Cork Development Squad


Cork Development Squads - Press Release 08/10/12


The Cork GAA Development Squads Programme for 2013 was unveiled at Rochestown Park Hotel last Thursday night to officers of Rebel Og and the various regional committees. This ambitious plan, outlined by chairman of the Development Squads Management Committee. Brian Cuthbert, received a positive response from those present and full support from all parties was guaranteed for the coming year.


Having described the objectives of the new programme in terms of player development, mentor development and the associated provision of services, Brian clearly emphasised the importance of building a support structure around the youth player in terms of his club, school and county. The days of players being pulled in all directions would now be a thing of the past.


This year's programme will run from October 2012 to August 2013 and will incorporate six week-long development camps, during which players will be educated in terms of technical proficiency, physical development, game sense and a whole range of other areas such as nutrition, Cork GAA history, player diaries, video analysis etc. These camps will run during various school holidays from 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday.  As well as the six camps, five Saturdays throughout the year have also been identified for further coaching sessions. The first of the camps will run over the upcoming mid-term break at the end of October.


The camps will take place at two newly established Centres of Excellence at the Mardyke Arena, UCC (football) and CIT (hurling), where first class facilities and services will be on hand. After each camp every player will receive their own 7-week skills and physical training plan which will help them to improve on areas of weakness with the support of their club and schools coaches, with whom their squad mentors will be in regular contact.


The structures of the squads have also been redesigned, based on the recommendations of the Liam Hennessey report. From U15 to U17, in both hurling and football, there will be a top squad of 30 players and they will operate under the names of the ‘Cork CIT' and ‘Cork Mardyke' squads, respectively. These groups will be under the direct control of the newly appointed team managers, as well as two further mentors in each case.


Working underneath will be the ‘Cork Rebel' squads, which will include further panels of 20-25 players at each age group and who will train on a number of occasions during the camp weeks also. At U14 level the Mardyke / CIT squads will contain 50 players, while the Rebel squad will have 25 players.


It has been agreed that there will be no fixtures organised by any of the various committees on the six camp weeks and the five Saturdays referred to. Meanwhile, there will be absolutely no squad activity permitted outside of these dates also, apart from the two weekends for inter-county blitzes, which have yet to be confirmed.


Meetings with club and school mentors will follow in the near future as the programme is fully dependent on all mentors associated with the young players in question contributing to his development.


Meanwhile, mentors are currently being appointed to the various squads and their names will be released in the next week or so. Newly appointed Development Squads Administrator Kevin O'Donovan will be involved in the day-to-day running of the programme, under the guidance of the management committee, namely, Brian Cuthbert, Denis Burns, Sean O'Gorman, Donal O'Sullivan and Alan Browne.