John Meyler: Horgan, Canning and Reid are the best forwards in hurling
Cork hurling manager John Meyler has said that Patrick Horgan is among the very best forwards in hurling following his 1-9 haul against Limerick on Sunday.
Horgan, a three-time All Star, tallied 4-89 last season as Cork reached the All-Ireland semi-final and he already has 1-23 through two games of the Munster Senior Hurling championship.
The 31-year-old is in his 11th season with the Cork senior team and his manager Meyler insists he's one of the best forwards in the game at present.
"He's a good player," Meyler said at the Centra GAA Senior Hurling Championship launch.
"There's certainly no doubt about that and he's currently, along with Joe Canning and TJ Reid, one of the best forwards in hurling. Without a shadow of doubt.
"He's proved that for Cork over the last 10 years and we need to rectify that for him for his contribution to Cork hurling over the last 10 years has been incredible.
"The scores that he got on the weekend, the goal that he got he took really well. He drove us on. It was nip and tuck at that stage and a goal either way could have drove either team on but he showed the ability and the skill to take the ball down, to sidestep the back, to stick it away. He really gave us the impetus to drive on in the last 10 or 15 minutes and he's critical."
Despite being one of the more senior players on the team, Meyler revealed that Horgan is still one of the first players to training and that it's no wonder that he's one of the better forwards in the game given his work ethic.
"You certainly won't win anything with one forward and you need the other five forwards there with him, and you actually need the whole team, but he's a marquee player and Hoggy deserves great credit for what he's done for Cork over the years," added Meyler.
"He's always first to training, he's always practicing, he leads by example and it's no wonder he's a super talent. He deserves the height of credit for what he's done and he's right there with TJ Reid, who has the All-Ireland medals, Joe has one, Hoggy has none but he's right there with those two as the form forwards in hurling. No doubt about that."
Horgan is well established in the Cork side but Meyler is also trying to bring in some younger players this summer with Robert Downey and Niall O'Leary both enjoying breakthrough campaigns.
Meyler said that Downey brings something different to the Cork team while nothing that both players just need to look to build on their initial appearances as they grow within the side.
"He gives us something different, there's something unique about him," Meyler said of Downey.
"He's 6 ft 5, he's from the Glen Rovers club, who have always produced incredible hurlers over the years who have made a fantastic contribution. You think of the half-backs like Denis Coughlan, Graham Callanan who has contributed enormously to Cork over the last hundred years and Downey has that something about him and he was really impressive in the half-back line last Sunday and we would have had no doubts about him at all.
"But like Niall O'Leary, who was in his second game, you need to build on your first game and make sure your second game was better than your first game and he has to step up to the plate because there is strong opposition among the subs for places in the half-back line.
"Tim O'Mahony Christopher Joyce, so he needs to keep going in that direction but he's a lovely young fella, very modest, mature, has that Glen Rovers in him."
Centra has teamed up with Clare’s Podge Collins, Galway’s Niall Burke, Cork manager John Meyler and Dublin’s Cliodhna O’Connor, to reveal their passions on and off the pitch.
Centra, Ireland’s leading convenience retail group with more than 460 stores nationwide, understands the unique pride and passion reserved for our national sport, hurling. Located at the heart of communities nationwide, Centra celebrates its association with the GAA All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship through its #WeAreHurling campaign. The campaign seeks to recognise and celebrate the individuals within those communities be it players, supporters, coaches, parents and in many cases its own Centra local retailers that help make hurling great.