Hurling development squads [Split from Walsh Cup]

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Re: Hurling development squads [Split from Walsh Cup]

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:40 pm

From a look at lineouts per programmes, only four of the first fifteen for last year's Celtic Challenge final started yesterday. (KIng, Guinan, Hogan and Hickey.) Now, I recall the Celtic Challenge had certain parameters involved - lads on the 2016 Minors couldn't take part and nor could anyone doing state exams last year. Same time, of yesterday' team, only Kealey, Maher and Langton were regulars, while you could include Joey Keenaghan in that.

Now I appreciate lads could have priorities as regards exams, injuries will be a factor and managements will have differeing opinions of players, but four strikes me as a very small number to graduate from a successful team in the space of a year.

(I see Laois had three of their Celtic Challenge final team selected yesterday, so this isn't unique to Offaly.)
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Hurling development squads [Split from Walsh Cup]

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:49 pm

just to get this straight (because I'm not very clued in, and a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. And please exceuse the questions.

Is it the case that S&C is considered optional, at the discretion of individual team managements?

And is it the case that there is a warmup programme recommended by headquarters (presumably designed by experts in that field) and that some development squad coaches are not implementing these guidelines?

I absolutely agree on the catching. And several of us here have been banging that drum here for what must be ten years now.

What was in Kilkenny last Sunday? I saw you post about it, and Brian Gavin also referenced it in his interview on the radio today.

Offaly is well on the way to becoming like Wicklow.
Hurlingtothebackbone wrote:Let it be known there was a big effort put in by elements within coaching and games from late last year and early in this year to remove this minor management team and the management team were well aware of it which in itself had to undermine their standing with the minor squad. The world and its mother knew what was going on but C&G did not get their way with Burn and company thats why Burn and the top table gave in when it came to the sacking of managements of development squads.
Yes Egan from Athlone IT was doing great work with the Minors and the development squads in 2016 but that was 2016. Offaly are doing it all themselves now at underage with no input from Egan (he is running the show at senior level) and a lot of the underage coaches in the County don't believe in strength and conditioning let alone believe in GAA 15 a warm up programme to prevent injury. Offaly appoint people to squads at all ages let them off but never police whats happening. Kilkenny last Sunday with the 17s a prime example no single member of the board or C&G present to witness what happens.
And now I expect it to be less important with the appointment of new mentors at U15 & U14 who do not believe in S&C - expect ground hurling to be preached to these young lads time and time again with the managements additions.
The single biggest skill missing in Offaly hurling today is high fielding or catching of any sort and its a myth that you need a big man to catch a high ball prime example Tommy Walsh Kilkenny.
If Offaly done nothing else only practised that single skill it would bring them on 20% at all age groups.
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Hurling development squads [Split from Walsh Cup]

Postby Hurlingtothebackbone » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:12 am

Plain of the Herbs wrote:just to get this straight (because I'm not very clued in, and a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. And please exceuse the questions.

Is it the case that S&C is considered optional, at the discretion of individual team managements?

And is it the case that there is a warmup programme recommended by headquarters (presumably designed by experts in that field) and that some development squad coaches are not implementing these guidelines?

I absolutely agree on the catching. And several of us here have been banging that drum here for what must be ten years now.

What was in Kilkenny last Sunday? I saw you post about it, and Brian Gavin also referenced it in his interview on the radio today.

Offaly is well on the way to becoming like Wicklow.
Hurlingtothebackbone wrote:Let it be known there was a big effort put in by elements within coaching and games from late last year and early in this year to remove this minor management team and the management team were well aware of it which in itself had to undermine their standing with the minor squad. The world and its mother knew what was going on but C&G did not get their way with Burn and company thats why Burn and the top table gave in when it came to the sacking of managements of development squads.
Yes Egan from Athlone IT was doing great work with the Minors and the development squads in 2016 but that was 2016. Offaly are doing it all themselves now at underage with no input from Egan (he is running the show at senior level) and a lot of the underage coaches in the County don't believe in strength and conditioning let alone believe in GAA 15 a warm up programme to prevent injury. Offaly appoint people to squads at all ages let them off but never police whats happening. Kilkenny last Sunday with the 17s a prime example no single member of the board or C&G present to witness what happens.
And now I expect it to be less important with the appointment of new mentors at U15 & U14 who do not believe in S&C - expect ground hurling to be preached to these young lads time and time again with the managements additions.
The single biggest skill missing in Offaly hurling today is high fielding or catching of any sort and its a myth that you need a big man to catch a high ball prime example Tommy Walsh Kilkenny.
If Offaly done nothing else only practised that single skill it would bring them on 20% at all age groups.


S&C programme was run over the winter and into the spring 2015 2016 however in 2016 2017 no such programme commenced until late Jan early feb 2017 up to three and half months lost because of the sacking of squad managements. It could have gone ahead if the board wanted as Tom Curran Na Fianna one of the sacked mentors is Fully S&C qualified and Young Cleary from Shinrone one of the Countys coaches is suppose to be S&C qualified as well so beggars belief why it wasn't done, its either sloppiness from the board where the eye was off the ball yet again which is now more the norm with the board or there is a money issue. The minors done a programme but it was not Egans programme it was the minor managements own programme. S&C to see the benefits you must be tested regular and this is not happening in Offaly in comparison to Tipp Laois and Kilkenny where it is now advanced to blood tests and urine tests on a regular basis as well as GPS monitoring in each session. Egan has the GPS in operation at senior level but surely if u want to develop then you start at the bottom and work up.
No squad including the Minors are forced or directed to follow a S&C programme and they are not directed to use GAA 15 a injury prevention programme adapted from soccer and introduced by Croke Park to prevent injuries. This is a 15 minute warm up programme with specific stretching for our games and has been scientifically proven to reduce injuries. The other point to remember is that in Tipp Kilkenny and even Laois when the hurling starts they don't forget about S&C the continue with it the round of the year but in Offaly we do see it as optional at all levels except Senior where now it is becoming the norm in all sessions. As I already stated this is the Boards fault appoint the managements job done let them off to do there own thing and move them on the following year.
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Re: Hurling development squads [Split from Walsh Cup]

Postby Truth as i see it » Mon Apr 10, 2017 2:52 pm

So i know we don't do this a lot on this forum but because we are talking about some decisions that have been made by the county board over the past few months, with some of the statements and/or lack of communications coming out of the county i cant help thinking of a certain scene from a movie that came out a few years ago

This is what i imagine an offaly county board meeting would be like if it was a different sport except without the Brad Pitt part

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWgyy_rlmag

(copy and past into youtube for explanation)

I know its a baseball movie and i know its a different sport but there's a lot of similarities as well

A bunch of 60+ year olds who are using the same methodology from 30-40 years ago who are out of touch with the modern game

Now maybe i'm being unfair here as i know that there are a few enlightened souls within the county board but they seem to be making the same mistakes over and over and over again

As Brad Pitt says in the scene we have got to start thinking differently

I wish the county board would take that advice

If Only....
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Re: Hurling development squads [Split from Walsh Cup]

Postby Truth as i see it » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:18 pm

Just to clarify I'm not trying to be an asshole about this, i know that these guys give up their time to do a job that no one else seems to do even though the very same (including myself) do nothing abut complain about the current regime and all credit must go to them for that

This isn't a personal attack on their character or anything but as said when they keep making the same mistakes over and over again they should expect some form of discontent from the fans
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Re: Hurling development squads [Split from Walsh Cup]

Postby Bord na Mona man » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:34 pm

The future is safe, these lads are taking over all the development squads...

https://youtu.be/54yH8p7gS6A
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Re: Hurling development squads [Split from Walsh Cup]

Postby Plain of the Herbs » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:28 pm

Thanks, Backbone, for answering my query, and for that information. The situation gets worse with each post and each mishandling of underage development being revealed. But these issues need to be highlighted.
I came on this earlier - http://learning.gaa.ie/Gaelic15
But in Offaly, we've got illuminati who think they know more than Dr Pat O'Neill, Dr Niall Moyna and the other experts. I can hear lads in top boots asking how many All-Ireland medals those experts have. The same people that would tell you with a straight face that Tommy Walsh couldn't deal with a ball on the ground.
Hurlingtothebackbone wrote:Let it be known there was a big effort put in by elements within coaching and games from late last year and early in this year to remove this minor management team and the management team were well aware of it which in itself had to undermine their standing with the minor squad. The world and its mother knew what was going on but C&G did not get their way with Burn and company thats why Burn and the top table gave in when it came to the sacking of managements of development squads.
Yes Egan from Athlone IT was doing great work with the Minors and the development squads in 2016 but that was 2016. Offaly are doing it all themselves now at underage with no input from Egan (he is running the show at senior level) and a lot of the underage coaches in the County don't believe in strength and conditioning let alone believe in GAA 15 a warm up programme to prevent injury. Offaly appoint people to squads at all ages let them off but never police whats happening. Kilkenny last Sunday with the 17s a prime example no single member of the board or C&G present to witness what happens.
And now I expect it to be less important with the appointment of new mentors at U15 & U14 who do not believe in S&C - expect ground hurling to be preached to these young lads time and time again with the managements additions.
The single biggest skill missing in Offaly hurling today is high fielding or catching of any sort and its a myth that you need a big man to catch a high ball prime example Tommy Walsh Kilkenny.
If Offaly done nothing else only practised that single skill it would bring them on 20% at all age groups.
Pat Donegan. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Hurling development squads [Split from Walsh Cup]

Postby substandard » Mon Apr 10, 2017 7:57 pm

I haven't seen the hurling pathway document, and and obviously therefore can't comment about it. One comment about it a few posts back didn't exactly inspire confidence, but again that doesn't mean it's good, bad or indifferent. From those that have seen it, what is the impression? I'd worry that it'd be taken as a 'Do you have a hurling pathway program? Tick Yes or No' exercise, and how (or even will) any follow-up be implemented or measured. Whatever about the politics behind who was or wasn't appointed, and that is a very serious issue in itself, if there are players being left without access to quality coaching, s/c programs, then this is a disgrace. I know that in a lot of cases with recent football squads that, while good work was done, it was all on an ad hoc basis. I was involved with a couple of development squads, and one thing that always struck me was that each year group were more or less independent of each other, and it was always casual/ chance meeting mentors in teams the years ahead or behind the groups I was with. Even in terms of yearly reviews (when they did take place), there was no liasing with other squad management to discuss what worked well, what needed attention, what resources were required, etc. The one good thing that hopefully will come out of this hurling debacle is that things are out in the open now, and hopefully steps can be taken to rectify as far as possible the damage done now, and more importantly, to safeguard future squads (players and coaches). If this means olive branches and a few slices of humble pie from all sides, then hopefully the focus can switch to providing the best supports to create the best environment for players to become the best they can be.
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Re: Hurling development squads [Split from Walsh Cup]

Postby llkj » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:13 pm

From a players point of view, it was exactly how substandard described it - every year was a completely new experience in underage squads - Different managers, different selectors. 2 more personal experiences to share:

1. Under 16 training - playing half back, in possession of the ball but under some pressure, gave a handpass to a player outside me and he cleared the ball. The manager stops the game and asks why I just didn't clear it down field myself and stop messing around with handpassing. Just a manager stuck in the dark ages. Better for you to hit it anywhere 40 yards then 5 yards to a player on your team.
2. In the team talk before the match the manager had us lined out in position in the dressing room. He was going around giving his instructions to each individual. When he got to me, he had to stop and look down at the sheet to get my name. He didn't have a clue who I was, despite the fact that this was the main tournament of the year and not some trial match. His instructions were something like - get stuck in, keep the ball moving, as he moved on to the next fella. I often think back and wonder how I actually managed to make the starting team - if the manager had no clue who I was.

I make these points to show the impact that poor structures and organisation has on the player.
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Re: Hurling development squads [Split from Walsh Cup]

Postby sam88885a » Mon Apr 10, 2017 9:50 pm

I heard Brian Gavin on the radio yesterday, it seems last year managment were removed without a phone call and the reason given was that Liam Hogan and Brian Carroll hurling pathway dont think that fathers should be involved with teams that a son is on .
Looks after 2 steps forward last year we have landed back on our ass again .
The big problem is that three hurling clubs are very upset which the CB {Shinrone ,KK and Clareen}. will any of those 3 encourage young lads to go into development squads anymore ???
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Re: Hurling development squads [Split from Walsh Cup]

Postby Hurlingtothebackbone » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:51 pm

The hurling Pathway document is basically a book of drills for different age groups, it gives a good foundation of what a kid should be able to do at each age level in a step by step approach if you are starting from scratch with a player or family that have no back round in GAA or hurling, however to me the drills are basic and as I said already most of the clubs with recent silverware are light years ahead of whats in this book. Go to any underage session in KK and see what their doing. Why do we have to try and reinvent the wheel why can't we learn from the more successful clubs? How is it that KK, Birr, Ferbane, Shinrone, Rynaghs, Na Fianna Tullamore can go into any club in Tipp or Kilkenny and give them 99 times out of 100 a hiding. Tullamore U16s played and beat the eventual Kilkenny County champions last year so why is it so wrong at County level. Whats missing? Why can't all these clubs be moulded into a single force to be reckoned with.
From what I learned during this whole sorry saga these are the types of things that both the 16 and 15 sacked managements were working on. They worked on the relationship with players and parents encouraged work in S&C at home as well as focusing on the weaker parts of their games. They got the players to do self assessments and then gave feed back on what their opinion was and pointed out the strong points and the weak points, for every one weak point there was always 3 to 4 strong points given which helped work on confidence something that is lacking in most underage players in this County.
I witnessed them take players off in the middle of games speak with them for 4 to 5 minutes and then put the player back on and straight away you could see the difference, to me that is what coaching is all about the relationship the mutual respect and the response from the player says it all. Whats more important than drills is buy in from parents and family where the player is getting the encouragement and support to work on and hone their skills every single day of their lives, without that support a player in Offaly is playing catch up. In KK and Tipp hurling is a more important than anything else - go to any session in Tipp any evening with a squad and you will almost always have both parents looking on and giving encouragement if they are not already involved as a coach or mentor. Then look at Offaly who give the 2 fingers to parents and won't even grant a request for a meeting the board have zero respect for underage players and parents and just take them for granted. The board needs to move away from the view that every young lad wants to play for Offaly and face facts if you don't work with Parents and encourage them to encourage the young lads then we are beaten before we start. The board need to move out of the 80s and 90s history is history the game has moved on and they need to come to terms with the modern game, unfortunately for us in Offaly it appears not all Dinosaurs died in the ice age
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Re: Hurling development squads [Split from Walsh Cup]

Postby Kevin » Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:34 am

Truth as i see it wrote:So i know we don't do this a lot on this forum but because we are talking about some decisions that have been made by the county board over the past few months, with some of the statements and/or lack of communications coming out of the county i cant help thinking of a certain scene from a movie that came out a few years ago

This is what i imagine an offaly county board meeting would be like if it was a different sport except without the Brad Pitt part

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWgyy_rlmag

(copy and past into youtube for explanation)

I know its a baseball movie and i know its a different sport but there's a lot of similarities as well

A bunch of 60+ year olds who are using the same methodology from 30-40 years ago who are out of touch with the modern game

Now maybe i'm being unfair here as i know that there are a few enlightened souls within the county board but they seem to be making the same mistakes over and over and over again

As Brad Pitt says in the scene we have got to start thinking differently

I wish the county board would take that advice

If Only....


Moneyball is essential reading for baseball fans and in my opinion for anyone interested in ideas as to how the weak can compete w the strong. I first heard of Beane when he was a high school sensation, then he was drafted by the Mets. So I''be been interested in him ever since. His story is exceptional. He is a very unique individual. Baseball is different and professional is always going to be different from amateur (as you concede), but your point that we need to be looking at things differently to ever experience success or even be competitive again could not be more ... 'true'.

Thanks for digging up the video.
Kevin Clancey. Signed out of respect for players and all involved with Offaly.
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Re: Hurling development squads [Split from Walsh Cup]

Postby jimbob17 » Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:57 pm

Isn't it pathetic that after 15 years of absolute zero success that this is even an issue when team shows remote sense of potential improvement on past years. Fair enough, in ideal world, you wouldn't want parents involved with teams but only where things are not going well or as general policy from now going forward, excluding those in situ. Without knowing full details and level of success, These lads over the teams were working with these for few years and getting success. Do not fix what is not broke. The coaching and games committee should be sitting down with these people and asking their advice to replicate their work in years below, not pull carpet from under them. Only hurting ourselves at end of day. Maybe restrict parents from time decision is made but not with group after three years work when they are getting success.
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Re: Hurling development squads [Split from Walsh Cup]

Postby suckindiesel » Wed Apr 12, 2017 12:30 am

POTH is correct in that the Laois minor team last Saturday were not particularly fancied as most are workmanlike and the squad lacks the classier type of say 3 or 4 years ago. I did expect OY to win last weekend and I have to say they were shockingly poor. I was baffled that Birr had not one starter and KK only one, has something gone wrong with those production lines?. I would imagine Laois will be outclassed and outmuscled by Dublin this weekend.

POTH and others are correct to pinpoint the actual physical condition and sharp contrast between the two sides. At underage football, I have noticed that OY teams are on a par if not in better shape than LS teams(and I think it is fair to compare similar counties). In hurling the OY teams simply look feeble physically. That Laois minor team has been physically handled by the same guy who done the physical work with Carlow IT this year in the Fitzgibbon.....and that may be the standard you need to get to physically before the hurling skill element starts to come into effect.

I have an inkling that OY at underage hurling is in a poor shape and OY in underage football doing fine, in LS flip the codes and a similar message arises. Perhaps in this day and age, small counties are struggling to keep competitive in both codes with a limited pick for squads and management personnel.

I listened to Brian Gavin's interview on Radio 3, and there is a reoccurring theme in many counties, and that is the "old guard" are very reluctant to accept modern methods, and that old guard are very quick out of the traps to crucify these methods if the results are bad.

The smaller counties in hurling need a grand vision with decent funding from Croke Park and the provincial councils. Cheddar Plunkett has been beating this drum for 4 or 5 years, and few counties gave weight to his arguments. As of now, whether you like it or not, OY, LS and Westmeath are on a par hurling-wise in all age groups. The gap between these three counties and the top 9 is growing by the year.....be fair it is gone to the stage that if any of the 3 play Tipp, Galway or Kilkenny, it is a good day if the winning margin is kept close to 12-15 points.

I fear continual lip service will be paid to the smaller counties from HQ.
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Re: Hurling development squads [Split from Walsh Cup]

Postby private joker » Wed Apr 12, 2017 1:27 pm

The hurlers do not believe in strength work. The footballers do. Even if you lose at minor, as long as the world is done it will eventually pay at senior level. The hurlers are simply a law to themselves. You need both strength and skill to compete at County level hurlers turn their noses up at the thought of skill been equal to S & C.
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