Book Review: The Cross Roads

By Gerard Mulreaney (@gerardmulreaney)

Former Cork City defender Neal Horgan’s latest book, his third and final one in the series, chronicles the clubs fortunes from 2010 to 2018.

The book also goes into detail about the crisis at the FAI, and the subsequent suspension of former FAI Chief Executive John Delaney.

As most people know by now, Cork City Football club was wound up in the High Court in 2010. However, a group of the clubs supporters (FORAS) worked tirelessly to keep the club alive. They did this for the love of the club.

The book goes into detail about how FORAS tried to save the club with former owner Tom Coughlan, and when that failed, how they started a club from scratch and brought it to where it is today. The highs and lows, from that first match in 2010, getting promoted to the Premier Division on the final day in 2011, to winning the double in 2017.

From a League of Ireland perspective, it’s a great read. From Tommy Dunne’s dry wit, to a hilarious story about Ding-dong Denis Behan and bonbon-gate during his time at Limerick.

It includes a hilarious story about Ding-dong Denis Behan and bonbon-gate during his time at Limerick.

Horgan includes fascinating interviews with Sonya O’Neill, a Cork City supporter and founding member of FORAS in 2006, players Cathal Lordan, Shane O’Connor, Damien Delaney and Graham Cummins, along with manager John Caulfield and former Chairman Pat Lyons.

Horgan also talks about how Cork would approach games against clubs coming down from Dublin, especially under Caulfield,

That attitude towards the Dublin clubs… that Cork welcome… none of the managers we’d had since then had really made reference to it, as most of them had been Dubs themselves – Rico, Mathews, Doolin and Tommy were, at least. So you came in and told us how we needed to approach the games against the Dublin teams, and I thought that was brilliant. That meant something to me. 

John Caulfield, when talking about the FAI said, “If you’re asking me do the people at the top have a real interest in professional soccer, I’d say no f**king chance. In that organisation they might say they want professional football in Ireland, but they don’t really. The votes are carried by the junior football leagues, who are really against us having professional soccer here. They won’t admit it, of course, but they have no interest in our league.” It’s a damning statement from one of the leagues top managers!

All in all a brilliant read, whether you’re a fan of Cork City or not. Supporters of the League of Ireland will resonate with many of the stories in the book.

The Cross Roads: Rise Of The Rebel Army And Crisis At The FAI is available as an Ebook on Amazon from Friday October 4th priced at €9.99. 

This review was written in response to an Advanced Review Copy of the book.

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