The Croke Park monkey is finally off Mayo's back. After failing to win in each of their last 10 finals at the national stadium, they overcame Kerry in the league decider last weekend. It was a close game in the end, but it was one The Westerners fully deserved to win.
While the win will be encouraging in so many aspects, the emergence of some younger players will have delighted those in Mayo. Their squad has been a largely settled one for the past number of years, and they looked like a tired outfit during last year's championship.
Their exit at the hands of Kildare led many to believe that their forward line lacked the necessary quality to get them over their All-Ireland hump. Speaking on this week's Three Man Weave, the Balls.ie GAA podcast, the lads said the win over Kerry shows that those concerns are no longer founded.
Maurice: Would it be fair to say that that argument about Mayo not having an All-Star forward line is dead? Just to go back to the weekend, Jason Doherty had a really strong game, you're going to have Diarmuid O'Connor in the half forward line who's well able to score as well, that's probably an asset of his game that we didn't see enough of last year.
Finally they have unearthed these guys, we didn't even see Fionn McDonagh at the weekend because he wasnt in the squad, Carr, Coen. Andy Moran coming off the bench, Cillian O'Connor to come back into that.
Aaron: They probably suffer because they are a working forward liner rather than having a 'Galactico' name in it, but I definitely wouldn't subscribe to the notion that they don't have an All-Star forward line. That's a very potent forward line.
Mayo's Jason Doherty is one of the interviewees on this week's podcast, and he said the young players that have emerged this year has given the squad a major boost.
The level of options that we have gained throughout the league is hugely encouraging. One game can catapult you into being a huge option for championship, and I think that James Carr is a perfect example of that having not started any other league games.
Fionn McDonagh obviously put in a series of great performances during the league, Ciaran Treacy's performance up in Tyorne and then the last day he comes on and clinches the game for us. There's been so many more, so many young las stepped in and hopefully that's a sign that they're comfortable in that environment and the fact that they're able to come in and perform like that.
The older lads are there supporting them and giving them advice when we can, but in many ways we don't want them to lose that innocence and greenness that they have because they're just going out and playing ball, something justified by Ciaran Treacy going for goal at the end there.
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