Walsh planning dual mandate for Rebels

ALL-IRELAND winning Cork midfielder Aidan Walsh hopes to become a dual senior star for the county.

The 20-year old Kanturk tyro was a member of this year’s Cork U21 hurling side, but had to sit out their Munster semi-final defeat to Tipperary as the football campaign took over.

And while the large ball is his main focus, he would like to emulate teammate Eoin Cadogan and represent the Rebels in both codes.

“If I get the chance, I’d love to play hurling,” he said yesterday at a Vodafone Player of the Month awards ceremony. “Next year is my last year at U21 and I hope to play a bit of U21 hurling next year. This year was a bit of a disaster, it was just all piled up on top of each other. Hopefully we can all work together next year and work it all out.

“Football would be my number one, to be honest, so if football came on top of hurling, I’d choose football.

“I would try (playing both) if I was over 21. I think being U21 there are so many games with division and club so if whoever is in charge of the hurlers after I am over 21 thinks I’m good enough, I’d definitely give it a shot.

“Denis (Walsh) and Conor (Counihan) played together and they have a good relationship and that’s a big thing. It’s all about having a good relationship and being able to work together.”

Meanwhile GAA President Christy Cooney believes the association will swiftly find a replacement for high-profile outgoing sponsors, Vodafone.

The mobile phone giant has decided to focus it’s efforts on Dublin GAA instead of continuing its backing of the senior football championship beyond this season.

Cooney remained coy on the future sponsorship of the All Stars, with which Vodafone have had a long-standing arrangement, but whose contract is also up after this year’s event.

And given the closer relations between the GAA and the GPA, there is speculation that the two bodies may merge their existing awards structures.

Cooney confirmed the GAA are to continue with their system of three backers for each championship rather than one title sponsor but he refused to be drawn on the prospect of a link-up with the GPA.

“We were aware (that Vodafone were withdrawing) for a while,” he said. “Vodafone have been outstanding sponsors with the GAA for something like 15 years. They are involved with Dublin now and no one expected a situation where they were going to stay involved in the football championship as well. I believe that we are in a position to be able to announce a new sponsor in the coming months.

“Their agreement with regards the All Stars is up this year. So when we finalise things in the next few months, we’ll announce who the new sponsors of our football championship will be and also who’ll sponsor the All Stars.

“We are in the process of finalising an agreement with the GPA but I don’t want to talk about that until the agreement is finalised. I don’t want to talk about what may or may not be.”


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