The sun also rises

It’s the day after, the first day of what’s now an empty summer for us as followers of the county team. A summer that’s no longer defined by big matches, by days out in Croke Park and the ongoing rollercoaster of emotions that go with following this amazing team of ours.

Instead, for the first time since the dawning of what I think can accurately be described as the modern era of Gaelic football within the county, we’re at a loose end for the summer. We’re onlookers as the Super 8s are contested for the first time. Rather than being at the centre of the championship story we’re on the outside looking in.

Now that the fatal blow has been delivered to our hopes for 2018, however, I have to admit that today the overwhelming emotion I feel is one of relief. We never really got going at all this year, either in the league or in the championship, and once we’d lost Tom and Seamie it always felt like we were living on borrowed time. That time ran out for us in Newbridge last night.

But, as anyone who has ever suffered a loss in this life knows, time is also a healer. And nobody died last night. We lost a football game – a very good match, as it happens – and, soon enough, we’ll all get over it.

The summer now opens up for all of to do other stuff. I’m happy to confirm that we’ve had holiday plans made since the start of the year and last night’s result means that, for the first time in several summers, my long-suffering family and I can look forward to a relaxing break away that’s uninterrupted by do-or-die sporting events back home.

Behind every cloud there truly is a silver lining (I’m the first to admit that I’m a sucker for clichés, mainly because they contain essential truths) and I do hope everyone – players, management, officials, supporters – grasps the unexpected free time granted to us and enjoys this summer to the full. We all deserve the break. And we will be back.

Needless to say I’m not going to dangle the usual links for match reports under your noses today, though – sad fool that I am – I will still gather them all up and post them to the results section for posterity. Someone has to do it.

But the show also has to go on to some degree and, in that regard, you might want to note that the match-day episode of the Mayo News football podcast, recorded at Newbridge yesterday evening and being edited even as I type, will be online at some point this evening.

The Man of the Match poll – the final one of the year – is still open too and I’ll leave that up until later on tonight. If you haven’t cast a vote in that you’ve plenty of time left to do so.

Right, that’s it for now. The question is, though, what now? I hear there’s a World Cup of some sort on. There’s always the hurling. Or, if I can summon the energy, the bike. Or a hundred other things. Choices, choices. The sun also rises.

Up Mayo.


63 thoughts on “The sun also rises

  1. Where to start. Thank you Willie Joe for all the time and effort you put into this blog. It has become some what of an addiction over the years. Yesterday was heartbreaking but as you say it has been coming for a while. I feel a break will do us all good especially the heart! That team have put so much in over the past few years the least they deserve is a break. No doubt we will be back to add more memeories to the bank. I know we never got to the promised land but look at the journey. Other counties would kill for the days out we have had. We will rise again.

  2. Well done WJ – many many thanks for all your efforts during all those heady days. I’m sure your long suffering family deserve the break from football too!

    Mayo football supporters don’t know how luck we are to have such a professional forum for genuine fans.

    As for Mayo – let’s all just hold our breaths for a while – see how other counties fare now and maybe review matters again in September.

    Enjoy the summer all!

  3. Well said Willie Joe. Unfortunately we are well accustomed to disappointment as Mayo supporters but not this early in the summer. Well done to Kildare who had a huge point to prove and they did it in style. Alas it would have to be Mayo on the receiving end. There will be the usual vitriol from the same quarters anytime Mayo are beaten but they can say what the like as I for one won’t be reading any of it. We owe this team of ours a huge debt of gratitude for fantastic summers and a focal point for pride in our native county. We will lose a few of the older warriors as time waits for no man but we will still have the makings of a very good team. Probably a bit early to be thinking about next year but the provincial championship will have to be a priority as it puts you directly into Super 8. Sincere thanks to all who donned the green and red and gave it their all.
    We will rise again!

  4. Heart broken. Has a real end of an era feel about it. We now need to blood some players next year and hopefully they are on S&C programmes for the last few years to facilitate an orderly transition.

    The reality is that we were not going to get out of super 8s group this year even if we got there. The injuries and tiredness of players would have caught up with us there. I feel it’s a good thing that we now have a rest rather than being putting serious mileage in again in super 8s and possibly getting a big beating.

    We will rise again, we always do. I will always be hugely proud and grateful to these warriors who always represent our county so well. The super 8s will be a poorer place without our wonderful team and supporters.

