Back on the road again


Sunday is fast approaching and, with it, our long awaited first outing of 2019. As the saying goes, hunger is the best sauce and so, with over six months having passed since the senior team were last in action, supporters should be bordering on ravenous at this stage.

Sunday’s meeting with Leitrim at Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon (throw-in 1.30pm) is, of course, only an FBD League preliminary round fixture. Despite this, I’d say there’s likely to be a large attendance there, especially from our side of the ditch, for what will be the county’s first appearance with James Horan back as bainisteoir.

As evidence of this, Connacht GAA issued some ticketing information for the game via Twitter the other day (details here). In short, it’s a tenner at the gate (no, your newly-minted 2019 Season Ticket won’t get you in) and tickets can also be obtained in advance from Centra and SuperValu outlets. It’d be gas if this pre-season kick-about proved to be a sell-out fixture.

Because it is only the FBD, however, I’m not expecting much in the way of solid pre-match information, in particular team details. Announcing line-ups in advance isn’t really a feature of the FBD so I’d say it’ll only be on the day that our fifteen for this one will be revealed.

James did, though, provide some details on the players who have impressed in training to date in that short video issued by Mayo GAA TV the other day. We might see a few of these lads in action in Carrick on Sunday.

James has also been in the media this week, by the way, giving his views on the experimental rules (by the way, a reminder I did a while ago about these is here). You’ll find pieces with James on this topic in the Irish Examiner, RTÉ, Sky Sports, Off The Ball and

I’m looking forward to getting back on the road myself. It’s wall-to-wall live action for us over the weekend, in fact, as we’re taking in the sell-out Pro14 rugby clash between Connacht and Munster at the Sportsgrounds tomorrow evening before heading up to Carrick for the match on Sunday.

I’m hoping to hook up with my Mayo News football podcast buddy Rob Murphy at some point tomorrow evening at the rugby. The two of us will then be back in harness at Páirc Seán the following afternoon where we’ll be throwing in the ball on a first podcast episode of 2019, which should be online on Monday. Yes, it’s good to be back on the road once again.

28 thoughts on “Back on the road again

  1. Was hoping my new season ticket would do the trick on Sunday but not to worry. Looking forward to getting on the road also WJ and it will be interesting to see what the line up will be. A win is essential to get the juices flowing properly for what lies ahead in 2019. Will be travelling up from Galway for my first visit to Parc Sean Mac.
    Expecting a large troop of the green and red army to be in attendance. Will keep an eye out for you WJ!

  2. And so it begins again. It’s been a long wait and I for one am delighted and can’t wait to see the team out on the field doning the new Jersey. Who knows what the year will hold but I’m so looking forward to it. Hon Mayo

  3. As James said during the week he wants to win the FBD, as we’ve all witnessed with Dublin over the past few seasons of football, winning is a habit. No bit part performances but a platform to try new players. If they are good enough, also to sharpen the older guard. After all no one owns a jersey.

    Looking forward to Sunday and off we go again.

  4. I think it’s crucial we start as we mean to go on with a win against Leitrim on Sunday and the FBD in general. We need to start asserting our dominance as a force in Connaught again. I would like to see Diskin and Reape being used for this game and in particular Matthew Ruane who I think will be a feature in midfield all season.

  5. Fair play Willie Joe, you’re keeping up a high-quality public service for the people of Mayo and its diaspora!

    Can’t wait for the new season to begin, hopefully a few new players will be blooded during the FBD and NFL.

    We also owe Galway a defeat (preferably in the championship!) this season.

    Maigh Eo abú!

  6. Great to have you and Rob back Willie Joe !
    Lets win connacht and see where the ride takes us this year.
    Happy New Year to all the Bloggers and hope to see many of ye in Bowe’s at some stage next August !

  7. Delighted for Brian Reape, personally think he’s the type of forward we’ve really missed. Expect him to be top scorer Sunday evening.

  8. Team for Sunday.
    R Hennelly
    E O Donoghue
    G Cafferkey
    B Harrison
    L Keegan
    James McCormack
    D Vaughan
    S O Shea
    S Coen
    Fionn McDonagh
    J Doherty (capt)
    F Boland
    Colm Moran
    Brian Reape
    Evan Regan.

  9. Horan taking few risks there – clearly no kidding around wrt looking to win the FBD. Interesting selection.

  10. All the talk of 250 players at trials and we have basically the same team with Fionn McDonagh & Colm Moran added in. Both played for James with Westport and both played County 21 /20. A little underwhelming. Good Luck to the lads delighted to see Eoin, James & Brendan in the defence but does Leeroy need to play on Jan 6.

  11. Backdoorsam – as you should well know by now, this isn’t the kind of place to be pronouncing about which players may or may not be worthy of further opportunities. The rules are pretty clear on this point.

  12. A good mix in that team. Of the 21 players that played against Leitrim last year only 1 played championship after. No hope of being competitive in the league unless you give established players a run out.

  13. Happy with that team .. We will be strong enough in the backs later in the year . 5 forwards ( and Jason) looking to make an impression. Its forwards and a midfielder we are looking for . Best of luck to them all . Should be a big crowd in Carrick on Sunday !!

  14. @Tuamstar no Wow needed. Horan back managing and he has always picked strong and experienced teams and when he said he wants to win the FBD he means it.

  15. A bit dissapointing , a bit conservative against a Leitrim team in the Fbd,thought more new players would get a fair chance, delighted to see Brian Reape, James McCormack , Colm Moran and Fionn McDonagh get there chances!!
    But where is young Conor Diskin, Ciaran Treacy , Darren Coen, Michael Plunkett, Matty Ruane and James Carr.


  16. Interesting selection, a couple of names on that list that raise eyebrows but as TH suggests I have a feeling that they are every bit as much on trial as the newer faces. It’d make very little sense trying to blood new players without playing them alongside established ones so I don’t see why any player who hasn’t lined out for Mayo in six months isn’t just as entitled to be there so the younger lads can get some game time alongside them. It’s not like you can just start all the new lads together now is it?

    Dying to get a first crack at Galway the following week if we get through this.

    Better be in Carrick early as every man, woman and doberman I’ve met on the street this week is heading up.

  17. TH – See my earlier comment about naming players who might be in line to the dropped at some point. This isn’t the kind if place for this kind of lazy-minded, idle speculation.

    All – I really hope these two comments aren’t indicative of a trend in how people think they can comment on here in 2019. If it is, it’s going to get rather ugly on the moderation front in short order.

  18. I’m happy with the team picked. We are three weeks from league opener so experienced players also need games, for example Lee has played very little county football for over a year due to injuries last year.
    This year we actually need to win to get another fbd game to prep for league, so a more experienced team wanted. There was no way Horan was going to play a team packed with inexperienced players, these young guys have only had a couple of months training, not great for the confidence losing to leitrim just good management mixing youth with experience.

  19. Great game for James McCormack to play in experience all around him. With a strong midfield and defense will help the inexperienced front 5, good to see Doc getting the armband maybe leeroy was the only other one I would give it to. Looking forward to the game and getting off to a good start. Good to see Reape getting his chance first game out,few others biting at the bit to get in as well, no time for complacency for anyone.

  20. TH
    I don’t believe James Horan is a believer in the 70th minute sub, expect to see subs on during the game and players getting a run, it will depend on how the game is going to see who actually gets a run but I won’t be surprised to see another few young guns on

  21. Leitrim are starting with only 5 of the team that stated their last championship game. Goalkeeper Diarmuid McKiernan, defenders Paddy Maguire,Michael McWeeney, and forward Jack Heslin. So very much a experimental team.

  22. Fair enough Willie Joe it’s
    Your blog and a very good one indeed it is and I
    Apologize for any offense caused but that full back line does worry me. Anyway happy new year to all and Maigheo Abu

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