New Cork boss Ronan McCarthy welcomes back-up fund

Incoming Cork football manager Ronan McCarthy has described a supplementary fund for the Rebel footballers as “very positive” on the face of it but cautioned that such a fund would have to bring a “measured benefit” to the team set-up.

The Irish Examiner reported last month that a private company has been formed by interested backers to provide the Cork senior footballers with a separate source of finance to the funding provided by the Cork County Board.

Asked how the fund would operate, McCarthy said: “To give you the honest answer first, I’m not sure. I only became aware of it in the last few weeks.

“It’s something that I’ll have to see how it works and so on, who are the people involved in it - I have an open mind about it.

“The principle is a fair one, that any supplementary help or funding would be of assistance, you’d think, but you also have to be careful. Careful in how things are monitored and how they’re used.

“And this applies to funding no matter where it comes from - that there’s value for money. We’re in a bit of a culture where people think you fire money at something and it automatically improves.

“To answer the question, I don’t know the mechanics, exactly, of how it works, I’m finding that out at the moment. At first appearance it looks a very positive thing, and I’d be open-minded about it.

“But it’d be important, which applies to all funding, that there’d be good value and correct monitoring of it.”

McCarthy acknowledged that other counties may benefit from similar funds but stressed the need for “added value” to accrue from any such arrangement.

“As I say, in principle I’d say yes but you have to be very careful in this area. A lot of businesses and companies, different organisations, who would like to piggy-back on teams and so on. There’s nothing wrong with that if they’re bringing added value to what we’re doing, absolutely no problem, but the figures we’re talking about significant amounts of money, you have to make sure it’s bringing a measured benefit to the set-up.”

McCarthy stressed that he wouldn’t be bringing a large backroom team on board: “It wouldn’t be my plan to have a massively extended backroom team, and I suppose one of the things you can find is that the message getting to players is diluted.

“You don’t want too many people giving messages to the players, you want consistency in the messages they’re getting.

“I’m not ruling it out but we won’t need to hire a second bus for the backroom team.

“I don’t think bigger is better, it’s about managing that.

“We need to make sure we have enough people involved to have everything we need, but that we don’t become too cumbersome, with roles for the sake of having roles.”

McCarthy, who played in the 1999 All-Ireland final said there was “no silver bullet” when it came to success.

“It’s about messages you’re giving players over a period of time, the quality of the work you do with them - it’s having the belief in the value of what you’re doing, that that will eventually make a difference.

“And we in the management have to back ourselves, that we’re confident we can make a difference, and I hope it will. At the end of the day you can get excited about backroom teams and so on, but it’s the quality of the work done on the pitch, night after night, that will eventually make the difference.

“Nothing you do the week coming up to a big match will have a huge bearing. All the work has been done.”

The Douglas clubman said he didn’t take much convincing to take the job on.

“Not really - I was conscious of work and family commitments, obviously, but no. It’s something I always wanted to do at some stage, it’s a great opportunity, and with the new stadium and everything else... you’d be mad to say no, really.”

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