We’re hurtling ever closer to Saturday and the U21s’ date with destiny in the form of their All-Ireland football final clash with Cork at Cusack Park in Ennis, where throw-in has been set for 6pm.
Many of you will, I know, already have your plans made for getting to the match. Some of you might even have your tickets organised. A Saturday match isn’t always a straightforward proposition for many to get to but this match is an All-Ireland final and we can be sure that a big Mayo support will turn out for it. Despite the silverware on offer, though, the same can’t be said with confidence about Cork.
The poor level of support that the Cork footballers routinely attract is beyond a parody. We’ve outnumbered them four or five to one in each of our last two visits to Páirc Uí Rinn and in Tullamore the last day there must have been scarcely a few dozen souls shouting for the Rebel County.
Why this is the case is one for another day but the contrasting levels of support that the footballers of both counties are routinely able to muster is a factor that’s strongly in our favour on Saturday. It’s one we should exploit to the full, in the way Roscommon so memorably did at the same venue in their All-Ireland minor replay against Kerry back in 2006.
The only way we can do this is if we have an absolutely monstrous turnout from the county in Ennis on Saturday. Sure, without any effort we’re guaranteed to outnumber by a large margin whatever size crowd Cork might bring but we shouldn’t be content at that. Instead we should aim to swamp them completely in a tidal wave of Green and Red.
Imagine the impact on the team to run out at a packed Cusack Park on Saturday evening, the crowd comprising at least 95% our lot. A crowd that would greet every turnover we make with an earthy roar and that would raise the rafters for every score we get. Sure, the lads will still need to do the business on the pitch but there’s a job of work to be done by those of us on the other side of the white line too and the best way we can do this is to be there in numbers and make our presence felt.
So, pack up the car, and, as Club ’51 say, bring the colour and bring the noise and get ready for a Cusack Park takeover on Saturday. Let’s make the Clare venue a home from home for the lads as they aim to secure All-Ireland honours for the county.