Sunday 23 November 2014

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Published 10/03/2013 | 05:00

JOHN CAULFIELD

(Former Cork City footballer)

John Caulfield is a name synonymous with Cork City football. He played for them for almost 15 years, winning plenty of silverware along the way, but Caulfield isn't from Cork. In fact, he isn't even from Munster. The former striker grew up in Roscommon and played Gaelic football for the county minor team.

He went to school in Summerhill in Sligo and went on to third level in Athlone. While there he played for Athlone Town reserves before moving to Cork to take up a job in 1985. The following year he signed for Cork City and made his debut in the League Cup against Kilkenny City.

When he first joined the team, the club was in its infancy and the players were young and inexperienced. They struggled initially to compete with the stronger clubs like Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers but after a few years they started to find their feet.

"When we started we were just young fellas learning the game," says Caulfield.

"It took us a few seasons to adapt but in 1989 we got to the FAI Cup final against Derry City and that was the start of that particular team kicking on."

Derry beat them after a replay but Cork City had arrived. In 1993, their dreams were realised when they won the league. At that time European football was huge for League of Ireland clubs and Caulfield enjoyed the experience of playing at that level.

"Getting into Europe was always a bonus and for part-time guys it was great. We were working all week and training Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and playing on Sunday so getting to travel and play big name teams was fantastic."

In 1998, Cork City beat Shelbourne in the FAI Cup final and then two years later Caulfield hung up his boots. Since retiring, he has been actively involved in coaching and he currently manages the UCC senior team who recently lost the Collingwood Cup final to UCD. He's still a big Cork City fan and goes to most of their games.

"In Cork, we are very optimistic about the season. Tommy Dunne has been doing a lot of work and he has built a very good team. Scoring goals was an issue last year but, looking at the pre-season form and the Setanta Cup, hopefully this year we will push on and get a bit closer."

Caulfield works for Diageo and lives in West Cork.

Irish Independent

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