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Farewell Donal Óg and thank you for your excellent articles over the past championship season. I hope you will continue where you left off next season even though at times I disagree with some of your thoughts.
You are quite right in intimating that Cork hurling is at a crisis point with regards to All-Ireland hurling success at all levels (except the fantastic ladies). Since the heady days of 1990 we have only won three senior, two under-21 and three minor titles while Kilkenny have plundered 12 senior, six under-21 and seven minor titles.
Kilkenny are now five senior titles ahead of Cork and should this trend continue we will never catch up and re-claim our rightful place as kingpins of hurling.
Yes, we have a crisis and a major one at that. We need to park the egos at all levels within the structures of our beautiful game and create the climate for success on and off the field.
We ‘export’ our managerial hurling talents to other counties on a regular basis which to my mind is a crying shame considering the above statistics.
Our county board should be utilising the undoubted talents of these gentlemen to create the proper and effective structures and disciplines at all levels with the Rebel county to dominate the hurling scene.
Why don’t the powers that be set about creating a high profile cabal of those managers/trainers — Jimmy Barry Murphy, Donal O’Grady, John Allen, Ger Cunningham, Donal Óg Cusack — and task them with the serious challange of bringing back the glory days on an ongoing basis.
Give this ‘team’ the funds, freedom of action and responsibility over a 10-year period with realistic stepping stones to be achieved during this time scale.
Let this ‘team’ be totally independent of the county board’s administration with due regards for financial prudence.
Many templates exist to ensure accountability without interference in day to day activities. Scale back the major development of the Park and divert ample funds into structures for skills development — ground and overhead hurling springs to mind.
We urgently need to secure the future of Cork hurling.
Somehow I really don’t think that any of this will happen, but, like you Donal Óg, I can dream too.
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