GAA Discussion > Laois

The future of laois hurling

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Interesting to hear the news of Donal Og Cusacks imminent arrival to Clare. It's a very shrewd move by Davy Fitz following a bit of a turbulent season west of the Shannon. Things were going stale down there but the arrival of Cusack as coach will really give the players renewed optimism and they will be excited by the new approach that he will bring.
I think a similar appointment in Laois would be very welcome, in the same role as a coach to work under cheddar. I think laois were a little short on ideas this year and the likes of galway found out how to play against us. I think Ger Cunningham has been good but I think a change is needed and a bit of a shake up to keep the interest of the players. I know it might be difficult to get a high profile coach, the likes of Cusack would have been ideal for us. There are people out there but I know Laois might not be the most attractive proposition.

The decision of Pat Crichley to return back to the underage structures is absolutely vital for the future of the game in our County. I think the minor set-up also needs a new approach and a new impetus. The Management appointment is a huge one as this minor team has got real potential, it hasn't happened over the past couple of years for our minors as they have had good teams but hopefully our fortunes will change next year.

In my opinion our current county team is not good enough to succeed at the highest level, our minors and under 21s have failed over the past few years with what we considered to be reasonably good sides. Our development squads 14,15,16 this year were not at the races which is a real shame and a concern, hence my reasoning for starting this thread.
 I think Pat Critchley is the man to head up a complete overhaul  of our outdated underage structures and I feel it's a root and branch plan needs to be drawn up that will ultimately produce better players to play for our County at development squad and County minor level. People have a perception in laois and indeed outside of laois that we have underage structures that puts other counties to shame, that's not the case. Compared with some counties we are well behind.

Maybe we don't have the resources for this but a 'Laois hurling school of excellence' should be set up with a number of different strands to it. I would set up a player development committee to monitor each County players progress from the age of 13 to 18. Plans would be drawn up by each respective development squad management and reviewed by members of the committee and monitored regularly from year to year. Players would be put on strength and conditioning (within reason for juveniles)programmes as well as  a hurling skills programme to work on the weaknesses. Top coaches with minimum of level one coaching coarse should be deployed to look after these teams with the help of the development commitee.
I would also regionalise the setanta programme, divide it into four hurling strongholds in Laois. The reason for this is kids wouldn't have to travel to portlaoise every weekend and it would encourage more to get involved. We would then have four strong divisions rather than one. Supervised Buses should also be provided to transport our young hurlers to 'county training'.

I am well aware the we probably don't have the funds to implement the structures we would like and to be fair Cheddar has done his fair share of campaigning to the powers that be to get us the funding we need.
Basically I think we need to go back to the drawing board and try to put something in place that would give us a some chance of success in the future. I hate being too pessimistic about our chances but I am a realist and we just can't keep doing what we are doing. Any thoughts on this?

 I have to agree with this. We need to stop fooling ourselves and work hard. In the short term, we really need our u21 team to reach a leinster final. This grade is neglected and this is a shame as we have a chance of competing at this grade. A successful year at u21 would do wonders for the senior set up in the long run.

finbar o tool:
there HAS been some good work done at underage level in the last 5-10 years and it is showing, in general. but it needs to be monitored and improved EVERY year. Laois seem to make 'bursts' every now and again to improve the underage set up but then it dies out after a couple of years. we need continuous monitoring and improvements/recommendations on a yearly basis. this must include our coaches aswell. are they doing their job properly, do they need help, do they need to be replaced. do the coaches need coaching? etc.

we have had some great results at underage level in recent years, this year was maybe a bad year but the 2/3 years before that had us competing and beating the likes of Tipp, Cork, Kilkenny, Clare. our Minors are lacking something, but not much. we SHOULD have beaten Kilkenny in O'Moore park 2 years ago in a semi final which would have set us up nicely to maybe win Leinster and who knows after that. our U21s got to the Leinster final in 2012 and were beaten well by Kilkenny. this year was a joke when it came to the u21s, cheddar couldnt possibly look after 2 teams fully so it was left to someone else, and they did F-all training etc, the interest wasnt even there from the players.

weve done some good work but the whole thing needs a kick in the arse and we need to up our game big time. county board need to stop sitting on their hands and get out and fight for more funding for us, travel the country to see what other underage set ups are like, do this with Cheddar and the new U21 and minor coaches. come up with new plans from that.

after that i would bring in all club representatives/secretaries/trainers/whoever and involve all hurling clubs in the new plans and try to lift the standard of hurling within the county. this is very important. club and intercounty teams need to all be developing and getting better side by side.

the hunger for success in this county is growing and growing, and it needs to be fed soon.

in my opinion there needs to be a big shake up from county board down,....  there is a level of complacency in laois hurling that needs to change.... I dont understand why we dont look at other counties to see their training structures ( we might even learn something).  We need the attitude of "its not who you are but how you can hurl" brought in from juvenile right up and not be happy with beating 1 or 2 teams and NEARLY beating others.  I dont know if its a lack of confidence or what but we seem to believe what listened to for years.....sure its only laois.  Its time to change that thinking

finbar o tool:
"The policy, approved by GAA Central Council last June on the back of a recommendation from the Football Review Committee and a proposal from the National Games Development Committee, will require all Inter-County management teams in both hurling and football to contain an Award 2 coach from 2016. All Club management teams must contain an Award 1 Coach. From 2018 the Head Coach in both cases must be qualified at the appropriate level."

the above is taken from -

in light of the above, does anyone know the situation with coaching courses? i have contacted a few people, Ciaran Muldowney being one(hurling coaching contact on the Laois GAA website), and have got no reply from anyone. if they are going to bring in rules like the above then they need to have courses a lot more available than they are at present. they usually only run around this time of year but i cant get info on when the next one is etc.


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