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Messages - thewobbler

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GAA Discussion / Re: Underage Grades
« on: Today at 12:54:39 PM »
Dinny youíve replied to my comments on why 17 year olds drop out of sport, by citing an article about an under-14 policy in a club falling down with players.

This is not the same thing.

There may be come correlation here, but unless Nemo are also keeping their stronger juvenile players on board as well, and playing junior football while their old teammates  ďjump aheadĒ of them, then itís the same situation anyhow.

GAA Discussion / Re: Underage Grades
« on: November 14, 2019, 01:27:14 PM »
What a lot of you seem to fail to realise is that young players all develop physically, mentally and emotionally at different rates.

Just because a boy or girl doesn't feel that competitive or winning edge at 13 doesn't mean they won't feel it later at 17/18 or 20/21. You complain that you don't have the numbers etc etc but if you don't change your coaching values, your club values and how as a collective you do things, how do expect things to change?

The GAA is suppose to be about community and not only as a pathway to adult sport. Wobbler says he knows after a few Adult B games whether a 17 year old will be playing at 21, a 17 year old who is studying for exams, dealing with hormones, still not physically, emotionally or mentally mature. Have you ever asked yourself why? You need a much broader mind than that.

Dinny what youíre suggesting here is that Iím fuelling this dropout, and my ďnarrow mindĒ is maybe even actively pursuing it.

If so, itís absolute nonsense. These are not actions. They are observations gained from spending 25 years involved at the entry point to adult football.

Someone else suggests that drink and women are the reason for dropouts. Heís wrong. Itís not drink and women thatís the issue. Nor is it age grades. Some people just donít like competitive sport enough to work hard at it. As mentioned before, this does not make them weak, strange, disappointing, cowardly, or unfulfilled. Itís perfectly norma behaviour and is reflected among teenagers in every competitive sport across the world. Itís not a GAA issue. Itís just people being people.

I played with dozens of senior players who partied hard. But theyíd still find a way to make training, and on match days left no quarter given. Because competitive sport was a priority in their life.

When people can accept this simple reality, they can focus on ensuring that players who have that drive are given every opportunity to progress through the ranks, regardless of ability. Clubs will prosper.

GAA Discussion / Re: Underage Grades
« on: November 13, 2019, 07:13:17 PM »
Dinny Iíd roll along with the suggestion that the main reason why players stop playing the game in the early teens, is that they just arenít that fond of competitive sport.

But thatís a catch 22 situation. Thereís a hundred other pastimes that arenít sports. Gaelic Games is sport. The attraction for so many other teenagers (to any sport) is that they can quickly measure how good they are, and learn how they can improve.

The concept of ensuring the development of sporting skills in people who will never have the competitive spirit to use them, just seems an odd thing to me. This isnít maths or English or indeed any form of transferable life skill.

Of course we might unfurl a few secretaries and treasurers down the line through your methods, but surely that situation is every bit as likely by those candidates wanting to attach themselves to a successful group of peers by any possible means, rather than burdening them and sinking out the door with them.


As for late teenagers and the regularly butchered, bastardised and imaginary reasons for their dropout, with this thread again showing that all too many people would look at anywhere but the truth when trying to explain it.

There are two overriding reasons why 18 year olds stop playing Gaelic Games:

1. They are not physiologically wired up to evaluate training 3 times a week as capable of delivering a reward. In short, they can find better ways to enjoy their lives. This doesnít make them lazy, weak or cowardly. It just means that 10-15 hours a week of training and matches doesnít do it for them. Giving them another year of minor football wonít affect this.

2. They arenít physiologically wired up to disregard the dangers to their own health. Leave aside the fact that you will inevitably take a thump from time to time, and that you are expected to go head first into a 40:60 challenge even if it means taking a hit. If thereís one thing that unites 90% of adult GAA players, itís that they regard not being able to walk properly for a couple of days after a championship match, as a badge of honour, as a sign that they gave everything. This is how you have to be wired up to progress into adult football. If thatís not you, then another year of minor football isnít going to be a magic pill. If anything it exposes you to the fact that football gets a little bit more physical at every raise in age level.

Iíve been involved in B football for 25 years. You can tell by the 3rd or 4th match a 17 year old plays whether he will still be playing at 21 years old.

GAA Discussion / Re: Underage Grades
« on: November 13, 2019, 05:32:16 PM »
This was an ill-conceived and badly implemented concept. It is detrimental to club football and small clubs as per will be hit hardest.

It is pure pigheadedness to persist with this flawed concept when it is clear to anyone with a bit of sense that it will decrease participation levels at an earlier age than the previous age bands. 


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.

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