Cork hurling manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy believes new coach Mark Landers will inject a new freshness to the county’s set-up.
On Tuesday, Landers – who captained Cork to All-Ireland victory under Barry-Murphy’s management in 1999 – was announced as the replacement for Kieran Kingston, who ruled himself out due to work commitments. Barry-Murphy is pleased he has found the right man in Landers, who coached the Cork minors during the 2014 campaign.
“Obviously, it was disappointing Kieran couldn’t stay involved because of work and time and all of that,” he said. “We had to look at the situation and see who we could get that would be good. I’ve known Mark a long time, I think he brings a lot to it, I hope he’ll be able to do a great job and I think he can do a great job.
“It’s a change for us to have someone new coming into the set-up. We had Ger Cunningham, who did a great job, and then Kieran. Both of them and the other three selectors – Johnny Crowley, Seánie McGrath and myself – had been there since the start of 2012. It’s different to have a new voice and I think that it’s a positive.”
Currently, Barry-Murphy and his selectors are assembling an experimental panel for the Waterford Crystal Cup, featuring fringe players as well as some who impressed for the minors this year. “We’re going to consider a big number of players,” Barry-Murphy said, “we haven’t even finalised the full list yet.
“We’ll be looking at players coming from the minor set-up and also guys who were on the Cork intermediate team which won the All-Ireland last year. As well, there are a number of players who did well with their clubs. Last year, we didn’t enter the Waterford Crystal because it clashed with the team holiday but this time we’re going to have a team with new players and then some lads who didn’t get a lot of game-time last year.
“It’ll be a great opportunity for those players to make a claim .”
Interesting, Darren McCarthy, who has been understudy to goalkeeper Anthony Nash since 2012, could be one of those given a chance. McCarthy plays outfield for his club Ballymartle and has been chosen on the Reardens Cork GAA All-Stars side in each of the past three seasons, having posted large scoring tallies.
“Darren’s form has been brilliant for Ballymartle out the field,” Barry-Murphy said. “That’s something we’ll consider. “His scoring return has been excellent, we’ll look at that.”
Not having to contend with the dual-player issue in 2015 will be a help, Barry-Murphy admits. Aidan Walsh and Damien Cahalane have committed to hurling while Eoin Cadogan will only play football so there will be no splitting of players’ time.
“It is easier,” he said.
“It’s tough on the lads themselves to have to make a call, but for Brian Cuthbert and myself it is more organised in that you know what you have.
“The lads felt themselves that it was too difficult to do and from that point of view we just have to get on with it.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved