WORDS of wisdom from All-Ireland winning Cork captain Graham Canty have stayed with Brian Hurley.
The current Cork captain will turn 31 years old in April and has been involved in the Rebels’ senior set-up since 2012, but his enthusiasm and energy isn’t waning.
In fact, it’s the opposite: the Castlehaven man is loving the latest stage of his football career.
That can be traced back to his darkest moments in football, those lost seasons (2016 and 2017) when career-threatening hamstring injuries kept him on the sidelines.
Dark football days for Hurley, but he didn’t walk the road back alone.
‘I missed two years, but it was actually Graham Canty that said it to me – you've to picture this as though you're a car parked up in the garage, you haven't put mileage on the clock,’ said Hurley, as those missed years when he didn’t kick a ball might yet add time to his football career.
‘That was a great saying to me, and I use that in my head at times because my body feels good and do you know, sometimes, you'd say age over whatever, but when the body feels good you can push that bit more if that makes sense.
‘When you're pushing on in age a small bit you try to grab onto it more and enjoy it more and you're a bit more hungry for it. I like fast ball and we're kind of playing a bit like that at the minute. I can't complain at all.’
Hurley hit the headlines recently with his man-of-the-match display against Dublin in Division 2 of the football league; he scored 0-8 and served up a reminder of his talents. The Castlehaven man in that form can cause problems for any team, and even now he is in his early 30s, and in a different stage of his Cork career, there are no signs of slowing down.
‘I get more hungrier, definitely,’ he said. ‘You don’t know when the end is going to be but you know you’re touching the side of 30, it means a lot more to you.
‘You try and enjoy it a bit more if that makes sense as well because I’ve been involved with Cork now since 2012 and, Jesus like, if you had to say that to me, it’s flown, like. It’s been mad.
‘All the years and every season there’s been a lot of fellas coming and going, you get to meet new faces and obviously you have your old buddies as well who have moved on and you get a glimpse of it from their life.
‘I wouldn’t think about it too much because there’s this fear in it, what do you do after it and whatnot but I’m just trying to live in the moment and enjoy football and I’m a lot hungrier. You get that bit more hunger to make the most of it while you’re there.’