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Cork Masters on lookout for talent on and off the field

January 27th, 2023 9:00 AM

By Ger McCarthy

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THE Cork GAA Masters team is eager to reinforce their squad as well as their off-field management and administration teams ahead of their 2023 campaign.

Manager Mark O’Sullivan is hoping the Cork Masters can add to their West Cork contingent both on and off the field as the Rebel county’s over-40 GAA setup looks to kick on this coming year.

‘What we are saying is that we are open to all newcomers,’ O’Sullivan told the Southern Star.

‘While the competitive element of masters GAA is important, the participatory element is equally important as well. A large part of the masters ethos is about taking part. Getting guys over the age of forty out there playing again or just involved in the organising and administrative side is what we are all about right now. 

‘We have a good mix of people who still line out for their clubs and guys who are just coming back to the GAA having not participated in some years.’

A large squad has attracted players from all four corners of the country since its inception three years ago. West Cork is well represented on the current team. Now, O’Sullivan wants to add to the squad’s westerners over the coming year and beyond.

‘We have a good few West Cork guys involved but, obviously, we would love to have even more,’ O’Sullivan said.

‘West Cork is one of the great heartlands of Cork football. We have one player regularly travelling all the way up from Urhan, another from St Oliver Plunkett’s in Ahiohill and O’Donovan Rossa represented as well.

‘There is already a fairly good spread from West Cork but we would welcome anyone from the division who wants to get involved in playing or the admin side of things.’

 

Masters GAA football competitions are played at a competitive level and with intensity. The quality of some of the top teams involved would challenge some of Cork GAA’s senior county club teams, according to O’Sullivan.

‘That’s where we want Cork Masters GAA teams to be at and where we want to be competing but it is going to take newcomers both on and off the pitch to do that,’ he said.

‘We want the best players in Cork to be representing us at Masters level and taking on the Dublins, Tyrones and Kerrys. We did ok last year and made a huge improvement on our first year playing masters football.

‘A huge effort in our recruitment and training helped us improve in 2022. The thing is, every other team did as well. So, it is a continuous process.'

There is a social side to the masters which is hugely important. Many former footballers, at certain points in their life, are involved in working long hours and may have drifted away from the GAA, training, playing games or even just socialising.

‘I went down to the social football get-togethers at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, having not played in years. That’s what sparked my interest in getting back involved again,' O'Sullivan concluded.

‘We try to keep that going for guys in the masters. We try to organise a couple of nights out a year. There are a lot of positives from travelling to matches in other counties and meeting other guys representing masters teams.

‘At our age, there isn’t an awful lot to do for guys aged over 40. So, to have a GAA competition but also an opportunity to get together and meet new people is wonderful.’

Anyone from West Cork interested in getting involved with the Cork Masters GAA can find information on their Facebook and Twitter social media accounts or email [email protected]

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