The 2013 National Football League gets underway this coming weekend and although on the one hand it seems like it’s been forever since we’ve had some proper competitive action to salivate over (despite Leitrim’s joyous celebrations last Sunday, the FBD doesn’t really count in this respect) on the other it’s like the start of the league has snuck up on us with precious little warning. Maybe that’s just me.
The Mayo News are certainly aware that inter-county hostilities are about to resume, with this week’s edition seeing the welcome return to the fray of both Noel Connelly and Sean Rice. While they have different things to say about what we can expect from the upcoming league campaign, both make the similar – and very sensible – point that we have to aim to give more game time to players such as Seamus O’Shea, Richie Feeney, Chris Barrett and Jason Gibbons.
I think both are right – while it’s all well and good hoping that we’re going to be able to magic up three or four new players who have the capability to take us to a higher level this summer, the reality surely is that we need, first and foremost, to get more out of (and give greater chances to shine to) the players currently in the squad, most (though not all) of whom have been with James right from the start. If we can add a few players to the mix as well over the course of the spring that’d be great but I don’t think we should be heading into this particular campaign with the notion that we’re going to emerge from it with a number of new players ready to slot straight into the championship first fifteen.
In terms of news about Sunday’s opener with Kerry, there are two points to bring to your attention. The first is that the game will be reffed by Armagh’s Padraig Hughes. He’s a man one hears plenty about, occasionally from lads tearing their hair out as they try to fathom his oft-times quixotic take on the rules, but to be fair to the guy he’s not someone we’ve had any business with for some time. In fact, he’s never reffed a match involving us in the JH era and you have to go back to that bathetic league final of 2010 for the last time we had him as ref. We sure weren’t able to pin that particular final defeat on shite refereeing so I guess it’s only fair to take the Armagh official as we find him on Sunday.
Image: Hogan Stand
The second point to note about Sunday’s clash with Kerry is that it’ll be shown live on TG4. I know, I know – you’ll all be chomping at the bit to flash your shiny news Cairde Mhaigheo season tickets about the place but the option is there for those who fancy their home comforts to follow the match in full without leaving the couch. My own default position is that I’ll head west for the game (almost certainly as a day trip) but at the minute I’m feeling as if a bout of man flu is starting to rear its ugly head so I’m not 100% sure as yet what option I’ll go for on Sunday.
No word of a team yet, of course, but I guess there’s a chance we’ll see one come Thursday or Friday. So, in the meantime, it’s time for a poll on how you think we’ll get on at McHale Park on Sunday. Off with you, now.
How will we get on against Kerry on Sunday?
- Win (57%, 76 Votes)
- Lose (36%, 48 Votes)
- Draw (7%, 10 Votes)
Total Voters: 134