Leitrim Forum

How can we improve underage football ?

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Well posters. Just wondering what can we do as a county to try and improve our underage structures so that within lets say 5 years we could realistically compete at connaght level. On a quick scout around the county we have some fantastic players - from the minor final, Donal Wrynne, Eanna Madden, Padraig Gallagher, Ryan O'Rourke and Ciallan Canning. Further afield we have the Plunkett brothers Aughawillan, the McGovern brothers Ballinamore, Kevin Mullen Ballinamore, Jamie Stenson Eslin, Alan McTague Drumshanbo to name but a few. I could list another 10 without much thought. What happens when they put on Leitrim jersies ? Do we need experts to get into their heads or what ? Any thought so that we could all move forward together. Onwards and upwards.

badsilage (Leitrim) - Posts: 149 - 06/11/2012 16:05:17    1293500

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The present u-15s will be a very competitive team when they reach minor level, a great spread of young lads such as Stenson, Bruen, O Rourke, Heslin and and McTague to name but a few. They have a very strong panel. But here is the important aspect, they have Shane Heslin, Adrian Cullen and Pat Donohoe over them. Very good footballers who have a lot to pass on. This is the first selection by the bord na nog in years that could inspire youngsters to improve.
Quite simply this is a part of the Bord Na Nog that has been frustrating over the years is their appointments of anyone that puts their hand in the air at a meeting. How can we keep on expecting results when the same mistakes keep being made.

bananapublican (Leitrim) - Posts: 868 - 06/11/2012 19:07:36    1293685

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And don't forget that under the u15 panel is the u14 development squad

Another bunch of up and comeing stars

The main point is that at club level effort is being out in from the age of 4 onwards that's under6 right up

When I was 10 there wasn't a dam given about football until we got to minor

That's the problem and its only in the last 5 or 6 years that clubs have actually started coping on

I think if my generation had the effort put into us that is now being out in Leitrim would still be in div2 league

And we would have another Connacht title or 2 under our belt

It is only lately that an interest has been shown as parents who once played themselves want their children to go on and do what none of us ever got the chance to

I think it's a good thing but it should have happened along time ago

One club that stands out is st osnatts not many consider them worth talking about

Classing their first team as the worst in the county yet their underage is battling on alone

Win or loose something I have great respect for

Another thing is schools football when children leave national school their home club should have an agreement with the secondary schools for them to continue playing in school an club this never happened when I went to secondary school due to a lack of communication

U12/14 is the most important years to develop skills and no child/player should be denied this

94allstar (Leitrim) - Posts: 1737 - 06/11/2012 19:21:34    1293697

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In fairness lads have a look at any of the set ups now in place from U14 up to enda lyons group. County board have woken up and are recruiting passionate forward thinking past players for the development squads.We ARE doing what is needed and have a plan in place that should leave us in the best possible position to compete consistently at minor level in the near future.

fresherman (Leitrim) - Posts: 218 - 06/11/2012 19:33:47    1293714

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Very good point made by badsilage. Some greattalent mentioned there. And yes at last we seem to be moving in the right direction. Keep it up folks

june68 (Leitrim) - Posts: 68 - 06/11/2012 20:54:24    1293784

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Fresherman there are groups of development squads with a lot more respected names over them than others development squads. But for once I agree with 94allstar, if every club encourages kids at 5-6 years old to get out and encourage them to learn the basics, ie pick up, solo and different methods of kick passing with fun games to show off what they have learned. Also it would be no harm to encourage athleticism using plyometrics suitable for kids of that age. Leitrim needs to be forward thinking with the numbers we have, if we lead and have a head start it only puts us on a level playing field but when we play catch up as we do, we never seem to gain any ground. And any pushy parents seeking medals for their kids at all costs where they practically intimidate the opposition and inhibit their own players should not be entertained in any club. There are too many don'ts thought to kids at a young age. Don't pass backwards, don't play soccer with it, stop fist passing it, let the kids go with what they want until under 14s. Let football be fun. There will be lots of time for the serious stuff and Don'ts later on.

bananapublican (Leitrim) - Posts: 868 - 06/11/2012 21:02:28    1293794

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Fresherman there are groups of development squads with a lot more respected names over them than others development squads. But for once I agree with 94allstar, if every club encourages kids at 5-6 years old to get out and encourage them to learn the basics, ie pick up, solo and different methods of kick passing with fun games to show off what they have learned. Also it would be no harm to encourage athleticism using plyometrics suitable for kids of that age. Leitrim needs to be forward thinking with the numbers we have, if we lead and have a head start it only puts us on a level playing field but when we play catch up as we do, we never seem to gain any ground. And any pushy parents seeking medals for their kids at all costs where they practically intimidate the opposition and inhibit their own players should not be entertained in any club. There are too many don'ts thought to kids at a young age. Don't pass backwards, don't play soccer with it, stop fist passing it, let the kids go with what they want until under 14s. Let football be fun. There will be lots of time for the serious stuff and Don'ts later on.

bananapublican (Leitrim) - Posts: 868 - 06/11/2012 21:02:29    1293795

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And this is being enacted in a lot of clubs fenagh,leitrim gaels,st.marys with U6-U8 etc. I have already stressed to an unhealthy detail there is a need to change the mindset to inclusion and development of youngsters at the early age groups over the medal hunting attitude of underage amalgamation teams that 94 was promoting as the only way forward.
The more players we have playing at an early age the more chance we have of improving standards through a potential bigger pool of players. Its not rocket science. And bananapublican we have covered all avenues from motivational speakers,phsycologists,diets,supplement and weight programs. But the clubs need to row in as the county aren't there when the kids are taught to tackle and catch properly.

fresherman (Leitrim) - Posts: 218 - 06/11/2012 21:47:09    1293824

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Your talking from both sides of the mouth once again.

I never promoted medal hungry parents infact the opposite I would run them off the pitch and have been known to ask people to leave the gaa grounds for such attitudes

The difference is other counties have more of a choice of sports to play along with football and hurling

Tennis basketball soccer rugby all kinds of dance academy's judo karate and so on

Now if someone in Leitrim was to start up any of these sports to help improve our youngsters chances of developing their skills they would be talked about from one end of the county to the other and it would probably be for all the usual wrong typical Leitrim reasons that's the second biggest problem in this county

The first biggest problem in this county is the few families and individuals that think they have power and control you see them at gaa matches on the sideline or somewhere else they shouldn't be an they will probably show their false authority on some innocent individual during the event let it be a game or a socail event just to show you that they think they control the place along with their click

It normally looses the game for them in the long run

I'm hearing way too much about our population there is about 18000 people in the county around the same as 1 club in Kildare celbridge however the plus to this is we have 28 clubs so we have a lot more competition between our 28 clubs than 1 club

And I'm not just talking about boosting up the lads football look at our ladies they are currently propping up the county since the last time we reached a Connacht final 12 years ago

94allstar (Leitrim) - Posts: 1737 - 07/11/2012 12:33:55    1293965

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28000 is a lot more than the 18000 you talk about 94! Clicks and idiots at the helm of clubs is a serious impediment to the growth of clubs but one that can be overcome quite easily with a little diplomacy and BS. Every club has them on their committees and if they don't they are gone to the brighter lights of the county board. A lot of unsuitable men (who love photo opportunities, the microphone at social events, talking about themselves in the process, club rarely mentioned in their speeches, and don't take kindly to being voted against at meetings) seem to get into positions of power within clubs which has a negative effect on the clubs progression. But unfortunately this is a problem that is here to stay as the GAA club is the only outlet for them to show off how great they are. By the way the majority of club men/ women are good decent people and if you don't know any of the egotistical people I mention early in the post, chances are you might be one.

bananapublican (Leitrim) - Posts: 868 - 07/11/2012 16:47:01    1294194

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Great to see so many posters making valid points. I also think we should move away from the population issue. When the ref throws up the ball at the start of the game you are only standing beside another human being. Just because he is from Mayo, Galway, a rotten rossie, Kerry or Dublin doesn't make him superhuman. Maybe im phrasing this wrong but i hope yee get my meaning. Surely at development squads and u16 county panels it should be drummed into youngsters heads that we are as good as any 14, 15 or 16year old from anywhere. Are we missing hands, legs, ribs or just simple courage and heart ? And us adults should also play our part. When we hear people knocking our county teams at any level we should say that they are doing well and we will turn the corner. Surely we all would love to see a Tedd Webb cup or a Connaght minor championship in the near future

badsilage (Leitrim) - Posts: 149 - 07/11/2012 20:56:54    1294395

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Don't forget town councils and st Patrick day committees and agricultural show committees along with the Ifa and probably the parish committee and the schools board of management

