Catching up

We’re back at base in Dublin, I’m back at work and there’s plenty of catching up to do. Sunday’s match is fading rapidly into the background as this coming Sunday’s Round Two with the Kerrymen starts to come into focus.

The first port of call today (I know the day is half over already but it’s turning out to be that kind of day) should, as Gerard pointed out in the comments this morning, Sean Rice’s wonderful call to arms in this week’s Mayo News – read it here.

For a change, I got to read the paper version of the Mayo News this week, having picked up a copy while in Castlebar yesterday afternoon.  Sean nails superbly the point about how, as a team, we have to start believing in our own ability to do the business against the Kingdom. Fuck the Gooch (not literally, I hasten to add), forget about what this legend or that legend might do to us – as Sean points out, it’s “high time Mayo played Kerry with the courage and conviction they showed against Dublin.” He’s right, you know – we didn’t show the Dubs any respect the other week and look where that got us. We simply have to approach Kerry with the same mindset if we’re to have any chance of doing a number on them.

The more I think about it, this is really the match where we should be aiming to end this long, dismal run of Croke Park defeats to Kerry. Just because it’s the league doesn’t mean that Kerry won’t be bulling to win it: every single year that Jack O’Connor has led Kerry to All-Ireland success, he has first started that year with a league victory and every year they haven’t won the All-Ireland under O’Connor, they haven’t won the league either. So the league is a big deal for Jack O’Connor’s Kerry and so we should be doing everything within our powers to upset that particular applecart.

In this regard, it’s good to see that James Horan is talking about fielding his “strongest team” on Sunday and that he intends to “really have a go” at taking out the Kingdom in the semi-final. It’ll be interesting to see what that team is too because James has, like last year, used the league campaign largely for experimentation purposes. If he does go ahead and name his strongest fifteen then Sunday’s team will, for the first time, give us an idea about  his likely championship formation as well. I’m not sure when the team will be announced but I suppose it’ll be later in the week.

There’s a piece in the Irish Times today about the team’s forthcoming training camp in Portugal, which is really an article about several counties’ trips to Portugal and has some other GAA-related bits and pieces included for good measure as well. A miscellany I think is what you’d call it.

Finally, the County Board have this morning provided information about tickets for Sunday – full details here. The short version of this is that if you have the Cairde Mhuigheo season ticket you can’t just roll up at HQ and have it scanned, you need instead to pick up a specific ticket for the game from McHale Park either tonight or tomorrow night (6.30-9.30pm) or, if you can’t do this (it’s not just you, I can’t either) then you need to call them on (094) 90250487 or (087) 2226236 to make alternative arrangements to collect your ticket. That same link above also provides full details on how to get tickets for Sunday and what they’re priced at for those of you who don’t currently hold season tickets.

26 thoughts on “Catching up

  1. As if any motivation for this game was needed, I’d like to quote the “great” Paidi O’Se from Sunday’s Independent (8 April 2012).

    He explained Mayo’s recent victory: “I think it’s fair to say that Dublin aren’t great travellers.”

    He goes on to say:

    “At the closing stages of this league campaign, it seems that no new teams have emerged as potential challengers for Sam Maguire. Again Kerry, Cork, Dublin, Kildare and Tyrone are the ones to watch.”

  2. from a poster on kerrygaa.ie today

    “If Kerry send out their strongest team on Sunday they will annihilate Mayo. On a dry day in Croke Park Kerry at full strength are practically unbeatable. The handicap of (-3 Points @6/5) will not last too long and I advise anybody interested in having a flutter to go in heavy on this.

    Mayo have improved in recent times but beating Cork in last years 1/4 Final was a serious false dawn for me as Cork were missing half of their their “strongest 15″. Their League form to date has been average and were somewhat fortunate to qualify with just 7 points. They were impressive against Dublin but were lucky to get a second crack at them due to fog coming down on the first occasion where Dublin were well in control in the 1st half.

    I will be very disappointed if Jack and the backroom team do not send out the best 15 possible on Sunday with the Final in 2 weeks and the Munster Championship 1st Round just 4 weeks after.”

  3. Well Paidi I think got rebuffed in his courting of Mayo, he certainly dropped enough hints but I kinda agree with him in the sense that until we take out a Kerry at this stage then we might be better off developing without daft expectation. Hard to stifle a laugh at Kildare though, any team that had a former corner forward(Johnny Doyle) as their go to player at midfield last season and are awaiting the return Early to midfield doesn’t set the pulse racing. No Leinster title in McGeeneys reign, only a poor Meath side beaten as a scalp of note and downed by Donegal and Down when it matters. So Paidi you can have them…I wont.

  4. Congrats on becoming a millionaire Willie Joe

    We were very disappointed with the comments in the Mayo News today.

    Again there appears Mayo County Board appear to be very selective in what they are saying.

