Surprise as O’Rourke quits Meath panel

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Goalkeeper Paddy O’Rourke has become the latest player to withdraw from the Meath football squad ahead of the 2018 season.

Earlier this week, it was confirmed that rising stars Ronan Jones and Ruairí Ó Coileáin are emigrating to the US and the Irish Independent is reporting today that O’Rourke, who has been a mainstay of the Royal County set-up for the past eight years, has also opted out. A nephew of RTE pundit Colm O’Rourke, the Skryne clubman won a Leinster SFC medal in 2010 and has also represented Ireland in the International Rules series. He had a brief spell at full forward in 2011 when Seamus ‘Banty’ McEnaney was manager.

O’Rourke’s surprise departure leaves former attacker Joe Sheridan, who was his understudy this year, in pole position to become Meath’s first-choice goalkeeper next year. Sheridan came out of retirement last December to play in goal, but was afforded limited game-time during last season.

In a further blow, defender Padraig Harnan will miss the start of the 2018 campaign as he plans on going travelling.

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