The plan for the next while

Over a week has now passed since our early exit from this year’s championship. In that time the world has moved on and so too has the championship. The line-up for the inaugural Super 8 All-Ireland quarter-final group series of matches has been completed and, alone amongst this year’s Division One counties, we’re not in there.

How and why this came about deserves some analysis but that’s not the purpose of this piece. I’m focused instead on the opportunity our early departure this summer affords me to step away from what has, over the years, become an all-consuming task for me of keeping this place going at full throttle all the way until at least the end of August and frequently well beyond. It’s a rare chance I intend to exploit to the full so I guess I’d better lay out what this means.

First, I should clarify what it doesn’t entail. I’m not shutting the blog down – not yet, at any rate, though how feasible it is to keep it going indefinitely is an issue I constantly struggle with and continue to defer a decision on – but I am, for the next number of months, paring back significantly the amount of time I devote to it.

In the near-term, the U20s have a big game coming up at the weekend – for which the GAA might soon deign to let us know what the venue is – and the ladies are also still involved in the championship. I’ll be keeping an eye on both and also, once it restarts, I’ll also be looking to provide a bit of focus on the club championship action, though with the usual caveat that my domicile up here in the capital means there’s a limit to what I can do on that front.

The Mayo News football podcast hasn’t gone away completely either. We’ll have at least one wrap-up episode on the inter-county side and there may also be other developments on the podcast front which, should they come to pass, I’ll let you know about too.

As for the wider inter-county stuff, though, I’m planning on doing nothing at all here on the site. I only ever cover the national GAA scene in an ad hoc way at the best of times and, for Mayo GAA, these most certainly are not the best of times. Be my guest and chat away among yourselves about all this action but I won’t be joining in.

In fact, talking away among yourselves will, in large part, be the new norm here for the next considerable while. I’m not sure what my record is for the length of time that has elapsed between posts – I think it might have been two weeks or thereabouts – or for the lowest number of posts in any given month: off the top of my head I reckon that might be around eight. Those are the kinds of numbers, though, my level of disengagement from the site will be challenging over the coming months.

It’s not for me to tell anyone else what to do. I do believe, though, that a break from thinking incessantly about the world of Mayo GAA is something that could benefit the lot of us. We’re not gone, we’re not dead and buried – despite what was stated in all those hurried obituaries that have sprouted like ragwort over the last week – and there’s every reason to be confident that we’ll be back with increased intent in 2019.

But it’s not 2019 yet. And there’s plenty of time left in 2018 – not least in this ongoing, astonishing summer we’re enjoying – to do other stuff. Which is what I intend to do, even if that still means keeping an eye here on the blog, which will I reckon become an increasingly quiet online location between now and the New Year.

111 thoughts on “The plan for the next while

  1. The amount of work you plough into this Willie Joe a rest is well deserved.

    Maybe if you start a few blank discussion threads for the Senior and for the underage disciplines. In a sort of forum idea. I am sure many businesses in county would only love to sponsor each one. you are well due a financial comeback for this, though I don’t think it has ever been your idea for it, the reality of it is that it has became a second Job of work for you.

    Once again thank you for this gift to Mayo GAA and its supporters. Enjoy your time away.

  2. Thank you Willie Joe,perhaps an annual subscription from posters would be the way forward,even if it was the young chap who took it on,before we write off Mayo let us see where Kildare end up ,they did not target the league and that seems to be of benefit to them,who knows we well have been knocked out by the new champions

  3. I’d like to add my gratitude Willie Joe for all of your analyses and comment during the year and years. As I’m also in the capital and spend much time in foreign shores it has been a lifeline for me. You need a well deserved rest. And so also do our players and management. Just saw Brian Reaper scored 2-4 for McBrides in Chicago yesterday. Diarmuid, Conor Loftus and Michael Hall also among the scorers. I think we’ll be back strong in 2019.
    Thanks again Willie Joe. Enjoy the break! Maigh Eo Abú!

  4. Enjoy the time off Willie Joe and thanks again for keeping the show on the road. I’ve started cycling.. the goal is the 175km ring of Kerry next year.. aim big 🙂

  5. Good man WJ. As someone who administrates a website myself, I fully appreciate the constant demands of a blog. As well as keeping us on the straight and narrow, you make a significant contribution yourself and the amount of archived material is testament to the great job you do. Irreplaceable I say.
    Mayo’s early exit may be blessing in disguise. A strengthing up in all aspects of our approach now needed. I just feel Kerry are going to set the bar even higher. But I also expect we will bounce back on the scene. And it’s very interesting times. The super 8 has the potential to give much greater exposure to our games and additional fixtures will give immigrants from counties like ourselves opportunities to see our lads in action. That is when we qualify in 2019.
    Enjoy your time off, it will not be for long, I expect to see mayo and yourself at full throttle this time next year. Míle buíochas

  6. Thanks for being the number 1 Mayo GAA website Willie Joe. Enjoy the Summer. i hope there isn’t a bump in the road like a managerial appointment process to make you revisit things!

  7. Good man, toe to hand – it’s a realistic aim, the distance notwithstanding. That’s the hardest bit of doing the Ring of Kerry but providing you’ve done a decent amount of training in advance, take plenty of breaks and refuel regularly on the day it’s fine. Climbing isn’t a problem on the Ring – there are two longish pulls on it but neither of them (Coomakista and Moll’s Gap) are hard. The descent down from Moll’s Gap into Killarney, with the road closed most of the way, is brilliant and the pints afterwards in Killarney aren’t half-bad either.

  8. Willie Joe. Thank you for all the hard work you have put into this blog. A break fully deserved. This blog has long been a great source of solace on the dark days and a great source of joy on the fantastic days we have enjoyed in recent years. I am sure at times it must be a thankless task as the administrator and I am sure I have added to that thankless task with some of my comments! Hopefully you come back after the break refreshed and all set for our next tilt at Sam. Once again enjoy your summer.

  9. Quite understandable willie joe you have put in trojan work over the last few years and it must be said you have the finest blog in terms of gaa in the country. Us mayofans cant thank you enough for the service you are providing and will continue to do so in the future no doubt. One must say the attention will now focus on the club scene as it is crucial for us to bleed a new team. These younger players need a few good years playing high level club footbal before the move is made to the senior level of inter county football. Surely in a couple of weeks a move must be made to look into a club football podcast to cover the vast amount of games in the county. Maybe introduce a few new guests with good knowledge of the local scene ? anyone on the radar in the county that has the knowledge? Does anyone have any suggestions?

  10. Misspelled my own poster name, now that’s why I cannot multi task
    Willie Joe
    Skip my previous comment, just wanted to say thanks for the platform while not a regular contributor I am a regular visitor… well done massive efforts

  11. You deserve a break Willie Joe fair play to you for all your work. Hopefully the Under 20’s and the ladies will give us something to shout about but like yourself after the weekend I’m going to take a break from all things football at least all things inter county for a while. I think we all need a break it has been gung ho for the last 7 years I felt drained myself after last years final defeat and considered not renewing my season ticket but got the bug again around Christmas. Anyway I hope this blog doesn’t close as Andy said we are all in this together and I would also pay a subscription to keep the good ship Mayo GAA blog afloat. Enjoy your break
    Willie Joe and Contributors see you the other side of 2019 when we dream it all up again. Chriost Linn.

  12. Thanks Willie Joe.. you never know. If I come across you in killarney the pints are on me

  13. Thanks WJ once again for your efforts over the years. You are a credit to the county and its thousands of fans and supporters. I am not writing obituaries in this warm weather but its great cycling weather all the same. We will be back again rest assured.

  14. Thanks WJ –
    I’m sure that I am one of many people who really appreciate the amazing you do on this blog. One of the best.
    The mental health of the average Mayo football fanatic will take a serious nosedive if you ever decide to pack it in. It provides a great place to vent/wonder/propose/whinge/deride/dream etc, etc in a well moderated environment.

  15. Enjoy the break WJ. It’s badly needed for you with the hours you must put into it. As for the bigger picture, there’s no reason a refreshed Mayo will not cause mayhem in 2019.

  16. For someone who has been checking in here for a good many years now, I too appreciate the wealth of information and comradery that exists on this site. I wouldn’t be the most active blogger in the world as I’m not at the races when it comes to some of the hot shots who are so informed on all matters relating to Mayo GAA. Living in Dublin for most of my adult life and rearing my family here, means one is not always up to speed on local issues and that’s where this place comes into its own. I best can describe it as a large family unit, all throwing in their twopence worth and with the odd spat among the sibling’s Daddy is ever ready to calm things down or if all fails, a period on the naughty step where necessary 🙂

    We have of course been spoiled by the success of our team in recent years and even if we didn’t manage to bring Sam home it sure as hell wasn’t for the want of trying. I very much doubt there is another team in the history of the GAA who has given so much to the cause and still came up short at the death? The enforced break which somehow seemed inevitable is for now still hard to take, especially when we see our victors marching on to the super 8s, but by taking back seat and having a well-earned rest might be no harm for all concerned.

    As for your good self Willie Joe, it’s impossible to find the words to describe the enormous contribution you have, and I have no doubt will continue to give to Mayo GAA. I’ve never met you nor do I know much about you other than you’re obviously a dab hand on the bike, something I used to do a lot of in my early years while living in Mayo. How you ever found the time to write those very informative introduction pieces and then continue to monitor the many hundreds of comments that followed and respond accordingly, is truly amazing – you are for sure a rare breed and obviously a very proud Mayo man. No more can I say other than to wish you and your family a very relaxing and enjoyable Summer.

  17. Enjoy it WJ
    Hopefully it’s the last you get for a while.
    It’s a very empty feeling I wouldn’t want it every year!!!!
    I would hate to think we could go the way of Offaly etc

  18. Thanks Mayonaze, and the u21 Hurling Quarter Final against Derry is also on in Carrick on Shannon, but at 1pm on Sunday.

    Now, why on earth would they not think that it might be a good idea to put both matches on together on either Saturday or Sunday, it would make it a good day out, and especially for the hurlers (from both counties) who I suspect will have a small enough crowd with them at the game, it would add massively to that game.

    I guess we will never understand the thought processes of the fixtures of GAA games.

  19. Not only will we miss the Mayo team, we will also miss the excellent discussion and opinions on this site. Good thing the weather is good. Enjoy the break and thanks for the excellent service you provide for us.

  20. Thank you WJ for your service on here and i hope you find a way to continue the site well into the future. As already shared there are probably corporate partnerships that might be worth exploring. The Mayo news might be an obvious one.
    Congratulations to Roscommon and all the teams that made the super 8”s . Its hard to believe we are not part of it but we’re not. .
    What are the reasons .
    Loss of form. only 4 wins in 11 competitive leagie and championship games this year.
    Tactical failings. Inability to break down Galway defensive system. Even with 6 monts to plan for it and the knowledge that defeat to Galway would make it very difficult to reach super 8’s . While the management produced some incredible performances in last two years this failure to beat Galway remains a blot on copybook .
    Failure to develop squad. No forward talent found. No strenght in depth for bench developed.
    Fatigue and psychological burn out. It would be humanly impossible to reach heights of last two years again without a break.
    Luck. Injuries to key players. Luck of draw …Monaghan reached ladt 8 by beating Waterford Leitrim and would we if we had drawn them.
    So what now ..we will be most likely in super 8 next year and we will see what happens.
    In the meantime I am going to enjoy this years super 8′.
    On another note what is point of condensing championship to support club championship when tbe club championship wont resume till September and finish till October when the weather is on the turn again..

  21. I’m going to miss your blog so much Willie Joe but it’s understandable and in a strange sort of way necessary for us all to take a break with this opportunity that has unfortunately come our way. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and the amount of work you do to keep it going must be immense. I will still keep believing and dreaming and have no doubt that this break for the team will be a good thing going forward. As my daughter wrote in the sand last week on holidays in Co. Sligo MAYO COMEBACK 2019

  22. Everybody needs a break, climb a mountain, jump in a lake …

    As has often been said before, I’m sure there are plenty of people (myself included) who would only be too grateful to help you out with the moderating, financial and administrative side – only say the word.

  23. Seeing all the last eight group fixtures laid out today its only really hitting home to me now that Mayo seniors won’t be taking part in it. The excitement and drama a Sunday fixture with Monaghan would have brought in Croke park then Galway in Machale Park the following weekend in front of packed crowd and to finish it all off with a trip to Kerry. Ah well maybe next year!

    BTW Willie enjoy the break.

  24. Enjoy the well deserved break WJ. This site is just the best. Think I would be totally lost if it ever finished. I’ve read every comment since I discovered it until the Newbridge affair, when I just couldn’t keep up. Once again enjoy the free time with your family.

  25. Who would you all like to win the All Ireland now that Mayo are out?

  26. Lahanman… Exactly what’s the point in condensing the Inter County Championship… What’s to stop Mayo playing out our Championship now… We could have our Junior /Intermediate and Senior, Championship all finished by the end of August… Hopefully our neighbours will be still involved in the race for Sam Maguire and good luck both Roscommon and Galway this weekend… Good luck as well to Donegal who have to play Dublin in Croke Park or Nowhere,… I see Dublin now wants to take the Shannon water to keep the Capital going… I think it would be allot better if. some things were to happen West of the Shannon… A bit of investment, forget the second runway for Dublin airport, build a second one at Knock , Dublin fan’s could drink all the water they want and the odd match played in a really neutral venue like Castlebar..
    Wouldn’t that be a great place for a neutral venue for Donegal /Dublin.. We could have in excess of 38,000 people there, wouldn’t that be great… The Corporate GAA are now as Dublincentric as the Government and the Opposition and that’s a shame……. I see that the GAA or to be more accurate those really intelligent individuals who make up the CCCC, have fixed the Galway /Kerry match at the same time as the World Cup final… You couldn’t make it up!.. Why wouldn’t they fix the Dublin /Donegal match to clash with the World Cup final?

