CARRIGALINE'S Shane Griffin revealed that it was a former teammate of his that played a part in his move to Shelbourne.
Griffin signed for Shels earlier this month after spending two years with St Patrick’s Athletic.
He got a message from former Cork City teammate Karl Sheppard explaining of Shels’ interest and the former Carrigaline United schoolboy was instantly drawn to the newly promoted club.
“First I knew of any interest was when I received a message from Shep, telling me to expect a call from Shels because they had been onto him looking for my number," Griffin said.
"It was two days after the Cup final when Damien Duff messaged me asking could he give me a call. It was a bit surreal seeing a massage on my phone from someone of his caliber.
"To tell you the truth; I was a bit nervous of the call because of what Duffer had achieved in the game.
“But, he was so humble on the phone and really impressed me. He knew so much about my game and that was something that instantly caught my attention.
"He spoke about my role in the team and his ambitions for the club and after that call I was keen to sign. I think both parties wanted to get the deal done quickly because I wanted it sorted before I went on holiday, and I signed without even meeting the manager, although he did explain to me on the phone that he would normally want to meet the player first.”
Griffin’s two years at Pats was disrupted between Covid and a shoulder injury that kept him out of action for several months.
Although the former City player enjoyed his time at the club, he didn’t see a future with the FAI Cup winners and felt it was the right time to move on.
“I did enjoy my time at Pats. I think I am a better player leaving the club. I got to play with some talented players and worked under some excellent coaches.
"I was unclear about my future at the club. It was disappointing that during my first season, Covid brought a halt to the season and this year the shoulder injury meant I was sidelined for several months, so I think it would be fair to say that I never really got going.
“With the cup final, it wasn't the same as when I had won it in the past with City. I certainly enjoyed winning it with City more because I started in the final.
"This time; I was more happy for the lads rather than myself. I was delighted that we won and I think the lads deserved it but I would say I probably value my medals with City more.
“I suppose being on the bench, you do take in the occasion more because you get time to reflect during the game whereas when you are playing, you don’t really notice what is going on around you because you are so focussed on the game.
"You don’t realise just how big an occasion it is.
“Before the cup final, I hadn’t received any contact from the club regarding a new contract. I didn’t hear anything from them after it either. I know they started talking to lads after the final but I presumed I wasn’t high on their list of who they wanted to talk to.
"With Stephen (O’Donnell) leaving, I just thought it was the right time for me to seek a new challenge. My aim was to stay playing in the Premier Division and to stay in Dublin.
"It’s crazy with how promotion and relegation turned out how many Dublin clubs or clubs close by are going to be in the division. There will be very little traveling.”
Having finished the season a month after his new club, Griffin plans on returning to Cork for the off-season before returning for pre-season training with Shels in January.
“I know the lads are back in the gym but since we got to the cup final with Pats; the manager has given me a bit of extra time off.
"I will be down in Cork for the off-season and go back in January. I will still have to do my own gym work down here because nowadays, you can’t afford to come back to pre-season out of shape, and it’s a big year for me.
"After the frustration of the last two years I really want to kick-on this year.”