Our job on Sunday

Photo: The 42

I need to buy a new flag.

There’s no shortage of flags in our house but the one I’ve used so far this summer is a bit on the large size and so difficult to get hoisted quickly enough after a score. The one the young buck uses is a bit smaller and so perfect in this respect.  I’ll take a trip down to Elvery’s in Croke Park later on today or tomorrow to see if I can pick up another one like it.

All the flags, hats, replica jerseys and all the other accoutrements that supporters wear or carry with them to games will need to be sorted again soon ahead of Sunday. With such a run of games for us this summer, however, I doubt that this gear has been packed away at all in many houses over the past few months. In the unlikely event that it has, it’ll need to be rooted out again shortly.

I’ve no idea what the likely attendance from the county is expected to be on Sunday. It’s fair enough to conclude, though, that (a) it’ll be bigger than anything seen to date this year and (b) we’ll comfortably outnumber the opposition.

This summer, perhaps for the first time, the country at large has woken up to the phenomenon that is the Mayo support base. In a sense, so too have we. While support levels have been rising in number and increasing in volume every year since 2011, this summer it’s been off the map altogether.

Most supporters will recall the stinging barb directed by James Horan at supporters during the winter that followed our 2013 All-Ireland final loss to Dublin. Most of the hurt engendered from that cutting observation came, surely, from the fact that it was true. When the team really needed us that September day, when our job – after Andy’s goal – was to roar them home, we failed them. We clammed up.

Ever since then, things have been completely different. Both days in 2014 against Kerry, but especially on that night of infamy down in Limerick, the support given to the team was little short of awesome. It was the same both days against Dublin the following year and even more so last year when, in both the drawn game and the replay, every single attempt by the Dubs to start their Come On You Boys in Blue was shouted down by the visceral, tribal Mayo Mayo Mayo chant.

But the true worth of a support base is how fans react when the team is in difficulty. I always find it striking how useless Dublin’s huge support – where inevitably they’re always in the majority at Croke Park – so often can be when the going gets rough. If the Dublin team are in a hole then it’s up to them to dig themselves out of it – they’ll get little or no encouragement from the stands or the terrace. Come On You Boys in Blue will start up, alright, when the game is won but not before then.

It was the Round 2A qualifier game against Derry where I first noticed that supporter behaviour had shifted to a new level. We all remember that day: time running out, the game running away from us, visible signs of panic out on the pitch.

What was different, though, was the reaction in the stand. Every missed shot – and there were rather a lot of them that day – ratcheted the encouragement levels up another notch, with very few fans moaning and groaning about how badly we were misfiring. The sense I got that day was that the supporters simply wouldn’t let the team lose and kept rooting for them until the dam finally burst and Derry were swept away. It really felt as if the supporters dragged the players over the line that day.

The Clare match wasn’t the same knuckle-gnawing event but the sheer size – and volume – of the Mayo support turned Cusack Park into a home from home for us that sun-washed afternoon. Over on the covered terrace, a group of us were little short of unhinged for the seventy minutes such was the partisan nature of the backing we gave the team that day. There are, I’m sure, a few bewildered Clare supporters still looking at us after that one.

Sadly, I missed the Cork game and missed too the opportunity to exorcise all those bitter memories from the Gaelic Grounds three years ago. But I know from those who were there that the support level that day was extraordinary and, on a day of extremely tight margins, the huge disparity in support for the two teams was a significant factor.

We were probably outnumbered by the Rossies on both days but during the drawn game (I was away for the replay) it sure didn’t sound like it. In fact, I felt the Roscommon support sold their team short in the drawn game. When they stormed seven up that’s when their fans should have been on their feet yelling them on to sink the knife in further. Instead they sat down timidly and did nothing as their team started to shrink out on the field. Support really does matter.

Before we pat ourselves too much on the back, however, we need to recognise that – no more than the lads on the pitch – our performance levels have sometimes fallen short too. In particular, against Galway both this year and last year the encouragement and general noise levels from supporters weren’t anything like they should have been. I’m not sure why this happened and I’m at a loss to know why we lost both games as well. Are the two connected? Possibly, but it’s impossible to say for sure.

What we can say, though, is that the support the team has the next day will be critical. Stephen Rochford has said more than once this summer how important it is, so has Cillian O’Connor. Just the other day Kevin McLoughlin and Paddy Durcan both voiced their appreciation for the vociferous fan base the team can rely on.

So while we can ponder away about what our starting fifteen should be, what kind of tactics we should deploy and how best to handle Donaghy, we need to recognise what our job is on Sunday. Management and players will handle what happens inside the whitewash, it’s up to us to sort what happens in the stands.

You don’t need me to tell you what to do. You’ll bring the colour, you’ll bring the noise and once again you’ll leave with your voice croaking, having again ruined your vocal chords roaring the team on. Because, collectively, we’re the 16th man on this great team of ours and the part we’re called to play is one the players draw strength from and feed off.

After all, we’re Mayo and we’re in this together.

There’s a jackpot of €15,300 and stand tickets for the All-Ireland hurling final up for grabs in the Mayo GAA Players Welfare Lotto. Play the Lotto here.    

102 thoughts on “Our job on Sunday

  1. Well said Willie Joe.

    Mayo will have the place to themselves on Sunday. Kerry waiting for the final.
    So it will be 16 v 16 (if we count Maurice Deegan as their 16th man).

    Important to get a defeaning “Mayo Mayo” chant going shortly after the national anthem finishes and in them vital seconds before the ball is thrown in.

    I mean a chant that they will hear down in Killarney. Every Mayo person in attendance must join in.

    Vital that we start well on the field and that means winning the throw in.
    Everything goes out the window at half 3 on Sunday. Tradition, records, bad beatings, respect, fear, curses, own goals, bad luck.

