A week after playing against Kilkenny in the All Ireland hurling semi-final Cork’s Eoin Cadogan lined out as a substitute in the last four football win over Dublin.
Not many players in the history of the GAA have achieved the distinction of participating in the penultimate stages of the two major championships with their county but Cadogan’s exceptional talent, intense commitment to both codes and pride in his county shine through as Conor Counihan’s side prepare to end a 20-year All-Ireland football title famine.
And if the combative Cadogan needed any further incentive to reach his optimum level of performance against the Mournemen then it was provided by the suggestion that Cork “lack real bottle” when it comes to winning major honours.
Having lost two of the last three deciders and now finding themselves under massive pressure to come good against Down, Cork’s indifferent form this year coupled with their dismal record in recent finals has sparked jibes about their character and courage.
But Cadogan, a fiercely driven 24-year-old who was the victim of an unseemly facial indiscretion from Paul Galvin that led to the Kerry star’s championship ban, instead raps out a message of defiance as his team prepare to surmount the Mourne challenge.
“I would not subscribe at all to the view that we lack bottle. There are some great competitors in this Cork team. Maybe we have not been playing that well but for all that we are in the final and we will be giving it a real lash,” promises sales executive Cadogan.
Cork’s defeat to the Carts in the hurling semi-final has added to the pressure that the footballers now face but Cadogan dismisses the idea that the final will prove a bridge too far for them.
“A lot of players in this Cork side have experience of playing in All-Ireland finals so we will be up for battle. Those who question our character and bottle will, I hope, get their answer next Sunday. I was very pleased with the way we stuck at it against Dublin,” said Cadogan.