National Forum

(So Called) Weaker Counties

(Oldest Posts First) - Go To The Latest Post


Was listening to a few of the lower division games that went ahead yesterday and was wondering, apart from Dublin say, how come Sligo, Leitrim, Waterford, Carlow, Wicklow, Antrim etc..how come there are not minimum 15 top class footballers in these counties to compete with their so called counterparts of stronger counties, and as we know not every county has 15 but will have 11 or 12 or so..take Sligo fie example, Paul Taylor for example one of the top forwards in Ireland when he played, Tipperary had Declan Brown, Carlow had Johnny Nevin and Garvin Ware to mention 2..how come they dont apparently have enough to put out a formidable team capable of winning at least a provincial or a league (not these Mickey Mouse Divisional finals everyone forgets about outside those winning them)..absolutely no disrespect to any of the counties mentioned as examples, we all see they have and have had very good players, why dont they progress..I was listening to Sam Mulroy of Louth being interviewed after they beat Limerick, a top class player and scorer, but no doubt will fade away in time like David Reilly, Colin Kelly and Mark Stanfield, how is it with players like those, these counties dont win and progress more..all observations welcome..

Fairplayalways (Offaly) - Posts: 928 - 21/02/2022 21:37:15    2401747

Link

Replying To Fairplayalways:  "Was listening to a few of the lower division games that went ahead yesterday and was wondering, apart from Dublin say, how come Sligo, Leitrim, Waterford, Carlow, Wicklow, Antrim etc..how come there are not minimum 15 top class footballers in these counties to compete with their so called counterparts of stronger counties, and as we know not every county has 15 but will have 11 or 12 or so..take Sligo fie example, Paul Taylor for example one of the top forwards in Ireland when he played, Tipperary had Declan Brown, Carlow had Johnny Nevin and Garvin Ware to mention 2..how come they dont apparently have enough to put out a formidable team capable of winning at least a provincial or a league (not these Mickey Mouse Divisional finals everyone forgets about outside those winning them)..absolutely no disrespect to any of the counties mentioned as examples, we all see they have and have had very good players, why dont they progress..I was listening to Sam Mulroy of Louth being interviewed after they beat Limerick, a top class player and scorer, but no doubt will fade away in time like David Reilly, Colin Kelly and Mark Stanfield, how is it with players like those, these counties dont win and progress more..all observations welcome.."
What are you defining as a top class footballer?
The 15 best footballers in Sligo, Tipp arent going to be the same standard as Kerry, Dublin, Tyrone. Thats Life. Thats Sport.

Tipp bar around Clonmel and the very south of the county is dominated by other sports so gaelic wont get the best athletes.
There will always be teams who are strong and weak. You wont get a system where all sides will be competitive towards winning a provincial title or a league title(dont know why winning division 3/4 are classed as "mickey mouse"}

KillingFields (Limerick) - Posts: 2795 - 22/02/2022 10:20:13    2401787

Link

Replying To Fairplayalways:  "Was listening to a few of the lower division games that went ahead yesterday and was wondering, apart from Dublin say, how come Sligo, Leitrim, Waterford, Carlow, Wicklow, Antrim etc..how come there are not minimum 15 top class footballers in these counties to compete with their so called counterparts of stronger counties, and as we know not every county has 15 but will have 11 or 12 or so..take Sligo fie example, Paul Taylor for example one of the top forwards in Ireland when he played, Tipperary had Declan Brown, Carlow had Johnny Nevin and Garvin Ware to mention 2..how come they dont apparently have enough to put out a formidable team capable of winning at least a provincial or a league (not these Mickey Mouse Divisional finals everyone forgets about outside those winning them)..absolutely no disrespect to any of the counties mentioned as examples, we all see they have and have had very good players, why dont they progress..I was listening to Sam Mulroy of Louth being interviewed after they beat Limerick, a top class player and scorer, but no doubt will fade away in time like David Reilly, Colin Kelly and Mark Stanfield, how is it with players like those, these counties dont win and progress more..all observations welcome.."
I think you've pretty much answered your own question. While these smaller counties can produce a few top quality players, they don't have the depth or strength across an entire panel to compete with the best counties.
There are many factors, but a basic one for a team with a smaller pick is that they won't have the volume of high level players as a team with much greater numbers.
Shane Walsh is arguably the best forward in Galway for the past number of years, but his club are intermediate. They've produced a top class player, but they're weaker than many other clubs across the entire panel. The same principle applies at county level and even in international sport, where countries have a relatively smaller population and pool of players.

WanPintWin (Galway) - Posts: 1514 - 22/02/2022 10:27:19    2401790

Link

From a Louth perspective I think two issues have plagued us over the years. Firstly there simply hasn't been the money spent in the county over the years. When the list of spending was produced a few years ago we had spent the 2nd least in the country over the past 10 years - under those circumstances it's remarkable we are a division 3 team. The second issue has been our development squads. This underage plan has ran for 20 years and in that time we have been to one u20(then u21) leinster final and one minor Leinster final, a terrible record. Look at our neighbours Meath and Monaghan, both very competitive in the top divisions and both competitive underage, while we have been left behind.

PK57 (Louth) - Posts: 1630 - 22/02/2022 10:37:01    2401794

Link

Having a 'weaker' county team reach any type of success is a once in a generation or perhaps even half century scenario. In the case of Leitrim between 1955-65 we got to five Connacht finals I believe losing all five with perhaps our best ever team. The team of the 90s only won one title, arguably 1995 was the one that got away and possibly could have got to the AI final that year.

Leitrim_12 (USA) - Posts: 207 - 22/02/2022 10:43:43    2401798

Link

A famous Kilkenny hurler of the 1970's and 80's took over Wicklow hurlers one time, when asked what his plans were, he said he was going to travel the county to look for 15 very good hurlers, he said surely in Wicklow there are 15 very good hurlers...he did and took over and WIcklow had a decent campaign under him until a bigger county spotted him and took him away. Someone replied above (paraphrasing) that they are top class for their county but wouldnt be top class in another strong county"...does that mean, that Paul Taylor, Declan Brown, Colin Kelly, Dessie Dolan, Sam Mulroy, Mark Stanfield, Mattie Forde....I could go on, would not make the Dublin, Kerrys, Corks and Galways etc. if they were playing with those counties iinstead of their native counties???...Ide say they would be be guaranteed starters..
Not having dept of strength?...I dont know, not every county outside of Dublin and Kerry etc. will have 15 top class starters, maybe 11,12 or so then 2 or 3 that will best compliment the 11 or so "starters"..I know counties have more of a squad now too, but Sligo for example is big enough county, Clare is too, are there not 15 very very good footballers in both counties?? (no disrespect to either - just using them as examples)

Fairplayalways (Offaly) - Posts: 928 - 22/02/2022 11:11:36    2401814

Link

Replying To Fairplayalways:  "Was listening to a few of the lower division games that went ahead yesterday and was wondering, apart from Dublin say, how come Sligo, Leitrim, Waterford, Carlow, Wicklow, Antrim etc..how come there are not minimum 15 top class footballers in these counties to compete with their so called counterparts of stronger counties, and as we know not every county has 15 but will have 11 or 12 or so..take Sligo fie example, Paul Taylor for example one of the top forwards in Ireland when he played, Tipperary had Declan Brown, Carlow had Johnny Nevin and Garvin Ware to mention 2..how come they dont apparently have enough to put out a formidable team capable of winning at least a provincial or a league (not these Mickey Mouse Divisional finals everyone forgets about outside those winning them)..absolutely no disrespect to any of the counties mentioned as examples, we all see they have and have had very good players, why dont they progress..I was listening to Sam Mulroy of Louth being interviewed after they beat Limerick, a top class player and scorer, but no doubt will fade away in time like David Reilly, Colin Kelly and Mark Stanfield, how is it with players like those, these counties dont win and progress more..all observations welcome.."
Tradition, resources, consistent hard work, standard of other sports within the county. In the past 30 years we've had so-called weaker football counties like Clare, Leitrim, Sligo and Tipperary win provincial titles and Wexford, Fermanagh and Tipperary get to All Ireland semi finals but never consistently maintained that level. After a lot of hard work Clare are now pushing again to get promoted out of Division 2, no big names there. Since Cork won the 2010 final their standards of intercounty football has dipped. Not sure why but maybe some players and supporters have interest in hurling, soccer, rugby. We didn't reach an All Ireland Final for 38 years, a traditional football county. Never got out of Connacht in the 70s. Sure now we can but we need to find where 11 finals went wrong if we're to have any hope of ever winning one. Ever!
I hate that phrase 'weaker' county, we're all proud of our counties. If we spend too long telling ourselves how great other counties are it'll be a long time until we beat them.

