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Interesting move by Galway to appoint Davey. One thing is certain, if the players support him he will go very close to bringing McCarthy back across the Shannon. While he seems to unsettle the back room boys, he is undoubtedly a players manager. I haven't heard anything on Colin Kelly or his management team yet but I hope they are at all the remaining senior, intermediate and even Jun A matches to watch teams which are their clubs only championship sides, if there are any of those left. The minor championship seems to have been a success this year, or at least all teams got plenty of games. The number of "made up" sides possibly could be a cause for concern, particularly for the future of the clubs involved. OK, you are "bringing on" 3, 4 or 5 young players but what about the other 15 or so that you will need to field an adult team. It's great that these "better" youngsters are getting the experience of playing competitively, but will there be a price to be paid down the line ?

Freethinker (Wicklow) - Posts: 413 - 20/10/2021 08:42:43    2386362

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Replying To Freethinker:  "Interesting move by Galway to appoint Davey. One thing is certain, if the players support him he will go very close to bringing McCarthy back across the Shannon. While he seems to unsettle the back room boys, he is undoubtedly a players manager. I haven't heard anything on Colin Kelly or his management team yet but I hope they are at all the remaining senior, intermediate and even Jun A matches to watch teams which are their clubs only championship sides, if there are any of those left. The minor championship seems to have been a success this year, or at least all teams got plenty of games. The number of "made up" sides possibly could be a cause for concern, particularly for the future of the clubs involved. OK, you are "bringing on" 3, 4 or 5 young players but what about the other 15 or so that you will need to field an adult team. It's great that these "better" youngsters are getting the experience of playing competitively, but will there be a price to be paid down the line ?"
I'm not sure I understand your point in relation to the number of made up sides - at underage, some teams amalgamate, for example, Dunlavin and Donard which seems to have helped both these sides as both Dunlavin and Donard are in the last eight of the senior championship. On a personal level, I am glad to hear that young players are getting more games as this is what is required to keep them interested and to help them develop. More games are better than too few games in my opinion especially if you factor in that most of these lads are probably playing soccer and may even be playing rugby in addition to gaelic football. Will be interesting to see Colin Kelly's backroom team as you say. I would imagine that they will be anxious to see players in action this weekend and beyond.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 1438 - 20/10/2021 11:34:29    2386396

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King Henry to Galway ?? Nobody saw that coming. Be interesting to see him and Brian squaring off in a Leinster final or even Croke Park. We live in interesting times. I realise this isn't a Wicklow topic but all Gaels everywhere will be intrigued at mouthwatering matches to come.

Freethinker (Wicklow) - Posts: 413 - 20/10/2021 18:27:26    2386518

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Replying To wicklowsupport:  "I'm not sure I understand your point in relation to the number of made up sides - at underage, some teams amalgamate, for example, Dunlavin and Donard which seems to have helped both these sides as both Dunlavin and Donard are in the last eight of the senior championship. On a personal level, I am glad to hear that young players are getting more games as this is what is required to keep them interested and to help them develop. More games are better than too few games in my opinion especially if you factor in that most of these lads are probably playing soccer and may even be playing rugby in addition to gaelic football. Will be interesting to see Colin Kelly's backroom team as you say. I would imagine that they will be anxious to see players in action this weekend and beyond."
I thought my point was quite clear. Just wondering out loud about the long term wisdom of smaller clubs struggling to survive joining forces with clubs in a similar situation at underage. I know it's great from the players lucky enough to get a games point of view, but it's also possible that the other half dozen or so young players in these clubs possibly get no competitive hurling for a year or two. This could these leave clubs struggling even more trying to field teams at adult level if their underage players haven't had competitive games at a vital age in their development. It's only an observation. Some of these teams have joined forces in order to see off larger clubs to whom some young players might gravitate with a danger that they might not go back when their underage days are finished. And I did state that it was good to see how many games young players are getting in recent years.

Freethinker (Wicklow) - Posts: 413 - 20/10/2021 18:37:51    2386523

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Replying To Freethinker:  "I thought my point was quite clear. Just wondering out loud about the long term wisdom of smaller clubs struggling to survive joining forces with clubs in a similar situation at underage. I know it's great from the players lucky enough to get a games point of view, but it's also possible that the other half dozen or so young players in these clubs possibly get no competitive hurling for a year or two. This could these leave clubs struggling even more trying to field teams at adult level if their underage players haven't had competitive games at a vital age in their development. It's only an observation. Some of these teams have joined forces in order to see off larger clubs to whom some young players might gravitate with a danger that they might not go back when their underage days are finished. And I did state that it was good to see how many games young players are getting in recent years."
I get where your coming from to be fair but I would actually sit on the other side of the fence opinion wise. I think amalgamations are probably the way forward at juvenile level in particular and specifically for small rural clubs. You made the point of 3/4 players coming through and how does that make up a team of 15. If you get 3/4 through to the senior team year on year in a small rural club you are doing quite well and over a 10 year period that's 30/40 players for example.

As well as this they are also playing at a higher standard than they would if they were playing on their own. Someone previously gave the example of Donard/Glen and Dunlavin for St. Nicks and how both teams are in a Senior Quarter final this weekend. The bones of both teams come from the minor teams of 2011 & 2012 that won the minor championship both years. Another example and probably the best example of amalgamated teams is in both Cork and Kerry - raises standards increases competition throughout - David and Paudie Clifford play Junior A football with Fossa and Senior for East Kerry, In Cork you have Duhallow, Imokill & UCC in both Codes. Has been done for years down there allowing the players of high quality in small clubs compete against the top teams within County.

I'd be familiar enough with the structures in Cork and maybe that's why I sit on that side of the fence to others on this topic?

footballlover (Wicklow) - Posts: 80 - 21/10/2021 10:10:03    2386570

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Replying To footballlover:  "I get where your coming from to be fair but I would actually sit on the other side of the fence opinion wise. I think amalgamations are probably the way forward at juvenile level in particular and specifically for small rural clubs. You made the point of 3/4 players coming through and how does that make up a team of 15. If you get 3/4 through to the senior team year on year in a small rural club you are doing quite well and over a 10 year period that's 30/40 players for example.

As well as this they are also playing at a higher standard than they would if they were playing on their own. Someone previously gave the example of Donard/Glen and Dunlavin for St. Nicks and how both teams are in a Senior Quarter final this weekend. The bones of both teams come from the minor teams of 2011 & 2012 that won the minor championship both years. Another example and probably the best example of amalgamated teams is in both Cork and Kerry - raises standards increases competition throughout - David and Paudie Clifford play Junior A football with Fossa and Senior for East Kerry, In Cork you have Duhallow, Imokill & UCC in both Codes. Has been done for years down there allowing the players of high quality in small clubs compete against the top teams within County.

I'd be familiar enough with the structures in Cork and maybe that's why I sit on that side of the fence to others on this topic?"
Good points, in fairness, footballlover.

Freethinker (Wicklow) - Posts: 413 - 21/10/2021 16:52:55    2386694

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Replying To footballlover:  "I get where your coming from to be fair but I would actually sit on the other side of the fence opinion wise. I think amalgamations are probably the way forward at juvenile level in particular and specifically for small rural clubs. You made the point of 3/4 players coming through and how does that make up a team of 15. If you get 3/4 through to the senior team year on year in a small rural club you are doing quite well and over a 10 year period that's 30/40 players for example.

As well as this they are also playing at a higher standard than they would if they were playing on their own. Someone previously gave the example of Donard/Glen and Dunlavin for St. Nicks and how both teams are in a Senior Quarter final this weekend. The bones of both teams come from the minor teams of 2011 & 2012 that won the minor championship both years. Another example and probably the best example of amalgamated teams is in both Cork and Kerry - raises standards increases competition throughout - David and Paudie Clifford play Junior A football with Fossa and Senior for East Kerry, In Cork you have Duhallow, Imokill & UCC in both Codes. Has been done for years down there allowing the players of high quality in small clubs compete against the top teams within County.

I'd be familiar enough with the structures in Cork and maybe that's why I sit on that side of the fence to others on this topic?"
I would also be in favour of more, not less, amalgamations. As two others pointed out, St. Nicholas are obviously the best example of these amalgamations working well in terms of consistently competing at the business end in 'A' championships and both adult clubs benefitting with both in Q-finals of SFC this weekend. I think it's disingenuous from Freethinker to say they are combining just to beat the bigger teams when it's obvious that Dunlavin couldn't consistently produce 15 players on their own and Donard couldn't in any age group whatsoever. It's a necessity to join.

