CONOR Counihan says he will take three weeks to mull over his future as Cork coach – but has warned that he will not become a prisoner to the position.
Amid persistent calls this week for the coach to commit for another term, the Aghada man says he will not leave anyone hanging for a decision.
While he marvels at the likes of Mick O’Dwyer, Counihan wonders in an interview today whether the veteran Kerry coach is the exception that proves the rule. “You’d want to be careful of it,” Counihan maintains. “Do you end up needing it more than it needs you? If you reach that stage, that’s not a right place to be. I’ll give myself two or three weeks to stand back from the thing. That’s being fair to everyone.”
While Counihan believes he has received fair treatment from the media, he senses some of the criticism of the Cork team during this season is indicative of a wider malaise in society.
“Sometimes it (the criticism) would irk you, because fellas don’t even think it out. There is some irresponsible stuff going on. It worries me where we are going as a society with this. We will end up shutting down every bloody place in this country listening to that type of gobshite.”
There’s a strong chance that Counihan has a sense of the road he will travel. He’s not a man to outstay his welcome, but he will surely struggle to walk away from this group of Cork players.
“They never went away,” he says.
“They were at the summit of the mountain and they were kicked back down again, but they kept re-appearing. You’d know the quality of the people.”
Though most All-Ireland winners suggest that playing is more fulfilling than coaching, Counihan says he will always savour a few perfect seconds after the final whistle last Sunday.
“You’d just love to freeze that moment when the lads were running crazy around the pitch at the final whistle. The release. The joy. You just wonder could you keep that moment forever. But it’s drifting now.”
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