Thursday, August 5, 2010

Chiefs salute men's league reshuffle

The men’s Leinster league restructure will see the return of division nine while division two will remain in its existing format for the upcoming season, rising to seven in numbers following the formation of a new club, the Rathgar Chiefs.

Based in High School’s idyllic Danum grounds, the Chiefs were formed this summer from a group of recent university graduates looking to continue playing together after using up their ‘years of grace’.

The club has set up links with Diocesan hockey club – who celebrate their 50th anniversary in the coming season. For the first season, they will enter two teams, the first of which will play in division two while the second team will compete in the revamped division nine. A youth setup is planned for in the coming years.

The club draw their nickname from the one ever-present in Dublin University Hockey Club, the American-Indian chief who has been the club’s unofficial mascot since being installed in the Trinity hockey rooms over a decade ago.

Elsewhere, the restructure sees divisions four to eight revert back to the regular, ten-team format after a couple of years of increased numbers, mainly precipitated by sides dropping out of division two and into the junior leagues.

As such, eleven first teams will compete across these divisions with Irish Hockey Challenge winners St Brendan’s/PP, Naas, Portrane, Mullingar and Kilkenny all contesting division four.

Corinthian III, Three Rock Rovers III and YMCA III join already relegated Avoca II in regarding as division five sides and the fourth teams of that former trio are also repositioned into division six.

Skerries go with them as one of four teams moved down. None come the other way with table-toppers Fingal III and Dublin University III remaining in situ while Bray II, Avoca III, St Brendan’s/PP II, Railway Union IV and YMCA V are all moved to division seven.

YMCA VI, Navan III, Pembroke VII, Dublin University IV, Glenanne V and St Brendan’s/PP III will now make up the new division nine and will be joined by new second teams from the Rathgar Chiefs and North Kildare.

Divisions one and three will get underway on September 18.

Leinster Men's Hockey Leagues 2010/2011
Division 1:
YMCA, Weston, Corinthian, UCD, Three Rock Rovers, Glennane, Fingal, Monkstown, Railway Union, Pembroke Wanderers

Division 2: Suttonians, Navan, Rathgar Chiefs, Clontarf, Dublin University, Bray, Avoca

Division 3: Corinthian II, Pembroke Wanderers II, Glennane II, UCD II, Railway Union II, Dublin University II, Monkstown II, Fingal II, Three Rock Rovers II, YMCA II

Division 4: St Brendan's/PP, Pembroke Wanderers III, Railway Union III, Clontarf II, Naas, Portrane, Mullingar, Monkstown III, Kilkenny, Glennane III

Division 5: Three Rock Rovers III, Pembroke Wanderers IV, Monkstown IV, Corinthian III, Suttonians II, YMCA III, Weston II, Avoca II, North Kildare, St James Gate

Division 6: Glennane IV, Three Rock Rovers IV, Pembroke Wanderers V, Skerries, Dublin University III, Monkstown V, Corinthian IV, Navan II, YMCA IV, Fingal III

Division 7: Bray II, Railway Union IV, St Brendan's/PP II, Athy, UCD III, Avoca III, Kilkenny II, Mullingar II, Weston III, YMCA V

Division 8: Naas II, Corinthian V, St James Gate II, Pembroke Wanderers VI, Three Rock Rovers V, Wicklow, Clontarf III, Smithfield, Fingal IV, Railway Union V,

Division 9: YMCA VI, Navan III, Rathgar Chiefs II, Pembroke Wanderers VII, North Kildare II, Dublin University IV, St Brendan's/PP III, Glenanne V


Daniel said...

I feel like banging my head off a wall.

I really fail to understand the low team numbers in the lower divisions. Division 9 will start with 8 teams. Two of the teams are new and may not even field (although I hope they do!).

Potentially that could leave a division with 6 teams! Of the 6 existing teams, YMCA and NAVAN did not play 25% of their games last season.

Division 9 collapsed the season before last (2008) because the usual suspects entered teams and then withdrew them leaving the division with 6 teams. Will history repeat itself again?

That season was a mess. My own team (which I have now left) played 6 matches that whole season as a result of teams withdrawing or not fielding! Six games in a year!!! How can you develop players in that environment.

Given that most clubs ask members for fees, playing in division 8 or 9 can be frustrating with teams dropping out or not fulfilling fixtures and players simply not feeling that their fees reflect the numbers of games they get to play.

I would ask that the branch rethink this and add more teams to the lower divisions by looking at the balance from division 6 downwards.

It is a waste of time and money for many new players and clubs who do wish to participate with teams find it a frustrating process.

Claiming a sport has 9 divisions because it looks good on paper is the wrong approach.


goldberg said...

Why hasn't division 2 been sorted out yet?? Kilkenny are good enough to be back in it, after regrouping last season they got better an better as the year went on. Mullingar have improved every year for the last fee seasons and Brendans are the challenege trophy holders. Sureley these three teams could make up a 10 team division 2?? That way it wouldn't be a 2 team race between navan and bray for bottom.

Also what about either opening up div 3 to first teams so everyone finds there own level or create a senior/junior system like ulster that pits only first teams against each other. Would love to hear other peoples thoughts?? Only good I see is that div 4 is no longer a 24 game season.

brian said...

All Hail to the CHIEFS!

Daniel said...

I didn't spot division 2 until now. That's as bad as some of the lower divisions.

I understand the rationale of 10 teams in division 1 due to the plethora of cup competitions, european competition for some and the IHL.

For the rest of us mere mortals, if a team is guaranteed 16-18 games a season then fine. But the lower divisions will once again be a mess.

Stephen Findlater said...

With regard to division two, it was mentioned before in a comment chain but thought I'd put this up again.

If you have proposals for how division two should be re-organised - format/promotion/relegation etc - you can raise these at the Leinster Branch AGM before the season starts.

There was an opportunity at the end of last season's AGM to raise and propose ideas/changes and you can do so again.

BIG ISSUE! said...

To be perfectly honest you cant change a division like division 2 a few months in advance of a season. Changes should have been put in place at the start of last season to come into effect this season.

No offence to those in Divison 2 but the standard of hockey in divison 3 is a good bit better you cant ask the likes of Monkstown ii and Pembroke ii to go up and play a lower standard of hockey, this would not only have an effect on the 2nd teams but would also effect the relevant first teams who know need strong squads more than ever with the amount of competition.

Also I'm looking at the league table from divison 8 seems to me bar YMCA and Navan most teams completed there season.

I think they should change the format for the lower divison cups ie Junior Cup and Minor Cup. I mean haveing pools instead of straight knock out. This would not only increase number of games but would make for some very competitive hockey.

Daniel said...

"Also I'm looking at the league table from divison 8 seems to me bar YMCA and Navan most teams completed there season. "

Yes they did. But now Navan and YM drop to division 9 and two new teams who have not fielded before are included in the division. As a result, division 9 which consists of 8 teams has potentially 4 teams that will not field on a regular basis or field at all.

The effect of one or two teams dropping out of a division consisting of 10 or 12 teams is usually not too disruptive. However a few teams dropping out of a division which starts off with 8 teams has a far greater impact.

Naturally we have to give all teams a chance to field and prove themselves, but starting a season with divisions of less that 10 teams makes little sense.

You suggestion about the minor and junior cups is an excellent one!

BIG ISSUE! said...

Getting back to division 1/2 I think they should restructure the two leagues so that there are 8 teams in each division.

Then relegation/promotion playoff between 8th Div1 and 1st Div2

I feel that allowing the winner of div2 to go straight up is a piontless excercise.

Just look at contarf they whitewash division 2 and look how they did in division 1

Then restructure the leinster senior cup into 4 pools of 4 of teams from div 1 and div 2 top two qualify for semis and finals.
(3 games each) (5 if they reach final)

Plus the neville cup which should stay the same format. Which potentally is another 5 games.

Thats 24 highley competitive games. Plus the neville cup which should stay the same format. Which potentally is another 5 games.

The only problem with this i would think is that teams playing in the IHL EHL would have too many games to play.

What does anyone think?