Wicklow Forum

Wicklow in 2017

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Johnny Magee and Paddy Dalton have a tough job to bring about any success from this year.
The players who put in the effort each week in gyms/pitches from now until the summer must be supported and not be attacked.
We cannot expect success and let's face it we haven't exactly been too successful at minor or u21.
I do see however a bit of light with young players in the county coming through. Our post primary schools team are a source of hope and the exploits of a few teams at U-16, Minor and moving into senior shows some optimism for 2018 into 2020.
Nobody is jumping out to take over this team and squad and I feel every chance should be givin to them to progress over the next few years.

liamy. (Wicklow) - 08/01/2017 21:51:07    1944141

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Absolutely agree with you Liamy. These results that we are seeing now is down to the breakup of the last outstanding group of players under Micko and the lack of underage success that we have experienced in the last 10 years. Yesterday's result was a sobering reminder of how far we have dropped off the pace but I agree with you these guys need to be given time to develop and I admire them for putting in the effort and putting their name forward as it would be easy during a period like this to hide. I said before on this forum that if I was the manager of the team, I would be concentrating on the league and getting promotion or measuring progress through the league. We are not going to make any mark on the championship until we are in a higher division and it is playing at higher levels in the league that these players will improve and ultimately be able to compete at championship pace.

2 positives yesterday, it is good to see Seanie Furlong back in the fold. He is bad needed in the forward division. Equally, it was great to see John McGrath playing well.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - 09/01/2017 08:56:43    1944201

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Replying To wicklowsupport:  "Absolutely agree with you Liamy. These results that we are seeing now is down to the breakup of the last outstanding group of players under Micko and the lack of underage success that we have experienced in the last 10 years. Yesterday's result was a sobering reminder of how far we have dropped off the pace but I agree with you these guys need to be given time to develop and I admire them for putting in the effort and putting their name forward as it would be easy during a period like this to hide. I said before on this forum that if I was the manager of the team, I would be concentrating on the league and getting promotion or measuring progress through the league. We are not going to make any mark on the championship until we are in a higher division and it is playing at higher levels in the league that these players will improve and ultimately be able to compete at championship pace.

2 positives yesterday, it is good to see Seanie Furlong back in the fold. He is bad needed in the forward division. Equally, it was great to see John McGrath playing well."
Lads, I'd love to share some of your optimism here but I can't remember been more disheartened, disillusioned or angry as coming out of Navan yesterday. I've been to a lot of games over the years and seen more bad days than good, but yesterday was a low point. Even in bad days you could see some positives or someway explain a bad result through poor selection, missing/injured players, poor refereeing, quality of opposition etc but yesterday it was just plain & simple of group of players collectively just completely out of their depth at this level. The report on the Irish Times website yesterday evening said that Wicklow at times "couldn't keep it kicked out" to Meath and that was no way an exaggeration. In every facet of the game Physique, Fitness, Technique, Decision making, Movement etc Meath were so far superior it was frightening. I'm reading today that Meath will field on entirely different squad of 25 for the midweek game this week. I know you can point at the academy teams and potential improvements but from reading a summary of their year over Christmas some positive results were contrasted with some very bad beatings, particularly at U16 level.
My anger stems from a number of things I have read over the last few weeks and compounded by yesterday's result. Firstly, in the Academy Report of 2016 activity there was a consistent reference to walkovers given by Academy teams due to club fixtures clashing with county games. How can this be? Sure such clashes can be avoided with proper planning & communication?
Secondly, in the newspaper & social media reports of the first two Hastings cup games against Leitrim & Offaly there have been references to player unavailability due to work commitments. I know young lads need to work to fund college etc but surely if you are committed to playing county football you can organize your schedule to suit? I doubt Dublin or Kerry U21s are missing players due to work commitments.

