Counihan not scared of peaking too soon
CORK football boss Conor Counihan has dismissed the notion that his side played their best football too early last year.
The Rebels were hugely impressive throughout last season, winning the Division 2 title at a canter and romping past various championship opponents before being undone by a resurgent Kerry in the All-Ireland final.
And with Cork finding themselves in Sunday's Division 1 league decider against Mayo in Croke Park, the Leeside boss dismissed the notion that his side peaked too early last summer, despite winning their All-Ireland quarter-final and semi-final by a combined total of 19 points.
"This idea of peaking at particular times, it's not a theory that I could follow anyway," said Counihan. "You go out and play to the best of your ability and that's it. Some days it's good enough and some days it isn't."
And while Counihan will be in opposition to his Mayo counterpart John O'Mahony this weekend, they were united in their opposition to the decision of Congress to reduce panel sizes from 30 to 26.
The indications are that Croke Park will not attempt to police the rule and force managers to train with just 26 players, but that they will only allow that number of names on match-day programmes.
"That's something that I was amazed at really," said the Fine Gael TD. "I hope that when it's clarified that there isn't an issue there, that you have to work off 26, because you need at least 30 in a squad."
Counihan also expressed dismay with the change in rule. "The reality is we need 30 players in training every night so we can create a game situation. Bringing it down to 26, you're telling four guys every week, 'Lads thanks for coming in but we don't need you now'."
Graham Canty, Anthony Lynch, John Miskella and Pearse O'Neill are all expected to miss out for the Rebels while Mayo are likely to be without Peadar Gardiner, Tom Cunniffe and Barry Moran, though Keith Higgins, Enda Varley and Aidan Kilcoyne could yet play some part.