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Messages - Laois Rising

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Laois / Re: The Future for Laois Football
« on: July 07, 2021, 11:58:56 AM »
You put your building blocks in from the ground up. Underage needs to be the priority and increasing both the numbers, competitiveness and coaching at underage needs to be our focus. To do this we need to really invest in GDOs and supporting clubs in coaching and developing players. It is evident that traditional powerhouse clubs like St. Joseph's, Stradbally, Graigue and Portlaoise are capable of producing far, far more than they currently are. Portlaoise should be fielding three teams minimum at each level with the population at its disposal. Towns of a similar size in other counties would have multiple clubs all capable of fielding A and B teams at the different age groups. We need to invest heavily and support these clubs in upping their standards at underage. In doing this, it will raise the standards our our county underage teams and ultimately feed into our senior team. In order to improve, players need to be regularly playing games at a high standard. If we can get 7/8 highly competitive teams facing one another regularly at u13, u15 and minor it is going to have a positive knock on effect. If you look at the minor championship last year in Laois, outside of Ballyroan-Abbey-a lot of teams playing the 'A' championship were way off the required standard to be considered a truly competitive 'A' standard team. 

I feel that our anger at the county board has let some of the players off the hook for what was an abysmal showing in the second half. The county board or the manager is not the fault when players don't have the fight in them when things are going against them on the field. Too often, over the last decade when Laois teams have come under pressure in championship football they have folded. I'm now questioning is it something in our mentality. Antrim 2015 when threw away an eight point lead, Kildare 2017 where Kildare forwards were kicking points for fun in the second half, Clare dismantling us in a qualifier in Portlaoise and Meath 2019 when we failed to put up any real challenge in a Leinster semi final are games that quickly come to mind. I can accept losing but it is the manner in how we lose certain games that is very disheartening. Quirke did as well as he could with the hand that he was dealt is my opinion on things. We have plenty of players in the county who are capable of playing division 3/4 football. We lack those 5/6 marquee players that every  mid rank team with aspirations of playing at a higher level need to drive things forward and make the difference on the field. In fairness to Westmeath in the likes of Heslin and Ger Egan they have those players who can inspire, step up and drive the team forward.

Laois / Re: 2021 Leinster Senior Football Championship
« on: June 30, 2021, 03:06:22 PM »
We are clearly struggling from numbers 5-12. Our midfield pairing struggles at this level against stronger counties while we do not have any really outstanding half-backs or half-forward at our disposal- the fact that any one of 7/8 lads could start in the half back line the next day proves this point.

Westmeath have got their house in order this season and last. The team that they have now has developed nicely in that time and have proved themselves capable of putting it up to the tops teams e.g. competed well with Meath, Cork and Mayo in the league this year and challenged Dublin as well as any team in the championship last year. They were very unfortunate to lose to Cork and get relegated to division 3 because they were better team for large parts of that game. I see Westmeath running out comfortable 5-6 point winners.

On the flip side, all going well we can then look forward to two potentially exciting county semi-finals (hopefully none of the remaining teams have gone off the boil since last year).   

Laois / Re: Laois Senior Hurlers 2021
« on: June 29, 2021, 12:05:25 PM »
This year was always about survival in the Leinster championship and league. What I couldn't get my head around was the fact that we had so many players back and yet Wexford always had a man over or coming through to take a simple hand pass before popping the ball over the bar. Laois needed to meet Wexford with intensity in the first fifteen minutes of the game and challenge them high up the field. Instead we let them walk the ball up the field, pick their passes and nonchalantly tap over points at will. It was embarrassing stuff from beginning to end. The only consolation after such a poor performance at the weekend you would imagine that there will be a reaction by the players for the Antrim game. Our players who have only returned from injury will be the better for having a run out and getting another two weeks training under their belts before Antrim game. 

Laois / Re: Laois Senior Hurlers 2021
« on: June 25, 2021, 10:55:27 AM »
Can posters be realistic here please. Laois have been seriously hampered by injuries this year and with such a short period of contact time for the new management what more could Cheddar have been expected to get out of this Laois team. Even with a number of players returning from injury for tomorrow's game, they realistically cannot be expected to be fully match sharp. It's unfortunate how things have played out. However, Cheddar has got Cha and Scully back on board. It will take another season I reckon before we will see the best of them at intercounty level. With Kavanagh hopefully back next year, along with the likes of Comerford who is developing all the time and stalwarts like Dunphy, Purcell and King staying onboard it's going to be 2022 before we see the true potential of this Laois side.   

Avoiding relegation would be a massive achievement. It feels like 'normal service resumed'. But we shall see.

Laois / Re: 2021 National Football League
« on: June 21, 2021, 03:10:25 PM »
From the last two under 20 teams that made it to leinster finals you could argue that the teams were made up of a collective of good footballers as opposed to a team that was driven by 2/3 star or standout footballers. Ultimately, it is only the 'star' footballers from the underage grade that will realistically step up to the senior team and add to things at that level. Those Laois U20 sides of last two years full of fine players, however if we are expecting 7/8 of them to step up to senior in the next 12/24 months and make Laois a competitive division 2 team again I cannot see that happening.

I hear people giving out about Quirke not blooding more youth and annoyed regarding his reliance on the old guard. Unfortunately, I don't see those young footballers in the county who are really challenging or should be in the team ahead of the likes of Timmons, O'Loughlin, Begley, Kingston or Lillis.

My fear in that in the next 3/4 years we will have an abundance of good footballers to pick from- as in there will be little between about 50-60 footballers within the county. However, we wont have that star quality-those 5 or 6 top, top footballers who are a cut above the rest (e.g. Beano, Conway, Kevin Fitz, Tom Kelly of yester year) who can drive things within an intercounty set-up and which a good, truly competitive team can be built around.

GAA Discussion / Re: NFL Division 2 - 2021
« on: June 17, 2021, 12:27:45 PM »
This argument that Kildare and Meath should be doing better than they are is slightly unfair. It is exceptionally hard to maintain positively, motivate players, develop a team long term when you are coming up against Dublin season after season in the Leinster championship. Having to try overcome them year in, year out to win a provincial title would take the wind out of any teams sails. Take the Kildare team of 2017 that lost to Dublin by 8/9 points in a Leinster final with nearly a full compliment of their best players available at the time and playing some fantastic football- I think they scored 1-17 on the day. That Kildare team was at its peak and still fell well short ultimately of the Dubs. Very hard to come back the following year with the same enthusiasm and dedication knowing that even if you do everything right again you are still going to fall short. In other provinces you still have that carrot of if you get things right you could challenge for a provincial title- that what keeps players motivated and returning year on year with some enthusiasm for playing intercounty football e.g. counties like Roscommon, Cavan, Monaghan, Cork who can realistically target provincial titles. Counties like Laois, Westmeath and Meath who would be of a similar standard to some of these counties cannot.

Laois / Re: Laois Senior Hurlers 2021
« on: June 14, 2021, 02:31:18 PM »
Agree Blue and White. Covid and injuries have really deprived Cheddar of valuable time in the development of this Laois team. He is implementing a new style of hurling that will take time to embed. If Laois could survive in division 1 and championship for next year it is only then we will be able to see the fruits of Cheddar's labour. The likes of Cha, Scully etc. I feel will need a full year or so back training and playing intercounty hurling before they can truly reach full potential of their undoubted talents. If Kavanagh can make a successful recovery and Roddy, Dunphy stay motoring the nucleus of a talented forward line for 2022. I just hope Laois have the opportunity to showcase this at the top table in 2022.

Laois / Re: 2021 National Football League
« on: June 11, 2021, 11:26:48 AM »
Down are poor side who still play a defensive brand of football. The win against Westmeath might give them some confidence but Laois are capable of going to Newry and getting a win. Kingston and Begley should be back which will be of help. Hopefully Laois can reduce the error count and move the ball much quicker and play more directly into O'Carroll and Kingston. If we do we have a chance.

Laois / Re: Laois Senior Football Championship 2020
« on: May 25, 2021, 02:15:36 PM »
I know this may sound extreme but the Leinster Championship is a dead duck and with no back door I would nearly rather see the Laois team pulled from the championship and put priority on finishing the 2020 championship in July and starting the 2021 club championship in early August. I know I'd much rather watch two potentially exciting club semi-finals and county final on my tv than a Leinster championship game that is ultimately meaningless with Dublin over the horizon if you do win. 

Laois / Re: 2021 National Football League
« on: May 17, 2021, 02:57:15 PM »
Lillis and O'Loughlin's strengths lie in their ability on the ball. However, neither of them would be fantastic fielders of the ball around the middle or great to win the 'dirty' ball compared to other intercounty sides. With both of them into their 30s now-pace to keep with the 20 somethings will also be more of an issue for an entire 70minutes. It has been a problem of Laois for last 15 years that we don't have those kind of footballers around the middle (from numbers 5-12) who win the 50/50 or even 40/60 duels when the ball is there to be won. Every good team needs a balance in type of players they have on the field. I think Laois are too lob sided towards an abundance of nice, ball playing half backs and half forwards. 

Laois / Re: Laois Senior Hurlers 2021
« on: May 10, 2021, 12:00:47 PM »
Smart move by Cheddar and the boys not showing their true potential yesterday. Have Wexford lulled into a false sense of security for the championship encounter later in the year.

Laois / Re: Laois Senior Hurlers 2021
« on: May 05, 2021, 10:59:45 AM »
Very little time really between the return to training and opening round of league games for Cheddar to put his stamp on things. I just hope Laois can retain their current league and championship status for next year as that will afford him requisite time and a platform to develop things and hopefully continue the upward trajectory Laois hurling has been on in recent years.   

Laois / Re: Laois Senior Hurlers 2021
« on: April 22, 2021, 03:27:56 PM »
Don't forget we could get Galway potentially in the final as well Zooming Around.

GAA Discussion / Re: Retirements
« on: January 06, 2021, 01:29:20 PM »
As per Edwin McGreal on Twitter:

The number of current players with All-Ireland medals outside Dublin is now down to 14, from 17 last month, following the three Kerry retirements. So not even enough to pull a team together.

And only one active player in Leinster with a Leinster championship medal and that is a 38 year old Ross Munnelly who incredibly looks like they will be still be there come 2021. His commitment is all the more commendable considering Laois have not had a team that is capable of matching Dublin since McNulty was manager.

Laois / Re: The future of laois hurling
« on: December 17, 2020, 02:08:03 PM »
Excellent idea to group clubs together in Laois to raise necessary funds for a GDO. Need to show some out of the box thinking on this to maximize resources. If Abbeyleix, Ballypickas and Ballinkill  (maybe one other) clubs pooled together they potentially could afford the cost of a GDO that would then rotate between the schools and club training. If I had a choice I would much rather put my money here (long-term pay off) than on paying the cost of an outside manager.

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