I’m outta here


The kids are officially on their summer hols in a bit over an hour from now and we’re all, as John Denver put it all those years ago, leaving on a jet plane later on this evening. In recent years the beach has taken precedence over the Connacht final for me but our planning, as well as the GAA’s own match scheduling, is a bit better this year so I’ll be back in time for the provincial decider on July 21st. As work has a nasty habit of following me all the way to the sun lounger I’ll also, as usual, have the laptop with me and so will be checking in every now and again while I’m away.  ¡Hasta luego! and all that.

71 thoughts on “I’m outta here

  1. I hope our luck won’t change in Connaught finals in the fact that you will be back for it Willie Joe. We seem to be winning them when you are away. Enjoy the break. Great site and well deserved.

  2. Bon voyage!

    Whats the best chance of a shock this week-end. Heading to bookies soon!

  3. Have a great holiday. Keep up the great work on the website, it’s a great benefit for mayo fans all over the world

  4. @ Cool Hand Luke, Any hope of Sligo upsetting Derry? Bradely not meant to be happy after the second half fade out V Down.

    Enjoy hols WJ

  5. Hi Willie

    You’re not the dude that Revenue nabbed at Knock today with the 20 G’s in the luggage?


  6. So was it you that scooped the Euromillions? Or is your leaving now just a coincidence? 🙂

  7. Enjoy the break W J ,
    Does this mean we have to depend on the papers for a bit of information.

  8. Enjoy the break. Your website is a fantastic resource for all Mayo fans and I checked it every day while I was abroad on holidays recently. It is so refreshing to read comments from genuine supporters who appreciate the huge commitment put in by all the panel and management while at the same time offering constructive suggestions for improvement. If we were relying on RTE we would be reduced to the likes of Brolly, Spillane, O’Rourke, Cahill and now O’Hara.

  9. Good win for Tyrone.Makes Donegal look good.Course Offaly very poor.Would not like to meet Tyrone.

  10. A big score alright
    Offaly must be very lame. I would like to play Tyrone though, Mayo have the ability to beat them.

  11. Enjoy the holiday WJ. RE the Tyrone Of ally hard to see how good that makes them look. Everyone knows the gulf in class between div 1 and rest plus Offaly missing 5/6 guys I read.

  12. I’m raging with myself I didn’t go to the game now. I was going to go but I said ‘feic it, sure it’s on the radio’. I’ll definitely be there to watch them take on Roscommon in 3 weeks though. Hopefully they can do the job!

  13. If I recall correctly, the minors of 1985 put 5 goals past Sligo on their way to being crowned Champions. In fact I think that they scored 5 goals and didn’t score any points in that game which was a replay and played at McHale park on a Friday evening

  14. Dublin look a serious outfit. Makes you wonder if anyone can match them ? Mayo have decent record but this is the best Dublin team for a while.
    Difference between them and others is that they do not rely on any one person- injuries not a threat to them unlike us. Thats the scary thing.

    Connach final will be unusual but just of novelty value in my view. Londons collapse in second half does not augur well for them.

    We will keep the faith a bit longer at any rate.

  15. Huge win for the minors against the odds maybe the Galway lads were talked up too much? they certainly could defend the high ball into the box 3,4 goals came from that?

    Look a good bet for Connacht double on July 21st now however Roscommon minor game will be closer than the game against London.

  16. Yeah Dublin are at a level above everyone else in the country and the depressing thing is that they look like they’ll be a top team for the next 7-8 years. Anyways right now we have a Connacht final to look forward to and most likely an AI QF in the coming weeks.

  17. Well done to the Mayo Minors with a great win. I missed this game but I believe they had a great game. Both Mayo teams in the final on the 21st. Great site WJ, enjoy your break.

  18. Great win for the minors and should be no doubt now that the Connacht finals will be staged in McHale park, boost the crowd by reducing prices and let all U-16s in free.

