AN increase in human resources on and off the field is the objective for the Cork Masters football team as they face into the 2023 campaign.
This will be the third year that the county will have taken part in the national over-40 tournament and the first where Covid-19 hasn’t had any impact on preparations.
Last year, the Rebels were beaten by London at the semi-final stage of the Challenge Cup and manager Mark O’Sullivan is hopeful of building on the progress with another championship on the horizon.
“We’re looking at February or March at the moment for a return,” he says.
“At the moment, we have some guys coming back from last year and some new players, we’re still actively recruiting. We’re also looking for people to help out behind the scenes.
“It’s only our third year on the go and it’s the real proper crack we’ve had at it. It’s the first ‘real’ experience under our belts and first real opportunity to have an awareness of where we need to be before we start.
“We’re very happy with the progress, but what we realised very quickly is that everyone else has progressed as well.
“It’s something that we’ll have to continue, to strive to improve every year and build the structures to promote that improvement every year.
“We knew going in at the start of last year that we were better than we had been in the first year but what we didn’t take into account is that those teams would improve as well.”
A key factor in bringing about that improvement is having more people involved. While new players are welcome, Cork Masters are also keen to have extra bodies on the sideline and the administration side.
“At the moment, we have about 30 players,” O’Sullivan says. “We’ve a couple not so sure and we’d be hoping to get another five or ten.
“That might have to be whittled down then after pre-season as the training and the competition get that bit more intense.
“Then we’re looking for other people too. We’re not a club, as you can understand and we don’t have guys who are affiliated with us unless they come to us. If there was someone with time on their hands and a bit of interest and wanted to get involved in something slightly different, they’d be more than welcome.
“It would be great if we got another three or four this year. I suppose, ultimately, what we’d be looking for is that none of the players would have to have two roles.
“It would be great if the players played and we had a structure around them that was filled with non-playing people. Then, as guys moved on, they could move up into the admin side.
“We’re only looking for three or four people, to help out, to get to know us and to get used to us. At the moment, we have three dedicated non-players, which is fairly tight.”
In addition, there are financial commitments involved and, to that end, a finance sub-committee is likely to be established.
“Last year, it just cost just under €10,000 to run the club,” O’Sullivan says, “and we’d be hoping to double that.
“There was some talk of us going to London for one of our games this year and all of these things cost money.
“To double our sponsorship this year would be fantastic but, again, that requires people to go out and knock on doors and talk to people. That takes time and dedication.
“Some of the players last year talked to their companies, which was fantastic, but when you’ve only three dedicated people all the time, everything starts to fall on them.
“There are great GAA people in Cork and there might be someone at a loose end who’s interested in getting involved. There’s a place for everyone.”
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