Cork 2010 All-Ireland winner Paddy Kelly has retired from inter-county football.
Kelly, 31, confirmed to the Irish Examiner that he met up with Peadar Healy last weekend to inform the Cork manager that he was calling time on his inter-county career.
Kelly, who made his senior debut in 2008, enjoyed plenty of success in his first five seasons with Cork, personifying the team’s consistency.
Over that period of time, he would win an All-Ireland, three National League Division One medals, three Munster titles, three All-Star nominations as well as a Division Two league medal.
However, the second half of his career would be plagued with recurring injury troubles — in 2015 alone he tore his calf four times — and featured no further silverware with Cork.
After starting in the 2012 All-Ireland semi-final defeat against Donegal, he would start in only four of Cork’s subsequent 16 championship games and his county would fail to make it back to the last four of the All-Ireland series.
There were glimpses last summer that he still had plenty to offer at the highest level.
His introduction at half-time in a third-round qualifier against Longford turned the game in Cork’s favour with his playmaking skills, prompting team selector Eoin O’Neill to herald the Ballincollig man as a “super footballer, a genius”.
Kelly would also be brought on the following week against Donegal in Croke Park but would fail to get on the scoresheet as Cork ended up losing by three points.
With Daniel Goulding and Fintan Goold also finishing up on their Cork careers this past winter, it means Healy can now only call on seven of the 21 Cork players who got gametime in the 2010 All-Ireland final.
Eoin Cadogan, Alan O’Connor, Donncha O’Connor, Paul Kerrigan and Colm O’Neill have all signed up for another season while Michael Shields and Aidan Walsh have rejoined the panel.
Kelly does intend to continue playing with Ballincollig who he helped to a first-ever county senior title in 2014 and reach another county final in 2016.
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