Anthony Daly Has An Unusual Theory To Explain Cork's Resurgence; The Gary Keegan Methodology
Cork emerged victorious by the slenderest of margins over All-Ireland champions Tipperary at Páirc Uí Rinn yesterday, setting up a league quarter-final with Limerick.
The Rebels closer resembled relegation fodder after a woeful defeat to Dublin last month, but Kieran Kingston's men have responded with two fine victories since, and finished in second spot - just a point behind Tipp - in Division 1A.
Writing in his Irish Examiner column this morning, Clare hurling legend Anthony Daly suggested that former Irish Institute of Sport Director Gary Keegan - the man who changed the face of Irish Sport and, in particular, amateur boxing - might be having an influence on Cork's fortunes since defeat to Dublin.
"You have to give it to Cork for the way they responded after successive defeats to Dublin and Kilkenny. We all thought they had blown their chance of making a quarter-final but to take out Waterford and Tipperary down the home stretch shows massive character. Moreover, it will give massive confidence to this team going forward. That shows good management. The way Patrick Horgan came up with the goods further underlined how well management have got the best out of this group, young and old. Horgan hadn’t been a factor throughout the league for the first four matches but Kieran and his selectors were obviously saying: ‘Hi Hoggy, either shape up or ship out.’ A tally of 15 points is a fair response. Maybe the Gary Keegan methodology is finally beginning to tell. From having worked with Gary, he challenges you to continually seek out high-performance. It is all about performance and that is what he will always tell you. The Dublin game was not an acceptable display but the performances have incrementally increased ever since."
Keegan made the shock move to Cork GAA last October, but is perhaps best regarded for his role in setting up Irish boxing's High Performance Unit in 2003. During his reign, Ireland went from sleeping giant - and indeed literally sleeping in the boxing ring at the National Stadium - to a global boxing power - winning seven medals across two Olympics in 2008 and 2012.
Keegan, who appointed Billy Walsh on his arrival, counts Olympic silver medallist Kenneth Egan amongst his admirers, with Egan often pointing to Keegan's influence upon Ireland's recent amateur boxing success.
As featured on Balls.ie online.
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