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Westmeath Hurling thread

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Replying To Claretandblue:  "Laudable intentions Tan, any practical suggestions as to how it could be done? Who would take the lead in Moate to form a hurling club? Where would they play? Bear in mind integration means huge pressure on existing facilities as Camogie and Lgfa clubs demand equal access to pitches etc. Fr. Daltons deoendent on a few local stalwarts like Denis O' Rourke, Brian Mc, Spike McCormack and newcomer like Sean Smyth, who are these people in Maryland, Moate, Kinnegad,? Rural clubs already struggling in football manpower. You mentioned Kilbeggan. Do Castletown not provide hurling in that area?"
Of course it's pie in the sky stuff, but what else are we supposed to do? I mean continuing with the staus quo isn't exactly going to change our position in the pecking order of hurlings elite tier. I mean even if we did have 20 individual hurling clubs, Cork still have 200 odd clubs and Kilkenny have 40 - 50 almost exclusively hurling clubs with almost no competition from Gaelic football. As Jobber said if Westmeath want to at least lessen the odds and begin to compete consistently at that top 10 level then you need to try and develop the game here. You have to make it so every child north or south has a chance to line out for a hurling team, gets good coaching and then maybe they'll develop into a great player someday. The same is true for our football team. You have to maximise your available resources to even have a chance of competing at the top level because we are a small county.

I was also only arguing that 'some' of those areas that I mentioned have a hurling club again. I'm not expecting every single football club south of Mullingar to line out a hurling team again because that's simply not realistic nor is it practical. I'm also saying this is a long term project, over the next 20 - 25 years. The things you mention are all valid criticisms that would have to be solved.

The idea I suppose might be to try and create an amalgamation type effort, you aim to create 1 hurling club in an area with 4 or 5 football clubs, I believe that's something similar to the East Cavan Gaels club setup mentioned on here. The football club that takes on such an effort as you say to integrate in this body would be under pressure, to host the hurling club, and should get more funding from the county board as a reward for taking on the effort. Perhaps there should be a rotation of the hurling club around the various associated football clubs pitches if the host pitch isn't available as well.

The coaching and support structures would be huge issues, but for a time it would require the hiring of coaches to spread the game in local schools and probably it also would require the 2 or 3 new clubs to have a coach associated with it for a period of time until their is sufficient hurling knowledge invested in the area. Of course it would require money and incentives to get it done, but we sink so much into the county setups already, so why not try a new angle? Getting locals on board would also be key, but start at underage and build up over time maybe in 10 years you'll have an adult team. There are a few clubs in the north of the county managing to provide for both codes so 1 club between 5 doesn't sound too bad surely?

Would this have an immediate impact? Nope. But, at least you're trying to grow the game and maybe you'll produce a Killian Doyle or 2 in those new clubs in a generation or 2. Like 1 hurling club between 5 football clubs is not going to kill them off. There are huge practical issues, and maybe there are better solutions then I'm suggesting, but some plan is better than no plan.

RadioactiveTan (UK) - Posts: 28 - 26/03/2024 20:18:01    2533993

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wondeful ideas but the truth is we need this at an intercounty
Level.I dont doubt we can achieve targets but do it year in year
Out is difficult

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 1483 - 27/03/2024 00:16:57    2534031

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Replying To RadioactiveTan:  "Of course it's pie in the sky stuff, but what else are we supposed to do? I mean continuing with the staus quo isn't exactly going to change our position in the pecking order of hurlings elite tier. I mean even if we did have 20 individual hurling clubs, Cork still have 200 odd clubs and Kilkenny have 40 - 50 almost exclusively hurling clubs with almost no competition from Gaelic football. As Jobber said if Westmeath want to at least lessen the odds and begin to compete consistently at that top 10 level then you need to try and develop the game here. You have to make it so every child north or south has a chance to line out for a hurling team, gets good coaching and then maybe they'll develop into a great player someday. The same is true for our football team. You have to maximise your available resources to even have a chance of competing at the top level because we are a small county.

I was also only arguing that 'some' of those areas that I mentioned have a hurling club again. I'm not expecting every single football club south of Mullingar to line out a hurling team again because that's simply not realistic nor is it practical. I'm also saying this is a long term project, over the next 20 - 25 years. The things you mention are all valid criticisms that would have to be solved.

The idea I suppose might be to try and create an amalgamation type effort, you aim to create 1 hurling club in an area with 4 or 5 football clubs, I believe that's something similar to the East Cavan Gaels club setup mentioned on here. The football club that takes on such an effort as you say to integrate in this body would be under pressure, to host the hurling club, and should get more funding from the county board as a reward for taking on the effort. Perhaps there should be a rotation of the hurling club around the various associated football clubs pitches if the host pitch isn't available as well.

