DERRY CITY: Cork City pip Derry in race to sign Conor McCormack
CORK CITY has won the race to sign former Derry City midfielder, Conor McCormack who completed a move to the 2016 FAI Cup winners and League of Ireland runners-up this afternoon.
Derry City manager, Kenny Shiels had hoped the 26 year-old Carlingford man would re-sign for the club and help with the Candy Stripes Europa League campaign, however, McCormack turned down the Brandywell club’s advances and pledged his future to the Leesiders.
Commenting to the ‘Journal’ last month, the former St Patrick’s Athletic and Shamrock Rovers man claimed the drop in value of Sterling against the Euro could prove a sticking point when it came to negotiating a new deal with Derry.
McCormack’s arrival at Turners Cross is ‘another crucial piece of the jigsaw’ according to Cork boss, John Caulfield and the ex-City midfielder who spent 18 months on Foyleside said Cork matched his ambitions of challenging for the league title next season.
“Over the last few years, since I came back to the League, Cork has always been a tough place to come to,” said McCormack. “They are always a tough team to play against so it’s great I can be part of the team for the upcoming season.
“I had a couple of offers on the table but when I met with John, I liked the feeling I had. I talked to players that are already here and they told me that it’s a great club, a club that’s going places. We’ll definitely be up there challenging (for the League) next year and hopefully we can win it.
“I want to play well myself next season but it’s always about the team and I’m a team player. I want to win the League next year, the Cup as well and have a good run in Europe. You get to play against the top players from across the leagues in Europe, in top stadiums and with massive crowds and that’s where any footballer wants to be.”
Cork manager Caulfield added that he was delighted with the arrival of McCormack.
“I’m delighted to get Conor on board. He’s a very experienced lad. He started with Rovers and was with Pat’s when they won the League. In the last two seasons, he very much came into his own in Derry and you can see by his appearances that he literally played every match. We’re getting a player in the prime of his career – he’s the right age, he’s energetic, he can pass the ball and he creates things. Great work ethic, great attitude, and a player that will mould in very well into the set up here.
“For us, it’s about moving forward and making sure that we’re better next year than this year, and that’s what we’re aiming to do. We have 50 competitive matches that we’re hoping to play next season between Europe, the league and the cup competitions so you need a very strong squad, and you need personnel that if someone is injured, suspended or has a drop in form are equally as good. The strength of your bench determines how good your team is. By bringing in players such as Conor, players that can go straight into your first team, it shows we are progressing. Players now want to come to Cork City and see us as a top club in Ireland.”