Saturday 18 November 2017

'I think we might be saying the same things as on other All-Ireland Sundays' - Tomás Ó Sé on Mayo's final chances

Tomás Ó Sé (inset) thinks Mayo will fall short of All-Ireland glory again
Tomás Ó Sé (inset) thinks Mayo will fall short of All-Ireland glory again

Conor Neville

Excitement levels are growing in Mayo and we've even yet to hear Willie Joe Padden coming on the Six One News telling a disbelieving reporter that "we're keeping it low-key this year" while standing in front of a red and green painted sheep.

Something about Mayo's circuitous run to the All-Ireland final has convinced some of their dreamier supporters that there's an air of destiny about them this year.

But five-time All-Ireland winner Tomás Ó Sé arrives with a bucket of icy cold water.

Speaking on 'The Throw-In', Independent.ie's GAA podcast, Ó Sé agrees that Mayo will push Dublin harder than anyone else this season ("please god," intone the neutrals).

But, after examining both sides, Ó Sé reckons we will spend Sunday evening making much the same weary and mournful observations about Mayo as on previous All-Ireland Sundays.

This year, there's something different about Mayo? Maybe. But for Ó Se, not enough is different.

"Do they have enough? The goalie has improved a small bit in terms of kick-outs. The backs, Keith Higgins is having an outstanding season. Boyle has been brilliant. Midfield, Tom Parsons and Seamus O'Shea are playing outstandingly, the last couple of games especially.

"But it's up front. Doherty and Moran for me have stood out, and they've played a lot better this year.  And they're taking a bit of the pressure off Cillian O'Connor."

There is a but however. 

"Mayo people are always giving out to me saying why I'm picking out Cillian O'Connor as the only forward in Mayo.

"I can't guarantee it but I have a funny feeling we'll be saying the same thing about Mayo on Sunday. That they don't have the forwards to really win an All-Ireland.

"That'd be the worry I'd have for Mayo. I think everywhere else nobody can question them. Nobody can question what they've done this year or in the last six or seven years.

"But with (Jonny) Cooper and McMahon and Fitzsimmons inside in that full-back line, they're not going to get the space. I'd be surprised if Andy Moran kicks two or three points from play."

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Subscribe to The Throw-In, Independent.ie's weekly Championship podcast, for the best in GAA discussion and analysis every Monday, with some of the biggest names in football and hurling from Joe Brolly, Tomás Ó'Sé, Brendan Cummins and John Mullane.

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