The coaching and support structures would be huge issues, but for a time it would require the hiring of coaches to spread the game in local schools and probably it also would require the 2 or 3 new clubs to have a coach associated with it for a period of time until their is sufficient hurling knowledge invested in the area. Of course it would require money and incentives to get it done, but we sink so much into the county setups already, so why not try a new angle? Getting locals on board would also be key, but start at underage and build up over time maybe in 10 years you'll have an adult team. There are a few clubs in the north of the county managing to provide for both codes so 1 club between 5 doesn't sound too bad surely?

Would this have an immediate impact? Nope. But, at least you're trying to grow the game and maybe you'll produce a Killian Doyle or 2 in those new clubs in a generation or 2. Like 1 hurling club between 5 football clubs is not going to kill them off. There are huge practical issues, and maybe there are better solutions then I'm suggesting, but some plan is better than no plan."
We compete so well and punch well above our weight with only 15 clubs providing our county teams. An additional 5 hurling clubs would make a huge difference here because there is a great interest in hurling in the county, all you have to do is look and you'll see there is lads from Kilbeggan, Rosemount, Moate, Kinnegad playing on county hurling panels.
You could have clubs in Kinnegad and Moate. Two hurling clubs could work in Athlone. Southern Gaels could work off the west side of the town out towards Glasson and Tubberclair and start up another juvenile club aimed towards the east side of the town out towards Ballinahown and Castledaly. These clubs wouldn't interfere with football in those areas, and I guarantee if there was juvenile clubs set up there you'd have youngsters show up.
Our county teams will still be backboned by the traditional clubs, Castletown and on further north into the county but you could have one or two young lads from Caulry or Tubberclair who enjoy the hurling and decide to play with the county. Could make all the difference. It is pie in the sky stuff as we keep saying but this can actually be done as well.

Dheen (Westmeath) - Posts: 822 - 27/03/2024 07:08:57    2534037

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Replying To Dheen:  "We compete so well and punch well above our weight with only 15 clubs providing our county teams. An additional 5 hurling clubs would make a huge difference here because there is a great interest in hurling in the county, all you have to do is look and you'll see there is lads from Kilbeggan, Rosemount, Moate, Kinnegad playing on county hurling panels.
You could have clubs in Kinnegad and Moate. Two hurling clubs could work in Athlone. Southern Gaels could work off the west side of the town out towards Glasson and Tubberclair and start up another juvenile club aimed towards the east side of the town out towards Ballinahown and Castledaly. These clubs wouldn't interfere with football in those areas, and I guarantee if there was juvenile clubs set up there you'd have youngsters show up.
Our county teams will still be backboned by the traditional clubs, Castletown and on further north into the county but you could have one or two young lads from Caulry or Tubberclair who enjoy the hurling and decide to play with the county. Could make all the difference. It is pie in the sky stuff as we keep saying but this can actually be done as well."
Its great to have positive people thinking like this.But we also have to be practical.The notion of a second hurling club in Athlone when Southern Gaels are making strides would in my opinion be counter productive.Let them continue their growth.We need them to win an Intermediate and a Senior B.
For me right now there are only two areas with possibilities for a new club.Kinnegad because of its population and its proximity to the Hurling area and Moate and surrounds which would include Rosemount and Caulry.With David O Reilly and
Plunket Maxwells arrival on the county scene this seems a possibility.Jarleth Burns is talking the talk we need local people involved with the hurling committee,county board to see will he walk the walk.

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 1483 - 27/03/2024 09:20:05    2534051

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Two Rosemount players on the county panel is fine but it's because they're playing with Castletown. It's not as if a load of people in Rosemount decided that their youngsters needed hurling, there are still no practical suggestions as to how Kinnegad can become a hurling area? Be specific, pitches, coaches, administrators,

Claretandblue (Westmeath) - Posts: 1525 - 27/03/2024 12:03:32    2534073

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Replying To Claretandblue:  "Two Rosemount players on the county panel is fine but it's because they're playing with Castletown. It's not as if a load of people in Rosemount decided that their youngsters needed hurling, there are still no practical suggestions as to how Kinnegad can become a hurling area? Be specific, pitches, coaches, administrators,"
We are talking potential here.The Uachtarain is willing to help with finance what packages are available I dont know.With Rosemount lads playing the game at a high level with HQ involved,throw in the board with a GDA perhaps one of the local clubs could be enticed.
Me thinks you protest too much.Dont worry Ballycomoyle,Finea,St Pauls,Delvin or even Killucan havent detroyed hurling in the north but provide facilities for people who want to play football.The same should be occurring in the south.The loss of the Moate area will hardly destroy Castletown either.

