6th March 2014
By Bryan Smyth
St. Patrick’s Athletic v Turner’s Cross. Premier Division. 7th March 2014 (i.e. tomorrow). Kick-Off 7.45 pm
Cork City FC will begin their 30th anniversary season with a repeat of the final game of last season, as they welcome the champions, St. Patrick’s Athletic, to Turner’s Cross.
Watch the press conference:
City rounded off their pre-season preparations with a fixture away to Waterford United in the Munster Senior Cup Quarter Final last Saturday, with John Caulfield’s side claiming a 3-1 win. The champions also ended their pre-season campaign on a high note, as they defeated Sligo Rovers by a goal to nil in the President’s Cup final.
The sides’ last meeting also took place at Turner’s Cross, with City claiming a 4-2 win over the newly-crowned champions. Two of City’s goal scorers that night, Ciarán Kilduff and Daryl Horgan have departed, but Gearóid Morrissey and Danny Morrissey have signed back with the club for the 2014 season. The Pat’s scorers in the night were Chris Forrester and Ger O’Brien, both of whom remain with the Inchicore side for the coming season.
Having finished last season in sixth place, despite an excellent run of form in the final third, City will be keen to push on in 2014 and mount a challenge at the business end of the table. Pat’s, who secured the league title with a couple of games to spare last season, will again be among the favourites for honours this season.
Speaking to CorkCityFC.ie ahead of his first league game in charge, City boss John Caulfield said that his side will be going out to give the supporters something to cheer: “It’s an incredible opening game for the club. There will be a huge crowd and I know they will be very vocal, so I hope we can deliver a performance that will have them singing from the rafters. It will be a difficult match; St. Pat’s are the champions, they’ve added to their squad, bringing in the likes of Fahey, but the beauty of sport is that there are always upsets.”
“We’ve been preparing for this game for the last two weeks. Our tactics have been geared towards it. I don’t feel we are that far off. I feel we have the nucleus of a very strong squad, but time will tell. We’re not going to go out at Turner’s Cross to sit back and invite teams onto us. It’s not my nature, and the supporters expect us to go out and attack. If you’re attacking, you push teams back; if you sit back, you put pressure on yourselves.”
Captain John Dunleavy said the squad are looking forward to the game, and he believes a game against the champions gives the side a chance to show their potential: “I see the game as a massive opportunity for us. We’re playing against the standard-bearers from last season, but I don’t think we have anything to fear. We’ve got a strong solid bunch of players, we’ve signed well in the off-season and it will be a great indicator of how far we’ve come in pre-season.
Caulfield has virtually a full strength squad to choose from however strikers Michael Rafter and Danny Morrissey will miss out as both suffered ankle injuries in pre-season. Ian Turner will also miss out, as he serves a suspension carried over from last season.
Tickets are on sale from the club shop in Douglas Village Shopping Centre and online from Ticketmaster, and will also be on sale outside the ground from 6:30 tomorrow evening. Supporters are advised to arrive early, as a large crowd is expected.