New Cork football team boss Brian Cuthbert has lost another star player after Alan O’Connor announced his decision to retire.
O’Connor is the sixth player to quit the Cork squad since the end of the season and the 10th member of the 2010 All-Ireland final squad to stand down.
The 28-year-old’s decision came as a major surprise as Cuthbert begins work with the squad he inherited from All-Ireland winning boss Conor Counihan.
Cuthbert had included O’Connor in a 27 strong training squad named last week, but must now add him to a list of retirees that also includes Noel O’Leary, Graham Canty, Paudie Kissane, Pearse O’Neill and Alan Quirke.
Cork will also be without the services of talented youngster Ciaran Sheehan next season after he took up an offer to join Aussie Rules side Carlton.
Former Cork boss Counihan led the tributes to O’Connor in an interview with the Irish Sun newspaper.
Counihan told the paper, “He epitomized what the whole thing was about, with his spirit and determination and commitment.
“In his own admission he might not have been the most gifted player but he was able to give something to a team even the most gifted could not match through his determination and effort.”