Alan Cadogan opens up on hurling decision

Rising Cork talent Alan Cadogan met football manager Brian Cuthbert over the winter but decided to stick with hurling because of his breakthrough 2014 season.

Alan Cadogan opens up on hurling decision

Cadogan, younger brother of former dual star Eoin, emerged as an ever present in the Cork hurling team in last year’s successful Munster championship campaign.

But he was also coveted by football manager Cuthbert, having picked up a Munster U21 football medal, and the pair met up in the close season.

Cadogan described the meeting as “a good chat” though the young forward ultimately made the decision to continue with Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s senior hurling panel only.

“I met with him (Brian) at the start of the year and we discussed our plans so it was a good chat,” said Cadogan.

“I suppose any young fella my age would give his right arm to be involved with one inter-county team, never mind two.

“It was a difficult decision but after my debut hurling year — I’d a reasonably good year up to the Tipperary game, when unfortunately things didn’t go to plan — it would have been difficult to pick football and play it alone.

“But unfortunately the dual situation wasn’t on the table.”

Cadogan’s brother, Eoin, Aidan Walsh and Damien Cahalane balanced dual roles last year though all have settled on just one code this year.

Walsh made it clear after a poor performance against Tipp in the All-Ireland semi-final that his form was compromised by playing both, and this was why he had to choose.

But Cadogan suggested that dual status wasn’t “up for decision in Cork this year” anyhow.

The UCC student and Fitzgibbon Cup hopeful said it’s a relief in one way that the dual debate has finally been put to rest in Cork.

“I think from a player’s point of view, it’s good that they can focus on one,” he said. “For management as well, they can have their full strength squad and can focus coming into big games.”

Cadogan, who shot 0-3 in last year’s Munster final triumph, will play under new captain Anthony Nash this year.

He said he wasn’t overly surprised former skipper Pa Cronin opted to step down to focus fully on his own game.

“I wasn’t surprised,” he said. “Being captain carries that extra small bit of pressure for some guys. I think Pa dealt with it perfectly. But he maybe just wanted to step back to focus on his hurling for a year or two. But he was an excellent captain, hopefully Anthony can lead us as well as him.”

Cork begin their Allianz League campaign at home to All-Ireland champions Kilkenny on February 14. It’ll be their first major game since losing heavily to Tipp last August while, more recently, they went to Limerick in Saturday’s Waterford Crystal Cup final. Cadogan insisted, however, that they will enter the new season in positive mood, looking to make the most of their home games in the league.

“It’s important to win your first two or three games and to not be down fighting relegation,” he said. “I think we have three games at home and Dublin and Galway away, so we’ll be trying to pick up as many points as we can at home.”

As for the Tipp game, which Cork surprisingly lost by 10 points, Cadogan reflected on a performance that divided opinion among commentators.

“People have had their different opinions on it, whether it was an off day or whether Cork don’t have enough players coming through,” he said. “The thing is, things were going to plan up until then. And going in at half-time, we were only two points down and we knew ourselves that we hadn’t played that well. Hands up, Tipperary did play a great second half and we have no complaints in the end.”

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