As a goalkeeper, Anthony Nash is used to dealing with the occasional nasty delivery; as a spokesman for Cork hurling he’s having to get used to doing the same and yesterday, at the launch of the 2013 Allianz Hurling League, the current hurling All Star got just such a question — are all those rumours of discord in the Cork camp, discord especially in the management team, having a negative effect?
“If it was coming from inside the camp then it would affect you but it’s not coming from inside the camp. There’s absolutely no change from any other year, there are rumours every year you start. There’s a lot of stuff written in the papers and I suppose if you flicked through them you wouldn’t be too happy to see it. You don’t let it get inside your head.
“To be honest, I try and avoid it and my family try and avoid it as well so it doesn’t get to me. The other boys are the same in that they try to avoid it too. If it was coming from inside the camp we would deal with it in-house.
“There is absolutely nothing happening I can assure you and where some of the rumours come from is beyond me. Everything is the same as it always is, you’re going to have your rumours wherever you are, wherever you turn but it [training] is going well so far anyway.”
Mischief-makers, that’s where it comes from, the same kind of mischief-makers who for years were spreading the rumour of Anthony’s impending transfer to Limerick, the county of his parents.
“Ah look, speaking of rumours, that rumour comes up every single year since I was in the panel.”
Never a grain of truth in those rumours either. “Absolutely not. I loved supporting Limerick as a young fella because my cousin would have been in goal for them, Al Shanahan, and Declan and Mick [Nash, uncles] would have played for them as well so I always supported them as a kid but I was never tempted.
“I have always played for Cork, be it at intermediate, minor or U21 level. I would never even have thought of it and that rumour — I think this is the first season that the rumour has not come up for one reason or another!”
That reason is the simple fact that Nash has made the Cork goalkeeping position his own, even if he doesn’t quite see it like that yet himself.
“I wouldn’t say that I have a hold of the jersey. Darren McCarthy is playing for UCC at the moment and he is playing very good hurling. You really have to be performing at the top of your game any night you go out because it doesn’t matter if there are 14 goalkeepers behind you or in front of you, you have to perform when you get the opportunity and that is what I would be hoping to do in the league.”
Not that Nash will be looking over his shoulder.
“If I start think about what’s going to happen that’s going to destroy my own game and then I’m under pressure and, trust me, on Saturday night [league opener under lights in Páirc Uí Rinn] I will have enough to worry about against Tipperary with six of their forwards bearing down on me in goal!”
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