2016 Championship

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

Re: 2016 Championship

Postby joe bloggs » Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:20 pm

Greenairfield you are throwing in some ridiculous stuff now about lads from the from the far end of the county, we know best about hurling matters etc. The great Offaly teams of the past paid no heed to codswallop such as that. Sure if the did we shouldn't have ever even tried playing against the likes of Kilkenny and Cork.
The upgraded facilities of SBP can speak for itself really.

LS I would acknowledge your point about distance travelled having an impact on home advantage, but its not the only factor. If it was then the Merseyside derby for example would see Liverpool beating Everton as often at Goodison Park as they do at Anfield.
There are many variables at play in such a debate about home advantage, such as distance, pitch quality, size, weather (Connacht rugby today!) and support. Offaly hurling is in a poor state at the moment, and I'll take any edge going that might give us a boost. As I have stated, in my opinion SBP can give us slightly more of an edge , particularly in a tight contest. It may happen to be only one soft free extra in a game as we know many refs are Influenced by a partisan crowd. But that one free could be all the difference.
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Re: 2016 Championship

Postby Buttons » Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:45 pm

Dublin seem to play alright in Croke Park when their home venue is Parnell Park.
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Re: 2016 Championship

Postby private joker » Sun Nov 15, 2015 5:57 pm

I think offaly playing in birr might help the attendance, but winning matches, that's down to the team. Offaly is a small county, tullamore is ideal for every one to attend. For the long term development of offaly hurling, tullamore in the long run should be the host venue. Birr in the short term might help boost things but what's the end game here? Offaly needs all clubs, at all levels producing county standard players. Moving venue though could help with removing the notion that birr or tullamore are the reasons for offaly standing in the country. Get your coaching and games in order. Let the professionals do their jobs, clubs start doing their part in producing players fit for county hurling from ages 12 and up wards.
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Re: 2016 Championship

Postby ryot » Sun Nov 15, 2015 8:39 pm

I don't buy into this idea that games in Birr would be better attended...................

The evidence shows a big increase in Gate Receipts after move to Tullamore,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Now is that down to more people or less scamming I have no idea but those true South Offaly Hurling Folk might enlighten us football area retards,,
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Re: 2016 Championship

Postby jimbob17 » Mon Nov 16, 2015 1:23 pm

ryot wrote:I don't buy into this idea that games in Birr would be better attended...................

The evidence shows a big increase in Gate Receipts after move to Tullamore,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Now is that down to more people or less scamming I have no idea but those true South Offaly Hurling Folk might enlighten us football area retards,,


Well said Ryot.

There really is an ignorance among SOME (stress SOME) from the South about their sense of ownership of Offaly hurling. If they have such a sense of ownership, then are they the reason for the demise - poor club structures and absolute lack of foresight towards moving towards a more modern approach. Obviously this is said generally and is far from a sweeping statement as some clubs really have their house in order. When Offaly were going well, Tullamore provided Kevin Martin and Edenderry Cillian Farrell to the teams. Finbarr Cullen played in All Ireland minor hurling final. It wasn't the South alone that had that success though obviously they had the majority.

More recently some of our better players have come from Mid and North of county - the KK lads are more Killoughey than Kilcormac and Shane Dooley, Steven Egan, Chris McDonnell etc come from "North" clubs. There might be merits to playing in Birr for a few league games especially when it would be a small crowd for likes of Westmeath, Carlow, Kerry etc and maybe even Laois. It could be a little fortress and create atmosphere in such games similar to how Munster play some lesser Rabo league games in Irish Independent park in Cork (formerly Musgrave Park) instead of Thomond Park in Limerick - but only on such small occasions like Walsh Cup and league against lesser teams.

However, looking at the bigger picture, what does this do for us in preparation when we are asked to go out and play on a big fast pitch like Croke Park or Thurles or even O Connor Park come championship. Knowing a lad is up to speed on a cold wet day in tight confines of Birr won't expose him or management to know he can manage the spaces of likes of Croke Park.

To me the debate is rather pathetic and very much driven by small minded south Offaly hurling people who fail to see the bigger picture. we are Offaly. Its not us them, they! In Tipperary they dont distinguish between north and South when it comes to hurling politics even though the South would be stronger area for football. The best man plays. Same in Cork. They have some lads from the West as their best players. Again the best man plays. We as a small county cannot afford such pathetic politics. We need to work together!

