Former UCC defender Seán McLoughlin has signed a new contract with Cork City.
The defender, who signed from UCC last summer, has extended his stay with City until the end of the 2019 season.
McLoughlin has made 21 league appearances for the club this season and, speaking to CorkCityFC.ie, he said: “It’s mad really, how well it has gone for me. I signed an 18 month contract this time last year and it was really about finding my feet for that first six months. I said to myself that I needed to kick on when I came back for pre-season, and I think I have done that. I just want to thank John and all of the coaching staff for the faith they have shown in me.”
“Playing games is what I need at this age, and I just want to thank John for showing that faith in me. Alan Bennett, Damien Delaney, Mark McNulty, Aaron Barry, these guys have all been around a long time and for young defenders like me, Conor McCarthy, Danny Kane and Shane Griffin, it is great to learn from them and see what they do every day.”
“I think I wasn’t up to the standard really when I left the 19s, so I had to go away for a few years and I owe a lot to Noel Healy and UCC; they took me on and I had two great years there. It gave me a chance to improve and, thankfully, I got the opportunity to come back to Cork City.”
“I think we are exactly where we want to be. We are in and around the top of the table, and we just have to make sure we keep putting in the performances every week. We have Europe now as well to look forward to, so that will be another good experience.”
John Caulfield gave his thoughts on the news, saying:
“We are delighted; Seán has done fantastically well. Making the step up from UCC and the Irish Universities squad is difficult, but he has done well. At the start of the season, he was on the bench, but he got his chance and he has been phenomenal for us. His contract was expiring at the end of the season, so we wanted to extend it and Seán was delighted to do that. Even though he is relatively new to first team football, we have big hopes and big plans for him.”
“It is very hard to go from Under 19s straight into the first team, particularly when you are competing in Europe and competing to win trophies. Seán made the right move in going to UCC to develop over a period of 18 months, and we could see he had progressed when he came back to us last summer. We obviously have a partnership with UCC, and there is great work being done by Noel Healy, Conor Uhl and Mick Conroy, so it is great to have those links. It is the way to go for a lot of players, to finish their education and keep playing football, and then come back to us.”
“At the start of the season, outside of ourselves, I don’t think anyone would have thought that he would have stepped up so quickly, but I think our supporters can see that he is a fantastic player. He’s in the team at the moment and it is up to everyone else to shift him, but if Seán can keep playing as consistently well as he has done, he has a bright future ahead of him.”