For all the positivity the Cork footballers are very much a work in progress

For all the positivity the Cork footballers are very much a work in progress
Picture: INPHO/Oisin Keniry

IT was interesting to hear Cork football manager Ronan McCarthy shoot the breeze in the aftermath of the Super 8 loss to Roscommon last weekend.

While it was the team's last game of a mixed 2019 it doesn't mean the end of activities until the start of his third year at the helm of Cork football.

“Generally what happens, and it's no matter what management team it is, the work for next year starts next week,” he said in passing.

There are many aspects of the Cork set-up that remain a work-in-progress on and off the field.

For instance, strength and conditioning is one critical area in which Cork players will focus on during the winter months because there's a bit of catching up to the done.

You only have to look at the leading teams' physiques to appreciate the difference, which was apparent, too, against the Rossies, number 15 Enda Smith being a case in point.

Game management and decision making will evolve with experience though the concession of 11 goals in the Super 8s harps back to finding the right balance between defence and attack.

This is also the time for managerial movements and football has again been to the fore with a number of high-profile departures and arrivals.

Chief among them was Cian O'Neill's decision to leave Kildare after a four-year stint, which ended last month with defeat by Tyrone in round 4 of the qualifiers.

That's quite a long stint by modern standards and already the succession stakes have been cranked up with former Kerry boss, Jack O'Connor, top of the list of contenders.

Kildare say no decision has been made on O'Neill's replacement, but there are obvious links to O'Connor, who guided Kerry to three All-Irelands.

Mind you he hasn't had much luck with the county's U20s in the past couple of years but with O'Connor's sons, Eanna and Cian, transferring to play club football in the Leinster county, you can see why his name has been mentioned straight away.

And there's another story involving Kerry and Kildare with Wexford at the centre of it all.

Former Kerry star forward, Paul Galvin, has been nominated to take charge of the struggling Wexford footballers, taking over from Kildare-man Paul McLoughlin, who had two years in the position.

Wexford announced that Galvin, a winner of four All-Irelands and a three-time All-Star, has been nominated to take charge of the county's footballers on a two-year term.

Wexford, who lost badly to Derry in the first round of the qualifiers, are languishing in the lower end of division 4 and need some kind of a boost to rekindle hopes of some kind of a revival.

“Paul impressed the selection committee during the interview process with his knowledge and passion for the game along with his vision for Wexford football at both senior and development levels,” a county board statement said.

Up north, Armagh have confirmed that Kieran McGeeney’s term has been extended by two years after his reappointment as senior football boss was “unanimously ratified” by the county committee. 

McGeeney has been in charge of his native county for five seasons, with their latest campaign ending after a one-point defeat to Mayo in round 3 of the qualifiers.


TOMORROW: PIFC R2 Naomh Abán v Newmarket, Millstreet, 7.30.

SATURDAY: All-Ireland MFC semi-final Cork v Mayo, Croke Park, 3pm.

SHC R3 Na Piarsaigh v St Finbarr's, Páirc Uí Rinn, 5.15. R2 Ballymartle v Midleton, Páirc Uí Rinn, 7pm; Newtownshandrum v Blackrock, Mourneabbey, 7pm.

PIHC R2 Courcey Rovers v Ballincollig, Brinny, 3.30; Ballinhassig v Inniscarra, Ovens, 7pm.

IFC R2: Kildorrery v Ballydesmond, Kilbrin, 7pm; Ballinora v Adrigole, Kilmichael, 7pm.

SUNDAY: SHC R2 Erin's Own v Kanturk, Mallow, 2pm; Ballyhea v Bride Rovers, Mallow, 3.45.

SFC R2 Carrigaline v Bishopstown, Páirc Uí Rinn, 5pm. R3 Douglas v UCC, Páirc Uí Rinn, 6.45.

PIFC R2 Castletownbere v Nemo Rangers, Enniskeane, 3pm; Éire Óg v Aghada, Mayfield, 3pm.

IHC R3 Blackrock v Grenagh, Inniscarra, 2pm; Aghabullogue v Glen Rovers, Inniscarra, 3.45; R2 Kilbrittain v Doungourney, Passage, 2pm. R3 Ballygarvan v Sarsfields, Passage, 3.45; Meelin v Ballymartle, Donoughmore, 3pm; Meelin v Ballymartle, Donoughmore, 3pm.

IFC R2 Youghal v Millstreet, Carrignavar, 3pm.

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