CORK’S COUNTY BOARD came in for stinging criticism from former Rebels goalkeeper Donal Óg Cusack on The Sunday Game last night.
Cork were desperately disappointing in their comprehensive 2-18 to 1-11 All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Tipperary, one which Cusack put down to a lack of underage success and proper coaching structures within the county.
The two time All-Star pulled no punches as he heavily criticised the €70m re-development of Páirc Uí Chaoimh into a 45,000 seater stadium and the development of a centre of excellence.
“What will that building do for the performance of young Cork players? I’d seriously question it. I actually think that it’s a monument that’s being built, instead of a centre of excellence,” he said.
“There’s two fields there. The clubs are being sold a pup. Because it’s being sold under this guise of a centre of excellence.
“How has a centre of excellence only got two fields? You’ll have underage coaches around Cork that are looking to take their squad teams to fields – they’ve to ring up clubs looking for permission to do it.”
Cusack also highlighted the lack of underage success within the county when Tipperary, in comparison, had a side littered with All-Ireland winners at minor, U21 level and senior level.
“I think it’s significant and like you say, when you even look at underage medals, there’s serious structural problems existing within Cork. You can talk about what you want but the reality is that Cork haven’t won an U21 All-Ireland since 1998,” he continued.
“They haven’t won a minor All-Ireland since 2001. All of our colleges are after losing their strength.”
“Two pitches as your centre of excellence, who are we trying to cod?”