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GAA Outrageous direct debit demands on club team to pay manager show the GAA has lost all control
   Outrageous direct debit demands on club team to pay manager show the GAA has lost all control

A player from a hurling club in Ulster has contacted SportsJOE to reveal staggering new demands placed on the senior men's team.
As most teams will do at this time of the year, this side got together for their first meeting and were introduced to the new manager who has come from a neighbouring county.

Already in 2017, we've seen some secrets being leaked from such meetings - the sort of rules that would make your eyes roll into the back of your head.

In Dublin, St. Brigid's demanded that players be positive and have good craic.

In Mayo, they demanded that weekend breaks be agreed before the season starts.

This stuff happens everywhere.


The stuff that isn't written down is just unwritten rules anyway but, every January, clubs start afresh with a new regime that is promising that, this year, there will be no f**k ups.

Let's get real though: three senior teams win championships in every county each season - the rest ultimately fail. So, come the dawn of a new year, everyone tries to get tougher and more professional to make sure it doesn't happen again.

For one hurling club up north though, that has been taken to a whole new extreme.

It's no secret that some managers are getting paid by some clubs and it's no secret that the arrival of outside managers can sometimes cause a bit of tension more quickly than normal - especially when money is involved, and especially when results are not going as planned.

What's happening in one hurling club in Ulster is a new extreme.

SportsJOE has exclusively seen documents that were handed out to every member of the senior team at the first meeting.

In the interest of anonymity, the player asked that neither the manager, the club or the county be named but what happened is yet another blow to what the GAA is supposed to be about.

The club held their first meeting for the senior men's hurling team.
They met the new manager from a bordering county.
The manager left the room and then the chairman "took over".
The chairman handed every player a standing order form.
The players were told that anyone who wants to play this year has to sign up.
Students were required to pay 15 quid a month to pay the new manager.
Those working were required to pay 20 quid a month to pay the new manager.
The players were told that the new manager was going to cost 10,000 and the players would contribute to that figure.
The players would also be required to pay membership and sell National GAA Draw tickets on top of that.
A lot of club players would accept now that some of the best coaches from outside the club don't come cheap and, in many cases, the team themselves might request that the club get the best on board - even if they have to pay.

But now there's a situation where a group of players not only know the manager's salary, but they're paying for most of it. That can be difficult to sustain as the year goes on and every one of the players are devoting as much time and effort as the manager to the cause - but they're doing it at a cost, not profit.

To make it worse, the reality now is that these players have to pay a monthly fee to play for their own clubs and represent their community. This is supposed to be their pastime and this is supposed to be their club. Now, it's another expense.

Hurling Discussion / 2017 Hurling Championship Draw
« on: October 14, 2016, 12:27:57 PM »
Munster SHC

Quarter-Final: Cork v Tipperary

Semi-Finals: Cork/Tipperary v Waterford, Limerick v Clare

Leinster SHC

Qualifier Group: Laois, Westmeath, Meath, Kerry

Quarter-Finals: Galway v Dublin, Wexford v Top two team from Qualifier Group, Offaly v Top two team from Qualifier Group

Semi-Finals: Galway/Dublin v Offaly/Top two team from Qualifier Group, Kilkenny v Wexford/Top two team from Qualifier Group

« on: April 14, 2016, 10:01:31 AM »
There was a thread I read a while back that had tailed of into the abandonment felt by Northerners by their compatriots in the South, I looked for it there but I couldn't find it.

I then came across this blog post today which I thought fairly well summed up the feeling of being a "Nordie"

General discussion / Dublin GAA star calls for drugs to be decriminalised
« on: February 15, 2016, 12:42:57 PM »
Dublin GAA star calls for drugs to be decriminalised
Connla Young
15 February, 2016 01:00

Dublin GAA star Philly McMahon has called for the use of drugs like heroin to be decriminalised.

The double All-Ireland winner, whose brother John died after a battle with drugs in 2012, also appealed for society not to isolate those who struggle with addiction.

The tough-tackling defender from Ballymun in north Dublin spoke about the impact of drugs on his family during an interview on RTE’s Late Late Show on Friday.

Last week Mr McMahon called for drugs to be decriminalised and for tax proceeds to be put into recovery programmes.

“I think the majority of people are uneducated about addicts,” he said.

“If you fell and broke your leg tomorrow and went to the hospital we’d get pure heroin, believe it or not - you get diamorphine, it’s pure heroin.

“The heroin you buy in the street is actually diluted down a lot, so a lot of people would probably think if I take heroin today I am going to be hooked and believe it or not it’s the social hooks that addicts - addicts will be on drugs from the social hooks, it’s not from the chemical hooks in the drugs.”

He said more can be done to help those with addictions.

“It’s just getting our heads around when you see addicts in the street, it's important we don’t push them away from society.”

15 February, 2016 01:00

GAA Discussion / The Cost Of Dublin's Domination Is Becoming Clearer
« on: February 03, 2016, 11:08:50 AM »

 The Cost Of Dublin's Domination Is Becoming Clearer

Croke Park's annual financial report revealed that the total amount of money Dublin received from the GAA was greater than three of the four provincial councils.

Dublin were awarded a total of €2,821,990 under categories such as Games Development, Team Expenses and Capital Grants.

€1.46 million of this money comes under the heading of Games Development. Dublin receives a whopping 47% of all grants doled out under this heading.

In addition to this, Dublin's sponsorship deal with AIG is believed to be worth €1 million a year. This is more than double what any other county garners through sponsorship deals. Leitrim's sponsorship deal with the Bush Hotel is thought to worth €20,000.

Money was pumped into games development in Dublin during the mid-noughties while the county was stuck deep in its lengthy All-Ireland drought.

There was much keening about Dublin's failure to reach September and the resulting 'glamour' deficit in the GAA.

Off the back of three All-Irelands in five years, officials are now wondering if these efforts were far too successful. They have been unable to scale back on spending in Dublin in 2015 as this might involve laying off Games Promotion Officers in the capital.

And the overwhelming nature of Dublin's dominance in their province is now hurting the financial end.

As reported by Sean Moran in the Irish Times, Peter McKenna made reference to 'Dublin's domination of Leinster' as a factor in the €600,000 decline in match-day rental income.

It's clear that - despite the rationale given for keeping Dublin in Croke Park - the capital's utter domination of Leinster is now having adverse financial consequences.

Arsenal coach warns that physical demands on young GAA players are not sustainable

Galway native Des Ryan has managed to halve the amount of muscle injuries sustained by young Academy players at Arsenal.

Galway man Des Ryan is head of sports medicine and athletic development at Arsenal FC. Galway man Des Ryan is head of sports medicine and athletic development at Arsenal FC.

THE HEAD OF athletic development at Arsenal’s youth Academy has warned that physical demands on many young Irish players are not sustainable.
Speaking at last weekend ‘Developing & Maximising Youth Potential’ conference, Galway native Des Ryan said that every single club, GAA or otherwise, should appoint a strength and conditioning coach to address the ‘workload issue.’
Addressing the same conference, a US-based expert said that he was “shocked” when he learned about the demands placed on GAA players.
“Between school, club and, in some young GAA players’ cases, county, the workload for many players is not sustainable as every manager wants 100%,” said Ryan.
“But if there’s a consolation it is that people are beginning to know it’s not right.
“Eventually, through the principle of long-term player development, system alignment and integration, proper planning will be put in place that is player-centric and not centred ono the individual needs or desires of each manager that the young player is working under.
“This will ensure that these young players are not over-played, they will stay longer in sport and there will be less chance of getting injured.”

With Ryan spearheading a massive sea change at Arsenal, the amount of muscle injuries sustained by young players in the Academy there has been cut in half over the last three years.
And he explained how parents have a key role to play in managing their children’s playing workload.
“Given that young players here will be play for so many different teams and two or more codes, then parents have a key role to play in their son or daughter’s wellbeing.
“Every coach will want 100% involvement but there’s no way this can happen or else burnout is an inevitability.  That’s where the parents have stepped in.
“Every club should invest in a strength and conditioner and he should have a meeting with the player and outline what’s good and what’s not.
“The player, together with his parents and coaches, then can make an informed decision based on what he or she can do, not what is wanted of him or her.”

Gary Schofield, a US expert in youth athletic development who is current National S & C Association High School Coach of the Year, said he was shocked when he learned of the workload.
“That’s horrific. The reality is the coach keeps his job by winning and he wants to have the player at the best of their ability.
“From my perspective, I don’t want the athlete to be as good as he or she can be. It’s not how great you are at 15 because that can result in the body being abused.
“What we want is allow our athletes to progress. Success at this age group should be based on the development of that athlete. Coaches need to be reviewed on the development of the athlete rather than wins and losses.
“There was a recent article in in England in which they asked why England youth players are injured at a higher rate.

