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Dublin: 17 °C Thursday 13 August, 2020

Duo return to Cork City as Cummins ends Blues stint and QPR winger extends loan

Although generally recognised as a striker, Graham Cummins is back with his hometown club as a defender.

LEAGUE OF IRELAND Premier Division side Cork City have announced that Graham Cummins has returned for a third spell with his hometown club.

The Leesiders also confirmed today that they have reached an agreement with English Championship outfit Queens Park Rangers to extend the loan of Deshane Dalling.

graham-cummins Graham Cummins with Cork City last season. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Although generally recognised as a striker, Cummins is rejoining City as a central defender – a position he played in earlier in his career.

After scoring the goal that clinched the First Division title in 2011, he left Cork to begin a six-year spell in the UK during which he played for Preston North End, Rochdale, Exeter City and St Johnstone.

The 32-year-old, who returned to Turner’s Cross for 2018, spent the latter stages of last season on loan at Shamrock Rovers. He joined Waterford for the start of the 2019 campaign but the Blues confirmed his departure via mutual consent last week.

“It’s my local club and I am glad to be back,” Cummins said today of his return to Cork City. “I joined Waterford at the start of the year, I got into the side playing at centre-back and I felt I did well. But when I heard that Neale [Fenn, Cork City manager] was interested in bringing me back, there was only one place I wanted to be.

“I think a player knows his best position and centre-back is a position I feel I am better in. It is such a young side here and I am more vocal playing at the back, so I feel I can add a lot of experience to the side. We need to try and get out of the blocks as quickly as we can and I want to play my part in doing that.”

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Cork City are set for a relegation battle when the truncated League of Ireland season restarts. Sitting second from bottom in the Premier Division table, they’re scheduled to host Bohemians on Sunday, 2 August.

After making his senior debut for QPR in a 5-1 FA Cup third-round win against Swansea City in January, Dalling joined City on a loan deal until June.

The 21-year-old winger, who made three appearances before the action was postponed due to Covid-19, will now return for the remainder of the League of Ireland season.

deshane-dalling Deshane Dalling made his Cork City debut in the defeat to Shelbourne in February. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

“I am really pleased to be back,” he said. “I joined the club just before the start of the season and I felt like I had barely even got started before everything shut down.

“I felt like my last game – against Finn Harps – was my best and I was looking forward to the next one, and trying to improve even more. I am really looking forward to getting back into training with the rest of the group once I am able to do so, and then the opportunity to get a run of games under my belt.”

Cork City have lost four of the five games they have played in the 2020 season, picking up their only points thanks to Alec Byrne’s winning goal against Finn Harps in February. 

“We are delighted to get Deshane back,” manager Neale Fenn said. “In the games he played he showed what he is about, especially against Finn Harps. We feel there is more of that to come from him and we thank QPR for agreeing to leave him with us for the remainder of the season.

“In terms of Graham, I spoke a week or two ago about needing more experience in the group and he definitely brings that. He knows the league, but he knows the club as well, and he is a strong voice who will bring some leadership to what is a young back four.

“Moving back into defence is a switch for him, having made his name up front, but we know what he can bring there and we also know that he can be an asset up front as well if we need him to be.”

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Paul Dollery

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