This feels like a new start for us

Mayo flag

It’s been a long interregnum, it’s been an even longer dark night of the soul but, at last, on this first morning of what meteorologists call winter we can finally begin to cast off all that negative baggage and start to look forward with confidence about what the future might hold for us.

It’s been a tough time and not just over the last few months either, though they’ve been the roughest of the lot. The air has at times seemed thick with all the claims and accusations that have been flying about. But while it will take time – that great healer – for some of that emotion to subside, it’s important that all of us who have an interest in the well-being of Mayo GAA are prepared to put all that to one side and that we unite fully and unequivocally behind Stephen Rochford and his team.

As the Good Book says, a house divided cannot stand. Our house has been riven with division for far too long but this lack of a unity of purpose has only served to ensure that the thing we all desire, though maddeningly almost within our grasp, becomes harder for us to attain.

But now we have the chance to start afresh. And it’s vital we all see this opportunity for what it is and grasp it. Management, players, County Board, supporters – we all need to be singing off the same hymn sheet, with all of our focus aimed in the same direction. Divided and we’re trying to match the best without ever being able to give our best. Who can say how far we’ll climb if we’ve got true unity of purpose?

The shortest day of the year is now only three weeks away. But the darkest hour comes just before the dawn. Following last night’s ratification of the new management team what could now be dawning for us as we head into the lengthening days of the New Year may well be truly great, but only if we can all recognise we’re on the same side and that we’re prepared to play our part in a renewed push for glory.  No more rancour, no more division – it’s time to move ahead together under the one banner. A Green and Red one. Up Mayo.

49 thoughts on “This feels like a new start for us

  1. Congratulations to Stephen and his team,looks very professional. Now it is up to the players, there is no hiding place now. Best of luck to all.

  2. Congratulations to the new team,hope they manage to find the two or three players we need to get us over the line, I am sure no stone will be left unturned in the quest to win sam

  3. Congratulations to Stephen and his team. And well done to the County Board for seeing the process through professionally. Very excited and confident. Hope is in the air!

  4. Well it resembled the painful birth of an over sized elephant but finally Mayo stumble into the dawn. Fourteen months ago we had the situation where one man wanted the Mayo job, two individually said they didn’t, collectively a duo emerged and the one man who wanted it wasn’t even interviewed. Today a number of managerial mechanics wonder what the hell happened. The man who wanted the job took the Roscommon job on the day that the two Mayo men who got the job resigned. Karma or cock up?

    The county board in search for an U21 manager parachuted another candidate in. For some inexplicable reason after the duo managerial senior men went, he didn’t fancy the job any more.So the coronation Stephen Rochford draws a line under that particular saga. The comments are positive as they should be. Stephen comes with a fine body of work, a strong back room team, the good wishes of all and a hunger. What can possibly go wrong? Hopefully nothing.

    However a pot that’s simmering on the back of the range is due for tasting in January. Its the Review/Charter thingy carried out at the boards behest. It has the capacity to weaken Rochford by dragging him into a fight not of his making. I personally now hope its issued. It might shed light on the role of the liaison between the board and the team. Did the players inform the relevant officers within the Mayo structures of their dissatisfaction with the managers? Either they did or they didn’t. If they did, what action if any were taken bearing in mind that by late August early September the Chairman and Secretary saw no issues in interviews with the Mayo News.

    The new man needs clear water to work in, not the rehashing of a problem brought on in the main by the county board with their cack handed managerial imposition last year. Digging up the past in January is something that the new man can do without and no matter how much people may get irked with me bringing this up, it cannot be ignored. Neither the fact that the new man is subject to yearly reviews. I cannot recall a Mayo manager ever being tied into that one. Stephen held a strong suit of cards and could have, should have demanded a clear three year gig, no review.

    Anyway,Old Moore says we will win the big cup next year and Old Moore is always correct. Stephen may be what we always needed, a lucky manager.

  5. JH said correctly that Mayo’s year shouldn’t be all about September. It’s about maintaining high standards, constantly improving, and introducing new young players. It’s the template Kilkenny use. Hopefully Rochford will bring in 2 or 3 new players that will Improve the team again.
    Can’t wait!

  6. A very strong management team.
    To echo something about the template Kilkenny use. I could see McEntee in particular being strong about players being able to win ball in the air.
    Example of that would be players who can go up in the crowd and take down ball. Bar Aidan OShea it is not something we have been strong in. It’s not a height issue so much as ability in the air. It can’t really be improved that much after 18.
    Obviously you can’t win every ball, but I just think it will be a strong thing next year if a kickpassing game is to be focussed on. Sometimes the ball has to go in whether the forwards are open or not, the speed of the counter attack is more important than the accuracy. More often than not the perfect ball or open forward is not there.
    It reminds me of Peyton Mannings conversation with Chris Carter a wide receiver before a pro bowl (a player he had never played with before).
    Manning -> “How do you want the ball Chris?”
    Carter -> “You put it up there and I’ll go and get it!!”
    Defences hate guys who are good in the air. It opens up so many more problems compared to a guy who needs the ball low in front or wide to the corners.

  7. Well said WJ, we all felt a bit like we ordered the wrong dessert last year when the two boys got appointed. But, in fairness to them they done alright, an AI semi is nothing to be sniffed at. We have a massive chance next year, aslong as AIdo and Cillian are fit for Galway. Rochford will have new ideas, that im sure will give everyone a lift. No sign of any player jumping ship, so for me, its looking pretty fecking good for next year, and I cant wait!.

  8. Galway seem to on the verge of meltdown anywat with lads injured and others off to the states for the year. It’s hard to see them posing mush of a challenge in Castlebar. If there’s to be a challenge in Connacht it will come from the Rossies, but it will be a huge ask for them also having to come to Castlebar in July.

    Best of luck to Stephen anyway, he’s the man I would have picked from the options available so I’m delighted to see him ratified. Looking forward to 2016 now and I’ll be in McHale Park on January 3rd.

  9. There is a continual craving on this site for new players: we need them, find them, blood them, bang, bang. I am not averse to this either; I published an alternative panel a few posts ago of players that should be knocking on the door.

    But what about bringing back older, once established and now discarded players? H&C did it last year with Parsons and Ronaldson. JH brought back Barry Moran and Tom Parsons. Look how well all of those have done within a new setting.

    Here’s a tentative list: Conor Mortimer (it’s a clean slate out there), Danny Geraghty, Shane McHale, Cathal Carolan, Richie Feeney, Alan Feeney, Enda Varley, Darren Coen (not quite established), Aidan Kilcoyne (still injured?), Aidan Campbell (still available?)

  10. Something tells me we are going to give it a right rattle this year. I hope all the senior

    players stay on. All of them. They have provided inspiration in the past and they will

    again. To misquote Fr Peyton “the team that plays together stays together“

    We supporters vow here and now to do our bit.. Heads up again.

  11. And here’s another thing:

    Mayo News has lots of titbits on the new set up. In case it hasn’t been flagged already, I note that Liam Horan is now Media Coordinator, handling day-to-day media matters, and like the Dublin set up, helping to take the pressure off the new manager.

    They are also reporting that Gavin Duffy is on board, though the exact job description is unspecified.

  12. Stephen and co will need time ,,, think tony McEntee is a super addition to the team.. Best of luck to them ,, don’t expect to see us win all Ireland next year ,,, but if they continue to improve and get 2 more natural forwards ,, we will be in with a shout in 2017.

  13. Two blog-related stats to draw your attention to today: the cumulative hit counter for the site crossed the 6 million mark this morning and a short while ago the 2 million mark for 2015 was breached. Onwards and upwards!

  14. Six million and one.

    Anyway a great site. Without this site we would possibly have to rely on the likes of Martin Breheny and Eugene McGee to find out whats happening in Mayo football.

    Lord help us.

    Will ya promise not to leave us, ever, Willie Joe, or promise not to close down this shop.

  15. Brilliant willie joe,it is truly an outstanding site,thank you very much for all the hard work you put in to it

  16. 2million for this year is an incredible statistic ..think what the stats would be if we cross the finish line..sorry WHEN we cross the finish line!

  17. First of congrats on the number of hits. It is good to have a forum to get things of your chest regarding Mayo Football. Secondly, interesting times ahead for Mayo. I was skeptical about the appointment of Rochford to the position, but in fairness he has brought in a very strong back room team. That been said, his success in the role will be viewed very simplistic, Wins Sam McGuire and he is deemed a success. Fail and he goes into the category of the nearly rans. Unlike Horan 5 years ago Rochford has no margin for error and probably has not time is his favour. Like a woman and her biological clock, many of the current squads clocks are ticking ever closer to retirement. Hunger and determination is one thing but the the physical demand required to go to the well every year and come away with nothing is draining I am sure for the players.

    Here’s hoping the camp is now a happy one and all involved are working together to reach the ultimate goal. For 4 years now we have been ever so close and probably need one more final push to get us over the line.

    best of Luck to all.

    Damo Kilkenny

  18. Wj – I think you should start using your real name. You are a legend in your own right. congrats and well done.

  19. Congrats WJ, and it’s only going to grow further and faster from here.

    With the new manager in place and everything, it’s probably worth pointing out that some of the Cairde tickets that went on public sale this morning are still available. This year they guarantee an All Ireland Final ticket regardless of attendance during the year so no excuses if we get to the final and you can’t get a ticket – the season tickets are there to be had right now (but probably won’t be for too much longer)!

  20. Regina there’d be no-one here, we’d all be on the beer for three months 😉
    Congrats WJ, that’s a phenomenal statistic – we would be truly lost without this place.

  21. Congrats Will Joe.. Two million hits and on upward trajectory.. long may it continue. Yep, was just watching the news and have to say Rochy came across very well.. he’s confident and well able to talk and he seems to have a bit between the lugs which is kinda important in this job 2. Hope he can win the trust and respect of the team now and they buy into his plan.. I echo that.. onwards and upwards

  22. Well done wj. A wonderful site for those of us who love the green and red. I too feel like it’s a brand new start for us, looking forward to January. Thank God for Christmas, will help to pass the time till the fbd ?

