Waiting on the team announcement

It’s Friday morning and so tonight we’ll be naming our team for Sunday’s final. Not THE team, of course, but the one that’ll appear in the match programme and will dictate what shirt numbers the lads are wearing at Croke Park.

I’m not sure about when Dublin will name their pick but I guess they could do so today as well. Like Jim Gavin in inverse, I haven’t been watching them at all at all for ages so I’ve no idea what their routine is for announcing their team. We’ll find out soon enough, I suppose.

As regards the identity of the thirty players who’ll line out at 3.30pm on Sunday, it’s literally anyone’s guess. To take one example from our side, I’ve heard reasonably convincing arguments for Aidan O’Shea to play centre-back, as a deep-lying midfielder, as an out-and-out midfielder, as a third midfielder, as centre-forward and as full-forward. Maybe he’ll do all of those things at some point during the afternoon.

We’ve plenty of other decisions to make besides that – Does Paddy Durcan start? Should Lee Keegan be played in a more advanced role? What about Conor Loftus? – so I guess the best thing we can do is to sit back, trust the management team’s calls on these issues and wait ’till Sunday.

I’m done with all the written stuff about the game at this stage – what I’m tapping here is pure therapy, nothing more – so I’m not going to do a sweep of the coverage today. Another episode of the Mayo News football podcast should, though, be going online later today (or, failing that, in the morning) so watch out for that.

64 thoughts on “Waiting on the team announcement

  1. Great work all year Willie Joe and the other contributors. This Blog has became an integral part of Mayo GAA suporters experience.
    My Salute to you all.

  2. Well said Bulltoe …hope the ticket hunt is going well ..even if your sorted take whatever tickets are going ,there will be plenty of Mayo people up there Sunday morning looking for one …not sure if I’m nervous or excited but I’m proud as fuck wearing my Mayo top at work at my midlands work place today …Some bunch of lads we follow !

  3. What they said:

    Bill Shoemaker – “When you’re riding, only the race in which you’re riding is important.”

    Doug Williams – “Never give up, never give in, and when the upper hand is ours, may we have the ability to handle the win with the dignity that we absorbed the loss.”

    Rogers Hornsby – “People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”

    Michael Jordan – “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

    Mario Andretti – “If you have everything under control, you’re not moving fast enough.”

    Muhammad Ali – “I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”

    Wayne Gretzky – “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

    Dan Gable – “Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts.”

    Hon Mayo.


    Some horses in the grand national wear blinkers. They are good racers but the trainer knows that they get distracted by the noise and the clamour. It seems to help their focus.
    I would like to remind our players at this stage that there will be hissing and booing every time you miss a shot. Similarly when we line up a free. They can’t rob you of the ball but they will try to rob your confidence. So blank it all out. Do not let ANYONE get inside your head. Yeah …. not even your own supporters.
    Remember….. a good matador first has to frustrate the beast with his hard work. But if you do get a chance show no mercy. The crowd will turn up for sure. We need to make sure that every one of our players does too. Criost Linn.

  5. Good stuff there WJ – and posters. Probably not uploadable, but the Examiner has a great supplement today – and has another one tomorrow I think.

  6. Love those Quotes Revelino.
    Sitting here waiting on two Dubs to Call me back on Tickets…….fucks sake how did Life come to this…….


  8. Hi WJ one good thing about being a Mayo exile is that there is probably a better chance of getting a ticket if you are involved with a club. Anyway let’s wish them well and hope they play to their full potential. Bring the noise and the colour! Perhaps this is tempting fate but what music would be most appropriate if we won. I always remember the atmosphere in 2012 when Donegal celebrated or we commiserated! to the music of the Script. Keep up the good work. Maigheo Abú

  9. Lets hope Croke Park have the Green and Red of Mayo ready for Sunday, very noticeable that they did not play it after our win against Kerry as per previous years, but we will forgive them on that one as I am sure they have it lined up for 5pm on Sunday!

  10. I have a ticket for the Joe.ie preview tonight in The Academy, Abbey St starting at 6.30pm – Liam Mc Hale, Sean Cavanagh, lots more. Unfortunately cannot make it. If anyone wants it, just let me know and can email to you.

