BITTER disappointment yesterday for Cork at Croke Park, but county board chairman, Ger Lane, said he was very proud of the efforts of Kieran Kingston and his panel over the season.
He spoke to the players in the dressing-room afterwards to tell them so and pointed out that they had surpassed the expectations of all this season.
“I have just spoken to the lads in the dressing-room there and of course they are very down, as are the management about today. Very disappointed, but look as I said to them we have had a fantastic year, a brilliant year actually.
“To win the Munster championship and be in an All-Ireland semi-final was outstanding. For a lot of the young lads it’s a big learning experience, they haven’t played at Croke Park before and underage teams haven’t been here in a while either.
“Look overall we have had a great year, despite the disappointment of losing today. We won the U17 final, the minors are in the All-Ireland final and there is a good U21 team there as well.
“We will look back at this in the coming weeks and I think we will be saying we will be gearing up for 2018 with great confidence.
“With that U17 win, the minors going well and I think there are only a couple of the U21s over age for their competition next year there is talent coming behind to back up the senior squad.
“I think we will be very competitive in the U20 competition next year, which will be very tough to win, but I think we will be in with a great chance.
“We have turned the corner, I think we bottomed out and can look forward with confidence to the next few years. I feel that 2018 should be another good year for Cork.”
In his address to convention at the end of last year, Ger made reference to the teams and felt it was time for Cork to start to step it up again.
He pointed out all the facilities and support they had but also asked for a little patience as they tried to get things right.
“Yea, I think they answered the rally call I made, but I also pleaded for patience at the time as well, with a lot of them being young and not having won at underage level.
“But I think Kieran Kingston and his backroom team deserve great credit and thanks from everybody in the county. While we didn’t get through today I want to sincerely thank them.
“I think they have done a marvellous job and I would be hopeful we can come back next year and finish the job. I would also like to wish minor manager, Denis Ring, and all involved the best of luck in the final in a few weeks,” concluded Ger.