Caulfield is the full-time replacement for Tommy Dunne, who was sacked by the club in August after a poor run of results in the league.
Under caretaker manager Stuart Ashton and coach Billy Woods towards the end of the season, with assistance from newly-appointed Director of Football Paul O’Brien, City experienced an upsurge in fortunes to finish in sixth place with a 4-2 victory over champions St Patrick’s Athletic on the last day of the league campaign.
The club received in the region of 50 applications and expressions of interest in the vacant managerial position, with the contenders including the likes of outgoing Drogheda United boss Mick Cooke and former English Premier League manager Glenn Roeder, but in the end it was Caulfield who got the backing of the board to take over at Turner’s Cross.
Steeped in Cork football, the 49-year-old began a long association with City when he made his debut in 1986, claiming league and cup honours as well as European experience en route to becoming an one of the club’s most popular and regarded personalities. Since retiring as a player, he has managed Avondale United and UCC while continuing to be a regular at games at Turner’s Cross.
Although a qualified coach, Caulfield currently lacks the Pro Licence required to manage in the Airtricity League Premier Division but this will be rectified when he commences a course next February, a month ahead of the new season. In the meantime, the club appears to have received assurances from the FAI that there is no obstacle to Caulfield being appointed to the managerial role with immediate effect.
One of the new man’s most pressing tasks will be to try to stem the threat of a talent drain from Turner’s Cross. Already, the club have lost midfielder Shane Duggan to Limerick, while striker Danny Morrissey is tipped to join Huddersfield with his namesake Gearoid in line to follow suit.