ORLA Cronin has the ability to lead the Cork team this year, manager Paudie Murray feels.
With the absence of a number of Cork’s experienced players for the league campaign, new leaders need to stand up and Murray believes that Enniskeane star Cronin has what it takes to become a leader in his new-look team.
Cronin scored 0-9 in Cork's opening league win of the campaign against Waterford last weekend.
The West Cork woman has been involved in the senior panel since her call-up in 2012 when she was only 16, and she has developed into one of the finest forwards in the country.
‘I expect a lot off senior members of the team, even though a lot of them are only 23 or 24,’ Murray said.
‘When some of your more senior players leave the panel, it allows people from the younger age-group a chance to flourish. I think it is time for Orla to start flourishing.
‘Her play is exceptional. As a centre forward she has the best movement that I have seen in that position – and I include hurlers in that. If anyone went and just watched her movement during a game, it is top drawer.
‘She has the ability to lead the team more this year too.’
It appears that goalkeeper Aoife Murray has retired from inter-county, as reported in other media, though Murray didn’t confirm this, quipping: ‘I’m her brother but don’t expect her to give me an answer!’
Murray’s absence gives Amy Lee an opportunity in goal, and she did well against Waterford in the league opener last Saturday.
‘This is a chance for Amy to stand up and be counted. She played well last weekend, she can be quite happy and she’ll look to kick on from that,’ he said.
Both the Mackeys, Katrina and Pamela, are not involved at the moment – both are studying PHDs, with Pamela expected back in six week’s time while Katrina probably won’t be involved until the championship in the summer as she is also recovering from injury. Julia White is away at the moment, while Orla Cotter is currently in New York.
Murray is hopeful, however, that the great Gemma O’Connor, an 11-time All-Star, will commit to another season.
‘Gemma has not committed yet but we would be hopeful that she will join up with us later on. There is no pressure on her, but we hope she’ll be back,’ Murray said.
‘Her displays last year suggest that she still has plenty to offer. The body will tell you when you need to retire so going by what we saw last year, it’s telling her not to.’