A week ’till Sunday

If it has felt like an age since we all last saw the senior county team in action then, well, that’s because it has been.

Since Newbridge it’s been nowhere for us, a void that has lasted over six months. Half a bloody year, in other words.

Much has happened, of course, in the intervening period and so when, a week from now, the Mayo team take the field for the first time in 2019 it’s going to feel in large part like a new beginning. And not just because the lads will be sporting the new jersey for the first time either.

It is, I know, only the FBD, just a bit of pre-season prep ahead of the start of the League in late January. In that sense, how we get on next Sunday against Leitrim up in Carrick is neither here nor there.

Pre-season will, though, be different for us than it’s been of late.  Last year and the year before the established panel members were still on their holliers in early January and so it was only from around the middle of the month onwards that the regulars starting to reappear. This year the whole panel (minus the few out injured and/or recovering from surgery) will be available for selection right off the bat.

With James Horan back in harness, it’s fair to assume that players will be keen to impress, regardless of whether or not it’s just the opening match in the FBD. Supporters, too, will be interested in seeing who gets to wear the shiny new jerseys on Sunday and which players get the opportunity to shine then.

In this regard, there’ll be particular focus on the new and less established faces James decides to deploy. In his first stint in the role, James proved adept both at uncovering new talent as well as developing peripheral players. Lee Keegan, for example, was discarded by John O’Mahony when he trimmed his squad for the 2010 championship. Recalled by James the following year, he soon blossomed to become one of our most important performers.

We’ll only get vague hints, at best, about all this on Sunday. It is just the FBD and you can be sure that management’s focus will already be fixed on the early rounds of the League, even if they’ll be well aware that victory over Leitrim will set up what would be a tasty FBD semi-final away to Galway, a match neither side would be all that keen to lose.

But, of course, we can’t start thinking about a possible January clash with the Tribesmen just yet. First there’s lovely Leitrim and, after this too long football-less lacuna for us, it will be bordering on lovely to see the lads take the field once more. Only a week now ’till Sunday.

25 thoughts on “A week ’till Sunday

  1. Anyone know how many minutes walk from Carrick railway station to Pairc macDiarmada?
    I’ve been there by car but would like to take train

  2. Great to be back in action for the Mayo teams. The A v B game yesterday was interesting. A lot of the tried and tested players coming to the surface again. Newer players struggling to break into that league. Expecting a lot of the same this season. Carrick will be hopping with the crowd next Sunday……

  3. The train station in Carrick is on the Frenchpark Rd a bit out of town with the numbers expected a lot will have a 15 mins walk so it shouldn’t put you off if train times suits.

  4. Really hope a few new faces shine this spring and push onto the panel and team. I believe we need this badly.

  5. Happy New Year Willie Joe.

    Great to be back.

    Anyone know if Aiden O Shea is injured or just unavailable for early season. Seems all the veterns are back in the training from Mayo News pod but Aiden seems to be on his travels

  6. Hope Christmas was good to everyone happy new year to everyone it’s all most time again to get the mayo top back on and hit the road

  7. Happy New Year all. Can’t wait for it to get started — so much hope and big dreams for a long, successful 2019. Like Yew, I’d love to see some youngsters progress to the next level but my first wish is for the injury bug to pass us by completely this year. If the boys can stay healthy………

  8. Roscommon made a profit of nearly 950,000 on house draw. Excellent fundraising by one of the smallest counties in Ireland.

  9. There”s plenty of taxi’s or mini buses to be had about Carrick… it’s only 2-3 minutes by car so at worse you would have to wait for a taxi to come back out having already dropped off someone. Best place to eat is either the bush hotel or cryans. Anyone coming from Dublin by car, the Brandy well in Dromod 10k before Carrick is lovely spot or anyone coming past Boyle the stairs is a great spot. If your looking for a deli counter and a few quick chicken nuggets before dashing in to see the talent on show Kennedy”s petrol station just out the Dublin road has a sit down area. I’m really looking forward to this one.. finally the boys are coming to town.

  10. In all fairness I would be very surprised to see the likes of Aido and Seamie O’ Shea, David Clarke, Andy Moran, Colm Boyle, Keith Higgins, Kevin McLoughlin, Chris Barrett and all other regular first 15 players playing against Leitrim next Sunday ,what are we going to learn from that carrying a panel in or around 47 players.
    If we overcome Leitrim as we should do I expect James will deploy some of the troops via Galway in Tuam Stadium on January 13th to lay down a marker to Kevin Walsh that we mean business this year and if we happen to overcome Galway we face into playing the Rossies for 2 weeks in a row in a Connacht Fbd Final and the 1st round of the National League.

  11. In terms of places to eat in Carrick, I’d add The Oarsman pub. With throw-in at 1.30pm, though, a late breakfast before hitting off might be the better option.

  12. Ger B………AOS not away from base travelling methinks……..I was sitting beside a very lean and fit lookng Aido in Cafe Rua on the Mall only two days ago.

  13. Thanks, MartyK. Goes to prove the point I keep making (and some keep choosing to ignore no matter how many times I repeat it) that unfounded claims about players are not to be posted here. Time for a New Year’s Resolution on this?

  14. martyk – 2 days ago aidan wasn’t available for the David Gavin game because he was away. He also posted that he was in New York. I would imagine the game will be a mix of the old and new.

  15. The Oarsman is top pick for sure Willie Joe, and it’s unusual for a restaurant these days, but they don’t open on a Sunday. The only reason I think they don’t open is that they do very well every other day. You’re probably right though with the late breakfast for the early start on this one.

  16. Time to come out of our long hibernation and get the gear ready for next Sunday in Carrick. It has been a painful six months so really looking forward to getting back in the saddle for another roller-coaster ride. A win against Leitrim gives us an early crack at Galway so the FBD has added importance this year and with Horan back in charge and players eager to impress it makes for a tasty treat early in the new year.
    Happy New Year Willie Joe and same to all the blog fanatics out there!

  17. Regards the bit of grub before or after the match on Sunday, Drumod has two other good spots, Cox’s [once Jimmy’s of Drumod for those with long memories] and the Copper Still. But I’m not sure if any of them will be open for breakfast and the start time of 1.30 is a bit early for lunch. If coming from Dublin or the midlands my bet would be breakfast in Feerick’s in Rathowen, a noted Mayo supporter’s stopping point, about 50 minutes from Carrick. Coming from the Boyle side there is a filling station just entering Carrick before you cross the bridge and a couple of hundred yards past Supervalu/Lidl which has a good deli/sit down area but I forget it’s name. Another point, if you want to get away quickly don’t go into the carpark at Pairc Sean. It can take ages to get out, especially if there is heavy traffic on the main road.

  18. Happy new year all and best wishes for 2019. I believe we can have a good 2019…..despite what Martin inda indo believes. Up mayo

  19. Lunnys is that place with the sit down area Andy D. There is also a KFC and Esquires across from the entrance to pitch.

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