New season, new start

Mayo team CF 2015

Right, then – the teams have been named and it’s all systems go ahead of tomorrow’s League Division One opener against Cork down at Páirc Uí Rinn (throw-in 2pm). With my own schedule having freed up for tomorrow, the car is already full of juice and the road to the Rebel County is there to be traversed in the morning.

I’m looking forward to the off and looking forward too to being there: it’s a new year of football and a new start for us, with the county’s fortunes now entrusted to Stephen Rochford and his newly installed management team. On the field it’s a mixture of old and new, a nice blend of experienced and fringe players for our first competitive match of the year.

It’s an interesting side we’ve picked for this one, with the nine starters from the All-Ireland semi-final replay last September demonstrating that we’re not, perhaps, as weakened as many have this week claimed we currently are. Sure, we’re experimenting a bit tomorrow but so too are most other teams in the Division at this time of the year.

We’re taking more of a risk at the back, fielding four less established faces – including two League debutants, the Garrymore duo of Shane Nally and Caolan Crowe. Brendan Harrison and Shane McHale have, though, seen a fair bit of action before and need to see more ahead of the summer so it’s good to have them in from the start tomorrow.

We’re strong in midfield – possibly far stronger than them – and we look strong too in the forwards, a sector where I felt we looked particularly lightweight against Roscommon two weeks ago. The return of Aidan O’Shea, Kevin McLoughlin and Diarmuid O’Connor (who only came on in the second half against the Rossies) certainly provides a good deal more heft and guile in this area.

Will we do it? It’s hard to know: Cork have a good home record in the League but we’re one of the few counties to come away from their patch with any joy in recent years. We only lost when conceding a late, late goal last year and we won the previous two times we played down there. We should, then, travel tomorrow with confidence and the fact that we’re likely to outnumber the legendary home support by around 4:1 most likely won’t harm our case either.

The bookies say Cork, the poll here on the site (not an unbiased sample, I know) says us, with 47% of voters giving us the nod while 41% plumped for them with 12% opting for a draw.  Sure, you’d never know: a draw it could well be.

I’m planning on hitting the road south early tomorrow to leave enough time for the spuds before the game. Then it’s the Rebels, hopefully, for dessert afterwards. I’ll be doing the usual post-match audio stuff from the ground after the final whistle has sounded and, if the 4G signal is okay, will aim to get the Man of the Match poll up here on the site as soon as I can thereafter, with the match report to follow.

Safe travelling all and here’s to a good start to 2016 for us tomorrow.

Up Mayo!

34 thoughts on “New season, new start

  1. Just filled the car with petrol and have the Mayo woolly hat at the ready. Looking forward to it – up Mayo!!

  2. You’re some man for one man WJ !!! Safe travel.

    Looks like we’re fielding a good team tomorrow with a lot of experience up front and midfield so it could come down to how our defence play, if they hold their own then we can win.

    Great to see Evan Regan back. Looked good last year before he got injured. Feel it’s time for him to stake his claim as it is for Conor O’Shea this year.

    Big chance for Gibbons to reestablish himself and Freeman if he gets a run.

    It;s all about building a panel with plenty of depth so let’s start tomorrow.

    See Down got hammered tonight so it looks like they’re going to struggle to stay up. We just have to make sure we finish ahead of one of the other seven teams and stay up.

  3. I am optimistic bout tommorow looking forward to it up Mayo Dublin beat Kerry by six points unbeatable dubs will be this season I suppose.

  4. Like the look of our team tommorow, but think we will be beaten by 2-3 points, cork will have an edge on us fitness wise and that should see them through…hope im wrong. Its looking like Down are on the way down (excuse the pun) so if the Rossies are bet tommorow, i think we will be safe if we can sneak the points.

  5. Dublin will of course be the team to beat in 2016, why wouldn’t they? They will walk through Leinster for the next decade untouched as long as they keep some sort of organized talent management in place in their county. We are looking at a Scottish premiership type scenario emerging in Gaelic football, chalk it down.

  6. I would not waste the chalk on that thought Dave.

    Chalk this UP instead. Mayo will finish the journey that they restarted in ’89 and reemerged from the sludge of negativity, reborn. The wasted years will be their testament to their indominatable spirit. Tomorrows result is not important in the long term but we must teach the Dubs a small lesson next Saturday and I believe that we will. You can chalk that too as long as you chalk it UP.

  7. best of luck tomorrow and would be pleasantly surprised if we won Cork also under new management and with home venue and some silverware already deserve to be favourites Still hope the new lads do well and we will be much stronger later in year so best of luck to everyone

  8. Scintillating stuff from the Dubs in a great game with championship fervour.
    In contrast Donegal were flying in a shambolic cats and dogs affaire in the north.
    Next sat we ll have to be into it hard fast smart clever slick and all the rest. It ll be some battle.I would reckon our fellas will have last years trouncing in mind which may lift their performance. Very notable is the nonchalant way the Dubs throw the ball around. Do they bring the feckin thing to bed with them or what?

  9. I come back to it again. Out middle eight looks much better than theirs. Not a bit better, much better.
    – Lee Keegan
    – Tom Parsons
    – Kevin McGloughlin
    – Diarmuid OConnor
    – Aidan OShea
    I will be genuinely surprised if we dont win this.
    Cork haven’t added in anything that suddenly closes the gap. Extra fitness work might have been case four weeks ago, not now.

  10. Best of luck to the team and to all the supporters travelling to Cork….it’s a long haul. As somone has said earlier here the real trick over the next few months is to build a good, strong panel with depth and flexibility………and stay in division 1 too, of course.

  11. That a boy Catcol! Hope someone else is piloting while you’re admiring the swirling mists of the south!

  12. Best of luck for an exciting new season to our team and supporters safe travelling and no injuries not much to ask

  13. Good luck to all that are travelling and lets hope for a good result. What I’ll be looking for is a good finish – if we’re in front, that we can hold on, and if we’re behind that we make a fight of it. Either way it should be a close one.

  14. Subs for today listed as:
    Mathew Flanagan
    Colm Boyle
    David Jenny
    Padraig OHora
    Michael Hall
    David Drake
    Conor OShea
    Darren Mchale
    Mikey Sweeney
    Keith Ruttledge
    Cathal Carolan

  15. 8 points down. Cork waltzing through us to score at will. OK breeze is part of it but not 8 points part. Not game over till the final whistle but it is difficult to see where we are going to get that many scores back in second half.

  16. Is going to stand a good move. There are pros and cons of course but a managers presence on the line could be motivational.
    Believe Mayo will be better in 2nd half.

  17. We’re ten points down . If Rochford was down in the pub right now it doesn’t matter. It’s the players that concern me

  18. That Mayo team is too soft ! Cork walking through them and every cork fella is able to easily fend off his opposite number.

  19. Pathetic Mayo effort……Cork are not that good at all but are being let walk over us…..no togetherness at all……..On the plus side this will make for a great review video when the team see it and I expect we’ll progress from there to our usual form come Summer

  20. Regan looks good, though the rest must have got dirty diesel on the way to the game, it should be blown out after this game or else Rochford wasn’t kidding about survival being his first priority.

  21. Cannot believe Keegan was left on.Has noone read the concussion protocol.Shocking.Came off near me and didnt know where he was.
    Overall it is January but poor from Mayo. Too early to panic but poor start.

  22. Yeah not good, but we have to be rusty, our team is on the road 5 years now, lots of injuries and probably no where near the pace required and the young lads are still wet behind the ears. Cork on the other hand have lots to prove. It’s very early in the season. With the way fixtures are set up this year, staying in Div1 will be a very satisfactory achievement and if we can do that while at the same time introduce one or two new serious additions (players who will really press for championship starts) as well as having our squad as injury free as possible come June, we’ll be alright.

    Cork beat Kerry in the league last year 3-17 to 2-9…..didn’t make much difference in the summer.

  23. You’d have to be concerned with the way Keegan was allowed play on. Even just the force of the impact should have lead to suspicion of concussion. Not that it should matter but we weren’t even competitive in the game so not any pressure from that point of view. Hopefully the mistake won’t be repeated as player safety should come first

  24. Cork beat Kerry in the league last year 3-17 to 2-9…..didn’t make much difference in the summer

    sums it up

  25. For a team that shafted their management last year and was applauded for doing so to put in a performance like that!!! It was shocking.It didn’t matter whether we lost by 2 or 20 points the same worrying signs that eventually undo us against the top teams are there for all to see.We have a real problem at no 6,too nice at full back and our fowards are too small and light to win 50/50 ball.
    However,I hope Conor O Shea get a good run in the league-a good strong ball winner.We are about to find out in the next 7 months how good of a manager Rochford really is.Good luck to him.

  26. Generally pace was absent….expected! A performance that should turn out therapeutic! Good showings from B Harrison and Regan,Hall and Drake. C OShea showed a bit more involvement and took three nice scores.

    They ll have to come up with a bit more of the devil in their play to get a few wins this league . There s nothing soft coming up.

  27. Poor performance . Of course it’s only first league game , late starters re training etc etc but it was still nonetheless a complete shambles of a performance .

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