Well, summer’s finally arrived and very welcome it is too. It’s a glorious morning up here in the capital and the morning spin I had on the bike out by the coast earlier on was only gorgeous.
Speaking of weather, current predictions would seem to indicate that we should be reasonably okay for Sunday in Salthill. It can be notoriously blowy at Pearse Stadium, with the wind whipping in off the Atlantic but that doesn’t look like it’ll be a problem then. By the looks of it, though, it could be a fair bit cooler than it’s set to be over the next few days, with the chance of a spot of rain as well. Well, it is summer, after all.
So it’s midweek and the coverage ahead of Sunday’s game has started to ramp up too. Here’s a round-up of what’s out there in the papers this morning.
The Irish Independent has an interview with team captain Keith Higgins, who reckons that our 10-week wait for a competitive match shouldn’t hinder us too much on Sunday. Keith also describes the rivalry with Galway as “healthy” and says that he has no problem facing Galway on their home turf.
The same paper also has a piece with former manager James Horan, who insists that his former charges will once again be strong contenders for the main prize this year. James reckons that the 2013 thumping is likely to prove more of a motivational factor for the home team this coming Sunday, as they seek to recover some pride after the mauling we gave them the last time we were in town. He cautions the home side, though, that we’re likely to see our lads “coming out of the blocks fairly quick” this year and that the team will be keen “to get a good performance down.”
The Irish Examiner also has an interview with James, which covers most of the same ground as the one in the Indo but which also touches on possible tactical changes in how the team will set up under Pat and Noel on Sunday. James sounds a bit unconvinced of the need for major changes in this area, noting that “one of the things Mayo were very strong at was their support running and that sort of stuff. It’s going to be a balancing act if they go more defensive, that they don’t cut off more of their scoring options as well. It’s trying to get that balance right.”
On the Galway side of things, the Examiner has a piece with Tribesman legend Ja Fallon who reckons that the derby feel of old has gone from this particular contest. Ja argues that while Galway might possess more raw talent than we do, they’ll still be doing well to keep the final margin to around three or four points. We shall see.
Over at the Irish Times (behind its leaky paywall), there’s the Darragh Ó Sé column that has already been mentioned in the comments. I can often take or leave the Kerryman but on this occasion I think he’s got his analysis of us and what Sunday means for us pretty much pitch-perfect. It’s essential reading.
If you’ve had your fill of reading then the Mayo News podcast (here) is, as always, well worth a listen.
Finally, just a quick update on getting into Pearse Stadium on Sunday. I got an email from the GAA season ticket people yesterday confirming that season ticket holders only need to present their ticket for scanning at the ground to get into the stand, which will be unreserved seating. Turnstiles 55-62 are where season ticket holders need to head to on the day. The County Board have also published some handy info (here) on arrangements for the day, including the park and ride facilities that will be available.