Hello to 2019

Photo: Independent.ie (Arthur Carron)

So the New Year has finally arrived, even if the first dawn of 2019 has yet to break this morning here in the capital. But 2018 and its awfulness from a Mayo GAA perspective is now firmly in the past, with the focus fixed on the challenges that face us anew in the year that has just begun.

In that spirit, Mayo GAA last night posted a short video piece with James Horan (see below) where he spoke about the upcoming FBD League, the players who have impressed in training and what he thinks about the experimental rules. He’s clearly raring to go in 2019 and I’d say the same is true of the rest of us.

Happy New Year all.

40 thoughts on “Hello to 2019

  1. Happy New Year to you and your family WJ! May 2019 be a successful one starting this coming weekend in Carrick-on-Shannon.
    Last night I saw Rory’s Stories predictions for 2019. “Andy Moran to stop the 5-in-a-row with a late goal”….that would be so so special.
    A bit of travel and time before that happens, but let’s dare to dream, and let’s dream big in 2019!
    Hon Mayo!

  2. HNY WJ and my fellow fanatics. Can’t wait to see what this year brings. Some twists and turns no doubt. Hopefully some early successes before I see you all in NY, well maybe some of you! I also hope to make a game in McHale too.

  3. Happy New Year to you Willie Joe and to all posters.

    Interesting interview. Let’s recap on who was name-checked: Colm Moran, Conor Diskin, Ryan O’Donogue (injured) of the young guns and Brian Reape, Ciaran Tracy, and Fionn McDonagh of the others. Always interesting to see who JH name-checks. But is it a blessing or a curse? After the appointment, he name-checked Cian Hanley and Shairoze – no mention now. Both had/have injuries, but so has Ryan O’Donoghue. And remember the real deal?

  4. Been a long time reader of this blog but rarely comment. I’ve noticed over the last few years a vicious backlash against those trying to improve our support at games. Usually this is from minions of “ah ref” who rail against the great work done by the likes of Mayo club 51.
    I think this is the year for us to ensure we drown out those dissenting voices with even greater support for our mighty men.
    Happy New year all!

  5. For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
    And next year’s words await another voice.
    T.S. Eliot
    So who will be the new voices that make up our panel of hopefuls for 2019.
    Horan will give us an insight into what we can expect to see in the next few weeks
    One things for sure, we will be competitive every time we play.
    Happy days to all in 2019

  6. Judging from all the football I watched in
    the last year Conor Diskin from Claremorris and Brian Reape from Moy Davitts have been the most exciting players on show in the County. Diskins performance in the Under 20 final v Kildare and his performances for his club against Westport and Mitchels in the Senior Championship were really impressive.He is the nearest thing in Mayo to Damien Comer of Galway.Tall ,Strong and fast and has a real eye for goal.
    Reape in my opinion is the most dangerous Inside Scoring forward in the County .He cleaned out all Knockmore, Charlestown and County Champions Ballintubber full back lines in the Senior Championship.

  7. Happy new year, WJ and to all the good Mayo folk. Limerick proved last year that with careful planning, and a bit of luck along the way, a young team with talent can achieve ultimate glory. I know Mayo have great experience in their ranks, however, I firmly believe it will be the few “unknowns” that will provide the impetus this year. It promises to be an intriguing year; Dublin are still formidable; Kerry fancy themselves and; for my beloved Galway, this is last chance saloon for KW – stick or twist? IMO he has no option – attack minded gameplay, and fully integrate Corofin players.. Sam is way overdue a visit out West – be it Castlebar or Tuam. One of Nostradamus’ predictions for 2019 predicted insurmountable traffic congestion in Castlebar – Sept. But,this could easily be due to a Bus strike too.. Best wishes, health and happiness to all.

  8. Is fergal Boland still involved on the panel? I think 2019 could be a big year for him after 2 or 3 years of S & C it will be interesting to see if Horan fancies using him at all.

  9. Man of Aran The few unknowns had there chance with Dublin last year and came up well short.
    Tyrone well bet
    Galway well bet
    Donegal well bet
    Mayo and Kerry are the only 2 teams capable of beating the Dubs.

    Such a dissapointing semi final Galway and Dublin was last yeat.First of all the very small amount of Galway supporters that travelled and lack of atmosphere in a semi final against the Dubs was really poor and Galways 2nd half performance was way off the level of any Mayo performamce against the Dubs down through the years.

  10. When I say unknowns – I mean new players that JH must surely now integrate into an experienced Mayo team. I wouldn’t for one minute discount your chances of going all the way this year, however, things need to be freshened up. Kerry’s new management team now have 50 players in training at the centre of excellence, Currans. But imo they have been unable to replace leaders like O’Mahony, O’Se, Declan O’Sullivan and Galvin. Only time will tell..

  11. Happy new year all

    I think I’d be focusing on getting to the last 8 of the championship first before thinking about the Dubs. Kerry are throwing a load of youth into their team next year and are under new management so won’t see the best of them for 2 or 3 years and they certainly won’t be capable of beating Dublin in the championship this summer.

    Galway was well beaten by Dublin in the semi final but that was their first semi final since 2001 and Mayo had to ship a heavy semi final lose in 2011 before learning from it and coming back stronger.

  12. Chris Kelly, if Monaghan can improve again in 2019 as much as they did in 2018, I’d give them a sporting chance of beating Dublin… The only team to do so in 2018 and in Croke Park. I’d give 8 or 9 team’s a realistic chance, Donegal the only team from Div 2, the voice of Stephen Rochford with all he learned from preparing Mayo to play outa their skins versus Dublin a very big plus for the Tír Chonall team… Time Will tell!

  13. Happy New Year all.

    Interesting that James is name checking a lot of forwards and I hope that you are right Chris Kelly about Diskin and Reape. I think O’Donoghue will turn out to be the real deal also so if those three can make the panel that would be great.

    If we can unearth another Midfielder and solve the Full Back dilemma we could be back in business this year.

    James sounds very positive about the emerging and existing talent so roll on the games.

  14. Happy New Year everyone.
    Dismissing Kerry as no-hopers in 2019 is unwise. Kerry in 1975 was in a similar position and look how that worked out. They have shed some of their old reliable but look at the pool of young lads in the 20 – 25 age bracket they now have to select from. Forwards win games and they seem to be able to produce class forwards on a regular basis.

    That’s where we struggle – decent defenders but no real match-winning forwards. Unfortunately, right now it is hard to see where we can unearth that class of player. The age profile of this team is in the wrong area of the graph and will catch up with us unless we can freshen up the team. That worries me, but I hope I am proven wrong.

  15. Really looking forward to Sunday and seeing what the new faces and do. They are playing in the shop window now to be six soldering for the championship team and panel. Fresh blood is vital if we are to do anything this year.

  16. Tom, agree with you re Kerry. I think they will be in the mix this summer because of and not in spite of having a young, aggressive and highly talented group of young players. As for ourselves, it’s fantastic to have James Horan back – he will certainly add something extra to the panel and our performances on the field of play. However, the age profile issue has already caught up with the team as evident last year so not expecting a whole lot more beyond where we ended up in 2018 in terms of an AI challenge this summer.

  17. Can anyone inform me about the ticket situation for the New York game will we need to have tickets got before we leave Ireland or when and will they be on sale in Gaelic Park before the game starts?

  18. James, its always been pay at the gate in Gaelic Park. There seems to be huge numbers travelling over for the match so there might be changes with the ticketing arrangements this year.

  19. A very happy new year to you and your family Willie Joe and to all Mayo supporters where ever they may be. And like all Mayo people, I’m sure as hell looking forward to the ride in 2019 where ever that may take us and wish James and the team all the best for the season ahead.

  20. Leantimes Monaghan beat Dublin at HQ when the league final placings was already sorted. Would not count that in the greater scheme of things. Dublin in 2018 as good as Dublin any other year and probably was their peak year but only used their vast array in matches that counted I.e the two games v Galway, the first Tyrone match and the all Ireland final.

  21. I see Billy Joe Padden is back to his negative ways again, he has wrote Mayo off now for 4 years in a row .If u study the teams after Dublin on our day we are as good as any Kerry, Tyrone, Donegal, Monaghan and Galway.Going the Backdoor , fatigue after 2 consecutive All Irelands and Injuries caught us last year, but I expect us to be back to our best this year with the long break and the Horan factor.I agree we need to find 3 or 4 new players, but I still think we are the best around to topple the Dubs.

  22. Good luck to James Horan and the team for 2019 , I think the most important decision he needs to make in January is appointing a captain and he needs to make the right call on this, Leeroy is only man for the job IMO.

  23. First – new year best wishes to everyone. And regardless of supporter loyalties, I’m sure we all share hope for for an exciting 2019!

    Second – I’m curious about people’s expectations for Mayo this year:
    What would you consider a successful first year of the new JH tenure??
    Would a return to winning habits be the main goal – e.g. an FBD win, a winning average in the NFL, a Connacht win and a Super 8 exit. Would that be seen as successful?
    Or would it be enough to set the stage for the next few years with good performances from a crop of new players, being competitive in all games but not necessarily winning anything?
    Or are people still thinking only a return to the heights of AI semi-final/final appearances will do?

    (could be an idea for a start of year poll, WJ … gauge the expectations now and then check again in September to see how things measured up)

  24. As well as a captain, what about a free taker, now that Cillian is out? Last year’s league was a disaster. Remember Dublin – until Conor Loftus came on.

  25. Good question Loreto Rd. I’ll start off by my wishlist, then the expecting list if that’s ok.

    Wish number 1 is to beat Galway 3/4/5 times if necessary this year. It seems an age since we last beat them in club or county football at senior level. To do this we would need to qualify from the super 8s.

    Expect: a tough slog in the league, 5th year in a row fighting a relegation battle (I think), it would be refreshing to see us fighting out for a final place, but our home form and away opposition this year will probably have squeaky bum time against Monaghan on the last day.

    Championship: minimum Connacht final appearance.

    Then win the bloody thing and go on through the super 8s. Win semi-final and Keegan to score the winning point 8 minutes into injury time in the final… and us all either have heart failure or some sort of thing happen us all, so the presentation to be delayed for an hour till we all come round again…

    Above paragraph a dream, but we all dream big this time of year.

  26. Two separate questions: my expectation is always the ultimate prize. I expect to be going crazy, hugging my bro (and anyone else in green and red) in CP as Sam is hoisted skyward.

    Question 2: A successful year for JH => Connacht championship over Galway; AI semifinal.

  27. I would personally like to see Colm Boyle as captain, he is a natural born leader on the field when times are tough, never shys away!! At 32 I think its the right time with Andy, Zippy and Cillian all serving there time.Cillian hasn’t won any silverware as Captain and maybe needs the pressure taking away as captain been our main free taker

  28. Greetings WJ and fellow Mayo supporters. Firstly WJ, wishing you and your family a very happy new year and thank you again for all that you do here and on other platforms to connect Mayo GAA supporters. Many of the Mayo GAA friendships formed along the way over the past decade have been facilitated primarily by this blog and for that I will always be grateful. Happy new year to all posters (and the lurkers) here too who make this unique community what it is.

    I know 2018 was a terrible year by our own standards, but as a supporter if I’m honest it was a welcome respite from the rollercoaster, and honestly, it was a financial respite too. There was however a serious craic deficit in the latter part of the year so obviously I would be more than happy to endure the trials of the journey until September this year! 😀 Listening to interviews with the players over the course of the last few months it does seem that the break will have done them no harm either, and many of them referenced the enjoyment they got from reconnecting with friends, family and clubmates. A sign of the times but the break and the return of Horan could be just the ingredients needed for a firecracker of a year.

    Absolutely cannot wait for the weekend and to get back on the road and to see who will line out, what new faces will impress etc. This is the best time of year when the die-hards are out and the dream is more alive than ever.

    Loreto Road I’d be expecting us to reach and perform well in the Super Eights. I’d also be expecting us to win Connacht, beating Galway soundly along the way (preferably more than once but Championship will do). The dream is obviously to win the big one and I would put nothing past Horan and his team, however if I felt at the end of this year that we would be well placed to have a proper lash at it in 2020, that would more than suffice.

