The team had their All-Ireland final meet-and-greet session with the Fourth Estate in Breaffy yesterday evening and James took the opportunity to report that, aside from Andy Moran, he’s expecting to have a full deck to deal from when he and his selectors sit down early next week to pick the starting fifteen for the All-Ireland final against Donegal on Sunday week. Lee Keegan’s nasty finger dislocation is, as you’d expect, the main worry but James reckons that the Westport man should be fine and that Colm Boyle (virus) and Richie Feeney (calf) will also be available for selection.
There are reports on the press event in all three nationals today but the coverage is muted enough, which I guess is just the way we want it to remain between now and the 23rd.
The Irish Times leads with the injury list (I must have aspirations to join that politically correct institution when I grow up, as I see that I did likewise) and then follows with a few quotes from James before the article veers off into an interview with Donal Óg Cusack about the hurling final replay. I’ve no problems with that but something about the welter of excitement in Donegal might not have gone amiss there as well. Bear in mind for next time, lads.
The Irish Independent can’t be faulted on that score. They contrast our home-on-the-range approach to life to the structured methods of Jimmy The Redeemer who has apparently marched his troops off the hills and has them closeted in Carton House where they’re supposedly conducting 18-hour Hate Mayo! sessions and drinking their own wee-wee. No, I don’t believe that last bit either.
The Irish Examiner goes with the same we’re-keeping-it-grounded theme and includes a fair few quotes from James, both about that injury list and about the general mood that’s abroad within the county at the minute. On the latter, James has this to say:
The Mayo public has the benefit of having the experience of All-Ireland finals so I think they are very clued into preparing for a big match. I think there is a lot of composure and calm around the county.
That’ll be music to the ears of the #nohypeplease brigade, I guess.
It being the Irish Examiner, though, they just had to bring up that ridiculous non-story about the blood subs that they’d flogged to death for half the week after the Dublin match. Fair play to James, when he was asked if – in light of what had happened that day – he’d like the blood sub rule looked at, he responded thus:
Every rule in the GAA could be looked at. I’d like the tackle to be looked at and get that defined and work from there. I personally think everything should be reviewed, on an ongoing basis, but they’re the rules at the moment and you just go and play them.
If it’s balls ye want hopped lads, then our man clearly is the man to do it.