Saturday 24 August 2019

Award-winning McNulty aims to play into his forties

Cork City's Mark McNulty with his SSE Airtricity/SWAI Player of the Month Award
Cork City's Mark McNulty with his SSE Airtricity/SWAI Player of the Month Award
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Cork City's FAI Cup final hero Mark McNulty has said he intends to prolong his career into his forties.

The 37-year-old was handed a two-year deal by John Caulfield after his starring role in the Leesiders's FAI Cup success where his penalty shoot-out stop from Michael Duffy helped his home club to complete a famous double.

McNulty was in the spotlight before the game after his on-stage chants about Dundalk in the aftermath of Cork's league win, and he says there is plenty of life in the old dog yet.

"There's no sign of retirement yet, not at all," says McNulty, who was yesterday named SWAI/Airtricity Player of the Month for November.

"Myself and John have been discussing this for a while. Obviously John must be quite happy with the way I'm performing.

"I feel fit, I don't feel old, I don't struggle to get up in the morning to go training. I'd like to think I'm one of the fittest lads still in the squad. As long as my fitness is good and as long as my form is still good, I'll continue playing.

"Whether that is 39 or 41, it doesn't bother me. As far as I'm concerned, it's down to form and if I keep performing hopefully I can keep getting contracts.

"I still think there are many years left in me. It's down to form and if I keep performing over the next two years, I could easily go to 40 and beyond."

McNulty is happy with Cork's winter business to date with Derry pair Aaron Barry and Barry McNamee the highest-profile additions.

Significantly, they managed to get Karl Sheppard to renege on an agreement to join Dundalk which pleased McNulty.

"We are absolutely delighted because he is a top, top player," he said.

"Nearly everybody who was there has re-signed."

Dundalk are hoping to fill the void left by missing out on Sheppard by completing a deal for in-demand Galway striker Ronan Murray, who was a target for Cork.

However, Stephen Kenny is still battling to try and hold on to Patrick McEleney and David McMillan.

The latter has a contract offer on the table from St Johnstone, while McEleney is keeping his options open and has spoken with League One side Blackburn Rovers about a move across the water.

He has interest from other English teams at that level and his hometown club Derry City but Dundalk still feel they have a chance of keeping the talented 25-year-old.

Midfielder Robbie Benson was also the subject of interest from the UK but it's now considered more likely that he will pen a new deal.

Dundalk are also closer to signing Derry left back Dean Jarvis and a return to the club for free agent striker Pat Hoban is also an option, although they were unable to agree terms in the summer.

Elsewhere, Bohemians midfielder Fuad Sule could opt to join Peterborough ahead of Barnet.

Irish Independent

The Left Wing: The 'hell' of World Cup training camp, Ireland's half-back dilemma and All Blacks uncertainty

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport