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Former League of Ireland favourite returns to Cork City after 6 years in Britain

Graham Cummins has joined the reigning champions from St Johnstone.

Graham Cummins has joined Cork City from St Johnstone.
Graham Cummins has joined Cork City from St Johnstone.
Image: Jeff Holmes

CORK CITY ANNOUNCED today that they have re-signed former forward Graham Cummins from St Johnstone on a two-year deal.

The 29-year-old spent the early part of his career playing for Cobh Ramblers and Waterford United before first signing with Cork in 2010.

After impressing at Turner’s Cross, Cummins joined Preston in January 2012, before stints at Rochdale (on loan) and Exeter City.

The Cork native has spent the last two and a half years in Scotland with St Johnstone, but has now opted to link up with John Caulfield’s side.

Cummins is fondly remembered at Turner’s Cross following a memorable stint — a 94th-minute winner, his 24 goal of the season, ensured the club clinched the 2011 First Division title.

Speaking following confirmation of the news, Cummins told CorkCityFC.ie: “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.

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.”

There will be a few familiar faces when Cummins takes to the training pitch, as the player was team-mates with both Mark McNulty and Gearóid Morrissey in his previous spell at the club.

“I kept in touch with Gearóid, when he was in England and that, and I actually spoke to Nults only a few weeks ago as well. I would always keep an eye on City and how they were doing and, when I got home, I would try and get to games at the ‘Cross as well.

“From speaking to John, he spoke about what a good group it is and that is a big thing for me. Nults also spoke really well about the lads and you can tell from speaking to him what a great environment I am going back into.

“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.”

Cork City boss Caulfield added:  “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.”

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