It’s only the start of May and our Connacht championship opener this evening, against New York over in Gaelic Park (throw-in time 2.30pm local, 7.30pm here), is one where the bookies have us priced at 1/500 to prevail. In that sense, the start of our 2014 championship campaign has more than a bit of an air of unreality about it.
For all that, though, it’s worth keeping in mind that – a full thirty-two weeks since we faced Dublin in last September’s All-Ireland final – the push to the summit starts once more for us today. As is the case every year, we’re starting out again at the bottom of the hill and the fact that we came so close to glory both last year and the year before has no relevance now for a new championship campaign in which the script has yet to be written.
We are, of course, expected to win, and win well, later on today in the Bronx. As James Horan pointed out earlier in the week, a win is our main priority today – it’s a championship match, after all, so obviously we want to win it. Despite all the cultural significance being ascribed to this game – which takes place in New York GAA’s centenary year – as well as its social importance for the Irish diaspora, from a #mayogaa perspective the aim should be to win the match as comprehensively as possible.
James spoke the other day about wanting to see his side put in a committed performance over the full seventy minutes in this one. If they do that, then it’s a match we should win at our ease and, to be honest, that should be our expectation going into it.
You’ll have gathered by now that I didn’t join the travelling hordes heading off to the Big Apple this week so, like many of you, I’ll have to follow the action this evening on Midwest. I’ll do a match report (of sorts) afterwards and I’m hoping over the next few days there’ll also be a few guest pieces from those closer to the action today.
Here’s to the right result later on – up Mayo!