Aidan Walsh and Damian Cahalane braced for Tipperary test

Shane O’Neill doesn’t envy the Cork dual stars their busy schedule

Cork hurler Shane O’Neill: “It’s not easy but you need to pat them on the back for doing what they’re doing too.”

Cork hurler Shane O’Neill: “It’s not easy but you need to pat them on the back for doing what they’re doing too.”

Three days later and Cork hurler Shane O’Neill is still coming around after 70 minutes of Munster championship hurling. Three days from now and some of his team-mates will go another round in Munster championship football.

O’Neill speaks about it with a little wonder and awe, as Damien Cahalane and Aidan Walsh resumed duty with the Cork footballers this week ahead of Saturday evening’s Munster football semi-final against Tipperary (Eoin Cadogan also intends on playing codes this season, health permitting).

All three players intend juggling dual commitments as long as their scheduling allows, and while O’Neill doesn’t doubt their physical capacity, he can’t quite imagine having to shift to the large ball so soon.

Club championship

“Yeah it’s pretty tough on them alright, said O’Neill, speaking at the announcement of the GPA’s three-year renewal of a sponsorship deal with PwC.

“We have club championship next Monday but, with all due respects, there’s a big difference playing a club championship game on a Monday night compared to a Munster semi-final against Tipperary on Saturday. So it is tough on them, but probably mentally more than anything because they have all the physical work done.

“But it’s not easy. I struggle, myself, with just playing hurling so I don’t really know how they do it. After games I definitely find it hard to sleep or come down from it because it’s such a high playing in front of a big crowd.

“It definitely does take a few days . . I had club training last night, so that definitely helped me come back down to earth a bit as well. For those lads to come back down and get ready for a big game on Saturday, well, they’re coming thick and fast alright.”

Both codes

The Cork hurlers have already turned their attention to the Munster final against Limerick on Sunday, July 13th, in Páirc Uí Chaoimh while the Munster football final, should Cork progress, is set for the previous Sunday, July 6th, also at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, assuming Kerry defeat against Clare.

However O’Neill is confident the likes of Cahalane and Walsh can juggle both codes: “I don’t think it’ll interrupt them. It’ll just be interesting alright to see what happens in terms of where the players are over the next few weeks because if Cork beat Tipperary on Saturday they’ll be preparing for a Munster final too.

“It’s not easy but you need to pat them on the back for doing what they’re doing too.”

There is still some doubt about the dual role of Podge Collins as the Clare footballers prepare to face Kerry in Sunday’s semi-final at Ennis.

Although also present at the GPA event, Collins would not comment on his dual status.

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