So, seven months, two weeks and six days – but, hey, who’s counting? – since our most recent championship outing we’re off again today. The summer campaign is underway once more, with all the promises it comes freighted with about the Holy Grail and all that, and we join the fray early this afternoon when we tackle Sligo at MacHale Park.
We’re huge favourites, understandably, to win this opening encounter in Connacht and win we definitely should. But if last year taught us anything it’s that every successive challenge that faces us in the championship needs to the tackled on its own merits. What may or may not be in prospect for us down the road can – and must – wait. This year, for us, it really has to be one step at a time.
I’m looking forward to seeing how well we take that step today. Stephen Rochford’s team selection for today’s match – assuming that the team he’s picked starts, which I hope it does though one or two late changes can’t be ruled out – tells us little about how we’re likely to approach this contest, though the talent he’s left on the bench (assuming those named as replacements remain thus at 2pm) hints at a tactic of injecting increased tempo as contest unfolds.
It’s that developing story – seeing the narrative of the game reveal itself, minute by minute, incident after incident – which makes Gaelic football so compelling and makes following this great cause of ours such an obsession. I can’t wait to see what the latest chapter in this story reads like later on today.
But first I need to cross the country and get there so no time to dally. It’s game day, people, time to get ready for action once more. We’re off again.