WATCHING ON Some of the Mayo subs are pictured during Sunday’s Connacht SFC quarter-final in Castlebar. Pic: Conor McKeown
THE Mayo footballers will not be in action again for six weeks following their defeat to Galway in last Sunday’s Connacht SFC quarter-final.
Mayo will be facing into the All-Ireland Qualifiers for the first time since 2019 with the first round games scheduled to be played on Saturday, June 4 next.
If James Horan’s charges win that first backdoor game they will be in action a week later, on Saturday, June 11, with the prize of a place in the All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals up for grabs at that stage.
The odds on Mayo winning their first All-Ireland senior title since 1951 have lengthened in the wake of their first championship defeat to Galway for four years; they are now joint-third favourites with champions Tyrone to win the Sam Maguire Cup, behind hot favourites Kerry and Dublin.
Meanwhile, Mayo’s lengthening injury list has another addition after two-time Young Footballer of the Year, Oisin Mullin, suffered a hamstring injury during Sunday’s match.
The extent of the injury was due to be confirmed yesterday (Monday) by a scan.
James Horan will be hoping that the six-week gap to the start of the Qualifiers will allow a number of the team’s injured players to return to action.
Mullin joins Rob Hennelly (knee), Brendan Harrison (knee), Paddy Durcan (hamstring), Jordan Flynn (foot), Bryan Walsh (quad) and Fionn McDonagh (hamstring) on the sidelines.
Speaking to reporters after last Sunday’s match, James Horan said that Durcan was ‘very close’ to being available for selection again.
The former All Star defender last played for Mayo against Kerry six weeks ago.
“Paddy Durcan is very close to being back, but the situation is far from ideal,” admitted Horan. “We have a lot of players with very little work done. We worked to build up a strong squad during the league because there’s always an attrition rate in Gaelic football.”
On a more positive note, Eoghan McLaughlin and Diarmuid O’Connor both returned from their injury lay-offs to start against the Tribesmen last weekend while Darren McHale came off the bench in the closing stages to feature for the first time this year.
David McBrien, who has also been out of action due to injury recently, was among the unused substitutes.
The other unused subs on Sunday were Colm Reape, Rory Brickenden, Conor O’Shea, Fergal Boland and Darren Coen.
Horan said that Mayo were likely to return to training this coming Friday to begin their new training schedule for their Qualifiers clash in early June.