Author Topic: The Future of Dublin Football (according to Colm O'Rourke)  (Read 3375 times)

Lar Naparka

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The Future of Dublin Football (according to Colm O'Rourke)
« on: November 19, 2018, 07:30:24 PM »
Anyone got an opinion on what O'Rourke has to say?
 Fire ahead...
« Last Edit: November 20, 2018, 12:58:56 AM by Lar Naparka »
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manfromdelmonte

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Re: The Future of Dublin Football (according to Colm O'Rourke)
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2018, 07:44:41 PM »
Totally agree
Money being spent on the crapfest that is the Fenway classic and no money available for rural gaa development plans in the likes of Midland counties

Maiden1

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Re: The Future of Dublin Football (according to Colm O'Rourke)
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2018, 10:21:28 PM »
I agree with the article.  Dublin's average win in the Leinster Championship was 20 points and in pretty much every other game after that I thought they won pulling up.  From the round robin onwards they brought a new game management tactic to keep the ball and take time of the clock when they got a 6 or 7 point lead.  It might be a good enough tactic but I get the feeling if they took the handbrake off they could have won every game by 10+ points.  More than negative tactics being an issue is that this year in particular was a 1 horse race.

Is it that there is a lack of development plans in the midlands or that there isn't as many people living in these places any more?  In the past you might have a small club with 5 or 6 big strong sons from 1 or 2 families that that made up the spine of a good club or county team but that doesn't happen near as much any more 1 because people don't have as many children and 2 because they are probably sat at their playstation playing fortnite or doing silly things like homework instead of being out in the back field to all hours learning the skills kicking lumps out of each other.  It's not impossible but it is harder to compete now that ever before.
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Farrandeelin

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Re: The Future of Dublin Football (according to Colm O'Rourke)
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2018, 10:36:37 PM »
Link doesn't work for me Lar.
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Rossfan

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Re: The Future of Dublin Football (according to Colm O'Rourke)
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2018, 11:03:27 PM »
Couldn't see it either.
If rural no economy Roscommon and Monaghan can produce players ton make them top 10 teams surely to God the better off  bigger populated Counties of Laois, Offaly and Westmeath should be able to do so also?
Or is th'oul hurley stuff getting in the way?
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Lar Naparka

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Re: The Future of Dublin Football (according to Colm O'Rourke)
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2018, 11:11:59 PM »
Couldn't see it either.
If rural no economy Roscommon and Monaghan can produce players ton make them top 10 teams surely to God the better off  bigger populated Counties of Laois, Offaly and Westmeath should be able to do so also?
Or is th'oul hurley stuff getting in the way?
Dunno what happened lads, it was working fine when I posted it.

Here is the article in full:
We have to talk about Dublin and by extension, everywhere else. That causes complications. It elicits a strong response from the normal quarters so it is difficult to make any case without the debate turning into something unintended.

So it would be nice if the debate on the future role of Dublin at both club and county level was conducted free from prejudice. It would also be nice if it's free from the standard reply of players who, almost like they're following a rehearsed script, will argue that Dublin's success is down to all the volunteers who put in an enormous amount of work when players are coming up through the ranks. We all know that. It is not the point.

It should also be free from former players saying that Dublin have only won a relatively small amount over the last 50 years and nobody mentioned any changes to the status of Kilkenny or Kerry when they were hoovering up All-Irelands. That is not the point either.

And the clowns who could not help themselves but launch into a tirade of abuse about my writings on a debate about splitting up Dublin after this year's All-Ireland are certainly not the point either.

And free from administrators arguing that the population and financial clout of Dublin does not give it an unfair advantage. They are missing the point altogether, but naturally enough self-preservation is the key there.

This debate is unlikely to come at central level for some time. John Costello, the Dublin chief executive, has no interest in it, neither has the president John Horan, from Dublin, and it does not appear to be on the radar of Tom Ryan, who has spent a lot of time involved with Dublin club hurling. It is up to him mainly to plot a course for the next decade and let us all know his vision.

In some respects it is a very bad time to question anything about Dublin. The easy thing for opponents to say when Dublin are on top is that the arguments are borne out of envy, jealousy or worse. That the problem lies with poor standards elsewhere and people should look after their own business rather than interfering with the brand that is successful. There is certainly merit in identifying the failures in many counties, none more so than in Meath, but that does not tackle the issue.

Even when this great Dublin team are beaten, the issue will remain that the natural advantages of the capital city and county are such that few counties will be competitive again (many never were), but also more importantly that the present model of the GAA in Dublin is not good for the organisation long term. Maybe not even for Dublin itself where it is still a struggle for the GAA to gain traction in plenty of city areas. Football has become a middle-class game and old working-class communities play soccer primarily rather than football or hurling. There is a need for more clubs.

There is also a major issue of player opportunity which should be addressed. Few players will get the chance to play with Dublin relative to the numbers available, even some of the very best. Over the last few weeks I have watched Kilmacud Crokes in the flesh twice. First in the Dublin county final and last week against Dunboyne in the Leinster club championship.

Dunboyne were certainly way below their usual standard, yet at the same time I could not help but think that there are at least six Kilmacud players who would get on almost all county teams, except Dublin of course. That is leaving out Paul Mannion, whose standard of play is in a different league altogether. Are they lucky to be born in Dublin and playing with a great club side or unfortunate that they have no chance of playing county football?

Opinions may differ on this, but every player would like to test themselves at the highest possible level. Should they be allowed to declare for someone else? Should other counties be allowed to approach players in Dublin clubs who would make a big difference to their cause?

Perhaps those in positions of influence might give their views on that. A type of transfer system. Obviously many of the weaker counties would not be attractive in this context, so it would only benefit a few. Yet something is needed to rebalance a county game which is less and less competitive.

Kilmacud may not win the Leinster or All-Ireland club championship this year, but they would beat half the county teams in the country. In some ways the success and brilliant organisation of clubs like Kilmacud and Ballyboden, who can turn out over a hundred teams, also reflects other issues which need discussion within Dublin. At what point are clubs too big? Would more clubs attract more players?

This is a growing city problem which is in absolute contrast to many rural clubs who are finding it increasingly difficult to field teams at underage level. Smaller families and falling population as a result of planning laws is destroying not just clubs but rural life as well. Who has a plan for that? GAA clubs have to amalgamate, sometimes two or three clubs to field an underage team. The strong get stronger, the weak get trampled on.

I thought of this when I saw on TV recently that the power stations of the midlands are closing - an absolute hammer blow to a lot of rural areas. To the GAA club, to the local national school, the post office, the shop, the pub, everything that binds these communities together. Maybe I missed something but I see nobody shouting stop or offering any hope that people can continue to live in the place where they want to raise their family.

Then there is the first-world problem of continued Dublin domination. Of course it will end in its present form, but because the resources in terms of players, finance, coaching and management are vastly superior to everywhere else, any Dublin setback will be temporary.

This does not entitle counties to give up, but a proud county like Offaly is losing more than bogs and power stations. Up to 20 years ago Offaly could take on Dublin as equals. It is not going to happen again unless I'm reading the tea leaves wrongly. This is now a mini taking on a juggernaut.

The very obvious thing to do is to divide Dublin up into several different teams. That suggestion causes palpitations among the Dublin hierarchy who just want to let the good times roll. That recommendation was made more than 15 years ago by a committee of top brains in Croke Park but has been ignored by all those at central level since, and of course Dublin swept it under the carpet as fast as possible. There it remains, depriving hundreds of young Dublin footballers of playing underage for some Dublin team and ensuring great adult footballers are frozen out.

Would Dublin supporters warm to these divisions and turn out in numbers in Croke Park? Would there be more at Dublin Fingal versus Dublin South than Dublin against Wicklow or Wexford? Even Jim Gavin can't make that look exciting. The present Leinster Championship is a dead duck. It is not retrievable. Hoping that something will turn up is not a policy.

