Coleman central to Cork hurling resurgence
Showing maturity beyond his years, Mark Coleman is a player who can make it really happen on the gaelic games fields. And if Cork are to challenge for honours come the business end of the All Ireland SHC campaign, the 19 year old and fellow rebel stickmen will be required to impose themselves on formidable opponents in big tests ahead in Croke Park.
So far so good for the Blarney star, acknowledged for helping Cork collect a hold of the Munster SHC title for the 53rd occasion. Fittingly Coleman's achievements were saluted at the monthly Northside and District Sports Star Awards hosted in the Clayton Silversprings Hotel.
Mark's breakthrough at senior intercounty level came last summer, coming off the bench in their narrow qualifier defeat to Wexford. On his debut season at provincial level, Coleman has made a massive impact since his introduction by Cork Manager Kieran Kingston in this year's Munster SHC campaign.
"When the opportunity presented itself, I grasped the chance to come onto the Cork senior hurling team and its worked out really well to date. Thanks to the Cork management, my family and Blarney club for their support, influence and encouragement, hopefully the winning run can continue," he said.
Civic leaders applauded the talents of Coleman, his skill, mobility and cleverness makes the Blarney player one of the finds of the season.
Lord Mayor Cllr Tony Fitzgerald spoke of a dynamic defender receiving the Man of the Match Award against Waterford and featured prominently in successive victories over All-Ireland champions Tipperary and Clare.
"On dong so, Mark captured a much prized Munster Senior Hurling medal thanks to his delightful skill and desire. A fabulous talent, he and his colleagues have risen the spirits of a sporting Cork public," said the Lord Mayor.
"Cork in Croke Park next month has a nice ring to it and fingers crossed, the winning run continues for the rebel county," he said.
Deputy County Mayor, Cllr Kevin Conway congratulated the Cork star on adapting so positively to senior ranks at a young age.
"Blarney GAA club can be very proud of Mark's recent displays in the Cork jersey and it is a fitting reward for his family. The Coleman name is synonymous with Blarney and Mark follows a rich family tradition, his father Ray, and his uncles Donal and Fintan won county medals with the club," he said.
The Blarney based politician applauded Mark's mum Anne, ever present with both the underage section and the thriving Blarney Camogie Club.
"The Coleman family figure in fund raising for the club, instigating the highly popular car booth sale and many other concepts," he said.
County PRO Donal Leahy commended the Cork teenager on his success and his impact towards Cork regaining a Munster crown.
"Mark becomes the first Blarney player to have played senior championship hurling for Cork. He is a role model for everybody associated with Blarney GAA club and young people throughout the county," he said.