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What Can Be Done To Save Offaly Hurling

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Replying To Fairplayalways:  "Offaly need to invest fair enough but invest what..we dont have massive big sponsors to pour money into our system..its fund raise almost all the way for Offaly and most counties, and if you havent a big town/city in your county there will be no investment jumping to come in (Kilkenny being the exception I suppose)..I hurled all my life, my son played for a while, but tried another sport one winter and that has become his number one sport..wouldnt puck a ball around the yard even with me, a bit of Gaelic but that too wouldnt be first choice to his other sport which he is quiet good at...I know once they are playing something is great, but even my appetite for GAA involvement has waned, it is a very "win at all cost" mentality which obviosly is very hard to keep up as you cannot win every game..the enjoyment then goes out of it with such pressure, and they seen less pressureised sports which they can enjoy..that wont get you up the steps of the hoganstand I know, but as I say, everyone cant win..I dont know, our ship has sailed, differet times, more options, and from minor up you are playing an amateur sport at semi professional level at the very least, not everyone can afford that or indeed want it (its great if you win of course)..Offaly dont have the players firstly or the resources to retain the players who do commit, those who do commit are often sarcrificing lots of other things and there is only so long you will do that..."
If there is not light at the end of the tunnel equally for all then the interest in our sport (in certain areas) will drain away drop by drop. Your own example is a good one and the powers that be should perk up and listen. That light can not be a candle for some and a spot light for others if you want to maintain, grow the sport and bring more equality between county teams. Yes everyone can not win but in a sense saying that is patronizing in itself. It is kind of the general attitude they did well for Laois, Carlow, Westmeath, Kerry, etc. My Kilkenny friends will be mad when I say this. As well as their tradition the concentration on one sport and the other, a recreational play if you like, but on your own sport, has helped.
It is disingenuous to say for anyone to say you don't need money to start at base camp and match the top teams in time. If you do not have the resources or population to get that money you can't.
Of course if you are okay with haves and have nots then don't be looking around to see where Offaly and others are. That is disingenuous also. If we want a truly amateur game at inter county level there has to be some system of equal finances of all teams to compete. If not lets stop the denial and continue down the road well under construction to professionalism. However forget about questions like this about Offaly that was about their inter county future and many others also.

Canuck (Waterford) - Posts: 1225 - 10/03/2021 15:37:06    2333821

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Replying To Canuck:  "If there is not light at the end of the tunnel equally for all then the interest in our sport (in certain areas) will drain away drop by drop. Your own example is a good one and the powers that be should perk up and listen. That light can not be a candle for some and a spot light for others if you want to maintain, grow the sport and bring more equality between county teams. Yes everyone can not win but in a sense saying that is patronizing in itself. It is kind of the general attitude they did well for Laois, Carlow, Westmeath, Kerry, etc. My Kilkenny friends will be mad when I say this. As well as their tradition the concentration on one sport and the other, a recreational play if you like, but on your own sport, has helped.
It is disingenuous to say for anyone to say you don't need money to start at base camp and match the top teams in time. If you do not have the resources or population to get that money you can't.
Of course if you are okay with haves and have nots then don't be looking around to see where Offaly and others are. That is disingenuous also. If we want a truly amateur game at inter county level there has to be some system of equal finances of all teams to compete. If not lets stop the denial and continue down the road well under construction to professionalism. However forget about questions like this about Offaly that was about their inter county future and many others also."
thanks for you interesting and honest reply..the powers that be often are "the anoraks" whom destest other ball sports, and almost take an instant disliking to any youngster that moves code and concentrating on their new found sport as such...I could not see anyone in Offaly anals of position understanding a dual interest once it impacts of GAA then it is "brown bread"...yes its changing but often you are dealing with people, like Fianna Fail, if you are not one of them they sense it off you and you can do what you want, and add to that if you are not a top player you are let slide away..no room at the inn mentality...its a historic thing in ways with the GAA..I often listen to famed Kerry players of the past being interviewed, and they talking about "going to Dublin on the train with their parents to watch the Kerry play in Croke Park" when you hear their age and do the sums these were on trains in the 1950s and 60's when most people I know would have only seen trains in newspapers or magazines back then let alone the television...then the line is dropped "my father was the local seargeant and my mother ran the post office" or something similar...yes not everyone came from these backgrounds, but many many sucessful players did, and its easy to commit when you had a means of getting there...again many would not not back in them days...alot is generational too..I know back in the early 1980's we won two tickets for an All ireland and the house was turned upside down to get the price of a bus ticket and a few bob to go..and thats under 40 years ago...I am just saying in general some people cannot afford to commit to 10 or 15 years of intercounty GAA..

