FORMER Cork star Eoin Cadogan believes that Kieran Kingston should be allowed the opportunity to make his own decision with regard to his future as county senior hurling manager.
Kingston’s three-year term came to an end with the All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Galway last Sunday week, but it has been reported that he has been offered a one-year extension. Cadogan, who played under the Tracton man and has also been involved with him at club level for Douglas, believes that it is telling that the Cork squad want Kingston to remain on. In addition, he feels the lack of a stand-out alternative is another factor in Kingston’s favour.
"I’m not privy to it to be honest with you, I'd be purely speculating and talking rubbish if I told you that I know exactly, but there are a few things,” he says.
“Kieran Kingston has been involved with Cork with eight of the last ten years, I think. He served as a selector, he served as a hurling coach, he served as a manager and then he stepped away for two years and then he stepped back in as manager again. I know it’s a results business in terms of silverware, but that is probably a true reflection of the type of person Kieran Kingston is that the amount of players he has put through his hand and the amount of people he has worked with have all respected him so much that they wanted him back, because they feel like he’s the right man to drive Cork forward.
“For the amount of time he’s given to Cork over that period of time, he probably deserves the respect to be making that decision himself. If that offer is on the table for 12 months, I’m sure Kieran will sit down with his family and the county board, and probably the players as well, to see if it’s the right decision for both Cork firstly and for himself.
“I don’t think anyone would question really his contribution, and the people that would be saying, ‘Time to move on,’ of course there’s a time to move on and there’s always another person out there. The question is, who would that person be if Kieran was to step away? Because there isn’t any ready-made replacement.
“It’s easy to say, ‘Yeah, move on,’ but who do you want to replace [him] and who has put his hand up and said that he has delivered at inter-county level in whatever capacity or has been part of a setup longer than 12 months? There probably isn’t a massive standout candidate right now.”
Cadogan, who retired after last year’s All-Ireland final defeat to Limerick, is gearing up for the new Co-op SuperStores Cork Premier SHC campaign with Douglas, with whom he has a multi-faceted role as a player and a coach.
“I’m involved with the senior hurling team,” he says, “looking after strength and conditioning and helping out in a small capacity with defensive structure and things like that. I enjoy it, I enjoy seeing people maximise their potential.
"I work in strength and conditioning and I do personal training – it might seem like a cliché but everyone thinks they have a limit or thinks that they’re pushing themselves as hard as they can or they’re seeing the best version of themselves, but typically they’re not.
“They need someone to be able to show them how to get there and I think, if you show people and teach them and educate them, then you’re giving them the tools, which is really rewarding.”
Aiding that is the split-season, of which he is a fan.
Everyone loves clarity,” he says. “You've a game every two weeks, we train hard for the week, we don't have a game and we bring it back down the next week and play a game as hard as we can and then we reset, recover and go again.
“You know exactly what weekend you can take off and there's a bit more leniency in terms of taking a night off when you go past the 35 mark. I can't honestly give out about it, I've found it hugely enjoyable so far, we know when our championship is kicking off in a month's time, so so far, so good for myself.”