Just a list of powerless titles such individuals get themselves elected onto using mainly family to propose the motion and the wife or son or brothers in law to second it

I spoke with a rossy the other day we spoke about the GAA in general and at home he was of the opinion we would never win an all ireland because of our population yet Roscommon only has 10,000 more of a population than us and looks how far they got in Connacht lately

At the end of the day it's 15 on 15 an the main m reason we die off in the second half and towards the end of the first half is because we spend too much time listening to the story's from the has beens about how they went on ye beer in Roscommon yuan or castlebar after getting bet by 30 points

My opinion it's all in the head

94allstar (Leitrim) - Posts: 1737 - 08/11/2012 11:25:15    1294556

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Spell check
Roscommon tuam or castlebar

94allstar (Leitrim) - Posts: 1737 - 08/11/2012 11:42:55    1294581

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u16 final on Sunday in Carrigallen. Why is it gone there ?? Should be a good game with some fine players on both sides. Mohill would appear to be favourites but with Keith Beirne playing soccer in Dublin the odds are evened up greatly

badsilage (Leitrim) - Posts: 149 - 09/11/2012 13:05:13    1295273

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Credit must go to Ballinamore, they pushed St Manachans(plus cloone) to extra time and only lost by one kick of the ball, i was at the game and it was astonishing to see the different sizes in panels with Manachans having twice as many players as SOH

pinkyman (Leitrim) - Posts: 58 - 11/11/2012 15:32:16    1295949

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Hate to always seem to be going on about it, but as pointed out, Manachans could nearly field a team using there subs alone! In the short term it seems great for these young players getting medals, but if they dont get games, eventually they could fall away from playing which is not good for the future of Leitrim football!

Great credit to the young Ballinamore lads, who were always up against the odd's!

County board, would it not have made a lot more sense to have had this game as a curtain raiser to the league final in carrick..?

LetHerAtIt (Leitrim) - Posts: 65 - 11/11/2012 18:21:56    1296107

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Good game of football and delighted to see us win. Should we banish all the 13, 14 and 15 year olds from the park if big panels offend yee ? I didn't see anyone mention that Manor had 22 togged out for u16 final against Fenagh and Fenagh were made to play without some handballers. Or Melvi Gaels with their big panel against Kiltubrid. Poor reffing for both sides. But the Ballinamore officials should be ashamed constantly in on the field. This is u16 folks. A small bit of respect.

Ballinamore had a lad sent off - harshly in my opinion - but put that same player back on for extra time in a total disregard for the rules. Did yee not get enough punishment when yee broke the rules over Feile ?? I know they were entitled to start extra time with the full compliment but not a sent off player. Please correct me if i am wrong.

badsilage (Leitrim) - Posts: 149 - 11/11/2012 19:38:01    1296161

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Badsilage Ballinamore checked with the officials and were told in no uncertain terms that he could go back on as it was a new game. In terms of officals being ashamed surely trying to get a game changed to accomodate a lad playing soccer when ye have so many subs is a bit childish. No problem facing big panels but the problem with Mohill having a big panel is that it consists of 3 clubs not one not two but three and thats what most neutrals problem is with it. its irrelevant whether its only two players from cloone but one of those players was man of the match in my opinion. Mohill with their proud tradition dont need that nonsense and i dont think any reasonable peorson has a problem with Eslin playing with Mohill as it is a tradition going back years but throwing cloone into the mix is a step too far for most neutrals

tarasy (Leitrim) - Posts: 12 - 12/11/2012 09:50:29    1296312

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The standard of play yesterday at the U16 game was exceptional good to see two teams really go for it some great points scored by both sides, point by young Connaughton was as good as what his club man Wayne McKeon would score. liked the way both sets of players conducted themselves during and after the match playing football the way it should be played tough but fair.

tarasy (Leitrim) - Posts: 12 - 12/11/2012 10:49:39    1296332

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Bad silage think its time to stay with the silage and stick off them beef nuts.

Melvin Gaels had 16 togged against kiltubrid on checking. You cannot enter a 15 a side competition with only 16 players as with injuries/holidays during summers you won't be able to field a team.


The sooner we get a new co board secretary in place the better.

johnnos bulls (None) - Posts: 527 - 12/11/2012 12:07:42    1296375

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