New Cork City manager Colin Healy believes that the fact that the club have retained a large number of last season’s squad points to a loyalty and a keenness to right the wrongs of 2020.
On Tuesday, City announced that Mark McNulty, Uniss Kargbo and Cory Galvin had all-resigned, with McNulty again doubling up as goalkeeping coach, while former Cobh Ramblers goalkeeper Paul Hunt has joined, too.
With Gearóid Morrissey, Cian Coleman, Ronan Hurley, Rob Slevin, Beineón O’Brien-Whitmarsh and Cian Bargary among the others staying with the Rebel Army, Healy is heartened.
“A lot of the guys have re-signed back and it’s great that they have,” he says.
“The season last year didn’t go well for them, it didn’t go well for anybody to be honest, but it’s great for them to stay with the club and to say, ‘Listen, we can go on and have a good season.’
“It just shows that loyalty that the lads have, they’re the players that you want and that, when you put them on the pitch, you know what you’re going to get out of them.”
The experience of fellow Ballincollig native McNulty is something that Healy is delighted to be able to call upon.
“Mark has a long association with the club, and I am very pleased that he has signed back,” he says.
“He has huge experience which will be really important on the training pitch, and he will be an important part of the coaching team. He has worked alongside David Harrington for the last couple of years now and, along with Paul Hunt, the three of them will ensure that we have good options between the posts.”
For his part, McNulty was influenced by the prospect of working with Healy.
“Once Colin was confirmed as manager, there was only one place I wanted to be,” he said, “and I am very pleased that we got everything sorted so quickly."
Former Republic of Ireland international midfielder Healy remains on the lookout for more players. There has been speculation that former City star Steven Beattie, currently with Chattanooga Red Wolves in the United States, could be set for a return, while Ricardo Dinanga is another from last season whose future remains undecided.
While not commenting on specific individuals, Healy isn’t ruling anybody in or out.
“We’re always looking for players at the moment,” he says.
“We’ll keep working hard and if players become available then we’ll look at them.
“With Covid now, looking at players around the country and abroad is difficult but we were on the lookout for players, definitely.
“Things are up in the air at the moment with a few players and we’re still talking to people as well. It’s still early days.”