BILLY MORGAN was fairly convincing when he told the Echo that it would never happen again.
As 2020 approaches so does the 30th anniversary of Cork winning the All-Ireland hurling and football titles in the same season.
It was the fourth time it has ever been achieved but it was the first time in the modern era.
Morgan admitted he doesn’t see it ever happening again, let alone Cork doing it but his former player Teddy McCarthy wasn’t so quick to dismiss the idea.
“Here’s hoping,” he said. “But at the moment it is not exactly around the corner.
“We had our time and we enjoyed our time but it is all about now, it is all about next week and it is all about next year.
“You never say never but the way the whole system has gone now, the structures and fixtures and things like that, I think it is probably difficult to see it happening again.
“But I’m not saying it is unachievable. It can happen and I have no doubt with the strides that have been made in Cork underage at the moment I wouldn’t rule it out.”
But while McCarthy refused to rule out a County winning the Liam McCarthy and the Sam Maguire within a few weeks of each other, he did write off the notion that a player could be involved in both again.
The former Sarsfields man remains the only player to have ever won the two cups in the same campaign and he believes the days of a dual player are over.
“I have stated this before that I just don’t think Croke Park wants a dual player now,” he added.
“I think it is a burden on them not alone because of the fixtures and the way the Super 8s are coming in, it is very difficult for a dual player.
“It is disappointing to see that because being a true Gael that I was, GAA was my life.
“My whole life revolved around it and it’s a pity that you don’t see people of the calibre of myself and Denis Walsh in particular and the likes of Ray Cummins and Jimmy Barry Murphy, you won’t see the likes of them anymore.”
McCarthy was speaking at the launch of the 1990 Cork double All-Ireland team commemorative shirts by Suits Distributors Ballycurreen.
Five euro from each shirt sale will be going to underage clubs while another five euro is set to go to Cork Penny Dinners to ensure they can continue to do their good work.
“The 30 years weren’t long going but this is a great cause for the Cork Penny Dinners in particular and also the clubs. It’s a great initiative by Dave at Suit Distributors and every little thing helps,” he stated.
“It’s great meeting up with the lads again because it isn’t often we do it and it is great to reminisce about the times that have passed.
“They were great years, great years for Cork. It was probably a golden era for Cork in football and they were a great bunch of guys.
“They were very dedicated and the most important thing about it is there was great humility amongst all the players.”
Cork GAA is in a far different place today.
While the hurlers are still searching for their first national triumph since 2005, the footballers find themselves in Division 3 for their upcoming league season.
Should they fail to earn promotion, they will need to win the Munster title to even qualify for the super eights stage.
But McCarthy again insisted that the upcoming talent at both codes should give fans reasons to be optimistic that the return of the glory days may not be too far away.
“In fairness to the U17s and the U20s in football this year they have made huge strides and they brought great success to Cork which was long overdue,” he enthused.
“But that just goes to show the work that has been done. There is a great machine going at the moment underage, there is great structures being put in place and as a result, you are seeing the fruits of that labour.
“There is a long way to go before these guys get to play senior but with the talent that I have seen – I have seen a good few of their games last year – I think the future is bright for Cork in football.
“That was a bit disappointing (relegation) but the one thing they will have to do now is to just knuckle down and get out of it.
“Their lives depend on it really because if they don’t come out of division three, they won’t be in the All-Ireland either bar winning the Munster championship which they are capable of too but you would like the safety net of being in division two for the year after.
“In hindsight, it is not where you want to be but it is a good place for blooding in these young lads from last year.
“It is a good starting point and it gives them a taste of what senior football is all about so it could bode well for Cork because I do expect them to come out of division three.
“In hurling, I suppose we were a bit unlucky this year and last year in the U20s in the All-Ireland.
“It is great to be winning these All-Irelands and these competitions but as long as you are just competing at the business end of the season it bodes well for Cork going forward.
“I hope 2020 will be a good year for Cork but only time will tell.”