Carrigaline’s Honohan, Walker and Byrne Sign With Cork City FC for 2022 Season
Writes Ciaran Dineen
Cork City FC’s starting eleven next season could once again feature several locally based players with Carrigaline’s Josh Honohan, Gordon Walker and Alec Byrne signing new deals with the club ahead of the 2022 campaign. The trio join Kinsale’s Darragh Crowley, whose signature was also captured as Cork City look to build towards promotion back to the premier division next year.
Walker was first to put pen to paper in November following the end of the 2022 campaign. The young right-back had signed for the club following their relegation to the first division, but few could have seen his prominence in the team, as he emerged as a regular and almost undroppable player during the year.
Gordon came into the club knowing that he would likely be fighting with returning hero and fan-favorite, Steven Beattie, for the starting position in the right side of defence, but following a series of hampering injuries for Beattie, the Carrigaline man grabbed his chance with both hands and put in some eye-catching performances in the early stages of the season.
After agreeing to his first professional contract, Walker went on to say, “I’m really happy to have signed back for another year. As a kid, I was in the Shed myself, so going out and experiencing it was something else. The minute I had a chat with Colin about next season, it didn’t really take long for me to decide. I am looking forward to next season now and seeing everyone back at The Cross for the start of the season; hopefully we will have a big promotion push next year.”
“As a kid going to the Shed, and I still see my brother in there now at every game, it is something special. Every kid dreams of playing for the big clubs but, for me, it was always a dream to play for Cork City.”
While he was the first Carrigaline man to sign up for the campaign ahead, he certainly wasn’t the last and Gordan will be joined at the club next year by fellow defender Josh Honohan. Josh has endured a frustrating time with injury since making his first team debut in 2019, but he went on to make six league starts in the second half of the season last year, and really impressed with his calmness and composure on the ball adding to his quality as a solid and strong centre-back. He says he is keen to put the injuries behind him and make an even bigger impact on the team in the coming months. “I’m delighted to sign back really looking forward to next season. I can’t wait to get back out on the pitch and get going again, and hopefully push on next season.”
“It was great to get back playing again after being out for so long and, on a personal level. I want to play against the best teams in the country, so we want to get ourselves back into the Premier Division. It is going to be a challenge, but one I think we are up to.”
Manager Colin Healy heaped praise on the young man, who could have a breakthrough year at the club if he takes his chance and remains injury free. Healy said of his new signing, “Josh did very well in the games that he played last year. He missed a lot of the season through injury, but hopefully that is behind him now. We are looking for a big season from Josh next season, he needs to play games and he has a big future ahead of him.”
Making up the Carrigaline trio was midfielder Alec Byrne, who signed back with the club last week. Byrne, who made his first team debut for the club in 2017, went on to feature in 23 league appearances for the club last season.
Speaking upon his own announcement, the 22 year-old said, “I am buzzing to be back again for another year, and hopefully we can go one step further and get promoted. That is the aim, that is where this club should be, so that is the main focus for next season. There was a lot of competition for places in midfield last year, but I played most of the games and I will be looking to do that again this coming season. It is good for the team to have that competition for places, as it pushes everyone on, so hopefully we can have a big year next year.”
Finally, Darragh Crowley of Kinsale was another of the Carrigdhoun contingent to put pen to paper for 2022. Crowley made 23 league appearances for City, and he gave CorkCityFC.ie his thoughts on signing back, saying: “Last year I probably played more than I would have imagined, so I am delighted to sign back. Next year is a big year for us; we want to do better than we have done this year and get this club back into the Premier Division.”