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Wicklow GAA thread

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Replying To Freethinker:  "I think that 137 years of winning very little has left the Wicklow GAA family in general more or less resigned to what has developed as the Status Quo. So, everyone works within the confines of the existing club and county set up. Older people like me have become disillusioned with the whole thing. Younger, still optimistic club workers are where we were in our day - fully convinced that things can change. And fair play to them, I admire their attitude and ideals. The whole thing reminds me of how our Olympians performed over the years. Some notable exceptions but in the main they were nearly 8 yrs behind the successful nations. Then the Sports Council with grants for organisations who were properly prepared - high performance coaches et al and now, while there is still a gap but it's closing and in some cases the gap is closed. I fully realise that our athletes are in the main almost semi professional and compete for money. I suppose the point I am trying to make is with a change of attitude and a different drive from the top down, things could change. We need a complete rethink on how we operate and organise our games. Money will be a problem but not an insurmountable one. We are going nowhere - sad but true and without a complete root and branch overhaul we never will. Sorry if this is longwinded but there are things that must be said, but unfortunately they are unlikely to be said at the top, where they really need to be."
I think you have put your finger on the issue. I am sure that there are people working hard at both clubs and at county level but what we've been doing is nor has it ever worked. Yet as a county we seem to be stuck in an out of date mindset. The strange thing is that we have nothing to lose by ripping it up and trying something radically new as we are at the bottom in both hurling and football; we can't get any worse. Maybe it is fear of change. I don't blame supporters, players, mentors for turning their back. As the saying goes it's the lack of hope that kills you in the end. It does feel as though hope of making progress has all but evapourated within the county. It probably went out the gate with Micko along with the support which has been dwindling over the intervening years, to a point where it is at its lowest now. The whole setup needs re-energising. I think it needs a big name/personality like the Micko appointment but with an underage structure to build on any momentum started. It probably is about money which probably means that the status quo will remains Depressing outlook as we look forward.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 1701 - 01/06/2022 14:34:34    2421587

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It most definitely is about money. Wicklow GAA incorp will not not rock any boat once it doesn't cost them money. The incorp will absorb any criticism once they do not have to fork out any money. They will accept countless bad results and lack of progress once the bank account balances . I have said it before here that we do have a panel of young players that have potential. If we did get a big name manager the funds would be there.

roseyinthegarden (Wicklow) - Posts: 81 - 01/06/2022 18:34:06    2421678

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Replying To roseyinthegarden:  "It most definitely is about money. Wicklow GAA incorp will not not rock any boat once it doesn't cost them money. The incorp will absorb any criticism once they do not have to fork out any money. They will accept countless bad results and lack of progress once the bank account balances . I have said it before here that we do have a panel of young players that have potential. If we did get a big name manager the funds would be there."
I agree entirely with you on this. One problem will always be getting a suitable "high profile " manager. We got Micko - about 20 yrs too late, in my opinion - but it has to be said that during the "Micko" era, eyes were taken completely off the ball with our juveniles. Our great and good got caught up totally in the wave of goodwill which The Maestro brought with him. We have had a few good managers since. Jon Evans - why did he walk ? Dave last year, why did he walk ? . It seems to me that when these unfortunates set their stalls out, that is then written in stone and there is no point in coming back in for more of anything. The powers that be are quite welcome to come on here and correct any of these opinions of ours, but they prefer to keep any comment for county convention time when they are preaching largely to the converted, or at least to the ones who have gratefully installed them for another year. No, as other posters point out repeatedly, we have no ambition to rise any higher that our fiscal allocation allows. That is arguably a notable aspiration but unfortunately not one which encourages our young players who might harbour ambitions to mix it with the big boys at some stage in their careers. The occasional staycation in Div 3 and a permanent life in 4 seems to be the sum total of our expectations. I have been following Wicklow for close to 60 years and I think that if we have spent 10 yrs out of the basement in that time it is about the limit. Is this not disgraceful and deplorable ?

Freethinker (Wicklow) - Posts: 607 - 02/06/2022 12:49:04    2421776

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Replying To Freethinker:  "I agree entirely with you on this. One problem will always be getting a suitable "high profile " manager. We got Micko - about 20 yrs too late, in my opinion - but it has to be said that during the "Micko" era, eyes were taken completely off the ball with our juveniles. Our great and good got caught up totally in the wave of goodwill which The Maestro brought with him. We have had a few good managers since. Jon Evans - why did he walk ? Dave last year, why did he walk ? . It seems to me that when these unfortunates set their stalls out, that is then written in stone and there is no point in coming back in for more of anything. The powers that be are quite welcome to come on here and correct any of these opinions of ours, but they prefer to keep any comment for county convention time when they are preaching largely to the converted, or at least to the ones who have gratefully installed them for another year. No, as other posters point out repeatedly, we have no ambition to rise any higher that our fiscal allocation allows. That is arguably a notable aspiration but unfortunately not one which encourages our young players who might harbour ambitions to mix it with the big boys at some stage in their careers. The occasional staycation in Div 3 and a permanent life in 4 seems to be the sum total of our expectations. I have been following Wicklow for close to 60 years and I think that if we have spent 10 yrs out of the basement in that time it is about the limit. Is this not disgraceful and deplorable ?"
I agree with you and rosyinthegarden. Unfortunately it is all about money. There is alot of talk about population which is an advantage but it is more about money; look at how much Mayo spend every year on their county teams. Mayo has a smaller population than Wicklow. The strategy of the Wicklow county board is prudence in a way but it leads to short-termism and it leads to ambitious manager not hanging around due to a lack of investment. There will be supporters and maybe the club delegates who will be ok with this approach but i know a lot of supporters who have given up as they are sick of the status quo and the lack of progress. I think a big name manager is the only thing that will entice them back and they have followed the team for years but are disillusioned. I would imagine that there is a lot of players who may feel the same particular hurlers it would seem. This is a vicious cycle that will continue and all it will do is leave our county teams further and further adrift of the other teams in the league, province and national.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 1701 - 02/06/2022 15:27:38    2421813

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Some good dialogue on here lately and good to see that there is some folks left who still care about Wicklow GAA. I , for one, firmly believe and have advocated previously on this forum that the only path forward for us will be with direct intervention from GAA Administration in Croke Park Park. Hopefully over time their preoccupation with Dublin will dissipate and they will start to see the benefits of targeting investment in other counties to promote the game.
Wicklow is low hanging fruit in this regard - big overall population & participation potential, large towns that have traditionally been losing out to Soccer/Rugby , strong rural base engrained in the traditions & fabric of the GAA, a local untapped affluent business community which (as seen in the Micko era) are willing to put their hand in their pocket when things are being run properly and a little bit of success emerges.

This could happen either with Croke Park stepping directly in and assuming administrative control of GAA affairs in Wicklow (which I believe they did to a certain extent in Kildare previously when their finances had gotten out of control) or as another poster suggested here maybe a local benefactor stepping in and making a pitch to Croke Park to say "I will invest X amount in Wicklow GAA and deliver A, B & C on the understanding that the current administration is kept out of my way".

In the absence of some other sort of seismic shift like this, I share the views expressed elsewhere here that the coming years will yield more of what we've endured for last number of decades.

Hawkeye2 (Wicklow) - Posts: 90 - 02/06/2022 21:12:24    2421873

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Replying To Hawkeye2:  "Some good dialogue on here lately and good to see that there is some folks left who still care about Wicklow GAA. I , for one, firmly believe and have advocated previously on this forum that the only path forward for us will be with direct intervention from GAA Administration in Croke Park Park. Hopefully over time their preoccupation with Dublin will dissipate and they will start to see the benefits of targeting investment in other counties to promote the game.
Wicklow is low hanging fruit in this regard - big overall population & participation potential, large towns that have traditionally been losing out to Soccer/Rugby , strong rural base engrained in the traditions & fabric of the GAA, a local untapped affluent business community which (as seen in the Micko era) are willing to put their hand in their pocket when things are being run properly and a little bit of success emerges.

This could happen either with Croke Park stepping directly in and assuming administrative control of GAA affairs in Wicklow (which I believe they did to a certain extent in Kildare previously when their finances had gotten out of control) or as another poster suggested here maybe a local benefactor stepping in and making a pitch to Croke Park to say "I will invest X amount in Wicklow GAA and deliver A, B & C on the understanding that the current administration is kept out of my way".

