Walsh finally links up with JBM’s squad

Cork hurlers welcome a new face to training tonight footballer Aidan Walsh finally linking up with Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s squad after months of speculation.

Speaking after Sunday’s McGrath Cup final win over Kerry, Walsh said he was looking forward to the change of code: “It’s exciting. It’s always a great place to be.

“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for the last few years and I’m looking forward to the challenge.

“I know it’s going to be very tough but I said I’d have a cut off it this year and see how I go.”

The Kanturk man said the exact details of his availability have to be worked out.

“I’m going to play it by ear really, I’ll have to see how it goes; whatever Cubby (Cork manager Brian Cuthbert) and Jimmy Barry decide.

“We haven’t really talked about it yet. We’ll just see.”

Walsh enjoyed Sunday’s football game and the first silverware of 2014.

“I suppose it’s early in the year to be playing Kerry but any time you play Kerry you really have to up it. “We weren’t focused on the result, we were more focused on the style of football we’ll be bringing to the table this year. The first-half we weren’t up to standard, lucky to come in only down a point.

“With the national league starting in two weeks’ time, there’s a lot to work on. There’s a few positives to come out of the game but there’s a lot more negatives. “We’ll knuckle down and focus over the next two weeks and Westmeath at home will be a big game.”

There are quite a few absences from the Cork dressing-room, given the winter retirements. But Walsh has no fears about the new crop.

“In fairness all the guys coming in have brought a real freshness to the place. There’s a lot of young lads there and they’ve come in with nothing to lose They’ve brought an extra bit of pace and extra bite to the whole thing. There’s plenty of talent in the county, it’s just a matter of getting them all out.”

Walsh said the current squad must share responsibility in the absence of so many veterans: “All of us have to take extra responsibility. We’re all pushing each other.

“The lads in the backs have to feel like they’re pushing the fellas in the forwards. We all think we have extra responsibility, especially with our biggest leader gone in (Graham) Canty. “We all have to step up to the mark.

“It’s a challenge but hopefully we’ll live up to it.”


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