Cork will fight plans for hurling revamp

Cork remain very much opposed to the suggested changes to the All-Ireland SHC and will seek to prevent changes at the special congress next month.

At last night’s board meeting in Nemo Rangers, board secretary Frank Murphy said that there were some elements of the Central Council plan to streamline the championship which were welcome.

However, he could not support a proposal which carried the possibility of Clare, Cork, Limerick, Tipperary or Waterford being ‘relegated’ from the Munster championship into the qualifier group, should they lose a play-off against Kerry.

“It would go into rule that one of the five Munster hurling counties would go into the second tier, with no chance of winning the All-Ireland title. That can’t happen,” he said.

“Central Council may change some parts of the plan to free up time for clubs, but it’s peripheral, to say the least. There’s no serious addressing of the club scene.”

Delegates backed this stance, fearing the effects on the club championships if Cork were to be involved at the latter stage of the new hurling and football championships.

Ger Lane said that the executive would do what it could to put forward the opposition to the changes.

Murphy had read through various elements of the proposed changes, including that qualifier games level after extra time would have two further periods of five minutes each, with a free-taking competition then used to separate the sides if still level.

Meanwhile, the executive of the board is to take responsibility for the appointment of county coaches at senior, U20 and U17 levels.

At last night’s Cork County Board meeting, chairman Ger Lane outlined a process based on that for recent appointments, such as that of John Meyler as U21 hurling coach last year.

Previously, distinct sub-committees, consisting of executive members, board delegates and former players had been established in order to select managers.

“Similar to what we did in last 12 or 15 months,” he said.

“The executive will take responsibility for appointment of coaches and selectors.

“The executive pick people from within the executive to deal with these appointments, possibly different people for different grades.

“We’ve been reasonably successful in appointments over the past few years, and when it comes down to it we should be responsible because we carry the can when things go right or wrong, certainly when they go wrong anyway.” The senior hurling management team’s term also came to an end after Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final loss to Waterford, and Lane said that the executive would speak to manager Kieran Kingston in the near future to ascertain his views.

In discussing intercounty reports, Lane paid tribute to the efforts of the county footballers in their extra-time loss to Mayo last month and spoke out against criticism of manager Peadar Healy and his backroom team.

“It was probably our best performance all year, or even longer,” he said.

“There’s no reason why we can’t have more success in 2018 than in the last year or two.

“We thank everyone involved, results didn’t go their way and our management were subjected to criticism in the media, much of it unfair. Unwarranted criticism of the management and players isn’t something we’d be happy with, as they’re doing it on a voluntary basis.”

Earlier, twins Eoin and Brian Roche presented the All-Ireland U17 trophy to the board along with coach John Considine.

Prior to that, Philip Healy, a 22-year-old Ballyhooly player who died in the US, was included among the votes of sympathy passed.

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