Kieran Kingston: Success about is about the team, not All-Star awards

"It’s history now. We move on and see how we can maybe change it a little bit for next year.”
Kieran Kingston: Success about is about the team, not All-Star awards

Cork camogie and ladies' football player Libby Coppinger, Cork senior hurling manager Kieran Kingston and former Cork hurler Seánie McGrath at Páirc Uí Chaoimh for the launch of One Cork Worldwide. Picture: Jim Coughlan

CORK hurling manager Kieran Kingston won’t be dwelling on the fact that the county failed to have a player on this year’s All-Star team.

The Rebels became the first finalists – in either code – not to have representation on the team of the season in the 51-year history of the awards scheme. However, speaking on Thursday night at the launch of One Cork Worldwide at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Kingston told host Ger Canning that wasn’t getting too exercised about the issue and didn’t expect the team would, either.

“I probably guessed this would come up all right!” he laughed. “Look, the All-Stars, every year they’re divisive. They create a bit of media frenzy for a few days afterwards.

“Personally speaking, I’m not a massive fan of individual awards in a team sport. Successful teams are all about the team.

“Saying that I think it’s a fantastic award for those who win it. And they probably appreciate it a bit more when their careers are over. And it would be remiss of me not to congratulate all those who won awards this year. It’s a fantastic team looking at it.

“Always there will be some disappointment. Of course, there will be. That’s natural for guys. But as far as we’re concerned, it’s not something we discuss – individual awards.

We won’t discuss this one. There is a selection process in place. And we respect that. 

"It’s history now. We move on and see how we can maybe change it a little bit for next year.”

Earlier on Thursday, Bill Cooper announced his retirement from inter-county hurling, following Eoin Cadogan and Colm Spillane, who had both departed recently. Kingston is optimistic that the leadership vacuum to be filled.

“We’ve lost three key senior players to retirement in the last week or two,” he said.

“You don’t gain experience unless players have the chance to gain it. We still have experienced players like Patrick Horgan, Séamus Harnedy, Alan Cadogan and Damien Cahalane, players like that.

“Then we have players that won U20 All-Ireland medals over the last two years, so we have a good balance to the group. We have 29 players that are 24 or under and that’s where we need to be.”

LEGEND

Kingston also paid tribute to the late Seánie O’Leary after the four-time All-Ireland winner died last week.

“The word ‘legend’ is used maybe liberally at times,” he said, “but it certainly applies to Seánie.

“Our condolences to all his family and sincere thanks on behalf of everyone associated with Cork hurling for what he gave to the jersey and to the supporters, on and off the field for many years. 

He’ll always be in Cork folklore.”

Membership of One Cork Worldwide is limited to 260 people and priced at €1,000.

It is designed to allow Rebel fans abroad to keep abreast of matters at home through regular communications and updates from Páirc Uí Chaoimh. The membership welcome package includes One Cork Worldwide clothing and a signed Cork jersey.

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