Boyle praises versatile Mayo star Higgins

Keith Higgins

Colm Boyle has suggested forwards won’t like the fact Keith Higgins has returned to the Mayo defence.

Higgins played most of his football in the half-back line last year but has since moved to his customary corner-back slot, where he’s expected to start against Galway in Castlebar this Sunday.

“Maybe the forwards in the rest of the country might not be too happy that he will be back there. Keith no matter where he plays, half forward or corner back, he’s a fantastic man-marker, a great player to launch an attack. Wherever he plays, he is a fantastic footballer and he’s back corner back at the minute and playing great stuff.”

Having moved from wing to centre back, Boyle appreciates the need to be versatile in the modern game. “You are trying to be a jack of all trades. You are trying to get forward and attack and do your defensive work and get on in breaks.

“Half-back in football nowadays at inter-county level is really a non-stop position. You are really on the go the whole time. It’s tough going at times.”

But Boyle takes plenty of stock from the fact Mayo’s options have increased this year. Gavin Duffy might not see game-time on Sunday but he’s added another dimension to the camp. “He’s come in from being a professional all his life and maybe pointed out one or two things to us that we wouldn’t have even thought of in the past.”

And then there’s the U21s, who have been keeping the likes of Andy Moran and Alan Dillon out of the side. Boyle said: “The beauty for us at the minute is we have a very strong panel whether Andy or Alan or whoever it is who starts. Whether they come off, it is vital whoever comes off the bench, makes an impact for us like the lads did the last day. When we were in trouble in Roscommon, in fairness Andy came on and Alan and they dug us out of trouble.

“We have a couple of young lads who joined the panel this year, coming out of the minor success last year, like Diarmuid O’Connor, Stephen Coen, lads like that who are new to the panel. They have definitely added to our strength in-depth.”


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