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.