  11. The one thing Dublin have over us is that they have a winning habit and us a losing one in finals. Put simply they find a way to win and us a way to lose in finals. This is our biggest challenge on Sunday. There appears to be a lack of confidence in the second half of finals with the winning post in sight. This manifests itself in the missed scoring opportunities that occurs in the second half of finals e.g. we missed 5 good point opportunities in the replay last year (in the second half). Of course the biggest manifestation of this was in ’96 in the first game against Meath (we all know we threw it away that day). I know that was 20 years ago but this ‘difficulty’ with completing the job in the second half of finals is I think our biggest issue and has been a part of all of our teams over the last 25 years (heck we even had Cork by the throat in ’89 and let it slip).

    We can of course win on Sunday and I’m disappointed with some of the national media coverage over the past 2 years which has never really given this team due credit (e.g. Tyrone warm favorites last year despite our far better track record and constant references to our ‘physicality’ and ‘resilience’ – without simply calling us a very good team; which is what we are).

    However, as I say, our scoring return in the second half of finals leaves a lot to be desired and you’d wonder is that due to the pressure of the occasion. We need to overcome this hurdle to win on Sunday…….here’s hoping!

  12. I liked Michael Jordan to his team mates going to a game. Theyre all shouting “Lets bring our A game”.
    He says “A game, A game? how about bringing a game (understated ah pronunciation for a).
    I always took it as kind of less talk and just perform with a big hint of “A game is my level”.

  13. Good luck on sunday , we had such a brilliant day 2wks ago with our hurlers in croker, believe me theres no such feeling as when the final whistle goes lots of tears shed, be prepared. As with galway hurlers this yr i think its now or never with mayo, bring it to the west.

  14. Thanks tommie.

    Hope to go see the Liam mcarthy in kinvara saturday evenimg and the Sam Maguire in castlebar Monday night.

    Now that would be my perfect weekend.

  15. That article by Declan Varley in the Advertiser should win a journalism literary prize.
    It captures the juice of being from Mayo and wanting to win Sam.

  16. When I heard about the London Tube bombing this morning, I was panicked, given that my father works there and some friends of mine are also based near Parson’s Green. Thankfully everybody’s safe.

    I had a similar experience a few months back when my place of work had a bomb scare, which thankfully proved to be a false alarm.

    It’s only a game of football, lads and lassies, when all’s said and done. Worst comes to worst, we’ll all be safe and sound on Monday morning.

    Mayo v Dublin matches remind me of a line in Rocky II, when Apollo Creed and his manager are discussing a rematch with Rocky, and the manager says that Rocky’s all wrong for Apollo, as he saw Rocky take one punch after another and yet he still kept coming back at him. That’s the indomnitable spirit we associate with this bunch of warriors.

  17. I’m with Anne-Marie. Read that article earlier and by God did I feel emotional and so proud of these bunch of players, my Mayo roots and being part of this amazing journey. My nerves are in bits already. Every now and then over these past few days I’ve let myself go to the place we all want to be in………the final whistle is blown up, Mayo has won and the Red and Green of Mayo is blaring out of the speakers across Croke Park……good God its a feeling like no other and that’s just dreaming, hoping, praying, believing……..it’s going to be magic. Hon Mayo??

  18. I think the stage has come when I can’t read anymore about the game. The more I read, the less it all now seems to make sense. It’s wrecking my head.
    Glad FourGoal’s piece was the last I read, better than anything in the nationals. I see a link to Varley’s piece above, so maybe that’ll be my final one before making the journey across the water to Dublin.
    Doubtful I’ll make Bowes, have to go traipsing around the town trying to find 1 more ticket. But enjoy everyone and safe travels to all. This is our time.

    One thing, as someone mentioned a dream earlier.
    Had one last night. We won 3-18 1-20, but it was more comfortable than the scoreline suggests. A few late Dublin scores.
    I was sitting in front of the RTE studio in the stadium and Michael Lyster and Ciaran Whelan shook my hand after the game. Whelan’s hand was weird, like a claw. And he was crying. All very strange.
    Even more weird was that I was sitting in the stands watching the game whilst also being on the pitch scoring 1-04….so stick 50 on me for man of the match Sunday.

    Up Mayo!

  19. Good man Dan, I dreamt the other night Mayo were playing Dublin using the U10 goals and nobody could score. It ended in a low scoring feckin draw!!!

