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Ex-Ireland international Healy among frontrunners to fill vacant Cork City role

The SSE Airtricity League club are set to appoint an interim successor to John Caulfield in the next 24 hours.

John Caulfield John Caulfield's reign as Cork City manager ended today. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

THE VACANT MANAGER’S job at Cork City is expected to attract applicants from far and wide, but the SSE Airtricity League club are likely to look closer to home to select a successor to John Caulfield.

After over five years in charge, Caulfield parted company with City this morning amid a run of poor form which has seen them fail to win in eight games.

The new boss will have a hard act to follow in replacing a man who guided the Leesiders to two FAI Cups and a first Premier Division title in 12 years.

Ahead of Friday night’s game away to Bohemians, City will announce an interim manager tomorrow morning. The42 understands that the club intends to wait until the end of the season before installing a permanent first-team boss.

Having served as John Caulfield’s assistant since his appointment in November 2013, John Cotter has often been touted as his most likely successor.

John Cotter John Cotter served as assistant manager to John Caulfield. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Cotter was an FAI Intermediate Cup winner as a manager with Avondale United before joining Caulfield’s backroom staff. The former Cork City midfielder is currently enrolled on the FAI’s course for the Uefa Pro Licence, which is required to manage at Premier Division level.

Another ex-City midfielder among the prospective candidates is Colin Healy. Although the former Ireland international lacks senior management experience, Healy has made a positive impression at the club while managing the U19s in tandem with his role as head of the academy.

A stumbling block for Healy is that he has yet to attain his Uefa Pro Licence. City would be willing to explore the possibility of following Dundalk’s lead in resolving this issue. Vinny Perth was named the Lilywhites’ head coach in January, the absence of the relevant coaching badge from his CV negated by the presence of John Gill on the staff.

Current Longford Town manager Neale Fenn — a Premier Division winner as a player with Cork City in 2005 — will also be high on the list of early favourites to replace John Caulfield. Fenn’s undefeated side are a point clear at the summit of the First Division, despite having played a game fewer than each of their title rivals. 

inpho_01428959 Colin Healy is tackled by Roy Keane during last year's Liam Miller tribute match. Source: INPHO/James Crombie

Fenn’s style of football, which places an emphasis on short passing and the retention of possession, will appeal to the many Cork City supporters who grew frustrated at the direct approach deployed by Caulfield. Like John Cotter, Fenn is in the process of working towards his Uefa Pro Licence.

Colin O’Brien, who played for City for over 13 years, would also be a popular choice. O’Brien is currently in charge of the Republic of Ireland U17 side who will begin their European Championship campaign against Greece in Tallaght on Friday.

Outside candidates could include Waterford manager Alan Reynolds — who had a stint on John Caulfield’s coaching staff — and Cobh Ramblers boss Stephen Henderson

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About the author:

Paul Dollery

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