Dylan Doran of Ballyhale Shamrocks, the All Ireland club hurling champions, in training yesterday in Ballyhale, Co. Kilkenny. INPHO/JAMES CROMBIE
Former Cork hurling manager John Meyler has revealed how current Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had a “fascination with hurling” after he spent a day as his assistant manager. Meyler got a chance to be the assistant to Klopp at a charity match in 2018, as Liverpool took on Celtic at Celtic Park. Then halfway through his tenure as Cork hurling boss, Meyler was afforded the opportunity by his son, former Irish international David, who bought the prize of being the assistant to the German at a charity dinner organized by Liverpool star James Milner.
Meyler said: ‘‘I was more interested in Liverpool and soccer. The two of us were asking each other questions about our different sports. The first thing we were talking about was he was interested in my hurling background. He knew about hurling and he had a fascination with it, he had a huge interest in it and the speed of it.’’
Meyler told how he explained how hurling sides could only select players from their locality, leaving Klopp puzzled. ‘‘I said by the way Jurgen, how many players from Liverpool have you playing for you. I think it was one, Trent Alexander-Arnold. I said that have 35 players from Cork in the Cork team so you have a huge advantage. If I want a centre-forward or full-forward, I can’t go and buy him. If I like someone from Waterford or Tipperary, I can’t take them. I have to generate somebody from within the under-age structure.’’