Cuthbert relishing role with Rebels

New Cork selector Brian Cuthbert is relishing his new position with the county’s senior footballers.

The Bishopstown man was named along with Peadar Healy, Haulie O’Neill and Ronan McCarthy as Counihan’s selectors for 2013.

Speaking last week, outgoing selector Ger O’Sullivan spoke of the massive demands the Cork management team placed on themselves.

After two seasons as minor manager in 2010 and 2011, Cuthbert appreciates the step-up now for him is a big one.

“You’re going in with your eyes open,” said the Scoil an Spioraid Naoimh principal.

“I have experience with the minors but you’re dealing with adults now and there are a lot more requirements such as travel. It’s all part of the excitement of it but I’m sure my eyes are open.”

The chairman of Cork’s development squads management committee, Cuthbert has been integral in cultivating underage camps which focus on areas such as technical proficiency, physical development, game sense, nutrition, Cork GAA history, player diaries and video analysis. His knowledge of the burgeoning talent in the county suggests he will be heavily involved in grooming up-and-coming players to break into the senior panel. “That’s part of the brief as well,” he confirmed. “It’s about doing whatever best suits the set-up and if there’s a need to find players, then so be it. We’re fortunate that we’ve a lot of young guys coming through. We’ll be looking at everybody.”

Similar to the sentiments expressed by O’Sullivan last week, Cuthbert believes Cork are not a team requiring any drastic overhaul.

After finishing the Championship without conceding a goal and losing to the eventual All-Ireland champions Donegal, there’s an understanding that the foundation of the side is solid.

“That’s key. Cork won an All-Ireland with the vast majority of these players and won a Munster title this year with them so not much has to change.”

Cork won’t reconvene until December 8 at the earliest, the date when they are permitted back by Croke Park to resume collective training.

With a trip to Dublin next February, they begin the defence of their Division 1 crown, which they have won these last three seasons on top of their Division 2 title in 2008.

Although Counihan felt last year’s final win over Dublin gave them a false sense of where they were, Cuthbert sees no reason why Cork’s professional attitude towards the secondary competition will change.

“No, I don’t think so. The best philosophy to have is to go out and do your best to win the competition you’re in. You’re getting good games and it’ll be the same approach as what went before, I would imagine.”

Cork’s defence of their Munster title begins with a home quarter-final game against Limerick, with the winners facing Clare.

As much as the presence of Cork and Kerry on either side of the draw suggests an early July date for both in Killarney, 1993 All-Ireland-winning minor captain Cuthbert feels it’s not as clear-cut as that.

“The bottom line, and I’m not being smart, is teams are getting better in Munster. Tipperary are going to be a force after all the underage success they’ve been having.

“Limerick are improving all the time under Maurice Horan so there’s certainly not going to be any real easy game in the province.”

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