FORMER Cork City manager John Caulfield believes that John Cotter deserves a chance to do the job on a full-time basis.
Caulfield departed the club at the beginning of May, with his former assistant Cotter given the role on an interim basis. Speaking to Trevor Welch on 96FM’s The Score, Caulfield, feels that Cotter has earned a crack at the whip.
“John was a brilliant number two,” he said, “a really loyal person and works incredibly hard.
“I think it was a bit unfair, when he came in people were saying he was the same as myself but he’s very much his own man.
“When I was with Avondale, I won trophies and John came in after me and won even more and brought them to more heights.
“He’s a tremendous guy and a local person, knows the club inside out and knows what’s needed. In our history, very few outside managers have succeeded and I would hope that John would be given the job full-time but we’ll have to wait and see.”
Caulfield was in charge since the end of 2013, winning one league title and two FAI Cups. It’s only since the job ended that he has realised what a commitment it was.
“It’s given me a chance to get my energy back and review what a fabulous time I had at the club,” he said.
“It was a 24/7 job and I gave everything that I could and when you step back, you don’t realise the toll it has taken on yourself and your family. The last number of weeks have been very good for refreshing and looking back at great times but also looking forward and getting on with things as well.
“When I go back to November 2013, when I was appointed and I brought John Cotter, Lisa Fallon and Phil Harrington with me, it was a journey where we didn’t know what to expect.
“We’d just do what we could, put our heart and soul into it and give it 24/7 and that’s exactly what we did. Five and a half years later, it’s been incredible.
“You don’t know how long it’ll last, it was a tremendous time and fantastic memories, this year was tougher and we went through a bad spell and that’s the way it goes.
“People make decisions but really it’s about the fantastic times we had and the trophies we won and the great nights in Europe. Overall, it’s great memories.”
Those memories will last a long time.
“The reception I got from supporters in the ground, around the city and county, walking out before matches and leading the team in big games in Europe,” Caulfield said.
“Ultimately, leaving the Aviva after we won the FAI Cup in 2017 and after we won the double in 2018 with the penalty shootout were great memories and fantastic occasions.
“The main thing is that the management team I had were brilliant and hugely loyal. We gave everything we had and once you do that, and likewise the players, if you leave everything on the pitch then people appreciate that and that’s all they can ask for.
“As a player, supporter and manager, it’s been a phenomenal 30 years and I’m looking forward to going back and watching the team.”
As to the future, Caulfield is undecided.
“At the moment, I’ve made no decisions and I’m waiting to see what happens,” he said.
“Would I like to say in sport? Yes, but it’s hard in Ireland. I’ll see what the best option is over the next few weeks.”