  23. Time for the talking to stop and see if the players will chase that impossible ball, make that hopeless pass and don’t stand off any challange -this what it takes to be the best. You put it all on the line….. think most of last year’s team are there except 2-3 players who stud off all season. To win an All-Ireland you have to have an incurable hunger to win above all other things.
    I possess an All-Ireland medal – and I still remember our senior players pushing the rest of the team. Nearly is not good enough anymore. We all did things which were boardering On The limits Of the rules – these are the differences……. I still remember how we most of all were so United in our goal – win at all costs! History remembers the winners!
    Come on the green and red!!

  24. Great introduction W.J.and you echo all our sentiments in wishing the new management the very best for the future, and in looking to the future with confidence.
    However the past has not gone away and John Cuffe has some interesting and relevant comments in this regard worth noting. It is clear that the dust is not yet fully settled on the outgoing management saga, with Officers seemingly distinctly uncomfortable while endeavouring to convince delegates at C.B meeting that they are still unaware of, and were unable to find out what players problems were,despite an exhaustive mediation process, involving seperate lengthy meetings between the mediator and all parties. Similarly the non completion of the charter prior to the appointment of S.R. despite a public commitment by Sec.to various media to this effect, clearly added to Officers discomfort,and must be a cause for concern to all. The reason given that ” a good bit of work is to be done on it yet” after weeks of working on it, seems to indicate difficulties in getting everybody working off the same page. So the curtain is not yet pulled down on Act 1 of the drama. Act 2 will play out at Co.Convention when persons from both sides of the divide go head to head. Wonder if “Old Moore” was a member of Mayo C.B would he still think we’ll win Al/I. 2016.

  25. WJ Congratulations over 2 million hits in one year is massive. That fact that we all get so much enjoyment from this site is unbelievable but true. Your input is critical and non more than the great motivational piece at the start of this blog.This is an All Star performance, Keep up the good work

  26. Only CM tickets are on sale.They’re 200e,might be a simple question but whats the difference between CM and a Croke Park season tickets that were on sale for 99e?

    Any help on this greatly appreciated

  27. The cm ticket gets you into county championship games @ adult level, and a jacket. With €99 ticket you need to attend 60% of games to qualify to buy ticket for final. With cm ticket you can buy final ticket even if you have not been to any games all year.

  28. Thanks for that Done deal.I’d have preferred the Croke Park one but may splash out and get Cairde Maigh Eo one.

  29. You’ll be fine with it fw. As well as the extras done deal lists, the other advantage is that it’s actually available (for now) unlike the €99 ones which are nearly impossible to get hold of for new subscribers.

  30. As far as I know as of last year with the Cairde Mayo ticket you do have to go to 60% of Mayo’s league and championship games to qualify for an All Ireland final ticket!!

  31. And so it begins a new era in mayo gaa..best of luck to Stephen and his backroom team it’s time for this core of players to be champions the clock is ticking and hopefully it hasn’t stopped

  32. I have asked Mayo GAA at least four times for an update on Cairde tickets, or at least for some clarification on them (are they now only available online as Club+ through the season ticket office online, or will they be available to physically buy in Castlebar like last year, and if so, whether they’ll be available there before Christmas) and have yet to receive a response. It takes two seconds to acknowledge that someone has asked you a question, even if you can’t fully answer it at this point. And they wonder why people get annoyed.

  33. Anne-Marie as you know Mayo GAA only speak when they want to spin. Hopefully that may change when we get a new Treasurer and PRO in a few weeks. I’m not sure there will be much change some of the candidates have had a go before and walked out on the job or were too long in the job. Time will tell.

    Hopefully the next few weeks will show how much money has been raised by the Players Lotto and how it is working out. I have been playing since the start and would love to know how it is going.

    Finally and most importantly congrats to Stephen on getting the big job. He’s a great prospect and I have made no secret of my desire to see him in the role. His backroom team covers all the basis and so we will hopefully have another exciting year ahead and be ready to push for glory again. Hon Maigh Eo!

  34. I dunno about them answering emails but I defeintly think they read this site.
    Had a query about a win in the players lotto a few weeks back and got a phone call and an email literally within 10 minutes from the CB.

    WJ, you could be the Mayomans Joe Duffy “Talk to Willie Joe, 1850…etc etc.”

    “There was a woman on from Bangor…..”

  35. Ah Ger I hate giving out all the time too, they’re only human like the rest of us 😉

    I like the players lotto I must say (even though I haven’t won it yet). Nice and handy and easy to play. Would be good to get an indication of how well it’s doing alright. Judging from that article in yesterday’s Mayo News it looks like fundraising in general is going well which is good to see.

  36. would have thought the comments from East Cork “WJ, you could be the Mayomans Joe Duffy “Talk to Willie Joe, 1850…etc etc.”
    were contrary to house rules!

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