It’s Wednesday again, I still haven’t re-watched the game in full and there’s a whole pile of stuff to dangle in front of you before a load of work stuff has to be sorted to. Replays, huh, who’d be without them?
Let’s start with the stuff from the press evening down at Breaffy last night where Stephen Rochford gave an update on our injury concerns. Danny Carey in the Mayo News (here) has all the details on what the boss had to say.
The good news is that Cillian appears to be okay. According to Stephen, Cillian twisted his ankle in the second half and although he “woke up on Monday with a little bit of pain and a little bit of swelling” he has “no concerns” about the captain’s availability for Saturday week.
Evan Regan is following the concussion protocols and should be fine too so the main doubt is over Alan Dillon. He had an x-ray and a scan on his bruised foot – I understand the initial concern was that there was a break but the imaging showed this, thankfully, wasn’t the case – and so it’s down to waiting and seeing as to whether or not he’ll be fit enough to play a part in what will, if he is okay and he does come on, be his sixth appearance in an All-Ireland final. Fingers crossed.
At last night’s event, Stephen was also asked about those Jim McGuinness rumours, which he scotched firmly by stating that he’d “never spoken to … or met” the Donegal man. For good measure, he added:
If somebody wants to say the Pope is training us next week, so be it!
Odd remark, that. Doesn’t he know that those Corinthian-minded Dublin lads are booked in to train the Pope on being a whiter-than-white, angelic standard-bearer?
Before turning to the nationals, there’s some nice forensics on Sunday’s drawn encounter that you might want to cast your eyes over – from Don’t Foul, Sideline Eye and GAA Pro Stats. The amount of detailed analysis being done on big matches nowadays is seriously impressive. It sure puts my failure to clear some time to watch the match again into perspective.
Darragh Ó Sé in today’s Irish Times (here) is in good form. He talks about his own experience of being involved in a drawn All-Ireland, back in 2000, and also makes the very valid point that the GAA’s practice of using a brand new ball for the final makes handling very problematic on a wet day.
While he doesn’t make any definitive predictions about the replay, he does come down heavily enough on Dublin’s side. Darragh reckons that it’s those very players who underperformed so badly for them on Sunday – Rock, Brogan, McManamon and Flynn – who could have a decisive say the next day. Words worth bearing in mind, for sure.
Fellow Kerryman Mike Quirke writing in the Irish Examiner (here) also delves back into his own memories of that drawn All-Ireland against Galway. He compares the feeling of having to face a replay to that experienced by a child rushing down the stairs on Christmas morning to be greeted by a sign saying “sorry kid, we’re out of stuff, call back in two weeks.” Well, with 37 titles under your belt, I guess final day will always feel more like Christmas Day than Good Friday.
Ex-Galway star Seán óg De Paor came out the Good Friday side of that drawn All-Ireland final sixteen years ago and he has some wistful memories, and regrets, from those two matches. This is in the Irish Independent – here.
Back to the Times where Malachy Clerkin has a superb piece about us and respect and all that. He makes the valid point that while we’re fully entitled to be viewed as Dublin’s peers right now – having put it up to them far better than Kerry have managed to in recent times – we’ll never be accorded the respect we deserve nor be seen as equals until we go and win the blasted thing. He’s right, you know.
Let’s end on a light note. Joe.ie has a piece (here) on that ludicrous call by those numb-nuts on the “Hill 16 Army” Facebook page to boycott a League match next year, all because they couldn’t get their hands on enough tickets last Sunday and the fact that those poor put-upon souls who did manage to make it onto the Hill found that it was crawling with boggers.
This particular pantomime played itself out on social media yesterday. When the so-called Army’s pathetic mewling started to do the rounds, a tonne of Green and Red hilarity started to land from on high on them. Every #mayogaa account in sight then got blocked but I’d say the message about their ridiculous sense of entitlement and lack of basic knowledge about how GAA mores generally percolated through all the same.
That allows me to segue neatly onto the issue of tickets. Our lot did a fantastic job getting their hands on so many tickets for Sunday and we need to do everything in our power to be as well represented at Croke Park the next day. The important role at the drawn game played by supporters was warmly acknowledged by Stephen and Cillian at Citywest on Sunday night and I think we can be in no doubt now that the 16th Man angle to this battle is a key one we need to make sure we win again on Saturday week.
Season ticket holders will have got the relevant mail by now and there’s a print at home option this time so you should have your ticket(s) by Friday. I’ve no info to hand on allocations to clubs – either as regards numbers or when this’ll happen – so best keep your ear to the ground with your own local club on that.
The only news I have about draws for replay tickets is the one relating to the Mayo GAA Players Welfare Lotto. The draw takes place this coming Monday (26th) when ten tickets for the replay will be up for grabs. Play the Lotto here.
And that’s your lotta for now.