"Once you get on top of him, you can nearly feel as though his head drops and he gets down" 4 years ago

"Once you get on top of him, you can nearly feel as though his head drops and he gets down"

Where is Conor Lehane's best position? The man from Midleton has been a vital cog in the Cork set-up since making his debut straight out of minor in 2011.


He played left corner forward throughout Cork's run to the their last All-Ireland decider in 2013, but you're more than likely to find him at centre-forward. That was until Sunday when he lined out in the full forward against Limerick.

Cork have claimed back-to-back Munster titles in 2017 and 2018. Lehane has been a linchpin in that side. His ability to drift all over the park from centre-half-forward has been a joy to watch. So much so, that many believe him to be an outright centre-forward who should have number 11 on his back at all times.

Despite his stellar performances on the '40' Lehane can still be found switching between the half and full forward lines. Much to Wooly's disbelief. He asked JJ Delaney and Conal Keaney for their thoughts on Monday's GAA Hour.


"One thing I wanted to ask about lads was Conor Lehane, because he started in the full forward line against Clare, down in Thurles. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, Conor Lehane is a centre-half-forward who the centre-half-back doesn't know what to do with, because he has to be marked, and he's drifting to either wing, and he's a torment. When he is in the full forward line he's not half as effective. Why are they doing this with him?"

JJ Delaney discussed how he felt the main issue was getting him the ball. Which was Cork's main struggles on Sunday, not Lehane's.

"It's hard to tell. He struggled for the first half, we mentioned it at half-time they needed to get him on the ball. He got on the ball early in the second and got a point. He has to score very early in a game to get his own confidence up. You need to get him going and get him on the ball, but that's up to the other Cork players to find him with the ball as much as possible, if you have somebody like Conor Lehane in the full forward line, or the half forward line, no matter where he is, get him the ball quickly and as much as possible."

Dublin dual star Conal Keaney backs up JJ's point about Lehane's need to be confident, whilst highlighting his own history having to mark him.


"No more like any of us, we're confidence players. We need confidence to get going, but I think he more than anyone needs it for some reason. I marked him a couple times when I was in the backs for a few seasons. Once you get on top of him, you can nearly feel as though his head drops and he gets down."

Keaney continued, "But he's such a good player and so talented and so fast, it's really hard to know where to put him. I think they are probably saying 'we'll put him inside with Horgan because there's a load of space, he can win a lot of ball, get out in front and if that doesn't work we'll bring him to the half forward line' Its hard to pin-point an actual proper position for him"

The guys were in agreement that despite winning back-to-back Munster titles, this Cork side needs to push on now after losing two semi-finals on the trot despite being favourites. A few new fresh faces may be exactly what the Rebels need in order to get to that coveted All-Ireland final.

Keaney said, "If they can pick up three, four or five players that can strengthen the team and freshen things up a bit, because they have the nucleus of a really good team to go on and compete in an All-Ireland, without a doubt."

Keaney admitted that the success is there at underage, and it is just a few small changes that could be the difference. JJ Delaney highlighted how important for them next year is.


"It's an important year for them next year now, a Munster final next year probably won't be good enough for Cork, they will want to get to an All-Ireland final now if they want to show progression"

Maybe the key to this progression is to bring in these new players, players that can take up other positions on the field so Conor Lehane can play his natural position, and that is centre-half-forward. Maybe that will give Cork that little percentage extra that they need in order to make it to next years All-Ireland decider.