In the absence of some other sort of seismic shift like this, I share the views expressed elsewhere here that the coming years will yield more of what we've endured for last number of decades."
Indeed we are a rare breed and an endangered species. I would love to see a group take control of proceedings in wicklow and steer us in the direction we need to go. I don't know of any mechanism whereby this would happen. To the best of my knowledge the Kildare situation centered on overspending as you say and croke park refused to allocate any further funding and told Kildare to get their house in order which they agreed to do with oversight from croke park. The GAA may listen to a business proposal but who has the vision and fortitude to make this happen? It is a vicious circle; there needs to be a plan formulated and presented to the powers that be stating this is our vision and we need help with x,y and z but the county representative don't appear to have the appetite for this and the clubs it would seem are complicity in this way of operating which leads us and keeps us with the status quo. I don't see the GAA getting involved. In fact I think and I have articulated this on other forums that the GAA are making the games elite at intercounty level and are making the pool of top counties in both hurling and football smaller and facilating these counties playing one another regularly for the top prizes.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 1701 - 03/06/2022 13:44:29    2421998

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Replying To wicklowsupport:  "Indeed we are a rare breed and an endangered species. I would love to see a group take control of proceedings in wicklow and steer us in the direction we need to go. I don't know of any mechanism whereby this would happen. To the best of my knowledge the Kildare situation centered on overspending as you say and croke park refused to allocate any further funding and told Kildare to get their house in order which they agreed to do with oversight from croke park. The GAA may listen to a business proposal but who has the vision and fortitude to make this happen? It is a vicious circle; there needs to be a plan formulated and presented to the powers that be stating this is our vision and we need help with x,y and z but the county representative don't appear to have the appetite for this and the clubs it would seem are complicity in this way of operating which leads us and keeps us with the status quo. I don't see the GAA getting involved. In fact I think and I have articulated this on other forums that the GAA are making the games elite at intercounty level and are making the pool of top counties in both hurling and football smaller and facilating these counties playing one another regularly for the top prizes."
I agree, the GAA definitely seems comfortable with smaller numbers of competitive top tier counties. The way the tailteann cup has been ushered in with a sense of "here's something to keep you inferior folks amused" , rather than trying to mobilize collective efforts to bring the standard of other counties up a level.
I don't see the longevity in this strategy. Right now, realistically there is one top tier team in Munster, two in Leinster (Kildare only really barely at this level), two in Connacht and a handful in Ulster. In 20 years, Football has swung completely in the other direction compared to Hurling. Now any one of 8 Hurling teams can realistically believe they can win the All-Ireland. Nowhere near 8 teams can win a Football All-Ireland. Roll forward another 10 years and where will football be? 3 teams, 4 at a push? Surely there are top table officials in Croke Park alarmed by what is happening in the likes of Meath & Cork. Two former football powerhouses that cannot even keep it kicked out to Kerry & Dublin. How long before we have a similar situation to Kilkenny where some county decides they are not fielding a senior football team. What's the chances that it could be Wicklow?

Hawkeye2 (Wicklow) - Posts: 90 - 03/06/2022 18:24:07    2422048

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Replying To Hawkeye2:  "I agree, the GAA definitely seems comfortable with smaller numbers of competitive top tier counties. The way the tailteann cup has been ushered in with a sense of "here's something to keep you inferior folks amused" , rather than trying to mobilize collective efforts to bring the standard of other counties up a level.
I don't see the longevity in this strategy. Right now, realistically there is one top tier team in Munster, two in Leinster (Kildare only really barely at this level), two in Connacht and a handful in Ulster. In 20 years, Football has swung completely in the other direction compared to Hurling. Now any one of 8 Hurling teams can realistically believe they can win the All-Ireland. Nowhere near 8 teams can win a Football All-Ireland. Roll forward another 10 years and where will football be? 3 teams, 4 at a push? Surely there are top table officials in Croke Park alarmed by what is happening in the likes of Meath & Cork. Two former football powerhouses that cannot even keep it kicked out to Kerry & Dublin. How long before we have a similar situation to Kilkenny where some county decides they are not fielding a senior football team. What's the chances that it could be Wicklow?"
It is very unclear what the footballing landscape will be in 5-10 years. Kerry is a major footballing county in a hurling province. Kildare have invested heavily and have become a force in underage which may reaped dividends at some stage. This leaves Dublin in Leinster. Meath and Down have fallen off the footballing landscape and show little sign of recovery. Cork is predominantly a hurling county with small pockets of football. It may be a case that county boards will choose one code to invest in. The main problem in Wicklow is that we can't master one code so if you were to choose either football or hurling which woild it be? At least master one code.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 1701 - 04/06/2022 15:14:33    2422131

