We had a long day of travelling all day yesterday, sampling the delights of transiting through a chock-full – or, as Jeremy Corbyn might say, “ram-packed” – London Gatwick in the process. Bloody hell but the world is full of people.

It was gone dark last night when we eventually made it safely back into the jurisdiction. Good timing too as it appears it’s back to school for at least some of the kids for a bit of the day tomorrow.

When we’re still in the championship at back-to-school time, though, you have to conclude things are good. Not the school bit, the championship bit. Not the summer ending bit, the crack at Sam bit.

I’m happy to be back home, I have to admit, but when I find the bugger who turned the heating off he’s in for a stern talking to.

50 thoughts on “Back

  1. Welcome back WJ, the build up can start in earnest!

    I see the Kerry media Mafia is hard at this week talking up Kerry, how they’ll really take the game to the dubs and they won’t lose again to them. Liston, Daragh O’Se, O’Keefe & Quirke all have similar themes. I swear they must have a weekly meeting to decide what tone to set. Tomas ‘Se will be the same on Saturday. To me it reeks of fear, this is last chance saloon for a lot of these Kerry lads.
    Interestingly Daragh backs them to beat the dubs and also to win the AI at 4:1.

  2. Puckout, I am 100% convinced that their is a whatsapp group containing Liston, Quirke, the 2 O’Shea’s, Spillane and Eamon Fitzmaurice where they all agree on the party line for the week.

    I remember at the start of the year they all tipped Mayo as the only team who could challenge the Dubs, I couldnt understand this but it was clearly a ploy to take all the pressure off Kerry.

  3. Pretty much each one of them is basing their view on sentimentality and intangibles, Puckout . I still have yet to see a coherent argument put forward based on hard cold analysis, match ups and current form as to how Kerry can actually put it up to this Dublin team

    The fact is that on form Dublin are the clear winners, so those from Kerry have to cling on to intangibles like hype, desire, radars and so on to put forward their case

  4. Welcome back WJ and again many thanks for all of the effort you put in, we’d be lost without you….

    For me I just want to see these Mayo players walking up those steps for themselves. It would be a travesty if players like Keith Higgins, Andy Moran, Alan Dillon, Colm Boyle, the O’Sheas, Lee Keegan, David Clarke, Jason Doc etc. etc. didn’t have their day in the Sun like players from Dublin, Kerry, Donegal and Cork have had in the past few years. I’m sure we’d all be well able to look after ourselves if we win! Roll on the All-Ireland final.

  5. And who let Liston back out of the woodwork?

    Last I heard from him he repeatedly stated we had “no marquee forward” in 2013, and then in 2014 we were “over-reliant” on Cillian O’Connor. You couldn’t make it up, the lad hasn’t a clue about the modern game. I wish they’d keep it to modern players, who actually have first-hand experience playing in this more professional era, where tactics and strategies are a million times more advanced than the 70s/80s.

    BJ Padden for example is one of the better pundits around, he always provides superb insight into the modern day inter-county scene and doesn’t regurgitate laughable cliches to provide the basis of his analysis

  6. WJ….If you find the fecker who turned off the heat give him one for me, he has left the shower running here this last three months! Raining again today here in Mayo!

  7. behindenemylines you have me laughing out loud with the whatsapp group,
    is the narrative now that the dubs will be frightened of the big bad kerry men or is it more to rally their own troops ?

  8. Welcome back WJ. Glad you enjoyed the break.

    I am a bit unsure what to do on the hype front. If we don’t does it show we have doubts? If we do, then we are open to the keyboard warriors. What would the players and management want us to do?

    Looking forward to the game already, regardless of the opposition. Roll on the 18th. WE BELIEVE!!!!

  9. The more I consider it the more I think Kerry could win on Sunday. How long before Dublin have a loss of appetite? And don’t say never or not this weekend, every empire in the history of the planet has fallen when everyone. The Kerry team and management have been planning for this semi all year long because they knew they would be in it, the ” hunger” word is such a nauseating cliche but it’s the only word that can describe what Dublin may be missing this Sunday when the big moment comes and they are asked the tough questions by Kerry.

    Welcome home Willie Joe, back just in time for a dropeen of rain.

  10. Would the possibility of the 2-in-a-row not be enough to provide Dublin with a huge amount of hunger though? It’d truly cement their status amongst the great teams. They walked the league and have breezed through to the semis. A far cry from their 2012 selves for example

    I honestly can’t see anything but a handy Dublin win. I am happy to be challenged but honestly looking at it objectively, on form/match ups/stats do people really fancy Kerry or is it just a bit of wishful thinking?

    They’d need absolutely everything to go right for them. There’s huge odds on offer though for those that do believe

    I honestly don’t think Kerry have been much more than average by their standards since their last real push in 2011. They pretty much won 2014 by accident, had more luck than humanely possible against ourselves and avoided the real juggernaut Dublin in the final. This ain’t the noughties side who could rock up to Croker with top class talent all in their prime. This is a team of geriatrics and unprovens. They were outclassed in the final quite comprehensively last year and to be honest if Tyrone were really any use in the semi they would have done them. They might well have if they were awarded a stone wall penalty in the latter stages

  11. Welcome back WJ…sure a bit like Mayo the summer never really got going…..still standing though….let’s all hope for a rich Autumn harvest.

  12. On talent and form Dublin are the best team and are hard to beat without some luck. Mayo are a close second. I hope Kerry beat them. Dublin will not be as motivated as they would be in the final. With two top class players dropping out I’m not sure they are as driven as Kerry or Mayo as a team. With good preparation, tactics, drive and experience I think Mayo can beat Kerry. Still I think it will be Dublin for the final.

  13. They had an article in yesterdays Examiner about the career of Mark O Se. Impressive indeed. They went through all of his games. I looked at the results of the matches in 2009 when Kerry won the AI via the back door. I did laugh to myself when I reviewed the results for here. Despite a big win over Dublin that year they struggled to beat heavy weights like Antrim, Longford, Meath and Sligo. So for Spillane to be criticising this Mayo Team is a laughable, saying they fell over the line. In each games its about setting up to get the desired result. Kerry adopted that in 09 and it worked. We it seems have played similar too this year, yet we do not get the credit we deserve. I guess Mayo players will never get the credit until they we land the big one and no need for plaudits in August.

    I can see Kerry beat Dublin on Sunday!! How does everyone feel about the emotional baggage this will be bring meeting them once again ina final

  14. Welcome back WJ. I hope you and yours had a great time. Just a reminder that all leave in September has been cancelled. Kerry have had a full year to prepare for this one. They have been preparing to win the AI. This game has been billed since last September. If this were Mayo we would be confident of success. They are strong at midfield and up front. They need to win the last 20 minutes.

  15. Why are we so sensitive about people who criticise Mayo or who say we will not win the All Ireland. “Such and such a guy, the b###ix said we would not win or are lucky”. It’s childish and embarrassing to be honest. They are entitled to their opinion. It is up to Mayo to prove them wrong.
    I have feeling Kerry might do Dublin on Sunday. It’s not a done deal as many people are suggesting. I don’t Dublin are a strong as 2015 and Kerry will be hugely motivated for it.

  16. Can’t understand how all the Kerry pundits are tipping themselves to win? Does that not go completely against there alleged “cute hoorism”?.

    I fancied Kerry from a long way off for this one, and still think they will sneak it. I don’t know which team id prefer in the final, but one thing I do know, if its Kerry, we won’t be blitzed in the last 10mins ala last years replay because they simply don’t have Dublins power and gas.

    Think the players would be more up for it (if thats possible) to right the wrong of Limerick. Remember, bar Dillon and Moran, none of these players have been hammered by Kerry…2011 was a damp squib and we were in our first year of this crusade.

    To sum it up, I think we have better chance of crossing the line against an ageing Kerry in a neutral venue, as opposed to a powerful, in they’re prime Dublin in their home pitch.

  17. I’ve always considered the “Hunger” argument to be simply weak analysis.

    Kerry have 37 All-Irelands, and the weight of the current panel’s Celtic Crosses would sink the Titanic. How can hunger be a factor here?

    If Hunger was an important factor, Mayo would have at least 2 all Irelands from the last 5 years.

    Dublin have put in the hard work when it mattered. This wasn’t hunger.

    Hunger is overstated. It’s Focus that matters.

    The old saying goes “If you don’t know who’s going to win Sam this year, then Kerry are going to win it”. Why? Because historically, they are the most focused.

    Mayo’s lack of focus cost them the Galway game. It cost them in the 2013 final (the sideline completely lost focus).

    Dublin are maybe slightly a better team than Mayo or Kerry, but have a much better results portfolio from the last five years. It’s not rocket science as to what sets them apart of late. They weren’t hungry in Castlebar last Feb, they were more focused, and dug deeper to grind out a narrow win on an awful evening.

    If Kerry win on Sunday, it will be due in no small part to having targeted this game for almost a full year. This is the focus they bring to what they do.

    Pressure is for tyres.
    Hunger is for Caterpillars.
    Focus is for winners.

  18. Welcome back, Willie Joe hope you had a great time. Just a few taughts relating to the upcoming All Ireland , tickets and so on! Don’t know if this Mayo Gaa Blog, could be seen as a vehicle for lobbying, or gauging the mood within the county. But the facts are that county board did cancel the club championship matches for all clubs with Mayo players. Most posters here were of the a opinion that very thing should happen… Now is as good a time to talk about All Ireland tickets as any!.. Tickets for the big sporting occasions are very much in the news both in Ireland and internationally, for the wrong reasons, that’s very likely to remain the case, as long as Pat Hickey remains in a high security prison in Rio. This Sunday coming, no doubt, ticket touts will make another killing on the backs of the genuine GAA supporters. The GAA supporters that go to the virtually all the matches are the most likely to be burnt on these occasions. When the All Ireland comes around, I’ll wager we will see tickets for sale on the various media platforms at grossly inflated prices. Every year we will hear about how the GAA can and maybe will cancel any ticket bought on the black market. If fact the GAA have recently done just that, made another statement, alluding to what they might do and the steps they are talking to stop the ticket touts. There is a legislation in Ireland banning above face value selling of tickets for sporting events, concerts and so on. or is there legislation? … But, I still have a question for all reading my post! Can any of ye remember any All Ireland ticket ever been actually cancelled?. Can any of you remember any ticket touts ever being prosecuted.?.. On big match days at Croke Park, there are always loads of Gardai to be seen, directing traffic, crowd control and so on. But you will see Ticket Touts plying their trade openly. Next Sunday it will be the same!.. I can remember 2004 All Ireland final very well, I eventually got a ticket, my brother managed to get it for me actually, it was as high in the corner of the Hogan/Canal as you could get. Most Mayo supporters that got tickets were in the corners, 2006,the same, 2012,and 2013 the same. Now why is that,? Mayo supporters are without doubt the best supporters in the country. Especially when you consider the heart ache we have endured down the years. I think it’s only fair to demand parity of esteem for Mayo’s loyal supporters that regularly attend Mayo match’s the when we actually get tickets as to the quality of tickets we get, all tickets are not the same. If you were selling an All Ireland ticket on some digital platform, close to the time of an All Ireland final day. You certainly would get allot more money for one right in the middle of the Cusack say 305,306, were you to sell it,. Imagine this seneraios, some wealthy business man flys home from the States, he doesn’t have a ticket, and he’s willing to pay way above the odds, do you have think he’ll give you the same for a ticket in the corner, not a pchance… Dublin has approximately 10″times the population, get to play every championship match in Croke Park, for the last, 10 year’s except for one this year, and that occasion Laois had to be play in the Nolan Park, if Laois got home advantage sure wouldn’t that be awful despite the fact that O Moore Park being equally as good as Nolan Park.. . The point I’m making is that things are not fair, the people administering our great sporting body, the GAA don’t seem to interested in fairness. I know corruption exists in society and I am not accusing any one of the same. But things don’t look right to me,. I seen first hand on a rainy windy Saturday evening in Castlebar last June, Beside me, Season ticket holders who were in early and had the best seats taken as they were entitled to do, being asked to move to accommodate people who were considered more important, an elite who don’t attend too many matches but they will no doubt be accommodated in the best seats on All Ireland day again… I actually have a season ticket and have attended well above the required 60%””to qualify for an All Ireland ticket, so I should get a ticket,. But Mayo season ticket holders should have at least very good quality tickets, some one gets them.. and I can’t think of any one better to get them other than the people who were at the Galway, Fermanagh, Kildare, Westmeath, Tyrone and Tipperary matches.

  19. Leantimes – tickets are already on sale with the cheapest €450 on Premium sites who also had tickets on the same sites for the last number of years.

  20. Interesting post on tickets.

    GAA County Board actually “tout” tickets themselves. We will hear talk of fundraising lunches/dinners. Buy a table for crazy money and it includes a set of tickets. Hopefully there is transparency in Mayo.

    I presume Cairde Maigheo ticketholders will get a bonus ticket option again?

  21. @Leantimes
    Aren’t you pretty much describing the season ticket? Surely anyone who goes to all the FBD, National League and Championship has a season ticket if they’re not involved with a club. The GAA gets plenty wrong and god knows I harp on about it, but the season tickets are a huge success. I really don’t buy this old chestnut “he never misses a game” that’s rolled out around All Ireland time. Three options these days.
    1. Buy a Cairde
    2. Get a season ticket (I’m aware they’re sold out, join the waiting list)
    3. Join a club.

  22. I for one would hate to see a Kerry-Dublin love-in match like the 2013 Semi and all the gushing that went on after that. Kerry ended up losing that day by 7 points I think. However after we lost to Dublin in the final by 1, there was still the shite that Dublin-Kerry was the ‘real’ final. Read somewhere this week (couldn’t believe it actually true) was that before 2011, Dublin had actually only ever beaten Kerry in the championship once (maybe it was finals), but that is hardly the classic rivalry that the media love to make out.

    What I want on Sunday is it to be pissing rain, full of bitterness and tension, dirty, fights breaking out en-mass, sending offs and a low scoring match, probably won by Kerry against the run of play with a poxy goal. Eitherway, I can’t but see Sunday being a dogfight as Kerry will plan to stop Dublin playing. Fcuk ‘em, we want all the advantages we can get.

    Life is all about timing and taking the opportunity when time presents it. That’s what has happened us so far this year. There will be an opportunity presented to us by time on 18th September I’m convinced. It’s up to us to take it.

    How many times has it been said that Kerry won a ‘soft’ all Ireland? I never buy that, they were presented an opportunity and they knew how to take it. Hate the crap that if we had beaten Kerry in 2014 semi that we would have beaten Donegal in the final just because we had hammered them the year before. I’m sure we wouldn’t have because we would have approached things the very same way as we have done in finals before and fell flat. In recent times, the only All Ireland we really missed out on was 2013 V Dublin because we were as good as them that day, we just couldn’t drive home our dominance and gifted them a soft goal when they were out of it.

  23. There’s a Kerry contingent at work and I’ve heard whispers that they view Sunday as the All-Ireland. To be fair, it’s not something I’ve heard repeated by the Dubs.

  24. Good post Jaden.

    There is nothing to suggest that for us this year will be any different, unless the minds and bodies are there on the day and the concentration remains.

    Also have a feeling Kerry will ambush the Dubs on Sunday; they were “no great shakes” in 2014 and look how that turned out. Dublin are well beatable. That said, I wouldn’t question their motivation either. Back to back Sams is a huge driver for that team and they will have no interest in letting Kerry interfere with that objective.

    I’d take either of them in a final, but to beat Kerry would be particularly sweet.

  25. Welcome back Willie Joe. Heating off, few extra Euros in yer pocket. Could be worse the immersion could have been left on.
    Big efforts all around, Im off the beer and atein right since Tuesday. Doubled the clarendo rations to the hens. Let the cattle into the second cut. No logical reason for the last two just this four week window wanted to maximise the lot.

  26. In fairness to Eoin Liston he was one of the few pundits to back us against Tyrone….as indeed did most of the Kerry posts.