    Was in Croker today and while Dublin were good, Kildare were very poor their goal keeper probably had the ball more times than anyone else on their team and he had too many Shane Curran tendencies. Anyhow Meath will put up a better fight of it but they need some the likes of Joe “the Try” Sheridan showing more form than he did today, he did not catch one ball….

    Anyhow all was well until Martin McHugh (who was on Take Your Point) started complaining about the physicality that is now in the game and that players are going to get seriously injured. Glad though that one of the other journalists on the program agreed and mentioned about the number of closed fists into the gut at last week’s Donegal V Down match !!!!!, well that quietened McHugh but really what a hypocrite. Since when did a fair shoulder to shouder become a foul, John Doyle’s shoulder just before half time today was the best example of a shoulder to shoulder tackle I have seen this year and there was a free awarded against him which led to the Dublin goal just before half time.

    I wonder if the Lilywhite blogger who blogged on this site after Kildare bet Mayo in the league would care to offer his opinions on Kildare’s performance today ??..

  19. Yes olive. I wonder if the Kildare fan will reappear now and explain the unusual tactic of allowing Dublin to beat them comprehensively to lull us all into a false sense of security perhaps? I only pray they somehow get through a qualifier to meet us so I can collect my money. That’s no disrespect to London, I expect them to give us a very decent game indeed.

  20. Reminded me of Mayo v Galway except that the Dubs had home advantage, they looked good but then Kildare were poor, Meath will be a tougher test.
    Great to see the Minors do the business.
    What a first half by The Exiles, though I think we will be able to deal with them, they do not hold back and I hope our injury count doesn’t get added to in the final.
    Enjoy the holiday WJ and thanks again for this site.

  21. Just have to say here totally off the point but delighted to see the Armagh manager stick it to brolly on the Sunday game. No doubt fat dessie will totally ignore that.

  22. Dublin looked awesome! I hope to jazus they have a real bad day and someone takes them out of our way. Otherwise we may have to wait a while to get our hands on Sam.
    They are the only team I fear right now.

  23. Well done mayo minors, I thought you had blew it at the end of regulation time. It’s great to hear such an input in extra time , goals and defending.

  24. The dubs r bookies fav’s for a reason. We caught them on the hop last year. They r a serious team…so are we BUT only if we have Moran, conroy and o Connor both fit AND in top form. The full forward line that started v the rossies won’t threaten a top defence won’t even go near it come to think of it. Mayo at full strength r a match for any team.

    Ps: cannot understand ppl seem to be writing off cork n Kerry. Do so at ur peril!!!!

  25. Was at the Dublin match yesterday. I know Kildare weren’t great but Dublin were awesome. So powerful in the middle of the field but the big thing for them is their forwards. Just pure class, every one. Mannion, Brogan, Flynn, McMenamin etc. Very impressed. They pose a completely different threat to Donegal and look to be the ones to beat in my eyes.

  26. Had Dublin by -10 at 5/1 yesterday. Kildare were clueless, if you go man to man against Dublin you’ll be eaten alive. Runners from deep created 15+ goal chances, should have been much worse.
    Mayo and Donegal are the only teams with the ability and tactical nous to be able to compete with them.

  27. Yes Mayonaze, I wouldn’t be writing off Kerry or Cork either, this Sunday’s Munster final should be informative.

    And while we’re all getting carried away with the Dubs ( and they do look very impressive but Kildare were woeful ) those Kerry lads have a score to settle with them and have no mean forward line themselves and will have the confidence and tactical nous to get at them. Kerry lost the last two All-Ireland campaigns by a single point to both Dublin and Donegal so I think they’re very dangerous this year. They didn’t bother with the league but they will have one major crack at Sam and denying the Dubs would be an added bonus !

    From our perspective, if all goes to plan, Dublin or Kerry won’t enter our radar until the third week in September so we should just concentrate on the next game and getting there and seeing who emerges from the other side of the draw.

    We’re deservedly in the mix and as good as anyone if we get our boys back and fire on all cylinders !

  28. I see Spailpin has a piece about playing the final in London. Feck that. It would
    turn into a circus and would be a total distraction. Forget the romance and the sentiment.
    Hammer them in McHale Park. There is serious business to attend to. No let up.

  29. Agree totally with you facetheball. To hell with the comical malarkey, ii just want to fast forward to August weekend tbh. Looking forward to the minor match though.

  30. Kildare were humiliated,but at least tried, I can’t understand for the life of me how Wicklow kicked 2 points against Armagh, why bother training and wasting time and money if you go out and lie down to a middle of the road team like Armagh ?
    What would donegal have done to them? I suppose it’s not our problem but I can’t fathom a scoreline like that.
    London s second half is another mystery, did Leitrim bring on some superstars after the break? Mulligan must wish he was born a little more north or south.another Declan Browne

  31. Kerry through the front door a definite threat they probably do not have the legs for the back door. Cork with a different manager would be in top 3 unless counihan gets his act together. For now just need Mayo to win the three in a row and then wait for the draw. If we are good enough we will win Sam. Itis crazy to think that for a whole 61 years we have failed although so near so many times. Its a long road that has no turn we are due a win if not this year then by 2016. Come on Mayo

  32. Don’t agree Olive. I think it has to be this year the way Dublin are developing

  33. A good Minor performance although I thought they sowed a weakness or lack of leadership towards the end of normal time letting Gaway level having gone a goal up. That was a time to batten down the hatches and play the game out. We never seemed able to win a ball in the middle in those closing minutes and were lucky to survive. But they really sealed it in extra time. I saw Roscommon minors against Sligo and while they are a big strong team they did not seem to be great footballers. Sligo very very poor and headless at times. We owe the Rossies one since last year.

  34. I think Dublin can be beat.By doing so they need to stop the supply getting up to the forwards.To do that the mayo forwards need to to defend when they don’t have the ball to turn force them to turn over possession.I have seen Mayo do this before and think we are the most disciplined team in the country when it comes to defending .I do believe if we play Dublin we can beat them.

  35. No doubt, the Dubs are good, very good and any team that is to have any chance against them has to stay with them throughout the first half because they kick on once they have the lead. That said, Kildare played into their hands and imo a Kerry , Mayo ,Cork, Tyrone or Donegal would not let them play the way they did yesterday without a more physical element to the game.
    They are also something else, they play good honest football and are a breath of fresh air besides the ‘puke football’ that we have had to endure over the last decade.
    If theirs is the football of the future then everything will be ok.
    As for who can stop them………..the above mentioned or nasty Meath , although I can’t imagine Meath being able for them, they do have history and it could be a case of ‘pure’ football v ‘dirty ball’ and the Meathmen have a habit of coming up every few years.
    Kerry or Cork are others that would make them work their hardest to win out……….Donegal ??? they would need to be better than last year and I don’t think they’re anything near …….Imo Tyrone are better than Donegal and could if they meet give the Dubs a game.
    That leaves ourselves and I think that if we both win all our games we would meet in the big one and what a mouth watering prospect that would be. To be the best it just adds spice to beat the best and to get that far will demand super effort,luck, skill and toughness.
    This year we have them all but the luck (remember the draw for Connacht. Galway away then the Rossies).and if the lady don’t smile possibly Tyrone in the quarters…….no luck there but the other 3 got us through so far.
    With the added bonus of home advantage the Dubs have them all………….except for a bit of the toughness,I would like to see them tested when up against it. We have gained a lot in the toughness department through disappointment after disappointment and have one hardened unit of a squad, that can play it or mix it with the best. There is an AI in this team and sure this year is as good as any.
    MaighEo Abu

  36. Agree with your points.A lot of the Kildare build up was slow and im sure they had some game plan with the goalie coming out but it was suicide stuff.They Threw away a lot of points that they should have got and made a lot of bad decisions with ball in hand As i said Dublin is beatable .But their attacks need to be nipped in the bud because if Dublin get on their bike you wont stop them without given a fowl away.

