Counihan confident Canty will face Down

Counihan confident Canty will face Down

Cork football manager Conor Counihan is "fairly optimistic" that captain Graham Canty will be available for selection for the All-Ireland senior football final against Down.

Canty has struggled with a hamstring injury for much of the summer, while fellow veteran Anthony Lynch has also been injured for much of the 2010 campaign, and Fintan Goold is trying to overcome a more recent knock.

At last night’s media briefing in the Rochestown Park Hotel, Counihan said: "Yeah we’d be fairly optimistic on that one (Canty).

"Fintan (Goold) seems to be going in the right direction as well and we’ll know more about Anthony (Lynch) at the weekend."

Counihan said there was no hard and fast cut-off date by which players would have to prove their fitness.

"I suppose we analyse that on a day-to-day basis. Obviously we’ll be making serious decisions on Saturday but if we felt that it needed another couple of days then we’ll do that."

Canty himself will try to prove his fitness this weekend: "Yeah, the injury has come on very well in the last couple of weeks, hopefully I’ll take part in full training this weekend with a view to being available for selection."

Meanwhile, the manager added that Cork had not gone on any training camps in the run-up to the final.

"Training is pretty standard," said Counihan, "Hopefully the intensity is picking up, but no, we wouldn’t be doing anything different.

"We’ve gone the scenic route in the backdoor so we had a few more weekends than we wanted. Fellas have probably seen enough of one another maybe."

Wing-back Noel O’Leary, meanwhile, said winning the All-Ireland "would be one of the great achievements of my life," adding that Down are playing the better football at this stage and deserve to be favourites.

"The way we’re looking at it, it’s a different year and a different way of looking at things," said O’Leary. "We’re playing for once a different team, and that’s a bit of a difference. Down are playing serious football.

"People are rating us on last year, but they are certainly favourites in my eyes going into this game. They are playing the better football, we’re not. That’s not trying to blow them up or anything, because we feel we’re ready to put on a performance the next day. It’s going to be a huge battle but we’re ready for it.

"We feel the same as we did last year: an All-Ireland final is an All-Ireland final no matter who you are playing. You always look forward to it. "

Asked if Cork are better equipped to win this year, the Cill na Martra man said the new players have "added to the show".

"I suppose you could be equipped as much as you want, but it’s all about doing it on the day. Look, things are tipping away. We have a few lads brought in and they are doing the business.

"They are young and mad for it, and they have added to the show. But that’s fine and well; on the day, it has to be done and that’s what it’s all about."

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