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Caulfield hails 'phenomenal' Maguire as Celtic watch striker score 10th goal of the season

The Cork City star’s fine form continued last night.

Sean Maguire celebrates after putting Cork City 1-0 up against Bray Wanderers.
Sean Maguire celebrates after putting Cork City 1-0 up against Bray Wanderers.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

CORK CITY MANAGER John Caulfield was full of praise for Sean Maguire last night, complimenting the striker for the manner in which he has remained focused in spite of the constant media speculation over his future.

Maguire grabbed his 10th goal of the season in all competitions, opening the scoring from the penalty spot in a 2-1 win over Bray Wanderers which sent City 12 points clear of Dundalk and Bray at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division after just 11 games.

Simon Grayson, manager of English Championship club Preston North End, was at Richmond Park last week to watch Maguire in City’s 3-0 win over St Patrick’s Athletic. Grayson also admitted his interest in the 22-year-old striker in an interview earlier this week.

A representative from Scottish champions Celtic was at Turner’s Cross last night to monitor the contribution of Maguire, just days after the Irish Sun reported that last season’s top goalscorer in the League of Ireland can leave Cork City when the transfer window opens in July if a €150,000 buyout clause in his contract is met.

“We have no control over it so what I have to do is keep the guys focused,” Caulfield said in relation to the buyout clause, which would allow Maguire to leave the club for a miniscule fee in the context of the Kilkenny native’s form and the level of obvious interest in him.

“Seanie is a very sensible guy,” the City boss added. “Obviously there are other interests. There was another big club in watching him so from that point of view I can manage it. I can go home at night and sleep. You can’t worry about things that are outside of your control. This is going to continue for a while because obviously he’s a phenomenal player.

John Caulfield Cork City manager John Caulfield. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“Simon Grayson watched him last week — you would prefer if they weren’t commenting about your players but I suppose overall that’s the bigger picture. With our league there’s an awful lot of lack of respect from outside. But that’s just the way it is unfortunately.

“From my point of view there are going to be a lot more clubs but the most important thing is keeping Seanie’s feet on the ground. He’s a sensible guy, keep him performing and see where it gets to. As I keep saying, I have no control over offers coming in. If deals for him are phenomenal, that may be the case. I think you just take it on a week-to-week basis. But it hasn’t affected him and long may that continue.”

When asked if he was frustrated by details of Maguire’s contract entering the public domain, Caulfield said: “In modern football you can’t do anything about it. At the end of the day, agents are out there now and they want to get their money, so they’re creating scenarios where they’re leaking information. That’s just the way of the world.

“It’s not what would have been done in the old days, but at the same time that’s the way it is. When lads are young they sign up with different people and ultimately agents are sales guys. At the end of the day they want to make sure that, whatever about the player, they can get their cut as well. Any agent who says he doesn’t isn’t telling the truth because that’s their livelihood. But that’s the way it is.

“It’s outside the control of the club or the manager. You just have to deal with it.”

Maguire scores again as Cork City move 12 points clear

Cobh Ramblers go top after seeing off Shels thanks to Caulfield’s brilliant lob

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Paul Dollery

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