The list of next year’s NFL fixtures has just been published (details here) which, hot on the heels of the Connacht GAA fixture announcement the other day, adds further detail to our 2012 footballing (and hurling) landscape. As is the norm, the list that’s been released now is just a draft one but from what I recall from previous years there are unlikely to be any major changes when it’s finalised. So then what NFL delights are on offer for us next year?
Well, our 2012 Division One campaign opens with an away match against newly-promoted Laois (which will surely be in O’Moore Park) on 4th February. That’s a Saturday so I’m assuming it’ll be an under-the-lights job which was also the case the last time we met the landlocked lads, at the same venue back in March 2008. Portlaoise is a cinch to get to from here in Dublin so that’s one in the bag already for me.
Our second match is also listed for a Saturday (11th February) and this is a real tasty one, as we’ll be welcoming the All-Ireland champions Dublin to McHale Park which surely will also be a floodlit encounter. I might even take the young Dub to that where hopefully our lads will knock a few corners off his champos.
The third round on 4th March is away to Armagh. Jaysus, I’m on a roll here – that’s a piece of proverbial cake to get to from here as well.
Then it’s a home tie against Down the following Sunday (March 11th) followed by a long away trip to Donegal the weekend after (18th March). I’ll reserve judgment on both of those for now.
Our sixth round tie is at home against Cork on 24th March and we then finish up away to Kerry on 8th April. It might be as well to have our place in the play-offs sorted out before that one, just in case like.
So once again our league schedule sees us get three home matches and four away ones. We got four homes ties last year, I know, but this is the fourth time in six years where we’ve been shortchanged on home ties in the NFL. Then again, seeing as I have those nice handy runs to Portlaoise and Armagh to look forward to, I can’t really complain, can I?