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Dublin: 6°C Tuesday 2 March 2021

Delaney wins Player of the Month after establishing himself as one of the LOI's finest defenders

Cork City’s on-loan centre-half has been recognised for his displays in John Caulfield’s side.

Delaney with his trophy.
Delaney with his trophy.
Image: David Maher/SPORTSFILE

SINCE JOINING THE club in January, Ryan Delaney has quickly become a key player for Cork City.

The 20-year-old centre-half arrived in search of first-team opportunities on a six-month loan from Championship club Burton Albion, and it wasn’t long before the Wexford native had earned a reputation as one of the finest defenders in the SSE Airtricity League.

Delaney has been an ever-present for the unbeaten Leesiders, who are 18 points clear at the top of the Premier Division after conceding just nine goals all season.

Today, it was announced that Delaney has been named SSE Airtricity League/Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland Player of the Month for May — beating team-mate Sean Maguire and Aaron McEneff of Derry City.

“It’s nice to get this award, it shows that I have been doing something right,” Delaney said.

“The main thing when I came here at the start of the season was to keep improving and step up my game to another level. Hopefully for the rest of the season, whatever lies, I can push on again and improve every game. Hopefully I can keep it going.”

The last month or so I feel like my performances have been getting a lot better. I feel a lot more confident and I bring that into my game on a Friday night. The main thing for me is to keep improving and hopefully push on again here in the next month or so.”

He scored three goals this month, and added: “We’ve been doing a lot of work on the training ground on set-pieces so the main thing for me was to focus on my runs.

“The deliveries into the box have been great, so I’ve just had to concentrate on making my run, get half a yard and get a touch on it.”

Delaney’s future remains up in the air as the six-month deal is about to end but Cork are keen to hold onto his services. Talks with Burton are ongoing and Caulfield expects the situation to become clearer very soon.

“He’s here with us for Friday and for Europe,” the Cork boss said earlier today. “It’s close, we hope that in the next few days it will sort itself out.”

Source: SSE Airtricity/YouTube

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Ben Blake

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