CORK CITY'S newest signing Gary Boylan will miss the early part of the coming season, but he is looking forward to getting involved once he returns to full fitness.
Earlier this week, the club confirmed that Boylan had signed a deal, having been training with the Rebel Army since the beginning of January. The 22-year-old former Sligo Rovers man hasn’t played since June, when he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury, but assurances from City manager John Caulfield meant that he didn’t feel pressure to over-stretch himself.
“I’ve been since the start of January, training with the boys in the gym and going rehab,” he says.
“It was great to get the deal over the line, John had told me when he contacted me that he was going to sign me, which was good. I was able to train with a bit of freedom, rather than having the fear that I wasn’t going to get a contract.”
Boylan is a native of Belmullet, Mayo and has played county minor Gaelic football. He had been with Sligo since he was 17 but the injury suffered against Derry City last year meant his final half-year at the Showground was focused on recovery.
“I said to myself that I was going to work as hard as anything I’d done before,” he says.
“To be fair, I really dedicated myself to it and it’s great to be on the right side of it.
“It was tough at times when it was coming towards the end of last season and I was running and doing gym work on my own it wasn’t easy. You want to be with a group.”
While there was an offer to stay in Sligo, Boylan was convinced by Caulfield’s overtures.
“My contract was up, but I’d been an offered a deal at Sligo for this year,” he says.
“I spoke to John a couple of seasons ago but it never happened, maybe it seemed easier to make the move this time.
“I’ll be fit at the end of February, I’ll only miss three or four games. The long off-season is good that way as it takes up a lot of rehab time.
“I’m delighted to becoming to such a big club, it always has been. You know what you’re going to get every year, they’ll be competing in the league and the cups.
“There’s that excitement and a bit of nervousness in coming into a new dressing room but every single one of the lads are top fellas and great professionals.”
And, while he benefits – or perhaps suffers – from being a versatile player, Boylan is keen to be seen as a right-back in his time at Turner’s Cross.
“I think at the minute, I’m coming down here as a right-full,” he says.
“In previous seasons with Sligo, I was looking to play there but with injuries and suspensions and so on I ended up playing in central midfield or centre-half.
“At the minute, I’d love to play right-back but if John needs me to play somewhere else under whatever circumstances then I’d obviously be willing to do that too.”