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Former Cork footballer Daniel Goulding pictured at the Electric Ireland 'This is Major' campaign launch.
Former Cork footballer Daniel Goulding pictured at the Electric Ireland 'This is Major' campaign launch.

Daniel Goulding: 'Talent alone isn't good enough'

By Cian O’Connell

Following a demoralising finish to the summer former Cork footballer Daniel Goulding believes that 'an awful lot of change' has contributed to their slide.

An All Ireland winner with Cork in 2010 Goulding watched this year’s Championship unfold and was ‘disappointed’ by the heavy losses against Kerry and Tyrone.

Having defeated Tipperary in the Munster, Cork were eager to make an impact in the southern decider, but were subsequently well beaten by Kerry and Tyrone, who both advanced to the last eight of the All Ireland series.

“I just think that in the last couple of years especially that there has been an awful lot of change,” Goulding says. "It is very hard to get any level of consistency or performance out of the senior team as a result. I think they've had three managers in five years, maybe five different strength and conditioning coaches each year.

“It is just a huge amount of change with a huge amount of players being parachuted in and out of the team. The performances then are just showcasing that inconsistency. If you look at all the top teams in Division One they are all very consistent teams with the same type of set-up for a number of years.

“Cork are coming along nearly every year or second year with a new set-up, trying to learn how to be as good as a Division One team in a short period of time and it isn't working.”

Despite the recent setbacks Goulding still feels that there is talent in Cork, but that that confidence and consistency need to be attained quickly. “There is no denying there is talent there, but to be a competitive inter-county team playing against Division One teams talent alone isn't good enough,” Goulding states. “You need a number of things. You need to have an identity and a system to how you play.

“Unfortunately for Cork in the last couple of years because every second result seems to be a bad result you are constantly changing your tactics so I don't think lads have a great degree of confidence in how they are playing. That isn't down to the management's fault either.

Tyrone cruised to an emphatic All Ireland SFC Round Four Qualifier win over Cork at O'Moore Park.
Tyrone cruised to an emphatic All Ireland SFC Round Four Qualifier win over Cork at O'Moore Park.

“When you are experiencing bad results and you are in charge of a team for nine months it is very hard just to stick with the thing you got beaten so heavily by. That is one facet of it. Then you have a lot of the older lads in this team, who have experienced a lot of losses in the last number of years so there confidence is probably a bit down.

“On the other side you have a load of young lads coming into a team that probably hasn't won a lot over the number of years. Everyone probably doesn't know their role within the team and that leads to the top teams being way more organised and results like what has happened in the past two games.”

Goulding is hopeful that Cork can construct a plan to become seriously competitive once more in the coming years. “It was an extremely disappointing Championship,” Goulding reflects. “It needs to be an eye opener for the whole county and anyone who is interested in football.

“There needs to be a realisation fairly quickly that a lot of work needs to be done in every facet in terms of County Championships, Divisional Squads, the school structures, Under 20, minor, and senior teams - the whole lot, a collective job needs to be done.”

Since opting out of the Cork set-up Goulding has derived enjoyment from club Gaelic Football and hurling duty with Eire Og. “I'm playing hurling and football with the club, I've enjoyed my retirement, it has probably been the right decision for myself,” Goulding adds.

“When I retired it was because of a couple things. The game had changed an awful lot, it didn't really suit inside forwards like myself. I'm not the most athletic of players in terms of what athleticism means now so it was getting tougher and tougher, I was getting less game time.

“From a selfish point of view I wasn't enjoying it as much, so the decision was vindicated because I haven't missed it since. I've enjoyed going back playing for the club. I feel I've less time than I did back then, I'm just filling it with different things.”

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