It’s another Monday morning and there’s another bundle of match reports and stuff on yesterday’s facile FBD victory over Leitrim to go through.
First up, as always, is Colm Gannon’s report for the Mayo Advertiser and once again this week he’s supplemented his written piece with some post-match audio from James Horan. Like last week’s one, this bit of audio is worth having a listen to too, as James provides a few interesting insights into where he’s at in terms of team development and plans for the league and all that. He mentioned that there’s a challenge match on Tuesday night and when I listened to the audio for the first time last night I couldn’t make out who he said we were playing but it’s since been confirmed that it’ll be against the U21s, which makes perfect sense not just for senior panel planning purposes but also from the point of view of Ray Dempsey and his U21s.
James says he’ll pick the team for the Down game after the run-out on Tuesday night and he reckons that this session “will tell a lot” in terms of both the team for Saturday and who will and won’t make the cut for the league panel. I think I read somewhere that we used 35 players over the course of the three FBD matches so a few lads are set to lose out (for now at least) as the numbers are pared back and some of those away on third-level duty return to the fold.
When speaking about the threat that Down are likely to pose for us under the lights on Saturday night, James pointed to their pace around the middle and their ability to retain possession. He’ll no doubt be formulating a line-up to counter this but, unlike the previous regime, it’s clear that we shouldn’t expect to see a hard-wired team in place before the clocks go forward (one that’s then pulled apart by June). James states clearly that his target for the league is to ensure that we develop as a team, building on each successive game. He reckons that with the players at his disposal, we’ve got good movement and mobility and he wants to see intelligent movement in the inside forward line so that those getting the ball in quickly are given some options. Although he didn’t mention it, the fact that our backs appear to be playing like backs is a welcome new departure and, having conceded just 1-15 over the course of the three matches, it may be that we’re starting to shape up in that sector too.
Back to the papers where Mike Finnerty in the Mayo News is also quick out of the traps this week and his piece also contains a few quotes from James that are on that audio clip. The Indo and the Times both have short reports, as does Hogan Stand (whose headline alliteration I rather like) and Sports New Ireland (who didn’t really make too much of an effort on that front, though their report is okay). There’s also this brief and quite forlorn account on the Leitrim GAA website at the end of which the writer, in bold font typeface, exhorts his readers in the following terms: please continue your support for your Senior County team. Mike Finnerty got it spot on in his report – anyone who thinks your average Mayo supporter deserves the title “long-suffering” should spare a thought for those trudging gloomily in Leitrim’s wake.
That’s the lot. As usual, I’ll be updating the site with links to these and other match reports as the week progresses (you’ll find them under the ‘2011 Results‘ tab). No doubt, the back marker there will, once again, be the dozy old Western who, unlike their competitors, have never really got with the programme where it comes to the provision of timely online content. I blame the parents. Or the education system. Or whatever.