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"I had that saved on my phone:" Briege Corkery used Cora Staunton's words for motivation

There were doubts about Cork’s ability to survive without Éamonn Ryan and Valerie Mulcahy.

Cora Staunton Cork's Briege Corkery in pursuit of Cora Staunton in 2005. Source: Andrew Paton/INPHO

CORK DUAL STAR Briege Corkery has revealed how the words of Cora Staunton, motivated her to chase more All-Ireland glory this year.

The perennial All-Ireland champions were facing into the unknown at the outset of the 2016 season following some key losses in personnel. Their manager Éamonn Ryan stepped down to take up a backroom role with the Cork men’s football team. They were also without the services of star forward Valerie Mulcahy, who announced her retirement form the inter-county scene in April. 

Those doubts were later put to rest as they went on to claim their 11th Brendan Martin Cup under Ephie Fitzgerald in September. 

Cora Staunton with Brid Stack Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Earlier in the year, Staunton said that the loss of Éamonn Ryan would be “unsettling for Cork for the first while but with the calibre of player they have and a winning mentality, you could never write them off.”

The Cork ladies team are renowned for attributing their success to a composed game-by-game approach. But speaking to RedFM over the weekend, Corkery, who now has 17 All-Ireland medals across both GAA codes, pointed to Staunton’s words, as another motivating factor behind their sixth consecutive All-Ireland title.

There was a lot of drive behind it. People were saying, “would we do it without Valerie Mulcahy, would we do it without Éamonn (Ryan)?” I suppose one thing that I kept on my phone from the start of the year, was Cora Staunton saying that we were very vulnerable without Éamonn and I had that saved on my phone. I dug my heels deep for that and I told a lot of the girls about it.

“I suppose we felt as players that, you have to run as a team. Once you work well together, things can work out if you do it properly.”

Corkery was joined in the interview by fellow dual-player Rena Buckley, who added that a change in management was significant thing for players to adjust to, having served under Ryan for over a decade.

“We were use to it in camogie where there would be changes in management every now and again. From the football front, it had been so steady for so long, it was a big change to people. Thankfully, things worked out well. Éamonn was fantastic but it was great to see Cork football doing well under different management as well.”

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