COLIN HEALY'S Cork City continue to bolster their squad ahead of the 2023 season with a host of contract renewals and new signings.
The latest of these announcements is that centre half Ally Gilchrist will be staying on Leeside for the upcoming campaign in what is welcome news for City fans.
Gilchrist gave a good showing of himself in the First Division last season, endearing himself to the Rebel Army faithful with an assured, committed and physical style of defending that is so highly valued by the supporters.
Looking forward to the prospect of Turner’s Cross playing host to the best clubs in the country again, starting with Bohemians on 17th February, Gilchrist said that: “Next year is another challenge for us, and one we are all looking forward to it.
"We have obviously just seen this morning that we will be at home on the opening day of the season, so I am sure Turner’s Cross will be absolutely rocking for that one.
"It is great for the club to be back in the Premier Division, and we are all looking forward to getting back underway after Christmas.”
The former Derry City and Shamrock Rovers man made 26 league appearances for the club last season and even chipped in with a couple of goals. He did have a brief spell on the touchline due to injury where his absence at the heart of the defence was notable.
The team simply look more assured when he’s on the pitch.
Gilchrist also has Premier Division experience having made over 40 appearances in the top flight during his time with Derry and Rovers.
No doubt this will be important for City as any newly promoted side knows the value of keeping clean sheets and not giving away sloppy goals.
In the club’s announcement of the re-signing City boss Colin Healy recognised this, saying that: “Ally was a big player for us last season, and he really added experience and quality to the squad.
"He’s a leader on and off the pitch, and he has Premier Division experience that will stand to him next season. We are delighted to have him on board again for next season.”
The 27 year old has also progressed as a player since the last time he lined out in the Premier Division, having been an integral part of Shelbourne’s promotion winning side of 2021.
The central defender made 26 appearances out of 27 league games in that campaign and went on to join City at the start of the season just gone, where City also went on to win promotion.
With his back to back First Division titles, fans on Leeside will hope that his habit of picking up silverware will continue in the near future.