The GAA 2008 Thread

Since the season has begun with the minor competitions underway in all the provinces, now is as good a time as any to open this thread.

Following the removal of 2 league system and back to the traditional system, these are the 4 NFL divisions and their competitors:

Division 1:
Donegal (reigning league champions)

Division 2:
Cork (if they bother)

Division 3:

Division 4:

The hurling, however has retained the split divisional structure:

Division 1

Cork, Kilkenny, Dublin, Antrim, Waterford, Wexford

Clare, Laois, Galway, Offaly, Limerick, Tipperary

Division 2

Armagh, Carlow, Derry, Laois, Meath, Wicklow

Kerry, Kildare, London, Mayo, Westmeath

Division 3

Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan, Sligo

Cavan, Fermanagh, Longford, Roscommon, Tyrone

Some Dublin news today.

  1. Barry Cahill is out for a couple of months with a knee injury. I’d heard he was out long term but is saying 6-8 weeks which isn’t bad at all and barely merits a post.

  2. Alan Brogan named captain. Aside from any feelings on how good/bad/inspirational/selfish he might be as a captain it’s great news that Collie Moran isn’t an automatic pick anymore. One of the most glaringly obvious bad decisions of recent times.

The main news from the home of the All Ireland Football champions is:

Paul Galvin appointed as Captain for 2008, due to his divisional team winning the County Championship. It’s an excellent result for the Kingdom as Galvin will be an inspirational leader.

The Gooch has decided to stay on in the US after the team holiday (i.e. now) and isn’t planning to come back until after the League. He has decided that he needs the (well-deserved) break especially after having a very long season last year with the club reaching the All-Ireland club final (which went to a replay) and of course the championship. However most Kerry people believe that he will be back for the latter parts of the league when he finds out that good looking birds won’t score with him in yankeeland as he ain’t known there :-). So hopefully he will come back mad for it (the football).

In other more relevant news, Naomh Mearng have begun a new stretching regime to compliment their weights sessions and apparently ‘it’s a fucking killer’.

Hey those are some nice weights ye have there.

The laughing stock of Gaelic Football,Carlow gladly handed that particular banner over to Wexford last night with a 1-13 to 0-11 defeat of the Yellabellies last night in the O’Byrne Cup.

Carlow advance to a semi final meeting with Dublin in Parnell Park on Saturday

Think that game is on Setanta - I reckon they were hoping it would be Wexford. Jason Ryan looks to be doing a cracking job there though: not many teams will restrict Carlow to 16 points this season, whatever the competition. And certainly not many will come within 5 of a sensational win.

[quote=“thedancingbaby”]The laughing stock of Gaelic Football,Carlow gladly handed that particular banner over to Wexford last night with a 1-13 to 0-11 defeat of the Yellabellies last night in the O’Byrne Cup.

Carlow advance to a semi final meeting with Dublin in Parnell Park on Saturday[/quote]

We achieved all our objectives in the competition when defeating Laois last week so it was merely time to get out it to prepare for the League and Championship at our own pace and in our own way.

Worrying news about one of my favourite players. Hopefully it’s routine and he’ll be back later in the year:

It has been confirmed that Fermanagh defender Barry Owens will undergo a minor heart operation in the next few weeks which will see him ruled out of competitive football for the next few months.

The two-time All-Star is due to miss most Fermanagh`s league campaign but may see a return during the championship should the Erne County advance to the latter stages.

A statement released by the Fermanagh County Board today requested privacy for Owens and his family during this time.

As you can appreciate with any operation there are concerns and risks and at this time we would appeal to the media to give Barry and his family privacy, the statement read.

We all wish Barry a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him back in competitive action for his club and county.

when i first heard the news i thought “sweet” as fermanagh play leitrim in first round of the league. very selfish on my part and i wish Mr Owens every good wish with his operation.

As an aside, I think the spilt of the hurling league groups is quite ridiculous. You have the four best teams in the country - Kilkenny, Waterford, Wexford and Cork - all in the same division and so Dublin and Antrim is effectively a relegation play-off already. On the other hand, the second group is far weaker with it comprising Laois, Offaly, Galway, Clare etc.

A superb result for Dublin last night to hold Carlow to a draw after extra-time in the O’Byrne Cup semi-final. Carlow will be disappointed they didn’t put away the plucky minnows from the capital first time around but they should comfortably dispose of them on home ground next Sunday. Despite their slip up last night, it would appear that Carlow are the form team so far this season, along with Leitrim, and you’d have to fancy either of these two to take the ultimate prize of the All-Ireland next September.

Carlow beat a fine Wexford team easily so they will fancy their chances of going all the way to the third Sunday in September…

That was my point Farmer. See post above.

Neither Carllow nor Leitrim will win the All Ireland this year. I’m going for Kerry

Disagree strong there. It’d be foolish in the extreme to discount FBD League or O’Byrne Cup form - just look at how Wicklow ended up taking Croke Park honours last Autumn on the back of their OBC run.

This is quite a shame as he’s a superb footballer. From RTE:

O’Neill hangs up Tyrone boots

Thursday, 24 January 2008 23:40

Tyrone star Stephen O’Neill has revealed his retirement from inter-county football at the age of 27.

The talented forward has been blighted by a complex knee tendonitis condition over the past year, having struggled previously with both knee and hamstring injuries.

He underwent knee surgery at the end of last season but complications following the operation left the Strabane man’s 2008 season in some doubt.

He met specialists last week in Belfast, who informed him that a combination of surgery and a specially designed programme of physiotherapy exercises had not had the desired effect.

The Gortin-based primary school teacher was set to sit out a large chunk of the 2008 season, but he has now conceded defeat to the injury.

Admitting that O’Neill’s decision to quit was not just injury-related, Tyrone manager Mickey Harte told BBC Sport: ‘Stephen feels that he has no more to give to the county. Injury does deflate people but I don’t think that it was just injury, that was part of his thought-process.’

O’Neill, who will continuing playing for his club Clann na nGael when injury free, first told Harte that he was considering ending his time at the top level in October.

‘I was hoping that we would be able to change his mind and that he would come round once he got over his knee problem but his mind is made up,’ Harte added.

‘He has thought this decision through very carefully and we have to respect his decision and be grateful for the tremendous service that he gave the county. We wish him all the best for the future.’

The possessor of a brilliant left foot, O’Neill was a vital cog in the Red Hands sides that claimed All-Ireland success in both 2003 and 2005.

He won All-Star awards in both 2001 and 2005 and he amassed more than 60 points during Tyrone’s second All-Ireland-winning campaign of 2005, a season which ended with him playing for the Ireland International Rules team and being selected as the Footballer of the Year.

O’Neill is a huge loss to Tyrone - class act

I propose we change the title of this thread to “The Culchie Muck Savages 2008 thread”

I didn’t realise O’Neill was so badly fucked.

He was a superb player alright. To think Tyrone won the All-Ireland in 2003 with him on the bench!!!

Remember 2005 where they destroyed Kerry in the final. Their full-forward line was O’Neill, Canavan and Mulligan. I know O’Neill had no part in it but I rank Canavan’s goal in that match the best goal I have seen ever in Gaelic Football. The determination, the will to get the ball and then the finish with his bad foot against a keeper who hadn’t conceded a goal in that Championship to that point. Superb.

O’Neill was such a sweet striker of the ball. A pure natural.