Big clubs...what makes them too big?

Right new thread. Is it Boden or Crokes are actually bigger?

I see Crokes have 5 football teams in semi finals this weekend, that’s very impressive going.

Crokes have more members.

This is a good discussion - when @tayto cleans up the Senior hurling thread.

I think the DCB have done a fair bit in working class areas with GPOs going into the schools. I’m not sure if money will solve it either. If kids in these areas haven’t bought in with the decade that we’ve just had then I don’t know if they ever will.

Is the discussion limited to Boden and Crokes or do Na Fianna count as a super club, what about Castleknock?

All in.

I’ve often wondered at the growth of Na Fianna. One thing different about it and bigger suburban clubs is that the area is settled. NF didn’t experience great population growth from any major housing developments or such like. Maybe 25 years ago a lot of the area was elderly but I think the Celtic tiger brought a lot of new and younger people into the area. Clearly, like many clubs out there, a lot of hard work has gone on at juvenile level. I would see Clontarf as being very similar in many ways with the potential to grow similarly in the coming decade.

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I was under the impression that both Na Fianna and Boden have more teams than Crokes.

You could be right - I’m talking about membership and I think KC have a fair bit more than BBSE.

I’d be fairly sure that Na Fianna and Boden and I think Cuala would be the top 3 in regards to the number of teams but could be wrong as the numbers change every year.

Clontarf are an interesting case study for me. Have a decent catchment area I believe but still have to compete with all the other “Dublin North Bay” area as well as rugby and do so really well. Hurling also on the up in recent years so doing it at both codes.

Side note, quite funny to see the amount of different club shorts down the wooden bridge at the height or champo season. A popular recovery spot, great to see.

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In the recent report on social value etc Na Fianna had around 3,000 members, (just under 2,000 registered players) with 174 teams.

Thought this thread was about Leeds being back where they belong

@petergriffin made a point over on the hurling thread but it’s probably better to reply here. That no one wants to play for a clubs fourth team.

I respectfully disagree, it’s not every child’s or indeed adults goal to play at the top level for their club. Being involved in a highly competitive environment is not everyone’s cup of tea, especially for kids. Many give up because it’s too serious not fun enough coaches are too hellbent on winning. Older fellas playing too don’t want the serious commitment if they’re busy with work or kids etc. They want to train and play and enjoy it. Having a few teams allows players to find their level, play without the seriousness and enjoy the social aspect.

No one wants to stand at the sideline for their clubs second team. Players want to play, if a club has enough players for 10 teams then I think they should enter 10 teams and give everyone a go. Pointless exercise having 15 subs on the sideline who will never play and only pay a membership to train. If you’ve 150 players willing to play but enter only 2 teams what does that say about the players left over? What message does that send out? It shows clubs only care about the best and winning as much as possible which isn’t what the games should really be about.

Enter as many teams as physically possible would be my philosophy on it.


That was badly put on my behalf. The point I was making was some clubs are too big and the numbers they have should be used to develop 2 seperate clubs which would then use the same players. You have gone off on a seperate point. My idea would be to get as many players playing as possible. If that was the case where all clubs were that big there’d be very few clubs in Dublin. We should be trying to increase participation locally in parishes rather than have 1 massive club where only a tiny percent get to play first team. In my experience, children in particular drop out and become uninterested if they are being beaten every week…no one wants to see that.

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Genuinely don’t understand what the benefits of this would be? Not everything in gaa has to be about uncovering the a new gem for the county team if that’s what you’re thinking

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Fantastic to see GAA clubs are the biggest presence in what some people consider rugby territory. The reality is though our organisation is much better at retaining players and building a club & community atmosphere. Rugby is huge at schools level in private Dublin schools but the percentage of kids who go on to have long associations with clubs is very small. Many of these kids are also introduced to Rugby in secondary school for the first time. While in GAA kids join a nursery and are embedded in a club when they reach secondary school.

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But the clubs are too big now in my view


Agree some clubs are to big.

This is an interesting debate, that mirrors the county set up debate IMO.

I would respectfully disagree.
Apart from the Kashmiri province of Ballaghdereen, county boundaries are clear. Parish boundaries aren’t within Dublin when it comes to GAA.
We don’t have a Kilkenny B team winning the Joe McDonagh Cup or the Christy Ring Cup.

No one from a big club will agree with you , from a struggling smaller club you would get support for that statement
There is obviously an element of envy of course there is how could there not be , but if you take sentiment out of it and ask the question are we happy having a liverpool,m city, m utd ,chelsea monolpy in Dublin , leave that to individuals to decide


What is to big though? Do you turn away kids looking to play and say we have reached a specific number? One to debate alright.

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