Former Ireland U21 goalkeeper Liam Bossin has completed a move to Cork City — and he is set to make his debut at home to Shelbourne on St Valentine’s Day, after the 2020 Premier Division fixture list was revealed today.
Bossin is from Belgium but qualified for the Republic of Ireland through his mother and featured for the boys in green from U19 to U21. He was on the books of Anderlecht before moving to Nottingham Forest last season.
Although he failed to make a first-team breakthrough at either club, he is highly rated and City boss Neale Fenn is excited by his arrival.
“Getting Liam in is excellent news. It is brilliant for us to get a player of his calibre,” said Fenn.
“He’s a player I would have known from the international scene and I would have kept an eye on him over the years; I’ve spoken to people about him and made sure he will be a good fit for us, so I am very pleased to have him signed.”
Bossin said: “I was waiting for an opportunity and my agent called me and said Cork City were looking for me, and I just wanted to get there and get signed. I have played in Turner’s Cross before with the Ireland Under 19s, so I already know the stadium and I am really looking forward to it.
I feel my strengths are that I have quick feet, good distribution and I am a good shot-stopper. I will always give 100% for the club, I am a hard worker and I just want to help the club and get good results. I just want to show myself and work hard to earn my place.
Bossin’s arrival comes as Limerick shotstopper Tadgh Ryan, who finished last season as City’s number one, departs Turner’s Cross.
“Tadhg will be moving on. He did well when he came into the team last season, but he won’t be back for 2020,” said Fenn.
Defender Shane Griffin has also left City after three seasons, in a departure that was widely anticipated. The 25-year-old joined from Reading during the 2017 double-winning season. Fenn said: “Shane had been a b a big part of the success that Cork City had in recent years.“
The Carrigaline man has been snapped up by St Patrick’s Athletic. Saints’ first-team head coach Stephen O’Donnell said: “Shane is someone I would have come up against on the pitch from my time with Dundalk and I’ve always thought very highly of him. He always impressed me as a great athlete when I played against him so we are thrilled to get a player of his calibre into the club.”
Meanwhile, Cork City will open their campaign home to Ian Morris’s Shels, which will see an early return to Turner’s Cross for Karl Sheppard, recently departed after five years on Leeside. The Shels attack also features former City man Ciaran Kilduff and Jaze Kabia, formerly of Cobh Ramblers and son of ex-City favourite Jason.
Fenn’s men will then face daunting trips to Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk.
Champions Dundalk host Derry in their opener while FAI Cup winners Shamrock Rovers travel to Dalymount for a fiery derby start to the new season.
Elsewhere it’s believed that SSE Airtricity will continue their support for the League of Ireland — a huge boost to the league amid the upheaval at the FAI.
There were fears SSE Airtricity could end their sponsorship but the company has kept faith. SSE Airtricity’s sponsorship is believed to be worth €340,000.
Also today, it emerged businessman Kieran Lucid is continuing with his plans for an All-Island League.
Meetings with the various football stakeholders, facilitated by Dutch consultants Hypercube, will commence on the week of January 27. The IFA rejected plans for a proposed all-island league — despite interest from clubs in the North, as well as SSE Airtricty League clubs - but the group is continuing to explore the possibility of a united league.