Tuesday 21 October 2014

Cork footballers don't work hard enough – Cummins

Published 13/02/2013 | 04:00

ONE of the most celebrated dual GAA stars believes the task of trying to play both hurling and Gaelic football at the highest levels could be managed much better.

Ray Cummins, Cork's full-forward on the GAA's hurling team of the millennium and a cornerstone of the 1973 All-Ireland winners, says the advancement in sports science has to make it easier for the dual player to thrive.

Cummins also expressed the view that the current Cork football team is hugely talented, particularly up front, but doesn't work hard enough and that's why they haven't won as much silverware as they should have.

He is adamant, however, that players who want to play both codes should be accommodated.

"I'm of a different generation and I fully appreciate the fact that the levels of fitness today are way ahead of what we had.

"I'm just sorry that it can't be managed better. Guys who have the inclination to play both games, should be given the opportunity," he said.

"I haven't spoken to the likes of Eoin Cadogan, but it seems that it's just not possible now. I would have thought that today, with all the medical support and science that goes into training now, that it could be managed a lot better.

"In our time there was no science to it at all. I remember going on tours to the States with the All Stars or even with Cork playing league matches, and we didn't even know anything about hydration or dehydration.

"I was working with a guy a couple of years ago, one of the younger generation of players, and I never saw him without a bottle of liquid in his hands. To me that was totally foreign."

The arrival of qualifier matches in both codes has compounded the problems for dual players, but Cummins feels that 'where there's a will there's a way'.''

"Qualifiers are probably the big reason why you can't do both codes.

"They cause a lot of problems in terms of club fixtures and so on. You've got to be in the shoes of the guys in this position to know what pressure is on them.

"It's not easy, but I would have thought it could be managed."

Cummins said he wasn't upbeat about the prospects of the Cork hurlers in 2013 and believes Donal Og Cusack is still good enough to play at the top level.

"I'm not optimistic (about the season ahead). I think they have a steep mountain to climb. And Kilkenny are just so far ahead of the rest.

He is naturally far more upbeat about Cork football, describing their current forwards as the best group the county has ever had.

"Now I would be critical of their work rate, because I think it isn't good enough.

"That would be my reason for them not succeeding as much as they should have," he said.

"You can have all the skill you like, but if you haven't got the work rate, then you're wasting your time."

Irish Independent

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