Monday’s almost done with on a week that’s set to be one of increasing excitement, anticipation and, no doubt, nervousness for Mayo fans everywhere. Yes folks, it’s finally a game week with the countdown now well and truly on ahead of our opening League match on Saturday against Down.
One of the by-products of our relegation from the League’s top tier last year is that we’ll get less airtime for this campaign. One of our matches – the Westmeath one – is on Eir Sport but we won’t be getting a look in on RTE or TG4 and there’ll be less attention given to us in the national papers as well.
That’s all as it should be. We didn’t do enough to retain our spot in Division One and it’s now up to us to force our way back up again. In one sense, it’s nice to be out of the limelight for a while, though I can’t imagine – given all they’ve written about us over the last decade – that we’ll be ignored completely over the coming weeks.
There’ll be plenty of match-related coverage, of course, of both the build-up post-game variety, in the locals starting from tomorrow. As it happens, I’m in the west myself at the minute and so tomorrow I’ll be gorging on paper copies of all that’s available locally.
Then coming on Wednesday is our Down preview episode of the Mayo News football podcast. That’ll feature voices from both sides of the fence and will, as always, be worth a listen.
Then – maybe Thursday, perhaps on Friday – we should be getting a team announcement. I think I’ll have to lie down after the excitement of that.
Finally we get to Saturday and not one but two Mayo matches to follow. With stunning synchronicity, the footballers get underway at MacHale Park at the same time as the hurlers get going against Roscommon at Dr Hyde Park, with both games starting at 2pm.
Aren’t game weeks great? It’s so good to have the matches back on again.