Cork football needs a figurehead to organise change at all levels

Cork football needs a figurehead to organise change at all levels
Graham Canty and Brian Cuthbert at the launch of Cork's Five-Year-Plan. Picture: Larry Cummins

SO, who’s going to be Cork GAA’s first Mr Football? That’s not the official title, of course, more like project co-ordinator, or director of football.

The job is one part of the recently declared Five-Year-Plan and while the county board are an equal opportunities employer, it’s safe to say the new person will be male.

Anyway, Miss Football or Mrs Football doesn’t quite cut it, so we’ll stick with Mr Football as the title.

And before any auld Joe thinks about throwing his hat into the ring, in time for the 3pm, Friday week deadline, they’d better look at the fine print in the job description.

There’s no point in polishing the CV or brushing up on your interview techniques until you have read the details, especially the criteria needed for the successful candidate, who will report to Kevin O’Donovan, the board’s secretary/CEO.

Some of the duties expected of the new person will be contact between clubs, schools, and elite teams, contributing to the appointment of Cork management teams and developing support structures for coaches at all levels.

And they also include developing a synergised approach to how Cork teams prepare and play. There will be regular reporting to the CEO.

The successful candidate will also have an understanding of the particular challenges facing Cork football, and, as everyone knows, they are many and varied, and have no quick-fix solution.

A GAA background is obvious, as the new incumbent will be expected to have a wide range of experience of Gaelic football, including playing and coaching. Just as significant will be a high level of IT skills.

Accordingly, if you believe you’re the right man for the task, pop your CV, via email, to

The verdict will be awaited with interest.

Picture: Larry Cummins
Picture: Larry Cummins

Meanwhile, the third and final element of the board’s club structure review took place at the weekend in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

It was a rare opportunity for the so-called ordinary club player to have their say on how the games, as they are currently structured and organised, impact on their careers.

“There were players from all different grades, from junior all the way up to senior. It was great to see people in their 20s and 30s engaging just as much as older people. We were delighted to see a lot of players there,” said board PRO, Joseph Blake.

“I think it was definitely successful. We had over 185 people from different clubs, representing team mentors, club officers, and, most importantly, club players.

“It went on for three hours and people were divided into different groups of eight or nine per group. They were asked different questions about such topics as championship structures, dates for playing games, and the availability of inter-county players.

“There was a wide range of answers, and individuals who felt the need were asked to supply their own answers on a separate sheet of paper,” he added.

So, what happens next and how soon will there be white smoke about club affairs in 2010?

“All the answers were gathered up at the end of the session and they’ll be looked at by the Games Committee, who will then pass them on to the Strategic Group Committee.

“The next step will be a proposal to the CCCC (Central Competitions Control Committee) and then onto the board executive, who will issue proposals to the board, when it will be voted on by delegates.

“Hopefully, it will be completed as soon as possible, but the most important thing to do is to do it correctly. Maybe, in two months, we will have an answer,” Blake added.

The PRO is spot-on, when he says it’s all about getting it right, rather than hastily rushing something through that turns out to be the wrong course of action.

The discussion comes at a time when the county championships start on Monday, with four games in the senior football divisions/colleges section.

CIT-Carbery, in Brinny, at 3pm, is the stand-out tie.

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