Harnedy calls for Cork to add consistency to the mix
The years don't be long going around, Seamus Harnedy says.
It's only back in 2013 when he stood freezing in Fraher Field for his league debut. Lining out for Cork was the fulfilment of a lifelong ambition. That it came against his father's native county only added to the occasion.
"I'd say I nearly picked up pneumonia that day," Harnedy recalls now.
Waterford are on the horizon again on Sunday. The last time they sides met, the Déise roared to a league title with a display that made everyone sit up and take notice and left his father unsure how to feel.
"The last day was a strange day and mixed emotions for him because he would have played for Knockanore across the water over the Cork-Waterford border.
"There have been mixed emotions for him but in fairness over the last few years with myself being on the panel he's converted a bit every year.
"He'd be shouting for Cork now, he's nearly a fully converted Corkman. He'd always have a bit of grá in his heart for Waterford."
That league final showed up a problem that has dogged Cork for a while. Consistency, Harnedy admits, is a problem for the Rebels and they need to develop a harder edge in games.
"If any team is going to be successful you need a mean streak. You see Kilkenny over the last decade, when any opportunity presented itself and if they needed to do anything required they were always there to do it.
"You've seen the amount of times TJ Reid, (Henry) Shefflin kept going for the jugular regardless if they were seven points up, 15 points up, two points behind, a point up, they'd always go for the jugular. Every team needs to adopt a mean streak like that, not only ourselves.
"I don't think it's totally missing from our game, to be honest.
"I really feel we do have that. It's just bringing consistency to the table more than anything else, but I think that will come. We have a great panel of lads, and the mean streak can be there.
"If you look at our last 10 to 12 performances in a Cork jersey, they have been mostly very good. It's just the days that you leave yourselves down, pick ourselves up a small bit more in the consistency stakes, but we are all aware of that."
Last summer, Harnedy fulfilled one ambition by winning a Munster title with Cork. The ultimate prize remains elusive however and Waterford are the first hurdle that has to be negotiated.
"I think a lot of people wrote them off at the start of the year and they used their criticism from last year and have really pushed on.
"But we have huge ability, we are a tight-knit group as well and we are really going to try and set it out straight the next day.
"I'm 24, turning 25 in the summer, the years don't be long slipping away. I remember coming in for my first trial game at 21, 22 and now you find yourself at 24, 25 years old - they slip away quickly so you have to take every year like it's your last.
"It's been enjoyable to say the least, but it would be nice to get that illustrious All-Ireland medal, so they do really tick away fast."