herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Dilemma for Walsh after ditching his dual mission

ONE thing is for sure - Aidan Walsh will not be a dual Cork player in 2015. The Kanturk colossus has yet to decide who will win this Leeside tug-of-love but, reading between the lines of his end-of-year reflections at a Best Menswear promotion in Croke Park yesterday, he sounded like a man leaning towards football.

In that scenario, Walsh's one year as a Cork senior hurler will have yielded a Munster medal; but his overall sense was of a season struggling to serve two masters. "There were a good few highs in the year but there were a good few lows as well," he admitted. "Overall it was very difficult. It's something I can look back on and say I did it, but I don't think I have any intention of doing it again for the coming year or for the rest of my career."

So, which will it be? "I don't know yet," he insisted. "Whoever you don't pick you are going to miss out on. I am with the footballers for the last five or six years and I am great friends with all of them. I'm with the hurling for one year and having (Anthony) Nash and (Lorcán) McLoughlin in the panel as well, two clubmen, that's a very hard decision to make. My head will be wrecked now for the next few weeks."

As for playing both football and hurling at the elite level, he reckons it can be done but "it's impossible to play both codes at 100 per cent".

"It was very difficult when it came to the All-Ireland series," he expanded. "I played the Sligo game, I played the Mayo game and then I had two weeks to prepare for the Tipperary (hurling) game. It's not enough to prepare for an All-Ireland semi-final and my performance showed on the field - I was lethargic and tired and I just wasn't up to the pace of it. I'm not blaming that totally on the reason that I played badly - that I didn't get enough preparation - but it is certainly a factor in it. I see that when we lost a game, the first fellas to be blamed or to be mentioned were the dual players."

Despite their Munster final meltdown, Walsh said the footballers "know ourselves we are not far off it", adding: "Talking to a lot of the lads, they are all looking forward to the coming year."

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