CORK senior hurling coach and selector Pat Ryan believes that a number of factors were responsible for the outstanding performance given by the team in Thurles last Sunday.
Ryan was delighted with the return from the players on duty and he paid tribute to the more experienced ones for their input.
“Absolutely, Kieran Kingston our manager has tried to put in place the best team possible on and off the field and he believes that the players themselves deserve great credit.
“The players have bought into everything that Kieran and ourselves have tried to do. I think the more senior players in the squad have really stepped up this season and they are leading by example with their approach and work-rate.
“You take Seamus Harnedy there last Sunday, he worked so hard all through and he could, quite easily, have finished the game with a lot more scores than he got.
“He showed leadership out there on Sunday and his work-rate was huge. Hoggy too was outstanding, got some great scores for us and that return from all those older lads was very pleasing.
The addition of former Irish Boxing High-Performance Director Gary Keegan in a similar role has been another significant factor in the squad’s development.
“Without doubt. Kieran must take great credit for bringing a person like Gary on board. He has made a great impression with the lads, he’s a very personable guy and very intelligent and when he talks individually and collectively to the players they respond well to him when he joins up with us.
“I think we have all learned from last season and as a management team we are still learning I think.’’
Reflecting on Sunday’s great triumph, Ryan believes it showed that the future can be bright.
“It’s only a start on a long road and the important thing is not to sit on a win like this but to go out and build on it. That’s a big challenge but we’d be very encouraged with what transpired last Sunday from all the players.’’
There will be no rest for a lot of the Cork players next weekend with a considerable number being involved in championship action with their clubs.
“Yes, that’s very important from our viewpoint and we emphasise that to them. It’s very important that happens and I think it’s a return to more traditional Cork ways, fellows showing good form with their clubs and bringing that form with them when they join up again with us."