Now that the hashtag hurricane has abated, the stand-off finally sorted, thoughts can now start to focus firmly on Saturday’s Round 3 qualifier against Kildare. The match itself, I mean, the one that throws in at St Conleth’s Park in Newbridge at 7pm.

Tickets will, of course, be uppermost in everyone’s minds today. If, like me and so many others, you’re a season ticket holder then you’ve nothing to worry about. The county has, give or take, around 4,000 season tickets – both standard ones and the Cairde Mhaigheo variant – and all season holders will get a ticket.

It’ll be the terrace for the vast bulk of punters but, hey, at least you’ll be one of the select 8,200 inside and not one of the thousands set to be locked out of this fixture. The GAA has got bad rap for as long as I can recall about being a money-grabbing entity but it certainly can’t be hit over the head with that allegation on this occasion, having turned away a six-figure sum in gate receipts with yesterday’s about-face.

Many season ticket people – and I’d usually be among them – might also want to bring others, in particular kids, with them to the game. In my own case this isn’t an issue for Saturday, as both of my in-house match-day companions will, sadly, have decamped to the Gaeltacht by then, but it will be for loads of people. Suck it up appears to be the response of both the GAA and the populist mob to such concerns.

After tickets, I guess traffic and parking and all that will be next highest on people’s minds. Newbridge can be a tricky place to get parked even when going to a League game on a Sunday so a sell-out Saturday evening fixture with the Irish Derby also taking place in the locality will mean that they’ll  need to get their act together locally if chaos is to be avoided.  The sooner, then, that Kildare GAA publish comprehensive information on match-day logistics, the better.

But, of course, what everyone will want to know about is the team we’ll name for Saturday evening. Calm down, people – you know the drill by now. Team named on Friday evening, one or two changes before throw-in. And no, we won’t name our subs in advance.

Right, that’s it for now. There’s more to come on the blog today, though, first with a welcome return to the guest slot from a regular contributor from whom we haven’t heard much for a while and then later on this evening a short preview edition of the Mayo News football podcast. In the latter, Rob Murphy and I chew the fat about the Newbridge issue and Rob also talks match tactics with Billy Joe Padden. As I said at the top, it’s all about the match now.

Support the team wherever they play in the qualifiers. Play the Mayo GAA Lotto here. 

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