Westmeath Forum

Current State of Westmeath Football

(Oldest Posts First)

With our third successive relegation in the league, I feel the need to discuss a few topics.
First and forth most lets discuss the current management. I must admit I like Tom Cribben and his honesty, however I certainly feel he his out of his depth at inter-county level. He has failed to get the most of this team and even to get them to play an attractive style of football. Tactics seem to be non existent as players are unaware of their positions on and off the ball. I think it is fair to say it is time for Tom and his team to step aside after this season. I personally would love to see Anthony Cunningham take charge. Good pedigree behind him with Galway hurlers and St. Bridgids and Garycastle at club football level.
Next topic is the players. As wonderful and joyous as last years win was over Meath, I feel like it has also contributed to the players downfalls and possible lack of appetite. I think if a lot of that team and the current squad are to be honest with themselves - it appears as if they have become somewhat complacent and comfortable in themselves as they "created history" and did something "no other Westmeath" has ever done. However, in their defense, it is hard for a player or team to buy into a current team in which is demise and seems to lack leadership and guidance from the current management.
Lastly, i Would like to discuss the County Board who in my opinion are mostly at fault here. The underage in the county seems to be at an all time low. There has been no signs of progress. As a realistic fan - I am not expecting major silverware but progress. It appears that we are happy to put out teams who merely compete - if they do well, then so be it. Apart from the minor team a few years ago reaching the Leinster final, I can not remember anything of note. We need a proper structure in place to grow these players and develop them into the senior team. We should be doing case studies on the likes of Roscommon who have nurtured and modified their underage structures over the past ten years - they are now reaping the rewards for that today. The county board also have to answer for the current management in place. I am still dumbfounded as to why Pat Flannagan was sacked that time and a largely inexperienced manager at inter-county level brought in.
The current financial problems of the county board has also been a topical discussion this forum - another thing that the county board have to answer. It seems in my opinion that there is individuals within the county board who have no one to answer to and do as they please without being questioned. I for one am tired of this and I certainly hope that these topics are discussed at the next meeting. We as county need to act and act now before football in Westmeath falls into a very dark place.

TractorTom4 (Australia) - Posts: 14 - 04/04/2016 17:47:10    1841731


All valid points made above.

But people need to put their names forward if they want a change at the top table. It's a thankless job. Club Iarmhi are doing great work and all this money is pumped back into Westmeath football and hurling. Its going to be very hard to sell tickets now with the footballers down to division 4; so if you're serious about seeing improvements in Westmeaths fortunes go out and purchase your ticket. We do not have the resources of Dublin and this money is badly needed. All one needs to do is look at Club Rossie who raise thousands every year and this money was pumped into underage football there. Look where they're now!

Anyone knows anything about football knew at the time it was crazy getting rid of Pat Flanagan after her got us to division 1. It was an equally an unbelievable decision to appoint Bealin. Cribbin has done his best, but at the end of the day he has lead us to two straight relegations and it's clear he is out of his depth.

The players also need a serious look at themselves. It was painful looking at them failing to beat Sligo, Longford and Tipperary as they could have won all three of these games on the day. They had several chances to win these games but they didn't have the hunger to get us across the line. It's evident that the squad lacks leaders. I also question why a few of the players were out celebrating beating Offaly last weekend when they had a huge game the following weekend. Quite simply you wouldn't see this in any county wanting to go places. It's also time for ex players to stand up and get involved with underage teams.

Matthew (None) - Posts: 917 - 04/04/2016 21:41:24    1841853


matthew , when 3 of our greatest players cooney keane and flanagan wanted to manage the team they were rejected
so why would they . cribben will remain because quite seriously we cannot sink any lower .

mickcunningham (Westmeath) - Posts: 1231 - 05/04/2016 08:36:41    1841877


Matthew, i think everyone would agree that you cant move forward without finances but a lot of people would question how we are spending our money and the results we are getting for it. I for one wouldnt be too keen to go and support a Div 4 team. I have gone to most games in the League and to be honest i can think of far betting things i could be doing with my time and money than watching the football we are playing.

I also dont hear anyone backing up the idea of this new stand so why are we going ahead with it? The ground is never full so do we think a new stand will change that? I would say one of the main reason is because of inappropriate pricing at games given the standard that is on display a lot of the time.

In terms of the Management, i'm not keen on constantly changing the manager but no manager deserves to hold onto their job after 2 straight relegations. My preference was and still is Jack Cooney and I was disgusted when he didnt get it and as far I was concerned the reason given for him not getting it was a mistruth. I hear great things of Peter Leahy too so he should be involved also.

