How Can Counties Stay Successful In Modern GAA
August 6, 2016 (No Comments) by theSharpeUser

croke park sunny

If you pick up a newspaper these days and turn to the back page chances are you will see some reference to player welfare, the demands put on the modern inter-county player or how difficult it is for smaller counties to remain competitive in the G.A.A. These are pressing issues for the G.A.A. and every week it seems like there is a different solution. The inter-county scene has changed a lot over the past 10 years, the introduction of a more professional attitude coupled with increased use of tactics means players are required to spend an awful lot more time on the training ground nowadays than they were in the past. It now takes an awful lot more time, effort, and investment to compete at the top level than it did in the past.

Much has been made in recent years of the gap that is developing between the top tier counties and the rest of the pack. You need look no further than the Dublin senior footballers as evidence of this. The money flowing into the senior set up has seen Dublin being able to invest huge sums into underage development. The fruits of this can be seen as Dublin now have the best squad by a mile in the country. You only need to look at the physique of Dublin team’s right through the grades to see the work being done behind the scenes. They look like fully tuned professional athletes who are in the gym every day as part of their jobs. This is not only down to the individual player’s dedication, but to the facilities available and the money being invested in fitness trainers, nutritionists and sports scientists. However this is not something that every county can afford and that is where the problems begin. Money is not the only problem facing counties in the current climate though. Emigration has been a huge issue. Counties have lost huge amounts of players abroad and the spread has not been even. Smaller and weaker counties have been the worst hit. Young people, no matter how talented on the field, could not make a living off the field and as a result left in their droves. Ironically counties like Dublin while having the least amount of emigration have probably benefited from players from the country moving to the capital for work. So is it all doom and gloom or is there anything that can be done to keep counties competitive and successful in our ever changing modern society?

If counties are to be successful going forward then they need to start with how underage teams are coached. The fact of the matter remains most coaches are volunteers who do not get paid. While the G.A.A has been built by people like this, in this era it is unfair to expect someone coaching young inter-county teams in their spare time to make a real impact. Not to mention that a lot of these people may not have the level of skill or qualification required to do the job. Counties need to look at where the game is going and employ qualified and experienced people to develop young players to transition into senior level with the necessary skills to compete. I understand the money might not be there to employ coaches full-time but perhaps a part time salary to entice the best people for the job in could work. If you look at hurling and football there is no doubt that a lot of players at inter-county level lack the basic skills and this needs to be addressed at youth level going forward. There also needs to be something done about internal politics within counties. No matter what county you are from you can be sure there is an issue in this regard. For too long the “power cliques” within counties have made decisions and appointed their cronies to important positions, to the detriment of the on-field success. This needs to stop.

In truth there are many more issues facing counties when it comes to remaining successful in modern Ireland. I do feel however that if the two issues I touched on are sorted then the rest will follow. With an amature game being played at an almost professional level on the field there is going to be no quick or easy fix when it comes to bringing the structures behind the scenes up to the level that they are on the field. However if a common sense approach is taken to finances and coaching then at least every county will be in the best possible position of being as good as they possibly can be.

              

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How Can Counties Stay Successful In Modern GAA
August 6, 2016 (No Comments) by theSharpeUser

croke park sunny

If you pick up a newspaper these days and turn to the back page chances are you will see some reference to player welfare, the demands put on the modern inter-county player or how difficult it is for smaller counties to remain competitive in the G.A.A. These are pressing issues for the G.A.A. and every week it seems like there is a different solution. The inter-county scene has changed a lot over the past 10 years, the introduction of a more professional attitude coupled with increased use of tactics means players are required to spend an awful lot more time on the training ground nowadays than they were in the past. It now takes an awful lot more time, effort, and investment to compete at the top level than it did in the past.

Much has been made in recent years of the gap that is developing between the top tier counties and the rest of the pack. You need look no further than the Dublin senior footballers as evidence of this. The money flowing into the senior set up has seen Dublin being able to invest huge sums into underage development. The fruits of this can be seen as Dublin now have the best squad by a mile in the country. You only need to look at the physique of Dublin team’s right through the grades to see the work being done behind the scenes. They look like fully tuned professional athletes who are in the gym every day as part of their jobs. This is not only down to the individual player’s dedication, but to the facilities available and the money being invested in fitness trainers, nutritionists and sports scientists. However this is not something that every county can afford and that is where the problems begin. Money is not the only problem facing counties in the current climate though. Emigration has been a huge issue. Counties have lost huge amounts of players abroad and the spread has not been even. Smaller and weaker counties have been the worst hit. Young people, no matter how talented on the field, could not make a living off the field and as a result left in their droves. Ironically counties like Dublin while having the least amount of emigration have probably benefited from players from the country moving to the capital for work. So is it all doom and gloom or is there anything that can be done to keep counties competitive and successful in our ever changing modern society?

If counties are to be successful going forward then they need to start with how underage teams are coached. The fact of the matter remains most coaches are volunteers who do not get paid. While the G.A.A has been built by people like this, in this era it is unfair to expect someone coaching young inter-county teams in their spare time to make a real impact. Not to mention that a lot of these people may not have the level of skill or qualification required to do the job. Counties need to look at where the game is going and employ qualified and experienced people to develop young players to transition into senior level with the necessary skills to compete. I understand the money might not be there to employ coaches full-time but perhaps a part time salary to entice the best people for the job in could work. If you look at hurling and football there is no doubt that a lot of players at inter-county level lack the basic skills and this needs to be addressed at youth level going forward. There also needs to be something done about internal politics within counties. No matter what county you are from you can be sure there is an issue in this regard. For too long the “power cliques” within counties have made decisions and appointed their cronies to important positions, to the detriment of the on-field success. This needs to stop.

In truth there are many more issues facing counties when it comes to remaining successful in modern Ireland. I do feel however that if the two issues I touched on are sorted then the rest will follow. With an amature game being played at an almost professional level on the field there is going to be no quick or easy fix when it comes to bringing the structures behind the scenes up to the level that they are on the field. However if a common sense approach is taken to finances and coaching then at least every county will be in the best possible position of being as good as they possibly can be.

              

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