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The George O’Callaghan Column

by February 14, 2020

Well finally, the new Airtricity League is upon us, every club and fan will be full of optimism and hopeful for the new season.

The only thing for sure is some will be satisfied and others disappointed but that’s football for you.

After a poor season last year, Cork City will be hoping to bounce back from the turmoil of last season.

It’s hard to imagine that this time last year, Cork City, were one of the favourites to win the league, yet this year some pundits have tipped them to be closer to the relegation zone.

That is a massive fall in 12 months for any club.

From the outside none of us really know whats going on, but in a city like Cork the rumour mill will always be in full swing.

This is a huge season for Neal Fenn, Joe Gamble and all the coaching staff.

At worse City should be nothing short of top 4, anything outside of that for the biggest club in Ireland would be disastrous.

Lets be honest, Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers are not teams full of international stars and world beaters.

The only thing in their favour is a good structure and recruitment, something that City have fallen behind with in recent years.

Fenn is a really likeable guy and a good coach but the responsibility falls on him now with the players he has brought to the club to get City back where they belong.

I’ve always said it, sometimes your better to be a lucky manager than a good one, and I hope Fenn gets the luck that he needs to go along with his coaching ability.

Is it possible for a club to bring youngsters through when a club that from the outside doesn’t look stable?

From my experience, that doesn’t seem possible but only time will tell.

People might say I’m being harsh but three managers last season is not a stable environment for young players development.

No matter what Cork City and the drama that always comes along with them is certainly going to make for an exciting season.

I really hope Neal Fenn’s Rebel Army do the business and give the City supporters a reason to smile again and bring back the success that the fans deserve.

On the other side of the city, Cobh Ramblers will be looking to kick off their season the following week and return to the top flight of Irish Football.

I’m delighted for Stuart Ashton and having worked with him in the past, I’ve always felt he got a raw deal and when at Cork City was often overlooked for the managers position.

I often find it hard to believe that a club like Cobh struggle for the support in such a big county as Cork is.

Hopefully, this season people will come out and get behind Stuart and the team.

There is a lot of people I know behind the scene in Cobh and the hard work that they put in deserves better.

It goes to show when in the likes of Dublin you have four top flight Airtricity League teams, that is certainly something I would like to see Cork football in general compete with in the future.

Cork City 2 Shelbourne 0
Dundalk 3 Derry City 1
St Pats 1 Waterford 0
Finn Harps 1 Sligo Rovers 1
Bohs 1 Shamrock Rovers 2