Home GAA In The Year Of The Super 8s, Home Form Is A Huge Concern For Mayo

In The Year Of The Super 8s, Home Form Is A Huge Concern For Mayo

After defeat to Kerry on Saturday night, the question has to be asked, has the Castlebar venue become a happy hunting ground for visiting teams?

Take a look at the stats: Since 2015 Mayo have played ten matches on home soil which resulted in only four victories, the wins coming against Monaghan, Down, Roscommon and Donegal.

Two of those victories were against teams who were eventually relegated to Division Two. By the time Down visited Castlebar in 2016 they were already relegated, while the Rossies had lost their opening two games and were looking doomed.

If you go back as far as the 2011 season, when the James Horan era began, and include all the home results from then until now it doesn’t get any better.

In total, they have played 25 matches winning just eleven. That’s a win percentage of 44%.

Galway have won twice in Castlebar in big championship games in recent years while Derry also brought Mayo to extra-time last year.

One has to wonder are this Mayo team more comfortable playing away from home?

This record is slightly more surprising when you factor in the level of home support Mayo get.

We all know how much Mayo people love their football and this team. Yet with attendances often exceeding 10,000 for home games, this does not seem to be enough to lift their heroes.

It is obviously a cause of concern for Stephen Rochford’s men.

Just this week Lee Keegan said regarding their home form:

“It’s been pretty tragic over the last few years, in terms of the league anyway.”

Saturday night was most definitely an opportunity missed to lay down a marker against Kerry. Having beaten them for the first time since 1996 in the championship last summer, this was an ideal chance to exert dominance over their rivals.

Looking ahead to their remaining home fixtures they will play both Dublin and Tyrone.

The Dublin game is going to be huge. Mayo need to taste that winning feeling against Dublin and break the spell of dominance the All-Ireland champions have cast over them in recent times.

They have not managed to beat them in league or championship since the summer of 2012. For now, beating Dublin on February 24 must be on the top of their agenda.

With the introduction of the Super 8s this year, home form is going to become more important than ever.

If Mayo can pick up home wins against Dublin and Tyrone the road to recovery will have begun and who knows where that may take them.

Maybe a National League title is just what this team needs to push them towards winning the holy grail.

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Check out the latest episode of The 16th Man as we review all of the National League game and hear reaction from Michael Ryan and Derek McGrath:

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