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Cork wait on Collingwood permission to call on Keane for Munster final

Keane was the goalscoring hero for Cork in Sunday’s Munster semi-final.

Mark Keane celebrates after the win over Kerry.
Mark Keane celebrates after the win over Kerry.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Updated Nov 11th 2020, 9:30 PM

THE CORK FOOTBALL management are waiting for permission from AFL side Collingwood as to whether Mark Keane will be available for the Munster football final on Sunday week.

Keane was the goalscoring hero as they dumped out Kerry at the semi-final stage on Sunday.

The game marked the 20-year-old’s first senior outing for Cork after Collingwood had given him the green light to link up with the squad when he returned home to Ireland after the 2020 AFL season had drawn to a close.

Manager Ronan McCarthy confirmed tonight that they made the request yesterday and will now wait to see if they can call upon Keane for the game against Tipperary in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Collingwood’s involvement in the AFL Finals Series ended on 10 October, with this season delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The return to training plan for the 2021 season in the AFL indicates that first to fourth year players are set to resume training for a two week block from 7 December.

“We only requested it yesterday so we’ll give it a few days but I think it’s important that he’s their player and it’s their call,” stated McCarthy.

“We are delighted with the support they have given us and given him and at some point, whenever that will be, it may become an issue and that it their right and entitlement.

“So we’ll keep up what we did the last time. As I said last week the right way to do it is ask, to formally ask for permission to use him and if not, we understand that as well because they also have to think of themselves.

“As I understand it, he is not due back til January. But just to clarify if someone tells me differently you know, that’s where it is at at the moment. We sought permission for the game and we are planning game by game.

“Mark last year he was back at one stage and he came in with us just training, this was around pre-season time and he was in with us for a couple of weeks. What you find is he’s very interested in Cork football and he’s also wondering how we are getting on and letting us know he was coming home.

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“He was eager to play and come in and help us out and then from our point of view and from the county board’s point of view you don’t want a situation where a professional player is in with us and his club isn’t aware of it and haven’t given permission. Once he said he wanted to come on we said we’d go back to the club and let’s get it sorted and done in writing and everything else.”

McCarthy is pleased with the announcement that the game on 22 November will be on in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

“It’s great, you look for any advantage that you can get and certainly the fact that we were there last Sunday and are there again helps. Look we had a very poor record at home which I have acknowledged previously over the last couple of years and we have put a little run together between league matches and the Kerry game last Sunday we have been consistent at home and we need to try and keep that going.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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