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Thread: Third Tier Talk - A Championship Mk II

  1. #441
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    Quote Originally Posted by legendz View Post
    If Munster TU did want to join, it could be based on the campus locations e.g. MTU Cork and MTU Tralee
    The thing is, there’s only Munster TU. It has two locations, but one identity. That goes for all the TUs. What you’re suggesting is one entity funding two teams in the same competition.

    Quote Originally Posted by legendz View Post
    I had more in mind the larger universities e.g. UCC, UL and NUIG.
    20,000, 16,000 and 15,000 students approx. To round out the list of the ‘traditional’ universities, DCU have about 17,000, Trinity 16,000, Maynooth 11,000. Let’s discount UCD. Not because they have 34,000 students or a team already … just because. (Once a Trinners boy, always a Trinners boy. ) The TUs in comparison:

    TU Dublin – 28,000
    Atlantic – 20,000
    Munster – 17,000
    SouthEast – 17,000
    Shannon – 14,000
    All a comparable size, and some bigger than the old universities.

    Quote Originally Posted by legendz View Post
    Would universities be open to football scholarships?
    AFAIK, sports scholarships are available in all the universities. We definitely have them. But hogging them for football wouldn’t go down well with GAA, rugby, Olympic sports etc and the budgets to increase them aren’t there at the moment.


    Quote Originally Posted by legendz View Post
    I imagine they would have to see some prestige in being part of a "National League".
    There’s no prestige in it, sadly. A LoI team isn’t going to attract 200 international STEM PhD candidates every year, or bring in IRC/Horizon/industry funding, increase publications and research outputs, drive us up the Times rankings… Unless the university in question runs sports science degrees and there’s a logical tie-in, in which case it comes down to the will and vision of key people in the university.

    I’m not pouring cold water on your ideas, Legendz, just to be a *&!$. I’d love to see a team from my place in the league. The in-laws are from Tralee and I’m excited by Dynamos 2.0, so it’d be a double reason to celebrate. But there are dynamics in the HE sector that mean more university teams are fanciful in the medium term. The new TUs are going to have five years of organisational redesign to contend with, aligning processes and systems that just don’t talk to each other across campuses. Part of that, probably the third phase, is going to be the haircut where duplication of resources is identified and slashed. Nobody in that sector is going to have the time or inclination to look at a football team while that’s going on. So that leaves the old universities, none of whom have shown any interest in following UCD’s journey and all, except Maynooth, would be in areas already represented by teams. There’s an awful lot that needs to fall into place, but it will all start with … money. And this level of sport just isn’t on the radar. Sadly.
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  3. #442
    Seasoned Pro legendz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eminence Grise View Post
    AFAIK, sports scholarships are available in all the universities. We definitely have them. But hogging them for football wouldn’t go down well with GAA, rugby, Olympic sports etc and the budgets to increase them aren’t there at the moment.
    I’m not pouring cold water on your ideas, Legendz, just to be a *&!$.
    You can pour all the cold water you want. I'm more interested in mapping out what's possible. Feedback taken on board.
    Whatever about the TUs, I think the more established universities joining is achievable but you have listed fair reasons why they might not.
    The GAA season for universities is very narrow. There is scope for football to be dominant at university level. Football has a broad appeal. For the age of players moving beyond U19, there is a potential good fit.
    A Championship: 4 years - 8 first teams - 0 financially ruined. First Division '14: 7 first teams.
    Opportunity seems lost somewhere in between for new clubs/regions to become part of LoI family.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eminence Grise View Post
    Oh, but it is. Where I work has been a ghost town since late May. The only signs of life are admin staff and management, the odd PhD student, a few muggins like myself and whatever groups have hired the use of our facilities. Our other campuses are also pretty empty.

