The sixteenth man

Right, we’ve had our weekend off, the lads are back from their sojourn in Portugal and now the clock is ticking audibly ahead of next Sunday’s NFL Division One final against Cork at Croke Park (throw-in 4pm). I know it’s only the league and all that but a national title is there to be won on Sunday – if we do it, it’ll be our first since 2001 and only the fourth such title we’ll ever have won since last claiming Sam over sixty years ago. We should, then, be doing everything in our power to make sure that we’re the ones leaving Croke Park next Sunday evening clutching the New Ireland Cup (no, I didn’t know what it was called either until I went googling it).

Obviously the lads on the pitch will be the ones who’ll have to do the business but the role that those of us in the stands can play next Sunday shouldn’t be overlooked either. I’ve no doubt but that the players took heart from the increasingly vocal support they got at Croke Park the last day, where upwards of three-quarters of those present seemed to be our lot. Cork are notoriously poor supporters for fixtures such as this and I’d say they’ll be struggling to have any kind of decent following there on Sunday.

Tyrone and Kildare will, I reckon, bring decent crowds with them but the absence of any sizeable following for the Rebels gives us the opportunity to make HQ a home-from-home for the lads on Sunday. Despite the fact that we had the most supporters there for the Kerry game, we were still down to the bare bones in absolute terms and so we’ll need a big increase on this next Sunday if we’re to turn Croke Park into a home venue for the day.

Ticket information for the game issued by from the county board is here. If you’re a Cáirde Mhuigheo member, you’ll need to get a separate ticket – as was the case for the semi-final – to get into the game; if you’re not you can either get your match ticket in McHale Park or from the usual outlets near the stadium on the day. You’re unlikely to have to queue too long if you choose the latter option but hopefully any such queue will be one that’s populated with our gang.

22 thoughts on “The sixteenth man

  1. These games will be the last under the old format for the square ball rule as currently laid out. Reading Eugene McGees piece today on the new rule should lead to some very interesting lineouts for the summer. Will we see a reversion to the old Kerry big 14 but this time with another big lad beside him, will the full back and goalie have to modify their game? Is that why Cork are trialing Walsh at full forward in anticipation of that move in the summer. Whoever adapts fastest will reap big rewards from this new rule re the square ball.

  2. Hope SOS is back for Sunday. Some much need physicality to the midfield against a big Cork team. Was outstanding in last year AI semi against Cork. Would worry big time without him.

  3. Hopefully there will be a huge mayo support in croke park, i know of a good few that is going, that was’nt at any of the league games, hopefully even more will decide to go to the final. If i’m allowed wj, as i posted on another forum in reply to a question, tickets will be on sale on the morning of the match, the ticket office is straight accross the road from gills pub on the north circular road.
    Google street view;,-6.254592&spn=0.000003,0.00284&t=m&z=19&layer=c&cbll=53.358372,-6.25445&panoid=C1SHxB_ZNC127279Vg7aRg&cbp=12,162.46,,0,0

  4. Would not worry about SOS, they said we would not beat kerry without AOS, we have a panel that on any given day its the unknown lads that becomes a hero for that day, Colm O’ Boyle for example.Last time we played Cork in Croke Park is now history, Last week they said Kerry had the best midfield in country, did they win?. JH will select a team that is training well at the present moment in time and not on last years performance, last year is history, its now that counts, and with or without O’ Seas we will beat Cork.

  5. Yes cynthia, recieved @ 11am this morning. The IT crowd thats looking after the season tickets this year are on the ball, compared to all that carry on last year!

  6. Got the ticket this morning too. Same section I was in for the Cork QF last year, a good omen perhaps?

    On another note, in the GAA ticket section, it gives your attendance record. Is anyone else’s wrong as well, as it seems to have missed 4 of the matches I went to …

  7. any ideas on who is captain for the year mayo news saying they have a piece with captain for 2012 in tomorrows paper??

  8. To be honest I’m not expecting too much on Sunday. We have our work cut out for us against a good Cork team who will be mad keen for revenge for last years SF defeat.
    We would need to put in a spectacular display around the middle of the field to overcome a very strong Cork pair.
    Added to that I reckon there is a danger the lads could be very flat after coming back from Portugal. A week away sounds great but it can knock it out of fellas. Hopefully they have had enough time to recover.
    In any event they have done well so far and they should be in good shape for the summer.

  9. No idea, mayom – I guess it’s got to be between Alan Dillon (though doubt he’ll get it for a second year running), Andy Moran, Keith Higgins, David Clarke and maybe Donal Vaughan. My guess it’s Andy but that’s just a guess.

  10. Got my tickets for Sunday, heading up Friday to make a weekend out of it and going to the Wicklow match on Saturday with the crazy Uncle from Wickla.Probably will have a sore head on Sunday so come on Mayo get stuck in and see what happens!

  11. does anyone have injury update on the o shea bros. think capt is andy he was doing interviews for locals on his return well deseved if so

  12. “Class Act” I would not underestimate the loss of the O’Sheas. Cork are a big strong team that destroyed us in the middle in the last 15 minutes in Castlebar. We could do with SOS being available.
    I would play SOS at midfield for Moran and Freeman at FF with Mort and Cillian either side.

  13. Time now to be sorting midfield and ff. Let’s give freeman a chance at ff. And give gibbons and harte a go. Trust the lads. They are gud enough. Wud like Andy at ff but think he is too important at cf.

  14. Totally agree with remeber51 trust in Harte , Gibbons or Geraghty no need to rush Seamus back cause a torn hamstring needs a full recovery period and chances are we’ll need him come championship. Would like to see Freeman in at full forward providing he’s fit for Sunday.

  15. Willie Joe, I may be wrong but are we not going for our 4th senior national title since 51? P.S. what section are ye in those of you who have season tickets? I’ll be in Section 304. I hope to be hoarse afterwards!

  16. F’Deelin – you are, of course, correct. What I meant to say was that we had won three national titles since 1951 (at least that’s what I think it was – maybe it was just that I couldn’t count past three in my head on a Monday morning). Thanks for letting me know, I’ll change it in the piece now.

  17. Section 304 as well – much better than the last time where they had me in Row VV or whatever it was right at the back where you couldn’t see a thing and it was freezing :p

  18. If Colm O neill, Fintian Gould and Paul kerrigan can be curtailed, then we will be well on our way on Sunday.
    In our last league Final against Cork, Colm O Neill destroyed us. I would put him in the same league as Colm Cooper , he as a strong skillfull player who scores freely.
    Against Kerry we won without a lot of our players playing out of their skins ( except for Colm Boyle), this is a good thing, it shows we have a lot more in the tank. When we peak, hopefully at the right time, we will be able for who-ever we face.


  19. Some of us are worrying about the Captaincy. We won the league in 71? was it by beating down. Johnny Carey was captain. We were so ” big headed” going in against Roscommon in the first round of the c’ship that Mayo did not pick a Captain. We lost.

    We can win on Sunday. I thought I read that Andy Moran is the Captain for the year??

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