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Former Kerry captain Sheehan calls time on glittering inter-county career

The 32-year-old helped the Kingdom to five All-Ireland titles and nine Munster crowns.

Sheehan represented his county at all grades.
Sheehan represented his county at all grades.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

FORMER KERRY CAPTAIN Bryan Sheehan has today announced his retirement from inter-county football after a glittering 17-year career in the green and gold.

Regarded as one of the finest long-range free takers in the game, Sheehan helped the Kingdom to five All-Ireland titles, nine Munster championship crowns and three league successes.

The 32-year-old made his senior debut for Kerry in 2005 and would go on to make 66 championship appearances for his county as well as winning an All-Star award in 2011 after an outstanding season.

Sheehan captained the Kingdom in 2016 and hangs up his boots having represented and indeed captained his county in all grades.

In a statement released this afternoon, he said: ”Today I would like to announce my retirement from the Kerry Senior Football Team. It has been an absolute honour for me to wear the Green and Gold jersey for 17 years, 14 of those with the Senior Team.

“It was always a childhood dream to play for Kerry and to do so for so long fills me with great pride. I’ve been so lucky to play with some of the best players that the game has ever seen, and will be forever grateful for sharing an unbelievable journey with them. Thank you for all the memories, but more importantly for the friendships.

“I would like to thank all the managers for whom I’ve played under, for the guidance and support shown to me. I would like to thank the County Board for their continuous support, all the management teams, doctors, physios and backroom teams for everything they have done to help me.

“A big thank you to the ever-loyal Kerry supporters for the support you have shown to me throughout my career.

“I would especially like to thank to my Club St. Mary’s for all the support and help they have given me. Thanks for giving me the opportunity not just to wear the Kerry jersey, but to captain Kerry at Minor, U21, and Senior level. I look forward to continue playing football with St. Mary’s and South Kerry.

Bryan Sheehan celebrates scoring a late point Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“Finally, and most importantly, I would like to pay a special thank you to my wife Ita and my family, without whom none of this would have been possible. The unconditional love and support you have given me is what kept me going all these years, through good times and bad. Every time I put on that Kerry jersey I did my best to make you proud. The sacrifices you’ve made in order for me to fulfil my dream have been immense and I will be forever grateful.

“While the decision to retire was difficult to make, I’m excited for what lies ahead. With the arrival of a baby in January I’m looking forward to the beginning of a new chapter in my life.”

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice also paid tribute to Sheehan, who endeared himself to the Kingdom faithful throughout his career.

“On behalf of the management and players I would like to congratulate Bryan on his retirement,” Fitzmaurice said.

“He has been an outstanding servant for Kerry stretching back to 2004, winning five All Irelands on the way. He has also had remarkable success at club level. His kicking ability has always been his biggest strength. His dead ball kicking is second to none and he is the ultimate stylist. I wish him all the best for the future, both on and off the field.

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