By Paul Keane
Cork football legend Billy Morgan reckons some of the €80m ploughed into rebuilding Páirc Uí Chaoimh should have been used to develop a training centre for county teams instead.
Morgan, who guided Cork to All-Ireland glory in 1989 and 1990, said the fact that the county still hasn’t got a centre of excellence is “crazy”.
He noted the state-of-the-art facilities enjoyed by rivals Kerry at Currans and pointed out that many counties have similar facilities while Cork, who operate at a high level in both codes, still haven’t a training base.
“Cork still have no place to train,” said Morgan. “You look at most counties now and they have centres of excellence. I thought Cork would have developed some place with a few pitches. In my time, we were going cap in hand to clubs and looking for some place to train and it’s the same at the moment, which is crazy.
“My own feeling on it was maybe not spend as much money on the stadium and develop some place with four or five pitches for your inter-county teams. We don’t have that.
“I think it’s very disappointing. You have to have a home and all the other counties (have theirs). Kerry have developed a very good one, you know, most of the counties have a home to train.”
Morgan, who managed the UCC Sigerson Cup team again this year, hit out at the county board for apparently missing a trick with a potential site for a training facility in Cork.
“There was an area on the outskirts of Cork City that was available and UCC have actually bought it now,” said the Nemo Rangers man, who will be a member of the Turner’s Cross club’s senior management team this year.
“Cork didn’t go for it. They said it was too much money. I didn’t think so at the time. Where, in the years to come, where are you going to get another area similar to that? I don’t know. It’s disappointing.”
Conor Counihan, Cork’s All-Ireland winning manager in 2010, stated last year he didn’t believe the lack of a training centre was a major problem for county teams.
“Yes, they’re a lovely thing to have but there is a cost factor and is it absolutely essential? I think there’d be other priorities that I’d see ahead of it.”
This story first appeared on IrishExaminer.com