TEDDY McCarthy makes a stout defence of ousted Cork hurling manager Gerald McCarthy in the course of his autobiography, ‘Teddy Boy’, launched in Cork last night.
Criticising the players who went on strike after McCarthy was reappointed in late 2008 for ‘trying to dictate how things should be done,’ he says that they were living ‘in a fantasy world’ and that the reputation of ‘a great hurling man’ was tarnished by supporters of the players’ stance.
“The players did not want Gerald as their manager. Gerald managed the team the way he thought it should be managed. He did not allow the players to dictate what should be done. They didn’t like that. They wanted to control things by choosing their own man,” the 1990 double-winning legend maintains.
“What followed was a protracted battle from which there could be no winners. The reputation of a great hurling man, Gerald McCarthy, was tarnished by supporters of the hurlers’ stance.
“There are certain things that are easy to forgive but I cannot forgive those people for what they said about Gerald, for how they tried to portray him.
“It was an assault on the character and reputation of one of the great men of hurling. It was as if Gerald McCarthy was being blamed for every defeat and the players got the credit for every victory.’’
Describing this as ‘nonsense,’ he also jumps to the defence of long-time Cork GAA Secretary Frank Murphy – who launched the book last night at the Rochestown Park Hotel — noting that he became a target for ‘much verbal abuse.’
He elaborates: “He was portrayed in a less than pleasant light. Naturally when Frank’s brilliant administrative mind was of use to the players, they were happy to forget about their perceived problems with him and were happy to lean on his sturdy shoulder.
“I didn’t have a problem with players looking for better conditions. I believed the formation of the Gaelic Players Association was potentially very positive if they focused on player welfare.
“I did have a big problem with the players demanding the right to choose their own manager or having a veto over whoever the County Board appointed to the post. That could not be allowed.
“That the players made an attempt to get that power of veto convinced me they were living in a fantasy world. Things got out of control. The players had a crowd behind them and that gave them strength. The GAA bent the knee towards them.
“The Director-General of the GAA, Paraic Duffy, became involved. We know now that he had meetings with representatives of the players. I think that was a mistake.”
The author was implicated in the controversy himself, as a member of the team management.
Cork fielded a completely new team in the opening rounds of the 2009 National League before the selectors resigned along with Gerald McCarthy in March.
John Considine took over as interim manager before Denis Walsh was appointed and he had charge for the last round in Nowlan Park, when Kilkenny won 4-26 to 0-11.
And, Teddy McCarthy had the dubious distinction of being a football selector at the time the Cork panel withdrew their services in late 2007 — over the hullabaloo surrounding the board changing the system of allowing the manager to pick his own selectors.
Teddy Holland was appointed manager in November and his selectors were ratified.
But, both squads withdrew their services, resulting in walk-overs being given in the opening two rounds of the respective Leagues.
Peace was restored after Holland resigned under duress in mid-February – paving the way for Conor Counihan to be chosen as the new manager (and Gerald McCarthy at the same time).
And, in line with settlement terms which brought about the ending of the dispute, both managers were able to name their own selectors.
Written with journalist and author Donal Keenan and published by Irish Sports Publishing, the book pays tribute to McCarthy’s unique achievement in winning All-Ireland senior hurling and football medals in 1990 and focuses on his personal life in the interim period.
In relation to the accomplishment of his 1990 double, it may come as a surprise to many followers to learn that the Sarsfields and Glanmire star did not play in either of the two Munster finals, against Tipperary and Kerry.
He was also absent for the respective All-Ireland semi-finals against Antrim and Roscommon – all because of an injury hereceived in a challenge game against Mayo.
Prior to appearing in the All-Ireland final against Galway on September 2, his previous outing with the hurlers was in the provincial semi-final against Waterford in Thurles on June 3.
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