Cork footballers eager to seize chance of redemption

Daniel Goulding says trio of dual players are easy targets for extra criticism

Kerry’s Shane Enright and Daniel Goulding of Cork clash during the Munster senior football final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photograph: Inpho

Kerry’s Shane Enright and Daniel Goulding of Cork clash during the Munster senior football final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Photograph: Inpho

 

Not many people can say they feel all the pain and humiliation of what Brazil are going through, and are taking some comfort in it. There may be good reasons for a smile after the slaughter in Belo Horizonte, although most of those should be German.

But when the Cork footballers returned to training last night, still feeling the pain and humiliation of their 12-point defeat to Kerry in Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday, some of them found the events that followed in Brazil on Tuesday night provided an unlikely antidote. Daniel Goulding suggested as much, and that no matter how bad they felt, the Brazilian footballers must be feeling 10 times worse, while also pointing out one important difference: Cork, unlike Brazil, still have the chance for redemption.

Soul searching

Not only was it Kerry’s record margin of victory over their old rivals at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, going back to 1976, it also denied the Cork footballers the chance to sign off on a winning note, given the old stadium will soon be demolished. But what hurt most, says Goulding, is the knowledge that not one single Cork player walked away satisfied

“We all have to right serious wrongs,” said Goulding. “Just the fact we went out of the game so fast, didn’t remedy it, and the way Kerry took control of the game, makes it very, very disappointing.

“Sometimes you might get away with going out of a game for 10 or 15 minutes, and can still hang in there. But they took an awful lot of chances, and before we knew it, we were down eight or nine points, really, really chasing the game, and the plan just goes out the window then. Maybe it was a big of staleness, or maybe we just came five or six per cent off, at the wrong time. Although there was no complacency,

“And it was our last game in Pairc Ui Chaoimh, and for a lot of Cork fans, and we were a mile off it, after starting very well, which again is the most disappointing thing. If we weren’t up for it that would be something. But I thought for the first five minutes we looked like we were very up for it . . . It is hard to explain. I think they just killed us on breaks. They just took over our kick-outs. And we couldn’t get the ball past midfield or our half-forward line. In fairness to them they took every opportunity. Kerry really were ultra-clinical.”

Like Brazil, the Cork footballers found themselves being heavily criticised by their own fans, although Goulding – speaking in Dublin as a brand ambassador for Under Armour sportswear – shut that part of the process down completely. “I didn’t receive anything personally, and even if I did, wouldn’t look at it. There’s no one more disappointed than us. We don’t need to be told we didn’t perform and let ourselves down.

Cork’s trio of dual players were also singled out for extra criticism, or at least the suggestion their schedule was always over-ambitious: “They’re easy targets,” said Goulding. “But they’re probably giving more effort than anyone. I think a lot of our lads are hopefully mature enough to not take it to heart. Everyone is frustrated. The only way we can respond now is to try to rectify it, and make sure what happened last Sunday doesn’t happen again.

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