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We’re back home, with more than two weeks to go until our All-Ireland semi-final against Dublin so with plenty of time to start a nice, long countdown to what should be a shuddering showdown between two top-class teams zeroing in on the big prize.

It’s good to be back even if, in an online sense, it largely feels like I’ve never been away. That’s what you get for heading away at a time of year when our season is coming nicely to the boil. Still, the sun and the relaxation and all that downtime together over the past fortnight was great, just great.

It was interesting too to keep the pot boiling on the site from afar. The WiFi in the hotel was pretty crap but Vodafone’s 4G was excellent (as, in fairness, it is here too) and roaming charges – including for data – aren’t, thankfully, what they used to be so that was fine and it was relatively easy to keep things ticking away on the site leading up to and after the Donegal game.

The experience also gave me a brief insight (as well as a reminder of my own experience from long ago – though this was well before the internet took off) of what it’s like to be living away at this time of year. Those of us domiciled in Dublin often, I think, feel we’re the exiles, having to traipse down west for home matches, but our level of disconnection from native soil is nothing like that felt by those who live abroad. What it feels like for them on a really big match day was brought home forcefully to me the weekend before last.

By the way, speaking of the view from abroad, if you haven’t yet discovered A Rambling Paddy (@aramblingpaddy), who has recently started to blog about Mayo GAA and other stuff from over in London, then you really should as his is an interesting and fresh new voice in this particular sphere on interest.

Finally (and, sadly, they always end up being a footnote – I’m all ears if anyone has the time and interest to change this as I’m not really in a position to do so) the ladies are back in championship action this afternoon. Like the brothers last year, the sisters have to travel to Limerick this afternoon to play Kerry in an All-Ireland quarter-final tie, where the throw-in at the Gaelic Grounds is set for 4.15pm today. If you can’t make it to Limerick today, it’s being shown live on TG4 and there’s also full live commentary on this win-or-bust tie on Midwest Radio. Best of luck to the girls in this one.

Comments

  1. mayomaningalway says:

    Ladies game in TG4 too

  2. mayomaningalway says:

    Sorry WJ all ready mentioned .

  3. Welcome home WJ. Am i the only wondering how the team can train properly with only 1 goalkeeper?
    Maybe plans are in place to bring Kevin O’Malley back from Dubai. Anything can happen in the game itself but will probably hear more about the extent of Clarkes injury in the next few days.

    Will the team not be going to a training camp this week? Ciaran2

  4. WJ Welcome home, and I hope you had a great time with your family on holiday. Also great to have you back for the big build up. I feel truly spoiled with the service that you have provided us all in our pursuit this great team.

  5. Shero1988 says:

    WJ – just a point about the Mayo exiles. I have been living in Bermuda the last year, so its been strange this year for me not to be getting to the games. I actually ended up watching the quarter final in New York with friends as I was there last weekend. But having this blog makes it a lot easier for us exiles, so thank you for that! I don’t frequently comment but i come on almost every day to get the news and views of people back home. Always some very interesting viewpoints and analysis.

    I will actually be home for the Semi final (first time since xmas) so i am looking forward to seeing our guys in action against the Dubs. Should be a cracker!

  6. Trevor Naughton says:

    Thats a fine house you have there WJ! ????

  7. mayomaningalway says:

    My prediction for us winning the game will not change. That said we still need to be on top of our game. They will try catch us cold .If we go behind we are up against it.Dubs will launch another big surge with 10-15, mins left in game in hope that we might be tired and their subs can penetrate. I hope Pat and Noel are on top of their game for this one. Cluxton has being mentioned a few times as being a key player for them and of course that is in no doubt.I don’t think he is the player he was a few years ago. Their half forwards will hope they can keep our half backs busy so they can’t get forward as they did against Donegal. If we can get out on top first and get them playing to our tune we are in business and we all know their players we must keep in their boxes.

