Swede success: Kevin Čustović settling in and making an impact with Cork City

The defender is enjoying the intensity of the League of Ireland since his move from the Danish league.
Swede success: Kevin Čustović settling in and making an impact with Cork City

Cian Hennessy from Togher, Cork who is a dedicated Cork City FC supporter and a client at the Crann Centre in Ovens, Ballincollig, joined Cork City players to launch Crann’s Walk n’ Roll. Cian and City players Kevin Custovic, Tunde Owolabi, Heidi Mackin, and Ellie O’Brien togged out for Crann’s Walk n’Roll. The charity is encouraging people to walk, run, roll, push or pedal 5km between Thursday, June 8 and Sunday, June 11 to raise vital funds. To take part visit cranncentre.ie/walknroll/. Pic: Brian Lougheed

By his own admission, Kevin Čustović didn’t know a whole lot about the league at the time his agent first spoke to him about a potential move to Ireland.

A collection of the latest sports news, reports and analysis from Cork.

But due to one of his main interests away from the football pitch, he was familiar with the club he now represents, as well as the opponents they face on Friday night.

“The only thing I knew about Cork was when I was playing video games, really,” admits Čustović.

“I knew the crest - them and Shamrock Rovers. But I did not know that it was this intense in the league. I really like it, because it’s different and you learn a lot.” 

It took the 23-year-old Sweden native time to settle into life on Leeside and to adapt to that intensity in Irish football compared to what he was used to back at home and in Denmark.

The defender is approaching the halfway point of his season-long loan from Danish side Vejle, but he is now starting to make his mark, having helped City to keep a clean sheet and therefore end a run of six consecutive defeats in their narrow home victory over Sligo Rovers last time out.

“The weather is getting better so everyone is smiling more and more in the area I live in and now we start to pick up the points and start playing better so it's nice,” he continues.

“The intensity is maybe the highest, I would say. In Sweden it is more tactical, but the players there have some small amount of more quality.

“But here there is a lot of up and down and if you are not on it every time, you will have a hard time. I think it would be difficult for a lot of people to come to Ireland to play.

“I enjoy it a lot. It’s kind of similar to Danish football, but they also have Copenhagen and stuff like that, teams that are similar to Shamrock.

“It suits me a lot because I have the lungs. In Sweden I would say I am one of the most physical guys, but here I would say I am in the middle somewhere.” 

City’s last meeting with Shamrock Rovers resembled a game of FIFA as the champions came from behind in dramatic circumstances to snatch a 4-4 draw in Tallaght.

Čustović’s finessed finish almost helped the Rebel Army secure a valuable victory but their performance that night gives him hope that they can get a positive result on Friday night at Turner’s Cross (kick-off 7:45pm).

“We have big respect for Shamrock because they are champions. But you also saw what we can do,” he enthused.

“You saw it up in Tallaght, you saw the last game when they played Drogheda that small opportunities can win games. We have a positive feeling for that game.

“They have more of a fast-playing style, and they have a lot of quality players, so we need to be switched on a lot. The team needs to be very focused together. But we believe we can get a good result, yes.”

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