Like others have said, get your own clubs in order, tie in with coaching and games and get as many coaches as possible trained up to a good level in modern methods and let that be the driving force to push your clubs and Offaly forward. That is all the likes of Clodiagh Gaels Brosna Gaels and Ballinamere have done. Even Ferbane Belmont made a minor A final this year without trying too hard so it doesnt say a lot for those promoting the game in the South. Birr now have their ship in order and results will come from this. Banagher have pushed underage for a good while now. Its time others do the same and engage with more people with more knowledge around proper coaching structures.

Only then you will be in a situation where the retarded hurling folk from the North are no longer as dominant in underage!
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Re: 2016 Championship

Postby SearingDrive » Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:22 pm

Excellent article JimBob. We have to get over this notion of South v North. I am from North Offaly and always support Offaly hurling regardless, I don't see any division if you are following Offaly.
My own club Claodiagh Gaels have made big strides, and Na Fianna have won this year'sminor title, along with the U 16 title. Playing matches in Birr won't bring back success overnight, we just do not have the players at the moment.
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Re: 2016 Championship

Postby Wing Back » Mon Nov 16, 2015 4:03 pm

JimBob has hit the nail on the head in every regard there.

Even though I have voiced my opinions on the SBP Vs OCP debate, it is a small matter in the grand scheme of things within the state of Offaly hurling. And the fact that this is what we are debating really puts into perspective where we are.

I agree that Offaly could use Birr for the exact purpose you mention JimBob...and only that for Walsh Cup, lesser NHL 1b games and possibly Round Robin etc. Move the bigger games to Tullamore no question. I think this keeps everyone happy and generates spark and interest across the county.

But I 100% agree that this debate has taken up way to much forum space already and we should be more looking at things like who the panel will be made up of, previewing how we might go in the Walsh cup, looking at what our realistic targets for the year in NHL 1B should be etc.

Also agree with his views on the clubs. As patriotic as I am about my own club doing well, and even though at the time I'm sick to the teeth when we are beaten, I enjoy seeing other Offaly clubs unearthing new talent that can potentially be the next Offaly stars and who can drive us forward and bring Offaly hurling back to the top table and being at least competitive and taking on the games elite once more. St Rynaghs and KK have done great work in that regard in recent times it has to be said. The brightest prospect in my opinion is young Nolan from Birr. Hopefully all clubs can get our structure in place and can work with the county set up and help feed the supply of decent new talent to the underage and senior set ups.
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Re: 2016 Championship

Postby Sharp Eye » Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:39 pm

The recent poor performances by underage hurling teams from South West Offaly is in my opinion a direct result of the transfer of hurling games to Tullamore. Many younger players from south Offaly no longer attend Offaly Inter County games and as a result fail to develop a real interest in hurling. The fact that St Rynaghs competed in Minor B Hurling and Birr competed in Under 16 B Hurling this year is a clear warning for the future. I hope you are correct in saying that players from North Offaly will be able to fill the void caused by the drop in underage standards in South Offaly. The evidence so far is not encouraging as Offaly is now regarded as a "Round Robin" team with no hope of promotion to Division 1A or winning a Leinster Senior Hurling Title.
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Re: 2016 Championship

Postby ah lethimoutwithit » Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:05 pm

Greenairfield....what a child!!

But back to the topic at hand......2016 championship....oh sorry, am on the SBP v OCP debate topic??


Look, I am all for championship being played in OCP in general, but worth looking at playing a couple of round robin games in Birr.

Personally I don't think Sharp Eyes point holds any weight, hurling and football in Offaly has had a low profile at county level, and rugby and soccer has gotten more of a foothold in the last 10 years.

Looking forward to us beating Kilkenny in Birr though!
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Re: 2016 Championship

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:03 pm

On the subject of 2016 - I think it's a new low that Leinster Council have deemed it a good idea to start the Welsh Cup on the first Sunday in January.

Now presumably someone saw a vacancy in the calendar and thought - that would be a great time to play some hurling. But wiser counsel should have been awake to argue - hold it now, let's think this through.

No time of the year to be playing hurling.
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Re: 2016 Championship

Postby frankthetank » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:30 pm

3 home league games for Offaly in the hurling league.

Games vs Laois and Limerick in OCP, game vs Kerry in SBP.

Maybe it's just me but I nearly find that a bigger insult than having no games in SBP.

