Shields to captain Cork footballers

Shields to captain Cork footballers

With Graham Canty now in retirement, new Cork senior football manager Brian Cuthbert has turned to another defender to be his captain.

Michael Shields, a cornerstone of the Rebels' full-back line, is to take over from Canty as skipper for the 2014 campaign.

He is no stranger to the captaincy having led the county to back-to-back Allianz League titles in 2010 and 2011, and he also assumed the role for the 2010 All-Ireland final and 2012 Munster final wins.

"Michael has a lot of experience playing for Cork and he's ready to lead the group. I think he'll be very good in the role," Cuthbert told the Irish Examiner.

Two-time All-Star Shields, who helped Ireland win the International Rules series recently, was vice-captain to Canty in the Cork set-up.

The 27-year-old is now one of only two survivors from the Cork team that started the 2007 All-Ireland decider against Kerry, with Donncha O'Connor being the other.

A number of Shields' defensive colleagues, including goalkeeper Alan Quirke, Paudie Kissane and Noel O'Leary, have retired in recent weeks with forwards Pearse O'Neill (retirement) and Ciaran Sheehan (moving to Australian Rules club Carlton) also no longer part of Cuthbert's plans.

The new Cork boss is calling on the county's young guns to step up to the mark in their absence, stating: "Five have retired and with Ciaran's news it's six. If I was 19 or 20 and I saw movement like that I'd be saying, 'there's a great opportunity here'."

Meanwhile, Paudie Kissane has wasted little time in taking on his first inter-county coaching brief. It was revealed on Wednesday that the 2010 All-Star wing back will be coaching the Clare senior footballers next season.

Having been invited on board by new Clare supremo Colm Collins 'a few weeks ago', Kissane informed the Irish Examiner: "It was never a case of it being a situation that I was giving up Cork to go and coach Clare, but after I retired I discussed it a bit more with him and we came to an agreement earlier this week.

"It's a new step and one that I'm delighted to be taking. Colm has a three-year term I think so we'll see how we go with it, I'm looking forward to getting started."

Kissane is well-qualified to make an immediate move into inter-county coaching, with a degree in sports science, a Master's course on the go and his own workshop and consultancy service he runs with athletes and clubs.

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