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He may be Dublin boss but Ger Cunningham's still helping Cork hurling

The former Cork coach is working closely with current Cork hurlers for UCC.

Dublin manager Ger Cunningham will face his native Cork on Saturday March 7th.
Dublin manager Ger Cunningham will face his native Cork on Saturday March 7th.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

HIS FOCUS MAY be on Dublin’s inter-county fortunes but Ger Cunningham’s influence on hurling in his native Cork is still being felt

Cunningham will take Dublin into action on 7 March against Cork, the county he enjoyed a decorated playing career with and then coached in 2012 and 2013.

But before then he’ll be guiding some of Cork’s squad in the Fitzgibbon Cup as manager of UCC. Killian Burke, Cormac Murphy, Rob O’Shea, Conor Lehane and Alan Cadogan are all UCC players currently involved with Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s Cork senior setup.

Cunningham is juggling the two roles successfully with UCC 20-point winners over GMIT in their opening Fitzgibbon game last week before they head to face NUI Galway on Thursday.

“I think Ger was always going to find it difficult to balance the two but I think he’s doing an exceptional job,” reveals Cork’s Alan Cadogan.

“He’s after taking a small bit of a step back from UCC. Noel Furlong from Carrigtwohill is doing a lot of the training. Ger is an excellent coach, he’s going to be very good for Dublin. Cork’s loss is Dublin’s gain.

“Come the 7th of March, you’re wearing the Cork jersey and he’s managing Dublin so I think both teams will want to get a win there. It’s a hugely attractive fixture for anyone so we’ll probably expect a big crowd there in Croke Park that night.”

Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Cadogan’s focus is entirely on Cork hurling this year after being busy with springtime U21 football commitments in recent seasons. He met football boss Brian Cuthbert earlier in the year but didn’t feel the dual mandate was a feasible one to pursue.

“I don’t think the dual situation is up for debate this year, unfortunately. Last year I was playing hurling and football and the hurling took over a small bit so that scenario didn’t really arise for me. I met him [Brian] at the start of the year and we discussed our plans so it was a good chat.

“I’d like to (play Sigerson) but the parents wouldn’t really allow me. I wouldn’t be passing my exams so it’s important I focus on that as well. So no, just sticking with the hurling this year.”

Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

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Cork’s Alan Cadogan was in Dublin yesterday to announce further details of Setanta Sports’ coverage of the 2015 Allianz Leagues. Throughout the course of the competition, Setanta Sports will broadcast 17 exclusively live games (12 football and five hurling).

This weekend Donegal will travel to Croke Park to face Dublin in a re-match of last year’s epic All-Ireland semi-final, a match which is live on Setanta Sports 1, February 7th at 7pm. For more see www.setanta.com

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Fintan O'Toole

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