CORK hurler Ronan Curran says he and this teammates are looking forward to this year’s National Hurling League, having enjoyed a trouble-free preseason in comparison with previous years.
Last winter was the first time in two years that Cork did not have a stand-off between players, administrators and managers, and centre-back Curran says he and his colleagues hope to show the benefits of a structured pre-season in 2010.
“The big difference was that last year we didn’t know where we were going, it’s very hard to train properly when you don’t know when or if you’re going to be playing.
“This year, though, we’ve been able to train hard for the last few weeks, and hopefully that will stand to us. I don’t know how fresh we’re going to be, but generally speaking it’s been going very well.”
In recent challenges and in their Waterford Crystal Cup outing against UCC, coach Denis Walsh has been running the rule over various new players. Tomorrow he gives competitive debuts to Mark O’Sullivan of Dripsey and Lorcan McLoughlin of Kanturk. Curran is not surprised by their promotion “They’ve shown up very well,” he says. “In fairness, so have other lads like Cian McCarthy, for instance, who did very well against Waterford in a challenge last weekend in Sarsfields.
“Mark is going well, he’s a big lad and good in the air, while Lorcan is a lovely hurler, we’ve seen him in action over the last year or so. They’re both very good and they’ll be mad for road on Sunday, so hopefully they and a few more new faces will be coming through.”
Cork have recent experience of Offaly, their opponents in tomorrow’s league opener. They took on the midlanders in last year’s qualifiers, and though the scoreboard was emphatic at the final whistle, Curran says that doesn’t tell the whole story.
“You always get a tough game against Offaly – they have very good hurlers. They stuck with us last year for most of the match and we only pulled away towards the end. We’re not expecting anything other than another tough game tomorrow.”
The centre-back points to a recent scalp collected by Offaly in the Walsh Cup as clear evidence to support that assertion.
“They seem to be going well this year – any team that beats Kilkenny, which they did a few weeks ago, must be going well.
“From playing them last year you’d know a lot of those players, but they’ve brought in a few new faces to freshen things up, lads you wouldn’t be familiar with. It’s going to be challenge but we’re all looking forward to it.”
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