Anthony Nash: 'Meyler can take us to the next level'
By John Harrington
Cork hurling goalkeeper Anthony Nash thinks the appointment of John Meyler as Kieran Kingston’s successor as Rebels team manager is a positive because it ensures continuity.
Meyler was a team selector under Kingston last year, and Nash believes his knowledge of what it took to transform Cork into Munster champions in 2017 will be a huge asset when it comes to looking ahead to 2018.
“I had an inkling at the end of the year that Kieran was under pressure with work to kind of commit again for the year,” Nash told GAA.ie today.
“He'd done great work, he had put a great panel together and management team. But the positive to come out of it all is the fact that John was there last year.
“Continuity is huge for us because last year was a positive. Look, how '18 will go I don't know, but at least he has an idea how '17 worked and that we're not starting from scratch.
“I'd be close enough to Kieran as well, even '14 when he was coach, I got on very well with him. I actually played golf with him a bit as well. He's a very nice fella, so as a person it's a pity he went, yeah.
“But regards next year I think John is going to do a fantastic job. I think everyone saw his passion in the U21 match after the Waterford game but John's a very shrewd man as well. I think he'll just take us forward, hopefully to the next level.”
Nash was one of Cork’s best players this year. His reflex saves and highly accurate distribution played a huge part in their Munster Championship success.
At the age of 33 he looks to be still very much at the top of his game, and he has no plans to step away from the inter-county scene any time soon.
“Definitely, look it's a kind of a thing where fellas talk about burnout and breaks - and rightly so - but I didn't get a chance until I was 25 or 26 or more whatever it was,” said Nash.
“So I'm just making sure while I can play, I do play. I always said to myself when I turn 33 I'd make a decision and I feel that I'm physically okay at the moment.
“If I can get more out of myself, depending on performances obviously. With Cork I've Patrick Collins, who's an outstanding goalkeeper. And with Kanturk, I've Barry Kenneally, who was a Cork minor sub a couple of years ago.
“If I'm going well enough to be playing, fair enough, and if I'm not then the management make a decision. But as long as I can play, I think I'll try anyway.
“Look, I love hurling so as long as I can play it. When I retire I think I'll get involved in it some way or another anyway. So I might as well keep playing while I can.”
Nash should get plenty of opportunities to play next year with the Munster Championship being played off on a round-robin basis, and he's looking forward to seeing how the new format works.
“More games is great,” he said. “I want to play as many times as I possible can during the summer rather than training. I think for an outfielder it's going to be difficult.
“For a goalkeeper I think fatigue wise it's not a thing, it's just mentally getting yourself up for the game and making sure you're right.
“The only negative I see out of all of this is if a fella pulls a hamstring or something like that, he could be gone for the entirety of the Munster championship. Look, is it positive? I think more games is definitely positive.”
Nash isn’t giving too much thought to what the 2018 season might hold for Cork just yet, because for now his energy is very much occupied with trying to help his club Kanturk defeat Kilmaley of Clare in Sunday’s AIB Munster Club Intermediate Hurling Final.
It's been a long year between club and county, but he's not about to complain about that.
“I'm just trying to focus myself on Kanturk,” said Nash. “When I'm with Cork, I'm a million per cent with Cork and when I'm with Kanturk, I try to mimic that, I try to keep it the same way.
“It's 12 or 13 months on the go really but I wouldn't have it any other way. I was 16 when I started playing with Kanturk, 15 actually when I started playing football with them, so to say we're a senior club now, I'd go 24 months in a row.”