Leading man Jimmy Keohane ready for Cork City’s second act

It’s just a week ago that Jimmy Keohane was kicking back by the pool in Mallorca. From lazy sun days, it’s now back to red hot Fridays for Keohane and his City team-mates tomorrow night, as they get back to business in the SSE Airtricty Premier Division against Limerick.

“I spent four days in Mallorca, went over with my girlfriend. it was nice and relaxing, yeah, a bit of sunshine, just switched off from football, chilled out.

“It was good to recharge the batteries and get the energy levels back up, but we’re going into a busy period now. We can just really drive on now.

“I’m looking forward to getting back and carrying on that momentum on Friday against Limerick. We just get back at it now and carry on where we left off.”

If the first half of the season was exciting for City, there’s plenty more to whet the appetite, as Cork find out their Europa League opponents on Monday. Glasgow Rangers are among the teams the Leesiders could face.

“It’s exciting. We want to go as far as we can. Obviously, Rangers is an attractive tie early on and we’d all love to have a go and see how we get on, but you’re looking forward to a good run and progress as far as you can.

“We want to keep progressing, as a team. There’s probably a bit more in us to perform yet. There’s a lot of ability and we’re looking forward to a great run in the Europa League.”

Amid all the talk of Europe, John Caulfield’s men haven’t taken their eyes off domestic matters, despite the 18-point lead they enjoy over Dundalk.

The struggle to overcome Wilton United in the Munster Senior Cup final last Monday will remind management and players that the most important silverware is yet to be won.

Nevertheless, City are now rated as low as 7/1 to go unbeaten for the rest of the league season. To put that in perspective, bookies reckon it’s more likely Cork will not lose another game than for Limerick to snatch a win at Turner’s Cross tomorrow (8/1).

Still, City are determined not to be lulled into such thinking, and Keohane quickly throws out this season’s familiar mantra.

“We’re just over halfway through in the league and we’ve just got to take every game as it comes,” he deadpans.

“That’s it really. We’ve started so well, but all that’s in the past. We all know the job’s not done yet and we’ve got to get back at it now. It’s a Munster derby on Friday and it’s going to be competitive. We’re all looking forward to getting back in the swing of things.”

City will have to do much of the remaining work without Sean Maguire, soon to depart for Preston North End in the English Championship.

Keohane predicts a bright future for the Kilkenny man there. “Seanie has merited the move. He’s done really well and he’s making that step up now. Seanie’s been at West Ham and Accrington, so he knows the level. It’s a great opportunity for him, I know he’ll do well.”

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