Category: Gaelic Football News

All the latest GAA news from Dublin, Galway, Cork, Limerick, Mayo and other counties.

Could David Clifford be the Best GAA Player of All Time?

We are all aware that the Gaelic Athletic Association has produced some stellar players over the years. Common examples include Maurice Fitzgerald and Colm Cooper. However, a new star is emerging. Some individuals claim that David Clifford could be the best that we have ever seen. Clifford brings much to the table in terms of a flexile sense of athleticism. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why Clifford could very well rise to the top in the coming years. 

Following in the Footsteps of Excellent Role Models

We need to keep in mind that Dave Clifford is still relatively young. Just as Spin online casino offers numerous games and playing options which have set it apart from other virtual providers, This is one of the reasons why he is said to have been influenced by legends such as Cooper and Fitzgerald. In fact, some analysts have claimed that he possesses the best traits of both players. Clifford is said to boast the languid speed associated with Fitzgerald as well as the mental prowess of Fitzgerald while on the pitch. This is certainly a formidable combination if he is able to leverage such traits to their fullest.

The Past as an Example of Things to Come?

Age means very little on the pitch. Previous players such as Messi and Ronaldo have firmly proven this point. The same seems to hold true when referring to Dave Clifford. This striker already has two All-Star titles under his belt. When we consider that he has only played two seasons, this leads us to wonder what the future may have in store. The other pertinent (and logical) question involves whether or not he can avoid any injuries in the months and years to come. There is no doubt that a severe injury could certainly affect his momentum at the moment.

A Mature Mentality

Talent involves much more than simply being able to score goals or to pose a formidable defence. On the contrary, some of the best players have possessed the keen ability to appreciate the mental side of the game. It seems as if Dave Clifford has already harnessed this instinct. Not only is he a true team player, but he is notable in the fact that he is not afraid to share the responsibility when things do not go as planned. This can rarely be said about such a young player and it clearly illustrates that he has the makings of a captain in the future.

It is now clear to see why many analysts are already confident that David Clifford will become one of the best GAA players of all time. However, nothing is certain and only time will tell if he is able to maintain this sense of momentum. Could Clifford represent the next Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? We will have to wait and see. Until then, there is no doubt that fans will be in for a treat whenever he emerges onto the pitch.

Could Sligo’s concession of Connacht semi-final be a sign of things to come?

Sligo were this week forced to concede their Connacht SFC match with Galway due to a Covid-19 outbreak within the squad. This left Sligo with only 18-20 available players for this encounter leaving them unable to fulfil the fixture.

Many GAA folk have questioned the decision to call off this game, with Tomás O’ Sé being the most vocal on this matter. Sligo’s determination to play the game has been questioned, however, the Sligo county board has claimed these reports to be untrue. Stating that “all who could feasibly make themselves available wanted to play the game”.

Sligo have struggled in the last couple of seasons and this fixture would likely have resulted in a win for the Tribesmen. But that is no reason to believe Sligo did not want to play this game. Instead we should look at the GAA with some scrutiny following this decision not to re-fixture the game.

The Connacht final is due to be played the following weekend on November 15th, so any re-fixture would have a knock-on effect here. However, three weeks separate the Connacht final and the All-Ireland semi-final. Plenty of time to allow for a re-fixture. If both games were pushed back an extra week it would not upset any Connacht counties too much, as they would still have 2 weeks to prepare for the semi-final.

The GAA has since claimed that if Sligo were accommodated in this manner, where would they draw the line? And this approach could result in far more postponements over the coming weeks. 

The GAA is clearly trying to avoid a fixtures pile-up but Sligo were dismissed and effectively thrown out of the championship without the GAA batting an eyelid. Being one of the weaker counties, this decision has probably not affected how the Championship will play out. One must question what if an elite county finds themselves in the same situation? Would they be eliminated too?

Of course, nobody wants to see Covid outbreaks anywhere, but, what if Dublin or Kerry (or any elite county) were to be in this situation before their respective games this weekend? Would last year’s All-Ireland finalists have been eliminated without kicking a ball and blow the Championship wide open? I highly doubt it. In this case the GAA would have probably accommodated its prized possessions and provided a re-fixture. Even if it were Galway who were in this situation, I doubt that they would have been thrown out, allowing Sligo to progress instead.

From Galway’s perspective they will feel disappointed that this fixture was cancelled as they could really have done with a warm-up for a Connacht final. I’m sure if there was an option to push these games back a week both counties would have obliged.

