Roy Keane recently hailed hurling as the best sport in the world and the Manchester United legend may prove responsible for luring one of Cork’s finest exponents of the ancient code back into the inter-county fold.
Eoin Cadogan is to meet with the Cork senior hurling management for a second time when they return from the team’s holiday to Orlando in mid-January, but all the signs are he will return to the dual role he juggled prior to 2013.
“I know Aidan Walsh has committed and I know it is a big ask at this stage, but I was listening to Roy Keane on the Vieira documentary when he talked about regrets, back with the World Cup,” Cadogan said yesterday at the launch of AIB’s new ‘Me2U’ app.
“That kind of hit a nerve with me. We are all going to be long enough sitting in the stands wishing we could be out there so...”
The sentence remained unfinished, but his line of thought was clear enough. His talks with Jimmy Barry-Murphy before Christmas were described as “very positive” and football boss Brian Cuthbert has made encouraging soundings about the concept.
“As you can imagine, it’s a pretty hectic schedule.” said Cadogan. “Looking at the (schedule for the) month of March, it was five or six weeks in a row, which is pretty demanding.
“But, in saying that, I have gone back to college as well which is a bit of a help in that you probably get a bit more down time for recovery, especially on Monday mornings after a game at the weekend.”
Cadogan is in the second year of a strength and conditioning degree with Setanta College which saw him spend a week with Ulster Rugby in the off-season and he will miss out on next weekend’s McGrath Cup meeting with UCC due to an exam.
Not ideal, maybe, but the 27-year old is eager for 2014 to kick in after a season last year when Sod’s Law decreed he should injure his Achilles, shoulder and ankle despite halving his workload for the year and committing to the footballers alone.
He is fully aware of the irony.
“At the start of the (2013) season I felt I probably had a better footballing year in 2012 and I said maybe I am better off concentrating on one. It was probably Conor’s (Counihan) last year as well and he had been good to me.
“He had given me my big break. He played me in an All-Ireland final and it was my starting debut, which not many people realised, so I probably felt (the need) to give a bit back to him and commit fully to it.”
Instead, injury bit and his form bombed.
The current campaign began well enough, with a landslide victory for the footballers over LIT last Sunday, but Cadogan dismissed its worth as any sort of a weather vane for the elements to be faced over the next nine months.
Still, unfamiliar faces mingled with household names in Mallow at the weekend and those greenhorns will need to stand out from the crowd as the panel comes to the grip with the loss of so many vets over the winter.
The bones of half their 2009 All-Ireland-winning side was lost in recent months and others drifted away in the 24 months or so prior which suggests a side immersed in the process of reinvention.
“A lot of people will use the word ‘transition’ when they speak about the Cork footballers this year,” Cadogan accepted. “As a player I certainly don’t go out to see how we go in games or think of transition. We go into games to win.
“I would hope and expect the guys who do come in have the same mentality and we don’t go out just to try to get at teams. Whether we are miles off the mark or up there in the top four or six only time will tell. The national league will probably tell a lot.”
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