Down Forum

Qualifiers

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Some very harsh and emotional responses to what was an abject performance v Wexford yesterday.

Though I was more excited about the ex-Crossmaglen management taking a root-and-branch approach to resurrecting Down football, Jim McCorry's experience and success in Down football meant he was a good choice too. When I heard about the increase to 5 days in training, and the subsequent withdrawal of the older players, I felt that it would cause a positive shake up in Down football. Not allowing the older players, more experienced players to play a part later in the year was a mistake though, which I'm sure Jim has or will soon realise. I expected Division 2 consolidation (just), an Ulster semi final loss to Donegal and an exit in Round 2 of the Qualifiers. Our League promotion was a fluke and thanks mostly to our most talented players Kevin McKernan and Conor Laverty. The tactics for the Derry & Wexford matches were naive, though our inexperienced forwards kicked themselves out of the Derry match.

Jim McCorry's had the worst year to start his term, the exact opposite of James McCartan in 2010. League success is irrelevant this year, especially after widespread media and fans' disapproval of our style of football and our woeful Championship performance. The only way is up in 2015. We should work on Plans A, B & C, taking relegation to Division 2 on the chin, and build for a better Championship.

ajdoyle78 (Down) - Posts: 520 - 28/06/2015 20:27:33    1744108

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Well said AJDoyle

Since Xmas I have been an advcocate of supporting McCorry and the current squad to the fullest.

However, as our season is over, now is the time to conduct a full review of where we are at amd correct mistakes, which have been well documented at this stage.

As "Rafa the Gaffer" would say, these are the "Facts"

1. It is clear we certainly need all our best players in the squad or we are going nowhere. This includes as many as many as possible from Gordon, Clarke, Coulter, King, Rogers, McCumiskey & any others who would improve the quality available on the field (Of course this makes the assumption that are all fit and in the country in 2016). All efforts should be made in the next few months to get these boys on board and I'm guessing, the way things are, we'll get most/all of them or none of them.

2. We need to agree a training regieme that is acceptable and equally applied to all squad members.

3. If McCorry is the barrier rather than a conduit to achieving both 1 & 2 above (Each Vital), then he should go right away.

spiritof1991 (Down) - Posts: 693 - 29/06/2015 11:30:30    1744498

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How in the name of God are Down, a county that puts almost 85% of its resources into football getting beat by a county who at best put 30% of its resources into it, with their best two or three footballers actually opting out and playing for their hurlers??

I'd always heard it said that too many South Down lads on the team meant that they were soft and needed East Down lads to give them a bit of 'backbone', seems to be a bit of truth in that by the looks of it!!

bricktop (Down) - Posts: 2458 - 29/06/2015 11:46:40    1744516

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Missed a trick by not getting mcentee and getting back to playing 'down' style football as opposed to this 500 handpass and scared to shoot because they only practice hand passing and hand passing it over the bar.
CB has to go. They want to kill off hurling to focus on foothandball, yet as much as the hurling mgmt have been criticised this year at least they can win a championship match

beansycpn (Down) - Posts: 128 - 29/06/2015 12:54:17    1744596

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We have to accept that in all regards that really matter, Down has gone backwards this year. The style of play is atrocious, tactics seem not existent , attackers seem to have lost their skill and freedom, midfield is a lost area and the defence is so crowded at times that no seems to know what was expected of them. It is clear that there is too much rigidity and dogma, both in the "system" and attitude towards players. No County has any chance of success if many of its best players are on the sidelines and it is patently ridiculously to expect the same level of training commitment from a married man with family and a job in his late 20's or early 30's as from a young single student in his late teens or early 20's. After all it is an amateur sport and meant to be an enjoyable and pleasurable experience. I fear too many managers have lost the run of themselves and all the others fear that they have to adopt a similar approach or be regarded as old fashioned or naive. We keep hearing that a team cannot be successful and win games nowadays unless it adopts a "modern" approach and "system" . Unfortunately it appears that even with such Down are even less successful and winning less games than before!

What is needed is a manager and mentors who are prepared not simply to follow the herd but to have the courage to play football the way we in Down expect it to be played. At least if we lose, we will at least lose playing with style and freedom and you never know we might just surprise ourselves and start winning again. After all football is all about scoring more that the opposition not just preventing them scoring less than you- positivity rather that negativity . It will now be at least 22 years without an Ulster title. Something of significance needs to be done, and done now!

FiorDunach (Down) - Posts: 53 - 29/06/2015 12:55:17    1744599

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Yeah we area long way back. I seen the writing on the wall in the Roscommon game and said so on this forum. Hopefully this will shake up a lot of the rose tinted brigade at the top table in Down GAA. No centre of excellence and the shamble of an attempt to establish one cost us a kings ransom. No minors worth a damn in 10 years. Tactics that are progressively more negative. I don't care where the manager is from so long as he knows how to set up a team to attack the opposition, play to our strengths and win a bloody football match.
What I would like to see is a detailed statement from our county board outlining what exactly is being done to address the pitiful state of Down GAA.
I have been actively following Down GAA since 1975 and can honestly say this is the lowest point without a shadow of doubt. Good teams come and go. Poor teams come and go but what is worrying now is that this is the establishment within Down that has failed miserably and I just cant see any turning point.
Lads, Dan, Benny and Marty and co not playing this year is a symptom not a cure. we really need to look a lot deeper and get things sorted before its beyond repair.

lethaldrill (Down) - Posts: 18 - 29/06/2015 13:44:28    1744646

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Spirit of 91 I agree with you 100% but as loyal supporters how can we make sure this is brought to the fore ?? As for one of the previous posters telling me to let Benny enjoy his retirement !! I can assure you Benny not enjoying it as he knows himself he has sti a lot to offer Down football , and that is fact !!!

topdownfan (Down) - Posts: 555 - 29/06/2015 13:51:38    1744655

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Topdownfan, Re: Benny that was me who said it and I stand by it. I'll take your word for it that he is unhappy at not playing but it is at odds with everything else I am hearing from people close to it. But that's not really here nor there, Lethaldrill put it very well -

"Lads, Dan, Benny and Marty and co not playing this year is a symptom not a cure. we really need to look a lot deeper and get things sorted before its beyond repair."

Those lads have been great servants for Down over the years but lets be honest we shouldn't expect a group of 30 somethings (excluding Marty) to come back and be our saviours. Where are the next wave of players? What has happened to our underage teams? Where does the money go that is being put into football in the county? There are a lot of questions that need answer by the county board because while they undoubtedly give a lot to the cause, the bottom line is aside from 2010 the last 20 years have been a failure so a change should be made.

As I mentioned in an earlier post It all depends what people consider success. Yes with Clarke back at the peak of his powers, Gordon, Rodgers, McComiskey and King back in the squad we would be markedly better, but would we be beating Donegal, Dublin and co? Unlikely. Yes we'd be closer and could MAYBE win an Ulster but it would be decidedly short term. No matter how anyone argues Benny Coulter is no longer a starter, that's not up to Jim McCorry, James McCartan new it last year as well. If we get these lads back great for next year and maybe the year after but their best days are gone. For me personally what I would want is sustained success based on a good infrastructure from grass roots.

AnDunCeanada (Down) - Posts: 90 - 29/06/2015 14:57:58    1744736

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Just got a wee tip our county goal keeper was not to bothered about getting beat on Saturday , as Jim mc Corry was putting him under pressure about getting a new , seriously like is this the way our proud county is heading !!!! Hope not

topdownfan (Down) - Posts: 555 - 29/06/2015 15:27:22    1744768

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Sorry new job that's meant to be

topdownfan (Down) - Posts: 555 - 29/06/2015 15:50:46    1744800

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29/06/2015 13:44:28
lethaldrill
County: Down
Posts: 9

1744646
Yeah we area long way back. I seen the writing on the wall in the Roscommon game and said so on this forum. Hopefully this will shake up a lot of the rose tinted brigade at the top table in Down GAA. No centre of excellence and the shamble of an attempt to establish one cost us a kings ransom. No minors worth a damn in 10 years. Tactics that are progressively more negative. I don't care where the manager is from so long as he knows how to set up a team to attack the opposition, play to our strengths and win a bloody football match.
What I would like to see is a detailed statement from our county board outlining what exactly is being done to address the pitiful state of Down GAA.
I have been actively following Down GAA since 1975 and can honestly say this is the lowest point without a shadow of doubt. Good teams come and go. Poor teams come and go but what is worrying now is that this is the establishment within Down that has failed miserably and I just cant see any turning point.
Lads, Dan, Benny and Marty and co not playing this year is a symptom not a cure. we really need to look a lot deeper and get things sorted before its beyond repair.


Very well said.

The state of Down football is not solely determined by our senior footballers, but also our underage structures, our club structures and more importantly it is judged by provincial and national success. Which as we all know has been non-existent for over 20 years.

2015 has been a disaster. Neither of our county minors, under 21's or senior footballers won a game of championship football; a conveyer belt of talent does exist in the county. We are miles behind the top 4 sides in Ireland. Our promotion from division 2 was masked by the fact that not one of the teams who competed in the division will come near challenging for the All-Ireland.

Jim McCorry needs a reality check if he believes this season was in any way a success. It was simply no where near good enough for Down. Our performances vs an injury-ravaged Derry and bottom-tier Wexford were meek at best and our game-play fundamentally flawed. When you watched Kilcoo under McCorry every player fell perfectly into his system. They knew exactly what their role was, and they executed it ruthlessly. For this I commend McCorry, and I believe he should remain as manager for at least another season, as it will take time for the Down players to adjust to his management techniques.

