UK Forum

Underage Football in London

(Oldest Posts First)

With the introduction of the Development Coaches a few years ago within London and Britain, the question being asked has underage football and hurling developed enough to justify the money spent from Croke Park.

In my opinion YES as the profile of our games have improved and there are more boys and girls playing our games within London than ever before. So many schools now within London are coaching our games and the work of the coaches are starting to pay off. Clubs such as Parnell's, Tara, Thomas McCurtains, Tir Chonaill Gaels, Clarets, North London Shamrocks, Kilburn Gaels, St Kiernan's and Round Towers to name a few are doing excellent work in promoting our underage teams.

So many people have blogged on this site and its forums about the work that is not being put in at County Board level to help promote our underage, but it is clear to see that it is being developed and money is being spent. However, it needs to go to the next level and the one club that I see that is doing it is Tir Chonaill Gaels.

They are the only club that has pushed for the development of an English born team competing in all competitive junior competitions. They obviously see the importance of these young English born kids getting plenty of football, instead of losing them to the other typical English sports which seems to happen to many of these lads. Why then, have we not seen the same from the other clubs that promote so much underage football. Why have we not seen the Taras, St Kiernan's and Parnell's enter teams into the junior competitions to help encourage these English born lads to stay within the game. I do acknowledge that all these teams do have many English born players playing for their 1st teams, but there is not enough and they are losing them.

reviewer (UK) - Posts: 12 - 20/11/2012 09:39:43    1300110


i can only respond re: tara's underage in regards your post.
The main difference being we would have 5-6 london born players involved with the senior team and approx 5-6 and all the minors/U21's involved in the reserve team therefore fielding a junior team aswell would be impossible at the moment, you must remember TCG senior and reserve teams pretty much dont have any london born players in their squads so in terms of actually london born players there probably is the same between the clubs but TCG just sign alot more irish lads.
So i would argue our london born lads are getting a better platform as their are playing with irish lads and against them reguarly.
The main problem in london is that half of the main teams do not have any underage structure at all and rely on signing players.

tomcon (UK) - Posts: 33 - 20/11/2012 13:35:09    1300290


Well said Tomcon and your right the Taras are a great club and do a lot of great work for the English born player. The Redican family are just unbelievable with the amount of work they do with the seniors, juniors and underage. They have put in a lifetime of great work.and without them, I would hate to think where the Tara club would be without them.

Regarding TCG a number of their English born players have and still do play for the seniors. Gavighan, McEvoy, Moriarty, McFadden, Carr, Geraghty and Burke have all played and won numerous senior cups over the last few years. Many of these lads are now the so call leaders of the junior team which is starting to reap the benefits of playing senior football.

reviewer (UK) - Posts: 12 - 20/11/2012 14:02:47    1300316


The days of flying players over for games is over, however there is a successful team in London that actually fly their manager over for games. That must be a strong reason why they are successful when they afford to do that. The 3 other semi finals recruited managers from within, one was an ex-Chairman, one a player until recent years and the other club were manager-less. Having resources like that has to give you a massive advantage in the Championship surely?

interested32 (Galway) - Posts: 69 - 20/11/2012 14:28:06    1300338


there was a poster on earlier in the year from the TCG Junior team, who said that the reason for the TCG Junior team was becuase the english born players were not getting a fair crack of the whip regarding the senior team. He said that it was practically two seperate clubs, and that they set up the Junior team so that all the guys that came through the underage ranks for the club could play together on the one team.
Think Towers and Heston have done great work through the years with bringing underage players through, I thought Heston suffered a bit this year by not having some of their London born players not playing as much this year.

Rosineri1 (UK) - Posts: 2013 - 20/11/2012 15:16:53    1300396


I seen that post a while back and I have to say that it was probably someone trying to stir it up as he had all his facts wrong. Now Im not any way connected with TCG but have many friends that are and thats what they have told me. There is a unique unity about TCG that goes from top to bottom.

Most of the TCG junior boys have all played and won at senior level and they are just delighted to have a full program of games that they are guaranteed to play in. Most of them I believe even played reserve football, but it was the determination of those junior players that the club pushed the County Board to allow them entry into all competitions.

They are a breath of fresh air to London football and came awfully close to causing an upset in the junior final. I did notice a lot of posts from CuChullains pretty much saying that. They would even tell you that it was probably one of the toughest games they got this year.

That is one of the reasons why I respect the TC Gaels for what they are trying to do at underage and to the English born player.I would only wish that other clubs would follow.

reviewer (UK) - Posts: 12 - 20/11/2012 17:49:00    1300507


reviewer, you seemed to have missed the point with the current set up in london. Kiernans, Tara and Heston are prime examples of club where they rely heavily on their english born players to field competitive teams. TCG have a junior team because they manner in which they recruit means their english born players will not get a chance. In times past, they did sporadically, but this wont be the case with the economy the way it is and the influx of players coming over.

fancyaride (Mayo) - Posts: 141 - 20/11/2012 21:09:14    1300663


It has been mentioned here that some of the English born guys that have been playing Junior have also been involved with the senior team - Surely that goes against the spirit in which they were allowed to field a team at Junior level ?

WideBall1 (UK) - Posts: 98 - 21/11/2012 09:54:30    1300732


they did not play both in champiosnship, they may have played league which is allowed.

Rosineri1 (UK) - Posts: 2013 - 21/11/2012 12:35:05    1300844


So are you allowed to play in Div 1 league and Div 3 league in the same season ? Genuine question.

WideBall1 (UK) - Posts: 98 - 21/11/2012 12:39:53    1300850


Wideball1, from what I believe there is nothing in the rule book saying that you cant play in two leagues, but as soon as you step up to senior league you cannot step back to junior league. and the same applies to championship.

That is my understanding which I hope answers your question. Also, you have misunderstood the post as it clearly says that those English born players in the past have won numerous cups at senior level, obviously before they started to play junior.

However, I will go one step further and state that a bye-law should be set up within London allowing any English born player to play all levels in the one season either it be senior or junior. This way it allows them more football and helps keep these guys in the game.

For example, St Kiernans, Parnells, Heston, Tara and Round Towers have many English born players playing in their senior teams. Those clubs should also be allowed to enter teams in junior competitions and also allow those 1st team English born players to play in them.

This way it helps and promotes our games here. It is the only way forward

reviewer (UK) - Posts: 12 - 21/11/2012 13:35:12    1300890


The reason I was asking is that I have seen some of the TCG Juniors involved with the seniors also in both leagues this season.
I would disagree on your bye-law about allowing all English born players to float - This would be unfair on the Junior sides as the potential is there for an player who may start senior every week to be dropped down to Junior for important games.
Anyways, just to clarify - Have nothing against TCG in terms of the work that they do at underage and it's great to see so many English born lads playing.

WideBall1 (UK) - Posts: 98 - 21/11/2012 14:06:47    1300924


You have to name a first 15 for your senior team these 15 cannot play any junior throughout the year. All other players are elligible to play in any league games, if the have played senior league they can still go back and play Junior league games.
It is only in championship that you cannot go back and play in the Junior championship if you have played Senior championship.
You can also play league in two different counties I believe, but not championship.

Rosineri1 (UK) - Posts: 2013 - 21/11/2012 15:20:52    1300987


think I may have gotten a bit mixed up with the rules, special rule put in place for TCG to field an all English born team stipulated that if they senior league or championship tehy could not then play on teh junior team, my apologies. Was thinking of the reserve team rule.

Rosineri1 (UK) - Posts: 2013 - 21/11/2012 16:16:47    1301027