BY NOEL HORGAN
COLM O’Driscoll is hoping to consolidate his position on the Cork panel in the year ahead, having featured regularly on the team over the course of the league and championship in 2014.
The Tadgh MacCarthaigh clubman, introduced for the last 20 minutes, contributed two goals to Cork’s facile win over MIC in the McGrath Cup clash at Mallow last weekend, and he said it felt good to be back in action after the winter respite.
‘It’s nice to be back on the road again, and, while we weren’t really tested today, you can only beat what’s put in front of you, so it was a satisfactory start to the season from our point of view,’ the West Cork footballer said.
‘We had a few lads who hadn’t played with Cork before, and I thought they did quite well, but we are obviously looking ahead, and the aim is to push on another bit from last year.’
O’Driscoll contends that the McGrath Cup is a very useful competition in that it affords players the opportunity to improve on their fitness levels in the lead-up to the national league.
‘It takes a while to get up to championship pace when you come back after Christmas, and the McGrath Cup is a big help in this regard,’ he said.
‘It gives everybody a chance to ease back into the thing again, and it’s also beneficial in terms of providing the management with the opportunity to look at some new players.
‘I was fortunate enough to get a chance to make an impression in the McGrath Cup last year, and I must have done okay, because I was retained for the rest of the season.
‘I was obviously delighted about that, and I would like to think the experience I gained over the past 12 months has made me a better player.
‘You learn a lot from the older fellas in your first year, but you are always learning really, and hopefully I’ll be accommodated on the panel during the league campaign this season.
‘Certainly, my ambition is to nail down a spot and to do the best I can from there,’ revealed the 26-year-old, who acquitted himself admirably as an industrious wing forward last year.
‘I felt we did a lot of good things as a team last year, and we were a little unlucky to lose to Mayo in the All-Ireland quarter-final,’ he said.
‘We’ll be hoping to build on the progress made in 2014, and I think we have the potential to do so providing we reproduce the form we displayed against Mayo on a regular basis.
‘We’ll be out again in the McGrath Cup next Sunday, and it’s obviously going to be a much bigger test away to Tipperary.
‘We’re not expecting anything easy from them, because they are a very good side, but we’ll go up with a positive attitude, we’ll be ready to give it our best shot, and we’ll just have to wait and see where it gets us.’