Huge coup for Cork City as Damien Delaney signs from Premier League side Crystal Palace
Former Ireland international Damien Delaney says it was the attraction of playing in European football which helped convince him to sign for Cork City.
Delaney (36) has spent the last six seasons with Crystal Palace and he helped them win promotion to the Premier League in 2013, but he played just twice last term and now that his contract has run out, he's agreed to move home to Cork City, his first senior club, on an 18-month deal.
"I think this club is really going forward and I want to be part of it, that's why I chose to come here," said the versatile defender.
"Playing in Europe was part of the draw for me. It will be nice to play Champions League football! It is all part of this club moving forward and that is what I want to be here for. Hopefully there will be some good nights at Turner’s Cross for the fans and for the club in general."
"First and foremost, I am a football player and I want to be playing football. I still have a lot left in me. Last year was the first year where I didn't play regularly, and it wasn't an experience I particularly enjoyed, but that's just the way of the world. I keep myself fit, I love training and I am ready to go.
"The crowds that City have been getting have been fantastic. The support has been brilliant, home and away from what I have seen, and I am looking forward to running out at Turner’s Cross again; it has been a long, long time."
Delaney began his senior career with Cork City, earning a move to Premier League side Leicester City in 2000.
He was capped nine times at senior level, all bar one of those caps under Giovanni Trapattoni.