GEAROID Morrissey can't wait for the opportunity to make things right and win promotion with Cork City again.
Having captained the club last season, the 29-year-old feels more responsible than most about the club’s relegation and is keen to add another promotion to his CV with the club, having won the First Division with City back in 2011.
Despite offers from elsewhere, he has committed himself to the Leeside cause again for 2021.
"I'm looking forward to the opportunity of working with Healers [Colin Healy] and Cotts [John Cotter] again and make things right.
"Last season, was my biggest disappointment in football, especially the fact that I was captain as well, made the relegation more disheartening. I sometimes feel that having achieved so much with the club by gaining promotion, winning the FAI Cup and then the double, that getting relegated with the club has tarnished all of that.
“I didn't want people to think of me as someone who jumps ship when times get tough. I wanted to be part of the club next season.
"It was a little bit up in the air but thankfully my future is now sorted so I can focus on next season.
“I enjoyed working with Healers and Cotts towards the end of last season. It felt like when John Caulfield and Cotts first walked into the training ground. There was that focus again and the demand levels increased.
"You can have a laugh and joke with Healers but when we start training, he expects very high levels. That can be in the warm-ups or in a passing drill.”
With the uncertainty surrounding the takeover of the club and what budget City would be working off for next season, Morrissey admitted that it has been one of his toughest off-seasons to date.
“The off-season has been like the whole of 2020 – full of uncertainty. As a player usually if you want to stay at a club, you sit down with the manager towards the end of the season and discuss a contract but because of the takeover, there could be nothing done until the club knew what sort of budget they would be working off.
“I was convinced that everything would be smooth sailing once Foras voted in favour of selling the club to Grovemore but it just never materialised. Since there was no manager appointed, there was no one really the players could contact to talk to about what was going on and what was the situation for next season.
"There would have been a better budget for the club to try and gain promotion back to the Premier Division. However, next, I was hearing the club would be amateur which wouldn’t have given the club much chance of returning to the top-tier at the first chance.
“It can be tough in the off-season trying to motivate yourself when you are training on your own but it’s been even tougher this year not knowing what the future holds. Usually, I’d have been given a programme by the club or we would meet up to do gym sessions but there hasn’t been a manager in charge to contact players and tell them what he wants them to do.
"I’ve been working off what I’ve been doing in previous seasons. It has been good that I’m still able to use the Mardyke through the club so I’ve been going there.”
Having gained promotion from the First Division in 2011, Morrissey knows just how tough a league it can be to get out of especially with teams like Shelbourne and Galway competing for promotion next season as well.
“I think from the outside when you look and see the players Galway and Shelbourne have recruited and you think of their budget, they will have to be amongst the favourites for the league. However, I believe City now have a plan in place and will have a good chance of success next season.
"Galway and Shelbourne have made some good additions but the standard of players in the league isn’t that different especially in the First Division.
"There’s no player that tear teams apart and teams won’t be able to cope with him. In Caulfield’s first season at the club, we didn’t have the greatest players but we worked together as a team and came very close to winning the league only to miss out by losing to Dundalk on the last day of the season.
"I believe that if you get a group of players that are on the same page and work together then a team stands a very good chance of being successful. I believe City can achieve success in the division even though, Galway and Shelbourne have bigger budgets.
"I wouldn’t have been talking to the club about re-signing if I honestly didn’t believe that City would be competing for promotion next season."