Offaly GAA is in Some State

A forum to air your views on Offaly GAA matters and beyond.

Re: Offaly GAA is in Some State

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:02 pm

The problem as I see it isn't necessarily that Offaly aren't winning Minor All-Irelands, but rather the underage system is so inadequate that it isn't producing hurlers who are capable of performing at any intercounty level.
kingscounty wrote:4 fresh faces need to be put in place here I think , what results have we seen in underage to say that there is improvement in the last 15 years , couple of wins here and there but not one bit of silverware !
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Offaly GAA is in Some State

Postby manfromdelmonte » Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:32 am

It is the clubs and schools who produce the players aged 6 - 13 before the county squads.

So until coaching standards are improved across the clubs, and better coaching is done in clubs and primary schools then by the time players get to county squads it is already too late.

How many primary school teachers actually take the kids out in school for football or hurling training? Is it being left to the clubs to ensure there is adequate coaching? Are teachers being supported, encouraged to do so? How are the teachers rewarded? If at all?

Clubs would better off employing a club coach/adult player to help in schools than shelling out money to someone to train the adult team.

The best coach in a club should be with the under8s or under 10s in a club and left there for a good few years to bring through a few groups of good players to the older age groups. Again, not easy to do as coaches want to move up with a group. And the best coaches generally want to be up where there are titles to be won.
only the best...
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Re: Offaly GAA is in Some State

Postby old yellar » Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:27 am

The same county board that asked john to haul ice baths to the senior footballers in the evening time, in my time in offaly are now reviewing his role?? The same johns/ciaran mac sessions with a county u16 team that were interrupted by 2 ex county hurlers to do a ground hurling drill?? (U16s circa 10/11 yrs ago)
This is what went on in my time up there anyhow. John is a fantastic coach but one man with little back up can change things. It starts with the clubs. I rem being involved with squads and you had to work on basics rather than develop a style of play. Clubs are the first port of call for players. I think I said before, but look at wexfords guidelines for players coming into their development squads. They have set out that they are expecting players to come in with all the skills. And they through it back on clubs to ensure players coming in have these. I rem one club man saying to me that it was a waste of time sending lads into a squad as all they were doing was basics and that they could be training to win a championship with the club.. holding the hurl wrong and striking off one side!
In carlow we re starting out with a v easy and simple coaching directive that all coaches in both codes can follow at underage - 50/50. The idea is that by 12 all players in your club should strike confidently off both sides/attempt to kick with both feet. V simple to coach and easy develop but often neglected. We ve no huge 5 year plan etc but we think if you have those skills and confidence at 12 you are on a v good path.
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Re: Offaly GAA is in Some State

Postby private joker » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:48 am

Old yellar.
You hit the nail on the head. I can safely tell you nothing has changed. It's not the need for new faces, it's to let the ones there do their job. Quite simply the full time staff in offaly are not been let do their job properly. They are professionals, they should be putting forward ideas on how to progress and the county board should support those ideas. The reality is the opposite. Unprofessional people putting their own spin on something, doing it on the cheap and then changing their minds 6 months later.

Also I be very worried if offaly go to 4 part time gdas.
1. What kind of person would take on a part time job of this nature?
2. Turn over of staff. No one of quality will stay in a job that's only part time. They will always be on the lookout for something full time.
3.Will their time be spilt with another county? The quality of work will simply slip.
What offaly needs is 3 full time gda's and a county games manager. One for football clubs, one for hurling clubs. One to cover schools, post primary and primary and county games manager to oversee dev squads and camps and the gda's.

If offaly get 4 partime people overseen by the county board, offaly are screwed. Full stop.
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Re: Offaly GAA is in Some State

Postby Towerus » Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:46 pm

Is it still the case that the full time coaches are answerable directly to Leinster council rather than the county? I know that caused problems in the past (not just in Offaly), with the county having a different view than the province on what they should be doing, with the province having the final say as the employer. We have a man who is a great hurling coach, but how much of his time is actually spent coaching? Maybe things have changed but in the past there was far too much time taken up with doing reports of this that and the other for the province, that could have done by a non-coaching person and free up the coach's time for coaching. The coaches should be coaching, not overburdened with paperwork or driving around promoting a charity single, or anything else that seems to come under their duties! We have part time coaches in the schools, are we paying for quality or quantity? I don't know the answer but even if they are fantastic coaches they are swimming against the tide if it's not being reinforced in the clubs.

