Final build-up is a time to enjoy


We’re already counting down to the All-Ireland final on 17th September, just under three weeks from now. It’s our fourth final in six years and our third facing Dublin. We’re back up on the biggest stage of all in Gaelic football, once again aiming for glory.

The build-up to a final is a special time for supporters, a period to be savoured in its own right, as well as a spell in which it’s possible to dream all those dreams about what might follow if the result goes the right way on the big day. Regardless of what happens on the day – and, God knows, we’ve more than enough experience of the wrong kind in this regard – you never have to hand back all the fun and games involved in the build-up.

Last year was, though, different. Last year had an edge to it, a nasty, brooding malevolent mood. It started long before the drawn game and it went on well after the replay.

The battleground for all this hostility was, of course, online. It was all over social media and it was bloody ugly.

I didn’t engage much with it directly myself but I saw plenty of what was being said online, some of it spilling into the blog via comments that were swiftly dispatched to the bin.

Those weeks around last year’s final were also enough for me to call time on any active engagement with others via social media.

I’ve only ever posted links to blog posts on Facebook but I used to do a bit on Twitter. Not any more. To my mind, it’s simply not a fit-for-purpose platform in which to engage with the world. All I do there now is post links the same way as I do on Facebook.

It’s up to every individual – including, bewilderingly, the current occupant of the Oval Office – to decide for themselves how and to what end they use social media. I know and accept that many people enjoy the experience and that it enriches their lives. Good luck to them.

But I also know that some people like nothing better than to use social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter to attack, abuse, harass and denigrate others. The lack of any proper oversight means they can do so with impunity. It’s a big, bad world out there.

Sadly, it’s a world that has encroached into the space within which the GAA exists. Supporters still sit beside each other at matches but online the exchanges can often be anything but neighbourly.

In its early days, I was an enthusiastic advocate of Twitter and how it was possible to keep in touch with matches, no matter how arcane or local they were, regardless of your location on the planet. I still think this is one of the platform’s great strengths.

More recently, though, we’ve all seen its drawbacks. So-called GAA supporters trading semi-literate venom with each other. Soccer-style tribal vitriol being spat out across the ether. Reasonable discussions being hijacked by people whose only aim is to destroy debate, instead sowing rancour and hate.

As someone who has lived in the capital for decades and is involved in the GAA at grassroots level up here, what struck me from twelve months ago was the gulf that existed between the online and offline versions of the rivalry between the two counties contesting the final. It also convinced me about which space I was better off inhabiting. It’s a lesson I’m now following through on for this build-up twelve months on.

But, of course, I’m far from offline. I’d like to think, though, that the way the community operates on the blog – however imperfectly – shows that it’s at least possible for reasonable debate and interaction to occur online. It’s my hope that a mood of reasonableness will continue to prevail here over the coming few weeks.

In this regard, I’d like to make a special appeal to everyone to keep it clean when posting comments ahead of and following the final. I’ll sort the trolls at source – whose comments will, in any event, get caught in moderation – but the fewer insulting barbs posted here by our supporters, the less of this stuff I’ll have to deal with.

As regards use of social media more generally, that’s an individual decision everyone has to make. I guess what I would say is that nobody can escalate a row without involving another party. It takes two to tango.

So, my advice would be to enjoy the build-up to the full, celebrate the achievement of our wonderful team who keep coming back and who are, once more, aiming for glory. These are special days and they deserve to be savoured.

As supporters, we’ve been rightly praised for walking the road with them in such huge numbers. For all of us lucky enough to have done so it’s been an enormously positive experience. Let’s continue that positivity over the next few weeks as well.

89 thoughts on “Final build-up is a time to enjoy

  1. Well said WJ

    It should be alot of fun and plenty of fair debate for the run to the final. Plenty of fair and intelligent posters on this blog and looking forward to reading the different strategies and arguments that people are going to put forward for us to win this final.

    Hon Mayo.

  2. Well said Willie Joe. Wouldn’t it be great for us all to keep a minimal presence online observing but not engaging in the abuse coming from the other side. Put that fuel in the tank for September 17th and then just when all the Dubs are satisfied they’ve talked up their team enough and won the online battle…….ambush.

    Tyrone played the same system all year = Jim gavin had been preparing to meet them all year and was ready for their one plan tactic.

    Mayo on the other hand are about as unpredictable as could be. Where do we play aido?full back, midfield, centre half forward, full forward?

    Where do we play keegan, Vaughan, Higgins?

    Does loftus start? Does Durcan start? Will there be a starter from left field?

    Good luck jim. None of us have a clue other than rochford but I do know rochford has been preparing for you all year! bring it on.

    Our time has come

  3. So true, these are great days and yes let’s enjoy the build up, fly the flags, paint the sheep and most important of all secure every last ticket possible.
    The wonderful narrative from the weekend has been set and should be enhanced at every opportunity – this Dublin team is the best gaa team of all time and 3 in a row is the least they deserve. No need to argue otherwise. Then on the 17th, unleash hell on the pitch, and demonic support in the stands!

