THE Mayo senior footballers will play their first match of 2022 in the Connacht GAA Air Dome in Bekan on Friday, January 7 against Galway.
The FBD Connacht League is due to return in the New Year and the semi-final clash of the near-neighbours ‘indoors’ is sure to draw a crowd to East Mayo.
The winners will be in action the following Friday (January 14) in the FBD League Final.
Meanwhile, Mayo GAA chairman Liam Moffatt has outlined the reasons for Mayo’s National Football League matches being played outside the county.
MacHale Park in Castlebar, which is currently undergoing pitch redevelopment work, is not due to open until May 1 next year.
Speaking at last week’s County Board meeting, Moffatt confirmed that facilitating as many Mayo supporters as possible, while also being conscious of asking Mayo fans to travel long distances, were two of the main factors considered.
“Mayo’s average attendance is approximately over 11,000 people,” he said. “No other ground in Mayo can safely accommodate the ticket demand. So in order to facilitate as many of our supporters to attend games the reality is that the CCC will look at games outside the county.
“So the national CCC has a draft proposal that the Donegal game will be played in Sligo because Markievicz Park has a 14,000 capacity.
“The Armagh game will possibly be in Hyde Park, which has a 19,000 capacity and possibly the Kildare game will be in Carrick-on-Shannon which has over an 11,000 capacity.
“These are subject to confirmation,” he added.
MAYO will begin the defence of their Connacht senior title next summer with a quarter-final clash against Galway, probably in early May.
The winners of that tie will play either London or Leitrim in the semi-final.
The Connacht final has been fixed for Saturday, May 29.
THE Connacht Under-17 football championship, which starts on April 22, 2022 will revert to a round-robin format next season.
There will be five rounds of games followed by the provincial semi-finals.
This revised format has been welcomed by Mayo GAA Board chairman, Liam Moffatt.
“The Mayo minor management team, and particularly the manager Seán Deane, were quite vocal, and rightly so, about the need for multiple games for players at that level to develop,” Moffatt told club delegates last week.
“You saw the night of the minor [Connacht championship] match against Roscommon that Mayo had a really tough first half but played really well in the second half, and there’s no doubt they could have developed further with more games.
“But everyone knew because of Covid that wasn’t the case, but fair play to the Connacht Council for bringing that [the round-robin format] back.”
The Connacht Under-20 championship (which is a knock-out competition) will begin on April 6.