DAVID Meyler has backed his former Cork City teammate Colin Healy to turn things around at the club and believes the Rebel Army will come good again under his tenure.
The two central midfielders shared a dressing room on Leeside for a brief spell between 2007 and 2008 with Meyler admitting it helped prepare him immensely for a professional career in England.
The 31-year-old was speaking at the launch of the eLOI Finals night and also before City’s convincing 5-0 triumph against Wexford at Turner’s Cross on Friday evening, and insisted Healy is the right man to take the club forward.
“I have kept a far eye on it,” said Meyler when asked if he has seen many of their first division games.
“Obviously Colin has had a difficult start but I have no doubt... look, Colin is a great footballing man, he’s been around Cork City the club for God knows what, going back to 2005/2006 he’s been involved in the club as far as I can remember.
“Colin knows what’s required. He’s a good footballing man like I said so I have no doubt he will be able to turn it around and pick results up.
“Colin was someone I greatly admired. I remember when I first broke into the Cork City team Colin was very harsh on me but he definitely showed me the ropes and what was required to be a professional footballer and get to the level required to play in the Premier League, etc.
“I learned a great deal from Colin. I know he’s new to his management career, these are tough times but I have no doubt that he will turn it around and they will come good.”
Since retiring in August 2019 through injury, the former College Corinthians playmaker has featured regularly in the media but he has also started his coaching badges.
A couple of months after hanging up his boots, he joined Colin O’Brien’s coaching staff with the Ireland U17s and enjoyed a 6-0 win over Andorra at Turner’s Cross in their first game together.
With Colin Healy taking his first steps into management with Cork City, could Meyler also follow his lead in that regard?
“I can’t say that while Colin is manager, he will be on the phone to me!” he joked.
“It’s definitely something I’ve looked at. I’m nearly finished my A license and the natural progression then would be to do the pro-license. I’m involved with the Ireland U17s and it’s something I really enjoy, it’s probably the closest thing I can get to playing!
For now though, coaching the Ireland U17s and working as a pundit has his focus.
Meyler has been quite vocal in his support of Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny but less keen to share his thoughts on who should be his first-choice goalkeeper.
At present, it appears to be a three-way battle between Gavin Bazunu, Darren Randolph, and fellow Cork native Caoimhín Kelleher.
“That’s horrible that because Darren is a good friend of mine and Caoimhín is a good friend of mine, I’ve known him since he was a little boy because I played hurling and football with his brothers,” he acknowledged.
“I think Caoimhín is the natural progresser to take the Ireland number one shirt. Is he ready now? Potentially.
“He’s very comfortable on the ball, he’s a good shot-stopper but I think I would pick Randolph over him is just that he has that little bit more experience, that know-how which Caoimhín will get in time.
“I would lean towards Randolph at the moment but there is no doubt that Caoimhín is coming and I’m sure Darren knows that and he will be happy to hand over the reigns.
“It’s a very tough one [if Caoimhín should transfer elsewhere] because regardless of Liverpool’s season, they are still one of the best clubs in Europe and he is working with the likes of Alisson who is a world-class goalkeeper.
“But if he was to go on loan and play 46 games in the championship or if he was to get a Premier League team and play the 38 games in the season, that would be a massive benefit to him.
“There will come a time that he does need to play games and he will be fully aware of that. At the moment, he’s in a very good position to stay there and learn from a world-class goalkeeper.”