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Cork's Main Man Has No Time For Jealous Aul Fellas

Cork's Main Man Has No Time For Jealous Aul Fellas
PJ Browne
By PJ Browne
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Patrick Horgan has a swift reply for those, like Babs Keating, who have called for the introduction of a heavier sliotar to hurling.

"All them fellas are only jealous!" says Horgan, speaking at his announcement as the PwC GAA/GPA Hurler of the Month for May.

"I don't know what the aul fellas are at, why would you want fewer scores in the match? I can't understand that, why would you want the heavier ball?

"There's fellas swinging the hurley a lot faster than before. If you had the same sliotar that they used however many years ago, we'd strike it further than them now.

"The game has changed. The boys’ bas was that size (small). The hurleys are different, everything is different. I don't know why people want to go backwards. That's never the way in anything, in business - why would anyone want to go back? It doesn't make any sense to me. Keep the balls the way they are."

The 31-year-old is Cork’s all-time top Championship scorer. He surpassed Christy Ring two years ago when he hit 13 points in the Munster final against Clare.

Horgan’s total has its foundations in his reliability as a free-taker. It helps that’s a responsibility he relishes.


Any fella worth his salt would tell you the same, would tell you they love being in those situations. The ones where you have to do it or things have to work.

I never change my routine. I’ve been taking frees and striking ball since I don’t know how long.

After starting the championship with a disappointing seven-point defeat to Tipperary, Cork roared back to beat reigning All-Ireland champions Limerick by the same margin a week later. The days in between heard plenty of talk about what went wrong in that opening match but the Cork panel didn’t have time to listen.


When that performance against Tipp - now favourites for this year’s All-Ireland - was analysed, they did not like what they saw. Corrections were made - effective ones - for the game at the Gaelic Grounds.

Horgan feels Cork are capable of beating any of the other contenders but also knows most of them probably feel the same. This weekend, they play a down and out Waterford side at Páirc Uí Chaoimh wary of a wounded animal having one last kick.


Cork's build-up has not been aided by the Páirc Uí Chaoimh schedule. They were unable to train there last week due to a Rod Stewart concert being held at the stadium. They will get to practise there twice this week. That’s will be a help as Horgan has found free-taking difficult since the redevelopment of Cork's home ground


"I would have found it tough, to be honest," says Horgan.

"The grey in the terrace, I think it’s very deceiving there as well. It seems closer than it is until you strike a ball and the thing is going forever trying to get to the posts. It’s a bit tricky but if there’s a crowd there it will help."

Though obsessive with the improvement of his own game, Horgan has little interest in that of those outside Cork. He’s a major sports fan - golf, rugby, Amerian football, soccer - but not one who watches a whole lot of hurling.


The Rebels had last weekend off as Tipp and Limerick respectively hammered Clare and Waterford; Horgan didn’t take the games in.

"I'm not interested unless it's something to do with Cork," he discloses.

"I think I was asleep during the day [Sunday] and called to my mam's house like I do every day.


"Yeah, just chilled out up there. We trained on Saturday so you're goosed for Sunday, you don't have much energy to do much, just hanging around.

"Everyone is different but I just find when I'm away from training and hurling I just want to do something else. Call into my mams and play with the nephews. Some fellas love watching it but I don't.

"It takes too much out of the day to watch other games when you're only after coming back from training. I'd be a big hurling fan but sometimes you just put so much time into it, you need a break from it. I just do my own thing."


PwC GAA/GPA Player of the Month for May, Cork hurler, Patrick Horgan, at PwC offices in Dublin today to pick up his award. The players were joined by PwC Managing Partner, Feargal O’Rourke, Uachtarán Chumann Lúthcleas Gael, John Horan, and GPA Chief Executive, Paul Flynn. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

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