Instead of asking the merits of amalgamations or not, I think we should be asking "Why don't other amalgamations work as well as St. Nicholas? Can they learn from the model?" and that's without asking "Why don't other single clubs from much larger population bases work as well consistently?" On the face of it, St. Nicholas shouldn't work so well - the two populations combined are roughly half the population of Baltinglass and a tenth of the size of Wicklow Town, yet they are by far our most consistently successful underage club in the last decade, going for yet another Minor 2-in-a-row next week which would make it 5 in 10 years I believe. I don't remember them being in any way successful fifteen, twenty years ago but the longer it has gone on the more successful they've gotten because they have learned what works together. Other clubs need to consistently work together to get that same cohesion.

Looking at some other amalgamations:

Michael Dywers (Kiltegan, Stratford/Grangecon, Ballymanus & Knockananna) - Combined population much bigger than St.Nicholas - when was the last time they had a team in an 'A' Football championship even? Has it worked well for anyone other than Kiltegan? Were Stratford justified in breaking up St. Joseph's - they have seemed to regress since the split. Is that because their players are playing B, C, D championships now instead of A?
St. Kevins (Hollywood & Valleymount) similar size pick to St. Nicholas - compete consistently in 'B' championships - should they be pushing on to at least compete every other year at 'A'? Both clubs going well in Intermediate now so Valleymount have certainly benefitted.
Tinahely's Ad-Hoc approach Has worked really well for them but has it hindered the clubs around them who sometimes join together, sometimes don't? Would there be a better solution for small clubs in south Wicklow to structure amalgamations - i.e Four seperate amalgamations (Shillelagh/Coolboy + Tinahely), (Carnew + Coolkenno), (Aughrim + Annacurra) and (Avoca + Barndarrig). I know some of these clubs are producing good teams on their own (Aughrim winning U15 'A' last year and Annacurra getting to U15 'A' Semi final this year) but they can't do it consistently.
Other Amalgamations (Laragh + Ballinacor), (Ashford + Glenealy + Newtown), (Kilcoole + Newcastle), (Kilmac+Enniskerry)
Reformation of St. Brigids Maybe a more controversial point to finish on but I feel that Lacken/Kilbride have really suffered by going out on their own at underage. They need to either join Blessington (who probably don't want them as they have more than enough) or St.Kevin's (Maybe the same answer here). I think L/K are in danger of extinction.

Realistically, Bray, Eire Og, Rathnew, St. Pats, Arklow, Baltinglass and Blessington should be in 'A' championships every year, allowing for one bad team every 4 or 5 years in B. The amalgamations should be yo-yo'ing up and down between A and B if all single clubs and amalgamations are working like clockwork. St. Pats, in particular, need to be more consistent here.

Anyway, who will win this weekend? I go for:

Blesso (Tight one, could go to penalties)
St. Pats (Will win comfortably. Avondale have gone backward this year)
Baltinglass (Will win comfortably - their second team beat them in the league)
Dunlavin (Will be a shock to most but I think it's Dunlavin's time to step up to the top top table)

Hollywood (Will win comfortably)
An Tochar (Tight but youth should beat experience here)
Ballymanus (Tight one, could go to penalties again)
Valleymount (Momentum from last year seems to be working, will be their last win)

Rathnew (Arguably not the better team but will dog it out)
Ashford (My second favourites this year)
Baltinglass (Top class side, should be playing at a higher level. Won Div 2 this year. Baltinglass have most strength in depth in the county, the second team beat Donard and An Tochar to win that league. Hollywood extremely lucky to avoid relegation by virtue of the lucky bye)
Barndarrig (Good team, could make the final and anything can happen in a final - they are better than some intermediate teams)

_BLUE_ (Wicklow) - Posts: 80 - 21/10/2021 17:05:03    2386698

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Replying To _BLUE_:  "I would also be in favour of more, not less, amalgamations. As two others pointed out, St. Nicholas are obviously the best example of these amalgamations working well in terms of consistently competing at the business end in 'A' championships and both adult clubs benefitting with both in Q-finals of SFC this weekend. I think it's disingenuous from Freethinker to say they are combining just to beat the bigger teams when it's obvious that Dunlavin couldn't consistently produce 15 players on their own and Donard couldn't in any age group whatsoever. It's a necessity to join.

