Clarets to pop the Cork in Ireland

25 April 2013 10:39
Burnley's pre-season build up this summer will see us play in Ireland for the first time since 2008 when we face Airtricity League side Cork City at Turner's Cross on the evening of Monday 15th July. Turner's Cross, Cork City's home ground

Back in the 1990s, Adrian Heath arranged two pre-season campaigns in Northern Ireland, playing five games in 1996 and four a year later, by which time Chris Waddle had replaced Heath as manager.

More recently, Owen Coyle's Burnley went across the sea to Ireland twice in 2008. In February we visited the Republic's capital of Dublin to play Bohemians at Dalymount Park, 45 years to the day after our only other game in the country against Manchester City at the same venue, and in July we headed to Northern Ireland and Belfast for a clash with Glentoran, a club with whom we have so many links.

Now it's the turn of Cork City, and again there are links including one with our current squad; central defender Kevin Long having made the move between the two clubs at the beginning of 2010.

Long is not the only player to play for both clubs. Goalkeeper Phil Harrington, who was on loan at Burnley in 1985, and midfielder Micky Mellon have both played for Cork City in the past.

This is not quite the same club as those three played for. Soon after Long arrived at Turf Moor they became subject to a winding up order and a new club was formed by the fans in the aftermath. The new team had to enter the First Division as Cork City FORAS Co-op but in June of that year they purchased the name 'Cork City Football Club' as they are now known. They won promotion back to the Premier Division in 2011 and they ended the 2012 season, their first season back in the top division, in a creditable 6th place.

This will be the only game Burnley will play during a five day stay in Ireland but it is sure to attract a decent following of supporters. We'll soon have news of a coach trip being organised by Burnley Football Supporters' Club. If you wish to travel with them you will have to move quickly as places are limited.

Our opponents Cork City are currently in eighth place in the Airtricity League Premier Division having won two, drawn four and lost two of their opening 2013 season fixtures. They've beaten Bohemians and UCD at home, lost at home to Derry City, the former club of Danny Lafferty, and more recently at Sligo Rovers. They have drawn their other three away games at Limerick, Shamrock Rovers and Drogheda United, and in their most recent league fixture were held to a home draw by Shelbourne.

They've also just gone out of the Setanta Sports Cup, losing to Shamrock Rovers in the semi-final. It ended 3-3 on aggregate but it was Shamrock who went through on away goals in the All Ireland cup competition. Cork had previously knocked out two clubs from the Irish League, Cliftonville and Crusaders.

For anyone wanting to spend a few days in Ireland and want to take in another Cork game, they will be away against Shelbourne on the Friday evening before the friendly and at home to Dundalk on the following Friday.

There'll be more than a flavour of Ireland in our squad too. Besides Long and Lafferty, we also currently include Northern Ireland internationals Michael Duff and Martin Paterson, and from the Republic both Chris McCann and Keith Treacy. We've also got a number of young Irish players, form both Northern Ireland and the Republic in our youth and development squads.

Clarets Mad will be there to cover the game as Sean Dyche's team start their build up to the 2013/14 season which kicks off on Saturday 3rd August.


* - Picture of Turner's Cross is courtesy of Cork City FC

Source: Clarets Mad