New Cork senior hurling boss Kieran Kingston has described the post as a “fantastic opportunity”, confirming yesterday that his former Cork team-mate Pat Harnett is joining him as a selector.
Kingston, who was appointed over the weekend, said: “I’m delighted, but this is obviously just the beginning of the journey. It’s a fantastic opportunity, but is also something that you can only take up if you’re willing to give it 100% commitment. It’s a great honour for me, for my family and for my club, Tracton, but as I say, this is just the beginning.
“I’m delighted that Pat Hartnett has committed to coming on board — he was a fantastic player in his own right and has great hurling experience on and off the field, and will bring all his intelligence to bear.”
Kingston added that he expects to finalise the rest of his management team over the coming fortnight.
“When that’s organised we’ll decide collectively on various aspects of our approach in terms of coaching, strength and conditioning, medical back-up, and so forth.
“In that respect it’s a help to have been involved so recently (Kingston was a selector and coach when Jimmy Barry-Murphy managed Cork).
“Certainly until I got involved as a selector with Jimmy I didn’t realise how much was involved in modern preparation in terms of on- and off-field management.
“From my perspective the three years with Jimmy and the lads were invaluable.”
The new manager has received plenty of feedback already.
“I’ve had people give me both ends of the spectrum, people saying ‘you’re mad to get involved now’ to people saying, ‘Cork are never too far away’.
“I’m well aware of all the rankings that have been around, of all the trophies Cork haven’t won and have won, but I’m not buying into the theory that Cork hurling is on its knees or anything like that. I know the group of players and I wouldn’t have taken on the job if I didn’t believe in them.”
That said, Kingston said he and his management team will cast their net far and wide for the 2016 season.
“Rather than me as an individual, we as a management team will search collectively to see if there are players to be brought into the Cork panel, whether that’s from the college scene, the clubs or the underage system.
“I want to stress the collective, because the people I’ll be looking to get involved are people whose views and experience I have the height of respect for.”
Meanwhile, former All Star Galway footballers Kieran Fitzgerald believes his Corofin manager Stephen Rochford will be a success if he takes charge of his native Mayo.
But the former county defender is hopeful that Rochford will remain with them as Corofin bid to defend their Connacht and All-Ireland titles.
Fitzgerald equalled the haul of Galway legend Sean Purcell when winning his 10th county senior medal on Sunday when they defeated Mountbellew/Moylough by 10 points.
And the 34-year old is now just one off the record held by his Corofin clubman Trevor Burke who won 11 senior championship medals during his career.
Rochford has guided Corofin to their first three-in-a-row and Fitzgerald reckons the Crossmolina native is now ready to step up to inter-county management. “His attention to detail is as good as I have seen. He has that kind of inter-county manager about him, he definitely has it,” said Fitzgerald, who played under the likes of John O’Mahony, Peter Ford, Liam Sammon and Joe Kernan.
“We are hoping to keep him, he might be double-jobbing after a while but we are hoping to hang onto him for the foreseeable future. But I am not surprised that Mayo are looking for him.”
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