Cork City head to Waterford as Colin Healy looks to assess his best 11

Competition is intense for a number of key positions, including goalkeeper
Cork City head to Waterford as Colin Healy looks to assess his best 11

Shamrock Rovers’ Danny Mandriou with Dylan McGlade of Cork City. Picture: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

SATURDAY, Pre-season friendly: Waterford v Cork City, Regional Sports Centre, 2pm.

IT’S a third of four pre-season friendlies for Cork City as they travel east to face Kevin Sheedy’s Waterford.

While City’s first two outings ahead of the SSE Airtricity League First Division have finished in 2-1 defeats, against St Patrick’s Athletic at Blarney United and against Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght, manager Colin Healy was able to take positives.

Twenty players have featured, with all of them getting at least 45 minutes, while Uniss Kargbo, Ronan Hurley and Cian Coleman have had more than three-quarters of the total game-time.

All three were part of an unusual looking defence against the champions last week – midfielder Coleman partnered left-back Hurley in the centre while Kargbo, right-back against Pat’s, moved over to left-back as Gordon Walker played at right-back.

With his squad looking like it has more options in attack than at the other end of the field, Healy will be glad that his experimentation showed some encouraging signs, though it is likely that George Heaven and Rob Slevin, who played the whole game against Pat’s, will be the starting pairing when the serious action begins.

The goalkeeping situation still looks to be one where the starting spot is up for grabs. Former Cobh Ramblers man Paul Hunt started against Pat’s with Mark McNulty between the sticks against Rovers, though David Harrington, who came on in both games, has the most minutes played so far. While McNulty is doubling up as the goalkeeping coach, his experience could yet win out.

Up front, City have shown promising signs in terms of being able to create chances from limited possession. Having come on as a sub in the two games until now, former Dundalk man Jamie Wynne could be in line for a start at the RSC to show what he can do as Healy looks to build an attacking unit that can link well together and provide some end-product. 

Shamrock Rovers’ Lee Grace with Cian Murphy of Cork City. Picture: INPHO/Morgan Treacy
Shamrock Rovers’ Lee Grace with Cian Murphy of Cork City. Picture: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Cian Murphy was very impressive against Rovers, scoring City’s goal after nice interplay with Beineón O’Brien-Whitmarsh, and Jack Walsh, formerly of Avondale United, could get his first start, too.

On Tuesday, Waterford faced Treaty United at the Waterford IT complex in Carriganore and the game finished 1-1. In what was the Limerick side’s first proper outing, former City man Joel Coustrain put Treaty ahead before John Martin equalised for Waterford to ensure a share of the spoils.

The Blues have almost a completely new squad for their upcoming Premier Division campaign, retaining veterans Brian Murphy in goal and Daryl Murphy up front as well as Martin. Among their additions are Cork native Adam O’Reilly, with the former Ringmahon Rangers midfielder having signed on loan from Preston North End.

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