If this is your car and you haven’t left already … well, you’ll probably miss the game (Pic: Balls.ie)
It’s time to check those tyres and top up that engine oil, Tralee here we come! We’re back on the road again for our first road trip of the 2017 National Football league campaign following the Green & Red. After the disappointing loss against Monaghan last weekend, it’s time to dust ourselves off, pack up the car and get ready to head for Tralee. The last time we played Kerry in their back yard was in the 1st round of the 2015 campaign at Fitzgearld Stadium in Killarney, where we bet Kerry 2-11 to 0-10 in front of 8,123 spectators. The last time we played Kerry in Austin Stacks in Tralee was in the 7th round of the 2012 league campaign. We drew with Kerry that day 1-12 apiece. Can we do better this weekend?
Club ’51 will also be making the trip south to this stunning part of the country (don’t tell them we said that!) and will be aiming to claim a significant proportion of Austin Stack Park for the green and red. Anecdotally, it appears that the Mayo faithful are hitting the road in huge numbers this weekend, so if you’re looking for a place to lay your head, get on it ASAP otherwise you’ll be kipping in the back of the car.
It’s a fair trek down to the Kingdom! It’s roughly 273Km from MacHale Park to Austin Stacks Park in Tralee, which takes about 4 hours. We haven’t heard of any supporters buses travelling to the game as of yet apart from the usuals which are fully booked. Most people are making a weekend of it, some even travelling down to Tralee on Friday, so as to be well “refreshed” for the match on Saturday evening!
In typical Irish Mammy style we recommend leaving early (5am should do it) and please be careful on the roads folks, temperatures are set to drop during the weekend and the roads could be icy.
Please note that there is very limitedparking around Austin Stack Park. Please respect the residences & businesses in the surrounding area. Kerry County Council have offered free parking in the Car Park adjacent to The Rose Hotel, Dan Spring Road, which is walking distance of the venue. Sound enough of them.
All patrons traveling to Austin Stack Park Tralee for the event are advised to arrive early as a large crowd is expected. Patrons are asked to obey the instructions of stewards & Gardai.
Admission is €15 and entry to the stand will be on a first come first served basis.
Tickets can be bought in advance in selected SuperValu and Centra outlets up til midnight tonight (Friday 10th) at a discount of 20%. Tickets can also be bought at full price on the day at the ticket vans positioned outside the ground.
Usual Concession for Students and OAPs applies. Under 16s go free!
Designated Gates will be in operation for Season Ticket holders – bring your card and get it scanned (make sure to keep an eye on the screen to ensure your card scans properly and check that your attendance has been updated after the game.
Stiles will open at 5pm and additional stiles will be open at both the John Mitchels and Horans end of the Ground.
Club ’51 Meet-Up
In what is now becoming a time-honoured, revered and legendary tradition, Club ’51 will be assembling before the game in a local hostelry to mingle, give out about the weather and unanimously agree that Mayo is just as nice a spot as Kerry, we just don’t need to go on about it all the time.
We’ll be congregating at Paddy Macs Bar at the Mall from early afternoon, as we have it on good authority that it’s a good spot to watch the sports and apparently there are some other games involving balls (odd-shaped ones) happening this weekend too.
For later in the night there are plenty of local hostelries in Tralee to choose from. We hear that Séan Ógs on High Street is a good spot for some traditional Irish music sessions. Baily’s Corner on Castle St is another well known sports bar in Tralee, and both of these are on the way out to the pitch from town. Always looking out for ye, we are.
Bring The Colour – Bring The Noise
It might only be the second game in the League, but it marks the start of an another long road for this team, so let’s row in behind them and just like in Croke Park last September and October, be the 16th man again.
Bring a flag, claim the stand and make them wonder in Kerry if they took a wrong turn and ended up on MacHale Road.
And most of all stand tall and be proud of the green and red – our colours – and all they stand for as we look to the year ahead.
Finally – finally! – the countdown is almost over. It’s time to check the tyres and top up the oil in anticipation of the long trip to Killarney. It’s been a long winter – long than we’ve become accustomed to in recent years – but the competitive inter-county season is about to throw in at last. Sunday 2pm in Fitzgerald Park is the one we’ve been waiting for as Mayo travel to take on All-Ireland champions (it still sticks in the craw a bit, doesn’t it?) Kerry in their back yard. But a new year is a new year and forward we must look.
As competitive fare goes, this game is unlikely to reveal much in terms of prospects for the year ahead, due to the fact that both teams are missing a number of key players, but what’s really important is the points that are at stake. To take two points from the Kingdom from under their own roof would make for a satisfying start to the year, so Killarney here we come, and here’s hoping our old reliables and our new young guns get a good run at it and make the road home a short one.
Club ’51 will also be making the trip south to this stunning part of the country (don’t tell them we said that) and will be aiming to claim a significant proportion of Fitzgerald Stadium for the green and red. Anecdotally, it appears that the Mayo faithful are hitting the road in huge numbers this weekend, so if you’re looking for a place to lay your head, get on it ASAP otherwise you’ll be kipping in the back of the car. If you’re doing a day trip, amid warnings of unsettled weather over the next few days, be sure to plan ahead and leave in plenty of time -and arrive alive and unfrazzled. And for those of you doing the Ring of Kerry cycle on Saturday, may the wind be at your backs all the way, you mad yokes.
If this is your car, leave early. Like, tonight. (Pic: Balls.ie)
On The Day
In what is now becoming a time-honoured, revered and legendary tradition (a whole year old this weekend, in fact) Club ’51 will be assembling before the game in a local hostelry to mingle, give out about the weather and unanimously agree that Mayo is just as nice a spot as Kerry, we just don’t need to go on about it all the time. On the morning of the game, get yourselves to the Killarney Royal Hotel on College Street from 11.30am. Located only a ten-minute walk from Fitzgerald Stadium, we have it on good account that their hospitality is second to none. There is a traditional Irish lunch menu in the restaurant, or check out the bar/bistro menu where you can get bar food like soup, salads, burgers and sambos.
It’d look grand with a lick of green and red paint (Photo: Tripadvisor)
Parking Near The Ground
Parking is relatively easy, as Killarney has plenty of car parts in the town centre,none of which are a lengthy walk (15-20 mins max) to the stadium. The car parks on Lewis Road or beside Killarney Public Library (on the N71) are the closest, so if you want the handier option (or if it’s raining), get in there early before the locals take all the good spots.
The Night Before
For those of you travelling down the night before, you’re in for a treat as Killarney is always a great spot for a few sociable beverages. On the Saturday evening from 9pm, some of the Mayo faithful will be convening in Tatler Jack on Plunkett St. (right in the heart of town) so do drop in if you’re feeling the bit of thirst. Tatler Jack is of course notable for featuring as it does some jerseys of the hallowed green and red, namely those of Gabriel Irwin and the mighty Willie Joe Padden. So therefore it’s practically a Mayo pub and you should feel right at home. Get practicing your “yerras” well in advance and if you meet any Kerry people on your travels be sure to assure them that we’ll barely manage to keep it kicked out to them. Nothing like getting in some mind game practice well in advance of the championship.
Last But Not Least …
That should be all you need to get you set for the weekend. Only one thing remains and that is a reminder to get behind our lads. None of us have forgotten Limerick, and if ever there was a time a team deserved a strong show of support, this is it. When our lads appear on the pitch, don’t be shy, don’t hold back but cheer for them like you’ve never cheered before. It might only be the first game in the League, but it marks the start of an another long road for this team, so let’s row in behind them and just like in Croke Park last August, be the 16th man again. Bring a flag, claim the stand and make them wonder in Kerry if they took a wrong turn and ended up on McHale Road.
And most of all stand tall and be proud of the green and red – our colours – and all they stand for as we look to the year ahead.
MAIGH EO ABÚ!
PS: A sincere thank you to our Kerry informants Caroline and Jerry for the helpful information – we won’t tell a soul!
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.
We’re delighted to welcome Gerry in Laois to the hot seat this week, where he’s giving the last rallying call to the troops before tomorrow. Read and obey!! Take it away Gerry …
I think by now we have made our feelings pretty clear on the semi-final replay débâcle. Willie Joe summed it up quite succinctly on Tuesday when he observed that in the eyes of the top brass at Croke Park:
“We truly are Children of a Lesser God.”
But that’s the hand we have been dealt. it’s a crappy one, but one we now have to play. I think we must now grab this opportunity to turn adversity into advantage.
The Gaelic Grounds has a capacity of about 50,000 or so, and this game will probably be a sell-out. We easily outnumbered the Kerry fans the last day, about 4-1 by my reckoning. If you don’t believe me, have a look at the crowd photo taken for eircom.ie/gaa and compare the number of Mayo and Kerry jerseys on show. We won’t have this advantage on Saturday, given Limerick’s proximity to Kerry. (You all have your tickets by now, I hope?!) But that doesn’t mean that we can’t own the joint for the evening and turn this into a de facto home game.
