CORK footballer Sean Powter felt a twinge when training last Thursday which caused him to miss UCC’s Sigerson Cup tie against NUIG.
Powter hopes to be available for the Sigerson quarter-final against IT Carlow next week and praised his manager Billy Morgan for not asking him to play.
The Douglas club man has been riddled with injuries since his breakthrough season in 2017 when his explosive displays that summer, especially in a qualifier against Mayo which went to extra time, saw him nominated for an All-Star and earn a spot in Ireland's Compromise Rules squad.
A dual Cork minor in 2015 and as effective at wing-forward as he is in the half-back line, Powter did feature last summer for the Rebels but is still trying to find the right balance.
“I trained with Cork on Thursday and I woke up Friday morning and it was a bit tight. With my injury history with my hamstrings especially I decided to take a rest and ensure I was right for next week now. I’ll be fine by Thursday so the plan is to play next Sunday against IT Carlow.
“Billy’s extremely understanding. I rang him yesterday and he was like there’s no point in playing if your hamstring is sore.
“The last thing we want to do is put you out for another three months. You can see the passion he brings to football and the passion we played with out there. It’s driven by him and he’s just an amazing character,” Powter said.
Powter admitted he’s not a fan of the new tier two competition set to come into place next year and feels it will drive players away from the game.
As Cork are drawn against Kerry in the Munster championship and in Division 3 of the league they'll need to get promoted this spring, or beat the Kingdom to reach the Munster final, to guarantee their spot in the race for Sam Maguire.
“I don’t personally like it. I think it will drive players away from the game.
"If we don’t make the Sam Maguire there will be less incentive to play football for Cork especially. I think people will go away to America and stuff instead,” he said.
Powter feels that Division 3 will be tough for Cork but believes promotion and returning to and winning a game in the Super 8s are realistic targets for the year.
Ronan McCarthy's side were surprisingly beaten by Limerick in the McGrath Cup final last weekend, which served as a warning shot for those expecting Cork to cruise through the league.
A shaky start to 2019 ultimately consigned Cork to the drop, though Powter explained defeating Tipperary in the 2019 league changed their season and was a springboard to an impressive summer.
“It’s going to be extremely tough. Division 3 won’t be easy but the aim is to get promoted and avoid the tier two championship and be in the Sam Maguire."
There's a perception on Leeside and beyond that, on the back of minor and U20 glory as well as a good 2019 championship, Cork are too strong for their grade.
Powter doesn't agree at all.
“The teams in Division 3 aren’t bad. Tipperary, Down, Derry and more, they’re going to be extremely tough games. We know it’s not going to be an easy road in Division 3 but the aim is to stay playing for Sam Maguire.
“To be fair to us (last season) we turned it around mid-league. I think the game against Tipperary turned our season around. From there we’ve driven on."
The Rebels rattled Dublin and Tyrone at Croke Park though then failed to defeat Roscommon on home turf on an admittedly wet and wild day for football when both teams were already eliminated.
"The next step now will be to win any game in the Super 8s. So the next aim is to make the Super 8s and win.
“We drove both Dublin and Tyrone close up until the last 10 minutes. I think the lack of games we had against the top quality sides like Kerry, Dublin and Tyrone went against us,” he added.
DIVISION 3 FIXTURES:
January 26: Cork v Offaly.
February 2: Leitrim v Cork.
February 9: Cork v Down.
February 22: Tipperary v Cork.
March 1: Cork v Derry.
March 15: Cork v Louth.
March 22: Longford v Cork.