Last time out, preseason predictions showed a marked interest from The Hook’s first efforts back in 2007 when just one prediction came in. Six placings were predicted correctly for 2008/09 meaning this year is ripe for improvement.
It promises to be an intriguing year on the field with clubs upping their training efforts as IHL and potential EHL places become a reality.
Managing this increasingly professional outlook is one major challenge for the IHA and the Leinster Branch as the need to keep games at a competitive level is a major concern.
Recent times has seen the development of leagues within leagues. Perhaps further reorganisation of the divisions is needed to keep the elite clubs moving forward while keeping competition available for those unable to commit to such training.
The teething problems of professionalism blew apart the club structures in rugby with participation levels dropping through the floor. It took nearly 15 years to recover and massive work at juvenile level to begin the recovery. It is a salutary lesson and one which should be addressed to help move our sport forward at both elite and social levels.
For now, you can find the Hook’s rundown on the club’s ahead of the new season below…