FORMER Cork City and now, Galway United captain, Conor McCormack, is looking forward to returning to face his old employees when Galway visit Turner’s Cross tonight.
McCormack, who was part of the City double-winning team in 2018, has fond memories of his time with the club.
His only disappointment ahead of tonight’s game is that there won’t be any supporters allowed into the ground.
“I can’t wait for it. It’s going to be good, going back playing at Turner’s Cross. Obviously, there will be no fans again. I played there last year with Derry without fans and it just wasn’t the same without them,” McCormack said.
“I know a lot of players, returning to face their old club, might prefer not to have fans in the ground. I’d much prefer, to have supporters at the game.
Some players might be fearful of getting some abuse from the crowd, but I’d like to think that I have a good relationship with the City fans.
“If they were in the ground, I wouldn’t have expected to be getting much abuse. I miss the atmosphere that the fans create. I’ve not experienced fans at Galway games but at Turner’s Cross the atmosphere was always brilliant.”
It’s not just the club that McCormack enjoyed during his in Cork, but also the city.
The Co Louth native bought an apartment, thanks to the help of a former City colleague while playing for City and commutes regularly from Cork to Galway.
“I didn’t know what to expect when moving down to Cork but I loved the city. At the beginning, I lived with Shep [Karl Sheppard] in Wilton. We were renting a place but as you do, when you get older, you realise that rent becomes dead money and I decided I wanted to buy a place.
"I know it’s tough to get a mortgage, but for a player, playing in the League of Ireland, it’s extremely difficult.
“It took me months to finally get my property. I had a few difficulties along the way. Brendan O’Sullivan who I worked alongside coaching the underage teams at City played a major role in getting my mortgage sorted.
“He was my solicitor for the process and went above and beyond to make sure that I did eventually get my mortgage sorted.”
For some, it was a surprise to see McCormack depart a Premier Division club in Derry to join Galway in the First Division. However, having played under John Caulfield at City, McCormack was excited to work with his old manager again and be part of the project in Galway.
“I knew John from our time together at City. When I got the call saying he was interested in signing me for Galway, I was keen to hear what he had to say. John is an excellent and successful manager. We enjoyed great success during our time together at City and I believe with the project that is in place at Galway, we will enjoy success there as well.
“I enjoyed my time at Derry, but with me commuting up and down from Cork, I just wasn’t able to give my full commitment. Declan Devine was great to me about it. In the end it suited both Galway and Derry for me to sign for Galway.”
Galway were among the pre-season favourites to win the First Division but have had an indifferent start to the campaign. Caulfield’s side sit fifth in the table but are just six points off Shelbourne, who are top of the division.
McCormack believes that Galway have been unlucky in games this year and the best is yet to come from them.
“We have been unlucky with a couple of results. Things haven’t gone our way. We conceded a late goal against Bray Wanderers and lost that game. I don’t think we deserved that.
“It was good to get the win against Wexford Youths last week. There is no banker three points. Whether you are top of the league or bottom of the league. I think that shows, with the results you have seen in games this season.
“Every team in this league are competitive. I think, we learned that in Athlone, when we got caught on the hop and they deserved their victory.
“We are expecting another tough game tonight. City have come into good form of late but we will be looking to get all the points."
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