Cork footballer Eoin Cadogan says the player exodus from the county squad hasn’t dented their championship ambitions for 2014.
Six of the panel from the defeat to Dublin last August have called time on their inter-county careers while Ciarán Sheehan is heading to Australia to begin an AFL career.
Cadogan, though, believes the Rebels will still challenge for honours next summer.
Moreover, the corner-back is confident the emerging crop of Cork footballers, in particular the spine of John Cleary’s highly-rated U21 outfit, will step up to the mark.
“Munster is our first championship goal next year and as always we will be looking to win that, regardless of who is in the panel or who isn’t,” he stressed.
“It doesn’t matter if you are Cork or whoever, the task is always going to be difficult. The standards have been set.
“Dublin are All-Ireland champions. I know when we were there in 2010 we were there to be knocked and I am sure Dublin will realise this fairly quickly. They have set the bar and it is up to everyone else to catch them.
“I am confident that the work that was done with the U21s over the last couple of years will have these lads well prepared for the step-up to senior.
“They won Munster and All-Ireland titles. There is a lot of guys who played together through the U21 grade and any of the younger lads that came through from the minor campaign of 2010, all have good experience. They know what is required of them.”
The 27-year understands more responsibility will fall on his shoulders in the absence of Graham Canty, Noel O’Leary, Paudie Kissane and Alan Quirke from the Cork rearguard.
“There is a different mood in the camp, but it is exciting times in the sense that it is going to be a whole new set-up with new guys to freshen up things. Maybe there will be that little bit more responsibility on my shoulders given there have been so many departures, but in saying that, it’s up to the guys coming in to step up.
“If guys are performing in training, it doesn’t matter if it is me or anyone else, you are going to get a starting number. It won’t matter if you have been there for a couple of months or a couple of years.
“None of us are going to be there forever, there is always going to be change and sometimes change can be good. We are looking forward to next year and whatever challenges it may bring.”
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