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Will Super Clubs Ruin The Gaa

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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."
That is the point exactly. New clubs do not need to be set up in Rural areas as every small parish has a GAA club either hurling or Gaelic at adult level at least. They often need to amalgamate at underage level due to population. Population growth in cities is what the GAA need to look at and ensure there are clubs to support the numbers. Having Kilmacud pulling player from all these large populations centers leads to players dropping out once they get older. The parish rule is easier to implement in rural areas but not in cities.

journeyman (Limerick) - Posts: 107 - 13/11/2023 17:14:26    2512793

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Limerick Underage hurling top grades are becoming more and more dominated by three City Clubs Na Piarsaigh, Monaleen & Mungret and this is starting to play out at Adult hurling level , these clubs adult second teams would beat many other Limerick rural clubs first teams .
Nationally people are familar with Na Piarsaigh , they will become familar with Monaleen & Mungret in the next few years as they go head to head with NAP in county finals and progess to Munster club etc .

OpenStand (Limerick) - Posts: 669 - 13/11/2023 17:22:44    2512797

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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 seem to have mistaken the criticism of Crokes, as criticism of Crokes then! ;D

I don't doubt its an issue of locality, rurally but how big is Galway or Cork outside of the City compared to Dublin, sure some of City clubs may have to use rural facilities, not ideal but an option. No such option here - our County team train and prepare for County games in club field in ever decreasing rural Dublin. What chance does a club trying to set up is an SDZ have when the cost on 50 squad meters in about 450k.

The spirit behind the suggestion of creating clubs for everyone is fine so everyone can play senior football, but its pir in the sky up here, its not practically possible, or financially.

There really is a rural vs urban land divide, that isnt acknowledged.

TheUsername (Dublin) - Posts: 4443 - 13/11/2023 17:53:12    2512802

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Replying To bdbuddah:  "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)."
I actually know both club well and the community, i think that more due to a clack of population and financial feasibility, then it would be too much.

TheUsername (Dublin) - Posts: 4443 - 13/11/2023 17:54:51    2512803

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Replying To bdbuddah:  "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."
Tomsmith here from Cavan Town the home of Cavan Football

We in Cavan Town are surrounded by by Clubs all be it Junior and Intermediate clubs, but we have been to the fore front of football for the past 20 years in Cavan.
WE would not be described as a super club but what I am referring too is clubs that would encourage players to come in and play for pay, status, romance or indeed that the home club is too small for them

tomsmith (Cavan) - Posts: 3855 - 13/11/2023 18:30:43    2512808

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Replying To journeyman:  "That is the point exactly. New clubs do not need to be set up in Rural areas as every small parish has a GAA club either hurling or Gaelic at adult level at least. They often need to amalgamate at underage level due to population. Population growth in cities is what the GAA need to look at and ensure there are clubs to support the numbers. Having Kilmacud pulling player from all these large populations centers leads to players dropping out once they get older. The parish rule is easier to implement in rural areas but not in cities."
The logic of that is that Kilmacud and other "super clubs" turn people away, South Dublin was GAA wasteland more or less up to 30 years ago,. Crokes and Boden and others like Cuala and Olafs and St. John's deserve huge credit for what they do.

Crokes have lots of adult teams by the way as do Boden and Na Fianna the other two big hitters, We played Crokes in lower junior hurling. So it is not the case that they stop hundreds of adults playing!

And I say that as someone from a club that is as far removed from that level as is possible.

BarneyGrant (Dublin) - Posts: 2511 - 13/11/2023 18:37:51    2512814

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Replying To Low2Joe:  "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."
At the top end your probably right, the players are playing at a high level so improve more.

But it means far less players get to play for a first team.
I'd prefer the GAA teams to be closer/ to mean more to their communities. Say KCs third team winning a championship can never mean much to the wider area compared to a club representing a smaller area whose first team win a championship.
Players wouldn't dream of winning a championship with a second or third team.

I'd prefer the chance for the many to play for a first team was prioritised over allowing a small number of players to reach a higher standard.

In Meath last year the county board gave the go ahead for a new club (Eastern Gaels) to be formed in an area which has experienced rapid population growth in last 20 years (the area of Meath south of Drogheda) to the annoyance of the existing club in the area (St. Colmcilles). I was happy to see this and for the reasons above I would like to see similar additional clubs formed in the areas of Meath close to the Dublin border which have also experienced rapid population growth in last 20/ 30 years or so.

bdbuddah (Meath) - Posts: 1332 - 13/11/2023 20:19:48    2512826

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Replying To OpenStand:  "Limerick Underage hurling top grades are becoming more and more dominated by three City Clubs Na Piarsaigh, Monaleen & Mungret and this is starting to play out at Adult hurling level , these clubs adult second teams would beat many other Limerick rural clubs first teams .
Nationally people are familar with Na Piarsaigh , they will become familar with Monaleen & Mungret in the next few years as they go head to head with NAP in county finals and progess to Munster club etc ."
I wish we knew how to keep them past minor in wexford Town

Doylerwex (Wexford) - Posts: 2623 - 14/11/2023 08:13:44    2512848

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Replying To Low2Joe:  "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."
There are pros and cons to having a mix of big and small clubs. All I can say from my knowledge of North Galway football is that the player retention levels are far far higher in the smaller clubs than in the larger ones.
Maybe that's not considered a problem and ,maybe , even if it is a problem , the cause might not be fully down to the size of the club but more the fact that the larger clubs are closer to ( or in ) cities where there are more distractions and the GAA club sometimes is less coupled with the community.

anotheralias (Galway) - Posts: 839 - 14/11/2023 09:51:07    2512853

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Replying To Doylerwex:  "I wish we knew how to keep them past minor in wexford Town"
Mr Doyle from Wexford Town

I am told that one of the greatest assets that a Club can have is a good mix of male and female teams .
I am told that teams that are struggling with numbers that to encourage emns teams to expand or female teams that it encourages greater participation at underage onwards .
So lets have an expansion of teams from the other sexes and you will see an improvement in number

tomsmith (Cavan) - Posts: 3855 - 14/11/2023 10:13:16    2512860

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Replying To bdbuddah:  "At the top end your probably right, the players are playing at a high level so improve more.

But it means far less players get to play for a first team.
I'd prefer the GAA teams to be closer/ to mean more to their communities. Say KCs third team winning a championship can never mean much to the wider area compared to a club representing a smaller area whose first team win a championship.
Players wouldn't dream of winning a championship with a second or third team.

I'd prefer the chance for the many to play for a first team was prioritised over allowing a small number of players to reach a higher standard.

In Meath last year the county board gave the go ahead for a new club (Eastern Gaels) to be formed in an area which has experienced rapid population growth in last 20 years (the area of Meath south of Drogheda) to the annoyance of the existing club in the area (St. Colmcilles). I was happy to see this and for the reasons above I would like to see similar additional clubs formed in the areas of Meath close to the Dublin border which have also experienced rapid population growth in last 20/ 30 years or so."
To be fair with the numbers playing GAA these days a lot of clubs that wouldn't of had the numbers in the past have B teams at underage. It's the nature of sport. We can't keep creating clubs just so everyone gets to play on the first team.

How will the new club get on in Meath do you think, will they survive long term? There'll be some rivalry there with Colmcilles if they did come good in time. They must be sick, as most would be to be fair.
Have they a few primary schools to work with or is it just adult level for now??

Low2Joe (Wexford) - Posts: 48 - 14/11/2023 10:26:08    2512869

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Replying To tomsmith:  "Mr Doyle from Wexford Town

I am told that one of the greatest assets that a Club can have is a good mix of male and female teams .
I am told that teams that are struggling with numbers that to encourage emns teams to expand or female teams that it encourages greater participation at underage onwards .
So lets have an expansion of teams from the other sexes and you will see an improvement in number"
That's a good post Tom but nearly all our clubs have male and female teams already!

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 11683 - 14/11/2023 11:15:28    2512909

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Replying To Doylerwex:  "I wish we knew how to keep them past minor in wexford Town"
The Limerick teams while technically the city they are really in big suburbs rather than in the city centre and would be generally middle class and up. Trying to keep anything going in city centres or big town centres like wexford is very hard these days with the transient nature of residents and people from other backgrounds.

Low2Joe (Wexford) - Posts: 48 - 14/11/2023 12:52:37    2512954

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Replying To anotheralias:  "There are pros and cons to having a mix of big and small clubs. All I can say from my knowledge of North Galway football is that the player retention levels are far far higher in the smaller clubs than in the larger ones.
Maybe that's not considered a problem and ,maybe , even if it is a problem , the cause might not be fully down to the size of the club but more the fact that the larger clubs are closer to ( or in ) cities where there are more distractions and the GAA club sometimes is less coupled with the community."
Very true about being closer to cities, it definitely doesn't have the same hold on the locality as more rural clubs.

With regards the player retention, from what I've seen I actually think it's quite similar across the board. The more you have the more that will drop out, bigger clubs with bigger catchments are going to attract more players naturally enough. But you'll find a lot join up and play because their mates in school might be playing, not because they love hurling or football. So once the enjoyment goes out of it and things get a bit more serious as they get older or their mates stop they'll pack it in regardless of the club they're with. The GAA isn't for everyone.

I don't really see an issue with retention across the board. There's always going to be a drop off, that's sport and that's life. Compared to other sports in Ireland the retention rate in the GAA is something they could only dream of.

Low2Joe (Wexford) - Posts: 48 - 14/11/2023 13:02:18    2512960

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Replying To anotheralias:  "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"
the idea that huge membership in Dublin equating to bags of cash is a fantasy. the biggest cost to Dublin "super clubs" is the renting of land from other clubs and sports to allow for all those members to train

Cuala teams would regularly be followed on to the pitch by Kilmacud teams for training in Bray Emmett's (Wicklow) grounds during the winter months. those slots ain't cheap

Kingcon (Dublin) - Posts: 14 - 14/11/2023 14:53:16    2513000

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Kingcon the advantage these clubs have is membership numbers are so big that there is a constant flow of money and hiring facilities won't be a problem..smaller clubs who have(if lucky)a couple of hundred members will struggle..take the numbers that super clubs will have in their lotto compared to all the smaller ones,again a constant money cow for them..it's a pity for smaller clubs but that's the way it's going..

CTGAA10 (Limerick) - Posts: 2202 - 14/11/2023 16:40:58    2513021

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Replying To tireoghainabu:  "Of course you would prefer to watch the muck that passes for football in Derry."
thats rich coming from a tyrone man, fair play to your neck

Stmunnsriver (Wexford) - Posts: 2838 - 14/11/2023 17:17:39    2513033

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there is a clearly a great misconception about Dublin clubs. lotto? bar revenue? club bars being the centre of the community in Dublin has been extinct since the 90s.
Most Dublin clubs, even the big ones, battle to the keep everything running, and club facilities would be mediocre compared to rural clubs. The reality is that there's thousands of members at numerous clubs in Dublin, outside of the well known "super clubs", and providing Gaelic games to everyone is a big challenge that clubs do their best with.

Kingcon (Dublin) - Posts: 14 - 14/11/2023 17:26:27    2513039

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Replying To CTGAA10:  "Kingcon the advantage these clubs have is membership numbers are so big that there is a constant flow of money and hiring facilities won't be a problem..smaller clubs who have(if lucky)a couple of hundred members will struggle..take the numbers that super clubs will have in their lotto compared to all the smaller ones,again a constant money cow for them..it's a pity for smaller clubs but that's the way it's going.."
Monaghan senior club scene has been completely destroyed by a super club of our own. Scotstown draw from 4 parishes, with one of them being the biggest parish in the county. They have 5 adult teams. This may not be big in other counties, but in Monaghan, it's insanity that one club can field 5 adult team (and could field a 6th if they had to). There's a couple of clubs that can just about field a 3rd team. For one club to have such a huge % of a county as small as Monaghan to pick from, something is badly wrong. They used to be 3 separate clubs many moons ago.

The playing field is ridiculously unfair in terms of population… not to mention they got the best forward in Monaghan, Jack McCarron transferred in from the smallest club in Monaghan at the start of 2023. They've won 8 of the last 11 championships, with the only reason this number isn't higher being that the greatest Monaghan player of all time Conor McManus put in a few heroic MOTM displays in county finals to beat them.

HB245 (Monaghan) - Posts: 206 - 14/11/2023 19:40:25    2513053

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Replying To Low2Joe:  "To be fair with the numbers playing GAA these days a lot of clubs that wouldn't of had the numbers in the past have B teams at underage. It's the nature of sport. We can't keep creating clubs just so everyone gets to play on the first team.

How will the new club get on in Meath do you think, will they survive long term? There'll be some rivalry there with Colmcilles if they did come good in time. They must be sick, as most would be to be fair.
Have they a few primary schools to work with or is it just adult level for now??"
I'm not talking of willy nilly setting up new GAA clubs. I'm talking about setting up new GAA clubs where at the moment one GAA club caters for a big catchment area.

I'm not from that part of Meath where the new club is formed so I don't know specifics of how the club was formed.
I gather the new club (Eastern Gaels) have academy age group kids section and and managed to field this year by getting older players to play.
A big obstacle the new club faced this year was registering players as many players could not transfer due to objections from original club (I don't know any specifics around these cases).

I'd guess the new club will succeed eventually, the area south of Drogheda now has a big population but they obviously have a lot of work to get it off the ground.

Ironically the original club I'm talking about (St. Colmcilles) was, I believe formed by an amalgamation of 2 clubs from the area years ago when the area had a small population.

One of the best GAA clubs in Westmeath (Garycastle) I think in the 1980's started in a similar way to Eastern Gaels in Meath this year in that they were formed in a big population area that was served by only one club.
I don't know much about the Westmeath football scene but Garrycastle seems to show new clubs can work out well.

bdbuddah (Meath) - Posts: 1332 - 14/11/2023 21:08:41    2513067

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