Time to plan
As the dust settles on our first FBD campaign under Noel and Pat, it’s time to start looking ahead to 2015 and to the first real competitive action of the season. With that, we turn our faces towards Killarney and the first Allianz National League game against the Kerrymen who broke our hearts below in Limerick last August. The less said about that the better, and as a new era begins, we will be getting behind our lads more than ever. On that note, it’s time for a quick update on the Club ’51 front on our plans for that game and for the subsequent games in the League.
Seating groups are a good way of getting groups of supporters together in grounds with allocated seating. They were a great success last year and more and more people are either setting up or joining groups as the club grows. This year, you can use either your Croke Park or your Cairde Maigh Eo season ticket to join a seating group, and we have all the latest information and have started the list of 2015 groups in our post over here. We’ve had loads of enquiries already from people interested in joining a seating group this year, so if you already have one with vacant spaces or would like to set one up, let us know and we’ll put you in touch.
Getting To Away Games
We’ll be doing our usual car pooling posts (keep an eye on our forum here or contact us on Facebook, Twitter or email). Anyone with space in a car or a bus that needs filling over the coming weeks let us know! We’ll have information on parking etc. on the site too in due course. Don’t forget the ‘fiver for the driver’!
Your car doesn’t have to look like this, but it helps
If anyone is organising buses to Killarney for 1st February, let us know and we’ll post them here. We have one so far:
- The Sea Rod Inn, Doohoma are hoping to organise a bus – for queries contact Sean on 0851698851.
From the first meeting in the Liffey Arms, Newbridge on 2nd Feb last year to various days out in Jury’s across from Croker these were a great success last year, so looking ahead to 2015 we’ll be continuing the new tradition of picking a pre-match meeting point close to the grounds for Mayo fans to congregate before games and grab a cuppa/lunch/tipple/whatever tickles your fancy. We’ll be announcing these here the week before games and are looking for suggestions for Killarney, Cork and Derry.
Similarly, there will be a good crew making their way to away game venues the night before so what better excuse to go for a couple of scoops and psyche out the opposition fans? We’ll also be making a weekend of the Dublin game so expect some Castlebar festivities to be announced close to St. Patrick’s weekend.
Sea of Green And Red
Image: Sean Óg Cafferkey
Part of the inspiration for Club ’51 came from these guys on Facebook who joined forces with us and were instrumental in making the Mayo support as loud and colourful as it was in 2014. We’re aiming for more of the same in 2015 and starting as we mean to go on. Last year Mayo revived an old tradition and we saw a huge increase in the number of flags at matches. Nowhere was it more evident than in the video below from the first Kerry game (scroll to 1.51). We want recreate the incredible atmosphere of that game many times again this year and you can play your part. If every household brings a flag, think of the spectacle we’ll create! So up you get into that attic and dig out the flags.
We have a number of Club ’51 flags, and if you’ve seen them in the grounds and want to get your hands on one of your own all the information you need is here.
We’ll also be attempting to do the following over the coming months:
- Organising more charity events after the success of our inaugural table quiz last year
- More competitions – watch this space
- Some more displays. This could be in the form of stick flags, banners or any other sort of visual display. We are eager to get people’s ideas on this so please don’t be shy, and if you’re feeling creative don’t hesitate to make your own flags or banners.
‘Everything’s Coming Up Mayo’ by Lorraine Kelly and Mike Kelly
How You Can Get Involved
Making Club ’51 a success takes time and effort, but it’s also great fun and the more people involved, the better. So if there’s anything you’d like to get involved with, or if you feel you can lend some expertise, we’d love to hear from you. Be that writing some guest posts, helping us on our social media sites, volunteering at our table quizzes or sponsoring some competition or quiz prizes, we’d be delighted to welcome you on board.
Bring your own flags, but we are also looking for 4-5 people to become flag custodians and wave our flags on match days. We have a good few people on this front but still have some that need a good, caring home with regular matchgoers – and an energetic arm!
That’s it for now …
.. but keep an eye out for updates, and spread the word ( you can share our posts on Facebook, retweet us, get our logo tattooed on your face, or just tell people you meet).
And most importantly, get out those flags, warm up the vocal cords and play your part in becoming the 16th man this year.
Maigh Eo Abú!
We made it. It’s semi final time. And both semis should serve up two tasty treats.
Cork having beaten Dublin already this season in Croke Park will be hoping to emulate the same result. But I’m sure the current league Champions will have something to say about that.Our big focus will throw in at 2, and after last weekend’s encounter I cannot wait. Derry come to the party with an impressive league campaign under their belt. They have evolved this season, and some will say they have become more united since the departure of Eoin Bradley. The younger brother of Paddy has opted to play soccer with Colerine FC for the spring.
