GRAHAM CANTY believes the improved strength of Cork’s panel is the biggest plus they can take from their NFL campaign.
Cork’s victory over Armagh on Sunday secured them second spot in Division Two and ensures them promotion to the top-flight for next season. Yet, despite that achievement, Canty reckons the greater personnel options available to Conor Counihan is the most encouraging aspect.
“The panel we have developed is very strong. All the players we have found is a plus because they have all come up to the mark. We have a very strong panel and no-one is guaranteed a place. Lads are really trying in training because they know if they show up well during the week, they’ll get a chance at the weekend.”
The form of newcomers Paul Kerrigan, Paul O’Flynn and Ray Carey is one boost, yet Canty also welcomed the return of Derek Kavanagh.
“It’s great to have him back. He was over with us in Portugal on a training week and he’s in great shape. He’s very disciplined and had been training away on his own. He’s a great player to have back around the place.”
Cork’s qualification for Sunday week’s Division Two decider against Monaghan offers them a chance to over-turn their reversal against the same opponents during the league series. A hamstring injury ruled Canty out of that game in Scotstown, but he is eager to be involved this time.
“I missed that Monaghan game, but talking to a few of the lads, they were very impressed by Monaghan. They have excellent players all over the pitch and they are growing over the last few years. It has taken Kerry to beat them over the last two years in Croke Park and that shows you how good a team they are.
“The extra game is good at this time of the year. We set out our goals at the start of the year and one of those was to get promotion. Another one of the managers in Division Two said that it’s nearly as easy to win it as it is to stay in it. What you want to do first is make sure that you stay in the division and once you do that you can drive on for promotion.” Meanwhile, five of Coláiste na Sceilge’s All-Ireland winning outfit have been named in the Kerry team for tomorrow evening’s Munster MFC quarter-final against Tipperary in Semple Stadium. Match-winning hero last Saturday, Eanna O’Connor, lines out at full-forward and is joined in attack by Damien Kelly and Niall O’Shea. In defence Niall Fitzgerald starts at left corner-back and Max Thiemann plays at midfield.
KERRY (MFC v Tipperary): P O’Sullivan (Churchill); P O’Connor (Gneeveguilla), P Galvin (Ballymacelligott), N Fitzgerald (Waterville); D Wrenn (Tarbert), J Hoare (Glenbeigh/Glencar), M Finnegan (Spa); S Carroll (Austin Stacks), M Thieman (St Michael’s Foilmore); J Sherwood (Firies), D Kelly (St Michael’s Foilmore), M Brennan (Churchill); N O’Shea (Dromid Pearses). E O’Connor (St Michael’s Foilmore), D O’Sullivan (Rathmore).
CORK (MFC v Limerick): S Mellett (Carrigaline); D O’Donovan (Ilen Rovers), D Rodgers (Brian Dillons), D Cahalane (Castlehaven); A Cronin (Nemo Rangers), R O’Sullivan (Argideen Rangers), S Finn (Glanworth); E Healy (Aghada), P Wiley (St. Finbarr’s); G Minihane (O’Donovan Rossa), John O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers), D Drake Carrigaline; D Fitzgerald (Kiskeam), J Dineen (Éire Óg), B Hurley (Castlehaven). Subs: A O’Donoghue (Aghada), S O’Shea (Adrigole), S Down (Klmurry), W O’Mahony (Clann na nGael), D Brosnan (St, Nicks), D Murphy (Castletownbere), R Deane (Banteer), D Nations (Nemo Rangers), M Russell (Aghada).
WATERFORD (MFC v Clare): F Condon; C Buckley, R Cahill, S O’Connor; B Nolan, S Leahy, C Faherty; M O’Halloran, K Murphy; S Lynn, P Whyte, S Nolan; B O’Halloran, K Moore, K Guiry.
TIPPERARY (MFC v Kerry): A Wall; E Fitzpatrick, J Ryan, P Dalton; D Dwyer, G Quinn, L Murphy; S O’Meara, E Kent; R McGrath, L Treacy, R Peters; G Mulhair capt, J Lonergan, B Hewitt. Subs: E Kendrick, S Taylor, J Ryan, B O'Hara, J Carroll, A Matassa, J McMahon, T Hill, B Lowry.
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