Fairplayalways (Offaly) - Posts: 674 - 10/03/2021 15:58:55    2333825

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In all honesty inter county hurling and football for the big boys is professional in almost everything but name.... paid management etc... but where does it all end...? There is no holy grail when the final whistle blows on All Ireland final day ... only a counting of cost at county board level and the prospect of starting the whole thing all over again at huge cost... The day of reckoning is not too far away for many county boards and that is for sure....!!!!

ForeverBlue2 (Cavan) - Posts: 62 - 10/03/2021 16:41:58    2333827

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I know my own county is on abit of high at the moment ,but again its just papering over the cracks ,we had for the the 1st time 7 clubs playing senior ,3 r4 years ago ,now we v 6 ,but we have the rubbish going on in the county with some clubs telling players as young as u14! If you want to be succesfull at football ,your not alound play hurling !!!!this is thd big problem ,i know my own club is a combanation of 3 clubs and we v enough of football clubs trying to stop us making progress ,where going getting our own grounds (the 1st only hurling only grounds in sligo ) so we can play when ever we want ) tooreen (in mayo ) did this and they v came on in droves since the football clubs cant dectiate when you play hurling

Timmy86 (Sligo) - Posts: 156 - 10/03/2021 18:55:57    2333834

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Replying To ForeverBlue2:  "In all honesty inter county hurling and football for the big boys is professional in almost everything but name.... paid management etc... but where does it all end...? There is no holy grail when the final whistle blows on All Ireland final day ... only a counting of cost at county board level and the prospect of starting the whole thing all over again at huge cost... The day of reckoning is not too far away for many county boards and that is for sure....!!!!"
The sooner the better imo. Money being spent is crazy.
In all likelihood, within a generation, funding will be required to be split 50/50 between the men's and women's teams anyways, so these guys are gonna have to start making do with less money either way.

Galway9801 (Galway) - Posts: 426 - 10/03/2021 19:48:48    2333839

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Definitely agree that Offaly need to target winning a minor but it is different now at u17. Massive gap there to the senior squad. I still believe there are plenty high quality athletes in Offaly. The psychological side of training is what needs to be worked on. Discipline, self belief, mental fortitude, all of the things that the successful counties are focussing on. Kilkenny are really good at the mental side of being a top performer with a relatively small pick of players. Other examples Monaghan and Roscommon in the last few years and Tyrone for last 20. In hurling, Clare have a similar number of hurling clubs and also Laois who now are streets ahead of Offaly. They all have hardy players both physically and mentally. Takes time and not a simple fix but a massive focus needed on the 18-21 year olds. For example the penalty shootout against down. That was a mental battle and Offaly had fear where Down had none

Mountain_south (Offaly) - Posts: 8 - 11/03/2021 16:33:04    2333908

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Replying To ForeverBlue2:  "In all honesty inter county hurling and football for the big boys is professional in almost everything but name.... paid management etc... but where does it all end...? There is no holy grail when the final whistle blows on All Ireland final day ... only a counting of cost at county board level and the prospect of starting the whole thing all over again at huge cost... The day of reckoning is not too far away for many county boards and that is for sure....!!!!"
There is no doubt the cost of Intercounty football/Hurling is just not sustainable. Everyone is now demanding a cut of this rapidly diminishing pie. With Revenue nosing around certain County Boards. I think the Inter-county game needs to be very careful the direction it is taking, because a cul-de-sac and a brick wall is waiting for their speeding out of control car.

arock (Dublin) - Posts: 4605 - 11/03/2021 19:01:42    2333916

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We hear from some that money isn't every thing. It is pretty close to it. Its like saying I want to travel around the world. If you own a Lira jet you are well on your way but if all you have is only a bicycle well...
I have no doubt if any county had a sponsor that put up 10 million year starting now with 10 year old kids paid coaching, etc. and resources, within 10 years they would be contenders. Obviously that is not going to happen but some levelling off of money available from county to county is required to have any chance of competitiveness. Those trying to justify the anomaly will say it is up to the counties themselves to raise money. Come on, realistically Leitrim has no chance of raising the same money as Dublin and Cork. On the other hand if we are okay with the way things are going drive on to the professional structure already in progress and stop the nonsense that this is not happening.

Canuck (Waterford) - Posts: 1225 - 11/03/2021 20:46:19    2333922

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Replying To Fairplayalways:  "thanks for you interesting and honest reply..the powers that be often are "the anoraks" whom destest other ball sports, and almost take an instant disliking to any youngster that moves code and concentrating on their new found sport as such...I could not see anyone in Offaly anals of position understanding a dual interest once it impacts of GAA then it is "brown bread"...yes its changing but often you are dealing with people, like Fianna Fail, if you are not one of them they sense it off you and you can do what you want, and add to that if you are not a top player you are let slide away..no room at the inn mentality...its a historic thing in ways with the GAA..I often listen to famed Kerry players of the past being interviewed, and they talking about "going to Dublin on the train with their parents to watch the Kerry play in Croke Park" when you hear their age and do the sums these were on trains in the 1950s and 60's when most people I know would have only seen trains in newspapers or magazines back then let alone the television...then the line is dropped "my father was the local seargeant and my mother ran the post office" or something similar...yes not everyone came from these backgrounds, but many many sucessful players did, and its easy to commit when you had a means of getting there...again many would not not back in them days...alot is generational too..I know back in the early 1980's we won two tickets for an All ireland and the house was turned upside down to get the price of a bus ticket and a few bob to go..and thats under 40 years ago...I am just saying in general some people cannot afford to commit to 10 or 15 years of intercounty GAA.."
I know where you re coming from but not all fans travelling had lots of money and logistically it was cheaper to travel from Offaly to Dublin than Kerry to Dublin. I was nt around in the 50 s or 60 s but I remember the late 70 s and early 80s and people I knew would be savingike crazy after beating Cork for a trip to the all ireland. In those days Kerry fans were nt great for semi final attendance and that is the reason. It was so expensive. It still is very expensive. Alot of people were very annoyed in 2019 at the time of replay. As usual the gaa don't take travel into consideration. The time of replay meant a family in Waterville or Kenmare would have to book into hotels or b and b s or not get home till maybe 2 or 3 in the morning.

CiarraiMick (Dublin) - Posts: 1676 - 11/03/2021 20:57:15    2333923

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Replying To CiarraiMick:  "I know where you re coming from but not all fans travelling had lots of money and logistically it was cheaper to travel from Offaly to Dublin than Kerry to Dublin. I was nt around in the 50 s or 60 s but I remember the late 70 s and early 80s and people I knew would be savingike crazy after beating Cork for a trip to the all ireland. In those days Kerry fans were nt great for semi final attendance and that is the reason. It was so expensive. It still is very expensive. Alot of people were very annoyed in 2019 at the time of replay. As usual the gaa don't take travel into consideration. The time of replay meant a family in Waterville or Kenmare would have to book into hotels or b and b s or not get home till maybe 2 or 3 in the morning."
I hear you about the fans travelling, my point was really about being able to afford to play or commit to intercounty..and the interviews with some very old players amazed me to hear they were on trains etc. from Kerry etc. in the 1960s..and as I said when you listened more then the line of "my father was the local Seargeant and my mother was the post mistress" so that of course was a telling factor in how these peoples offsprings were GAA players back then..my own father done the "savings" thing to go as a spectator to see the battles between Limerick and Tipp and seen the great Mick Mackey hurl (my late father said he was the best he ever seen actually) so I know yes, not all players came from fairly priviledged backgrounds, but many did, when you listen back. That would be the case even today, I know of one Offaly hurler, his father told me he was on the road with him all one summer, challenge games here and there, didnt get on in some (that wasnt an issue now at all) but the father told me he was nearly broke by the end of it, and while he said nothing the son was mindful of their family set up and withdrew from the Offaly panel..I wont say much more need I say but its a matter that the GAA wont probably want to acknowledge or address..it is available to everyone, but can everyone afford it...

Fairplayalways (Offaly) - Posts: 674 - 12/03/2021 11:48:32    2333968

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Replying To Fairplayalways:  "I hear you about the fans travelling, my point was really about being able to afford to play or commit to intercounty..and the interviews with some very old players amazed me to hear they were on trains etc. from Kerry etc. in the 1960s..and as I said when you listened more then the line of "my father was the local Seargeant and my mother was the post mistress" so that of course was a telling factor in how these peoples offsprings were GAA players back then..my own father done the "savings" thing to go as a spectator to see the battles between Limerick and Tipp and seen the great Mick Mackey hurl (my late father said he was the best he ever seen actually) so I know yes, not all players came from fairly priviledged backgrounds, but many did, when you listen back. That would be the case even today, I know of one Offaly hurler, his father told me he was on the road with him all one summer, challenge games here and there, didnt get on in some (that wasnt an issue now at all) but the father told me he was nearly broke by the end of it, and while he said nothing the son was mindful of their family set up and withdrew from the Offaly panel..I wont say much more need I say but its a matter that the GAA wont probably want to acknowledge or address..it is available to everyone, but can everyone afford it..."
Oh I agree it's an expensive pastime following one s team and playing if you not getting proper expenses. I worked with a man in Dublin a good few years back who played for his county but he packed it in because it was costing him money. He was expected to travel for training etc and matches down the country but only part of his expenses were being covered. We all know the Larry Tompkins story when he was in NY he was brought home to play championship with Kildare. When they lost Larry was told the ticket was one way and he had to organise his own plane fare back. He never played for Kildare again and won 2 All irelands with Cork.

CiarraiMick (Dublin) - Posts: 1676 - 12/03/2021 15:19:49    2333997

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I dunno lads, Kilkenny have no sugar daddy knocking around with 10m and look what they have done and continue to do.
Wexford didn't have a sugar daddy to get the development squads, etc set up 15 years ago.
Maybe this is changing, I don't know.
The odd thing is in most counties, you see sons of top hurlers in the 80s and 90s are now on inter county teams. That doesn't seem to have happened in Offaly which is a real pity, with the exception of Shane Dooley. In fact, the only son of a great from Offaly that I can think of is Jack O'Regan and he's gone off to play rugby in New Zealand.

StoreysTash (Wexford) - Posts: 1023 - 12/03/2021 15:38:42    2334000

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Replying To StoreysTash:  "I dunno lads, Kilkenny have no sugar daddy knocking around with 10m and look what they have done and continue to do.
Wexford didn't have a sugar daddy to get the development squads, etc set up 15 years ago.
Maybe this is changing, I don't know.
The odd thing is in most counties, you see sons of top hurlers in the 80s and 90s are now on inter county teams. That doesn't seem to have happened in Offaly which is a real pity, with the exception of Shane Dooley. In fact, the only son of a great from Offaly that I can think of is Jack O'Regan and he's gone off to play rugby in New Zealand."
Not entirely true . Kk have glanbia and they put serious money into kk hurling . Plus the kk county board don't have to worry about putting 400+k into their football set up which frees more money for hurling .

