National Forum

Will Super Clubs Ruin The Gaa

(Oldest Posts First) - Go To The Latest Post


Tomsmith here from Cavan

I just wonder will the proliferation of super Clubs sound the death knell for rural Gaa clubs in every County.
My own Club Cavan Gaels is now been described as a super club by some Country Club people but we are not and have never been asuper Club as we only play our own players who want to play for the love of the sport and wear the Blue Jersey with pride.
I am referring to the big clubs who entice in players with either a Job, status, some say money or romance has attracted players into these big clubs .
Every County has a few of these big super Clubs and if appears most belong to the principal Town in the County

tomsmith (Cavan) - Posts: 3855 - 09/11/2023 08:59:25    2512190

Link

Replying To tomsmith:  "Tomsmith here from Cavan

I just wonder will the proliferation of super Clubs sound the death knell for rural Gaa clubs in every County.
My own Club Cavan Gaels is now been described as a super club by some Country Club people but we are not and have never been asuper Club as we only play our own players who want to play for the love of the sport and wear the Blue Jersey with pride.
I am referring to the big clubs who entice in players with either a Job, status, some say money or romance has attracted players into these big clubs .
Every County has a few of these big super Clubs and if appears most belong to the principal Town in the County"
Should Cavan Gaels amalgamate with West Cavan and form a super club considering they take their best players anyway?

drumalee11 (USA) - Posts: 289 - 09/11/2023 14:12:27    2512258

Link

Replying To drumalee11:  "Should Cavan Gaels amalgamate with West Cavan and form a super club considering they take their best players anyway?"
super club thats a new one

mickcunningham (Westmeath) - Posts: 1799 - 09/11/2023 15:45:27    2512273

Link

A really good question and a difficult one to answer.
Yes there is a growing trend of super sized clubs, that's for sure.

These massive clubs have evolved mostly through organic growth, typically urban/sub urban parishes or large rural parishes within easy commuting distance of large urban areas ( e.g. Claregalway, Corofin) and in some cases the organic growth is augmented by a little bit of inorganic growth ( e.g. Moycullen, Kilmacud Crokes).

Most people seem to have a bigger problem with the second contributor but I think that this rears its head only occasionally and is not that widespread and in general the club ethos of the GAA is maintained, and people who live far from club of birth should be facilitated by transfers when needed.

The organic growth of clubs is one that is a potentially bigger problem . In this case I guess its a good complaint as its as a result of the popularity of the GAA. GAA has become extremely popular as a participation sport with the result that even areas with relatively stagnant population have more adult teams e.g. Kilkerrin Clonberne had one adult team in the 1980s , they have 3 now. This is great , but then places with much larger population have also 3 teams. This effectively means that there are lads playing ball in smaller clubs that likely would not be playing if they were living in larger clubs and in effect this is a form of discrimination ( too strong a word I know ). Corofin ( who are a super club) are the exception to this phenomenon as they have expanded their adult team count to 5 in line with their population growth ( and fair play to them for that).
So I guess the biggest problem is drop out of players and its difficult to see how this can be addressed i.e as super clubs evolve their quantity of quality players grows, leaving little room for the limited player to get game time.

Its hard to know what the GAA can do . I remember reading somewhere that back in the 1920s the GAA forced Tralee to split into 3 clubs and this was successful. That is not practical now , but one small thing the GAA can do is make sure that there is enough attention given to the lower/Junior competitions. Particularly there needs to be an avenue for players who are not good enough for club first teams to participate at as high a level as possible. Mayo, for example have de-incentivised second team football completely by closing the door to a second team gaining promotion to intermediate and often not even publishing second team results/fixtures on its website. This need to be changed back as soon as possible.

Overall the super club is not a major problem, and one borne out of GAA's success. But still needs to monitored.

anotheralias (Galway) - Posts: 839 - 09/11/2023 17:01:01    2512278

Link

I knew who posted even before I read it.

DuhallowRed (Cork) - Posts: 265 - 09/11/2023 17:57:20    2512287

Link

Derry have a new hurling club which basically covers the whole of South Derry (barony of Loughinsholin) The slogan on the crest is "from Lough Neagh to the sperrins". It started out as a youth club but now is starting to field a senior team. Over the decades it has potential to be a bit of a "super club" given the large catchment area. They play in the grounds of Ogra Colmcille which are one of the worst football clubs in the county.
I personally wouldn't have much interest in watching hurling even if they played it in my back yard.

PattyONeill (Derry) - Posts: 219 - 09/11/2023 19:27:56    2512294

Link

Replying To tomsmith:  "Tomsmith here from Cavan

I just wonder will the proliferation of super Clubs sound the death knell for rural Gaa clubs in every County.
My own Club Cavan Gaels is now been described as a super club by some Country Club people but we are not and have never been asuper Club as we only play our own players who want to play for the love of the sport and wear the Blue Jersey with pride.
I am referring to the big clubs who entice in players with either a Job, status, some say money or romance has attracted players into these big clubs .
Every County has a few of these big super Clubs and if appears most belong to the principal Town in the County"
I find it hard to believe there is any super club in Cavan.

When I think of super club I think of Kilmacud Crokes in football/hurling and Ballygunnar in hurling, both have enormous playing numbers and are very very successful inside and outside of their county.

Past hurler (None) - Posts: 709 - 10/11/2023 07:27:13    2512310

Link

Replying To Past hurler:  "I find it hard to believe there is any super club in Cavan.

When I think of super club I think of Kilmacud Crokes in football/hurling and Ballygunnar in hurling, both have enormous playing numbers and are very very successful inside and outside of their county."
I believe Kilmacud are drawing from hugh areas of Dublin - Stillorgan, Mount Merrion, Blackrock etc and have above multiple juvenile teams in each age grade. Surely more clubs should be set up for these areas. If a child is playing in the E team for example of U14s he is less likely to keep playing the game. If however he is on the A team with another club there is more chance of continue playing into adult level.

journeyman (Limerick) - Posts: 107 - 13/11/2023 11:49:30    2512674

Link

Replying To tomsmith:  "Tomsmith here from Cavan

I just wonder will the proliferation of super Clubs sound the death knell for rural Gaa clubs in every County.
My own Club Cavan Gaels is now been described as a super club by some Country Club people but we are not and have never been asuper Club as we only play our own players who want to play for the love of the sport and wear the Blue Jersey with pride.
I am referring to the big clubs who entice in players with either a Job, status, some say money or romance has attracted players into these big clubs .
Every County has a few of these big super Clubs and if appears most belong to the principal Town in the County"
That's an interesting point in some cases - but probably not in Cavan where you've had a good few different teams winning over the past few years.

In every county there are many local rivalries. The smaller club will always want to get one over their bigger local rival; and that local rival themselves over the bigger county town team 20 mins away. This is all healthy competition.

What is probably less against the ethos of the GAA is players moving for some monetary gain. This if left unchecked is a backdoor to professionalism creeping into the game.If professionalism ever comes into the game it will be at the club level rather than inter-county.

brianb (Kildare) - Posts: 278 - 13/11/2023 12:46:09    2512688

Link

Replying To journeyman:  "I believe Kilmacud are drawing from hugh areas of Dublin - Stillorgan, Mount Merrion, Blackrock etc and have above multiple juvenile teams in each age grade. Surely more clubs should be set up for these areas. If a child is playing in the E team for example of U14s he is less likely to keep playing the game. If however he is on the A team with another club there is more chance of continue playing into adult level."
Great Point, instead of Dublin GAA pumping money into the mega clubs why dont they disperse their money and form clubs in new areas, its an utter embarrassment what is happening in Dublin and so many young children are choosing other sports because GAA isn't accessible to them.

Then you have college students and post grads who choose to work and live in Dublin and end up playing on the 5th/6th team for these clubs which are glorified challenge games with little emphasis put on them when they should be playing A/B football with a club, these players then quit and drop off as its a waste of time.

I can guarantee you Kilmacuds 5/6th team dont get the same emphasis as their first team, Kilmacud should have 3 teams and the other 3 teams should have their own club and own facilities and be allowed to strive to compete at a high level.

monaghanmad (Monaghan) - Posts: 378 - 13/11/2023 12:57:14    2512694

Link

Incentivised transfers is not an issue in the GAA or transfers in general. There's always a lot of giving out about them without any actual proof.

The super clubs in counties will start to dominate on a more consistent basis though as the years go on. Yes we'll still see the odd smaller club with a special group every so often but it'll be the clubs with the big numbers who will always be challenging at the top end of all grades. At the end of the day it's a numbers game.

Low2Joe (Wexford) - Posts: 48 - 13/11/2023 12:59:18    2512695

Link

Replying To tomsmith:  "Tomsmith here from Cavan

I just wonder will the proliferation of super Clubs sound the death knell for rural Gaa clubs in every County.
My own Club Cavan Gaels is now been described as a super club by some Country Club people but we are not and have never been asuper Club as we only play our own players who want to play for the love of the sport and wear the Blue Jersey with pride.
I am referring to the big clubs who entice in players with either a Job, status, some say money or romance has attracted players into these big clubs .
Every County has a few of these big super Clubs and if appears most belong to the principal Town in the County"
It would be terrible for a young fellah to be attracted away from Cavan by a bit of romance wouldn't it Tom.

ExiledInWex (Dublin) - Posts: 1115 - 13/11/2023 13:04:13    2512699

Link

Replying To PattyONeill:  "Derry have a new hurling club which basically covers the whole of South Derry (barony of Loughinsholin) The slogan on the crest is "from Lough Neagh to the sperrins". It started out as a youth club but now is starting to field a senior team. Over the decades it has potential to be a bit of a "super club" given the large catchment area. They play in the grounds of Ogra Colmcille which are one of the worst football clubs in the county.
I personally wouldn't have much interest in watching hurling even if they played it in my back yard."
Of course you would prefer to watch the muck that passes for football in Derry.

tireoghainabu (Tyrone) - Posts: 273 - 13/11/2023 14:03:29    2512714

Link

Replying To monaghanmad:  "Great Point, instead of Dublin GAA pumping money into the mega clubs why dont they disperse their money and form clubs in new areas, its an utter embarrassment what is happening in Dublin and so many young children are choosing other sports because GAA isn't accessible to them.

Then you have college students and post grads who choose to work and live in Dublin and end up playing on the 5th/6th team for these clubs which are glorified challenge games with little emphasis put on them when they should be playing A/B football with a club, these players then quit and drop off as its a waste of time.

I can guarantee you Kilmacuds 5/6th team dont get the same emphasis as their first team, Kilmacud should have 3 teams and the other 3 teams should have their own club and own facilities and be allowed to strive to compete at a high level."
You obviously don't have much knowledge of Dublin GAA or it's clubs. There have been more playing in Dublin and those number continue to rise, more than any other sport which isn't great for the rest of us. I've never heard a bad thing said about Kilmacud or any other the other big clubs in Dublin no matter what level someone was playing at. To be fair they put a lot of other clubs to shame.

I have friends involved heavily in Dublin GAA and they actually say that the opposite is the problem. There are too many clubs in Dublin and in certain areas you might have 3 or 4 on top of each other. Quite often not being run well and not having great numbers so will never compete or go anywhere.

Low2Joe (Wexford) - Posts: 48 - 13/11/2023 14:35:56    2512723

Link

Replying To journeyman:  "I believe Kilmacud are drawing from hugh areas of Dublin - Stillorgan, Mount Merrion, Blackrock etc and have above multiple juvenile teams in each age grade. Surely more clubs should be set up for these areas. If a child is playing in the E team for example of U14s he is less likely to keep playing the game. If however he is on the A team with another club there is more chance of continue playing into adult level."
Its a rural luxury to just "set up" a club with inexpensive land. How much do you think a plot of land in Stillorgan, Blackrock or Mount Merrion before you talk about developing it, your talking 10s of millions.

Its a problem most other Counties dont have or seem to be cognisant off or trouble themselves too much about, with the citrinin of Crokes and the like, because its not an issue for them.

TheUsername (Dublin) - Posts: 4443 - 13/11/2023 14:42:26    2512724

Link

Replying To TheUsername:  "Its a rural luxury to just "set up" a club with inexpensive land. How much do you think a plot of land in Stillorgan, Blackrock or Mount Merrion before you talk about developing it, your talking 10s of millions.