Hawkeye2 (Wicklow) - 09/01/2017 11:41:35    1944244

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Replying To wicklowsupport:  "Absolutely agree with you Liamy. These results that we are seeing now is down to the breakup of the last outstanding group of players under Micko and the lack of underage success that we have experienced in the last 10 years. Yesterday's result was a sobering reminder of how far we have dropped off the pace but I agree with you these guys need to be given time to develop and I admire them for putting in the effort and putting their name forward as it would be easy during a period like this to hide. I said before on this forum that if I was the manager of the team, I would be concentrating on the league and getting promotion or measuring progress through the league. We are not going to make any mark on the championship until we are in a higher division and it is playing at higher levels in the league that these players will improve and ultimately be able to compete at championship pace.

2 positives yesterday, it is good to see Seanie Furlong back in the fold. He is bad needed in the forward division. Equally, it was great to see John McGrath playing well."
Lads, I'd love to share some of your optimism here but I can't remember been more disheartened, disillusioned or angry as coming out of Navan yesterday. I've been to a lot of games over the years and seen more bad days than good, but yesterday was a low point. Even in bad days you could see some positives or someway explain a bad result through poor selection, missing/injured players, poor refereeing, quality of opposition etc but yesterday it was just plain & simple of group of players collectively just completely out of their depth at this level. The report on the Irish Times website yesterday evening said that Wicklow at times "couldn't keep it kicked out" to Meath and that was no way an exaggeration. In every facet of the game Physique, Fitness, Technique, Decision making, Movement etc Meath were so far superior it was frightening. I'm reading today that Meath will field on entirely different squad of 25 for the midweek game this week. I know you can point at the academy teams and potential improvements but from reading a summary of their year over Christmas some positive results were contrasted with some very bad beatings, particularly at U16 level.
My anger stems from a number of things I have read over the last few weeks and compounded by yesterday's result. Firstly, in the Academy Report of 2016 activity there was a consistent reference to walkovers given by Academy teams due to club fixtures clashing with county games. How can this be? Sure such clashes can be avoided with proper planning & communication?
Secondly, in the newspaper & social media reports of the first two Hastings cup games against Leitrim & Offaly there have been references to player unavailability due to work commitments. I know young lads need to work to fund college etc but surely if you are committed to playing county football you can organize your schedule to suit? I doubt Dublin or Kerry U21s are missing players due to work commitments.

Hawkeye2 (Wicklow) - 09/01/2017 11:42:11    1944245

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This result is no surprise. We have not produced a decent minor or u21 team in over a decade and have had an aged senior squad from Micko's era.
Our last u21 final was 2002 and our last minor was 1997.
already this year our u21s have lost to Leitrim & Offaly (neither are exactly bit hitters themselves)

This will continue to get worse.

HomerJay (Wicklow) - 09/01/2017 11:45:06    1944246

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We have got to remember that this is only January. Meath are on a different level. They have a new set up and there is a lot of enthusiasm there with a lot of players competing for places on the panel. Wicklow do not have that luxury. The O'Byrne Cup should be used to blood players for the league. Results are not important.

Jack L (None) - 09/01/2017 12:53:53    1944272

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Replying To Jack L:  "We have got to remember that this is only January. Meath are on a different level. They have a new set up and there is a lot of enthusiasm there with a lot of players competing for places on the panel. Wicklow do not have that luxury. The O'Byrne Cup should be used to blood players for the league. Results are not important."
Meath are on another level? They wont even get close to winning a Leinster championship, if we are setting Meath as target to develop to, God help us against anyone else. Never in my life have I seen such an appalling display of Gaelic football, Meath are standard and no better which means we are at the absolute pits of GAA football in this country and that's no exaggeration. Put us in a championship with KK and at least make it competitive. You can all start treading your positive words but you are fooling yourselves, either that or you weren't at the game. Young team, old team, no minor, no U21.......no excuses, we are not good enough for this level of football. We are where we were 50 years go and we are where we'll be in 50 years time. We will never see a Leinster final. Target for the year - don't finish bottom of the bottom league.

SidelineSupreme (Wicklow) - 09/01/2017 14:18:14    1944305

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Replying To SidelineSupreme:  "Meath are on another level? They wont even get close to winning a Leinster championship, if we are setting Meath as target to develop to, God help us against anyone else. Never in my life have I seen such an appalling display of Gaelic football, Meath are standard and no better which means we are at the absolute pits of GAA football in this country and that's no exaggeration. Put us in a championship with KK and at least make it competitive. You can all start treading your positive words but you are fooling yourselves, either that or you weren't at the game. Young team, old team, no minor, no U21.......no excuses, we are not good enough for this level of football. We are where we were 50 years go and we are where we'll be in 50 years time. We will never see a Leinster final. Target for the year - don't finish bottom of the bottom league."
I am not saying that Meath is the same level as Dublin. Given their resources they should be closer than they actually are. I believe that if the right management structure was in place, Meath would be closing the gap. Whether they are closing the gap this year is another matter. Meath usually start the year with great promise.

It does not take a great analysis to state that Wicklow are nowhere near Meath at the moment. They are no worst than a lot of counties in relation to underage success. Players have to believe in their own ability. Remember that there was no great underage success pre Micko era. Look what happened in that time. I believe that if a Micko figure were to take own the task of managing Wicklow at the moment, performance levels and expectations would increase.

I am not saying that Magee should be replaced. He is doing an excellent job and working very hard to get the best for Wicklow football. We know that Wicklow are not Leinster contenders but there is no reason for challenging for promotion from D4. I am not saying that they have the devine right to be in the top two. If you look at the contenders, there is no reason why Wicklow should believe that they can challenge for one of the spots. If they fail this year, they should strive to bridge the gap next year. It's all about progress no matter how small it is.

Jack L (None) - 09/01/2017 15:39:02    1944332

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Replying To Jack L:  "I am not saying that Meath is the same level as Dublin. Given their resources they should be closer than they actually are. I believe that if the right management structure was in place, Meath would be closing the gap. Whether they are closing the gap this year is another matter. Meath usually start the year with great promise.

It does not take a great analysis to state that Wicklow are nowhere near Meath at the moment. They are no worst than a lot of counties in relation to underage success. Players have to believe in their own ability. Remember that there was no great underage success pre Micko era. Look what happened in that time. I believe that if a Micko figure were to take own the task of managing Wicklow at the moment, performance levels and expectations would increase.

I am not saying that Magee should be replaced. He is doing an excellent job and working very hard to get the best for Wicklow football. We know that Wicklow are not Leinster contenders but there is no reason for challenging for promotion from D4. I am not saying that they have the devine right to be in the top two. If you look at the contenders, there is no reason why Wicklow should believe that they can challenge for one of the spots. If they fail this year, they should strive to bridge the gap next year. It's all about progress no matter how small it is."
Magee is doing a wonderful job?? I honestly must be missing something you can see, because I can't see how Wicklow could be any worse at this time??
The team has gone backwards under him with no sign of improvement

ww2012 (Wicklow) - 09/01/2017 16:10:08    1944339

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lads I was in Navan and while I was happy with some aspects of Meaths play,I thought Wicklow were shocking and I doubt Meath will get a game that easy this year.Is a change in management required?

ziggy32001 (Meath) - 09/01/2017 21:24:56    1944409

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It makes me chuckle every year....'this is the worst Wicklow team I've ever seen.....we're at our lowest ebb'. Wicklow supporters' fondness for hyberbole is as predictable as the apparent surprise at 'blowing a great chance' later on in the same season when the doom and gloom has subsided to some degree. As boring as it is predictable. Check back this time next year....the same people will be insisting 'that was the worst performance I ever saw'.

stanley (None) - 09/01/2017 22:07:25    1944423

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Change the manager. This is a common theme. People keep going on about no players coming through and lack of success at underage level. The answer is change the manager. If Magee is replaced, who do you bring in. Remember there is no Micko out there. It is easy saying change the manager but you must come up with alternatives.

It is difficult to build a squad with such a turnover of players. What with about a dozen from last years panel gone. I'm afraid Magee is the only option at the moment.

Take Dublin for instance. They are on a different planet. When they lost Jack McCaffrey last year, people said that they will struggle (be it to win the All Ireland). A county with their resources "panicking" when they lose one player.

Now Wicklow lost players year on year and people still expect them to challenge. If Jim Gavin had the turnover of players as Magee has, he would struggle.

