Having departed Cork City at the end of the 2011 season, City have confirmed that 30-year-old Graham Cummins is to return to his former club after an absence of six years where the Rebel Army’s former star had spells across the water in both England and Scotland.
In Cummins previous spell on Leeside, the Corkonian certainly left a mark on the Turner’s Cross faithful as he scored the goal that confirmed City as the First Division Champions in 2011 in a dramatic finale at Tolka Park. That goal, which has gone down in the annals of Cork City folklore, set the Rebel Army on their way back to the Premier Division following a painful few years at the ‘Cross.
While away from the League of Ireland, Cummins enjoyed a relatively successful period across the water in both England and Scotland as he had spells with Preston North End, Rochdale and Exeter City before the First Division top goal scorer of 2011 joined forces with St. Johnstone at McDiarmid Park in Scotland.
With mounting speculation in recent days suggesting that Cummins’ return to Turner’s Cross was imminent, City have confirmed that the former St. Johnstone hitman will don the famous Cork City colours again for 2018.
Speaking with CorkCityFC.ie, Cummins had his say on the deal and how it came about.
“I am absolutely delighted to be back at City; I spoke to John a couple of weeks ago and I was eager to come back, but after speaking to him, I was so excited at the thought of coming back. Everything he said was so positive and I am coming back to the best team in the country.
“They have just won a double and I want to come back and win trophies at City. It is something I spoke to John about; I am very ambitious to come back and get some medals.
“I kept in touch with Gearóid, when he was in England and that, and I actually spoke to Nults only a few weeks ago as well. I would always keep an eye on City and how they were doing and, when I got home, I would try and get to games at the ‘Cross as well.
“From speaking to John, he spoke about what a good group it is and that is a big thing for me. Nults also spoke really well about the lads and you can tell from speaking to him what a great environment I am going back into.
“The last game I played for City was the last time I won a trophy, and I am coming back to win titles again. I don’t want to come back and just play games, I want to be winning trophies. From speaking to John, the club has come on leaps and bounds since I left, so I am really, really excited to be back. I am going into a club I know, but into a new environment at the same time. The main thing for me is to win trophies; I want it to be a success.”
Also having his say on the news was Cork City boss John Caulfield who has spoken of his delight to secure some top quality striking talent as the Rebel Army will be looking to replicate last season’s roaring successes on the field once again.
“I spoke to Graham a number of times and, from my point of view, it was about trying to get him here in January. He was still under contract and I know his club wanted to wait until the summer, but we didn’t want to wait and, to be fair to Graham, he had the bit between his teeth that he wanted to get it done.
“He is from Cork and he had a phenomenal record in his previous spell with the club. We are obviously in a different place now compared to when he left, having just won the double, so the challenge for him is to come in and compete with Karl Sheppard and Josh O’Hanlon. We have options now; Shep (Karl Sheppard) who has already established himself, Graham who has been an excellent goal scorer here before and Josh (O’Hanlon), who has tremendous potential.”
Caulfield is also hoping that his new signing will be more than comfortable performing for an expectant fanbase next season at Turners Cross.
“There is a massive challenge ahead, but it is an exciting challenge for a guy like Graham to see if he can cement his place and score goals. There are huge expectations on all of the front players this year; the challenge for them is to handle playing in front of 5,000 plus and be able to deliver every week.”