Decision time for Cork City's Kieran Sadlier amid cross-channel interest

The skilful winger is weighing up his options after a season in which he found the net on 24 occasions.

Cork City's Kieran Sadlier celebrates after his goal levelled yesterday's FAI Cup final against Dundalk.
Cork City's Kieran Sadlier celebrates after his goal levelled yesterday's FAI Cup final against Dundalk.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

AFTER YESTERDAY’S 2-1 LOSS to Dundalk in the FAI Cup final, Cork City manager John Caulfield admitted that most of his out-of-contract players are likely to leave the club.

Among those is Kieran Sadlier, whose goal from the penalty spot brought City level in the 21st minute of the game at the Aviva Stadium.

The skilful winger ended the season with 24 goals in all competitions and was also named in the PFAI Team of the Year, which has generated plenty of interest in his services.

After spending 16 months in Cork following his transfer from Sligo Rovers, Sadlier has admitted that he could be playing his football elsewhere in 2019.

“I’m going to take a break with my family and make a decision then,” the 24-year-old told the Evening Echo’s Denis Hurley, when asked about his future. “I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet. There’s obviously interest — from everywhere really, in Ireland and England — but it’s something I haven’t decided on.

“I just wanted to play this game [yesterday] and play well. And I wanted to win it obviously. It’s something I’ll discuss with my family and my agent and decide then. It’s not just a footballing thing, it’s everything — off the pitch as well.

“But I do love Cork and I love this team. I’ve loved my time here and if that continues, great. If not, we’ll see what happens. I don’t know yet. But Cork will always be strong, it’s always an attractive place to come to and play football.”

Sadlier, who began his career with West Ham United, moved to the League of Ireland from Peterborough United ahead of the 2016 season after being brought to Sligo by Dave Robertson. The English-born attacker has played at U21 level for Ireland, who he qualifies to represent via his grandfather from Tipperary.

Kieran Sadlier scores his side's first goal with a penalty Sadlier scoring in yesterday's FAI Cup final. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Sadlier’s equaliser from the penalty spot at Lansdowne Road on Sunday saw him become just the fourth player in history — and the first since Charlie Ferry of Finn Harps in 1974 — to score in every round of the FAI Cup in the same season.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t enough for Cork City to win the competition for the third season in a row as a 73rd-minute Patrick McEleney header made the difference for double winners Dundalk.

“It’s obviously a nice personal record to have, but if I could choose between the two, I’d rather have another medal. It’s nice to do that, but I’d rather win the cup again,” Sadlier said.

“I’m very confident stepping up to penalties. I got a tiny bit lucky on that one but I like those situations to be in and I’ve scored quite a lot this season from the penalty spot.”

He added: “We had a few chances there at the end, one hit me on the chest and one on the head. It’s just sometimes you get the rub of the green, but Dundalk played well and congratulations to them.” 

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Paul Dollery

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