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3 players who caught our eye


CLEAN SHEET Colm Reape. Pic: John Corless

Mike Finnerty

Colm Reape
THE 26 year-old goalkeeper has now started two of the three games that Mayo have played in front of a paying audience this year.
How much we should read into that remains to be seen, but there seems little doubt that Messrs McStay and Rochford feel the former forward could give them something a little different between the sticks.
Reape didn’t have a save to make against the Rossies, but his kick-outs (with just one exception) were on point and he’s not afraid to leave his line and carry the ball upfield.
It was also noticeable how often he drifted out to take up a position in Mayo’s defence when Roscommon were attacking, to fill space and become an extra defender.
With Mayo working on a new defensive structure, Reape could be in line to make his league debut next weekend.

Conor Loftus
IT’S hard to know how much significance we should attach just yet to the sight of the Deel Rovers man wearing number six against Sligo and the Rossies.
But with Oisin Mullin and Lee Keegan out of the picture, Mayo’s management are trying to work on something different in defence and Loftus is being given a chance to audition for a role.
He made his debut as a corner-forward under Stephen Rochford in 2016, then moved out to eleven, and lined out in the 2020 and 2021 All-Ireland Finals at midfield.
His engine, speed, foot-passing ability and accuracy are among his greatest strengths, and last Saturday evening he showcased them again.
Don’t be surprised if this experiment continues in the weeks ahead.

Cillian O’Connor
THE sight of the 30 year-old powering his way through a series of sprints and shuttle-runs after last Saturday evening’s game was a reminder that he means business.
The two-time All Star winner came off the bench to kick two crucial points against Roscommon and looked fit and sharp as he moved around the forwardline with customary intent and purpose.
O’Connor missed the 2021 championship and all of last year’s National League (bar a few minutes of the final against Kerry) due to an Achille tendon injury.
And while he did start all four of Mayo’s championship matches, he was understandably far from his best.
So you can be sure he’s keen to make up for lost time under the new regime, and a role in the full-forwardline (à la Andy Moran in 2017) looks the most likely scenario.

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