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Ballygarvan Resident Hired as Cork City FC Manager

Writes Ciaran Dineen

It was announced over the weekend that Ballygarvan resident, Frank Kelleher is taking over the managerial reigns at Cork City FC until the end of the football season. It comes in the wake of City’s latest league defeat which occurred on Friday night, when they succumbed to an embarrassing 1-4 loss to Derry City. 

It has been a turbulent season for the ‘Rebel Army’ to date, with the wheels well and truly coming off what once was a well-oiled machine. Coming into the campaign there were high hopes as always for Cork, but many supporters would not have been too optimistic of challenging for silverware, given they lost some key players following the close of last season, with few established league players taking their place. However, it could never have been predicted by even the most cynical of sceptics, of how the league campaign has unfolded. 

Declan Carey, Chairman of Cork City FC, Frank Kelleher (Ballygarvan), Manager and John Cotter, Coach.

The 2017 Double Winners lie in a lowly 7th position out of 10, and have played three more games than Waterford FC, who are just the single point behind. The season is now effectively a write-off, with the title and chasing a European spot now seemingly out of reach. The ‘Leesiders’ are in fact far closer to the relegation zone, and while this is the rockiest spell the club has witnessed for the last seven or eight years, they should nevertheless comfortably avoid the drop. 

Kelleher comes in to the fold in place of John Cotter as first team manager. Cotter had taken over the reins from long-term boss John Caulfield, who was sacked by the club earlier in the year. However as Cotter did not have the necessary coaching qualifications, UEFA rules meant that he could only take sole charge of the team for a limited period. As a result, Kelleher has been chosen as his successor and will now guide City as manager for the remainder of the year. 

The Ballygarvan resident has plenty coaching experience, while he also played for the club back in the 1980s. A UEFA Pro-license holder, Kelleher more recently was the head of Cobh Ramblers’ academy. From 2015 to 2018, he was the manager of the Cork City women’s team that won the FAI Senior Cup in 2017 after a historic 1-0 win over UCD Waves at the Aviva Stadium.

He also worked with the Cork Youth Leagues for three years, supporting the transition of local Cork players into CCFC’s U17 and U19 academy teams. Speaking on the appointment, Cork City chairman Declan Carey said; “It’s great to have Frank back at CCFC and part of the management team. I’m sure he’ll fit in well with John Cotter and all the lads and he’s already very familiar with how the club operates and our expectations.” 

Frank Kelleher said “It’s great to be back wearing the badge again. I’m a Cork City supporter, this is my club and I’m delighted to play a part for the rest of the season. It’s an honour and a job I will not be taking lightly.” 

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