Thursday 23 January 2020

Collins hails impact of returning Sheehan

Cork's Mark Collins. Photo: Sportsfile
Cork's Mark Collins. Photo: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Cork star Mark Collins has hailed the impact of the returning Ciarán Sheehan, describing his presence in the Cork dressing-room as a "massive bonus".

Sheehan, who won an All-Ireland under Conor Counihan in 2010, returned to the Cork jersey in the McGrath Cup win over Kerry last month, in what was his first game for the Rebels since the 2013 All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Dublin. The Éire Óg man then moved to the AFL but after moving back to Leeside last year, he is back as part of Ronan McCarthy's squad.

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"I am actually the same age as him growing up, played with him since under 14," Collins said.

"I know what a bonus he is to have back, even when he came back, his professionalism and the way he is around younger lads is a massive bonus to us.

"He is a very experienced guy who has been around the block, All-Ireland winner and Australian Rules. It is a massive bonus to have a guy of that stature around the place."

Cork start a vital league campaign this month with the visit of Offaly and they need to secure promotion from Division 3 to ensure their place in the race for Sam Maguire.

"We've a nice bit done together. We got back maybe the start of November and a good bit done together. Obviously, there's a feel-good factor with some of the U-20s coming in and you've Ciarán Sheehan, Seán Powter, Kevin Crowley back in around the panel.

"Everything is very positive so far but we know the important stuff is still to come and we can't get carried away with ourselves and we have to do our talking on the pitch."

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