Lee Keegan Is Forthright In His View Of Any 'Blanket Defence'

Lee Keegan Is Forthright In His View Of Any 'Blanket Defence'

The blanket defence will just get caught out more.

Lee Keegan's Mayo have competed in the last two All-Ireland finals. Three times they've faced the Dubs in September and brought them closer than anyone else could. A draw and two one-point losses denied them a much-coveted Sam Maguire trophy.

In the postmortem of those defeats, there has been countless suggestions about what Mayo need to do differently or what it will take to get Stephen Rochford's men over the line. Keegan is affirmative that one thing they does not need to change is Mayo's approach.

[To suggest a blanket], I fully disagree. The style we play, it is the only team that can match Dublin in terms of the way they play. I watched Dublin play against numerous blanket defences and it has just become too easy. it's too structured from other teams, Dublin can break it down very easy. Again, I look at the Tyrone game last year, it was over after 20 minutes because Tyrone couldn't change their defensive structure to an attacking structure.

For us, we play both at the moment. We're not afraid in defence. In terms of a blanket, we can do a bit of both. We can drop men back if we have to, but we're very good on the attack. I think blanket defences are definitely being caught out more, especially in the league. We're starting to see massive scores in the league which is great from an attacking point of view, now defenders need to start looking at one-on-one match-ups!

Mayo played out a highly entertaining 2-09 to 1-15 loss against Kerry on Saturday in Division 1, a game Keegan could not participate in due to an injury but still took great encouragement from.

At the weekend, it was a one-on-one contest. It was six-on-six from both sides, which was really nice to see because we are looking at too many structures and defensive plans.

I think that'll be a trend for the rest of the year.


Mayo face Galway in their opening Championship game, the same side who sent them to the qualifiers last year. Looking back on last season, this a faith the Westport man is eager to avoid.

There were a lot of positives from the year we had, a bit of a rollercoaster. I suppose ten games in a Championship year is definitely up there with a couple of records. We want to make life a bit easier this year, last few years we've gone through the qualifier route which is not an ideal route.

The initial Allianz League games would suggest Keegan is correct in his view as there is a general progression towards more open football, with a general acceptance that the all-out blanket will not pose Jim Gavin's side any questions this year. In order to challenge for an All-Ireland title, a more developed approach looks necessary.

Lee Keegan was speaking at renovation of the Sports Physio Ireland clinic in Dublin 2 - fitted out by Ardco Construction. Sports Physio Ireland are experts in sport specific injury management, returning clients to play better than they ever were before. For more visit

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Maurice Brosnan

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