A bit of reading

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It’s funny how, after the long lay-off, we all got quickly into the game-a-week rhythm. But this weekend there’s no Mayo match on – what are we going to do with ourselves at all?

Nothing for it but to do a trawl online for stuff that’s relates to us or that’s relevant from our perspective. Here are a few bits and pieces in this regard.

On the RTÉ website yesterday, there was a feature piece by Declan Whooley with James Horan (here), which covered far more ground than what was flagged in the headline.

That issue – restricting counties from taking any players apart from the match-day panel to their matches – is, rightly, a hot-button one for competing counties and it’s understandable for James to beat the drum on it. Without having to name any obvious names, it would for sure be outrageous if some of the finest players to wear the Green and Red over the past decade have to watch the game on Sunday week at home on TV like the rest of us.

I thought, though, that what the manager had to say about Aidan O’Shea was more interesting. As James pointed out – referencing what Declan Bonner had said last week about Michael Murphy – Aidan takes huge punishment in games and gets little or no protection from referees. Unlike Murphy, he doesn’t dish it out either and, as James said, the big man’s discipline is “unbelievable.” It’d be good if, once in a while, refs did something about the treatment he gets but I wouldn’t be holding my breath on that.

Also on the RTÉ website, there’s another Declan Whooley piece featuring more James Horan quotes – that’s here. This piece also includes quotes from Stephen Coen and it takes the interesting angle of considering how the team is performing in the absence of the massive Mayo support. Could it be that they’re doing better without us lot caterwauling at them from the stands? One to think about at least.

Other pieces of interest from the Mayo News, which have featured either directly or indirectly in recent chats on the podcast, are Billy Joe Padden’s analysis on what we need to do to get the better of Tipperary (here) and Mike Finnerty’s interview with Connacht GAA secretary John Prenty, which covered the financial impact of playing matches behind closed doors – that’s here.

Another impact from Covid is a changed National League format next year, which looks set to start in late February and comprise a minimum of three games in smaller groups based in reasonably close geographical clusters.

John Fogarty has a piece in the Irish Examiner (here) on that issue, in which he sketches out what the 2021 groupings might look like. In one, with Division Two split in two, we could be in a ‘North’ section along with Down, Meath and Westmeath.

But, apparently, consideration is also being given to combining the top two divisions when creating these smaller groupings. That scenario is also sketched out in the piece, with us in a ‘West’ section along with Donegal, Roscommon and Westmeath. This would mean – a bit like Bobby Ewing emerging from the shower (ask your parents, kids) – that our recent relegation from the top tier wouldn’t really have happened at all.

These Covid days really are strange ones.

Finally, another plug for the podcast, in which we’re running The Road to Croker series in the lead-in to Sunday week’s All-Ireland semi-final. Michael Foley of the Sunday Times, who is also the driving force behind the superb podcast series The Bloodied Field, is the special guest in the latest episode. We’ll have another episode in the series online tomorrow so stay tuned for that.

10 thoughts on “A bit of reading

  1. What’s impressed me most about Mayo’s performances in the championship this year has been the intent that they’ve started each match with versus the past few seasons. We nearly had to let ourselves be nearly 6ft under before we woke up.

    Instead we’re now getting ahead and staying ahead. Let us be chased. V Galway, wind or no wind we were 8/5 up, Galway had to chase which leaves opportunities to absord the pressure and use our new found pace and mobility prowess to succeed.

    Re Tipp, on a wide open pitch it will suit us too. We’ve the experience to win and are a better balanced team. Suffocate Quinlivan ( Durcan) Sweeney (Barret / Keegan) and their match winners are nullified.

    It would be great to be there but the pressure is off Indirectly without fans being there.

    Fully togged in front of the TV it is.

  2. Delighted that the treatment of AOS is finally been pointed out. I cannot ever remember it being pointed out before which is a big miss by us

  3. Snow storm expected next week end. Could throw a spanner in the works. The joys of winter football

  4. Very interesting stuff there WJ – RTE website are certainly earning their corn.

    From the same source I see that Sligo have appointed Tony McEntee as manager, with Joe Keane, another of Rochy’s backroom team as his assistant. That’s a damn good appointment and should have reverberations in Connaught in the years to come.

  5. Sounds straight out of Hollywood, Mayo win the all-Ireland and nobody turns up. The Dubs singing, it’ll be lonely this Christmas without Sam to hold. Green and Red Christmas anyone

  6. Thanks WJ for your dedication to our passion…it’s simply amazing what you can resurrect to just add fuel to our insatiable appetites!
    You know what, as I look more and more at this Tipp team I feel we are ripe for the ambush. I always say that the team with the passion and the desire to win will win a close game. This is set up for them. They are surely not content to win a Munster title after all these years and go off into the sunset. They are eyeing the bigger one and we really must be on full guard to prevent this from happening. I expect they will be high on passion and self-confidence, something they never lack anyways. They will see Mayo as a beatable team and especially as we are in transition. They don’t have the distraction of hurling so they can give it 100% and I am just a little more than anxious about this game. I suppose, truth be spoken, neither us nor them have a chance in hell really against the blue juggernaut but the opportunity to play in a final, 100 years after the Bloody Sunday final will be enough to ensure a battle for us. be prepared to see two teams at full tilt and Mayo the best team win…well, may they be Mayo!!
    Míle buíochas agus Maigheo go deo!!

  7. Regarding the impact of the absence of our supporters reminded me of hearing a so called supporter at a qualifier a couple of years ago roaring at a particular Mayo forward every time he got the ball Don’t Shoot !!
    Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the lad’s talent !

  8. I see the knives are out for Peter Keane in Kerry. Glad to see it’s someone else making headlines for the wrong reason for a change!

  9. Quite frankly I don’t blame them , it was a crime against Gaelic football the way he set up a team as talented as kerry for the game against cork .

  10. Niall
    What were they saying? It wasn’t Keane that kicked those terrible junior d style wides that night in cork. I see Dublin have the red card overturned. No High court judge at 3am needed this time which was really great.

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