Brian Corcoran will have ‘mentoring role’, says Ger Cunningham

Brian Corcoran’s new role with the Cork senior hurlers is in a mentoring capacity, and does not extend to on-field activity.

Brian Corcoran will have ‘mentoring role’, says Ger Cunningham

Brian Corcoran’s new role with the Cork senior hurlers is in a mentoring capacity, and does not extend to on-field activity.

The three-time All-Ireland winner is part of Kieran Kingston’s wider management group for the 2020 season, with Cork head coach Ger Cunningham outlining the brief taken up by the legendary star.

“It is a mentoring role, in the background, in relation to a couple of players. He won’t be involved in any shape or form on the pitch,” explained Cunningham.

“Brian travels a lot with his job and consequently, is away a lot. He also has a young family. He’ll be available to players for a chat, at different times. That’s as much as it will be.”

Cunningham confirmed seven members of the Cork team defeated by Tipperary in the All-Ireland U20 final in August are now part of the senior panel.

U20 half-back Robert Downey saw game-time for the seniors in 2019 and joining him in the senior set-up are goalkeeper Ger Collins, defenders Sean O’Leary Hayes and Ger Millerick, and forwards Tommy O’Connell, Brian Turnbull, and Sean Twomey.

The Cork coach is hopeful each new addition will see action during the Munster Senior Hurling League. Cork begin their 2020 season with a home fixture against Kerry on Wednesday, December 18 and Cunningham has no issue with the early start to the pre-season competition.

“It is good that our two group games are in December because once you hit into January, the focus of the younger lads will be going onto the Fitzgibbon.

“Having the two games either side of Christmas gives us a chance to look at the guys who’ll be playing third-level throughout January.

“The biggest challenge in the coming weeks and months is that we have 20 players within our squad eligible to play Fitzgibbon Cup. Fourteen of those are with UCC.

“If UCC are involved from start to finish, they’ll play five matches. In the middle of that, we have two national league matches.

“That is potentially seven matches, in a relatively short window, for 14 guys on our panel

“A major challenge for us is to balance their Fitzgibbon Cup schedule against looking to use the Munster SHL and the national league to give these younger fellas a chance, if they are ready for it. Player welfare, though, will come first and we won’t overload any player.

“Having this year’s U20s in the squad is beneficial to their development. It creates a bit of competition, too, as these guys are hungry. It gives them a chance to see what they have to do to try and make it to the next level.”

Co-Op Superstores Munster SHL: Group 1: Tipperary v Clare, Dec 15th, MacDonagh Nenagh, 2pm; Limerick v Tipperary, Dec 20th , LIT Gaelic Grounds, 7.30pm; Clare v Limerick, Jan 5th , O’Garney Park Sixmilebridge, 2pm. Group 2: Cork v Kerry: Dec 18th, Páirc Uí Rinn, Cork, 7.30pm; Waterford v Cork, Dec 29th, Fraher Field Dungarvan, 2pm; Kerry v Waterford, January 5th, Austin Stack Park, 2pm. Final: Sunday Jan 12th; Venue and Time to be confirmed.

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