Nothing easy for us in minor and U21 draws

The draws for next year’s Connacht minor and U21 championships were made last night and we got nothing soft in either of them.

In the minor championship, we’ve avoided having to play a preliminary round match but then our defence of the Tom Markham Cup will start with a tricky semi-final away to the winners of the Sligo/Galway tie. Given the crude backdoor system that operates in the minor championship – where both provincial finalists go straight through to the All-Ireland quarter-finals but anyone who loses prior to the final is out – this clash, most likely against the young Tribesmen, will – like it was this year – be a real do-or-die affair. Roscommon, meanwhile, have effectively been handed a bye straight through to the All-Ireland series as they only have to navigate their way past Leitrim in the semis to qualify for the provincial final and, with it, a place in the All-Ireland quarter-finals. That’s the way it goes, I guess.

The U21 championship is, of course, still of the old-fashioned variety, with no backdoor at all at all and we’ve got a tough nut to crack right at the outset here as we’ve been drawn to play Roscommon in the preliminary round. If we get over that one, then it’s Sligo in the semi-final and, most likely, defending U21 All-Ireland champions Galway in the final. We haven’t even got to a Connacht U21 final since we last won it in 2009 and it looks as if we’ll have to do it the hard way if we’re to come out on top in the province at this level next year.

Full details on the draws are available here.

30 thoughts on “Nothing easy for us in minor and U21 draws

  1. Connacht underage football remains highly competitive one thing for sure whoever wins the Connacht title have a great chance of winning the All Ireland.

  2. one question for ye is there many of this yea mayo under 21 team able to play under 21 next year

  3. Off the top of my head Aidan Butler,Conor Horan,James Shaughnessy,Adam Gallagher,Evan Regan,Conor O’Shea could be a few more.

  4. Tough certainly given Roscommon’s and Galway’s record at underage in recent years. But to win anything one must beat the best. Given the right preparation I have no doubt both can come through. A major factor at minor I believe is the number doing Leaving Cert on the team. Their mind cannot be on football for the month previous to the semi final and not having a preliminary round played beforehand is, in my view, a disadvantage.

  5. Sunday, February 2nd (2pm)

    Kildare v Mayo

    Sunday, February 9th (2pm)

    Tyrone v Mayo;

    Sunday, March 2nd (2pm)

    Mayo v Kerry

    Sunday, March 9th (2pm)

    Westmeath v Mayo

    Sunday, March 16th (2pm)

    Mayo v Cork;

    Saturday, March 29th (7pm)

    Division 1: Dublin v Mayo

    Sunday, April 6th (3pm)

    Mayo v Derry

  6. Thanks Roger here’s a full list . Division 1 Saturday February 1st: Dublin v Kerry; Derry v Tyrone. Sunday February 2nd: Cork v Westmeath; Kildare v Mayo. Sunday February 9th: Cork v Kildare; Kerry v Derry; Tyrone v Mayo; Westmeath v Dublin. Saturday March 1st: Dublin v Cork. Sunday March 2nd: Derry v Westmeath; Kildare v Tyrone; Mayo v Kerry. Friday March 7th: Dublin v Kildare. Sunday March 9th: Cork v Derry; Kerry v Tyrone; Westmeath v Mayo. Sunday March 16th: Derry v Dublin; Kildare v Kerry; Mayo v Cork; Tyrone v Westmeath. Saturday March 29th: Dublin v Mayo. Sunday March 30th: Cork v Tyrone; Derry v Kildare; Westmeath v Kerry. Sunday April 6th: Kerry v Cork; Kildare v Westmeath; Mayo v Derry; Tyrone v Dublin.

  7. Tough start to the league with away games to both Kildare and Tyrone. I think its a disgrace that the Dublin game has been fixed to be played in their own back yard as we were due to welcome them back to McHale park next spring. Hopefully we’ll soon have a decision from JH with regard to his future so that our management team (existing or new) can be locked down and preparations can start to be put in place in earnest for our 2014 campaign.

  8. Tough league fixtures. Surly the Dublin fixture is a mistake as we should have them at home in 2014. Are the rumours true regarding League finals 2014 being in NY….imagine if Mayo qualified for the League final – it would be a major headache for GAA and Mayo.

    I think there is only 1-2 week break between League final and our first championship game.

  9. Think our last league clash with Westmeath was at home so looks like 4 away games in a row if the home then away the next time arrangement stands. Need to stand up to Croke Park if they want to move the Dubs fixture in March up there. The feckers are making enough money. We’d get 15,000 plus under lights in McHale Park ourselves.

  10. Disgusted that the dublin game is in croke park, but maybe it suits the teams development-the more games in croker the better. Younger players if given the chance will gain alot playing the AI champions in croke park.

  11. They are supposed to be holding I think Div 1&2 finals in New York next year for their centenary celebrations. It would make things akward for us if we got to a league final at the end of April, and then having to go back out to New York again for our Championship match in the first or second week in May!

  12. I’m pretty certain NFL draws are made on two year cycles with 2014 being the start of a new cycle. Fixtures in 2015 will be the reverse of 2014 with the promoted teams taking the place of relegated teams.
    Regards Dublin in Croke Park we regularly complain about the advantage Dublin have in playing there so frequently so it makes no sense in complaining about a fixture there for us. We have to get used to the place and I’m quite sure every other team would feel the same.

  13. If say we got to league final and it were to be held in New York , would that mean both that game and championship game in New York would be included in the 60% attendance required to qualify for AI final ticket through season ticket ? Just a question, I’m not forecasting we will make the AI final next year , yet.

  14. The more we play in Croker the better, specially of we have new faces on the team/panel. I hate anybody having an unfair advantage over Mayo but this one works in our favour.
    The minors are on the perch, I think we all know what that means.

  15. I do not agree, while its good for lads to get a game in croker this is turning into a farce to benefit the dubs, last year they had 5 or 6 of their league games in croker and i reckon its as good as a 2-3 pt. start at very least to them and more or less is their home venue no matter what the gaa say. This year they have 4 home games in croker and the look at the teams they get for their home games, a derby against kildare and kerry ,cork , mayo in croke park, they have enough of an advantage with population, employment near home and millions in sponce. for feck sake.May as well give them the league title now…………..As for mchale park the great white elephant its turning out to be why no saturday nite game, thats a bloody disgrace ,it woud also suit every 1 outside the county and indeed the uk coming to a game on sat. even. and on the road home sun. morn. after breakfast were ever they may be… what was the lights for, surely be to god its not because of the electric bill and the cost of turning them on but then again nothing would surprise me with the gaa at this stage and our county board……………..

  16. Major excitement for me and the family this side of the atlantic, if thats the case Steve….jeez… being able to attend a league final one week and the first match of the c’ship the next! Jumpin for joy here 🙂

  17. Sean, I’m thinking the same, and no reason in my mind why it wouldnt be included in the attendance equation for the ST.

  18. John

    I think there’s enough other games in Mchale park this coming spring. I’m not talking about finances when I say it’s a good thing to play in Croker with the new faces on board, I’m talking about it being that bit easier in lads next summer if they’ve played there before. That’s of course assuming we actually get far enough next summer to play there.
    Mchale park could and should be used for other events, and not count on a wet night in February to pay for it. Or is it already being used ?

  19. New York and London do not count towards the percentage as far as I remember Sean

    They can’t justify that. It’s mental. I’d love to go to New York, unfortunately had to come to the realisation this week that it just won’t happen

  20. Would be great to see it get a gig or two. They could have had Heineken Cup rugby there had they not made a total mess of that negotiation. God, imagine European rugby in Castlebar. The town would have done very well out of that, not to mention the county board.

  21. No it is not used and dont care about whether its wet nite on sat. evening or lashing from the heavens on a sunday, they should have at least 1 if not 2 in my opinion games on a sat. nite, whay the hell put lights in for if there not goin to use them…….Thera has been no gig either and no talk or mention of them either and it was mentioned that they would like to host conn. heinken rugby but that was shot down straight away by our neighbours in galway who seem to think the connacht rugby team is a galway team, like everything else down thru, the years gone by what ever came across the shannon into connacht they in galway always got the cream , industry, colleges, univ. hosp. you name it , there still trying to get over the creatures how knock airport more or less closed their airport……As for mayo county board…….Ahhhhhhhhhhh.

  22. Fully agree. There is no reason why the county board cannot try hard to get a few Connaught games into MacHale. Doesnt necessarily even have to be a Heineken Cup game. 2 or 3 Pro12 games every season would bring in good crowds to Castlebar. The sportsground only holds 6,000 people, you would get a minimum of 10,000 into MacHale for a good Pro12 game. The Connaught team are treated as a Galway team and surely to raise the profile of the team they could do with bringing the odd game to other grounds in the province. I am a Leinster fan because I got into rugby while i was living in Dublin and being able to easily go to games, events, training sessions etc was a huge help in being able to follow the team, something that could not be done with Connaught unless you live in Galway. Even the Munster team move between Limerick and Cork to make it easier for fans to see the team play

    Why have the county board not pushed hard for things like this, gigs, etc to take place and help pay off the debt and make some money for football/hurling in the county? They are relying on the senior football team, who play about 5 games (in a good season for home draws) to raise the money and pay off the debt.

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