  27. You deserve the rest Willie joe. I’ll tune in again next February. Some of the recent postings were very boring and not in the true spirit of what the blog should be all about. The players and managements have all done us proud over the past 7 years. My friends here in cork always speak of our optimism and fanaticism when the topic of football comes up. It makes one proud to be a Mayoman. Thanks again

  28. To answer JustA Thought
    I’ll be sick if Kerry catch them this year and sneak another one
    And then the Dubs come back a real wounded animal like ourselves next year
    Let the Dubs have it this year I say :@

  29. Thanks again Willie Joe Enjoy your well deserved break. Much as we would love to be involved this coming weekend a break from the intensity of the last eight years will do neither players or supporters any harm Best of luck to the under 20’s at the weekend.

  30. Yeah I hope Dublin win it.

    I’d urge everyone to get to carrick sat to support be u20s

  31. I’d hope Dublin win it too. Can’t stand Kerry. They look down their noses at us. The Dubs at least respect us in their own way.

  32. Enjoy your break WJ and I hope you and yours have a great summer. Thanks for all the reports and stories and for keeping us all happy over the years.
    I might send me 2 thumbs for physio for the repetitive thumb strain from typing on the owl phone as Jim Flag might say. That would be one of his owl sayings.
    I’d say they’ll be some us still fiting up the owl post from time to time.

    Rgds Revellino.

  33. Thank you W.J. I’ve so enjoyed the blog and I look forward to all the banter again in 2019. In the meantime we’ll all take a break from all things Mayo senior football and come back refreshed and ready to go again as the team will too God willing.
    Hope you and family enjoy this fab summer.
    Best of luck to u20’s on Sat. Would be Great to beat the home county of Brolly

  34. Thank you WJ for your almost impossible job of keeping this house in order. When passions run high the words spill out and you’re left to clean up. The worst of us can be the best of us but sometimes the words get in the way of our true meaning. You are very understanding and patient. Constantly guiding well intentioned people who are spilling their drink on your floor, our floor. House rules are for everybodys benifet that contribute on here. They are neccesary for all of us. I have no doubt that this blog will continue and just like Mayo we will rise again. Last year was a very difficult year and access to this blog and being able to share both mine and my brothers passion for all that is Mayo has being a something truly wonderful in such a tragic time. That is something I will never forget. Some people on here really kept us going together united in our love of Mayo and life. I could never explain in mere words what that has meant. A hearfelt thankyou WJ and all contributers will have to suffice.

    Can someone please confirm the time and place that the u 20’s match is on.

  35. Thank you so much WJ – I have to say this had become my favourite site to visit over the last few years and added hugely to the excitement surrounding Mayo football especially since our consistent run at the business end of the last few seasons. Enjoy your well deserved free time and I look forward to coming back here again in the new year.

  36. Won`t know what to do with meself. It`s been all go since 2011. A full time job going to the matches and reading

    these blogs. ( Don`t play golf. ) Fair play to the boys who put the pride back in the jersey. What`s that saying again?

    `The cause endures. The hope still lives . And the dream will never die` Regards to all.

  37. Thanks from me Willie Joe for allowing blogtime, even if some of my comments were on the edge. You like us all need a break from the busy schedule gone into the eight Season now. It feels strange that Mayo are out for this year, seems unreal, the World Cup is filling in a tiny piece of this void for me at the moment.
    One poster mentioned last week that we should beware what we wish for, ie, no point in putting any new management in place just for the sake of it. I still believe that things need to freshened up, alot of new players, change of ideas and one or two new voices, we have become stale and predictable. Those new guys will need time to make this step up, this could mean dropping to Div 2. It must be hard for a number of the older guys that are on the panel a good few years and dont really feature, Barry Moran, Cafferkey ( exclude this year ) Hennelly, Drake, Nally, Loftus, Gallagher. As a former player, I know that there is no greater insult than being brought on at the end of a game regularly, ie a few minutes to go.
    This team has given us supporters great days, but have won no All Irelands or league titles, they have been so close but this was the case with others, ie, 1989 and 1996.
    Good luck to the guys gone to America for the Summer, they thoroughly deserve a break.
    Dub V Kerry / Galway final.

  38. agree, dublin to have it again this year.I cant see any other team bar kerry giving them a run and even then kerry will be hard pushed to do the business.

  39. Mile buiochas WJ. Bain sult as an samhradh. Go neiri le foireann Mhuigheo u20 De Saturn. Beidh muid aris arist i 2019 le cunadh De.
    Mhuigheo abu!

  40. I think Dublin winning is the best outcome for us tbh. Unless there’s a Leicester city moment and Kildare win it .

  41. Mayo67 – there’s no need for that kind of talk. If you want to keep commenting here you’ll need to moderate your tone a bit. Speaking of moderation, that’s where you’re headed now after that rather pathetic contribution.

  42. Thanks Willie Joe, enjoy the well deserved break. Mammoth work you’ve done. Great blog

  43. Thanks Willie Joe for all your efforts in keeping this wonderful blog going. It’s part of my GAA season. Enjoy the well earned break as I am sure the Mayo panel will!

  44. Pat Spillane reckons there’s no other players in Mayo and that Mayo will be disappearing for a while. The loss in that replay last August must be stuck in his throat, if I ever get the chance I’ll dislodge it with a kick in the ass for him.

  45. I am certainly heading to Carrick on Shannon on Saturday. Another chance to wear the red and green this year. Lets outnumber Derry.

  46. Thank you Willie Joe. You have the patience of a saint and I love your enthusiasm for Mayo football. Best wishes for a great summer to you, and to all who post on, and read, this blog. It’s just been a delight reading the blog and comments (even, in retrospect, the ones I found myself disagreeing with : )). Warm wishes to you all and to our team of warriors, and their families.

  47. Toe to hand… of luck with your start on road cycling…..the distance stuff. I’m at it full time for past 8 years – ‘progressive leisure cyclist’ I would classify myself as. Whether group/club spins or solo 40-50k spins, its great for the fitness…..cadio etc but especially for the head, de-stress, ‘mindfulness’ and all that. WJ is right….put in regular weekly spins of any length right up to the ROK 2019 and you’ll nail it on the day……I’ve never done Kerry but achieved an ambition of completing the Wicklow 200 a few weeks ago…..Get a bike gadget/computer (or use a smartphone app STRAVA etc) and track all of your personal training stats……distances avg speed for same route repeats, your own PBs etc…..adds a great additional dimension to the cycling……Once you get the bug there’s no going back…….A mighty hobby for sure that you can get into and become real ‘Bike fit’ in a short time, regardless of age……..

  48. Good luck and great enjoyment, Williie Joe, with your break from this site. I would appeal to all to make the break easier by refraining from comments which call for moderation and would suggest that anybody offending be banned from commenting on the site for the rest of the year. It would [or might] bring a bit of sense into the eejits and would certainly reduce the load on you, Willie.

    Regards the call for the championship to be brought forward now that we are out of the All Ireland race, what about those players who are abroad for the next couple of months? And those timing their training for the planned timing of the championship? What drives players nuts is unplanned fixtures which the suggestion of bringing the championship forward would be.

    Does anybody know when the quarter finals of the Junior A championship is taking place? With my own home club involved for the first time in years I would like to get to it.

  49. Any takers for Galway (that is, other than Swahili)? 1966 – England won World Cup, Galway won Sam, and Cork win Liam. It wouldn’t surprise me to see history repeated… Best luck, Willie Joe, understandable the disappointment – but these things go in cycles, and Mayo will be back next year – no doubt to dethrone the AI champs in Connacht – lol

  50. To everyone that reads this
    I’d just like to wish you all
    Health happiness and the joys of life
    Until we’re back to play football

    There’ll be no history in the history books
    When they’re taken from the shelves
    Now they have the Super eights
    Next year the Super twelves

    They spent millions installing Hawk eye
    His 1st call, there was a flaw
    The thousands watched with bated breath
    The Hawk said nil instead of ta

    Only 1 team has a home pitch
    They’re the boys that play in blue
    Kildares home is in East Jappitt
    Mayo’s is in Peru

    The analysts say we suffer from
    Chronological disorder
    A cute hoor from down in Kerry
    To meet the other, cross the border

    We had rock stars in the Fbd
    Their name was Hall and Oates
    Watch out next year for a lad from home
    His name is Billy Goats

    We bought a turkey, had him fattening
    Were goin to cook him with a ham
    But he looked up at me this morning
    And gobbled “next year Mayo for sam”

    I always smile when comments start
    “I say with all due respect”
    You can sense what you have coming
    And you know your comments fecked

    So thanks again to WJ
    For providing us the blog
    Not a sheep shorn in the county
    And the turf still in the bog

    The blog opens up its arms
    It makes our exiles feel at home
    They could be sitting there in Mchale park
    Although in London or in Rome

    God bless our injured players
    And give them strength and heal them well
    And when next they don the Green and Red
    They’re healthier than the day they fell.

