Ending long All-Ireland wait is the aim for Rebels this year, insists John Meyler

Cork face Waterford tomorrow night.

John Meyler: 'Every year you go without winning puts pressure on a county.'
John Meyler: 'Every year you go without winning puts pressure on a county.'
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

CORK MANAGER John Meyler says his attentions are already firmly fixed on their Munster championship opener against Tipperary in May, as they look to win their first All-Ireland since 2005.

Cork, pipped by Clare at the weekend, continue their Co-Op Superstores Munster league schedule tomorrow night against Waterford and will open their Alliance League campaign against Kilkenny at the end of the month.

But 12 May is the date that Meyler is focused on when they will host Tipperary in the opening game of the Munster championship.

“Tipperary will be the same as ever. Liam Sheedy is back with Tipperary so it’s going to be a massively competitive game,” said Meyler. 

“That is really where it kicks off, 12 May. You saw how intense the Munster championship was last year. It’s going to be even more competitive this year.

“It’s been since 2005 since Cork won the All-Ireland. Every year you go without winning puts pressure on a county. 

“Teams should really be winning an All-Ireland more often. You need to win one or two every 10 years to keep refreshing things. That’s everybody’s aim next year, is to win an All-Ireland.

“We need to be in the top three when the Munster championship is over, that’s the critical element next year. Make sure we qualify for the All-Ireland series. To be in one, two or three position in Munster, that’s it.”

Cork are likely to have do without the likes of Mark Coleman, Shane Kingston and Darragh Fitzgibbon when they are away on Fitzgibbon Cup duty.

But Meyler knows it’s crucial he has a full hand to choose from as he looks to close the gap on reigning All-Ireland champions Limerick.

Cork drew with Limerick in the Munster championship last season before losing 3-32 to 2-31 after extra-time in the All-Ireland semi-final.

“I watched Limerick, especially against Kilkenny in the quarter-final in Thurles, having seen them in Pairc Ui Chaoimh in the Munster championship where the game was up and down. Either team could have won it towards the end,” said Meyler. 

“Limerick got a draw that night in Pairc Ui Chaoimh. I saw them coming back then against Kilkenny and it showed a resolve that wouldn’t normally have been in Limerick teams. In fairness to John he has built it on that. All the other four counties will be trying to do that.

“Shane Dowling made the difference. Vital substitutions at vital times, players came in and the subs that Limerick brought in really made a contribution for Limerick and that was critical for them at that point in the game. 

“After the All-Ireland semi-final, after full-time we were level, you go into the dressing room and fellas are out on their feet that is something we have learned that we need to rectify for next year.

“We need to look at ourselves, that’s it, and see what we need to change, what we need to get right. Once we get that right we will be okay.”

About the author:

Daragh Small

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