CORK City’s midfield ranks have been further swelled by the arrival of Preston North End midfielder Jack Baxter on a loan deal.
Baxter, who plays primarily as a defensive midfielder, joins until the summer. The 20-year-old has been at Deepdale since U9 level and is strong in dead-ball situations, scoring from penalties and free kicks for the Preston youth team.
With Gearóid Morrissey, Cian Coleman and Alec Byrne all still with City from last year, the battle for midfield spots is sure to be competitive but manager Colin Healy is delighted to have added another option.
“There is obviously a good relationship between ourselves and Preston,” he said.
“We spoke to them and they made us aware that there was a possibility of bringing Jack in on loan, so we had a look at some footage and had a chat with him. We think he is a player who will add to our squad, and when we spoke to him, he was really keen to come over.
“He’s a good lad and he wanted to get the chance to play some first-team football, so it is a good opportunity for him. He is young and hungry to play, so he will fit in well with the group we have here.”
Baxter is looking to impress and help City’s push for an immediate return to the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.
“Everyone I have asked has said such good things about the club, and I am really looking forward to getting started.”
“I am ball-playing midfielder; I like to get on the ball, pass it and help the team build and move up the pitch. I work hard and I hope I can play my part in the team doing well. Colin told me about the club, about the team that he is building and the season ahead, and it got me excited to come over here and take the opportunity.”
Meanwhile, City have also announced their pre-season friendlies schedule, which begins next weekend.
On Sunday, February 21, they take on St Patrick’s Athletic at 2.30pm; then, the following Sunday sees a clash with Shamrock Rovers at 5pm.
On Saturday, March 6, the Rebel Army clash with Waterford at 2pm and a week later, March 13, they face Finn Harps at 3pm.
In line with Government guidance, all of the games are to be played behind closed games, to the extent that venues have not been publicly released.