Diarmuid O’Sullivan: Cork must sort Pairc pitch saga – no one wants to play on that

Despite Cork’s upset loss at home to Wexford, the Pairc Ui Chaoimh playing surface stole all the headlines and Diarmuid O’Sullivan wants it sorted fast…

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The whole Pairc Ui Chaoimh saga now seems to be one thing after another for Cork GAA.

The pitch issue is very disappointing from a Cork perspective. There are underlying issues there too.

Playing the football before the hurling certainly didn’t help. If they had their chance again, they might have put the hurling on first.

Then again, most people would have probably left after the hurling – they wouldn’t have stayed for the football.

Pairc Ui Chaoimh pitch

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The issue with the field has been there quite some time. There’s no direct sunlight under the South Stand at this time of year. The ground isn’t getting the chance to dry out.

Maybe with Croke Park’s direct involvement in Pairc Ui Chaoimh now, they should move their lighting system down to Cork for a while to help out?

That might patch it up for a few weeks. Once the summer is over, they can go and do the necessary refurbishment work then.

No one wants to play on that, be it a club player or an inter-county lad.

You can’t express yourself and it’s going to slow you down.

It’s adding fuel to the fire of the already muddy waters and it’s not what anyone wants.

The sooner it’s done and dusted the better.

Pitch adding to turbulence for fans

This turbulence inside Pairc Ui Chaoimh has rocked the boat a small bit. A couple of results from our senior hurlers and footballers would sway things back the right way again though.

You’ll hear talk that the financial situation in Cork is affecting the players, people will be asking every single question you can think of going forward from now on.

What’s happening off the field will have no impact on what’s happening on the training field or on match day. The squad isn’t aware of what’s going on inside the boardroom.

It does feed into the negativity of guys going to matches though. They feel these poor results are because of what’s going on higher up.

I guarantee the teams are being catered for as well as they’ve ever been.

So, it’s only people looking to chip away and have a moan at.

Wexford sweeper system brushed Cork aside

Wexford use a sweeper system and that’s going to allow you space at times.

If you are operating that way, you want to get your shooters on the ball. Wexford deployed their accurate men out around the middle of the field and reaped the rewards.

Should Cork have tightened things up around the middle of the field? Wexford made sharper decisions on the ball because it’s a game plan they’re used to playing.

The Rebels had to react and if you don’t come up against that system very often, that’s very tough to do.

Cork just didn’t counter it as well as they should have.

Aidan-Walsh-Cork

Wandering Walsh needs clarity

Aidan Walsh is back in the full-forward role for Cork and I’d ask what type of system are they trying to employ with him?

Is it a direct game with the ball going through the lines? Is he a target man?

They need to pin that down for him and tweak it for everyone’s sake early on in the year so that the team knows what kind of system they’re playing with him in that position.

He does have something to offer Cork.

I said it to him when he left our panel after our first year that he gave up on hurling a bit early. If he stayed with us he would have developed and be three years further down the line now.

He’d be a serious inter-county hurler if he’d have stuck with it, but he was attracted to football for a while.

He’s lost a bit of time, so it’s going to take him a bit more time to get back into it. He’s that bit older and the game has moved on since he was last involved at this level.

I just hope the ship hasn’t sailed for him.

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