Thursday 18 January 2018

Horgan expects Cork return to exciting style after 2016 failings

Glen Rovers talisman Patrick Horgan in Dublin yesterday as part of the #TheToughest campaign ahead of Sunday’s AIB GAA Munster Club SHC final. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Glen Rovers talisman Patrick Horgan in Dublin yesterday as part of the #TheToughest campaign ahead of Sunday’s AIB GAA Munster Club SHC final. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Patrick Horgan believes the Cork hurlers will benefit from a 'back to basics' approach in 2017.

The Rebels have slipped back since reaching the All-Ireland final in 2013. This year saw them lose in the Championship to Tipperary and Wexford, with their only win coming over a Dublin side who played most of that game with 14 men.

And the Glen Rovers man admits that an experiment with deploying an extra man in defence at stages simply didn't suit the Rebels.

"As everyone would probably know that's probably not the way Cork play," Horgan insisted.

"We tried it and it didn't suit. Cork are a team that play with pace, run the ball, get great scores and that is obviously something we didn't do last year and we need to get back to that if we are going to be competitive.

"Cork teams, especially in 2004 and 2005 ... the way Cork play, run, plenty of scores, exciting hurling. I think it just didn't suit us to be going out with a spare man here, a spare man there.

"I think we realised that and I think we'll probably just go back now and play the Cork way next year if we can."

For now though, all of Horgan's thoughts lie with Glen Rovers as they look to secure a first AIB Munster club SHC title in 40 years when they face Clare champions Ballyea in Semple Stadium on Sunday.

Their victory over Patrickswell last time out was the first time a Cork club managed a win in the province since Newtownshandrum secured honours in 2009.

The Cork sharpshooter is making no secret of the fact that he's enjoying an extended run with the club.

"It's weird, if you speak to fellas from other clubs in Cork and ask them about their approach to games and all that, they're looking at videos … and this is a fact now, they're looking at videos for the county final and they ask us 'what do you do?'

"We didn't even know what time we were meeting the Saturday before the county final! Someone had to send a message in to the group, 'here, what time are we meeting tomorrow?' That's the way we are. Everything is really relaxed. Everyone just goes in to training and by the time you go home you've probably got a good slagging. Everyone goes through that and it's probably made us strong.

"It's just 'get out and play', it's you against your own man, that's the way we put it and obviously it's something that's working."

Horgan agrees that more in-depth analysis is required the higher the level but he's in top form just now and he was man of the match as 'The Glen' secured back-to-back Cork titles and hit eight points in the win over Patrickswell.

"I suppose when you go to a higher level you probably need one or two of those kind of things, the positives or negatives of your game [on video].

"I think with the club it's just really relaxed and you go out and play hurling the way you always were taught, not 'oh you have to be standing here now for this or you have to do something else like a robot, it's just go out and play whatever way we want'. And if that's good enough it's good enough, if it's not, it's not, you can't do anything about it."

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