  37. Im A big advocate of self confidence and belief, something that mayo has lacked in the past.. but I’d be a little concerned that ppl assume we will be playing Dublin. A few ppl have said one game at a time. This is the way Horan will want it… It’ll do no one any good to be thinking of any games other than the one that’s next. Obv we will beat London but we should in no uncertain way start thinking we will automatically win a quarter final. Once this provincial final is over its serious business. Lets remember that if Donegal, the Dubs and Kerry win their provincials you can be damn sure most back door teams would prefer look on Mayo as the easiest option. And like I said, we need our first choice forwards back asap.

  38. 1 game at a time? but we also have to keep an eye on the bigger picture. I don’t think any of us, in reality, would accept defeat in that next game.
    We have to have ambition to proceed, what went before can’t have been in vain.
    As I said..there is an AI in this team and this year is as good as any.

  39. Again i have to say i agree with JJ.It is time we showed confidence and not be afraid.We are a top 5 team any day of the week.Football is gone to a stage that a shocker is a not going to happen.Is it a professional or confident attitude? These lads have being playing football every day for 10 years and having the best training.As far as in concerned there professional and im confident 🙂

  40. Any word on how cillian o Connors shoulder is doing ? Was the o Connor on the minor team yesterday any relation of his?

  41. David,young Diarmuid is a brother of Cillians and the fourth(and last unfortunately!)of the O Connor siblings to play for the minors

  42. Kerry are a serious team this year. Don’t let the age profile fool you.
    If they meet in the semi-finals they will beat the Dubs – put money on it

  43. PS. While Dublin looked really good Kildare played into their hands by the tactics they employed and some of the younger players they picked (I think McGeeney had to pick the young fellas though as the others have proved themselves not good enough).

    I think there is a weakness in some of the Dublin defenders in one-on-one situations against good forwards. This could be exploited this year given the way they play, if the opposition can win enough ball and I would question also the temperament of a few of their players when things aren’t going to well (Brennan, Connolly, McCafferey).

  44. I agree kevmy.I think that there might be a question mark the Dubs temperament .Im sure there were some stupid tackles made by those lads you mentioned when Kildare had started well.Shar wasn’t it Brennan who broke one of our lads nose in a league game

  45. Cillian o Connor may play some part this year according to independent today. He would really be needed from q f on.
    There’s also an article praising Jim Gavin for doing what the dubs have been doing for years, beating all in Leinster. It’s the best way, praise the day lights out of them.

  46. Agree totally with fattyboombatty. I have thouhght all year Kerry will meet Dubs in semi and take them. Kerry are waiting 2 years for payback for the AI they feel they handed Dublin. Kildare were dreadful on Sunday and listening to McGeeney before the game I think they were beaten before they took the field no positivity at all from him. They let Dublin run straight through the middle all day. The Dubs are the best in the business when they are given free reign like that. Get the feeling it will be a repeat of 97,04,06 finals and boy do we owe them one or two aswell!!

  47. Ah lads listen lets have abit of belief in our selfs here and not be getting carried away with the Dubs, ok their a serious team but who have they played no more than our selfs, i,d argue we had mentally tougher assignments, we went into our greatest rivals backyard and took them out ruthlessly and we never get much soft from the rossies either, they dont really like us and found that out on the streets of rosscommon town any time they beat us in a conn. final.The jacks beat a very poor westmeath team and a klidare team that never put in one hit of a tackel on a dub player for the entire match[top 4-6 me ar…] Now if the dubs had to go to navan would they hammer the royals and i think the royals wont be as soft a touch as the lillies were even though the jacks will prevail. Me thinks my self the way it will pan out jumping a head of the quaters now mind ya that we,ll take the Dunnys in the semi,s and the Kingdom will take the Jacks it their and in the final we will take all out on the Kerry boys for them feck,n hammerings in 04 and 06.. , now thats not asking for much, is it………lol Enjoy the hoilers wj.

  48. It is great to see such imaginings and dreams well and truly alive.

    It is hard to know just how good any of the big teams are given the difference in class between them and the rest. KIldare did prove you can score against Dublin but frankly they had an inexperienced team out with Cribbin,Hurley and others .

    Hard to know how good Kerry or Cork are either. Cork have I think the same old failings and Kerry have yet to prove they can wind back the clock and that Buckey and O Donoghue etc are up to it.

    Mayo will NOT be wanted by anyone. What you have (especially) if lads are back is a serious Division one team driven by insatiable hunger with the experience of losing an All Ireland.

    It depends on how injuries are handled and assuming everyone plays up to scratch.

    We have no right to an All Ireland because of heartbreak but neither will the heartbreak stop us achieving. I think we will get enough chances to win an All Ireland. Pound for pound I think we have now the six best backs in the country and if we get back in numbers I dont see anyone hammering us.

    So it all comes down to injury control and management. Horan will either be victor or villain by end of summer.

  49. Two Tier/Three Tier?
    Kevin McStay made a sensible point on the Sunday Game. In view of the current battering’s being handed out…why not have a Senior, Intermediate and Junior All Ireland series? Well put might I add. However before we go all rose tinted, whence was there a golden era where all were equal?
    We hear about the old days. Anyone recall the Milltown Malbay Massacre. Kerry did a number on Clare in 1979. The final score was 9-21 to 1-9. Apparently Micko was mad that Kerry had to travel so far to play the Banner. That was his revenge.
    Take the era 1974 -1986 we find that Kerry gobbled up eight All Irelands, Dublin four and Offaly one, not very democratic. Contrast that with this era of so called inequality. Between 2001-2012 Kerry have four, Tyrone three, Galway, Armagh, Dublin, Cork and Donegal one each. That’s a neat spread. The last five finals have seen five different winners.
    Since time immortal teams have been scoured by their neighbours or foes. Mayo has hosed outfits and like Dublin, Mayo are no strangers to a hosing themselves on the biggest altar of all…All Ireland Sunday. That’s the way folks. It’s not a democracy…never was, survival of the maddest and hungriest.
    The back door meant to change things. It did…teams who should have been buried were resurrected and won All Irelands. Galway, Kerry and Tyrone all won when in the old days they would be gone. Note that no Leitrim, Clare, Wexford, Louth, Waterford, Carlow, Fermanagh, Antrim inhabit that land.
    Nor were they meant to. In 2004 all division four teams were shunted into the Tommy Murphy cup. The original idea was that those weak teams would get a second chance. Five years after the introduction of the back door…they were barred from the very concept meant to assist them.
    In 2009 Mayo hammered Roscommon. The Rossies regrouped and were finally knocked out by Meath, losing by four points. The next game Mayo wobbled against the Rile by three points. Bad beatings can be overcome. Bad beatings tend to equal out over time. Anyone want to recall the 1971 Connacht final Mayo v Roscommon? The Mayo goal tender stooped five times to pick the ball from the back of his own net.
    What to do you ask?…me neither?…I haven’t a clue…the GAA is like a large tanker, slow to knock of course. The back door is now a dead duck. Two, maybe three teams will use it to varying degrees. The rest will peter out like piss in sand. Wicklow posted two points against Armagh and didn’t score in the second half. Hell the biggest success story of the week only landed a single point in the Hyde in the second half on Sunday.
    Come August Tyrone…maybe Armagh, maybe Meath will come blinking into the white heat of real championship. By then the Wicklow lads will be in the US along with boys from 24 other counties. Of course there is hope. Take the Dubs out of Croker and force them up to Drogheda, down to Wexford, across to Mullingar or Portlaoise, hell, send them up to Navan and let’s see them dreamboat there, lets level the playing pitch not tilt it. By the way Clare licked their wounds and in 1992 came back and finished off the last of the Kerry lions in a historic Munster final.

  50. Mayonaze, I think we should really plan and look ahead to the players we have now. Unless lads can come back very soon we can count them out as they will hardly be fit enough for the white heat that is coming down the line.
    A shame, but possibly true.