  20. It’s strange how the way people feel on this site by reading upbeat stuff (mayo for the win) or depressing stuff on how great the Dubs are.
    That’s the reason that I have read very little stuff on the newspapers or Google in the build up to this final.
    I’m not going to wait till just before kick-off to call this one, won’t get on line as per the Kerry replay.
    If Mayo are ahead by 3 points or more at half time I’m convinced we’ll win it.
    My luck has changed, won a Nally ticket in the club last night ( or maybe was given it for all the effort I put in to training), happy to get it and unleash hell in the terrace.

  21. Funny dreams, the one I had a few days back we were playing Derry and it was back in Castlebar, not a great first half but little between the teams. Then Mayo get 2 goals both scored by Cillian and both dipping under the crossbar going for points putting us in great position about 5 up for 2nd half. I woke up probably from the feeling feck we can win this. Maybe a sign that luck is in the stars and if we win ugly or with beauty it will still be epic to us. Have no idea really what it means but things were looking good when I woke.

  22. Folks I’m done dreaming. I’ve been doing that for over 30 years. Now it’s time to get proactive. We need to get to Dublin (Whether with ticket or not) and roar these boys over the line. Even before the game as many of us as possible should line the last kilometre into Croker as our team bus arrives and carry the boys in on a tide of emotion. The Dubs talk about ‘getting to the battle rhythm’. Well we can disrupt that with a battle cry of our own. Hell fire or high water won’t deny us.

  23. Hopping on the plane shortly and definitely getting gee’d up for this now! The walk to Croker, the nervous breakfast before, the May-O chants – not long to wait at all!

  24. Lads and lassies… I too had a dream and yes we won easily. We walloped Dublin. I was feeling perky in my breast when my better half woke up and says… I dreamt that Dublin won the all Ireland…they won well!! She’s a Dub…but we all have our dreams. I’ve been driving along at times and well up whenever I think of the final whistle going and Mayo winning…at last. It brings back memories of so many people who will not be here to share the joy. But I believe they are always with us… it’s that indomitable spirit that won’t take no for an answer. We will win because we cannot lose. Oh my heart… MAYO… Go DEO!

  25. @El Tod if reading. Do you mind posting a Balla teamsheet from the match later.i cant make it to the semi but you’ll probably be over at it.

  26. Great piece by my old buddie sean rice on mayo since the fifties in todays irish times. I have only one quibble -and it’s not with sean. The times says the iconic pix of mayo in their white connact jersies is from the mayo news. Wrong
    . The picture was taken by a very young western people photographer from ballina named ron ie naylor who died only re cent ly
    Honour where honours dye

  27. Hi Guys, love this blog and wanted to ask some genuine supporters advice, getting fairly desperate for a ticket I am a die hard supporter 9/9 championship matches and got to most the league matches, I have missed so many finals in the past I am actually considering going to a tout, I always said I wouldn’t but watching the 1st game in the big tree last year was to much for me half the dubs weren’t watching it and i was asked a few times to stop roaring when the game was in the Melting pot. Would ye guys ever consider a tout? I know there the lowest of the low but i also think my heart would break if we finally do it Sunday and I am not in croke park after following them for 30 years. Any advice will be really appreciated

  28. Safe travelling to everyone who is making their way home and up to Croker. It’s our duty to roar this team on, regardless of what is happening on the scoreboard. Be loud, be proud and come home hoarse.

    A couple of points though….
    1. When I stand up to roar and cheer (as I am want to do at a game – even in Kiltoom), if anyone beside me or behind me, taps me and asks to “sit down”, they are getting lamped. End of.
    2. For the “sunglasses in the hair brigade” who are making the arduous journey for their annual Mayo game of the year, there are no such things as “corners” or “kick-offs” in football. Don’t sit there in silence when there are probably 20,000 more deserving of your ticket. Let’s hear you. No excuses!
    3. At every outbreak of “C’mon ye boys in blue” we must retaliate with every ounce of our being, with venom and with pride. With 66 years of rage, anger, frustration and ridicule. It must come from our souls, from the very essence of being from Mayo. “MAYO MAYO” must be roared to the rafters.

    No matter what. These lads that take the field on Sunday are our brothers, our sons, our neighbours, our townspeople, our county men. They are US. We back them, and have done, through thick and thin. No surrender, no matter what, NO FUCKING SURRENDER.
    Before the biggest game of the year I want to genuinely thank this squad and management for the wonderful journey they have brought us on this year. Up and down the length and breath of this country, and please God, regardless of Sundays outcome, I’ll do it all again next year! We could not have asked for more from them because these are special times for us and we must appreciate them and enjoy them. The range of emotions we have gone through, from Kiltoom to Tralee, from Omagh to Ennis and in between, we finally laid the ghost that was “Limerick” to rest. We even got over Cormac Reilly in MacHale Park! We have lanced a lot of festering sores this year so it is time to finally lance the biggest of them all. We are ready, supporters and team alike. We are one.

    We’ve got yer backs lads, all the fucking way. Go and do whatever ye have to do to get what ye deserve.



  29. I was sitting in with my Dad the last few evenings reminiscing about the good old days and him telling stories about people places and events that leave me wishing I had recorded it. He usually starts with.. “you know I can’t remember what I did last week but I can remember that day, like it was yesterday”. He was 16 years of age in 1950 and no one traveled very far then.. well no one he knew anyways and if you did it was to the UK or US and not to Croke Park. He always hung around with a group of young fellas, brothers,neighbours aged 12 to 18 and it was usually agreed by the older ones who’s house they would visit mostly to play cards and pass the time. The doors of all the houses were wide open and the arrival of a troop was as welcome as it was natural back then. The people of the house would be beside the fire asking for any news and passing on news of their own. He remembers clearly and recites the names of all his friends, long gone now, that visited the house that day, the names of people who lived there and what the place looked like. The conversation was mostly about football as they waited around the radio for 1950 final.. he dosn’t remember much about the match itself.. he expected them to win.. and they won. He had heard enough about the team in the lead up to the game to know they were good.. certainly good enough to win and so there was no great surprise when they did. Times have changed and he has attended all the finals from 89 onwards but has always maintained that he has never had the same sense of any other team knowing they could win like that 1950 team. So when I talked to him after the Kerry replay my ears perked up when I heard him say “you know these lads know they can win it now”.. thats all he has said and I know better to push him for further info. We have our tickets, his bag is packed and I will meet him from the train.. and we will talk about things past, things present, we will talk about the game.. we will have a great weekend and laugh and enjoy the here and now. If his prediction is right and we win we will celebrate in Croke Parke.. I hope we do.. but if we dont.. it’s only part of the story and journey will continue.. and you know great days and memories like these will never die.

  30. Ronan, I wouldn’t consider a tout in any circumstances…. No tout would ever get a ticket if I had my way… No doubt there will be business done, on Sunday or maybe even before Sunday on the Internet… You would be paying way too much and not guaranteed to get in… The GAA will cancel any tickets they know were sold on the Black Market…. Plus by giving these people business, you are adding to the problem, without willing client’s they would be out of business…. Consider this, go in the hope of getting a ticket at face value,.. Wear your Mayo colour’s…. If a Mayo supporter gets an extra ticket, 99% would only give that ticket to a Mayo fan for the face value…. If you fail to get a ticket, watch the match in a nearby pub to Croke Park, When Mayo win, the Dublin supporter’s will be leaving and you will be able to see Cillian lift Sam… Not a bad plan!

  31. Cheers Leantimes for the advice I know your right I personally hate everything touts represent they are the anti-thesis of the GAA never ever even considered it before but desperate times etc, that sounds like a great plan is that true would I be allowed into Crocker at the end of the match I wasn’t alive in 51 so have no experience of this : )

  32. Ronan … I understand your dilemma and have been in that position. However on principle … I would not support a tout and as previous post correctly stated … It is extremely high risk. Hope you get sorted

  33. Cheers Paddysam ya i am starting to realise I knew the answer to my own question before I posted it

  34. Ronan

    dont buy off a tout, most of them are low grade and you could easily be sold a dud with no comeback. Watch it in a pub if you dont get one at face value or from a reliable source.

  35. Toe to Hand (Sept 15th 4.49pm) – you get my ‘man of the bloggers’ award, beautifully constructed.

  36. I didn’t get one either, will somebody roar a few times for me when things are really quiet and the game is on a knife edge.

    Don’t let that stadium to quiet and we will be out numbered for sure. Most the businessis in Dublin so it makes sense that the weight of the corporate tickets will get to Dublin hands. Then you have the fact that it’s a Dublin HQ, a Dublin Stadium and a Dublin based t.v broadcaster. every single one of those supporting Mayo must be loud, bring the halls soothers!!!

