TEAM LEADER Mayo’s Diarmuid Duffy, right, and Liam Maloney celebrate after the Connacht Final. Pic: Sportsfile
THE speedy corner-back is one of many Mayo players that has played well each and every week they have togged out.
The tigerish number four has a varied and impressive skill-set; he can mark tightly, he can sweep up breaks around the goalmouth, he can carry ball up the field at pace, he can deliver a pass with the best of them, and he can kick a score.
He’s also as hard as nails and hasn’t taken a backward step since the championship started.
The fact that Lorcan played in an All-Ireland schools soccer final for Rice College the day before he went out and put in a huge shift for Mayo against Roscommon speaks volumes about his attitude and his conditioning.
He has formed a really good understanding and partnership with Rio Mortimer and John MacMonagle in the full-back line and Kerry’s inside line will have to work for anything they get.
Did you know? Lorcan played in midfield for the Rice College Westport soccer team.
THE Mayo centre-back is one of the team’s unsung heroes but his importance to the game-plan and the system cannot be overstated.
A nephew of former Mayo captain, Gary Ruane (who is also a selector with this Mayo under-17 team), Colm is cut from the same cloth as his uncle.
He reads the game well, is comfortable in possession, is a skilled and disciplined tackler, and isn’t afraid to use his left foot to deliver a pass if it’s on.
But most of all, Colm’s ability to play the stay-at-home number six role and composure under pressure is what makes him so important to Mayo’s defensive structure.
When the likes of Liam Maloney and Paul Gilmore get forward, McHale stays at home to mind the house. He will have to be extra vigilant against Kerry to ensure that the centre of Mayo’s defence is guarded at all times.
Did you know? Colm is also an accomplished soccer player with S&F Utd.
THE joint captain is the Diarmuid O’Connor of Seán Deane’s Mayo minor operation.
Duffy has been known to clock up more than 10km in a typical championship match and is the team’s ultimate ‘multi-tasker’.
Depending on the opposition, time in a game, or the state of play, Diarmuid could be back playing as +1 in defence, doing a shift in midfield, or driving through on the opposition goal.
He’s the modern wing-forward in that sense, ready and able to go where he’s needed with the engine, football intelligence and attitude to match.
A short story to put his character in context: two days before the Connacht Final, Diarmuid competed at the National Schools Track and Field Championships in Tullamore, and won silver in the senior boys javelin for Ballinrobe Community School.
Forty-eight hours later he played a starring role in the Connacht Final win over Galway, after spending most of previous few days at home in bed due to being sick.
Did you know? Last summer Diarmuid won gold in the under-17 javelin at the National Juvenile Track and Field Championships.