Diarmuid O'Sullivan: The harshest scrutiny came from within Cork

Outgoing Cork selector O'Sullivan also said that the incoming Pat Ryan will do a 'wonderful' job as Cork manager and is a 'brilliant guy'
Diarmuid O'Sullivan: The harshest scrutiny came from within Cork

Former Cork selector Diarmuid O’Sullivan with former manager Kieran Kingston Pic: ©INPHO/Tom Maher

Outgoing Cork selector Diarmuid O'Sullivan has said that criticism from within Cork was what hurt the management team the most.

Former Cork manager Kieran Kingston stepped down on Sunday after three years in what was his second spell in charge of the Rebels.

"Social media has now become life and a lot of things are driven through social media. But through that you need to find balance. And that's impossible," O'Sullivan told Off The Ball.

"Kieran (Kingston) has worked under the most scrutinized conditions any intercounty manager has faced.

"Whatever about national media, some of the harshest scrutiny has come from people within Cork. People who have worn the red jersey, people who have stood on the line doing certain roles. It's tough to take in that circumstance.

"It's tough when your own turn on you and start throwing snide remarks."

O'Sullivan would not name any names but referred to Cork's training venues being criticised, and the management's loyalty to senior players being questioned. 

"There was a guy who questioned our loyalty to senior players, had we alienated some of them. The same guy who questioned our loyalty, once he was deemed surplus to requirements by Kieran, jumped ship on the very club who gave him the opportunity to play for Cork and moved back across the border."

The three-time All-Ireland winner said that he largely ignores social media but that some of the criticism still gets through.

"As much as you try to block it out it you'll always meet someone during the course of the day and they'll say 'did you see such and such a fella?', 'did you see this guy's podcast?', 'did you read this guy's report?', 'did you see this guy The Sunday Game?'.

"You just have to switch off. We believe we gave everything to the cause. We did everything in the right manner to bring Cork hurling forward. We can move out of the job with our heads held high."

The Cloyne clubman believes that some old tensions were behind some of the negativity towards Kingston's setup.

"Some of them guys, there's history with certain members of previous management who would be involved in our backroom team. At some stages in the careers of these guys on their podcasts, on their social media, they have crossed paths with members of management down through the years."

O'Sullivan said he believed the Cork hurling job is still the most prestigious in the country.

"I believe the Cork manager job is the most prestigious job in hurling. We've been absolutely privileged. Myself and Kieran have had five years, privilege is probably doing it an injustice. The privilege for us to be involved in the Cork senior hurling team for five years. It's hugely proud for us and our families."

When asked how he thought incoming manager Pat Ryan would get on O'Sullivan's response was emphatic: "wonderful".

"Pat Ryan is a brilliant brilliant guy with a brilliant attitude. I think Pat, with the group of players that we have left and the group of players that are coming behind, will have a wonderful opportunity to bring Cork hurling back to where it needs to be."

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