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City set for seaside trip

Wednesday, 28th March, 2018 5:14pm

City travel to Bray this week on the back of a week's break from the SSE Airtricity League during which they captured the Munster Senior Cup against St Mary's.

An experimental side saw City fire five goals past St Mary's at Turner's Cross, thanks to Josh O'Hanlon, Tobi Adebayo-Rowling, a brace from Kieran Sadlier and a fifth from Karl Sheppard to seal the win.

The win gave a chance for players to stick their hand up for league selection, something defender Shane Griffin touched on this week at a press conference ahead of the Bray clash.

“We played four games in ten days so it was a real tough, high intensity period, so I think having the week off in terms of league matches was beneficial and obviously there as the Munster Senior Cup game which a lot of the lads were able to get minutes in. It was a really beneficial week.”

Griffin is part of a fresh-faced back four which also feartures Conor McCarthy, Sean McLoughlin and Aaron Barry, and at the age of 23, has found himself the senior of the four, with 25 year old Barry having only joined the club this season.

“It was only last year I was the new fella; I was looking up to the lads next to me but I think there is a bit of a responsibility being a senior member in the back four cause it is so young. The two lads (McCarthy and McLoughlin) are only 20, but it's good. I think anyone who steps in to the back four is well capable of performing. It might be a surprise to some people, everyone around here expected it 'cause we know how good they are and how well they do in training, so it wasn't a surprise that they came in and did so well.”

Griffin joined City in 2017 from Reading and the transition to the League of Ireland has taken time, he says. “Playing in England, a lot of lads are a similar age to you, it's a big change. It's a transition that takes a bit of time; you can't really go from one to the other, it takes getting used to.” As for a return to England?

“It's something I'd like to do in the future, at the moment all I want to do is focus on Cork City. I'm really enjoying it and it's somewhere I can see myself improving and enjoying playing and hopefully being succesful, so it's the perfect club for me.”

In a welcome boost ahead of Friday, maanger John Caulfield was able to confirm a clean bill of health for his squad, with the exception of longterm injury Johnny Dunleavy.

“Bar Johnny Dunleavy everyone is available which is good 'cause we go in to three games next week. It's a difficult one (Dunleavy) because he still isn't in with us, he's training but he's still not part of the squad, he can't take part in the trainig with the ball. Right from the start, our physio said mid-April was more realistic and I suppose that's what we're looking at.”

A notoriously difficult venue to play at with regular adverse weather conditions, Caulfield is expecting a massive battle against Bray, who are bottom of the League table after seven games.

“On Friday we go to Bray, always a dangerous venue, always a venue where games are really tight and it's so open and always windy, so you have to prepare well, so it's a big game for us. I think to be fair to Bray, the first game of the season they drew away to Dundalk, they have suffered one or two heavy defeats away from home but at the same time they were desperately unlucky against Bohemians last Friday night. They got caught in the last minute to lose 2-1, so when you look at what they have done, they still have real quality players. Aaron Greene and Gary McCabe are two of the best players in the league.”

He continued: “Every time we've gone to Bray, there's nothing between us, most of the games have ended up with us winning 1-0 so it just shows you how tight it is so, as I keep saying every week, you have to be ready, your attitude has to be spot on, and if it isn't, you won't take the points but if it is, I expect we would take the points. They have nothing to lose so we need to be on it right from the start,” concluded Caulfield.

Cork City play Bray Wanders at the Carlisle Grounds on Friday 30 March. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.

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