  4. well said Willie Joe, couldn’t agree more and TG the White House gives us an exemplary of the Personality Profile of the Degenerative Personality which takes a negative world view and antagonistic attitude to issues. This attitude is also often on the pitch and it was remarked by many in the debate about who should mark Donaghy that we just did not have anyone of the said profile to do the dirt on him and I am for one glad for that. If we get the right ref, this will not be a burden to us either, but regardless off the “print the myth” approach in the media, with runner-blocking pulled, we will be leading by 8 points, or 4 if not, and I still think there is work to do on bringing home the lead to a victory. We have the steel alright – hammered over more times in the heat than a Damascus blade – but we let in their first shot on goal right after ours and the fall from 8 to 4 lead was not arrested until they dropped to 14. Brolly’s management theory is missing a developmental layer when he says that the Dublin system is so honed as to allow self-expression. The level that is missing is when the system is tried and tested and re-invents itself in the Dynamic situation which is blood and guts stuff. Other than that, the emerging self-expression is prima-donna posturing – our boys have the right stuff and I hope they give serious consideration to tactics to bring a lead home

  5. Our Time Has Come, I would agree Mayo are unpredictable and im sure Rochford will have a couple of ideas in the bag especially for Dublin. Regarding some of your points, the positioning of AOS isnt straight forward due to the displays of the forward unit over the past two games, one place he won’t play though is fb.

    The Placement of Keegan is also vital, I think he needs to be around the middle especially with the pace Dublin now have around there. Gavin is definitely going to name Connolly as a starter, not particularly beacuse he is match fit but rather by naming Connolly it may nail Leeroy down to one position.

    Loftus wont start but will come on, Duirmuid is by far the better runner and will be required to track the Dublin half backs especially McCaffery.

    I believe Mayo cant play with a sweeper, at least one that drops back from the hf line for two reasons. You cant let Dublin have a free man running from deep creating overlaps, each man has to be tracked. We need a full complement of forwards to really push up on the Dublin kickout, pressure must be put on each and exery kick, this cant be done with a man sittting back.

    For me Durcan has to start, I would see Harry playing fb with either Barrett or Durcan in the corner.

  6. @Puckout wonderful comment, so good I typed it out on the oul phone and sent it a few people!

  7. Great point about the difference in online vs offline. I live in Dublin and their fans are as sound as they come. There will always be idiots on both sides who are best ignored. All we can do is keep turning up and roaring on our team.

  8. Hear, hear, Willie Joe. I can’t stand Twitter or Facebok either and there is nothing I enjoy better than banter about football. As I say, if you can’t enjoy a bit of good humoured slagging about it it’s not worth bothering about. But it has to be good humoured, not insulting.

  9. Just got confirmation that my ticket is on the way ! Happy days !!!

    My 11th final – – 8 losses & 2 draws !

    Our time has finally come ! This is our year !!

  10. Agree with general sentiments above – the build up is to be enjoyed by supporters. Have the banter with the Dubs but keep it clean. The vast majority of the Dubs (like the vast majority of Mayo people) are decent sound people and if we weren’t playing Dub they would be shouting for us. Don’t let it turn into an English soccer type bitter rivalry. On the day support Mayo to the end – but please if you are at the game and a genuine fan don’t boo Dublin freetakers or Connolly when he comes into the field. Long-standing genuine Mayo supporters are above this. Complete silence for Dub freetakers will unnerve them more than booing. If the Dubs want to boo- let them off – I hope we are above this.

  11. will we have a western double galway in hurling and mayo in football is it too soon to mention that.

  12. Just got the email confirming my ticket, and it just became very real.

    I am about to attend my 7th All Ireland Senior Football Final.

    I f**king love being from Mayo!

  13. Maybe it’s early days & maybe I’m deluded but I just feel like that horrible nastiness that was there online last year might not raise its ugly head this year – I hope I’m right.

    I think the respect levels between both counties for each other has increased and that should help put paid to the nasty edge.

    Also as with everything in life, a lot comes from the top down – I think those media campaigns drove us all to distraction last year, so please Lord let us not have to put up with the same rubbish frm the pundits/papers & experts this year.

    Luigi, I think Boyler may have sprouted this summer. I’m not sure which pundit said he wouldn’t be catching marks in midfield against Kerry, but, I’m fairly sure he caught a fine one Sat afternoon – so there must be some explanation ;-).

  14. Also one other thing 🙂 & probably doesn’t need to be written down, but shure I will anyway :-).
    I think every single Mayo person should share the same belief as the management and panel.
    There is no doubt in their mind but that they are going to win this AIF and every Mayo person should have the same mind set.
    The general air of the County should be that we haven’t a doubt in our mind. I believe it’s infectious & what’s the worst that can happen :-). #UpMayo

  15. Great stuff from BJ Padden in the Mayo news he says it was the best performance from a Mayo team he ever saw against Kerry a complete 75 minute performance where we beat them in all areas.
    The paper also reports that Donie Vaughan and Diurmuid Oconnor came off with slight hamstring strains and Colm Boyle has a protective boot on his ankle but says all Three should be ok for final.
    I see Hill 16 also calling for respect between the 2 best supported teams in the country which is also good to see.

  16. After watching the semifinal again I’m a bit worried about our kick out strategy-short kick out to a colleague and then a fist pass back to Clarke. I can see Dublin sending someone in to mark David once he kicks thus preventing the pass back !

    Anyone got any other strategy for our kick outs ? I hope Stephen R does…….

  17. read in the Mayo News we won 21 out of 22 kick outs – no way this will happen under our jim’s robots

  18. Agree with MayoMad. I don think a fulll time sweeper (ala Kevin McL last year) is best option for us against Dublin this year.
    With the form Jason, Andy and CoC are in this year – let them take their chance against Dublin FB line so play 3 in FF line.
    Questions on team selection I would have are
    MF – Parsons and Lee would be the most mobile partnership to counteract Dubs but hard to drop Seamie
    AOS – Where will he be played? – Could we try him as a roving FF ala Donaghy in 2014 final for Kerry taking McMahon out of that area?
    Keith – Could we start him in HFs. I still think that he had them in bother in 2013 final until moved. Most likely to start on Mannion though?
    A lot depends on Rochie’s overall tactics though re – sweeper Y/N, Kickout strategy, subs – who do you want on the field with 10minutes to go and man-marking choices, who marks O’Callaghan, Mannion and Andrews in particular

  19. These really are great days and should be enjoyed to their fullest. That need not and should not rely upon the antagonising of others – home and abroad so to speak.

    There’s a big difference between a bit of craic and belittling or goading people. There’s a line there and common sense should always dictate where that is.

    I seen the post from Hill 16 and see that he even admitted he had lost sight of reality last year. It’s commendable that he’s seen fit to admit this and I think we can all follow suit.

    We’ve theee weeks now to savour the build-up, dream of what can be and get ready to unleash that emotion in Croker – again. There’s a huge challenge ahead of our lads and I simply can’t wait to see them take it on.

    Hon Maigh Eo.

  20. Well said Willie Joe. Freespoonwitheverytub I hope the Mayo News is right. It would be truly remarkable if for once going into an AF we have a completely fully fit squad to choose from with no niggles or strains. It’s all the more remarkable considering the number of games we have played. This is the fastest leanest and hungriest set of individuals I have ever yet to see put on a Mayo jersey and that’s just the supporters 🙂

  21. Toe to hand, where are you getting your info from. Unfortunately DOC and Donie came off the last day with Hamstring injuries. Rockford said DOC brought his into the game. Boyler wearing a protective boot after for ankle injury. Leroy still not 100%. Remarkable we have no serious injuries but I hope these 4 are 100% in 3 weeks. We need everyone fully fit to match Dubs panel.

  22. Well said Willie Joe These are special days to be a Mayo person and are to be fully enjoyed. Living here in Dublin these online ranters are not representative of the Dublin people. I know I can look forward to nothing but friendly banter for the next three weeks and no matter what the result there will be no bad feelings afterwards.

    James Fleming tickets do not go on general sale for finals.

  23. I think there will definitely be less of an edge this year – most Dubliners are full sure that they are guaranteed to win the AIF and the neutrals would love to see us do it but are convinced that we have no chance. Because of this we are seen as no threat – only to be pitied as a walk on part in the Dublin epic movie. I personally think that it leaves us in the perfect place going into the final – written off as better than the rest but just not good enough. My advice to my fellow Mayo supporters is to be as generous and effusive in praise as you can to Dublin supporters about their team. Hype up Dublin no end and go with the common rhetoric of us just being delighted to be there. Then on the day we hit them as hard as we have ever done both on the field and with our vociferous support from the stands. We say what we like afterwords online, in the pubs or in the privacy of our own homes once Sam is safely resting in Castlebar! As for where to play AOS, I would play him as close to Stephen Cluxton as possible for a period. Cluxton is the only player Dublin can’t replace. If we could find a way to rattle him (he did it to Donaghy!) that could be key to winning the game. Cluxton is the most important hammer to hammer!

  24. Agreed Maigh Eo go deo! Out the door at the same time should go all those who refer to ‘Donnie’ Vaughan. Do they not know how to spell Shoes?

  25. Liamontherunsince51M – fair play to Diarmuid and about time someone decided to challenge a goalie. Great shot of him soaring in BJ Paddens Mayo News article. Closest player to the goal should always try to get in to position in case a shot drops short. Same with free kicks for a flick on. Easier said than done I suppose!

  26. Would like to see aos at centre half back and shoes at midfield.
    Shoes to drop back when Aidan drives forward.
    Plus Keegan on Kilkenny,a lot of what Dublin do comes from Kilkenny.
    I’ll leave it in Rocky’s hands I mean rochie’s hands.

  27. Yes Great days.
    Getting to an All Ireland Final is a major achievement in itself and only the very few are privileged to make it there.
    Mayo have a chance to dine at the top table.
    5 weeks ago let alone June when we were beaten by Galway did I think we would make it back to the final shake down.
    The team have just summoned all strength and energy from god knows where after the come down from losing last year by a point.
    Some bunch of lads that’s all I say and I did doubt if they could get the performances again for the Semi Final and semi final replay.
    By God they did.
    The weeks and days leading upto the final are special.
    The All Ireland Final day itself is just unreal.
    The hairs stand on the back of your neck when the Mayo team run out onto the pitch amid all the fanfare and the noise from the Mayo supporters in their thousands hoping/willing and praying for their team to perform on the day and get the rub of the green to win Sam Maguire and bring it home West for the mother of all wild celebrations.
    I’ve got a real feeling this time – Mayo are going to get it right this time and pull the rug from under Dublins arse.

    Ah but sure what’s the point in having a final.
    Dublin have it won – RIGHT ??????

  28. Well said everyone re online and offline support. Totally agree. I think it’s going to be the most fascinating, mouthwatering AI final in my lifetime. Let’s enjoy it!

  29. Doherty has to take all the 45s and long range free kicks!! Cillian doesn’t have the power to make them count, every opportunity has to be taken.

  30. Aidy Walsh – you learn something in every game and the Doherty one you point out is a big one. No question we’re a much better team for having gone through the back door.

  31. He’l probably go with Barry Moran for the first 20 mins and then bring on Andy after an aerial bombardment of the Dublin full back line!! (U never know, changing goalies and all that).
    In all the talk about the dubs their real advantage over us is their bench, at least 6 to 7 experienced guys they can bring in Flynn, Brogan, McManamon and not to mention McAuley who did us serious damage in both replays of 2015/16.
    Compared to our bench we have only two game changers in Durkin and Loftus, C O Shea hast really done it had a chance in the replay last year but ran round in circles and over and back. The likes of Kirby and Nally have’t been given a chance, they were not used in the qualifiers when we needed someone to kick on my point being in the final bringing everybody bar Loftus and Durkin on to do something is a big ask.
    Another concern is Mick Fitzsimons has always nullified Andy and Gavin knows this.
    Just maybe our plan B might be two big men in the forward line early on just to unsettle them might be a ploy against them. In 2015 they had planed for Aido and had McMahon and Cooper waiting for him when he dropped with the ball along with O Carroll.
    Maybe this tactic they won’t be expecting, try it, draw them back and when they do hit them with our runners coming through for scores.
    It just an opinion maybe somethingthat could work just to make them think or rethink.

  32. You might be on to something there kickhams man. 2 big men would be worth a try as one isolated on his own would just be sqeezed out. We need to do something totally unpredictable to throw them that’s for sure. Ok so Roch’s Hennelly plan didn’t work last year. This is as good a chance as he’ll get to make amends!

  33. Kickhams Man – cannot see BM having a major role given that we haven’t seen him play this year. Could be an option at the end for a few marks or if we need a hail mary. I hope not.

  34. A bit anal Maigheo Go Deo and Willie Joe, arguing with spell check. Surely question as to whether players will get over injuries is a bit more relevant!

  35. I want to make my annual rant about the half time and pre match “entertainment” in Croker. For the last matches against the Dubs final and replay we have had to endure Damo Dempsey and Aslan I’m half afraid this year it will be Imelda May. I know they won’t score any points for the Dubs but they do get the Dublin crowd going and they are true blue supporters. The point I’m making is that Dublin have enough advantages playing at “home” virtually I think the GAA should have a nuetral band to play for both sides it annoyed me last year to hear Aslan in Croke Park saying “up the Dubs wha” rant over but I don’t think we should concede an inch to the Dubs on the pitch or in the stands

  36. Backdoorsam – At least Sharron Shannon was superb last Saturday and in no way partisan, I’m sure the Kerry fan’s and the netural fan’s enjoyed the performance just as much as the Mayo fan’s!…… Imelda is getting the big gig’s….. McVulgar, I mean McGreggor and now the All Ireland final…. And do you know that ‘I usta love her-once’ question will be ‘will all my loving be gone, gone gone?’….The 17th will answer that particular question.

  37. Justoutsideballagh – You’re letting the side down with that kind of talk. Don’t take it so personally.

  38. You are dead right backdoorsam. Croke Park is as much ours as the Dubs. There was a fly on the wall documentary about the 2015 AIF and it showed that the whole place down to the caterers and service staff are all behind the Dubs. I would also ask that sense prevails and suggest that the GAA not appoint a Leinster ref. Gillick (although from meath) is based in Dublin as is David Gough. An unbiased Ulster or Munster ref would be preferable. The Dubs have enough advantages.

  39. At least we won’t have the Keegan/Connolly circus this year which certainly lead to a lot of tension between both counties.

  40. Liamontherunsince51M – I would take Gough, thought he had a fine game last Saturday, GAA need to stamp out the cynical fouling, can only be in our favor.

  41. Actually think this could be the most relaxed build up we ever had as all the talk is about the brilliant Dubs. Only problem we have is to try and get tickets when available and wait for ambush !!

  42. No problem Maigh Eo but next time maybe comment on the football point raised which is surely what the blog is about

  43. How do some of ye know that Imelda Maye will be singing on Al final day?, seeing that she comes from the South inner City area I have no doubt that “Molly Malone” or the other one “the Auld triangle” will be belted out, or maybe a song each for both Counties.
    I would encourage All Mayo supporters to sing our own song at exactly the same time (as the Dubs anthem).
    Mayo County Board will need to aggressively demand a fair share of the Hill and Nally tickets, I will be in the unusual position of looking for a ticket here in Dublin and Mayo, I have never been let down for an All Ireland ticket from my Mayo contact. Having been in the Premium level for both Kerry matches, I need to be in the terraces for the final.
    The Large flag will make an appearance also, maybe a loudspeaker and whistle.
    We normally head to Mayo for the Halloween break, but this year I believe this will be brought forward, I have pencilled in a date on my work diary, it’s 18th Sept, the Monday homecoming.

  44. Steady on there, Justoutsideballagh – it’s not up to you to say what others should comment about. A sense of humour wouldn’t go astray either for that matter.

  45. I’d say that smirky Jim would love to get his grubby little hands on the Rochord files in the lead up to the final.

    I’ve been all day thinking about and trying to calculate how much the Mayo team have improved this year.

    Stephen is in his 2nd year and I think his management and his systems are now becoming evident.

    I’m seeing massive improvements all over the pitch from David Clarke right through to the forwards.

    The likes of Jason Doherty and kevin Mcloughlin just to name 2 look like men who really know what their jobs are about now.

    I believe the improvement in the team this year is phenomenal and even the more senior players have ratcheted it up as well.

    Smirky Jim can pick whatever 15 he wants. Dublin are in for a big surprise on Sept 17. A very big surprise.

  46. You have piqued my curiosity Justoutsideballagh with the question as to whether players will get over injury is a bit more relevant. Relevant to what? Yes of course its hugely important and very relevant that the players get over whatever ails them at this time, that they dont pick up injuries between now and the final and that they are able to play on the day to the fullest of their abilities. Will that be the case? I doubt anyone knows the answer to that. Will we know for sure that all players are 100% fit for the final? I doubt we will know the answer to that either and this camp seems to be as tight as a ducks arse currently when it comes to leaks. There will be speculation certainly but we are well used to that by now surely. There is nothing anyone can do here on this blog that I know of that will help speed up their recovery.. I would certainly wave my tablet in the direction of Boylers booted foot if I thought it would help. I personally am going with the assumption that we will have a full deck to work with until I am told otherwise. To question the alternative dosn’t make any sense to me.. we need everyone do we not?

  47. Liamontherunsince51 totally agree ! I know one man than can rattle him happens to be my favourite player ( very underrated ) but he did it before in a league game thought he was genius ?He’s the man !

  48. I swear this will be my last rant, but now that a ceasefire has been called between both sides can we eradicate the insulting of opposition players and/or management and take note of what WJ has written in his piece above: “In this regard, I’d like to make a special appeal to everyone to keep it clean when posting comments ahead of and following the final. I’ll sort the trolls at source – whose comments will, in any event, get caught in moderation – but the fewer insulting barbs posted here by our supporters, the less of this stuff I’ll have to deal with.”

  49. As some know, I’m a gentle chap. At last years final I nearly clocked some of our “supporters” leaving early. Have they not learned we are never dead.
    Previously I would argue keep it calm (trauma of 97), but now, let them feel fear, Kerry did.
    Agree with post on previous thread, If you don’t believe, give the ticket to some mad hure who does.
    We loved and lost, we love and win.

  50. What we can do as fans for the next 3 weeks is to keep out of the players and managements way for the next 3 weeks.don’t pester any players in the workplace or in there town or village, especially not for tickets.Let Rochy and his troops prepare properly for the great ambush of the Dublin 3 in a row.If we are to do one thing it is to get our hands on as many tickets as possible for the final especially Hill 16 tickets no swapping and to get any floating hill tickets in the rest of the country back to Mayo.Last year in the 1st day there was a great Mayo crowd in early to the hill and took over the centre of the hill.The dublin Hill 16 roar was well down and I think it defo had an effect on how dubpin played.It seemed to upset the Dublin rythme.For the replay Dublin seemed to have a much bigger crowd in the hill and were in before the Mayo crowd and it didnt help that Cillian had to kick in that free into the big Dublin crowd for the equaliser in the last minute of the game.

  51. If they do get Imelda May, I hope they don’t let her near the National Anthem. She made a dogs dinner of it in Vegas last Saturday. Just watched Dub Tyrone again. How poor were Tyrone. Rochford will get very little from it as Mayo will play a different game. I doubt young Con will waltz through the middle with C Boyle around. Very encouraged by second viewing of both semis. Mayo have a right good chance.

  52. The weeks between a semi final and final are indeed unique. A fantastic time and it should be cherished. Live every minute of these special 22 days.

    As mentioned above, what about Doherty taking 45s?. That one on Saturday had plenty of legs on it and sailed through with plenty to spare. Cillian on 45s over the years has not always paid dividends. I’d be interested to know if somebody has an actual accurate record of the returns from Cillians 45s. I can remember many dropping short or “tailing off”.

    Is the big flag banned from Croker for the final on health and safety grounds?

    Flares banned too i presume but there is always at least one on the Hill billowing out blue smoke like a chimney. Would be nice to see green and red smoke for a change. Wafting across the pitch during the parade.

  53. What about the ‘Saw Doctors’ for the entertainment…. Heard Leo was looking for a ticket in any case….. Sure wouldn’t that be the solution… Kill two bird’s with one stone. The Dubs would absolutely love the Saw Doctors, the Hill would be in raptures…. You know they could wear them ‘Sutans’…. A bit of Religion, Get that wasp of my sandwich, Daddy can I go up on top?, Not if they have Willie Joe, N17 and’ The Joyce county ceile band,.. ‘I’m sure that I love her again, if she makes the tea’ before ‘Take me to Clare Island,’ and the’ Green and Red of Mayo ‘… Now that’s what I call music 2017…..

  54. I suppose I’ve little to be complaining about if you said to me after the Galway game as I was walking up Salthill after Galway beating us that we’d be in the all Ireland final against Dublin and Aslan would be singing I’d think your crazy but I’d be delighted. Anyway as long as they play the green and red of Mayo around 4 55 as we’re making a stampede on the pitch towards the hogan stand and our heroes everyone will be happy. Mayo are playing brillant football this year full of heart and conviction roll on Sept 17

  55. The entertainment has been partisan the last few years but so has the venue, referee, tv analysis and just about everything else. And these things fall into the ‘uncontrollable’ category surely? It’s vexing now all the same but it’s the top top brass that decide these things and our own CB don’t seem to have too much say or say anything to begin with. What we can control is our contribution on match day. The lads will leave nothing behind and neither should we. Our focus is the support of the team on and off the pitch. I firmly, firmly genuinely believe that if that game is there for the taking in the dying moments our voices, our wanting the win will be decisive in getting the boys to finish the job.

  56. Sure if it rains on the 17th smirky Jim’s AIG robots will short circuit and if it’s warm they’ll overheat.

    Well I guess without question we are now officially in the top 2 teams in the country and in 3 weeks we’ll be the top team.

    Rochford is like a man with a metal detector and the beep is getting louder. Sam is very close.

  57. Rockford will have the lads well prepped. Don’t be surprised to see Ger Cafferty line up at full back.

    Docherty has been fantastic for us all year and Andy Dillon is an absolute legend. I just hope we get a big performance in the middle from Tom Carsons.

  58. Tut, tut, Mark! Not only did you refer to ‘Rockford’ there, you also mentioned Ger ‘Cafferty’, ‘Docherty’ and Tom ‘Carsons’. If you’d included Alan ‘Dillion’ you’d have had a spellcheck full house, even without including Donnie.

  59. Smirky Jim he reckoned
    Hadn’t seen Mayo all year
    Well come September 17th
    That smirk will disappear

  60. McQuillan is going to get the final . They had Brannigan down for it but the Connolly incident has put a halt to that

  61. For me looking in from the outside i would look at following tweaks for the final

    Durcan to start at wing forward in place of DoC (who hasnt been performing well), Durcan will have pace to stick with McCaffrey and also give him plenty to think about going the other way too.

    AOS wont be fullback again, having said that the forward line much more fluid in the 2 kerry games without him in it, the ball coming in was much quicker with Moran and Doherty being spotted much quicker with their runs. AOS takes a lot out of it everytime. With this in mind, would start AOS at deep lying midfielder for the final alongside Parsons.

    Loftus must be very. very close to a start. Brilliant impact again the other day, appears to be the best passer in the squad especially when he pings those killer passes into the ‘D’

    Higgins needs to be the free man (sweeper) at whatever cost, corner back restricts him and he is like a player reborn since the Rossie game since he has more freedom

    Genuinely see this a 50/50 game as an outsider
    My only concern would be that Dublin have a far far superior bench, Mayo seem to coping on a core group of 16-17 players they trust

  62. I wonder if referring to Donie Newcombe and Donie Buckley Leeroy and Zippy is that outlawed now aswell….

  63. For those of ye that went to the trouble of watching the Dublin /Tyrone match again….. Yer going too far for the Mayo cause,…. Suffering will only get you so far …… We used to observe Lent,.. climb the Reek in our bare feet (worse is wellingtons)…….Listen to Big Tom,…….Watch Gaybo and listen to his guff, on the Late Late…… Frightening stuff altogether, but if it’s suffering is your thing, no better country to provide first class suffering to you, than this little country……. But those of ye that want to watch Dublin and Tyrone again……. I can’t bear to think of the suffering ye are going through…. Stop enough is enough!….. Of course it could be much worse -…. imagine being locked up in a prison cell with Jim Gavin……. or Connor McGreggor.? …. Isn’t it hard to believe that, Gavin and McGreggor come from the same county,…. . opposite ends of the spectrum, in terms of their public utterances….. One I admire and the other I don’t….. Please let the GAA have the good sense NOT to introduce to the crowd McGreggor at half time, like they do from time to time, introduce a celebrity….. The good people of Galway and Waterford deserve better as well…. Do ye know who I want to win the McCarty cup?…. I want both of them to win it….. But next Sunday I’ll have to shout for the Connacht team (or is that Leinster?)….. And if Galway are in Leinster, that’s the only Cup that’s going to Leinster this September … Come on the Deise in 2018….. Yer time is close, very close!



    ANDY HORAN. F. POLAND. Danger ahead. Darry minor wearing safety glasses.slan anois

  65. At least we know all the correct names of the Dublin outfit led by the smirking kim javin and their star pupil ciarmuid Donnelly faul plynn, goin o’hara, Cleveland sluxton, Michael Sarah mcauley and Andy Pandrew’s to be name but a few.


  66. Good one 10 outa10 . jimmy odundea . evan deegan -ouch.- simon fit-simons
    filly the silly billy , small johnny are you there. john henry pooper. slan anois

  67. I genuinely don’t think Dublin or Dublin fans are half as complacent as being made out here.
    The media will portray one thing . That’s nothing to do with us .

    A lot of our fans are in agreement with those here that Tyrone weren’t as good as the hype was and had a massive part to play in our one sided victory.

    There’s no belief in Jersey punching our hearts , walking to the hill , battle cries seen (well in public anyway) from this team Ala Pillar Caffery and his blue book era .
    Con o Callaghan’s goal was a perfect example of this , a great goal , a significant goal , a very limited \ tame celebration .
    I think this subliminally exudes confidence.

    Gavin saying Dublin under performed last year shows he knows Mayo aren’t to be taken for granted . This annoyed some people here but in a way should be taken as a compliment .

    After last year I find this so hard to call . Having watched mayo they seemed all over the place , even when they were winning it wasn’t going all right for them . we then only won by the smallest margins after two games !

    The main argument I can see here against Dublin is that we haven’t been tested .

    What do you see as Dublins main weaknesses ?

    I really feel that both teams have improved this year. What has Rochford extra this year that will get Mayo their much craved Sam?

