Waiting and dreaming

Mayo flag Knock airport

Photo: @OkcabRonan

One day closer and I dunno about the rest of you but this lead-in sure seems to be a long one. The four-week gap between our semi-final and Sunday week’s final is the longest interval we’ve had between games this summer – London to Galway was three weeks, then it was another three-week gap to the Fermanagh game, then it was a week to the Kildare match, two weeks to Westmeath, a week to Tyrone and two to Tipp – so no wonder it’s dragging a bit. Good, though, for rest, recovery and planning for the big one.

I’d say there was plenty of planning done at the squad’s training camp in Limerick at the weekend. Mike Finnerty has a piece in this week’s Mayo News where he speaks with both manager Stephen Rochford and selector Seán Carey on how the prep is progressing. Both men sound fairly gung-ho about the challenge facing us: neither are in any doubt about the enormity of the test but nor do they give any hint about our not being up for it.

Stephen puts it well:

It’s a challenge that we’re all relishing, and if you’re going to be the All-Ireland champions then no better way to do that than by beating the All-Ireland champions.

That’s it for sure. While any All-Ireland victory for us would taste sweeter than we can even imagine, finally reaching the summit by toppling the current standard-bearers would surely be sweeter still. So sweet, in fact, that Dr. Eva might be on our case such would be the cornucopia of sweetness we’d be luxuriating in then.

Okay, enough of the daydreaming. There’s still a final to be won and if you’re into the tactical side of things then there’s plenty in the local papers this week to keep you occupied. Pick of the bunch for me this week were Edwin McGreal’s piece in the Mayo News on kick-out strategies (ours as well as Dublin’s) and James Horan’s column in the Western People where he reveals some startling statistics (which are good from our perspective) on Dublin’s scoring record this year compared to last. I’ve no links to either, I’m afraid, but both are worth the small amount a paper or digital version of this week’s edition of these publications will set you back.

Onto arrangements for All-Ireland weekend, where Citywest Hotel is set, once again, to be the main focal point for our supporters. There’ll be a function for supporters at the hotel on Saturday night (throw-in 9pm) featuring guest pundits and ex-players, which will be covered by Mid-West Radio. Tickets at the door for this function will cost €10.

Citywest will also be the venue for the post-match banquet on Sunday night. Tables of ten are available for €800 with individual tickets on offer at €80, while tickets for the afters cost €20. Dermot at the MacHale Park office will sort you if you’re interested – call (094) 925 0487 or (087) 621 9843.

There’s also Bowe’s on Saturday night, of course, but I’m not in a position just yet to announce that one formally. I want to give them advance warning first and I went into town to do so this afternoon but discovered they don’t open ’till 4pm so you’ll have to bear with me for a bit on that.

Waiting, waiting, it’s all about waiting at this stage. Aye, and dreaming too.

Not one of the lucky winners in last night’s Mayo GAA Players Welfare Lotto draw? Don’t despair: there are ten more All-Ireland final tickets to be won in next Monday’s Lotto. Play the Lotto here.

52 thoughts on “Waiting and dreaming

  1. WJ your some man for one man supplying us with all this information. Once we get to this weekend we are turning the home straight countdown

  2. The match is never too far from my mind. And the closer it gets the more confident I become.

    Why? I’m f’cked if I know.

  3. They lie and wait like wolves. The smell of blood in their nostrils.

    Waiting, interminably waiting, and then ………..

    After 65 years the waiting ends.

  4. received my ticket details from gaa season ticket office. me and son are in section 308 row S .Everything seems to be falling into place.

  5. It seems more like two years since we played Tipp than two weeks but we are getting there tue build up is slowly gaining momtentum. Pray hope and don’t worry foiks we can do this

  6. Getting goosebumps just reading your article and the comments!! You have to love what Stephen Rochford said. I’m hunting day and night for tickets but nothing. In one way I’m glad its nearly two weeks as it gives me time to find one

  7. I’m struggling with the wait I got to admit. Feels a long way out still but it warms the heart to see Mayo flags on one car and 2 houses on my cycle home from work through south co Dublin.

    I’ve found myself watching highlights from last years drawn game, Christ we kicked some pile of poor shots in the second half in particular when we were well on top. These guys know they’ll get nothing their own way against us and I think we are at a huge price with the bookies, I’d say the players are going in heavy on themselves, and why not?

    I continue to feel bullish about our chances too, it just feels like it’s all going our way, nice and low key, real lack of hype, and zero belief here in Dublin that we have the where with all to take them. Let’s keep it cranked to a minimum focus and hit them like a train on the 18th!

  8. I firmly believe mayo will win, there is no fear left in this team, that threshold have been crossed, i can see our lads smashing any shackles that holds them before they leave the dressing room, with only thoughts of dismantling the opposition on their minds, there should be no fear in the supporters minds either anxious yes, but fear no, we have suffered to much to carry fear, let us unite behind this great team of ours, and let the dubs worry about us,I cant be there, but i know every Mayo man and woman will enter Croke park with their heads held high, and leave it with Mayo pride surging in their hearts, come on Mayo

  9. I am finding it hard to get a ticket this time. I have been to all championship games since 1989 except for London and New York.I would be so disappointed if i didnt get a ticket. Can anyone help?

  10. Waiting and dreaming but dreams can come true,As Andy Moran said when interviewed after the Tipp game Why Not?

  11. Training camp in limerick..there must be some buzz about training these days..the 4 week break must surely have give them the chance to get in some hard-hitting sessions

  12. ExiledinDublin – I agree about the chances missed in the drawn game last year. People seem to forget that in the crucial ‘third quarter’ of both Dublin games last year we were on top but simply didn’t score enough to pull away.
    This is both a positive and negative in that it shows we can have our fair share of possession against them…….but so far have failed to make it count. Oh, we can add the 2013 final to that as well.

  13. We need a lot of things to go out way.Getting match ups and tactics right. Keeping their top lads out of game for as long as possible. Looking at Tipp on Sunday you could see they were the hungrier team but they kept the score board ticking over they went for it when Kilkenny were coming back into it but they also closed the game out.Thats what id be hoping to see from our lads. Lets play with no fucking fear

  14. We brought Tyrone’s unbeaten run to an end, so let’s hope that we can do the same to the Dubs!

  15. I know its been said on this forum many times already but we mayo supporters need to be a vociferous and loud as possible at the final. .no matter how the game is going at the time. We are great to react to scores but we need to be PROACTIVE for our team especially against the noise from the hill. J Horan was right about us disappearing in 2013. Last year during the drawn game with the dubs we were gone too well before they extended the lead…Im not blowing my own trumpet. ..but I was standing up and roaring at mayo supporters around me to keep the heads up, to keep shouting for the lads. Even my good friends beside me had gone silent. Its not good enough. … it makes me very angry…our job when we get that ticket, when we put on green and red and when we plank our buttocks on that plastic seat is to roar and shout like a possessed hyena that’s been shot in the arse..twice…thats all we have to do…and compared to the effort our lads have to make out on the field, it’s miniscule. I know it can be soul destroying to watch a goal go in against us, or a belt of points flying over in succession, but nothing is over till its over ..and last year proves that fact. We need to get the mayo roar going at any chance, we need to quieten the hill, drown out the dubs, answer ‘COYBIB’ with our own roar. There have been a few suggestions on chants, like the O’Shea, oshea, oshea to ole ole ole one. Our traditional Mayo Mayo is sound so long as WE ALL JOIN IN. Don’t be embarrassed get fucking stuck in. Elbow the mayo head beside you to flex their vocal chords with you. Stand up every now and then, flaling your two arms wildly to encourage our gang to get busy winning or get busy losing. Try and not react to a mistake by one of our lads…that collective ” ooh” sound gets out to the field and into their heads. Just meet an error with silence followed by a roar of encouragement. Im going to buy a bugle, and play the first bar of The Green and Red of Mayo whenever I get the chance. We need triggers for the mayo roar. If we could even sing the first verse of that song in answer to the boys in blue chant it would be powerful. “Looked” as James Horan would say, if you can talk at 5.30 on Sunday the 18th without needing honey and lemon soothers then you haven’t done your jib as a proud mayo supporter and that’s a fact. Don’t have hope, have belief…Don’t react, be proactive,..don’t be embarrassed to roar and shout, be proud to support. We can be , need to be the 16th man…and it does work, it does matter.

  16. Dara O’Shea’s piece in the times hits the nail on the head regarding Mayo. Mayo will be back again next year regardless, they just keep coming back. Very level headed analysis from Dara.