Jack L (None) - 10/01/2017 07:59:46    1944461

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Replying To stanley:  "It makes me chuckle every year....'this is the worst Wicklow team I've ever seen.....we're at our lowest ebb'. Wicklow supporters' fondness for hyberbole is as predictable as the apparent surprise at 'blowing a great chance' later on in the same season when the doom and gloom has subsided to some degree. As boring as it is predictable. Check back this time next year....the same people will be insisting 'that was the worst performance I ever saw'."
Are you stating that we can actually play worse or never play as bad again? Concurrently, the only other thing I can take from it is that this is how we play all the time so its just normal?

SidelineSupreme (Wicklow) - 10/01/2017 08:34:27    1944467

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Are you stating that we can actually play worse or never play as bad again? Concurrently, the only other thing I can take from it is that this is how we play all the time so its just normal?

Yes I'm sure we can play worse or lose by more. Is it normal? Is it unusual for any team, especially Wicklow, to get hammered at this time of the year in a game that amounts to no more than a friendly? The same comments follow every year. I'm not optimistic for Wicklow's short term success but history has taught us these games and their results have little or no bearing on the rest of the season yet the same stupid, hysterical comments follow as sure as night follows day.
I'd echo the comments above re: Johnny Magee. There will always be people calling for the manager's head regardless. Who would do a better job with the resources at his disposal? Names and justifications please. I believe we're lucky to have him. Securing sponsorship for the team and Aughrim alone is evidence of how proactive, committed and forward-looking the man is.

stanley (None) - 10/01/2017 12:32:22    1944523

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I'm not criticising for the sake of it and specifically not criticising the players or management at all. It's is not their fault. But you have to call it as it is. In Navan on Sunday Meath had kicked 1-7 in about 12 mins. The introduction of John McGrath and later Dean Healy at least made Wicklow something resembling competitive but the game was over after 15 mins and Meath visibly took their foot off the pedal after this. This was not just a case of early season experimentation or one time being more advanced in their preparation. I know plenty within the County like to criticise county teams at every opportunity and from my experience this is usually to push their own agenda. We could have Jim McGuinness, Jim Gavin or whoever managing us at the moment and it would make no difference. The players have been let down by Wicklow GAA and are victims of a GAA environment in Wicklow which is fundamentally broken. The current crop of players are products of an underage set up whose severe deficiencies over a long period of time have been highlighted time & time again on this forum, i.e. no structure, no plan, poor or non-existent coaching , farcical fixtures scheduling, discipline issues, stronger clubs exerting too much influence etc etc. Sunday's result in Navan is a logical progression of this. You reap what you sow! In Wicklow we have always lagged behind in terms of these structures and now where as the vast majority of other counties have raised the bar again, we are going backwards & the gap is growing. I've said it before on here that I don't see any solution coming from within the county. We need outside intervention in the shape of Leinster Council or Croke Park to effectively take control of the situation.

Hawkeye2 (Wicklow) - 10/01/2017 15:01:37    1944574

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Sorry now lads but ye tried to buy instant success 10 years ago, at Carlow's expense, so ye can go to hell if you think there would be any support for special help for Wicklow from Croke Park i.e. over and above the help that is there more generally for other counties, like Carlow. If Wicklow can't help itself, especially with your population, then why should central support be provided. If enough people in Wicklow aren't bothered by your malaise then any support will be wasted in any event and resources would be better devoted to those of us who are bothered.

