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Is Cillian O'Connor the best footballer Mayo has ever seen?

Former Mayo footballer David Brady seems to think so.

O'Connor has been Mayo's main scoring threat for four years now.
O'Connor has been Mayo's main scoring threat for four years now.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

HE’S PLAYED WITH some of the greats of Mayo football over the years, and seen many more talented players growing up, but David Brady thinks Cillian O’Connor is the best he’s ever seen.

O’Connor was the go-to man in Salthill last Sunday when Mayo needed an accurate boot to kick a point against Galway, and Brady believes everyone is now seeing O’Connor as a marquee forward.

“There was an over reliance on Cillian O’Connor. The whole question was have they got a marquee forward? Now everyone is seeing that he is a marquee forward, I have seen it from day one,” said Brady.

“He carries himself well and he’s a role model on and off the pitch.”

For me he is the best Mayo footballer I have ever seen, I have played with some of the heroes of the past but I see this guy as the ultimate team player and he is in the top two or three players in the country.

The former All-Ireland club winner with Ballina ranks the Ballintubber forward above Ciarán McDonald, the man regarded by many as Mayo’s greatest ever forward.

“No one will say Mayo have not got a top class forward but it’s been a long time coming for them to say it.  They’ve never said it.”

“Even when Conor Mortimer was there, Ciaran McDonald, we had the most stylish, skilful, elegant player you could have in Ciaran, but as a top class forward, (Cillian is) spreading the scores, spreading the ball spreading the work rate.”

David Brady 11/2/2007 Brady has played with some of Mayo's greatest footballer's. Source: Andrew Paton/INPHO

Brady was also pleased to see Mayo dabbling in the ‘dark arts’ of the game, by slowing Galway down in the final minutes last Sunday to close out the victory.

“If Mayo did what they did last Sunday – and I’m not saying whether it’s right or wrong – in the last ten minutes in Croke Park in the All-Ireland semi-final last year they would have made the final. What happens then is up to anyone.”

But you hold on to as many jerseys as you can, pull in as many men and make it as rough and tumble as you can and don’t give the ball away and act the blackguard. It’s good to see Mayo acting the blackguard.

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Brady believes the Mayo team would have sat around at the beginning of this year and discussed such tactics, citing Donegal as another side who previously set out to grind the final few minutes of games out.

Fiontan O Curraoin and Cillian O'Connor Cillian O'Connor and Damien Comer in last night's clash Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“Jim McGuinness and the Donegal boys are on record to say they had a session sitting around on chairs on how to perfect the bad mouthing and the sledging.”

“Mayo would have sat around chairs saying ‘How do we become meaner, how do we become more cuter, how do we slow down a game, or build up a game?’.”

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Eircom yesterday launched their online GAA platform for supporters this summer.

The GAA hub, www.eircom.ie/gaa, will see the introduction of a new feature where fans can record and share their views on players throughout the championship via a new audio social network BOAST

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Donegal successful in their appeal as bans for minor players lifted

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