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The paradox of higher standards

  • 04-01-2020 6:08pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5,402 ✭✭✭ Goodluck2me


    The recent speculation of Cathal McShane going to Aussie rules has reminded me of a conversation I had a while back about the rising standards in the GAA.

    My theory is that the obviously higher standards we’ve seen in the last 20 years in the GAA is not necessarily a good thing for the organization.

    On one hand the supreme standard Dublin has attained is admirable and great to watch, but is having a team reach that high actually a good thing? I don’t think the GAA should be about training 200 times a year, or having to do 5-6 sessions a week, because it means you have to sacrifice too much to get there in your career, personal life and club life. Once that happens there is an inevitable move towards professionalism, and also a widening gap in standards which reduces competition and eventually interest. The Leinster championship is an irrelevance today, for instance.

    To me, a successful GAA is having hundreds of thousands of active players every week and reasonable crowds at games, it’s not about whether your marquee forward can run as fast as Ronaldo or lift as much as Johnny Sexton. The move towards more and more County games and time with that squad will eventually piss off the volunteers at the clubs who give so much for free when they see their best players are no longer involved any more. This is true even down to u16s.

    The other downside is that it makes players more poachable from other sports and you’ve have important players missing.

    I think the solution should be less county and a shorter season, less GPA, no back door. Curious to hear thoughts on it.


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 336 ✭✭ Banner2theend


    The recent speculation of Cathal McShane going to Aussie rules has reminded me of a conversation I had a while back about the rising standards in the GAA.

    My theory is that the obviously higher standards we’ve seen in the last 20 years in the GAA is not necessarily a good thing for the organization.

    On one hand the supreme standard Dublin has attained is admirable and great to watch, but is having a team reach that high actually a good thing? I don’t think the GAA should be about training 200 times a year, or having to do 5-6 sessions a week, because it means you have to sacrifice too much to get there in your career, personal life and club life. Once that happens there is an inevitable move towards professionalism, and also a widening gap in standards which reduces competition and eventually interest. The Leinster championship is an irrelevance today, for instance.

    To me, a successful GAA is having hundreds of thousands of active players every week and reasonable crowds at games, it’s not about whether your marquee forward can run as fast as Ronaldo or lift as much as Johnny Sexton. The move towards more and more County games and time with that squad will eventually piss off the volunteers at the clubs who give so much for free when they see their best players are no longer involved any more. This is true even down to u16s.

    The other downside is that it makes players more poachable from other sports and you’ve have important players missing.

    I think the solution should be less county and a shorter season, less GPA, no back door. Curious to hear thoughts on it.

    I have just wrote the very same re demands on GAA players on the Clare GAA thread. Everything you said there is right on the money. GAA president John Horan has to take a large chunk of responsibility for what is a huge hot potato and bug bearer of mine.

    Flogging and overtraining in the months of November and December, along with the meaningless exercise of playing such inter-county GAA games in these months, has no place in the GAA. This 5 day a week training by the Clare U20 footballers is a failure on both the U20 management and the GAA hierarchy who have allowed this to happen, I'm sorry but this is wrong and even though people will say to me that shows "how dedicated they are" is rubbish and no one is going to change my opinion on this.

    A big few weeks and months await the GAA going forward. The disaster that is the 2020 master fixture calendar cannot be undone, sadly and regrettably. 2021 will be a huge year as this is the year that the recommendations of the GAA fixtures task force committee will come to fruition.

    Hopefully we will see meaningful action in this plan, as if this backfires and doesn't get the required support of the CPA and GPA, much maligned I know, along with the general grassroots and above all else, the player themselves, then the GAA is facing a bleak future, where the common place will be high player drop-out and burnout. That will be the new normal and that is something that as a proud GAA fan, who wants the best for the player, I will find it impossible to stomach.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,198 ✭✭✭ dobman88


    I saw a good comment on the McShane situation then other day. "Have the GAA invited the fox into the hen house". It was in reference to the new mark rule in the GAA and McShane using it very well a few times in the league last year. It means AFL scouts can go and watch competitive games now and see the AFL style of play without having to rely solely on combines.

    Also as you say, with county teams becoming more professional, its easier to make that step up and we are going to lose more talent. I'm from Kerry and loved seeing McShane do his thing, same as I enjoy watching all the top players but the new rules and modern standards are going to be the ruin of the inter county game imo


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,911 ✭✭✭ beggars_bush


    It's ridiculous that the county season now starts before Christmas


  • Registered Users Posts: 984 ✭✭✭ manofwisdom


    It's ridiculous that the county season now starts before Christmas

    Do you not remember the time when 2 NFL games was played in November?


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


    It's absolutely true in football. They game in its natural state becomes worse for the introduction of superfit athletes. There's no game bar Rugby where being fast and powerful can help you as much rather than technically skillful. The way the games is designed leaves it too open to tactics also. Soccer can be a very boring game but at its basics it's difficult to retain possession and that means tactics rather than ability can only bring you so far. In football, a team of monkeys can be organised in defence and effectively retain possession.

    Hurling however is absolutely better for the introduction of top level fitness and tactics. Gone is the dross a decade ago of blindly clearing the ball as far as possible with the crowd cheering. The fitness of players leads to that frantic action that's making hurling recently so great, constant battles for possession all over the field. Not to be making this as hurling over football. I think fundamentally football is a better game but professionalism suits hurling more.

    As an aside, we need to stop grouping the sports together however under the blanket 'GAA'. They're two completely different games somehow bound together

    Anyway, the level of training can't be stopped at this stage. You cap the amount of training and players will do it on their own. Trying to police teams training in December was found to be basically impossible. It it what it is now, we may just deal with it. There's also very little deterrent to players using PED's now in GAA either. Little to no chance of getting caught. Especially at club level.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,889 ✭✭✭ MayoAreMagic


    The crux of the issue is when high standards become unsustainable standards. At what point does that occur? Is it linear for everyone? How can this be addressed and what should the overall goal be?
    This is a problem that will need addressing going forward. We probably need to find an optimal level where we can get as many teams to as we can, while taking as little away from the quality as we can.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    While there's far more of chance of a player going to Australia now than there was twenty years ago, the vast majority return within a year or two.
    Even a few who have had first team appearances have returned after a short period.

    What needs to be appreciated is how much different the games actually are despite their similarities in a technical sense.
    AFL is more akin to playing Rugby while GAA is more along the lines of Soccer.
    The physicallity of AFL is up there, players running back with the flight of the ball getting polaxed, going low for a ball and getting knocked out, wrapped in a tackle and flung into the ground with your arms pinned breaking collarbone and getting concused.

    GAA players can attend the combines and skills days all they want but you need a certain reliance to put yourself about in a game where theres usually one bad injury a game(granted with more players).
    Im sure the reality of that only really hits players once they start to get involved in the day to day out there.

    So while our games are good for adapting players with the skills to play AFL, our games aren't physical enough to produce countless players equipped for that aspect.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,402 ✭✭✭ Goodluck2me


    Hulk Hands wrote: »
    It's absolutely true in football. They game in its natural state becomes worse for the introduction of superfit athletes. There's no game bar Rugby where being fast and powerful can help you as much rather than technically skillful. The way the games is designed leaves it too open to tactics also. Soccer can be a very boring game but at its basics it's difficult to retain possession and that means tactics rather than ability can only bring you so far. In football, a team of monkeys can be organised in defence and effectively retain possession.

    Hurling however is absolutely better for the introduction of top level fitness and tactics. Gone is the dross a decade ago of blindly clearing the ball as far as possible with the crowd cheering. The fitness of players leads to that frantic action that's making hurling recently so great, constant battles for possession all over the field. Not to be making this as hurling over football. I think fundamentally football is a better game but professionalism suits hurling more.

    As an aside, we need to stop grouping the sports together however under the blanket 'GAA'. They're two completely different games somehow bound together

    Anyway, the level of training can't be stopped at this stage. You cap the amount of training and players will do it on their own. Trying to police teams training in December was found to be basically impossible. It it what it is now, we may just deal with it. There's also very little deterrent to players using PED's now in GAA either. Little to no chance of getting caught. Especially at club level.
    Interesting view in hurling vs. football, I hadn’t thought about it so much for hurling, though I think the difference between two is that hurling has always had a more limited pool of potential successful counties vs. football, so the yardstick of those who want to compete has always been obvious.

    Football typically had a more varied success base with many more counties being potentially capable of a win in a match, and that’s getting thinner and thinner.

    While there's far more of chance of a player going to Australia now than there was twenty years ago, the vast majority return within a year or two.
    Even a few who have had first team appearances have returned after a short period.

    What needs to be appreciated is how much different the games actually are despite their similarities in a technical sense.
    AFL is more akin to playing Rugby while GAA is more along the lines of Soccer.
    The physicallity of AFL is up there, players running back with the flight of the ball getting polaxed, going low for a ball and getting knocked out, wrapped in a tackle and flung into the ground with your arms pinned breaking collarbone and getting concused.

    GAA players can attend the combines and skills days all they want but you need a certain reliance to put yourself about in a game where theres usually one bad injury a game(granted with more players).
    Im sure the reality of that only really hits players once they start to get involved in the day to day out there.

    So while our games are good for adapting players with the skills to play AFL, our games aren't physical enough to produce countless players equipped for that aspect.
    You’re also getting paid substantially to take that risk, Gaelic football would be unsustainable at that level of physicality. I think the main reason lads come back quickly is the level of homesickness and going from best player in the parish to a journeyman. There are few stars of the AFL coming back.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,612 ✭✭✭ CrabRevolution


    I'd love to know what people think the solution is, or for those who say it's too late; what should have been done. It's all well and good to give out about teams training 5 times a week but who's going to take the step back and voluntarily train less? The GAA introduced blanket training bans but they were made a mockery of and general fans also hated them for some reason.

    Clare U20s could drop training to 2 nights a week and get knocked out as soon as possible. Do you think the players afterwards will think "well, it's a shame we did poorly, but at least we didn't have to train much"?

    Not a chance. They'll want the best preparation to compete with other teams.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 336 ✭✭ Banner2theend


    I have just wrote the very same re demands on GAA players on the Clare GAA thread. Everything you said there is right on the money. GAA president John Horan has to take a large chunk of responsibility for what is a huge hot potato and bug bearer of mine.

    Flogging and overtraining in the months of November and December, along with the meaningless exercise of playing such inter-county GAA games in these months, has no place in the GAA. This 5 day a week training by the Clare U20 footballers is a failure on both the U20 management and the GAA hierarchy who have allowed this to happen, I'm sorry but this is wrong and even though people will say to me that shows "how dedicated they are" is rubbish and no one is going to change my opinion on this.

    A big few weeks and months await the GAA going forward. The disaster that is the 2020 master fixture calendar cannot be undone, sadly and regrettably. 2021 will be a huge year as this is the year that the recommendations of the GAA fixtures task force committee will come to fruition.

    Hopefully we will see meaningful action in this plan, as if this backfires and doesn't get the required support of the CPA and GPA, much maligned I know, along with the general grassroots and above all else, the player themselves, then the GAA is facing a bleak future, where the common place will be high player drop-out and burnout. That will be the new normal and that is something that as a proud GAA fan, who wants the best for the player, I will find it impossible to stomach.

    My apologies but early last month the GAA fixtures task force committee did publish their findings. Personally from I just seen, it is an absolute whitewash.

    While it appears that for the 2020 campaign, U20 players can play both U20 championship and senior inter-county league, with no restrictions, from 2021 that will change, to the new rule that U20 players cannot play senior inter-county football league.

    In other words any U20 player that has been involved in the National Football league are ineligible for U20 selection. The 2021 U20 football championship, will still be run off in February/March like in 2020. I can see eruptions from players on this one. Once again the inter-county, college and club player combined are been treated like you know what. Disgraceful would be the least worst word that I would describe these proposals.

    It also appears that the U20 Hurling championship is heading that same direction too re eligibility like their U20 football counterparts. These proposals if implemented and passed at next month's congress is counter-productive and will only strengthen the larger counties and significantly weaken the counties with limited playing pool and resources.

    Like the U20 football championship, the Sigerson and Fitzgibbon Cups will be guillotined through under these proposals. A bit like in 2020, the Sigerson Cups would have to be completed by the "fifth Sunday of the year". While the Fitzgibbon Cup competition would have to conclude by the "seventh Sunday of the year".

    I can see a very serious situation with this. Stand by for a major drop-out of GAA players who are based in university, if this proposal is implemented at GAA congress. Have these blazers in suits realize that GAA is not the only item on college players agendas. Have they even heard of the word "studies". Young lads would feel that whats the point of all this. GAA in 2020 and beyond doesn't seem so appealing to them.

    From what appeared to be a huge opportunity for the GAA to deal with the issue of demands on young players, for once and for all, this task force have IMO let the player down. It does nothing to address the issues of the demands on young players who are in college, who are been dragged here, there and everywhere by inter-county, college and club managers at this time of year.

    Above all else it will lead to player disillusionment and drop-out of the game, that they used to love, will be seen as inevitable. Player burn-out as a result of the relentless flogging of players at this time of out is the new tsunami that is coming to GAA to a county and club near you. As bad as it is right now, the 2021 fixtures calendar, which in effect is a rehash of the disaster that is this year's master fixtures programme, will only make the problem far worse IMO.

    I personally believe that John Horan and the fixtures committee, are not serving the best interests for the U20 player in particular, full stop. If they did care, the U20 Football Championship would be played in the summer, where it should always be.

    The Sigerson and Fitzgibbon Cups and other third level GAA championships would commence post summer exams and be concluded no later than 3 weeks before the start of the U20 football and hurling inter-county championships.

    Plus no inter-county senior and U20 training and matches to take place in the months of November and December. Finish off the All-Ireland club championships by the end of November, which would mean that the club championship would conclude in the calendar year.

    In other words let the month of December be "no games and training month". A free month of no GAA activity of any kind in December should be absolutely a must for anyone, who is in power in the GAA, if they do genuinely care about the future of the GAA and the player in general. Those are just some of what I think could and should be in situ, to solve the fixture crisis.

    In the coming days I will give my alternative master fixtures calendar in the changes to the GAA super thread. People here talk about splitting Dublin and all that. This is not the most pressing issue in the GAA right now IMO. The issues that I have raised are the most serious threat to the GAA right now. In particular the U20 player is right at the firing line. If approved by delegates next month, those delegates would have sold their soul to and put at risk the very fabric of what the GAA stands for with its amateur ethos under grave threat.

    It will put the U20 player at huge risk here. Even today Clare's Emmet McMahon had to tog out and play two matches, albeit both times as sub for both U20 and Senior teams today. It will give far too much power back to management of these teams with the player being the sacrificial lamb.

    A big statement was made by the CPA in pulling out of these fixture talks. By the looks of it they made 1000% plus, the correct and right decision. Time will tell whether these knee-jerk proposals, will find support in the annual GAA congress to be held late February. But I hope that delegates will see sense and give both John Horan and the fixtures committee the ultimate red card and put these crazy proposals back to the dustbin, where it really should belong.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 480 ✭✭ mullinr2


    Hulk Hands wrote: »
    It's absolutely true in football. They game in its natural state becomes worse for the introduction of superfit athletes. There's no game bar Rugby where being fast and powerful can help you as much rather than technically skillful. The way the games is designed leaves it too open to tactics also. Soccer can be a very boring game but at its basics it's difficult to retain possession and that means tactics rather than ability can only bring you so far. In football, a team of monkeys can be organised in defence and effectively retain possession.

    Hurling however is absolutely better for the introduction of top level fitness and tactics. Gone is the dross a decade ago of blindly clearing the ball as far as possible with the crowd cheering. The fitness of players leads to that frantic action that's making hurling recently so great, constant battles for possession all over the field. Not to be making this as hurling over football. I think fundamentally football is a better game but professionalism suits hurling more.

    As an aside, we need to stop grouping the sports together however under the blanket 'GAA'. They're two completely different games somehow bound together

    Anyway, the level of training can't be stopped at this stage. You cap the amount of training and players will do it on their own. Trying to police teams training in December was found to be basically impossible. It it what it is now, we may just deal with it. There's also very little deterrent to players using PED's now in GAA either. Little to no chance of getting caught. Especially at club level.

    You mention that hurling was a dross a decade ago. You had one of Corks best hurling teams, Waterfords best hurling team, the greatest team of all Kilkenny, and the emergence of a great Tipp team. Cork and Kilkenny of the noughties were superfit teams.
    You must of meant the 90s?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,665 ✭✭✭ Bonniedog


    How can you stop players and teams trying to be better!

    Make inter county players go on the drink every second weekend? Very strange argument.


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


    mullinr2 wrote: »
    You mention that hurling was a dross a decade ago. You had one of Corks best hurling teams, Waterfords best hurling team, the greatest team of all Kilkenny, and the emergence of a great Tipp team. Cork and Kilkenny of the noughties were superfit teams.
    You must of meant the 90s?

    I didn't mean the game was dross, it's been good for quite a while, I meant specifically the dross of backs aimlessly clearing the ball as far down the field as possible which is still prevelant at lower levels but is happening less at the top level. You're right though in that a decade ago is too short, the 90s is more apt alright


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


    dobman88 wrote: »
    I saw a good comment on the McShane situation then other day. "Have the GAA invited the fox into the hen house". It was in reference to the new mark rule in the GAA and McShane using it very well a few times in the league last year. It means AFL scouts can go and watch competitive games now and see the AFL style of play without having to rely solely on combines.

    as a point on this, the mark rule has little or zero relevance or skill level appropriation to the AFL mark. The mark comes from a kick out, where the kick comes off the ground and a player is either in space and gets his mark or a midfielder attacks the ball and fields it. The vast, vast majority of marks in AFL is literally a player catching a ball that is kicked to him. The mark rule has changed absolutely nothing in terms of seeing an ability of a player and turning it to AFL. What happened prior to the mark? A keeper kicked it out and the very same thing used to always happen, the only change now is they get a free kick instead.

    Second to this, if you want to talk about a contested mark, where its a 50-50 or physical combat to win the possession, the contested mark in AFL is something that Irish player rarely ever get involved in. They just do not have the same training or abilities that the Aussie players have. Zach Tuohy caught one last year and it is one of the few times I ever recall an Irish player fielding a contested mark (granted, I wouldnt be going back as far as Jim Stynes era in saying this).

    Talking about the mark rule for the league then, and the point is much the same, all the player is doing is catching a ball. He would have done that regardless of the mark being in or not. And even at that, there are subtle differences still in the actual mark rule, in AFL, the opposing player stands on the spot where the ball is caught wheres in GAA you kick from the spot.

    There are many aspects of GAA that AFL scouts look for, however in most cases it is physical attributes that they can work on and ability of running and pace of reading a game. Most Irish players go over and play as half backs or wingmen, taking the ball on and distributing it forward. The mark rule, IMO, has done absolutely nothing to change how scouts view things or how players are selected to trial there.


  • Registered Users Posts: 459 ✭✭ Davys Fits


    Bonniedog wrote: »
    How can you stop players and teams trying to be better!

    Make inter county players go on the drink every second weekend? Very strange argument.

    Agreed, its make no sense in any sport.

    However it might seem obvious but a focus on skill rather than athleticism might change all that. I have always thought that overuse of the hand-pass in Gaelic football make it more a tactical, fitness based sport than a skill based one. There is no doubt that passing a ball in soccer requires more skill than a hand pass in gaa and the pass is the most used skill in any game. However a kick pass is not so simple but we dont see enough of it. A re refocus on skills might make the game more attractive for us and less attractive for the poachers.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 325 ✭✭ Hawkeye9212


    Davys Fits wrote: »
    Agreed, its make no sense in any sport.

    However it might seem obvious but a focus on skill rather than athleticism might change all that. I have always thought that overuse of the hand-pass in Gaelic football make it more a tactical, fitness based sport than a skill based one. There is no doubt that passing a ball in soccer requires more skill than a hand pass in gaa and the pass is the most used skill in any game. However a kick pass is not so simple but we dont see enough of it. A re refocus on skills might make the game more attractive for us and less attractive for the poachers.

    Focusing on one over the other seems like a mistake to me. Strong, athletic players are key in a game like football. The lack of skill is a separate issue and a symptom of safety first mentality.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,665 ✭✭✭ Bonniedog


    Davys Fits wrote: »
    Agreed, its make no sense in any sport.

    However it might seem obvious but a focus on skill rather than athleticism might change all that. I have always thought that overuse of the hand-pass in Gaelic football make it more a tactical, fitness based sport than a skill based one. There is no doubt that passing a ball in soccer requires more skill than a hand pass in gaa and the pass is the most used skill in any game. However a kick pass is not so simple but we dont see enough of it. A re refocus on skills might make the game more attractive for us and less attractive for the poachers.


    Hand passing is not great to watch when it is case of teams running down the clock but similar tactics exist in all team sports. It is a necessity against negative defence. Teams like Corofin and Dublin combine both and employ the kick very effectively, but they are not going to be naïve enough to kick into a massed defence. Corofin's use of kick pass against Nemo was brilliant. Love watching them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 282 ✭✭ patsman07


    The recent speculation of Cathal McShane going to Aussie rules has reminded me of a conversation I had a while back about the rising standards in the GAA.

    My theory is that the obviously higher standards we’ve seen in the last 20 years in the GAA is not necessarily a good thing for the organization.

    On one hand the supreme standard Dublin has attained is admirable and great to watch, but is having a team reach that high actually a good thing? I don’t think the GAA should be about training 200 times a year, or having to do 5-6 sessions a week, because it means you have to sacrifice too much to get there in your career, personal life and club life. Once that happens there is an inevitable move towards professionalism, and also a widening gap in standards which reduces competition and eventually interest. The Leinster championship is an irrelevance today, for instance.

    To me, a successful GAA is having hundreds of thousands of active players every week and reasonable crowds at games, it’s not about whether your marquee forward can run as fast as Ronaldo or lift as much as Johnny Sexton. The move towards more and more County games and time with that squad will eventually piss off the volunteers at the clubs who give so much for free when they see their best players are no longer involved any more. This is true even down to u16s.

    The other downside is that it makes players more poachable from other sports and you’ve have important players missing.

    I think the solution should be less county and a shorter season, less GPA, no back door. Curious to hear thoughts on it.


    Couldn't agree more.

    The introduction of the back door has led, imo, to the levels of professionalism we see from the big counties today. If your a Dublin/Kerry player you are now practically guaranteed a place in the All Ireland Semi finals in front of full Croke Park, so why wouldn't you agree to training 5/6 times a week. A player from a weaker county is guaranteed not to get there so why would you bother?

    The old system (straight knock-out) guaranteed the importance of the Provincial championship and because every team could be finished after just one match, 5/6 training sessions a week would be&were unacceptable.

    Sam Maguire has become like the Premier League, only a few big teams have a chance of winning, it used to be the FA Cup. Unfortunately we'll never get back what we had as the organisation becomes reliant on the Sky money that the Super 8s generates. It's a disaster for the smaller football counties.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,665 ✭✭✭ Bonniedog


    patsman07 wrote: »
    Couldn't agree more.

    The introduction of the back door has led, imo, to the levels of professionalism we see from the big counties today. If your a Dublin/Kerry player you are now practically guaranteed a place in the All Ireland Semi finals in front of full Croke Park, so why wouldn't you agree to training 5/6 times a week. A player from a weaker county is guaranteed not to get there so why would you bother?

    The old system (straight knock-out) guaranteed the importance of the Provincial championship and because every team could be finished after just one match, 5/6 training sessions a week would be&were unacceptable.

    Sam Maguire has become like the Premier League, only a few big teams have a chance of winning, it used to be the FA Cup. Unfortunately we'll never get back what we had as the organisation becomes reliant on the Sky money that the Super 8s generates. It's a disaster for the smaller football counties.


    I don't mean to be derogatory but the same counties who are contenders now in both sports are same counties who have been contenders by and large since foundation.

    Tradition is much over used word but it does mean something. Not some mystical thing but fact that Dublin. Tipp, Kerry. Kilkenny. Cork, Galway have high standards and people who know what it requires to win.

    Some counties have neither that nor the desire.


  • Registered Users Posts: 282 ✭✭ patsman07


    Bonniedog wrote: »
    I don't mean to be derogatory but the same counties who are contenders now in both sports are same counties who have been contenders by and large since foundation.

    Tradition is much over used word but it does mean something. Not some mystical thing but fact that Dublin. Tipp, Kerry. Kilkenny. Cork, Galway have high standards and people who know what it requires to win.

    Some counties have neither that nor the desire.


    They have been contenders by virtue of their playing population.
    Since the stronger counties are going to have a second chance through the back door, it is worth their while to invest the time, money and effort we are currently seeing. The back door has encouraged more professional set ups. Increased professionalism leads to less upsets, since less is left to chance. This is resulting in even further disparity between the traditionally strong counties and the rest.



    Below I've listed the number of different provincial winners and who won the most provincial championships in the 18 years since the back door was introduced and in the 18 years before it was introduced.

    Since back door 2001: Prior to back door 1983-2000.

    Leinster: 4 winners, 14 by Dublin. 4 winners, 8 by Dublin

    Ulster: 4 winners, 7 by Tyrone. 6 winners, 5 by Tyrone.

    Connacht: 4 winners, 8 by Mayo. 4 winners, 8 by Mayo.

    Munster: 2 winners, 13 by Kerry. 3 winners, 9 by Cork.

    The problem is only going to get worse with the Super 8's.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,665 ✭✭✭ Bonniedog


    It is by and large same counties now who were foundational and refused to disband after Church and Brits tried to destroy us after Parnell.

    Don't claim to have explanation but it is hardly coincidental. Same counties were leading counties in war against Tans. Others have no history really in either.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,373 ✭✭✭ Duffy the Vampire Slayer


    Bonniedog wrote: »
    It is by and large same counties now who were foundational and refused to disband after Church and Brits tried to destroy us after Parnell.

    Don't claim to have explanation but it is hardly coincidental. Same counties were leading counties in war against Tans. Others have no history really in either.

    Wouldn't do much to explain Galway's success.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,665 ✭✭✭ Bonniedog


    Ha! Exception that proves the rule...


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,402 ✭✭✭ Goodluck2me


    patsman07 wrote: »
    Couldn't agree more.

    The introduction of the back door has led, imo, to the levels of professionalism we see from the big counties today. If your a Dublin/Kerry player you are now practically guaranteed a place in the All Ireland Semi finals in front of full Croke Park, so why wouldn't you agree to training 5/6 times a week. A player from a weaker county is guaranteed not to get there so why would you bother?

    The old system (straight knock-out) guaranteed the importance of the Provincial championship and because every team could be finished after just one match, 5/6 training sessions a week would be&were unacceptable.

    Sam Maguire has become like the Premier League, only a few big teams have a chance of winning, it used to be the FA Cup. Unfortunately we'll never get back what we had as the organisation becomes reliant on the Sky money that the Super 8s generates. It's a disaster for the smaller football counties.

    That sums it up nicely. A year or two without upsets, leads to years of disbelief and eventually giving up.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,074 ✭✭✭ LoughNeagh2017


    Do you not remember the time when 2 NFL games was played in November?

    Many people wouldn't remember that, I am 27 and my first county game was in 1999-2000 which was the second last year of that.


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