I watched Derry’s first league game against Tyrone on TV and they were very impressive; they drew, but were unfortunate in the end not to win having come from eight points down to draw level. It was, of course their first Div 1 game in four years. Monday mornings I usually chat to two male work colleagues and we review the weekend’s sporting events, casually of course! After the opening round of the league we discussed the games and I mentioned that I thought Derry were a team to watch this season (I still do), and one of the lads, dismissed me with a laugh. I haven’t spoken to him about the games since and no, not because I took the huff!
We’ve come to the business end of the season now. Derry proved a poor opposition for Mayo last weekend, but it was clever from Brian McIver. He knew they were through and figured Mayo were going to meet them again this weekend. So his starting 15 got a week off to prepare and got an up close look at Mayo for free. They play passionately and very much as a unit. They have a number of standout players on the team this year, Mark Lynch at centre forward continues to flourish, he scored 1-6 from play last weekend against Kildare, he’s hard marked and attacks right through the middle so it’ll be interesting to see how Donal Vaughan, who also likes to attack, will cope with that. This season they look to operate with a two man full forward line consisting of 6 foot 4 Keelan O’Boyle, a UUJ student, and Emmet McGuckin, who scored a cracking goal in Castlebar, is small but good in the air and very powerful. How the Mayo defenders will cope with these two will be something to keep an eye on.
Last weekend James Horan gave Aidan O Shea and Jason Gibbons a rest day so a big performance will be needed from them to take on the might of Fergal Doherty and Patsy Bradley. Mayo are the highest scorers in the league so far followed closely by Derry who are playing quite a similar type of football to James Horan’s men. Their centre back adapts the same attacking role as Vaughan, so this may allow Keith Higgins and the Mayo half forward line some space to get scores. They have relied on outscoring their opponents throughout the league so this one should keep the scoreboard operator busy. Mayo will have to improve on their scoring as they are racking up quite a lot of wides this season, an area they will have to sharpen up in as they proceed towards the Connacht Championship and beyond. Cillian O’Connor has slotted back into his role as chief free-taker after his break through injury, and top scorer of the league for the county, Kevin McLoughlin (1-24) will hope to continue on from where he left off against Dublin.
This one will be hard to call. It’ll be a cracker, full of scores and open honest football from both sides. Because of their experience at this stage, I think Mayo will edge this one.
It’s starting to feel like the summer is truly upon us, what with all these trips to Croke Park so early in the year. The weekend is just around the corner too and with it comes the anticipation of another cracking day of football in the capital as Mayo take on Derry in the first of the Allianz National Football League semi-finals.
Mayo v Derry throws in at 2pm and it’s set to be a very different game from the lacklustre occasion we witnessed in MacHale Park last Sunday, given that Derry will most likely bring their first team this time. For those of you who are truly insatiable, Dublin take on Cork in the second semi which throws in at 4pm – a fixture that will hold all the more interest for us should the first game go our way.
In what is fast becoming a familiar pre-match tradition, Club ’51 will be convening across the road in the Jury’s Croke Park Hotel from 12pm. Come join us, say hello and have a cupán tae or a pint before the game. If the day is fine, look for us out the back where you’ll see the flags!
This is the first knockout game of the year, so we’re expecting a high turnout and a good atmosphere, and Club ’51 will be continuing our quest to turn Croke Park into a Sea of Green and Red – but we need your help! If you’re making the trip, be sure and bring a flag and let’s get some colour into those stands.
And most important of all, let’s stand tall and get behind our team on Sunday. It’s up to us, in the crowd to create the atmosphere, so let’s play our part and make ourselves heard – especially if things aren’t going our way. So stock up on the honey and lemon, raise your voices and let’s bring back the Mayo Roar.
See you all on Sunday -Maigh Eo Abú!
In her first post for Club ’51, our very own Knockmore correspondent Laurita Blewitt previews Sunday’s game, and casts her eye forward to what might lie ahead …..
I’ll be honest, when I saw the Derry team on Twitter last night, I checked it twice. 14 changes from last weekends win over Kildare. I know they are through to the semi finals, but I was looking forward to seeing these two sides meet. They both have been the scoring kingpins of the Division 1.
Mayo’s Mikey Sweeney in action against Derry, James Stephen’s Park Ballina, NFL February 2009. (pic: Sportsfile)
I tweeted that either Derry have a squad as big as Dublin, or this one will be a cakewalk for Horan’s men. But Brian McIver has proved his shrewdness this season so far. He’s been building this squad up since he took over in 2012 and having secured their first trip to Croke Park this year, he’s now just looking for options. The only player to get the nod from last weekend is Emmet McGuckin, who moves from full forward to midfield to partner Niall Holly.
