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Cleary: Hurley’s return a ‘great boost’ to Cork

May 21st, 2023 2:00 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

Cleary: Hurley’s return a ‘great boost’ to Cork Image
Cork captain Brian Hurley.

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THE availability of captain Brian Hurley for Cork’s All-Ireland senior football championship campaign is a ‘great boost’ to the Rebels, says manager John Cleary.

The talismanic Castlehaven sharpshooter missed Cork’s Munster SFC quarter-final loss to Clare last month with a quad injury, having suffered with a shoulder injury towards the end of the Division 2 league.

The return of Hurley to spearhead the Cork attack is welcome news for the Rebels as they plan for three Group 1 games against Louth, All-Ireland champions Kerry and Division 1 winners Mayo over the coming weeks.

‘Brian is back in training now and available for selection,’ Cleary confirmed to The Southern Star.

‘He nicked his quad on the week of the Clare game and that ruled him out. He is a quality player and when you lose someone like that it’s disappointing. It’s a great boost to have Brian back, hopefully we can keep him fit and that he can perform for us, starting against Louth on Saturday week.’

Cork’s opening game against Louth has been confirmed for Saturday, May 27th, at Páirc Tailteann in Navan. When these two counties clashed in Division 2 in March, Louth won 1-10 to 0-10, so Cleary and his charges know what lies in wait.

‘It’s going to be a tough game. We went away to Louth in the league, were beaten and things didn’t go our way that day,’ Cleary admitted.

‘The lads are looking forward to getting revenge for that day. Louth are at our level, they just finished a place above us in the league. I know the game is on in Navan, but Louth are used to playing there and we are expecting a tough, titanic battle. Hopefully we can get a bit of revenge for what happened in the league but we know it will be very close.’

Cork boss Cleary also confirmed that injured Cathail O’Mahony won’t feature in the three Group 1 games, and his chances of playing some part depends on how far Cork progress in the championship.

‘It’s looking Cathail will miss out on this campaign but a lot depends on how far we go. He is back doing some very light training but he won’t figure in the first three games,’ the Cork boss confirmed.

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