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'We're all Cork men. Munster medal on the field or off the field, it's the same thing.'

The Cork selector savoured a provincial title win yesterday.

Diarmuid O'Sullivan celebrates Cork's victory with Kieran Kingston.
Diarmuid O'Sullivan celebrates Cork's victory with Kieran Kingston.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

HE WON FIVE of them as a player and yesterday Diarmuid O’Sullivan experienced that sense of glory as a selector.

After seasons spent guarding the edge of the square in Thurles, he patrolled the sideline on Munster final day but was not interested in ranking the feats.

Witnessing a Cork man lifting the Munster hurling trophy was his sole objective.

“It’s the same thing. We’re all Cork men. Munster medal on the field or off the field, it’s the same thing.

“If I was in the stand, it’d be the same thing. We’ve Cork in us, that’s it.

“It could be the last time the Munster championship is played in format it is. If it is, we’ll be delighted to go out on a high like that.

“Tipp are the All-Ireland champions, to defeat Waterford the last day and now to turn over Clare. We stuck to our structure, we stuck to our plan.

“As Cork supporters, Cork people coming up today, it’s a good day. We entered this competition eight weeks ago at this stage.

“We knew if we won (the title), we’d have three games. This is game three of three, so we’re absolutely delighted.”

Anthony Nash and Damian Cahalane celebrate Cork players Anthony Nash and Damian Cahalane celebrate victory. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

O’Sullivan was part of a batch of Cork players that came through as youngsters in 1999. This year he has watched players like Spillane, Coleman, Fitzgibbon, Kingston and Meade blossom in their maiden Munster senior voyage.

The Cloyne native has not been surprised by the rapid rate of their progress.

“Not particularly (surprised), if you set your standard and you go about your business week in, week out the way they go about their business, tt’s very easy to see a marked improvement in them.

“It’s very easy to train them and coach them because they’re like sponges, they can soak everything in.

“The older lads are a credit the way they bring them on and manage them. It’s wonderful.

“We always believed it was the right thing to do. For the face of Cork hurling, to change the way Cork hurling was going forward, to be able to adapt to systems, to play different types of systems.

“Cork needed to develop them things. We knew we had some young lads who would help us because they hadn’t been here before.

“It was easier to integrate them and introduce the new types of systems and play.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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