Cork City: What we can expect from Colin Healy's side this season

Rebel Army begin their bid for promotion away to Bray Wanderers on Friday night
Cork City: What we can expect from Colin Healy's side this season

Barry Coffey of Cork City celebrates after scoring at Turner's Cross last season. Picture: Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile

I LOVE this time of year.

It’s the first game of a new season and I am excited to see what’s in store.

Tonight, Colin Healy’s Cork City side travel to the Carlisle Grounds to take on Bray, a newly-merged team with Bray Wanderers and Cabinteely joining forces, but I do expect City to pick up their first win of the season.

Bray Wanderers finished four points above City last season while Cabinteely were eight points behind so it’s difficult to say what the Seagulls will be like, however, Bray and City have enjoyed a promising pre-season so I expect this to be a good competitive game.

Both have added to their squads in a bid to make it to the top tier.

There’s no denying this has to be Healy’s aim. He knows the pressure is on after a disappointing year last season and now, with a year’s experience, there will be less excuses not to do well at this level.

While I still believe City are lacking leadership, especially in the middle of the park, I think overall Healy has assembled a really good squad.


David Harrington will more than likely start in goal and I hope the youngster relishes the opportunity, as what I’ve seen of him so far has impressed me and I think he will play a huge role this season.

In front of him I am looking forward to seeing the new centre- back pairing of former Shels player Ally Gilchrist and Cian Coleman.

Cian Coleman. Picture: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Cian Coleman. Picture: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Alongside them at full-back I expect Kevin O’Connor and either Uniss Kargbo and John Honohan.

Gordon Walker will be a loss to City after he suffered a broken leg in the pre-season friendly against St Pat’s, however I would be confident that Kargbo and Honohan will slot in at right-back and do a good job.

The midfield area is where I think City could struggle.

While lads such as Aaron Bolger and Barry Coffey will do okay, the injured Alec Byrne will be a huge loss and at the moment I can’t see any player that could control the game from that area. I hope I’m proved wrong because this really is where they need to dominate.

In last week’s friendly against Shels, I thought City hit too much long ball again. From Harrington in goal the ball was pumped up-field on nearly every occasion and it worries me that they played very little through the thirds.

I can’t understand this method, especially when they have the defenders who are capable and who should want to get on the ball every time.

However one player who I was impressed with and am looking forward to see more of is new signing Ruairi Keating. The striker has a lot of great qualities. He was able to hold the ball up well but is equally impressive running at the defence.

Cork City FC are delighted to announce the signing of Ruairi Keating from Galway United.
Cork City FC are delighted to announce the signing of Ruairi Keating from Galway United.

Maybe this is Healy’s reason for wanting the ball played up to him as quickly as possible.

That’s okay now and then, not every time though, especially when he isn’t getting the support from midfield.

As the new season begins, we see that every other team in the league has strengthened and I expect another tough and competitive campaign.

I believe last season will stand to City a lot. To be fair, they were a young side and they certainly grew throughout last season.

They may have taken longer than expected, but credit to them for cutting out silly defensive errors, while at the other end, they became a threat up top towards the end of the season.


I expect they will have learned a lot and hopefully they can bring that into this season and hopefully have a better start, than they did last year.

There are a few fixtures this season I am really looking forward to. Needless to say next week’s first home fixture against John Caulfield’s Galway United is on.

However I’m also looking forward to the derby against Cobh Ramblers on March 11 at Turner’s Cross.

Darren Murphy’s Cobh have added quality to their side this year with a few former City players which will add that bit of spice to the fixture.

From what I have seen in pre-season, City pass the ball well and players showed good feet in tight areas but it’s the end result that matters, and City’s final ball at times is disappointing.

But hopefully they can get off to a good start. They have a really good chance of getting points on the table with their first few fixtures.

I think they could at least get nine out of 12 points in their first four games. And I expect this to be the case.

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