Why there should be plenty of optimism for Mayo in the coming years

Mike Finnerty on the positives for the county after another final heartbreak

BY Raf Diallo 14:14 Monday 3 October 2016, 14:14 3 Oct 2016

Liam Irwin, Shairoze Akram and Brian Reape celebrate in the dressing room after the All-Ireland under-21 final ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Yet again for Mayo, they have to endure the taste of final heartbreak after a narrow one point defeat to Dublin in the All-Ireland replay.

But what now for the county as they look to bounce back and finally end an All-Ireland drought that has now surpassed the 65-year mark?

Mike Finnerty of Midwest Radio, Sky Sports and the Mayo News joined Newstalk Sports' Oisin Langan on the Rewind podcast to react to the fallout from Saturday's game.

He spoke about some of the positives for Mayo as they look forward to the future quests for Sam, especially when it comes to the supply line from the underage setups. 

"A huge sense of that confidence and positivity going forward comes from the under-21 team in the winning the All-Ireland earlier on this year, following on from their Minor success of 2013. It means that you've got a group of 25-30 young footballers coming through who have won All-Irelands at Minor and under-21 level," he said.

"They will form an even bigger part, I'd imagine, of the senior squad next year. I can see some more players coming through from that under-21 team. You have Brian Reape and Shehroz Akram in the background quite a bit this season for A versus B games. Reape was actually part of the squad. There's also Stephen Coen, Diarmuid O'Connor, Conor Loftus and Michael Hall involved as well. Those are the types of players we're going to see a bit of next Spring." 

Finnerty adds that given the fact that Mayo have established themselves among the Top 3 counties means they are "not going to go away" and has seen an improvement in Mayo's ability to prevent the concessions of goals at key moments in big games. And further forward, he feels a chase will be on to find players.

"In terms of the forward line, there is and there will be a hunt on for what you might call a change-of-pace forward or two - somebody with the pace that can really open up a defence, that can find space. Conor Loftus would spring to mind immediately."

Listen to the full chat on the Rewind podcast:

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