Patrick Horgan was in sensational form as Cork narrowly exited the Munster SHC last Sunday following an epic with Limerick as he continues to defy Father Time and look as sprightly as ever at 35.
Former Limerick star Niall Moran sees no reason why the four-time All-Star won’t go again for the Rebels in 2024 and he doesn’t feel that his career will be in any way diminished if he finishes up without a Celtic Cross.
“Why wouldn’t he? The only people that write him off are people like us. One thing you’ll always say about these older players, never put a finish line in front of you and maybe that was a criticism that you would have had of lads finishing before their time,” Moran told OurGame.
“Just because you have one bad game in your 30s, everyone has to have a narrative that you’re written off and I also think is this the by-product of a full-on decade of proper conditioning? The key for these lads is that they haven’t picked up major injuries.
“I can never remember Hoggie being badly injured or anything like that and once you’re on the hamster wheel, as long as you don’t get off it at any point, your longevity will be there for all to see.
“Hoggie is sill there looking for that elusive All-Ireland medal but is that really going to copper-fasten his status, is that really going to change who he was whether he gets it or he doesn’t get it?
“Generations of opposition players have idolised him, generations of kids in Cork have idolised him, he’s respected by all. Whether he has no All-Ireland medals or ten All-Ireland medals, I don’t think that’s ever going to change and I’d love to see him there again next year.”
Horgan, who started out at county level in 2008, fired 1-14 (0-11f) against the Treaty and Moran sees something special brewing on Leeside under Pat Ryan.
“They really impressed me in terms of their manliness and their resilience. You have Hoggie and Seamie Hanredy, these boys are a long time on the road, they were their two top performers in scorching heat, they defied everything that goes with it,” he said.
“What I really like about Cork is that they are kind of gone back to old school, they’re gone a lot more direct in how they’re playing and they’re a lot more appealing to watch. If you throw in a few new players, new blood makes the difference if a set-up is right and Cork’s set-up is right.”