Joe McDonagh cup

A forum to air your views on Offaly GAA matters and beyond.
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greenairfield
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Re: Joe McDonagh cup

Post by greenairfield » Sat May 18, 2019 7:51 pm

We dont have the right people in our county to put the right structures in place and make sure they are implementing then.

The results are at undersge schools and underage teams are still well off where they are suppose to be.

We live in the past to much(last weeks dinner in tullamore is a fine example of that) laughable.

Building a big ground in OCP was just more time the county board wasted instead of appointing the right men for underage and coaching.

jimbob17
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Re: Joe McDonagh cup

Post by jimbob17 » Sat May 18, 2019 8:15 pm

Lord, that was a poor effort! I think its very fair to say that we have fallen a long way further than most would have imagined. To be honest, I am not one bit surprised at the trimming we got today! We couldnt get our best hurlers on the field and beyond that, our best minors and 21s have not been able to beat Westmeath in recent times.

Furthermore, the club standard in WH is a lot higher than we realise. Likes of Raharney, Clonkill and Castletown will keep it up to most senior champions in Leinster Club while there are a few teams such as Delvin, Castlepollard, Lough Lene Gaels bubbling just below that level. I was at Co Semi finals up there few years ago and there were some top hurling men from strong hurling counties running the line for the 4 teams incl Anthony Cunningham of Galway fame. Their club and county structures are reasonably strong and their club league runs very well from March through to early June so club lads are looked after.

They put serious effort in at underage for number of years and I read today that 8 players lining out today beat Kilkenny in U21 Leinster championship a few years ago.

One thing that pains me is the absolute ignorance of what is required to get to to top level - most especially among the high end coaching and decision makers in South Offaly clubs. There has been a little bit of a shift of late but nowhere near where it needs to be - and our county teams are way off for that very fact. It was men against boys today. We were pushed around like school boys by a way stronger Westmeath outfit. Ignoring the services of a S&C coach will not sit well with players let alone paying supporters! It was clear we were well behind in these quarters today but that was not the only issue.

Westmeath movement off the ball was way better than ours and they played constructively - long and short ball as the situation demanded. We on the other hand were "stand up" hurlers. Our movement around ball was terrible and our decision making worse.

Correct me if I am wrong but we should have had significant advantage if good early ball was played long into their full back line. Oisin Kelly, Joe Bergin and Shane Dooley are as big a forward line as there is in country yet we were tapping 20 yd passes around our half back line and getting turned over every time. It was astounding! Whoever had that hair brained idea needs to be told to sit down! That is not, nor never was our game at underage so how you can change to this when it is so alien to offaly senior club hurling is beyond me.

Westmeath on other hand targeted Mitchell and he hurt us every time! If that was a managerial ploy then we really need to look at management - but there was more to it. Killian Doyle was doing wreck scoring 1-6 from play. Was anyone put on him or change or adjustment for this. No disrespect to Pat Camon, but he is not a county senior centre back and never will be. Can be very good and more comfortable at Wing or corner, fair enough but he is not a centre back for club let alone county!

The placing of Dooley at Centre Forward and Mahon inside to me seemed absolutely ridiculous. Dooley never was a half forward worker type and got cleaned today by a good hurler. The opposite can be said of Mahon who would offer a huge amount out under dropping puckouts.

I dont know where we go from here but management and players will be under huge pressure to deliver the next day or we are in a last ditch effort to avoid relegation. Could go that way anyway!

The underage was neglected for years by the county board! You only reap what you sow!
jimbob

Boon
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Re: Joe McDonagh cup

Post by Boon » Sat May 18, 2019 9:14 pm

kingscounty wrote:It’s not a shock that we were well beaten , reading articles saying great wins for Westmeath great win last week for Laois ! But realistically this couldn’t be further from the truth, they beat a team that has been in decline for years. The most worrying thing for me is the hammering the minors received last week, worrying times ahead with no leadership at any level either on the field or off the field!
The minor performance last week against Kilkenny - and the week before against Dublin was an absolute disgrace. At the Dublin match the management spent their time arguing with officials and complaining - instead of actually making desperately needed substitutions. The Kilkenny match was an absolute shambles. No forwards to score. Silence from the sideline. Last year Offaly matched Kilkenny in the Leinster Minor semi final under Eunan Martins leadership, eventually losing out by 5 points...this year a 32 point defeat. And no-one seems to be talking about what's going on in that camp...senior county board official telling people that this years minor set up and team streets ahead of last years - couldn't be further from the truth. Let's hope something improves for next year and the U20s get the management they deserve or we really are in trouble. There are some lovely young hurlers coming up - Sampson, Egan, Maher, Kiely, McLoughlin, Murray, Loughnane (if he comes back from Galway) for U20s - let's hope they get the management they need to flourish - because if we can't do something with that bunch, we're really at nothing for another decade.

