Wicklow Forum

Fresh Faces for the County Senior Team!!!

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It's nice to see that some people are coming around to my way of thinking. I have been saying in my earlier posts that we have neglected our underage for the last 20plus yrs. Other county teams who couldn't lace our boots 20 yrs ago have left us in their wake. I tried to get a debate going after the County Convention but got very little traction. In my humble opinion we need a clean out at the top. Anybody there for more than 10 yrs is there too long. Teary good byes, the odd gold watch and induct them into the Hall of Fame if needs be." Hall of Fame " mmmm. We can revisit that another day. And for Gods sake, when they retire, leave them retired. We would appear to have a talented bunch at underage who need to be better served than what has passed for coaching etc in the past. No point in short sighted or blinkered comments re the present management about the predicament we find ourselves in currently either. I believe there are few people more qualified than John Evans to bring young talent to its full potential. Forget about the prima donnas who feel his management style or whatever is beneath them. Maybe if some of them could help their clubs win something then they would be qualified to criticise. Now is the time for real GAA people to rally round the flag.

Freethinker (Wicklow) - Posts: 19 - 04/02/2018 20:32:10    2074045

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kodak13; as a county we got rid of the last manager because people said he was clueless and now people are saying get rid of this manager because he is clueless even though he has had success with other counties!!! We otneed realise that it isn't the manager that is the issue here, it is down to the fact that we don't have the players good enough to compete at this level (and this is not meant as any disrespect to any player who puts in huge effort and time to playing for Wicklow). What is required in this county is change at underage level; there is something seriously wrong and has been for years at underage level - it is over 20 years since we did anything at minor level and 15 years since we didn't anything at under 21 level; this was probably the same bunch of players, how can any county have success with this strike rate? Impossible and yet, it appears that no questions or no changes are being made to rectify the situation!!! Unless underage structures and everything associated with underage preparation changes in line with modern methods, we aren't going to have any success or even be competitive at senior level regardless who the manager is and this is the reality.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 966 - 04/02/2018 20:43:17    2074051

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Replying To wicklowsupport:  "kodak13; as a county we got rid of the last manager because people said he was clueless and now people are saying get rid of this manager because he is clueless even though he has had success with other counties!!! We otneed realise that it isn't the manager that is the issue here, it is down to the fact that we don't have the players good enough to compete at this level (and this is not meant as any disrespect to any player who puts in huge effort and time to playing for Wicklow). What is required in this county is change at underage level; there is something seriously wrong and has been for years at underage level - it is over 20 years since we did anything at minor level and 15 years since we didn't anything at under 21 level; this was probably the same bunch of players, how can any county have success with this strike rate? Impossible and yet, it appears that no questions or no changes are being made to rectify the situation!!! Unless underage structures and everything associated with underage preparation changes in line with modern methods, we aren't going to have any success or even be competitive at senior level regardless who the manager is and this is the reality."
I agree with everything you have said here. One thing I can't stomach is that we are rebuilding. We are trying to build since Wicklow football was founded. Enough is enough, it's time to speak up. We r officially the lowest team now after today's defeat. How did we fail? I heard this Wicklow team was training 6 nights a week. What were they doing, playing pool. Carlow have two wins from two and are gathering momentum.

kodak13 (Wicklow) - Posts: 48 - 04/02/2018 23:36:49    2074123

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The reality is that the players coming through are out of the depth. I have gone to a lot of the u21 match over that 3-4 years and the type of player Wicklow are producing aren't ready for intercounty football. I have also been to some of the earlier O'Byrne cup matches and its the same. Lads with poor strength and conditioning, easy pushed off the ball, can't win the 50/50 ball, poor upper body strength and not mobile enough. I'm not saying that you have to be armagh but these are some of the basics.....

As a consequence we are having to rely on the same old crew that have been there for years which is unfair in itself.

Yes you can blame the county board but the clubs are in this too

ponger (Cavan) - Posts: 367 - 05/02/2018 12:08:03    2074227

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Replying To ponger:  "The reality is that the players coming through are out of the depth. I have gone to a lot of the u21 match over that 3-4 years and the type of player Wicklow are producing aren't ready for intercounty football. I have also been to some of the earlier O'Byrne cup matches and its the same. Lads with poor strength and conditioning, easy pushed off the ball, can't win the 50/50 ball, poor upper body strength and not mobile enough. I'm not saying that you have to be armagh but these are some of the basics.....