  51. Thank you Willie Joe for all the joy and wasted hours I’ve spent on this your/our blog. It’s amazing and so bloody addictive. I’m seriously suffering withdrawal symptoms since we dropped out of the race. I’m delighted for Kildare and Roscommon and Galway. I would rather noone wins Sam this year but really if I’m pushed I’d be happy for Kildare. Can’t see beyond Dublin but an injury or ten might soften their threat! Have a well deserved break and thank you from the bottom of this Mayo beating heart. Maigheo í mo chroí.

  52. Jesus can we not stay out of the news. Looks like 10 of the Mayo Ladies (reported on Radio 1 news this morning) have walked out of the panel citing player welfare issues?

  53. AndyD, the junior championships quarter finals are down for the 18th/19th August.

  54. Well that’s damnation with faint praise if I ever heard it, Mayo Exile! A bit more respect for a bunch of players who have represented their county with distinction wouldn’t go amiss. The Mayo News has that story today, by the way – among those reported to have left the panel are captain Sarah Tierney, vice-captain Fiona McHale and Cora Staunton.

  55. Mayo Exile, you have some cheek writing comments like that about our Mayo ladies. Other than you’re taking the piss, your comments are very insensitive and downright insulting!

  56. Lee Keegan joining Joe Brolly and Tomas O Shea for the Dublin v Donegal game.. Is being out of Super 8s not punishment enough for him??!! Says alot about how respected he is in the sport..Dont know what to say about ladies ..Serious issues to walk out..

  57. I’m sure the ladies have a very legitimate case and did not take this action lightly. Remember they put their lives on hold for the green and red too.

  58. Well, whatever about a break from the football, my missus is delighted she’s not going to be a “blog widow” for the next few months. She’s from the UK and doesn’t fully get the whole Green and Red thing. One thing she did reflect though was how she felt the boys needed a break after the ’16 final games. Also, she finds it unreal that these fellas all work full time jobs or study and have families.
    She has that bit of perspective and distance that maybe we lose sight of sometimes.
    Them boys (AND GIRLS!) are a credit to themselves and their families, clubs and communities and they deserve a rest.
    A similar dedication from yourself WJ so feet up now and enjoy the rest, thanks.

  59. General question – Should a manager decide who starts on a team or not. If he/she decided a certain player (no matter how good they are) will be more valuable to the team by coming on as an impact sub – are they entitled to make that call. I think they are. If players start deciding for the manager who should or should not start- then manager is totally undermined.

  60. What are you trying to suggest SME?
    That experienced players were insisting that they start is it ?
    If so thats rubbish
    If it were true it would suggest a very weak manager who is not respected by players.
    That is simply not the case .

  61. Interesting that not all the ladies walked? Seems the majority must be happy?

    Also interesting that others are island hopping in Greece according to the Independent.

    All points to a disunited squad.

  62. I have lived outside Mayo for most of my life. I am totally and completely addicted to this blog. Winter and summer, over the years, I reckon I have read nearly every entry.
    The management and constant vigilance for moderation is a huge undertaking. But it is also the secret behind its success.
    I have often wondered about how it can be maintained into the future without some kind of sharing of the burden. As I work in the IT sector and am a Mayo Lunatic, I am available when and if required.
    I feel that the voluntary aspect of what you do Willie Joe is the other secret. The passion that jumps out from every article and every post is key to the magic of this site.
    If at some time in the coming months or years you feel that a helping hand is required, then please make it known. I am certain that there will be no shortage of volunteers such as myself who would love to take as much of the burden off you as is possible. You would know best how this could be acheived.
    In many ways, the fact that Mayo are out of the championship means that you can pause for breath and figure out how to move forward with this wonderful part of the “Mayo Crusade”.
    Actually on that point, I firmly believe that this site has played a huge part in the success of Mayo footballers over the last number of years. You have galvanised the most enthusiastic segment of the Mayo support base and made us all feel part of an extended family that comes together on match days. It is often repeated in the press by friend and foe alike that Mayo supporters are the best in the land. That is an accepted fact … and you, WJ, through this brilliantly run blog have played a huge part in the formation and culture of that support base.

  63. Hi Guys! I only discovered this blog in the last few weeks and I am impressed by the quality of the blogs and by the number of comments that are generated. As a Tyrone fan I was looking forward to seeing Mayo (at Croke Park in the double-header that never was), for the first time since our League encounter and I must say that I was shocked by the Kildare result and disappointed that Mayo bowed out. I hasten to say that I was not anticipating that Mayo would finally lay the curse but would have liked Tyrone to have had a joust at them again. GRMA.
    BTW just read about the Mayo ladies, I hope they get their problems sorted.

  64. Thanks MartyK i’ll keep that in mind. I cycled part of the Waterford Greenway a month or so back, really enjoyed it and have been doing a small bit since. Going to try and do a 40k at the Leitrim Glens Sportive on the 19th August. Will be bringing lots of water 🙂
    Getting back to football, it would be interesting to know what are the welfare issues that the ladies are citing as the main problem here and are these welfare issues new or have they always been there?