jimbob17
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Re: Joe McDonagh cup

Post by jimbob17 » Sat May 18, 2019 10:34 pm

jimbob

Fairplayalways
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Re: Joe McDonagh cup

Post by Fairplayalways » Sat May 18, 2019 11:13 pm

Lordy me, Ime geting lambasted elsewhere for daring to predict an Offaly win there during the week, where did I get my prediction from?...Westmeath did win promotion ve it from Division 2A, where we are replacing them next season, we played in 1B against slightly stronger opposition, which yes, we were not able to match and hence got relegated, but I did think our decent showing last week against Laois, would trigger a bit of moral and team play to get us over Westmeath, not by 10/15 points, I think I went for 6 point win..Westmeath obviously had their team ready and well oiled and fair play to them, while they appear to have been excellent, Offaly do appear to have been very very poor, hence the 13 point win, going by Offaly last week against Laois, and how Westmeath played today, probably a 5-6 point Westmeah win would have been a more "expected" result...however, it is how it is..I have read on other forms calls for County Board CM and Kevin Martin to go...I dont know...love or loathe either, they dont send any team out to perform that poorly, neither can they go out on the pitch and play the game for the players...I have heard rumblings in the past of one or two of our so called star players not doing things properly when not training/playing...the day for doing he Johnny Pilkington smoking and drinking on off time is well gone, Johnny wouldnt get away with that carry on now either, and not only would you be found out on match day, the manager wouldnt have you on the panel either...something isnt right, thats for sure, if management get rid of any player who is acting the magot off the field, the and the team looses, he will be lambasted by supporters, but I think if there is something rotten going on, a blind eye cannot and should not be turned to it...I hope I am wrong but holy mololey how have we gone back so far, its not a team effort at all, and to show how far back we are, say Laois will win this competition, and probably will, yet they will be easily brushed aside when they enter the main championship later in the summer...worrying times folks, as much as I hear people calling for heads at CB level and management, I think there has to be something else not right..we can harp back to underage structures and facilities until the cows come home, I dont think our problems are going to be solved by facilities somehow..

kingscounty
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Re: Joe McDonagh cup

Post by kingscounty » Sat May 18, 2019 11:42 pm

It’s a case of having to start from the very bottom and build. What won all Ireland’s for us was skill and style that other teams didn’t have at that time we had a way of playing. We left it to late to adapt to the modern game, it will take years to develop and create a new way of playing for young lads in the county and I am not sure if there is a will or an appetite within the county at the moment. This was evident in Tullamore last week when the crowd were well out numbered by Laois supporters. Again it’s great to think of past glories and celebrate past all Ireland’s but they need to be put to bed at some stage. A new age is needed where we should be concentrating on the young players and letting them know we need you guys to hurl. It’s easy to point the blame and I ain’t blaming anyone but for me I think a fresh young forward thinking county board is needed. I went to see the footballers last weekend and for the first time in years I had great hope, when I go to a hurling game no matter who we play I have doubt and fear and false expectations. I played club hurling for years and I do know one thing it was the primary school that shaped my interest and game every break time. It amazes me when I see the amount of different sports in schools horse riding, tennis, rugby which I ain’t knocking at all, but there’s very little if any hurling in a lot of schools.

suckindiesel
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Re: Joe McDonagh cup

Post by suckindiesel » Sun May 19, 2019 2:12 am

I didn't post after the game in Tullamore last week, as you get a clearer picture from 2 games as opposed to one.

The good news for OY fans, judged on what I saw in Portlaoise today, you have enough to beat Antrim. They like OY are weak in defence and their main man is Niall McManus and he was hobbling from the start and his legs stop after about 40 mins( a bit like Joe Bergin, dare I say it). Laois missed a heap of easy scoring chances, nearly as many wides as scores and in truth Antrim never threatened. Antrim will offer resistance to ye up north, but I do believe OY has enough to beat them by 1 to 4 points.

Whats the problem with Offaly some of ye ask? As a neutral who attends club hurling in OY, here is my read.

In the past 10 years, not one true class underage hurler has emerged in Offaly. Over that period all your underage teams have been either dreadful or very modest and I would guess victories against KK, Wex or Dublin at underage in the past ten years have been minimal or nil. Hence, no production line of talent.

Last Saturday, the older folk, Mahon and Bergin had much on their shoulders as the youngsters failed to rise to the occasion....how long have this pair and Shane Dooley left at intercounty level, one or no more seasons?

A huge problem for Offaly is the back 7....young Cahill does not play in goal for his club and frankly is not a patch on James Demspey(arguably OY's best player in the past 5 years)....with Dempsey gone, goals are easily scored against OY.

The 6 backs that lined out against Laois are without doubt the worst unit of 6 to rep OY in 40 years...I like Connelly as a hurler, not a full back, the other 5 would not get on the panel of the great OY teams of old. The defenders had little or no first touch and short puck outs exposed their lack of skill.

If you examine the 6 backs who played against Laois, I would point out that save for the Rynaghs pair(Connelly, Camon), the rest are reps from the smaller senior clubs....one could ignorantly ask why Coolderry, KK, Belmont or Birr have no backs on the county team?.....when you tickle this little question, the underlying problem of hurling in OY arises.....the best backs for these leading senior clubs are all lads on the wrong side of 30...your Healions etc....again I repeat the raw material is not there in the 21-27 age bracket.

Over the last ten years the most talked about underage product within OY hurling has been Cillian Kiely....I remember him as the dominant minor when KK beat Shinrone in a minor final 5 years ago. He does have a light fuse and some say is hard to control. Last Saturday, he could and possibly should have been sent off against Ls for a pull on a helmet...not the first time his frustration got the better of him. Given that the OY back line lacks bite, it would be worth the gamble to plonk Kiely in centre back and force him to take responsibility from a pivotal position.

The one class player in the current OY squad with legs is Oisin Kelly. He does seem to vanish from games for long periods(same with Belmont). Any game plan for OY must revolve around having the forward play focus on him.

Some OY hurling fans took umbridge to Donal Og Cusack and his critique.....assessing the last 20 minutes of the game in Tullamore, especially reviewing the video footage in a cold dispassionate manner, there was evidence that Laois were playing a modern style attacking approach, ie low targeted diagonal balls to forwards in motion, whereas Offaly had the good old route one to the square long ball, and there is no future in that old world tactic. I would imagine if OY were at the same lark against WM then Tommy Doyle must have had a field day.

As we stand, OY, WM or LS are not going to win a Leinster in the next 50 years, bringing Galway in Leinster has turned that aspiration into almost mission impossible.
Tier 2 hurling is out of sight, out of mind for the general populace, and it will become increasingly hard to seek players to commit the time and effort at inter county level for such a non glamourous competition. Perish the idea that a 2 or 3 tier inter county football structure could take root, GAA will then start haemorrhaging players to other sports at a dangerous level.

GAHMAD
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Re: Joe McDonagh cup

Post by GAHMAD » Sun May 19, 2019 7:03 am

Boon,

I would take it that you are a disgruntled parent of a minor who didn't make the team? Apologies if I'm wrong. In fairness to the minors, they could have beaten Wexford, and by the newspaper report they were the victims of a brutal ref v Dublin, as well as not being up to scratch. And it would serve some of ye well to remember that these are U17, with some of the players only 16 before ye start writing them off.

My simple view again on the hurling is that yes Management and players take blame (responsibility is the word i'd prefer) for yesterdays performance.
Yes County board should take responsibility, but my thinking is that the clubs of South Offaly, Mid Offaly and North Offaly need to take responsibility.
The heads have been buried in the sand for years as to the change in approach that is required.

It is now time to dust down that plan that was developed and see how much of any of it is in place and see by open invite to all stakeholders have they any Fuu......ing interest in hurling for the future? By stakeholders , its some of ye dudes out there, who couldn't even be arsed going to support the teams.

I'm a football man, with an interest in hurling. But I have watched the decline from the stands and listened to the commentary of "drive it in " and " pull on it " going on around me in horror with no interest in getting the ball to best option using the best pass to leave them with options when they receive the ball.

So in the words of many a Northern politician, I would appeal for calm at this stage, and the players and management need ye to turn up for the Antrim game because lose that and I would say Christy Ring (or whatever slur POTH decides to put on that competition), will be facing us.

Too the players, time to man up now against Antrim for the sake of lads coming behind ye and the best of luck.

Boon
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Re: Joe McDonagh cup

Post by Boon » Sun May 19, 2019 8:19 am

[quote="GAHMAD"]Boon,

I would take it that you are a disgruntled parent of a minor who didn't make the team? Apologies if I'm wrong. In fairness to the minors, they could have beaten Wexford, and by the newspaper report they were the victims of a brutal ref v Dublin, as well as not being up to scratch. And it would serve some of ye well to remember that these are U17, with some of the players only 16 before ye start writing them off.

I accept your apology.

We shouldn’t write them off - there are some lovely hurlers - the problem is how they are being managed and trained. The minors could have beaten Wexford in the first half - they did nothing in the second half. Bad refereeing aside - Dublin were way faster and more skillful - after 10 mins Offaly was out of that game . Players are being put in the wrong positions and there doesn’t seem to be a game plan. Kilkenny match was an absolute disaster. Strong well respected management needs to step in fairly lively with the next crop of U20s or we are going to have more of the same and a lot of potential lost if they can’t see there is a future for all their hard word and commitment to now.

shannonbanks14
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Re: Joe McDonagh cup

Post by shannonbanks14 » Sun May 19, 2019 9:07 am

I agree with lot of whats been said. Minor mgt last yr were excellent and by all accofnts fought hard with co board to put right structures in place. U20 have a good man in Shane Hand and an u20 Leinster final is very realistic this yr with the draw and talent available.
In relation to senior I said before here we have to take our medicine. Kevin Martin is an Offaly legend, he has done all he could with this crop, taking a job nobody would touch, he never ran them down after they collapsed against Carlow(not his fault), and nobody will be hurting as much as him today so anyone blamin him get down to your local agm and get nominated to do sometin yourselves next yr and someday you'll get your chance.

manfromdelmonte
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Re: Joe McDonagh cup

Post by manfromdelmonte » Sun May 19, 2019 10:59 am

As someone else said, if you drive past a school in the county- primary or secondary, what are the chances that the kids will be out playing hurling (or football) at lunch
only the best...

greenairfield
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Re: Joe McDonagh cup

Post by greenairfield » Sun May 19, 2019 11:49 am

Suckingdisel super post you cover everything that is wrong with Offaly hurling.

Our last decent Offaly minor and U21 team was the team with Bergin Dooley, Ryan (that age bracket)

They competed with the top teams for years..yes got some beatings too but some management teams appointed were not great either.

When the spine of that team stopped hurling inter county only 3 or 4 left now we have fallen.

The players that came through struggled as a whole as underage(might of been one u21 final) but still never beat got an easy route to the final.

If you look at the majority of the top club teams bar Rynaghs who have a younger back line as such.

KK - Healions, Grogan, Kilmartin
Birr - Cleary , Watkins, Verney
Coolderry- Brady, Teehan, Corcoran

It shows you the lack of talent coming through
Last edited by greenairfield on Sun May 19, 2019 11:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

uibhfhaili
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Re: Joe McDonagh cup

Post by uibhfhaili » Sun May 19, 2019 11:50 am

Hardly a shock is it? W'meath have some v strong U21s sides for a few yrs, beating KK ect. Something Offaly could only dream of.

GAHMAD
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Re: Joe McDonagh cup

Post by GAHMAD » Sun May 19, 2019 12:38 pm

"In MacNamara’s line of work, they talk about the power and value of the egoless talent coach. Someone who doesn’t necessarily want to go to the moon but just wants to prepare the rocket so that someday it will head and land there. Fitzgibbon, she found, was that rare, precious coach.

“The thing that really struck me about Shane and that group of guys was that they were in it for Limerick and not for themselves,” she says. “It wasn’t about Shane Fitzgibbon driving the future of Limerick hurling, it was about Limerick hurling."


Very interesting article Jimbob, I only skimmed through it but this is the piece that jumped out to me.
It is a concept that new coaches struggle with and its not that they have big egos, but they feel under pressure to prove themselves with performance. So they focus on the stronger players and focus on the strong side and focus on the fitness and focus on increasing the speed at which things are done.
Mistakes made:
1) They don't measure and manage (basic skills, fitness and S&C tests)
2) They don't spot and fix with kids (up close coaching)
3) They dont put continued emphasis on the weaker side
4) They dont put the emphasis on games based approach and creating "critical thinking players".....(google Mucklaghs Prof Seamus Kelly talking about this on you tube)
5) They don't video some games in order to show players where they are going wrong
6) They don't focus on the amount of games per season each player plays (all players should get 20 games per season, with weakest players getting 10 games ....20 half games)

If this was the emphasis to the best of their ability and resources, which could be packaged into a clear plan then we could progress and coaches would be better, and players going into county squads would be better, and player retention would be better.
This needs to be done at club and county level and school level.

But its a really interesting article, and have a look at what Seamus Kelly (Critical thinking players) says.....it isnt rocket science, but is the real difference in improving ability and performance plus decision making.

substandard
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Re: Joe McDonagh cup

Post by substandard » Sun May 19, 2019 2:43 pm

It's Kevin Martin's fault.
It's the County Board's fault.
It's the players' fault.
It's OCP's fault.
It's the underage fault.
It's the Development Squad's fault.
It's the South Offaly clubs' fault.
It's the North Offaly clubs' fault.
It's Tommy Burns' fault.
It's (insert previous manager's name) fault.
It's the Plan's fault.
It's the lack of a Plan's fault.
(Space to add targets as you wish).

I'm two years away from the Offaly club scene now- and because I'm an outsider and football- oriented, I'm probably not justified in commenting about Offaly hurling. Please stop reading at this point if you are so inclined.

I've been listening to talk and reading about the demise of Offaly hurling over 10 years now.
That's the span of a lot of inter-county careers. As I have listed above, pot-shots are taken at any number of targets at any given time. Some features more frequently than others.

It's very easy to take aim. The County Board- scheming away at new ways to drag Offaly hurling (and football) down. Kevin Martin- surely he runs any lad that can hurl, and deliberately tells players to do things badly for fear that they might win a game. The blame game is easy: all you have to do is say 'Shure they (management, whatever team or code) haven't a clue', and 'Shure the players are shite, they don't care about the jersey'.
Equally easy to blast about OCP vs Birr. The development squads. The schools.
Launch a rant about any of the above, and straight away you've made friends. Lads will back you up in the smoking section of pubs, or outside the local shop, or after mass- or on online chat forums. Women will, too. It becomes a way of life. It's easy, and it's dangerous. It fosters apathy, a culture of victim-hood, and it weighs down any effort to progress.
Does outrage make you a true Offaly GAA person? Does chest-thumping and railing about any of the failings of officials, coaches, players, etc show how much you care- more than any of the aforementioned? Immediately, self-righteous-ness is engaged. So you are a paid member of your club. So you've been doing this, that and the other for years. So you buy tickets and pay into every game you go to.
Well, hoo-haa. Big deal.
You see, you're responsible for the current state of affairs as well. You're partially culpable. You have contributed to the mess as well.
What- moi? Surely not- I do my best, all that I can. Sure I've no say in what happens day to day. I haven't time to get involved. That's someone else's job. I don't go to meetings. I drop the young lad off to training, or I bring him to matches now and again.

You see the dangers of the blame game. People go into defensive mode. And if you're in defensive mode, you'll look for excuses- someone else to blame. Spread enough blame around, and you create a toxic atmosphere. Everything grinds to a halt. Carlow are training teams, hurling and football. Likely with similar numbers to Offaly, in hurling and football- I'm talking county squads, not clubs. They've probably broadly similar numbers of coaches, probably with similar qualifications. But they're operating under the 'Carlow Rising' banner. They're operating in an altogether more positive atmosphere. Easier to coach in. Easier to play in. Easier to support.

Looking at problems, excuses and blame are easy. Solutions are not so easy. Start at the bottom is the easy suggestion, or put money into underage is another. See, these ones are higher order thinking variants of the blame game. If you say these, you show that you are sage and forward-thinking compared with the ranters and railers I was in about earlier. All good and well: start what at the bottom? Where is the bottom? What will money do in underage? Now, my sample size is admittedly very small- I've brought this up with three people I've spoken to. They were borderline evangelical when it came to stating what should be done, I.e. start at the bottom, and pump money into underage, but when pressed, it tailed off into a vague 'You know, coaching and stuff...'. In other words, they didn't know.
You see, this is the thing. In The Hitchhiker 's Guide to the Galaxy, the answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe and Everything was 42. A concrete, definitive answer- it was the question that lacked clarity. At the start of this, I listed as many of the usual causes of the problems with Offaly hurling as they get trotted out, off the top of my head. In thinking about solutions, you need to simplify the problem. Cut away all the hyperbole, and identify what can be done. What needs to happen at this point in Offaly needs to be new, radical, easy to implement, and most importantly, measurable.
While schools have a role and need to be addressed, the primary focus should be on clubs, and the onus is on clubs.
The standard of coaching and developing competitiveness has to improve dramatically in clubs. It may well be tough medicine for some, but I guarantee you, if you look at your own club, how many mentors are involved with teams that are just not good enough, or are stuck in the past, or are only there because no-one else will take on the role, or- and this is the most urgently in need of rectifying: the local legend who has always taken the u14s or 16s and won plenty of titles because he has always had one or two big lads or skilful lads to carry the team through, with zero development of skills or two-sides?
I have a suggestion that I think would help improve standards across the board at club level, but I've ran out of energy and time at this point.

There has been enough time spent/ wasted on blame. Solutions is what Offaly needs, not the same old, same old.

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