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Can Offaly hurling be saved?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 678 ✭✭✭ grbear
    Registered User


    Donal Ogs cut at Duignan, which was all that piece ended up amounting to, was a load of old guff to be honest. Will we just give up on Clare and Galway if they regress to their pre-95 and 80 mean position? Waterford and Dublin haven't won an All-Ireland in 60 and 80 years, why not give up on them as well?

    Ultimately responsibility for the state of Offaly hurling lies with the County Board and they don't seem willing to match the work being done in other countries.

    Brian Carroll was appointed to a youth development role a few years ago but ended up walking away from the post. While he hasnt spoken much about what happened the impression I get is that beyond it making for a nice bit of PR for the board when his appointment was announced they didn't offer up much support so he packed it in along with the people he was working with.

    Until the board can show they have a proper plan in place to get their youth development back on track then I don't think Croke Park should get involved. Get behind the likes of Carlow who seem to be doing things properly now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 602 CorkFenian
    Registered User


    grbear wrote: »
    Donal Ogs cut at Duignan, which was all that piece ended up amounting to, was a load of old guff to be honest. Will we just give up on Clare and Galway if they regress to their pre-95 and 80 mean position? Waterford and Dublin haven't won an All-Ireland in 60 and 80 years, why not give up on them as well?

    Ultimately responsibility for the state of Offaly hurling lies with the County Board and they don't seem willing to match the work being done in other countries.

    Brian Carroll was appointed to a youth development role a few years ago but ended up walking away from the post. While he hasnt spoken much about what happened the impression I get is that beyond it making for a nice bit of PR for the board when his appointment was announced they didn't offer up much support so he packed it in along with the people he was working with.

    Until the board can show they have a proper plan in place to get their youth development back on track then I don't think Croke Park should get involved. Get behind the likes of Carlow who seem to be doing things properly now.

    Great post grbear agree with you 100%


  • Registered Users Posts: 14 finjoe
    Registered User


    CorkFenian wrote: »
    As someone who remembers the Offaly teams of the 80's it seems a great shame to see how far back Offaly have gone, potentially in Christy Ring cup next year.

    Is there any movement in the county to rectify this? Underage etc

    Can it be rectified or is it as Donal Og Cusack said that the success of Offaly teams in the 80s\90s were an aberration:) and normal order has resumed
    I don't honestly know if Offaly hurling can be saved, we have regressed so much it scary, I was talking to an avid Westmeath supporter today who told me he was at the game and Offalys first touch was awful (not the firs time in recent times we seen this) and fitness was, well, not fit enough at all, our bigger players while physically big were "laboring" around the field, we can go on and on about county board and structures but if you are not fit (fit enough) you are at nothing, is there actually any need to state that really..I don't know..I seen a good point elsewhere today and it is something I have noticed in Offaly over the last 20 years, money is being put into coaching etc, but from what I see, some of these "coaches" are 30 somethings who hurled intermediate with their clubs and are kind of talked into the coaching, fair play to them for doing it, it is grand for very young under age, but come U14 upwards, these lads just wont cut the mustard coaching wise, I see presentations in schools where "star" players are brought in, and in fairness, they are good players but not star players. Our underage now have no one really to look upto..the sooner they abandon this ould lark of hall of fame and honoring this former player and that former player the better, the social hubs in Tullamore are the ones gaining with these gigs, with collar and ties and tickets maybe €50 a pop....we need to concentrate on the here and now and the future, the 1980's are 40 years ago now...move on..the rest of the hurling world has...


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,724 ✭✭✭ nice_guy80


    The rot in offaly started in the late 90s when they were still winning
    North offaly has practically no hurling now


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 399 ✭✭ leestone


    Reality is Offaly small population spilt by hurling to one side football to the other. The teams of the past had the unique feature of expectational players and back ground people.

    What is in their favor is to they can target coaching of either hurling and football to areas that are steeped in one of those sports.

    I leave six miles from Offaly and one thing I can see is the faithful fans will get their time again but maybe not for a generation


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,118 ✭✭✭✭ RMAOK
    Registered User


    nice_guy80 wrote: »
    The rot in offaly started in the late 90s when they were still winning
    North offaly has practically no hurling now

    That would have been the time to put the work into underage teams in order to keep the show on the road. It is very easy to get young lads involved in hurling/football when the senior team is going well / winning all-irelands. Look at limerick ATM or Galway last year etc.


    It would be extremely hard to motivate young lads to play hurling for Offaly now, given the way their seniors are going.