    Please Don’t be giving tickets to half interested relatives who will be on snapchat or some other thing during the game catching up on the celebatory gossip, something I seen last year. There are plenty of passionate fans who traveled all year not making it the next day because they missed out on a ticket, give it to them!
    What ever happens remember we are the 16th member of this team and we have a job to do!

  37. Would anybody like to swap a hill ticket for a stand ticket, also a davin for Cusack or Hogan lower? 0870936743

  38. Feck it the middle bit sounds fierce bitter, the half interested fans might be hard liners in a couple of years ha.
    Mayo abu,

  39. Cheers for all the replys reinforced what I was believing I won’t go near a tout, Your right about half interested people Bulltoe it’s really frustrating I remember getting a ticket at 15:10 in the 04 Final some of my brothers who are also fanatics didn’t get a ticket and there was a women in her sixties in front of me reading a newspaper while the match was going on wouldn’t believe it if i had not seen it with my own eyes then a Mayo supporter ripped the newspaper out of her hands and 5 minutes later she took out her Kniting could not believe it

  40. Dont think we will be outnumbered though Bulltoe nearly all clubs around the world will give a ticket to a Mayo fan over a Dublin fan and all the corporate ones won’t make any noise anyway

  41. Mayo Matt give us all and yourself a break. Mayo may or may not win on Sunday and if they don’t the diapointment will be acute. But let’s enjoy the build up and the hope real or not of victory.. Mayo team and supporters to seize the day….

  42. Mayomatt… If I had a mind like that, I’d want to change as well… Don’t know if you can get a refund for a mind like that!

  43. All – just note that MayoMatt aka Mayoismine aka MayoAbu is a troll, whose input – should it evade the moderation net – is best ignored. There truly are some seriously sad people in this world of ours.

  44. The brother is heading out from Boston later this evening and I’ll be flying tomorrow from Alicante, no tickets just a desire to be with our own. We eternally travel in hope and defiantly believe this can be our year, the team of the Millennium stand between us and Nirvana.
    The media and experts say we’re too old, no strength on the bench, lack a genuine talisman up front.
    Well I beg to differ – 12 months of hurt, anger and desire are about to explode, 12 months of ‘if onlys’ 12 months of ‘what ifs’ 12 months of ‘nearly & almost’ are about to descend on Jone’s Road on Sunday. Our warriors are exactly where they have wanted to be since 7pm on October 1st 2016. This team will not be denied. Sunday is redemption day.

    P.S – Pebblesmeller, I really enjoy all your posts, but this last one must be your best ever. Thanks and keep roaring. There’s plenty of us outside who’ll be roaring too.

  45. Trolls not welcome.

    Whether people get to the match or not remember that all our minds and hearts are in the same place so hope nobody feels alone. We’re all in this together

    Mayo to bring their A+ game and win on Sunday.

    Happy days ahead.

  46. Flying out tomorrow morning and can’t wait to hit home turf. Last few days have been a slow torment, waiting for the reality of the showdown to become real.

    My usual and normally ultra dependable source for a ticket has informed me this evening that they’ve exhausted all avenues. So I’m in the same boat as many of you and travel in anticipation of a frantic scramble.

    I intend to be in Bowes tomorrow and will try not to be too much of a pest.

  47. if mayo are to win they need to watch cluxtions kick out s up mayo hope they win what evers happens on sunday i will still support them.

  48. With time slowly counting down to kick-off, I am struggling to cope with nerves and excitement not to mention worries that my match ticket for Sunday will not materialise.

    Wishing Mayo’s – management, player & supporters – the very best of luck for Sunday.
    I really believe we will win and I relish the thoughts of welcoming Sam home.

    Mayo ABU !!

  49. MaigheoGalinGaillimh – It feels like 3 months since our last game! It’s probably been mentioned before but I hope it doesn’t take us long to get going. That’s one of my main fears.

  50. Looking forward to WJs ” our job” to focus the minds ..We as a group of supporters have an important job on Sunday – No need to tell ya I know but really that’s all we can do …it won’t be easy but we too have to be the best we have ever been … Let’s stick together and lift the roof off .

  51. I want to take this opportunity to wish the MAYO team & Stephen Rochford & Co. The very best of luck at 3.30 on Sunday, they are a fantastic group of people who Will do their families, clubs & County proud, & to All the MAYO Supporters ye are the proudest & best in the country, SO let’s make it count on Sunday & we will Tear the Dubs apart, MAYO MAYO MAYO.

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