Cork U20 boss O’Dwyer ready for hard work before Kerry showdown in Munster final

April 23rd, 2023 3:30 PM

By Southern Star Team

Cork U20 football manager Bobbie O’Dwyer.

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WITH just a week’s turnaround to the EirGrid Munster U20FC final against Kerry, Cork must ensure that preparations are efficient.

Having beaten Limerick in last Monday’s semi-final in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, it’s back to the same venue next Monday (7.30pm) for the provincial decider against the Kingdom.

Cork manager Bobbie O’Dwyer knows that work needs to be done between now and then, but equally he is confident that strong foundations have been laid.

‘You have to,’ he says, ‘because your preparation for playing Limerick is going to be totally different to your preparation for playing Kerry.

‘A team like Kerry are going to play six forwards up, whereas a lot of other teams don’t. Your defensive strategy is going to be different, your transitions are going to be different, your kickouts and so on.

‘You’ve an awful lot of work to do in between, but it isn’t just the week of the game that you set those up – that’s what we’ve been doing for the last couple of months.

‘It just doesn’t happen overnight.’

Cork dealt with the challenge of Limerick in a composed fashion, recording a 2-14 to 0-6 victory and showing no signs of taking their opponents lightly.

‘I don’t think that complacency will happen with these lads, anyway,’ O’Dwyer says.

‘We’d never take anybody for granted – we’re playing Limerick, we’re playing an inter-county game. Whether fellas call you favourites or not, you have to go out and win the game.

‘If you’re not ready for it, you’re not going to win the game, it’s as simple as that.’

In contrast to Cork, Kerry endured a testing evening against Clare in their semi-final in Tralee. Tomás Ó Sé’s side came through but only after extra time, 1-20 to 4-9 the final score after a battling performance by the Banner.

Again, Kerry’s manner of progress isn’t something with which O’Dwyer is unduly preoccupied.

‘Again, being straight about it, you’d never take any team for granted,’ he says, ‘and you certainly wouldn’t take Kerry for granted.

‘How Kerry prepare is their business and we’ll be looking after our own set-up. Kerry’ll be going in as hot favourites, they’re Munster champions and now they’ve been battle-hardened by a tough test against Clare.

‘Our guys are prepared too and we’re looking forward to the game.’

The match will represent a fourth outing for the team at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, having played Laois and Roscommon there in the John Kerins Cup before the Limerick championship encounter.

Home comforts are certainly something that O’Dwyer would ever eschew.

‘We’re delighted to be playing in Cork,’ he says, ‘and any time that you get a home game, you try to use it to the best of your advantage.

‘We’ll look forward to our friends, family and supporters being there to cheer Cork on.’

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