Wicklow Forum

Rathnew v Longford Slashers

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Ww, it is getting to the stage where in the grand scheme of things the wicklow senior football winners medal is devalued by the appalling standard of our football. This is not an attack on any particular club but we need to recognise that we have fallen so far behind even average counties that it means a senior football title is a reflection of a decent years effort but is the absolute ceiling our clubs can aspire to. This is not to say this years championship wasn't exciting or that rathnew don't deserve credit for their tenacity but at a Leinster level we have regressed to a handy draw for most serious clubs. Despite advancements in physical preparation and coaching the standard of footballer we produce is uncompetitive at any decent level and is arguably inferior to senior footballers in this county in the 80's and early 90's. not sure why that is but unless we recognise it and change it we are just gonna keep on keeping on as we have always done.

townieee (Wicklow) - Posts: 261 - 08/11/2013 12:23:23    1510813

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Maybe getting a bit carried away here people....While we may be far away from the likes of winning at leinster at club level, we are still good enough to beat/ be competitive with many counties around Leinster..Remember last year Pats beat Carlow champions. Year before that Rathnew put it right up to portlaois away who are one of the best teams in the country..The rathnew result this year while disappointing was probably more due to the fact that they lost home advantage and had to play the game one week after than anything else..While plenty of teams have to go through worse i.e dublin champions, it is not ideal, and when you are only a middle of the pack kind of team these kinds of things are often be the difference between winning and losing..I know that pats often play friendlies against the top teams in Wexford and Carlow and are more than competitive against them..in fact against the Wexford teams they more often than not end up winning by a big margin so I would guess that the likes of Rathnew, Balto, Blesso and maybe Marys too are just as competitive with teams from other counties too..

The main problem with Wicklow club football perhaps is that the Co Championship is seen as the most important thing to win, and once a team wins on county final day leinster is almost an afterthought..A change in opinion in this regard would likely do wonders for teams preparing for leinster..

And if you are going to criticise the state of club football within the county then it should be aimed towards the weaker clubs who are bringing down the level of the senior football championship, not those who are continually there or there abouts each year...There are far too many weak teams around the county, most of whom should be intermediate..While the shake up of the format this year, did manage to make things more exciting we were still left with four of those top 5 "familiar" teams reaching semi final stage..And given how old many of the mary's team are i don't know how long they can really keep playing at that level...the shake up was good, but it won't improve the standard unless the number of teams in the championship are dropped and maybe another group team put together, especially if Coolkenno win intermediate and marys are disbanded..

yourman (Wicklow) - Posts: 235 - 08/11/2013 16:05:50    1510940

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Agreed yourman. To add to that, I was at the Dublin SFC final (1st game) and was sitting beside a St Judes man who said Baltinglass beat them pretty comfortably earlier in the year too. St Judes were only just beaten in the semi final stage of Dublin by Ballymun so perhaps our clubs are not as far away from mid-top Leinster standard as we think.

neutralfan (Wicklow) - Posts: 204 - 08/11/2013 16:39:43    1510967

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yourman, I tend to agree with you on the point that outside the top 3-4 teams in the county, five at a stretch, the rest are simply not stepping up to the mark and yes this can have an impact on the better teams as they tend to not be challenged which means that it is relative easy for teams like Rathnew and Baltinglass who only have to worry about stepping it up in the county semi final and final. That is where my agreement with you ends. I don't accept that the fact that Rathnew played the county final a week before playing Longford Slashers was a legitimate reason for Rathnew loosing by 12 points. If as you state, plus if the players/teams are only interested in the county championship and not the Leinster championship, then that once again shows that there is an issue with players in the county in terms of motivation and commitment. Equally, to state that it is acceptable that Pats beat the Carlow champions last year and then lost to Portlaois by 22 points, how can this be, lets be honest, the club scene in Carlow (which was once on a par with any county in Leinster) is now along with our championship below average in terms of other counties in Leinster and I don't agree with you that Portlaois are one of the best teams in Ireland .. they are the best team in Laois without doubt but I wouldn't expect them to win the Leinster title this year. The best clubs in the province now are in Dublin, they are the standard bearers as the last 10 years have proven in terms of Leinster titles and All Ireland club titles and this has filtered through to their county setup. If Wicklow wants to improve the county team, then clubs have to start raising the bar as our clubs are simply not good enough to compete against 70% of other county's clubs based upon championship results (I'm not talking about challenge matches).

wicklowsupport (Wicklow) - Posts: 1198 - 09/11/2013 12:29:48    1511168

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I never really said that it was a legitimate excuse, I merely said that it probably played a big hand in the result..It shouldn't be the case but as i stated losing home advantage and then having a week turnaround is not the preparation you want for a middle of the pack team....Also to claim portlaoise aren't among the best in the country is a bit ridiculous considering they've now won their co championship 7 years in a row, won leinster in 2010 and lost out in the final last year to ballymun by 2/3 points..i don't think the commitment of the players can be brought into question when you look at how hard pats fought to beat Eire og in leinster last year..the portlaoise game was a disaster of course but I think they were just drained after 3 gruelling games in a row..Rathnew too are a very spirited team and also a very young team, so the result against Slashers will bring on those young players immensely..

IMO the county board really needs to step up regarding fixtures and lay out of the championship...At the moment it is a mess, and it is even holding up the intermediate championship, which means that our inter champions cannot now play in leainster, which is an outrage...We were among the first teams knocked out of the county championship and yet we only finished our championship a week before the all Ireland champions county final..this is a constant problem every year and literlly nothing has been done about it... At the moment we are in the middle/lower tier in the country and we need the county board to step up big time to try and give the county a boost...that means trying to help out the clubs in some regards, i.e getting the championship done a few weeks in advance of leinster, taking into account that there may be replays etc...

Don't take this as "oh its all the county boards fault" either, because the players need to step up to, in terms of mentality and preparation if they wish to be among the best in the country.. But if the competition is being run like it is, that is in a manner which seems like the organisers could care less about leinster, well then that is going to feed into the clubs too...Change needs to come from the top down, and the Co. board need to start running it as professionally as possible, in terms of fixtures, structure and discipline, (U21 championship early on in the year, CO final to be played 3-4 weeks ahead of leinster first round, reduction in number of teams in senior championship, a real clamp down on suspensions, League completed by June/July, etc)...regarding the league too, its another farce that the semi finals and finals are going to end up being played out in the middle of November..I know of teams who went over a month during may and June without having a game and now here they are trying to cram them all in before the end of the year..

yourman (Wicklow) - Posts: 235 - 09/11/2013 15:10:03    1511232

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Wicklowsupport i cant agree with you that the club scene in Carlow was on a par with anywhere in Leinster,they had one exceptional club team in Eire og who won 6 carlow championships in 7 years including 5 in a row 92/96,and won 5 leinster titles,but the actual Club scene was no better than Wicklow or anywhere else in Leinster at the time,the Carlow results in the Leinster championship will bear that out .In Wicklow Balto dominated 90/94 winning Leinster and All.ireland An Toger 95 and were only beaten by Eire Og after replay in leinster final,then Ranu for rest of decade,they won Leinster in 2001.Its not fair to compare Wicklow clubs with Dublin ones because we dont have the same number of players in our Clubs,look at the amount of leinster transfers from provincial Clubs into Dublin every year then you will see why the Club standard in most Countys has gone down and the Dublin Clubs have benefited from it.

small ball (Wicklow) - Posts: 278 - 09/11/2013 18:06:03    1511295

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