GAA

9 Clubs Teams You'll Find In Nearly Every County

9 Clubs Teams You'll Find In Nearly Every County

Here are nine clubs you'll find in almost every county in the country. (Dublin being something of an exception).

The Town team

slashers

Dublin, in microcosm. They are uniformly despised by the rest of the county.

Their players are alienated by all that romantic twaddle about the 'pride of the parish'. You know those places where every last person is invested in the team's fortunes? It's not a world they recognise.

Whenever the town team win a county title, half the population of said town couldn't give less of a toss.

Despite their size, they tend to attract poor enough support. Until they reach a county final that is, when a huge amount of what might generously be termed 'casual supporters' are encouraged to troop into the county ground (well, it is within walking distance) for the look.

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These supporters typically struggle to recognise the players, trying to place them instead by establishing their surname and pondering who might be their father. If the county final happens to go badly for said town team, the casual support can turn on them very quickly, announcing that "these lot are shite" before leaving early and heading for the nearest public house.

For hardcore support, they rely on the parents and family of the team members and a grizzled clique of ex-players.

Despite these difficulties, they are usually quite successful - a decade without at least one county championship constitutes a famine - and they are convinced that the rest of the county secretly envies them on account of their fashionability and their vague air of urban cool.

Usually boast at least one tiny corner forward who is quite clearly a soccer player in GAA players clothing. Decorates the game with a series of most un-Gaelic football-like jinks and feints. Finds goals easier to score than points and offends the opposition support with exuberant celebrations.

One of their midfielders will be a converted basketballer, who boasts great hands and vision but who is a target for the hard chaws on the other team.

The team who are top of the roll of honour but who haven't won anything in fifty years

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tull

Still sit near the top of the roll of honour by virtue of their success before the Second World War. Youngsters who stumble upon the roll of honour on wikipedia are baffled by their presence at, or even near, the top.

You'll usually see that they won nine out of ten county titles in the 1930s.

The only guys who talk about the club with any reverence are the old guys with greying hair and eyebrows on their cheeks who recall them in their heyday.

Despite all modern evidence, the club still retain a reputation as the 'heartland' of the sport in the county.

If the county team are unsuccessful, silly forum commenters will usually attribute it to the dearth of players from this club on the team, ignoring the fact that this team have done nothing in the club championship for years and haven't got any good players.

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The violent team that the rest of the county fears

injury

An undisciplined rabble. This team have no real ambition and once a game drifts beyond them, they will lose all interest in the scoreboard, instead concerning themselves in inflicting injury on the winning team.

If they can get in enough solid digs on the flash pricks on the other side, they will consider that a moral victory. All the jubilant talk in the dressing room afterwards is of skelps thrown rather than points scored.

Their own exasperated manager will end up despising them as much as the opposition. Invariably finish the game with less than 15 players. Those players who do receive their marching orders will slope off the pitch, sometimes insolently, sometimes chuckling to themselves about the blow they inflicted on the man on the ground.

The primary concern of their opponents is avoiding injury. Their reputation is a source of black comedy within the rest of the county.

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The team who win the intermediate championship and spent the following season hoping they get relegated again

A yo-yo team, they get great craic out of winning the intermediate championship but spend the following year regretting it, shipping hammering after hammering and wishing they were back among their own kind.

Deliberately losing is out of question, however. If they find themselves embroiled in a relegation playoff with a team even worse than them, they must, with a heavy heart, win the match and endure another year playing the part of the turkey in the numerous turkey shoots against the big boys.

The team who got to one county final 30 years ago and haven't stopped complaining about losing it since

Typically, the referee was either married to a woman from the parish they were playing against. Or he was known to drink in the pub of the village they were playing against. Or was a brother-in-law of the opposing manager.

Either way, that was their one chance of glory and they haven't stopped talking about how they were robbed in the decades since. A goal was disallowed or a player was unfairly sent off.

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A cursory glance at the contemporary reaction in the local newspapers typically reveals little in the way of controversy.

The ultra rural club with fanatic support

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Picture the scene. An U14 game and a town team is playing at home to a strong rural side. They are the best two teams in the county.

The town team's 'support' is comprised of the few concerned looking Dads who are charged with training the team. They spend the match pulling on cigarettes and barking out instructions.

The away team's support consists not only of both parents of each and every squad member but a fair few grandparents as well, not to mention a few interested non-relatives.

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Have these hicks nothing better to do, think the town boys. Late in the game, the fanatical rural club score a pivotal goal. The roar almost deafens the players on both sides.

The disconsolate players on town team look across at their paltry support - a collection of annoyed Dads - and wonder what to make of it all.

By the time, they reach senior level, the rural club's support hasn't diminished in the slightest. For big games, everyone in the parish comes armed with a flag and they greet every score by rapping their fists off the steel wall at the back of the Stand.

The secondary intermediate team in the town who hate 'the town team' more than anyone else

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Big towns are usually home to more than one club. In addition to the 'town team', there will be a smaller, oft-ignored outfit who are not granted that label.

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They are very much the poor relation in the town, and have to put up with their players being nabbed by the bigger side. Even lads who live within yards of their pitch will be sucked in by the glamour of the 'town team' and will opt to play for them.

Even if they do boast a semi-decent U12 team, they'll soon find their best players being pilfered by their bigger neighbours, like Chelsea or Liverpool taking who they want from Southampton.

At underage level, they will be forced to rely on cast-offs and soccer players who aren't serious Gaelic football. For obvious reasons, they despise the 'town team' more than the multitude of the rural teams.

The team whose players have only won underage medals because at that point they played for a bigger team

In order to be able to compete at underage level, tiny rural clubs will band together under a name like 'Northern Gaels' or 'Southern Gaels' or 'Western Gaels'. It's nearly always Gaels and a forename which references their geographical location within the county.

They thus make a formidable outfit at underage level, collecting juvenile and minor titles by the bucket-load.

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This silverware does not convince the dyed in the wool club men that the teams should think about amalgamating at senior level. Their players will have to content themselves with their multiple underage championships.

By the time they reach senior, they're condemned to intermediate irrelevance as the successful U18 side splits down the middle.

The wildly successful club team who have a bizarrely small number of players on the county team

The modern kingpins, they steamroll the competition year on year, and achieve fame well beyond the county borders. Often shown in TG4, they sometimes even wind up playing in Croke Park on St. Patrick's Day.

If only the county could imbibe some of that spirit, outsiders say, then we'll be onto something.

Sadly, their success breeds a clannish tendency. They love each other like brothers. They usually keep to themselves when drafted into the county setup.

Over time, this makes the rest of the county wary and suspicious of them. And when things go wrong at county level, their players are usually accused of not bothering their hole for the county.

In some extreme cases, their players opt out and we end up with a bafflingly small contingent from the most successful club in the county.

Balls Team

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