Author Topic: Antrim Football Thread  (Read 1794083 times)

country bumpkin

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #14970 on: October 12, 2017, 07:20:50 AM »
If it hadnít of been for the Casement Social Club sponsoring a couple of the games where highlights have been provided, they wouldnt of been done. Th county wouldnít provide the money for some games to be videoed and thatís why a few earlier rounds werenít covered the way they were in 2016.

I definitely think there is merit in doing what Armagh have done and broadcast them live. I know a few mates in San Fran enjoyed watching the games this year.

Where they staying in the SW of San Fran?



Yet again the same repetitive crap from you..

Jesus lad would you let me have some craic for a week at least?? I've had to listen to SW domination and Belfast in crisis for a year!!!

But look if you're annoyed I'm sorry
Do think you continue to miss/ignore the point previously well made MR2.......that the top three clubs in South Antrim have failed to win more than a single game at minor level in 2018 and the dreaded ftf has been attached to a number of fixtures.
Seems little better at u-16......crisis....what crisis?

hardstation

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #14971 on: October 12, 2017, 07:36:03 AM »
How strong have Cargin been at minor level in this last 10 years?
All clubs get year groups were they aren't very strong.
I remember our club playing in the minor B. It was the level most suited to that particular year group. We won the minor A a year or two later. It's a silly argument.
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Milltown Row2

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #14972 on: October 12, 2017, 07:44:18 AM »
So it's a minor crisis at south Antrim now?? Holy fuvk clutching at straws now.... you are embarrassing yourself now... you can't equate minor or underage success to senior success unless like what we did in winning minor and under 21 5 years running...how many titles have Glen won at senior level in Derry? And how many minor Ulster titles did they win?
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BrendanAntrim

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #14973 on: October 12, 2017, 07:55:29 AM »
ďthat the top three clubs in South Antrim have failed to win more than a single game at minor level in 2018Ē.   Jeez thatís next year written off already. Sad times.

imtommygunn

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #14974 on: October 12, 2017, 08:07:04 AM »
It only matters if it's a pattern over a number of years. I would even say it would take 3 or 4 years at least to matter significantly.

On the flip side winning minor isn't the be all and end all. St johns this year are the first side in a long time in antrim football to come through at minor and make a dent at senior. Much more would have been expected of ld but i guess they can change that Sunday.


The Gs Man

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #14975 on: October 12, 2017, 09:12:11 AM »
You lads think the SW/City divide is toxic?

Try living in Aghagallon.  The Gate men (they all live past the Cranagh Bridge) have won the Parish Cup the past two years and it doesn't look like we've any new blood coming through in the Village team to stop 3-in-a-row.

Families are falling out over this.
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paddyjohn

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #14976 on: October 12, 2017, 09:15:21 AM »
Brendan Crossan: When will your backroom team be in place and what are you looking for in your backroom team?

Lenny Harbinson: It will be in place very soon. Brendan Trainor, who helped me in Ballymacnab, is coming in as my assistant.

Brendan is from Augher and has worked with Tyrone development squads in the past.

He has very good coaching pedigree. Iím delighted to have him on board because he thinks along similar lines as me and heís a really good coach.

What Iím looking for are strategic thinkers. Iíve lined up a strength and conditioning coach and a physioÖ Iím looking for somebody whoís going to link my vision with the schools and development squads and the senior squads so there is continuity right the way through.

 

BC: How big is the Antrim job?

LH: This is a five-to-10-year job, if truth be told. Although there has been a lot of work done with development squads Ė U15s, U16s and minors have done reasonably well - we need to continue with that work and continue to build on it and develop those players.

Dublin won the All-Ireland this year and if you look at the last two or three years theyíve been seamlessly bringing in players from their U21s. Itís important to have that plan in place to develop young players.

 

BC: Whatís the biggest challenge?

LH: A lot of things are built on confidence and that comes from winning.

My challenge is to hit the ground running, get everybody in the panel organised to a degree where we compete on a regular basis and by competing, that means winning games, and that builds momentum. That has to happen very quickly.

 

BC: When do you expect to hold trials?

LH: I have a whole schedule of trials outlined for this month, actually next weekend.

We will conduct two trials in the south-west, two trials in south Antrim and from those four games we will bring a trial panel together to play last yearís senior football panel.

From that we will determine who goes forward to the McKenna Cup and the early stages of the National League.

 

BC: You talked about having pride to play for your county but there is still apathy out there regarding the Antrim football squad and the club-county relationships probably need a wee bit more nurturing. Do you think itís aspirational for young players to play for Antrim?

LH: There is a bit of work to be done from a PR point of view. Behind the scenes there is work going on at schools level and development squads and minors.

A lot more work is required. Your senior teams Ė whether in hurling or football Ė is your shop window and they have to start competing, start winning.

Itís imperative over the next couple of years we get out of Division Four and get promoted to Division Three and slowly but surely work our way up the leagues so weíre playing a better standard of football, which allows you then to compete at Championship level.

Also, itís very important to give young players a vision and an aspiration of playing at Casement Park. Itís important those plans get passed because itís going to be an iconic stadium. For any youngster coming down from the south west to play a club match in Belfast and drives past it, or indeed any youngster in Belfast, thatís somewhere they will want to play.

 

BC: Is it important the county teams are doing well with a new Casement Park on the horizon?

LH: All the work being done at development level has to continue and has to be accelerated, in conjunction with the senior team doing well and getting promoted and with a vision of wanting to play in Casement Park in a number of years time in an Ulster final.

Thatís a big part of the vision.

There are a lot of people behind the scenes who are committed from an administrative point of view, from a fund-raising point of view and also from a coaching point of view.

 

BC: While you were being interviewed by the county board [Football Review Committee], did you need to be encouraged by them in terms of what you needed to see happening?

LH: Yes, whatís happening behind the scenes has to be important. Being an Antrim man, living in Antrim and reading the media you did get an idea of the momentum thatís being built.

Itís not going to be easy, itís not going to happen overnight, itís a long-term project over the next five or 10 years but youíve got to start somewhere.

 

BC: You know Antrim football really well. What do you think of the calibre of player in the county?

LH: Iíve always believed that Antrim can compete with the best. Itís like any county Ė you go through peaks and troughs.

In certain generations there are better players than maybe the previous generationsÖ but for me itís about getting the best talent within the county on the field.

Thatís the first stage.

The second stage is getting highly organised and spend a lot of time coaching. Getting teams fit is the easy part; getting them organised and getting them to understand the game is crucially important.

Todayís game is fantastic, the way it has evolved; itís far better than whenever I played back in the 80s. Itís more tactical, thereís more organisation...

If we can get these things in place: coaching structure, fitness, the right people on the pitch, there is no reason why we canít compete with the best.

 

BC: How important is getting out of Division Four in your first season?

LH: When you look at the teams in the division, Carlow had a fantastic Championship run. Laois have fallen back into Division Four but are always a formidable team.

If you play Limerick in Limerick they are always a big strong teamÖ So the level, I think, is going to be very even in Division Four.

There will be a number of teams who will compete to get promoted.

How many home games will you have and how many away games will you have?

And itís trying to manage those away games in terms of logistics, sleeping in a different bed, eating out of a hotel Ė small things like that can have an impact.

 

BC: There is a good nucleus of young players already there. How important is it that none of them slip through the net?

LH: We will look at the talent that is out there playing and monitor how theyíre doing.

There will be other youngsters who are going to university and we need to keep an eye on their progress because thatís a very good breeding ground for county.

And for the players who donít initially make the first panel, part of my vision is that we have a monitoring system in place.

We will have a number of people in Antrim who will monitor maybe 10 or 12 players, and grade and mark them.

I suppose the message Iíd be sending to them is: We havenít forgotten about you. The panel will be open. If theyíre improving then theyíll be called into the panel.

 

BC: With social media nowadays everyone is a critic. Youíll find that more and more in this role. Whatís your view?

LH: Keyboard warriors, I think, people call them (laughs). I donít read a lot of social media but at times they might come out with some valid comments.

Other times it is quite negative. They donít know whatís going on behind the scenes and the work that will be put in.

All I know, all the teams Iíve managed and the players Iíve managed nobody goes out to fail, nobody goes out to under-perform. We just have to live with social media.

 

BC: Some players have retired recently. Are there any particular players you would consider calling on?

LH: If some of those players who have stepped away from Antrim and are playing club football at a high level and playing well, I donít see any problem of sitting down with someone and asking them what their feelings are about returning to the county.

As Iíve said, itís important that we get the best players on the field.

But I canít force them.

Theyíll have to want to give it another go. Iíve got to go with the committed bunch thatís going to be there.

 

BC: Do you miss your playing days?

LH: Yes. Iíd love to be playing today, absolutely. Itís more organised, better tactics, more analysis, players are treated better. Playing is far, far better than managing.

 

BC: You played 12 years with Antrim? What were those days like?

LH: I actually remember Brother Ennis was manager of Antrim when he called me into the panel, aged 17.

We played Armagh in the McKenna Cup in Newry and I remember Kevin Gough scored a fantastic goal in the last few minutes to win the game.

And I remember sitting on the bus on the way back from Newry thinking, Ďthis is greatí. But there werenít too many more days like that.

 

BC: Did you enjoy those days? I know Antrim were in the lower divisions for most of that timeÖ Do you have regrets?

LH: When you reflect back you always feel you could have done better, personally, in terms of your preparation, working on your skills.

You always ask yourself: Was I the best I could have been? Could I have done more? And the truthful answer to that is: Yes, I couldíve done more.

 

BC: What is the best thing about managing teams? Why do you do it?

LH: I like dealing with young people and seeing their enthusiasm. Thatís very heartening and also whenever you start planning and seeing your plans developing and seeing results, thatís very satisfying.

 

BC: You always wanted to do this job. Did you ever envisage you would do it?

LH: At different stages I did but maybe not right here and now. I donít think there is a perfect time.

Youíve just got to take the moment and the moment has come around. Iím probably like a lot of people - Iím a frustrated supporter down through the years.

Now I want to do something about it along with the backroom team and the players and hopefully we can do something.

 

BC: What was the secret in guiding St Gallís to the 2010 All-Ireland final?

LH: I took the job in 2009, going into 2010. Basically, they had a nucleus of a very, very good team. We had lots of guys with county experience Ė the two Gallaghers [Ronan and Rory] from Fermanagh and lots of guys from Antrim.

They had won a number of Antrim Championships and they had competed in the Ulster Championship. So they had experience, plus good footballers.

To get them over the line, there was just a wee bit more organisation. I tweaked things.

We didnít start training until later in the year Ė June/July time Ė to try and keep the players fresh. We tried to peak for an Antrim final and then reset.

Just small tweaks: when we trained, where we trained and how we trained. We trained hard and we spent a lot of time on our shooting.

 

BC: Was winning the All-Ireland on St Patrickís Day the best day you had with St Gallís?

LH: It was a very enjoyable day. I enjoyed the Antrim championships as well. Those titles were close to your heart. Itís funny, in a perverse sort of way, you always remember the days when you donít win.

I can remember more about the following year [2011] and losing a game to Crossmaglen than what I remember the previous year in Croke Park.

 

BC: Whatís been the steepest learning curve for you in your managerial career?

LH: I challenged myself after St Gallís. I worked out of Dublin for a few years and I did a bit of coaching with Dundalk Gaels and over the last couple of years Iíve been involved with Ballymacnab.

There are great people involved in those clubs.

I didnít have 14 or 15 county players, so the challenge at those clubs was trying to maximise the resources you had Ė and thatís when you have to step up as a coach and learn new things and challenge yourself.

I was very lucky because the players in those teams were very willing to learn.

 

BC: What was your time like at Ballymacnab?

LH: It was very rewarding, a great club, great people and the playing group themselves just wanted to learn so much. Brendan Trainor went along that journey with me.

We played a lot of league games with key players missing through injury and county commitments, so we had to learn a lot in trying to compete with limited resources.

 

BC: When do you expect to have a panel assembled?

LH: Around the second week in November when all the trials are conducted Iíll have a panel ready to start training.

So far, Iíve had a number of meetings with county board officials, Iíve met with some people who previously worked with Antrim to get their views on what worked, what didnít work.

Both Brendan [Trainor] and I have a schedule of matches to attend, so thereís a lot of activity under the surface in advance of full training of a new panel in mid-November.

 

BC: Who was the best player you played with?

LH: (Pause) There was a guy called Declan Muldoon from Tyrone who had everything and unfortunately got a bad injury. I played with him at the ĎRanch [St Maryís] and he played for Tyrone when I was playing with Antrim.

 

BC: Who was your biggest influence on your playing and managerial careers?

LH: I suppose the boys in St Gallís Ė the likes of PJ OíHare and a few others who came from a basketball background. We tried to play a stylish brand of football, possession football.

 

BC: Your worst moment in football?

LH: Losing to Crossmaglen in the Ulster Club the year after St Gallís had won the All-Ireland. Had we actually got over that hurdle I think we would have got back to the All-Ireland again.

That was the worst moment. The previous year, we didnít have any injuries.

That year, Kevin [McGourty] hurt his back, Sean Burke had a bad back, Sean Kelly and Terry OíNeill were sick on the bus on the way to the game, which was only down the road.

All those tiny things. They scored their penalty and we missed ours. We didnít perform the way I knew we could.

 

BC: Was winning the All-Ireland Club in 2010 the best feeling youíve experienced in football?

LH: No. Winning the 1979 minor championship because St Gallís came from Division Two to win it. That was our first major trophy.

 

BC: Who was the best player you played against?

LH: I played against Tony Scullion a couple of times. He was a very difficult opponent. Tony was hard, but fair.

 

BC: Do you enjoy watching the modern game?

LH: Give me the modern game any day compared to the old games you see on TG4. Some of those old games were terrible. The fitness levels might have been good but they couldnít kick the ball.

Technically, everybody knows more about the game now.

There is skilled defending as well as attacking. The whole defensive criticism of the modern game has been blown out of all proportion because thereís a skill and an art in being defensively organised.

The game has evolved to the point where thereís almost a basketball structure as to how you break defences down.

Todayís game is massively better; the players are fitter and more tuned into the tactical side of the game.

The Gs Man

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #14977 on: October 12, 2017, 12:07:50 PM »
I have inputted Lenny's interview into some very complex algorithm software and I have reached some very startling conclusions.

He uses the words "south-west" on one occasion, "south west" (without the hyphen) on one occasion and "Belfast" on two occasions.

I think we can put the SW/Belfast debate to bed now.  Lenny is there for all of us!!  Viva Lenny!
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paddyjohn

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #14978 on: October 12, 2017, 12:19:22 PM »
I have inputted Lenny's interview into some very complex algorithm software and I have reached some very startling conclusions.

He uses the words "south-west" on one occasion, "south west" (without the hyphen) on one occasion and "Belfast" on two occasions.

I think we can put the SW/Belfast debate to bed now.  Lenny is there for all of us!!  Viva Lenny!

Even Armagh men?

country bumpkin

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #14979 on: October 12, 2017, 02:05:09 PM »
How strong have Cargin been at minor level in this last 10 years?
All clubs get year groups were they aren't very strong.
I remember our club playing in the minor B. It was the level most suited to that particular year group. We won the minor A a year or two later. It's a silly argument.
Never mentioned strength in depth or indeed "winning" minor championship HS....but seems a problem exists when a juvenile team fails to field and such impacts on their opponents on the given date.
Been more than a few failures this term in minor competition.

Cannot remember a Cargin juvenile team not fulfilling their fixture in the well structured and organised South West leagues and think few in this region will be impressed at how the All County minor leagues have progressed.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 02:14:06 PM by country bumpkin »

JimStynes

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #14980 on: October 12, 2017, 06:35:37 PM »
I have inputted Lenny's interview into some very complex algorithm software and I have reached some very startling conclusions.

He uses the words "south-west" on one occasion, "south west" (without the hyphen) on one occasion and "Belfast" on two occasions.

I think we can put the SW/Belfast debate to bed now.  Lenny is there for all of us!!  Viva Lenny!

Even Armagh men?

f**k off back to Down Gís man

Milltown Row2

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #14981 on: October 12, 2017, 06:42:32 PM »
How strong have Cargin been at minor level in this last 10 years?
All clubs get year groups were they aren't very strong.
I remember our club playing in the minor B. It was the level most suited to that particular year group. We won the minor A a year or two later. It's a silly argument.
Never mentioned strength in depth or indeed "winning" minor championship HS....but seems a problem exists when a juvenile team fails to field and such impacts on their opponents on the given date.
Been more than a few failures this term in minor competition.

Cannot remember a Cargin juvenile team not fulfilling their fixture in the well structured and organised South West leagues and think few in this region will be impressed at how the All County minor leagues have progressed.

Are there finalists from Belfast in the Under 16 and minor this years?
Anything I post is not the view of the County Board!! Nobody died in the making of this post ;-)

country bumpkin

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #14982 on: October 12, 2017, 06:46:10 PM »
ďthat the top three clubs in South Antrim have failed to win more than a single game at minor level in 2018Ē.   Jeez thatís next year written off already. Sad times.
Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit and beneath a shining star of Radio Ulster and a juvenile coach of some prowess in West, sorry South of the city. ;)

bannside

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #14983 on: October 12, 2017, 06:51:04 PM »
A very good and insightful article there which offers Antrim supporters their first opportunity to grasp Lennys thoughts and plans. He certainly hits the right buttons with his answers here and as said before, for success to follow, Lenny must put in place a really impressive set up that convinces players to want to be part of it. If the buzz from initial sessions is good, and its clear that players get a vibe that this management team can deliver something special, then every player worth his salt will want to be part of it. Respect works two ways and should never be assumed or taken for granted. Lenny has excellent credentials, and hopefully he can kick start something special.

country bumpkin

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Re: Antrim Football Thread
« Reply #14984 on: October 12, 2017, 07:15:59 PM »
How strong have Cargin been at minor level in this last 10 years?
All clubs get year groups were they aren't very strong.
I remember our club playing in the minor B. It was the level most suited to that particular year group. We won the minor A a year or two later. It's a silly argument.
Never mentioned strength in depth or indeed "winning" minor championship HS....but seems a problem exists when a juvenile team fails to field and such impacts on their opponents on the given date.
Been more than a few failures this term in minor competition.

Cannot remember a Cargin juvenile team not fulfilling their fixture in the well structured and organised South West leagues and think few in this region will be impressed at how the All County minor leagues have progressed.

Are there finalists from Belfast in the Under 16 and minor this years?
Most likely u-16 Belfast based finalists as this competition proceeds in a divisional board structure.
Jeez finger on the pulse MR2.. :)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 07:17:50 PM by country bumpkin »