Following a disappointing result in the Connacht Quarter Final against Galway on the 13th of May, Mayo must now focus their attention on Round One of the Qualifiers for the first time since 2010. As you know, we’ve been drawn to face Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday the 9th of June with a throw in time of 6pm. This is the first time we have played Limerick in the All Ireland Football Championship since 2002. A crowd of around 7,000 is expected in Limerick. Tickets are now on sale from all of the usual outlets. (Centra, SuperValu and Tickets.ie). The Mackey (Covered) Stand and The North (Uncovered) Stand will be open for this game. Seating is unreserved in both stands. Please note that both terraces will not be open on the evening.
Following the Galway game, there was plenty of talk surrounding the levels of atmosphere and colour in MacHale Park, before and during the game. The standard of football on the pitch was poor which did not excite the crowd, but with almost 30,000 people in the ground the atmosphere should have been better. Even during the parade, before a ball was kicked, the crowd was evidently flat. For the first qualifier and subsequent games, (hopefully!), we as supporters need to up our game.
Several people contacted us after the Galway game and have put forward suggestions as to what can be done to improve things in the stands and terraces. People told us that when they started to shout support during the game, they were getting funny stares from people around them. This shouldn’t be the case, if you want to sing and shout at a game you should be able to do so without being judged. If people want to sit in silence and observe, that is their choice and they are perfectly entitled to do that as they have paid good money for their ticket, however judging others when they are only doing their bit to support their team is not fair. The thing with Mayo Supporters is, we have some of the loudest and most vocal supporters out there, however as vocal supporters, we separate ourselves too much when we are at games. If we could get a healthy number together in one section then the noise would travel further, it may even encourage some of those sitting near to join in.
Some people have come up with a suggestion that all the vocal and ‘louder’ Mayo Supporters should congregate in one section of the ground and generate a positive and loud atmosphere at the games going forward. The qualifiers are actually a perfect time to trial something like this. For example, at the Gaelic Grounds the seating in the North Uncovered Stand is unreserved, meaning people can sit where they like.
What we’re suggesting as a group is for people who are not afraid to make a bit of noise during games to congregate in sections 218 and 219 of the North Stand. The Uncovered (North) Stand provides a better view of the pitch than the Mackey Stand, which is fairly cramped by all accounts. If we get good numbers and if it is received positively we can pick sections of other grounds to use going forward. Anyone can join in, this is aimed to be a vocal and positive group who are there to support their team.
On the day, we’ll have several flags to give out to those who wish to get involved, both large and small. These flags have to be returned so that we can use them for the next game. In addition to this we’ll also bring along our large surfer flag. This will be displayed as the team comes out onto the field, it’ll be held aloft for around 2 minutes and then put back into storage. Don’t worry, you won’t miss any of the action on the pitch, the flag will be folded up and stored at the back of the stand so that it does not obstruct anyone’s view. People always worry about this which is totally understandable, however the flag was bought to create a bit of colour as the team comes onto the pitch and also to lift the Mayo Supporters in the stands, it wasn’t bought to block your view of the game! If people wish to get involved, just turn up on the day, or send us a message on Twitter, Facebook or email@example.com.
Finally, safe travel to everyone heading down to Limerick. Enjoy the game and UP MAYO!