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Cork Independent


Coustrain to get City back on track

Wednesday, 3rd July, 2019 3:57pm

It's been a week of change in Bishopstown as Cork City FC get set to welcome Bohemians to Turner's Cross on Friday.

Before their 0-0 draw away to Finn Harps on Monday evening, City announced that Frank Kelleher had come on board as first team manager alongside coach John Cotter, while it was later announced that Joel Coustrain had signed with the club on loan until the end of the season from Shamrock Rovers. With Coustrain's arrival came Graham Cummins' departure as he headed in Rovers' direction, also on loan.

Born in Limerick and raised in Clare, Coustrain left home at the age of 16 to join up with Sheffield United's academy where he spent four years, then moved to Scotland to play with Raith Rovers. However a disappointing spell there, along with a change in manager, saw Coustrain back in Ireland, taking a year out before his League of Ireland debut with Shamrock Rovers in 2018.

Although 2018 was a fruitful year for Coustrain personally, putting in over 30 appearances with the club, 2019 has been an altogether different experience for the winger, who has struggled to find game-time so far.

All that, he hopes, will change in Cork.

So how did his move come about?

“Just before the break, John Cotter gave me a ring and said 'would you like to come to Cork' and that really did it for me,” says Coustrain.

“I wasn't really playing games and then (Rovers manager) Stephen Bradley gave me a ring and said that Cork wanted me out on loan so I jumped at the move and am excited to be here. I played like 30-something games last year and I thought this year I'd leap on, but obviously he (Bradley) had other plans so it's good to come in here and hopefully get games and do well.”

It's not Coustrain's first time in Cork; he had been invited on trials with the club during his year between Scotland and Rovers, but Dublin was his destiny that season. Now, having experienced the players and the club during the period, he is ready to give it his all, starting with a home game against Bohemians on Friday night.

“Hopefully I can create a few things,” he says, “I think that's what's been lacking a tiny bit, so hopefully I can bring that to the team and win games; it's the three points is all that matters really.

“It's more about proving a point to myself (the move), I thought I did alright last season, so it'll be good to come in and prove to myself, the fans and the team is my main thing – to go and do well and that's it really.

“I was here two years ago on trial and they were saying I was really close to getting in to the squad and I really enjoyed it. They were a great bunch of lads, so as soon as they came calling, I jumped at it. My first match in the League of Ireland was against Bohs as well so yeah, it should be good.

“The lads were saying they've a good record against them so I'm just looking forward to it. Bohs are a good side, they're good technically and they're really strong as well but hopefully we can bring a good tempo and there's good strength behind the team and hopefully we'll be confident going in.”

With City struggling to find their feet this season, Monday night's draw against Finn Harps sees them move one spot, from seventh to eighth, and a win against Bohs on Friday will provide three precious points and a squad boost ahead of their Europa League tie next Thursday.

“You can only go up from here sometimes,” comments Coustrain, “it's hard, sometimes you get a bit of a dip and hopefully I can come in and try and lift it, sometimes it just clicks and you can go from there. I've played against them (City) a few times, I know what they're about - they're obviously a really strong side, they're just going through a bit of a confidence dip I'd say at the moment. Obviously I'm coming in now and it's on TV and that so I'd like to do well and sometimes it does get to you but you just have to keep spirits high and keep going.

“Hopefully I can be direct and quick, I like to run at players, I like to work hard. Hopefully I have an eye for a goal and crosses, I'm just a traditional winger really. I used to love Damien Duff, I used to watch him the whole time growing up so it was great to have him up in Rovers to help me with a few things so hopefully I can bring that here!

“We just have to win games and hope for the best so you can go in the right direction, so we've to give it a good last push for the fans.”

Meanwhile the club this week has seen a huge rush on tickets for its competition to win a brand new home. #WinAGaff will see one winner walk away with the keys to a home worth €300,000, and all for the cost of a €100 ticket.

The #WinAGaff competition is part of a fundraising initiative on behalf of Cork City FC, Douglas GAA club and Kinsale AFC, with funds being distributed to develop facilities at each for all age levels.

The 'gaff' in question is a brand new 75 square metre, two bedroom apartment in Ballintemple, with a maximum of just 9,000 tickets are being put up for sale. The lucky winner of the apartment will be drawn in a grand prize raffle in October.

Paul Wycherley, General Manager, CCFC, said: “This is the best value home on the market right now anywhere in Ireland. Whoever wins this luxurious apartment will need luck on their side, but they will only have paid €100 to secure the keys. This is a great opportunity for someone to get onto the property ladder with minimal effort, while also helping the three clubs involved to raise much needed funds.”

For more information on tickets, and to view images of the #WinAGaff property visit the website Cork City play Bohemians at Turner's Cross on Friday at 8pm.

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