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Ryan Byrne/INPHO Achille Campion celebrates after Cork City's victory over Dundalk in the 2017 FAI Cup final.
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Cork City's FAI Cup final goalscoring hero heads to Linfield
Achille Campion, who netted the equaliser against Dundalk, has left Leeside on a loan deal.

DESPITE BEING ONE of the club’s heroes in November’s FAI Cup final, Cork City have sent striker Achille Campion out on loan for the first half of 2018.

Campion, who joined City on a two-year contract from Sligo Rovers ahead of the 2017 season, has signed for NIFL Premiership side Linfield until 30 June.

“This loan is an opportunity for Achille to go out and get some regular game time under his belt,” said Cork City manager John Caulfield. “Doing so will benefit him, and we hope the move goes well for him.”

The Frenchman, who has previously had spells in England with Port Vale and Torquay United, struggled to nail down a regular first-team place with City in 2017, even after the departure of top goalscorer Sean Maguire for Preston North End.

Campion scored just one Premier Division goal but three in the FAI Cup, the last of which played a crucial role in the Leesiders claiming the first league-and-cup double in their history.

The 27-year-old came off the bench in extra-time in November’s FAI Cup final and equalised with nine minutes remaining, after Niclas Vemmelund had put Dundalk in front. Having already been crowned Premier Division champions, City went on to retain the FAI Cup at the Aviva Stadium after a penalty shootout.

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Campion is the fourth player to depart Cork City following the conclusion of their double-winning season. On-loan defender Ryan Delaney returned to Burton Albion, midfielder Greg Bolger joined Shamrock Rovers and winger Stephen Dooley moved to Coleraine.

However, John Caulfield has made six new additions for the 2018 season: defenders Tobi Adebayo-Rowling (Sligo Rovers), Colm Horgan (Galway United) and Aaron Barry (Derry City); midfielder Barry McNamee; forwards Josh O’Hanlon (St Patrick’s Athletic) and Graham Cummins (St Johnstone).

Managed by former Leeds United striker David Healy, Linfield are currently in fifth place in Northern Ireland’s top flight. The Blues also recently signed forward Kurtis Byrne from St Pat’s.

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