Westmeath Forum

Most successful underage clubs

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I was wondering if someone could tell me where I could find information on underage county title wins. Does anyone know of hand who the most successful underage clubs are in the County? Not just the big town clubs such as Lomans, Shamrocks, Athlone etc. I am also talking about Div B and Div C too. Thanks

TractorTom4 (Australia) - 09/04/2017 23:52:13    1977717

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Replying To TractorTom4:  "I was wondering if someone could tell me where I could find information on underage county title wins. Does anyone know of hand who the most successful underage clubs are in the County? Not just the big town clubs such as Lomans, Shamrocks, Athlone etc. I am also talking about Div B and Div C too. Thanks"
I've never actually seen the full list in one place. The previous minor winners are usually listed on the programme at the county final. You'd be surprised how few the town teams you listed have won. I think Lomans have only won 2 minor titles (1 in 95 for sure, and 1 in the mid 00's). Shamrocks 4 that I can remember (going back to mid 90's). Athlone haven't won one since the 90's. Garrycastle won two in the late 90's. Amalgamations ruled the roost for a long time. And there was a good spread of winners from different amalgamations. In recent years Moate, The Downs and Shandonagh winning probably shows that amalgamations were no longer relevant. Certainly not for growing clubs on the suburbs of the towns.
Finding B and C (or div 2/3 as it's called now) winners will be very hard.

Andy_Capp (Westmeath) - 10/04/2017 08:52:32    1977746

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The county board don't really think any club should be playing B or C football or hurling.

What constitutes success?
Winning a title?
Actually just fielding a team for every game?
Developing all players skill wise and athletically?
Bringing through players to adult teams?
Some clubs are very successful at the above, others very less so.

I'd regard the Downs as one of the more progressive clubs.
The town clubs actually under-achieve for the pick that they have.

valley84 (Westmeath) - 10/04/2017 10:04:00    1977793

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Replying To valley84:  "The county board don't really think any club should be playing B or C football or hurling.

What constitutes success?
Winning a title?
Actually just fielding a team for every game?
Developing all players skill wise and athletically?
Bringing through players to adult teams?
Some clubs are very successful at the above, others very less so.

I'd regard the Downs as one of the more progressive clubs.
The town clubs actually under-achieve for the pick that they have."
Agree, success can be measured in many different ways. For example, I don't recall Tyrrellspass winning too many underage titles, yet they've had a competitive senior team for 20 years now.

You can say the town teams should be doing better, but the idea of having a bigger pick hasn't really been true in recent years. I've coached underage and in some years the likes The Downs and Shandonagh have had much bigger panels at the younger age groups than the 2 Mullingar teams. There is no parish rule don't forget. I'm sure the same happens in Athlone.
These things tend to be cyclical.

jamsie (Westmeath) - 10/04/2017 10:44:17    1977819

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Replying To jamsie:  "Agree, success can be measured in many different ways. For example, I don't recall Tyrrellspass winning too many underage titles, yet they've had a competitive senior team for 20 years now.

You can say the town teams should be doing better, but the idea of having a bigger pick hasn't really been true in recent years. I've coached underage and in some years the likes The Downs and Shandonagh have had much bigger panels at the younger age groups than the 2 Mullingar teams. There is no parish rule don't forget. I'm sure the same happens in Athlone.
These things tend to be cyclical."
If the town clubs went into the schools with coaches and promoted their clubs better then they'd get more of the talent out.

The likes of Lomans will have 80 under 8s, but by the time they get to U12 it can be less than 30. What happens to them? If those kids turn away from the GAA club so do any siblings they might have. You could miss the next 5 John Heslins.
Lomans are getting big rent for their clubhouse being used as a courtroom. What are they doing with the money? They could be funding a full or part time GAA coach for all the local schools, co-ordinate their underage program, provide assistance to underage teams.

The Downs have plenty of lads in town recruiting for them. As do Shandonagh. And Clonkill.

It's a joke there has never been a development plan for football and hutlingt put in place for the two urban centres of Athlone and Mullingar considering there are over 40k population. That's more than Co Leitrim or Longford or half the population of Laois, or Westmeath!

valley84 (Westmeath) - 10/04/2017 12:39:48    1977903

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valley84 i'm sure you'll agree that you can just throw money at something either and expect it to work. Its down to the number of coaches they have and the facilities. If St Lomans kept those 80 lads they'd have enough for up to 4 teams at every age and do we all really want that? You will always lose plenty to other sports anyway or to other clubs if they are not feeling the love where they are. Its just the way it goes.

As for those clubs recruiting in towns, more luck to them. If they are able to mobilise and get numbers out of towns and into Country clubs then go for it. Its better that they do and that these kids are playing Gaelic games than have them in the 80 under 8's situation in town clubs. I wouldnt casigate any club for making the effort to ensure their survival or making progress.

Ultimately, most parents will make an informed decision as to where they will send their kids to play or if a change of club or sport is in their child's interest. As long as they continue to play sport we should be happy.

Meridian (Westmeath) - 10/04/2017 14:56:40    1978011

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Replying To Meridian:  "valley84 i'm sure you'll agree that you can just throw money at something either and expect it to work. Its down to the number of coaches they have and the facilities. If St Lomans kept those 80 lads they'd have enough for up to 4 teams at every age and do we all really want that? You will always lose plenty to other sports anyway or to other clubs if they are not feeling the love where they are. Its just the way it goes.

As for those clubs recruiting in towns, more luck to them. If they are able to mobilise and get numbers out of towns and into Country clubs then go for it. Its better that they do and that these kids are playing Gaelic games than have them in the 80 under 8's situation in town clubs. I wouldnt casigate any club for making the effort to ensure their survival or making progress.

Ultimately, most parents will make an informed decision as to where they will send their kids to play or if a change of club or sport is in their child's interest. As long as they continue to play sport we should be happy."
Well, my main point is that I don't think there are enough clubs in Mullingar or Athlone for the populations and to cater for the huge number of kids that should be playing
I think there is room for another football club in both towns.

valley84 (Westmeath) - 10/04/2017 17:06:41    1978064

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Replying To valley84:  "Well, my main point is that I don't think there are enough clubs in Mullingar or Athlone for the populations and to cater for the huge number of kids that should be playing
I think there is room for another football club in both towns."
Valley, Athlone and garrycastle struggle to get more than 20 on each panel from U14 to minor, and there is a lot of crossover between age groups. I'm sure it's the same in Mullingar. No way is there enough players for a third team. Within a 10 mile radius of Athlone you have Caulry, Castledaly, Maryland/Tang, tubberclair, etc. Plus Brigids and Clann in Roscommon. There is a lot of choice in big towns with rugby, soccer, athletics, basketball etc. It is up to the clubs to make gaa the most attractive of all those sports and up to the county board to ensure regular, well organised fixtures in order to give them enough games.

Wmeath2 (Westmeath) - 10/04/2017 21:28:01    1978158

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In hurling anyway Clonkill, Raharney and CTG have dominated underage for over a decade now. the other clubs just cant make a break through.

wd45 (Westmeath) - 11/04/2017 06:49:32    1978197

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If everyone commented on their own clubs underage titles then perhaps a full overall list could be compiled?

gti (Westmeath) - 11/04/2017 09:39:45    1978230

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Replying To Wmeath2:  "Valley, Athlone and garrycastle struggle to get more than 20 on each panel from U14 to minor, and there is a lot of crossover between age groups. I'm sure it's the same in Mullingar. No way is there enough players for a third team. Within a 10 mile radius of Athlone you have Caulry, Castledaly, Maryland/Tang, tubberclair, etc. Plus Brigids and Clann in Roscommon. There is a lot of choice in big towns with rugby, soccer, athletics, basketball etc. It is up to the clubs to make gaa the most attractive of all those sports and up to the county board to ensure regular, well organised fixtures in order to give them enough games."
Ara sure isn't the way things have always been done in Westmeath the best way to do things
It's why the county wins so many leinster football titles.
Or why our our underage hurling teams are now regularly being beaten by meath and Kildare
When half the county is written off just because there are soccer and rugby clubs in the big towns
There should be a whole generation of kids playing gaa games in the big towns with non irish surnames and coming through to county panels but that is not the case

valley84 (Westmeath) - 11/04/2017 11:27:32    1978293

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Replying To valley84:  "Ara sure isn't the way things have always been done in Westmeath the best way to do things
It's why the county wins so many leinster football titles.
Or why our our underage hurling teams are now regularly being beaten by meath and Kildare
When half the county is written off just because there are soccer and rugby clubs in the big towns
There should be a whole generation of kids playing gaa games in the big towns with non irish surnames and coming through to county panels but that is not the case"
I hear ya Valley84 and you are right. But it wouldnt be restricted to our County either. Its a common problem no matter where you go, but not in Dublin. They addressed it in Dublin by throwing money at it to ensure the GAA held it own against other sports and now the GAA is thriving there. However you wont see them in a rush to look at other counties. I've said it here before, look at Leinster, Dublin are looking at a 12th title in 13 years, but for the powers that be, that isnt a crisis! And lets be honest about it, can anyone see another winner, other than Dublin for the foreseeable future?

