2024 All Ireland Senior Football Championship

Who will retire you reckon?

They lost by a point too. Usually with other great teams they lose fairly heavily in the end

Dublin’s 3 defeats in 10 years have been AET 2021, last kick of the game 2022 and by one point on Saturday when they’d a kick to level the match from 35 metres with the last play.

McCarthy barely played this year so might be tempted to go again. Fitzsimons is officer class and is part of the Jack McCaffrey motion to Congress so looks like he’s thinking of hanging on. Cluxton is so odd he might hang on till he’s 50 but even if he does go, O’Hanlon/Comerford can step in.

Outside of those three i dont see anyone else walking away and they’ll still be the team to beat again next year. They are guaranteed to be in the last 8 at least.

Cluxton, mick fitz, mc carthy, mc caffrey, mannion will all go i reckon.

Serious rumors from those in the know about Fenton

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Is wolly in the know, he’s been saying it all year. Fenton is irreplaceable

Did he say that? Interesting that he’s heard it too

Fenton has no worlds left to conquer

And rumor has it he is keen to leave the country to avoid some unwelcome attention he’s been receiving of late


I’d say a few will wait until they see who replaces Dessie, if he walks and make a decision based on that. If they get someone on par with Dessie, or worse…I’d say most of the old guard will walk.

You’d imagine the likes of Fenton, kilkenny, Co, etc are mad to spend a year in Oz or dubai just to get off the inter County treadmill.
Could revitalise them when they come back.

Kilkenny tried Australia before didn’t get on too well

By God, where did @Bandage say that?

The telegram group. The Prawn told me.

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They’re not even giving it their all at the yerrah anymore


Kerry 0-17 Armagh 0-15

Down 2-14 Laois 1-15 in the curtain raiser.

The Donegal v Galway game is a much more challenging game to predict. Galway have the more talented set of players and showed shades of developing into a Mayo 2012-2017 style outfit with their defiant second-half performance. Scores coming from all kinds of unlikely sources with no real dependence on any one player. It’s a cliche about the game needing a strong “insert county here”. But I’ve always felt the championship was illuminated far more with a strong Galway in the mix. Possibly linked to PJ’s clinic in the 2001 final being one of my earliest and formative football memories.

I’d be wary of the fact that Jim is a significantly superior coach to PJ and that could prove pivotal in Donegal’s favour. But their defeat to Cork in the resplendent Páirc Úi Rinn hints at a slight vulnerability. They can’t be that good if they lost to Cork type assessment. I’m going to hesitantly predict a Galway victory 1-13 to 0-15 but I have a bad feeling it’s going to be a Kerry v Donegal final in a repeat of 2014. A Galway v Armagh final would really crank up that evolving rivalry.


Just looking at the teams named this morning, donegals backs and midfield seems significantly stronger than their forwards. Actually most of their scores against louth came from the likes of mogán, Moore and McHugh running from deep.
Galway look to have a better balanced team, but like you said McGuinness could pull anything out of the hat.

No Cian Hernon alright. Injury rumour must be true.

What state is Kelly?

I don’t think he’ll start the game anyway.

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Is Welsh ok?

Tommy Martin: Free spirits Galway and Donegal have too much in common for beef

Donegal people speak with Ulster accents but there’s always been as much Connacht in them.

Tommy Martin: Free spirits Galway and Donegal have too much in common for beef

KINDRED SPIRITS: Galway’s Johnny Heaney shakes hands after the game with Stephen McMenamin of Donegal after last year’s league clash. Picture: Ben Brady, Inpho

THU, 11 JUL, 2024 - 07:25

VMTV Tommy Martin 4.jpg

Tommy Martin

“I might send him a cheeky text tonight,” said Jim McGuinness, setting the friendliest of tones ahead of an All-Ireland football semi-final. “If we couldn’t win it, I’d be delighted for Padraic to win it.”

The Donegal boss was talking about Galway manager Pádraic Joyce, his friend and former team-mate from college days with Tralee IT.

Of course, McGuinness will have spent the intervening fortnight planning the total destruction of Joyce and everything he stands for. And Joyce likewise. Nothing personal, just business.

But there’s something fitting ahead of this one about the two managers being longstanding chums. There’s no beef between Donegal and Galway.

It’s not like the bitter trench warfare of Ulster Championship rivalries or the perpetual fluctuations of Connacht bragging rights. They tend to hang out in different circles, bumping into each other in the league and in the odd championship encounter but don’t spend enough time together to develop a decent mutual loathing.

