Rochford Resigns Where Now For Mayo


Leaving aside any tit for tat arguments on funding, the sole issue of population is massive problem for likes of Roscommon. They simply don’t have the size of population to regularly produce the unique players required on regular basis. (They have 64,000 - half are women, huge number of rest are outside 18-26 age bracket. Even if their top 40 became full time athletes, they wouldn’t beat Dublin.)

Dublin always had the raw factors to dominate but back in 80/90’s they were a Mercedes being driven like a fiesta racing against alot of counties who are only fiestas. Sometimes they won, often they didn’t. Back in 90’s, they picked a panel of 25-30 and that was it. Now every grade across the huge and increasing playing pool is forensically assessed for potential… and developed and nurtured …and that dedication maintained. This is due to the brilliance of Jim Gavin and the dedication/focus of the players who make it or strive to. The problem now though is the advance of this approach maximises the advantage of having access to much bigger player pool. Hence you see the 5 in a row not being a central core of players but continuous addition of equally 2-3 players each year with the skill, dedication and mindset.


Yes but twas ever thus for Ros and many others. The point is why the comparisons with possibly the greatest team ever? Ros were not near to beating Tyrone or Kerry or Armagh in the years they won their All Irelands. They were not able to get close to winning All Irelands when Galway were doing so. They have the greatest ever Kerry team a decent game in the one final they reached in the last 70 years but nobody ever said ‘woe woe and thrice woe’ as they patted Ros on the head and said ‘what a fine team you have’ and ‘you’ll be back next year’ etc etc be a use the whole country bar a very few dissenting voices(Con Houlihan take a vertical bow) was sold on the belief that it was all somehow ‘proper natural order’


I suppose there isn’t gonna be a McStay out at Roscommon thread.


Honestly lads to have any doubts as to whether or not corofin would win Dublin champo is bizarre. They would be the best team comfortably.


Roscommon are just the naked comparative county …you can insert another 28 or so.

Kerry of 70’s had a team built around just 15 to 16 players over five year period in an era of 3 or 4 games to win AI. (Also most guys lived in home county, approach in most counties meant that relative populations not relevant as you picked 20 for the panel and stuck
With them etc). They then went into decline for decade after one off group finished up playing. I don’t see that comparative to current Dublin team.


And then Kerry produced another great team. Anyway the point being Dublin are not the reason lads are leaving. Don’t know how old you are but many young people left Ireland in the 70s til 90s and most were never coming back or not for a long time. There’s less rural type jobs but access to other places with work is much easier now than back then. Ireland is a small country. Nowhere in Europe or America has much small-scale rural work. Places adapt


It’s not Dublin’s population v any others per se, it’s that for over a hundred years and more the gaa has massively failed in Dublin. Take out heffos team and the gaps since the war till 2011 are averaging 12 or so years between Sams. The vast bulk of our 28 are pre war and a lot from clubs with ner a dub or three in them.

That frankly suited everyone just fine. Then the locals started getting notions and here we are.


I think you’re confusing emigration for economic reasons and guys deciding not to play IC football due to commitment required versus minimal chance of success


Point is not related to what Dublin are doing (and how brilliantly well they’re doing it) but it’s more the limiting factors that prevent many counties doing likewise and competing with them


Population may be a factor, but that is the nature of inter county football, same as international soccer or rugby. But over the years teams have frequently proven population is not as influentional as it seems, Ireland wins the 6 nations, Croatia make the WC final, Portugal win the Euros,


Likes of Croatia and Portugal tie in with concept of occasional success due to one exceptionally good batch. They don’t feature regularly. Rugby complicated in that few countries play it and likes of England and French clubs run their players into the ground to detriment of intl teams.

In reality, the argument will be proven in one way or another over next 3 to 5 years if as I think Dublin will continue to dominate. It’s not a criticism of Dublin mgmt or players that they use their available resources to absolute maximum through hard work, skill and dedication … the problem is that most other counties even using their resources to same max, can’t get close.


Whatever about the wider arguement of population size, Roscommon are experiencing a massive drain on the players they already have, going off travelling in recent years. For the entirety of McStay’s 3 year term, there has been a revolving door of players coming and going. This player drain has been happening during a relatively successful period for Roscommon, where they have have been playing Div 1 football, winning Connaught titles, getting to AI quarter final/Super 8 stage etc etc. Unlike a Sligo or a Leitrim, success is not a million miles away for them. So something closer to home is at play here and not over all population size, when it comes to the size of the player pool McStay and his successor have to pick from imo. You don’t often hear of Mayo players shagging off to Boston for the summer.


Multitude of smaller factors at play as well.
Half of mayo and donegal panels (and you’d assume replicated in Roscommon) based in Dublin. Aside from disfunction of 50/50 split of panel on training, there is the wear and tear (physical and mental) on Dublin based players going back for group sessions. Hard to do year after year. Nathan mullins has done it with donegal for 1 year and for first time I can recall he’s missed long intervals with hamstring injuries.
These are not factors of Dublin’s doing but they are factors in play for others and why more remote counties maybe find to get longer career span from players outside of “he turned his back on his county”


But Kerry and Kilkenny dominate their respective sports with a fraction of Dublin population and nobody cared. If Dublin won by lads drinking buttermilk and running up mountains 'till they puked, we’d still be begrudged our success while others are lauded for it.


So the clear solution is the merge counties, no?


I don’t think that’s a runner.
Whole point of IC is having distinct identity. Plus to make meaningful difference to some, you’d need to merge more than 2 counties.
Obviously the acceptance of a tiered championship would close gap between the top and bottom in each new tier but greatest problem is the lack of real competition at the level that would be top tier.
Easiest thing for GAA might be to let it run aground in terms of spectator interest in coming years and then there will be appetite in board rooms to change. It means there may be several years like the last where football championship is losing interest for many but in long run, you’d end up with more sustainable product.


But players aren’t leaving McStay’s panel because they are sick of commuting to/from Dublin. They are leaving to go travelling, or play in the US for the summer. Different kettle a fish entirely.


I’m not sure that’s confirmed. A multitude of reasons but some will be guys who simply don’t feel its worth it or cant sustain it.
Guys going to States often play league and maybe first round of championship and then go when back door game start.
We can park for now and when they’re named, will be easy enough t see what are varying reaons…obviously any who stay working aren’t travelling/US summer etc.
BTW I’m not committing to a trawl of linkedin for ex Rossies :wink:


Maybe go back to the start and have club champions represent counties?!


what has happened is that since 2000 there has been a determination for the GAA to be as strong in Dublin as it is in every other county in terms of people playing the game (as in as a % of the population)

I remember Tom Carr had a handy stat around then that the GAA population of Tipperary and Dublin was the same. General population of tipp is around the 160,000 mark - Dublin is 1,347,359. If the GAA population is equal then it is virtually non existent in Dublin.

Logically, if Dublin had the same participation in GAA as tipperary or any other county then historically Dublin would have multiples of what we have now.

Now why the GAA suddenly woke up to this situation in or around that time anybodies guess.

But at the time the GAA had always regarded itself as a “rural” organisation - and it still does - so therefore leaving out Dublin was fine. The GAA spends about as much promoting the game in the UK as it does in Dublin, BTW.