Following Mayo's footballers

A bit of catching-up

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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.

Comments

  1. David says:

    So it’s less than a month til it all kicks off again for Mayo. Can hardly wait, it will be interesting to see who from outside the panel will step up and have a shot.

    Perspective, new York Yankees pay 200 million dollars in wages to a team that are barely able to go a game without injury to one of them and the media go on about how brave the players are. And then Mayo spend less than half million training 30 lads that will play when injured because they want to, and without pay.
    What a great product Gaelic games are.

    • MayoMark says:

      I have no problem with those figures. Mayo had 5 games in Dublin in 2013, one in Newry, one n Cork. It’s not cheap. We also required a lot of medical assistance with Cillian, Andy, Alan and others. Success costs money. I recall Mayo fans giving out when the players’ accommodation wasn’t good enough on trips etc. Well, this is the alternative. Things done properly. And we have reached 2 All Irelands in two years, that success has more than raised that money between season tickets and fund raisers that have been done on the back of the AI Finals. The players were well due their break in Miami, and are well due their break in Dubai this year too.

      • David says:

        I hope you haven’t misunderstood me, mayo mark?

        I think our team are unreal value for the money spent on them. I wish I had millions to give them for training facilities, medical care and gear etc.
        they train very hard and are true sporting heroes but live in a parallel universe compared to professional sports which is I believe way overpaid.

  2. MayoMark says:

    No David, I clicked reply on your comment out of habit using other forums :D I realised afterwards but didn’t bother fixing it! I was trying to make a general comment rather than directing it at your good self.

  3. Mister Mayor says:

    And “Slim” is outta town WJ!

    Also, I agree with messars David and Mark, in that I’ve no problem with the cost of preparing our team to compete at the hugest level.

    Btw, can’t wait to get me season tickets in the mail!

  4. Voice of Reason says:

    Lads don’t get excited about the increased team costs.

    This is the price of success.

    What the media reports will not mention is that fundraising increased significantly. And this is the benefit of success.

    So all in all the accounts are far healthier because of winning on the pitch.

    If the team were to start losing there would not be as much coming in through fundraising, but costs would remain significant. That is when there should be headlines!

    • mayo mchale says:

      If the Mayo County Board went about it in the right way and appealed to the many hundreds of thousands of loyal Mayo supporters all over the world, we could take care of our money problems in no time. All that’s needed is a bit of imaginative marketing to tap into all that good will that’s out there…….

      • David says:

        Exactly

        A good marketing person or company would put the Mayo Product right in front of us.
        WJ has a picture of Mayonator in a previous subject on the forum, how many thousand t shirts, bags, pens etc would they sell for kids and adults?
        My bet is a lot. A bit of imagination would leave mayo sitting comfortable financially, and specially since James horan has put a solid foundation in place for us to build from. We have the players, and fans that will support the team, if only we can set things up like a business.
        Mayonator, by the way is just an example

      • Mister Mayor says:

        Excellent point…we are the Penn State of Gaelic Footbal IMO (i.e. Massive global support)

    • Berry says:

      I have felt as if coming short as a Mayo supporter on quite a few occasions reading this site due to not attending every game, this been primarily been due to not living in the country.

    • Anne-Marie says:

      The reality of the situation is that to be successful, teams need to be spending this kind of money – it’s the nearest thing to a professional setup you’ll get and I would sooner see the players looked after than not.

      I’d love to see a bit more merchandise myself, outside of clothes. Especially coming up to Christmas. I’m mad for a nice Mayo car air freshener, so I am. :D

      Berry, being a supporter is about far more than going to the games. And it’s hard to attend games when you’re not even in the country :)

  5. Sean burke says:

    Exactly Mayo McHale, I’ve heard several people say things like that. Example, there is a cairde Maigheo London but nothing for the north of England, there is an avenue to hold a couple of fund raisers in the likes of Manchester .

    You could also have a monthly lotto type thing for supporters to contribute to training fund, the secret to any of these ideas is to make it easy for overseas supporters contribute , Mayo people really care about our county team and I don’t believe it’s maximised.

  6. rober says:

    Cant believe that Mayo County Board have not paid any grants in 2013 to any of the schools bodies in the county, cutbacks it seems. Spending 650,000 is grand if you have it to spend, though not at the expense of the future foundations of the county. Its like cutting back on the foundation of the house while installing a state of the art kutchen. It happened before and it took us a long while to recover

    • Cloud9 says:

      I agree.

      A strength and conditioning expert that I know, reckons that the Mayo senior side is two or three years ahead of other counties in Connacht in S&C and fitness levels (built up residually. But he also says that the average Roscommon Under-16 or Minor is ahead of similar Mayo lads in these areas.

      We cannot neglect putting resources in to developing the next generation of players. We cannot rely on a good manager having a very good crop of players every year like this year – we need to at a minimum match Roscommon’s investment in young players.

      They say tomorrow never comes – but we’ve seen a lot of barren years without Minor and U-21 titles, and if we don’t develop our future generations of footballers, we will see more and regret it !

      So by all means run a professional operation for our Senior team – they deserve it (and we deserve it). They should be looked after very well, but don’t neglect the younger teams and the important bridge to the senior ranks – the U-21s

  7. AndyD says:

    An online lotto would be worth considering although fundraising for anything at the moment might be an uphill battle due to the CRC controversy. The destination of funds raised would need to be perfectly clear and transparent, perhaps devoted entirely to an extra coaching officer or coaching initiative/project.

    • Mister Mayor says:

      well, there needs to be full transparency. The diaspora wil support financially if there is transparency and accountability. I understand the CB posined that chalice with the debt on the stadium but at least its a tangible asset and something we can all be proud of.

      • Voice of Reason says:

        Mister Mayor the stadium is the big thing and I think people just see the flaws, and the waste of money and the history of the CB in general

      • mayo mchale says:

        Hope we’re not all going to get stuck in a time warp? Whatever mistakes were made, were made and can’t be undone. Like the team let’s hope we have all learn something from past experiences and can now move on. Dwelling to much on the past does no one any favours…….

  8. Alrightman says:

    Voice of reason surely a connaught title is not success for that kind of money now our minors were successful at a small fraction of the cost. W.j while yer putting figures out there can ya figure this one out mayo footballer of the year cant make his place on county team

    • mayo mchale says:

      I think Alrightman you can’t compare in any way preparing minor and seniors teams, the’re worlds apart and also there’s a whole lot of difference between winning in Connaught and reaching the AF. And lastly, it’s not for Willie Joe to be expected to deal with issues concerning team selection, that’s one we’re all hoping Horan will have figured out by now and put it right next for year.

  9. cat says:

    I see there is a fundraser for the mayo minor and senior teams next sunday in westport whats all that about does anyone know

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