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STORM & GAELS IS PERFECT.

Byline: PAUL KEANE

Starlights (Wex) v Simonstown G (Mth) AIB Leinster SFC quarter-final, Innovate Wexford Park, 2pm

IT'S six years since James Kilcullen last played for Mayo and four since he found himself at the centre of a storm in neighbouring Sligo.

These days, the experienced midfielder (above) lives in Meath and plays for Simonstown Gaels who'll bid for an important win in the AIB Leinster club SFC today. It's an intriguing shifting of GAA loyalties which is perhaps down to the fact that his club, Ballaghaderreen, is one giant identity crisis, not quite in Mayo and not quite in Roscommon.

Maybe old age crept in I'm not to keep young Kilcullen's last game for Mayo was the famous near miss against London in 2011, James Horan's first game in charge when they needed extra-time to see off the Exiles.

In the shake up that followed, Aidan and Seamus O'Shea came into midfield and Kilcullen never got another look-in, transferring to Sligo for 2013 and 2014.

He got caught in the crossfire there when ex-All-Star Eamonn O'Hara demanded that boss Kevin Walsh resign after the 2013 Championship defeat to, ironically, London.

O'Hara noted in a TV rant how Kilcullen was drafted in but then wasn't available to actually start against London - because of club duty the previous day.

Life seems a lot more straightforward now and having trained with Navan outfit Simonstown in recent seasons Kilcullen threw in his lot with them for 2017, winning a county medal.

He told Irish Sunday MirrorSport: "I actually trained with the club last year but this is my first year actually playing with them.

"It's been an interesting few years. 2011 was my last year with Mayo and I went to Sligo then in 2013 and 2014 and had no county then for a couple of years. I had a few injuries, had hips and knees done and thankfully I'm back playing now.

"I'm not feeling too bad. Maybe a bit of old age is creeping in and I'm not as able to keep up with the young fellas as I used to but I'm feeling good."

Kilcullen, an electrician based in Meath, is still only 31 and hasn't entirely ruled out an inter-county return, perhaps even with Meath. He smiled: "Ah we'll see.

"Simonstown are a great bunch of lads. From day one they were very welcoming."

Maybe a bit of old age has crept in and I'm not as able to keep up with young fellas..

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Nov 12, 2017
Words:415
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