Colin Healy: Cork City must stay focused despite gaps in the season

With only nine teams in the First Division, along with international windows, City's campaign has been fractured 
Colin Healy: Cork City must stay focused despite gaps in the season

Matt Healy with Cork City manager Colin Healy after the SSE Airtricity League First Division match at RSC in Waterford. Picture: Michael P Ryan/Sportsfile

FOLLOWING the mid-season break, Cork City returned to training yesterday to prepare for their match against Longford Town in 11 days. 

City’s game against Waterford has been postponed due to goalkeeper David Harrington’s inclusion in the Republic of Ireland U21 squad. Manager Colin Healy admits that although the break is not ideal, it is something that his players will adjust to. 

“Obviously with the nine teams in the division this year, and with one team off every week, it’s not ideal but I keep saying; it is what it is. We just have to get on with it. There will be more breaks coming with international windows, and there will be FAI Cup games coming up so there will be more breaks. 

I initially had given the lads off until Friday, but with the game being called-off against Waterford, we were back in training on Monday.

“We would have been missing Harry, Keats [Ruairi Keating] for the Waterford game and Matt Srbely has a bit of a groin strain. With Harry being away with the U21s, I just thought it was the right decision from a football point of view to call it off. 

"It will allow us to get extra training sessions into lads who have missed games, the likes of Dylan McGlade.” 

PROMISE

The City boss was full of praise for Harrington, who is now understudy to Irish first-choice goalkeeper Brian Maher from Derry City.

“I think he has been very good. We looked at the four games he played last year. He did very well. I made the decision at the start of the year that we would go with Harry. I always look back to Brian Maher with the Irish U19s. They are the same age. I’ve seen what he has gone on to do.

“Brian Maher is very good with the ball at his feet and is an excellent goalkeeper. But working with them both at a younger age, I didn’t think Harry was too far away from Brian. I worked with Harry at U19s with Cork City as well and I knew what he was capable of but he just didn’t have the games that Brian did. 

"Brian has a lot of experience and has got better and better. But I don’t see any reason why Harry couldn’t replicate Brian if he played more.

“So we decided to go with Harry, and he has come in and done very well. That was evident in the Galway game. He was excellent. But he is still young and has a lot to learn, but the way he is going he could have a very good career.”

Cork City goalkeeper David Harrington during a Republic of Ireland U21 training session at Tallaght Stadium. Picture: Ben McShane/Sportsfile
Cork City goalkeeper David Harrington during a Republic of Ireland U21 training session at Tallaght Stadium. Picture: Ben McShane/Sportsfile

City overcame Galway in their last outing at Eamonn Deacy Park in a hard-fought victory. 

"Although City went into the game as underdogs, Healy always felt confident of getting the three points against their closest rivals.

“It was a massive result for us. The players put in a fantastic performance. The players that came on added to the game and did ever so well. I did fancy us going up there. 

"The players that we have; we don’t fear going to any ground and we believe in ourselves. We believe that we can go and get three points against anyone.” 

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