"Every fella is fighting for a jersey, and it's up to yourself to hold on to it when you get it"
Published 27/02/2014 | 05:26
It's early days yet, but Alan Cadogan has certainly made the most of the opportunity to impress the Cork management in the NHL so far.
Introduced as a substitute early in the second half of the opening assignment against Limerick, the young Douglas clubman made a very encouraging debut, doing enough to secure a place in the starting fifteen for the clash with Laois.
He turned in another eye-catching display at O'Moore Park last Saturday night, earning the main plaudits up front in windy conditions that clearly militated against quality forward play.
Constantly in the picture in the first half, he picked off two excellent points, and, although denied a decent service when Cork played into a gale after the interval, he still managed to make a telling input with limited possession.
He had a hand in all three Cork scores in the second half, providing a probing cross that produced a point from Stephen Moylan, winning a free that yielded another from Patrick Horgan before firing over the game's last score himself.
Needless to say, he was happy with the way things went for him, but he was quick to put his performance into perspective when reflecting on the game afterwards.
"I'd be pleased enough with tonight from a personal point of view, but the main thing is that we got the two points, especially since we were under a bit of pressure coming up after drawing with Limerick at home.
"There's no easy game in Division 1B, and we knew how tough it was going to be against Laois, but, in fairness, we dug deep against the strong wind in the second half, and we're just delighted to get the win."
Cadogan felt that, even allowing for the fact that the swirling wind made shooting very difficult, Cork should have put more scores on the board in the first half.
"We were eight points up at half time, but we should have been further ahead, because we missed a lot of chances, and I have to put my hand up and admit I missed a few myself.
"There were no harsh words in the dressingroom at half time, and we didn't need to be told we hadn't performed up to scratch, but we also knew there was a lot more in us.
"I think we showed that in the second half, we worked extremely hard against the wind, and we got three points to keep us on track for the win."
Cadogan dismissed the suggestion that Cork always had the situation under control in the second half, even if Laois never managed to reduce the gap to less than six points.
"I suppose some people might say we never looked like losing in the second half, but Laois had a few chances, and their goalie's puck-outs put us under pressure at times.
"Thankfully, they also had difficulty finding their range with the wind, and they missed a great chance of a goal as well, so I wouldn't say we could afford to relax at any stage," he remarked.
As to what the season might have in store for himself, Cadogan says he's under no illusions about what's expected in order to stake a claim for regular inclusion on the team.
"There's competition for places in every line, which is what Jimmy (Barry-Murphy) wants. Every fella is fighting for a jersey, and it's up to yourself to try and hold on to it when you get it, which means you have to go out and perform anytime you are given the opportunity.