The Mayo players are preparing for their ninth All-Ireland SFC fixture. Photo: Sportsfile

Another big Mayo GAA exodus imminent despite growing costs

LOYAL Mayo fans are counting the growing cost of following their dream of a long-awaited Sam Maguire Cup triumph.

The supporters must shell out again this weekend as they face their seventh journey out of the county during a sometimes epic All-Ireland SFC campaign for their heroic senior football squad.

And tomorrow's replay against Kerry in Dublin will represent their fourth consecutive visit to Croke Park in the space of a few short weeks, a big outlay for most families as back-to-school costs are only around the corner.

The previous journeys to the capital were preceded by trips to Limerick, Ennis and Galway, with just two home matches in the competition to Sligo and Derry. It is also the seventh season in succession in which supporters have had expensive visits to Croke Park.

Over 66,000 watched last Sunday's drawn semi-final against Kerry from the stands and terraces of Croke Park and Mayo supporters arguably outnumbered their Munster counterparts by two to one.

Already, over 50,000 tickets have been sold for tomorrow's game and the green and red colours are expected to be dominant once again.

Mayo manager Stephen Rochford is expected to name his team selection later today. It is understood he has a fully-fit squad from which to choose.

Meanwhile, Kerry have injury doubts over Anthony Maher and Michael Geaney.