Cavan Forum

Cavan 2021 - Realistic Expectations

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What a year it has been. Key players opting out. Going well in the league until coronavirus. Then on the re-start getting relegated to division 3. It all seemed very grim.

What the lads have done since has been truly incredible. It wasn't just winning Ulster, it was the manner in which we did it. A comeback win dumping out Monaghan with the last kick of the game on their home ground (the script literally couldn't have been written better). Ten points behind against Down, and we clawed it back to win. And beating a highly rated Donegal in the final. Amazing.

Looking forward, where can we expect to be in 2021? There have been false dawns in Cavan before. I'm thinking about 1997. We made the AI quarter final in 2013. We didn't push on after either year.

But I do feel we have something different about us now. I think we are ready to improve and push on. We have a man on the line who knows what he is at, his record speaks for itself. Every time I hear Mickey speak, I like what he says. And most recently I like his plans for the future, about learning from yesterday's game, about closing the gap on the Mayos and Dublins of this world.

Starting with the league, I think we can definitely get out of division 3. Although I am fully in favour of Mickey's approach of prioritising championship. But I still think we'll win division 3.

As for championship, I think there is a triumverate emerging of Cavan/Tyrone/Donegal. Obviously Monaghan and Armagh are still very dangerous and will be in contention. So we're in an Ultra competitive province. I think we'll be going all out to defend our title. The great teams always back up what they've done.

So all in all, with the likes of McVeety and Moynagh to also possibly return, I think it's looking very bright. And at long last, perhaps the future is blue?

Cavan_Shambles (Cavan) - Posts: 575 - 06/12/2020 18:21:44    2319376

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being realistic you would hope we would now be competitive in Ulster and if we could win an ulster title every 5 years or so it would be great. As far as the all ireland series we will have to change the structure and i dont see why everyone is so against this what is wrong with the way the ladies gaa is organised senior intermediate and junior. Its crazy 32 teams training all year for a competition that they have no chance of winning and then turning up their nose at a secondary competition.
If it was marketed right and got the same coverage as the senior championship it would really take off In a few years. RTE in another year or two will be dam glad to show a few competitive games and an intermediate or junior championship will be far more competitive make far better viewing with similar strength teams playing against each other. We would get much less defensive football as teams will not be afraid of getting hammered and will believe they can win. I dont know why so many in cavan are against it, Keep the ulster championship it is great but why would any team be afraid to play in the intermediate championship if you are too good for it you will win it on one year and go up to play in the senior the following year and if you dont you are where you belong.
The senior championship is finished Dublin will be in the top two teams in the country for the next century and the best we can hope for is that they lose one in every five finals that they get to. It will soon be a non event with no interest for spectators and even RTE after another year or two will be dam glad to cover the intermediate and junior championship. Look at them this evening trying to talk up the senior final between Dublin and Mayo even though Mayo coughed up 8 gilt edge goal chances to Tipperary. They are right Mayo have a chance but only if the entire Dublin first 15 contract the covid virus other wise it will be at best a 10 point defeat

breffnibluewhite (Cavan) - Posts: 260 - 06/12/2020 21:14:24    2319504

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Yep, no doubt we need to get straight back up from Division 3. Championship is where it's at but spending more than one Spring playing at that level will hurt us!

Ulster. That's another story. We are on a pedestal now and there will be teams mad to have a cut at us. Donegal will feel they underperformed against us. Tyrone would've been looking at the final and thinking they've had our number for years. Down and Monaghan will both feel they threw away winning positions against us.
Even with winning Ulster, we still have the unfinished business of not having beaten Tyrone in 25 years. I'd consider beating them as another step forward for us.
So we'll see what the draw throws up. Think we're guaranteed to avoid the preliminary round after being in it this year.

