It looks as if we’ll be forced to field a much-changed side for the NFL clash with Fermanagh up in Clones on Sunday. David Brady and Kevin O’Neill are definitely out, along with the unfortunate Ronan McGarritty, but our problems don’t end there. The Mayo News reports that Enda Devenney and Aidan Campbell are both doubtful, which is an unfortunate development as the two had just broken into the side and they had both done enough against Limerick to hold their places the next day. Today, the Indo reported that flu-victim Liam O’Malley is also rated doubtful for Sunday and that David Clarke (currently no.2 in the goalkeeper pecking order) is carrying a back injury.
So, if we assume all the doubtfuls are definite absentees, we’ll need a corner back (Dermot Geraghty?), a half-back (Aidan Higgins?), two midfielders (Pat Harte and David Heaney?), a half-forward (Killer? Alan Dillon to switch back out from full-forward?) and a corner forward (got to be Conor Mort, hasn’t it?). Well, at least there are plenty of back-up options and it will give more players the opportunity to shine. However, in the same Mayo News article, Johnno laid it firmly on the line when talking about new players coming in, when he stated “there’s no hiding place now. When people are given an opportunity they have to perform”.
He ain’t wrong there. Like the Limerick game and, in view of the upcoming clashes with Cork, Dublin and Tyrone, this is a must-win game if we’re to retain our Division 1 status next season. I’d say Johnno was well hacked off with the flat performance against Limerick and he’ll be looking for a significantly improved outing the next day.
No news yet on the team but that’s normal. It’ll probably be in the papers tomorrow but, given all the injuries, we mightn’t see it till Saturday.
In other news, Kevin McStay has an interesting article in the Mayo News about Johnno’s first hundred days. The activity might not have been as frenetic as what one would expect to see at the start of a new US Presidency but, as Kevin shows, Johnno will have had a busy time putting in place plans and programmes for the year on both the playing and the (often-forgotten but increasingly important) non-playing side.
That’s it. Back tomorrow, assuming the team is announced.