Ryan Delaney will be staying at Cork City until the end of the season.
Derry City v Cork City
Tomorrow: Maginn Park, 7.45pm
Referee: Paul McLaughlin
Bet: Derry 7/2 Cork 4/6 Draw 16/5
In a huge boost to the league leaders, a deal has been agreed with the Wexford man and is expected to be confirmed this morning.
The news will come as a huge boost to the Turner’s Cross club. Delaney has been a revelation at the heart of defence since arriving on loan from English Championship side Burton Albion.
The 20-year-old this week claimed the SSE Airtricity Premier Division Soccer Writers Association of Ireland player of the month award for his outstanding displays during May.
Completing a deal to keep Delaney will be a great relief to City boss John Caulfield, who this week lost captain Johnny Dunleavy for the rest of the season to a knee injury.
Meanwhile City midfielder Gearoid Morrissey predicts Dunleavy will bounce back from his latest injury setback which has ended his season.
Dunleavy suffered the latest setback — in a career which has been marked by injury misfortune — against Limerick at Turner’s Cross last Friday, landing awkwardly after a challenge and causing serious damage to his knee. The news has come as a big blow to his teammates, in a season where the former Ireland U21 international was showing the best form of his City career.
The news also cast a shadow over the club as they prepare to face a trip to Buncrana to face Derry City tomorrow night before travelling to Estonia next week to face Levadia Tallinn in the Europa League next Thursday night.
Ryan Delaney is expected to return to defensive duties tomorrow night in Buncrana but Alan Bennett is rated as “50/50” for the game.
“It’s a tough one at the moment,” said Morrissey.
“Johnny doesn’t seem to have any run of luck, and to be fair to him he was doing unbelievable for us. He’s so versatile, he’d do a job anywhere. Johnny would go in goal for you. This was the longest run (injury free) he’s had in a long long time and he just seemed to be getting better and better. I’m gutted for him, to be honest. I think the whole league will feel that way. It’s a hard pill for him to swallow.”
Ballybofey man Dunleavy suffered a knee injury in June 2016 which ended his season just as the club were about to enter their Europa League campaign. That misfortune is mirrored by this latest knee injury but Morrissey has seen for himself the determination that sets Dunleavy’s apart.
“I saw with that last knee injury the amount of work Johnny did in the gym,” says Morrissey. “We’d see him in the morning and he’d be in the gym. We’d leave and we’d do our training and we’d do the whole lot, then go have lunch and then we’d go the gym to do our gym session and Johnny would be still in the gym.
“We’d finish our gym session and he’d still be hanging on five or 10 minutes after the lads were gone. He’d be in every day and he’s ultra-professional. The fact that he is that kind of guy, I think he will bounce back, I genuinely do. He’ll kick on again.”
Before they make their first ever trip to Estonia, Cork make their first ever trip to Buncrana’s Maginn Park, where fifth-placed Derry are playing this season as the Brandywell undergoes refurbishment. Morrissey expects a tough task from a Candy-stripes side who will face Danish side Midtjylland in their Europa League first qualifying round tie.
Morrissey doesn’t expect either club to be sidetracked by their European adventures over the coming weeks. “I know it’s not the Brandywell but when you go to play Derry, they always put it up to teams, it’s a task.
“There’s travel involved in Europe but you’re still rolling with games,” he maintains. “As long as we keep putting in the performances we have been putting in, I think it could even help us with momentum.”
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