National Forum

Westmeath Hurling thread

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Replying To gedupoutofit:  "This has always been the case. It's partly culture which has been getting better over time. However, the key difference is resources. Top teams have been getting high-level coaches in on contract as well as having access to fantastic facilities. There are budget considerations for staff and the fact that we don't have a dedicated gym/centre of excellence. That said it is a lot easier to be motivated when your team has a chance at winning a provincial, D1 or All Ireland.

There's often talk of a lack of "ball-winners" when facing top teams who physically dominate us. Or Westmeath being considered a small team save for one or two outliers. I hate to pick on one of our lads but I remember one of our better players marking Lee Chin a few years back. Chin was easily out-jumping and out-running every time the ball was near. This was one of our stalwarts who'd torment any club player he'd face but could barely touch Lee Chin. Granted Chin is a phenomenal athlete, even amongst the top players he sticks out but that's the level you are aspiring to reach."
Tbh Chin would be an outlier for us also. In all the time I've been watching us, since the early to mid 90s, we have been smaller than nearly anyone we have played against.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 6108 - 20/04/2022 19:18:27    2411924

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Replying To gedupoutofit:  "This has always been the case. It's partly culture which has been getting better over time. However, the key difference is resources. Top teams have been getting high-level coaches in on contract as well as having access to fantastic facilities. There are budget considerations for staff and the fact that we don't have a dedicated gym/centre of excellence. That said it is a lot easier to be motivated when your team has a chance at winning a provincial, D1 or All Ireland.

There's often talk of a lack of "ball-winners" when facing top teams who physically dominate us. Or Westmeath being considered a small team save for one or two outliers. I hate to pick on one of our lads but I remember one of our better players marking Lee Chin a few years back. Chin was easily out-jumping and out-running every time the ball was near. This was one of our stalwarts who'd torment any club player he'd face but could barely touch Lee Chin. Granted Chin is a phenomenal athlete, even amongst the top players he sticks out but that's the level you are aspiring to reach."
Tbh Chin would be an outlier for us also. In all the time I've been watching us, since the early to mid 90s, we have been smaller than nearly anyone we have played against.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 6108 - 20/04/2022 19:18:57    2411925

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Our hurlers fitness levels have improved in recent seasons but we're still not at the same level as we aspire to be. It's partly a culture change that's needed.

Claretandblue (Westmeath) - Posts: 813 - 20/04/2022 21:45:08    2411961

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Replying To Claretandblue:  "Our hurlers fitness levels have improved in recent seasons but we're still not at the same level as we aspire to be. It's partly a culture change that's needed."
100% agreed. To be fair to the lads they have improved without question. The difference is that the top tier teams start their S&C development younger, with top quality resources at their disposal (coaching, education and facilities). Then you add in the difference in playing numbers and you get the whole picture.

Considering that we're a small dual county with a north/south split in terms of hurling vs football (save for a couple of exceptions) and the resources available, Westmeath isn't doing too bad.

The question then is how to progress hurling (and football why not?). It always comes back to underage development, structure, planning and resources. The goal would be to have all of these in order to have a proper pathway from underage to adult level.

We have had some memorable stories about underage in recent years. Unfortunately, some of them were ridiculously related to jerseys but more memorably we actually beat Eddie Brennan's KK u20 team. We need to get our house in order so it's more of the latter rather than the former. Some of that will be culture changes, not just from teams and management but equally important to see it come from our administrators too.

gedupoutofit (Westmeath) - Posts: 152 - 21/04/2022 12:50:37    2412071

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A significant part of the problem is that the knowledgeable hurling fraternity in Westmeath is small, that's not a criticism but a fact, we have three clubs dominating at underage level and other clubs generally doing their best. Recruiting managers and selectors for county development squads is a huge issue, those who take up the reins are often full on with their clubs as well, look at the likes of Fintan Clarke, this year's minors have Noel Conaty and Tommy Gallagher in charge, two fine coaches but both men are also members of the county senior hurling panel, doubtful if a similar situation exists in other Liam McCarthy competitors and chances are Cody, Kiely, Plunkett and Bonnar wouldn't allow it. I've no solution to this, we can blame administrators but what can they do? Majority of committed hurling people are involved with clubs already, Eddie Casey in Plunketts does sterling work and is senior county selector, Pat Clarke heavily involved with CTG and under 20 county selector. Add in that county development roles have no monetary gain and some able coaches choose to coach in neighbouring counties where they are compensated. County Board struggled to get team managers across the various age groups this year and it's a regular issue.

Claretandblue (Westmeath) - Posts: 813 - 21/04/2022 14:35:14    2412099

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Replying To gedupoutofit:  "100% agreed. To be fair to the lads they have improved without question. The difference is that the top tier teams start their S&C development younger, with top quality resources at their disposal (coaching, education and facilities). Then you add in the difference in playing numbers and you get the whole picture.

Considering that we're a small dual county with a north/south split in terms of hurling vs football (save for a couple of exceptions) and the resources available, Westmeath isn't doing too bad.

The question then is how to progress hurling (and football why not?). It always comes back to underage development, structure, planning and resources. The goal would be to have all of these in order to have a proper pathway from underage to adult level.

We have had some memorable stories about underage in recent years. Unfortunately, some of them were ridiculously related to jerseys but more memorably we actually beat Eddie Brennan's KK u20 team. We need to get our house in order so it's more of the latter rather than the former. Some of that will be culture changes, not just from teams and management but equally important to see it come from our administrators too."
I'd love to see more done in Athlone in regards hurling, I know Southern Gaels have an excellent underage set up at the moment and they'll definitely see benefits of that at adult level in the coming years. I think they'll get up out of Intermediate and into Senior B and maybe that will be the boost needed for hurling in Athlone.
Mullingar hurling has definitely got its house in order when you look at Plunketts and Cullion improving massively at underage level and both getting promoted up a grade in Senior too.
We will always have our traditionally strong clubs in North Westmeath and Castletown Geoghegan, but we need our big towns.

Dheen (Westmeath) - Posts: 436 - 21/04/2022 14:52:15    2412105

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Great to see such a diverse club representation here at the county minor match, four players starting from both Fr. Dalton's and Na Piarsaigh and two from Southern Gaels, Clann Na Gael also represented on starting team, represents work being done at various clubs.

Claretandblue (Westmeath) - Posts: 813 - 23/04/2022 12:30:02    2412463

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Replying To Claretandblue:  "Great to see such a diverse club representation here at the county minor match, four players starting from both Fr. Dalton's and Na Piarsaigh and two from Southern Gaels, Clann Na Gael also represented on starting team, represents work being done at various clubs."
Unlucky too, conceding a penalty didn't help.
Didn't make the game, who stood out?

Dheen (Westmeath) - Posts: 436 - 23/04/2022 13:51:09    2412479

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Best of luck to the senior side against Galway today. Hopefully a good performance for the entire 70 minutes as well as keeping 15 on the field.
I can only assume Galway will turn up today after the fall off last weekend. There will be a lot to be learned.

35OLT (USA) - Posts: 59 - 23/04/2022 14:22:36    2412487

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Replying To Claretandblue:  "Great to see such a diverse club representation here at the county minor match, four players starting from both Fr. Dalton's and Na Piarsaigh and two from Southern Gaels, Clann Na Gael also represented on starting team, represents work being done at various clubs."
Yes but it also shows a drop in players coming through at the senior sides, only 4 starters from senior clubs if you put amalgamations aside, doesn't bode well. Correct me if I'm writing but na Piarsaighs 4 starters are all Turin club. Good for what would be regarded as the less strong clubs traditionally speaking, but does this mean a poor conveyor belt with our 6 senior clubs. Majority of team and panel from intermediate/junior clubs.

CleanShoulder (Westmeath) - Posts: 181 - 23/04/2022 18:58:36    2412562

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In serious danger of becoming the first team to be at the end of a 50 point championship beating today the way things are going!!

CleanShoulder (Westmeath) - Posts: 181 - 23/04/2022 19:03:36    2412564

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why they picked to play against the wind in the first half ill never know........

preddan (Kildare) - Posts: 647 - 23/04/2022 19:44:01    2412575

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26 pt defeat and not one sub used ? Doesn't show great confidence in panel.

puglerdaly (Westmeath) - Posts: 117 - 23/04/2022 19:46:19    2412578

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Reality check in Salthill. 26 points is a fair trimming with Galway missing couple of key forwards. Dubs next which won't be simple. They're on the verge of qualifying if they beat us.

Claretandblue (Westmeath) - Posts: 813 - 23/04/2022 19:49:09    2412582

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Replying To 35OLT:  "Best of luck to the senior side against Galway today. Hopefully a good performance for the entire 70 minutes as well as keeping 15 on the field.
I can only assume Galway will turn up today after the fall off last weekend. There will be a lot to be learned."
Maybe the understatement of the year….

35OLT (USA) - Posts: 59 - 23/04/2022 19:59:12    2412583

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Replying To puglerdaly:  "26 pt defeat and not one sub used ? Doesn't show great confidence in panel."
No subs used?? Seriously! That's outrageous!!

CleanShoulder (Westmeath) - Posts: 181 - 23/04/2022 20:26:23    2412590

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Look, a county with our small pick of players can't afford to go up against the likes of Galway missing anyone.
Aonghus Clarke, Darragh Egerton, Ciaran Doyle, Liam Varley, Gary Greville, Josh Coll, Shane Clavin, Shane Williams, all players either injured or just not available to Westmeath this year.
We managed fine with Joe Mcdonagh and Division 2 league but when you get to this level you need absolutely everyone on board and available and be fortunate enough to get few injuries, which isn't too realistic. It's tough on the lads shipping a heavy defeat like that.
Killian Doyle, Tommy Doyle and Niall O'Brien did their best but unfortunately we just didn't have enough quality around them.

Dheen (Westmeath) - Posts: 436 - 23/04/2022 21:27:33    2412617

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We used all five subs, four within 55 mins, hard to find any positives, game was over within 15 mins, different standard of hurling, we managed three scores from forwards, five scores from play in total, thirteen Galway players scored from play.

Claretandblue (Westmeath) - Posts: 813 - 23/04/2022 21:31:51    2412622

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Replying To preddan:  "why they picked to play against the wind in the first half ill never know........"
How do you know that ??

BigSur (Westmeath) - Posts: 1003 - 23/04/2022 21:51:43    2412635

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I admire your optimism Dheen but of the 8 lads you named only 2-3 would have started last night. Our away games on big pitches against quality opposition are always problematic and it's a bonus that 3 of our fixtures are in the tight confines of Cusack Park. The dubs next Sunday will be full of confidence with full points and qualification for All Ireland stages certain if they win. Hopefully we can be more competitive.

Claretandblue (Westmeath) - Posts: 813 - 24/04/2022 09:16:39    2412650

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