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Patrick Horgan on losing to Limerick, the black card and training in lockdown

patrick horgan

“I think we’re at a place now where we’re trying to change way too much about the game that’s already, in my eyes, perfect.”

Incoming Cork hurling captain Patrick Horgan, just like most people, is delighted to see the back of 2020.

Cork went out with a whimper after defeats to Waterford in Munster and subsequently Tipperary in the qualifiers, either side of a win against Dublin.

pat horgan

Patrick Horgan.

In what was a very disappointing year, how does Horgan reflect on another missed opportunity for a first All-Ireland title?

“The same as every year. When you don’t win the All-Ireland at the end of the year, it’s a disappointment,” Horgan replied at the launch of Sports Direct sponsorship of Cork GAA.

“Performance-wise, against Waterford, we had double-digit wides in the first quarter and shot ourselves out of it, to be honest.

“We were competitive with them for a long time after a very very bad start. I think it was 12 wides in the quarter, you wouldn’t get 12 wides in two games. That hurt us in that game.

“We played well against Tipp, especially in the first half against such a strong breeze. We did really good work staying in the game, we thought, being two down at half-time against a wind like that.

“The conditions kind of levelled off at half-time and there wasn’t much (wind). Tipp were full value for their win. They got two great goals in the second half. The players they have, they can win a game in an instant.

“But overall we were disappointed. There are just a couple of things to straighten out and get right on our side and we’ll be back being competitive with Tipp and the likes.”

patrick horgan

Cork and Limerick classic.

Cork and Limerick played out a classic in the 2018 All-Ireland hurling semi-final. Cork were eventually on the wrong side of a 3-32 to 2-21 scoreline after extra-time.

However, since then both sides have gone in opposite directions with Limerick winning two of the last three All-Ireland titles.

Horgan believes that there isn’t much between the two counties based on recent matchups but doesn’t feel any envy towards his Munster rivals.

“Yes, there’s very little [between us] but there’s no envy like,” Horgan replied.

cork hurling

“There’s no doubt, look at them, they’re a fantastic team. They deserve everything they get. They’re after winning two National leagues, two Munster titles and two All-Irelands in three years.

“But they deserve exactly what they get. We’ve been competitive with them in one-off games and I think that’ something we need to get better at is that consistency across the board but it just goes to show that when we have our A-game, we’re a match for everyone. That includes Limerick as shown in those results.

“There was never too much between us and they know that as well, they’ve been unbelievable games. I remember one down in Pairc Ui Chaoimh on a Saturday night two years ago. It was a drawn game, an unbelievable game.

“If you could have a game like that every week it would be unbelievable but like it’s just we’re really competitive with them and we just need to find a way to get that performance out of us each time.”

Black Card.

The introduction of a black card in hurling has been a topic of discussion in recent years. Many forwards have been pulled down when facing goal-scoring opportunities.

Nevertheless, Horgan doesn’t want any more changes made to hurling as it wouldn’t be the game he “fell in love with” when growing up.

“I think the game of hurling that I fell in love with years and years and years ago, it didn’t have any cards at all I don’t think,” Horgan continued.

“We’re trying to change too much. I think the game is absolutely perfect the way it is. It’s exciting, it’s fast.

“These cynical fouls that people are on about, you rarely see them, and they probably level themselves out over the course of the year anyway. 

“I think we’re at a place now where we’re trying to change way too much about the game that’s already, in my eyes, perfect.”

2021.

So what exactly is involved when preparing for the 2021 season with no start date set as of yet?

“We’ve had very little communication with the panel, probably once every two or three [weeks],” Horgan stated.

“But fellas know themselves that we’re doing a bit of training. We’re not killing ourselves. We’re not being told what to do. If a fella wants to get on to somebody else to see what they’re doing, that’s fair enough like give him a phone call.

“But there’s not too much stress on anyone, we’re just kind of being left to ourselves. We’re all responsible enough that playing at a high level and getting the chance to represent Cork should be enough to get fellas out of the house and training enough to get on a panel or a team or whatever their goal is.”

patrick horgan

PHOTO CAPTION – PATRICK HORGAN
FEBRUARY 4th, 2021: Cork GAA hurling captain, Patrick Horgan, pictured following the announcement of Sports Direct’s new five-year sponsorship deal with Cork GAA that will see Sports Direct support the men’s senior, Under 20 and Minor teams in both codes and provide a new personalised boot partnership for the senior panels. The new Cork GAA jersey was also launched today and celebrates the three core pillars of clubs, schools and county, that together, form the foundation of Cork GAA. The newly-launched jersey is now available exclusively through Sports Direct Ireland online https://ie.sportsdirect.com/, until stores across the country re-open.

5km runs.

Horgan is also not a fan of 5km runs, which have been the social media trend of lockdown.

“Nah, I couldn’t do that anyway. Nah. Running is, like where does it stop?” Horgan said.

“It’s grand when you’ve a goal down the line, whether it’s a month, two months, even if it’s six months down the line, you could aim towards that goal.

“But where does the running stop if you’ve no end line, do you know what I mean?

“So, it’s just a case of doing a little bit often, stay half kind of ready and hit the ground running hopefully when we get back as a team.”

Patrick Horgan is also a massive Tom Brady fan and spoke about his love of NFL.

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