Tonight’s open night at MacHale Park

Open night

Image: @MayoGAA

A very popular addition to the GAA’s annual calendar in recent years is the open night that each county hosts, where supporters young and old can get up close and personal with their heroes. Tonight’s the night for the Mayo GAA one, with the event getting underway at MacHale Park at 6pm this evening.

Thankfully, the weather looks like it might be okay for it. The rain is set to fall by the bucketload up here in the capital for much of the day and into the evening but this evening’s forecast for the county’s capital looks far better by comparison so hopefully it’ll stay that way in practice.

40 thoughts on “Tonight’s open night at MacHale Park

  1. Does this involve being able to observe the training session as well? That’s what would be of huge interest to alot of people.

  2. The rains-a-comin!
    Looking like a wet evening for the open night.
    That just adds to the sense of foreboding!!! 🙂
    Keep the faith.

  3. Small turnout tonight maybe 100 at most.Players busy signing autographs and had plenty of time chatting to fans both young and old.
    The only 2 I didn’t see were Seamie and Mickey C.
    Good news on the injury front was Rob H.hopes to be back playing in 2 weeks and Cillian is back in training.

  4. Surprised from the images on social media last night that people were allowed on the pitch after they spent 10,000 reseeding it over the past few weeks.

  5. The pitch is in perfect condition,they trained on it for 80 minutes afterwards and barely left a mark on it

  6. What was the weather like down in castlebar. All the hype on Rossies màyo and galway are basically in the long grass

  7. pacar – I was not down there myself but from the pics the pitch looked class. Another few weeks and it will be like a carpet I am sure. Lets all hope that we get a big game there this year, a Connacht Final v the Rossies and us winning would go down a treat.

  8. Can’t imagine the groundsmen are too happy that 80 mins of training was done on a newly laid surface. Why wasn’t the pitch at the back of the stand used instead?

  9. Mitchels were playing Knockmore in a senior challenge on the back pitch.Like I posted earlier the pitch was in perfect condition.In 30 years going to and having played in McHale Park many times it’s the best condition I have seen the pitch in.The training session had little or no affect on it

  10. Talking of challenge matches I seen on Hoganstand that Monaghan and Galway drew 1-21 to 2-18 in a behind closed doors game yesterday.

  11. Anyone else feel like time is dragging till we get to start the championship….. roll on summer

  12. @Cod

    I only stayed for about 10 minutes of the training session which was going at a very fast pace.Lads looked really up for it.

    As for Cillian,I didn’t see him training but some of them had yet to get involved.He is training with his club though.

  13. Opt2missteek did you hear anything about the challenge match? Did it go ahead and final score etc

  14. Galway play monaghan, a division one team in a challenge. Cork play Dublin in a challenge today. Enough said. Mayo play Clare in a challenge. A division 4 team. Ends in a draw.
    Go figure.

  15. Patriot

    Challenge games are notoriously unreliable barometers of a teams form or ability. Clare are a middling team but would be hammered by Kerry and cork in Munster.

  16. No disrespect to Clare but i would be much happier hearing we had drawn with monaghan …all seems to be ticking along nicely for galway ..hmmm

  17. A challenge game is what management want it to be.They are never going to go all out and risk injury to more lads before a big game against Galway and still a round of senior championship to go as well.As it is we have 8-10 lads that didn’t train Friday evening

  18. Admittedly Some challenges games are unreliable. But also some games show where teams are at.

  19. What was score in Clare game? I imagine we had very much a second string team out given the injury list Noel gave during the week. Anyone know the team?

  20. This is just a total guesswork but from what I saw Friday night the following players were involved today,in no certain order………

    A. Moran

  21. Jesus surely we can find someone to play with other than Clare !! Or do our CB ladeens have no other friends in the playground?! I certainly hope there’s some bigger teams lined up for challenge games over the next 4 weeks…

  22. With regard to challenge matches Colm O’Rourke’s article in today’s Sunday Independent is informative.

  23. We’ve got a really good football team representing us in Mayo. No question about that. They have given us great days out since 1989 and we’re justifiably proud of them. But. We last won an All Ireland 64 years ago. This county is legendary for hype.

    I’ve no wish to spoil anyone’s party but maybe, just maybe, we should hold back on the “Heroes” tag for just a little while yet ???

  24. HSE very informative thanks for that. Evans has been great for the Rossies. if memory serves there wasn’t a big queue for that job at that time.

  25. I agree with the above. We’ve a good team but I for one am not expecting big things this year. Feet are firmly on the ground and for the games we have coming up I’ll be travelling in hope rather than expectation.

    Ps I know the CB get lots of flak and rightly so but challenge games are arranged by a county teams management and not others.

