Just two days out now from Sunday’s shuddering showdown with Kerry and the focus is switching towards the team announcements that both teams are set to make later on today.
We usually name our starting fifteen around nine or a bit after on the Friday evening so I guess we’ll be sticking to this routine tonight. Organised people that they are, Kerry GAA have said they’ll make their team announcement at 8.30pm this evening so it sounds as if they’ll be out of the traps ahead of us in that department.
It’s all a bit pointless speculating about the teams both counties will name, all the more so given our proclivity to make two switches to the named team ahead of throw-in. If it’s conjecture you want, though, John Fogarty in the Irish Examiner has a short piece – here – about team selection issues facing both counties. Tomás Ó Sé in the Irish Independent, meanwhile, provides some thoughts on how Kerry might line up.
There isn’t a whole pile more to direct you to, I’m afraid, on the coverage side of things today. There was that fairly pointless piece on the RTÉ website yesterday (here) and a report in the Irish Examiner today (here) about a rather bizarre stunt that Paddy Power pulled at Knock. And, of course, Brolly is sounding off in the Indo but I’m not even going to provide a link to that. Life’s just too short.
Eoin Liston’s piece in the same paper yesterday is worth a read, though – it’s here. Bomber focuses his attention on Aidan O’Shea as the particular hammer that Kerry will want to hammer on Sunday, saying that – despite the presence of David Moran in the middle of the park for them – midfield is an area of concern for the opposition.
I’d agree with him when he references 2014 by saying that “there’s going to be baggage spilling over from that day.” The fact that so many players who were on the field in the Gaelic Grounds two years ago are still involved with both counties – by my count, it’s 19 on both sides – all but guarantees this.
Bomber concludes – as you’d expect – that Kerry can do it up but cautions that “nothing less than fifth gear will suffice” for them. Interestingly, Stephen Rochford uses the same gear-related analogy in a piece by Donnchadh Boyle in the Irish Independent, in which he says:
We need to be in fifth gear on Sunday, there’s absolutely no doubt in that. But what I see in this group, they do really stand up to that challenge. And while we’ll go in as the underdogs, we’re not going to go up there in any sense of fear.
There’s other stuff, I’m sure, out there but I’ve other non-GAA stuff to be dealing with at the minute so that’ll have to do you for now. Back a bit later on, though, with a bonus episode of the Mayo News football podcast – that should appear around mid-afternoon – and back later on this evening too with all the team news.
There’s a jackpot of €15,300 and stand tickets for the All-Ireland hurling final up for grabs in the Mayo GAA Players Welfare Lotto. Play the Lotto here.