‘A division will win a Premier Senior title within five years’

May 18th, 2021 11:00 AM

By Ger McCarthy

Carbery last won the county title in 2004. Leading the team out that day was Star Sport coulmnist Micheál O’Sullivan. Picture: George Hatchell

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Carbery boss Tim Buckley insists divisional sides belong in top tier

Carbery football manager Tim Buckley has issued a passionate defence of why divisions and colleges have a long-term future in the Cork Premier Senior football championship.

The future of divisions and colleges participation in the Cork PSFC has been the source of much debate following an interview with Cork football project co-ordinator Conor Counihan’s in last week’s Southern Star.

In the interview, Counihan said that: ‘When it comes to divisions, if we can’t do it right then we shouldn’t do it. You would have to say that as of today, there are only a few divisions, most notably Duhallow, able to compete when it comes to the Cork football club championship. The others, in some cases, are just fulfilling fixtures.’

Tim Buckley doesn’t agree.

While he acknowledges Counihan’s observations are perhaps relevant to those divisions straining to meet the modern-day demands of being competitive in Cork’s top tier, the Carbery boss has taken the opportunity to detail why the likes of Carbery, Duhallow, UCC and CIT’s preparation, dedication and sheer passion for Cork football means they deserve a long-term future in the county championships.

‘My initial reaction to last week’s Southern Star article was that Duhallow came out of our divisions and colleges section and reached last year’s county semi-finals. So, that blows the notion we don’t belong in the club championship right out of the water as far as I’m concerned,’ Tim Buckley said.

‘From Carbery’s point of view, we have one Cork senior footballer, five Cork junior footballers and four Cork U20’s in our panel this year. I am not sure if Conor is fully aware of the amount of time, effort and preparation Carbery are putting into our squad.

‘I think a division will win a Premier Senior title in Cork within the next five years.

‘Hopefully, that will be Carbery. I saw every single Premier Senior football team in action in the Cork county championship last year. In my opinion, UCC or Duhallow were capable of beating any of those clubs. That’s why I believe that there is absolutely a future for divisions and colleges in our county championships.’

Clearly, Carbery’s football manager believes that too many sacrifices are being made by his players and management team to allow divisions and colleges to simply be ‘phased out’. Buckley is passionate about GAA and equally passionate about explaining why his players keep making so many personal sacrifices to wear the famous Carbery jersey.

‘Graham Canty was one of the county’s greatest footballers and had the ability to place his focus on Cork, Carbery or Bantry Blues whenever the demand for any of those teams arose,’ Buckley stated.

‘I consider that the character of a man. Someone who is willing to make the sacrifices for not just his club and county, but his division as well. No one is saying it is easy, least of all me, and there are plenty people in West Cork not willing to put their shoulder to the wheel when it comes to Carbery football. That’s fine and that’s the road they have chosen.

‘For those that do though, it is important Conor Counihan and others outside our division realise what our club players are willing to do in order to play for Carbery.

‘We in Carbery take our football seriously. We have invested a lot of time and effort into making sure our players are looked after and prepared properly. Carbery is and will continue to be as competitive as we possibly can in the Cork PSFC. That’s why Carbery, as well as any other college or divisional player, deserves the chance to play in the county championships.’

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