Instead of asking the merits of amalgamations or not, I think we should be asking "Why don't other amalgamations work as well as St. Nicholas? Can they learn from the model?" and that's without asking "Why don't other single clubs from much larger population bases work as well consistently?" On the face of it, St. Nicholas shouldn't work so well - the two populations combined are roughly half the population of Baltinglass and a tenth of the size of Wicklow Town, yet they are by far our most consistently successful underage club in the last decade, going for yet another Minor 2-in-a-row next week which would make it 5 in 10 years I believe. I don't remember them being in any way successful fifteen, twenty years ago but the longer it has gone on the more successful they've gotten because they have learned what works together. Other clubs need to consistently work together to get that same cohesion.

Looking at some other amalgamations:

Michael Dywers (Kiltegan, Stratford/Grangecon, Ballymanus & Knockananna) - Combined population much bigger than St.Nicholas - when was the last time they had a team in an 'A' Football championship even? Has it worked well for anyone other than Kiltegan? Were Stratford justified in breaking up St. Joseph's - they have seemed to regress since the split. Is that because their players are playing B, C, D championships now instead of A?
St. Kevins (Hollywood & Valleymount) similar size pick to St. Nicholas - compete consistently in 'B' championships - should they be pushing on to at least compete every other year at 'A'? Both clubs going well in Intermediate now so Valleymount have certainly benefitted.
Tinahely's Ad-Hoc approach Has worked really well for them but has it hindered the clubs around them who sometimes join together, sometimes don't? Would there be a better solution for small clubs in south Wicklow to structure amalgamations - i.e Four seperate amalgamations (Shillelagh/Coolboy + Tinahely), (Carnew + Coolkenno), (Aughrim + Annacurra) and (Avoca + Barndarrig). I know some of these clubs are producing good teams on their own (Aughrim winning U15 'A' last year and Annacurra getting to U15 'A' Semi final this year) but they can't do it consistently.
Other Amalgamations (Laragh + Ballinacor), (Ashford + Glenealy + Newtown), (Kilcoole + Newcastle), (Kilmac+Enniskerry)
Reformation of St. Brigids Maybe a more controversial point to finish on but I feel that Lacken/Kilbride have really suffered by going out on their own at underage. They need to either join Blessington (who probably don't want them as they have more than enough) or St.Kevin's (Maybe the same answer here). I think L/K are in danger of extinction.

Realistically, Bray, Eire Og, Rathnew, St. Pats, Arklow, Baltinglass and Blessington should be in 'A' championships every year, allowing for one bad team every 4 or 5 years in B. The amalgamations should be yo-yo'ing up and down between A and B if all single clubs and amalgamations are working like clockwork. St. Pats, in particular, need to be more consistent here.

Anyway, who will win this weekend? I go for:

Blesso (Tight one, could go to penalties)
St. Pats (Will win comfortably. Avondale have gone backward this year)
Baltinglass (Will win comfortably - their second team beat them in the league)
Dunlavin (Will be a shock to most but I think it's Dunlavin's time to step up to the top top table)

Hollywood (Will win comfortably)
An Tochar (Tight but youth should beat experience here)
Ballymanus (Tight one, could go to penalties again)
Valleymount (Momentum from last year seems to be working, will be their last win)

Rathnew (Arguably not the better team but will dog it out)
Ashford (My second favourites this year)
Baltinglass (Top class side, should be playing at a higher level. Won Div 2 this year. Baltinglass have most strength in depth in the county, the second team beat Donard and An Tochar to win that league. Hollywood extremely lucky to avoid relegation by virtue of the lucky bye)
Barndarrig (Good team, could make the final and anything can happen in a final - they are better than some intermediate teams)"
Congrats on that thorough and well thought out analysis _Blue _. The only point I won't agree with you on is where you say that I am being disingenuous. That couldn't be further from the truth. I have absolutely no axe to grind here, or any hidden agenda, which I would need to have to qualify for your description of me. In fact the one or two cases that I had heard of were many miles from my part of the county, you possibly touched on one or two in your analysis. Other than that, keep up the good work. This county is sadly lacking in people with your undoubted knowledge of the various clubs throughout the county, and possibly right minded people on the areas you mentioned might give your some of your ideas the attention they deserve.

