Bantry Blues’ defender Emma Spillane confirmed yesterday she has opted out of the Cork senior ladies football panel for 2020.
The 2017 All-Star will be on college duty with UCC in the O’Connor Cup next weekend, but won’t be making a return to the county set-up until next year at the very least.
“I decided in January to take a break from Cork this year. I’ve been playing with Cork underage teams and senior since I was about 12.
“I took a break this year and hopefully I’ll go back again next year,” Spillane explained at a HEC Third Level Championship Captain’s Day in Croke Park. The girls are doing great in the league. They’ve won every game they’ve played so far. Hopefully, they can keep that up and maintain their league title.”
While Cork are in the hunt for a seventh National Football League crown in eight seasons, they haven’t tasted All-Ireland glory since 2016.
If they are to reclaim the Brendan Martin Cup in Spillane’s absence, the Leesiders will have to negotiate a new format that will see them featuring in a group of six teams following the completion of the Munster Championship. Spillane welcomes this restructure and believes Cork possess the strength in depth to deal with a hectic schedule.
“When it comes to summer time, the more games you have the better. That’s what you are training all winter for. I think it’s fantastic that there’s more games. I think it will really bring players on and give more players a chance,” Spillane added.
“When games are closer together, you need a strong panel of players and you can’t just be relying on the 15 or 20 that you use in games. “I think it’s important that you have a good panel of players for the championship.”