All Ireland Hurling Championship 2018


#964

Where was he critical there? “The referee applied the correct sanction”


#965

Critical of his decision not to send off Coen in 2015.


#966

That’s going back a bit. Don’t tell me Shefflin made reference to the same thing?


#967

That’s an awful effort Bandage


#968

He criticized his handling of the 2015 All Ireland Final.


#969

I’d prefer to be formerly windy and AI Champions than currently windy and as far away from it as the past 20+ years.


#970

That’s historical context maybe. Wouldn’t strike me as “very critical” in any sense.


#971

Leave him go through his stages of loss, hes at anger now it seems


#972

Resignation I’d say.


#973

This style is only used against teams with shite defenses.


#974

Very neat description of Wexford. An abhorrent “style” of route one hoof hurling but incredibly ineffective largely due to their strength and physicality all over the park. How a formerly windy but silkily skillful team have been transformed into a crowd of mashed potato monsters playing a turgid and grinding brand of losing hurling is scary.


#975

Trust me, if another 7 years pass and we’re nearly 30 years without winning an AI then I’d gladly accept a title any which way it comes. I totally understand why Galway supporters have no complaints with the ugly but latterly winning hurling on display.


#976

I feel you pain, having endured it for 29 years.

I know you’re acting the bollox but Galway’s breakthrough isn’t due to the preponderance of giants wielding camans that we have inherited. We simply :joy: solved a few positions where we were never quite right for all those years, fullback and centerback obviously but also a good blend at midfield. We’ve had lots of good players in those positions over the years, but it took finding dominant individuals to get us over the line.

We would have won no AI last year without Daithi shackling Seamie and the second half performances in the same game of Mac and David Burke. Daithi is priceless, if there were transfers allowed in hurling he would be like a Sergio Ramos in his pomp years.

With a few exceptions every winning AI team has a dominant figure at 3 and 6. I know the game has changed but Lohan and McMahon would be just as good in this era, as would countless other combinations over the years. Some might struggle for pace but a great hurling brain can overcome that.

Feel free to use this in one of your future articles. I’m sure you can flesh it out a bit.


#977

No wonder you’re failing your driving tests. If the tester instructs you to go from A to B, take the direct route. Scenic routes unnecessarily waste precious resources, surely something an accountant should appreciate.


#978

You can only do this if you have the men at your disposal. Wexford severely lacking in that department.


#979

‘Some counties are training 28 days out of 30 – it’s madness’
Paul Keane investigates whether GAA players are right to complain of being tired after taking part in three games in 20 days

Paul Keane, GAA Reporter
June 5 2018, 12:01am, The Times

Shortly after Wexford had hammered Offaly in their second of four Leinster Hurling Championship games, Davy Fitzgerald outlined his fears about fatigue.

His team had just given a performance that Michael Duignan, the RTÉ pundit, described as one of the most intoxicating that he had witnessed — but Fitzgerald was concerned. Asked about turning things around in seven days before playing Galway, a match that took place last Saturday, Fitzgerald revealed his fears.

“It depends how fresh we will be, that’s the thing, we need to be fresh,” the former All-Ireland-winning Clare manager said. “I need to have the guys fresh. Can we do three or four weeks? I don’t think we can do four anyway.”

In last Saturday’s Irish Examiner, hours before the game, Fitzgerald reiterated those concerns. “It’s a big ask for us,” he said. “I’ve said it before but the big thing that bothers me is us having to play four weeks in a row.”

Kevin Martin, the Offaly manager, made the same point after his side’s loss to Dublin on Sunday, their fourth defeat on consecutive weekends, which ensured they would be relegated from the MacCarthy Cup.

“Mentally they’re fatigued, physi-cally they’re fatigued,” Martin said. “We’re just not cut out for four weeks in a row.”

There was a similar theme throughout the commentary and analysis of Saturday’s Munster Championship encounter between Cork and Limerick; that expecting Cork to deliver the goods three weekends in a row was unfair. Cork escaped with a draw but, like Wexford earlier that afternoon, looked leggy and weary for spells, apparently confirming that too much was being asked of them.

“These guys are amateurs, they’re not professionals,” Martin said after Offaly’s loss. “Some of them are farmers and electricians, they just don’t have the energy levels for that. It’s not fair on them really.”

