It’s been a hectic day Chez WJ, what with the sudden end to the extended school holidays for the chisellers and the fact that it’s our eldest’s birthday (oh my, how the years have flown), not to mention all this work that keeps reminding me it hasn’t been done yet. And this weather: fuck me, there we were at the weekend, wishing away the snow but that was before we realised it would be replaced by a howling wind and driving rain. Come back snow, all is forgiven.
All of which explains why this rapid post is being done so late in the day but there’s a fair bit of news to report so it’s still, I think, worthwhile doing so. Okay, here goes.
First, Midwest is reporting that this weekend’s opening round of the FBD will definitely go ahead. I spoke on the phone with PJ this afternoon and, from his vantage point from within the county, he felt that the thaw still had some way to go before it could be taken for granted that the ball will be thrown in at Garrymore on Sunday. Based in the metropolis, of course, I take the view that any further talk of snow is old hat (you won’t hear too much more from the national media about it either, now that it’s gone from here) so I’m assuming it’s game on against NUIG on Sunday. I suppose, though, that we’ll have to wait and see what’s thrown at us from the heavens between this and then before we know for sure.
Next up, there’s a good, informative article by Mike Finnerty in the Mayo News where he profiles the eight newcomers that have been named in the squad for the FBD campaign. It would be good to see all eight getting a chance to shine over the course of the three FBD games and at least some of them earning a place in the NFL squad. Otherwise what’s the point in including them in the squad now?
The Mayo News also has an interview with Ronan who is talking positively about the year ahead. He reflects ruefully on the defeat to Meath last August, saying that “it was just one of those days, one of those games you just want to forget about” but it’s clear that his focus is now squarely on the year ahead. Those who have doubts about where the team is headed this year and, indeed, Ronan’s place in the scheme of things, will be interested in the following quote from the Ballinaman:
But now we have another year to go back, get fitter and stronger. A lot of people have written us off already but we have lots of very good young footballers in the squad now. I’m very upbeat about this season.
Too right, big lad. If you can’t be upbeat in January, then when are you going to be? Personally, I think Ronan still has the capability to regain the heights he reached for us back in 2006 and after all the crack with his jaw last summer, he’s due an injury-free run this year.
Elsewhere in the Mayo News, there’s confirmation of Tony Duffy’s appointment as manager of the county minor team and an interview by Mike Finnerty with Trevor, following the Shrule-Glencorrib man’s reappointment as captain for 2010.
The Indo also managed to squeeze in another Mayo story today, this one concerning our opening NFL fixture against the Herrin Chokers at McHale Park and whether or not it’ll be played under lights. Sean Feeney is quoted as saying that we’ll “know the situation within the next day or so”. It’d be a shame to see the fixture shunted to the Sunday afternoon but regular readers will know that I’ve a selfish vested interest in seeing this happen so I’ll say no more about it.
Finally, RTE is reporting that the tweaking has already started with the experimental rules, despite the fact that a ball has yet to be kicked in anger in a match involving them. Although I hate seeing the NFL being used year after year for guinea pig experiments that are never going to feature in the championship, I have a reasonably open mind about the proposed changes. I’m a big supporter of the change to the fisted pass and I hope that this means we’ve seen the last of all that open-handed point scoring that has graced Croke Park for the last number of summers. I’m not sure about the square ball rule and the adoption of the mark and it’s in relation to the latter that the change has been announced, with refs now being given latitude to play advantage after a player has made a clean catch. While the change is clearly an attempt to avoid endless stop-start situations around the middle of the pitch, it sounds like a recipe for further confusion and even more accusations of inconsistent refereeing. Like last year’s draconian yellow card measure, it’s difficult to see this rule still being in place for the championship.