Tomorrow and all it may bring

This is just a quick one, at the end of a head-wrecking week of work and with a few days in the desert facing me next week where, as it were, I have to see a man about a camel. In between, tomorrow to be precise, we have two championship matches involving the county’s footballers and, before all that, my little buck is set to kick ball in anger for the Vins (the U7s, that is) for the very first time later on this evening.

I wish I could say more about the minors but I know very little about what shape they’re in and what their prospects are against Roscommon in tomorrow’s Connacht semi-final. (Mike Finnerty in the Mayo News knows a whole load more – here’s his preview). We were lucky to get past the Sheepstealers at minor level last year and we should really have gone under to them in the drawn Connacht final at Salthill. They’ll obviously be looking for revenge and aiming to do to us what their U21 counterparts did to our lads on Paddy’s Day. Still, Tony Duffy and his new team will, no doubt, be keen to make their mark at this level and, with no back door to fall back on, here’s hoping the lads can do the business at McHale Park tomorrow.

I’ll be up the road at Pearse Park tomorrow evening, as will PJ, but, by the sounds of it, it could be down to the bare bones in terms of Mayo support. The crowds following Mayo this year have all been small ones and I felt that the lack of vocal support for the team at Markievicz Park was particularly noticeable. PJ and myself will be doing our best tomorrow evening but we’re certain to be heavily outnumbered by a home crowd that’ll be pitching up expecting to see their unheralded heroes claim the scalp of a so-called ‘big’ county.

They could well get their win too – this is a route that has in the past seen us beaten by such lower lights as Westmeath and Fermanagh – and, like Sligo, Longford will be seeking to draw inspiration from a narrow qualifier defeat to Kerry last year. No more than was the case with Sligo, if we haven’t the game in the bag with twenty minutes to go, it could get very sticky for us tomorrow evening in the Midlands.

Although we won’t know for sure until we get our match programmes at the ground tomorrow evening, there’s intense speculation that Johnno has at last taken a meat cleaver to the team and that all of the worst underperformers at Markievicz Park will be watching this one from the dugout. I hope these rumours are correct and while such a move might be regarded as a bold one, it’s quite clearly one that’s being made far too late in the day by a manager who is obviously seeing out his final hours on the sideline. If there are significant changes, though, it does make the chances of a fresh start all the better.

I’d tend to share Liam McHale’s assessment of our prospects tomorrow. He reckons the Larries will be well up for it and will be aiming to use their physical bulk to knock our lighter lads about but he also thinks that we simply have to be looking to blow them out of the water. This is spot on, I reckon – if we see a stuttering performance like the 2007 round 1 qualifier win over Cavan, then we know that round 2 is likely to mean the end of the road for us this year (and that’s assuming that a poorish showing will still be good enough to win in Pearse Park, which, of course, it may not be). If, however, the lads put in a massively improved performance and work like fuck all evening to win by ten points or more then maybe, just maybe, there could yet be a twist in the tail as regards how this year championship pans out for us. I honestly haven’t a clue which it’ll be but I’m still looking forward to hopping into the car tomorrow afternoon and heading down the N4 to find out.

6 thoughts on “Tomorrow and all it may bring

  1. This is a true turning point in Mayo football – for better or worse. The lads need to understand this before crossing the white line on Sat evening.
    If anyone told you after the Tyrone match last Spring that we could be in trouble against Longford you would probably laugh at them. And it is laughable. Just think about it – the third team from the bottom of the pile and we are concerned that we might lose! There is no way that is going to happen.
    But winning of itself isnt enough – we must know after Sat what our best 15 is (more or less). Fellas are going to have to stand up and be counted. Each of them has to make a real statement about themselves, their skills, their commitment, their pride, their hunger to win, their manliness. Because an inept performance (albeit a winning one) will be making a real statement about Mayo football.
    I, like a lot of others, am prone to codding myself about Mayo football from time to time But for Jazus sake we ARE better than that. The time has now come to set about proving that we are in a different class to the likes of Longford – both on the field and on the scoreboard.

  2. Have to say i dont think we will have a big crowd up with us tomorrow evening, i think most people have other plans and im sure most had planned on us playing galway on sun! When the draw was made i thought it was handy one, indeed if it were anywhere but pearse park it would be a handy one but Longford will be well up for it as they were for kerry last year, so its fraught with danger for us. dam it if we want it bad enough we should beat them out the gate but a lot of men in green and red these days just dont want it enough. All the same we shuld account for longford. On a different note just looking at this weekends matches in the qualifiers -anyone for 8 away wins?? might be worth a tenner!

  3. Great post wj,I think you expressed the feelings of everybody.I fully expect to see a Mayo team fired up as it is for some last chance saloon.With the quality we have I expect a comfortable win.I do not know about you guys but I’m slightly excited to see the team he puts out.He could drop any of about 11/12 players.Spot on about the fans, as one of the top supported teams in Ireland our supporters are very quiet,unless you call the odd’yahoo’ after a score or that gammy ‘mayo,Mayo,Mayo’ getting behind the lads,we really need a new chant or something, I’ve got a spare vuvuezela

  4. Sean on the support thing,I think g.a.a is slowly losing interest everywhere though and the r* has not helped,but that’s another matter

  5. Jj you had to mention the r* word!! But you are absolutely correct though…when you’re charged between 20 and 30quid for a first round c’ship match what do they expect in “the current climate” but small crowds!

    20quid for the stand is a joke as well today….

  6. I was plesently surprised to see that the season ticket holders are only been charged €10 for this match, and my nephew’s juvenile ticket is’nt been charged at all :).
    On a side note, our local man david heaney got married yesterday in achill, wounder how many of the team/managment attended, and would that have anything to do with the team not been named untill throw in ? Best of luck in the future david :).

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