It’s Wednesday and while I know many of you can’t wait ’till the action gets underway on Sunday, we’re already getting kinda wistful that our week on hols down here in the Kingdom is rattling by far too quickly. A full month of this outrageously gorgeous scenery wouldn’t, I reckon, be too long. Instead, we’ll be in the convoy with the Kerry match traffic heading for the capital on Saturday.
The build-up to Sunday is now on in earnest so here’s a flavour of what’s out there on the match at this point. A good place to start, as always, is the Mayo News podcast, where Rob and the lads are joined by Pat Holmes and Shane McGrath of the Irish Daily Mail to preview the big match.
Mike Finnerty has a piece in the Mayo News where he says that Jason Gibbons and Alan Freeman are both “pushing hard for inclusion” in the starting fifteen for Sunday. If they both do line out, then this would surely see Jason start at midfield with Donal Vaughan switching to his more usual wing-back position and Tom Cunniffe reverting to the corner in place of Chris Barrett. Alan would be a straight swap for Andy Moran at full-forward.
I haven’t seen confirmation yet about when we’re due to name the team for Sunday but I assume it’ll be some time tomorrow. Kerry are due to name their side at 8.30pm tomorrow – at least that’s what it says in this week’s Kerryman newspaper, which I bought in Dingle earlier on.
There’s a fair bit of stuff in the dailies and online about the match, including this lot:
In the Irish Independent Colm Keys has a piece on Donie Buckley and Cian O’Neill, while the same writer has some yerra stuff from Eamonn Fitzmaurice about how we’re the most physical team out there. There’s more yerra in yesterday’s Indo too, with Jack O’Connor saying that their forwards are better than ours while yesterday’s edition also has a piece with our S&C guru Ed Coughlan.
The Irish Times, meanwhile, has Darragh Ó Sé’s blokey column in which, after much huffing and puffing, he plumps for his native county to do the business on Sunday. Well, he was hardly going to say anything else, now was he? The same paper also has an interview with former manager John Maughan and with Eamonn Fitzmaurice.
The Irish Examiner has that well-publicised piece with Larry Tompkins who takes a right pop at us, though why his opinion is in any way relevant ahead of this weekend is beyond me, I have to admit. The Score and RTÉ also have that Tompkins story, by the way.
There’s more out there but there’s also alcohol to be drunk so I think I’ll leave it there for now. More nice scenery but also some team news to come tomorrow.