In the wake of a call for Cork hurling manager John Meyler to resign, county board chairperson Tracey Kennedy has said she will not be asking anyone to step down, adding that no decision will be taken on who oversees the Cork hurlers in 2020 until the appointment of the county’s first high-performance manager is finalised.
Meyler’s two-year term as Cork boss came to an end following Sunday’s six-point All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Kilkenny.
The county board executive is holding off on won’t be starting commencing the review and appointment process until the position of high-performance manager is filled next month as this individual, said Kennedy, will have a “key role in working with the managers going forward to ensure the best possible use of our resources”.
The post of Cork GAA high-performance manager was created within the five-year football plan published earlier this year, but will work across both codes.
The Cork chairperson was responding to remarks by Bandon delegate Don Desmond, who called on Meyler to resign. Speaking at Tuesday’s county board meeting, Desmond also described Sunday’s performance as “the most disgraceful display from a Cork hurling team” since the 18-point hammering to Tipperary in the 1965 Munster final.
“I disagree with John Meyler that the game was lost in the third quarter. The game was lost in the first half when Cork, with the aid of a breeze, should have pushed home the advantage,” said Desmond.
“After the Cork-Kilkenny game in the league, a photograph appeared in the paper of three Kilkenny men standing over the ball and four Cork hurlers on the outside looking in. I mean we have no one to win a dirty ball. That is the bottom line.
“Until we get someone to win a dirty ball, we are going nowhere fast.
“In conclusion, I would ask John Meyler and his selectors to stand down. I think they have taken us as far as they can take us.”
Kennedy outlined that all management teams — with the exception of Ronan McCarthy, who has a year remaining on his three-year term — will be subject to a review process.
“I don’t really want to go down the route of criticising volunteers to that extent. I am not asking anyone to step down. However, into the month of August, we will be reviewing and looking at where we need to make changes, if we need to make changes,” she said.
The appointment of a high-performance manager is imminent. That person will have a key role in working with the managers going forward to ensure the best possible use of our resources. So we are holding off on actually commencing the appointment process until that person is in place.
On the overall cost of redeveloping Páirc Uí Chaoimh, the chairperson speculated that the final bill may be less than the €95.8m figure given by Michael O’Flynn when he addressed the board back in February.
At the time, the Páirc Uí Chaoimh board member said there are still “three or four moving pieces and there is considerable work to be done to achieve the right number.”
The county board chairperson told delegates on Tuesday that “there have been one or two indications that might lead to a slightly more positive outlook, but we cannot preclude that there might be other changes”.
Dripsey’s John Feeney expressed bewilderment at Croke Park stadium director Peter McKenna being let off the hook despite making comments in relation to the cost of redeveloping Páirc Uí Chaoimh, that were described by GAA director general Tom Ryan as “incorrect and premature”. McKenna told this newspaper last December that “we’re probably close to €110m as a final cost”.
“In relation to the statement issued by Tom Ryan, the nub of the matter is — is Peter McKenna still in place? I’ve heard no condemnation of Peter McKenna, other than he made an inaccurate and premature statement.
"I cannot understand how a senior employee of the GAA would not be reprimanded over what he said, unless he can prove what he said.
"The statement was obviously worded to pacify Cork, and rightly so, but it made no reference to Peter McKenna,” said Feeney.
Elsewhere, Cork have opted not to enter this year’s Tony Forristal U14 hurling tournament and will instead focus on developing the 192 players who are part of the eight regional U14 teams established this year.
In previous years, Cork began the season with four U14 teams before cutting it down to two in advance of the Tony Forristal competition in Waterford. The Rebel Óg and county board executives are in agreement that U15 level is time enough for players to be exposed to inter-county tournaments.
This is the first year of having eight regional teams. There are two east Cork teams, two city teams, and one north east, north-west, west, and mid-west team.
"By sending two teams to Tony Forristal, you are cutting it down to just 48 players,” coaching officer Ronan Dwane explained.
“We are keeping the base wide and getting more players playing at a standard above their club.”