    One other reason university teams might not be a straightforward option - multi-campus TUs. Where would Munster TU play/train/draw their teams from - Cork or Tralee? Shannon - Athlone or Limerick? The mergers take about five years to roll out after the institutions are established, so putting a team into the LoI is way down the list of priorities. In time, maybe, with the right encouragement (and if it helps the university's strategy at an acceptable cost) but - and I hadn't though of this till now - is the more likely short-term effect going to be a reduction in the number of college teams? Will GMIT, Sligo and Letterkenny have to compete as Atlantic, or will they be allowed keep their 'local' campus team? Genuinely don't know.
    Atlantic Technological University actually has at least 5 campuses - IT Sligo, LYIT, GMIT, Killybegs, and that nursing college St Something-or-other opposite ITSligo. I think they may even have another campus in Mayo too. Good luck trying to get a team out of all of that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by legendz View Post
    If Munster TU did want to join, it could be based on the campus locations e.g. MTU Cork and MTU Tralee.
    I had more in mind the larger universities e.g. UCC, UL and NUIG. Would universities be open to football scholarships? I imagine they would have to see some prestige in being part of a "National League". A reserve league wouldn't attract them. U23 teams, with 5 outfield U23, should help with clear messaging that such a league is a step up from U19 to senior level. Allowing first teams with pathway to promotion should help the profile of such a league.
    Don't IT Sligo have some Sligo Rovers players on scholarship already ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by legendz View Post
    You can pour all the cold water you want. I'm more interested in mapping out what's possible. Feedback taken on board.
    Whatever about the TUs, I think the more established universities joining is achievable but you have listed fair reasons why they might not.
    The GAA season for universities is very narrow. There is scope for football to be dominant at university level. Football has a broad appeal. For the age of players moving beyond U19, there is a potential good fit.
    In fairness Legendz - You seem more interested in playing fantasy Irish football league formations. You're constantly postuing up fantasy listsb of possible teams and leagues that have very blittle structure in reality. You don't seem to have moved on from the blatantly flawed notion of 'a club in every county', never mind at every university. Apologies if that sounds harsh.

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    Seasoned Pro legendz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    In fairness Legendz - You seem more interested in playing fantasy Irish football league formations. You're constantly postuing up fantasy listsb of possible teams and leagues that have very blittle structure in reality. You don't seem to have moved on from the blatantly flawed notion of 'a club in every county', never mind at every university. Apologies if that sounds harsh.
    What I call mapping what is achievable, you call fantasy! That's fair enough of your opinion. The list is open for criticism, scrutiny and everything including the kitchen sink being thrown at it.
    If a third tier is only a few years away, I merely speculate as to the composition and the those likely to be involved.
    UL, UCC and NUIG aren't the only universities in the country. Others are listing more.
    I'm not exactly seeking one club per county. There are neutrals who are excited about Kerry potentially joining the league. The league needs a more a geographical spread, if the quality and facilities are there, and it is feasible. It's not something that is going to happen overnight. Something like the mooted third tier is the platform to expand the league.
    GAA and IRFU have a good spread nationally. GAA clubs linked to county board. IRFU clubs linked to provinces. Football is a different landscape and that's fine. There are some setups from other sporting organisations that are worth considering. The Kerry FC project will go some way in telling if a link to the local district league is a positive approach. It would seem to be for "rural counties" to have a broader support base.
    A Championship: 4 years - 8 first teams - 0 financially ruined. First Division '14: 7 first teams.
    Opportunity seems lost somewhere in between for new clubs/regions to become part of LoI family.

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    Biased against YOUR club pineapple stu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by legendz View Post
    What I call mapping what is achievable, you call fantasy! That's fair enough of your opinion.
    The problem is you continually ignore valid criticism of your fantasy and refuse to adjust your position accordingly. Even now you're calling your view achievable in spite of numerous posters giving you well-informed reasons as to why it's not achievable

    It makes discussion a bit pointless and rather frustrating.

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  10. #448
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    Quote Originally Posted by pineapple stu View Post
    The problem is you continually ignore valid criticism of your fantasy and refuse to adjust your position accordingly. Even now you're calling your view achievable in spite of numerous posters giving you well-informed reasons as to why it's not achievable

    It makes discussion a bit pointless and rather frustrating.
    If the third tier is a "Second Division", Shamrock Rovers are seeking promotion to the First Division. I've altered to a "National League", A Championship type first team promotion via a play-off.
    I would have seen UCD as a strong candidate for a second team. I've taken feedback on board that they are unlikely to join.
    The report last November that suggested a third tier is on the cards suggested universities will be included. I've taken my cue from there and have listed the 3 who I would see as achievable for involvement. People have listed valid reasons why universities might not come on board. If we get official word that universities aren't on board, that will rule it out. The point stands however that it is achievable for the likes of the 3 mentioned universities to join the mooted third tier.
    I've asked are Shamrock Rovers the only team open to fielding a second team? Are Shamrock Rovers the only reason a third tier is being mooted?
    A Championship: 4 years - 8 first teams - 0 financially ruined. First Division '14: 7 first teams.
    Opportunity seems lost somewhere in between for new clubs/regions to become part of LoI family.

  11. #449
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    Ultimately what will make the third tier and League of Ireland more attractive is that clubs won't lose thousands by entering a team into it.

    I think the way Kerry have gone about forming a "new" club to enter is probably the best long-term solution if we're looking to find clubs to represent different regions.

    For the greater pyramid structure I think the Leinster Senior League at least seem to have gone the right way, they have "Junior" League up to 5th tier (I think) and then it becomes Intermediate. This has basically ruined the AUL, which had been the strongest Junior League in Dublin but now has hardly any teams left as they've all joined the LSL, even if it means joining in the 6th or 7th tier.

    Unfortunately there doesn't look to be the appetite for a Connacht Senior League or a proper Munster or Ulster Senior League. Instead clubs are happy to play their own regional leagues, which really aren't of a consistently good standard. In time if the LoI did become a more attractive proposition to clubs and the only way to qualify was through a Senior League the CSL, MSL and USL would prosper.

    So for the third tier at present I can't really see any obvious candidates looking to join, other than maybe the existing academy teams in Kildare, Carlow/Kilkenny, Cavan/Monaghan etc but none of them really seem established enough at this stage. I could see Maynooth applying as there is no competition in their area but NUIG, UL & UCC all have League of Ireland clubs where ideally a partnership should be formed.
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    The only way a true pyramid system is ever going to work is if the FAI executive can effectively seize power from the junior and intermediate leagues. I'm not sure if the FAI set up actually allows them to do that, so it's possibly a futile exercise. The clubs will follow the money. So, if the FAI decides that beyond the third tier there's going to be three regional intermediate leagues, teams in these leagues will be the only ones that can play in the intermediate cup, FAI funding won't be available to clubs outside of this, FAI referees won't be available to leagues outside this etc. The same happens at junior level, some of the major local leagues could survive, but many of the smaller ones would be relegated to "casual football" where there's no FAI funding, refs, summer camps, coaches, etc. There's basic standards for clubs at junior level, slightly higher at intermediate and clubs have the option of promotion to national league level once they finish high enough in the intermediate league and facilities can reach the next level of standard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by passinginterest View Post
    The only way a true pyramid system is ever going to work is if the FAI executive can effectively seize power from the junior and intermediate leagues. I'm not sure if the FAI set up actually allows them to do that, so it's possibly a futile exercise. The clubs will follow the money. So, if the FAI decides that beyond the third tier there's going to be three regional intermediate leagues, teams in these leagues will be the only ones that can play in the intermediate cup, FAI funding won't be available to clubs outside of this, FAI referees won't be available to leagues outside this etc. The same happens at junior level, some of the major local leagues could survive, but many of the smaller ones would be relegated to "casual football" where there's no FAI funding, refs, summer camps, coaches, etc. There's basic standards for clubs at junior level, slightly higher at intermediate and clubs have the option of promotion to national league level once they finish high enough in the intermediate league and facilities can reach the next level of standard.

    Really there shouldn't be a Junior/Intermediate split - or at least they should be structured in the way the Leinster Senior League has achieved that clubs achieve promotion for winning their Junior League.

    Just taking Limerick clubs, as an example, they place quite a bit of stock in winning the Munster Junior Cup but there seems to be little appetite to play these sides on a regular league basis.
    I phoned the speaking clock to hear a voice speak, it said - "At the tone you will be very much alone"

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    Seasoned Pro legendz's Avatar
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    Football has a broad national appeal. There isn't going to be one LoI club per county but only 12 from 26 represents a failure somewhere.
    19 of 26 are represented at youth level. A great improvement.
    For arguments sake, let's say the third tier is established in a few years and the likes of Mayo, Cavan Monaghan, Carlow Kilkenny and Kildare are involved. One would hope it will create an environment where the likes of Meath will look more closely at their structures and what is required. There will be a clear pathway which should focus minds on what is realistically achievable.
    A Championship: 4 years - 8 first teams - 0 financially ruined. First Division '14: 7 first teams.
    Opportunity seems lost somewhere in between for new clubs/regions to become part of LoI family.

