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Development Squads Deserve Respect and a Profile

PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:07 pm
by Boon
Today we travelled to Kilkenny to watch the U15 Offaly Hurling Development Squad play a blitz against Cork and Kilkenny. We lost. So did the U16s. It won't take long before people will say "Sure what's new...there's no future..."

We're not giving these lads a fighting chance.

The management of the U15 Development Squad is absolutely excellent. They are doing all they can. The training has been stepped up to high intensity, high skill development for these boys. We've had skills tests, various expertise brought in and we can honestly say that the training this year has been transformed. The Squad got lovely gear too.

The dates for these development squad blitzes are known months in advance. They are on the county board calendar. The problems we have are that:

1. The parents are not given the dates at the start of the year and so holidays get booked and players aren't there. We never go out with the best team as players are always missing. Kilkenny development squads get a calendar for all training and events between April and September. We need this too.
2. Clubs are not supporting the squads. Lads are being advised to rest instead of being encouraged to train the with their County.
3. The county board set an Under 16 championship match on the Monday evening before the blitz, a minor fixture on the Weds before the blitz and two clubs even held an under 16 friendly the NIGHT BEFORE the blitz. How can the players be expected to hurl well against 2 counties at a blitz when they are out on the Monday and the Weds (and for some again on Friday) during the week before? Amazingly there are now no fixtures for these players for the next 10 days.
4. The development squads get no media coverage. Go and have a look at the squad pages on the Kilkenny website. The squads feel important by the way they communicate about them. The development squads should be profiled, matches reported on. Today when 3 County development squad teams were out - the county Facebook page reported on a footballs skills day.
5. Our clubs should be promoting those players selected to play on the development squads - congratulate them publicly and acknowledge it on social media - as they do in Cork.

The clubs aren't supporting the development squads. The county board isn't supporting them either.

We need to build confidence and pride in these young men - our future hurlers. All they have ever seen is Offaly losing and they are going out with the mentality that they are going to lose too. Today, we were proud to see in the second half of the match against Kilkenny it was 50:50. They need Offaly to get behind them. Go to the matches and shout for them. But how can anyone do that unless they are a parent of a player...as they don't even know the matches are on?

I also think we need to start bringing the best of the u16s and u15s together much earlier in the process - if they can see that even if their squad is losing now...it might not always be that way when the best of the various age groups come together. To even win just one match doing that against a high profile county would give them a huge boost.

Congratulations to the development squad management on a job that's being well done. We need to support them if we are to have any future at all.

Re: Development Squads Deserve Respect and a Profile

PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:25 am
by private joker
Very good post. In KK and Tipperary to be on a development squad gives the player status. Something to be proud of.
I know it's hard/Time consuming to take a role on at county board level but would one parent off each squad not ask to be an administrator on the offaly Facebook page or Twitter account and report/advertise the squads. ??

Re: Development Squads Deserve Respect and a Profile

PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:54 pm
by shannonbanks14
Young lad nxt door on u16 squad. Beaten by kk by 11 pts and waterford by 2pts and this while missing key players on holiday and injured. True re. above post people only see the result.

Re: Development Squads Deserve Respect and a Profile

PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:09 pm
by Boon
private joker wrote:Very good post. In KK and Tipperary to be on a development squad gives the player status. Something to be proud of.
I know it's hard/Time consuming to take a role on at county board level but would one parent off each squad not ask to be an administrator on the offaly Facebook page or Twitter account and report/advertise the squads. ??


I think that's one approach...another would be to assign a media / journalism student / photography from within the county to do this as a work experience / internship opportunity.

Re: Development Squads Deserve Respect and a Profile

PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 2:24 am
by kingscounty
I wouldn't be to worried about losing for now, it's all a learning curve sometimes a loss can be better than a win as in a team knows where they can try and improve going forward. Squads like this are a great idea I would watch it all day as it's exciting to see lads with hopefully long careers develop. Well done to management and parents keep up the good work we need you all badly

Re: Development Squads Deserve Respect and a Profile

PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:23 pm
by manfromdelmonte
You set the standards with the young players and squads and it carries through to the adult ranks

Re: Development Squads Deserve Respect and a Profile

PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:38 pm
by Boon
kingscounty wrote:I wouldn't be to worried about losing for now, it's all a learning curve sometimes a loss can be better than a win as in a team knows where they can try and improve going forward. Squads like this are a great idea I would watch it all day as it's exciting to see lads with hopefully long careers develop. Well done to management and parents keep up the good work we need you all badly


Absolutely no problem with the losing. It's all about developing the player - but they can't play their best when the demands of the club managers and club fixtures are just unreasonable - and they're beaten in their head before they leave the dressing room. Listening to Liam Hogans interview - I am delighted that all the points I raised were in there, plus many many more. It would be an absolute tragedy if Liam is allowed to walk away at the end of his time with the U15s. But how can we get him to stay in light of all the issues?

Re: Development Squads Deserve Respect and a Profile

PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:27 pm
by dubbiff
I was talking to a young lad who just made the Dublin U15 squad and they played Waterford recently. The Waterford chap told him that the Offaly U15 side "was class" and were ones to watch. Let's hope we can keep them together right through the ranks

Re: Development Squads Deserve Respect and a Profile

PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:37 pm
by manfromdelmonte
did the U15 footballers get to the final of the Mangan tournament last weekend only to be beaten by Kerry?

Re: Development Squads Deserve Respect and a Profile

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:15 am
by llkj
manfromdelmonte wrote:did the U15 footballers get to the final of the Mangan tournament last weekend only to be beaten by Kerry?


That is correct in that they got to the final. They were well beaten in the final by Kerry South, who themselves beat Kerry North in the semi-final.

Interesting that the groups were settled by least scores conceded rather than scoring differential, which seemed odd to me from following it online. Anyone else know if that is accurate or why that was the case?

Re: Development Squads Deserve Respect and a Profile

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:14 am
by ditchhurler
Offaly drew with Monaghan in the group and went on to beat Roscommon and Louth. Head to head was to be used first if teams were tied, then it went to scores conceded. I think there was 2 groups decided like this. Not sure why. They then went onto best Kildare in the semi finals before losing to Kerry south.

Re: Development Squads Deserve Respect and a Profile

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:15 pm
by azoffaly
llkj wrote:
manfromdelmonte wrote:did the U15 footballers get to the final of the Mangan tournament last weekend only to be beaten by Kerry?


That is correct in that they got to the final. They were well beaten in the final by Kerry South, who themselves beat Kerry North in the semi-final.

Interesting that the groups were settled by least scores conceded rather than scoring differential, which seemed odd to me from following it online. Anyone else know if that is accurate or why that was the case?



That's the new norm in underage tournaments. It's designed to stop stronger teams whipping weaker ones by as much as they can.

I'm lobbying Tipp to take part in this next year, it seems a great tournament, and all the main rivals down here (Cork, Kerry especially) were there with bells on.

Re: Development Squads Deserve Respect and a Profile

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:35 pm
by jimbob17
Our football development squads (or most of them at least) have been very competitive for last number of years. We have had competitive minor teams for the most part with last years U21 team reaching a Leinster final. From this I could definitely say there is a foundation platform in place to be very competitive at U21 and senior for next 10 years or so and in this regard, our next senior appointment is crucial - and more so that it is backed up and supported with auxiliary staff and coaching support to bring lads through.

That said, I feel we have been sadly lacking in bridging the gap from minor to U21 / senior for years and while the u21s reached a final this year, they too were missing a bridge in terms of fitness and conditioning from what i saw V Dublin.

For us to be competitive at senior we really need to look at and address this as it will become more pronounced with U21 moving back to U20. We need to follow Kildares lead and put in an Intermediate team primarily for U23 or U25 players at oldest to get players up to the level of senior panel - a feeder team if you like to senior. This should work in tandem with senior S&C coaching primarily over winter to get lads up to speed while they could reduce involvement once club recommences and maybe meet once a week. It would give a platform to lads not on senior panel to bridge the gap especially for those from junior and intermediate clubs as some of our best young players now are coming from rural lower level clubs as the likes of Tullamore Rhode and Clara no longer dominate underage football. The likes of amalgamations such as St Broughans, Na Fianna and St Vincents and even Ferbane underage see their players only until U18 when most if not all go on to play in Junior, Inter and Senior B championships - all a long way short of senior inter county and as a result the best players go backwards fast from not playing a high grade of football.

Re: Development Squads Deserve Respect and a Profile

PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:23 pm
by manfromdelmonte
a window for more U20 club games within the county would be more sensible.
too much training at every age, not enough games

Meath recently changed their underage structures that most children at under 14 and Under 12 will be playing a game of football and hurling every week, with a separate section for football only clubs to give them two football games!
seems to be working very well for them and gives way more games, set calendar of games from April until June, then change to U11 and U13 competitions in August for two more months

Re: Development Squads Deserve Respect and a Profile

PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:57 am
by azoffaly
manfromdelmonte wrote:a window for more U20 club games within the county would be more sensible.
too much training at every age, not enough games

Meath recently changed their underage structures that most children at under 14 and Under 12 will be playing a game of football and hurling every week, with a separate section for football only clubs to give them two football games!
seems to be working very well for them and gives way more games, set calendar of games from April until June, then change to U11 and U13 competitions in August for two more months


This also happens in Tipp, without the football only clubs, obviously :) U11 and U13 competitions just started. U12 and U14 football and hurling have been running weekly since April.