As a consequence we are having to rely on the same old crew that have been there for years which is unfair in itself.

Yes you can blame the county board but the clubs are in this too"
Can't disagree with that assessment Ponger. Even just looking at the minor grade over the past few years what I have seen is your average player (particularly if they are not playing with an 'A' championship club) will get a handful of matches through the year, no schedule provided as to when these games will be on, some games end up in walkovers through disinterest and lack of transparency around schedule etc and remember we don't bother with U21 in Wicklow and these players are not allowed play Adult under the new rules. So basically the message to a 17 year old in Wicklow is hang on in there for a couple of years, we might get you a handful of games a season.
Then for the better ones, once they've graduated to U21 & Adult county football, we throw them out and expect them to compete against counties with ultra- competitive clubs scenes where lads are getting quality matches every week and have been acclimatised to modern S&C practices, are more game hardened and have exposure to tactical awareness etc that can only come from operating in that environment for 4/5 years previous.
It's the equivalent of throwing a lad who plays astro soccer casually with his mates every week into a professional football environment and expecting him to perform. It's no surprise we end up like the rabbit caught in the headlamps and get completely steam rolled.

Hawkeye2 (Wicklow) - Posts: 58 - 05/02/2018 12:57:26    2074250

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Replying To ponger:  "The reality is that the players coming through are out of the depth. I have gone to a lot of the u21 match over that 3-4 years and the type of player Wicklow are producing aren't ready for intercounty football. I have also been to some of the earlier O'Byrne cup matches and its the same. Lads with poor strength and conditioning, easy pushed off the ball, can't win the 50/50 ball, poor upper body strength and not mobile enough. I'm not saying that you have to be armagh but these are some of the basics.....

As a consequence we are having to rely on the same old crew that have been there for years which is unfair in itself.

Yes you can blame the county board but the clubs are in this too"
Agree 100%
Sadly Wicklow are not producing players and that is not the fault of the county board, the clubs are apart of this too.
The team is a young around 8 of the players that started yesterday are under 25, with time and correct coaching etc, we should improve, our underage academies are doing okay, they have good people involved such as Kevin O Brien, I am positive that Wicklow football will improve, John Evans being appointed wasn't going to change things over night, hard work and dedication is what will change it and if it is true that the team is training so much then I'm delighted that's what we need.

I was in London yesterday and just like every other Wicklow person there I was devastated to see them play like that but you could see the frustration and disappointment the players and managment felt, they clearly had higher expectations, no player went out yesterday to play that bad but sadly it happened but we all can't just give up hope and return to the good old reliable excuse of blaming the county board or team manager, it's a young team, it's a team and manager finding their feet, finding what works and what doesn't work and clearly the plan they had yesterday didn't work.

Best of luck to them next week playing Antrim

WW9 (Wicklow) - Posts: 81 - 05/02/2018 13:12:17    2074255

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Upsetting but not surprising to see little to no change in Wicklow football this year as opposed to previous years. Whatever about developing underage, which by the way is the only solution, our current Wicklow Senior status should be playing at a Tier 2 level, the same way our hurlers play in the Christy Ring.
Kevin McStay called Wicklow out a few years ago on the Sunday Game and stated that we are no more than an Intermediate inter county team, and since that statement we have actually done nothing to prove otherwise.
I will never blame the management or the players' dedication and commitment year on year but we just have to face facts, we don't have what it takes to compete in Div4 let alone Leinster and All Ireland level.
Win a Tier 2 and win your right to battle with the best. Until then we are only filling fixtures with no hope of ever winning top tier silverware and just adding frustration within the County. You all know it and you all know that nothings changing. We weren't just beaten by London, we were hammered and that is just not good enough. Personally id love to see the introduction of a Tier 2 campaign. Realistically would we even compete in that???!!!!

SidelineSupreme (Wicklow) - Posts: 145 - 06/02/2018 09:49:01    2074501

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And who do you think would be in this tier 2 sidelineman?