The Board need to get with the times too in terms of its communication. People are not getting answers. Website, Master Fixtures and some clearly communicated future plans would go a long way towards improving matters around the county. Most Clubs have a Facebook page or Website with news and updates so why cant our County? A few notes each week in the local paper or on this website is not good enough in this day and age. People want news daily on local matters and we need to get with the times. I mean wouldnt the likes of a county U16 challenge game being played locally be news to some people and they may decide to go and watch it but people dont even know these games are on!

Meridian (Westmeath) - Posts: 483 - 05/04/2016 14:51:34    1842153


I think a of of sense been talked on here by a lot of people now that we know where we are at.
Simply Tom must go even though like the last post I hate changing managers. Now the problem is it has to be a home manager and to me there are only 4 choices
1. Jack Cooney and in my eyes first choice but no way he will come back from a div 1 side in Donegal to manage a team in div 4 that's like leaving a senior team to train a junior team. (would have a problem with his defensive attitude to games personally)
2. Luke Dempsey. I think personally a great manager and says all the right things but for some reason not in favour with anyone even though his track record is very good so cant see him even going for it. (he sets a team up quiet well)
3. Peter Leahy. I personally would not like to see him leave the underage because what I am hearing back from my club men on his minor team he is doing amazing work at minor and under 17 so I don't think we can afford to ask him take the job.(maybe too attack orientated for county football as he likes to go all out attack 15 v 15 but it might get the crowds in the gate too watching attacking football)
4. Anthony Cunningham. Now he not a westmeath man but he works and has managed in WESTMEATH so he knows the players the scene and everything else.( best man I have seen to play to his strengths all be it maybe on the slightly negative side but with a attack style when turned over)
I think for me Anthony would be the most realistic person to go for as he has achieved at highest level even though emotions are high about Jack Cooney. I don't know but I think whoever is been taught of been asked it should be done sooner like now so he can start been at all the senior and intermediate and junior championships and looking at the minors and 21s etc.
By the way you might have noticed I left Emmet McDonald and Tommy Carr out as they are outsiders and I don't think our county would go forward with them.
Now who is going to shoot me down on my humble opinion

Paulknows (Westmeath) - Posts: 114 - 05/04/2016 16:14:17    1842210


Excellent post Meridian. I think the stand is on hold pending a solid commitment from the new government for substantial grant-aid. I agree 100% re the website, county underage challenges, fixtures etc. Unless you are involved with the teams you never hear when they are on. To be fair to the current PRO, he is double and treble jobbing with Scór etc and he can only relate the info he receives. I recall a cry for help went out last year and only 2 clubs bothered replying. On Facebook, the 2 supporters club pages seem to know more about what's going on than the official page.
As for the football, it's extremely disappointing to end up in div 4. League never lies in my opinion. Would you bet on us getting back up to div 3 at the first attempt ? I'm not so sure, certainly not under the current regime. At least we have the club championships to look forward to, and the county hurlers of course !!

BigSur (Westmeath) - Posts: 682 - 05/04/2016 16:32:52    1842215


Remind me what Anthony Cunningham has achieved at the highest level?

A lot of people ignoring the main problem in the county... the standard of coaching in most clubs is not good. There is not enough support from the CB. The schools coaching program is terrible and clubs are paying well to run that.
Clubs are not producing enough capable young players. Most clubs would rather hammer another club at under 10 and under 12 and leave weaker kids on the sideline than giving all their players a game. I see it going on in football and hurling all the time.

manfromdelmonte (UK) - Posts: 541 - 06/04/2016 08:11:58    1842392


A new low for the organisation that is Westmeath football last night lads....

Playing league games on a Tuesday evening at 6:45 is in itself, disrespectful to club players. Asking these players to get off work from 3 to 5 in the afternoon and make long commutes to ensure they get to a pitch somewhere in the county for around 6 is something that club players should never be asked to do considering the amount of 'match free weekends' there have been already this year.

However, having made these commitments to their club and making these journeys, to then get to the pitch, complete their warm up and stand there waiting for the game to start, to only be told that the ref has not bothered his a**e to show up, well that is a whole new level of contempt to such players. In both the Ballymore v Tubberclair and Shandonagh v Castledaly game, both div 2 no ref bothered to show up, meaning these players had wasted their time travelling half across the country. Players had came from Dublin, Galway, Sligo and even Cork to play for these 4 clubs.

My question to the Country board is, will these boys be reimbursed for a) the missing wages for taking a half day b) the fuel used to get to these pitches c) tolls ?

Is it any wonder Westmeath football is in the doldrums with the way the grass-root players are being treated.....

COUNTYCHAMPS_XI (Westmeath) - Posts: 27 - 06/04/2016 10:09:13    1842435


I couldn't agree with you more county champs. The very least these four teams deserve is a public apology from the county board. The Gaa is nothing without the clubs. The clubs produce county players. The clubs keep the Gaa running. Yet the clubs are treated like complete s**t. I am absolutely incensed by what happened last night. It is simply not good enough. At the very least players deserve respect and to be honest they are being shown the furthest thing from respect by the county board. Lads travelling from all over the country, lads leaving work early to get to a game and then to be told 20 minutes after the original throw in time that there will be no ref is just shameful. Time for clubs to stand up and be heard. Respect is all they ask for.

winnerofsam (USA) - Posts: 40 - 06/04/2016 10:38:42    1842453


Mick Gordon, the county referee coordinator, organised a referees' course recently for new club referees, to my knowledge 9 people showed up and completed the course over three nights. The county board are doing their best on the refereeing front, hardly the board's fault that the two appointed referees failed to turn up or failed to inform someone in advance. The referees in question obviously erred, happens quite rarely that referees in Westmeath fail to attend when appointed. A number of referees in the county attended a Leinster fitness test last night which may have limited the numbers available to officiate locally. Don't turn a rare occurrence into nonsense about club players needing to stand up for themselves, what happened was wrong but hardly the board's fault.

kawaifive0 (Westmeath) - Posts: 112 - 06/04/2016 16:00:27    1842696



I know a club who has had a referee fail to turn up for an adult game 4 times in last 3 years.

valley84 (Westmeath) - Posts: 1749 - 06/04/2016 17:21:37    1842747


Go and become a referee so instead of spouting incessant drivel on this forum, lads like you generally do nothing for club or county, your comments are insulting to the referees who officiate at thousands of games throughout the county, the referee who didn't turn up in Shandonagh is a respected referee who did not receive notification of the fixture, hardly his fault, breakdown in communication, simple as, no conspiracy theory, no need to vent your spleen on all and sundry behind the cloak of anonymity, at least one poster here has the courage to give his name when he posts his negative posts, you don't.

kawaifive0 (Westmeath) - Posts: 112 - 06/04/2016 19:28:47    1842799


How do the CB notify referees about games in the modern era? Just wondering. Is it by smoke signals? Carrier Pigeon?

manfromdelmonte (UK) - Posts: 541 - 06/04/2016 20:09:47    1842816


If refs are appointed the same as in Longford, Westmeath would be using the Servasport system . Referees are appointed to games by CCCC and receive a text asking are they available yes or no to ref a game with date, teams involved , time and venue . System flags games without refs and ref administrator/CCCC appoint another ref again with text asking are you available y/n. 2 hours before the game system sends a reminder to the ref about the game . After the game ref receives a text requsting the score . Have been a few problems with the system of late here . Refs not getting reminders etc

Therein2010 (Longford) - Posts: 11 - 06/04/2016 21:11:48    1842842


So refs are relying on the county website to inform them of games?

valley84 (Westmeath) - Posts: 1749 - 07/04/2016 11:57:37    1842958


Servasport system in operation in Westmeath according to ref friend.

TToatler (Dublin) - Posts: 10 - 07/04/2016 12:47:52    1842994


Referees are not relying on County Web site for advice on matches.
A match report is posted to referees for al juvenile matches well in advance of the games taking place; this is the notification that they have been appointed to officiate at the match showing time and venue. If the referee is unavailable he would advise the minor board and a replacement will be sought.
At senior level the serva sport model is used; text to check referee availability; when confirmed, the referee is advised by text that he has been appointed to officiate and the match report is posted to the referee. There is a reminder text sent before the game as well.

tazz (Westmeath) - Posts: 52 - 07/04/2016 14:11:39    1843045


People seem to be forgetting that referees have lives and jobs too. They may not have to travel as far as players for games but they still have to face into 30 young lads shouting at them after a hard days work on a Tuesday night. Are there not enough weekends in the year to get fixtures played? In my opinion midweek games are unfair on players, referees supporters and everyone else that follows are local clubs because they put great strain on everyone. Why does always appear in this county as if most fixtures made in an awful hurry without very much thought?

LakemenAbu (Westmeath) - Posts: 134 - 07/04/2016 16:05:53    1843109