National Forum

County And Club.

(Oldest Posts First)

There is so much talk about neglect of the club game and tinkering that has done nothing and will do nothing. A complete revamp of our sports required.
County teams draft players from the clubs. totalling 23 players not the current over 30. This allows at least 10 more players playing the club game who are not just sitting on the bench.
Three draftees from any senior club, two from any intermediate club and one from any junior club.
If there are players not used for a set number of games (may be a season) they are send back down or if they make that choice themselves. They can be replaced to bring the panel back to 23.
A set number of drafts allowed per year so that managers are not dumping players nilly willy.
The club and county games are played one either a Saturday or Sunday but separate days.
Scrap the league, provincial championships other useless competition and have one competition for the McCarthy and Sam with relegation and promotion to the next level meaningful competition.
Compensate the county players so that it is an incentive for the the club player to play the game and make the county team. Players sent down get compensated for al least a year to allow them adjust. This will strengthen the club game not take from it. Call it it professionalism if you want. Time stays still for no one.
Extra revenue can be got from a structure that allows more games and keeps as many teams as possible in contention to go into playoff and knock out. All played in spring and summer with a complete closed season. Club games on Sat and county on Sunday or visa versa. The division that exists anyway between football and hurling for support will have to be accepted.
Amateur and professionalism ( preferred call compensation) can survive together and actually feed off each other. I have not doubt the Gaa can devise a compensation plan that is measured, fair, equal for all with no big paid players like the other pro sports.

Canuck (Waterford) - Posts: 902 - 10/12/2019 19:17:51    2254180

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Replying To Canuck:  "There is so much talk about neglect of the club game and tinkering that has done nothing and will do nothing. A complete revamp of our sports required.
County teams draft players from the clubs. totalling 23 players not the current over 30. This allows at least 10 more players playing the club game who are not just sitting on the bench.
Three draftees from any senior club, two from any intermediate club and one from any junior club.
If there are players not used for a set number of games (may be a season) they are send back down or if they make that choice themselves. They can be replaced to bring the panel back to 23.
A set number of drafts allowed per year so that managers are not dumping players nilly willy.
The club and county games are played one either a Saturday or Sunday but separate days.
Scrap the league, provincial championships other useless competition and have one competition for the McCarthy and Sam with relegation and promotion to the next level meaningful competition.
Compensate the county players so that it is an incentive for the the club player to play the game and make the county team. Players sent down get compensated for al least a year to allow them adjust. This will strengthen the club game not take from it. Call it it professionalism if you want. Time stays still for no one.
Extra revenue can be got from a structure that allows more games and keeps as many teams as possible in contention to go into playoff and knock out. All played in spring and summer with a complete closed season. Club games on Sat and county on Sunday or visa versa. The division that exists anyway between football and hurling for support will have to be accepted.
Amateur and professionalism ( preferred call compensation) can survive together and actually feed off each other. I have not doubt the Gaa can devise a compensation plan that is measured, fair, equal for all with no big paid players like the other pro sports."
The Fermanagh hurling team is compiled of players from one club (with the exception of 1 player I believe).

How will it work for them?


Or even take Ballymun as an example. You select Dean Rock, James McCarthy and Philly McMahon and none of the rest can play intercounty football?? John Small for example, Evan Comerford. .

Under your proposal, do teams have to keep rotating their goalkeeper or face having to drop their 2nd choice keeper and have none on the bench then?

cavanman47 (Cavan) - Posts: 3957 - 11/12/2019 08:57:21    2254242

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Canuck, I give you credit for highlighting this as a huge issue nation wide. While your idea is flawed at least you are thinking about it which is what we need. I don't pretend to have solutions but I am a club before county man all day long.

FeargalSR (USA) - Posts: 4 - 11/12/2019 11:22:55    2254266

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What about dual clubs that play hurling and football. They lose 6 players and the rest of the club players have to play a club hurling and club football game on the same day?
Intercounty players are already compensated in terms of travelling expenses, nutrition, gear, gym, physio, doctor, insurance, etc..it's their decision if they want to play county under the current terms, they can opt out at any time if it doesn't suit them..it's a hobby/past-time.
How would you have more games and revenue if your scrapping league and provincial competitions..you'd have less games?
If you make county teams professional, you'll have every young fella jacking himself with steroids to gain an extra percentage so he can make the professional ranks.

