‘Problems can't be fixed overnight'

July 30th, 2018 1:00 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

Cork GAA County Board Chairperson Tracey Kennedy speaking at the launch of the new Beara GAA website. (Photo: Tony McElhinney)

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County board chairperson admits process to help Cork football will take time

County board chairperson admits process to help Cork football will take time


CORK’S football problems can’t be fixed overnight and the process will take time, admits county board chairperson Tracey Kennedy. 

The heavy back-to-back championship losses to Kerry and Tyrone has highlighted how far Cork footballers have slipped in recent times, and Kennedy says she is just as concerned as every other Rebel supporter.

‘People will say, “sure ye have the hurling,” but that’s not enough. I want Cork to be successful in hurling and football. We are a dual county with a proud tradition,’ Kennedy told The Southern Star.

‘I share and understand the concerns of people and my priority now is that we are not still in this position in ten years’ time.

‘We have to understand that we can’t fix the problems overnight, especially where they are systemic. Changing culture and changing systems is a gradual process. What is important is that we start the process and that progress is happening.

‘What I want to avoid is a total doomsday scenario because it’s not like that. Our development squads have had success lately and that is progress.

‘As part of our strategic plan, there is a committee – a very good committee with some influential people on it – looking at how we can look at our championship structures, for example. We hear a lot that there are too many teams in the championships, and so on, so we have a group looking at that, and it’s a huge task, so I don’t expect a report this year, it will be into next year. But we are not due to change our championships until next year.

‘We do want to make changes there but at this point at time, football probably needs extra help. We tried to treat them both equally but that’s not enough at the moment.’

Kennedy explained that the next meeting of the county board executive on Tuesday, July 31st, will have only one item on the agenda: Cork football.

‘I have committed too to putting football on the agenda at the next county board meeting so on that night we will be presenting whatever we come up with at our meeting,’ she said.

The current standard of the county championships is repeatedly brought up when discussing reasons for Cork football’s decline with the majority feeling the quality has dipped and that change is needed.  

‘I know I might have come in for criticism for talking about “lazy commentary”, but what I meant is that we have to be careful that we are not looking for the easy answers, and that we are looking for the real solutions,’ Kennedy said.

‘We need to look beyond what are the easy answers and find what are the real problems, and what can we do then. If making our championships smaller would solve the problems of Cork football and if it would mean that we would win an All-Ireland in five years’ time, then I’d make those changes tomorrow.

‘What we do want is Cork football to progress. We want quality players and quality championships and we want ultimate success for Cork.’

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