SIR – While reading various media reports of the shocking decade of decline in Cork football, it wasn't very inspiring to read the comments attributed to Cork senior football manager
, it certainly would not be a motivating case to enable them to rise up from the ashes. From what we are witnessing, the Cork County Board might as well withdraw the senior footballers from this year's championship!
There are many theories for the footballers decline; however, when you quickly examine the Corn Uí Mhuirí (Munster Schools Senior Championship), this integral part of the development of young players has been dominated by Kerry schools in recent years. The last Cork team to win this famous competition was Coláiste Chríost Rí in 2011.
Kerry have also dominated the Inter-County scene at Minor level, winning All Ireland titles in 2014, 2015,2016, 2017, 2018. The last All-Ireland Minor title won by a Cork team was as far back as the year 2000.
It is glaringly obvious that there is an alarming disconnect between the Cork County Board and its secondary schools (the feeder system). We hear all about this fantastic five-year plan – it will come to nothing, if the game at school level in Cork continues to be neglected.
I attended the Munster final at Pairc ui Chaoimh last year, and took a particular interest at the contrasting warm-ups of both Cork and Kerry. At one end, Cork were implementing 'fancy' stretching routines. At the other end, the Kerry team were having a backs v forwards practice match, and were hammering the absolute bejesus out of each other.
What transpired was a Cork team that did not have the same level of intensity, passion and whereabouts as we witnessed from a youthful Kerry team. We are light years away from what is being accomplished by our neighbouring county. We are even falling behind the standards being set by the Clare senior footballers. Why?
The answer lies firmly in the direction of the Cork County Board, the very people responsible for the neglect of Gaelic football in Cork. And the five-year plan lies in the hands of this motley crew!