    As far as i’m aware, when Deegan throws the ball in at 3.31pm on Sunday the giant scoreboard will read Ciarrai 0.00 Maigheo 0.00. Its all on the day. Mayo support certainly need to play their part.

  2. What a great piece.Ive been saying it for years…..support makes a difference…..how big or small weve no idea but with such tight margins everything counts.Its the only impact we as supporters can have on the game so lets make it count on sunday!

  3. Good read Willie Joe. Yes I agree that supporters play a very important role in helping a team to keep battling away when things might not be going their way. The support this year has definitely moved up a few levels in terms of intensity and duration. I think Sunday will be at an even higher level than ever before especially from anyone was in Limerick in 2014. That was the worst experience ever leaving a stadium after a game including leaving Croke Park after losing an AI. I lost all respect I had for Kerry that day as they showed nothing short of downright thuggery that day and with a ref firmly in their camp to ensure a Kerry v Dublin final for Sky on its debut year. I will leave nothing in the tank as a supporter and especially if things are not going our way on Sunday. One word is all we need to know – Mayo!

  4. I had my own all Ireland final on Tuesday (got married 12,000 miles away from the plain of the Yew trees) so I won’t be in Croke Park but will be there in spirit and will the happiest man in Asia if we beat the yerras. So shout a little louder in our absence lads. Maigh Eo Abu

  5. Well said Willie Joe, the players and manager have mentioned the support especially the extra time games, the supporters brought them over the line this championship. The hairs stand on my neck and I choke up with tears of pride when I hear the mayo mayo chant. It gives our players the extra % needed to push on. I’m so proud of this bunch of players and their never say die attitude.
    Roar your lungs out on Sunday supporting Mayo, YOUR COUNTY NEEDS YOU, we are a resilient people in Mayo.
    NO SURRENDER to the Kingdom.
    Maigh Eo Abu!!!
    We’re Mayo and we’re in this together!!!!!!

  6. Theres a group of us heading to Pork on Croakie and will all be dressed in red and green and all armed with flags. I get a rapid heart beat and sweat even thinking about it but we will be heard.
    Horan was right, we let the team down in 2013, well, no more. From here on its Mayo and the mayo fans vs whoever is unlucky enough to get in the way!!

  7. Fantastic article Willie Joe. I would consider myself to be a very logical problematic, reserved individual but once the ball is thrown up and mayo are playing, well all bets are off and il roar, shout, scream and jump around like a lunatic urging this team home to victory for 70mins (+extra time off course). We completely shut the hill up last year on every attempt they tried to get a chant going. No other team support has or can do that and maybe it’s why we have come closer to beating Dublin than any other team over the last two years.

  8. I wasn’t at the Derry game but I won’t forget the Mayo chant that went up in Limerick during half-time in extra-time in the Cork match. We were a point down at that stage and with the players waiting out on the pitch they couldn’t but hear it. Certainly we looked to have the legs on Cork in the 2nd half extra-time and surely the support didn’t hurt.

  9. Janey mac Willie Joe,thats a great read,just had the lunch eaten,its coming up me neck again with excitement,
    i have a good feeling about this weekend, i felt like some tool after the replay, the week leading up to the replay i was a wreck, had a few restless nights,had a knot in my stomach that would of held the bloody titanic,
    after 25 mins into to the rossies match i can tell ya if i could of kicked my own arse i would of, how dare i lose faith in our boys,so here i am 3 days from the kerry game and for some strange reason i feel weirdly calm,im reading every single bit that is popping up regarding our next battle,and yes i agree with alot of what is been said,
    but christ these lads are unreal,i loved the remark from someone on an earlier thread about our lads pulling the door off the hinges to get going on sunday,i most definitely have an overactive imagination,ive been trying to visualise
    which of our warriors will be the one to rip the door from the the architrave, that to me epitomises this whole squad,warriors,true and true,and i for one will be hoarse leaving croker sunday,
    there is no getting away from the quality players kerry have,but im not too interested in them( agree with mayomark last night when he remarked about not given a buttery ball of shit about kerry,laughed me head of at that )
    ,my only concern is us,mayo,and me been part of the 16th man,let kerry worry about us,
    we have a job to do,so lets get to work and get the job done!

    keep the faith,

    Cmon Mayo

  10. Hurricane Gert on the way for Sunday – Will there even be a game played Sunday ? Was hoping for a good sunny day cos I think we play better on a dry sod.

  11. Wow – 64,000 tickets have ben sold to date for the game on Sunday….likely attendance will top 70,000 at this rate.

  12. I’m giving EVERYONE fair warning now, if anyone, ANYONE says to me again, “Sit down, be quiet put down that flag” I swear I won’t be responsible for the consequences….

  13. The boys on the line need to stay awake too. They are up against a seasoned Kerry grouping.

    And not just substitutions. Whey do we never make positional changes? It can be more quickly done

    and sometimes to better effect.

  14. On a similar theme, I believe Kerry’s gameplan to stop mayos running game will be to stop it at source with cynical fouling by the Kerry half forward line. The mayo support should react furiously to every time this happens, it may fall on deegans deaf ears but ya never know!

  15. Well said Willie Joe.
    And Mayo Mick I ‘m with you on that too.
    Why do people tell us to sit down when we want to rise up with heart and head and feel like joining them on the pitch. That’s our passion for who we are and where we’re at with this team of all teams. They are engraved in our hearts and the hearts of our kids forever. I too may be dangerous if anyone anyone tells me to sit down!!!

  16. Yew tree….whats your source for the amount of tickets sold? Thats incredible if true….will Mayo have 40k there???! Biggest Mayo crowd i remember was semi v tyrone in 2013…..looks like we’re on course to beat that!

  17. Folks, if any season ticket holders happen to have 2 juveniles tickets (together) not being used on Sunday can you give me a shout? Thanks.

