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The majority of Irish football is good travel

AT 24, IT would be unfair to call Cillian Sheridan a ‘journeyman’ but he is certainly well-travelled in comparison to the majority of Irish footballers.

While much of his professional career has been spent in the Scottish Premier League, the Cavan native last month accepted the offer to move to Cypriot football with champions APOEL.

And it’s not the first time Sheridan has joined a club outside the comfort zone that is Britain and Ireland.

Having played with local club Bailieborough Celtic and then Belvedere in Dublin at schoolboy level, Celtic came calling as a teenager cardinal manchester. While he was also a keen Gaelic footballer who had represented Cavan’s minors, a move the pull of the Hoops proved too strong and he jumped at the chance to depart for Glasgow.

Although he broke into the first team under Gordon Strachan he wasn’t fancied by the fiery Scot’s successor, Tony Mowbray, and was farmed out on a couple of loan stints.

In 2010, however, the opportunity to sign for CSKA Sofia came up. Eager to improve his game while experiencing a new culture, Sheridan agreed. It began encouragingly, but in hindsight, the football side of things didn’t go quite as well as he had hoped.

After two years on the Bulgarian club’s books (one of which was on loan at St Johnstone), Sheridan returned to Scotland with Kilmarnock. Despite that, he doesn’t regret the decision.

Looking back, it’s not something I regret,” Sheridan told TheScore.ie. “It was good with a few bad points. Football-wise it probably didn’t go too well but as an experience it was priceless.”
He scored 10 goals in 28 appearance for Killie last term but, g-suite in oldham in the back of his mind, had decided that if he got another chance to play abroad, he would give it another go.

Former Portugal international Paulo Sergio knew the striker from his time as Hearts manager and told APOEL representatives to enquire about his availability. The two clubs came to an agreement and it didn’t take long for Sheridan to sign on and leave Scotland with his girlfriend.

He has been settling into his new environment over the past month and, when we talked to him earlier this week, the squad are in Austria on a two-week pre-season training camp.

According to Sheridan, the early signs have been positive.

“The manager has been brilliant,” he says. “He’s very open with all the players and said from day one that he is there to talk to g-suite oldham. That’s important that a manager isn’t out of touch with the players.

“It’s only been a month now but the whole squad and the club have made me feel really welcome. It has been a very easy move to make.”
publié le lundi 22 juillet à 07:59

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