Postpone next weekend’s club matches

Mayo team AISF 2016


A debate has begun to bubble up – here and elsewhere – about the planned round of club championship matches fixed for this coming weekend. There are valid arguments to be advanced on both sides of this debate – and I have sympathy with both – so I think it might be helpful to ventilate these a little bit further here.

Those in favour of letting the club matches go ahead would cite the interests and welfare of the club players and the desirability of letting fringe players on the county panel get some proper action. They can also – with some justification – point to the likes of Kilkenny, who let club matches proceed – with lads knocking seven shades of the brown stuff out of each other – right throughout the summer. There’s also the possibility that players could get injured doing inter-county training just as easy as they could playing club matches.

Those opposing the motion point to the inherent advantage the four-week break to the All-Ireland final has handed us. This has nothing to do with the fixing of club matches per se, rather it’s about the recovery-plan-prepare cycle. This timetable marks down the current week as the recovery one, next week and the week after (by which time, barring a replay, we know who we’ll be playing) as the time when all the major planning will be done ahead of the final, with the last week then providing the ideal lead-in to the decider.

Having our semi-final played – and finished with – a week before Dublin and Kerry take the field means we’re in a better place to them. They’ll have a more compressed timeframe ahead of the final, but only if we bin next weekend’s club matches. If we don’t, we lose a week of our timetable and instead of players being focused exclusively on Croke Park in September they’ll instead find themselves having to prepare for a very different short-term objective with their clubs.

I have to admit that this is a no-brainer: the club matches should definitely be postponed. I get all the arguments in favour of club timetables and all that, I accept that Cody’s lads may be happily ripping up tree trunks down by the Nore and bashing each other into a furious internecine frenzy on an annual basis but I can’t see why we’d want to throw away the important advantage the championship scheduling has given us.

Sure, it’d be great to see, for example, Aghamore and Ballintubber fight it out to the death this weekend. But, you know, I’d far sooner see the likes of Brendan Harrison, Alan Freeman, Cillian and Diarmuid O’Connor and Alan Dillon end their year with Celtic crosses and the same goes for all the other lads.

And, with the greatest respect to the clubs and their ambitions, what they’d be scrapping for next weekend isn’t on the same planet as that which the county team will be shooting for in four weeks time. We could still be talking about how we won this final fifty years from now (if the Good Lord spares us that long) but who, decades hence, will still be looking back wistfully on the final round of club championship matches played at the back-end of August 2016?

To put this issue in context, it’s worth noting that one of our possible All-Ireland final opponents – Dublin, who are already operating with the deck loaded in their favour to a ludicrous degree on almost every metric you can think of – put their club championship into the deep freeze back in April. It ain’t coming out of the tundra again either until the Dubs have finished playing inter-county football this year so why on earth should we contemplate playing club games on the same day that they’re playing for the right to meet us in the All-Ireland final? It just makes no sense that we should contemplate doing so.

My understanding – at 3,000 km remove, I accept – is that the players would prefer it if the club matches didn’t go ahead next weekend. In my book, that insight trumps all other arguments.

I know I’ve led the witness fairly forcefully on this one but I’d still like to conclude by testing the waters of public opinion on what I firmly believe could be a decisive factor in the lead-in to this year’s All-Ireland final. So, then, what do you reckon: should next weekend’s club fixtures be postponed to ensure better preparation for our push for All-Ireland honours this year?

Should this weekend's club matches be postponed?

  • Yes (73%, 501 Votes)
  • No (27%, 182 Votes)

Total Voters: 682

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269 thoughts on “Postpone next weekend’s club matches

  1. Fully agree, Willie Joe.
    As I highlighted on this blog in the days after the Tyrone match, I cannot see how this could be good news.
    If one of our major players got injured – oh, I can’t even fathom the thought.

  2. Let the club games go ahead but without county panel,if the club’s don’t agree postpone

  3. I couldn’t see that this would be the case, Ger. I think it’s a simple issue of making the right decision and I think there’s a good deal of support within the county for doing the right thing.

  4. WJ, I respect your views and opinions but the players I know and I know many from different clubs are eager for the games to go ahead. Many of the clubs who are through to the 1/4 finals won’t be utilising their county players anyways. Remember it’s a long 4 weeks till the all Ireland final and this week gives the players a chance to switch off and concentrate on other matters within the game.

    Of course I understand the logic and fear people have about players getting injured but it’s been already discussed and from what I know the club games will be going ahead unless the set-up change their minds about the situation.

  5. For the sake of 4 weeks and knowing that we can get the County Championship completed by the usual October Bank Holiday weekend deadline, there is no panic in having another round this weekend.
    There is a real chance that we could catch one of the big 2 cold this year. If we blew that chance by having one or 2 key men out of kilter following a club match, that does damage to the game in the county.
    Postpone. Please postpone.

  6. They could play the games without the 26 on the match day squad.
    But will they want to. But it’s foolish to risk the lads that near an All Ireland final .

  7. Don’t think that’s fair comment there, Ger Bohan. Can’t see anyone in gaelic-football circles not wanting Mayo to win the All Ireland. There are arguments to be made both ways in this debate. True, Kilkenny do it, but how many serious obstacles have Kilkenny to surmount to win an All Ireland, certainly less than Mayo, les . At best we are now in a similar position to Donegal in 2012, they didn’t play the club championship. It worked out well for them that year. There are no guarantees regardless of course of action you take, If we play it and no injuries, we will the better for it. It would be good for the lads to get back to their clubs for a week. It’s still 4 weeks to the All Ireland final. There is also a risk of injury in training for Mayo, but by now most the heavy lifting has been done in that department. A versus B games are still nessarly, there’s always a risk. It’s a really close decision for me, but I will say No they shouldn’t go ahead!

  8. If Dublin have their championship in deep freeze until their participation in the championship is over then the chances of any of their key players getting injured are diminished greatly.

    Mayo are through to An All Ireland Senior football final in September.
    Why would we want to risk an injury at such a critical point in our season.
    Look how unlucky we have been with injuries to players over the past couple of years.
    We are reaching the critical point in our season where every player is almost injury free bar Ger Cafferkey.
    It’s a no brainer.
    Wait until after the All Ireland Final.

  9. absolutely ridiculous to go ahead with the club matches.

    Could be 20 years before were in a final again just look at Gal not back since 01

    would suggest that every player on the panel should be at the Dub match next week to have a good look at what they do setup, kickouts patterns etc

  10. I clicked on ‘No’ in the poll but by mistake.Id be very very nervous about county players playing club in the run up to AIF. Easily done Michael Murphy picked up an injury playing club at weekend. I do see the argument for lads to be allowed to play club but I feel its a serious risk. Why not let the club games go ahead with clubs agreeing not to play county players? Or is this too simplistic?

  11. I’ve been swinging both ways on the club argument but I think this piece has swayed me.

    The bottom line is, these are exceptional circumstances for Mayo. While on principle I’m on the side of the clubs, given the events of the past year, and indeed the past five years, I’d agree that we should be prioritising the county objective on this occasion and minimising the risk not just of injury but of compromising preparations for the final. For the sake of four weeks, it feels like the right thing to do. Let’s for once not have any “what ifs”. Let’s give ourselves every chance.

    I really feel for the clubs however. It’s all very well to say go ahead and play the games without county players but why should clubs not have access to their best players?

  12. It’s Russian roulette, pick up an injury to Keegan cillian or Aiden and goodbye to any chance of Sam. Please, let sense prevail

  13. The matches have to be played simple as. Not fair to expect club players to put thier lives on hold and then pick up the backlog after the intercounty season is over. Argument that what they’re playing for being far greater doesn’t hold sway with me either, club football becomes pointless if that’s the case. Nobody wants Mayo to win more than I do but I’m sure people have made concessions and made sacrifices to make the matches this weekend, that has to be taken into account. Let’s not lose focus as to what the GAA is about. Yes as I’m sure you can tell I am a club player and for what it’s worth I think they’ll postpone the games this weekend.

  14. A no brainer as you say WJ – postpone the club matches, take every possible advantage that we can. Too much at stake to be messing with preparations. Let the lads wind down this week, two weeks of hard graft, then a further week to fine tune and a winter on the piss with Sam in every watering hole in the county. Hon Mayo

  15. I cannot fathom how anyone would suggest Clubs play their most important game of the year without the very players they have nurtured from Under 6 to Senior. I believe the games should not be played but once again our County Board have shown a complete lack of foresight by fixing them for this weekend.

    There is 500 Senior and 500 Intermediate players who have put in a serious effort since last January and for most the highlight of their career would be to represent their club in a County final. The County team must take priority in this instance but a little bit of respect for Clubs might be in order.

  16. Most stupid thing I’ve read in years to say play the club championship games without the county players. Some people are clearly living in orbit.

  17. Its a no brainer why allow the chance of injury to any of our key players going into the few week period. Hopefully the county board will see sense and call them off we need everything to go swimmingly to stand any chance on the 18th september

  18. Anyone suggesting clubs play chamionship games without county players have a very distorted view of what gealic football means to communities in this county.
    If Rochford wants the games postponed then his wish should be granted by the county board, end of story.

  19. Jim McGuinness wrote in his book how in 2013 the club matches killed them. He said how they’d come in after the club matches having rows between them, knocking lumps out of each other. And that was before the Ulster championship games. I don’t necessarily agree with not abandoning them for the summer. Three weeks before an All Ireland final? Definitely.
    I also saw somewhere that the Under 21 championship is also due to be played this weekend. Meaning Diarmuid O’Connor, Loftus, Coen etc. would have to play two games this weekend.

  20. Sorry – that should read ‘I don’t necessarily agree with abandoning them for the summer.

  21. Patriot you wouldnt be saying it was a stupid idea if we had to line out in final without AOS or the O Connors due to an injury picked up in a club match.

  22. I think we should protect the whole squad,if that means club games be postponed so be it,as we have not the luxury of a panel like the Dubs,,I am sure the powers that be will make the right decision.

  23. I’m on the fence with this one . Players say themselves that they would prefer a Club All Ireland but one hundred thousand Mayo men and women are waiting on the Sam Maguire.

  24. Its preposterous to suggest a postponing this round of fixtures. Is anyone suggesting that the intensity in the club matches is going to be any less than training in the next few weeks? I think its a healthy thing to release the players back to their clubs. It will be a distraction for the players in the 4 week build up to the final. Its not a professional sport. I’d debate this point with anyone.

  25. It’s unheard of anywhere in the GAA that clubs would line out without county players for their respective club championships. I would be very worried about anyones knowledge of our games to suggest that very notion. It’s completely delusional. This matter shouldn’t be a divisive issue amongst Mayo supporters anyways and whatever decision is made about the games then so be it. Nobody wants any of our players injured for the big day in September but in A v B games and tackle drills in training, accidents happen. I understand the fear that is out there about the club games this weekend and I for one will definitely have the nerves jangling watching the players give their all for their clubs, but sweet F. A. can be done by any of us if the games go ahead. The decision is with the powers that be.

  26. I am incensed at people suggesting that club championship goes ahead without county players. They obviously have never been involved with a club or know anything about the club game. Would you suggest Mayo go out in a game they have to win without the 2 O’Connors and Alan Dillon? Club football has been messed about enough. Can we not be reactionary, scared, small-minded people and let the games go ahead? It is 3 weeks out from the final. I really can’t see the problem here.

  27. Absolutely incredible that some people expect clubs to play championship without their county players. Same people probably haven’t attended a club match in Mayo for 20 years. Delusional.

    Also don’t understand why the 4 week break to the final is seen as such an advantage? Four of the last 5 all Irelands have been won by a team playing within 3 weekends of the final (exception Donegal in 2012) so Id like to hear some logic as to why it’s seen such a good thing this time?
    Dublin won last year with a 2 week break to the final and in truth looked far sharper than kerry with their “ideal” 4 week build up.

  28. Can’t see the button to allow me to vote on this….?? I’d vote ‘yes’ to postponing

  29. The decision to play club championship games this coming weekend was made and announced after the Tyrone game with little comment from anybody. Presumably it was made with team management’s agreement. So changing plans at this stage makes little sense. As several have pointed out injuries are as likely in training as in club games. As to recovery, had we been in a replay we would have to recover and be ready for an intense match this Saturday anyway. A mental break which the club games would give might be very beneficial to the players – this is a decision for team management. I am happy to place my trust in them.

  30. Whose to say that a player could get hurt in training as playing a club match.. Stephen must have.agreed with it and at the end of the day its his call. Some players who are subs on the mayo team need game time and a good hard club game might do them no harm..
    Just my take on it..we cant rapt them in cottom wool… there not made of fucking mala

  31. Brian Coady insists on his players going back to their clubs and giving big performances it hasn’t done them any harm for the last 17 years.Players can get injured at training in the A v B games the club players not involved with the county are sitting around since May waiting for a championship game they have lives and family to plan around the same as county players. It’s a good chance for the extended squad players to show what they can offer when and if required on September 18.

  32. I would postpone this round in favour of giving the county the best chance of delivering nirvana.

    I am very sympathetic to the club lads but it’s worth remembering that these guys are supporters too and want to see their mates successful in Croker.

    We’re talking about postponing one round, as opposed to Dublin who cancelled the entire summer!

  33. WJ – your poll is flawed in one very crucial way – which i appreciate you can’t do much about. But it should be restricted to all the players due to play this weekend in the club championship. Not just the Mayo players. Its on issues like this that the GAA needs to remind itself what is supposed to be all about. It is no coincidence that the county that eclipses all others in either code faces no such dilema’s when it comes to this debate – and their view is if you want the show to go on ….the show must go on.

  34. Regardless of what any one might say and think (and those suggesting that county players do not play with their clubs obviously do not understand the GAA) the County Board have made the decision and there is no way for turning here.

    It’s not the first time and won’t be the last they have compromised the Mayo team.

  35. you ask the majority of non-county club players that is training all year round would they rather the team they are playing on won the senior championship or that their county won the all ireland and I can tell what the vast majority of them will tell you…..and if they are serious about what they themselves are putting so much of their time and life into…its the only logical answer. That is why this is really a Fans versus club players debate and the latter is vastly outnumbered.

  36. Very briefly, I just think the county team should get priority at this stage. A lot of people

    (myself included) could not see us making it to a final this year. But they have. So did

    the under 21s staggering along if I may say. So let`s not shoot ourselves in the foot.

  37. Interesting to note that IF Kerry were to beat the dubs that we would not be playing in green and red for the final. We would be playing in our black away strip while Kerry would play in Blue.

  38. We have great chance now with the 4 week prep. Let’s not forget they have played more games also with qualifiers. They need this time.

  39. Yew_Tree, that is a bit of a mind f**k alright!

    If it were up to me, I’d have them wearing white!

    Still like the black kit though

  40. I’d be slightly in favour of the games going ahead as 4 weeks is a long build up and it gives a few of the lads who didn’t perform as well and lads with little game time for Mayo a chance to build confidence. Also clubs are set up expecting this so don’t mess with them at this late stage.
    The one time I got a sense 4 week wait was used to good affect was Kerry in 2004 who did some heavy weight training work. That year in absence of Dara OS their unlikely star man was the other midfielder I think it was Willie Kirby in the final who had the game of his life and they employed runner Eoin Brosnan as their 2nd midfielder. Man for man I don’t think that Kerry team was any better than ours but that extra week used well combined with Jack O Connor tactical nous made a significant difference. We probably only had a 2 week turnaround due to to replay so the advantage was more pronounced.
    The other side of the argument is games are good and 4 weeks a long time. Would hope that we stay injury free but fully expect the games to go ahead so we’re probably only stirring sh*t by having this debate at all.

  41. It’s getting very late to go calling off the club games now – that would be a terrible way to treat the club players. They have to be remembered in this debate as well, not just the intercounty players.
    It’s high stake stuff though – there’s always a risk one or two players could pick up an injury. But if they got the injury in training or AvB game, would anyone be saying they shouldn’t have been training?

  42. To think we have been the last four years in all Ireland semi finals before this and they still scheduled the games for this weekend.

    Postpone the games but for crist sake, can our county board please learn from this!

    No more club games scheduled for the seven weeks before an all Ireland final!

    People have family’s and commitment!

    I say take one for the county!

  43. There doesn’t seem to be a problem with it from management or players,so as a supporter its none of my business.
    Play them show no fear or don’t play them should be up to the team.

  44. Does anyone with a greater knowledge of Mayo club fixture scheduling know would any fixtures have been scheduled for after the Connacht Final and before the quarters this year had Mayo gone on to win Connacht?

  45. Does anyone thinks the CB is going to give ground on this? Does anyone think they’ve forgotten last years heave?

  46. I respect anyones opinion and especially yours Willie Joe but I find the article very patronising towards club players which I’m sure wasn’t your intention

    While the All Ireland Final is the biggest game in alot of these Mayo player’s lives, a county final could be (and rightly so)the biggest game in a club payers life. It’s all relative and I don’t think we can continue to treat club players like second class citizens . So is it fair to ask club players and teams to prepare for a county final with only a week break from a semi final? Because that would be the case if this weeks club games are postponed. I don’t think that would be fair?

    Of course Mayo winning an All Ireland comes before anything for us supporters here. But a club player has his own ambition and priorities and if we continue to mess them about then club players will continue to walk away from the game which will eventually be to the detriment of football in the county.

    Just my opinion.

  47. The games are going ahead. Stephen Rochford, in an interview, referenced the players going back to their clubs this week in preparation for the club championship. Fixtures have been sent out to clubs and arrangements made. It would be a complete cock-up to go changing at this stage. Stephen Rochford and his management team I’m sure have thought about this and have their schedule of preparation for the final in place long ago. If they wanted a four week run-in they would have agreed this with the county board.
    Anyway, four weeks is a long build up and as has been said before players are just as likely to get injured in training as in club matches. I’m in the Coady camp on this one.

  48. Whenever any debate occurs on changes in the GAA, there is immediately a clamour to look at the requirements of the club player and those of the clubs. The club is our basic unit and particularly in rural areas, it is a central part of the community. In the debate about the potential deferral of the coming weekend’s club championship games, we should look at what is best for the clubs and the club players first.

    I’m not based in Mayo. My work requires me to live in Dublin and it is there that I have been involved in a GAA club for over 20 years. I brought my sons through from the nursery to adult teams and have coached at every level. In that time, I have seen the Dubs in the doldrums and at their current heights. I have been in charge of teams that have had county players and I have managed groups of players whose games had been on hold for months while we waited for the Dublin county teams to complete their intercounty programmes. And it’s worse in Dublin than in Mayo as the county championships are completely suspended once the county team (at any grade or age group) gets to the provincial semi-final.

    As Dublin is a large urban area, it does not rely on its GAA clubs to provide a community focus in the same was that we see in rural counties. Consequently, what works in Dublin may not be appropriate for Mayo. However, in Dublin, but the clubs themselves are encouraged to perceive themselves as an integral part of the overall county set up through a variety of county board initiatives such as the way discounted league tickets for adults and juveniles are made available through the clubs. When it comes to taking it on the chin for the county, the clubs (and the club players) generally go along with it as the sponsorship money from a winning Dublin team eventually does work its way down to the clubs and a feeling of “greater good” is generated.

    And it is this “greater good” that we must look to in the current debate in Mayo. Which is better, giving our clubs and their players much needed action or the lift that Mayo football in general could get from winning an All-Ireland? Are they mutually exclusive? Some would argue that they are not. Are the A vs B games not of at least as high intensity?

    However, I have seen some bad injuries at club games. I have seen injuries at such games where (even in Dublin) it took 20 mins to get qualified medical help to attend to a player with a serious injury. Injuries in A vs B games have full medical facilities immediately available and club championship games sometimes have individuals on the field whose timing of a challenge on a player can cause a much more serious injury.

    In addition, Stephen Rochford and his team are trying to develop a system. They have had limited time due to a lengthy injury list early in the year and a long appointment process. They need to continue to work on the system so that we don’t just play to potential for the second quarter of the game as has been the game profile up to this. Going back to the clubs for a week, does not help our cause.

    No. The risk is too great. The greater good is best served by throwing all of the cards on the table for the next 3 and a half weeks, giving it the lash of our lives on 18th September and taking the result knowing that no more could have been done. Imagine how the county would feel if one or more of the top 26 was on crutches on Monday morning next.

    Imagine how the county would feel if we were facing into the Dubs or Kerry (who both have had to take us to a replay in the last 2 years), as fanatical underdogs, with a full deck and the system further refined.

    Postpone. Please postpone!

  49. Club players are well entitled to want to get on with the club championship. But it’s up to the county board to make the responsible decision. We’re all here because we want to see Mayo win the All Ireland. This kind of indecisive, one eye on club fixtures and one eye on the All Ireland planning will not improve our chances of winning in September. And for the next 4 weeks, if something doesn’t improve our chances of winning, it shouldn’t be done.

    Is there anything wrong with playing club fixtures in September after the final? What’s the adverse consequence of it?

  50. I spoke to a senior club player this week and his comment was ”I would love to get a chance to have a go at xx (county senior player) – I would not spare him one bit”. With attitudes like this around I would worry about the games going ahead. I am a bigger club man than county man but I take Fourgoals pint above that a successful county team would have a drip down benefit for clubs. Again the County Board should engage the club players more. I feel things like the Cul camps are a missed opportunity as these camps whilst generally good value are often very poorly presented and much more County PR opportunities could be availed off.

  51. You could tell by listening to Clarkey on Newstalk last night that he took a somewhat sceptical tone when the club fixtures were mentioned. Maybe I’m wrong but that hoe I interpreted it.

    Reading Rochford’s quotes in the Times today ‘we have four weeks now, a nice amount of time to get ready. We’ve played a lot of games in the last six or seven weeks so it’s important we get a bit of rest this week’.

    It’s pretty clear what he thinks.

    County Board need to come out and make a decision on this now and not let this drag.

    Also a previous poster said that this decision was flagged around the time of the Tyrone game and that no one kicked up a fuss. Wrong. I and others did post comments on it. All agreeing that club championship should be sidelined until Mayo’s season is over.

    Like WJ said. This is a ‘no-brainier’ issue.

  52. In fact Mayo co board should release a statement saying that while club championship is the heartbeat of our game and that they acknowledge the effort, dedication and patience club players give, that given the circumstances there is a special obligation toward our Senior County Team and that in their quest for success and in full support of Stephen Rochford his management team and players, all club championship fixtures will now be postponed until after the Intercounty season.


  53. In some ways, and I know it was done with good intentions, campaigns like this on blogs and social media wont help the case.
    The reason they shouldn’t go ahead in my opinon, is not due to a fear of injuries, its as someone stated above, the recovery cycle week which this week would be. Playing full tilt next weekend completely takes away the advantage that we now have from that over Dublin and Kerry. And we need every advantage that we can get.

    Kilkenny and Cody are not a good example in my opinion. Kilkenny have been rattling off all Irelands since God was a boy. Simple question, does it help us or hinder Mayo’s quest for same, it hinders it so why do it?
    I know there is more to life than the county team, but in this instance there isn’t really. If we had managed to win a couple of all Irelands over the past few years then I’d probably be thinking slightly differently.

    And I say this as a person who is actively involved with a club and fully understands the frustration of games being postponed due to county commitments. I’ve had minor teams waiting around for weeks because some opposition players is number 26 on the county panel. THAT I don’t agree with but postponing for 5 weeks to allow your county senior team make use of the small advantage they now have, makes perfect sense.

    Another thing, imagine the club matches going ahead on September 25th with those county players playing for their clubs and Sam resting in Mayo for the winter? Imagine the feel good factor, not to mention the extra crowds those club matches would get to see the lads who lit up Croke Park the week before. They’d be worse for wear but they’d all be like that

  54. BJP in Mayo News also says club games going ahead is ‘wrong’.

    The common sense approach is to postpone and sooner rather than later so as not to have this hanging over people’s heads.

  55. I’ll be straight with everyone here, as someone involved with club and county, the CB would rather lose an All Ireland than lose face on this issue. The curse isn’t from a funeral in Foxford, it’s seated in an office behind the stand.

  56. The only reason this is up for debate is the quirk in the semi final fixtures means we have 4 weeks instead of 3. We wouldn’t be having this debate if we were in next week’s semi. The matches would just be played after the All Ireland final.

    Of course, we could have played an additional round of championship fixtures earlier in the year – the 1st of May for example. But then half of the clubs would be out of the championship by the end of June, and have no meaningful summer football.

    So, unless the overall championship structure changes, we either need to make the decision on whether to play off and finish the club group stages before the Connacht Final, or after Mayo exit the championship (hopefully as All Ireland Champions).

    Also, can anyone explain to me why the Mayo League doesn’t kick off until April?

  57. Also, this isn’t a case of losing face. It’s simply a case of taking a common sense approach. The CB will look all the better for postponing. Surely they want what’s best for Mayo. If not then they shouldn’t be in the position they’re in.

  58. I’m still undecided on this one. These games were initialy scheduled to be played the week after the Connacht final.

    The easiest solution to this issue is for the Connacht Council to push back the provincial club championship start date by a week or a fortnight to allow time for the club championship to be run off. I’m sure this is being investigated with them, well I hope at least.

    Postponing the club championship games at this stage will be another kick in the balls to club players. Further moving the gap from the inter-county teams and players to the clubs. It’s hard enough for clubs to keep young guys around, if they can’t even offer them championship football in summer it makes it even tougher. It’s Ok for Dublin, they have job and work opportunities that will keep people in the capital that we don’t have in Mayo.

    There are clubs in Mayo who could have a realistic aim of winning Mayo and going on to win Connacht and an All Ireland title next March (Mitchels making two of the last three finals for example). Is lessening their chances of winning an All Ireland fair to those players? If you think that the senior inter-county team winning an All Ireland is the most important thing for GAA in the county, that’s fair enough if that’s your view, but it doesn’t sit well with me, there’s more to GAA than just one team.

    Playing four games in a row the week after the All Ireland final, where you’ll expect those involved with the senior team to go back to their clubs after the biggest day of their lives, high on celebration after touring the county for a week after winning as we hope or having to come to terms heartbreak, isn’t fair on those players or their clubmates either. It could be the difference, between making a quarter-final or ending up in relegation trouble for clubs.

    It’s a no win situation for the county board, either decision will see them getting hit from either side of the divide.

  59. Just a quick analysis of the club championships that I’m sure no club would thank me for suggesting that they could keep some players in reserve since they are assured or virtually assured in the next round:

    Who should play?

    All the subs. Keith Higgins. Colm Boyle. David Clarke. Brendan Harrison. Donie Vaughan. Diarmaid O’Connor. Cillian O’Connor.

    Who could take time on the bench as backup?

    Kevin McLoughlin. Andy Moran. Seamus O’Shea. Aidan O’Shea. Lee Keegan. Jason Doherty. Patrick Durcan. Barry Moran.

  60. Mayonaze and Liam you try to simplify the dilemna by blaming the county board. This is a complex situation. Just because you believe the matches should be postponed does not mean other people, including the county board, does not have a reasonable alternative opinion. Blaming unpaid hard working volunteers and accusing them of all sort of petty motives is not at all helpful.

  61. @mayonaze
    I’ve a bridge in Brooklyn for you if you believe that some people wouldn’t want us to lose in 4 weeks. Just have a look at this blog and see the amount of people who hover over the keyboard praying for the loss to say ‘I told you so”.
    If you think the player coup is forgotten your sadly mistaken. This is mana from heaven regarding payback. If the CB cared about club players they could have played 2 rounds of the league and there wouldn’t be a word about it. This is Machiavellian level payback.

  62. Liam, True there are a small number of perverse individuals who would perhaps silently rejoice if we lose on the 18th September and there are a small number of “I told you so” merchants who always relish the opportunity to parade their sage wisdom. However, to suggest that the county board have arranged the championship fixture in some way to derail our preparations or seek some kind of revenge is going too far for me.

  63. You are very right Liam. The coup will not be forgotten. The players will be used to bring in money… not for their training but for the ill advised debts of the Board. People looking for a decision to be made on this are dreaming. The decision is made. There is nothing to see. Move on

  64. Sinabhuil – I didn’t accuse anyone of a petty motive!??

    I also believe this is the opposite of complex. It’s simple, straightforward etc. Just put the games off…its just one extra weekend for clubs after the All Ireland.

    David Brady, Billy Joe Padden and other former county players see the major benefit an extra week has in terms of preparation. In my opinion and it’s clearly the opinion of the vast majority, this is a hands down simple decision. Postpone. Allow Rochford all the time he needs with his players. God knows we’ve waited long enough.

    I’ve played senior club football for years and know all about having to wait.. County comes first. No problem with that.

  65. Looking at the way the calender is, it’s a tight schedule to get the senior club championship run off. From my reading of it if you don’t give the players a week off after the All Ireland final you’re left with fixtures running something like this. Leaves one week free for a draw in any of the knock out games, and if everything runs smoothly one free weekend between the senior final and the Mayo champions are out.

    September 24/25 – Round Three of Club Championship

    October 1/2 – Quarter Final of Club Championship

    October 8/9- Semi-Final of Club Championship

    October 16 – Final of Club Championship

    October 22/23- Free of championship unless there’s a draw

    October 30- Connacht Club Championship (Mayo senior champions out)

    Round one of the championship was played on the weekend of May 14/15, with round two on weekend of June 25/26. The last round of club championship games was played two weeks before the first round of the quailifers, and because of the run through that there has been no time to realistically play off round three.

    As I mentioned in a previous post, if the Connacht Council were to come to assitance, we could have it all sorted it out if they put the start of the club championship back even a week.

  66. Mayo and Kilkenny are two different kinds of fruit in this particular scale. Cody will say play the club championship yes but Cody has a wealth of riches on the bench to allow that comfort of risking his team players as he knows he has as strong a player to replace him. I’m not sure which clubs will be playing but if one of the O Shea’s, Andy, Keegan or the O Connor brothers (indeed any Mayo player) picked up an injury I think there will be some backlash in Mayo !! It is just 21 days from next weekend to the biggest day in the GAA calendar, I’d be for waiting ??

  67. Ger Cafferkey has just tweeted that games should be postponed to gain any advantage of having an extra week prep over dublin Kerry
    It’s a no brainer
    “I don’t think I’ve ever expressed an opinion on twitter before #mayogaa

  68. I’m in the play them camp. Give the lads a week to take their mind off the final. Last time we had a 4/5 week break we had our flattest performance in recent memory in AI 2013.

    If lads don’t want to play fine but they could just as easily get injured in an AvB style match the following week regardless.

    Never harmed Kilkenny and there are some legendary stories about some absolute sledging matches two weeks before the final! Who knows it might even sort a selection dilemma or two

  69. Gamechanger kilkenny don’t have near the same depth anymore. In fact their lack of bench is seen as a huge pointer towards Tipperary amongst experts and fans across the country

    They haven’t had a strong bench since 2011

  70. Having won the All-Ireland semi,we should be sitting back full of joy and dreaming of what lies ahead.the media have a new focus this weekend and well into next week i’m certain.everything is working out fine.alas the whole county is torn apart.jesus christ but we are the perfect case study for any county on how not to prepare for a All-Ireland final.if we break this down and look at it.this is not our 1st time in this position,so what have we learned from the past? Answer you can argue all you like but the county board organise the fixtures or the ccc or whatever name they like to called,il add in another c for good measure.surely the clause stipulating if we beat tipp a league game will go ahead instead would have done.clubs or county teams don’t do up fixtures and i see it very unfair they are being left to carry the can here.the county board should show courage,leadership and conviction in this matter (for once)and call off the games.we don’t need this going on any further.county player’s are club player’s,they are team mates,friends and in some instants family,how anyone would let this happen is beyond me.we need a leader to stand up and be counted now.player,manager someone needs to say end this farce.

  71. Is there an advantage with an extra week statistically though? 2012 is the only real recent time I remember the first semi winning team winning. Donegal and kerry had the same rest 2014

    Id have thought it’d be better for momentum purposes to play as near the final as you can?

  72. As someone involved in club management, I can honestly say I want whats best for this Mayo team, and whats best would be for this round of fixtures to never have been penciled in for this weekend. End of. It was naive at best to think there would not be a back lash. The fault here lies solely with the county board.

    However, now that they have scheduled them, or did so a few weeks ago, all clubs have naturally been forced to aim in getting their respective teams to peak this weekend. We like all clubs have been building to wards it. The non county players which is 99% of players have worked their lives around these dates, and it is disrespectful at best to ask them, or tell them even, no we’re changing everything, again!

    I can see both sides, and am as frustrated as anyone as this whole escapade is a distraction for everyone. Easily avoided by not confirming these dates a few weeks ago, by talking to ocunty players, taking on board their feedback, and a month ago deciding that the best option was to push back. Too late now though, then again when did or does common sense ever prevail in all things Mayo GAA!

  73. Thats all well and good but it doesnt take into account that club playes will go from having no matches for the summer to potentially 4 games in 5 weeks. Club championship isn’t something you run off, it’s the highlight of 95% of players careers. Not saying its ideal but each year has to be taken in isolation, the fact we’ve been so close doesn’t come into it.

  74. I really dont think CB have some kind of secret agenda for Mayo to lose. I dont know any of them but I really believe that every single Mayo person only wants one result in the AI final. I dont think what happened last year is forgotten but I simply cant imagine that there are people in power in our County that want anything other than victory. I am certain that would include all the previous management team as well!! who are still in my opinion towers of Mayo football.

  75. 3 league games could be played between now and the 18th. Club players get games, periphery county players get a chance to put their hands up and you can rest the vital players. Win, win, win. As mentioned already, we’re a case study in how to make a shite of an advantage.

  76. I think it’s a no brainer postpone the club championships and let the lads sole concentration (outside of the little matter of work everyday, family life, watching every single bite of food they put into their mouths, training etc etc) be on the All Ireland final

  77. Ger Cafferkey has called for the matches to be postponed:

    “One thing I’ve learned during my football career is how difficult it is to juggle committments. Top performance requires a blinkered focus on the task at hand.

    I know the honesty that is in that group of players. When they are on club duty – they will be 100% dedicated to the club. However, asking them to switch their focus from club to All Ireland will break the preperation chain.

    It also relinquishes an advantage that might be worth a point or two come the 18th of September. Releasing players to clubs this week means that we will have to push recovery into next week, squeeze in tactical sessions and lose a week of intense training.

    I say this as a lad back looking for club success – the focus has to be on the county success. I firmly believe that there’s still time to do the right thing for all of Mayo GAA.”

  78. Well if Ger Cafferky is calling for it I respect his opinion and take back what I said earlier. But…………..its a fairly major cock-up by Rochford and the County Board!

  79. I doubt Rochford had a choice on playing championship games this weekend. If they do go ahead, I hope the clubs rest all their intercounty players or agree to postpone the games until after all ireland final

  80. Well put Willie Joe. Dublin haven’t played any senior or intermediate club championship football since the last weekend of April. Rochford should have these players at the weekend. Keep up the pressure.

  81. Ger Caff said it and you can be damn sure he represents the opinion of the Mayo senior panel. Just bloody well postpone the games and if they need to be squeezed into a narrow time frame after the 18th then so be it.

    WJ – any insight into how this will pan out?? I’m sure discussions and a some sort of resolution is being ironed out??

  82. Comrades,
    This is a friendly call to arms.
    I have started a seating group over on the Club Mayo 51 website.
    Any season ticket holder who wants to join me on the 18th and add their green and red colours, their passion and their voice to the cause, please go to seating group option on the website menu.
    The seating group is called “Mayo for Sam 2016”!!!

  83. If the opinions of some former county boards members online are anything to go by, the heels are digging in feverishly.

  84. Absolutely the heels are digging in.

    There are no discussions. no openness to be flexible. The decision was made and management have been told that there is no going back under any circumstances.

  85. As a club player, I wouldn’t have any problem with tge games being postponed. My problem is the fact that the county board will as usual, leave it until the vert last minute to let us know.

    I don’t buy the whole recovery thing really, the session until 6 o’clock Sunday night will have done just as much damage to the body as playing a championship game, provided they got out of there without broken bones, pulled hamstrings, etc. But the risk of them getting broken bones/hamstrings anything else is too much to risk.. It’s not a question of recovery, it’s a question of sustaining serious injury.

    I think it would be our last chance with this group at an All-Ireland and every effort must be made to protect the players. Anybody that thinks club players will go easy on them because there is an All Ireland final is dreaming.

    People talking about playing championship games without the county players are far more disrespectful to club players than postponing the game. Why should we train all year and base a gameplan around our best players and then turn around and be told, you actually have to play at a big disadvantage now.

    Postpone the games by all means but have the respect to let the players know in good time.

  86. This has the potential to turn into quite the mess. The players are probably already back with their clubs taking part in training, preparing for games at the weekend. Whatever advantage an extra week had is already eroded away. Also whats worse is now players dont know whats happening regards games going ahead or not. The games will go ahead at the weekend deferring them wont work in reality I think. If Mayo actually win the AI they wont be in any state to play club games for a few weeks after the 18th. They will be carrying that big cup with the small ears around every corner of Mayo with plenty of refreshments taken along the way.

    whats left is recovery and injury prevention. Serious talk will have to take place between the CB and clubs regarding county players standing down for this one.

  87. I’m slightly horrified, I have to say, at the developing narrative of a nefarious county board scheming in a Machiavellian way to do down a rebellious group of players as the reason why the final round of club championship games were fixed for this weekend. I’d say a far simpler reason is the knock-on effect of our having to go through the qualifier route as this round was in previous years played before end-July.

    I’ve no doubt there are people, some within the county board and others outside it, who still harbour hurt over last year’s events and some of these might even wish to see us fail next month. Equally I’d say there are county board people and others who’d like nothing better than to see us seal the deal and will do everything they can to help make this happen. I’d be very surprised if the latter cohort didn’t vastly outnumber the former.

    It simply isn’t credible – and it’s of no help to us as a county at all – to turn this debate into a county board v players one. Fuck’s sake, everyone, we’ve an All-Ireland to win next month!

    The only reason I raised this issue at all was because of concerns expressed to me and on the blog about the impact the club matches could have on our planned prep for the final. Ger Cafferkey’s eloquent intervention since makes the case far better than I did. It’s this we should all be focusing on, nothing else.

    So, can the conspiracy theorists please shield their blades? Cock-up always trumps conspiracy in my book and this one has all the signs of a scheduling cock-up, albeit one rooted in a sincere effort to do the best for club players.

    I’ve huge sympathy for the position of club players but this is Sam we’re talking about here. We may not pass this way again for some time so we simply have to prepare the best way we can and, on this occasion, the club matches – which haven’t suffered any cancellations in recent years and aren’t treated in the despicable way that the likes of Dublin and Donegal routinely treat theirs – simply have to be sacrificed for the greater good.

  88. I think that’s partially the problem WJ, “we may not pass this way again” for some time, you are correct. But I think people believe as we’ve been playing ball in late August early September for 6 years now that its gonna continue forever. It wont.

  89. Exactly – this is last chance saloon for some which is why this should be treated as a very special occasion – one that should be uniting us all, everyone of us. Entire focus should be on doing absolutely everything possible for the benefit of the senior management and players. As I said earlier, it’s not a complex matter – it’s real simple.

    It’s ‘Blinker-time’.

  90. This distraction is something we don’t need. Having thought about it and read the comments, particularly Ger Caff’s, I’m in the postpone camp. I think the Aughamore v Ballintubber do or die fixture should end the discussion really. That will be a hell for leather match and you’ll probably have Harrison marking Cillian. Expecting lads to go up against each other like that and then to line out together then 3 weeks later in the biggest match of their lives is asking too much.
    Also, the qualifiers have to be taken into account and the toll this will have taken on the lads.

  91. I agree with Mayomad – any advantage that might have existed is now gone. No arrangements would have been put in place with the county squad for this week. What would Stephen Rochford do at this stage if the games were called off? A weeks training for an All Ireland isn’t something you throw together in an hour or two.
    Best thing now is to go with the present arrangements and make the best of what was already planned. But as I said before it doesn’t instill confidence in Stephen Rochford or the county board. Surely this was thought about long before we played Tipp and if it wasnt it should have. Its not like we beat them by surprise or anything.

  92. But the thing is, diehard, if the club matches had been postponed before the Tipp match, can you imagine the caterwauling on here from the usual suspects about such a decision showing contempt for Tipp and how it’d be nailed on their dressing room door and yada bloody yada? On some issues, there’s no winning …

  93. I disagree in that this week would have largely been a rest and recovery week anyway with things going full throttle again from next weekend on so in that sense it’s the 3-5 days from next Sunday that really matter. Therefore, it’s not at all too late to postpone the club games.

    However if they go ahead it significantly impacts on recovery and prep for the 18th.

  94. Training has become a very exact science and hence the big backroom staff of experts associated with football including phsyios, dieticians, pyscologists, trainers, and God knows how many others. These guys are and will I am sure advise the manager on the best approach. It would be nice to hear from someone who is an expert on the best way to bring a team to the peak of their potential. I feel many times Mayo peaked too soon as in the semi’s. Kerry were always good at peaking at the right time and were sometimes nearly beaten by teams such as Limerick in the Munster Final. I remember in 2004 they peaked to perfection in the final. I remember when they ran onto the pitch they were bouncing. We were flat in comparison and it was obvious our preparation left a lot to be desired.

    This year we were caught on the first day of the championship. I don’t think this should have bothered us too much at the time. This can happen if you are looking to September to peak. It is a hard job to do. I hope we have it right this year and we peak on the day of the final and not as we did before at the semis. I still believe the best way to train is to play football. Injuries happen in training more so than in games.

    It would be great if we could get the views of the players and management in regard to the club matches or in the absence of that an expert in football development and management.

  95. Willie Joe
    There could have been an understanding arrived at between Stephen and the county board that if we beat Tipp then the championship fixtures would be called off. In fact there was an understanding that the fixtures would go ahead next Sunday. Stephen spoke about letting the players back to the clubs shortly after the game. He either wasnt in touch with what the players want (if Ger Caffs tweet is anything to go by) or he has to do what the co board want. Either way its not good.

  96. The club games should be posponed but a round of the league on instead problem solved!
    We are in an all Ireland final and we should prepare properly.the club championship could be played the weekend after final and if a few midweek games had to be played under lights or on a fri night so be it.

  97. @wj so who do you think should call this game off then?management,county board or clubs?do the clubs have that power?do the management have that power?one more day is to long for this saga to run on in my is certainly not benefiting anyone.

  98. Christ, no-one does a cock-up quite like we do.

    This shouldn’t be the issue it is.
    The county board fucked up royally with this. Not sure it’s exactly as sinister as some reckon, but it’s a fuck up all the same.

    Ger Caff’s statement earlier should leave no-one in any doubt about what we should do, just call the games off. And now. Before this becomes an even bigger issue and we’re plastered all over the nationals tomorrow.

  99. Can we just imagine the stomachs dropping around the county if one of our Senior players is sidelined with an injury after a game on Sunday..It doesn’t bear thinking about and frankly it wouldn’t be an issue if common sense prevailed..

  100. “…..aren’t treated in the despicable way that the likes of Dublin and Donegal routinely treat theirs……”

    This is a little out of form, in fairness, and very unlike the usual relative fairness and balance displayed here.

    Dublin have two out of the last three club *and* senior titles, and are reigning in both. Hardly an indicator of “despicable treatment”. As someone above has (well) said, the Dublin and Mayo club championships are very much different animals. What will work for one, may not apply to the other.

    The current situation Mayo are faced with is almost Saipan-like infighting, which is hardly ideal build up to an AI final.

    Conspiracy theories aside, (which I would take with a hefty dose of salt), I don’t think for one minute that there is a concerted move to undermine the Senior teams chances.

    But what I do see here are various factions “digging in their heels”. This disharmony is solely the remit of the CB – they are there to unify a county, not as a catalyst for division.

    Get it together lads. Youse don’t need this.

  101. I cannot understand why County Players cannot be automatically removed from Club Games. Yes I know, County players for club teams are critical.However, lets call a spade a spade. Winning sam has to take precedent over the Club scene at this time of the year, especially as we have not won it in over 60 years. Different approach if you win top prize regularly like Kilkenny. 52 weeks in the year and they start to push games through 4 weeks before the Final. Madness.

    This issue needs to be nipped in the bud quickly. Otherwise confusion will reign supreme again over the county. The Players don’t need this distraction.

  102. Willie Joe I think those in charge of Mayo County Board know enough and are seasoned enough politicians to dress up a conspiracy. Tommy Lyons and Kevin McStay will tell you all about it. And many others that have crossed their path. They lost once. Last October. And they are not forgetting

    In terms of planning it would have been very easy to say as they did before earlier games that if one result happens the games will be on x date and if the other happen they will be on y date.

    Or have an arrangement that they would roll out straight after the Tipp result. What if it had been a draw on Sunday?

  103. This is fucking mental jaysus we do things arse ways in mayo sometimes. Im not saying by any means that there is anything sinister going on on bahalf of CB but you have to question the scheduling of club fixtures.We are four weeks out from an AIF and this this unfortunately is what we are debating. Crazy stuff.

  104. It’s only a very few who have raised a conspiracy theory. I would have been quite critical of the CB over the years but I believe their hearts and minds(the vast majority at least) are fully behind the success of Mayo.

    WJ touched on why this round of fixtures might have been originally scheduled but it’s without question the common sense approach, right thing to do to simply re-schedule. It’s that easy.

    The whole idea of ‘digging in heels’ shouldn’t even come into the equation. Everyone at this point should be singing from the same hymnsheet. Obviously some degree of ambiguity exists and it’s the responsibility of the CB to sort it. That’s their role. The overwhelming majority agree that these games should be postponed. I would be really amazed if they proceed as originally planned simply because it makes no sense and is detrimental to the Mayo team.

    If anything the CB will come out looking good and flexible if they change the club games to a future date.

  105. I would be a lot happier if the club championship games were put off, for one this whole debate has the danger of going all “Limerick” again!

    However can anyone categorically say that having a four week gap before the final is better than a three week gap? Perhaps someone has looked at this over the past 10 years, and if teams with a 4 week gap have outperformed those with a three week gap, then there is logic in cancelling the games this week?. Perhaps players are better off getting away from the hothouse of constant training sessions to be with their clubs?

  106. Well,I think I was probably the first to post that clubs play without panel members,I have a little knowledge of club football,and understand completely that they want their best players on the pitch,I felt if that was tne position that the clubs would step up to the plate and demand the matches be postponed,so the clubs must have no say what so ever in the running of the county board,as for the risk of injury,I would compare it to me driving with drink,the risk would be much higher with playing a full blooded match,they might still get injuries from training,but it is less likely,as for Stephen Rochfords input,can I say he better win the final,and win it well to satisfy some posters

  107. I think common sense will prevail in the end. I may have given the view that conspiracies are afoot and I don’t think that is the case. It was more accident than design but it needs sorting. Focus needs to be on the 18th.

  108. Six points up is dead right…. This is fast becoming the new ‘Limerick’.

    This blog is imploding at the seems over this. Let’s just stop talking about it, it actually doesn’t matter that much.

    It’s the ongoing commentary and noise that will hurt us.

  109. I dunno now…I am edging either way at present. There are probably some squad players that could do with game time…Loftus, Coen, Keane, Nally etc.

    But as you say if a Diarmuid or Keegan get’s injured then it’s lights out. The only fear really I would have is a club player going out and trying to make a name for himself….we all know such headbanger exist.

  110. Look, if the players themselves want it off, and Ger Caff, while not a spokesperson for the team, seems to suggest they do, then they should be off. End of story. If there’s fixture congestion later, we will cross that bridge when it comes. If we want to look at the bigger picture, think what being All Ireland Champions will do for football in Mayo.

    Marginal gains. This is an All-Ireland final. We need to do whatever it takes to give ourselves and extra 1,2, or 3%

  111. Well said MayoMark.

    Willie Joe I agree with you 100%. Occam’s razor should be applied here. All this talk about conspiracies is a bit silly to be honest. The county board is far from perfect but I find it too incredible that they would be so vindictive as to deliberately scuttle our chances of winning an All-Ireland. What next, they were behind 9/11 and the assassination of JFK??

    Come on lads, the board are between a rock and a hard place here. On one hand they have a responsibility towards the clubs and a tight schedule regarding the Connacht Championship but on the other we have the senior team back in the final, an event that can’t reasonably be planned for well in advance. Even the comments here show that there is division on the issue.

    My own opinion is that we’ve been fortunate to get the draw we have and we should make use of it. The players have given so much and on such an intense schedule that they deserve to get every bit of recovery they can. Management should be given the chance to work with the players in any way they see fit without worry about injuries.

    It’s not an easy situation to be in but I think the board need to be brave here and make the hard decision. Winning an All-Ireland is what we’ve aspired to for so long, surely a delay in the club schedule will be worth it to see Sam finally heading west again?

  112. No one can predict the future.

    An extra game for Regan, loftus, freeman, coen, parsons etc etc might win us the all Ireland, equally an injury to an importing player might lose is the all Ireland.

    4 weeks prep might win us all Ireland or players might get stir crazy in 4 weeks of no game and it might lose us the all Ireland.

    I can’t understand why people feel so strongly either way, no one can predict the future and no one can produce any evidence to suggest 4 week break is better.

  113. Common sense should and will prevail here and Rochford will get what he wants. Focus should be on the 18th and availing of every advantage possible.

  114. Look at it this way.

    If the club games go ahead, the fallout for the county board if (a), if we lose the All-Ireland – and (b), to a far greater extent if a player, or players (heaven forbid) were injured this weekend would be enormous.

    If the club games don’t go ahead, we’ve lost four weeks. Yes, I know the impact this has on players, and I know the pressure clubs are under – but it’s four weeks – and the fallout would be far less significant.

    If the county wins the All-Ireland, the positive knock-on effect from that within the county could be significant. And of course the kudos for the county board.

