Change of season

Well, once the leaves start to fall and the first chill winds begin to blow, you know that the-summer-that-never-was is no longer with us and that we’re faced with a whole new kettle of cold fish.  And the All-Ireland is over and, with it, all inter-county action has finished for the year.  All we’re left with is the club stuff, the moribund Railway Cup and the sound of biff-bash-boom from Down Under.  That and wondering what Santie’ll have in his sack.

I had intended to do an end of season review but work intervened this week and I’m heading away tomorrow for the weekend so it might be a bit late to do so next week.  Here’s the short version instead: another disappointing season for the seniors, another year of messing around with team selections at the wrong time which led to Johnno experimenting in key positions in the middle of the championship, another year when it looked as if the sideline was on auto-pilot, another loss to Galway, another failure to reach the All-Ireland series, beaten (as well as by Galway) by the eventual All-Ireland winners (third time in five years that’s happened), Gosh: if we’d beaten Tyrone we could have beaten Dublin and then have beaten Wexford and then – yes, you’ve guessed it – got our holes kicked once again by Kerry in the final but we didn’t so there’s no point in thinking along those lines.  Away from the seniors, it was a promising under-age year with our U21 dominance of Connacht continuing and an All-Ireland left behind when we lost narrowly to eventual winners Kerry in the semi-final. And then there were the minors, our true heroes in 2008, Ray Dempsey’s lads who kept our championship campaign going right up till five o’clock or so last Saturday evening and who came within seconds of snatching a thoroughly deserved All-Ireland title and whose gutsy performances over the course of their campaign give us renewed hope for 2009.

That, in a nutshell, was 2008 and now that it’s all over I’ll be putting my feet up a bit too.  There’ll be plenty going on in the background, what with the archive still a work in progress and a site re-design for 2009 (are you listening, TJ?) to sort out.  And, of course, there is still the club stuff, the Railway Cup and the thuggery from the Antipodes to talk about so I won’t be completely idle over the coming months of dark nights and all the rest.

9 thoughts on “Change of season

  1. and a site re-design for 2009 (are you listening, TJ?)

    Once I get your brief, WJ, I’ll get my people onto it.

  2. Time for me to hibernate and keep in touch via Western and Mayo news re club scene at home. Thanks for a great service Willie Joe , you have helped us keep the faith and you provide a great forum. Look forward to stoking the engines for the F.B.D and rejoining you in the New year.

  3. Just wanted to add my thanks WJ, this is a great site. Only started reading it this summer but it’s given me hours of entertainment while I’m supposed to be working!
    Hogan Stand forum can be a bit hit and miss (more miss than hit), but this is always a great read. I’ve even got my non-Mayo friends into reading it. One of them is a Cork lad and he loves your anti-Kerry baiting!

    Looking forward to next year already

  4. Ans so say lots of us this site has been a breath of fresh air all year where pure football is the only thing on the agenda. Thanks WJ and as I say to my toes around this time … See you in the spring !!

  5. Good man WJ. If the managemnnt of the Mayo squad was as up to the mark with their task as you are with yours, I suspect that your end of year review would have had more positive stuff to review.
    For now, the only question I have not seen raised is the appointment of a new U21 manager now that Pat Holmes and his team have finished their term.
    There is one obvious candidate ……..

    Keep The Faith!

  6. Thanks guys – it’s been great fun keeping the site going and the significant increase in comments from your good selves (who know a heck of a lot more about the nuances of Gaelic football than I do) over the course of the year have added hugely to the value of the exercise from my perspective.

    I’ll still be posting on and off most weeks between now and the end of the year, as there’s always something happening that’s worth a mention. And, Dan, it’s always worthwhile giving the poor old Kerrymen the odd poke in the ribs now and again!

  7. no lows Willie Joe just highs!

    thanks again for your great input into the trials and tribulations of Mayo Football, as mentioned your site above the rest talks sense with a good deal of humour and personality thrown in.

    Lets see what happens in 2009

    – sorry to see the bold kev stepping down.

  8. Thanks for the kind words, Nathan – as I’ve just mentioned in a separate post, the 2009 championship draw is taking place this week so we can already begin thinking about possible starting line-ups for next summer. No rest for the wicked, in other words!

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