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Irish Voice Sport
Rebel Outrage Brews in Cork
November 12, 2008
Sports Digest by Cathal Dervan
CORK hurling boss Gerald McCarthy has dismissed the latest claims by the county squad as rubbish as another strike looms within the Rebels camp. “I have been asked by various media to comment on the Cork players’ statement,” said McCarthy.
“At this point, I have no intention of doing so, other than to say that each of the points raised by the players can be fully challenged by me.
“But in an attempt to end, for the moment, media calls to me and disruption to my life and business, I will respond in this way.
“The tone of the players’ statement says it all, really. The County Board is wrong. Gerald McCarthy is wrong, but the players are never wrong. They have no responsibilities in all of this. This is just rubbish.
“It would be helpful if those players who are driving this issue would acknowledge that the first time this appeared in the media arose when players anonymously fed misinformation directed against me to a number of journalists.
“That behavior is fine, apparently. Yet when I defend myself in the media, this small group of players cries foul.
“That speaks volumes. If I am attacked as a person or as a coach, I will defend myself. If there was a difficulty with coaching then it should have been dealt with as a coaching issue.
“The players themselves will acknowledge that I am quite open to talk about coaching methods. From the time of Cork’s last game against Kilkenny, no player ever approached me to discuss my coaching.
“At no time during the period of the meetings on the appointment of the manager, did any player or player representative come to me to talk about issues with my coaching. Yet, when I was appointed, I was asked to stand down. I am not going to do that.
“I am full of admiration for those who had the courage to speak up for their right to play for Cork at recent player meetings and I hope they stick with it. So much of my time — hurling time — for the past few years, has been devoted to conflict resolution.
“The players have to take responsibility for their role in this and it can’t go on. They really should stop portraying themselves as victims of some grand conspiracy against them and get back to playing hurling for Cork. My door is always open to achieve that result.”
Cork hurling captain John Gardiner has again claimed that the senior players on the squad are ready to talk out on their county if McCarthy remains in charge.
“At the moment we won’t be putting ourselves forward for selection,” the Na Piarsaigh defender told RTE.
“We feel so strongly about this thing. We do want to get on with it, get back playing with Cork as soon as possible, and want to go down every avenue to solve this problem.
“We feel so badly about this, so strongly about it, that we are willing to walk away from our own careers, give them all up, especially for the sake of the younger players coming on because we feel we need to take a stand against the board now, and hopefully go on so that all things will change.
“The players feel aggrieved by the way the manager and the county board have clarified their position through the press. We never said we wanted to pick or veto the manager. In fact, we never even wanted a process where we were two of a seven-man committee. What we wanted was that the views of the players be heard by the committee.
“Our two representatives came across very well, and expressed explicitly the views regarding Gerald McCarthy’s appointment to the committee, and they totally ignored us. We feel aggrieved by that, and they went ahead and appointed Gerald anyway.”
EOIN Larkin (Kilkenny) and Sean Cavanagh (Tyrone) have named as the Opel Gaelic Players of the Year for Hurling and Football for 2008 by the Gaelic Players Association . . .
JACK O’Connor is back as manager of the Kerry football team and will take charge of the beaten All-Ireland finalists after his Kerins O’Rahillys club commitments come to an end . . .
EAMONN O’Brien was finally confirmed as the new manager of the Meath footballers on Monday night . . .
PAUL Flynn has announced his retirement from the Waterford senior hurling squad after 15 years service to the county team . . .
DJ Carey has distanced himself from reports that he is to become Dublin’s next senior hurling manager . . .
BRIAN Cody is to take charge of All-Ireland champions Kilkenny for the 11th year next season . . .
ACE attacker Rory Gallagher has returned to the Fermanagh senior football squad . . .
LOUTH forward Colm Judge is to miss the 2009 NFL with a shoulder injury . . .
TOM Walsh has quit as manager of the Fermanagh hurling team.
THE Declan Kidney reign got underway with an emphatic 55-0 win over Canada at a rain swept Thomond Park on Saturday night that saw Ireland run in nine tries.
Debutant Keith Earls set the tone with a try after only three minutes, while Rob Kearney and Tommy Bowe both crossed the Canadian line twice.
New Zealand will present a far stiffer challenge at Croke Park on Saturday, but Kidney was happy to praise his players and play down the personal significance of the win in his first game in charge.
“It is brilliant to be involved, a huge honor, and with all the responsibility that goes with it, but it definitely isn’t about me,” insisted Kidney.
“It’s about these fellows who were able to do that and that’s what we’re going to strive to do in every match we play.
“Once I got into the dressing room to see the 22 of them sitting down and looking around, being able to look at each other and say ‘that was good,’ that was the pleasing thing.”
Jamie Heaslip, David Wallace and Alan Quinlan also scored tries for Ireland on a difficult day weather wise for the players.
Ulster flanker Stephen Ferris was named man of the match as he looks to book a berth for the big game against the All-Blacks this weekend.
“I said to myself to go out there and give everything I had,” said Ferris. “I think after 60 minutes I slid off mentally but I had a good day at the office and I’ll be putting myself forward for Saturday.”
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