  5. Thanks to the host indeed and the players too of course…..warriors on and off the keyboard !

  6. I’m a long time reader of this blog and just have to say thank you so much WJ for creating, curating and cataloguing this magnificent blog. Tensions and tempers run high at times but this space has been a balm to soothe the soul and recharge the batteries in equal measure for those of us supporting our fantastic county. These lads are heroes regardless of the lack of Celtic crosses but I hope they know they hold our hearts forever. Like yourself the overriding sensation is not absolute heartbreak like last Sept but rather relief. Personally I found the injuries this year to be the breaking point. We can argue the point about pitch surfaces or over training or just horrid luck but these warriors have day jobs and play for their clubs and their well being should be upmost in everyone’s minds. If there are personnel changes (I suspect there won’t be many just yet) I really hope the players stay involved to nurture the teams of the next few years. We’ll follow our clubs now, the Mayo ladies and the U20’s for the rest of the summer. Enjoy your well deserved rest WJ with thanks to your family for their patience. Croke Park will miss our presence this year. Maigheo Go Deo.

  7. The dream has died —— for now
    Long live the dream !
    Enjoy the summer W.J. — Great post,Top Man

  8. Disappotnent yes but I’ve great memories and friends made over he last 7 years…it’s nkt the end but the beginning of a new chapter in Mayo football….the fight goes on and the All Ireland dream is still there

  9. Mile buiochas WJ. Ta thu go hiontach ag scriobh an blog. Lets support our great team by supporting the Mayo GAA lotto every week. This is of paramount importance in particular our injured players. Na dean dearmaid ar foireann u-20! Go neiri le foireann Mhuigheo i gconai. Beidh muid aris arist le cunadh De
    Mhuigheo abu!

  10. The show goes on and we will rise again. Looking forward would you rather be Mayo or Kildare….no prizes for the correct answer to that question !

    Personally I think we have to start 2019 with a different attitude to the league. This year we put too much mileage was on senior players in the league while at the same time clearly having little interest in it. The new players we found in the league over the past 2 years (EOD, Crowe and Boland) were not trusted in the championship…what’s that about ?

    If we are not interested in the league why not use it to try out many more new players, positions etc. But that begs the question as to why we are not interested in the league. What would be wrong with winning the league or at least trying to ? It’s not as if the cupboards are full with national titles in Mayo. And don’t give me this rubbish of not wanting to show our hand…..unreal nonsense whoever started that stuff. Play each game to win and let the opposition worry about us

    Finally, can we please try to learn that it’s a 20 man game and use of subs is critical. That may mean some of our senior players not starting big games but making the difference by finishing those games. I can’t help but get the feeling that some of our senior players do not think that way and judge their worth on being picked to start. We need management to be strong enough to take that attitude on for the greater good.

    Best thing we Supporters can do now is amaze the country by the level of support we bring to the under 20 semi final. That will show everyone that we are far from out……just taking a temporary break and if we take on board the mistakes we have made in recent years and learn from them we can be a team to fear next year

  11. Willie Joe… Enjoy the holiday. Looking forward to the 2019 draw already..The next six months could be interesting.

  12. Well said there WJ.
    I was reluctant to use the word “relief” last night, but there was a certain feeling of just that. It was a very strange feeling to have after a loss.

    The loss to Galway was pivotal. With the road we’ve been on the past few years and the mounting injuries, we were always going to struggle to make it through the qualifiers this year. And even if we had, the Super 8’s would surely have been a bridge too far.
    Although with this team of heroes, I suppose anything was possible.

    It doesn’t seem like it now, but the break will do the players and us supporters some good. Let’s recharge and get back to it in the new year.
    It’s going to be strange watching the football without us around, but watch it we all will. The hurling is also gearing up for a cracking conclusion, so there’s plenty to do.
    As for the World Cup, well living in London has me fearing the apocalypse that would be England winning it! Can’t see it, but planning on heading home for a couple of weeks on the off chance they do…

    Cheers as always WJ, this blog has been incredibly therapeutic since yesterday evening, as it always is.
    You do sterling work here, it’s always appreciated. So much like the players, take some time off and relax, ready to get back on the horse again next year.

  13. “Its just a game”… but oh the heartbreak. Thank you WJ for the posts, they have been a source of some late night reading and the comments after. So we are gone a lot earlier than we expected but not a surprise either. Well done to Kildare they deserved the win. To our own lads I have travelled the length and breath of the country to see them and I will do so again. They have been a credit to our county and some ambassadors for football in our county. They have given everything they had in the tank and some great entertainment over the years. I wouldnt change a thing. As you say WJ lets enjoy the break and Mayo will be back next year. MaighEo Abú. ??

  14. I am a long time user of the blog but I’ve never posted until today.

    I want to say thanks to Willie joe for the time, energy, passion and commitment you have put into the blog over the years. As someone who lives outside the county this forum has allowed me and many others to share the highs and lows over this odyssey of the last 7 years in particular. And for days like today it is a sanctuary where we can come to commiserate together. This forum is a great example of what makes following our county so special and I feel lucky to be part of it.

    Thanks to the mayo team and management for the great memories, they died with their boots on yday. They have represented us with pride.

    Thanks again Willie joe and enjoy your summer.

    Maigh Eo abu

  15. Good point about the U20’s Mayo67. Was thinking that last night, wouldn’t it be great to have thousands roaring them on in the semi and then hopefully the final?
    The lads would certainly appreciate it and give them a taste of what things could be like for them if they make it to senior.

  16. The kildare manager knows that mayo team and he knew that if the game was in croke park the mayo would exploit the freedom in croke park and maybe come away with a win not taking away from kildare’s win i will watch over the summer how kildare will do we had to many mistakes

  17. Team for 2019

    Clarke (unless someone else emerges)





    J Durcan
    Ryan ODonoghue

    Main Subs…Higgins, Vaughan, Boland, Doherty,

  18. Thanks for your time and efforts WJ, and wishing you and the clan a nice fun filled summer break.
    Like others have said, it’s a great blog this, and one i look forward to checking into when Mayo play.
    As for our beloved team, it’s simple, they will be back. Up Mayo

  19. Must also thank Willie Joe for this blog,it’s been a fantastic outlet for us down the years. I find some of the posters in here great reading also , grma

  20. A small number of us forewarned of the sense of complacency amongst so many Mayo people over the past six days. That complacent mindset appeared to also have been with some of the players especially in the first half. By the time they realised the emotion of the past few days was lifting Kildare to a new level and that a real battle to the death was infolding it was too late….there was nothing left in the tank. It’s an unfortunate way to end an amazing 7 year journey but all teams period of dominance ends and that’s the reality we now face into….though it will be difficult for many dedicated supporters of Mayo football to be able to bring themselves to admit it. Yes our team will go again next year and the year after and the year after that and for as long as Gaelic Games continue to exist. But we won’t see a Mayo team like this special group again for a very long time. Transitions will begin in earnest in 2019 and new players will come and older players will go. That’s the way of the world. Thank You to the players for your unparalleled effort and commitment. You have done everything humanly possible to try to get us to the promised land over the past number of years. And for that we will always be grateful and the wonderful days put that you have given us as supporters will never be forgotten.

  21. Leonard Cohen released 14 studio-length albums, as well as various live and compilation albums, across his career. In spite of his literary skills and large cult following, he never achieved the mainstream success that many musicians crave. Crazy Town, by contrast, released 3 studio-length albums. Crazy Town achieved a number one chart position for their single “Butterly” in no fewer than 6 countries. Leonard Cohen achieved one solitary number one chart position for a single across his whole career.

    If you meet 10 people the next time you’re out for a meal or for a pint, it is likely that most will have heard of Leonard Cohen whilst few may remember Crazy Town. In spite of Crazy Town’s fleeting success, Cohen produced a body of work that will live long after he left us. He may not have achieved the dizzying success of some of his peers, but his influence will be enduring.

    This Mayo team are a lot like this. Starved of the success that they arguably deserved by way of winners’ medals, they have produced enough moments of magic to warm the hearts of all those who were lucky enough to have followed them. Sport often claims that the winners are remembered far longer than the losers, but given that this panel will never be forgotten, perhaps this is some sort of hollow but important victory in and of itself.

    I stood in Ruislip in 2011 watching in horror as the Exiles looked like they were going to end James Horan’s reign before it even started. I stood beside an unsavoury fellow who spent most of the afternoon roaring abuse at the Mayo players – he himself wearing the green and red but about as representative of our sublime supporters as a curry dish is of traditional Connemara cooking. He was particularly irked by Andy Moran that day, whom he called certain names that most would reserve for individuals that had run over their beloved pets. Nonetheless, we got out of jail that day, our Mayo “supporter” was fuming and told everyone and anyone that we were well and truly finished, and we all shuffled out not quite sure what to make of that extra time scrap. A few months later, we had disposed of the reigning All Ireland Champions, and in truth, we have never looked back since.

