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.