By John Coleman
At last night’s meeting of the Cork County Board, chairperson Tracey Kennedy announced the formation of a sub-committee to look at and improve the long-term future of Cork football.
She informed the meeting that the board executive had listened to the views of many vested interests and had met to discuss all aspects of football in Cork, from strength and conditioning, the role of post-primary schools, coaching structures, and the structures of the county championships. It was agreed that a long-term plan was required as opposed to a quick fix.
Elements of Cork’s strategic plan will be covering many of these items including a pilot coaching scheme that will see more coaches working on the ground in Cork.
Kennedy herself will chair the sub-committee and will be joined by three people who are familiar with all facets of Cork football.
Two of the three are already in place and the trio will be announced in the next few days.
There is a three-month timeframe in place for the committee to report back with its findings and recommendations while clubs and individuals who want to contribute to the process were asked to submit their ideas before August 28.
Kennedy also announced that Cork will be looking to appoint a full-time strength and conditioning coach to oversee the plans for all inter-county teams.
Football was the main focus of the meeting as there was an in-depth discussion on the state of football nationally and an expression of what rule changes would help improve Gaelic football as a spectacle.
The hand-pass, the black card, kickouts, time wasting, and the possibility of zoning the football field were all discussed.
Views on old chestnuts such as limiting the number of hand-passes, the banning of passing the ball back into your own half, and a form of sin-bin replacing the black card were all aired.
There was widespread approval for kickouts having to go beyond the 45m line, though there was some sympathy for the goalie facing the elements on a windy day.
At the start of the meeting, Kennedy presented Michael Russell of Aghada with the All-Ireland intermediate hurling trophy as the players and mentors of that team were celebrated.
As pointed out by Frank Murphy, it was a particularly sweet victory for Pat O’Connell, from Delaney Rovers, as it was the seventh time that he had served as a selector on an All-Ireland-winning intermediate team.
John Meyler was congratulated on the performance of the Cork senior hurlers this year and while there was disappointment with the loss against Limerick, there was consensus that the team are on an upward curve.
Best wishes were also expressed to Denis Ring and his U21 hurlers in the upcoming All-Ireland final against Tipperary, though the 5.30pm timing of the fixture at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick was a point of frustration.
On the fixtures front, Diarmuid O’Donovan informed the meeting that dates for the next round of the county championships will be circulated to clubs today.