Midweek coverage

Mayo balloons Berlin

Photo: @DaithiHealy

It’s Wednesday and the nationals have started to turn their gaze towards the football final. From here on in, it’s sure to ramp up all the way.

Kerry may be out of this year’s championship but the best piece to read today is written by Kerry’s Darragh Ó Sé in the Irish Times. Channeling his inner Keith Duggan (as in don’t cry for Mayo as they’ll be back beating you again soon) he does a very effective job demolishing the it’s-this-year-or-never theory about us and finals.

Darragh all too often lapses into his stage Kerryman routine in his column but today he’s absolutely on the money. I won’t spoil a cracking read for you – it’s here.

If you’re hankering after a bit of yerra, though, Darragh’s fellow countyman Mike Quirke slots in neatly to fill this void in today’s Irish Examiner. His piece about jolly japes in the run-up to finals past is here.

As far as I know, Dublin held their press night earlier this week so I guess this piece with Jim Gavin emanates from there. He does a decent job in bigging us up, saying we’re “a very mature team” who have “tightened things up defensively” with a manager who is “a good fit”.

He then opines somewhat underwhelmingly that we’ll “be a good challenge” for them on Sunday week. Well, fancy that. It’s an All-Ireland final, Jimbo, so, yes, I think you can expect us to give your lads bucketloads on the day. And not just for the fun of presenting them with a bit of a test either.

In the same piece, Gavin goes on to poo-paw the notion that we’re arriving into the final “under the radar”. He protests that:

You don’t come into an All-Ireland final under the radar. They have earned all their victories along the way and learned a lot from it.

He has a point there but the way that Dublin were crowned champions by the media after the semi-final has, for sure, helped us to slip in unannounced and unfancied into this year’s decider. The print media, as that Ó Sé article linked above shows, will probably drift back towards the middle ground between now and Sunday week but the Three Stooges on The Sunday Game have pretty much burned their boats where it comes to our chances at this stage.

Staying on that “under the radar” point for a minute, I think Gavin got a bit of undue flak when he said after the semi that we weren’t a consideration for them. Up until then their focus had, of course, to be on Kerry as they knew the Kingdom would throw the proverbial kitchen sink at them in the semi-final. Plus he’s a pilot so analogies about radar and clouds and shit must be two-a-penny in their dressing room.

The Dublin boss confirmed in that interview that his squad is fighting fit (though they don’t fight at all; God no – they’re far too busy stroking kittens, trying to end the mayhem in the Middle East and devising the best line of attack for the State in the Apple tax appeal). That includes James McCarthy – whom some journos were rather comically anointing as Footballer of the Year as far back as April this year – who made his comeback from injury in the semi-final. Gavin is confident the rangy Ballymun half-back will be okay to face our lads. Another piece on that is here.

I could go on and stray into the Mickey Harte story or start talking about the latest twist in the long-running Roscommon sitcom. But I won’t because that’s not of sufficient interest right now, what with this All-Ireland final we need to continue counting down to.

If you’re in or around Castlebar this coming Friday evening, by the way, part of your final countdown could include going along to SportsJOE GAA Roadshow final preview hosted by the Mitchels at An Sportlann. This event throws in at 8pm on Friday, where Colm Parkinson will be joined by James Horan, John Casey, Pillar Caffrey, Ray Cosgrove and others. Tickets for this event are free but you need to have a ticket to get in and can get them here.

Speaking of tickets, there are ten All-Ireland final tickets to be won in next Monday’s Mayo GAA Players Welfare Lotto. Play the Lotto here.

61 thoughts on “Midweek coverage

  1. An interesting aside is that of the 6 major competitions in 2016 at club & county level – junior, intermediate & senior club, minor, U-21 & senior county – mayo have reached 5 finals (this figure rises to 6/7 if the inter-county junior championship is included).
    While this has little or no relevance to Sunday week, it does underline the competitiveness & consistency of Mayo football. Unfortunately, our record to date reads won 1, lost 3(4), but if we do get over the line on the 18th and add the AI senior to our U-21 success, the well worn Mayo football narrative would certainly be turned on its head.

  2. ” Plus he’s a pilot so analogies about radar and clouds and shit must be two-a-penny in their dressing room.”
    ” his squad is fighting fit (though they don’t fight at all; God no – they’re far too busy stroking kittens, trying to end the mayhem in the Middle East and devising the best line of attack for the State in the Apple tax appeal).”

    you are truly on fire Willie Joe!.

  3. Good article by O’Sé but I think he’s said a lot of that kind of stuff before. He’ll still say Dublin by 4/5 next Wed.

    It’s good checking in here to the blog because it’s the only place to find some positive vibes. Living and working between Galway and Dublin it’s near impossible to meet anyone giving us much of a chance. I know some of you will say ‘that’s grand, bring it on’ and yes I agree with those sentiments but jeepers sometimes you start thinking ‘can all these people be wrong!?’

    Hurry up Sunday the 18th!!!

  4. FDBinashui.

    No no. Willie Joe is only telling ya how it is. They ARE sorting things out in the Middle East. They ARE talking about radar, clouds and shit. Stroking kittens too. Sure owl Philly is helping old women to cross the road. Diarmuid is gone to see Butrus Butrus Gali to give him a lesson in diplomacy. Sure what would you expect from the best team of all time ever. Even better that Brazil 1970 or Holland 1988.

  5. Total football. I’m waiting for that one and I’d be surprised if it doesn’t appear in the next week.
    There’s a storm brewing in the west and they are unaware of it here in Dublin.

  6. I watched rocky 4 the other day. Great motivational movie. Classic David v goliath. East v west. Some classic dialogue as well really gets heart pumping. Anyone getting revved up I would advise to watch it.

    I’m enjoying the build up. Was in local last night with few guys who are great football men. A man posed the question. What tactics will mayo use to win this game? The kickouts from either end was mentioned. I said that we can’t afford to hand so much possession back to Dublin like kerry did. Our tackling must be good. And we need economy up front. We also need to finish game strong as dublin always do. That’s a lot to take in but all vital points all the same. I would like to see dublin start the same team. I’d be more worried about Mike darragh and Macmanaman coming off bench as they are so hard to stop in full flight late in the game. So we will have to wait and see.

    This year we will have an attacking plan. I felt last year we had none. I felt we did not get the best out of the guys we had. Boyler dad was not well last year and he was not at full tilt and that’s understandable. This year he is back to full swing. Games take on their own life. It might just cone down to a hand in here or a foot in there.

    I find it hard not to dream a little. I’m imagining being level going onto the last minute of injury time. We turn dublin over on the half way line. Parsons powers forward lays it off to Cillian who winds up from 40 yards out. His shot looks good but umpire calls for Hawkeye. …….. could this be that fine margin we have been looking for……..

    We ain’t afraid of dublin. This game will be tight. After all the analysis coaching media and all the build up it will come down to whoever can pull out that bit extra when the chips are down. That’s what big days in croke park are about

  7. Best piece yet WJ, actual tears of laughter. My dream is very like yours toughnup, I feel so confident that we are going to do it UP MAYO

  8. I can imagine the Dublin management pouring over the tapes of our games this year and being , “right lads, well that was a waste of time..they have changed every game” .

  9. Alf Stewart mayo certainly bit less predictable than other years. Bit like a camelion. Changing colour to suit the surroundings. Another idea for a song there. Culture club and boy George. Karma camelion.

    Karma karma karma karma karma camelion
    We are mayo we are mayo . I think I better go do a bit if fencing or something lol

  10. toughnup , i like the way you fitted “I think I better go do a bit if fencing or something lol” into the tune but I cant see what it has to do with Mayo.

  11. It’s only a week from Sunday,, getting a bit tense now,again I think if. Rockford &. Get the formation right on the day ,we definitely have the talent to win this final,A O. Shea has to play inside not to get possession but to bat the ball down to the O’Connors,as Doheny.
    doe’s for Kerry,

  12. Colm Parkinson’s (aka wooly) GAA football hour podcast is certainly worth tuning in to. It’s analytical yet entertaining. Yer man Senan Connell can be very funny on it. Hope he’s on the panel Friday.
    The managers will be very cagey now, will say all the nice things. Nothing new. Although looking forward to reading O’Se’s piece.

  13. Roger Milla that ain’t part of the song. The fencing is to stop my head fast forwarding to 18th lol it fuck in seems an age away lol

  14. Its another long week which wont yeild our big moment at the end of it.Im trying to keep my mind off the game by reading James Laffey’s book “The Road to 51”. Some history lesson and for a lad growing up in the 80s its an eye opener but I think its good to have an appreciation for our past. Thankfully our lads dont need to worry about a civil war or a threat of being sent to Frongoch prison.

  15. Interesting talk in Croke Park this morning hosted by Ger Gilroy – Alan Brogan, Peter Canavan, David Nestor and Michael Quinlan. Alan admitted that Bernard was not playing well, don’t think he plays well when he is not on the field. Canavan thought we had to make a battle of it to stop the Dubs playing. Quinlan thought Aidan O Shea should move around, come out to the middle for some kick outs, confuse his marker, not stay inside as they will cancel him out if he does. Interestingly Alan Brogan suggested one of the main things we needed to have was a plan for their sweeper to take him out of his comfort zone so he is not blocking off all the ball to our full forward line. Of course they all tipped Dublin to win apart from David Nestor.

  16. If I ever wanted some kind of sign of destiny or that we’ve all landed on some parallel universe, some aligning of planets that mean we will eventually win Sam, then this is it.
    This is the SECOND article in the one calendar year by Darragh O’Se that I’ve actually enjoyed. Great read.
    These truly are the end of days.

  17. Breaking News – On Elverys – Mayo Crossbar Challenge, Lee Keegan confirmed his position was corner back……..

  18. I know I saw someone mention this on here before but I think the idea of some Mayo companies sponsoring flags to hand out on AIF day is a brillant one – I think it looks brillant and it’s a sure fire way of getting colour into the stadium.
    Obviously there is Elverys/Intersport but would there be anything holding back any other major Mayo Businesses from doing it e.g.
    MicksGarage.com has Mayo roots,
    Joe.ie/sportsjoe.ie, Mayo man Niall McGarry?

    Just a few suggestions but I think the idea of handing out some sponsored flags around the stadium on the day is a great one to add colour. 🙂

  19. Nothing new appearing from any quarter lately…how could there be? It’s all been said and resaid.Best I saw around today was a heifer wearing a green and red hat plus a scarf to match with ribbons on the tail! Bit over the top yet I thought …what ‘ll she wear for Sunday week?

  20. It is, RosTown, it’s a good bit higher than for any previous poll and will be the first ever to go over 1,000 votes. But then with yearly hits closing in on 2 million – Saturday is the latest this will happen, but it could occur on Friday – that’s no huge surprise.

  21. I see cairde Mayo are holding a pre match night in city west and the special guest…….Joe fucking brolly.

    Why on earth would any Mayo fan want to go see that odious Derry toad laugh and sneer about our team, never mind pay for the pleasure.

    I commented as much on their page but my comment was quickly deleted. Strange how the Mayo public is censored and that prick is allowed insult us and others all he wants on live television.

  22. NiallMc1983.
    I’d say that is a wind up. Joe fucking brolly. Sure why not bring Cormac fucking Reilly in too.

    If it is true by any chance, then absolutely nobody should attend.

  23. Joe is spending a lot of time in Mayo these days so I am not surprised he would be a guest on Mayo fundraiser gig. He will attract a decent crowd through hatred alone in fairness to him!!!

  24. As an exile in Dublin I’m taken by how many here are treating this final as a lap of honour for the Dubs. Absolutely no one even contemplating any other outcome. This is good news.. In a game of fine margins, which I expect, complacency on the part of Dublin may yet help us. Agree strongly with the sponsored colours suggestion. Nothing to silence the Hill like the sight of the boggers in the ascendancy!!
    While this Dublin team are very strong in most areas I think Mayo must be sponsored by U2. Innocence and Experience best sums them up. From Coen to Moran and all stages in between we have the complete package. In short we have every chance going into this. Keep the faith people. Maigh Eó abú. ??????????

  25. I’m afraid I wouldn’t be waiting for any company to sponsor colour or flags Sunday week. Elverys should but I don’t believe they’ve done anything quite like that before. Don’t understand why not but there you go.
    We will have to rely on our own devices for that.
    So let’s wrap the whole stadium in a big green and red ribbon. There should be no doubt which side is bringing the most colour to the party. Then all we have to worry about is bringing the noise as well!

  26. Niall..surely that is a wind up regarding Joe Brolly??!And can anyone explain why he is spending time in Mayo lately??

  27. O Sé’s article is excellent. Here is a man who really knows what he’s talking about because he’s been there and done that and has the ability to put it into words. Great wisdom based on experience.
    If we win this match – brilliant. If we lose we lose! But in losing we battle like demons and keep the flame lit for another go next year. I cannot ask for anymore from these lads.
    He’s right – it’s not ‘now or never’. At last I’m starting to get my head in the zone for Sunday week and this article has helped a lot.
    I wouldn’t normally be in favour of players reading press stuff in the lead up to an AIF but this should be compulsory reading for all our lads.

  28. Eleverys Sports should be handing out red and green hand towels to mayo supporters ahead of the game…much like they do in football games here…makes for some scene and atmosphere when tens of thousands start waving them…ala steelers!

  29. Thought Dara O Se article was excellent. I would have no issue with him tipping Dubs next week to win. Anyone from outside the county with anything between the ears would tip Dublin to win. Paddy Power and Ladbrokes etc etc have Dublin as hot favourites and they have plenty between the ears. Back to his article. Thought he made great points. Hunger and emotion and last chance saloon are irrelevant. They have all been there in abundance since 1989 but to no avail. Contrast his article with the tripe and clap trap spouted by brolly and spillane. And we actually pay a licence fee to listen to that. Speaking of brolly. Please Please dont tell me he is Cairde Maigh Eo s special guest Could they really be that stupid. That ignorant buffoon has sneered at and belittled Mayo at every turn. He made a big issue of Mayos supposed tactical fouling before the AIF v Donegal. The utter shite he spewed about Mayo after the 2013 defeat to Dublin still sickens me. He jumped on the bandwagon before the match and then twisted the knife in after we lost. If ever I come face to face with that idiot I will tell him exactly what I think of him. He should never be invited to anything which is related to Mayo GAA Personally I would prefer to see Donald Trump invited to a Mayo gig before that chap. He is not an impartial analyst, merely a self serving pundit who changes his opinion more often than Dunphy. And he certainly is not anything approaching funny. Leave him at home Cairde Maigh Eo. Surely a more suitable guest can be found.

  30. It’s a wind up about Cairde inviting Brolly……surely? I don’t know why RTE persist with Brolly and Spillane (but Brolly in particular). Most people watch them in the same way Catholics watch Fr. Ted and Dougal – for entertainment rather than anything more profound or enlightening. But they’re not even funny. I tend to make a cuppa when they come on.

  31. Spot on twjo regarding Brolly, as a pundit he’s self serving, as 2012 proved he’s no cairde of Mayo!

  32. Not only is Joe Brolly listed as one of the pundits but I see that Bernard Flynn is in the line-up too for that night. I’m surprised that Tommy Carr isn’t there as well to complete the picture!

  33. no wind up,it’s on the official mayo gaa Facebook page. it really is incredible the line they chose! It’s a charity event but I’d prefer to leave my donation at the door then listen to what’s on offer.

  34. Regina, I can tell you why Joe Brolly is spending so much time in Mayo,,! You see it rains allot in Mayo and indeed he is a ‘Brolly,’

  35. I wonder will Senan Connell be there on Friday night? “The little dinked hand pass into a crowded area”……gold!!

  36. Do people not know why Brolly is spending so much time in Mayo? Has the news not spread? I heard he now actually lives in Ballina or at least spends most of his time there. I have to say I usually enjoy him and I used to love Pat Spillane but after the way they both went on after our semi win and dublin’s semi win I have no time for them anymore. They went too far in my opinion. Oh lord, please let us prove them wrong.

  37. Ps. Senan Connell is good craic and a right ladies man but a nice one! Sound. Met him a good few times when he played for Dublin through my friends who were good friends with him and most of that team. And many of those times were in his beloved Coppers that he is always mentioning in the podcast.

  38. What is wrong with us?? (By us I mean Mayo organisers)Really and truly you couldn’t pick 2 bigger bankers to come to a Mayo gig..As much as Brolly annoys me Bernard Flynn is just a dose and has taken pleasure in castigating mayo in the recent past if I recall correctly. .And they will be PAID for their views??!! JESUS WEPT..

  39. Sinead 37. I’m sure Joe Brolly in Mayo ,its to do with all the all rain we have been getting. There was no need for Slim Shady this year to keep the sun off our brows, but there is nothing quite as good as a Brolly to keep your head dry! I hear Jack Frost is thinking he is going to keep Sam Mcguire company this winter,But we still won’t feel the cold due to the warm welcome we will have for Sam when he finally arrives. We will banish, Brolly, rain and Frost, it will be Sunshine all the way when Sam arrives! Can’t wait!

  40. Oh maybe Moonshine as well, Now that’s a good new song for ye. MOONSHINE IN MAYO. must better than Moonlight!

  41. To those quoting bookies odds, take ot from a gambler if every 4/11 shot came in the bookies would be bust in a couple of months.

  42. Ya I have great time for Connell. HImself and Wooly have great banter altogether. Off the Ball isn’t the same without Wooly!!!

  43. Ah Sinead 37, I’d drink Moonshine with you anytime.. The only thing I wouldn’t drink with you is cocktails because of the Brolly’s!

  44. Dear Leantimes, I think you watched too many Cilla Black’s Blind date in the past!!!! Shots have no Brolly’s! Think I’ll have some moonshine before throw in on the 18th. Might help calm the nerves.

  45. Looking fwd to dogs fundraiser for Mayo team in Galway Friday night.Good practical idea.
    Not as sure as some we will beat Dublin.On their day they can run up serious scores against any team.It really is a case of homework being done in advance…closing them down and ref not pulling Aido every time he gets the ball.Dont see Dillon starting…..think Regan and himself could be crucial as subs though.
    Really hope ref gives us a decent break.Dubs got away with crucial decisions the last day …45…shoulder into chest etc.
    Darragh correct…emotion..feelings…etc wont win it.Plan A B AndC needed.

  46. Ah Sinead 37, your so kind as to address me as ‘Dear Leantimes’ I should no doubt have watched Blind Date. I could have learned alora alora things!

  47. I don’t take no heade of brolly Spillane or anyone else on Rte for that matter. I enjoy sky coverage. Might not agree with it all but at least their opening minded. Rte needed spicing up years ago besides sticking with the same client all the time. Sky will have the lot before long and is it any wonder.

    All good teams develop a knack of winning. Dublin have it. Our u21 all ireland winning team had it. Man utd had it and so forth. Our seniors thus year in championship did not shoot the lights out but still we are 70 odd minutes from sam. We should have better planning in place thus year as last year we seemed to have no attacking ideas and still nearly beat the unbeatable. A bit of cuteness goes along way and that comes from experience. God knows we have a lot of that.

  48. Right folks, that’s enough discussion on Joe Brolly’s private life and why he may be spending time in certain places, which really isn’t anyone’s business but his own and certainly not a topic to be discussed here. Time to park that particular debate and move on.

  49. That was a cracking piece from O’Shea right enough WJ. He really can be up and down. He challenged my thinking completely because I regard this one in the shit or bust territory; add in the managerial upheaval and you have quite a cocktail. Great insight from OShea that makes one think.

  50. Why wouldn’t they have Brolly at the event? Everyone is fixated on what he has to say. He feeds off of people disagreeing with his comments, going into work Monday morning and giving out stink about what he said Sunday evening.

    The man has a built a huge media presence within the GAA and his name on the event has caused a stir and undoubtedly will aid in ticket sales. It wouldn’t be much of an interesting discussion if everyone was there to plámás Mayo would it?

    P.S. I think RTE’s signature names for football coverage are outdated. Brolly, Spillane, O’Rourke, Lyster (the loveable rogue), Ger Canning and the unspeakable Tommy Carr. More fresh voices and faces need to be added to join with Darragh Maloney and Ciaran Whelan (despite being Dublin biased), Joanne Cantwell, Dessie Dolan, Tomas O’Sé and Aaron Kiernan.

  51. We have all been here before and we only know too well how it’s ended every time. I remember sitting in a house after the pub with about 14 others in 2012 and talking for at least two hours about the coming final. All of us full of hope. Again in 2013 in a pub after hours, a good 25/30 people again all under the comfort blanket that Mayo had learned their lessons and this year we were going to finish the job. I enjoyed Darragh Ó Sé piece. This is not now or never this is just yet another year of trying. The Mayo people will always follow and support the team no matter how many times we lose out or crash and burn on AIFD. If there is any supporters in Ireland who understand the true meaning of the quote :Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination. then it’s the Mayo people. I talked to a guy from the Highlands of Scotland a couple of weeks ago. He told me he was in Ireland a few years ago and that kick and catch game was on. His Irish friends were all watching it. He didn’t understand it as he doesn’t follow any kind of football. He said there is one team that keeps getting to the cup final and they keep loosing they were playing that day! I asked him were they in Green and Red? Yeah that’s them that’s their song The Green and Red of Mayo The Saw Doctors great Irish band, they lost that day too! You can imagine my delight in telling him that’s where I’m from. Have ye ever won it since then? No but we are back in the final again this year! OFFS I hope to fk ye win it this year. I felt so sorry for ye that day. It sums up Mayo in many ways Kerry have won the All Ireland on countless occasions and Dublin who beat us on that occasion have also won it more time than we could care to mention, but the only memories that guy from the Highlands of Scotland took from that day was that team in Green and Red who never have their day. No question about it, Mayo can beat any team in Ireland on any given day of the year but when it happens to be on All Ireland final day the pressure on them now more than ever is like nothing any team in the history of gaelic football has ever experienced. Until they actually win an All Ireland every Mayo team will be playing with that handicap. There is no other players or ex players or TV analysis or pundits or experts in all of Ireland that knows what that feels like only the Mayo players ex players and Management. And no other county supporters in all of Ireland that could begin to imagine what it’s like being a Mayo man/woman. The 18th will come and go if Dublin win, it will be just another year over. All forgotten about after a couple of weeks. Should Mayo take that next step and actually win, it will be a year that will be marked out in Gaa Football history a milestone in gaelic football. There is no gaelic football sports writer, ex player pundit ect alive today that can say they walked out on All Ireland’s final day to with that monkey on their back. I like Darragh Ó Sé But he can talk about being professional all he wants. He is from a county that were expected to win every year. He didn’t grow up on heartbreak. His passion for football didn’t come from watching his team lose in finals. He never sat in a dressing room on all Ireland’s final day playing for a county that had lost the last 7 finals they were in. Mayo have tried everything over the years to win sometimes we were just not good enough other times as it’s been said on countless of times it looked like they were afraid of taking that last step, afraid of winning. Maybe it’s time we tried been afraid of loosing!

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