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Dublin: 9 °C Saturday 1 November, 2014

‘He’ll be missed’ — Gaelic Players Association rues Sheridan’s shock decision to emigrate

US-bound Meath forward calls time on his football career.

Joe Sheridan: work opportunities in the US.
Joe Sheridan: work opportunities in the US.
Image: INPHO/James Crombie

THE GAELIC PLAYERS ASSOCIATION says it will ‘re-double its efforts’ to help intercounty stars who are struggling to find work.

The vow from the GPA comes as Meath senior footballer Joe Sheridan, looking for employment, leaves for America today.

The Seneschalstown man scored in the Royals’ league defeat to Galway at Pearse Stadium yesterday.

“It brings it home,” GPA spokesman, Sean Potts told TheScore this afternoon. “This is a stark reminder of how bad things can get but hopefully it will work out for Joe and he’ll eventually come back. From the sport’s point of view, the game really can’t afford to lose fellas of his profile – it needs people like that to sustain it really.

“We’ve done a lot of work with Joe in the past and he’s a great character and a great guy and I know he was trying to set up his own business but it’s very, very difficult in the current climate and it’s very hard for us, at the moment, to find work for people. But as I say I think it’s a stark reminder of how difficult things are and it shows us that we have to redouble our efforts to help people.”

The 27-year-old — who scored that controversial Leinster final goal against Louth in 2010 – last night released a statement in which he wished his team-mates well and thanked members of the county board for trying to find him employment.

Sheridan said: “After a lot of thought I have decided to emigrate to take up an opportunity I simply could not refuse. I finalised my decision to travel on Friday last.”

Potts insists the GPA must now focus on helping players when they graduate to senior intercounty level.

“The key and the challenge I suppose for us is to get guys when they come onto the intercounty scene, give them good advice and set them on a path in which they’re pursuing something that’s sustainable,” he said. “Joe sadly is an example of how bad things are and can be and he’s a massive loss to the game but he’ll play some ball over there too I’m sure and hopefully things will work out and we’ll see him again soon.”

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