Farewell 2016


Image: apanorthstarchapter.org

So, what’s left of the old year is now down to a matter of mere hours. Bloody quare year it was too, in so many ways. Plenty of people, myself included, will, I’d say, shed few tears at its passing tonight.

From a Mayo GAA point of view it was, of course, a rollercoaster one. From the high of Ennis and that unforgettable U21 All-Ireland triumph to the low of blowing the Connacht six-in-a- row quest by losing to Galway in Castlebar before picking ourselves up and going again, eventually going toe-to-toe into early October with Dublin, only to come up agonisingly short yet again.

We’ve had the weeks of introspection since then but in a matter of days it’s all set to start all over again. Personally I’m not at all ready for it – this latest All-Ireland defeat cut deeper and hurt a hell of a lot worse than any of the others – so it’s just as well I’m only on the outside looking in.

I know many of you are roaring for road once more, even looking for details of player lists for the FBD (some details on that courtesy of Ed McGreal here). More power to you.

Another year, another new beginning and all that. Happy New Year one and all.

16 thoughts on “Farewell 2016

  1. I’m glad Liam Irwin is included. I think he needs to be shown what’s expected at senior level. If he puts in the work he will be a huge asset.

  2. Another year older and deeper in despair and the will-we-won’t we goes on for at least another year. One way or another the show will go and while we a have a breath left in us we will go on too. But for now let’s all hope for good health and a wee bit of good luck in 2017.

  3. Well sure feck it. We didn’t win the lotto in 2016.

    Thanks to Willie Joe for your work in pulling everyone together here.

    Looking forward to clearing the throat and putting the negative people into hiding for another while in 2017.

    I spent some time in intensive care this year, and thank God for this team for drawing my attention during my recovery.

    Happy New Year to all the Mayo GAA people.

  4. A very happy and healthy New Year to all. Willie Joe, thanks for all your hard work. Onwards and ever upwards.

  5. A year of tragedy, we lost Bowie, Prince, Rick Parfitt, George Michael and of course the Mayo undertaker was busy in October with the loss of Sam Maguire. Roll on ’17 and lots of sunshine, the lotto, Sam, thousands of asylum seeking women from Sweden. Who took my drink!

  6. Happy New Year Willie Joe and to all Mayo supporters and players. The journey does not get any easier but where would we be if it was not one to look forward to every January. One year we will get to the end of it. There is no reason why 2017 can’t be that year. Onwards and upwards.

  7. WJ, do you think that living amongst “them” has anything to do with it taking longer to get over this one? I always found it tougher when the winner is in your ear a la Meath in 96 for me

  8. Wasn’t Neil Douglas on the panel for the entire 2015 season under Holmes and Connelly? I remember him doing the dressing room headers challenge with the squad into a bin! I’m pleased to see him back but not expecting miracles either unless he’s had a dramatic improvement in the last 12 months.
    Don’t know much about Gareth o Donnell, anyone here have any insight into the type of player he is?

  9. 2017 Here We Go !! This will be the year that we finally land Sam – I’m convinced of it – as long as we can maintain the standards of tackling intensity that we’ve held for the past few years. That is what is going to be key. The new talent will blend itself in a bit deeper this year that’s no doubt, so as long as the more established players can maintain their focus and sheer determination to grasp that All Ireland medal it will come together this year. Let the recent article in the Independent be a motivator for the players singled out for special criticism.

    Considering that a number of players will be unavailable due to injury, college and club commitments as well as the need to rest several of our more senior warriors, my FBD selection would be something like:

    Goalkeepers: Byrne, Clarke
    Defenders: Kenny, McDonagh, Cafferkey, Newcombe, Crowe, Nally, Drake, Hall
    Midfielders: Gibbons, O’Donnell, Parsons, C.O’Shea (college?)
    Forwards: Plunkett, Douglas, Loftus, Boland, Carolan, Regan, Irwin, Reape

    No doubt there will be a sprinkling of more experienced lads come in there as the FBD campaign progresses.

  10. If Ger McDonagh was able to get in and nail down the full back position it could be big.
    He has physicality and is able to boss forwards who don’t match him size wise.
    He’s mobile and yet fairly big.
    Newcombe then looked ready for it with Castlebar. The defence has been fine but you always want to be looking two years down the line and making sure things are being kept fresh.

  11. It probably doesn’t help, Trevor! To be fair, though, there was no triumphalism of any sort out of them after this win and within a week or two it had all been boxed away and pretty much forgotten about. My issue in getting over this one is just the aggregated effect of seeing so many bloody defeats at this stage and a gnawing concern growing in me that I never will see us do it, even though I know we’re agonisingly close to doing so.

  12. Don’t worry WJ, we WILL do it one day soon and you WILL be there to see it. Along with plenty of others like you who are devoted to the Green & Red. Up Mayo!

  13. JP – I fully agree. Ger McDonagh is one of the players I’d love to see get a decent run at full back through the FBD and National League. He is as tough as nails and the right age profile to be a potential successor for Caff in the years ahead. I was disappointed not to see him make the match day 26 last summer. He should now get a golden opportunity to show that he can perform at the highest level.

  14. 2016 had some good things:

    April 30th in Ennis – Mayo News montage is still my computer wallpaper. And the semi win over Dublin was memorable too.

    Tipp’s hurling All Ireland.

    Ireland’s flat racing geniuses like Aidan O’Brien (1,2,3. in the Arc de Triomphe, 1,2 in the Breeder’s Cup), Dermot Weld (English and Irish Derbies).

    Ireland’s National Hunt racing geniuses like Willie Mullins (everything at Cheltenham except the Gold Cup), and Gordon Elliot (the Gold Cup).

    Castlebar’s win over Crossmaglen – how long ago that seems now.

    Ireland beating the All Blacks

    The O’Donovans


    Euro 2016 – I was proud of them for once

    And I’m proud too of Mayo seniors and rarin’ to go again. Strange though that there was only one match in which there was an afterglow of satisfaction – Tyrone.

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