Donegal Forum

How Should We Re-Start?

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I'm seeing some county boards coming out with a clear plan on how competitions might be run within their county for the remainder of the year but how do we feel about it in Donegal? Straight championship knockout? As Normal? Mini-leagues? Underage?

Personally I think we have to have some sort of league format prior to championship to give players and teams some sort of warm up. Maybe split each division in 2, keeping teams together geographically and have Div 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B etc. Forget about relegation and promotion. This gives teams at least 4 league games prior to championship and then either run the championship as normal or go to the old format of home and away for 1st round and straight knock out after.

In regards to underage I think the most important ages are U13 and minor. This is the minors last chance at underage football prior to entering adult football and should be given preference. The format is changing to U13, U15 and U17 next year so for this years U12, U14 and U16 teams they will have a proper season again next year in the new categories but this years U13's may not as there is no talk of an U14 competition next year.

The bigger issue will be in scheduling and the availability of pitches and referees. I just don't see how we can condense all underage and adult football into the months remaining. Some grades or competition structures will have to be sacrificed and the sooner the county board decides on this the sooner clubs can start planning their year.

Tir Conaill Abu (Donegal) - Posts: 1580 - 10/06/2020 10:33:56    2280253

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Replying To Tir Conaill Abu:  "I'm seeing some county boards coming out with a clear plan on how competitions might be run within their county for the remainder of the year but how do we feel about it in Donegal? Straight championship knockout? As Normal? Mini-leagues? Underage?

Personally I think we have to have some sort of league format prior to championship to give players and teams some sort of warm up. Maybe split each division in 2, keeping teams together geographically and have Div 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B etc. Forget about relegation and promotion. This gives teams at least 4 league games prior to championship and then either run the championship as normal or go to the old format of home and away for 1st round and straight knock out after.

In regards to underage I think the most important ages are U13 and minor. This is the minors last chance at underage football prior to entering adult football and should be given preference. The format is changing to U13, U15 and U17 next year so for this years U12, U14 and U16 teams they will have a proper season again next year in the new categories but this years U13's may not as there is no talk of an U14 competition next year.

The bigger issue will be in scheduling and the availability of pitches and referees. I just don't see how we can condense all underage and adult football into the months remaining. Some grades or competition structures will have to be sacrificed and the sooner the county board decides on this the sooner clubs can start planning their year."
The club window is only 11 weeks so I don't see there being time for any form of League when you consider that some players play in multiple age brackets.

From what I have heard its going to be straight knockout in neutral venues this way the county board can facilitate social distancing at bigger games. every team is on the same boat so it wont matter about a getting a few games under your belt.

Personally i'm not a fan because for a lot of teams they might only play 1 game all year.

naomh_conaill_4 (Donegal) - Posts: 349 - 10/06/2020 11:00:25    2280260

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At this stage I feel there are more questions than answers. With the current social distancing rules still in force, its hard to see any spectators at matches in large numbers. I really want football to return but find myself totally conflicted regarding the safety of players, management teams and spectators.

As for underage, the responsibility is really going to be on the manager & coaches to keep their players safe. It really is a huge ask for volunteers. There is a rush to get everyone back playing immediately (senior and underage) and we are in no way prepared for it.

Green_Gold (Donegal) - Posts: 1671 - 10/06/2020 15:46:51    2280306

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Replying To Green_Gold:  "At this stage I feel there are more questions than answers. With the current social distancing rules still in force, its hard to see any spectators at matches in large numbers. I really want football to return but find myself totally conflicted regarding the safety of players, management teams and spectators.

As for underage, the responsibility is really going to be on the manager & coaches to keep their players safe. It really is a huge ask for volunteers. There is a rush to get everyone back playing immediately (senior and underage) and we are in no way prepared for it."
It,s good to c someone on here ,with common sense ,my own sentiments exactly ,

gaanervous (Donegal) - Posts: 186 - 10/06/2020 18:12:42    2280328

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Can't wait to get back at it. Clubs will be grand. We have the best of volunteers and they have 3 Weeks to get ready for it all.
Playing Football is perfectly safe, safer than going to the shop and the shops have been open all the way through.
As some people said, fitting in all the Senior and Underage is gonna be difficult but we have to make it happen. Playing Football is what it's all about.

