JBM looking to future as he bloods young Rebels

Jimmy Barry-Murphy believes creating competition in his current Cork squad is not just important for now, but also for the future.

The Rebels have put massive faith in youth this season with the average age of the starting team just 24. Darren Sweetnam and Christopher Joyce have been handed championship debuts while Damien Cahalane will make his first championship start tomorrow against Wexford.

“Well we didn’t particularly sit down and pick the lads because they’re young,” Barry-Murphy told RedFM’s Big Red Bench.

“It’s just that we’re looking to develop a panel with half an eye on the future certainly, but the younger players are doing very well at the moment and that has to be good for the future of Cork.”

Barry-Murphy and his selectors made four changes from the win over Offaly in the previous round to try out new combinations within the squad.

“We want to look at a few lines where we can improve upon,” he said.

“It’s no bad mark to the players who are left out. It’s just there are a number of players on the panel that have been very close to starting in the past and haven’t got an opportunity. We just feel that on this occasion we want to look at some other options. A number of players are very unlucky to be missing out but that’s part of the panel we’re trying to build, to have competition in every line of the field.”

That doesn’t mean he will forgo improvement for the sake of the future though.

“The level of intensity we had against Tipperary wasn’t there last Saturday evening and that’s something we were slightly concerned about. We want to improve that and we have to if we want to get past Wexford.

“The further you go, the tougher the games, and you need that intensity there.”

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