Ryan O’Donoghue is hoping for an injury-free run in 2023. The Mayo forward has got his season off to an encouraging start, and last weekend he fired over a monster injury-time point to earn Kevin McStay’s side a draw against Galway in Castlebar.
O’Donoghue’s wonderfully gutsy score saw him continue his return to the green and red after a frustrating 2022 season that was curtailed by injury.
“To be honest with you I am never taking a game for granted again. Not even a training session,” said O’Donoghue. “I had a sickening year last year with my groin injury and ended up being out for the guts of seven months. I only played a half for Belmullet in the club championship. I am taking every week as it comes now. After last year you could pick up an injury at any time.”
O’Donoghue’s 76th minute right-footed levelling score was all the more impressive given he had missed one from a similar enough position previously. “Mattie had a word in my ear, ‘We’ll back you. If you get the opportunity take it again.’ In the back of my head I knew the boys trusted me. I backed myself and saw it go between the sticks.”
Mayo face an away trip to Armagh on Sunday for their second game in Division One, but they will travel buoyed by the character displayed in the dying seconds of the Galway encounter last weekend.
“A new management team comes in, it is a clean slate. Everyone wants to put their hand up,” added O’Donoghue. “In this new set-up, the way the league is, there are going to be games coming thick and fast, so everyone is going to get their opportunity. It’s about taking it.”