A FEW tough weeks facing new Cork manager Denis Walsh, following this hammering in Nowlan Park yesterday.
Next up is the final league game, against Waterford, but as Kilkenny and Tipperary have wrapped up the top two places and meet in the final, and Clare are the team relegated, it’s a meaningless game really.
Of more concern will be the Munster first round match against Tipp on May 31, and already, problems for Denis: “We have two rounds of the club championship coming up so there’s going to be another week or 10 days where we’re not going to see the players. It would be grand to say we can train them for the next seven weeks and be ready but there’s a break there so it’s a matter of using the games really to get up to speed.”
As for the idea of requesting a postponement of those club games, no point, says Denis: “I don’t think that’s going to happen, realistically, there’s not much point in me wasting my energy on that front if I can use it some place else. I’m not making a big song and dance, I’m just making the point to answer the question that there is a week or 10 days where we won’t have them. You can’t go flogging them, I see the (club) games as being the one way of getting them up to speed.”
As for getting the likes of full-back Diarmuid O’Sullivan and corner-forward Joe Deane back in the fold, Walsh said: “I’ve spoken to them all and maybe this week I’ll be meeting them and talking to them, and making a decision by this time next week.
“They’ve been very positive. The selectors and management feel they have a part to play. There’s only five months left in the season, and whether our season will be that long I’m not sure, but you can be guaranteed we’ll fight tooth and nail to make it that long.”
The irony is that even as the new manager complains of having only a shortened time to prepare his team for the critical game against Tipperary, the man whose position he has taken, Gerald McCarthy, will be taking the panel that began this league campaign to La Manga for a week’s intensive training.
Would it make more sense if that money were to be spent on a week of intensive training for this panel, an opportunity to get to know this new management team?
“It’s hard to know would it drain the players more,” says Walsh. “Travelling and that can drain a fella even more. We’ve a recovery session tomorrow night, it’ll give us a chance to sit down and have a chat and we’ll get back to the work Thursday night again.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved