Following Mayo's footballers

Horan positive about our final prospects

james-horan-ray-cosgrove

Photo: Sportsfile/Ramsey Cardy

Eight days out now and at last it’s starting to feel like the build-up is on in earnest. The hit count here on the site went over two million for the year to date last night and this morning sees some coverage in the media about the big game.

James Horan and Dublin’s Ray Cosgrove were at a media launch in Croke Park yesterday and it’s from them that the quotes emanate today. Both incidentally were also down west last night, at the SportsJoe GAA Hour Live bash that was held in An Sportlann, and I’m looking forward to listening to that show when it goes online.

Pieces with James today are in the Irish Times, Irish Examiner, Irish Independent, The 42 and on the GAA’s website. Take your pick – they all cover much the same ground. By the way, there was also a piece with James on the Sky Sports the other day (here) which is worth a shifty as well, as in it he puts forward the argument that Dublin’s much-vaunted cavalry isn’t as game-changing this year as it was in previous seasons.

James certainly can’t be excused of talking down our chances on Sunday week. Instead, he’s positively bullish in his assessment of our prospects, to the extent that (in that Indo piece) he predicts we’ll “pull clear in the last five minutes.” Jeez, it gave me goosebumps reading that.

In a nutshell, James says the way we’re building game-on-game this year – he reckons to a “crescendo” – is a major positive, as is our big match experience and, he suggests, the difficulty Dublin might face in rousing themselves anew after what he reckons was “the huge emotional involvement” of the semi-final against Kerry.

It must be a strange feeling for James, watching what is still largely his team – albeit one with important new additions in personnel and a different tactical approach – facing into the challenge of contesting another All-Ireland final. He clearly still has huge belief in this group of players – why wouldn’t he? – and I don’t think he’s engaging in any kind of mind-games in what he has to say. Did he not get the Kerry-style crib sheet, the one instructing all home-grown pundits to low-ball our chances?

Ray Cosgrove – both of whose parents, incidentally, hail from Mayo (that I did not know) – clearly got the Jacks’ one, as he’s at pains to point out how wary Dublin are of us, what pressure is on them to clinch an historic two-in-a-row and all that kind of stuff. He still reckons the strength of Dublin’s forward line gives the home side the advantage and he’s backing them to do it. The piece with Ray is on the GAA website – here.

Separately, I’ve just read this excellent piece by Keith Duggan in today’s Irish Times. In it he speaks with Andy Moran and selector Seán Carey and it’s an article that’s loaded with some nice gems. For example, Andy says “I don’t really care what our form is like. We are going into a final here and finals are for winning.” Sean remarks that “leaving Croke Park last year, I believed that they could still win it and I believe now that they can win it.” Drop whatever you’re doing and take ten minutes to let this one soak in.

That’s your lot for now. Good luck to the U21 hurlers today – they’re rank outsiders against Meath in this afternoon’s All-Ireland U21 B final at Semple Stadium (throw-in 3pm, live on TG4) but they’re sure to give their all. Back later with some thoughts on that one.

Are you not sorted for tickets for Sunday week yet? If so there are ten tickets to be won in next Monday’s Mayo GAA Players Welfare Lotto. Play the Lotto here.

Comments

  1. Just trying to get a handle on the Dublin camp as to how they view their prospects it was interesting to read Jim Gavin’s interview in the Irish Times recently. We know Jim Gavin will be professional in his approach and will try and get his team to respect Mayo as a serious threat to Dublin’s back to back title bid. However his comment of “Mayo will be a good challenge for us” would, I think, indicate that he expects Dublin to beat Mayo.

    This is the dilemma for Dublin. No matter how hard a team tries to erase expectations it is almost impossible to remove them from the subconscious. This is the blind spot for Dublin and can cause teams to implode. I believe Galway were not as bad as the game against Tipperary showed but their expectations were their downfall.

    Mayo will be crowned All Ireland champions

  2. Mayomaningalway says:

    Jaysus im rearing to go now
    i wont be at it unless im lucky enough to have my name called out from the draw with Knockmore GAA (Not sure who let them sell tickets in Ballina though :)) . From here on in its mind on next Sunday. The lads have it in them make no mistake about that.

  3. evergreenandred says:

    Yea – Ray could have opted to play for Mayo back in the day if my understanding

    is correct. And his uncle Adrian won an all Ireland with our minors in `71.

    Their home place is just a short stroll from yours WJ (across the fields that is).

  4. Indeed it is, evergreenandred, if that’s the same Adrian, which I assume it is. You truly do learn something new every day!

  5. A few of our own supporters seem to have already accepted defeat and that a famine which has lasted 23,737 days will continue. A few have said

    “sure its great to have reached the final, we’re in bonus territory now, sure we will give it our best shot and if thats not good enough, so be it”.

    Absolute baloney. As i said before, losing this game is not an option. Listening to Cluxton on the Hogan saying “3 cheers for a gallant Mayo” as we sadly shuffle our way out of Croke Park next Sunday is not an option.

    Roaring support during the game is not an option. It is mandatory. As is wearing green and red and having the biggest flag you can get.

    Bringing bugles, green and red balloons, green and red flares and anything that contributes to a sea of green and red and a wall of noise is to be encouraged.

    Knitting needles and a ball of wool are not to be taken into the ground by Mayo people.

    Plan B should be triggered at the final whistle. Whichever 15 we finish the game with should be carried shoulder high (Bill Beaumont 1980 style) to the foot of the steps of the Hogan before they ascend the steps to eternity.

    Cillians speech should be one for the ages and remembered even more famously than John Connolly 1980. (Cillian get practising).

    Croke park will never have seen anything like this. If you intend to go for a quiet afternoon and watch matters unfold, would you please give your ticket to somebody else. War will be declared shortly after 1500 hours, with the first shots fired at 1530.
    Losing is not an option. So be ready and do your bit. They are our men out there.

    Are you going to sit there silently and watch them get trodden underfoot?

  6. Shuffly Deck says:

    Right on Andy, finals are for winning and form in the build up is of no consequence if the team puts in a huge performance. Play without fear and be relentless for the 70 just like Tipp were in the hurling. There were a few times when Kilkenny looked like stealing it but Tipp were absolutely relentless, no setback was going to stop them. That’s what it takes to break a dominant team. Dublin have weaknesses and we haven’t played our best. 4 weeks to be ready means all the lads should be absolutely flying.

  7. Jim flag, I think they are going to sit silently.

    I did not get my point across clearly last night because I got nervous when sportsjoe tried to follow their own plan. Knew I would not get the Mike if I told the guy what I wanted to say. Was so focused on getting the Mike I forgot about the panel and what would come after. Was not clear and quick enough on why we need more vocals on final day. Naive in the spotlight. It shouldn’t even need explaining.

    I don’t go to functions and stand up like that and try to get a crowd going for the good of my own health. Didn’t even talk at my own wedding. I won’t be giving up on this regardless of what anybody thinks. I am not a limelight type of person. I am known among friends and colleagues for standing up for my beliefs, being my own person and standing up for others in work etc. I was so nervous last night but do you know what at least I have guts. Onwards to Tuesday morning. Then I have a chance with 2 national broadcasters so unfortunately for some ‘Stand up for the Mayo Men’ continues. And god knows what I’ll think of in the mean time once I recover from rushing down from Dublin in bad traffic and back up this morning. I have two small kids, a job and a husband who works long hours. I could be at other things rather than trying to rally supporters who are better at talking about what we should do than doing anything about it.

  8. NiallMc1983 says:

    I think Rochford will spring something different in this game, we could in fact play with 2 sweepers as we did to some success against them in league. I’m also sure that we will go for the jugular at certain a periods of the game but def not for 70 mins. expect that our intensity will be through the roof!!!

    I see Clarke is 11/10 with paddy power to get the goalkeeping all star. We’ll need another big performance from him to get over the line.

