THEY ONCE SOLDIERED as team mates at international level playing a hybrid game but Graham Canty and Kieran McGeeney will be on opposite sides of the divide when it comes to next Sunday’s All-Ireland senior football quarter-final in Croke Park.
Cork may be warm favourites to succeed but their captain is wary of the challenge their opponents pose and points to the qualities that the Kildare manager brings to the table.
“Myself and Kieran would have come across each other before,” Canty told TheScore.ie. “I played league games against Armagh when he was playing and also played with him for the Compromise Rules in Australia and a couple of games in Ireland as well.
“He brought great commitment as a player. He usually played centre-back, had great vision and his kick-passing was always excellent I thought. Kieran was a great fella to motivate teammates and he always lead by example with his actions on the pitch.
“He captained Armagh to an All-Ireland title in 2002 for the first time ever and that shows what high esteem he’s held in. I think he’s done a decent job in Kildare assembling a very good panel. He always had leadership and management credentials. He’s built away with his back room team and I think Kildare are a very solid side.
“It’s just been fine lines between them progressing to All-Ireland semi-finals and finals. But I fully believe in sport you make your own luck. If you’re good enough you will get a chance and if you’re really good you’ll take it. In 2010 we went to extra-time against Limerick, they pushed us really hard and the same thing happened to Kildare recently. They’re the tough games you need.”
Canty also expressed his satisfaction with the level of intensity in Cork’s training sessions recently as they sought to maintain their focus in the four-week wait since their Munster final win over Clare.
“There’s a good edge to it over the last few weeks. In every training session there’d be some minor incident when it spills over. And if that doesn’t happen, it’s been a poor training session. If there’s not a minor thing between 1 or 2 players, you’re thinking we’re not going well.
“You want to replicate the championship intensity so you need that edge to happen. A lot of the time we don’t shake hands after those incidents, we view it as minor and about driving on for th rest of the session.”