Conor O’Sullivan’s Cork exit offers opportunity to others, says Johnny Crowley

Cork hurling selector Johnny Crowley believes that, while the departure of corner-back Conor O’Sullivan isn’t ideal, it gives others a chance to stake a claim for a place.

O’Sullivan informed manager Jimmy Barry-Murphy and his selectors of his decision prior to Sunday’s Allianz HL Division 1 semi-final win over Dublin, having initially been named as a substitute for the clash.

It means that, of last year’s panel, the injured Christopher Joyce, Eoin Cadogan — who is now playing football — and fellow departee William Egan are all absent this year.

“Obviously, we’d have liked if Conor had stayed,” Crowley said, “it was his choice, we asked him to think about it but he said he wanted to focus on his club hurling.

“You’d like to have everybody available but we have to work with what we have now and there are fellas there who’ll take this opportunity to push on.

“We’ll sit down after the league final against Waterford and look at the panel as a whole and see where we are then.”

O’Sullivan, originally called up by Gerald McCarthy during the strike of 2009, retained his place in the squad following the return of those who had been unavailable and established himself as a starter under Barry-Murphy.

While the Sarsfields clubman shone during the run to the 2013 All-Ireland final, groin surgery after that prevented him for returning to action until well into 2014 and he didn’t play any part in last year’s championship campaign.

Though he started against Kilkenny and Clare in the opening two games of this year’s league campaign, he only featured as a substitute thereafter.

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