In a few weeks I hope we will look back at a successful championship in which no further Covid-19 outbreaks occurred in squads and resulting in no more cancellations. But that seems unlikely, and it will be very interesting to see how the GAA will handle this matter going forward.

All-Ireland Football preview – Dark Horses, Top Scorer & Player of the year

After a year of uncertainty, and ‘what if’s’ here we are finally, the senior inter-county championships are upon us. We saw two fluid, high-scoring games of hurling this past weekend in Leinster and Munster. This has paved the way for what can be an exciting and unique championship in both codes. With the commencement of the Football championship to come this weekend, we take a preview of what is to come.

 

1) Top scorer 

Top scorer could go anywhere at this stage, so much depends how far each county progresses. With big teams set to meet early, there will be some big names taken out of the equation. However, keep an eye out for these players to shine.

  • Dave Clifford (Kerry) – This man needs no introduction at this stage. He has been scoring for fun over the last couple of years.
  • Sean O’ Shea (Kerry) – A very reliable free-taker and dangerous from open play, Sean O’ Shea is equally as crucial to Kerry’s scoring success as Clifford.
  • Dean Rock (Dublin) – Dublin’s newly crowned all-time top scorer has shown no signs of slowing down yet. With Dublin likely to put up some big scores in Leinster, expect Rock to lead the way for the Dubs.
  • Shane Walsh (Galway) – The top scorer in the National League. Simply put, Galway are a better team with Walsh on the field.
  • Darren McCurry (Tyrone) – Darren McCurry has been Tyrone’s top scorer in Cathal McShane’s absence.
  • Conor McManus (Monaghan) – Conor McManus has proven time-and-time again to be a handful for any defender.
  • Michael Murphy (Donegal) – Donegal’s top scorer in the league with 2-18. Much will depend on their opener with Tyrone.
  • Cillian O’ Connor (Mayo) – Mayo will be glad to have their free-taker back. He has been the top scorer in four previous championships and should contribute a lot of Mayo’s scores should they progress through a tricky Connacht championship.

 

2) Player of the year

Much depends on who wins the All-Ireland here, we could see many names added to this list depending on how things plan out. But here’s five to watch out for.

– Dave Clifford (Kerry)

– Ciaran Kilkenny (Dublin)

– Brian Fenton (Dublin)

– Shane Walsh (Galway)

– Michael Murphy (Donegal)

 

3) Dark horse?

In what is often a predictable championship, this year may present an opportunity for a dark horse to make a run.

  • Roscommon – The Connacht champions have a tough ask ahead of them to retain their title with the prospect of Mayo and Galway in the semi-final and final respectively. However, they have been in excellent form in division 2 and should they progress to an All-Ireland semi-final anything could happen.


  • Armagh – Armagh have found form in Division 2 which has eluded them for the past decade. This could be the year they challenge for the Ulster crown once again.


  • Cork – Quietly went about their business in Division 3 securing maximum points on their way to promotion. Cork seem to have turned a corner in the past 18 months and look to be on the up again. Hard to see them beating Kerry this year but don’t write off the rebels too quickly.

 

4) Provincial Championships betting

 

Connacht 

Galway 8/11 

Mayo 7/4

Roscommon 11/2

Sligo 80/1

Leitrim 150/1

Galway will avoid Mayo or Roscommon until the final which is probably why they are favourites. Connacht is a three-horse race but there may be money to be made on Roscommon. 

 

Leinster

Dublin 1/12

Meath 11/1

Kildare 14/1

Laois 66/1

Westmeath 80/1

Longford 150/1

Offaly 200/1

Wexford 250/1

Carlow, Wicklow, Louth 500/1

Please God can we have a competitive Leinster Championship for the first time in a decade?

 

Munster

Kerry 1/4

Cork 9/2

Tipperary 12/1

Clare 25/1

Limerick 50/1

Waterford 250/1

Cork may be worth a punt here, but much like Leinster, this is Kerry’s Championship to lose.

 

Ulster

Donegal 6/4

Monaghan 3/1

Tyrone 10/3

Armagh 15/2 

Down 16/1

Cavan 20/1

Derry 20/1

Fermanagh 50/1

Antrim 200/1

Donegal are big favourites in the bookie’s eyes. Monaghan, Tyrone and Armagh represent good value for money and have a very realistic chance at winning Ulster.

New Gaelic Football Rules for 2020

It’s a new season of Gaelic Football and the GAA has passed new playing rules for 2020 at their special congress meeting in October. These rules will be implemented across all level of Gaelic Football for the new year. We will take you through each rule and explain so you know what to expect to see in the coming days. The four new rules are explained in detail below:

Advance Mark

The main reason on why this rule was brought in was to encourage long kicking. The ball has to be kicked from on or inside the 45m line. It must also be kicked a distance of 20m for an advance mark to be rewarded. A mark is rewarded to the player after a player puts his hand up in the air. The player has 15 seconds to kick the ball.

An advance mark can also be got in the large rectangle. However, according to GAA.ie the player would have to got back to the 13m line to take the kick. The player has the option to play on but the opposition can then tackle.

Mark from kick-out 

The reason this rule has been implemented is to encourage players/goalkeepers to kick the ball further for a kick-out. Short kick outs have become a thing but this rule is hoping to stop this. The mark from a kick out encourages players to make a clean catch where a mark can then be claimed. This however has to be past the 45m line. A mark is awarded by putting hand up in the air.

Sin Bin 

The main reason why the sin bin rule will be implemented in the 2020 season is to stop cynical fouling and cynical play. Where a black card is now issued, the player will be sin binned for 10 minutes. According to the GAA website the 10 minute period will start when the game restarts. A player can only return when granted permission by the referee.

Kick-out 

The kick out has to be taken from the 20m line. This can’t be kicked backwards. Gaa.ie states that all players have to be outside the 20m line and 13m away from the ball until its kicked.

These four rules can only improve the game in my opinion. It is up to players to buy into it now in the national league. I personally think the sin bin rule is a fantastic idea. It will stop cynical fouling for sure. Let’s hope the new playing rules for 2020 work for the good of the game !

 

Jim McGuinness Returns to GAA

Jim McGuinness is a legendary figure in his home county of Donegal. He led the Senior Football team to their first All-Ireland Championship in 20 years back in 2012. They reached the final again in 2014 before losing out to Kerry. This was to be his last year in charge of the team. Fast forward to 2020 and McGuinness is back involved in the sport, this time with the Galway footballers.

But where has he been until now? 

After a successful period up north, it was time for a new challenge in the eyes of McGuinness. Soccer was next on the agenda. His commitment to starting from the bottom and eventually achieving his UEFA B coaching license was a clear indicator that this was a serious career move for the Donegal man.

McGuinness’s first job in soccer came back in 2012 when he was still involved with Donegal, having just won the All-Ireland. Through his connections, he landed himself a gig with Scottish giants Celtic as a performance consultant. He would continue to work with Donegal, juggling both jobs. His tenure in Glasgow would last five years, coming to an end in 2017 when McGuinness vacated his role of assistant manager with the U-20 squad. China was calling next. Soccer, as professional sport, was on the rise in China. But unfortunately the same couldn’t be said of McGuinness’s management career as he had to call a halt to his time after six months for personal reasons.

After China came an unsuccessful stint in America as head coach of Charlotte Independence which ended with both parties going their separate ways last June.

Return to the GAA

Jim McGuinness will be disappointed with his experience in soccer management to date. There is a certain sense of unfulfillment lingering over the soccer section of his C.V. It may be a case of unfinished business but for now he has turned his attention to GAA and Galway. He has been brought in alongside manager Padraig Joyce to help with preparations for the upcoming All-Ireland Championship. Both men are familiar with one another having played together for IT Tralee back in 1999. McGuinness has not “formally” joined Joyce’s backroom team, instead taking up a temporary role.

Although well-respected within the realms of the GAA, it may come as a surprise that McGuinness has returned to the sport. Irish golfer Paul McGinley, who turned to McGuinness for advice when he became the European Ryder Cup captain back in 2013, declared that the former Donegal boss “would not be coming back to the GAA” when interviewed two years ago. However since then things haven’t gone as planned and maybe it is time to go back to the drawing board.

Galway kick off their 2020 All-Ireland campaign against Sligo on Saturday 7th November.

 

Anthony’s weekly live score gaa preview

Last updated on Nov 1st, 2020 at 11:15

Hello again and welcome to my second post of previews ahead of the weekend’s games across the country. Unfortunately level 5 obviously no supporters will be at the games. But don’t worry you can get the scores on vrscores.com all weekend. Let’s take you through the games below. 

 

Division 1 Football

 

Kerry v Donegal, Saturday, 2pm, Tralee

 

A win for the Kingdom here will secure the Division 1 crown. They won’t get it easy as they come up against Declan Bonner’s Donegal. Kerry had the narrowest of wins over Monaghan last weekend 0-17 to 0-14 in a game which the impressive David Clifford led them to victory. Kerry will look to Clifford, Sean O’Shea and Tony Brosnan once more in attack, while players like Paul Murphy and Gavin White will be key in defence. Donegal come into this with having recorded a 2-17 to 2-13 win over Tyrone. Key for Declan Bonners will be once again Michael Murphy, Jamie Brennan and Ryan McHugh. Kerry are 1/5 with Donegal 9/2. Kerry to win this for me by 3 or 4 points. 

 

Galway v Dublin, Sunday, 2pm, Pearse Stadium 

 

A win here for either side and a Kerry loss would crown them league champions. Galway manager Padraic Joyce will be looking for an improved performance after they suffered a heavy 3-23 to 0-17 defeat to Mayo. A repeat performance and they be blown away by Dublin that’s for sure. Joyce will look to players like Paul Conroy, Liam Silke and Robert Finnerty all whom put in decent performances against Mayo. Dublin come into this game having beaten neighbours Meath at Parnell Park last weekend, A goal from Dean Rock meant the Dubs won by 4 points. Players like Mick Fitzsimons, Brian Fenton and Ciaran Kilkenny will be key if the Dubs are to succeed. Dublin are 1/2 with Galway 9/4. Dublin to win by 4 points. 

 

Monaghan v Meath, Sunday, 2pm, Clones

 

This is a massive game for Monaghan a loss here would mean relegation to Division 2 for 2021. Meath are already to the Division 2 for 2020 having won no games. If Monaghan beat or draw with Meath then Tyrone would be relegated if they lose to Mayo, while Mayo could also be relegated if they lose to Tyrone. Monaghan last weekend lost narrowly to Kerry but put up a brave performance. Conor McManus was super when he came off the bench, Fintan Kelly and Karl O’Connell will also need to have big games here. Meath put in a superb performance against Dublin last weekend losing narrowly 1-20 to 0-19. They are relegated but that won’t stop them from trying to cause an upset here. Thomas O’Reilly, Shane Walsh and Donal Keogan will be key for the Royals. Monaghan are the favourites at 4/9 and Meath are 5/2. Monaghan to win by 4. 

 

Mayo v Tyrone, Sunday, 2pm, Castlebar 

 

Both sides are in the mix to be relegated to Division 2 for 2021. A win for Mayo will mean they will remain in the top division, however if they draw and Monaghan draw with Meath then they will be relegated. In Tyrone’s case, if they lose the game they will be relegated if Monaghan defeat Meath. Mayo had a massive win over Galway last weekend 3-23 to 0-17. Aidan O’Shea, Cillian O’Connor and Mark Moran all staring for James Horan’s side. Mickey Harte’s Tyrone had a narrow defeat to Donegal last weekend so a win here is vital going into the championship for them also against Donegal. Peter Harte, Mattie Donnelly and Padraig Hampsey will be key here. Mayo are 8/15, Tyrone are 2/1. A one point win for Mayo here. 

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17th/18th October

So welcome to my new column where I will be giving my thoughts on the weekend’s gaa action. We all have been missing inter-county action since March but it’s finally back and it’s back with a bang, with games in all four divisions as well as two All-Ireland U-20 semi-finals. Let’s take a look at the games below.

 

Division 1

 

The first game I am going to look at it is Monaghan v Kerry.

The games takes place at 2pm at Clones on Saturday. Monaghan currently sit in 6th in the division so a win will be key here going forward for them. Kerry are second just behind Galway. There are no injury reports in the Monaghan camp so players like Conor McManus will once again be key for the Farney. Looking at Kerry, Peter Keane has said that players like Jack Barry, James O’Donoghue and Peter Crowley could feature.

Current odds have Kerry as 8/15 favourites with Monaghan 15/8. I fancy Kerry to win this by 2 points.

Dublin v Meath also takes place on Saturday with throw in at 7pm in Croke Park.

