“Regardless of what else happened in the year, Cork got knocked out in a Munster final. It was the fourth year in a row we lost the Munster final. These are all missed opportunities. They all hurt.”
The Rebel county defeated arch-rivals Kerry in the semi-final and were hot favourites heading into the final.
However, they never managed to get a foothold in the game and were beaten by three points at the finish as Tipperary won their first Munster football title since 1935.
Maguire and Cork will, of course, have regrets about 2020 but will it go down as a year of missed opportunities or progress?
“I think both aspects of that are true,” Maguire started.
“Since I’ve been involved with Cork football in 2014, every year is a missed opportunity when you’re not getting to the latter stages of competitions or winning competitions.
“Regardless of what else happened in the year, Cork got knocked out in a Munster final. It was the fourth year in a row we lost the Munster final. These are all missed opportunities. They all hurt.
“That loss to Tipp hurt and it was a missed opportunity.”
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) November 22, 2020
“Right the wrongs”
However, with lockdown delaying the start of the 2021 inter-county season, The St Finbarr’s club man feels that his Cork side haven’t had a chance to “right the wrongs” yet from the previous season, something he is finding very frustrating.
“The beauty of sport is that you get to pick yourself up and go again but what’s probably a bit tougher with this lockdown is that I feel I haven’t had a chance to go back training or right the wrongs,” Maguire continued.
Cork Gaelic football captain, Ian Maguire, on Youghal beach incident:
“Lads, there is no two ways around this – I can’t comment on that because it’s an ongoing process.”https://t.co/jSo7C4N0Up
— Pundit Arena (@PunditArena) February 4, 2021
“When you’re doing your home workouts, it’s just not the same as training as a team, or cracking into the league or McGrath Cup like you would have in other years.
“You get to roll into the next championship or next league and we haven’t had that opportunity so this loss has probably been a bit tougher than other years.
“But we’re big boys. You just have to pick yourself up. You’ve got to learn the lessons and you’ve got to go again.”
The 26-year-old, like everyone, is finding this particular lockdown tough, trying to keep sane by doing the home workouts set out by the Cork management team.
“It’s probably a tough time for everyone at the moment,” Maguire stated.
“January was a pretty strange month for everyone I’d say. When February rolled around it was kind of hard to believe that it was February.
“But from my point of view and Cork football’s point of view, we have just been tipping away ourselves.
“Home workouts seem to be second nature at the moment. Just trying to keep in shape some bit.
“I work at home so maybe I’m at a luxury compared to other people but I have a bit of structure to my day. Work from home 8-4, do a bit of exercise.
“I have a bit of a process but it’s not easy at the moment and I think everyone probably has the same experiences.”
For now, Maguire is trying to keep himself ticking over and the Cork captain has got to know his exercise bike very well during the last few weeks.
“For me at the moment, ticking the boxes is trying to get my home workouts in my kitchen below.
“I’ve got an exercise bike, trying to get those exercises in, doing the 5ks. If there’s a patch of grass I can find, kicking a ball around.
“What can you do? It’s just a strange situation but it almost feels normal.
“I feel like I’m kind of used to it now because of what we have experienced since March.”