Cork duo Walsh and Cadogan return to hurling duties

Busy dual stars will face Offaly with the Rebel hurlers while footballers host Derry


The so-far seamless division between certain football and hurling loyalties comes under closer inspection this weekend with the first double-hit of Allianz League fixtures.

By prior arrangement the Cork football team to play Derry at Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday has been released without the names of both Eoin Cadogan (above) and Aidan Walsh – who will play instead with the Cork hurlers against Offaly, later that day at the same venue. Last weekend, both Cadogan and Walsh played football for Cork.

A similar scenario will happen at Semple Stadium, where the Clare hurling team to face Tipperary will likely include Podge Collins, meaning the Clare footballers will be without him when they also play Tipperary, again later that afternoon at the same venue. Last weekend, Collins played football for Clare.

On Sunday week, both Cadogan and Walsh will play for the Cork footballers against Mayo even though the hurlers are also in action that day against Antrim. It’s not clear yet who Collins will play for when it comes to Clare’s next double-fixture.

Switching between the two codes isn’t straightforward, although Cork hurling trainer David Matthews has made that task a lot easier for Cadogan and Walsh by actually insisting they do none of the physical training he dishes out to the rest of the Cork hurling panel.

“When it comes to the demands of physical training, you can’t serve two masters,” says Matthews. “So what was decided was that the dual players would do all their physical strength and conditioning work with the footballers . . .

Only focus
“That means when they come back into the hurling training my only focus with them would be on speed, agility, and a little footwork, while Kieran Kingston [Cork hurling coach] would work on the hurling side.

“But they wouldn’t do any of the hard physical grind with us, no. Hurling is nearly all about touch, anyway, compared to football, so they would have all the necessary physical work done with the footballers. They’d actually be coming into us in very good shape.”

None of this could be done without the full co-operation of Cork hurling manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy and his football counterpart Brian Cuthbert.

After taking charge this season, Cuthbert brought in Antrim-born Ainle Ó Cairealláin as Cork football fitness trainer, who runs a fitness business in Cork. He also looks after the fitness needs of another dual player Damien Cahalane who is currently recovering from minor hip surgery.

Barry-Murphy has never ruled out the idea of playing both codes and Cuthbert is also willing to let the players try it for as long as they are able but added “we’ll see at the end of the league if it can work or not”.

Matthews agrees, for now: “As long as there is that cooperation between the two managers then certainly it is doable.”

With Cadogan and Walsh reverting to hurling, Cork football captain Michael Shields returns to the defence for the Derry clash, having missed last Saturday’s night win over Dublin due to a knee injury. Kevin O’Driscoll also comes into the half-back line, with Andrew O’Sullivan replacing Walsh at midfield.

Cork’s under-21 footballers, including Conor Dorman, are also given the weekend off as they prepare for the Munster championship showdown against Kerry on Wednesday week. One significant addition to Cuthbert’s panel for Sunday, however, is forward Patrick Kelly, who is listed among the substitutes after a lengthy injury lay-off. Colm O’Neill is again listed among the replacements, but sure to see some action after coming off the bench to hit two memorable scores in the win over Dublin.
CORK (SF v Derry): Ken O’Halloran; Alan Cronin, Michael Shields, Tomás Clancy; James Loughrey, Tom Clancy, Kevin O’Driscoll; Fintan Goold, Andrew O’Sullivan; Mark Collins, Paul Kerrigan, John O’Rourke; Daniel Goulding, Brian Hurley, John Hayes .