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Messages - Laois Rising

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1
Laois / Re: O'Byrne Cup 2022
« on: January 17, 2022, 01:05:41 PM »
Kildare motoring at the moment but then they need to be as they try survive in division 1 of league this year. It's a real bonus game to test some players again before the start of the league. Winning games breathes confidence into a step up. A week ago, posters on this forum were already writing their epitaphs to the Billy Sheehan reign. Two games later and there is a sense of optimism that he is building something meaningful that players have bought into. The bookies have taken note with Laois now second favourites for promotion from Division Three (granted away games to Louth and Fermanagh not easy). When you look at the other sides in the division (Cavan being relegated to division 4 a real bonus) we still should be there or there abouts by end of competition. Louth and Longford have had poor O'Byrne Cup campaigns while Fermanagh easily beaten at home by Derry at weekend. 

Also, Ross Munnelly's performances in the O'Byrne games have not been acknowledged. I know some posters would prefer if he walked away but he has been excellent so far and as long as he is performing to the level required then we are lucky to have him. He is there on merit, it is up to the younger forwards coming through to step up to the mark and displace him. 

2
Laois / Re: O'Byrne Cup 2022
« on: January 13, 2022, 04:31:16 PM »
After last night's game I'm going to say what everyone else is thinking- Laois for Sam!!!

In all seriousness though it was a good response from the Wexford game. Granted, it was Meath's first game and once they clicked more into gear in the second half they looked a much better side. I like the set up that Billy is going with-he is not trying to put square pegs in round holes. Simple game plan that reflects the strengths of the footballers at our disposal. It was important that Laois recorded a victory in at least one of the O'Byrne Cup agames s I think the last time we recorded a victory was the Longford game in the Leinster championship a few years back. Gives the players confidence and something to build upon moving forward into the league. Getting James Finn back involved is also a major boast. Excellent footballing brain and good to move the ball quickly into the forward line. He probably didn't get utilised as he as could have when in with Laois previously.     

3
Laois / Re: O'Byrne Cup 2022
« on: January 11, 2022, 12:44:29 PM »
In order to play and compete in the modern game, James Horan made the point a few years ago the players need two full seasons of intercounty standard S&C behind them before they are physically capable of meeting the demands of intercounty football. Granted, he's talking about getting players to a position where they can compete with Dublin, Kerry and Tyrone. However, it does show that we will have to be patient with a lot of the newer faces to the panel. This year will be too soon to judge some of these players who have been asked to make a serious jump from being club footballers to playing intercounty football. The reality is they are going to take some hard knocks and learn some hard lessons as they hopefully develop over the next 12-24 months.

4
Laois / Re: O'Byrne Cup 2022
« on: January 10, 2022, 11:15:49 AM »
One game in early January and the knives already out. Can we give Billy a little time and lets judge things after 3 or 4 league games. Of the 20 or so new faces, our best hopes is that 4 or 5 of these younger players can step up to the mark of intercounty football, the likes of Paul Kingston, Evan Carroll, Trevor Collins etc peak as intercounty footballers and some of the old guard-Donie Kingston, Kieran Lillis and John O'Loughlin provide the necessary leadership needed. If he can achieve that, we should be competitive in division 3 (without necessarily winning promotion).

5
Laois / Re: Other sports
« on: December 09, 2021, 04:18:23 PM »
There used to be a lot more soccer teams. A lot of them have disappeared. Ballybrittas, Emo, Killenard all had teams. There also used to be two or three clubs in Port.

For the same reason many rural GAA clubs are now struggling- population decline in many parts of Laois, especially rural communities. Bringing it back to GAA- look at the number of amalgamations at underage level in Laois GAA. Twenty years ago rural clubs like the two Arles', Crettyard, the Rock etc. all capable of fielding underage team at all the grades going up. Now you see amalgamations of 3/4 clubs to get a team together. Numbers are not what they were. Employment and jobs big factor- when Celtic Tiger here most young lads (like myself at the time) could make a good living  living from their home place. That's not been the case since 2008 and clubs lose lads to moving to Dublin, London or further afield for employment. They then not setting up roots at home-knock on effect is that their kids are then lost to the club as well.
I thought the population of the county was steadily rising, no? I think it's more the "Playstation generation" - youngsters who have no interest in sport and would prefer a tech/social media lifestyle. I would hear anecdotally of rural primary school classes  where the pupils would have no involvement in sport except what they are compelled to do.

The change in the GAA club season also affected soccer participation numbers. Back 20+ years ago when I played, the GAA season was a lot earlier in the year. It wouldn't be unusual to be out of your championship in June or July. Championship are only getting going now in late July and it's a lot more difficult to get a junior soccer team up and running for early to mid August when the CCFL starts.

Population in urban areas has grown rapidly in Laois hence hike in the county's population numbers. In rural areas I don't think that same growth is evident. Definitely an issue in Portlaoise is the large number of kids not involved in sports. Sad to see- clubs need to get into the primary schools and actively promote their sports and create that interest and hopefully entice them to take up soccer, GAA, basketball etc.

6
Laois / Re: Other sports
« on: December 08, 2021, 07:08:05 PM »
There used to be a lot more soccer teams. A lot of them have disappeared. Ballybrittas, Emo, Killenard all had teams. There also used to be two or three clubs in Port.

For the same reason many rural GAA clubs are now struggling- population decline in many parts of Laois, especially rural communities. Bringing it back to GAA- look at the number of amalgamations at underage level in Laois GAA. Twenty years ago rural clubs like the two Arles', Crettyard, the Rock etc. all capable of fielding underage team at all the grades going up. Now you see amalgamations of 3/4 clubs to get a team together. Numbers are not what they were. Employment and jobs big factor- when Celtic Tiger here most young lads (like myself at the time) could make a good living  living from their home place. That's not been the case since 2008 and clubs lose lads to moving to Dublin, London or further afield for employment. They then not setting up roots at home-knock on effect is that their kids are then lost to the club as well.

7
Laois / Re: leinster club championship
« on: December 03, 2021, 11:00:19 AM »
St. loman's are probably stronger now than anytime that they were in the last ten years. Outside of Heslin who is a marquee full forward their middle third is dominated with players with senior intercounty experience. If you look at players of the calibre of Flanagan, Regan, McCartan, Dempsey and O’Toole each of them is currently or has been in with Westmeath at some stage recently. This is Portarlington's biggest test and a good barometer of how good the actually are.   

8
Laois / Re: The Future for Laois Football
« on: December 03, 2021, 10:51:41 AM »
The benefits of having your counties teams all knocked out of their respective championships early I guess. Saved the county a fortune.

On a serious note-making that amount of profit is a sign that the county board are not investing enough in the development of GAA within the county. Obviously you do not run into debt but equally you should not be sitting on a large wad of money that could be invested wisely to help improve standards within the county.   

Is anyone else surprised at the fact that the Coaching and Games Development Expenses was only €14,854. Surely that figure should be x10 that or am I wrong in thinking that?

9
Laois / Re: The future of laois hurling
« on: November 19, 2021, 02:50:39 PM »
Nearly all of the best footballers in south Laois end up going to Knockbeg, sprinkled in with some of the best young GAA players from clubs in Carlow, Wicklow, parts of Kildare and Kilkenny, Knockbeg will always field competitive teams, especially in football.

The problem for Portlaoise CBS is that a large cohort of male pupils joining the school do not play or have played little or no GAA. How can they field competitive teams if the pool of potential players is dwindling year on year? Killian FitzPatrick is considered one of the top GAA coaches/managers in the county and is working in the CBS. If the players were there, Portlaoise CBS have the facilities and staff to compete at the top table.

10
Laois / Re: The future of laois hurling
« on: November 19, 2021, 02:10:15 PM »
A school's team is only as good as the players that are filtering in from the clubs. You cannot blame Portlaoise CBS- the blame lies squarely with how football is promoted and developed by Portlaoise GAA and Laois GAA. Both the club and county board have failed abysmally to put any structures/long term planning in place over last two decades and now they are reaping what they sowed.

11
Laois / Re: The Future for Laois Football
« on: November 19, 2021, 01:52:50 PM »
My solution to this might be convoluted- The A competition comprises of the bigger standalone clubs and 5/6 established, set in stone, defined area teams e.g. like Na Fianna Og. Therefore, clubs can't hop from one amalgamation to the next. You are either part of your area team or you are not.

Therefore your better players from smaller clubs are still exposed to high level 15 v 15 football and the strength of the competition is improved which important for player development.

We should then have very defined B and C competition.

The B competition can only be entered by stand alone clubs not quiet at the top tier e.g. the Killeshins, Rosenallis' etc. No area teams allowed play in B competition.

Finally, the C competition is played at reduced numbers e.g. 11 aside to accommodate the smaller clubs to field teams individually and also to encourage the larger clubs to field second teams. Therefore, as many players as possible are afforded the opportunity to play football. Those smaller club players are eligible to play in A competition with area team and in C competition with their own club.

My own criticism of the likes of Na Fianna Og is that each club in that amalgamation (especially at minor level) would be capable of fielding/finding 11 players to play. Therefore, you have approximately 40 plus players trying to make it onto one starting team. Only the best three or four from each club will stay playing in this scenario and the rest will ultimately be lost to playing football. My own view is that each club should be pushed to develop and maximise the numbers playing football at juvenile level and compete where possible as a standalone club. My providing the smaller clubs with an opportunity to play a reduced numbers competition it will allow clubs maintain their identity and also maximise the number of players that will filter through to playing adult football. For a number of smaller clubs in Laois they are starting to struggle to field one team let alone a second team.   

12
Laois / Re: Laois Senior Football Championship 2021
« on: November 17, 2021, 01:32:29 PM »
https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/gaa/arid-40745211.html

This article would give me some encouragement that couple more of the Port lads will go in with Laois. If you can get a spine of that team in with Laois it will help Billy considerably build a team that can survive in division 3 next year.

13
Laois / Re: Laois Senior Football Championship 2021
« on: November 11, 2021, 10:54:57 AM »
This is the game that will go along way to determining if Larkin is worthy of a place on the intercounty team. If he can produce the goods in the final against a very strong Port full-back line then he must surely come into the reckoning. He has been a positive for Portlaoise this year and helped filled the hole left with Bruno's retirement from senior club football. Dillon at centre forward for Laois is an interesting prospect. Again, interested to see how he fares at the weekend, especially if man marked by a physically strong opponent like Piggott. For Port, Murphy at corner forward is probably their stand out forward of intercounty standard. His battle with potentially Gary Saunders will be an interest sub-plot in itself. Saunders has had an excellent year and very capable of stepping up to play intercounty next year as well. If the weather can stay dry and the pitch holds up, it should be a good advertisement for Laois football.   


14
Laois / Re: Laois Senior Football Championship 2021
« on: October 28, 2021, 12:29:03 PM »
Agree with PRO on this one. Park v Arles had one of the best atmospheres of a club game I was at this year. I think players would enjoy playing some of their championship matches in regional grounds such as Timahoe, Crettyard, Stradbally. Top venues deserving of senior championship matches. 

15
Laois / Re: The future of laois hurling
« on: October 27, 2021, 03:29:42 PM »
There may be a clear 'Big Four' in Laois hurling at the moment but with the conveyor belt of talent that is already starting to come through and will come through over the next 5/6 years you can see the Harps breaking that monopoly in Laois sooner rather than later. 

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