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8 Cork U21 players part of senior squad ahead of Munster semi-final against Tipperary

The Rebels have turned to youth before the game against the Premier.

THE CORK FOOTBALLERS have turned to youth to freshen up their squad ahead of a Munster semi-final against Tipperary.

The Cork U21 team before their EirGrid All-Ireland final against Mayo. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Eight players from the Cork U21 team that reached the EirGrid All-Ireland final against Mayo this year are now part of the senior setup.

Full-forward Peter Kelleher established himself in the senior side during this spring’s league campaign and Cork selector Eoin O’Neill confirmed last night that seven other U21 players have linked up since their campaign ended with that Ennis loss to Mayo.

Defensive quartet Stephen Cronin (Nemo Rangers), John Mullins (Éire Óg), Kieran Histon (Cobh) and Kevin Flahive (Douglas) are all involved along with midfielder Sean White (Clonakilty) and the attacking pair of Sean Powter (Douglas) and Michael Hurley (Castlehaven).

8 Cork U21 players part of senior squad ahead of Munster semi-final against Tipperary
1 / 7
  • Stephen Cronin (Nemo Rangers)

    Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO
  • John Mullins (Éire Óg - middle)

    Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO
  • Kevin Flahive (Douglas)

    Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO
  • Sean White (Clonakilty)

    Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO
  • Sean Powter (Douglas)

    Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO
  • Kieran Histon (Cobh)

    Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO
  • Michael Hurley (Castlehaven)

    Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Cronin, who captained the U21 side, lined out for Cork in last summer’s senior championship but suffered a major setback since fracturing his leg last August in a club game. This season he has been focusing on the U21 campaign to date.

Histon lined out in the opening league game in January against Mayo but the remaining players are all newcomers. Powter is unlikely to be part of the senior squad for the game against Tipperary on 12 June as he starts his Leaving Cert next Wednesday.

On the injury front, Cork have slight concerns over defenders Eoin Cadogan and James Loughrey but Alan O’Connor, Fintan Goold, Donncha O’Connor and Patrick Kelly are all back training after injury-plagued campaigns.

Goalkeeper Ken O’Halloran and former captain Michael Shields remain in contention for selection after being released back to their clubs recently.

Ken O'Halloran celebrates with Michael Shields Cork goalkeeper Ken O'Halloran and defender Michael Shields Source: James Crombie/INPHO

“Most fellas are coming around,” remarked O’Neill.

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“Eoin Cadogan is coming back. He played a little bit with Douglas at the weekend. We’ll suss him out over the weekend and see how that goes.

“He had flaring on his Achilles and it just needed rest. It is nothing more severe than that.

“James Loughrey had a hamstring twinge. But he looks like he is coming back. ”

“It is the right time of the year for everyone to be coming back. They are all going in the right direction, thankfully.

“They are just getting up to that pace now. That is the challenge for them now to make up that little bit of lost time.”

“Everybody is contention. Ken will be looked at like everyone else as the year goes on. We are very cognisant of the fact that people need to be playing games.

“Guys were coming in and they weren’t getting game time [during the spring]. They went back to their clubs and they got game-time.

“We are really keeping this as fresh as we can, and keeping the competition as high as we can.”

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