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Underage Amalgamations

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Itchy:
Just wondering how this is dealt with in other counties. Are clubs that are amalgamated allowed play in b,c,d grades in your county or are they forced to play in A.

How is your grading decided? Where I live clubs grade themselves and we've got amalgamations winning b and c leagues and championships when they really should becstarting at a higher level. Interested to hear how other counties handle this.

Fionntamhnach:
In Tyrone youth football in the U17, U15 & U13 age levels, there are four grades of league & championship, namely 1, 2, 3 & 4 (one being the top grade and four the lowest grade - three is nominally 13-a-side and four is 11-a-side on a reduced sized pitch for U13 & U15). This year there were three amalgamated clubs at youth level - Bodoney (Gortin & Glenelly), Naomh Brid (Brocagh & Killyman) and a combined Owen Roes & Clann na nGael team at U17 only. Naomh Brid also fielded a team in the U19 league.

It's generally accepted that without these amalgamation teams being in place then either one or both clubs in each amalgamated team would be unable to field their own team even at 11-a-side, so there's no "amalgamations of convenience" as it were where clubs combine deliberately to field a "superteam" at Grades 1 or 2.

None of these teams played at Grade 1 level this year, though Bodoney did have a Grade 1 U17 team last year. Bodoney played in Grade 2 across the board this year though they were very weak at U13 level and should have ideally fielded at Grade 3 or even 4 instead at that age group. Naomh Brid won the U13 Grade 4 league and played at Grade 4 at U17 and Grade 3 at U15 levels. Owen Roes/Clann na nGael had a combined U17 team that won the Grade 3 league & championship double.

Clann na nGael, despite being the club of former Tyrone players Brian Dooher & Stephen O'Neill, are a very small club in terms of numbers and don't field their own competitive youth teams ATM - in fact they have fielded a combined team with Craigbane in Derry this year at U13 & U15 levels this year, playing in the Derry league (I think that combined team won an U15 league title in Derry this year).

Overall, amalgamated youth football teams in Tyrone don't tend to last more than a few years for various reasons. Others in the recent past have included Gael Naomh Padraig (Augher & Clogher), Naomh Padraig (Derrytresk & Brocagh, not to be confused with the previous), Michael Cusacks (Drumquin & the now defunct Dregish) & Naomh Mhuire (Edendork & Killyman).

With much fewer competing clubs, hurling in the county hasn't any such amalgamations especially as the majority of clubs are "independent" from football would cover the catchment area of several football clubs. There are three dual football/hurling clubs in Omagh, Fintona and Cappagh/Killyclogher, the first two would definitely have some hurling players that play football with a different club, but I'm not sure with Cappagh - they might be the only one where any football players in their hurling teams also play within the club.

In girls football, there are no amalgamated youth teams - any club unable to field a team at a certain age at youth level due to lack of players can have those available players temporarily assigned to a neighbouring club for one season at that age level, up to three such players per receiving club. A little different in Camogie, as there have been at least two recent youth amalgamated teams - Naomh Padraig (Derrytresk & Brocagh) and Na Laochra (Fr. Shields Greencastle & Eire Og Carrickmore).

Edit: In terms of football grading, the Tyrone CCC (there's no youth board or Bord Na nÓg as there might be in other counties) generally grade the competing clubs themselves though there is some leeway - a provisional list of gradings at U13, U15 & U17 are given to clubs prior to the start of youth competitions and clubs/teams can suggest if they've been graded too high or low. In general they try and ensure there are 10-12 teams in each grade so a little leeway can be given. Sometimes two clubs may agree to a "swap" so that they take the place of each other in a different grade. Usually the teams are split into two regional sections for the league games with the top two teams qualifying for the semi-finals, but if there's nine or less teams in a grade it's played as a single section all-county league with the top four playing in the semis. Again to be different to many other counties, the regional sections are usually referred to as "east" & "west" with the "A" section being made up of the easternmost teams in a grade and the "B" section being the westernmost teams, but there is no fixed boundary for this and for clubs straddling the vertical centre of Tyrone its possible for them to be competing in an "A" section at one age level and "B" in another in the same year, or even in the same age group if they're fielding two teams at one age level e.g. their first team might be in Grade 1A and their second team in Grade 4B. At U15 level this year they've done an experiment where all grades except Grade 3 are being played as a single section league - feedback should be interesting, it's been like this in girls football in Tyrone for quite a few years now.

Smokin Joe:
In Armagh amalgamated underage teams can play in whatever division they believe they are at. There are amalgamated teams at all levels. Amalgamated teams wouldn't normally be of the quality required to play Division 1, but it does happen now and again; eg Patrick Rankin (Shane O'Neill's, Corrinshigo O'Hanlon's, I think) are Division 1 at U17 this year

general_lee:

--- Quote from: Smokin Joe on September 24, 2022, 09:11:32 PM ---In Armagh amalgamated underage teams can play in whatever division they believe they are at. There are amalgamated teams at all levels. Amalgamated teams wouldn't normally be of the quality required to play Division 1, but it does happen now and again; eg Patrick Rankin (Shane O'Neill's, Corrinshigo O'Hanlon's, I think) are Division 1 at U17 this year

--- End quote ---
Armagh is quite liberal when it comes to amalgamations, small county with a lot of small clubs = a lot of amalgamations. None of them really take the piss with grading, is it just me or is there a new amalgamation every other year?

Brendan:
In Derry starting to see a trend where the stronger of the 2 amalgamated clubs is emerging far better at senior

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