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Ciaran Sheehan of Cork during the 2020 McGrath Cup Group B match between Kerry and Cork at Austin Stack Park in Tralee, Kerry. 
Ciaran Sheehan of Cork during the 2020 McGrath Cup Group B match between Kerry and Cork at Austin Stack Park in Tralee, Kerry. 

Ciaran Sheehan looking sharp after return to Cork panel


By John Harrington

Mark Collins says the return of Ciaran Sheehan to the Cork football panel is a serious boost for the Rebels.

Sheehan recently joined the se-tup after spending the last six years in Australia where he moved to in November 2013 to join AFL side Carlton.

A series of injuries limited him to just six AFL appearances Down Under, but he’s fully fit at the moment and, according to Collins, is looking sharp.

“I would have played with him since I was under-14,” said Collins. “Absolutely brilliant to have him back. He's a model professional, everything he does is spot on and he's great for the younger players in the panel too. Even the way he speaks around the place is a huge boost. Obviously he has serious potential as a footballer and talent as a footballer. It's a massive boost to have him back.

“He fitted in straight away again with us. I thought it might take it a bit of time for him to get used to Gaelic football again but, to be honest, he's been very sharp since he came back. He's in great condition. We're really looking forward to playing with him again.”

Cork footballer, Mark Collins, pictured at the launch of the 2020 Allianz Football League. 2020 marks the 28th year of Allianz’ partnership with the GAA as sponsors of the Allianz Leagues.
Cork footballer, Mark Collins, pictured at the launch of the 2020 Allianz Football League. 2020 marks the 28th year of Allianz’ partnership with the GAA as sponsors of the Allianz Leagues.

Sheehan’s return to the panel comes at a good time for Cork football with so much riding on their Division Three Allianz Football League campaign.

If they fail to gain promotion to Division Two this year then they will be unable to contest for the Sam Maguire Cup unless they reach the Munster Final. And considering they are due to play Kerry in the Munster semi-final this year, that would be a tall task.

Collins admits the stakes are high as they look ahead to a League campaign that starts with a home game against Offaly.

“Last year was obviously disappointing to get relegated down to Division 3,” he says.

“As you say, there's probably an added significance with the top two promoted getting into Sam Maguire. There's only one way we can fix that and that's to go back up, but we have to start well.

“I was thinking there coming up today we probably haven't won our first game in the League in three or four years so the Offaly game in two weeks' time is probably a good place to start, so that's something to look forward to.”

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