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Messages - thewobbler

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General discussion / Re: VAR? For or against
« on: November 12, 2019, 03:05:15 PM »
I read somewhere that the decision was that the liverpool handball didn't meet the definition of deliberate.  If that's true, then you'd have to wonder about a number of the handball decisions made already this year.

Iím going to sound a bit coarse here but one of the key problems with VAR is that we all read opinion pieces on the internet these days and confuse them with official statements.

And another problem is that we donít want to look at VAR cases on their merits individually, we want to look at them as leaderboards where one team is gaining a disproportionate advantage. So even a clear cut call is evaluated against historical ďdataĒ.

VAR is still shit by the way.

GAA Discussion / Re: Underage Grades
« on: November 12, 2019, 02:46:37 PM »
Also please explain the science behind ďmy club needs to stay at u18 levelĒ.

Itís at best intuition. Thereís no proof.

Iíd expect youíve had a handful or two of lads in your clubís history who struggled at under 17, then went on to play senior football. Weíve all had them. But lads like this very rarely skip reserve football as a building block.

GAA Discussion / Re: Underage Grades
« on: November 12, 2019, 02:43:22 PM »
Maybe youíre right Shark.

I just donít see it myself.

I donít see how playing one more year of juvenile football (instead of seconds football) would have any impact on dropout rates.

I just donít see how an 18 year old focused entirely on senior football (after the colleges season has ended) wonít make the breakthrough quicker. Senior managers have had a relatively good excuse to not play 18 year old until now ie theyíre getting games at minor level, or theyíre not often at senior training due to county/college/club minor commitments.

GAA Discussion / Re: Underage Grades
« on: November 12, 2019, 02:10:39 PM »
Surely everyone can accept that a talented u18 being asked to give his time to colleges, county minor, club minor, and club senior for the same season is a problem? Thatís before dual sport commitments.

Thatís the fundamental reason for moving to u17. It actually does make sense folks.

GAA Discussion / Re: Underage Grades
« on: November 11, 2019, 07:40:00 PM »
Tipperary is hanging onto the U12, u14, U16 for dear life. Still playing 21 this year as well. There is a sense that this convention might be the death knell and next year will go to odd years. I actually don't see much wrong with 12s 14s and 16s, but equally I don't think moving to odd years will result in a mass exodus either.

This is the odd thing about any clamour against changing the age grades; the ones who object to it cite dwindling playing numbers and player retention as major issues for their clubs, but want to retain things exactly as they are. Iím really not sure theyíre looking at the problem and the solution at the same time .

General discussion / Re: VAR? For or against
« on: November 11, 2019, 09:20:18 AM »
.... because itís in any sportís interests (in terms of marketing, publicity and happy memories) to make attacking play a more attractive proposition.

General discussion / Re: VAR? For or against
« on: November 10, 2019, 06:24:19 PM »
VAR is a mess.

Football is a game in which the rules are relative to context. Blasting the ball of a manís hand from point blank range is not the same thing as someone stretching their arms when a corner arrives in.  Even if it happens in the exact same spot. Trailing the leg of someone who has sent you to the shop is not the same thing as tripping up someone who is charging out of defence, even if it happens in the exact same place. Exaggerating the effects of a push is not the same as pretending that contact happened.

Var trues to remove context and make it all about fact.

Which would be tough work in an honest sport. In a sport where manufacturing new ways to cheat is a badge of honour, and generally approved of by fans, pundits and teammates, it simply has no chance.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: November 08, 2019, 05:33:51 PM »
Downjim the current football nights (canít speak for hurling) make a lot of sense. More sense than your proposal.

Move minors (u18s) to a Saturday and you run into conflicts everywhere:

- senior football Friday night, so back-to-back games for better players, and even for weaker players at weaker clubs.

- schools football matches and training on Saturdays.

- Down juvenile training and matches on Saturdays.

- afaik hurling matches on Saturdays and Sundays.

Plus part time work.

I donít think youíve really thought this big idea through tbh.


Re dropout rates. I donít really see how u18 to u17 will make any difference. Better players and interested players will be training with their senior team in their u18 year regardless. It now becomes a formalised thing surely in most clubs; step up and train with the adults once you leave u17. Those that donít have the interest at 17 are not often going to get the taste as a result of one more juvenile season.

If anything it could see a larger group of players getting exposure to the positives of adult training while still living with their mammies and daddies, and by the time they head to uni, it should be a part of their routine.

Obviously these lads need football matches. But with reserves now positioned on a Saturday evening, those who arenít getting football elsewhere have a pretty plum slot in the week.

Clubs should really throw their weight into strong seconds football rather than u19s imho.

Itís not that long ago that reserve football was littered with 15 and 16 year olds. Asking a 17 year old to ďman upĒ to this level is hardly a daunting proposition.

Down / Re: Down Club Hurling & Football
« on: November 08, 2019, 10:08:35 AM »
Reading horror stories of the u19 league in Monaghan and how it fell on its arse last year due to constraints with senior team. I think we have been sold a dud here and it seems clubs in Ulster are voting against it now. There was 8 teams in the ACMFL in 2019 and I would say at a push that only Burren, Mayobridge, Clonduff, Carryduff and Kilcoo would definitely be able to partake in an u19 league in 2020. I hope clubs can push something true at convention to leave age grades as it is, there is no paper or framework out on this yet so I think it should be stopped. 2 years to get ready for this changeover and nothing it print yet! And we complain about brexit! Does anyone involved in club committees or county board level know whatís going on with this?

Devilís advocate.

Why do we need an under 19 league?

Why canít 18 year olds play B football until theyíre ready for the step up, instead of being pulled in two directions?

General discussion / Re: UK General Election December 2019
« on: November 05, 2019, 10:55:45 PM »
Itís a rather revolting indictment of the 6 counties that 80% of seats are completely and utterly locked up for either the party that would destroy NI through its own greed, and the party who wonít represent anyone who votes for it.

We deserve to sink into the sea folks.

I see it as an indictment of the first-past-the-post system.

It would be the same political party breakdown regardless of how the election is configured.

General discussion / Re: UK General Election December 2019
« on: November 05, 2019, 10:52:43 PM »
Itís a rather revolting indictment of the 6 counties that 80% of seats are completely and utterly locked up for either the party that would destroy NI through its own greed, and the party who wonít represent anyone who votes for it.

We deserve to sink into the sea folks.

General discussion / Re: The OFFICIAL Liverpool FC thread
« on: November 03, 2019, 11:05:10 PM »
VAR is shit, and I hate it.

But what I hate most is how Liverpool fans in particular seems to have latched onto bleeding it to death as a topic of conversation. Every last decision involving them goes through a week-long microscope of super slow-mo, ďnewĒ angles, charts, diagrams, rules, interpretations of rules, and case history. All of this delivered with an unashamed and belligerent bias.

Lads you canít canít change the decisions after a match. Just leave it alone ffs.

GAA Discussion / Re: Would you be in favour of a second tier?
« on: October 31, 2019, 08:55:14 PM »
75% of the Congress voted for the Tier 2 so someone must want it Wob.
So about 50% of the affected counties then.

Hopefully Iím wrong. Genuinely I do.

GAA Discussion / Re: Would you be in favour of a second tier?
« on: October 31, 2019, 06:18:12 PM »
But the point is CountyColours that the back door qualifiers have never been anything other than a stay of execution for D4 teams. It decreased their chances of reaching the latter stages of the AI. Any train of thought that suggested otherwise was always misguided.

But what the back door seems to have done has festered a belief among many Gaels that there is some system out there that somehow will make the championship more rewarding for our weaker counties.

The fundamental reality is this dream system just doesnít exist. Giving them more games against stronger sides only increases the number of batterings theyíll take. Giving them more games against weaker sides before letting the big guns loose on them is simply cruel.

The clear and obvious answer is not to give them more games in a competition theyíre not fit for. So in principle I fundamentally agree with a 16 team AI championship.

But unfortunately this clear answer is then twisted and turned into a ďwe have to give them something insteadĒ. This isnít true. What weaker counties need more than anything is a strong National League that will allow them to improve gradually. A shortened season in which game time and training time is closer to equal, should help them ensure their best players come onboard fully committed.

Nobody really needs a B championship. And most people donít want one.


The remark about the Midlands is simple. Once everyone can accept that a B final in an empty Croke Park has all the same atmosphere as a bad mass, itíll be shuffled around the country. When thereís a local-ish derby, it will sensibly be put in a convenient location to both counties and the attendance will reflect. When itís counties from either end of Ireland it will be sensibly put in a halfway house in the midlands, and nobody will attend, even if it is the right location.

GAA Discussion / Re: Would you be in favour of a second tier?
« on: October 31, 2019, 04:25:12 PM »
I'm just interested in hearing why you are completely against a tiered county championship (full of so called "no hoper" teams in a completion that means nothing to anyone) yet you don't seem to have an issue with a tiered club championship?

Hereís why.

In club structures (well, Iím assuming in the majority of counties), you start your year with two goals in mind: a strong league campaign, and to win the championship in which youíve been entered; Senior, Intermediate or Junior (this is even the case in B football).

Even the best footballer in the land can align his personal goals with his clubís goals, no matter how meagre.

In the tiered county system, your goals may be the same, except a) you will want to win your provincial championship, and b) you are technically entered into the All-Ireland Championship by virtue of your provincial entry.

There will be 4-8 teams in D3 every year who have something of a chance of reaching a provincial final. The luck of the draw definitely matters here, as does gaining home advantage in a quarter-final.

They might not even have to hit form to do that. Offaly could qualify for a Leinster final having playing D4 teams only.

That draw will determine just how seriously they take the provincials, once the league is done. Theyíll be aware of this challenge from the previous October and will train accordingly.

But theyíre not the ones that the tired system hurts.

A better example would be Down, Derry or Cork in D3. Call them sleeping giants, call them underachievers, call them last yearís man. Call them whatever you want.

Theyíre still big counties and will pump time and money into trying to get promoted. And if they donít, theyíll pump time and money into winning their province, no matter who theyíre drawn against.

Should that journey end in a semi-final defeat, then this new competition is effectively asking everyone involved to reset their season goals, and immediately refocus on a new, fourth goal.

Except this goal is one that is much less prestigious, and for a large percentage of players (especially during the formative years of this competition), will be at best a sideshow, when they want to be playing club football, or earning a few quid in America.

Yet county boards still have to finance this sideshow. Club fixtures secretaries still have to balance these unwanted fixtures into their calendars.

County managers will have to convince players to put aside club commitments and american overtures. Even if they can manage that, theyíve the harder job again of motivating them on the day to treat it like championship football, when itís not. Not in its formative years anyway, as it will be missing the fundamental spirit of championship football, which is that everyone on the pitch wants to win.

If it were to run long enough, undoubtedly the B Championship would produce a success story of a county progressing from B Champions to AI Champions, whether by accident or design.

I just canít see the competition lasting long enough for this to happen. The absolute peak of what it can achieve in its first 3-5 years is a good final between two teams on an upward curve, and generate a sense of good will around GAA followers. But even that would be mostly lost by the following spring when all the more important competitions kick back into the memory.

A more likely outcome is that by year 3, counties will begin to opt out, and the subsequent final will take place on a Saturday afternoon July, somewhere in the midlands in front of 400 people, with only a shakycam recording the action. And we will have gone full circle to the AI B Championship of 20 years ago.

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