Cooper to Walsh: Five fresh faces who've made a difference to Cork this year

These five are part of the reason Cork are in another SHC semi-final this Sunday.

Aidan Walsh has been an important player for Cork this year.
Aidan Walsh has been an important player for Cork this year.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Bill Cooper

COOPER, 26, PREVIOUSLY featured for the Cork seniors under Denis Walsh but has made a sensational impact this season under current boss Jimmy Barry-Murphy.

Cooper, a former Fitzgibbon Cup finalist with CIT, made his debut for Cork during the 2011 Allianz Hurling League but really announced his arrival on the intercounty scene with a crucial goal in the drawn Munster SHC quarter-final against Waterford.

Cooper’s cameo role earned him a start for the replay and the Youghal man justified Barry-Murphy’s faith in him with a three-point haul.

Cooper, like his fellow Cork forwards, is blessed with a sensational touch, pace and a keen eye for a score.

Alan Cadogan

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Cadogan, 21, has emerged as one of the real stars of the 2014 season.

On his championship debut against Waterford, the Douglas dynamo weighed in with 0-4 and followed that up with another point in the comfortable replay victory.

A testament to Cadogan’s ability is that he has been compared to former Cork ace Joe Deane, who was renowned for his impish style in the corner.

Cadogan chipped in with three points in the Munster final victory over Limerick and the dual star, younger brother of Eoin, is a key man for Cork.

Mark Ellis

Mark Ellis, 23, has slotted into the Cork back line with a composure and assuredness that suggest he’s been there for years.

But Ellis had to wait until this year’s championship for his senior inter-county championship debut against Waterford.

The Millstreet man hasn’t looked back since but he’ll have his hands full with Tipperary bulwark Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher on Sunday.

Ellis, however, is a 2009 Munster intermediate medallist and the chance to play in the senior grade was one that he was waiting for.

An injury-interrupted League campaign merely whetted his appetite for action but Ellis has been busy making up for lost time this summer.

Damien Cahalane

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Cahalane, 22, was one of our six young footballers to watch in 2013 but he committed to both codes this year. It was a big call for the St Finbarr’s clubman, who has won Cork SFC honours with Castlehaven.

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Cahalane captained Cork to glory in last year’s Cadbury Munster U21 football championship as the Rebels went all the way to the final, before losing to Galway.

But Cahalane is obviously a talented hurler too, having made his first appearance for Cork in the 2012 championship, lining out against Wexford in the qualifiers.

And Cahalane has made a big impact on the edge of the Cork square this season.

Aidan Walsh

Walsh, 24, needs no introduction to Cork fans. His midfield partnership with Daniel Kearney was one of the main reasons why the Rebels stormed to Munster glory this summer.

Before starring for the hurlers in the provincial decider, Walsh was busy dragging the footballers out of jail in the Munster semi-final against Tipperary; his late scores salvaging a dangerous situation.

Walsh is renowned for his power and athleticism around the middle third of the field and while he may have been earmarked for an attacking berth earlier in the season, the Kanturk man has found a home in the centre.

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Jackie Cahill

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