Sunday 22 October 2017

Cork hurlers get 'everything they ask for' from county board, insists Horgan

Cork hurling star Patrick Horgan. Photo: Sportsfile
Cork hurling star Patrick Horgan. Photo: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

In the wake of criticism from recently retired footballer Paddy Kelly, Cork hurling star Patrick Horgan has defended their county board, insisting they get "everything they ask for" in the pursuit of honours.

2010 All-Ireland winner Kelly insisted that "the same people running the show for too long is not healthy" for the GAA on Leeside, but Glen Rovers sharpshooter Horgan sees things differently.

"I can't speak for the footballers but I can tell you, anything we ever ask for, we get," Horgan said, when asked about Kelly's comments.

"Whatever benefits our team, if we ask for something, or if (manager) Kieran (Kingston) or the management ever ask for us to do something, we'll do it. We have the best facilities we can get really.

"Everyone has their own gyms. That's across the board in Cork. We all have our own gyms to go.

"(We) all have our own programmes made out for us. I can only speak for the hurling side of it, and we're all happy with what we have."

After a disappointing 2016, the Rebels have made a bright start to the season, winning all three of their games in the Munster League, and Horgan is confident they are going in the right direction.

"The slate was cleaned from last year - there was no-one entitled to be on the panel this year," he said.

"They put 35 together, it's our panel now and everyone deserves to be there. They're the best 35 in Cork.

"What we'll be working on is improving, every time we go training - don't leave the training session unless you're a better player.

"If you don't do that, you'll only lose ground to the other teams."

The Leesiders lost heavily Tipperary in Munster last year and went down to Wexford for the first time since 1956 to end their Championship hopes.

Avoided

Earlier in the campaign, they only avoided relegation by seeing off Galway in a play-off, having not won a game in the 'regular' Division 1A season.

However, Horgan insists that they are much better than that form suggests.

"If you take away last year, which is a hard thing to do because we weren't impressive, before that, we were seriously competitive," he argued.

"We got to a few Munster finals, an All-Ireland final, League finals, and they're not easy to get to because you've how many teams out there now that are really competitive.

"But last year was disappointing. Starting off this year, you try and forget about it and try and improve ourselves. If we listen to everyone else, we'll only stay down.

"We'll have to get out of it ourselves and the only way you can do it is by training and going as hard as you can and, in every game, progress as a team."

For the second year in a row, Cork are set to meet Tipp in the Munster Championship but Horgan insists that last year, where Tipp proved much too strong, will have no impact on this summer's showdown in Thurles.

"You have to play them at some stage if you want to win and hopefully at that time we'll be after having a good League and good preparation," he said.

"We have to wait and see because they are a serious team and we have a lot of work to do to catch up on them on the performance that we gave last year.

"But there's no point in looking at that because it is a new year and a new panel, so we'll just go into this game and play it for what it is and forget about that. Because then you'd only think about how dangerous they were and how poor we were.

"So it's best we leave it where it was and look ahead to this one."

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport