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Westmeath Hurling thread

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Replying To jobber:  "i agree we are sleepwalking to Christy Ring if we dont wake up to our reality.Dont doubt that Stephen Clinch knows all about our failings and weakness.Yes we should beat Meath if our mentality is right but was it right v Kerry?Was it right v Down?,where we did marginally better than Meath
They will come to Mullingar to play a final to win and make serious progress in their world.If we arent ready get the map out for Omagh and Ballyshannon."
Shocking to be in this position with the players in the county, hurling at Division 1 regularly to this.
Questions have to be asked of management, are the players not playing for management or what's going on? Why can't we get commitment from players like Niall O'Brien, Gary Greville, Josh Coll, Shane Williams, Eamon Cunneen etc who stand out in club championship consistently, yet we have the same few players on it year in year out without making a significant impact. Doesn't make sense. Hopefully we can maintain our Joe Mcdonagh status and regroup for next season.

Dheen (Westmeath) - Posts: 835 - 07/05/2024 11:27:16    2543470

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Replying To Dheen:  "Shocking to be in this position with the players in the county, hurling at Division 1 regularly to this.
Questions have to be asked of management, are the players not playing for management or what's going on? Why can't we get commitment from players like Niall O'Brien, Gary Greville, Josh Coll, Shane Williams, Eamon Cunneen etc who stand out in club championship consistently, yet we have the same few players on it year in year out without making a significant impact. Doesn't make sense. Hopefully we can maintain our Joe Mcdonagh status and regroup for next season."
You are right questions need to be asked about management who have failed totally to get our players to championship pitch.Equally to our under 20 management v Meath in Navan
and also their failure to get long term absentees to championship fitness levels which allowed Shane O Briens team blow us away while our group had no answer.
Our players must realize we are playing a champioship final v Meath next.

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 1497 - 07/05/2024 23:24:19    2543583

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Hurling very disappointing on all fronts.

Our 20s were only group to come through tier 2 and face tier 1 opposition.

This was done without full access to their 5 top players.

The gap in fitness was plain for all to see.

Onionbagger (Westmeath) - Posts: 80 - 09/05/2024 13:19:55    2543828

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Second year hurling Leinster semi final, CBS Mullingar 8-20-3-08 Wexford CBS.
Good win for them and hopefully can win the final

Dheen (Westmeath) - Posts: 835 - 09/05/2024 13:57:09    2543838

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Replying To Onionbagger:  "Hurling very disappointing on all fronts.

Our 20s were only group to come through tier 2 and face tier 1 opposition.

This was done without full access to their 5 top players.

The gap in fitness was plain for all to see."
Very disappointing from the u20s, like most I felt they were capable of having a good run this year and on paper they should have but I agree with what other posters have been saying and the u20 and seniors fitness has been below par, you won't get far if you don't have the level of S&C required at this level no matter how skilful of players you have. I actually felt the u20s over the last couple of years under Dermody were better conditioned, I'm sure others would agree.
The minors started off very promising with 3 convincing wins but completely went off the boil then.
I've been to a good few of u14 and u15 development squad games and their is plenty of talent and skillful players on both squads, you'd be hoping they can break the disappointing trend we've been on at minor over the next few years but in order to do it they'll need exposure to good S&C. Gone are the days where you can just go out and hurl, you have to be able to outrun and outlast your opponents.

Dheen (Westmeath) - Posts: 835 - 09/05/2024 16:04:58    2543868

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Replying To Dheen:  "Very disappointing from the u20s, like most I felt they were capable of having a good run this year and on paper they should have but I agree with what other posters have been saying and the u20 and seniors fitness has been below par, you won't get far if you don't have the level of S&C required at this level no matter how skilful of players you have. I actually felt the u20s over the last couple of years under Dermody were better conditioned, I'm sure others would agree.
The minors started off very promising with 3 convincing wins but completely went off the boil then.
I've been to a good few of u14 and u15 development squad games and their is plenty of talent and skillful players on both squads, you'd be hoping they can break the disappointing trend we've been on at minor over the next few years but in order to do it they'll need exposure to good S&C. Gone are the days where you can just go out and hurl, you have to be able to outrun and outlast your opponents."
Time for some home truths lads.

