Author Topic: Intercounty apathy a worrying trend  (Read 5375 times)

Jinxy

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Re: Intercounty apathy a worrying trend
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2017, 11:09:48 AM »
Exactly.
The realistic chance of progression which a senior, intermediate & junior structure (like every club championship in every county in the country) would provide would do wonders for the interest levels within 'weaker' counties.
Do well you and you go up, do poorly and you go down.
It would take 2-3 years to properly bed in, but if you were to say now in 2017, that in 2021 we are moving to a senior, intermediate and junior intercounty championship structure based on NFL standings, I guarantee that would focus the minds of a lot of players.
If you were any use you'd be playing.

Rossfan

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Re: Intercounty apathy a worrying trend
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2017, 11:20:17 AM »
Too logical though.
Like the clock/hooter only the women can operate it.  :-[
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thewobbler

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Re: Intercounty apathy a worrying trend
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2017, 11:20:59 AM »
Exactly.
The realistic chance of progression which a senior, intermediate & junior structure (like every club championship in every county in the country) would provide would do wonders for the interest levels within 'weaker' counties.
Do well you and you go up, do poorly and you go down.
It would take 2-3 years to properly bed in, but if you were to say now in 2017, that in 2021 we are moving to a senior, intermediate and junior intercounty championship structure based on NFL standings, I guarantee that would focus the minds of a lot of players.

Nope, you can't do that. You definitely can't guarantee it.

---

Historic evidence (junior county football, all-ireland b championships, Tommy Murphy Cup) would all suggest that the majority of players across the country have little or no interest in competing in a second tier county championship.

This can be easily explained by the fact that playing in front of 15,000 people at Healy Park, with TV coverage, and seeing full page spreads in the Irish News is appealing to Frankie from Antrim (even if he will lose 19/20 of such encounters), and as such is worth several months of training and abstinence.

But playing in front of 300 people at Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada, and barely registering a paragraph in the Irish News... well that's actually a lower profile than club football. And you don't need a 6 hour round trip for a club match.

---

Put simply, Senior Club Football has always been the second tier sport in Gaelic Football. Attempts to introduce a new tier between it and Senior County Football, will fail miserably. And it's all down to prestige.

Lone Shark

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Re: Intercounty apathy a worrying trend
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2017, 11:44:43 AM »
Until I hear a steady stream of players from division three and division four counties say that they want a tiered structure at senior county level, I won't believe that there is any demand for it. The players I know would prefer to train all year for a Leinster championship and to keep alive the dream of "maybe, it might be our day" than to give in and admit that the Dubs are unbeatable. The Leinster SFC match between Offaly and Westmeath at Mullingar this year meant more to those involved than any intermediate final would, and that's as it should be. I'd wager you'd get a similar response from Leitrim, who would have targeted the game against Roscommon all year, and good luck convincing Tipperary (A D3 team, let's not forget!) that they belong in a second tier championship after the year they've just had.

 There's no shortage of ex-players from Kerry, Dublin and Mayo who like to push for a second tier championship, but it's easy say that when your county wouldn't be involved. They're like the Merc drivers who want better public transport, not so that they'd have to use it and rub shoulders with the great unwashed, but so that it might clear the roads a bit and make more space for them. Of course the likes of Martin Breheny wants it too. He can have more games between the big teams and save himself the hassle of mixing with the hoi polloi out in the sticks. 

Moreover, those selling the idea of a second tier championship like to promise things that they're not in a position to deliver. Already we're in a situation where the national media is far more interested in reporting bland comments from a manager or player with one of the top teams than on actual matches, and the GAA has allowed this situation to the develop. A picture is painted of good coverage of second tier games and an August Sunday in Croke Park, but what will actually happen instead is that the crowds won't be good enough, the games will be quietly moved out of HQ, and the papers will largely ignore the competition. Already I've noticed that many papers don't provide reports from ordinary games that they would have covered previously, instead going for wrap up articles, or ignoring them already. The TV cameras will have no interest in covering Leitrim vs Carlow the Junior championship so sponsorship opportunities for those counties will diminish, widening the gap even further.


