Cork City legend Mark McNulty relishes new FAI role

Former number one at Turner's Cross is forging a career in coaching since finishing up with the Rebel Army
Cork City legend Mark McNulty relishes new FAI role

Cork City goalkeeper Mark McNulty leaves the pitch for the final time. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

HAVING ended his 22-year association with Cork City FC, former goalkeeper and coach Mark McNulty is now enjoying his new career working as part of the FAI/ ETB player development course.

McNulty, who “loved” his time with City, found it difficult to leave the club but the security in his new career swayed the decision of the former City keeper.

“I loved every minute at City. I enjoyed so much success there and it was a very emotional night for me in the final game of last season against Bray.

“It was a special moment for me and my family — the reception I received from the City fans leaving the pitch that night.

“I would have loved to have stayed with City and been part of the club going back into the Premier Division, but the opportunity arose to work with the FAI, and the security of the role was a big draw to me.

“I had to consider my family. I’ve a young family to support and they had to be my priority. In saying that, I have really enjoyed my new career.

“I am working with Stewy [Stuart Ashton]. I have known him for a long time from our time together at City so it helps having a familiar face to work alongside when you are beginning in a new role.

The daily routine is very similar to that of a professional footballer. The players on the course train in the morning, and then in the afternoon.

“They focus on the educational side of the programme, which is very helpful and rewarding for those involved.

“For most of the sessions I have been coaching outfield players rather than doing goalkeeping sessions that I did with City. But I want to develop as an outfield coach.

“I don’t just want to be labelled as a goalkeeper coach. I want to be seen as a person who can do both.”

Cork City goalkeeper Mark McNulty takes to the pitch for the final time against Bray. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo
Cork City goalkeeper Mark McNulty takes to the pitch for the final time against Bray. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Outside of his role with the FAI, McNulty is providing coaching for inspiring young goalkeepers in Cork.

The 42-year-old offers training sessions every Tuesday in Corinthians Park — the home of College Corinthians — for keepers between the age of 11-14. McNulty also provides his services to the senior and junior teams with Corinthians.

“At the moment, I also offer goalkeeping sessions for anyone interested between the ages of 11-14.

“That happens every Tuesday in Corinthians Park. I take eight keepers in a three-block period over a month and then it opens up again for others to book for the following month.

“I have people approach me asking was it only restricted to players who play with Corinthians — it’s not just for Corinthians players. It’s open to anyone.

“However, as a courtesy to the club for allowing me to use their facilities, their members do receive a small bit more notice about the next course before the general public are aware of it.

“Of course, I’d love to be doing more sessions but it’s finding the time and with beginning the new role with the FAI/ETB, I don’t want to take on too much and put myself under pressure.

“Even after the coaching sessions with the younger keepers, I then go over and work with the senior and junior keepers with Corinthians.

“[Joe] Gamble [Corinthians’ senior manager] asked if I would be interested in helping out and, having played with him before and knowing the type of guy he is, I know it would be something I would enjoy, and that hasn’t changed since starting it.”

PIVOTAL

Looking at his old club’s chances in the Premier Division next season, McNulty believes his former colleague Colin Healy will be a pivotal figure in the club’s campaign.

“There is still a bit to go before the season starts but, having worked with Healers, and known him for such a long time, he will be excited for the new season.

I’ve never seen someone put in as much work as he does. He will leave no stone unturned. He has done such a great job so far, and has earned the right to manage the club in the Premier Division.

“Of course, it is going to be tough. Teams like Shamrock Rovers and Derry City are getting stronger, and then you have St Pats and Dundalk always looking to get back to the top.

“But Healers will have the lads be prepared. He will exploit every resource available to him to make sure City are at their best next season.”

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