Thursday, January 31, 2008

Team Leinster - what do you think?

With 17,000 regularly turning up for Heineken Cup matches in the RDS where barely 700 turned out 15 years ago for the Leinster rugby team, it is tempting to envisage what life would be like for an equivalent hockey “Team Leinster” for European competition.

The amount of comments about Noel Keogh’s recent squad selection for what was expected to be a low-key Interpro tournament given the absence of the internationals has shown people really care about the provinces’ team.

Indeed, there are a couple of people involved at high levels in the game who believe this is a definite way forward if we are to improve the national team and give ourselves a better chance on the world stage.

Also, how would you feel about Leinster, Ulster or Munster taking up the country’s spot in the Euro Hockey league?

But would it really be so great for hockey in Ireland? Below I’ve laid out a few quick ideas of pros and cons.

*Top players playing more regular competitive fixtures against each other

*Easier for the national coach to assess top players
*More likely the club side would do well in Europe
*Greater sponsorship potential

*Reduction in the importance of club hockey
*Clubs gain little benefit from the time and money that goes into producing top players
*National selection focus only on Interpro teams
*Less sponsorship potential for clubs

These are just a couple of ideas. There are numerous other arguments that can be made for and against. What are your thoughts? What kind of set-up would you like to see?


Anonymous said...

Just look at the demise of Club Rugby in Leinster and I think you will have your answer.

Anonymous said...

Club hockey would be wiped out in no time. Also, you are not allowed to play representative teams in European Club Competition. The IHA tried this already.

Anonymous said...

As stated above the IHA already tried this and it didn't work. Thats why its so important to get the All Ireland league up and running. It gives the game in Ireland all the advantages outlined in the post but doesn't destroy the club game. I know some of the weaker clubs won't be happy but you can't really argue with the merits. It is the way forward for the game here!

Anonymous said...

if province sides were allowed to represent ireland in the european competitions, it would have a negative effect on the leinster senior league.

Plus the facts that glenanne would be in europe every year - well if noel keogh was coach going by his recent selection!!

Corinthian said...

I think the club game is the way forward, I think we would be far better taking a long term approach and inceasing youth participation and coaching standards etc. than this quick fix approach.

Irish club rugby seems to be in something of an identity crisis after the game went professional.

Anonymous said...

Let's get to an All-Ireland league first and have it run for a few seasons to see if it brings an improved performance for our clubs at european level and representative players on the international stage!!!