Cork City have been warned by Pat Devlin that they’ll face a tough task to rescue their season with a FAI Cup run.
City will need to eliminate Devlin’s high-flying First Division Cabinteely for their path towards a fifth successive final in November to be maintained.
Cabo will host the Rebel Army at the rugby venue of Stradbrook on August 9 following last night’s first round draw.
City’s duopoly of recent years with Dundalk in the league has vanished this season as they languish in seventh spot, a whopping 11 points off the European places.
Realistically, regaining their Europa League spot next year depends on winning the cup.
“We’ll be looking to take a scalp,” said veteran Devlin, who led Bray Wanderers to cup triumphs in 1990 and 1999.
“Things aren’t going well for Cork but they’re going well for us. I’m very happy with the draw because if you’re going to win, you’re going to win big.
It’s a lovely situation for us. Cork will bring a large crowd to our place, there it will be a great atmosphere and we’ll give it a right go.
There was a similarly bullish tone from the Glebe North camp. The Leinster Senior League will welcome Sligo Rovers to Balbriggan in north County Dublin.
“We didn’t want to draw another non-league team,” said coach Dwaine Crean.
“Sligo have a great tradition in the FAI Cup, and Liam Buckley’s teams always play with a nice style, but we’ve a young side that are fearless.”
Holders Dundalk head to St Colman’s Park, where they were beaten by Cobh Ramblers on their last trip in the EA Sports Cup semi-final last season.
The other Cobh representatives Cobh Wanderers will sniff an upset as they host Limerick.
The tie of the round sees Bohemians host First Division leaders Shelbourne.
Meanwhile, John O’Shea is in talks with his last club Reading about taking up a coaching position at the Championship outfit.
The Waterford native called time on a glittering playing career in April just days after his 38th birthday.
O’Shea will follow his former Ireland team-mates Robbie Keane and Damien Duff onto the club coaching circuit if he accepts an offer from Jose Gomes.
The Portuguese boss at the Madejski Stadium spoke around the time of O’Shea’s final game of his desire to see him progress into coaching.
“I don’t know if he will be interested but I hope so,” he said of a potential move onto his backroom team.
“John is an intelligent man who I really respect. He understands the game and knows how to talk with the young players. He knows which words to choose in different moments.”