    You’d wonder is there any credibility to the story doing the rounds that Brian Sheehan might start in goal for Kerry!

  27. Re Cynical Cynthia and comment about bonus ticket for Cairde Members……did that not cause uproar the last time?
    I am a Cairde Ticket holder and got a bonus one in 2013 but like previous posters said, the location was pretty poor. Still was glad to get tickets all the same.
    Would be nice if there was clarification on this though.

  28. Apologies for what might seem like a silly question, but is the season+ ticket which I purchased on for 200euro the same as a Cairde Maigheo ticket?

  29. Agree with you there KL. I’d love to see a good smattering of straight reds that no Legal firm will be able to overturn, alongside a few cuts and bruises that will take a good month to fully heal for any that remain on the pitch.
    I’d happily take a soft all Ireland, if thats what it is.

  30. As far as I know, Mayo 4 Ever, it’s the same one. The card I have, as a Cairde Mhaigheo member, say “Peil Club +” on it so if the one you have is the same then it’s the same kind of ticket for sure.

  31. JP:

    Clarendo and second cut, brilliant !!

    I realise again that there’s some phrases from your childhood you’ll never forget, no matter how long you’re living outside the county!!!

  32. Can anyone clarify? I’m a CM ticket holder but didn’t have it in 2013,this is the first I’ve heard of an option to buy an extra final ticket,is it true?

  33. That’s Cairde Mayo 4 Ever. You don’t need the attendance percentage either with the Cairde.

  34. I have a cairde Mayo ticket and I was not aware I get a bonus ticket? Is this true? Is it like the other games in that when you use the bring a friend option you get crap seats?

  35. Welcome back WJ and delighted that you came back to positive times regarding Mayo football, should help ease the holiday blues.

  36. Wouldn’t be too worried about crap seats if you have the option to buy two! I’ll be over the moon id this turns out to be true.

  37. Don’t get me wrong I’m not complaining, just sounds too good to be true! I had my back against the wall in the upper cusack for the tipp match, the very last row and I thought the view was great. Totally different from my usual seats in the lower cusack.

  38. Thanks for the info, will be happy days if we get an option to buy a second ticket.

  39. Sinabhuil, I’m not just talking about, season ticket holders or club members, I’ve been all those things. Mayo has many season ticket holders, and many genuine fans who regularly attend Mayo match’s, You get to know the face’s if not the names. Many live in other counties,.I know many personally, it’s hardly reasonable to expect them to be members of club’s in Mayo, not that your guaranteed an All Ireland ticket even if you were, I have been at all the All Ireland finals Mayo have played in my time, been a member of a club, sold raffle tickets for them and I never got an All Ireland ticket from my club. I don’t have a problem with that either , other’s in the club were more entitled than me to a ticket, many done much more than me and didn’t get a ticket from the club either. It is my contention that Mayo’s most loyal fans are treated poorly as regards All Ireland ticket’s. Mayo has many regular fans that are neither season ticket holders or club members… Only about 15,000 attended the Connaught final replay in Castlebar, between Galway and Roscommon, and a few thousand of them were actually Mayo fans. Every other county in Ireland would love to have have the half the regular support Mayo enjoys. I can safely say that outside of Dublin we have easily more loyal fans (who keep turning up, regardless of the heartbreak of previous years) than any other county! Despite that fact or maybe because of it, the situation seems to be getting worse , ticket touts will again get hold of tickets for the All Ireland, many who get tickets will advertise them for a multiple of the face value. Despite the same statement release from the GAA, every year leading up to the All Ireland, nothing effective has been done to stop it. We now live in a time where, ‘from farm to fork,’ your meat is traceable, Tickets have seat numbers on them,. Why has nothing effective been done to counteract the ticket touts??? . I will see some of the same faces at the upcoming All Ireland, it will be their first Mayo match since the last All Ireland, the one’s I know most certainly don’t play gaelic-football, or are members of any club. Something is not right. You know if it ‘Waddles like a Duck, looks like a Duck and quacks like a Duck , it’s usually a Duck,! Also I cannot think of any other reason as to why Mayo fans always end up in the corners of the stadium other than the ‘ Duck’ metaphor!.. . Yesterday I heard ‘Olive Loughlane’ on Telly explain how she failed to get Olympic tickets from the IOC for her family despite the fact that she was a competing in the Olympics. Because of the unusual circumstances of the arrest and charging of Pat Hickey,(the Borstal Boy of Rio) I think there is a great public interest in the allocation of tickets for for major sporting events. Now is certainly a good time to look for fair play,and transparency from the administration of the GAA. Let’s get rid of the Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink mentality!

