2019, it has been an interesting and exciting year from a Mayo GAA supporter’s point of view. Highs, lows, delight and agony, it had it all. This was the first year of James Horan’s second stint in charge. From the outset, this was described as a four year plan to deliver an All Ireland title to Mayo. Compared to last year, this year can only be seen as a massive success. If you told any Mayo supporter after that infamous evening in Newbridge in June 2018 that we’d win the league, get to an All Ireland Semi Final and blood a large number of talented young footballers, you’d have happily settled for that as an outcome for 2019.
There is no doubt that we can compete in Semi Finals and Finals in the years ahead. Back in 2011, we had a remarkable run to the All Ireland Semi Final with a team of youth and experience. Ultimately, that team fell short of Kerry in the Semi Final by nine points. That game showed the younger players within the panel what it takes to compete with and beat the best. The following summer we went one step further and got to the All Ireland Final. The moral or the story is, sometimes you have to take a beating before you find your full flow, this may well be the case with what happened last Saturday against Dublin.
In order to have a prolonged Championship season next year, it is vitally important that Mayo take the front door route. Winning Connacht is essential as the winners would avoid Dublin / Kerry in the Super 8’s. This year we played seven games in eight weeks, that is simply not sustainable in the long run. Injuries and fatigue played a massive part in Saturday’s result, Dublin, who were brilliant, were fresh and could up the gears as and when it was needed. We had to go to the wall the previous week to beat Donegal in Castlebar, exerting huge amounts of energy. The following day, Dublin had a game against Tyrone in which they rested a huge number of their stars. The GAA need to look at their calendar and give a two week break to teams after the final round of the Super 8s. There is a two week break between the Hurling Quarter Finals and Semi Finals, why is this not the case for the Footballers?
Thank you to the panel, management, county board and all involved in MacHale Park for their work throughout the year.
If players retire from the panel this year, we can never be thankful enough to them for all their hard work and dedication they have put in through their footballing careers. Some people from the outside may sneer and joke, however you can hold your heads up high knowing you gave everything for the green and red. Thank you.
A big thank you to everyone who got involved with MISC during the year. From bringing flags and banners to games, to helping holding up some of our flags, you played your part. There seemed to be an increase in flags and banners as the year went on, let’s keep this up for the years ahead. A special word of thanks to the stewards in MacHale Park who let us hang our banners at the games.
We’ll have another competition in due course, it will more than likely be before the start of the FBD League in January 2020. Keep an eye on the social media pages for details.
Roll on January 2020! Keep the faith, UP MAYO!
Mayo Independent Supporters Club – 13/08/2019.