The Paudie Palmer column: A united front is vital for Cork GAA

The Paudie Palmer column: A united front is vital for Cork GAA

Eoin Downey, Tracey Kennedy, Eoghan Nash and Kevin O’Donovan in Páirc Uí Chaoimh at the launch of One Cork. Picture: Darragh Kane

THE two recent announcements from the GAA suits on Leeside were in as much as anything else a reminder that Rebel GAA must be self-financing and that includes the debt on Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Maybe there was a belief in some quarters, that the central bank in Croke Park would come to the rescue. No siree.

First up is the revamped County Board draw which from now on will be known as the Rebel Bounty.

Basically, each senior club is expected to sell 100 tickets at €100 a pop, intermediate clubs must find buyers for 70 and junior clubs will need to locate 50 individuals.

Clubs who fail to sell their quota will have to come up with the balance while clubs that sell in excess can keep the extra cash generated.

It does appear that some clubs are critical of the operation of the draw particularly during these times.

Unlike the previous draw, all the prizes on this occasion are cash prizes and for one individual, they will find themselves €100,000 richer after the December 2021 draw.

I am tempted to mention that it could be you. From what I can ascertain the money generated from this Rebel Bounty goes into the coaching structures which should be of benefit to the clubs.

The second announcement was the amalgamation of all income-generating activities and expenditure into one body which has the catchy title of One Cork.

I think this is a positive development on a number of fronts but in particular, it will see the involvement of a number of high-profile businessmen.

Some of you will be aware of Cairde Chorcaí which as a matter of interest was originally set up to fundraise for essential requirements for the Cork football team but latterly has been filling a vacuum in contributing to a number of coaching initiatives around the county.

Now Cairde Chorcaí is subsumed into One Cork.

One thing that you can take from all of this, is that money is required and the GAA family in this county will have to bear the brunt.

As I have mentioned previously, it may have been the case that poor financial decisions were taken in the past but seeking the pound of flesh will not bring in a penny.

Instead of cursing the darkness, it could be more profitable to light the candle.

It will in all probability be a while before the ghosts of the Munster football final are shown the door, but as the saying goes, the show must go on.

To that end, I would expect the appointment of a new team management in the not too distant future.

You may not think it, but depending on what Croke Park decides in relation to the position of the inter-county league and championship in the 2021 calendar, teams could be back in training shortly after the bearded one returns to Lapland.

It will fill some of the blank pages, be the subject matter for a podcast or two, or it may make the discussion menu in some of the reopening gastro pubs, pontificating as to who may/should be the next Cork bainisteoir.

Can we set the ball rolling if that hasn’t already happened?

Cork manager Ronan McCarthy. Picture: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Cork manager Ronan McCarthy. Picture: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Ronan McCarthy is on some people’s list if he decides to let his name go forward.

Keith Ricken because of his U20 success last season. John Cleary appeared a shoo-in for the position a few years ago but was ruled out of contention because he wouldn’t sign up to the dual charter.

Cian O’Neill the present coach could also be mix and finally John Fintan Daly who for the past 25 years has made no secret of the fact that he wouldn’t be found wanting if his county came a calling.

Interesting times ahead.

It has been a while but then again, it’s been a while for many of the happenings in 2020, that a Waterford player is in the running for Hurler of the Year.

Yes, Stephen Bennett who drilled home one of the vital goals on Saturday evening and who earlier in the season had to assume the role of free-taker when Pauric Mahony fell victim to the cruciate curse is at minimum on the nominated list.

It will be somewhat surreal that in just over a week’s time that many neutrals will be hoping, that a county that has recorded only one All-Ireland victory in 47 years will not add to their tally.

Again strange doesn’t come close.

Undoubtedly Waterford’s transformation has been one of the major attractions of this year's staging.

What I would suggest is even more noteworthy is the manner of the phoenix-like rise.

Whatever about their style of play, it’s the attitude of the players that has been as interesting.

Maybe it has something to do with the empty colosseum, where there are not the same demands to satisfy the baying followers. Gone are the massive fist-pumping, crest kissing and declaring love for their patch.

A few years ago, I think it was Briege Corkery who was asked about Eamon Ryan’s coaching philosophy and she responded “small heads and small arses”.

Today the PC police might very well be on his house. There does appear to be a steely, on-field humility about the wearers of the 2020 Déise uniform.

In the aftermath of their victory over Kilkenny, there was some commentary about the level of fitness that appears to attach to Liam Cahill-managed outfit.

One can only assume that whatever fitness regime — or to give it its correct title — strength and conditioning (S&C) programme that these Waterford players have undergone will be the benchmark for many inter-county panels in 2021.

Stephen Bennett of Waterford scores his side's first goal against Kilkenny and Waterford. Picture: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Stephen Bennett of Waterford scores his side's first goal against Kilkenny and Waterford. Picture: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

There is a belief in some quarters that Cork may be somewhat behind the curve in relation to this, which to be honest, I find hard to believe considering that the county has a full-time S&C person at the helm.

We will not torture you now, with the column’s predictions as to who will win the big one, but can you reflect for a moment on a debate that took up some air space a few years ago as to which province was the purveyor of the superior hurling.

Sadly at one level, it’s a debate no longer as Leinster seems to be in second place by a distance.

Yes you could argue, that this year shouldn’t be a benchmark for any comparisons but outside of Kilkenny and Galway, a few of the others could consider themselves lucky not to receive an invitation from Joe McDonagh.

As you are aware, the final of that competition between Antrim and Kerry will be played at 1pm as a curtain-raiser to the All-Ireland final on Sunday, December 13.

Of course, I would like the homeland to emerge victorious, I presume you would too?

But whoever wins it, they will play in next year’s Leinster championship. As one might be tempted to say, it would be some craic if a Munster team ended up in the Leinster championship.

By the way, I think that the Ulster side will end up with the laurels.

More in this section

Sponsored Content