Offaly vs Wexford 2016 Hurling Qualifier - Saturday July 2nd

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Re: Offaly vs Wexford 2016 Hurling Qualifier - Saturday July

Postby greenairfield » Wed Jul 06, 2016 12:10 am

Very good point BNM...personally I think there is better lads out there who would strengthen up the panel but are they better than 80% of starting 15 I don't think so.

Sean Coughlan, Michael Cleary, Barry Harding, Stephen quirke, Dan Kilmartin, Brian Watkins , Brian Leonard...Most of these lads have been in with the team and none of them have stood out really!!
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Re: Offaly vs Wexford 2016 Hurling Qualifier - Saturday July

Postby Lone Shark » Wed Jul 06, 2016 1:30 am

In order for Offaly to win this game last Saturday, we were largely dependent on Wexford not showing up. It's an open secret that a lot of players have lost faith in Liam Dunne down there and those feelings were running particularly high around about the time Offaly won the league match between the two counties this year. While it's undoubtedly true that this was an ideal game to get in that Offaly are the 10th best team in Ireland right now and Wexford are 9th, the simple fact of the matter is that their underage has been miles ahead of ours for years now, they have some of the best young hurlers in the country, and even with good teams, Wexford Park was never a happy hunting ground for us.

Add in a strong wind (I'm going to do the numbers on this later, but I'd say if you added up the total amount we've scored into the wind in games with a significant breeze, it would be scarily low) and once Wexford showed up with any kind of intent, we were going to be in bother.

All that said, I'm bitterly disappointed by Eamon Kelly's comments. Even if he was correct - and I don't think he is - you don't sell out the players that have worked hard for you for months like that. Moreover, parachuting in players since losing to Galway and then giving them a run ahead of others who were there longer is very unfair - and I'd be very worried that it was more about giving him an out (So he can say it's a "young team") rather than in the best interests of those players, and of Offaly hurling generally. I thought the same when he talked the team down so much in advance of the league quarter final against Kilkenny - it's hard to shake off the feeling that he was playing to a hidden gallery in Tipperary rather than speaking in the best interests of his team now.

As for the key point, who is he really talking about? If Conor Mahon was fit, then yes, he's a nailed on starter - but he was always going to miss a huge chunk of the year. Derek Morkan, if he was living in Ireland and hurling well with Shinrone, would be a huge addition - but neither of those bits is true. Paddy Rigney of Kinnitty maybe, and after that, there aren't too many that would be likely starters. As mentioned above, plenty of players that would be solid enough, but not likely starters. People will say Dan Currams, but he really struggled for form last year and only seems to play well in the FF line - so he's essentially competing with James Mulrooney for a spot. Debatable to say that he'd be a massive upgrade on JM.

There are plenty of others that I would happily invite on board in November, see how they train and what their attitude is like, and then maybe they'd be worth a spot in your final panel of 32/33 - many of them listed by Greenairfield below. However many of these guys have chosen to walk away before when they felt they weren't getting enough playing time, or for other reasons, and regardless of how correct they may have been in their view, it still shows that they're not "I want this more than anything in the world" types.

I'm with Joe Brolly and others in that the level of commitment required now is astronomical - not so much in what you have to do, but what you have to give up. I am hugely worried that very soon we'll be in a situation where intercounty GAA is only feasible for students, teachers, and handy bank/sales/front-of-house guys who in many cases only got their job because of their GAA career. However saying that you're going to scale back the commitment only ensures that Offaly will fall further and further behind, and it's not fair to those who want to maximise their potential and to be the best that they can be. This is not something that Offaly can change, we can only agitate for change through our Central Council participation.

So the idea that we encourage an a la carte approach to preparation and training is daft - here more than anywhere else, our players need that level of instruction. As I've pointed out before, we have less hurlers playing in the Fitzgibbon Cup than counties like Westmeath, Laois, Kerry, Meath and even Kildare, so our guys aren't getting to work with top class managers like DJ Carey (IT Carlow), Nicky English (UCD), David Fitzgerald (LIT) and Eamon Cregan (Mary I), jut to name a few. The Fitz is where the better hurlers really stand out and until we get back to a situation where we have a dozen or more hurlers getting their start for teams like UL, NUIG, UCD, LIT, IT Carlow, DIT etc, then we need all those lads to be getting plenty of good hurling and instruction at county.

Offaly have to try and work at the same level as the Clares, Waterfords and Kilkennys of this world, and it's only natural that a good few guys will look at the requirements and say that it's not for them. That's fine, but as supporters we have a responsibility to respect that call, and not to haunt the players that are in there with the ghosts of those that walked away. And if we have that responsibility, then Eamon Kelly definitely has it too.
Kevin Egan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Offaly vs Wexford 2016 Hurling Qualifier - Saturday July

Postby Sharp Eye » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:19 pm

Our Senior Hurling Co team manager must take account of the best interest of Offaly hurling when every decision is taken. Bringing on 5 Under 21 players (at least one of whom was not a week on the senior panel) was of little benefit to Offaly's Under 21 Leinster Hurling Title ambitions. A number of unused subs have been training since last November. A third of the starting team were not in the panel last February. All panel members must have been disappointed to hear the manager speak on tv, proclaiming that they were Not the best players in Offaly. If the outgoing management are returned, they will have a number of difficult phone calls to make in November when they endeavour to have the best players on the panel for 2017.
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