It’s Friday and so we’re getting – as Pat Holmes might say – very, very close to the big day of action that awaits at Croke Park tomorrow. Sunshine be damned, I don’t in truth feel in the whole of my health being absent from HQ for the two big matches that lie ahead of us at HQ tomorrow afternoon. That said, a man could get easily used to this absence of rain and all that al fresco dining.
Okay, most important stuff first. A short while ago, Donegal finally released what they say is their “panel” for tomorrow’s All-Ireland SFC quarter-final, which is here.
It’s a list of 26 players, numbered sequentially, but I’ve no idea if Nos. 1-15 (inclusive) represent their starting fifteen or not. If they do, then Karl Lacey starts given that he’s named at 6 but I haven’t got a clue if he will or not. Then again, I’m not sure our named fifteen (which doesn’t include the eleven subs we’ll also have in our match-day panel) will all start tomorrow either. We’ll know for definite tomorrow afternoon, I guess.
It’s now less than 24 hours until the Junior final against Kerry throws in at Croke Park and only a bit over 24 hours until the senior quarter-final against Donegal gets underway at HQ so if you’re looking for something to get you more revved up than you already are, then I’ve a few things to point you to that might help.
The first of these is another pre-match podcast, this one from CRC FM. Mike Kelly, a regular guest contributor here on the site, is behind the mic on this one and he’s joined on the podcast by Colm Gannon of the Mayo Advertiser, as well as Anne-Marie Flynn, another friend of this parish, and Pat Kearns who both provide the supporters’ angle to tomorrow’s action. The podcast is available on Soundcloud here:
Speaking of the Mayo Advertiser, there’s a wad of stuff in that paper today about both of tomorrow’s matches.
On the Donegal match, there’s an opinion piece by Ray Silke, in which the Galway man warns us that we’ll need to be in top form if we’re to do it. He reckons we will, pointing to our relative freshness and the man-mountain that is Aidan O’Shea as the difference between the two teams.
I had a look at the nationals earlier on this morning and there was bugger all there at that stage, apart from that Keith Higgins piece in the Indo that has already been linked in the comments. Strangely, all three nationals had virtually the same piece with Dublin’s Michael Darragh MacAuley saying how being dropped the last day was a bit of a shock to the system. Whatever sells papers, I guess.
Anyway, I think the links above should be enough to keep you occupied for now and, in any event, your own personal match-day routines should surely be kicking in shortly. As you might expect, I’m a bit all over the shop in relation to mine, marooned as I am away from the rain and the greenness and the pint of Harpic.
I will be watching the game – well, the senior one, Sky’s interest in proceedings at Croke Park doesn’t extend to the Junior final – and, depending on my mental state afterwards, I might even rise to a post-match audio from abroad. We’ll be heading for dinner after the match is over and so anything I’ll produce later on the match report front is likely to be on the short side and will for sure be fuelled by alcohol. The MOTM poll might be a bit late going live as well.
That’s it for now. Safe travelling if you’re heading for the capital later on. Back in the morning with some final words before the action gets underway.