We all have a collective responsibility to work towards achieving a common goal. Some may have more time and skill than others, but I doubt if there is anybody who cannot do some little part at club level, even if that's just a commitment to one session supervising a month. When the coaching courses are on, send as many people as possible to them. They don't necessarily have to be willing to take over a team, but it might enable them to assist here and there as needed, men and women. You don't need any hurling knowledge or skill to do beanbag drills with 6 year olds for example.

The whole system needs a shake up. There seems to be general agreement that the people at the helm aren't the right people for such a shake up. I don't know if that's true or not, there are three sides to every story, but until clubs get their act together and seek out replacements, we won't know for sure if anyone else can do better. Last year the secretary announced he was stepping down, yet ended up in the position again as nobody went forward. The chairman was also reported as saying this is his final year, so it's not as if anybody needs to go into a big confrontational campaign to oust people and make space on the board. The board have been slated left, right and centre, for the last few years and yet get re-elected without a whimper come convention time. It's up to us to change that.
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Re: Offaly GAA is in Some State

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:38 pm

This kind of thing is a big big problem. A deficit of coaching knowledge is one thing, These kind of fellas who can't tell the difference between 1986 and 2015 is a problem that isn't showing signs of going away.

old yellar wrote:The same county board that asked john to haul ice baths to the senior footballers in the evening time, in my time in offaly are now reviewing his role?? The same johns/ciaran mac sessions with a county u16 team that were interrupted by 2 ex county hurlers to do a ground hurling drill?? (U16s circa 10/11 yrs ago).

On a general point, I think the hurling ship has sailed and Offaly were left on the quayside. There is a massive difference in approach between Offaly's on the one hand and any counties who take hurling seriously at all on the other hand. Offaly had a chance about 10 years ago when the academies and squads were first initiated. They failed, for whatever number of reasons, and Offaly has lived to regret that and will regret that for many years to come.

Michael Duignan hit on something, though in an entirely different context, when he was relating his side of the Clare August 1998 saga on Newstalk recently. He told where he had suggested allowing for the Saturday traffic in Dublin on the occasion of the replay but recalled Offaly were "too casual" to do anything about it and were almost late for the match.

And that casual attitude has extended to underage development and remains to this day. Great gas laughing at Leix and Westmeath and the rest with their development squads because they have to because they're not natural hurlers like Offaly are.

Finally, the decision to enter a combined Offaly team in the Leinster Colleges hurling competition. However, Birr's insistence on going it alone is extremely counter-productive and probably fecks the whole thing.
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Offaly GAA is in Some State

Postby old yellar » Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:01 pm

Plenty of room in colleges for birr and a combined team -IF all the remaining schools/players fully supported it. Hasnt been the case of recent years. Schools will cite their own workload, chances in b/c etc. Didnt hamper them in dungarvan/waterford a few years back. Schools have the lads for 167 days a year. Big target audience.
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Re: Offaly GAA is in Some State

Postby jimbob17 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:15 pm

Seems to be just musical chairs in county board for last long time. Not massive change occurring. Fair play to current chairman though on sorting the problem of a training base. That was and is a big problem. Recent appointments of managers have been mixed - Pat Flanagan a good one, Whelehan an unsuccessful one even if he was doing his best. The time is needed now to put good support structures around an experienced senior manager as the hurling has slipped big time. We are only a fraction away from finding ourselves in Christy Ring. Laois struggled to beat teams in round robin this year and even lost to Antrim before going on to beat us well as we all know.

The football structures appear to be well ahead of the hurling structures at the moment with the last 2 U16 football teams reaching the Fr Manning cup final which is a good barometer and this years team still in contention as far as I know. Minor teams of late have done Ok. Fair enough there was a slump last year v Dublin in Tullamore but they beat Westmeath well before that. Minor footballers this year should have beaten Kildare who are now Leinster champions and by all accounts were very close to beating Dublin too. Unfortunately the same cant be said for the hurling with little or no championship success against any opposition at minor level in a long time and included regular defeats to Carlow Laoise and Westmeath. Offaly senior hurlers now expect to lose as that is all they have experienced coming through the underage ranks for a variety of reasons. As soon as likes of Dooley, Carroll and Bergin retire the time link to any degree of expectation (early - mid 2000's) is lost.

Unlike schools football, schools hurling teams have had little or nothing to shout about either outside of Banagher College winning a title a few years ago. All said, while there are some very good hurling coaches in the county it appears that there is a big shortage of skilled hurling coaches operating in Offaly and that young players are not getting the same level of coaching at club level as in other counties. This to me is the root of the problem as they are well behind before ever going into development squads. This can only be really addressed by upskilling good hurling people and getting them into level 1 and level 2 coaching courses and have them dispersed out throughout the clubs at lower age groups. The best coaches (not the best former hurlers) should be then picked out to work with the development squads and raise the standard further.

It is great that Birr school are staying in A colleges and that there is a combined team going to compete. Id disagree that including Banagher in this is beneficial however. There is enough good hurlers in that school for them to be very competitive in B colleges and some years in A level. Putting them into a combined team where 7 - 8 of them play defeats the purpose as lads from the other schools are deprived a good level of hurling as Banagher College players get to play most likely at A (combined team) and B level (own school team). They should be left to play in their own competition on their own and open up opportunities to widen the hurling playing base.

Offaly used always do well in Vocational schools hurling but with this competition no longer in existence, it is more difficult for a minor manager to see players he may not necessarily know. A lot of the vocational schools are from north of the county and this always served such players well in the past. From an underage perspective there is a little bit of a power shift moving towards the north of the county with some excellent underage players playing with likes of KK, Ballinamere, Na Fianna, Tullamore at some levels also. The county would be better served by combining the Tullamore schools, Ferbane, Clara, Kilcormac and Killina while there are good hurlers in Edenderry that just stop after primary school because the club hasnt supported it recently. Let the schools in these areas compete as Offaly combined at A level or B if not good enough for that. Put money behind the 3 teams Birr Community school, Banagher College and Offaly combined team with resourced quality coaching from outside the schools where it is needed and then you have 3 school teams hurling at a decent standard - A when good enough and B when not!`The county minor manager has no excuse then for not knowing his best lads for a minor championship squad. It would raise the profile of hurling and bring on another generation with 3 competitive teams playing at a decent level -simple but effective structures that would raise the standard.
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Re: Offaly GAA is in Some State

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:17 pm

Naa, I don't agree with you here jimbob. I thought the optimum situation would be that Birr School would take a drop to 'B' and that all the schools in the county would contribute to the Combined Offaly team in 'A' grade. Let's face it, it's actually rare for Birr to win a match in the 'A' grade so they only get one knockout match annually. Other hand, I'd imagine a combined Offaly team without either Banagher or Birr contributing as jimbob suggests would be well out of its depth in 'A' Colleges. In which case Kilcormac would anchor the team, and to be fair to them they are drawing mainly from just the one club. Birr haven't much more of a pick, with Birr, CRC, Kinnitty and Clareen the main contributory clubs, with an odd one from northern Coolderry and northern Shinrone, while Banagher draw from Rynagh's, Lusmagh, Meelick-Eyrecourt and a few from Belmont.
jimbob17 wrote:It is great that Birr school are staying in A colleges and that there is a combined team going to compete. Id disagree that including Banagher in this is beneficial however. There is enough good hurlers in that school for them to be very competitive in B colleges and some years in A level. Putting them into a combined team where 7 - 8 of them play defeats the purpose as lads from the other schools are deprived a good level of hurling as Banagher College players get to play most likely at A (combined team) and B level (own school team). They should be left to play in their own competition on their own and open up opportunities to widen the hurling playing base.

Offaly used always do well in Vocational schools hurling but with this competition no longer in existence, it is more difficult for a minor manager to see players he may not necessarily know. A lot of the vocational schools are from north of the county and this always served such players well in the past. From an underage perspective there is a little bit of a power shift moving towards the north of the county with some excellent underage players playing with likes of KK, Ballinamere, Na Fianna, Tullamore at some levels also. The county would be better served by combining the Tullamore schools, Ferbane, Clara, Kilcormac and Killina while there are good hurlers in Edenderry that just stop after primary school because the club hasnt supported it recently. Let the schools in these areas compete as Offaly combined at A level or B if not good enough for that. Put money behind the 3 teams Birr Community school, Banagher College and Offaly combined team with resourced quality coaching from outside the schools where it is needed and then you have 3 school teams hurling at a decent standard - A when good enough and B when not!`The county minor manager has no excuse then for not knowing his best lads for a minor championship squad. It would raise the profile of hurling and bring on another generation with 3 competitive teams playing at a decent level -simple but effective structures that would raise the standard.
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Offaly GAA is in Some State

Postby jimbob17 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:09 pm

Who are the strong teams in minor and U16 at the moment only KK, Ballinamere and Na Fianna. these all go to school in these schools......add in a few more and theyd be Ok if the work was put in. There is a good reason why Birr have dropped and are not winning games! Partially the club in Birr but there are other reasons. We have a choice of getting 45 - 50 lads hurling at a good level or just 15-20. Which is going to benefit Offaly the most? If Wexford can have 3 teams in A, St Peters, Good Counsel and maybe 1 more with plenty more teams in B, then we should be able to have 3 teams between A and B in my opinion- might only be 1 or 2 some years. Failure to do this is closing our pool in my opinion!
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Re: Offaly GAA is in Some State

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:45 pm

OK, I see where you are coming from now.

Couple of things - I'd include Shinrone in the list of Offaly's more progressive clubs, Rynagh's too. And I do believe that those clubs you list are competing for titles because the weakest five on those teams are making significant contributions. However it is the leaders who will progress to County underage and to Senior club teams over the longer term.

When I say I see where you are coming from, I am guessing you think 45 to 50 lads should be developed. I'd be of the opposite view - that 15 to 20 should be developed. And that therefore one County team should enter the A Colleges. With Offaly's population, working with more than that is going to lower standards as the standards diminish as you go down along the numbers. The objective here is to bridge the gap between domestic club and inter-county. This may seem harsh but the standard of Offaly hurler is well behind other counties and so the standard of, say, the fella who'd just about make it into a squad of 40 would be well behind the first 10. I'd prefer to allocate the scarce resources on developing the top 10 rather than getting the 40th fella up to the standard of the 20th.
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Re: Offaly GAA is in Some State

Postby ah lethimoutwithit » Fri Jul 17, 2015 1:42 pm

Debate about going to 4 part time coache GDA's????

Fuck sake! Who is going to fill these positions? The only case that there should be part time coaches is as back up to a minimum of 3 full time coaches, possibly offering Summer work to student footballers/hurlers doing PE courses, or as part of a work experience program.

As regards some of the points made on this thread,
1) The level of coaching education being taken up by club coaches is not good enough
Foundation course only takes a little over half a day and would be sufficient as far as u12.
However, guys coaching at this age group and thinking of progressing should look at doing level course asap.

All u12 club teams up to minor should have a level 1 qualified coach working with them.
Level on would take 18 hours or so and would be broken up over roughly 6 * 3hr sessions.
Surely not a huge commitment for anyone looking to progress a group of 20 to 30 teenagers??

Club standards need to be raised dramatically in certain age groups, and certain clubs
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Re: Offaly GAA is in Some State

Postby veteran2 » Fri Jul 17, 2015 10:10 pm

after a long club playing career i decided to coach underage this year .I have completed my award 1 and found it to be hugely interesting.all tutors were very good ,keith begley in particular was hugely impressive and he be a huge loss to the minor set up.throughout my playing career , i got very little coaching .The role of the coach is huge and this is why i did the award one.Now i have the guidelines as what way to coach .In my club at the moment i am the only award one . Its essential all levels have award one coaches working to the same guidlines or else progession will be stop start.problem ,cant see our club having 5/6 award one.maybe each club could establish a coaching co -ordinater ,who could oversee all under age grades.
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Re: Offaly GAA is in Some State

Postby GOOFY » Sat Jul 18, 2015 2:56 pm

Where do u do these courses as I'm interested but don't know who to contact, thanks
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Re: Offaly GAA is in Some State

Postby Bord na Mona man » Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:42 pm

veteran2 wrote:after a long club playing career i decided to coach underage this year .I have completed my award 1 and found it to be hugely interesting.all tutors were very good ,keith begley in particular was hugely impressive and he be a huge loss to the minor set up.throughout my playing career , i got very little coaching .The role of the coach is huge and this is why i did the award one.Now i have the guidelines as what way to coach .In my club at the moment i am the only award one . Its essential all levels have award one coaches working to the same guidlines or else progession will be stop start.problem ,cant see our club having 5/6 award one.maybe each club could establish a coaching co -ordinater ,who could oversee all under age grades.

Fair play, everything helps. Get enough people making strides like this and it starts to accumulate into something bigger.
Something good you learn as a coach, you can pass it on to a lot of players. Right now in Offaly, I'd say coaching our coaches is more pressing than coaching our players.
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