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Connacht Championship

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Replying To TheCartownBus2:  "On The Bank's post above should be required reading for everyone on the management team. The honeymoon's over boys, time to up your game - everything about Sunday's performance smacked of poor preparation and it all looked very amateurish. Of all those late switches and changes only Shane Moran's had potential (if he got proper diagonal ball and had players feeding off him at speed). You can't throw that many curve balls in the air at such a late stage and expect them to work."
Its beyond belief how much we have deteriorated since the league final. When you consider how London put it up to Galway, Wicklow to Meath and Limerick beat Tipp, all teams we accounted for in the league. Hopefully a wake up call and a better performance in the qualifiers. Leitrim abu.

Buzzcagney62 (Leitrim) - Posts: 124 - 14/05/2019 12:22:55    2183949

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Replying To Buzzcagney62:  "Its beyond belief how much we have deteriorated since the league final. When you consider how London put it up to Galway, Wicklow to Meath and Limerick beat Tipp, all teams we accounted for in the league. Hopefully a wake up call and a better performance in the qualifiers. Leitrim abu."
tashy would state the follwoing:

:leitrim need a fulltime games develepment officer in the office in ballimamore
:need coachs going to schools:
:need more initives in schools.
:need to bring in more experinced coaches

tashy (Roscommon) - Posts: 94 - 14/05/2019 14:25:21    2183987

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The league was nothing compared to that. We hate to say it but Roscommon were excellent, I think lets give them credit for what they did to us. The pace and power of Roscommon was like nothing in Division 4.
Yes its a wakeup call. We will never likely be at Roscommons level. People need to accept that. We don't have any clubs capable of winning a club All-Ireland or teams capable of winning an underage Connacht title.
Were we exceptional in the league? Plucky, wholehearted yes and very lucky. Limerick missed 3 goals against us. We gave the same chances to other teams in the league we gave Roscommon but the difference was they didn't punish us. Flat and lethargic against London. Lucky against Antrim, same in Aughrim Wicklow lost their CHF who was murdering us running through pretty much like Roscommon would a few months later. The writing was on the wall. We are a Division 4 team who will be fighting tooth and nail for survival next year in Div 3.
The good news now. Can we win a qualifer game? Yes we can shock someone in Carrick. I believe we can draw a lot of teams who are nowhere as fit and fast and lethal as Roscommon. We might get away with some sloppy handpasses or silly sideline kicks. We might play a sweeper and mop up some of those runs. Our forwards will get more space than a tight tackling and often fouling Roscommon backline. It can get better and we'll have better days as Leitrim fans.

Ludovic_Giuly (Leitrim) - Posts: 107 - 14/05/2019 14:42:07    2183991

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A mindset has developed in the team over the past decade in that they don't believe they can beat Roscommon before they even kick a ball. This includes panel members saying something to that effect on national TV months before the game.
How can any team hope to compete when this mindset is in place.
The Roscommon team of the early 90s was a far superior team to the current one yet we always were competitive against them and certainly never gave up. Granted the Leitrim team were better, but they certainly hadn't all the facilities and backroom stuff going on as the current team.

spiritofeslin (Leitrim) - Posts: 136 - 14/05/2019 15:12:18    2184004

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92 93 94 were some of the most humiliating teams connacht ever had
What are u smoking.

OhtobeARossie (Roscommon) - Posts: 1366 - 14/05/2019 16:37:19    2184042

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Replying To OnTheBank:  "To say yesterday was frustrating and deflating in equal measure is an understatement. There's many different variable as to why we looked so flat and off the pace? Is it that we started back earlier than other teams and peaked for the league?

I'm trying to be as considerate as I can about yesterday's performance in the context of the year as a whole but it is very difficult to not go overboard.

Firstly let's start with the positives. Shane Moran was immense at Full forward. The Roscommon Fullback line couldn't handle him. It was a disgrace that he never got more protection from the Ref or that his many was not booked after fouling him 6/7 times. I thought Mark Plunkett was excellent at midfield and won his battle with his man which is even more impressive when we were being so over run in this sector of the field. Shane Quinn apart from his stupid sending off (which he really needs to get out of his game) was also very good. Likewise with Paddy Maguire. If I was told beforehand that Diarmuid Murtagh would only score 1 point from play I would have been very hopeful.
Now to decipher some of the many failings.

I have been a big supporter of this management team since they were chosen and I will support them going forward but yesterday and for the league final they made some horrendous personal, positional and tactical calls that didn't give us any hope of even competing in the game. Terry has got a lot of praise and media attention so he now needs to take accountability for some terrible decisions. How they haven't got a settled team by now is crazy.

Let's get to the obvious one first. The manager hung young Fergal McTague out to dry. I like many other followers of Leitrim club football have been excited about his emergence as a fullback as it's a position we haven't been able to fill since John McKeown and I believed and still believe that he is the answer. In all of the big games or any games that I have heard of or seen Aughawillan play not once have I seen him at midfield? He has only played 30 mins of competitive football for Leitrim in a 30 minute cameo in a dead rubber against Derry so to put him in a position so vital as midfield was plain stupid. After 20 mins his man had scored 2-1 and McTague had been booked so they had to take him off. It was game over then and anything we did after that was irrelevant to be honest. From what I believe he hadn't even been tried at midfield in any of the challenge games beforehand and only learned late last week that he might be midfield. That would not occur in any other county. Were must his mind-set be today? This was even more stupid when you consider that Michael McWeeney was so far off Conor Cox who we all assumed McTague would be marking. I've never seen so many Leitrim fans as annoyed by the treatment of a young player.

Secondly, Aidan Flynn. At the beginning of the year I would have doubted whether Aidan was good enough for County football but he has proved me completely wrong. He was one of our most consistent players throughout the league and from what I know is the fittest player on the panel in any of the testing. He has started every game and done well so to then drop him when he wasn't injured was strange. This was made even worse by then bringing him on as a forward when 2 of our defenders were on Yellow cards and clearly struggling.

Thirdly, all throughout the league we played a sweeper system against poor Division 4 sides. Then when it came to the only decent one in Derry and against a Div 1 team with class forwards we don't employ a sweeper system and our defence gets shredded open time and time again. We were playing Sean McWeeney as that sweeper and it probably suited his ball reading and coolness in possession but it also shielded him from man marking where his lack of pace was a serious concern. Yet when we come to play Roscommon he is detailed to be no.6 and marking Roscommons fastest forward in Cathal Cregg??

Our kickout strategy was non-existent. We played Pearce Dolan at wing Forward yet didn't target him with any kickouts!? McCrann was really jittery early on and the only tactic he did was to boom as many kickouts onto Mark Plunkett as possible who competed well but was against 2 men most of the time. Compare this to Roscommons strategy which was brilliant. When we went short it worked better but the game was over by then.

A look at our forwards. I don't want to be personal here but how Domhnail Flynn started and finished both yesterday and the league final is beyond me. He looked unfit or unable to track his man or even have any impact on the game in an attacking sense. His man just left him and doubled up on Mark Plunkett at any opportunity. This was even more annoying seen as Jack Heslin was left on the bench. Evan Sweeney was similar. He couldn't find the little pockets of space he normally finds and did not have the required power to track his man which was killing us. Gary Plunkett looked like a shell of a player he is for Aughawillan and a footballer with absolutely no confidence which probably dates back to how he was treated during the league final. Nothing would go right for him.

Ryan O'Rourke was okay but we need so much more from him if we are going to compete. He had a few good moments where he looked dangerous but he has to become a little more street smart. He was being pulled and dragged but just let it happen whereas the Ross players bought frees or alerted the umpires etc.
I thought Pearce Dolan was holding his own without being spectacular. Why they took him off and replaced him with a defender is unknown and hard to figure out. They seem to just have decided before every game to take him off at some stage no matter what is happening on the field?

Shane Moran was a revelation at full forward and if his finishing was better we really could have rocked them early on. They couldn't get to grips with him. But it has to be asked why has he not been played here before? And also why was he played there and left in there yesterday when we were being annihilated at midfield when Moran has been our most impressive performer all year around the middle?

The most obvious thing yesterday was how far we are behind in strength and conditioning. Now some of that is natural as many of our players are young and Ross have been implementing their S&C plan a lot longer than us but there's no reason why we should have been so far off them. This is even more important when we consider that our S&C coach is so inexperienced. Would he have been given a role in any other county? And also Damien Morans injury….

Look yesterday was nightmare and the game was over after 20 minutes but we have still been promoted and have the basis of a very good young squad but there's no doubt there's areas where the management and the players can improve on for next year. Hopefully we get a decent draw for the qualifiers but it will be hard for the squad to recoup after how badly that went."
I agree with all of OnTheBanks thoughts on the Roscommon game.

The S&C is a serious worry. Maybe Enda Lyons is good enough for the development squads but there's no doubt that the county board and the senior management team need to go out and source a highly regarded S&C coach for next season. This could be an issue with funding as Enda Lyons is employed centrally by the county board and Terry was given no choice but to have him as the S&C coach. This is even more important in regards to this Leitrim squad as many of them are so young that they will need proper structures in place to develop physically.

I to feel very sorry for Fergal McTague this week. It was a poor call by the management to put him in that situation. Hopefully he is mentally strong enough to come back stronger as he has all the tools to be a brilliant fullback. But sometimes managers make decisions which they think are in the best interests of the team and they backfire. This is one of these occasions and we now must just move on from it unfortunately.

My one worry with the management is their dealing with some of the younger players. From the start it seemed like they didn't trust Darragh Rooney which has culminated in him leaving to play football in America. Why they haven't placed full trust in Pearce Dolan and let him develop at centre field is a hard one to figure out. Same goes for Jack Heslin where Domhnail Flynn was fancied ahead of him! After how good Plunkett has been at midfield it's also crazy to think he was wasted at no 6 for all the league. I think they may feel some of these players don't have the required physicality or work rate for intercounty football as of yet. But what they do have is pace and legs and that is what we were sorely lacking at the weekend.

We need to find a no.6 as we have been chopping and changing here all year. There's a few options. Rob Peter to pay Paul and play Paddy Maguire here, Play Shane Quinn here, I'd even say try Michael McWeeney in this position. But maybe it will be a curve ball with someone like Jack Gilheany who is in on the panel for the last few weeks.

All is not lost. We were in this situation last year and rebounded well. Hopefully the boys can impress with pressure off in the next few weeks of club games before tackling the qualifiers. We're somewhere in between all the hype after the league and all the criticism after last Sundays game. To fully judge where this squad and management are going we will need another year and a few additions!

LeitrimWay (Leitrim) - Posts: 66 - 14/05/2019 20:12:29    2184118

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Replying To LeitrimWay:  "I agree with all of OnTheBanks thoughts on the Roscommon game.

The S&C is a serious worry. Maybe Enda Lyons is good enough for the development squads but there's no doubt that the county board and the senior management team need to go out and source a highly regarded S&C coach for next season. This could be an issue with funding as Enda Lyons is employed centrally by the county board and Terry was given no choice but to have him as the S&C coach. This is even more important in regards to this Leitrim squad as many of them are so young that they will need proper structures in place to develop physically.

I to feel very sorry for Fergal McTague this week. It was a poor call by the management to put him in that situation. Hopefully he is mentally strong enough to come back stronger as he has all the tools to be a brilliant fullback. But sometimes managers make decisions which they think are in the best interests of the team and they backfire. This is one of these occasions and we now must just move on from it unfortunately.

My one worry with the management is their dealing with some of the younger players. From the start it seemed like they didn't trust Darragh Rooney which has culminated in him leaving to play football in America. Why they haven't placed full trust in Pearce Dolan and let him develop at centre field is a hard one to figure out. Same goes for Jack Heslin where Domhnail Flynn was fancied ahead of him! After how good Plunkett has been at midfield it's also crazy to think he was wasted at no 6 for all the league. I think they may feel some of these players don't have the required physicality or work rate for intercounty football as of yet. But what they do have is pace and legs and that is what we were sorely lacking at the weekend.

We need to find a no.6 as we have been chopping and changing here all year. There's a few options. Rob Peter to pay Paul and play Paddy Maguire here, Play Shane Quinn here, I'd even say try Michael McWeeney in this position. But maybe it will be a curve ball with someone like Jack Gilheany who is in on the panel for the last few weeks.

All is not lost. We were in this situation last year and rebounded well. Hopefully the boys can impress with pressure off in the next few weeks of club games before tackling the qualifiers. We're somewhere in between all the hype after the league and all the criticism after last Sundays game. To fully judge where this squad and management are going we will need another year and a few additions!"
It was the perfect opertunity for the management team to show the county that we have turned a corner but it looks like the team was thrown together at the last minute. Like seriously if the manger and his 3 selectors can't come up with better tactics and maybe play the players in their right positions then where are we going. No excuses when you see other division 4 teams put it up to better teams at the weekend. We weren't looking for a win in the Hyde but more so some hope that they know what they are doing in there. A kick off a ball the other way in the league and we wouldn't be promoted and that's a fair statement.

williesboy (Leitrim) - Posts: 62 - 14/05/2019 20:49:30    2184125

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We tried to be a bit too smart at the weekend and we over thought it.We should have lined out like we did during the league with a sweeper to stop the runners and try to keep the goals out and give ourse some chance.The game was over after 20 mins.A decent home draw against a division 3 or 4 team would do nicely now.Play lads in their proper positions and let's get back on track with a win or two.We need to remember that we'll be playing division 3 next season and staying up will be our top priority.We haven't become a bad team overnight.

moesyzlack (USA) - Posts: 160 - 14/05/2019 23:38:34    2184178

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On Longer reflection we can't be too critical of management. Firstly S&C is a building process. You can't build a house by starting at the roof. It takes time to load the body over the winter. If you look back on the league we bet most teams by a couple of points in the last few mins which suggested we were fit and a lot of posters on here remarked the same throughout the league. I think terry targeted the league prmotion and achieved it. Maybe we were at championship fitness back in march when we needed too be. I'd still have preferred to have been promoted than beat roscommon if it was a Choice. Staying in div 3 has to be the next and only target. If we win a game or 2 in the qualifiers then great if not it won't make much difference come next January. The lads to get back in the gym earlier now that terry knows the players. Get the peak fitness levels up for next January Feb march. For leitrim to progress properly as a county it's going to mean climbing up the leagues. Our season is mainly from Jan - march. Summer football unfortunately is for the elite counties which is about 6 or 7 at most. Until the gaa make it 2 or 3 tier championship that we can compete at our level then we should always target the league. Yes terry and co got it wrong last Sunday but they got it right when it mattered most gaining promotion

Champotime18 (Leitrim) - Posts: 162 - 15/05/2019 00:58:44    2184191

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I think the whole S&C issue is major, and I would go as far as saying we need S&C coaches well great experience from outside the county for both the seniors and also our underage county teams, this S&C needs to start at underage not when lads are 21-22 years of age, its too late at that stage to catch up. now I know some will say we have great underage coaches but I'm not sure we have the right people in. and subsequently this feeds poorly into the senior team.

Ouryear (Leitrim) - Posts: 257 - 15/05/2019 09:42:45    2184228

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Emlyn Mulligan no longer part of the Leitrim panel i hear. A fantastic footballer when in full flow but never fully recovered from his 2 ACL injuries.

Gaa_lover (USA) - Posts: 2437 - 15/05/2019 19:42:18    2184386

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Replying To Gaa_lover:  "Emlyn Mulligan no longer part of the Leitrim panel i hear. A fantastic footballer when in full flow but never fully recovered from his 2 ACL injuries."
Why would he leave now?

williesboy (Leitrim) - Posts: 62 - 15/05/2019 20:41:09    2184393

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Didn't realise he is only 30 .. and people talking as if he's over the hill.

I'd fully expect him to be involved for the next few years at that rate even if he's decided to bow out for the Qualifiers

Dodgy_Pass (Leitrim) - Posts: 320 - 15/05/2019 21:19:01    2184406

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I've heard mulligan is gone and also Gary Reynolds. I don't blame them after the shambles on Sunday. Two lads who put their shoulder to the wheel and soldiered on through all the tough days. It must have been hard for them to watch on Sunday. Sitting on the bench while lads who I wouldn't rate nearly as high as them being caught like a rabbit in headlights out on the pitch. Mulligan is surely among the best 6 forwards in the county?
And by all accounts Gary Reynolds is flying and playing well with carrigallen. Are you telling me he wouldn't have put a few hits in there on Sunday and tries to stop a few rossies who were railroading through our defence? As every team has been doing all year? Management has a huge amount to answer for. Wouldn't be surprised if Jack heslin, diarmuid mc kiernan and some of the aughawillan lads walked as well. An unmitigated shambles on Sunday.

timeforachange (Leitrim) - Posts: 62 - 15/05/2019 22:13:41    2184426

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Any truth that another few have jumped ship since the roscommon game I heard a few have walked.
When we consider how lucky we were in a few league matches we are lucky to have gained promotion and by the last game it's hard to see the progress. Big question is who will be manager next year..

harleys (Leitrim) - Posts: 285 - 15/05/2019 22:42:10    2184437

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Replying To timeforachange:  "I've heard mulligan is gone and also Gary Reynolds. I don't blame them after the shambles on Sunday. Two lads who put their shoulder to the wheel and soldiered on through all the tough days. It must have been hard for them to watch on Sunday. Sitting on the bench while lads who I wouldn't rate nearly as high as them being caught like a rabbit in headlights out on the pitch. Mulligan is surely among the best 6 forwards in the county?
And by all accounts Gary Reynolds is flying and playing well with carrigallen. Are you telling me he wouldn't have put a few hits in there on Sunday and tries to stop a few rossies who were railroading through our defence? As every team has been doing all year? Management has a huge amount to answer for. Wouldn't be surprised if Jack heslin, diarmuid mc kiernan and some of the aughawillan lads walked as well. An unmitigated shambles on Sunday."
I think most of us supporters went on Sunday knowing that we were going to be bet. The no1 aim this year was surly to get out of division 4 and we did. Lets not go crazy panicing now ffs.

index777 (Leitrim) - Posts: 35 - 15/05/2019 23:16:50    2184442

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Mulligan done nothing for leitirm last few years let's be realistic. He had his hay day in Croker which he wasn't at the races at all, a great servant but time for fresh blood.

LeitrimLoyal (Leitrim) - Posts: 16 - 15/05/2019 23:20:39    2184444

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Sick of players walking off the panel. Just don't bother starting the season if you're not fully committed or likely to get annoyed if management go with other players

SeanMacDiarmada (Leitrim) - Posts: 284 - 16/05/2019 07:46:12    2184468

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Replying To timeforachange:  "I've heard mulligan is gone and also Gary Reynolds. I don't blame them after the shambles on Sunday. Two lads who put their shoulder to the wheel and soldiered on through all the tough days. It must have been hard for them to watch on Sunday. Sitting on the bench while lads who I wouldn't rate nearly as high as them being caught like a rabbit in headlights out on the pitch. Mulligan is surely among the best 6 forwards in the county?
And by all accounts Gary Reynolds is flying and playing well with carrigallen. Are you telling me he wouldn't have put a few hits in there on Sunday and tries to stop a few rossies who were railroading through our defence? As every team has been doing all year? Management has a huge amount to answer for. Wouldn't be surprised if Jack heslin, diarmuid mc kiernan and some of the aughawillan lads walked as well. An unmitigated shambles on Sunday."
Timeforachange, you have just highlighted the main problem with Leitrim football!! Lads walk away when it doesn't go their way. We will never progress by having this attitude. Mulligan is not one of the top 6 forwards in Leitrim and this was proven in the league final when he was completely off the pace. Gary Reynolds also does not have the pace for inter county level. It's going to take a couple of years minimum to get to where we need to be in pace and S&C. Roscommon have not got to their level with 6 months of proper S&C training, it has taken them years to get there. Unless the Leitrim lads buy into the long term plans, we will be heading back to Div 4 unfortunately. Fair enough we were tactically naive on Sunday, but there's no need to abandon it all over it. It doesn't happen in other counties.

TaytoFoley (Leitrim) - Posts: 47 - 16/05/2019 09:48:16    2184486

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The main goal this year was promotion, that has been obtained. The heavy defeat against a poor Roscommon team was disappointing but unnecessary to leave the panel after it. Stay for one more game.

spiritofeslin (Leitrim) - Posts: 136 - 16/05/2019 10:09:27    2184491

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