    Jesus I can’t wait!!!

  9. Fair play Willie Joe great blog site reading it a while but first time to comment. Very apprehensive about final but becoming more positive as it approaches. I was at a lot of the league games and they were frustrating but always felt that this team is building. Go for it lads. No fear

  10. Jim Flag , you are certainly flying high with your rhetoric. Not even in the comic book Shoot would you find such hyperbole. What’s next ? Aidan O Shea is Hot Shot Hamish ??

    All Irelands are won in a more usual , unromantic and mundane way. The only thing that will win the All Ireland for this team is excellent focus and excellent skill execution and brute ruthlessness in dominating every man and every tackle. Otherwise known as dying for the cause.

    Closing the game out cold through relentless scoring , relentless harassing of the Dubs defence and minimizing errors and turnovers- that’ll go a long way.

    Ease up there boy .

  11. I agree that Dublins concern is the weight of expectation to win. But likewise I have concerns that the mayo players will subconsciously let the general opinion that they are the underdogs affect them. I hope I’m proved wrong.

  12. Baconfactoryend says:

    I’m in, 307. Friday was the first day in six years the dog didn’t bark at the postman, what’s that saying about the dogs on the street…

  13. Jim flag , sinead. Dont pass any heed of the knockers this county of ours has a lot of them . They are that bloody conservative that if they were told by experts, experienced players, managers and all in sundry that by roaring their heads off for the cause they would be worth a point or two , theyd still rather carry on in their own way. Masochists that secretly enjoy defeat is my only conclusion .

  14. Jim flag I hope he does not use bad language like bubbles did last week. All I hope is that Mayo preform as the experts really are writing us off.

  15. I don’t think we should go too defensive against dublin. Kmac sweeping might be idea. He has fair idea of the job. Speedy out of defence and has good kick passing

  16. Sinead37, dont be too hard on yourself. Your efforts are to be commended. You are a credit to your county.

    Sean Burke. Thank you Sean. I was beginning to lose the will there. Hope you get a ticket, fella. I’m sure you will get sorted. It would be a travesty if you were left outside.

    Swahili. Many All Irelands are indeed won in a mundane way. Usually by the likes of Kerry and Kilkenny. They are always out roared and out coloured at finals but its just another day at the office for them. Mayo is different and need all the help we can give.

    I was just trying to rally the troops. It is an uphill struggle to do so and thank you for demonstrating this perfectly for me with your response to the rallying call.

  17. Jim flag and Sinead
    , if you are in a position or know anyone that is, you could ask them to get a fella such as Andy Moran or Ciaran Mac or someone else that has the panache to get the attention of the Mayo fans travelling to the game. Have them say a few words about the 16 th man in Croker being head to toe red and green and a flag in their hands.
    Maybe someone can contact Midwest, Mayonews and western people about getting the word out and having someone like those 2 guys saying how important it is to get the colour and noise into the stadium.
    I for one will be travelling in red and green with a big flag and plan on being hoarse after the game. Win lose or draw We are in it together

  18. Congrats WJ on reaching the 2 million,site is a credit to you and does a huge lot for Mayo supporters everywhere. Fantastic achievement and work for one man.
    Willie Joe agus MaighEo Abú

  19. God forbid cait , think of the children of mayo , sure theyd all be hooligans by midnight sunday .

  20. I have no prob joining Jim flag and Sinead.
    Keep saying what they say too. The lads need us.
    Our hearts beat together on and off the pitch.

  21. Jim Flag, great post. Have goosebumps after reading about them climbing the steps.

    Let’s do our bit next week. We were told by Horan 3 years ago that it was eerily quiet – that cannot happen again

  22. Sinead 37, ,you done a fine job, I was there. Your song is better than my ‘Moonshine in Mayo :I’ll bet if some of them in. Sportlann had more Moonshine they wouldn’t be long in getting up out of their seats and singing along.

  23. Mayomaningalway says:

    It is really hard to explain to people who are not GAA fans just why we are so fanatical about it. To them its just 15 lads going out trying to be the be the best team in Ireland. But to us it is the craving to see the lads out im the GREEN & RED in January.It is the dream the wish,the anticipitation.It is the sleepless nights and the need to talk about the game. Some people look at us and say ya I would love to see Mayo win the All Ireland. Others say we will never do it and some people just dont get it why we just come back year after year. But to us there is an unverstanding and a passion we can all relate to.We are MAYO and you can be sure I will go to sleep next Saturday night believing that tomorrow I will see the boys walk the steps of the Hogan and watching Cillian commiserating Cluxton and co.

  24. Sinead37 I don’t think the support will be quiet. I think something strange happened in 2013 when Andy got the goal we collectively froze. That won’t happen again. Everyone going to that game and every one all over the world with Mayo heritage wants only one thing. We have as a small group been on a journey which is unique in sports very few groups have endured what we have. I think the tide will turn on Sunday. I really believe we are ready to be champions.

  25. HopeSpringsEternal says:

    Great stuff courtesy of Mayo GAA twitter:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhrY_npsQjE

    Published on 10 Sep 2016
    Here are collections of photos from Mayo fans around the world displaying plenty of Green and Red ahead of the 2016 All Ireland final.

  26. Inbetweener says:

    They’re a bunch of individuals each with his own talents and blemishes just like ourselves. What we have to do is expose their ordinariness with a heightened expression of our own true worth!

    Sinead37 if you could identify some few among the very green and red sections…get them tuned up and geared up for the big moment when the boys come flyin onto the field.There will be the usual big roar first off and then as it subsides the Stand Up can get into play!
    I can hear it spreading like wild fire around the place like the Mex wave! Who could refuse to join in? It’s a great and rousing piece and how the boys would appreciate it! Does anyone know such a few?
    You ve really gone out on a limb here and you’re to be admired for you pluck and tenacity…an example to us all. Thank you.

  27. Always mayo says:

    Sinead37 can club 51 help you, I think a few of their contributors also post here from time to time.

    We are going to win this one lads I can feel it in my bones. UP MAYO. In this together all the way win lose or draw

  28. Thank you everyone. I really don’t know how my life has changed so much in nearly two weeks. (I think I’ll blame this page!) I’m not sleeping with nervous energy and buzzing rallying notions. Thank god I was not around in 1916 cos I have no doubt I’d have died young!! If you told me a few weeks ago what I’d be at now I’d have laughed my head off. I can’t stop now because all this putting myself completely out of my comfort zone has to be worth something. If it does not work at least I’ll have made up for being a cowardly full of fear supporter at the 2013 final who was so afraid of losing for the 2nd year in a row that I sat most of the 2nd half out on steps in the food section with my hands over my ears. I was ashamed after. There is no fear for me of losing anymore. We will win and if we don’t I’m not going to wallow for 3/4 months like last time either because I know our team will be back like they always are. To be honest why would they even put themselves in a position to lose again if they don’t think they can and will do it. I believe in them. And this time I’m going to do what I can to push them over the line.

    Jesus, I’d play the match myself now. I feel like I did as a kid watching my dad play and wanting to get on the field esp against glenamoy.

    Let’s go to war. (Who said that?! Is it a song?!) I want to shut the f’in hill up. Sorry!

  29. And after last night I have no problem turning to the crowd in croke park and shouting at them to stand up and sing. If everyone who has given me support so far can do this then there is a hope of it going around the stadium.

  30. Well done sinead. The louder we are the better
    It does make a difference . 70min from glory. We won’t let them down. I’m not gonna speak for next week to save my voice lol I think slot of people will be happy wit my decision lol

  31. Seamus Thornton says:

    Sinead 37,
    Stirring and heart felt words. I doubt you will, but don’t lose heart now!
    If you have the time early next week can you please remind us all here on the blog of your plans for the game….so it’s fresh in our minds on the day. Keep the faith!

