Open night this Friday


Image: @MayoGAA

In the case of the senior team, I know that for the best part of an hour after the full-time whistle sounds at every inter-county match played at MacHale Park, it’s pretty much open season with the players as they’re invariably engulfed by hordes of young supporters seeking autographs, selfies and that kind of thing. I’m always struck by the unfailing politeness and good nature of the players when this happens – which, regardless of the result, it does for all matches played outside Croke Park – and how generous they are with their time.

This means that, unlike some other counties, the annual open night that Mayo GAA holds each year – which takes place this coming Friday (May 20th) – is merely an extension of the significant amount of outreach that already occurs on a routine basis. The open night is, though, a more structured and tailored event and it also provides the opportunity to meet with players, coaches and managers from both the senior football and senior hurling panels. With the hurlers’ Nicky Rackard Cup semi-final on the following afternoon away to Donegal it’s also a chance to wish them well ahead of that important fixture.

The open night takes place this year in Páirc Josie Munnelly, which is located right beside MacHale Park just behind the main stand. It runs from 6pm to 7pm this coming Friday evening. As well as mingling with players and backroom staff, you’ll be able to test your skills with the Mayo GAA coaches (which, in my case, would not be a pretty sight). Elverys will be there too, displaying all their latest official Mayo GAA merchandise. There’ll be music and free goodies to give away and the evening is also being used to launch the 2016 Mayo GAA Kellogg’s Cúl Camps.

As an aside, impressive and all as the senior players are in how they conduct themselves, the U21 lads are right up there too, as this piece in the Mayo News by Edwin McGreal confirms. What astonishing generosity of spirit both young men showed – fair play to them.

You can also support the lads via the Club and County Development draw. Tickets are available online – here.

15 thoughts on “Open night this Friday

  1. It is so easy to like this team. The way they conduct themselves , on and off the field , is a source of real pride in our county. I might add that this website is also a source of pride to all of us , being the best of breed as far as I can see , thanks to your immense commitment to the cause , Willie Joe.

    Thank you for giving me this connection to my home county.
    A very grateful exile.

  2. I might bring the young fella up to Munnelly Stadium on Friday night. It can’t do any harm to have all that positive football energy around. And besides, Friday is his birthday…..he’ll be a month old.

  3. Jambo Swahili…jambo bwana…sadly my other language is Sotho…from South Africa…but could not agree more with you…our footballers of all ages and codes and genders are such wonderful ambassadors for us at home and away. I remember lying in the dark in SA waiting on BBC world service to bring the sad news that Meath had beaten us in a replay …many years ago…BUT I am so very proud of our teams and wish that they might get the rewards that they deserve…really! Though we now live in Carlow I know my 11 year old girl would love to be there but has exams next day…we’ll be with you in spirit…and what a wonderful spirit it is too! Thanks WJ.

  4. My young lad and his cousins got their picture taken with Cillian O’Connor last year after the Galway game in Salthill. They got their jerseys signed by Tom Parsons and Barry Moran after the Connacht final in Sligo. The lads can’t do enough for these kids and that’s certainly helping in bringing on the next generation. They’re an absolute credit to the county in this respect.

    On a side note – I brought my two little ones to a training nursery in the local club in Meath last weekend. The Mayo jerseys outnumbered the Meath jerseys by two to one! Either success breeds support or the land commission has returned by stealth.

  5. Congrats Joet your starting him in the Mayo colours good and early well done. I hope he grows up to see Mayo win a few all Ireland’s in his lifetime God bless him

  6. Good man joet, make sure you take plenty of pics and videos. Before long he’ll be telling you that you that he wants the away strip as well as the home strip for his birthday. Great days for you.

  7. Great credit is due to all who commit so wholeheartedly to the exclusion of so much.They deserve the very best.

  8. joet1480
    Absurd bringing a child that small out at that hour of night.Inexcusable.What kind of parent are you.Wait until he is 6 weeks then youre good to go!

  9. Little ones were allowed in too Cait…..

    Fair play to all the lads. Gents every one of them. Had to be dragged off the pitch away from all the kids to go in training!

    Special word of thanks to Robbie, late getting there but still came out to meet all the kids. He even managed to get some selfies with the kids!

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