Cork City manager and former Co. Roscommon resident, John Caulfield, was delighted with his side’s last-minute extra-time FAI Cup win against Dundalk last Sunday, but admitted that they were “probably due” some silverware following a couple of seasons of close calls.
Caulfield guided City to second in the league this season, the third time the Leesiders have finished runners-up to Dundalk and the man who spent much of his childhood in Lecarrow, wasn’t taking anything for granted during last weekend’s cup final.
“Like all teams, you practice penalties beforehand. It did look like it was going to penalties but we were prepared for that. Because we scored at that time, it didn’t give them an opportunity to come back,” he said.
With the week that’s in at and with Ireland playing Austria in Vienna this weekend, John said “it was great to see” Roy Keane and Martin O’Neill at the match and that along with the selection of Dundalk’s Andy Boyle and Daryl Horgan augured well for the League of Ireland.
As for a glamour friendly in Lecarrow? John reckons Roscommon officials may have to wait, but he didn’t rule out the FAI Cup paying a visit!
(Laughs). “Well, I won’t be bringing a team at the moment, they’re all finished now because the season’s over. I’ll certainly bring the cup back up.
“We’re due back for pre-season in mid-January and we’ve to plan for that. I think certainly the cup will be back up! We were up there a few years ago. It was probably one of the coldest nights of the year (laughs).”
John also had some advice for young players and coaches looking to make it in the game.
“Certainly the talented players coming through need to get up into trials with the better League of Ireland teams. I watch a lot of junior football in Cork which is probably similar to junior football in Roscommon and a lot of players don’t understand the difference between the speed and pace and strength (at League of Ireland level).
“Any coach who has a very talented player, he should see it as a progression to get those players to a top League of Ireland club to let him train in the environment to see where they’re at.”