Cork City's Gordon Walker: 'We learned a lot from this season'

First Division campaign didn't end with a place in the play-offs but City are well placed for 2020 according to defender Walker
Cork City's Gordon Walker: 'We learned a lot from this season'

Cork City's Gordon Walker and Mark Dignam of UCD. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

THE players of Cork City and Cobh Ramblers are now on a well-deserved break after a tough First Division campaign.

Finishing the final game of the season with a win and a man-of-the-match performance wasn't a bad way for it to end for City defender Gordon Walker.

“It’s always nice to earn awards like Man of the Match but for me, the most important thing on Friday night was the three points,” said Walker.

A 3-0 victory in City’s final game of the season over John Caulfield’s Galway United gave the fans plenty to cheer about.

“Even though it ultimately couldn’t change whether we would compete or not in the play-offs, it was important to keep good habits, and winning matches is a good habit to have.

“We ultimately had nothing to play for with four or five games left, which is very disappointing, however, this doesn’t change our attitude.

“Our mindset towards a match remains exactly the same as we’re professionals, it’s our job to try and win every game.”

So was the First Division as competitive as Walker expected it to be?

“I think the First Division was exactly what I expected as I played in it previously with Cobh. It’s a tough league to win and get out of, especially with the high quality of other teams.

“We saw again how difficult it was this season and I don’t think anyone was under the illusion that it would be any easier than it was. Yes, we would have thought we would have done better but again that shows just how competitive this division is.

I was happy with my game-time this season. I reckon I was in the top six of most minutes all season, and I think a reason for that is because every time I got a chance I took it and played myself into the team.

“You have to really as there is so much competition within the squad.

“It’s all about hard work really and believing in yourself and just hoping that you can put in good performances week after week.

“Obviously it’s disappointing not to make the play-offs, for a club of this stature we should be competing at the top of the table, but the start of the season killed us. Results didn’t go our way in a lot of games, too many draws in games we should and could have won.

“We have learned a lot from those games though and hopefully we can rectify a lot of those mistakes in our start to next season. I reckon if there were five or six more games to be played, we would have made the play-offs comfortably as I think towards the end of the season we were the team in form.

“Unfortunately we just left it too late.”

Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

So what areas does the former UCC player feel the squad needs to strengthen?

“Overall I think we have a really good squad and I’m sure Colin will look to improve in certain areas like every other manager does in the transfer window.

“It wouldn’t be fair of me to state where needs to be strengthened but Colin as manager will know exactly and that’s his job in the coming months.

I do believe promotion next season is possible, that’s the target of course, the more minutes lads like myself have played also this season I think will benefit us next year.

“We will have learned an awful lot from this season and that can only be a positive heading into next season. That goes for both the players and management.

“But for now I’ll take a few weeks break, it’s a long season and it is mentally and physically draining at times so for me it’s time to take a break from football for two or three weeks then get back training and keep ticking over on my fitness.

“I then will look forward to getting back on the pitch again and prepare for pre-season with the hope of developing and being ready for the new season ahead.”

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