Cork manager Ephie Fitzgerald expects to learn next week about the availability of 11-time All- Ireland winners Briege Corkery and Rena Buckley for the summer’s championship campaign.
Fitzgerald hasn’t placed any pressure on the midfielders to commit thus far but indicated he will have to pick a championship panel after next Sunday’s Lidl National League Division 1 final against Donegal at Parnell Park.
Buckley is Cork’s senior camogie team captain and has focused solely on the small ball code to date in 2017, while Corkery opted for an extended break and has yet to reveal her intentions.
Fitzgerald said yesterday: “After the league, we’ll sit and we’ll pick a panel.
“We’ll definitely have a decision come next week.”
Buckley and Corkery will not feature for Cork as they aim for a fifth successive league crown at the weekend. But the Rebels will also be without Ciara O’Sullivan, captain of the 2015 and 2016 All-Ireland winning teams.
O’Sullivan and sister Roisín are travelling and may also miss the first round of the Munster championship in early June.
Fitzgerald confirmed: “Ciara and Roisín, they’re the two missing. They’ve gone travelling for a bit. That was prearranged so we knew that was coming.
“But Doireann is back fit now so hopefully one sister will compensate for the loss of the other two.
“We have a good panel and we used it this year so we’ve no complaints really.”
Fitzgerald also admitted he’s working on a plan to curb the threat of Donegal’s twin terrors Geraldine McLaughlin and Yvonne McMonagle.
When Donegal beat Cork in Mallow last month, in the group stages of the competition, the forward pair combined for 3-10. McLaughlin and McMonagle have been in scintillating recent form and in Donegal’s semi-final victory over Galway, they scored 5-8 between them.
Fitzgerald pointed out Cork, who had already secured semi-final qualification, made a host of changes for their last meeting with Donegal but he acknowledged the potential danger posed by the ace forwards.
“Super players, obviously they did fair damage to us in Cork. That’s the management’s job, to get that right and we’ve looked at that and trained accordingly.
“They’re very good players, similar to what we have with Eimear (Scally) and them up the other end. Hopefully we’ll give a better account of ourselves than we did the last time but it’s a big challenge.”
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