    What they forget to mention is that Club Mayo members have contributed e13.3k to the Portugal trip to ensure that it could happen – and were delighted to do so. This is well known to all members of the Executive and indeed as been referred to in other publications.

    Its a pity such assistance is only appreciated by the Management, players and supporters – especially at a time when there are major debt issues because of the decisions of some.

  5. I saw a complete waste of an article during the week in the Indo on Kildare and their ‘total football’. Jesus…..you’d think they were Holland of the 70’s – although they never won anything either. At least the Dutch got close.
    They were incredibly lucky to get past Galway, but the media darlings have to get their publicity I suppose.

    Well done WJ on hitting the million mark. It’s been said before, but this site is invaluable for us exiles.

  6. I cannot see why the county board couldnt post out the tickets to those who bought the Cairde Mhaigheo season ticket instead of having to go to Castlebar. It is a right pain and a barrier to renewing the ticket for next year. They should be making it as easy and convenient as possible for patrons willing to cough up 200 euro. Phoning up for a ticket seems a bit amateurish to me.

  7. Poor form from the County Board on both counts, or should it be three if you include the jackets?

    Can’t wait to see our full strength side.

  8. I think we have a free slap at Kerry this weekend. If we can beat them it will give the players, young and old, a great confidence boost heading into the Championship. If we lose, we’ll have gone out to a strong Kerry side and can regroup having held our position in division one for another year.

    The Sean Rice article is interesting in its assessment of our inferiority complex in relation to Kerry. We’re not alone in this regard but we’ve been unfortunate enough to meet them in HQ on a number of occassions over the last ten years.

    At least JH knows what it feels like to line out against the Kingdom in Croker, lob a goal in from 40 yards and romp home.

  9. So you pay €85 to the GAA and you get your season ticket, get in to all the Mayo matches, and print your tickets at home?

    But if you paid €200 to the County Board you have to travel to Castlebar to collect them, or make some kind of phone call to arrange to collect them, you haven’t got your jacket, you haven’t got your vouchers? Talk about looking after the people that gave you money when you needed it.

    Had a read of that Irish Times article above Willie Joe, think its a very low blow by Aiden McLoughlin to take credit for funding the trip to Portugal when you see what Club Mayo have said.

    Anyways on the pitch I reckon we have a great chance on Sunday. We have played well the last three games. I worry that we are not scoring the goals but now could be a good time to put one over on the Kingdom in Croke Park.

  10. i thought P Se knew about football, and even he is falling for this Kildare fallacy as well. What is it, the white jersies? 1998 was 14 years ago and they didnt even win the shagging thing that time.

  11. Only 5 teams have beaten kerry at HQ this century. We should be looking to add our name to that list on Sunday. I saw an interview with Dara O’Cinneide how it is instilled into young Kerry players that ‘Kerry always perform in Croke Park’ and this becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. We need to get them doubting themselves. We have managed to beat them at minor level there recently and it’s in our own hands on Sunday.

  12. Interesting tweet from Alan Freeman –

    @Al_Freezer Players are very greatfull of support received from @clubmayo and won’t be forgotten by us

  13. good work from horan for getting the timing right for the portugal trip. the county board have some hide saying that they are paying for trip , if i was ulster bank i would be on the phone to them straight away!

    quote from the times below

    Mayo actually fell victim to that rule two years ago, when then manager John O’Mahony called off a five-day training holiday in Portugal when informed they would be breaching GAA regulations – but Horan made sure he got his dates in order this time.

    “This trip was arranged several weeks ago, to work around whether Mayo were in the league semi-finals or not,” says Mayo press officer Aiden McLoughlin.

    “So it won’t conflict with any senior club fixtures, and what is also agreed is that if Mayo do make the league final (on April 29th) they’ll be no fixtures for that weekend either. But if they don’t make the league final then club fixtures will go ahead.”

    “It is funded by the Mayo County Board, who cover all team expenses,” adds McLoughlin. “But it’s not significantly more expensive than the training, feeding and travel expenses of being at home.”

  14. I think people are being a little harsh on Kildare.

    They were extremely unfortunate to lose to Donegal last year. Remember they had a perfectly legitimate goal ruled out. The one that came off the post and the Kildare man who put it in the back of the net was clearly standing outside the small square when the ball came to him.

    Also people say Galway were unlucky to lose to them but you have to give Kildare some credit for going to Salthill and getting the result they needed.

    In total they scored 9-105 in the League which translates roughly as 1-15 per game. Only Fermanagh in Div 4 and Wexford in Div 3 outscored them. Their problem is their defence as they tend to concede a lot as well.
    Maybe this though is why they are media darlings as they are an all out attack team whose mentality seems to be to outscore rather than outplay the opposotion.

    Whether this will be enough for the championship remains tot be seen but I wouldn’t rule them out with the drop of a hat.

  15. Did you read the article in the Irish Times WJ? What did you think of the comments? Seems very unfair on the Club Mayo lads….

  16. Sure, Ollie, didn’t I provide the link to it in the first place? I’m not sure there’s any point in starting this debate up all over again but it’s obvious that the quote from Aidan McLoughlin in the Times story is a bit unfortunate. Personally, though, I’m more concerned now with how we fare this Sunday against Kerry.

  17. I don’t know the detail of what has gone on between the Co Board and Club Mayo Dublin, beyond what has been reported in the media.
    But calling Aidan McLoughlin’s comments ‘unfortunate’ is about as benign a comment as you could make.
    I know you don’t want to rake over old coals WJ and you call the shots on this site, but judging by this and past comments, there’s no doubt where your allegiances lie!

  18. Damned if I do and damned if I don’t, eh Tubberman? You’re right, I don’t want to rake over old coals again and I’d also point you in the direction of the house rules on comments in relation to making inferences about why others (me in this case) say (or don’t say) what they do.

  19. Fair points JPM but I cant understand why they have been consistently rated as contenders the past 4 years. Anyway, its not that relevant to our situation so I’ll shut up about it now. Lets win Sunday so the lads can have something to focus on in their Portugese training sessions besides a match in late June.

  20. Interesting comment by Richard. We all know how tough it is to beat Kerry especially in Croke Park. We have failed on many occasions to come close and I agree belief is very important. But is JH the man to give our boys belief? When the chips were down (in Donegal in particular) his response was inappropriate! In fact, I think that John Maughan was the only man in recent time who came close and did in fact beat them in 1996 so I believe the sideline will have a huge bearing on how Sunday goes. Posters have said how this is the best Mayo team they’ve seen in a while so it’s up to the boys on the line to get the mould right

  21. Tyrone,Meath,Dublin and down have all beaten Kerry in the championship recently so they are beatable. Mayo just have to play their game and Horan has to get the calls right and see where the weak spots are in Kerrys game.
    It’s simple, mayo beat the teams that beat the team that has a thumb on mayo.

  22. A summary of changes from Congress 2012

    Square balls, tripping, mouth guards, qualifiers not to be on consecutive weekends, extra time in qualifiers, winter training ban changes, no Masters and player transfers!

    – Changes to game-related rules (valid from now unless otherwise stated)

    1. Square ball rule – you can now enter the square before the final (emphasise) touch that plays the ball into the square, but not before then. If there’s a set play (I assume a free-kick that lands directly in the square), you can enter before the ball. It by and large removes the square ball rule.

    2. Tripping an opponent by hand, arm, leg or foot is now a red-cardable offence.

    3. It will now be mandatory to wear a mouth guard in football games and training. Senior players from 2014 and up to and including minor level from 2013.

    4. Referees can now consult umpires on any matter of fact, including scores. Before now they could only consult on playing infringements.

    5. If drawn, extra time to be mandatory in Qualifiers, Intercounty U-21 Final and Club Provincial and All-Ireland finals.

    6. All games in each round of Qualifiers shall not not be played on consecutive weekend. No more provincial losing 6 day turnaround.

    – Organisational changes

    1. Winter Training Ban – Senior Inter-County panels may return to training for a following year on a timetable determined by their time of exit from the All-Ireland Championships in a current year as follows:

    Exit June; Commence Training November 15th
    Exit July; Commence Training December 1st
    Exit August; Commence Training December 8th
    Exit September; Commence Training December 29th

    Under 21 Football – January 1st.
    Minor Hurling and Football – March 1st

    2. A whole heap of changes to rules regarding player transfers and intercounty eligibilty. The big one is that Motion 5 means player has to play club champ in county in previous or current year to play inter-county comp with that county.

    3. GAA players abide by the WADA doping rules.

    4. A County Board Officer who held a position has to wait 2 years now instead of 5 before being allowed to hold the position again for a maximum of 5 years.

    5. Motion 54 allows counties to decide what system to use in the event of teams finishing level on points in their championships.

    Motions defeated

    – Motion 21, which looked to streamline Congress by reducing number of delegates by 1/3, heavily defeated

    – Motion 39, proposed by St Kevin’s, Roscommon withdrawn: They proposed that jerseys could carry up to four sponsors.

    – Two motions that said the period of time during which Senior InterCounty Players shall not be expected to fulfil Inter-Club Championship Fixtures prior to Inter-County Championship Games be maximum 7 or 10 days was defeated.

    – Motion that said any County which does not have its Championship completed by the second Sunday in October (aka Dublin) shall be represented by the previous year’s champions defeated.

    – Masters Championships fail to be reintroduced.

    – Motion that all umpires at inter-county League and Champ games are qualified referees lost

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