Title-winning hero Graham Cummins to return to Cork City

Cork City’s former goalscoring hero Graham Cummins is returning to the league champions, writes Stephen Barry.

In his final game for City six years ago, he scored a 94th-minute title-clinching goal, which secured City’s promotion to the Premier Division.

Since then, the 30-year-old striker has played for Preston North End, Rochdale, Exeter City and St Johnstone.

He leaves the Scottish club after two-and-a-half years - his only goal this season coming in their recent 3-1 victory over Rangers at Ibrox.

“I am absolutely delighted to be back at City; I spoke to John a couple of weeks ago and I was eager to come back, but after speaking to him, I was so excited at the thought of coming back,” said Cummins, who writes a column for the Evening Echo.

“Everything he said was so positive and I am coming back to the best team in the country. They have just won a double and I want to come back and win trophies at City.

“It is something I spoke to John about; I am very ambitious to come back and get some medals.

“The last game I played for City was the last time I won a trophy, and I am coming back to win titles again. I don’t want to come back and just play games, I want to be winning trophies.

“From speaking to John, the club has come on leaps and bounds since I left, so I am really, really excited to be back. I am going into a club I know, but into a new environment at the same time. The main thing for me is to win trophies; I want it to be a success.”

Manager John Caulfield said: “We are delighted to sign Graham. We have been working extremely hard over the last while to identify players who fit the profile we are looking for, and who are prepared for the challenges ahead.

“I spoke to Graham a number of times and, from my point of view, it was about trying to get him here in January. He was still under contract and I know his club wanted to wait until the summer, but we didn’t want to wait and, to be fair to Graham, he had the bit between his teeth that he wanted to get it done.

“There have been negotiations over the last couple of weeks; Tommy Wright, the St. Johnstone manager, who I was dealing with, was great to deal with and we managed to agree for him to come to us in time for pre-season, so he will be ready to compete with the other lads for the start of the season.

“He is from Cork and he had a phenomenal record in his previous spell with the club. We are obviously in a different place now compared to when he left, having just won the double, so the challenge for him is to come in and compete with Karl Sheppard and Josh O’Hanlon.

“We have options now; Shep who has already established himself, Graham who has been an excellent goalscorer here before and Josh, who has tremendous potential.

“He is in the prime of his career and he has a great opportunity here now. He is under no illusions as to what is needed in terms of competing with the other attacking players at the club. There is a massive challenge ahead, but it is an exciting challenge for a guy like Graham to see if he can cement his place and score goals.

“There are huge expectations on all of the front players this year; the challenge for them is to handle playing in front of 5,000 plus and be able to deliver every week.”


By Stephen Barry

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