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Campion goes out on loan

Wednesday, 3rd January, 2018 5:46pm

FAI Cup goalscoring hero Achille Campion has joined Irish League side Linfield on loan until 30 June.

The French forward joined City at the beginning of last season from Sligo Rovers on a two year deal. The 27 year old, who has had spells in England with Port Vale and Torquay United, struggled to nail down a starting spot with City despite the mid-season loss of Seanie Maguire to Preston North End.

However his final appearance with the club for 2017 in the FAI Cup Final was his most important after he scored the equalising goal from off the bench in the FAI Cup Final against Dundalk United, which brought the game to penalties, with City winning 5-4.

City boss John Caulfield commented: “This loan is an opportunity for Achille to go out and get some regular game time under his belt. Doing so will benefit him, and we hope the move goes well for him.”

Campion is the fourth player to depart the club following last season's double winning campaign; Greg Bolger left for Shamrock Rovers, Ryan Delaney returned to Burton Albion after his loan concluded and winger Stephen Dooley joined Coleraine.

Meanwhile striker Graham Cummins is the latest player to have signed with Cork City FC for the upcoming season. Cummins is returning to the club after a six year absence after leaving in January 2012 for Preston North End.

After enjoying a two year spell at Preston, which included a loan spell at Rochdale, Cummins spent a year at Exeter City before joining Scottish side St Johnstone, where he has spent the last two and a half years. Cummins is fondly remembered for his final game with City before his departure when he scored the 94th minute winner against Shelbourne which secured he 2011 First Division title for the club. The 29 year old rejoins City on a two year deal.

Speaking after he finalised his move, Cummins said: “I am absolutely delighted to be back at City. I spoke to John a couple of weeks ago and I was eager to come back, but after speaking to him, I was so excited at the thought of coming back. Everything he said was so positive and I am coming back to the best team in the country. They have just won a double and I want to come back and win trophies at City. It is something I spoke to John about; I am very ambitious to come back and get some medals.”

Of the current squad, Mark McNulty and Gearóid Morrissey were both teammates of Cummins in his previous spells at the club, and he said he has kept in touch with both. “I kept in touch with Gearóid, when he was in England and that, and I actually spoke to Nults only a few weeks ago as well. I would always keep an eye on City and how they were doing and, when I got home, I would try and get to games at the Cross as well. From speaking to John, he spoke about what a good group it is and that is a big thing for me. Nults also spoke really well about the lads and you can tell from speaking to him what a great environment I am going back into.

“The last game I played for City was the last time I won a trophy, and I am coming back to win titles again. I don’t want to come back and just play games, I want to be winning trophies. From speaking to John, the club has come on leaps and bounds since I left, so I am really, really excited to be back. I am going into a club I know, but into a new environment at the same time. The main thing for me is to win trophies; I want it to be a success.”

Cummins is the sixth new player Caulfield has brought in to the club ahead of the 2018 season. Commenting on the news, boss Caulfield said: “We are delighted to sign Graham. We have been working extremely hard over the last while to identify players who fit the profile we are looking for, and who are prepared for the challenges ahead.

“I spoke to Graham a number of times and, from my point of view, it was about trying to get him here in January. He was still under contract and I know his club wanted to wait until the summer, but we didn’t want to wait and, to be fair to Graham, he had the bit between his teeth that he wanted to get it done.

“There have been negotiations over the last couple of weeks; Tommy Wright, the St Johnstone manager, who I was dealing with, was great to deal with and we managed to agree for him to come to us in time for pre-season, so he will be ready to compete with the other lads for the start of the season.”

Caulfield continued: “He is from Cork and he had a phenomenal record in his previous spell with the club. We are obviously in a different place now compared to when he left, having just won the double, so the challenge for him is to come in and compete with Karl Sheppard and Josh O’Hanlon. We have options now; Shep who has already established himself, Graham who has been an excellent goalscorer here before and Josh, who has tremendous potential.

“He is in the prime of his career and he has a great opportunity here now. He is under no illusions as to what is needed in terms of competing with the other attacking players at the club. There is a massive challenge ahead, but it is an exciting challenge for a guy like Graham to see if he can cement his place and score goals. There are huge expectations on all of the front players this year; the challenge for them is to handle playing in front of 5,000 plus and be able to deliver every week.”

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