Cork to appoint S&C guru to oversee inter-county teams

Cork GAA intends to appoint an overall strength and conditioning co-ordinator to create consistency of approach from development squads to senior teams within the county.

At the launch of the Cork Strategic Plan 2018-2020, it emerged that the board will also appoint advisory committees on Gaelic football and hurling to address various issues such as the competitiveness of the county leagues.

Richard Murphy, chair of steering committee which devised the plan, said: “The document shows we’re appointing a strength and conditioning co-ordinator to ensure players from development squad level to the top are all treated in the same way, so a player with the U14 development squads isn’t doing something totally different at U16 and so on. It’ll be streamlined from the lower level up.”

As for the county leagues, board senior administrator Diarmuid O’Donovan said: “The leagues have had a different status in Cork, but even in other counties you can have horror stories there.

“We’re setting out a programme here to address that. I think by the end of the period covered here we’ll have addressed the issues (regarding the Leagues).”

Cork’s SHL features many of the county’s senior championship clubs but there is no relegation from the top tier, leading to a charge the league lacks a competitive edge.

County chairman Ger Lane said: “I take the point about the senior hurling league, and maybe they are treated like challenge games, but you have relegation in the other (football) leagues and I’m as intrigued as anyone as to why they aren’t more competitive. I don’t have the answer to that now.”

Richard Murphy added: “We mention in the document we’re putting an advisory group on hurling and football for the board. Two football people will be put together with the senior administrator to advise the board on all aspects of the game, and the same with hurling.

“Because of the dual situation those groups may come together and then advise the board — the board may not have all the answers either.”

The development squad system may also be up for debate. “You can’t have successful county teams if you don’t have a proper structure from U8, U10 up to adult level,” said Murphy.

“We’d hope the coaches at all those levels would interact with each other and that we’d have a set strategy for coaching development squads and all the way up.

“The development squads have served a good purpose but we may have to look at why more players from our premier teams, particularly around the city, are not on certain squads.

“We may have to adjust the development squad system to accommodate that.

“But if you don’t have a proper structure to bring players through from clubs you can’t have inter-county teams coming through on a regular basis.”


Kim Sheehan is an opera singer from Crosshaven, Co Cork, and is this year’s recipient of the Jane Anne Rothwell Award from Cork Midsummer Festival.A Question of Taste: Cork opera singer, Kim Sheehan

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