Freethinker (Wicklow) - Posts: 413 - 21/10/2021 18:46:17    2386715

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Weekend Senior Games

Rathnew will have way too much for Dunlavin, youth and hunger can only get you so far and the village men are head and shoulders the best team to grind out a result in the county.

Blessington have too many good forwards not to take this Agb team. Agb are not that good when it matters and I see Blesso shaking the bottler tag in this one.

St Pats will stroll past the weak centre of Avondale.
Tommy Kelly will put on a show and I can see the dales struggling to post 7 or 8 points.

Baltinglass were very workmanlike versus Kiltegan who should have at least drawn the game.
I think this will be closer than what the local turf accountants think and I say The county champions by 1 or 2 just.

willielee (Wicklow) - Posts: 6 - 22/10/2021 10:11:18    2386752

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Are the matches streamed anywhere this year? Don't see them on 247.tv

TopDrawer (Wicklow) - Posts: 4 - 22/10/2021 10:44:58    2386763

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Replying To _BLUE_:  "I would also be in favour of more, not less, amalgamations. As two others pointed out, St. Nicholas are obviously the best example of these amalgamations working well in terms of consistently competing at the business end in 'A' championships and both adult clubs benefitting with both in Q-finals of SFC this weekend. I think it's disingenuous from Freethinker to say they are combining just to beat the bigger teams when it's obvious that Dunlavin couldn't consistently produce 15 players on their own and Donard couldn't in any age group whatsoever. It's a necessity to join.

Instead of asking the merits of amalgamations or not, I think we should be asking "Why don't other amalgamations work as well as St. Nicholas? Can they learn from the model?" and that's without asking "Why don't other single clubs from much larger population bases work as well consistently?" On the face of it, St. Nicholas shouldn't work so well - the two populations combined are roughly half the population of Baltinglass and a tenth of the size of Wicklow Town, yet they are by far our most consistently successful underage club in the last decade, going for yet another Minor 2-in-a-row next week which would make it 5 in 10 years I believe. I don't remember them being in any way successful fifteen, twenty years ago but the longer it has gone on the more successful they've gotten because they have learned what works together. Other clubs need to consistently work together to get that same cohesion.

Looking at some other amalgamations:

Michael Dywers (Kiltegan, Stratford/Grangecon, Ballymanus & Knockananna) - Combined population much bigger than St.Nicholas - when was the last time they had a team in an 'A' Football championship even? Has it worked well for anyone other than Kiltegan? Were Stratford justified in breaking up St. Joseph's - they have seemed to regress since the split. Is that because their players are playing B, C, D championships now instead of A?
St. Kevins (Hollywood & Valleymount) similar size pick to St. Nicholas - compete consistently in 'B' championships - should they be pushing on to at least compete every other year at 'A'? Both clubs going well in Intermediate now so Valleymount have certainly benefitted.
Tinahely's Ad-Hoc approach Has worked really well for them but has it hindered the clubs around them who sometimes join together, sometimes don't? Would there be a better solution for small clubs in south Wicklow to structure amalgamations - i.e Four seperate amalgamations (Shillelagh/Coolboy + Tinahely), (Carnew + Coolkenno), (Aughrim + Annacurra) and (Avoca + Barndarrig). I know some of these clubs are producing good teams on their own (Aughrim winning U15 'A' last year and Annacurra getting to U15 'A' Semi final this year) but they can't do it consistently.
Other Amalgamations (Laragh + Ballinacor), (Ashford + Glenealy + Newtown), (Kilcoole + Newcastle), (Kilmac+Enniskerry)
Reformation of St. Brigids Maybe a more controversial point to finish on but I feel that Lacken/Kilbride have really suffered by going out on their own at underage. They need to either join Blessington (who probably don't want them as they have more than enough) or St.Kevin's (Maybe the same answer here). I think L/K are in danger of extinction.

Realistically, Bray, Eire Og, Rathnew, St. Pats, Arklow, Baltinglass and Blessington should be in 'A' championships every year, allowing for one bad team every 4 or 5 years in B. The amalgamations should be yo-yo'ing up and down between A and B if all single clubs and amalgamations are working like clockwork. St. Pats, in particular, need to be more consistent here.

