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Donegal GAA thread

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Replying To panamasam:  "I wrote a post Friday regarding Jim's presser last week but obviously deemed too inflammatory for here. Anyways it's worth watching. He makes a lot of good points in relation to provincial championships, changes made for the sake of it and how everything is so financially driven. There was a piece about the Munster and Leinster championships last night and of course there is a Kerry man and a Dub presenting it...... nothing impartial there.

I've been out of the country for a couple of months so took the opportunity to go to a game yesterday...... it'll be sometime until I go to another when not Donegal involved. I had business in the Portlaoise area so decided I'd go to the Westmeath Wicklow game. To begin I needed cash as using cash is a concise decision I've made to always use. My nearest cash machine was a 15 minute journey. The town where I bought my ticket as no operational bank machines after the banks there got shut down. When I got my ticket in a SuperValu shop I was told there was no other option but to buy a €25 ticket.....hardly value. No cheaper terrace ticket available apparently via SuperValu just the €25 one. You could count the people at the game. I hate to think the cost if you had to buy more tickets as part of a family. Not having the option to pay on the gate is insane to me. Nevermind championship games but also Under 21 and minor games. Donegal play Armagh Wednesday night and usually I'd probably go despite a 5 hour round trip. However the awkwardness of having to buy a ticket in a SuperValu is a big no for me and people wonder why people don't go to games."
I agree completely. I too had a comment fail the moderator test, again too critical of the GAA, and in particular their ticketing policy. They seem to have given away all control to their official ticketing partner. I brought the family to Croker for the League Finals. I had my two Season tickets. But for all the world I couldn't get tickets for the rest of the family within 70 metres of my seat.

However, I always buy online, I find it very handy. But at the end of this year I am going to go through my Google Wallet and add up exactly how much I have directly contributed to the GAA coffers over the course of the year. Between Club Membership's and Club Fundraisers I have spent €600, Season Tickets and Underage fixtures almost another €300. And this is before the truly competitive action starts. I'd conservatively expect to cross the €2,500 mark before I buy a Half Time Draw ticket.

I emailed Croke Park directly about the Season Ticket situation, questioning the policy/strategy around pricing, but the reply I received was at best dismissive. I'm fortunate in that I can well afford my pastime, without it I'd be lost. But as a wise man told me, If you want loyalty, buy a dog!

And to continue on your point about the attendance in Portlaoise yesterday, there were a mere 7,000 in Clones. Two counties operating close to the top tier, one of them an All Ireland Semi Finalist from last year. What are they trying to do? If they continue, they'll soon be able to play the Ulster Final in the old Casement and they won't need a new one.

SouthOfTheGap (Donegal) - Posts: 604 - 08/04/2024 17:18:37    2536677

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Season ticket holders can get their tickets on Ticketmaster now. I was expecting to have to pay full for the juvenile seat (and ready to give out stink about it) but it was only a fiver.

WeGoAgain (Donegal) - Posts: 38 - 08/04/2024 17:25:29    2536682

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Replying To Green_Gold:  "It is very difficult to predict our starting 15 for the Derry game but I'll give it a go. I am assuming that Ban, Conor O Donnell and Caolan Ward will not make it and McCole, Ryan and Paddy will be fit.

Shaun Patton

Mark Curran
Brendan McCole
Ciaran Moore

Ryan McHugh
Caolan McGonagle
Shane O'Donnell

Michael Langan
Jason McGee

Daire O'Baoil
Ciaran Thompson
Peadar Mogan

Paddy McBrearty
Oisin Gallan
Niall O Donnell

Subs:
Caolan McColgan
Aaron Doherty
Odhran Dohoerty
Jeaic McKelvey
Jamie Brennan
Hughie McFadden
Stephen McMenanmin

Aside from Oisin, I still think Paddy is our best forward especially in a championship game. his free taking is immaculate and he was playing well before injury. Ciaran Moore is nailed on starter for me and Mark Curran has been really steady. It would be tempting to start Hughie as well given how good Derry are at midfield. I feel Conor McCloskey is the Derry back I would man mark, he is just so dangerous. Would Peadar Mogan be a good option on him, he might put him on the back foot?"
Seriously good team there..full of fire power..

RoryGall35 (Donegal) - Posts: 168 - 08/04/2024 17:51:51    2536688

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Replying To SurelyToGod:  "McColgan starts because Derry have backs to keep an eye on?"
He starts because he's one of our best defenders.

TheRock2121 (Donegal) - Posts: 1147 - 08/04/2024 18:26:30    2536698

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Replying To Green_Gold:  "It is very difficult to predict our starting 15 for the Derry game but I'll give it a go. I am assuming that Ban, Conor O Donnell and Caolan Ward will not make it and McCole, Ryan and Paddy will be fit.

Shaun Patton

Mark Curran
Brendan McCole
Ciaran Moore

Ryan McHugh
Caolan McGonagle
Shane O'Donnell

Michael Langan
Jason McGee

Daire O'Baoil
Ciaran Thompson
Peadar Mogan

Paddy McBrearty
Oisin Gallan
Niall O Donnell

Subs:
Caolan McColgan
Aaron Doherty
Odhran Dohoerty
Jeaic McKelvey
Jamie Brennan
Hughie McFadden
Stephen McMenanmin

Aside from Oisin, I still think Paddy is our best forward especially in a championship game. his free taking is immaculate and he was playing well before injury. Ciaran Moore is nailed on starter for me and Mark Curran has been really steady. It would be tempting to start Hughie as well given how good Derry are at midfield. I feel Conor McCloskey is the Derry back I would man mark, he is just so dangerous. Would Peadar Mogan be a good option on him, he might put him on the back foot?"
Caolan Mc Colgan or Eoin Ban will be wing half back. We need a defender there. I expect Shane in the forward line possible at the expense of Niall. Otherwise the team wont be far away from your selection I expect.

Scenicparish (Donegal) - Posts: 305 - 08/04/2024 19:18:42    2536716

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Would people agree that Donegal has one of the best if not the best array of people who can score from distance..I'm thinking Thompson, Gallen, Niall O Donnell, Jason McGee, langan, mcbererty, Daire o and you could possibly include Ryan in there too..???

RoryGall35 (Donegal) - Posts: 168 - 08/04/2024 21:59:35    2536755

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Replying To SurelyToGod:  "I'd guess McFadden starts for McGee, but otherwise if all fit then i'd expect that to be the team yeah.

With those doubts in mind, it's hard to work out what you do. I'd expect Mogan to fill McHugh's berth, with McColgan and the two Doherty's each putting forward strong cases for inclusion. Also could see a full championship debut for Luke McGlynn.

Only 8 nailed-on first-choice players that are 100% available next weekend (Moore, NOD, SOD etc. nailed-on with injuries in mind):
Patton, Curran, Ó Baoill, McGonagle, Langan, Thompson, Mogan, Farrah"
I'd say Jason starts, such a big man in the middle of the park and he'll be essential against Glass and Rodgers. I think McGlynn has already gotten his full debut no? Scored against Clare last year if memory serves.

NPadraigAbu (Donegal) - Posts: 46 - 09/04/2024 00:26:37    2536772

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Replying To SouthOfTheGap:  "I agree completely. I too had a comment fail the moderator test, again too critical of the GAA, and in particular their ticketing policy. They seem to have given away all control to their official ticketing partner. I brought the family to Croker for the League Finals. I had my two Season tickets. But for all the world I couldn't get tickets for the rest of the family within 70 metres of my seat.

However, I always buy online, I find it very handy. But at the end of this year I am going to go through my Google Wallet and add up exactly how much I have directly contributed to the GAA coffers over the course of the year. Between Club Membership's and Club Fundraisers I have spent €600, Season Tickets and Underage fixtures almost another €300. And this is before the truly competitive action starts. I'd conservatively expect to cross the €2,500 mark before I buy a Half Time Draw ticket.

I emailed Croke Park directly about the Season Ticket situation, questioning the policy/strategy around pricing, but the reply I received was at best dismissive. I'm fortunate in that I can well afford my pastime, without it I'd be lost. But as a wise man told me, If you want loyalty, buy a dog!

And to continue on your point about the attendance in Portlaoise yesterday, there were a mere 7,000 in Clones. Two counties operating close to the top tier, one of them an All Ireland Semi Finalist from last year. What are they trying to do? If they continue, they'll soon be able to play the Ulster Final in the old Casement and they won't need a new one."
I have a Season ticket this year, It is an expensive family hobby, but I have always been happy to contribute for the greater good of Donegal GAA, although last years County Board revelations made me question this blind commitment to what seemed to be an incompetent group.

My long-term frustration is with the disconnect between the average GAA fan and GAA Administration, focus seems to be exclusively on profits and they don't seem to care for the needs of the hardcore supporter base who contribute the most to GAA profits when making decisions.

Commodore (Donegal) - Posts: 1123 - 09/04/2024 09:23:44    2536808

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Re: tickets and low attendances which is being discussed nationally. I see some people are laying the blame at the online-only ticket sales. While that is undoubtedly awkward for some people, e.g. the elderly and people who aren't tech savvy. Also, sometimes you just might take the notion to head to a game, but can't be bothered fiddling around on the phone. It'd just be handier to pay your €20 or whatever on the gate.

But for me the main reason for the low attendances can be laid at the championship structure.
The league is a great competition as it pits all the teams of a similar standard together. But as we all know, championship is the main event. The split season and newfangled championship groups now mean that the Championship has to start straight after the league.

I didn't happen us in Donegal thankfully, but by bad luck in the draw, we could easily have been in the Ulster preliminary away to Monaghan last weekend. That would have meant two big weekends away in a row (taking the league final in Croke Park into account the weekend before) For a lot of families that is simply too much. It also raises a big question about player welfare.

I think we are very near a crux point with regard to fixtures. It is simply impossible to find a middle ground which pleases everyone. The big issues are:

1. The provincials. We love ours in Ulster and to a lesser extent Connacht can be competitive. But Leinster and Munster are dead ducks. I've seen people suggest playing provincials earlier in the year, but if there isn't some tangible reward for winning them in terms of Sam Maguire, is there any point? If, say Ulster was a standalone competition would it not then just become a glorified McKenna Cup?

2. Split season. Means that all county action needs to be wrapped up earlier hence the consensed league -> championship schedule. This means more games more regularly, but attendances suffer. Players suffer too, more injuries and less recovery time etc. But then club players seem happy enough because they can plough on with regular league games albeit without county men. But they know that championship will begin in August and can plan their lives accordingly.

So I think we either need to stay as we are. Or else:

Play the leagues as normal. League dictates the championship you operate in - Sam Maguire or Tailteann.
Play provincials. Winners are seeded in the draw for Sam Maguire. (Disadvantage here is that once again Dublin and Kerry pretty much walk to the last 16 unapposed)

Then none of this group stage craic.
Last 16: As mentioned earlier, provincial winners play lower ranked league teams in last 16 draw as their reward for winning the province.
Last 8: Open Draw
Semi-Final: Open Draw

Knock-out championship football. Spread the rounds out leaving the fans a few weeks to save and also for a bit of build up and anticipation.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 9209 - 09/04/2024 11:27:21    2536844

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Replying To NPadraigAbu:  "I'd say Jason starts, such a big man in the middle of the park and he'll be essential against Glass and Rodgers. I think McGlynn has already gotten his full debut no? Scored against Clare last year if memory serves."
Jason could start definitely. One-way-or-another himself and Hugh will likely split minutes to keep up with Derry's midfield intensity.

Could be wrong, but don't think McGlynn's started a champ match yet. But he came on very early for Langan v Down, and scored off-bench v Clare.

SurelyToGod (Donegal) - Posts: 408 - 09/04/2024 12:05:07    2536856

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Replying To TheRock2121:  "He starts because he's one of our best defenders."
I don't see it. He's after a lengthy lay-off from a hamstring tear/surgery, and has played only 60 mins since August. He's working his way up to full match-fitness, and until then his minutes need to be managed very carefully. Fair play to him for getting back into the reckoning after the injury, McGuinness must rate him. He looked good last year for the most part, but the demands of the half-back line are quite different this year, so there's a lot more work to do to prove his worth in starting team.

Don't get me wrong, I think he's good, committed, and at 22 he's got potential to improve. With our current injury crisis, he could easily start. Just think he needs time to ramp up.

SurelyToGod (Donegal) - Posts: 408 - 09/04/2024 12:23:51    2536863

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Response to LOCKJAW

What if we scrap the National League and the remold the Provincial Championships into a League format,

- Top 2 teams in each Province qualify for All Ireland series and contest a Provincial Final.
- Bottom 2 teams in each Province automatically enter Tailteann Cup.
- Remaining 16 teams play one single knock-out round, with 8 winners enter All Ireland series, 8 losers entering Tailteann Cup.

For Ulster, this would mean 9 games for all teams before the All Ireland Championship or Tailteann Cup Championship.
Currently if a Ulster team wins the National League and wins Ulster from Preliminary round, they play 12 games.

This approach would free up time on the Calendar, keeps the Provincial Championship and league finals, but probably would get slated by Dublin and Kerry, as they might argue they won't face a competitive game until the All Ireland series. However it might help drive the GAA to drive improvements in other provinces.

Commodore (Donegal) - Posts: 1123 - 09/04/2024 12:33:59    2536866

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https://www.irishnews.com/gaa/cahair-okane-its-all-bloody-aprils-fault-isnt-it-TAS7SU3BIVBJ3JSJCTAREZZOBY/

Article by Cahair O'Kane in the Irish News regarding attendances, and the championship structures. He puts it well - "The absence of a proper season ticket that gives supporters really good value and rewards their loyalty is a massive blind spot."

SouthOfTheGap (Donegal) - Posts: 604 - 09/04/2024 12:34:32    2536867

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Replying To SouthOfTheGap:  "https://www.irishnews.com/gaa/cahair-okane-its-all-bloody-aprils-fault-isnt-it-TAS7SU3BIVBJ3JSJCTAREZZOBY/

Article by Cahair O'Kane in the Irish News regarding attendances, and the championship structures. He puts it well - "The absence of a proper season ticket that gives supporters really good value and rewards their loyalty is a massive blind spot.""
They had a good season ticket scheme up to Covid.
They've butchered it and made it very unattractive since.
With every County guaranteed at least 11 games there is great scope for reasonably priced season tickets.

Seanfanbocht (Roscommon) - Posts: 1500 - 09/04/2024 13:24:58    2536883

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Replying To SurelyToGod:  "I don't see it. He's after a lengthy lay-off from a hamstring tear/surgery, and has played only 60 mins since August. He's working his way up to full match-fitness, and until then his minutes need to be managed very carefully. Fair play to him for getting back into the reckoning after the injury, McGuinness must rate him. He looked good last year for the most part, but the demands of the half-back line are quite different this year, so there's a lot more work to do to prove his worth in starting team.

Don't get me wrong, I think he's good, committed, and at 22 he's got potential to improve. With our current injury crisis, he could easily start. Just think he needs time to ramp up."
Yeah fair enough. Fitness depending I agree but I think having played 45 mins the last day he's not that far away.

TheRock2121 (Donegal) - Posts: 1147 - 09/04/2024 13:40:09    2536896

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Replying To Commodore:  "Response to LOCKJAW

What if we scrap the National League and the remold the Provincial Championships into a League format,

- Top 2 teams in each Province qualify for All Ireland series and contest a Provincial Final.
- Bottom 2 teams in each Province automatically enter Tailteann Cup.
- Remaining 16 teams play one single knock-out round, with 8 winners enter All Ireland series, 8 losers entering Tailteann Cup.

For Ulster, this would mean 9 games for all teams before the All Ireland Championship or Tailteann Cup Championship.
Currently if a Ulster team wins the National League and wins Ulster from Preliminary round, they play 12 games.

This approach would free up time on the Calendar, keeps the Provincial Championship and league finals, but probably would get slated by Dublin and Kerry, as they might argue they won't face a competitive game until the All Ireland series. However it might help drive the GAA to drive improvements in other provinces."
Yeah that's certainly a novel idea as well. I don't think I'm the only one in thinking this, the current format has too many games and they're not played at a historic "Championship intensity". So you have too many games that families can't afford to go to, plus they're not "championship" in the true sense of the word. I don't want to come across as an old dinosaur here, but I think we need to get back to that good old cut-throat football if we're to recapture the public imagination.

But I guess the other side of that is county players training to games becomes a factor. In the format I proposed in my last post you could conceivably lose in the prelim in Ulster, wait a few weeks, then lose your first game in the Championship last 16. So that's a whole lot of training put in for two championship games. County managers would likely kick up a fuss then. The GAA would also lose out on matchday revenue as there would be fewer games, but if attendances are dwindling as it is?

So as I said earlier, it's an impossible job to satisy all stakeholders.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 9209 - 09/04/2024 13:53:25    2536903

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Whats the story with tickets for the Derry game. Will any be on public sale?

PeterQ92 (Donegal) - Posts: 108 - 09/04/2024 14:44:10    2536915

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Replying To Commodore:  "Response to LOCKJAW

What if we scrap the National League and the remold the Provincial Championships into a League format,

- Top 2 teams in each Province qualify for All Ireland series and contest a Provincial Final.
- Bottom 2 teams in each Province automatically enter Tailteann Cup.
- Remaining 16 teams play one single knock-out round, with 8 winners enter All Ireland series, 8 losers entering Tailteann Cup.

For Ulster, this would mean 9 games for all teams before the All Ireland Championship or Tailteann Cup Championship.
Currently if a Ulster team wins the National League and wins Ulster from Preliminary round, they play 12 games.

This approach would free up time on the Calendar, keeps the Provincial Championship and league finals, but probably would get slated by Dublin and Kerry, as they might argue they won't face a competitive game until the All Ireland series. However it might help drive the GAA to drive improvements in other provinces."
Really like your proposal but unfortunately the problem for it ever happening is the sway of the 2 counties in your final paragraph.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2785 - 09/04/2024 14:45:51    2536916

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "Re: tickets and low attendances which is being discussed nationally. I see some people are laying the blame at the online-only ticket sales. While that is undoubtedly awkward for some people, e.g. the elderly and people who aren't tech savvy. Also, sometimes you just might take the notion to head to a game, but can't be bothered fiddling around on the phone. It'd just be handier to pay your €20 or whatever on the gate.

But for me the main reason for the low attendances can be laid at the championship structure.
The league is a great competition as it pits all the teams of a similar standard together. But as we all know, championship is the main event. The split season and newfangled championship groups now mean that the Championship has to start straight after the league.

I didn't happen us in Donegal thankfully, but by bad luck in the draw, we could easily have been in the Ulster preliminary away to Monaghan last weekend. That would have meant two big weekends away in a row (taking the league final in Croke Park into account the weekend before) For a lot of families that is simply too much. It also raises a big question about player welfare.

I think we are very near a crux point with regard to fixtures. It is simply impossible to find a middle ground which pleases everyone. The big issues are:

1. The provincials. We love ours in Ulster and to a lesser extent Connacht can be competitive. But Leinster and Munster are dead ducks. I've seen people suggest playing provincials earlier in the year, but if there isn't some tangible reward for winning them in terms of Sam Maguire, is there any point? If, say Ulster was a standalone competition would it not then just become a glorified McKenna Cup?

2. Split season. Means that all county action needs to be wrapped up earlier hence the consensed league -> championship schedule. This means more games more regularly, but attendances suffer. Players suffer too, more injuries and less recovery time etc. But then club players seem happy enough because they can plough on with regular league games albeit without county men. But they know that championship will begin in August and can plan their lives accordingly.

So I think we either need to stay as we are. Or else:

Play the leagues as normal. League dictates the championship you operate in - Sam Maguire or Tailteann.
Play provincials. Winners are seeded in the draw for Sam Maguire. (Disadvantage here is that once again Dublin and Kerry pretty much walk to the last 16 unapposed)

Then none of this group stage craic.
Last 16: As mentioned earlier, provincial winners play lower ranked league teams in last 16 draw as their reward for winning the province.
Last 8: Open Draw
Semi-Final: Open Draw

Knock-out championship football. Spread the rounds out leaving the fans a few weeks to save and also for a bit of build up and anticipation."
Take Dublin out of the Leinster championship and it would be an excellent championship. The reason it's become so uncompetitive is largely financial.

panamasam (Australia) - Posts: 2785 - 09/04/2024 14:48:19    2536918

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Replying To PeterQ92:  "Whats the story with tickets for the Derry game. Will any be on public sale?"
Clubs have sent out expressions of interest in the last 24 hours. They are getting a very limited number of stand tickets, and not that many terrace tickets either for that matter. There will be a scramble. I hope our 3,000 or so core following are accommodated.

SouthOfTheGap (Donegal) - Posts: 604 - 09/04/2024 15:45:11    2536935

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