This year’s Mayo GAA Convention takes place next Tuesday night (December 7th) in that well-known hotspot Julian’s of Midfield where throw-in (weather permitting, I suppose) is scheduled for 7 pm. The main news story surrounding the Convention is normally Seán Feeney’s annual report and, on the basis of previous years, we’ve come to expect performances akin to this from the County Secretary.
This year (understandably enough, I guess) Seán’s report is far more downbeat, with very little in the way of headlines to report. Hogan Stand have already picked up on the main points in the report so there’s little point in repeating them here. What he says about our ‘spinal’ problems is obviously correct but I’m not sure that it’s true to say that this was a problem common to the Maughan II and Johnno II eras. It was certainly the main deficiency that Johnno needed to sort at the start of 2007 but was a problem that he never really got to grips with. We have to hope that James Horan will fare better in this respect.
One point where I’m at one with the County Sec is where he mentions playing rule changes and makes an interesting proposal in relation to taking frees from the hand. He says that this practice “has had a disastrous effect on the game as very few forwards now kick from the ground”. We only have to look at our own senior players to see how true this is – Andy Moran (who can get the distance but doesn’t have the accuracy) and Aidan Kilcoyne (who has a bit more accuracy but has the same kind of injury record as Robin Van Persie) are the only players we have who can even attempt frees off the ground from distance, with the likes of Conor Mort and Alan Dillon all too frequently dropping frees from the hand into the opposing goalie’s lap. Seán’s proposed solution – which I think is worth considering – is that frees from the hand should be confined to an area between the two forty-five metre lines. That and more red meat in the diet of our freetakers might help improve matters.
In other news, I see that Cora has called for the Mayo ladies’ county board to appoint a new manager pronto. After their disgracefully shambolic stewardship of the ladies county team this year, that’s the least the players deserve from the board, which, somewhat unbelievably, appears to be still in office (but, then again, so is Biffo). It’s heartening to see that, despite the contemptuous treatment she and he colleagues suffered this year, Cora is still willing to line out for the county in 2011 and she believes that if things are properly organised, further All-Ireland glory may not be too far away.
The Strategic Review is continuing apace under Liam Horan’s stewardship and the County Board have now published details of the membership of the various sub-committees. Full details on that are here.
Finally, Liam Horan (the same one – he’s a busy man) is inviting everyone to send in articles and/or photos for the next edition of the Connacht GAA e-mag Into The West. The closing date for doing so is next Tuesday (7th) and for anyone who might be interested, contact details are here.
That’s all for now – back later on with the first guest spot on the site.