New Cork senior football manager Peadar Healy is making no grandiose statements about his vision for the team.
While confirming Paudie Kissane, Conor McCarthy and Morgan O’Sullivan as three of what is likely to be a five-man management team, Naomh Abán man Healy has no plans to revolutionise the way the county side play.
“I’m not going to change the world or anything like that,” insisted the 2010 All-Ireland winning selector under Conor Counihan. “We will develop it as we go along is probably the best way to put it. The game is changing, it’s evolving and you’re trying to keep up with it. You’re looking at the clubs now and they’re setting the standards. They’re playing a free, fast-flowing game and we’d be looking to play something similar.”
Brian Cuthbert’s successor intends organising a collective meeting with the 2015 panel before talking to them on a one-to-one basis. He is hoping some of the players around and over the 30 year mark will stick around.
“I would indeed and I’d be hoping to bring in younger players to develop them. They’re a very talented bunch of players and we will be giving them 100%.”
From his experience as a selector with Counihan from 2008 to ‘13, Healy can safely say he’s taking the role with his eyes wide open.
“I’m under no illusions about the scale of the task. It’s enormous but it’s something I’m looking forward to.”
Acknowledging his appointment as “a great honour” for himself, his family and his club, one of Healy’s early priorities next year will be to remain in Division 1.
Cork have made the knock-out stages of the competition in all but one of the last six seasons and will enjoy four home games in 2016 - Mayo (January 30), Roscommon (February 28), Monaghan (March 13) and Down (March 26). However, the away games come against the three counties who have won the last five All-Irelands - Donegal (February 6), Dublin (March 5) and Kerry (April 3).
All fixtures bar the Dublin game are provisionally scheduled for Sunday afternoon throw-ins.
“To stay in Division 1 next year, that will be a big challenge in itself,” remarked Healy.
“It’s a very competitive division and hopefully we’ll develop more players. We’d be hoping we create a high performance environment for these players because that’s what they deserve.”
Former Castletownbere boss O’Sullivan, who led the club to an intermediate county title in 2012, is coming in as a selector along with Irish Examiner columnist McCarthy as sports psychologist. McCarthy played under Healy when he was in charge of O’Donovan Rossa last season. As had been speculated over the weekend, Kissane, who won an All-Ireland medal in 2010 working with Healy, will be the strength and conditioning coach having worked with Colm Collins in Clare last season. Clyda Rovers man Kissane takes up the role after already being named as a selector to minor manager Brian Herlihy for 2016.
Healy hopes to add two more to his group with Castlehaven’s James McCarthy mentioned as one of them but the Naomh Abán man is delighted with his appointments thus far.
“Paudie is very strong in the strength and conditioning area,” Glengarriff-based garda Healy said. “He’s somebody who is excellent in what he does and he’s somebody that you can trust. Conor McCarthy is a very professional man and Morgan O’Sullivan is a man I know will bring an awful lot to the table as well. He’s won a county championship with Castletownbere and is a sergeant by profession in Macroom and he’s someone who is well in tune with what’s going on.”
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