Onion Breath (Carlow) - 10/01/2017 20:05:18    1944683

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Replying To Hawkeye2:  "I'm not criticising for the sake of it and specifically not criticising the players or management at all. It's is not their fault. But you have to call it as it is. In Navan on Sunday Meath had kicked 1-7 in about 12 mins. The introduction of John McGrath and later Dean Healy at least made Wicklow something resembling competitive but the game was over after 15 mins and Meath visibly took their foot off the pedal after this. This was not just a case of early season experimentation or one time being more advanced in their preparation. I know plenty within the County like to criticise county teams at every opportunity and from my experience this is usually to push their own agenda. We could have Jim McGuinness, Jim Gavin or whoever managing us at the moment and it would make no difference. The players have been let down by Wicklow GAA and are victims of a GAA environment in Wicklow which is fundamentally broken. The current crop of players are products of an underage set up whose severe deficiencies over a long period of time have been highlighted time & time again on this forum, i.e. no structure, no plan, poor or non-existent coaching , farcical fixtures scheduling, discipline issues, stronger clubs exerting too much influence etc etc. Sunday's result in Navan is a logical progression of this. You reap what you sow! In Wicklow we have always lagged behind in terms of these structures and now where as the vast majority of other counties have raised the bar again, we are going backwards & the gap is growing. I've said it before on here that I don't see any solution coming from within the county. We need outside intervention in the shape of Leinster Council or Croke Park to effectively take control of the situation."
You are 100% correct hawkeye2 and I absolutely agree with you 100% in your post. This is a manifestation of years and years of bad planning and bad organisation. Now, we have reached the stage when other counties are raising the bar and investing year on year while Wicklow as a county have remained stagnate, so of course, the gap is going to widen in the same way it would in any walk of life. I refuse to blame the players on Sunday as they are just a product of a broken system as you said and they are ill equipped to go into battle with other counties. They put their names on the sheet to represent their county, that is in no way a crime especially in the light of the current shortcomings in the county. Equally, as you point out, could a high profile manager do any more with the players that are making themselves available? No. Would changing the manager in the morning resolve the issue - No, it wouldn't. The only thing that will resolve this is when every one associated with the GAA in Wicklow realise that this can only be fixed by changing. We are going to need outside assistance with implementing a structure and learning how to run GAA in the new century until such time that we have the know how and are able to do it for ourselves but realistically will any of this happen? I'm not so sure.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - 10/01/2017 20:20:37    1944695

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good man Onion. Long time since your voiced your opinion on here. In all fairness if Wicklow were looking for assistance in how to run their affairs properly in this new century, the people asked to do the task would look in a lot of places before calling on Carlow since the last time I checked, Carlow teams weren't setting the world alight. It is 10 years time that we are trying to look towards, not what happened 10 years ago.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - 11/01/2017 14:05:04    1944853

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Replying To Onion Breath:  "Sorry now lads but ye tried to buy instant success 10 years ago, at Carlow's expense, so ye can go to hell if you think there would be any support for special help for Wicklow from Croke Park i.e. over and above the help that is there more generally for other counties, like Carlow. If Wicklow can't help itself, especially with your population, then why should central support be provided. If enough people in Wicklow aren't bothered by your malaise then any support will be wasted in any event and resources would be better devoted to those of us who are bothered."
Wow OnionBreath, that is an amazing rant. The whole ethos of the GAA is community based for the inclusion of all. So take north Wicklow from bray down to Arklow, where i think at this stage there may be 2 dedicated coaches at youth level and by the way thats only in the last few years if not last year. From what i understand, the penetration of the GAA along this belt is not near what it should be whatever about the rest of wicklow.

Taking your argument "If enough people in Wicklow aren't bothered by your malaise then any support will be wasted in any event and resources would be better devoted to those of us who are bothered" that would basically mean that actually Dublin and the bigger counties would get more investment than the small counties because they are more bothered and then again some would say that Carlow aint bothered either so less investment there too.

You have to invest and it needs to be countrywide and Wicklow is not unique. Take Louth, Wicklow, Antrim, Sligo, Limerick and Waterford all these areas with big populations are fundamentally in the same boat. GAA ethos will point to the need to be more aggressive in promotion to get people involved, playing etc regardless or county..

ponger (Cavan) - 11/01/2017 15:03:10    1944870

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We're certainly not setting the world alight, that's true, but at least we have hope. Can you say that about Wicklow? Will ye win a single game in this year's National leagues, hurling or football? Maybe your hurlers will edge Roscommon and/or Mayo, but after that I don't think so. But at least ye'r not Carlow, you seem to be saying?

Onion Breath (Carlow) - 11/01/2017 15:18:01    1944877

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