  17. A lot of people on here talk of watching matches back, just wondering what platform they watch them back on?

  18. Agree with you, Puckout. Probably the best contribution from Dara OSe that I’ve ever read. And maybe the best piece I’ve come across from any scribe in the lead up to this year’s All Ireland Final.

  19. I also enjoyed Dara’s piece. There is no curse, no dystany, nothing written in the star’s or all that bullshit. IF we are good enough on the day and the player execute the gameplan to perfection and we are better than the opposition we will win. The problem is I have yet to see Mayo play well on a final day.

    If we loose we will be all bitterly disappointed but we will be back. The talk that Mayo are on a downward spiral and will disappear of the radar for a few years seems to come from Galway and Roscommon fans comments. Ray Silke was even harping the same tune when Galway beat us earlier this year.

  20. Talk about coming back next year is great and all and we do know this is a resilient bunch fair play to them the best Mayo team we have ever had since 51 but the year to win an all ireland final is the year your in one id prefer to take Dara o Shea’s previous advice and on Sunday week hammer the hammer

  21. Yes that piece by Dara O’Se is very good. The summary sums it up very well:

    Most of all, Mayo know better than anybody that emotion doesn’t win you an All-Ireland. If and when they finally win one, it won’t be because they paid their dues or because it was their turn. They won’t be lifting any curse or fulfilling any destiny. They won’t win an All-Ireland because they wanted it more than everyone else – whatever that means. Now-or-never has no bearing on it.

    The day they lift Sam Maguire, they will be stone-cold and clear-eyed and focused on the gameplan. Whether that day is coming on Sunday week might not be up to them – the Dubs are not going to be ruled by emotion either and there’s a good chance that they’re just better than Mayo, plain and simple. And if that’s the case, so be it.

    But whatever happens, they’ll be back again next year.

  22. Willie Joe, this has been brilliant work over the last two weeks getting as many as possible up to croker on the 18th

  23. Nice post there from Play The Whishel at 08.19.

    Anybody who does not agree with that, could you please give your ticket to somebody else who will go there and roar. The 18th is not a day for sitting there quietly doing the knitting or scrolling through your text messages while keeping one eye on the game.

    On the pitch we will lead the game from start to finish. We will never be behind. So going quiet should not be a problem on this occasion anyway.

  24. If you believe in nothing else – believe in the law of averages.

    If you made of a €100 bet in 1989 that Mayo would win none of the All-Ireland finals they were in from that to 2016 at Even money for each match against, you would stand to collect €76,800 if the Dubs beat them on the 17th.

    The sequence can’t go on!

  25. The trick is to fill your day with anything that’s not related to Mayo. I’ve been fortunate enough to have an u12 football team to manage, and when you train you really can switch off!

    When I read articles, blogs or whatever, my stomach starts doing tumbles!

    It’s torture!!

  26. Tks to Playthe Whishel for above post at 8.19am.I’m always saying the same on the blog
    But could’nt put it as brillant as you did. I’ve been at so games where supporters around me were silent and I’m sure they may have thought I was losing it but see if I care. I want to have NO VOICE left at 5pm sunday week.
    And this is the year 2016. MAYO MAYO MAY0!!!!

  27. Well said Play the Whishel. Well said. Behind you 100% on this. I suspect we have had this conversation face-to-face recently too (there can’t be more than one person planning to buy a bugle!) Time to be proactive, time to drown out the Dubs.

    There is no worse feeling in Croker than hearing the Hill launch into song, particularly when they have just scored a goal. The horror of it. We need to have an answer for that that isn’t just sitting on our hands with our heads down – that is when the team need us the most.

    And I don’t care if we have to resort to “soccer shite” as someone very eloquently put it here last week. Sinead O’Beirne is flat out trying to get a chant going too and I hope people get behind her – whether it’s to your tastes or not, the bottom line is there is a growing swell of people who really want to do whatever it takes to let our lads know we are behind them in the hope that it will drive them on, and that is to be commended.

    Mark, you’re right, it’s torture, sheer torture (not coping well at all here) but I was chatting to a mate of mine from Derry last night who in no uncertain terms told me to get a grip, that they would swap with us in a heartbeat. And he’s right.