Firstly there is not a culture of strength and conditioning in the county… Remember years ago when Ger Loughnane said Offaly still had lads hurling with arses? Well now Offaly are in serious nick and we are the ones with arses at senior level…

There needs to be a complete change in attitude from U14 up. A minor manager or U20 manager isn't going to change this in 4 months…

Both our minors and U20s were blown out of it for physicality in the games we lost. Whatever about being behind Dublin for athletic development we should not be behind Kildare.

Secondly, my wife had a nephew on the U20s panel, and this is the reality.

There was zero communication between the seniors and U20s all year. The lad said they would turn up to a challenge match and the senior boys would bring their gear, but Fortune would have told them not to play…

The 5 boys were made to do a fitness test with the seniors on the Thursday before the Meath game that involved a 10km run

The Meath game was the first game all year that that 15 players played on the same pitch for Westmeath…

The Dublin result was extremely disappointing but with 15mins to go there was 4 points in it. Despite 4 lads having played a championship game the day before. I agree the conditioning was not good enough and this needs to be addressed.

Were the 20s better conditioned last year? I don't think so… Were they playing more as a team? Possibly…

Remember Dermody was the man in the stand for the minors radioed up to the manager so if he has that much input in the minors why were they so poorly conditioned?

Nothing against Andrew he's a fine felah, just going back to my point that we need a completely different attitude and approach if we are to close the gap in conditioning that exists at the moment.

So, finally… I think we will all agree there is going to be a new senior manager… Part of this role should be a director or hurling… Use the expertise that the seniors will have to implement and strategic and coordinated approach to changing how we prepare teams in Westmeath.

Conditioning, nutrition, mindset.

We have players, we have coaches. But as the previous poster said, that is no longer enough

LockLeanGayl (Westmeath) - Posts: 175 - 10/05/2024 15:00:29    2543990

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Replying To LockLeanGayl:  "Time for some home truths lads.

Firstly there is not a culture of strength and conditioning in the county… Remember years ago when Ger Loughnane said Offaly still had lads hurling with arses? Well now Offaly are in serious nick and we are the ones with arses at senior level…

There needs to be a complete change in attitude from U14 up. A minor manager or U20 manager isn't going to change this in 4 months…

Both our minors and U20s were blown out of it for physicality in the games we lost. Whatever about being behind Dublin for athletic development we should not be behind Kildare.

Secondly, my wife had a nephew on the U20s panel, and this is the reality.

There was zero communication between the seniors and U20s all year. The lad said they would turn up to a challenge match and the senior boys would bring their gear, but Fortune would have told them not to play…

The 5 boys were made to do a fitness test with the seniors on the Thursday before the Meath game that involved a 10km run

The Meath game was the first game all year that that 15 players played on the same pitch for Westmeath…

The Dublin result was extremely disappointing but with 15mins to go there was 4 points in it. Despite 4 lads having played a championship game the day before. I agree the conditioning was not good enough and this needs to be addressed.

Were the 20s better conditioned last year? I don't think so… Were they playing more as a team? Possibly…

Remember Dermody was the man in the stand for the minors radioed up to the manager so if he has that much input in the minors why were they so poorly conditioned?

Nothing against Andrew he's a fine felah, just going back to my point that we need a completely different attitude and approach if we are to close the gap in conditioning that exists at the moment.

So, finally… I think we will all agree there is going to be a new senior manager… Part of this role should be a director or hurling… Use the expertise that the seniors will have to implement and strategic and coordinated approach to changing how we prepare teams in Westmeath.

Conditioning, nutrition, mindset.

We have players, we have coaches. But as the previous poster said, that is no longer enough"
But we need a bit of Carlow's attitude and mentality.Remember they have an even smaller pick than us.Over the years we have had huge battles with them and one thing never changes Carlows mental and physical toughness.

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 1497 - 11/05/2024 18:02:58    2544130

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Replying To jobber:  "But we need a bit of Carlow's attitude and mentality.Remember they have an even smaller pick than us.Over the years we have had huge battles with them and one thing never changes Carlows mental and physical toughness."
Agree 100%

Carlow are to be admired, maximising everything they have

And they have changed their physical conditioning…

Donagh Murphy made a big contribution yesterday…

Darragh Smith and Gaffney handled him at ease in the 20s

LockLeanGayl (Westmeath) - Posts: 175 - 12/05/2024 09:55:23    2544199

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Westmeath Senior Hurling Manager 2025

Right lads, who do we think will be at the helm in 2025?

Like any job if we outline the job description:

• Rebuild - Westmeath needs a new team. 2025 will be the last year possibly for a number of big names. Need to blend in the youth while they are still there and build for future

• Physical development - Massive emphasis needs to be on our strength and conditioning if we want to become a consistent Leinster championship team

• Internal candidate - It's time for us to step up as a county and start backing our own men

Candidates

Joe Fortune

There is no guarantee he will be gone. He's popular with key figures in the board and realistically is unlikely to be in the mix for any other county job so he'll be slow to go of his own accord.

He has gotten us some big results against Wexford but in key games where we needed to win against the likes of Laois, Antrim and Offaly he has been found wanting.

Johnny Greville

An absolute legend of a servant to Westmeath at all levels. Has never taken the top job. Is it time for Johnny to step up?

It's likely that none of his brothers will be playing next year which was possibly a barrier in the past for him. Someone told me he may not be allowed take the role due to the nature of his day job with the GAA?

Johnny would be a popular candidate amongst county supporters. He has been a selector and coach with the seniors for a long time now, would it be the fresh start we need?

Kevin O'Brien

Won back to back championships with an ageing Clonkill team and has had two stints with the 20s.

Nobody in Westmeath will know the playing pool like Kevin so he would be well placed to rebuild the team.

Fiercely loyal to Westmeath he took the 20s job even after being overlooked for the seniors this time, and turned down a return to Offaly this season to stay with the 20s.

Will be disappointed with how the Dublin game went this year and he wasn't shirking that in the media afterwards, no excuses

Could be his time to step up?

Andrew Dermody

Did an excellent job with the U20s, an up and coming young manager.

Fell out with county board last year which may affect his chances. Maybe needs more experience.

If we wins a couple of Meath championships he will almost be a shoe in the next time the job comes up?

Eddie Casey

Lot of rumours around Westmeath that Eddie is canvassing hard for the job. Apparently has asked for 'one year' to win a McDonagh and go…

Eddie a decent felah, has given great service to Westmeath teams over the years…

You could argue that he deserves a shot at it…

Has never managed anyone however… And is having one last craic off a McDonagh with the older players and then everyone leaving the best plan of action for the county?

Brendan Murtagh

A left field one but as Westmeaths best ever hurler would command the respect of the players.

Has had plenty of stents at 20s and senior level as a selector and by all accounts is running the show as coach of Clonkill this year.

An outsider but not an impossibility

John Shaw

Again possibly a left field one but Shaw as a top ex player and former winning captain would command respect.

He's a safe pair of hands, a cool customer and a shrewd operator.

Would he give up Raharney after just one season to take the big job?

LockLeanGayl (Westmeath) - Posts: 175 - 12/05/2024 11:04:01    2544218

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Replying To LockLeanGayl:  "Westmeath Senior Hurling Manager 2025

Right lads, who do we think will be at the helm in 2025?

Like any job if we outline the job description:

• Rebuild - Westmeath needs a new team. 2025 will be the last year possibly for a number of big names. Need to blend in the youth while they are still there and build for future

• Physical development - Massive emphasis needs to be on our strength and conditioning if we want to become a consistent Leinster championship team

• Internal candidate - It's time for us to step up as a county and start backing our own men

Candidates

Joe Fortune

There is no guarantee he will be gone. He's popular with key figures in the board and realistically is unlikely to be in the mix for any other county job so he'll be slow to go of his own accord.

He has gotten us some big results against Wexford but in key games where we needed to win against the likes of Laois, Antrim and Offaly he has been found wanting.

Johnny Greville

An absolute legend of a servant to Westmeath at all levels. Has never taken the top job. Is it time for Johnny to step up?

It's likely that none of his brothers will be playing next year which was possibly a barrier in the past for him. Someone told me he may not be allowed take the role due to the nature of his day job with the GAA?

Johnny would be a popular candidate amongst county supporters. He has been a selector and coach with the seniors for a long time now, would it be the fresh start we need?

Kevin O'Brien

Won back to back championships with an ageing Clonkill team and has had two stints with the 20s.

Nobody in Westmeath will know the playing pool like Kevin so he would be well placed to rebuild the team.

Fiercely loyal to Westmeath he took the 20s job even after being overlooked for the seniors this time, and turned down a return to Offaly this season to stay with the 20s.

Will be disappointed with how the Dublin game went this year and he wasn't shirking that in the media afterwards, no excuses

Could be his time to step up?

Andrew Dermody

Did an excellent job with the U20s, an up and coming young manager.

Fell out with county board last year which may affect his chances. Maybe needs more experience.

If we wins a couple of Meath championships he will almost be a shoe in the next time the job comes up?

Eddie Casey

Lot of rumours around Westmeath that Eddie is canvassing hard for the job. Apparently has asked for 'one year' to win a McDonagh and go…

Eddie a decent felah, has given great service to Westmeath teams over the years…

You could argue that he deserves a shot at it…

Has never managed anyone however… And is having one last craic off a McDonagh with the older players and then everyone leaving the best plan of action for the county?

Brendan Murtagh

A left field one but as Westmeaths best ever hurler would command the respect of the players.

Has had plenty of stents at 20s and senior level as a selector and by all accounts is running the show as coach of Clonkill this year.

An outsider but not an impossibility

John Shaw

Again possibly a left field one but Shaw as a top ex player and former winning captain would command respect.

He's a safe pair of hands, a cool customer and a shrewd operator.

Would he give up Raharney after just one season to take the big job?"
Good post, I reckon their will be a change of management and maybe we should go with a Westmeath man for the job but it's very difficult to know, Fortune has done some good things with us but we've had a very poor McDonagh cup. The county board need to get it right with management for 2025, can't afford a bad appointment.

Dheen (Westmeath) - Posts: 835 - 13/05/2024 12:48:41    2544487

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If you want to improve hurling a lot of trimming has to start at underage levels. Having two u14 development squads is a waste of time and resources. It's too many players and trying to get the best out of 40 young lads is not the way forward. If the co board is serious they need an outside overseer of underage with no ties to any club. Plenty of young lads on that u14 panel are on it because of who they are and not hurling ability. Getting clubs to nominate who they think should be on it is not fair on any of those young lads whether they're picked or not. Favouritism and nepotism has to go. Appoint an outsider with no ties and let them and their backroom team go to u12/14 matches and start picking out the best at that time and start coaching them. Keep an eye on young fellas who catch up either through developing later and growth spurts and you can bring them in at later age groups and drop the original young lads if they don't kick on either through natural wastage or wrong attitude.
You've to get ruthless if ya want results. Plenty of other counties are stuck the same as us doing the same scutter and it's not helping anyone.

2maroonjerseys (Galway) - Posts: 46 - 14/05/2024 15:53:42    2544751

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Replying To 2maroonjerseys:  "If you want to improve hurling a lot of trimming has to start at underage levels. Having two u14 development squads is a waste of time and resources. It's too many players and trying to get the best out of 40 young lads is not the way forward. If the co board is serious they need an outside overseer of underage with no ties to any club. Plenty of young lads on that u14 panel are on it because of who they are and not hurling ability. Getting clubs to nominate who they think should be on it is not fair on any of those young lads whether they're picked or not. Favouritism and nepotism has to go. Appoint an outsider with no ties and let them and their backroom team go to u12/14 matches and start picking out the best at that time and start coaching them. Keep an eye on young fellas who catch up either through developing later and growth spurts and you can bring them in at later age groups and drop the original young lads if they don't kick on either through natural wastage or wrong attitude.
You've to get ruthless if ya want results. Plenty of other counties are stuck the same as us doing the same scutter and it's not helping anyone."
Clare increased their numbers to 90 per squad a number of years ago

They are in their third minor final in a row

Not only did they decide that 13 is too early to identify senior talent by narrowing in on 20 players… they decided that by getting 90 players properly coached and conditioned to 17 years of age the standard of club hurling would improve

LockLeanGayl (Westmeath) - Posts: 175 - 14/05/2024 17:23:12    2544790

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Replying To 2maroonjerseys:  "If you want to improve hurling a lot of trimming has to start at underage levels. Having two u14 development squads is a waste of time and resources. It's too many players and trying to get the best out of 40 young lads is not the way forward. If the co board is serious they need an outside overseer of underage with no ties to any club. Plenty of young lads on that u14 panel are on it because of who they are and not hurling ability. Getting clubs to nominate who they think should be on it is not fair on any of those young lads whether they're picked or not. Favouritism and nepotism has to go. Appoint an outsider with no ties and let them and their backroom team go to u12/14 matches and start picking out the best at that time and start coaching them. Keep an eye on young fellas who catch up either through developing later and growth spurts and you can bring them in at later age groups and drop the original young lads if they don't kick on either through natural wastage or wrong attitude.
You've to get ruthless if ya want results. Plenty of other counties are stuck the same as us doing the same scutter and it's not helping anyone."
couldnt agree more. The biggest problem is each year its harder to get volunteers leading to Daddies being involved.
Re our new manager good post Lough Lene but lets put all our energies into Meath saturday.

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 1497 - 14/05/2024 18:06:59    2544799

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Replying To LockLeanGayl:  "Clare increased their numbers to 90 per squad a number of years ago

They are in their third minor final in a row

Not only did they decide that 13 is too early to identify senior talent by narrowing in on 20 players… they decided that by getting 90 players properly coached and conditioned to 17 years of age the standard of club hurling would improve"
No problem with that at all but Clare are 70/80% hurling with small pockets of football. The spread here is more even and football is the dominant game. Would be hard to get young lads throw all into the hurling at the expense of football here at those age groups. Rugby is also getting more young people playing as well demanding time on kids as well.

2maroonjerseys (Galway) - Posts: 46 - 15/05/2024 10:28:40    2544868

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Replying To 2maroonjerseys:  "No problem with that at all but Clare are 70/80% hurling with small pockets of football. The spread here is more even and football is the dominant game. Would be hard to get young lads throw all into the hurling at the expense of football here at those age groups. Rugby is also getting more young people playing as well demanding time on kids as well."
Clare are a relatively small county but still have a top 4 hurling team and a Sam Maguire football team. You could do alot worse than look very carefully at what they are doing right.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 12726 - 15/05/2024 11:41:25    2544889

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Replying To Viking66:  "Clare are a relatively small county but still have a top 4 hurling team and a Sam Maguire football team. You could do alot worse than look very carefully at what they are doing right."
Agree Clare would be a template worth following in both codes.

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 1497 - 15/05/2024 17:38:38    2544975

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Dublin gave Galway a fair clipping in the 20s

I think a lot of people on here were very harsh to our 20s. Four points in it with 15mins left and the best lads with a game in the tank 18 hours before

They have every chance of beating Offaly in final

LockLeanGayl (Westmeath) - Posts: 175 - 15/05/2024 21:35:35    2545002

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Replying To jobber:  "Agree Clare would be a template worth following in both codes."
All we need is someone with vision and go and look at that template

2maroonjerseys (Galway) - Posts: 46 - 15/05/2024 22:00:37    2545007

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Replying To LockLeanGayl:  "Dublin gave Galway a fair clipping in the 20s

I think a lot of people on here were very harsh to our 20s. Four points in it with 15mins left and the best lads with a game in the tank 18 hours before

They have every chance of beating Offaly in final"
Yeah possibly so but if we were fitter and more conditioned we could have beaten Dublin. We were within 4 points of them with 15 mins to go mainly because of 4/5 of our lads who are also the stand out players at senior

Dheen (Westmeath) - Posts: 835 - 16/05/2024 09:53:49    2545038

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Replying To Dheen:  "Yeah possibly so but if we were fitter and more conditioned we could have beaten Dublin. We were within 4 points of them with 15 mins to go mainly because of 4/5 of our lads who are also the stand out players at senior"
Agree 100 with that to be fair

Also think it's fair to point out that Dublin teams at U20 are into their 5th/4th/3rd year of consistent systematic S&C

We need a conveyor belt up along. The county board should be organising that and the management teams at minor and U20 just looking after the hurling

LockLeanGayl (Westmeath) - Posts: 175 - 16/05/2024 12:14:30    2545083

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