John Meyler's Cork U16 development squad raise over €8,000 for Marymount charity

Young hurlers got behind a fundraising pod fada in Lisgoold organised by mentor Mike Mulcahy
John Meyler's Cork U16 development squad raise over €8,000 for Marymount charity

Mike Mulcahy presenting a cheque for €8,000 on behalf of the Rebel Óg Cork U16 hurling development squad to Cormac Lalor who accepted it on behalf of the Friends of Marymount. Included at Páirc Uí Chaoimh are squad players and management and Liam Dooley, players' representative. Picture: Denis Minihane.

THE Cork U16 hurling development squad have raised over €8,000 for Marymount.

The panel took part in a fundraising poc fada in Lisgoold recently organised by mentor Mike Mulcahy.

It was a great team-bonding exercise for John Meyler’s charges, who rounded off their winter schedule last weekend with a challenge match against the Cork minors, who are being overseen by Kieran ‘Fraggie’ Murphy with Seán Óg Ó hAilpín among the coaches.

The hugely experience former Cork senior bainisteoir Meyler cast the net wide this season after coming into the U15 group, running City-West Cork and East-North Cork panels earlier this season, before amalgamating them in September. He’s a formidable backroom too, with Pádraig O’Sullivan, Vincie Hurley and the Glen’s Seánie McGrath involved as well as Mulcahy, Peter Sykes (Ballyhooly), Fr O’Neill’s Eoin Dorgan, and Claudia Kearney among others. Barrs county-winner Shane Hurley has recently come on board as goalkeeping coach.


Rebel Óg’s current philosophy with development squads is to nurture as many young hurlers and footballers as possible without any emphasis on winning underage tournaments like the Tony Forristal. For those that don’t progress onto inter-county minor they’ve been given exposure to top-class strength and conditioning and on-pitch coaching.

Lisgoold’s Mike Mulcahy explained the young hurlers from all across Cork thoroughly enjoyed the craic at the poc fada while supporting a great cause.

“Sure when I was their age I would have loved to be involved in something like that. We used the road from Leamlara down to Lisgoold GAA club, the same as the club poc fada on Stephen’s Day and we were very lucky with the weather. The lads were great and they raised a huge amount of money. I think everyone in Cork appreciates what Marymount does.”

Mulcahy started working with Rebel Óg having been coaching in the schools in the Lisgoold area and is a supporter of the current structure.

The Rebel Óg Cork U16 hurling development squad at Pairc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Denis Minihane.
The Rebel Óg Cork U16 hurling development squad at Pairc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Denis Minihane.

“GDA Seán Crowley originally asked me to help out and when you’re interested in hurling it’s brilliant to be involved. The best thing about it is that players from all clubs are treated the same, whether that’s a bigger club around the city or a smaller place like Lisgoold. Everyone gets a chance.

The two things that are very important are attitude and application. The hurling will follow after that.”

Lisgoold have been thriving lately, the likes of Liam O’Shea and Diarmuid Healy featuring in All-Ireland minor finals, with John Cronin playing senior for Cork in 2016, which culminated in a breakthrough East Cork Junior A crown, followed by county Junior A and Lower Intermediate titles. Until an IAHC semi-final loss to Cloughduv last September they’d been an unbeaten championship run going back to August 2019.

“There’s been a fierce amount of underage work put in,” explains Mulcahy. “We’d a bit of heartbreak before that first East Cork win, we lost to St Ita’s four years ago and led all the way until 63 minutes and 35 seconds when they got the winner. That type of stuff makes you enjoy the good days more!”

Like many in Cork, Mulcahy would like to see minor restored to U18.

“It’s very hard to keep lads playing after minor when it’s U17, a lot them aren’t strong enough physically or mentally for it. They need to sit on the sidelines them for a couple of years, when there’s no U21, and sure they lose interest.”

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