For the fourth year in a row Dundalk and Cork City will contest the President’s Cup, a pre-season fixture featuring the previous season’s League and Cup winners, or league runners-up should one team claim the double as Dundalk did in 2018.
Cork City have claimed the honours in each of the last three years, most recently coming from behind to win 4-2 at Oriel Park last year.
City boss John Caulfield said, “It is good to have this game just before the start of the league. We have won it the last three years, and that has got us off to a good start.”
“On Saturday, I think people will see that there will be a lot of new players in our squad, so we need to try and integrate them. We are up against the club that have been up at the top, along with ourselves, for the last number of years, and they have kept their players as well as adding a few players.”
“We have given game time to everyone in pre-season and given everyone an opportunity. We have a number of young lads who have come into the club, as well as some of our own young players coming up from the Under 19s, so it is a great opportunity for them.”
For Dundalk supporters it’s going to feel strange not having Stephen Kenny on the sidelines, however Vinny Perth has been alongside the new Irish U21 manager since 2013 so he knows the club inside out. It’s now time to put his own stamp on the club.
Missing out for the double winners are Jamie McGrath (groin problem) and new signing Jordan Flores due to lack of full fitness.
Defender Sean Hoare is really looking forward to the game, “Personally I feel good. I have got through pre-season very well. It’s tough, everyone has found it tough but that’s good and getting back into games now is what we have been looking forward to and we are almost ready to go now. “
Hoare is pleased with the squad strength after the recent additions and feels that the talent and ability that exists in the squad now bodes well for the campaign ahead.
“We have a good comradery in the squad so when new lads come in it’s always easy to welcome them in. We needed to strengthen the squad and we have done that.
“If anyone gets injured we have someone of equal quality to step in, so much talent and ability in the squad which is great for us going forward. “
“We are looking forward to the league starting next week. That is what our training and preparation has been geared towards so we are looking towards that.”
“We have another game first and we will treat Saturday like any other game. Games between us and Cork City are always competitive. We are expecting that again.”
New first–team coach John Gill knows that it won’t be easy in Turners Cross but says that they’re going there to win the game, “Saturday is a good game to have, it’s money on the table time. We have great respect for Cork City and they have done brilliantly under John Caulfield. We know what they are about.
“We want to go down there and win. There’s a trophy on offer and this group of players want to win every game that they play.”
“That is the way everyone should be. We are looking forward to the game. It is going to be difficult but we are ready and hopefully we can come away with the win.”
Picture Credit: Cork City FC