NEALE Fenn could be in charge of Cork City as soon as next Friday night’s home game against Sligo Rovers.
Fenn, a league winner with City in 2005, has met with the club’s hierarchy in recent weeks after City sought expressions of interest for the manager’s role and he is expected to be appointed early next week.
The 42-year-old, who represented the Republic of Ireland at underage level, has taken Longford to third in the SSE Airtricity League first division, in contention for the promotion play-offs, while the Town face Bohemians – with whom Fenn won two more league medals – in the second round of the extra.ie FAI Cup tonight.
However, Fenn is enrolled on the same Uefa Pro Licence course as City’s current head coach John Cotter. Currently, Frank Kelleher has the title of manager as he possesses a Pro licence and either he or somebody else would need to hold that role.
More immediately, City’s focus is on Friday's cup clash with Galway United at Eamonn Deacy Park (kick-off 7.45pm) as they seek to build on a penalty shootout win over another first-division side, Cabinteely, a fortnight ago. While Cotter was pleased to see City pick up a first win in ten domestic games as they beat Waterford last week, he is waiting on the fitness of some key players.
“Conor McCormack got a knock the other night but he’s suspended anyway,” he says.
“Dan Casey had to come off at half-time, Garry Buckley has a knock and we were missing the likes of Shepp [Karl Sheppard], Joel Coustrain and Shane Griffin too, so there are a lot of guys to be monitored this week to see where they’re at.”
City have been in each of the last four finals and a win tonight would leave the Rebel Army in the quarter-finals of the competition.
However, Cotter is looking beyond the challenge that the Tribesmen – who beat Cabinteely last week in the league – will provide.
“We’re just taking it game by game, to be honest,” he says.
“You have to win Friday before you can worry about the next round, we wouldn’t be looking beyond that.
“We can’t be complacent by any means, a lot of Premier Division teams had tough games in the previous round against first-division sides.
“It’s all about how you approach the game. Your attitude needs to be right, that’s something we’ve been drilling into the boys since we’ve come back in training this week.”