Its a problem most other Counties dont have or seem to be cognisant off or trouble themselves too much about, with the citrinin of Crokes and the like, because its not an issue for them."
Nobody is criticising Crokes. And yes most people understand that there is a real estate issue. Its an issue in other cities too, with Salthill having to look outside their own catchment to build facilities to support their playing pool.
Having said that there is a good point being made that developing children are more likely to retain interest by playing with an A team for a Division C club than playing on a C team with Division A club.
A difficult call but if the facilities exist to support a club with 4 x u14 teams then surely they exist to support 2 clubs with 2 x u14 teams. And I am not suggesting that KC or any other club are forced to divide, and I know this wont happen , but i do think that overall we would be slightly better off without these gigantic/enormous/super clubs.

anotheralias (Galway) - Posts: 839 - 13/11/2023 15:49:53    2512766

Link

Replying To TheUsername:  "Its a rural luxury to just "set up" a club with inexpensive land. How much do you think a plot of land in Stillorgan, Blackrock or Mount Merrion before you talk about developing it, your talking 10s of millions.

Its a problem most other Counties dont have or seem to be cognisant off or trouble themselves too much about, with the citrinin of Crokes and the like, because its not an issue for them."
You could split the clubs and get the new clubs to share facilities. I know of 2 GAA clubs in Kildare who share a pitch/ facilities (Broadford and Clogherinkoe).

bdbuddah (Meath) - Posts: 1332 - 13/11/2023 16:00:01    2512771

Link

Replying To anotheralias:  "Nobody is criticising Crokes. And yes most people understand that there is a real estate issue. Its an issue in other cities too, with Salthill having to look outside their own catchment to build facilities to support their playing pool.
Having said that there is a good point being made that developing children are more likely to retain interest by playing with an A team for a Division C club than playing on a C team with Division A club.
A difficult call but if the facilities exist to support a club with 4 x u14 teams then surely they exist to support 2 clubs with 2 x u14 teams. And I am not suggesting that KC or any other club are forced to divide, and I know this wont happen , but i do think that overall we would be slightly better off without these gigantic/enormous/super clubs."
In one of the more urbanised areas of Meath a new Club has been been formed this year.
Previously one club catered for this area (St. Colmcille's), now this area will.be served by 2 GAA clubs.

bdbuddah (Meath) - Posts: 1332 - 13/11/2023 16:09:00    2512775

Link

Replying To anotheralias:  "Nobody is criticising Crokes. And yes most people understand that there is a real estate issue. Its an issue in other cities too, with Salthill having to look outside their own catchment to build facilities to support their playing pool.
Having said that there is a good point being made that developing children are more likely to retain interest by playing with an A team for a Division C club than playing on a C team with Division A club.
A difficult call but if the facilities exist to support a club with 4 x u14 teams then surely they exist to support 2 clubs with 2 x u14 teams. And I am not suggesting that KC or any other club are forced to divide, and I know this wont happen , but i do think that overall we would be slightly better off without these gigantic/enormous/super clubs."
I just saw that Crokes have 4,800 members. Wow. Thats significantly more than the total population in the parishes serving several senior clubs in Galway. Looking at membership rates . Membership for an adult is €180 , student & non playing adult €160, U18 €50 ( very commendable btw) . Family rates and other packages too . With good facilities the membership rates are reasonable enough but when you total it up across the membership numbers I guess thats close on 500K on membership alone , thats before you even consider what the Beacon or other sponsors are contributing, revenue from the bar, fundraisers.
I do understand that things are more expensive in Dublin and there are a large number of teams to support , but I'm guessing that Kilmacud dont suffer the financial headaches that a lot of rural clubs are facing and I know of many country clubs with small enough operational spend ( circa €100K ) who struggle really really hard to try to make ends meet.
Again I'm not giving out about KC, they do have to be admired. They really are a super club ( and I mean super in the good way), Just pointing out the fact that they enjoy many advantages in terms of population and finances

anotheralias (Galway) - Posts: 839 - 13/11/2023 16:18:44    2512778

Link

Creating more clubs will only dilute the talent and lower the standards overall I feel. I don't think it'd get more players playing either. Big clubs once run properly cater perfectly for everybody. The people who give out will always give out no matter what size of club they're with.

Low2Joe (Wexford) - Posts: 48 - 13/11/2023 17:02:26    2512790

Link