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Godfrey may be down but he’s not out yet

By Graham Hamilton

Cookstown captain Godfrey Irwin is dismissing talk of retirement despite the fact he may be out of action for most of this season after fracturing his skull in the Eurohockey League two weeks ago.

Godfrey has been seeing specialists since his return from Belgium after taking one of Taeke Taekma's trademark penalty corner drag flicks full pelt on the back of the head.

A fractured skull and a perforated eardrum have been diagnosed and with his balance currently affected, the 32-year-old defender is not allowed to play sport or indeed drive a car.

Irish Senior Cup winners Cookstown are coming to terms with the fact that they won't have their inspirational skipper available for the foreseeable future

But although some feared that for a player in his twilight years, Godfrey might decide now is the time to retire, the player remains optimistic.

“He’s frustrated that he can’t work or play sport, and struggling with the fact he can’t get out and about just yet, but he’s upbeat as always and isn’t even thinking about quitting hockey,” said Cookstown’s co-coach Steven Cuddy.

“He’s in great form, despite what he has come through, and remains optimistic about the future, although it’s clear he will be out of action for a reasonable spell.

“We want him back in defence, and we want him back as our captain.

“He’s a very important player for us but first and foremost it’s important that he recovers fully.”

Cookstown could have been doing with their captain for what will be a difficult Irish Hockey League trip to Tallaght on Saturday where they take on Leinster giants Glenanne.

The Tyrone side have started their IHL campaign with a win and a draw and really need something from this game to not only keep alive their play-off hopes but to keep Glenanne out of the frame.

Four of the five Ulster sides are playing south of the border, with Lisnagarvey and Annadale also in Dublin for games at Three Rock Rovers and Pembroke Wanderers respectively while Instonians head to Cork where player/coach Mark Irwin is determined they will get something from Harlequins.

Garvey are currently top of Pool A and should be able to account for Three Rock at Grange Road but Annadale's young side might find it difficult against Leinster kingpins Pembroke.

That leaves Banbridge as the only Ulster team at home and they don't need reminding that a win against Monkstown is essential if they are not to relinguish their IHL crown.

Belfast Telegraph


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