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Thread: Third Tier Talk - A Championship Mk II

  1. #81
    International Prospect Martinho II's Avatar
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    I wonder is there any appetite for a Mayo based side to be in the loi? Castlebar Celtic is the team I have in mind! Their manager is ex Longford Town,Athlone Town and Galway Utd player Stephen Gavin. Think they are the biggest side in Co Mayo top of my head.
    Gary Cronin is he the right man to manage Longford Town?

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    Reserves Bucket's Avatar
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    The Mayo League have a couple of LOI underage teams so presumably they will continue on this pathway to U19's and then senior level. There's 5 or 6(I think) Mayo lads playing underage for Ireland so there's definitely potential.

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  4. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philosophizer View Post
    Having been born and raised in Meath and spent most of my life living here I can tell you soccer is very much the minority sport. Gaelic football rules. Even though Meath are poor these days, this is still very much a Gaelic football stronghold, no doubt about it. Also Navan is a big rugby town.

    There are some decent clubs like Park Villa in Navan, Dunboyne, Trim Celtic, and some up near Louth too like Duleek, but soccer has always been the poor relation here.

    The county has a big population nowadays, especially Navan, but there would be nothing like the interest in LOI like other similarly sized towns like Drogheda or Dundalk, or even much smaller ones like Sligo or Athlone. I'd like to be proven wrong but I can't imagine there would ever be enough interest to support a new LOI team.
    I take your point, but would respond with 2 additional points.

    Firstly - show me a county that has a genuinely big interest in soccer and which doesn't already have an LOI team ? I honestly don;t believe there is one. So by that yardstick, the league would never expand geographically.

    Secondly - there are LOI clubs which manage to survive or even thrive in predominantly GAA counties. Finn Harps being probably the clearest example. If they weren't a senior club and you were looking for where the next LOI club could come from, I doubt you'd think Donegal - let alone a small town with a population of only 6,000 within it. Longford is another example. Longford Town may not be packing out Flancare (or whatever it's called these days) Park, but they're almost 40yrs in the senior game now and have aquitted themselves well for being from a small town (10,000 people). Again - if they weren't senior you wouldn't be looking to Longford as an obvious place for a senior club to come from.

    There will be pockets of potential in even otherwise-GAA counties. Navan may not be the best example of that - but there will be others. If not, the we may as well just stick with what we've got, plus the occasional new Dublin team.
    Last edited by EatYerGreens; 14/12/2021 at 12:49 AM.

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    Maynooth should only be allowed in if they're restricted to picking priests from the seminary.

    Echoes of that Father Ted 'All Priests Challenge Match' episode

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    Could work, but Romeo Sensini is player-coach at Termonbarry Alberts these days.
    Hello, hello? What's going on? What's all this shouting, we'll have no trouble here!
    - E Tattsyrup.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    Longford is another example. Longford Town may not be packing out Flancare (or whatever it's called these days) Park, but they're almost 40yrs in the senior game now and have aquitted themselves well for being from a small town (10,000 people). Again - if they weren't senior you wouldn't be looking to Longford as an obvious place for a senior club to come from.
    I don't quite agree with that. Longford had a long history as an intermediate team and were an obvious candidate to join the senior ranks. I think they were briefly a decent junior side before joining the LSL around 1937. They had some strong teams in it; they nearly won the LSL a couple of times in the 60s (they got screwed over one year in particular by LSL incompetence) and won the Intermediate Cup five times. The Cup runs in particular always generated a lot of interest in the town.

    The LSL back in the day was a silly league in its own right - there wasn't even relegation to its own second tier for much of it - but it did at least highlight potential new senior teams (along with, as already mentioned, Dundalk, Sligo, UCD, Bray and Athlone). Leixlip and Tullamore were probably the only other regional teams to compete in the time before the LoI First Division.

    It's a pity it's now really a Dublin and District League, but it does show how if you could just fix the setup at non-league level, that suitable teams would rise to the top in places you mightn't have thought of if you were basing things off franchise football.

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    Reserves Bucket's Avatar
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    If there was promotion/relegation between LSL and LOI, would many of the LSL teams actually want to go up?
    Would the LSL change their season to the calendar season?

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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    I don't quite agree with that. Longford had a long history as an intermediate team and were an obvious candidate to join the senior ranks. I think they were briefly a decent junior side before joining the LSL around 1937. They had some strong teams in it; they nearly won the LSL a couple of times in the 60s (they got screwed over one year in particular by LSL incompetence) and won the Intermediate Cup five times. The Cup runs in particular always generated a lot of interest in the town.

    The LSL back in the day was a silly league in its own right - there wasn't even relegation to its own second tier for much of it - but it did at least highlight potential new senior teams (along with, as already mentioned, Dundalk, Sligo, UCD, Bray and Athlone). Leixlip and Tullamore were probably the only other regional teams to compete in the time before the LoI First Division.

    It's a pity it's now really a Dublin and District League, but it does show how if you could just fix the setup at non-league level, that suitable teams would rise to the top in places you mightn't have thought of if you were basing things off franchise football.
    But Longford is a GAA county. Which was the point that was made to rule out Meath.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Longford is maybe more of a football county than you give it credit for though. It can first and foremost be a GAA county, but there can still be degrees of second preference, and Longford Town top anything in Meath or Carlow or Laois. I don't agree it wasn't an obvious choice to go looking for a senior club. They may be a fairly meh senior club - I hope the Town guys won't mind me saying that! - and it's certainly hard to see where you'd get a club with much more potential than them (and that does include three European qualifications this century, and promotion only last year). But that's no reason not to try.

    But bottom line is I don't think it helps trying to pick places that "should" have LoI clubs. The Navan/Dunboyne example is a good one, where the less obvious candidate may be the better one.

