Westmeath talisman John Heslin unperturbed by International Rules snub

Westmeath talisman and former Aussie Rules rookie John Heslin has insisted he’s not upset about his International Rules snub.

Attacker Heslin helped Westmeath to promotion in the Allianz League and more recently powered St Loman’s to a three-in-a-row of county titles. His goal just seconds into the county final, part of a 2-6 haul, was described as one of the greatest ever seen at Cusack Park.

He then blasted 1-7 in the AIB Leinster Club quarter-final win over Mullinalaghta, setting up Sunday’s last-four showdown with Simonstown of Meath. But Ireland boss Joe Kernan still didn’t fancy Heslin and declined to include him in the 50-plus players that were called for trials.

St Loman’s boss Luke Dempsey said: “I was genuinely disappointed that John wasn’t even asked into the initial phase of it. I don’t mind going on the record saying that.”

Heslin had trials in the past but said it boiled down to Kernan believing that he “wasn’t good enough” this time.

“I was in before, yeah,” said Heslin. “I was good enough a while ago, (but this year) I wasn’t good enough!”

The 25-year-old two-time Leinster SFC finalist insisted it’s no big deal.

“Maybe sometime down the line I might get that opportunity,” said the former Richmond Tigers rookie.

“But you can’t disagree with someone’s opinion to not call you in. I wouldn’t feel hard done by at all. There’s a fantastic group to pick from at that level, at inter-county level there’s a toss of a coin between anyone.

“There’s a number of lads who would have felt hard done by not going this year and, in the years before. One guy in particular, Gearoid McKiernan (Cavan), didn’t get going and he’s a fantastic player.”


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