Cork City manager Colin Healy is hopeful that Steven Beattie will be passed to make his second league debut for the Rebel Army as they travel to face Cabinteely tonight (7.45pm).
The only two sides to have won in the opening set of fixtures last week clash at Stradbrook Road, the home of Blackrock College RFC.
Beattie, who re-signed for City in the off-season, missed the win over Cobh Ramblers last week due to a hamstring problem, but Healy is giving him every chance to make it.
“He trained this week and got through the sessions okay,” he said.
“We’ll take a look at him closer to the game and make a decision then on him.”
When initially signed by John Caulfield in 2015, Beattie played on the right wing but was later redeployed as a right-back, where he played in the 2017 double-winning season. Healy is happy to have options as to where to use the Dublin native.
“He can play right-back, he can play wide right, he can play in the middle of the park,” he said.
“He can play in a few positions and he’ll be fine – he brings important experience and I don’t want to nail him down to one spot.
“The first game I played against Beats was when he was with Bohs and he played in the 10 – maybe he’s dropping back as he’s aging, I don’t know!”
There were encouraging signs against Cobh, but Healy knows that there is a lot of room for improvement too, not in least in terms of ball-retention.
“When you give away the ball, you’re defending straightaway,” he said.
“I like to keep possession, everybody does, but it is difficult. Sometimes, lads panic under pressure and that’s the way it is in football. That’s what happens, it’s something that happened on Friday night more than we would have liked and it’s something we have to look at.
“Hopefully, going forward, we can get it sorted, but the more games the lads play, they’ll be fine.”
Other than Beattie, Rob Slevin is the only other player affected by injury, with a back problem keeping him out. Healy expects another stiff challenge.
“I think every game is going to be difficult,” he said.
“As you saw with the game against Cobh, it was a battle, and it will be like that every week. There are some very good teams in the league this year.
“Cabinteely a good side and it will be physical, like I think a lot of games in the first division will be. It’ll be something like Cobh last week, a lot of second balls, another battle.
“Pat [Devlin] is an experienced man, he’s been around for so many years, and they have an experienced backroom team, too.
“They have good players as well, so we know what we’re going into on Friday night, it’ll be another difficult fixture.”