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Mayo must grasp this opportunity

Sport

EYES ON THE PRIZE Mayo goalkeeper David Clarke, left, and team captain Cillian O’Connor will have big roles to play at opposite ends of the field against Dublin. Pic: Sportsfile

Billy Joe Padden

IN my opinion, if Mayo and Dublin were to play a series of seven games to decide who would be All-Ireland champions, Dublin would win.
But that’s not how it works. It’s all on the day.
Mayo have kept on surprising me all summer and it’s hard to believe that, after such a slow-burning start to the championship, they now arrive in an All-Ireland Final in great shape.
The players and management deserve great credit for that.
If I was Stephen Rochford at this moment, I’d stick to my guns and my principles.
If a bold decision has to be made, make it. Some decisions don’t work out, but you have to be true to yourself and trust your instinct.
I think Mayo are playing a style of football right now that gives them a great chance of beating Dublin.
The standards that this group of players set themselves, the level they’re playing at, they did that. These players have changed the mentality of what it means to be Mayo footballers.
It’s about winning a football match next Sunday, not about overcoming a curse or the joy or fulfillment of getting there.
When Mayo win an All-Ireland it will be based on being skilled enough and good enough, on hard work, talent and resilience.
Luck will have nothing to do with it.
Everything their heart desires is right there in front of them, they just have to go and grasp it.
Sunday’s game will probably come down to two or three individuals recognising the key moments and doing something then to win the match.
It will be up to the leaders to recognise that moment and give something more.
My sense is that they will seize the moment this time.

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