Former skipper Tompkins wants All-Ireland winners at Cork helm

Larry Tompkins believes that the next Cork senior football management team needs to be composed primarily of All-Ireland winners.

Former skipper Tompkins wants All-Ireland winners at Cork helm

The first steps towards finding a replacement for Brian Cuthbert are likely to be made at the county board meeting on Tuesday, August 18.

Speaking last night at the Heineken Ireland headquarters at the launch of a special lunch to honour the 1990 double-winning sides, Tompkins — captain of the successful football side that year — put forward the view that players from that era should be involved in the next set-up.

“I think the ideal scenario would be to get guys that have gone through the mill and won All-Irelands,” he said.

“There’s a lot through our team still highly involved in the game, they were the most successful team of all time in Cork and they were huge leaders. I think that that’s massively the way forward for Cork.

“You look at Kilkenny and Kerry and the concept of their manager and backroom team. They pick guys who have done it. You sit on the street in Killarney and you see guys coming along every few minutes with All- Ireland medals, if you did that on St Patrick’s St, Jaysus you’d be there a long time.

“Jack O’Connor never won an All-Ireland with Kerry but he surrounded himself with fellas who had. Brian Cody has won a few as a player and on top of that he had the likes of [James] McGarry, [Derek] Lyng, these guys around him. Cork need to build a base of fellas like that, if it’s someone like Niall Cahalane or Teddy McCarthy in the dressing room and he fecking you out of it, you’re saying you’ll go through the wall for them.

“You need guys who have been winners, guys who know what it’s about and won’t take no for an answer.” Cuthbert’s predecessor Conor Counihan was on the successful teams in 1989 and ’90 while another member of that panel was John Cleary. He led Cork to the 2009 U21 All-Ireland and was a selector on the team which won that title two years previously.

Having been pipped by Cuthbert two years ago, he is considering his options but his former Castlehaven team-mate Tompkins strongly endorsed his credentials, not least because of his familiarity with so many of the current Cork squad.

“John would know all the players that have come through,” he said, “he was involved with the U21s for, what, eight or nine years, as a selector and then as a coach.

“He’d be huge, he’s a massive coach, he goes to an awful lot of games, he’s very aware tactically, especially with the way the game has moved forward.

“He’s involved with the Cork U18 ladies, his hand is always in, he has been with Castlehaven teams, certainly he would be a massive choice.” Tompkins himself managed the county from 1997 until 2003 and wouldn’t rule out being involved again.

“You can never say never about anything,” he said.

“Your love and your heart is in the game that you’ve played and I’ve been there before for a good while. We’ll just see the way the whole thing unfolds.” Last night’s event was to promote a gala lunch in the Rochestown Park Hotel on Friday, August 28, where both teams will be honoured on the 25th anniversary of the historic achievement. Tables of 10 can be bought for €1,000, enquiries to be made through Tompkins, 1990 hurling captain Tomás Mulcahy or county board officers. Proceeds will go to the Dessie Fitzgerald Injury Fund and the Friends of Jamie Wall.

More in this section

Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Home Delivery


Have the Irish Examiner delivered to your door. No delivery charge. Just pay the cover price.