  8. kingoffoxford says:

    From an exile in Canberra, Australia. Have been here for 6 years now and it is no doubt tough to keep track of the goings on back in the homeland. But WJ your blog makes it easier. Pulling the all nighters before work monday morning to watch the lads is never easy but after performances like the Donegal game the buzz carries you through the day. Proud times being a Mayo man because of our great team and great fans. Lazy fans and journos will always point to our lack of the holy grail as a major flaw but i disagree. So many forget the back door beating to Longford not so long ago. How things have changed since then!!

    The Donegal match was the most complete physical and tactical display i have witnessed from any Mayo team.

    Beat the Dubs and Sam is ours. That’s my prediction!

    Our boys will be ready to tear strips out of Kerry after last year imo. Thats the sort of lads we have. Enjoy watching them.

    Mayo Abu

  9. Kenneth o malley won’t be coming back from Dubai.pray David Clarke. Recovers quickly.

  10. There are other goalkeeper options to cover:
    Mark Mulligan from the 2013 minors is a good young goalkeeper.
    Blake Forkan performed very well for the juniors in Croke Park.

  11. In case anyone is looking to do some indepth analysis the donegal game is now up on YouTube

    https://youtu.be/bl0c3rYILu8

  12. Unfortunately Mark Mulligan is not fit,he is another from the All Ireland winning panel who is recovering from hip surgery

  13. Inbetweener says:

    It occurs to me that if we come through the next day/when we come through,it will be an almighty achievement.

    Those markups are going to be essential. It’s at the individual level that this game will be won. If we don’t get that fairly right their scintillating teamwork will be a problem. I think there is a concensus that they may have one on us there but as we know skinning a cat can be interesting and great fun!

    I agree Cluxton is aching a bit and whether his restarts are long or short we have enough/more savvy to deal with this issue. To sow doubts in Dub minds as early as pos wherever we can will come in handy and enhance our chances.

    Nice to hear Clarke is ok and that young Regan is flying.

  14. Sherro1998 and kingoffoxford, would you lads drop me a line on mayoclub51@gmail.com ?

    Ye would be the two right men for http://www.mayoclub51.com/route-51/

  15. Alan T Cheers for that. Had a request from an elderly gentleman who listened to it on the radio. I felt a bit guilty not been able to help him out.

  16. been living in amsterdam for 5 years and London for 8 years before that. Love this blog, always on here, enjoy the comments sections a lot, keep it up WJ. Means a lot to us exiles ..,

  17. That is unfortunate with Mark Mulligan. Then the most likely call up in that case would be Blake Forkan seeing as he has been active with a county setup and had a recent match in Croke Park where he performed well.
    Pity Fintan Ruddy had gone to Sligo. Could do with his long kickout landing on the opposition 45.

  18. Hopefully Clarke will be ok

    I’d say brogan still has nightmares from that memorable save by Clarke In 2012

  19. Mac's left boot says:

    This post really resonates with me WJ, been living in Australia a few years now but the passion for Mayo football has never dimmed, been lucky enough to get home at times to see a few of the great games the team have been involved in over last few years and will be back in Croker again for the semi v Dublin. There is simply no place like it. It’s weird at times on championship Sunday’s being so excited about games, and on Monday mornings at work buzzing after a good performance all the while surrounded by Aussies who haven’t the foggiest notion what an all ireland title is! However this blog is just fantastic – I’m not sure you realise the significance of the service you do to Mayo fans living overseas by keeping this show on the road, but rest assured we are very grateful!

  20. Thanks for that .Alan T. Was great to get to see it again.

  21. facetheball says:

    Great win for Galway today. Memories of Donaghy last year watching Callanan in action against Galway. Good decision to concede the penalty at the end.
    Let’s bring Liam and Sam across the Shannon !!!

  22. U know what I think Facetheball…
    If we play with the great passion Galway played with today, we’ll have a super chance.
    Galway work- rate was really top drawer.

  23. facetheball says:

    absolutely. Huge hunger and never say die spirit, not normally associated with Galway hurling. Let’s do the same.

  24. Red raw rotten says:

    I think Paddy Power may have got this one wrong! They didn’t factor in the work rate that Galway brought today.

    Hope we can prove them wrong again.

