Cork City manager John Caulfield is bringing FAI Cup to Enniskeane on Friday
BY DENIS HURLEY
ADOPTED Wesk Corkman John Caulfield will be proud to bring the FAI Cup trophy to Ballineen and Enniskeane this Friday evening but already he is looking ahead to the 2017 season and helping Cork City build on this campaign.
City won the cup last Sunday as Seán Maguire’s goal at the end of extra time defeated league champions Dundalk. Having lost last year’s cup final to the Louth side as well as finishing runners-up to them in the league for the past three campaigns, Caulfield was delighted to secure some silverware and wants it to be a catalyst for more success.
‘There has been huge pressure and obviously you want to deliver trophies, especially when you’re so close in the league,’ he says.
‘You could see after Sunday, the relief and the emotions. The difference between winning and losing is phenomenal, so from that point it was huge.
‘When you get beaten in a final or come second, things get said about you, people were saying that we were like Mayo, so I think this will give the team huge belief.
‘There’s a feeling that with this and with the way the U19s are going with Steve Bermingham, that we’re doing things right. I would hope that winning a trophy will put us on to another level now.
‘Whether we get the praise we deserve or not doesn’t bother me. We’ve had a tremendous year, but we want to be better again next year.’
As the first West Cork resident to manage a team to league or cup glory at the top level, he is appreciative of the great support received from all in the area.
‘West Cork is unique in itself,’ he says, ‘when you go up the country and people ask you where you’re from, you don’t say Clonakilty or Bantry, you say West Cork, it’s like
its own sub-county!
‘People would know me well with playing for St Mary’s and being involved with West Cork League Kennedy Cup teams, so ever since I was appointed, there was a great pride among people that a West Cork man was in charge.
‘I’ve had great support and even locally, even people you’d meet in the shop who wouldn’t know much about City, they’d want me to do well for myself.’
The cup win didn’t signal the start of holiday-time for Caulfield, however, as he is already in the process of finalising the squad for 2017.
‘To be honest, we’ve been looking at next season for the last two months. We had a great homecoming on Monday, obviously, but I was in the office again on Tuesday morning, meeting some players who are finishing with the club and talking to other players.
‘This is a very hectic week and the month of November is a hectic time because you’re tidying things up and you’re trying to get everything done. December is the time to recharge and get ready for pre-season in January.
‘The next three weeks will be very full-on.’