Paudie Palmer on John Cleary's new role as Cork coach and the city division's issues 

In his weekly column, Paudie Palmer looks at the new Cork football set-up, Douglas' victory over Nemo and the knockout format in the Seandún championship
Paudie Palmer on John Cleary's new role as Cork coach and the city division's issues 

Finbarr McCarthy of Cork 96FM interviews Castlehaven selector John Cleary after they beat Carbery Rangers. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

FIRSTLY, I would like to take the opportunity to wish Keith Ricken and his fellow management team all the best with their endeavours, of improving the stock of the county senior football team.

Yes, I received a few messages to remind me that rather than Keith got the job, that JFD didn’t.

I can only assume that the need to be enlightened on such a manner was based on me calling for the Duhallow man to get the post. Not taking anything from the new team, I still think that John Fintan Daly would have done a good job.

I wonder had JFD presented to the board with John Cleary as his coach, would he have got the position? All academic now dear friends.

The decision of next Saturday’s congress in relation to what inter-county championship arena Keith will be stepping into, could be a key one. From a Cork point of view, I would hope that Proposal B as it’s known is passed.

If it does, the race for Sam Maguire will have an entry of 11 runners after the completion of the league.

The top five in Division 1, the top 3 in Division 2 and two teams in Division 3 and 4 will go forward in the main section of the All-Ireland Football Championship.

The fact Joe Brolly, batting for his Ulster brothers and advocating that both proposals are thrown out, could be influencing my view.

Seemingly Proposal A where a few counties would be relocated to Connacht and Munster to give an eight-team provincial set-up across the board will have difficulty getting out of the starting blocks!

By the way, if neither of the proposals gets the 60% approval rate, then everything remains as it is.

Yes, as mentioned, we would like if the aforementioned Proposal B to go through. 

CLUB BEFORE COUNTY

For all that the most important aspect of the inter-county scene from this corner’s point of view is that it is finished on time to enable the various club championships to begin in early August at the latest.

Keeping the club flag flying, a few observations on the past weekend’s action.

As you will be aware, one aspect of Cork GAA, that for whatever reason, appears to interest this scribbler is the happenings in the divisions.

Last season you may recall, we were particularly critical of the decision of some to run their junior A championships on a straight knockout basis. This year matters have improved greatly in this regard.

Last Sunday both the Carrighdhoun and Imokilly divisional junior A football finals were played and in both cases, all participating teams were afforded at least two championship matches.

It was also pleasing to note that the arrangements for both finals were of a high standard.

Bride Rovers with a large number of dual players defeated Cobh in the eastern decider and will now play Urhan in the quarter-final of the county championship on November 7-8.

In the South East decider, Ballinhassig also with a large number of dual players, landed their fourth title, after they defeated Ballygarvan. For their county quarter-final clash, they will take on the Carbery champions.

However, the activities in the city division need a more critical analysis. Again for the second year in a row, the participating teams were only afforded one bite of the cherry and I would suggest that is not good enough.

In the promised review of divisional activities, it is hoped that the county board will seek to address this major shortcoming. One wonders is the city junior football championship becoming the preserve of the second and third teams of the big clubs.

Last weekend’s semi-final action, witnessed Douglas’ second-team defeat Nemo’s third and St Michael’s second outfit emerging victorious over Bishopstown’s equivalent side.

Of course, the aforementioned teams need to be catered for and credit must go to those clubs for looking after the players that don’t make the first team.

However, I think, and I may be out of order, but the question needs to be asked, what is the story with the junior football clubs in the city?

Staying with the plaudits section, well done to the Douglas senior football team on their victory over Nemo Rangers on Sunday. Honestly, I had lost count of the occasions when a big ball team from this club failed to deliver on the X-factor days.

Then last year, when the majority of the dual operators decided to adopt a one-code policy, that was it for the footballers as far as I was concerned. The quest to climb the Everest hurling mountain would take precedence over an Andy Scannell hauling home event.

Was I incorrect, well some evidence presents that I was.

Prior to last Sunday, some of us had grown a tad weary of over-egging the Southside derby featuring both green and black armies.

Simply, Nemo always won them and despite another below-par performance by the 22-time champions, they still appeared to have enough to keep their neighbours in their place.

A run of four points, two by Brian Hartnett and one each from Sean Powter and Aaron Sheehy in the second period provided evidence of resilience.

Then the dream score, that for the moment at least, signalled, the Douglas arrival at the big table.

Yes, corner-backs have had the job-spec altered big time in recent times but the sight of the Douglas number two, Daniel Harte ripping through the Nemo security personnel to raise a most valuable green will remain with Gaelic football fraternity on the Douglas side of the city for quite a while.

In his after-match interview, the personable Ray Keating explained that the reason his players were in such celebratory mood, was as a consequence of they winning a match.

Of course, it was that but don’t tell me that sharing a pasture with the defeated neighbours wasn’t a contributing factor.

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