So it’s back on the proverbial horse for us again tomorrow, with our first real competitive match of the year in the form of an NFL Division One clash with Kildare at St. Conleth’s Park in Newbridge (throw-in 2pm). It’s always great when the football starts up in earnest again, carrying the promise at it always does of another summer drawing closer. Mind you, there’ll be more than a few opportunities to get half-frozen to death on the terraces in the meantime but that’s part of the fun too, isn’t it?
The start of February also means that it’s another online birthday here on the site, which today has reached the ripe old age of seven. It’s been an interesting journey in terms of the highs and lows the county (not to mention the country – but that’s another issue altogether) has gone through in the footballing stakes since then but, hey, we’re still alive and we’re competing strongly right at the top level so we could have plenty more to complain about.
We get a bit of coverage in the papers today ahead of the League’s start tomorrow. Keith Duggan does a piece of House of Pain analysis in the Irish Times, where he lays out the argument that overly timorous support from the stands may have been a factor in last September’s loss. Maybe it was but, to be honest, I’m all done with the post-match collective self-flagellation stuff at this stage. I’m far more interested now in focusing on matches facing us in the future rather than keening in the corner about ones we lost in the past.
Martin Breheny, meanwhile, does his usual colour-by-numbers routine in the Indo, where he reckons that our need to win the league this year is greater than any of our rivals. This is complete bullshit, of course – a mid-table finish in April following a campaign where we’ve unearthed three or four lads who are capable of taking a first fifteen jersey come summer would, in my view, satisfy our needs just as well. I can see where he’s coming from when he says that we could do with winning a national final but trotting out stats referencing what teams such Galway’s hurlers did in the Eighties is just nonsense.
The Irish Examiner has a piece by John Fogarty about Elverys going into receivership and whether or not this will have any impact on our sponsorship deal with them. County Board PRO Aiden McLoughlin states in the piece that they’re “100% sure” that our sponsorship deal won’t be affected by this development but this is, I reckon, one to keep an eye on all the same.
That’s all for now – weather permitting, I’m off to Croke Park later on (my thanks to Mayo Mick, by the way, for the freebie tickets for this evening) and I’m looking forward to seeing the lads take the field at Newbridge tomorrow. Will we do it? Not if the poll on the site (which I’ve just taken down) is to be believed – where 51% of you went for a Kildare win, 40% went for us and 9% plumped for the draw – but seeing as the outcome of similar polls for matches over the previous two weekends turned out to be wildly off the mark, I’m not unduly concerned on that score. Up Mayo!