Cronin gears up for a busy campaign in goal for Lisgoold and on the sideline with Imokilly

Experienced keeper will be in charge of divisional outfit again 
Cronin gears up for a busy campaign in goal for Lisgoold and on the sideline with Imokilly

Ciaran Cronin on Cork U21 duty against Tippeary's Bonner Maher. Picture: John D Kelly

EVERYTHING might be at a standstill at the moment on the playing front but when the green light is given to commence again, Lisgoold’s Ciaran Cronin will be a busy man.

Cronin took over the managerial reins with the Imokilly hurlers from Fergal Condon last season and will be at the helm again this time when the East Cork divisional unit set out to try and regain the title that they lost to UCC last season.

However, whilst he may be on the sideline on that front, he will be inside the white line as goalkeeper with Lisgoold when they will re-commence their bid to win the Cork County JHC, a competition alongside many others that had to be suspended back in October because of the health crisis.

Lisgoold, who won the divisional title in East Cork for the first time in 2020, are through to the county semi-final and in that game, they are scheduled to play Duhallow champions Dromtariffe.

On the other side of the draw, Clonakilty will play the winners of the Avondhu championship, Kilshanning or Glanworth who drew the first day.

So when the button is pushed to get things rolling again, Cronin is going to be a very busy man but he is looking forward to it.

"Everybody is in the dark at the moment about when we’ll have games again but it will happen and we must try and be as well prepared as we can be.

“This time last year we might already have had a challenge game played with Imokilly but there’s nothing really going on at the moment.

Anything that we do with the players in Imokilly is done through Zoom and the players are doing their own individual programmes."

Imokilly will be hoping to regain a title that they had held for three years before UCC halted them in their tracks last time out and the Lisgoold man believes that they’ll give it a right go again.

“Obviously, we were disappointed to lose to UCC but fair play to them, they proved that they were a very good side when they took Blackrock to extra-time afterwards. 

 Imokilly's Ciaran Cronin is ordered from the field by referee Nathan Wall during the 2019 county final at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Dan Linehan
Imokilly's Ciaran Cronin is ordered from the field by referee Nathan Wall during the 2019 county final at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Dan Linehan

"All the players that we had last year are committed again and we have some good, young lads coming through as well. You have the likes of Daire O’Leary from Watergrasshill, Eoin Davis from St Catherine’s and Ciarán Joyce from Castlemartyr.

“That should give the team a nice blend of youth and experience. We’ll still have the likes of Seamie Harnedy, Brian and Barry Lawton and John Cronin backboning the side and when the time comes we should have a side that will have a good go again." 

CLUB SUCCESS

On a personal level, winning the East Cork JHC with his own Lisgoold last season was something he will cherish for many a long day.

“Without doubt, winning a trophy like that with your own club was extra special. We had been trying for a long time to win it and your first is always extra special.

“We beat Inniscarra in the first game in the county championship and we then had Dromtarriffe up next until things came to a halt. But it’s something to look forward to and we’ll do our best to try and follow the successes of other clubs from East Cork in that competition.

“We have Trevor O’Keeffe and Richie Lewis from Aghada in charge and they have done a great job.

I still enjoy the playing side of things and I suppose I have the two sides of it now, playing and being involved in management. 

"We work individually off a fitness app and a personal programme and that’s all you can do at the moment." 

The Lisgoold club is now viewed as one of the most vibrant around and Cronin believes success on the field is important for its continuing development.

“A lot of people have put in a big effort in fund-raising, that sort of thing and it was nice to be able to reward them with the East Cork title in 2020.

“Hopefully, we can add to that in the county championship but right now it’s all about staying positive and waiting for things to start up again.

“You would not be doing it if you did not enjoy it and with Imokilly you have Sean Harnedy, Jimmy Smiddy and Brendan Coleman putting in a big effort too on the sideline." 

A busy man indeed but he’d have it no other way.

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