Admin Login

County Minor Trials Consigned to History?

By damian Fri 3rd Jul

County Minor Trials Consigned to History?
County Minor Trials Consigned to History?

“We are going to bring to an end the age old tradition of having trials for the county minor team and we’re going to  start that process immediately”.  That’s the message from Tyrone Coaching Officer Benny Hurl who spoke exclusively to ahead of Tuesday night’s county committee meeting in Garvaghey.  The officers and club delegates gathering at the home of Tyrone GAA will hear a report from Hurl highlighting the need to in future stop weeks and weeks of what he believes is needless trialling ahead of the formation of a Tyrone minor football panel in 2016.
In recent years the incoming Tyrone minor manager might well have trialled up to and over 200 players over the course of a number of weeks.  That number was then whittled down to an extended training panel before eventually chopped to the panel required to prepare for the Ulster Minor League and Championship.  According to Benny that process is flawed and it needs to come to end.
“We’ve recently introduced the Acadamh Thír Eoghain coaching structures.  These structures better than any other facilitate the preparation of players through to the county minor side.  In a few days time the Acadamh 17 coaches will sit down to draw up a finalised squad ahead of the second part of this year.  That squad we believe in the main, should form next year’s county minor winter training panel in preparation for the Ulster League.  There has in the past been a thought process amongst some players and club managers that they could side step Development Squads and turn up for a Tyrone minor trial and still make it.”
“The Acadamh Thír Eoghain structure has been designed to end that thought process.  We know that successful county minor squads are a result of years of preparation. You cannot start in January and expect to develop a team by May of the same year.  In Academy Thír Eoghain these lads will be gaining an insight as to what it takes to become a county player.
“Most importantly Acadamh Thír Eoghain affords them two or three years preparation alongside the lads that they will eventually pull on a Tyrone jersey with.  That’s hugely important for them.  This year the Acadamh 15 and 16 squads have been exposed to S and C coach Peter Donnelly,  listening to health and wellbeing talks from Ryan Mellon and injury prevention sessions from Enda McGinley who is also Tyrone’s player welfare manager.  Both of those guys could tell you a thing or two about being successful and winning trophies”.
“As well as everything else, we want to forge better relationships with clubs and schools and work as a team with all stakeholders.  A huge part of the rationale behind abandoning the long, protracted and in my view, unnecessary trials is the whole issue of player burnout.  I’ve seen lads being brought to trials from all parts of the county and they’ve had to get out of bed very early.  Quite often they will be leaving the house with little or no breakfast.  Then they maybe have to tog out at 9am on a Sunday morning and perhaps only play 20 minutes in wintery conditions.  What happens if they are playing in the wrong position because the management aren’t sure or haven’t been informed as to their preferred position etc etc.”
“Then they need to come back again the next week and the week after that. How many times have you heard a parent / player say that Johnny was played corner back when he is really a half forward?  This isn’t a criticism of anyone that was involved before – it’s merely the way it always has been in the GAA and in the view of the Acadamh Thír Eoghain it is time this “tradition” of trials was confined to history.  The players who traditionally attended trials have been playing with their clubs throughout the year and in November / December are already heavily involved with school teams.  They’ve got plenty of football not even allowing for the fact that “pre season” for the club might have or be about to start all over again. So why should be subject these players to even more activity ?”
“The message is clear – Acadamh Thír Eoghain is serious about what it is they want to do by considering the needs of players and not subjecting them to another three or four weeks of needless activity at the end of a very busy season.”
“Less is more in my book and the medical team, physios, Peter Donnelly and the Player Welfare Manager Enda McGinley support this view.  We’re conforming to a box ticking exercise.  Having trials for the sake of having trials needs to go.  If we don’t know who our best 25-30 players by the end of every season then we are not doing our job properly.”
“We’re fortunate here in Tyrone that we can offer elite level coaching from individuals who have won All Ireland Minor, Under 21 and Senior titles.  Plenty of other counties don’t have that luxury and we are so lucky to have so many good coaches at all levels involved throughout all of the squads.  We are well aware of the fact that there will be late developers and lads who will earn the right to become part of an Acadamh squad at all age groups.  That’s why we’ve put in place are a series of scouts who are tasked with watching underage games around the county.  These people are already working very well and will continue to report back to the Acadamh coaches.  The door is still open for players with the right mentality and talent and that point is very important to make.
“The Tyrone GAA Academy want to avoid conflicts with schools and clubs.  We want to cooperate fully with both of these units and we want to form a partnership which will afford players rest and enjoyment as well as the very best in coaching, strength and conditioning and athletic development possible.  As part of this process Acadamh Thír Eoghain will be allocating funds raised by Club Tyrone to appoint at least one person on a full time basis.  This person will be tasked with providing coaching to Post Primary schools in Tyrone and to Tyrone based players who might be in schools outside the county.
“This person will work closely with the schools and will also coach Academy squads.  We’ve always said that Acadamh Thír Eoghain was set up to develop players who could represent their club first potentially their county somewhere down the line”.
“With the help and assistance of all those involved I’m convinced we derive maximum benefit out of this whole exercise for those who matter – the players themselves and their families, the clubs who nurture them and who devote enormous time and effort to their development, the schools whose input is invaluable and the good people who put their hands in their pockets to fund Acadamh Thír Eoghain through Club Tyrone.

By damian Fri 3rd Jul

Related News

View All

Main Sponsors

Our Partners