Sport Gaelic Football

Sunday 28 May 2017

Masters bombshell

Unhappy Nemo attacker walks away from rebel panel

James Masters has decided to walk away from the county panel
James Masters has decided to walk away from the county panel
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

THE Cork football squad have been rocked by the decision of sharpshooter James Masters to walk away from the county panel.

The Nemo Rangers clubman informed Conor Counihan of his decision to leave the squad this week with the 27-year-old believed to be dismayed at the lack of game-time he has been afforded this season.

Masters appeared as an injury-time substitute in the National Football League outings against Kerry and Galway and did not feature at all in the opening round win over Monaghan.

"James is no longer a part of the panel. He informed me that he wanted to step out of the squad and I respect his decision," said Counihan, who refused to go into the reasons behind the move.

There were also reports that Masters' clubmate Sean O'Brien and Conor McCarthy were also no longer involved.

Finalised

However, Counihan replied: "There are people coming in and out of the squad at the moment and they haven't been finalised."

The news of Masters' departure comes as a blow to the Rebels, who are the pacesetters in Division 1, along with Dublin, boasting a 100pc record after three outings.

Despite being an integral part of the team during Billy Morgan's most recent reign, Masters has struggled to nail down a regular starting spot under the current regime.

Masters was replaced after just 25 minutes of last year's drawn Munster championship semi-final encounter against Kerry and although he featured in the remainder of the successful Munster campaign, he was restricted to a few minutes off the bench towards the end of last year's All-Ireland final defeat to Kerry.

The Leesiders have seen their options in the forward line grow considerably in recent years, with the emergence of the likes of Colm O'Neill and Daniel Goulding making competition for places intense.

Irish Independent

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