Cuthbert takes fresh approach

Cork football manager Brian Cuthbert hopes his newly-appointed selectors can help bring about a new dynamic in terms of inter-county management.

Last night, Ronan McCarthy (Douglas), Owen Sexton (Kilbrittain), Ciarán O’Sullivan (Urhan) and Don Davis (O’Donovan Rossa) were announced as the new selectors, with McCarthy, a selector under previous manager Conor Counihan, also taking on a coaching role.

All four played as Cork reached the 1999 All-Ireland final, and Cuthbert believes their freshness will be a positive factor.

“I wouldn’t like to make age too big a thing, but it’s definitely no coincidence that all four are of a similar age to myself,” he said.

“In the traditional sense, the manager was the manager and then the four selectors were just that, they helped to pick the team.

“I look at this as a more dynamic make-up. All right, I’m classed as the manager, but the four selectors will have specific roles that they’re going to fulfil and you need to pick people who’ll suit those roles.

“The duties of the guys within this team — and it is a team — mightn’t be the traditional responsibilities of a selector, and you need a certain calibre of person to work in a dynamic inter-county system now.

“I think if I was a player, I’d look forward to working with any of these four fellas on their own.”

While no approaches had been made towards assembling a management team before he himself was ratified, Cuthbert had an idea of what he would be looking for.

“To be honest, you can’t think about these things too much until you actually get the job,” he said.

“If you’re going for a role, you have in your head the type of person you’d like to work with, and when you’re picking your own selectors you have to make sure they fit the profile of what you lay out in your head of what you want to work with. The four lads fit that perfectly and as soon as I got the job they were the people I went after.”

McCarthy, who previously took charge of his club Douglas, is the only one of the quartet with experience of management at a high level, though Sexton, O’Sullivan and Davis have all been involved with club teams, as well as the Beara division in O’Sullivan’s case.

That all four have played for Cork serves them well, says Cuthbert.

“I never had the ability or the fortune to play senior for Cork,” Cuthbert said, “but the four boys bring a huge level of experience in terms of their playing careers and they can relate that in terms of what we’re trying to do.

“It carries a lot of weight in a dressing room that somebody who has been through the wringer is going to tell you what they think.”

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