Alan Browne: ‘Next Cork hurling boss needs to be tech-savvy’

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By Peter McNamara

Alan Browne has suggested Jerry Wallace could be the answer to Cork’s senior hurling manager conundrum.

Tomás Mulcahy is the new odds-on favourite with Paddy Power at 4/7 while Kieran Kingston, previously 1/3, is currently 6/4.

However, Browne, a selector with Damien Irwin’s Cork U21 outfit this year, reckons Wallace seems to “fit the bill” for what is required these days to succeed as a manager.

Is Jerry Wallace the answer for Cork?

“Jerry Wallace has worked in the inter-county sphere quite a lot in these past few years,” Browne said. “He has a lot of experience and would fit the bill for Cork.

“I wouldn’t have any really strong opinions on who should get it as it’s a difficult job but Wallace has been cutting his teeth in good company with the likes of Donal O’Grady. He has a lot going for him.

“Wallace’s expertise in physical preparation and his understanding of managing people are real pluses. Maybe he’s the answer.”

Yet, the former Cork captain stated it wouldn’t be a job he’d be interested in himself.

Alan Browne captained Cork to the Munster SHC title in 2003 against Waterford.

In his opinion, the next Cork boss will even need to be “tech-savvy” in order to man-manage the players.

“The job, at the moment, definitely wouldn’t be something I’d be interested in personally,” the Blackrock clubman explained. “It’s a full-time job in my opinion given the amount of details involved.

“There’s so much detail in the role now that trying to work your own job and the position of Cork senior hurling manager is virtually impossible.

“You really need an all-rounder to take over, a person that even has an appreciation of social media and the potential impact that can have.

“Anybody taking the gig should really have a decent grasp of Facebook and Twitter too.

“Social media is such a huge deal nowadays that whoever gets the job has to understand how that all works, what players can and shouldn’t really be posting.

“Obviously, what players put out online is their own business but the manager will have to know what is acceptable and unacceptable in that element of the role at the same time.

“They have to get the balance between all of those things and the importance of being tech-savvy is a major part of that because the elements off the field are just as importance, if not, of greater importance.

“Essentially, managers presently have to actually be a jack of all trades and master all those trades.

“And, let’s be honest, that isn’t easy.”

Browne, too, feels Jimmy Barry-Murphy “overachieved” during his second term in charge which ended in defeat to Galway this summer.

Did JBM overachieve with Cork?

“JBM, admirably, got the very best out of the players available to him.

“Maybe he overachieved a bit too.

“There’s a perception out there that the panel was limited so it’s possible he did overachieve.

“In saying that, the results of the underage sides recently means there are many positives surrounding Cork hurling at the moment,” he mused.

Browne was in Croke Park last Sunday to witness Kilkenny winning the All-Ireland title for the umpteenth time.

And he feels the age-old argument of the Cats being more aggressive than their counterparts can handle will remain pertinent until the attitudes within counties such as Cork changes internally.

“JBM and the players did a good job, it must be said.

“But when you look at Kilkenny in the second half again last Sunday, their controlled aggression was such that Galway could not live with them in the end.

“Some people say referees outside of Kilkenny need to emulate those that take charge of games in that county and allow for a little more aggression.

“Then, though, a lot of those same people will stand on sidelines, even at U10 level, pleading for referees to give frees for the softest of reasons.

“So the attitudes of Cork people and others around the country need to change if Kilkenny are to be counteracted,” he added.

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