Mayo will get the 2014 season under way five days later than initially announced, with the announcement on the county board Twitter feed on Wednesday evening that the FBD League game against NUIG would now take place on Friday January 10 in Elvery’s MacHale Park. Mayo will be in action again two days later against IT Sligo and then face Roscommon away the following Sunday, January 19. With Mayo on their well deserved team holiday at the start of the month, the fixture change was inevitable. The change will see Mayo GAA fans get to see the senior side in action twice in three days at the start of the month, and the county’s u21 side in action on the Saturday sandwiched between when they play in the Hastings Cup at home to Cavan on January 11. Mayo are hosting a fundraising banquet in the Knockranny House Hotel on Sunday December 22 to raise funds for the team holiday with tickets costing €100 per adult and €10 per child. To book your place contact Elverys MacHale Park on 094 9250487 or contact 087 6680115
Starred games set to be key debate at county convention
This year’s Mayo GAA convention will take place in Breaffy House Resort on Sunday December 8 at 12 noon. Top of the agenda for the clubs will be the issue of starred league games (games teams must play without their county players ), with four of the 26 motions put forward by clubs relating to these games.
Both Ballaghaderreen and Swinford have put forward motions looking for six starred league games to be played during the summer months, while Knockmore are looking for at least five starred games to be played if needed. Ballintubber have proposed the abandonment of the starred game system and to have the current 12 team divisions 1a and 1b separated into three divisions of eight teams so that each side has seven league games rather than 11, which would negate the need for the starred game system. Part of their proposal would also see the new divisions have a league final at the end where the top two sides would meet in each division. To make up for the lack of games that may occur during the summer if Mayo progress to the later stages of the All Ireland series, the Ballintubber proposal is for four six-team divisions in the Michael Walsh League, with the top sides in each division playing off in semi-finals and a final, and the winning team receiving the prize of a training weekend at the beginning of the 2015 season.
Ballaghaderreen has put forward a motion that from next year on the winners of the four different groups in the Mayo senior football championship be given home quarter-finals. In recent times the quarter-finals have all been played in Elvery’s MacHale Park, usually over two days on one weekend. Ballycastle has proposed that the north Mayo divisional board enters a team into the county senior football championship, to be made up of the exclusive junior clubs in north Mayo, and that the east and west boards enter a combined team made up of junior club players from the two divisions. While Moygownagh has a similar motion, that amalgamation be entered into the intermediate football championship.
There were a number of motions in relation to possible future All Ireland final tickets, with Ballintubber proposing various motions, including one that if the Mayo minors make the All Ireland final again each player be given five complimentary tickets and the option to purchase up to 12 more. They also suggest that anyone who is a member of the Mayo ladies’ senior panel for championship in a given year be able to purchase a ticket for All Ireland senior finals if Mayo make the final in the same year. Ballintubber has also suggested that a certain number of the stand tickets that are distributed to each club for All Ireland finals in the future should be for the lower level of either the Hogan or Cusack stands to aid elderly and senior citizen members of the clubs who would like to attend.
One other motion that will surely raise some eyebrows comes from Ballaghaderreen which states “that all divisional boards be abolished”.