'In Kanturk it's all about the club, not hurling or football'

Dual demands can take it out of the best players, but Kanturk have managed to reach finals this winter in both codes
'In Kanturk it's all about the club, not hurling or football'

Kanturk's Paul Walsh burtsing past Aghada's Michael Russell and Liam Cashman during the Bon Secours Cork PIFC semi-final at Mourneabbey. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

GUIDING a team through the rigours of championship is an emotional experience for the most hardened of managers but when it’s your home club then things go up more than a notch or two.

Kanturk football manager Tim Healy was almost stuck for words in Mourneabbey last Saturday afternoon, almost, after his side had to dig deep to pull out the most unlikely of late wins to book their place in the PIFC final.

After 12 of the same players secured the club a spot in the SAHC final a week previous fatigue was always likely to be a factor for a club batting at the business end of both codes but winners win and on this day Kanturk’s battle-hardened stars yet again defied the odds to win.

“I am so emotional right now. Coming back like we did after doing it again last week – we asked our lads could they do it again and in fairness, I can’t speak highly enough of these lads. We won this game down two men at the end.

“We gave Aghada no sniff above and went on to win it at our end.”

Emotions were on show all over the pitch at the final whistle but that was understandable for someone who has worn the club colours as a player and a manager all his life.

“I just know what it means to those guys. I know if they were beat people that don’t know them would be saying things about them but honestly, as you saw here yourself, that is character-forming stuff – they were fantastic.

“This win is great for football at the club. It is also great for hurling. This win is fantastic for the club as winning gives itself an injection to keep on winning.

“I would say that coming from behind last week gave these lads the confidence to do it again today. We will now head back to training for the hurling final before concentrating on football again after that game.”

 Aidan Walsh, Kanturk, battles Fionn Keane, Newcestown. Picture: Jim Coughlan.
Aidan Walsh, Kanturk, battles Fionn Keane, Newcestown. Picture: Jim Coughlan.

Battling on two fronts is always a challenge but in 2021 it is even more of a struggle according to Healy.

“The biggest issue this year that makes things harder than other years is that games have to be finished on the day. It means you have to push all the way.

“There are no soft draws if there is such a thing. Players need to prepare to go beyond the 60 minutes every time and that can be exceptionally difficult, particularly when you go into the latter stages of competitions.

“We are in the final now and that is down to these players. It is all about the club. Not football, not just hurling. In Kanturk, we are all about the club.”

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