Changing times


Christmas is done with and the New Year is set to dawn shortly so it’s an appropriate time for all of us to think about what this means. For many, the start of a new year brings a desire for change. For me, significant change is already baked in for 2020.

I’ve known for some months now that my working arrangements would be very different next year than they’ve been for several years. This change is likely to impact all areas of my life. One major area of impact, inevitably, is the blog.

For me, this is a good news story. I’m returning to full-time employment early in the New Year, becoming involved in a project that is very close to my heart and which I believe has the potential to make a real difference in this country over the coming years.

Had I never been self-employed then I think it’s safe to say that the blog would never have come into existence at all. Even if it had, I doubt it would have survived, quite simply because I wouldn’t have had the time required to do all I did on it over the years.

I’ve always wondered what it would be like to try to run the blog while also holding a full-time job. Well, I’m about to find out, as the rest of you are too.

The first decision has already been made. The blog will still be here in 2020. The hosting cost has been paid and it’s all systems go for another twelve months at least.

But it’s already abundantly clear to me – as I hope it will to you too – that the kind of blog that existed up until now won’t be possible to continue with next year and beyond. I simply won’t have the time any more to do this.

Obvious things that will go include the Monday match reports, breaking news stories as they develop during the day, anything at all, in fact, that happens during normal working hours.

That includes oversight of the comments. Given recent events – and the way in which, due to the actions of a minority intent on misusing this place to spread a particular, divisive agenda, I’ve found it necessary to turn on moderation for all comments – that creates a major problem.

It’s a problem I don’t currently have a definitive answer to, though I’m working through what a possible way forward might look like. I recognise that it’s an issue I’m going to have to deal with, in one way or another, once the action starts up properly next year.

The brouhaha over recent months has also hardened my opinion that what’s covered and discussed here should focus primarily on on-field action. The off-field stuff is, from my perspective, more trouble than it’s worth and it’s where the bulk of the difficulties I’ve encountered with unacceptable comments, in particular of late, have emanated. My hope is that if the debate anchors itself squarely around the matches, this place will work better for all of us.

And there will be plenty of matches to talk about. I’ve always tried to give a mention here on the blog to as many teams as possible from the county and in more recent times I’ve made a determined effort to give more coverage to the ladies. I would hope to continue along that direction next year, even if – as seems likely – I’ll end up attending fewer matches than I’ve managed to get to in previous years.

So, that’s it, really – my work situation is changing fairly fundamentally so the blog has to bend with the prevailing wind. That’s the way it has to be. My earnest hope is that the blog can continue to exist – in whatever form works at a practical level – next year and beyond that too. Let’s see how it goes.

29 thoughts on “Changing times

  1. Congratulations on your new role WJ and best of luck with it! Great to hear the blog is around for another year – here’s hoping life on here is less difficult for you then it has been over theast few weeks!

  2. Yes. Best of luck with the new role WJ. The blog is a much better place with your writing skills but perhaps it’s also time for delegation of what has a become a significant project.

  3. WJ et al – the Western People had put together a very good 122 page magazine reviewing Mayo GAA over the past decade. There’s plenty of reading and photos and it’s 5euro. It’s documents every year from 2010 and has plenty of articles on various things such as the 8 club AI finals that were lost, an article by Martin Breheny rejecting an anti Mayo agenda and an article about a certain blog.

    It’s a fine read folks to be fair!

  4. Thanks Spotlight, it’s a good publication alright and at €5 it’s very good value too. By the way, it was me who write that piece about the blog. I posted it here as well a few weeks ago – for anyone who’s interested it’s here.

  5. Best wishes WJ with the project — sounds consequential and can sense your enthusiasm. Thrilled for us that the blog endures!!! Thanks.

  6. Willie joe. May I wish you all the best in your new job This is an excellent blog and long may it continue. Restrict the number of topics. Confine comments to the current topic. Comments on things like season tickets , match tickets.,pubs near match venues ,etc should be banned. What about brevity too. Enough from me so. Happy new year to you and your family and to all your contributors

  7. We are all the better for the blog and grateful for it thank you WJ for your perseverance. I second the let’s keep the chat about the on-field action too, we’ll leave the other matters now to the ppl elected to deal with them. Like the blog I see Mayo Gaa heading into a period of transition but hey that’s fine, bring it on, Maigheo abú

  8. Congrats WJ on your new direction. Exciting times. Grateful that the blog is here for 2020. It undoubtedly is the best blog in an Irish sporting context. Best wishes to you and yours for 2020.

  9. Best of luck to you Willie Joe in your new role of employment may the wind be at your back. I’m glad the blog is staying I have a feeling 2020 will be a very good year for Mayo.

  10. I wish you Willie Joe all the best in your new position and thanks so much for this wonderful blog and its continuation in 2020. I love your blog so much and I am so addicted to it that I tune into it 10 or 12 times a day. I am very positive about Mayo bringing Sam back home this year with all the emerging talent coming through. Roll on the 12th January!!

