Wednesday 13 December 2017

Where are they now?

BILLY WOODS (Former Cork City player)

For 11 years former Cork City footballer Billy Woods worked as a car salesman but last year, after much deliberation, he opted for a career change. The former Eircom League medal winner enrolled in University College Cork as a mature student to study physical education.

Although it's a full-time course, Woods has not finished with Cork City. He took over as first-team coach in December so when he isn't studying he is busy with the team.

Woods played all his schoolboy football with Midleton before spending a couple of years with Coventry City. Going to England was a good experience but he believes you have to be playing first-team football every week for it to be beneficial.

"I was very young when I was there and I was in and out of the team so there was no point in staying," he says. "But it's different now because the money is huge in the Championship and Premier League. Back in my day, the Premier League had only just started."

In 1993, Woods returned home and joined Cork City. In fact, it was the club he spent most of his career at. In 1998, he had a spell at Shamrock Rovers where he made two appearances in Europe and won an FAI Super Cup. He left in 2002 and returned to his native club.

Woods spent the rest of his career with Cork City and in 2005 finally won an Eircom League medal.

"Winning the league for Cork was fantastic; it came down to the final game and we had to beat Derry at home. It was a long time coming for the club, we were three or four years together as a team, and had come very close to winning in the previous years. But that year we had a confidence about us and a swagger, we had great players like Neale Fenn and Kevin Doyle."

In 2008, Woods retired from football but returned again in June 2010 to make 14 appearances for Cork City. He officially retired at the end of last season. Woods feels that after everything the club has gone through it is now back on track and ready to move on.

"The vibe in the club is good, our goal is to get promoted this year. The First Division isn't the place to be and the Premier League needs clubs like Cork City if it wants to progress. I think the club is run properly now for the first time in a long time. There is a structure to the club but we need to be in the Premier League to kick on as a club."

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