It’s Wednesday and the strangest ever build-up I can recall to a big match involving us continues apace. Sunday’s tragic event has cast a very understandable and rather profound shadow over everything to do with football (and more besides) in the county and it’s just not possible, nor is it appropriate, to continue on as if it’s just a normal week leading up to a big game at the weekend.
From my own point of view, one of the things I’ve been wrestling with is the now traditional pre-match meet-up on Saturday night in Bowe’s pub up here on Fleet Street. The plan, which was coming together by the weekend, was – like last year – to join forces with Club ’51 for it. Planning such an event now, in the light of what happened on Sunday, seems all a bit trite and inconsequential. As a result, I’ve agreed with Club ’51 that, as a mark of respect for Darragh, the event won’t go ahead on this occasion.
You’ll no doubt be aware by now of David Brady’s excellent proposal for a round of applause to ring out in the 13th minute of the game to pay tribute to Darragh by signifying the no.13 jersey that he wore with such distinction at Croke Park in September 2013. #13ForNo13 took off like a rocket on social media last night and it’s an initiative that’s set to be marked by both sets of supporters on Sunday.
Speaking of Club ’51, they’ve put together their usual comprehensive match-day guide, which is really excellent and is here.
A quick mention of today’s coverage, of which there’s quite a bit.
There’s also a feature in the Irish Examiner with Philly McMahon, who has an interesting point to make about how much work is being done over here in the strength and conditioning area compared to professional football clubs across the water. The same paper also has a loads of old balls with Vinny Murphy who says Dublin need to deploy more of the “dark arts” on Sunday. Vinny references all the fouling we did towards the end of the 2012 semi-final but he seems to forget that Dublin paid us back with interest in that same department during the last quarter of the 2013 final so his portrayal of Jim Gavin’s charges as a bunch of naive, pure-as-the-mountain-stream ingenues is more than a bit wide of the mark.
Want some yerra? Well, then, here’s Darragh in the Irish Times, horsing into a preview of Sunday’s match.
Breaking News has a piece extolling our midfield – here.
If all that reading is too much for you, there’s always the Mayo News pre-match podcast, which is available here:
Finally, staying with the Mayo News who reported yesterday that the team is likely to be named after training tonight. I’m not sure if that means the starting team will just be selected tonight or if a public announcement on the team selection will also be made. I suspect it’s only the former – not least given that it could be Saturday before Dublin name their pick – but it could of course be the latter as well and if it is then I’ll post the details here once it happens.
If you want to support the lads in a tangible way, go to the Mayo GAA website (here) and click ‘Play Now’ to contribute to the cause via the Mayo GAA Players Training and Welfare Fund Lotto.