Thursday 22 August 2019

'If they get a couple of more likes on their Twitter, I'm happy for them' - Donal Óg Cusack responds to critics

Cusack (left) spent two years as a coach with Clare. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Cusack (left) spent two years as a coach with Clare. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Donal Óg Cusack has declared an interest in becoming the next Cork hurling manager.

John Meyler stepped away after two years earlier in the week and with a different administration at the helm in Cork, any past differences Cusack may have had with the board when he was a player, especially during the three players' strikes in the previous decade, could be set aside.

"Of course I'd be interested. I played for Cork since I was U-14 and at every level since," he told the RTÉ GAA podcast, stressing that the most important vacancy in Cork is the high-performance manager's role, which was advertised in June.

"Is it the right time?" he asked of himself. "What are Cork looking for? Is it one year, two years, three years? Does the manager bring in his own people?" asked Cusack.

"I've said it before, the biggest appointment that Cork are going to make over the next while is that high-performance person."

Cusack spent two years as a coach with Clare, which included Davy Fitzgerald's last year in 2016 and the first year of the Donal Moloney-Gerry O'Connor joint-management ticket.

On the same podcast, Cusack also responded to criticism of the Sunday Game segment where Derek McGrath and himself revisited hurling's tactical evolution and the role of the sweeper in the game, which dominated the early part of the weekend analysis instead of the other main talking points to emerge.

Controversial

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"If you do look at the show on Sunday night, we were on air for over 100 minutes and five minutes were probably taken up by those controversial pieces, if they must be called that. There was 25 minutes on each game, which is a lot from my experience, there were interviews and analysis."

Some of the strongest adverse reaction to their analysis was on Twitter and there was clear inference to some of his fellow Sunday Game analysts.

"You need to be very careful with how you react if you use that as a barometer," he said of Twitter. "I'd have to say that when I came to RTÉ that there was a bit of an old boys feeling to it and, if you like, it was like joining a political party in the old days - 'come into the Dáil bar and you vote with us and talk like us and once you conform everything will be fine'.

"I think it's amusing to think that even among the RTÉ pundits that they'd be that indulgent and egotistical, and probably writing columns about a couple of points that were made on the show which were only a small part of the show.

"If it makes people feel better about themselves and they get a couple of more likes on their Twitter and it fills a few columns, I'm happy for them."

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