Collins calls time on 10-year Mourne career

By Michael McMullan

GERARD Collins has announced his retirement from inter-county football Gaelic Life can confirm.

The RGU Downpatrick man made his debut in 2015 in a comfortable win over Westmeath in Mullingar before making his first championship appearance against Monaghan the following year.

While part of the Down squad this season and making substitute appearances against Cavan and Sligo, he was fully involved in club action.

The news of Collins’ retirement comes on the back of Niall McParland’s decision to step away.

“I had 10 years of living the dream, playing with Down but after the defeat to Armagh I decided to call it a day,” Collins outlined.

“I had a good honest chat with Lav (Conor Laverty) this week and it all ended on good terms.”

With a second daughter born before Christmas Collins highlighted the difficult balancing act with playing county football.

“There is a great young squad there with serious potential and the closeness of the group is second to none,” Collins added.

“ The lads are lucky to have a brilliant management and extended back room team – I couldn’t speak highly enough of Lav, Marty (Clarke), Decky (Declan Morgan), John Devine, Mickey (Donnelly) and Ciarán (Meenagh).

“Despite not playing as much as I would liked this season, it is probably the closest bond I’ve had with a management team in all my years playing with Down.

“No doubt I’ll miss the craic with the boys but I’m looking forward to giving 100 per cent now to my club RGU Downpatrick and I’ll have a bit more free time now for my two wee girls, Saorlaith and Róise”

Down welcome Limerick to Páirc Esler for the start of their Tailteann Cup campaign as they aim to go one better than last season’s final defeat at the hands of Meath.

Conor Laverty’s side also have games with Offaly and London as they bid to qualify for the knock-out stages.

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


Gaelic Life is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW