Mayo and Galway renew their famous rivalry on Sunday in Croke Park when they contest the Allianz National Football Leagues Division One final. There's silverware on the line, but given the revamped 2023 championship, no one's really sure what the game means in the context of the Championship.
With games coming thick and fast over the next 10-12 weeks, the county who win Sam Maguire will be the one with the deepest squad, who manage the demands of playing week-in, week-out.
We spoke to two of the Allianz Leagues' most experienced players in either county - Cillian O'Connor and Damien Comer - for their take on this League final and the championship to come.
Mayo talisman O'Connor was not named int the Mayo XV for the match last night but will hope to involved when Mayo play Roscommon in their Connacht championship curtainraiser next weekend.
Injuries a huge concern in the new season format
O'Connor admitted this week that small knocks could have bigger consequences as players adapt to the new Championship format.
A dead leg, for example, used to not be very serious. You’d miss a trainings session or two, but the likes of something innocuous like that now could rule you out for two games and your season could be over.
It was always going to be tight for whoever got to the league final. Once I saw the schedule, I kind of always knew there was a possibility that it could materialise. I would say the organisers would have liked if the two teams had a fortnight, or a longer break after the league final.
Damien Comer sighted similar issues having missed much of the league himself with a knee injury and well aware how important squad depth would be come Championship.
Despite some issues with depth last season Comer was confident Galway were in a much better place ahead of the Summer.
Every player wants to play [more] games. It is [the new format] good in that sense, when the game is configured fast, it's exciting as well, the only downfall to that I suppose is just if you pick up an injury, even a dead leg can take a week or two to move it on, or if it's some sort of a niggle, but that's the only thing.
We would have been criticised last year for not having that depth on the bench, fair play to the management team they have went after that this year and they have found a good few lads...we go into the group stages in a new format so you're gonna need plenty of depth in your squad because it's going to be a lot of games to reach the last game of the year.
Concerns aside, both players we're obviously eager for Sunday and the chance to take a trophy home. Comer and O'Connor will meet on Sunday at 4pm as Mayo and Galway clash in an all-Connacht final. While the winner will take home the silverware, both teams will be looking ahead to the Connacht semi-final where all going well for Mayo the two sides will meet again.
SEE ALSO: A Tribute To 10 Of The Toughest Men In History Of The GAA