Game day – positive start would be great

So, after a break of almost seven months, this evening we’re finally back in action. The James Horan Mk II era faces its first competitive test tonight at MacHale Park where Roscommon provide the opposition in the opening round of the National Football League Division One. Throw-in is set for 7pm.

The start of the action every year is eagerly awaited. This time, though, after such a long lay-off, the anticipation has been greater than ever. This should be reflected in a huge attendance at MacHale Park tonight, which in turns creates the prospect of a special atmosphere in which to launch this new start for the county.

It’s important that this beginning is a positive one. Our League record in recent years has been, at best, mediocre and our home record in all competitions has become an embarrassment. Tonight affords us the opportunity to show that this really is the start of a new, positive era for us.

I like the look of the team picked for this game. While there’s significant experience in its ranks, there’s plenty of newer blood in there too and it’s how well James is able to meld the two that will, to my mind, dictate how we’ll fare out this year.

The lads face a tough challenge tonight. While Roscommon haven’t beaten us in a generation in any competition other than the FBD they often pose major problems for us. Under new management themselves and having enjoyed a successful pre-season, they’ll relish the chance tonight’s meeting presents to make a major statement of intent.

But James and his players will know that. This is a match we’ve been targeting ever since the League fixtures were announced so now comes our opportunity to show what we’re capable of.

Back to that big anticipated crowd, though, because support will be important tonight. I often feel that the huge home attendances are more a hindrance than a help to the team and, for sure, it’s the case that we’re way less noisy and partisan in our support of the team in Castlebar compared to on the road. If we really are to make MacHale Park a fortress, there’s some heavy lifting to be done in the stand as well as out on the pitch.

There’s also driving to be done by some, myself included, ahead of throw-in this evening. Safe travelling to all on the roads today – leave early, take it handy and arrive ready to roar.

We’re off again. The future begins tonight. Up Mayo.

59 thoughts on “Game day – positive start would be great

  1. It’s great to be back WJ. This game could be a real slog as looking at the latest forecast, the weather is going to turn real nasty this evening with strong winds and rain. Safe traveling all.

  2. Really looking forward to seeing how we set up tonight. Diarmuid and Donita in midfield means we have plenty of running power around the middle.

    Huge honour for Paddy Durcan and very much deserved. Because we lost in Newbridge last June his performance that day went a little unnoticed but he has nigh on sensational with four points from play. He’s really stepped up to the fore over the last two seasons.

  3. Like a child on Christmas Eve, all be it a wet and windy one. Will gladly take a dour 0-6 0-5 win, just to get up and running,altough you can’t beat them by too much or ever often enough.

  4. After reading that Willie Joe I’ve got shivers down my spine. It’s great to be back again and here is hoping it’s going to be a positive journey for the team, management & supporters. Ive got those pre match nerves since the team was announced and the ones I’d have had before a championship game. Its madness. There is no doubt there’s huge expectations fro supporters on James Horan and the team but I’ve no doubt they can handle it. Maigheo Abu

  5. Keep 15 men on the field until the final whistle, and we should have this one. Hope ref and management can intervene before any PBs go off the scale. Good luck to all tonight.

  6. It’s great to have Mayo finally playing serious football again. It will be a compelling season with many questions. Can JH rebuild so spectacularly again.? Has he learned tatically. ?What have the old players left in the tank.? Are the new players good enough.? We are in transition so what will define a good season? Personally I think avoiding relegation and the super 8’s would be be a good season. A connacht final win and reaching an All Ireland semi would e excellent . Sadly I think we are not Sam contenders in the next couple of years.
    Finally it will be last year for some great servants and legends of Mayo football. Let’s enjoy them and hope they don’t go out on a whimper..

  7. For as mediocre as Mayo have been in MacHale Park there was still a win against a Roscommon two years in the NFL and it wouldn’t make much sense if Mayo with a stronger and more experienced team not winning tonight against Roscommon who are down on about dozen of their starters from last year.

    Nearly always late changes to the selected teams nowadays while would it surprise anyone if S O’Shea,A Moran start tonight?

