Twelve of John Caulfield’s Cork City squad are under contract for next season.
Kevin O’Connor, like Sean Maguire, isn’t one of them but the 21-year old from Enniscorthy is ready to put pen to paper again with the club he joined in April of last year and one that has made serious strides in his short time on Leeside.
“If John wants me, I’ll be here,” O’Connor said.
That sense of progression and purpose at Turner’s Cross is greater than ever before now City have put three years of playing bridesmaid to Dundalk behind them by beating the league champions in last Sunday’s FAI Cup final.
“This club has been building the last three or four years. Ever since the fans took over, it’s been unbelievable. It’s just getting better and better every year.
“Since John has come in, he’s done a great job, settling everything down and building on everything every year. Delighted for him to get a trophy.It’s a great feeling to win it.”
The dramatic defeat of Stephen Kenny’s side isn’t just about the collective that is City. For individuals, the success on Lansdowne Road provides a high point in careers full of peaks and troughs and one that will stand above most memories when they hang up their boots.
O’Connor was stunned when Maguire scored the winner two days’ ago. When he came round, he ran for the stands where his parents Brian and Breda awaited. This was big for them, too.
This was reward for their patience and that of their son and everyone else connected with a club pipped for the last few league titles as well as for the cup this time 12 months ago when Dundalk were the ones to edge a 1-0 win.
“They went to as many as they could when I was younger. They brought me everywhere. I couldn’t thank them any more.”
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