    When I think of our passionate following, the vivid memory I have is actually of that 2006 epic with Dublin. Mikey Moran deserved more credit than he ever got for how we came back that day from what was looking like a second half slaying. I remember in injury time when Kevin O Neill booted the ball into the crowd to waste a few precious seconds, and I recall hearing the roars of the supporters, fists clenched and believing. I was watching the match in an Irish Bar in Salou in Spain, but the surround sound system captured those roars to an almost deafening extent.

    It is days like today that we need to embrace all that we have been lucky enough to see and experience. Many other posters have already alluded to some of the highlights of this wonderfully unpredictable rollercoaster that we’ve all unwittingly gone on. For other counties, they may have had their Crazy Town moment, but few will truly have had a lasting experience like ours in which to savour for many years to come.

    I will post a separate piece on the match, as I believe that there still should be a time to reflect on what we saw and what we believe can be improved. But for now, I’ll leave it to the man himself:

    “I found that things became a lot easier when I no longer expected to win. You abandon your masterpiece and sink into the real masterpiece.”

  22. A sad defeat but our heroes went down fighting. I think you are right Willie Joe. Relief is the word and the year has been very stop start. It just wasn’t meant to be and the break will he good for many. Let these lads do normal things – holidays, the races, local festivals and get away from football. Some will find the hunger to go again. Others wont. But what was encouraging last night was the fight of Diarmaid and Paddy. They need to lead the next generation.

    What now for Stephen? Would not be surprised if he walks. He has eked every remaining ounce out of the lads. The manager next season is at the start of a project. I hope Stephen stays with some fresh backroom voices. If he does not we have a huge and crucial decision to make.

    Onwards and upwards. Time to start planning and saving for New York! You’ll be on the flight I presume Willie Joe?

  23. Think it could be a great thing that we are having an early Summer, when u think about the scar damage done from the last 2 All Irelands in 2016 and 17 and then the injuries to key players Tom Parsons, Seamie, Harrrison and Lee Keegan, Chris Barrett and Donal Vaughan missing for a big part of the year this I think could be a blessing missing 3 hard matches in the Super 8s which we probably wernt going to go through anyhow.
    David Clarke , Keith Higgins , Andy Moran and Colm Boyle and Seamie should be encouraged to stay on for another year to ease the transition of new playees but should all sit out the National League next season if that means going to Division 2 so be it, it hasn’t affected Donegals season.
    It has been mentioned by some posters here that there isn’t much talent coming through , I would imagine these are the people that never attend club matches in the County.
    There is some great talent coming through we have a great replacement for David Clarke in Westports Patrick O’Malley.
    Seamus Cunniffe from Ballagh looks the best man to take on the Number 3 spot which has been a problem over the years.
    Sharoize Akram , Michael Plunkett and Michael Hall all well capable on keeping pressure on our great Half back line.
    James McCormack from Claremorris could be a serious prospect if he gets game time in next years national league, great baller and athlete gave Aido a hard time of it in last years quarter final v Breaffy.Can play CHB or Midfield.
    In Ryan O’Donoghue from Belmullet we have a serious playmaking half forward a joy to watch in the Connacht Under 20 final.
    Ciaran Treacy , James Carr , Brian Reape , Peter Naughton, Ross Egan and Conor Diskin are all players well capable of challenging all our Senior forwards for places in next years National League
    Focus will now turn to the Under 20s All Ireland semi final v Derry .Does anybody have a date and venue for that game??

  24. I can’t say I agree that SR got every remaining ounce out of the lads. I think more accurate to say he tried to take too much out of some guys and didn’t get out of other lads that which they have to give. All told my view is that his 3 years were a missed opportunity