wishfulthinkin (Cavan) - Posts: 1474 - 11/12/2019 12:23:27    2254280

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Replying To FeargalSR:  "Canuck, I give you credit for highlighting this as a huge issue nation wide. While your idea is flawed at least you are thinking about it which is what we need. I don't pretend to have solutions but I am a club before county man all day long."
You are correct of course like every thing else it is flawed. The club game is about community, playing with your friends, giving a few hours weekly of your time to healthy activity and the value of this should never be lost. The inter county game is streets away from that. The low percentage of players who make it to this high level is like any other sport and we know it is 40 hours of application coupled with discipline that few sports come close to. One poster on here said they are been compensated. No they are not. If you were told you will be given expenses to cover you for working and not paid for your time how would that go? I hate the ethos attached to most professional sports. Our sport needs to establish where the skill level, time required and length of service of these players stands in the work place and pay for it.
Also a lot of hypothetical questions and what if's. That is why it is flawed but a talking point. I do not know any senior clubs who have three players playing inter county football and hurling. In my opinion Fermanagh should not be playing inter county hurling or Kilkenny playing football (may be Waterford and some others also) just the club games. If by some divine intervention that has not happened in the 150 years then have a process that allows them come in. If there are an exceptional player in such a county allow him declare for someone else.
It really shows you how stuck in the sand some GAA people are when a player objects to changing the colour of the hurling ball to track it easier. He is also entitled to his opinion. Ironically the game has always changed. Remember the played with peaky caps, 21 players, a licence to kill the goaltender etc. etc. etc.

Canuck (Waterford) - Posts: 902 - 11/12/2019 18:09:30    2254337

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Replying To Canuck:  "You are correct of course like every thing else it is flawed. The club game is about community, playing with your friends, giving a few hours weekly of your time to healthy activity and the value of this should never be lost. The inter county game is streets away from that. The low percentage of players who make it to this high level is like any other sport and we know it is 40 hours of application coupled with discipline that few sports come close to. One poster on here said they are been compensated. No they are not. If you were told you will be given expenses to cover you for working and not paid for your time how would that go? I hate the ethos attached to most professional sports. Our sport needs to establish where the skill level, time required and length of service of these players stands in the work place and pay for it.
Also a lot of hypothetical questions and what if's. That is why it is flawed but a talking point. I do not know any senior clubs who have three players playing inter county football and hurling. In my opinion Fermanagh should not be playing inter county hurling or Kilkenny playing football (may be Waterford and some others also) just the club games. If by some divine intervention that has not happened in the 150 years then have a process that allows them come in. If there are an exceptional player in such a county allow him declare for someone else.
It really shows you how stuck in the sand some GAA people are when a player objects to changing the colour of the hurling ball to track it easier. He is also entitled to his opinion. Ironically the game has always changed. Remember the played with peaky caps, 21 players, a licence to kill the goaltender etc. etc. etc."
Sloughneil had 4 footballers on the Derry panel this year and 6 hurlers.

I just don't think you can tell a club that only 3 of their players can play intercounty (or be made switch county).

If you're looking for a more practical solution, I don't think the Monaghan one is a bad one. They play rounds of games without their county players and those games are worth less points than games with county players.
It works well because they have a smaller player base than most counties, but it's maybe an idea that's easier to scale up than the suggestion in the opening post.

cavanman47 (Cavan) - Posts: 3957 - 12/12/2019 07:52:04    2254375

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All anyone needs to do is have a listen to Luke Keaney's excellent interview yesterday morning on Off The Ball to get an insight into the absolute and utter folly of pushing our young players too hard. Luke was an outstanding underage player for Donegal. He played from u-15 right up to senior level. But he also had college (UCD and UUJ scholarships) and club commitments to juggle.

In the end, both of his hips were damaged to the point where he can never play football again at any level. The surgical procedures he underwent are gruesome and not for the squeamish to see. Worst of all, as he said himself, once he was no longer fit for county selection, our esteemed county board didn't deem to necessary to even send an email/text enquiring about his health or well being. As for helping out financially (Luke's various operations and rehab cost thousands), not a cent.

The GAA are in for a rude awakening very soon. I think within the next 10 years we'll see a whole lot more of these types of cases. I wonder if compensation claims begin to emerge will it be the kick up the arse they need to properly address the situation?

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 7013 - 12/12/2019 09:01:39    2254380

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "All anyone needs to do is have a listen to Luke Keaney's excellent interview yesterday morning on Off The Ball to get an insight into the absolute and utter folly of pushing our young players too hard. Luke was an outstanding underage player for Donegal. He played from u-15 right up to senior level. But he also had college (UCD and UUJ scholarships) and club commitments to juggle.

In the end, both of his hips were damaged to the point where he can never play football again at any level. The surgical procedures he underwent are gruesome and not for the squeamish to see. Worst of all, as he said himself, once he was no longer fit for county selection, our esteemed county board didn't deem to necessary to even send an email/text enquiring about his health or well being. As for helping out financially (Luke's various operations and rehab cost thousands), not a cent.

