The Mayo senior football squad has been hit hard by retirements this week,In four consecutive days a different Mayo player hung up their boots.David Clarke,Donal Vaughan,Tom Parsons and Seamus O’Shea have all called time on their inter county careers,While David Clarke was the only one who was getting significant game time this year,Between the four of them they gave 55 years of service to Mayo and made 430 appearances in the green and red.That’s a lot of experience for any team to lose.Mayo legend Andy Moran said
“We seen with that great Cork team they won many leagues and got their all Ireland in 2010 but then the likes of Graham Canty,Pearse O’Neill,Pauide Kissane,Noel O’Leary,John Miskella all retired at the same time and it was too big of a gap to fill and Cork fell away.Players like that set the standard in 2011 Mayo lost a few players then bang in comes Donie Vaughan sets the standard straight away James Horan can then turn to all the other lads and say “you need to keep up with Donie in the runs”.David Clarke had huge disappointments in terms of injury and loss in finals but he kept going and all of a sudden became one of the best goalkeepers in the country.Tom Parsons got dropped by James Horan originally then comes back in 2014 and becomes a huge member of the team,The vacuum that these guys will leave is huge,It’s so important that Keith Higgins,Colm Boyle,Chris Barrett all stay on and show the new guys Oisin Mullen,Eoghan Mclaughlin,Tommy Conroy what it takes to get to the top of the game.”
James Horan has already started to introduce youth to this Mayo team Oisin Mullin,Eoghan Mclaughlin,Ryan O’Donoghue and Tommy Conroy all impressed in their debut season but we’ve picked out four players who can make the step up in the coming years.
He was full-back on the Mayo u20 team this year and made his debut for the seniors in the league against Galway after the lockdown,The ballaghaderreen man is 6’2 in height and has huge pace and is on UL’s Sigerson panel.With Keith Higgins,Chris Barrett and Colm Boyle coming to the end of their careers,Mcbrien could be an ideal replacement in the Mayo full-back line.
He made his Championship debut this year against Leitrim as a substitute,Centre back on this years Mayo u20 team but has spent time in the full back line for his club Westport and his school Rice College.Mayo have a great history of tough defenders who can also attack.Brickenden could be the next one.
He produced a man of the match display on his league debut against Galway scoring 1-2 but then picked up a quad injury and struggled to get back into the squad,An elusive player calm on the ball and comfortable off both feet he can play in most positions in the forwards,He could really add a new dimension to the Mayo attack.
He was man of the match in Mayo’s U20 semi-final loss to Galway then Made his League debut for the seniors back in February against Monaghan,A versatile player who has class on the ball as seen here in his league debut slicing over a beautiful point with the outside of his boot.