Cork CITY FC have continued to build for the upcoming League of Ireland campaign by adding Canadian midfielder Matt Srbely in a season-long loan deal from Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Manager Colin Healy’s connections with former Sunderland teammate Neil Collins forged the move as the latter is in charge of the side currently in the USL, the second American tier.
The 23-year-old went straight into training with the City squad this morning and should feature in Saturday’s pre-season friendly against top Premier Division side St Patrick’s Athletic.
“I felt surprisingly good going into training this morning; I thought the jet lag was going to hit me harder to be honest!
"I felt good and I enjoyed it; it was a good session. I spoke to some Irish friends before coming over and they said the standard was good, so I came in expecting that.
“The move came about when Colin reached out to the manager and he told me about the opportunity, and I was very excited at the possibility of coming here.
"It didn’t take long for me to find out a lot about the club, the history, the trophies the club has won and I was excited to be a part of that," Srbely said.
Healy added of the player who was previously at Toronto FC.
“I would know Neil Collins, the Tampa Bay manager, from Sunderland. We had heard that Matt might be available, so I spoke to Neil and Neil had a lot of good things to say about him.
"He’s a good player, an attacking midfielder, and he will add to us. He’s technically good, he’s got good fitness levels and he will strengthen us in midfield.”
Meanwhile, the club recently announced that youth player Mark O’Mahony has signed his first professional contract with the club.
The striker joined the club in 2019 from Carrigaline United, and he told CorkCityFC.ie that he was very pleased to have put pen to paper.
“I am absolutely thrilled to have signed my first professional contract. I would like to thank all of my coaches who have helped me along the way, from my time with Carrigaline United, to the coaches here at Cork City who have helped me along since I joined the academy.
"I want to continue working hard and keep improving, and am looking forward to the season ahead.”
City’s Head of Academy, Liam Kearney, welcomed the news, saying: “We are delighted that Mark has signed his first professional with the club. "He is a huge talent, and has performed excellently at both club and international level, both Under 17s and 18s, over the last year.
"Mark is another academy player that we have now put on a professional contract, which is something that we as a club want to do, so we are very pleased with the progress we have made in this area over the last twelve months.
"Mark is a great lad, with a great character and he epitomises what we are all about in the Cork City FC Academy, so we are all very pleased for him.”