Charlie Vaughan reveals Carbery will struggle to field a team for Cork SHC clash
BY DENIS HURLEY
CARBERY senior hurling manager Charlie Vaughan fears that the division may not be able to fulfill Sunday's Cork senior hurling championship round three clash with Killeagh.
The East Cork side beat Douglas last weekend to set up this meeting, with the game scheduled for mid-September if the city side had prevailed. Vaughan believes that the club sides were shown preferential treatment and laments the fact that Carbery's requests for the game to be put back due to player unavailability have been turned down.
âIt was only at ten past three on Tuesday that I got a call from our liaison officer saying that the game was on on Sunday,' he says.
âTwo weeks ago, we were told that if Douglas won â which they were expected to â the game was gone back until after the All-Ireland final because they had a player on the minor team. That was fine, we'd respect the Cork team, but then after Killeagh won I heard that we were going to be part of a double-header with the Carbery footballers.
âWhen that happened I began to wonder about the jerseys because we have new sponsors this year, Dubliner Cheese, and I was worrying that there might have only been one set â the footballers wouldn't want to wear a sweaty set!
âIt turns out there are two sets, but then I found out that the two teams are playing Sunday at different venues, which creates problems with dual players.
âMy big question is, why were Douglas able to put a game back to September when they weren't yet involved in it and a divisional team can't?'
Managing a divisional side is never easy, with players having to balance club commitments too, but current circumstances make things almost unworkable for Carbery.
âIn all possibility, as it stands we will not be able to field 15 players on Sunday,' Vaughan says.
âThe West Cork final is on September 3rd â in their wisdom, they've put it on a day when Cork are playing in an All-Ireland final, but I'm reluctant to criticise Carbery because they've been good to us,' he says.
âClon and Bal, who are in the final, have withdrawn their players, that's eight in total, and I can't argue with them because I understand what it's like for club teams, I won a lot with Clon over the last few years.
âWe played Na Piarsaigh in the second round and it was a double-header with Argideen Rangers â at least four of their players would be on our team.
âI rang (Carbery senior football manager) Gene O'Driscoll, what an intelligent, well-spoken man he is. He was completely in agreement with me that we're not wanted, they'd do very well without us.
âI didn't want to bring him on my crusade either though, and I haven't consulted the rest of the selectors, this is all on my head and shoulders.'
Winning on Sunday isn't a possibility that Vaughan entertains. He accepts that it would be a big ask with a full panel, but he would at least like such an opportunity.
âI came on as a selector under Jerry Ryan last year,' he says, âand Jerry was very frustrated all year, as the year went on I realised why, it was just so hard to get a team out.
âI was appointed to carry on his work and we had a fantastic response, I sent out texts and every single player responds.
âWe don't want favours, we just want fair play. Why was it okay for Douglas to get the game put back beforehand but now because Killeagh want to play it has to be played?
âWe'll go out on Sunday and probably get a pasting and that's no disrespect to the lads, who want to play for Carbery.
âI'd say, with my hand on my heart, if we had our best 15 any day, we'd be contending. If the county board are letting us in to play senior hurling, then let us play senior hurling, don't put us out as whipping boys.
âLet us go out and be beaten by Killeagh, but on a level playing field, that's all I'd ask for.'