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Caulfield keen to tie Cork's title heroes to new deals

Cork City manager John Caulfield. Photo: Sportsfile
Cork City manager John Caulfield. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

John Caulfield has reached an agreement on his Cork City future and wants out-of-contract players to do the same before the FAI Cup final.

Caulfield has committed to staying on with the new League of Ireland champions and a winter of change lies ahead with the move to 52-week contracts which he felt was the essential next step for the club to take. However, the Cork boss still has a job to do on the personnel front.

His squad was weakened mid-season by the loss of Sean Maguire and Kevin O'Connor and defender Ryan Delaney is set to go back to parent club Burton Albion, while striker Karl Sheppard and midfielder Greg Bolger are expected to join Dundalk and Waterford respectively.

Defender Alan Bennett says he wants on to stay on for another year and the expired contract list also includes key Conor McCormack and Steven Beattie, who is wanted by Shamrock Rovers.

Caulfield is keen to get things wrapped up this side of the November 5 Aviva date with Dundalk.

Champions

"I'll have a better idea in a week. I think most will stay - Champions League, champions of Ireland - why wouldn't you? Maybe a few are being offered a few bob somewhere else but the football environment is phenomenal," he said.

The switch to 52-week deals from December 1 could help, with the top clubs in the league moving away from a situation where players go unpaid throughout the winter months - although there are some players within the league who preferred a 40-week arrangement that allowed them to earn more in the off-season in other pursuits.

"I wanted the move," said Caulfield. "Morally, if you're a full-time manager, it's wrong to be dealing with players who aren't being paid for three months. I want players to be able to come to the club and be able to get a loan or mortgage.

"And ultimately you want to sign for players for two to three years. That's major progress."

Caulfield is on the look-out for new recruits regardless of whether his on-the-fence players stay on, with Galway striker Ronan Murray and Sligo Rovers midfielder Rhys McCabe among those on his radar.

Newly-promoted Waterford are offering full-time deals and Bohemians striker Izzy Akinade is on their shopping list.

Dundalk are battling to hold on to a host of leading players. Dave McMillan is exploring the possibility of moving to SPL side St Johnstone, while Sean Gannon is being pursued by Shamrock Rovers and Danish defender Niclas Vemmelund is eyeing up a move home.

Irish Independent

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