Doolin confirmed as Cork's new manager
ONE SEAT on Irish football’s managerial merry-go-round was reoccupied yesterday when Paul Doolin was confirmed as Cork City’s new boss. The Dubliner, who enjoyed considerable success during his time at Drogheda United starts work tomorrow having signed a two-year deal with the club.
Over the coming week or two he hopes to appoint an assistant, most likely from the city or surrounding area but the most urgent business as he settles in will be to assemble a squad capable of challenging for honours next season. With pre-season training due to get started at the end of the week there is not enough players signed to stage a five-a-side game so, he says, he will look to add another half dozen established figures before the transfer window shuts at the start of February.
“I’m starting late . . . the transfer deadline isn’t too far off and there’s only nine players but what I would say is that they’re all very good,” he said last night. “I’ll look to add maybe another six good ones and then work with some of the young players who have been coming through at the club.
“I’ll talk to everyone who was here, though, and hopefully there’ll be a few of the lads from Drogheda available. There are a lot of good players out there at the moment but I’ll have to work fast.”
If he has money to spend then he’ll be in a strong position to have his pick of players not only from Drogheda but also from many of last season’s other leading clubs but he admits that he will not, in the current climate, be in a position to spend lavishly.
“The club’s staying full-time, maybe not on the same basis as it was last year – everybody knows there’s a recession on – but full-time and after the last few years at Drogheda that was a big factor for me.
“There’s not a huge budget to work with, the money’s clearly a lot tighter everywhere, but we will be able to bring a few in and in the current environment there shouldn’t be any problem with finding good lads who are available.”
Cork City’s owner Tom Coughlan first made contact with Doolin about the job last week after a long search for a successor to Alan Mathews.
The pair have met a number of times in recent days and Doolin says that satisfying himself Coughlan was genuine about wanting to bring the club forward was at least as important to him as sorting out the terms of his move to the south as he weighed up his options.
“It took a few days to sort out and people will think that that was about money but that didn’t come into it really,” he insisted.
“The important thing for me was to be happy with the environment in which I’m going to be working with the players and after making a couple of suggestions on how the training ground out at Bishopstown could be improved the chairman (Coughlan) has somebody going out there to start the work tomorrow.
“There are people saying that he won’t follow through but there aren’t too many people who would move so quickly on something like that. I’m an honest man and I think he is too. He strikes me as somebody who has a vision for this club.
“It’s the only one in the city and there are a lot of people here who want to see it succeed. Both of us are committed now to making sure that they get their wish.
“On a personal level I needed to be sure about this,” he concluded. “It’s a big move, not like Drogheda when I went up there first but was only really living 20 minutes down the road. But I’ve made my mind up now and I’m totally committed, I’ll start on Thursday and move down here. I’m looking forward to it because the way things are I wasn’t sure I’d get the chance again, certainly not so soon.”