Rossies set for first duel with McStay’s Mayo

FBD League Final: Mayo v Roscommon at the NUIG Connacht Air Dome on Friday at 7.30 pm

Seamus Duke

The attitude of both camps couldn’t be any further apart as this year’s FBD League Final approaches on Friday night. New Roscommon manager Davy Burke reckons that the pre-season competitions should be scrapped while Mayo’s Kevin McStay couldn’t be more complimentary about the dome, the competition and the prospect of meeting his old team in the decider.

  Speaking to Roscommon People after last Friday’s semi-final win over Sligo, Roscommon manager Davy Burke questioned the benefit of the FBD League.

  “You have to ask is this (semi-final v Sligo) proper preparation for the league? Do you think Tyrone and ourselves are going to play out a high-scoring game in perfect conditions in two weeks’ time? I don’t think so,” he said.  

  “These competitions need to be done away with and we should be allowed to play challenge games that suit us. We’d love to be able to play a challenge game on Sunday at our own leisure against opposition of our choice on a grass pitch to prepare for the Tyrone game”.

  Contrast that with the view from the Mayo camp, where former Roscommon manager Kevin McStay waxed lyrical following his side’s three-point win over Galway. 

  “I’m very happy to get another game out of this excellent league in the dome. It’s an attractive occasion for us next weekend now in the provincial league final,” he commented. 

   This is Roscommon’s ninth year in row to contest the FBD League Final and despite the different views, it is still a match that will attract a lot of interest within both counties and further afield.

   Speculating on what players might be lining out is futile as both panels will be given the opportunity to gain some much-needed match fitness.

  Despite the complaints about these pre-season competitions, this is still a provincial final with a cup up for grabs and to win it would be a good start to the season.

   There will also be a major focus on what happens on the sideline. Kevin McStay is a high profile and very experienced manager who spent three years in charge of the Rossies, while Davy Burke is the young rookie, hungry for success with in his new job with the Primrose and Blue. That scenario alone will be worth watching on Friday night in the dome.

Prediction: Mayo.