Findings of Offaly Hurling Review Committee read at Offaly County Board Meeting

The chairman of the Offaly Hurling Review Committee, Liam Hogan has read the findings of their report to the Offaly county board tonight 13 months after first submitting them.

The report named; Offaly Hurling Pathway: Building A Founding For Future Success will be presented following the leak of the file to local media last week. Chairperson of the Review Committee Liam Hogan spoke to Midlands 103 this morning about the findings and what he hopes can happen for the future of Offaly hurling. 

 

Some of the findings from the committee in the report were: 

  • There were insufficient input was made in relation to our County Development Squads and therefore we began to slip behind the counties who did have those structures in place.
  • Teachers do not have sufficient training to coach hurling to the required standard.
  • There is a lack of coherence between school, club, and county especially in terms of scheduling of both matches and training.
  • It is obvious that it must maximise the development potential of every single hurler in every single club in the county and not just the traditional hurling clubs of South Offaly.
  • Therefore, we must concentrate on DEVELOPING each player instead of merely training teams to win competitions.

Some of the proposals from the committee in the report were:

  • A proposed Under 14 ½ (1st and 2nd Year) lunchtime hurling leagues will be organised and run by teachers and Transition Year Students in all secondary schools in Offaly.
  • All hurlers who are playing at either club or county senior level should be encouraged and incentivised to complete a Foundation Level coaching course and to become involved in some way with assisting the nurseries in their own clubs, or indeed some of the clubs underage teams.
  • To equip young hurlers with the skills (technical, tactical, physical, and mental) needed to reach their potential in the sport.
  • An Offaly academy for large pool of Offaly Underage Hurlers from u14 to u17 age groups during the off season period.

It is a widely known fact that the hurling supporters of Offaly have actively fought to get games back in St.Brendan’s Park Birr, a point which was also felt by the hurling committee.

The vast majority of the committee, although it was not unanimous, strongly feel that both club and county hurling games must return to St Brendan’s Park, Birr. We feel that it is the spiritual home of Offaly Hurling. As a committee they also acknowledge the fact that Birr has an 11,000 person capacity and that Health and Safety measures are holding back the grounds. It is immediately recognised that certain Health and Safety issues presently prevent full use of the ground. We must also emphasise that this must not be seen as an attempt to get to play all Hurling matches in Birr.

In their conclusion the committee found that “However, the overwhelming view coming from Offaly GAA people is that nothing will be achieved if our efforts are focused on apportioning blame for the current state of Offaly Hurling, and that our time will be much better spent focussing on implementing a plan that will lift Offaly Hurling, a plan that will bring Offaly Hurling back to the top table of hurling’s elite once more.”

“The Hurling Review Committee firmly believe that this plan, if implemented properly, will achieve that purpose, but only if it is supported by everyone associated with Offaly Hurling. For this plan to succeed it must become a living breathing plan which is reviewed and amended at regular intervals, which sets realistic achievable targets, which focuses on the DEVELOPMENT of our young hurlers, but which above all, is supported and implemented by the hurling clubs of Offaly because without their total support, this plan just will not succeed. We believe that this plan will lift Offaly Hurling if it is fully and properly implemented and we thank the Offaly County Board for having faith in us to produce this plan and for the support they have given us over the past eight months.”

The report was read at tonight’s Offaly GAA county board meeting and forwarded to clubs ahead of the meeting.

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