Matthew Twomey will lead Cork out for Sunday’s All-Ireland final for the first time in his capacity as manager of the senior team.
It has been four years since the Rebels climbed the steps of the Hogan Stand to collect the O’Duffy Cup but defeats to Galway and Kilkenny at the final or semi-final stages ever since have ruined their chances of reclaiming the title.
Twomey will be hoping that he is the man to bring back the glories of their immediate past and will know that they need to improve on their 0-15 to 0-10 defeat of Waterford in the semi-final.
Speaking to Scoreline, the Cork manager reflected on the need to progress, the challenge that Kilkenny will pose and what the team’s routine on All-Ireland Sunday consists of.
He began: “It’s been a mixed season. It’s been good to get the players back into it. We were very disappointed after the All-Ireland final defeat last year but we also knew that we weren’t a million miles off.
“We got a new coach in which means there are completely new training sessions for the players. So we have tweaked things rather than making wholesale changes.”
He continued: “We are not the finished product. We haven’t peaked yet at all and we have huge room for improvement. We are going to have to improve too because there’s a mammoth challenge in front of us and Kilkenny are just an awesome team.
“They showed tremendous character against Galway in the semi-final and they have been really strong all year.
“We hope there’s a big crowd but it’s one of those things we can’t control. There’s a lot of work done at underage level so you’d be hoping that they will come up to the game and get behind us.
“Kilkenny won the All-Ireland in 2020 with nobody in the stadium so I don’t really care how we win just so long as we do it. If Kilkenny get the better of us, I’ll be the first one up to shake Brian Dowling’s hand because we’ll be making no excuses come 5.30pm if we lose.
“All-Ireland final day is Christmas Day. It’s just amazing. We’ll come up on the morning on the train and have a puck around before getting a bite to eat. We’ll come up here and give it our absolute best to try and win it and hopefully we can manage to win it.”