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 1483 - 27/03/2024 12:21:58    2534077

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Replying To Claretandblue:  "Let's be realistic here. I pointed out weeks ago that Raharney, county champions, had to hold an EGM to try to get an executive this year, they had fewer than 20 at their AGM, how are areas like Kinnegad, Moate, Kilbeggan, Athlone for a 2nd club going to organise, manpower a hurling club? It's pie in the sky stuff. Kilbeggan struggling to keep things going in football, Athlone not exactly producing championship winning sides in football, proposing adding to these areas with another sport?? A sport that requires proper knowledge and coaching, it's not like soccer where basic knowledge would suffice, that's not an insult to soccer. What facilities would they use? Who will coach them?"
Raharney are struggling for numbers in the primary school too, the talk of a hurling club in Kinnegad is not feasible if Raharney are struggling.

stonemadbeany (USA) - Posts: 548 - 27/03/2024 14:40:11    2534108

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try and consolidate the existing clubs first (especcially the smaller ones) id say and make them stronger and gaurantee their future before thinking of new ones.

preddan (Kildare) - Posts: 741 - 27/03/2024 21:11:33    2534186

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Replying To preddan:  "try and consolidate the existing clubs first (especcially the smaller ones) id say and make them stronger and gaurantee their future before thinking of new ones."
Will that increase the number of lads you have hurling overall? That's the overall aim for improving the Senior Intercounty team in the long run, whether it's achieved by expanding existing clubs or starting new ones in areas where there isn't one currently. If a club is struggling for numbers as young lads are preferring to go and play other sports or playstations, maybe a rival team in the next Parish might increase participation rather than decrease it. How many lads from Kinnegad hurl with Raharney as it is? And are lads from there as likely to hurl at all if they have to go to Raharney to play it?

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 12490 - 28/03/2024 07:02:16    2534216

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Replying To Viking66:  "Will that increase the number of lads you have hurling overall? That's the overall aim for improving the Senior Intercounty team in the long run, whether it's achieved by expanding existing clubs or starting new ones in areas where there isn't one currently. If a club is struggling for numbers as young lads are preferring to go and play other sports or playstations, maybe a rival team in the next Parish might increase participation rather than decrease it. How many lads from Kinnegad hurl with Raharney as it is? And are lads from there as likely to hurl at all if they have to go to Raharney to play it?"
The reality is as we all know the GAA is all about the parish and identity.For that reason very few players from Kinnegad hurl with Raharney nor indeed Moate or Rosemount lads with Castletown or Father Daltons.
Now despite recent events in Raharney all 3 clubs are well run and progressive.So my conclusion is IF we want more hurlers we must improve in Athlone and Mullingar and with the window being opened by Jarlath Burke set up at least one new club in one,other or both locations.It will take local interest,no or little opposition from the football people,active help from the hurling committee(does it exist?),county board and Croke Park.

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 1483 - 28/03/2024 09:59:52    2534246

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Replying To jobber:  "The reality is as we all know the GAA is all about the parish and identity.For that reason very few players from Kinnegad hurl with Raharney nor indeed Moate or Rosemount lads with Castletown or Father Daltons.
Now despite recent events in Raharney all 3 clubs are well run and progressive.So my conclusion is IF we want more hurlers we must improve in Athlone and Mullingar and with the window being opened by Jarlath Burke set up at least one new club in one,other or both locations.It will take local interest,no or little opposition from the football people,active help from the hurling committee(does it exist?),county board and Croke Park."
Who's Jarlath Burke?

CleanShoulder (Westmeath) - Posts: 272 - 28/03/2024 11:45:08    2534270

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Replying To jobber:  "The reality is as we all know the GAA is all about the parish and identity.For that reason very few players from Kinnegad hurl with Raharney nor indeed Moate or Rosemount lads with Castletown or Father Daltons.
Now despite recent events in Raharney all 3 clubs are well run and progressive.So my conclusion is IF we want more hurlers we must improve in Athlone and Mullingar and with the window being opened by Jarlath Burke set up at least one new club in one,other or both locations.It will take local interest,no or little opposition from the football people,active help from the hurling committee(does it exist?),county board and Croke Park."
Look we would all love to see more hurling clubs in the county me included. I just think we are very far away and it will take alot more than money from the GAA to achieve it. The short term goal should be getting more primary schools involved in Cumman Na MBunscol at hurling. 5 extra schools entered a team last year from non hurling areas and from talking to some of the principal these were lads not with a club and hurling for the first time. Mullingar have enough clubs with Plunkett's growing and entering 2 teams at some underage levels...why would you want to interfere with this by adding another club. Southern Gaels are trying hard to promote the sport down in Athlone and don't need anyone pulling their players. It is a big town but their is plenty of examples of big towns with little or no hurling. Dundalk, Wicklow,Longford, Roscommon, Newbridge etc. Add in the potential of soccer moving to summer and Athlone could struggle even more for players. Personally more should be done to help the existing clubs field a stand alone underage team, the likes of Castlepollard, Brownstown and Lough Lene Gaels. I know in Turin and Crookedwood probably along way off having numbers. St.Brigid's, Delvin, Fr.Dalton's are managing by bringing up younger lads which is improving their standards playing against bigger lads and not having big squads sitting on the benches watching..

Yellow&Green (Westmeath) - Posts: 44 - 28/03/2024 13:11:49    2534288

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Replying To CleanShoulder:  "Who's Jarlath Burke?"
Have a guess.

jfd (Westmeath) - Posts: 240 - 28/03/2024 13:13:06    2534289

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Replying To jobber:  "We are talking potential here.The Uachtarain is willing to help with finance what packages are available I dont know.With Rosemount lads playing the game at a high level with HQ involved,throw in the board with a GDA perhaps one of the local clubs could be enticed.
Me thinks you protest too much.Dont worry Ballycomoyle,Finea,St Pauls,Delvin or even Killucan havent detroyed hurling in the north but provide facilities for people who want to play football.The same should be occurring in the south.The loss of the Moate area will hardly destroy Castletown either."
I think some of the hurling fraternity, especially around Castlepollard and Collinstown take a very negative view to football. Akin to Kilkenny, except without all the medals to make it justifiable

westmeathgaa11 (Westmeath) - Posts: 221 - 28/03/2024 13:52:32    2534304

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Replying To Yellow&Green:  "Look we would all love to see more hurling clubs in the county me included. I just think we are very far away and it will take alot more than money from the GAA to achieve it. The short term goal should be getting more primary schools involved in Cumman Na MBunscol at hurling. 5 extra schools entered a team last year from non hurling areas and from talking to some of the principal these were lads not with a club and hurling for the first time. Mullingar have enough clubs with Plunkett's growing and entering 2 teams at some underage levels...why would you want to interfere with this by adding another club. Southern Gaels are trying hard to promote the sport down in Athlone and don't need anyone pulling their players. It is a big town but their is plenty of examples of big towns with little or no hurling. Dundalk, Wicklow,Longford, Roscommon, Newbridge etc. Add in the potential of soccer moving to summer and Athlone could struggle even more for players. Personally more should be done to help the existing clubs field a stand alone underage team, the likes of Castlepollard, Brownstown and Lough Lene Gaels. I know in Turin and Crookedwood probably along way off having numbers. St.Brigid's, Delvin, Fr.Dalton's are managing by bringing up younger lads which is improving their standards playing against bigger lads and not having big squads sitting on the benches watching.."
I'd love to know how people really think they can help rural clubs deal with dwindling numbers.
Local planning permission laws really don't help with a fear of new homes being built in rural areas which to me is really to the detriment of clubs like Collinstown, Brownstown.

westmeathgaa11 (Westmeath) - Posts: 221 - 28/03/2024 13:57:07    2534308

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Replying To CleanShoulder:  "Who's Jarlath Burke?"
Ok! Burns

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 1483 - 28/03/2024 16:52:50    2534350

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Strong panel named for u20s. Out this Saturday against Meath away, it's on clubber for those who can't attend but hopefully a decent Westmeath crowd follows this team this year, they have great potential as do the minors who have a bye this weekend.

Dheen (Westmeath) - Posts: 822 - 28/03/2024 16:53:19    2534351

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Replying To westmeathgaa11:  "I'd love to know how people really think they can help rural clubs deal with dwindling numbers.
Local planning permission laws really don't help with a fear of new homes being built in rural areas which to me is really to the detriment of clubs like Collinstown, Brownstown."
Hence Na Piarsaigh and Clan Na Gael.
Good to hear 5 new schools playing hurling.Where are they?

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 1483 - 28/03/2024 16:56:33    2534352

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Westmeath is unique in that
A - no parish rule. It has allowed big clubs get bigger by pulling in players from other clubs areas
B - no dual clubs. I don't think there is anywhere else with the amount of stand alone clubs within a short distance of each other. It actually makes retention of players very difficult for clubs as the neighbouring football/hurling clubs are always pulling against them
C - half the population is based in 2 towns. Not many counties in Leinster have that

Imagine then that we don't have an urban gaa development plan to grow the current clubs in those two towns. There is definitely scope for another underage football club in Athlone and in Mullingar

valley84 (Westmeath) - Posts: 1890 - 28/03/2024 18:55:15    2534362

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Ban on contraception maybe?

westmeathgaa11 (Westmeath) - Posts: 221 - 28/03/2024 18:57:29    2534363

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