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Re: NHL Division 1B 2019

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:10 am
by Killeighman
There should be incentives for clubs to have delegates on the top table of the county board to change things up. Whatever club has a member on the top table doesn’t have to pay the levy at the start of the year. Something stupid like that because there is no incentive for people to get involved anymore. It’s a poison chalice and no wonder nobody wants to get involved but I do know that change is the only way things will improve for the better. Personally I’d love to see Paul Rouse at the top table but unfortunately he is tied up with other commitments.

Re: NHL Division 1B 2019

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:12 pm
by Plain of the Herbs
At the end of a horrible week for Offaly hurling, there are signs of green shoots.

Pleasing that Coaching Officer Martin Cashen was able to give last Tuesday’s Board meeting a 35 minute presentation on aspects of development work that has been carried out since the turn of the year. That the courses for coaches are taking place and that they are being attended. That Foundation and Grade 1 courses are taking place and are being attended. There could always be more, but it’s a start.

Until last year, the deficiency in coaching standards was largely down to a lack of education of otherwise enthusiastic coaches. And those coaches, who meant well, probably didn’t have ‘breaking down the tackle’ workshops and the like. And in the absence of such education, players graduated to Offaly Minor teams and beyond who were unable to deal with opponents who took on the man or who passed the ball to a supporting colleague. There are dozens of coaches who work hard, but with education can work smart. I think it was ‘substandard’ here who remarked during a previous crisis “the Amish are very hard-working, but I wouldn’t get them in to do the silage”.

It is encouraging that fitness assessments are being carried out, that measurements are recorded and compared for improvement. The momentum needs to be maintained on these. And no harm that there probably is competition between the lads involved, given there are measurable factors involved. For too long in this county, fitness was treated as an optional extra only to be used by counties who ‘couldn’t do ground hurling’.

In time it will enable Offaly to compete with counties who are open minded about the way hurling is played, tactically and physically. Because last Sunday’s performance was directly rooted in a misfunctioning underage system. A team who, wind assisted, were unable to control the game, make space and take scores. And who, facing into the wind and unable to string two passes together. Carlow’s two goals were a direct result of allowing long balls to hop in the square – criminal in any era of hurling.

Will O’Callaghan’s August 2017 interview with Liam Hogan still makes for very interesting and sobering listening, representing a nadir for Offaly hurling. WO’C tweeted a link to that interview last Monday afternoon (the 11th). It was a reminder of the qualifications of that committee and the comprehensive report they had prepared and handed over. And indeed, several of the recommendations have quietly been implemented.

Another issue raised during the week by Kinnitty’s Colm Coughlan on Twitter is the lack of a ‘hurling’ Principal in Birr Secondary School for several years now, which had led to a decline in the school’s hurling culture. To which Will O’Callaghan added that the hurling goalposts had been removed from one of the pitches in the school grounds.

Liam Hogan was interviewed on Newstalk last night. Hogan, again, was very measured and deliberate in the discussion, despite an interviewer who didn’t ‘get’ it, and who was merely after a big headline. Hogan pointed to the good work being done, but disappointed that more isn’t being done. Hogan was more or less in keeping with the ‘encourage the lads while they are down’ pleas at last Tuesday’s Board meeting. Which is fair enough. It shows Liam has Offaly’s interest first and foremost, rather than looking to be proved right

Then after the ad break, presenter Shane Stapleton launched a tirade. I think he suggested the grass at the new Kilcormac centre be grown for silage. Which is unhelpful. His rant culminated in an expression that former players should be appointed to coach within the underage structures. But how many former players have shown an aptitude to coach in the modern environment? Hardly any, I would think. It is a point raised by Enda McEvoy in his recent Irish Examiner analysis of Offaly hurling, picked up on by Dónal Óg Cusack on The Sunday Game last Sunday night. Personally, I would prefer if the coaching was done by qualified and open minded coaches, regardless of their playing day achievements.

In the immediate term, Offaly Seniors now face into a challenging championship. Longer term, I hope the momentum at underage can continue, the education continues, is brought back to the clubs who develop a higher standard of player who can compete with those from other counties when he goes to third level. Just the beginning.

Re: NHL Division 1B 2019

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:43 pm
by Fairplayalways
interesting view on Carlows 2 goals...Christy Heffernan played full forward for Kilkenny and was renowned for "making" goals for his corner forwards, such as Harry Ryan, Liam Fennelly and players of that ilk...Carlows might claim they worked 2 goals on Sunday, high ball in or not, did not necessarily give Offaly backs any natural right to deal with them, that's how sport is in general, Carlow implied that system and it worked...Offaly could have done likewise..remember we got 2 goals the week previous from high balls into the square and I am sure Carlow will say "how did we not deal with them etc"... there would be no goals or points got if every defender was to do his/her job to the letter of exactness...I hear your point and it contains many many valid points too I must add...we all have views I suppose but I am sure those in the positions will and are doing their best for Offaly..we have to deal now with where we are...


Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:07 am
by Plain of the Herbs
Within my post last Friday I made an inappropriate comment without checking the full facts of the situation. I want to take this opportunity to apologise to Niall Gleeson and Ger Maher for the hurt caused by my disparaging comment, and I wish both gentlemen well in the course of their duties going forward.

Re: NHL Division 1B 2019

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:49 am
by Fairplayalways
good man Pat..honourable thing to do if you felt you caused offence...we don't see too much of it in any sport now adays...fair dues to you.