Parsons to make first Mayo start since 2018
By John Harrington
Tom Parsons will make his first start for Mayo on Sunday since suffering a serious leg injury in the 2018 Connacht quarter-final defeat to Galway.
The midfielder was stretchered off in the game after dislocating his knee, rupturing three of the four ligaments in his knee and tearing the fourth, as well as tearing his calf and hamstring.
Parsons made his return to competitive action in last year’s All-Ireland SFC semi-final defeat to Dublin as a substitute, but Sunday’s Connacht Senior Football League semi-final against Galway will be his first start for a year and a half.
According to Mayo team captain, Diarmuid O’Connor, the manner in which Parsons has fought back from a career threatening injury has been a major source of inspiration for all of his team-mates.
“Ever since the injury happened, Tom has been working to get back,” said O’Connor.
“He's unbelievable, doesn't leave any stone unturned. To be honest, a lot of people would have said he'd never play on a football pitch again for his club, never mind his county.
“The work that fella has put in behind-the-scenes has been unbelievable. He's been training well the last few weeks. It'll be great to see him back on the pitch this weekend.
“There's a lot of leaders in that dressing room and Tom is just one of them. He's a great leader on and off the pitch, just giving advice wherever he can.”
O’Connor himself will also start Sunday’s match in a strong looking Mayo team that’s a mixture of proven stars and up and coming young talents.
Mayo (v Galway): Robert Hennelly; James Stretton, James McCormack, Brendan Harrison; Padraig O’Hora, Michael Plunkett, Patrick Durcan; Tom Parsons, Mikey Murray; Brian Walsh, Conor Loftus, Jordan Flynn; Kevin McLoughlin, Brian Reape, Diarmuid O’Connor.