Anyway, who will win this weekend? I go for:

Blesso (Tight one, could go to penalties)
St. Pats (Will win comfortably. Avondale have gone backward this year)
Baltinglass (Will win comfortably - their second team beat them in the league)
Dunlavin (Will be a shock to most but I think it's Dunlavin's time to step up to the top top table)

Hollywood (Will win comfortably)
An Tochar (Tight but youth should beat experience here)
Ballymanus (Tight one, could go to penalties again)
Valleymount (Momentum from last year seems to be working, will be their last win)

Rathnew (Arguably not the better team but will dog it out)
Ashford (My second favourites this year)
Baltinglass (Top class side, should be playing at a higher level. Won Div 2 this year. Baltinglass have most strength in depth in the county, the second team beat Donard and An Tochar to win that league. Hollywood extremely lucky to avoid relegation by virtue of the lucky bye)
Barndarrig (Good team, could make the final and anything can happen in a final - they are better than some intermediate teams)"
Enjoyed your post Blue. Gives a good overall view of the county and what changes can be made. I don't understand the rationale some times around why amalgamations are seen as bad in the county (that is my impression but I may be wrong as I am outside looking in to a large degree). Amalgamations are senior level can help an area as well, for example, a few years ago St. Mary's won a senior championship and it compromised Shilleagh and Coolkenna. People said it wouldn't work due to rivalry but it didn't stop them winning a senior championship, something that they wouldn't have done as individuals. Plus it allowed Paddy Dalton, a great servant to the county to win a senior championship but where did St. Mary's go? In relation to St. Nicks, how can an area with such a small population (Dunlavin - Donard/Glen) be so prominent at underage and the likes of Bray and Greystones seem to be way behind? How can this be the case? I think from a county perspective, amalgamations need to be used more especially in areas where teams are struggling. Young players need to compete at a decent level on a consistent basis instead of winning a 'B', 'C' championship. Also, there should be a review of amalgamations in the senior championship to allow intermediate teams to compete at a higher level just like was done with St. Mary's. It would increase competition in the senior ranks plus allow people in intermediate clubs to play at a higher level. Give it a go for a period and if it doesn't work then so be it.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 1438 - 22/10/2021 10:55:06    2386767

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Weekend Senior Games:

Rathnew are on their very last legs. Eddie Doyle and Mernagh are injury doubts from the last day. I can see Dunlavin really putting it up to them here with the fresher legs. Rathnew might need some of their "know-how" to get them over the line here. Draw.

If AGB have their full panel to pick form, they will take care of Blessington, a team who always struggle come the knock-out stages. AGB by 4.

St Pats will beat Avondale, likely in a low scoring affair. Hard to know what to expect from the Dales after losing to Donard and then beating a poor Newtown team.

Baltinglass should overcome a Donard team who are running on adrenaline at this stage after 2 fantastic wins. Balto will need to find the same energy that saw them over the line in 2016 & 2020 if they are to retain Miley.

neutralfan (Wicklow) - Posts: 209 - 22/10/2021 11:39:47    2386784

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Senior:
Pats to beat the Dales by 5-6, Avondale offer plenty but Pats will have too much.
Rathnew will drag it into a battle Dunlavin wont want and pull away by 4-5 in the end but I expect it to be tight right through.
AGB to beat Blesso. We all know about Blessington by now and AGB have some great talents with Darragh Fitz back from injury too.
Balto will have too much for Donard but should be a decent battle. I was surprised Donard won Intermediate never mind how well they've done at Senior so fair play to them but the run will end this weekend.

Intermediate:
Fancied Ballymanus to win this championship but Carnew had a great result in the last round. Will stick with the Billies but maybe on peno's as someone else said.
Hollywood to get over Stratford with a bit to spare.
An Tochar to beat Coolkenno by 2-3. Very good team and if they can utilise their talent they should overcome Coolkenna.
Hard to call Valleymount v Kilcoole, both done well to get this far when you see Annacurra Laragh and Kilmac in relegation. Maybe Kilcoole after the boost of beating Kilmac in a local derby. Possibly extra time in this one too.