  18. I agree with Romeo Sensini, if you cast your minds back to Dr Crokes Killarney Club All Ireland Final they persistently slowed the Slaughtneil attacking halfback/Midfield by dragging out of them and basically halting their progress from start to finish. With every kickout they took in that game they isolated Johnny Buckley and one of their other half forwards and took mark after mark.. I believe Kerry will target Seamus O Shea and run him into the ground on Kickouts, Paul Murphy will pickup Keegan if Keegan plays wing back. A lot of posters have said play a sweeper and play 3 in midfield, that’s all good and well but it will reduce our forwards to a maximum of 4 at all times. Diarmuid and Kevin Mcloughlin already play deep so if that is the way its played we will have very few attackers and will rely on a running game which is not sustainable against a Kerry side for 70 -75 mins.

  19. The Mayo Board were throwing 30,000 about on Monday but that has been rapidly increasing as the week goes on Kerry also have their minors involved and when you add in the neutral interest it is not surprising.

    There must have been nearly 40,000 Mayo people at the semi final last year against Tipperary?

    And on the replay, the roar that went up when Keegan got the goal was deafening….a natioanal commentator who I can remember said similar at the time. Loud, vocal and passionate support does matter…..look at the Munster fans down the years.

    As Ann Marie pointed out here before, James Horan’s comments in 2013 was a turning point. We were quiet in those final 15mins, no doubt about it. Ever since we have been getting louder and louder.

    Joe Brolly even alluded to the Mayo roar v Derry and credits the support for spurring the team on that day.

    We all have a part to play.

  20. i have a contact in the know in croker – and them numbers are on the money Yewtree,
    massive crowd anticipated, green and red army on tour!

  21. Yes indeed! I forgot the massive support v tipp…..it really is a great rollercoster to be on…..these are great days.

  22. Brilliant piece Willie Joe. Folks, if you can at all, please bring a flag with you to the stadium. Let’s turn Croke Park into a sea of green and red. Never underestimate what a visual impact of colour can do for a team in terms of lifting them. As well as this, bring your voices, loud and proud. (The level of noise and support has been phenomenal this year). From the moment they set foot on the pitch to the moment they leave at full time, let’s roar, shout and sing them towards victory. Bring a packet of Strepsils for the journey home if need be!

  23. Yeah, I definitely expect a huge crowd.. Many netural fans living in Dublin have been disappointed with the level of competition in the Leinster championship and the quarters… They probably can’t get their hands on a ticket for the Dublin /Tyrone match and won’t be able to get a ticket for the All Ireland final either.. 72K+.for Cork /Waterford last Sunday… I expect this Sunday will be even more.

  24. Great post WJ, I definitely think our support can bring the team over the line. Not one for blaming refs and most refs even out any bad calls over time… not personal against any team.
    ..However Kerry were very cynical in both games in 2014 and I rekon our huge support shouldn’t be shy in letting the ref know the next day. Not saying our lads are whiter than white but there’s different levels of cynicism and they reached the worst level of any Northern teams to win that AI. Cuter than the northerners and managed to get away with it though Enright staying on the pitch came from a chicken shit call, I can excuse all other mistakes as just that but that one was the stand out biggie he had the time to get right.

  25. .. . But whatever about calling out any cynicism, what’s even more important is to cheer on any momentum shift our way. I will be doing this from a foreign airport & expecting lots of funny looks. If cheers can be added via the ether then we’ll win that hands down too.

  26. I agree that Kerry will try and stop the runs from deep by 1/2 fouling our lads. The cynical basterds! We wouldn’t ever do that to them………..would we? Hmmmmm! If that nice mr deegan allows them to do it you’d never know he might even let our ladeens do it as well.
    There’s a lot of talk about Donaghy, O Donoghue and other Kerry players and the threat they pose. Fair enough but the big mistake would be to focus too much on Kerry and not enough on ourselves. We just need to focus on getting our A game going and let them cope with that if they are able.

  27. Got sorted with tickets, thanks folks! Looking like the attendance will be heading for 70,000???

  28. Ah that’s great craic to hear of the return of the the buttery ball of shite, the knot that held the titanic, the dort, the heinoes and the cor into town but the red rosette has to go to DigDeep trying to kick himself in the arse!! My wife was bent over! I think people are getting a bit giggly now we re just a few days out. Keep up the good work all and continue to enjoy the build up….Oui Oui Allez Allez!!!!!

  29. Well here we go again.Can’t wait to see what going to happen on Sunday.If we win,I will have to go on my travels again for final.Having been at the 7 heartbreaking finals since 89,last year, I couldnt handle it any more,so off I went to Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City) for the game and it was great fun with all the local expats enthralled with this game they have never seen before.Ended up in Manila for the replay and as it is 8 hours +GMT was watching the game at 1am in a local bar.Alot of wild Aussies,Kiwis,Germans,etc watched it with me and they really enjoyed it and were left feeling terrible when I told them it was our 8th defeat.But eventhough we were beaten,I had a great time explaining every thing to those foreigners.So,eventhough we are losing,itsca great journey.I wouldnt mind going back there again if we beat the Kingdom on Sunday.Exciting times!!!

  30. Mayoallstar.. Is that Benjy the Bull, you are talking about?.?? .. I Herd he was going to the Women’s Rugby match Ireland /France, this evening, just to get himself reved up for the GAA match on Sunday… I not sure who he’s supporting??? …. I Herd that, once upon a time, they had originally planned to turn him into Stakes and Burgers in Mayo… Think he’s shouting for Kerry nowadays, after his narrow escape from a bitter end in Mayo… Someone paid the Ransom, luckily for bould Benjy… I’m told, by a man who knows about these things, that he has a particular fancy for the Star!……. No Bull.

  31. John Duffy – fascinating story. What would you do if we won? Book the first flight back to Ireland ?

  32. William Ernest Henley had to have some connection to Mayo GAA and Mayo people. He wrote Invictus of course with us in mind. Just came across it again and it struck a chord with me.