B.Bap (Donegal) - Posts: 186 - 10/06/2020 19:05:24    2280334

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Maybe it's safe in professional football where they have the finances and resources to rigorously test players a couple of times a week. The GAA might not even to provide that at county level - as for club forget about it.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 6934 - 11/06/2020 09:22:51    2280386

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "Maybe it's safe in professional football where they have the finances and resources to rigorously test players a couple of times a week. The GAA might not even to provide that at county level - as for club forget about it."
Agree with this, it might be ok for professional sports and even inter-county teams to implement all the things required but for the small clubs I doubt if it is a runner. Maybe in a month or two the restrictions will be lifted further and that will improve things. Has anybody seen the GAA proposals to get teams training again? Apparently it is quite a long list.

Green_Gold (Donegal) - Posts: 1671 - 11/06/2020 17:35:06    2280445

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Just using Donegal as an example, and it was something Michael Murphy spoke about on OTB yesterday.
If the 2020 county Championship is to be knockout format and starting mid-October then county players will need at least 3 if not 4 weeks in the lead up to that. That would leave us Sunday July 26th (?) to mid September Sun Sept 20th(?) to play club competition = 9 weeks roughly.

In Donegal's senior club championship there are 4 groups of 4, Top 2 in each group go to quarter finals. So that would mean 3 weeks to play the groups. 1 week for quarters, 1 week for the semi final & then perhaps a 2 week lead in to the county final = 7 weeks in total.

Another idea doing the rounds is that when the county manager gets sole access to the county players, say from Sept 6th onwards, that there be another league competition for non-county players.

e.g. regional leagues North South East West. There would have to be some incentive because as we all know once championship is over for some players the motivation goes.

The format above, while pretty tight does at least keep most people happy.

Pros:
- The club players are put first in that they get to play their primary competition with all of the county men involved
- In Donegal's case at least, in the format described, the club championship can be played off in 7 weeks and finish up roughly a month before any county fixture. This gives the county manager sufficient time to work with players.
- the club regional league idea gives club players the opportunity to play more football. Naturally some clubs will exit the Championship early, (min 3 games) but at least the league would offer more game time. Plenty of local derbies might increase interest where it might not ordinarily be there for league football.

Cons:
- there isn't a lot of time to get club players match fit for championship football. It's ok training away and playing in house games, but it's another thing going straight into championship football after such a long break. We might see a pile of injuries.

- The Championship would be played off in a fairly tight schedule.
- The ever present threat of Coronavirus resurging and laying all best laid plans to waste.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 6934 - 12/06/2020 09:45:59    2280477

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run the Club games first, let all the County players train and play with their Clubs only till all Club Championships are over and then on same date for all Counties let the players return to County panels for training and games. Then an Open draw All Ireland Championship with one return for teams beaten in first round and open draw all the way to final , that way we have an even playing scenario for all County teams.

jacktheboy (Donegal) - Posts: 11 - 12/06/2020 16:58:44    2280523

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Replying To jacktheboy:  "run the Club games first, let all the County players train and play with their Clubs only till all Club Championships are over and then on same date for all Counties let the players return to County panels for training and games. Then an Open draw All Ireland Championship with one return for teams beaten in first round and open draw all the way to final , that way we have an even playing scenario for all County teams."
This could work. Could the provincial championship run as normal, still have a back door but no Super 8s, just straight knock out. They are talking about finishing the league so there probably just wouldnt be time if they restart in mid October.

Green_Gold (Donegal) - Posts: 1671 - 13/06/2020 21:49:13    2280732

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Is it just me or are we now going very quickly from total lockdown to being practically fully open within days?!

supporter (Donegal) - Posts: 205 - 20/06/2020 20:33:08    2281397

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Replying To supporter:  "Is it just me or are we now going very quickly from total lockdown to being practically fully open within days?!"
I honestly can't get over how quickly the restrictions have been lifted. Last month we were afraid to leave the house and now nearly everybody is going around like there never was a virus. What happened to the slow lifting of restrictions in 5 phases? I am guessing it is more about the economy than public health at this stage. That is understandable as jobs are at risk and we need to get the economy up and running again.

I personally feel senior and minor football should have gone ahead first and give it a few weeks to see what happens. If it went well, we could have started underage football. However we now have all teams going back at the same time and it could get messy. We also have cul camps added into the mix. Lets hope this all goes well and we can get back to playing and watching football safely.

Green_Gold (Donegal) - Posts: 1671 - 20/06/2020 21:45:35    2281406

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Replying To Green_Gold:  "I honestly can't get over how quickly the restrictions have been lifted. Last month we were afraid to leave the house and now nearly everybody is going around like there never was a virus. What happened to the slow lifting of restrictions in 5 phases? I am guessing it is more about the economy than public health at this stage. That is understandable as jobs are at risk and we need to get the economy up and running again.

