Irish outfit Cork City may have to work that little bit harder for league success in the upcoming season. With Dundalk breathing down their necks, last season’s canter does not appear like it will be repeated. And if Cork are to retain the league title, adding to their current squad will do their prospects no harm.
Following the recent signing of former Ireland international Damien Delaney, Cork have added experience and style to their rearguard. But at 36, Delaney may not have the legs for an intense run-in during the latter stages of the season.
Sean St Ledger
If the club are looking for further cover in defence without having to spend much, they could look at another former Ireland international – Sean St Ledger.
St Ledger was something of a cult hero when he lined out for the Republic of Ireland on 37 occasions between 2009 and 2013. Having fallen away from the international set-up, the defender moved to the USA, plying his trade with Orlando City and Colorado Rapids.
Since then he has slipped off the radar somewhat with stints at his hometown club Solihull Moors, and more recently at Guiseley.
He may not be playing at the highest level but St Ledger’s experience in and around the club would be priceless. He would also be a solid back-up to Cork’s defensive line.
Owen Garvan’s stay at St. Patrick’s Athletic did not go as planned, with the midfielder leaving the club by mutual consent earlier this month. But with over a decades experience of playing in England with the likes of Ipswich Town, Millwall, Bolton and Crystal Palace, he would add considerable know-how and acumen to the midfield options for Cork manager John Caulfield.
At 30, Garvan has still plenty left to offer, and that it did not work out for him at Richmond Park does not mean he could not make a significant contribution at Turners Cross. Garvan’s passing game and ability to retain possession could prove significant in a tight league run-in, and in Cork’s foray into Europe.
Cork, along with other League of Ireland clubs, have shown in recent years that they can lure high profile names. And Cork would do well if they manage to rope in former Everton and Sunderland midfielder Darron Gibson.
Gibson is currently without a club and move to Cork could help him to rejuvenate his career. Gibson, who is good on the ball, would be a fine fit for Cork.
If Cork manage to sign these three players, they will be in a strong position to retain the league title next season.