Rebels ‘united’ in desire to see under-fire boss Gerald depart

BEN O’CONNOR last night stated the Cork hurling panel were unanimous in their desire not to have Gerald McCarthy as manager.

O’Connor also suggested the manager and the Board have an agenda against the players “because of all the battles we’ve had with them down through the years.”

The Cork attacker also said the players had two meetings with McCarthy asking him not to take charge for a third season.

“Before all this broke out we had a meeting, following which our two player representatives, Donal Óg and John Gardiner, met Gerald McCarthy and asked him not to allow his name go forward.

“In doing that, in going directly to Gerald before any of this broke, we thought we were being reasonable.

“Gerald’s reaction was that he felt this wasn’t the consensus of the panel. He felt it was being pushed by only four or five players, whom he named, and whom he thinks are against him all the time.

“Straight away that was a problem, because it just isn’t true.

“We had another panel meeting, 27 players were present and the other three were contacted by phone.

“It was unanimous — we wanted a change.

“It was decided then that a new delegation would go to meet Gerald, a bigger delegation and all those who could get the next morning off volunteered.

“There were different age-groups represented, fellas who were on the team and fellas who were on the brink of the team, just to show that this wasn’t just a small clique pushing their own agenda.

“Ten players went to that second meeting and asked him to step aside, but the result was the same — he told us that there was no way he was stepping down.

“His argument was that in the first year, we didn’t win anything because the row at Semple Stadium took the good out of the year, and that in the second year we were affected by the strike.

“He told us he thought he still had something to offer; we said that maybe he had, but at this stage the players are unanimous — we needed a change.

“We had had two years under him and had won nothing and not even a reached a Munster final.

“At this stage a lot of us are coming up to 28 or 29 years of age and if he got another two-year term we felt those two years would be wasted and our careers as good as over before another man came in again.

“The impression we got though was that he now has an agenda there against those same older players, and so have the county board, because of all the battles we’ve had with them down through the years.

“We think this just a smokescreen by the county board to get back at us, an easy option to get rid of fellas, because they knew there was going to be trouble.”


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