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Social media abuse was a 'life experience' - Casey putting U-21 final nightmare behind him

Rebel goalkeeper on how he moved on from nightmare of U-21 final

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Anthony Casey is hoping a good run with CIT in the Sigerson Cup will impress
Cork senior boss Ronan McCarthy. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Anthony Casey is hoping a good run with CIT in the Sigerson Cup will impress Cork senior boss Ronan McCarthy. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Anthony Casey is hoping a good run with CIT in the Sigerson Cup will impress Cork senior boss Ronan McCarthy. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

It's been a chastening few weeks for goalkeepers.

Jordan Pickford's blunder cost Everton in the Merseyside derby. Not long afterwards, Liverpool stopper Alisson blundered in their clash with Manchester United. In the end, his team bailed him out but that only makes him one of the lucky ones. Often when one of the goalkeepers' union makes a mistake, there is no coming back.

Cork's Anthony Casey has been there. In the All-Ireland U-21 final of 2016, Casey didn't have his best day as a late kick out went wrong to hand Mayo the initiative in what was a tight game.

Five goals

The Rebels conceded five goals in the defeat and Casey was the subject of a predictable torrent of online abuse. It might have broken his confidence for good but it's something he believes has made him stronger.

"It was a life experience, yeah," Casey reflected. "For a 20-year-old college student to get the online attention that I didn't want, it was, yeah. It was just around the time of exams too, so stress was high and everything. But I took it on the chin, drove on.

"It's in the past. And I have bounced back. You don't go out to lose a game or to make a mistake. But definitely, and the same year I won the club county championship with my club so that was a big year.

"We've gone up to the senior ranks so we've done a lot. We gave it a fair belt the first year we went up as well. We're pushing on now so we are."

"That's modern life. Social media is a dangerous auld tool so it is. It can be used against you but it can also be used for you. Look, it's something I've moved on from."

Casey looked to have walked that day off pretty quickly. Just a few months after his Ennis nightmare, he produced a big performance making three big saves as his Kiskeam club won the Cork Premier IFC, the first time the club had reached the senior ranks in their 71-year history.

His form has been recognised by Cork and his year, he made his debut for the seniors in their league clash against Cavan. And he's looking to push on again in 2019 and challenge Mark White for the number one jersey with the Rebels.

And he's hoping a good run with CIT in the Sigerson Cup can help get him further into the thinking of manager Ronan McCarthy.

"That's the thing for a 'keeper. You're almost hoping he (the first choice) gets injured so you get your chance. Once you're in then you're nearly....unless you do something awful you're nearly guaranteed your position. It's that sort of a position, it's a tough one.

"I'm very keen to keep pushing on. I'm trying my best anyway so I am. But there's not many chances to play college football so obviously college will be one of my main aims as well.

"Who knows what will happen, on the day of the championship anything can happen, hopefully there'll be enough fight in us to get over the line."

Despite a couple of up and down years for the Leesiders, he believes there is plenty of talent in the county to challenge for promotion from division two despite the retirements of the likes of Colm O'Neill and Donncha O'Connor.

"(We have lost) massive experience but it happens. And it has to happen because time shoves on.

Injury

"Colm O'Neill had to retire through injury and Donncha has been playing for Cork for a good few years. Massive players, massive experience. Even last year when they used to come on, the experience they had was second to none."

"There is a lot of talent in there and there is a lot of positivity there, there's a good vibe in the set-up.

"I don't know, just on the day it didn't work out this year. Everyone puts in so much work between travelling and training and putting things on hold, it's a lot of commitment and any poor results haven't been for any lack of effort.

"Definitely credit is due to everyone that plays inter-county and gives up their time, because it's not easy. There is talent there, it's just about getting the glue and the gel and putting it all together."

Irish Independent