Cork football manager Brian Cuthbert conceded the Rebels may have to consider a change to their style with the departure of so many physically imposing players in recent weeks.
The Rebel football boss was discussing the departure of Cork star Ciarán Sheehan to Australian Rules side Carlton following the retirements of Noel O’Leary, Paudie Kissane, Graham Canty, Alan Quirke and Pearse O’Neill.
“First, I want to wish Ciarán all the best in Australia,” said Cuthbert.
“He’s an outstanding athlete and a great guy and I hope 100% that he makes it with Carlton and has a great professional career.
“Obviously we’d prefer him to stay here and play football for Cork but I wish him all the best in Australia, absolutely.
“As a Gaelic footballer he’s outstanding. His power, his speed, his accuracy from distance, I think any county team in Ireland would want him in their starting 15 and he’s a huge loss for us facing into 2014, absolutely.”
Cuthbert said the departures would necessitate a rethink when it comes to how Cork approach next season.
“If you look at the lads who retired as well, a lot of them were big, strong, physical players, and we were able to use their strength and power in the way we approached games. That may have to change now, because a lot of them are gone.
“That said, I’m happy enough that we can still play the way I want us to play. We have a very good panel of players remaining, a squad which is as good, I think, as any county’s.
“We’ll need leaders on the team, and I think that’s something which happens naturally, because I don’t think it’s something that can be taught or imposed on a group. We won’t be looking for players to mirror the guys who are just gone — we’ll want the players to be their own men, but the five players who retired were all synonymous with a huge work ethic, high standards and huge application, and obviously we’ll be looking for that to continue.”
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