Home and away

Cliffs of Moher Walk April 2015

I’ve just realised it’s a full week since I last stuck up a post here so it’s as well to do so now, if only to confirm that I haven’t done a runner altogether. We were away for most of the Easter break – much of it without the laptop too, which was rather a liberating experience – but the kids returned to school yesterday morning and work has reared its less-than-pretty face again so it’s back to normality on all fronts once more.

Things are, of course, a bit becalmed on the Mayo GAA front right now and this will remain the case for a fair few weeks to come. While the Championship will start to splutter into action soon enough it’s still a full two months (to the exact date) before we get to kick a ball in anger again. By then, of course, our likely opponents (which I’m assuming will be Galway) will have already been out twice, while we’ll be the last county to enter the fray. Sure – try explaining the logic of that one to the uninitiated.

CORRECTION: We won’t be the last county to appear in this year’s Championship – that honour goes to Sligo who don’t play first until 20th June. Thanks to Catcol for pointing this out. 

While yesterday may have marked the return to normality after Easter for most of us, for the senior panel and management team it was departure day for a five-day trip to Portugal for some warm-weather training. The Mayo News reports today that all of the senior panel, bar the injured duo Jason Gibbons and Darren McHugh, made the trip,with 2013 minor All-Ireland medallists David Kenny and Conor Loftus – neither of whom have featured at senior level as yet – also included in the travelling party. As this piece in Hogan Stand confirms, the fit-again Evan Regan was also on the plane yesterday.

That Mayo News report I mentioned (by Mike Finnerty) has a quote from County Board Chairman Mike Connelly reassuring all and sundry that the trip “is no sun holiday, everybody is going over there to work”. I’m not sure the general public really needs any mollifying on this score – these kind of trips have been par for the course for inter-county squads for yonks and there are obvious benefits at many levels from undertaking one at this stage of the year. Monaghan’s trip last week ahead of their League semi-final clash with Dublin certainly seemed to put a bit of pep into their step.

In that piece referenced above, Mike Connelly also states that the senior panel “will probably be trimmed by four or five players” following the Portugal trip. In advance of this happening, I have to insist once again that no reference is made to any named player in this regard in the comments. If any players are let go from the panel in the near future I’m sure this will be announced officially, either directly by the County Board or via the media, and in advance of this I don’t want to see (as has already happened more than once) individual players named here. The lads deserve more respect than this.

Finally, given the yawning lacuna facing us before we see competitive action again, now is a good time if anyone is of a mind to pen a guest piece here on the site. As should be clear by now, I’m always open to giving different voices a platform here so if anyone fancies taking a whirl in the guest slot over the next while they’re more than welcome to do so.

43 thoughts on “Home and away

  1. Willie Joe – welcome back!! Have just been checking the fixtures myself. Ours is definitely (per gaa.ie) on 14th June, as Sean Burke and others have noted.

    Sligo will actually be the last team out WJ – 20th June. What a championship! Galway will have 2 games played by 17th May, while Sligo will play their first game a full 7 weeks later. Of course it’s a transatlantic, transnational championship so no surprise that it takes 11 weeks to run off. The Rugby World Cup plays off over 7 weeks.

  2. Thanks for that, Catcol – I should have double-checked the fixture list to make sure that point re us being the last team out was factually correct! I’ve added a correction slip to the post.

  3. Does anybody have a link to what teams potentially go into A and B side of qualifiers should they lose first game.
    Of course gaa.ie has not mention, better chance of getting info on FA.com

    I am also bothered by the comments of our chairman regarding our academy or the apparent lack thereof.

  4. Have looked at that Mayo News piece online. I see Mike Connelly is also described as the liaison officer with the County Board. mmm.

  5. WJ,At the risk of getting this comment deleted,Sean Rice suggests in the Mayo News that Jason G has already been dropped off the panel

  6. I saw that Allforsam but I wouldn’t take that as official confirmation just yet. He’s injured, for sure, as he’s been for all of the League and it’s a bad time of the year to be picking up an injury such as a hamstring as it could rule him out of action for a good while. With others – in particular Barry Moran and Tom Parsons – forcing their way back into the frame at midfield, it’ll be hard for Jason to make an impact there this year once he recovers from this latest set-back.

  7. I don’t pay much heed to who’s in and who’s out (official or unoffical) as hopefully it will be a long season ahead and a lot can happen in the meantime. In fairness the two lads have to pick from who’s available, guys with past proven form with known potential, current visible form, compatability to a game plan and simply better than those around you at that given time. Who’s to say that someone who makes the panel now won’t get injured later in the season and be replaced by a player returning from injury enjoying a good vane of form in club fixtures. It’s all about timing

  8. Conor Loftus is an interesting case for later in the summer when he has much more training n games played. That will bring him on a lot. Hasnt too much football played last year.

  9. I’m actually really surprised to see Conor Loftus on the panel but absolutely delighted. He’s not long back from a serious injury so hopefully he stays injury-free – I really think he has superb potential .

  10. Good to see Conor Loftus in panel.he had a terrible year with injury and is not long back.one seriously talented footballer and had an outstanding game for crossmolina v claremorris at the weekend.intercounty football is a big step up for any lad and it can take players a while to adjust to it football wise and physically wise.

  11. Aidan It is nice to see someone who praises an underage player be in a position to give it reference as you just done with the Cross v Cmorris league game. A guy who shines for his club can have a future with the county team if he has ambition to do so. Too many times a minor player who played well a couple of years is automatically expected to make the transition while he might not be able to hold down a position on his club team.

  12. Good point pjmc. I have been advocating that there is not a whole lot stopping us from tracking high potential players online. From this blog there is clearly an online active community who are in attendance at matches at club level.
    There is also the factor of being able to see online that a player you are interested in might be playing a minor, u21, university, secondary school match in a town nearby.
    What harm that a simple database of Posessions, scores, wides, blocks, turnovers could be logged. If don’t have time for all that info just the simple marks from 10 with a small written report. Simplest would be that people access it online on their mobile.

  13. Read the Western this week and some of the above queries and comments will be dealt with:

    1. Re Cillian O’Connor – yes, it would seem so, as the Western mentions him in passing and makes no reference to his absence.

    2. Re Conor Loftus – report on the Claremorris match confirms his excellent performance, already noted here. Cathal Carolan also scored 1-1 in that match BTW.

    3. Re stats and tracking, the paper has a table of all players, their playing time in the league, their scores. Player analysis is also carried out on all performers.

    4. They also make the point that the 30 man panel required can be circumvented somewhat by changing it every week, so that may reduce the need to prune? Still, I do expect a few to go, or in County Board speak, be ‘released’ to their clubs.

  14. Willie joe. Is it ok to advertise on the site. ? Willy mc gee is holding a fundraising golf classic for the mayo team at westmanstown on May 8 th. He tells me all proceeds go direct to the team. There will be an auction after dinner on the night. I hope to submit some product for this auction. For those interested willys email is. willymcgee15@yahoo.com. Thank you

  15. The wp names 37 players that played at some stage in the league 3 players have been returned to their clubs 2 new ones have been added totalling 36 who is the 37th player gone to Portugal?

  16. TWJO – re the 37th player, would this be Darren McHugh?

    He was named as sub for early games, but didn’t play. Wasn’t mentioned in the WP list. Have checked back through my programmes on this.

  17. @ catcol, The Mayo News reported the following:

    All bar two of the Mayo panel (injured duo Jason Gibbons and Darren McHugh) have made the trip, while The Mayo News understands that U-21 pair David Kenny from Aghamore and Conor Loftus from Crossmolina also accepted invitations to attend the camp.

  18. Well I thought they said Gallagher was released to under21 duty at the time, which seemed a bit sus as the other bucks were kept for both grades Coen and Diarmuid.

  19. HSE – thanks for that. Can’t figure out the 37th just at the moment.
    Sean Burke & Done Deal Darren Coen or Keith Rogers? May have been unused subs v Kerry. Otherwise only 2 players have been ‘released’, Varley and Gallagher.

    See County Board statement of 23rd February:

    The Following players have been released back to their respective clubs:

    Gavin Duffy – Salthill/Knocknacarra
    Enda Varley – Garrymore
    Alex Corduff – Ballina Stephenites
    Caolan Crowe – Garrymore
    Darren Coen – Hollymount/Carramore
    Keith Rogers – Ballaghaderreen
    Stephen Duffy – Crossmolina Deel Rovers
    Peter Dravins – Breaffy
    Morgan Lyons – Released to Mayo U-21 Panel
    Adam Gallagher – Released to Mayo U-21 Panel

  20. Don’t see the problem 37 players played in league, Gallagher and varley both played but are now not on panel, david kenny and Conor Loftus appear to be added bringing it back to 37. (Mchugh or gibbons didn’t feature in league and are not included in panel of 37 who travelled)

  21. Ml forde played with his club the day before Donegal match but does that mean he is has been released from panel?, Played well in Derry the only chance he got and looked to have good potential.

  22. There’s been no official confirmation to that effect year,to win just once, so I’d appreciate it if you could refrain from naming any names until this has happened. The only names confirmed so far as those listed in Catcol’s comment from yesterday, which was from the County Board’s statement in February.

  23. Official confirmation- the prick that is Cormac Reilly had made the refs list for championship!! Please tell me little Pat would not be stupid enough to give him a Mayo game????

  24. Wensansuun…. I actually hope we get him. I reckon he would give us everything, he knows after last year he would be under the spotlight and he’d give us every 50/50 call. Be crack to have him in salthill

  25. Sorry about naming players I thought I read those names on one of the local papers I nevery intended to upset anyone or their families I was just wondering who the extra player is in the 37

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