For­get the dou­ble – Cork City boss scoops pres­ti­gious treble


The Corkman - - NEWS - BILL BROWNE

IN the week that he led Cork City to the first ever do­mes­tic league and cup dou­ble, the club’s man­ager John Caulfield can now add yet an­other string to his al­ready im­pres­sive bow.

This comes af­ter the man dubbed Cork’s ‘Mr Soccer’ was un­veiled at the re­cip­i­ent of the pres­ti­gious Cork Per­son of the Month award for Novem­ber.

Since tak­ing over the helm at Cork City four years ago, for­mer Cork player Caulfield led the club to three con­sec­u­tive sec­ond place fin­ishes in the Premier Divi­sion and FAI Cup glory last year.

The re­newed sense of op­ti­mism around the club was bol­stered by Cork City’s blis­ter­ing start to the new sea­son, which in­cluded a 12-game un­beaten streak. De­spite a slight wob­ble to­wards the end of the sea­son no one, least of all the City faith­ful, ever doubted that they would be crowned cham­pi­ons.

Even­tu­ally, at a newly re­mod­elled Turn­ers Cross cour­tesy of Storm Ophe­lia, City were fi­nally crowned cham­pi­ons thanks to a draw with Derry City and the first leg of the dou­ble was fi­nally wrapped up.

Onto last Sun­day and af­ter nail-bit­ing penalty shoot out with their old foes Dun­dalk the dream of the dou­ble be­came a glo­ri­ous re­al­ity with the squad given a heroes wel­come upon their re­turn to Lee­side on Mon­day night.

Cork Per­son of the Year awards founder and or­gan­iser, Mal­low man Manus O’Cal­laghan, was in no doubt about who has been the driv­ing force be­hind the new golden era of Cork soccer.

“Since John took over four years ago, he has put the play­ers and a sys­tem in place to cre­ate a truly great City squad. Ob­servers say his im­pres­sive man-man­age­ment is one of his great skills and one of the key rea­sons be­hind his suc­cess,” said Manus.

“John Caulfield has brought the suc­cess, the ex­cite­ment and the crowds back to Cork soccer, rem­i­nis­cent of the glory days of the Hibs and Celtic teams of the 1970’s. For this, he is a wor­thy win­ner of this award,” he added.

Cork City skip­per Alan Ben­nett agreed, de­scrib­ing John Caulfield’s drive and de­ter­mi­na­tion to win as “re­lent­less”.

“The in­ten­sity of the man just blows me away. You ar­rive (to training) on a Mon­day morn­ing and be­ing a bit older you are a bit tired. But af­ter meet­ing him for 15-min­utes you just want to burst into training,” said Alan.

“He is set­ting stan­dards that this club will have to stay at. Hope­fully, the suc­cess this sea­son will prove to be a wa­ter­shed for Cork City.”

For­mer Cork City favourite Seanie Maguire, now with Pre­ston North End, said he would be for­ever indebted to the club and in par­tic­u­lar John Caulfield.

Ni­amh O’Ma­hony of FORAS, the sup­port­ers trust that owns and runs Cork City FC, said Caulfield had “re­vi­talised the club since his re­turn as man­ager in 2013.

“His ded­i­ca­tion, hard work and ob­ses­sion for get­ting ev­ery de­tail right is in­spi­ra­tional,” she said.

“John bears the brunt of high ex­pec­ta­tions and few will ever see true im­pact of the small and sub­tle con­ver­sa­tions he has and de­ci­sions he makes be­hind the scenes,” she added.

John Caulfield’s name will now go for­ward with the other monthly win­ners for pos­si­ble se­lec­tion as the 2017 Cork Per­son of the Year, the win­ner of which will be un­veiled at a gala awards in Jan­uary.

Photo by Tony O’Con­nell Pho­tog­ra­phy.

Cork City FC man­ager John Caulfield re­ceiv­ing his Novem­ber Cork Per­son of the Month award with, from left: awards or­gan­iser, Manus O’Cal­laghan; John Le­hane, Lexus Cork; Tina Quinn, AM O’Sul­li­van Pr; Pat Le­mas­ney, South­ern and Ge­orge Dug­gan, Cork Crys­tal.

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