Football V Hurling underage

My 5 year old young lad has been attending the clubs academy the past year or so…they split the time 50/50 between both codes

Problem is he hates playing hurling and is just mad to kick ball, play a match and score points and goals…while I never played hurling (wasnt an option in our club at the time!) both his uncle and grandad both did and we all encourage him with it etc but to no avail

Its reached the point where he is now reluctant to go and he wants to go to the local soccer academy with one of his classmates where they all have a ball each, do ball skills 100% of the time then play matches score goals etc.

Is the enforcement of both codes a GAA rule (cant see them enforcing it in Kilkenny) or just a Dublin thing and is it all the way up to minor?

Anyone any suggestions on what I can do or have similar experience??

Follow Brian O’Driscoll’s desire - send him to rugby academy.

It’s to appease the please think of the children brigade who think it’s unbecoming of society to select which sports they want to play because to pick between the two codes apparently is infringing on your civil rights.


In our club we have the same split in the Academy, once the lads come out of it at 8yr olds they go to evening training at both football and hurling and can then make a decision on being a dual player or not. What we found at a young age was the drop off in hurling was greater due mainly to some kids developing quicker and dominating games etc due to better skill sets. The only thing I can say is if he sticks at it he will get to enjoy it. I never hurled but my lad will tell you now it’s his favourite sport, mainly because he’s improved year on year.

Move him to a football only club?

Most clubs in Dublin are dual. It’s not ‘enforcement’. It simply is the way of things. He’s not forced to play hurling. There are plenty of football only clubs if that’s the way you want to go. But dual clubs will be dual clubs. You can’t expect them to change.


I don’t expect them to change Alan…I would like the choice and not have something rammed down my throat without having to change clubs though

Ive mentioned this to a few parents the past few weeks and Im not the only one with the same problem it seems

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Bottom line is Dublin is a dual county.
Co. Board fixtures are one week football and one week hurling.
Clubs have to cater for both codes as they will be playing both codes and in most clubs at juvenile level single code players are in the minority.
Also if you only play one code you are idle every second week.

We used to run the nursery with football saturday and hurling sunday but most parents didn’t like the 2 days at weekend taken up nor did mentors giving up their time.

If a child only wants to play one code then we advise to bring for that half of the session.

Cheers…I know its a tricky one for clubs alright and 2 days would be a nightmare

The thoughts of me shouting ‘‘hows he ref’’ on the sidelines for the foreseeable future pains me to say the least…reckon ill use the hurl and bate him down to the club so :slight_smile:


most of the time for a 5 year old will be playing game sin the academy with only part of it hurling and part football I’d have thought.

but i totally see why a dual club has to promote both codes equally, it would be criminal if they didnt

get him hurling at home and he’ll be the better of it come academy time

But if most clubs are doing both what can you do? Again what is the choice you are looking for? No dual club is going to undermine hurling by putting football on every week.

I would move to a football only club if that’s your opinion. There’s your choice right there.

I get a hint of annoyance on your part Alan?

My post was a genuine question as I have no idea of what way the underage structures work…I would love nothing more to see him play both codes but you’re dealing with a 5 year old here

You have answered my question thanks…its either both or nothing is my understanding of it

That could be applied to a lot of posters in here.


I’m not annoyed. I’m just curious as to what you want/expect. No dual club can offer what you appear to be asking for without seriously undermining one code or the other (almost certainly going to be hurling) so I’m just curious as to how you expect them to solve your problem. It’s just not going to happen.

And it’s not all or nothing. He can play football with the club and not hurling but the understanding would be that hurling will be given equal time and therefore there will be less training and games for single code players than dual players. If that’s not acceptable then there is only one other choice.

This wee lad is obviously taking the easy option as the skills of football are more easily mastered for a young fella.Do you want your kid to grow up to be a slacker who always takes the handy choices in life instead of working hard for the more worthwhile experiences? Get that hurl into his hand, it’ll see him right in the end

yes thats exactly what I want for him…i must get your details as you seem to have this parenting lark down to a fine art


I would like him to have a choice alright but I didnt know if that was an option or not hence my post

I dont expect anything at all from my club I owe it a lot for what it has given me the past 30 odd years

A consultation fee would apply of course

My parenting skills are as refined as your ability to detect humour:joy:

With all due respect it’s absurd in my view why someone should have to play something they don’t want to
Neither sport has any correlation to the other . We’d be infinitely better at hurling with a single code policy from s younger age

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Try bringing the lad out by yourself with both Hurl and Football, and do bit of each with him, might help get him used to it when he’s back down at the club. Seen a lot of kids shy away from the hurling due to fear factor of being hit.
If the club is going straight into teaching the game/skills that could be an issue for the lad. At that age it should be about mobility and fun games with the stick etc.

Must have picked that up from the mother!!