Out with the old

new year clock

Photo: strandhotellimerick.ie

The last metaphorical embers of the Old Year are dying in front of our eyes, our gaze already starting to focus on the New Year that’s set to dawn tomorrow. New Year’s Eve is, of course, a day for looking back and casting a final backward glance from a #mayogaa perspective you’d have to say that, on balance, it’s been a good one.

Sure, we had yet another All-Ireland final loss to deal with but our repeated meetings with that particular gent meant that, unpleasant as it was to have to spend time in his company again, at least we’ve a fair idea how to handle him at this stage. It’s tiresome, God don’t I know, having to have that same bloody conversation all over again with people from outside the county and how they feel sorry for us and how they’re mad at us for failing to nail the job again and blah blah blah but, hey, at the end of the day it’s our cross and it’s one we’ll continue to shoulder until we finally get to cast it off.

But our year didn’t stop and start with that final whistle at five to five on that balmy September evening, far from it. A Connacht three-in-a-row, the first time in my lifetime that we’ve done that, the thumping of Donegal and the way we plotted a route past the difficult challenge posed by Tyrone in the semis will all go down as high points in 2013.

And, of course, the wonderful All-Ireland minor victory, destined (perhaps forever) to be overshadowed by the senior defeat later that day, means that we leave 2013 with significant silverware on the sideboard. Before Mickey Harte ever led Tyrone to the Sam Maguire he brought the Tom Markham Cup back to the Red Hand County and the fact that we now have another clutch of young players with All-Ireland medals in their pockets will certainly do us no harm at all at senior level over the coming few years.

The weeks since September have been hard, of course they have, but thankfully the time for introspection is now almost at an end. We all know that our hopes for 2014 carry more than a little of the Last Chance Saloon variety about them but we’re still entering the New Year in pretty rude health. We’re firmly bracketed with Dublin and Kerry as the main challengers for honours in ’14 – Paddy Power currently have us at 2/9 to claim our fourth Connacht title in a row and they have us down as second favourites for Sam at 4/1 – and there’s no reason at this stage for us to quibble with those odds.

Sure, we have to climb the whole bloody mountain all over again next year just to get another shot at redemption but at least we can look forward with reasonable optimism at our ability to get that shot. And, as An Spailpín Fánach pointed out in that wonderfully evocative piece he did recently for the Western People, a significant part of the joy in being a Mayo supporter lies in the journey rather than the destination. That said, I’d say we’re all good and ready for a dose of September Nirvana at this stage.

So it’s farewell, then, to 2013 with all its many highs and its significant low as onwards we go into 2014. Enjoy what’s left of the old one, see you on the other side.

22 thoughts on “Out with the old

  1. Happy new year Willie Joe and a massive thanks from me for the many posts this year. This is a website I visit 3 times a week to keep up to date and you ought to be commended for the amazing number of visitors this year. It makes following Mayo a lot more straight forward!

    What a year it has been. Just a pity that 2nd place means that our boys are not getting the recognition they deserve for their performances. Forgot the Dublin-Kerry game, in my opinion, the only game to be talking about is Mayo-Donegal! Wow we were awesome, and I’ll remember the feeling leaving croker as long as i live.

    We’ll keep plugging away, we were bred for it. Nothing ever came easy to Mayo. One day will be ours, please god it will be next year.

    Happy New Year to all fellow Mayo people, hopefully we’ll look back on 2014 as our greatest ever.

  2. TG4 showed the 2013 final again this evening. I have it taped but have not been able to press play, even though I thought about it on quite a few Sunday mornings after giving the kids their breckfact with my (non Mayo) wife up in bed for a sleep in, but just could not press that button. Anyway, I sat down and watched it this afternoon and came away quite proud and also pissed off but certainly not disappointed.
    Hopefully the lads can give it a go again, they are a great team. All this talk of needing forwards is true to a certain extent, but the final turned into a defensive play by two attacking teams which could be misleading.
    Here is to 2014 and also to you WJ.

  3. Health and Happiness to you WJ and all posters on this blog for 2014. Hope you go on to win All Ireland in 2014, only after us Rossies bate youse in the Connacht semi final in the Hyde.

  4. MfS2014 let that be the resolution to carry us through. Let the traffic jams at Tarmonbarry stretch for miles on the third Monday night in September as Sam finally makes the trip home and on this night next year let us still be celebrating. Happy new year to all and happy September 2014 to all of Mayo!!

  5. Happy New Year. What a year it’s been as you say plenty of high points!

    Onwards and upwards!

    Mayo for Sam 2014-believe

  6. If we get to the final again in 2014 I am convinced we will win it. If (and it is a big IF) the lads can harvest the fitness, conditioning, experience and general game craft they have built up at huge cost to themselves then nobody will be able to stop them. The loss, the pain, the disappointment that has built up over the last couple of years could well be the ingredients that will combine to make an explosive cocktail that will blow away any self doubt and inflict an unmercifully beating on some team.
    Let’s hope they can dig deep one last time because this really is their time if they have the appetite and the will to go on. A friend of mine who has climbed the most difficult peaks in the world always talks of the ability to keep pushing on when success is only yards away but when energy is almost gone.
    Push on lads! Your day has come.
    Happy New Year WJ and all the faithful.

  7. Happy New Year to All.
    We all know what we’re wishing for in 2014 !
    That last sentence of yours above Willie Joe had me seriously worried for a while !
    I know we all had a serious downer in 2013 but telling us you would see us on the other side may be a little extreme !
    When we get to the other side I sincerely hope we have at least one Sam to talk about.

  8. “it’s our cross and it’s one we’ll continue to shoulder until we finally get to cast it off” That it is WJ, and we have shouldered it well over the years, and I think we will finally cast it off this year!

    Happy New year WJ and also to all the contributors to this brilliant site and to everyone that pops in for a look. This year will be bigger & better for Mayo GAA fans!

  9. Happy NY all, and continued thanks to Willie Joe for providing a brilliant facility for Mayo supporters to get it all off our chests, 24/7/365.

    When you see posts logged at 3am, 4am, 5am and so on, you know it’s a pretty special site. When you add in the archives, it’s matchless.

  10. Happy new year to you and yours, Willie Joe and thanks for all the hard work over the last few years. This site makes following Mayo so much easier and interesting esp. for somebody residing away from home.
    Like Diehard I believe that the experience and disappointments of the past few years can be the ingredients for success in 2014. After all the post final alarms of players going travelling etc things seem to have settled down with renewed determination. If the players and management can resolve to go again it they deserve the unqualified backing of all supporters. so far as I am concerned they have it. Roll on 2014, we’re waiting.

  11. Here’s to 2014!

    @ Sean Burke, according to the Mayo GAA Twitter:

    Mayo G.A.A Season gets firmly underway next Saturday where the Mayo U-21 team meet Longford in the Hastings Cup in Newtown Forbes at 1.00pm.

  12. Happy New Year to all on here and thanks for a brilliant site and a must for all Mayo fans everywhere.
    The very best for 2014 to our teams, staff and fans .
    MaighEo Abú

  13. Mayo definitely have a very good chance next year but James must make sure to avoid some of the shenanigans that went on before last years final. What effect this had on team moral we’ll never know but it sure didn’t help – wrapping some players in cotton wool is in my view, no way to prepare a team for a final.

  14. Good for them. A bit of sunshine is the least they deserve.
    Where they train in castlebar is it a good pitch for rain?

  15. Happy new year WJ and all Mayo ppl everywhere. There’s great things to look forward to this year!

  16. Happy new year folks and so the beginning of the journey can be seen on the horizon of the dawning of a new day.Behind us lies the dark wet winter nites Winter nites are even longer without the prize and certainly when the electricity went out on Christmas eve that Summers day in September was spoken . Sitting in a house on Achill island in front of the open fire heart filled loneliness with Sam .praying for 2014 to come
    looking to the future and with the batteries charged in looking forward to the campaign opener in Newbridge next month.I hope James brings in new blood i think he will have to really. Certainly there is a few lads on the minors deserves a try.i believe an emphasis needs to be put on coaching forwards at under age and nurturing their talents.that way good county players can be turned into top class forwards.

  17. Happy New Year to everyone who logs on and contributes to this great blog. May all your wishes come through in 2014 especially to see the boys bring home Sam to God’s country! Onwards and upwards!

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