Plenty of build-up stuff about Sunday

Mayo Galway flags

I’m only gradually getting up to pace myself ahead of Sunday’s Connacht final but I’ve been aided in doing so by the volume of stuff that’s out there about the big game. You may have seen some, or indeed most, of this already but in case you haven’t here, in no particular order, is some of the build-up stuff that’s online about the MacHale Park showdown.

There are various pieces with players – Colm Boyle in the Irish Examiner and the Irish Independent (both from Tuesday), Keith Higgins in the Indo (Wednesday) and also in this week’s Mayo News and Seamus O’Shea in today’s Irish Times. Yesterday’s Irish Examiner also had a piece with James Horan and the GAA website has a feature on Cillian O’Connor.

The Galway lads are also getting a bit of coverage, with Fiontán Ó Curraoin in yesterday’s Irish Examiner and Gary O’Donnell in today’s Irish Independent. The same paper also had a piece on Wednesday about the Galway midfielders Fiontán Ó Curraoin and Tom Flynn

Yesterday’s Irish Examiner also has that downright annoying piece that’s already been mentioned in the comments, featuring a number of ill-chosen blabbermouth remarks from Liam McHale about the “parallels, uncanny and unavoidable” between Sunday’s final and the first round clash between the counties back in 1998. This piece is a load of arse at so many levels but my favourite bit was when Big Mac said “the drive simply wasn’t there” in the team against Roscommon and then went on to name-check Andy Moran in saying how difficult it was to come back. I could ask if he was in Hyde Park but I seem to recall him being in the press box just behind where our seats were that day.

While we’re on the subject of irritating pieces, Martin Breheny also had his crayons and colouring book out in yesterday’s Indo. As has already been pointed out in the comments, the Galwayman conveniently forgot to include in his list of upset results one of the greatest, the 1999 dethroning of the then All-Ireland champions in Tuam.

At the other end of the literary spectrum, An Spailpín Fánach has a great piece on Sunday’s contest, where he makes the point that every championship encounter between ourselves and the neighbours is different.

If you’ve had your fill from all that reading, then the always entertaining and informative Mayo News podcast is well worth a listen and in the same vein it’s also worth checking out the video preview on the game hosted by the Mayo Advertiser.

That’ll do for now, I think.

51 thoughts on “Plenty of build-up stuff about Sunday

  1. Do you know what, I oftentimes had sympathy for McHale and his part in the bust-up with Meath in the ’96 final. But since last year I believe that the Meath lads didn’t give him half enough.
    It always seems that it has to be about him. His involvement with Mayo, his involvement with Brigids, his involvement with under-age teams. Of course he is entitled to his opinion and, if I don’t agree with it tough, but he is quickly becoming the Mayo version of Martin Brehony.

  2. Poor Liam mc Hale , he has to make a living somehow ( as all the baby sitting jobs he use to do for a living has dried up ) and by slagging off mayo current football team is his latest hobby . When he has spent 3 or 4 years as a manager ( not a helper as he has been this last few years ) of a senior team or a county team , Then i will take his comments serious .

  3. Had to laugh out loud there pebblesmeller.

    I think Liam has never recovered from that sending off. It colours everything he says and does. Maybe someday he will be on a mayo management team and can lay it to rest.

    In his current role as pundit he is not helping the cause however.

  4. If he is ever involved in a senior setup in the future you can forget about it. Himself and DB should just get off the air, although I have to say DB is at least, more enteratining.
    The worst bit is I think Newstalk has them on as a comedy part of the show, and they actually think they are there as serious pundits. They dont even realise.

    For those in the country who are GAA fans and dont know many Mayo people, McHale doesn’t reflect well.

  5. Coloring book and crayons!!!!!!
    Very funny Willie joe, that gave me a good chuckle that was badly needed

    Mchale and Brady are loose cannons, lately though here’s something I’ve noticed, people that I thought were geniuses at their jobs and were calm collected thinkers have in fact being shown as just as fallible, crazy and mistake prone as the rest of us so maybe we should allow for the human condition.

    On the game, Mayo should win, home ground and a highly experienced and physically strong team against a badly beaten opponent from 12 months ago, what has changed in Galway?
    I think if Mayo can keep 15 on the field and avoid injuries that they are going to be too good and win by a few points.
    Sorry that Alan freeman is not on the starting 15 but he ll get his chance and he would surely have to understand that it’s more of a 20 player effort on the day .

    Mayo. 2 13
    Galway. 1 11

  6. The an Spailan article is also of the crayon variety, missing out key points and trying to show an impartial image but failing miserably.

    Brehony is clueless as normal putting in the 2007 hammering as an upset (I think the odds were 50/50 that day) and failing to mention 2004 where Mayo stopped the Galway dominance

  7. Totally agree with the comments on McHale. It’s hard to fathom what he’s at. I seem to recall one radio remark prior to the 2012 final that really irked me – when he essentially said Mayo’s chances were boosted due to them facing a team other than Kerry. I felt he really pushed the point. I just thought it was a needless and an irrelevant point at the time. If anything, he has said sillier things since and I hope he doesn’t get to be part of the Mayo management team in the future.

  8. David, “what has changed in Galway”? you say – plenty. They have 9 players starting Sunday who werent playing in Pearse Stadium last year. Indeed the spine of the team 3 though to 14 is completley different bar O’Currain, and he himself seems about a stone heavier, and its not from porter either.
    Make no mistake, last years result will be light years away from what happens on Sunday. This is a good Galway team we are playing and unless we are absolutely at the top of our game they will catch us

  9. Tommy, I presume you mean the ‘An Spailpín’ article. If you did, then it’s worth noting that An Spailpín is unapologetically biased towards Mayo. He wouldn’t dream of being impartial.

    And I think calling his article ‘crayon-like’ is doing it a great disservice. An Spailpín is a long-standing and very entertaining blogger with any number of incisive articles to his name on Mayo football and the Mayo psyche. Martin Breheny is supposed to be the main GAA correspondent at a national newspaper, and has never written an entertaining – or incisive – article in his life.

  10. The likes of An Spailpin puts Breheny to shame in my opinion. Always well thought out and well written. Breheny on the other hand…
    Looking forward to Sunday so much now. I think we will win by 2-3 points. Gonna be very interesting seeing Aidan OShea at 11, or possibly swapping with Andy and going into FF!

  11. In reply to john dont think as someone said earlier its a twenty man team now, so no one man wins or loses a game on sunday hoping for the right result interesting team, I am surethere will be some changes still think we need a really good cf but they grow on trees

  12. East cork exile, that’s a lot of changes in one year.
    I’m not a manager but if I had to switch 9 out of 15 I think id be looking at myself as much as those 9 players, maybe the players don’t believe him?

    Plus no Michael Meehan

  13. Bit harsh john…if it was as simple as dillon being to blame we’d have won three. You might want to analyse the games in more depth and focus on sideline tactics and team as a whole. Its easy to slate one man I’ve seen it with club and we love slating players in this county. Maybe we need to look at structures instead

  14. No need to be diverting our attention to ex-players, commentators & journalists.
    These people won’t be scoring or preventing scores on Sunday.
    The next couple of months will define this era for all of us, management, players and supporters. Opportunity is again knocking on the door but opportunity doesn’t keep knocking ….. it likes to move on. As I see it, it is now ‘hard hat’ time & time to find out whether we’ve got it or not.

  15. I think the thumps to the head McHale received from Coyle have had a long lasting impact

  16. John,dont agree with your insulting derogatory remark about A.Dillon,a guy that has dedicated his entire playing career to Mayo.It frankly disappoints me that someone can think that having an experienced player like him around,is a hinderance

  17. I’ve spent the last 90 minutes reading the comments and articles in the papers. Wonderful stuff. Now to get ready for the journey. Going over with my brother for the game and going to visit our parents’ home places.
    Galway were impressive against Sligo. They are definitely a team in the making and could spring a surprise. However, the article that caught my attention was that with James Horgan. He sees potential, so do I. It will be close. Come through and anything is possible.

  18. John – that’s a disgraceful comment, one that clearly falls foul of the house rules (specifically rule 8) and so has been deleted. It’s the naughty step for you now, I’m afraid.

  19. Just read Liam McHale’s artice and must admit to not seeing anything too controversial there. A few comments about how difficult it is to stay at it and a few reminincences about 1998. Similar stuff from the excellent footballer that was Ja Fallon.

  20. Alan Dillon has been one of (if not the) best footballers in Mayo for a decade. Beyond question in my opinion.

  21. People need to relax about McHale and Brady I think. They are only earning a few quid and what wrong with that, ya they speak a load of shite.. but so do most ex player turned pundits. I mean Ray Silke is the king of brown if ya ask me. No current players from either squad is reading them and getting excited either way.. it will have zero impact on the result, no matter what is said here ( or any other blog for that matter) on Sunday evening. Let them of.. they are the same as O’Rourke, Brolly, Spillane, O’Hara etc… I think the only ex player doing analysis that is anyway half decent is Colm Parkinson on newstalk… knows his stuff and is pretty accurate most of the time. Todays headlines is tomorrow chip wrapper.

  22. I don’t mind ex-players chipping in and giving a balanced and measured opinion – there are ex-players all over the country doing it and some are doing it better than others. But while I think Liam is decent enough fella at heart, it’s hard not to question where that stuff is coming from. I know as supporters we are bound to be pretty sensitive about it and defensive of the lads, but implying mental fragility at this point in the campaign is unwarranted, and to imply that the drive wasn’t there against Roscommon given the manner in which we fought back to win that game is just downright bewildering.

    Anyway, as said above it’s all talk, and won’t matter a jot once the ball is thrown in on Sunday. And let me tell you this, the only “sparkle” I give a fiddlers about is the one on the lugs of the Nestor Cup on Sunday.

  23. Ah its great to be home the week-end of a Mayo v Galway Connacht final! I drove through Galway this evening and then over the border into Mayo. There were very few flags flying in Galway, then once inside Mayo territory, there were loads of Mayo flags and even a red and green round bale! I have to say I actually felt kinda proud to see it and just thought what great supporters we have. As with the team, we never give up on the ultimate dream, ah hopefully someday that dream will come through, UP MAYO!

  24. Likewise HopeSpringsEternal, drove down from Dublin yesterday and every so often when you least expect it you’ll see a Mayo flag flying off a bridge in Kildare or on a pub in Longford or outside a house in Roscommon and it’d warm your heart.

  25. Ah yes Anne-Marie, it lifts the heart alright, someday that dream will come true!

  26. Agree on pundits, if they were boring they wouldn’t be there, however stupid! I get the feeling you won’t see mayo at full tilt til august. It’s there for Mayo this year, just need to be patient….

  27. What’s the (true) Mayo V Galway Connacht tally these days ?………….44-to-42 ?

  28. Puckout, you’ve said what iv been thinking since the final whistle against the rossies. I saw something different that day, obviously we played like a bag of shite until that goal went in and you could nearly see the lads thinking “shit boys, we gotta cop on here” then they went on to see out the game like the top 2 team they are. I was very happy leaving the hyde. Horan is trying to time his run this year, risky i know but it has worked for other teams in the past…i.e Kerry 2009, almost bet by the power house that is sligo in a qualifier, yet wer holding sam come September. There is a method to the madness. I still think those proffessional players known as the dubs can be bet this year, we had them bet in the league but for stupid idiotic decisions that i think the lads have learned from.

    We are actually been written off by alot this year, which is brilliant. If we can get thru this old firm game on sunday i think wer in with a seirious chance of taking part in the final….im quietly confident this year, would rather see us sleep walk through connacht (aslong as wer not caught) then explode come aug/sept. People say we must be goin backwards because if our inability to beat Derry in April while they were knocked out by longford, but it was plainly obvious that derry peaked in the league, it was there aim to win the thing, they had at least a 2/3 month head start in training on us. We have come no where near our peak this year YET, which is why im confident we’ll go along this year. Keep the faith.

  29. The morning of the 12th has dawned up here in Tyrone. I can hear now as I type the ominous sounds of banging drums comming across the fields. It always reminds of the Zulu film. My dogs are ansty their ears cocked toward the sounds a confused frightened look in their eyes. A dogs eyes never lie. I have no answer for them so I’ve let them in to the kitchen, turn on the radio and think about Mayo.

    Understandably, there’s alot of sabre rattling here too. People are getting worked up, excited dare I say passionate and sometimes that can overflow into misplaced hyperbolic horse manure. The only sabre rattling that I take any heed of will come from the players and management tomorrow. The only useful thing that I can offer is to bring my colours and my voice and roar them on in the good times and bad.

    Make no mistake it will be a tough day tomorrow but I believe this Mayo team have more than enough in body and mind to take us on to the next step.

  30. Ah yes, Mayo does seem to be the only county in the republic where flags are still popular. It wouldnt be a Mayo game without a flag blocking your view and a kid with a blowhorn in one of your ears.

    Whats even more noteworthy is the frequency of the sightings of Mayo jerseys. Ive a journalist mate who must attend 2/3 games a weekend. He says there hasnt been a championship match he attended yet, be it limerick or Meath or Kilkenny playing, where he hasnt spotted someone there in a Mayo jersey

  31. While Liam McHales comments are over the top in a direct comparison with the team of ’98 the seeds of doubt are there and plain to be seen. Very underwhelming performances against Derry in that League semi-final and against Ros this year do point to a dip in form. Players too in the past games have looked less sharp. For instance Lee Keegan for one has definitely looked (in my opinion) a lot more tired this year than in the previous two.

    People on the other side claim it is directly related to the fact that the team is being primed for a tilt in August and hopefully September. Perhaps this is the case but that argument cannot last forever. And if the management are pursuing this sort of route and slightly underestimating the opposition – well it is a dangerous pursuit. This almost bore fruit for Ros the last day.

    And if it is another day like that well then I believe there is more to it than simply players still in heavy physical conditioning training with an eye on Croke Park.

    This is July after all – not January.

  32. Can’t wait for this game hope mayo win but have funny feeling mayo and galway can meet again

  33. Ah Liam says what he thinks and he is a great servant of Mayo.I admire the man but dont always agree with him or other pundits.Alan Dillon on the other hand I adore.Always gives 100 per cent and will again tomorrow.Injuries often hinder progress but fully fit pound for pound fewbetter than Dillon.Sure its last chance saloon for him….just the motivation he needs.
    Joe Ruane…I love the way you write.You certainly evoke the atmosphere and the nerves.Thank you.
    Q.Where is John Cuffe…really liked his writing and passion too.

  34. Thanks for the kind words, mayobornandbred.

    On the Mchale subject, In my opinion what did or didn’t happen in 98 has no bearing or relevance to this current Mayo team. This is a completly different Mayo team under a different management, existing in a different time.

    Yes, simplistic observation can draw parrallels between the two teams but the bottom line is there are also vast differences beween the two. The fundemental one being, one is consigned to history and can never ever be repeated, this current one is in the present with the ever looming future ticking by it’s own time.

    We’re just going to have to wait and see. Any other meandering comparisons are lazy, self serving egotistical claptrap, in my opinion.

  35. Do people think the team will start as selected? Im not so sure . I think there could be a few changes before 2pm tomorrow.

  36. Here we are at the threshold of winning another Connacht title against our old
    rivals Galway .This will be a big test for us. The Question is are we as good as we
    were last year?. I am a little concerned in light of the fact that we are coming off
    two very lackluster performances against Derry in the league and Roscommon in
    the Connacht semi-final.I have some reservations about the team that management have picked for Sunday. I have no problem with the defense, with the exception of the
    half-back line where I would place Boyle at number 7 and move Vaughan to number
    6, simply because he would do better marking Shane Walsh. Midfield I would leave the two O’Shea’s. The Half forward line I would have K. Mc, C. O’Connor and A.Moran
    My first choice at number 11 would be J.Gibbons if he was fit. I would prefer to see
    Sweeney, B. Moran at number 14 and Freeman in the corner. Maybe we would get a little more production out of this line .This would be one way of circumventing the blanket defense if Galway decides to implement one. We have 2 big men who can
    catch those high balls and a speedy corner forward in Sweeney who can nip in and pick up those breaks. We are in dire need of more production out of the full-forward
    line. The recipe for success on Sunday will be: Come out with high level of intensity,
    cut down on the turnovers, don’t be carrying the ball into tackles, and let the ball in
    quickly to the forwards. I do think it will be a lot closed than most people think. Mayo
    by 2. Best of luck to the Minors & Seniors. Looking forward to a great game. Up Mayo!

  37. Good results for Sligo and Roscomon tonight. Connacht football alive and well. Is it a case of Mayo tide rising all boats. Well some at least. Looking forward to tomorrow Good luck to both senior and Minor teams Hon Mayo

  38. Fair play to Roscommon. They hammered Cavan, last years All Ireland Quarter finalists, 16 points to five, at Brefinni park. Roscommon are no slouches. If they can get Donie Shine back they will be hard to beat down the line. Nice to see Sligo moving on through.

    Looking forward to an intense and testing challenge tomorrow from Galway. the auld melting pot is well under flame now and should be boiling something fierce come two o clock. Good luck to The Mayo Minors, The reigning All Ireland Champions. Gonna leave early tomorrow to get down in time for the throw in.

    With all the talk of curses and nearly rans sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be from Mayo. All the hard work that our boys put in and I have the privilige to be one of them and the least that I have to do is to show up and support them.

    We will get there and that’s when our journey will start again.

    Anyways as Gareth Brooks might say, (If Tomorrow never Comes”) let them know how much I love …and all that stuff.

  39. A lot of folk believing this will be a close game. It will only be close if Mayo continue to underperform. The time has come to outperform !! Up Mayo !

  40. Alan Dillon has been a credit to his family, club and county for well over a decade. Not sure what was posted by ‘John’ but whatever it was was unwarranted. Can’t wait for tomorrow. Up Mayo!

  41. Main Street in town looks absolutely class. Take a stroll up tomorrow. Green and red the length of the street!!

  42. Re Lee Keegan dip in form. Lee was unwell in the lead up to the Derry game. This lingered on for a few weeks. He’s fighting fit again and will shine again on Sunday. These lads are all human and go through normal ups and downs like the rest of us.

  43. The big dilema, are some of our players mentally and physically fatigued after 2 All Ireland defeats and 3 years at full tilt or are we taking it easy with a view to August in Croker. If the latter is true, then as pointed out earlier, this is a very risky approach which nearly caught us out in the Hyde. Hopefully Galway will not prove that the former is true and see the start of the end of this great team today. We will find out later and whatever happens noboby can say that this team has not done themselves proud over the last 3 years. Here is hoping that we can get another crack at SAM this year! Maigheo Abu.

  44. A very strong team named and plenty of talent on the bench.

    Weather is sound, dry with light breeze and fresh so should be ideal for match.

    I expect Mayo to literally bounce onto the field and to tear into Galway. Hopefully no soft goals conceded and no black cards.

    Derry and Roscommon games forewarned us and as they say forewarned is forearmed. Let the battle begin, good luck to both Mayo teams.

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