What now?

As a country we have, I know, far weightier matters to be thinking about but, now that the sensible decision has been made to halt all GAA activity until, in the first instance, the end of this month, it raises the inevitable question about what the consequences are for competitive competitions this year.

The obvious retort to this is that we simply don’t know. The virus isn’t expected to peak here for several weeks and so there’s a strong likelihood that the current measures will be extended beyond the end of March. There’s a decent chance too that further, more drastic, moves will be ordered before too much longer.

It’s the unknown factor that makes it impossible to say with any certainty what’s going to happen in relation to the remainder of the League as well as the whole of the Championship this year. At one end of the scale both might yet be completed, at the other we may see no further action at all in 2020.

Absent much else in the sporting line to discuss there are a few articles in the papers today that are of interest in this respect. Here are the relevant links.

Paul Rouse in the Irish Examiner discussing the important of sport in the modern world – here.

John Fogarty in the Irish Examiner on what might happen to competitive action here in 2020 under different scenarios – here.

Seán Moran in the Irish Times on the options the GAA faces in light of the shutdown – here.

Colm Keys in the Irish Independent on what might happen to this year’s Leagues in football and hurling – here.

Colm Keys (again) in the Irish Independent on what’s likely to happen to the Tailteann Cup this year – here.

Kevin O’Brien in The 42 on what’s possibly going to happen with the various competitions this year – here.

I think it’s fair to say that all relevant bases have been covered in those pieces linked above. All we can be sure of is that, for now, everything is off and we’ve no idea when – or in what form – the action will resume this year.

Rest assured, though, that the blog will continue to chug along – albeit on low power – over the next while. If anyone fancies penning a guest post, then the timing for doing so right now is quite clearly good, with all those match-devoid days stretching out ahead of us. If you’re interested in doing this then just fling me a mail.

The Mayo News football podcast will also continue to churn out new output during the shutdown so it’d be a good idea to follow the podcast on Twitter (it’s here) to get early notice about what’s on the way there.

It’s also a good time to dip into past episodes of the podcast. The back catalogue, containing all episodes from the start of 2017 to the present, is here and if you need some guidance on how to get listening to the podcast you’ll find a useful primer on how to do so here.

Keep washing those hands. Up Mayo.

35 thoughts on “What now?

  1. WJ. Thank you for all your work. It’s great to hear and see the wise and unified voices here. Yes, Cheltenham was ridiculous but we can do nothing about this now. I honestly think everyone coming into the country now could either undertake to self isolate or be forced into it. If we react responsibly this will pass more quickly. But it requires a bit of cop on not often associated with the Irish psyche. Be careful each of you. Unplug yourself from interactions and especially bigger crowds. We will come out of this with a greater appreciation of what is important. Ya football is great but without health and the people we love it doesn’t count for much.
    I hope you all stay safe and healthy and find a way to enjoy this downtime. A few weeks of old videos will be a tonic…bring it on. Up Mayo. Take care.

  2. Fair play to you WJ for continuing to put up articles here and also for the wise words Such wise words and calmness is what’s needed now Of course we will miss sport and especially Mayo football which keeps us going but at this moment in time other things are more important Having said all that I would be surprised if the league concludes and would assume that therefore this years league will be declared null and void Where teams finished in the league was going to be crucial to the Tier 2 championship Hard to know what will happen to the Championship Maybe there will be no Super 8s in Football and no round robin in hurling if the championship does go ahead All up in the air Anyway keep calm and stay safe

  3. Stay well everyone. Hopefully this will be over soon. Difficult times but we’ll come through it.

  4. I reckon the league will be void. Just pretend this year never happened which is fine for us…..
    I disagree with the poster above though I think we have alot of common sense /cop on generally in Ireland we are far to hard on ourselves.
    We have achieved huge things over the last 40 years……
    anyhow maybe this break might give our lads time to sort out injuries and get a full strength team on the field in 2020 championship

  5. I too think we are a country of people who can be ahead of the curve at times. Look at the smoking ban. I think the vast majority are thankfully being sensible. Compare our approach to that of the country across the water who always has to be different…….

    Anyway. Football. I think the league will be voided too.

