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Future Of Leinster Championship

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Dublin have won 15 out of the last 16 Leinster finals. How many more will they need to win before the powers that be admit that there's a problem and that the entire system needs to be changed. There's no point in blaming the Meath or Dublin players - all structures, funding, population density, geography, coaching, facilities etc across the entire country need to be examined and a new championship structure needs to be put in place asap but I won't hold my breath!

baire (Galway) - Posts: 1372 - 22/11/2020 13:29:10    2312687

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Replying To TheUsername:  "If you look at it critically, it was the loss of Boylan that coincided with Meath decline and Dublins dominance in Leinster. Seans last season was 05 and since then Dublin have won Leinster titles in '06, '07, '08, '09, '11, '12, '13, '14, '15, 16, '17, '18, '19, going from stregtght to stregth.

An old coach of mine, used to say when we were a top team never give a sucker an in or chance,. Meath gave Dublin the chance after Boylan left, a long run of success, breeds, success, breeds history, raises standards and all that goes with it, it becomes a self fulfilling cycle. Look at the psychology of last night, Dublin felt it was thier right to win last night and would battle for it, Meath just melted, the psychology of the fixture and counties has changed, Meath now see Dublin with an aura and give them to much respect.

I think Kerry are another great example of what i am trying to explain. Success at provincial level, breeds, belief, tradition and raises expectations and standards - while Munster has never been the strongest, without Munster i dont think Kerry would be successful.

Arguably the same thing now is happening to Dublin. Kerry wouldnt bat an eye lid about a Munster Championship, we used to do laps of honer and mass celebration in the 80s/90s/00's if we bet Meath. Now its a Leinster title is almost preseaosn, we're at the stage now were we are blooding and developing kids through the Leinster Champiosnhip.

Meath let Dublin in after Boylan left and Leinster has been the base and foundation, to raise standards and have a proper tilt at being great, we were always a sleeping giant, but the success in Leinster has bred success and now the success nationally in breeding success and raising standards in Dublin and Dublin finally fulfilling its massive potential. We are a different animal now."
Dublin are undoubtedly fulfilling their potential and more power to them, again a huge amount of credit is due there. But it doesn't bode well for the rest of us!

Boylan leaving did coincide with Meath's downfall, but I don't think Sean would have been able to do much about it. We had a completely inept county board who made 2 disastrous decisions in particular which done nothing but damage to Meath football:

1. In 2003 they thought it was a good idea to change our club championship from 4 groups of 4 (top 2 in each qualified for the QFs) to 2 groups of 8 (top 4 in each qualified for QFs). Sean Boylan was vehemently against this because he said you could lose too many games and still win the Meath championship which he correctly predicted would kill the competitive spirit of the players.

We then stumbled into a bloated 18 team senior championship with 3 groups of 6 which was little better than the previous mess. Incredibly we've only gone back to 4 groups of 4 this year, after 17 years of damage!!

2. This was more of a non-decision. They neglected to move along with the times and restructure our underage development. Football was changing drastically around the turn of the century with Ulster teams in particular introducing a much better defensive to counter attack style but we ploughed along without changing anything and hoped for the best.

This has been somewhat addressed over the last decade but we're still behind as a consequence of their neglect and inaction.

Now all of that may sound quite negative but I believe it is accurate (perhaps some of my fellow Meath men/women can correct me). Also I'm not giving up hope that we can improve in the future but we may need to go back to the drawing board first.

Htaem (Meath) - Posts: 8657 - 22/11/2020 13:30:03    2312689

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This is nothing new. Leinster has always been a two/three horse race and the Dubs have always been one of the two /three.

Munster has always been a two horse race .

Connacht is atwo horse race with the Rossies occasionally springing a suprise.

Ulster for all of the talk of competition has been dominated for the last 10 years by the same couple of teams. At the moment outside Tyrone and Donegal none of them are within 10 points of a fully focused Dubs. Does anyone really think Cavan would have a prayer against them, yet it's their second final in a row through the soft side of the draw.

The provincials have always been a flawed system and that's what needs to change , not just Leinster.

catchturnscore (Longford) - Posts: 135 - 22/11/2020 13:32:57    2312691

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Replying To Young_gael:  "Ive been following your posts for a long time Daith, and I think youre a guy with your finger on the pulse of the problems of the game. The Leinster championship is dead. I, personally, see no way back for it now. I said that in haste after last night's game but after reflecting on it more, I double down on that idea. It's finished. It has been finished for years.

Now, I want to say that the game last night went further than football for the lads involved on the Meath side. It was like in that 70 minutes a devolution occured. These poor unfortunate lads. People in Meath very reluctantly (deluded fans aside) built up this team after being relatively competetive for the last 18 months. We got out of division 2, granted, and showed a level of peformance against 10/11 division 1 teams in a row, albeit with no wins. We took apart Wicklow and Kildare in the championship and were facing into this game as a free shot, on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday nonetheless. I genuinely expected a contest. Dublin would win but Meath would put up 1-13 or 2-11 or so. A very respectable score.

Then the worst possible outcome came to pass. I believe that all of the progress, although slight, will be in jeopardy after that game. And Dublin were still only at maybe 75-80%. It was mortifying. It was like watching Brazil take on the Faroe Islands. I agree with many national posters regarding Meath; Perhaps its time we look in the mirror and set ourselves smaller boundaries, the bubble was busted last night. The House of cards collapsed.

We have a lot of good, talented, and interested young lads. We have 50/60 clubs. We have a large, spread-out population. We have a wealth of history but thats all it is. History. Last night was the worst result I have ever seen as a Meath fan and it isnt the fault of the players. I still retain mighty respect for them. Believe it or not we were on a worse trajectory until Andy McEntee took on the job and in spite of the fact we have no kickout strategy and lack panache in some areas of the field, we're better than we could be. Thats the reality now we have to face.

A good, long look in the mirror.

Best of luck to our neighbours Cavan today in the Ulster. Give them hell.
And good luck to Dublin as they steamroll toward the 6."
As someone who moved to Meath and has played club football in Meath, I really feel the number of club you have is a real problem for the development of the game in the county.

At juvenile level in particular there are too many clubs.

It just means the talent in diluted among too many teams.

Not enough Meath youngsters are getting enough good quality games to bring them on. East Meath and Navan clubs are in decent health, the North and West Meath clubs don't feel like they're going anywhere.

There are players in these clubs that aren't going to fulfil their potential with your current structures.

Yes they play for development squads but that's only 30 or 40 lads or so at each age grade.

There's plenty of potential there that's going to waste.

It's literally impossible to know which 12 year olds are going to be the best adult footballers. How are they going to develop physically, socially, mentally, professionally.

Meath put a lot of focus on a centralised development model and not enough focus on getting as many kids playing as much football as possible and as much quality football as possible, the quality football is needed to push players.

Outside of the kids of the large clubs like Donaghmore Ashbourne, Ratoath, Dunboyne, I don't think enough kids are getting enough good football to bring them on. When that's the case it's an uphill struggle.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3799 - 22/11/2020 13:39:06    2312693

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Replying To Htaem:  "Dublin are undoubtedly fulfilling their potential and more power to them, again a huge amount of credit is due there. But it doesn't bode well for the rest of us!

Boylan leaving did coincide with Meath's downfall, but I don't think Sean would have been able to do much about it. We had a completely inept county board who made 2 disastrous decisions in particular which done nothing but damage to Meath football:

1. In 2003 they thought it was a good idea to change our club championship from 4 groups of 4 (top 2 in each qualified for the QFs) to 2 groups of 8 (top 4 in each qualified for QFs). Sean Boylan was vehemently against this because he said you could lose too many games and still win the Meath championship which he correctly predicted would kill the competitive spirit of the players.

We then stumbled into a bloated 18 team senior championship with 3 groups of 6 which was little better than the previous mess. Incredibly we've only gone back to 4 groups of 4 this year, after 17 years of damage!!

2. This was more of a non-decision. They neglected to move along with the times and restructure our underage development. Football was changing drastically around the turn of the century with Ulster teams in particular introducing a much better defensive to counter attack style but we ploughed along without changing anything and hoped for the best.

This has been somewhat addressed over the last decade but we're still behind as a consequence of their neglect and inaction.

Now all of that may sound quite negative but I believe it is accurate (perhaps some of my fellow Meath men/women can correct me). Also I'm not giving up hope that we can improve in the future but we may need to go back to the drawing board first."
I don't think the senior championship of 18 teams is the big factor you make it out to be.

Top players are made when they hit senior, they emerge at senior level, they've been developing for years before that.

Meath actually run a good quality program of games at adult level.

It feels much better than that provided in some of the other Leinster counties.

The Dublin senior championship whilst competitive was straight knockout until a few seasons ago and their adult club leagues aren't taken hugely seriously. It's not adult football that the focus needs to be on.

Your juvenile football is not great quality for the most part. It's where you need to improve.

I'm not talking development squads because those teams do alright and I think that's been a part of the problem, these teams mask the fact that there's not enough quality football being played by Meath youngsters at club level.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3799 - 22/11/2020 13:46:38    2312698

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Replying To sam1884:  "Take Dublin aside - the best team to play the game, a golden generation, a team going for 6 in a row and I think have won 7 of the last 9 All Ireland's. If Dublin were dominating Leinster only then there is a problem but they've dominated nationally.

Next season Ulster have four teams in Div 1; with two out West and I fancy Cork to join Div 1 next summer along with Mayo retaking their place. Meath and Kildare in particular are two counties who should be consistent Div 1 teams; are they bigger counties than Monaghan for example?

There is a problem with Leinster football; why aren't the structures in place to have Meath as a stable Div 1, yearly QF team? They can't blame Dublin for being a Div 2 county bar one season in Div 1; this year when they were out their depth.

The GAA need to step in and see what is happening in Meath and Kildare. If the likes of Monaghan (remarkable achievment) can have a decade in Div 1, yearly QF's, a few SF"s and genuinely competing then why aren't Meath and Kildare competing for the same?

If we get Kildare and Meath back where they should be then we might improve the Leinster championship; the problem is Dublin started dominating Leinster in 2002 but didn't win an All Ireland until 2011. When Dublin fall into the pack teams outside the province will catch them but as Dublin reduce their All Ireland wins, they'll still dominate Leinster as there is something amiss with the other counties structures.

It can't all blamed on Dublin."
Total nonsense. Is there just something in the water that has made all the counties within a provincial border suddenly deteriorate ? Of course not. It all boils down to being imprisoned in a competition with zero prospect of success and regular beatings.

Malonemagic (Laois) - Posts: 712 - 22/11/2020 13:51:31    2312701

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Replying To jimski:  "To be fair Tom, most posters don't say it's Dublin's fault - they acknowledge that this has been created by the GAA. What irks people is the refusal of many Dublin supporters to recognize the huge advantages they've been given relative to other counties across the county. Dublin have won 10 Leinster's in a row and 14 out of 15. Hard to see them not winning at least another 5 on the trot. They've won 7 of the last 9 All Ireland's (and soon to be 8 out of 10, let's be honest). Their next 2 games will demonstrate how far ahead they are of the teams outside of Leinster. Attendances at Leinster semis and finals games had dropped significantly up to last year and that will further accelerate. The Super 8 attendances in the second year were also suffering. People aren't interested in watching one-sided games.

The GAA made the bed and we are all now lying in it."
I think things are going to get worse before they get better.

The funding to Dublin was probably the right thing at the time.

It's gone better probably than anyone expected it would have.

I think we all know now that other counties need to try to implement similar schemes to Dublin.

It's going to take 10-15 years for us to see if the results of increased spending outside Dublin can bridge the gap.

You'd definitely want it to but there's no guarantees that it will.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3799 - 22/11/2020 13:55:09    2312705

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Replying To jimski:  "To be fair Tom, most posters don't say it's Dublin's fault - they acknowledge that this has been created by the GAA. What irks people is the refusal of many Dublin supporters to recognize the huge advantages they've been given relative to other counties across the county. Dublin have won 10 Leinster's in a row and 14 out of 15. Hard to see them not winning at least another 5 on the trot. They've won 7 of the last 9 All Ireland's (and soon to be 8 out of 10, let's be honest). Their next 2 games will demonstrate how far ahead they are of the teams outside of Leinster. Attendances at Leinster semis and finals games had dropped significantly up to last year and that will further accelerate. The Super 8 attendances in the second year were also suffering. People aren't interested in watching one-sided games.

The GAA made the bed and we are all now lying in it."
How can this be Dublins fault? They can only play what is out in front of them and it is not good enough.

arock (Dublin) - Posts: 4772 - 22/11/2020 14:05:20    2312712

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Replying To Whammo86:  "As someone who moved to Meath and has played club football in Meath, I really feel the number of club you have is a real problem for the development of the game in the county.

At juvenile level in particular there are too many clubs.

It just means the talent in diluted among too many teams.

Not enough Meath youngsters are getting enough good quality games to bring them on. East Meath and Navan clubs are in decent health, the North and West Meath clubs don't feel like they're going anywhere.

There are players in these clubs that aren't going to fulfil their potential with your current structures.

Yes they play for development squads but that's only 30 or 40 lads or so at each age grade.

There's plenty of potential there that's going to waste.

It's literally impossible to know which 12 year olds are going to be the best adult footballers. How are they going to develop physically, socially, mentally, professionally.

Meath put a lot of focus on a centralised development model and not enough focus on getting as many kids playing as much football as possible and as much quality football as possible, the quality football is needed to push players.

Outside of the kids of the large clubs like Donaghmore Ashbourne, Ratoath, Dunboyne, I don't think enough kids are getting enough good football to bring them on. When that's the case it's an uphill struggle."
Yes, whammo. Now I think it's an issue for another day but these are problems. It's a hugely divided county, right down to individuals. All you have to do is take a look at the spread of posters on the forum, the variety.

The county is big. It is populated by different types of people in the sense that theres maybe 100,000 people living within 10/15 minutes of the city. Another 100,000 are living on the cusp of Ulster or the midlands with Navan roughly in the middle. Culturally these are very different types of people. The north of the county in particular has become an increasingly decaying area as you pointed out. There are tens of thousands of people living in Meath; migrants, kids of city parents etc, who have no interest in Meath GAA and/or actively dislike Meath and want them to lose. Meath also has a more pluralistic approach to other sports than ive seen in other counties. It has 5/6 rugby clubs and one of which is all-Ireland league standard with another not far off. We have a very healthy domestic soccer league as well. Minority sports such as American football and rugby league and lacrosse have a healthy presence in large towns.

These are issues for the traditional hearth of the GAA in the county, which doesent mix well with other sports. Grassroots issues.

Young_gael (Meath) - Posts: 496 - 22/11/2020 14:10:02    2312716

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Replying To JoeSoap:  "In 2016 we were our own worst enemy and ended up losing by five points, but Mannion got a goal in the 75th minute to put the extra gloss on that one. I really feel that was one that got away from a Donegal POV. Dublin were there for the taking that day.

Absolute insult to Mayo to suggest those epic finals were the Dubs operating at 50%. We get it, psychologically you're beaten before you even take to the pitch against the Dubs. That's not the case for a few other counties in the country, sorry if that upsets you."
That 2017 final was total war and both sets of players left absolutely everything on the field. The intensity and tacking, will to win by both teams in soaring heat was a joy to behold.

I think the general commentary watching back rte was "we are drained even watching that" and watching from the hogan stand, more disappointment aside my memory is being wrecked and physically tired for some reason.

Anyone that thinks Dublin were operating at 50% that day knows absolutely nothing about football.

yew_tree (Mayo) - Posts: 10999 - 22/11/2020 14:19:58    2312728

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I haven't read this but we had similar posts about the hurling cship previously and kilkennys dominance was apparently going to last forever.

tiobraid (Tipperary) - Posts: 3587 - 22/11/2020 14:22:27    2312732

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Would anyone in the current Meath team make the Meath teams in 87/88/96/99.

Meath teams of those eras had unbelievable toughness and real belief.

I think Meath need a Jimmy Mcguinness type manager and serious funding at underage

centerfield (Mayo) - Posts: 360 - 22/11/2020 14:23:33    2312734

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I don't think the senior championship of 18 teams is the big factor you make it out to be.

Top players are made when they hit senior, they emerge at senior level, they've been developing for years before that.

Meath actually run a good quality program of games at adult level.

It feels much better than that provided in some of the other Leinster counties.

The Dublin senior championship whilst competitive was straight knockout until a few seasons ago and their adult club leagues aren't taken hugely seriously. It's not adult football that the focus needs to be on.

Your juvenile football is not great quality for the most part. It's where you need to improve.

I'm not talking development squads because those teams do alright and I think that's been a part of the problem, these teams mask the fact that there's not enough quality football being played by Meath youngsters at club level."
I don't think the 18 senior was very good but my main point was about the structure, not the amount of teams.

I think going forward the 4 groups of 4 will be a lot more competitive, which could have knock on positive effects on our county team.

But I agree we need to improve at underage, in fact I think it would be no harm looking at ourselves from top to bottom and see what we can do to improve our fortunes.

Htaem (Meath) - Posts: 8657 - 22/11/2020 14:36:24    2312742

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Replying To yew_tree:  "That 2017 final was total war and both sets of players left absolutely everything on the field. The intensity and tacking, will to win by both teams in soaring heat was a joy to behold.

I think the general commentary watching back rte was "we are drained even watching that" and watching from the hogan stand, more disappointment aside my memory is being wrecked and physically tired for some reason.

Anyone that thinks Dublin were operating at 50% that day knows absolutely nothing about football."
He/she certainly come across like that alright.

Of course Dublin weren't operating at 50%

Ludicrous stuff...

It took everything to pip Mayo, nothing less.

Absolute titanic battles and it's not right to see Mayo's efforts purposely belittled like that just because the OP wants to twist it all for a certain agenda/narrative

jimbodub (Dublin) - Posts: 20366 - 22/11/2020 14:57:38    2312758

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Replying To yew_tree:  "That 2017 final was total war and both sets of players left absolutely everything on the field. The intensity and tacking, will to win by both teams in soaring heat was a joy to behold.

I think the general commentary watching back rte was "we are drained even watching that" and watching from the hogan stand, more disappointment aside my memory is being wrecked and physically tired for some reason.

Anyone that thinks Dublin were operating at 50% that day knows absolutely nothing about football."
Without a doubt yew_tree, that final was absolutely manic stuff, incredible final and 2016 wasn't far off it either. Like you say, knows nothing about football suggesting the Dubs were only operating at 50%. It's sad to see great footballing traditions in Leinster with such a small mentality in all honesty.

JoeSoap (Donegal) - Posts: 1432 - 22/11/2020 15:16:45    2312781

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We can only look on in envy at the Munster win for Tipp today. They actually have something attainable to aim for.

The pick of Tipp and Cork wouldn't touch the dubs either though. In essence that means Kerry wouldn't because Cork are better than them. LOL.

daytona11 (Kildare) - Posts: 4006 - 22/11/2020 15:32:11    2312812

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Replying To JoeSoap:  "Without a doubt yew_tree, that final was absolutely manic stuff, incredible final and 2016 wasn't far off it either. Like you say, knows nothing about football suggesting the Dubs were only operating at 50%. It's sad to see great footballing traditions in Leinster with such a small mentality in all honesty."
2013 was no walk in the park

2015 wasn't exactly easy either

jimbodub (Dublin) - Posts: 20366 - 22/11/2020 15:35:25    2312819

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Replying To Young_gael:  "Yes, whammo. Now I think it's an issue for another day but these are problems. It's a hugely divided county, right down to individuals. All you have to do is take a look at the spread of posters on the forum, the variety.

The county is big. It is populated by different types of people in the sense that theres maybe 100,000 people living within 10/15 minutes of the city. Another 100,000 are living on the cusp of Ulster or the midlands with Navan roughly in the middle. Culturally these are very different types of people. The north of the county in particular has become an increasingly decaying area as you pointed out. There are tens of thousands of people living in Meath; migrants, kids of city parents etc, who have no interest in Meath GAA and/or actively dislike Meath and want them to lose. Meath also has a more pluralistic approach to other sports than ive seen in other counties. It has 5/6 rugby clubs and one of which is all-Ireland league standard with another not far off. We have a very healthy domestic soccer league as well. Minority sports such as American football and rugby league and lacrosse have a healthy presence in large towns.

These are issues for the traditional hearth of the GAA in the county, which doesent mix well with other sports. Grassroots issues."
Yes the rugby angle is very interesting.

Leinster rugby have made a large push out of their South Dublin heartland.

So it's a case of Meath not only competing with a well oiled Dublin machine but also competing with the premier professional club side in the country.

It's just 1 anecdote but my mother in law speaks of how active the Leinster rugby coaches are now in running initiatives in the primary school she works in.

Something that Dublin has also been benefitted from is that it's been a melting pot of ideas from other counties.

There's the big presence of people in Gaelic clubs with traditions from all around the country, it's really made it the hub of the game. Big Donegal presence bringing a strong hand passing game, more traditional play from this coming from more southern counties. Dublin had its own style too which has been adaptable to the modern game.

Meath had a style that worked for them in a different era and were slow to adjust. Things are improving massively year on year.

When I first started playing in Meath I was shocked by how static some of my teammates were for instance.

The ball was to go to chest not space.

It was a very direct style to compared to Ulster football.

I don't think it was ready for the new era.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3799 - 22/11/2020 15:37:20    2312821

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Replying To Htaem:  "I don't think the 18 senior was very good but my main point was about the structure, not the amount of teams.

I think going forward the 4 groups of 4 will be a lot more competitive, which could have knock on positive effects on our county team.

But I agree we need to improve at underage, in fact I think it would be no harm looking at ourselves from top to bottom and see what we can do to improve our fortunes."
I do think you have a county board right now that are aware of a lot of these problems though. As part of the championship changes they are looking to introduce a divisional teams competition for the non-senior players which will be interesting.

I think they need to scrap the Meath juniors too. That was quite a distraction for us at times.

It feels like there's a resolve to try things, it's just a long road back.

The further you fall in the interim the harder it will be unfortunately.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3799 - 22/11/2020 15:41:33    2312826

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Replying To jimbodub:  "2013 was no walk in the park

2015 wasn't exactly easy either"
No year was a walk in the park....last years semi final was probably the exception. Though I don't think any tram could have lived with Dublin in that second half.

yew_tree (Mayo) - Posts: 10999 - 22/11/2020 15:55:23    2312847

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