JOE talks to Carlton's Ciaran Sheehan about the Cork footballers and the All-Ireland Final
The former Cork footballer sat down with us to talk about his view from Australia on all things Gaelic Games...
The Cork footballers endured a disappointing first season under new manager Brian Cuthbert losing heavily to Kerry in the Munster Final and exiting at the hands of Mayo in the All-Ireland Quarter Final. It was always going to be difficult with the number of changes to the panel as numerous players retired but arguably the biggest blow was Ciaran Sheehan's move the Aussie Rules club Carlton.
Sheehan's progression during the eight month he's been in Oz had been incredible. For most of the season, he was involved with Carlton's affiliate club Northern Blues in the Victoria Football League but last month he made his full AFL debut with the senior first team against Gold Coast.
JOE's Joe Harrington sat down with Ciaran to chat about his experience over there so far (click here to read that piece) but we also wanted to get his views on all things gaelic football. Scroll down for his opinion on Cork and the All-Ireland Final.
Sheehan on... the Cork footballers' season
Yeah, I saw all of the games online on GAAGO and to be honest it was tough to watch especially the Munster Final and the Mayo game. It was tough seeing the lads go out there and try their best and for it to not quite work out.
It's a shame to see them get the abuse they got after it, no player goes out to not play well, all those lads go out and try their best. Some of the comments made about them were very disappointing and from a personal point of view that was difficult to look on at.
Sheehan on... watching Cork as a supporter and not being involved
It's probably one of the hardest things about the whole thing because I spent the last five years with all those boys and I grew up with a few of team as well so it is tough watching on.
At the same time, I'm happy with my decision because it came at the right time but I definitely think about playing Cork football all the time and at some stage I've no doubt I'll be back in the red jersey.
Sheehan on... Kerry and Donegal reaching the All-Ireland Final
I'm not too surprised they're the two teams left to be honest. I said to my girlfriend Amy a few months ago that both teams could go far especially after the Munster Final with the quality of football Kerry played. I saw the way Donegal were going in Ulster and was impressed, they'd a good game plan and they were sticking to it well and they seemed to be on an upward curve.
I always thought it was going to be difficult for Dublin with the amount of expectation on them, it's always hard when there's that much pressure being put you. Yeah, I saw Kerry and Donegal going pretty far, maybe not the final, but it's set up to be a great game.
Sheehan on... playing against Kerry
I don't think people realise how good Kerry are at adapting to an opposition's style of play. They are so strong mentally and they have this ability to come together as a team and take on anyone no matter what the tactics, I've seen them do it against Cork and all the big teams down through the years.
They're such a good team to adapt during a game and a big plus for them heading into the final is their ability to kick long range points which is vital against Jim Guinness's side.
Sheehan on... playing against Donegal
I played against Donegal in the All-Ireland semi final a few years back, their power and fitness was something else and unfortunately we couldn't match them on the day.
I think they're definitely back to those levels and with that power and physicality you can never underestimate them and they're well worth their place in the final. It should be a cracker, I'm really looking forward to it.
Sheehan on... who's going to win the Final
Sheehan on... whether he'll line out for his club Éire Óg while he's back home
No, I won't be playing. It's been a long year and I've been suffering with a bit of osteitis pubis which is an injury in the groin during the season. Luckily I've had physios constantly with me over in Carlton so I've been able to manage it pretty well so being home and going out playing would be a bit of a risk because it's my livelihood and I'm also keen to be fully fit for pre-season because I missed half of it this year.
I think everyone in Éire Óg understand that but I fully believe I'll be home playing with the club at some stage but I need to give the body a bit of a rest. At the moment though I'll be on the sidelines cheering them on and wishing them well.