    The only real way imo that Offaly can recover now is to put most, if not all, of their resources into underage and hope to have a competitive team in a decade or so. Because, atm, their seniors are on their way to the Christy ring either this year or in the near future.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,611 ✭✭✭ Pogue eile
    Registered User


    grbear wrote: »
    Donal Ogs cut at Duignan, which was all that piece ended up amounting to, was a load of old guff to be honest.

    Donal Og talks rubbish the best of times and always does seem to have an alterior motive to be fair, but dismissing all he says here as old guff is a bit of the 'boy who called wolf' scenario.

    There absolutely is an element of the 80's and 90's being the exception and that on the back of an outstanding generation Offaly simply overachieved, at both codes for that matter.

    This of course if not in any way to absolve the county board of blame who have been shameful in their neglect of hurling. The catchment area is tiny in Offaly and comparable to that of North Kerry, they were never realistically going to be able to maintain competitiveness with the traditional hurling counties.

    Offaly's true standing lies somewhere in between the great days and the position they are in now and the will doesn't seem to exist in the County Board to invest properly to drag them out of the abyss.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,724 ✭✭✭ nice_guy80


    Pogue eile wrote: »
    Donal Og talks rubbish the best of times and always does seem to have an alterior motive to be fair, but dismissing all he says here as old guff is a bit of the 'boy who called wolf' scenario.

    There absolutely is an element of the 80's and 90's being the exception and that on the back of an outstanding generation Offaly simply overachieved, at both codes for that matter.

    This of course if not in any way to absolve the county board of blame who have been shameful in their neglect of hurling. The catchment area is tiny in Offaly and comparable to that of North Kerry, they were never realistically going to be able to maintain competitiveness with the traditional hurling counties.

    Offaly's true standing lies somewhere in between the great days and the position they are in now and the will doesn't seem to exist in the County Board to invest properly to drag them out of the abyss.
    the clubs also have to take a lot of the blame
    they elect and effectively run the county board and underage structures in the county
    its funny that Dublin hurling has got millions over the past 15 years, and all the counties who were at a similar level to them were ignored - Laois, Westmeath, Offaly


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,484 ✭✭✭✭ DEFTLEFTHAND
    Registered User


    People forget just how small a pool they have to chose from. Basically about 9 clubs in a small area. It's nearly exclusively a south offaly game.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,484 ✭✭✭✭ DEFTLEFTHAND
    Registered User


    There's no history there pre 1980 either. They were as they are now for the first 100 yrs of organised hurling.

    They availed of CP Grants in the late 70s to develop hurling. Loads of weaker hurling counties did at the time.


    Got two great generations and 18 yrs of success out of it but it was never going to be sustainable from such a small playing base.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 499 ✭✭ Joe Daly


    There might not have been much success before 1980 but they were competing reached a couple of leinster finals I think they ran kilkenny to two points and defeated Wexford in a semi final reached the closing stages of the league. Rynaghs always competed well in the club championship since it started in 1971,a pity to see things gone so bad when you see the Dubs getting millions all the facilaties at there door step.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,832 ✭✭✭ Poor_old_gill
    Registered User


    But why Offaly? Why not Laois, Carlow, Westmeath or Kerry?
    Offaly have had good teams and a strong tradition and have thrown it away through bad management and horrendous county board decisions- TS to be honest


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,724 ✭✭✭ nice_guy80


    People forget just how small a pool they have to chose from. Basically about 9 clubs in a small area. It's nearly exclusively a south offaly game.

    there are more than 9 hurling clubs in Offaly.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 499 ✭✭ Joe Daly


    But why Offaly? Why not Laois, Carlow, Westmeath or Kerry?
    Offaly have had good teams and a strong tradition and have thrown it away through bad management and horrendous county board decisions- TS to be honest


    Did Dublin gaa not get well helped out by the tax payer every facility available to them and they with a strong tradition.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,832 ✭✭✭ Poor_old_gill
    Registered User


    Joe Daly wrote: »
    Did Dublin gaa not get well helped out by the tax payer every facility available to them and they with a strong tradition.

    My question had nothing to do with Dublin and if you are including them then that argument can be made in favour of every other county.
    So again-why Offaly and not one of the names counties, who with less resources seem to have caught up with or passed out Offaly in recent times


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,035 ✭✭✭ rivegauche
    Registered User


    Much as I hate it, MMA is where it is at. They're all mad in to it but my nephews rejected the GAA without me being able to say MMA being to blame. I love Judo and I can appreciate Jiu-jitsu but no thanks to all the rest.
    One of them is an absolutely beautiful hurler and would be on the Offaly county team if he had any interest(that would have been a big claim years ago when there was competition to get on the team but not so big a claim these days).
    Another nephew is winning medals in grappling sports all around him although older generations in the family played football for the county.
    The youngsters in the bigger towns are all in the MMA Clubs and when not there they are gulping down protein shakes in the Gyms.


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,503 ✭✭✭✭ The_Kew_Tour
    Registered User


    I used to love offaly but I'm sorry I ever did now. Very spiteful bunch of former players who have chips in their shoulders with other counties for whatever reason.

    May their fall continue


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,611 ✭✭✭ Pogue eile
    Registered User


    I used to love offaly but I'm sorry I ever did now. Very spiteful bunch of former players who have chips in their shoulders with other counties for whatever reason.

    May their fall continue

    That is some sweeping claim, have you a few examples?

    And I'll go one better name a county that doesn't have a spiteful former player?

    Who put these chips there? Was it the county board or the government or maybe the Catholic church?


  • Registered Users Posts: 17 ✭✭✭ gunner099
    Registered User


    Get the best 15 in the county on the pitch. For some reason it looks like lads are not committing or being overlooked. What are the reasons behind that?
    Look at the lineup from the last match, 6/7 from the Senior B championship. (Not picking on them)

    Faithful fields has come twenty years too late but at least it is there now and to be honest it is impressive looking and that might excite the youth again to strive for playing there. It should have been in place when Offaly were a strong team and the youth might have had interest.

    It is a long way back but Offaly will come again if the right steps are put in place and start building for the future. Maybe the club championship should go ahead during the summer rather than waiting from April to July. Good competitive games would keep lads sharp and new players might come to the fore during the club championship and step up to County.


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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 4,115 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bruschi
    Moderator


    nice_guy80 wrote: »
    the clubs also have to take a lot of the blame
    they elect and effectively run the county board and underage structures in the county
    its funny that Dublin hurling has got millions over the past 15 years, and all the counties who were at a similar level to them were ignored - Laois, Westmeath, Offaly

    https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/hurling/offaly-set-for-funding-boost-in-bid-to-arrest-steady-decline-in-fortunes-30313697.html

    The serious decline in the fortunes of Offaly hurling has prompted the GAA to assign it special status alongside Antrim, Carlow, Laois and Westmeath, who were deemed to be in need of direct intervention earlier this year.

    Omitted from the €900,000 five-year funding initiative when it was announced in February, Offaly are now to be included, following a request from the county board. Each of the five counties will receive extra funding of up to €45,000 per year to bolster supports for county teams.

    granted, not near the same level of the €1m per annum Dublin hurling got, but in fairness, a nice top up to other funds already on the table. How wisely it was spent is another thing, or how long this went for I dont know either. But it was definitely on the table and I'm nearly sure a former Offaly player was bemoaning that most of the money was squandered on S&C coaches instead of proper long term investment and infrastructure


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,002 ✭✭✭ Hulk Hands
    Registered User


    People forget just how small a pool they have to chose from. Basically about 9 clubs in a small area. It's nearly exclusively a south offaly game.

    This. The hurling territory is just that sliver east of Galway and north of Tipp. It was a complete anomaly that they were competing at the top for 20 years or so. Probably one of the great underdog stories in sport, it just so happened that it occured at the beginning of hurlings lifecycle as a mainstream popular sport, rather than then coming from obscurity as they should've been, so people see them as a fallen giant rather than a plucky upstart. Where they've been in the last 15 years is acceptable for the pick they have


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,217 ✭✭✭ cms88
    Registered User


    But why Offaly? Why not Laois, Carlow, Westmeath or Kerry?
    Offaly have had good teams and a strong tradition and have thrown it away through bad management and horrendous county board decisions- TS to be honest

    I've been saying this for years and i'd also put Antrim in the same bracket. Why does hurling ''need'' a strong Offaly or Antrim? Why not someone ealse?

    Carlow with a lot less have gone about their business and are competing at a higher level than both and you don't hear any complaining form them. Westmeath also going the same. Kerry and Laois have gone back a small bit but they still just get on with ti


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,493 ✭✭✭ Grueller
    Registered User


    But why Offaly? Why not Laois, Carlow, Westmeath or Kerry?
    Offaly have had good teams and a strong tradition and have thrown it away through bad management and horrendous county board decisions- TS to be honest

    Why does it have to be one or the other? Why not try get them all to the top table?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,724 ✭✭✭ nice_guy80


    Hulk Hands wrote: »
    This. The hurling territory is just that sliver east of Galway and north of Tipp. It was a complete anomaly that they were competing at the top for 20 years or so. Probably one of the great underdog stories in sport, it just so happened that it occured at the beginning of hurlings lifecycle as a mainstream popular sport, rather than then coming from obscurity as they should've been, so people see them as a fallen giant rather than a plucky upstart. Where they've been in the last 15 years is acceptable for the pick they have

    there used to be hurling clubs around Edenderry. now there are none (afaik).
    Tullamore won the senior A club only a few years ago so that is not south offaly
    there always were a few north offaly lads on county panels but that has changed hugely
    you have the situation where bigger clubs are allowed poach good young players from smaller clubs (Crinkill)
    clubs seem to be amalgamating a lot at underage and it is less about maximising participation than fielding the strongest teams possible


  • Registered Users Posts: 629 ✭✭✭ Mehapoy
    Registered User


    nice_guy80 wrote: »
    there used to be hurling clubs around Edenderry. now there are none (afaik).
    Tullamore won the senior A club only a few years ago so that is not south offaly
    there always were a few north offaly lads on county panels but that has changed hugely
    you have the situation where bigger clubs are allowed poach good young players from smaller clubs (Crinkill)
    clubs seem to be amalgamating a lot at underage and it is less about maximising participation than fielding the strongest teams possible
    The work in offaly has to begin in the schools and clubs to build up participation numbers in the existing hurling area again, also need to target the urban areas, get coaches into the schools, every young lad in tullamore should at least get a go with a hurley let those who have an interest have a pathway to the clubs.
    In fairness they have advantages over other similar counties of strong clubs and well known hurling names that should attract people, it looks like they got complacent and thoyght theyd keep getting lads playing without really trying.
    If they want to return to the top level the work has to go in at the grassroots.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,724 ✭✭✭ nice_guy80


    Mehapoy wrote: »
    The work in offaly has to begin in the schools and clubs to build up participation numbers in the existing hurling area again, also need to target the urban areas, get coaches into the schools, every young lad in tullamore should at least get a go with a hurley let those who have an interest have a pathway to the clubs.
    In fairness they have advantages over other similar counties of strong clubs and well known hurling names that should attract people, it looks like they got complacent and thoyght theyd keep getting lads playing without really trying.
    If they want to return to the top level the work has to go in at the grassroots.

    all of that if applicable to Laois, Westmeath, Meath, Kildare, Wicklow and Carlow
    Portlaoise has one gaa club. that is not sustainable for growing GAA in the town. Athlone has one hurling club. Tullamore has one hurling club (with a few around it). Mullingar town has one hurling club (with a few the far side of it).
    these larger midland towns should be able to have at least 2 hurling clubs with a population of 20,000+
    GAA HQ or Leinster GAA needs to take over their club development and coaching and games programs and put in place structures to get more kids in towns hurling and playing football (the two go hand in hand) because it is clear the counties involved are in some cases doing very little for hurling or are paying lip service to it and wasting a lot of money.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,611 ✭✭✭ Pogue eile
    Registered User


    Mehapoy wrote: »
    The work in offaly has to begin in the schools and clubs to build up participation numbers in the existing hurling area again, also need to target the urban areas, get coaches into the schools, every young lad in tullamore should at least get a go with a hurley let those who have an interest have a pathway to the clubs.
    In fairness they have advantages over other similar counties of strong clubs and well known hurling names that should attract people, it looks like they got complacent and thoyght theyd keep getting lads playing without really trying.
    If they want to return to the top level the work has to go in at the grassroots.

    Very true, and the original emergence of Offaly hurling was as a direct result of the work done in Birr school back in the day - if I remember correctly it was a Cork man who was teaching there at the time that put the structures in place, his name escapees me right now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,832 ✭✭✭ Poor_old_gill
    Registered User


    Grueller wrote: »
    Why does it have to be one or the other? Why not try get them all to the top table?

    Because money is a finite resource


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 314 ✭✭ Blinky Plebum


    Offaly is a small county split almost 50/50 (probably more 60/40 football) between the 2 codes.

    From 1980 - 2000 the hurlers won 10 Leinsters ,4 All Irelands, National League, and were losing finalists in the all ireland 3 other times.Either side of that 20 years period Offaly have not won a leinster or even appeared in an all ireland semi final.

    From 1960-1982 the footballers won 9 Leinsters,3 All Irelands and were losing finalists in the all ireland 3 times. Outside of that period Offaly have won 1 Leinster championship in 1997 and the league in 1998.

    The truth is the hurlers have reverted back to the norm (as have the footballers) the great period from the 80's and 90's was an abberation for Offaly Hurling and the rot had set in during the 1990's because they just thought the good times would roll on and didn't put enough work in at underage level.Truth is we probbaly will never see days like that again for the hurlers a we missed out on a great chance to turn the county into a permanent hurling powerhouse by fully capitalising on the successes of the 80's and 90's.There are only 10-12 counties who probably bother with hurlinga and we could have kept ourselves at the top if the county didn't get so complacent.


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