Club championship scheduling a challenge, says Ronan McCarthy

Cork manager Ronan McCarthy is concerned some counties’ Championship aspirations will be hampered by their club championship structures.
Club championship scheduling a challenge, says Ronan McCarthy

Cork manager Ronan McCarthy is concerned some counties’ Championship aspirations will be hampered by their club championship structures.

Cork are yet to confirm the reformatting and rescheduling of their competitions but as a fully-fledged dual county it will be difficult for the county to stage both senior football and hurling finals in September.

Kerry, who were to be Cork’s Munster SFC semi-final opponents, are looking at October 4 for their county championship football final, 13 days before the inter-county window is set to commence.

McCarthy can see counties finishing their competitions quicker having an edge over their opponents at the same time impacting on club players.

“Since the announcement of the dates for returning to club and county action, that has become a bit more contentious because it now allows counties to find their own championship structure and dates,” he told Cork’s 96FM.

“The worry there is, first of all, it’s going to create a poor experience for clubs in some counties and also disadvantage some county teams where some counties have eight weeks preparation and some only four.”

McCarthy makes no secret that preparing his players during the lockdown has been challenging although recent news has boosted the panel. “It has been difficult. To be fair to our players, they have really responded. We broke up on March 10, the last time we trained together before the restrictions came in. Like most teams, players were given programmes and they followed them religiously, to be fair, with our S&C team and Cian (O’Neill, coach).

“But that went on for a couple of months. The next thing there was an announcement that there would be nothing at all until October and at that point, we shut things down. We met the players on a Zoom call and called a halt for two to three weeks. That meant they weren’t linking in with us at all, they were doing their own thing.

“All these players are training all of the time but, look, in hindsight it was a good decision because it gave everybody some time to get away from it and just switch off mentally from it. By the time we were back, things had moved on very quickly and people can now see the prospect of playing and being back training on pitches and the next couple of weeks will be a lot easier than the last couple of months.”

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