McCarthy: Castlehaven must reach new level for Munster club football final against Dingle

December 4th, 2023 1:00 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

James McCarthy has stepped down as Castlehaven senior football manager.

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CASTLEHAVEN need to hit a new level to beat Dingle in the Munster senior club football championship final – that’s the verdict of their manager James McCarthy.

The Cork champions are back in a provincial club final for the first time since 2012 and standing in their way of a fourth Munster crown are Kerry club kingpins Dingle.

This final on Sunday, December 10th, pits West Cork against West Kerry, and it’s an opportunity for Castlehaven to add to their Munster successes of 1989, 1994 and ’97, but McCarthy has warned of the challenge ahead.

‘Any team that comes out of Kerry is going to be good,’ he said, before urging his team to take their performance levels to new heights in this intriguing Cork v Kerry provincial decider.

‘If we are to get over this we are going to have to go to another level in terms of performance, commitment, attitude, work-rate, and a bit of luck with it.’ McCarthy said. 

‘If we turn up, we will give them a good run for it because we know that if we don’t hit the levels we need to, then we’ll be in trouble.’

While Castlehaven were beating Waterford champs Rathgormack 1-16 to 1-7, Dingle were jumping their tricky hurdle against Clonmel Commercials, an arm wrestle they eventually won 0-13 to 0-10. 

‘This is huge for the club,’ McCarthy outlined. ‘Obviously we had the county as our target, that’s what our focus was on, and then when we got into Munster we saw it as a great opportunity to push on. We are there now and we are going to give it our best shot.’

One of the many key players in the Castlehaven team is former Cork forward Michael Hurley who has been in sparkling form in this championship run. Man of the match in both the county semi-final and final, Hurley kicked five points from play against Rathgormack last weekend to continue his good run.

‘He is sharp and injury free, and looking after the body well,’ Haven boss McCarthy explained.

‘We always knew this was in him, it was just to get that run of games. He is playing with a smile on his face and that is half the battle. All the players are enjoying it, to be fair. They set the standards, they run the show, and I just tell them where to go. When they set the standards like they do, it makes life very easy for the mentors.’


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