Sub Committee Discussion: Part 1 ‘Fixing The League’

by louthandproud on November 12, 2014

in Club, County

There has been a sub-committee set up to examine the League, Championship and options to invigorate the U21 competition.

They are meeting on tonight 12th November to discuss.

Here is my final part
Part 1 ‘Fixing The League’,

Click here for Part 2 ‘Amalgamated Championship? no thanks‘  Part 3 ‘Under (rated) 21 competition

My overall rationale is this.

Improving Players Welfare and the standard of football in the county.

I agree with the sub-committee’s proposal of including 4A to 4D teams on to Division 1 to 3.
It makes sense, it will make the bottom tier that bit more competitive too. Thats the logical way to improve junior Division 3 footballers.
However I don’t think the 4A team should go past Division 3 it could devalue the league if its goes any further as it is a lot for a one club team to maintain two senior teams in any county.

My Proposal
Regarding Division 1 and 2 the league in General I’d like to address a couple of issues.

The main problem players have today with the league is, is the fact it gets dragged out and having long periods of the season without games also the a lack of games in general.

When you break it down, the minimum amount of games a player will play is only 20!
11 League games
6 Winter League 5 Sheelan Cup/Plate Kevin Mullen
3 Championship games

The Louth Season is usually 9 months 36 weeks and teams on average train 2 times a week thats 72 training sessions

So the ratio of training to games is 3.5 to 1!

So with the training games ratio off, the season being dragged out and lads twiddling their thumbs for large parts of the season No wonder the players are getting peed off with the League not to mention the county players I’ll come to them in a minute and also, it could be argued the standard of senior football in this county has suffered in recent seasons.

So How do you Fix this?Here’s my recommendations

Recommendations 1
First of all, Scrap the current Sheelan Cup Format make it a pure knockout competition 12 senior and 12 intermediate teams separately. This current format slows down the start of the league too.
Besides, having intermediate and senior teams in a group is great for the intermediate sides but lowers the standards of the senior sides not good for Louth football.

Recommendations  2
More league games, double the league fixtures to home and away. simple.
By increasing the amount of games, It straightaway lowers the training to games ratio and players love games. I actually think players don’t mind playing this time of year its the training for weeks beforehand is the problem.

With majority of teams in Louth with excellent facilities and flood lights this can be played infrastructure wise.

Organisation wise there will be less cancellations as with 22 games, there is no excuses and here’s the beauty of this recommendation, the double league fixtures relieves the pressure on county players to be there to play all the league games.
With 22 games teams would just have to do without inter county players for some rounds. It would also take the weight of inter county management who generally gets the blame for holding up league fixtures. The Leagues could continue and club player wouldn’t be left twiddling their thumbs.

Someone mentioned how many junior players made the senior team, I would ask how many players from Division 1 in recent seasons have made the step up?
The answer… none!
Division 2? 3players! Bevan Duffy, Gary O’Hare and John Bingham
Without development squads the Top leagues are not contributing players to the inter county set up.
That’s just plain wrong and hopefully this would address it.

1. The competition is not dragged out, 2. Relieves county player pressure, 3. Improves overall standard and intensity of top league football, 4. Regular games for club players makes GAA more appealing and 5. Club players aren’t pushed to the side and 6. Division 1 and 2 could produce inter county players.

Thanks for reading let me know what you think?


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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

louthandproud November 14, 2014 at 9:21 am

Thanks ClubPlayer for your kind words…excellent insight also!

ClubPlayer November 13, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Hi Louth and proud,

Well done on a very well written piece. I think it may be your best yet.
Your comments on the under 21 and championship formats are spot on and I couldn’t agree with you more. But I do not fully agree with your comments about the league structure.

I believe the league structure is quite good. At present the senior league is very competitive with very little separating making the top four to ending up in bottom 2. With the margins of success and failure so small it makes every game a must win, which is great for the league and keeps the standard and intensity of each game high.
Next year will be my 9th year of playing senior league and championship. Every year the foremost issue I find among club players from all teams in relation to the league and championship is the unpredictability of fixture dates and the league running after championship.

The unpredictability of fixtures causes a number of issues which affects the standard of the league and causes massive frustration among players.

Late notice of games effecting work/family. Difficult for players/teams to tune their training so they are in the best condition at the correct stages. Massive social issues, when to book holidays/concerts/weekends away etc. causing havoc with wives and partners. All which could be prevented by early and effective planning by the CCC.

Running the league after the championship causes its own set of problems.

Once the league runs past the championship the fixtures are completely up in the air due to the Leinster club championships causing the season to stretch out unnecessary long. Some players are living outside the county back at college meaning there is a huge pressure placed on young guys to continue training for 3/4 weeks before a game. And this is all done while winter is fully upon us (Look outside). Ridiculous stuff. Players lose focus, the enjoyment of training is lost in winter months, some teams even stop training and most of the games lack the competitive nature found earlier in the season unless the teams are fighting relegation. It completely undercuts the value placed on the league earlier in the season.

In summary if the start of the club championship was fixed to start the second weekend in August (first weekend is puck fada) it would give the CCC plenty of time to fix at minimum the 11 league games before the club championship starts. Along with early and effective fixture planning (league and championship) by the CCC which are made public to players I believe the standard of our club games would rise, players would enjoy their seasons much more and there would be an increase in participation. No need for format revamps just a little more organisation. I have my own ideas on the Sheelan Cup but I think I’ve said enough for one day.

Keep up the good work on the blog, I really enjoy it.

Paul Crewe November 13, 2014 at 3:50 pm

Some great points and I agree with a double round of league fixtures. I would disagree that senior teams playing intermediate teams lowers the standards of senior teams. Firstly it’s Sheehan cup and it’s a time to play as many players as possible with less emphasis on results. Secondly, intermediate teams haven’t done too badly in this comp. There is very little difference between the top intermediate teams and the chasing pack in division 1.

I think promotion and relegation should be two up two down. This playoff stuff is ridiculous. And draws the league out further. The only problem I see with a double round of fixtures are more walkovers which would be a shame.

louthandproud November 13, 2014 at 9:44 am

No hassle, you make some great points Kieran.

KieranQ November 13, 2014 at 9:37 am

Sorry, thought the first post didn’t load so sent another one..

KieranQ November 12, 2014 at 11:18 pm

When the County team plays a C’Ship game there are 2 weekends lost with no games played for most clubs. I would move the Sheelan Cup from Feb/Mar to these weekends in May /Jun and this and give club players games when the pitches are in the best condition.
I would start the league earlier and have it ran off before C’Ship starts in mid/late July. Its too hard to get anyone motivated for league football after they exit the C’Shil.
This means that only the successful C’Ship winners are the only clubs playing football in Nov/Dec.

Kieran Quinn November 12, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Each time the County plays a C’ship game there are 2 weekends lost with no games for most Clubs so i would move the Sheelan Cup from Feb/March to May/June when County are playing. I would start the league a bit earlier and have it finished before C’ship starts. This way every footballer in Louth has a steady run of games and only the successful C’ship teams are still playing in Nov/Dec.

Gaa Lover November 12, 2014 at 5:02 pm

Have to agree with Aidan, the Pats have won 11/11 games in league but yet might not win the title if they lose in semi, seems a bit unfair that a team who are 10 points behind them and lost 5 games could end up winning the title in the end

Aidan Halpin November 12, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Play the Division 1 League as a league. The top team in the league after 11 games wins the league. Cardinal O’Donnell Cup is presented to the top team after 11 games are played. No more knock out with the top 4 teams

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