Horan back in Faithful fold and ready to ignite career
DIARMUID HORAN is hoping to reignite his Offaly hurling career after spending the last three summers Stateside.
The son of Faithful legend Pádraig -- the first Offaly man to lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup -- has already trained twice under new county manager Ollie Baker, last Sunday and again on Tuesday night.
And speaking to the Evening Herald, Horan confirmed that he will be staying around for the year with the intention of regaining a place in the Offaly set-up.
His last appearance in green, white and gold came at Wexford Park in May 2009, when he came off the bench during Offaly's Leinster SHC opening round defeat to Wexford.
Horan, a US citizen by birth, had already informed then-manager Joe Dooley that he would be spending that summer in America.
He declined an invitation to rejoin the panel in 2010, as he had plans to go back to the US that summer and "didn't want to be the person who came and left again a second time".
Each year he has continued to play club hurling with St Rynagh's through spring/early summer and subsequently hurled for the Naomh Pádraig club in San Francisco, with whom he won a North American championship in 2010.
But having returned home last November, with a view to considering his options, the DCU graduate in athletic therapy and training has now "decided to stay around for the year definitely".
He said Baker gave him a call before Christmas, enquiring about his plans. "Once I made my decision he brought me back in on Sunday, which was great," Horan enthused.
"I am turning 24 this year (in March) so there were a couple of years where I was young and missed out for experience. I want to really push hard this year," he added.
Horan, who represented Offaly in both codes at underage level, made his SHC debut in 2008, featuring at wing-back that summer.
But he missed the following year's league campaign with a hip injury and returned only briefly for that championship cameo in Wexford.
"Hopefully I'll push hard this year and get my way back onto the team somehow. But I have to work on it -- with the effort gone into training in the last two days, I will have to work very hard to get back in there," he admitted.
"I am not fully sure what his (Baker's) plans are, but I would imagine the squad is not fully finalised. There's quite a big number in there, plus all the Coolderry guys have to come in after the club run."