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Cork City double-winning defender has more cause to celebrate with player of the month award

Alan Bennett also signed a new deal with the club today.

Updated at 18:35

HE’S BEEN CELEBRATING team triumphs in recent weeks and now Cork City defender Alan Bennett has picked up a personal accolade and a new contract as well.

Alan Bennett has been recognised for his performances in October.

Fresh from last Sunday’s success in the FAI Cup final against Dundalk which saw Cork City complete the double for the first time, Bennett has picked up the SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland Player of the Month for October.

Cork City also confirmed today that Bennett has become the latest player to commit his future to the club.

Bennett put pen to paper on a two-year contract, which will see him combine his playing duties with an increasing involvement in the club’s underage structures.

The defender is currently on the UEFA Elite Youth ‘A’ License course, and speaking to, he said: “I am really happy that John (Caulfield) has shown the trust in me. This has been a fantastic year for the club and I feel my performances have merited this, so I am really proud.

“It is a fantastic time for the club; when we release news of signings, even as a player you are looking and thinking this is brilliant. They (the new signings) are all really good players and we are looking forward to them coming into the group. John recognises that this club is going from strength to strength and I didn’t expect any different from him!

“Playing Champions League football is where Cork City should be, in my mind, and it is something everyone is really looking forward to. Those nights are brilliant, and I can’t wait for them again.”

City boss John Caulfield hailed the impact Bennett has had, on and off the pitch, saying: “Alan is a special player at this club. He started his career here before going to Reading and came back home two years ago; since then he has been phenomenal for us.

“Everyone can see, with his performances during the season and especially in the cup final, what a fantastic player and leader he is.”

The experienced defender got his hands on silverware in October after the 1-0 win over Bray Wanderers at Turner’s Cross, as Cork City were crowned Premier Division champions for the first time in 12 years.

Alan Bennett raises the trophy to the Cork fans with his teammates Alan Bennett raises the trophy after Cork City's win over Bray Wanderers. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The title had been claimed in mid-October with the 0-0 draw against Derry City securing the vital point that ensured Cork City finished top of the table and Bennett was named man-of-the-match after that game.

Speaking about his Player of the Month award, Bennett said: “It has been an historic year for the club, the work everyone has put in, John especially, has been tremendous and we have got the rewards for it,’

“To win this award is personally very nice. We kept a couple of clean sheets in October and finished strongly defensively to win the league.

“We had the best defensive record in the league and when we look back on what we were able to achieve this season it is something we can all be extremely proud of.

“I feel good, a little sore after Sunday but we can all have a bit of a rest now and come back stronger next season.”

Bennett came out on top of the voting ahead of St Patrick’s Athletic player Billy Dennehy in second and Limerick’s Chiedozie Ogbene in third.

Source: SSE Airtricity/YouTube

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Fintan O'Toole

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