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Messages - merman

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Laois / Re: The future of laois hurling
« on: December 18, 2020, 02:41:08 PM »
I believe Peter Halley was involved with the process of establishing club GPOs during his time in Wexford but I'm not positive on that. It is definitely interesting to see it being debated and thought-out here.

I wonder is there an opportunity within the club-school link model to get things started in a very simple way?
If we have maybe half of our primary-schools currently "employing" a club-school coach then it leaves say 30 schools without one.
Could the juvenile coordinators in each club get in touch with their respective schools, find out how many hours a week they can have access to the kids and bring the information to Mike Henchy or a nominated GDA? If the 30 schools could stretch to an average of say two hours a week then we have 60 hours a week. That could cover 3-6 students with a very decent part-time job when such jobs aren't exactly plentiful. And I'd imagine I'm being conservative on what schools could avail of this and how many hours could be offered.

If these coaches only got an extra hour a week into 7-10 year olds or found a few extra players at nursery level, it'd be a sound investment.

It used to be the case that the club cover half of the hourly rate and the county cover the other half. This makes it more palatable for the club and it takes some of the pressures off the already over-stretched GDAs.

Laois / Re: The future of laois hurling
« on: December 16, 2020, 07:39:53 PM »
I sometimes think we look at Laois' current struggles without considering the many different issues that all need to be addressed....and before anyone mentions it, yes, I'm as guilty of this as anyone.

It's like a massive 3-D shape and many of us are coming at it from different angles; we focus and become consumed by what we can see right in front of us.

At the moment, the County Board is everyone's favourite punching bag...and with some justification. I would consider the current board generally competent but fresh ideas, voices and energy would be welcome. Yes, its somewhat frustrating to see the same names and faces but these people are nominated and elected by the clubs.

I maintain, however, that a singular focus on the county board is too simplistic. Some call it apathy but I don't agree; I think a lot of the best work being done around the county is within the clubs and that's, in my opinion at least, more important than anything the county board are or aren't doing.
Club coach education has started to come on; from an admittedly poor base. There are still issues within club structures and I'm inclined to agree with Keyser that more amalgamations will need to be considered.
More and more clubs are developing Nursery programmes and will hopefully see numbers increase in years to come.
If these players can be retained and receive a generally improved standard of coaching, we might then see some improvements at Development Panel level.

Primary schools also need to be part of the solution. Participation in Gaelic Games should be encouraged across the whole school year and the Club-School Link needs to be solidified and enhanced. All schools should be receiving support weekly with an emphasis on the classes below Cumann na mBunscol level. The fundamental responsibility here lies with the clubs but the county board may need to find ways to provide coaching too.

At Development Panel level, I agree with positive comments made about Jason Coffey. I think giving him a bit of time will see our overall standards develop and we might start to close that with the many counties ahead of us.
Development Panels are only as good as the players involved and the current call for coaches/mentors is welcome but I still think we have a long road ahead before we see any tangible improvements.

Ultimately, that's very simple but its about incremental improvements. Limerick's success hasn't been driven by changing adult structures; it is borne out of massive increases in participation levels, especially in the city.
They have more players coming through having received better coaching. It almost sounds too simple but that's what I feel it boils down to.
This can and should be driven by the county board but individual clubs also need to take responsibility with looking after themselves first and foremost. Looking for cheap and easy solutions has gotten us where we are. Clubs need to get into schools, get kids out to the clubs and get them the best coaching available. That's what the likes of The Harps and Rosenallis are doing and their success at underage level is becoming evident.

And that's where the Portlaoise question needs to be looked at. I don't think he was labelled as such but before his career-break, Peter Halley had assumed the role of Portlaoise GDA including the surrounding clubs. He was working alongside Pat Critchely and he will hopefully get back to that role if/when he returns. One of the reports from convention certainly seemed to suggest he would be returning at some point.
We need more players coming from our largest urban centres. The hurling areas are contracting and rural communities are seeing populations decline. We need to expand our playing base and Portlaoise is crucial.
I know talks took place about the school in Knockmay becoming a feeder school to Clonad and that would be a help but unless they actually commit to developing a pitch on-site and training there, I don't see it being enough.

I'd say there's the possibility of doubling participation levels in Portlaoise going by ClonadMad's numbrs. There are 4 big primary schools that between them must have in excess of 1000 boys between the ages of 4 and 12.
Double those numbers, spread them around the clubs if possible and then let other clubs work to maximise their potential. There's no reason we shouldn't be having 200-300 boys looking to progress onto a Laois U14 panel in a few years. That's when we can start to see progress.

Laois / Re: The future of laois hurling
« on: December 11, 2020, 05:01:04 PM »
It looks like a huge ask for our lads to be honest. This is an excellent Galway team and if they click, we could be in for a difficult evening.

Laois / Re: Laois - Bits & Pieces
« on: December 09, 2020, 12:53:42 PM »
The difference between the two schools mentioned is alarming.
One treasures and celebrates sport; the other seems to see it as an inconvenience.

I note one of the Vice-Chairperson candidates encouraging the idea of a combined 'Laois Schools' side.
I understand the appeal and I'm not necessarily opposed to it but I do worry that it further absolves the schools of any 'responsibility' in developing a stronger emphasis on GAA. Perhaps I'm over-thinking it.

Knockbeg College continue to be competitive and to their credit, seem intent on enhancing their reputation as a 'Football School'. I saw some mention of a 'Knockbeg Army' who go to support the teams. Only a small thing; but it helps champion excellence and promote high standards.
Mountrath CS seem to be holding their own as say a Tier 2/3 hurling school within Leinster.
They should have a decent Senior team in a couple of years when the current Camross U15s come through.
St Fergals, despite reduced numbers in recent years, seem to maintain good standards and have that strong tradition.

Heywood, Mountmellick, Coláiste Iosagáin, Clonaslee and the Portlaoise schools don't seem to be making the same impact despite some having very strong feeder clubs.

Like with clubs, I suppose, it comes down to volunteerism. Teachers/Parents willing to commit the time year in year out.

Laois / Re: Leinster Senior Hurling Championship 2020
« on: December 04, 2020, 11:15:51 AM »
A wonderful appointment.
I'm thrilled for Cheddar himself as I'm sure he will feel he has unfinished business.
I'd also expect him to be a very popular appointment with the players. If tentative talk of a Supporters Group gains traction; he is the type of manager that will galvanise support across the hurling fraternity in Laois.

Thinking back to his previous tenure, he was very unlucky going into his last year.
My memory may be hazy but I think he lost Joe Fitz, Tommy Fitz, John A Delaney and Brian Stapleton to retirement in the close season.
Tom Delaney did his cruciate and I think Ciaran Collier, Joe Campion, Paddy Whelan and Zane Keenan all stepped away.
(Apologies if I'm misremembering specifics here.)

You are realistically looking at half a team there and with the retirees; some of our best ever hurlers and real leaders in the dressing room.
The feeling was that Cheddar was looking to develop his 'sweeper' system to be more progressive (especially with some of his minor players coming through strongly) and then he had to almost restart with a severely weakened hand. I think some posters felt we had stagnated but on reflection, I'm sure all objective supporters would say that his time here was hugely positive.

The Clare game proved that we have hurlers who can compete. I wouldn't view that performance as positively as some on here but we look to have players with the skillset to implement a game plan that Cheddar would like.
He's not in it for the short-term, he's not using us as a stepping-stone; I would be very hopeful that we will see improvements but we will also see minimum standards maintained and enhanced; hopefully as younger players filter into the set-up, we will start to close the gap to the tiers above.

I'd love to see Corcoran and Tommy Fitz stay involved and I would also like to see Eamon Jackman part of the management team. He is an excellent coach by all accounts and I feel he would bring something to the table.
I'm sure our backroom set-up is one of the smallest around. If we could support it by bringing in some more Laois people, we are likely to improve our set-up whilst keeping costs in-check.

An election stunt by the current chairman I would be thinking.
Seeing as the closing date for receipt of ballots is today; I suspect not.

Laois / Re: Leinster Senior Hurling Championship 2020
« on: December 02, 2020, 09:34:10 AM »
I see John McEvoy stepped down as Derry Manager,
Has he learnt the trade a bit with that job to be in the picture for our own job now? Johnny McGuirk with him as coach ?

McEvoy with someone like McGuirk, Paddy Stapleton or Niall Williams would be an interesting option.

Laois / Re: Leinster Senior Hurling Championship 2020
« on: December 01, 2020, 03:23:32 PM »
I'd like to think that's not the case but I'm not blind to the fact that you (and they) could well be right.

I think there are a myriad of different reasons why many county board positions aren't contested. Its regrettable but I disagree with the idea that there is an apathy around trying to improve Laois hurling and, of course, football.

But I do concede you're right about me playing the man rather than the ball in this instance.
I've said my piece and I'll leave it at that

Laois / Re: Leinster Senior Hurling Championship 2020
« on: December 01, 2020, 03:00:49 PM »

Youve a lot going on there son

And all of it wrong in relation to myself

All of it wrong in relation to your good self?

A man so well-versed in the intricacies and functions of the Tipp county board wouldn't come on trying to pass the following as anything more than pure bull.

Colt and Shanahoe to join up with ourselves.

Talks at a very advanced stage with u8's up to u21's hurling in the Jersey,being trained in Clonad and with the  club also supplying the mentors across all the age groups,a great boost for the club and also for hurling in the county.

At least own the fact that you initially signed-up to poke fun and belittle your neighbours.
There's not a single poster with any common sense who believes you're from Clonad.

And I agree in wishing all candidates the best of luck.
They're all volunteers and will fulfill their roles and duties to the best of their respective abilities.

We might have frustrations but the officers will be elected by the clubs of Laois and again; it is time the clubs took ownership of their responsibilities in driving Laois forward. Get our own ships in order, start at juvenile level, maximize the potential we have within our own clubs and see where we can go from there.

Laois / Re: Leinster Senior Hurling Championship 2020
« on: December 01, 2020, 12:35:52 PM »

The brother in law is a county board delegate in tipp, there's 5 delegates alone going for the PRO Job, nevermind divisional board elections there as well

Meanwhile Apathy reigns in Laois.

back to sleep everyone


In any case I assume you are alot closer to our CB that you let on and I wish you the best of luck in the election.

Of course he's not close to the County Board.
This is a poster who joined this site pretending to be from Clonad to ridicule and humiliate a neighbouring club just as a long-standing juvenile arrangement was breaking up. His adopted clubs (hurling and football) are progressive in their outlook and very positive on social media; I'm sure they were embarrassed with his sad attempts at 'trolling' Clonad.

Of course, he is a poster capable of good interjections but his constant eulogizing of his native premier-county is tiresome and condescending.
There are huge issues within our county board structures. These are typified by the postings of a man I presume to be from Kerry who has served a number of roles on said board over the last few years. His 'defense' of the County Board was poorly-conceived and indeed many will have had huge frustrations with his time in Coaching & Games.

There are excellent contributors on this site; I'm sure many are very active with their clubs. As High Fielder says, our intercounty structures are in a precarious state and need an overhaul at national level. As PortlaoiseKid says, many are frustrated with the malaise at county level and have stepped away.
Laois needs change driven first and foremost from our clubs. We need an overhaul of coaching methods and practices at club level so our overall 'base level' increases. We need more players playing and developing at a higher level.
This takes doesn't take county board direction. It's too easy an excuse to make. Too many rush to that simple excuse.

We have a Games Manager now, a good one. It was the one massive positive from the poorly-protected Strategic Review in 2017. He has overhauled how our Development Panels operate and such improvements will bear fruit if the clubs support them and can produce players of the requisite physical, technical and mental standards. Developing a pathway for our players from primary school to Dev Panel to Minor to U20 to Senior will take time but some of the pieces are in place. They need to be developed and protected.

From a hurling perspective, I am amazed the outgoing vice-chair has allowed his name go forward. He is a sitting duck and a candidate (very highly regarded by those who know him) with no baggage will likely sweep home quite comfortably. He is a football man and will be assisting a football man in the chair. The key decision will be who takes on the role of Hurling Chairman. I sincerely hope this man is chosen carefully and deliberately and he is given the autonomy to put together a strong committee of people willing to work to ensure our structures are optimised at county level. There are a number of hurling clubs with no representation at county board level and this needs to be redressed. There is an opportunity for change in 2021.

Laois / Re: The future of laois hurling
« on: October 19, 2020, 01:16:31 PM »
To be honest B&W I think posters have been quite measured in their posts re management etc.

I agree.

Laois / Re: The future of laois hurling
« on: October 19, 2020, 12:55:13 PM »
I think Keyser's idea is really excellent.
And I also think in Jason Coffey, we have the person to drive it.

Last January/February, over half of our secondary schools were running S&C programmes before class for our development panels. When we get back to normal...if we get back to normal...this needs to be encouraged and enhanced. Players from U14 to U16 have three years to get themselves physically ready before their final year of minor.
All our Development Panels are guaranteed one Athletic Development session a week and this needs to be continued. Mentors/Coaches will come and go so the onus is on Jason, Mike Henchy and the GDA team to make sure that this time is protected. If this isn't protected, a coaching team will come along and deviate from the plan. Athletic Development needs to be rigidly consistent and measured.
Finbar is right; the structures that were put in place over the last couple of years will alleviate some of the concerns.
One small thing I would say is that we also need to make sure we expand the base of our pyramid. We need a minimum of 48 players on our U14 panels. This should be set in stone and if it means splitting a panel east/west or north/south, so be it. We have to allow for fall-offs and the players coming in from 'the cold' must be the exception rather than the norm. The question of dual players is also a difficult edge to square. I think dual players should be facilitated where possible but I know there is a very valid counter-argument.
I have sympathy for the current minor management and didn't share the negative view that some for one issue. Their panel didn't really evolve between U14 and U17. They started with a small group and only added players this year who became available when they hit U16. I understand their reasoning but vehemently disagree with it. We need to ensure that every 13/14 year old who 'might' have something to offer, is given the chance to do so. 

On Keyser's suggestion, I think the majority of our county minors will be in transition/5th year so we have access to them for another year and a half at least. There will be very few in 6th year with kids starting primary school later now.
If Jason (or whoever) can make sure that they are monitored with a coherent schools-programme then that is a great start. Running an Easter, Summer and Halloween "camp" where the U14s, U15s, U16s and "U19"s (minus those on Minor/U20) panels come together for testing and skills sessions could be a massive benefit.
I understand the above is already planned for within U14-U16 panels and Keyser is right, the GDAs will need to take ownership of the crop between minor and U20.

There's probably nothing radical being proposed here but it does involve joined-up thinking and a collaborative approach between different coaches in different codes.
I think Mike Henchy would be well-able to put a system in place and hopefully the players, clubs and coaches can get on board with it.

Laois / Re: The future of laois hurling
« on: October 17, 2020, 03:34:57 PM »
We certainly don't handle expectation well.
Offaly relish knocking us down a peg or two.
And that's not a slight on Offaly who played by far the better hurling.

Laois / Re: The future of laois hurling
« on: October 17, 2020, 03:27:35 PM »
Offaly full-value for their win. Poor performance.

Laois / Re: The future of laois hurling
« on: October 17, 2020, 02:01:44 PM »
In fairness Merman I don’t think there are many hurling people in Laois (if any) who would want anything but success for a Laois minor team.

I'm sure that's true but there will be knives out if this team underperform....which is a ridiculous sentence to write about a minor hurling team.

Laois / Re: The future of laois hurling
« on: October 17, 2020, 12:13:09 PM »
1. Finian Cuddy (Trumera)
2. Jack Phelan (Camross)
3. Aodh Bowes (Rosenallis)
4. Lochlainn Conway (Clough-Ballacolla)
5. Philip Tynan (Borris-Kilcotton)
6. Aaron Phelan (Castletown)
7. Lawson Obular (Abbeyleix)
8. Padraig Brennan (Clough-Ballacolla)
9. Cathal Murphy (The Harps)
10. Diarmuid Dooley (Rosenallis)
11. David Dooley (Rosenallis)
12. Tom Fennelly (Rosenallis)
13. Noah Quinlan (Borris-Kilcotton)
14. Cillian Dunne (Clough-Ballacolla)
15. Cody Comerford (The Harps)

Very strong defence with a nice mix of power and pace.
Aaron Phelan is a really good centre-back and though Aodh Bowes would probably prefer to play there too; he has the physicality to be an excellent full-back.
Conway and Phelan are front-foot defenders with loads of pace and Philip Tynan is a very solid all-rounder.
Where Lawson Obular was picked was always going to be interesting, he's a fabulous prospect and I'd have been tempted to go with him at full-forward. I think, however, he sees himself as a defender and his surges forward could be eye-catching.

Really good midfield; both Murphy and Brennan are strong, athletic and can score from range. Brennan is probably a defender moreso than a midfielder but he is a classy hurler and a fine choice of captain. I really like that midfield actually.

Noah Quinlan named at corner-forward is also interesting; he's very-highly rated in Borris/Kilcotton and could play in any position. I actually thought he'd start midfield. He'll carry a massive threat if he plays in the full-forward line. Cillian Dunne will thrive on good ball and is an excellent free-taker. Diarmuid Dooley is one of the most improved hurlers around and his athleticism is a real asset. His older brother David is a natural centre-forward and will be a real goal threat with his direct running. Tom Fennelly is very athletic and strong; he'll cover a lot of ground and his delivery should be very good. Cody Comerford is another really versatile hurler with huge potential.

I think 10 of the team were on the panel at some stage last year with Comerford, Diarmaid Dooley and Phelan the only three starters underage next year, though I'm open to correction on that.

Jim O' Connor and Joe Corby are two losses but we still have really good options with DJ White, Cian Conroy, Padraig Rafter, Barry Fitzpatrick, Brian Duggan, Colin Byrne, Greg Cuddy and Sam Quinn surely very close.

Offaly reckon they have a very strong team and will relish coming in against a Derek McGrath-coached Laois team with a bit of a reputation. They'll be very competitive and if Laois are anyway complacent, they will take us.

There is also a small cohort around our own county that seem resentful of this management group so there is a degree of pressure on them to perform.
I hope they will.

Best of luck to everyone involved.

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