mortimer – high praise. A smart player with good instincts. Pacey and a talented baller. Needs to attend diligently to his defensive duties.

4. Lee Keegan

Club: Westport
Age: 31
Height: 5’ 9”
Weight: 13st
Occupation: Engineer

Also trying desperately hard to recapture his glory days. Such a good player, so it is possible. Needs to revisit previous standards if another Dublin star attacker is to be hand-cuffed.

5. Patrick Durcan

Mayo’s Patrick Durcan and Brian Fox of Tipperary in the All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park on December 6th. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Club: Castlebar Mitchels
Age: 26
Height: 6’
Weight: 13st
Occupation: Student

Mayo’s best defender and also the team’s best counter-attacker this season. Strong in most departments: a willing runner, worker, tackler and scorer, he has consistently been All Star material.

6. Stephen Coen

Club: Hollymount-Carramore
Age: 25
Height: 6’ 1”
Weight: 13st 3lbs
Occupation: Student

A winner from under-age up to Sigerson. Never stops trying but needs to lock down at centre back, particularly if O’Callaghan moves in. Pace will be tested so needs to deny possession.

7. Eoghan McLaughlin

Club: Westport
Age: 21
Height: 5’ 11”
Weight: 12st
Occupation: Student

A strong, mobile, and powerful half back. Young and inexperienced but energetic and enthusiastic. Skills not yet tight enough but capable of creating overlaps that will need to be exploited.

8. Conor Loftus

Club: Crossmolina-Deel Rovers
Age: 24
Height: 6’
Weight: 12st 5lbs
Occupation: Customer adviser at EBS

Still acclimatising to intercounty midfield duties. A fine underage pedigree with massive potential. Strong runner and has an eye for points and goals. But it’s the engine-room that demands his focus.

9. Matthew Ruane

Tipperary’s Bill Maher and Matthew Ruane of Mayo in the All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park on December 6th. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Club: Breaffy
Age: 24
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 14st
Occupation: Data analyst

Finding form at the right time, he’s strong on the ball, fields and carries well and in straight lines. Can spot a score like his partner but equally needs to concentrate on basics.

10. Kevin McLoughlin

Mayo’s Kevin McLoughlin with Kevin Fahey of Tipperary in the All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park on December 6th. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

Club: Knockmore
Age: 31
Height: 5’ 11”
Weight: 12st 13lbs
Occupation: Garda

Big-day performer who showed terrific club form this summer. Hard to stop in the tackle and has tidy left foot. Finds scores on best days. No need for high-risk slicers, though.

11. Ryan O’Donoghue

Mayo’s Ryan O’Donoghue and Kevin Fahey of Tipperary in the All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park on December 6th. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Club: Belmullet
Age: 22
Height: 5’ 9”
Weight: 11st

Occupation: Student Impressive 2020 championship. Keeps things simple. Very tidy footwork and can spot the open man. Rookie essentially, but has faced off Roscommon, Galway and Tipp. Good prep for what’s ahead.

12. Diarmuid O’Connor

Club: Ballintubber
Age: 25
Height: 6’ 1”
Weight: 14st
Occupation: Teacher

Has more in him, as past seasons testify. Never stops putting in effort. Can score. Competes hard. Carries well. An auxiliary midfielder, he may have to shore up middle third.

13. Tommy Conroy

Club: The Neale
Age: 21
Height: 5’ 10”
Weight: 11st 12lbs
Occupation: Student

Another YPOTY candidate, every time I’ve seen him. Superb decision-making, pace, balance and confidence to take on goal chances by shooting or passing. Dublin will have marked him out as threat.

14. Aidan O’Shea (capt)

Club: Breaffy
Age: 30
Height: 6’ 4”
Weight: 15st 7lbs
Occupation: Planning co-ordinator

Improving and learning constantly at 14. Skill as a big man is under-appreciated. Beautiful hand passer, impossible to mark one-on-one but can expect treble teaming when he lands. Needs quick support.

15. Cillian O’Connor

Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor scores his side’s third goal of the game in the All-Ireland SFC semi-final against Tipperary at Croke Park on December 6th. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Club: Ballintubber
Age: 28
Height: 6’ 1”
Weight: 13st 7lbs
Occupation: Teacher

Best season? Certainly in top form. Always prolific but current scoring off the charts. Leader and aggressive competitor, he needs to be careful how close to the edge he takes it.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.