The GAA are in for a rude awakening very soon. I think within the next 10 years we'll see a whole lot more of these types of cases. I wonder if compensation claims begin to emerge will it be the kick up the arse they need to properly address the situation?"
Listened to the interview last night on my way home from work. Excellent insight from a poorly treated young man.

The bit that really stuck with me (as if we didn't already know) was his comparison of a 20 or 21 year old gaelic footballer vs a rugby orn soccer player at the same stage of their careers.

You have top level 20 year old footballers in this country playing senior club, u20 club, senior intercounty, u20 intercounty and college football.

That's 5 teams and, most likely, 4 managers they are trying to keep happy.

Senior club and senior and u20 intercounty training is minimum 2 days a week each and is 10/11 months of the year.
College training is typically once a week for 7months.

Before you even start to look at actual matches, lads are training 5 or 6 days a week and still letting at least 1 manager down. They're also doing insane amounts of travel in many cases.

A 20 year old pushing for a place on his county panel isn't going to be the one to step up and tell a manager he's done 13k of running the previous night and is going to sit out half of tonight's session.

We need to take a whole new look at the role of player welfare officers, at the power they need to be given and the influence they have at all levels.

I think the GPA are best placed to push for this. What's being done now falls a long long way short of what is in the best interests of our brightest talents.


(Same applies to hurling, and I haven't mentioned dual players as there are virtually none left at the top intercounty level)

cavanman47 (Cavan) - Posts: 3957 - 12/12/2019 10:58:00    2254399

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "All anyone needs to do is have a listen to Luke Keaney's excellent interview yesterday morning on Off The Ball to get an insight into the absolute and utter folly of pushing our young players too hard. Luke was an outstanding underage player for Donegal. He played from u-15 right up to senior level. But he also had college (UCD and UUJ scholarships) and club commitments to juggle.

In the end, both of his hips were damaged to the point where he can never play football again at any level. The surgical procedures he underwent are gruesome and not for the squeamish to see. Worst of all, as he said himself, once he was no longer fit for county selection, our esteemed county board didn't deem to necessary to even send an email/text enquiring about his health or well being. As for helping out financially (Luke's various operations and rehab cost thousands), not a cent.

The GAA are in for a rude awakening very soon. I think within the next 10 years we'll see a whole lot more of these types of cases. I wonder if compensation claims begin to emerge will it be the kick up the arse they need to properly address the situation?"
You can ad Stephen Bennett to that list with hip surgeries before he was 21. Him and his brother playing senior while a minor. Now Shane after packing it in before his 23rd birthday. No control over county selections. Also people are fine with players leaving the sport to make a living in other sports. Kind of hypocrisy. How about creating paying jobs on the field in our own sport. After all there are many paying jobs already in the sport but again over looked . More hypocrisy.

Canuck (Waterford) - Posts: 902 - 12/12/2019 14:18:32    2254435

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "All anyone needs to do is have a listen to Luke Keaney's excellent interview yesterday morning on Off The Ball to get an insight into the absolute and utter folly of pushing our young players too hard. Luke was an outstanding underage player for Donegal. He played from u-15 right up to senior level. But he also had college (UCD and UUJ scholarships) and club commitments to juggle.

In the end, both of his hips were damaged to the point where he can never play football again at any level. The surgical procedures he underwent are gruesome and not for the squeamish to see. Worst of all, as he said himself, once he was no longer fit for county selection, our esteemed county board didn't deem to necessary to even send an email/text enquiring about his health or well being. As for helping out financially (Luke's various operations and rehab cost thousands), not a cent.

The GAA are in for a rude awakening very soon. I think within the next 10 years we'll see a whole lot more of these types of cases. I wonder if compensation claims begin to emerge will it be the kick up the arse they need to properly address the situation?"
why weren't his parents concerned or looking out for his well being and limiting his involvement. It's all very well blaming the GAA and holding out the hand for money..but i'm sure he was insured and it's a hobby/a past time. NO-ONE forced him or anyone else to play on 4 or 5 teams at the same time or to train 7 nights a week. Until people start to toughen up and take responsibility for their own decisions, they have no cause to start blaming everyone else. All he and/or his parents had to say was no when he was asked to tog out for yet another team.

Will a text or email from someone in Donegal GAA really make his life so much better? They didn't force him to do anything, they offered him opportunities, it was up to him to accept or decline them. Did he send them a text thanking them for all the coaching that led to him getting a scholarship and all his free college??

wishfulthinkin (Cavan) - Posts: 1474 - 15/12/2019 15:56:28    2254985

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Replying To wishfulthinkin:  "why weren't his parents concerned or looking out for his well being and limiting his involvement. It's all very well blaming the GAA and holding out the hand for money..but i'm sure he was insured and it's a hobby/a past time. NO-ONE forced him or anyone else to play on 4 or 5 teams at the same time or to train 7 nights a week. Until people start to toughen up and take responsibility for their own decisions, they have no cause to start blaming everyone else. All he and/or his parents had to say was no when he was asked to tog out for yet another team.