Dublin currently are in 4th place in the division and manager Dessie Farrell will want to get a win here against their old foes. Dublin will be minus Diarmuid Connolly who announced his retirement just under two weeks ago. However, he will still be able to call on the services of Dean Rock, Con O’Callaghan and Brian Fenton. Meath are rock bottom of Division 1 having failed to win a game so far. However, they will be able to call on players like Bryan McMahon, Bryan Menton and Donal Keoghan.

Dublin are favourites here at 1/12, Meath are 15/2. I fancy Dublin to win 7 or 8 points.

 

Galway v Mayo takes place on Sunday in Tuam at 2pm.

The game is live on TG4. Galway top the table having won 4 of their 5 previous games. Galway boss Padraic Joyce has been dealt a massive blow with news of a Covid outbreak which will rule out Gareth Bradshaw, Sean Kelly and Dessie Conneelly. Shane Walsh and Damien Comer will be also missing. However players like Paul Conroy, Rob Finnerty and Liam Silke will all feature. Mayo come into the game with a mixture of results 1 win, 1 draw and 3 losses. James Horan will likely look to players like Lee Keegan, Colm Boyle, Aidan O’Shea once again.

Mayo are 8/11 favoruites obviously owing to the Galway absentees. Galaxy are 11/8. I think Mayo will win this going purely based on the quality of player they are missing. Mayo by 4 points.

Donegal v Tyrone will also be played on Sunday at 4pm in Ballybofey.

Donegal and Tyrone both sit in mid table in the division. Donegal have 2 wins, 1 loss and 2 draws. They will look to players like Ryan McHugh and Michael Murphy for leadership once again. Mickey Harte and Tyrone were having a super league campaign before Covid 19 put a halt to it. They have 3 wins from 5 games, one of those coming against All-Ireland Champions Dublin. Tyrone will be without Colm Cavanagh who has since retired, while Cathal McShane will miss the rest of the season. Darren McCurry, Peter Harte and Niall Morgan will be key.

Donegal are odds of 4/5 with Tyrone 5/4. I think a draw could be on the cards here.

 

 

Division 2

 

Westmeath v Laois takes place on Saturday at 2pm in Mullingar.

Westmeath sit in fourth place in the table at present having won 2, lost 2 and drawn 1. Westmeath will look to John Heslin, Denis Coroon and Sam Duncan. Laois are in joint 4th position with Westmeath in table having also had 2 wins, 2 losses and 1 win. John O’Loughlin, Kieran Lillis and Mark Timmons will be key.

Westmeath are 8/11, Laois are priced at 6/4. For me it’s a 2 or 3 point win for Westmeath.

 

Armagh v Roscommon takes place at the Athletic Grounds Saturday at 5.30pm.

It’s a battle between the top two in the division and it’s likely it won’t dissapoint. Armagh have 3 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. Jamie Clarke, Niall Grimley and Stefan Campbell will be key to their chances of winning. Roscommon will look to players like Conor Cox, Enda Smith and Tadgh O’Rourke.

Armagh are 8/11 with Roscommon 11/8. I fancy Armagh to come out on top by 2 points.

 

Clare v Fermanagh takes place at 1pm on Sunday at Ennis.

However, the game is looking increasingly likely not to go ahead with 10 players from the squad reported to have Covid 19. Fermanagh are bottom of the table in Division 3 with Clare just hovering above them. Clare will look to players like Keelan Sexton, David Tubridy and Eoin Cleary.

Clare for me for the win. Update: The game will go ahead.

 

 

Kildare v Cavan also takes place on Sunday in Newbridge at 2pm.

Kildare are second from bottom in the division but Jack O’Connor has some good players at his disposal. Daniel Flynn, Tommy Moolick and Adam Tyrrell will be key. Cavan are third in division 3. Players like Oisin Pierson and Ciaran Brady will be key players for them.

Kildare are 8/13, with Cavan 13/8. Kildare to win this one narrowly by 2 points.

 

Weekend GAA betting Advice

Last updated on Sep 7th, 2020 at 19:22

We will have GAA betting advice for live matches on this page every weekend, we will look at team news, weather, and form to help with our selections. 

Sunday  16th August 

Kilruane McDonaghs v LoughmoreLive on TG4 2:30pm

Advice 

Back Loughmore (-1) at 11/8 with PaddyPower

Reasoning

Both clubs are sitting on two points in Group 3, a win secures a place in the quarter-finals, but from talking to some people in Tipperary they think Loughmore are the better placed to gain the win in Semple Stadium today. This should be a real shootout so expect a very entertaining match.

RESULT

Loughmore win by 2pts