So then, less than 24 hours to go now until we make our first appearance in the 2015 championship – this time tomorrow there should be skin and hair flying at Pearse Stadium as the initial calling cards are left by both teams after the ball is thrown in at 4pm.
We’ve had all the feature pieces, we’ve had the team news, we’ve had all the previews – tomorrow comes the match itself, with the story of this particular Galway/Mayo contest to be revealed in real time at Salthill tomorrow afternoon. Nobody knows at this juncture what that story is going to read like but there’s not long now – just one more sleep – before we get to find out.
Although this week’s build-up to the match has been pretty low key, I’ve certainly enjoyed it and you can sense the air of anticipation building on each successive day. For me at any rate, tomorrow feels like a bit of a trip into the unknown because even though there’s significant continuity from last year in terms of the team chosen, it’s a new management team on the sideline for a championship game for the first time since 2011 and – as Darragh Ó Sé alluded to the other day – we’ve yet to see what Noel and Pat can really bring to the party in terms of pushing the team to a higher level.
That question will, for good or ill, be answered (at least to some degree) tomorrow. Less than 24 hours out from throw-in, I’m optimistic about what we’ll see – this particular leopard finds it hard to change his spots – and I’m hoping that tomorrow will see us announce once again that our credentials to challenge for honours at highest level remain undimmed.
I’m still up in the capital today and won’t be hitting the road till the morning but I do intend to do so early, as I have to swing by Spiddal first before heading into Salthill. Like most of the rest of you, I suspect, I’m aiming to get to the ground early in the afternoon and to be well settled in before battle commences.
In terms of match reports and stuff, I’ll be doing the usual post-match audio immediately following the full-time whistle but the written match report here on the site won’t appear till later on, as I won’t be heading back eastwards immediately after the game. It’ll get there at some point, though, as I’m hoping the lads will too once the action starts tomorrow.