Image: @conorjdonnelly via Twitter
The clock’s ticking down to Christmas, there’s a million and one things to be done and so, from my perspective at least, what’s been happening in the Mayo GAA world and the wider GAA sphere has had to take a bit of a back seat the last while. Time for a quick catch-up, then, on a few things of note.
The first is last Saturday night’s Club Stars event, which saw eight players from County champions Castlebar Mitchels make it onto the Team of the Year, while Mitchels’ stalwart Richie Feeney was a popular winner of the senior Player of the Year award. More details on this year’s awards are set out in this report by Daniel Carey in the Mayo News. Special guest on the night was ex-Kerry player Darragh Ó Sé and a piece on his contribution to the night’s festivities by the same writer in the same paper is here.
Next up is the County Board Convention, which took place in Breaffy on Sunday. Daniel Carey (busy man) has a report on the main issues that arose at the Convention – here. As has already been discussed in the comments, the costs relating to the senior team in 2013, which rose from €480,344 last year to €646,440 this year (that’s a hefty 35% increase), as well as the €40,000 decrease in coaching and games development spending both featured prominently in discussions at the Convention.
The cost of sending the senior team to New York for our Connacht championship opening round match next May also got an airing last Sunday. As Mike Finnerty in the Mayo News reports, the Connacht Council have since confirmed that this match will take place at Gaelic Park on 4th May next, with the winners facing an away trip to either Leitrim or Roscommon on 8th June. That report also states that our opening FBD match will now take place on Friday, 10th January under the lights at MacHale Park (though no definitive throw-in time has been confirmed for the match as yet), with our second FBD match set to be played less than 48 hours later, when we play IT Sligo in Charlestown on Sunday, 12th January (throw-in 2pm). A fair bit of squad rotation will be called for there, I reckon.
Finally, there’s the FRC proposals that were published the other day on championship structure and all that. Today’s Irish Independent has two good articles on the championship structure issue, one by Martin Breheny (a long-time proponent of redrawing the provinces into 4×8) and the other by Donnchadh Boyle featuring an interview with the GPA’s Dessie Farrell. I have to admit I’d be in agreement with the criticisms of the FRC proposals contained in both pieces, in that I’d say the reforms don’t go far enough and have only been structured in this way because the FRC know full well that anything more radical will get shot down in flames by the powerbrokers at provincial council level. Given that these proposals aren’t, unlike the black card, going to be pushed any further by the FRC and won’t be going to Congress in 2014, I’d say the chances of their being implemented stand somewhere between slim and none.