Our first bit of pre-season action takes place this coming Sunday, with a Round 2 FBD League fixture against Galway, so there are a few bits and pieces to mention ahead of then.
The first is that the match is going ahead at MacHale Park at 2pm on Sunday. There was some loose talk on social media the other day that the match was off but there’s no official word of a cancellation so, as things stand, it’s on. The winds that have been howling for days appear to have abated at last so nice, chilly conditions would seem to be what’s in store for our first match of the new year.
Next, as RTÉ and The 42 both reported yesterday, details of the FBD League squad assembled by Stephen Rochford have been confirmed. With the 2017 squad not returning from Asia until early next week, these fringe players – a mix of newbies and returnees to the panel – will be the ones manning the fort for at least the Galway and Leitrim matches.
As Mike Finnerty noted on the podcast, it’s highly likely that some of these lads will also feature both for the remainder of the pre-season matches and the upcoming League campaign too. Mike is right in pointing out, though, that this particular door won’t stay open for everyone – between the two squads you’re looking at upwards of sixty players so clearly not all of them can remain involved over the longer-term this year.
Sunday’s opener and the match on Wednesday evening against Leitrim does, however, give these players the chance to shine. The best of luck to all of them.
No more than the 2017 squad, I’m set to be away from the action myself for the first few games this year. I’ll be in departures at Dublin airport on Sunday while the Galway game is on – sadly, the trip is a work one and not a holiday – so anything I’ll get to post about that match in its immediate aftermath will be short and to the point.
I’ll still be away for the Leitrim game but, like the cavalry, I’m hoping to be back in action for the Roscommon match the following Sunday. The Rossies in January – that’s where the fun invariably begins each year, isn’t it?