Former Cork manager Billy Morgan has admitted he’d like Tomas Ó Sé to manage the county at some stage - but can’t see it happening.
Kingdom legend Ó Sé has forged a close relationship with Morgan at Nemo Rangers and the pair have worked together in UCC Sigerson campaigns.
Ó Sé stepped away from that role this season to concentrate on his club commitments with All-Ireland finalists Nemo though Morgan said he hopes to resume the partnership in 2019.
Morgan, who guided Cork to All-Irelands in 1989 and 1990, said he’d like Ó Sé to get involved in management with Nemo and believes the defender ‘definitely would be up to managing inter-county’.
Asked if he could envisage Ó Sé ever managing Kerry, like his late uncle Paidi, Morgan quipped: “I’d be hoping he’d manage Cork! I don’t know, he is living in Cork and teaching in Cork and I don’t see him moving out or moving back (to Kerry). Maybe he would, I don’t know, but he definitely would be up to managing inter-county.”
Morgan agreed that handing the Cork reins to a Kerry legend would probably be too much of a leap.
“I doubt it, but you never know,” continued Morgan. “Say, if his son comes up - Micheal is 11 now I’d say - maybe in seven or eight years’ time if his son was on the Cork team.”
Cork are currently managed by Ronan McCarthy and Morgan cut him some slack for dicing with relegation in Division 2 of this year’s Allianz league campaign.
He noted that they were missing their Nemo contingent as well as a number of injured players though claimed that the county generally is underachieving.
“Of the last 14 Munster U-21 championships, Cork won 10 of them, Tipperary won two and Kerry won two,” said Morgan.
“There has to be (talent). They won two All-Irelands within that and were unlucky not to win a third one. Maybe those fellas weren’t given time to bed in or an extend run, I don’t know, but in a county the size of Cork, there has to be talent there.”
Asked specifically if he felt Cork have underachieved or if Division 2 is their level, Morgan responded: “Good question. They were a bit unlucky to be relegated from Division 1 a couple of years back, there were three or four counties all on six points, so they were a bit unlucky.
“We thought they would bounce back last year and they didn’t. We definitely thought they would this year but they were short a couple of players. They are underachieving a bit, they are, there is no doubt about it but against that, this year, they were missing so many players.”
Morgan laid out the amount of players that Cork were missing from his vantage point.
“They were missing the Nemo players and I reckon there were four of them that would have been there or thereabouts on the team. Plus three injuries - Sean Powter, James Loughrey, Aidan Walsh - that’s seven.
"Against Roscommon, they were missing Sean White, who is a very good player and who I think will make it, plus Ruairi Deane, who was on last year and is a good player.
“That’s nine players they were missing towards the end of the league and when they come back in, I would hope that Cork will improve. I think they will.”
Morgan suggested that reaching the new look group format which has replaced the All-Ireland quarter-finals is a realistic goal for Cork in this year’s Championship.
“That should be it, Cork’s ambition this year should be to make the Super 8. If Cork made the Super 8, it would be a step in the right direction. Whatever about progressing from there, that would be my aim.”
Dublin continue to be the county that everyone else is chasing. Jim Gavin’s side haven’t lost a Championship game since 2014 though Morgan said that even with five Sam Maguire wins in seven seasons, they haven’t reached the level of the great Kerry team of the 1970s and 1980s which won eight in 11 years.
“The thing I would say about that Kerry team in the late 70s, early 80s is that they were blowing teams away in All-Irelands, you couldn’t live with them,” said Morgan.
“Dublin have been pushed to the pin of their collar in the last few All-Irelands, by the likes of Mayo.”
Morgan is one of just two goalkeepers ever to be named Footballer of the Year though stated that Stephen Cluxton, who has captained Dublin to four of their All-Irelands, should have got it last year.
Instead, the award went to Mayo forward Andy Moran with Mayo ‘keeper David Clarke winning the All-Star.
“With all due respect to Andy Moran, I thought Cluxton should have got it,” said Morgan. “Andy Moran in fairness was great all year, it was great for him to get it, but I thought Cluxton was, and is, the man.
"Even this year, in the few games that he didn’t play with Dublin, they weren’t as good. He’s the best ever, without a doubt.”
Morgan said he is still coming to terms with the disappointment of Nemo’s All-Ireland club final defeat.
“We didn’t turn up on the day, we couldn’t do a thing right,” he said. “But you have to hand it to Corofin, they had their homework done and set themselves up very well.
"I thought their ideas and the football they played and their movement were outstanding.”
Billy Morgan was speaking at the launch of the inaugural AIB GAA Club Player Awards.
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