National League fixtures for next year

Provisional fixtures for next year’s National League have been provided to counties, with details reported in the media today. Colm Keys in today’s Irish Independent has a piece on this (here), which fills in some of the detail on our forthcoming Division One campaign.

Having played all seven League matches away from home last year while the pitch redevelopment works at MacHale Park were being carried out, next year sees us back at home with a vengeance. Our spring campaign next year features four matches in Castlebar so it would obviously be a good time for us to get back into the habit of winning more regularly on home turf.

We open our 2023 League campaign with a tasty clash against our near neighbours Galway. That’s provisionally fixed for Saturday, 28th January, under the lights at MacHale Park and it’ll be a first competitive outing for us under the new management team led by Kevin McStay.

The following weekend we make the long trek to the Athletic Grounds to play Armagh (a short enough jaunt for me from here in the capital but a long haul for those of you based in the west), before we entertain All-Ireland champions Kerry back on home turf a fortnight after that.

The next weekend, 24th/25th February, we make the short hop to Dr Hyde Park to play Roscommon in Round 4, following which Tyrone roll into town the weekend after that for our Round 5 meeting.

We then head northwards, most likely to Ballybofey, two weeks after that to play Donegal. Our final match in the campaign – barring an appearance, as happened this year, in the Division One decider – is at home to Monaghan on the weekend of 25th/26th March.

Overall, it’s a decent run of games for us and you’d have to think we should at least be able to do enough to claim sufficient points to survive in Division One. You’d never know, we might do more than survive but, as this year showed, prospering in a Division One campaign brings its own set of problems.

The provisional fixtures are now with the counties who have until next week to come back with comments on them. On past experience, though, there’s likely to be little, if any, change to these provisional fixtures before they’re finalised.

29 thoughts on “National League fixtures for next year

  1. Thanks, GBXI – I’m a bit distracted this week but I’m planning on doing a post later on tonight with details of all upcoming Connacht club fixtures.

  2. Thank you for those fixture details WJ. Does anybody know if the 2022 Championship structure will again be applied in 2023 ?…….That is, with the AIF in July, many counties seeing no competitive action from June until the following end-Jan League commencement. That’s 7 long months without an intercounty game……I know we have FBD etc but just asking if 2022 was a ‘pilot’ and if normal service is being resumed in 2023 ?

  3. MartyK 2023 will see a new structure entirely for the All Ireland series & Tailteann Cup. But it will all be done and dusted in July again

  4. Really excited about the National League. It sure seems odd not to have a game on there Vs Dublin.

    Excited to see what differences McStay & Co bring to the style, team, squad. There has been a lot of (understandable) talk about some new guys making claims for selections during the club championship but given the time it takes to get up to intercounty pace, I don’t think we’ll see huge changes. But subtle changes and marginal improvements will be welcome. I’ll be looking/hoping to see the likes of Orme, Carney (and a few others who have a year or two under their belts) take another step or two, or to see what McStay can do with them.

  5. Big opening game with Galway, a win and you’d imagine we could limp into a final similar to this year. Although I’d love to see us power into one.

    Lose and that Roscommon game starts to look like a big one.

    I think we’ve enough experience and quality to stay up comfortably but it’ll be interesting to see how we approach the league. It feels like we have too many players needing game time to take the Jack O’Connor approach but at the same time, consistency of selection and performing as a coherent team were probably our failings last year, which you’d assume that the Jack O’Connor approach would resolve.

  6. FrostT, I think a lot of the inconsistency in terms of team selections enforced? Iirc we rotated the keepers early on, but I’m not sure we opted for resting players in general… In retrospect, we probably should have rested a few more, playing Ryan injured and Tommy in the middle of a crazy schedule backfired.
    I don’t think Jack O’Connor will be following the Jack O’Connor approach this year. I think that was a first year back thing for him.

  7. Ah ref sources reporting that Darren Coen, Fergal Boland, Conor O’Shea and Fionan Duffy gone from McStays new panel.

  8. @third man in

    Your right a lot of it this was injury enforced, although there was some decisions such as the amount of game time Conor O’Shea got early in the league that seems odd in retrospect. I guess the argument for me would be, if we had used the Jack O’Connor approach, would players have found it easier to fill in when called on?

    Not my intention to be critical here, I don’t think there’s a right and wrong decision to be made here, it’s all about hindsight. Last year was also exceptional in terms of the injuries suffered. I’d wonder how much Robbie’s injury affected us, he missed a good bit of time when you’d except us to have worked on kick out strategies and I think this may have hindered us in the end

    Also I want to agree with your point regarding club players coming straight into county. I think Jordan Flynn is the prototype here. Year on year improvement.

  9. @FrostT
    I had actually forgot that Conor O Shea had played at all. I do get your point, there’s very little point using players that aren’t likely to feature later in the year.

  10. Unless boland has opted out I cannot see him not making the cut.scored two very good points from distance last year off limited games. Is that not what we are looking for from our very weak half forward line

  11. Craggy boglands, I agree. The other three could be cut but Boland brings something we don’t have in abundance – an ability to shoot over a blanket. Surprised if he was cut.

  12. We need Fergal Boland on the Mayo panel because of his ability to cut through defences and score valuables points and also of his experience .You can’t beat experience .

  13. Fergal Boland can score the odd point from range but is very limited in all other aspects of his game. As we have seen with him in the big games, he can get swallowed up. Now this isnt independant of our other forwards who have been too. However Boland cannot track athletic runners the other way, and I think we seen that when he came off the bench against Kerry in the AIQF. Boland couldnt handle the intensity of Croke Park, and even if he could score the odd one the other way he offers nothing else, and is simply and blatantly a defensive liability when he is on the pitch. I think if we are to realistically compete with the big dogs he isnt going to get us there. For example, would you rather play Flynn or Carney wing forward where they can act as a third midfielder and get on breaks and track runners, or even Paddy Durcan at wing forward to mark the likes of Gavin White. Or, would you rather Boland who offers basically nothing to our team apart from the odd point and will make us very limited otherwise.

  14. I disagree He does a lot of tracking back he runs his socks off. Flynn is not a corner forward he is a midfielder

  15. Ah retrocut, that’s terrible analysis. Boland is excellent at picking up breaking ball, only Kevin Mc in the current squad is better. He’s a miles better footballer than Walsh or Loftus but they are taller and perceived to be more more physical. That was Horan’s choice and that’s fine. Boland works as hard as anyone else, you don’t make the senior squad without having massive work rate. Flynn is very strong but would be roasted for pace at wing forward, and in my humble opinion will get caught out at the very top level games for pace at mid field too. He’s a bit like Barry Moran was, still a good player to have in the panel.

    On the topic of wing forwards, I hope Oisin Mc gets a run of games in the league. He’s rapid, incredibly fit, and very physical – though not as natural a finisher as Boland.

  16. When I think Boland, I think workrate, stamina, ball striking ability, a breaking ball spcialist. Like most county class footballers he has weaknesses too, high ball, physical power, etc but tracking runners isn’t one of them.

  17. GBXI.. I totally agree with everything you have just said re boland and especially flynn. Pace at the top level is very valid point .Are we really that blessed in the half forward department that we can drop boland. I think not

  18. I’m a big fan of Boland but I wouldn’t have him as someone who excels at winning breaking ball etc. He reminds me more of a Dillon type player than any other player, someone who can play a playmaker role and can score a few points.

    He never really fit into Horans style imo, Rochford liked him a lot more.

  19. Maybe he has opted out. There is no way one could call in a load of potential half forward s and leave out a man of boland s experience. If the likes of Doherty didn’t make it I could understand because he has given great service to mayo but I’m afraid his time is up

  20. Of the four players listed, I’m most surprised about Fionan Duffy. The other 3 all played for Rochford and there’s plenty of tape available to make an informed decision.

    I’d be very skeptical about these kinds of rumours. I very much doubt anybody has been told that they are no longer needed. The reality is that management have a huge number of players available to choose from and there’s only so many that it’s practical to work with. I would imagine that the message from management to these players was, “we have a good idea of what you are capable of. We have a lot of players who we’ve never worked with before, and want to access what their capable of. We can only have so many players in the training group, and ATM we can’t include you. This will likely change as we move forward, with injuries and it being too soon for some of the younger players. Stick with your dietary and S&C programs and we’ll talk again in January “

  21. Lucero – hadn’t realized that tbh
    I see as well that Duffy played for Rochford. Didn’t think he’s been around that long

  22. I am sure some guys will opt out and others may not have the time or commitment for inter county football. It is a personal choice, feel sorry for those that will be dropped and there could be quite a few Imo.

  23. Would the mayo management break from the norm and try to convince liam irwin back to gaelic football.

  24. A 20 year old Fionan Duffy played about 20 minutes in 1 FBD match under Rochford. It was the most inexperienced Mayo team to ever play in the FBD became most of the Senior panel was on holidays in South Africa.

  25. Basically Horans panel with the 5 new players Oisin McLaughlin,Niall McManamon, Ethan Gibbons, Michael Murray and Jack Coyne and the 4 dropped Boland ,Conor O’Shea, Darren Coen and Fionan Duffy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *