CORK CITY boss John Caulfield paid a glowing tribute to his top goalkeeper, Mark McNulty this week suggesting that the Ballincollig man’s form between the posts was one of the main reasons why the Leesiders sit top of the Premier Division tonight.
City have opened up a three-point gap on champions Dundalk and Derry at the summit, but the Candystripes have a game in hand after their home fixture with Limerick at McGinn Park had to be abandoned because of floodlight failure.
“Mark McNulty is the number one goalkeeper in the league and he proved it once more with two great saves against Sligo Rovers the other night when the game was still goalless.
He’s a fabulous keeper and we watch him every day at training and he’s an inspiration for any young kid out there. He trains hard every day and I don’t know how many consecutive games he’s played for me but he’s in great form,” said Caulfield.
“Gary Rogers at Dundalk and Derry City’s Ger Doherty are fine goalkeepers but, for me, ‘Nults’ is absolutely the man. He has a phenomenal record and he’s the best there is again this season.
"The thing is down here we haven’t fully appreciated him because he was the back-up for so long to Mick Devine. But I think since he’s hit his thirties he has come into his own and he’ll go on and on up to his forties if he wants to do so.
“He has vast experience now, his fitness levels are incredible and his flexibility is second to none.
We are very fortunate to have him in our squad and, apart from starting out with Ballincollig as a centre-forward and outfield player, he’s been a one club man all his League of Ireland life. Listen, he’s a super keeper and that’s a fact,” said Caulfield, ahead of Friday night’s big game away to Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium.
Caulfield has ruled out the notion that this year’s title race will be a two-horse event between the league champions and the FAI Cup champions.
“I think we will have more draws in the title race this year and I don’t see it being a two-horse race at all. Teams like Derry City, Shamrock Rovers and Bray Wanderers have all made good starts like ourselves and Dundalk and that’s got to be good for the domestic game.
There are teams out there this season like Bray, Drogheda, Limerick and Galway that can take points off the opposition and you expect that there will be more than two clubs chasing the silverware as the championship race unfolds over the coming weeks and months,” he added.
The spread of goals and goal-scorers is another plus for City this season and midfielder Gearoid Morrissey who popped in his first of the season up at Drogheda says it’s good for the team and good for Seanie Maguire that other players are chipping in now.
“It's important that we don't just rely on one or two players for our goals. I think good teams do that and throughout the season you need everybody to pitch in here and there. Obviously the Seanie Maguires are going to be scoring week-in, week-out but the rest of us will be trying to get amongst the goals as well. To win the league you need to do this,” said Morrissey, who will be back in the team to face Rovers having been rested for the 2-1 home win over Sligo Rovers.