National Forum

Westmeath Hurling thread

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Replying To jobber:  "North Westmeath with its small population is almost totally hurling.Mullingar has been a disaster area for the sport for at least half a century but Oliver Plunketts and Cullion are beginning to work. 5 Plunketts lads on the minor panel a testament to that. We havent seen that since Tony Donoghue was leading the club.The South has always been football dominated except for Castletown Geoghegan but Father Daltons and Southern Gaels in Athlone are now working hard. Most Westmeath GAA players even in the south are now dual even in places like Rosemount.
Athlone and Mullingar are the key to Westmeath being truly competitive at the highest level.Without top class clubs in both towns our ambitions wont be achieved."
It seems to be a countrywide problem as regards towns. Certainly in Wexford where around half our population live in the towns we only have 3 clubs playing Senior hurling and 2 clubs playing Senior football based in towns.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 12830 - 20/03/2023 12:28:52    2465119

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Replying To Claretandblue:  "Match went along expected lines although in dire conditions and at home a 24 point beating is worrying. Our touch was poor again and we faded significantly as match wore on, fitness levels looked suspect in contrast to the Galway players. Next Saturday's match against Laois looks a 50-50 contest, no venue given yet, we should be able to beat them but understandably our confidence levels look low after a difficult five matches."
Hard to tell at this time of year insofar as your team could've got a big block of fitness training in last week in preparation for next week, which is a far more important game than the Galway game.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 12830 - 20/03/2023 12:31:13    2465122

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Replying To Viking66:  "It seems to be a countrywide problem as regards towns. Certainly in Wexford where around half our population live in the towns we only have 3 clubs playing Senior hurling and 2 clubs playing Senior football based in towns."
Working in the towns which are not GAA strongholds costs lots of money which with our small population and the massive effort keeping both codes competitive we just dont have.Pity Michael O Leary hasnt the same passion as JP

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 1505 - 20/03/2023 16:47:50    2465293

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Replying To jobber:  "Working in the towns which are not GAA strongholds costs lots of money which with our small population and the massive effort keeping both codes competitive we just dont have.Pity Michael O Leary hasnt the same passion as JP"
Why does it neccessarily cost alot of money? Why would it cost more to get lads to play hurling, or indeed football, rather than soccer, in the towns than in the countryside?

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 12830 - 20/03/2023 17:54:51    2465328

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Replying To Viking66:  "Why does it neccessarily cost alot of money? Why would it cost more to get lads to play hurling, or indeed football, rather than soccer, in the towns than in the countryside?"
Simply because the town clubs hurling in particular dont have sufficent volunteers to work with the levels of population willing to play the sport.So we need paid GDA's or whatever the new title is to work allied to a good club administrative set up.South Dublin and Naas are good examples of this has worked.Plunketts and Southern Gaels are working very hard with small numbers of volunteers but if they had even a coach between them it would be a massive help.

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 1505 - 21/03/2023 18:31:22    2465602

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Oleary does has some passion but it's for a different code.

Bigjoe1 (Westmeath) - Posts: 45 - 21/03/2023 20:16:42    2465623

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Westmeath have skill levels just as good as any other county,I've said it before,get the s&c up to standard,fitness etc and they would be a match for anyone,the fitness just does not seem to have moved on,you need a 70 min performance to beat the big teams now no amount of luck will do it anymore unfortunately. The game has developed now where s &c plays a huge part in the modern game.

preddan (Kildare) - Posts: 741 - 22/03/2023 15:42:35    2465831

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S and C important but only one factor. The first touch of the top teams is at a different level to ours, in the rain last Sunday against Galway this was obvious time and time again. The top teams also do things that bit quicker and that's a huge issue. Prob need a more competitive club championship other than the same three teams dominating which has been the case for past 15-20 years. Difficult to achieve though when same clubs regularly contest premier minor finals.

Claretandblue (Westmeath) - Posts: 1563 - 22/03/2023 18:55:13    2465908

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Replying To jobber:  "Simply because the town clubs hurling in particular dont have sufficent volunteers to work with the levels of population willing to play the sport.So we need paid GDA's or whatever the new title is to work allied to a good club administrative set up.South Dublin and Naas are good examples of this has worked.Plunketts and Southern Gaels are working very hard with small numbers of volunteers but if they had even a coach between them it would be a massive help."
Ah I get you now. Do you not have GPOs going around the clubs in those areas?

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 12830 - 23/03/2023 11:54:27    2465964

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Replying To preddan:  "Westmeath have skill levels just as good as any other county,I've said it before,get the s&c up to standard,fitness etc and they would be a match for anyone,the fitness just does not seem to have moved on,you need a 70 min performance to beat the big teams now no amount of luck will do it anymore unfortunately. The game has developed now where s &c plays a huge part in the modern game."
Fitness still won't get 70 minutes out of everyone. You need 20-23 good hurlers for the modern game.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 12830 - 23/03/2023 11:55:27    2465965

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Replying To Claretandblue:  "S and C important but only one factor. The first touch of the top teams is at a different level to ours, in the rain last Sunday against Galway this was obvious time and time again. The top teams also do things that bit quicker and that's a huge issue. Prob need a more competitive club championship other than the same three teams dominating which has been the case for past 15-20 years. Difficult to achieve though when same clubs regularly contest premier minor finals."
We have to be positive too you know, I remember a time in the early 90s when westmeath could have been in the old division 3 of the league, in 1995 championship an ordinary enough wexford team bet westmeath by over 30 points, that in a time of a slower game and a heavier ball, what would a 30 point beating be in today's game over 40 easily I'd reckon.
The team that's there now are a vast improvement on the county team from 20 to 30 years ago,no question, the county as a whole has improved, professionalism, wanting to play for the county, general fitness etc. it's just getting a few more things into place and try and maintain the level they are at which is a challenge

preddan (Kildare) - Posts: 741 - 23/03/2023 15:26:29    2466048

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Replying To preddan:  "We have to be positive too you know, I remember a time in the early 90s when westmeath could have been in the old division 3 of the league, in 1995 championship an ordinary enough wexford team bet westmeath by over 30 points, that in a time of a slower game and a heavier ball, what would a 30 point beating be in today's game over 40 easily I'd reckon.
The team that's there now are a vast improvement on the county team from 20 to 30 years ago,no question, the county as a whole has improved, professionalism, wanting to play for the county, general fitness etc. it's just getting a few more things into place and try and maintain the level they are at which is a challenge"
That 95 team was pretty much the same team that won the AI the following year?

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 12830 - 23/03/2023 15:59:06    2466066

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Replying To Viking66:  "That 95 team was pretty much the same team that won the AI the following year?"
You are right but his general point is correct.Westmeath dont half the number of hurlers in Kildare or Meath and just over half of those in Offaly and Laois so you can say we are punching above our weight.

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 1505 - 23/03/2023 16:49:56    2466075

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Replying To jobber:  "You are right but his general point is correct.Westmeath dont half the number of hurlers in Kildare or Meath and just over half of those in Offaly and Laois so you can say we are punching above our weight."
Yes up to point. Best plan to grow has to start at the grassroots. You need more kids to take up hurling and stick with it. And then offer better coaching as they get older, even if that means paying lads.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 12830 - 23/03/2023 16:57:27    2466079

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Replying To Viking66:  "Yes up to point. Best plan to grow has to start at the grassroots. You need more kids to take up hurling and stick with it. And then offer better coaching as they get older, even if that means paying lads."
Totally agree and its something we must do if we want to keep progressing.

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 1505 - 23/03/2023 17:19:58    2466082

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Replying To Viking66:  "That 95 team was pretty much the same team that won the AI the following year?"
yeah but they were comfortably beaten by offaly then after that in the leinster semi, i remember it on tv. , anyway my main point is westmeath have drastically improved in general, its a pity the whole game has gone on to a whole new level since 2018 because the goalposts have moved again and still trying to play catch up with the big teams

preddan (Kildare) - Posts: 741 - 23/03/2023 18:21:02    2466098

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Replying To Claretandblue:  "S and C important but only one factor. The first touch of the top teams is at a different level to ours, in the rain last Sunday against Galway this was obvious time and time again. The top teams also do things that bit quicker and that's a huge issue. Prob need a more competitive club championship other than the same three teams dominating which has been the case for past 15-20 years. Difficult to achieve though when same clubs regularly contest premier minor finals."
Correct that's starts in the clubs from around under 16 onwards. You would find Westmeath under 15s from Clonkill might be of a similar standard to Clarinbridge in Galway but if you checked in 5 years later the Clarinbridge lads would be playing hurling that bit faster, first touch and striking crisper etc and that comes from schools hurling, more competitive minor and under 20 club championship etc and few lads on the Galway underage teams.

It's hard to close the gap after that as it only gets bigger.

It would be the same across all the top Liam McCarthy counties.

Past hurler (None) - Posts: 771 - 23/03/2023 19:39:29    2466108

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Replying To Claretandblue:  "No defending this decision by Joe Fortune and management. It's not as if Derek Mc has been shooting the lights out in club matches as we've had none. Amateurish carry on."
Agreed, and add the fact that he was only a bit part player for the county last year and then injured ankle ligaments in the first round of the club championship and subsequently missed the whole campaign, means it's effectively 2021 since he's had regular hurling. Finding that for the first time ever I'm losing the appetite for following the set up and won't be travelling to Thurles this weekend.

On a side note, it was very surprising to see that during the half time go games in Cusack at the weekend that the Na Piarsaigh amalgamation has now extended down below the underage championship grades. Was told by a parent present that LLG or Turin not able to field alone even at go games now, which is worrying. Effectively means that LLG, a senior club, now have no underage of their own. To go from challenging for senior titles 20 years ago to not being able to field underage must be concerning for both the club and the hurling board.

CleanShoulder (Westmeath) - Posts: 274 - 23/03/2023 19:40:09    2466109

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Replying To jobber:  "Totally agree and its something we must do if we want to keep progressing."
To be honest we just need to increase participation in hurling in the South of the county and to be fair it is starting to happen, there's more young lads playing hurling in the likes of Rosemount, Moate, Ballymore and Athlone than ever before. I'll give credit to our senior team for that, by competing at Division 1 and Liam Mccarthy level we've been bringing the Limericks, Kilkennys and Tipperarys to Mullingar and this is definitely inspiring young lads to pick up hurls.
Castletown Geoghegan is a hurling stronghold in the South of the county and have great influence currently in surrounding areas eg Rosemount.
Young lads around that area will see the likes of David O'Reilly, Plunkett Maxwell etc and be eager to follow suit.
The same in Ballymore, Fr Daltons are doing great work and are a Senior A side now in Westmeath. Great to have two clubs from the South operating at that level.
Southern Gaels have some brilliant volunteers down there currently trying to promote the game in every way possible, I'd love to see them get up to Senior B.
There's a lot of people putting in the time and effort, if we keep increasing that each and every year hopefully we can continue progressing as a county.
I'm possibly being very optimistic but its nice to recognise what's going on as well.

Dheen (Westmeath) - Posts: 840 - 23/03/2023 21:35:53    2466122

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Those points are purely aspirational, no substance or practical suggestions. More kids to take up hurling is like govt saying we need to build more houses. Paying lip service.

Claretandblue (Westmeath) - Posts: 1563 - 23/03/2023 21:39:38    2466123

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