THE possibility of Cork City playing their home games at Musgrave Park in the 2021 season appears to be growing stronger.
Turner’s Cross has been the club’s home since the latter part of the 1995-96 season. However, a proposed takeover of City by Grovemoor Ltd was recently paused as the company couldn’t come to an agreement on the Cross with the ground’s owners, the Munster Football Association.
In a statement in the wake of that, City said that the club would be looking for a rent reduction for the stadium for 2021, given that the club has been relegated to the SSE Airtricity League First Division, and that other options were being evaluated, too.
City’s training ground at Bishopstown – intended as a home ground when it was built, and used for games from 1992-96 – hosts underage and women’s matches and could be an option, especially before supporters are allowed to return, but it is believed that City are in discussions with the IRFU and Munster Rugby regarding Musgrave Park. However, there is no official comment from the club.
The venue hosted City’s Uefa Cup clash with Bayern Munich in 1991 and a league game against Shamrock Rovers beforehand while it has been used for various friendlies, too. City and Munster have a good relationship and, in 2017, when Storm Ophelia caused damage to the Derrynane Stand, Musgrave was offered to City to use for the game against Derry City.
Ultimately, it went ahead at the Cross as a 0-0 draw secured City the title.
Meanwhile, the club have announced that Gearóid Morrissey, Rob Slevin, Cian Murphy, David Harrington, and Josh Honohan have re-signed.
This follows on from Cian Coleman, Dale Holland, Ronan Hurley and Beineón O'Brien-Whitmarsh committing to the Rebel Army for 2021.
“Last season was very tough for everyone connected with the club, but I never wanted to go anywhere and I’m delighted to be signing back.
"I’ve been here before and know what it takes, so it’s time for all of us to roll our sleeves up and work hard. I enjoyed playing with Colin and I enjoyed working under him at the end of last season, so I’m really looking forward to continuing that into next season. He’s building a young, talented group, who will give their all for the club, and I’ll do whatever I can to help the team.”
Slevin signed for City ahead of the 2020 season after a brief stint at Waterford, while Cian Murphy came through the academy and has been around the first team for the past number of seasons, hindered by injury struggles.
Goalkeeper David Harrington, son of City legend Phil 'Biscuits' Harrington played under Healy at U19 level, while defender Josh Honohan is another player looking to shake off some injury issues.