  6. I agree the league will be void and return in 2021 with the divisions starting as they did in feb 2020. Championship will be ok but I’d imagine could be knockout competition, though to be honest, football is a lot less important today than this day last week, jobs on the line and the fear of losing family members to this virus.

  7. Big well done to all the clubs in the county that are offering their services to people in need due to the coronavirus.

  8. Cant see any football taken place for the foreseeable future particularly this summer. Talk of championship being played in a traditional knock out is wishful thinking. This virus isnt just going to stop suddenly so we can play a few less rounds. If the peak in illness is not for another few months – according to the science, it’s going to take a longer period of recovery after this before any clearance to resume would be considered. I may be overly pessimistic in relation to this but I cannot see how the risk is removed.

  9. I expect a total shut down to be announced before Monday. We cannot leave pubs etc open for St Patrick’s Day as some people are acting totally irresponsibly and will continue to do so if allowed. It is going to be extremely difficult and football is the least of our worries even if we are relegated. Be safe.

  10. @All Ireland Gold.. TG 4..2.05 PM .1998 Galway v Mayo… It’s hard to believe that we were all 22 year’s younger back then…. John Maughan had a fantastic Tan, and I didn’t have a grey hair…. beautiful day weather wise…. terrible result for Mayo… some absolutely fantastic player’s on view from both sides…2 of the 3 goals scored were absolutely fantastic.,… Derek Savage for Galway, only to be probably out done by Ciarian Mac, for his 2nd Goal, great finish but an absolutely terrific team goal by Mayo, moving the ball from the Albany End to the Bacon Factory end, down the MacHale Road side. .. one of the best team Goals Mayo ever scored…Ciaran Mac was hot, even hotter than the scorching Summer Sunday that was, inches denied him a hat trick crashing the Ball of the bar in the closing minutes…I sat right behind Enda Colleran RIP, former Galway Player, 3 in a Row Captain and Sunday Game Analyst (Much better than some others we have had)…A bit of Nostalgia!

  11. Just to add to the my last post… There will be many more days like that one again… Only next time Mayo will Win!

  12. Willie joe. Now that many of us will be stuck at home for the next few weeks we could do with a bit more nostalgia and reminiscing so what about picking a mayo team that never won an all Ireland. Remembering the players of the 1960s and 70s I’d start off with joe Corcoran and john Morley

  13. I don’t actually think the league should be null and void.

    With all but 2 matches to be played, I think the unfair thing to do would be to relegate any team from any of the divisions. Also unfair though not to reward the teams that have performed well.

    The top teams from the divisions should still be rewarded.

    I would promote each of the top two teams from Div 2, 3 and 4.

    That would leave 10 teams in Div 1 for the next campaign. Div 2 and 3 would have the same amount of teams and Div 4 would have 2 less teams.

    I know people will say where would you get the extra 2 weekends to play the 2 additional games in Div 1 for the next campaign and that would be the only obstacle I would see to this.

    The league in recent years has really added excitement to the football calender. Some teams though seem to be ping ponging in and out of the top division. A 10 team 1st Division could give these teams a little bit of breathing space and allow them to stay in Div 1 for a longer spell. This in turn would help them close the gap a little on the top 3 or 4 teams in the country.

    The top teams could well do with the extra finances that another home league game might generate.

  14. JJ costello for goalie … i remember him pushing a certain goal bound shot from liam sammon on to the post and a 2 foot splinter from the post flew into the crowd at the albany end..cud have taken a eye out.

  15. Just remember thinking McDonald’s arrival to inter-country football was fractionally too late for us. Badly needed some bite in the inside line in 1996. He was in America that summer?

  16. Rock,
    Remember that McDonald was on the panel in 1994 and if the changes which were eventually made , incl. Mac’s introduction, were made earlier the result of that Connacht final could have been much different. But we were still not fit to venture into Croke Park in ’94.
    Meantime I see from the RTE website that Cora Staunton is still making her mark in Aussie land with two goals, one from near 50 m, in her recent outing. A game played behind closed doors. But little chance of her making her mark for Mayo this summer if the current regime remains as stubborn as they have been.

  17. Looking at 98 final again today – we had same problem then as we have now – lack of quality forwards and very little semblance of a game plan up front. Scored 6 points in total that day – only 3 from play. A lot of the big players on both teams were very quiet that day – Nallen,Brady and Horan were all very quiet. Donnellan , Fallon and DePaor quiet for Galway. Different football with a lot of ball just ballooned into the forwards without players even looking where they were kicking it.

  18. Mentioned Revellino’s 10 team div1 suggestion to a Galway “FRIEND” . Not impressed to say the least!
    As for Cora Staunton , as far as I am concerned she has left the Mayo set-up for good. Of more importance are the current squad members out there now getting paid to play. Also our 2 young lads who are hugely important for our teams present and future well-being

  19. I hear ur point south mayo exile. But in fairness to Horan he does seem to hav a plan come championship. The amount of ball ballooned up in the air in the big game under Maughan was cat

  20. 98 was a game of fine margins, just after Mac’s goal, David Nestor (I think) was put through on goal, McNamara made a save that was very close to being a foot-block in my opinion, ball went up the field and Derek Savage scored a wonderful goal.

    Likewise, McDonald crashes the ball off the bar at he Albany end, Galway go up the field and get a free to put them four up. Fine margins again.

    Galway inched past Ros in the Connacht Final due to their keeper dropping the ball in front of the goal, in extra-time of the replay.

  21. In fairness to Maughan he led Mayo to victory in The graveyard of Mayo football that was Tuam in 99 against the All Ireland Champions. We should have beat Cork in the Semi final in 99 we threw that game away no doubt about it. Maughan has his faults but he brought us to finals in 96 97 and brought a new Mayo team to a final in 04. People will say that he didn’t win any and we lost them on the sideline etc etc but for me until we can put the ball over the bar and kill off teams with goals alas it will be the same ol story

  22. In terms of the pandemic, here in Austria people are not allowed to leave their apartments unless they are shopping for food, going to work or caring for a sick person. Bars, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, public parks, schools, playgrounds etc. have all been shut.

    Desperate times call for desperate measures.

  23. The other thing that struck me about that 98 game was the amount of seriously fit and conditioned guys on both teams, not an S&C coach or gps vest in sight. There is no doubt that the likes of Nallen, Connelly, McHale, McManamon, De Paor, Mannion, Fallon, Walsh would have not been out of place on any current county panel

  24. Jaysus, always thought we were competitive in that game versus Galway in ‘98. To be fair it was a four point hammering. A shocker of a second half only 1 point scored and only 2-6 in the whole game. Probably tired after the previous 2 years. Can see now why Divilly likes the long early ball.

  25. That wasn’t the 98 Connacht final fellas (and ladies), it was a quarter final in fact ?. Galway disposed of Leitrim in the SF and were held to a draw by the Rossies in the final, the first day out in Tuam stadium. The final replay was played in Dr. Hyde on an early August Saturday evening, if memory serves. That was a pulsating encounter, in which Galway secured victory with a fortuitious goal late in extra time. To be fair, it was the start of things for a fantastic Galway side which peaked in 2001 (imo).
    Funny to look to back at the pre-qualifier era, with weeks between fixtures and teams (occasionally big teams even) crashing out in May or early June after just one game.

  26. I really enjoyed watching the game from ‘98 today, but it’s staggering how different the game is now. Peter Burke was quite happy to hammer every kick long. Divilly was even worse. Ever possession he won was kicked aimlessly down the pitch.

    The one player who prized the ball and looked to mind possession was McHale. Loved watching him play.

  27. Michaelincork I can’t comment on teams from 60s or 70s but for me teams from 96 to present I would have Clarke, Mortimer ,Cahill, Higgins ,Keegan ,nallen ,Connelly ,Mchale ,oshea ,mcloughlin, McDonald, Horan, cillian, Andy, Mortimer .just putting it out there. I know boyler and durcan could be in there.

  28. watched that game today, great to see how McHale read the game always making great use of possession would be great to have him now. One thing stood out Mayo scored 1 point in second half , nothing has changed still can go twenty minutes without scoring even with plenty of possession, would make a huge difference if Mayo could learn to score even 1 point evert five minutes

  29. Think in the current climate, we should go to a straight knockout championship for this year only, 2 weeks between every championship round and 3 weeks for the All Ireland Final.Dublin should play all their Leinster championship home games in Parnell park and away to which ever team there playing in Leinster.

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