“Mayo can end All-Ireland wait” – Billy Joe Padden

Former Mayo footballer turned broadcaster Billy Joe Padden joined BoyleSports’ Leon Blanche this week on zoom to preview the All-Ireland SFC final between Tyrone and Mayo.

Padden says: “If this is an open game and if Tyrone shows more of what they showed against Kerry where they were that bit more adventurous then that’s a game that Mayo will enjoy playing as it will be a game they are suited to. If you consider the key strengths that Mayo have shown in those big games against Dublin is that middle third, that engine room.”

“The ability to break out of that area and the athleticism with Paddy Durcan, Lee Keegan, Diarmuid O’Connor and Matty Ruane. Players that are quick and cover a lot of ground and create scores. That’s the strength with the Mayo team so if this is a game where the ball is moving quickly with a lot of changes in possession well that will suit Mayo.”

Padden is concerned about Mayo’s full-back line and full-forward line however:

“There are areas of concern and that would be the full-back and full-forward line, when you consider the full-forward line is without Cillian O’Connor. Aidan O’Shea played there the last day but didn’t play well. Tommy Conroy and Ryan O’Donoghue are having good seasons and are very good footballers. They are inexperienced and in some cases they do some of their best work coming from a half-forward position and driving into the full-forward line as opposed to being deep in so they still have a lot to prove.

“Mayo only really have one recognised full-back player in Padraig O’Hora. Lee Keegan would be much more comfortable out the field and Michael Plunkett would love to be playing in the half-back line. If Tyrone can put pressure on the Mayo full-back line well that’s where they will have success. Mayo will be more comfortable if they can push their big runners out the middle of the field.”

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Watch Billy Joe Padden’s full All-Ireland Final Preview Video here.