The way Glen Rovers youngster talks about Patrick Horgan sums it all up 4 months ago

The way Glen Rovers youngster talks about Patrick Horgan sums it all up

The stories are almost legendary.

7 in the morning, out on the Glen pitch is where you'll find Hoggie. Drilling a leather ball through the crisp morning air, watching it rip over the goals and then doing the same thing again.

The stories are so good that they're almost hard to believe. But it's time we started believing.

Glen Rovers chairman Jude O'Callaghan confirmed the fabled tales to us earlier this year, nodding that a day doesn't pass without Hoggie hitting up the club pitch.

A few pucks, frees or sidelines, a few Glen Rovers youngsters inspired. There's practice proof in the game-day pudding.

Last Sunday, Patrick Horgan was in the business of dropping jaws. He had the whole country hand over mouth watching one of the great individual displays from a hurling forward.

But he's in the business of dropping jaws every show-stopping Sunday. 3-10 is unbelievable but so are his scoring tallies, and the standard of those scores every other day. The thing is, Horgan has made the unbelievable a reality and his tremendous and unfailing dedication to his practice makes it so.

Hoggie's genius is far from a coincidence.

Hoggie's genius far from a coincidence

Every Sunday morning is the same up in Glen Rovers. The pitch is a sea of youngsters. Their shout...

We were speaking to fellow Glen Rovers club man and Cork senior panellist Robert Downey in the aftermath of the Rebels' defeat. The way the 20-year-old talks about his club man sums it all up.

"We're friends at this stage," said Downey ahead of the Bórd Gais under-20 finals.

"He's unbelievable. He's unreal. You could go down to the Glen field there today and he'd be down there pucking around again and taking frees. He's brilliant with all the kids in the Glen. Anyone that comes up and asks him for a photograph or autograph he's more than willing to help you out.

"He's brilliant, anytime I've ever had to go and ask him for advice on anything, he's been brilliant to all of us. He's an unbelievable clubman.

"From being down in the Glen club all the time pucking around and we travel to training together. It was a bit easier coming into (the Cork senior) environment that you've never been in before, you mightn't know how things work. It's grand being able to just go away and talk to them (Horgan and Stevie McDonnell) and they'll point you in the right direction. It was very beneficial to have the two boys inside," he continues, his eyes lighting up.

"I don’t think there’s been a better Cork hurler than him, he's an artist"

Hoggie this, Hoggie that, the bottom line is Cork could do with a clone of him, or maybe even two...

"He knows that club comes first and when he's finished up with Cork he'll go back to the Glen. He knows that too. The performances he puts in with the Glen are unbelievable too, he racks up some unbelievable tallies in that. He's unreal for us, he is."

For one so young, Downey picked up some invaluable experience in with the Cork seniors this year. He's hugely grateful to John Meyler for giving him his chance (he made national league and championship debuts this year,) and that gratitude to Meyler made Sunday's defeat very hard to take.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for every player in that Cork dressing room

"It was disappointing. Training four or five nights a week since I don't know when, back in November. 

"When you lose fellas kind of keep to themselves, just sitting down with their heads down and that. It wasn't a nice place to be, to be honest. There's a few fellas on the road a good few years now and I kind of feel for them too. It must have been hard for them to take. We would have thought that we'd have gotten a bit further. We feel we could have challenged a bit more for an All-Ireland, so it was disappointing.

All roads are leading to the under-20 final against Tipp on July 23, time for Cork to gain revenge on Tipp after the Premier overturned them in the All-Ireland final last year.

"It's hard but we're lucky enough we have the U20s we'll get back on the horse next week and drive on again."

In attendance at the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling U-20 Provincial Championship Finals preview are, from left, Eoin O’Leary of Wexford, Evan Shefflin of Kilkenny, Robert Downey of Cork and Jake Morris of Tipperary at Saint Annes Park in Dublin. On July 23rd, Tipperary face Cork at Semple Stadium in the Munster decider. Throw-in there is 7.30pm.