Cork star Daniel Goulding has no doubts regarding the ability of club and county team-mate Ciarán Sheehan to succeed in the AFL.
It was revealed yesterday that Sheehan would swap Cork and Éire Óg for Carlton Blues, with whom he had previously been linked. Goulding believes that Carlton’s willingness to come back for Sheehan shows how highly they rate him.
“They were obviously interested in him with a while as they had him over a couple of years ago,” he said.
“When they saw him in the international rules again it probably rekindled their interest in him. They obviously saw enough to think that he could still make it out there.
“From playing alongside him, you can see that he’s a talented lad, he’s good at everything and he applies himself well.
“In that sense I don’t he has any problem and they wouldn’t be taking him unless they thought he could do it. I don’t think he’ll have any problems adjusting.”
From a playing and personal point of view, however, Goulding makes no bones about the size of the loss.
“It’s a great opportunity for Ciarán,” he said, “and everybody is mostlyreally happy for him, but if you’re from Éire Óg or Cork it’s disappointing that you’re losing a top-class player.
“We’re going to be losing one of the best players in the club and one of the best in Cork, that’s going to be hard for a club to take. He’s such a nice fella as well, everybody in the club gets on with him.”
Goulding’s Cork team-mate Eoin Cadogan echoed those views and felt Sheehan’s age allowed him a fallback if the moved didn’t work out.
“From a Cork point of view and a selfish point of view, you’d have to be extremely disappointed to see him go,” Cadogan said. “In saying that, it’s a huge opportunity for him, he’s only 22, so if things didn’t work out — and we hope they do — he’d be coming back when he was still in his prime.
“From my point of view or from that of anybody in the squad, you’d only wish him well.”
Cadogan feels Sheehan’s ball-winning in the air is an attribute that has developed this year.
“This year, he really highlighted his aerial ability against Kerry and Dublin and in the international rules he showed that he was intelligent on the ball and he can only improve outside there,” he said.
“He’s probably deceiving in that you mightn’t think he’d get up as high off the ground as he does, but he has shown just how good he is. He can only get better and better by practising those things all the time in a professional set-up.”
And the one bright spot from a Cork point of view is that the absence of Sheehan, and the five players who have retired in the past month, creates opportunities for others.
“Ciarán’s loss is another guy’s opportunity and it’s the same case for all of the other lads who have retired,” Cadogan said.
“They’ve all been huge stalwarts and it’s not just one position that needs filling, so it’s up to everyone else now to put their hands up and show that they’re good enough and want a spot bad enough.”
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