  11. Wishing you the best of luck WJ in your new job. If it’s done as well as this blog is then you’ll be just fine. As of this morning Paddy Power has Mayo at 18/1 for Sam in 2020, well worth sticking a few Euro on them at that price.
    Wishing you all a very prosperous and healthy New Year.

  12. Good man WJ.
    Thanks for this great blog.
    As I have said before, the quality of content here far exceeds anything in mainstream media over and over.
    The variety is what makes it all so special and the detailed knowledge of some contributors is unique.
    But the game and our teams are important to everyone here and a bit of smacht is needed and no harm…….we see what happens elsewhere without it.
    Best of luck in the new job.

  13. Best of luck to you in your new endeavors, Willie Joe. This place is and wonderful resource for all of us over the waves but I’m sure that this labour of love has also become a proper headache at times.

    We all have our passions in life but the mortgage has to be paid too at the end of the day.

    If the comment section over the summer is anything to go by, you’ll be kept busy enough on match days anyway! Maigh Eo abú!

  14. Best of luck with new job Willie Joe. Happy New Year to you and your family.
    Many thanks for all you do here.

  15. Willie Joe, Best of luck in your endeavors for 2020… and indeed Happy New Year, and every good wish, to every Poster and Reader of this Blog!

  16. Best of luck in 2020 WJ..In good and bad times of Mayo football the blog has been such an important outlet for so many supprters over the past few years..Im sure Im not the only blog junkie here!!Have often wondered how you have managed to hold it and your patience together..
    Very much looking forward to what the year ahead will bring.

  17. Every good wish for 2020 WJ and hope it brings you lots and lots of success in your new role. Have no doubt it will.
    Again thanks for this great blog, and looking forward to onn field action and debates after.
    Best of luck to James, backroom team and all the players most of all. May 2020 be ye’re best year ever.
    Happy 2020 to all bloggers and supporters wherever in this world you may be. Hon Mayo forever!!!

  18. Best of luck in your new role, and good wishes to you and your family.
    Now that we have the Co. Board officers in place and Ciaran McDonald on board with his fellow club man Liam Moffat chairman, I can see exciting times ahead for 2020.
    Happy New Year to all.

  19. I can only concur with the sentiments expressed thus far WJ. You have served every Mayo man, woman and child with even the mildest flutter of interest in all things Mayo GAA…thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’m delighted the blog is continuing into 2020… perfect vision on your behalf!!
    I’m also delighted that you are moving into a role that excites and enthuses you. You certainly will bring great energy and spirit to it and I wish you and your family every happiness and success.
    Mayo will win the All Ireland someday…why not this coming year. When I consider the obstacles and challenges our men have to contend with on a daily basis I am more than impressed and extremely proud of how they compete with the celebrated winners. You are true heroes and winners in my eyes. May 2020 be our year. But whether it is or not I have no doubt we will have a ball.
    Thanks Willie Joe and best wishes to us all for a bright and happy new year. Mayo in the veins, sun hail or rain!!

  20. Best of luck to you Willie Joe,a happy New year to you and yours,hopefully the blog will not take to much time it is a wonderful facility for all mayo fans just ban any of us a cannot behave ourselves,perhaps we will have a good year but I am not optimistic as I feel that a lot of our old guard will be stepping down

  21. Happy New Year Willie Joe and your Family.
    Best Wishes on the new chapter in your Life.
    Maigh Eo Abu.

  22. For me personally this blog had played a huge part in my Mayo football supporting journey over the last decade. The previews to all the upcoming games and upcoming opponents has been second to none. The detailed research and overall fun element has been brilliant. It always would whet the appetite and get the positive inner vibes going towards the Saturday or Sunday ahead. In hindsight the time and effort this must have taken is unbelievable.
    It saddens me to think that it may become a mayo gaa bloglite but your career and future ventures far outway anything else and I wholeheartedly wish you all the best with whatever you put your efforts to.
    You’ve been brilliant WJ but I would plead with you as you won’t have the required time to do everything to delicate wisely to keep this blog as it always has been…….fun, fresh and a huge part of our annual fbd, league and championship journeys ?

  23. Best of luck Willie Joe in your new role. Your work on this blog over the years has been immense and very much appreciated by Mayo supporters all over the world. You have earned a proud place in the history of Mayo football.
    Happy new year.

  24. Best wishes to you and your family for the coming New Year – and New Decade – and congrats on your new position. You and your blog are amazing. For the past 10 years or so it is my first port of call for news on Mayo GAA – and news on Mayo GAA is my first port of call over all other news. If I could fault you it is for your tolerance of the gobshites who continually breach what are pretty clear rules on comments. The only solution is that they be banned from the site. Anybody not capable of moderating themselves is not worth reading or listening to anyway.

  25. A bit late to the game but the best of luck to you in your new adventure WJ. I echo all that is posted above and would like to emphasise that this resource is fundamental now to Mayo GAA and all its undertakings. Hoping this will continue.

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