CORK City have re-signed Steven Beattie.
The Dublin native previously played with the club from 2015-18, winning an FAI Cup medal in 2016 before helping the Rebel Army to win the domestic league and cup double in 2017.
At the end of the 2018 season, the former Bohemians and Sligo Rovers man departed City for US side Chattanooga Red Wolves but maintained strong links on Leeside and new City boss Colin Healy has moved to add him to the squad for 2021.
While Beattie initially signed for City as a winger, John Caulfield successfully converted him to a right-back but he is expected to play further forward as the club target an immediate return to the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.
The 32-year-old told CorkCityFC.ie that he was thrilled to be back on Leeside:
“I am just delighted to be back. It is obviously very different from 2016/17/18, but it is a new challenge and I am home. I always wanted to come back at some stage, now I am here and I want to enjoy my football again.
"I know Colin very well from playing with him in 2015; a great man, a brilliant coach and he did a fantastic job at the academy. I just want to get started now and try to get the club back to where it belongs.
“It’s a young squad and I think that’s why Colin and Cotts wanted to bring me in, because of my experience. I followed the academy closely when I was here; a lot of those young lads are now making the step-up to the first team, and there is a real bedrock of young, Cork talent here now. If I can help those young lads in any way I can, I will do so.
“When I left I didn’t think I would get the chance to play in Turner’s Cross again, but I saw what has gone on over the last couple of years and I just really wanted to get back and play my part in getting this club back to the Premier Division. I don’t care how young or inexperienced our squad is; Colin and Cotts will get the boys ready to go.
“I’ve always had a fantastic relationship with the fans here, and I was a fan for the two years I was away.
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think we would be competitive. Competitive is the least we can be and, with a guy like Colin at the helm, we will definitely be competitive.”
City boss Colin Healy welcomed the signing.
"It’s great to have Beats back. He has been a fantastic player for the club, won a lot of trophies and he brings a lot of experience into the dressing room. He can play in a number of different positions; he is one of those players who can play anywhere. He will give us everything he has, and those are the kind of players we want.
“Everybody knows him and everybody has respect for him, so he will be a massive figure inside in that dressing room. He will be one of the senior players, and he is a great addition to our squad."