    Enjoyed that article by Darragh O Sé a lot – particularly the line “It’s not a day for suddenly deciding to be Batman.” 😀

    11 days and counting …

  28. Well said play the whistel. Cannot wait till the 18th. If we lose we lose, one more loss won’t break us but we are not going to lose. We are going to win. Dream believe achieve. In this together UP MAYO

  29. Good article by DOS. Games are won by being professional and cold eyed. Bugles, emotion and other shenanigans have nothing to do with it.

  30. Thank you Annemarie. Sinead O’Beirne has gotten herself and her chant onto MWR Fm for next Tuesday morning at 9.45am. Think it’s Tommy Marren who contacted me. I’ll be shitting it. Need to get on the phone now and find a Mayo school to sing live.

  31. Sinead – if you have a YouTube clip of the song, just let me know and I’ll embed it into a post on the site. That should get it a bit more airtime.

  32. Berry you are only half right…you cannot dismiss the influence of a full house crowd to drive on a team performance in croke park. Ask any of our former or present county players. ..I did.
    Anne Marie the bugles are in transit!
    Good stuff Sinead get that going and when you’re on the madwesht tell everyone to also sing the chorus of the green and red of mayo up there as well.

    Fair play Willie Joe you are my go to for the “fix ” every day. …

  33. @ NiallMc I suspect people have kept them on their sky box or similar such boxes. I have pretty much every televised championship and league match since 2013 sitting on my hard drive here, not to mention all 14 of Dublin’s matches this year, which I intend to peruse over the next two weeks!

  34. @ digits, I recently changed from Upc to sky and as a result lost all my recordings. Might be better off as my other half was sick of me putting on our match against Donegal in 2013 every time I had a few drinks in me!

  35. It’s amusing how it’s still denied – despite players themselves saying it, and not just our own; in fact I think there have been actual studies done on this – that the crowd can have an impact on a team. Darragh O Sé’s article is excellent and spot on – there is no entitlement and every move has to be measured. That’s their job.

    But if emotion or crowd has nothing to do with it sure we supporters might as well stay at home and let the lads play the game in front of a full house of Dubs 🙂

  36. Bugles!? Jesus Christ, I hope ye are all in the one section and I’m in a different one! That sounds as bad as the air horns that used be around in the 90s or the vuvuzelas they had in the world cup in South Africa 😉

  37. Nobody is suggesting people should not go to games and enjoy themselves in whatever way floats their boat. Personnally the behaviour of people at a game whether they be Dubs on the Hill or Mayo fans has never really interested.me. Neither do I get into a tizzy about pundits.

    I believe if a team is depending on the crowd to carry them over the line then it is in trouble. Kilkenny lost last Sunday to a better team on the day. Mr Cody will not be coming out any time soon and blaming the crowd. He will take sole responsibilty and not try to hide behind lame excuses like that. He is a winner. We are all aware of losers and their excuses. There are a few players who will never wear that jersey again.

    Going down the anecdotal route like the earlier reference to former and present Mayo players, I remember being fortunate enough a few years ago to spend a few hours in a pub in the company of former rugby World Cup winner.
    His reply when asked by someone else in the group to what it was like to play on such an occasion in front of such a large audience was that you totally block out everything including the crowd and focus on what you have to do. He did not notice the crowd until the game was over and even then it was blur. One could say this winner delivered and did not need to place blame elsewhere. Nobody laughed at his denial of crowd influence. He also won quite a bit else in the game. I am sure if this gentleman and he came across as that was subsequently asked about the supporters he would have lauded them to the heavens.

    I will be the happiest man on the planet if we win the AI. I will be most likely be the one sitting there trying to hide my tears. I certainly will not be claiming any credit for my bugle.

  38. Agree 100°/. With play the whisel. Anybody who can talk after the game has wasted a ticket.

    In relation to D O’ Sé great article, we will be back next year ( why not with this one in the back pocket)

  39. How anyone could have sat in Croke Park during last year’s replay and say the opposition’s fans made no difference to them or both teams is beyond me.

    I wanted the ground to swallow me up when Dublin were getting their goals.

  40. MayoMark, you are damn right. And that is why I’m putting myself out of my comfort zone and going on MWR on the Tommy Marren show Tuesday morn at 9.45am to try and persuade people to chant ‘Stand up for the Mayo Men’ when the team arrives on the pitch to warm up and through the match. We just have to compete with COYBIB.

  41. I’ll have the you tube clip for you on Monday or Tuesday. Might even have a recording tomorrow but doubtful. I have 3 schools doing it.

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