I suppose the reason that they are lost is that once they leave the minor and 21 co panels, they go backwards quickly while playing junior football. They get by without pushing themselves too hard because they are able, and before they know it, they are no longer in the picture. I am not saying that those 2 players in question will be lost for certain but just using them as examples. Bracken was on the senior panel in 2006 and wasnt looked at under Rowe while he played senior football in Dublin. He was looked over by Cribbin till this year. That is 5 years without playing at the top level. However if he was playing for Rhode or Clara he would be more in the spotlight and be picked every year and probably be a mainstay at this stage. Graham is an obvious talent that may easily be wasted as once he leaves the 21 grade he will no longer have the opportunity to play at a high level barring he is a co senior panelist. I could have used many others in this example, but i used him as most would identify with it. This is why Kerry's divisional system works so well where all junior and inter players have an opportunity to showcase their skills at a higher level. A prime example is the Ballinamere Gaels hurlers who won the 21A hurling when all would have played B grade hurling up along the ages. Some of their players werent even considered for co minor as they came from the wrong side of the county, and this year a couple of these same lads played key roles on the OY u21 team and were some of offalys best players in their one championship game v the dubs despite being thrashed.Ahlethimoutwithit wrote:Jimbob, you have not answered as to why Noel Andrew and Bracken might be lost. Most county players spend 85% of their time in training with the county, and if a guy is dedicated with his club it will shine through. And the dedication to play county football needs to be there to. The guys you have spoken about from KK , (especially Currams and Mahon) have been asked in to the Offaly senior set up to train with them for the panel and refused citing a committment to hurling, no tmuch you can do with that. Liam Brennan for Daingean will be a fella who Cooney might look at, not too many else there. Clonbullogue will have a couple of guy, Croghan have a couple of young lads, Cian O Donoghue, Brickland who could be asked in, but overall there are a lot of minors who come through and for a variety of reasons drift away, but to blame the clubs and the fact that guys are playing Junior and Intermediate football is not the main issue. As another poster has pointed out, guys who put it in with their clubs stand out and if they have the dedication they will make it as they will spend most of their time training with the county and not with their clubs.
Fair point, some lads will refuse and some will fall away, but if fellas are given the opportunity and they grab it, are we not in a better place. I can think of at least 4 lads who played junior this year who would be better than half last years senior panel and all would have played very well at underage level for offaly in minor and 21 level. The 3rd KK lad who you didn mention may have been able to play, and may also have declined but i can guarantee you this that a lot of the talented lads i can think of would jump at the chance to be involved with the OY seniors.
Answer this, would these clonbullogue lads genuinely have a chance of making the cut coming from the lower level if only given one trial to impress like its been in the past. These fellas should be brought in and assessed physically and put on appropriate programmes to bring them to the desired level. Times have moved on from simply playing well at club level senior, inter or junior to being a co senior standard player. These guys at the top are elite athletes in terms of every thing. You see what we did to the aussies in the compromise rules. we need to help them make this massive leap in terms of aerobic fitness and strength and conditioning from Junior and inter club football, and senior club football for that matter.
Kildare have used the intermediate county grade to great effect since mcgeeney came in as have cork in progressing lads from 21 to senior in terms of strength and conditioning. These teams are generally kept at U24 and work as feeders for many players (many of whom come from junior clubs) towards senior. They get all the support in terms of nutrition, strength and conditioning, psychology etc to make the jump to the seniors. Injured Seniors also have to prove themselves with this level in training before being brought back to the senior panel. Davy fitz did a similar thing with the Waterford hurlers and was very successful in transforming their hurlers from an old team to a relatively successful young one in the last few years. He is replicating this again in Clare at the moment with a development panel of 20 in training outside the immediate senior panel of almost 40. Obviously it costs a little, but if we are unwilling to invest in our own players, why should we return to the top any time soon!! Its all about keeping up with the rest, but the administrators in the co board are clueless as to what is actually required at the top level these days. Pay peanuts, get Monkeys!! Easy to supply top rate people to do the relevant work. There are plenty around. If they enquired, they would realise it wouldnt even cost that much. One training per week for this key group and fitness monitored and programmes adjusted every few months.
Some of the names you have mentioned are well capable of playing senior but a year in such a squad would do wonders for them in terms of their development. obviously, when this pathway doesnt exist, then the jump to county senior from junior club becomes greater and greater the further on in age a junior club player is despite the innate talent. this to my knowledge is the main reason why OY are where they are. if some of the mentioned names go to trial and dont make it at 19 years of age, that doesnt mean they will never be good enough, but with the present system, they wil have the perception of failure despite being very close at a young age. This talent needs to be nurtured. The centre of OY football region is stacked with these junior clubs with obvious talent. The inability of the co board to invest in and support these players transition is costing the county dearly, whether it be lack of opportunity to play in a divisional side in senior championship or lack of willingness to invest in the idea mentioned as carried out by cork and kildare and waterford hurlers.