‘We have to understand the standards we showed this year weren't good enough,’ admits Cork hurling star Horgan

‘We have to understand the standards we showed this year weren't good enough,’ admits Cork hurling star Horgan
Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

PATRICK Horgan picked up the PwC GAA/GPA Player of the Month award for July earlier in the week, the second time this season he has done so and there could not have been a more deserving recipient.

Without any shadow of a doubt, the Glen Rovers man would give up all those personal awards for an All-Ireland medal because if ever a Cork hurler past or present deserved a Celtic Cross it is him. Of course, some of Cork’s greatest servants from a bygone era ended their careers without an All-Ireland medal, men like Mick Cashman, Jimmy Brohan, Paddy Philpott and Terry Kelly.

Another great Glen hurler, Denis Riordan missed out through injury when Cork ended a 12-year famine in ‘66.

Horgan still has time on his side to get his hands on that coveted medal because given his dedication, commitment, the way he looks after himself and so on, there’s a good two or three years left for him to do so.

And let’s be honest, when the Glen got trounced by Sars in the 2014 county final it looked like he might not get his hands on that medal either,

But look what happened, the Glen gloriously won the next two and Horgan was an inspirational figure on both days. And they might not be far away either this year.

So things can change very quickly in this game.

There is no doubt that he has set remarkable standards that marks him out as one of the true greats of the game.

And it was interesting to read his comments during the week after he had received his latest accolade in Dublin.

“It’s kind of like a bit obsessed with being better all the time. Everyone enjoys something and what I enjoy is going playing hurling in the evening and improving on something.

“Anytime I think about hurling is when I am at my happiest. Think about hurling during work and it would kind of put you in a happy place for a while or whatever or even visualising different things in games or positions you were in, positions you might find yourself in a game.

“It’s not just me, there are a lot of fellas in Cork who are at the same thing. Some lads are only 21 and I am looking at them and thinking that if I am not doing what they are doing, I am left behind because they are young and they are hungry. If I am not doing what they are doing, they are gone and I won’t catch them.’’

On John Meyler’s successor as the next Cork hurling boss, the player who will collect another All-Star award later in the year had this to say.

“We’ll just wait and see. It’s gone so professional now, there will be a system of choosing the next manager, professional guys to do the job.

“Our job is to perform, we’ll just wait for a text from someone, it’s more in our interest to get more out of ourselves.

“You’d be hoping it’s done soon enough so you hope it does not go on too long. The last thing that you want is other teams going back training and we are still waiting for a manager.’’

With Cork’s All-Ireland drought stretching into a 15th year, Horgan remains upbeat that they have the players capable of returning the McCarthy Cup to Leeside.

Horgan scores against Kilkenny. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Horgan scores against Kilkenny. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

“I think we definitely have the players to compete and win an All-Ireland. But we’ll have to improve and understand the standards we showed this year weren’t good enough.

“You look at the teams who are in the final, they get half a sniff and they take it. We just have to learn from them and get better any way we can.

“We were so good for so much of the Kilkenny game that it was hard to see us losing. If you look at the first half, when we had them, we just didn’t take our chances to go more ahead.

“It was strange on the day. A few lucky breaks came my way and thankfully I took them. 

"But not to get over the line... on the day, I thought we played all the hurling for most of the match. We fell out of it for maybe 15 minutes and in that 15 minutes, Kilkenny blew us out of it so much that it was impossible to recover.

“That’s what they do to you, they get an opportunity and they take it. That’s something we’re going to have to learn going down the road.”

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