Offaly Junior Team

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Offaly Junior Team

Postby beezer9791 » Mon May 11, 2015 2:30 am


Does anyone know why Offaly do not have a Junior football team anymore, and as far as im aware have not had one for a few years now? Surely having a junior team would be a benefit to the senior team, possibly acting as a 'b' team / training team for matches or eyeing out promising players. Some years ago the Offaly Junior team produced many a good player who went on to represent Offaly at senior level. Offaly won the Leinster Junior Championship in 1998 and 2001 and made the All Ireland Final in 1998 only to be beaten by Tipperary.

Here are the LJFC Fixtures 2015:

Wexford v Wicklow 20.5.2015
Kildare v Longford 20.5.2015
Cavan v Louth 20.5.2015
Meath v Carlow 26.5.2015
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Re: Offaly Junior Team

Postby Lone Shark » Mon May 11, 2015 10:10 am

In truth I'd say the primary argument is the cost. If you're going to have a team like this, you need to have managers, training, gear, food and all the other bits and bobs that would run to a €1000 a week or so. That could probably be overcome if there was a real clamour for this, but Offaly's football scene is quite small, so it's not as if there would be that many hidden gems out there waiting to be discovered. Our county isn't like Cork or Dublin where you could have lads playing Junior football for years and never catch the eye of county management, chances are if you're one of the two or three best footballers in Ballycommon or Clonmore, you're still fairly well known.

The fact that the players involved didn't exactly take it too seriously in the last couple of campaigns where Offaly did enter probably put an end to it, and it's not something that has been raised as an issue by too many delegates in the intervening time.
Kevin Egan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Offaly Junior Team

Postby azoffaly » Mon May 11, 2015 4:17 pm

I'm an advocate of the Junior County Teams if taken seriously. In Tipp it is used as a development squad essentially, to keep players involved in their younger years. Especially those lads who are maybe not making the senior team, and are just overage for Minor, but not 'at their age' for U21.

Of the Tipperary U21 panel this year, I counted 6 or 7 who were Juniors last year, but were not on the Senior team. Evan Comerford, Jimmy Feehan and Jason Lonergan started. Dean McEnroe, Paul Shanahan and Mark Russell were panel members and got game time during the year. There may be a couple of others I'm forgetting.

In Tipp the club scene is not good enough, and we see fellas falling away from Minor to U21. Not because they are less developed as Minors, but because lads in Kerry and Cork are playing senior club, with regular fixtures, against other good club sides. If you are a 19 year old in Cork or Kerry, not quite good enough to be on the U21s, you can develop away nicely playing for Nemo, Austin Stacks or South Kerry. In Tipp we struggled there, so one of the things we do is to try keep them involved in county set ups, with county coaching as part of the Junior Set Up. Train the same night as the seniors, get the same grub, play challenge matches etc etc. Even though we lost to Limerick in the First Round, the lads had extra time in the system, and losing with a young team is more profitable in the long run than winning a couple of games with dogged veterans.

(That said, you need veterans to try and keep the team ticking over as well of course).

Maybe Offaly should think of it in those terms, but I don't think the club scene in Offaly Football is as challenged as in Tipp.
Shane Gavin. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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