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Down squad 2014

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Can anyone who was at the game shed some light on how the new faces did yesterday? I see some of them got on the score-sheet which is great!

peter_venkman (Down) - Posts: 320 - 06/01/2014 19:53:06    1528352

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Shane Harrison was the pick of the new faces and looks as though he will be a serious challenger to Brendy McVeigh this year. Jordanstown were so understrength that it was difficult to judge most of the others, but Darragh O'Hanlon showed at least some promise before a fairly ridiculous black card. Conleth O'Hare took a couple of decent scores but he was given a lot of space, and both Michael Lively and Gary McArdle had reasonable outings. By the time most of the subs got involved, the game was effectively over.

MourneRising (Down) - Posts: 238 - 06/01/2014 20:42:40    1528362

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exected a better run of form in the mckenna cup, to be honest. ok it is a 'pre season' run out and managers are trying their players... but every county is doing the same. its no coincidence a winning run in the mckenna cup and national league generally proves to transipre with wins in the championship.

offtheground1 (Down) - Posts: 128 - 15/01/2014 13:50:44    1532149

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I would expect Down to beat Antrim at home tonight. Lets face it Down are considerably better at home. With that I would hope for a semi-final place. Surly Down are favorites for the league, coupled with Donegal.

Down123 (Down) - Posts: 21 - 15/01/2014 14:27:03    1532188

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im a little bit fearful of the league now after them last two games was looking to get back to 1st div now i think staying in div 2 is going to be a hard fight hope the boys can find a bit of form

bigstone (Down) - Posts: 74 - 16/01/2014 15:44:50    1532642

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Very poor from Down. Didn't turn up. I know there are a few to come back in like Rodgers, Laverty, Poland, Hughes, Gordon, O'Hare but we just don't seem to have players of the calibre to challenge for silverware.

Just another cavan or antrim

EIREANNACH (Down) - Posts: 241 - 16/01/2014 15:58:52    1532653

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Down co.board have to get a grip of this!
The only thing down have won this last 20years is the mckenna cup!!!!
Not looking good for this year again? In the 70,s & 80,s we were
Winning Ulster,s and league,s
This has to be the poorest teams in yet?
Including losing a all Ireland final against a poor cork team on
The day?
Big big changes need...
Starting from the top..

andun1960 (Down) - Posts: 22 - 16/01/2014 18:36:36    1532748

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We need to keep-in-mind that the McKenna cup is only a pre-season competition (really a series of glorified training or challenge matches). On that basis I wouldn't be rushing to judgement based on the results themselves but would say that the positives and negatives are as follows:

Positives

When Down moved the ball at speed they could open the Antrim defence with ease. If a couple of final passes had gone to hand or shots been taken they would have been out of sight in the first twenty minutes.

Kalum King - Took some good balls at mid-field, looked fitter than he usually is at this time of year and was reasonably confident on the ball. Also made several excellent tackles - one of the few players with fast hands who can actually dispossess an opponent nowadays.

Liam Doyle & Peter Fitzpatrickboth got some much needed game-time and came through unscathed with reasonable performances.

Darren O'Hanlona few mistakes and wild shots but a confident performance with a bit of physicality going the right direction.


Negatives

The were a series of over-elaborate and lateral hand passing movements that went nowhere.
There was a general hesitancy to shoot - Benny included.
Several Down players were simply bullied by more physical Antrim players.
There was now answer to Antrim running at the Down left.

Aidan Carr Was off the pace fitness wise - was resting on his hunkers with hands on head and the ball 3 meters from him. Caught out of position on several occasions, also gave a couple of terrible passes. I'm not sure where Aidan's best position is but its not CHB.

A section of the crowd was on James McCartan's case about playing Dan and Eoin. This is definitely a negative. Distracting and demoralising for the team and supporters. Eoin had had only a few late substitutions last season and 15 minutes against Antrim - hardly grounds for a panic about Nepotism. Dan, I have to admit has had some terrible performances and made some very costly mistakes but he has also had a number of excellent performances man marking some of the best forwards in the country out of games. He wasn't great against Antrim but if people are going to single him out for abuse they need to say who they think he is keeping out of the team. Also I think that the people who were critical of Aidan Brannigan should say whether Down are really better off without him.

The League

The return of Gordon, Rogers and Laverty will make a difference but the key men, I think will be Kevin McKernan at CHB and Danny Huges, hopefully, to carry and distribute the ball. Realistically I don't think Down are in any danger of another relegation but on what we saw so far promotion doesn't look too likely.

kickpass (Down) - Posts: 208 - 16/01/2014 18:57:50    1532760

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i think big kevin was first class in midfield last year and wouldt want to see him shifted anywhere elese.any word on big dan how is foot now? were the two Harasons at the last match?

bigstone (Down) - Posts: 74 - 17/01/2014 11:14:08    1532901

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We had a disappointing night against Antrim but luckily it was only the McKenna Cup and there is time to regroup before the league starts. Some of the points which Kickpass puts forward are fair but others are not. The praise offered to Liam Doyle and Peter Fitzpatrick was particularly surprising as both are fine players who put in below par performances. Doyle missed a straightforward early goal chance and then struggled noticably before he was replaced. Fitzpatrick was only on the fringe of the game and looks some way from match fitness. Both deserve further chances, but they know they will have to be more positively involved.
Aidan Carr also had a frustrating display but it is far to early to conclude that he is not a centre half back. He has the ability to win the ball and either surge forward or pick out a colleague in space which is crucial in the modern game. While he is not a natural defender, and got nowhere near his direct opponent on Wednesday, this should be managable if we pull back our half forwards to cover him.
We will have the university players back for the Monaghan match, and hopefully Mark Poland will also be available. Ambrose is also apparently on the road to recovery but does anyone know the latest position about Conor Laverty, Donal O'Hare and Dan Gordon ?

MourneRising (Down) - Posts: 238 - 18/01/2014 21:40:02    1533553

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MourneRising
County: Down
Posts: 163


We had a disappointing night against Antrim but luckily it was only the McKenna Cup and there is time to regroup before the league starts. Some of the points which Kickpass puts forward are fair but others are not. The praise offered to Liam Doyle and Peter Fitzpatrick was particularly surprising as both are fine players who put in below par performances. Doyle missed a straightforward early goal chance and then struggled noticably before he was replaced. Fitzpatrick was only on the fringe of the game and looks some way from match fitness. Both deserve further chances, but they know they will have to be more positively involved.
Aidan Carr also had a frustrating display but it is far to early to conclude that he is not a centre half back. He has the ability to win the ball and either surge forward or pick out a colleague in space which is crucial in the modern game. While he is not a natural defender, and got nowhere near his direct opponent on Wednesday, this should be managable if we pull back our half forwards to cover him.


I wasn't really praising Doyle & Fitzpatrick - just saying that it was good that they got some much needed game time and weren't too bad given their relative lack of game time last season. Carr I rate very highly but I don't think he has ever been happy a CHB - imo he's a more natural half forward. I think he needs to get a fair chance to prove himself in a more forward position - his fitness he can work.

In general I agree with you - MCKenna Cup performance given the lack of senior players means nothing.

Too be honest if Down did enough to avoid relegation and had everybody in good shape or the preliminary round of Ulster I'd be quite happy.

kickpass (Down) - Posts: 208 - 19/01/2014 12:14:15    1533639

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Any thoughts on why we don't name our names to the last minute and often not at all?

The media seem have to picked up on our low key team announcements. Ross Carr & DJ Kane often did the same too. You would see interviews, features, etc, about the other counties but rarely with the Down team. Obviously there's no obligation to always name the team on time but I think it shows that a manager is confident about his squad and who he's going to pick. Also, there can be changes on the day. The best teams, e.g. Tyrone, Kerry, etc, name their name well in advance.

ajdoyle78 (Down) - Posts: 520 - 31/01/2014 13:21:09    1539221

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Down have named their team reasonably early this time, which is a good sign. We look fairly strong, but it would need to be a big improvement on the Antrim match.

1. Shane Harrison
2. Daniel Mc Cartan
3. Peter Turley
4. Darren O'Hagan
5. Ryan Boyle
6. Aidan Carr
7. Conor Garvey
8. Kalum King
9. Ryan Mallon
10. Darragh O'Hanlon
11. Mark Poland
12. Jerome Johnston
13. Donal O Hare
14. Niall Madine
15. Conor Maginn

MourneRising (Down) - Posts: 238 - 31/01/2014 14:43:32    1539271

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The team looks strong. Let's hope they gel together and get off to a good start in the league. Does anyone know if Paul Devlin is pushing for a place this year? I would expected that He would be pushing strong as he looked a very accomplished player in the Ulster club championships in autumn.

downtothecore (Down) - Posts: 295 - 31/01/2014 15:12:53    1539290

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Paul Devlin was apparently named in both squads when Down played UUJ in the opening McKenna Cup game last month. However, he was injured and does not seem to have been subsequently involved. He has obvious ability from both open play and frees, but he still has to show that he is physically strong enough for county football. Hopefully he will get his chance later in the league.

MourneRising (Down) - Posts: 238 - 31/01/2014 15:49:06    1539312

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