    Based on all of the above, if I were making decisions at a county board level, I know what decision I’d be making.

    It wouldn’t be Mayo if we weren’t embroiled in some kind of fight, I suppose.

  115. Could we just consider the slight possibility that everyone will get together this evening and it will be sorted.
    There seems to be an obsession with the fact that our own CB hate Mayo football / footballers. This is a bit illogical. Please bear in mind the level of success we have had over the previous 30 years and the fact that the CB might have had some hand act or part in it.
    On the notion that clubs play without county players; I understand alot of folks think this is sacrilegious however please bear in mind that the County team went without the Castlebar players until April this year and this probably did have an effect on settling the panel and new management and we could have been relegated. The best solution is probably to postpone but everything is worth calm consideration

  116. One pertinent point is does Stephen Rochford want the games to be played. All of us Armchair Managers might believe it is in the best interest of the players, to call off the games.Maybe Stephen has a differing view. I believe the decision should be made by Stephen and his Management Team, and we should all accept it whatever it might be.

  117. According to the Mayo News, the Mayo GAA Competitions Control Committee is scheduled to meet tonight in Castlebar and any decision on the weekend fixtures will be made tonight.

  118. If the County Board have any sense they will call off these Championship matches this weekend. Imagine the fallout if a few key players picked up stupid injuries,,,

  119. You’re right Redcol…I think Ger Caff’s tweet spoke volumes though. There’s no way he would have aired his opinion publicly without given it due consideration and without knowing the general consensus amongst his county teammates and you would imagine management too. It’s obvious what the players would prefer but it was notable that he referred to the wholehearted commitment to their respective clubs – he and the rest of them recognise fully the sacrifices club players make and how important the club is. It’s just that in the present circumstances, the 18th of Sept is most important.

  120. This needs to end now, tonight. The club fixtures should be postponed. It’s not just about the potential for injury, it’s also about using these few weeks wisely, making sure players are in the right head space, that were are no distractions. I get the frustration for the clubs, but this All-Ireland final could be the last chance for some of these players. We shouldn’t put that in any kind of jeapordy. We need to give the players every opportunity to prepare themselves as best they can. This issue should not be allowed to rumble on and on into the week, with nobody knowing whether they’re coming or going and the whole thing escalating into a row. That is the last thing we need.

  121. Maybe that sounds like the best idea alright to let a round of League games go ahead instead. Then if Stephen Rochford still wants a few of the fringe players etc. to get some game time, maybe they could be allowed to play, like Robbie Hennelly did last week, getting game time with his club.

    Eamonn Fitzmaurice the Kerry manager did say last year that Kerry training in limbo for two weeks while Mayo and Dublin were going hard at it, didn’t help his team. I really hope that the Kerry and Dublin game does not end in a draw as that would mean another week for our management team of not knowing who we are playing in the final.

  122. I agree it needs to be sorted right away. A definite statement needs to be made by the CO Board or Stephen Rochford. Otherwise if the fixtures are cancelled we are actually wasting valuable time. I have to say I am NOT impressed by any of this.

  123. I’m with you HSE. I’m really not bothered about the result Sunday, just as long as it’s not a draw.
    I do firmly believe that our replays with Kerry and Dublin over the past 2 years were the winning of the All-Ireland’s for them.

    Hopefully this gets sorted tonight. All we should be concerned with is the 18th.
    Absolutely no distractions, just complete focus for all of the players and management for the job in hand.

    Look, we could lose the final, simply because we weren’t good enough on the day. It’s happened before and could happen again. But that should be the only reason we do lose it. Not because of distracting rumblings within the county or bad preparation.
    Let’s make sure we have given ourselves every possible chance of winning this thing. If we’re not good enough, sure we’re not good enough.

  124. I can see the club players side of it, BUT, wouldn’t it be nice if we had Sam to parade into each clubhouse this autumn, winter and spring? For the greater good the county players should be left to spend the next few weeks to recover and prepare in so many ways for the big game. It’s been 65 years and we are within touching distance if we get it right on the day, which we can, we have the players and experience but we need them all fit and the heads clear on the day.
    Please God the county board will see sense and postpone the club stuff for the few weeks, it would be beyond painful to lose the final by a point while a key player watched it with a cast on his foot or arm or wherever.
    If it’s not cancelled I think we can assume the county players will be extra careful with tackles and the like, but even at that it’s a big risk

  125. so that’s it then…club games postponed…I’m glad to see that common sense prevails…oh wait…it’s only a straw poll. For my tuppence worth it makes total sense to focus on the big game and not worry about having 4 long weeks to prepare. This team has lost a lot of close games and from where I am sitting I think their total focus is and rightly is on winning the next game. 4 weeks is perfect and they will need it to get their heads and shooting right into this game…I vote to cancel. Seize the opportunity to go watch the Dublin Kerry game, check out what’s ahead of s…enjoy the experience and let the excitement drive up the passion so that we come out on Sept 18th bursting to play and win…no matter who we play in the final. This Mayo team deserves utter respect and…that’s it…Up Mayo 4ever!

  126. So who’s going to win on Sunday dubs are Kerry. Andy Moran is like the cat with nine lives.

  127. Maaaaaybe….this is all a “plan” by Stevie & the CB to make things seem unsettled…things not right etc!!!;))

    It’s across Twitter and media now.

  128. Look, it does not aid the county team to play in club championship this weekend. They have to completely switch focus, alot of them don’t even play in the same position for their clubs. Its all about inches at this stage. I’m sure Ger Cafferky would not have come out so publicly had he not known the feeling in the camp. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was asked to do it.

    Remember that this is the county board who allowed us to play an all Ireland semi final against a Munster team at a Munster venue,
    this is the county board who completely cocked up the managerial appointment process 2 years ago,
    this is the county board who James Horan had to fight tooth and nail for any sort of financial backing for the county team but…………………………………………………………..

    they will make the right decision this time and postpone the matches and then I will be absolutely convinced that stars have aligned and its at long last our year!

  129. Also if anyone knows of anyway that we can influence their decision? Email, twitter I don’t care, I’ll go down to Mchale park if I have to!

  130. I dunno . The pressure in Mayo is so crazy and the pressure these guys put themselves under is so great that I think the distraction might be useful.

    Might also allow Rochford this week to do detail planning. I think That’s the most important thing .

    There is a risk of injury at training as well as at club games . So there’s no difference.

    I support going ahead with the games.

    I See Fitzmaurice mentioned last year the four week prep was a disaster ESP as Mayo Dublin went to replay. Could very well happen again.

    Then ,What are u preparing for ? They are two very different propositions , Kerry or Dublin.

  131. @swahilli I think the stats would point out that players get injured a lot more in matches then I’m training. Also many county players have targets on their back in club games. I also think that eamonn fitz was looking for any excuse he could for his teams poor performance in that final.

  132. All this CB bashing is getting a little tiresome. Any excuse from some of the usual suspects to come out and lambast them over and over again. I don’t believe for one second that there was any negative intent in scheduling the next round of club championship fixtures. I would wager that their sole intent was to try to balance the needs of both club and county players over the course of the summer season. Anyhow, it will be interesting to see where this whole issue goes over the coming days and whether the weekends fixtures plan will be given further consideration by the executive members.

  133. If Ger Caff reckons they should be called off that’s good enough for me . He prob has a better idea than us lot ! !

  134. It’s amazing the amount of comments for and against the holding of club championship matches this coming weekend. and the amazing thing about it, the more one reads the comments above the more confused you become. Both side of the argument have merit but without doubt the intervention of Ger Cafferkey into this debate carries a lot of weight. I can’t see Ger’s contribution as a solo run, on the contrary I would imagine he was well aware of the players views and was perfectly placed to lob a high ball into the square. I will be very surprised then if the club matches go ahead, but then again one never knows !

  135. Just checked my season ticket account and my attendance is not updated for last Sunday anybody else have this problem,

  136. Mm, I don’t have that problem, mine was updated and I am above the required 60% to qualify for an All Ireland ticket, but it important to us go on to you season ticket account and email them, If you are above the 60% required attendance already, it doesn’t make much difference. I think there is a link on the your season ticket account, earlier in the year my account was not updated and I was late emailing them and they would not update my account. It was an issue discussed earlier this year on the Blog. I seen a somewhat ridiculous email from ‘ ‘ that went something like this, ‘you should take a photo of you scanning your ticket’ apparently there is allot of fraud on behalf of the season ticket holders who scan multiple tickets. Nothing in your email about about the same genuine season ticket holders who’s tickets don’t scan!

  137. Rochfords brigade, No, I just presumed so after glancing through Mayo are magic and Km79’s posts?. Hopefully there not winding us up!.

  138. I originally voted to postpone club games. Not on the basis of injury but given that it will detract from the total focus of players. The game between Aughamore and Ballintubber is the one jumping out at me. So much at stake, three County panelists v two. This week those five are among 33 with an eye on a county quarter final and an All Ireland. At this stage it is as well play them. They scheduling isn’t ideal, but there is a chance that the game time may sharpen some players. What if we had to face into a replay this weekend….. then you would have to postpone club games, still run the risk of injury, and prepare for battle three weeks later. We are where we are and despite the cock up, 29 counties would love to be in our position.

  139. Well if they are, the players and management can prepare as professionally as possible. The club championship will be played. Unfortunate for the club managers and players.

  140. Does not seem to be confirmed , only speculation at this stage . Lads if ya don’t know , don’t be posting shite , we are all on the one team

  141. I am not winding up
    I never have
    I had it from a reliable source that all games involving county players were postponed
    Apologies if I was wrong
    If ye don’t want info before its official then don’t ask just wait for it to be announced

  142. Mayo News have tweeted to confirm all senior champ and 3 intermediate games involving county players are postponed

  143. Confirmed – all senior games off and intermediate ones involving county players off as well.
    Common sense prevailed.

  144. Never mind it’s confirmed now anyway
    Well the mayo news have confirmed it ……..if that’s official enough for ye
    If not wait till Mayo Gaa confirm it

  145. Yeah as below:

    Mayo New Sport Twitter:
    LATEST: All Mayo senior club football c’ship games, and 3 Intermediate matches involving co players, postponed next weekend.

  146. Common sense has prevailed now move let the team prepare and will someone write a few songs!!!

  147. Lads and lassies, the county board have made the right choice!!! The stars are aligning!!!!

  148. Great and timely decision. Now we can move on and prepare fully for the final test that awaits. Fair play to cafferkey for stepping in earlier and to the powers that be for making the decision.

  149. The full details are here:


    Following discussions since Mayo’s victory over Tipperary in last Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC semi-final, it has been decided to postpone next weekend’s round of Mayo SFC games. All IFC games will go ahead as scheduled except the following which involve members of the Mayo senior panel: Bohola Moy Davitts v Swinford; Westport v Shrule/Glencorrib; and Belmullet v Burrishoole.

    This has not been an easy decision for all concerned as we were faced with a Catch 22 situation. Everyone involved in Mayo GAA wishes to support the senior football team as effectively as we can in the run-up to September 18 – and, equally, everyone is fully aware of the impact a postponement at such late notice will have on club players and managements.

    However, after carefully considering the various issues involved, and acknowledging that there was no simple solution, we feel that the best interests of Mayo football will be served on this occasion by postponing the above games so that the team can prepare for the All-Ireland final.
    The primary reason for doing so is to allow the team the four weeks of preparation between now and the final so that they can represent all of us in optimum condition on September 18. We hope all Mayo GAA people will understand the well-founded motivation for our decision and rally around the team for the next few weeks.

    It is proposed to now hold the next round of SFC games on the weekend after the All-Ireland final (Sept. 24/25th). The IFC games mentioned above will also go ahead on that weekend also.

    The quarter finals in both the SFC & IFC championship will go ahead on 1/2nd October.

  150. Fair play to the Co Board. They get lots of abuse and conspiracy theorists would have you believe they don’t want these players to win AI What utter horse manure. The pity is that this issue ever arose. There was no need for it. There is enough pressure besides this Will we or wont we play club games charade being played out before the National media some of whom are just rubbing their hands in glee in anticipation of us losing another AI Give these hacks no ammunition, heads down, and a completely united and quiet front as we prepare for final. Ex Mayo players who are now pundits please take note . No bullshit on the national airwaves, follow the example of the ex Kerry players, now media analysts. Leave it to tom carr to give his considered and highly intellectual opinions. Up Mayo.

  151. Why in the name of all that’s good and holy couldn’t that have been decided a week or two ago? Granted we are amateurs but we need not be amateurish in our planning and preparation. This does not inspire confidence in me at least. I cannot help but think what might have happened if this occurred under Connelly and Holmes.
    Time to move on and start getting our act together for the 18th. And by God we have plenty to do. I just watched the match again on RTE player. We have issues to sort out all over the field. Most worrying for me was how easily Tipp were able to break past us and run straight down the middle. If we allow Kerry or Dublin to do the same they will shred us.
    Hopefully, the sight of a Dublin or Kerry jersey will inject a lot more energy into our lads than was visible on Sunday.

  152. As diehard has said, there was absolulty no need for this to have even arose. A tough decision, but I think the right one (though lots of people will think its the wrong decision). No matter what the county board decided, they would still be lambasted by some. Can we now all forget about this and concentrate 100% on September 18th.

  153. diehard, seems like you are attempting to lay the blame on the current Management Team, and in my opinion, your reference to Connelly and Holmes at this stage is unnecessary. The right decision has been taken and we move on from here.

  154. A smart move by the county board.
    If this works out, not a single club player will give 1 damn about club football for the rest of the year. This decision is another box ticked to help the dream to come true.

  155. Decision done. Move on. Yes it shouldn’t have come to this as it lacked some foresight but it’s dealt with now.

    A nice quiet steady build up but one that we can still enjoy. Touch wood our players can progress through the next few weeks without injury etc and we can have a fit, fresh, hungry and enthusiastic panel ready for the 18th.

    There’s certainly a lot to work on. But we now have time to so. Let the media focus on Croke Park this Sunday.

  156. Best result. If the games had been postponed before the Tipperary result the county board would have been accused of failing to show Tipperary due respect.

  157. Am just wondering are the club players who live and work abroad going to be reimbursed for their flights and transport booked? Will the club player who has employment in this country be reimbursed for having to book time off work to play for their club this weekend? No? Ah sure fuck the club footballer, nobody gives a shit for them
    Anyways. “Win or lose against Tipperary, the club games will be going ahead”. So said the county board last week. Anyone who gives any sort of praise to them really needs a reality check. It’s a farce. I really feel for the those who have been affected by this. Another kick in the stones. The CB should be quaking in their boots because come the next CB convention there will be hell to pay, and rightly so.

  158. The right decision overall.

    The whole situation has irked me a little though. There are too many people who never kicked a ball or probably rarely stepped inside their clubs ground that have been to the fore of this debate.

    the biggest insult is not postponing the games 3 days before championship…….it is asking players to play the games the week after the all Ireland final!!!

    Now for the majority of people that don’t follow club football and are only interested in the county team, would not realize the sacrifice….this means that the club players involved would not be able to go and have a few pints or enjoy any celebrations should mayo win.

  159. I agree with Patriot. Of course this decision is for the greater good but the U turn is of little consolation to the Managers and players in clubs who planned around the county board announcement ahead of the All Ireland Semi Final. Once more we have dithering instead of decisiveness.

    And just because we have clarity now doesn’t mean that the stars have alligned. So much to work on, so much at stake.

    Where will a possible All Ireland Replay leave our Club Championship?

  160. The right decision, I think, on a difficult issue where it’s hard not to see both sides. Well done to the county board and senior management for finding a workable and practical solution.

    Poll closed now. Nothing further on this from me now as we’re in transit pretty much all day today.

  161. In all fairness WJ how in the blue hell is this a workable and practical solution? It’s a complete mess for everyone to play the games the weekend after the All Ireland. Southpaw has made a great point about some persons perceptions of this fiasco whom only support the county team and as Near Hand has said above, what will happen if the All Ireland final ends in a draw? The whole thing will be in a jock again due to the widespread negligence and ill treatment of the Mayo club player.

  162. The county board were between a rock and a hard place, Patriot, and any fair-minded reading of their statement shows this. There’s no ideal solution to this but I think it’s the right one.

  163. Looks like the county board are damned if they postpone the games and damned if they didn’t. I think the correct course of action has been taken let’s all get behind the lads now and concentrate on Sunday 18 September

  164. Congratulations to all concerned in making the right decision,it must certainly be difficult to keep everything going,but after the eighteenth it will:be all worthwhile,I believe that some of us will not see the shape of the ball after all the celebrations,so onwards and upwards,up Mayo

  165. Well done to ger caff on telling the county board to postpone the match be awful if a key player got injured can I ask who going to win Dublin and Kerry head says dublin. But I hope Kerry after 2014.

  166. It was great to get this sorted out last night, rather than having headlines all over the papers etc. this morning about a stand-off between the Co Board and the team. Well done to all involved in getting this sorted.

    Our job as supporters of our team is to source as many tickets as possible for the All-Ireland final. Get as many Mayo people as possible into Croke Park for the big day. As the great initiative by Club 51 calls for, lets create a sea of red and green.

    In relation to the game at the weekend between Kerry and Dublin, Kerry are in the same situation as us, they have not played a Division 1 team yet so it’ll be very interesting to see how this start this game. In saying that we did play Tyrone who are a Division 1 team now again.

    Kerry and Dublin will have to go at it 100% this weekend so it’ll be a great opportunity for our management team to check out the opposition, while for us we have manged to get to the final without having to show our full hand, which is a great position to be in!

  167. I think the right call was made. Pretty clear this is what the players felt was required too. Time to move on now and focus on the final.

  168. I swung towards cancelling myself in recent days….games are won on inches and we need to give ourselves every possible chance of success and this is the right call.

    P.S Mayo fans stay away from Martin Brehoney in today’s Indo….his “lucky” Mayo article stinks.

  169. I have no real problem with the games being called off but if you put yourself in the shoes of a club player for a minute you’d wonder why they bother. While we were all toasting Mayo’s win last weekend the club player was sitting at home preparing for next weekends championship game. Also fixing a game for the weekend afterwards is laughable. There are two scenarios here:

    1. Mayo win and none of the county players are fit to play from partying
    2. Mayo lose and none of the county players are physiologically right to play for your clubs.

    Dave you say that club players will not care about club football for the rest of the year. You couldn’t be more wrong, you’ll find that all they care about all the time is club. Id say if you surveyed club players in Mayo and asked them would they prefer to win a county title or Mayo to win sam the vast majority would say they would like to win a county title.

    Also a game the weekend after the All Ireland final means that they cant even have a pint and enjoy the All Ireland final weekend.
    And anybody who thinks the AvB games in the next few weeks wont be the same intensity as a senior championship game is deluded. They will be flying into each other for the next 4 weeks. 4 weeks is a long time, when you think about it Mayo were playing Westmeath 4 weeks ago.

  170. If Ger Caff speaks for the rest of the players I do hold my hands up and admit this was a no-brainer decision, so fair play

    A shame in a way that your average club player won’t be able to properly enjoy the celebrations if we do win Sam but it was always a damned if you do…don’t like situation in fairness

  171. time to turn to the is it better to get Dublin or Kerry?

    thats the fascinating conundrum. And “i don’t care which one it is” is a cop out.

    Personallly i think Mayo woudl be better getting Dublin even though they are probably a better team over all team/squad than Kerry. I wouldn’t fancy meeting a Kerry team with their gander up coming to Croke park for a final given Mayo’s record against them.

    of course records are there to be broken but they are also there for a reason.

  172. Thankfully the best decision was made in my view.

    It’s an awful thing that a players intervention was required. One member of the CB was adamant on the Mayo News podcast that they were going ahead regardless.

    Anyways onwards and upwards and getting painting those sheep!

  173. It was absolutely the right decision. The team will now get a full recovery week, two weeks hard work and a light week before the game. Its gives them optimum preparation time. I’d be very surprised if I hear of someone getting injured in training as players just don’t get injured as much in training as they do playing competitive matches.

    It’s hard on the club players but I expect the majority of them will understand.

  174. Kerry or Dub? Either team will be very tough. Do-able but we need to pull out a performance that we haven’t produced so far in 2016. It’s as simple as that. As such we need this 3 and half weeks now to get it right. I think a shorter time frame suits a team on form – going well and who dont want to stop. While we have played regularly, we do want a big improvement and so these few weeks now are crucial.

    Kerry dont tend to lose back to back all Ireland finals. That in itself makes them tricky and the dubs, well look at their record over the past few years. Phenomenal.

  175. Mayo will be underdogs regardless Cantini but I’d nearly rather Dublin too. It’s clear Mayo have a mental block against Kerry going back quite a while, while we’re traditionally always able to rattle Dublin.

    I’m already having nightmares about Donaghy taking up residence at the edge of the square against us. We’d be written off to high heavens against Dublin, while we’d probably be talked up against Kerry. I’d rather the former at this stage. If this Kerry team can go and beat Dublin they’re far better than I thought, so I’d be very worried. There would be more potential to “ambush” Dublin

    I’d be amazed though if Dublin don’t win, and I fancy them to win comfortably. People are leaning way too much towards tradition and sentimentality picking Kerry. They’re the most average Kerry team in a long time thus far, while Dublin are at the peak of their powers. On all known form, it should be a clear Dublin win. If those 15 Kerry players played under a different name no-one would give them a hope. The amount of “kerry are kerry” cliches I’ve heard are baffling! I’d rather predict based on hard cold analysis.

    Which is probably a bit hypocritical of me already, as lets be honest on hard cold analysis we’ll be runners up again in a few weeks, so I’m going to have to try and clutch at intangibles myself in the next few weeks!

    But yeah if kerry do pull something out of the hat Sunday I would fear them for sure. A Dublin win is expected and not much will change, they’ll be put in as unbackable favourites for the 2 in a row and hopefully they might just wilt a bit under the pressure

  176. Kerry have a few players who could have a bit of a “last hurrah” in them too, which could lead to them playing above themselves in a final

    Whereas this Dublin team is here to stay for a while, they might not have that 110% motivation to dig it out if under pressure against us which could be crucial

    With Dublin what you see is what you get, I don’t rate Fitz all that much but Kerry are always capable of pulling a bit of a rabbit out of the hat so to speak.

    I wonder how we’d deal with Donaghy. They’d be daft not to play him. He was even a bigger culprit in knocking us out than Cormac Reilly in 2014!

  177. For us if you just forget about history, stats, tradition, records in finals etc. etc. etc. we at least know that we will set-up in a way that will give us the best chance of winning the All-Ireland final.

    So if its Kerry, we know that we have the option of using Barry Moran to counter Donaghy if he plays at full-forward and that surely to God we won’t let David Moran lord it again at midfield against us as he did in 2014.

    Then if its Dublin we know that Kevin Mc can play the sweeper role and try to limit our goal concessions rate against them, which has killed us in the past. We also know that if Aidan O’Shea spends time at full-forward, he won’t be isolated this time and he will have Andy and Cillian etc. to feed off him or we can use Andy as a target man as well, it means that we are less predictable this year compared to last year.

    Look we still might not win the big one this year but you at least get the feeling that we will not leave things to chance as much as we did in the past. That gives us a big boost for the final!

  178. I’m more confident HSE that Rochford would have something up his sleeve in the final alright

    I don’t mean to open a can of worms here, but as much as I liked Horan (and he deserves a massive amount of credit if we do win in 3 weeks) we really didn’t help ourselves tactically or on the line in 2012/13. I won’t even go into that farce in 2006

  179. Credit has to be given to County Board on this one. They had an issue that wasnt of their own making but rather a result of how fixtures turned out and got it sorted relatively quickly. No big drama was made and no conflict between board or team occured, nothing to see hear, move on.

    HSE I would agree with your last comment. Everything may go smoothly and we still might loose but I agree that we have now given ourselves the best possible opportunity and have a manager who studies the opposition and is not afraid to make changes to counteract their strengths.

  180. In terms of poor tactical decisions you can go back to 1997, where we absolutely threw away the AI Final through the side-line not reacting to what Maurice Fitzgerald was doing to us. The 1999 Semi against Cork was lost when we didn’t react quickly or anticipate Cork bringing one of their full forwards out to midfield.

    I have faith in the current management that a team that beats us will be genuinely better than us and that we will not be found wanting on the tactical front.

  181. Yeah mayomad, Ciaran and Six Points Up, we seen last year that we just booted the ball into Aidan O’Shea and hoped for the best while this year against Tyrone, Alan Dillon started to increase the quality of ball played into our full-forward line.

    In 2014 we seen Donaghy almost left to his own devices and cause havoc while this year against Tipp, Barry Moran was used to counter the opposition’s aerial threat.

    Again as we said we might still not be good enough but we’ll be giving ourselves the best chance to win it anyway!

  182. congratulations to martin breheny , to earn money for the steaming piles of dung he produces regularly for the Irish independent is surely some achievement

  183. and give me kerry on a plate in final , let them beat the dubs for us and come into the final as hot favourites , if we cant motivate ourselves to take kerry down then we might as well give up, they are not as good as dublin and so thats who i want to win, they also give up as many finals as they win , maybe not against us but they are the team i’d like to beat in a final

  184. With all due respect to both gamechanger,and Martin the dub,who are always fair and give us a good mention, I believe that while Dublin may have slipped very slightly, Kerry has not brought any new players through for a while , so I think it will be Dublin we will face in the final, we wont fear either of them we drew with both of them over the last two years, and I believe we have improved our panel since

  185. This was always going to be a difficult decision for the county board. It is impossible to please everyone. However, they did man up, face a difficult decision and make a decision. It won’t please everyone and will create other issues that will need to be dealt with in terms of scheduling in late September/ early October.
    However, in terms of the greater good, I believe that they have done the right thing.

    With every difficult decision, there is something to be learned. We all know that the inter county championship structure plays havoc with county championships and that there must be a better way to do it. What I would suggest is that those of us who are concerned about this (and that includes the vast majority here), puts our collective ideas together for addressing the issue within the county in future years and find a way to present these ideas in some sort of advisory capacity to our county board.

    There are a lot of good clear thinkers here. Once the dust clears on this year’s championships, I would suggest that we could use WJ’s great facility to bring this forward in such a positive manner. I have no problem in taking a role in pulling this together, but I’m sure that there are many others here who would do it too.

    One for the dark evenings, but let’s concentrate on 18th September for now.

    Keep the Faith!

  186. If we were to win Sam then no better team to beat than the Dubs. If Dublin beat Kerry I think they will be virtually impossible to stop. Back to back All Ireland’s is what’s driving them on this year. I would genuinely give us a good chance against Kerry. I definitely think this bunch of warriors from Mayo are going to leave no stone unturned to land Sam this time.
    Maigh Eo Abu

  187. I really can’t decide on this weekend’s game.

    I’ve always held the notion that it is incredibly hard to win back to back All-Ireland’s.
    Only Kerry have done it since 1990.
    So by that rationale I’d rather face the Dub’s. But they are without doubt the best team in the country right now, although with a slightly dodgy full back line (which I think Kerry will test fully on Sunday).

    A Kerry team that have just beaten Dublin will be hard to stop in a final, but wouldn’t it be sweet to beat them? After all the torture they’ve inflicted on us through the years, beating them would have a kind of poetic beauty to it.
    Imagine if it’s Alan Dillon’s last game for us for example. After suffering at Kerry’s hands in the 2004 and 2006 finals (as well as a QF and 2 SF’s), what a way it would be to walk off into the sunset.
    Kerry are not the Kerry of old and I think we’re probably better set up to match them than the Dub’s.

    So, 51% of me wants Kery, 49% the Dub’s!

  188. Rogermelia
    That seems to be a little bit of a paradox, Kerry are not as good as Dublin so you want them to win,, surely if Kerry beat Dublin it means they are indeed better than them ?? Only slagging,, I hear you and indeed I agree with your logic as I have said before if Kerry manage to pull off some kind of hat trick and catch the Dubs next Sunday then I feel they will have spent all their money at the souvenir shop on the way into the Park..

    Beating this Dublin team is I’m sure pretty much all they have focused on since the 21st of September 2015 and such tight attention to a given event will result in them absolutely spilling their guts in this Semi Final. There are four or five players who have at most 150 minuted of football to play in Croke Park and I think their drive and leadership will inspire all and just might be enough to steal it. Dublin have a fabulous team and whilst I don’t like losing to them I do admire their football and its far more wounding for me to lose to a team like Donegal or Tyrone, at least the dubs will beat you with skill and not tactics to nullify it.

    Delighted your lads have been taken out of unnecessary harms way by that no brainier of a decision to postpone those games. I’d have hated to have ye blame a lack of a player when we meet on the 18th?? Good luck for now !!

  189. Ok I’m just going to throw this out there… I’m hoping that as many Mayo supporters as possible will get their hands on tickets for the final, a difficult task if the Dubs are involved.

    So anyone who already has their ticket in the bag, please keep an eye out for additional tickets and put me at the top of yer list as a potential recipient 🙂 In return I promise to roar until I’m hoarse on the day!!

  190. Does anyone know what is the story with Martin the Dub. Hope we have not said or did anything to offend him. I don’t think we have heard anything from him since the league. Hope all is Well Martin.

  191. Its a difficult one, Dublin are unquestionably a better team then Kerry but do they have the same drive this year as last year when the sh!t really hits the fan? I also think we play better when mcloughlin is playing sweeper which might not happen if we played Kerry.

    Either way there’ll be no holding back this weekend, both teams will have to show their full hand. This can only be a good thing for us.

  192. One of ye asked when did 4 weeks make a difference, the obvious one was Kerry 2004 when they dug into some heavy weights which stood to them in the final. I think the extra weeks offers the team a small advantage and every few inches counts. Wasn’t for calling them off based on short communication window but relieved now that they are. Management will make use of the time even just to analyse with the players what’s working well and what isn’t. Game plan starts Monday when we know who our opponents are. Be good to get 2 or 3 sessions in before then. Our opponents won’t be able to train properly till the following Wednesday.

  193. I absolutely believe that Dublin will win on Sunday, I have seen nothing in Kerry to show improvement from last years final. While the Dubs have not looked as good as the were in 2015, especially in defence, I cannot see how Kerry will test that relative weakness.

    Because of this I would much rather Kerry to win, because it would mean them raising their game to a level not shown previously and they would not be able to do it for two consecutive matches.

  194. Voted against calling them off, but I won’t be going down to picket the County Board! Think that statement showed a good deal of flexibility, which has been the hallmark of the County Board over the last year.

    @Sinead37, was just about to post that Ed Coughlan article in De Paper. It’s very good and this guy was a key part of our improvement in fitness/conditioning during the Horan era. He makes a key point about the great games that have been won along the way counting for nothing at the elite level. It’s a great insight into how modern scientific managements approach the business of competition. A couple of paragraph are, I think, worth reproducing here:

    “Winning ugly is defined as the capacity to do enough. To be ruthless. No doubt, be spectacular if the moment presents itself, but not at the expense of the result.

    Winning ugly is a gift that keeps on giving. First, you get the satisfaction of the win. It also provides you with a blueprint for the content of your next few training sessions. Next, it gives your players plenty of motivation to focus their efforts in those hours of training they inhabit away from everybody else. Finally, and possibly most importantly, in the rarefied atmosphere of where medals are won or lost, it keeps your next opponent guessing”.

  195. Good decision by cb.wouldn’t be a fan of a few of there decisions in the past but honestly think there learning and listening of late.
    Mayo football is improving year after year and we are in a good place lately.
    We have reached a lot of finals this year and if we can keep improving and work together then what more can anyone ask for.
    Mayo football isn’t quite there yet but we are not far off.
    As Andy said we’re in this together.
    Now let’s bring the house down the 18th

  196. Club players are Mayo men too,if they would prefer a county title over the county team winning Sam then that’s a personal choice, but, I played myself for a club and would gladly have games pushed back to allow the team chance to win. It’s not as though our best clubs are covering us in glory either, look at what happened in March. 3 finals 3 losses.
    If a club player has the mindset that his club is more important than the team that represents Mayo then you can see how a county player could get special attention in the games that were due to be played next weekend. Ger caff was the perfect choice to deliver the message
    Well done to county board and mayo management on getting this 100% right.

  197. @Catcol

    “Winning ugly is defined as the capacity to do enough. To be ruthless. No doubt, be spectacular if the moment presents itself, but not at the expense of the result.
    Winning ugly is a gift that keeps on giving. First, you get the satisfaction of the win. It also provides you with a blueprint for the content of your next few training sessions. Next, it gives your players plenty of motivation to focus their efforts in those hours of training they inhabit away from everybody else. Finally, and possibly most importantly, in the rarefied atmosphere of where medals are won or lost, it keeps your next opponent guessing”

    These are exactly the type of gurus that are the scourge of the GAA nowadays. One thing that can always be said about Mayo is they have a tradition of playing the game (most of the time) the way we want to see it played. This notion that there is some merit in moulding players into performing cyborgs is a depressing trend. I’m absolutely convinced COC has a lot more in him if he played more off the cuff but i feel his performance are becoming increasingly mechanical – not ineffect but constrained by “the plan”. There is far too much talk nowadays about tactics – the bottom line is the team with the best players generally wins the game and the day that generalisation isn’t true is a sad one.

    I used to pay the admission fee alone to watch Kieran McDonald play – many may say the self indulgence of him and his ilk is the reason Mayo don’t have an All Ireland for 65 years. Kevin O’Neill was another joy to watch. These ridiculous dictates handed down by psuedo pyschologists would make you cringe.

    The Ed Coughlans of this world would have convinced Kieran Mc that he ought to have played the percentages and recycled that ball in the last minute against the Dubs in 2006 – what if he did and they still got the point – we would have been robbed of one of the great GAA football memories of the last decade. Or Maurice fitz hitting the sideline ball down in Thurles against the Dubs – definitely the wrong decision the statisticians would have told you. Raw, untamed talent is something these so called gurus are uneasy about. They don’t trust it because it can’t be explained in a mental strength monologue.

    The most depressing article I read all year was Kieran McGeeney saying any player with average ability and good athleticism and total commitment can make it all the way to the top in our game. Talent for McGeeney is something that is incidental to your inclusion in his teams, it’s not necessarily going to get you there. It is at least some relief to see Geezer hasn’t quite hit the heights in his managerial career yet with this mindset.

    No offence Catcol – and I’m not saying that properly prepared, well drilled teams with solild mindset is not important but when they go to this level of snake oil salesmanship it needs to be called out for what it is. If Mayo win the final ugly so be it – and no one will begrudge you – but never let it be an aspiration or we might as well all pack it in.

  198. Surprised at people saying Dublin don’t look as good as 2015

    They still have their biggest two matches of the year to go! Many years these are the only two decent opposition they will face all Championship, in these 2 matches! So people are definitely jumping to conclusions prematurely

    At this stage last year they played absolutely no-one of note. This year they discounted of a Donegal side who have been a top 4 side for the last few years in second gear. They sure as hell did a much more emphatic job of beating a tricky Westmeath than we did in fairness

    Lets judge them in a few weeks lads, or Sunday if they are beaten!

  199. “let them beat the dubs for us and come into the final as hot favourites”

    The only way kerry would be hot favoutires would be if they absolutely blew Dublin away. Highly unlikely, if they win it’ll be a very close result you can be 99.9% sure of that!

    I’d say the betting would be very close in the final with Kerry as slight favourites, and much more talking up our chances. If Dublin win they could be as short as 2/5 again tbh, and no-one giving us a hope!

  200. Right decision at this time, however the GAA as an organisation really need to sort out the whole Club / Underage / County fixture year once and for all. It’s the one aspect that really proves the GAA is amateur. People tend to forget that we only have a county team because of Clubs, the GAA risk losing the life-blood of the association in the long run if they continue with a joke of a haphazard calendar that pro-longs an inter-county championship 100% longer than it needs to be and it’s the clubs that suffer most.

    People tend to forget, that for the 36 that are on the Mayo senior squad, there are at least 20+ players with real ambitions and prospects of making the squad down the line who are out of the underage system and they have only the club platform to make their case, yet their season is totally in the air. On the other side you could argue that there are a few Mitchels players who missed out of the Mayo squad because they were successful last year because we have the ridiculous system that plays the club semi and final in a different year!!

    On a related note, other than Mayo’s involvement in this years championship, I honestly don’t think I have watched more than 2 other games all year…..and I’m a committed Gaa fan. If Mayo went on a low cycle run for a couple of years, I could see myself losing interest bar a passing one like I have say for the Pro12 Rugby. I think a healthy interest in the league early rounds is actually masking a complete apathy. They need to sort the whole thing out and urgently

  201. If we win will be hard for the club players not to celebrate the victory as it is a lifetime ambition for All Mayo people. Especially with a large number of club footballers living outside the county, we don’t give our club players enough respect for the personal sacrifices they make to keep play for their home place while they have the heath to do it. Cant help put feel a bit hard done not by the decision but the short notice of the announcement. Summer gone waiting for these championship games, Eating right, drinking water. Can’t book a holiday for fear you’ll miss a championship game the missus going off the head.

    But it is a privilaged/unique position we are in and as Andy said we are all in this togeather#4nrjagerbombsanda7upsplease

  202. Great decision that next weekend’s matches has been postponed. It was a very difficult decision for the County Board to make and one that they did not make lightly. Everybody in Mayo is in this together and want the best for both club and county team. While our success has not been great in ALL Ireland finals in 2016, This will be our 6th All Ireland final this year between club and county maybe a 7th with the ladies which is absolutely tremendous. We are doing a lot of things right at club and county level in Mayo.
    Let’s keep it going

  203. @cantini – Ed Coughlan was a critical part of the Horan set up – he’s not some ‘guru’ that is working in an ivory tower. Coughlan is writing about the reality of elite sport and about ways of winning that have been part of the Kerry mentality for decades and, more recently part of the Donegal and Dublin approach. Tyrone ‘won ugly’ in 03 (they had been chronic ‘losers’), and went on to play brilliantly after that. Man United under Ferguson eventually won the league in the 90s and by God they stumbled to it. But after that…need I say more?

    it may well be that our approach this year will turn out to be no more successful at the ultimate stage than others. But trying something different, being more pragmatic, being less predictable, and mentally more ruthless, is to my mind the way to go. If it erases the trauma of ’04, ’06, ’12 and ’13, I won’t be complaining.

  204. I’m delighted calling off the club games. We want our squad to be free of injuries and making the most of the additional week. I remember booking our wedding venue and honeymoon all revolved around the 18th of September this year. We arrive back in Dublin on the Saturday and Sunday is the game. I’m that confident that our boys can bring sam across the shannon. MAIGH EO ABU

  205. Dublin or Kerry – win or lose – one person who requires special acclaim is our Willie Joe! On holidays with his family in a sunny corner of Europe and still able to moderate a blog like this that, lets be honest, can get cranky at times! Hats off to you W.J. and barman ‘another pint of ‘ouzo’ for that man with the laptop’!
    Glad this business is over. Now on to better things.

  206. The approach Mayo are taking this year is 100 percent the correct one. The easiest thing to do was to keep playing the same off the cuff running game that brings a certain degree of success but ultimately doest work against the best teams. Playing more defensively and to a more rigid system may not be as attractive on the eye but is necessary in elite sports. The team over the past 6 years is probably Mayos best ever football team, it just happens to come against probably one of Gaelic footballs best ever teams in Dublin. I think everyone would agree (begrudgingly) that on paper, man of man Dublin are the better side, thats where tactics, plans and systems are required to bridge the gap. Over the past few years v Dublin Mayo have went in playing their own game expecting to peak on the day. This hasnt worked and will prob never work against Dublin.

    This time around we have a management team who will study the opposition, come up with match ups and tactics to nullify their strengths giving us our best ever chance of success, thats the only way Mayo will win. I expect Dublin to beat Kerry, I also expect the final to be a cagey, defensive display which will go down to the wire. Think more McHale park in Feb than the two games played last year.

  207. Agreed Mayomad, you summed it up well there. I remember reading an article after the Dublin league game in Castlebar, its headline was….”Mayo lost the battle, but they are getting ready for war”. That headline has stuck in my head all year, and after we bet Tyrone, I fully beileved in it. I think Rochford has being planning for war on September 18th all year. We’ve got to where most of us thought we’d be at the start of the year, granted we’ve gone through the back roads and avoided the motorway, but we’re still on course. I feel he suspects to play Dublin in the final, and something completely different to what we’ve done all year will be unveiled. What that’ll be I don’t know, but thats the beauty off it.

  208. Kerry will be busting to win because:
    1. Dublin have beaten them in their last 3 championship outings, and in the league final. So 3 times when silverware was on the line Kerry have lost! That will be killing them and its the end of Eamon Fitz if they lose
    2. Kerry will feel (as does 85% of the country) that this is the final, beat the Dubs and they have one hand and four fingers of the other hand on the “cannister”. Sure they only have to post it in against Mayo in finals as one Kerry woman said to me in 2006 before the match

  209. It’ll be four weeks since Kerry’s last game against Clare when they play Dublin this weekend, so for us it’ll be interesting to see how sharp they look, especially early in the game, as this is what we face before we play our next game, a four week layoff.

  210. @Juan..Funny you mentioned that article as I remember clearly reading it after the game and came across it this morning..Who would have predicted way back on a dismal February evening in Mchale Pk that that headline would be almost prophetic..

  211. Juan, I remember that article and leaving McHale park on that cold wet night with a renewed optimism that this year a different approach would be employed. That optimism did take some severe knocks against Galway and a lesser extent Westmeath. A texter to Off The Ball earlier in the week brought it back in mind by saying Mayo have been setting up and playing Dublin all year. I believe this is true, playing that way doesnt look effective v poorer opposition but against Dublin it is the way to success.

    Jim McGuiness in 2014 identified a fault in the Dublin setup early in the year. He set Donegal up specifically to exploit that fault. They didnt look fantastic up to that semi final but on the day they were ruthless. Thats what planning and reading your opposition can do. If not for one second of lunacy by Durcan in the final they would have won the AI.

    Has Rochford identified a strategy to play Dublin and this is what we have been building up to? Im begining to think that might actually be true. Will it work? We will know at 5pm on the 18th

  212. Overall on balance its probably a good thing the games were postponed, in the short term, and especially if you only care about the county team and nothing else.

    However it should not have come to this. My facebook feed contained a big rant from a local senior club player today talking about how poorly treated they have been in making this decision. Referenced how none of the club footballers in Mayo could even enjoy last weekends game v Tipperary because of preparation for next weekends crunch club games. One of their players was flying back from america especially for the game and other players who work weekends had booked it off in anticipation of playing championship. If players continue to be treated like shit, participation rates in club football in Mayo will drop off and the senior county team will ultimately suffer.

    You cant even book a weekend away with the missus now from April to September if you are a Mayo club footballer. Not saying the games should have been played this weekend, but they should have never been fixed in the first place.

    Also they could have played a round of club league games without the county players at least this weekend instead??
    There’s 4 rounds of the league remaining to be played in the muck and shite before christmas.

    In reality most fans here on this forum wont even care about this, I saw one person writing above that club players wont even care about the club championships after 18th Sept if mayo win. Obviously that person never kicked a ball at club level, or indeed set foot inside a club ground to come out with something like that.
    Its a serious GAA problem, especially in successful counties like us and while this decision hopefully improves Mayos chances, it needs to be addressed in the long term.

  213. Mac, would thoroughly agree with you. Club players have been treated poorly for a long time now in alot of counties. I do think the CB try to accommodate the clubs and they do play championship inbetween county games but I agree alot more could be done. We are not the worst mind, Donegal play their entire club competition after the county in knocked out over a couple of weekends. Dublin play a straight knock out with only one round played back in April (hard to believe but there are club players in Dublin including Alan Brogan who have had no championship football to look forward too since April).

    The only way to combat this is a total restructure of the football calender with dedicated intercounty and club weekends with a specified off season.

  214. Would honestly prefer to meet dublin . Think our new structure of Kevin mc back would prove better than big barry back I front of Donaghy . .

  215. Guys saying this is a fans v club players thing aren’t really accurate. Im a club player, and I wanted the games off – 100%. It’s a few weeks, Jesus Christ like, if you cant put back your game for the sake of the county team winning SAM then we don’t deserve to be winning it, plain and simple.
    We love to hear about how great we are as fans, well here is the chance to prove it for every club player who follows the county team, and a noticeable amount are turning their noses up. If we want our team to keep going year after year trying to win the all Ireland, then we need to be willing to do the same ourselves. It cant be a one way street all the time.

    I see a mayo club player complaining in the mayo news about it. Yet his explanation goes on to state that he understands the players need this time, but that his issue is that two days before they were told it was going ahead, and now they are told different. Well frankly, so what? Is 48 hours that big a deal that he wouldn’t row in behind his several club men in the county team? Personally Id take that mild annoyance every day and twice on sundays if it helped mayo win the all Ireland. We have to be willing to play our part. Being a little late isn’t an issue.

  216. Declaration of war – I like it. Tactics in my day of playing football (a long time ago) was ‘tog out’. A bit more to it now. Analysis of styles of play. Who runs where? How do we block him? How do we wind up our opponent? How far will the ref let us go? How do we stop the supply of ball? How do we stop the runner? Which back lacks confidence? How do you draw the foul? Speed of passing. Fitness. Strength. Coaching of skills (at underage level). How do you break the line? Tough being a manager now.

  217. @Juan, Regina and mayomad, there must be something in the air today. I left my car into the garage to get something fixed today and when I collected it just there now, what was up on the passenger seat but the match programme from that Mayo v Dublin game in the League! I was wondering where the hell that came out of for a while. It must have been back under the seat or something like that! It was a funny one…..

  218. Not sure if this has been posted already. Interview in de paper with Tony McEntee, before the semi. Some interesting stuff here and from it I can gauge that McEntee casts and has cast a cold eye on matters Mayo, while still providing an incisive input:

  219. I’ve a senior club championship medal. I’d swap it in a heartbeat to see Mayo win the All Ireland. And if I’d more I’d throw them in too!!:)

    People are different but I would say the majority of people in Mayo at this point would love nothing more than see Sam back home.

  220. For anyone who hasn’t seen the article from February the ending is something like this.
    “They could see their soldiers were getting ready for war.And hey who knows maybe come September they won’t fall this time.Maybe this time they’ll be ready for an ambush.The plotting starts now..”
    HSE That was a crazy coincidence..

  221. We actually handled Dublin quite well that day despite our injuries. We played a double sweeper as I remember, Shane Nally and a midfielder dropping deep. Shane Nally was excellent I thought. Agree with the maestro, I no longer play club football but I am still involved and I haven’t met anyone who didn’t agree postponing the games was the right thing to do and if they did they weren’t saying it!
    As I said I think we are better suited to play Dublin with Kevin Mac as sweeper and I’m sure Rochie has been planning for Dublin all year,

  222. It’ll take a heroic effort one way or the other but I too if pushed would fancy a crack at the dubs. However my gut feeling says it’ll be Mayo v Kerry. Whoever it is hope they look class on Sunday!

    This might be a massive curveball but I wonder would management ever consider starting Andy on the bench and giving him last 25 mins when it might have opened up and legs are tiring OR do a Peter Canavan start-off-return.

    Andy doesn’t appear to have 70 in him. He looked very good against Tipp but was far less effective after HT. The next day he’ll find the marking tighter, tougher etc.

    Could see the bird thrown up front too…

    Our form might be very patchy for sure but we are less predictable and as such a bit harder to prepare for.

  223. Hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday, and that you are refreshed for the last big push, absolutely my favourite part of Europe, love the food, and the red wine far far to much

  224. @HSE, that is a funny one alright!! Hopefully the next time your car goes into the garage you’ll have a “Mayo All Ireland Champions 2016” sticker om the back window!!!.

  225. Well done WJ hope you had a great holiday. Coming back through Gatwick is enough to spoil any holiday so hopefully u didn’t have as long getting through there as I did earlier in the summer. Talking of earlier in the summer we seem to have somehow found our way through to where we want to be. The great thing is that nobody knows where Mayo are at in terms of form etc. So whoever comes out of this Sunday will have no clue as to what Mayo will bring in the final. I like it as it has the feel of 96 about it and hopefully this time we can see it through. Ramble over

  226. well done to mayo team on sunday .Alan dillon played in the minor final against down in 1999, at 15 years of age (D.O.B.28/09/1983 AS IN PROGRAMME ON SUNDAY).I dont think many people realise that.What a great achivement to be lining out in another senior final 17 years later.He surely deserves a winners medal. I think MAYO can win it this time.

  227. The gaa are proposing a group format after provincial championship this clearly won’t help club matters!

    In all fairness to county board the correct decision was made.there was a hullabaloo made when a round of league or championship games was pushed backs week last year or year before because of junior team in Connacht that was a wrong decision at that time but in the interests of what’s really at matter correct decision taken!

    Of course you have to understand where the club player is coming from and maybe 2 rounds of senior league as starred games could be fitted in between now and final.

    Now I think it high time people moved on from the issue

  228. Best decision but a difficult one for all involved I am sure. Our job is to get ticket promises outside the county this week. We have a head start and we should be concentrating it this first. Some people rooting for Kerry to beat the Dubs Be careful what you wish for. Kerry are a decent price at PP in my opinion. Really funny the points made about drunken club players playing championship the week after the AI final IF WE Win. Keep the funny stuff coming guys.

  229. I can’t believe people are still heaping praise on our super efficient Co. Board. We were put in this mess because of the Co. board. Games should not have been fixed for this weekend if mayo beat Tipp…….simple as that!!

    Club players are not giving out about games not going ahead…’s the manner in which they and their clubs are treated. I know of 3 players from 2 different clubs that had their flights booked (majority out of their own pocket) to come home tonight so they can train Friday and play club championship Sunday! That’s hardly fair. This whole situation could have been averted if the co. board went about things right in the first place… stop heaping praise on them.

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