Rossfan

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Re: Intercounty apathy a worrying trend
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2017, 12:11:11 PM »
And of course the present system has Leitrim and Carlow in great shape.
Anyway in my earlier piece I said to leave everyone compete in their Provincials so Laythrum can get 3 wins over Roscommon every 50 years and Antrim can get their annual tanking reported on in the Irish News.
3 levels of short sharp focused inter Co All Ireland Championships is so logical only the LGFA would come up with it.
Or every Co Board in Ireland for Club competitions.
As I said earlier I won't live to see it though.
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Owenmoresider

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Re: Intercounty apathy a worrying trend
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2017, 12:55:32 PM »
Until I hear a steady stream of players from division three and division four counties say that they want a tiered structure at senior county level, I won't believe that there is any demand for it. The players I know would prefer to train all year for a Leinster championship and to keep alive the dream of "maybe, it might be our day" than to give in and admit that the Dubs are unbeatable. The Leinster SFC match between Offaly and Westmeath at Mullingar this year meant more to those involved than any intermediate final would, and that's as it should be. I'd wager you'd get a similar response from Leitrim, who would have targeted the game against Roscommon all year, and good luck convincing Tipperary (A D3 team, let's not forget!) that they belong in a second tier championship after the year they've just had.

 There's no shortage of ex-players from Kerry, Dublin and Mayo who like to push for a second tier championship, but it's easy say that when your county wouldn't be involved. They're like the Merc drivers who want better public transport, not so that they'd have to use it and rub shoulders with the great unwashed, but so that it might clear the roads a bit and make more space for them. Of course the likes of Martin Breheny wants it too. He can have more games between the big teams and save himself the hassle of mixing with the hoi polloi out in the sticks. 

Moreover, those selling the idea of a second tier championship like to promise things that they're not in a position to deliver. Already we're in a situation where the national media is far more interested in reporting bland comments from a manager or player with one of the top teams than on actual matches, and the GAA has allowed this situation to the develop. A picture is painted of good coverage of second tier games and an August Sunday in Croke Park, but what will actually happen instead is that the crowds won't be good enough, the games will be quietly moved out of HQ, and the papers will largely ignore the competition. Already I've noticed that many papers don't provide reports from ordinary games that they would have covered previously, instead going for wrap up articles, or ignoring them already. The TV cameras will have no interest in covering Leitrim vs Carlow the Junior championship so sponsorship opportunities for those counties will diminish, widening the gap even further.
Well said. Look at how quickly the Ring/Rackard Cups were shunted off from being on the hurling semi-finals bill to being rushed off and played on the June bank holiday. The football equivalents would probably meet a similar fate.

Lone Shark

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Re: Intercounty apathy a worrying trend
« Reply #21 on: January 05, 2017, 12:58:39 PM »
And of course the present system has Leitrim and Carlow in great shape.
Anyway in my earlier piece I said to leave everyone compete in their Provincials so Laythrum can get 3 wins over Roscommon every 50 years and Antrim can get their annual tanking reported on in the Irish News.
3 levels of short sharp focused inter Co All Ireland Championships is so logical only the LGFA would come up with it.
Or every Co Board in Ireland for Club competitions.
As I said earlier I won't live to see it though.

The system is not responsible for Leitrim and Carlow being where they are. The fact that they have less than 40,000 of a population each has them where they are. However as long as the provincials exist, they can dream of 1994 and 1944, or if nothing else, grit their teeth and work hard to try and get those one off wins over Ros/Sligo/Laois/Kildare that would mean so much.

However that dream will only sustain them as long as the provincial championships are real competitions. Even now they've been devalued a little bit with the advent of the back door, but if you change them to stand alone efforts with no bearing on the race for the Sam Maguire, then they become preseason competitions. Imagine for a moment you're the Tipperary footballers - things are going well, and your dream now is to push on, to knock over either Cork or Kerry in the Munster championship and maybe win a provincial title. I guarantee you they'll be driving full steam ahead to fulfil that aspiration - but that won't mean anything like the same if instead the Munster championship is turned into this blitz competition that is boxed off by the June Bank Holiday weekend, with the big teams all keeping one eye on the real games that are going to be played in late July and August. The currency of a provincial title will be dramatically devalued as there will be no reason for Eamon Fitzmaurice, Jim Gavin or Rory Gallagher to get their teams fully tuned in at that time of year. Instead they'll fulfil the fixture, and instead of our current system where there are five championship prizes that are worth winning, instead there will be just one. 

joemamas

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Re: Intercounty apathy a worrying trend
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2017, 01:32:38 PM »
Until I hear a steady stream of players from division three and division four counties say that they want a tiered structure at senior county level, I won't believe that there is any demand for it. The players I know would prefer to train all year for a Leinster championship and to keep alive the dream of "maybe, it might be our day" than to give in and admit that the Dubs are unbeatable. The Leinster SFC match between Offaly and Westmeath at Mullingar this year meant more to those involved than any intermediate final would, and that's as it should be. I'd wager you'd get a similar response from Leitrim, who would have targeted the game against Roscommon all year, and good luck convincing Tipperary (A D3 team, let's not forget!) that they belong in a second tier championship after the year they've just had.

 There's no shortage of ex-players from Kerry, Dublin and Mayo who like to push for a second tier championship, but it's easy say that when your county wouldn't be involved. They're like the Merc drivers who want better public transport, not so that they'd have to use it and rub shoulders with the great unwashed, but so that it might clear the roads a bit and make more space for them. Of course the likes of Martin Breheny wants it too. He can have more games between the big teams and save himself the hassle of mixing with the hoi polloi out in the sticks. 

Moreover, those selling the idea of a second tier championship like to promise things that they're not in a position to deliver. Already we're in a situation where the national media is far more interested in reporting bland comments from a manager or player with one of the top teams than on actual matches, and the GAA has allowed this situation to the develop. A picture is painted of good coverage of second tier games and an August Sunday in Croke Park, but what will actually happen instead is that the crowds won't be good enough, the games will be quietly moved out of HQ, and the papers will largely ignore the competition. Already I've noticed that many papers don't provide reports from ordinary games that they would have covered previously, instead going for wrap up articles, or ignoring them already. The TV cameras will have no interest in covering Leitrim vs Carlow the Junior championship so sponsorship opportunities for those counties will diminish, widening the gap even further.

Point taken, but what if apathy does continue, where in the next five to ten years due to the demands of IC football, and the remote possibility of success leads to more and more potential county players in div 3 and div 4 (using this for illustrative purposes only) saying shag it, just not worth it.

Would it not be better to put a potential longer-term solution into place, where over a ten year period, the so called weaker counties, play in a separate championship, where the semi-finals and finals are played in croke park and the winners move into Q final. In addition, somebody in GAA marketing takes their finger out and promotes the you know what out of those semi and finals to ensure they are played before a meaningful crowd.

If I can sit in front of a key board in my office and in 15 mins come up with six quick ways to boost attendance at this kind of a fixture, surely to God, somebody who is being paid full time by the GAA can do similar, unless they are totally inept. The annual Q/finals attendance debacle on August bank holiday readily comes to mind on this.

A lot of it comes down to perception and marketing and long -term stratgizing.

Population is a very valid argument, and not to digress, but is the parential rule still not in place, where young fellas can play for county of parents. Not ideal, but when you hear of the numbers of players showing up for u10 and u12 training and coaching in Dublin and other cities, a lot of potential inter county footballers are flying under the radar. Logistically difficult, I know.

thewobbler

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Re: Intercounty apathy a worrying trend
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2017, 01:50:52 PM »
Joe mamas - what a simple world you must live in.

It used to take a crowd of 35k to break even when opening croke park. I've no idea what it is now, but that's a pretty good start point.

