Mayo return to inter-county action against rivals Galway on Sunday needing a win to stay in Division 1. Here is some Mayo squad news ahead of the fixture in Tuam.
Mayo manager James Horan has opted against any major additions following the Club Championship’s completion in Mayo. The only notable draftees are Mark Moran of Westport and Darren McHale of Knockmore coming in to bolster the attack.
Somewhat surprisingly, only one of the Championship-winning Knockmore side have joined Kevin McLoughlin on Horan’s roster. Darren Mchale kicked 1-4 in the final in a man of the match display. If he can continue such form he could force a way into the Mayo team.
On the other hand, Horan already deployed Mark Moran in a recent challenge game against Donegal. The young forward was impressive in Westport’s run to the Championship semi-final and caught the eye of the Mayo manager. He was previously a member of the U-20 squad that lost to Galway on penalties in February.
Likewise, other members of the U-20 squad could feature in Horan’s plans before the year is out. Firstly, Moran’s clubmate Rory Brickenden came off the bench in the Donegal game. Secondly, Kilmaine defender Oisin Mullen and Charlestown forward Paul Towey have made senior appearances already. Similarly, David McBrien of Ballaghaderreen appears to be a part of Horan’s plans.
Horan may well have to utilise some of his young guns after injuries have ruled out some of his regulars. For example, Brendan Harrison has not played since the first round of the club Championship. Therefore, Mullen could make his Championship debut against Leitrim.
In attack, after returning from an ACL injury in July, Mayo stalwart Jason Doherty is looking at another spell on the sidelines after injuring his knee in training.
Also on Mayo’s injury list is Ballintubber native Diarmuid O’Connor. The 25-year-old limped off in his side’s quarter-final defeat in September. Having a fully fit O’Connor will be vital to Horan who is facing Mayo’s first Championship without Andy Moran since 2004.
On the plus side, defender Colm Boyle has returned from injury since lockdown.
Galway vs Mayo: National League Division 1. Sunday October 18, 2pm, Tuam Stadium (TG4).
The countdown is officially on!🥳
Tá 50 lá de chluichí idir-chontae amach romhainn
After a long break the @Allianz football league returns this weekend
— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) October 12, 2020