GreenandRed (Mayo) - Posts: 6802 - 22/02/2022 12:11:00    2401830

Link

Replying To GreenandRed:  "Tradition, resources, consistent hard work, standard of other sports within the county. In the past 30 years we've had so-called weaker football counties like Clare, Leitrim, Sligo and Tipperary win provincial titles and Wexford, Fermanagh and Tipperary get to All Ireland semi finals but never consistently maintained that level. After a lot of hard work Clare are now pushing again to get promoted out of Division 2, no big names there. Since Cork won the 2010 final their standards of intercounty football has dipped. Not sure why but maybe some players and supporters have interest in hurling, soccer, rugby. We didn't reach an All Ireland Final for 38 years, a traditional football county. Never got out of Connacht in the 70s. Sure now we can but we need to find where 11 finals went wrong if we're to have any hope of ever winning one. Ever!
I hate that phrase 'weaker' county, we're all proud of our counties. If we spend too long telling ourselves how great other counties are it'll be a long time until we beat them."
thanks for your obs and i agrree re the term "weaker counties" hence I put the prefix "so called" before the title..when down won the All Ireland in either 1991 or 1994, their manager was on radio on about some big hill or other in county down that the team used to pull a heavy tyre (I wont say a lorry or tractor as no doubt it will be exagerated story) and all this stood them in the heat of battle..I think it was a Longford player at the time came out and said they don the very same thing (and we won no All Ireland)...so as I say, the footballers are in each county I think, is it deep lying belief underneath, even in their management, that realisctically each year, its accepted that team X wont win a legue, provincial or All Ireland...surely in this day and age with money and stadiums etc. that almost everycounty should have the same level of preparation and access to gyms and dieticians and all that kind of stuff....I often wonder is it bacause outside the star players, do they change their panel too often, should they let same panel more or less at it for 2 or 3 years and get a bit of momentum going..probably do that already, but strange so of the players these counties produce and yet they never make a significant break through...

Fairplayalways (Offaly) - Posts: 928 - 22/02/2022 13:53:24    2401877

Link

They're not "so called" weaker counties,, they ARE weaker counties, some of them would struggle against Al all Ireland counties reserve team while one or two can't even field a team.

Galway9801 (Galway) - Posts: 1330 - 22/02/2022 14:05:24    2401879

Link

I can only speak for my own county and say we produced many top footballers over my years of following. The problem is that they were only five or six at a time and scattered over many decades. In the 70's we were close to a full house and relegated out of the first division on scoring difference. I think the problem again was some were coming and some were going. The great Kerry man Mike Sheehy of the 70's said one of the best he ever played again John Galvin hurling ALL-Star led them a merry dance in Killarney at under 21 and they scraped through. More recent the Brick and Shane Walsh were top footballers. Conor Gleeson was refereed to as a football prodigy at 18. I think a system that gets the top players playing at the top level the same as every other sport in both codes is required. That is a whole subject of its own on how to achieve.

Canuck (Waterford) - Posts: 2273 - 22/02/2022 15:19:58    2401912

Link

Replying To GreenandRed:  "Tradition, resources, consistent hard work, standard of other sports within the county. In the past 30 years we've had so-called weaker football counties like Clare, Leitrim, Sligo and Tipperary win provincial titles and Wexford, Fermanagh and Tipperary get to All Ireland semi finals but never consistently maintained that level. After a lot of hard work Clare are now pushing again to get promoted out of Division 2, no big names there. Since Cork won the 2010 final their standards of intercounty football has dipped. Not sure why but maybe some players and supporters have interest in hurling, soccer, rugby. We didn't reach an All Ireland Final for 38 years, a traditional football county. Never got out of Connacht in the 70s. Sure now we can but we need to find where 11 finals went wrong if we're to have any hope of ever winning one. Ever!
I hate that phrase 'weaker' county, we're all proud of our counties. If we spend too long telling ourselves how great other counties are it'll be a long time until we beat them."
I know it was a long time before my time but you are wrong about so called weaker counties like ourselves not being able to be consistent over a few years and win titles. We have a good few Leinster football titles and 5 all Ireland football titles, and were the 1st county to win a four in a row All Ireland titles in either code. All it takes is a county to be lucky and have a golden generation of footballers or hurlers and given the right support and guidance from the County Board and Management teams theres nothing stopping any county achieving great things. I agree with your last sentence. Its what I have always believed and you have to be positive or what's the point following sport at all?

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 5713 - 22/02/2022 15:25:20    2401916

Link

Weaker counties are those that doesn't have pick will struggle with any injuries and don't have like for replacements plus don't have the resources to compete or hold their own against the top tier.

The top 6 train and prepare almost at a professional level nowadays, that doesn't come cheap and maybe in long run HQ will help out by putting more of a focus on those that are struggling.

Yondu (UK) - Posts: 691 - 22/02/2022 15:38:17    2401920

Link

Replying To Yondu:  "Weaker counties are those that doesn't have pick will struggle with any injuries and don't have like for replacements plus don't have the resources to compete or hold their own against the top tier.

The top 6 train and prepare almost at a professional level nowadays, that doesn't come cheap and maybe in long run HQ will help out by putting more of a focus on those that are struggling."
I would disagree, Carlow, Sligo players and other similar counties I am sure train almost identical to those with the exception of Dublin and maybe Kerry and i am only mentioning the latter 2 out of them being leading with number of titles..is there such a massive difference in the training Sligo and Carlow do this week compared to Galway and Cork say two big counties that haven't won in a good few years...I doubt it very much..

Fairplayalways (Offaly) - Posts: 928 - 22/02/2022 15:57:40    2401926

Link

Replying To Yondu:  "Weaker counties are those that doesn't have pick will struggle with any injuries and don't have like for replacements plus don't have the resources to compete or hold their own against the top tier.

The top 6 train and prepare almost at a professional level nowadays, that doesn't come cheap and maybe in long run HQ will help out by putting more of a focus on those that are struggling."
I would disagree, Carlow, Sligo players and other similar counties I am sure train almost identical to those with the exception of Dublin and maybe Kerry and i am only mentioning the latter 2 out of them being leading with number of titles..is there such a massive difference in the training Sligo and Carlow do this week compared to Galway and Cork say two big counties that haven't won in a good few years...I doubt it very much..Leitrim the same..

Fairplayalways (Offaly) - Posts: 928 - 22/02/2022 15:58:22    2401927

Link

Replying To Fairplayalways:  "I would disagree, Carlow, Sligo players and other similar counties I am sure train almost identical to those with the exception of Dublin and maybe Kerry and i am only mentioning the latter 2 out of them being leading with number of titles..is there such a massive difference in the training Sligo and Carlow do this week compared to Galway and Cork say two big counties that haven't won in a good few years...I doubt it very much.."
I agree with you. And funding is a red herring too. Kerry and Tyrone and Donegal arent richer counties than Wicklow for example. Or have bigger populations.

Viking66 (Wexford) - Posts: 5713 - 22/02/2022 16:07:17    2401932

Link

Replying To Fairplayalways:  "I would disagree, Carlow, Sligo players and other similar counties I am sure train almost identical to those with the exception of Dublin and maybe Kerry and i am only mentioning the latter 2 out of them being leading with number of titles..is there such a massive difference in the training Sligo and Carlow do this week compared to Galway and Cork say two big counties that haven't won in a good few years...I doubt it very much..Leitrim the same.."
identical they do not. The top teams in Division 1 and streets ahead in regards to strength and conditioning of its panels Galway for one are catching up in that regard now while Cork are trailing behind.

Yondu (UK) - Posts: 691 - 22/02/2022 16:19:29    2401935

Link

Replying To PK57:  "From a Louth perspective I think two issues have plagued us over the years. Firstly there simply hasn't been the money spent in the county over the years. When the list of spending was produced a few years ago we had spent the 2nd least in the country over the past 10 years - under those circumstances it's remarkable we are a division 3 team. The second issue has been our development squads. This underage plan has ran for 20 years and in that time we have been to one u20(then u21) leinster final and one minor Leinster final, a terrible record. Look at our neighbours Meath and Monaghan, both very competitive in the top divisions and both competitive underage, while we have been left behind."
Alot of Louths problems is down to the fact Drogheda and especially Dundalk are massive soccer towns. Dundalks success over the last decade has destroyed some GAA clubs in town.

Gaels/Clans had to join together to get a team u 14 (2 years ago i think it was) That is unheard of with the size of pick both have considering they have a pick of Dublin Rd, Carrick Rd, Coxes and surrounding areas.

DundalkGael (Louth) - Posts: 871 - 22/02/2022 16:20:58    2401936

Link

It might not be a popular view but the GAA remains strong in the counties that it has always been strong in. When it almost disappeared under political pressure in 1890s it was counties like Cork, Kilkenny, Tipp, Wexford, Limerick. Dublin, Kerry that weathered the storm. Quite a number of counties had no gaelic games or very little at organised level for years after that.

The only counties with delegates at 1901 Convention were Clare, Cork, Dublin, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick, London (which had strong teams then), Tipp, Wexford and Wicklow. Galway, Waterford and Offaly are the only counties to have won a hurling All Ireland outside of those!

BarneyGrant (Dublin) - Posts: 660 - 22/02/2022 16:24:20    2401938

Link

Replying To Fairplayalways:  "I would disagree, Carlow, Sligo players and other similar counties I am sure train almost identical to those with the exception of Dublin and maybe Kerry and i am only mentioning the latter 2 out of them being leading with number of titles..is there such a massive difference in the training Sligo and Carlow do this week compared to Galway and Cork say two big counties that haven't won in a good few years...I doubt it very much..Leitrim the same.."
I very much doubt that. Its a simialir narrative when you hear people say club teams now train like inter county teams when its plain to see its not the case. Not picking on Ballyhale (greatest club team of all time) but it was plain to see that they had a few players who were not physcially conditioned like intercounty teams. Its no different with many of the weaker inter county teams. Its like this in most sports. Talent and hardwork are both equally important. Even the real top players are at the top because they are obsessed and put in ridiclous hours

tiobraid (Tipperary) - Posts: 3602 - 22/02/2022 16:46:08    2401944

Link

Replying To BarneyGrant:  "It might not be a popular view but the GAA remains strong in the counties that it has always been strong in. When it almost disappeared under political pressure in 1890s it was counties like Cork, Kilkenny, Tipp, Wexford, Limerick. Dublin, Kerry that weathered the storm. Quite a number of counties had no gaelic games or very little at organised level for years after that.

The only counties with delegates at 1901 Convention were Clare, Cork, Dublin, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick, London (which had strong teams then), Tipp, Wexford and Wicklow. Galway, Waterford and Offaly are the only counties to have won a hurling All Ireland outside of those!"
How is this relevant? The GAA has come along way since the 1890s. Donegal county board was founded in 1905 but there are records of gaelic games being played before that.

I'm not sure what your point is. Weaker counties weren't responsible for the decline of gaelic games. The British, mass emigration, the Famine. Take your pick. Why should those counties be ignored because the strong back then are still strong today. Laois won the All-Ireland in 1915 so you were wrong on that.

Rolo2010 (Donegal) - Posts: 595 - 22/02/2022 17:11:27    2401951

Link