Originally Posted by mickmcl09
I'm going back to the early 90's here. For 4 months from Feb to May between Sigerson, Fitzgibbon, Club & County, sessions & games would total approx. 105 to 110 training sessions & games, over a 4 year period. For the other 8 months, 2 to 3.5 months are more or less on your own bat and the balance is the summer period depends really how far you go in various competitions. I'd say the summer period was 3-5 days a week.
We didn't know as much about training, diet and a whole host of things that we (should) know about now. Back then and in alot it cases still the case, training sessions are bordering on crucifying fellas. Mgt. set ups dont know anything about the value of rest and recovery sessions, its brut force with alot of them. The GAA in general are still miles behind other sports from a fitness and diet point of view.
My heart goes out to guys who get injured, especially between the ages of 16 & 21. For a number of reasons.
- it's the time that they are developing into adult players and in most cases they never catch up properly afterwards.
- it's a crucial time for their education and future careers and IMO injured players do not perform academically, they need sport to blow off steam to compliment their studies. Just because your injured and spending more time studying as a result, I've rarely seen results improve, quite the contrary actually.
- more often than not injured players suffer a recurrence of the injury and unfortunately the injury sometimes becomes chronic leading to them leaving the game. It's caused playing catch up by the gap created by being laid off while other players are training and playing games.
Theres lots of Diarmuid Duggans (cork) out there.
GAA is not professional, it's not comparible to professional sports for one simple reason, we have to go out to work to make a living. GAA training regime is far tougher and harder on the body because it's being packed into one session every evening. Pro's can do up to 3 sessions a day, shorter, recovery is a big part of it and of course the emphasis on diet and wellbeing.
IMO, I think a PRO game in both codes is not much more than 25 years away, maybe much less. I also think (hopefully when it does happen) that it will be an organisation completely separate from the GAA and GPA ( and again I hope it's a separate organisation).
Is there a market for it now? That's the question. Diehards would like to have you believe that there isn't. A few 'dragons' out there would believe that there is, especially with the resurgence of the games in the States and with more and more ex pats in Canada, Austrailia and other parts of Europe and Asia. I'd love to see a Super 15 type pro game with 7-10 teams from Ireland and the rest worldwide.
It's the future.
And before any of the Diehards get in first. Suck it up, it's the way forward, there's too many top players scraping the barrel just to make ends meet, too many self employed hard working members who can't risk playing because of the implications of getting injured.
Managers are getting paid anyway. A pro game would be more transparent.
Good post up until your final few paragraphs when you went on about professionalism and dismissed anyone who disagreed with you as "diehards"!
You believe that professionalism is inevitible and that franchises are the way to go- it will be very difficult to make 7-10 teams based on regions, as certain counties would not like to merge with other counties, and it would be a political nightmare to pick where these superclubs are based.
You should look into the regionalisation of Welsh rugby back in 2003- they hit many roadblocks, clubs not wanting to be merged with other clubs, some clubs demanding to remain as stand alone clubs, most the proposals were rejected before a structure was finally agreed; 5 new regionalised super clubs. 2 of which were stand alone clubs, and 3 mergers.
Within a year the Bridgend-Pontypridd club (Celtic Warriors) went belly up, riddled with politics as the two clubs couldn't agree on the naming of the new club, where they played the games, the colours of the jersey. The fans of both the feeder clubs never warmed to the new club and the whole thing just didn't work out. (Also, none of the 5 regional clubs encompassed North Wales, think of the vast swathes of the country your plan would isolate and abandon in hurling.)
Presently, the club game in Wales is about to take a big hit, 9 years on, the Welsh public have not taken the new clubs into their hearts, attendances are poor, inferior to attendances in the Welsh Premier league before the regions were created, a salary cap is being introduced this summer because they are losing money hand over fist and the 4 welsh clubs are now finding it very difficult to hang on to their best players. The future of professional regional rugby in Wales is not rosey. And go up to Scotland, they have 4 traditional regions and are only able to afford to run clubs in two of those regions. Bare in mind that rugby is very popular in both these countries.
So look at finances, a club would require a panel of 30 players (probably more) and those players would have to be paid (I'm giving a conservative estimate here) about 40,000 euro a year, there's a total wage bill of 1.2million euro, realistically it would be closer to 2 million when you factor in paying staff and that the better players will be paid a lot more than 40,000.
So for 7-10 clubs you're looking to raise 14 to 20 million euro just to pay everyone, rather than accuse me of being a diehard, I want you to explain how on earth clubs are going to raise that kind of money in Ireland?
The future is to protect the players, place restrictions on the amount of hours in a week the county is allowed to train their players as what is being demanded of them is too much. Another reason your professionalism idea is flawed is that you haven't taken the club game into consideration. The club game is the heart and soul of the gaa, 97% (probably more actually) of players are club players (why do so many people only care about fixing everything to suit the elite 2-3%), if you bring in professionalism, you kill the club game- look what rugby did to the club game in Ireland, the provinces got the pick of the players and the clubs lost their best players forever, and the quality of the club game suffered as a result as did the attendances. You don't see Paul O'Connell lining out for Young Munster every other week or Ronan O'Gara playing for Cork Con anymore.
It's nowhere near as simple as you seem to think it is, there are far too many barriers and obstacles to professionalism for it to realistically work. Main one being that the money just isn't there, that's common sense, not diehardness as you (ignorantly) seem to think.