Cork manager Conor Counihan steps down
After six years at the helm beaten quarter-finalist calls it a day
Dublin manager Jim Gavin is congratulated by his Cork counterpart Conor Counihan at Croke Park on Saturday night. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho
In a brief but emotional appearance on RTÉ after Saturday night’s game the Rebels boss confirmed his six-year tenure was at an end.
“I’ve talked to the players there and told them I’m stepping down,” he said. “Look, I’ve had six fantastic years, they’re a great group of players and they owe no-one anything.”
Counihan, an All Ireland winner in 2010, said his side deserved to exit this year’s championship at the hands of Dublin, beaten 1-16 to 0-14.
“We were beaten by the better team and there’s no disgrace in that.”
His counterpart on the night, Jim Gavin, admitted his side needs to work on finishing after letting a slew of goal chances slip by, but he was quick to praise his players.
“Yeah, we penetrated on a number of occasions and didn’t take those goalscoring opportunities, but for me there’s was a fantastic team effort, in terms of the work rate, the intensity, the resolve, the harmony they showed, and there’s a great energy amongst the group and, for me, that’s the most positive thing today.
“The conversion rate, obviously, is a concern but from a coaching perspective, we’ve worked a lot on the training field to create those moves and opportunities, and it’s great to see it happening out there. The next day hopefully we’ll get one or two more.
“Listen, all credit to the Dublin players, I think they showed really great character to keep at it despite things not going well for them.”
Goalscorer Jack McCaffrey, whose strike three minutes after the break put some distance between the sides at a crucial juncture, said the Dubs have got “a lot to work on in training based on that match”.