AFTER returning to the club this season, midfielder Cian Coleman was honest in his assessment as to why it didn’t work out for him during his first spell at Cork City.
Sometimes, when things don’t go to plan for players, they are quick to blame others but Coleman knew his previous spell at City was not the right time.
“When I first started getting involved with the first team last time I was here; I had just come through with the U19 and perhaps wasn’t fully ready for the challenge,” Coleman said.
“I obviously didn’t play much during my first spell at the club. We were one of the best teams in the country and then I had players like Chops (Gearóid Morrissey) and Garry Buckley to compete with for a starting position.
“Some lads might look for excuses and blame others but I just had to be honest and realise that I wasn’t good enough at that time.
“It feels much more different this time round. I have a lot more games under my belt and have gained a lot of experience.
“I certainly have a different role in the dressing room. I was one of the younger lads in the dressing room before but now feel a senior player and that makes a difference.
“It’s strange that at only 23, I’m one of the senior players but we have a very young squad. I try and take what I’ve learnt from the dressing rooms I’ve been in over the last few years and pass those experiences onto the younger players on the team.”
Some players are happy staying at a big club and be known as a ‘Cork City player’ but Coleman wasn’t satisfied watching games from the dugout each week and felt it was worth taking a risk by dropping a division and getting some game time.
“I could have stayed with City but I would have ended up only probably playing in the Munster Senior Cup games.
“It’s always a risk leaving the biggest club in the country but I felt it was one I had to take and a prove to myself and perhaps others I was a good player.
“Dropping down to the first division to play with Cobh Ramblers allowed me to gain experience.
“When the opportunity arose to play for Limerick and get back into the Premier Division it was a move I had to make.
“Cobh was brilliant but I wanted to be playing in the Premier division. It was the same with signing for St Pat’s.
“We were relegated with Limerick and I felt I was good enough to play in the Premier Division, so I was delighted when St Pat’s called.
“A lot of players sometimes don’t want to take a risk by dropping down a league because you never know what could happen.
“I actually feel that had I not taken the decision to leave City then I wouldn’t be a Premier Division player now or might not be involved in League of Ireland,” Coleman added.
Before the suspension of the league Coleman had just returned from injury and although he appreciates the break, he didn’t expect it to carry on for so long and is really starting to miss football.
“At the start I thought a week or two off might be good because it would give me longer time to recover from my injury.
“I was playing again but there was always the possibility that the injury could reoccur. I thought a little stoppage in the league might be good for me so that I would have less chance of getting injured again but I didn’t expect things to go on for this long.
“I’m really starting to miss football and this time off has reminded me not to take things for granted.
“Just going into the training ground seeing the lads every day and going out training, is what I really miss.
“It’s not the same going out training most days by myself. It is hard to get motivated but I actually don’t mind training by myself but I’d much prefer to be in Bishopstown every day.”
With the uncertainty surrounding the league, Coleman has admitted that he might have to reassess his future but at this time, is fully focused on football and being ready if the league resumes.
“Hopefully, the league will resume around August or September. That’s my aim at the moment.
“We have had our training programs altered to suit returning on those dates, so that’s what I’m focusing on right now.
“It would be such a shame for the league not to continue but it has to be safe to do so.
“Playing soccer has been all that I’m used to and I want that to continue. I felt that we were just starting to click at a team before the halt of the league.
“However, come September, and if there is still no sign of the league resuming, I will probably have to think about what I’m going to do.
“Going to college and studying for a degree is something that has always been in the back of my mind and a path that I could see myself going down but its not something I want to take up immediately and things can change in a few weeks and hopefully, the season can be concluded."