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'I wouldn’t be immediately of the mindset that Meyler has to go' - Cork legend Corcoran

Brian Corcoran says the calls for John Meyler to depart as Rebels manager are premature.

John Meyler watched his side go down to Kilkenny yesterday.
John Meyler watched his side go down to Kilkenny yesterday.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

AS THE CURTAIN was pulled down on another Cork hurling season, the focus moved onto John Meyler’s future in the hot-seat.

His initial two-year term as manager has been completed after their mid-July exit from the championship and he stated after the game that he would take time out to consider his future as boss.

Meyler was a selector under Kieran Kingston in 2017 when they lifted the Munster title, and he followed that up with another provincial success after assuming the number one role last season.

Cork were edged out by eventual champions Limerick after extra-time in the All-Ireland semi-final last summer, while their campaign ended with defeat to Kilkeny in the quarter-final this time around.

Some supporters have called for a new man to take on the position, but Rebels legend Brian Corcoran warned that changing the manager does not guarantee success.

“It’s his second year,” he said. “Sometimes bringing in a new manager can be just as disruptive.

“It’s very rare that a new manager comes in and they hit the ground running in their first year so the concern with bringing in someone new is that there’s going to be a rebuilding process again.

“Is that going to take another couple of years versus giving Meyler another shot at it and trying to build on what’s there?

Corcoran continued: “I’m not sure what the public opinion on it is. I know some people are probably looking for new faces but I’m not sure that’s necessarily the best thing either. We haven’t had great success at underage level either, it’s not like we’ve won three minors and two U21s and that manager is ready to come forward.

“Denis Ring and John Considine have been involved in the underage the last few years but we haven’t won All Irelands in that grade either. So if you do bring in someone new, you’re back into a rebuilding process.

“John got criticised last year for the depth of the bench and having to bring injured guys back on for the Limerick game and obviously, he tried to address that this year with having a little bit more attacking power on the bench.

“I wouldn’t be immediately of the mindset that Meyler has to go and bring in somebody new because I’m not sure we have someone waiting to take the reigns up.”

Brian Corcoran was speaking at the Bord Gáis Energy GAA U20 hurling provincial championship finals preview. Brian Corcoran was speaking at the Bord Gáis Energy GAA U20 hurling provincial championship finals preview. Source: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILE

At 31-years-old the time is running out on Patrick Horgan’s chances of winning the Liam MacCarthy Cup during his career. Corcoran believes a failure to win a Celtic Cross won’t affect the Glen Rovers man’s legacy in the game.

“Obviously, an All-Ireland medal is great to have. There was a Cork-Waterford charity game there a couple of months ago between the teams of 15, 20 years ago.

“You were dealing with the Waterford lads, the likes of Ken McGrath, Dan Shanahan, Tony Browne and these guys who didn’t win an All-Ireland when they were close so many times. Does that affect their legacy or make them lesser hurlers? Looking back on it I don’t think so, they were still great players.

“Hoggie is unfortunate that his career came in that 15 or 16 year period when Cork didn’t win an All-Ireland. But I think he is without a shadow of a doubt, people talk about Ring – obviously I didn’t see Ring but in terms of artists, stick-work, skill, wrist work – I don’t think there’s been a better Cork hurler than him.

“Does he need an All-Ireland to prove that – obviously, it would be great for his sake but I still think he will go down as one of the best Cork players ever. There’s very few guys who can strike a ball as well as Patrick Horgan.”

Corcoran believes an over-reliance on Horgan was more Cork’s issue rather than any hang-ups around playing at Croke Park, where they haven’t won since the 2013 All-Ireland semi-final.

“I don’t think it’s Croke Park. I think every player wants to be here. But obviously they haven’t produced going back to 2013, All-Ireland final they had a great chance, probably should, they almost had the original game won. The last two years, the Waterford game until the sending off, there wasn’t much in it.

“And obviously last year, six points up with whatever it was left. I’m not sure it’s a mental block with the stadium but maybe it’s a belief or lack of belief or confidence, are we really going to be good enough to win it?

“Bottom line from the display yesterday is that we’re too reliant on Patrick Horgan. Everyone is talking about what a great game he had and he had a fantastic game but if he wasn’t there, we would have been well beaten and that’s the problem.

“He got a couple of goals that most other guys wouldn’t have got and a couple of points that most others wouldn’t have got so if he wasn’t there, it would have been a much wider margin of loss.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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