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Familiar face taking over Cork, new Munster hurling format and admiring Cluxton

The Cork goalkeeper is set for a Munster final this weekend.

Anthony Nash celebrates a Cork score Cork hurling goalkeeper Anthony Nash Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

IT’S MUNSTER FINAL week for Anthony Nash but he’s not complaining about gearing up for a provincial showpiece in the depths of November after a long season on the hurling treadmill.

The Gaelic Grounds beckons Nash’s club Kanturk on Sunday as an AIB Munster intermediate decider against Clare’s Kilmaley awaits.

AIB Munster GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship Final Media Day Source: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILE

Club matters may be consuming his thoughts after a groundbreaking season that saw Kanturk graduate to the senior ranks for the first time in Cork but he’s aware that embarking on the inter-county road again with Cork is on the horizon.

When the 2018 season commences Cork will have a new man at the helm and while Nash was close to the departing Kieran Kingston, he’s enthused that a link has been maintained to this year’s setup with the appointment of John Meyler.

“I had an inkling at the end of the year that Kieran was under pressure with work to kind of commit again for the year.

Kieran Kingston celebrates with Anthony Nash Kieran Kingston and Anthony Nash celebrating last July's Munster final victory. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“He’d done great work, he had put a great panel together and management team. But the positive to come out of it all is the fact that John was there last year.

“Continuity is huge for us because last year was a positive. Look how ’18 will go I don’t know but at least he has an idea how ’17 worked and that we’re not starting from scratch.

“I’d be close enough to Kieran as well, even ’14 when he was coach, I got on very well with him. I actually played golf with him a bit as well.

“He’s a very nice fella, so as a person it’s a pity he went yeah. But regards next year I think John is going to do a fantastic job.

“Like John, I think everyone saw his passion in the U21 match after the Waterford game but John’s like a very shrewd man as well. I think he’ll just take us forward, hopefully to the next level.

John Meyler New Cork hurling manager John Meyler Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

“Look last year was a positive. People come up to you and say it was great year, it’s not a great year. In Cork if you don’t win the All-Ireland it’s not a great year. It was a good year from ’16, the contrast between the two.”

Cork’s All-Ireland hopes were thwarted at the semi-final stage by Waterford but with that disappointment having eased, 33-year-old Nash has an eagerness to put his efforts into another inter-county campaign.

“Look fellas talk about burnout and breaks – and rightly so – but I didn’t get a chance until I was 25 or 26 or more, whatever it was.

“I always said to myself when I turn 33 I’d make a decision and I feel that I’m physically okay at the moment.

“With Cork I’ve Patrick Collins, who’s an outstanding goalkeeper and with Kanturk, I’ve Barry Kenneally who was a Cork minor sub a couple of years ago. If I’m well enough to be playing fair enough and if I’m not then the management make a decision.

“But as long as I can play, I think I’ll try anyway. Look I love hurling, when I retire I think I’ll get involved in it some way or another anyway.

“So I might as well keep playing while I can. It’s 12 or 13 months on the go really but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I was 16 when I started playing with Kanturk, 15 actually when I started playing football with them, so to say we’re senior I’d go 24 months in a row.

AIB Munster GAA Hurling Senior Club Championship Final Media Day Kanturk’s Anthony Nash is pictured ahead of the AIB GAA Munster Intermediate Hurling Club Championship Final. Source: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILE

The Munster hurling landscape will be altered next summer with players presented with a round-robin format. It’s a system Nash broadly welcomes albeit he has wondered about a couple of potential issues.

“More games is great. I want to play as many times as I possible can during the summer rather than training.

“I think for an outfielder it’s going to be difficult. For a goalkeeper I think fatigue wise it’s not a thing,it’s just mentally getting yourself up for the game and making sure you’re right.

“The only negative I see out of all of this is if a fella pulls a hamstring or something like that, he could be gone for the entirety of the Munster championship.

“It’ll be interesting to see how it affects crowds because like it’s a lot of money, do you know what I mean? You’ve four games in Munster and whatever the ticket money is going to be to get in, will people be willing to travel?

Cork team are greeted by supporters Cork fans greeting the players before the Munster final. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“I hope it doesn’t affect the crowd numbers because coming out in Thurles out of the tunnel, and next thing you’re met with the Cork crowd – that have paid whatever €40, €50 to get into the game – is unbelievable.

“I just think next year will be special for Cork because of the first year of Páirc Uí Chaoimh. I think we’ve Clare at home first but I just wonder how it will affect the crowd numbers.

“But more games is brilliant definitely if you’re getting to play for Cork.”

Nash remains one of the leading hurling netminders in the country, again producing a series of superb showings between the posts for Cork in 2017.

Anthony Nash Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

He relentlessly seeks to pick up tips from other sports and it is a leading exponent in Gaelic football that he most admires.

“I think you have to say Stephen Cluxton has evolved the game in both codes. To see what he does with a football is unbelievable. I’ve huge admiration for him.

“Seldom or ever a kickout goes wrong and when it does you see the lift it gives another team and to me that’s a compliment to him because he’s so good. He’s the driving force for Dublin.

Stephen Cluxton Stephen Cluxton in action for Dublin against Monaghan this year. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO


“A puckout or a kickout is your possession, you try and keep it. I know hurling is a bit more difficult ti goes further but if you can try and influence the game as best you can. He is the driving force behind the game changing in goalkeepers in my opinion.

“I’m into sport, I love sport, I watch all American sports. I try and learn from everything. I do try my best to look at something and invigorate myself.

“I try and learn as much as I can. The strange thing is I wouldn’t look at hurling. I’d model it off other sports more.

“Again Stephen (Cluxton), what he’s done now. I’d see the bravery he has to go for it with kickouts and that. Look it’s down to the hours, the amount of practice he does more than anything.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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