  26. Hope Springs,

    Judging from that Examiner article Evans seems a bit of a b……x to me. But maybe he suits the Rossies.

  27. Your welcome PJ and I know what you mean too AndyD!

    It reminds me of the joke about the definition of a Kerry man: He’d be behind you going into a revolving door and come out ahead of you. It sums them up really.

  28. The thing with Evans and the Roscommon revolution is there is only one barometer they will be truly judged on and that’s the Connacht championship . If they were to lose to Mayo or Galway in the final , no matter how today’s stupid airy fairy pundits tart it up it will be a failure.

  29. A few will panic over a draw with Clare in a Challenge match no doubt. Interesting alright what O Rourke said in yesterdays Indo on challenge games:

    The challenge match circuit is something very different. These will be going full tilt for the next month and are often played far away from prying eyes. They are useful for the first 40 or 50 minutes. Then all those who will never get a game are sent on and the match becomes a useless exercise. I do not recall any player in my time who played himself onto a team from performances in a challenge game. More often than not they can give an entirely false picture of where you are at and if there was an All-Ireland challenge match championship there would be some unusual winners every year.
    In these type of games there are different categories of players. Those who know they are going to play on the big days ahead just go through the motions and won’t kill themselves. Their main hope is that they don’t pick up an injury. An opposition player can look very good on one of these men.
    Then there are those who are completely unmotivated by such games and will look pedestrian and uninterested – because they are. They need the roar of the crowd and the nervousness that a championship match brings. When others shrivel up under pressure these players grow. A good manager needs to know who fits into this category or taking a challenge match at face value could mean leaving some of these on the line.
    Then there are the challenge match stars. These men can do all the tricks when there is no pressure but disappear like a puff of smoke when there is a bit of heat on.
    Tyrone don’t do challenge matches for some or all of these reasons and internal full-on games are probably a far more reliable indicator of how lads are going as you can match up players from the different groups.
    Not only that but challenge matches are a costly exercise for county boards too as well as disrupting clubs. If fixtures were right there would be a natural follow on from league to championship where there would be no need for the chicken and chips circuit. Built in to that would be protection of clubs and it is not just possible but quite easily done to keep both club and county working at ease with each other. Of course everybody could adopt the Dublin model and that would solve nearly all problems for county v club clashes.

  30. I personally think challenge matches are a waste of time. When you see us having games quite close with Clare who we know we would demolish in the full tilt of championship, you would wonder what was proven for either ourselves or for Clare.
    About the only thing you could do with it is try out a couple of very specific attacking or defensive plays. But given the random nature of our tactics I doubt that was happening.
    A challenge match has something to it if you are going to run some very specific things on kick outs, sidelines, target man play. But I read where our management team think matching Dublin is simply just a case of bringing extra men back and they wonder if Dublin might peak too soon with fitness. That is very out of date thinking to be talking about “peaking fitness too soon”. That is from the days when teams went from being unfit, trained like demons (overtrained) and had a brief couple of weeks where they were up to a peak fitness before their bodies couldn’t sustain the over-training regimes of the 90’s early 2000’s.

  31. Not so sure that a challenge against Clare is a waste.

    You have to factor in the team you are playing as well as your own goals. Division 1 teams would be counter productive at this stage, as they would play second string or third, trying out some guys and so on; which is exactly what we want to do.

    With Clare you are likely to play against the first 15, they would relish the opportunity of playing a team like Mayo, so it’s likely they would provide a genuine tough challenge.

    Years ago we beat all and sundry in challenges, and took great heart from them – with little or no pay off at the business end.

  32. In fairness Sean the rossies remain 3rd for Connacht according to bookies they could still reach the last 8 losing the Connacht final. The deemed failure I see for them is losing to Sligo and that could happen.

    I agree with others and O Rourke that challenge games are a waste of time. You learn more with A v B games and even Galway will learn more from their leitrim game this weekend as Mayo will from a dozen challenges.

  33. I think challenge games are beneficial early in the run into championship.
    There is no way we are going to be playing a team with a desire to win Sam in a challenge match so that rules out Dublin, Kerry,Cork, Donegal, Monaghan and Tyrone.
    Nothing would be learned from playing any of these teams as you wouldn’t want to show your hand to a team you will more than likely meet at the business end of the year.
    So who can we play? Well in Munster your left with Tipp and Care both of whom will be peeking around now. In Leinster you have Meath and Kildale and in Ulster Armagh.
    Challenge games give the fringe players a run and can be used for trying new formations, tactics etc
    Come towards the business end of the summer and you need a panel consisting of an A and B team with subs bursting to get a run on the first team.

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