The Cork lads obviously haven’t heard of that saying about what to do when you’re in a hole as there’s more nonsense in the papers this morning – this time in the county’s in-house daily – about our supposed “streetwise” approach to the game. The genius blathering about this today is Cork selector Ronan McCarthy who, in this piece in the Irish Examiner, claims we’re “good at tactical fouling” and name-checks both Cillian O’Conor and Kevin McLoughlin in this respect.
While this smear campaign isn’t as off-the-wall as Rory Gallagher’s monster raving loony stuff of twelve months ago, it’s still all a bit sad and pathetic. Here’s a proud GAA county – one that has, according to Hogan Stand, 43 All-Ireland football titles (as well as 77 hurling ones) and had Sam in its possession as recently as four years ago – attempting in the most transparent manner to blacken the reputation of their opponents with the most laughable kind of unsubstantiated nonsense. Rebels my arse – Mammy’s cry-babies, more like it.
The notion that we’re even approaching best in class at the kind of stuff McCarthy claims is ludicrous. If anything, our tackling when teams break forward isn’t anything like as tight as it should be and is far looser than it’s been in previous years. That aside, from a Cork perspective I’d be far more focused on what Kevin and Cillian are likely to do to them, ball in hand and bearing down on their goalposts. After this latest feeble attempt at slandering us, I’m hoping to see the two lads really go to town on them in this respect.
The same paper also has our riposte to Brian Cuthbert’s original allegations yesterday, with County Board chairman Paddy McNicholas indignantly rejecting the Leesiders’ claims by making the obvious point that we’ve never been known for cynical play. Given the number he did on Newstalk’s Colm Parkinson at half-time in the Connacht final, it’s a good job selector Tom Prendergast wasn’t sent out to bat on this one.
Onto stuff of more substance, in the form of interviews with Breaffy duo Aidan O’Shea and Robbie Hennelly, as well as with Ballintubber’s Cillian O’Connor.
Aidan is interviewed in a piece by Keith Duggan in today’s Irish Times, where he comes across as fairly chilled out and in the right frame of mind heading into Sunday. Aidan reckons that the team is “building nicely” and that the lads are “hitting Croke Park with a lot more to give”.
The piece with Robbie is on the RTÉ website and the Breaffy netminder sets a cautionary tone in what he has to say. Robbie looks back to 2011 – when he was in goals for us then as well – and he makes the point that we came from nowhere that day, warning that Cork could equally do the same on Sunday. If they ever get around to doing something other than pissing and moaning, I guess.
Cillian, meanwhile, is featured in a piece by John Fallon in today’s Irish Independent. The young (and he’s still only 22, even if it seems he’s been around for ages) Ballintubber man talks about how he doesn’t take notice about what’s said about the team in the media and online and what it’s like to be playing injury-free this year.
That’s all for now. We may, I guess, see a team announcement later on but that hasn’t been confirmed yet. Cork have just announced on Twitter that they’re going to name their team tomorrow night but as far as I know that’s only if their Mammies let them stay out late.