A week on

NFL Semi-Final 2013

It’s a week on from our league semi-final defeat to Dublin and I’d intended to set down some thoughts before now on the match and the league campaign and all that. However, work and normal life got in the way and now it’s already seven days on from then and with a work trip starting tomorrow I’m not going to have the time to put together those considered ideas that I never really got to consider properly.

So, here’s the short version. A week on, I’m actually quite happy that we’re not in the league final: our first round championship clash with Galway in Salthill is now just four weekends away and an NFL decider seven days hence against Tyrone would have been far too much of a distraction. With their U21s blazing a trail this year (yet again – how long will it be before all this underage talent starts to tell at senior level?) we can expect that Galway will, despite their indifferent Division Two league campaign, put it up to us in Pearse Stadium and we need all the time we have between this and then to focus completely on this impending challenge.

Padraig Joyce said last week that Galway have been concentrating solely on this upcoming clash ever since the draw was made late last year and I’m sure James Horan has been giving it plenty of thought too. A league final three weeks out from Salthill wouldn’t, I’m sure, have been part of his master plan for 2013 so I’d say he’s more than happy to have dodged this particular date. The league ultimately served its purpose for us – we remained in Division One, which – according to this interesting piece of analysis by Ewan McKenna – is the most important thing for us to have achieved, and we got to blood some players, even if this didn’t result in our unearthing the “three or four” new players that James said he was looking for at the outset of the campaign.

As for last Sunday’s performance itself, I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m pretty much chilled out about that as well. Sure, it was annoying on the day to see the Gone Fishin’ signs go up the minute Paul Mannion lashed in Dublin’s opening goal but in retrospect it’s perfectly understandable that the lads should have stepped off the gas to the extent that they did at Croke Park last weekend. The previous two Sundays they had chiselled out hard-fought wins over the two teams that had beaten them in the two national finals they’d contested in 2012. Both of these league ties were must-win games and win them they did and so it’s little wonder that there wasn’t that much left in the tank last Sunday against a Dublin team that had, by contrast, qualified for the semis with two matches to spare.

So with the league done we’re back under the radar, counting down the days to the start of the year’s real action, which for us is set to get going far earlier this year than it did last summer. It’s all to play for and even if many of us (including myself, truth be told) harbour doubts about our ability to go all the way dish ear, we can at least face into the summer with the hope that, once again under James Horan’s leadership, we’ve every chance of featuring in the shake-up.  And if we do, you can be sure that very little thought will be given then about how this year’s league campaign ended for us.

26 thoughts on “A week on

  1. that about sums it up WJ although I worry greatly about our inside line going into the summer, not too sure we have found anyone new, Conroy doing well but who is showing best for no 14, Jason docs form has fallen off a bit and Freeman stands back too much for my liking, galway in salthill wont be easy, they are waiting to take us down a peg or two, but we should come out on top, all to play for so bring it on maigheo abu

  2. What’s the word on Andy Moran?. Without him in top form and leading from the front we are going to struggle to get the goals we need to make a real impact this year.

  3. Does anyone (Willie Joe?) know what our challenge match schedule is? We usually spring into action around now and open or refurbish grounds the length and breadth of the country.

  4. We’ve got to stop thinking of Andy Moran I hope he’s twice as good when he comes back but there’s a chance he may not be and also god forbid he repeats the injury as Colm o Neil did for cork! We got to plough on with who we know is fit we gotta keep the heads up and we’ve got to wash all the negativity out of our systems for the season ahead! Maigh Eo Abu! Is feidir linn!! One final thought you will never hear the Kerry fans putting there team down no matter how bad they are!! Our fans are the worst critics of our team! That should not be!

  5. Wensam Suun – The difference in Mayo fans and Kerry fans is that Kerry have been highly successful with loads of All Irelands won whereas Mayo haven’t won one for 60 years. Kerry have nothing to complain about and it is known that they have massive expectations of their players. Do you really think they would accept one All Ireland in 60 years. I think not. I, and others like me, are not putting Mayo down. We are not critics of the team. We are trying to help correct the mistakes made and encourage new ideas and plans that will help Mayo gain their rightful place in GAA history. Would you prefer Mayo to keep losing, as they have done, praising their mistakes and clapping them on their backs, telling them how great they are and keep at it, (still losing). Blind positivity will gain nothing, neither will blind negativity.

  6. Well said Joe Mc – I couldn’t agree more with your sentiment, comparing Kerry the most successful team in the land with Mayo supporters who are starved of success for so long beggars belief. That said I happened to be holidaying in Kerry a few years ago when Down knocked them out of the Championship and I couldn’t believe the amount of negative and scathing comments on local radio and indeed from the locals themselves, seemed like the more you have the more they want.

    Of course some can go over board, calling for heads to roll at every turn, but most supporters like to tell it as it is, or as they see it, Much healthier in my opinion than hiding behind some false pretence that everything will be grand and the old reliable, “sure there’s always next year” !!!

  7. Kerry fans are actually highly critical of their team and management especially when they do not succeed. Think back to Paidí’s comments about Kerry supporters. Also more recently Pat O’Shea was forced out of Kerry when they lost to Tyrone in AI final even after winning the previous one.

    and the Kerry players themselves. Going out to represent their county and looking into the stand – seeing fellas with 7 or 8 All Ireland medals looking down and knowing these guys are going to be judging them. that’s the pressure they’re under and it’s one of the things that drives them on !

  8. Team are going into a training camp for 3 days this week. Going to have the legs run off them from what I hear.

  9. Thanks Wensam Sunn – When I read your name first I thought you were Chinese. Then the penny dropped.

  10. Whats all the nonsense about lauding the fact that we are not in a League Final as it will leave us fresher for the Galwqay game and then go on to talk about upcoming challenge games leading up to the same Galway joust. Is it any wonder we havent won anything of significance for over sixty years if that the level of analysis of our failures.

  11. I agree Mayo Exile. Galway U-21s don’t seem to be ‘turning up’ for their All-Ireland final in a week and a half and not arsed about it. Some of them will be starting on the 19th as well.

  12. Yes Joe mc it’s got a bit of the other side of the world ring to it surely! I hope it comes to fruition suun!!!! Any definite word on mickey c???!

  13. Conroe would be a real loss. Our reserve forwards have not shown so far that they are at the same standard as our replacement midfielders and defenders, I read in the mayo news that he “popped a shoulder out in a club game for davitts” anyone any idea of the recovery time for these type of injuries??

  14. O’Connor popped his shoulder in a club game before xmas and only returned to county team towards the end of league. Barry Moran will be bigger loss than Conroy IMO how long is he out for?

  15. I reckon the only one that will be missing for 19 th may will be Andy Moran. Any one any idea when we will know championship panel….

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