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Dublin: 6 °C Wednesday 19 December, 2018

Karl Sheppard says he 'couldn't really trust' Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny

The attacker performed a controversial u-turn as he opted to stick with Cork City recently.

Karl Sheppard (file pic).
Karl Sheppard (file pic).
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

KARL SHEPPARD ADMITS he changed his mind over moving from Cork to Dundalk after the prospective transfer was made public prior to the end of the 2017 League of Ireland season.

“I signed (on a pre-contract agreement) a bit before the cup final,” he told RTÉ’s Game On. “We were both in the semis. I said if we both get through, I can’t have this coming out, or if it is into the last week of the season. I could lose out on a place in the cup final team, or it could throw me massively.”

Speculation of Sheppard’s supposedly imminent move to the Lilywhites intensified ahead of the FAI Cup final between the sides. Local Dundalk media reported a deal was set to happen, while Stephen Kenny refused to rule out the player making the switch.

It put further pressure on Sheppard ahead of his side’s climactic game at the Aviva Stadium.

“(The players) knew the only reason I was going to sign for Dundalk was the fact that my girlfriend has a little one and she is in Dublin and wouldn’t be able to come up and down to Cork so much,” the 26-year-old added.

“That was the only reason I was going to leave. Thankfully that situation has changed.”

Ultimately, the former Reading youngster decided to perform a controversial u-turn and stick with Cork. A lack of trust in Kenny, he explained, was a factor in the decision.

I made the decision on the Friday. I spoke to Stephen the day before I signed back with Cork. I said to him: ‘Look Stephen, I think you went against what we spoke about.’

“He said that he didn’t want it to come out that way, that it wasn’t his intention in not denying it. I said that if it we had one agreement, I couldn’t really trust you then if you went against it. In fairness to him he’s quite a nice guy and he took it very well. He apologised if it came across that way.”

Listen to the full Game On interview here.

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Paul Fennessy

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