Meridian (Westmeath) - 12/04/2017 10:58:16    1978729

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Replying To Meridian:  "I hear ya Valley84 and you are right. But it wouldnt be restricted to our County either. Its a common problem no matter where you go, but not in Dublin. They addressed it in Dublin by throwing money at it to ensure the GAA held it own against other sports and now the GAA is thriving there. However you wont see them in a rush to look at other counties. I've said it here before, look at Leinster, Dublin are looking at a 12th title in 13 years, but for the powers that be, that isnt a crisis! And lets be honest about it, can anyone see another winner, other than Dublin for the foreseeable future?"
Stop moaning about the dubs and see what can be done in our county!
There is funding available for urban gaa initiatives if there was sufficient willingness there
The county is getting hurling development money every year.... where does it go?
Westmeath has one of the HIGHEST spends in leinster on schools coaching.
There are kids getting an hour of coaching every week in schools who will NEVER play club football, hurling or camogie.
And it's the club's who pick up the tab (well, the clubs who bother to pay)

valley84 (Westmeath) - 12/04/2017 18:00:07    1978874

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Clubs dominating definitely comes in cycles. As we all have said at some stage, transferring that success to adult level by keeping lads playing is the challenge. Some clubs measure success by silverware which in my opinion is fine when you are winning. But only one club can win each county title so does that mean the rest of the clubs have failed ? Absolutely not.
I guess The Downs and Shandonagh are putting in the hard work and tapping into housing estates from the town fringes.
Loman's while doing ok, seem to lose lads as teams go up through the grades from say U14 to minor. Teams that have walked U14 championships don't come close to repeating at older age groups.
Mullingar Shamrocks seemed to have upped their game after possibly taking their eye of the ball. I see strong teams this year at U13 & U12.
I remember an action put in place for Athlone a few years ago. Don't know how it went.
Caulry are one club I always admire, constantly performing at the highest grade with a fairly small rural catchment area.
Kinnegad for me are threatening to dominate similarly to The Downs once they can keep their house in order.

BigSur (Westmeath) - 13/04/2017 20:24:30    1979215

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Caulry have a massive catchment area compared to some rural clubs. The Downs and Shandonagh seem to have been strong for a few years now at underage, should be only a matter of time before they convert it to success at senior level.

iarmhi_an_mhaith (Westmeath) - 13/04/2017 21:43:28    1979239

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Replying To valley84:  "Stop moaning about the dubs and see what can be done in our county!
There is funding available for urban gaa initiatives if there was sufficient willingness there
The county is getting hurling development money every year.... where does it go?
Westmeath has one of the HIGHEST spends in leinster on schools coaching.
There are kids getting an hour of coaching every week in schools who will NEVER play club football, hurling or camogie.
And it's the club's who pick up the tab (well, the clubs who bother to pay)"
Valley84, if you read my post you would realise that it wasnt about the Dubs, it was about the GAA and their funding strategy. The bottom line is that no county is going to be able to compete for a Leinster title until the same focus which was used in Dublin for the last 10 years is done in every other County - but that aint gonna happen.

Where is that table showing Westmeath as the highest spend in coaching? I thought that was a Provincial initiative and therefore Westmeath shouldnt be able to spend more than other counties.

Meridian (Westmeath) - 18/04/2017 09:32:30    1980329

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Replying To Meridian:  "Valley84, if you read my post you would realise that it wasnt about the Dubs, it was about the GAA and their funding strategy. The bottom line is that no county is going to be able to compete for a Leinster title until the same focus which was used in Dublin for the last 10 years is done in every other County - but that aint gonna happen.

Where is that table showing Westmeath as the highest spend in coaching? I thought that was a Provincial initiative and therefore Westmeath shouldnt be able to spend more than other counties."
It was mentioned at a club meeting by someone who heard it from the county coaching officer at a county board meeting
An urban strategy employed in big clubs in Dublin isn't going to work in a rural setting like West meath

valley84 (Westmeath) - 18/04/2017 09:47:35    1980333

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Caulry have a massive catchment area compared to some rural clubs.
Where did they get the so called massive catchment area from? If I recall Caulry is a small rural area at one end of Moate parish surrounded by Athlone, Garrycastle, Tuberclaire, Maryland, Ballymore, Rosemount, Moate and Castledaly.

Icehouse (Westmeath) - 18/04/2017 13:16:26    1980427

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Replying To Icehouse:  "Caulry have a massive catchment area compared to some rural clubs.
Where did they get the so called massive catchment area from? If I recall Caulry is a small rural area at one end of Moate parish surrounded by Athlone, Garrycastle, Tuberclaire, Maryland, Ballymore, Rosemount, Moate and Castledaly."
Maybe not a massive area, but a significant stretch from Baylin through Mount Temple to the edge of Moate, and as you say stretches to border Tubberclair, Drumraney and Moyvoughly. It also has 2 decent sized schools, compare that to say Tang, Maryland, Tubberclair who all have one. I agree that they are traditionally strong underage but it's not totally unexpected.

iarmhi_an_mhaith (Westmeath) - 18/04/2017 19:26:42    1980554

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Replying to iarmhi_an_mhaith

I would not describe a club as successful when they have not won any under age premier competition in the last fifty years. The stretch from Baylin to Mount Temple is mainly bog. Baylin School attracts students from outside the Caulry catchment area. However Caulry will always field a team in any grade, I will give they credit for fulfilling fixtures. Maybe that could be described as being successful.

Icehouse (Westmeath) - 21/04/2017 10:15:45    1981367

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