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'You Can Be Great At One Stage, Then You Lose A Game And They Might Turn On You'

'You Can Be Great At One Stage, Then You Lose A Game And They Might Turn On You'
By PJ Browne
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Now amid his fifth year of senior inter-county hurling, Alan Cadogan has experienced the changeable nature of the Cork support's appreciation for their team.

"There was a huge buzz in Cork over the weekend with Ed Sheeran involved - that was for a completely different reason," joked the 24-year-old when asked about the mood in the county just 11 days out from their championship opener against Clare.

2017 was a renaissance year for Cork hurling. Their May win against Tipperary was a firework usually reserved for the latter stages of the championship. A Munster title would follow. Though, they would fall at the second last to Waterford at Croke Park.

Cadogan believes a disappointing league has not put a dampener on expectations - they're as high as ever in the county.

"Last year was a very good year under Kieran Kingston but that's done and dusted. We were Munster champions last year but we're not dwelling on that.

"It's a new year, we have a new management team. The league probably didn't go to plan. Every team's goal is to get to a league final and build from that for championship. Unfortunately, we found ourselves fighting relegation.

"Overall, we were quite happy with how the league went. We blooded a couple of new young players; fellas who made their championship debuts last year have another league under their belt going into the second championship; we played with maybe different styles of play."


Then there's the new Munster Championship format - a fresh take on a favourite old recipe. It's still the Munster Championship, except now there's more of it - more cream in the carbonara sauce. Plus, there's the added spice of home games.

"Supporters are looking forward to it because there's four games in five weeks," Cadogan told Balls at the launch of Bord Gáis Energy’s summer of hurling.

A wiser head than his years, Cadogan knows supporters' love can be fleeting.


"From their point of view, that's what they want but obviously the Cork public, it's fickle. You can be great at one stage and then you lose a game or two and they might turn on you, like that."

Still, he calls the Rebel fans the best in the land.

As players we just focus on ourselves, we don't look outside that.

Cork support is unbelievable, whether it be in Pairc Ui Chaoimh or Thurles, it's the best in the country, but it's a fine line and we just know ourselves that we focus on ourselves, we don't look at anything outside that.

It's all about us, we don't really focus on other teams. To a certain extent, we're just trying to get our house in order.

Pressure applied from the Cork support is not a burden. Rather than a hindrance, it's an extra shoulder to the wheel.


"No, pressure is a good thing. If there was no pressure, you wouldn't play the game.

"Cork being Cork, we want to go out and win. Everyone's main objective is being in an All-Ireland final in the middle of August."

In attendance at the launch of Bord Gáis Energy’s summer of hurling is ambassador Alan Cadogan of Cork. Throughout the Senior Hurling Championship, Bord Gáis Energy will be offering fans unmissable GAA rewards through the Bord Gáis Energy Rewards Club. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile


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