However, I do believe radical change is required at the highest level, and a new fresh approach. An overhaul of the county board would go some way to providing this change. The damage is not beyond repair. There are quality footballer throughout the county, and more importantly the majority of our clubs want Down to succeed. But if change is not carried out urgently, then we will find ourselves in a position were kids would rather dream of playing for soccer or rubgy clubs, than for Down seniors.

MourneArmy (Down) - Posts: 1787 - 29/06/2015 16:01:05    1744811

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MourneArmy you state that "There are quality footballers throughout the county". Can you please elaborate? Who are these quality footballers that the county board are ignoring? Sensible suggestions please. I am unaware of who these players are.

anduna (Down) - Posts: 210 - 29/06/2015 18:55:30    1744991

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Look lads (and Ladies)......the harsh reality is that most of the top county teams have ten or more players who are 6ft or taller. They usually have a few giants aswell. With regard to midfield a good big un will always beat a good wee un. I was in Newry to watch Galway, Roscommon and Meath come to town and we were totally dominated in midfield simply because they were way taller. They easily outfielded us. Against Derry a rusty Fergal Doherty took eight clean catches. We are too small all over the field. If Conor Laverty had a Senan Kilbride, Michael Murphy or Kieran Donaghy beside him he would get a bag full of scores. I have been to seven club fisrt division matches this season and I've yet to see a Senan Kilbride or a Michael Murphy........an Adian O'Shea, Colm McFadden, Sean Cavanagh, Colm O'Neill. Don't get me wrong.....there are good footballers in Down but we haven't enough good big uns to compete at the top level. We have to get real. We have Kevin McKernan. He's the only Down player who would get on one of the top teams.

rcss1 (Down) - Posts: 124 - 30/06/2015 21:05:15    1745711

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Yes rcss and the few big ones we do have, Gordon, Rodgers, King etc are not even in the panel because of the rigidity of the management. A very interesting article indeed in today's Irish News from Danniel Hughes, Surely there must be a better alternative, even if we have to start from underage upwards or generations will be lost

FiorDunach (Down) - Posts: 53 - 01/07/2015 11:51:20    1745871

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McCorry's post Wexford match comments about league promotion being the priority this year did not go down well, at all. Yes, he has to try and put a positive spin on things but coming out with nonsense like that isn't on.

artisan (Down) - Posts: 1756 - 02/07/2015 12:32:57    1746425

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Firstly, I'm fed up reading key-board warrior criticism of our County Team. I doubt any of the contributors to this forum actually made the trip to Wexford on Saturday to watch the game. Nobody can fault the efforts of the players or management team this year, they are after all amateur sportsmen doing their best. The result on Saturday and previously against Derry were disappointing and I have no doubt the players and management team are hurting more than anyone. Jumping on the bandwagon and criticising Jim and the team is for me the easy thing to do what isn't perhaps as easy is to find a solution to the problem and improve standards across the board.

The county needs a root and branch review of where we are as a county and appoint suitably qualified people to engage in preparing a county development plan for the short/long term future. There is no point in having men/women who are from a previous era conducting this forensic review as we are in danger of being left behind with advancement in sports science etc. Donegal were at rock bottom before Jim McGuiness was appointed and yet here we are today with them on the cusp of making it a 3rd All Ireland title in as many years. Its no coincidence that improvements have been made at Minor/U21 and college level within Donegal which has in turn led to an upturn in fortunes. No one knows their secret to success but its about time we made a damn good attempt to find out.

We can no longer get by on the success of the 60's and 90's a bold and daring strategy is required to change our fortunes. I'm no expert and certainly don't profess to be one but perhaps its about time we got the great footballing minds of Down football together round the table, young/old and flesh out a plan to turn things around. To level criticism at Jim and the boys is unwarranted and unmerited. Yes the weekend was a disappointment for all concerned with Down football but surely it was a wake up call for the Down County Board top table. No disrespect to anyone within this county as I appreciate everyone is doing their bit voluntarily to help the county but I don't see the young and invigorating coaches having any in put to game development in this county. We very much get by on the "Down Way" mantra...its about time this label was put to bed once and for all. We were once pioneers of GAA maybe now we should look to what comes next rather than worrying about the present.

John365 (Down) - Posts: 19 - 02/07/2015 13:39:37    1746464

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In fairness John365 I don't think there has been much, if any, criticism of the players. They can only do as they are told. The problems, and the solutions lie elsewhere. Just because the GAA is an amateur organisation doesn't mean it has to be amateurish!

FiorDunach (Down) - Posts: 53 - 02/07/2015 16:13:08    1746552

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