Shields and O’Halloran to return to Cork senior football squad for 2017 pre-season

EXPERIENCED DUO MICHAEL Shields and Ken O’Halloran will return to the Cork football winter training squad as preparations for the 2017 season begin.

The42 understands that former captain Shields and goalkeeper O’Halloran will link up again with the Rebels setup, along with attacker Donal Óg Hodnett.

The three players all departed during the 2016 campaign but their availability now is a boost to Peadar Healy and his management team.

Cork, who exited the championship in a Round 4 qualifier against Donegal in July, are officially eligible to return to training for next season on 1 December with players currently in pre-season gym work.

The management are yet to finalise their entire panel for the coming season but will be planning without Fintan Goold, who announced his retirement today, and Daniel Goulding, who revealed he was ending his inter-county career a fortnight ago.

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Donal Óg Hodnett in action against Eoin McHugh in the league last February

Source: Presseye/Donna McBride/INPHO

St Finbarr’s player Shields and Bishopstown netminder O’Halloran were released from the squad after this year’s league.

The Cork management insisted at the time that a breach of discipline was not behind the departure and that the pair were released back to their clubs to get more game time.

After Cork’s Munster semi-final loss to Tipperary, they were invited back on to the panel before the qualifiers but declined to do so. 30 year-old pair Shields and O’Halloran both won All-Ireland medals at senior level in 2010 and U21 level in 2007.

O’Donovan Rossa player Hodnett had departed the panel during a league campaign that saw Cork relegated to Division 2. The 25 year-old captained Cork to the Munster U21 football title in 2012.

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