Cup final hero Achille Campion on the way back to City

Cork City’s 2017 FAI Cup final hero Achille Campion will return to first-team contention for the Leesiders next month as his loan deal with Irish League side Linfield expires.

The French striker left City for the Windsor Park club in January. Campion scored three goals in 17 appearances for the Blues but now leaves David Healy’s side to return to the League of Ireland as he bids to revive his career at Turner’s Cross.

“It’ll be interesting to see, when he comes back in,” said Cork City boss John Caulfield, speaking ahead of the Premier Division clash with Bray Wanderers on Friday.

“He’s finished at Linfield. We’ve given him a couple of weeks off and he’s still technically under their remit for another two weeks but their league is finished and so he’s taking a couple of weeks off and then he comes back in.”

Campion arrived on Leeside from Sligo Rovers in November 2016, and while he became a cult hero with fans, he failed to make a big impression on the pitch, with just one Premier Division goal.

Having struggled all season, Campion rescued Cork with an extra-time equaliser against Dundalk in the FAI Cup final at the Aviva Stadium last November, with City going on to win the match on penalties and complete the club’s first double.

“We’ll assess again where he’s at,” continued Caulfield. “I suppose we remember him for his fantastic goal and what he did but consistency coming down to us (from Sligo) was difficult for him. Hopefully experience of game time in the last five months, playing every week up there, will help him.”

While Campion looks to reignite his career on Leeside, Caulfield confirmed that on-loan striker Michael Howard will return to parent club Preston North End on June 10.

“We knew that from the start,” said Caulfield. 

“We spoke to Preston last week and the week before last to see if they want him to go back and get a break before preseason over there. They spoke to Michael and he wants to stay here and they were happy for him to stay.” 

“It’s good for him, he’s still only 18. The experience of training with us in a full-time set-up, with the quality of players we have — rather than training with U23s or academy teams over there — would certainly benefit him and they’ve seen that.”

Meanwhile, defender John Kavanagh is also due to return to Leeside at the end of next month from his loan period at Waterford.

Kavanagh is believed to be waiting on scans after suffering an injury setback in recent weeks.

Caulfield said: “We’re hoping it won’t be too serious that he might get a game or two at Waterford before the break but certainly he’s available and will come back into contention.”


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