In the aftermath of a rollercoaster of a game last night against Dublin that will no doubt have us all talking for some time to come, here’s a feature on Club ’51 from yesterday’s Irish Examiner written by Ballina’s own Terry Reilly, after a chat with Anne-Marie during the week. Hopefully for those of you who’ve just recently signed up, it’ll give you some more background on what we’re about and what we want to achieve.
It’s not easy to keep the heads up when things aren’t going well, and as supporters, we are fairly put through the wringer, but the Mayo support in Croke Park last night was fantastic and we want to keep that momentum going.
We’re cooking up a plan of action for what will now be a crucial game vs. Derry next week and will be in touch during the week with an update.
Have a good week folks and keep the faith – Maigh Eo abú!
Ahead of this weekend’s clash vs. the Dubs, here’s diehard Mayo fan Trevor Naughton (exiled in Kildare, but green and red to the core) on his experience of hanging out with the Club ’51 crew this year, and how he expects the big game to pan out on Saturday afternoon. Thanks Trevor!
Ahead of the weekend’s big clash with Dublin where Mayo head to Croker looking to pick up another two valuable league points, I thought I’d offer the fan’s view of how Club ’51 has gone to date!
As you are all aware Club ’51 has been up and running since the start of the year and I think it has been an unmitigated success. The introduction of Club ’51 has created a completely different buzz about going to Mayo matches and is something we are really enjoying. For years we have all travelled in our little groups to matches, meeting up with old friends as you bumped into them.
The level of support that Mayo has (home and away) is clear to see at every game. There are a few publicans in Newbridge that will attest to that also! Every game, whether it’s Castlebar, Tralee or Omagh now feels like a home game and that’s a wonderful thing. Centralising the Mayo support has been excellent. There is nothing better than outnumbering the locals in a pub in their own back yard!
Going to the meet-ups before games the pub/hotel chosen by Club ’51 is full with Mayo supporters. The more times we go to the meet ups before/after games we invariably meet someone new or someone we already know through the #mayogaa hashtag on Twitter or Willie Joe’s MayoGAABlog but have yet to meet in real life!
The main aim is to bring a bit of noise, fun and colour to Mayo matches and to show the team that there is a “Sea of Green and Red” behind them. I have always had hats/scarves/headbands/flags at home but never would have thought to bring any of them to a league match. Club ’51 has changed that idea. If you are thinking about going to the match at the weekend feel free to drop into Jury’s Croke Park Hotel before the game.
The game itself is going to be one of our toughest to date but the lads have been improving steadily game on game and I would be expecting them to deliver the points on this occasion. There has been a lot of debate on mayogaablog on whether we should be going flat out to win this game or not. I think without doubt we have to go out to win this. Just look back to 2012 when we beat the Dubs in Castlebar (in the game refixed after the fog!), we went up against them in Croker in the semi-final with no inferiority complex. Dublin beat us 3 times last year so we really want to be laying down a marker on Saturday night. See you there!
PS: Don’t forget your voices and your flags!!! Up Mayo!!!
It’s been a quiet few days for the Mayo faithful as we’ve been basking in the warm glow of the win against the Rebels last Sunday week, but now it’s time to turn our sights towards the one we’ve all been waiting for as the Green and Red take to the capital to face Dublin in Round 6 of the Allianz National Football League. The game throws in at 7pm on Saturday 29th March, and there can be no doubt that this is the Big One, to date at least, of this year’s league campaign as we face the Boys in Blue for the first time since last year’s stinging final defeat.
Photo by Michael Maye
For those of us exiled in the Smoke, it’s a welcome break from the travels, and for those of you visiting, well, you always have a good time in the capital, don’t you?
Debate is already sizzling about this one – do Mayo need to grab this game by the scruff of the neck and take it to the Dubs, in the process laying down a strong marker for the year ahead and giving ourselves a welcome psychological boost? A win will leave us in an excellent position, with potentially a play-off spot to look forward to. Or in the grand scheme of things, does a win against the Dubs in March really mean anything, when there is a far bigger prize to play for later in the year?
Whatever your school of thought, this fixture holds all the promise of and ingredients for an epic clash, and Club ’51 will as usual be there in the thick of the action. We’ll be convening in the main bar of Jury’s Croke Park Hotel (at the back of the Hogan Stand) from late afternoon, 4.30pm or so (we like to make a day of it), everyone is welcome to come along and we look forward to seeing a good crew there.
This is a big game, and we want to make a big impact both on the pitch and off. Holding the game in Croke Park, while the obvious thing to do, ensures that this is essentially a home game for the Dubs (despite their protests) but it’s our ground too, and a ground with which we’re very familiar. Last summer, Mayo supporters brought a sea of green and red to Croke Park, and this Saturday night, we want to bring it back. We’d like to show Dublin and indeed the rest of the country that this Mayo team and its supporters are back with a bang, and that we’re in it for the long haul again this year. So if you’re making the trip east, pack a flag, or a banner and hold them high before the game, and let’s together make some noise and get behind our team on Saturday night.
After the game, as there’s a large Mayo contingent staying there, there’ll be a few drinks in the Skylon Hotel in Drumcondra. We look forward to seeing you all there!
The weekend ahead holds a veritable feast of sport, with one of the biggest days in the GAA club calendar, the AIB Club Championship Finals taking place in Croke Park on Monday (we’ll have lots more to say about that between now and then).
But before Castlebar Mitchels embark on proving themselves to be The Toughest, let’s turn our attention to the county scene, and what’s sure to be another memorable encounter. Sunday 16th March sees our first home double-header of the year with Mayo taking on Cork in the fifth round of Division 1 of the Allianz National Football League in McHale Park. Throw-in is at 2.30pm, and the game is preceded by the fourth round of Division 2B of the Allianz National Hurling League, which sees Mayo take on Wicklow at 12.45pm. We can happily confirm that the hurling clash has been moved back to McHale Park, after a decision made on Monday to move it to Tooreen (based on the weather and pitch conditions) was reversed yesterday morning.
Our position in both tables is roughly similar – mid-table, with an uncertain future – so it’s all to play for on Sunday.
In light of this, there will be no Club ’51 pre-match meet-up this weekend. We have a good excuse though – instead, we’ll be getting in early to cheer on our hurlers. We’d encourage everyone to come along and join us at 12.45pm to get behind this tremendous bunch of lads, who put a huge amount of time and effort into representing their county and are just as proud to wear the green and red as our footballers, but don’t often get a chance to play in front of a big home crowd.
So once the flags and banners have been hung, Club ’51 will be gathering in the stand (a stand which, incidentally, will be regarded with a new reverence and appreciation by anyone who spent two hours last Sunday sitting on a plank in the rain in Mullingar) to the right of the tunnel, in the now legendary area known as the Black Rectangle (see illustration). Come and join us, bring your hats, flags, scarves, headbands onesies and whatever else you’re into, and let’s start transforming McHale Park into a sea of green and red to cheer our boys onto a double victory.
Here’s also wishing our U21s the very best of luck tonight vs. Roscommon in what’s sure to be another lively encounter. See you on Sunday!
Ahead of Mayo’s match against Westmeath in Mullingar, Mike Kelly interviews our very own Anne Marie about Mayo Club 51. Mike also interviews Martin Carney along with Mikes interview of James Horan after Mayo’s victory over Kerry last Sunday.
Remember to get to Mullingar early tomorrow and join us in the Graville Arms Hotel before the match and make sure to bring plenty of flags and colour!