Cork footballers have sought permission to play Mark Keane against Tipp

Cork footballers have sought permission to play Mark Keane against Tipp

Mark Keane warming up for Cork before the Munster semi-final against Kerry last weekend at rain-soaked Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

MARK Keane is a legend on Leeside this week, after his goal sent Cork into the Munster final and Kerry crashing out of the championship.

The Mitchelstown native is contracted to Aussie Rules club Collingwood and his inclusion in the squad last weekend was a welcome surprise. Ultimately his presence at the edge of the square was the difference in beating the Kingdom for the first time since 2012.

In the press conference ahead of the provincial decider against Tipperary, Cork manager Ronan McCarthy revealed they have contacted the AFL outfit for permission to tog him out again. Though he's not due back Down Under for preseason until January, his availability is at Collingwood's discretion. 

Tipp's Colin O'Riordan, now a Sydney Swan, hasn't been able to line out for the Premier though his career is more advanced than Keane, who has only played one senior game and isn't 21 until next March. 

“At the end of the day, we have to acknowledge he’s their player on a professional and contractual basis and we’re delighted with the support they have given us and him. But at some point wherever that will be, it may become an issue and that’s their right and entitlement," said McCarthy.

“The right way to do it is to formally ask for permission to use him and hopefully it’s forthcoming and if it’s not then we understand that as well because they also have to think of themselves. Look it, he’s their player, it’s their call.”

The Rebels will have home advantage against Tipp on Sunday week, as they hosted the 2018 clash in Thurles. 

“It’s great. You’re looking for any advantage you can get. Between league matches and the Kerry game last Sunday, we’ve put a little run together of playing consistently at home so we need to try and keep that going.”

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