  8. Speculation in Ros this morning that there is a change at corner forward for Mayo.
    But the house rules on speculation prohibit me from saying any more.

  9. very much looking forward to this game being a long 7 months. hoping reape and diskin can put in a performance to warrant there inclusion in the team.we as supporters need to show patience to any of the young players on show tonight.any mistake lets encourage them not get on there backs.now to fill the car 2hr drive from the hills.mayo by 2

  10. Best wishes to James Horan and management team for 2019. Questioning his ability in this area is sad in the extreme. While Net Eireann painted a grim picture of the weather for Saturday the morning has turned out much better than the forecast would have you believe here in West Mayo. Currently for example we have 10 degrees, almost no wind, blue skies with some high cloud and the odd shower. For January it is a decent day. I am a pragmatist, so I am not looking at summer and AI finals. The National league is enough to focus the minds of all right now. Its about 6 league points no matter where they come from. That means being competitive in every game and let the results take care of themselves. Best of luck to Boland, Regan and the 2 new guys. This time last year we were in Clones and how important that game turned out to be. The sound the very large crowd made had a big bearing on the result. It lifted the team no end. Its great to be back on the road for sure.

  11. Safe travels all. Keep the faith — I know we are all products of our past experiences but this is a new team and year. When most are saying “why us?”, I’m saying “why not us?”

    On a holiday in CA and hiking into the desert today. Will have my Mayo hat on and will be thinking fondly of you all in slightly less favorable conditions 😉 Have to avoid my social media and will watch on gaago later. Let the games begin!

  12. Just been to SuperValu to buy 2 tickets. Expected to pay 30 but tickets gone to full price today so cost me 40….WTF

    I thought the whole idea was to give people a discount for purchasing away from the ground to reduce congestion. To add insult the tickets have a note on them saying Buy early Pay less

    Well I’m so disgusted I won’t be buying a programme or anything in the ground

  13. Yes it’s a joke Mayo67, Tickets should be priced 15 euro and left at that, none of this nonsense of charging more on match day.

  14. If they are 20 so be it but It’s sharp practice to charge 15 in SV on Friday evening and 20 on Saturday morning without any warning

  15. @Not Half Fast, Any chance you could take a few snaps of you in the Mayo hat in the desert listening to the match? Tag #MayoGAA

    @Mayo67, match tickets sold up to 24hrs before the match are at the discount price, full price after that.

  16. Getting in match zone now . Think a few early scores for us is important .. Need to have the Rossies in such a way as they are not content to sit back and defend .. Mark in the forward line could be an advantage to us .. Bring it on !!

  17. Cant beat the Saturday night games..Atmosphere should be great and hopefully a win at the end of it..Dont want to be on the back foot after first league game..

  18. Whether or not Roscommon are down players on last year, they gave a strong Galway team a good slap down last weekend. Horan needs to bring the super intensity back if we are to get something from this game. Best of luck to all players – especially Conor Diskin and Brian Reape.

  19. Sorry WJ – I had just purchased the tickets and was mad. It’s typical fine print that’s not highlighted…you can get a fiver discount just don’t buy on the day of the game at super value of you will be charged full whack.

    Many fans don’t know if they can attend h til he day of the game and they are just trying to maximize revenue.

  20. Mayo will beat the Rossies tonight, too much experience all round
    As well as seeing new guys develop into the team, I am really looking to see if James and his players can learn to win and close out games late on, ie last 5 minutes and into injury time, this is by far the area that needs attention.
    This has been our downfall since time began.
    For all the sceptical supporters, bar some miracle, Mayo will win with a bit to spare.

  21. Re tickets, on line cheaper but there is a time limit. Its been this way for years. It was the same with fbd games.

  22. Hi All,
    The very best of luck to the Mayo lads this evening and throughout the league. I am guessing Roscommon will be feeling confident after beating Galway recently but it looks like Mayo are fielding are a very strong team tonight. I don’t expect ourselves to have it too handy tomorrow and although I will never back against the Dubs, Monaghan do look great value at 5/2.

    Kind Regards
    Martin the Dub

  23. Avoid Balla if that’s possible. There are crazy road works with traffic lights on the Castlebar side.

  24. Same for me. 20 euro in supervalue today.
    What that about?.
    Anyway great to be here. On we go again. Filling up fast in stands. Cold.
    Good luck to James and the lads tonight.
    A win would be a great start to phase 1.

  25. @New York Tommy – GAAGO are doing a weeks free trial, google it, and that will get you in.

    I hope you guys have a plan for Donie Smith – he shredded Galway last week. 3 From Play, 5 from Dead ball, and hit the upright, he’ll need to be kept under wraps. I wonder who’ll pick him up.

    Thank God for the return of competitive football, Winter is finally behind us.

  26. Sorry if this breaks the rules willie joe but that smith is a tramp pure and simple one of the lowest dirtiest acts you can do on the field

  27. Donie is a lucky man to still be on the pitch. Mauls Higgins and then fakes a strike. And the *brother* gets booked. Jasus.

    Piss poor display, no score from play, one deadball score in a half of football. Last free was awful. Wouddn’t be surprised to see Hennelly subbed, shocking first half. Two sidelines from kickout, and fluffs a solo to leave goal open. The gale is no excuse.

    That said. not sure if 4 points is enough of a cushion. Interesting 2nd half ahead.

  28. Fairly terrible stuff all round in the opening period.

    One would have to wonder what the point of rushing the NFL back in January is, if these are the conditions that will greet the players.

    Here’s hoping that the strong wind will be worth a few points to Mayo in the second half!

  29. @Jaden: Agreed on the Higgins tackle, Smith’s finger much too close to Keith’s eye for my liking. Possible citing post-match?

  30. Nearly let them back in there in the end. Seems to be a trend of late. No point mulling over it too much but Rossies won’t be a push over by any means in the summer. Good to win first game. 3 away games now will be tough. Glad Diskin and Reape were left on and given time. Have we found a full back?

  31. The conditions make any analysis of that performance extremely difficult.
    All that matters is that we have the 2 points. In terms of the new lads, delighted for Reape, fine finish. Diskin worked hard all night and showed well for the ball.
    Again, it’s pretty pointless analysing that game. Just get the 2 points and move on.
    Hopefully we don’t have to suffer having to play in atrocious conditions like that again.

  32. Conditions dictated how that game had to be played. That, and some makey-uppey decisions by Cassidy. It seems Diarmuid can be punched in the face and the assaulter can be just waved away by the ref, and Boyle plus Higgins were regularly tackled high around the chest and neck area but the Rossie walked away with just a talking to.
    Mind you we were cleaned out in midfield and failed to strike back when the little uppity Kilroy was going around the pitch acting like a big man, small man syndrome. I was hoping Keegan would nail him.
    Anyway it’s 2 points on the board and Diskin and Reape did enough to give encouragement that there’s more to come. Vaughan did especially well and Aido worked very hard in the first half.
    We move on.

  33. two whens when will we win a game against anyone with ease and when will we stop conceding late goals

  34. Outstanding goal by Brian Reape. Conor Diskin did well for his debut and being only 20.
    Still think some of our older players are sticking rigidly with a lateral game even though there is the option to kick inside now to two big men.

  35. No analysis needed. Just look forward to omagh. No player could do them selves justice In those conditions.

  36. Amen Cait… that’ll do. Atrocious weather for both teams but hope it’ll shake the cobwebs off and give us a taste for winning. I hate to see us letting in goals at the end though… frustrating….but yes a win is a win. Good work Mayo

  37. See my comment before this evenings match, when will Mayo stop conceeding late goals, let’s not blame the weather conditions for that also.

  38. Delighted with that, 2 points, move on. Its only Roscommon so wudnt get carried away with that victory. Not going to critique any player having played in that. Deloghted for Reape, just what his confidence needed. Diskin looks a fine prospect too. Pity about the goal, but hard judge the flight of any ball in that hurricane.

  39. I thought Brendan Harrison played the game of his life out there yesterday evening and he scored a wonderful point to boot It was good to see him back after his long lay off with injury

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *