Offaly v Westmeath. Leinster Minor Football.

A forum to air your views on Offaly GAA matters and beyond.
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Re: Offaly v Westmeath. Leinster Minor Football.

Post by allstar2010 » Tue May 23, 2017 10:18 pm

Just seen Louth are drawn to play Wexford in SF!! Leinster final appearance missed by these lads.

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Re: Offaly v Westmeath. Leinster Minor Football.

Post by substandard » Tue May 23, 2017 11:22 pm

Hard luck to all the players and backroom team- no-one will be hurting more than them about what would seem a premature end to the year. Kildare are on course for 3 in a row, and Dublin's 'Blue Wave' and scale means they'll be perennially there or thereabouts, but beyond those two, Offaly are at least a match for, if not exceeding every other county in Leinster- the Meaths, Laoises, Westmeaths, Longfords, etc. Credit to the Louth team- every county is putting in work at development squad level, so a Louth, Wicklow, Carlow or Wexford could have a very decent team that, with a bit of luck in putting a run together, could make real progress.
There are two key issues for me: one, that the development squads, which going by the last number of minor teams, are working well but need to be resourced to ensure that Offaly stays near the front of the pack in terms of developing quality players.
More importantly, point two for me is critical, and that is much more emphasis on developing players for the new u20 grade. There are two reasons why I think this is vital. Firstly, the minors have been going relatively well the last few years, and it would be criminally negligent not to bridge the gap between being a good minor to a potentially good senior. The second reason follows on from this: the change to u20 is going to cost players a vital year in physical development to cope with the demands of modern intercounty football. The last few u21 management appointments have been last-minute patch-up jobs to cut down on expenses. This, in my opinion, is being penny-wise, pound-foolish. Talent-wise, I am fully convinced that Offaly is producing as many, if not more, good footballers than any county in Leinster. If Offaly county board speculate to accumulate, and provide s/c guidance in time to last year's minors and third current group, Offaly could have a very competitive team in this grade next year, and possibly steal a march on other counties.
I realise it's easy to say Offaly hasn't been winning finals, or even contesting finals, but 100% I'd stand over that there are enough players from this year's u21s to this year's minors to develop a seriously formidable senior team in the next 4-5 years- a team capable of challenging for a Leinster title, but this will only happen if the development squad model is applied to minor players and players who for whatever reason didn't make a minor squad, up to the age of 20.
The players and potential is there, but they need to be properly resourced.

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