Alan Cadogan will miss the remainder of the club season, because of a hip injury.
Cadogan will play no part in Douglas’s Cork SFC quarter-final, against Ballincollig, tomorrow afternoon (Páirc Uí Rinn, 3pm), and even if the city club were to get the better of the 2016 finalists, the Cork inter-county hurler would not be available for either of the concluding rounds.
Cadogan, a one-time Cork senior footballer,did not line out for Douglas for their Cork SFC third-round win over UCC in mid-August, and while he lasted much of the hour when the Douglas hurlers went down to Sarsfields on August 31, a persistent hip injury means he’s had to write off the remainder of the year.
“He is a huge loss to us,” says Douglas football manager Mick Evans.
“Alan got a hip injury training with us. He exacerbated it when playing with the senior hurlers; he had to come off towards the end of that game. He is gone for us and is going to be gone for a while.”
Seán Powter, plagued by multiple hamstring problems over the past two years, is injury-free, but management has yet to make a call as to whether they will throw him in from the off, given the 22-year-old has not played a full match in quite some time.
“For a young fella of his age and ability, Seán just wants to play. He wants to play in every game, and play the 60 minutes in every game. But we are trying to be patient with him. We are trying to bring him back slowly; trying to manage him as best we can,” Evans said.
That Cadogan is Douglas’s sole injury-enforced absentee is an improvement on recent years, when Evans and his management team were left frustrated by the number of players, high-profile players at that, who were unavailable for selection.
In 2018, the Douglas footballers played four senior championship games before exiting at the quarter-final stage.
Injury, and other factors, meant Alan Cadogan didn’t feature in any of the four; Powter was absent for the first three, coming on as a sub at the end of the quarter-final; Nathan Walsh’s sole involvement came during the first round defeat to Bishopstown; Sean Wilson and Shane Kingston both missed two, with the latter starting only one of the two games for which he was togged.
Evans knows that Douglas must take advantage of having nearly all their key players fit and available.
Not since their county final appearance back in 2008 has a Douglas team been able to successfully negotiate the last-eight hurdle. The quarters were reached in 2010, ’12, ’13, and again last year, but on each occasion they came off second-best.
For all the county men they possess, there is a sense that this is a club that has underperformed in recent years.
“I know that view is out there,” Evans said. “But the reality is that we are one of a few clubs with a huge number of players involved with various Cork teams. These guys would walk into any club team, but, for us, it has often been the case that out of six or eight, we might have only one or two available. That’s been our problem for the last few years, a huge problem, that lads involved with Cork were coming back to us with injuries and couldn’t play.
“We’d give anybody a run for their money, if we had everybody, but our problem is that when it comes to championship, we don’t have players available to us.
“For this quarter-final, we have Kevin Flahive, Nathan Walsh, Eoin Cadogan, Shane Kingston, and possibly Seán Powter available to us. That’s a huge plus, because they raise the standards every time they come back into the team. Sean Wilson was in America for the summer, but is back now and has been training with us for the last six weeks. We are happy to have him back.”
The manager added: “It is the players who are with us all the time, the lads who are not playing inter-county, who keep the show on the road. The squad is the reason why we are back in the quarters; the squad is the reason we got promotion from Division 3. It is important those lads are mentioned, because they are an integral part of our set-up.
“It is too long since we were last in a county semi-final. But we are under no illusions as to what we are facing this Sunday. We have to have 15 guys performing to have any chance.”