Cork’s All-Ireland minor and U20 winning managers to continue in the hot seat for 2020

Cork’s All-Ireland minor and U20 winning managers to continue in the hot seat for 2020

Cork’s All-Ireland minor and U20 winning managers Bobbie O’Dwyer and Keith Ricken will continue in their roles for 2020.

It was revealed at last night’s Cork county board meeting that minor football boss O’Dwyer and his U20 counterpart Keith Ricken have each been given two-year terms which will keep them in their respective roles until 2021.

Separately, Paudie Murray has confirmed he will remain on as Cork senior camogie manager for 2020, what will be his ninth season at the helm. Murray has overseen four All-Ireland senior final wins during his tenure.

Ricken’s backroom team for next year will consist of Mícheál Ó Cróinín, Colm O’Neill, Maurice Moore, and Barry Corkery. The latter, a native of Éire Óg, was involved in a background capacity with the Cork minors in 2019. O’Dwyer, meanwhile, will be assisted on the sideline by Mick Hannon, Ollie O’Sullivan, Billy O’Connor, and James Masters. GDAs Pat Spratt (U20) and James McCarthy (minor), who were part of the respective management teams this year, will not be involved in 2020.

“It is board policy that our GDAs are not part of inter-county management teams. The two lads stepped in this year when there was a breach to fill and we really, really appreciate their massive contribution,” chairperson Tracey Kennedy remarked.

Ricken guided Cork to All-Ireland U20 glory in August but their title defence will play out during the spring months as the championship will have a much earlier start in 2020. Prior to the age grade dropping a year, the U21 All-Ireland football championship was always run off during the months of March and April.

Cork’s Central Council delegate Bob Ryan said “U20 is set in stone for spring” of 2020.

“At the most recent Central Council meeting, there was a very large majority in favour of proceeding with the championship in the spring of 2020, reverting back to where it was in the past.

“Both second-level and third-level representatives at the Central Council meeting spoke strongly against scheduling the championship in spring.”

CIT delegate Charlie McCarthy expressed his opposition to such a move, believing it to fly in the face of efforts to improve player welfare.

“At U20, you have an awful lot of guys involved in Leaving Cert and first year in college. If the competition does return to spring, it will hit across them very hard. In our own case here, we will have nine or 10 fellas, if Cork qualify for the latter stages of next year’s U20 championship, who will be 17 months on the go without a break.

Cork’s All-Ireland minor and U20 winning managers to continue in the hot seat for 2020

“We are talking about player welfare and looking after our young lads. We had a proposal there recently from our review committee that second-level and third-level were pathways for the future, but this seems to be a backward step on that front.”

Elsewhere, Tom O’Brien (Carrigtwohill) and Ger Geary (Killeagh) have been added to Donal Óg Cusack’s Cork minor hurling backroom team.

Neither Ballinacurra nor Grange spoke at the county board meeting in relation to last Friday’s Cork Junior B football league final. Ballinacurra, the morning after the game, put up a Facebook post to air their grievances at having to pay €100 to play the fixture under floodlights at Páirc Uí Chaoimh’s 4G pitch.

Counties knocked out in rounds 1, 2, and 3 of the All-Ireland SFC qualifiers can return to collective training ahead of the 2020 season on Friday, November 15. The hurlers of Galway, Clare, and Waterford - the three counties who failed to emerge from their provincial round-robin series this summer and who will hold Liam MacCarthy status in 2020 - can also begin collective training on November 15.

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