Photo: Irish Times
With the London match out of the way, the sole focus now for Stephen Rochford and his charges is the Connacht semi-final against Galway at MacHale Park on the evening of 18th June (throw-in 7pm). In one sense, it’s a match that can’t come soon enough – as it’s only then that we’ll really start to see how team and tactics are shaping up this year – but on the other hand there’s a danger it’s coming at us too rapidly, given the outsized injury list we have at the minute.
The good news, I guess, is that none of the players currently listed as injured seem to be properly crocked. I’m only guessing here but I’d reckon that most – though probably not all – of them will be available for selection for the Galway game. If this is the case then I’d be fairly confident we’ll live up to our 1/3 odds to win that one and, if we do, there’s a good chance we could be picking from a full slate for the Connacht final.
Sure, some of these injuries could prove more troublesome than expected and others could occur either during the Galway game or in training. Dealing with such problems is obviously part and parcel of how things work in team sports, though it certainly does appear to be the case so far this year that we’re being weighed down by more trouble than is normal on this front. The sooner the reversion to the mean happens for us in this area, the better.
Mike Finnerty in the Mayo News today has some more detail on the current injury situation in the squad. In this piece, Stephen Rochford says he’s “hopeful” that most of those currently in sick bay will be okay in time for the Galway match. The list of the walking wounded in that article includes Chris Barrett, Alan Freeman, Barry Moran, Diarmuid O’Connor, Seamus O’Shea, Tom Parsons, Brian Reape and Donal Vaughan. As Mike notes in that piece, those eight injuries meant we were only in a position to tog 25 players in Ruislip.
In separate news, huge congrats to Diarmuid O’Connor who was yesterday officially announced as the Eirgrid U21 Footballer of the Year. The award was decided by public vote, with the Ballintubber dynamo beating off competition from Cork’s Sean White and Con O’Callaghan of Dublin to claim the accolade. In total, six Mayo lads were included in the awards, with Eoin O’Donoghue and Michael Hall included in the backs, Matthew Ruane and Stephen Coen at midfield and Michael Plunkett alongside Diarmuid in the forwards. Well done to all of them.