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Westmeath Football thread

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Replying To Claretandblue:  "Eight points down in closing stages, extremely disappointing display considering we were fielding 10-11 regular starters, last competitive game before crucial Offaly league opener, Louth were easily beaten by Meath in opening league game, Longford into final again, a dramatic improvement needed in next couple of weeks."
It was a poor performance, Luke looked up for it and Stephen Smith when he came on. I wouldnt read into the form of the O Byrne Cup though, well certainly need to improve a tonne from yesterday if we are going to beat Offaly . What I am mostly disappointed about is that Dessie hasnt freshened up the squad. Leech and Whitaker were the only new players in the 28. We need to be unearthing a new full back, a pity about Sam Smyth not committing.

A_Chairde (Westmeath) - Posts: 175 - 14/01/2024 14:15:04    2520113

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It certainly seems easier to stay on the senior football panel from year to year than to break onto it. A number of yesterday's squad had average at best championship campaigns for their clubs last year, barely noticeable influence at club level and yet remain involved. Likes of Daniel Scahill, Jack Geoghegan, Enda Gaffney, Gareth Carr all prominent at club level in 2023, it's only if a player retires from inter county like Callum McCormack or goes travelling like Sam Duncan that the panel changes. That ensures players in a comfort zone. Scahill and Gaffney were the stand out wing backs in club championship last year, Geoghegan was next in my view, Morgan Gavigan from Malachy's was also consistently good and a superb place ball kicker, these players should have been tried against Longford instead of 19 year olds who need at least 2 years more conditioning. The provincial championship draw means we need to finish top of division 3 to ensure Sam Maguire participation this year, defeat to Offaly in a fortnight will scupper that almost immediately.

Claretandblue (Westmeath) - Posts: 1489 - 14/01/2024 14:31:50    2520120

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Replying To Claretandblue:  "It certainly seems easier to stay on the senior football panel from year to year than to break onto it. A number of yesterday's squad had average at best championship campaigns for their clubs last year, barely noticeable influence at club level and yet remain involved. Likes of Daniel Scahill, Jack Geoghegan, Enda Gaffney, Gareth Carr all prominent at club level in 2023, it's only if a player retires from inter county like Callum McCormack or goes travelling like Sam Duncan that the panel changes. That ensures players in a comfort zone. Scahill and Gaffney were the stand out wing backs in club championship last year, Geoghegan was next in my view, Morgan Gavigan from Malachy's was also consistently good and a superb place ball kicker, these players should have been tried against Longford instead of 19 year olds who need at least 2 years more conditioning. The provincial championship draw means we need to finish top of division 3 to ensure Sam Maguire participation this year, defeat to Offaly in a fortnight will scupper that almost immediately."
Do u every give it a rest praying for defeat's I bet!!!! Support is what we need not the negative crap you go on with Dessie and the rest of management will get it right.

Undertheroad (Westmeath) - Posts: 33 - 14/01/2024 16:05:16    2520143

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Replying To Claretandblue:  "It certainly seems easier to stay on the senior football panel from year to year than to break onto it. A number of yesterday's squad had average at best championship campaigns for their clubs last year, barely noticeable influence at club level and yet remain involved. Likes of Daniel Scahill, Jack Geoghegan, Enda Gaffney, Gareth Carr all prominent at club level in 2023, it's only if a player retires from inter county like Callum McCormack or goes travelling like Sam Duncan that the panel changes. That ensures players in a comfort zone. Scahill and Gaffney were the stand out wing backs in club championship last year, Geoghegan was next in my view, Morgan Gavigan from Malachy's was also consistently good and a superb place ball kicker, these players should have been tried against Longford instead of 19 year olds who need at least 2 years more conditioning. The provincial championship draw means we need to finish top of division 3 to ensure Sam Maguire participation this year, defeat to Offaly in a fortnight will scupper that almost immediately."
Couldn't agree more It wouldve mad far more sense to be to try out lads aged 20-25 mostly who had good championships last year against Longford rather then a 20s side alongside a few other players.

Midlandsman (Westmeath) - Posts: 20 - 14/01/2024 16:26:17    2520151

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I was in Kinnegad and it was a poor display. Both teams very defensive but Louth much more physical in the tackle creating turnovers and hitting us on the break. Both teams had 10 or 11 of the probable first 15. Ray going off injured didn't help, Louth seemed to dominate between the 45's with some big physical lads.
Wouldn't be overly concerned with the likes of McCartan, Heslin, Wallace to come in. But if we're going to continue with starting 2 defenders in the forward line (Lynch & Dillon) forwards are going their work cut out.
With regard to the squads etc I thought it shows the senior and U20 managements are at least linking up. There is no warmup U20 competition so the likes of the Longford game was a help. Plenty of senior challenges going on too no doubt. Scahill came on as a sub yesterday and should give get time in the league.
Only a couple of weeks to Tullamore and it seems the team will be very similar to last year.

BigSur (Westmeath) - Posts: 1130 - 14/01/2024 16:35:07    2520155

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Replying To Temple56:  "You are wrong!

6 players who started last weekend are on the training panel at the moment. These 6 players are all over the age of u20. None of these 6 players were on the panel last year. Last week was a chance for them to impress and make the league panel.

6 more players who started last weekend are on the u20 panel and the senior training panel. I don't expect any of these 6 players to make any match-day 26 in any league or championship game.

The rest of the players were all u20 and had never trained with the seniors. I expect the game against Louth tomorrow to be the same team or close to it. Dessie did not want to enter the O Byrne Cup as he would rather play behind closed-door challenge matches."
Still not true
1-15 last week are all on current Westmeath panel. Which has yet to be cut.

Team vs Louth in the end was totally different, 3 lads started after doing 2 weeks training, some lads been dogged since November dont get a chance to put there hand up, Same old story put out fringe players one week and then doesnt reward any of them and just reverts back to the so called first team, Doesnt do much for the lads who went well against Longford. Simply doesnt add up.

PowellJohn3 (Westmeath) - Posts: 33 - 15/01/2024 08:44:01    2520217

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Replying To PowellJohn3:  "Still not true
1-15 last week are all on current Westmeath panel. Which has yet to be cut.

Team vs Louth in the end was totally different, 3 lads started after doing 2 weeks training, some lads been dogged since November dont get a chance to put there hand up, Same old story put out fringe players one week and then doesnt reward any of them and just reverts back to the so called first team, Doesnt do much for the lads who went well against Longford. Simply doesnt add up."
westmeath are once again being touted for promotion . on the strength of what . the first game in tullamore will tell all
i said this time last year that we would fall short but i will hold my judgement on this year until the game in o connor park

mickcunningham (Westmeath) - Posts: 1801 - 15/01/2024 09:04:46    2520222

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Replying To mickcunningham:  "westmeath are once again being touted for promotion . on the strength of what . the first game in tullamore will tell all
i said this time last year that we would fall short but i will hold my judgement on this year until the game in o connor park"
Well Mick you are out of the woodwork early, that could be something to do with the promise we showed against higher opposition in the 2023 championship. Promotion is a realistic target, Down will be mad favourites to win the division. Weve only three games at home (Clare, Limerick and Down) so its important to win all those. Clare are always hard to beat but are said to be going poorly having lost a lot of experienced players. Offaly to start and Sligo last will be tough away games and we have to go to Aughrim and Belfast too. We need to be getting to 10 points however that wasnt enough for Down last year as they missed out on score difference .

A_Chairde (Westmeath) - Posts: 175 - 15/01/2024 09:36:54    2520235

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Replying To A_Chairde:  "Well Mick you are out of the woodwork early, that could be something to do with the promise we showed against higher opposition in the 2023 championship. Promotion is a realistic target, Down will be mad favourites to win the division. Weve only three games at home (Clare, Limerick and Down) so its important to win all those. Clare are always hard to beat but are said to be going poorly having lost a lot of experienced players. Offaly to start and Sligo last will be tough away games and we have to go to Aughrim and Belfast too. We need to be getting to 10 points however that wasnt enough for Down last year as they missed out on score difference ."
promise i wonder how many points that is worth

mickcunningham (Westmeath) - Posts: 1801 - 15/01/2024 11:44:25    2520265

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Lads, the sh1te that some of you go on with on here. U20's playing ahead of U23's boo hoo hoo! I am sure the management team have their reasons for playing the team that they did. Those U20 lads gave a very good account of themselves and they all will appreciate being given that run out and an opportunity to be looked at at that level. I thought it was a great idea and a great prep for them before their championship. The lift it would give them all to play as a Westmeath Senior team.

For those poor U23's, god love the pool divil's. Are they not adults now? No? Is it not up to them to force their way into the reckoning and if they are good enough they will play.

Meridian (Westmeath) - Posts: 601 - 15/01/2024 14:43:03    2520307

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Replying To mickcunningham:  "promise i wonder how many points that is worth"
We don't know what's going on at training or challenge matches so I'll be holding judgement until Tullamore too. Think the 'strength' of the team v Louth took everyone by surprise but it certainly backfired. Interesting to hear Henry Shefflin praising the warm up competitions as an opportunity for fringe players to stake a claim.

BigSur (Westmeath) - Posts: 1130 - 15/01/2024 15:28:22    2520321

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Heard Henry Sheflins take on these pre league competitions and the use of fringe players but it seems that when the real stuff starts most managers stick with their usual players and the "fringe"players become part of the squad and are handy for in house 15 aside training games but see very little competitive action.

Bruno@1 (Westmeath) - Posts: 165 - 15/01/2024 16:48:40    2520339

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Replying To Meridian:  "Lads, the sh1te that some of you go on with on here. U20's playing ahead of U23's boo hoo hoo! I am sure the management team have their reasons for playing the team that they did. Those U20 lads gave a very good account of themselves and they all will appreciate being given that run out and an opportunity to be looked at at that level. I thought it was a great idea and a great prep for them before their championship. The lift it would give them all to play as a Westmeath Senior team.

For those poor U23's, god love the pool divil's. Are they not adults now? No? Is it not up to them to force their way into the reckoning and if they are good enough they will play."
Well done on missing the whole point

Thechick (Westmeath) - Posts: 232 - 16/01/2024 11:17:02    2520423

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Replying To Thechick:  "Well done on missing the whole point"
I know exactly the point. That we used the match to give our U20's a good competitive match. Others are making a totally different point that we should give some random age grouping (U23) a chance to prove themselves. They are getting their chance every week in County training or with their College in Sigerson and if they are performing well enough then they will figure in the League or in Challenge games.

Is Dessie not entitled to give his League team a run out too before the League starts. Some of those may not have played a competitive game in some time. A lot of these fringe lads that people are mentioning are not good enough yet.

Meridian (Westmeath) - Posts: 601 - 16/01/2024 12:16:37    2520430

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The so called random under 23 group represent the immediate future of Westmeath football, the 19 year olds the long term future. We're going to lose 5-6 established players in next 12 months, Dolan, Daly, Maguire, Martin, Heslin are nearing the end of their lengthy and notable careers at I-c level, they won't be replaced by 19-20 year olds, many of the 23 year olds mentioned previously deserved an opportunity against Longford rather than teenagers.

Claretandblue (Westmeath) - Posts: 1489 - 16/01/2024 13:12:40    2520443

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Replying To Claretandblue:  "The so called random under 23 group represent the immediate future of Westmeath football, the 19 year olds the long term future. We're going to lose 5-6 established players in next 12 months, Dolan, Daly, Maguire, Martin, Heslin are nearing the end of their lengthy and notable careers at I-c level, they won't be replaced by 19-20 year olds, many of the 23 year olds mentioned previously deserved an opportunity against Longford rather than teenagers."
That is not what that particular game was used for. A decision was made to use the game as preparation for U20's. And they did very very well. I'll say it again, these U23's are adults now. In with the big boys and its sink or swim. Did Baker, Scahill and one or 2 other not get a run against Louth or are you only interested in pushing the prospects of particular U23's? U23's are not future prospects. They are adults.

Meridian (Westmeath) - Posts: 601 - 16/01/2024 16:23:57    2520509

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They're not getting a chance to swim, Scahill got 15 mins at weekend, Gaffney, Geoghegan, Carr, Whelan and others who are 22-23 got zero mins. Surely you can see the point.

Claretandblue (Westmeath) - Posts: 1489 - 16/01/2024 21:06:44    2520568

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Replying To Meridian:  "That is not what that particular game was used for. A decision was made to use the game as preparation for U20's. And they did very very well. I'll say it again, these U23's are adults now. In with the big boys and its sink or swim. Did Baker, Scahill and one or 2 other not get a run against Louth or are you only interested in pushing the prospects of particular U23's? U23's are not future prospects. They are adults."
Your still not getting the point , let it go , life is to short

Thechick (Westmeath) - Posts: 232 - 16/01/2024 21:06:56    2520569

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A lot of great commentaries here on how our county teams' preparations should be structured. I'm pretty sure management teams have planned this long before now and are doing what they see best to cater for everyone. The truth is that the O'Byrne Cup was not a competition that was seen as a productive environment for preparing the 'Senior' squad for a crucial Div. 3 campaign. I'm off the understanding that Dessie wanted to opt out of it. U20's pre-season comp was abolished so fulfilling the O'Byrne fixtures looks like it makes sense for that squad.
Circumstances at the weekend were fluid; the Seniors were to play Fermanagh but the opposition let them down last minute meaning there was a change in tact to play Louth instead.
That tells me that management are reacting to circumstances. There's no doubt that the league is number one focus. I'd point to the Sam Maguire games last year; following a 5/6 week break we came out with a gameplan and structure which made us very competitive in those games, almost an ambush to be fair. It's likely similar is happening for league preparations.
As supporters we shouldn't be jumping to too many conclusions this early in the season; let it play out for a few weeks and give the benefit of the doubt here for a change.,

fizzygravy (USA) - Posts: 144 - 16/01/2024 22:05:53    2520580

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Replying To Claretandblue:  "They're not getting a chance to swim, Scahill got 15 mins at weekend, Gaffney, Geoghegan, Carr, Whelan and others who are 22-23 got zero mins. Surely you can see the point."
I'm sure Dessie and Co are well aware of what these lads have to offer with many in house matches and good quality challenge matches played against good teams in the month of December. Maybe the lads mentioned just aren't good enough at the minute?

Tailteannchamps (Westmeath) - Posts: 17 - 17/01/2024 09:38:59    2520606

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