Cork City’s Greg Bolger, who has been named the SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland Player of the Month for June, is still hoping he’ll be fit to play in the Europa League game against BC Hacken in Sweden on Thursday.
“I did something to my ankle (in the previous round against Linfield),” says the midfielder. “I got a scan and there was a bit of a ligament issue but I’m hoping to be okay for the game in Sweden. It takes two or four weeks but I’ve been getting treatment every day for two weeks and the medical team here are top notch.
“Hopefully I’m right for Thursday. These are the games you want to play in, against better opposition than we’re probably used to playing in the league. I watched a few of their clips and they look decent. They’ve a few internationals. We’ll focus on the next two weeks in Europe and hopefully we can progress. But it’s going to be tough.”
On the homefront, a 1-0 win in Wexford at the weekend means City are keeping up their hot pursuit of champions Dundalk for the second season running.
“We got through Wexford on Sunday which was good because it was tough,” says Bolger, who had to sit out the game. “Conditions were terrible. It wasn’t a great game but we got the three points which are important for us to keep the league going while our heads might have been elsewhere with the European game. The lads were professional and got the job done. We got out of there with the three points.
“Hopefully we can go one better this year but it’s going to be tough the way Dundalk are setting the standard. They have been head and shoulders above everyone and you can say Cork were the next best for the last two years. But we’re getting closer. Hopefully Dundalk drop a few points somewhere — though they don’t look like doing so. We really need them dropping points and us picking up wins and see where it takes us. Hopefully it’s good enough at the end of the year. It’s disappointing that we beat Dundalk twice and we haven’t capitalised on that. We drew three games in a row near the start of the year which was disappointing. Everyone needs to get the bit between the teeth and just keep going and hopefully it’s enough.”
This is the first time Bolger has been named the Soccer Writers’ Player of the Month and it’s also the first such accolade won by Cork City since striker Mark O’Sullivan was selected back in June of 2014.
“This is my first win, I must be doing something right,” says Bolger. “I won Pat’s player of the year the year we won the league – the season Killian Brennan won player of the year. I was nominated along with him for that. But I’ve never won the Soccer Writers. I’ve been in the league ten years and never got it. I appreciate winning it.”
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