Yet haven’t we reached an era where elite GAA players are virtually training like professionals? Should their standards dip by such a rate on the third, or in Offaly’s case, fourth weekend of consecutive action? As Conor McManus, the Monaghan footballer, said this year, “It’s just hard to see what more players can do without going professional.”

Ciarán Deely, the London Gaelic football manager who works as a sports scientist at Queens Park Rangers, the Sky Bet Championship soccer club, told The Times that if players are struggling after three games in a row then serious questions need to be answered.

“If you look at it, a lot of Championship soccer teams are playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday and they’re perfectly able to do it,” Deely said.

“They’re obviously professional but we’re constantly hearing that the top GAA players are as fit as professionals. Then they play three weekends in a row and the commentary is of players breaking down and not being able to do it. I don’t understand that. It shouldn’t be the case if things are properly planned and managed. There’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to play at a high level consistently over many weekends.”

Perhaps hurling managers have been guilty of talking themselves into a problem, of inflating the issue. Deely suggested another potential explanation. “My experience with the QPR first team, who go Saturday to Saturday, is that their training is a lot less than the Gaelic teams but there’s more expertise around it, in terms of peaking, periodisation and training loads,” he said.

“Within the GAA there are a lot of strength and conditioning guys who are looking to push constantly, to be in the gym and to be running. There’s not enough recovery in there.

“I had a really good conversation with Ross Bennett [QPR sports scientist] recently. We’ve got a GPS system from STATSports for the London team and it was really interesting when we looked at the stats and compared them to the QPR academy.

“We realised that in the GAA world we’re probably obsessed with intensity in everything we do and we’re not spending enough time on skills and tactics. The QPR first team spend an awful lot of time on their passing and low- tempo work, their shape, their defensive structure, corner kicks, free kicks. The GAA world seems to be more obsessed with the high-tempo, high-intensity stuff and it takes its toll.

“I think we’re training hard but not always the smartest. You’re reading in the papers of counties training 25 and 28 days out of 30. To me, that’s madness. If you train four times a week, that should be more than adequate to be playing each weekend without breaking down. It’s disappointing to hear teams complaining about that because ultimately in hurling they’ve got what we all want in the GAA: more games and less training.”

Deely returned from India, where he trained Terry Phelan’s Kerala Blasters team in the Indian Super League, to take the London job in late 2015.

In a previous life, he captained the Wexford footballers and played in the 2008 All-Ireland semi-final defeat by the eventual champions Tyrone.

He believes that the GAA, at county and central level, has been slow to install proper structures around strength and conditioning. Dublin are ahead of the curve with a high- performance manager, Bryan Cullen, but few counties have been as innovative and there is no one at Croke Park taking a lead on the situation, according to Deely.

“I’ve said it to people in Croke Park, they need to do more,” he said. “Why not have a sports science department working out of Croke Park? You can basically have anybody in charge of 30 lads and we’re having all these hip and groin injuries, overload injuries. That shouldn’t be happening. It’s a massive welfare issue.

“The Premier League and the FA took ownership of all of this in football. They go into every club academy and audit them. How many sports scientists do they have? What are their qualifications? What are their roles? Are clubs monitoring training loads for players, their GPS stats, their heart rate?

“And it’s all tied into the categorisation of the club’s academy. If you fall down on those things your categorisation suffers and that’s all linked in to funding from the Premier League or FA. At the moment in the GAA there are no guidelines, no necessary structures that are being audited. Croke Park really needs to address that.”

Mixed fortunes
The fortunes of teams that have played three weekends in a row, or more, in the SHC

Leinster
Kilkenny Win, Win, Loss
Wexford Win, Win, Loss
Offaly Loss, Loss, Loss, Loss

Munster
Cork Win, Draw, Draw
Tipperary Loss, Draw, Draw


#980

I’d like to record my disappointment with Davy over his comments. It’s total bullshit.


#981

Standard Davy-speak. If he was managing the pick of Galway, Tipp and Cork he’d still be talking up the obstacles and pitfalls in his path.


#982

Limerick being the main one.


#983

Come in out of the sun lad :rollseyes: