Pat Horgan has blasted disciplinary officials for standing over the Cork forward’s controversial suspension for the glamour Allianz Hurling League opener at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
The Munster champions host Kilkenny on Saturday week but Horgan won’t enjoy a run out at the new venue due to a one-match ban.
It stems from his dismissal late in last August’s All-Ireland semi-final loss to Waterford when he and Conor Gleeson were shown red with minutes to go.
Gleeson failed with an appeal and missed the All-Ireland final and Horgan has revealed how he too appealed but met with the same outcome.
The 29-year-old said he’s “dreading” missing the Cats clash on January 27 and advised anyone who wants “a good laugh” to take a look at what he was red-carded for.
“I was actually laughing coming off the pitch because of that,” said Horgan. “I still don’t know why I got it but it stands anyway, I don’t know why it stands.
“I had no luck (with an appeal) which is strange because you can see from the video the whole incident. If you ever have a chance to look at it you should look at it and have a good laugh.
“I wasted half a day off work (appealing). You put your point across but you know early on what’s coming.
“Pairc Ui Chaoimh... it would have been a nice one to play in, wouldn’t it? It’s not often that fellas are champing at the bit for a game in January but it’s one of the games you would be dreading missing because it will be a good game. It’ll be Cork’s first competitive game there.”
Horgan believes that Cork will approach the tie with optimism despite his unavailability, with the good vibes from last year’s Munster breakthrough still strong.
The Glen Rovers man rejected the suggestion that players like Luke Meade, Darragh Fitzgibbon, and Mark Coleman, who burst onto the scene in 2017, will find it much more difficult this year.
“To be fair to the lads; Luke Meade, Shane Kingston, Coleman, and Darragh Fitz, there’s bags more in them,” claimed Horgan. “Last year they had a lot of growing to do, muscle-wise and all of that but their hurling is unreal.
“I’m not sure how much you can just analyse them and stop what they are doing. Look at Darragh Fitz at midfield, when he starts running — no matter how much analysing you do, you won’t catch him. He’s a bullet.
“Same for the other two, the speed of them is ridiculous and they have the hurling then to go with it. So I’m not sure how you can stop what they are doing, and they can only get better.”
Horgan enjoyed a standout season himself, breaking Christy Ring’s Championship scoring record for Cork and winning his All-Star.
“It’s nice to have the top-scoring record in Cork, it’s a small thing but it’s nice to be on that list,” Horgan said. “But then they’ll ask how many medals does he have and that won’t be very much! We’ve to try and change that.”
Horgan, who came agonisingly close to scoring the winning point for Cork in the drawn 2013 All-Ireland final, revealed reservations about the new provincial championship format this year.
“It’s going to be very hard for players,” he said, eyeing Cork’s four games over five weekends in May and June. “From what I can remember of how I feel after Championship games, ever since I started playing, you’re not right for a few days after it. It’s Wednesday or Thursday before you’re coming around. Going down training on the Thursday, you’re still half stiff because you’re going to places in games where you don’t train to go to. You feel shocking. So, it’s Thursday, you’re going training stiff knowing this is your last session before you play again. It’ll be tough.”
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