  25. Gutted. Sickened. But also relieved. Losing the 2 big lads in the middle plus Harrison, added to Vaugban and Keegan clearly not being fit, was just too much to bear for our heros. However, no one died. Mayo GAA doesn’t now disappear nor do the current squad.
    At a push, I would think that only Zippy and Seamie could be ones to strongly consider their roles for 2019.
    Andy is on record as saying he will play as long as he’s selected and I think his positivity and experience around the squad is vital to aid integration of the new blood. I do however feel that he now must be used more as a swuad player.
    Clarke is in the form of his life, physically in great shape and in his early 30’s which is not old for keeper but I do believe Byrne from Mitchels and the Westport should be brought in.
    Cafferkey had his best season for a long time but we have to acknowledge the injury he has come back from certainly has taken an edge off him.
    As for management? That’s a real tough job and one in which you will never please everyone. I feel we are second to none in getting our match ups right, plus we always pull a rabbit from the hat in our tactics or selections which makes us very difficult to prepare for. However, our use of subs is terrible and in 3 years we have not had an influential impact from any of our subs in big games. They are introduced too late in games and that is Rochys fault. Like the players, he too must and no doubt will hold his hand up and accept his part in things. He can’t kick it over the bar for them though and I hope and expect hom to stay on.
    A proper analysis can be done in time but for now, a huge thank you to you WJ for your unstinting service to Mayo football.
    And finaly, an eternal gratitude to our Mayo senior squad and managements over the last 7 years. During the harshest economic climate in a generation, with fear for financial security and positivity in short supply, you men (and ye are MEN) kept our spirits and hopes alive when every shop, factory and post office closed, and our sons/daughters headed for airports and bus stations to go to far away shores for work. Ye gave us something to dream about, to plan towards, to keep the heads up, young and old. Ye made us proud to be from Mayo. Ye bowed to no one and feared none. Ye gave us dignity, confidence and the right to believe we deserved to win. That, more than any poxy rotten fucking Celtic Cross, is immeasurable and means more to us. Enjoy the well earned rest, no rash decisions and let the hare sit.
    We will be back so chins up. Roll on the FBD. Hon Mayo.

  26. Mayo best players Under 24 plenty of talent there

    Patrick O’Malley
    James Stretton
    Seamus Cunniffe
    Eoin O’Donoghue
    Michael Plunkett
    Patrick Durcan
    Sharoize Akram
    Diarmuid O’Connor
    James McCormack
    Conor Loftus
    James Carr
    James Durcan
    Ryan O’Donoghue
    Brian Reape
    Ciaran Treacy

    Matty Flanagan
    Cian Hanley
    Stephen Coen
    Conor Diskin
    Ross Egan
    Liam Irwin
    Michael Hall

  27. Lost in London, that is a great post. I have to say I am not feeling so philosophical today. I have nothing but pride in our team, but events / injuries over the last few months have conspired against the team. the hope will endure, the dream will never die. I think everyone, players, management and supporters need to let the dust settle, and avail of the opportunity to start over. I agree we have been lack lustre in the league for a while. It was Einstein who said you can’t expect a different outcome if you keep doing the same things. A early exit will provide a good chance to prepare for next season. I know no one wants to be thinking of 2019 just yet. In Chinese, opportunity and crisis are the same word. We must consider this setback as an opportunity to have a good season in 2019, and achieve the dream.

  28. I might well be, Ger! We’ve plans – as yet still very much tentative one, I admit – for a Big Apple Mayo News football podcast, which would be fun to do if we can manage it.

  29. Well said, Pebblesmeller. The thought has been going round in my mind the last few days, but more strongly since the final whistle sounded last night, that this bunch of players have done more than give us supporters so much enjoyment and so many great days out. They’ve actually altered our collective perception of the county. Prior to 2011, I don’t think there was a great sense of a pride of place amongst Mayo people but today there certainly is. Maybe this is just a daft thought – and I’ll happily defer to those of you living in the county as you’d have a better feel for whether or not this is the case – but I do at least suspect that the positive influence wrought by these young men on our country goes well beyond what they’ve done on the football field.

  30. End of an era. Disaster for Connacht too. Financial disaster for GAA. Watch for the half empty stadiums in July and August as the best supported team stays at home. A ship has sailed and although we had several opportunities to catch it since 2012, we missed it. 67 years turns to 68.

  31. Absolutely WJ…this team has injected a pride that will live on long after the players have hung up their boots

  32. Pebblesmeller i feel we will have a lot of retirements–it is very hard to keep giving year in year out–the same goes for management. We have to throw caution to the wind in the league & blood new players . The quicker we get commitment from players & management the better–lots of work to be done over the winter..Manager & players have earned the right to make up their own minds.
    Finally i think Galway will go another year without a championship win in Croker.

  33. Don’t want to be hard on SR he came close twice but he was living of the coat tales of what JH brought and he didn’t cut the coat tale as he kept with same personal. My own hope is that JH will come back and hopefully finish the job although I accept that a manager coming back doesn’t always work out. But I believe there is no way we would have lost to Galway this year if he was in charge as we wouldn’t have sat back in seconds half with wind with us.
    Still think he is our best hope of taking that u21 team and developing it into a class act with some of our already established players.
    Here’s to next year

  34. TH……we have the talent, we’ve always had the talent even in the darkest days. The only difference between the good times and the bad was the way that talent was managed. Remember Longford beat us in a qualifier in 2010, one of the lowest moments for Mayo football two years later we were in an all Ireland final with virtually the same squad, the only management ,new ideas. We’re in a similar position now.

  35. Thanks for that list TH. We need big strong lads with blinding pace, hopefully some of those mentioned have both those attributes. The modern game won’t allow too many guys that are slow.

  36. We won the All irl u21 in 2006. It wasn’t until 2011 until we developed a decent team.

    There’s still time for lads from the 2016 21s to make it through but next spring is when they need to be chomping at the bit to wear that jersey.

  37. WJ, I hope there is a Mayo News Podcast stateside, it would be a cracking idea. Myself and a few have the flights booked already.
    Re my philosophical viewpoint on the legacy this team leaves behind, I firmly belief the future is bright. TH lists above enough young talent to work with allied to our more experienced players. Every young lad and girl proudly wears their Mayo geansai as normal day wear, this wasn’t the case pre 2011. Young lads now want to be “county ballers” and are flat out in the gym bulking up. Pre 2011 young lads were in to fags and pints, the fags are gone and gym membership has replaced some of the pints.
    Further down the line, the first steps of structuring our club and schools coaching is begining with 4 full time coaches in the county. Bringing back former players like Dillon, MacDonald, Heaney and Moffat and creating a development squad set up will bear fruit in the future. Mayo GAA will not go away but we must do everything we can to benefit from the financial strength and positive PR we have with this current squad.
    Of those young lads listed above, there are a few big units in there too and with proper S&C they will fill out in time. What would greatly help is if we could keep these young men in college for as long as possible or provide them with work in the county.
    The future is for another day, now is for cool heads. We are down and sad and almost grieving. However no one died and we have two choices. We can wallow in self pity and turn on our own, or, as was wonderfully put above we can use this crisis (using the word lightly) to turn it in to an opportunity.
    There is really only one answer to that.

  38. Any idea when the venue, date and time will be known for the U20 semi final against Derry in 2 weeks time?

  39. Willie Joe… Enjoy your realitive break from the do or die Mayo roleacoaster, and the rest of ye Mayo fan’s as well!.. But on the subject of ‘Clichés’.. as you mentioned in your post Willie Joe … One’ Leo Varadaker’ ‘might ponder….’ If the Early Bird gets the Early Worm ‘… Doesn’t that mean that the Early Worm get eaten by the Early Bird’.. That Worm should have stayed in bed!

  40. I’m not sure about this idea of former stars getting involved in training teams. The best players rarely make the best managers. Who would have thought back in their playing days that James Horan. John Maughen and Stephen Rochford would lead us to all Ireland finals or indeed Jim gavin Jim McGuiness or Mickey Harte would have led their counties to all Ireland titles, on the other hand not one of the Great Kerry team of the seventies and eighties ever went on to be a successful manager.

  41. Willie Joe, there is no doubt in that. That Mayo team may not have won an All Ireland but they were a team that brought unprecedented success to the county. In the past we often travelled to Croker more in hope than expectation but that team changed all that. As Mayo fans we now feel that we belong at the top table..that we can compete equally with the Dublins and Kerry’s of this world…Outside of maybe 97 I don’t think we ever felt like that before. After losing the Galway game and Tom and then Seami this year was always going to be a big ask. It may be no harm for some of these lads to have a break. I know it’s another year gone and we may lose one or two but there are still a lot of good footballers still with a decent age profile. I do think our mentality has changed and hopefully this year is a blip and we will return with vengeance next year.

  42. Well said Mayo67,
    Time to reflect, savour the last 8 years.
    Enjoy the buzz this team has given us.
    Look where we’ve come from, and the confidence that has brought players and fans.
    No trepidation heading to Croke Park knowing we could compete with the best.
    There inevitably will be a turn over in personal, both in players and management, as in all things nothing goes on for ever. That needs to be well managed. There are good structures put in place at the younger age levels within the County set up, but at club level below U14 there needs to be more emphasises put on raising our skill levels than winning County titles.
    Thanks Willie Joe for the forum, it’s been an absolute God send, where supporters can share the joys of winning, and the loss of loosing, and give out about what irks them.
    Up Mayo.

  43. Thanks Willie Joe for providing this wonderful forum While we still have the Under 20’s to follow no doubt it will be very quiet here for the rest of the year. So enjoy your summer and will all come back in the New Year fully refreshed to renew battle again. So again many thanks for all your hard work keeping this blog going.and ensuring our debates are conducted in a civilised manner/

  44. After paying for the Gaa go package, I couldn’t see the match on my phone such is the very poor coverage of wifi here in rural Italy. I however was able to get the scores on some live site, have to say I was in shock as Mayo were 3 points down in injury time.

    Here is the view from me as a long life supporter. This team have given me my best days since 2011, that win in the quarter final v Cork was special, I knew then we had arrived, there were others too. The bad days came in the finals of 12, 13, 16 and 17. Time has moved on alot since them, I remember thinking to myself in Croker after the final last year that the guys couldn’t have given anymore yet didnt win, my head made my mind up for me there and then, those guys were somehow not destined to win Sam, the wicked curse came into my head after to own goals in the 2016 drawn final. I say thanks to all the players and all the 3 mamagement teams that have given their lives to the cause.

    Now comes the viewpoint from me, as the almost 48 year coach with kids teams.
    They say we learn something new every day, I have been concerned for a while now with the current management, I dont think they have learnt from past mistakes or they developed enough younger guys, here are the reasons for this.
    1, Late and unusual substitution choices mainly in the finals and semis.
    2, Testing out the rookie guys in terrible ground conditions in Jan and feb, where little good football can be played and then putting those guys out of contention for the rest of the year, maybe they cant cut it at this level .
    3, Keeping some guys on the panel and never using them for a minute in a championship.
    4, Why didnt the two Garrymore guys, Crowe and Nally get more game time ?, Crowe in particular has been very good in games that I have seen.
    5, No point in waiting till 2019 to start team rebuilding, this surely should start now in conjunction with the County Championships.
    6, Losing to Galway in three successive years, how could Mayo then expect to beat the best in Ireland, the Dubs, though Mayo did brillantly to break down the back doors in 2016 and 17.
    7, Sometimes its easier to hear a new voice and a person with new ideas, maybe its best now for a bid overhaul, management and some players. It could be hard for a new management team if some of the Senior players still hold the power.

    Maybe we all expect too much from those guys, with the very high numbers on the injured list this year, its clear that they have been pushed too far.

    Like all life long supporters, I will continue to bring the kids and myself to the matches mainly in Croker, but there will always be a vacuum when Mayo are not involved, the Dub, Kerry even Galway supporters dont seem to have that same passion as ourselves.
    I will be there again, go through all the highs and lows in this life long obsession, but I hope we will get there soon, 48 in August and moving on.

    Thanks to you Willie Joe for your time and patience this past few years.

  45. Pebblesmeller the last paragraph of your earlier comment is so true and so well expressed. I think and I hope it’s whatmost Mayo people feel about this team.

  46. Spot on Mayo88. It’s very concerning how this management do not appear to learn anything and repeat previous mistakes

  47. Watched the game back earlier. My God, Diarmuid O’Connor was something else. He and others couldn’t have given anymore. The sight of Diarmuid hobbling one legged to the ball in the last minute, sums up this team…warriors one and all. Died with their boots on, literally carried off the pitch for their County. When you have that pride and determination, the future is no longer bleak.

    The break will do them wonders, it really will. This season was doomed last October when the draw was made. I knew it deep down, but couldn’t admit it. Tom and Seamie were the last straw. I’d rather go out the way we did, than a trimming against the Dubs or Kerry, our boys deserve not yo be humiliated.

    I wouldn’t be so sure that a few will retire. Theirs a unique bond between them lads, their like a second family to each other, will be very hard for any a them to call time. If the likes of Andy and Boyle accepted a role from the bench im sure they’d stay on. Imagine bringing them on in the last 10mins? Think Rochford will stay too, he knws the younger players coming through. Can see R O’Donoghue, Reape, Akram playing big roles in the league, aswell as Hanley and Durcan. A kinder draw in Connacht next year and the “transition” will be quicker than expected.

  48. I was at the game yesterday and I thought Aidan O’Shea was a colossus. He was everywhere and kept going and going until the end. I have such massive respect for him and for his character. I think he has been growing in stature this year. He’s an amazing player for Mayo. He showed strength, guts and character against Tipp and Galway this year too. Kildare could not subdue him. I thought Diarmuid and Paddy Durcan were excellent too. Also Kevin Mc. Our full forward line was shut down all evening, just as it had been by Tipp. And for some reason, Kildare found it very easy to get scores. I’m sure all Cian O’Neill had to do was to look at where Tipp had success last week (before our superior fitness allowed us to pull free) and replicate it. That said, Kildare were very good yesterday, much more energised for the game than most of our team, for whatever reason, maybe tiredness.

