Kissane bows out, happy to have lived his Rebel dream

 Paudie Kissane: 'My dream, since I was a young fella, was to play with Cork.'

Cork’s 2010 All Star half-back Paudie Kissane has retired from inter-county football.

The 33-year-old, who won an intermediate county title with Clyda Rovers earlier this month, only made his Championship debut at the age of 28, having appeared briefly on the senior county panel in 2002 and 2003.

But in just six seasons, he packed in an impressive haul, claiming an All-Ireland title, three Munster crowns, three Division 1 titles as well as a Division 2 win.

“My dream, since I was a young fella, was to play with Cork and I feel extremely lucky and privileged to have been given that opportunity.

“As a player, naturally you always remember some of your disappoint-ments and wish you won more, but I can’t complain, considering what’s been achieved since 2008.”

Kissane will now concentrate on developing his athlete development and coaching business. He is currently undertaking a masters degree in strength and conditioning in St Mary’s, London.

His decision to hang up his boots follows his fellow half-back Noel O’Leary’s earlier this month.

He never considered himself a martyr for devoting so much of his life to an amateur cause.

“I don’t think it’s getting too demanding. Okay, you can’t go here and you can’t go there, you’re watching your nutrition and your hydration, the video analysis. You’re missing out on weddings and stags but it’s worth it.

“People say to me ‘Jesus, you make great sacrifices’. But I never saw it as sacrifices.

“I did it because I genuinely wanted to do it. If I wanted to go pinting every weekend I would have done that. I was happy to do it.

“When the ball was thrown in at Páirc Uí Chaoimh or Fitzgerald Stadium, the pitch was where you wanted to be.”

Kissane paid particular tribute to Conor Counihan who invited him back into the panel six years ago.

“I am very grateful to Conor for giving me another chance in 2008 to represent my county at the highest level. I would like to thank my family and all those close to me for their ongoing support and encouragement over the years and also my own club Clyda Rovers. I wish every success to Brian Cuthbert and his new management team for 2014 and beyond.”


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