Karl Sheppard has admitted that one of the reasons that he did not sign for Dundalk after the FAI Cup Final as he expected to was that he ‘couldn’t really trust’ Stephen Kenny.
Sheppard was speaking to Alan Cawley on Game on on 2FM last night and mentioned that he wanted to make the move to Dundalk to be closer to his girlfriend but admitted he also made his mind up before the cup final that he wasn’t going after news of the deal came out.
He went on to say, ‘I was adamant we both said that this can’t come out.
‘I signed a bit before the cup final. We were both in the semis. I said if we both get through, I can’t have this coming out, or if it is into the last week of the season. I could lose out on a place in the cup final team, or it could throw me massively.
It was a very bad week for me and a stressful time.
Ten days from the cup final, we had lifted the league trophy and to be honest, there was a small section and I’d say very small, maybe 15 people in the Cork end that were actually booing me.
This stuff [speculation] was seeping out. People were giving me a bit of abuse.
We were lifting the trophy in front of the Shed and I thought, you know what, I’ll let it off. I didn’t want to take away from what was happening on the pitch that day.
Going into the cup final, more came out, and it went from bad to worse.
John had a meeting with the players on the Thursday, sat everyone around and said, ‘look lads, we need to address the elephant in the room. Shep, it seems, is leaving us. He’s been great, but I trust him to do the business on Sunday’
Going into the game there was a massive load of pressure on me. If I was having a bad first half I was off.
The players knew the only reason I was going to sign for Dundalk was the fact that my girlfriend has a little one and she is in Dublin and wouldn’t be able to come up and down to Cork so much.
That was the only reason I was going to leave. Thankfully that situation has changed.
I knew going into the cup final I wasn’t leaving. The stress drained out of me after the full-time whistle.
I made the decision on the Friday. I spoke to Stephen the day before I signed back with Cork. I said to him, ‘look Stephen, I think you went against what we spoke about.
He said that he didn’t want it to come out that way, that it wasn’t his intention in not denying it. I said that if it we had one agreement, I couldn’t really trust you then if you went against it. In fairness to him he’s quite a nice guy and he took it very well. He apologised if it came across that way.
I was expecting a bit of abuse down the phone, but he is a nice guy and was good about it.
Listen to the full interview below.