Wednesday 21 March 2018

Strain on Cadogan kills dual dreams for Walsh

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

CORK footballer Aidan Walsh has revealed that Eoin Cadogan's situation turned him away from attempting to combine playing both codes for the Rebel County.

A talented dual player, Walsh had stated a desire to combine both codes when he graduated from the U-21 ranks. Last season, he had outgrown that grade and despite some starring performances for the Leeside hurlers, he remained focused on football.

After witnessing the strains placed on Cadogan and taking into account both his club commitments with Kanturk and his duties with divisional side Duhallow – something Cadogan didn't have to contend with, as he plays with a senior club – Walsh opted against pursuing a dual career.

"Looking at Eoin the last two or three years – coming to training he used to be crippled and some days he wasn't able to train," said Walsh at the launch of Setanta Sports' National Football League coverage, which sees them covering 15 live games this spring.

"He wasn't doing himself justice in that sense. He wasn't getting 100pc out of either of them so I suppose he's made a good decision this year to choose one. I thought he probably would have picked hurling but I'm delighted that he picked football."

Walsh considered himself a hurler first up until his involvement with the All-Ireland-winning U-21 football side in 2009. He had been making a decent crack at playing both codes up to then, as just a year earlier he lined out for a staggering 18 teams in both codes.

Since then football has been king and it has yielded Munster, All-Ireland and league medals with the senior team. An approach from Jimmy Barry-Murphy's management team late last year was rebuffed out of hand even though he retains a desire to hurl for Cork in the future.

At the moment, a PE and biology course in DCU, which sees him based in the capital, means that travelling down for football training will be time-consuming enough. As it stands, however, Walsh can't line out for DCU due to a recently introduced rule that says players can only play in third-level competitions for their first two courses at college.

Both Walsh and Donegal goalkeeper Michael Boyle had their case heard by the Disputes Resolution Authority (DRA) last night where it was argued that as Walsh dropped out of his first course after just a few months, it shouldn't be counted.

Walsh is hopeful he will be cleared to line out for the college as they start the defence of their Sigerson title against University of Limerick on Tuesday.

He recently played for the college in a challenge against the Dublin U-21s where he was trialled at full-back.

"The vibes coming up around the place are that there seems to be a good chance that it will come through. But it's hard to know really what way it will go. The rule was being talked about (when he signed up for this course) but it wasn't there and wasn't implemented," he added.

"It's disappointing in the sense that what's stopping me is a course I did for five months. I dropped out of it then. It seems a bit ridiculous that they count a course that you actually did for only five months."

Irish Independent

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