“The simple reason was they are playing way too much and based on the figures I am hearing about Ireland, the same might be the case here.
“The youth athlete doesn’t have the body to handle the physical loads we are putting on them.”
Schofield also revealed some of the key injury influences on young players at development stage, with research showing that if young athletes get less than 7.5 hours sleep at night it increases the likelihood of injury by 1.7 times, while the injury rate during the high academic period is 2.1 times the average rate.
Conference organiser and Setanta College founder Liam Hennessy, the former Ireland rugby team fitness coach, welcomed debate on the issue.
“It’s time we had this type of debate. The workload on some young players is far too much and counterproductive.
“They have to be put at the centre of any programme and not the coach’s needs.
“There needs to be alignment, cooperation and compromise on the part of all the stakeholders and without that a lot of young players are never going to reach their potential and could even be lost to sport altogether.”

Hurling Discussion / Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher Draws
« on: November 23, 2015, 04:33:34 PM »
Christy Ring Draw
Round 1 - 23.04.2016 (Sat)
Meath v Wicklow
Down v London
Roscommon  v Doire
Aontroim v Kildare Hurling

Nicky Rackard Draw
Round 1 - 23.04.2016 (Sat)
Fermanagh v Monaghan
Armagh v Donegal
Tyrone v Mayo
Fingal v Longford

*Note: There is a qualifier system in the Ring and Rackard Cups, with a draw taking place for Round 2

Lory Meagher Draw
Round 1 - 23.04.2016 (Sat)
Leitrim  v Warwickshire
Louth v Sligo
Lancashire Bye

Round 2 - 30.04.2016 (Sat)
Warwickshire v Louth
Lancashire v Leitrim 
Sligo Bye

Round 3 - 07.05.2016 (Sat)
Louth v Lancashire
Sligo v Warwickshire
Leitrim  Bye

Round 4 - 14.05.2016 (Sat)
Leitrim  v Louth
Lancashire  v Sligo
Warwickshire Bye

Round 5 - 21.05.2016 (Sat)
Warwickshire v Lancashire
Sligo v Leitrim 
Louth Bye

Latest Developments In Galway Hurling Saga Show How Bleak The Situation Is

With Anthony Cunningham effectively prevented from taking his place in the dugout at Fenway Park for the AIG Hurling Classic, it was clear that additional time had done little to cool tensions. The players vs Cunningham row was not about to sort itself out. And that's clear more than ever now that the mediation process has come to an end.

The following statement has been released on Thursday morning after the end of the mediation process.

The Galway County Committee met last evening to discuss the full background of the current impasse between the 2015 Senior Hurling Panel and the Senior Management Team and to hear the outcome of the mediation process.

The mediation process has concluded and the Independent Mediator has determined that despite best efforts there was little, if no, possibility of the Parties reaching common agreement, on the substantive issue.

At this stage all reasonable efforts have been made to resolve the impasse.

The County Committee will meet again on Monday evening next, 16th November, to make a decision on the matter.

All of us appreciate how difficult this situation has been, not least for the our Players, the Management Team and their families. We are hopeful that the matter will be concluded on Monday next so that we can begin to rebuild and look to the Hurling season ahead, with confidence.
The players aren't changing their mind and Cunningham seems to be in no mood to back down. Mediation was unlikely to ever have an effect and now that has proven to be the case. All that's left seems to be for the county board to make a final decision. It seems we'll get that after next Monday's meeting and one way or another, the bitter row is unlikely to be sorted out with everyone duly pleased.

Hurling Discussion / Two-tier hurling championship introduced in Ulster
« on: November 10, 2015, 03:39:46 PM »
Two-tier hurling championship introduced in Ulster
10 November 2015

The Ulster SHC is undergoing a major revamp next season, with the introduction of a two-tier format.

For an initial two-year trial period, Antrim, Derry, Armagh and Down will compete in the top level while Fermanagh, Donegal, Monaghan and Tyrone will face off in the second tier. Cavan have opted out of the competition for the time being.

Semi-finals and a final will be staged in both tiers, with promotion and relegation taking place between the tiers.

In Tier One next year, Antrim will play Derry with Armagh facing Down in the semi-finals. The winners will contest the final and the semi-final losers will meet in a play-off, with the losing side swapping places with the winner of the second-tier competition.

No dates have been confirmed for the competition yet, although it is believed that Ulster Council would like to run it off in July, after the Christy Ring and Lory Meagher Cup competitions have concluded.

Hurling Discussion / Podge Collins set to return for Clare hurlers
« on: October 29, 2015, 08:18:45 AM »
Podge Collins set to return for Clare hurlers — reports

PODGE COLLINS IS set to make a return for the Clare hurlers, according to reports.
Collins was not part of the side’s most recent campaign, after it was suggested that his insistence on also representing Clare’s footballers would impact on his performance.
However, a report in The Clare Champion suggests the management have made a u-turn on their previous decision and will welcome Collins back on to the panel in 2016.
The player, who was shortlisted for Hurler of the Year in 2013, is currently recovering from a cruciate ligament injury.
Clare’s management have refused to comment publicly on these rumours.

Dónal Óg Cusack to join Clare backroom team for 2016 - will quit GPA and Sunday Game roles

Donal Óg Cusack will be part of a Clare set-up that has struggled since its All-Ireland win in 2013

Former All-Ireland-winning Cork goalkeeper Donal Óg Cusack has joined up with the Clare hurlers and will be part of the Davy Fitzgerald's management team for 2016.
Commenting on his new role with the Banner, Cusack said: "I am looking forward to the challenge and want to thank Davy Fitzgerald for the opportunity."
He also confirmed that he will be stepping down from his role as a pundit on RTÉ's The Sunday Game and that he will see out his term as chairperson of the Gaelic Players Association (GPA).
"Ahead of assuming my coaching position in Clare, I have met with RTÉ and following mutual agreement I have been released from my contract. I would like to sincerely thank RTÉ for the experience they have given me.
"I will be seeing out my term as chairperson of the GPA which will come to an end this year. 
"I have also spoken with my local club, Cloyne to confirm my decision to retire from club hurling. I would like to thank the club for the support it has shown me throughout my career," added Cusack.
Also new to Banner ticket is Jimmy Payne from Waterford, who previously worked with Davy Fitzgerald during his tenure as Déise boss. He has also held the role of strength and conditioning coach with various rugby, basketball and soccer teams, as well as the Laois senior hurlers and Cork senior footballers.
As an International Performance Boxing coach and tutor for ten years with the IABA, he has worked with Olympic silver medallist John Joe Nevin, Olympic gold medallist Ryan Burnett, and twice European Champion and World silver medallist Joe Ward. He is also the winner of four national boxing titles.

Hurling Discussion / Ciarán Carey To Manage Kerry Hurlers In 2016
« on: October 20, 2015, 08:28:00 AM »

Ciarán Carey To Manage Kerry Hurlers In 2016
Brian Barry  October 19, 2015   3,782 Views

Having won the Christy Ring Cup this year, Kerry earned the right to compete in the Liam McCarthy Cup for 2016. They replace Antrim in the Leinster round-robin, and will face up against Westmeath, Carlow and Offaly. The top two in the group go through to the Leinster quarter-finals to face either Laois or Galway, while the bottom team is condemned to Christy Ring hurling in 2017.

2015 also brought a very positive league campaign for the Kingdom, having been promoted to Division 1B, where they will face off against sides such as 2013 All-Ireland champions Clare.

However, Tipperary native Eamonn Kelly stepped down from the post following a successful stint in charge, and the GAA announced today that Limerick legend Ciarán Carey will take the reins.

Carey, who played for the Treaty for a period spanning from 1989-2004, is remembered as one of the finest midfielders to ever play the game.

He has managerial experience with the Limerick Camogie team, as well as the u21 hurlers. For the past number of years, he has acted as selector for the senior hurlers under Dónal O’Grady, and managed club side Patrickswell.

This is a positive move for Kerry hurling, which is very much on the up. It is an exciting prospect for the Limerick man, and with some promising talent coming through, they are capable of making serious strides in the coming years.

Carey has not yet confirmed his back-room team.

GAA Discussion / Clubs per County
« on: October 07, 2015, 08:54:21 AM »

I just came across this picture somewhere, it doesn't seem like it could be accurate to me what do you's think?

Joe Brolly: How I faced down IRA man who branded me a traitor

In 2008, Martin McAleese, husband of then President Mary, attended a meeting between Loyalist commanders and community leaders in Belfast. Ryan Feeney, a high ranking member of the Ulster Council of the GAA, was also in attendance.

The Loyalists were interested in the GAA's community model and how it could help regenerate Protestant ghettoes in the city. The summit took place in the community centre on the Shankill Road.

After Martin and Ryan had made a lengthy presentation, the two men shared some tea and buns with the group. Jackie McDonald, the notorious UDA brigadier, warmly shook their hands. "Great to have you here," he said. "Thanks Jackie," said Feeney, "I wonder what would have happened if we'd come here ten years ago?" Jackie looked Feeney straight in the eye and said, "We'd have shot you and kidnapped him."

I thought of that exchange earlier last week when Jarlath Burns described the national anthem and the tricolour as "divisive" and said he would support giving them up at GAA games if it would help to persuade some Unionists to support us.

"It wouldn't cost me a thought," he said. "If I thought for a moment that Ulster Unionist MLA Tom Elliott would become our greatest fan, I would get rid of them surely." It is worth reminding ourselves that Tom is the man who proudly boasted at his party conference in 2010 that he would "never go to a GAA game or a gay march."

The reality is that no appeasement would satisfy the Tom Elliotts of this world. The whole point of a civilised society is to respect difference, not abandon what we are in order to satisfy extremists. The world is awash with political correctness. Its main function is to make us feel embarrassed about who we are and what we think, and to create a world that is entirely bland.

A few years ago, Flintshire County Council in Wales renamed the traditional English dessert Spotted Richard on the basis that Spotted Dick might offend female customers at the canteen. Tesco and the Gloucester NHS Trust followed suit. Where does it end?

The Sam Maguire Cup would have to go. Maguire, after all, was a member of a team of IRB assassins in London. As head of intelligence there, he was the alleged mastermind behind the murder of Sir Henry Wilson in London in 1922. Glorifying the memory of a man who put bullets in the brains of Englishmen just isn't on. I think perhaps that in future, it would be safer to call the trophy the Jedward Cup.

And what of all those hundreds of GAA clubs that glorify terrorists? There are O'Donovan Rossas all over the country. Bad enough that Rossa was married three times and had 16 children. Worse still, he was the first Republican to orchestrate a bombing campaign on the British mainland. His so-called 'Dynamite Campaign' ran throughout the 1880s in London, bringing terror to the populace. Or Roger Casement, who gives his name to many clubs and the iconic Belfast venue. Casement was a gun runner and a rebel who was executed by the British during the Great War and buried in lime. In 1965, his remains were repatriated to Ireland and he was afforded a State funeral. Almost half a million people filed past his coffin.

As for the anthem, Phil Coulter or Stock Aitken Waterman could write one for us.

After we won the All-Ireland in 1993, we sang 'The Town I Loved So Well' on The Late Late Show. A fortnight later, Phil Coulter arrived at a team meeting wearing a lime green suit and lemon tie and presented us all with a signed photograph of himself at the grand piano. That's the sort of man we need to write a national anthem.

I don't suppose there is any point in explaining that the Tricolour denotes peace between the orange and the green. It'll have to go as well. Perhaps we could replace it with a plain white flag, or one with a little kitten.

The GAA does not need to apologise to anyone. My own club St Brigid's were the first to play the PSNI. At that time, it was a thorny issue and we played them amidst a media carnival. I gave interviews to all the broadcasters strongly supporting the game. Afterwards, we ate and drank with the coppers in the clubhouse, and why wouldn't we?

A few days later, graffiti appeared in Belfast city centre reading, 'SHAME ON YOU JOE'. That same afternoon, I was walking through the thronged great hall of the High Courts when someone shouted "Brolly you traitor."

I looked over and spotted an ex-IRA man sitting with some other boys of the old brigade. I made a beeline for them and the heads went down.

"What was that Seán?" I said, shaking hands with them, "I didn't hear you properly."

"I said you were a traitor," he mumbled.

"Jesus Seán," I said, " I thought it was ok to play an oul football match against them after you handed over your guns."

The GAA in Ulster has been doing massive work on reconciliation. Joint GAA, rugby and soccer camps have been on the go for years. In my own club we have mixed teams at every level. My under 16 group this year had seven players from the Unionist tradition and, you know what, nobody gives a damn what religion they happen to be. The brilliant All Saints Ballymena under 14 feile champions from 2014 had six Protestant players in their starting 15. There is a similar pattern at every age group. This is real reconciliation, not the phoney kind demanded publicly by Tom Elliott or Willie Frazer.

Before Martin McAleese and Ryan Feeney left that meeting in the Shankill Community Centre back in 2008, they arranged to bring the group to the upcoming All-Ireland hurling semi-final. Four weeks later, a coach pulled up at the centre in Belfast and 50 Loyalists from Tiger's Bay, the Shankill and Lurgan trooped on board to be greeted by Ryan. One of them was wearing a Dublin jersey.

"You like it?" he said to Feeney, "Up the Dubs!"

After the game, in the splendid surrounds of the VIP suite of the Hogan Stand, Ryan asked the leader of the group what his overall thoughts on the experience were.

"We need a Protestant GAA."

Now that is a good idea.

Sunday Indo Sport

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