Cork City’s Karl Sheppard closes Dundalk FC’s Brian Gartland down in the FAI Cup final. PICTURE: BEN MCSHANE

DFC | Sheppard remaining tightlipped about his future

26-year-old played a major part in Cork’s FAI Cup win

Karl Sheppard was keeping schtum about his future when he spoke to the media after Sunday’s FAI Cup final win over Dundalk at the Aviva Stadium.

The 26-year-old will join the Lilywhites in the coming weeks and he made sure his last game for the Leesiders was a memorable one, playing a starring role to help Cork secure the league and cup double.

With a winners medal draped around his neck, the Dubliner batted away questions about his imminent move to Oriel Park, opting to use the occasion to have a pop at Cork’s critics over the past few weeks.

“I can’t say anything,” he replied when asked if he could confirm he was moving to Dundalk next season. “Today is not for that.

“Today is for saying we are some team. We deserve some credit for what we’ve done this season and we certainly haven’t got it.

“We won the league and people were patting us on the back saying we crawled over the line. It’s embarrassing. We’ve done the double so now we should get the credit we deserve.”

Dundalk FC supporters at the Aviva Stadium. PICTURES: BEN MCSHANE

Sheppard also played down suggestions that he was under the spotlight coming into the game but he said that he was annoyed by comments suggesting he should be dropped for the cup final.

“It was the strangest build up to game that I’ve ever had,” he said. “A lot of people were questioning my professionalism which wasn’t on.

“I see myself as an ultimate pro. I come in every day and work hard and for people to be saying that I shouldn’t be playing matches is a big insult.

“I had a hell of a lot of pressure going into this game. People were saying ‘he shouldn’t play’ but I kept quiet all week and wanted to do my talking on the pitch and I’m glad at the end it paid off.”

As well as setting up Achille Campion’s equaliser which took the game to penalties, the former Shamrock Rovers man also scored Cork’s first spot kick in the shootout.

“The only thing in my mind was where to put it,” he said. “I scored earlier in the competition against Longford and I’m delighted to have got another one today.”

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