Thursday 13 December 2018

Shields: I'm going to miss playing for Cork

Michael Shields will take away great memories of time in Cork jersey. Picture credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach / Sportsfile
Michael Shields will take away great memories of time in Cork jersey. Picture credit: Piaras Ó Mídheach / Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Cork defender Michael Shields has called time on his inter-county career after 13 seasons with the Rebels.

A combination of injuries and personal commitments forced the 31-year-old away from the Cork set-up after a career that saw him win All-Ireland medals at senior (2010) and U-21 (2007) levels.

The St Finbarr's man made his debut for the Rebels in the drawn 2006 Munster SFC final and he'd go on to win two Munster titles and three national leagues.

Shields actually skippered Cork on the field for their All-Ireland win eight years ago as regular captain Graham Canty was unable to start the game due to injury.

His retirement means that Aidan Walsh, Paul Kerrigan, Donncha O'Connor and Colm O'Neill are now the only players still active with the Rebels from that 2010 success.

"This wasn't an immediate decision, it was something I thought about for a while," the two-time All-Star told 'The42.ie'.

"I'm really going to miss it but I think this is the right time to step away. I've had a lot going on in the background with work commitments and family commitments. It's made it very hard to juggle all three."

"The frustrating thing for me over the last few years is I've had a lot of injuries. I've been getting a lot of knocks throughout the season which set me back and I found I was chasing my fitness. I've had problems with my groin, I had Gilmore's groin on both sides."

He confirmed that he had met new manager Ronan McCarthy to inform him of his decision.

"It's always hard when you're trying to train and come back into the national league late.

"Your fitness probably isn't where it should be and unfortunately for me, I picked up a few knocks and setbacks along the way.

"I'd a nice chat with Ronan. A couple of months back I told him where I was at and I said I'd meet him soon. I met him the other day and just told him my thoughts. I'm delighted he got the job, he's a really decent man."

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