Monday 27 January 2020

Cusack Cats tribute too little too late

DONAL Og Cusack paid tribute to the Kilkenny hurlers this week, conceding that they were, indeed, something special.

"They have taken the game to a new level. They have become comfortable at playing the game at an intensity that other teams can't match," he said.

Praising opponents appears to be standard procedure among GAA players in advance of big games, but somehow we doubt if Kilkenny will be warmed by Cusack's flattering remarks. Instead, they're more likely to recall a version of them as portrayed in his book, published last October.

"We have made different journeys. We (Cork) struggled and Kilkenny left us out there to walk our path alone. Through all the troubles we have had we have often thought how much easier and how much more effective for all players this would be if Kilkenny and Cork were marching together. It hasn't happened like that. The more strife we have in Cork, the more pointedly 'of the establishment' Kilkenny seem to become. The GAA's version of the 'Stepford Wives'," wrote Cusack.

We have no information regarding the capacity of a cat's memory, but you can bet it's longer than 10 months!

McCarthy move a

futile exercise

What's the function of a team manager? To win titles? To get the very best out of the talent that a county is producing? While the former is the target, the latter is the non-negotiable essential. It may not be enough to win silverware, but it's all any manager can do.

How surprising then that there are clubs in Limerick who want Justin McCarthy to continue as team manager, despite what happened this year. Disregard the rights and wrongs on all sides that helped contribute to Limerick's dismal year.

The reality is that Justin couldn't get the most out of the county's talent because some of the top players refused to play under him. Doesn't that make it a rather futile exercise to nominate him again?

Damien freeman? give that man a job

Among the many interesting features in the Ulster football championship match programmes were pen pics showing the players' current occupations.

In the Six Counties, it seems that most footballers are civil servants, teachers or joiners.

Interestingly, for a country ravaged by high unemployment, very few players are willing to admit that they are out of work. This, despite the GPA's fears that anything up to one out of every eight are unemployed.

One not afraid to admit his predicament is Monaghan's Damien Freeman.

He was "looking for work" when Monaghan beat Armagh in the first round of the championship and by last Sunday week's Ulster final his pen pic declared that he was still in the job market.

In fact, he was, according to our records, the only player in the entire Ulster championship to declare himself unemployed.

We wish him the very best of luck in his pursuit of gainful employment.

Irish Independent

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