John Considine aware of need to find the right balance with Cork

Cork U17 hurling manager John Considine is occupied with beating Dublin in Croke Park tomorrow, but at the same time he is well aware of the dual purpose nature of his role.

John Considine aware of need to find the right balance with Cork

An All-Ireland U17 hurling title may not come with as many garlands as a senior title, or even the minor grade it replaces from next year, but it still offers Cork a chance to win a first national hurling championship at headquarters in 12 years.

In 2001, Considine was manager of the last Cork minor All-Ireland-winning side, and he is aware of striking a balance between winning the game at hand and being aware of the bigger picture.

“It depends on what stage you’re at,” he says. “When we started out, we pointed out that the main aim of this was getting fellas better for the longer term.

“The thing is, one of the best ways of doing that is getting fellas games and that only happens if you keep winning.

“We beat Galway the last night and that means another game, one in Croke Park, which is huge. Underlying all of this is a longer-term thing about guys improving.

“It would be great to think that some of them would get to win senior All-Irelands with Cork. It’s all part of a process but at the same time, we’re not even thinking past Sunday.”

A win over Galway in Thurles nine days ago earned Cork their place in the final, while Dublin benefited from a walkover from Antrim. It made for a tougher route, but one Considine terms more beneficial.

“Before the game, some people were saying: ‘Isn’t a pity that you didn’t get Antrim, you might have been straight in the final,” he says.

“Short-term, that might be a benefit, but longer-term you’re better off having the game.

“The one thing I’ve noticed about these guys since the start of the year is that, when the sleeves have to be rolled up, there is never a problem with them.

“Against Galway, when things weren’t going great, they kept going and never got flustered. Galway got 1-8 in the second half with only one wide, so everything they hit was going for them.

“It would have been easy for the lads to think it was slipping away but they kept at it. I thought that they showed maturity beyond their years.”

That maturity will have to come to the fore again, but Considine has no fears of the Croke Park factor being an overawing one.

“We won’t find out until Sunday, but they are a level-headed bunch and I’d imagine that it won’t be an issue,” he says. “As well, it’s a triple-header. You won’t have 80,000 there at the end of our game, maybe only 10,000 ahead of the Kilkenny-Galway minor game.

“It is an imposing venue and there is always the psychological energy of going to Croke Park. That’s experience, that’s what we’re trying to drum into guys, sometimes even bad experiences can be a plus, though we’d hope that won’t be the case.

“It’s great to experience this as a 17-year-old, some will be back the following week with the U18s, and the benefit is incalculable, hopefully it’ll stand to them down along the line.”

CORK (U17H v Dublin):

E Davis (St Catherine’s); E Roche (Bride Rovers), C Nyhan (Ballinascarthy), R Sheehan (Mallow); C O’Brien (Newtownshandrum), C O’Callaghan (Dromtarriffe), A Walsh Barry (Carrigtwohill); D Connery (Na Piarsaigh), S Twomey (Courcey Rovers); T O’Connell (Midleton), D Hanlon (Blarney), B Roche (Bride Rovers); B Murphy (Na Piarsaigh), J Stack (Castlemartyr), C O’Brien (Liscarroll Churchtown Gaels).

Subs:

L Donovan (Na Piarsaigh), J Copps (Ballyhea), S O’Sullivan (Midleton), R McCarthy (St Oliver Plunkett’s), L Ryan (Inniscarra), K Murphy (Sarsfields), S O’Regan (Watergrasshill), O McCarthy (Inniscarra), S Barrett (Blarney).

DUBLIN:

TBC.

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