Saturday 21 September 2019

'I wouldn't want to play on this team' - Paul Galvin explains why Mayo's tactics are 'death to a half-forward'

Paul Galvin (inset) gets frustrated watching Mayo's attack
Paul Galvin (inset) gets frustrated watching Mayo's attack Newsdesk Newsdesk

Kerry legend Paul Galvin has claimed that if he was given a choice of inter-county team's to play in, he certainly wouldn't choose Stephen Rochford's Mayo.

The four-time All-Ireland winner said he would feel stifled in the Mayo attack because it is far too congested with marauding defenders taking up space ahead of the ball.

Mayo struggled in attack during last week's 1-12 to 0-12 defeat to Galway with poor shot selection and the lack of a cutting edge evident throughout.

Writing in his column in today's Sunday Times, Galvin admitted that it was a struggle to watch Mayo trying to formulate attacks.

"If there is one team in Ireland I wouldn't want to play on it's this Mayo side," he said.

"Their system of play is death to a half-forward, or an inside forward for that matter.

"So many times last Sunday Mayo defenders were ahead of the ball, killing my space forward players should be operating in.

"As a half-forward who loved playing in the pockets along the 45, I simply wouldn't thrive in this Mayo team. Too many bodies occupying the spaces I'd need to be taking up.

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"There's something unnaturally frustrating about getting a ball in a championship game and not being able to hit a pass or execute what you see in your head.

"You can deal with that happening a few times or even for a few games, but over time if you're repeatedly blocked up, caught up, short of options, playing sideways, seeing opportunities but not being able to execute for congestion or lack of awareness, it gets irritating.

"Developing their forward play is a big problem for Mayo. If their backs stayed out of the way they would make things easier for themselves and have a chance of progressing. At the moment, it's hard, physical work just watching them trying to get out of their own way."

Mayo will need to improve their offensive options as they have to negotiate four qualifier games before they can qualify for the Super 8s.

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