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More than that though, Donegal and Galway have too much in common for this not to be a good natured sort of a do. They are West Coast cousins, different shades of the same genetic palate. Both sweep geographically right to left from rolling arable east to ravishing western seaboard.

The native tongue runs free across the rugged Gaeltacht regions of both counties, inspiring an independence of spirit. Someone from Gaoth Dobhair can have more in common with someone from An Cheathrú Rua than they have with someone from Letterkenny.

Donegal people speak with Ulster accents but there’s always been as much Connacht in them. Many in Donegal relate more to the doomed
romanticism of the smaller province than the square-shouldered dourness of their northern neighbours.

They are the outsiders and the contrarians. They call themselves the Cinderella County — the beautiful girl in rags who would be queen.



For some reason, a lot of Donegal kids used to be sent to boarding school at St Jarlath’s in Tuam, the great football academy.

Generations of windswept Donegal types have also been attracted to Galway for their third-level studies, eschewing the pragmatic mainstream of Dublin, seeing in the artsy dissolution of the City of the Tribes a more authentic way to find themselves than in the distant metropolis.

Alighting from Feda O’Donnell’s bus in Eyre Square, the city scoops them up into its bosom like some great hippy aunt, feeding them culture and craic and plenty of drink. No visit to Galway is complete for a Donegal person without observing an old school friend, now with dreadlocks and Palestinian keffeyeh, bashing away at a bodhran in some pub, a loyal mongrel snoozing on a rope at his feet.

It is also the degree to which both counties indulge their shared romantic sides that defines their Gaelic football fortunes, both like footballing versions of the Galway undergraduate struggling to figure when its time to study and when its time to party.

For Galway, the death of John O’Mahony last weekend has provided another chance to reflect on when they were kings back in 1998 and 2001.

O’Mahony played his part in nudging the game into modernity, harnessing the talents of Joyce, Michael Donnellan, Ja Fallon and others with a highly professional set-up. But those teams are remembered as supreme stylists, great prelapsarian champions of a game fallen into disrepute.

Ever since, Galway have wrestled with how to take the native swagger of their footballers into the modern age, at first dabbling half-heartedly with defensive systems then abandoning them when the howls of local protest became too loud, then under Kevin Walsh’s stewardship installing the steel-strutted structures required to compete at the highest level.

The thinking was that Joyce, cultured but supremely competitive, might get the balance just right. The win over Dublin suggests it may finally be their time after five seasons of hard lessons, with the virtuoso Shane Walsh the heir to that long poetic lineage.

McGuinness has been there and done that, of course. In fact, the Donegal manager is a one-man parable when it comes to taming the romantic spirit, the long-haired wildman of his youth finding meaning in the face of personal tragedy through self-improvement, focus, discipline, purpose.

McGuinness turned his own life story into a map for the footballing fortunes of his home county, giving the gifted wastrels of repute a short back and sides and showing them what they could achieve if they committed their lives to some greater cause. They would not have won their
All-Ireland in 2012 if they had not been allowed to flex the artistry that always resides within the county’s best footballers, and yet McGuinness’s success was to some degree in forcing his team to turn away from their individualistic, hard-partying Donegal selves.

When McGuinness was filmed helping out Joyce at a Galway training session in 2020 it raised the tantalising prospect of Galway’s native talent being sharpened by the same hard stone, but it was his own county, three years later, to which he would eventually return.

The medicine has gone down just as quick second time around, with the bedraggled squad of 2023 suffused with belief and energy.

Like his first Donegal team, this one follows the plan to the letter and it may be that the plan for this year was to get promoted to Division 1, win Ulster and reach an All-Ireland semi-final. That might make this Sunday a step too far.

Galway are tougher and more weather-beaten but ironically it is the old-school flair and swagger of their forwards that a Donegal side lacking in man markers might find too much.

If that’s how it turns out, it wouldn’t be the worst one for Donegal folk to take.

The other crowd also know all about sideways Atlantic rain, wild sessions in low-lit pubs, signposts in impenetrable Gaeilge pointing the wrong way, turf-cutting, messing, bored sheep looking back at you through barbed wire fences, the death notices on Raidió na Gaeltachta, poets and artists and general chancers and the joys of a
stylish corner forward dropping the shoulder.

If we couldn’t win it, they might say, you’d be delighted if they did.