Graham Cummins named Player of the Month
Cork striker has enjoyed dream start to the season after rejoining club
Graham Cummins celebrates after Cork City defeated St Patrick’s Athletic. Photograph: Oisin Keniry/Inpho
Cork City striker Graham Cummins has been named as the SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland Player of the Month for February after the 30-year-old made a remarkable return to the league following a six-year stint away.
Cummins scored in the President’s Cup win over Dundalk then got his first of the league campaign at St Patrick’s prior to being harshly sent off and suspended for City’s next outing, against Waterford. He came back for the trip to Sligo, though, and scored a hat-trick as John Caulfield’s side won 4-1 at the Showgrounds, a victory that sent them clear at the top of the table.
The club were subsequently beaten at Oriel Park but, Cummins suggests ahead of this weekend’s derby game in Limerick, they showed what they are made of by bouncing back to beat Shamrock Rovers.
“Losing to Dundalk hurt,” says the striker. “We could hear them celebrating in their dressing room after the game because ours was so quiet but we knew what we needed to do was to come back and I think it shows the character of the team that we didn’t let that one defeat affect us.
“It’s been a bit of a dream start for me coming back to Cork City,” he continues, “getting on the score-sheet so early and the team going so well. I’ve been really enjoying my football. I know the club inside out but there have major changes (since he left in 2012), it’s more professional now, and that was important to me because I wanted to continue as a professional player.
“The club won trophies while I was away,” says the Corkman, who had stints with Rochdale, Exeter and St Johnstone after initially leaving to go to Preston. “But I hope to win trophies with them again now; when I spoke to John about coming home it was his appetite to keep on winning me that attracted me to the move.”
With Waterford heading to Dundalk on Friday, Cork could potentially go clear at the top again by beating Limerick away but Cummins is taking nothing for granted. “They have had some positive result so it will be tough,” he says. “Every derby game is a big occasion and it will be my first time at the Markets Field. I’ve had some great results against Limerick, though, so hopefully that can continue.”