Cork City centre-back Kenny Browne has left the club one week before the start of the new season, writes Stephen Barry.
John Caulfield revealed that Browne had forced through a move from the FAI Cup champions to his hometown club Waterford FC after City’s President’s Cup victory over Dundalk.
The manager described the situation as a “soap opera”, adding that Browne told him he didn’t want to play for the club. Browne, however, wrote on Twitter last night: “I didn't refuse to play against Dundalk tonight, some of the shit I'm hearing is hilarious”.
Caulfield said: “Kenny informed me that he wanted to go and late in the week he didn’t want to play for us, so we agreed a deal to get him back to Waterford.
“There had been issues. They had been onto him in the last two months, non-stop, every day, and it was affecting the club. It was a bit of a soap opera, but we have been compensated.
“We need passionate players to win trophies and we need a happy dressing room as well to achieve our goals.
“He was brilliant for me last year. But, at the same time, he didn’t want to be part of a league challenge, he didn’t want to play in Europe, and in fairness to him he told me all those things.
“Sometimes fellas are shocked. Nothing shocks me nowadays.”
Pat Fenlon’s Waterford, who are expected to be strong contenders for promotion from the First Division, have also snapped up Mark O’Sullivan, Dave Mulcahy and Matthew Connor from the Leesiders.
City’s impressive 3-0 victory over League champions Dundalk was earned with a patchwork defensive pairing, made up of new signings Ryan Delaney, usually a full-back, and Conor McCormack, usually a midfielder or full-back.
McCormack, one of the smallest players on the pitch, was only asked to fill-in for Browne yesterday, and Caulfield described his performance as “outstanding”.
Regular centre-back Alan Bennett and captain John Dunleavy both missed the game through injury.