CORK County Board chairperson Marc Sheehan has said that the state of the senior inter-county football team will be given the consideration it deserves when the season is reviewed.
Sheehan was speaking at Tuesday night’s remotely-held county board meeting. The Rebels lost to Kerry by 22 points in the Munster SFC final last month and, in assessing recent inter-county activity, he acknowledged that he and secretary Kevin O’Donovan would be speaking to the senior football management with regard to 2022. Manager Ronan McCarthy, appointed prior to the 2018 season, was given a new two-year term at the end of last year.
Clann na nGael delegate John O’Donovan said: “Looking in from the outside, it was a very disappointing performance,” he said, “Cork football has been at a pretty low ebb for the best part of 10 years.
“Something that needs to be looked at and there are big decisions to be made. There is some good underage talent coming through but Cork haven’t always been great at going from underage to senior and that’s something that needs to be looked at, too.”
In replying, Sheehan said that the county board executive would “give it the consideration it deserves.
“We need a small bit of space, to let the inter-county situation come to – hopefully winning – conclusions. It’s very heartening to be in the minor Munster final, and we’ll certainly give it our full attention in due course.”
Sheehan also noted that he had received a lot of unhappy correspondence with regard to all of the county senior hurling team’s games only being shown on Sky and asked when that deal was up for renewal. County PRO Joseph Blake said that he had spoken to people in the Croke Park communications department, who had confirmed that all media rights – television, radio and online – were to be negotiated at the end of this year.
It was also revealed at the meeting that the capacity of Semple Stadium for next week’s Munster minor finals – hurling on Monday against Waterford and football on Wednesday against Limerick – would be 4,000, up from 500 at recent underage games. O’Donovan also said that he saw no reason why Páirc Uí Chaoimh should have lower limits for club matches compared to the 6,100 for senior inter-county games and he would be lobbying for an increase.
With regard to the All-Ireland U20 hurling final against Galway, which was scheduled for this Saturday but has had to be postponed due to Cork being unable to play as a result of Covid issue, O’Donovan said that “clarity is emerging” on a new date and he hoped to have that later in the week.
On a related topic, Sheehan reminded clubs of the importance of staying vigilant and that, while Cork U20s were classed as an elite team, such liberties wouldn’t apply to club competitions. “Hopefully it won’t be a feature of the club championships but one would have to be concerned and cognisant of the Delta variant and positive cases and close contacts,” he said.
The date for the Bons Secours Hospital Cork Premier SFC final between Castlehaven and Nemo Rangers will be finalised after this Sunday’s All-Ireland senior semi-final against Kilkenny. If Cork were to win, the final would be pushed back again to the weekend of August 28/29, meaning that the county championships would then begin in September, football on the weekend of 4/5 and hurling on 11/12.
Referring to a letter received from Sarsfields intermediates over an unplayed game in the RedFM Hurling League, Kevin O’Donovan reminded clubs that, previously, scoring difference couldn’t be applied when three teams were tied if a walkover had been given, but now in such situations, scoring difference in the games between the three teams would count.
The draws for the semi-finals of the divisions/colleges sections of the premier senior championships will be made by the Compeitions Control Committee at the next opportunity. Muskerry, UCC and Duhallow remain in the football while Seandún, UCC and Imokilly are in the hurling, with one team in each to get a bye to the finals on September 18/19 and the semi-finals the midweek beforehand.
Central Council delegate Tracey Kennedy reported that Donegal had submitted a query regarding the possibility of sleeve sponsorship. The GAA’s management committee will consider the issue and circulate correspondence to counties.