Patrick Horgan expects Rebel young guns to keep firing
By John Harrington
Cork hurler Patrick Horgan thinks theres a lot more to come from the Rebel young guns who exploded onto the scene last year.
Five players Colm Spillane, Lude Meade, Shane Kingston, Darragh Fitzgibbon, and Mark Coleman - made their first championship starts in last years Munster Quarter-Final win over Tipperary and all went on to have superb campaigns.
Horgan was pleasantly surprised by the impact that they made and believes they have further room for improvement in 2018 and beyond.
They can do whatever they want, he said. They came in last year and were just out of minor and to look at them they weren't really that strong.
And then they just have bags of ability. The progress they can make from what they did last year can be whatever they want it to be. They can be as good as they want.
They're level-headed fellas and they'll try to get the most out of themselves. It's up to themselves where they want to be.
The speed of them, their hurling is just unreal. They can be whatever they want.
Former Cork manager Kieran Kingston played a big role in nurturing the young talent in the panel during his two years in charge of the team.
Last years Munster Championship success was a reward for his brave decision to promote so many inexperienced players, and the expectation was that he would stay on as manager to continue overseeing the development of a young panel.
Patrick Horgan admits he was surprised that Kieran Kingston stepped down as manager after last year's championship campaign.
Instead he decided to step down and has been replaced by John Meyler who was one of his selectors for the past two years.
Horgan admits the players were surprised by Kingstons departure but understands why he made the decision he did.
Yeah, I suppose it was a surprise, because we were after making so much progress. You'd be thinking from the outside that he's after making this progress, surely he'll look for the same the following year.
But it's very hard for him and anyone who's involved, really. The time that you have to put in, it is like a full-time job.
He was busy with work as well and trying to do the two...could he commit to another year of doing what he was doing and working, he probably couldn't.
He probably couldn't put in the same time because he put in serious hours the year before, I know that.
It was his decision. if he could have stayed he would have. That will tell you all you need to know.
It will be interesting to see if Corks performance graph continues to rise with John Meyler at the helm.
Horgan believes its an advantage that Meyler was part of Kingstons management team because he knows what worked well for them last year, but believes its ultimately the responsibility of the players to ensure they keep their standards high.
It's more or less the same. John was there last year as a selector and he saw how fellas trained in the lead up to games. What days we'd be training and how hard we trained.
It's more or less up to every fella themselves to get themselves right. If you're training and you're only going through the motions you should know that yourself by this stage.
I think we have a group now of over 30 training and every one of us take it on ourselves to get the most out of the session and be as competitive as we can.
Because if you're just going through the motions you won't have the position for long.