Former Cork selector Diarmuid O'Sullivan has revealed that he told Aidan Walsh he was giving up on hurling too early, when he left the Rebels' panel in 2016.
The dual star has returned to the hurling squad for this season after two years playing with the county's footballers, scoring four points from play against Wexford yesterday in his second League start at full-forward.
He was a rare positive in a 1-18 to 0-17 defeat on a poor Páirc Uí Chaoimh pitch.
O'Sullivan says he tried to convince the two-time football All-Star to stick with hurling at the time, and that he'd be a "serious intercounty hurler" already if he had done so.
"For Aidan in the full-forward role, I'd ask what type of system are they trying to employ with him? Is it a direct game with the ball going through the lines? Is he a target man?" said O'Sullivan to Paddy Power News.
"They need to pin that down for him and tweak it for everyone's sake early on in the year so that everyone knows what kind of system they are playing with him in that position.
"He does have something to offer Cork. I said it to him when he left our panel after our first year with him that he gave up on hurling a bit early.
"He's lost a bit of time, it's going to take him an extra bit again because he's that bit older and the game has moved on since he was last involved at this level. I just hope the boat hasn't sailed for him."
He believes that the team need to earn a win soon after back-to-back League defeats against Kilkenny and Wexford.
"Admittedly our National League form hasn't been great over the last number of years, but last year is gone and we can only judge guys on their merits and performances of this season.
"The management will have taken on board where their problems are and they are trying to find solutions for them. We need to give them the opportunity to find those solutions.
"It is a true reflection on Cork, though, there's no doubt they prefer dry ground and the sun shining on their backs. However, they need to find a win somewhere to get confidence and moral back up in the squad."