Cork star Patrick Horgan on his plan for 2020 and the colleague that impresses him most in county training
I’ve broken the little finger on the left hand a few times. The rest: I’ve had the odd crack alright, none of them are completely straight, but no serious damage, nothing that would keep you out of action for any length of time.
I suppose it makes sense that I’d break that small finger so much — it’s my protecting hand, the hand I put out to hold off a tackle, or to cover when I’m rising the ball, so it gets a bit of punishment.
I’ve never done any specific exercises for my hands. I use a pretty heavy hurley alright — it’s heavy for a 34in, and I’d have played with heavier in the past — I’m actually cutting it down a bit now.
I put tape underneath it here at the handle, there’s a load of tape there. And I sand it to my exact grip, I mould it — tape and all — because you can’t get the timber to that exact shape. It’s easier to sand down the tape, and I have a sander at home, so then it’s perfect for my hand.
How many hurleys would I have going in the middle of the season? Two or three. I don’t break them too often — I don’t think you see hurleys getting broken that much now unless it’s a freak accident and someone steps on them. When I get cracks in them it’s just a matter of fixing them and away you go again.
I’ll stick with a favourite hurley, a particular one for a while, but I’ll change and when I do, a year after that I’ll be thinking ‘how did I ever use that hurley?’ even though it was once my favourite.
The one I have now, for instance, it probably won’t last. It’s hard to get used to them so you use them as long you can. When I finish this club season with the Glen I’ll probably start off another one or two hurleys for next year, and see how they go.
Does that mean I’ll be playing inter-county next season? As of now, yeah. Unless I get the chop!
I go to Aidan Walsh for hurleys: I’d have tried other hurley-makers but I’d never get them to finish the hurley. I bring the hurleys and leave them a while — if I sand it right then, to the way I want it, it’ll lighten naturally after a couple of months and I’ll be left with a hurley that I don’t really like. So I might leave the hurley for a year or so before doing that.
I know people think I have a hurley in my hand all the time, but it really depends on what I’m doing. If I’m down around the club then why wouldn’t I have a hurley in my hand, though if I was going somewhere else obviously I mightn’t be bringing the hurley with me.
As a kid in the Glen Seanie (McGrath) would have been the skilful player we all looked up to — with the 31in hurley he probably took off some young fella in the Glen Field the week of a big game! He was the man.
Nowadays — and it’s not because we’re playing them in the Championship, but because I see him so much at training — I’d say Darragh Fitzgibbon is a beautiful striker off both sides, never looks awkward, always makes it look easy, right or left. For a big fella his hands are very soft.
In other counties... Eoin Kelly from Tipperary. I’d take his hands in a shot.