  65. Regarding the ladies issue, a phrase with the words “toys” and “pram” comes to mind.

    What, exactly, are the “Player Welfare” issues? It seems a very broad reason. A bit like “Health and Safety”, it can cover a multitude! For example, moving our Kildare game to Croker was for, we were told initially, “Health and Safety” reasons. However, in reality it was all about money. In this case I wonder does “Player Welfare” actually mean some player(s) not getting their own way, or, some club(s) not getting the preferential treatment that they were used to getting from previous managements?

  66. Pebblesmeller, Player welfare also covers such issues like access to training facilities, physios, proper training equipment, changing facilities, food etc, I think we should wait until the players make public their issues before throwing around comments with the words toys and pram included or insinuating there is ulterior motives involved.

  67. Mayomad, I agree entirely. There are two sides to everything, no matter how thinly we slice it. I am fairly involved in ladies football in the county, at a number of levels, and I have experience of both sides of it. I could write a book with some of the stuff that goes on but it would have to be fiction, as no-one would believe it.
    It will all come out in the wash, as they say.

  68. Someone made a good owl pint above alright. Kerry v Galway is throwing in at 4pm on Sunday just as the owl world cup final is kicking off. Can you imagine the ballyhoo there would be if instead it was Dublin v Donegal scheduled for that time (and at a real neutral venue too). Yeah. Right.

    Cant believe that everybody else is going along with this owl “Crow Park neutral venue” crap. The other 31 counties need to develop a back bone and stand up to this nonsense. Another tainted All Ireland title on the way to go with the previous owl 3.

  69. Surely there should be some focus on our u20 game at this stage. Any ideas when we will have team announcement. West Mayo well represented by Westport/Louisburgh players. Bit disappointed Brian O Malley has been landed full back position as he has all the attributes to make a class midfielder. Nevertheless he will give 100 percent, great attitude. I assume we will have a plan to limit effectiveness of Cassidy boys. Anyone know anything about Derry style of play, should I ask Brolly?
    Forecast looks good for sat, no need to bring Brolly, 15000 capacity, near full house?

  70. It’s official, Higgins staying for another 7 years ….yay…?…..oh wait….it’s a different Higgins ?

  71. W.J. Thanks for your patience with me over the years. I wish you and your family a happy summer, and the rest will do you all the good. As somebody who has followed Mayo Gaa through thick and thin since 1964, I have seen and heard a lot. To day Pat Spillane wrote 10 whys Mayo did not win Sam since 2010. In my honest opinion he said it straight. Anyways I hope the 2 teams left from Connacht will bring Sam across the Shannon in 2018. Hope we will have the health to follow Mayo again next year.

  72. Mayo LGF panel appear a bit like Theresa May’s cabinet – some in some out. Now what would be the LGF equivalent of the 1922 Club?

  73. @Pebblesmeller, …Not really fair comment there I would say ….I don’t know exactly what the issue(s) are…. But if Mayo take the field minus 10 player’s, which would be a great shame…. The women don’t get as well looked after as the men in general.. Some counties are worse than Mayo… The Cork County Board never let the Cork women’s football team, definitely the most successful team ever to play Gaelic-football, play at Pairc Ui Caoimh, I know that the administration of the Women’s game is a different organisation to the GAA itself… Recently Ireland’s is international ladies soccer team had to dig their heels in order to get some better treatment as well… Thankfully a solution was for the the soccer team just in time… Hopefully a solution will be found for our ladies as well….. Revellino another great poem!

  74. Willie Joe, who is the Mod in your absence. You will need someone to keep posts in check. I’m sure there would be suitable people here to take it on for you.

  75. Good man Willie Joe, great work, enjoyed it all, thank you.
    Enjoy the time off, and best wishes.

  76. Leantimes, what’s not fair? I’ve just said that there was two sides to everything. In this instance, according to the media reports, the ladies are not complaining about facilities, food, s&c training, medical and physio availability. That old argument, thankfully, has gone.
    For example, all girls that attended minor trials this year were fed after each session and given the contact details of a physio to use, free of charge, should they need it. Regardless of whether they made the final panel or not. That was just at trial stage.
    Last year a major sponsor came on board and a lot of the “legacy” issues from previous managements and county boards had to be tidied up.
    There was an open and transparent process used for the appointment of the senior manager and all clubs were informed of that. Peter, on appointment, contacted all clubs to introduce himself and his plans. This is all new and an improvement on previous selection processes.
    The current situation is obviously a personal issue.
    You are correct when you say that the ladies game is not as well supported, financially or in attendances, as the mens and that’s something that needs further work on nationally. It may be the fastest growing female sport in Europe but it still lags behind the mens, however, I do believe that is changing and over the next 10 years you will see structures improve.
    That, however, will not solve the current impasse. I’m no lover of the county board and don’t know the senior manager but I have seen things from all sides and it is not a one way street. Regardless, it paints Mayo in a bad light.

