This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 1 °C Tuesday 22 January, 2019

Pride at son's role in Cardiff win, surprise at taking on Cork job and learning from Hull City bosses

John Meyler takes his side into action against Kilkenny on Saturday night.

Cork hurling manager John Meyler.
Cork hurling manager John Meyler.
Image: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

HE’S BEEN INVOLVED in hurling management for three decades but John Meyler is not reluctant to search for tips and tricks to improve.

Next Saturday night he’ll face off on the sideline against Brian Cody, at the helm for  Cork’s first senior hurling outing in Páirc Uí Chaoimh since the stadium underwent an extensive makeover.

It’s the latest chapter in Meyler’s coaching career that has encompassed inter-county stints with Kerry, Wexford and Carlow while he has had club spells with Kilmoyley, Ballinhassig and Courcey Rovers.

He’s ready to embrace the pressures and responsibilities of the Cork managerial role in a season where revolutionary change will sweep through hurling.

And his hunt to evolve as a coach has frequently taken him to soccer environments with his son David, the Ireland and Hull City player, helping him gain an insight into the professional game.

“I used to love going to Sunderland when he was there, and going down to Hull when Steve Bruce was manager. (There was Leonid) Slutsky (and) Mike Phelan – his father was from Kilkenny actually – and (I) would’ve looked at all of their coaching sessions, (to) see what they’re at.

“I watch Cork City training at times because they’re in the college (Cork IT) at times on the 4G pitch at the moment.

“(It’s to) see what they’re at, what they’re doing, what they’re not doing – a lot of it is about coaching as distinct from training (and) physical training.

“I’m doing it for 30 years, I enjoy doing it (coaching). I cycle, I go to soccer matches in England. That’s it. I don’t go horse racing or anything.

“I organise my time. I’m probably six weeks ahead of myself, I know where I’ll be in six weeks. I try and squeeze in the matches in England, I’ll squeeze in the training, everything in.”

For Meyler there are approaches in soccer management that he can learn from and the round-robin nature of the 2018 Munster championship means he will need to adopt a different approach to cope with the intense schedule of games.

“A lot of it is (transferrable) yeah. While Kilkenny is critical this Saturday night, the following (Sunday) it’s away to Wexford. What you learn from that is the minute the match is over, forget about it, what’s next.

“That’s the difference in professional sport, (when) it’s over, move on, forget about it.”

Before Meyler pushes his Cork side into action next Saturday evening, he’ll be keeping an eye on how David fares with Hull City in their FA Cup fourth round tie against Nottingham Forest.

He thinks back to his son marking Noel Connors in the primary schools’ game in Thurles back in 2002 and then progressing on to embark on a soccer career.

Life has been in Hull for the past five seasons but it was on the international stage where he scaled new heights last year when the Irish captain’s armband was handed to him.

David Meyler celebrates after the game David Meyler during Ireland's win over Wales last October. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“I would never have seen it (happen) for them to make him captain in such an important game,” says John.

“I know he had worked with Martin and Roy in Sunderland, but it was immense. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything like it. The atmosphere in Cardiff that night, the Welsh national anthem. You’d never forget it. It was incredible.

“(The) Ireland (soccer team) has more passion, it’s more romantic. Seamus (Coleman) was always captain. He was unfortunate then to break his leg. I think John O’Shea then was missing, (for) David to go out against Moldova and Wales as captain, and win both matches, and to qualify for the Denmark match – that was fantastic.

“But look at the bigger picture then, we’re not going to Russia. Now travelling around Russia might (have) been difficult! We’d miss the Munster championship matches. Vladivostok or Páirc Uí Chaoimh, I don’t know which (I’d take)!

“It was an incredible journey, but just the way it ended was hard to take. I don’t mind (for) David, but for some of those like John O’Shea and Glenn Whelan and the older fellas that probably won’t stay on – it was hard like. They deserved something but that’s life.”

Meyler’s hurling life has seen him installed as Cork senior boss for 2018 but after double-jobbing last summer as senior selector and U21 manager, his progression to the top position on Leeside in the off-season was unexpected.

But being at the coalface of Cork underage hurling in recent times should assist him.

Kieran Kingston celebrates with Diarmaid O'Sullivan near the end of the game Cork's 2017 Munster final winning manager Kieran Kingston. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“I thought we would’ve stayed for another two years with the U21s and Kieran would’ve stayed with the seniors. We got on well together last year so I didn’t see myself getting this job, it was just because Kieran left.

“I was surprised because I thought he had done a really good job last year. He had brought through the younger players, he had re-energised (and) re-focused the whole thing. I just thought he’d stay on but he had work commitments and that’s it.

“I was involved with the U15s (in 2015), they won the U17 All-Ireland last year, John Considine managed them. Then last year the U21s. So I’m aware of what’s going on there. There’s a lot of young talent there but bringing that through is a hard challenge.”

The42 has just published its first book, Behind The Lines, a collection of some of the year’s best sports stories. Pick up your copy in Eason’s, or order it here today (€10):

Injury setbacks for Waterford’s Devine and O’Keeffe while hope not lost of Bennett playing in 2018

Waterford’s Curran and Dublin’s Burke the scoring stars as DCU clinch Fitzgibbon Cup win over LIT

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel