John Meyler wouldn’t be drawn on his future as Cork manager but he is convinced the future is bright for the county’s senior hurlers.
Asked about his plans now his third season in charge has concluded, Meyler responded: “We’ll go home and we’ll sit down. It’s tough, it’s hard, it’s disappointing. But, you know…”
Seeing Kilkenny’s bench outscore Cork by six points to no score after Limerick’s auxiliaries did something similar to them in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final, Meyler knows the depth of his panel has to improve.
However, after losing a sixth consecutive game in Croke Park he rejected the idea that Cork have a hang-up about the venue.
“I think we need to go again,” he said of the search for more players.
“We need to dig deeper again. We have the U20s in the Munster final, we have a lot of young fellas out there; (Shane) Kingston, Robbie O’Flynn, Tim O’Mahony, Niall O’Leary, Seán O’Donoghue, they’re all young.
"So from that point of view, the future is bright, (Mark) Coleman, Fitzy (Darragh Fitzgibbon).
“Look, it’s just getting up there and winning, that’s the bloody most important thing. That’s three years in a row; semi-final, semi-final, quarter-final.
"It’s not a jinx or a hoodoo or anything like that. It’s just getting up here and winning a tight match and that’s critical.
“Cork hurling will be back next year, I have no doubt about that.”
Meyler admitted he felt sorry for Patrick Horgan given what he produced.
“Look, he’s one of the best hurlers for the last 10 years, an incredible hurler, an incredible stick person.
“It’s just disappointing. I’m really disappointed for Hoggy but we need fellas around him and that’s it.
We’ve always depended on Hoggy but we need to spread it (the scoring) out. We’ve always said we need other guys to take responsibility.
“Hoggy came good with 3-10, Cads was good but we needed more scores and we didn’t have it.”
Although he didn’t score, substitute Tim O’Mahony at least made an impression and was key in Cork’s revival.
“He got the ball, he moved the ball quicker to Cadogan and moved the ball quicker to Hoggy as well inside,” remarked Meyler.
“It gave us an impetus. But we could never get level with them and they just defended really well and their puckouts were landing on our 21 and causing problems.”
Meyler rued the seven wides Cork posted in the first half.
“Luke (Meade) had one and Lehane had one and they should have gone over the bar.
“We’d have gone three or four points up at that stage then because we were absolutely flying early on and it wasn’t on the scoreboard, that’s the problem.”