National Forum

What Has Gone Wrong With Cavans Underage County Teams

(Oldest Posts First)

In the past 3/4 years Cavans underage County teams have fallen off a cliff with regard to performance. Prior to that we were at least competing competitively with the top teams in Ulster. Clearly something has gone wrong. This year our under 20s got beaten heavily by Down and tonight our minors have exited in the first round against Fermanagh. There has to be questions asked.

Joebe (Cavan) - Posts: 76 - 28/07/2021 22:11:30    2365310

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Replying To Joebe:  "In the past 3/4 years Cavans underage County teams have fallen off a cliff with regard to performance. Prior to that we were at least competing competitively with the top teams in Ulster. Clearly something has gone wrong. This year our under 20s got beaten heavily by Down and tonight our minors have exited in the first round against Fermanagh. There has to be questions asked."
Ask the questions on the Cavan forum.

HEREBENJI (Donegal) - Posts: 411 - 29/07/2021 07:46:29    2365356

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Replying To Joebe:  "In the past 3/4 years Cavans underage County teams have fallen off a cliff with regard to performance. Prior to that we were at least competing competitively with the top teams in Ulster. Clearly something has gone wrong. This year our under 20s got beaten heavily by Down and tonight our minors have exited in the first round against Fermanagh. There has to be questions asked."
Probably one for the Cavan board Joebe, but nonetheless. .

There'll be plenty of different opinions on this, as you're right. We've gone from being incredibly successful at underage level in Ulster 6-10 years ago, to being beaten early at all grades this year and last.

I'm not even sure we're producing and lower a quality of player. I think we're still producing the level of player we did in those winning teams.


The answer, as I see it, is down to style of play.

Under Terry Hyland in particular, we lost the 2010 Ulster final to a Donegal side managed by Jim McGuinness who played 14 behind the ball with Michael Murphy up front. Speaking to one of the Cavan players after that game he simply said that they were impossible to play against. They were playing a brand of football that hadn't been seen before.

Cavan emulated that style of play over the following 4 years, and it was incredibly successful, because IMO at underage level, teams don't get enough time to prepare for playing against such a setup.
That success didn't transfer itself to senior success because by the time those groups were established senior players, teams at that level were figuring out how to deal with a blanket defence (namely meet fire with fire and rely on a higher calibre of scoring forward - something Cavan didn't have).

The blanket defence was a huge leveller for teams, to a point. And at underage, it was more of a leveller. A team who could employ it well had gotten the hop on their opponents.


So to the current sides. .
The blanket defence has largely become a thing of the past. The copy and paste managers now realise that you need a balance, namely a fully functioning attack, or at least a counter attack (something Jim Mc realised in 2012!).

Cavan are trying to play a more expansive game, but the advantage (almost a surprise element, because opponents hadn't faced it in the flesh) that the blanket defence approach gave us is a thing of the past now.

cavanman47 (Cavan) - Posts: 4552 - 29/07/2021 08:08:16    2365358

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