I personally feel senior and minor football should have gone ahead first and give it a few weeks to see what happens. If it went well, we could have started underage football. However we now have all teams going back at the same time and it could get messy. We also have cul camps added into the mix. Lets hope this all goes well and we can get back to playing and watching football safely."
Theres currently a 1 in 1 million chance of catching the virus so it would be madness to stick to the pre planned 5 phases. here in Donegal it has been 4 weeks i think since there has been a case.

naomh_conaill_4 (Donegal) - Posts: 349 - 22/06/2020 09:37:58    2281496

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Replying To naomh_conaill_4:  "Theres currently a 1 in 1 million chance of catching the virus so it would be madness to stick to the pre planned 5 phases. here in Donegal it has been 4 weeks i think since there has been a case."
I agree that there is a limited chance of catching the virus at the moment but with things opening up, people travelling abroad and a lot of visitors from the UK and Europe, things could change very quickly. Clubs now have been left with a lot of red tape to get through before they even open their grounds and manager/coaches have the added pressure of being covid19 supervisors. Throw in the cul camps with kids from all clubs mixing and we could soon lose track of it all. I don't mean to be negative, just think we should have stuck with the original plan of a phased opening for sports.

Green_Gold (Donegal) - Posts: 1671 - 22/06/2020 11:24:10    2281506

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Replying To Green_Gold:  "I agree that there is a limited chance of catching the virus at the moment but with things opening up, people travelling abroad and a lot of visitors from the UK and Europe, things could change very quickly. Clubs now have been left with a lot of red tape to get through before they even open their grounds and manager/coaches have the added pressure of being covid19 supervisors. Throw in the cul camps with kids from all clubs mixing and we could soon lose track of it all. I don't mean to be negative, just think we should have stuck with the original plan of a phased opening for sports."
From what I hear some clubs have made the decision not to run a Cul Camp this year as it involves children who are not registered with the club and instead will run mini competitions and family fun days for their club underage. I think this is a good idea. The Cul Camp thing smacks of decision based on revenue.

Tir Conaill Abu (Donegal) - Posts: 1580 - 22/06/2020 12:28:58    2281510

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Replying To Tir Conaill Abu:  "From what I hear some clubs have made the decision not to run a Cul Camp this year as it involves children who are not registered with the club and instead will run mini competitions and family fun days for their club underage. I think this is a good idea. The Cul Camp thing smacks of decision based on revenue."
I dont think any club will be running a Cul Camp this year. I was told the CB had decided not to allow them.

donegaldouble (Donegal) - Posts: 268 - 22/06/2020 13:51:05    2281525

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I have a nagging fear that we're getting ahead of ourselves. Not just in terms of sport but in general. Whilst it's true that we haven't had a case in Donegal in a while, that could quickly change. Imagine holiday-makers in somewhere like Dunfanaghy bringing the virus in? That's all it would take and we could find ourselves back to square one. But I suppose we just have to trust that the government know what they're doing in relaxing the measures.

When all is said and done how would we see the various Championships going? The accounts I've heard is that it will be two groups of 8 in the senior & 2 groups of 12 in the Intermediate. Not sure about the Junior.

The clubs with the big squads will cope best. Injuries will be inevitable with the games coming thick and fast.
Will the young Eunans team make a breakthrough? They were very close to Glenties last year in the semi final.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 6934 - 22/06/2020 14:06:31    2281526

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Replying To Lockjaw:  "I have a nagging fear that we're getting ahead of ourselves. Not just in terms of sport but in general. Whilst it's true that we haven't had a case in Donegal in a while, that could quickly change. Imagine holiday-makers in somewhere like Dunfanaghy bringing the virus in? That's all it would take and we could find ourselves back to square one. But I suppose we just have to trust that the government know what they're doing in relaxing the measures.

When all is said and done how would we see the various Championships going? The accounts I've heard is that it will be two groups of 8 in the senior & 2 groups of 12 in the Intermediate. Not sure about the Junior.

The clubs with the big squads will cope best. Injuries will be inevitable with the games coming thick and fast.
Will the young Eunans team make a breakthrough? They were very close to Glenties last year in the semi final."
* two groups of 6 in the intermediate I meant.

Lockjaw (Donegal) - Posts: 6934 - 22/06/2020 14:18:53    2281528

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Are there any cul camps going ahead in the county? It seems quite a few clubs are not running them.

Green_Gold (Donegal) - Posts: 1671 - 24/06/2020 17:27:20    2281752

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Replying To Green_Gold:  "Are there any cul camps going ahead in the county? It seems quite a few clubs are not running them."
I posted earlier. I think the CB have agreed not to run them

donegaldouble (Donegal) - Posts: 268 - 25/06/2020 15:22:27    2281820

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