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Home away from Dome

Sport


Sketch
Mike Finnerty

IT might be all for luck.
Maybe it was for the best that we didn’t get invited to watch some club footballers being tested and measured and analysed and assessed last Friday evening and Saturday afternoon by the Mayo senior management.
Maybe they were right to worry about our safety. After all, what would have happened if four or five of us sports journalists had been struck down with the virus because of our dedication and commitment to our craft?
Could you imagine? There would have been chaos.
Who would have brought out the sports sections this week? Who would have typed up the golf results or came up with the witty headlines for the local soccer pages?
Who would have covered the County Finals next weekend?
It doesn’t even bear thinking about.
No, you can’t be too careful when you’re inside the world’s largest indoor sports dome.
The dome may be 150 metres long, 100 metres wide, and 26 metres high, but there’s no point in taking any chances.
Oh, sorry, did we forgot to mention that? That the Mayo combine/trials were being held in the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence in Bekan last weekend.
The world’s largest indoor sports dome.
A venue that has the capacity to hold 10,000 people if the need ever arises.
But we digress.
A lot of us sports hacks don’t get out much so we’d been looking forward to going to our first ‘combine’ ever since James Horan mentioned it in his interview on Mid West a few weeks ago.
Truth be told, we weren’t sure if we were actually going to be invited until the good news was confirmed to us at a County Board meeting recently.
‘Local media will be invited’ we were told, the message seemingly passed on by the Mayo manager to the top table at the end-of-season review meeting a while back.
Sure, we might miss the start of ‘The Late Late’ on Friday night, but it would all be worth it.
We might even get to talk to someone.
Alas, our road trip to Bekan never came to pass.
Just when we were deciding if a Mayo News Football Podcast gilet would be appropriate to wear to a ‘combine’ later that evening, an e-mail arrived on Friday afternoon.
Some of the key words jumped out straightaway. ‘No media are invited to the combine’ ‘due to it being held indoors’ ‘with the levels of Covid-19 being high at the moment’.
And that was that. The Cinderellas of the local media would not be going to the ball.
Or to the dome in this case.
An e-mail landed yesterday (Monday) telling us that 34 players attended, and between those lads, and however many people it takes to run a combine, the last thing anyone needed was a handful of us reporters getting in the way. In the world’s largest indoor sports dome.
No, we were better off where we were.
Maybe we’ll get an invite to the next one.
Or maybe the one after that.
If not we can always look forward to standing outside somewhere next spring, waiting for somebody to come and talk to us for a few minutes after Mayo play a National League match.
It might be all for luck we weren’t brought last weekend, we’d only be getting notions.

3011 MPU

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