Only the same teams we can't beat in division 4 Id say.

Problem here now is the management. Have we close to The best men in the county out. No not near it. Hardly anyone from Blesso. Msloughlins and o connors should be in there.

One other think I don't understand. I don't think we re going anywhere with 37 yr old Jim StFford but if we are going that way what is the best player on the county still doing standing on the sideline as a selector. Glynn might as play as stand there. If were going with Staford why not Glynn.

Pat Mustard (None) - Posts: 298 - 06/02/2018 14:15:02    2074588

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Coaching structures within the county and within the clubs need to be looked at. Are our current full time coaches doing enough? Are they being helped enough from the county and from the clubs?

Clubs need to get rid of small mentality coaches whose only goal is to win underage championships. I believe an underage coach's reign should be judged on the skillset of each player they coached. Can they kick left and right, can they handpass left and right, can they execute a near hand tackle and so on so forth. If they win a few trophies on the way then great.

Clubs, with the assistance of the county board, need to be teaching youngsters about the importance of good nutrition and educating them on strength and conditioning (body weight exercises at a younger age and weight training as they get older).

Clubs need to upskill their coaches regularly - coaching the coaches is definitely not something done often enough in Wicklow.

I think this is something that is slowly starting to creep into Wicklow but we are a million miles behind your Dubin's etc (we will never be in Dublin's league as nearly every club in Dublin has a full time coach) but there is no reason why we can't in a few years compete well with Div 4 and Div 3 teams if we continue to strive to learn and to improve as clubs and then as a whole.

I think the structure of the senior league/ cup and championship this year is very positive as there is lots of games. Now we just need to apply something similar to our underage structures...

In terms of the current Wicklow team we are just unfortunate that they are missing the likes of Chester, Paul Mc, Anto Mc, John McGrath who has been injured, Niall Gaffney who has experience but we are where we deserve to be after years of neglect and poor structures...

wondershorts (Wicklow) - Posts: 281 - 06/02/2018 16:22:03    2074610

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Replying To Pat Mustard:  "And who do you think would be in this tier 2 sidelineman?

Only the same teams we can't beat in division 4 Id say.

Problem here now is the management. Have we close to The best men in the county out. No not near it. Hardly anyone from Blesso. Msloughlins and o connors should be in there.

One other think I don't understand. I don't think we re going anywhere with 37 yr old Jim StFford but if we are going that way what is the best player on the county still doing standing on the sideline as a selector. Glynn might as play as stand there. If were going with Staford why not Glynn."
Did you travel to London pat?

WW9 (Wicklow) - Posts: 81 - 06/02/2018 17:36:41    2074626

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Replying To Pat Mustard:  "And who do you think would be in this tier 2 sidelineman?

Only the same teams we can't beat in division 4 Id say.

Problem here now is the management. Have we close to The best men in the county out. No not near it. Hardly anyone from Blesso. Msloughlins and o connors should be in there.

One other think I don't understand. I don't think we re going anywhere with 37 yr old Jim StFford but if we are going that way what is the best player on the county still doing standing on the sideline as a selector. Glynn might as play as stand there. If were going with Staford why not Glynn."
I really hope you're are just a troll or wind up merchant Pat because if you are being genuine in your views then you are seriously deluded about the reasons for the current state of Wicklow GAA.

Hawkeye2 (Wicklow) - Posts: 58 - 06/02/2018 20:19:19    2074647

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With the exception of that from Mr Mustard, I agree wholeheartedly with the well put sentiments above. We are in deep manure as a county. The problem would appear to be that not enough people realise this or not enough are prepared to do something about it. Although, in fairness, we are so far adrift that there is no land in sight anywhere. When I was younger I watched Wicklow senior hurling and football teams playing Galway in both codes in Aughrim on the same day and give a good performance in both. Now we can beat nobody. Ok, we drew with Waterford but at least they are flying with their hurling teams. The only answer lies with our juveniles and how they are prepared. I am not qualified to suggest how that can be accomplished and I wonder how many in the county are. I do know that many of the stalwarts from our clubs of the last 20 plus years are now working with the kids in their own clubs and this can only be a positive.

Freethinker (Wicklow) - Posts: 19 - 06/02/2018 20:58:55    2074657

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Replying To Pat Mustard:  "And who do you think would be in this tier 2 sidelineman?

Only the same teams we can't beat in division 4 Id say.

Problem here now is the management. Have we close to The best men in the county out. No not near it. Hardly anyone from Blesso. Msloughlins and o connors should be in there.

One other think I don't understand. I don't think we re going anywhere with 37 yr old Jim StFford but if we are going that way what is the best player on the county still doing standing on the sideline as a selector. Glynn might as play as stand there. If were going with Staford why not Glynn."
On the ball Pat.

Mayo have struggled to beat London in the championship in the relatively recent past and from memory were even brought to extra time by them. Longford knocked them out too not all that long ago.

I'm certain sure that Kevin McStay would have the pair of them in this second tier wasteland if he sat down tomorrow morning. And a wasteland it would be.

And what of Roscommon, who were beaten out the gate and back as far as the Red Cow roundabout only last year? I bet he wouldnt place them in it. They won 2 matches to win a provincial title so that's ok.

By McStays logic you might as well just have a four team championship at most. Two semis and a final and leave it at that, because nobody else has " a realistic chance of winning the All Ireland".

Where does the line get drawn with this tier two. There's already a structured competition - it's called the league.

There's enough elitism spouted on the Sunday game re restructuring the championship. The coverage/agenda is wholly imbalanced in my view.

Counties such as ours don't need the likes of McStay or Duffy prescribing medicine for us, whilst basking in this new 'super' eights.

If you want to invite the final nail and hammer in Wicklow inter county football - get behind Tier Two. See how many from Blessington travel to Laragh or wherever for training then.

Passer_By (Carlow) - Posts: 410 - 06/02/2018 21:08:45    2074661

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Replying To WW9:  "Did you travel to London pat?"
I,did not. Id say unlike the rest of,you I was doing a coaching course on Saturday as a matter of fact and I got sick from drink after it to tell the truth I was never going to London anyway.

There is a lot of very good coaching now being done with outsiders coming in to th county. I hear the Dublin womens manager is helping out alot in Blessington which is good to see as hes very highly rated coach

I stand by my comments the best are not out and if they were wed be a lot better off. Did rathnew not beat st Vincent s recently and they were lucky to beat blessington in the co final.

Anyway as I said before it cant always be about winning this is the amatur gaa were talking here and participating in the games is the main thing. We do out best and our day will come. It runs in cycles and thats why Im all against paying a fortune to bring in any outside county man to mange the county team. Were not going to win the all Ireland no matter whos the manager so lets keep the faith.

Pat Mustard (None) - Posts: 298 - 06/02/2018 22:20:41    2074687

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Replying To Hawkeye2:  "I really hope you're are just a troll or wind up merchant Pat because if you are being genuine in your views then you are seriously deluded about the reasons for the current state of Wicklow GAA."
I can tell you i am very genuine. I have an opinion the county is not as bad off as the results now show. The best players are not play for this manager. Is that not true? And I also think Leighton Glynn might as well be playing if Jim staff is going to be playing.

Pat Mustard (None) - Posts: 298 - 06/02/2018 22:25:25    2074688

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Firstly and this is a first; I agree with Jack L regarding James Stafford but I think I know why Johnny Evans has brought James back and why Leighton wasn't brought back. I heard Leighton being interviewed on 2fm during Rathnew's Leinster club championship run and he hinted that he wasn't willing to return to inter county football when asked. I believe that John Evans would have brought him back if he was willing instead he is a selector. James is back because it is a relative young squad and he is an experienced head. Look at him in the club championship, I think he was struggling to last 60 minutes which is why he was put in full forward; I think he will be an impact sub come the summer.

With regard to the 2nd tier championship; I think in theory it is a good idea but there are a number of downsides. The first one being that the same teams will be in it every year. If it was structured properly and if the teams were shown respect with promotion and relegation between the competitions; it would be a runner but that hasn't happened in the past which has led to a lack of trust with the powers that be. Secondly, players in the weaker counties are barely willing to train for 6 months and give the required dedication when they get a crack at the bigger counties so I can't see them being willing to do the same for less reward and I can't say I blame them.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 966 - 08/02/2018 20:11:14    2075103

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Replying To wicklowsupport:  "Firstly and this is a first; I agree with Jack L regarding James Stafford but I think I know why Johnny Evans has brought James back and why Leighton wasn't brought back. I heard Leighton being interviewed on 2fm during Rathnew's Leinster club championship run and he hinted that he wasn't willing to return to inter county football when asked. I believe that John Evans would have brought him back if he was willing instead he is a selector. James is back because it is a relative young squad and he is an experienced head. Look at him in the club championship, I think he was struggling to last 60 minutes which is why he was put in full forward; I think he will be an impact sub come the summer.

With regard to the 2nd tier championship; I think in theory it is a good idea but there are a number of downsides. The first one being that the same teams will be in it every year. If it was structured properly and if the teams were shown respect with promotion and relegation between the competitions; it would be a runner but that hasn't happened in the past which has led to a lack of trust with the powers that be. Secondly, players in the weaker counties are barely willing to train for 6 months and give the required dedication when they get a crack at the bigger counties so I can't see them being willing to do the same for less reward and I can't say I blame them."
Decent points but if you put yourself in the players position, as it currently stands Wicklow cannot beat the weakest teams in the country. I know what you're saying about no interest in 2nd Tier, but realistically what do we face to achieve in the championship now? Maybe win the first round, a decent run in the backdoor? We aren't going to win any silverware at this level, simply will not happen so why continue to play it? The best we can hope for is getting to meet Meath or Kildare, forget the Dubs but if London dismantle us God help us against a mid-class team. I know its only Feb and its only the league and we will improve, but every other team will improve also.
2nd Tier championship will never be delivered, will cost the GAA too much and will lose money in the long run because lack of interest from fans etc but teams such as ourselves are only there for a day out and not achieving anything in the long run. In fact its having a detrimental effect on our youth because they have nothing to strive for and opt to play other sports instead of GAA.
Hats off to players, managers, selectors and all that, they are doing the best they can but outside this county its like we are playing a foreign game.
I really find it hard to believe that we can produce such quality club teams and Rathnew doing so well in Leinster that it doesn't reflect or our county team. The Rathnew team that beat Vincents would probably of beaten London on their own.

SidelineSupreme (Wicklow) - Posts: 145 - 09/02/2018 15:49:50    2075261

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More than a little pride and self respect restored by our footballers today, fair play to them. Begs the question, what went wrong in London ?. Now to another mystery. What happened in Longford ?. No disrespect to Longford hurlers, but, come on.... .... Difficult to say which manager has the most work to do.

Freethinker (Wicklow) - Posts: 19 - 11/02/2018 18:05:18    2075912

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Replying To Freethinker:  "More than a little pride and self respect restored by our footballers today, fair play to them. Begs the question, what went wrong in London ?. Now to another mystery. What happened in Longford ?. No disrespect to Longford hurlers, but, come on.... .... Difficult to say which manager has the most work to do."
Great result up in antrim. Not to many will come away from there with a draw this year. London are a good team so I think that just went to form.

That was seco d string hurlers up in lonfgord today so no worries.

Pat Mustard (None) - Posts: 298 - 11/02/2018 18:24:39    2075921

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Was going to go to the hurling but thought it wouldn't be much of a contest and that we would easily blitz Longford as we have done recently so I went to the football instead. good decision but not because our hurlers lost but because I was impressed with how the footballers grinded out a draw. Wasn't spectacular but definitely some redemption from the London game.
As for the hurlers, I wouldn't consider the team we had out as second string, we had a lot of players that will be on the championship starting team and I was shocked that we were beaten. Any of our 15 off the current panel should be well able to beat Longford. Dreadful conditions but same for both teams, really expected us to win that. Regardless it is only the Keogh Cup at the end of the day.
Hoping the footballers can work with that momentum for the next day. They answered a lot of questions yesterday so credit to all.

SidelineSupreme (Wicklow) - Posts: 145 - 12/02/2018 08:43:29    2076084

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