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Some seriously bad defeats last weekend for county U/14 football development squad. No criticism of players here but something going seriously wrong. I know we've a small pick and all that but to score just 0-1 point in total during two matches and concede heavily at the other end indicates a serious failing in player development somewhere eg lost to Clare 6-9 to 0-0 !!! Also lost to Wexford 1-7 to 0-1 and to Waterford 3-9 to 2-3.
Onion Breath (Carlow) - Posts: 1411 - 10/07/2023 13:49:43 2493571Link 0
We have a small pick as we have so few actually playing the game!
The numbers playing is quite.small.
It would be very interesting and revealing to see what the actual numbers are as a percentage of our population currently
And, to then compare that to other counties.
It's my contention that our towns especially have a very small.prrcentage of the available young people playing.
It is exacerbated by the fact that so few are getting game time with primary schools.
Again it's my contention that what traditionally was the chief feeder for clubs, ie, the primary school is no longer the primary source and indeed if you are a primary school pupil kn Carlow, how.many times will you out on the school colours ?
The squads are doing their very best with what they have.
carlowman (Carlow) - Posts: 1806 - 13/07/2023 10:10:11 2494067Link 0
CARPS (Carlow) - Posts: 554 - 13/07/2023 10:37:33 2494075Link 0
The county has 62,000 people: 29,000 of them are in the town. Sadly, only 24,000 for GAA purposes (due to our County Board's long running spineless position on Graiguecullen).
Still that is 24,000 out 62,000 (around 40%).
So, 40% of the county has two juvenile hurling teams and only three juvenile football teams. The rest of the county has (off the top of my head) about 15-16 juvenile football and around 7-8 hurling.
Clearly, this is a massive waste of resources.
What makes things worse, in football, is that one club hoovers up the VAST majority of that available pick, and then even goes around poaching the best players from the other two club as they move into their teenage years.
Everyone knows what's going on, but nobody does anything about it.
What needs to be done in Carlow is for the town to be zoned in terms of pick - as Kilkenny city does with its hurling clubs - to spread out players and give every chap a chance of playing at a reasonable level. Palatine and Tinryland should also be given the chance to pull players out of the town to widen the net.
Pal should also be pushed to organize proper juvenile hurling.
After that, we need to look at Tullow.
We have a small base of resources and we are even squandering what we have. It's time to maximize them, and for the rest of the county to take on the aforementioned vested interest.
It also would be an idea to finally deal with the Graigue question. Especially given most of the young people there now aren't even from traditional local families, given the demographic changes, and don't give a hoot about who did what in the 1920s.
CARPS (Carlow) - Posts: 554 - 13/07/2023 10:45:54 2494079Link 0
I do get your general point that in an ideal scenario all the clubs would get a fairly even spread on talent but i don't think you can legislate for that without driving numbers down, towns are different to rural areas also, where the local school is connected to the local club, that was lost in Carlow town. The schools are open to any club to recruit from. Kids make friends in school and that generally decides where they play sport.
Clubs need to do better at keeping players, if their structures are good the numbers will grow. By allocating an area to a club in disarray you are damaging the game itself. That's not a comment on any of the above mentioned clubs either just a general comment.
The graige situation is fairly fluid some young lads are playing for them who live on this side and some young lads playing up here live on their side, it probably does need some clarification.
Barrowsider (Carlow) - Posts: 1542 - 13/07/2023 12:44:44 2494109Link 0
Back then, Graigue claimed that would be end of their club. So what? Why should Carlow care?
They can either come back home to Carlow or they can keep going in Leix - with a reduced pick. Up to them.
County boundaries have to mean something.
I understand a lot of your points. And they are valid. However, on the argument about clubs being in "disarray." We all know that a lot of the reason for said disarray in two of the two clubs is the behavior of the third larger one in sweeping up players and mentors. And, for years, being totally dominant in the schools.
And it is possible to assign schools to clubs in the town. The CBS/Josephs primary could be attached to O'Hanrahan's, for example. Asca to Asca. And let Eire Og have the Gaelscoil, Green Road and Educate Together. Or try a different mix - that could all be worked out. Maybe there is even an argument for a 4th club, out the Kilkenny Road side of town?
Graigue primary (which is just on the Carlow-Leix border) could also come into the mix, if the County Board grew a spine.
ps. A few years ago, the previous (Fine Gael minority) government - when John Paul Phelan was Minister - were open to extending the Carlow County border further into Leix. To bring 'new Graiguecullen' into the fold. AFAIK, the County Council made no real effort to advance the process, and the County Board never even made a submission. Civil servants in Dublin were rather "surprised" at the lack of interest.
CARPS (Carlow) - Posts: 554 - 13/07/2023 15:01:25 2494150Link 0
Actually looked it up. According to Schooldays.ie, there are 3,610 children currently enrolled in primary schools in County Carlow.
CARPS (Carlow) - Posts: 554 - 14/07/2023 17:47:25 2494414Link 2
I think you are on the right track but maybe missing a few key points.
Eire og are not dominating underage football. They had a really good group that won 3 minors in a row, they have a fair chance of making it 4 but that's far from certain,pal will have a big say in that. after that they won't win the next 3 to 4 minors. We can see this based on 15s and 13s.
Every class in a town school the ratio of kids playing sport compared to not playing any sport is pretty much 1:1 so you can half your figures. Then split it for boys and girls and then split again for the sports break down, not all kids play every sport. Some just do 1, so then you split that between football soccer rugby and hurling granted you will get some crossover but all of a sudden the pool is not as big as you think.
I don't think there is poaching going on at a great scale sure it does happen but that usually just those elite few. But the rules are clear there. You don't have to let them leave. So there is blame on all sides there.
Allocation or schools to certain clubs needs that schools agreement and even at that it's not a guarantee. If you want to grow you need a huge nursery. If you don't have that you can't blame anyone else bar yourself
Barrowsider (Carlow) - Posts: 1542 - 15/07/2023 21:59:46 2494655Link 0
Should have said schoolboys, not children.
As for Eire Og not dominating underage... well, last time another town club won a minor was 1997. Since then, Eire Og have taken 18 of the 27 championships.
In what language is that not dominance? It's 67%! One club has 18 and the other 16 have only 9 between them.
If Carlow were successfully managing its underage resources, this would not be happening. A) more kids would be getting a chance to play at a high level, B) there would be proper space for late developers in the town and C) children would stick at the sport and not become disheartened because they can't get a game.
Btw, it's common for them not to be on top at 15s and 13s. Then what often happens is they poach a few players from the other two town sides to bolster themselves for minor. As you say yourself "I don't think there is poaching going on at a great scale sure it does happen but that usually just those elite few."
And losing those "elite few" is why the other town clubs can't compete and why Eire Og dominate the minor grade to the detriment of all other clubs in the county. Plus it disheartens the remaining players at the other clubs who lose their best teammates. They eventually drift away too, as part of a vicious cycle.
What Eire Og are doing is demographic doping. And it's strangling Carlow GAA.
Regarding the idea that town kids are somehow more susceptible to soccer and rugby? This does not stack up at all. Every parish in the county has a soccer club these days and most of the young lads playing rugby in Carlow and Tullow are not from Carlow town.
As for the claim that "if you want to grow you need a huge nursery," well, look at Rathvilly. St Patricks National School has 94 boys. That is not huge. Yet Rathvilly are constantly competitive. And have even produced professional soccer players and Olympic athletes from their small pool. So, not everyone is exclusively playing GAA there.
There are only 41 boys in primary school in St Mullins (across two schools).
Now, imagine if the town used its resources in the way Rathvilly and St Mullins do?
It's time for the county board, and the clubs of the county, to have a serious debate about how the games are being managed in Carlow town. It's long overdue. And then it's time to think about hurling in the north of the county and the situation in Tullow generally.
CARPS (Carlow) - Posts: 554 - 16/07/2023 11:32:25 2494736Link 0
Carlow town is very different, if it could be done that you could only play for a certain club if you attended a certain school it would definitely change the dynamic in the town but the two smaller clubs would have to be set up for the influx of new players or it would lead to drop off before kids even finished go games. You have to have structures in place that can cope with an influx of players or it will be a disaster. Also you would have to allow for family links to clubs and then it starts getting murky.
I can only think of one case of poaching if I'm being honest, I'm not saying it doesn't happen but I think there are other factors at play usually.
I still think persuasion is the best way to solve the numbers battle, you have to show parents that you can offer a great environment for their kids to enjoy the sport. That takes time, it's probably a 10 to 15 year development, and it needs to be constantly worked on. You need loads of good people In the back ground. I think that's probably being missing in town and that has given eire og a clear run at scooping up kids, and I don't think you can hold that against them, football would probably be dead in the town only for them if we are being honest about it.
I think there are signs the other two clubs in town are getting their act together, asca are fielding at all ages and the blues are at all except minor. I think the gpo is doing good work for them and they should reap the rewards of that in the coming years.
There are problems with football in general in the county, I've watched a lot of minor games this year and the standard is brutal. The 15s championship has seen some horrific beatings handed out to teams, I think there is a real need to sit down and try figure out ways to improve the standard as we can't expect to compete at inter County if our club championships lack a competitive edge
Barrowsider (Carlow) - Posts: 1542 - 17/07/2023 16:45:09 2495189Link 0
See lots of back and forth on numbers clubs etc last few posts.
ITSCHOLAR (Carlow) - Posts: 287 - 17/07/2023 16:48:07 2495191Link 0
Monaghan county has 64,832 people, but Monaghan town only has 7,678. Then Carrickmacross has 5,032, Castleblayney 3,607 and Clones 1,680.
By contrast, Carlow has 61,931 people, with 27,351 in the main town.
In other words, Carlow town has 10,000 more people than the four main towns in Monaghan PUT TOGETHER.
And this comes back to my point about us wasting our resources.
Carlow is effectively a one club town right now. And it has almost half the population of the county to pick from.
That big population needs to be divided more equitably, in order to make sure every child has a shot at playing GAA at a decent level. And the county maximizes its potential in terms of 'manpower.'
Also, Monaghan does not play hurling at a meaningful level, so it's not a real dual county like us.
Here's one more stat: Monaghan has 33 adult football clubs; Carlow has 21.
Again, this is down to their population being spread more evenly. But also shows that if the town were managed correctly, there is scope for even more clubs there.
CARPS (Carlow) - Posts: 554 - 17/07/2023 23:31:01 2495267Link 0
I think you are onto something with the County Board allocating primary schools to clubs in the town. Say up to eighteen years old. Then you can go where you want. Clubs would have to agree, of course, and implement the rules.
Also think there is room for another club. Perhaps at the IT grounds. But this would hinge on an equitable - and properly enforced - spread of players.
Other counties with expanding towns do this all the time, by the way. Simonstown Gaels in Naval come to mind. And numerous examples in Dublin.
As for poaching. I can think of far more cases. But most of it isn't overt.
The reality is that Eire Og should not be accepting players from Asca and O'Hanrahan's. They have a big enough pick already (two minor teams this year!). They don't need to be stripping their immediate rivals.
As for "football would probably be dead in the town only for (Eire Og)?" Totally disagree. They have smothered the other two clubs. Not just in terms of players, but mentors too. Anyone who comes into the town, they basically gobble up.