    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of Circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud
    Under the bludgeonings of Chance
    My head is bloody but unbowed

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the horror of the shade
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds and shall find me unafraid

    It matters not how straight the gate
    How charged with punishments the scroll
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the Captain of my soul

  33. Yew.tree, if Mayo won, I would go mad for a few days in Saigon,then back to Dublin Airport via Abu Dhabi, jump in my car which would be in airport car park and then straight down to Ballina for a few days celebrating.My week of a lifetime if it happens……..I can only dream.

  34. GREAT JOB W.J. I really think all the mayo supporters have tuned in and realised what an important game this is in the history of mayo football. IF mayo lose the this team will begin to break -up with retirments.IF MAYO win we are one game away from our objective and the ticket bedlam can begin.MAYO supporters will outnumber kerry on sunday.I WOULD URGE EVERY MAYO SUPPORTER TO SHOUT ON THE TEAM from the first minute until game is over.Iam getting very confident mayo will win this game ,but it will not be easy and will require lady luck to be with us .safe travelling to everybody to the game

  35. Well done John D and you might just have more than your dream….. just take you time … patience…and enjoy your thoughts of Ireland, of Mayo and of Ballinas Stiofanaigh with your Saigonese

  36. Maybe the bould Roger Milla, Cailin Rua and the other visionaries at Club 51 deserve some of the plaudits for awakening and encouraging our vocal chords and let’s not forget the sea of green & red either.
    Our transition has been remarkable,
    At the semis in 85 I brought the biggest Green n Red flag in Erris to Croker, I’ve also brought the Basque, Bangladesh & Portugal flags to Jones’ Rd.
    I still remember the rosettes and the paper hats with the recently printed Mayo smudging as the rain washed out the ink.
    These are truly amazing days for us. We are where we want and deserve to be.
    Our warriors will not hold back on Sunday, and by jaysus we shouldn’t either.

  37. Jumbo
    Sorry but I respectfully disagree that this team will breakup and retire if they lose on Sunday. They will be back again next year in my opinion.
    Other guys will come on stream as well from U21’s 2016.
    There is a challenge of course to maximise our talent and I know guys get old but I don’t think 2017 is the watershed for these guys.
    On a different point I notice the narrative around the country on Mayo has changed. We have gone from mentally brittle and perennial losers to “mentally strong and won’t lie down”.
    Hopefully we can close the deal this year. I am convinced we will on Sunday. After that who knows but I expect us all to reconvene in 2018 with a team ready to go

  38. Hard to believe so many posters who thought we would struggle to beat Roscommon now believe we will beat Kerry. Memories are very short. We need 100% on Sunday and then all depends on how good this Kerry team are. Never had any doubts against Rossies and think we are good enough to beat Kerry. After that it’s down to making the right decisions on but mainly off the pitch and lady luck. Hon Mayo!

  39. att;pat . I hope i am wrong and u are right pat.I have just looked up my match programme of the 2011 semi -final and ELEVEN players on the field of play in 2011 are still here in 2017.we have lived through extraordinary times supporting mayo since 2011.

  40. Think ye are over estimating the effects supporters have on winnning an all ireland. If it was down to supporters then ye would have won by now? I listened to an all-ireland winner speak some years ago and he said he never heard the crowd in the final.

  41. Reamonn
    Fair point but it cant do any harm.I am watching Mayo for over 50 years and have always felt the team never wanted for support.
    I hope the tactics are right.If we are beaten by goals from a high ball in I think I will just shake my head and is tjere no one left with a tither o sense!
    Time to match great players with good tactics which I believe will finally happen …that is not criticism of past just a reality.

  42. Won’t be there on Sunday, seem to miss one every year due to holidays. Can’t find any Irish pub in Zadar, Croatia but hope to watch it on line. I know the crowd and the lads will give it their all. Just hope Deegan gives us a fair crack of the whip. We should be there or thereabouts. Hon Mayo

  43. The Ballad of Leroy Keegan.

    Barcelona they have Messi
    And Madrid have Ronaldo
    But the greatest player of them all
    Is Leeroy from Mayo

    When Roscommon went by 7 up
    Thought us well and truly bet
    Leeroy took the leather and he stuck it in the net

    All the Dublin scribes feared Leeroy
    Their plan was write and lynch
    The ref read what the scribes had wrote
    Sent Leeroy to the bench

    And for all of Dublins superstars
    We hear of their 5th gear
    When all the votes were counted Lee was player of the year

    When people talk of Mayo
    Of Croagh Patrick and of Knock
    And in Croagh Patricks shadow there’s another mighty rock

    He can quiten all the big men
    He has power grace and speed
    When opponents make their game plan
    They say “this is just what we don’t need”

    So Messi, stay with Barcelona
    And Ronaldo with Madrid
    We’ll stick with Leeroy Keegan
    For our All Ireland bid

    When the history books are written
    And they discuss the red and green
    They’ll all agree on one thing
    Lee’s been the best there’s ever been.

  44. Great to hear so many Mayo supporters set to travel. I honestly feel there is a unique and special bond between this bunch of players and such dedicated supporters. Of course it counts for a lot. The thing is to try and get matchups correct from the get go. Remember it’s how well the defence performs as a unit that will decide the day. Management should be confident in this regard, as all defenders are versatile, so if positional switches are needed in defence, then go ahead be decisive, and make them early. The middle third will also need to scrap like dogs for the 70+. In fact, I’d prefer to see the midfielders pacing themselves, and adopting a ‘let’s firstly concentrate on ensuring good primary possession’ rather than an obsession with bombing up and down the field. For the first half at least, leave that aspect of the game to the Keegans and Durcans. Then of course into the second half that’s the time to fire up the jets!

  45. There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. I really believe Kerry are threading that line. You may remember the day of the first quarter finals in Croker there was about 30 odd seats left vacant either side of the dugouts. Those seats were actually for the 2 teams that played in the first game. Galway actually took up their seats even though they were knocked out of the championship at this stage and I’m sure they just wanted to go on the piss. The Kerry team went straight home after their own game knowing they were playing the winners of the next game and they went on the piss that evening. Then they decided to take a weeks break from training! Could you imagine them doing that if it was Dublin they were playing in 3 weeks time considering how little game time they have played all year and how pedestrian they had just been against Galway. That move was obviously with the Final in mind and peaking for that. Now I do believe the texts were flying after the replay performance by Mayo to get back to training asap but maybe just maybe that arrogance can backfire…..

  46. Thanks Swahili. Just wrote it an hour ago. Thought he deserves it for all the thrills and spills he has given us over the years. They all deserve great credit. Roll on Sunday.


  48. Hi Folks. Due to a family breavement my cousin cannot travel up on Sunday and as a result there are two adult and two juvenile tickets in 714 Upper Cusack for sale. Email me at olivekerrigan@Gmail.com if u are interested.

  49. Great stuff revelhino,
    I’ll join you in saying he’s the best. Did Kerry really go on the beer after beating galway? I can’t see that somehow.

  50. Thanks Dave. Glad you njoyed it. Hope kerry are still on the beer. See Joe Brolly us goin for Mayo Sunday

  51. Brilliant article. This Mayo team can beat Kerry. It has been a rollercoaster of emotions for supporters but we’ve loved every minute of it. These lads deserve 110% from is as usual. It puts hair standing on the back of your neck to listen and being part of that roar. Driving to Croker and seeing all the Mayo cars decked out with the Green & Red. Thats on the M6 from Galway!! #16 man so important. Mayo supporters are with this team come what may on Sunday.

  52. Cloontakiller whatever u do,dont bring the Confederates flag to Croker.U might end up behind bars for the.final.

  53. Lads – I can 100% guarantee everyone that Ky did not go on the piss after the quarter final. Ky far too professional for that.

  54. Fantastic stuff, – Revellino… Kev Mc Legend…. Hard to see Kerry going on the Piss?… I there was nearly a public inquiry in Kerry when Down beat them in the quarter finals in 2010… I think their realistic, that’s one of the reasons why they have had so much success… Hard to see Kerry being anything other than fully professional and prepared…. But So will we… I fully believe we will prevail on Sunday and it won’t be due to any Kerry arrogance… I think there is some arrogance in Kerry Gaa Blog…. Hard to blame them they know their glorious history…. But they can’t predict the future, and have no God given right to victory, however used to it they have became.

  55. Not sure whether readers know about this but mayo and Kerry supporters are been asked to stand and applaud in the 21st minute of Sunday’s game in memory of Joe deacy who was tragically killed last weekend while on holidays in mayo, joe was ardent mayo fan and even though living in england he made it back to most of the games and was well known to a number of the mayo players.


  56. Thanks leantimes. Glad you liked it. Agree with you. Kerry will have the fully professional approach. I agree too, think we’re goin to take them Sunday. Hon Mayo.

  57. How often do kerry allow complacency to beat them? Rarely to never I’d say. In contrast, we have allowed an inferior Galway team beat us twice in the last 15 months in the championship. So talk of Kerry going on the beer and not taking us serious is absolute nonsense. The are the most consistent county of the modern era in Gaelic football, bar none. They will bring war on Sunday and we need to match it all the way.
    A championship win over Kerry is a very rare thing for most intercounty players. Our boys will need to be ravenous on Sunday from the word go.

    One thing that has always struck me about the 2014 meeting looking back – The feeling at the time was that we were the better side, and Kerry were in transition and at a low ebb relative to their 2000s form. Many of their players that day were laden down with all Ireland medals after long, successful careers. We had won nothing, but had developed our strongest team in years. Likes of Marc o se, Aidan o Mahoney, donaghy, Declan o Sullivan etc all apparently had their best days behind them in 2014 and could have been forgiven for saying to themselves when staring down the barrel of defeat (both days) “we’ve had a good oul run, won plenty, this Mayo team are fresher and want it more”
    Instead what did they do? Dug in and played like a side who hadn’t won an all Ireland in 100 years. I had not seen that coming at the time. They just refused to yield in the face of an outstanding Mayo side. I couldn’t believe that all their success had not dulled their desire for more.
    That is the place where we need to be in Mayo, as a footballing culture. Winning, winning winning. That’s all that matters. Forget about the future or being in transition. We live in the here and now, always. Coz that’s what Kerry do.
    I really don’t know what will happen on Sunday. But to win, we will need to match Kerrys maniacal, insatiable, unexplainable desire to win. A win on Sunday would be near the top of this teams list of achievements since 2011 in my view.

  58. Willie Joe, that’s a brilliant post and sums up much of what this year has been all about – to date.

    We have become a serious shouting force, and this year has brought the support and the roar to new heights.

    It hasn’t always been so, as the reference to James Horan’s 2013 comment makes clear. The Rossies support for the two matches reminds me that they are now where we were years ago in the way we support the team. This isn’t a criticism of them – they were vocal and you knew they were there in numbers, but it had a naïve quality that reminded me of our support some time ago. By this I mean, huge excitement, people jumping on the bandwagon in the best sense, every man woman and child and so on; every Roscommon move, even bad ones cheered to the echo; yet lacking that cutting edge at the vital moments when the team really needed it. We were like that in the 80s, 90s and noughties, but we’ve now learned to shout when it’s really needed, to call out the ref when he screws up (are you hearing this Maurice?), and to make our voices heard in a sustained way right through the game Like the lads we’ve done extra time too. We have become as experienced and as street-wise as the team itself, and as you said, this year has been off the charts. If the crowd is as big on Sunday as some posters are predicting, then our voice could have a huge impact.

    It’s hard to predict how Kerry will respond on Sunday. They will be there in numbers – which is a compliment they don’t pay every team as they pass through on their way to the final. They’ll have been energised by the League win and they know how to shout. I disagree somewhat on Limerick in 2014. Kerry were there in huge numbers – they knew instinctively that Limerick gave them a geographical edge, and from my vantage point in the Mackey Stand, I was surprised by the ferocity of their supporters. They meant business; they came to Croker as complete outsiders and drew, and this was their way of paying back Fitzy by backing him 100%. By contrast Limerick this year saw Mayo support blow Cork away. I must rub it in a little Willie Joe, but you had to be there!

    There is no doubt now that we are a 16th man – experienced, tough and we, in the words of the Peter Gabriel song ‘don’t give up’. You referenced the Dubs as the acknowledged brand leaders, but rightly pointed out their paper bag tendencies when the going gets tough. Up until last Sunday I would have put Cork hurling supporters as the market leaders, but I was amazed at what I saw on the Hill, where I stood among the swarms from the South. Early on the roar was mighty and the colour was everywhere, and the Deano, Deano shout at half time, when Joe Deane was interviewed on pitch, was electrifying. However, when Waterford took control, the Hill became totally silent and by the 60th minute they were leaving in droves. I was shocked. We have done that too, but as I mentioned, that was in another era, when we were less experienced.

    We’re not perfect of course. Lots of our supporters haven’t ‘bought in’. For example, I had a pair of eejits beside me at the drawn QF who moaned from throw in to 78 minutes about how bad Mayo were and how they couldn’t get the ball and why were Roscommon getting everything? They high point came when David Clarke made a good catch and kicked outfield ‘‘he’s a bloody good goalkeeper that fellow, whatever his name is’. Nevertheless, this breed is thankfully dying out and long may the new breed continue.

    Hon Mayo.

  59. Catcol – I get where your coming from, and you describe it well… Some. (A minority) poster’s on this site have always been more than ready to jump on the Rossi and their support, and many others discussing gaelic-football matters in pubs and so on.. In the main I think that the Rossi support is fantastic…. It hasn’t been easy supporting them especially against our beloved Mayo this last few decades… You know it had to be difficult to stay for the 70+ minutes two weeks ago… But in the main they done it… I’ll bet you very few of the small minority boo boy’s(they weren’t all boy’s either, some of them hot their cummionion money in pounds) stayed on… Not everyone is an angel in Mayo either….. Over 10 years ago, Michéal O Muircheartaigh singed a copy of his book ‘From Dún Síon to Croke Park,’. for me … Before he autographed it, he asked me if I left the (what was then) recently 2004 All Ireland final early.. I told him truthfully that I didn’t, but I stayed until the bitter end.. Anyways he wrote a dedication that took up a whole page at the front of the book, needless to say it was in Irish…. And he dated it 06/11/2004.. A prized possession…. Sometimes it pays to stay on until the bitter end… No matter that logic might dictate otherwise….. Those of us who have stayed on many times until the bitter end, and came back for more every time, might just get our reward in a few weeks time… If you are among that number? And you know yourself if you qualify, despite some who will be there on the day, that don’t deserve to be there as much as you.. It will always mean so much more to us, and the outsider’s will never understand,… It might be a decade, or it be two decades but I hope that the Roscommon supporters who brought colour, noise, excitement and who stayed on until the biter end as well, will some day experience, what Mayo supporters are now dreaming or… It ain’t easy, but if it was would we be interested???…

  60. WJ: GREAT POST, love it!
    Mayo Mick: Don’t you dare sit down!!! Can only image the great pics and video we will all be so happy to share the memories of our great Kerry win Sunday!!
    Revellino: Great ballad to our Leeroy!!!
    Roll on Sunday! Looking forward to hearing Mayo roar and seeing the Sea and Green and Red over GAAGO in Florida Sunday!!!!
    Safe travels everyone and HAVE FUN!!!
    Maigh Eo Abú!!!

  61. I’m flying in from Switzerland on Sunday morning. Can’t wait to wear the jersey through Geneva airport. Might ask the pilot if he’ll unfurl my flag at the top of the plane.

    We need calm heads on the pitch and the sideline on Sunday. The rest of us have very different obligations.

  62. Thanks Granuaile4Mayo. Im happy you njoyed it. Enjoy the match. It’s hard to keep the butterflies quiet now. Very excited about Sunday.

  63. I seen these posts on the Kerry GAA forum about us, Mayo, this is what they really think of us:

    (I just want to wade in here with an obvious statement- but mayo have never lost because they are not good enough- it’s always been someone else’s fault. Refs, venues, injuries, curses, etc- nothing to do with a lack of forwards or a lack of balls whatsoever)

    (Mayo always have an excuse bar their own failings. Again they fall into the death or glory trap I.e awful v Roscommon on day 1 and very good on day 2. However the fact is neither Dublin or Kerry would need 2 days out to beat the rossies escapes them. Consistency is the key and mayo again will fall short. Kerry by 5.)

    So for us the time for sentiment is over, its time to go up there to Dublin and beat them.

  64. I’ve been saying it for years Hopespringseternal Kerry don’t rate us they never have. A lot of Kerry supporters won’t even travel they are so sure they will beat us they they will ” wait for the final” I think subconsciously it will seep into the Kerry players minds that they will win and this might lead to a little bit of complacency. We need to go at them hammer and tongs from the very first throw in and not concede soft goals

  65. Mayo. Mick stats you gave show how ruthless Kerry are in front of the posts. Their conversion rate is far far higher. Hopefully it was that awful day v Derry that are throwing the figs out.
    Every oppertunity will have to be taken on Sunday for us to win.
    Hon Mayo

  66. @John Duffy
    Very true, lol ? I’ll have to look for a less controversial ‘fleg’.

    Willie Joes, I hope I’m not breaking house rules – if anyone wants to try their hand at making predictions for the game, click on game 1018 in lastanding.com
    It’s free to play and for fun.

