By John Fogarty
Peadar Healy stepped down as Cork senior football manager yesterday evening as he admitted his two seasons in charge were “tough”.
The Glengarriff-based man had just seen his team deliver their best performance in his charge, defying a plethora of injuries to force Mayo into extra-time in their All-Ireland fourth round qualifier in Limerick.
Healy informed his players, some of whom were about to leave the dressing room, of his decision before confirming the news to the media. “My term is up and I’m stepping down.”
He continued: “At this level, you just need to devote your life to it. That’s the way it’s going, especially when you’re on the managerial side of it. It’s that professional. You’d either want to be retired or a teacher and off for the summer. You just need a lot of time for this job.”
The position had taken a lot out of him, he admitted. “A tough two years, to be honest. The last thing we wanted to do was to go down to Division 2 (last year) and the bit of luck... four teams finishing on six points (score difference dictated Cork were relegated).
“To lose against Tipp is the last thing you want to do in championship and then to be beaten in Killarney the way we were beaten. Look, that’s it. When you go into the business, especially the manager’s side of it, it’s brutal and championship is brutal.”
Healy had no gripes with referee Ciarán Branagan calling full-time over 20 seconds short of the announced three minutes of additional time in the second half of extra-time.
“Look, the referee is a human being. I’m sure when he looked at it, he felt the time was up. He maybe thought it was 3:20. If we got a turnover who knows what would have happened but, look, I’m not going to blame a referee. To be fair, I thought he did a good job.”