Right, we’re getting close now. In a bit of 24 hours from now, the lads will be taking the field at Croke Park to face Kerry in the All-Ireland semi-final. Everything will be on the line for us once more when the ball is thrown in, this time a place in next month’s final the prize on offer.
I know I’m not alone in being ever so slightly amazed that we’re still standing in this year’s championship. After the loss to Galway back in June I really did think that we’d had it and that this glorious era of our being involved when it really matters in the championship was over.
How wrong can you be? I know we’ve diced with disaster a few times since then but, despite the lack of a safety net (or maybe even because of this?) since Pearse Stadium, the lads have found a solution to every set of questions hurled at them.
We can expect the toughest of examinations of our credentials tomorrow. Well, it is Kerry we’re facing for the right to play in an All-Ireland final so we shouldn’t expect anything less. They’ll come into tomorrow’s match tooled up and ready for battle and we’ll need to turn up in the same frame of mind.
But it’s a measure of how far we’ve come as a force in Gaelic football that we can be confident about the kind of performance we should expect from the lads tomorrow. Croke Park in August is where and when we hit the right notes and should should have every expectation that we’ll be on song once again tomorrow afternoon.
Whether or not we’ll end up singing in the rain – and it appears there’ll be plenty of rain – is something that’ll be decided down on the pitch at HQ tomorrow. As I said the other day, though, our role as supporters is enormously important too.
The hint is in the word – the lads value our support and they need it too. They’ll leave everything out on the pitch, we need to do the same too in the stands.
The day before a big game tends to be a busy one and today is no exception so I won’t delay any longer. Make sure you travel with as much colour as you can muster and take it handy on the road too.
If you’re planning on heading for Bowe’s later on, maybe we’ll chat then. Otherwise we can chant together at Croke Park tomorrow – there’ll be plenty of that to be done for sure.
Back tomorrow with a few final pre-match thoughts. Up Mayo.