Cork chiefs want Barry-Murphy to remain in place as boss
Cork County Board want Jimmy Barry-Murphy to remain on as hurling manager, chairman Bob Ryan indicated yesterday.
Barry-Murphy did not give any firm indication himself after Sunday's 10-point All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Tipperary that he would seek to extend his time in charge into a fourth year.
But with a three-year term now complete, Ryan said his wish would be for Barry-Murphy to stay in place beyond 2014.
"He has taken Cork hurling up from a very low base and we have had two very competitive years," said Ryan.
"I am only speaking from my own point of view, but I would be hoping he will stay."
It was a disappointing end to the season for Cork after bridging an eight-year gap since their previous provincial title.
On a broader scale, the board were taken to task strongly by former goalkeeper Donal Og Cusack, who challenged the coaching structures in the county and the €70m revamp of Pairc Ui Chaoimh, complete with a centre of excellence, on 'The Sunday Game'.
Cusack, who credited the existing management for "turning water into wine" given Cork's terrible underage record, said the clubs were "being sold a pup" on the development of the centre and called for a review.
But the board will not be issuing a response to Cusack's argument that, with just two pitches, it would be a "centre of mediocrity."
"It's our policy not to respond to such comments," said Ryan.
Ryan did point out that the plans for Pairc Ui Chaoimh were debated at length at board level and that clubs have had input all the way.
The plans are at appeal stage and it is hoped that work will get under way within months, the chairman added.
Cusack expressed concern that Cork had not won an All-Ireland U-21 title since 1998 or an All-Ireland minor title since 2001.
"You look at all of the other teams, they are all winning underage titles and that matters, especially when you get to the business end of the year," he said.
"All of our colleges are after losing their strength. Where is the North Mon gone? Where is Colman's gone? Where are all these squads?"
He also pointed out that Castlehaven had as much representation as some of the top city clubs like Blackrock, St Finbarr's and Glen Rovers on the Cork team last Sunday.
Cusack described the recent Munster U-21 final defeat to Clare in Ennis as an embarrassment.
"If I was a club person down in Cork, I'd be asking where are the coaching structures? Why haven't we won since then? Has every team since 1998 been an exceptional team? I doubt it.
"Why is it that we have only five games development officers in Cork? Dublin have probably over 50," he asked.
Part of the answer to that lies in central funding. According to 2013 Central Council figures, Cork received a coaching and games development grant of €95,737 compared to Dublin's €1,509,631, almost €1m of which comes from a special Irish Sports Council funding arrangement for the capital agreed during the 2000s when Bertie Ahern was Taoiseach.
Almost every Dublin club has a coach but some clubs contribute up to half the money towards keeping them in place. Other clubs employ coaches directly, resulting in over 60 in total across the county.