Cork City boss John Caulfield is turning to the club’s youth set-up as he looks to add to the club’s firepower to reignite their stuttering season.
Attackers Cian Murphy, Cian Bargary, and Darragh Crowley are being drafted in from the youth set-up with a view to integrating into the squad for the rest of the league campaign.
The Leesiders stumbled to their fourth defeat of this year’s SSE Airtricity League Premier Division campaign last weekend, losing 3-1 to Shamrock Rovers at Turner’s Cross. City trail the high-flying Hoops by 15 points, though Cork have two games in hand.
City have struggled for goals, with striker Graham Cummins’ effort in the 4-3 win over Finn Harps their only league goal from a striker this season. With St Patrick’s Athletic next up on Friday, Caulfield wants to freshen up his squad early in the campaign.
“We had a meeting yesterday with (academy chief) Colin Healy and we’ve brought in Cian Murphy, Cian Bargary and Darragh Crowley into the squad,” said Caulfield. “We were going to wait until the summer because they are doing their Leaving Cert but they are off for the next few weeks with holidays so it works out well, with all the games we have, so they’ve come in to training.
“We think these guys have real talent. It’s just balancing it with the Leaving Cert — from our point of view we’d have had them in from the start of January if we could have, but it wasn’t that way.
“We’ve had a good discussion on it and we feel the time is right to bring them in. They are all forwards and it gives us options because we are a bit tight in that situation at the moment.”
Tipperary native Cian Murphy joined City at U17 level in July 2015 while fellow Tipp man Bargary joined the club in 2017.
Former Kinsale AFC man Darragh Crowley scored in the 4-1 EA Sports Cup win over Cobh Ramblers, where both he and Bargary came on as substitutes. “They’ve done well in League Cup and Munster Senior Cup, a different level I understand, but maybe it’s time to bring them in,” said Caulfield.
“They are our own lads coming through. They are fit lads, quick, a bit raw, but it’s a good time to introduce them. We want to bring as many young fellas as we can through.”
St Pat’s will come into Friday’s clash having beaten Cork in the first game of the season, Mikey Drennan’s penalty securing a 1-0 win at Inchicore, while last weekend Harry Kenny’s men beat champions Dundalk 1-0. “Pat’s had a tremendous win last weekend and they will certainly look to challenge for Europe and are on track for that,” warned Caulfield.
While Cork have struggled for goals, leaders Shamrock Rovers have scored 18 in the league so far, spread among 10 different scorers.
“We sat down months ago and spoke about recruitment and what we wanted to do,” said manager Stephen Bradley yesterday. “Everyone wants someone who is guaranteed 30 goals but they’re not out there, are they? We knew we wanted to add goals, but from everywhere. When we were recruiting, that’s what we looked at.”
Elsewhere Bohemians have called for a resolution to a right of way dispute between Tesco and developers Mm Capital over the redevelopment of Phibsborough Shopping Centre adjoining Dalymount Park. In a statement, the club said: “While this impasse would not prevent the redevelopment of Dalymount Park, it would however result in a final design that could not fully grasp the opportunity for both sites to provide the maximum social return to the local community. We call on Tesco to take account of this reality.”