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Fri, May
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New-season predictions

Sport

FOLLOW THE LEADER Mayo captain Cillian O’Connor runs on to Croke Park before last year’s All-Ireland SFC Final. Pic: Sportsfile

Mike Finnerty


GAA

Mayo SFC champions: Mitchels. Sure don’t they win it every year now?
Mayo IFC champions: Kiltimagh. Because they get knocked down, but they get up again!
Mayo JFC champions: Balla. Because Ger ‘The Beast’ Flanagan is now living in the gym.
Mayo SHC champions: Tooreen, unless they all transfer to Ballyraggett for the year.
 
All-Ireland football champions: Mayo. And we’ve changed our mind about the whole thing being a bit of ‘an anti-climax’ when it finally happens. The whole county will go nuts!
All-Ireland hurling champions:  Galway. Now that they’ve won one, the floodgates have opened.
Gaelic Footballer of the Year: Aidan O’Shea. Because we won’t win it without him having the summer of his life.

RUGBY
Champions Cup: Leinster, provided Johnny Sexton stays out of the heavy traffic.
Six Nations: England look nailed-on, but no better men to blow up either!.

SOCCER
Champions League: Real Madrid. It’s a long-shot but Ronaldo is some man for one man.
English Premier League: Man City. The relegation battle is where all the action will be from now until May.
Mayo Super League: Westport United to win five-in-a-row in style!

Sporting wish for 2018: To hear Cillian O’Connor speak Irish in Croker on Sunday, September 2.
Sporting event you’d most like to see live in 2018: The Doolough Races at the Geesala Festival in August. For craic agus spraoi!
Sportsperson who is going to make the biggest impact in 2018: Ronaldo or Messi.
The World Cup in Russia in June will surely be dominated by one or both of them.

Edwin McGreal

GAA
Mayo SFC champions: Castlebar Mitchels are a shoe-in.
Mayo IFC champions: Kiltimagh to make up for all the hurt.
Mayo JFC champions: Seeing as none of us went for Lahardane last year this might be a kiss of death, so I’ll go for Ger Flanagan’s Balla!
Mayo SHC champions: Tooreen, so long as they don’t pick up any bad habits against Ballyragget.

All-Ireland football champions: Mayo. Seeing as I got the Dubs right last year.
All-Ireland hurling champions: Waterford, even if it means John Mullane celebrating will go viral.
Gaelic footballer of the year: There will be war if it’s not a Dub’ this year. Con O’Callaghan.

RUGBY

Champions Cup: Leinster, according to Paddy Power.
Six Nations: England, so says the same man.

SOCCER
Champions League: Man United. That one will probably go south with all my New Year’s resolutions.
English Premier League: Man City, unless Pep goes all Kevin Keegan.
Mayo Super League: Castlebar Celtic, to be different.

Sporting wish for 2018: To be able to ask Stephen Rochford ‘what was different about this year?’
Sporting event you’d most like to see live in 2018: I’d love to get to Augusta to see The Masters in the flesh, or The Open at Carnoustie.
Sportsperson who is going to make the biggest impact in 2018: The man who kicks the winning point for Mayo in an All-Ireland Final.
Cillian O’Connor.

Michael Duffy

GAA

Mayo SFC champions: Ballintubber.
Mayo IFC champions: Belmullet.
Mayo JFC champions: Balla (to complete a hat-trick for the ‘Bs’. No pressure Ger!).
Mayo SHC champions: Tooreen.

All-Ireland football champions: Kerry.
All-Ireland hurling champions: Cork.
Gaelic footballer of the year: David Clifford.

RUGBY
Champions Cup: La Rochelle, my adopted French home!
Six Nations: England

SOCCER
Champions League: Tottenham Hotspur (We did beat the champions already, and it was great to be there to see it!)
English Premier League: Manchester City.
Mayo Super League: Westport Utd.

Sporting wish for 2018: To get to as many Spurs games as possible at the new White Hart Lane, it’s going to be some stadium!
Sporting event you’d most like to see live in 2018: Champions League Final in Kiev!
Sportsperson who is going to make the biggest impact in 2018: Leinster’s Jordan Larmour, that was some try against Munster.

Ciara Galvin

GAA

Mayo SFC champions: Breaffy GAA… Surely they’ll have to win it one of these years, right?… Tumbleweed.
Mayo IFC champions: Ballyhaunis…I hear some new management appointments (The Special Ones) plan to bring big changes to the set-up! Think Al Pacino, Any Given Sunday before every training session, never mind every game.
Mayo JFC champions: Kilmaine…Don’t think Balla will be up to much this year and going by Ger Flanagan’s eating habits, they’ve some nutritional issues to address!
Mayo SHC champions: Tooreen…Who else!

All-Ireland football champions: Mayo. To win just once.
All-Ireland hurling champions: Galway. Missed out on the celebrations last year!
Gaelic footballer of the year: Diarmuid O’Connor.

RUGBY
Champions Cup: Scarlets
Six Nations: Ireland...A possible championship/Grand Slam decider against England...at Twickenham...on St Patrick’s Day. #GoBigOrGoHome!

SOCCER
Champions League: Real Madrid, maybe they’ll do a Mitchels on it.
English Premier League: Man United
Mayo Super League: Ah. *Scratches head. Are the Ballyvary Blue Bombers in that league?

Sporting wish for 2018: To complete a half marathon
Sporting event you’d most like to see live in 2018: Final of the World Darts Championships at the Ally Pally - looks like serious craic!...Must start working on a pun-tastic sign.
Sportsperson who is going to make the biggest impact in 2018: Katie Taylor.

Austin Garvin

GAA

Mayo SFC champions: Castlebar Mitchels.
Mayo IFC champions: Kiltimagh.
Mayo JFC champions: Kilmaine.
Mayo SHC champions: Ballyhaunis.

All-Ireland football champions: Dublin.
All-Ireland hurling champions: Galway.
Gaelic Footballer of the Year:
Con O’Callaghan.

Rugby
Champions Cup: Leinster.
Six Nations: England.

Soccer
Champions League: Man City.
English Premier League: Man City.
Mayo Super League: Westport United.

Sporting wish for 2018: The same as every year, Mayo to finally reach the Holy Grail.
Sporting event you’d most like to see live in 2018: The US Masters. It’s time I did something about it.
Sportsperson who is going to make the biggest impact in 2018: Con O’Callaghan.

Ger Flanagan

GAA
Mayo SFC champions: Castlebar Mitchels. With or without Donie Vaughan!
Mayo IFC champions: Kiltimagh. Third time lucky – no question!
Mayo JFC champions: Balla. I hear they’re going well.
Mayo SHC champions: Tooreen. They won’t relinquish that Connacht title easily.

All-Ireland football champions: Mayo, and I firmly believe that.
All-Ireland hurling champions: Kilkenny and Brian Cody will be keen to end the ‘drought’.
Gaelic footballer of the year: Cillian O’Connor.

RUGBY
Champions Cup: Saracens — three-in-a-row.
Six Nations: England — pains me to say it.

SOCCER
Champions League: PSG will be hard tie down.
English Premier League: City… Manchester, not Leicester!
Mayo Super League: Westport United for five-in-a-row.

Sporting wish for 2018: To lift the Pete McDonnell Cup and a couple more after that.
Sporting event you’d most like to see live in 2018: Conor McGregor defending his lightweight title/McGregor v Diaz III.
Sportsperson who is going to make the biggest impact in 2018: Katie Taylor.

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