MAYO captain Diarmuid O’Connor has spoken about how ‘frustrating’ it is that ‘a small eye injury’ that ‘isn’t serious’ has kept him out of today’s Connacht SFC quarter-final against New York at Gaelic Park.
The 24 year-old from Ballintubber sustained the injury after a collision in training recently, and was asked about it during an interview at Friday night’s inaugural Mayo GAA International Supporters Foundation Gala in New York.
Talking to Master of Ceremonies, Louise Duffy, O’Connor said: “I made my debut here five years ago, so I was looking forward to playing and being captain on Sunday. It’s the first round of the championship, and it’s frustrating to miss it, especially when it’s such a small injury.”
O’Connor’s focus will now be on returning to competitive action again, with Mayo’s next game in the championship pencilled in for Saturday, May 25 in Castlebar, the Connacht SFC semi-final against Leitrim or Roscommon.
O’Connor was also keen to pay tribute to the Mayo supporters in attendance at Friday night’s event, and all those who had made the journey to New York for the weekend.
“I just want to say thank you to all the supporters. Sometimes we’re blown away by them. When you’re training day in, day out, you don’t really think about how much it means to everyone.
“But when you come away like this, and see how much it means to everyone, it kind of blows you away.”
All of the Mayo squad and management attended Friday night’s fund-raising function at the Cipriani 25 Broadway, while a number of players and James Horan, were also present for some of Saturday’s Mayo Day event at the Irish Hunger Memorial at Battery Park.
Meanwhile, Horan was also asked about the benefit of going away to New York for more than a week with his coaching team and players, at such a pivotal time in their season on Friday night.
“Our focus is obviously on Sunday’s game, that’s our main priority,” he said.
“But next week we’re spending a few days out in Rocklands GAA club, having a few training sessions out there, so that’ll be great,” explained Horan.
“We’ll try and have a bit of fun out there, and do a bit of training as well. When you have 36 guys together for a few days, there’s a usually a bit of fun.
“We’re working very hard to make sure that football and life and family is balanced for all the guys.”
Today’s match begins at 7.15pm (Irish time) at Gaelic Park in New York.
Weather for the match
SHOWERS of rain are expected to fall throughout most of Sunday in New York with temperatures set to be hovering around 14 degrees celcius.
Teams for Sunday’s game
R Hennelly; C Barrett, B Harrison, K Higgins; P Durcan, L Keegan, J McCormack; M Ruane, A O’Shea; E Regan, J Doherty, F Boland; K McLoughlin, D Coen, J Carr.
V Cadden; M Creedon, G McCartan, R Gorman; P Boyle, M Naughton, M Queenan; C Compton, S Hurley; S Hogan, L Kelly, D McKenna; D Freeman, N Madine, P Hatzer.
Referee: C Lane (Cork)