Bits and pieces ahead of tomorrow

Image: @MayoGAA

It’s the day before our opening League match of the year so time to point you towards a few bits and pieces relating to the game and let you know what to expect here on the blog and the podcast and all that.

First off, Mayo County Council have issued a safety message (here), which is mainly about parking on the N5 and the attendant dangers involved for a night-time game. It states that a crowd of around 15,000 is expected at MacHale Park tomorrow night so I guess the over-riding message is that, if you’re planning to go to the game, get there early and have a plan worked out about where you’ll park up.

Tickets for the game are still available at participating Centra and SuperValu outlets and you’ll also be able to get them from the ticket vans outside the ground on the night. Adult tickets cost €15 if bought in advance, €20 if you wait until you get there. It’s free entry for U16s.

Have you joined the prediction mini-league competition yet? If you have (71 of you have signed up so far) then don’t forget to do your Round 1 predictions ahead of the 7pm deadline tomorrow. If you haven’t, there’s still time to join the fun – full details here.

If, like me, you’ll be on the road tomorrow heading for the game then you might want to give our League preview edition of the Mayo News football podcast a listen to on the journey. Rob and I are joined by Ciaran Murphy of Second Captains and Billy Joe Padden for this episode and you can listen to it here.

If you plan to make it a weekend of following the county then Tooreen is the place to head to on Sunday. The county’s hurlers get their NHL Division 2A campaign underway that afternoon at the East Mayo venue where they face Meath at 2pm.

Here on the blog I’ll be back tomorrow evening with the usual match-day stuff from MacHale Park so there’ll be a post-match audio report, followed by the match report. For the last number of games I’ve taken to bashing out the match report like a maniac before I leave the ground, hence the less eloquent and snappier prose, so I’ll probably do the same tomorrow night. I’ll also be putting up the first Man of the Match poll of 2019.

Rob and I will be recording the match-day episode of the podcast at MacHale Park as well, with the usual in-game bits as well as reaction and analysis after the final whistle. We’re aiming for this podcast episode to be online at some point on Sunday evening.

Finally, before any ball is kicked in anger in 2019, it’s worth pointing everyone towards the house rules on comments here on the site. These rules are designed to work for everyone’s benefit, promoting healthy, open and constructive debate, helping to make this place an oasis of common sense and decency in a world gone mad.

The 99% of you who post reasonable comments rarely fall foul of the rules. There remains a small minority, though, who are either unable or unwilling (or both) to keep their remarks the right side of reasonable so I guess this message is for you: I do look at every comment and if it oversteps the mark I will take action.

The main problem areas are unacceptable comments about players, managers or named individuals generally, comments attacking other contributors rather than taking on what they’ve said (the player-not-ball issue) and comments of a trolling nature from those outside the county. As I keep emphasising, however, such comments are very much the minority and I remain hugely thankful for and grateful to the vast majority of you who help to make this place what it is.

If you need a reminder on the house rules, you’ll find them here.

That’s it for now – back tomorrow with some final thoughts ahead of Saturday night lights at MacHale Park.

18 thoughts on “Bits and pieces ahead of tomorrow

  1. Thanks WJ .Really looking forward to the match now .. Heading down early from my midlands base . The mother will have the fatted calf ready and over to Castlebar early and have the car parked – faced for home .. Something unique and special about being a Mayo supporter !! Safe journey to all and let’s get behind James and the lads .

  2. Looking forward to the season ahead and looking forward to keeping up to date through your blog WJ. I’ll be overseas for some big chunks of the season, so your blog is invaluable. Here’s hoping we get value for money in Castlebar. Best of luck to James and everyone involved

  3. Hopefully we can start the season off right with a win and a good number of new players blooded in this League campaign. Listening to the previews over the last week I’m feeling optimistic about this season. What have we got to lose? Brand new slate. Hopefully we’ll be back in HQ come September! BTW if anyone else is living overseas I see GAAGO are doing an offer of a free trial for this weekend.

  4. Imagine….a crowd of 15000 expected for 1st round league match. We used to get crowds of 2/3000 for league games not so long ago.

    There’s an optimism that Horan will get us back to the top table and for that reason we really need to have a good season so that people are not too disappointed. It would be terrible to see the great support tail off.

    We badly need a young FB coming through, I’m not sure if we have a specialist CB either, we must hope TP makes a return and it’s fingers crossed that Reape and Diskin come good in the FF line- which has been our biggest weakness over the years. We’ve relied too much on AM there and COC is more a HF than FF.

    7 months is too long to wait for season to start and that should be looked at by GAA- rugby and soccer fans only wait 3months.

    So that’s it……into the breach once more!

  5. Where is best spot for parking coming in from Ballinrobe side . I’ll be going on to Westport after that match ?

    I usually come from Galway side and park at n55 business park so not familiar with parking spots the other side of stadium

  6. Km79 – once you hit the footpaths along the road coming in from Ballinrobe your as well to be looking for a parking spot (not a far walk and once you spot a road going to right for Ballyglass your definitely close enough for a short stroll) Also handiest route to Westport when you get back to car is to go back out the Ballinrobe road for say 2 miles and watch for a right turn sign posted Derrycoosh or Derrywash and tip down that road for a bit and it links up with the Westport Rd, safe motoring

  7. Best of luck to the management and team for 2019.

    Major pressure on them this year to win Sam.

    Hopefully the rhetoric won’t be on performances as that’s not enough.

    Interesting to see how we manage the Roscommon blanket defense tomorrow night as that’s the way I expect them to set up.

  8. High or low there absolutely no pressure on Mayo to win Sam this year. A lot of the lads like Keith, Boyer, Andy Ger Caff Chris Barrett, Seamie Tom Parsons are the wrong side of 30 and aren’t easily replaced you don’t find them on the back of cornflake boxes and they haven’t the engines they had 5 years ago I think if we won Connacht and had a good run in the super 8’s that would be an excellent comeback for Horan and gradually rebuild from there I don’t think any Mayo supporters realistically expect to win Sam this year

  9. Very confident for the season ahead,all the players have a good rest so will be ready to go from the start,expect six to eight points victory tomorrow,onwards and upwards ,think they will take Dublin this year as well

  10. I expect mayo to push for Sam this year, mayo are as good as Kerry/Tyrone/galway and Dublin are still the bar to reach for . With plenty of fresh talent coming through will allow for some of more senior squad members to come in as subs with 20 mins to go and strengthen the squad as previous years we lacked the final push ! Mayo are developing a bigger stronger squad than the past few in my humble opinion!! Hon mayo

  11. Best of luck to all involved tomorrow. Hopefully the start of another great era in Mayo GAA. Six – seven months is far too long to wait for a competitive game. MaighEo Abú!

  12. Highorlow, are you serious?, theirs absolutely zero pressure on that team to win an All Ireland this year. As said above, a Connacht title would be a great achievment this year.

    Hope we stick it to the yellow bellies tonight. Keep the foot on the throat and inihilate them…probley wishful thinking, as the weather today is horrible and a tight game is what we’ll get.

  13. People talking about winning Sam need to relax. Focus on the game tonight. We’ve no business thinking any further ahead after the last year.

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