Countdown to the minor All-Ireland: Selector urges young players to stay grounded ahead of the big day 

Countdown to the minor All-Ireland: Selector urges young players to stay grounded ahead of the big day 
Cork players Darragh Cashman, Luke Murphy, Jack Cahalane, Conor Corbett and Patrick Campbell. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

FORMER Cork footballer, Mick Hannon, has urged the minors to listen to their parents and coaches in the build-up to the All-Ireland final against Mayo at Croke Park on Sunday at 1pm.

It's Cork's first final since the defeat by Tyrone in 2010 and they are looking for their 11th title, having won it last in 2000 following victory over Mayo in the final.

Hannon, a Mayfield stalwart during his playing days, is a selector under the management of Bobbie O'Dwyer.

“There will be a lot of distractions for the young players, some of whom are only 15 or 16 years of age.

“The people they have to listen to leading up to the game are their parents and then the coaches.

“When the ball is thrown in there is only one thing on your mind, win the first ball and the next and the next. Win your battle,” Hannon told the Echo.

Bobbie O' Dwyer (left) with selectors Ollie O'Sullivan, Billy O'Connor, Mick Hannon and James McCarthy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Bobbie O' Dwyer (left) with selectors Ollie O'Sullivan, Billy O'Connor, Mick Hannon and James McCarthy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

It's the biggest day in the youngsters' careers as Croker will fill up to its 83,000 capacity for the Dublin-Kerry senior showdown.

Cork got a taste of what's in store in their semi-final win over Mayo and are looking forward to the country's most talked-about sporting afternoon.

“They had a walk around and soaked up the atmosphere before the last game. You have to look forward to it and relish the occasion.” 

Hannon was fulsome in his praise of the group who are on the cusp of adding to the All-Ireland U20 title.

“The group of 38 we have is absolutely fantastic in terms of their attitude, discipline and commitment.

“If any of that 38 was your own son you would be delighted. They are very nice young fellows.

“We're at a stage now where they're confident enough to approach us and talk about certain aspects if they want to.

“It's something we've encouraged from the start because our attitude was that if you know the individual you know the player.

“All you ask for is a performance, which is the most important thing. And if that is good enough to get us over the line and win an All-Ireland that will be outstanding,” Hannon concluded.

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