Sunday 18 February 2018

'They can do it for one game' - Colm Cooper gives a very gloomy assessment of Cork football

Peadar Healy has a difficult job on his hands, according to Colm Cooper
Peadar Healy has a difficult job on his hands, according to Colm Cooper Newsdesk Newsdesk

Cork are suffering from a lack of identity and a shortage of leaders, according to Kerry legend Colm Cooper.

The Rebels will make their bow in the Munster championship against Waterford in Dungarvan with Tipperary awaiting the winners in the last four.

After a tame campaign in Division Two, most observers are not expecting much from Peadar Healy's charges but they will hoping to make an impact.

Writing in today's Irish Examiner, the Gooch said he believes Cork are lacking the characters that made them a serious force in the noughties.

"Are they lacking leaders? I think so. We had battles with Canty, O'Leary, Miskella, Lynch. They were stubborn and feisty and full of character," he said.

"They had a bit of Cork about them. I don't see those characters now.

"Any side with intent has three or four leaders going out every day. Name the three leaders on the Cork team this summer? Can you?

"I could have a fair cut off naming most of the top eight starting XVs in the football championship, but the one I should know best, I'd be well short.

"Fellas left the Cork set-up when their age indicates it wasn't just mileage on the clock was behind their decision. They clearly felt this was a project not worth hanging around for."

Cooper does believe that Cork could beat one of the big teams in this year's Championship but that will be the best they can hope for.

"To heap insult on top of everything, they're now seen as a 'dangerous' team for Kerry, like some League One side at home to a Premier League team in the FA Cup. But it's an understandable comparision. They can do it for one game," he added.

"There are counties this summer that could take a scalp in the All-Ireland quarter-finals. In fact there's a couple, including Cork.

"But can they take a second or third scalp? On the evidence available. I don't think so.

"They could catch a few of the top eight on their day.  But they don't look like they could beat two of them consecutively.

"You think they are still top eight? Which of these would they beat on league form? Dublin, Kerry, Mayo, Tyrone, Donegal or Monaghan? No. Galway or Kildare? Maybe - it depends which Cork turns up."

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