A few thoughts on the 2010 draw

I’ve been chasing my tail a bit today and so have had little or no time to set down any considered thoughts about last night’s draw for the 2010 Connacht championship.  Maybe that’s just as well, given that the action won’t get underway for seven months or so and, in any event, what’s done is done.

I think it’s an okay enough draw, given that Sligo in Markievicz Park represent a decent challenge to start things off.  While the Magpies have tended to keep their best performances for the qualifiers, Kevin Walsh has whipped them into a decent enough side and they gave Galway a fair old run for their money in Markievicz Park this year.  However, it was the way that they ran Kerry close down in Tralee in the qualifiers that will have raised hopes in Sligo about where the team is headed and so we can expect them to fancy their chances of giving us a right good rattle when we show up at their place next May.

Whoever wins that one should be well prepared for Galway in the semi-final, with the Tribesmen coming virtually cold into this contest, as the only prep they’ll have had will have been their second jaunt to New York under Joe Kernan’s tutelage. There’s no point in speculating about how we might fare out against Galway – which, if it happens, should attract the first full house to the new model McHale Park – so it’s as well to let that one rest for now.

In what is a seriously lop-sided draw, Roscommon and Leitrim will both fancy their chances of making the final (London might even be entertaining a few fanciful hopes of their own for 2010 with this draw) but with the Rossies scheduled to play Leitrim at home next year, you’d have to think that they’d be favourites to make it through to the final from that side of the draw.

The bottom line for us is that in order to retain the Nestor Cup next summer, we’ll need to beat Sligo, Galway and, most likely, Roscommon in that order.  If we can manage to do that, then we might be better prepared for the rigours of an All-Ireland quarter-final than we were this year.  If we’re not, then we can, I fear, prepare ourselves for a campaign resembling that aimless effort in 2007.  And the weather’ll probably be as bad as it was then too.

9 thoughts on “A few thoughts on the 2010 draw

  1. Willie Joe, it might be an alright draw but basically we have to beat everybody bar Leitrim to win Connacht – and that is as hard a route as you get!! Isn’t it amazing in a province of 5 teams that we never get drawn with Leitrim?

    Anyway before we get underway with a tough league problems such as potential in players like David Kilcullen, James Kilcullen, and Aidan Campbell has to be harnessed. For too long players with potential have been let fall off. Maybe they are the ones that are strong characters. McDonald, Aidan Higgins and O’Neill are too ready examples. Managers, County Boards might not like what they say or do, but they do deliver on the pitch unlike the gutless rubbish we witnessed in Croke Park in August.

  2. We’ve overdue getting paired with Leitrim, alright – the last time we got them was back in 2006 up in Carrick, when we managed to sneak away with a one-point win.

    I think it’s a bit harsh to describe the team’s performance against Meath as “gutless rubbish”. Don’t you mean the ref and his useless officials? So many things went against us that day, it just wasn’t funny. Sure, the way we failed to compete in the last ten minutes was shocking but there were, I think, mitigating circumstances on the day, not least the injuries to Killer and AOS in the second half when we were still on top. I could be wrong but I’d still be reasonably hopeful (if AOS is still around, which, next year at least, I think he will) that this bunch of players are capable of giving a far better account of themselves than they did that day.

  3. I don’t agree with that wj even with all the bad luck we had we should still have won it but the lads weren’t up to it – I think gutless rubbish is a great description of what we saw that day

  4. I agree completely that we should have won that game and that, in the last 15 minutes, we weren’t up to it when all the hard questions were being asked of us. But that doesn’t justify calling our players and/or their performance that day “gutless rubbish” – that’s a way over the top and utterly invalid accusation to level at them.

  5. Sorry Willie Joe but its way past time to let those players know that they are simply not up to the job. Whether its fair to call them “gutless” or whatever is really irrelevant. Put another way, they lack the necessary steel and bit of “bad” to go that extra mile. Meath are a team in genuine transition littered with internal problems and they beat us handy enough because we croaked when the “rocks” were squeezed. At the end of the day they found Roscommon as big a challenge to them as us, in the previous round. Connacht is fast turning into a wasteland, three semi final appearences since 2001 proves that, so if we are unable to beat Sligo, Galway, Ros/Leitrim then we dont deserve anything. No one in Connacht scares the big hitters, the game has moved on, forget about Sligos almost giant killing of Kerry, a poor Donegal and Meath put out the big lights of the West and in turn were easily dealt with themselves. When the Italian team of 1966 returned from the World cup after being humiliated by North Korea they were pelted with tomatoes, two final wins and two final loss since then proved the lesson was heeded. Time we stopped pandering to guys that simply cannot cut the mustard.

  6. WJ my words were possibly too harsh but and there is no need for civil war here. However we have readily accepted second best for too long. If that continues we will remain also rans. There is talent there to harness. But strong leadership and the full backing of a county board are needed if it is not to be wasted

  7. we are definitely as fans responsible for building our teams up too much , the county goes buck ape every time we make a final , i hear what eriad is saying in the sense that we accept second best and i would go as far as to say that we accept everything we get in the green and red jersey , we big up our team far too much in my opinion.

    and next year we will do it all over again !!

  8. Guys, honestly we are a bit of a joke at this stage going up to croker with high expectations every year I go to all mayo championship games all home league games and as many club games as possible and what I see is that the players are gutless I honestly believe it wasn’t meath that beat them but the fear of playing kerry – but thats just my opinion and I do think we needed a change of manager this year

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