The Graham Cummins column: Why I had to make the tough call to leave Cork City

The Graham Cummins column: Why I had to make the tough call to leave Cork City
Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

THERE are a number of factors to consider before transferring from one club to another but the ultimate question is is this the right move for my career? 

I was delighted to sign for Shamrock Rovers this week but deciding to leave Cork City was a very difficult decision to make. 

Being a married man, the decision to move to Rovers isn’t just going to have an impact on my life but also my wive's. Transferring clubs is different for single players, they don’t have as much responsibility and only need to think about themselves.

When I heard of Rovers' interest, I knew it wasn’t a decision I could make solely. I had to speak to my wife first and make sure she was on board with the move. Football means so much to players but at the end of the day, family does come first. 

Players aren’t going to transfer clubs if it means making their family miserable. It’s tough living apart from your loved ones. 

My wife has been alongside me throughout my career. She’s moved to the United Kingdom and back to Cork with me and without her support, I don’t think I would have had such a successful career. 

It’s not been easy for her in the past, settling into a new environment, making new friends and getting a new job, only to be told, we have to move again. 

My switch to Rovers is until the end of the season and my wife and I felt that it would be better for her to remain in Cork and for me to stay in Dublin a few nights a week and commute the other days.

A few weeks ago, I spoke with my former manager John Cotter about the future and his plans. He told me of interest from Rovers and other clubs in the league and I knew leaving his office that I had a very important decision to make. 

I talked to all of the interested clubs and was impressed but what they all had to say. Those conversations are not just about how the manager sees you fitting into the team but what your living arrangements will be. 

Players and managers are also trying to figure out what type of person they could be potentially working with in the future. 

Players don’t just sign for a team because they have been impressed by playing against the club in the past. Yes, it is one of the main reasons but a player also needs to feel that he is going to work with a manager that he is going to enjoy playing his football under. 

I was really impressed with every manager I spoke with but with the club fighting for the league, my gut was telling me that moving to Rovers on-loan until the end of the season was the right decision.

Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Picture: Eddie O'Hare

I’ve said and wrote it so much times in the past that people are probably getting bored of it but I’m determined to more win more trophies before retiring. 

I was bitterly disappointed on missing out on winning the League and FAI Cup with City last season and will hope to put that right with Rovers between now and the end of the season. 

We have a tricky tie in Europe against SK Brann but I’m optimistic we can have a good campaign in Europe. Obviously as a striker, I was brought to Rovers to score goals and I have been disappointed with having only scored five goals this season.

I’m hoping I can build momentum on my recent form having scored in my last two games.

I was sad to leave City earlier this week. I loved my 18-months on Leeside. It’s a time I will look back on with pride but also regret. 

I always felt proud putting on the City jersey and getting to play for my hometown club again. It couldn’t have started any better winning the league’s Player of the Month and the President’s Cup in my first month. 

Obviously, I was gutted by the way the season ended, missing out on the league and cup to Dundalk. My own personal performances dipped in the second half of the season. 

It was a season that I will look back on what could have been had certain situations been different.

This season has been a real struggle. I was in and out of the City side and the team’s results have been disappointing. City were expected to be challenging at the top end of the table but for some reason things just haven’t worked out so far this campaign. 

There is so much talent that in the City dressing room and I know how much they care, that I expect things will turn around.

I see myself as a confident player but have been lacking it throughout the season. The move to Rovers is a new beginning and challenge for me and I’m hopeful I can hit the ground running and continue my recent form. 

I’ve had a good week’s training with my new club and teammates. I’m hopeful to be involved in some capacity for our home game against Sligo Rovers tonight. 

Football can change so quickly, it’s strange to think that last week I was playing for City at Turners Cross and tonight, I could be making my debut in Tallaght Stadium for Rovers.

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