CORK’S senior footballers are getting ‘a strong manager’ who is not afraid to make the big calls – that’s the verdict of Carbery Rangers’ midfielder James Fitzpatrick.
New Rebel coach Ronan McCarthy spent one season with Ross in 2016 but it’s a campaign that will never to be forgotten after he managed the club to its first-ever Cork senior football championship.
While that means that Ross players and supporters will always find time for McCarthy and hold him in high regard, Fitzpatrick is adamant that Cork have secured the right man for the job of resurrecting the Rebels.
‘Ronan came in last year and brought something different to the set-up,’ the 2016 Cork SFC-winning captain explained.
‘We hadn’t had an outsider come in so to get that new voice was good for everyone – and you can’t argue with the results.
‘He took us out of our comfort zone and that’s what we needed. It was a different voice with new ideas and it worked.
‘He brought a different view and he opened up players’ eyes to different parts of the game.
‘He gave us belief, too.
‘Ronan listens to the players. It’s not a one-way system. He went through what he wanted but he was open and talked to us about what he wanted to make sure everyone was on the same wavelength. He left a good impression with us. We won a county with him and that’s what matters.’
Fitzpatrick was impressed with what he saw of McCarthy last season and he feels that the new Cork coach is well equipped to tackle the job of reviving the Rebel footballers’ fortunes.
‘He wasn’t afraid to make changes and you have to admire that,’ Fitzpatrick said.
‘Some managers are influenced by players but he’s not, he has the conviction to stand by his decisions and you have to admire that.
‘He’s a strong manager. If he has something in his mind that he thinks will work, he’ll go with in.’