Cork in the hunt for a new full-back after O’Sullivan called it a day

Cork in the hunt for a new full-back after O’Sullivan called it a day

Jamie O'Sullivan blocks down Paul Geaney. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

CORK footballers must find a replacement full-back following Jamie O'Sullivan's decision hang up his inter-county boots.

The Bishopstown player joined Colm O'Neill and Donncha O'Connor in calling time on his Cork career, which began in 2010 under Conor Counihan's management.

Jamie O'Sullivan takes on Tomás Brady in 2015. Picture: Cody Glenn/SPORTSFILE
Jamie O'Sullivan takes on Tomás Brady in 2015. Picture: Cody Glenn/SPORTSFILE

During his time in the red jersey, the 30-years-old engineer won an All-Ireland in his first season, a Munster in 2012, three leagues in-a-row from 2010 as well as an All-Ireland U21 in 09.

O'Sullivan's collection also includes a Sigerson Cup with UCC in 2011 and with Bishopstown he won back-to-back county U21 hurling medals in 2007 and 08.

Bishopstown's Jamie O'Sullivan and Mark Driscoll tussle with O'Donovan Rossa's Sean Carmody. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Bishopstown's Jamie O'Sullivan and Mark Driscoll tussle with O'Donovan Rossa's Sean Carmody. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

His last game for Cork was the heavy fourth-round qualifying defeat by Tyrone in July, having been the unlikely opening goal-scorer against Kerry in the first Munster final at the re-developed Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Cork start 2019 with a first-round McGrath Cup tie against Limerick in Rathkeale on Sunday at 2pm.

Ronan McCarthy's charges are the defending champions after O'Sullivan captained the side to victory over Clare in last season's final, when an injury-time goal from Stephen Sherlock got Cork over the line, winning by 3-13 to 3-12.

Apart from the retirees, Aidan Walsh is another who'll be absent from the football set-up after opting to re-join the hurlers for the 2019 campaign.

McCarthy and company will use the McGrath Cup to fling the net over potential candidates bidding for places in the league panel.

Cork begin their division 2 season with the long-haul trip to Fermanagh at the end of the month.

Clare, who will be another of Cork's league opponents, travel to play Waterford in the other McGrath Cup semi-final on Sunday.

The final is set for the following Saturday with the expectation of a repeat Cork-Clare decider.

A new year with a new season looming large is a reminder of the many players who've graced pitches up and down the country during distinguished careers who will do so no longer.

Kerry, who are not competing in the McGrath Cup, lost the likes of Kieran Donaghy, Donnchadh Walsh, Anthony Maher and Darran O'Sullivan at the tail end of 2018, all deciding enough was enough in terms of their inter-county careers.

With five All-Ireland minors on the spin, the Kingdom, who have Peter Keane at the helm in 2019, won't lack replacements even if they are obviously short on experience.

Money couldn't buy the level of know-how this quartet brought to the Kerry camp with Donaghy the leading light, having won four All-Irelands and three Allstars, as well as being a former Footballer of the Year, during a glittering career, where he was comfortable either at midfield or full-forward.

Less decorated but still a colussus for Tipperary was midfielder George Hannigan who brought the curtain down on his 13-year innings with division 3 league medals in 2009 and 2017, in addition to a division 4 medal in 2014, some of the highlights.

Seam Armstrong retired a second time and probably for good on this occasion, having opted out in 2014 before re-joining the Galway panel, while Mark Lynch ended his 14-year association with Derry.

More in this section

Sponsored Content