Cork football shapes pathway from development squad level to senior

Former minor manager Bobbie O'Dwyer moves into role alongside Ronan McCarthy
Cork football shapes pathway from development squad level to senior

Former Cork minor manager Bobbie O'Dwyer is now with the senior set-up. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

NEW Cork senior football selector Bobbie O’Dwyer is looking forward to helping younger talent settle into the panel as the county seeks to progress in 2021.

Along with former star John Hayes, O’Dwyer – who led Cork to the 2019 All-Ireland minor title – was added to the management team by Ronan McCarthy and he is looking forward to stepping up.

“It’s all part of a pathway, from development squads to minor to U20 to senior and it’s good to have that,” he said.

“I know Ronan would be talking to Keith Ricken in terms of the U20s that would be coming through and Keith was been very helpful to me in my role at minor.

“It’s good to have those lines of communication, because the last thing we want in the GAA is silos where one area doesn’t know what the other area is going through.

“It’s good to have those relationships and that communication existing in Cork.”

Having been minor manager since the end of 2017, O’Dwyer is cognisant of the difference in dealing with senior players.

“When you’re dealing with a team, it’s really about getting to know the individuals and it’s just developing that relationship between the players and the selectors,” he said.

“With the minors, we would have had a huge involvement with the parents. That’s one part of it that’s very different – you’re dealing directly with the individual. With adults, I find people like to know why they’re doing things and if they understand that, they buy into the concept of the team an awful lot easier. With the younger person, it’s more developmental, the physical and emotional side.

“At the same time, they’re both all about one team scoring more than the other, so there are a lot of similarities too!”

Keith Ricken and Bobby O'Dwyer. Picture: David Keane.
Keith Ricken and Bobby O'Dwyer. Picture: David Keane.

Meanwhile, manager McCarthy has reaffirmed his belief that the current panel can win an All-Ireland. McCarthy will remain for another two-year term and he is confident that Cork’s upward trajectory can continue.

“If I don’t believe this team can win an All-Ireland in the next two years, what am I doing here?” he said.

“I have talked about patience from supporters, but at the end of a five-year period in charge, if you haven’t done it, then that’s that, isn’t it?

“The key thing is to give guys time. Just as managers need time, so do players. We try to give a guy two seasons. The day of giving him a couple of challenge matches and then out the door, never to be seen again, is gone. You make a considered judgement and see if he is worth investing a couple of years in.”

More in this section

Sponsored Content