  77. @pebblesmeller
    I don’t know anything about the situation,I suspect you don’t either.Based on that your opening comments about toys being thrown out of the pram are out of line as others have mentioned.

  78. Is not possible even at this late stage to knock heads together or are we missing some bigger picture?

  79. Just read the report on the Mayo lads in Chicago on Glad they are doing well, looks like a 13aside championship but One has to wonder why with so many subs to call on. Chicago and Boston are getting all the young players as new rules In New York prohibit them signing for a club there if they played county football in the calendar year. They would have ruled out transfers if all four Mayo lads. Hope to see them all back in Mayo colors next year.
    Also sad to hear about Oisín Mullins from the U20s dislocated shoulder in the Connaught final that’s 3 this year in Mayo colors never heard so many before. It makes a mockery of the decision to schedule these games during the leaving cert exams when this lad had to do an exam 24 hours after getting this injury.

  80. @Pebblesmeller ‘Toy’s and Pram’s’.. The word’s you used in relation to the current travail,’s of the Mayo Senior Women’s team.. Not exactly helpful at this moment in time… Apart from that.. I am not well enough informed as to the inside story of Mayo Women’s Football.. I hope you are right about the current improvement in the facilities available to the Women’s game.. And I have no reason to disbelieve you!.. But if what you say is true, it’s only true very lately… Either way I don’t know enough to take sides right now!

  81. Ah Haaaa! Just when you thought you’d get down time WJ. The Women start acting up! Good Luck with that…

  82. All – less of the snide remarks please about the issues that have arisen in relation to the ladies football team. If anyone has a contribution to make on this then please stick to the known facts.

  83. Dunno about the rest of ye but I can’t raise any enthusiasm for the rest of the championship and I don’t wish our neighbours any luck at all to be honest. Colour pieces on players and championship previews and predictions in the papers are just getting passed over. No interest. This Galway “rise” sickens my hole and nothing would give me greater pleasure than seeing them fall on their arses in croker for the 17th year in a row. And I say that as someone with plenty of friends and relations in Galway.
    The only thing I hope is that Dublin have a scorched earth policy to the rest of the championship and lay waste to everyone and win their 4thin a row.
    Then people might realise that without mayo the last 4 or 5 years would have been very bleak indeed.
    I do think, and I hope I’m wrong but I think not being in the Super 8s will have long term ramifications for us for next season. The minimum of 3 extra high quality championship games will do our provincial rivals a world of benefit even from the point of view of getting experience of player management through that series. A break can have positive benefits as well for us but I think the negatives significantly outweighs the positives unfortunatley.

  84. Does anyone know if the u20 semi final is being shown on any channel this weekend?

  85. 10 Armagh players suspended for Ulster U-20 final against Derry following mass brawl. No more than training session for Derry but they were impressive in other matches. Are tickets available in SuperValu, Centra….is it first come first served or reserved seating? Anybody with any info on u20 would be helpful at this stage

  86. As a Galway person I cannot commend this website highly enough.

    I have lived every high and low of the Mayo crescendo over the past two years and I feel really envious that Galway doesn’t have a comparable ‘safe nest’ for their players and supporters.

    Well done WJ. You have provided a wonderful forum.

  87. IF our u20 lads beat Derry this weekend, the final is fixed for Sunday August 5th. The final will be a curtain raiser to the Dublin v Roscommon super 8 game.

  88. att; onthe ditch.the armagh players suspensions were lifted on appeal and played in derry game .this will be a difficult game for mayo to win but it would give football in the county a great lift if we could win it.we should have a lot more supporters there than derry and hopefully that will swing it mayo’s way

  89. Derry were badly beaten in last years minor final with Clifford unplayable. Derry did have the MacWilliam brothers who were big units but not overly mobile if o remember. Mayo are more than capable of winning this game we have to replace our injured CHB but we have a couple of good replacements that can do the job in Dawson or Macken

  90. Thanks Jimbo. By all accounts a big test and hope supported get behind the team big time

  91. East Cork exile
    Galway will gain great experience from the Super8 matches and yes it will set Mayo back not being there. Maybe Galway will as you put it ” fall on their arses in croker” but its invaluable for a young team on the rise to play against the best. Mayo had their chances and now Galway will have theirs as will our neighbours Roscommon.

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