Down Forum

Where Is Down Footballers Going Wrong

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Just to think not even a decade ago we were up there with the Kerrys and Dublins of this world , really not good enough for such a proud county like Down no to be there are there abouts , looking at the 94 team yesterday waving to hill 16 during halftime and the roar they got back from the dubs shows how much respect even Dublin fans have for Down . What is our problem in Down anyone ????

topdownfan (Down) - Posts: 555 - 02/09/2019 14:12:35    2231894

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Replying To topdownfan:  "Just to think not even a decade ago we were up there with the Kerrys and Dublins of this world , really not good enough for such a proud county like Down no to be there are there abouts , looking at the 94 team yesterday waving to hill 16 during halftime and the roar they got back from the dubs shows how much respect even Dublin fans have for Down . What is our problem in Down anyone ????"
I would say 2 things, An element of complacency existed in Down since 1994 i.e the Down way will always be good enough and secondly not enough emphasis on ensuring underage are competitive. We now are starting to realise that we need evolve to compete the modern game and we need to get our underage competitive. The best option would be to have Conor lavery encouraged to become heavily involved in our underage development. Unfortunately Monaghan have got their hands on him now...

downtothecore (Down) - Posts: 291 - 02/09/2019 22:01:10    2232120

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Replying To downtothecore:  "I would say 2 things, An element of complacency existed in Down since 1994 i.e the Down way will always be good enough and secondly not enough emphasis on ensuring underage are competitive. We now are starting to realise that we need evolve to compete the modern game and we need to get our underage competitive. The best option would be to have Conor lavery encouraged to become heavily involved in our underage development. Unfortunately Monaghan have got their hands on him now..."
Have to agree totally with the Conor Laverty suggestion , he's top coach in Down definitely, as for underage they seem to compete very well with rest of the counties , seems to be when it comes to minor level it all falls apart for whatever reasons??
As for The Down Way it's stopped working many years ago

topdownfan (Down) - Posts: 555 - 03/09/2019 09:12:31    2232217

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South Down footballers are skillful but too soft.

East Down footballers have gone soft as well and that is the problem.

The physical aspect of the game has been coached out of youngsters both sides of the county.

I was told that by a very influential lad who played for Down when they were good.

The Down way also had lads well able to put manners on opponents when the need arose.

bricktop (Down) - Posts: 2430 - 03/09/2019 09:50:45    2232234

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Replying To bricktop:  "South Down footballers are skillful but too soft.

East Down footballers have gone soft as well and that is the problem.

The physical aspect of the game has been coached out of youngsters both sides of the county.

I was told that by a very influential lad who played for Down when they were good.

The Down way also had lads well able to put manners on opponents when the need arose."
What about the person going around the schools and in development squads telling young lads off going in late in a tackle.Standing them along the line for doing it said it for years them people have to go before down football can move forward

Thekid14 (Down) - Posts: 202 - 03/09/2019 21:46:04    2232567

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Replying To Thekid14:  "What about the person going around the schools and in development squads telling young lads off going in late in a tackle.Standing them along the line for doing it said it for years them people have to go before down football can move forward"
standing them along the line is hardly going to improve their tackling.

Is tackling not a skill anymore?

bricktop (Down) - Posts: 2430 - 04/09/2019 09:38:35    2232643

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Replying To bricktop:  "South Down footballers are skillful but too soft.

East Down footballers have gone soft as well and that is the problem.

The physical aspect of the game has been coached out of youngsters both sides of the county.

I was told that by a very influential lad who played for Down when they were good.

The Down way also had lads well able to put manners on opponents when the need arose."
Would you say east down footballers don't have the skill ? . As for putting manners on opponents, don't think they are the terms to use but being nice footballers won't win anything, hard hitting but fair , seen wee James giving out after minor defeat V Tyrone about strength and conditioning being away behind other counties and the players not there , what's your thoughts on that ?

topdownfan (Down) - Posts: 555 - 04/09/2019 15:58:10    2232790

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I agree strength and conditioning needs to improve. I dont agree that the talent is not there. I think the talent is present in our underage but the standard of management of all the teams is not good enough. There needs to be increased emphasis on winning on the u14, u15 squads. If these squads are driven to win then they would compete better at minor.

What's your thought topdownfan?

downtothecore (Down) - Posts: 291 - 04/09/2019 21:39:25    2232885

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Replying To downtothecore:  "I agree strength and conditioning needs to improve. I dont agree that the talent is not there. I think the talent is present in our underage but the standard of management of all the teams is not good enough. There needs to be increased emphasis on winning on the u14, u15 squads. If these squads are driven to win then they would compete better at minor.

What's your thought topdownfan?"
Downtothecore
I think we had conversation on different page

Reading between the lines of all the squads from under 14 to under 16 they are beating most teams , problem is when they get to minor level it falls apart , minor management seem to blame everyone except for themselves and have being doing this past 4 years ,, giving the fact they drop 70% of the lads who beat Dublin last year at under 16 might be part of the reason we winning nothing at this level , still in all they get a 5th year in charge , if they were a business the big bosses would be asking questions,, but maybe they not bothered either
Any thought ?

BannGael (Down) - Posts: 19 - 05/09/2019 16:50:20    2233098

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Replying To BannGael:  "Downtothecore
I think we had conversation on different page

Reading between the lines of all the squads from under 14 to under 16 they are beating most teams , problem is when they get to minor level it falls apart , minor management seem to blame everyone except for themselves and have being doing this past 4 years ,, giving the fact they drop 70% of the lads who beat Dublin last year at under 16 might be part of the reason we winning nothing at this level , still in all they get a 5th year in charge , if they were a business the big bosses would be asking questions,, but maybe they not bothered either
Any thought ?"
Im not one for bad mouthing managers , or anyone who is trying to help Down GAA in any way , But if no progress at minor level is made 2020 it will be time for a change, Conor Laverty would be the man for me

germac (Down) - Posts: 270 - 07/09/2019 23:07:56    2233490

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Replying To downtothecore:  "I agree strength and conditioning needs to improve. I dont agree that the talent is not there. I think the talent is present in our underage but the standard of management of all the teams is not good enough. There needs to be increased emphasis on winning on the u14, u15 squads. If these squads are driven to win then they would compete better at minor.

What's your thought topdownfan?"
Following Down from 1990 could count in 1 hand the amount of games I have missed since then , To be totally honest have losted all love for Down football, when you see the shambles of a lot of things that going on and knowing a lot of people in charge couldn't really be there for the love of Down football , just think a good read out in needed and as the old saying goes you can't put a roof on without a good foundation, That's the problem

topdownfan (Down) - Posts: 555 - 08/09/2019 23:31:23    2233701

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Complacency, Bernard Flynn said people in Meath thought there was a production line that would produce quality players every year without any effort being put in. He said Meath got a rude awakening, and they are still struggling to repair the damage. I'd say Down were guilty of the same thinking, we thought it was our God given right to win Macrory and Hogan Cups, All Ireland Minor Titles and Ulster titles. We aren't the only county to think like that, even Kerry saw the flow of great players dry up, but Kerry did something about it, the evidence is there in four All Ireland Minor Titles in a row. What did Down do?
They produced a report on the state and future of Gaelic games in Down. The gist of that report was new underage structures, academy team etc. That report said it would be 2022 before the benefits would be seen in full. Time will tell.
Just a few personal observations, anybody who has seen Down football teams up close will have been struck by one very obvious fact. In comparison to most other teams Down have a lot of small and medium sized players. This isn't confined to the Senior team, it's seen at all age levels. It was mentioned by the County Secretary in an Annual Report. Managers were reporting that their teams were being physically overwhelmed in competition at all age grades. Paddy Tally has notably tried to introduce some height to the Senior team. Our struggles year after at midfield are a by product of this. It's very strange.
The other obvious things I see are players at County level who lack basic skills, there is a problem with coaching at club level.
The most glaring fault in the present Senior team is the atrocious lack of skill when shooting. We seriously need to upgrade our forwards skills coaches. We need dedicated kicking coaches. That would be a start to changing our fortunes.

Newmitch (Down) - Posts: 53 - 26/09/2019 22:17:56    2239503

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Just wanted to add something, someone mentioned the reception the Down 1994 team received at Croke Park. I'm sure other people noticed something about that team.
That team had a fair share of big men, strong men who could take care of themselves physically, and couldn't be pushed around. They weren't intimidated by a notoriously ferocious Meath team. Contrast that with the Down teams of the last few years. I'm not faulting the effort or commitment of those teams, but the old boxing saying of, " a good big one will always beat a good little one", still holds good.

Newmitch (Down) - Posts: 53 - 26/09/2019 22:30:19    2239508

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A cousin of mine lives in Dublin and is involved in club football down there. He has said to me multiple times about fellas from up here heading down there for matches and talking to him about "the Down way" and using terms like "football royalty". He says its become a cliche as it's a long time since Down were relevant at the big table. He says most people just nod politely when its brought up rather than taking it seriously.

@Newmitch, your point of Meath 'expecting' success to just happen hits home for me. I think theres an attitude for some in Down that because we had some success back in the day - that makes us one of the top teams who "should" be contesting for Sam every year. Theres definitely an arrogance there from my experience (and thats from me being abroad for many years and hearing it from other counties)

Get rid of the almost gerrymandering aspect of hires of the past 20 years and get the right people in to build a successful team from the ground up for the modern game. It's a time for bold thinking - and a lot of patience -but as long as there is a plan I think people will be ok with it.

AnDunCeanada (Down) - Posts: 90 - 28/09/2019 15:52:20    2239838

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Replying To AnDunCeanada:  "A cousin of mine lives in Dublin and is involved in club football down there. He has said to me multiple times about fellas from up here heading down there for matches and talking to him about "the Down way" and using terms like "football royalty". He says its become a cliche as it's a long time since Down were relevant at the big table. He says most people just nod politely when its brought up rather than taking it seriously.

@Newmitch, your point of Meath 'expecting' success to just happen hits home for me. I think theres an attitude for some in Down that because we had some success back in the day - that makes us one of the top teams who "should" be contesting for Sam every year. Theres definitely an arrogance there from my experience (and thats from me being abroad for many years and hearing it from other counties)

Get rid of the almost gerrymandering aspect of hires of the past 20 years and get the right people in to build a successful team from the ground up for the modern game. It's a time for bold thinking - and a lot of patience -but as long as there is a plan I think people will be ok with it."
Just taking on from your point about as long a plan is in place , a few years ago when mourne academy was started I remember DJ Kane when they were putting it in place they visited a few other county's and took a little bit from then all to form the Mourne Academy,,, This is all well and good and the academy is doing a fantastic job , so therefore the plan is there until minor level , then the current management takes the lads on and the plan quickly goes out the window,cuts two thirds of the under 16 team that beat Dublin , Kildare , Monaghan the previous year ,,, then comes out the day after Tyrone put them out to say, we are working with what we have and players just not there !!
Blaming everyone but themselves, total joke 4 years in charge and how many championship matches have they won ??
But sure tell you what give them a 5th year in charge just to see if they improve,

BannGael (Down) - Posts: 19 - 28/09/2019 22:16:34    2239907

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I have been watching Kilcoo, Burren, Clonduff, I haven't seen Warrenpoint yet. But if those other teams are the best that Down has to offer then we are going to struggle. Several of those teams and maybe more are employing a lot of outside coaching talent, which I'm sure doesn't come cheap. I saw plenty of effort, but again the scoring, with a few exceptions, was woeful. Unless Warrenpoint have something up their sleeves, it will be another quick exit from the Ulster club championship.

Newmitch (Down) - Posts: 53 - 29/09/2019 00:12:18    2239927

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Replying To Newmitch:  "I have been watching Kilcoo, Burren, Clonduff, I haven't seen Warrenpoint yet. But if those other teams are the best that Down has to offer then we are going to struggle. Several of those teams and maybe more are employing a lot of outside coaching talent, which I'm sure doesn't come cheap. I saw plenty of effort, but again the scoring, with a few exceptions, was woeful. Unless Warrenpoint have something up their sleeves, it will be another quick exit from the Ulster club championship."
Yea I would have to agree there none of our county players standing out bar a couple , we can all
Keep chatting and going on about it but in reality nothing will change until our underage minors is sorted with a good management team in place and someone over looking it all who really is in it for the good of Down football , Conor Laverty took Kilcoo under 16 to ulster glory 2 years ago and will do the same this year with their minors , does this not speak volumes , Bur sure let Downs top coach go to Monaghan, that makes a lot of sense !!!

BannGael (Down) - Posts: 19 - 03/10/2019 10:51:06    2241112

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Seems like the footballers are more concerned about roughing up referees to concentrate on improving their standards.

And that was a team that got put out at semi-final stages.

How many stewards will be needed for the Ford/RGU game this weekend?

Embarrassing the county.

bricktop (Down) - Posts: 2430 - 03/10/2019 10:52:28    2241114

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Kilcoo senior team seem to me to not be at the level they achieved two or three years ago. I have heard that they have a very promising minor team. Obviously doing a good job at that age group. Very good article in today's Irish News on the rise of Aughlisnafin. A very inspiring story, some great work being done there, good luck to them in the JFC final.

Newmitch (Down) - Posts: 53 - 04/10/2019 16:56:17    2241368

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The Fin will be kicking themselves after this loss to Bright. Well on top, up by three points, dominating, then had a player red carded. Bright got back in and found the net. Then they had a player sent off, the game was nip and tuck to near the end Aughlisnafin fighting back well to level, they had three good chances of points to go clear with the finish line in sight but spurned them all. Bright tagged on the last few scores to be crowned Down Junior Football Champions, and it was well deserved, though not at their best, their never say die spirit saw them home. For Aughlisnafin it was a case of what might have been. Still they have had a great year, Division Four Champions, with more to come, the little club with the inspirational backstory.

Newmitch (Down) - Posts: 53 - 06/10/2019 22:46:37    2241683

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