IT'S very much all systems go for the Cork minor camogie management as preparations are underway for the defence of their title but it will be under a changed format this season.
The new structure will see Cork, Kilkenny, Galway, Dublin, Waterford and Tipperary playing in one group, with each team playing each other once with the top four teams advancing to contest the semi-finals, as yet the fixtures and venues have not been confirmed.
It’s a tight schedule with games every week and this is something that will no doubt take its toll on the teams with little time for recovery from game to game.
Championship commences on March 11-12 with all counties playing the first round games, then it's onto March 18-19, March 25-26, April 1-2 and April 15-16, for the concluding group games.
There is no let-up as the games continue with the semi-finals pencilled in for April 22-23. However, the team who make it to the final will have a break with the finals down for the weekend of May 6-7.
Returning to manage the Cork team for a sixth year is Jerry Wallace who has been hugely successful with the minor team guiding the county to its first title in 2018 and making it back-to-back titles in 2019.
Covid put a stop to Cork making it three in a row as the camogie association decided to abandon the championship with just two games to complete the programme.
Joining Jerry in his backroom team is coach Michael Boland who has been with the minors through their hugely successful campaigns and this year they are joined by U16 All-Ireland winning coach Mossie O’Sullivan. Ollie Hallihan provides experience and mentorship to both players and management and he continues in the role.
A new addition to the management group is Chris Casey who joins in a role covering mentorship and on-field training with players. Orla Hallihan returns as the group’s liaison officer along with Mairead Donovan from the County Board.
John Daly is again the medical officer and will work with the group on game day. Sean Duggan returns in the role of providing statistics inputs from game days. Reyanna Power, Lucy Wallace and Paul Griffin return to provide support and logistics assistance on championship match days.
Denis McCarthy and his team of coaches at Midleton Fitness Cork are providing outsourced support to the groups in the area of age-specific strength and conditioning performance-related group programs.
Currently, the Cork management are looking at approximately 80 players in either game-based or training events and are leaving no stone unturned in talent searching for players.
Jerry Wallace updated us and explained their work to date.
“Players have and are sourced from the 2022 All-Ireland Cork minor winning panel who are still eligible, the successful 2022 All-Ireland Cork under 16 panel who have moved on from playing under 16, the Cork Camogie U17 development panel of 2022 and the club and schools competitions at both adult and age specific competitions in 2022.”
The Minor Camogie Panel for 2023 will be officially named on the first week of February along with the captain.
To date and continuing into 2023 Cork Camogie will commence formalising a player’s work group for U17 development.
Players that may not make the Cork minor 2023 panel but who remain eligible along with players sourced from the U16 club championships and school competitions will be invited to trial for a 24-player squad.
Jerry Wallace has been ratified to manage the group; All-Ireland U16 manager Donie Daly will be lead coach and assisted by All-Ireland U16 winning coach Mossie O’Sullivan.
No official competition exists for this group at National level and these panels are development squads.