Wednesday 25 April 2018

Joe Brolly: 'Anytime Johnny Cooper has come up against Andy Moran, he just runs all over him'

Johnny Cooper of Dublin and Andy Moran of Mayo face each
Johnny Cooper of Dublin and Andy Moran of Mayo face each

If Mayo are to finally end their All Ireland famine, key men like Andy Moran will play an integral role for Stephen Rochford's men.

At 33, Moran is playing some of the best football of his life and has racked up an impressive 3-21 from play in 10 games so far in this year's championship.

Mayo are coming into Sunday's All Ireland final against the three-in-a-row seeking Dubs in a rich vein of form and on the back of tough tests against Kerry and Roscommon.

Subscribe and listen to The Throw-In podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud.

They have momentum and they have overcome physical and mental challenges that will no doubt stand to them.

Dublin, on the other hand, have had a straight-forward route and have yet to be challenged but Joe Brolly says they will offer the likes of Moran a completely different challenge on Sunay.

When it was put to him that Mayo are in a lot better shape than they were last year on the Throw In, Brolly responded: "Sort of. Look who they have played up until they played Kerry and look at the way Kerry played the first day.

Mayo broke them in the middle third so Mayo had an unassailable platform so Kerry were continuously on the back foot and the Mayo forwards were being fed and fed and fed. The problem against the Dubs is they are never on their back foot.

"You might break even, but you are not going to beat James McCarthy, Fenton, Ciaran Kilkenny..all those boys, all the pace that's around. They are not going to be on the back foot, they are not going to be vulnerable the way Kerry were because the Dubs have the best full-back line in the business.

"Anytime Johnny Cooper has come up against Andy Moran, Mayo's key forward, Johnny Cooper just runs all over him. Cian O'Sullivan is the best sweeper in the business and that's a big conundrum for Mayo."

Can Aidan O'Shea be deployed to nullify O'Sullivan?

"The worry there is that Cian will run away from him," added Brolly.

"If Aidan were to play there as a man-marker..the problem there is Aidan holds the ball a bit too long. Whenever he was playing in the full back line, for all the fact that he didn't have to do very much in the replay because Mayo were so dominant, it meant that Mayo were moving the ball far more quickly up front because Aidan likes to get the ball and carry it and you need to move the ball very quickly, especially against the Dubs."


Subscribe to The Throw-In,'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.

Subscribe and listen to The Throw-In podcast on iTunes or SoundCloud.

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport