Next year will see a new format for Under age Inter-County GAA competitions with the demise of both the Under 21 and Minor formats as we have known them for so long.
They will be replaced by a new Under 20 Championship while the Under 17 Age Group will be the next grade.
The Under 20’s will play between June and August and any player who has played at Senior level beforehand will be not be eligible for the competition.
There are some people who believe that the gap between Under 17 and Under 20 is too wide.
I dont, in fact I think this is a great move as is the decision that anyone who has played senior cannot comeback to play Under 20 football.
We witness the difficulties the current situation creates in our own county in the past and again this year with the demands on the under 21 lads on the senior panel and with the Under 17 lads in the Minor squad.
It is normal and understandable that any or all managers will want the best players who are eligible to play to be available to them for selection when required.
It’s hardly surprising that the better Under 21’s and better Under 17’s will be in the running to play at Senior or Minor level respectively or that the managers of those teams will want first shout on their services.
The new format will bring an end to that situation and players coming out of the Under 17’s will get plenty of football at Club and Colleges.
Those in the Under 20 range will play at either that level or if deemed good enough at Senior.
Players want to play, Managers want the best available to play for them, hopefully this new set-up will tick all the boxes for all involved. ( Hopefully! ).]
GOALS WIN GAMES, PREVENTING THEM WINS TITLES.
Luke Edwards is a Sport Writer with the Daily/Sunday Telegraph and a good one at that.
On Tuesday the Irish Independent carried an excellent piece written by Luke about the relegation of Middlesbrough from the Premier League after just one season back in the top Division following their defeat by Chelsea on Monday night.
It was very much a ‘ reap what you sow ‘ article, as Luke suggested that Borough got exactly what they deserved after a season of a ‘ trying not to lose attitude ‘ rather than having a good go at trying to win some games.
Some would say that the stats dont lie and a look at some of them would seem to support that notion. For example, in the case of Middlesbrough they managed just 26 goals in 38 games including the Chelsea game but conceded just 48, and only nine teams in the Premire League conceded fewer goals.
Edwards gripe with Boro was the fact that they were ‘ neither brave or bold ‘ and as a result head back to the Championship with a good defensive record but a dismal scoring one and that ultimately has been their undoing.
His assertion that because of their approach, that they had in fact been irrelevant is had to disagree with.
His piece prompted me to make some comparisons with local leagues and the results were interesting. Cockhill Celtic scored the most goals ( 46 ), and conceded the least ( 15 ), when making it 5 in a row Ulster Senior League titles while Letterkenny Rovers were 2nd in the league and second in both categories ( 44 and 22 ).
In the Donegal League Premier Division the top two Glenea Utd ( 17 ) and Drumoghill Celtic ( 20 ) conceded the least goals, in Divisions One and Two it was a similar story as promoted teams Cappry Rvs ( 13 ) and Donegal Town ( 15 ) and Ballybofey Utd. ( 10 ) and Dunkineely Cel. ( 18 ) all conceded less than the other teams. Not surprisingly most of them scored more goals then their competitors as well.
In Inishowen, Glengad United made it three titles in a row by conceding just 5 goals in 18 games but also topped scored with ( 48 ), while Illies Celtic won promotion back to the Premier League by scoring 58 goals which made up for conceding 29 in 18 game.
The League of Ireland has just past the one-third stage and runaway leaders Cork City have got in right at both ends of the pitch, goals for ( 33 ), goals against ( 5 ), a winning combination you might say.
Finn Harps ( 13 ), have scored more than Bohemians and Galway, both on ( 10 ), the same as St. Pat’s and Drogheda ( 13 ) and just two less than Limerick and Sligo both on (15 ). However the main problem is at the other end with 24 conceded, an average of two a game, and that will get you relegated unless it improves or you start scoring more.
As Luke Edwards says, Middlesbrough were ‘ neither brave or bold ‘ and despite doing well in preventing goals they failed miserably in the art of scoring and got what they deserved, relegated.
And finally well done and hard luck to our Senior Ladies GAA team on that performance in the league Final against Cork, the country’s best ladies team for many years now.
It’s been a Brillant league campaign and augurs well for the forth coming championship.
Until next week, Slan go Foill.Tags: