Mayo’s second FBD League match takes place this Sunday when we face Sligo IT at Charlestown (throw-in 2 pm). This is likely to be an even tougher match than last Sunday’s as Sligo IT (with Andy Moran among their ranks) have been one of the top-performing third level teams in recent years and will be gearing up for another tilt at the Sigerson next month.
The students inflicted defeat on Johnno in the first outing of his Second Coming this time last year and, with an understrength squad facing pumped-up opposition, it’s not stretching the imagination to envisage a similar outcome on Sunday. We may need to brace ourselves, in other words, for another clutch of those “Students teach Mayo a Lesson” headlines.
A second defeat on the trot wouldn’t please anyone, least of all The Deputy himself bearing in mind what he had to say the other day about how painful he finds reverses of any kind. (And it’s not just marbles either, as Cllr Michelle Mulhearn can testify). Like winning, losing can become a habit and so the sooner we rack up our first win of the year, the better.
That said, the most important thing for now is that the opportunity is taken to experiment on viable options in key positions. I’m not sure this was what happened last weekend – notably with BJP lining out at full-back, Liam O’Malley at centre-back and Peadar Gardiner at midfield – but maybe it was (and will again be next Sunday) just a case of using the 20 or so available players to field any old team in order to fulfill the fixture. If that is the crack, then the FBD really is a non-event from our point of view.