CORK CITY’s new cooperative owners yesterday appointed Tommy Dunne as their first team manager for the coming season. Dunne served as assistant manager with former Turner’s Cross chief Paul Doolin during the eventful 2009 season.
Speaking last night after his appointment, Dunne insisted he was relishing the challenge in the First Division.
“It’s a job I would always have liked and I’m delighted to take it on. Last year was an enjoyable year for me even though there were problems with the club. I’ve enjoyed being in Cork, the people, and playing in Turner’s Cross. It’s an exciting job and I’m looking forward to getting started.”
Earlier yesterday, two-time Cork City boss Damien Richardson turned down an approach from FORAS – the fans group which has total control of the club at the moment – to take over the role of manager. The Dubliner cited work commitments for his decision.
Meanwhile, Liam Kearney says the Cork City fiasco has seen the soul dragged out of professional football on Leeside.
The winger, dubbed the “Conna Maradona”, won the league title, the FAI Cup and the Setanta Cup with Cork before leaving for a second time at the start of last season to join Derry.
Now hoping to help Waterford United out of the First Division, the 27-year-old ex-Ireland U21 international has described the situation in his home county as an ‘absolute disgrace’.
“I was gutted,” said Kearney. “I think if you look at it over the last few years, the soul has been dragged out of it.
“When I was there we had some great times. We were filling the stadium every week and always pushing for a cup or a league and for Europe. It was brilliant. I think if people look at the memories we’ve had over the last few years at Cork… there were some fantastic days. To now see the club go through the dirt. Every second week you’re looking at another court case. It’s just an absolute disgrace.
“It’s sad for the league and sad for Cork. You know, people have to look at the situation at Derry City, and they are in the First Division as well, another massive club, and they are looking to rebuild and get the club back on an even footing and hopefully Cork can do that now as well.”
Kearney recalls that when Tom Coughlan first took over Cork City following examinership in 2008 everyone at the club thought their problems were over. But he soon realised that further trouble lay on the horizon.
“We won the Setanta cup and Tom came in that season,” said Kearney. “We were hoping that things would be rebuilt with Tom, with the right structure going forward. At the end of that season, I could see clearly a fair vision of what the next season was going to hold.
“You look at it two ways, you look at the person in charge of the club and know it’s not going to go to plan.
“At the same time, I was from Cork and I would have done a lot to stay there. I had a lot of good times. (But) realistically I had a fair idea of what was to come and unfortunately I was right in my perception of what was going to come. When you meet someone first, you take them at face value until they let you down on what they promise you. As a player, you can deal with so much because at the end of the day, we love playing football, we’d probably play for free if you weren’t playing pro.
“But when it’s your livelihood and you have mortgages and kids, you expect someone to be honest with you and straight and I don’t think that’s happened.”
The unfortunate Kearney was then at Derry City last season and witnessed their collapse, as a result of the club’s breaching contract regulations, first hand.
“It’s very hard, I was in Derry and things started to go bad, but I think I dealt with it better, though, because I was ‘here we go again’.
“YOU have to be mentally strong. You look at the economy, everyone is in a bad position. I’m a positive person, I’m looking forward rather than back. Maybe I could have gone to Australia for a year, but I decided to give football another year, to see how things are going and see what the future is.”
Meanwhile, PFAI secretary general has reacted angrily to Cork City manager Roddy Collins’ criticism of the players’ union on a radio station on Tuesday night.
“I heard Roddy’s comments, when he questioned where were the PFAI, I can assure him we were talking to the players all day (Tuesday),” said a clearly annoyed McGuinness.
“I asked him to contact me and I have had no contact from him in the last 24 hours whatsoever. We were working behind the scenes all the time and we have been. I was down there 13 times last year and I’m bitterly disappointed to hear someone like him question our association.”
Meanwhile following the decision of the Independent Club Licensing Committee not to award Cork City FC a licence to compete in the League of Ireland, and the subsequent decision of the High Court to wind-up Cork City Investment FC Ltd, the Setanta Sports Cup Organising Committee today (24/02/10) confirmed that the club will be deemed to have forfeited its two remaining matches in the 2009/10 Setanta Sports Cup.
Their opponents in these matches, Sligo Rovers and Cliftonville, have been awarded 3-0 victories.
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