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Topics - Lone Shark

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1
GAA Discussion / County Final Attendances
« on: November 01, 2016, 03:01:15 PM »
Ahoy,

Looking for a bit of collaborative help from the board here, for the purposes of something I'm writing. All bar the very last of the county finals have been played by now and I'm curious as to the attendances, and the average that exists across the country for these games. A few were surprisingly high, others were lower than I thought. However it would be nice to get the full picture - so if people could help me fill in the gaps here, that would be great. I'm only including the McCarthy Cup counties in hurling, since it would be a bit of a misnomer to include county finals like Leitrim or Sligo hurling, or Kilkenny football for that matter.

Ye might just mention if there were any particularly unusual circumstances either, if aware - for example if they played a Limerick final on the same day Munster were playing in Thomond, or if the game threw in any time other than a Sunday afternoon. Similarly, if ye're aware that an attendance was a couple of thousand higher or lower than the norm for some reason, let me know.

Thanks kindly!!

Leinster

Dublin F -          H -
Wicklow F -
Louth F -
Wexford F -        H -
Kilkenny H - 9130
Carlow F -        H -
Meath F - 6000
Westmeath F - 5772     H -
Offaly F - 5519      H - 6675
Longford F - 3000 (estimate)
Laois F -      H -
Kildare F - 5000 (estimate)

Munster

Cork F -       H -
Kerry F -  6713    H - 3250 (draw - estimate) 2745 (replay)
Tipperary F - 1257    H - 6546
Waterford F -     H -
Clare F -      H - 5036 (draw) 5058 (replay)
Limerick F -     H -

Ulster

Fermanagh F - 3400
Donegal F - 7860
Down F -
Derry F - 4374
Cavan F - 8600
Monaghan F - 4000 (estimate)
Armagh F - 6390
Tyrone F - 8800 (estimate)
Antrim F - 2700

Connacht

Galway F -       H - 5237
Mayo F - 5375
Roscommon F - 1800 (estimate)
Sligo F -
Leitrim F -
London F -










2
GAA Discussion / Gambling in the GAA - the ethical aspect
« on: May 29, 2016, 03:27:11 PM »
Now I know that there's another thread on the front page at the moment that's talking about GAA betting in terms of tips and recommendations, but I wanted to look at another aspect - that of the current debate regarding the "problem" of betting in the GAA. It seems to have taken the lead in terms of issues facing our association, kicked off by certain players revealing their own personal battles, and comments like this from administrators - http://www.breakingnews.ie/sport/other/gambling-in-gaa-at-crisis-point-says-galway-boss-noel-treacy-711702.html

Now in terms of putting my cards on the table, I've made a good share of my living from GAA betting, I enjoy an occasional bet myself (very occasional since signing on for a mortgage a few years ago) and while I had a few days when I lost the run of myself when I was younger, it was part of the learning experience - no more than a 19 or 20 year old drinking to excess an doing a few things they regret. It's not ideal and not to be encouraged, but most people do it and grow up from there.

However there has been a lot of talk lately about what's to be done about the whole thing, with everyone talking about the following as evils that need to be stamped out:

(1) Addiction
(2) Betting on underage games
(3) Excessive promotion of GAA betting
(4) Ease of access to GAA betting on mobile devices etc.

What I'd be interested in hearing people's views on, is (a) how they feel about all these aspects, and more importantly (b) what actual practical steps they think should be taken by legislators, or even by the GAA if possible.

For what it's worth, my thoughts are as follows:

(1) Of course this is a huge problem, however if someone is addicted, then what they bet on is irrelevant - denying them access to GAA betting will mean that they'll lose all their money on horses, or greyhounds, or Italian Serie C soccer instead. The industry as a whole has a lot or responsibility here, however the vast majority of bookies are generally quite good in this regard in my experience. Certainly in my time working for a huge firm I was instructed as to the various signs of recognising a problem gambler and how to respond, as well as to recognise it for myself - which was of course a huge danger in a 21 year old suddenly introduced to the industry.

(2) Just to be clear here, accepting bets from under-18s is illegal, always has been, and should remain so. That's not what we're talking about - we're talking about adults betting on games where under-18s take part - and I'm not sure how you enforce this. Is it every game involving any player under 18, in which case you could knock out a lot of adult games where a minor takes part (not to mention lots of big races with under-18 jockeys), or is it any game which is exclusively under-18s? In that case it would be very few, since most minor teams would have a handful of lads who would have turned 18 between the 1st of January and the time the game is played. i fully understand the spirit of what's wanted here, but I haven't a clue how you enforce it. Anyway, the whole world will be able to bet on schoolboy soccer internationals, so I don't know what we're going to achieve here.

(3) I can see why a ban on advertising might be advisable, even welcome. Again it would be difficult to draw the line between what is "advertising" and what isn't in the modern social media age, however there's a good case to be made for removing ads from TV, radio etc. Quite how we enforce that on Sky or BT sport channels I don't now, but I'm sure there's some way we can do it - otherwise we're just handicapping Irish bookies in their bid to compete for market share - and that's hardly a good move.

(4) I have a huge problem with this argument. By virtue of owning a smartphone, I agree that I have very easy access to betting channels. However I also have a device that at the touch of a button can dial up my local drug dealer, or record surreptitious footage from the dressing room of the camogie club, or look up detailed instructions for how to set up my own personal process for making explosive devices out of my garage. In a nutshell, I have a tool that can do so many things, and yet I remain responsible for how I choose to use that tool. As a general rule, I've never been a fan of this idea that we discourage certain behaviours by adding an extra layer of difficulty to the process of engaging in them. Addicts will make the effort to do so, and we only discourage casual bettors from having a completely harmless ten or twenty euro bet once a week on the live Sunday Game. 


Anyway, the debate is open. Ye have the floor.

3
GAA Discussion / GAA Club and county colours
« on: February 23, 2015, 10:11:43 PM »
Many of you will read this and think that I've little to be doing, but anyway, I'm going to throw a random line of thinking out there and see what comes back.

I've often wondered is there more to the prevalence and distribution of the colours used in the GAA, as in something more than just a random effect that led to club colours being distributed as they are. To illustrate what I mean - I can understand why so many GAA clubs use green as their primary colour, or green alongside yellow/red/white. That would be a throwback to clubs being formed around the time of the rise of nationalism in Ireland, and a wish to put out a nationalist identity. That all makes perfect sense.

However if we take the primary colours of yellow, blue and red, you'd imagine that they would all be used with similar levels of frequency, as is the case in most other sports teams around the world - yet it's anything but. A blue/yellow combo is extremely common, even at county level. It's used by Clare, Tipperary, Longford and Roscommon - yet red/yellow and red/blue are extremely rare, and non existent at county. Even at club level in Offaly, we have 43 clubs and off the top of my head I can think of five that use blue/yellow (Shannonbridge, Rynaghs, Bracknagh, Ballycumber, Carrig & Riverstown), one that uses blue/red (Drumcullen) and none that use red/yellow. That trend appears to be replicated all across Ireland from what I can tell. I would have thought that maybe this was because red was associated with England and so was seen as a negative, yet the most common single colour jersey after green is definitely red.

Other anomalies/trends without cause that I can think of are:

(1) Black is nearly always paired with either red or "amber", or orange if you prefer. Black and yellow is rare (Ulster provincial colours and a handful of club sides) while black and green is even more rare (Nemo and one or two others) and I can't think of blue and black anywhere.

(2) In most counties, horizontal hoops are extremely rare, and when they exist, almost always green and white. Except in Cork - where a rake of clubs (Na Piarsaigh, Glen Rovers, Newmarket, Blackrock, Ballincollig, Carbeyr Rangers, Newcestown and more) all wear them in different colours. Why so rare everywhere, why so common in Cork? Note i'm not including amalgamated clubs here, which often have to incorporate bits of different "ingredient" clubs.

(3) Purple - non existent, except with yellow. Why does it only exist with yellow?

(4) If you say "the sash" you think of Sarsfields in Kildare. Yet that design - one colour with a diagonal stripe - is almost unheard of among other football clubs, and quite common in hurling sides (Boherlahan, Kilruane, Tullaroan, Drumcullen, Mooncoin, St Martins, Loughrea). Is there some reason why this would be a hurling thing, or a hurling "area" thing?

(5) Green/yellow - everywhere. Green/Red - everywhere. Green/Blue - very rare. Why so? I'm guessing this one may just be aesthetics.

There's probably others out there as well, but those are the ones that come to mind for the moment.

I know most of you will wonder why such nonsense would spring to mind, but I'm aware that while some of this may be dumb luck and naturally occurring statistical anomalies, there may be historical reasons behind some of the others and if there's anyone out there who can enlighten me due to their greater historical knowledge, I'll consider the scorn worthwhile!

4
A couple of nights ago I was looking at Prime Time on RTE, where they discussed the growing crisis in Ireland re:homelessness, evictions and the lack of social housing. Nobody could argue at the moment that the cost of rent is rising at a ferocious rate and that there are large swathes of people for whom mortgages simply aren't accessible for one reason or another.

However while the discussion went on with Fr Peter McVerry speaking very passionately about the scale of the problem, there was one question which wasn't raised, and which I don't quite understand the answer to - so I'm going to ask it here. Why is it that we have people sleeping on the streets in Dublin, families being housed in hotels and hostels, families being split up, children being taken into care and all that, while we have so many houses that are unoccupied in parts of this country that are perfectly good places to live, except that they are a long way from Dublin?

There may be a simple answer to why we aren't housing our homeless in the unoccupied estates out in the west, but if there is I don't see it. The main objections to the idea from what I can see are these:

(1) Lots of people won't want to move out west
That may be so, but Fr McVerry referred to a family who had to put their kids into care because mother and father were both going to be accommodated in different hostels - I refuse to believe that any family would choose that over moving to a three bedroom semi-d in a small town west of the Shannon. Of course there will be exceptions, such as people with special needs or special needs kids who need their extended family around, however there is no way that the bulk of the people in need of homes are in this situation

(2) Many of the houses that were built in rural villages in the Celtic Tiger era are dilapidated and would cost a fortune to bring up to the standard required
That is undoubtedly correct, but there are many more houses that could easily be made perfectly inhabitable for far less. In a town less than five minutes from where I live now, there is one large estate where there are still empty units, but they are on sale for around €40k each. Many young couples in the area have bought and are living in there now for prices of that order. There is no way that families could be housed within the pale for that cost, regardless of how the problem is approached

(3) Moving to extreme rural conditions will make it difficult for these people to find work
This is true, and requires some thought and a little bit of picking and choosing as to who is suitable or not. You couldn't make a hard and fast rule here. However I would argue that it's probably as easy to find a minimum wage job down the country as it is to find a job paying €30k in Dublin, and you'd find it easier to make ends meet on minimum wage with west-of-Ireland cost of living than you would on €30k if you've to find your way into Grafton Street or Wexford street every morning. Certainly if someone has specific skills where 90% of the employment opportunities are in Dublin, then there is a case to be made for it. I wouldn't go sending a computer science technician to Belmullet - but how many such graduates are we really talking about here? My guess is that if you are unskilled, Dublin is not any better for you than a smaller town

(4) Local towns mightn't welcome the influx of lots of Dubs who have had a rough time of it
This is an easy one to refute - anyone with that attitude shouldn't be listened to. The west of Ireland is crying out for people, for kids to sit in the classrooms, for parents to walk to the shop and pick up a few bits, for people to be part of the various community groups. Outsiders are arguably more likely to come in and join the GAA club/Tidy Towns committee/community watch scheme/local drama group, because they'll end up meeting people that way, as opposed to locals who know everyone anyway. New people are a blessing in any area to my mind.

(5) It would be too much of a culture shock for some people
As opposed to the tar pits in Alberta or the mines in Western Australia, where so many of our people were forced to go?? Come on.

(6) It won't solve the problem of insufficient family-friendly housing in Dublin.
Agreed. However even if Alan Kelly's scheme announced today flies ahead without a hitch, then we're still only looking at everything being resolved by 2020. That's over 2000 nights without a place to call home for some people. We need resolution now.


However I then got to thinking a bit more about it all - and when you see news like this today http://www.thejournal.ie/property-prices-on-the-rise-boom-1800916-Nov2014/ you start to wonder if there aren't ways that we could maybe handle a few problems in the one swoop here, which brought me back to the idea of decentralisation.

Admittedly that's a dirty word in Ireland, because it's associated with Charlie McCreevy's hare-brained effort of bringing bits of departments to every little corner of Ireland, thus making sure that no sitting TD was left without some goodies to shower upon his own acolytes and vassals but also meaning that there was going to be no realistic chance of the plan ever working out.

However what you could do is provide a real counterbalance to the country - an western yang to the eastern ying. That would be to move the capital of the country, and all associated government function, to the west. To me the obvious choice - and not a biased one, since I'm an Offaly man living in Roscommon - would be to move to Limerick.

Why Limerick, you ask? Well here's why:

(1) Most of the infrastructure is in place to make it feasible. There is an under-used airport, rail link (you'd have to upgrade capacity certainly), motorway link to Dublin and halfway to Galway, university, IT college, and plenty more. Yes you'd need to do a lot with the roads, particularly getting the motorway to Cork completed and improve the route to Tralee as well, but not as much as in some instances. Much and all as choosing Athlone would suit me and be central, the airport and university access would be crucial.
(2) For those working in Dublin, it would be less of a culture shock to move to another decently-sized city. You're not asking someone to go from working in Dublin City to Birr or Bundoran. Crucially too, couples could move together, not like previously where Mammy was being sent to Killarney and Daddy to Cavan. 
(3) Geographically, it balances up the country quite well. There's also plenty of catchment area to take the increased population, with Tipp, North Kerry, North Cork, Clare, county Limerick and even parts of South Galway and South Offaly within commuting distance.


Obviously there would be people with roots in Dublin who wouldn't want to move, and being the civil service, forcing them would be prohibitively expensive. However the last decentralisation plan was done with buying votes in mind, this one would be actually designed to work. You'd get a decent chunk of buy-in, particularly from the 25-35 age group of people who are stuck in a rut in Dublin - not earning enough to buy a home in the capital and denied promotion opportunities due to the logjam further up the line. Move them, with modern communication technology making things more feasible, and from now on the bulk of new recruits go to Limerick. Within ten years demographics would do most of the work for you. Any capital cost would surely be covered by the value of the properties that could be disposed of in Dublin. I'm not talking about putting Áras an Úachtarán up for sale, but department buildings in places like Mount Street, Stephen's Green and so on must be worth double the price of replacing them in Annacotty or Garryowen.


I appreciate that this is a post with two strands of thought, and it's possible that both of them are inherently flawed. I'm not entirely sure why though, so any enlightenment would be welcome.

5
GAA Discussion / "We're a young team...."
« on: March 21, 2014, 06:33:54 PM »
...I noticed Paul Bealin using this excuse at the weekend after Tyrone beat Westmeath comprehensively at the weekend. He claimed that his team's average age is 22/23 and so Tyrone are further ahead in their development - the latter part is true, but I'm not sure age has anything to do with it - I make the average age of the Westmeath team that started that game to be 24.7, which may be young or old depending on your point of view, but I suspect is not out of kilter with the norm in this day and age.

Hence for pig iron, I thought I'd ask the question - what is the average age of an intercounty football team these days? It doesn't need to be scientific, but we've a lot of counties on here - if everyone takes their own county team, picks a starting lineup from either last year's championship or one of this year's league games if ye were at full strength, and go the ages and the average. If we get over half the counties, then we have something worth going on.

I just think this is an easy excuse that a lot of managers wheel out, and while it's sometimes justified, in a lot of cases there are other reasons. Certainly I couldn't understand Paul Bealin saying it, after all his team had just lost an away game to Tyrone - it's not the result he would have wanted, but they are playing in some really good company right now. Results like that are part of the terrain when you play in division one.

Anyway, like I said, by my estimate the Westmeath team that started and their ages (in a lot of cases based on when they played minor or under-21, so not an exact science!)

Darren Quinn      24
Stephen Gilmore      22
Kieran Gavin      25
Kevin Maguire      23
Paul Sharry      25
John Gilligan      24
Jamie Gonoud      22
David Duffy      27
David McCormack      22
Callum McCormack      23
Ger Egan      23
Kieran Martin      24
Denis Glennon      29
James Dolan      24
Des Dolan      34

Average = 24.7
 
Now the Offaly team that started the game against Longford (a must win game, all under-21s were available for selection, the only notable injury absentee was Brian Darby)

Alan Mulhall      31   
David Hanlon      22   
Paul McConway      27   
Daithi Brady      26   ?
Michael Brazil      23   
John Moloney      24   
Niall Darby      28   
Eoin Carroll      19   
Niall Smith      28   
Conor McNamee      19   
Anton Sullivan      23   
Padraig Sullivan      24   ?
Peter Cunningham      20   
Niall McNamee      29   
Ciarán Hurley      22   

There's actually a couple I'm not sure about in there, but I'm not too far off anyway. Average age 24.3.

Keep em coming people.

6
General discussion / What's for dinner?
« on: August 20, 2013, 04:30:49 PM »
This is a touch on the random side, but sure what the hell.

Much like pretty much every other couple in the country, myself and good lady go through the motions of debating dinner options and ending up hugely un-enthused about our options. We have about eight to ten different things that would be on the "rota" so to speak and that list could do with freshening up. Historically we'd go out for dinner once every so often and we might try something off the menu and if it worked well, I'd see about recreating it at home. However with buying a house and whatnot, eating out has been heavily curtailed lately so I'm looking elsewhere for inspiration. i.e. to ye.

Basically, my question is this - what would ye all cook if ye were rustling up a nice dinner, maybe had a couple of friends coming over, and you'd want to go for something a little bit different?

In the build up to moving into our house there recently, we spent a few months back in with my father-in-law - an absolute gentleman and he was easy to live with, but I've completely lost any interest in plain meat and spuds, since that's his staple. Anything involving something as radical as a tomato was a no go, and God forbid that you might use rice/pasta/beans instead of spuds. I also can't stand garlic, and my wife doesn't like lamb, while I'm a coeliac, though for dinner that's not really a problem.

I work from home, so something that takes three hours to cook is not a problem. Obviously an expensive roast is nice, but we don't want to break the bank either. I'm not talking about dinner for under a euro a head or anything, but middle of the road - something that you'd be happy to cook of a regular Tuesday.

And to get the ball rolling, here's mine - Chicken and Bean Cassoulet.

Ingredients:

1kg Chicken thighs or full legs
2 large white onions
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 cup of white wine
800g mixed beans, or just butterbeans if you want
3 carrots
Chicken stock, salt, pepper, thyme, parsley.

Start by soaking the beans - some do it overnight, but I usually do it that morning by putting them in a pot of cold water, bring it to the boil and turn off the heat. Leave it sit in that water for the day.

At around three hours before dinner, pop the chicken on a tray in the oven just to make sure it's properly cooked.

Place the tomatoes, herbs, spices, wine and stock in a pot and blend. You don't have to blend but I like to.

Chop the onions and carrots, fire them in. Turn the mix on and bring to the boil.

Wash the beans, horse them in too. Then after the chicken has had about twenty minutes in the oven to do most off the cooking, fire that in too, plus whatever oil is on your tray.

Bring to the boil and simmer for around three hours, serve with rice. Others like to serve with crusty bread, but for the aforementioned coeliac reason, that's not the way we go.



As you can see, it's not exactly haute cuisine and it's very easy to do, but we find it nice. So now, what's ye're equivalents till I plagiarise like a good thing?

 

7
General discussion / How do you become a "morning person"?
« on: June 13, 2012, 10:24:35 AM »
This is a bit random, but I just said I'd throw it out there and see what came back.

All my life I've been a night owl by nature. I'm at my most productive, work wise, in the evenings and if I'm really under pressure, I'll work from midnight to 5am and will get great work done in that time. In contrast, my brain is absolute sludge in the mornings - I can't concentrate, I make sloppy errors, and generally feel like punching the world in the face because I have to be awake and don't want to be. It's actually a blessing that I'm working by myself because I'm viciously cranky in the morning, completely unlike me normally.

Due to the nature of my work, I've spent very little time in a 9 to 5 regime and even when I was working in an office, it was always a flexible enough situation, where you could show up at 10 and work on till 7. At least then though you could have a chat to someone and a little bit of human interaction would stimulate the mind a little. Now I'm self employed and working from home, and it's even harder to keep that regime. However the good lady is a 9 to 5 worker, and every day she's up before 8 and wants to be in bed by 11. For the purposes of a harmonious home life, I've spent three years trying to fit into this schedule, but I'm no closer than I was when I start. At least two or three times a week I go to bed at 11, only to lie there getting cranky because I can feel energy surging through my system and I can do nothing with it, all the while my to-do list gets longer and longer.

Just to be clear, I get up every day at 8am and have done for three years now, but invariably the clock rolls around to noon and I've feck all done. It's then panic from there on. It's really affecting me, particularly since I'm trying not to spend my evenings working. It doesn't help that I've recently been diagnosed coeliac, so the option of having a good healthy cereal-based breakfast is out the door. You can get coeliac-friendly cereals, but they're horrible and to be honest I've no appetite at that hour of the day anyway. I only eat because I know I should, and I feel like vomiting with every bite, no matter what I have. I start with fruit, but I invariably fall back on sugary stuff because my body just wants the fast kick of processed sugar to get me up and running. I know this isn't healthy, but I'm not sure what my best alternative is.

I've tried each of the following:

(1) Doing an all nighter on Monday night, which leads to me to be wrecked all day Tuesday, before my usual burst of life around 10pm kicks in as normal.
(2) Early morning exercise. I'm just not able for it with no food in the system, but I still can't eat. I end up even more tired for the rest of the morning, before again, getting my normal burst of life at night. (You may be starting to see a pattern here)
(3) Doing pointless busywork in the morning before getting on to the meaningful stuff in the afternoon - but even then I get distracted and it takes me 3 hours to do something that should only take 40 minutes.
(4) Red Bull. It's a temporary solution, but it's still not the same and it's hardly a long term resolution.

This is actually really getting to me lately. I feel that I'm eating, sleeping, working and exercising all when the clock tells me to and never when my body feels like doing any of those things. It's really upsetting and in the last few months it's getting to me in a big way. I don't want to go back to how I was four or five years ago, sleeping late, working late and essentially living in a completely different timezone to my fiancée, but I can't go on like this either.

Anyone with any advice, or experience in this?

8
GAA Discussion / Rules question
« on: April 20, 2012, 06:10:08 PM »
I may or may not be correct on this, I've a gut feeling that I am, but I can't for the live of me find the correct rule.

If a club makes a decision at an AGM, does the executive committee have the power to over-rule that decision later in the year? If not, is there a particular rule that precludes it?

Thanks in advance folks.

9
General discussion / Anyone at Rammstein last night at the O2?
« on: February 28, 2012, 12:36:42 PM »
....and if so, how can you concentrate on work today?

That was incredible stuff - I wouldn't be at that many gigs these days, but I'm struggling to think of a better one in truth. Incredible music, incredible show. Please God they come back at some stage in the next few years.

10
GAA Discussion / Outside interference in Gaelic Games
« on: January 23, 2012, 05:05:06 PM »
Before I start this topic, let me just be clear - I wasn't in Portlaoise yesterday so I have no idea what happened there and nothing which follows is meant to infer guilt or innocence upon any individuals, teams or clubs.


Having read through a variety of reports on yesterday's game in O'Moore Park, what is fair to say is that for whatever reason, the sanctity of the pitch area as a place for players and officials alone clearly was not preserved. Outsiders coming onto the pitch during the game is a poorly regulated area in GAA at the best of times, and there have been several instances in the past where non-players have attempted to become involved in games where clearly there is no place for them.

Among the allegations that have been made, and I stress allegations, are:

(1) A water carrier interfering with a player attempting to take a sideline ball and starting a fight
(2) A player being set upon by a group of substitutes and/or supporters from the other team
(3) A player having to leave the field and miss half the game due to being struck by a mentor for the opposite team.

Now I have no idea if any of these allegations are true or not, and I have no wish to get into a debate about this particular instance. That's not the point of this post.

However, if these were proved to be true, either by way of video evidence or the referee's report, then it is clear that the result of the game has been materially affected by the actions of those who have no part in the match. Fining the club is no consolation to the team that has lost out, and anyway, fines by their definition affect different clubs differently. A €1000 fine is of little consequence to a successful senior club with plenty of benefactors, while it is a severe punishment on a small junior club with an annual budget of €30,000. Equally a six month suspension on a supporter is of little or no consequence, and is hardly ever enforced.

So the question I would ask is - is there a case to me made for a team to be thrown out and the losers re-instated in such a case? Obviously the burden of proof would have to be high, both in terms of what happened and who were the perpetrators, but it seems wrong that a team can lose a match, in part due to an injury to a key player which was sustained, not in the natural run of play, but due to a cheap shot from a sub/waterboy/supporter.

11
GAA Discussion / Tracking distance ran playing football
« on: November 18, 2011, 02:45:12 PM »
Question for all ye trainers and gurus out there.

I know the chips for running road races measure time, and I know that big soccer teams have satellite tracking of players to see how much distance has been covered. Is there any low cost solution that measures how far players have run playing football? The road running ones simply measure start and end time past a point, but I'm guessing that based on the Nike Plus system, there surely must be some way of doing it. Anybody with any insight?

 

12
This might be of little interest to a lot of people, but I know one of the lads involved below and the thought occurred to me that you never know who on this board might have had a father or grandfather play with or against Offaly back in this era, or have pictures from the time or whatever. Anyway, the story is below - contact the lads if ye have anything that might be of interest, they'd really appreciate it.





Book to chronicle Offaly footballers 1960-1961

As most seasoned GAA followers within the county of Offaly are no doubt aware, this year is the 50th anniversary of Offaly’s first historic Leinster Senior Football Final win over Louth in 1960. Subsequently in 1961 Down and Offaly were to meet in the 1961 All Ireland Football final before the largest ever recorded attendance at a sporting event in Ireland, where Down narrowly emerged as the victors. In order to mark these highly significant achievements two local men intend to produce a book to celebrate these events which will be published in 2011.

The book will be written by Edenderry’s Padraig Foy and historian Ciarán Reilly. Together they hope to chronicle the events that best describe this important period and bring to light the achievements of this team to a wide audience including both young and old.

The central theme of the book will be from an Offaly perspective, encompassing the insights, recollections and reflections of all the central participants involved in what was an exciting time in Offaly GAA circles. Allied to this they also intend to incorporate the outlook from a number of Down GAA figures who were prominent during this period. Both Padraig and Ciaran have already conducted extensive research for the book and hope to interview many of the players over the coming weeks.

The two men consider that the achievements of the 1960/61 are highly noteworthy, and while they have not been neglected in terms of recognition, and believe that the spotlight deserves to be placed on these men once again in order to record the unique breakthrough that this team achieved. The exploits of men such as the great Mick and Paddy Casey, Har Donnelly, Tommy Greene, Phil O Reilly, Donie Hanlon, Mick Brady, Tommy Cullen, Sean Foran, Sean Ryan, Greg Hughes and captain Willie Nolan will be recalled.

If anyone has any input, memorabilia, pictures etc from the period both Padraig and Ciaran would be delighted to hear from them. The lads can be contacted at offaly1960@gmail.com or at 086-8745090

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GAA Discussion / Any sevens tournaments going on in the next while?
« on: September 21, 2010, 08:33:52 PM »
A club at home (not my own!) was wondering about the possibility of a sevens competition to round off the year, but I don't know of any going on - so I said I'd ask the question to see if anyone on this board knew of a competition in the next few weeks or so that might be open to a decent intermediate club team taking part? I know most of these go on early in the year but you know yourself, if you don't ask you won't find out!

Cheers in advance folks.

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GAA Discussion / Is it time for a "development" league system?
« on: January 07, 2010, 01:09:40 PM »
Please note that I initially posted this up on uibhfhaili.com, so apologies for the somewhat local slant in places - however the point is the same all across the country...

Following on from the cancellation of all the O'Byrne cup matches this weekend, a thought occurred to me, which has either missed out some criminally obvious aspect or else might be worth further exploration.

We play O'Byrne and Walsh Cup matches in January, with little or no remarks being passed to the result. Teams like UCD and Antrim have recorded Walsh Cup wins in recent years, while Kilkenny's steady run of success means little to them either. Some counties use experimental teams, while others go nearly full pelt, only to disregard anything that happens since the conditions are so adverse.

Ultimately, there is little point to playing games at this time of year- results are ignored, players who do well get little credit for it, and it shortens the whole off season, which makes no sense. (If we think about it logically, the idea that counties wouldn't train for the winter but would suddenly be able to line out as a team on the first or second weekend in January is a nonsense.)

So how about this - the leagues don't start until much later, and are cut down to 5/6 teams per division, plus a final and a relegation final in each division. That way each team is guaranteed five meaningful games. Counties can play their first string sides pretty much the whole way through, or near enough, which should heighten supporter interest. By knocking out February, there is a good chance of getting some of the worst of the weather behind everyone, and we still should have no more weeks when hurling and football are on together than we do now.

However here's the kicker, which sells it to managers - the O'Byrne/Walsh/McKenna/FBD/Waterford Crystal cups and all their likes are all repackaged and turned into development leagues, which take place alongside the leagues - much like the "A" internationals take place during the six nations in rugby. Colleges would probably have less interest in taking part since the Sigerson and Fitzgibbon cups would be underway or completed, however the counties could use them as they see fit in order to give slightly more meaningful games to the guys on the panel who don't get risked in the bigger league games. The ties could be kept pretty regional so as to minimise costs and give more flexibility in terms of scheduling.

Essentially, based on last year's league results, Offaly would be in division two of the hurling league and division four of the football, but we would also play development hurling league, probably with Westmeath, Laois, Galway, (Dublin, Wexford, Antrim, Kilkenny and Carlow making up the other group) and development football, perhaps with Longford, Westmeath and Laois - other groups would be WX/KK/CW/WW and D/MH/LH/KE. The system would require a little tweaking in the hurling, and some counties might not like to take part, but the whole thing could be shunted around to make it work. From what I can tell, the advantages would that:

(1) More games taking place in better conditions, less games in the dead of winter.
(2) Less demands on the guys at the head of the squad, more opportunities for those trying to break through.
(3) People would get to see players that they don't know much about, plus a fringe player might make a better case for inclusion scoring 1-4 against Laois "A" in April than he would do in an O'Byrne/Walsh cup game in January that gets forgotten about.
(4) Local rivalry should lead to decent attendances at these games.
(5) Easier to enforce closed season.
(6) More interest in headline league, since each game would be of heightened importance and would be of more relevance to championship.
(7) An excellent stepping stone for players who perhaps didn't play county minor or under 21, but have shown some form in club championships and manager wary of giving them the step up.
(8) Players who need football after coming back from injury or gaining weight could play both.

The negatives that I can see are:

(1) County managers would want to take charge of both teams, meaning that they would argue that demands are increased. I don't see why this would be the case though - surely a selector for the seniors would take charge of the "A"'s, while the matches could even be as part of a double header in many cases.
(2) Co-existence with the under 21 championship. This aspect would be difficult to work out - I'm not sure what the answer is myself, but I don't see why it couldn't be run alongside it with a little bit of tweaking.
(3) Slightly bigger squads needed to cover for this - I'm not sure I agree with this - managers mostly work with panels of thirty anyway, and with a few extra under 21's I'm sure very few extra bodies would be needed. If times were really tight, managers could offer players an "A" panel position - whereby they get the opportunity to train and play for the "A"'s, but no mileage or expenses paid. I'm sure there would be some local-based players who would happily take it up, while others might even go for it on the grounds of taking an opportunity to get into the full squad for the summer.
(4) Sponsors such as FBD and Waterford Crystal might not be as keen - but I'm guessing other more locally based sponsors might come on board.

So overall, what am I missing here? Is this actually a good idea, or is it impractical for reasons that I haven't thought of? I'm aware that this is just seat of the pants stuff, so there are probably plenty of holes in the logic!

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GAA Discussion / Anyone going to Cavan tonight, via Galway?
« on: December 19, 2007, 12:55:23 PM »
Not trying to start another GPA/Anti-GPA thread, but I'd really like to attend tonight and my car is banjaxed at the moment - won't have it again until tomorrow. If there was anyone planning on attending, or knows of someone doing so from out west who could pick me up (and get their petrol money into the bargain!) feel free to drop me a pm.

Cheers.....

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