Friday 27 April 2018

No danger of Cork taking eye off the ball says unsung hero McCormack

Cork City's Conor McCormack. Photo: Sportsfile
Cork City's Conor McCormack. Photo: Sportsfile
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Conor McCormack grew up near Dundalk and has fans of the local club in his family but he's used to life on the road.

And the versatile performer has found happiness at Cork City as one of the final pieces in John Caulfield's jigsaw with the Leesiders well on their way to finally taking the league title away from the Louth men.

They have won 12 from 12 this term and McCormack (above) has been instrumental in their success, with the winter signing honoured for his contribution yesterday when he was named Airtricity/Soccer Writers Association of Ireland Player of the Month for April.

Sometimes, the hard-working players who do not score goals tend to get overlooked but McCormack has been likened to N'Golo Kante by his colleagues - perhaps it's now fashionable to recognise those who do the unseen work with the Chelsea star scooping awards this season.

The 26-year-old McCormack is a smart player and enjoyed a good football education at Manchester United. He then travelled for a spell in Italy with Triestina before coming home to be a part of the Shamrock Rovers group that made Europa League strides in 2011.

Spells with St Pat's and Derry followed, but the switch to Cork has boosted his profile to another level; it's a club that suits him even if their success might upset some of the family.

Slagging "I'm from near Carlingford so a lot of my relations would be Dundalk fans," said McCormack. "They've been slagging me over the last few years because of everything Dundalk have won but hopefully I will be able to give a bit back to them at the end of this season.

"I've been on the move since I was 16. I'm so used to being away from home at this stage. Some people grow up and are able to stay at home and work at home but I haven't done that. I don't find it too bad at all really. I'll go wherever I have to and at I'm at the best place possible right now.

"You go through so many highs and lows in football. I'm enjoying this at the moment. John is playing me in my best position. That helps so much and I definitely feel a lot of confidence because of that."

Cork are 14 points clear of second-placed Bray and 15 ahead of Dundalk and the longer their winning run continues, the more hype will grow about the possibility of an unbeaten campaign. Their week-to-week focus has been built on shrugging off that type of talk.

"There is always someone ready to knock you down when you get too comfortable and take your eye off the ball," added McCormack. "We won't let that happen to us."

Irish Independent

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