New York state of mind


The League’s done and dusted and now, with indecent haste, it’s straight into the Championship.

For us, the schedule isn’t as insane as it was last year, when we were forced to play a Connacht Championship quarter-final against Roscommon just seven days after a National League Division One decider against Galway. Recalling that is almost enough to have smoke coming out my ears – there’s simply no way on earth we should have been placed in such an invidious position twelve months ago and it’s little wonder we tapered our Division One campaign to avoid such an outcome this year.

Instead this time we had the Easter weekend off, with the team and many supporters – as well as Mike, Rob and me for the podcast – getting ready to cross the Atlantic later this week, ahead of Sunday’s match against New York. This Connacht SFC quarter-final throws in at Gaelic Park in the Bronx at 3pm New, York time (8pm Irish time). Martin McNally of Monaghan is the ref, GAA GO are streaming it live and Midwest will also have live radio commentary.

We won’t be sitting on our hands on the podcast either while we’re Stateside. We’ll have regular podcast episodes, including our usual post-match Final Whistle show, and we’re also hosting a live event, in conjunction with the Mayo Gaelic Football club of New York, at the Joyce Pub on Friday night. We’re recording a podcast episode tonight, where we’ll be chatting about our plans for when we’re across the water in the coming days.

Usually, when writing pre-match pieces like this, I look back on what our opponents have been up to on the field of play. For the Exiles, though, the answer is not a lot, as the most recent time they kicked a ball in anger was last summer.

It was, though, a longer summer than usual for the Yanks, as they recorded a first-ever Connacht Championship win. Leitrim were the unlucky souls to lose out the Hudsonsiders, in a game that ended level at 0-15 each after extra-time, with the home team winning the penalty shootout 2-0.

That historic win meant that New York got a second day out in Connacht last summer, making the trek across the Atlantic to play Sligo in the semi-final. Their Nestor Cup dreams died a death at Markievicz Park, however, where the Magpies emphatically came out on top by 2-16 to 0-6.

The Exiles still weren’t done yet, though, as they had automatic passage to the preliminary quarter-final stage of the Tailteann Cup. That pitted them against Carlow, where, at Cullen Park, they lost out by 0-15 to 0-10.

We’ve rarely been troubled any time we’ve contested a Connacht Championship fixture in the Bronx and we’re obviously expected to put this challenge to bed without too much fuss on Sunday as well.

That we should do but let’s not allow that to get in the way of the normal pre-match poll. So, how do you think we’ll do against the Yanks on Sunday?

How will we get on against New York?

  • Easy win (72%, 442 Votes)
  • Nervy, uneasy win (19%, 116 Votes)
  • Upset of all time loss (10%, 59 Votes)

Total Voters: 617

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10 thoughts on “New York state of mind

  1. Great to see it all starting up again and to look forward to the long and hopefully hot days with championship football occupying our thoughts. However where are we really at?
    Is a semi final our ceiling and considered a good outcome for this season?

  2. I think new York will put up a good fight but I expect us of course no disrespect to new York to win well.

    Its great to see us heading back to new York great for GAA and great for the Irish in New York who will be so welcoming!

    @pullhard I honestly think a semi final and a good perfermance would be a massive achievement for us we’ve such a young team I think that’s the most we can expect and maybe next year hope for more but honestly a semi would be massive .

  3. Clare – I’m not sure our team is that young. Outside of Callinan and Bob Tuohy – who probably won’t see a lot of game time in championship this year – our next group of younger players – Coyne, McBrien, Jack Carney are all in at least their 3rd or 4th year on senior panel and are at least 23 years old. Reape is 28. These lads are as good now as they are going to be

  4. I’d half agree with that @Southmayo but if/when management gets a style of play that suits what we have and players buy in and know their role,these lads will perform a whole lot better. They are all top players individually… it’s just a style or system of play that we haven’t seemed to be able to put in place,under presant management anyway,and of course players playing in positions they are most comfortable in.

  5. Good players alright 2 hops, but not what you would call absolute top quality players. A fit Paddy Durcan has the potential to be as good as any half back in the country, but injury has curtailed him of late. After that our League Player of the season, Ryan O Donaghue is a good forward, but when you see his stats on scores from play, he is behind Clifford, McGuigan, Canavan, O Callaghan etc. After that, I dont really think you could say we have outstanding players. Good players no doubt with an excellent attitude and commitment to the county team and players who can certainly be admired. But when you compare this team to that of 2013 -2017, where we had some absolutely outstanding players such as Clarke, Keegan, Boyler, Higgins and Cillian to name but a handful. Those were top top players acknowledged by most inside and outside the county as really excellent. I still think our team is in the top six bracket or thereabouts with the ability to beat most opposition on their day but also with the potential to lose to quite a number of teams when the day is not going too well. Yes it is up to management to get the best out of them, but ultimately it is the players who win or lose games.

  6. I wouldn’t have us as AI contenders atm either @,twjo. It’s just now and again we show glimpses, especially last year but consistency is a huge issue. I’d definitely think with such a big posse of experience on the sideline we should have this ironed out at this stage. Injuries have been an issue no doubt but if the system is in place,lads should be able to slot in. Anyway hope springs eternal and maybe champo 24 is where it clicks into place.

  7. One player the media are asleep on is David McBrien. He’s one of the best full backs in the country.

  8. It is not about individuals but rather how we play as a unit. Having the tactics right and executing them is central to teamwork along with physical conditioning and hard work. Tactically we have to move the ball quickly from the back line to the forward line especially on turnover ball. The only way to do this is the accurate 40 yard kick pass. But this requires players running into position and awareness of the play. The kick outs are very important and requires accuracy from the goalie and players running into position. The Derry goalie is very good at this. Reaper needs to improve. The backs need to tighten up.
    I would prefer to have a bunch of good players that play as a team than have a team with a few very good players that are not as good collectively. If we can play as a unit we will have a good chance of winning an AI

  9. @Muckle now in fairness you can’t compare reape to derrys goalie it’s not all the goalies fault for sure he needs to improve I agree.

    But derry have the best midfield in the country one of the best anyways as in Connor glass your midfield is so important goalies can only do so much if you’ve poor midfield then goalies usually get the blame in terms of kick outs but to be fair our midfield is no where near derrys so you can’t really say derrys goalie is really good maybe he is but as I said he also has the best midfielder in the country atm which helps big time.

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