Tuesday 17 July 2018

Brotherly link behind Cadogan code switch

Cork hurler Eoin Cadogan pictured with Lucan Sarsfields player Leah Dunne, aged 13, at the launch of the John West National Féile Competitions in Croke Park. Photo: Sportsfile
Cork hurler Eoin Cadogan pictured with Lucan Sarsfields player Leah Dunne, aged 13, at the launch of the John West National Féile Competitions in Croke Park. Photo: Sportsfile
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Eoin Cadogan has booked three Mondays off to coincide with the Cork hurlers' involvement in a revamped Munster Hurling Championship in May and June.

Cork have three Sunday fixtures and, to aid his recovery for a four-match programme in five weeks, the 31-year-old wants to give himself every opportunity.

It's nothing revolutionary, he insists, pointing to the number of students who, in all probability, do it anyway but his self-employed status in the wellness centre at Apple's European headquarters in Cork gives him that opportunity to meet the rising demands of a new fixture list.

"It means a lot to me, I want to win, want to go out and be able to say I did everything I could to be in a position to contribute to the group. And if that means taking some holiday time on a Monday, so be it."

Cadogan, who has recommitted to the county's hurlers after a four-year absence, says it no different to playing a Munster final on a Sunday and having a qualifier six days later if they lost. "It is happening year on year. It is not that different," he said.

Nonetheless, it is an interesting development as teams prepare for the new landscape of tighter, faster-moving schedules.

"Recovery is going to be one of the key principles. You will see a lot of the younger guys taking the Monday off college whereas the older guys will have to go to work. There won't be a whole pile done between those games, it will just be analysing what went well the previous week, what you can do better and then obviously analysing your opposition because your mentality is going to have to change pretty quickly, whether you win or lose. You are going to have park it and move on."

Cadogan returned to the hurlers, primarily to see out his inter-county days playing with his younger brother Alan.

"It's always nice to be involved in any team but to be involved with a team with someone from your own family is an attractive thing to be able to take on," he said.

For years he was able to juggle the two codes but when he had to make a choice in 2013, he opted to play football. "I'd probably say that some of the best performances I gave was actually when I was a dual player.

Hindsight

"Cork were reaching All-Ireland semi-final stages in both codes from what I remember, at different times as well as All-Ireland finals. I certainly wouldn't look back and say that hindered my performance."

If he could turn the clock back a decade what would he do now, with the benefit of hindsight?

"I wouldn't change it, definitely not. I would have lost out on making a lot of friends within my own county, within other counties.

"If I told you, I had an opportunity to play in All-Ireland finals in football and play in All-Ireland semi-finals with Dónal óg Cusack, Seán óg (ó hAilpín), Graham Canty, Nicholas Murphy, in both codes, you'd say I was probably mental, whereas I had that opportunity and I did it."

Cadogan admits it was a risk to come back to hurling at this level after a four-year absence and re-join a squad where he had to find his own "identity."

"I probably took a risk in the sense I was out of hurling for so long and to come into a squad that has formed its own identity from the previous year when it won the Munster Championship. It was important for them to see it wasn't just me coming back for an easy ride. I wanted to come back to prove that I have the capability and I still have the desire to play at the top level.

"If I went out and I was getting my ass handed to me it would have been a bad decision. That's what people would have said.

"My own personal performance? I think I can better. I don't think for a second I set the world alight. I need to get better. Everyone does.

"You can't rest on your laurels. I went out and played, five out of six league games. I missed one through sickness. So if someone had said to me I would have got that amount of game-time I would have been extremely happy to get that going into Munster Championship. I am happy where I am at, but a lot to work on."

Irish Independent

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