Cork City round off disappointing season with Derry City draw

Cork City’s time in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division is over, for now at least.

The Rebel Army drew one all with Derry City in their final game of the season at Turner’s Cross last night. Beineon O’Brien-Whitmarsh had put the home side ahead on the hour mark with a tidy finish, before James Akintunde headed home the equaliser for the Candystripes as they capitalised on some slack Cork City defending. Derry City’s status in the Premier Division was preserved with that point, coupled with Shamrock Rovers’ defeat of Shelbourne – Shels must now go into the promotion-relegation playoff with Longford Town.

The result brings the curtain down on a turbulent season which was cut short by the Coronavirus pandemic, saw boss Neale Fenn depart the club with four games left of the campaign, and saw FORAS members vote to potentially sell the club to Preston North End owner Trevor Hemmings and Grovemore Limited.

City must now prepare for life in the first division next season, with a big question mark hanging over who will take charge as they look to bounce back into the Premier Division at the first time of asking. Colin Healy has been in charge on an interim basis following Fenn’s departure, and told RedFM Sport’s Colm O’Sullivan after last night’s game he’d like to take charge permanently.

“I would, but I don’t know what’s happening within in the club, if the lads [Grovemore] are taking over or not. If they want me to take over and they want me to manage the team, I’ll sit down with them and we can go through things.

“I’ve enjoyed my time, I know down at the bottom it’s not nice, but to get in working with the lads on a full time basis I’ve really enjoyed it, but we’ll have to wait and see.”

Healy though is under no illusions as to how difficult to escape the first division can be, and says that work needs to start straight away to build a squad to gain promotion.

“It will be a tough league. What we need to do as quickly as possible is get a team together and get ready for that league. It’s a tough league, and if you’re going in you want to give yourself the best opportunity you can. That means getting in the right players into the team who’ll give you everything and hopefully you can come up first time.

“I thought the lads put in a great performance last night. They worked really hard, and on another night we could have won it.

“Overall, being honest it just hasn’t been good enough [this season]. I’ve enjoyed my time since I came in here, I enjoy working with the lads. The workrate and they effort they put in there tonight showed they’re a great bunch of lads. But unfortunately, we just got relegated and that’s the way it is.

“They’re good players, they showed that tonight. Beineon got his goal there tonight, Cian Bargary was very good, you’ve got Ronan Hurley, Jake O’Brien an under 19 player. There’s a lot of good fellas there, so I’d like to think you’d see more of them next season.”

You can watch Colm’s interview with Colin Healy here.


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