Saturday 10 December 2016

Cork official defends record in wake of Cusack's stinging criticism

Gaelic games

Published 28/07/2015 | 02:30

Cork's Anthony Nash after the game. GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship, Quarter-Final, Galway v Cork. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Piaras ? M?dheach / SPORTSFILE
Cork's Anthony Nash after the game. GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship, Quarter-Final, Galway v Cork. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: Piaras ? M?dheach / SPORTSFILE

Cork County Board's senior administrator Diarmuid O'Donovan has defended their record of player development in the county after strong criticism from former goalkeeper Donal Og Cusack on 'The Sunday Game'.

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Cusack again highlighted the county's terrible underage record in recent times and described county board delegates as "yes men and stooges".

He also called for structural reform with the establishment of a director of hurling role.

But O'Donovan said the county was making progress and that they have been addressing their slide for the last five to six years.

"We are vulnerable at the moment because we don't have tangible results, but we have been working hard," said O'Donovan.

He referenced the success of the Rebel Og academy and the fact that there will be an anticipated 12,500 attending Cul Camps across the county this summer.

Cork defends record of player development after strong criticism from former goalkeeper Donal Óg Cusack
Cork defends record of player development after strong criticism from former goalkeeper Donal Óg Cusack
Damien Cahalane, Cork, receives a red card from James Owens. GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship, Quarter-Final, Galway v Cork. Semple Stadium, Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Picture credit: D?ire Brennan / SPORTSFILE

"Country-wide that figure will be about 85,000, so our numbers are very high," he said.

O'Donovan defended the numbers (six) of games development officers (GDOs) in the county and said Croke Park would not allow them to fund any more.

He said Cork use a different model to other counties such as Dublin where clubs directly fund a large part of the GDOs.

"We direct our funding in different ways to primary and secondary schools," he outlined.

"We haven't got the results but we haven't had luck recently either. But there is a lot more work going on than has been given credit for in the comments that have been made."

The Cork board did not release a statement in response to their former captain and does not meet again until Tuesday, August 18.

Meanwhile, Waterford's Noel Connors is confident that he will be fit for the Déise's All-Ireland semi-final against Kilkenny after he was forced off with a dead leg in Sunday's victory over Dublin.

Connors went for a dip in the sea on Sunday night and yesterday he visited Whites Hotel in Wexford for cryotherapy treatment to try and speed up the healing process.

"I went to the sea the minute we got off the bus," he revealed. "I was meant to be studying (yesterday) but I put my studies on the back burner. I had the laptop in front of me doing a bit in between bouts of cryotherapy."

Irish Independent

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