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Saturday 10 December 2016

Veteran Healy not yet ready for curtain call

Cork City’s Colin Healy (r) in action against Dundalk’s Dean Shiels during last Sunday’s FAI Cup final. Photo: Sportsfile
Cork City’s Colin Healy (r) in action against Dundalk’s Dean Shiels during last Sunday’s FAI Cup final. Photo: Sportsfile

Landing a Cup medal at the age of 36, in your 16th season as a professional footballer, would be the ideal way to see out your career.

But former Ireland international Colin Healy says he has yet to make up his mind on his future and whether to hang up the boots now that he's achieved his aim of winning something in his second spell with his hometown club.

Healy won a league title and a Scottish League Cup medal in his time at Celtic, and added an FAI Cup and Setanta Cup medals in his stint at a pre-crash Cork. He came off the bench and played a role in Sunday's 1-0 win over Dundalk in the Cup final but seeing as he will be 37 when the new League of Ireland season gets into gear next year, he's not sure if he will stick around, though the sight of team-mate Dave Mulcahy still contributing to Cork at the age of 39 makes Healy think, at least.

His fellow Ireland cap Stephen McPhail has already announced his decision to retire, while ex-internationals Damien Duff and Keith Fahey also packed it in after spells in the league.

Healy made just nine league appearances in 2016 and would be a peripheral figure again in 2017 but he's not yet decided to end his playing career.

"I will have to wait and see what happens, I don't know, I don't want to make any rash decisions," says Healy, capped 13 times at senior level.

"I am not getting any younger and I am not playing as much but I still enjoy it all, I still love being in the dressing room with the lads. I will see what happens.

"You always try to play on for as long as you can, look at Dave Mulcahy, I will see what happens over the break and speak to John Caulfield but the club have been very good to me."

While Healy has simply added to his medal collection, Dubliner Steven Beattie is on a high after winning the first medal in a career which has seen him play in the USA and Iceland as well as fruitless spells in the League of Ireland before his move to City.

"I have been around the league for a while so it's a big deal for me to win, it was my first medal in my first final so I'd love to keep up that record," says former Bohemians and Shelbourne man Beattie. "We needed to win something this season in Cork. We had a decent season, second in the league and a decent run in Europe but we had to get a trophy.

"We are fed up with finishing second to Dundalk, we were second to them in the league and Cup last year, second in the league this year, so we needed a win to make a big statement.

"We had been told all year that we couldn't win the big games against Dundalk - we have done that now," added Beattie. "There is an expectation in Cork to win things, and the players hurt just as much as the fans when we don't win trophies."

While Sean Maguire is almost certain to leave Turner's Cross, Beattie (28) is sticking around as he's under contract for 2017.

"We want to stay together now and take a real stab at winning the league next year," he says.

"If we can strengthen with three or four more players and keep the core of the squad we'll be ok. We are still trying to catch Dundlak but we are very close to that now."

There was some good news for Dundalk after the final loss yesterday when Chris Shields was named as October's player of the month by the SSE Airtricity Soccer Writers Association of Ireland.

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