  51. Kevin McStay may well have had a good point suggesting three grades of championship but I;m afraid it is a non runner in most, if not all, of the weaker counties. It is not logical but then much in the GAA is not logical, The Tommy Murphy Cup and the previous B championship proved that. Most of these same counties are happy to take part in the Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard or Lory Meagher Cups but the mention Tommy Murphy sends them off their rocker. Introducing them would not end the hammerings either. nobody, I think, would suggest that Galway should have been Intermediate this year or despite the hammering next year either. Most of the weaker counties seem to accept their position in life and after the annual outing against a neighbour are happy to get on with domestic affairs. A run in the qualifiers would be nice and gives variety especially since it is run off quickly and does not have a major impact on the local scene. Domestic affairs unlike some other “affairs” are not love matches either and the rivalry involved has a major impact on attempts to make an impact on the County scene. Everybody, almost, liked to speak of the impact Mick O’Dwyer was having in Wicklow but it is not noticeable now and never was at underage level.
    For the same reason a Champion’s League format would be a disaster in most counties. What percentage of a normal Roscommon / Sligo / Leitrim Connacht Championship attendance would travel to another province for a champions league format game? What percentage travels to see a qualifier?
    The suggestion of leveling up provincial numbers might have some merit but what practical purpose would be served by transferring Wexford and Carlow into Munster and Longford [and Fermanagh or Cavan] into Connacht? It might make for a more compact championship but the GAA I believe wants to maximise attendances and TV exposure by running it over as long a period as possible.
    The imbalance in resources between counties is a major factor in the imbalance in performances. Success brings success but population and allegiance has a major impact as well. For example Leitrim has very few soccer clubs and the county allegiance is almost totally GAA. It probably has a far higher percentage of young people playing football than any county with 24 clubs for a population c.30,000. Even so counties like Leitrim, Longford and Carlow will never or almost never threaten the big powers. [Don’t mention Leitrim’s 1994 win as Cork had proved in ’93 that Mayo were not then a big power]
    I often wondered why the GAA adopted the County as a basis for organisation having adopted the parish as the basis for its club structure. The parish was a logical decision for a mainly RC body but I do not think counties, an English imposition with no historical Irish tradition, meant very much to most people in the 1880s. Local Government on a County Council basis did not come into effect until 1898 when the GAA was already well established. Logically the next unit above parish should have been the diocese, How would a Killala v Clonfert, Achonry v Elphin and Tuam v Galway Connacht Championship have looked?
    I presume that the RC parish is still the basis of club structure in many counties. I do recall a contentious transfer request on behalf of children in Kerry which was refused on the basis of parish of residence. If the parish is still the rule book basis of club structure [in counties where it is rigidly enforced] how long can it last in this more secular and litigious society before it is shot down in law as discriminatory. Not everybody is RC today and parish means very little to many especially in more urbanised areas .Many children go to non parish schools and will want to join a club where most of the friends are members..

  52. Well Andy looks like he’s getting near full fitness at this stage, Cillian is reported to be looking at q/f tog out. Conroy should be there/thereabouts soon too.

    Spotted a few of them lads few hrs before Roscommon game, all sweatin , looked like they were after a right run out.

    Honestly think we are in a really healthy position , we actually (as supporters) don’t know how to deal with everythingg going right for us, we do thrive on negativity for some unknown reason.

    Dublin looked very good the weekend but Kildare were poor, not Dublins fault though, like ourselves , they can only dance with the girls in the hall. Still reckon they might be a bit open at the back, time will tell. Be interesting to see the aristocrats and the Cork this weekend, by jebus they’re not making a lot of noise down there, fooling nobody though.Kerry training is mental , killin one another for places, o mahony out is a big loss. I have a hunch Cork will win sunday, Counihan to come of age as a manager this year and probably win Sam.

  53. Can’t wait for the Munster final this weekend…really looking forward to it. First real test for both teams and both will be mad for a win. I fancy Kerry at home. But we should be careful about what we wish for.

  54. All good points lads , well said……I think there is a kick left yet in the kerry boys, so a kingdom win for me.

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