    And while, say, Meath clubs are allowed tip away in the Meath District League and never push themselves for promotion to a higher level, then really there's no incentive for an LoI team to emerge from Meath. And that goes for most other unrepresented counties too.
    Last edited by pineapple stu; 14/12/2021 at 4:49 PM.

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    Like the Fonz. Only a dog. Mr A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post

    Secondly - there are LOI clubs which manage to survive or even thrive in predominantly GAA counties. Finn Harps being probably the clearest example. If they weren't a senior club and you were looking for where the next LOI club could come from, I doubt you'd think Donegal - let alone a small town with a population of only 6,000 within it.
    While I would never argue that Harps make a lot of sense, it is a big football county. It has Donegal, Inishowen and Ulster Senior Leagues. The GAA is strong as well of course, but a quick scan of this admittedly incomplete and out of date wiki page would support the idea that Donegal has a lot of football clubs and people.

    I mean this is pretty impressive, even if the pandemic may have ruined some of it: https://www.donegaldaily.com/2020/10...eague-numbers/
    #NeverStopNotGivingUp

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    Youth Team Burnsie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bucket View Post
    If there was promotion/relegation between LSL and LOI, would many of the LSL teams actually want to go up?
    Would the LSL change their season to the calendar season?
    First question - not many, would be my guess. Certainly not unless there were a massive overhaul of the costs and incentives involved. As pointed out elsewhere, most are Dublin based and my guess is that nearly all of them are happier being at the top of their particular tree, and wouldn't chuck that in order to become the next Salthill Devon / Cabinteely or whoever

    Second question - I doubt it. There was an effort made pre-COVID (and pre-FAI nua) when it was put to the clubs and it didn't look like having anywhere near enough support

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    Thanks for that information Burnsie

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    On a similar note I guess, has there been any reports of any LSL clubs interested in joining this third tier?

    (Or MSL, for anyone in the know there)

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    Ballymun?

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    International Prospect Martinho II's Avatar
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    I think myself that there seemed to be a more of a connection with Longford Town FC amongst the locals when we were playing in Abbeycartron and more locals in the side. But I have found myself since we moved to the Strokestown Road that the old reliables that were regulars in Abbeycartron dont come out any more cos of the lack of locals in the side. For the 1st 16 yrs of our loi history we struggled to get the crowds out.

    It was thanks to the hard work of SK that ppl started coming out again in their droves even the GAA heads. That was the power of Stephen Kenny and his appeal to all ppl of all diff societies. We have struggled to have a quality manager since SK. I for one feel that the crowds we got 20 years ago will never be the same again as even when we were winnin trophies under AM we didnt hit as big of gates as the GAA heads got sick of AM football.
    I find with our support base that the majority of our support are scattered around Co Longford . I for one am five miles out of Longford Town. Other lads I know are the same.

    To sum it up I think if we moved closer to Longford again then more people would come out but that wont change!
    Gary Cronin is he the right man to manage Longford Town?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Martinho II View Post
    I think myself that there seemed to be a more of a connection with Longford Town FC amongst the locals when we were playing in Abbeycartron and more locals in the side. But I have found myself since we moved to the Strokestown Road that the old reliables that were regulars in Abbeycartron dont come out any more cos of the lack of locals in the side.
    You hear that excuse raised at some point or other at pretty much every club outside of Dublin to be honest. And then when the said club does go down the local route again, those supporters still don't bother turning up.

    Bottom line is that success brings fans out (and for a small place like Longford - success will almost certainly rely on a large helpign of outside players). Following a football team involves lots of ups and downs over time. It's just a lot easier to blame the club whenever you can't be arsed to watch them any more in a down spell than it is to just be honest about the fact that you can't be arsed going any more. Hence why you hear that excuse at so many clubs.

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  20. #97
    International Prospect Nesta99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    You hear that excuse raised at some point or other at pretty much every club outside of Dublin to be honest. And then when the said club does go down the local route again, those supporters still don't bother turning up.

    Bottom line is that success brings fans out (and for a small place like Longford - success will almost certainly rely on a large helpign of outside players). Following a football team involves lots of ups and downs over time. It's just a lot easier to blame the club whenever you can't be arsed to watch them any more in a down spell than it is to just be honest about the fact that you can't be arsed going any more. Hence why you hear that excuse at so many clubs.
    Aye and when Dundalk managed both success and locals in the side those same people wouldnt go as they didnt want to be seen as glory hunters...

    Are there legit reasons for LSL not to align the season with LoI? apart from some inconvenience and not wanting LoI to be the standard barer. At least partial alignment with the LoI season could be managed if the old nugget of summer holidays are rolled out as a reason not to play in a summer season - we play half a seasons worth of games nearly between Feb and May.

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    Always good to have a good few locals in any clubs team, I would say it does matter, but agree it is used as an excuse often (success matter more). One issue I have a problem with is the requirement to train locally. Many Gaa county teams have organised training sessions in Dublin over the years to facilitate players based in the capital. With the biggest share of players (of the required talent) located in the Dublin area, having training near them during the week makes financial sense.

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    Its a valid argument but it does seem to help a connect between players and supporters, at least superficially. Its a long while back now but one of the reasons Dundalk stopped training in Dublin for Dublin based players is that the manager at the time wasnt the most punctual or reliable and players on occasions ran the session. Funny how the players said nothing until the manager left and their contracts were up for renewal!!

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    If you are relying on the manager to build interest that is sustainable you are wasting your time. Longford have better facilities than most in the league. They are out of the town but why not run buses to help people get there. Maybe its time to try and really build interest in the club from the much bigger town just up the road. Mullingar. Its unlikely Bishopsgate will be replaced by houses so where is the money to come from if the club were to move. Longford got a lot of people into the town in the last 20 years and they are not at all Gaa players.

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