With just over a week to go until the All Ireland final throw in at Croke Park, the excitement around the county is slowly building up by the day. On Wednesday evening Mayo held their press night ahead of the final and James Horan was in confident mood that he will have a fully fit squad come Sunday week. When asked about those who were injured in the semi-final and their outlook, he said: “We’ve a couple of guys still on rehab programmes at the moment and are progressing very well and I’d be very confident in the next couple of days they’ll be raring to go.”
Davitts’ wing-back Colm Boyle who was forced to miss the Dublin game with an illness is back with the squad and over his illness according to Horan. “Colm Boyle is progressing very well he was training with us last night, so he’s on track. Colm was a bit sick, got some medical attention from the medical team, but he’s back up and running now.”
Boyle’s fellow half back Lee Keegan is back running but not in full training, but Horan is confident that he’ll be ready to go on the big day. “Lee’s finger still a bit sore, but he’s back running at full tilt, it’s just a matter of time before he’s completely (fit ), but Lee is on track. It was a dislocation and the bone came through the finger, it was a sore event. But no bother to Lee.” When asked was he taking a full part in training, Horan said that he wasn’t doing any ball work yet.
The number of subs and blood subs that Mayo used against Dublin came up and when asked was it a rule he thought should be looked at, the Ballintubber club man said it was one of many. “Every rule in GAA could be looked at, I’d like the tackle to be looked at first and get that defined and we can work from there. But of course everything should be reviewed on an ongoing basis. But the rules are the rules and that’s the way they are.” Going back to the number of subs used, Horan was sure about what he would have preferred to have happened. “I’d certainly have liked to have left the three players that were injured on, that would have been my first preference. But it worked out OK for us. We were extremely confident, we were lucky to have a county board member who sits with us on the sideline, he knew the rules inside out and he knew exactly where things were so we were lucky to have Kevin O’Toole with us there.”
This evening will see an open training session for supporters to attended with a meet and greet beforehand with the players. But apart from that there will be no change from the normal training plan for Mayo according to Horan. “As I said after the semi-final we’ll do our normal stuff and prepare as well as we can and that’s what we’ll do. We’re happy with the way things are and were looking forward to the challenge in the next few weeks.” As for the build-up by supporters ahead of the game, Horan reckons that supporters have learned from the past in not getting too excited about it yet. “The Mayo public has the benefit of previous All Ireland finals so I think they are very clued in to preparing for a big match from a supporters point of view, there is a lot of composure and calm around the county, so that’s good.”