CARPS (Carlow) - Posts: 554 - 18/07/2023 10:39:37 2495331Link 0
I think in an ideal situation you would have 7-8 teams at each age group on a fairly even level, the other way to go about that is amalgamated clubs which I think might be a better solution and much easier implemented, st martins is a good example of this working well, they now compete in the final stages of all underage competitions and michael davits seem to be getting their act together too, If you look at the make up of the under 15s championship the 4 teams heading for 1A round Robin are st Martins palatine Michael davits and bagenalstown. 1B tinryland eire og tullow naomh eoin.
Under 13s the top 4 looks like palatine martins tullow and davits. Generally speaking you can call your minor champions from 13s and 15s as the gap would be too great outside of the top 4 or 5. Any Club I haven't mentioned is struggling some barley keeping the gates open which is why I wouldn't do anything that might drive down participation
I've said it before here but in my view the best way forward is amalgamated clubs, I would create 4 areas, and it's up to teams within those areas to utilise these entities, I'd remove division 2 permanently as its just a place to hide and I'd have a reserve league for clubs with enough for two teams, everyone else is division 1 and they weaker clubs have two choices then either join these 4 area teams or get annialated in division 1
You wouldn't have to commit to it every year so if one of those weaker clubs had a good batch they could try division 1 alone, so take bagenalstown as an example they have a really good under 15s team so at that age they stand alone but at 17s they are struggling so they would step in to one of the area teams at that age, every club has division level players and we should be doing all in our power to make sure everyone that can compete at that level does.
The knock on effect that would have on our county development squads would be huge whereas now many squads are made up of loads of division 2 players now every squad would be filled with division 1 players. Better minor team better 20s team better senior team.
Barrowsider (Carlow) - Posts: 1542 - 21/07/2023 10:41:52 2495940Link 0
Onion Breath (Carlow) - Posts: 1411 - 21/07/2023 21:58:51 2496051Link 0
CARPS (Carlow) - Posts: 554 - 23/07/2023 12:29:27 2496235Link 1
Onion Breath (Carlow) - Posts: 1411 - 23/07/2023 23:10:42 2496435Link 0
How many of these 50 get any game time? Yeah you have increased the standard of competition, but it will untimely be at the cost of participation. That's a major issue that will lead to it's own problems down the line, especially for smaller clubs who can't afford to lose players.
By all means, you could do an end of year knockout tournament with division 1 and regional teams, But you have to have a club Championship that is no way impeded by it.
The bigger question that should be asked, is why a club like Bagenalstown, with a sizeable population, is playing division 2?
TaosHum (Carlow) - Posts: 234 - 24/07/2023 14:15:31 2496553Link 0
I wouldn't do anything that would effect participation but we have to offer our best players good competition so that when we step onto development squads they have a background of competitive games
Barrowsider (Carlow) - Posts: 1542 - 24/07/2023 22:16:48 2496677Link 0
The number of players over the last 30 years that "Started" with Asca and went on to be Inter County Players is pretty high. Danny Moran, Keith Jackson, Graham Power, Eric McCormack the list is endless. More became staple of another clubs B underage teams which never made sense to me.
We could talk about ideas all night and would present brilliant ones, but it would mean having these implemented which has zero chance of happening.
Asca are my club. We have never had our own ground. Again, we could have in the 80s but didn't accept an offer from a local businessman and still "rent" the presentation college. Truth is Asca have paid levies for stands and training centres but have never once received anything back. The county board have a pitch up outside Dr Cullen that they would be more interested in keeping for paid parking than offering to a club in the town that they know doesn't have a pitch. It doesn't have to be free, but the lift that would give Asca would be unreal,
We have done unreal work in the past 10 years to now have a thriving underage section and won a DIV 1B U17 last year which is an incredible achievement.
Our success recently has been down to some hardworking people who had the foresight to go into the green road school to recruit kids. That idea has saved Asca. I don't think we would be around anymore if it hadn't been done.
TownGael29 (Carlow) - Posts: 20 - 27/07/2023 06:45:32 2497198Link 3