National Forum

Westmeath Hurling thread

(Oldest Posts First) - Go To The Latest Post


Replying To Claretandblue:  "Alternatively if the management team has the long term best interests of Westmeath hurling as their priority then playing some players with an eye to the future should be encouraged, we're well aware of what certain players can do and undoubtedly there's a staleness to our starting line up in 11-12 positions but it's beyond any argument that we need to freshen up the starting team for the future, Mark Cunningham has left the panel apparently and he's a committed decent hurler that any future manager would be looking to use, he got very limited game time this year. The lads I mentioned like Ennis, Holding, etc may not make a huge impression on Saturday but it's an ideal opportunity to try them. Winning against an under strength Laois won't mean much."
That's disappointing regarding Cunningham, Eoin Daly left the panel as well and he was the man of the match in the county final last year.
Young players like them two, Cunneen, Josh Coll, Brian McGrath, Shane Williams, Peter Murphy, Darragh McCormack and Darragh Smith should be watched closely in the club championships and encouraged into the set up for 2025.
I'd say we will lose a couple of the experienced lads.

Dheen (Westmeath) - Posts: 835 - 23/05/2024 18:04:44    2546673

Link

Good to finish the season on a positive

I'd heard a few of the lads were back with their clubs during the week which is understandable

Laois with both eyes on Croker too to be fair, that will be a cracker of a game

Now to the speculation and rumour mill!

LockLeanGayl (Westmeath) - Posts: 175 - 25/05/2024 14:38:34    2546970

Link

Yes credit to the lads for finishing the season on a high note. They could have fizzled out but showed some guts and determination. Now to chat about the club championship I suppose!

overdabar (Westmeath) - Posts: 236 - 25/05/2024 15:51:30    2546982

Link

The positives are the performances of u20s Peter Clarke, David O'Reilly, Conor Gaffney and David Williams. They've been exceptional. 16 pts coming from Clarke, O'Reilly and Williams today.

Dheen (Westmeath) - Posts: 835 - 25/05/2024 16:34:58    2546987

Link

Replying To Dheen:  "The positives are the performances of u20s Peter Clarke, David O'Reilly, Conor Gaffney and David Williams. They've been exceptional. 16 pts coming from Clarke, O'Reilly and Williams today."
First half today excellent.All the players super fit and willing to run for each other against a weakened Laois.Well done now the politics.

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 1497 - 25/05/2024 17:48:28    2547000

Link

Replying To jobber:  "First half today excellent.All the players super fit and willing to run for each other against a weakened Laois.Well done now the politics."
Super fit… are you joking?

CleanShoulder (Westmeath) - Posts: 274 - 25/05/2024 18:28:02    2547006

Link

Replying To CleanShoulder:  "Super fit… are you joking?"
I am not joking. Our starting forwards to a man worked hard,showed good team work and scored 2-13 in 35 minutes against a not that under strength Laois.Contrast that with the other games!

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 1497 - 26/05/2024 08:15:43    2547113

Link

We found our form too late in the championship. Id say if we met Kerry or Down in the next couple of weeks we would take them. Even the Offaly game, it was level approaching full time. A late 1-1 beat us. Im not sure why lads are calling for fortunes head. I think he has done a decent job over the last couple of years. Maybe a shuffle up in the backroom team. Will he go himself though? He probably wont be short of offers or other opportunities.

overdabar (Westmeath) - Posts: 236 - 26/05/2024 10:18:45    2547147

Link

Replying To overdabar:  "We found our form too late in the championship. Id say if we met Kerry or Down in the next couple of weeks we would take them. Even the Offaly game, it was level approaching full time. A late 1-1 beat us. Im not sure why lads are calling for fortunes head. I think he has done a decent job over the last couple of years. Maybe a shuffle up in the backroom team. Will he go himself though? He probably wont be short of offers or other opportunities."
I dont think many are calling for his head but 3 years with a team nowadays is probably the most a voice can inspire.Some of us are clearly calling for a big improvement in some so called key players fitness which he has not achieved

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 1497 - 26/05/2024 10:48:12    2547157

Link

Replying To jobber:  "I dont think many are calling for his head but 3 years with a team nowadays is probably the most a voice can inspire.Some of us are clearly calling for a big improvement in some so called key players fitness which he has not achieved"
I know but surely its up to those key players to make sure they are in the best shape they can be in and not just on the manager.
Fortune is a good manager and gave the 4/5 u20 lads the chance and they shone. I believe if he stayed another year he'd bring in another couple of young players. The experienced players have the quality just need to give themselves the best chance fitness wise.

Dheen (Westmeath) - Posts: 835 - 26/05/2024 11:21:19    2547167

Link

Replying To overdabar:  "We found our form too late in the championship. Id say if we met Kerry or Down in the next couple of weeks we would take them. Even the Offaly game, it was level approaching full time. A late 1-1 beat us. Im not sure why lads are calling for fortunes head. I think he has done a decent job over the last couple of years. Maybe a shuffle up in the backroom team. Will he go himself though? He probably wont be short of offers or other opportunities."
Not a bad shout…

If we are serious about developing our own managers would it be a shout to have the U20 management move up but operating under Joe as manager? With a view to full take over in a few seasons?

Do the same with minor management, move them up to 20s and have the seniors closely linked

We pass players up through the system but we don't seem to have an academy for developing managers and coaches

LockLeanGayl (Westmeath) - Posts: 175 - 26/05/2024 13:48:46    2547202

Link

Replying To LockLeanGayl:  "Not a bad shout…

If we are serious about developing our own managers would it be a shout to have the U20 management move up but operating under Joe as manager? With a view to full take over in a few seasons?

Do the same with minor management, move them up to 20s and have the seniors closely linked

We pass players up through the system but we don't seem to have an academy for developing managers and coaches"
Not a bad idea but there has to be a style that's adhered to. Look at the disaster in Galway each age grade doing their own thing and making a pigs ear of it.

2maroonjerseys (Galway) - Posts: 46 - 26/05/2024 16:38:50    2547261

Link

Replying To 2maroonjerseys:  "Not a bad idea but there has to be a style that's adhered to. Look at the disaster in Galway each age grade doing their own thing and making a pigs ear of it."
That's an interesting debate

All the Limerick teams played the same way for years, the minors went away from it this year and got beaten every game so there's evidence to say it works

I think the county needs to have the same principles of play throughout all teams but not necessarily be welded to the same exact style…

Styles are dependent on players

LockLeanGayl (Westmeath) - Posts: 175 - 27/05/2024 09:39:04    2547463

Link

Replying To LockLeanGayl:  "That's an interesting debate

All the Limerick teams played the same way for years, the minors went away from it this year and got beaten every game so there's evidence to say it works

I think the county needs to have the same principles of play throughout all teams but not necessarily be welded to the same exact style…

Styles are dependent on players"
Look at it this way. The development squads are they picked on ability or skill. In Galway the bigger young lads at u14/16 are picked. Tis easy look good if your 14 marking a 12 yr old in the u14 grade. Then that 14yr is brought right through all squads rightly or wrongly when by the time the 12yr old is 17 he might have outgrown and be well able outhurl the now 19yr old. You've to get ruthless picking young lads. If they haven't developed drop them and bring in those young lads who were overlooked a few years ago.
Limerick years ago unless you were from patrickswell you wouldn't get near the u derange set up. Eventually somebody realised young lads could hurl from all parts of the county and look at them now.
Repeating the same things from the past won't help Westmeath hurling a radical, fair and far thinking approach is the only way. Otherwise it'll stay the same and that only benefits the same few people and players every year. If a young fella is picked at u14 and still can't be seen to improve by 16 get rid and bring in the next 14/16 year old and develop them and keep repeating till you get the players you want. And hopefully those young lads dropped off the panel go back to their clubs realise if they work at it there's a path back to minor or u21 level if they put the work in.
Keeping the same faces from u14 up to u21 would serve Westmeath hurling no favours.

