Cork hurling captain: ‘All we can do is be ready whenever the season restarts’

Cork hurling captain: ‘All we can do is be ready whenever the season restarts’
Cork hurler Patrick Horgan was in Abbotstown to announce that Sky Sports will this year visit Clare, Louth, Longford and Roscommon with a special focus on Health & Wellbeing as part of its grassroots partnership on GAA Super Games. Picture: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

PATRICK HORGAN was hoping that the 1920 Commemorative jersey that the Cork hurlers wore in the national league game with Limerick recently would have been used for the rest of the year.

The shirts were specially designed to honour the memory of Tomás Mac Curtain and Terence MacSwiney, prominent figures who were both Sinn Féin members and former Lord Mayors of Cork.

The hurlers donned the jerseys for their Division 1 league clash with Limerick at Páirc Úi Chaoimh, a game they lost by a couple of points.

Horgan, who finished that tie with 0-17 that day last month says he was disappointed they couldn’t wear the black and red jerseys for the rest of the season.

The Glen Rovers and Cork star was speaking at the launch of the GAA Super Games Blitz Day in Partnership with Sky Sport during the week.

“We found out about a week before about the jersey. We got sent a picture telling us this was what we’d be wearing for the Limerick game and we were all buzzing and so delighted.

“I was hoping that they’d go for the year but we are back in the red now for the next time that we play.

“It would have been nice to get the season out of them. But they were mint and we got to keep them afterwards so that was nice as well.’’ 

Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton
Picture: INPHO/Ken Sutton

That game with Limerick was noteworthy as was the previous night’s game between Dublin and Wexford for the stop-start nature of them and for the amount of frees that were awarded.

“I don’t really know what to make of it,” Horgan replied when asked for his take on the stop-start nature of those games.

“Players don’t really get into it much. The only thing that I would say is if the referee thinks it’s a free, he has to blow it.

“You can’t have a situation where they are going to let it flow just for the sake of the people up in the stand wanting it to.

“If they see a free, they’re gonna blow it. We’ll just play and let them do their job. That’s really all we can do.

“If they’re going to blow the whistle, they’re blowing it for a reason. Especially with hurling, there’s so much “nearly.” 

“It’s nearly a free or just about a free. If they blow it, they obviously see something that they think they should be blowing for.” 

The Cork captain is one of the best in the business from the placed ball but it’s something that he does not spend too much time thinking about.

He said that it’s all about the routine that he has developed so efficiently through the years and he sees no great need to change it now at this stage of his illustrious career.

“I actually don’t practice them that much. I would have practised a lot more before but I think it’s just I have a routine and good or bad I’ll stick to it and I think that’s probably the key to it.

“I’m not going to change anything up for the sake of it, just try and keep that rhythm more than anything.” 

On the subject of playing major GAA games behind closed doors because of the current Coronavirus situation, Horgan is not too enamoured.

“I could not see the point of it, playing behind closed doors. When you can hear the ball hitting off the hurley around the whole stadium, I just don’t see it being too interesting.

“I don’t know, I wouldn’t fancy it anyway, I don’t think any player would.

“ That’s part of the buzz of the whole day, the atmosphere and the whole lot.

“Going in there and having nobody there, it would not be good.’ And what about the championship if the early stages are affected, would he be open to condensing the schedule and even returning to the old knock-out format?.

“If that’s what they had to do it would not be so bad. Even though fellas would like more than one game, one day out, if that’s what they had to do, it would not be too bad.

“It’s obviously a concern for everybody but all we can do now is keep training and prepare like we are playing in nine weeks.

“What they do outside that, or how they play the games, I’m not sure.’’

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