The countdown continues

The Kerry team has already been named (well, a Kerry team has been named) and ours isn’t set to appear until some time tomorrow. So there’s nothing for it but to plough through the mounting quantities of media coverage as Sunday approaches.

Ian O’Riordan in the Irish Times reckons that James Horan’s intention is to name an unchanged team but that he’s giving Trevor Mortimer every chance to prove his fitness, hence the delay in releasing details of the starting fifteen. The possibility that we will  field the same team as for the Cork game has also been mooted by the lads on gaaboard.com and it chimes with what I’ve been hearing too. We just have to wait ’till tomorrow to know for sure, I guess.

In the Indo, Kieran McCarthy has an interview with former Armagh player Enda McNulty who talks at length about how Mayo need to prepare mentally for Sunday’s challenge. I think he right and, just to be sure, I’m busily preparing mentally about how best to go utterly mental as soon as the final whistle blows.

In the same paper, Martin Breheny has a piece about their great forward line and our great backline and how something’s gotta give on Sunday.

Terry Reilly in the Examiner has an article about the dreaded ‘h’ word where a certain politician drags himself away from his busy schedule to regale the world about hypes past.

Then there’s Liam McHale over on Hogan Stand saying that we should start Ronan McGarrity while Ewan McKenna in his blog on the Eircom SportsHub reckons that it’s Mayo fans who are to the forefront in deriding the county’s achievements. Both are well wide of the mark in their opinions, I reckon.

Raising the tone several notches, An Spailpín has a lovely, thoughtful piece about Sunday’s match and what it might hold for us.

Then, just in case you were getting too comfortable, here’s some yerra-ing from the Kerryman about how they’re viewing the contest down there.

That’s the lot for now but I guess, like autumn leaves, there’ll be another bagful of the stuff to sweep up tomorrow. I’m not sure that my early warning about Sunday’s weather will prove to be correct (current forecasts would suggest that the day could be okay) but we got our timing spot-on for the Reek yesterday, as the photo opposite confirms (double-click on it for a higher res version). The sense of achievement in reaching the summit once again (this time in the company of my eldest girl who, at the age of ten, galloped up it) more than compensated for any feelings of physical weariness. Hopefully the lads will have the same complaint come Sunday evening.

22 thoughts on “The countdown continues

  1. Lovely picture WJ. What a beautiful county we live in. It is a great feeling alright to reach the top!

  2. beautyful wj, wish i was there.i keep telling my armagh gang ill take them up there,i think theyll be impressed.tell me wj. is this line that we only beat A CORK TEAM RIDDLED WITH INJURIES AND SELF DOUBT being repeated for ours or for kerrys behalf. its a little overused at this point

  3. I dont think that the Kerry management would be happy with the comments in the Kerryman. Should be like a red rag to a bull.

    I thought Martin Breheny’s article was very good, the national papers usually are much more balanaced and intelligent than what passes for journalism on RTE.

  4. I think it’s all better for the mind games. If Kerry tell themselves that the only reason Mayo beat Cork was because Cork was depleted then so be it. In fact that’s good.

    In their minds we beat Cork but didn’t they beat a better Cork team so the logic is they can beat us.

    No harm in that but it’s a bit like the logic of Team A beats Team B by 3 points and Tean B beats Team C by 3 points then Team A will beat Team C by 6 points.

    Thankfully sport doesn’t work like that !!

  5. Jesus I am worn out trawling around for motivational fodder. This one is from the Kerry site on Hogan Stand. They are already counting the All Stars. Better not tell the Kildare lads! See below.

    “Paddy1.2.3.
    County: Kerry
    Posts: 2

    1002362
    Its that time again, who are in with the best shout of an All Star? Obviously things will change after semi final and Final if we get there. But I think the 2 O’Sullivan’s, Cooper, O’Se and Sheehan all have a great chance for an All Star, along with player of the year.”

    I nearly forgot that they also have lined up player of the year as well. Sigh….

  6. Jesus you cant beat the kerrymen. Hopefully loose talk like that will be what they are thinking.
    Counting down the days. Cant wait now. Tear into them boys. Forget about everything else.

    WJ im looking for a swop for some tickets. Can i post some details?

  7. Just after listening to o se and Hayes on newstalk and credit to the pair of them they gave a fair assessment of Mayos endeavors this yr considering the London game, bit of a u turn by Hayes just proves that he would say anything just to be controversial and he was at it again getting the digs in on Galvin tonight saying he’s a distraction to the Kerry team.
    Just another point, how hard is it to watch the soccer when the lads are flying in the championship no comparison, Gaa, the best.
    Great pic of the summit of the reek W.J although i can’t see yr feet in the pic to see if you did it in yr bare feet 😉 C’mon Mayo..

  8. Hitting the road tomorrow for the capital, bringing the clan for the weekend. the young lad will enter croker for the first time, i hope iv picked a good day to bring him! its a long way from meath in 88 when i made my croker dayboo. I have to say wj iv enjoyed reading your site this past few weeks, is this your sites 1st al semi final? Some great posts ,all controlled and well written nobody losing the run of themselves, hopefully the team is as well focused, which i believe they are. I guarntee you we will be in this game with 15 min to go and then the support will be needed from the stands. remember everything else is out of our control except for that, raise the noise level and our mayo men will rise with it. see ye in croker sons and daughters of mayo..

  9. jeez wj you must be in your glory with being in our first semi since you started your blog.I would disagree with you about enda mcevoys blog as I think he is pretty close to the truth but for me the most enjoyable reads are from our own An spailpin fanach.

  10. maigheo; your spot on about mcevoys blog and as for An spailpin fanach,if it dosent get us up for it,nothing will. this weekend the west will awake.{hope the sheep steelers bring a good crowd aswell}

  11. seven down after 20mins……four up in injury time….O’sheas ruling midfield….Kerry forwards running riot…..1/2 five, Mayo smiling…….The nocturnal sub-conscious meanderings of my mind are driving me crazy!

  12. Christy O Conner in today’s Independent has a nice piece about us. However having we being saying the same for years on this site. Great to see the message spreading.

  13. O’Connor’s piece (here) is very good and hit on the head the point that Ewan McKenna was perhaps trying to make in his but either wasn’t able to or couldn’t bring himself to. Mayo supporters don’t need lectures from anyone about cherishing our lads’ achievements – we know ourselves how many great days successive Mayo sides have given us down the years and how, no matter how many times we get knocked down, we’re always back knocking on the door again. It’d be very easy for us to lie down after ‘one defeat too many’ but that’s the road that the likes of Cavan, Offaly and others have taken and I’d far prefer the road we’re travelling on. Sure, we risk the pain of defeat once more but with the risk comes the possibility that one day we’ll make it. I’d take any number of losses as long as that possibility remains there.

    Keith Duggan had a wonderful article in the Irish Times the week after we lost the 2004 final (which they reprinted word for word after 2006) saying to those from other counties that Mayo people didn’t want their sympathy because for most counties we’d be back beating them again soon enough. I remember this as a wonderful clarion call when we really needed it and it was a great antidote to the tsunami of patronising and belittling crap coming at us from every other quarter at that time.

  14. I remember Duggans piece WJ. The man knows Mayo and its people and it comes across in his writing. I see Roche had a piece in the Herald last night with quotes from Kevin O Neill. A change from the comedy act himself and McKeon normally do about us. Where is he from again? Did somebody say Westmeath?

  15. I haven’t seen that piece by Frank Roche yet, ontheroad, it’s not on their website as yet and I can’t recall the last time I shelled out any money for that august publication. Frank is a native of Westmeath alright.

  16. Just looked at Christy O Conners piece again and I know I am nit picking but I believe it important. Christy writes thus

    “When Down beat Mayo in the 1999 and 2005 All-Ireland minor finals, Mayo had to accept the historical logic that Down don’t lose All-Ireland finals at Croke Park while Mayo can’t win there in similar circumstances.”

    Christy writes about how others perceive us, tries to defend us and then commits a cardinal error with the above lines. A team called Mayo beat Down in the 1966 All Ireland Minor final in Croke Park. Down do lose finals and in Croker as well. Mayo also win them and also against Down. In addition Mayo walloped Down in the 1970 League final in Croke Park to boot.

    The minors of 1966 contained Eugene Rooney, Seamus O Dowd, Tom Fitzgerald, Des Griffith, Jim Smyth and Sean Kilbride. Down had Brendan Sloan, Colm McAlarney,John Purdy,Micky Cole,Peter Rooney,James Morgan.

    In 1967 Mayo won the All Ireland U21 final. Rooney,O Dowd, Fitzgerald,Griffith,Smyth and John Clark from Ballina a minor sub a year earlier were now U21 winners.

    In 1968 Sloan, McAlarney,Purdy,Cole,and Rooney won All Ireland medal’s with Down seniors, Morgan was a sub. In 1969 we were to win our last Connacht title until 1981. Dammed if we let that happen again. That concludes today’s history class.

  17. Great piece by O’Connor. Nice to see not every journalist simply regurgitates tired old cliches and soundbites when it comes to Mayo football.
    I’ll bow to your historical knowledge there ontheroad! But a good article all the same

  18. Agreed Dan, nit picking I said, O Connor is the good guy as I alluded to in my earlier post, I am filling in time on a wet day, three kids and waiting for Sunday.

  19. You do the same RogerMilla. I enjoy the banter and debate. And three cheers for the man who made it possible …Willie Joe. Back to scrubbing a burned pot now.

  20. WJ, thanks for making it so easy for us to follow the buildup to the game. Your efforts are appreciated greatly! Roll on Sunday!

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