Junior A:
Barndarrig to sneak past Pats but not by much. Pats done very well in Div 3 but Barndarrig have a lot of experience at this level and Div 2 and should have won Jun A by now in my opinion.
Baltinglass to beat Hollywood easily enough.
Ashford to beat AGB but I expect AGB to run it tight. Ashford also have a lot of experience at this level and in Div 2 and should do enough.
Rathnew v Blesso will be interesting. Rathnew won Div 3 but could lose a few to Senior due to injuries etc. Fancy Rathnew but not by much, Blesso to give them a good run, could be a good game for a neutral

LSDEindhoven (Wicklow) - Posts: 69 - 22/10/2021 15:41:59    2386839

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Replying To wicklowsupport:  "
Replying To _BLUE_:  "I would also be in favour of more, not less, amalgamations. As two others pointed out, St. Nicholas are obviously the best example of these amalgamations working well in terms of consistently competing at the business end in 'A' championships and both adult clubs benefitting with both in Q-finals of SFC this weekend. I think it's disingenuous from Freethinker to say they are combining just to beat the bigger teams when it's obvious that Dunlavin couldn't consistently produce 15 players on their own and Donard couldn't in any age group whatsoever. It's a necessity to join.

Instead of asking the merits of amalgamations or not, I think we should be asking "Why don't other amalgamations work as well as St. Nicholas? Can they learn from the model?" and that's without asking "Why don't other single clubs from much larger population bases work as well consistently?" On the face of it, St. Nicholas shouldn't work so well - the two populations combined are roughly half the population of Baltinglass and a tenth of the size of Wicklow Town, yet they are by far our most consistently successful underage club in the last decade, going for yet another Minor 2-in-a-row next week which would make it 5 in 10 years I believe. I don't remember them being in any way successful fifteen, twenty years ago but the longer it has gone on the more successful they've gotten because they have learned what works together. Other clubs need to consistently work together to get that same cohesion.

Looking at some other amalgamations:

Michael Dywers (Kiltegan, Stratford/Grangecon, Ballymanus & Knockananna) - Combined population much bigger than St.Nicholas - when was the last time they had a team in an 'A' Football championship even? Has it worked well for anyone other than Kiltegan? Were Stratford justified in breaking up St. Joseph's - they have seemed to regress since the split. Is that because their players are playing B, C, D championships now instead of A?
St. Kevins (Hollywood & Valleymount) similar size pick to St. Nicholas - compete consistently in 'B' championships - should they be pushing on to at least compete every other year at 'A'? Both clubs going well in Intermediate now so Valleymount have certainly benefitted.
Tinahely's Ad-Hoc approach Has worked really well for them but has it hindered the clubs around them who sometimes join together, sometimes don't? Would there be a better solution for small clubs in south Wicklow to structure amalgamations - i.e Four seperate amalgamations (Shillelagh/Coolboy + Tinahely), (Carnew + Coolkenno), (Aughrim + Annacurra) and (Avoca + Barndarrig). I know some of these clubs are producing good teams on their own (Aughrim winning U15 'A' last year and Annacurra getting to U15 'A' Semi final this year) but they can't do it consistently.
Other Amalgamations (Laragh + Ballinacor), (Ashford + Glenealy + Newtown), (Kilcoole + Newcastle), (Kilmac+Enniskerry)
Reformation of St. Brigids Maybe a more controversial point to finish on but I feel that Lacken/Kilbride have really suffered by going out on their own at underage. They need to either join Blessington (who probably don't want them as they have more than enough) or St.Kevin's (Maybe the same answer here). I think L/K are in danger of extinction.

Realistically, Bray, Eire Og, Rathnew, St. Pats, Arklow, Baltinglass and Blessington should be in 'A' championships every year, allowing for one bad team every 4 or 5 years in B. The amalgamations should be yo-yo'ing up and down between A and B if all single clubs and amalgamations are working like clockwork. St. Pats, in particular, need to be more consistent here.

Anyway, who will win this weekend? I go for:

Blesso (Tight one, could go to penalties)
St. Pats (Will win comfortably. Avondale have gone backward this year)
Baltinglass (Will win comfortably - their second team beat them in the league)
Dunlavin (Will be a shock to most but I think it's Dunlavin's time to step up to the top top table)

Hollywood (Will win comfortably)
An Tochar (Tight but youth should beat experience here)
Ballymanus (Tight one, could go to penalties again)
Valleymount (Momentum from last year seems to be working, will be their last win)

Rathnew (Arguably not the better team but will dog it out)
Ashford (My second favourites this year)
Baltinglass (Top class side, should be playing at a higher level. Won Div 2 this year. Baltinglass have most strength in depth in the county, the second team beat Donard and An Tochar to win that league. Hollywood extremely lucky to avoid relegation by virtue of the lucky bye)
Barndarrig (Good team, could make the final and anything can happen in a final - they are better than some intermediate teams)"
Enjoyed your post Blue. Gives a good overall view of the county and what changes can be made. I don't understand the rationale some times around why amalgamations are seen as bad in the county (that is my impression but I may be wrong as I am outside looking in to a large degree). Amalgamations are senior level can help an area as well, for example, a few years ago St. Mary's won a senior championship and it compromised Shilleagh and Coolkenna. People said it wouldn't work due to rivalry but it didn't stop them winning a senior championship, something that they wouldn't have done as individuals. Plus it allowed Paddy Dalton, a great servant to the county to win a senior championship but where did St. Mary's go? In relation to St. Nicks, how can an area with such a small population (Dunlavin - Donard/Glen) be so prominent at underage and the likes of Bray and Greystones seem to be way behind? How can this be the case? I think from a county perspective, amalgamations need to be used more especially in areas where teams are struggling. Young players need to compete at a decent level on a consistent basis instead of winning a 'B', 'C' championship. Also, there should be a review of amalgamations in the senior championship to allow intermediate teams to compete at a higher level just like was done with St. Mary's. It would increase competition in the senior ranks plus allow people in intermediate clubs to play at a higher level. Give it a go for a period and if it doesn't work then so be it."
With respect Wicklowsupport, both Bray and Greystones are prominent at underage level, in fact Greystones have been the team to beat in recent years. Are they perhaps going for 3 minors in a row ?? The question here is how they managed to end up in the "B" grade. Bray have always been a yardstick by which other clubs measure themselves at juvenile level. True, neither have been able to sustain a prolonged attempt to conquer Miley.

Freethinker (Wicklow) - Posts: 413 - 22/10/2021 18:24:27    2386874

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So much for those bottler tags and the ''Cant do it buisness end of the championship'' comments I think Blessington have really wiped the slate clean here and if they get Rathnew in the Semi I see them getting their big day out.

Wicklowtvhater (Wicklow) - Posts: 9 - 23/10/2021 17:34:45    2387019

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What i'm about to say gives me no pleasure but is an honest assessment. This year after last year's blackout due to covid, i have attend a number of championship club matches and i have seen most teams in the senior grade at this stage. The standard of club football in the county is the worse I have seen in the last thirty years. I wished Colin Kelly the best of luck recently, he will need much more than luck. As a county we are miles behind in a lot of departments and despite a promising under 20 team i find it hard to envisage anything other than a struggle in division 3. Until there are major changes in terms of the players being produced by clubs across the county we are stuck in the lower reaches of the intercounty pyramid.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 1438 - 24/10/2021 20:33:24    2387211

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Any outcome from the U13 scandal or has it been brushed under the carpet yet?

neutralfan (Wicklow) - Posts: 209 - 25/10/2021 20:09:50    2387338

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Replying To neutralfan:  "Any outcome from the U13 scandal or has it been brushed under the carpet yet?"
Enlighten us there

roseyinthegarden (Wicklow) - Posts: 48 - 26/10/2021 12:52:57    2387430

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Replying To neutralfan:  "Any outcome from the U13 scandal or has it been brushed under the carpet yet?"
Also heard that there was war in the Minor hurling final both on the field and in the stands?

Wasn't there myself so cant comment on the validity- can anyone shed further light on whether there's any truth in it? Hopefully not

footballlover (Wicklow) - Posts: 80 - 27/10/2021 14:03:48    2387593

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Replying To footballlover:  "Also heard that there was war in the Minor hurling final both on the field and in the stands?

Wasn't there myself so cant comment on the validity- can anyone shed further light on whether there's any truth in it? Hopefully not"
A certain club do what they always do! One team got a goal towards the end after a great come back and then a free to kill off they game, so they start a big melee, their sideline running in encouraging it with the aim of getting the game abandoned!

ww11 (Wicklow) - Posts: 15 - 27/10/2021 15:11:38    2387610

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