Development Squads & Schools of Excellence 2013 Details



Cork GAA Development Squads & Schools of Excellence 2013

Following their recent appointment by Cork County Board, the incoming Development Squad Management Committee, chaired by Brian Cuthbert and newly appointed Development Squad Administrator, Kevin O'Donovan, are pleased to outline their programme for the progression of Cork Development Squads and Schools of excellence over the coming years.


Cork GAA Schools of Excellence and Development Squads incorporate county panels for GAA players from the ages of U14 to U17 and aspire to nurturing and developing the characteristics and skills required in inter-county hurling and football through the provision of an appropriate programme of personal, technical, physical, psychological, tactical and team development for players and mentors.


While the primary value of the squads may be measured in terms of All Ireland success for Cork Minor, U21 and Senior teams, the squads will create an environment conducive to the development of a playing career that will extend beyond the county panels and ultimately, to a fulfilling and rewarding life within the GAA. On completion of the programme we expect the individual to have attained a level of sporting excellence together with the complementary life skills necessary to sustain a productive inter-county career.


Following a review by the monitoring committees and subsequent Liam Hennessey report leading to the appointments above, a major shift in the approach to development squads in Cork will follow (in the Development Squads section at the top of this page ). One aspect of this new model will be the organisation of player development camps in the Mardyke Arena, UCC (football) and CIT (hurling), during school breaks, where player education and continued professional development of mentors will be prioritised.


6 Player Development Camp weeks

1.      Monday, October 29th  - Friday, November 2nd

2.      Wednesday, January 2nd  - Friday, January 4th

3.      Monday, February 11th  - Friday, February 15th

4.      Monday, April 1st  - Friday, April 15th

5.      Monday, June 24th  - Friday, June 28th

6.      Monday, August 19th  - Friday, August 23rd


5 Saturdays

1.      Saturday, January 26th

2.      Saturday, March 30th

3.      Saturday, May 25th

4.      Saturday, June 29th (to be confirmed)

5.      Saturday, August 31st


The 2012 programme concluded with the inter-county tournaments from U14 to U17 level in both football and hurling and development squad mentors are now in place for this year 2013. They have selected Cork Mardyke and Cork CIT panels of 30, as well as further Rebel squads working underneath. Dual players will be directed to one camp next week and further discussion with players and parents will follow in advance of the next camp in January. U14 players for 2013 have not yet been selected and will attend regional "U13 2012"  sessions next week, organized by the GDAs.


From Monday, October 29th to Friday, November 2nd (9.30-3pm, daily), players will attend sessions on personal, skill, physical and team development with specialist coaches. Each player will then be given a personal programme to work on, in consultation with club and school coaches, for the following 7-week period before the subsequent camp on Jan 2nd -4th.




Areas covered during next week's camps will include the following

Welcome                                                            Address from committee

Bleep Test                                                          Aerobic maximal shuttle test

V Jump / Speed                                                Explosive Power test, 5/10/15 m speed test

Anaerobic Test                                                 150m shuttle test measuring anaerobic power

Nutrition / Hydration                                   Talk from Nutritionist

Functional Screening                                    Screening for muscular imbalances

Skills; Ball Handling / First Touch           Drills/ Games

Game Sense                                                       Video Session re Decision Making

Diary                                                                    Talk on self monitoring

Muscular Endurance                                     Test on muscular endurance plus demo

Skills; Kicking / Striking                              Drills/ Games

Injury Prevention                                           Talk from physiotherapist

Flexibility / Stretching                                 Session with physio

Skills; The Tackle                                            Drills/ Games

Core Stability                                                    Session with physio/ strength coach

Game Sense; Position Specific                  Pitch work with the coach

Programme                                                       Group demo/ discussion with coach/ S&C coach

Cork Player Talk                                             Talk about playing with Cork from current player


Meanwhile Rebel squads will train on two nights during a camp week and on the five allocated Saturdays also. The Mardyke / CIT managers / mentors will hopefully visit also, where possible, to ensure that all squads are linked.


All venues / gear will be organised centrally, well in advance. Players will also be texted centrally. Session themes / content will be provided centrally, though this will be designed in advance in consultation with the various mentors.


The CIT / Mardyke squads will have a ratio of 10 players to 1 coach, while the Rebel squads will ultimately have a ratio of 7 players to 1 coach. This will ensure a high degree of hands-on coaching for the second-tier players. The squad managers will oversee both the Mardyke / CIT and Rebel squads, again, to ensure proper linkages and to allow the promotion / demotion of players and facilitate consistent coaching methods.


After each camp week, meetings will be arranged between mentors to discuss players that have earned promotion or perhaps, require demotion / removal from squads. Over time, more objective criteria for player selection / rating will be developed. It is hoped that matches and the possibility of promotion to the top squads will help to keep players motivated throughout the year.


Participation in the annual inter-county tournaments will continue as before. A & B teams will be fielded. Games will also be incorporated during the dates listed above. Internal and external matches will be arranged for the Rebel squads. If Cork are required to send teams to Munster inter-divisional tournaments, the Rebel squads may have a role here also.


Continued Professional Development for Mentors; Mentors at Rebel squad level will have access to the same workshops / courses as the CIT / Mardyke mentors. All mentors will be welcome to the sessions run during camp week at CIT and the Mardyke.


There are still positions to be filled with a number of the squads above, while at U14 level a large influx of new coaches will be required. If you know of others who would have the ability and interest to become involved, feel free to let us know. A letter will be going out in the near future to former Cork players requesting their assistance with the U14 squads or in any other area where they may be of help within the development squads programme.



Finally, many thanks to all players, coaches, officers and parents for their unstinting commitment to the training and games and we look forward to working with you in what promises to be a new era for Gaelic Games in Cork.


Mise le meas,

Kevin O'Donovan,

Development Squads Administrator,   Ph. 086-7753567.


To View Details on the Rebel Og Development Squads, click the link at the top of this page or click here