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    Capped Player nigel-harps1954's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EatYerGreens View Post
    Atlantic Technological University actually has at least 5 campuses - IT Sligo, LYIT, GMIT, Killybegs, and that nursing college St Something-or-other opposite ITSligo. I think they may even have another campus in Mayo too. Good luck trying to get a team out of all of that.
    I think there were five GMIT campuses alone. Two LYIT, and two IT Sligo. They all come under ATU banner now.

    Not sure how the university football split works with ATU now, or the other TU amalgamations nationwide. I'd presume they'll play under ATU Letterkenny, ATU Sligo, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by legendz View Post
    Football has a broad national appeal. There isn't going to be one LoI club per county but only 12 from 26 represents a failure somewhere.
    19 of 26 are represented at youth level. A great improvement.
    For arguments sake, let's say the third tier is established in a few years and the likes of Mayo, Cavan Monaghan, Carlow Kilkenny and Kildare are involved. One would hope it will create an environment where the likes of Meath will look more closely at their structures and what is required. There will be a clear pathway which should focus minds on what is realistically achievable.
    I think you've ignored this several times now, but will attempt again. Cavan/Monaghan won't ever be a senior LOI entity. They're whipping boys in the underage leagues, they struggle to get players, referees, pitches, and much in the way of financial support or even anyone watching their games. I'm surprised they're still in the underage leagues at all with Monaghan United now back playing intermediate football and running their own underage setup again, seemingly pushing back towards LOI themselves long term.

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    Quote Originally Posted by legendz View Post
    The report last November that suggested a third tier is on the cards suggested universities will be included.
    I suspect that meant basically Maynooth University Town, who obviously have ambitions and feature in the Cup. Beyond them, when was the last time a non-UCD university side played in the FAI Cup ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JC_GUFC View Post
    Really there shouldn't be a Junior/Intermediate split - or at least they should be structured in the way the Leinster Senior League has achieved that clubs achieve promotion for winning their Junior League.

    Just taking Limerick clubs, as an example, they place quite a bit of stock in winning the Munster Junior Cup but there seems to be little appetite to play these sides on a regular league basis.
    I can't get my head around how junior and intermediate football works here. In England, Junior means under-age and intermediate means the middle level between totally amateur and properly senior. So one is basically kids/U21s and the other are clubs midway to having aspirations. Whereas here I honestly can't tell the difference between Junior and Intermediate level. Both seem to play adults and move in the same circles

    Is the Irish model more about who organises the leagues than it is who plays in them ?

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    Pretty much - intermediate football is, nominally at least, within the remit of provincial football associations, even if Munster is effectively a Cork league, and Ulster a Donegal one, with the exception of Monaghan United, while junior football is largely organised by county.

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    Quote Originally Posted by culloty82 View Post
    Pretty much - intermediate football is, nominally at least, within the remit of provincial football associations, even if Munster is effectively a Cork league, and Ulster a Donegal one, with the exception of Monaghan United, while junior football is largely organised by county.
    To be fair, it's not just Monaghan. Derry reserves are in USL too.
    The Ulster SL couldn't really cover all of Ulster, given Cavan/Monaghan league is very small. Donegal and Inishowen are two separate football jurisdictions as well in junior circles.

    Given two from Donegal, one from Inishowen, Derry/Harps reserves and Monaghan, it's about as broad as USL could be. The progressive path for intermediate football would be to invite Connaught to form a North-West intermediate league.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nigel-harps1954 View Post
    The progressive path for intermediate football would be to invite Connaught to form a North-West intermediate league.
    Or if the Donegal/Inishowen leagues actually fed into the USL ,but that’s never gonna happen!!
    Irish by birth ,Harps by the grace of god.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nigel-harps1954 View Post
    To be fair, it's not just Monaghan. Derry reserves are in USL too.
    The Ulster SL couldn't really cover all of Ulster, given Cavan/Monaghan league is very small. Donegal and Inishowen are two separate football jurisdictions as well in junior circles.

    Given two from Donegal, one from Inishowen, Derry/Harps reserves and Monaghan, it's about as broad as USL could be. The progressive path for intermediate football would be to invite Connaught to form a North-West intermediate league.
    Definitely. The 3 Ulster counties in the State are too small (Cavan/Monaghan) and spread out to form a viable league. It's hard to see how an Ulster league would ever work without an all-island structure for football, as it naturally belongs to the north structurally.

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