  68. Bruce Dub… Every thing you say is true, very true….. It seems to be the silly season here on the Blog today, myself included…. So how much heed you get is another thing altogether?… After this Summer, which comes after last Summer, Mayo fans are not totally capable of being serious for a full 3 weeks… Plenty of us are serious tough and know our stuff alright… Some of us can pick the correct team in December, and there just as likely to be right as those of us who wouldn’t be quite Notradamus….. I have had a theory on Mayo from the beginning of the championship – you will have to go back month’s ago to read my post’s because everything that has happened since seems to bear out what I was saying… In an earlier post I implored people not to rewatch the Dublin Tyrone mismatch… So much unnecessary torture…. Rereading my previous posts would be equally torturous… But Bruce Dub you are at least well informed…..

  69. BruceDub – “What has Rochford extra this year that will get Mayo their much craved Sam?”

    Answer: He’s convinced Ciarán McDonald to come back.

  70. Maigh eo go deo – That would be terrifying !

    Leantimes – We will reconviene in a few weeks .

    Just one favour . Please don’t take the media as a perception of what Dublin fans think. We too don’t want another ‘What LeeRoy did ‘ campaign .
    Plenty of Dublin fans annoyed about former Dublin players and what they say in the media . Pillar and Paul Curran of late . Doing us no favours .

    Also I agree with WJ with regards social media . The pages there , while they have there best intention can often be very embarrassing .
    I had an argument with one of their followers on my first venture to the hill this year . They gave out to me as I wouldn’t boycott the shop at half time . Apparently im not a true fan . You can imagine my response !

  71. Reading some of the posts here me thinks a lot of the bloggers have gotten together and are passing some high quality stuff around by the left hand side. 17 days out and already the giddyness has kicked in.

    I can’t put my finger on what has changed this year but it’s like the players seem to have finally backed themselves 100%. The picture before the Roscommon replay showing Rochford and Keegan having a mighty laugh, that can’t be manufactured, it showed they’ve a great bond and it put paid to any rubbish about disharmony in the camp. I really cannot start to explain the admiration and affection felt for this team within the county and my only gripe is that the county board are not expoiting it enough.
    I would agree with you regarding the Dublin players by the way, a very down to earth and sound looking bunch of lads, long gone are the scoreboard pointing days of Pillar.

  72. Bruce Dub… If there is anything else you need to know… Especially about ‘Boycotts’… We invented it in Mayo, and hold the copyright.. a certain Captain Boycott came out on the wrong side of People Power… To be more precise Poor People Power (The Land League)… It’s not often Poor People ever get to win…. But in the 19th century, they certainly won a battle or two (some of which, were even said to be peaceful)…. Did Mayo’s Michael Davitt leave an impression on Ghandi, he probably did…. We in Mayo have our sources of inspiration!

  73. I was a bit despondent after watching Dublin hammer Tyrone. I am far more hopeful and indeed confident today for three reasons.
    1. On reflection it seems as if Tyrone became shell shocked very early in the game if not even before hand. They were beaten after 10 minutes and played like a beaten team for the rest of the game. So we cannot really judge Dublin on the strength of that game. Mayo are an entirely different prospect for obvious reasons and are most unlikely to succumb to the shock and awe that Dublin like to bring early in the game.
    2. Mayo are a better team than last year if they play like they did against Kerry in the replay.
    3. There is a weakness in the way Dublin play. (Never I hear you say!!!) Ironically, their defining strength is also a potential vulnerability. Watch the way they like to play in attack: the lad in possession moves the ball on JUST before going into contact. He is supported by a couple of runners who are free to take up the possession unhindered. They keep doing this until they see a weakness. Defenders are left chasing shadows. They work hard to ensure they retain possession and it looks fluid and very controlled.
    My question is this; What if some team set about disrupting this cosy pattern? What if one player put enormous pressure on the guy with the ball AND at the same time the the other lads did the same to those he intended to pass it to? Not so comfortable anymore? This would of course require an enormous effort by our lads. And you might well say they couldn’t sustain this for 80mins. True but if you could manage it for 30mins I reckon the damage would be as good as done. Confidence and cockiness shattered, doubts instilled and a “this couldn’t be happening to us” feeling firmly planted.
    This has not been done to the dubs so far this year. We made a fair attempt at it last Sep/ Oct and nearly pulled it off.
    We have the players with the physical and psychological capacity to do this. We are the only team capable of doing it.
    Jut o it is what I say!

  74. Wow, that’s a seriously well-written piece WJ. Twitter/Facebook/Fake News/ the whole thing’s gone corrosive. Your moderation is what is keeping this blog unique. An incredible achievement. So enjoyable for fans of the green and red. Thanks a mil.

  75. Sound stuff there BruceDub, emphasising, if it needed emphasising, how balanced even the Dublin fans are, when the team and fans are entitled to strut.

    Yes, the contrast with the Dubs of yore is something to behold for one who has lived in the capital for a long time. The Heffo era produced some unbearable arrogance and the Pillar era too, though it had nothing to show for it. I remember before the 06 semi final the view was that Mayo didn’t really deserve to be on the same pitch as the champions -in-waiting, a line peddled all to readily by the media at the time.

    You have to hand it to Pat Gilroy and subsequently Jim Gavin. It’s easy to lampoon Gentleman Jim, but the inculcation of a modest approach (top players sweeping out the dressing rooms?) is admirable, and if sometimes you wish he would get animated, well why should he?

    Dublin may be hugely resourced, but they had resources before and under-exploited them.

    Indeed from a Mayo perspective, you’d wish for a Pillar type approach, but that ain’t gonna happen.

  76. Brucedub, Dublin are a very strong team but it’s their team cohesion that makes them look so good this year. All the players seem to know what to do both in attack and defense. Are they unbeatable, certainly not. I would liken them to Barcelona at their peak, but they even in that era didn’t win every champions league. McCaffrey is an addition and Mccarthy makes them a more mobile midfield rather than a stronger emphasis on primary ball winning. In any event Dubs won the breaks on Sunday so height didn’t matter. Maybe against Mayo breaks will be more even.
    Philly got to roam a lot and fair play to him he’s a very intelligent player. I dislike his play acting but concede he’s a very good player. Mayo should try to keep him occupied defending. Your subs are all top but ye can’t play them all and how soon does each get on. Sport is unpredictable and our management like your will plan away and on the day the players need to perform. The bookies odds are probably fair but we are improved too. If ye get a run on us it will be a long day, but if we’re in it there’s massive desire in players and fans. Ye know what we’re like at this stage.

  77. Dubs problems – Midfield has been our biggest concern for a while. James Mc Carthy has been doing well this year. He plays there with his club but at the end of the day is a make shift midfielder. If anything happened to Brian Fenton we would be royally snookered.
    I got free tickets so went to the Mayo vs Kerry replay. David Clarkes Kick Outs were excellent in the replay. There was one in particular were he picked out Seamie O Shea when I real time I thought he was snookered as other options were blocked off. Kick outs will play a massive part in Mayos game. Should Dublin do a better job than Kerry on the shorts Kick outs I would still worry about our ability at fielding around the middle. I think we have one good fielder out of our Middle 8. Two at a push.
    A site run by a Dublin lad who does stats did stats on Dublin’s breaking ball a while back and its wasn’t a pretty read.

    The Connolly situation is interesting. Jim always says he picks lads on form. I would be disappointed if he started. Love him or Loathe him he is a very , very good footballer. I’d be worried about his impact off the bench. You just don’t know if he would show up or not if sprung from the bench.

    As for our strong bench , yes it is good to have but a lad sitting on a bench never won a game . Our bench is now also an old bench . Kev Macs only decent performance off the bench was the last day out. I think he has lost a yard of pace or two that he relies heavily on. Paul Flynn has been in decline for the past two years but I’d still love him to start for his fielding ability. O Gara is our other option if our tactics arent working but well its O Gara – he can go from the sublime to the ridiculous at the drop of a hat. The flip side of all this is our starting 15 is now a young side. The average age of the team excluding Cluxton is 25.
    We have never really needed to change our game plan under pressure this year and this could prove a problem if we do.

    Fans – Mayo will out number the Dubs in Croke Park again, I missed out on a ticket in our club raffle last year and had to move heaven and earth to get one in the end. The majority of tickets go west . If you believe this has an impact on proceedings then yes Mayo will have the advantage.

    Mayo – Before the replay my pal asked me who I would rather face if we got to the final. While they have improved ,I replied … ‘Mayo ,Its Mayo in a Final.’ We both agreed that something different about this mayo team on the day. Yes, it was the same jittery stuff early on campaign but they never took the foot off the peddle in the replayed game. Its the first time in a long time I have seen a ruthlessness to them. Will they show up again?
    I am still confident however. I just don’t know if I have seen enough from Mayo to say they will beat us.

  78. Having watched back the dublin v tyrone game again a few things I noticed.

    -Early on in the game when Tyrone made turnovers and went on the counter they were straight away tactically fouled by Dublin. Niall Scully guilty of two but this is no surprise as the fouled mayo runnersnumerous time in last years all Ireland.

    -They pushed up really aggressive on Niall morgans kickouts with sumtimes 4 players standing on the full forward line forcing him to go long.So maybe Aido will have to make himself available for kickouts going long long from Clarke.

    -Dean Rocks accuracy from frees is flawless at present it is very important that our defendees are disiplined in the tackle, we handed 7 frees to Paul Geaney the last day.Dont commit late challenges as a least a kick from play under pressure has a lot higher a chance of going wide than Rock hittong a free.Donegal held Dublin to 2 point’s from frees in 2014 last time they were beaten in championship.In last years srawn game we only conceded 3 points from frees but in the replay we gave away 1 penalty and 7 points from frees out of there total score 1-15.This area is huge an area where Jim McGuinness tergetted serious discipline in the tackle an area we have to improve on if were to land Sam.

    -Think we have to get our match ups spot on in defence the next day if I was Rochy, I would have
    Harrison on Paul Mannion
    Higgins on Dean Rock
    Chris Barrett on Paddy Andrews
    Keegan on Kilkenny if Connolly doesnt start
    Boyle on O’Callaghan
    Durcan on Scully or Paul Flynn
    Tom parsons on Brian Fenton

  79. I’ll be checking off all Facebook/twitter & online forums in the run up to this game.

    For me alot of the enjoyment is sucked out reading some of the bile spouted by both Dublin & Mayo fans.

    I certainley wouldn’t begrudge you’s an all ireland even though I want yous to lose on September 17th.

    Your lads are a credit to your county warriors like Keegan, Boyle & Higgins to name a few.

    Your support is fervent and puts the Kingdoms to shame.

    Best of luck with the game and enjoy the run up !

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