Will a text or email from someone in Donegal GAA really make his life so much better? They didn't force him to do anything, they offered him opportunities, it was up to him to accept or decline them. Did he send them a text thanking them for all the coaching that led to him getting a scholarship and all his free college??"
I couldn't disagree more with this.

You're talking about a young adult here that is having his commitment pulled from a number of directions.

He doesn't want to let his club and friends down, he doesn't want to jeopardise a potential inter county career and he's practically obliged to play for the college.

That's a lot of pressure to put on a young man and if he doesn't have the right support and advice around him and someone to say that he has to look after himself this is what happens.

His story is indicative of a huge problem in the GAA.

The way our games are structured with players eligible for a large number of teams it means that no player has a sensible season.

Elite players on a number of teams play too many games cumulatively.

Other players only playing for one team don't get enough games.

The GAA has to get a handle on this.

Player welfare has to be a concern of a good sports association. Even outside of the moral importance it is also in the associations best interest to find a solution.

The more of these stories happen, the more other parents will send their kids to other better functioning pursuits.

As for a call from Donegal county board. It won't help him but it is just about treating people with a bit of respect.

Whammo86 (Antrim) - Posts: 3049 - 16/12/2019 09:20:17    2255088

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Replying To Whammo86:  "I couldn't disagree more with this.

You're talking about a young adult here that is having his commitment pulled from a number of directions.

He doesn't want to let his club and friends down, he doesn't want to jeopardise a potential inter county career and he's practically obliged to play for the college.

That's a lot of pressure to put on a young man and if he doesn't have the right support and advice around him and someone to say that he has to look after himself this is what happens.

His story is indicative of a huge problem in the GAA.

The way our games are structured with players eligible for a large number of teams it means that no player has a sensible season.

Elite players on a number of teams play too many games cumulatively.

Other players only playing for one team don't get enough games.

The GAA has to get a handle on this.

Player welfare has to be a concern of a good sports association. Even outside of the moral importance it is also in the associations best interest to find a solution.

The more of these stories happen, the more other parents will send their kids to other better functioning pursuits.

As for a call from Donegal county board. It won't help him but it is just about treating people with a bit of respect."
if he doesn't have the right support - exactly, his parents need to hold their hands up instead of landing all the blame on the GAA.

You call it an intercounty career - i call it a hobby of choice. I wouldn't choose it over a proper PAID career

Again, he was asked to play on all the team and train with all the teams - all he had to do was say nom then there's no pressure, someone else would have been asked instead.

It was his choice to either opt in or opt out of all those teams, as for college, if playing for the college team was contributing to his health deterioration and gonna affect his well being for the rest of his life, then he definitely was under no obligation to play. If i had the choice to make of paying for college or ruining my health, i'd be paying for my college.

wishfulthinkin (Cavan) - Posts: 1474 - 16/12/2019 10:19:23    2255100

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Replying To wishfulthinkin:  "why weren't his parents concerned or looking out for his well being and limiting his involvement. It's all very well blaming the GAA and holding out the hand for money..but i'm sure he was insured and it's a hobby/a past time. NO-ONE forced him or anyone else to play on 4 or 5 teams at the same time or to train 7 nights a week. Until people start to toughen up and take responsibility for their own decisions, they have no cause to start blaming everyone else. All he and/or his parents had to say was no when he was asked to tog out for yet another team.

Will a text or email from someone in Donegal GAA really make his life so much better? They didn't force him to do anything, they offered him opportunities, it was up to him to accept or decline them. Did he send them a text thanking them for all the coaching that led to him getting a scholarship and all his free college??"
I'd also disagree completely with your stance on this. This was a genuine young man not wanting to let anyone down and ultimately he paid a heavy price. Obviously with the benefit of hindsight he'd have done things differently. But for many young men at that age football is their life and they do not look further into the future than the next championship campaign, never mind their quality of life when the playing days are over.

As for your point on the lack of correspondence from the county board? It's called basic respect and a bit of manners.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 7013 - 16/12/2019 10:26:20    2255101

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Not practical at all but god would I love to see the provincial & league gone. How many competitions are needed. Munster counties would whine for a century or so but they're pointless competitions & takes away a lot from the championship.

Gowran_Yank (Kilkenny) - Posts: 96 - 16/12/2019 10:53:01    2255106

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