CORK City might have failed to gain promotion this season, but Cian Bargary has impressed nonetheless.
The Tipperary native has been one of the success stories for City this campaign but that should come as no surprise after Bargary burst onto the scene when making his debut in 2019.
The 20-year-old came on as a substitute, scoring the winning goal against UCD in Dublin and Bargary has fond memories of his introduction to League of Ireland football.
“I knew I was going to be a sub travelling to the game but I wasn’t sure whether I’d get my opportunity in the match.
“You always just have to prepare the same anyway whether you are staring or on the bench and have to be ready when called upon. I never really thought I was going to come on, but as the game went on, I had a little feeling that I was going to come on because we were looking for a goal. I was just lucky to be brought on that day.
“I can remember Cotts [former City manager John Cotter], telling me; that it was my debut, to go and enjoy it and work hard.
“I got a bit of joy at the end and I was just in the right place at the right time for the goal.
“The feeling after the game was very good. Obviously, it was my first goal so everyone was texting me; my family and friends.
“I didn’t have much time to think about it though because I went straight over to my brothers wedding in Lithuania after the game. I think I was getting a flight at two the next morning.
“So, I literally just went back in the car with my parents and brother. I didn’t even travel back on the team bus. We went straight home, got the bags and went to the airport. So, I didn’t have much time to think about the goal apart from looking at things online in the car.”
Bargary played underage soccer with St Michael’s AFC of Tipperary.
The attacker impressed during a trial with City in 2017 and it was always Bargary’s aim to play for City despite being involved with Tipperary at Minor level in football.
“I remember the night of my trial. It was in CIT. I just decided to go up to it. I scored a goal and won a penalty in the game. I think I done well that night, and I was asked to sign afterwards.
“I was never hesitant about moving up to Cork. I knew what I wanted to do. City were doing very well at the time so I thought, that the best option for me was to go to City.
I loved Gaelic football growing up. I played hurling as well. I didn’t really enjoy hurling as much. I wasn’t too bad at football.
“My local club were Boherlanhan-Dualla. We weren’t hectic at football but we were good at hurling. I enjoyed playing with them.
“I was actually on the Tipp minor football team but then I chose to go to City. I didn’t play any games with them. I was just there at the start of it and then I had to make a choice between football and soccer, and I chose the soccer.
Bargary isn’t the only represented from his family to have played in the League of Ireland.
The 20-year-old’s brother Colin did have a brief spell with City before playing for Kilkenny City.
Bargary believes that his brother’s involvement in the sport had a big role in his career.
“I used to always go to my brother’s games. He played with Kilkenny. He was also with City. I think he was with Timmy Kiely [former City player] and them boys. He played with City reserves.
“He played first-team with Kilkenny before he went back to St Michael’s. Every weekend, I would go to watch his game. He done well with them. They won a few FAI Junior Cups up in the Aviva. I just loved watching that, and just wanted to replicate that.
“Colin was a big influence on my career.”
When away from football, Bargary is still keen on continuing his sporting life with the City player playing a variety of sports.
“I do like to get out on the golf course on my days off. I enjoy pool as well, and I play a bit of table tennis in my spare time.”