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Cusack: Focus on future

Wednesday, 2nd October, 2019 4:58pm

Donal Óg Cusack has quashed any talk of past controversies following his appointment as the Cork minor hurling manager.

The legendary shot stopper’s one year appointment was ratified at a county board meeting on Tuesday night despite reservations voiced by a number of delegates.

Asked at a press conference in Páirc Uí Chaoimh yesterday to explain the situation surrounding his support of convicted paedophile Tom Humphries, Cusack responded by saying that he had “dealt with that at the time” and that he now wants to focus on the future.

“I was very public in terms of my statement on that. Everything I had to say was said at the time. That’s in the past and now I want to focus on the future and do the job that I’m here to do for Cork,” said Mr Cusack.

Cork County Chairperson Tracey Kennedy said that every question that should have been asked of Cusack in the appointments process was asked and that the Cork County Board were “absolutely satisfied” with all responses.

Ms Kennedy said: “There’s a headline this morning that suggests serious opposition last night at County Board. Only three delegates raised concerns, and one of them was actually about the style of hurling as opposed to anything else. Three delegates out of 150 people in the room, just to put it in a little bit of perspective.”

Looking to the future, Cusack, who was a member of the backroom staff for the Clare senior hurlers between 2015 and 2017, said that he was delighted to be invited to his new role.

Cusack said: “I don’t have to tell you, it’s been a part of my life since I was very young. I grew up in an environment where Cork hurling was a very important part of the place I was born. My motivation is: I want to contribute and I want to make a difference.”

Asked if one year was enough time for him to stamp his own mark on the team, Cusack said: “Like everybody sitting at this table, we’ve all got different challenges and different constraints at every level. I think, when you look at it, a lot of those minors are only there for a year anyway so my focus is to give it everything I can for that year.

“Winning is very important to all of us, but from a minor point of view, I would see the development of these players as being equally important, and I don’t think these are mutually exclusive aspirations.”

“A big part of the development of a young player as an athlete and a competitor is developing that will to win and that understanding of how to express that desire to win through your attitude and training, and ultimately through your playing, all contributing to that culture of excellence that we’re all talking about,” Cusack concluded.

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