  25. GOOD MAN ALAN T.
    I’M GOING TO PUT AN HOUR OR SO ASIDE AND HAVE A LOOK AT THIS.
    I FIGURED SKY WOULD BLOCK IT ON YOUTUBE SO I DIDN’T BOTHER LOOKING, GOOD MAN.

    THANKS

    JOE T

  26. Alan T, Thanks from me too. Was at game but misses alot. Ciaran 2

  27. Unfortunate for Michael Conroy to leave the field with that shoulder injury in today’s league club game. Lets hope it’s not too serious…

  28. I think maybe we kept our powder dry in Castlebar at our last encounter. Mental strenght will be the defining factor this time when the result will count.

    i believe that the Limerick debacle made these lads fully understand to their core that life in championship football is sometimes, just not fair. The best team can lose, the inferior team can be the victors.That’s just the way life works sometimes. This time I believe that Mayo have learned all these hard lessons and this time they fully realise that they are in control of their own destiny. They owe us nothing but they owe themselves some serious payback. Payback is a bitch and the time is here.

    2013, Cluxton dictated the AIF. I think he won the player of the championship. COC and Andy were playing on a shoestring and AOS was castrated in midfield because Cluxton controlled the game.

    Well guess fucking what, Mayo have learned.

    Parsons is mobile. Mayo now have a forwards that will cause sleepless nights. COC is brilliant but also can be marked out of games, you can and will not mark AOS because his strenght and dominance on the ball in crucial goal scoring situations will overcome all. AOS is finally in his rightfull position. Mayo have the ability to now make The Dubs look ordinary. Time will definetly tell.

    These Mayo men are now warriors. Shakespeare said, “I will offend to make offense a skill, redeeming time when men think least I will”

    That time is here.

    “Come On Mayo!”

  29. Very hard luck on Mickey Conroy,I think he would have had a part to play against Dublin.Hopefully he recovers fully and comes back stronger

  30. Connelly's Brigade says:

    Bad news for Mickey Conroy if it’s true but I’d really have to ask what the hell he was doing playing a game two weeks out from the semi final? No way Dublin or Kerry or even Donegal would allow that to happen. Was it to give him game time or what? Ah, I dunno, bit of a silly decision, even with hindsight and all that.

  31. liberal role in the tie says:

    Yes, Joe Ruane. And it’s time now to “disguise fair nature with hard-favoured rage”.

  32. Anyone know what happened conroy ??

  33. It’s a suspected dislocated his shoulder. Very hard on him. He needed some game time as he hasn’t got many games under his belt so far this season.

    I believe Evan Regan played with Ballina too. Hindsight is great but I’m sure he or Regan didn’t play without the go ahead from the Mayo management.

  34. Bad news RE: Conroy. I know Rob Hennelly & Conor O Shea both played for Breaffy at the weekend Vs. Crossmolina. Hennelly’s kickouts were very good and Conor O Shea also had a good game. I was surprised they both lined out as I was led to believe no county stars would feature. I did hear after though that Hennelly was released by management to play because of an injury to the sub Breaffy Goal Keeper earlier in the day.

  35. Ger Bohan says:

    This nonsense of not playing games. Maybe we shouldnt train or what about A v B games. Sadly it’s the collateral damage of top class sport. Mickey is a peripheral figure at this stage and was very unlikely to have any imvolvement

  36. Look at Kilkenny, played championship round last Sunday and throughout the summer. Its a risk but definitely the way to go. Doesn’t do them any harm….

  37. Wasn’t the Ballintubber keeper Brendan Walsh involved in the Mayo setup for a time, if we are stuck? I’d imagine Clarkie will be fine to play though.

  38. Quick roundup from the Western:

    – Kevin Keane is to make his appeal in person, to claim it was a shove rather than a striking action.
    – Anthony McGarry and Michael Solan (Barry Solan’s brother) are in for the U21 job.
    – There’s a claim that Michael Conroy’s shoulder injury might be a minor one and that he could resume training in a week. Regan scored 8 points (7f).

  39. Cáirde Mhaigheo tickets for the semi ready to print now from seasontickets.ie. Section 305. Best seats in the house.

  40. Just got section 304, row L, delighted with that!

    Every Dub I meet claims Dublin will go man to man, no special treatment for O’Shea. That’s hard to believe. Although Mayo will likely have a sweeper leaving Dubs with a spare defender anyway.

  41. Were Regans frees difficult in the 0-7? Just interested in how his form is currently on the frees. Bad news on Mickey Conroy, hopefully he can get back fit soon.
    There is no way Dublin will go man to man. Just like in heavyweight boxing pretty much a good big one usually beats a good smaller one. Aido is not markable one on one by a guy of OCarrolls height and size. If Neil McGee couldn’t do it and he is one of the physically strongest defenders in the country and close to the same height as OCarroll.

  42. mayomaningalway says:

    What’s the craic between CRC FM and Mayo county board?

  43. I see the two nominations for u21 job in Michael solan and Anthony Mcgarry.this is a critical appointment and I hope there will be more nominations .bery disappointed not to see james horan and Stephen Rochford names there.maybe they weren’t interested.we just simply cannot neglect this grade any longer.

  44. Well Michal Solan I’m sure would have the strong influence of his brother.
    I wouldn’t care for appearing in All Ireland finals etc at U21 but we do need a pattern of play and a program of continious skill development.
    Keeping lads injury free and getting them stronger.
    Getting the smart team play and improving their passing and shooting.
    We are a long way off this at the moment.
    We could have a target here of winning Connacht with the main focus on player development. Players at this age grade are under so much time and mental pressure. Body is like a machine, you stress it too much and it predictably breaks down.

  45. Mickey Conroy has just confirmed that he will be out for the rest of the season. We don’t know whether or not he would have played any role, but it wasn’t exactly beyond the stretch of possibility that he might have featured from the bench as he has before.

    Devastating news for him I’m sure at this stage of the year facing into our biggest game. Wishing him a speedy recovery.

  46. mayomaningalway says:

    If anyone has or knows anyone with a spare ticket can you let me know. I am trying to get a ticket for my brother. Thanks.

  47. JoeR / Liberal Role

    Another Shakespeare piece which might
    have some resonance also…..

    “There is a tide in the affairs of men,
    which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
    Omitted, all the voyage of their life
    Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
    On such a full sea are we now afloat,
    And we must take the current when it serves,
    Or lose our ventures.”

    We go again……

  48. CRC sport says:

    Re MayomaninGalway

    The Mayo PRO is refusing to allow CRC’s sport department to Mayo press evenings because we are not accredited by the GAA who only give MWR official accreditation because they do commentary etc on Intercounty games.

    What CRC are looking for is access to the pre match press event which the PRO is denying us and using accreditation, which we have been reliably informed is not needed for press events, as the excuse.

    In reality our sport editor was told before the Connaught Final that he was not welcome because of comments made surrounding the managerial appointment last year. Comments that were no different to anything said on other stations or written in a large number of both local and national newspapers.

  49. Was at the Ballina game supporting Garry, Evan had a good first half when Ballina held sway at Midfield. He looked lively. He missed four scoreable frees which would have put Ballina 7 up at half time. Kicked some lovely frees from wrong side for him.

    He looked sharp, but second half got no quality ball so hard to judge. Could be an impact sub.

  50. mayomaningalway says:

    Thanks for info CRC.Mad stuff!

  51. AidosFringe says:

    WJ as a long time lurker-first time poster, I’d like to say a huge thanks to you for your service to Mayo fans everywhere. It’s not just the exiles who feel the benefit- I live in Mayo and am always thirsting for more football banter. This time of year especially, I find myself quite addicted to this site. Well done on a fantastic job- one of these days you’ll be posting about the arrival of Sam to Mayo!! Let’s hope this is the year..

  52. Inbetweener says:

    Jeez! A classy blog this is with Shakespeare drafted to the board.
    So here again once more we go!

    ” And all the Gods go with you .
    Upon your sword sit laurel victory.
    And smooth success,be strew’d before
    your feet.

    Sound trumpets, let your bloody colours wave
    And either victory or else a grave.”

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