GERALD MCCARTHY admitted yesterday that he does not have the backing of Cork senior hurling squad.
Speaking after his ratification as Cork senior hurling manager for a further two years, he confirmed that the players had asked him not to go forward as manager.
“There was a meeting between me and the players, but I’m not going to divulge anything that went on there.
“The players were anxious that I wouldn’t take the job, they had problems with the process and they let that be known too. That’s true.
“But it’s also true that I told them it was a great honour first to be asked to do this job, and then to be allowed to do it. I let the meeting be known I wasn’t going to step back from that.”
McCarthy acknowledged that the situation was not ideal, but said the politics of the situation were not his concern.
“Right now it doesn’t look like the best scenario, but let’s give this time. As far as I’m concerned the future of Cork hurling is the big thing here, and that’s bigger than one individual, or group of individuals.
“That’s what we have to look to — from my point of view it’s not about individuals, it’s about assembling the best group of hurlers and getting them to the right level of fitness, and skill levels, and working towards a common goal for all of us, bringing back the Liam MacCarthy Cup. That’s what it’s about — the politics of the thing don’t interest me.”
Regarding speculation that his reappointment might lead to mass retirements among the Cork senior hurling panel, McCarthy said that opting out was an issue for each individual.
“That’s a very personal thing, it’s up to every individual. Every player agonises over when to retire, it’s very special to a player and I wouldn’t involve myself in any of that other than to say that all the players at our disposal are very special people and we’d like to be picking from a full bunch.
“But time is marching on and I do know that some players were contemplating retirement. It’s an individual thing — some players retire younger than others, it all depends on appetite and how things are going.”
McCarthy said there were no immediate plans for a team meeting.
“There are no plans to meet up. I was only told last night (Tuesday) that I was in the job, so there are no immediate plans for a meeting. Obviously we have positions that will have to be filled, (selector) Martin Bowen has gone back to Erin’s Own, but we’ll looking after that in the next while.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge for the next couple of years. I know it’s a big challenge, there’s no question about that, there’s a lot of work to do to get up to Kilkenny’s level of play. They’re a brilliant team and it’s a big challenge to knock them back from going for four in a row. I’m confident we’ll give it a good shot.
“My main job now is about getting the best hurlers and preparing them, that’s what we should be concentrating on.”
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