It’s fair to say Mayo should win this handy enough – sure 99% of this Derry team have had little or no run out this season yet. And if they do, they will probably face the Northerners again next weekend. But this is where the challenge arrives. It will suit Derry to just fulfill the fixture, while Mayo show their full hand and only meet the opposing side’s reserves.
In four weeks time, the Mayo squad, along with a cargo of Mayo supporters will hit for the Bronx. So James Horan and Co. will want to get into the semi finals to increase game time for the likes of Cillian O’Connor, Donal Vaughan and Jason Gibbons. Not so much in preparation for New York, but more so beyond that.
It’s show time now and shaky league openers and FBD games are a distant memory. It’s all about one thing, and from Sunday on it starts. A Division 1 league semi, a possibility of reaching the final and a trip to New York is the perfect precursor to what, we all hope, will be a long, and dare I say it, a sparkling silver summer season.
Remember to bring plenty of colour and flags on Sunday!
It’s Wednesday, and we’re heading towards the better half of the week, meaning it’s time once again to lift the heads and start looking forward to the weekend’s GAA action. This Sunday sees Mayo welcome Derry to Elverys MacHale Park in the final round of the Allianz National Football League, at the later throw-in time of 3pm.
Mayo are in a promising position, with a win against second-placed Derry guaranteeing us a spot in the semi-finals on April 13th. Two intriguing deciders lie ahead, with Dublin travelling away (for a change) to Tyrone, but it’s Castlebar on which we’ll be focusing and in a practice run for the championship days ahead, Club ’51 will be ramping the campaign up a notch and starting to make ourselves seen and heard.
Sunday will see us moving out of the stand and onto the terraces for the first time, and will be basing ourselves beside the media tower (on the bacon factory side). This will allow us to congregate in one area, regardless of what time we arrive at – something that has, up to this point been difficult in the stand.
We’re combining forces with the formidable Sea of Green and Red campaign, a phenomenon which started a great conversation over on MayoGAABlog in the run-up to the Tyrone game last year and resulted in a visibly increased level of colour in Croke Park. The Sea of Green and Red campaign just appealed to anyone attending the game to bring a flag. It was that simple, and it worked! We want to start bringing that level of colour to all Mayo games this year, starting next Sunday – but we need your help.
Thanks to the enthusiasm and generosity of some of the readers and contributors to this sitev (thank you!), Club ’51 have started to build a collection of iconic flags and banners, which we hope will become a feature at Mayo games, not just this year, but for many years to come. On Sunday, we’ll be debuting another bunch of these, which we hope you’ll spot in the ground, as well as a couple of larger flags that have kindly been donated to the cause. We really appreciate your contributions and hope you’ll like how we’ve used them.
What can you do?
- You could bring your own flag – yes, it’s that simple. Big or small, plain or patterned, as long as it’s green and red and someone’s waving it. If you’re bringing little ones, get them to help – they love it! It might be “only the league”, but why not?
- Wear your colours – hats, scarves, headbands, they all add up.
- Help us to cheer! You don’t need to do a banshee on it, but it’s amazing the difference a chant or a cheer can make to the atmosphere. If things aren’t going the way we’d like – that’s when the 16th man is needed the most. So join the rallying cry and let’s get behind our team and cheer them on to a place in the sem-final.
- We like noise, but please, if you’re bringing something noisy be considerate of those around you – no-one wants to be deafened. And if it’s a vuvuzela, leave it at home.)
- JOIN US on the terraces! This is group effort and everyone is welcome – the more the merrier. We’ll be easy to spot, we don’t bite (much), you’ll have a great view of the game and we can guarantee you’ll have a bit of craic while you’re there (though you might need waterproofs!) We’re not aiming to become another Hill ’16 – far from it – but if you’ve ever felt self-conscious shouting at a game while getting daggers from the refined people surrounding you, this is the place for you.
We’re delighted to see the level of support behind the Mayo team this year, and Club ’51 is really taking off. We have a lot of exciting plans in the pipeline for the year ahead, but we need help to get them off the ground. So if you’d like to become involved in any way, be that writing or taking photos for the website, contributing ideas, sponsoring us some prizes or flags (we’ve some more competitions coming up, including one for the smaller folks), helping to organise events and meet-ups or simply standing with us to cheer on the team on match days (the most important thing of all), then get in touch via the contact form.
See you on Sunday- Maigh Eo Abú!