    Secondly, Willie Joe, thank you for this great blog for us Mayo fans. You have added something very special to this collective experience of ours these last few years. Thank you. All I wanted to do last night was to meet Mayo fans to talk about what had happened and to be with people who understood. You offer this to us here.

    Thirdly, these Mayo team members are heroes to me – full stop. I do not use the word ‘hero’ lightly.

    Fourthly, thank you most sincerely Stephen Rochford and management.

    Fifthly, I think we all carry these men with us in our hearts. That may be all we need to do for the next few months and we’ll see where we’ll go to from there.

  49. Over 24 hours on now, just heartbroken but at the same time all this end of an era talk is a bit much too take, yeah we’re gone out of championship but don’t think any one of us genuinely thought we could go on to win this year not with all our injuries and without our two must experienced midfielders. I can’t see any of the lads go though, the likes of Andy, Boyle, Higgins and Clarkey?? Honestly can’t see it, not under those circumstances out in a qualifier game in June to Kildare, no I’m sorry but I just can’t they still have more to give and yeah absolutely we need an injection of youth but those warriors have still more to give this cause. In one way I think this might be a good thing, these lads have given it there all for so long they need a break, time to spend with their families, go on holidays, enjoy their summer and I have no doubt they will be rearing to go come January. Can’t speak highly enough of this team they are just heroes each and every one of them and absolute role models to young kids in Mayo and have thought them just because you don’t get to where you want to be you don’t give up you come back and keep trying. Dublin might have three in a row but there is nowhere else in Ireland I’d rather be from than Mayo and having these legends represent us. Looking forward to seeing them take to the field in 2019 and seeing Tom Parsons run on to the pitch in New York in the Green and Red please God. Watching Deirmuid and Paddy yesterday it’s hard not to feel anything but positive for next year. Up Mayo!!

  50. Right yesterday was yesterday and we lost. No need to lie on a couch with a cold towel on your face to find some solace after yesterday, just take 30 mins to breeze through these comments and we are already “planning” our 2019 adventure.

    Ah, its GREAT to be from Mayo.

    Now, on to the U 20’s in a few weeks.

    We do need changes for the 2019 league and championship but now not the time to call for, as some have suggested for the management to go.

    Reassessment and planning.

  51. Willie Joe… Thank you so much for this incredible resource for us diehards. It’s the first place I come when Mayo have left me feeling on top of the world, and when they’ve had my heart broken to bits. Like today. The time and effort you put in is just amazing and so appreciated. Thank you thank you thank you.
    The lads left it all on the pitch and owe us nothing. They’ve given me some of the best days of my 27 years.
    We go again. See ye on the sideline in January.

  52. Thanks Willie Joe and Rob, I don’t know how you keep it up but I was addicted to your brilliant coverage of this epic voyage.
    Well done lads,

    #Mayo4Sam2019 🙂

  53. Back home now. Still gutted I have to say and it will take a bit more time. I keep feeling the Summer ahead is so empty.

    The one silver lining is that the rest (and long recovery period) will benefit the players and leave them fresher, with more new blood for League 2019. We should be able to be really competitive by then, notwithstanding the Dublin brigade.

    On Rochy – why would he go? Isn’t he ratified until 2020?

  54. As an American whose Mayo blood sprang to life while visiting Ireland for the first time in 2016 during the All Ireland replay (watched from a Dublin pub, my first taste of this great game) to flying in and paying a fortune to be in CP in 2017, I can’t wait for NYC. I was there for the Leitrim game this year and the place was crawling with their supporters. I can only dream how the green and red will be represented. I will be there, with a couple of carloads of family and friends who have watched this crazy fan lose his mind over this team and sport!

    While sickened by the end of this year’s dream, I now realize that I had not been properly baptized to be worthy of experiencing the thrill of Sam so soon. It will just make that future date all the more memorable.

  55. Came across this blog and the positive comments from so many bodes well for the future of Mayo Football. I have come to admire this great Mayo team and its fans who have had great success and always left it all out there. Life can be a bitch sometimes but we all admire a people who when knocked down repeatedly get up dust themselves off, smile and get on with it. We loved beating you but would and will cheer loudly when you get there.
    A Dub

  56. This was definitely our year.

    Donegal banjaxed without Mc Brearty
    Tyrone banjaxed full stop
    Galway & Ros both hammered last time they were in Croke Parke
    Kerry backs cannot have improved substantially from last year
    Dublin going for 4 in a row minus DC ??

    50/1 Bar

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