CORK football captain Ian Maguire swerved around the obvious question about manager Ronan McCarthy’s three-month suspension at the remote launch of the new Sports Direct’s five-year sponsorship, worth €400,000, to the county board.
“As a player, I’m not in a position to comment on it at the moment because there’s an appeal gone in and it’s a county board matter.
“If I did comment it might lead to trouble for the county or the GAA and I don’t want to insult anyone’s intelligence by reading off a script.
“The main thing for us at the moment is to concentrate on ourselves as players and meet those problems when we go back training. We can only control our own conditioning and workouts at the moment.
“When it’s all said and done that might be a different story,” the St Finbarr’s club man stated about McCarthy's proposed ban over a team bonding session that took place in Youghal.
Maguire, though, is looking forward to working with the team’s two new selectors, John Hayes and Bobbie O’Dwyer, when collective inter-county training resumes.
“We obviously have a strong back-room team that Ronan has developed and put in place over the last few years.
“I would have played against John in club championship and he’s an incredibly intelligent and really classy forward. He has a lot of experience on the big days and what John brings is a connection to the way football has changed over the years.
“It’s different from 2009-10 to 2013-14 to the present day and John has experience of all three eras. He will bring specific expertise in that sense,” the skipper commented.
O’Dwyer led Cork to the last All-Ireland success with the memorable win over Galway after extra-time in the 2019 final at Croke Park.
“That run with the minors was brilliant and some of them are around the panel at the moment.
“Bobbie is obviously an unbelievable football guy and I look forward to working with him. He has a lot of brilliant football knowledge.”
Like society in general, Maguire admitted January was a difficult month with the demanding restrictions of another lockdown.
“I work from home so works-out at home have become my best friend at the moment.
“I’m just trying to get my exercise in when I can. I’ve an exercise bike which I’m now sick at the sight of and I can’t wait to get back to normal training again.
“It’s an incredibly tough time, but the important thing is trying to stay as positive as you can, adhere to the guidelines and see this lockdown out until a bit of normality returns.”