John Caulfield says returning John Kavanagh will be 'like a new signing' for Cork City

Sun, Dec 09 2018

Kavanagh (left) celebrates Harps' promotion play-off success with team captain Keith Cowan. Credit: Michael P Ryan (ETPhotos)

John Caulfield says John Kavanagh will be ‘like a new signing’ after the defender signed a new deal with hometown club Cork City.

The right-back, who has struggled with persistent injury problems over the past few seasons, spent time on loan with Waterford and Finn Harps last season in a bid for regular first-team football.

24-year-old Kavanagh spent the first half of the season at the RSC before helping Harps to promotion to the Premier Division with a play-off win over Limerick.

It’s been a frustrating few years on the field for the Cork native, who established himself as a regular for City in 2014 but saw his progress halted by a bad knee injury and subsequent setbacks.

The former Ringmahon Rangers schoolboy was twice a double-winner with City’s under-19s before pushing on to the senior team in 2013.

After missing most of the 2016 while in recovery, he moved to Cobh Ramblers for the second half of the 2017 as he sought regular playing time.

“I can’t wait to get going,” Kavanagh told the club’s media team.

“I am really looking forward to it. Last year, I was away at Waterford and then at Finn Harps, and I feel as though I am in a really good position to come in, compete and stake a claim.

“I think I needed to play Premier Division football last year, for myself, just to know that I can do it, and I think I proved that.

“I played close to 30 games, so I think I am in a much better position this year than last year, and I can’t wait to get going.”

Caulfield added: “I think this is like a new signing for us. Kav has had a horrendous number of years, but last season was significant for him.

“He has overcome his injuries and he has come back into training now looking in tremendous condition.

“Some players would have walked away, but he has shown dedication and a great attitude, and he has come through it.

“Mentally, he has overcome the injury and hasn’t broken down, so I think he is over it and we are looking forward to him hitting the ground running, which I am sure he will do this year.”