Now seeing as most of the counties taking part in a junior championship would be those with a smaller population and those where football isn't traditionally a popular sport, just how close to reading 35k people do you think you'd get? Even with a double header? I'd guess you'd be at least 25k short.

Obviously you're now going to make this a marketing problem. But here's the thing: marketing a substandard product is almost impossible when a superior product is available. How many Dubs are realistically going to watch Liatroim v Carlow on a Saturday afternoon in Croke, when the following day they can watch Dublin v Donegal? The answer is precisely somewhere between none and not enough to fill a Seat Alhambra. Even if the tickets were free.

Lone Shark

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Re: Intercounty apathy a worrying trend
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2017, 01:56:25 PM »
Point taken, but what if apathy does continue, where in the next five to ten years due to the demands of IC football, and the remote possibility of success leads to more and more potential county players in div 3 and div 4 (using this for illustrative purposes only) saying shag it, just not worth it.

Would it not be better to put a potential longer-term solution into place, where over a ten year period, the so called weaker counties, play in a separate championship, where the semi-finals and finals are played in croke park and the winners move into Q final. In addition, somebody in GAA marketing takes their finger out and promotes the you know what out of those semi and finals to ensure they are played before a meaningful crowd.

Several aspects here. Firstly, what you're doing is saying to half the intercounty players of the country that even though you've said you don't want this, we anticipate what you're going to do in ten years time, we know that better than you, and we've decided what you really want, even if you don't know it yet.

As I've said before, if a steady stream of players start going on the record and saying that they are not interested in playing because the competitions they enter are unwinnable, to the point that it can be reasonably assumed that this is the majority view, I will completely change my tune. Until that happens, I'll be steadfast in my view that a second or third tier championship will be a terrible idea.

And please, no more "marketing" nonsense. Every sporting fixture and every sporting body, male and female, thinks that the reason feck all people come in the door is a lack of marketing. We get it from the LGFA, from the League of Ireland, from club rugby, and from the National League of the GAA as well at times. Worst of all is the interprovincials. We had two weeks when they were the only GAA story in town and they got loads of coverage. Less than 100 people showed up at games, and still there were shills coming out saying that a lack of marketing was the problem. Ultimately if the public decide that they don't like something, they won't go.

If I can sit in front of a key board in my office and in 15 mins come up with six quick ways to boost attendance at this kind of a fixture, surely to God, somebody who is being paid full time by the GAA can do similar, unless they are totally inept. The annual Q/finals attendance debacle on August bank holiday readily comes to mind on this.

I'm sorry, but no. I'd love to hear your six things, and I'll read with an open mind when you list them, but what you are talking about is the Christy Ring Cup of football, and again I say that if the public don't care, you won't be able to make them care. More Offaly people attended the county senior hurling final between St Rynaghs and Birr than attended all three of our intercounty games in the round robin series against Carlow, Westmeath and Laois, COMBINED. Second tier just doesn't do it for folks.


Population is a very valid argument, and not to digress, but is the parential rule still not in place, where young fellas can play for county of parents. Not ideal, but when you hear of the numbers of players showing up for u10 and u12 training and coaching in Dublin and other cities, a lot of potential inter county footballers are flying under the radar. Logistically difficult, I know.

This rule still is in place but the one thing that continues to fuel players, teams, clubs and counties across the land is passion, and pride of place. I have no issue whatsoever with a young player who has an interest in Offaly GAA and who has a genuine connection with the county lining out in the tricolour, regardless of where he sleeps at night. However a player that decides that playing for Dublin is out of reach and so he'll take advantage of his parentage just for expediency is another matter. I've no doubt that there are lots of good footballers in Dublin who would be better players than the outliers in Pat Flanagan's current panel, but the greater good will not be served by the wholehearted lad from the locality losing out to the fella that never watched a club game in the county up until he decided that he'd like to wear the county colours as a fall back. I had a few chats with John Coughlan when he made the switch a few years ago and he was a nice lad who had a genuine interest, but even then it just didn't work out for him. Actually come to think of it, are there any success stories from this rule anywhere out there?

Rossfan

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Re: Intercounty apathy a worrying trend
« Reply #25 on: January 05, 2017, 02:12:38 PM »
The looks of sheer unbridled joy on the faces of the Roscommon Rackard winning squad in the post match photo in 2015 shows what winning a lower tier All Ireland meant.
Very few might have gone to see them but like the Junior and Inter Club AIs that didn't diminish their delight.
As for the theory of the 35k break even crowd in Croker - that was
A - when they were paying off the debt and
B - arrived at by dividing the annual cost of running Croker by the number of fixtures.

But at the end of the day the present system isn't exactly drawing them in with football attendances taking a huge drop.
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Lone Shark

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Re: Intercounty apathy a worrying trend
« Reply #26 on: January 05, 2017, 03:11:15 PM »
The looks of sheer unbridled joy on the faces of the Roscommon Rackard winning squad in the post match photo in 2015 shows what winning a lower tier All Ireland meant.
Very few might have gone to see them but like the Junior and Inter Club AIs that didn't diminish their delight.
As for the theory of the 35k break even crowd in Croker - that was
A - when they were paying off the debt and
B - arrived at by dividing the annual cost of running Croker by the number of fixtures.

But at the end of the day the present system isn't exactly drawing them in with football attendances taking a huge drop.

A couple of key differences here. Firstly, Roscommon weren't pulled from the race for the Liam McCarthy against their will to play the Nicky Rackard Cup, and the players wanted a competition of this nature since they effectively had nothing.

Secondly, and with all due respect to lads like Micheál Kelly that is as good a hurler as you'll see, there is no circumstance possible that will see Roscommon beating a KK/Tipp/Cork/LK/Clare/Waterford/Galway in the next 50 years. Regardless of how much any of those counties decline, or how much Roscommon improve, it's never going to happen. Bridging that gap in football is extremely difficult, but you can dream, and nearly every county in Ireland has experienced one football result in the last 30 years that proves that the dream can come true.

Personally I've no issue with the crowds element, since I don't believe that you need to have a big audience to justify holding a competition - however I do have a problem with counties being sold a pup and being told that their key "intermediate" games will be held in front of crowds of 30k plus, when they clearly won't.

One again, if players from the lower division counties come out and say they want this, it should be supported - but the idea that it should be railroaded through against their wishes is nonsense.

Rossfan

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Re: Intercounty apathy a worrying trend
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2017, 03:50:24 PM »
I wonder has anyone put the Leeny/Jinxy/me thing to the panels of the weaker Counties?
Anyway don't the wise old Administrators usually make decisions so as to save the GAA from mad young lads who should be out playing and burning off energy instead if interfering in the running of theach Assocuation☺
You know those under 25s and their undeveloped lobes and all that.
Seriously what is the dream of entering the Qualifiers for the D4 teams? Even if some of them do a Longford and bate a few big lads over the years there's still no cup or medals or big day out in Croker.
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magpie seanie

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Re: Intercounty apathy a worrying trend
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2017, 04:00:38 PM »
It just strikes me as weird that junior/intermediate/senior or some variation is in place in practically every level of competition in the GAA except senior intercounty football. I think the 8 groups of 4 with top 16 into "A" and rest into "B" is about the best that can be expected.

thewobbler

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Re: Intercounty apathy a worrying trend
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2017, 04:51:39 PM »
It just strikes me as weird that junior/intermediate/senior or some variation is in place in practically every level of competition in the GAA except senior intercounty football. I think the 8 groups of 4 with top 16 into "A" and rest into "B" is about the best that can be expected.

But it's not weird as there is a "fallback" level for everyone involved, which is club football.

Does anybody really want to create situation whereby players are forced to chose between junior county football and senior club football for their summer game? Because that's the immediate outcome of creating a second tier county competition.