Would be nice to take the direct route, but Ulster title or not, reaching the Super 8s would represent a successful season.

cavanman47 (Cavan) - Posts: 4702 - 06/12/2020 22:27:02    2319543

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Well done cavan on getting the more out of the year than anyone could have thought. Should get promoted from Div 3 but then that's a chance of the reserve all ireland gone. Doubt there'll be another Ulster title for a while but being competitive and showing the same heart, effort and attitude should make us competitive in most games. They rode their luck this year and it worked out amazingly but during a normal summer championship, it's hard to see cavan winning ulster and no chance of getting to an all ireland semi final if the qualifiers and super 8s continue.

wishfulthinkin (Cavan) - Posts: 1582 - 07/12/2020 00:01:16    2319578

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Cavan will be about for while now a good spread of attacking ballers and men dat can catch high ball which monaghan dont hav and haven't had in years so best of luck to yous Ulster need the cavans and the downs to start playing ball and it only going to b good for the championship ahead

Lad79 (Monaghan) - Posts: 43 - 07/12/2020 08:08:06    2319607

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Don't think the Super 8s is happening next year. It was brought in for 3 year trial, this would have been 3rd year but covid stopped it. But I don't think it was really a success, teams playing dead rubber games in 3rd game did nothing for appeal.

They will have a different structure next year, looking like league could be changed too with regional groups.

FoolsGold (Cavan) - Posts: 2580 - 07/12/2020 08:10:25    2319608

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Replying To wishfulthinkin:  "Well done cavan on getting the more out of the year than anyone could have thought. Should get promoted from Div 3 but then that's a chance of the reserve all ireland gone. Doubt there'll be another Ulster title for a while but being competitive and showing the same heart, effort and attitude should make us competitive in most games. They rode their luck this year and it worked out amazingly but during a normal summer championship, it's hard to see cavan winning ulster and no chance of getting to an all ireland semi final if the qualifiers and super 8s continue."
I haven't seen a definitive answer to that. . .Will promotion save us from the 2nd tier? Or is it based on the division we play in, regardless of where we finish in that division?

I read up yesterday and it reads like we are division 3. So regardless of league performance we would be 2nd tier if we fair to reach the ulster final. Is that right? Does anyone know for certain?

cavanman47 (Cavan) - Posts: 4702 - 07/12/2020 10:01:24    2319639

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Replying To FoolsGold:  "Don't think the Super 8s is happening next year. It was brought in for 3 year trial, this would have been 3rd year but covid stopped it. But I don't think it was really a success, teams playing dead rubber games in 3rd game did nothing for appeal.

They will have a different structure next year, looking like league could be changed too with regional groups."
Personally I didn't like the super 8s and I don't know anyone who did.
Hopefully they are gone. If so, the target is still the last 8. And I'd fancy us to put it up to anyone if we get that far. . .even pushing Dublin much closer having learned a lot this weekend.

cavanman47 (Cavan) - Posts: 4702 - 07/12/2020 10:04:49    2319642

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Replying To wishfulthinkin:  "Well done cavan on getting the more out of the year than anyone could have thought. Should get promoted from Div 3 but then that's a chance of the reserve all ireland gone. Doubt there'll be another Ulster title for a while but being competitive and showing the same heart, effort and attitude should make us competitive in most games. They rode their luck this year and it worked out amazingly but during a normal summer championship, it's hard to see cavan winning ulster and no chance of getting to an all ireland semi final if the qualifiers and super 8s continue."
Think you're being a bit harsh there.


We didn't ride our luck at all, everything we did was through hard work. In fact, even key refereeing decisions went against us on more than one occasion, so I'd like to know what you mean by luck?

I also think there's another Ulster title in us in the near future, we've proven we can compete with the best in province. Our last remaining obstacle is Tyrone.

Cavan_Shambles (Cavan) - Posts: 575 - 07/12/2020 10:29:54    2319660

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Back to back Ulster titles has got to be the aim.

kildare blue (Cavan) - Posts: 578 - 07/12/2020 11:00:25    2319679

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The question now is where do we want to go?? The challenge starts now.. Because that is what it comes down to .
I firmly believe we will go places under this management. Mickey Is ambitious he is a winner looking at him in the huddle after that game on Saturday, he was telling them them boys we will come back here. We will come back here one day and terrify them dubs.
We have come so far In 12 months, last years Ulster final was men v boys. We came back this year and we are now every bit the match of donegal . Challenge for andre quinn and the background team is get us up another level . I felt dublin were on a differnt level to us in terms of conditioning they bounced of us our handling all nignt. It looked like we were hurt by laying the hand on them more than anything.
I think lads will now come back to the panel
Mcvetty and Moynagh etc . Caoimhin reilly hopefully, he is going to need to realise it's now or never for him because he is unbelievably gifted and we need him. Its attractive to play for cavan again.
We need to push on in division 3 win it with no fuss, bully teams and put them to the sword. Be ruthless. Let's get another medal and adopt a winning mentality.
Next step retain Ulster. Easy to say that I know but i think we have one of the best managers we have ever head . Let's enjoy Christmas and look forward to the future .

asdfg (Cavan) - Posts: 296 - 07/12/2020 14:03:21    2319763

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Niall McDermott would also add to the panel.Caoimhin McGovern will be eligible next year, he's a bit light but a scoring option. Needs good conditioning work.

It will still be hard to retain Ulster next year. Tyrone under a new management will be interesting. They'll have McShane back. McKenna and Canavan will improve their attack.
Hopefully Division 3 football next year won't be much of a drawback going into the championship.
4 Ulster teams in Division 1 next year.

FoolsGold (Cavan) - Posts: 2580 - 07/12/2020 14:19:03    2319770

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Yes , get out of Div 3 is a must. Then, depending on the Draw for the Ulster Championship is crucial. If we draw Tyrone or Donegal, then we will have to be up to speed from the start. If we get beaten in the quarters and semis in ulster then we are doomed to the Tailtain Cup. It will have to be hit the ground running. James Smith and Thomas Galligan are crucial to us. Hopefully Conor Smith and Cormac Reilly Stephen Smith can push on. Timony to get more game time. Not sure if Shane Tierney is interested or will get a call up but he would be a good addition. Also what happened to Paddy Meade ?, He wasn't on championship panel.

s goldrick (Cavan) - Posts: 5496 - 07/12/2020 15:00:04    2319790

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Replying To s goldrick:  "Yes , get out of Div 3 is a must. Then, depending on the Draw for the Ulster Championship is crucial. If we draw Tyrone or Donegal, then we will have to be up to speed from the start. If we get beaten in the quarters and semis in ulster then we are doomed to the Tailtain Cup. It will have to be hit the ground running. James Smith and Thomas Galligan are crucial to us. Hopefully Conor Smith and Cormac Reilly Stephen Smith can push on. Timony to get more game time. Not sure if Shane Tierney is interested or will get a call up but he would be a good addition. Also what happened to Paddy Meade ?, He wasn't on championship panel."
I was wondering also as to what happened paddy Meade he's a big athletic type of player it would be good to see more of him.

blueman1903 (Cavan) - Posts: 838 - 07/12/2020 16:08:28    2319822

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We have a great base now to push on and start competing with the best.
Hopefully with winning ulster we can get a few of the players who won't commit to come into the fold.
Our full forward line is weak. No natural ball winners to bring others into the game.
Thomas Galligan does his best work around the middle.
If we can add a few players into the team and keep alot of what we have we can get there. But there is a lot of hard choices to be made I hope micky is the mán tó it

tom84 (Cavan) - Posts: 320 - 07/12/2020 18:13:18    2319896

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i agreed with playing the game in Croke park but on reflection it was a big mistake. The lack of experience of playing on it was a factor especially in the first half and probably lead to at least 3 turn overs line balls.

breffnibluewhite (Cavan) - Posts: 260 - 07/12/2020 21:27:48    2320010

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Replying To breffnibluewhite:  "i agreed with playing the game in Croke park but on reflection it was a big mistake. The lack of experience of playing on it was a factor especially in the first half and probably lead to at least 3 turn overs line balls."
And now we've experienced playing on it with this team. .

cavanman47 (Cavan) - Posts: 4702 - 07/12/2020 22:45:18    2320045

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Replying To breffnibluewhite:  "i agreed with playing the game in Croke park but on reflection it was a big mistake. The lack of experience of playing on it was a factor especially in the first half and probably lead to at least 3 turn overs line balls."
I don't think it was a mistake to play it there , if it was played somewhere else and we lost by 5 or 6 or 7 what benefit would it be, I think the experience of playing Dublin in croke park will stand to the team.

blueman1903 (Cavan) - Posts: 838 - 08/12/2020 09:00:45    2320096

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Replying To breffnibluewhite:  "i agreed with playing the game in Croke park but on reflection it was a big mistake. The lack of experience of playing on it was a factor especially in the first half and probably lead to at least 3 turn overs line balls."
Agree partly with that even though it makes a difference Dublin would have won where ever it was played and I would love to be watching Cavan playing there on a regular basis in front of a full house. Imagine the colour and excitement from football mad Cavan supporters. That's got to be our aim from now on but their is a hell of a lot to do to get to that stage let's face it Dublin are miles ahead of the rest. Mickey Graham is a shrewd operator and he will have learned a lot from Saturday also the players as well. Sometimes you learn more in defeat county's need to figure out how the likes of Dublin can adapt to whatever is thrown at them why are they so big strong and athletic. Can burst through tackles like swatting a fly and kick scores at will they never stop working from first whistle until last they are relentless they turn you over if you don't release the ball forcing you to mak mistakes like they did with us and many more before oh they are also gifted footballers. So that's the level we have to try and compete with and it won't happen over night. But we hav gifted players in Cavan as well it's been proved over the last no of weeks we just need to do it on a regular basis I believe MG is the right man to do that he is tactically aware and if he can discover a few more hidden gems in the county and get them to buy into his ideas we will only get better and be challenging regularly if we show the same fight and desire in div 3 next year we should win it. Once again thank Mickey and the team for giving us an unbelievable six weeks of edge of your seat stuff. Happy Xmas to all. Up Cavan.

[email protected] (Cavan) - Posts: 132 - 08/12/2020 09:26:32    2320104

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Replying To [email protected]:  "Agree partly with that even though it makes a difference Dublin would have won where ever it was played and I would love to be watching Cavan playing there on a regular basis in front of a full house. Imagine the colour and excitement from football mad Cavan supporters. That's got to be our aim from now on but their is a hell of a lot to do to get to that stage let's face it Dublin are miles ahead of the rest. Mickey Graham is a shrewd operator and he will have learned a lot from Saturday also the players as well. Sometimes you learn more in defeat county's need to figure out how the likes of Dublin can adapt to whatever is thrown at them why are they so big strong and athletic. Can burst through tackles like swatting a fly and kick scores at will they never stop working from first whistle until last they are relentless they turn you over if you don't release the ball forcing you to mak mistakes like they did with us and many more before oh they are also gifted footballers. So that's the level we have to try and compete with and it won't happen over night. But we hav gifted players in Cavan as well it's been proved over the last no of weeks we just need to do it on a regular basis I believe MG is the right man to do that he is tactically aware and if he can discover a few more hidden gems in the county and get them to buy into his ideas we will only get better and be challenging regularly if we show the same fight and desire in div 3 next year we should win it. Once again thank Mickey and the team for giving us an unbelievable six weeks of edge of your seat stuff. Happy Xmas to all. Up Cavan."
In 2019, we got well beaten by Donegal. It was 5 points in the end but in truth they eased off late on.

We followed that up with an abysmal 17 point loss to Tyrone.

Fast forward to today and we are Ulster Champions. The improvement in a year (and a bit) has been phenomenal. Mickey did the same with Mullinealachta.

We won't close the gap to Dublin as quickly. But we can definitely look to make further improvement year on year. I don't for a second think this cavan team has peaked. If they want it enough, they can become regular features of the latter end of the championship.

cavanman47 (Cavan) - Posts: 4702 - 08/12/2020 10:00:00    2320118

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