State of football

A bit of a rambling post here - but borne out of a serious concern for the state of Gaelic football …

Congrats to Clare and Tipperary - All Ireland quarter finalists for the first time ever. And we could very possibly have half our quarter finalists from Munster now too!

While it’s always good to see new teams dine at the ‘top table’ should we genuinely worry about the state of Gaelic football?

A good friend - Cavan man with early 70s intercounty experience and Sigerson too - regularly points out to anyone who would listen that despite the time, money, training, resources that are now going into the game - the quality of the ‘product’ is diminishing - and has rarely been worse. He’s not wrong IMO.

I was at an u12 league game in Meath earlier today with a traditionally strong club playing a ‘satellite’ club’s u11 team. The football was simply wonderful - especially from the younger lads. Heart warming. But I have also been at blitzes at this level where coaches have been using clipboards?!?!

I also think that Dublin club football has never been of a higher standard especially at senior level and in the main is played ‘the Dublin way’. Some teams have persisted with negativity - with very poor returns … Sometimes from a fair ‘investment’. I am glad of this …

Kildare have good things happening at underage - though it is nowhere near
impacting at senior level - yet anyway. Meath is very poor - despite hammering us at minor this year.

It just strikes me that although you have the media BS Dublin juggernaut term, we really do have unbelievably solid structures in place now and they aren’t going away. And the more successful we are - at all levels and codes - the more it will (rightfully) feed this ‘beast’.

And while lauding Tipp and Clare’s breakthrough I can’t help feeling that it is as much down to hugely declining standards than any huge quality improvement in the winning counties.

I think we are seeing an unprecedented decline in Gaelic football in most counties (incl what are traditionally very strong counties) - in terms of playing numbers, standards, quality, coaching and even spectator interest.

Maybe I’m wrong …

Dublin got millions of euros to invest from the GAA. Other counties didn’t get it. Now Dublin needed it in the late 90’s as the GAA was declining in the Capital but they gave other counties nothing and just assumed they’d stay strong. Like they did with Dublin in the late 80’s

The GAA has failed the smaller counties in my view. They are owners of the game and have a responsibility to promote the game Nationwide and they have utterly failed in their task.

They own all the franchises and if you have an under-performing one- you either sell it or go in and get it working. You don’t sit on your hands and let some of them rot.

Amalgamations to some degree also need to be looked as some counties just don’t have the numbers of population size to compete with the likes of Dublin

To a degree I agree but the GAA can’t, won’t nor shouldn’t throw money at counties that do not have strategic plans in place to show exactly how the money will be spent - like Dubln did.

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The GAA owns the Association and it owns the counties . It can decide what it wants .

I know two counties who went with hurling plans 10 years ago and were told no . How does that promote anything

But when you’ve 200 old farts running the agenda at the charade called Congress you have the status quo .

Cork have to be the poster boy of how not to run a GAA county board , the chairman frank Murphy appears to be bullet proof and now they are building a white elephant costing 78 million euro that will hardly be used , you couldn’t make it up .

Frank is the county secretary, not the chairman. Nonetheless he does run the show but that’s down to the fact that Cork clubs allow him.

Counties need to have a proper strategic plan. Many of them don’t. That’s why they don’t get money.

Says it all!!!

That’s incredible

I’m sure it was an intense tactical battle as the apologists would say.:sleeping:

Seems like it was just two poor teams who shot 27 wides between them

The level of commitment expected from IC players has reached such a tipping point, that it’s probably more detrimental to the quality of the game than anything else.

When Damian Barton took over the Derry job, he complained U21 players weren’t interested in joining the seniors, and some of the senior side signed up to play in the states.

If my son was 20-21 and good enough to be on a County side with virtually no chance of winning anything, I’d be advising him to stick with club football and his work/studies. Especially as even Club football is so demanding.

As Jamie Clarke said…there’s more to life than knocking a ball over a bar.

I’m not sure what the answer is. But IMO, unless the GAA address the near-professional commitment expected from players…then changing the format is like re-arranging the deck chairs on the titanic,

Good post upthedall - agree totally.

It’s exactly why it’s absurd not to have the top tier of Gaelic Football graded.

More players would play if they had a chance of winning something. They also wouldn’t have to waste their time following stupid S&C programmes that no matter how well they follow them will never get them to Dublin’s level for example.

What is the point in a Carlow footballer training 6 nights a week under the current structure?

I agree to an extent. It’s whether lower-tier games would generate the interest.

As someone said, it wouldn’t be the same if Ireland could only compete in lower-tier Euro/World Cup competitions, where they couldn’t play a top team.

Mind you…how many will turn up in CP to watch Kerry v Clare or Tipp this year…?

Jim McG came up with a good proposal last year that also included keeping the Provincials - as that would be a real sticking point up here.

But when you have Peter Canavan writing in the Belfast Tele that change is needed, I’d tend to listen as Tyrone are conservative with changes, and he’s actively involved in Gervaghey.

Until then, I can understand why young fellas in Derry are clearing off after exiting Ulster to play in Baltimore for a few quid.

You could say what is the point in 95% of sports people taking part in any sport if they are only doing it to win, be it amatuer or pro only a handful ever win.
In saying that I do agree that the training regimes are bordering on stupid, the amount of games taken seriously is also bordering on stupid, but IMO that is the fault of the players and management, I mean the GAA never gave a directive to teams not to take the league seriously, IMO it should be the main competition for the weaker counties as it is the only place they can compete against teams of their level and have a chance to gradually progress…

The biggest issue, by a moonlight mile, is the training.

As an example Clare hurlers trained for 17 days in a row from New Year’s Day, often beginning at 5.45 a.m. How did that work out for them?

I don’t know how you get to grips with it when people simply refuse to listen to reason.

And instead of trying to fix that they make minor U/17 and expose 15 year olds to minor managers whose mindset is often the same, or even worse, than their senior counterparts. Not just stupid but dangerous.

There has been a shocking lack of leadership ion the last twenty years on the issues of club fixtures and county training.

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I’d disagree bummer. A one off freak result that is being sensationalized.

I recall ourselves playing a dour match with our City rivals Pearse Og back in the late eighties when they beat us 3-2.

That Pearse Og team went on to contest that year’s Ulster Club Final, whilst we reached an Ulster Club semi-final the following year.

The thing though P, is that I don’t know of any other amateur sport where its demanded that players train and condition as professionals…and give so much of their time away for free.

Peter Harte said he can get away with it because as a school teacher he gets the summer off…but doesn’t know how a 9-5 worker can. .

I personally know a few Tyrone U21s who bailed out because they couldn’t cope with studying in Queens and training for the county. Those fellas now stick with club and freshers football.

When the Tyrone minors were knocked out by Derry, I thought it was a silver lining. At that age, they can get sucked into the glamour of IC football, and lose focus on school.

I really don’t know what the answer is, but the level of training now is unsustainable. Even Ronan Clarke - someone you’d call a modern era player - said he’d struggle to play today.

I know amateur tri-athletes who train 6 days a week. It’s not uncommon.

That’s true enough…although I imagine football is mode demanding with it being an impact sport.

But in context of this thread ‘the state of football’…I just think that to play football now, you need to be either a student, teacher or have a cushy bank job that likes PR. The days of tradesmen playing for their county is probably over.

And I think we saw that in ulster this year with the Derry U21s not wanting to join the seniors, and I imagine some Monaghan lads were just glad to get the break after the hard work this past few years…