There's no way the attendance of the Laois or Limerick games will come anywhere near 5,000. Just play them in SBP.
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Re: 2016 Championship

Postby allstar2010 » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:55 pm

Sharp Eye wrote:The recent poor performances by underage hurling teams from South West Offaly is in my opinion a direct result of the transfer of hurling games to Tullamore. Many younger players from south Offaly no longer attend Offaly Inter County games and as a result fail to develop a real interest in hurling.


Jaysus, so your telling us that unless the game is in their backyard they won't attend?? This is getting ridiculous. Birr and other south offaly clubs are falling behind because of work not being put in at underage level and probably because of other reasons with rural numbers dwindling smaller clubs will struggle to keep up. Coolderrys success this year at senior level has to be commended considering the small numbers they have. But birr have no excuse. They failed to put the work in to their youngsters and were more concerned about they amount matches SBP would get.
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Re: 2016 Championship

Postby Wing Back » Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:51 pm

frankthetank wrote:3 home league games for Offaly in the hurling league.

Games vs Laois and Limerick in OCP, game vs Kerry in SBP.

Maybe it's just me but I nearly find that a bigger insult than having no games in SBP.

There's no way the attendance of the Laois or Limerick games will come anywhere near 5,000. Just play them in SBP.


To be honest I'm delighted with this outcome. I think this is very fair to both OCP and SBP.

SBP are getting any home fixtures we have in the Walsh cup which there will be at least 2 against DIT and Kilkenny along with getting 1 of our home league fixtures against Kerry. I think that this gives Birr a perfect opportunity to showcase the improvements that have been done. Tullamore should keep the big home game against Limerick and the big local Derby against Laois as they will no doubt draw bigger crowds and with SBP unproven at holding a big crowd and without knowing what the Slattery report entails. I honestly think that this is a very fair split of the fixtures and will ease SBP back into focus for hosting inter county fixtures.

We really need to target a win in both the games against Kerry and Laois and possibly cause a shock against one of Wexford or Limerick as there is a good chance that 1 or possibly both of them could be deprived of the services of the Oulart players in Wexford's case and the Na Piarsaigh players in Limerick's case which takes a lot out of both of their squads which could leave them vulnerable. Can't see us beating Clare in any scenario but it's as well to get them out of the way early and will expose areas that we will need to look at for the more winnable. I think aiming to get into the Quarter Finals again is not an unrealistic goal at all.

I know Offaly Hurling is in the doldrums but I'm really looking forward to the next year and trying to draw on the positives.
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Re: 2016 Championship

Postby sam88885a » Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:36 am

Lads my preference would be to have more hurling games in birr but where home matches are played has not cause hurling to go into free fall over the last two year.
Offalys big problem is some of our best club hurlers walked away from the county set up.

We have a new managment now and if they can get most of our best players back full commited and playing with a real team spirit ,offaly people will come back to support them whether they games are in ocp or sbp .
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Re: 2016 Championship

Postby KeshaWantsTimber » Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:03 pm

Plain of the Herbs wrote:On the subject of 2016 - I think it's a new low that Leinster Council have deemed it a good idea to start the Welsh Cup on the first Sunday in January.

Now presumably someone saw a vacancy in the calendar and thought - that would be a great time to play some hurling. But wiser counsel should have been awake to argue - hold it now, let's think this through.

No time of the year to be playing hurling.


On the wider picture this is a huge point. Starting the Walsh Cup in 1st week of January is wrong. Teams normally get 3/4 games in this. Last year the group part of the league was finished by end of March with only knock out and relegation played in April. THIS IS MADNESS. Players have 9/10 competitive games at a time of year when pitches and weather are brutal. Hurling is a summer game but most counties get 2/3 games between April and September after having 10 from January to March.

In 2016 the last league group game is on 20th of March. I cannot understand the logic here. Ok the round robin Leinster championship has to be played off but some teams wont play for 3 months while others play 5 matches in 6 weeks.

Hurling league should start in March and end in May with every team eligible for Liam McCarthy in 1A or 1B (2 groups of 7 possibly). Top 12 teams from league play in Liam McCarthy Championship June, July and August (2 lowest teams in league play in Christy Ring)
A championship with guarantee of 4/5 games. 6 month competitive season not 9.
9/10 good competitive games when pitches are decent not 2/3.
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