Cork senior football has no future unless a definitive game strategy and settled team is organised, says Colin Corkery.
The former captain accepted that Saturday’s defeat to Donegal showed signs of improvement but felt the disappointment of the year as a whole “caught up with them a bit and they just didn’t have the form going into it”.
Corkery has called on Peadar Healy to devise a clear gameplan for the 2017 season. “I remember saying a few years back that Cork had to strategise on which way they wanted to play and that still holds true. It has to be a long-term situation,” he said.
“The players are there, it’s just a matter of agreeing on which way we want to play and develop a competitiveness so if we’re not winning games to reach All-Ireland semi-finals and finals in the current season then we’re working on things for the following one.”
Twelve months on from Cork’s unfortunate press statement in the wake of Brian Cuthbert’s departure, the footballers find themselves having exited at the same stage of the championship albeit having lost a Munster semi-final and being relegated to Division 2.
The second tier of the league should provide Healy with the environment to develop such a style.
Corkery wasn’t best pleased with how he went about things earlier this year. “They never really went at it in the league in terms of trying things. Peter Kelleher played a lot of the league and was used well but when it came to the championship he didn’t start against Tipperary and then wasn’t given enough ball in the qualifiers. Brian Hurley and Colm O’Neill were in and out of the team and I don’t know how many changes were made to the back-line. There was just too many changes.
“Cork can’t afford to do things like that next year. They have to bed down a strategy and a starting team. Management have to say, ‘This is the way things are going to be.’ Because if they don’t, we have no future.”
Corkery wants to see Aidan Walsh and Damien Cahalane redirect their inter-county commitment to football only along with Alan Cadogan, who came into the panel with Walsh last month.
“I’d like to see Walsh, Cahalane, and Cadogan have a crack off the football. They’re really footballers anyway. Walsh would bring a bit of confidence back to the situation where we were probably lacking it these last two years, most notably in being done over by Kildare last year.
“It’s a time when fellas with All-Ireland medals are needed but they have to cement their places on the team too,” said Corkery.
“Do that along with the players that are in the panel and Cork have every chance of being a top-six, if not a top-four team again. It will take a bit of time and there will have to be a plan B to accompany the plan A but it’s doable.”
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