Alan Cadogan: Being a dual player 'wasn't up for debate'
Alan Cadogan has revealed he would have liked to play both codes for Cork this year but said "it wasn't on the table."
The 21-year-old from Douglas emerged as a new corner-forward star for the senior county hurlers last year, when he also lined out for the U-21 footballers, for whom he is now over-age.
He said he did have a brief chat with senior football boss Brian Cuthbert ahead of the new season but revealed: "The scenario didn't really arise for me. I don't think the dual situation was up for debate this year unfortunately."
Cork had three dual senior players last year, including Cadogan's older brother Eoin, but no longer have any.
Alan Cadogan clearly has the talent to do both but was always expected to favour hurling once he had to make a choice.
He made an immediate impact when he got the call-up from Jimmy Barry-Murphy last season, winning a Munster SHC medal in his first senior year, and he said his decision to focus solely on the small ball this year was also influenced by academic reasons.
"This year I've more time on my hands to focus solely on hurling with UCC and Cork," said the final year Arts student.
UCC could also benefit from Cadogan's considerable football skills but he has again decided not to double up at college level for study reasons.
The same decision came back to haunt him last year when the Cork college was beaten by local rivals Cork IT in the semi-finals of the Fitzgibbon Cup but won the Sigerson Cup.
But Cadogan says there are particular difficulties associated with mixing both at college level, particularly the condensed season.
"Last week the Sigerson (team) were training on the same night as the Fitzgibbon (squad). They played CIT last Tuesday and we were out Thursday, so I don't think it would be possible to play both, even though I'd like to in college," he explained.
"It's difficult enough to balance between the two camps (college and county. But if you've good time management and communication between the teams, it works out for both.
"The agreement is that we're with the college Monday to Thursday and after that you're back then with the county for the weekend."
Cadogan is part of a star-studded UCC team that is one of the favourites for the Independent.ie Fitzgibbon Cup, though Cork IT and the University of Limerick are also hotly tipped.
His college side includes his Cork senior team-mate Conor Lehane, Clare's Shane O'Donnell, Kilkenny's John Power and Waterford's Jamie Barron in a line-up full of senior inter-county panellists.
But Cadogan should still be available to Cork for their much-anticipated first league game against Kilkenny on Sunday fortnight.
"There won't be much romancing going on that night (February 14)," he quipped. "It's another big game under lights in Pairc Ui Rinn which should add to the atmosphere.
"Every game is important, just look at the teams that are in the division. Nobody wants to be down fighting relegation so it's important to win your first two or three games.
"We have three home games and Dublin and Galway away so we'll try and pick up as many points as we can at home."