Cork stalwart Patrick Horgan still learning new tricks from youngsters

Patrick Horgan

Patrick Horgan has been playing inter-county hurling since 2008, although he is still looking to learn new tricks from the youngsters on Cork’s panel.

The 34-year-old has committed to another year of inter-county hurling with Cork, where Horgan will be working under a new management team with Pat Ryan at the helm.

Ryan will hope to be the manager to end Cork’s long wait for an All-Ireland title, and so too will Horgan, who has never got his hands on the Liam MacCarthy Cup despite his long stint in inter-county hurling.

The recent success of Cork’s U20 team gives reason to be hopeful for the seniors, as teams managed by Ryan won back to back All-Ireland titles in 2020 and 2021, and several of the players involved have now made the step up.

Speaking at the launch of the Allianz Leagues, Horgan revealed that he is eager to learn as much as he can from the new faces on Cork’s panel ahead of his 16th year of inter-county hurling.

Patrick Horgan on learning from Cork’s youngsters.

“We’ve a lot of really serious players that I love picking up a couple of things from them every night. Just a little question here or question there,” Horgan explained.

“If you see them doing the same thing a few times you know there’s a reason they do that and they’re getting a lot of success from it. That could be anything. It’s good to have the conversation and they might ask you a question.

“There’s no, ‘I’m not telling this, I’m not telling that.’ We’re all on the same team, we’re all looking for the same goal. We talk, we chat things out and we all try to get better.

“They come onto the panel and there’s nothing expected of them really. We all know the talent that is in our dressing room from the older fellas, the middle-aged and even younger fellas.

“We all just go in and we know that everybody is really skilled, strong and fit, it’s just a case of when you come in you give your all and everybody does that. You can’t ask for any more then.”

Massive changes from when the Cork hurler started out.

Horgan is one of the most experienced inter-county hurlers in Ireland and has seen first-hand how much the game has changed since he started back in 2008.

Players have become noticeably bigger and stronger in the past 15 years and Horgan remains open to doing whatever it takes to become a better hurler.

“There is a massive difference now since when I came onto the panel, with strength and conditioning and nutrition and all that stuff,” Horgan said.

“But I suppose that’s one thing I’m always interested in, is if anyone can come in and add to your game and make you a better player, whether that’s directly involved with skills or lifting weights or the nutritionist.

“It could be anybody, anybody who’ll give you pointers here and there, but I’m always open to that – anything that could possibly make me a better player.

“The only thing experience brings you is that, over the course of a lot of years, you know the things that work for you and the things that don’t and you try and, even preparing wise, you know what works for you and what doesn’t.

“You learn them as you go over the years, you don’t learn them all at the same year, if you asked me to name them, I probably couldn’t but I know my routine and I know what I do in preparation for training and game.”

Patrick Horgan is loving his hurling as much as ever.

Horgan has achieved plenty in his inter-county hurling career, including three Munster Championship titles and four All-Stars, although he is yet to win the All-Ireland.

Chasing All-Ireland success isn’t Horgan’s main motivation however, as the 34-year-old explained that he is enjoying his hurling as much as he ever has.

“If you are not enjoying something and you keep doing it, I think that’s a bit crazy. It’s something I always love doing, getting the gear ready, going training early, just working on trying to become a better player,” Horgan said.

“Chatting to the lads, what are they working on? What certain things do they do that helps their game? It’s all very interesting stuff and I’m in love with the preparation side of it.

“If you don’t enjoy it, you’re not really going to get the full benefit out of it. ”

Pictured are players from last year’s Allianz Leagues Division 1/1A finals, Mayo footballer Padraig O’Hora, Cork hurler Patrick Horgan, Waterford hurler Stephen Bennett and Kerry footballer Paul Geaney at the launch of the Allianz Leagues, which return this weekend. The beginning of the Allianz Leagues represents the dawning of new possibilities for the season ahead, showcasing not only the rivalries between teams, but often the opportunity for players themselves to claim their spot in the county panel.

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