Hurling and camogie

Down stalwart Woods calls time on county career

Conor Woods, who made his Down debut 15 years ago, has called time in his inter-county career. Picture by Philip Walsh
Neil Loughran

DOWN boss Ronan Sheehan has hailed the impact of playmaker Conor Woods after the Ballycran stalwart called time on his inter-county career.

Having helped the Ardsmen retain their Joe McDonagh Cup status with a crucial late cameo in victory over Meath last year, the 33-year-old – who made his debut in 2008 - was mulling over whether or not to continue in red and black.

However, as Down prepare for had called it a day.

“Conor had a fairly disrupted year last year, for a variety of reasons,” said the Newry man.

“He wasn't able to travel to Kerry because his twins were just born, then he broke the finger in the Offaly game in the McDonagh Cup, and that was a big loss.

“We got him back for that last game against Meath, he forced the goal and, as usual, nailed a couple of long-range points.

“Conor had retired previously [in 2018], because he had a fairly nasty hip injury that required a lot of rehabilitation, and he wasn't sure about whether he was going to come back in.

“We didn't have him in my first year there, then we convinced him to come back in. He probably got a few more years out of it than he was anticipating, and played a massive part in some great days for Down hurling.”

A class act on the field, a class act off it, Sheehan insists Woods will be missed as Down prepare for the future without him.

“Conor was always a super hurler whether he played at centre-back, centre-forward or midfield, he could read the game, strike off both sides, score from distance, and probably the great compliment I can play to Conor is he's just a damn nice fella.

“Sometimes when players have as much talent as Conor they can become quite big-headed, but he is one the easiest guys I've ever had to manage. His humility for his ability is a testament to how he was raised, and the character of the man himself.

“Life moves on for everybody, but Conor Woods owes Down hurling absolutely nothing.”

Hurling and camogie