Cork footballers await permission from Collingwood to include Mark Keane in Munster Final

Cork football boss Ronan McCarthy says they’ve formally asked Collingwood for permission to be able to include Mark Keane in their panel for Sunday week’s Munster Football Championship final with Tipperary.

The Mitchelstown man was a surprise inclusion on the bench for last weekend’s semi final clash with Kerry, ultimately scoring the winning goal with the last kick of the game in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

On last night’s media call ahead of the clash with Tipp, McCarthy says they’ve gone through the official channels and are now waiting to hear back from the AFL side.

“There’s two elements to this – one is the player wanted to play, and two is that obviously we need permission from the club.

“Mark last year was in training with us, at another point around pre season time, he was in with us for a couple of weeks. He’s very interested in Cork football, he’s always stayed in touch in relation to how we’re getting on, and letting us know when he’s coming home.

“The first part of this was he was absolutely and utterly eager to play, to come in and help us out – that was the first element of it. Then from our point of view and the county board’s point of view, you don’t want a situation where a professional player is in with us and his club aren’t aware of it and they haven’t given us permission.

“Once he indicated that he wanted to come in, basically then at that point we said go back to the club and get it sorted, and that was done and done in writing.”

McCarthy says that Keane showed early on in training that he could make an impact, and is backing him to be even better against Tipperary.

“He came in initially on a training basis, we never really kind of discussed it until it became an issue for the game. Even the first night he was there, granted he was slow getting into it, but by the end of it you could see he was making an impact.

“He’s a great target man, good at getting people into the game, and as he showed on Sunday he’s quite deft with his feet. As it developed it was quite obvious he had something to offer us. We had nothing to lose really, if he came in and wasn’t ready he’s still adding to the quality of training, but it was clear fairly quickly that he would have something to offer.

“Even the game last Sunday, he was in for a good period, it wasn’t that he had a blinder, but he was very instrumental in the score when we were a point down around 70 minutes, he showed for the ball and played a lovely ball into Michael Hurley, and obviously you have the goal.

“He made an impact in the game, but for the length of time you’d hope to get more out of him. But I think that will come the longer he’s with us and he gets another two weeks training under his belt and you’d think it’s only stronger he’ll get.”

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