We know all our players give everything to the cause. There is no place for passengers on any top-class team, and on Saturday, there will be no place for passengers in the stands either. If you want to come to the match and just sit and observe in silence, may I respectfully suggest that you use your Sky+ or UPC box for that purpose. We are going to Limerick to do a job, and that is to let our lads know that they have the best supporters in the country backing them all the way.
Last Sunday when the chips were down we did ourselves proud, both on the field and in the stands. The colour and raucous noise were a joy to behold and you could see that it gave the lads a lift, and helped them to go that little bit further and get those vital scores. We need to do that again on Saturday evening from before the match even starts, right to the very end.
Bring as much colour as possible. Flags, jerseys, hats, whatever you can find. If you don’t have anything to hand, look in the hot press and see if you can find two pieces of red and green material and stitch them together. We have immense pride in our county colours, so let’s make the Gaelic Grouds a #seaofgreenandred.
(Photo: James Crombie/INPHO)
The smaller ground means we will be closer to the action, so if we can replicate the noise levels from Croke Park last Sunday, we will have this place rocking. Make sure to be in place well before throw-in. When the stadium announcer reads out the Mayo team names, let us roar out our approval in unison, for every single name. As loud as we can, so that they hear it in the dressing rooms. Then before the teams emerge, we start a chant. Bring anything along that will make a bit of noise – horns, bodhrans, whatever. Stamp your feet as you chant. Can you imagine the effect that would have on our lads as they’re coming out of the dressing room? Hearing tens of thousands of feet stamping in unison and the chant “MAYYYY-OH! MAYYYY-OH! MAYYYY-OH!”
And then when they emerge, we raise the roof.
All through the game, we keep going. We cheer not just every score, but every time a Mayo hand touches the ball. Every pass completed, every kick-out secured, every turnover won, every broken ball won, every free won, every Kerry shot blocked, we shake the rafters. (OK, I know there are rafters and a roof on one side of the pitch only, but you know what I mean!) If it’s not going our way, we keep urging our lads on even more. If it looks like the ref is giving a few too many soft frees to Kerry, we get on his case. If you find yourself behind the Kerry bench, roar even louder so that their players can’t hear their instructions.
If you still have any anger or frustration in you from Sunday, this will help you vent it. Don’t worry if you lose your composure and end up looking like Steve Ballmer, because the result will be worth it. We played Kerry up a stick with fourteen men on the field last Sunday and the equivalent of at least two or three more in the stands. Imagine what we could do with our full fifteen and the same again or more from the stands?
And when it’s all over, and everyone is celebrating our third consecutive All-Ireland Final appearance in one of Limerick’s fine hostelries, we sing with one voice:
“You can stick your American Football up your arse, up your arse!”
In my time the Convent of Mercy in Belmullet was a great school for organising retreats during the school year. These were a blessing whether you were religious, agnostic or atheist , a welcome break from learning by rote or struggling with equations. On one particular occasion one of the nuns during a break from prayer said to us “Today is the first day of the rest of your life “. Of course nowadays, with so many such clichés being shared on Facebook , being uttered in seminars or used in order to market a product, its easy to be cynical but back then, innocent young fella that I was, it struck a chord with me. I recently googled it and it is attributed to a man called Charles Dederich , an Ohioan who worked with addicts and who was involved in a cult called the Church of Synanon. Perhaps a strange man for a nun to be quoting.. or perhaps not.
Mayo entertain Kerry this Sunday in McHale Park in Castlebar , our own cult of true believers will be there in force , we too are addicts and perhaps need the help of a higher power. Club 51 will be meeting in An Sportlann before the game and we ask you come in and make yourselves known. If you like you can say “my name is Roger Milla and I am a Mayo fan”.
Mayo v Kerry 2nd February 2013 in Mc Hale Park Castlebar.
Mayo have lost their two opening games of the NFL , perhaps a draw would have been merited in St. Conleth’s Park but we got what we deserved in Omagh. Personally I am excited to see if my own townie Mikey Sweeney will get a run out. We gave a Kerry a great seeing to last year in the league and I still relish the time we beat them in the league semi-final. Sadly Colm Cooper will not be playing, any contest without him is the lesser for it.
Sunday is the first day of the rest of our year, lets beat Kerry and travel to Westmeath with the wind at our backs. Beir Bua!
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