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Sheridan still up for return

Polish ace not giving up on national dream

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GLOBE TROTTER: Cillian Sheridan is embarking on a third season in Poland

GLOBE TROTTER: Cillian Sheridan is embarking on a third season in Poland

GLOBE TROTTER: Cillian Sheridan is embarking on a third season in Poland

The fact that he is tonight sitting in his apartment in one part of Poland, while the Ireland national team have the weakest strike force assembled for a senior international in some time in another, is a sign of where Cillian Sheridan stands in the pecking order with Ireland.

This is the Cavan man's third season in the Polish league and while the first two campaigns were a success - his club Jagiellonia Bialystok finished runners-up in the league both years - this term has not been as good.

So much so, in fact, that his club were willing to let him and two other players leave last month, only for a move to Russia to fall through at the last minute.

Sheridan (29) hasn't played for Ireland in eight years and he inhabits that in-between land of not expecting a call, but also not abandoning the hope that some day it might come.

"The focus now is on doing well for the club here and seeing what happens," says Sheridan.

"I will keep an eye on the game. One of my team-mates, Taras Romanczuk, was in the Poland squad but is injured, but another one from my club, Przemyslaw Frankowski, is in the squad and might play. It's too far to drive down to Wroclaw but I will watch it on TV.

"In terms of me playing for Ireland, I still think it could happen but there's not much I can do," he added.

"There's a good mood around Polish football now. They were surprised at how bad the World Cup went, but it seems they changed their tactics in the Finals from the system they had in qualifying. I think they scored more goals than anyone in qualification, and it didn't work in Russia.

"They have a new manager now and the Italy draw last week was a good result for them. It could be a hard night for Ireland."

He was expected to leave Poland, but the move to Russian side Arsenal Tula collapsed.

"I'm still not sure what happened, there was just some misunderstanding," he says.

INJURY

"The club there seemed to think I had a knee injury, but I have never had a knee problem in my career. So, nothing happened and it didn't go through. It was frustrating."

The club had made three first-team players, including the Ireland international, available for transfer, but he's now back with them.

"I have gone back and trained as normal, there are no issues and I will be part of things for the rest of the season," says Sheridan, who scored a hat-trick in a friendly against a lower league club last weekend.

However, he concedes that he's struggled to hit the heights of previous seasons.

"I haven't scored as many goals as I did before," he admits.

"Maybe my overall game hasn't been as good, but it still hasn't been terrible.

"With the window closed I am here until January at least and who knows after that, but things can change quickly - play well and score in one game and things turn your way again."

Sheridan had been a globe-trotter before he moved to Poland in 2017, having already played in Bulgaria and Cyprus, and he's pleased to have lasted this long.

"Things have been up in the air for the last few transfer windows, I was always fairly happy.

"If something came in that was good for the club and for me we'd have looked at it but I was never keen to leave and they never tried to kick me out. We'll see what happens next."


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