Cork's 'problem position' at full-back and branding Waterford criticism as 'rubbish'

Aidan Ryan starts his first league game in five years for Cork on Sunday.

Cork hurling boss Jimmy Barry-Murphy.
Cork hurling boss Jimmy Barry-Murphy.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

JIMMY BARRY-MURPHY made a leftfield selection when naming his Cork senior hurling side last night for Sunday’s Division 1 Allianz hurling league final.

Aidan Ryan was handed the number three jersey despite not featuring in this spring’s league and he is getting set for his first league start since 2010.

It’s all part of Cork’s hopes to solve a ‘problem position’.

“It’s a big occasion for Aidan certainly,” Barry-Murphy told Cork’s 96FM.

“Full-back has been a problem position for us since Christopher Joyce got injured.

We’ve asked Damien Cahalane over the league to fill in there. It’s not his most natural position and he’s done a very good job for us.

“But just on this occasion we feel that Aidan can do an equally good job and maybe take the pressure off Damien on this occasion.

Aidan Ryan Aidan Ryan in action for Cork in 2009 against Tipperary Source: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

“Damien has been a great lad for us, William Kearney also has lost out, not starting on this occasion. Also Luke O’Farrell who has been brilliant for throughout the league and again Paudie O’Sullivan has played very well in every game.

“But we’re just judging as best we can going forward. I know it’s very, very tough on some of these lads to be left out. But I know they’ll have a great future.”

Luke O'Farrell Luke O'Farrell has dropped out of the Cork hurling side. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Cork’s opponents on Sunday may have come in for some flak for a defensive focus but Barry-Murphy dismisses that criticism of Waterford as ‘rubbish’.

“I think it’s rubbish to be honest with you. They’re playing to their strengths. We’re doing the same with our players.

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I think every management team look at the ability of their players. You play a gameplan that suits you accordingly. Waterford are doing exactly that.

Who is anybody to be judging that? Derek McGrath has done a great job, they’re in the final and who could argue with that?”

Derek McGrath and selector Dan Shanahan Waterford manager Derek McGrath and selector Dan Shanahan Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Sunday’s game may be a precursor for their Munster semi-final on 7 June but Barry-Murphy fully expects both teams to go full throttle in the pursuit of league honours.

“Waterford and ourselves haven’t exactly been winning national titles regularly so I’m sure they’ll be as anxious as we will to win and we’re very, very determined to try to win on Sunday.

“We got to the final a few years ago and didn’t do ourselves justice against Kilkenny. I’d hope we’re a much better prepared team now and a much more seasoned team.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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