So the GAA trudges on. It will hardly die out anywhere, even in places where the population of young people continues to decline through temporary emigration or a permanent fall in numbers, often not assisted by local authority planning where the future in the eyes of planners seems to be about shoehorning everyone into towns instead of creating plenty of vibrant villages. Local pride dictates that some sort of a team takes the pitch, nobody wants to let the light go out on their watch. These are also the societal issues which threaten the GAA.

So this is where city and country collide. Dublin is one side of the coin and much of the midlands reflects the other. If somebody in authority is suggesting that Dublin county and clubs get bigger and stronger and rural Ireland decays then we have a serious problem. Because by doing nothing that is exactly the implication.

Soon, new rules will emerge which will attempt to tackle the drift towards repetitive handpassing in football which is boring supporters to the point where they are choosing not to watch games. That is a problem.

Much more urgent, though, is the silent destruction of the GAA where rural clubs are struggling to field teams and where there is a complete lack of competition at county level. This is a structural issue which must start with a debate on Dublin. If things are allowed to drift for another ten years then the GAA as a national movement will be a much lesser organisation. The success of Dublin as a county and the sheer scale of their clubs won't paper over those cracks. The original design of the GAA was one of a socialist mass movement. Now it has become elitist. I don't like the drift.
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Rossfan

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Re: The Future of Dublin Football (according to Colm O'Rourke)
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2018, 11:26:15 PM »
Can't disagree with much of that.
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manfromdelmonte

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Re: The Future of Dublin Football (according to Colm O'Rourke)
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2018, 11:27:45 PM »
The link has a few characters wrong at the start

The Midland counties should be relying on their larger towns to produce players, however
Portlaoise only has one GAA club for 22000 people
Mullingar for 20000+ people has 2 football and one hurling
Athlone for 21k + has one hurling and two football

Where is the urban development plan in those towns? Non existent!

tonto1888

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Re: The Future of Dublin Football (according to Colm O'Rourke)
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2018, 11:51:49 PM »
A type of transfer system? Letís say that happens and loads of these Dublin club players turn out for other counties. Wouldnít that just create a problem in said counties where their own players canít get a game?

blast05

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Re: The Future of Dublin Football (according to Colm O'Rourke)
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2018, 12:16:46 AM »
The link has a few characters wrong at the start

The Midland counties should be relying on their larger towns to produce players, however
Portlaoise only has one GAA club for 22000 people
Mullingar for 20000+ people has 2 football and one hurling
Athlone for 21k + has one hurling and two football

Where is the urban development plan in those towns? Non existent!

For Athlone, you are only referring to east of the Shannon there. On the west of the Shannon, you have a large chunk of the catchment areas of Clann na Gael and even a piece of St Brigids....... so 4 football clubs (including Garrycastle and Athlone), 3 of whom have competed on All-Ireland club final day while the 4th has the most Westmeath senior championships. And strangely, people still consider it a soccer town because of the history of Athlone Town ... despite them usually getting about 2 men and a dog at their home games.
Add to that in Westmeath, you have Castledaly as a senior club who are only a few miles outside the town boundary and Tubberclair & Caulry (both currently intermediate and occasionally senior) also about 4/5 miles out.


Orchard park

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Re: The Future of Dublin Football (according to Colm O'Rourke)
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2018, 09:14:52 AM »
Well said O'Rourke...

I see it here in Limerick, na. piarsaigh grow into a Kilmavud Crokes while other city clubs flounder and west limerick continues to be depopulated

TheGreatest

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Re: The Future of Dublin Football (according to Colm O'Rourke)
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2018, 10:16:10 AM »
I agree with a lot about what he says and some good points made above about large towns, I.E one team in Portlaose of 15k etc.

But this:

The very obvious thing to do is to divide Dublin up into several different teams. That suggestion causes palpitations among the Dublin hierarchy who just want to let the good times roll. That recommendation was made more than 15 years ago by a committee of top brains in Croke Park but has been ignored by all those at central level since, and of course Dublin swept it under the carpet as fast as possible. There it remains, depriving hundreds of young Dublin footballers of playing underage for some Dublin team and ensuring great adult footballers are frozen out.

Would Dublin supporters warm to these divisions and turn out in numbers in Croke Park? Would there be more at Dublin Fingal versus Dublin South than Dublin against Wicklow or Wexford? Even Jim Gavin can't make that look exciting. The present Leinster Championship is a dead duck. It is not retrievable. Hoping that something will turn up is not a policy.


1. Over my dead body and the body of all Dublin supporters.
2. If it did happen I would never support a divisional Dublin team, I know others wouldnt either.


JoG2

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Re: The Future of Dublin Football (according to Colm O'Rourke)
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2018, 11:02:07 AM »
I agree with a lot about what he says and some good points made above about large towns, I.E one team in Portlaose of 15k etc.

But this:

The very obvious thing to do is to divide Dublin up into several different teams. That suggestion causes palpitations among the Dublin hierarchy who just want to let the good times roll. That recommendation was made more than 15 years ago by a committee of top brains in Croke Park but has been ignored by all those at central level since, and of course Dublin swept it under the carpet as fast as possible. There it remains, depriving hundreds of young Dublin footballers of playing underage for some Dublin team and ensuring great adult footballers are frozen out.

Would Dublin supporters warm to these divisions and turn out in numbers in Croke Park? Would there be more at Dublin Fingal versus Dublin South than Dublin against Wicklow or Wexford? Even Jim Gavin can't make that look exciting. The present Leinster Championship is a dead duck. It is not retrievable. Hoping that something will turn up is not a policy.


1. Over my dead body and the body of all Dublin supporters.
2. If it did happen I would never support a divisional Dublin team, I know others wouldnt either.


as long as your OK. The AI, and in particular the Leinster Championship are farcical atm. What was your thoughts whilst watching the Leinster draw these last few years??

LeoMc

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Re: The Future of Dublin Football (according to Colm O'Rourke)
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2018, 12:46:49 PM »
Well said O'Rourke...

I see it here in Limerick, na. piarsaigh grow into a Kilmavud Crokes while other city clubs flounder and west limerick continues to be depopulated

How do you do resolve that issue? Splitting a County like Dublin is one thing where there are natural demarcation lines but a club is a more grass roots organisation.
I don't know the geography of the Na Piarsigh nor the Dublin club catchment areas but I cannot see how you would split out a club to create a new one bar the traditional row and walk out.

Hound

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Re: The Future of Dublin Football (according to Colm O'Rourke)
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2018, 01:16:13 PM »
as long as your OK. The AI, and in particular the Leinster Championship are farcical atm. What was your thoughts whilst watching the Leinster draw these last few years??
Agreed. But Kildare and Meath have to take a some portion of the responsibility. While Dublin have improved hugely in the last decade, they haven't even stood still. And they haven't got the de-population excuses that many counties have. If they were at the Mayo/Kerry level (which they should be), then we would have had decent games in Leinster every year. Cork are similarly gone to sheight for no apparent reason. But that's an aside.

What O'Rourke is of course right in is identifying migration out of rural towns and villages as having a huge impact on the competitiveness of many counties, and that's only going to get worse. But his "solution" (the splitting of Dublin) doesn't in any way address the problem!

It's a bigger issue than the GAA, as he mentioned it's post offices, garda stations, pubs, shops, etc etc all on the decrease. The IDA gives employment grants to companies who set up outside Dublin (X thousand per head). Maybe that should be extended to companies who choose to move jobs from Dublin to country (outside commuter belt). And Charlie McCreevy's decentralisation program should be re-hashed. It would have helped a whole heap had they had the balls to push it through. No doubt it would have pissed off a thousand people or so (for a short time only I suggest - I'm sure it's lovely living down the country in the fresh air, cheaper pints  ;D, less crowded classrooms etc), but it would have a huge positive impact for local economies, and local GAA clubs!

Really not sure how splitting Kilmacud makes any difference. They struggle as it is to find pitches for all their teams.