  40. As I said earlier that was the case in 2013 and it didn’t go down too well with some. Don’t know what the story is re allocation. Agree with earlier post…..a lot of genuine supporters are not season ticket holders yet there are people who will get tickets and contribute nothing to schools or clibs let alone follow the county in the early months of the year. There should be a way of rewarding the loyal supporters through some sort of system. Not everyone has 200 euro to shell out up front.

  41. Leantimes,

    You must be living in a strange place if you don’t know that there is no legislation on ticket touting in Ireland. It’s been talked about for years and nobody has been putting more pressure for legislation banning the practice as the GAA.
    Agreed you will rarely hear of a ticket being invalidated because of it’s being bought/sold on the black market. But why would you? The buyer who found himself locked out is hardly likely to either boast or complain – already feeling to much of a fool to expect sympathy. I have heard, being involved at Co Board [not Mayo CB], of people and clubs being debarred from receiving tickets in future [for a limited time] because tickets allocated to them were found on the black market. The advice was not to broadcast about the action as the practice was not illegal and the person banned might well have a legal remedy because they had done nothing illegal.
    The GAA seems to be the only body seeing touting as a problem. It’s hard to see the FAI having a problem, they usually have far too many tickets. And I understand that many rugby clubs depend on selling their tickets for internationals to “hospitality providers” to raise funds for themselves. The fact that these two outfits together could only build a 50 k capacity stadium, and found that adequate, says a lot about their ticket problems.

  42. Near Hand In,

    Agreed that not everyone has €200 up front for a Cairde ticket but everyone with a little bit of sense should have access to credit facilities, primarily a Credit Union, to solve that problem. Since admission to club championship games is free with a CM ticket the real cost for most people is pretty low – if you go to club games.

    Regard Cairde ticket holders having access to a second Final ticket, that has been the practice since the Cairde ticket came out. It requires you to pay for next years Cairde ticket up front when collecting the Final ticket. I expect that that practice will continue this year.

  43. Andy D, you make a fair point, Don’t doubt your bona-fideas that GAA has been lobbying for legislation as regards to the ticket touting. I did have a’ question mark’ about ticket touting legislation in Ireland in my post. But the GAA is a large body, not everyone can be expected to be perfect. While big money is to be made, there will always be a someone to make it, regardless of the rules.. , I will get a ticket, if I’m alive, I expect to be. But I too, was that soldier looking for a ticket, and genuinely in the top 10%of regular attenders to Mayo match’s. It’s not easy, and I know many genuine Mayo fans who didn’t get tickets and seem to ‘Turn the other Cheek’ . If you let yourself be walked on in Ireland, you will continue to be walked on,. I too was that soldiers well, turning the other cheek. But I learned the hard way, it’s not the best way to go. I seen the statement made recently from the GAA, regarding what they do to potential, black market ticket holders and so on. I am of the opinion that the it’s a bit like ‘a Sheep threatening a Wolf.. ‘ Look it’s going to happen again and again! . Members of the IOC in Ireland said when interviewed by RTE, that the arrest (Pat Hickey). would never happen in Ireland. Why is that,? Now reader’s can decide themselves, Is it the ordinary Irish people that’s wrong, by not demanding transparency in all such matters, of considerable importance such as the passionate and loyal Mayo fans ? , Or the authorities in Rio, that are wrong by holding up to the light and magnifying glass the business transactions (legit or not) of top Irish sports adminastratiorsI for the world to see or not? Just like the arrest in Rio, this too would never happen in Ireland . I’m only saying, to the genuine people,. I say that if you ‘act like Sheep, you are likely to be savaged by Wolves’

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