CORK CITY manager John Caulfield hopes to have his injured quartet of Alan Bennett, Stephen Dooley, Garry Buckley and Steven Beattie all fit and healthy for next week’s big provincial derby away to Limerick at the Markets Field on tomorrow night week.
The league game with Shane Duggan’s Limerick is the first of three huge games for the champions-elect who host Dundalk at Turner’s Cross on Monday night week before the meet Limerick again in the semi-finals of the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup back at the Curragh Road on Friday night, September 29 and ‘live’ on the telly.
City’s foursome are carrying niggling injuries but with a ‘free’ weekend coming up and all four on the treatment table this week, Caulfield is hoping all his injury woes will have cleared up by next weekend.
“It’s funny the way it goes but we haven’t had a home game in five weeks since Sligo Rovers beat us out the Cross and now we have three of the biggest games of the year against Limerick twice and Dundalk all coming together. Three big games in a week or so and three games that will go a long way to defining our season. The games are coming thick and fast so we will probably have to rotate the squad again,” said Caulfield who was well pleased to get that home Cup semi-final with Limerick.
FAI President Tony Fitzgerald, who made the draw with Declan O’Brien at Montrose on last Monday night, drew out the home teams.
“It’s a long time since we had an FAI Cup semi-final in Cork and you have to go back to 2005 when we beat Derry City 1-0 with George O’Callaghan’s injury time penalty after John O’Flynn was fouled in the box. It’s over a decade but now we can all look forward to a great game with Limerick at the end of the month.
“Obviously these big games at Turner’s Cross will generate some revenue for the club and we can keep attracting big crowds for the rest of the season. We have home league games to come against Derry and Bray as well,” added Caulfield who had his full squad back in training yesterday.
“The four injured lads were in all week doing some physio and medical work with the back room staff and hopefully the injuries will have all cleared by next week. We are free of suspensions too and will we have a clean bill of health by the time the Limerick game rolls around,” he added.
*Cork City’s up-coming fixtures:
FRIDAY, September 22
v Limerick, Markets Field 7.45pm (league);
MONDAY, September 25
v Dundalk, Turner’s Cross 7.20pm (live on RTE2)
FRIDAY, September 29
v Limerick (FAI Cup semi-final), Turner’s Cross 7.15pm (live on RTE2)