  67. In fairness, Mayo were horrendous in 04 and 06 but that was a long time ago. The current Mayo have had some awfully bad luck and from what I see, they know its razor thin margins between winning and losing.
    Dublin hit the upright at the last moment this past league final, had it went 2 inches the other way it would have meant a draw and Dublin were in the ascendency. Donegal hit the butt of the upright in the 2014 final, time almost up and that goal would have changed the outcome, rob hennellys shot dropped a couple of feet short in 2014 drawn semi, had it went over , Mayo would have won.
    A Dublin defender picked a rolling ball clearly off the ground, normally a ref would have called it but a replay was played for instead, coc would have converted that free and won Sam with his eyes closed.
    That’s the reason this Mayo team keep coming back and seem to reserve the battle for the semi and final, they know how close they are.
    As do Kerry and Dublin, even if they pretend otherwise the Kerry crowd are aware of the way Mayo cut some good teams to pieces with their running game.
    If rochford can mark donaghy without upsetting his half back line or midfield formation it will go a long way towards winning this game. Hammer the hammer as Kerry like to say!

  68. Posters on Kerry supporters forum confident, well feck me, who’d have thought? In other breaking news, bear seen shitting in woods. Supporters forums are by their nature biased, no supporter travels expecting a hammering, just ask the large crowd of Rossies the last two days. There are usually some informed posts, a lot of chat and them some outrageous jive altogether. Anyway, that’s all other forums but this one. Mayo by 17 Sunday.

  69. Great stuff Revellino…..to the air of “Oh Susanna”! Better keep it quiet though or Sinead37 will be after you for the patent…wherever she is!
    Let’s not be flutin about thinking this that and the other and just play our flutin game in the best Brady tradition.

  70. Thanks Inbetweener “oh susanna”. MayoMark has us winning by 17. Now that’s the spirit.
    If Roscommon had score another 7 goals against us they would only have lost by a point.

  71. Have no fears, we’ll salt them;

    When I was a strapping young fellow
    Aged about seventeen
    I hired meself to a farmer
    At the Sheep Fair in Bangor’s fairgreen

    His farm was way up the mountain
    There was nothing but heather and bog
    And me job – sure I had to look after
    His chickens, his goat and his dog

    Now me, the farmer and his mother
    We all lived in a tumbledown shack
    His mother was well over ninety
    With the bones sticking out of her back!

    His poor mother she slept by the fire
    For the rain it came down on her bed
    And when I’d get up every morning
    She’d be sitting there nodding her head!

    The master was an awful oul skinflint
    His heart was as hard as a stone
    He worked me from daylight till darkness
    In a month I was just skin and bone.

    He fed me on nothing but porridge
    He said it would make me a man
    Well they damn nearly made me a dead one
    Eaten half raw off the pan

    Now he had three oul hens and a rooster
    One day they all died in the coop
    So he plucked them, he boiled them and salted them
    And we lived for three weeks on the soup!

    Bad luck now it never comes single
    For the next day the nanny goat died
    So he skint it, he boiled it and salted it
    And a bodhran he made from the hide!

    It was then poor old Neddy the donkey
    He broke his hind leg and suffered great pain
    So he shot him, he skint him and boiled him
    And called for the salt once again

    I thought, now, his mind was affected
    And meself, I was going insane
    For when poor Fido died of distemper
    He called for the salt once again!

    When I thought of what happened poor old Fido
    I couldn’t sleep thinking that night
    And when I got up in the morning
    I got a most horrible fright!

    His poor mother was dead by the fire
    When I ran for the door he cried “Halt”
    “Where are ye going so early?
    Come back here and help me to salt!”

    Well I went through the door like a rocket
    Sez I – I’ll get out of this vault
    I tripped in the yard with excitement
    And out he came running with salt.

    I took to me heels like a cowboy
    I went over the hills like a hare
    I never stopped running for a fortnight
    And I never went back to a fair!

  72. although i like your thinking MayoMark,a 1 point win will do me nicely
    with no injuries,and 15 men remain on the pitch…
    when i woke this morning- had to gather myself briefly ,obviously with the match looming my subconscious is playing havoc,i declared an air of calmness yesterday, but i’m jittery today , have the next 48 hours planned out to the point that ocd has taken hold of me ,i cant think about anything else ,hope today in work goes quick
    two more sleeps,i just cant wait to get on the road again……………

  73. Ah here, it wasn’t me with the bold prediction, it was Liam!

    I just happen to agree wholeheartedly!

    I’ve infiltrated the Kerry airwaves this morning. Will post it up on Club51 Facebook later. Up Mayo!

  74. Brilliant Brilliant Brilliant just Brilliant Mayoman in Meath.. Up Bangor or Ballaghadeerin would suit too ….Phew….! to the tune of the Clancy’s….” With a ring ting of an aye doe”. There’s lots more where that came from!!
    Enough football now for a few days and let’s all be lyrical for a while!!

  75. Just thought I’d share a dream with ye I had two nights ago.

    I got the train to a dream like croke park looking place. In typical dream fashion I was late for the match by a few minutes. . but witnessed one of the greatest games I’ve never seen. We won by 6 points and a flurry of goals by the great Andy Moran. I kid you not I actually remember the score line Kerry:5-12 Mayo 2-27 ……….. I know it’s more like a hurling score but by christ was I a depressed men when I woke up from that beautiful dream. I wanted to go back and enjoy it. I was already going around after the game asking people for All Ireland tickets and everything. Hopefully the dream will come true Sunday. Mayo ABU!

  76. Better still for the ‘Ballad of Leeroy from Mayo’ Revellino is……believe it or not to the tune of .”Moonlight in Mayo” ….giving it waskey on the last line each time.

  77. MayoManinMeath bring salt with yea Sunday for when the poor kerry crathurs are getting stretchered from the pitch. Goodman Inbetweener, your doing great work on the melodies. We might have the album finished for the week before the final.

  78. I hate to put a damper on things but our lads will be in for a seriously physical battle on Sunday. We need to get our game faces on now because some people are getting a bit too carried away here with songs and poems or whatever. We need to be prepared for what’s about to come on Sunday because I guarantee you it will not be pretty. It’s going to be all out war, so snap out of this euphoric bullshit and save that until we beat Kerry!

  79. Maigh Eo go deo. Advice taken. I’m standing here in a bath full of ice whipping myself with a rolled up ball of barbed wire and I’m goin to sleep in a bed of wild nettles tonight.
    Aren’t we as well to be Njoyin the run up to the game and having a bit of fun doing it. It’s all part of the positive attitide needed to get through the exciting days ahead.
    Turn on your radio there and do a jig around the kitchen.

  80. Of course the Kerry boys are going to back their team, that is only natural. That wasn’t the reason I put up some of the comments from the Kerry forum.

    In fact there is some truth in what they are saying. I thought the comments would hit home better when coming from the opposition camp. The time for blaming refs etc. is over and in fairness to our team and management, they have never done that. Us supporters have to be the same as well, our destiny is in our own hands.

    So the time for the sentimental auld shite is over. We have a game to win on Sunday, both on and off the pitch. Best of luck to all involved for us. Roll on the game!

  81. Mayo man in Meath… That’s some poem… It has the ring of truth to it… Maybe you might be able to give it a lash on ‘Up for the Game’ next month,..( Of course you you will have to add the final verse.. About how you made good your escape and found yourself in the Hogan, with Cillian lifting the Sam) .. if thing’s go very well on Sunday… Now I know you won’t be going back to that ‘Hiring Fair’ but still and all I think you should get your Blood Pressure checked, after all that salt…. There was no Facebook, WhatsApp or Snapchat in those day’s….. You might get a lash of a Ash Plant for a bit of Backchat back then…. You know it makes me all ‘Misty Eyed’ just thinking of the romantic day’s of yore… The comely maiden’s dancing at the crossroads,.. The strict observance of Lent… You knew your place, back then…. At least there was one good thing about 1951.!

  82. Cheers Cloontakiller for the nod … we as a group couldn’t take credit for the noise levels this year but maybe it along with Sea of Green and Red planted a seed a couple of years back that has continued to grow. The first time it was really evident to me was in the drawn game with Kerry in 2014 – as long as I live I will never forget the defiance of the crowd that day – when it looked like it was slipping away the supporters gave it everything. And of course Limerick needs no documenting. We haven’t really done much this year in terms of organised support – it hastn’t been needed. It feels like the rest of the county just took the baton and ran with it which is what we were hoping might happen when we set up four years ago.

    Way out West I echo your plea. It’s not a big deal to bring a flag and fly it in the parade if nothing else and the visual impact is incredible. Mayo Mick I hear you loud and clear, rather than getting annoyed I find the best thing is to tell them to relax and enjoy the day out and what are they getting so upset about on a fine day like this in Croke – that approach always yields entertainment 😉

    I’m notv too surprised to see the crowds reaching those heights. After 2014 it’s an absolutely mouthwatering fixture and for Kerry it’ll be the first competitive championship game they’ve had all year. Who in this day and age really thinks Kerry don’t travel? For a county that has a 10 hour + round trip to Croker they consistently bring a decent crowd and while they won’t outshout us on Sunday, they will be well represented. Cavan will bring a decent crowd too for their minors.

    Revellino, I couldn’t agree with you more. Screw the days of ‘no hype’ and misery until we win the thing. These are the days we live for and if we can’t (as supporters, not players, managers or anyone who has anything to do with what actually happens on the pitch) – get a bit giddy in the run-up to a massive game like this knock a bit of craic out of it, then what’s the point of it all?

    Too many times I have fallen into the trap of doubting this team and every single year without fail they make me feel like a complete idiot. I couldn’t shake the despondency after the draw with Roscommon yet within a week the fire was lit again. They joy they have given us down the years … if you could bottle it.

    Enjoy Bowe’s on Saturday night, those of you in attendance – I won’t make it this year. Saving it for the final 😉

  83. Everyone, will ye bring a flag and tell whoever is going with you to do the same thing.

    WJ were were also shouted out of it in the 2012 final, in fact it was embarrassing that day.

    Yes, we have made big noise this year but by God it’ll be needed even more on Sunday because ive a feeling Kerry will play very well. We’ll need a lot of things to go our way and most important will be the will to win, the NEVER give up stubborness from players, management and supporters. It’a about time for this Mayo team proved they can overcome Kerry – they’ve not done it yet, when it counts.

  84. Stall the ball there, Maigh Eo go deo – you’re not allowed take a pop at others. If you want to take issue with what others have said, then stick to what they’ve said and don’t attack them personally, i.e play the ball, not the man/woman.

  85. When I play, I like to take man and ball and I felt that’s what I did in my last comment. A very important comment that was in my opinion. Apologies for breaking the rules though.

  86. Keep going Revillino!! Enjoying your ballad, humour, positivity and belief. Hope I have a similar dream tonight PostmanPat! And like that winning margin Liam.
    I’m here debating on trying to bring my 2.5 yr old and 4.5 yr old to their first match because I have yet not found a babysitter to tide us over for 1 and a half hours – my husband has to leave for the airport at 3.30. Have someone to mind them from 5. Agh!
    Was in Vaughans on Wednesday buying shoes for the kids and I had to do my best not to approach our great player with a rousing message of support. I’m sure he has heard it all. Anyway I got them to order boots in and told them I’d be down to collect them mid Sep when Sam comes.

  87. I don’t care how you play, Maigh Eo go deo but the rules about commenting are pretty clear here. With a bit more thought you could have made the point equally as forcefully without having a go at others. Apology accepted, all the same.

    The team is due to be announced later on this evening.

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