Happy New Year

Image: iLounge.com

The New Year is here, with the bonkers year that was 2020 now part of our shared history, though the pandemic’s continuing spread means that all the factors that uprooted normality last year are still very much part of our present.

But the start of a New Year still provides an opportunity to look ahead. While it’s unlikely that we’ll get back to anything like normality this year we should still get a good way down the road in that direction over the course of 2021.

All of which means the new normal of watching the football from home on the sofa looks set to continue for the next while. With this year’s Championship set to conclude in July, another inter-county season played behind closed doors looks all but certain.

We can, though, look forward to following the matches again, once the National League gets going at the end of February. We’ve plenty to be optimistic about too in 2021, as we seek to build on what was achieved last year.

Here’s to optimism, here’s to better days ahead. Happy New Year, everyone.

14 thoughts on “Happy New Year

  1. Indeed plenty to look forward to and for Mayo to build upon what the new wave developed in 2020.

    We must learn however from repeated mistakes that make the mountain to finally win Sam lower after 13 seconds rather than higher. It’s the simple things.

    We can’t let teams breathe and let them believe they’ve a chance. Irrespective of the opposition Dublin play to inflict maximum damage, we don’t.

    We’re not far behind and Dublin will be beaten. We need to find 20 minutes more to best them. It won’t be easy.

    Of the highs and lows over many years following Mayo there is absolutely no other team id ever support.

    Project 1, negotiate a tricky league.

    Project 2, retain Connacht.

    Project 3, win it at a 70……year gap.

    Here’s to Mayo 2021.

  2. I had a look back at Balla – Kiltimagh and Balla -Ballinrobe matches last night.
    Two players that stand out for me for Mayo panel places.
    Barry Duffy is the most athletic combined with size/power midfielder in Mayo, it’s not a contest. 6’3″ with an explosive leap and a powerful 14 stone frame, solidly built. He is not the finished article by any means, but if we are to compete with Dublin he is the kind of athlete we have to take a punt on.
    Another player who can be a bit raw at time, but I would see an impact sub role for him to make use of his devastating pace is Gary McHale. People throw around pace labels like confetti, to make it clear, Gary McHale is genuine elite quick whilst being able to retain control of the ball soloing. One skill of his is to take it from the 45 right into the danger zone. He is 6′ and I’d estimate a solid 13 stone or a shade more. He plays really direct and can take a score. There is the odd raw blip, but in my view he’s another player brings something to the table that we need. Gary McHale would be very effective as a power running 10.

  3. Happy new year to you all. Please forgive me, I was on the Irish independent website, read Frank Roches article about how Dublin are like the great Kilkenny and Kerry teams of old, Frank must have drank the potion and now believes that Dublin are a normal great team, they’re not. They were given millions of euros to make them successful. Neither Kerry nor Kilkenny with a fraction of the population of Dublin even then were financially helped to the extent Dublin have been.. They were both truly golden generations of players. Dublin are not a golden generation, they are a conveyor belt of ready made intercounty players. No bedding in necessary, just slot in and pick up your medals lads. Roll on 2025 and how Roche and co and the gaa explain what went wrong and how every other county outside Dublin was the problem.

  4. JP – I haven’t seen much of Barry Duffy but we definitely need another midfield option. Conor O’Shea could also be worth a try. He never got a run at midfield while on the panel previously.

  5. I’m no expert and certainly no ‘insider’ but in my lifelong support of the green n red, I think that one of our weaknesses in out and out pursual of Sam…..that being the ultimate goal, is too much management allegiance to high mileage lads – undoubted loyal, die for the cause Mayo servants – who may be a shade past it and a yard off the ball……Look at the strategy of Brian Cody for instance, he only (reportedly) goes with performance in training and A v B games right up to the big game weekend, then selects from who’s really on form…….Walter Walsh, a 19 year old in his first senior Championship outing, was selected for an AIF, displacing a Kilkenny big name at corner forward and got man of the match that day…….Like lads above, I truly believe that every single option across the county should now be looked at……..and no room for influence, favouritism or politics, if that prevails to any degree……

  6. Best of luck to all our teams in 2021. Incredible fundraising by our neighbours Club Rossie to make 960k profit in the win a home in London draw. Any word on the tile sales? Have we seen how much the mchale park pitch surface will cost and how long it will take?

  7. @Catcol, Barry Duffy was centre back on the 2014 minors. Then he was injured for the 2015 minors. He was a sub coming on as an u19 on the 2016 u21s and came on in the final at full back.
    Gary McHale was a sub on the 2014 minors.

  8. Yes, Donie has announced his ‘inter county ‘ retirement with a heavy heart. Sad in a way to see another one of our warriors succumbing to the hands of time, without that cherished All Ireland medal.
    Even though we know each year, who the likely candidates for retirement are, it still hits hard when it’s actually announced, and the realisation dawns, that we’ll never see that player in the Green and Red again.

    Talking of retirements, the end of Donie Shine’s playing career was announced yesterday. Due to ongoing injury issues, it even brings his club career to an end at no more than 32 years old.

  9. Nicely put, Observer. Warrior sums up Donie exactly. I felt we could have done with some of his warrior approach during the second half, last month.

    Highlights: Galway and Donegal 2013.

  10. Sorry to see Donie hanging up his Mayo boots. I thought he would, with a bit of luck injurywise, have at least another year in him. But perhaps seeing younger men coming through he felt that his overall contribution would be decreasing. He was a warrior in every sense. In the 2011 semifinal he carried the game to Kerry with, if my memory is correct, 0 = 3 from centre back. Salthill v Galway in 2013 was another highlight as he and his mates really gave Galway a beating.
    I recall Barry Duffy’s underage career with Mayo pretty well as I was at most of the games. He certainly looked like a great prospect then and I was at a loss to understand why he did not come through since. I was also at the Balla v Easkey? Connacht Junior? semifinal in Quigabar and could not understand how a player with such apparent potential was so ineffective. But it’s impossible for the ordinary supporter to know what’s going on in young players lives re education etc. Maybe like Mattie Ruane he is able to, in his mid twenties, concentrate on football for a while. Because to be on the Mayo senior panel demands absolute concentration while also earning a living.
    Let us hope so because I am certain he could be a major asset.
    Another player I saw and was very impressed with in underage teams of that era was Fionan Duffy of Crossmolina. I understand that he continues to play for Cross but I am very surprised that he has not made into the Mayo senior panel.
    Re Gary MacHale, I am not familiar with him but I have seen many players with blinding pace but who could never figure out what to do at he end of one of those blistering runs. Is it possible that this is the case with Gary?

  11. Gary McHale is a decent finisher, but I wouldn’t tag him as a playmaker by any means.
    Agree re Barry Duffy, he seems to go spells of the game anonymous and then have a decent spell. He needs to learn to use his power as a weapon. Come onto ball at pace 40 yards from goal and drive through the first tackle arm. Don’t even sidestep.

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