Home GAA Aidan O’Mahony: This Mayo Game Is A Game Kerry Cannot Lose

Aidan O’Mahony: This Mayo Game Is A Game Kerry Cannot Lose

Former Kerry footballer Aidan O’Mahony believes his county’s young stars must fuel their hurt from the Allianz League final when Mayo visit Killarney next weekend. 

Following on from their win over Galway, Mayo travel to the Kingdom for their first fixture in Group 1 of the Super 8s and it is one they will relish, according to the Paddy Power GAA Ambassador.

“It’s massive for Mayo to have knocked Galway out of the Championship. I know from my time, when we met Cork in All-Ireland semi-finals and finals, it was just different when it was do-or-die games outside of provincial Championship. Saturday’s win will be a huge boost for Mayo.

“Galway still put up a big score, so Mayo and James Horan will have plenty to learn from the game.

Aidan O'Mahony

“They’ve found the knack of winning when they need too as well and that’s a great sign of a team. He’ll know it’s a big game for them coming down to Killarney, but they’ll feel that they’ve got nothing to fear.”

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Mayo recorded two wins over Peter Keane’s side during the Allianz League, beating them on a scoreline of 3-11 to 2-10 with goals from Diarmuid O’Connor, Matthew Ruane and Ciaran Treacy.

O’Mahony believes that Kerry can use the loss as extra motivation for Sunday’s clash in Fitzgerald Stadium. 

“James Horan had plenty to say about them after the National League final, like that they should have beaten Kerry by 10 points and that’s something as a player that will motivate you. You’ll be saying “that’s what he thinks about us” and anything you can use for motivation you’ll take it.

“James Horan’s comments wouldn’t go up on the dressing room wall, but the Kerry players would be saying “where did he see those 10 points coming from?” It’s a good thing for Kerry to use.

“You are always looking for an angle to get yourself up for a game even more.”

The five-time All Ireland winner believes Kerry can punish Mayo in midfield but warns that their younger players must prove themselves at senior championship level.

O’Mahony maintains that this is a must-win game for Keane and his side.

“Kerry need to die in their boots for the cause and get over the line no matter what. That’s what it means to be a Kerry footballer.

“We spoke about all these minors coming through for Kerry, but this is the game where you make your name. This is where we’ll find out – and quickly on Sunday – who is up to Championship level and who is not.

“Kerry can hurt Mayo in midfield, Aidan O’Shea and the returning David Moran will be a great battle. Moran always seems to raise his game to play Mayo and if we get enough ball into our forwards, they’ll cause Mayo huge problems.

“Obviously, we need Paul Geaney going well and David Clifford will be our go-to player. Stephen O’Brien is having a massive year too. These guys have pace, they’ve football skills and they’ll relish this challenge.

“Going back to the League final, everyone talked about how Mayo bullied Kerry. I hadn’t ever heard that about a Kerry team down through the years and that will stick in the throats of these Kerry lads. They won’t be bullied on Sunday, mark my words. If Kerry’s forwards click on the day, they’ll go to town on Mayo.”

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About Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. She is a former reporter with Sporting Limerick and is a huge fan of the GAA. You can contact her at marisa@punditarena.com or on Twitter