For any new stars debuting on any GAA team you’re instantly on a mission to make a name for yourself the first chance you get. The time you have been dreaming about all your life has finally come to show people what you can do.
2020 was a year like no other but it was a year where we got to witness the start of amazing careers for the new rising stars of Mayo football.
Sit back, take a moment and realise that, as a county, in 2020 we had three young talented footballers nominated for All Stars and Young Footballer of the Year. We also had historic moments like Tommy Conroy becoming the first man in three decades to play for the Mayo senior team from The Neale GAA Club.
When it was first announced that James Horan was bringing in new stars to the senior team I was intrigued but hopeful. I felt these new additions were a much needed boost for James Horan and his team.
If you analyse the current team you have experienced players such as Aidan O’Shea and Cillian O’Connor – who would have thought 10/12 years later they are both being considered as some of the best players ever to wear that green and red jersey? Then think of what the three new lads achieved in one year and consider what they might achieve in the next five or six years.
It makes you excited – if this is the present what will the future bring?
Not being biased but the world of Mayo GAA is just so special and there is an unbreakable bond between players and fans.
The one big downer out of the 2020 season for the trio was not getting the full in-person support from the fans. If you have ever been to any Mayo match you can never replicate the goose bumps from the simple “Mayo, Mayo” chants but I feel when the fans are back it will bring the lads up another whole new level.
With the combined talent all three possess I have no doubt but that the future for Mayo football is bright.
With the recent reports that James Horan is looking into bringing in new younger faces such as Enda Hession, Jack Carney and Aidan Orme, I couldn’t be happier because I can’t be the only one to think that this is a new sense of life that was badly needed for the team.
We have had new players come through the ranks not that long ago – such as Paddy Durcan, Matthew Ruane and Diarmuid O’Connor – and look how far the likes of them have come in only a short matter of time.
In my opinion it’s so important for these young talents to get support from the get-go. With that extra power I believe the young talent present and future will achieve great things.
When you see the new talent coming in at a young age it gives hope to the younger generation of the county. Upcoming players start to think “ Hey, maybe I could do that too.”
As fans nothing will stop us from getting behind our men and women who give their all wearing the green and red jersey, it’s so important to keep it up and assure the young talent that great things will be achieved with hard work and dedication.
It might be a while yet till fans are back in MacHale Park, but I couldn’t be more excited for the day that Tommy, Oisín and Eoghan experience the honour of representing their county with the full support of the amazing Mayo fans at their backs.
When James Horan returned for his second spell as Mayo manager something that was said frequently was that “It’s a new era.” With the new talent coming through the ranks it makes me assured that the present and future of Mayo football is in good hands.
Chloe Lynch is a new voice writing about Mayo GAA on her blog The Girl that Writes about Mayo GAA. Follow her on Twitter @TheGirlThatWri1, on Facebook at Girl That Writes about Mayo GAA and on Instagram @Chloe_Lynch_.