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Replying To Hawkeye2:  "I agree, the GAA definitely seems comfortable with smaller numbers of competitive top tier counties. The way the tailteann cup has been ushered in with a sense of "here's something to keep you inferior folks amused" , rather than trying to mobilize collective efforts to bring the standard of other counties up a level.
I don't see the longevity in this strategy. Right now, realistically there is one top tier team in Munster, two in Leinster (Kildare only really barely at this level), two in Connacht and a handful in Ulster. In 20 years, Football has swung completely in the other direction compared to Hurling. Now any one of 8 Hurling teams can realistically believe they can win the All-Ireland. Nowhere near 8 teams can win a Football All-Ireland. Roll forward another 10 years and where will football be? 3 teams, 4 at a push? Surely there are top table officials in Croke Park alarmed by what is happening in the likes of Meath & Cork. Two former football powerhouses that cannot even keep it kicked out to Kerry & Dublin. How long before we have a similar situation to Kilkenny where some county decides they are not fielding a senior football team. What's the chances that it could be Wicklow?"
Hawkeye. Every word you say is true. Unfortunately it seems at the top level in Croke Park the thing is commercially driven. A shortsighted policy if ever there was one. Could we even see a time where there would be more concerts there than football or hurling matches ? As you say, Gaelic football seems to be in demise in 3 of our 4 provinces. Hurling will continue to excite as any one of the top 8 teams could beat any of the others on a given day but that is far from the case in football.

Freethinker (Wicklow) - Posts: 607 - 04/06/2022 15:24:36    2422132

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Replying To Freethinker:  "Hawkeye. Every word you say is true. Unfortunately it seems at the top level in Croke Park the thing is commercially driven. A shortsighted policy if ever there was one. Could we even see a time where there would be more concerts there than football or hurling matches ? As you say, Gaelic football seems to be in demise in 3 of our 4 provinces. Hurling will continue to excite as any one of the top 8 teams could beat any of the others on a given day but that is far from the case in football."
I would say that the GAA have always been commercially driven but it has accerelated out of control in the last 10 years. There are professional counties now and then there are a large number of counties that on a sliding scale are semi professional down to amateur. I'm not sure where we stand but i would think it is probably on the lower side of this scale. I have written on other forums that the GAA have no interest in the lower ranked team aside from hiving them into a second-third-fourth tier competition and forgetting about them. I think the football championship will mirror the hurling championship in time. There will be no provincial championships in a few years. The landscape will mirror, reflex the league structure, the league may even be part of the championship. I don't know what our delegates to congress do, what their mandate is when representing the county but our strategy, based upon what i've gleened is the road to oblivion and i think we as a county are complicted in this because we really don't have a strategy except tag along behind the rest and give our delegate their big day out in croke park once a year.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 1701 - 05/06/2022 10:51:51    2422333

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Replying To wicklowsupport:  "I would say that the GAA have always been commercially driven but it has accerelated out of control in the last 10 years. There are professional counties now and then there are a large number of counties that on a sliding scale are semi professional down to amateur. I'm not sure where we stand but i would think it is probably on the lower side of this scale. I have written on other forums that the GAA have no interest in the lower ranked team aside from hiving them into a second-third-fourth tier competition and forgetting about them. I think the football championship will mirror the hurling championship in time. There will be no provincial championships in a few years. The landscape will mirror, reflex the league structure, the league may even be part of the championship. I don't know what our delegates to congress do, what their mandate is when representing the county but our strategy, based upon what i've gleened is the road to oblivion and i think we as a county are complicted in this because we really don't have a strategy except tag along behind the rest and give our delegate their big day out in croke park once a year."
It would be an interesting exercise to see who our delegates to Leinster Council, Central Council (if we have any) and Congress have been say for the last 30 years even, put up on a chart. It is probably public knowledge in that the names of delegates appointed would be published every year after the County Convention. And then to get feedback as to what contributions they made to any debates on the future of our games, standards etc. I have a fair idea but it might be an eye opener for our younger brethren. Realistically we are operating a cosy cabal at the upper echelons of our association within the county for decades. It is no wonder or surprise that we are always about 5/10 years behind most if not all counties. It is my hope that if we can generate a "conversation " (to use a phrase which one of our local TDs loves to use) and get GAA followers throughout the county engaged in it, perhaps something might begin to change.

Freethinker (Wicklow) - Posts: 607 - 05/06/2022 11:29:04    2422348

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Does anyone associated with a club or in the know locally; know when the senior football championship is due to begins in Wicklow? And if is a knockout with a back door or is it on a league basis?

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 1701 - 10/06/2022 17:29:30    2423821

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Replying To wicklowsupport:  "Does anyone associated with a club or in the know locally; know when the senior football championship is due to begins in Wicklow? And if is a knockout with a back door or is it on a league basis?"
Not a lot of interest in your query, Wicklowsupport. I am not sure when they kick off. I just decided to post before our thread got lost. I t was near the bottom of page 4 when I found it again.

Freethinker (Wicklow) - Posts: 607 - 22/06/2022 11:27:31    2426797

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Weekend July 30th for Senior and Intermediate football , I think.
Junior the following week.

roseyinthegarden (Wicklow) - Posts: 81 - 22/06/2022 16:26:08    2426899

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Replying To roseyinthegarden:  "Weekend July 30th for Senior and Intermediate football , I think.
Junior the following week."
A full 5 or 6 weeks away? Why ? The leagues are finished or as good as. Maybe to accommodate hurling. Ah well, as long as it makes sense to somebody. If we are lucky enough to get a new manager before then at least he might get a chance to see some games and possibly see some new players. I wouldn't hold my breath on that one though

Freethinker (Wicklow) - Posts: 607 - 22/06/2022 19:58:18    2426935

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Replying To Freethinker:  "A full 5 or 6 weeks away? Why ? The leagues are finished or as good as. Maybe to accommodate hurling. Ah well, as long as it makes sense to somebody. If we are lucky enough to get a new manager before then at least he might get a chance to see some games and possibly see some new players. I wouldn't hold my breath on that one though"
I am assuming that the current management team who took over when Colin Kelly left will be given the job on a permanent basis. My reason for making this assumption is that they got a championship win and a win in the Tailteann cup plus what are the alternatives? In relation to the local championship. I don't understand the rationale for having the all ireland in july if clubs aren't playing their championship in the summer months. I assume wicklow have a PRO; would love to know what that job entitles. The level of input on our forum is dropping dramatically; is this a reflection of a lack of interest in gaa within the county or since the forum was merged?

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 1701 - 23/06/2022 21:20:56    2427147

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Complete and utter apathy I would guess. Nothing to talk about really with the exception of the leagues. The leagues themselves are coming to an end, the senior side, next weekend. Baltinglass had a good win I see over Rathnew for 4 points, pats accounted for Tinahely and AGB had a facile win over Newtown. I see An Tochar are flying albeit in a lower league. Championship kicks off the end of July.

roseyinthegarden (Wicklow) - Posts: 81 - 24/06/2022 11:40:43    2427220

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Will Costello stay on next as Wicklow manager?

F4 (Kilkenny) - Posts: 47 - 24/06/2022 17:37:21    2427312

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Replying To roseyinthegarden:  "Complete and utter apathy I would guess. Nothing to talk about really with the exception of the leagues. The leagues themselves are coming to an end, the senior side, next weekend. Baltinglass had a good win I see over Rathnew for 4 points, pats accounted for Tinahely and AGB had a facile win over Newtown. I see An Tochar are flying albeit in a lower league. Championship kicks off the end of July."
I agree with the above sentiments re this forum. I just put up something a few days ago as I thought our thread was in danger of falling into oblivion. There will be an upturn when the local championships start, that will bring us back around to Leinster club and then National ( basement level) League. That's the way it will be going forward, I'm afraid. So many interesting posters with interesting ideas have dropped off. Who can blame them. As a county we are regressing and nobody wants to shout stop. I realise I will be deemed a doom and gloom merchant but really I'm just a realist, albeit an ageing realist who also once possessed all that youthful optimism which appears on here from time to time but which too is getting scarcer.

Freethinker (Wicklow) - Posts: 607 - 24/06/2022 20:09:47    2427335

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Replying To Freethinker:  "I agree with the above sentiments re this forum. I just put up something a few days ago as I thought our thread was in danger of falling into oblivion. There will be an upturn when the local championships start, that will bring us back around to Leinster club and then National ( basement level) League. That's the way it will be going forward, I'm afraid. So many interesting posters with interesting ideas have dropped off. Who can blame them. As a county we are regressing and nobody wants to shout stop. I realise I will be deemed a doom and gloom merchant but really I'm just a realist, albeit an ageing realist who also once possessed all that youthful optimism which appears on here from time to time but which too is getting scarcer."
Looking at intercounty games they appears to be an absence of atmosphere at most games; it might all change this weekend. Without a proper strategy and funding at county board level, we will continue to flounder. In the last 30 years looking at the setup, as a county we stumble for one year to the next making the same mistakes and not learning nor adjusting to them. The biggest disappointment for me is the club scene and our alerting decline in the leinster championship. I don't have expectations at county level unless there is a change at the top which doesn't appear to be on the horizon but i thought the club would continue to compete well in the province alas that is no longer the case.

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 1701 - 25/06/2022 15:27:11    2427405

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