The day before

Connacht final 2014

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.

15 thoughts on “The day before

  1. Can’t wait now. Think we will do the business but expect a real battle

    Where do people reckon is best to park coming from dublin and looking for a relatively speedy exit back to Dublin after?

  2. I too am feeling an increase of anticipation with this one each day. Once again, I’m impressed with the comments and attitude of our lads in the media over last few days, Cillian and Keith spring to mind – a nice measured calmness about them, fully aware of the challenge ahead. If anything, I feel the pressure is on Galway given their recent history with us. I expect us to win but it will be very close.
    I like the team we have named. Andy was chosen for his experience. I don’t think he will start every game but his cool head will help absorb the intensity Galway will bring in the opening half. He won’t be pushed around, that is for sure, and I can see Galway bringing a physicality to it (and rightly so). Looking forward to seeing how Diarmuid does and what positions Chris and Tom Cunnife take. I can see Leeroy having a big game.
    Come on Mayo!!!

  3. Mayo to dominate middle and win by 6-10 pts.

    Can’t see where Galway going to win enough ball to get close to Mayo if Mayo turn up

  4. Cod,theres a park n ride service from Galway Airport(claregalway exit off motorway).

  5. My analysis of areas of team versus 2014 what has changed.
    Goalkeeping – Taller better under high ball.
    Full back line – two good footballers n a good stopper in Keane. Only weakness would be no tall player.
    Half back – Added bit of extra speed n impact in Cunniffe. Only weakness no tall player.
    Midfield – Added top level mobility n a good passer/scorer in Parsons. Hopefully solves the lingering mobility issue.
    Half Forward – Added AOS n Diarmuid OConnor. Much more height n size. More scoring ability. Both good on kickouts.
    Weakness a lack of elite speed.
    Full forward. Added toughness n tackling in Andy n Jason Doc. Weakness lack of speed.
    Overall I think a much tighter n pacier unit at the back. More mobile in the middle. Tougher n bigger up front. Improved I think by 1 or 2 points.

  6. Cod use the park and ride as mentioned earlier as just off the motorway. Coming from Dublin come off Oranmore/Claregalway/Sligo/Limerick junction and at Carnmore Cross traffic lights turn left. All in 2kms from the motorway. Best option as buses very frequent. Unfortunately the newcity bypass is 5 years away. While Salthill access is traffic bedlam at least as anyone attending tomorrow will see the pitch is top notch after the successful albeit delayed reinstatement of major drainage works earlier in the year. So good you could nearly play snooker on it.

  7. Galway really don’t have a say in this – it’s Mayo’s hunger and drive that wIll Win This, Or The lack of It will loose the game.
    This same team has shown us what they can do when motivated. If they come out the same high tempo team as the last few years they will take care of Galway. But any hesitancy will be punished.
    Hon Mayo!

  8. Interesting comments from Canavan. Similar to those of McConville on the Second Captains. They’re looking for a statement of intent tomorrow. Lay down a marker for the year and mark the arrival of a new management team.

    If Mayo play well and instil their usual intensity on the game, we’ll come through regardless of what Galway produce. We need to start well and get our big players into the game early. We have excellent options on the bench so there’s pressure on those starting to empty the tank.

    I’m bringing the young fella to his first ever game tomorrow. Not sure who’s more excited about it!

  9. For Cairde Mayo or Season Ticket holders looking to get into the stand/seats.. do any of yee know which turnstiles we need to go to scan our cards at? Looks at bit of a walk from the western distributor roundabout which is the drop off/collection from the park and ride. The stand looks to be on the opposite side coming in from that direction.. will we have to walk around to Rockbarton cresent?

  10. Toe to hand – it’s turnstiles 55-62 for season ticket holders tomorrow. I’ve no idea, I’m afraid, about how best to approach the ground.

  11. Thanks Willie Joe.. A few more yards around the ground won’t do me any harm anyways.. looking forward to it now and hope its a cracker of a game.. cheers., see yee all tomorrow

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