FBD action on next week

Image: Connacht GAA

We’re in that strange interregnum between Christmas and the New Year – remind me again: what day is today? – but once 2022 gets underway then so too does the resumption of inter-county action.

Connacht GAA decided some weeks ago that all of the matches in the 2022 FBD League would take place at the Air Dome in the Centre of Excellence. That decision was taken prior to the latest surge in Covid infection numbers but, once Omicron hit, the resultant restrictions on indoor gatherings have meant that attendances at the FBD matches in the Dome are capped at 300.

This, in effect, means that next month’s FBD action will now take place behind closed doors. Moreover, because the games are being played in the Dome – the first inter-county matches ever to be contested at an indoor venue – the 8pm closing time restriction also applies. Arising from this, all the FBD matches will now have the earlier throw-in time of 6pm or, if you prefer, tea-time.

Given the widespread prevalence of Omicron within the community at the present time, supporters’ appetite for attending live sporting events has likely been dimmed. As a result, playing off the FBD matches in the Dome with only a small number of people in attendance now seems like a sensible move.

This is all the more so because all of the FBD ties will be streamed live by Connacht GAA. They’re being made available on a pay-per-view basis, with match passes for each game priced at €10, which is a bit less than you could expect to pay at the gate if you were attending the game in person. Details on match passes are here.

The action gets underway next Monday evening with Andy Moran in his bainisteoir bib for the first time as his Leitrim side take on Sligo. The Yeats County are, of course, still being managed by ex-Mayo coach Tony McEntee so that gives a nice personal edge to proceedings for the two managers.

We join the fray under the Dome on Friday evening (7th January), when we play Galway in the first semi-final of the competition. Roscommon play the winners of the Leitrim/Sligo clash on the Saturday evening and the final will then be contested on Friday 14th January.

The joke about the FBD no longer being a league competition is a well-worn one at this stage. The 2022 variant will take it further from its roots, with a ‘golden score’ rule to be used for the first time ever to ensure that all matches finish on the night and that everyone is packed off home from the Dome in advance of the 8pm deadline.

Penalty kicks have been used as tie-breakers in the FBD in the past – and we’ve both won and lost shootouts in the pre-season competition – but a ‘golden score’ would, like the equivalent tie-break rule in soccer some years ago, end the contest once one of the teams bags a score in extra-time. Christy O’Connor has an interesting piece in today’s Irish Examiner (here) on GAA shootouts.

Stuck as we currently are in the midst of yet another Covid wave, it’s good to have something different to focus on. It’s even better that this something is the return of inter-county football. Roll on 2022. Roll on the FBD under the Dome.

30 thoughts on “FBD action on next week

  1. Will be very interested in seeing what kind of team lines out for mayo hoping to see plenty of new faces.

  2. Let’s be honest every sport in the world is being absolutely decimated by covid at the minute, statistically there will inevitably be outbreaks amongst gaa teams also

    Hopefully the damage isn’t too much and the FBD can go ahead to some degree but I’d be shocked if there wasn’t postponements in all honesty. Hopefully the worst of Omicron has passed by the time the national League comes around

  3. Faces I would like to see against Galway:

    Cillian O’Connor
    Jason Doherty
    Brendan Harrison
    Paul Towey
    Mark Moran
    A midfielder who can catch and hold onto the ball
    A goalkeeper who is not Robbie or Rory

  4. Does anyone know of anyone who wishes to swap a standard season ticket for a club + season ticket before
    renewal I’m no longer living I county do will not be able to go to club games

    Please reply to garranard@hotmail.com

    Many thanks

  5. Hi WJ

    Trouble paying for a viewing ticket on the ‘Connacht’ page. System pure…………..(ablative hidden)

  6. Yes a scoring half forward line and a new goalkeeper and a commanding full back and a Liam McHale type midfielder would be great to see. Happy new year to all.

  7. Could I throw a spanner in the works and I know we don’t have panel information but could we discuss
    (1) 2 new potential goal keepers
    (2) 2 new potential full backs
    (3) 2 new potential midfielders to partner Ruane
    (4) 2 new potential half forwards.

    Happy New Year to all. Mayo for Sam!!

  8. Wouldn’t you love to see Mayo management with a new type of outlook for 2022, plenty of experimenting with new players in all positions.
    I think we all need to see a fresh approach for 2022.
    How much more can they learn, are they open to learning?

  9. @knocking about
    2 potential goalkeepers-Jamie Mcnicholas(Kiltimagh) and colm reape(knockmore)
    2 potential new full backs-David Mcbrien(ballaghdreen) and Alfie Morrison(Louisburgh)
    2 potential midfielders-Jack carney-(Kilmeena) and Evan o brien(ballinrobe)

    2 potential half forwards-Kuba Callaghan (ballaghdreen)and colm Moran (Westport)

  10. @Knockingabout
    1. Goalies – Colm Reape, Luke Jennings
    2. Full backs – David McBrien, Oisin Tunney, James Kelly
    3. Midfielders – Jack Carney, Lee Keegan (only played once midfield so new), Stephen Coen, James Kelly, Aidan OShea last quarter (it’s new)
    4. Half forwards – Connell Dempsey, Paddy Durcan (only played once or twice there), Enda Hession, Kevin McLoughlin last quarter (new)

  11. Thanks JP, very interesting, could we have more bloggers reply to this please. Definitely exciting times ahead for the year.

  12. I would like to see more structure to our forward line. Last year was way too far into the happy lads from Mayo up for the day. What I mean. Consider how many players got on ball close to goal who are NOT noted goalscorers for club or county. It was like overly democratic shooting and goalscoring attempts. We should be teeing up the likes of Tommy and Ryan.

  13. Oisin still apparently hasn’t signed any contract yet so all a bit up in the air at the moment

  14. Saw a photo of the 1959 Galway team that played Cavan in minor semi final in 1959.most of them were on the Galway 3 in row. John Donnellan was taken off and set with the Cavan subs for the rest of the game

  15. Stephen Coen at Full back…..what about Caolan Crowe???…Andy rated him….he never seemed to get a chance….came on in that disaster in Salthill I remember as a blood sub…took off after 5 mins…I thought he looked like a good man for the FB role.

  16. Even before this more transmissible variant arrived the main spreader of the virus was indoor activities. Will all be classed as close contracts if anyone tests positive after these FBD indoor games? Outdoor matches are deemed as causal contacts.

    The appetite for attending live sporting events has likely been dimmed however I would still expect in the region of 3,000 to attend a Galway v Mayo FBD if it was played outdoors. Past FBD games against the neighbours has attracted 5,000 or more.

  17. Nearly threw my laptop at the wall listening to Ger Gilroy on off the ball talk about Mayo. It’s voices like him that make Mayo the big theatrical show, NOT THE FANS. I could be eating my words later on in the year, but let’s see if Tyrone are this new force. If Mayo get a good run out again this year, it would be typical for them to beat Tyrone in a quarter final. Won’t heal the wounds of the loss this year, but similar circumstances have happened in the past.

  18. Tubberman I assumed you were talking about Cillian but I now suspect you may have been referring to Oisin. He is still in Ireland………..I think there is a final twist in this yet which may please us

  19. I wish the Mullin situation was clarified. I’ve heard he’s staying..and that he’s going. Some say he has signed a contract…others say he hasn’t.

  20. All – I think it’s best to leave off discussing Oisin’s decision until the situation is clarified for definite.

    Podcast episode is now up.

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