Wilsons are duals in Newcestown’s GAA crown

"You’d expect things to go very well but, if they go wrong, they could go very wrong - if there’s a falling-out, it’ll be a proper falling-out!"
Wilsons are duals in Newcestown’s GAA crown

Newcestown captain John Crowley and players with Jimmy O'Mahony after defeating Valley Rovers in the Cork PIHC final at Páirc Uí Rinn in 2015. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Any dual club looking to compete in both hurling and football will need co-operation between the respective managers.

Between 2016 and 2019, Newcestown were the only non-city dual senior club and, while they were graded in senior A hurling as part of the restructuring for 2020, they still fared well, reaching the semis in that and the Premier SFC quarter-finals.

For the coming campaign, Tom Wilson remains as football manager while there should be cordial relations between him and the hurling boss – his brother, Charlie.

“You’re burning the candle at both ends when you’re talking about hurling and football and an awful lot of the same players,” says Charlie Wilson.

“There are advantages and disadvantages in it and if you’re hoping to get to the latter end of either or both competitions, fellas are starting to get tired with a lot of matches under their belt.

“It’s hard to manage that and hard to get it right. Obviously, we’d be hoping that the footballers do well but, at the same time, if they’re doing well, is it hindering us?

“Now, I will take it that we’ll be pulling well with the football manager! You’d expect things to go very well but, if they go wrong, they could go very wrong - if there’s a falling-out, it’ll be a proper falling-out!

“I know with Tom himself, specifically, he has been holding the Newcestown football flag with a while, but he will tell you, first and foremost, that he’s a lover of hurling.

“We’ve all grown up with the dual mantra and we’re going to stick with it. There’s no point changing now because that’s we have and that’s what we are and it hasn’t done us any real harm overall.”

Charlie Wilson in action for Carbery against Seandún's Garry McLoughlin in the 1999 Cork SHC. Pic: Arthur Ellis/Provision
Charlie Wilson in action for Carbery against Seandún's Garry McLoughlin in the 1999 Cork SHC. Pic: Arthur Ellis/Provision

During his playing days, Wilson served Newcestown with distinction as a goalkeeper and was part of the Carbery team that won the county SHC in 1994. However, since his retirement from playing, he has been involved with the juvenile section as chairman and this is his first assignment as manager or selector with the adult team.

“I purely kept my time with underage teams,” he says.

“The underage is forgotten about in too many clubs and if you don’t keep going with it, you’re going nowhere.

“Only that the effects of Covid came in this time around and it was difficult from the point of view of organising managers, I’d probably have left it slip past me for another couple of years.

“You know it is at AGM time, I was approached and they were trying to think of other names, some from outside the club, but it’s much harder to get things done in that respect. I decided that I might as well.

“I’m very familiar with the younger players, but even the older players now, I would have trained them at some stage underage, when I was still playing myself.

“I would say that I have trained 80 or 90 percent of them at one time or another, but whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is another story!”

Wilson is very happy with the management team that he has assisting him.

“I’m lucky that way,” he says, “I have Seán Twomey, James Desmond and Rick Bradfield.

“James went to Australia for two years and he came back and we were trying to see if he’d play with us and he said he wasn’t going playing but we said we wouldn’t let him go past us, either and we took him on board.

“We’re probably going to split the coaching between three of us – Rick is still playing with the juniors so he’ll let us know if we’re working them hard enough or not!”

Keeping goal is likely to be Wilson’s son Cathal, while nephews Jack and Luke Meade are also involved, but there won’t be any preferential treatment.

“If you throw a stone in Newcestown, you’ll hit a relation!” he laughs.

“That’s the size we are, that’s who we are. If you start falling out with your own, then you’re in trouble anyway.

“Seán Twomey and James Desmond are related, [players] Tadgh and Danny Twomey are brothers of Seán – Jim O’Sullivan was manager last year and his son Séamus was on the panel, when we won back in 2015 Eugene Desmond was manager and he’s an uncle to Tadgh and Danny.

“No matter who’s involved, that’s going to be the case and it’s who we are. The only way you’d get past it would be to bring in an outside coach.”

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