Cork hurling and football managers Jimmy Barry Murphy and Conor Counihan have backed the new Reardens GAA award, launched this week by Lord Mayor of Cork John Buttimer. Club players will fight it out for the right to win the gong over the remaining rounds of the Cork County senior hurling and football championships.
"We look forward to seeing some great games over the coming weeks," said Reardens owner Paul Montgomery, "and I know our judges will have a tough task picking a player for football and hurling from each round of the championship."
Meanwhile Cork senior hurling manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy confirmed that the search for new talent to bolster Cork hurling begins this weekend. Cork's loss to Galway in last weekend's All Ireland semi-final identified areas for improvement and JBM sees the club championship as an ideal opportunity to view potential candidates for the 2013 panel.
“We would have discussed this during the year, that we would make sure we would get to all the senior and intermediate matches," Barry Murphy said speaking at the launch of the new Reardens GAA award. “Championship games are the perfect environment to see how players perform under pressure.
"We will be looking for players to extend our panel and those who stand out won’t be missed. We saw last Sunday that we have to continue to do what we have to do to make the panel as strong as we can and any players that impress in the club championships will be brought into the panel, there’s no question about that.
“We did that already this year with Stephen Moylan as an example” he explained.
The Cork management team has specific criteria in mind for 2013 panelists but physicality is not a pre-requisite. “We’re looking for players that are committed and willing to make the sacrifice required to play at inter-county level which is massive nowadays.
“Players need to show form obviously and I suppose it is hard to put down in words what you need but there are many different components in an inter-county player – desire and hunger to win too,” said the Cork manager.
“I don’t go out to a game looking out specifically for a big, strong guy. If he is a good enough hurler we will bring him in. Equally, if there is a big, strong guy out there he will get a chance as well,” he said.