Monday 19 August 2019

Unlucky Sheehan undecided on return to Cork

Ciaran Sheehan. Photo: Sportsfile
Ciaran Sheehan. Photo: Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

When news broke last month that the Carlton AFL club in Melbourne had released Ciaran Sheehan, ears pricked up in Cork.

Would he return and resume a career that saw him win an All-Ireland title at the age of 19 in 2010?

He would certainly be welcomed by new manager Ronan McCarthy but for now, at least, Sheehan is uncertain what the future holds.

Of course, things can change very quickly. Sheehan watched the first Ireland-Australia Test at home in Melbourne last Sunday but inside 48 hours he was in Perth training for this morning's second game.

Injury and illness in the squad prompted Joe Kernan to fly out Monaghan's Darren Hughes and also call in Sheehan.

Opportunities

"I jumped at the chance. It's a huge honour to represent your country at anything. I played this game before and I love it," said Sheehan.

As for returning to Cork, he has yet to decide his next move after being let go by Carlton.

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"I'm seeing what might happen, what opportunities might arise," he said. "I'm still not sure if I'm going to stay out here or go back home."

McCarthy will be tracking Sheehan, who would be a big addition to the Cork attack.

He celebrates his 27th birthday tomorrow so he still has several years to give to top-level sport provided that he stays free of injury.

He has been very unfortunate over the last few years, suffering a string of setbacks which reduced his prospects of advancing in the ultra-competitive AFL.

"The body is good at the moment but I've had a fair few setbacks. I've had six operations in the last two-and-half years so it's been an up-and-down career. But I'm in a good place now," he said.

Hip and knee problems topped his list of setbacks, forcing him out for long periods.

"There were some difficult moments - anyone who has been through serious injuries understands that," said Sheehan.

"It's how you react to it and how dedicated you are to get back that's always the driving force. It's not as simple as it might sound to come out to Australia and carve out an AFL career."

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