Ciarán Sheehan says advanced mark can be ‘weapon’

Ciarán Sheehan says advanced mark can be ‘weapon’
Ciarán Sheehan: Highlighted the importance of patience. Picture: Sportsfile

Cork full-forward and former AFL footballer Ciarán Sheehan believes the advanced mark can be a “weapon” for the county this season.

The Division 3 table-toppers have made just two marks across their opening three league fixtures, only one of which — Luke Connolly, away to Leitrim — produced a white flag.

But pointing to Ruairí Deane, Ian Maguire, and All-Ireland U20 winner Colm O’Callaghan in highlighting the depth of impressive fielders within the Cork set-up, Sheehan is adamant that should Ronan McCarthy’s side utilise the new rule, they can benefit from the advanced mark as the year progresses.

“The inside mark could be a potential weapon for us. We haven’t really tapped into it yet. We’ll work on that in training and see can we use that to our advantage,” the 29-year-old said.

“There were a couple of [other] areas that we really wanted to focus in on before we got to that stage of really practicing the mark. But I think there is opportunity there.

“I haven’t seen much of it throughout all the league games this year, I don’t know if teams are really working on it.

“It is certainly a weapon we could use. We have a couple of really strong, tall forwards at the moment, in the likes of Colm O’Callaghan, a big man, Ruairi Deane, Ian Maguire drifts in from time to time.

Certainly, it is something we have thought about but haven’t really worked on to the extent we could work on it.

Sunday’s home win against Down provided several opportunities to experiment with the new rule as Down, when facing the elements in the opening half, placed a wall of bodies just inside their 45-metre line.

But instead of kicking long to the inside line, where former Cartlon man Sheehan was positioned, Cork opted for patience, deciding to work the ball through the hands until a gap presented itself.

“Every full-forward line is dealing with that at the moment, all teams are dropping players back.

“The key word there is patience. You spray the ball around, plenty of movement, and you usually get on the end of it. That is something we need to work on as a forward line, that movement off the ball.

"That will come with time.”

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