  32. I respect that you’re working very hard at that Sinead. But one of my favorite moments in any Mayo game is the wall of completely random noise that erupts when the team runs out on the pitch. So that is going to lift the roof off the stadium as it always does.
    Singing an organised chant afterwards just doesn’t do it for me.
    The 2013 final about this silence thing. Its emotional sport. It has its ups and downs.
    The whole enjoyment of sport is its unpredictability and a local connection.
    Most of us will feel neither about an organised chant that doesn’t fit Mayo.
    Mayo, Mayo, Mayo it erupts randomly and it has a local connection.
    It doesn’t bother me if anyone chooses to sing that chant.
    It will bother me if there is any kind of “Come on sing” or “come on stand up” from anyone singing it.
    The thing that bothers myself and several others I would say is this debate about us needing to be louder, the 2013 silence etc.
    Its a debate over a problem that doesn’t exist.

  33. Note when I say bothers me, I mean this general debate about we need to be louder that always references 2013. I always thought it was a tiny smidgen of blame shifting by Horan after taking off Freeman and SOS instead of AOS.

  34. ForTheLoveofMayo says:

    7 more sleeps and I honestly don’t think I’ll be able to sleep for any of them from nervous excitement!!!

    We live in County Roscommon and my father,who is the biggest and proudest Mayo man I know, met a man the other day that said if Mayo don’t win it will be an embarrassment really!!! This is what Mayo people & supporters have to put up with living down here!!! My father is 76 and has a passion and love for Mayo football that is truly amazing. For. the first time ever he has actually said he believes this is Mayo’s year. He has never come out with a statement like that when Mayo are in the final!!! Either way whatever the outcome we will never be one bit embarrassed of our Mayo team who come back time and time again and never ever give up. I know they have it in them to do it. Up Mayo

  35. Inbetweener says:

    JP,thanks for your thoughts but ah come on, Let’s rise the boat a bit. This is an innovation and an invitation to inject and organise the incredible energy that exists in the hearts of Mayo folk.And we know too that the majority of neutrals in C Park would undoubtedly be in favour of such a show that Sinead is developing.
    I assure you JP and anyone else of the same mind that your comfort on the day won’t be at all upset and that on the contrary your hearts will pump more joyfully when you see the boys mounting the steps towards the Holy Grail.

  36. Castlebarred says:

    Fair play sinead you certainly deserve huge respect for “putting your head above the parapet” and no one can question your passion and drive, but I think I’ll have to agree with JP in relation to the organized chant. When the guys on the Sunday game talked about the atmosphere at the hurling it shows the importance of supporters and the noise they bring.
    The mayo mayo chant is fine but I think it always ends too quickly by the time it gets round the stadium the person that started has stopped, and that starts a cascading effect. My suggestion would be a MAYO (clap, clap, clap), or whatever repetive noise you can make after the MAYO part. It just prolongs the process a wee bit. Anyway OSMSTG!!

  37. Inbetweener says:

    And even if Mayo don’t win which is a very slight possibility at this stage,Id like to ask the question, what team in the history of the game deserves a Standing Ovation more than this present bunch. What a way it would be to show our thanks for all the great times theyve brought us over the years. And it’s not just for them either but includes every player that ever wore the Green and Red!!
    Come on! Come on! Come on!!

  38. Enough of the shite talk. We’re seven days out and it’s time to get the game face on.
    1. A surveyor with a Dunphy level would struggle to get me more central than the seat I’ve got, I’m delighted.
    2. I’ve a sack of unripened turnips and anyone I hear singing sha, la, la, la, or thunder clapping will get one in the side of the head (I handballed in St Nathy’s under the legendary Fr Jennings so I’ve a good shot).
    3. St Phillious cured a street urchin of leprosy on the way to training Thursday night i believe.
    That is all.

  39. HopeSpringsEternal says:

    You have hit the nail on the head there JP, about the 2013 final. Just think of our minors that year in the second half of the final. They took the game by the jugular at that time and won the game. The noise for them from the Mayo supporters was super because we knew that they knew how to win the game, as they did again this year as U21 players.

    Unfortunately our senior team under James Horan didn’t know how to win that game and again the supporters sensed this too, hence the quietness. That’s one of the main reasons that we have a new management team in place this year to teach the players game management techniques in how to win games including using horses for courses tactics and learning when to attack and when to defend. It has worked so far for us and now we’ll find out next Sunday if that will win us the ultimate honours. It’s our job as supporters to bring as much colour and noise as possible and that will be great to see!

    I have to say I wasn’t too impressed to see James Horan’s comments all over the media this weekend. Reading the Dublin GAA forums he has really riled them up anyway and in fact they have been saying that he has done us no favours with his comments and has actually done the Dubs a few favours. The below comments I think were stupid comments to make:

    (Yes, Paul Mannion looks fast and strong but he has little confidence in himself and loses a lot of ball in contact. Eoghan O’Gara is a real menace in fairness to him but he can be hit and miss too.)

    Remember the comments he made before the Galway game, talking about the gap getting wider between us and them, those comments came back to bite him on the ass so you’d hope that his comments about Mannion and O’Gara don’t do the same thing. Why make these comments? All it’s doing is riling up the Dubs and maybe even encouraging these two players to have stormers. We were very annoyed, and rightly so when a former Dublin manager, Tommy Carr was having a go at our players but the shoe is on the other foot now, a former Mayo manager is having a go at their players.

    We have spent the whole summer playing down our chances and trying to stay under the radar and James Horan seems to have blown this out of the water in one weekend and the weekend before the All-Ireland final too. He has done an awful lot of great work for Mayo football down through the years, so many, many thanks to him for that but unfortunately his flaws have prevented us from getting over the ultimate finishing line.

    It’s now the turn of Stephen Rochford to try to do that, something that John O’Mahony, John Maughan, Mickey Moran/John Morrison and James Horan couldn’t do, win an All-Ireland senior title with Mayo. We shouldn’t be talking about James Horan this weekend, unfortunately we are, he had his chance and failed in the end. So best of luck to Stephen, his backroom team and the players next Sunday. Roll on the game!

  40. The dublin subs last year made huge difference in the second game. Alan brogan now retired and Mike darragh Kevin Macmanaman are nailed on to start u would think. There is full weekend media stuff going to happen from now on a do that’s alright. They all like ourselves have opinions but we know what mayo have to do to win. Winning has become a habit for dublin and like any great side they fight to the end. Game management and on field leadership is vital next day. I don’t want to see gaping holes in our defence. Soft goals cost us dearly before. Hope a few lessons have been learned.

  41. Ahh Liam , ive narrowed you down now.

  42. Inbetweener says:

    Good man Liam you’re a great laugh! If you’re such a good shot I challenge you to butt some of the opposition as well as your own! But I agree there’s an awful lot of shite around the place.
    Tag in Muredachs used to say….’meet him in the back alley’. Are you on????

  43. hueyandlouis says:

    Shocking rubbish.

    Did noone take on board Darragh O Sès article.It will be won by plans and players not some daft hand clapping routine from stands.
    Anyone who thinks Horan or anyone else can lose AI for us just doesnt understand what it takes to win.Players must be above all this nonsense.

  44. NiallMc1983 says:

    I don’t think people here realise how much we’re written off outside Mayo. Not just by the dubs, by the whole country. James horans voice is a lone one in a sea of blue and navy supporters who are absolutely sure that’s Sunday is a presentation to the greatest team of all time. So I wouldn’t worry about a poor deluded former manager trying to big up his team. James Horan revitalised Mayo football and should be respected whatever his perceived flaws. He’s hardly expected to come out and say we’re shite is he. We’re now into the last week where I expect the fawning over the boys in blue to go into overdrive. Wether this is makes a difference I don’t know as the dubs are a very professional team with a professional approach and I really doubt outside influence has any effect at all. Saying that I think when we put it up to the dubs on Sunday week, the hill could get very nervous and very quiet and this could well work in our favour.

  45. JH is interesting as always. Also interesting is this Ciaran Whelan piece from the Indo (with references to Brolly which can be ignored). He really sets out the Cluxton strengths here and demonstrates the task we have. It’s not an impossible one, but it is imposing:

    http://ow.ly/ooT130466r8

  46. NiallMc..totally agree with team written off everywhere..in Dublin for wend and the word hammering was mentioned more than once..and not just from dubs..While I don’t for a second think we will get hammered I have not been more anxious before a big game..Those who think we will win have not given me any other reason than”a feeling”or “Rochford is a shrewd tactician”..I live in hope..

  47. Regina beware of underdog lol we play that role well. We can beat these guys.

  48. HopeSpringsEternal says:

    It’s amazing how often the Dubs talk about the process, getting back to the process etc. Whelan talks about that in his article too in The Indo and it has been discussed on here as well. How to disrupt that process could be key to us winning. I read a book written by a former Dublin player recently, who played under Pillar Caffrey 10 years ago and he spoke about 5 principles that they used. I reckon some of these principles are still part of the process they talk about today. This is what he wrote:

    1. The Three-Second Rule – Let it go
    Try to release the ball within three seconds. It involved incredible fitness, to maintain support for the player in possession, and accuracy, to ensure you didn’t just kick away aimless balls.
    2. The Tackle – It’s 1 v 1 plus 15 v 15
    Each player was responsible for tacking one player only. The idea was that we should never be vulnerable to overlap situations in dangerous parts of the field.
    3. Kick-out Positions – Before, During and After
    There were basic zones in which we lined up when a kick-out was taking place. The half backs and half forwards all understood where they should be in order to create space for our midfielders to win the ball.
    4. Our Re-Starts – Quick, Quick, Quick
    All our re-starts were as quick as possible. This linked with the philosophy behind our three-second rule. If we moved it quick, then teams would not be able to live with us.
    5. Blocking – You Hit the Ball
    There was a huge emphasis on blocking. The team with the most blocks in a game normally wins it. The aim was not simply to get in the way: the defender should attack and hit the ball.

    These five principles were relentlessly drilled into us at every team meeting. If we stuck to them and applied them with the highest level of commitment possible, then we normally won.

    It’s interesting to read about these principles anyway, trying to counteract them is the hard part!

  49. Interesting stuff there HSE. Mayo talk about the process too – they all do I think. It’s a more scientific approach to the game, which is why successful teams adopt this approach. It’s rubbished of course by the Spillanes of the world, but it’s discussed and analysed by the more discerning like McGuinness, Canavan and so on.

    Still, we have to learn to really punish Dublin when we get on top. Kerry did do it, and by God they rattled them. It’s keeping the foot on their necks at that stage that will be critical.

  50. HopeSpringsEternal says:

    Yeah catcol, we really have to make our periods of dominance count against the Dubs and in fairness we have done that to lesser teams this year. When we have been on top of teams we have really made it count on the scoreboard. Doing it against the Dubs might be a bit harder though, we’ll see how it goes, we can do this!

  51. That’s a sad and disappointing remark to make, hueyandlouis. Nobody is going to force you at gunpoint to sing or clap or shout the next day but that doesn’t the right to come on here denigrating others who want to do this. Support comes in many forms but one of them isn’t sniping at the efforts of others. We’re all on the same side and need to act in that way.

  52. hueyandlouis says:

    Thats very harsh Willie Joe.I will sing and clap and roar and have done so all year from London to croker and for over 5o years.
    My point was that Mayo people react to their team in a spontaneous way and are the best supporters in the world …a point I have always made.
    I just dont think that trying to organise that in advance or getting overly anxious about what Horan does or does not say is at all sensible.I do.accept that my response was not perhaps properly phrased but with respect, to ascribe to a lifelong supporter the traits you just did is somewhat unfair.

  53. I didn’t ascribe any traits to you, hueyandlouis, but instead merely pointed out that having a pop at what others are trying to do isn’t on. I appreciate you’ve now accepted that your phrasing could have been better and I guess we can leave it there. As I said, we’re all on the same side and it’s beating the Dubs we need to focus on from here.

  54. One of the traits very commonly displayed among Mayo supporters, as passionate as we are is the tendency to tear each other down and turn on each other – be it players, management or fellow supporters. This time last year we were just about to descend to the absolute depths of the worst bout of mudslinging I have ever seen or heard in Mayo. And look at us now. One week to go to an All-Ireland final. It’s been an incredible year. It’s been unusual, unprecedented, confusing, exhilarating, disappointing, ecstasy-laced. Who would have thought we’d be here, once again standing on the cusp of greatness?

    We are all a bit wound up and this place is acting as a release valve. For one week, can we just cast aside the cynicism, get behind each other and agree that ultimately we all want the same thing – to win (well, most of us) – and that each of us have different ways of displaying that? If you don’t agree with someone else’s efforts, or feel they are pointless, will it really cost you anything to bite your tongue and just live and let live?

    Although I think we can all agree that knitting needles and crosswords are fair game for Liam’s turnips.

    Christ, this is the longest four weeks ever.

  55. hueyandlouis says:

    Totally agree.Lets all support in our own way and hopefully there will be plenty of singing in Mayo on the Monday night.
    Thanks for all you do here WJ.

  56. Ver well said, Anne-Marie and thanks for that, hueyandlouis.

  57. Sport is supposed to be fun at the end of the day. I am totally for going to a game and enjoying it in your own way. Live and let live. Going to a game and then denigrating other supporters because they are not dancing to your tune seems a strange way to get one’ s kicks. It seems a bit needy to me.

  58. So you keep saying, Berry. But there’s nothing wrong with encouraging supporters to actually support, either.

    Here’s hoping, hueyandlouis. This time next week, there’ll be one side singing, let’s hope it’s ours.

  59. Inbetweener says:

    HSE! The process and how to combat it! And does it exist at all? Well something exists that’s been getting them over the line so readily….even when they make two goal bloomers!
    The way to beat it is to join in! Anyone playing the game with notions has to be tuned into this pacy accurate tough selfless brave composed heads up sort of movement. If it’s too much then that’s it. But you might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb!

  60. Sinead..major kudos to you for pushing yourself out of your comfort zone..keep her lit!!You will not be alone in your sleeplessness this week I’m sure..Wondering are you the same Sinead who did a course with me in castlebar in July??!!

  61. We’re in this together folks. Remember!!
    As difficult a week this will be for all of us passionate bout Mayo football lets try to remain focused, ignore all media negativety
    (By the way what’s Ger Loughnanes problem)
    stick to the hurley Ger for your media hype.
    Back to focus. Easier said than done but lets try and enjoy the week, and stick together.
    As Emerson said ‘ When it is dark enough we can see the Stars’. We’ll be seeing the stars this night week.

  62. I doubt if I keep saying anything, how you would know is beyond me. If you are alluding to my blogs on here then I stand over them. Encouragement is good, but maybe some of us adults feel we know what makes us tick at this stage.

    I going to the the AI and if anybody feels I am coming up short on the day then please let me know.

    Sport is supposed to be fun.

  63. You’ve mentioned it here more than once Berry, that’s all. Relax, man.

  64. I watched Kell Brook last night against Triple G Golokin. The home support for Brook made no difference to what was an inevitable result. I also watch and wonder why a triple jumper at the Olympics would encourage the spectators to clap just before he\ she, ran and leaped. What our lads do out there will determine how we react . This special bunch took the reins early on and now they have the platform to put on the show. They will make us roar, a gutural primal roar, Come On Mayo!

    If there was such a thing as a soul, that’s where the Roar comes from. Far, far to long howling in our self maintained wilderness, come Sunday let us ROAR! The lads will become men, they have this one.

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