2maroonjerseys (Galway) - Posts: 46 - 27/05/2024 15:25:37    2547686

Link

There's a good crop of young talent at u14 and u15 development squads at the moment, the most important thing is to keep them all playing at this level right up through minor and u20. I believe there are good mentors involved at these age grades and are making strides with them. The talent is there just hope the S&C work is being put in also. We can have good minor teams particularly in 2026 and 2027 if these lads are looked after, I'm sure some of them will be brought up to minor next year as we so often see which it's hard to know if that's a help or a hindrance.

Dheen (Westmeath) - Posts: 835 - 27/05/2024 15:58:28    2547702

Link

Replying To 2maroonjerseys:  "Look at it this way. The development squads are they picked on ability or skill. In Galway the bigger young lads at u14/16 are picked. Tis easy look good if your 14 marking a 12 yr old in the u14 grade. Then that 14yr is brought right through all squads rightly or wrongly when by the time the 12yr old is 17 he might have outgrown and be well able outhurl the now 19yr old. You've to get ruthless picking young lads. If they haven't developed drop them and bring in those young lads who were overlooked a few years ago.
Limerick years ago unless you were from patrickswell you wouldn't get near the u derange set up. Eventually somebody realised young lads could hurl from all parts of the county and look at them now.
Repeating the same things from the past won't help Westmeath hurling a radical, fair and far thinking approach is the only way. Otherwise it'll stay the same and that only benefits the same few people and players every year. If a young fella is picked at u14 and still can't be seen to improve by 16 get rid and bring in the next 14/16 year old and develop them and keep repeating till you get the players you want. And hopefully those young lads dropped off the panel go back to their clubs realise if they work at it there's a path back to minor or u21 level if they put the work in.
Keeping the same faces from u14 up to u21 would serve Westmeath hurling no favours."
Don't get me wrong, size and athleticism do count but simply "Pick the big lads"? We'd have no one left in the county to hold a hurley. Tommy Doyle is about as much of an outlier as it gets. Fabulously talented hurler irrespective of his size.

We don't exactly have thousands at each age grade to selectively breed a giant team. There are probably 5-600 boys born each year in the county and think of how many are actually going to be hurlers. Most live in Athlone/Mullingar population centers forgetting Kinnedad or other decent size towns. Athlone has come on a bit for hurling but numbers are still very poor. Shamrocks and Cullion should be much stronger based on access to kids in the town but they don't dominate...

You won't exactly be whittling down the rest of the county to have a panel of lads all 6ft+ at minor. You have to bring everybody through that's interested, the whole way up to Senior. You can't afford to exclude lads because they've not reached an adult's height by 14.

Plenty of shorter lads in school shot past me in school over a summer or two in their mid teens. Others had a spurt around 16-17. You don't know what way young lads will turn out until they are men. You have to keep everyone involved that's interested in this county.

Not everyone is going to be built like Kyle Hayes or Iarlaith Tannion let alone have the hurling ability. Would Damien, Joe Deane Hayes, Tommy Walsh or Richie Hogan get looked at in Galway's underage set-up today if they were coming through? Hurling was plenty physical during their careers even if S&C has kicking on since.

gedupoutofit (Westmeath) - Posts: 167 - 27/05/2024 17:12:28    2547726

Link

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?"
See Molumphy gone in Kerry

Hopefully we have a decision one way or another quickly

If Joe is staying on then announce it and get to club games

If not then get a replacement in who can have a right good look at club champ

Anyone missing off this list? Presume there will be some outside interest?

LockLeanGayl (Westmeath) - Posts: 175 - 27/05/2024 17:13:29    2547727

Link

Replying To gedupoutofit:  "Don't get me wrong, size and athleticism do count but simply "Pick the big lads"? We'd have no one left in the county to hold a hurley. Tommy Doyle is about as much of an outlier as it gets. Fabulously talented hurler irrespective of his size.

We don't exactly have thousands at each age grade to selectively breed a giant team. There are probably 5-600 boys born each year in the county and think of how many are actually going to be hurlers. Most live in Athlone/Mullingar population centers forgetting Kinnedad or other decent size towns. Athlone has come on a bit for hurling but numbers are still very poor. Shamrocks and Cullion should be much stronger based on access to kids in the town but they don't dominate...

You won't exactly be whittling down the rest of the county to have a panel of lads all 6ft+ at minor. You have to bring everybody through that's interested, the whole way up to Senior. You can't afford to exclude lads because they've not reached an adult's height by 14.

Plenty of shorter lads in school shot past me in school over a summer or two in their mid teens. Others had a spurt around 16-17. You don't know what way young lads will turn out until they are men. You have to keep everyone involved that's interested in this county.

Not everyone is going to be built like Kyle Hayes or Iarlaith Tannion let alone have the hurling ability. Would Damien, Joe Deane Hayes, Tommy Walsh or Richie Hogan get looked at in Galway's underage set-up today if they were coming through? Hurling was plenty physical during their careers even if S&C has kicking on since."
All lads should get the chance what I'm saying is any 14yr old will look good marking a 12yr old it's when they meet someone the same age and size are they still good enough. We need all kids to be under consideration for the development squads.

2maroonjerseys (Galway) - Posts: 46 - 27/05/2024 17:46:23    2547742

Link

Replying To LockLeanGayl:  "See Molumphy gone in Kerry

Hopefully we have a decision one way or another quickly

If Joe is staying on then announce it and get to club games

If not then get a replacement in who can have a right good look at club champ

Anyone missing off this list? Presume there will be some outside interest?"
I agree a quick decision is needed.People are assuming Fortune wants to stay on which to be honest I find surprising.
He needs to ask himself will that be for his future a good move, does he have the backing of the senior players and has he the ruthlessness to tell some big names you have to reach the required fitness level or you are out.
If the answer is no to any of these he should go.If its yes he still may have something to offer but in an organised transition to a local manager for 2026.

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 1497 - 28/05/2024 07:15:44    2547802

Link

Replying To gedupoutofit:  "Don't get me wrong, size and athleticism do count but simply "Pick the big lads"? We'd have no one left in the county to hold a hurley. Tommy Doyle is about as much of an outlier as it gets. Fabulously talented hurler irrespective of his size.

We don't exactly have thousands at each age grade to selectively breed a giant team. There are probably 5-600 boys born each year in the county and think of how many are actually going to be hurlers. Most live in Athlone/Mullingar population centers forgetting Kinnedad or other decent size towns. Athlone has come on a bit for hurling but numbers are still very poor. Shamrocks and Cullion should be much stronger based on access to kids in the town but they don't dominate...

You won't exactly be whittling down the rest of the county to have a panel of lads all 6ft+ at minor. You have to bring everybody through that's interested, the whole way up to Senior. You can't afford to exclude lads because they've not reached an adult's height by 14.

Plenty of shorter lads in school shot past me in school over a summer or two in their mid teens. Others had a spurt around 16-17. You don't know what way young lads will turn out until they are men. You have to keep everyone involved that's interested in this county.

Not everyone is going to be built like Kyle Hayes or Iarlaith Tannion let alone have the hurling ability. Would Damien, Joe Deane Hayes, Tommy Walsh or Richie Hogan get looked at in Galway's underage set-up today if they were coming through? Hurling was plenty physical during their careers even if S&C has kicking on since."
I think the narrative around numbers being poor and not doing much around Athlone for hurling is wrong. Southern Gaels field on their own at every age grade. They beat Cullion and Delvin combined in a minor league final last week with a panel of 27 players. Apart from CTG, Raharney, Clonkill, Oliver Plunketts, Fr. Daltons and St. Brigids no other teams field on their own at every age group. All the traditional hurling clubs north of Mullingar are combined at some or all age groups.

Wmeath2 (Westmeath) - Posts: 177 - 28/05/2024 07:38:16    2547805

Link