    Martin Kennedy no matter what the naysayers might say, the objective of Club 51 back in 2013 was to revitalise the supporters after two hard defeats and to encourage [people to get behind our team when the going was tough. It started out as a bit of fun, became much more, but ultimately the last few years have proved that Mayo supporters rose to the challenge all by themselves and the days of silence falling in Croker or in games when we fall behind are long gone. There will always be people who get a kick from tearing down what others do; that speaks for itself and is just a part of life. Other commitments meant I had to bow out last year from the effort but the rest of the crew is still there and flying the flag. No game ever suffered from having an extra flag or an enthusiastic supporter on the sideline and hopefully there will be plenty more of that in 2019.

    And more podcasts. Lots more podcasts please. Compliments to the podcast team on a great year, a brilliant club series but also two real crackers at the end of 2018 – if you haven’t listened to them you are really missing out.

    See you on all the road and Up Mayo!

  29. Happy new year all. Great to see some action returning this weekend, I’d expect a big response from Mayo this year in fact they will be doing what Galway did last year, back training since early November, a lot of fresh faces in there so I’d think Mayo are aiming to hit top form early on . I see in the Mayo news James is aiming to win the FBD, and go all guns blazing for the national league in late January. Mayo dont want to be struggling in the league this year again. Will be very interesting in seeing the new crop of Mayo young guns on Sunday and possibly in Tuam Sunday week… Although Leitrim with Terry Hyland at the helm now will go full strenght and see Fbd as their only realistic chance of silverware. They did get a draw in Castlebar last year so it wont be easy for Mayo.. Anyways great to be back…

  30. hope Horan releases a team or at least a panel a few days before each game. People who cannot attend a game for whatever reason deserve to know who is playing .

  31. @TH, putting Galway up as a team in the chasing pack, even ahead of Mayo is daft.
    Do you not remember last year’s semi final v the Dubs, I attended this match in Croker, they were very bad, their defence hadn’t a clue what to be doing. Their midfield we’re destroyed by Fenton alone. Even worse than the semi final v Tyrone in 1995, when Canavan beat them on his own and the Galway manager selected himself to play.
    The Dubs are only team that Mayo will struggle with again this year, it will be interesting to see if they show any signs of slipping, ie players and management.
    It’s time for some team to try and dictate how they play the game v the Dubs, trying to curtail a team won’t win much. I believe too many managers fall into the Dublin trap, over think on how to stop the Dubs rather than go for all out attack.
    The Dubs have pushed the Gaa rules to the limit during Gavin’s tenure, here are the examples.
    1, Cluxton placing the ball for a very fast short pass to his team mates when the game ball hasn’t even gone over for a point, I always thought that the referee re-starts the game with his whistle.
    2, Fouling after a free has been awarded to the opposition player.
    3, Over aggressive tackling that could be deemed as a foul.
    We will see the Dubs kicking the ball backwards after the third handpass in the opposition half in the league.
    The Dubs are very fit and fast, the fastest team than ever played the game, will the new look Mayo be able to match this athleticism ?, this will require much needed new blood, starting in the Fbd league.

  32. Mayo88 your reference to 1995 is a bit off. Firstly Tyrone were serious favs that day and Galway had not the dash of youth and quality integrated until a few yrs later. Also it was ’97 against Mayo where the manager selected himself. The legend that is Bosco McDermott was manager in ’95. He was close to 60 then. I thinking you are referring to Val Daly in ’97. All things considered Galway are a better and much younger team today than ’95 and in the pack chasing the Dubs.

  33. The era of releasing the team a few days before the game is over. Why would a manager give his opponent an advantage like that? If people can’t make a game and want to know who’s playing, turn on the radio, check Mayo GAA’s Twitter page, or check the posts made before/during the game on this page.

  34. Maybe Galway we’re trying to hold on to an ageing Val Daly, he was way off the pace in that semi final in 1995, ( take note James Horan ). I was at that game, had a Galway girlfriend at the time.
    Canavans display was one of the best I have ever witnessed in Croker for a full game.
    As regards the Mayo Captain for 2019, maybe it should be rotated amongst a few players, the guys that will feature mostly, this will rule out some of the older fellas.
    One thing for sure is that most Gaa managers are very slow to change things around, this even goes down to underage level, ie, very conservative. Jim Gavin is the one exception.

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