Cork football selector Eoin O’Neill has described management’s decision to draft Aidan Walsh and Alan Cadogan onto the panel midway through the championship an “educated gamble”.
Walsh and Cadogan joined the Cork football set-up following the hurlers’ exit from the championship last weekend and the pair are in consideration to be part of the match-day 26 for tomorrow’s third round qualifier away to Longford. O’Neill was adamant there had been no “dissenting voices” from within the panel at management’s decision. The Cork selector also put to bed rumours this move had been discussed prior to the hurlers’ exit.
“I think Alan and Aidan are proven players,” said O’Neill. “They have played a lot of football; Alan with the [Cork] U21s, Aidan, obviously, has been an All Star twice. Is a two-time All Star a gamble? I’d take that gamble. Bringing them in at this stage might be seen as a gamble. Is it an educated gamble? I would like to think it is.
“This wasn’t pre-empted. There were no conversations between ourselves and the hurling management and there were no conversations between ourselves and the two players. They were playing hurling from the start of the year and we respected that. When the chance came up, we felt we had lost a couple of guys on our panel, namely Jamie O’Sullivan and Brian Hurley, and we felt we had lost a couple of options in terms of our own panel. We met straight after the hurling game, we discussed it and we decided to approach the lads. There was nothing more to it.” When quizzed on their potential involvement at Pearse Park, O’Neill replied: “The lads have come back from two very hard weeks of hurling. Obviously, they are going to be a small bit fatigued so we have to be fair to those guys if they do have anything to do with us going forward we are giving them the best chance to express themselves. We will take all things on board.”
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