Ben (None) - Posts: 99 - 12/03/2021 15:48:21    2334002

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Replying To StoreysTash:  "I dunno lads, Kilkenny have no sugar daddy knocking around with 10m and look what they have done and continue to do.
Wexford didn't have a sugar daddy to get the development squads, etc set up 15 years ago.
Maybe this is changing, I don't know.
The odd thing is in most counties, you see sons of top hurlers in the 80s and 90s are now on inter county teams. That doesn't seem to have happened in Offaly which is a real pity, with the exception of Shane Dooley. In fact, the only son of a great from Offaly that I can think of is Jack O'Regan and he's gone off to play rugby in New Zealand."
True about the sons of former hurlers..Brian Whelehans son Aaaron is now only on the Senior panel a few years and is a sub most games..he played intermediate and Juior etc. and I often noticed with the big name players take the frees off them and they mightnt get a score in the whole game, Aaaron is abit like that, not crticizising him now but he just never reached anywhere near where Brian reached...Patjoe Brians father was a great hurler and Uncles Frank and Michael were very nice hurlers too..Michaels son Jason was savage underage prospect, then just drifted off to the dreaded Junior and intermediate, and is in Austraia now I think. Eunan Martin (Damians son) hurled alot with Rynaghs but then disapeared for a years and back again, i am assuming for work purposes but never made any intercounty breakthrough...Biran Carroll is son of the late great Pat Carroll of Coolderry (died a young man in March 1986 after an illness..about 31 or so at the time..David Hughes son Ronan is currently one of Rynaghs top players, does be on the county panel I think..Padraig Horans sons Shane and Diarumuid, the latter did hurl with Offaly...Ger Coughhlans son Colm was an outstanding hurler and I dont know what happened there, he just left the county scene and is gone too long now to return...Micheal Coneelys son of course is Ben, and he is a massive hurler, brother Gary was a great hurler too, work I think took him away from the county panel..a massive player....no doubt there are a few more I have not thought of, but the great county man doesnt guarantee now a great son or daughter to carry the mantle...we look at Cork and say look at them, Colm ONeill in football, his father was a gem in the 80's, but Cork hae so many I suppose, enough do come through given the numbers involved, Offaly dont have them...I hurled myself a bit, its my number one sport, yet my son is soccer soccer soccer all day long...GAA isnt for everyone I suppose..

Fairplayalways (Offaly) - Posts: 674 - 12/03/2021 17:18:07    2334015

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Replying To Fairplayalways:  "True about the sons of former hurlers..Brian Whelehans son Aaaron is now only on the Senior panel a few years and is a sub most games..he played intermediate and Juior etc. and I often noticed with the big name players take the frees off them and they mightnt get a score in the whole game, Aaaron is abit like that, not crticizising him now but he just never reached anywhere near where Brian reached...Patjoe Brians father was a great hurler and Uncles Frank and Michael were very nice hurlers too..Michaels son Jason was savage underage prospect, then just drifted off to the dreaded Junior and intermediate, and is in Austraia now I think. Eunan Martin (Damians son) hurled alot with Rynaghs but then disapeared for a years and back again, i am assuming for work purposes but never made any intercounty breakthrough...Biran Carroll is son of the late great Pat Carroll of Coolderry (died a young man in March 1986 after an illness..about 31 or so at the time..David Hughes son Ronan is currently one of Rynaghs top players, does be on the county panel I think..Padraig Horans sons Shane and Diarumuid, the latter did hurl with Offaly...Ger Coughhlans son Colm was an outstanding hurler and I dont know what happened there, he just left the county scene and is gone too long now to return...Micheal Coneelys son of course is Ben, and he is a massive hurler, brother Gary was a great hurler too, work I think took him away from the county panel..a massive player....no doubt there are a few more I have not thought of, but the great county man doesnt guarantee now a great son or daughter to carry the mantle...we look at Cork and say look at them, Colm ONeill in football, his father was a gem in the 80's, but Cork hae so many I suppose, enough do come through given the numbers involved, Offaly dont have them...I hurled myself a bit, its my number one sport, yet my son is soccer soccer soccer all day long...GAA isnt for everyone I suppose.."
Colm ó Néill is Not a son of the Colm ó Néill of the great Cork team late 80s early nineties. Funny though the older Colm married Maurice Fitzgerald and moved to the USA. They have a son Shane that plays pro soccer and supposed to be very good. I heard Martin ó Néill was maki g enquiries about him a few years ago

CiarraiMick (Dublin) - Posts: 1676 - 12/03/2021 18:26:51    2334020

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Replying To Fairplayalways:  "True about the sons of former hurlers..Brian Whelehans son Aaaron is now only on the Senior panel a few years and is a sub most games..he played intermediate and Juior etc. and I often noticed with the big name players take the frees off them and they mightnt get a score in the whole game, Aaaron is abit like that, not crticizising him now but he just never reached anywhere near where Brian reached...Patjoe Brians father was a great hurler and Uncles Frank and Michael were very nice hurlers too..Michaels son Jason was savage underage prospect, then just drifted off to the dreaded Junior and intermediate, and is in Austraia now I think. Eunan Martin (Damians son) hurled alot with Rynaghs but then disapeared for a years and back again, i am assuming for work purposes but never made any intercounty breakthrough...Biran Carroll is son of the late great Pat Carroll of Coolderry (died a young man in March 1986 after an illness..about 31 or so at the time..David Hughes son Ronan is currently one of Rynaghs top players, does be on the county panel I think..Padraig Horans sons Shane and Diarumuid, the latter did hurl with Offaly...Ger Coughhlans son Colm was an outstanding hurler and I dont know what happened there, he just left the county scene and is gone too long now to return...Micheal Coneelys son of course is Ben, and he is a massive hurler, brother Gary was a great hurler too, work I think took him away from the county panel..a massive player....no doubt there are a few more I have not thought of, but the great county man doesnt guarantee now a great son or daughter to carry the mantle...we look at Cork and say look at them, Colm ONeill in football, his father was a gem in the 80's, but Cork hae so many I suppose, enough do come through given the numbers involved, Offaly dont have them...I hurled myself a bit, its my number one sport, yet my son is soccer soccer soccer all day long...GAA isnt for everyone I suppose.."
Tradition is a big factor in the gaas success and continuation imo.
Your young lad isn't the only one. Without tradition it's almost impossible for the gaa to win the battle for the hearts and minds of our kids when competing against a multi billion dollar 24/7 advertised global industry like soccer.
Add to this the Gaas penchant for self harm,what with the commitment required, the exclusion of genuine talent from success because they were born in the wrong county, fixture chaos, lack of big games compared to other sports (some counties have only one or two truly meaningful games per year).

Galway9801 (Galway) - Posts: 426 - 12/03/2021 20:09:52    2334029

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Replying To Ben:  "Not entirely true . Kk have glanbia and they put serious money into kk hurling . Plus the kk county board don't have to worry about putting 400+k into their football set up which frees more money for hurling ."
That is true about KK. They can deny all they like. I lived close to some fine footballers from Bigwood and they could tell you how they were treated playing football.

Canuck (Waterford) - Posts: 1225 - 12/03/2021 20:41:34    2334034

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Replying To CiarraiMick:  "Colm ó Néill is Not a son of the Colm ó Néill of the great Cork team late 80s early nineties. Funny though the older Colm married Maurice Fitzgerald and moved to the USA. They have a son Shane that plays pro soccer and supposed to be very good. I heard Martin ó Néill was maki g enquiries about him a few years ago"
Obviously that should read Ó Néill married Maurice Fitzgerald sister

CiarraiMick (Dublin) - Posts: 1676 - 12/03/2021 20:55:06    2334036

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Replying To CiarraiMick:  "Obviously that should read Ó Néill married Maurice Fitzgerald sister"
Just as well you clarified, I was about to post a public Facebook message congratulating Fitzgerald and O Neill, and share it on my Instagram, Snapchat, twitter, and tik tok

Galway9801 (Galway) - Posts: 426 - 12/03/2021 22:46:57    2334048

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I forgot about Brian Carroll fairplayalways.

"Add to this the Gaas penchant for self harm,what with the commitment required, the exclusion of genuine talent from success because they were born in the wrong county, fixture chaos, lack of big games compared to other sports (some counties have only one or two truly meaningful games per year).
Galway9801"

You have summed up the GAA to me in 1 sentence.

Are we heading towards a point where the only reality to competing at the top level in hurling is for counties like Offaly/Laois to amalgamate for example? Would it be utterly unpalatable for those involved? I know people who played with underage clubs in Wexford who were amalgamated and it helped them to hurl at a higher level and stay involved in the game. They just didn't have the numbers on their own to compete.

StoreysTash (Wexford) - Posts: 1023 - 13/03/2021 09:28:17    2334058

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