Macroom man explains why he has retired from Cork inter-county football
BY DENIS HURLEY
MACROOM is renowned as the town that never reared a fool, so it’s not surprising that Fintan Goold knows when the time is right to announce his retirement from intercounty footballer.
Goold announced his departure earlier this week, having been part of the panel since the end of 2004.
In his first training drill, Colin Corkery (who ended up not being involved for ’05) was his partner while he leaves a dressing room where Seán Powter is establishing himself.
‘I did think long and hard about it at the end of 2015,’ he says, ‘but the way the Kildare game went, nobody wanted to finish on that note.
‘I talked to (manager) Peadar (Healy) and said I’d give it one last crack, but I was picking up a lot of small injuries, maybe I was pushing myself a bit too hard trying to get back.
‘The first game I played was championship with my club, I didn’t play enough really to break in over the summer. I forced my way back into the panel alright for the Donegal game, but walking out of Croke Park that day, I knew my time was up.’
A winner of All-Irelands at senior and U21 level as well as Munster and league medals, he has high praise for the team Conor Counihan built.
‘It’s only now that people are realising that they were really good days,’ he says.
‘When we look back, we’re extremely thankful to have won one All-Ireland. A big thing was winning the national league in 2010. It’s not the big prize but it was a national title, another stepping stone. You just keep knocking on the door and never give up.’
The time demands around what might be termed ‘extra-football’ activities took their toll eventually, though.
‘People go on about inter-county lads training like professionals but I don’t know if it’s any harder than when I started, it’s all the other stuff that adds up,’ he says.
‘Things you have to do at certain times like recovery sessions or meetings, meeting dietitians and getting scans done, it eats into your own time. It probably makes you question it when things aren’t going well.
‘I always saw it as something I loved doing and it was just the feeling that the hunger wasn’t there to do it again. It wasn’t that I felt like a slave or anything like that.
‘It probably is the case that the bar can’t go much higher. My only fear is that the strong counties will get stronger because the rewards are there for that, but to keep asking teams – who aren’t realistically going to pick up silverware – to keep putting in that effort, I just hope that the gulf doesn’t get wider.’