Revenge is a dish best served cold
Last February I came to the conclusion that the settlement of the Cork strike represented a crushing victory for the players. How naive was this sentiment as it seems the GAA’s version of the most cunning, the most ruthless, the most brilliant of them all was content to play the long game. What seemed at the time as a bonus prize – getting an input into choosing the manager – has turned out to be a booby trap as the players have to either like the reappointment of Gerald McCarthy courtesy of a phalanx of County Board nominees or lump it. They clearly don’t like it, but given they can’t go on strike (at least not without looking completely dishonourable), it looks like they’ll have to lump it.
Ger Mac’s reappointment cannot be seen as a meritorious one. A record of five defeats and no trophies in two years of Championship hurling, including – snigger – losing twice to Waterford in the same year, would do for most managers. Richie Bennis only lost three matches in his tenure this time around as Limerick manager and got the heave-ho in a most undignified manner. In Cork, it should be a hanging offence. Yet Ger’s reward (punishment?) is a further two years in charge. The main reason he has been reappointed is to let the players know who that there can only be one master in Cork GAA, and it isn’t Donal Óg Cusack. It will be interesting to see what strategy Donal Óg and co devise to deal with this turn of events, but whatever happens should lead to much belly laughs all around the rest of the GAA world.