Photo: The 42
The New Year is now only just around the corner and the first round of fixtures in the 2018 FBD League take place (though not for us) this coming Wednesday, 3rd January. These Round 1 matches feature Sligo against Galway and Leitrim against Roscommon.
The following Sunday (7th January) our lads take the field for the first time since September’s All-Ireland final. This will be in a Round 2 FBD League match against Galway at MacHale Park, where I assume throw-in will be 2pm.
The 2017 senior squad aren’t due back from their Asian travels until Tuesday 9th January so this will mean that the players making the trip won’t be available for either the Galway game or the Round 3 tie that’s due to be played against Leitrim on the Wednesday of that week (10th). That opens the door for a number of new (and not-so-new) faces.
The Mayo News this week names a number of players who’ve been called up for active service. According to the paper (report here), twenty players have been invited to join the senior panel for the FBD, including Seamus Cunniffe, Michael Hall, Michael Plunkett, Shairoze Akram, Matthew Ruane, Brian Reape, Neil Douglas, Jason Gibbons, Kevin Keane, Jamie Oates, James Stretton, Peter Naughton, Fionn McDonagh and Jordan Flynn.
By the sounds of it, we’re not the only ones planning on blooding new talent over the coming weeks. John Fallon in the Irish Examiner reports (here) that Galway are intent on doing the same, with the likes of Rob Finnerty (Larry’s lad), Sean Andy Ó Ceallaigh, Peter Cooke and plenty of others in the frame to get their first taste of senior action for the Tribesmen in the near future.